I feel like an achievement while posting #kbcBookBingo2022 entry on behalf of my 8 year old daughter. I joined KBC when Spriha was 7 years old. She wanted to read more books but picture books were so basic for her and she was not ready to start her journey with chapter books. I lined up books by all the famous and bestselling children’s authors but frankly speaking those books are still on the bookshelf. Joining KBC was one of the best things that happened to us. Not only I understood Spriha’s book preferences but also cleverly introduced new genres to her.
Spriha has been an emotional child. In addition to that, she is an introvert. At that time my younger one was not big enough to play with Spriha and we noticed a sense of loneliness that grew more whenever we had guests. It got worse with online schooling because now she had nothing to talk about. We tried all sort of activities and online classes but she was not consistent with anything. Supervision with electronic devices was another challenge being a working mother in nuclear family. Kindle Paperwhite with parental controls was her only companion but still something was missing.
I am thankful now that sadness is gone forever because she is more than happy reading her books. She likes diaries, fiction, adventure and funny books. At the same time she wants to believe in what she reads so she prefers books with clear illustrations. She wants attractive pictures in non fiction genre as well and that’s what you will find in all 20 books listed here. These books are for children who are comfortable with chapter books but still not graduated to books without pictures. Although I insisted on listing her recent reads still she did not want to miss out her favorites. So the books are actually in 6-10 years range.
I had been posting about her excitement for #kbcBookBingo2022 on KBC Facebook Group, in fact everyone at home is surprised to see her transformation to a review writing enthusiast from someone who never cared to write full sentences in class assessments.
Quoting her #kbcBookBingo2022 experience in her own words:
I liked reading this variety of books including the books I had been avoiding and I can’t believe I enjoyed reading all the books and writing reviews too. I just got to know that my mom tricked me into writing all the reviews in superfast mode but I never knew I was capable of doing so. The more reviews I wrote the more confidence I got for writing more. I had always wondered if I had a hobby but I guess I have one now. Thank you mom, Asha aunty and everyone sharing irresistible books on KidsBookCafe.
1) A book by an Indian author: Raja Balushahi and Rani Rasmalai in Mithaspur and Other Adventures by Prashant Pinge
The stories in this book are filled with Indian Mythology inspired Hinglish names of people, cities and things. I actually sat with my parents to get the meaning of words like Karunadasa, Ghrunakumari, Pataliputram, Pataal Lok, Gandharva and so many words that I heard for the first time. Trying to pronounce the words correctly was fun and meanings were so relatable with the storyline. It was little time taking for me but I really want to read more such stories. The book also has a game similar to snakes and ladders. The players keep moving alongside a stepwell like structure to reach the Khazana in the centermost place. You will cross all mythological cities from the book, ancient forts can capture you and some magical items will shift your place. This book is one of a kind and we are enjoying it too much.
2) A purple colored book: Darcy Dolphin and the Best Birthday Ever! by Sam Watkins
Darcy Dolphin books are Darcy’s diary written in English and Dolphinese. Whether it is Monkfishday or Salmonsday, you are going to love Darcy’s thought of the day. In this book Darcy’s Sea Trouts Team wants to win the Golden Wobble trophy. They help others and go the extra fathom to earn more points for a couple of weeks. In the last week a party was planned in the ship where Ozzy Octopus lives. By mistake, Myrtle Turtle’s twin cousins wrote 7AM in place of 7PM in the invitation. It was going to be a disastrous birthday but Darcy plans the best birthday ever. This book gives a message that we should be happy for our efforts, no matter we win or not. Darcy and other friends prioritize Ozzy’s special day and let the guppies win because friends are way better than Golden Wobbles!
