Tuesday, March 28, 2017

THE PRINCESS AND THE PAGE by Christina Farley / Blog Tour: Book Review & Giveaway

Hello and welcome to the next stop in THE PRINCESS AND THE PAGE  blog tour. What a great way to celebrate today's release of Christina Farley's first middle grade book, out TODAY from Scholastic Press. Welcome to a world where magic spills from the tip of a pen! Below you'll find out more about the book, my review, and a giveaway you don't want to miss entering!


Purchase from: Scholastic | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BAM! | Bookmark It | IndieBound | Powell's
Add it to Goodreads


The Princess and the Page is a great mix of contemporary fantasy, and an unforgettable magical adventure. This is not your normal fairytale princess story. This is a story about a girl who finds she has an extraordinary gift, that may or may not get in her into some interesting situations, to say the least. With the power to bring the stories she writes to life, Keira is something special.  The French castle she visits, is the perfect setting for the story's mystery, history, adventure and a possible haunting or two. Did I mention there's also a talking wolf? There's much more to this princess story than meets the eye. This is a fast paced, action packed middle grade read that's perfect for readers who love a fun adventure.



CHRISTINA FARLEY is the author of the bestselling Gilded series. Prior to that, she worked as an international teacher and at a top secret job for Disney where she was known to scatter pixie dust before the sun rose. When not traveling the world or creating imaginary ones, she spends time with her family in Clermont, Florida with her husband and two sons where they are busy preparing for the next World Cup, baking cheesecakes, and raising a pet dragon that's in disguise as a cockatiel. You can visit her online at ChristinaFarley.com.


Mar. 23th - Ana Loves Books
Mar. 24th - YA Book Madness
March 25th - Literary Rambles
March 27th - Twinning for Books
March 28th - Mundie Kids
Mar. 29th - All Things Christine
Mar. 30th - YA Book Divas
Mar. 31st - Word Spelunking
Apr. 3rd- Mine of Books
Apr. 4th The AP Book Club
Apr. 5thMiddle Grade Ninja


One (1) lucky winner will receive a $25 gift card to their favorite book vendor. 
Giveaway open internationally. Enter below or HERE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 27, 2017

BARNYARD BOOGIE! by Tim McCanna / Book Review

By: Tim McCanna

Illustrator: Allison Black
Published by: Abrams Appleseed
Released on: May 9, 2017
Ages:2 & Up
Rating: 5 Owlets-We Loved It!
Purchase from: Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

The Barnyard Band is performing today.
All the musicians are coming to play!

Each animal musician knows what to do, but Cow can only moo!
This charming book is a delightful read-aloud featuring funny musical sounds and a refrain children will love repeating. Tim McCanna’s playful text will have children laughing, and Allison Black’s energetic illustrations will make children want to get up and move. Barnyard Boogie! is full of rhyming—and nonsense—sounds that will enrich and delight.

"Honka Wonka Woo!" is just one of funny sounds coming from the barnyard and part of makes this book so fun. We loved the animals and their different musical sounds preparing for the barnyard boogie. However, poor cow doesn't know where she fits into the band, until she realizes that they need her Moo.

The illustrations are just as fun as the different instrument sounds. The simple sentences and rhyming scheme, make it a great book for kids. It is easy to be silly when you are reading the Barnyard Boogie!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A FAIRY FRIEND by Sue Fliess / Book Review

By: Sue Fliess
Illustrated by: Claire Keane 
Published by: Henry Holt
Released on: May 10th, 2016
Ages: 5 & up
Source: purchased book
Rating: 5 Owlets
Purchase from: The Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Soar into an enchanting miniature world full of fairies. These playful creatures are all around us, if you know just where to look. And if you want to have one come to you, build a fairy house of twigs and blooms and wait patiently for a fairy to take up residence.
Children are fascinated with miniature worlds and the fairies who inhabit them. A forever friend awaits each reader in the pages of this lovely picture book with illustrations by a Disney animator.
A whimsical story that captures the wonder and delight of a little girl's belief in faeries. This adorable story is paired with one of my favorite children's illustrators, to create a simply magical story. If you've ever wondered how to make a fairy friend, this book tells you how. Unforgettable adventure, a lot of fun will ensue after you become friends.

