Friday, June 30, 2017

Serafina and the Splintered Heart by Robert Beatty / Giveaway #SerafinaBooks

Welcome to today's book spot and giveaway. I'm so thrilled to partner with Disney Hyperion to celebrate the upcoming release of the SERAFINA and the SPLINTERED HEART, the third and last installment in the Serafina Series. You can read my spoiler free review for it here. Below, you can read more about the book, the series, watch a trailer, and don't forget to enter to win!


By: Robert Beatty
Published by: Disney Hyperion
To Be Released on: July 4th, 2017
SeriesSerfina #3
Ages: 8 - 12
Purchase fromAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads 

The storms are coming.... 

Something has happened to Serafina. She has awoken into a darkness she does not understand, scarred from a terrible battle, only to find that life at Biltmore Estate has changed in unimaginable ways. Old friends do unthinkable things and enemies seem all around.

A mysterious threat moves towards Biltmore, a force without a name, bringing with it violent storms and flooding that stands to uproot everything in its path. Serafina must uncover the truth about what has happened to her and find a way to harness her strange new powers before it's too late. 

With only days to achieve the impossible, Serafina fights to reclaim herself as the Guardian of Biltmore, friend of Braeden, daughter of her Pa, and heroine of the Blue Ridge Mountains and all the folk and creatures that call it home. 

In the epic third installment of Robert Beatty’s #1 bestselling series, Serafina takes her rightful place among literary champions as she battles fiercely to defend all she loves and become everything that she is meant to be.


Visit the Official Site
See the cover reveal video of Serafina and the Splintered Heart
Watch the author read an excerpt at a special Serafina fan event


Set in the magical Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Robert Beatty’s #1 New York Times best-selling series stars the fierce, resilient character of Serafina, a wild girl longing for kinship and struggling to understand her place in the world. This timeless story of finding one’s true family and best self chronicles an epic battle between good and evil and rewrites the rules of who can be a hero.

Book 1: Serafina and the Black Cloak
Book 2: Serafina and the Twisted Staff
Book 3: Serafina and the Splintered Heart

Social Media

Follow the Serafina series on Facebook and Instagram
Follow the author on Twitter
Follow Disney-Hyperion on Twitter and Instagram


Robert Beatty lives in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, with his wife and three daughters. He writes full-time now, but in his past lives he was one of the pioneers of cloud computing, the founder/CEO of Plex Systems, the co-founder of Beatty Robotics, and the CTO and chairman of Narrative magazine. Visit him online at


Thank you to Disney Hyperion, one (1) lucky winner will receive: 
  • Serafina and the Splintered Heart;
  • plus custom Serafina and the Splintered Heart earrings!
Open to US addresses only.
Prizing and samples provided by Disney-Hyperion.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Edward Gets Messy by Rita Meade / Book Review

By: Rita Meade
Illustrated by: Olga Stern
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Released on: September 2016
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase from: 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

A very particular little pig discovers the joys that come with getting messy in this sweet and silly debut picture book. 

Edward the pig never pets friendly dogs on the street. He never, ever eats food that spills or splatters. And he never, ever, EVER uses markers or glue sticks or paint. They are just too messy. 

But what happens when—GLOOP!—a big tub of paint falls on Edward’s perfectly neat little head? Well, it might just turn out that getting messy has its upsides, too. 

After all, even particular pigs can clean up afterward.

Edward does not like messes but, he misses out on so much fun with his friends because of it. On the day he accidentally makes a big mess, he learns the fun, creativity, experimenting and joys of playful messes with this friends. Kids will love this story and seeing all of the messes that Edward gets in to. They will relate to his reluctance to new things but love when he learns that is ok, because messes can be cleaned up.

This is a wonderful story that young children can relate to and enjoy. We loved the pictures and the adorable Edward. My children enjoyed how clean he was but they also loved seeing his new adventurous and messy side. This is great read for children who are learning that making mistakes is great, trying new things is important and don't be afraid to embrace new things. You will want this book for your young readers!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

SECRETS I KNOW by Kallie George / Book Review

By: Kallie George
Illustrated by: Paola Zakimi
Published by: Schwartz & Wade
Released on: May 23rd, 2017
Ages: 2 & up
Purchase from: 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

Perfect for fans of Liz Garton Scanlon's All the World and Amy Krouse Rosenthal's I Wish You More, this charming, whimsical story about one imaginative little girl’s magical world is sure to enchant readers young and old.

