Monday, January 15, 2018

I Am MARTIN LUTHER KING, Jr.; Ordinary People Change the World Series by Brad Meltzer / Book Review

Great for fan of of the Ordinary People Change The World Series, and for young readers who want to know more about Martin Luther King Jr. This is such a great book to pick up and read. It's a great introduction for young readers to a person's legacy who continues to live on. This book is definitely worth picking up and reading. I've previously shared this review for this book here, but thought I'd share it again, since today is MLK Day. 


By: Brad Meltzer
Illustrated by: Christopher Eliopoulos
Published by: Dial Books for Young Readers #8
Released on: January 5th, 2016
SeriesOrdinary People Change the World 
Purchase fromHere | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It!
*Find out more about the book here

We can all be heroes. That’s the inspiring message of this New York Times Bestselling picture book biography series from historian and author Brad Meltzer.

Even as a child, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shocked by the terrible and unfair way African-American people were treated. When he grew up, he decided to do something about it—peacefully, with powerful words. He helped gather people together for nonviolent protests and marches, and he always spoke up about loving other human beings and doing what’s right. He spoke about the dream of a kinder future, and bravely led the way toward racial equality in America.

This lively, New York Times Bestselling biography series inspires kids to dream big, one great role model at a time. You’ll want to collect each book.

Heroes come in all different shapes and sizes. They live in various places, and have over come a variety of different challenges. If we look closely, we can see they live all around us. Modern day heroes do exist. Sometimes the best heroes are the ones that make up our own modern day history. 

"The time is always right to do right." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is a hero I've always admired. His lessons on love, standing up for something you believe in, doing good, forgiving, and being immovable in your faith and convictions, is something that has always inspired me. He is proof that when we stand together, we can accomplish great things. 

This book is a child sized history of Martin Luther King, Jr. It gives readers a look into the life of a young Martin Luther King, Jr, all the way through his adult years. Readers get to read about the experiences he had as a child growing up in a time of segregation, and how those experiences inspired him to want to make a change. Readers also learn about the events that shaped him into the man he became, and  the things he did to inspire change. He made a difference. He inspired change. His actions turned him into a modern day hero.

What I loved about how this book, is how it reads. Young Martin Luther King, Jr himself, is giving readers a brief history of his own life. The book reads as though he's telling the reader about his own life, and what inspired him. Written for children, and simply told, this is a book that's engaging, and very easy for readers to understand. It's one that will capture, and hold shortened attention spans, while teaching them a valuable history lesson.

Everyone can learn something from this amazing hero. I have done a lot of reading up on Martin Luther King, Jr. through the years, and I'm always inspired by this incredible leader, and modern day hero. I learned something from this book, and walked away feeling inspired to do better. To get up and keep going on, and to love those around me more. Something Martin Luther King, Jr, lived his entire life doing. 

I'm so happy to see that Martin Luther King, Jr.'s story has been added to this amazing book series. Ordinary People Change the World is a fantastic series for young readers. It provides them with a look into the lives and examples of extraordinary people who have helped shaped our history, and who still stand out as heroes today. 

This book is a must have for all classroom libraries, home libraries, and any school or public library! Check out my reviews for the other books in this series, here.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

WE ARE PARTY PEOPLE by Leslie Margolis / Blog Tour: Guest Post & Giveaway #WeArePartyPeople

Welcome to the first stop in the WE ARE PARTY PEOPLE blog tour, hosted by Macmillan. Released this past October, We Are Party People by Leslie Margolis is a fun, quirky, clean cut read for readers 10-14 years old. There's humor, first crushes, over coming fear, and finding ones self in the mix of middle school and all the 'fun' and issues that come with middle school life, mixed with bravery and being proud of who you are. 


I am thrilled to kick off this week's blog tour, with a guest post from Leslie! Her post is one you'll definitely want to read if you love party planning. I got a few great pointers from her post. Check it out below. After you read her guest post, be sure to keep reading, as I've included information about her book, the tour schedule and there is a GIVEAWAY at the end of this post! 


WE ARE PARTY PEOPLE has been in the making for years and I am so thrilled that it is finally published.  I have been thinking about these characters and the premise for this novel for a long, long time. There is so much history.  There are so many threads woven through.

