Flashlight Press is a generous picture book publishing company that publishes books about various family situations. Their authors and illustrators do an amazing job of helping tell the story of some tricky issues kids face on a daily basis while making them light-hearted and discussion worthy. Thank you to Flashlight Press for sending the Storymamas some great books to review! We’ve enjoyed reading and sharing with our own children as well as the students we teach. Here are just a few of the books they publish that we were so kindly gifted to review. All opinions and reviews are our own.
No More Noisy Nights by Holly L. Niner and illustrated by Guy Wolek is an adorable book about Jackson a mole who moves into a new house. After unpacking and getting settled in he starts to hear noises. Each night he hears a different noise ranging from a ghost, a boogey monster and a piano pixie (a fairy). Every time he hears a noise he can’t sleep and wakes up exhausted. We loved the hilarious mistakes Jackson makes after a long night of no sleep and the detailed illustrations show just how exhausted he is. These mistakes will for sure give the reader something to giggle about! After recovering from his exhaustion, Jackson decides to confront each noise maker and try and problem solve so that he can fall asleep that night. We love that Jackson not only faces his problems head on but that he also problem solves to make the next night better. Not to mention the noises are perfect onomatopoeias for all those littles in your life to repeat again and again! At the end of the book he still hears noises but only small, comforting noises of all the creatures living in his house with him and to top it off they all become friends! This is a great book for all those sleepers that can’t fall asleep at night as well as for those who move into a new house and are showing a bit of worry. You could even use in the classroom during writer’s workshop to share how a character has a problem and finds a solution and as a lesson on word choice with those wonderful onomatopoeias. Perfect for ages 4-8 to use in a classroom and at home.
Ever wonder what would happen in a daddy-daughter day when you each trade off picking the activities?! Hammer and Nails by Josh Bledsoe illustrated by Jessica Warrick is just that story. When Darcy’s play date gets cancelled, her whole list of things to do gets ruined, or does it? Darcy’s dad swoops in and promises to do her whole list, even dress up in a tutu, if she helps with his daily list. Darcy agrees! The story follows them in and around the house as they enjoy each other’s company and end up learning so much about each other and themselves. I think it will hit home with dads who get to read to their daughters, but truly this story is great for anyone reading with your little one and can encourage great conversation about both of you wanting to try something new the other enjoys.
Hey, That’s My Monster by Amanda Noll and illustrated by Howard McWilliam has you laughing and squirming from start to finish. This is a fun story about a boy, whose monster, Gabe, leaves him because he feels someone needs him more. It turns out it’s his sister who might need Gabe more. The boy is determined to find his sister another monster, but his sister is not interested. The boy feels he might lose Gabe forever. Or will he? Howard McWilliam has done a great job illustrating and capturing the scenes for the characters, but although the story is silly, We would recommend this book for kids who don’t get frightened easily.
Too Much Glue by Jason Lefebvre and illustrated by Zac Retz is a funny, clever book about a boy, Matty, who loves glue! One day at school he uses too much glue and winds up stuck on the art table. After a lot of failed attempts by his classmates, Matty’s dad arrives and finally peels his masterpiece son off of the table. The family learns their lesson and in the end, trade in their love of glue for a love of tape.
When things don’t seem to go Grace’s way, she does what a lot of little kids decide to do…run away. The Day I Ran Away by Holly L. Niner, illustrated by Isabella Ongaro, is a spot-on story of a little girl who decided to run away after getting in a disagreement with her mother. Grace packed up her toys in her wagon and after realizing she cannot cross the street, she runs away to her yard. Her anger fades, and she realizes that being at home with her family is where she belongs!
Did you know, ‘one out of every five kids in the United States is at risk of having an empty fridge?’ A story of reality for many children, Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt, illustrated by Vin Vogel, shares the topic of childhood hunger in an age-appropriate way. It’s the story of a sweet friendship between two girls, Sofia and Maddi, who love playing with each other, but when it’s time to get a snack Sofia realizes just how lucky she is that she has a ton of food in her fridge while her friend Maddi has hardly anything. Maddi decides to help out Sofia and her brother and bring food to school the next day so they will have something to eat. But Maddi and Sofia soon realize that some foods like fish and eggs aren’t the best for backpacks, even though they are great for kids to eat. We liked how the text on the page is set up in different ways in order to make the reader explore various types of page layouts and word play. The bright illustrations and humorous pictures make the topic just a little bit less scary. A wonderful book to share with all the kids in your life to give a different perspective and start the discussion of helping out others, charity and sharing a serious issue with an adult even if a friend asked you not to tell anyone. A bonus last page of the book gives you ideas about how to help friends who don’t have food in their fridge.
Head to the Flashlight Press website to peruse the many other books they publish as well as get activity guides for the books, see an upcoming calendar of events with their authors and illustrators and check out their catalog.
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