Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing each of you a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! 

Thank you for being apart of Mundie Kids! I'm grateful to each of you who have taken the time to stop by and visit Mundie Kids. I'm grateful to be able to do something I love, and to share that with each of you. 
I'm grateful to the authors and publishers who continue to allow me to help promote their books. Reading is a passion of mine, and I'm grateful I've been able to share that passion over the past few years with you. I hope you have a lovely, wonderful, and safe Holiday! 

Here's to family, friends and books!

Since 1888, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah haven't fallen on the same day. I think it's pretty amazing that both holidays are on the same day this year. Here's wishing ALL of our friends a HAPPY HOLIDAY!!! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanks For Thanksgiving by Julie Markes

By: Julie Markes
Illustrated by: Dori Barrette
Published by: Harper Collins Childrens
Released on:
5 Owlets: We Loved It!
Ages: Young Readers
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Browse Inside
Add it to Goodreads

Everyone knows that Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks - the question is, where to begin? From the turkey on the table to warm, cozy cuddles, life is full of small things and bigger pleasures. But what is most important is being able to share them with family!
Julie Markes reminds kids and adults alike about the little details that make each day enjoyable, while Doris Barrette's beautiful and striking illustrations bring her thoughtful words to life

This is a fabulous book that teaches young readers about the important things we are thankful for. From family, to school, playdates, cuddles with mom, sled rides with dad, the moon and other things we often times take for granted, this book is one we absolutely loved reading. Not only is the story fabulous, the illustrations are great! At the end of the story is a place for your family, classroom, etc to list things you're thankful for. 

If you're looking for a most have book to pick up this Thanksgiving, this is one I highly recommend picking up!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fun Facts with THANKSGIVING DAY THANKS from Harper Collins Childrens

Happy Marvelous Middle Grade Monday! 

Looking for a fun, educational way to teach your children about Thanksgiving this week? Check out this fabulous Fun Facts with THANKSGIVING DAY THANKS from Harper Collins Children's via their Facebook page!

Fun Facts Include:
  • In 1621, the first Thanksgiving in America was celebrated between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Native American tribe. The feast was meant to thank the Native Americans for teaching the Pilgrims to grow corn, beans, and squash and to celebrate the harvest.
  • The first Thanksgiving feast was very different from what we eat today. Although wild turkey was probably on the menu, pumpkin pies, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes were not. The Pilgrims might have enjoyed succotash (a stew of corn and lima beans) or pemmican (crushed cranberries and deer meat).
  • President Abraham Lincoln called for a national day of thanksgiving in October 1863 during the Civil War, but Congress did not make it an official national holiday until 1941.
  • Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade started in 1924. Children’s book illustrator Tony Sarg created its first hot-air balloon. Snoopy has been in the parade more than any other balloon character.
  • The tradition of playing football games on Thanksgiving started with college championship matches in the 1890s.
  • The idea that Thanksgiving weekend should be the kickoff for the Christmas shopping season was started by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to help shopkeepers during the Depression.
  • One of the largest pumpkin pies ever made weighed 2,020 pounds and had 1,860 eggs and 300 pounds of sugar in it.
  • Minnesota is the top turkey-producing state.
  • A ripe cranberry can bounce.
About the Book:

Laura Malone Elliott and Lynn Munsinger have created another holiday story about the lovable characters from A String of Hearts.
Perfect for a teacher's classroom or a child's home bookshelf, Thanksgiving Day Thanks tells the story of Sam trying to figure out what he's thankful for.Sam also works on a special project to share at the Thanksgiving feast—his own version of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!
Parents and teachers will find inspiration for other Thanksgiving crafts and projects in this charming and funny storybook. A section at the back includes fun Thanksgiving facts.
Full of creativity, humor, and heart, Thanksgiving Day Thanks celebrates friendship, family, and the many other blessings in our lives for which we give thanks.

Purchase it from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to Goodreads

Don't miss checking out this Thanksgiving Day Thanks book trailer!

I've already got my copy on hold at my local book store! This sounds like a must have book in my home. 

Have a lovely Thanksgiving week! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

15 Books That Will Transform Your Kid Into A Reader from Penguin Teen

Penguin Teen posted an interesting article recently on Tumblr, 15 Books That Will Transform Your Kid Into A Reader, found HERE.  Below you'll find they've chosen a book for every type of reader:

You can go HERE to find the right kind of Middle Grade your child would/does read.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller; Waiting On Wednesday

By: Sharon Biggs Waller
Published by: Viking
To Be Released on: 1/23/14
Pre-Order it from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to Goodreads

Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky must figure out: just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

This is a book I also featured this morning on Mundie Moms, here. I can't tell you guys how excited I am to read it. I'm even more excited when I found out it's a book that is for readers 12 & up, hence making this one of those fabulous reads I get to feature on both Mundie Moms and Mundie Kids. I said on MM's that I was hooked with the setting, title and cover of the book, but really knowing that there is a strong main female character (at least from the sounds of the synopsis) is one of the things that has me anxiously waiting to read this one!