My own children are seven and nine, so parties occupy a big part of my life.  I spend a lot of time planning, attending, driving to and from, and standing around at parties.  It is exhausting. It is also fun and intriguing and thought-provoking and stressful.  There is so much conflict.  There are so many issues.   And there are always so many BIG FEELINGS surrounding kids parties.

Here are some examples, some dialogue overheard and some thoughts ripped from the headlines of my brain.  (Yes, sometimes my brain generates old-timey newspaper headlines.) 

Wait, they invited the whole class except for one kid?  That’s atrocious.  Was this an accident?  Do I say something?  Do I let it go?  How would I feel if it was my kid? Wait, now it is my kid? Ugh!

There is no gluten-free cake option?  Horrifying!  There is only gluten-free cake option?  Disgusting! 

Wait, there’s a bounce house?  And two kids collided?  And now they are both crying?  This is awful.  This also leads to the existential question… has ever a bounce house been inflated that didn’t result in tears? 

I also have my own party drama, harkening back to the sixth grade and stamped into the very fabric of my being.  Here it is:

When I was twelve, my mom’s friend, Darlene, opened up a party space at the mall.  She needed someone to entertain toddlers at their birthday parties.  I was perfect for the job because her costumes fit me.  Except I was not perfect for the job.  The costumes didnt fit my personality.  I was shy, with awkwardness flowing through my veins.  After the first Big Bird-themed party, as I took off the homemade felt and feathered suit, Darlene gave me a pep talk.  She asked me to bring more energy and fun to the role. I knew what she wanted, and I also doubted that I could deliver.  But I tried.  Next time I was Minnie Mouse, in a red and white polka dot dress and painted-on whiskers.  I practiced my high-pitched squeaky voice and did my very best, but I failed again.  I was too self-conscious.  Finally, I was a bunny.  This was my favorite character because bunnies don’t talk.  Also, the outfit was super soft and fluffy.  It was like a “slanket”, years before “slankets” were even invented.  Still, I failed to muster the proper enthusiasm.  I limped my way through a few more parties before Darlene told me it wasnt going to work out.  I turned in all three costumes, relieved. 

Three years ago, I took my kids to a Luau and found a mermaid in the swimming pool.  She was magical and magnetic, a natural performer.  The opposite of me.  I wondered about her inner life.  How she got this way.  A character named Pixie Jones took shape in my mind.  She is shy and awkward and she would never be a mermaid by choice.  But her parents run a party planning business and they needed her help.  So what is she going to do? 

And that is where WE ARE PARTY PEOPLE begins.


By: Leslie Margolis
Published by: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
Released on: October 3, 2017
Ages: 10-14
Purchase from: The Publisher | Amazon
Add it to Goodreads

Pixie Jones is a shy wallflower whose parents are the best (and most out-there) party planners around. When Pixie's mom has to leave town to care for an ailing family member, and Pixie's new friend wants help coordinating a campaign for student body president, Pixie finds herself uncomfortably, terrifyingly close to the spotlight. Pixie is going to have to test her limits to help the people she loves-- and discovers along the way that stepping outside of her comfort zone might not be so scary after all.


Thank you to Macmillan, I have 1 copy of the book to giveaway to one lucky reader! To enter to win, fill out the form below. US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


1/2Mundie Kids - Guest Post & Book Giveaway
1/3: Undeniably Book Nerdy - Party Theme
1/4: Ex Libris Kate - Book Giveaway
1/5: YA Book Nerd - Playlist
1/6: Book Briefs Interview with Leslie Margolis

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! We're wishing you a wonderful 2018! Here's to discovering new books, falling in love with new stories, writing stories we want to read more of, and continuing to promote literacy. We hope 2018 finds you surrounded by books, friendship, hope and determination to chase after your dreams.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

MIGUEL and THE GRAND HARMONY by Matt de la Pena / COCO: A STORY ABOUT MUSIC, SHOES and FAMILY by: Diana López / Book Reviews #MiguelandtheGrandHarmony

By: Matt de la Pena
Illustrated by: Ana Ramirez
Published by: Disney 
Released on: October 10th, 2017
Ages: 6 & up
Purchase from: Disney | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets 
A copy of the books was received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

