Friday, March 31, 2017

TINYVILLE TOWN by Brian Briggs / Book Review: Tinyville Town Book Series


By: Brian Briggs

Published by: Abrams Appleseed
Released on: September 6, 2016
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 Tinyville Town series, new from New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Brian Biggs, launches with three books: Tinyville Town Gets to Work!, a world-establishing picture book that introduces the town and its many residents, and two board books, I’m a Veterinarian and I’m a Firefighter. The series is set in a cozy community where the people are kind, everyone says hello when they’re walking down the street, the bus is always on time, and all the townsfolk do their part to keep things running smoothly. Everyone has a job to do in Tinyville Town. With a nod to the busy world of Richard Scarry and the neighborhood feel of Sesame Street, this new series will become a favorite read for preschoolers and is ideal for story time and class discussions about occupations and community helpers. Tinyville Town is a growing, thriving city full of interesting people. The townsfolk can’t wait to show readers around!


In Tinyville Town Gets to Work!, we see the evolution of a construction project to solve a problem. When there is a traffic jam on the Tinyville Town bridge, the residents decide to work together to build a new one. By following the hard work of the engineers and construction workers, readers will get to meet many different people in the town while watching the exciting new bridge take shape. The large picture book format and Biggs’s bright art brilliantly show the bridge, which was extensively researched to make it authentic for readers.

Every town has a bridge, and a trip over Tinyville’s new one will be fun for kids time and time again. 

Just from the covers of these books, we knew we would love this set! Tinyville Town is a great series about the different occupations of the residents in the town and how they contribute to Tinyville. Tinyville Town Gets to Work! is the first book to start with, as you are introduced to the town and some of the characters. One morning, something just isn't quite right in the town and they each have to do their job in order to fix the town's not-so-tiny issue. The pictures, the characters and the story are so fun. We couldn't wait to read the rest of the books!


Meeting the people of Tinyville Town is so fun in these colorful board books. We loved reading I'm a Firefighter, I'm a Veterinarian and I'm a Librarian. With just a few sentences on each page, we discovered interesting facts about each person and why they are important to the town. Children of any age will feel engaged by these books. We can't wait to meet the rest of the town! 


The job specific stories are a great learning tool for children, as well as understanding the contribution everyone makes in a community. There are so many wonderful things to love about these books, I would definitely recommend adding this series to your library.


Thursday, March 30, 2017

HEAR THE WOLVES by Victoria Scott / Author Interview


Victoria Scott's middle grade debut, HEAR THE WOLVES is out NOW! Today on Mundie Moms I had the chance to interview Victoria and wanted to share my interview with her here on Mundie Kids. At the end of the post I left my link to my blog tour post, where you can enter to win a copy of this book. It's so good!

ABOUT THE BOOK

By: Victoria Scott
Published by: Scholastic Press
Released on: March 28, 2017
Purchase from: AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooks
Add it to Goodreads

It’s survival of the strongest in a contemporary, girl-versus-wild middle-grade debut from Fire & Flood author Victoria Scott!

Sloan is a hunter.

So she shouldn’t be afraid of anything. But ever since her mom left the family and she lost hearing in one ear in a blizzard, it’s been hard to talk to people, and near-impossible to go anywhere or do anything without her dad or big sister within eyesight — it makes her too scared to be on her own.

When they leave her home alone for what should only be two nights, she’s already panicked. Then the snow starts falling and doesn’t stop. One of her neighbors is hurt in an accident. And the few people still left in Rusic need to make it to the river and the boat that’s tied there — their only way to get to a doctor from their isolated Alaska town.

But the woods are icy cold, and the wolves are hungry. Sloan and her group are running out of food, out of energy, and out of time. That’s when the wolves start hunting them . . .


AUTHOR INTERVIEW 




I absolutely love wolves. I am fascinated by the research you did on them and I'm also a little jealous you got to hang out with wolves. If there was one thing you could tell us that you learned about wolves, what would it be? 

I’d tell you that though wolves have their own unique howl, that when they do it as a pack, they’ll hit the same frequency so that nearby packs think they are larger in number than they are, and won’t intrude on their territory. I thought that was so cool! 


What came first with this story: the story, the setting or a character?
The wolves came first. A blizzard was about to hit the East Coast, and it was all over the news. I went to bed that night thinking about that blizzard, and what would happen if people couldn’t leave, and if wild animals still lived in close proximity like they do in Alaska. What would happen if the snow never let up? Or if people ran out of food and supplies? That night, I dreamed of wolves.