If you didn't believe in fairies before you read this book, you may end up believing in them after you read it. This is one book we love reading. It's one I would have loved as a child. With it's visualize stunning illustrations, and rhyming verse, make for a enchanting, engaging read. 

If you believe in fairies, this is a book you'll want to pick up and read. 

This is just one of a few of the illustrations from the book, that Claire Keane has shared here

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

SO MANY FEET by Nichole Mara/ Book Reivew

By: Nichole Mara
Illustrated by: Alexander Vidal
Published by: Abrams Appleseed
Released on: May 2, 2017
Ages: 3 & up
Rating: 4 Owlets- We Enjoyed It!
Purchase from: Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

High feet, slow feet, fast feet, snow feet! So Many Feet introduces young children to the great diversity in the natural world, using feet as an accessible point of entry. The playful, rhyming main text offers some information, but is mostly fun to read aloud. The secondary text offers more facts about each animal and what makes its feet so unique. The book ends by asking children whether their feet can do all the things animals’ feet can do.

Who knew that feet could be used in so many different ways? We enjoyed learning facts about different animals and how they use their feet. It was especially interesting to see how different each of these animals were from us. I had no idea that butterflies use their feet to taste!

The illustrations are what make this book a must have, especially for animal lovers. Vidal uses simple and elegant animal illustrations that are fascinating and easy to talk about with children. The large board book pages and bold colors make this a perfect book for young children.

Monday, March 20, 2017


Today is THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR DAY! We're so thrilled to team up with Penguin Random House, to celebrate. This beloved book is one I vividly remember falling in love with early on in elementary school. Since then, this is a book I've enjoyed reading over and over to my kids when they were young, and have enjoyed reading to younger elementary age kids I've had the chance to read to. 

This book is both a good teaching tool, and one that inspires creativity. From learning to count, to colors, and naming the food The Very Hungry Caterpillar eats. Creativity wise, kids can make their own stories about The Very Hungry Caterpillar, can create their own artwork from the caterpillar on leaf, eating the various food, and turning into a butterfly at the end. Check out these great craft/artwork ideas on Pinterest here and these games, here. Scholastic offers some great teaching ideas for pre-k & up, herehere.

Thank you to Penguin Books, we have a printable VHC Day Activity Packet you can Download. I've been having problems getting the download to work here on blogger. This links sends you over to our friends at Novel Novice, to download. Download the VHC Day Activity Packet here.


Eric Carle's classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, in board book format.

A much-loved classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar has won over millions of readers with its vivid and colourful collage illustrations and its deceptively simply, hopeful story. With its die-cut pages and finger-sized holes to explore, this is a richly satisfying book for children.


Thank you to you Penguin, you can enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (ARV: $21.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on March 20, 2017 and 12:00 AM on March 27, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about March 29, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. 

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out more of today's #VHCDay Fun!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

LIFE ON MARS by Jon Agee / Book Review

Written & Illustrated By: Jon Agee
Published by: Dial Books For Young Readers
Released on: February 28th, 2017
Ages: 4 & up
Purchase from: The Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It!
Source: book from publisher, in exchange for my honest review

In this sneaky, silly picture book for fans of Oliver Jeffers and Jon Klassen, an intrepid—but not so clever—space explorer is certain he’s found the only living thing on Mars
A young astronaut is absolutely sure there is life to be found on Mars. He sets off on a solitary mission, determined to prove the naysayers wrong. But when he arrives, equipped with a package of cupcakes as a gift, he sees nothing but a nearly barren planet. Finally, he spies a single flower and packs it away to take back to Earth as proof that there is indeed life on Mars. But as he settles in for the journey home, he cracks open his cupcakes—only to discover that someone has eaten them all!
Readers will love being in on the secret: Unbeknownst to the explorer, a Martian has been wandering through the illustrations the whole time—and he got himself a delicious snack along the way.

Another Jon Agee classic! LIFE ON MARS is a fun, entertaining read. 

Have you ever wondered if there was life on Mars? Well Jon Agee answers that question. All I'm going to say is the proof is in the cupcake box. 

