Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I Pledge Allegiance by Pat Mora & Libby Martinez, Book Review

By: Pat Mora & Libby Martinez
Illustrated by: Patrice Barton
Published by: Random House Kids
Released on: 4/22/14
Ages: 3-7
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It!
Source: book from publisher to review
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Libby's great aunt, Lobo, is from Mexico, but the United States has been her home for many years, and she wants to become a U.S. citizen. At the end of the week, Lobo will say the Pledge of Allegiance at a special ceremony. Libby is also learning the Pledge this week, at school—at the end of the week, she will stand up in front of everyone and lead the class in the Pledge. Libby and Lobo practice together—asking questions and sharing stories and memories—until they both stand tall and proud, with their hands over their hearts. 

A must have! This is a book that explains the importance of The Pledge of Allegiance, and what it means, so that young children can understand it. It also tells the story about why Young Libby's great aunt immigrated to the United States from Mexico, and why it was important for her to become a US citizen. Never forgetting her heritage, her new home has provided her the freedoms, education and a better way of life that her parents wanted her to have.

This is a book I'd highly recommend picking up to have in your home, classroom, and libraries. It's an educational read, a great story, and the illustrations are fabulous. This is a must have for all ages.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Harper Children e-Book Deals

School is almost out and that means Summer time is fast approaching!
Check out these current e-book deals from Harper Childrens Books that will make those family road-trips that much easier, and Summer Reading more enjoyable.

Find out more about their amazing e-book deals here. You can beat $2.99 - $1.99 for a book!
 Happy SUMMER Reading!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Hero's Guide To Being An Outlaw by Christopher Healy; Blog Tour: Character Introduction & Giveaway

Hello & Welcome to the next stop in Walden Pond Press's THE HEROES GUIDE to Being An Outlaw blog tour! Today I'm excited to introduce you to two of the book's characters, twins, Corin Silversword & Norin Black-Ax. First, here's a little bit about the book.

Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You think you know those guys pretty well by now, don’t you? Well, think again. The Princes Charming, along with Ella, 
Snow, Rapunzel, and Princess Lila are caught and arrested for the murder of Briar Rose. 
The heroes are simultaneously shocked and sad to hear of this news. But a series of 
suspicious events leads them to believe that notonly is Briar still alive, but some unseen evil 
is working its way into the throne rooms of all thirteen kingdoms. It’s up to the League to 
break out of prison, find Briar, and uncover the nefarious plot before the entire country is 

Check out the trailer:

9. Corin Silversword & Norin Black-Ax
Nickname: “Double Trouble”
Relationship: Twin brothers
Occupation: Bounty Hunters
Affiliation: Gang Greenfang
Kingdom of Origin: Sturmhagen
Current Residence: The Hostile Hostel, a boarding house for bounty
hunters in Blargsburg, Sturmhagen
Parents: Corinne and Norman Stiffenkrauss
Known Partners: Greenfang, Periwinkle Pete, Erik the Mauve,
Longtime Rivals: Each other
Likes: Swords (Corin); axes (Norin); blackberry pie (both)
Dislikes: People who confuse them for one another; wimps; tofu
Signature Move: The Two-Man Tag-Team Bodyslam
Quote: “Stop copying me!” (can be attributed to either brother)
Little Known Fact: Norin was officially born first, but no one knows
for sure which twin is the original Norin and which the original Corin, 
thanks to their father juggling them as newborns.
thanks to their father juggling them as newborns.
About The Author

Christopher Healy is the author of The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, which the
New York Times selected as one of its best books of the year, calling it “charming—a qurest 
that recalls at moments the Musketeers and at others the Marxes”; as well as its sequel,
The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle, which Publishers Weekly hailed as
“uproariously funny” in a starred review.He is also a reviewer of children’s media. 
Chris lives with his wife and two children in New Jersey. 
You can find him online at www.christopherhealy.com

The Giveaway
Thank you to Walden Pond Press, 1 lucky winner will receive a SIGNED copy of the book. To enter, please fill out the form below.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Kate Walden Directs: Night Of The Zombie Chickens by Julie Mata; Blog Tour: Excerpt

Happy Marvelous Middle Grade Monday! Today I'm thrilled to be apart of the blog tour for Julie Mata's Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Zombie Chickens, which is out TOMORROW from Disney Hyperion. Find out a little bit about the book, check out the trailer, and read an excerpt from chapter 5!