Character wise, which of your characters would you have entrusted if you found yourself in a similar situation as they were?
I’d choose the main character, Sloan, all the way! She’s extremely intuitive when it comes to surviving in the woods, and she’s an excellent shot.  

Your world building always rocks! I always find myself easily picturing the world your stories are set in. I really loved this setting. I grew up exploring the outdoors. If have to ask, are you an outdoorsy person?
Not at all. But I grew up partly on my family’s ranch in Blanco, Texas. My dad kind of forced me to be outdoorsy when I was younger, and he taught me how to build a fire, how to find your way back to our cabin, and how to fire a rifle. That stuff comes in super helpful now that I live in one of the largest cities in the US. Ha!  

I love that you have both YA and MG books. I hear MG is a little easier to write. Would you agree with that?
OMG, nooooooo! I would never, ever agree with that. Ha! This book was more difficult to edit than all my other books, combined. But I’m proud to have tackled both!

Do you have a favorite line you can share with us?
Sure! Here’s one from the opening page:
“We should have known then, when that piece of news was shared neighbor-to-neighbor over black coffee and fried eggs, that we weren’t long for this frostbitten world.” 


Will readers be able to catch you on tour or at any upcoming book festivals?
I’ll be signing copies of Hear the Wolves at TLA in San Antonio in April, and I can’t wait to be back in Texas. Hopefully I’ll see you there!



ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Victoria Scott is the author of eight novels including Titans, Fire & Flood, Salt & Stone, the Dante Walker trilogy, Hear the Wolves (March 2017), and Violet Grenade (May 2017). She is published by Scholastic and Entangled Teen, and is represented by Sara Crowe of Pippin Properties.
Victoria’s latest novel, Titans, received two starred reviews, and Fire & Flood has been selected as a 2017 Spirit of Texas Reading Program book. Victoria’s novels have been bought and translated in fourteen foreign markets. The author currently resides in Philadelphia, and loves hearing from her readers.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads



Don't miss my blog tour stop for HEAR THE WOLVES today on Mundie Moms! There's a giveaway you'll definitely want to check out. Head over to HERE to enter to win!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

SEABORNE: THE LOST PRINCE by Matt Myklusch / Book Review


By: Matt Myklusch
Published by: Egmont USA
Released on: April 14th, 2015
Series: Seaborne #1
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4.5 Owlets
A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for my honest review

Middle-grade adventure readers will love this fresh take on classic pirate tropes. Fans of Percy Jackson and The Chronicles of Egg will enjoy Dean Seaborne's adventures on the sea.

Dean Seaborne is thrown off his ship by the Pirate King and given one last chance to redeem himself before he meets Davy Jones's locker. He has to spy on the Pirate King's biggest rival, Gentleman Jim Harper, and find the treasure hidden on the mysterious island of Zenhala.

Once on Zenhala, Dean finds that the inhabitants of the island think he is the lost prince who went missing 13 year ago. In order to fulfill his mission for the Pirate King, Dean undergoes intense and fantastical trials to prove he is the lost prince. But the longer Dean stays on the island, the more he questions his mission.


An unforgettable adventure on the high seas. Packed with humor, some danger, action, and a 13 year old hero you won't soon forget. This is the perfect beginning for a series you'll definitely want to read.

Dean Seaborne isn't your typical 13 year old boy. Cast into the pirate life, Dean wants out. Gaining his freedom won't be an easy task. He's forced to become a spy for the dreaded Pirate King, Davy Jones. Which is no easy task. Luckily Dean is a lot wittier than the Pirate King gives him credit for. Oh, and he just may be the Lost Prince.....

With a cast of unforgettable characters, many you can't help but root for, pirates, pirate treasure, sunken ships, some action scenes, the right amount of humor, and a little bit of danger, makes for a book you'll definitely want to pick up and read. Did I mention there are sea monsters?! 

The Lost Prince is a fast paced, exciting read that hooks you from the moment you start reading it. It's a book I think even the more reluctant readers will enjoy. There's plenty of appeal for both boys and girls. I love the way this book was written. The world building is awesome. It's so easy to visualize the high seas, the places Dean goes, and the various ships he's on. 

This was one exciting adventure on the high seas, and I'm looking forward to reading Dean's next adventure. This is one book I'd recommend picking up! Look for the sequel to be out on 4/1/17!

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!

ABOUT THE BOOK




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


MY REVIEW

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.


WATCH THE TRAILER


ABOUT THE AUTHOR




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.


FOLLOW THE TOUR


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


ENTER TO WIN

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

THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR DAY! #VHCday


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.

ABOUT THE BOOK




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.

ENTER TO WIN

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!
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 ~