Friday, January 31, 2014

Catching Kisses by Amy Gibson, Book Review

By: Amy Gibson
Illustrated by: Maria Van Lieshout
Published by: MacMillan Children's Books (Feiwel & Friends)
Released on: 12.31.13
Ages: Toddler on up
Rating: 5 Owlets - We LOVED IT
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to Goodreads

At any given moment/someone, somewhere
is blowing a kiss.
And somewhere/someone/is catching it.

So begins this journey of the heart, as readers young and old follow a handful of kisses around the United States. From San Francisco to New Orleans to New York City, the text and stylized artwork celebrate all the ways kisses are shared.

This book is simply adorable! From the cute story about the various kinds of kisses that exist in the world around us, to the lyrical words, and really cool illustrations, this book is a must have. 

I loved the lyrical words. With passages like:

At any given moment, someone, somewhere, is blowing a kiss.
And somewhere, someone is catching it.


Like thumbprints and snowflakes, no two are the same.

One of the really cool things about this book, is the story and the illustrations take readers on a journey. From the Public Market in Seattle, to the snow capped mountains in Aspen, the Texas State Fair in TX, a little league field Harlem and all the places in between, readers will enjoy the simple illustrations, vibrant colors, and little details about each city that the story takes them to. 

Author Amy Gibson, and illustrator Maria Van Lieshout reminded me of why I love reading children's picture books. I have to say this is one of my favorite picture books I've read in awhile. Not only did my children love it, but I found myself at times wanting to cut out some of the illustrations, and lyrical words to put in a frame to hang in my library. I'd definitely recommend picking this one up!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Dreamwood by Heather Mackey, Waiting On Wednesday

By: Heather Mackey
Published by: Putnam Juvenile
To Be Released on: 6.12.14
Pre-Order from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Lucy Darrington has no choice but to run away from boarding school. Her father, an expert on the supernatural, has been away for too long while doing research in Saarthe, a remote territory in the Pacific Northwest populated by towering redwoods, timber barons, and the Lupine people. But upon arriving, she learns her father is missing: Rumor has it he’s gone in search of dreamwood, a rare tree with magical properties that just might hold the cure for the blight that’s ravaging the forests of Saarthe.

Determined to find her father (and possibly save Saarthe), Lucy and her vexingly stubborn friend Pete follow William Darrington’s trail to the deadly woods on Devil’s Thumb. As they encounter Lupine princesses, giant sea serpents, and all manner of terrifying creatures, Lucy hasn’t reckoned that the dreamwood itself might be the greatest threat of all.

I'm really looking forward to some of this year's middle grade releases. This one looks like it's going to be one of those awesome reads. I can't wait to get my hands on it. I totally love the cover. What middle grade releases are you looking forward to this year?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pink Cupcake Magic by Katherine Tegen, Book Review

By: Katherine Tegen
Illustrated by: Kristin Varner
Published by: Henry Holt (MacMillan Childrens)
Released on: 1.28.14 TODAY
Source: arc from publisher to review
Rating: 5 Owlets- WE LOVED IT!
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to Goodreads

Zoe loves cupcakes, especially pink ones, and princesses, especially magic ones. Unfortunately her greedy brother Ralph loves cupcakes too—he spoils everything! One day Zoe bakes a wish into her cupcakes. Suddenly she is a real princess!  But Ralph is still up to his old tricks. Will Princess Zoe finally find a way to give Ralph what he deserves?

Katherine Tegen’s humorous text and Kristin Varner’s magical artwork will satisfy every sister who has ever been plagued by a brother, and every child who believes in the power of magic!

A deliciously written books for fans of cupcakes, and fairytales, this a children's book I highly recommend picking up. We absolutely loved it. Having a little girl who LOVES all things pink, cupcakes and imaginative play, this was the perfect book for her. I've loved all the times we've sat together reading this book. The story is simply adorable as are the illustrations. You can't go wrong with a cute story, adorable illustrations, and having a recipe for cupcakes included in the back of the book. Yes, I said a cupcake recipe! This is an irresistible book that's a must have for fans of all ages.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Early Bird by Toni Yuly, Book Review

By: Toni Yuly
Published by: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan Children's)
To Be Released on: 1/28/14
Source: arc from publisher to review
Ratings: 4 Owls- We Enjoyed It
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to Goodreads

Early Bird wakes up before the sun. She is hungry. What will she have for breakfast?