3) An award-winning book: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
I like this book because I love chocolates and it has a lot to learn about chocolate making machines. It has received five awards and three movies have been filmed on it. It is story of 6 children, Willy Wonka being the sixth child in flashbacks. All of them are different personalities and they all have at least one special trait. I realized how much parents feel fear, pride and love for their children. I also learned that excess of everything is bad. Surprised? That’s because chapter books by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake are part of my school curriculum. I would have loved this book even if I read it on my own for the fun-loving Oompa Loompas, energetic Willy Wonka and Charlie for his content personality. Other four children also bring lot of passion and humor in the story.
4) A book with a male protagonist: Iggy Is Better Than Ever by Annie Barrows
Iggy book series is about a naughty and curious boy. His imagination is unbelievable and he always comes up with really interesting ideas. He sticks plastic tapes across the road that makes a woman think her vehicle is attacked by a big octopus. He rides his bicycle on a heap of dry leaves imagining of it as a bike ramp. Sometimes he gets into trouble and sometimes he is lucky enough to escape. You can learn a lesson but Iggy won’t change because he is fine the way he is. His crazy ideas and funny circumstances make it an unstoppable read.
5) A mystery/adventure book: Uncle Leo’s Adventures in the Sahara Forests by Yannets Levi
Uncle Leo’s Adventures series is one of Israel’s most popular children’s book series. It is a different read because in an ordinary family there is an extraordinary uncle. Uncle Leo visits his nephews Andy and Graham every Wednesday. His pants are 200 years old and he has only 4 hairs. He tells his interesting and funny experiences to them. Sahara forest adventures as captured in Andy’s diary, include an encounter with an angry fairy, an attempt at flying, a sweet time speeding water and organ exchange with Robotov-48.
6) The first book in a series: Mr Pattacake And The Big Idea by Stephanie Baudet
Pattacake Pattacake Baker’s Man, bake me a cake as fast as you can! Yes, yes, we have a big BIG cake in the book. All thanks to Mr Pattacake’s eyesight, he cooks for 100 people when only 10 are supposed to be attending the party. Mr Pattacake needs to complete this order, figure out the disaster and wait for more, as always. This time the credit goes to his lazy pet cat Treacle and naughty Tortie the nuisance cat. But he never fails to save the day even if there is ten times extra food or no entertainment planned for the party. Cake is not the only BIG thing, there is the BIG bouncy IDEA. Mr Pattacake boxset is my first book box set ever and I can’t love it enough. Mr Pattacake is a nice man who loves animals and cooking.
7) A graphic novel: Bird & Squirrel – All Tangled Up by James Burks
Bird is completely happy-go-lucky and squirrel is always suspicious, but they make a perfect team in Bird & Squirrel book series. Meet Birdie the little squirrel who wants to have an adventure of her own. The colorful graphic images work like icing on the cake. Every page, in fact every facial expression tells so much about their feelings. My favorite pages are when on their way to find bigfeet they stop and watch the clouds. This book is emotional and amusing at the same time. Birdie learns many life lessons from uncle Bird and dad Squirrel in this book. Bird’s super scary dreams are funny at times and surprisingly he aces it when he stops being a paranoid (for once) right under the most dangerous circumstances.
8) A Scholastic book: The Spy Next Door – Mutant Rat Attack! by Jay Cooper
This book is for the science geeks but you will enjoy it more if you are a fart freak too. The boy you see on the cover page is Dexter Drabner. He wants to become a spy like his idol Toby Falcon. His teacher Mr Mcfur brings his pet rats in school. His rat Pretty is capable of eating anything and everything. She turns into an elephant-rat mutant after eating gamma broccoli. I had lot of fun reading about this mutation mishap along with Dex’s accidental spying assignment.
9) A non-fiction book/encyclopedia: On The Origin of Species by Sabina Radeva
It is a picture-based adaptation of On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. It is a refreshing read to know how he travelled many places to find fossils, study insects, birds and animals to conclude on his findings. Scientists at that time were not familiar with DNA but Darwin showed in his research that all the life in earth may have a common ancestor just like branches of a tree originate from a single stem. The book also clarifies that we may have a common ancestor with monkeys but it is not correct to believe that only humans evolved and monkeys have not gone through evolution at all. Evolution is a gradual process that can be seen in insects and bacteria but we don’t live long enough to observe it in humans. The book shows illustrations of many species like dogs & wolves, zebras & horses, pigeons etc. Evolution with mutation is explained with butterflies and birds. It shows how geography, natural selection, struggle and migration affect future generations.
