• Y. Y. Chan

Book Recommendations (September 2021)

Are you excited (for the kids) to get back to school? I don't know where this summer went and it feels like I hardly got anything done. Anyone else? I have lots of plans for September so I'm hoping to tick off at least one thing on my to-do list, and one of them is this month's book recommendations, so without further ado, here are this month's picks!




Success by Ruthie Godfrey (Author), Helen Ayle (Illustrator)

Book Description:

Age: 5-12

What makes you feel successful?

Explore this question through the beautifully illustrated children’s book touching on the themes of accomplishment, self-confidence, growth mindset, and identity. It’s a perfect book to promote conversations on value and worth. The fourth book in a series of stories that are perfect for every classroom library and home library alike. Best-selling author, Ruthie Godfrey, brings another modern-day classic sure to open the door to meaningful conversations for supporting today’s kids as they discover their own answer to the question, “What makes you feel successful?”


Why I like this book:

What a great lesson! This book teaches about what the meaning of success is and as the story unfolds, it shows that it means something different for different people. There is no right or wrong answer. Different passions and interests lead to different achievements and feelings of success. It may also change at different stages of your life or you may find different ways of achieving success. It's a great reminder for both children and adults.


Ninja School Rules by Kim Ann (Author), Nejla Shojaie (Illustrator)

Book Description:

Age: 2-10

He yearns to earn his first belt. But can this boy learn the moves and believe in himself?

Lucas can’t wait to start martial arts classes. And he longs to be a skillful ninja, just like his dad. But the moment he steps through the door on his first day, all his excitement turns to doubt!

Struggling to follow the teacher’s instructions, he starts to worry all the other kids will succeed while he fails. But with cool friendships about to be made, Lucas learns the four rules that could help him break through his nerves…

Can the determined young boy find his mojo in the dojo?

Ninja School Rules is a beautifully illustrated children’s picture book that helps instill respect, focus, confidence, and kindness in youngsters. If you or your child like fun activities, learning to feel strong inside, and believing in what’s possible, then you’ll love Kim Ann’s board-breaking tale of success.


Why I like this book:

I was one of the backers for the Kickstarter campaign for this book. I love the concept of ninjas and couldn't resist! And these are such adorable ninjas too! The book is super inspiring for young ninjas in training. It teaches about the rules of being a good ninja, which can really translate to other lessons and passions in life. It also teaches about respecting your teachers and instructors, which is really lacking in a lot of school curriculum these days. This is a great book to teach kids about how to succeed. Read the book to find out what the rules are!

The Night Before First Grade by Natasha Wing (Author), Deborah Zemke (Illustrator)

Book Description:

Ages: 4 to 8


It's the night before the Big Day—first grade. Penny is excited to start the year with her best friend right beside her in the same classroom. This humorous take on Clement C. Moore's classic tale has a perfect twist ending that will surprise readers—as well as the “heroine” of the story—and help all about-to-be first-graders through their own back-to-school jitters.


Why I like this book:

This rhyming book is perfect for back to school! I love the storyline about two friends starting first grade and realising they would not be in the same class. They were sad and nervous at first but they were able to make new friends and still have a great first day of school. It's a great story to help kids ease back into school and remind them that everything will be ok even if things are not what they expect.


The Life of Ideas by Gahmya Drummond-Bey (Author), Sidney Lander (Illustrator)

Book Description:

Ages: 4 to 8


Have you ever had a great idea that you were too afraid or nervous to try? Have you ever thought, “I’m not big enough, old enough, or smart enough to do that?”

Ideas travel far and wide to find their perfect person. If you have an idea, then you’re ready… even if you need a little help.

This is the story of two lovely idea fairies who leave The Land of Ideas in search of the perfect people to unleash them from their bubbles and free them into the new world. Each Idea has the perfect person, who is already gifted with all they need to set the two Idea Fairies, Story and Song, free. However, One Idea Fairy's person has lost her confidence after being teased by her older sister. If she doesn't sing, the idea fairy's bubble will go dark and she may be locked there forever! Quick! The idea fairies work together to help build the chosen person's confidence so that she will share her idea with the world and release the Idea Fairy from her bubble.

This is a story for anyone who has ever doubted whether or not they were good enough, smart enough, or ready to share an idea. This story will motivate you to dive right into putting your ideas out into the world. Because ideas always choose the perfect people to release them. What ideas are you holding on to now? They are ready for the world!


Why I like this book:

This book is so beautiful in presenting the life of an idea in a simple and straightforward story. We get a 'behind the scenes' look at how ideas are formed and nurtured and even lost if we are too scared or afraid to share them. It's a wonderful book to encourage young kids to develop and share their ideas to the world. It's sometimes difficult to bring our ideas to life. Even as an adult, I do not put all my ideas down and not always aware of the ideas that pop into my head. They can easily disappear and what a shame that would be if we do not have the courage to bring those ideas to life! Our own self-doubt or a passing comment from someone could easily discourage us. This book is a beautiful story to remind us how important it is to nurture creativity and bring ideas to life.


Nature Ninjas by Kayla Klassen (Author), Sonia Sengupta (Illustrator)

Book Description:

Ages: Baby to 8 years


Nature Ninjas is a story about Riley and Milo, two young children who love to explore nature and discover wonderful creatures. The best friends leave no stone unturned as they enjoy a marvelous forest adventure that is filled with wonder and amazement.


Why I like this book:

Another ninja book! Nature Ninjas! This is a beautifully illustrated and fun book about an adventure in nature. I love the friendship between Riley and Milo and their enthusiasm and interest in discovering new animals – Nature Ninjas! It's a simple story describing all the different kinds of animals they come across on their hike. A great book to teach kids about the amazing creatures in nature. It's also a great book to encourage kids to enjoy being in nature and being observant of all the amazing creatures around them.

Oscar and Emmy Gain a Friend: A Story About Trap-Neuter-Return by Terri Sabol (Author), Roksana Barwinska (Illustrator)

Book Description:


Cats Oscar and Emmy aren’t too sure about the stray cat that’s been visiting outside their front door. Learn about Trap-Neuter-Return through the eyes of children who learn to treat animals who aren’t their own with compassion. Explore this important program that helps stray and feral cats in your community. A helpful infographic about TNR is included. You can be part of the solution!



Why I like this book:

This is a very informative book about the TNR process told in a simple and effective story for children to understand. It helps the community become more aware of how to handle stray and feral cats. The illustrations are very beautiful and stunning to look at. I like the build up of the story and the family learning about TNR together as they face the problem of more and more cats turning up at their doorstep for more food. It is an entertaining yet very educational story. Highly recommend.


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! Have you read any of these books? If not, which one would you like to check out? Do you have any good books to recommend? Leave a comment below!


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