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Showing posts from May, 2017

SERIES THURSDAY: Ballet Cat by Bob Shea

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THE TOTALLY SECRET SECRET Ballet Cat #1 by Bob Shea Disney Hyperion, 2015 ISBN: 978-1-4847-1378-5 Source: purchased Ages 3-5 Early Reader All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Ballet Cat and Sparkles the Pony are trying to decide what to play today. Nothing that Sparkles suggests--making crafts, playing checkers, and selling lemonade--goes well with the leaping, spinning, and twirling that Ballet Cat likes to do. When Sparkles's leaps, spins, and twirls seem halfhearted, Ballet Cat asks him what's wrong. Sparkles doesn't want to say. He has a secret that Ballet Cat won't want to hear. What Sparkles doesn't know is that Ballet Cat has a secret of her own, a totally secret secret. Once their secrets are shared, will their friendship end, or be stronger than ever?

REVIEW

As in Mo Willems Elephant and Piggie books, Bob Shea presents the reader with the trials and tribulations of friendship.  In this first book,  Sparkle suggest several different things t…

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Here to There and Me to You: A Book of Bridges by Cheryl Keely

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HERE TO THERE AND ME TO YOU A Book of Bridges written by Cheryl Keely, illustrated by Celia Krampien Sleeping Bear Press, 2017 ISBN: 978-1-58536-996-6 Source: publisher for review Ages 4-8 Picture book All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Bridges are some of the most fascinating structures in our landscape, and they come in all forms. From towering suspension bridges to humble stone crossings, this book visits them all in sweet, bouncing text with expository sidebars. But while bridges can be quite grand, this reminds us that their main purpose is bringing people together. This is perfect for budding architects, as well as readers who can relate to having loved ones who live far away.

REVIEW

With a growing emphasis on STEM books and learning books like this one become very valuable.  Not only does this book introduce an important engineering concept--connecting things together--but it also compares building a physical bridge to building relationship bridges.  There are …

BLOG TOUR: The Sand Warrior by Mark Siegel, et.al.

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THE SAND WARRIOR 5 Worlds #1 by Mark Siegel &Alexis Siegel illustrated by Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, Boya Sun Random House Books for Young Readers, 2017 ISBN: 978-1-101-93586-6 Source: ARC from publisher for review Ages 9-12 Graphic Novel All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

The #1 New York Times bestselling creator of Amulet, Kazu Kibuishi, hails this first book in this groundbreaking sci-fi/fantasy adventure series as “a magical journey, as fun as it is beautiful!” Think Star Wars meets Avatar: The Last Airbender!
The Five Worlds are on the brink of extinction unless five ancient and mysterious beacons are lit. When war erupts, three unlikely heroes will discover there’s more to themselves—and more to their worlds—than meets the eye. . . . The clumsiest student at the Sand Dancer Academy, Oona Lee is a fighter with a destiny bigger than she could ever imagine.
A boy from the poorest slums, An Tzu has a surprising gift and a knack for getting out of sticky situat…

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Brightwood by Tania Unsworth

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BRIGHTWOOD by Tania Unsworth Algonquin Young Readers, 2016 ISBN: 978-1-61620-330-6 Ages 9-12 Middle grade speculative/fantasy Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Daisy Fitzjohn knows there are two worlds: the outside world and the world of Brightwood Hall, her home--and the only place she’s ever been. Daisy and her mother have everything they need within its magnificent, half-ruined walls. They may not have a computer or phone, but Daisy has all the friends she could want, including a mischievous talking rat named Tar and the ghostly presence of a long-ago explorer who calls herself Frank.

When Daisy’s mother leaves one morning, a strange visitor arrives on the estate, claiming to be a distant cousin, James Gritting. But as the days tick by and Daisy’s mother doesn’t return, Gritting becomes more and more menacing. He wants Brightwood for himself, and he will do anything to get it, unless Daisy, with only her imaginary companions to help her, …

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: The Book of Heroes by Crispin Boyer

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THE BOOK OF HEROES Tales of History's Most Daring Dudes by Crispin Boyer National Geographic Kids, 2016 ISBN: 978-1-4263-2553-3 Middle grade nonfiction Ages 9-12 Source: Media Masters Publicity All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Everybody needs a role model! Discover the true stories of superheroes, rebels, world leaders, action heroes, sports legends, and many more daring dudes, all of whom played their part to make their mark, make a contribution, and make the world a better place.

From Abraham Lincoln to Sitting Bull, Stephen Hawking to Galileo, these cool guys had the boldness, bravery, and brains to meet the challenges of their day. With a fun design, engaging text, and high-quality photographs, this is ultimate hero guide and keepsake for 21st century kids.

REVIEW

I was intrigued by this book the moment I heard about it.  I mean heroes are what most stories are made of, right?   I was expecting the book to focus on real-life heroics and those are included.  But t…

MMGM: A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

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A BOY CALLED BAT written by Elana K. Arnold, with pictures by Charles Santoso Walden Pond Press, 2017 ISBN: 978-0-06-244582-7 Middle grade contemporary Ages 9-12 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life tends to be full of surprises—some of them good, some not so good. Today, though, is a good-surprise day. Bat’s mom, a veterinarian, has brought home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter.

But the minute Bat meets the kit, he knows they belong together. And he’s got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet.

