Friday, February 17, 2017

NOT QUITE NARWHAL by Jessie Sima / Book Review

Written & Illustrated by: Jessie Sima
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Released on: February 14th 2017
Ages: 4 & up
Purchase from: Simon & Schuster | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

In the tradition of Uni the Unicorn and Gaston, this heartwarming and adorable debut picture book tells the story of a young unicorn who was born under the sea to a family of narwhals.

Growing up in the ocean, Kelp has always assumed that he was a narwhal like the rest of his family. Sure, he’s always been a little bit different—his tusk isn’t as long, he’s not as good of a swimmer, and he really doesn’t enjoy the cuisine. Then one night, an extra strong current sweeps Kelp to the surface, where he spots a mysterious creature that looks just like him! Kelp discovers that he and the creature are actually unicorns. The revelation leaves him torn: is he a land narwhal or a sea unicorn? But perhaps, if Kelp is clever, he may find a way to have the best of both worlds.

Told with heartwarming illustrations and spare, sweet text, Jessie Sima’s debut picture book is about fitting in, standing out, and the all-encompassing love of family.

This is one of the cutest picture books I've read. Seriously, it doesn't get much better when you have a unicorn and a narwhal in a story together. Especially when the unicorn thinks he's a narwhal. Part of this book's story is Kelp realizing what he is, and figuring out how he can have the best of both worlds. The one he grew up in, and the one he knows he know belongs to. 

Kelp has never minded growing up the only unicorn in a sea of narwhals. He has always felt at home with them, and they've always treated him like he was one of them. When Kelp unexpectedly finds a land full of unicorns, he feels at home there too. When he begins to miss the sea, and the narwhals, Kelp has to make a decision. How does he choose between places he feels at home in?

I absolutely loved this book. From the adorable illustrations, to the engaging, and entertaining story, and it's wonderful message that readers of all ages will understand. I love that this book is about being happy with who you are, being kind to everyone, standing out, and the unconditional love that comes from family.

This is one book I would highly recommend picking up! I'm really torn on what I love more, the illustrations or the story. This picture book is a must have! Trust me, you'll know why when you pick it up and read it. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Written and Illustrated by: Noako Stoop
Published by: Little Brown
Released on: September 23rd, 2014
Ages: 4 & up
Series: Red Knit Cap Girl
Purchase from: Amazon
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets
Source: purchased book

This new adventure with Red Knit Cap Girl and her friends uses simple prose and radiant illustrations to shine a light on the joy of reading and the importance of working together.

One day Red Knit Cap Girl and her friends discover a hollow tree in the middle of the forest. What can be done with one ordinary tree? "I will keep my book in this nook so everyone can read it," Red Knit Cap Girl says.

But the tree isn't only for books. Little by little, one by one, the animals share their unique gifts and turn the ordinary tree into a special spot for everyone to enjoy!

We are huge fans of Red Knit Cap Girl. We absolutely adored this story, and the woodland library Red Knit Cap Girl and her friends make in a hallowed out tree. We loved the team work Red Knit Cap Girl and her friends have when making the library. Everyone's input was important in creating a place Red Knit Cap Girl and her woodland friends can go to read, and spend time at together.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

THAT'S ME LOVING YOU by Amy Krouse Rosenthal / Book Review

By: Amy Krouse Rosenthal 
Illustrated by: Teagan White
Published by: Random House Kids
Released on: December 27th, 2016
Ages: 3 & Up 
Purchase from: Random House | Amazon | B&N 
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - We LOVED It!
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

From the author of the New York Times bestseller I Wish You More comes a book that promises continuous love and makes the perfect gift for fans of Emily Winfield Martin’s The Wonderful Things You Will Be and those looking for something new to add to their shelves next to the classic The Runaway Bunny.  

 Wherever you are,
Wherever you go,
Always remember
And always know. . . 

That feeling you always have in your heart?

That’s me loving you.

Amy Krouse Rosenthal captures parents’ desire to be ever-present in this simple and touching poem offering reassurance of their love. Signs of affection can be found in the natural world around us—from a soft breeze to a shimmering star. 

Beautifully illustrated, and poetically written, this book is a cherished keepsake. 
It's a book that will make you smile, and feel important. No matter how old or young you are. With simple wordings, and heartfelt illustrations, this is one book that will cheer up it's readers.  

We absolutely loved this book. It's a wonderful reminder that no matter where you go, or how far apart you are, you're loved, and thought of. It's a book that will be bring comfort to those missing a loved one, or for those just venturing off for the first time, whether on their first day of school, day care, or heading off to make their mark in the world, it will bring courage. 

This book reminded of the ones I loved looking through as a kid, that my mother had. It has the same poetic messages, and beautiful illustrations as those books had. Like those books, this book has a timeless feel to it. It's perfect to read at bed time, or anytime. I highly recommend picking this one up. 

