Priscilla Gorilla on Amazon
Priscilla Gorilla on Amazon
Priscilla Gorilla on Amazon

Sweet Child Born in Texas 
by Whitney Strauss (Author), Susan Giles (Author), Dr. Kathleen Cooter (Author), Holly Weinstein (Illustrator)

Sweet Child Born in Texas is an adorable primer to Texas Pride. Set to a cheerful rolling poem, the book explores some of the state’s heritage, pastimes and contributions to life in the USA. 

The state flower is the bluebonnet,
And the pecan is the state tree.
The plant is prickly pear cactus-
So many pretty things to see!

With humor that will appeal to parents and light-hearted graphics that will engage young audiences, each page is an experience. I especially enjoyed the interactive playfulness of the chili diagram pointing out the ingredients across the page.

While some of the subject matter might go over the heads of younger children, the friendly illustrations and adorable animals soften the edges, widening the audience age. The book’s exploration of Texan culture alongside the endearing armadillo guide was exceptionally well thought out as the armadillo creates a constant through the fast paced topic changes and successfully grounds the storyline.

The authors and illustrator of Sweet Child Born In Texas have created a brilliant keepsake and/or beautiful Texas Baby shower gift that holds treasures for any personalty.

When I Carried You in My Belly 
by Thrity Umrigar 

 is is such a beautiful book! When I Carried You in My Belly has an intimacy and sweetness that radiates from the pages—a perfect harmony between illustrator and author that envelopes like a warm blanket. From mother, to father, to extended family, with each family member introduced into the book, the blanket of love is woven larger, and the connection between all individuals is solidi ed with a grace and softness that needs to be read and shared. e child forms the centerpiece of the mother’s experiences while pregnant as well as the family’s contributions, bringing the baby into their world with love and anticipation. e color scheme, level of playfulness, and depth and connection is so incredibly paired that as a reader, I felt part of the family’s experiences and the bond they share. A true gift to any family. 

Book reviews for Story Monsters Ink Magazine & Beyond


Sweet Child Born in Texas on Amazon

Journal Sparks: Fire Up Your Creativity with Spontaneous Art, Wild Writing, and Inventive Thinking
by Emily K. Neuburger

This book is such a beautiful way to get ideas from the brain to the page! Wether you are an art teacher looking for a day’s lesson plan, a beginning journal keeper, or a true sketchbook commando - this book has it all. Each page is a new way to think of your creative expression and a jumpstart in trying something new. 

For moms, this book is a goldmine of rainy-day activities that can be tweaked to fit any age that both parents and kids will love to flip through. The beautiful, fun and funky layout is mesmerizing, and really gets that ‘ole brain popping.

Great gift for teachers, artists, moms or anyone that feels stuck and wants to explore their life on paper! Two thumbs (and, yes, they both have marker stains) up!

Weather in 30 Seconds: 30 amazing topics for weather wiz kids explained in half a minute
by Jen Green (Author), Tom Woolley (Illustrator), Adam Scaife (Consultant)

Designed for grades 3 and up, this book is a wealth of bite-sized information on a dizzying amount of weather topics. Why it rains, deserts and droughts, even global warming are broken down into their bare bones, giving kids (and inquisitive parents) easy to discuss snapshots into weather phenomenon. 

The flexibound binding choice is perfect for this book - light enough to carry in a backpack, yet durable for constant reference. Well written and illustrated, this is a great guide for science-minded kiddos at home or any science teacher to have on hand for a quick visual aid.

Priscilla Gorilla on Amazon




Priscilla Gorilla on Amazon

Brobot Bedtime
by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen (Author), Scott Campbell (Illustrator)

Super cute book for any robot fanatic, this book is written and illustrated like a flip book or comic strip - meaning the characters don’t always say what they are doing, leaving some of the storyline to be told by the scene they are in. Why is this interesting?  Many children’s books spell out in the narrative what is happening and use the pictures to support the text. In this book the reader is looking to the whole picture for information. 

For example, when the character flips off the lights, he doesn’t say “I am flipping off the light”. The reader must follow along. This might seem kind of simple, but as the mother of a pre-k child, I read a lot of books at bedtime. Reading this book out loud suddenly become interactive. I was reading the dialog, but also showing my daughter where on the page the robot was flipping off the light and explaining what that meant in relation to where the story went next.  The pages became a map that we were following together, investing in not only the words but the actions of the characters to piece together the story.

Adorable robot speech, interactions and robot bedtime drama make this a fun story for kids, but also for the lucky person that gets to read it with them! This book has become an insta-fave at our house, and will I read it over and over? Affirmative!

Check out the  reviews below in the

June 2017 issue of Monsters Ink Magazine

Julianne Black book reviews in June 2017 issue of Monsters Ink Magazine

Priscilla Gorilla 
by Barbara Bottner (Author), Michael Emberley (Illustrator) Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

Fantastic fun! Priscilla Gorilla is one of those children’s books that has a truly timeless feel. While brand new to 2017, it could have easily been your favorite as a child.

Six year old Priscilla is obsessed with gorillas. She talks about them, draws pictures of them and dresses like them - which is LOTS of fun… unless you end up in the Thinking Corner. And in Mr. Todd’s class, the Thinking Corner was getting crowded. 

As Priscilla begins to understand the tricky balance between ‘getting your way’ and ‘working together’, readers are treated with the opportunity to look in on her progress through trial and error in this delicious tale of compromise.

Illustrator Michael Emberley’s expressive line quality and effortless facial expressions allow the story to tell itself through a fabulously kid-friendly visual language that gives plenty of fun eye-ball-exploration and attention-keeping details from page to page.

Barbara Bottner’s storyline, rhythm and insight into a child’s perspective is positively delightful. Priscilla Gorilla is a true page turner, even for the squirmiest gorillas.

Stack the Cats
by Susie Ghahremani

Super cute, FUN way to work out counting and grouping with your young reader. Cats are pretty silly on their own, but stacking them? Giggles galore!

One cat sleeps. Two cats play. Three cats stack!

The fresh illustrations with heavy black outline make the cats seem to pop off the page, while the large text and short phrases easily keep the pages turning and the story flowing. Preschoolers and kindergarteners will love the silly faces and poses as they use these goofy critters as units of measurement. Purrrrrrr!

Priscilla Gorilla on Amazon

Barnyard Boogie! 
by Tim McCanna 

Barnyard Boogie! is a fun and fast read involving all your favorite barnyard animals in their awesome Barnyard Band! Kids will love checking out which instruments each animal takes up—but what will Cow do? Tim McCanna’s use of rhyme throughout the book is played out in how the instrument sounds, making it a very interesting way to communicate

a description of the vibration of the notes. at twist alone makes this book especially
fun to read out loud! Allison Black’s illustrations have a sharp and bright, almost pop-art feel to them which leads the eye to dance around the pages, taking it all in like a puzzle. Barnyard Boogie! is de nitely a winner for the Pre-K to Kindergarten age group! Get up and get ready to Mooooove! 

Priscilla Gorilla on Amazon