Follow the girl throughout a day spent in her own backyard, and you'll discover lots of secrets only she can tell. For example, did you know that whispers hide in trees? Or that trees make great umbrellas? With a simple, poetic text from Kallie George and extraordinary illustrations from debut artist Paola Zakimi, here is a book families will read again and again and treasure for years to come.

A charming, whimsical read with beautiful illustrations that capture the heart of imagination, the wonder of nature, and the magical world of this book. The team work between George's simple, poetic words, and Zakimi's stunning illustrations, make for a timeless treasure that can be treasured for generations. This is a book worth picking up! 

What's more fun on a rainy day than allowing your imagination to sore. This young girl does this. Taking a grand adventure in her backyard, she shares secrets with readers on her discoveries outdoors. Like the trees in her backyard becoming umbrellas, which can turn into boats. Seashells in her sandbox are great for becoming sauces and tiny tea cups. There are many  more secrets this young girl shares. It's worth picking up this book to find out what they are. 

We absolutely LOVED this book, and highly recommend picking it up. It's a beautiful mix of simple, poetic storytelling, and visual stunning artwork. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

THE SILVER MASK by Cassandra Clare & Holly Black / Snippet #MagisteriumSeries

The forth installment in Cassandra Clare and Holly Black's the Magisterium series, THE SILVER MASK, is set to be released on October 10th, 2017. Today Cassandra Clare shared a snippet from the upcoming release. You can read her entire post hereRead the snippet below.

*  *  *  *  *
That night, though, Call didn’t dream, and when he woke up, there was a guard outside his cell, holding his tray of breakfast.
“You’ve got another visitor,” the guard said, looking at Call sideways. He was pretty sure all the guards were still waiting for him to slay them with that charisma.
Call sat up. “Who is it?”
The guard shrugged. “Some student from your school.”
Call’s heart began to pound. It was Tamara. It had to be Tamara. Who else would visit him?
He barely noticed the guard sliding the breakfast tray through the narrow opening at the bottom of the door. He was too busy sitting up straight and running his fingers through his tangled hair, trying to calm it and figure out what to say to Tamara when she came in.
Hey, how are you doing, sorry I let our best friend get killed …
The door opened and his visitor came through, walking between two guards. It was a Magisterium student — that was true.
But it wasn’t Tamara…

“Jasper?” Call said in disbelief.
“I know.” Jasper held up his hands as if to ward off gratitude.
“Obviously you’re overwhelmed by my kindness in coming here.”
“Uh,” Call said. Master Rufus had been right about Jasper — his hair looked like he hadn’t brushed it in years. It was sticking out all over. Call marveled at it. Had Jasper really worked to get it looking like that? On purpose? “I assume you came to tell me how much everyone at school hates me.”
“They don’t think of you all that much,” Jasper said, obviously lying. “You just didn’t make that big of an impression. Mostly, everyone’s sad about Aaron. They thought of you as his sidekick, you know? Blending into the background.”
They think of you as his murderer. That’s what Jasper meant, even if he didn’t say it.
After that, Call couldn’t bring himself to ask about Tamara. “Did you get in a lot of trouble?” he asked instead. “I mean, because of me.”
Jasper rubbed his hands against his worn designer jeans. “Mostly they wanted to know if you put spells on us to keep us in your dark thrall. I said you weren’t a good enough mage to do anything like that.”
“Thanks, Jasper,” said Call, not sure if he meant it or not.
“So what’s it like in the ole Panopticon?” Jasper asked, looking around. “It very, uh, sterile-looking in here. Have you met any real criminals? Did you get a tattoo?”
“Seriously?” Call said. “You came to ask me if I got a tattoo?”
“No,” said Jasper, abandoning all pretenses. “I actually came because — well — Celia broke up with me.”
“What?” Call was incredulous. “I can’t believe it.”
“I know!” said Jasper. “I can’t believe it either!” He flopped down in the uncomfortable visitor chair. “We were perfect together!”
Call wished he could reach Jasper so he could strangle him.
“No, I meant I can’t believe you went through six checkpoints and a potentially embarrassing full-body search just so you could come here and complain about your love life!”
“You’re the only one I can talk to, Call,” said Jasper.
“You mean because I’m chained to this floor and can’t get away?”
“Exactly.” Jasper seemed pleased. “Everyone else bolts when they see me. But they don’t understand. I have to get Celia back.”
“Jasper,” said Call. “Tell me something, and please answer honestly.”
Jasper nodded.
“Is this the Assembly’s new strategy for torturing me until I give them information?”
Just as he spoke, a thin tendril of smoke rose from the ground-floor level, followed by the flicker of flames. In the distance, an alarm started to sound.
The Panopticon was on fire.

