Wednesday, January 28, 2015


The cover for Shannon Messenger's NEVERSEEN was released yesterday!
Check out this fabulous cover!

Shannon Messenger revealed the cover for her 4th book in the KEEPER series yesterday, here on her blog. I LOVE this series. Every cover in this series has been amazing, but this just might be my favorite one yet. 

Here's what Shannon had to say about it in her post yesterday:

~ That is Sophie, Keefe, and Biana on the cover 

~ No, Fitz and Dex aren't on the cover, but YES they are in the book just as much. 

~ Yes, that IS Biana's hand grabbing Keefe's arm. And no, I have no comment on that.
(Though I'm sure the fandom will have LOTS of thoughts...)

~ Yes, they all look worried--and rightfully so. A humongous wave is crashing over them!

And...that's it. I can't tell you what the scene is, or where they are, or at what point that scene happens in the story. For that, you'll have to wait for the book 

The book is set to be released sometime this Fall. I CAN NOT WAIT TO GET MY HANDS ON IT! 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Princess in Black by Shannon & Dean Hale, Book Review

By: Shannon Hale & Dean Hale
Illustrated by: LeUyen Pham
Published by: Candlewick Press
Released on: October 14th, 2014
Series: The Princess in Black #1
Source: Purchased book
Ages: 4 & up
Rating: 5 Owls - We Loved It!
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it Goodreads

Who says princesses don’t wear black? When trouble raises its blue monster head, Princess Magnolia ditches her flouncy dresses and becomes the Princess in Black!

Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret —she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Can the princess sneak away, transform into her alter ego, and defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret? 

From award-winning writing team of Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham, here is the first in a humorous and action-packed chapter book series for young readers who like their princesses not only prim and perfect, but also dressed in black.

This is a fabulous beginning reader. It's action packed, and easy to read. Unlike some easy to read books, this book's pages contain the right amount of easy to read words. I felt like each of the words are ones first and second graders should easily be able to read. Each page contains great illustrations that will keep readers engaged with the story. 

My daughter and I loved this book. It's full of adventure, heart, and the best part, is that it is about Princess Magnolia. Princess Magnolia is not a normal Princess. I mean, she is a Princess, and she wears the things you'd except a Princess to wear, and she does the things you'd excerpt a Princess to do. But, she has a secret. Princess Magnolia is also, the Princess in Black.

The Princess in Black is not afraid of anything. Unlike Princess Magnolia who wears Pink, the Princess in Black wears all black. Since Princess Magnolia lives close to wear the monsters live, it's up to the Princess in Black to stop them. When a big Blue Monster tries to take some goats, it's up to the Princess in Black to save the day. Luckily she doesn't have to face the monsters alone. She has her trusted horse by her side. And yes, he too has his own disguise.

I love that the story is about a girl who can be both a Princess and a great heroine. It shows kids that they can be whomever they want to, and have fun doing it. My daughter identified  with Princess Magnolia, as she loves to dress up as a Princess, as well as done a mask, and dress up in cape, and save the day.  

This is a fantastic book, and one I'd highly recommend picking up. Don't let the beginning reader comment throw you off. This is a fabulous chapter book I think fans of all ages will enjoy. I won't tell you my age, but it's long past the beginning reader stage, and I loved it, and I look forward to reading it again. It's no surprise that it ended up on the New York Times Best Sellers List. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in this series. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Celebrate National Readathon Day, TODAY from Noon-4 P.M. #NationalReadathonDay #TimeToRead

It's National Readathon Day #NationalReadathonDay!  A day in which you can help promote literacy. 

Readers are invited to sit and read from 12 pm - 4 pm! That's right, you are awarded guilt
free reading in the middle of your busy Saturday afternoon to sit and read your favorite books, pick up new books, and kick back and relax. How can you say no to promote literacy, and taking time to have guilt free reading? Many of us readers are expanding that time to even longer. 

The important thing about today, is taking the time to read, and promote something many of take for granted, being able to read. If you can't join in from noon-4 pm, read earlier, or later. If you can take part during designated times, please do so. 

