Saturday, February 13, 2010

Kid Konnection - Valentine's Day Edition

Welcome to Kid Konnection -- a (hopefully) regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. Today, I am going to feature a few books that are appropriate for Valentine's Day.

Summary: A warmhearted, delectable novel about what it means to love and be loved.

When Stella Madison's food-loving parents help her land a summer job at the local newspaper, there’s only one catch: she’s expected to write about food. Luckily, Stella has Jeremy, the hot new intern at her mom’s restaurant, who’s more than happy to help. But where does that leave Stella’s boyfriend, Max, who recently dropped the L-word? And could her separated parents be cooking up romances of their own? -- Delacorte Press

THE SWEET LIFE OF STELLA MADISON by Lara M. Zeises is a perfect book to read around Valentine's Day. It is a very cute YA book that will appeal to many girls -- especially those like Booking Daughter (and me!) who enjoy chick lit. This book has a little bit of everything -- romance, friendship, family dynamics, and best of all food!

Now, this book is classified as YA so Booking Daughter is a little young for the story; however, I will be putting it aside for her to read in a few years. The main character, Stella, is just shy of her 18th birthday so there are a few situations that make this book more appropriate for teens than tweens. Having said that, this book was extremely sweet and very clean; and I think THE SWEET LIFE OF STELLA MADISON is one of those books that mothers will want their girls to read.

Make no doubt about it -- this book is definitely not geared towards adults -- it is YA; however, I still found myself enjoying the story. Even though this book covered a relatively short period of time, I still considered it a coming-of-age story for Stella (and you know how I like those.) Stella is at a major cross-roads in her life concerning her job, her boyfriend, her crush, and especially her parents' separation. In fact, Stella doesn't even realize how much in going on in her head until she explodes at her birthday party towards the end of the novel.

Overall, I think young girls will love Stella! She is a terrific character who actually discovers a lot about herself throughout the course of this novel. And on top of that, all of the descriptions of boys, romance and food help make THE SWEET LIFE OF STELLA MADISON a very entertaining novel!

Summary: “What is a kiss like?” That’s what a teddy bear asks a little boy in this sweet and enchanting picture book. From Grandmother’s noisy kisses, to Father’s prickly kisses, to Little Brother’s chocolate kisses, Teddy learns there are many different kinds of kisses—but the best kisses are from the ones you love! -- Golden Books

A few nights ago, I read KISS KISS by Selma Mandine to my five year old son. I think we both realized that he was probably a little too old but this book, but it didn't stop us from having a great time reading it together.

Booking Son said he really liked the book, but his favorite part of the story was the description of grandma's kiss -- it was described as noisy -- "just like she's enjoying a lollipop." We took turns trying to come up with sound that grandma makes when she kisses! He also liked the dog's kisses which were described as "wet ones." He thought that was pretty gross, but I have news for him...some of his kisses are wet!

As a mother, I think this book is precious for a bedtime story or circle time at a preschool! While I liked the story, I absolutely loved the gorgeous illustrations in this book! As you can see from the cover of the book, the teddy bear and little boy are adorable. But the other characters are equally precious -- especially grandpa's curly/cotton candy whiskers.

I definitely think KISS KISS is worth a peek. I think kids will love the story and adults will like seeing their reactions to all of the different kinds of kisses!

Summary: How do animals say “I love you”? Bears like to say it with a kiss on the muzzle.

A mama cow says it with a lick and a nuzzle.

Sweet, simple rhymes and soft pastel illustrations show some of the unique and touching ways in which different animals show love to their little ones and each other. -- Golden Books

by Diane Muldrow and illustrated by David Walker is an adorable book for the toddler in your life. Each page of this board book is filled with examples of animals showing each other how they love them.

The book is only a few pages and there are very few words on each page -- perfect for little ones! I liked reading the rhyming verses, and I'm sure kids will like it too. I think they will have fun matching the words to the pictures.

The illustrations in this book are too cute. I am a sucker for pictures of mommy and baby animals, so of course, I thought these pictures were precious. Each page is filled with cute creatures and bright colors. I especially liked the elephants with their trunks wrapped around each other and the giraffes with their necks intertwined.

HOW DO LIONS SAY I LOVE YOU? is a very cute book that will appeal to both parents and toddlers. It would make a great gift for new moms!

Summary: IN THIS WARMHEARTED tale of multigenerational love, repentant bunnies apologize to their mama for the day’s shenanigans. Mama Bunny gathers her children together and reassures them that she will always love them: “No matter what your feelings are, whatever they may be . . . I’m your mama. You’re my bunnies. And you’re lovable to me.” After the young bunnies are tucked in, Mama Bunny’s papa drops by for tea and to tell her that she, too, is his bunny and infinitely lovable to him.

Old-fashioned illustrations and a gentle rhyme will endear readers to this bedtime picture book that has the making of a love-classic. -- Random House

YOU'RE LOVABLE TO ME by Kat Yeh and illustrated by Sue Anderson just might be my new favorite picture book. In fact, I actually cried the first time I read this one -- it's just so beautiful and so honest. And truth be told, it's exactly the story I needed to hear right now when I'm going half-crazy with the snow and kids home from school!

I'm not always the most patient mom -- just ask my kids, but I hope they know that I always love them. No matter what. And that's what the message of this book is all about...I will always love my little kiddos through the good times and the not-so-good ones. Even though I might sometimes forget to say it when I'm tired and emotionally drained, I love them -- and this book reinforces that!

As if that message in this story didn't touch my heart enough, the last part of the book really made me melt. The mommy bunny's father stops by to visit her after she puts all of her babies to bed. And he reminds her of that very same message -- that no matter how old she might be or whether she's a mommy herself, she will always be lovable to him.

The illustrations in this book are precious too. I especially liked all of the drawings of the mommy bunny's life -- when she was opening a gift from her daddy when she was small, when she graduated from school, when her father walked her down the aisle, and when she became a mom herself. The pictures definitely enhanced the story -- I'm still tearing up even as I write this review.

YOU'RE SO LOVABLE TO ME is the absolute perfect book to share with your children on Valentine's Day (or any day!) I can't recommend it enough.

Thanks to the publisher for sending me review copies of these books.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


Sandy Nawrot said...

What a nice selection for Valentines Day! I guess gone are the days of the picture books in my house, which kind of makes me sad when I hear about books like these. That bunny one almost made tears come to my eyes!

I read books. said...

These all look great and the illustrations in Kiss Kiss look adorable! My little guy is only two so it sounds perfect for us. :O) Thanks for sharing!

Deborah said...

oh I read the Sweet Life of Stella Madison a few weeks ago (thanks to seeing it on @mint910's blog!) and I REALLY liked it. Foodies would LOVE that book!

bermudaonion said...

What a great bunch of books! Stella Madison looks so good! I finally have a post to link to this feature today!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

These look so cute. I love kids Valentine's Day books!

Beth F said...

Nice round-up! I keep your suggestions in mind for when I need to buy for the little ones in my life.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks said...

I have two of the same books in my Valentine's Day (kids' books) post.

Thanks for sharing the YA book, too.

Carrie said...

How do Lions Say I Love You would be a great hit in our household! I enjoyed reading through these children's book recommendations. Thanks for sharing about them!

Linda Nguyen said...

Kiss Kiss and How Do Lions Say I Love You are adorable. I'd love to take a look and see the illustrations. =)