Kikkyboo Book Reviews
Review: Andrew, Where Are You?
For any child who has wandered away from their parents in a public space, “Andrew, Where Are You?” is a relatable story about a child’s hide-and-seek habit that scares his family. Andrew is a precocious protagonist who likes to hide from his family members wherever they go. However, when the tables are turned on him and his family hides, Andrew learns that his innocent intentions of playing hide-and-seek aren’t very fun when he loses his family.
Christine Klaus Noble’s stories are targeted to ESOL children who are learning conversational English. This story fits the bill with its repetition of simple sentences and basic vocabulary. The story incorporates everyday works used in English, such as the days of the week and nouns to describe family members (brother, aunt, etc.). The text is large and easy to read, a big thing I look for when introducing books to beginning readers. The illustrations by Martin Murtonen are brightly colored, and the expressions on each character’s face throughout the story stay true to what those characters are feeling. The story flows well, and it can be a great jumping off point to starting a conversation with children about the importance of staying with your guardian (especially in a public place in these times).
Review: Can I Please Have a Pet!
Christine Klaus Noble’s “Can I Please Have a Pet!” is an entertaining story about a young boy named Nick’s desire to get a pet. Nick begs his parents (very nicely) if he can get a horse for a pet. His parents take him to a stable to learn all that is involved in taking care of a horse. Once Nick realizes that having a horse for a pet might not be the best idea, he asks about different animals… and he asks about a lot of animals that are much larger than a horse!
Nick’s adventures in finding the perfect pet take him around the world… literally. As he about each potential pet, Nick’s parents take him to different parts of the world where those pets can be found. It’s a fun, fantastical element that can get children to exploring the world outside of their own. When Nick arrives in each place, he learns about the various responsibilities required for taking care of each animal. This facet of the story demonstrates to children that every animal is cared for in different ways.
Noble’s repetition of common English words is present, which is helpful for students who are learning English as a second language. The pages are not text-heavy, thus not intimidating for beginning readers. The text is large, and the accompanying illustrations by Martin Murtonen are large and attention-grabbing. As with Noble’s other works, this book would make a great conversation starter for families that are looking to introduce a pet to their homes.
Review: Ooga Booga!
What child hasn’t had the joy of scaring their family members? A simple “boo!” will send a trickster child into giggle fits! Keith, the story’s main character, delights in scaring his family members. His reactions include tears of laughter, peeing his pants, and turning beet red from laughing so hard. But his family members don’t find the scares so funny, and they let Keith know that it’s not nice to scare others. So when Keith delivers the ultimate scares to his brother Andrew and the results aren’t as funny, Keith learns a valuable lesson is listening to what the adults around him advise him to do.
This is the third book in a collaboration between author Christine Klaus Noble and illustrator Martin Murtonen. These two have excellent chemistry: Murtonen’s pictures perfectly pair with Noble’s stories. For this story, the most humorous in this series by Kikky Boo Books (in my opinion), children and adults have ample opportunity to laugh at the narration and the pictures. As with all of Noble’s books, repetition of words is a big theme. Her books make for excellent practice for sight word recognition. Noble writes many of her stories for ESL students who are learning conversational English, and the pace of her books are a perfect addition to an ESL student’s curriculum.
Review: Terry Remembered…
What I appreciate about books such as “Terry Remembered…” is that there is something for children and adults to take from the story. Terry is a rambunctious little boy who grows up to be a rambunctious preteen and teenager. As a baby, he draws on the walls. As a preteen, he kicks a soccer ball in the house. But one day, when he’s confronted with a bad decision, Terry remembers something his family told him each time he did something “bad”: He is good.
Most adults know of a child who can be a bit troublesome. Oftentimes, that trouble really isn’t that bad – it’s just kids being kids. But Terry was constantly surrounded by love and reminded that he is a good person. Those reminders of his good ways give him affirmation to turn down the bad decisions that are presented to him. This story is a great story for parents who might be struggling to give their children grace, while it reminds children that deep down, they are good.
Christine Klaus Noble’s continuous collaboration with illustrator Martin Murtonen is successful (again). Noble’s story flow well, with the repetition of common words you find in her stories present. You can tell Noble focuses her writing on helping readers to learn new vocabulary through the use of repetition. Murtonen’s illustrations graphically capture the story well. If this is your first time picking up a book from Kikky Boo Books, I recommend checking out the entire collection. If you’re familiar with Noble’s work, you won’t be disappointed in this title.