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Showing posts from March, 2019

SERIES THURSDAY: King & Kayla and the Case of the Lost Tooth/King & Kayla and the Case of Found Fred by Dori Hillestad Butler

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KING & KAYLA AND THE CASE OF THE LOST TOOTH written by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Nancy Meyers Peachtree Publishing, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-56145-880-6 Source: ARC from publisher for review Ages 4-8 Early chapter mystery All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Kayla places her tooth in a Tooth Fairy pillow, but it disappears before the Tooth Fairy has a chance to visit--can her dog King help Kayla find the missing tooth?

REVIEW

When Kayla can't find the tooth she lost, King helps her search for it.  As with the other books in this series, King tells the story and shares information with the reader that Kayla doesn't know.  This is kind of fun for the reader who now knows more than one of the main characters.  It's fun to then take the information and try to solve the mystery.  The book also teaches basic problem/mystery solving in addition to providing a fun story.  Even though King solves the mysteries with Kayla's help, he still manages to behave lik…

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Wilderness: Earth's Amazing Habitats by Mia Cassany & Marcos Navarro

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WILDERNESS Earth's Amazing Habitats by Mia Cassny & Marcos Navarro Prestel, 2018 ISBN: 978-3-7913-7372-0 Source: Media Masters Publicity Ages 9-12 Middle grade nonfiction All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

This captivating book brings the natural world into sharp focus. Beautifully colored and intricately detailed illustrations depict places as exotic and wide-ranging as Senegal's Niokolo-Koba National Park, Russia's Sikhote-Alin mountain range, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve in Sri Lanka, Daintree National Park in Australia, the Mexican desert, and China's bamboo forests. The animals that live in these remote places, cleverly hidden in the trees, plants, and flowers, create a marvelous challenge for young readers to find and identify. Each spread contains more than twenty different species including birds, snakes, frogs, iguanas, leopards, tigers, gorillas, pandas, and wolves. The back of the book is filled with additional information about th…

PICTURE BOOK REVIEW: Badger's Perfect Garden by Marsha Diane Arnold

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BADGER'S PERFECT GARDEN written by Marsha Diane Arnold, illustraed by Ramona Kaulitzki Sleeping Bear Press, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-53411-000-7 Source: publisher for review Ages 4-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

It's springtime and Badger is ready to plant the perfect garden. He has spent months gathering and sorting seeds. It's been a lot of work but it's worth it. His friends Red Squirrel, Dormouse, and Weasel come to help. They weed. They rake. And finally they plant. Afterward, everyone celebrates, and Badger can already imagine the perfect rows of flowers and vegetables. But then a rainstorm comes and washes away the beautiful seeds. Badger's perfect garden is ruined. Or is it? Author Marsha Diane Arnold's gentle story will encourage young readers to think beyond plans and expectations and imagine the wonderful possibilities that may occur when life and nature have other ideas.

REVIEW

Anyone whose experienced the frustration of having p…

SERIES THURSDAY: Narwhal's Otter Friend by Ben Clanton

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NARWHAL'S OTTER FRIEND Narwhal and Jelly #4 by Ben Clanton Tundra Books, 2019 ISBN: 978-0-7352-6248-5 Graphic novel Ages 6-9 Source: purchased All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Narwhal and Jelly . . . and Otty?! Exuberant Narwhal and skeptical Jelly test the waters of adding a new friend to their pod when they meet Otty the super-adventurous otter in the fourth book of this blockbuster early graphic novel series!

Dive into three new stories about the joy of adventure and the power of friendship! In the first story, Otty the otter makes her debut splash; while Narwhal greets her with immediate enthusiasm, Jelly's not so sure about her...mostly because he worries she'll take his place as Narwhal's best friend. Readers will easily see why Narwhal's so excited to meet Otty, a boisterous explorer who even has an aunt who's a real live sea captain! But readers will also relate to Jelly's uneasiness seeing his best friend making a new pal.