Be sure to tweet about it via: #NationalReadathonDay & #TimeToRead. 

I've shared a post from Penguin Random House, who along with GoodReads, Mashable, and the National Book Foundation, has put together today's National READATHON Day. Taken from their post here, this is what they said about today:

You might take for granted how easy it is for you to read this sentence, but millions of Americans still struggle with basic literacy. 40% of American adults are either at or below basic reading proficiency, and 14% are fully illiterate. But the trouble doesn’t stop there. Each year, millions of Americans — especially our youth — are losing touch with the power and importance of reading books. As Malcolm X said, “People don’t realize how a whole life can be changed by one book.” 
Help change lives this winter by celebrating National Readathon Day with Penguin Random House, GoodReadsMashable, and the National Book Foundation. Together with your support, we hope to help fund their efforts to educate, tutor, create and sustain a lifelong love of reading. 
You can get involved by joining readers across America in a marathon reading session on Saturday, January 24. From Noon – 4 PM in our respective time zones, we will sit and read a book in our own home, library, school or bookstore.Get started now by creating your own Firstgiving Fundraising page, and inviting friends and family to donate, or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information. 
If you represent a bookstore, library or school, we invite your venue to host a “reading party” during the Readathon, so your local community can gather and read together. You can also create a fundraising team (named for your bookstore or library), enabling your community to fund raise together as a group to contribute to the National Book Foundation’s efforts to promote reading in America. Visit our Readathon Resources page for supporting materials and information on how to get started. 
And be sure to share your experiences and photos using the hash tag, #timetoread!
For more information about today's Readathon, check out Penguin Random House's About The Readathon, How To Participate, Readathon Resources, Participating Venues, and FAQs about today's event. 
If you're in Austin, TX stop by BOOK PEOPLE today between 12 noon and 4 pm!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Mom for Umande, A True Adoption Story by Maria Faulconer; Blog Tour: Book Review & Giveaway!

Hello and welcome to the next stop in the blog tour for A MOM FOR UMANDE. I am so thrilled to feature this heart warming story.

By: Maria Faulconer
Illustrated by: Susan Kathleen Hartung
Released on: April 3rd, 2014
Ages: children's picture book
Rating: 5 Owls - We Loved It!
Source: e-book from author to review in exchange for my honest review
Purchase it from: Amazon | B&N 
Add it to: Goodreads

The heart-tugging true story of how a baby gorilla found love in the arms of a surrogate mom

When Umande was born, his mother didn’t know how to take care of him. So, he was hand-reared by keepers at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs. For eight months, the keepers crawled on the ground with him to show him how to walk; coughed in his face to teach him discipline; and gave him happy gorilla grumbles to encourage him. But for Umande, something was still missing. Luckily, a thousand miles away at the Columbus Zoo, a mom was waiting just for him.

This touching true story about finding a family will resonate with animal lovers and adoptive families alike. Share this book with fans of Owen & MzeeTarra & Bella, and Knut.

A beautiful read! This is one of the sweetest, and most touching children's books I have had the privilege of reading. From the story to the illustrations, everything about this book will pull at your heart strings. The beautiful thing about this story, is that it's true. 

When Umande, the baby gorilla is born, his mother didn't know how to take care of him, because she was a young, inexperienced gorilla. Though she was interested in him, she didn't know what he needed. Thankfully the Zoo Keepers at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, where he was born at, did. They took care of him, until they found him the best home, with a mother gorilla who was waiting to love him and take care of him, as if he was her very own. 

I feel that this is a great book for those who like baby Umande, have been adopted. It's also a book that animal lovers will enjoy. As I mentioned above, this story is so sweet, and the illustrations are simply adorable! This is definitely worth picking up and reading. 

