Hop and Chomp: A Caterpillar Story by Gita V. Reddy


Hop and Chomp: A Caterpillar Story by Gita V. Reddy
Publisher: Self-Published
Genre: Childrens, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (32 pages)
Age Recommendation: 3+
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Astilbe

Hop, a young grasshopper, makes a new friend. He is Chomp, the caterpillar. Chomp is not like Hop at all. While Hop likes to explore the world around him, and to play in the grass, Chomp only eats. But Hop doesn’t mind because Chomp is a good listener. He visits him often and tells him all about his day.

One day, Chomp stops eating. And then he disappears!

Hop and Chomp: A Caterpillar Story is a simple story children will relate to, while learning about the life cycle of a butterfly.

It is also about friendship, and about accepting differences.

Both boys and girls will enjoy the book.

The illustrations are hand drawn and will appeal to young readers.

You’re never too young to make a new friend.

I’d never thought about the idea of insects having personalities before, but Hop and Chomp changed my mind about this. They were both unique little bugs that had strong opinions about how they wanted to spend their time and who they wanted to spend it with. I’ve been a fan of Ms. Reddy’s stories for a while now, but getting to know these characters so well only made me more interested in seeing what she comes up with next. She had such a creative spin on what grasshoppers and caterpillars would be like if they could speak.

I would have liked to see Hop’s mother spend a little more time explaining what a pupa was and why Chomp was inside of it. Her explanation of it was so brief that I’m not sure it would make complete sense to preschoolers. With that being said, I still enjoyed this book quite a bit and wouldn’t hesitate to read it to my relatives who are in this age group.

The friendship between Chomp and Hop was adorable. Hop’s interest in spending time with his friend only seemed to grow stronger over time, and that made me smile. I also loved the fact that they were such good buddies even though a baby grasshopper’s idea of a good time often isn’t the same as what a caterpillar would want to do.

Hop and Chomp: A Caterpillar Story was a gentle tale that I’d recommend to anyone who is in the market for something new to read at bedtime.

Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag by Carole P. Roman


Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag by Carole P. Roman
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (34 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 5+
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Stephanotis

From award-winning author Carole P. Roman comes a new chapter book featuring Susannah Logan, a young student having a very bad day.

It all begins with homework trouble and an invitation to a sleepover that she doesn’t want to go to. Would you want to go to a sleepover in a creepy house? Rather than dealing with her problems, Susannah stuffs them into her backpack. But how much can a backpack take? Will she be able to confront her worries before the backpack bursts? Or will she just continue to hide them away?

Join Susannah and her friends in this story sure to charm busy young readers everywhere.

I’ve read many of the If You Were Me books by this author so it was fun to see that Ms. Roman has written her first chapter book.

It’s a cute read and one I know that children will love reading or having read to them.

The main character Susannah hasn’t finished her homework, has parents who always seem to be in a hurry, she hates oatmeal, isn’t fond of bananas yet one is in her school bag. And unlike the other kids at school, she can’t decide what book she wants to read. This all somehow causes her bag to get fuller and fuller until the zipper breaks and the bag gets stuck under the bed.

It’s a funny tale but with a message that sometimes what we perceive to be true isn’t always the case. Susannah’s parents might seem busy but they have time for her and that we all face the same dilemmas in life and it’s always parents who come to the rescue…if you let them.

A fun read that I think would be great to read during the summer break with your children or grandchildren as they get ready to head back to school.

If You Were Me and Lived in Cuba by Carole P. Roman


If You Were Me and Lived in Cuba by Carole P. Roman
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Middle Grade, Contemporary
Length: Short (26 pgs)
Rating: 4 Stars
Age Recommendation: 6+
Review by: Stephanotis

Join Carole P. Roman when she visits the exciting island of Cuba in the newest book of her informative series. Learn about the varied customs and cultures. Travel to the Caribbean to discover what you would eat and do for fun. See the country through the eyes of a youngster like you and understand what life is like in this exciting place.

Don’t forget to look at the other books in the series so that you can be an armchair world traveler.

This time we’re off to Cuba in Ms. Roman’s continuing series of If You Were Me… books.

I’ve lost count how many I’ve read but each one is just as enjoyable as the last. I read this book not knowing a lot about Cuba and by the time I’d finished it, I knew about its capital city Havana, it’s history and Spanish roots.

What I like most about these books is the way they’re told from a child’s point of view and what day to day life would be like if you lived anywhere besides your home town.

These are books that can be read with an adult or without and a fun collection to have on hand for homeschoolers.

I loved that this one focused on places you’d go and things you’d eat. As always, the author provides a detailed glossary at the back to further explain words and expand your know of both the culture and history of the area.

