Ooko by Esme Shapiro

51th0ihczylI received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I am always excited about the opportunities I receive to read advanced copies of picture books. I read middle grade books with my oldest daughter, but my younger girls still enjoy reading picture books. I was especially excited about Ooko because one of my twins loves foxes.

Ooko was written and illustrated by Esme Shapiro.  . Ooko is a little fox, who has sticks to play with, but wants a friend. There are some funny moments that involve Ooko thinking that dogs are also foxes, and that humans are “debbies”. Ooko tries to make himself look like the other “foxes” so that the “debbies” will like him, but he discovers that he isn’t as content with the life that the other “foxes” are living. Will Ooko ever find a friend who makes him happy?

The illustrations are gorgeous. I’m in love with Shapiro’s style, and I’m ready to buy all the prints on her Etsy store. The illustrations are the perfect complement to this quirky and charming story. My girls loved seeing Ooko trying to make himself look like the other “foxes”.

Ooko is a sweet story with a some nice messages about the importance of friendship and being authentic. The tone is friendly and upbeat, and I couldn’t help but smile as we read through Ooko.

I would absolutely recommend Ooko. My girls loved this book, and I’m sure that we will be reading it many more times. They think that Ooko is very cute, and I’m sure that “Oh my crickets” is going to become a family catchphrase!

Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary

51ddipgw21lA couple of years ago, Audible had a great sale. I was able to purchase most of Beverly Cleary’s most popular books for about $4 apiece. I have been reading the Ramona books to my seven-year-old twins, and now that the girls are out of school, we have been listening to some of the books that we haven’t read.

The girls wanted to start with Beezus and Ramona, which takes place before Ramona the Pest. They were very interested to see what Ramona was like before she started Kindergarten. I’d like to point out that Stockard Channing serves as narrator for all of the Ramona books, so that’s kind of neat in a whimsical sort of way.

Beezus and Ramona differs from the other Ramona books because Ramona’s older sister Beezus is the protagonist. Ramona is certainly the one who serves as catalyst, but the focus is on how Ramona’s actions affect Beezus. Read more