A Couple Picture Books With Great Messages!

Forget about Cyber-Monday shopping! Read my reviews for these three picture books with great messages (well maybe you’ll want to buy them after you read my reviews so it’s ok to go back to Cyber-Monday after reading).

Superhero – Everyone Needs a Hero

By Don M. Winn
Illustrated by Dave Allred
17 pages – ages 4+
Published by Yorkshire Publishing Group in 2010

In this book a young boy dreams that he is a superhero. In his dreams he has super-powers and can defeat bad-guys, the Big Bad Wolf and even a giant! But when his dream starts to turn into something a little scary he quickly learns that a superhero doesn’t need a cape, a side-kick or any “super” powers at all. His superhero turns out to be his Dad who hugs him after having a bad dream.

I liked this story a lot for a couple reasons. First it shows that life’s greatest heroes don’t have any “special” powers at all (and this coming from a kid who LOVES comics) but they are just normal people. There is also a section in the back of the books for suggestions about what parents can talk to their kids about. For example, “How could you be a hero” and “What is a hero.” I really like how the illustrations kind of look like a comic too. Mr. Winn has a bunch of books that teach different lessons you can find his website HERE.  I asked Mr. Winn, on his blog (find it HERE), which of his books was his favorite. He said that it depended on which day you ask and today he said “Superhero” because he was thinking of his Dad. So that’s the one I chose to review! I think I’ll also be checking out his other books! Five out of five book worms for “Superhero”!

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Stealing is Bad but Giving is Good

By Shawn Hipskind
Illustrated by Mike Motz
22 pages – ages 4+
Published by CreateSpace on August 16, 2011

Timmy lives next to Billy and Tom. Billy is rich but Tom’s family is very poor and Timmy’s family is kind of in between. Timmy decides to take a bike from Billy because Billy has a lot and give the bike to Tom because he has so little. Timmy learned a big lesson from both Tom and Billy that even though Timmy was trying to do something nice for Tom, it was still stealing. Timmy also learned about the power of giving and being charitable.

This book has a very nice message and it’s told in a neat way, not just straight out stealing is bad. Timmy really thought he was doing something nice. I think this book is a great read aloud for parents and kids and then families can talk about what it means to steal and maybe think of how they can give more. The illustrations are pretty good. The bright colors really make it nice to look at. This is Mr. Hipskind’s first book and I hope we see more from him! You can learn more about Mr. Hipskind at his website by clicking HERE. You can also visit Mr. Motz’s illustration site HERE. Four out of five book worms for “Stealing is Bad but Giving is Good”!

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Do You Want to Play Catch?

By Chris Draft
Illustrated by Anthony Sclavi
32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Brio Press April 1, 2010

Former NFL player, Chris Draft, tells us about how playing sports with his family brought them closer together in the book “Do you want to play catch.” Mr. Draft tells us that even just playing catch with your family can lead to talking with each other and learning about each other.

I really liked this book! I thought the message was really different especially for a picture book. I’ve read some sports books about how it can help out people personally with their family, but this is the first I saw this message in a picture book. The illustrations in the book are AWESOME! They remind me of the mural art I see on the sides of the buildings when we drive through Philadelphia (BTW Philadelphia has a really cool tour of the mural art find it HERE). I met Mr. Draft at the National books festival in Washington DC this year (read about it HERE). He kicked off the festival by making sure all us kids were up and ready to move for the day!  One caution there is a statement about Mr. Draft’s coach saying that girls can’t throw balls because “they wear bras”  and some parents may find that inappropriate, but my mom told me that it is sad because some people, men and women, do believe that women can’t do things because they are women. I think it could be a way of teaching kids about this type of wrong-thinking. Just to tell you, in the story Mr. Draft’s mother shows him how wrong his coach is! Mr. Draft does a lot of great work through The Chris Draft Family Foundation too. This is from the foundation’s website – “The Foundation focuses on seven primary initiatives with overarching themes that stress the importance of education, healthy lifestyles, character development, personal responsibility, self-discipline and physical fitness”. What a great message! I give “Do You Want to Play Catch” five out of five book worms!



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10 replies

  1. Interesting books I haven’t heard of – I’ll have to check them out. I appreciate your thoughtful reviews.

  2. I like the first one best, because I think there are all kinds of Super Heroes around us with no “super powers.” Great books, but no cyber shopping for me today.

  3. Hey Erik! If you liked these books you should definitely checkout my book. Warning: it is very unique. Its called “Skylar and George Washington”. More info is at this website http://www.skylardog.com

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