This jacketed picture book pairs Newbery Winner Matt de la Peña and Pixar artist Ana Ramírez with the highly anticipated Pixar Studios film, Coco. Featuring a beautiful original story based on the characters of the film, as well as vibrant stylized artwork, this title is sure to appeal to readers of all ages.
Disney*Pixar’s Coco is the celebration of a lifetime, where the discovery of a generations-old mystery leads to a most extraordinary and surprising family reunion. Directed by Lee Unkrich ( Toy Story 3) and produced by Darla K. Anderson ( Toy Story 3), Disney*Pixar’s Coco opens in U.S. theaters November 22, 2017.
Based on the Disney Pixar movie, Coco, Miguel and the Grand Harmony is vibrant story about Miguel and his learning to cover come his obstacles and embrace the passion of music that lies within him. Not only is this story one that follows that of Miguel's journey of finding his passion of music in the movie, it's also a story that will resonate with readers of all ages, as they learn to find their passion in life. 

The visually stunning, festive colored illustrations make this book even more appealing. We loved this book's beautiful Spanish cultural and Miguel's rich heritage. This book, with it's story and illustrations, is absolutely beautiful. I also liked that this book includes some words in Spanish. Along with this English edition of the book, there is also a Spanish edition. 

This book is one for readers of all ages! Whether or not you've seen the movie, it's a great read. The message is one readers of ages. I think I may have a new favorite Matt de la Pena book.


By: Matt de la Pena
Illustrated by: Ana Ramirez
Published by: Disney 
Released on: October 10th, 2017
Ages: 6 & up
Purchase fromDisney 
A copy of the books was received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

A Spanish-language edition of MIGUEL AND THE GRAND HARMONY. This jacketed picture book pairs Newbery Winner Matt de la Peña and Pixar artist Ana Ramírez with the highly anticipated Pixar Studios film, Coco. Featuring a beautiful original story based on the characters of the film, as well as vibrant stylized artwork, this title is sure to appeal to readers of all ages.
Disney*Pixar’s Coco is the celebration of a lifetime, where the discovery of a generations-old mystery leads to a most extraordinary and surprising family reunion. Directed by Lee Unkrich ( Toy Story 3) and produced by Darla K. Anderson ( Toy Story 3), Disney*Pixar’s Coco opens in U.S. theaters November 22, 2017.


By: Diana Lopez
Published by: Disney 
Released on: October 10th, 2017
Ages: 9 & up
Purchase fromDisney | more places to purchase from 
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets 
A copy of the books was received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Inspired by Pixar Animation Studios’ latest film, Coco, this middle grade novel will retell the story of the film, as well as feature original content expanding upon its rich, vibrant world and characters. Disney*Pixar’s Coco is the celebration of a lifetime, where the discovery of a generations-old mystery leads to a most extraordinary and surprising family reunion. Directed by Lee Unkrich ( Toy Story 3) and produced by Darla K. Anderson ( Toy Story 3), Disney*Pixar’s Coco opens in U.S. theaters November 22, 2017.

A great novelization of the movie, Coco. This book is a richly detailed retelling of the movie (though the book was out before the movie was). I absolutely loved the movie, and what I liked about this book is that it's a great story that gives readers more insights about Miguel and his family, as well as more details into the celebration of The Day of the Dead. Which I loved getting to know more about both from this book and the movie. Like the movie, this book centers on family; what it means to be a family, the love and strength and support that comes from being a family, and more. It's a great read whether or not you've seen the movie, though I highly recommend seeing the movie! 

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

A POEM FOR PETTER: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats & The Creation of The Snow Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney / Book Review #APoemForPeter

By: Andrea Davis Pinkney
Illustrated by: Steve Johnson & Lou Fancher
Published by: Random House Kids
Released on: November 1st, 2016
Ages: 7 & up
Purchase from: The Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

A celebration of the extraordinary life of Ezra Jack Keats, creator of The Snowy Day.

