Tuesday, May 31, 2016

National Geographic Kids Mastermind Blog Tour #Mastermind

Welcome to Stop #6 on the National Geographic Kids Mastermind Blog Tour!

This summer, National Geographic Kids Books is inviting kids to "Unleash Their Inner Genius" with the release of Mastermind (May 2016, ages 8-12).  In this fun, interactive book, kids learn what type of thinker they are and are given the chance to exercise different parts of their brains with games, tests and puzzles. 

Each stop on the National Geographic Kids Mastermind Blog Tour will bring you one step closer to becoming a Certified Mastermind. Be sure to stop by each stop on the tour and challenge yourself to unleash your inner genius with fun quizzes, optical illusions, and brain teasers, and learn tips and tricks for improving brainpower and explanations for the science behind navigating your mental map. 

Are you ready to learn how to make mental maps? Check out below and tweet your answer using #Mastermind!


The cheeky narrator and self-proclaimed "Mastermind" Ima Genius and her talking dog, Atom, guide the reader through short and snappy explanations of the science behind why the brain does what it does and how it affects the senses, spatial reasoning, language, memory and problem solving. As kids work their way through the book completing experiments, brain teasers, mazes, quizzes and games, their efforts (and smarts!) are rewarded with a Certificate of Mental Achievement declaring them as a Certified Mastermind.  Or, in the words of Ima Genius:

"When I'm finished with you, your brain will be so huge that your average-size neck will no longer be able to support your massive noggin.  Ha!  I kid.  That's only happened once."


Stop by Unleashing Readers tomorrow for the final stop of the tour and earn your Certificate of Mental Achievement!


5/25 – Geo Librarian
5/31 - Mundie Kids

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day Observance

Honoring those who may be gone, but they're not forgotten. #MemorialDay
*Picture credit: JJ Wyatt's instagram, here

Friday, May 27, 2016

WHATEVER AFTER: Sugar and Spice by Sarah Mlynowski / Cover Reveal / Giveaway

Hello and welcome to today's cover reveal for Sarah Mlynowski's WHATEVER AFTER #10: SUGAR & SPICE! I'm so thrilled to reveal this fantastic cover! Trust me, it will make you want to grab something sweet. 

Check it out below!

This cover is simply perfect! We have loved all the covers for this series, but this one might be our favorite one yet.

A Blurb from Sarah

I’ve had the seeds of the idea for Whatever After since I was six years old. I loved to write stories about a girl named Sarah (yup, I made myself the star of all my stories) who had magic stuff happen to her. In my favorite story, she had a magic fork that could turn broccoli into cotton candy. I also loved telling fractured fairy tales, such as the The Princess and the M&M, instead of The Princess and the Pea, because I wasn’t a fan of peas. Looking back, it seems like a lot of my inspiration stemmed from my distaste for vegetables. Anyway! When I became a writer, I thought: what if I combined these two types of stories? A regular girl could magically fall into a fairy tale, and the very act of falling into the tale would fracture it. And that’s how I came up with the idea for Whatever After.

My sincerest thanks to readers, parents, grandparents, bloggers, librarians and booksellers who have allowed this series to grow and find such a dedicated audience. It feels unbelievable to me that the ideas I had when I was just a kid would grow up to reach the milestone of a ten book series. And now, I am absolutely thrilled to share the cover of Sugar and Spice with you. Not only does the cover feature Jonah for the first time, but look at all that candy! Six-year-old me would be absolutely delighted.  


By: Sarah Mlynowski
Published by: Scholastic
To Be Released on: November 29th, 2016
Series: Whatever After #10
Pre-Order from: Amazon

That's the way the cookie crumbles!

Yum! Our magic mirror has dropped me and my brother, Jonah, into the story of Hansel and Gretel. If we're lucky, we may even get to taste the cake-house...

But we didn't count on accidentally getting trapped. The real Hansel and Gretel are on the run, and Jonah and I have taken their place. And the witch is making a kid casserole for dinner...

Now we have to:
- Avoid being eaten
- Pretend our dog is a cat
- Learn to make kale smoothies
- Befriend a talking duck

Or we may never make it back to our home sweet home!

When you pre-order it, be sure to purchase a copy of Upside Down Magic #2: Sticks and Stones, which Sarah co-wrote with Emily Jenkins and Lauren Myracle. It will be out next week on May 31st! You can find out more about the book on Sarah's website, here.


