Hesson: Childrens book reviews for March 2024

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In The Woods

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An Adventure For Your Senses

By Mariona Tolosa Sistere, translated by Susan Ouriou

(Owlkids Books)

Fun and lively illustrations bring this adventure guide to life as we follow a family on a woodland nature hike, starting with a map and the items they need to bring. The children are encouraged to engage all their senses as they experience the life around them. Readers can scour the pages to search and find what happens in, up and under the trees. The hikers observe fish and birds, flora, and fauna, all while practicing respect and appreciation for all living things. The back of the book contains great information about senses, in this ever-changing environment.

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Dear Elsa

By Marco Fraticelli

(Red Deer Press)

Leo lives in Toronto and Elsa lives in Boston. Through their Grade 5 teachers, they connect as pen pals. As they send each other emails, they develop a relationship based on their thoughts and feelings about school, life, family, and poetry. They find in each other someone to whom they can trust and speak their mind. Although their lives seem opposite – Leo hates school and rules while Elsa loves both – they confide in each other and offer advice, that they don’t always take. A quick read that will have children laughing and thinking about different kinds of friendship.

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Gnome is where your Heart is

By Casey Lyall

(Greenwillow Books)

Lemon has always believed her Grandpa Walt’s story of meeting an alien that looked very much like a garden gnome. Now that he is in the home and battling Alzheimer’s, she is working with him on proving it with Project Validation. When she sees a spaceship land in the woods, she enlists the help of friends Marlo and Rachel. Her main goal is to contact Grandpa’s alien, Gnemo, and see if alien technology can help him. The aliens have problems of their own, trying to fix their spaceship and find out who is behind the harvest of illegal invisibility mushrooms. This action-packed science fiction tale is filled with humour and heart.

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The Hunt for the Hollower

By Callie C. Miller

(Aladdin)

Twins Merlynda and Percy are seven-times-great-grandchildren of the wizard Merlyn. Percy is a natural at magic and often must save Merlynda from her botched enchantments. When a spell goes wrong, Percy is sucked through a portal into the evil ways of the Hollower. With the help of her best friend and her newly created attendant, they set out on a quest to save her brother. Along the way, they befriend a wandering minstrel, gain the favour of plundering Nordvings, encounter deceiving Oceanids, and face a vengeful witch. This fun fantasy adventure with a twist captures the spirit of friendship and growth.

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