With language that emphasizes action words, this is a fun story for morning, nighttime, any time. 

This is a cute story about a bird, who's an early riser. She's not the only who gets up early. There's someone she's meeting when the sunrises, in the garden. I enjoyed the fact that this story is simple in it's story telling, making it incredibly easy for toddlers and young readers to follow along. It's also a great beginning reader book. The illustrations are cute, and I loved that they're not overly detailed. This again is beneficial to young readers, as the vividly bright and catchy illustrations will hold their attention. This is a cute story worth picking up. This is a great book for toddlers, and preschool aged children.

Friday, January 24, 2014

I SEE KITTY by Yasmine Surovec / CITY CAT by Kate Banks, Book Review

I love a great children's books. What makes it great? The story, the adorable illustrations, and most importantly if my kids enjoy so much that they ask me to read the book to them over and over again. Below are two great books that my kids, especially my daughter, enjoyed so much, we've read these books countless times. Check out two books I think are not only great children's picture books, but they're ones young cat lovers will enjoy. 

Written & Illustrated by: Yasmine Surovec
Published by: Roaring Book Press (Macmillan Children's)
Released on: September 24th, 2013
Source: arc from publisher to review
Rating: 5 Owls- We LOVED It
Purchase it From: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to Goodreads

Love that Kitty! The most adorable picture book of the year invites the very youngest cat lovers to find Kitty in the world around them. Chloe loves kitties. She wants a cat so much that she sees Kitty everywhere she goes: at the bus stop, in her backyard, in the starry night sky, even in her dreams. From debut children's book illustrator Yasmine Surovec comes a story so adorable that if you don't already love cats you will by the time you're done reading it. In the tradition of iconic preschool books like Where's Spot?, I See Kitty uses bright, bold artwork to appeal to very young readers and charm them for generations to come.

We LOVED this book! You already can't go wrong with a cute cat story for kids, but with Yasmine Surovec's illustrations you've got a match made in cat heaven. This book is adorable! The story is just right for young children and beginning readers. The illustrations are FABULOUS! I absolutely love Yasmine's illustrations. The pictures along made the book for me. This is one book I'd definitely recommend picking up!


By: Kate Banks
Illustrated by: Lauren Castillo
Released on: November 19th, 2013
Source: arc from publisher to review
Rating: 4 Owls - We Really Enjoyed It
Purchase it From: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to Goodreads

A plucky stray cat takes a Grand Tour in Kate Banks' story of a family on a European vacation. As the family travels from one city to the next, the cat finds its own means--by bus, boat, train, truck, and bike--to tag along on the trip, visiting historic landmarks like Buckingham Palace and the Cathedral of Notre Dame along the way. Readers will pore over the spreads to find  where City Cat is hiding in each city, and detailed backmatter explains the history behind the sites in each locale.

Young readers can travel the world with City Cat! City Cat takes readers all over Europe, as City Cat stows away in the family luggage as they set off for a trip that takes them all over Europe. With stops in Italy, France, Spain, England, German and the Netherlands, young readers will enjoy learning fun facts about the various countries and cities as City Cat journeys around each city stop. With an adorable cat, fun & simple illustrations,  City Cat makes a great addition for any home, classroom or library. It's one that is also educational, as at the end of the book the author includes fun facts about each of the cities that City Cat visits. This is a book we enjoyed, and one I'd recommend picking up. It will appeal to young readers, fans of adventures, travel, and of course, adorable for readers who adore cute cats. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

In The Hall of The Mountain King by Allison Flannery, Book Review

Illustrated by: Vesper Stamper
Published by: self published
Released on: April 1st, 2013
Source: book from author to review
4 Owls: We Really Enjoyed It!
Purchase it From: HERE
Add it to Goodreads

This beautifully illustrated story brings to life Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg's musical masterpiece and Henrik Ibsen's timeless characters. Geared toward children 4-9, the story follows young Peer "into the forest and out the other side" where he finds the mysterious Mountain King's castle and begins a harrowing chase that mirrors the movement of the music it’s based on. The book includes a CD with orchestral performances of "In the Hall of the Mountain King" and four other pieces from the "Peer Gynt Suite."

