Wednesday, October 30, 2013

That One Spooky Night by Dan Bar-el, Book Review

By: Dan Bar-El
Illustrated by: David Huyck
Published by: Kids Can Press
Released on: 9/1/12
Source: book from publisher to review
Ages: 5-7
2 Owlets: It Was An Okay Read
Add it to Goodreads

There can only be one night a year when a broom will go in search of a witch, when mermaids might swim in a bathtub and when a house party can get a little too batty. Here are three strange stories about that one spooky night!

A collection of 3 spooky Halloween short stories tied together to create one story that links about to one particular night, HALLOWEEN! One story is about witches, one about monsters and the other about vampires. Our favorite short story was the first one about witches.

Giselle is going as a witch for Halloween. Ready for the night's festivities of trick or treating, she and her mom leave the costume shop only to have Giselle run right into a witch. Things get a little tricky when the two accidentally swap brooms. When Giselle grabs her broom to head out to trick or treat, the broom takes her right into the home of the witch she saw earlier in the day. Giselle realizes this is a nice witch, and she tags along for the night as the witch goes about doing her good deeds for the night. Along with Giselle, readers get to see all the good witches do on Halloween night.

The second story was our least favorite of the two. We weren't a fan of the two brothers who weren't very respectful to their parents. Too bad the monsters whom they meet during their bath don't teach them a lesson in being nice and behaving nicely. The last short story in the book is about a group of girls who dress up to go trick or treating. These three enjoy scaring trick or treaters and exchange their nice costumes for vampire ones to look more like monsters. The tables turn on them when they are invited to a party which is of course hosted by real vampires. You'll have to read the book to find out what happens to them...... if you dare.

The illustrations are fun, and I think kids who enjoy the comic strip style illustrations in books will enjoy it. It's not a book that is too scary for young readers. I think those in third grade and up will find it's not scary at all. If you're young reader enjoys graphic novels with a Halloween twist, this is one you may want to pick up. Over all we weren't huge fans of it, but someone who reads Mundie Kids may totally enjoy this one.

Want to Read Wednesday: The Wee Hours by Stephanie Watson

I'm a sucker for children's books, and earlier this week local TX children's author Cynthia Leitich Smith featured The Wee Hours by Stephanie Watson (see Cynthia's post here).

As you sleep and dream, the Wee Hours appear when the clock strikes one, two, three and four. These delightfully mischievous creatures pull books from your shelves and build towers from your shoes, put on plays behind your curtains and do backflips off your bedposts. As morning draws near, the older hours emerge to tidy up the mess the Wee Hours have made, and carry them off to bed.

Readers ages three and up will enjoy finding numbers, clocks and magical surprises on every page of this enchanting book.

Released on August 27th, 2013 from Disney Hyperion, you can order the book from here. Per Amazon, The Wee Hours is a perfect fit for readers aged 3 years to 6 years of age. Check out the cute book trailer below:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Get To Know One Direction.... A Little More

One Direction has taken the world by storm, and they're not slowing down. This year Harper Collins has released some must books all fans need. Recently the guys sat down for an exclusive interview on Australian TV.

This mama admits, these guys are amazing. I'm impressed with how grounded they are. Thanks Fangirlish for sharing this interview!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Neptune Project by Polly Holyoke

Hello! I'm thrilled to be featuring Polly Holyoke's middle grade debut here on Mundie Kids today, The Nepture Project. I totally love this cover! I'm really looking forward to reading this book, which was release earlier this year in both the US and UK. Today Polly has given me an excerpt and the book's trailer to share with you. First, check out what this book is all about. 

With her weak eyes and useless lungs that often leave her gasping for air, Nere feels more at home swimming with the dolphins her mother studies than she does hanging out with her classmates. Nere has never understood why she is so much more comfortable and confident in the water than on land until the day she learns the shocking truth—she is one of a group of kids who have been genetically altered to survive in the ocean. These products of the "Neptune Project" are supposed to build a better future under the waves, safe from the terrible famines and wars and that rock the surface world.

But there are some big challenges ahead of her: no one ever asked Nere if she wanted to be part of a science experiment; the other Neptune kids aren't exactly the friendliest bunch, and in order to reach the safe haven of the new Neptune colony, Nere and her fellow mutates must swim across hundreds of miles of dangerous ocean, relying on their wits, their loyal dolphins and one another to evade terrifying undersea creatures and a government that will stop at nothing to capture the Neptune kids ... dead or alive.

Fierce battle and daring escapes abound as Nere and her friend race to safety in this action-packed marine adventure.

Released in the US on May 13th from Disney Hyperion, you can find this book via Amazon | Barnes & Noble. Don't forget to add it to your Goodreads accounts.