By Julie Mata    
Pub Date: May 20, 2014 
ISBN: 1423194594
Price: $16.99
Ages 8–12

Night of the Zombie Chickens is supposed to be Kate Walden’s breakout film. But her supporting actresses—her mother’s prize organic hens—are high maintenance, to say the least. Thank goodness Kate’s best friend Alyssa is the star. She’s great at screaming and even better at killing zombies in creative ways.

But when Alyssa turns into a real-life soulless zombie and ditches Kate for the most popular girl in seventh grade, Kate suddenly finds herself both friendless and starless. Now, thanks to Alyssa’s new crowd, Kate is the butt of every joke at school and consigned to the loser table at lunch.

If movies have taught Kate anything, it’s that the good guy can always win—with the right script. And her fellow social outcasts may be the key to her own happy ending. Kate hatches the perfect revenge plot against her former best friend, but even though her screenplay is foolproof, Kate soon realizes that nothing—in filmmaking or in life—ever goes exactly as planned. Especially when there are diabolical hens out to get you.

Debut author JULIE MATA co-owns a film/video production business, where she works as the producer and writer. Previously she pounded out copy as a television reporter, producer, and freelance writer Julie lives with her husband and two daughters in Wisconsin, along with three dogs, two ferrets, one bearded dragon lizard, and a parrot. She’s also owned chickens, although none were zombies, as far as she knows!

Read an excerpt

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Dark & Dismal Flower; Spotlight & Giveaway

Happy Marvelous Middle Grade Monday! Welcome to my stop in the tour for A Dark & Dismal Flower. I'm excited to share with you a little bit about this book. 

A Dark and Dismal Flower by JC Her and Eve Scott
Release Date: May 1, 2014 from Coliloquy LLC

"Mind the seeds you plant, and the flowers that you tend," advises Aunt Maeve as she hands a packet of magical seeds to her little niece. 

From that mix of seeds sprouts a mesmerizing, magical journey for one little girl.

Each day, the girl plants a different seed, only to see flowers bloom into botanical allegories of her own behavior: The bright seed of Cheerfulness grows towards the light. The seed of Patience grows slowly and blooms after many moons. In the garden are virtues: Kindness, Hope, Generosity, Humor and Gratitude. But also failings: Fibs, Misery, Tattle Tale, Vanity and Argument. Each flower represents a quality that the little girl cultivates (or battles) within herself. 

Mother and daughter authors J.C. Herz and Eve Scott take readers on a vivid, interactive adventure whose literary language and exquisite animated illustrations are deeply evocative. The narrative and imagery opens the door for even young children to reflect on their own behavior and moral choices.

A Dark and Dismal Flower's Twitter and Facebook
Watch the Book Trailer

Author Bios

JC Herz is the author of three books, including Learning to Breathe Fire: The Rise of CrossFit and the Primal Future of Fitness. She was the New York Times’ first game design critic (her “Game Theory” essays are archivedhere), and has written for Wired and Rolling Stone. She is an avid gardener, and likes to plant the purple versions of regular vegetables.
Eve Scott is in second grade. She likes to build fairy houses and create jewelry out of natural materials. She has written two songs for ukulele, and an illustrated exposition of the parallels between Tolkien’s world of middle earth and Seamus Heaney’s translation of Beowulf.

Shamona Stokes is a designer and illustrator, currently freelancing in New York City (her website: www.addsubtract.net). Her work has been showcased in publications like Graphis and galleries nationwide, including the Society of Illustrators. Her designs and artwork can be found on the bottom of skateboards and onstage for top-billing musicians. Shamona holds a BFA in Communication Design/Illustration from Pratt Institute. In her downtime, she enjoys adventuring in NYC and traveling to places off-the-beaten-path.