Thank you to Scholastic, 5 winners will each win 2 of Sarah's latest books (Whatever After #9 and Upside Down Magic #2). This is open to residents in the US only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO! By Dr. Seuss / Book Review

By: Dr. Seuss
Published by: Random House Children's Books
Released on: January 22nd, 1990
Ages: All
Purchase from: Amazon 
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 stars - We Love It!
Source: book from publisher in exchange for my honest review / purchased books

In this joyous ode to life, Dr. Seuss addresses graduates of all ages, from nursery school to medical school, and gives them the get-up-and-go to move mountains with the unrivaled exuberance and charm that have made Dr. Seuss's books favorites for years.

A perfect gift for graduation, Oh, The Places You'll Go is an inspirational read with a message that reminds it's reader that today is your day! The world is wide open and full of possibilities. No mountain is to high to climb. You're on your way! Today is your day! Go out and make the most of your life. Set your goals, and accomplish them. Nothing is out of your reach. 

An inspirational read for all ages. This is one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books. I love that this is a book for readers both young and old. Kids will enjoy the message geared towards them in this book, and adults will see the real message from Dr. Seuss. "TODAY is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way!"

This is a book I purchased for each of my kids, and plan to give them when they graduate. As the end of each school years comes to an end, I ask each of their teachers to write a little note for my kids, and include it in each of their books. Not only will they have they have a book that inspires them, they'll have a book full of post it notes from each of their teachers with an inspirational note inside. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Join The #DashnerDash & Binge Read The Series Before THE FEVER CODE is Out!

Get ready for the release of THE FEVER CODE by joining Random House Kids's #DASHNERDASH Binge read the series to get prepared for The Fever Code! Check out the details below! 

The fun kicks of THIS FRIDAY, May 27th! 

Per Random House Kids:

The reread will kick off on May 27 with The Maze Runner—fans can submit questions via the James Dashner Facebook page. Selected questions will then be discussed by the author and his editor, Krista Marino, in a series of live Google Hangouts during the last week of each month. The first Google Hangout with Dashner and Marino will happen the week of June 27. Specific details will be posted on the Facebook page and shared via social media.

Rereads of The Scorch Trials begin on June 27, followed by The Death Cure on July 27, and The Kill Order on August 27. Questions can again be submitted via Facebook, and a book-club-style discussion will occur at the end of each month. The Google Hangout for The Kill Order at the end of August will lead right into the publication of The Fever Code on September 27.

Monday, May 23, 2016

The Descendants: RETURN TO THE ISLE OF THE LOST by Melissa de la Cruz / ENTER TO WIN #DisneyDescendants

The long awaited sequel is here! Well almost anyways. Tomorrow is the release of The Descendants: RETURN TO THE ISLE OF THE LOST by Melissa de la Cruz! To celebrate it's release, we're hosting a giveaway! Enter to win a copy of it, and the first book in the series, The Isle of the Lost! First, here's a little bit about Return To The Isle of the Lost.


By: Melissa de la Cruz
Published by: Disney Hyperion
To Be Released on: May 24th, 2016
Purchase from: DisneyAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Mal’s an expert at intimidating her enemies, but she’s broken the habit since leaving her villainous roots behind. So when she and her friends Evie, Carlos, and Jay all receive threatening messages demanding they return home, Mal can’t believe it. Sure, she’s King Ben’s girlfriend now, and she’s usually nice to her classmates, but she still didn’t think anyone would be silly enough to try to push her around.

The thing is, it kind of worked. Especially since she and her friends have a sneaking suspicion that their villainous parents are behind the messages. And when Evie looks into her Magic Mirror, what she sees only confirms their fears. Maleficent’s just a tiny lizard after her run-in with Mal at Ben’s Coronation, but she’s the worst villain in the land for a reason. Could she have found a way to escape? Whatever’s going on, Mal, Evie, Carlos, and Jay know they have to sneak back to the Isle and get to the bottom of it.

Without its infamous leader, the island’s even worse than when they left it, but the comforts of home—even a home as gloomy as the Isle of the Lost—can be hard to resist for recently reformed villains. Will the kids be able to beat the evil bubbling at the Isle’s wicked core, or will the plot to destroy Auradon succeed?

Learn more at disney.com
Follow Disney Books on Twitter and Instagram


Melissa de la Cruz (www.melissa-delacruz.com) is the author of the #1 New York Times best seller The Isle of the Lost, as well as many other best-selling novels, including all the books in the Blue Bloods series: Blue Bloods, Masquerade, Revelations, The Van Alen Legacy, Keys to the Repository, Misguided Angel, Bloody Valentine, Lost in Time, and Gates of Paradise. She lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband and daughter.


