Book review: Wild day at the zoo

A wild day at the zoo, by Victor D. O. Santos

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA)through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


This is a wonderful book to read with children who would like to learn any language!The author gives a great example of how raising children in a bilingual (or in this case, multilingual) environment enriches their mind and gives them a great advantage in life. The heroes of this story display excellent problem-solving skills and resilience; they are well-behaved and curious; they have no problem communicating with people and making friends. I love that Mr Santos chose a variety of languages to showcase in this story: our heroes, Isabella and Dylan, speak Portuguese and Ukrainian, and the people they encounter speak Spanish, Turkish and, judging by the illustrations, there are speakers of other languages as well.The illustrations are lovely! People and animals alike are so charming, they radiate happiness and warmth. I loved the color palette and the detailing of each illustration.We get to meet a lot of animals at the zoo, but the main star is Kiki, Dylan and Isabelle’s pet chicken. She gets an adventure of her own when a friendly giraffe chooses her for his new companion. This is the situation where Isabelle uses her wonderful imagination to come up with a creative solution and set Kiki free.I would love to read more books in this series, and share them with my young students who will be inspired to continue their studies of various languages!

Book review: Just act normal

Just act normal, by John McNamee

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Oni Press through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


This is a wonderful collection of comic strips that grows on you as you keep reading.¬†John McNamee has his own outlook on life, and many might find similar ideas to their own in this collection of musings. I would describe John as a hopeful pessimist, who sees life for the epic fail that it mostly is, but still marches on, with a vague hope for a slightly brighter future.John’s insights on life, relationships, work and hobbies are hilarious and relatable. His illustrations are minimalist, bordering on primitive, and that was the one drawback for me at first. I couldn’t relate to the stick figures as well I should have. But then towards the middle of the book, the author gave an explanation to the nature of his style, and that warmed my heart. True, not all people are blessed with natural artistic talents, but anyone who would like to create art has the right to do so, and should be given the chance to succeed in their own way.All in all, this is an an enjoyable book, perhaps not on par with the most brilliant examples of this genre, but still a great collection worthy of your time.