Art, Books, Reviews

C is for Choice – Choose How You Want to Be

C is for Choice – Choose How You Want to Be is what I thought of as we all stay home (indefinitely, it seems like now) for the global good. And as we stay home, we can choose to be happy, be creative, be positive.

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

Today I have multiple books to share with you.

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The Books

The Cat Man of Aleppo

Book Info

Title: The Cat Man of Aleppo
Author: Karim Shamsi-Basha, Irene Latham
Illustrator: Yuko Shimizu
Publishers: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers 
Pub Date: April 14, 2020
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction / Social Activism & Volunteering
Age-Range: Ages 4 to 8 (and up)
Source: Edelweiss eARC

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My Thoughts

I had never heard of the cat man of Aleppo before reading this book. Mohammad Aljaleel, known as Alaa, stayed back in his city of Aleppo in Syria, as war ravaged the country. He continued his work as an ambulance driver, and as he drove around the city helping people, he realized that there were a huge number of cats that needed care too. His efforts to help them have led to a sanctuary helping not just cats, but other animals, and also places for children to stay safe and play.

This story is heartwarming and one that constantly tugs at your heartstrings. It is definitely one that shows that one person, one act can make an impact. Reading Alaa’s story does restore faith in the wonder that is humanity.

The illustrations are simply beautiful and true to life – no other way to say it.

In Summary

This is a must-read – to make your heart warm and be inspired and to know all is not lost, ever.

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes

Book Info

cherry blossoms and paper planes

Title: Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes
Author: Jef Aerts
Illustrator: Sanne te Loo
Pub Date: January 28, 2020
Genre: Juvenile Fiction / Social Themes / Friendship
Age-Range: 4 to 8 years (and up)
Source: Edelweiss eARC

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My Thoughts

This story is an endearing one – of friendship, and the power of friendship, of the fact that children look beyond gender, color, race and class when forming friendships, of the creative ways they learn to keep friendship alive.

I loved the word play in their names itself – Adin and Dina! Adin and Dina are like two peas in a pod, or like the story says, two cherries from the same stem. And they do everything together. But when Adin has to move away, they first sorely miss each other, and then learn how they can connect even though they are miles away. This seemed so apt in these times of physical distancing – this story is heartening to read and shows we can stay close and connected without being next to each other too.

And the illustrations! They are beautiful and are a perfect accompaniment to the story and its sweet, heartwarming emotions.

In Summary

A super sweet book about friendship with artwork that adds to its beauty. Definitely worth adding to your reading lists and book shelves!

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Canadian Women: Now and Then

Book Info

canadian women: now and then

Title: Canadian Women: Now and Then
Author: Elizabeth MacLeod
Illustrator: Maia Faddoul
Publishers: Kids Can Press
Pub Date: April 7, 2020
Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction / Biography & Autobiography / Women
Age-Range:Ages 9 to 12, Grades 4 to 7
Source: Edelweiss eARC

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Barnes and Noble || IndieBound

My Thoughts

I always enjoy reading about men and women – those who are famous and those not so well-known – who have made an impact in the world. This book is, as the title says, focused on women from Canada. It spans time and race, as we are introduced to women who were the original ground-breakers paving the way for those who continue to inspire and empower today.

It was definitely an eye-opener for me as I discovered so many facts about the women who I thought I knew about, was introduced to so many wonderful women who I had not heard about, and learned more about yet others.

The book includes women from diverse cultures and backgrounds, and across a wide range of vocations – from actors and youtubers to culture keepers and engineers to athletes, politicians, and writers.

And yes, it does include more than 100 women. Elizabeth McLeod’s brief, easy-to-understand yet informative one-page biographies of nearly 60 women are accompanied by Maia Faddoul’s brilliantly realistic colorful portraits of the featured women. All these are arranged alphabetically by their professions/vocations, and most pages include an additional information box that lists other women in the field.

In addition, the book includes about ten pages of one-paragraph bios of many more empowering and wonderful women with some quotes, followed by a timeline of important dates in Canadian women’s history and useful resources for reference (both online and physical).

In Summary

Another truly worthwhile addition to your home or class library!!

“We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”
― Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night

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C is for Choice - Choose How You Want to Be is what I thought of as we all stay home (indefinitely, it seems like now) for the global good. And as we stay home, we can choose to be happy, be creative, be positive.

Choice does make an impact on the lives of those featured in each of these books. The cat man chose to stay back and help, Adin and Dina chose to be happy even though they were apart from each other, and the women who inspire so many others chose to make a difference.

Disclaimer: Thank you to Edelweiss and the publishers for the eARC of the books; these are my honest opinions after reading these books.

My ‘C’ Book Stack

My 'C' Book Stack

The Books

  • The Cabin Faced West by Jean Fritz
  • The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
  • Cloudy with a Chance of Marriage by Kieran Kramer
  • The Chamber by John Grisham
  • Charlotte’s Web by E.B.White
  • Creepella – Fright Night
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming
  • The Cricket in Times Square
  • Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling
  • Can Love Happen Twice? by Ravinder Singh
  • Commencement by Courtney Sullivan
  • Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  • The Clue of the Broken Locket (Nancy Drew series) by Carolyn Keene
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J.D.Salinger (my son has read this one)
  • Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  • Classic Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul
  • Chitchat by Isabella
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  • Captain Underpants
  • Chanakya in Daily Life by Radhakrishnan Pillai
  • Chanakya’s Chant by Ashwin Sanghi
  • The Case of the Empty Tin by Earl Stanley Gardner
  • Castle of Dreams by Maura Seger

Quick Notes

As in earlier posts, I have linked those I have mentioned on my blog before to the review/mention posts. I have read the ones in bold (not reviewed all of them though) and do recall enjoying reading (most of) them!

But of the ones pictured, Cutting for Stone has made itself a favorite for life in my lists.

Random Thing(s) of the Day

To have your picture taken by the very first camera you would have had to sit still for 8 hours!

And now, the End of this Post

“In the end that was the choice you made, and it doesn’t matter how hard it was to make it. It matters that you did.”
― Cassandra Clare, City of Glass

Which of the pictured/featured books have you read? Your comments on them? Do let me know

For previous posts, click on the links below:

Day_0(Theme) Day_1A Day_2B

Linking up to the April A to Z Blogging Challenge, and the Ultimate Blog Challenge (click on the images to learn more about these challenges)

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9 thoughts on “C is for Choice – Choose How You Want to Be

  1. So great to read reviews. Please let me know next time which of these books would be good for parents to read aloud to their children! (Parents who will be reading aloud for maybe the first time . . .)

    1. The best one to read aloud in these three will be Cherry Blossoms and Paper Planes. That is definitely a cuter lighter read. The Cat Man of Aleppo is the next best choice and you could read it first to see what you can read out loud based on the age of your children.
      The Canadian Women book is a list of biographies – so might work better for young children who love reading about inspirational people and/or biographies.

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