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.


ABOUT THE SPANISH EDITION



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.

ABOUT COCO: A STORY ABOUT MUSIC, SHOES and FAMILY

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

MERRY CHRISTMAS!


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
Pen
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.


2017 HARPER COLLINS HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR KIDS



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. 


** ** ** ** ** 

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. 

JINGLE BELLS Illustrated by Susan Jeffers / Book Review #JingleBells


Illustrated by: Susan Jeffers
Published by: Harper Collins
Released on: September 26th, 2017
Ages: 2 & up
Purchase from: Harper CollinsAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 3 Owlets
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Susan Jeffers, the Caldecott Honor and New York Times bestselling artist of The Nutcracker and The Twelve Days of Christmas, takes readers on an enchanted journey set to lyrics from the beloved holiday song.
Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh
O’er the fields we go, laughing all the way…
Ride along with a girl, a boy, their pony, and a mischievous dog as they travel to Grandma’s house. With playful animals in their path, their journey gets a bit sidetracked. But soon enough they arrive at Grandma’s—where an unexpected visitor fills them with holiday cheer!
A classic Christmas song in format, Jingle Bells will become an instant hit for readers of all ages as they read the lyrics for the song, and enjoy Jeffers illustrations. Bringing the song to life, Jeffers infused some wintery mishaps and fun on the sleigh ride journey through the woods. Kids will enjoy looking for some winter woodland animals featured on each of the pages through out the book. They'll also enjoy the surprise guests at the end of the sleigh ride journey.  This is another holiday book we'd recommend picking up this holiday season. 

Thursday, December 14, 2017

WHEN THE SNOW FALLS by Linda Booth Sweeney / Book Review #WhenTheSnowFalls


By: Linda Booth Sweeney
Illustrated by: Jana Christy
Published by: Putnam
Released on: October 10th, 2017 
Ages: 3 & up 
Purchase fromPenguin Random House | 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 snow-day journey with Grandma highlights all of the beauty, magic, and fun of winter.

With sparkling flakes calling from outside, this sister and brother bundle up for an outdoor adventure with Grandma. In the hushed woods, they see and hear wildlife thriving under a new blanket of snow.  In the bustle of town, they help their grateful Grandpa dig out. Then, it’s time to get sledding!

Snowy scenes capture the beauty of freshly fallen snow, and the lyrical verse delights in the magic of playing in the snow and the warm comfort of family.


A delightful wintery read. This heartwarming story features all the fun that a snow day brings with it. There's so much to do when it snows! Each page illustrates that fun. Told in rhyme, and paired with cheerful, and bright illustrations, makes for a picture book we'd definitely recommend picking up this winter. 

We really enjoyed the story, and loved that the illustrations feature all the fun this diverse family has on their snow day. From a farm, to the country, the woods, a bustling city, the warmth of home and more. This story had us wishing we could share in this family's snow day fun. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A WORLD OF COOKIES FOR SANTA: Follow Santa's Tasty Trip Around the World by M.E. Furman / Book Review #AWorldofCookiesForSanta


By: E.M. Furman
Illustrated by: Susan Gal
Published by: HMH Books for Young Readers
Released on: October 17th, 2017
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Christmas Cookies
An unbound copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

A World of Cookies for Santa takes readers across the globe to see all the treats that await Santa on Christmas Eve. Head to the Philippines, where children leave out puto seko cookies and ginger tea for Santa; jet to Russia for a honey-spice cookie; then set out for Malawi for a sweet potato cookie! When you've returned home, the journey's still not over—M. E. Furman provides recipes for children to bake some of Santa's cookies for themselves. 

A World of Cookies for Santa is a multicultural celebration that families will return to year after year. 



A must have this holiday season! This book is lovely celebration of the Christmas season world wide. I even learned something from this book. It's an absolute treasure to read.

This book takes it's readers on a trip around the globe, sharing not only a Christmas tradition in each country featured in the book, but also a cook that's tradition to leave out on Christmas Eve. Children will not only learn about how Christmas is celebrated world wide, they'll also learn the various names for Santa Claus, like Father Christmas, Christmas Grandfather, Pere Noel, and so much more. 