The story of The Snowy Day begins more than one hundred years ago, when Ezra Jack Keats was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. The family were struggling Polish immigrants, and despite Keats’s obvious talent, his father worried that Ezra’s dream of being an artist was an unrealistic one. But Ezra was determined. By high school he was winning prizes and scholarships. Later, jobs followed with the WPA and Marvel comics. But it was many years before Keats’s greatest dream was realized and he had the opportunity to write and illustrate his own book.
For more than two decades, Ezra had kept pinned to his wall a series of photographs of an adorable African American child. In Keats’s hands, the boy morphed into Peter, a boy in a red snowsuit, out enjoying the pristine snow; the book became The Snowy Day, winner of the Caldecott Medal, the first mainstream book to feature an African American child. It was also the first of many books featuring Peter and the children of his — and Keats’s — neighborhood.
Andrea Davis Pinkney’s lyrical narrative tells the inspiring story of a boy who pursued a dream, and who, in turn, inspired generations of other dreamers.

A wonderful celebration of the heritage of Mr. Keats and the historical making of his beloved classic, The Snow Day. A Poem for Petter is written in a creative and engaging way, and it's illustrations pay homage to the award winning story. The Snow Day's beloved character, Peter, is also featured in this book. This book is a wonderful read for fans of The Snow Day, and a great introduction to those who have not yet been introduced to it. 

Aside from The Snow Day story itself, this book is an inspiration. Mr. Keat's story is one that all should read. His picture book was one that was needed at the time it was published, and this is a book that is needed now. It's informational, historical, and inspirational. This is not only a great picture book for young readers, this is a book worthy of all ages to read. I walked away from reading Mr. Keat's story feeling grateful for having read his story, and feeling inspired by it. This is a great book to have in writing classes for middle schools on up. 

Monday, December 25, 2017


We're wishing all who celebrate, a very Merry Christmas! We hope you have a wonderful day surrounded by those you love. Happy Holidays & thank you for your continued support of Mundie Kids. xo

Friday, December 22, 2017

THE 12 DARES OF CHRISTA by Marissa Burt / Book Review #The12DaresofChrista

By: Marissa Burt
Published by: Katherine Tegen Books
Released on: September 26th, 2017
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 3.5 stars
Source: book from publisher exchange for my honest review 

Christa is a holiday junkie. What’s not to love? There’s decorations! Gifts! Caroling with friends! But thanks to her parents’ recent separation, Christa’s favorite time of year is now filled with heartache. And when her mom announces that she’s taking her on a mother-daughter trip to Europe over winter vacation, Christa knows she should be excited. She just can’t imagine spending the yuletide season without her dad.

However, waiting at her hotel in Italy is a special package from her father: the first of twelve dares that take Christa to landmarks in three beautiful countries and introduce her to people who will show her that hope is alive in the strangest of places.

Funny, genuine, and feel-good to the core, The 12 Dares of Christa is one fa-la-la-filled adventure that fans of Wendy Mass and Lisa Greenwald will love.

A cute, heartfelt Christmas read. What's not to love about Christmas in Europe? For Christa, this Christmas isn't going quite as planned. To help her adjust to a new normal, her father continues with their tradition for dares. These 12 dares take place in London, Paris, and Florence. In the process, she finds friendship, romance, and learns more about herself. With the right amount of humor, misunderstanding, and a touch of romance, this is a Hallmark Christmas movie come to life within the pages of this charming book. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

BOLIVAR by Sean Rubin / Book Review #Bolivar

Written & Illustrated by: Sean Rubin
Published by: Boom! Studios
Released on: November 21st, 2017 (in comic book stores on 11/15/17)
Ages: 8 & up
Purchase from: Simon & Schuster | Boom! StudiosAmazonB&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review 

What would you do if your neighbor was a dinosaur?

Going extinct isn't for everyone.

Sybil knows that there is something off about her next door neighbor, but she can't seem to get anyone to believe her. Everyone is so busy going about their days in the busy streets of New York City that they don't notice Bolivar. They don't notice his odd height, his tiny arms, or his long tail. No one but Sybil sees that Bolivar is a dinosaur.

When an unlikely parking ticket pulls Bolivar into an adventure from City Hall to New York’s Natural History Museum, he must finally make a choice: continue to live unnoticed, or let the city see who he really is.