This sounds like a fabulous read. Here's a sneak peak inside the book:

The Neptune Project Excerpt  
I’m drowning now, trying to breathe air. Gasping and panting, I rip off the oxygen mask. This is worst than my worst lung attack.
    Dimly, I realize that I’m sitting right next to the water, and the larger waves are actually slapping and pushing at me.
    “Nere, it’s time for you. You must go into the water and breathe,” my mother shouts.
    I don’t have enough air left in my chest to speak.
    :I’m too scared!: I cry mentally instead. :I don’t want to drown. You almost let me drown before.:
     “I know, sweetling, but you have no choice now.”
     She kneels and smiles at me tenderly, and the next moment she shoves me into the water. I scrabble at the slippery rock, trying to find a handhold, trying to climb out. I have to get my face out of the black water. I have to breathe oxygen now!
    Her relentless hands grab my head and force it under the water. I hit at her with all my strength, but she’s too strong for me. I try to rear back and swim away, but somehow she tied me to the rock while I was unconscious.
    :You’ll be all right, sweetling.: I hear my mother’s words in my mind. :I promise you. Just relax and breathe in.:
    My lungs are pure fire now. I have to breathe. I have no strength left to fight her.
    I open my mouth and the water rushes in, and I’m dying. Black spots dance across my eyelids. Then I cough and choke, and I’m not dying anymore. I can breathe. I inhale and exhale, trying to get used to the incredible sensation of cold water rushing in and out of my chest.
    I open my eyes under water. Instantly, I realize my vision is different, too. I can see a carpet of purple and gray anemones growing on the rock floor far below me, small crabs scuttling about between them. Dozen of fish dart above the anemones, and clusters of starfish grow like strange orange flowers along the sides of cave. I can see in the dark waters here better than I could before, even with a bright dive torch.
    :Nere, are you all right?: my mother asks urgently.
    :I-I think so.:
    I’m aware that Lena is in the water nearby me, and she’s thrashing and flailing about. Gillian is kneeling right above her, trying to hold her head in the water. While I watch, Lena lands a punch on my mother’s cheek.
    :Just relax and breathe in—you can breathe water,: I call to Lena.
    She lashes out at me so violently that I give up and leave her to her terror. Instead, I pop my head out of the water and look for Robry. He’s on the other side of me, still sitting on the rock ledge, gasping for breath, his eyes dilated with fear.
    :Robry, don’t be afraid. I can breathe water fine now. You’ll be all right.:
    I strain against the harness holding me to the rock, and I reach out to him. I don’t want his transition to be as terrifying as mine was.
    :Take my hand, dartling.:
    He grabs it and slides down into the water beside me.
    :Just put your face in the water and breathe. It’s easy as anything.: I try to keep my mental tone light even though a part of me can’t believe I’m breathing seawater.
    Because he trusts me, it’s easier for him. He puts his face in the water, and with incredible self-control, he breathes in. He chokes the first time, just as I did, but then he gets the hang of it.
    :This is so amazing.:
    :It gets more amazing. Open your eyes and look down.:
    :I can see everything!:
    I turn away from Robry to check on Lena. She is floating very still in the water next to me, her arms braced again the rock, her face in the sea.
    :Are you all right?: I ask her tentatively.
    Lena turns her head and glares at me. :Yeah, no thanks to your homicidal mother. She held my head under the water.:
    :She did that to me, too. At least you punched her a good one.:
    It occurs to me then to check on my mother. She sits slumped all alone on the ledge, her face deathly pale. That’s when I realize just how scared she was for us. Even as I watch, she drags her sleeve across her eyes and seems to gather herself. She stands and walks back up the tunnel towards our lab, her solar pistol back in her hand.

Check out this book trailer!

About the Author

Polly Holyoke has been imagining stories since she was in fifth grade. When she isn’t writing, Polly loves reading, camping, skiing, scuba diving and hiking in the desert (where she quite stupidly got herself bitten by a rattlesnake). She lives with three rescue dogs, two spoiled cats and a nice husband who is tolerant about the piles of books all over their house. Her debut middlegrade novel, THE NEPTUNE PROJECT, is the story of a young girl leading a group of genetically altered teens fighting to survive in the sea. She is thrilled that this novel will be published by Disney/Hyperion and Puffin Books UK summer, 2014. She thinks the best part about being an author is going to work in her sweatpants and getting paid for daydreaming!

Find Polly via her: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

Monday, October 21, 2013

Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

With Halloween just around the corner, some readers are looking for that perfect YA read that is creepy, ghostly, thrilling, and will make them jump at things that go bump in the night. Rumor has it your perfect read is one of Disney Hyperion's newest releases,The Screaming Staircase, book #1 in the Lockwood & Co. series.

 I've been told this book even creeped out Rick Riorden! Here's what he had to say about the book:
"This story will keep you reading late into the night, but you'll want to leave the lights on. Stroud is a genius at inventing an utterly believable world that is very much like ours, but so creepily different." 