Monday, February 13, 2017

I AM JIM HENSON by Brad Meltzer / Book Review

By: Brad Meltzer

Illustrated by: Christopher Eliopoulos
Published by: Penguin Kids
Released on: January 10th, 2017
Series: Ordinary People Change The World
Ages: 5 & up
Purchase from: The PublisherAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

We can all be heroes. That’s the inspiring message of this New York Times bestselling picture book biography series from historian and author Brad Meltzer. This volume focuses on Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets and Sesame Street.
This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great–the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. Jim Henson, for example, was always dreaming up something new, and always expressing his belief in the goodness of people. Henson was a born performer with a terrific sense of humor, and he used those talents to help create two of the most beloved programs in television history: The Muppet Show and Sesame Street. Through his Muppets, Jim showed the world that there’s nothing more beautiful than imagination, especially when it’s accompanied by laughter and kindness.
Each book in this series tells the story of one inspiring individual through lively text and art that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers. At the back are an excellent timeline and photos. 

In a time when the world needs more kindness, this book is just what you need.

I AM JIM HENSON doesn't just give readers a wonderful insight into the man who's imagination and inspiration, was a huge part of my childhood. Henson's creations were a reminder to his viewers that there is always a need for kindness, laughter, fun, endless imagination, and a lot of possibility. This book continues that legacy. 

"With my imagination, I could do anything. I could be anything."

With a lot of practice, determination, never giving up, and plenty of imagination, Jim Henson proved he could accomplish his dreams. And he did. Both shows featuring his muppets, Sesame Street, and The Muppet Show, where widely successful shows. He brought people together, and made them laugh, just like he wanted to do. He also inspired people.

Henson inspired people to be kinder, and that nothing was impossible. Dreams are obtaininable. Believe, keep practicing, and never give up. Most importantly, he has taught us to believe in, and look for the good in the world. This book is a wonderful reminder for this simple, yet important message. We need this now, more than ever. 

Be kinder. Believe in the good in the world. There's good all around us, if we just look. 

A few of my favorite quotes from the book include:

"There's good in all of us."

"Goodness lives within each of us."

"Believe in the good of the world. Create something new. Share what you love. And find others who believe in those favorite things you dream about." 

"Never stop being kind. There's nothing wrong with being a do-gooder."

"I will keep believing, and keep pretending"

Thursday, February 9, 2017


Written by: Debbie Levy
Illustrated by: Gilbert Ford
Published by: Disney Hyperion 
Released on: February 7th, 2017
Ages: 8 & up
Purchase fromIndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - I Loved It
More About The Book
Thank you to Disney for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

In 1862, after the fearsome Battle of Fredericksburg, the Union and Confederate armies went into camp on opposite sides of the Rappahannock River. Soon a new battle emerged, as soldiers volleyed competing songs back and forth across the water: “The Battle Cry of Freedom” from the North. “God Save the South” from the Confederates. “Yankee Doodle.” “Dixie.” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” “The Bonnie Blue Flag.”

As winter set in, however, the men and boys on both sides found themselves longing for the same thing, and thinking of the same song. As the notes of “Home, Sweet Home” rose up over the river, enemies were united in song. For one night, they found common ground.

Interwoven with soldiers’ letters and journal entries, this true story shows the power of music–and the possibility of seeing the humanity even in one’s enemy, even in those with whom we are locked in conflict.

An engaging story about The Civil War. Told through a series of solider's journal entries, their letters home, and music with from the Civil War, this book is about the songs of the Civil War. Music is a powerful tool. Music during the war rallied the troops, calmed their fears, and kept the camp on schedule. One particular night, it made opposing sides pause, and battle it out with music.

I love history. I love the way this book is written, and how the information is presented. It's kid friendly, and a wonderful teaching tool to have both in the home, and classroom. 
I even learned something new from this book. This book is a great aid in teaching kids about the Civil War. It's told in a way that kids will understand what they're being read. 

From the letters, and journals entires, to the music, and illustrations, this is a beautiful book to have. Included in the book are notes, a timeline, references to music during the war, and notable people during this time. This is a must have for history teachers, and even music teachers, since this book is a beautiful compilation of history and music. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

NOTHANDO'S JOURNEY by Jill Apperson Manly / Book Review

By: Jill Apperson Manly
Illustrated by: Alyssa Casey
Published by: JabuKids Press
Released on: February 23rd, 2016
Ages: 5 & up
Purchase from: Amazon 
Add it Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets - We Enjoyed It
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Nothando’s Journey is a journey in self-discovery told through the eyes of a young girl named Nothando.

