The Hidden Gems Best Children’s Books of Spring 2019
Today, we’re looking at the top Children’s Books shared with subscribers this springtime. Kids love hearing stories, but parents don’t always want to read the same books every night. Hidden Gems gives a wide variety of new children’s books, free, to our subscribers to read and review every month.
Soon Kitty by Grant Uchida
One of the wonders of self-publishing and independent publication is the diversity and sophistication that has opened up. One perfect example is this wonderful children’s book by Grant Uchida, and illustrated by James Ishizaki and Tiffany Smead. It tells the very simple story of a very complicated issue – one not covered by any traditionally-published children’s book when I was growing up, but a topical and timely subject matter for many kids: Procrastination.
Reviewer Katie Tomlinson shared the value of this book’s message: “This was a very cute story with a very poignant message about procrastination. The main character procrastinated and then became overwhelmed because he had so much to do. I can definitely relate to that. I also struggle with the same thing, so this book, even though it was written for children, spoke to me as an adult. My son is a little older than the target audience, but I read it to him because he also struggles with procrastination. He immediately understood the meaning of the story and how it related to him.”
Amazon Customer also praised the message of the book, writing in her 5-star review: “Soon Kitty is Funny. But also my kids can relate to the moral of the story. I pointed out to my self-proclaimed lazy kids that if Soon Kitty stopped procrastinating look at all he could have accomplished. Even if it was just one or two things, it was better than doing nothing at all. I liked that it started a conversation.”
Magic Moon: Two Worlds by Shirley Moulton
The third in the critically-acclaimed Magic Moon series, Magic Moon: Two Worlds continues author Shirley Moulton’s chapter book series with a new adventure focused on young, brave heroine Tara. Personally, I really enjoyed this book because it captured the awe and frightening majesty of the titular Magic Moon, and the humanity and quirky kindness behind this entity when the young protagonists conquer their fear to meet him.
Connie Dean reviewed the book, giving it 5-stars and writing: “This is a wonderful creative exciting story for children and adults alike. My granddaughter’s love the story and all the twists and turns. We can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out.”
Darla Miller also gave the book 5-stars, writing: “This is a truly good series to read with your children and grandchildren. I think it shows the importance of friendship and empathy. It is nice to see there are places where we can find kindness for one another. I felt it draw me in with the voices heard in the cave. ”
A Very Special Ant by Ingo Blum
The Riverboat Series Chapter Books by German author and comedian Ingo Blum, and illustrated by Tanya Maneki, focus on the adventures of Titus the badger, Finn the falcon, and Shylow the fox. In this, the third of the series, the furry friends are confounded by tiny little thieves stealing their picnic – and solving the mystery of the cute and smart little creatures responsible.
“This is a great chapter book for your youngster,” writes Werecat 2 in their review. “The words are not too hard and the chapters are not too long. These three buddies are fun to follow on their many journeys. You can enjoy the book together or let your kid tell you about it as they go along.”
Lolah also praised the artwork of the book, and that it can be read on its own: “The third chapter book in the Riverboat series, this beautifully illustrated story really makes you think about what makes us individuals and special. Both myself and my nieces enjoyed it very much, and I love the fact you can read the books in this series as standalone stories too, though they’re so sweet that you’ll want to read them all!”
Pumpus Has A Glowing Idea! by Praba
Praba is the penname of a neuroscientist and patent specialist who literally invents things every day. Pumbus and his friends were the author’s invention, intended to motivate children to look at their world differently by giving them the information and tools necessary to build their own simple machines. In this book, set during the spooky night of Halloween, kids will get to discover practical problem solving with a STEM basis, all wrapped up in a fun and exciting adventure.
Reviewer AcadiaJBro gave the book 5-stars, writing: “My now 6-year old daughter loved the book and cannot wait to read about the next adventures and discoveries that Pumpus will have! She especially enjoyed how easy it was to understand the scientific concepts presented, and commented on how amazing the illustrations were.”
Anonymous also left a 5-star review – writing: “This was a great read for me and my four year old daughter. This is an incredible attempt by the author to evoke scientific curiosities in young minds.In fact half way through the story, my daughter was coming up with her own ideas on how to make fire—Sun, heat, air….. My daughter wished it had more than one story, so obviously we can’t wait to read more of Pumpus’ adventures.”
Snakes & Ladders by Barbara Gaskell Denvil
Barbara Gaskell Denvil’s wonderful chapter book series Bannister’s Muster evoked memories of the Magic Treehouse series, and focuses on twelve-year-old time-traveler Nathan Bannister. In this, the second book in the series, Nathan travels to the mystical world of Lashtang, and fights side by side with King Richard to rescue his little sister.
“Integrity, Loyalty, Friendship, Magical Adventures,” writes Mallory A. Haws of The Haunted Reading Room Reviews. “Heroes Nathan and Polly are notable for their integrity, loyalty, and devotion to friends and family. Their exploits provide magical adventures and delight for middle-grade readers.”
Tricia Schiro also gave the book 5-stars, writing: “These books are unique in that the author blends actual history with a fantasy world and parallels it in a way that can teach you about what actually happened in a way kids will understand easier. These books are great for middle school and up or adults that just like a good tale. I can’t wait to read the next chapter.”