10) A book about school stories: Captain Underpants And The Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy Part One – The Night of the Nasty Nostril Nuggets
George and Harold never finish the school homework, instead they create a superhero comic in book 1 of Captain Underpants Series. The real fun starts when they hypnotize school Principal Mr. Krupp to believe he is the superhero from their comics. Eventually in the series he gets superpowers that includes flying and throwing underpants at enemies. The boys just need to snap their fingers to turn him into Captain Underpants. They have an alpha geek classmate Melvin who always wants to win. In this book he creates a machine to combine himself with robots but a sneeze gets mixed up too. Read the book to know if our favorite superhero can save the school from this Bionic Booger Boy?
11) A classic: Alice in Wonderland by Manuela Adreani
Something is always better than nothing and when something is illustrated by Manuela Adreani then it becomes something enchanting. I never picked up any classic to read because it all looked overwhelming with lot of text and not so interesting illustrations. I picked this book because it’s almost A3 size, beautiful cover and I was awestruck as I opened the book. It was like watching an animated movie. The font size is big and many paragraphs are written in shapes that reminded me of the beautiful concrete poems we wrote in English class this year. Wonderland is literally full of wonders. There are talking cards, well-groomed animals, magical foods, playing croquet with hedgehogs and many other marvels that I have never read before. Alice is a tender-hearted but brave girl. I love the way she mingles with everyone, helps them and faces royals’ orders with confidence. Best part of her personality was her prompt reality checks.
12) A rib-tickling book: Catwad – It’s Me. by Jim Benton
This is my most loved book. Consider it as a graphic joke book. Some of the pages are hilarious even without a dialogue. Catwad books are capable of transforming the saddest person into the happiest person in no time.
Catwad is a grumpy cat and Blurmp always all smiles. Blurmp has a reason to love hatred too, unbelievable but true! Catwad tries to grin but his body goes inside out. Blurmp gets a tattoo, Blurmp thinks he is mummy of the virus in his body and so much more.
13) An inspiring book: Unfair & Lovely by Mallika Thoppay
Sahana and Surabhi moved to a new city. A lot has changed, but some things never change. Sahana is dark skinned and people can’t stop giving stares and advices about her appearance. Her classmate Chhaya finds her friendly but Rohini always gives hateful remarks. Sahana is convinced that fairness is the key for success after she is rejected in dance auditions. Her mum senses her emotions and explains her that everyone has their own battle to fight, even the fair ones. Sahana learns that it’s hard to change people’s habits but we win only if we stay focused on our goals. Sahana accepts helping her little sister’s class with dance steps and Surabhi’s class wins. Sahana is appreciated for her talent but when she speaks on the stage, everyone just listens!
Everyone should read this book to understand how they can hurt someone even if they don’t intend to do so.
14) A sci-fi/fantasy book: Willy Maykit in Space by Greg Trine
Willy and his father struggle to return home in this hilarious book. His father was already captured by Foothunters in Amazon Forests and now Willy is left behind on planet Ed along with Cindy. They make friends with a green foodie alien Norp. Together they deal with space monsters and unfamiliar atmosphere until the school sends an android to their rescue. But it gets worse when there is a crash at the landing. Will Mr Maykit’s willpower win? Will Norp be willing to come with Willy?
15) A book on being eco-friendly: Change Starts Young by Ashwin Naik
It has many real-life stories of young Indians who came up with creative solutions to everyday problems. After each story there is a questionnaire for us to think and identify the changemaker of our own. The five stories about being eco-friendly include water, health, pollution and chemicals related solutions. These children are real heroes and heroines because they took corrective actions thinking of wellbeing of people.