REVIEW

Elana K. Arnold has written a delightful book that I really enjoyed reading.  But I also found it an important book because the main character is what many would call neurodiverse or to be more specific: autistic.  While that is not stated specifically, it becomes clear in Bat's behavior that communica…

SERIES THURSDAY: Wells & Wong Mystery series by Robin Stevens

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MURDER IS BAD MANNERS A Wells & Wong Mystery #1 by Robin Stevens Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2015 ISBN: 978-1-4814-2212-3 Ages 9-12 Middle grade mystery Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Deepdean School for Girls, 1934. When Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up their very own deadly secret detective agency, they struggle to find any truly exciting mysteries to investigate. (Unless you count the case of Lavinia's missing tie. Which they don't, really.)

But then Hazel discovers the Science Mistress, Miss Bell, lying dead in the Gym. She thinks it must all have been a terrible accident - but when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now the girls know a murder must have taken place . . . and there's more than one person at Deepdean with a motive.

Now Hazel and Daisy not only have a murder to solve: they have to prove a murder happened in the first place. Determined to get to the bottom of the cri…

LITTLE FUN CLUB BLOG TOUR w/ Review

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About Little Fun Club:Little Fun Club is a subscription box for children's books. It's ideal for kids ages 0-12. When you sign up, your child will receive a box containing three adventurous books every month. The books are tailored to your child's age, so you can rest assured they will always have quality, age-appropriate reading material. Each book is hand selected for your child, and no two boxes are the same.  
How it Works:Join Little Fun Club and let them know your child's age so the box can be customized for them. You can include up to three kids per box and they'll customize it accordingly.Get three adventurous books every month for as little as $25/month.Grow with Little Fun Club. As your child gets older, the books change accordingly — so you'll always receive age-appropriate books for your kids.  Good to Know:You can add a note to your child's account with reading preferences so the box can be tailored to their interests.Shipping is FREE on all…

BLOG TOUR: The Explorers: The Door in the Alley by Adrienne Kress

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THE DOOR IN THE ALLEY The Explorers #1 by Adrienne Kress Delacorte Press, 2017 ISBN: 978-1-101-94005-1 Source: publisher for review Middle grade speculative/fantasy Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Featuring a mysterious society, a secretive past, and a pig in a teeny hat, "The Explorers: The Door in the Alley" is the first book in a new series for fans of "The Name of This Book Is a Secret" and "The Mysterious Benedict Society. "Knock once if you can find it but only members are allowed inside.

This is one of those stories that start with a pig in a teeny hat. It s not the one you re thinking about. (This story is way better than that one.)

This pig-in-a-teeny-hat story starts when a very uninquisitive boy stumbles upon a very mysterious society. After that, there is danger and adventure; there are missing persons, hired thugs, a hidden box, a lost map, and famous explorers; and there is a girl looking for help that only uninquis…

NONFICTION MONDAY: The Boy Who Became Buffalo Bill/Presenting Buffalo Bill

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It's interesting reading two biographies of the same person one right after the other.  I found the contrast in presentations quite interesting as well as the one being more complete and detailed than the other.  Warren was much more willing to believe Cody's own words, while Fleming spends time in her book pointing out the controversies that still rage to this day about how much of Cody's autobiographies are fact and how much is fiction.  I highly recommend both books as fascinating, well-written narrative nonfiction reads.

THE BOY WHO BECAME BUFFALO BILL Growing Up Billy Cody in Bleeding Kansas by Andrea Warren Two Lions, 2015 ISBN: 978-1477827185 Ages 9-12 MG/YA Nonfiction Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

The greatest entertainer of his era, Buffalo Bill was the founder and star of the legendary show that featured cowboys, Indians, trick riding, and sharpshooters.

But long before stardom, Buffalo Bill—born Billy Cody—had to grow up fast. …

DOUBLE BLOG TOUR for Deborah Hopkinson's Independence Cake and A Letter to My Teacher

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INDEPENDENCE CAKE A Revolutionary Confection Inspired by Amelia Simmons Whose True History is Unfortunately Unknown By Deborah Hopkinson & Giselle Potter Schwartz & Wade, 2017 ISBN: 9780385390170  Source: F&G from publisher for review Picture book Ages 4 and up All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Celebrate American independence with this delightful picture book as you travel to Revolutionary America and meet the amazing Amelia Simmons: mother's helper, baker of delectable cakes, and soon-to-be authoress of the first American cookbook!

Master of the historical fiction picture book Deborah Hopkinson takes us back to late eighteenth-century America and the discombobulated home of Mrs. Bean, mother of six strapping sons, who simply can't manage—until Amelia Simmons arrives and puts things in order. And how well she cooks—everything from flapjacks to bread pudding to pickled cucumbers! She even invents new recipes using American ingredients like wint…

MMGM: Hazy Bloom and the Tomorrow Power by Jennifer Hamburg

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HAZY BLOOM AND THE TOMORROW POWER by Jennifer Hamburg, pictures by Jenn Harney Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2017 ISBN: 978-0-374-30494-2 Source: school library Ages 8-10 Middle grade contemporary/magical realism All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

One perfectly ordinary afternoon, a vision flashes through third-grader Hazel “Hazy” Bloom’s mind—of flying peas. The next day in the school cafeteria, a food fight erupts that involves the very same airborne veggie. After one or two more seemingly silly visions come true in unexpected ways, Hazy realizes she has a strange new power to foresee a visual clue about trouble that’s on its way within twenty-four hours. But seeing is not always understanding, and headstrong Hazy quickly discovers that “tomorrow power” sometimes only gives her the ability to make a hilarious mess of things instead of saving the day.

REVIEW

Hazy Bloom loves her best friend, Elizabeth, but not her older brother Milo who is very annoying.  Life is pretty…