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About Book 1
Title: Carlo the Mouse Book 1: Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse | Author: Mrs. D | Illustrator: Chanoa | Publication Date: October 21, 2013 | Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing | Number of pages: 33 | Recommended age: 4+
Summary: Grab your boots and hold on to your hat, because you are in for an exciting trip! The new series of Carlo the Mouse has been born. Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse is the first in a series of books on Carlo’s adventures. Each book will give readers an entertaining look into the life of a little mouse born inside a hospital’s walls. Clever, curious, and very impatient, Carlo the mouse dreams of the world outside the hospital. His parents teach him how to follow the rules and how to survive on his own, but Carlo’s insatiable desire for adventure constantly gets him in trouble. Will the little adventurer manage to survive when he leaves home? You’ll find out in Mrs. D.’s next books on Carlo the mouse. Let your imagination soar in this full series of Carlo’s adventures!
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My Thoughts: Carlo the Mouse: Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse is the first book in a picture book series by Mrs. D, centred around a young mouse who is just becoming independent and is allowed to explore the hospital he was born in for the very first time. But his anxious parents are only willing to let him go once he understands “the rules”. Of course all of these rules (e.g., “no messes”, “avoid the manager’s office”) are put into place to ensure the little mouse’s safety, but Carlo is not so sure he needs all these rules. Nonetheless, once he learns all the rules, Carlo opens the door and races off in search of his first adventure.
One of the most difficult things a parent must do is to allow their offspring to go off on their own to explore their environment. We as parents (as did Carlo’s parents), prepare our children the best we can by setting out the boundaries (e.g., “don’t go past the block”) and the rules (e.g., “don’t talk to strangers”). Many of the rules Carlo is expected to abide by are quite amusing (e.g., “only visit the patients watching the cooking shows), but many also mimic the type of rules any child should obey, especially with regards to pointing out certain areas to avoid.
I think children will relate to Carlo as he shows his eagerness to explore the world. I also think parents will recognize themselves as the “overprotectors” of their children. There are many comical moments featuring the panicking parents. Carlo, of course, thinks his parents are making up these rules for no reason (as our children often do); but, this is just the first book, so I’m eager to see where Carlo’s adventures will take him and how the rules will come in to protect him. I feel like there was a long introduction to Carlo, much ado about the rules, but I would have liked to see Carlo go off on an adventure in this book. I guess that’s what the next books are for!
The illustrations in the book are absolutely beautiful. All the pictures are bright and colorful and the kids will love how Carlo is depicted as an adorable little mouse. Lovely!
My Bottom Line: Carlo the Mouse: Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse is a beautifully illustrated book and fun introduction to the title character, who is about to set off on his first adventure, despite his overly anxious (and comical) parents setting out “too many rules” for young Carlo to follow. I recommend this book to children aged 4+ who have a longer attention span (due to high word density on each page). This book would also be a great choice as a read aloud book to a school classroom or in a library reading circle.
About Book 2
Title: Good Morning, World! | Author: Mrs. D | Illustrator: Eladziem | Publication Date: November 21, 2013 | Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing | Number of pages: 50 | Recommended age: 5+
Summary: Glide gently into the beautiful morning with Baby Thomas and his grandpa. The sun is shining brightly through the wide window and the flowers, trees, birds, and other creatures have already started their day. Brilliant colors of the dawning day wake up the park, and Baby Thomas is ready for a walk. While walking in the park Thomas and his grandpa see the same things but from a different perspective. Baby Thomas wants to hug the wonderful world around him, but his grandpa has a different opinion. Young readers will easily connect to the wonders of nature and unforgettable characters, playfully interacting with each other. Join happy Baby Thomas and his grandpa for a walk and have a delightful, uplifting morning!
* Winner of a Mom’s Choice Award, Honoring Excellence *
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My Thoughts: Good Morning, World! is a story told through the eyes of a young child as he strolls along on a sunny day through his neighborhood park with his grandfather. While Baby Thomas sees all that is beautiful in his surroundings, grandpa spins everything in a negative way, leaving him feeling grumpy and tired. Baby Thomas says “Good Morning” to the nearby flowers as they whisper their hellos back, but Grandpa complains that the flowers make him sneezy. Baby Thomas says “Good Morning” to the birds, but Grandpa complains that they are too messy. As Baby Thomas meets another Baby Girl in the park, together they shout out their hellos to the sun, sky, birds, ducks, flowers, and the whole world! Too bad Grandpa (and some other adults) are missing out all the beauty surrounding them.
When I was growing up, my siblings and I would spend 90% of our waking hours outside playing and interacting with nature in a large forest just behind our childhood home. We were taught to identify animal tracks in the snow and mud; plant, tend to, and harvest from our large vegetable garden; recognize the song of a bird; and, identify trees by the bark and the shape of the leaves. We were one with nature. All too frequently we hear media reports about the increasing number of hours children spend in front of a screen (e.g., T.V., computers, hand-held devices, and so on). We are really falling out of touch with and losing our appreciation for the nature which surrounds us. On one level, Good Morning, World! is a reminder to literally “stop and smell the roses”. Too often, we take for granted all of the beautiful flowers, trees, rivers, mountains, sunshine, and clouds that we see daily.
On another level, Good Morning, World! speaks to how sometimes we focus on all of the negatives, instead of seeing beauty in the things around us. In this book, we see the world through Baby Thomas’ eyes as he greets the flowers, birds, trees, sun, and more. They are a marvel to him, but at the same time, annoyances for the grandfather. I thought the contrast was very well done, but I have to admit that I would have liked to see a slightly different ending for the book. I would have liked to see Baby Thomas have a positive impact on his Grandpa so that Grandpa begins to see the world through Baby Thomas’ eyes. The grumpy, tired grandfather was a bit too stereotypical. I was yearning for him to have learned a lesson at the end.
One word about the illustrations: GORGEOUS! This is a beautiful book to hold in your hands and to flip through the pages. The illustrations all fill the full-page, use bold colors, and include many, many details on each page. The book really is illustrated to represent what Baby Thomas sees through his eyes and what he sees is simply beautiful!
My Bottom Line: Good Morning, World! takes us on a journey through the eyes of Baby Thomas who sees the beauty in the world as he greets the sun, the ladybugs, the birds, the trees, the clouds, and more while his Grandpa grumpily follows along with a completely different perspective. This book provides an important lesson about appreciating the beauty of nature as well as keeping a positive perspective. Good Morning, World! would make for a great read-aloud book to a school classroom or for a library reading circle as well as a sweet book to be shared between a child and their caregiver (even grumpy Grandpa!) Due to the book’s length and higher word density, I recommend this book for children aged 4 and older.
* I received these books free of charge from the author in exchange for my honest opinions. All opinions expressed are my own.
* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *
Prize: $50 Amazon Gift card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)
Contest ends: May 9, 11:59 pm, 2014
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Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Mrs. D and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.