A entertaining and engaging picture book / comic book readers of all ages. Bolivar is an exciting story about the last dinosaur who just happens to live in NYC. This story is a fun adventure that takes readers through the hustle and bustle of New York City, while getting to know more about Bolivar, and discovering the wonder that's all around us. 

Bolivar is the kind of neighbor I wish I had. Seriously, who knew dinosaurs still existed. This story is about the very last dinosaur alive, and he lives in New York City. Bolivar easily fits into New York City. The city is so busy, no one even notices he's there. He's able to go about doing things without anyone so much as glances up at him, because everyone is too busy. Everyone that is, except his next door neighbor, Sybil. This young girl sees him, but no matter how hard she tries to get her mom to see him, she's always too busy to stop by she's doing to look. 

The comic relief in this story is the fact that Sybil does see Bolivar, but no one believes her, and every time she has the proof he's right there, something happens, and no adult has the time to listen to her. It's also sad in a way, but this fits right into the book's message, which is; realizing that there is magic and wonder all around us. All we have to do is take the time to slow down and look around us to discover it. I love this theme. After a mishap at the Museum, an unlikely friendship forms between Sybil and Bolivar.  

What a fantastic story. This book makes me wish I could spend the day in NYC visiting the museums, and eating some tasty NYC style food with Bolivar and Sybil.  The illustrations are perfect for kids, as well as the wording. Despite it's size, it's an easy to read, fast paced book. It has the perfect cross over appeal for both picture book readers and comic book fans. We loved it. It's a fun read and one I'd recommend checking out. It will definitely make the perfect holiday gift for any dinosaur fan or comic book collector. 

Monday, December 18, 2017

JOURNALS & PLANNERS FOR TWEENS: Weird But True Daily Planner: 365 Days to Fill with School, Sports, Friends, and Fun! / All About Me / Best, Year Ever!

If you're still looking for a few last minute gifts, check out these fun planners and journals that were released this year for kids and tweens. There's something for everyone with these three reviews. 

By: National Geographic Kids
Published by: National Geographic 
Released on: June 13th, 2017
Purchase from: National Geographic | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Source: National Geographic, in exchange for my honest review
Rating: 5 owlets 

Prepare to be amazed each day with weird-but-true facts that will impress your friends and stump your parents. Turn the page and record your school work, keep track of activities, and plan your social life, all while learning wild and wacky things about the world around you!

Fun prompts invite you to celebrate weirdness. Plus there are homework help sections and tons of space to write or doodle your daily schedule any way you wish. With beautiful full-color artwork and engaging information and activities, this is the must-have planner. It's a great way to stand out from the crowd!

This is really fun planner for tweens, and older. It will be easy to stay organized with fun, entertain planner. It makes a great bullet journal as well! This planner makes writing down daily activities fun, as each day's page features something fun.  It's chalk full of interesting tidbits and educational fun facts. The end of the planner features a world map, and pages full of interesting facts. National Geographic has done a great job with this school-scheduled planner. Meaning the planner beginnings in August, and ends in July. Being a bond by a spiral, means this book is easy to carry around, and opens flat, making it easier to write in. It's gender neutral, making it great for boys and girls. It's definitely one of the cooler planners I've seen! I'm an adult, and was tempted to keep it and use it myself.

By: Ellen Bailey
Published by: Andrews McMeel Publishing 
Released on: December 19th, 2017
Ages: 8 -11
Purchase from: The PublisherAmazon 
Add it to Goodreads
Source: book from publisher in exchange for my honest review
Rating: 4 stars

A beautiful, interactive journal for girls to jot down their thoughts, dreams, and opinions to create a fabulous record of exactly who they are, right here, right now.

Packed with fun quizzes and fill-in sections, that will help girls document their likes and dislikes, this journal records their physical characteristics, detailed information about their friends, families, and hobbies, and encourages them to confess their hopes and dreams.

A really fun, interactive journal for girls. This cute journal is full of writing prompts and plenty of pages to write down details about their life now, and their future dreams and aspirations, as well as their thoughts. Included are pages for them to write down information about family and friends, their dreams, what they love to do, what they want to do when they get older and so much more. This is a lovely book that allows girls the freedom to be themselves, and express who they are within the pages of this book. The writing prompts, illustrations and interactive activities found through out the book making writing fun and entertaining. 