About the Book
A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren't exactly friendly. Only young people have the psychic abilities required to see—and eradicate—these supernatural foes. Many different Psychic Detection Agencies have cropped up to handle the dangerous work, and they are in fierce competition for business.
In The Screaming Staircase, the plucky and talented Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood, the charismatic leader of Lockwood & Co, a small agency that runs independent of any adult supervision. After an assignment leads to both a grisly discovery and a disastrous end, Lucy, Anthony, and their sarcastic colleague, George, are forced to take part in the perilous investigation of Combe Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in England. Will Lockwood & Co. survive the Hall’s legendary Screaming Staircase and Red Room to see another day?
Readers who enjoyed the action, suspense, and humor in Jonathan Stroud’s internationally best-selling Bartimaeus books will be delighted to find the same ingredients, combined with deliciously creepy scares, in his thrilling and chilling Lockwood & Co. series.
Released on 9/17/13, this book is fitting for both MG and YA readers alike. You can purchase it from Amazon | Barnes & Noble, and add it to your Goodreads shelves

Check out this book trailer! It's a bit of a choose your own adventure:

Find out more about the book here. Don't miss my review that will be featured on the blog next week. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Doll Bones by Holly Black, Book Review

Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books, Simon and Schuster
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Grade Level: 5-9
Source: Publisher
Purchase: IndieBound | amazon | Barnes and Noble
Doll Bones

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - This story is an Instant Classic!

Synopsis:  Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice. But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . .

There are books that are meant to be read aloud and shared with the family -- this is one of those stories. My tween and I took turns reading chapters of Doll Bones, and it was the most amazing experience. We finished it in five nights. At times, we had trouble stopping because it was just the right amount of creepy and we needed to find out what happened next so we could sleep more soundly. At times, we had to go on because, aaaaahhhh, we had to get past this one plot point. At times, the tween caught things in the words that I completely missed, and we laughed, hard, about it.

I know when my daughter thinks back to her childhood, she'll remember this one week of summer vacation when we shared (truly shared it by passing it back and forth) a book together. We still talk about it today -- the characters were so real, their situation was truly a quest and the grown-ups surrounding them were so believable. Holly did one more thing that still amazes me when I stop to think about it; she captured a magical time in everyone's life. That in-between time between childhood and teenagerdom. Those magical moments, which sometimes only last a summer, when you're not quite ready for teenage-type outings. Those moments when you still want to play with toys and be a kid a little while longer. My daughter is exactly at this age. She sometimes plays with dolls and sometimes face-times with her friends. I love this age and wish I could stretch it out forever.

Please pick up Doll Bones and enjoy sweet, quirky, well developed characters who go on a journey to solve a very old mystery. Enjoy the moments of wait, was that FOR REAL or maybe we all just imagined it? Enjoy Holly's storytelling which has hit an all time high with this story and with The Coldest Girl in Coldtown (her YA release this year). And if Holly (or her publisher) reads this, please, please, please I want to beg her to keep writing for this age group because this mama will never stop reading stories aloud to her kids. No matter their age.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Weight of Water by Sarah Crossan, Book Review

By: Sarah Crossan
Published by: Bloomsbury
Released on: July 23rd, 2013
Ages: 10-14
Source: book from publisher to review
4 Stars: I Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to Goodreads

Armed with a suitcase and an old laundry bag filled with clothes, Kasienka and her mother head for England. Life is lonely for Kasienka. At home her mother's heart is breaking and at school friends are scarce. But when someone special swims into her life, Kasienka learns that there might be more than one way for her to stay afloat." """"The Weight of Water" is a startlingly original piece of fiction; most simply a brilliant coming of age story, it also tackles the alienation experienced by many young immigrants. Moving, unsentimental and utterly page-turning, we meet and share the experiences of a remarkable girl who shows us how quiet courage prevails.

The Weight of Water was not a book I normally would have picked up, but it's one that was highly talked about at the Bloomsbury breakfast I attended while at BEA. That conversations really peaked my interest in this book, and it what made me sit down and read it after it arrived. Can I just say, this book is packed with emotions and moments I wasn't excerpting to get wrapped up in.

Written in verse, The Weight of Water tackles everything from first love, dealing with bullying, abandonment, trying to find yourself in the world, poverty, and those awkward teen years. This is a book that doesn't down play what Kasienka's life is like. With a father who up and left them behind and headed to England, a her mother who hasn't been able to get over her grief  Kasienka's mother uproots them and moves them to England to find him. With few very possessions, and little money, they move into an area that isn't in a great part of town.

