September and October 2019 Round-Up

Check out my reviews for the months of September and October! You can find links to all of these reviews in the Index!

Let me know in the comments below what books you want me to review next!

Interview: Lydia Lukidis (No Bears Allowed)

no bears allowedA few week ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing No Bears Allowed by Lydia Lukidis. It’s a great story of friendship and learning to understand other people’s view points. Don’t forget to check out the full review!

I’ve also had the exciting opportunity to discuss the book with Lydia Lukidis–and I’m sharing that interview with you today!

  1. Was there a particular incident that inspired this story?

NO BEARS ALLOWED was character driven, so the characters emerged before the narrative. Rabbit came to mind first, and I imagined him as reserved and afraid of everything. He lets fear and worry govern his actions. Then I thought it would be interesting to add a bear and somehow have them develop an unlikely friendship.

2.  I love the idea of cultivating empathy. Do you have suggestions for parents about ways to start a conversation on empathy?

As parents, one of our jobs is to help our children be self-aware and cultivate empathy. I think it starts with open communication, talking with your child and asking them to identify how they feel and why, then talking about how we can affect others. Encouraging them to see the other person’s point of view is also helpful, but it all begins with self-love and respect.

3. I know one of your goals is to foster the love of literacy. Again, do you have some quick tips to share with parents?

When your children are young, READ to them as often as you can! Set aside some cuddling time where you can share stories and enjoy each other’s company. After your read a book, engage in conversation. What did they like about the book? What else could have happened in the story? Help them understand how narratives are created, ie. there’s always a central conflict that needs to be resolved. When your children are older and can read on their own, find out what they like and buy/borrow as many books as you can. Encourage them to read every day, and then discuss what they liked about the books after.


Sounds like great advice! And NO BEARS ALLOWED might be just the place to get those conversations started!


*Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Review: No Bears Allowed

no bears allowedReview:

No Bears Allowed

Author: Lydia Lukidis

Illustrator: Tara J. Hannon

Publisher:  Blue Whale Press, 2019

Ages: 4-7

Rabbit is a bit of a scared-y cat (scared-y rabbit, I guess I should say). He’s frightened of things like thunder, things that go bump in the night, and of, course, BEARS! With pointy teeth and long sharp claws to wave about, who wouldn’t be afraid of a bear? Certainly, Bear will want Rabbit for dinner – won’t he?

I love the messages imparted by this book. We can all find friends in unexpected places, especially when we let go of our personal prejudices. It’s important for everyone to be safe, but equally important to recognize the difference between being safe and being fearful simply because we are confronted by something new. By taking some time to consider someone else’s point of view, readers realize that maybe, just maybe, they might be wrong about that scary-looking bear.

The illustrations help keep the pages turning. Rabbit is lovable, Bear is a bit scary, and together the two characters help get the message across in a nice, subtle way.

While some of the 4-7 crowd may be able to read this on their own, I think it’s a great “sharing” book. It opens up reading time for some real honest dialogue – always a plus with me.


*Note: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.