three epic books for kids {summer reading}


journey by aaron becker

Let’s start with a 2014 Caldecott Honor Winner titled Journey by Aaron Becker.  This incredibly imaginative book, with no words, is a whimsical tale of a loney girl with a red marker.  She draws a magic door and enters a beautifully illustrated world where she embarks upon an adventurous journey.  I LOVE how this book has no words yet demands a sophisticated description.  It is a nice break for my daughter from reading.  She can open the book and tell the story in her own words, and that is truly magical.

Journey by Aaron Becker

A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart’s desire? With supple line, luminous color, and nimble flights of fancy, author-illustrator Aaron Becker launches an ordinary child on an extraordinary journey toward her greatest and most exciting adventure of all.

Grandfather Gandhi book review

Grandfather Gandhi by Arun Ghandi and Bethany Hegedus is an intimate story from Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson.  How incredible for him to share an important lesson he learned from his grandfather, the Mahatma!  So personal and real, this book will enthrall parent and child alike as Arun learns how to channel his anger… two choices: let anger strike like lightning or channel the anger and transform it into light, like a lamp.  “Then anger can illuminate.  It can turn the darkness into light,” Grandfather said.  HOW INSPIRING, wise and eye-opening!?  This simple look into one lesson from Ghandi is incredible and I’m grateful to pass it onto my children.


How could he—a Gandhi—be so easy to anger?

One thick, hot day, Arun Gandhi travels with his family to Grandfather Gandhi’s village.

Silence fills the air—but peace feels far away for young Arun. When an older boy pushes him on the soccer field, his anger fills him in a way that surely a true Gandhi could never imagine. Can Arun ever live up to the Mahatma? Will he ever make his grandfather proud?

In this remarkable personal story, Arun Gandhi, with Bethany Hegedus, weaves a stunning portrait of the extraordinary man who taught him to live his life as light. Evan Turk brings the text to breathtaking life with his unique three-dimensional collage paintings.

locomotive book revew flocaThe award-winning (yes, another Caldecott Medal winner! and Sibert Honor Book, and New York Times bestseller) Locomotive by Brian Floca is a stunning book in both its words and watercolor illustrations.  Floca takes the reader through the epic tale of the locomotive.  It is educational and informative but never dry.  My daughter stayed glued to this book and if you have a son really into trains, this will probably be his favorite read.  Exploring America’s early railroads with Floca is nothing short of amazing with his powerful imagery and I felt very much like I was in the book on this long train ride from Omaha to San Francisco.  A million thumbs up.

locomotive book review floca

It is the summer of 1869, and trains, crews, and family are traveling together, riding America’s brand-new transcontinental railroad. These pages come alive with the details of the trip and the sounds, speed, and strength of the mighty locomotives; the work that keeps them moving; and the thrill of travel from plains to mountain to ocean.

Come hear the hiss of the steam, feel the heat of the engine, watch the landscape race by. Come ride the rails, come cross the young country!

Copies were provided by publisher for review purposes.

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