By: Klutz 
Published by: Klutz
Released on: July 25th, 2017
Ages: 7 & up
Purchase from: Amazon 
Add it to Goodreads
Source: book from publisher to review in exchange for my honest review
Rating: 3 Owlets 

Use this completely customizable calendar and gratitude journal to make this your best year ever! Blank month pages let you start your calendar anytime you want. Use the ribbon bookmark and sticky notes to keep track of important events. Plus, over 250 stickers are included to place throughout your planner. Every month features activities and ideas to help you remember to be thankful, practice kindness, and find what makes you happy all year long.

Comes With:
270 stickers
132 sticky notes
16 paper bookmark designs

A fun journal that is definitely a big hit at school book fairs. This journal is great for younger girls. With it's monthly calendar, interactive pages, pages to write down all your favorites, as well as illustrate, stickers, sticky notes, a pen, and bookmark, this book makes bullet journaling, and staying organized fun. The bright festive colors, and funny illustrations make for a cheerful journal as well. The down fall for this journal is the lack of pages to write down weekly things, however there is plenty of space to write down monthly goals, ideas, favorite things and more. Great for ages 7 & up. 

Sunday, December 17, 2017

THE LITTLE REINDEER by Nicola Killen / Book Review #TheLittleReindeer

Written & Illustrated by: Nicola Killen
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Released on: September 19th, 2017
Ages: all ages
Purchase from: Simon & Schuster | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 5 Little Reindeer 
Source: Purchased book 

An enchanting Christmas story about a magical yet unlikely friendship between a little girl and a lost reindeer sure to be a Christmas classic lovingly told and illustrated with red foil highlights and interactive die cuts.

When a jingling sound wakes her from her sleep, a little girl’s dreams come true when she meets a lost reindeer in the forest. They set off on a magical adventure and it becomes a Christmas never to forget. Nicola Killen’s evocative illustrations are sure to enchant in this beautiful book with die cut pages, foil, and flashes of festive red.

An enchanting Christmas story worth picking up this holiday season! 

This is one of my favorite picture books of both the holiday season and the year. I purchased the book based on the illustrations I saw from all the buzz surrounded it's release, and it was totally worth the purchase. The illustrations are absolutely beautifully. I love illustrations that tell a story all their own, which this book does. Nicola Killen's richly detailed illustrations create awe and wonder as you turn the pages and eagerly look for what she's created on the next page. I love the simplicity of her illustrations, her little details found on each page, and the little pops of color that stand out against the perfect wintery back drops of whites, black and gray soft color tones. 

The illustrations aren't the only thing that make this book a holiday treasure. The story itself is a charming, heartwarming story about a little girl who hears the jingling of bells. In her bravery of venturing into the woods to find out what's making the sound, she discovers a reindeer's collar left behind in the tree branches. What happens next is a friendship who's story you wish didn't have to end just yet. This book is a magical, night time winter wonderland adventure. Perfect for bedtime reading, I imagine this is a book that will be treasured for years to come. 

Saturday, December 16, 2017

THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS by Greg PIzzoli / Book Review #The12DaysofChristmas

Written & Illustrated by: Greg Pizzoli
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: September 12th, 2017
Ages: 2 & up
Purchase from: Disney | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 owlets
A copy of this book was provided by Disney Hyperion in exchange for my honest review

Elephant is delighted to get a gift, but as the twelve days of Christmas continue, presents pile higher and higher! A partridge in a pear tree? Cute! But soon, her dad despairs. Two turtle doves? THREE French hens?! And just what are they supposed to do with ten lords a-leaping? Kids will love each silly spread in this raucous take on the classic carol that is perfect for reading aloud around the fireplace.

An entertaining holiday read! Pizzoli gives picture book life to a holiday classic. What's not to love about this book in picture book form. It's the perfect book for signing along to, or just reading it out loud. One of my favorite illustrations is the look on elephant's dad's face when she receives the gift of 5 golden rings. haha

Pizzoli's brightly colored illustrations, which reminded me a bit of Richard Scarry's illustrations (whom I loved as a kid), and sturdier pages will make this book perfect for young readers. I image this book will quickly become a family favorite during the Christmas season. I enjoyed this book and I love the matching festive color scheme on the cover and through out the book. It definitely adds a lot to the overall feel of the book. 