What book are you waiting on?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Scholastic Book Fair Time!

I LOVE book fair time! For the past couple of years I've had the chance to help out and co-chair the book fairs at my children's school. This year is the first year I am the chair person. With our book fair kicking off next week I've spent some long hours and had the help of a few friends to get the book fair ready to go this week, hence the lack of reviews and other posts on the blog.

Our Blue Bonnet Award Table

The New release that all the kids are looking forward to getting.

Some of the hot Middle Grade Titles

I love all the National Geographic books that came in, so I decided to make a table for it to feature them.

With twelve carts and 15 tables, there's plenty of books for everyone! I can't wait!

This weekend I plan on catching up on posts and getting reviews up! Go HERE to find a book fair in your area!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

All Four Stars by Tara Dairman, Waiting On Wednesday

By: Tara Dairman
Published by: Putnam
To Be Released on: TBA 2014
Add it to Goodreads

Gladys Gatsby has dreamed of becoming a restaurant critic for New York's biggest newspaper--she just didn’t expect to be assigned her first review at age 11. Now, if she wants to meet her deadline and hang on to her dream job, she’ll have to defy her fast-food-loving parents, cook her way into the heart of her sixth-grade archenemy, and battle Manhattan’s meanest maitre d’.

Cute cover, check. Debut author, check. An adorable synopsis that makes me want to pick up the book and read it, double check. Everything about this book screams an adorable read, and I'm really looking forward to reading it when it's out next year. Admit it, you couldn't pass by a book that has a cute MG cover with cupcakes on it, and is about an eleven year old restaurant critic.

What book are you waiting on?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

Taking a moment to say THANK YOU to ALL who have given their all and served our country. We THANK YOU! We thank those who continue to serve our country! #HonoringVets

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Obsidian Pebble by Rhys A Jones, Blog Tour: Guest Post & Giveaway

Welcome to today's stop in The Obsidian Pebble blog tour. Today I'm thrilled to have author Rhys A Jones on the blog. First, here's a little a bit about his book:

11-year old Oz Chambers lives in a haunted house (Penwurt). His mother wants to move, but Oz would rather do double algebra (yuck) every day for twelve months than leave. Where others see spooky, Oz sees wonder and mystery and aching reminders of his deceased dad. When he and his friends hear ghostly footsteps in the boarded-up dorm at Halloween, it leads to an exploration of the old place's eerie reputation. In his Dad's locked study, Oz finds a parcel addressed to him and posted  the day before his father died. Inside is the obsidian pebble, the link to all of Penwurt's astonishing secrets. Suddenly Oz begins to change; he goes from maths dunce to A student overnight and has to deal with suspicious teachers and jealous pupils. But the footsteps in the locked rooms don't go away and slowly, Oz begins to knit together the strands of lies and mystery that tie the obsidian pebble, his father and him together. What Oz hasn't bargained for is that he's not alone in that search for understanding and that solving Penwurt's puzzles lead to other, much darker secrets that will test his loyalty and his bravery to the limit.
Released on October 29th from Spencer Hill Press, you can purchase the book from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound and find out more about the series here

Hi Rhys! Welcome to Mundie Kids. Do you have a favorite moment or a line from your book you can share with us?
This story combines elements of science fiction and fantasy. But what drives the story is the mystery of the old house, Penwurt, where Oz Chambers lives with his mother.  Throughout the book, Oz and his friends do their utmost to try and unravel the  puzzles and clues they uncover.  But there is a moment, after lots of false trails, where things finally come together, and all three of them share that moment.

He didn’t get any further. The slight pressure of his finger had caused the wooden block on which the symbol was carved to move inwards slightly. Ellie caught her breath, and in a second Oz had joined her to watch with barely restrained excitement as Ruff pushed the symbol in as far as he could. It slid in a full inch and stopped. Then he did the same with the alum symbol and the soap symbol. Both slid in the exact same amount and clicked to a stop.
“Oz,” said Ruff, his voice a low murmur, “I reckon you should do the last one.”
  Trembling slightly, Oz put his finger on the tin symbol and pushed. This time, when it stopped moving, there was a faint but definite click, followed by a discernible creak, and the whole six-foot-by-six-foot panel in front of them gaped open an inch on one side.
“Awesome,” Oz said. 
“I knew it! I knew there’d be something behind these panels,” Ruff added triumphantly.
“Ingress,” Ellie whispered in awe. “The way in.”

Which of your characters would you have been friends with growing up?
Probably Ruff Adams, the friend Oz makes when he changes schools. Ruff is that sort of loveable mix of loyalty, irreverence, goofiness and humour that is rare.  Like Oz, I didn’t feel the need for being in a crowd or a clique. And like Oz, Ruff, too, who knows his own mind when it comes down to it, is a bit of an outsider.