Kasienka's story is one that's honest, emotionally raw, and at times heartbreaking. It wasn't hard for me to sympathize for her. Kasienka is a bright young girl who's world has totally been turned upside down, and in the process of trying to adjust to her new home, and country, she starts to find herself. Being a foreigner and a new girl at school is not what anyone wants, and Kasienka deals with a lot of bullying. Seriously, those moments really broke my heart, but I admired the fact that Kasienka wasn't the kind of girl to just take it. She held her head high and did what she had to do to at first cope with it, and then fight against it.

Often times while reading her story, I wondered what I would have done if I was in her shoes. For awhile it didn't look like she could catch a break. I don't know what was worse for her, school or her broken home life. Her new home was like living in the slums, and with a mother who was working to made ends meet and deal with her depression, she paid little attention to her daughter. Kasisenka's loneliness really broke my heart. Let me just say, being a mom I was so peeved at her mom, even though I respected she was doing what she good to keep a roof over their head, and little food on the table. I didn't like the fact she couldn't see past what she was dealing with, to help her daughter. BUT, during the course of the story things changed, and events happen and these two learn to work on their relationship. 

This story is a honest, emotional packed story about one girls journey to finding herself, and coping with things life throws at her. Beautifully written, The Weight of Water is a book that gives readers a real look into Kasienka's life. It's written in away that makes me feel like I've have a look into a real person's life. Now I understand why Bloomsbury talked so highly of this book. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

One Direction: Where We Are, Our Band, Our Story (100% Official), Book Review

By: One Direction
Published by: Harper Collins Childrens
Released on: September 1st, 2013
Ages: 8-12
Source: book from publisher to review
5 Owlets: A Must Have For One Direction Fans
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to Goodreads

Calling all One Direction fans!

This is the only official book from 1D charting their journey over the last year and a half—from the places they've visited and fans they've met, to their thoughts and feelings, hopes and dreams, highs and lows. It has been a phenomenal year—and this is a phenomenal story.

This Christmas, there will be no other book that true One Direction fans will want!

A must have for fans of One Direction. 

One Direction's Where We Are, Our Band, Our Story 100% Official is the newest book this globally known band has released. What's not to love about it? If you're a fan of the band, you'll want to get this book. From pictures, to interviews, to finding out what the guys love, what they do on their down time, what they're favorite countries have been to visit and more, this book gives fans an intimate look inside the band and as well as each member. 

Whether you like Harry, Liam, Niall, Louis or Zayn, this book is one 1D fans will enjoy reading through and looking at. Don't worry Moms & Dads, being a parent myself, this book is totally fan friendly. It doesn't matter if your child is a teen fan, tween fan or a kid fan, this book is perfect for fans of all ages. No one will judge you if you're an adult fan either. No matter your age, fans of the band will love feeling like they're getting a look backstage and into the life of their favorite band. 

You can never go wrong with buying a One Direction Book. This makes the perfect gift for Christmas, birthdays and for any other holiday. You can't go wrong with a hard copy book of your favorite band, that also includes a cover you can remove from the book to reveal a poster of the band on the other side. I'm pretty sure if the bands I grew up loving had written books back in the day, I would most likely still have them. One Direction fans will love this one! It's definitely a must have. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

I'm The Scariest Thing In the Jungle! by David G. Derrick, Jr; Book Review

Written & Illustrated by: David G. Derrick Jr
Published by:  IMMEDIUM
Released on: (see press release)
Ages: pre-K on up
Source: ebook from author to review 
4 Owlets: We Enjoyed It!

This lively adventure features an animal "Odd Couple": a terrifying young tiger and a fearsome little crocodile engage in a playful war of words. They may be small, but they surely believe they are scary! 

In lush spreads painted in traditional watercolor, this budding rivalry escalates. The two youngsters compare their tremendous stealth, strength, stamina, and even speed. The argument is subtly educating, but overtly hilarious; especially when readers learn what animal is truly the scariest thing in the jungle

What animal is the scariest thing in the jungle? Both the young tiger and crocodile think they are and they're out to prove to the other just how scary they are. Both of them soon learn that they may not be as scary as they think. There just might be something scarier out there..... or is there?  

With it's adorable illustrations, this easy to read e-book is one young kids, and kids who love animals will enjoy. I liked that while it's a story, kids also get to learn a little bit about the jungle and the differences between the tiger and alligator. My daughter enjoyed it, and even liked being able to read some of the words. Though we both enjoyed this story, what really won us over was the illustrations. They're fabulous, and are perfect for young children who enjoy looking through picture books. 