Friday, December 15, 2017

Harper Collins 2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Kids / Book Reviews @HarperCollins #KidLit

Harper Collins has some fantastic new releases this holiday season. This collection of holiday books has a little something for everyone. From beginning readers, to picture books, the classics and more. More details below. You can also read my review for a few of these titles here.


Written by: T.E. McMorrow
Illustrated by: James Ransome
Released on: 9/26/18
Ages: 4 & up
Rating: 5 Owlets
Where to buy details here

This jazz-inspired reinvention of The Nutcracker is a worthy tribute to the dreamlike wonder and magic of the Christmas season.
In this original retelling, set in New York City during the height of the Harlem Renaissance, one little girl finds her voice as a musician thanks to her enchanting adventures with a magical toy.
This quintessential holiday tale is brought to vivid life by debut picture book author T. E. McMorrow and Coretta Scott King Award-winning illustrator James Ransome. An author’s note at the end provides additional information about the history of the Harlem Renaissance, and about the author’s inspiration for this musical retelling.
A beautiful and diverse retelling of a masterpiece. This is a Nutcracker story with a lovely reminder about how the power of music and dance can inspire and transform people. Much like it did to this story's main character, Marie. This is one of my favorite holiday books I've read this year. I highly recommend picking this one up! McMorrow's retelling is simply lovely. 

By: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Illustrated by: Renne Graef
Released on: 9/19/17
Ages: 6 & up
Rating: 5 Owlets
Where to buy details here

This hardcover, full-color treasury includes six picture book stories adapted from the classic Little House books.
The Little House series introduced generations of readers to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life on the frontier. Now with this illustrated storybook collection, the youngest readers can share in her world as well.
Laura Ingalls lives in a snug little log cabin with her ma, her pa, her sisters, Mary and Carrie, and their dog, Jack. Almanzo Wilder lives on a farm with his family and lots of animals. These pioneer children have all sorts of adventures, including trips to town, county fairs, cozy winter days, and holidays with family. 
The six stories included in this treasury were originally published as stand-alone picture books: A Little Prairie HouseGoing to TownCounty FairSugar SnowWinter Days in the Big Woods, and Christmas in the Big Woods.
A must have for Little House on The Prairie fans of all ages! This collection of six short stories is a great introduction for young readers to the series, as the wording is perfect for elementary school aged readers. I loved hopping back into a series I absolutely loved as a young reader. Graef's beautiful illustrations are reminiscent of the original series's illustrations. I loved that this book has that same feel as reading the original series. This book is definitely a treasury worth owning! 

By: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Illustrated by: Ji-Hyuk Kim 
Released on: 9/19/17
Ages: 6 & up
Rating: 4 Owlets
Where to Purchase details here 

Join the original pioneer girl in this Little House chapter book, adapted for younger readers from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved classics.

Illustrated with beautiful new black-and-white artwork, this repackaged edition includes bonus material such as games, activities, and more!
For Laura Ingalls, Christmas means good things to eat, visits from friends, and special gifts to give and receive. As Laura grows up, every Christmas is better than the one before.
Great for younger readers, this easy to read chapter book features Christmas stories from Laura Ingalls Wilder's The Little House on the Prairie. Each Christmas is better than the last for Laura. As she grows up, celebrating Christmas takes on new meanings, and sometimes new places to live. No matter where they are, Christmas is most important being with her family. This is a wonderful new repacking of the book that features black and white illustrations through out the short book, along with some fun actives found at the back of the book, and a brief history of the author. 

Written & Illustrated by: Syd Hoff
Released on: 9/19/17
Ages: 4 & up
Rating: 4 owlets
Where to buy details here

A holiday classic by the author of Danny and the Dinosaur, available again—and now with full-color art!