I loved that this book celebrates the diversity in celebrating the Christmas season world wide. Kids and adults will enjoy learning something new, as the story gives a brief description of how kids celebrate for each of the countries and states mentioned in the book. The illustrations are simply adorable! 

Included at the back of the book are receipes for various traditional treats left out on Christmas Eve. From Anzac Biscuits from New Zealand, Coconut Macaroons from Christmas Island, Hermit Cookies from Canada, and more. There's also a map of the world at the end of the book along with pictures for each of the Christmas Eve treats featured from the 31 countries and states world wide. So kids will be able to match up the country/state and the Christmas cookie.

I highly recommend picking up this book this Christmas season! It's perfect for in home libraries, as well as classroom/school libraries. This book is a perfect fit for classrooms who do the Christmas around the world celebration. 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRIMSTAS Illustrated by Emma Randall / Book Review #TheTwelveDaysofChristmas


Illustrated by: Emma Randall
Published by: Penguin Workshop 
Released on: October 17th, 2017
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase fromPenguin Random House | 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

With art so stunning it glistens like freshly fallen snow, this cozy Christmas tale is an essential treasure for anyone celebrating the holiday season!

Bursting with gorgeous illustrations that accompany the lyrics to this classic carol, the festive artwork and jolly characters capture all the merriment of the popular Yuletide tune. Randall’s style feels charmingly classic while also strikingly contemporary, making this particular partidge in a pear tree the perfect one for the modern reader. The joyful pictures and beloved song are sure to make this a recurring holiday favorite.


A festive picture book worth picking up! Featuring the lyrics for the Christmas classic, The Twelve Days of Christmas, Emma Randall's illustrations bring this beloved song to life. Each page features the next part to the song, along with bright illustrations to match the words. It will be hard reading this book without singing the lyrics out loud. I really like that the illustrations had a beautiful eastern European feel to them. This book is a cheerful holiday picture book that will be treasured for years to come. 

Monday, December 11, 2017

SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin / Book Review #SnowandRose


Written and Illustrated by: Emily Winfield Martin
Published by: Random House
Released on: October 10th, 2017
Ages: 8 & up
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 owlets 
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Snow and Rose didn't know they were in a fairy tale. People never do....

Once, they lived in a big house with spectacular gardens and an army of servants.

Once, they had a father and mother who loved them more than the sun and moon.

But that was before their father disappeared into the woods and their mother disappeared into sorrow.

This is the story of two sisters and the enchanted woods that have been waiting for them to break a set of terrible spells.

Bestselling author-illustrator Emily Winfield Martin has created a world that sits on the border of enchantment, with characters who are grounded in real emotions that readers will recognize in themselves.


A fantastic mix of two of my favorite things; a wonderful fairytale retelling and it's written by Emily Winfield Martin. I have long been a fan of Martin's artwork, which is featured through out the book. Martin's Snow & Rose was just as I had suspected it would be; whimsical, magical, and enchanting. 

Rose and Snow couldn't be more different from each other, yet the bond these two sisters have is an unbreakable one. Their differences are what make each of them who they are. I loved that they're written in a manner that makes it incredibly easy for readers to identify with them in some way. Rose was someone I easily related to, especially when it came to being fiercely protective of her younger sister. One of the things I love about their relationship, is that no matter what they go through, they're in it together. They work through their problems, and the dangers that face them for wandering off the path in the woods. Together, they overcome a lot in this book. This ultimately makes them that much stronger both individually as well as strengths their bond even more so. I loved these two sisters and rooted for them the entire journey.

I felt like I was reading a story that was very close to the origin of the original fairy tale, but given a perfect Emily Martin twist. With it's fitting twists, and the kind of characteristics I've come to except in Martin's artwork, effortlessly brought this story to life. This is a story that is rich in detail. When it comes to the setting, characters, and lore, everything was easy to visualize. It was incredibly easy to imagine how the woods, the cottage they surround, and the various characters in this book all look like. 

I absolutely loved this book. Snow & Rose is a book that's written so that both it's intended audience and older readers will enjoy it. I'm hoping that Martin will write more fairytale retellings. This story felt like it was natural for her to do. If you haven't already, check out her online artwork store. Her artwork is just as mesmerizing as her writing is. The illustrations in this book were a perfect fit to a story I highly recommend picking up! 

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 ~