Showing posts from February, 2019

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: The Transparency Tonic by Frank L. Cole

THE TRANSPARENCY TONIC Potion Masters #2 by Frank L. Cole Shadow Mountain, 2019 ISBN: 9781629724881 Source: ARC from publisher for review Ages 9-12 Middle grade speculative/fantasy All opinions expressed are solely my own.

It has been nine months since Gordy and his friends, Max and Adilene, Saved B.R.E.W. (the Board of Ruling Elixirists Worldwide) and the Vessel—the power source for the secret society of potion masters. Now, Gordy is starting the eighth grade, and has been trying new potion brewing techniques, but when he starts zoning out during practice, he knows something is wrong.

Gordy and his friends continue to work on their potions, but when Gordy chooses Max as his lab partner, Adilene starts to wonder if she still has a place with her old friends. She turns to a new friend, Cadence, who might know a way to help Adilene become a potion master on her own.

And in Greenland, Mezzarix has a chance to escape his Forbidden Zone—as long as he agrees to work with the m…

BLOG TOUR w/ AUTHOR INTERVIEW: The Unicorn Quest: Secret in the Stone by Kamilla Benko

SECRET IN THE STONE The Unicorn Quest #2 by Kamilla Benko Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2019 ISBN: 9781681192475 Source: NetGalley from publisher Middle grade speculative (fantasy) Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Claire Martinson and her sister Sophie have decided to stay in Arden--the magical land they discovered by climbing up a chimney in their great-aunt's manor. If what they've learned is true, the sisters are the last descendants of the royal family, and only a true heir of Arden--with magic in her blood--can awaken the unicorns.

Since Sophie has does not have magic, the land's last hope rests on Claire. The sisters journey to Stonehaven, a famed Gemmer school high in the mountains of Arden, so Claire can train in the magic of stone. As Claire struggles through classes, Sophie uncovers dangerous secrets about the people they thought they could trust. With Arden on the brink of crumbling, can Claire prove she is the prophesied hei…

BLOG TOUR: It's Not Hansel and Gretel by Josh Funk

IT'S NOT HANSEL AND GRETEL It's Not a Fairy Tale #2 written by Josh Funk, illustrated by Edwardian Taylor two lions, 2019 ISBN: 978-1503902947 Source: publisher for review (through Blue Slip Media) Picture book Ages 4-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own.

In the fairytale mashup, Hansel and Gretel talk back to the narrator, refusing to play their roles.


Like Hansel and Gretel, Josh Funk doesn't like being told how stories should go—so he writes his own. He is the author of a bunch of picture books, including the popular Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series, illustrated by Brendan Kearney, and recently, How to Code a Sandcastle, illustrated by Sara Palacios, and Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience & Fortitude, illustrated by Stevie Lewis. He lives in New England with his wife and children. Learn more about him at and follow him on Twitter @joshfunkbooks.
Edwardian Taylor has worked as a visua…


I LOVE YOU, LITTLE POOKIE by Sandra Boynton Little Simon, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-5344-3723-4 Source: publisher for review Ages 0-3 Board Book All opinions expressed are solely my own.

From the beloved and bestselling Sandra Boynton, here is I Love You, Little Pookie, a sweet and simple board book that offers a declaration of unwavering love from Mom to her wonderful child.

I Love You, Little Pookie is an affectionate and heartfelt celebration—for Valentine’s Day and every day—enlivened with those funny and captivating Boynton drawings. And Pookie’s Mom wisely knows that the best way to say I love you is simply to say it:
Through the days,
through the nights,
come rain or come shine,
I love you, little Pookie.
You’ll always be mine.


Sandra Boynton has done it again.  She's created an adorable book that shines a light on the sweet relationship between a mother and child.  The illustrations highlight the joys the mother and child share and emphasize the activities and time they …


HIBERNATE WITH ME by Benjamin Scheuer & Jemima Williams Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-5344-3217-8 Source: publisher for review Ages 3-6 All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Hibernate with Me is a gentle reminder that no matter how sad, small, or scared you feel, you are always worthy of love, and that brighter days are always ahead.

Sometimes you feel small. Sometimes you feel shy.
Sometimes you feel worried, and you might not know why.

Sometimes you want nobody to see.
Darling, you can hibernate with me.

If you feel scared or lost, or even just a little shy, love means there will always be a place to hibernate together.

A place that’s cozy, warm, and safe.


This adorable book showcases the love between a mother bear and her cub as they get ready for hibernation.  Since the text is written as a song, it flows fairly smoothly and makes for a sweet read aloud.  The illustrations are darling and match the text quite well.  The book works w…

NEWBERY MEDAL WINNER REVIEW: Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

MERCI SUAREZ CHANGES GEARS by Meg Medina Candlewick Press, 2018 ISBN: 978-0-7636-9049-6 Source: ARC from publisher for review Ages 9-12 Middle grade contemporary All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Merci Suarez knew that sixth grade would be different, but she had no idea just how different. For starters, Merci has never been like the other kids at her private school in Florida, because she and her older brother, Roli, are scholarship students. They don’t have a big house or a fancy boat, and they have to do extra community service to make up for their free tuition. So when bossy Edna Santos sets her sights on the new boy who happens to be Merci’s school-assigned Sunshine Buddy, Merci becomes the target of Edna’s jealousy. Things aren't going well at home, either: Merci’s grandfather and most trusted ally, Lolo, has been acting strangely lately — forgetting important things, falling from his bike, and getting angry over nothing. No one in her family will tel…

SERIES THURSDAY: Bigfoot and Little Foot by Ellen Potter

BIG FOOT AND LITTLE FOOT by Ellen Potter, art by Felicita Sala Amulet Books, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-4197-2859-4 Source: school library Ages 8-12 Middle grade speculative/fantasy All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Hugo is a young Sasquatch who longs for adventure. Boone is young boy who longs to see a Sasquatch. When their worlds collide, they become the unlikeliest pair of best friends.

At the Academy for Curious Squidges, Hugo learns all manner of Sneaking—after all, the most important part of being a Sasquatch is staying hidden from humans. But Hugo dreams of roaming free in the Big Wide World rather than staying cooped up in caves. When he has an unexpected run-in with a young human boy, Hugo seizes the opportunity for a grand adventure. Soon, the two team up to search high and low for mythical beasts, like Ogopogos and Snoot-Nosed Gints. Through discovering these new creatures, together, Big Foot and Little Foot explore the ins and outs of each other’s very different world…

EARLY READER REVIEWS: Mr Monkey Bakes a Cake/Mr. Monkey Visits a School/Houndsley and Catina and Cousin Wagster

MR. MONKEY BAKES A CAKE by Jeff Mack Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-5344-0431-1 Source: purchased Ages 4-7 All opinions expressed are solely my own.

Curious George meets Mr. Bean in this adorable new picture book series from author-illustrator Jeff Mack that follows the loveable Mr. Monkey on his wacky adventures.

Mr. Monkey bakes a cake.

He can’t wait to win a ribbon!

But first he has to carry it to the contest.

What could possibly go wrong?


Mr. Monkey has a delightful time making a cake and eating bananas.  But by the time the cake is ready to eat, Mr. Monkey is no longer hungry.  He decides to enter the cake in a contest which seems simple enough, but once he sets foot out the door, Murphy's law jumps into action and a wide variety of amusing mishaps occurs.  As I read this I couldn't help but smirk and smile.  Anyone whose ever had a load of things go wrong can relate to Mr. Monkey's troubles (except maybe the runaway gorilla p…