Monday, February 6, 2012

A Celebration of Love Series: Book Review #1: YOU, A Story of Love and Friendship by Stephen Michael King

A Celebration of Love is a feature I'm doing here on Mundie Kids to celebrate the upcoming Valentine's Day holiday as well as some wonderful upcoming releases. Each day leading up to Valentine's Day I'm going to be posting a review for one of Harper Collins Children's Books newest picture book releases that celebrates LOVE. Each of these books celebrates love in a variety of ways that children will understand and enjoyable reading about.

By: Stephane Michael King
Published by: Harper Collins Children's Books / Greenwillow Books
Released on: November 22nd, 2011
Source: Book from publisher to review
Ages: 0+
5 stars: We Loved It
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The world is big.

It is exciting and colorful and full of amazing things.

But the best thing?

The best thing in the world is YOU.

Stephen Michael King's book is a tribute to friendship and love in all its many forms.

It is a book to give, to share, and to read with every person you love. -quoted on Goodreads

A really cute read with equally adorable illustrations that will capture any young readers attention. I love how simple this story is and how colorful, simple and elegant each of the pictures talks are. This story talks about the beautiful world around us that's full of color, music and the best thing of all, YOU. It's the perfect book to have at home, in a preschool setting, or story time, as kids will be able to relate to the colors, different musical sounds, and most importantly the love that's mentioned in the book. If you're looking for that perfect book to get your kids for Valentine's Day, I'd recommend picking up this adorable story about love and friendship. It's a book you'll want to keep out all year round.

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: Fairy Lies by E.D. Baker

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday is a weekly feature started by MG author Shannon Messenger and is a weekly post featuring an upcoming MG release. You can find out more about this series posts, and find links to author authors and bloggers who are taking part in this feature here. You can also my Must Have Middle Grade Reads feature on Mundie Moms.

Published by: Bloomsbury Kids
To Be Released on: February 14th, 2012
Source: ARC from TLA/ book from publisher to review
5 stars: I Loved It!
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Series: Book #2, sequel to Fairy Wings

In this delightful sequel to Fairy Wings (originally titled Wings) the fairy princess Tamisin has been kidnapped from her home in the human world by Oberon, king of the fairies, who thinks he’s her father. When Tamisin’s boyfriend Jak finds out, he sets off to rescue her. In this funny and heartwarming romp through a land of fairies, goblins, sphinxes, unicorns, and many more, Tamisin and Jak try to regain their romance even as they find their way back to the human world.

E. D. Baker is a master of the madcap world of magical creatures and she demonstrates once more that a clever girl who shows a dose of kindness, humor, and common sense can overcome almost any fearsome foe, no matter how magical - quoted from Goodreads

A magical, exciting sequel that ventures back to the fey world. Princess Tamisin finds herself a victim of a kidnapping, meets the father she didn't realize existed, and quickly learns that not everything is as it seems in the fey world. Now I know why so many middle graders rave about E.D.'s books. She's a fabulous story teller and though I didn't read the first book in this series, I loved this story. It wasn't hard at all for me to follow along with what's going on. I'm a huge fan of fey lore, and I love it when I stumble upon a series my kids could read (once they get a little older).

A little back story, this series follows the story of Tamisin, a fey Princess who's been living in the human world and in the first book discovers who true identity and that her birth mother is Queen Titania. Being that this is a sequel, I can only venture to guess it picks up right where the first one left off. Wanting to go back and visit her birth mother, Tamisin tries unsuccessfully to get through the fairy gate, that is until she finds herself taken there through means of a kidnapping. Now she's being told her father could be King Oberon, she's starting to lose her memories, someone is out to get her, and she needs to try and stop the war Titania is about to wage on Oberon for kidnapping her daughter. It's up to her to figure things out and her boyfriend, Jak a Cat Goblin who sets off to rescue her.

I thoroughly enjoyed both Tamisin's venture through a the fey world, and Jak's as he sets off to rescue his girlfriend. I loved the world that E.D. has created, and the mix of mythology creatures she uses in her story from fairies, brownies, trolls, goblins, animal goblins, mermaids, harpies and more. The entire world and it's characters were fascinating to me and if I had, had this book when I was a tween I would have loved it! There's a sweet, innocent romance, a tiny bit of action, some fun plot twists and a the mystery behind who's trying to harm Tamisin that keeps this exciting story line moving.

The adventure in this book comes in the form of both Tamisin and Jak's separate adventures through out most of the book. Tamisin is trying to piece things together, and Jak's trying to find her. They both meet a variety of characters who each present them with different challenges, and help them learn more about what's going on in the fey world. I loved the variety of fascinating characters. Normally I like a faster paced, more action packed read with the YA books I read, but being this is a middle grade read I loved the little bit slower pace. I think it fit the story perfectly. It's truly an enjoyable book to sit and read.

I think this is a great series for middle grade readers. It's a cute, clean cut, engaging read with an entire mythological world readers will enjoy being apart of. I'm looking forward to reading more of E.D. books.
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 ~