My kids really enjoyed this book. It was easy for them to read, and follow along was we read about Peer's story.  I enjoyed the folklore feel of the story. I thought Flannery did a great job with bringing Henrik Ibsen's play, Peer Gynt, to life. Set in beautiful Norway, illustrated Vesper Stamper's illustrations alone make this book I would have picked up. In The Hall of the Mountain King is a complete package of children book awesomeness. You can't go wrong with a fabulous story, great illustrations, and a musical CD that helps bring the wonder, and imagination fun of childhood to life. 

This book is a great addition for any home, classroom or library. With lively illustrations, and a fun adventurous story, young readers are sure to enjoy this book. Not only is it a great story, but it's a story that can be used in a lesson for any Kindergarten or First Grade classroom. The CD that comes with book will have readers dancing and singing along to Grieg's music. 

* Be sure to check out Allison's site for more info and useful tips on using the book in the classroom, HERE.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

WILDWOOD IMPERIUM by Colin Meloy & Carson Ellis, Waiting On Wednesday

By: Colin Meloy & Carson Ellis
Published by: Harper Collins Children's Books
To Be Released on: 2.4.2014
Series: Wildwood  Chronicles #3
Pre-Order From: Amazon Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
Add it to Goodreads

A young girl’s midnight séance awakens a long-slumbering malevolent spirit . . .
A band of runaway orphans ally with an underground collective of saboteurs and plan a daring rescue of their friends, imprisoned in the belly of an industrial wasteland . . .
Two old friends draw closer to their goal of bringing together a pair of exiled toymakers in order to reanimate a mechanical boy prince . . .
As the fate of Wildwood hangs in the balance.
The third book in the Wildwood Chronicles is a rich, moving, and dazzling story, by turns funny and profound. Both Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis are at the height of their gifts with Wildwood Imperium.
I LOVE this series, and I can not wait to read this book. This is one of my favorite MG series, and if you've not yet picked up this series, I highly recommend that you do. AND if you're in the Austin, TX area, Colin and Carson will be at Book People on 2/5!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

SORRY YOU'RE LOST by Matt Blackstone, Giveaway

Happy Monday! I'm thrilled to feature an upcoming release that's receiving a great book buzz. Though I've not yet read the book, I hear SORRY YOU'RE LOST a book that will touch all reader's hearts. Thank you to author Matt Blackstone, I've also got an arc to giveaway.

First, here's a little bit about Matt Blackstone's SORRY YOU'RE LOST.

When seventh grader Denny “Donuts” Murphy’s mother dies, he hides his grief in pranks, girls, and classroom rock stardom. Craving a larger distraction, Donuts and his best friend hatch a flabbergasting candy scheme to land dates to an upcoming dance. But dodging teachers, bullies, candy wrappers, and the truth isn’t (entirely) a laughing matter. It’s time to stop playing the fool and find out what more Donuts is made of.
Matt Blackstone’s funny and uplifting novel about friendship, loss, and healing reminds us all that life is good. Except when it’s not. And even then . . . well, as a wise person atop a mountain sipping hot chocolate and eating gourmet candy bars once said, You should read the book.

Purchase the Book from: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | IndieBound

Book Praise

"A painful, funny and realistic picture of a family coming to terms with loss."   
-Kirkus Reviews
"Nothing short of heartbreakingly authentic."

