Bodega Cat by Louie Chin

Bodega CatBodega Cat by Louie Chin; illustrated by Louie Chin. 2019. Published by POW!

Brief summary: Chip, the bodega’s ginger cat, explains what it is like to be the boss of a bodega that stays open 24/7. All of the Matos family members help run the little corner grocery store by stocking and displaying the merchandise that the neighborhood would like to buy.  Chip explains the day-to-day routine of the shop.

Chip also tells about Ja-Young, who is the cat boss of the bodega across the street which has different merchandise. The two cats and families eat together.

Comments: I learned that bodega is Spanish for grocery store. This story reminded me of a bodega in our country neighborhood that we called the Little Store. It also had a mixture of goods unique to the neighborhood such as live bait, freshly butchered livestock, and local bake goods. It had the only gas for miles too.

I recommend this book for teachers to use during their commerce unit. Other units: Wants and Needs. People in the community. Careers.

Love by Matt de la Pena


Love by Matt de la Pena; illustrated by Loren Long. 2018. Collaged monotype prints, acrylic paint and pencil. Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

Brief summary: The book begins with two parents looking straight at the reader but are actually peering into a crib. They are the beginning of love. You, for a moment, are the baby seeing his/her parents for the first time.  Readers journey through the book relating and recalling the various types of loves we have(or will if the reader is a child) in life through the quiet poem and illustrations.

Comments: (My resource for reviewing picture books are from my public library, so it took a while for my name to come up in the long reserve list for this book that released in January). The illustrations are diverse and multicultural with scenes from various families’ lives and times when love is displayed and shared. The concepts may be a bit mature for very young children. Older elementary students will understand and relate to those times they experienced love.

I feel this is one of those picture books adults will enjoy too, as they can relate and experience all of those situations when love was experienced–in good times and bad. I believe this will be a good “going-off-to-college” or graduation gift as the ending talks about leaving the family but having love on the new journey.

I am including this book trailer where both author and illustrator beautifully share their ideas for this book.

This is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids From Around the World by Matt Lamothe

This is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from Around the World

This is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids From Around the World by Matt Lamothe; illustrated by Matt Lamothe. 2017. Illustrations are digitally. Published by Chronicle Books, LLC.

Brief summary: Seven kids from around the world(Russia, Peru, Japan, Uganda, Iran, Italy and India) share what their lives are like in an average weekday including meals, school, family, and home life.

Comments: Love this book!  It is set up to show the timeline of the day and then with each country’s traditional home, family, breakfast, school clothing, schools, meals, play, activities, and so forth.  The back has a photo of each family featured in the book. Glossary in the back. Front and back pages have a map with each child’s country pointed out.  This would be a great book to share and then  to  have students write and illustrate those same activities in their lives. Dewey is 305.23 but not a narrative nonfiction. This is a book that will help students understand others around the world and how we do things the same or differently.

Buy here.

My Daddy Rules the World: Poems About Dads by Hope Anita Smith

My Daddy Rules the World

My Daddy Rules the World: Poems About Dads by Hope Anita Smith; illustrated by Hope Anita Smith. 2017. Torn paper. Published by Henry Holt and Company.

Brief summary: Fifteen poems with full-page illustrations all in the voice and viewpoint of the son or daughter.

Comments: Illustrations are created with torn paper. The faces are without features. I liked all of the different roles that a father had in this book. Students and children will be able to relate to the subject matter. Multicultural.

Buy here.

(I may receive a small commission for purchases made with links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books in this picture book blog are not sent to me in exchange for a review, but instead, are checked out from a public library).

First Light, First Life: A Worldwide Creation Story by Paul Fleischman

First Light, First Life: A Worldwide Creation Story by Paul Fleischman

First Light, First Life: A Worldwide Creation Story by Paul Fleischman; illustrated by Julie Paschkis. 2016. Gouache on paper.

Brief summary: Universal earth creation stories including how life was created and also its destruction  are creatively intermingled throughout the book. The vibrant illustrations support various countries’ styles, shapes, and colors.

Comments: This book could be housed in easy, religion, folklore, or mythology. This is a good addition exposing readers to various religions and beliefs of the world. This is being marketed as a companion  to Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal: A Worldwide Cinderella but could stand alone.


(I may get a commission for purchases made through links in this post through the Amazon Affiliate Program.  Books reviewed were checked out of the public library and not sent to me free for review).