If You Were Me and Lived in Germany by Carole P. Roman

If You Were Me and Lived in Germany by Carole P. Roman
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Children’s Reader
Length: Short (30 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 6+
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Stephanotis

Join Carole P. Roman when she visits the beautiful land of Germany in the newest book of her informative series. Learn about the varied customs and cultures. Travel to the central Europe to discover what you would eat and do for fun. See the land through the eyes of a youngster like you and understand what life is like in this exciting place. Don’t forget to look at the other books in the series so that you can be an armchair world traveler.

I always enjoy the If You Were Me books by Carole Roman and this is the first one about a country I’ve actually visited.

All the books in this series are very entertaining (yes, even for adults). I learn something new from each one I read, so I think they’re an ideal resource for teaching children about different cultures and countries.

This one focused on where Germany is located, its capital, what your name would be, and then described what you would eat, places to see, and even Oktoberfest. A couple of interesting facts I learned after reading this book were that the oldest sun observatory was built 7,000 years ago in Germany. And that Germany is, in fact, home to the oldest savings bank.

Once again another fun read and I recommend them to you especially if you have a child working on a school project or even if you homeschool your children.

If You Were Me and Lived in The Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P. Roman

If You Were Me and Lived in The Ancient Mali Empire by Carole P. Roman
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Children’s Reader
Length: Short (68 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 6+
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Review by: Stephanotis

Join Carole P. Roman as she travels back in time to visit the exciting Ancient Empire of Mali in Africa during the 1300s. Learn about the varied customs and cultures. Travel to the past to discover what you would eat and do for fun. See the land and its rich history through the eyes of a youngster like you. Don’t forget to look at the other books in the series so that you can be an armchair time traveler.

The blurb on the back of this title says that you should check out this series so you can be an armchair traveler, and that’s exactly how I feel each time I read books in this series.  In this case, not just a geographic traveler but a time traveler too. This one focused on the Mali Empire. I hadn’t read anything about it prior to reading this title so let’s just say I learned a lot. Ms. Roman manages to pack a ton of information into these short reads and they’re always nicely illustrated too (this time by Mateya Arkova).

This book not only described what life would have been like but also tells you about how the empire shaped modern day Sudan.

The area was an important part of the trading route for both China and Europe and one thing I learned was it was rich in salt and gold…both of which were important commodities. Both government and religion played vital roles in society and shaped the future of this region.

Once again a fascinating read for both adults and children. If you homeschool children I think these books would make a good resource for your at home library.

Elphie and Dad Go on an Epic Adventure by Hagit R. Oron and Or Oron


Elphie and Dad Go on an Epic Adventure by Hagit R. Oron and Or Oron

Publisher: Self-Published
enre: Children’s Fiction, Contemporary
Length: Short Story (25 pages)
Age Recommendation: 3+
Rating: 5 stars
Review by: Astilbe

BoM LASR YA copy

For Elphie, everything is an adventure.

But dad is cautious.

Is dad going to join Elphie on his quest or is the trip to the shop going to be dull and boring?

Join Elphie and dad to find out!

Anything can be an adventure if you think about it the right way.

This was such an imaginative tale. Not everyone can notice a cat sitting in a tree or a cloud floating through the sky and picture how those things could be transformed into something magical. Seeing the world through these characters’ eyes was a real treat due to of this. I’m going to think of my next walk in a completely different way because of how easy it was for Elphie to see dragons and treasures around every single corner.

The relationship between Elphie and his dad was so sweet. You could tell they really loved each other and enjoyed spending time together. I especially enjoyed seeing how attentive the dad was during their walk to the store. He wanted to make sure his son had fun while they ran their errand, and it showed.

There were a few lessons included in the plot about listening to your parents and avoiding some of the common dangers that exist when you’re walking by a road. I liked the fact that the father in this tale reminded his son to stay safe without making a big production out of it.

The dialogue was delightfully funny as well. Elphie was going through a stage where he liked to repeat certain words that his father used, so there were a few times when I grinned at how this little guy spoke. They weren’t the kind of words that I’d typically expect someone his age to use. I wouldn’t even expect him to know what some of them mean, but that only made it more adorable to see him use them.

If you’re looking for a cute picture book, look no further than Elphie and Dad Go on an Epic Adventure. It was a beautiful story that I can’t recommend highly enough!

If You Were Me and Lived In…the Middle Ages by Carole P. Roman

if-you-were-me-and-lived-inmiddle-ages-by-carole-p-roman
If You Were Me and Lived In…the Middle Ages by Carole P. Roman
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Children’s Illustrated Non Fiction Book
Length: Short (79 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 5+
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Stephanotis

Join Carole P. Roman and travel through time to visit the most interesting civilizations throughout history in her exciting new series. Learn what kind of food you might have eaten during the Middle Ages, the clothes you might wear, what your name could be, and children did for fun. If You Were Me and Lived in…does for history what her other award-winning series did for culture. So get on-board this time-travel machine and discover the world through the eyes of a young person just like you.

Another great title in the If You Were Me and Lived In… series.