This book is the whole package- it's a great picture book, and fun story to read. This is one book worth adding to your e-book collection. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October Must Have Children's Books from MacMillan Kids

I love this time of year. The leaves are changing colors, there's a chill in the air (well not so much of that here in TX), it's football season, and there's a feeling of excitement with the approaching holidays. To kick off this month's holiday, HALLOWEEN, MacMillan kids have some releases  you don't want to miss! Check out these spooktacular reads (click on the book's title to find out more about the book):

Ghosts in the House

By Kazuno Kohara
Ages 3 to 6

Halloween Jack
By Roger Priddy
Ages 3 to 6

By Ryan Heshka
Ages 4 to 7

Awesome Autumn
By Bruce Goldstone
Ages 4 to 8

By Rick Walton
Illustrated By Nathan Hale
Ages 4 to 8

The Spooky Box
By Mark Gonyea
Ages 4 to 8

Now the hard part is deciding which one to read first...... 

Monday, October 7, 2013

When Audrey Met Alice by Rebecca Behrens, Cover Reveal

I'm thrilled to share the cover for my debut MG novel, When Audrey Met Alice, which releases from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on February 4, 2014. Here's a little bit about the book:

First Daughter Audrey Rhodes can’t wait for the party she has planned. The decorations are all set, and the pizza is on its way. But the Secret Service must be out to ruin her life, because they cancel at the last minute for a “security breach,” squashing Audrey’s chances for making any new friends. What good is having your own bowling alley if you don’t have anyone to play with?
Audrey is ready to give up and spend the next four years totally friendless—until she discovers Alice Roosevelt’s hidden diary. The former first daughter’s outrageous antics give Audrey a ton of ideas for having fun . . . and get her into more trouble than she can handle.

And here's a little more about how the cover came to be. If you've seen an ARC for When Audrey Met Alice, you probably noticed that it has a very different design:

This was actually the final version of the first cover direction! When my (awesome) editor at Sourcebooks, Aubrey Poole, sent me this image last spring, I was thrilled. Before I'd seen anything related to my cover, I was crossing my fingers that it wouldn't have too much White House imagery. I wanted to make sure the cover conveyed to readers that this was fiction, not nonfiction—and that it’s a fun story! So when I saw this design, with the cute old and new shoes on a background of modern typography and script, I was thrilled.
(True confession: I still hope to find shoes that look just like both of those pairs. When I need a break from writing and revising, I scour the Interwebs for them.)

Here's what my editor, Aubrey, has to say about the first cover design, and why it eventually changed:
With such a unique book that blends the past with the present, we asked the designer to create a cover the reflected that juxtaposition. Also, because this is for the older end of the middle grade audience, we initially leaned in a photographic direction. And our brilliant designer Elizabeth Connor came up with the Alice-era boots vs. the Audrey-era ballet flats. And then when the Sourcebooks in-house design team dropped in the handwriting vs. typed sentences in the background, we thought we had a winner. We all thought it was a lovely cover that represented the content. But! We started to get some feedback that it didn’t quite match the fun, modern tone of Rebecca’s story. Does this look like a fun read to an 11- or 12-year-old? So, we added the tagline “First daughters just want to have fun.” It helped, but it wasn’t quite enough. That’s when we decided to go back to the drawing board for a second pass.

On to the new, and final, cover design! 

Later this summer, I was checking my email on the train when into my inbox popped an email with a sneak peek at the new cover direction. It's a good thing I wasn't in the quiet car because I squealed with excitement. I love the style of these illustrations—they are adorable and whimsical. Some of my favorite details from the book—such as that little snake in the lower right corner—are pictured, which I love. The design looks modern, fresh, and fun. I think I gushed in an email to my agent and editor that this is basically my dream cover—it's very me. If I were browsing at my local bookstore and saw this on a shelf, I'd probably buy it without even reading the jacket copy.

Here's what Aubrey has to say about the final cover design:
Okay, confession time. An early version of the final cover design is actually a concept that the designer sent over at the same time as the ARC concept. It was staring us in the face the whole time. Usually, a designer is not thrilled to be asked to totally re-design a cover, but when we went back to Elizabeth, she was actually very pleased, because she had hand-drawn all of the doodles on the cover after reading the manuscript, and it was her favorite concept out of the bunch. (Quick story: The designer said she was reading When Audrey Met Alice on the train and got so engrossed in the story she actually missed her stop!) So, we definitely had a unique cover that reflected the content with all of the wonderful, story-specific illustrations. We played around with a variety of color combinations before settling on the eye-catching cover you see here. And it was icing on the cake that Rebecca was so thrilled with the new look.

To celebrate, we’re giving away an ARC of When Audrey Met Alice.
To enter, please leave us a comment and tell us what you think about the cover! Don't forget to include your email address. US residents only.