One (1) winner receives:
·         a copy of The Isle of the Lost 
·         and its brand new sequel Return to the Isle of the Lost.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to US addresses only.
Prizing and samples provided by Disney Publishing.

This post is brought to you in partnership with Disney-Hyperion.

The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions / Book Trailer #3 Reveal

Welcome to today's trailer reveal for The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions. This is for the third trailer for the book, which was released late last month. 



Tobin the pangolin is playing goalie and is worried about stopping the tarantula puck! Only Cora the wombat believes in him! What will happen? 

This is the third Animated Short from Fabled Films Press and Fabled Films to launch the new middle grade book: The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions which published in April 2016! Go to www.nocturnalsworld.com to read or listen to an excerpt.


Written By: Tracey Hecht

Illustrated by: Kate Liebman
Published by: Fabled Films Press
Released on: April 19th, 2016
Add it to Goodreads

The Nocturnals features three unlikely friends: Dawn, a serious fox, Tobin, a sweet pangolin and Bismark, the loud mouthed, pint sized sugar glider. The stories all play out in their nighttime world with teamwork, friendship and humor in every adventure.

In The Mysterious Abductions, the animals form a brigade of the night after a random encounter with a blood-thirsty snake, and just in time because something is threatening their night realm. Animals are disappearing without a trace. Together with the help of a wombat, a band of coyotes and many others, Dawn, Tobin and Bismark journey to the depths of the earth in a wacky, high stakes game that will determine all of their survival.

Praise From The Book

"The characters are delightful and the nighttime landscape is captivating. It was just as I expected—because the best stories always take place in the dark!R.L. Stine, author of Goosebumps 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

DOODLE ADVENTURES™: The Search for the Slimy Space Slugs by Mike Lowery / Blog Tour

Hello and welcome to today's blog tour stop for DOODLE ADVENTURES: The Search for the Slimy Space Slugs. Today's stop includes an inside look into the illustrations of Mike Lowery's new release, which is out TODAY!


By: Mike Lowery

Published byWorkman Publishing
Released on: May 17th, 2016 - TODAY
Ages: 8 & up 
Purchase from: The AuthorAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Draw your way through the story!

Doodle Adventures: The Search for the Slimy Space Slugs! is a lighthearted fantasy where the reader first draws him- or herself into the story, and then continues by following prompts and adding more illustrations and doodles. Set in space, the book invites the reader to join Carl, a duck and member of a super-secret international group of explorers, on a journey in search of a very important grail-like object. The book is sturdy paper over board with beautiful cream paper—perfect for defacing! And by the end, the reader will have co-written a tale to return to again and again, and show off to family and friends.


* Text & Illustrations copyright 2016 Mike Lowery

Book 2 : The Pursuit of the Pesky Pizza Pirate will be out in September!


Mike Lowery is an illustrator whose work appears in everything from greeting cards to children’s books—and Workman’s Kid’s Awesome Activity Calendar. He is a professor of illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design Atlanta, and lives with his wife and daughter in Atlanta, Georgia.

Connect with Mike: MikeLowery.com | @MikeLoweryStudio

Monday, May 16, 2016

Magisterium Series: THE BRONZE KEY by Holly Black and Cassandra Clare / Cover Revealed

Happy Marvelous Middle Grade Monday! Check out the cover for Holly Black & Cassandra Clare's THE BRONZE KEY, the next installment in their MAGISTERIUM series! Cassie shared the cover here, on Tumblr. Of it, Cassie had this to say:

The cover of Magisterum 3: The Bronze Key! I’m so excited for you guys to get to read this book which really points the direction for the rest of the series and the fates of Call, Tamara and Aaron. @hollyblack

We can't wait to read it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

STORMY NIGHT by Salina Yoon / Book Review

By: Salina Yoon
Published by: Bloomsbury
Released on: January 6th, 2015
Rating: 3 Owlets - It's A Good Read
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review

When thunder shakes his house and rain pounds the windows, Bear is frightened. But comforting his Mama, Papa, and Floppy helps make the storm seem not so scary. Before Bear knows it, the storm has passed, because even storms need their sleep . . . and so do bears.

A good story with cute illustrations, Stormy Night is about a young Bear who's afraid of a night time thunder storm. Through Bear's story, young readers will be able to see how Bear tries to comfort himself. When that doesn't work, his parents help soothe his fears. Simply told, this is a story that will easily hold the attention span of young readers. I love the simple, bright illustrations, which add to the book's appeal for toddler aged readers. I'd definitely recommend this book, and it's one that kids who are afraid of storms will be able to relate to. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan / Giveaway #TrialsofApollo

Happy Marvelous Middle Grade Monday!