Milton the moose wants to help pull Santa’s sleigh. “I have never used a moose before,” says Santa, “but I’m willing if you are.” At first, clumsy Milton is not very good at landing on roofs. But when Santa’s sleigh becomes too heavy for the tired reindeer, Milton comes to the rescue. This reissued edition is a funny holiday twist on Santa and his reindeer by Syd Hoff, celebrated author of Danny and the Dinosaur.
Santa’s Moose is a Level One I Can Read book, which means it’s perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences.
Milton The Moose loves Christmas. He loves it so much that the helps Santa and the reindeer deliver presents around the world on Christmas Eve. Just hen he starts to feel like he's not good enough to help, Milton gets a lot of encouragement from Santa and the reindeer. We loved how they all rallied around Milton. Cute, beginner reading book. The illustrations where just as I remembered Syd Hoff's from when I grew up reading his books as a kid. 

Written & Illustrated by: Syd Hoff
Released on: 9/19/17
Ages: 4 & up
Rating: 4 owlets
Where to buy details here 

Celebrate Christmas dino-style with Danny the Dinosaur!

Danny’s friend the dinosaur has never experienced Christmas before, so he and Danny decide to celebrate—dino-style! But what will happen when the museum director isn’t so happy with the new museum decorations? 
Find out in this Danny and the Dinosaur 8x8 adventure, complete with 8 holiday cards, a poster, and stickers. This brand-new story is based on Syd Hoff’s beloved classic.
A fun story that teaches young kids about the traditions of Christmas as Danny teaches his Dinosaur all about Christmas, and the traditions they have. Like decorating a Christmas, hanging stockings, and more. This is an easy to read, engaging book that even toddlers will enjoy. The bright, simply illustrations add to the story's over all appeal. I love that these illustrations are similar to the original Danny and the Dinosaur I remember reading as a kid. Included with this fun read are holiday cards, a poster and stickers. This is a great book for any beginning reader and fan of dinosaurs! 

Written & Illustrated by: Gergely Dudas
Released on: 9/19/17
Ages: 4 & up
Rating: 3 owlets
Where to buy details here

If you’re searching for Where’s Waldo? for the next generation, this holiday seek-and-find from internet sensation Gergely Dudás will have you—and your kids—busy for hours.

Bear loves the holidays, and this year he's throwing a party for all his animal friends. But there's so much to do to get ready—and he is only one very little bear! Can you help Bear find all the secret treasures he needs for his party?

Readers of all ages will find this lush, charming illustrated wonderland irresistible—and irresistibly challenging—and will return to it again and again. 

A fun, engaging holiday look and find book. Great for young readers, this brightly illustrated book interacts with kids as they help Bear find the item hidden on each page. He gives readers a clue to help them find the items he needs for his holiday party. With a repeated color scheme, and simple illustrations make it fun for kids to find the hidden objects. 

Illustrated by: Mary Engelbreit
Released on: 9/20/17
Ages: 4 & up
Rating: 4 owlets
Where to buy details

Deck the halls with Mary Engelbreit's classic Christmas images, ready for your coloring touch!
Color ME Christmas contains Mary Engelbreit’s signature renderings of classic Christmas images, like Santa’s workshop, snow-filled nights, and stockings hung by the fireplace. This workbook will inspire not only creativity but a yuletide spirit that will the last the whole year.
Like all of Mary Engelbreit’s coloring books, Color ME Christmas features a full-color cover with glossy finish, heavy stock that can hold the ink of a marker, and forty-eight single-sided perforated pages. Whether giving or receiving, this festive coloring book will be a holiday favorite.

With New York Times bestselling artist Mary Engelbreit’s Color ME Christmas Coloring Book, you can deck the halls with the holiday scenes that have made her artwork renowned the world over.
This Color Me Christmas from Mary Engelbreit is an interactive activity style book for kids. It features black and white illustrated post cards, gift tags and ornaments for kids to color. There's something for kids of all ages to color. With heavier card stock paper make it easy for kids to pull the pages out, color and cute out their ornaments and gift tags. The post cards are made for mailing if chosen too. Some illustrations feature Engelbreit's heartfelt messages. No matter what kids choose to color, this is a fun way to decorate for the holidays. 

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Thank you to Harper Collins for this fabulous holiday gift guide. Each book featured was received from Harper Collins, in exchange for my honest 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 ~