Reviews of books

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a very nice little story about finding your courage. Morris MoleBy Dan Yaccarino 40 pages – ages 4+ Published by HarperCollins on May 2, 2017 Theme/Topic- Finding Courage Genre- Fiction Opening and Synopsis- Opening: “There was a mole who lived with his big brothers. Together they dug. They ate. And they slept. The littlest mole was Morris. And he was just a bit different from the rest.“ Synopsis from Publisher: “Meet Morris Mole—he has always been a little bit different. When the moles are running low on food, it's up to clever Morris to save the day. With a little help from an unexpected friend and a lot of digging, Morris learns that even the smallest creatures can do big things.” What I Thought- This was such a joyous book to find. Dan Yaccarino has created such a simple story with such a huge meaning. I really like how the illustrations are very minimalistic, with the above-ground scenes having whimsical details, while the underground scenes have very few details – [...]
Fri, Nov 17, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Mari's Hope By Sandy Brehl Series: The Odin's Promise Trilogy #3 (#1, #2) Approx. 276 pages – ages 9+ Published by Crispin Books on May 29, 2017 Synopsis from the Publisher- “In Mari's Hope, set in occupied Norway in the final years of World War II, young teen Mari has become a valued helper to the village doctor, while continuing to play a role in her family's efforts in the local resistance. As German war efforts begin to falter, the pressure increases to hold Norway firmly in their tight grip. But the freedom-loving Norwegians will do their best to thwart those plans.” What I Thought- This was an absolutely amazing end to the Odin's Promise Trilogy. While I am sad to see the series end, I will say that Brehl has crafted a wonderfully fulfilling ending, tying up all loose ends and satisfying the readers. The Norwegian setting is described in such a way that it feels as if you have always known just exactly what the land is like. Honestly, the book makes me want to visit Norway. I'm not kidding. The characters are all top-notch and fully-developed, making the story feel more like an actual memoir or biography of sorts than a fictional narrative. [...]
Wed, Nov 15, 2017, Continue reading at the source
Princess Cora and the Crocodile Written by Laura Amy Schlitz Illustrated by Brian Floca 80 pages – ages 6+ Published by Candlewick Press on March 28, 2017 Synopsis from the Publisher- “Princess Cora is sick of boring lessons. She's sick of running in circles around the dungeon gym. She's sick, sick, sick of taking three baths a day. And her parents won't let her have a dog. But when she writes to her fairy godmother for help, she doesn't expect that help to come in the form of a crocodile–a crocodile who does not behave properly. With perfectly paced dry comedy, children's book luminaries Laura Amy Schlitz and Brian Floca send Princess Cora on a delightful outdoor adventure — climbing trees! getting dirty! having fun! — while her alter ego wreaks utter havoc inside the castle, obliging one pair of royal helicopter parents to reconsider their ways.” What I Thought- I really enjoyed this book. Schlitz has created a fun story about a girl who wants to be herself, and the chaos that allows her to do so. I do like how the crocodile isn't pushed as a friend of Cora's, mostly because he does some pretty nasty things (nipping people, chasing people, etc.), but I [...]
Mon, Nov 13, 2017, Continue reading at the source
News arrived! All samples were good, meaning it is again time for surgery: this Wednesday, All-Saints' Day, at 6:30 AM (ugh! I'm not a morning person). After removing the cement block and cleaning out the area, a sample (not exactly sure of what) goes off to a lab. Hopefully a very fast lab. If–when–it returns … [...]
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, Continue reading at the source
York: The Shadow Cipher By Laura Ruby 496 pages – ages 9+ Published by Walden Pond Press on May 16, 2017 Synopsis from Publisher- “It was 1798 when the Morningstarr twins arrived in New York with a vision for a magnificent city: towering skyscrapers, dazzling machines, and winding train lines, all running on technology no one had ever seen before. Fifty-seven years later, the enigmatic architects disappeared, leaving behind for the people of New York the Old York Cipher—a puzzle laid into the shining city they constructed, at the end of which was promised a treasure beyond all imagining. By the present day, however, the puzzle has never been solved, and the greatest mystery of the modern world is little more than a tourist attraction. Tess and Theo Biedermann and their friend Jaime Cruz live in a Morningstarr apartment—until a real estate developer announces that the city has agreed to sell him the five remaining Morningstarr buildings. Their likely destruction means the end of a dream long held by the people of New York. And if Tess, Theo, and Jaime want to save their home, they have to prove that the Old York Cipher is real. Which means they have to solve it.” What I Thought- [...]
Mon, Oct 30, 2017, Continue reading at the source
This Book Stinks!: Gross Garbage, Rotten Rubbish, and the Science of Trash By Sarah Wassner Flynn 128 pages – ages 9+ Published by National Geographic Children's Books on March 28, 2017 Synopsis from Publisher- “Get up close and personal with a wonderful world of waste. From composting and recycling, to landfills and dumps, to how creative people are finding new ways to reuse rubbish. It's fun to talk trash when it's jam-packed with infographics, thematic spreads, wow-worthy photos, sidebars, serious stats, and fabulous facts. Also included are quizzes and activities to inspire kids to take action, be proactive, and rethink the things we throw away.” What I Thought- This is a really neat nonfiction book from National Geographic. I particularly enjoy that Flynn puts together a conglomeration of fun facts, interviews, quizzes, and activities – the combination is perfect for keeping kids interested in the topic. The book is full of information that is important for kids to read, teaching them about why and how to recycle, reuse, and reduce our waste. As always, this National Geographic book is packed full of colorful layouts, fact boxes and short bursts of texts that keep their nonfiction books exciting and compelling to read. Hopefully kids are inspired to [...]
Mon, Oct 23, 2017, Continue reading at the source

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