Bite-size reviews: the beginning of May

Hello, and welcome again to another edition of everyone’s least favorite type of post: bite-size reviews! Lotta stressful stuff happening in my life right now, so let’s just get to it!

All of these books were provided to me at no cost by NetGalley. Thanks, NetGalley!

Crumbs
Violet and the Crumbs: A Gluten-Free Adventure by Abigail Rayner and Molly Ruttan
40 pages
published April 19th, 2022

The dynamic duo of I Am a Thief by Abigail Rayner (author) and Molly Ruttan (illustrator) have created a new picture book sure to spark conversations about this timely issue. 

Violet used to love birthday parties, but now that she has celiac disease, she’s not allowed to eat pizza, cake, or anything else with gluten. Violet feels alone until she discovers that some animals have dietary restrictions as well. While standing up for her animal friends, she realizes she can do the same for herself. And when it’s time to celebrate Violet’s birthday, there isn’t a single gluten-containing crumb in sight! 

Filled with pluck and humor, this informative story provides a great opportunity to discuss this increasingly common condition with children who have celiac disease and gluten-intolerance as well as those who know people who have it and are seeking to learn more about it. 

This book has been approved by the Celiac Disease Foundation.

This is a really cute book! I love Violet’s raincoat and her polka-dot wellies, and the way she deals with change. Five stars. Bookshop link here.

Boss
Be the Boss of Your Stuff: The Kids’ Guide to decluttering and Creating Your Own Space by Allie Casazza
160 pages
published March 8th, 2022

Give your kids the decluttering guide that will encourage their independence and create a more peaceful home for your family. Allie Casazza has created a resource for you to show kids how to create and design their own space, offering practical ideas on organization and productivity, kid-friendly inspiration for mindfulness, and interactive pages for creativity.

Allie has encouraged women to simplify and unburden their lives as the host of The Purpose Show podcast and through her first book Declutter Like a Mother. Now she’s helping you equip your kids and tweens to discover the same joy of decluttering as they

design and create a space that supports their interests and goals,
make more room in their lives for playtime and creativity,
increase productivity and find renewed focus for schoolwork,
learn valuable life skills, and
cut down on cleaning time, reduce stress, and feel more peaceful.

Your kids will start to understand that the less they own, the more time they have for what’s important. Written in Allie’s fun, motivational voice, Be the Boss of Your Stuff is ideal for boys and girls ages 8 to 12, includes photography and interactive activities with space to write, draw, imagine, and plan, shares step-by-step instructions for decluttering,
offers added practical, personalized instruction from Allie’s children, Bella and Leeland,
and is a great gift for coming-of-age celebrations, the first day of spring, New Year’s, Easter, birthdays, back-to-school, or school milestones.

As your kids become more proactive in taking care of their stuff, you’ll find your whole family has more time and space for creativity and fun. After all, less clutter, less stress, and less chaos in your kids’ lives means more peace, more independence, and more opportunity to grow into who they’re meant to be.

Read Allie’s first book, Declutter Like a Mother, to further equip yourself in decluttering while you empower your kids to embrace their space.

This is a great book! I hated being a kid and my mom would tell me to clean my room but would never really explain HOW. This book really gets kids thinking about HOW to clean their room, especially perpetually messy kids who can’t seem to get ahold of themselves. There’s quite a few journaling prompts and exercises of that nature in this book that I didn’t necessarily find useful, but a kid probably would! Four stars.

Bookshop link.

Fire
Like A House on Fire by Lauren McBrayer
320 pages
published April 26th, 2022

What would you do if you found the spark that made you feel whole again? 

After twelve years of marriage and two kids, Merit has begun to feel like a stranger in her own life. She loves her husband and sons, but she desperately needs something more than sippy cups and monthly sex. So, she returns to her career at Jager + Brandt, where a brilliant and beautiful Danish architect named Jane decides to overlook the “break” in Merit’s résumé and give her a shot. 

Jane is a supernova–witty and dazzling and unapologetically herself–and as the two work closely together, their relationship becomes a true friendship. In Jane, Merit sees the possibility of what a woman could be. And Jane sees Merit exactly for who she is. Not the wife and mother dutifully performing the roles expected of her, but a whole person. 

Their relationship quickly becomes a cornerstone in Merit’s life. And as Merit starts to open her mind to the idea of more–more of a partner, more of a match, more out of love–she begins to question: What if the love of her life isn’t the man she married. What if it’s Jane?

I really expected this to be a “fucked up woman makes fucked up decisions for 400 pages and then you’re mad about it but also can’t stop thinking about it” book, and it is kind of that but also like, in some new and different ways. I recommend it! It’s also sapphic. Four stars.

Bookshop link.

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