The demigods are back! Fans have been waiting for a new Rick Riordan series, and now they have one! Not only are fans introduced to new demigods in the, The Trials of Apollo series, it's also told from the point of view of a God himself! The first book in the series, The Hidden Oracle, was released on May 3rd, 2016.  


New series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Rick Riordan.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disoriented, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favor.

But Apollo has many enemies—gods, monsters, and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.


The Hidden Oracle is being released with five retail-specific editions that all hit shelves on May 3rd. Each edition includes a unique insert that you can get exclusively from that retailer. Collect them all! 

1.    Barnes & Noble Exclusive Edition includes a Camp Half-Blood letter from Apollo to Zeus! 
2.    Target Exclusive Edition includes an illustrated map of Apollo’s Trials at Camp Half-Blood
3.    Books-a-Million Exclusive Edition includes an Apollo Bumper Sticker (“I’d Rather be Driving by Sun Chariot”)
4.    Walmart Exclusive Edition includes a 2-sided bookmark with character art of Apollo and his mortal counterpart, Lester.
5.    Costco Exclusive Edition includes an illustrated poster depicting the “Plague of Secrets” scene from The Hidden Oracle

Thank you to Disney, one (1) winner will receive one of the exclusive editions of The Hidden Oracle with a surprise insert! 

Giveaway open to US addresses only.
Prizing and samples provided by Disney-Hyperion.

Read an Excerpt at the Official Site
Download the Activity Kit
Embed the Book Trailer (#1)
Embed the Book Trailer (#2)

Learn more at ReadRiordan.com
Follow Disney on Twitter and Instagram
Follow Rick on Twitter and Instagram
‘Like’ Percy Jackson on Facebook

Rick Riordan, dubbed “Storyteller of the Gods” by Publishers Weekly, is the author of three #1 New York Times best-selling middle grade series with millions of copies sold throughout the world: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, based on Greek mythology; the Kane Chronicles, based on Ancient Egyptian mythology; and the Heroes of Olympus, based on Greek and Roman mythology. 

Rick collaborated with illustrator John Rocco on two best-selling collections of Greek myths for the whole family: Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods and Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes. The first book in his Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgardtrilogy based on Norse mythology, The Sword of Summer, also debuted at #1 on the New York Times list. 

Rick lives in Boston, Massachusetts with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @camphalfblood.

* Per FTC guidelines, Prizing and samples are provided by Disney-Hyperion.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Dinosaur Vs. Mommy by Bob Shea / Book Review

Written & Illustrated By: Bob Shea
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: March 3, 2015
Series: Dinosaur vs 
Ages: toddler & up
Add it to Goodreads
* I received this book from the publisher to review, in exchange for my honest review

Dinosaur is spending the day with Mommy. ROAR! He helps her wake up, go shopping, sort laundry, and more--his way, that is. By bedtime, it looks like Mommy is down for the count. Is one little red dinosaur just too much for her, or will Mommy win? Chock full of the bold graphics and exuberance that has made the Dinosaur vs. series so popular, this book will tickle toddlers and mommies on Mother's Day and every day thereafter.

Just in time for Mother's Day! For all the moms who have often times felt like it was them vs their kid(s), this may be the book for you, especially if you have a toddler. This little dinosaur is definitely winning the dinosaur vs mommy day. Little dinosaur seems to enjoy making messes and causing trouble as soon as his mom starts doing chores, and other things around their house. As quickly as his mom starts doing something, Dinosaur springs into action, making a mess, to flushing toys down the toilet, to fighting his mom when it's time to get ready for bed. While Dinosaur may have won the Dinosaur vs Mommy battles through out the day, I'd say that the end of the day Dinosaur vs Mommy battle was won by Mommy. Little Dinosaur has forgotten the secret weapon of his mommy's powerful hug, and snuggles that make him fall asleep. 

This wasn't my favorite Bob Shea book. However, I think some Mom's will enjoy a nice laugh while reading this book. While I may not have loved the story, I loved finding the unicorn picture in the book (pick up Bob's unicorn book to find out why). Over all, this may be a book moms will find more humorous than their kids. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Guest Post with DINOTRUX / NANOBOTS Author, Chris Gall

Hello and welcome to today's exciting blog tour post. I am so thrilled to have the creator of DINOTRUX, Chris Gall on the blog today! Fans of Chris's DinOTrux series will love his new book coming out this August, NANOBOTS. Before I tell you a little bit about that book, Chris is here to introduce us to his DinoTrux characters.

