Showing posts from November, 2015

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Welcome to Mars by Buzz Aldrin

Making a Home on the Red Planet
by Buzz Aldrin with Marianne J. Dyson National Geographic Kids, 2015 ISBN: 978-1-4263-2206-8 Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Space is still the final frontier and Mars continues to make news and attract generations of young people. In this fascinating book, hero-astronaut Buzz Aldrin challenges curious kids to think about Mars as not just a faraway red planet but as a possible future home for Earthlings!

What will your new home be like? How will you get there? What will you eat for breakfast? Find out what life might be like far, far from Earth as you navigate your way through this fun and fascinating book. What kid wouldn't want to blast off with him on this (literary) journey!


While I am not interested in going to Mars myself, the ideas is certainly an intriguing one.  This book by former astronaut Buzz Aldrin addresses what it is likely to take to get there and survive there on…

NONFICTION MONDAY: Lincoln's Spymaster by Samantha Seiple

LINCOLN'S SPYMASTER Allan Pinkerton, America's First Private Eye by Samantha Seiple Scholastic Press, 2015 ISBN: 978-0-545-70897-5 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

From Samantha Seiple, the award winning author of Ghosts in the Fog, comes the first book for young adults to tell the story of Allan Pinkerton, America's first private eye.

Lincoln's Spymaster tells the dangerous and action-packed adventures of Allan Pinkerton, America's first private eye and Lincoln's most trusted spymaster.

Pinkerton was just a poor immigrant barrel-maker in Illinois when he stumbled across his first case just miles from his home. His reputation grew and people began approaching Pinkerton with their cases, leading him to open the first-of-its-kind private detective agency. Pinkerton assembled a team of undercover agents, and together they caught train robbers, counterfeiters, and other outlaws. Soon these outlaws, including Jesse James, became the…

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Scary School #3 & #4 by Derek the Ghost

THE NORTHERN FRIGHTS Scary School #3 by Derek the Ghost, scary pictures by Scott M. Fischer Harper, 2013 ISBN: 978-0-06-196098-7 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

In The Northern Frights, the third book in the spooky Scary School series, Charles “New Kid” Nukid and his friends, including Lattie, a girl ninja, must fight an epic battle with an ice dragon to save their school. But first they must survive going to Scream Academy as exchange students. And that may be hard, because the Academy has an abominable snowman for a principal, a Headless Horseman as one of the teachers, and the students are yetis, trolls, and ogres!

Will Charles survive to make an ancient prophecy come to pass and save everyone? The illustrated Scary School trilogy by Derek the Ghost, with its mix of humor, scares, and adventure, is a perfect pick for middle-grade readers of the Wayside School series and the Zach Files books.


There aren't a lot of 'scary' books o…

EARLY CHAPTER BOOK: The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems and Tony Diterlizzi

THE STORY OF DIVA AND FLEA As TOLD & SHOWN by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi Hyperion Books for Children, 2015 ISBN: 978-148472284-8 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Diva, a small yet brave dog, and Flea, a curious streetwise cat, develop an unexpected friendship in this unforgettable tale of discovery.

For as long as she could remember, Diva lived at 11 avenue Le Play in Paris, France. For as long as he could remember, Flea also lived in Paris, France-but at no fixed address. When Flea fl neurs passed Diva's courtyard one day, their lives were forever changed. Together, Diva and Flea explore and share their very different worlds, as only true friends can do.
This book reminds me once again just what I love so much about Mo Willems' books.  And combining him with Tony DiTerlizzi is a genius idea.  I fell in love with Diva and Flea immediately.  Sweet, shy Diva lives in an apartment complex where she spends each day in the courtyard …

BLOG TOUR: The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish by Deborah Diesen

THE NOT VERY MERRY POUT-POUT FISH by Deborah Diesen, pictures by Dan Hanna Farrar Straus Giroux, 2015 ISBN: 978-0-374-35549-4 Picture Book Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.

The grumpiest fish in children’s literature is back with another case of “the dreary wearies.”

This time, Mr. Fish, star of The New York Times bestselling Pout-Pout Fish series, is down in the dumps over holiday shopping. With a message for readers of all ages, The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish finds Mr. Fish so consumed with finding that perfect gift for each of his friends that he forgets the true meaning of the holidays:

“A gift should be big,
And a gift should be bright.
And a gift should be perfect— Guaranteed to bring delight.
And a gift should have meaning,
Plus a bit of bling-zing,
So I’ll shop till I drop
For each just-right thing.” !

When Mr. Fish—with his signature Pout-Pout Fish frown—comes up empty-handed, Miss Shimmer intervenes with a plan to make hom…

SERIES THURSDAY: Oliver Moon by Sue Mongredien

OLIVER MOON Series by Sue Mongredien Usborne Books, 2006-2015 Early chapter book series Ages 7-9 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

For young readers who enjoy fantasy stories involving witches, wizards, and magic potions and mishaps, the Oliver Moon series makes for a great introduction to that world.  I would especially recommend this series for young readers who want to read Harry Potter but aren't ready for it yet.  Oliver Moon is a young wizard who lives with his parents and little sister, Witch Baby.  And like Harry he has to use his ingenuity to solve various problems, some of which are of his own making. In the books seen above, Oliver has to deal with pranks around the house, training a dragon for a parade, trying to 'retrain' his parents into a proper wizard and witch, as well as dealing with a duel with a competitive fellow student and his own birthday party.  There is lots to enjoy here with plenty of fun black and white illustrations t…

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: The Great MOnkey Rescue by Sandra Markle

THE GREAT MONKEY RESCUE Saving the Golden Lion Tamarins by Sandra Markle Millbrook Press, 2016 ISBN: 978-1-4677-8030-8 Source: purchased Middle grade nonfiction All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Golden lion tamarins are found only in Brazilian forests. These small, remarkable monkeys once had plenty of space to roam and claim family territories. But years of deforestation caused their numbers to shrink. They were in serious danger of becoming extinct.