*  *  *  *  *

We're looking forward to adding this book to the rest of the series, when it's out.  
Have you read the rest of this series yet? Did you enjoy it? 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Happy 20th Anniversary to Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling #harrypotter20

It was 20 years ago today J.K. Rowling gave us our first look into the unforgettable world Harry Potter. She introduced us to a character who reminded us that having of courage, love & friendship can get you through anything & that magic really does exist. Thank you J.K. for sharing Harry Potter with the rest of us. 

SERAFINA and the SPLINTERED HEART by Robert Beatty / Blog Tour: Book Review

Welcome to the first stop in the SERAFINA and the SPLINTERED HEART blog tour, hosted by Disney Hyperion. I'm so thrilled to be kicking off the tour with a review for Robert's upcoming release. This is the third and final book in Serafina's story, but thankfully it won't be the last we'll hear about her. When you read Robert's note at the end of this book you'll know why I said that. Before I share my review, here's a little bit about the book.


By: Robert Beatty
Published by: Disney Hyperion
To Be Released on: July 4th, 2017
Series: Serfina #3
Ages: 8 - 12
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Something has happened to Serafina. She has awoken into darkness, scarred from a terrible battle, only to find that life at her home, the historic Biltmore Estate, has changed in unimaginable ways. Old friends do unthinkable things and enemies are all around. A mysterious threat moves towards Biltmore, bringing with it violent storms and flooding that stands to uproot everything in its path. Serafina must uncover the truth about what has happened to her, and find a way to harness her strange new powers before it's too late. 

Accessible storytelling with heart, Beatty's writing grabs the reader immediately, and the high stakes and gripping mystery will keep them hooked. With an instantly loveable heroine, Serafina’s courage, pluck, and quirk—as well as her longing for friendship—make her impossible not to root for. 

With a frightening premise and lurking danger reminiscent of Coraline and A Tale Dark and Grimm, SERAFINA AND THE SPLINTERED HEART is just dark and scary enough to keep readers on the edge of their seats and is filled with history, mystery, and magic.

A thrilling conclusion to an epic historical fantasy series! Serafina and the Splintered Heart is the perfect ending to a series that's brimming with adventure, unforgettable characters, magic, and friendship.

It's a little bitter sweet having to say good bye to characters you've come to love. I feel like for now, Serafina and her friends's stories have come full circle. I've enjoyed watching how they've grown, what they've discovered, learned about themselves, and the characters they've come by the end of this book.

Serafina is an unforgettable, lovable heroine you can't help up root for. Her journey hasn't been easy, and this time around her struggles are ones that pulled at my heartstrings. I loved seeing how her perspective on things, and people, including those she once thought was an enemy, change as she grows and begins to understand more around her, and what she's meant to be, and do. Most importantly, she understands the importance of friendship, and all being a friend encompasses, as she fights to protect those she loves.

Like Serafina, Braeden comes full circle, as a character in this book as well. I really enjoyed that little twist where for a moment I doubted him. It's been fun watching these two characters learn to rely on, and truly trust each other. The lengths they go to, to keep their word, and protect each other is heroic. It's also what true friends do. I've always liked the friendship between Serafina, Waysa, and Braeden. I'm hoping we get more of Waysa's story. I never thought I'd say this, but I also liked the role Rowena plays in this book. It's completely unexpected, and such a welcome surprise.

I love the outdoor setting, and how the role it played in Serafina's world. It was simply magical. Beatty has created a world that effortless came to life. It is just as crucial to Serafina's story, as were the characters. In fact, the setting itself often times felt like a like a character itself, and has been just as mesmerizing as the characters. 

What an fantastic ending! This is a series I would have devoured as a kid. I've always loved the fantasy element of stories, mixed with historical references, magic, adventure and friendship. This series has all that and so much more. While we have to say good bye to Serafina and Braeden for now, I'm looking forward to seeing more of them in the next adventures that take place in the Blue Ridge Mountains.


