We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines

We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines

Publisher/Year: Tommy Nelson, 2019

Format: E-book (cloudLibrary)

Pages: 44

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐



Our journey as gardeners started with one small potted plant, but things did not go as planned. Turns out, trying something new isn’t always easy, but sometimes, it’s the hardest work that leads to the greatest reward.

What I thought

I read this lovely little book before coming into work today, and it put me in such a good mood that I’m sitting here wondering whether I should read a picture book every day before work. I do like to read picture books from time to time. The best ones are kind of soothing for me, and plus, I hope to have kids one day.

Anyway, I first saw this book at Target (duh), and thought it looked sweet enough to add to my to-read list. And it totally was! Spring is here in PA–even though there’s not much green, the birds are chirping, and the days are getting longer. This was the perfect book to read on a spring morning. The story was adorable, and the illustrations were quite charming. I loved the lesson to stay hopeful & positive, despite setbacks, and I loved that this actually teaches children some of the basics of gardening.

All in all, this was a lovely, whimsical book that left me with a smile. If you need me, I’ll be here, daydreaming about the coming spring and building a garden.

The Circus Thief by Alane Adams

The Circus Thief by Alane Adams
Publisher/Year: SparkPress, 2018
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 32
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐


The circus is in town, and Georgie has his heart set on going. When Papa agrees to take him and his friend Harley, the boys marvel at the elephants and clowns. But the best act of all is the amazing Roxie, a trained horse who can do all sorts of tricks. When Georgie is invited to ride on her back, he discovers it’s her last show–Roxie is going to be sent to the work farm! When Roxie bolts with Georgie on her back, Papa must come to his rescue. The Circus Thief is a heartwarming tale of boyhood set in 1920s Pennsylvania for children ages 4-8.

What I thought

I loved the idea behind this sweet little children’s book, and I loved the vibrant illustrations even more–they were simply stunning! As a resident of Pennsylvania and as a history fan, I was definitely looking forward to reading this one. My favorite part of this book was the illustrations, hands down. The colors were brilliant, which will definitely appeal to children. They were also very atmospheric and were perfectly fitting for the time period and the circus environment. The story itself was enjoyable, despite feeling a little unfinished. The historical setting lends itself to a teaching opportunity for children, as well as the lesson Papa teaches Georgie about money and hard work. However, at least to me, the ending felt a little abrupt and didn’t seem to fit with the flow of the rest of the story. I saw somewhere, though, that this is part of a series, so maybe that explains it. Overall, this is a delightful book that I think younger children would enjoy!

**Thank you, to SparkPress for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! This in no way affected my opinion or my review of this book.

Leaves by David Ezra Stein


Leaves by David Ezra Stein
Publisher/Year: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 32
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Summary (from Goodreads)

It’s a young bear’s first autumn, and the falling leaves surprise him. He tries to put them back on the trees, but it doesn’t work. Eventually, he gets sleepy, and burrows into the fallen leaves for a long nap. When he wakes up, it’s spring and there are suddenly brand-new leaves all around, welcoming him. Graceful illustrations and a childlike main character offer the perfect way to talk to children about the wonder of the changing seasons.

What I thought

Although I don’t read them very often, I am not ashamed to admit that I enjoy a good picture book now and then. I feel like I am very much a child at heart, and sometimes, I really, truly wish I could return to the days of simple childhood.


This book.

I thought this way a very sweet and simple story, accompanied by vibrant illustrations, that tells of a little bear learning about and coming to terms with the changing of seasons. Admittedly, I don’t think this was the most memorable picture book I’ve ever read, but I still found it enjoyable. With just a touch of silliness, I loved the sense of wonder the little bear had for the world around him. On another note, while the illustrations had to grow on me, I appreciated their simplicity which would naturally appeal to children, and I LOVED the color palette. Each season was perfectly depicted.

Overall, while this may not have been my favorite picture book ever, I still think it was lovely and that it would be a worthy addition to any young child’s library.

East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon translated by Sir George Webbe Dasent


East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon translated by Sir George Webbe Dasent
Publisher/Year: Candlewick Press, 1992
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 40
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟




A kind of Scandinavian Beauty and the Beast, this epic romantic story about a bewitched prince and the determined lassie who loves him has just about everything: rags and riches, hags and heroism, magic and mystery, a curse and a quest, wicked trolls, a shape-shifting bear, and finally, a happy ending.

Master children’s book illustrator P. J. Lynch has created a luminous backdrop worthy of this grand adventure, transporting readers to a world of fantasy and imagination.

What I thought

If you are a fan of fairytales and/or a fan of picture books, you NEED to get your hands on a copy of this book as soon as possible.

I had never read this tale (or any of its adaptations) before, and it’s such a lovely, adventurous, romantic, and fantastical story. It instills such a sense of wonder–I know I would have loved this as a child.

As is the case with fairytales, this tale definitely has its dark moments, what between the trolls, the hags, and even the lassie’s mother. And I particularly adored the element of repetition, reminiscent of traditional folklore. This is most definitely a story to be read aloud.

As far as the illustrations go, there really are not words to describe how stunning P. J. Lynch’s artwork is. The illustrations are evocative and atmospheric–they add to that sense of wonder I mentioned.

East o’ the Sun and West o’ the Moon is a gorgeously illustrated fairytale that is not to be missed. I definitely need to add this to my shelves!