About Maria Faulconer

Maria Faulconer has published fiction and nonfiction for children and adults. She loves writing stories, especially ones that tug at the heartstrings. A huge animal lover, and an adoptive mom herself, she knew when she saw a photo of a baby gorilla snuggling with his surrogate mom that she had to tell their story – A Mom for Umande. Her first children’s book, Arianna and the Strawberry Tea, was used for a statewide literacy program. She currently writes for Colorado Springs Style magazine and is working on a YA novel. She lives in Colorado with her husband and two children.
Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

The Giveaway

Winner will receive a gift basket that includes a $50 Amazon gift card, a copy of A MOM FOR UMANDE, a stuffed baby gorilla, a gorilla zoo book, a miniature wooden zoo train set, Gummi Bears, and rock candy!

 Follow the Tour:
Monday, January 12th - Geo Librarian (Review)
Wednesday, January 14th - Bumbles and Fairy-Tales (Review)
Friday, January 16th - In Between the Pages (Interview & Review)
Monday, January 19th - Such a Novel Idea (Review)
Wednesday, January 21st - Mundie Kids (Review)
Friday, January 23rd - Adoption Mama (Review)
Monday, January 26th - WS Momma Readers Nook (Review)
Wednesday, January 28th - A Leisure Moment (Podcast Interview & Review)
Friday, January 30th - Historical Fiction Obsession (Review)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Violet Mackerel's Personal Space by Anna Branford; Book Review

By: Anna Branford
Published by: Atheneum
Released on: 9/3/3
Source: book from publisher to review, in exchange for my honest review
Ages: 8 & up
Rating: 4 Owlets - We Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Is it possible to leave a piece of you wherever you go? Violet Mackerel thinks so in this fourth illustrated chapter book of a charming series.

Violet Mackerel believes that wherever you leave something small, a tiny part of you gets to stay too—like how the little piece of green sea glass under the mattress at the beach house means that a little piece of Violet gets to stay on summer holiday.

Violet’s theory is put to the test when Mama and Vincent announce some very special news: They are going to get married. And they are all going to move. Violet is excited for the wedding, but Dylan is angry about the move. Normally, it is nice to be inside with your family when there is a big noisy storm outside and there is pumpkin soup for dinner and something on TV about penguins. But it is hard to enjoy it when your brother is outside in the garden in a leaky tent.

When Dylan won’t budge, the wedding preparations feel a bit sad. But just in time, Violet thinks of the perfect way to help Dylan feel better about moving. And her Theory of Leaving Small Things Behind is going to come in handy!

I love it when my kids find a book that is just right for them to read. With it's cute illustrations, good characters, easy to read text, and short chapters, this was just right for my daughter. 

Violet's mom is getting married! While Violet is excited, her brother is not. It's hard for Violet, and her Mom having her brother Dylan not be happy about it, even though their mom talked to them about it. Branford does a great job at writing the emotional part of Violet's story in away that young readers can identify with and/or relate to. Violet's Mom, her fiancé Vincent, and Violet and her sister handle the situation in a way that was fitting for Dylan, and allowed him the space he needed. I like that Branford doesn't sugar coat things in this story, yet she still kept things simple and easy for young readers.

With the excitement of her Mom's marriage, Violet has to learn to deal with her own nerves about moving. She's moving from the only house she's ever grown up in, into a brand new house after her mom and Vincent's wedding. The feelings Violet has, are ones young readers will understand. Thankfully she has her brother and family there to support her, and talk it over with her. She realizes that her home is where her family is, even though she's sad about leaving the house she has grown up in, and feels most comfortable in.

 I think this is a great book for kids who are dealing with a parent who's getting remarried, and moving. This topic is not one I've read about before in a KidLit book. I liked how Branford's characters handled everything. The entire situation, and the reactions from each of the characters are completely relateable. It's written in a way that children will understand it. What Violet and her family deal with, are things some readers are going through, and they'll be able to understand the things they're feeling a little bit more through Violet's own story. Violet's story is great read, even for those who are not going through what she is.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Alistair Grim's ODDITORIUM by Gregory Funaro; Book Review

Happy Marvelous Middle Grade Monday! 
I'm thrilled to share my review for a new MG book I think fans are going to love!