“Blackstone (A Scary Scene in a Scary Movie) returns with a humorous and graceful novel . . . The title refers to a misspelled note of condolence that Denny receives, but it also accurately reflects his state of being, as he flounders with his withdrawn father and his peers.  The novel's middle-school dynamics are particularly strong, especially Denny's relationships with his oddball and entrepreneurial best friend Manny -- who talks like an aristocrat and cons Denny into selling candy in the halls -- and Denny's crush, the studious Sabrina.  Denny and his father’s inability to communicate, despite their shared loss, lends a stark and raw tension that eventually boils to the surface in this poignant account of a boy grappling with a gaping void in his life."    
 -Publishers Weekly

About the Author

   For as long as I can remember, I liked writing stories. In elementary school, they were about tooth fairies and snap bracelets and wrestling buddies. And about how I loved to steal rocks from the neighbor’s front yard and bash them with a hammer to see the crystals inside, which I thought were real crystals and worth bajillions of dollars, so I couldn’t wait to sell them and buy a baseball stadium and a pool and, because I’d be a wise, responsible bijillionaire, I’d invest in baseball cards. Ken Griffey Jr. baseball cards.
     Well, Ken Griffey Jr.’s cards are now worth a few bucks. And those rocks, the ones I stole, the ones with the crystals inside . . . they’re just rocks. So I’m sorta glad those stories didn’t come true, because, honestly, it would suck to lose a bajillion dollars.   After not becoming a bajillionaire and losing it all, I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and taught high school English in Baltimore, New York City, and now on Long Island. My debut novel, A SCARY SCENE IN A SCARY MOVIE (FSG, 2011), is about an anxiety-filled teen and the friend who tutors him in playing it cool. My next MG novel, SORRY YOU'RE LOST (FSG 2014), is about a 7th grader named Denny "Donuts" Murphy who hatches a flabbergasting candy/dance scheme to distract himself from the loss of his mom to cancer. 

Follow Matt: Website | Twitter | Facebook

The Giveaway:
Thank you to Matt, I've got an ARC of Sorry You're Lost to giveaway to one lucky winner. This giveaway is open to residents of the us. To enter, please fill out the form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 16, 2014

SILENT STARSONG by T.J. Wooldridge, Cover Reveal

I'm thrilled to be apart of Spencer Hill Press's cover reveal for SILENT STARSONG by T.J. Wooldridge. We sci-fi adventure book for kids, hitting stores on July 15th, 2014. 

Check out this great cover below:

About the Book
By: T.J. Wooldridge
Published by: Spencer Hill Press
Release Date: July 15th, 2014
Age: Middle Grade
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Eleven-year-old Kyra is meant to continue the Starbard's proud family legacy of 
interpreting the future from the stars' songs. Her deafness, incurable by the best medics, breaks her mother's heart and pushes her father to explore anything to help his little girl--including the expensive purchase of a telepathic alien servant to help Kyra communicate on a planet inhospitable to unfixable genetic defects.
Marne's telepathy is too weak for his Naratsset culture, so he is sold into slavery and expects to die at the hands of human owners--until he meets a human child who begs her father to "save" him. Her kindness introduces Marne to a new world--one where he would risk his life to save a human from her own people's abuse and the stars' songs can touch even a deaf girl and a defective telepath.

When an intergalactic terrorist organization kills Kyra's father, driving her mother to madness, Kyra and Marne only have each others' friendship--until even that is threatened by the danger surrounding the Starbard heritage. But can the two friends, not good enough for either of their cultures or families, manage to keep each other safe when several different worlds threaten their lives?

I'm looking forward to reading this one.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Adventure of a Lifetime Awaits! The Copernicus Legacy by Tony Abbott

Check out this exciting news from Harper Collins Children's Books:

The Quest Begins 
in THE COPERNICUS LEGACY: THE FORBIDDEN STONE, the first book in the middle grade series from bestselling author Tony Abbott. 
With intrigue, puzzles, and action, The Copernicus Legacy is a thrilling experience not to be missed.

Do You Have What it Takes 
to find the relics and save the fate of the world? Join the Relic Hunt and become part of the adventure! 
Four lucky winners (and their chaperones) will win a chance to compete in The Copernicus Legacy Relic Hunt—a real-life quest inspired by Book 1 in the series: THE FORBIDDEN STONE.  

