What I learned from ‘Most Valuable Puppy’

Maybe I should become a full-time reviewer of children’s books, because in my brief time doing this blog, my praise for “Most Valuable Puppy” represents the second time I have written about a work that is for kids.

“Most Valuable Puppy” is about children pet-sitting an energetic dog, and though it’s fiction, it’s relatable.

I imagine a child would never get tired of their mother, father, grandmother or grandfather reading this happy story to them and pointing to the illustrations because “Most Valuable Puppy” is cute, sweet and funny.

It’s an engaging combination of entertainment and education, and perhaps the book’s biggest benefit is that it’s a vocabulary builder.

The word “kimchi” appears in the book and I bet kids would love to learn what it means and play with the pronunciation of it.

I’m sure the story would also make children curious about San Francisco, where the book takes place, and the breed of the star of “Most Valuable Puppy,” a Jack Russell named Bouncer.

I imagine boys and girls asking, “What is this Fran Sancisco? Who is Russell Jack? Can we get a Russell Jack to play with all the time?”

I thoroughly enjoyed reading “Most Valuable Puppy” on 8-13-19 and I’m no kid. Heck, I’m almost 68 years old and the preferred age range for the book is 6 to 8.

Many thanks to author Carol Kim and illustrator Felia Hanakata for the wonderful time.

Many thanks, too, to North Star Editions/Jolly Fish Press and NetGalley for an advance digital copy of “Most Valuable Puppy.”

I’m looking forward to seeing the print edition in my favorite bookstores.

Be careful if you do a Google Search for “Most Valuable Puppy” because you might stumble on such distractions as stories about expensive dog breeds and links to the children’s book “MVP: Most Valuable Puppy” by Mike Greenberg of ESPN and his wife, Stacy.

“Most Valuable Puppy” was published on 9-1-19 and is in Kim and Hanakata’s Doggy Daycare series, which includes “Blue Ribbon Pup,” “Dog Sled Star” and “Library Buddy.” All four books were published on the same day.

I’ll refrain from giving you a five-sentence summation of “Most Valuable Puppy.” If that’s what you want, go to Goodreads, Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Just find the book and experience the joy of sharing it with your children.

Featured image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

What I learned from reading ‘I See Sea Food’

I never saw this coming: My first review for my new blog is about a children’s picture book.

I’m reviewing “I See Sea Food: Sea Creatures That Look Like Food” by Jenna Grodzicki because I gave myself an obligation. I received an e-edition advance review copy of “I See Sea Food” in August for my laptop and I felt shortly after publication time arrived, I must write about the book.

The ARC, as the hip book bloggers say, isn’t the only reason I’m writing about “I See Sea Food.” I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I recommend it. I gave it 5 stars on Goodreads and 5 is the highest you can go at Goodreads.

The book is a long-overdue reminder that education can be playful. I mean, it’s been 55 years since I advanced from a Catholic elementary school near the shore in Biloxi, Miss., to a Catholic high school on the bayou in Biloxi, where the high school was grades 7 to 12.

While reading “I See Seafood,” I smiled at the amazing images and Grodzicki’s practical and magical way with words.

This got my attention: “Can you find PANCAKES and PIZZA CRUSTS in the ocean? The answer might surprise you!”

Hey, you had me at “PIZZA CRUSTS.”

The learning experience included a “SEA FOOD OR ME FOOD?” photo quiz that I failed. Maybe I’ll give myself a second chance and get it right next time.

The glossary is also a challenge. I would have no idea how to spell some of the words in an oral exam. Parapodia. Tubercles. Photosynthesis. I’m stumped.

The fish in “I See Sea Food” aren’t the ones I know, such as mullet, catfish, cobia and snapper. They are exotic and fun to look at, and their names are most unusual. I’m not giving you the names. You have to read the book.

I’m happy I took the time to install the application I needed to read the book. I can’t wait to see it in print and come across more children’s books as entertaining as this. It’s a gateway for adults going back to the wonder of children’s books.

What’s most important is that children, the target audience, will love “I See Sea Food.” I know a 4-year-old girl and an 8-year-old boy who might get copies for Christmas.

Grodzicki’s acknowledgments include Prosanta Chakrabarty, associate professor and curator of ichthyology at LSU, which is 135 miles west of my house in Gulfport. Miss.

Ichthyology is devoted to the study of fish Chakrabarty’s Twitter handle is @PREAUX_FISH, where I saw his TED talk, Luke Skywalker’s giant fish and a visual joke about “how whales evolved.”

Man, entertaining and educational, just like “I See Sea Food.”

The photo acknowledgments include Getty Images, Shutterstock, iStock, Flickr, the LSU Museum of Natural Science and the SEFSC Pascagoula Laboratory, which is part of the Southeast Fisheries Science Center and is just 40 miles east of my house.

The print edition of “I See Sea Food,” published Oct. 1, is 32 pages and seems pricey at $27.99. If you don’t like the price, the Kindle edition is available for $9.99.

Oooh, oooh. I have what might be a better idea.

Check your library. I always forget about my downtown library that is next to my church and I live only 2 miles from both.

Thanks to Lerner Publishing Group and NetGalley for the ARC I received.

Image credit: The picture at the top of the post is by ArtsyBee from Pixabay.