Showing posts from January, 2016

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Animals, A Visual Encyclopedia by Animal Planet

ANIMALS A Visual Encyclopedia Liberty Street, 2015 ISBN: 978-1-61893-153-5 MG Nonfiction Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Introducing the first encyclopedia book from Animal Planet--the leading brand for animal lovers--that tells the story of our planet's animal life and celebrates our vital and humanizing connection with the animal world.

Animals are...surprisingly human. Finding the ways in which people and animals connect may inspire the next generation to be true caretakers of Earth. Animal Planet Animals: A Visual Encyclopedia is a comprehensive look at the major animal groups, highlighting their unique but also relatable personalities and behavior.

More than 2,500 animals from the seven major animal groups: mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects and arachnids, invertebrates, and fish are featured in 1,050 stunning full-color photos, plus dynamic illustrations, maps, and charts.

Special book features include:

A giant, remov…


Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.
OurMission: The MCCBD team’s mission to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media.


For your information (include if you want to): The co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press. You can find a bio for Mia and Valarie here.


Multicultural Children’s Book day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors! #Read…

NONFICTION MONDAY: Tommy, the Gun That Changed America by Karen Blumenthal

TOMMY, THE GUN THAT CHANGED AMERICA by Karen Blumenthal Roaring Brook Press, 2015 ISBN: 978-1-62672-084-8 YA Nonfiction Ages 14 and up Source: public library All opinions expressed are solely my own.

John Taliaferro Thompson had a mission: to develop a lightweight, fast-firing weapon that would help Americans win on the battlefield. His Thompson submachine gun could deliver a hundred bullets in a matter of seconds—but didn't find a market in the U.S. military. Instead, the Tommy gun became the weapon of choice for a generation of bootleggers and bank-robbing outlaws, and became a deadly American icon. Following a bloody decade—and eighty years before the mass shootings of our own time—Congress moved to take this weapon off the streets, igniting a national debate about gun control. Critically-acclaimed author Karen Blumenthal tells the fascinating story of this famous and deadly weapon—of the lives it changed, the debate it sparked, and the unprecedented response it inspired…

SERIES THURSDAY: The Miniature World of Marvin and James/James to the Rescue by Elise Broach

THE MINIATURE WORLD OF MARVIN AND JAMES by Elise Broach, illustrated by Kelly Murphy Henry Holt & Company, 2014 ISBN: 9780805091908 Early Chapter Book Ages 6-9 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

In this Masterpiece Adventure from bestselling author Elise Broach, James is going on vacation for a week. His best friend, Marvin the beetle, has to stay at home. Without James to keep him company, Marvin has to play with his annoying cousin, Elaine. Marvin and Elaine quickly find themselves getting into all sorts of trouble—even getting trapped inside a pencil sharpener! But more importantly, will James still be Marvin's friend when he gets home or will he have found a new best friend?


Having thoroughly enjoyed the original story of James and Marvin (Masterpiece by Elise Broach), I was thrilled to hear about this new series about the two.  And I was not disappointed.  While this book series is for younger readers, the same charm found in the…

MIDDLE GRADE REVIEW: Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones

UNUSUAL CHICKENS FOR THE EXCEPTIONAL POULTRY FARMER by Kelly Jones, illustrations by Katie Kath Alfred A. Knopf, 2015 ISBN: 978-0-385-75552-8 Middle Grade Contemporary (magical realism)/speculative fiction Ages 9-12
Source: public library
All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Twelve-year-old Sophie Brown feels like a fish out of water when she and her parents move from Los Angeles to the farm they’ve inherited from a great-uncle. But farm life gets more interesting when a cranky chicken appears and Sophie discovers the hen can move objects with the power of her little chicken brain: jam jars, the latch to her henhouse, the entire henhouse....

And then more of her great-uncle’s unusual chickens come home to roost. Determined, resourceful Sophie learns to care for her flock, earning money for chicken feed, collecting eggs. But when a respected local farmer tries to steal them, Sophie must find a way to keep them (and their superpowers) safe.

Told in letters to Sophie’s abuela, …

PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS: Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews/The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch by Chris Barton

TROMBONE SHORTY by Troy Andrews, illustrated by Bryan Collier Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2015 ISBN:  978-1-4197-1465-8 Ages 6 and up Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six, and today this Grammy-nominated artist headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest.
Along with esteemed illustrator Bryan Collier, Andrews has created a lively picture book autobiography about how he followed his dream of becoming a musician, despite the odds, until he reached international stardom. Trombone Shorty is a celebration of the rich cultural history of New Orleans and the power of music.


Andrews and Collier's work comes together in beautiful ways to tell the story of Andrews adventures with a trombone.  Growing up in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans music …

EARLY CHAPTER BOOK REVIEW: Big Bad Detective Agency by Bruce Hale

BIG BAD DETECTIVE AGENCY by Bruce Hale Scholastic, 2015 ISBN: 978-0-545-66538-4 Ages 6-9 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

From the comic genius behind CHET GECKO comes a new kind of fairy tale hero -- and a big, bad, crime-solving adventure!