Alex Scott is a motion graphics designer and animator, freelancing in the NYC area (his website: www.movementsociety.com). His work on broadcast TV has contributed to several Gold PromaxBDA and Telly awards. His animations have also been seen on digital billboards overlooking Times Square and at film festivals around the world. Alex received a BFA in Computer Graphics from Pratt Institute in 2001 where he met his wife, Shamona. He draws inspiration from the intersection of science and art and has an ear for music.

The Giveaway
As the seeds in DDF sprout alongside our protagonist, we would love for YOU to share your own stories--of crankiness, cheerfulness, laughter.  Anyone can invent a seed they/their child experienced, and share their story on twitter using the hashtag #sprout. Then, enter HERE to potentially win our giveaway: a print from the beautiful illustrations in the book. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 5, 2014

EVERBLAZE by Shannon Messenger, Cover Reveal (Marvelous Middle Grade Monday)

Happy Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
Today I'm really excited to share some exciting news for a friend of mine, Shannon Messenger! The official cover and synopsis for EVERBLAZE has been revealed! Check out what Shannon said about it here, and now check out this cover (which I shared here).

I LOVE this cover! I can not wait till November, when Everblaze hits bookstore shelves. 

About the book:

Sophie Foster is ready to fight back.

Her talents are getting stronger, and with the elusive Black Swan group ignoring her calls for help, she’s determined to find her kidnappers—before they come after her again. 

But a daring mistake leaves her world teetering on the edge of war, and causes many to fear that she has finally gone too far. And the deeper Sophie searches, the farther the conspiracy stretches, proving that her most dangerous enemy might be closer than she realizes. 

In this nail-biting third book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must fight the flames of rebellion, before they destroy everyone and everything she loves.

What Shannon said about it:
Sing it with me: Dun Dun Dunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

I know that probably raises more questions than answers, and sadly I can't tell you anything except: you'll find out when you read! And I am so excited for that to happen. Hurry up November 4th--we're waiting!

But hey, in the meantime, if you would like to pre-order, here's some handy links:

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Minnie & Friends Cookbook - Book Review

By: Cynthia Littlefield & Joanne Schmaltz
Published by: Disney Press
Released on: 4/15/14
Source: Disney
5 Owlets: We Loved It!
Ages: 6-8
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Books A Million

From Ear-resistible French Toast to Polka-dot Fruit Sundaes, this beautiful cookbook is filled with delicious recipes inspired by Minnie Mouse and all her friends. With simple step-by-step instructions, mouth-watering photos of each dish, and helpful tips from Minnie herself, this cookbook makes it easy for kids to whip up some kitchen magic. After all, no one can pull off the perfect recipe quite like Minnie can.

If you have little ones who love Disney and cooking, then this is a must have! Everything in this cookbook is kid friendly. With directions that are easy to read and follow along, and pictures that are mouthwatering, this is a book that offers hours of fun in the kitchen for you and your little one(s), while making up healthy food to eat.

As soon as this book arrived, my daughter snatched it right up and began looking through it, searching for various foods we could start making up. My daughter and I have also picking up other Disney children's cookbooks which have been offered through the Scholastic Book Fair at my kids's school. Like those, this one is definitely worth adding to your collection of books/cookbooks at home.

One of our favorite recipes we've made so far is the whole wheat Mickey Mouse french toast. For me as a parent, it was priceless seeing my little girl get all excited about making a meal. Though I helped her with some of it, she was so happy to be able to do something like this mostly on her own. Unfortunately we didn't have round cookie cutters to use to make Mickey Mouse french toast, but that didn't take away from the from. Instead it gave us a great idea to make other shapes. For me, I loved this idea of thinking outside of the box when it came to making french toast. I've never thought of making shapes before. It was incredibly easy using cookie cutters to cut shapes into the bread.

In my opinion, you can't go wrong with The Minnie & Friends cookbook. It's a must have!
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 ~