By: Gregory Funaro
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: January 6th, 2015
Series: Odditorium #1
Ages: 9-12
Rating: 5 Stars - I Loved It!
Source: arc from publisher to review, in exchange for my honest review.
Purchase from: Amazon |B&N
Add it to Goodreads

This cinematic, action-packed middle grade fantasy adventure set in Victorian London brims with fresh magic and has the cozy feeling of a classic.

Grubb, age twelve (or thereabouts), has never known anything beyond his miserable existence as a chimney sweep, paid only in insults and abuse by his cruel master.

All of that changes the day he stows away in the coach belonging to a mysterious guest at the inn that he is tasked with cleaning. Grubb emerges from Alistair Grim's trunk and into the wondrous world of the Odditorium. Fueled by a glowing blue energy that Grubb can only begin to understand, the Odditorium is home to countless enchanted objects and an eccentric crew that embraces Grubb as one of their own.

There's no time for Grubb to settle into his new role as apprentice to the strange, secretive Mr. Grim. When the Odditorium comes under attack, Grubb is whisked off on a perilous adventure. Only he can prevent the Odditorium's magic from falling into evil hands-and his new family from suffering a terrible fate.

Grubb knows he's no hero. He's just a chimney sweep. But armed with only his courage and wits, Grubb will confront the life-or-death battle he alone is destined to fight.

A fantastic story! Alistair Grim's ODDITORIUM takes readers on an unforgettable, fantasy filled adventure. With it's perfect mix of adventure, humor, mystery, and the element of surprise, it didn't take long for me to be hooked with this engaging story. From the characters, to the writing, and the illustrations, everything about this book is great. Alligator Grim's Odditorium is an action packed middle grade book that even the most reluctant reader will enjoy.

Set in Victorian London, this story centers around our unlikely hero, Grubb. As he'd tell you, that's Grubb, with two b's. Grubb's unlikely adventure begins when he runs away from his horrible master. He's not destined to clean chimneys nor deal with being treated so poorly. Grubb's destiny is an unimaginable one. It's no accident that Grubb ends up hiding in the chest of a guest who's staying at the inn, that Grubb just happens to be working at. As you'll find out when you read this book, some things happen for a reason. Sometimes destiny has a funny way of happening. Grubb's destiny started when he hid from his master, in the chest that belonged to none other than Mr. Grim himself. 

Grubb's hiding place takes him to an unusual place, Alistair Grim's Odditorium. It's a peculiar, secretive place, and unlike any place he's ever been to before. Well, it's unlike any place many people have ever been to before. If there was a place like this, I would have loved to visit it as a kid. Actually, who am I kidding, it would be cool to visit it as an adult. As Grubb quickly learns, this is a place that a variety of things, and unusual characters call home. When the Odditorium comes under threat, it's up to Grubb and his new family of sorts, to protect it and the magic found here.

 Grubb is an appealing character I think readers will enjoy getting to know. He's funny, he's strong when he doesn't think he is, and he doesn't give up. He's the unlikely hero who's easy to cheer on. In the face of adversity, this twelve year old characters some some pretty incredible things. Nothing is simple for Grubb. He has to make his own choices, even if it's a hard one, and the not so popular choice. He is a character who's learning to find his way, and who he is. Being an orphan, he doesn't really know who he is, but he discovers that on his adventure. 

There is a great cast of characters in this book. They turn out to be great friends to Grub, and help him on his journey. I enjoyed getting to read about each of them, and the role they play in Grubb's story. Grubb learns some valuable lessons during the course of adventure. Like many children's books who have that classic appeal to them, this story is about choices, consequences, choosing the right path, what it means to be a true friends, and loyalty. Full of imagination and magic, fans of all ages will enjoy this unforgettable read.

This is an awesome first book in what I think will be a new favorite MG series for many readers. I'm looking forward to finding out what is in store for Grubb and his friends in the next installment in this series exciting new series. 

Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr Day

We're taking a moment to remember the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. #MLKDay
I love this quote! I need to print this quote up and put it up in my house. It's a great reminder than even one person doing good, can make a difference. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr is an example of that.