We really enjoyed this book. The illustrations and the story are perfect for readers of all ages. This books makes for the perfect read aloud. This book is definitely worth picking up! 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

UNI THE UNICORN: A Story About Believing by Amy Krouse Rosenthal / Book Review

By: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrated by: Brigette Barrager
Published by: Random House Kids
Released on: August 26th, 2014
Ages: 4 & up
Source: purchased book
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It!
Purchase from: PublisherAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Uni is just like all the other unicorns . . . except for one thing: she believes that little girls are REAL. This magical story by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (author of I Wish You More) illuminates Uni’s not-so-fantastical dream and celebrates the sparkle of believing.

Uni the unicorn is told there’s no such thing as little girls! But no matter what the grown-up unicorns say, Uni believes that little girls are REAL. Somewhere there must be a smart, strong, wonderful, magical little girl waiting to be best friends. In fact, far away (but not too far away), a real little girl believes there is a unicorn waiting for her, too. This magical story of friendship reminds believers and nonbelievers alike that sometimes wishes really can come true.

Unicorns, friendship and the magic of believing. This story is simply adorable! This is a book I would have LOVED as a kid. 

Even though no one else believes that young girls exist, Uni the Unicorn believes they do. Despite what all the other unicorns tell her, she knows that somewhere out there a young girl will be her friend. The story ends with a young girl, who like Uni, is the only one who believes that unicorns exist. She knows that there is a unicorn out there waiting to be her friend.

Amy has a way of storytelling that I just love. She has the art of storytelling, mixed with sharing an empowering message down perfectly. Uni the Unicorn is a wonderful picture book kids will love. This is a book that I would have worn out reading as a kid. 

With a message of friendship, believing, and adorable illustrations, this book is a must have! We absolutely loved this book. The illustrations compliment this story perfectly. We can't wait to read the sequel! 

Uni The Unicorn and the Dream Come True, the sequel to, Uni The Unicorn, will be out later this year. Find out more about it here. We've already got our copy pre-ordered. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

ONCE UPON A CLOUD By: Claire Keane / Book Review

Written and Illustrated by: Claire Keane 
Published by: Dial Books for Young Readers
Released on: March 3rd, 2015
Ages: 3 & up
Source: purchased book
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It
Purchase from: PenguinAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Fresh from her work on Frozen and Tangled, Claire Keane brings her legendary talent to her debut picture book about finding the right present for someone you love.

Celeste wants to give her mother something special—but what? Her search takes her up into the skies, where she meets the stars, the moon and the sun, but she still doesn’t find the heartfelt present she’s been looking for. At the end of her journey, Celeste sees it—the perfect gift! Chosen with care and wrapped with love, it’s just what Celeste was hoping to find.

In this story about finding unexpected inspiration and giving from the heart, Claire Keane invites readers on a magical journey through the clouds.  The result is a visually stunning book that really and truly is the perfect gift.

Easily one of our favorite picture books. We loved this book. With it's heartwarming story, and visually stunning illustrations, this is a must have! Keane captures the love and joy of a young daughter looking for the right gift for her mom, perfectly. Being a mom of a daughter who loves picking me flowers, this book hit it's mark with me. Flowers aside, the book's heart felt message is one that I loved. I definitely recommend picking this one up. I wish I hadn't waited so long to purchase this book. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

CITYBLOCK by Christopher Franceschelli/ Book Review

By: Christopher Franceschelli

Illustrated By: Peskimo
Published by: Abrams Appleseed
Released on: Sept 6, 2016
Ages: 2 & up
Rating: 5 Owlets-Fantastic!
Purchase from: Abrams | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Cityblock explores city life in an exciting and unique way, from up in a high-rise building to down in the subway. Divided into three sections—things that go, things to see, and things to eat—it features 24 different aspects of city living. As with the other acclaimed books in the series, die-cut icons hint at the larger context on the next spread. Each section opens with a full city scene but gradually focuses in on the small, unique neighborhoods that make the city large and grand. This clever book will attract young readers living in a metropolis as well as those in the countryside with urban life that pops off each page.

This book took us on an wonderful adventure through the city and once we came to the end, we had to read it again. There are so many different things to talk about and see on each page (including a curious cat). This book is so engaging and we loved learning about the sites, food and ways to get around the city.  