Rebecca Behrens grew up in Wisconsin, studied in Chicago, and now lives with her husband in New York City, where she works as a production editor for children’s books. Rebecca loves writing and reading about girls full of moxie and places full of history. When Audrey Met Alice is her first book. When she’s not writing, you can find her running in the park, reading on the beach, or eating a doughnut. Visit her online at

Pre-order the book:

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The New York Public Library's 100 Great Children's Books / 100 Years

Today the New York Public Library shared their list of the 100 Great Children's Books / 100 Years, which you can read HERE. (pic source: Harper Collins). Check out this list! How many of the books listed have your read? I love seeing so many books I grew up reading on here.

Pegasus: The Flame of Olympus & Olympus At War by Kate O'Hearn; Want To Read Wednesday

Happy Wednesday! Today's Want To Read Wednesday features a series I've recently picked up from Simon & Schuster kids called: Pegasus by Kate O'Hearn. The first book in the series: Pegasus, The Flame of Olympus was released last year, and the sequel, Pegasus, Olympus at War, was just recently released. You might have previously seen this series as Simon Kids has released them, and gave them new covers. There are 4 books in the series, and the other two haven't yet been re-released. This series was released a couple years back by Hodder Children's Books.

A young girl, a winged horse, and a war of epic proportions make for an adventurous start to an exciting new trilogy.

When Pegasus crashes onto a Manhattan roof during a terrible storm, Emily’s life changes forever. Suddenly allied with a winged horse she’d always thought was mythical, Emily is thrust into the center of a fierce battle between the Roman gods and a terrifying race of multiarmed stone warriors called the Nirads. Emily must team up with a thief named Paelen, the goddess Diana, and a boy named Joel in order to return Pegasus to Olympus and rescue the gods from a certain death.

Along the way, Emily and her companions will fight monsters, run from a government agency that is prepared to dissect Pegasus, and even fly above the Manhattan skyline—all as part of a quest to save Olympus before time runs out

Reborn as the Flame, Emily has saved Olympus from destruction. The Olympic flame now burns strong, and peace has been restored. But not for long...

When the gruesome Nirads begin a new invasion, Emily and her friends become entangled in the conflict as old grudges are unearthed and new enemies are discovered. And all the while, Emily yearns for her father, still a prisoner of the sinister CRU, somewhere in New York. 

Join Emily astride the magnificent winged-stallion, Pegasus, as she embarks on a new flight of adventure through worlds both old and new.

I'm really looking forward to starting this series. I love Aladdin's covers for the series. 

You can find out more about the series via Kate O'Hearn's website and by visiting Simon & Schuster (Aladdin). 

Be sure to check out the series on Goodreads

Purchase the series from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble and other online and instore retailers.

What books are you looking forward to reading?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I love this time of year. Fall is in the air, the holidays are fast approaching, and there's a ton of fabulous books that have either already hit shelves, or will be hitting them just in time for the holidays. You can never go wrong with the giving gift of a book. To help you find that perfect book for your little reader, check out Harper Collins Children's Books 2013 Holiday Gift Guide


Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Reason for the Season
Alvin and the Chipmunks are looking forward to Christmas this year! Alvin especially - he can’t wait to open his presents on Christmas morning and see what Santa brought him. But with all the talk of gifts, sometimes it can be easy to forget the true meaning of Christmas. Can Alvin and the gang keep holiday tradition and remember the reason for the season?
Written by Jodi Huelin, illustrated by Artful Doodlers, LTD – 9/24/2013 – Ages 4-8 – $4.99

The Berenstain Bears’ Night Before Christmas
It’s the night before Christmas, and all through the tree house - the Berenstain Bears are ready to celebrate the holiday! The tree is decorated, the milk and cookies are set out for Santa, and the Bears are cozying up to read their favorite Christmas tale. Join the Bears as they celebrate the most magical night of the year.
Written and illustrated by Mike Berenstain – 9/24/2013 – Ages 4-8 -- $3.99

Biscuit's Christmas Storybook Collection
Merry Christmas, Biscuit! Celebrate the holidays, wintery weather, and more in this heartwarming storybook collection. Join Biscuit as he takes a trip to the big city, goes to school, gives a gift, and more. 
Written by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, illustrated by Pat Schories – 10/1/2013 – Ages 4-8 -- $11.99

Charlie the Ranch Dog: Charlie’s Snow Day
The world is covered in white, and Charlie can’t wait to get outside and see what’s going on around the ranch in this I Can Read book.
Written by Ree Drummond, illustrated by Diane deGroat – 10/8/2013 – Ages 4-8 -- $16.99

Christmas Mouse
It’s Christmas time and Mouse has lots to do! The tree needs decorating, lights need hanging, and carols must be sung. There are presents to leave for special friends, treats to nibble on, and stockings to hang by the fire.  When everything is ready, Mouse makes a Christmas wish before snuggling down to sleep. Will Mouse’s wish come true? Anne Mortimer’s cozy story celebrates the little things we do that make Christmas a magical time for all.
Written and illustrated by Anne Mortimer – 9/24/2013 – Ages 4-8 -- $12.99

