Tuesday, November 21, 2017
Monday, November 20, 2017
Welcome to Middle Grade Monday! Today I am looking at three different picture books that younger readers will enjoy. To check out the other stops that do Middle Grade Monday check out our new hub at Always in the Middle... by Greg Pattridge.
Sam & Eva
by Debbie Ridpath Ohi, published by Simon & Schuster Children's
This book is full of imagination. Our two main characters are both done in black and white, while every thing they paint or color is bright and bold. Their characters come to life, reacting to each other and their drawer's moods. I enjoyed watching the story on the wall evolve and change and then when they draw a small door and go through the wall- priceless! 5 stars.
Polly and Her Duck Costume: The true story of a little blind rescue goat (GOA Kids - The Goats of Anarchy)
by Leanne Lauricella, Jill Howarth (illustrator), published by The Quarto Group
This story is full of warm fuzzies and kindness. It is a true story based on the author's animal rescue work. Polly is a blind goat that is rescued when her mom goat abandons her. Leanne saves her and brings her home to her farm. Polly looks to Leanne as her new mom and follows her everywhere, getting very nervous when she can't hear her. To help Polly's anxiety, Leanne puts her in a duck costume that she bought for Halloween, and it works miracles. Polly thrives, and when a new goat rescue, Pippa, shows up, she lets the new goat have her costume while she gets a bigger size.
The story is so fun and since it is real life it is even more exciting. You couldn't have thought up the idea of a nervous, blind goat that only wants to wear a duck costume. It is a bit wordy, and I put that down to this being a real life telling rather than a picture book fiction. After the story, there are real life pictures of Polly and Pippa, which is an added bonus. I think it shares the great morals of love, care and acceptance. 4 stars!
Papillon Goes to the Vet
by A.N. Kang, published by Disney
This is a cute, simple book. The story is not very deep, but it does teach kids that when they are in a strange situation they can put their best foot forward. I love the illustration on the way home from the vet, Papillon is wearing his blanket like a cape, now feeling confident after having made many new friends. A fun, feel-good book for young readers. 4 stars!
Through Your Eyes: My Child's Gift to Me
by Ainsley Earhardt, Ji-Hyuk Kim (Illustrations), published by Aladdin
This book stole my heart! Not just the beautiful story of a mother and daughter, but the absolutely brilliant and colorful illustrations. They are very impressionistic with soft, blending images, and bright, warm colors. Hats off to illustrator Ji-Hyuk Kim.
The story also took my breath away, perhaps because I am a mother and could relate to every detail, but also because one of my motto's in life is, Be Still. This book brings that idea to the forefront of learning. We begin with a mom who has a list of things she wants her child to see and do, but one day, as she watches her child play at the park, she realizes that her child is already seeing and doing amazing things just by interacting with the world around her. She teaches her mom new ideas about feeling, being, hearing and seeing. The main idea being, "To slow down, take small steps. Make each moment last. The world is a blur if you're spinning too fast." Such a touching point and one every parent can relate to as their children grow by leaps and bounds. This is a book to share with those you love! 5 stars!
Buy them now on Amazon-
Sam & Eva
Polly and Her Duck Costume
Papillon Goes to the Vet
Through Your Eyes
Thursday, November 16, 2017
My cover love for this week arrived with my son's Scholastic book club order. As I was pulling them out of the bag, this one grabbed my attention immediately- Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage.
Cover art by Gilbert Ford
First off, this is a panoramic cover, stretching the scene onto the back, sorry I can't show it to you. However, the back cover shows the water to actually to be part of a lake, not a river like the cover suggests. Don't these colors pop! The green bottle against the blue lake and then the title is bold, blending from yellow down to dark orange. I especially love the fireflies, they add that extra dynamic that makes this cover special. They remind me of growing up back in Maryland, when we used to catch fireflies at night and put them in a jar (with air holes). Along the shore you see various people enjoying the sunset, but on the back cover, you see one of these figures is hiding behind a tree with binoculars, hmm. Then there is the question, why is there a message in a bottle? I really like where this cover takes my imagination. What do you think?
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Look what I found in my inbox!
"Write a 2,000-word essay about any aspect of the writing life. Any topic is fair game, so long as it pertains to some aspect of writing. While the grand prize is $1,000 and publication in our magazine, every essay we receive will be considered for publication in The Writer". Learn more HERE.
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Feedspot. I am super excited to share the news with you because it means the idea of book blogs and encouraging reading in children is moving up in the world! Let's get kids to read :)
Monday, November 13, 2017
Welcome to Middle Grade Monday! Today I am reviewing the latest release by DT Vaughn, The Werewolf of Davenport, The Midnight Glass Vol.2. Don't forget to check out all the other bloggers who post middle grade on Monday's at our new headquarters- Always in the Middle... by Greg Pattridge.
It has been two years since young Wyatt Dumount defeated the Dread and became the Gatekeeper of the supernatural city of Davenport. Only a handful of townies know his true identity. Now, just as middle school is starting up for the year, a rogue werewolf begins bullying and harassing the town. It becomes clear that his main goal is to find the Gatekeeper and take over the town.
Wyatt has his work cut out for him, because this werewolf appears unstoppable. Soon, strange creatures begin hunting Wyatt and to protect his family he decides to let the demon Vex remove their memories. He feels all alone, until a ghost pops into the picture and hints that she has clues about whatever is happening to his town. It will take the revealing of many secrets and the bonding of many friendships to ride out this storm. Can they do it?
I enjoy this author's writing. He has created a town, set apart from the world, where humans and supernaturals live hand in hand. However, as with all good things, they don't seem to last. Jealousy and bigotry appear, a theme that is taken on by the author in this volume. The author does a great job using the prejudices of both the humans and supernaturals against vampires as a case study.
The adventure is a fun ride too. Wyatt is still trying to find his place, his grandfather having died in book 1, before being able to pass on the secrets of being a Gatekeeper. I find it interesting that the author has not brought forward a character or device to teach young Wyatt, instead, after two years, he is still only able to teleport to and from the gate and open and close the barrier. I kind of want Wyatt to discover some cool stuff, but he is only just beginning to use his powers by the end of this story.
I have to say my favorite thing in this whole book is the concept of the Librarian's Book. I don't want to give it away, but what the author did in creating an almost Omnipotent intelligence is so fun and I can't wait to see how he uses this "being" in future stories.
This was a fun read full of adventure, friendship, good values and first love (yep! Wyatt's first crush.) I'm giving it 4 stars! Honestly, the only thing I didn't like was the cover, but I don't review based on that. Go read these two books. My review of the first, The Midnight Glass is HERE.