The simple sentences and sturdy board pages, make this book great for even young children. The presentation and art in the book are perfect for interacting and busy hands. With different pages to fold out or fun shaped pages to peek behind, this book is made with children in mind. It was instantly a favorite for us!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

I LOVE MUSIC: MY FIRST SOUND BOOK by Marion Billet/Book Review

I Love Music: My First Sound Book
By: Marion Billet 
Published by: Scholastic Inc
Released on: November 2016
Ages: 2 & up
Rating: 5 Owlets-We Loved It
Purchase from: Scholastic | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets-We Loved It
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

What magical sounds do a guitar, violin, piano, and other instruments make? Find out in this exciting interactive introduction to music that's just right for curious little ones!

Readers of every age will be enchanted by this charming board book, which is distinguished by the exceptional quality of the musical sounds that bring every picture to life. I Love Music has a button on every spread, which triggers one of six captivating sounds that introduces a familiar instrument to the reader. An incredibly simple but utterly fascinating interactive book with sounds bound to enchant young readers and ignite an early love of music!
A delightful and compelling first book in the My First Sound Book series that everyone in the family will enjoy reading again and again.

This board book is simple and cute and lots of musical fun! We loved the cute pictures of animals playing instruments and the musical sound button. Each page has a musical sensor button that plays part of a piece from composers like Brahm and Mozart. The quality of the music and the actual instrumental pieces make this book an instant favorite for kids and for parents. We loved reading it over and over and listening to the music!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Cover & Snippet from The Silver Mask by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black #magisterium

Happy Marvelous Middle Grade Monday! Over the weekend Cassandra Clare shared the cover, and a snippet for her 4th installment in the Magisterium series, she co-writes with Holly Black. The Silver Mask is set to be released on August 29th, 2017 from Simon & Schuster. Check out the snippet Cassie shared here, below:

The cover of Magisterium 4: The Silver Mask! Call and Tamara looking very grown up, and who are you, mysterious hooded figure? Snippet from Silver Mask: 

“Master Joseph only laughed, though. “I have a proposal for you, how about that? Callum, once you complete the task I set for you, you can leave the island with your friends if that’s what you still want.”

“A task?” Call asked. “Is this some kind of trick thing where I have to tame an impossible elemental or separate dirt from sand on an entire beach?”
Master Joseph smiled. “Nothing like that.” He flung open the doors at the far end of the room. After a moment, Call and the others joined him at the entryway.

Inside was a large, white-painted room. There was nothing in it but a metal table. On top of the table lay a body that was perfectly preserved, covered to the neck by a thin white sheet.

“The task,” he said. “Is to raise Aaron Stewart from the dead.””

THE SILVER MASK #magisterium

We can't wait to read this book when it's out. Add it to your Goodreads TBR list. You can also pre-order it now from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble. Find out more about it from Scholastic

Saturday, March 4, 2017


Don't miss the fun at TODAY at the NTTBFest in Dallas. It's going to be a blast! I'm so thrilled to be attending again as a moderator!

I'll be moderating the FLIGHT OF FANTASY panel at 11 am. I'm so stoked about the MG/YA authors on this panel: Heidi Heilig, Claire Legrand, Victoria Aveyard, Ryan Graudin, Amy, Tintera and Colleen Oakes 

I hope to see you there! Check out the full author line up & schedule here http://www.northtexasteenbookfestival.com/

Thursday, March 2, 2017

READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY #DrSeussDay #ReadAcrossAmerica

Today is READ ACROSS AMERICA DAY, which is also Dr. Seuss Day. Dr. Seuss would have been 113 today. His amazing legacy lives on within the pages of his books that have been read for generations. 

Celebrate his birthday and read across America day, by picking up a book. Read for your own enjoyment, or read to a child. Celebrate the power of reading. Learn more about Read Across America Day, here, and Dr. Seuss Day, here

THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK BONE by Lauren Baratz-Logsted / Blog Tour: Excerpt & Giveaway

Hello and welcome to today's stop for THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK BONE. I'm thrilled to share an excerpt, host a giveaway, and tell you about this brand new series by Lauren Baratz-Logsted. First, read an excerpt from this newly series, below: 