Crack The Copernicus Code 
using the cypher to solve as many coded messages as you can before time runs out!

Watch Tony Abbott 
play a word association game with the Copernicus Legacy!

For more fun, check out Tony's video below:

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hot Off The Press: New Releases from Harper Collins Children's Books

The new year is getting off to a great start book wise. There are a ton of fabulous books hitting shelves this year. Check out some of today's new releases from Harper Collins Children's Books:

Now in paperback:

Which books will you be picking up?

Friday, January 3, 2014

If You Loved Frozen, Check Out These Titles from Harper Collins Children's Books

Is your child a fan of Frozen? Then check out these books your young reader will like from Harper Collins Children's Books. Getting into the spirit Frozen, Disney's newest block buster movie that we're huge fans of, Harper Collins Children's Books shared a list of books Frozen fans will love. 


We're huge fans of The Snow Queen. 

I really enjoyed Bread Crumbs and The Winterling, both of which have previously been reviewed here on Mundie Kids. I'm adding Ella and The Silver Bowl to my list of books to read. I loved Frozen almost as much as my little girl did. 

You can read why they selected these exciting titles here

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hi, Koo! A Year of Seasons by Jon J Muth, Book Review

By: Jon J. Muth
Published by: Scholastic
To Be Released on: 2/25/14
Source: unbound book from publisher to review from publisher
Ages: Toddler & Up
5 Owlets: We Loved It!
Pre-Order from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to Goodreads

Caldecott Honoree and NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author/artist Jon J Muth takes a fresh and exciting new look at the four seasons!

Eating warm cookies
on a cold day
is easy
water catches
every thrown stone
skip skip splash

With a featherlight touch and disarming charm, Jon J Muth--and his delightful little panda bear, Koo--challenge readers to stretch their minds and imaginations with twenty-six haikus about the four seasons.

This book is simply beautiful. Both in it's words and illustrations. Author Jon J Muth does a brilliant job at introducing readers to Haiku, a poetic form that originated in Japan, to tell his story. I've not read a book written in Haiku, and I have to say I loved it. I worked perfect for Koo's story. We loved the illustrations and the telling of the different seasons. I felt like Jon captured the essence of what each of the four seasons brings and encompasses perfectly with Koo's story. My little girl loves this book! This one will be picking up when it hits book store shelves.

Fans of Koo's will love picking this book up. If you've not yet met Koo, the lovable Panda Bear, you're missing out. I'm going to be shocked if this book isn't up for an award this year. This is a must have!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

(Picture found on Google)

Happy New Year!
Good bye 2013, Hello 2014!!!

Wow, what a wonderful year 2013 was. There were a ton of fabulous books released this year. Sadly, I for the first time since starting this blog, had so much going on this year, that I am way behind on getting reviews posted. I apologize for that. Between traveling, becoming PTA President, dealing with health problems with my little girl, and having to have a full hysterectomy and a little bit of a rough recovery this past month, I didn't get to all the things I had hoped to do on the blog in 2013. It's definitely been a crazy, insane year, and one I also feel grateful for. I'm looking forward to filling this blog up with bookish post this year.

There were truly a lot of wonderful author and book events this year that I was able to be apart of. There have been a lot of fabulous books I've read this year that I'm eager to tell you about. One of the most rewarding things for me this year was being able to donate so many books this year to shelters, libraries and teachers. Nothing is more rewarding to me as a book reviewer than getting books into the hands of children. I feel truly grateful to be able to do what I do as a book reviewer. I'm truly grateful to the publishers and authors who have been so gracious in working with Mundie Kids, and to each of you for supporting Mundie Kids, and taking time out of your busy schedules to stop by and check out our reviews.

THANK YOU! I'm excited about the things I have in store for this new year here on Mundie Kids, and I look forward to talking to you about all the exciting books that have come out and are due out this year. Here's to a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
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 ~