Showing posts from March, 2015

PICTURE BOOK REVIEW and ACTIVITY IDEAS: Rodeo Red by Maripat Perkins

RODEO RED written by Maripat Perkins, illustrated by Molly Idle Peachtree Publishing, 2015 ISBN: 978-1-56145-816-5 Ages 4-8 Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Rodeo Red and her hound dog Rusty are happier than two buttons on a new shirt 'til Side Swiping Slim shows up. Red's sure anyone who hollers that much'll be hauled to the edge of town and told to skedaddle, but her parents are smitten. When Slim sets his eye on Rusty, Red'd better figure out a way to save her best friend in all the world. Can she bargain with a varmint?


Maripat Perkins is a former Montessori teacher who lives in Michigan with her plum peach of a family and a few rascally varmints. Rodeo Red is her first picture book.

Molly Idle had a career with DreamWorks Feature Animation Studios before leaping into the world of children's book illustration. She is the author-illustrator of the Caldecott Honor Book Flora and the Flami…

MMGM: Imagination according to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney

IMAGINATION ACCORDING TO HUMPHREY Humphrey #11 by Betty G. Birney G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2015 ISBN: 978-0-399-25797-1 Middle Grade Animal Fantasy Ages 7-10 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Humphrey's eleventh adventure celebrates stories, writing, and the power of the imagination!

Imaginations are running wild in Mrs. Brisbane’s class, but Humphrey is stumped. His friends are writing about where they would go if they could fly, but Humphrey is HAPPY-HAPPY-HAPPY right where he is in Room 26.

It’s pawsitively easy for Humphrey to picture exciting adventures with dragons and knights in the story Mrs. Brisbane is reading aloud. He has no trouble coming up with Plans to help his friends and tricks to entertain them. His imagination even goes a little too far when he wonders if Carlos’s imaginary friend might be a ghost.

If only his imagination wouldn’t disappear when he tries to write. Luckily, Humphrey likes a challenge, and Mrs. Brisbane has lots of…

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Rescue on the Oregon Trail by Kate Messner (time travel)

RESCUE ON THE OREGON TRAIL Ranger in Time #1 by Kate Messner, illustrated by Kelley McMorris Scholastic Press, 2015 ISBN: 978-0-545-63915-6 GENRE: Historical fantasy--middle grade Ages 7-10 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Meet Ranger! He's a time-traveling golden retriever who has a nose for trouble . . . and always saves the day!

Ranger has been trained as a search-and-rescue dog, but can't officially pass the test because he's always getting distracted by squirrels during exercises. One day, he finds a mysterious first aid kit in the garden and is transported to the year 1850, where he meets a young boy named Sam Abbott. Sam's family is migrating west on the Oregon Trail, and soon after Ranger arrives he helps the boy save his little sister. Ranger thinks his job is done, but the Oregon Trail can be dangerous, and the Abbotts need Ranger's help more than they realize.


Time travel has long been a staple of the science …

The Wisdom of Merlin by T.A. Barron Review with Interview and Giveaway!

THE WISDOM OF MERLIN 7 Magical Words for a Meaningful Life by T.A. Barron Philomel Books, 2015 ISBN: 978-0-399-17325-7 Ages 8 and up Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.

A book of advice from Merlin, the greatest wizard of all time

Based on an address he gave to students at the University of Oxford in 2013, T.A. Barron, author of the New York Times bestselling Merlin Saga, channels the wizard Merlin and offers advice on how to live a meaningful life. Divided into sections, each revolving around a magical word, this book poetically explores the concepts of Gratitude, Courage, Knowledge, Belief, Wonder, Generosity, Hope, and Love.

A gem of inspiration, this is the perfect graduation gift, sure to encourage readers of all ages to live life to the fullest.


This is a thought-provoking little book told in Merlin's voice.  Here we learn the power of gratitude, courage, knowledge, belief, wonder, generosity, hope, and love.  Each section cont…

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Sona and the Wedding Game by Kashmira Sheth

SONA AND THE WEDDING GAME by Kashmira Sheth, illustrated by Yoshiko Jaeggi Peachtree Publishing, 2015 ISBN: 978-1-56145-735-9 Ages 4-8 Source: publisher for review (Thanks!) All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Sona's big sister is getting married and she's been given an important job to do. She has to steal the groom's shoes. She's never attended a wedding before, so she's unfamiliar with this Indian tradition as well as many of the other magical experiences that will occur before and during the special event. But with the assistance of her annoying cousin Vishal, Sona finds a way to steal the shoes and get a very special reward.