   Opening one eye, I saw a dog before me. But not just any dog. This dog was sitting back on hind legs and, if I had to guess, I’d say it was a Great Dane wearing a deerstalker hat. Odd choice, I thought about the hat, closing my eye again. I wasn’t the slightest bit scared. In my experience, if I don’t bother other creatures, they don’t bother me. I figured if I just ignored it, it would go away.
    But no.
    “Dr. Catson, I presume?” the dog said.
    This time, I opened both eyes.
    “Who wants to know?” I asked warily.
    “I am Sherlock Bones,” the dog informed me.
    That name sounded disturbingly familiar.
    “I believe,” the dog went on, “Our Mutual Friend said I would be stopping by?”
    It took me a while to piece together what he was telling me. Yes, it had only been one day since Paul had come to call. But you must realize, I’d napped at least a dozen separate times since then. So for me, it felt like ages ago.
    And then it hit me. Who this was. What this was about.
    “He never said you were a dog!” I cried, outraged.
    “And he never said you were a cat,” the dog said. “But since he is one himself, I deduced that you were likely one as well.”
    “I told him,” I said, “that I don’t want a housemate.”
    “Yes, I believe he may have mentioned that small fact. But never mind that now, though, because...” And here, his eyes grew wide in excitement as he raised a paw in the air as though pointing at the sky. “The game’s afoot!”
    “Which one?” I yawned.
    “Well, you have four feet, don’t you? So I want to know: Which foot are we talking about?”
    “That’s not what I meant!”
    “Then why on earth did you say it?”
    I might have been wrong, but it did seem to me that the dog was starting to look annoyed.
    “What I meant was,” the dog said, a gleam of excitement filling his eyes again, “a crime has been committed!”


By: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Published by: Month9Books
Released on:February 21, 2017
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N | TBD | Kobo | Google Play Books | Indiebound
Add it to: Goodreads

The Adventures of Sherlock Bones turns snooping on its floppy ear when one day, Dr. Jane Catson, a surgeon injured in the Cat Wars has an afternoon nap interrupted by a most unusual occurrence. 

On the front lawn of her home, rather loud footsteps disturb her peace as Sherlock Bones, a Great Dane in a deerstalker claiming to be the greatest detective in the world arrives. 

After a quick critical examination of the intrusive dog whose enormous body blocks the entire sun from view, Catson has her doubts. But that’s not all. The monstrously-sized creature makes an even more astonishing claim. He has come to live with her!

Before Catson can collect her thoughts into an intelligent rebuttal, Sherlock Bones has made himself quite at home, inventing things like a jetpack for her Castilian housekeeper-cook, a turtle named Mr. Javier and placing his gigantic food and water dishes next to hers. 

But there’s no time for protest. The great detective and Dr. Catson have caught themselves their first case: A suspiciously dead human in a nearby abandoned building. Can Sherlock Bones and Dr. Catson crack the case before the killer strikes again? Or will their differences get in the way of solving Case File No. 1? One thing’s for sure, that would be a doggone shame.


By: Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Published by: Month9Books
Released on: February 21, 2017
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N | TBD | Kobo | Google Play Books | Indiebound
Add it to: Goodreads

After being introduced to Sherlock Bones, the Greatest Detective in the World, in Case File #1: Dogged to Death, Dr. Jane Catson - surgeon and veteran of the Cat Wars - is back to share an all-new mystery adventure with readers. Despite all of Jane's resistance, Bones is now living with her and her housekeeper/chef, the turtle with a jetpack, Mr. Javier. This time out, the mismatched duo's investigations lead them to a case involving murder, of course, and - wait for it! - Utah. If there's one thing readers can be certain of it's that in this world, the animals are always smarter than the humans. Also, did we mention...Utah?


Lauren Baratz-Logsted is the author of over 25 books for adults, teens and kids, including The Sisters 8 series for young readers which she created with her husband and daughter. She lives in Danbury, CT, with that husband and daughter as well as their marvelous cat, Yoyo.

Find Lauren: Website | Twitter | Goodreads


(1) winner will receive a pair of Great Dane Socks (pictured below) and a Bag of Wellness Brand Dor or Cat treats, US Only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

2/20/2017- Susan Heim on ParentingGuest Post
2/21/2017- Boom Review BeccaReview
2/22/2017- Page Turners BlogExcerpt
2/23/2017- Month9BooksInterview
2/24/2017- Lisa's Loves (Books of Course)- Guest Post
2/27/2017- So Few BooksInterview
2/28/2017- Don't Judge, ReadInterview
3/1/2017- S.E. MuirExcerpt
3/2/2017-Mundie Kids- Excerpt
3/3/2017- I am not a bookworm!Review

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~