The book tells of the Reed Festival, an important celebration in Nothando’s country of Swaziland in Southern Africa. Nothando and her brother venture into the unknown hills, in order to get to the festival on time.

As Nothando explores the hills of Swaziland, she visits with various animals—Nothando moves freely with the animals, and begins to become comfortable with who she is.

By the end of the book, the reader will soon learn that Nothando is “grateful to be Nothando.”

This is a wonderful story about one girl's journey in over coming her fear,  gaining self confidence, and believing in herself. 

Set in beautiful, Swaziland, the journey Nothando (which means "Love" in Swazi) takes with her brother, is a long, and dangerous one. Along the way she learns a lot from the wild animals around them. Taking their best characteristics, she uses those to build her self confidence. Strength that the lion posses, calm like the fish eagle, bravery like the baboon has, and much more.

With it's beautiful message, multicultural references, and it's mixed media illustrations, make for a book worth picking up and reading. This is a great book to have in elementary school libraries. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


Out in stores TODAY! Shannon & Dean Hale's, THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL: Squirrel Meets World, the first book in their middle grade series, has been released. This is the first-ever novelization of Marvel Comics' cute, quirky and downright furry Super Heroine! We're so thrilled to team up with Marvel Press to celebrate! We're so excited to share this story with one lucky   reader. Thank you to Marvel Press, we have a copy of the book to giveaway. First, here is a little bit about the book:


By: Shannon & Dean Hale
Published by: Marvel Press
Released on: February 7th, 2017 - TODAY!
Series: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N 
Add it to Goodreads
Read an excerpt from the book

Fourteen-year-old Doreen Green moved from sunny California to the suburbs of New Jersey. She must start at a new school, make new friends, and continue to hide her fluffy tail. Yep, Doreen has the powers of… a squirrel! 

After failing at several attempts to find her new BFF, Doreen feels lonely and trapped, like a caged animal. Then one day Doreen uses her extraordinary powers to stop a group of troublemakers from causing mischief in the neighborhood, and her whole life changes. Everyone at school is talking about it! Doreen contemplates becoming a full-fledged Super Hero. And thus, Squirrel Girl is born! 

She saves cats from trees, keeps the sidewalks clean, and prevents vandalism. All is well until a real-life Super Villain steps out of the shadows and declares Squirrel Girl is archenemy. Can Doreen balance being a teenager and a Super Hero? Or will she go… NUTS?


Shannon Hale and Dean Hale are the award-winning husband-and-wife team behind the Princess in Black series, illustrated by LeUyen Pham. Shannon Hale is also the author of the Newbery Honor novel Princess Academy as well as the New York Times best-selling series Ever After High. Shannon Hale and Dean Hale live in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Thank you to Marvel Press, one lucky winner will receive a copy of everything pictured above:

One (1) winner receives:
  • Copy of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World
  • Branded Squirrel Girl “squirrel ears”
Giveaway open to US addresses only.
Prizing and samples provided by Marvel Press.To enter, please fill out the form below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, February 3, 2017

Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring by Enigma Alberti / Blog Tour #SpyonHistory

Hello and welcome to the next stop pin the SPY ON HISTORY blog tour, hosted by Workman Publishing. I'm thrilled to feature the first book, MARY BOWSER and the CIVIL WAR SPY RING, in Enigma Alberti's new series, SPY ON HISTORY. 

Today's stop posses the question, "If you could go back to anytime or place in history, where would you put your spy skills to use?" 

I'm obsessed with history. I think it's fascinating, and there's a lot to learn from it. My first thought would be during the WWII era. Than the more I thought about it, I think it would be cool to use my 'spy skills' and be a scout with those who settled the American West, or even be apart of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Sure it would be a really hard trek to make, but it would also be so cool to explore to uncharted territory and discover new things. Or maybe I'd choose to be time jumper (yes I know that's not a real thing), and jump back and forth between varies times in history and use my skills for various spy jobs. The possibilities are endless. There are many different points in history that I'd love to visit. 

What about you? What part of history would you want to visit?


By: Enigma Alberti

Illustrated by: Tony Cliff
Published by: Workman Publishing 
Released on: January 10th, 2017
Series: Spy on History #1
Ages: 10 & up
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Workman
Add it to Goodreads

Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring introduces an exciting interactive series for middle grade readers—Spy on History, where the reader gets to experience history in a whole new way.

Meet Mary Bowser, an African American spy who was able to infiltrate the Confederate leadership at the highest level. Enigma Alberti dramatizes Mary Bowser’s suspenseful story—how she pretended to be illiterate, how she masterfully evaded detection, how she used her photographic memory to “copy” critical documents.

Using spycraft materials included in a sealed envelope inside the book, a canny reader will be able to discover and unravel clues embedded in the text and illustrations, and solve the book’s ultimate mystery: Where did Mary hide her secret diary?