After reading any of these titles, you’ll learn a lot. They’re fun and entertaining for all ages. Growing up, I read lots of books about the Middles Ages and even learned about it at school but after reading this title, I discovered more things. One interesting fact was the value of salt and the higher up and richer you were in society the nearer the salt was placed to you during a meal. The author hints at that maybe it’s where the expression “he is worth his weight in salt” originates.

Just like the other titles, this one is lavishly illustrated, this time by Mateya Arkova. I found it even more detailed then the rest of the books and covered topics like religion, craftsman, medicine, professions, and the differences in the classes and how they interacted with one another

If you’re a fan of history or know a child who likes illustrated books and learning about children from other times, this is one to check out

If You Were Me and Lived In…Ancient China by Carole P. Roman

if-you-were-me-and-lived-inancient-china-by-carole-p-romanIf You Were Me and Lived In…Ancient China by Carole P. Roman
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Children’s Illustrated Non Fiction Book
Length: Short Story (69 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 5+
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Stephanotis

Carole P. Roman’s award winning series has traveling again and this time it’s to East Asia to visit the People’s Republic of China. In this book, younger readers can learn about the wide variety of climate when they read about China’s vast size. They will begin their journey in China’s ancient capital, Beijing, where they will discover the Imperial Palace of the Forbidden City.

Different regions of cuisine are discussed, highlighting the variety of styles and spices of food. Currency, sports, exciting tourist attractions, and a lovely description of the New Year Festivities are included in this introduction the beautiful land of China.

Embraced by educators, parents, and children, the series gently and respectfully introduces the subjects of cultures and customs around the world.

This the seventh book in the If You Were Me and Lived in… series that I’ve reviewed and this one focuses on the Han Dynastry in Ancient China. Mateya Arkova is the illustrator and once again her drawings pair perfectly with Ms. Roman’s words. I have to admit I haven’t read many books on the history of China so this one gave me an easy to read introduction (and therefore would be ideal for a child too).

This particular book covers topics like silk and how important it was to the Chinese economy. The different levels of professions and the importance of colors and numbers to the people of China. I like the way the author always introduces either a boy or girl character who leads the reader through the story and shows what life was like for a young person, showing the reader what they ate, how they dressed and what they studied at school.

Another interesting title that I recommend you check out.

If You Were Me and Lived In… The American West by Carole P. Roman

If You Were Me and Lived In… The American West by Carole P. Roman
If You Were Me and Lived In… The American West by Carole P. Roman
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Children’s Illustrated Non-Fiction
Length: Short Story (44 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 4+
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Stephanotis

Join Carole P. Roman and travel through time to visit the most interesting civilizations throughout history in her exciting new series. Learn what kind of food you might eat on the Oregon Trail, the clothes you wore in in the American West, what your name could be in the 19th century, and what children did for fun once their many chores were done. If You Were Me and Lived in…does for history what her other award-winning series did for culture. So get on-board this time-travel machine and discover the world through the eyes of a young person just like you.

This the sixth book in the If You Were Me and Lived in series, and like the previous ones, this title was just as entertaining and educating. I know the intended audience is middle grade readers, but I find myself learning something new with each book I read. For example, I had no idea that you’re never supposed to wave at another man when you’re on a horse, you simply nod and another no-no is never put on another man’s hat.

This book is once again nicely illustrated by Paula Tabor and like the other in the series, complements the text. The author gives you a sense of the hardships settlers endured to find a new way to make a living. Not only is the journey on the Oregon Trail documented in this book but also what life was like for young people once the family arrived. Readers can learn about the types of chores young pioneers did and what type of schooling they had.

If you or your child wants to learn about the settlement of the American West, this is a book to definitely check out.

If You Were Me and Lived In…Brazil by Carole P. Roman

If You Were Me and Lived In…Brazil by Carole P. Roman
If You Were Me and Lived In…Brazil by Carole P. Roman
Publisher: Self Published
Genre: Children’s Illustrated Non Fiction
Length: Short Story (26 pgs)
Age Recommendation: 7+
Rating: 4 Stars
Review by: Stephanotis

Join Carole P. Roman when she visits the stunning and diverse land of Brazil in the newest book of her informative series. Learn about the varied customs and cultures. Travel to South America to discover what you would eat and do for fun. See the land through the eyes of a youngster like you and understand what life is like in this exciting place. Don’t forget to look at the other books in the series so that you can be an armchair world traveler.

This might be a little late to tie in with the Olympics but if you child or grandchild, (or even you!), wants to learn more about the country that hosted the games, this is a wonderful resource.

It’s the fifth in the series I’ve read, and like the others, this one is both entertaining and educational.

If you’re not familiar with the series, they put the reader in someone else’s shoes, in this case, a child who lives in Brazil, and tells you about their everyday life. This one covered money, food and what you’d likely be served at dinner. I liked the section about the Amazon rainforest and the overview of Brazil’s place in the world. It’s heavily illustrated (by Kelsea Wierenga), which complements the text perfectly.

Check this one out if you’re enjoy an easy to read book about geography and culture.