The houses of all Three (not-so-) Little Pigs were broken into and ransacked, and the Pigs are squealing for justice. So Prince Tyrone, ruler of Fairylandia, drags in the obvious suspect: Wolfgang.

The lone wolf has big teeth, sharp claws, no alibi -- and a single day to find the real culprit and clear his big bad name. When Wolf (reluctantly) teams up with the fourth Little Pig to crack the case, the Big Bad Detective Agency -- and an adventure way funnier than your average fairy tale -- is off to a howling start!


I've read many fractured fairy tales, even fractured fairy tale mysteries, but none quite like this one.  The tongue-in-cheek tone of the narrator add to the humor of this tale of misunderstandi…

NONFICTION MONDAY: Koala Hospital by Suzi Eszterhas

KOALA HOSPITAL written and photographed by Suzi Eszterhas Owlkids Books, 2015 Picture Book Nonfiction Ages 6-12 Source: school library All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Koala Hospital kicks off the new 4-book Wildlife Rescue series from Owlkids Books. Each book introduces a species of animal in danger somewhere in the world and invites readers inside a rescue center that helps them. Photos by award–winning wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas give readers a rare view of the animals and the high level of care they receive.

Koala Hospital features a koala rescue center in Australia. It shows why koalas are in danger, how they come to be in the sanctuary, and the process of healing and rehabilitating koalas for return to the wild. Koala Hospital also focuses on the people who work at the rescue center and how they aid the animals.

Other special features include a map showing the rescue center and the koala’s native habitat range, as well as an index, glossary, and author Q&a…

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley

CIRCUS MIRANDUS by Cassie Beasley Dial Books for Young Readers, 2015 ISBN: 978-0-525-42843-5 Ages 9-12 Source: public library All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Fans of Big Fish, Peter Pan, and Roald Dahl will fall in love with Circus Mirandus, which celebrates the power of seeing magic in world.

Do you believe in magic?
Micah Tuttle does.

Even though his awful Great-Aunt Gertrudis doesn’t approve, Micah believes in the stories his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him of the magical Circus Mirandus: the invisible tiger guarding the gates, the beautiful flying birdwoman, and the magician more powerful than any other—the Man Who Bends Light. Finally, Grandpa Ephraim offers proof. The Circus is real. And the Lightbender owes Ephraim a miracle. With his friend Jenny Mendoza in tow, Micah sets out to find the Circus and the man he believes will save his grandfather.

The only problem is, the Lightbender doesn't want to keep his promise. And now it's up to Micah to get the mira…

SERIES THURSDAY: Hoops to Hippos! and Hoot, Hoot, Hooray!

HOOPS TO HIPPOS! True Stories of a Basketball Star on Safari! NBA Player Boris Diaw with Kitson Jazynka National Geographic, 2015 ISBN: 978-1-4263-2052-1 Early Chapter Book Ages 6-10 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

NBA star Boris Diaw of the San Antonio spurs takes young readers on safari as he explores his off-court passion: wildlife photography! Join Diaw as he escapes from stampeding wildebeests, comes face-to-face with lions, and discovers why you should never come between a hippo and its watery home. Through engaging stories and photos by Diaw, readers will discover a whole new side to this basketball champ.

National Geographic Kids Chapter books pick up where the best-selling National Geographic Readers series leaves off, offering young animal lovers who are ready for short chapters lively, exciting, full-color true stories -- just right to carry in backpacks, share with friends, and read under the covers at night.

One of the things that I…


THE ONLY CHILD by guojing schwartz & wade books, 2015 ISBN: 978-0-553-49704-5 source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Like Shaun Tan's The Arrival and Raymond Briggs's The Snowman, this gorgeous and imaginative 100-page graphic picture book is utterly transporting and original.

A little girl—lost and alone—follows a mysterious stag deep into the woods, and, like Alice down the rabbit hole, she finds herself in a strange and wondrous world. But... home and family are very far away. How will she get back there?

In this magnificently illustrated—and wordless—masterpiece, debut artist Guojing brilliantly captures the rich and deeply-felt emotional life of a child, filled with loneliness and longing as well as love and joy.


I really and truly loved this book and I'm sad as can be that it isn't eligible to win the Caldecott (author/illustrator is from China).  And I'm not sure what to call it either, picture book or graphic novel.  Th…


I'm excited to announce that the finalists for the 2015 Cybils Awards have been announced.  I'm going to highlight the seven books that have been chosen for the category that I'm a second round judge for, but I'm also going to include the links for the other categories because there are a lot of great books on those lists.  In fact I'm kind of thrilled that three of my nominations made it into the finals! :)