Everybody’s Somewhere – Cornelia Maude Spelman

Illustrations – Alea Marley

I had hoped this would be a book I could recommend to psychologist friends for use with their younger clients experiencing separation anxiety or grief. Based on the blurb I expected Everybody’s Somewhere to be focused on bereavement or to be aimed toward children who may live with one parent and be missing the other, or perhaps who have a parent that has had to go away for a work trip. Given that the book was written by a social worker my assumptions were strengthened.

That’s not what this book is though. It’s basically saying that people are everywhere – up trees, under the stars, in cars, etc. Based on the reality of what the book is instead of what I hoped it would be, it’s a cute book. It would be a nice bedtime story. The rhyming and easy words are appropriate for the young target audience.

Alea Marley has done a beautiful job with the illustrations. The colour scheme is soft and comforting. I liked the diversity of the children featured in the pictures and think children as well as adults will enjoy looking at them.

I received an ARC from NetGalley (thank you so much to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – Seagrass Press for the opportunity) in exchange for honest feedback.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

UPDATE: If the blurb was fixed to reflect what the author intended then the story works perfectly. I still believe this will make a lovely bedtime story that children will enjoy.

Once Upon a Blurb

Everybody’s somewhere, where are you?
I’m right here, I’m somebody, too.
Some are in the country, some are in the town.
Everybody’s somewhere, up or down.

Everybody — mums, dads, grandpas, grandmas, friends, and people you’ve never met — is somewhere in the world, doing something right now, even if you can’t see them.

Everybody’s Somewhere is a fun, colorful introduction to the idea that everyone you’ve met, or haven’t met, is somewhere. Written perfectly for young minds that might not fully comprehend how big the world is, or the number of people on it, this fun children’s book will plant the seeds of the ideas in their minds.

With its playful poetry, bouncy rhymes, Everybody’s Somewhere asks children to expand their perspective, and follows up with fun illustrations. Award-winning author Cornelia Maude Spelman invites children to imagine other people in other places doing different things, to be delighted by new ideas, and to be reassured that everyone is important and sharing the same world.

Seagrass Dreams: A Counting Book – Kathleen Hanes

Illustrations – Chloe Bonfield

The illustrations were beautiful and are what drew me to this book in the first place. I liked that there were photos of the sea creatures towards the back of the book to complement the illustrations. The boundaries of the Collector Urchins didn’t seem distinct enough for a counting book but I loved all of the others.

I became confused about the target audience as I made my way through the book. After all, we’re talking about a counting book here so our audience is maybe 3, 4 or 5 years old? Please keep in mind that all of my questions and comments from here on relate to thinking of this book as being targeted towards 3 to 5 year olds.

The level of information conveyed seemed at too high a level for kids learning to count to 10. Perhaps the same sort of information could have been written in a more age appropriate way? I could see primary school age kids using some of the information found in this book for school projects but at the same time, what primary school child is going to want to open a book that teaches you to count to 10?

While I personally love glossaries I question why words are being used in a counting book that kids learning to count wouldn’t already know. I also think some of the explanations in the glossary needed a glossary of their own. Do kids who are learning to count to 10 know what an organism or crustacean are?

I waited for an explanation to go with the Chocolate Chip Sea Star that didn’t come so I expect there to be a series of conversations between parents and kids ending up somewhere in this territory… “But why can’t you eat the chocolate chips?!”

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – Seagrass Press for the opportunity to read this book. It really is a beautiful book. I just think it would have worked better if either the illustrations were paired with simpler explanations for a counting book or if the counting part was scrapped so the book could be gorgeous illustrations accompanying interesting facts.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Introduce your future marine biologist to all of the creatures who live in underwater foliage, and how to count from 1 to 11 in Seagrass Dreams.

Seagrass Dreams is a unique counting book and introduction to marine life that stars animals who make their home in the seagrass. Young children and their parents will love learning to count from 1 to 11 while they also meet a host of marine animals. You’ll be introduced to characters such as the toothy great barracuda, the gliding yellow stingray, the bucktooth parrotfish, and the chocolate chip sea star (not good for adding to cookies).

That isn’t all though! Seagrass Dreams will also teach you each animal’s common name, scientific name, natural habitat, and a whole lot more! This book is loaded with gorgeous illustrations which add a colorful and engaging element. Seagrass Dreams closes with a list of the common species of seagrasses, their scientific names, and where each can be found.