Je…

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Beavers: The Superpower Field Guide by Rachel Poliquin

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BEAVERS The Superpower Field Guide by Rachel Poliquin, illustrated by Nicholas John Frith Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018 ISBN: 978-0-544-94987-4 Source: purchased Ages 9-12 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Beavers, the first book in the new middle-grade nonfiction Superhero Field Guide series by Rachel Poliquin and award-winning illustrator Nicholas John Frith, is a delightfully informative, laugh-out-loud full-color look at the most unsuspecting of animal heroes, perfect for readers who like their facts served with a large dose of humor.

Meet Elmer, an ordinary beaver. He may not be as mighty as a lion or as dangerous as a shark. He may be squat and brown. But never underestimate a beaver.
     I can almost hear you saying, “But aren’t beavers just lumpy rodents with buck teeth and funny flat tails?”
    Yes, they are! And believe it or not, those buck teeth and funny flat tails are just a few of the things that make beavers extraordinary.
    Humorous and engag…

PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS: The Whole Wide World and Me/Stardust

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THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD AND ME by Toni Yuly Candlewick Press, 2019 ISBN: 978-0-7636-9263-6 Source: publisher for review Ages 4-8 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

A bold, joyful picture book for the very young shows that the natural world is full of wonders -- and each of us is a small part of that.

Like a flower in a field . . .
Like a cloud in the sky . . .
So am I.

Just as a pebble is part of a mountain, just as a wave is part of the sea, so, too, is every one of us part of something bigger. With bright collage illustrations and a simple, lyrical text, acclaimed author-illustrator Toni Yuly invites readers to celebrate our relationship to the natural world.

REVIEW

This adorable book about nature and the place human beings hold in it delights the senses.  The cute little girl with her red bow, purple outfit, an green boots stands out on each spread as she starts with a flower, then moves to a field, then a pond, as the world around her gets bigger and bigger and she end…

YA SPECULATIVE REVIEW: A Taste for Monsters by Matthew J. Kirby

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A TASTE FOR MONSTERS by Matthew J. Kirby Scholastic Press, 2016 ISBN: 978-0-545-81784-4 Source: purchased Ages 12 and up YA Speculative Fiction (Historical fantasy) All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Fear the living more than the dead.

It’s London 1888, and Jack the Ripper is terrorizing the people of the city. Evelyn, a young woman disfigured by her dangerous work in a matchstick factory, who has nowhere to go, does not know what to make of her new position as a maid to the Elephant Man in the London Hospital. Evelyn wants to be locked away from the world, like he is, shut in from the filth and dangers of the streets. But in Joseph Merrick, the Elephant Man, she finds a gentle kindred who does not recoil from her and who understands her pain.

When the murders begin, however, Joseph and Evelyn are haunted nightly by the ghosts of the Ripper’s dead, setting Evelyn on a path to facing her fears and uncovering humanity’s worst nightmares.

REVIEW

I don't normally review yo…

SERIES THURSDAY: Flight of the Bluebird by Kara LeReau -- Review & Author Post

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FLIGHT OF THE BLUEBIRD The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters #3 by Kara LaReau, illustrated by Jen Hill Amulet Books, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-4197-3144-0 Source: publisher for review Ages 8-12 Middle grade historical adventure All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Fasten your seat belts for some unexpected turbulence ahead, as Jaundice and Kale Bland are back for their final unintentional adventure! Now that they’ve returned from the Uncanny Valley to find their home in Dullsville in absolute shambles, the sisters are rescued by high-flying aviatrix Beatrix Airdale. This time, they’re jetting off (literally) to Egypt to uncover the mysteries of a magical scarab.  By way of Casablanca and after foiling multiple attacks along the way (thanks to Jaundice’s nautical knot-tying skills and Kale’s super-sleuth powers of observation), the Bland Sisters are reunited with their parents. But it turns out that Mom and Dad aren’t as bland—or as “Bland”—as Jaundice and Kale remember.…

WILD & WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY: Lost in the Antarctic by Tod Olson

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LOST IN THE ANTARCTIC The Doomed Voyage of the Endurance by Tod Olson Scholastic, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-338-20734-7 Source: Blue Slip Media for review Ages 9-12 Middle grade nonfiction All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

There wasn’t a thing Ernest Shackleton could do. He stood on the ice-bound Weddell Sea, watching the giant blocks of frozen saltwater squeeze his ship to death. The ship’s name seemed ironic now: the Endurance. But she had lasted nine months in this condition, stuck on the ice in the frigid Antarctic winter. So had Shackleton and his crew of 28 men, trying to become the first expedition ever to cross the entire continent.