Enigma Alberti is the nom de plume of a secret cadre of authors who are each writing a book in the Spy on History series.
Tony Cliff is the author and artist behind the New York Times bestselling Delilah Dirk graphic novel series. Find more on Tony at and @TangoCharlie on Twitter.

Wednesday, February 1: Middle Grade Mafia
Thursday, February 2: YAYOMG
Friday, February 3: Mundie Kids
Monday, February 6: Miss Print
Tuesday, February 7: Recreational Scholar
Wednesday, February 8: The Roarbots
Thursday, February 9: Randomly Reading
Friday, February 10: A History of Books & -This Kid Reviews Books
Monday, February 13: Teen Library Toolbox
Tuesday, February 14: Ex Libris Kate
Wednesday, February 15: Geo Librarian
Thursday, February 16: Kidliterati
Friday, February 17: Kristi’s Book Nook

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Harry Potter Book Night #HarryPotterBookNight

Tonight is Harry Potter Book Night! This is such a fun, world wide event, which is hosted at numerous places around the globe. From book stores to libraries, and even in home private parties. Check out all you need to know about tonight, including party locations, decor/game ideas and more, HERE

Bloomsbury Children's Books wants to see your pictures! If you're celebrating Harry Potter Book Night, check out this letter from Bloomsbury UK:

Greetings Harry Potter fans,
Harry Potter Book Night: The Professors of Hogwarts is finally here! We are so excited to see all your amazing photos across social media! We want to thank you for all the hard work you have put in to making this year’s Harry Potter Book Night one to remember, and for taking this opportunity to celebrate J.K. Rowling’s unforgettable stories and to pass that unique magic on to the next generation of readers.As your Harry Potter Book Night celebrations continue, please don’t forget to share the fun by tweeting your photos to @KidsBloomsbury using #HarryPotterBookNight. If you haven’t found a party to go to yet then check out or event map here! We look forward to hearing all about your spellbinding parties!

We wish each and every one of you a truly magical Harry Potter Book Night!
From the team at Bloomsbury Children's Books

Be sure to send in those pictures! Have a magical night celebrating the wonderful world of Harry Potter. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

LOTUS & FEATHER by Ji-li Jiang / Book Review

By: Ji-li Jiang
Illustrated by: Julie Downing
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: December 13th, 2016
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, in exchange for my honest review

A winter illness left Lotus, a little girl, without a voice and without friends. A hunter's bullet left Feather, a crane, injured and unable to fly. As Lotus nurses Feather back to health, their bond grows. Soon Feather is following Lotus everywhere, even to school! The bird dances to the girl's reed whistle, much to the delight of the other children. One day, when the village floods, Feather helps raise the alarm as Lotus and her grandfather urge their neighbors to get to high ground. Feather is a true friend to Lotus, but the time comes when Lotus must be a true friend to him--by encouraging him to migrate with the rest of the cranes. The next spring, Feather miraculously returns, and that's not all . . . he has brought new life to the nearby lake.

Inspired by the true story of a crane that rescued a Chinese village, and graced with sensitive watercolor illustrations, this lovely book about respecting nature offers deep emotion and delightful surprises.

This is a visually stunning picture book. It's a book that is both beautiful in picture and word. Sometimes when it comes to picture books, it's worth picking up the book for the illustration alone. In this case, this book is worth picking up for both the story, and it's richly detailed illustrations.

 Jiang tells a wonderful, heartfelt story of young Lotus, who lives with her grandfather. It's the winter months, a time when Lotus feels more vulnerable and alone. It's during this time that she rescues and cares for an injured crane. 
In the process of caring for Feather, young Lotus not only learns more about the importance of respecting the crane's environment, she and Feather form a strong bond. A bond that proves to be something special, and unbreakable. It's one that tests the depths of their bond. Especially when Lotus has to make a hard decision when it comes to Feather. Thankfully their bond is a truly special one. With richly detailed storytelling, and illustrations, readers see, and understand the ripple effect both Lotus, and her Grandfather's actions have, in nursing Feather back to health. 

We absolutely loved this book. It's a beautiful told story that melts your heart. It's a story that makes you realize that sometimes it's the simple things in life that bring that most joy. Like the bond with an animal, and the friendships you can have with them. We loved the author's message. It's not only one that expresses the
 importance of caring for the crane's environment, it's also one that shows us that what we do, no matter how big or little it may be, has an impact with rippling effects that can last a long time. Both of these message were well written, and fit perfectly within the story.

This is a book is worth picking up. It's one that kids will be able to relate to. Especially those who have ever helped rescue/save an animal before. * While this book may not make the best classroom read aloud for young kids, there's definitely a lot of things that can be discussed in a classroom setting. 

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 ~