Dot knows a lot.
She knows how to tap…to swipe…to share…
And she pays little attention to anything else, until one day Dot sets off on an interactive adventure with the world surrounding her. Dot’s tech -avvy expertise, mingled with her resourceful imagination, proves Dot really does know lots and lots.
Written by Randi Zuckerberg, illustrated by Joe Berger – 11/5/2013 – Ages 4-8 – $17.99

Everything Goes: Santa Goes Everywhere!
It’s Christmas Eve, and Santa’s doing something a little different this year. Instead of by sleigh, he and a reindeer pal travel by boat, plane, truck, train and more, delivering presents to children around the world.
Written and illustrated by Brian Biggs – 9/24/2013 – Ages Nwbrn-4 -- $7.99

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie: Extra Sweet Edition
A special edition of the classic picture book IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE, featuring stickers and gift tags.
Written by Laura Joffe Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond – 10/15/2013 – Ages 4-8 -- $16.99

Marley’s Christmas Pageant
Every year Marley’s family goes to see the Christmas pageant, and this year is going to be extra special. Cassie will be part of the show! Can Marley find himself a role, too? No matter what, Marley is sure to be a star…
Written by John Grogan, illustrated by Richard Cowdrey – 9/24/2013 – Ages 4-8 -- $6.99

Merry Christmas, Splat
It’s the night before Christmas and Splat wonders if he’s been a good enough cat this year to deserve a really big present. Just to make sure, Splat offers some last-minute help to his mom but messes up completely! That night Splat stays awake hoping to see Santa Claus only to miss him. Splat is sure his Christmas is ruined along with his hopes for a really big present… but it turns out that Splat may have been a good enough cat after all!
Written and illustrated by Rob Scotton – 9/24/2013 – Ages 4-8 -- $9.99

Mia’s Nutcracker Ballet
Sashe, Plie, Nutcracker Ballet! Mia the ballerina kitten stars in the whimsical retelling The Nutcracker, putting her own endearing twist on the dance classic. 
Written by Robin Farley, illustrated by Olga Ivanov – 9/24/2013 – Ages 4-8 -- $9.99

Pete and His Magic Sunglasses
Pete the Cat wakes up feeling grumpy-nothing seems to be going his way. But with the help of some ROCKIN’ magic sunglasses from Grumpy Toad, Pete learns that a good mood has been inside him all along. Groove and move with Pete as he helps Squirrel, Turtle, and Alligator discover that the sun is shining and everything’s ALRIGHT!
Written and illustrated by James Dean – 10/1/2013 – Ages 4-8 -- $17.99

Pinkalicious Cupcake Cookbook
Cupcakes galore! Pinkalicious loves pinkatastic cupcakes - and now you can make all your cupcakes Pinkalicious cupcakes. The PINKALICIOUS CUPCAKE COOKBOOK features more than 20 cupcakes straight from Pinkalicious’s world. Bake everything from a classic Pinkalicious cupcake with a cherry on top, to a Princess cupcake and castle, a snowman cupcake, or a cake pop flower! There are cupcakes for every occasion - birthday parties, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and more!
Written and illustrated by Victoria Kann – 10/22/2013 – Ages 6-10 -- $14.99

Pinkalicious: Merry Pinkmas!
Pinkalicious stars in a Christmas 8x8 deluxe with perf-out holiday greeting cards, a sticker sheet, and a poster.
Written and illustrated by Victoria Kann – 9/24/2013 – Ages 4-8 -- $6.99

Santa Claus and the Three Bears
The classic story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears gets a Christmas twist when Santa Claus becomes the cheery intruder in this funny holiday picture book.
Written by Maria Modugno, illustrated by Jane Dyer – 9/24/2013 – Ages 4-8 -- $17.99

The Silver Moon
Twenty lullabies by poet Jack Prelutsky are paired with lush watercolor illustrations by Jui Ishida. A great gift for families with young children. Includes the music to four of the lullabies.
Written by Jack Prelutsky, illustrated by Jui Ishida – 9/24/2013 – Ages 4-8 -- $17.99

Snow Queen
Bagram Ibatoulline illustrates a storybook version of the classic tale about an evil queen and the ordinary girl who triumphs over her.
Written by Hans Christian Andersen, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline – 10/8/2013 – Ages 4-8 -- $17.99

The Twelve Days of Christmas
This holiday season, let Susan Jeffers’s vision of THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS wisk you away on an enchanting sleigh ride with Santa and young Emma. There will be all of the traditional gifts--from Santa--and, at the North Pole, the best gift of all.
Written and illustrated by Susan Jeffers – 9/24/2013 – Ages 4-8 -- $17.99