Now, in October 1915, as he watched his ship break into pieces, Shackleton gave up on that goal. He ordered his men to abandon ship. From here on, their new goal would be to focus on only one thing: survival.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tod Olson is the author of the historical fiction series How to Get Rich and the four books in the Lost series--Lost in t…

PICTURE BOOK REVIEWS: Going Down Home with Daddy/You are Never Alone --Available in April 2019

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GOING DOWN HOME WITH DADDY written by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Daniel Minter Peachtree Publishing, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-56145-938-4 Source: ARC from publisher for review Ages 4-10 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

Down home is Granny's house.  Down home is where Lil' Alan and his parents and sister will join grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins in a rich celebration of family history.  It's where he will hear stories of ancestors and visit the land that has meant so much to all of them.  And down home is where each of the children will find their way to pay tribute to family history.  All of the other children know what to do...but what will Lil' Alan do?

Richly told and gorgeously illustrated by the team that brought you Ellen's Broom, for which illustrator Daniel Minter received a Coretta Scott King Illustration Honor Award, Going Down Home with Daddy is a story about family history and a celebration of the Black family reunion culture…

MMGM: The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

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THE PARKER INHERITANCE by Varian Johnson Arthur A. Levine Books, 2018 ISBN: 978-0-545-94617-9 Source: purchased Ages 9-12 Middle grade contemporary/historical All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

The letter waits in a book, in a box, in an attic, in an old house in Lambert, South Carolina. It's waiting for Candice Miller.

When Candice finds the letter, she isn't sure she should read it. It's addressed to her grandmother, after all, who left Lambert in a cloud of shame. But the letter describes a young woman named Siobhan Washington. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding the letter-writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle. Grandma tried and failed. But now Candice has another chance.

So with the help of Brandon Jones, the quiet boy across the street, she begins to decipher the clues in the letter. The challenge will lead them deep into Lambert's history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great lov…

PICTURE BOOK REVIEW: Away with Words by Lori Mortensen

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AWAY WITH WORDS The Daring Story of Isabella Bird written by Lori Mortensen, illustrated by Kristy Caldwell Peachtree Publishing, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-68263-005-1 Source: publisher for review Ages 5-10 All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

"Isabella Bird was like a wild vine stuck in a too-small pot. She needed more room. She had to get out. She had to explore."

Exploring was easier said than done in Victorian England. But Isabella persisted, and with each journey, she breathed in new ways to see and describe everything around her. Question by question, word by word, Isabella bloomed. First, out in the English countryside. Then, off to America and Canada. And eventually, around the world, to Africa, Asia, Australia, and more. 

This dashing picture book biography about the first female member of the Royal Geographic Society takes readers around the world with a daring nineteenth-century female explorer and author. Kristy Caldwell's detailed illustrations illu…

BOARD BOOK REVIEWS: Courageous People Who Changed the World/Inventors Who Changed the World by Heidi Poelman

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COURAGEOUS PEOPLE WHO CHANGED THE WORLD Little Heroes by Heidi Poelman, illustrated by Kyle Kershner Familius LLC, 2018 ISBN: 978-1-945547-75-1 Ages 3-5 Source: publisher for review All opinions expressed are solely my own.
ABOUT THE BOOK

From the intrepid efforts of Susan B. Anthony to the quiet courage of Rosa Parks, Little Heroes: Courageous People Who Changed the World is a young child's first introduction to the brave people who fought to make the world a better place. Simple text and adorable illustrations tell the contributions of eight champions of freedom: Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Susan B. Anthony, Malala Yousafzai, Harriet Tubman, William Wilberforce, Mahatma Gandhi, and Martin Luther King Jr. A quote from each individual is included on each spread along with colorful, delightful artwork.

REVIEW

Writing a biography for young listeners (3-6 years old) is challenging.  For one thing it's almost impossible to condense an entire life into one or two sentences.  And then…