If you're looking for a way to teach your children more about Martin Luther King Jr, check out the list of ideas below (found here):

8 MLK Jr. Values to Instill in Your Kids
  • Top 15 Children’s Books for Black History Month
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Activities for Celebrating with Your Kids
  • Dreams Idea Sheets
  • Ways to Honor Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Pictorial Timeline of Dr. Martin Luther King’s Life
  • Celebrating Martin Luther King Day
  • "I Have a Dream" Report
  • Happy Birthday to MLK
  • Martin Luther King Quiz
  • A Movement Led by Dr. Martin Luther King 
  • Dreams Poetry Unit
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Questions
  • The Black Past Quiz
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Receives the Nobel Peace Prize
  • Martin Luther King Jr Quiz for Kids
  • Martin Luther King Quiz for Parents
  • African-American Pioneers Quiz
  • The Martin Luther King Jr Quiz
  • Martin Luther King Quiz for Kids

  • Read more on FamilyEducation

    Sunday, January 18, 2015

    New KidLit Arrivals!

    Happy Sunday! It has been an exciting book week here on Mundie Kids.
    Here are a few of the new additions to my bookcases that I'm looking forward to featuring here on Mundie Kids, in the coming weeks. 

    For Review


    Thank you to:
    Disney Hyperion, MacMillan, Henry Holt & Co, Bloomsbury, and Scholastic for this week's new reads! 

    There are a few exciting features coming up here on Mundie Kids. This coming week, I'm thrilled to announce that Mundie Moms & Mundie Kids will be apart of the 40th Anniversary for Tuck Everlasting! Next month, via both Mundie Moms, and Mundie Kids, we'll be apart of the Bloomsbury's Princess Academy read along! More details on that will be posted soon.

    Thank you for stopping by and Happy Reading!

    Tuesday, January 13, 2015

    Alistair Grim's ODDITORIUM by Gregory Funaro

    If you're looking for a new MG book to pick up, read this one!! 
    Alistair Grim's ODDITORIUM is a fantastic read. I'll be sharing my review for it tomorrow here on Mundie Kids, as well as Mundie Moms. Earlier today on MM's, I hosted a blog tour stop for it. Since it's a MG book, I'm featuring the tour stop here on Mundie Kids as well. 

    This is the first book in an exciting middle grade series by Gregory Funaro. Published by Disney Hyperion, it's said to be Doctor Who meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 

    About The Book

    By: Gregory Funaro
    Published by: Disney Hyperion
    Released on: January 6th, 2015
    Series: Odditorium #1
    Ages: 9-12
    Purchase from: Amazon |B&N
    Add it to Goodreads

    This cinematic, action-packed middle grade fantasy adventure set in Victorian London brims with fresh magic and has the cozy feeling of a classic.

    Grubb, age twelve (or thereabouts), has never known anything beyond his miserable existence as a chimney sweep, paid only in insults and abuse by his cruel master.

    All of that changes the day he stows away in the coach belonging to a mysterious guest at the inn that he is tasked with cleaning. Grubb emerges from Alistair Grim's trunk and into the wondrous world of the Odditorium. Fueled by a glowing blue energy that Grubb can only begin to understand, the Odditorium is home to countless enchanted objects and an eccentric crew that embraces Grubb as one of their own.

    There's no time for Grubb to settle into his new role as apprentice to the strange, secretive Mr. Grim. When the Odditorium comes under attack, Grubb is whisked off on a perilous adventure. Only he can prevent the Odditorium's magic from falling into evil hands-and his new family from suffering a terrible fate.

    Grubb knows he's no hero. He's just a chimney sweep. But armed with only his courage and wits, Grubb will confront the life-or-death battle he alone is destined to fight.

    Yesterday fans were introduced to a few of the characters from the ODDITORIUM, and today I'm thrilled to introduce you to a few more. 

    Glossary of Odditoria
    Not to be confused with Mr. Grim’s Odditorium (which ends with an “um”), loosely defined, the word 
    Odditoria, at once both singular and plural, is used to classify any object living, inanimate, or otherwise that is believed to possess magical powers.