Zoomer’s Out-of-This-World Christmas
Zoomer, the little dog with a BIG imagination, celebrates a Christmas that is out of this world, complete with a hi-tech spaceship and aliens.
Written and illustrated by Ned Young – 9/24/2013 – Ages 4-8 -- $17.99

Cody Simpson: Welcome to Paradise: My Journey
Filled with exclusive interviews, never-before-seen photos, and behind-the-scenes stories, Cody Simpson’s official autobiography is tailor-made for both Cody’s Angels and anyone who loves pop music.
Written by Cody Simpson – 10/22/2013 – Ages 8-12-- $21.99

Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures #10: Showdown at the Alamo
Yee-haw! Stanley and his friends are headed to Texas to see the sights-but what they find when they get there might surprise them!
Written by Jeff Brown, illustrated by Macky Pamintuan – 12/23/2013 – Ages 6-10 -- $15.99

My Weird School Special: Deck the Halls, We’re Off the Walls
With tons of bonus content and a holiday-themed story centered on A.J. and his friends instead of the teachers, the My Weird School Specials bring the beloved My Weird School brand to a whole new level of weird. This time, it’s Christmas, and A.J. squares off with a mall Santa and a kid rapper!
Written by Dan Gutman, illustrated by Jim Paillot – 9/24/2013 – Ages 6-10 -- $4.99

Fortunately, the Milk
There’s no milk for cereal. No matter—Dad will run down to the store to pick some up. The children wait. And wait. And wait. Dad better have a pretty good excuse for taking so long…
In a delightful reversal of how things usually go, the father is the one making up wild, impossible stories, and the child is the rational listener who isn’t buying a word of it.
Written by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Skottie Young, 9/17/2013 – Ages 8-12 -- $14.99

One Direction: Where We Are
This is the only official book from 1D charting their journey over the last year and a half-from the places they’ve visited and fans they’ve met, to their thoughts and feelings, hopes and dreams, highs and lows. It has been a phenomenal year-and this is a phenomenal story.  Packed with exclusive beautiful photos, backstage snapshots, hand-written annotations, and brand-new insights into the boys’ world, WHERE WE ARE is a unique book that no fan’s life is complete without-bringing the 1D story right up to date.This Christmas, there will be no other book that true One Direction fans will want!
Written by One Direction – 8/27/2013 – Ages 8-12 -- $21.99

School for Good and Evil
The School for Good and Evil series unleashes a dazzling new fantasy world, one in which ordinary boys and girls are trained to be perfect heroes or perfect villains. Book One subverts the assumed roles of our indelible heroines, when witch-girl Agatha is “mistakenly” sent to the School for Good, and wannabe-princess Sophie to the School for Evil. As rivalries bloom and jealousy sets in, Agatha and Sophie discover that these fates may not be a mistake, after all...
Wirrten by Soman Chainan – 4/24/2013 – Ages 8-12 -- $16.99

The Spindlers
New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver follows twelve-year-old Liza as she braves the fantastical underworld and its many unusual creatures to rescue her younger brother, who has been stolen by the evil, fearsome spindlers.
Written by Lauren Oliver – 8/27/2013 – Ages 8-12 -- $8.99

Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog
Stick Dog returns with the same crew of friends and they’re hungry again. In this hilarious sequel, Stick Dog’s met his match. As the dogs embark on their quest for hot dogs, they learn they’re not the only ones on a mission, a band of raccoons are following close behind-and they’re ravenous, too!
Written by Tom Watson – 10/8/2013 – Ages 8-12 -- $12.99

Under Wildwood
The second book in the New York Times bestselling fantasy/adventure series from Colin Meloy, lead singer of the Decemberists, and Carson Ellis, the acclaimed author of The Mysterious Benedict Society.
Written by Colin Meloy, illustrated by Carson Ellis – 9/4/2013 – Ages 8 and Up -- $9.99

 Warriors: Omen of the Stars Box Set
All six volumes in the nationally bestselling Warriors: Omen of the Stars story arc, now packaged together in a beautiful box set!
Written by Erin Hunter – 9/24/2013 – Ages 8-12 -- $36.99

Warriors: The Ultimate Guide
This is the ULTIMATE gift for Warriors fans who have followed the series for years and those who are just getting to know the cats. Chock full of never-before-seen information about the cats , and featuring gorgeous full-color interior art as well as a fold-out poster (on the first printing only), this is a must-have companion book.
Written by Erin Hunter – 11/5/2013 – Ages 8-12 -- $19.99

Divergent Series Complete Box Set
The DIVERGENT Series Complete Box Set contains hardcover editions of DIVERGENT, INSURGENT, and ROTH TEEN #3, plus “The World of Veronica Roth’s DIVERGENT Series,” a booklet of bonus content.
Written by Veronica Roth – 10/22/2013 – Ages 14 and Up - $55.97
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 ~