16) A book on any place in the world: Sacagawea (The Jacabee Code: the Adventures of Dooley, Abby and Baldy)
This book is inspired by the work of one of the greatest American artists Francis Luis Mora. Familiarize yourself with the Louisiana deal between United States and France in this hair-raising blend of facts and fiction. Dooley and Abby take care of Jacabee’s magical house along with their talking eagle friend Baldy. A leak in ceiling opens one of his sketchbooks and the Corps of Discovery comes alive. Sacagawea, the famous Native American woman is separated from Lewis and Clark Expedition. Abby accompanies her on the way to the reunion. They look for hidden signs, fight wild animals and Abby gets to hear about Sacagawea’s life. Dooley, Abby and Baldy help the expedition go back in their world by decoding the Jacabee symbols and completing the puzzle.
17) A biography: Zap! Nikola Tesla Takes Charge by Monica Kulling
Monica Kulling’s Great Idea Series has perfect content to introduce famous inventors to young readers. This book covers the life of Nikola Tesla. He used to talk about placing a giant waterwheel under Niagara Falls as a child. Who knew one day this child’s idea combined with his interest in electrons and protons would lead to innovation of alternating current. This biography covers his hurdles and victories. It was quite a revolting rivalry between him and Thomas Edison. I realized the value of money, power of patents, business tactics and how far someone can go if they believe in something.
18) A book by your favorite author: Rainbow Magic – Evelyn the Mermicorn Fairy by Daisy Meadows
There are hundreds of Rainbow Magic books by Daisy Meadows featuring Kristy and Rachel who often spend time with their fairy friends in fairyland. In each book Jack Frost steals something magical and powerful to proceed with his nasty plans. Kristy and Rachel take responsibility to keep the magic safe and they join the fairies to reclaim the lost items. We bought this book from Scholastic website and I selected it because I love both mermaids and unicorns. Topaz the mermicorn wears a magical necklace that brings confidence. Jack Frost steals the necklace and distributes the magical gems among his goblins. Evelyn has a magical wand and Kristy and Rachel keep boosting the confidence of the fairies throughout their quest. In fact I got confidence to read chapter books after finishing this book in three days. This will always be one of my favorites even if I finish these books in one hour now. I have read many Rainbow Magic books so far but the terror of Jack Frost still so real. I am sure every girl can find a Magic Rainbow book of her favorite choice.
19) A new author you were introduced to: Remy Sneakers vs. the Robo-Rats by Kevin Sherry
Kevin Sherry is creator of cool graphic series such as Yeti Files, Squidding Around and Remy Sneakers books by Scholastic. In this book he has highlighted the fact that we should not accept any blame if we are not at fault and one need not be a hero to fight the criminals.
Remy is in the news for recent robberies at a museum and bank but in reality his famous collection is made of attractive stuff he found in the trash. He repairs and treasures these abandoned items including his statement Sneakers. He goes to Pigeon Plaza, Rat City and Mouseville to build a team to reveal the real thief. They figure out who is behind all this but this one is a mastermind. Robo-Rats were tackled by them but Remy is now trapped by his identical Robo-Racoon. Remy has got his friends by his side but will that be all?
20) A book that was gifted to you: Bug Buddies – Ant Invasion! by Joe Miller
This is one of the gems my cousin brother gifted me from his action books collection. Zap, Buzz, Lurch and Crunch are beetle heroes of the Bug Buddies series by Joe Miller. But there is no hero without a villain. Spinner the spider has only one mission – trap the entire wood in evil webs. Yellow Ants have invited everyone to the party but Spinner. He has spun a big web to trap innocent insects of the wood but this time Buzz is trapped too. Other than lot of insect facts, this book also points out that nobody is perfect and you may have an argument or misunderstanding with the friends but they always care for you.
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