    Some relevant Odditoria at Mr. Grim’s

    Dougal “Mack” McClintock: Chief of the Chronometrical Clan McClintock, Mack is a Scottish pocket watch who likes a good brawl now and then.

    Gwendolyn, the Yellow Fairy: A wood nymph who is very fond of chocolate and gobbling up nasty grown-ups.

    Cleona: A mischievous banshee prone to wailing and playing tricks on people.

    Animus: The mysterious blue energy that powers the Odditorium’s mechanics.

    Broom: The Odditorium’s maid, she is just that, a broom.

    Samurai: Legendary Japanese warriors; Mr. Grim uses their magic-infused armor to guard his Odditorium.

    Doom dogs: A pack of vicious shadow hounds charged with fetching escaped spirits back to the Land of the Dead.

    The Eyes of Mars: A pair of magical orbs that the Roman god of war gave to his twin sons, 

    Romulus and Remus. Alistair Grim has one Eye, and Prince Nightshade has the other.

    The Lady in Black’s Mirror: A silver-handled mirror with dark glass that Mr. Grim keeps on his desk.

    Number One: A large, mechanical wasp.

    Thunderbirds: An even larger species of bird indigenous to North America.

    Some relevant Odditoria at Prince Nightshade’s:

    The Black Fairy: An evil winged demon and Nightshade’s second in command, he excels at blowing up things with his bolts of nasty black fire.

    Shadesmen: The long-dead armies of Romulus and Remus resurrected by Prince Nightshade.

    Sirens: Beautiful but dangerous sea witches whose songs lured ancient sailors to their deaths.

    Red Dragons: A clan of half-human serpents that are enemies of the shinobi.

    Phantom: One of Prince Nightshade’s horses, he can fly and spit fire.

    Borg Gorallup: A Norwegian troll and oft-featured gladiator in Prince Nightshade’s tournaments, he holds an impressive record of seventeen kills.

    Moth Man: Known as the Silent Assassin, this newcomer from the Americas boasts a record of nine kills, each in less than a minute.

    Moosh-Moosh: A pint-sized goblin that tops out the prince’s fighting roster with an unparalleled record of twenty kills even

    Don't miss this week long Alistair Grim's ODDITORIUM blog tour!  Each stop not only features something unique for readers, you can also enter to win a copy of the book.

    About The Author

    Gregory Funaro grew up in Cranston, Rhode Island, and wrote his first story, The Ghost in the Window, in the fourth grade. He considers this to be his finest work, but unfortunately it has been lost to time. Following high school Greg majored in theatre at the University of New Hampshire, and after various acting gigs, received his AM in Theatre Arts from Brown University and an MFA in Acting from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory. Greg teaches drama at East Carolina University, and is busy working on the next book in the Odditorium series.

    Follow Greg via: his Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Amazon

    The Giveaway
    Enter to win a copy of Alistair Grim's ODDITORIUM from Disney Hyperion!
    - US residents only
    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Friday, January 9, 2015

    Harry Potter Book Night Is Coming February 5th, 2015 #HarryPotterBookNight

    Calling ALL Harry Potter Fans!
    February 5th, 2015 will be the first ever Harry Potter Book Night!
    Bloomsbury Kids UK is inviting fans every where to join the fun!
    Head over to HERE to get more information, download your event kit and to join the fun. 

    Thursday, January 8, 2015

    Night Light by Nicholas Blechman, Book Review

    By: Nicholas Blechman
    Published by: Orchard Books
    Released on: April 30th, 2013
    Rating: 5 Stars
    Ages: 2 & up
    Source: book from publisher to review in exchange for my honest review
    Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
    Add it to Goodreads

    Count the nighttime lights on a train, a helicopter, a fire truck, and seven more vehicles in this bold picture book with die-cut surprises.

    1 light, shining bright? A train!
    7 lights, flashing red and white? A fire truck!

