5 STARS!! Blucy: The Blue Cat written by Julia Dweck and illustrated by Erika LeBarre is a wonderful rhyming story about a peculiar and particular newly adopted cat named Lucy. Mandy loves Lucy, who turns blue, who won't eat typical cat food, who camouflages herself in all things blue. Blucy is no easy cat, but Mandy stays true and never quits looking for a way cat and girl can live happily ever after. My son told me before demanding I read it again, "This is a wonderful book!" I agree. The vibrant illustrations are a true delight and work perfectly to push the story forward. The rhymes are a treat for the reader. The message is touching; no matter how difficult, naughty, or fussy Blucy proves to be, Mandy loves her. To top off a great read, author Julia Dweck includes a cat trivia page and an activity hidden picture page. That's plain cool! (Please note: I received Blucy by the author for an honest review. Thank you for the opportunity!)
4 STARS!! Ugly Fish by Kara LaReau and Scott Magoon is a surprising read. I'll start there because Ugly Fish is mean and ugly and happy with his solitary existence. Drop in Teensy Fish. If you think this is a heartwarming tale of two opposites coming together you're only right if you mean Ugly Fish chases Teeensy Fish and eats him in one bite. We meet a few more fish for a second before grumpy Ugly Fish chomps them too. This is a total fish snuff book and I laughed the whole time I read it. My son did too. Ugly Fish gets his when bigger and meaner Shiny Fish drops in and finds his new digs a little crowded. This is a kid-specific book. I'm sure there's a lesson here, Karma and all that, but the first couple reads are still a little startling to convey the bigger picture to my son.
5 STARS! The Sniffles for Bear written by Bonny Becker and illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton is a funny and heartwarming story about a melodramatic bear getting a cold and his friend mouse coming to his aid. Bear thinks no one has ever been as sick as he is. Mouse thinks a little cheer and company will do the trick. There are a few laugh out loud moments when Bear reacts to Mouse singing and mouse a little too eager to help him with his last will and testament. Poor Bear. Mouse sticks with him and continues to care for him all the way to the next morning when it's mouse's turn to need care. The two are an Odd Couple type duo and the read may be disturbing because of the "I may not be long for this world" talk, but I loved it. My 4 year old loved it.