Which character surprised you the most in terms of the role they played in the book?
Miss Swinson, the tyrant teacher.  I didn’t set out to make her mean, but remembering my own school days and having my memories reinforced by my own children, she became a bit of a monster. Whenever I wrote things that made me wince an wonder if that could really happen, my kids would say, “oh yes, Miss so and so used to lose it like that every day”. 
She is very much not the norm, but every school has one. A fish out of water with quite a lot of power to make things miserable for Oz.

What is a MG or YA book you've read as an adult that you wish you had when you were a tween?
Coraline. I enjoyed it’s weirdness and the spookiness. I can appreciate its structure and the writing, but  as a tween, I would have bought right in to the story. I was the youngest of three, by a long chalk. I had a very active imagination and the boredom due to her existence in a busy family–which leads to Coraline exploring things she ‘d be better off not exploring—was something I could relate to. My imagination has always had the volume turned right up so I would have gone with Coraline on every step of her adventure.

What is one of your favorite childhood books?
The Gauntlet, by Ronald Welch.  I must have read this when I was 9 or 10 and it really gripped me. It’s a time-slip novel, but set in Wales, in a part of the country that I knew. The reality of the history gave it an added meaning. It’s now considered a classic.

When Peter finds the gauntlet on a Welsh hillside, he becomes the latest link in an old legend. Suddenly transported back to the fourteenth century, to a world of castles, feasts, jousts, and battles, he is accepted by everyone as the eldest son of Sir Roger de Blois. Peter learns how to live as the son of a Norman lord, how to hawk, and fight, and shoot a longbow, and, finally he has to escape alone from their besieged castle to bring help. But one day he will have to return to his own time...

About the Author

Award winning author (OMG) Rhys A Jones writes fantastic, funny, scary (is this a bit too presumptuous? By fantastic I mean fantasy, not brilliant--though I hope they are--brilliant that is), mysteries for ages 10 and up. His job is to take you where anything is possible. When he isn't writing he walks the dogs and occasionally practices medicine. He lives in an evergreen valley in West Wales with his very understanding wife. Visit the author via: Author Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

The Giveaway
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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Mischievians by William Joyce, Book Review

Published by: Simon & Schuster Kids (Atheneum Books)
Released on: October 22nd, 2013
Ages: 5 & Up
Source: Purchased 
 5 Owlets: We Loved It!

Where’s my homework? Who took my other sock? What’s that in my belly button? The creators of the #1 New York Timesbestselling and Academy Award–winning The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore have found the answers to these and other life mysteries…and no, it’s not your fault!Strange smells. Disappearing remotes. That itch you just can’t reach. It’s not your fault! It’s the Mischievians, an ancient race of global mischief-makers who do all the things that embarrass you. All the things that bug you. All the things that YOU get blamed for!

There is no cause for alarm (sorta). Come meet the Homework Eater, the fiend who steals your homework! See the Endroller, the villain who uses up ALL the toilet paper! Discover the Yawn Mower, the creature who makes you yawn at the worst possible time! And many, many more. Read on, and be free

Have you ever wondered what happened to your homework, or who took the remote control for the TV? Or who makes you yawn and why do you sometimes get a song stuck in your head? Well William Joyce's newest must have read for children answers all those questions and more! The MISCHIEVIANS are responsible for those things and much more. What? You never heard of them? Neither did I until I read this book and now everything makes sense. 

I knew there had to be a reason why we can have so many half pairs of socks, and why I always yawn, and why for some reason in my kids's bathroom there's never any toilet paper let, and yet everyone claims it wasn't them. We have a bad case of The MISCHIEVIANS. Those pesky little creatures are up to no good.... well not really no good. They're up to some good. After all they're doing what they know how to do. 

After reading this book I feel like I finally have the answer to a question no one has been able to answer. These guys are responsible for the things that happen around our house that no one can explain. William Joyce gives the best answers to my burning questions. Chalk full of William Joyce humor, The Mischievians is a book that both children and parents will enjoy. This book has brought plenty of laugher during our bed time reading. It's also encouraged my kids to use their imaginations to come up with their own Mischievians. At the end of the book William left a page for kids to document their own Mischievians, and he wants the kids to share it with him. You never know, he just might use it in one of his up coming books (see the back of the book for more details). 

I will say some William's other books are still my favorites, though I did enjoy this one. It gets a solid 5 stars from my kiddos who loved this book.

Stop by Mundie Kids on Friday when I share video and a recap from our meeting William Joyce from his tour stop in Austin, TX and have a sweet giveaway to share! 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Guest Post with Marissa Moss from Creston Books

Happy Marvelous Middle Grade Monday! Today I'm thrilled to share a guest post with you that gives you a behind the scenes look into children's publishing with Marissa Moss, who herself is an children's author, and now runs her own small press, Creston Books. You can check out the 2013 Fall press release for Marissa's upcoming releases here.