Kashmira Sheth is the author of the picture books Monsoon Afternoon and My Dadima Wears a Sari, as well as the award-winning young adult novels Blue Jasmine and Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet. She lives in Wisconsin.

You can visit Kashmira Sheth’s website here.


Yoshiko Jaeggi's work has a…

PICTURE BOOK REVIEW and Party Guide w/ GIVEAWAY: P. Zonka Lays an Egg by Julie Paschkis

P. ZONKA LAYS AN EGG by Julie Paschkis Peachtree Publishing, 2015 ISBN: 978-1-56145-819-6 Ages 4-8 Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Extraordinary hen P. Zonka spends her time taking in the beauty around her: shiny green grass, buttery yellow dandelions, deep blue sky. The other hens can't understand why she never lays eggs like they do. Finally, P. Zonka gives in and lays an egg. To everyone's delight, she produces a wondrous egg containing all the colors and designs that she stores in her imagination.


Julie Paschkis attended Cornell University and the School for American Craftsmen at RIT, where she earned a BFA. She taught art to grade school children for several years while working on her own art and illustration. Julie now works full-time painting, creating commercial illustrations, and illustrating children's books. Some of her books include Albert the Fix-It Man; Where Is Catkin?; Glass…

MMGM: The Terrible Two by Jory John and Mac Barnett

THE TERRIBLE TWO by Jory John and Mac Barnett, illustrated by Kevin Cornell Amulet Books, 2015 ISBN: 978-1-4197-1491-7 Middle Grade Humor Ages 9-12 Source: school library All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Miles Murphy is not happy to be moving to Yawnee Valley, a sleepy town that’s famous for one thing and one thing only: cows. In his old school, everyone knew him as the town’s best prankster, but Miles quickly discovers that Yawnee Valley already has a prankster, and a great one. If Miles is going to take the title from this mystery kid, he is going to have to raise his game.

It’s prankster against prankster in an epic war of trickery, until the two finally decide to join forces and pull off the biggest prank ever seen: a prank so huge that it would make the members of the International Order of Disorder proud.

In The Terrible Two, bestselling authors and friends Mac Barnett and Jory John have created a series that has its roots in classic middle-grade litera…

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: The Brixen Witch by Stacy DeKeyser

THE BRIXEN WITCH by Stacy DeKeyser Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2012 ISBN: 978-1-4424-3328-1 Ages 8-12 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

An enchanted coin. A witch's curse. And rats, rats everywhere! What's a boy to do?

When Rudi Bauer finds a witch's coin, he unleashes her curse. Can he defeat the witch and her evil servant? Will Rudi--with help from an unexpected ally--set things right before it's too late?


Fairy tale retellings have been popular for a long time, especially familiar tales such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Beauty and the Beast.  The Pied Piper is a fairy tale that isn't as well known nor is it retold as often (I know of only three retellings including this one). Like many retellings, The Brixen Witch uses the basic storyline involving the main characteristics of the original fairy tale but also includes a number of differences.

The similarities between this story and the original Pied Piper include ra…


“Countdown to a Meaningful Life” One Last Word: Love
For seven weeks, we have focused on seven magical words that took your readers and followers on an inspiring journey. You thought with the seventh word, the campaign was over…but think again.
There is one last word that flows through each of the seven magical words and which Merlin considers “the most magical word of all”:Love.

·        “Love is an invitation, not a command. But if you truly open yourself to its power, you will be swept away as if you had plunged into a mighty river.”
·        “Love is a rope that can stretch itself infinitely. It can connect you to one person or many people. Its strength can link you forever to a place, a time, an experience, or an idea.”

THE LITTLEST BUNNY series Spotlight plus Giveaway

THE LITTLEST BUNNY IN UTAH written by Lily Jacobs, illustrated by Robert Dunn sourcebooks jabberwocky, 2015 ISBN: 978-1-4926-1219-3 Picture Book Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Each book in The Littlest Bunny Series features art and text created especially for a specific state or city, including all 50 states as well as cities in Canada.

Join Flop as he travels in an air balloon full of Easter eggs and visits some of your favorite landmarks, including famous sites like the Statue of Liberty in New York, California’s Hollywood sign, the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan, Georgia’s Fox Theater, Churchill Downs in Kentucky, and many more. Books also feature an Easter egg hunt game that invites kids to search for hidden eggs on each page.


The personalized nature of The Littlest Bunny in Utah intrigued me from the start.  The process sounded like a lot of work and undoubtedly it was, but much of the book clearly remains consistent from book t…