• Y. Y. Chan

Book Recommendations (May 2021)

Can you believe it's May already? Where did the time go? Seriously! I have been super busy and hardly had time to read a full length novel. That's why I love reading children's books! You can finish one in under 30 minutes! Here are some books that I've enjoyed and recommend for you to add to your collection too!

Since Mother's Day is coming up, I've included a few books that talk about mothers, grandmas, and love. You might want to get them before Mother's Day! I've also included a very special nonfiction book. It's the first nonfiction I've included in my book recommendations. It would have been perfect for Earth Day too, since it's about trees and nature. There's also a compilation of children's writings about lockdown and how the pandemic has affected them. Scroll down to read more about each of these books in more detail.



Red Woods by Jason Chin (Author, Illustrator)

Book Description:

Ages: 4 to 8


An ordinary subway trip is transformed when a young boy happens upon a book about redwood forests. As he reads, the information unfolds, and with each new bit of knowledge, he travels―all the way to California to climb into the Redwood canopy. Crammed with interesting and accurate information about these great natural wonders, Jason Chin's first book is innovative nonfiction set within a strong and beautiful picture storybook. Chin's approach makes Redwoods a must-have common core tool for teachers and librarians introducing scientific principals to young students.


Why I like this book:

I learned about this author and book from a recent webinar and was fascinated by the concept of the book. It is so beautiful and expertly done. I'm very impressed with the illustrations, showing the book inside the book, like we are part the story and the boy's journey of discovering the redwoods and learning alongside with him. The text is a bit long but very informative. It makes the learning process more fun with these illustrations. Although it is a nonfiction book, it is illustrated in such a way that weaves a fictional story within the factual information on the pages. I have never seen a book like this and I absolutely love it and recommend it for all nature lovers!


You Taught Me Love by Misty Black (Author), Marina Batrak (Illustrator)

Book Description:

Ages: 3 to 8


Join mother, daughter, and a silly little frog on a heartwarming journey describing love through the eyes of a child. ❤️️

Kids will enjoy cuddling up with their parents to read this sweet story while exploring their own unique, special bond. The beautiful illustrations and joyful rhymes are sure to tug on your heartstrings.

What words might a child use to describe the love she feels? Can this child’s love possibly compare to the love of her mother?

Find out NOW in this snuggle time story that may have you reaching for the tissues.


Why I like this book:

This is a beautiful and touching book. Perfect for Mother's Day. The illustrations are gorgeous. I love the way the child compares her love for her mother to so many other things she knows and each time her mother replies, 'I love you a lot more than that.' Written in rhyme, it's a treasure of a book that will warm every child and mother's heart.


Fat Cat and the Chocolate Sandwich by Nicki Maginn (Author), Sarah Rogers (Illustrator)

Book Description:

Ages: 3 to 6

Fat Cat is a lazy cat, who loves nothing more than sitting on his mat inside the farmhouse eating his favourite food, chocolate sandwiches! Every day his best friends try to encourage him to come and play, but every day Fat Cat always manages to find an excuse not to join them - or perhaps he feels he can’t. Until a clever little mouse has a clever little plan to coax him off his mat…

Slapstick fun combined with vibrant illustrations by Sarah Rogers, Fat Cat and the Chocolate Sandwich is a tale of two halves, indulging in a chocolate sandwich alone or having fun with your friends... Which one would you choose?


Why I like this book:

I really enjoyed this storybook. The fat cat is very lazy and avoids going out and playing and only stays indoors and eats chocolate sandwiches every day. But his friends are determined to get him to come out and play together so they keep trying to convince him every day, while he continues to make excuse after excuse. He is also a rather grumpy cat and doesn't like to be disturbed. However, his friends don't give up on him. Marvin Mouse comes up with the perfect plan to get him to go outside. I love that this story teaches several lessons. 1. The importance of staying active, going outdoors, having a healthy diet. 2. Breaking out of your comfort zone to try new things, not being lazy and avoiding things that you are not familiar with. 3. How to be a supportive and encouraging friend, no matter how difficult they may be. 4. Determination and perseverance to find a solution to a problem, despite multiple failed attempts - how to lure Fat Cat outside. Overall an excellent and entertaining book!