Getting To Know the Characters of Dinotrux 
By Chris Gall for MundieKids 

It isn’t easy to create a brand new species. The Dinotrux were born from my imagination, to be sure, but they each needed a lot of thought (and drawing!) to be brought to life. 

 I had my basic story down on paper. Before I set off to create my different truck/dinosaur hybrids, I decided to do lots of research first. I couldn’t possibly be aware of all the various truck types in the world, and I didn’t know every dinosaur either. I was looking for physical similarities between certain trucks and certain dinosaurs. An early character of mine was Craneosaurus. I had been studying crane trucks and I couldn’t help but think that they seemed to have really long necks like a Brontosaurus (yes, as of 2015, the Brontosaurus is back). Even better, the cable and hook that spooled out of the head made a perfect tongue. What a perfect way to snare a tasty pterodactyl! Dozeratops was next. The big blade on a bulldozer reminded me of Triceratops. And since bulldozers love to push heavy things out of the way, I had a perfect rough-and-tough skill for him. 

I knew I wanted a bad guy, or at least a scary one. I needed a T. Rex. At first I couldn’t think of what kind of truck my character would be. It needed to be big, loud, rambunctious, and a little menacing. Of course! A monster truck would be the perfect combination with a T. Rex, so my star character was born—Tyrannosaurus Trux.

One of my biggest questions was “ what do each of them do?” I wanted each character to have some sort of childlike flaw, or behavior that would make them unique to one another. These behaviors, for the most part, came from the truck side. Since each truck has a job that they are principally known for, I started with that. The garbage truck ingests garbage—so his counterpart, Garbageadon, became a Dinotrux with insatiable hunger. The dump truck dumps rocks and dirt—so Dumplodocus became a litterbug. Semi trucks always seem to travel in groups on the highway, so I created a Semisaur stampede. And when my attention turned to the cement truck, and I pictured all that cement coming out of its rear end, I knew I had Cementosaurus, the un-potty-trained pooper. It was too good to be true. 

Next, I started to do some drawing. I needed to actually create what they looked like. This was the fun part, since I had the freedom to invent a whole to type of creature. I had to figure out how their wheels/legs would move. I had to imagine how their mouths would open and close. It was all great fun. 

Ultimately, it was important that my characters have child-like behaviors that a young reader could identify with. The Dinotrux were designed to be the more primitive ancestors of their corresponding modern trucks. So naturally, they needed to be a work in progress, like a child.

*  *  *  *  *
Thank you Chris for stopping by Mundie Kids today! Find out more about the DINOTRUX series here, including where to purchase the books from.


Introducing a team of robots powerful enough to change the world--and yet smaller than the dot at the end of this sentence! 

A boy inventor creates the ultimate in high-tech superheroes that could one day save the world--but they have some smaller problems to take on first! NanoBots are tiny. They're almost too small to see, but they can each do a unique and important job: Medibot makes sure their Inventor never catches a cold.... Chewbots gobble up that gum the Inventor trampled into the carpet... Binobot scans the scene of a crime for clues the Inventor could never see... and Seekerbots explore to meet microscopic new creatures. 

These bots and their high-tech friends sure make the inventor's life easier, but when the most AWESOME robot in town is in real trouble, they must band together and prove that sometimes the SMALLEST helpers can be the BIGGEST heroes! Includes fun facts about real nanotechnology in the backwater.

* NanoBots will be released on August 23rd from Little Brown. Find out more about the book here, and here


Chris Gall has been drawing pictures for as long as he can remember. When he was caught doodling on his desk in second grade, his teacher suggested that he might become an artist some day, then made him clean all the desks in the classroom. In seventh grade, Chris won a Read Magazine Young Writers Award, and that inspired him to create stories to go with his art. After graduating from the University of Arizona, Chris became an award-winning, internationally recognized illustrator, and his artwork has been shown in almost every publication in America, including Time, Newsweek, People, Fortune, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.
In 2004, his first picture book, America the Beautiful, became a Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Book of the Year, and his career in children’s publishing began. Since then he has authored and illustrated six more books, including the acclaimed Dinotrux, a 2009 Publishers Weekly Best Children’s book; Revenge of the Dinotrux; Awesome Dawson; Substitute Creacher; Dear Fish; and There’s Nothing to Do on Mars.

Chris has also worked as an adjunct professor of art at the University of Arizona and spent four years as a professional stand-up comedian. He currently lives in Tucson, Arizona, where in his spare time he loves to restore classic cars and fly planes. (source)
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 ~