Check out these two covers for Marissa's upcoming releases:

Welcome Marissa to Mundie Kids:

As the fall 2013 list rolls out, believe it or not, I'm already at work on catalog copy for the spring 2014 list.  That means writing those catchy elevator pitches that will make booksellers immediately fall in love with your books.  I'm learning a different kind of writing from picture books and novels with these.  Am I beginning to think like the characters on Mad Men?  Probably not, but here are some samples, so you can judge yourself:

--When the animals on the farm hold a talent show, it turns into a spectacle of magic, drama, and comedy with Denys Cazet's pitch perfect fourth-grade humor.  (Hooves of Fire)
--Two bedtime stories in one, playing on the idea of who's reading to whom with a surprise ending. (Don't Turn the Page)
--Young readers will chant their own cock-a-doodle-oopsies with the farm animals trying to replace the vacationing rooster in this rollicking, humorous tale. (Cock-a-Doodle-Oops!)
--With her trademark humor, Moss introduces Edgar, a vampire boy who must navigate the trials and tribulations of middle school and the vampire world. It's hard to say which one is trickier, but both are funny, from type A positive "milk" cartons at school to Spoken Vampire poetry. (Blood Diaries: the Life of a Middle-School Vampire)

Do they pique your curiosity?  Do they make you want to read the books?  Am I learning how to write like an advertiser?

Another part of catalog copy is getting quotes or those handy-dandy blurbs on the back of books.  So I send layouts of the titles (since books aren't close to being printed yet!) to librarians, booksellers, teachers, and authors, hoping for some kind words.  So far, I've been lucky and people I ask have been generous with their time and support – plus I don't have to write these myself.

Here are some sample blurbs.:
For Cock-a-Doodle-Oops!:
 “One. I love it!
“Two. I want to read it to the first kid that comes into the store today!”
--Luan Stauss, Laurel Book Store
“Will Farmer McPeeper ever wake up? Not without Rooster...and Rooster’s on vacation. Children will jump right in and crow along with each cock-a-doodle- baa, cluck, bleat, each animal tries in vain to wake up the very deep sleeper. This bouncy rhyming read-aloud is perfect for story time. The come-full-circle ending is sure to elicit lots of giggles.”
-- Erica Silverman, author of Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa

And for Don't Turn the Page:
 “Julie Downing creates a lush, night time world, inhabited by two endearing toddlers and their loving Mamas. Someone is being read to, but in this clever bedtime story there lies an unexpected and delightful twist.”
--Ashley Wolff, illustrator of the Miss Bindergarten books

If you want to blurb future books, let me know!  I'm always looking for feedback and you'll get a finished book as a thank you.  What could be better – your name on the back of a book, plus a copy of the book itself?  You'll practically be immortal!  Plus your friends and colleagues will look up to you as a wise arbiter of literary taste.  At least, I will!

About Marissa:
Marissa Moss grew up telling stories and drawing pictures to go with them. She sent her first picture book to publishers when she was nine, but mysteriously enough, never heard back from them. Now she’s written and illustrated more than fifty books, twenty-six of them from her best known series, “Amelia’s Notebook,” which sold more than 5 million copies and has been translated into Chinese, French, Spanish and Indonesian.

She’s written successful historical journals currently used in elementary and middle school curricula, and picture books such as “Jackie Mitchell, the Strike-Out Queen,” illustrated by C.F. Payne, recently optioned for a potential feature film.

Consistently garnering starred reviews from industry tastemakers like Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus, her books have been named as ALA Notables and chosen for the ABA Pick of the List multiple times. She’s won the Choices Award from The Association of Booksellers for Children, Children’s Choice by the Children’s Book Council, and a Parent’s Guide Fiction Award.

Several of the Amelia titles have been on the San Francisco Chronicle’s and Los Angeles Times’ bestseller lists, and her books have been featured in The New York TimesDallas Morning NewsSan Francisco MagazineThe Chicago Tribune and numerous other newspapers and parenting magazines.

Moss is an experienced speaker at various writing conferences and book festivals across the country. Her newest writing project is a middle-grade time travel series with Sourcebooks. The first released in Fall 2012, “Mira’s Diary: Lost in Paris,” and takes its heroine to 19thcentury Paris to meet the Impressionist painters. The series picks up again in spring 2013 with “Mira’s Diary: Home Sweet Rome,” which features 17th century Papal politics along with the enormously talented painter Caravaggio.

Moss proudly launches her publishing house Creston Books in 2013, aiming to bring back the golden age of children’s picture books.  She encourages authors and illustrators to do the work that’s most important to them, the kind of books that resonate deeply with children and their parents.

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 ~