Grandma's Family Soup by James Roberts (Author), Sklakina Sklakina (Illustrator)

Book Description:

Ages: 4 to 8


Some families are just like soup: A mix of corny uncles, spicy aunts, and nutty cousins.

What is your family recipe? Come along on this heartwarming tale, and find out all the ingredients in Grandma's Family Soup!


Why I like this book:

This is such a sweet story about making family soup, full of the ingredients that represent each character in the family. Such a lovely idea for family tradition to make soup together. I would love to see grandma and Amy's ingredients added too! Maybe it can be a fun activity for the kids to come up with them too. This sweet and delicious book reminds us to love and appreciate all the different personalities of everyone in our family and although everyone is different, they all mix together and make the best soup!


The Periwinkle Pandemic Pirates by Sean James Bourke (Author, Illustrator)

Book Description:

Ages: 2 to 12

A pirates tale... All about following your Captains orders, being considerate and staying safe!


Why I like this book:

What a fun and entertaining story to read! I enjoyed the rhyme, and couldn't help using a pirate voice in my head to read this! The illustrations are so unique and brightly colored. The text is nice and big too on each page. I adore the cute snail pirates and it's such a fun book to read with kids to remember about what to do during these pandemic stricken times. Kids are sure to enjoy this cute and fun story and will want to read it again and again and look at the fun illustrations.

I was lucky enough to get a signed copy of this book and even meet the author himself, since he is also living in Hong Kong!

I Love You and Cheese Pizza by Brenda Li (Author, Illustrator)

Book Description:

What is love? How does it make you feel?

Brian, a pig in jeans, tries to understand the true meaning of love - but he thinks all he loves is cheese pizza!

Little did he realize that the feeling of love, especially a mother's love, comes in many different forms.

Children will learn how to show love and care through actions, words and art.

Check it out now and watch your child's heart grow!


Why I like this book:

What a cute, hilarious and adorable story! I love how it explains what love is in a very simple way and includes a bit of humour throughout it as well. Brian seems to love everything except his mom throughout the story, despite her hinting to him. But his mom showed her unconditional love for Brian no matter what he did or said. Brian finally realizes how much his mom loves him and that he loves her too. It's the cutest and sweetest book and perfect one to read with mothers for Mother's Day.


Lockdown Kaleidoscope compiled and edited by Samata Dey

Book Description:

Lockdown demotivated people across the globe and especially the little ones were affected the most. Life became standstill as there were no activities and life completely behind the doors. Kids ranging from class 1 to class 12 penned down their feelings and experiences in the lockdown period in the form of emotional poems, stories, and memoirs. In the book, there are 14 poems and 12 stories/ memoirs which will give a glimpse of how these young children visualized this traumatic period and found some hope even in this darkness. A Book of hope and possibilities even in the darkness.


Why I like this book:

This compilation of children's writings, from poems to short stories, was a fun and enjoyable read. It was interesting to read about how children have been feeling during this period of lockdown and many of them have a lot of great insight and perspectives and an ultimately positive message to share. There are still several grammatical and punctuation errors, which is expected from children's writings, however, their creativity in coming up with relevant topics and stories to write about the lockdown is commendable. Everyone had something different to share. It's such a nice way to encourage children to write in these times as a way to understand what is going on around them and to process their own thoughts and feelings.

(This book is currently only available as an eBook on Amazon in India. I was given a review copy of the book. All opinions are my own.)


Well, that wraps up this month's book recommendations! I hope you enjoyed reading about these awesome books and find something you like to check out! If you have a good book to recommend, submit it to the Kids' Corner page to be considered in next month's list of recommendations. They can be books you have written, or books you have enjoyed. Happy reading!


* Disclaimer: This post contains Affiliate links.


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