To help, scientists studied the animals in zoo settings. But they faced several mysteries. Why weren't golden lion tamarins reproducing in zoos? If scientists reintroduced zoo-raised tamarins to the wild, would those monkeys survive? And how could scientists give tamarins enough forest area for the population to grow? Find out how scientists and concerned citizens worked together to give golden lion tamarins a hopeful future.


Sandra Markle has done it again.  She's written a book that tells a fascinating stor…

EARLY CHAPTER BOOK REVIEW: The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale

THE PRINCESS IN BLACK AND THE PERFECT PRINCESS PARTY by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham Candlewick Press, 2015 ISBN: 978-0-7636-6511-1 Ages 5-10 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Inconvenient monster alarms, a sparkly array of princess guests, and spot-on slapstick pacing make for a party readers will celebrate.

Today is Princess Magnolia’s birthday party, and she wants everything to be perfect. But just as her guests are arriving . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! Princess Magnolia runs to the broom closet, ditches her frilly clothes, and becomes the Princess in Black! She rushes to the goat pasture, defeats the monster, and returns to the castle before her guests discover her secret. But every time Princess Magnolia is about to open her presents, the monster alarm rings again. And every time she rushes back—an inside-out dress here, a missing shoe there—it gets harder to keep the other princesses from being suspicious. D…


Santa is Coming to My House Mom’s Choice Gold Award Winner!Your child will light up with joy when they see their name woven into the story with Santa and his elves! Give the gift of a personalized storybook this year by turning your son or daughter into the star of this exciting new holiday classic that soars through Santa’s journey as he delivers presents.
Personalize the story with your child’s name and create a special dedication page with a photo and message from you.
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas on Sesame Street! Bring the magic of Christmas Eve to life with your favorite furry friends—Cookie Monster, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, and everyone on Sesame Street!
It’s the night before Christmas and Cookie Monster is nestled all snug in his bed, while visions of cookies dance in his head. When, all of a sudden, he’s certain he hears Santa outside! There’s only one problem: he’s already eaten all of Santa’s cookies! If only he had an elf helper or two…
Come help save Santa’s cookies with Coo…

PICTURE BOOK REVIEWs: Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick and Winnie by Sally M. Walker

FINDING WINNIE The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick, illustrated by Sophie Blackall Little, Brown and Company, 2015 ISBN: 978-0-316-32490-8 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Before Winnie-the-Pooh, there was a real bear named Winnie.

In 1914, Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian on his way to tend horses in World War I, followed his heart and rescued a baby bear. He named her Winnie, after his hometown of Winnipeg, and he took the bear to war.

Harry Colebourn's real-life great-granddaughter tells the true story of a remarkable friendship and an even more remarkable journey--from the fields of Canada to a convoy across the ocean to an army base in England...

And finally to the London Zoo, where Winnie made another new friend: a real boy named Christopher Robin.

Here is the remarkable true story of the bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.


It's interesting that two picture books sharing the same story happen to com…

MMGM: The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste

THE JUMBIES by Tracey Baptiste AlgonquinYoung Readers, 2015 ISBN: 978-1-61620-414-3 Middle Grade Fantasy/Spec Fic Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

A spine-tingling tale rooted in Caribbean folklore that will have readers holding their breath as they fly through its pages.

Corinne La Mer isn't afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. They're just tricksters parents make up to frighten their children. Then one night Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden forest. Those shining yellow eyes that followed her to the edge of the trees, they couldn't belong to a jumbie. Or could they?

When Corinne spots a beautiful stranger speaking to the town witch at the market the next day, she knows something unexpected is about to happen. And when this same beauty, called Severine, turns up at Corinne's house, cooking dinner for Corinne's father, Corinne is sure that danger is in the …

BLOG TOUR W/ GIVEAWAY: 101 Movies to See Before You Grow Up by Suzette Valle

101 MOVIES TO SEE BEFORE YOUR GROW UP Be Your Own Movie Critic--The Must-See Movie List for Kids by Suzette Valle Walter Foster, Jr., 2015 ISBN: 978-1-63322-043-0 Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.

The perfect handbook for movie-lovers of all ages, helping both kids and parents choose classic and contemporary movies appropriate for the entire family.

Movies are made to entertain! Movies can make you think, teach you a lesson, or just let you escape into a fantasy world for a few hours. This book serves as an interactive bucket list of films for children ages 8 and up to watch before they grow up. 101 Movies to See Before You Grow Up goes beyond mainstream films. From modern flicks to classic films, the list offers a wide selection of "must see" movies. The book is divided into categories and acts as an interactive film journal where kids can document when they see the movie, if they liked it, and how they would rate it. Each page f…