    And so on all the way to ten lights. Part guessing game, part counting book, NIGHT LIGHT is a boldly imagined book for the preschool child who loves cars, trucks, and anything that goes. With die-cuts on every other page, this rhyming story features vehicles and counting, combining a high interest preschool subject with important preschool concepts.

    A fabulous book for kids! Night Light is a great bed time story book that features great illustrations, counting from 1 to 10, and a guessing game. Featured on each page are vehicle lights. Those lights start at one and go up to ten the further you get into the story. With each turn of the page, readers are given easy clues, and a set number of light to help guess what kind of vehicle the lights go to. When each paged is turned, readers discover what vehicle the lights on the previous page are from. 

    With the simple, bold colors, the lights stand out and appear to be lights in the dark. This adds to the over all appeal of this book. Keeping with bold colors, and simple illustrations make the pages easy on the eyes, and allow the illustrated vehicle, and it's lights to stand out. From construction vehicles, to a train, a plane, a firetruck, boat, a car and more, this book is one young fans of all things that go, will enjoy. 

    Tuesday, January 6, 2015

    Basher History: States and Capitals: United We Stand!, Book Review

    By: Simon Basher
    Written by: Dan Green
    Published by; Kingfisher
    Released on: July 15ht, 2014
    Source: Purchased Book
    Rating: 5 Stars
    Ages: 7 & up
    Add it to Goodreads

    Basher History: States and Capitals is the follow-up title to the bestselling Basher History: U.S. Presidents. This unique and comprehensive guide to 50 states (plus DC and the six territories) presents each state in the hip Basher fashion. Who better than Basher to give each state a face, voice, and personality and to give kids a fun, unusual but really information-packed gazetteer of their country. From Alabama to Wyoming, and everywhere in between, each state boasts about why it is special, dishes fun facts not found elsewhere, and waxes poetics about its motto, state bird, flag, state flower, and more! Find out how Connecticut got to be called the Provision State, why Georgia is nuts about nuts and why Illinois is called the Land of Lincoln.

    A fun facts books for young kids to get to know a little bit more about each state. 

    This is a great book for young readers. It's filled with interesting, fun facts about what each state is known for, it's brief history, what makes it unique, when it became part of the US, it's motto, state bird, and so much more. There is a lot packed into this book. My kids have loved reading it. I learned some new things while reading it with my kids.

    This is a great book to have at home or in the classroom. 

    Monday, January 5, 2015

    Dance Divas On Pointe by Sheryl Berk, Book Review

    By: Sheryl Berk
    Published by: Bloomsbury Kids
    Released on: 12.2.14
    Ages: 3rd grade reading level & up
    Source: book from publisher to review, in exchange for my honest review
    Rating: 4 Owlets - We Enjoyed It
    Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
    Add it to Goodreads

    Dances Minnelli, a famous professional dance troupe in New Jersey, is looking for a few girls to star in their annual holiday production of The Nutcracker. Anya, Liberty, and Scarlett all think they'll be a shoe-in for the lead  role of Clara. But it's actually Gracie with her big smile and bubbly energy that catches Mr. Minnelli's eye at the auditions. With so much responsibility resting on her shoulders, will she be able to handle the pressure? Will Liberty learn to love playing a gingerbread man? Can Anya make the most of being a mouse? And can Scarlett handle the fact that her sister is growing into a beautiful dancer . . . and possibly leaving her in the dust?

    You needn't worry about reading the previously Dance Divas books to enjoy this new release. This is the first book in the series we've read. I liked that while the book is part of the Dance Divas series, it is, it's own story. Being that we're fans of The Nutcracker, my daughter and I enjoyed reading how the friends from Dances Minnelli got their parts for the upcoming show, The Nutcracker. 

    Gracie, her older sister Scarlet, Anya, and Liberty have to learn how to support each other, and work together as a dance team. They quickly learn how to put aside their prejudices in who they think should or shouldn't get certain parts. Even though they might have felt they were a better fit, they learn to fulfill their own roles, and no matter how big or little those roles are, they all play a role in making the show a success. 

    This is a great read for young fans of dance, and friendship. We're looking forward to reading more books in this series. 

    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 ~