ROBERT BEATTY lives in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, with his wife and three daughters. He writes full-time now, but in his past lives he was one of the pioneers of cloud computing, the founder/CEO of Plex Systems, the co-founder of Beatty Robotics, and the CTO and chairman of Narrative magazine. Visit him online at and on Twitter @BeattyAuthor.

Monday, June 26th: Mundie Kids, Review
Tuesday, June 27th: Mugglenet, Interview
Wednesday, June 28th: Fiktshun, Review
Thursday, June 29th: YA Books Central, Top Five List Guest Post
Friday, June 30th: Lille Punkin', Spotlight and Giveaway

Monday, July 3rd: YA and Kids Books Central, Trailer Spotlight and Giveaway Post
Tuesday, July 4th: Page Turner’s Blog, Playlist Post
Wednesday, July 5th: I’m Shelf-ish, Spotlight and Giveaway
Thursday, July 6th: Novel Novice, Movie Casting Post
Friday, July 7th: Fire and Ice, Spotlight and Giveaway

Thursday, June 22, 2017

All In A Day by Cynthia Rylant / Book Review

By: Cynthia Rylant
Illustrated By: Nikki McClure
Published By: Abrams Appleseed
Released On: May 2, 2017
Ages: All Ages
Purchase From: Publisher l Amazon l B&N
Add It To: Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets-Great Book!
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

This lovely book illuminates all the possibilities a day offers—the opportunities and chances that won’t ever come again—and also delivers a gentle message of good stewardship of our planet. Newbery Medal winner Cynthia Rylant’s poetic text, alongside Nikki McClure’s stunning, meticulously crafted cut-paper art, makes this book not only timeless but appealing to all ages, from one to one hundred.

"There is a faith in morning time, there is belief in noon."

Each day is full of possibilities and this book is such a great reminder that we can choose to find the happy in each day. I loved sharing that message with my children! We loved the pictures and simple illustrations that follow the day of child who makes the day count. There is a lot of focus on the illustrations because they are few colors used to draw away attention. The flow of the book is very complementary to the simplicity of the message and images. It is a read enjoyable for the whole family.

I love the durability of this board book. It will last in your library for a long time and you will want to read this book over and over again to get lost in the moment. You will definitely want to share this feel-good book!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


Everyone's favorite monkey is back! Curious George fans can enjoy a brand new adventure, only this time it features the beloved character's creators. Coming this August (8/15/17), Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George's Creators, features a narrow escape from the Nazis on makeshift bicycles, and explores the extraordinary lives of Hans and Margret Rey, the authors of the beloved Curious George children's books. Monkey Business will be available on demand and digital formats. 


Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George's Creators
Release:  August 15, 2017
Directed by: Ema Ryan Yamazaki
Animation by: Jacob Kafka
Narrated by: Sam Waterston
Produced by: Ema Ryan Yamazaki, Emily Harrold
Executive Produced by: Marc Levin, Eric Nyari, Paul Davidson, Danielle DiGiacomo, Brad Navin

Curious George is the most popular monkey in the world. Since his introduction in the first publication in 1941, the beloved series has sold over 75 million books in more than 25 languages. MONKEY BUSINESS explores the lesser-known tale of George's creators, Hans and Margret Rey. 

Originally from Hamburg, Germany, the Reys first met when Hans was dating Margret's older sister. Years later, having heard that Hans was wasting his artistic talents as a bookkeeper in Rio, Margret traveled to Brazil to persuade him to marry her and do something creative together. After their four-week honeymoon to Paris turned into a four-year residency, they accidentally became children's book authors when a publisher suggested they create a book out of a cartoon Hans had drawn. 

Being German Jews, however, their life in Paris abruptly came to an end in June 1940 when the Reys were forced to escape from the Nazis by riding makeshift bicycles-a manuscript of the first Curious George book was one of the few possessions they could smuggle out with them. Arriving in New York as refugees, they started their life anew and over the next three decades they created a classic that continues to touch the hearts and minds of children around the world.

This is one documentary I'm looking forward to watching. 

*Content and images used with permission from the movie's PR company 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

EMILY AND THE SPELLSTONE by Michael Rubens / Blog Tour: Guest Post & Giveaway

Hello and welcome to Day 2 of the Emily and the Spellstone Blog TourTo celebrate the release of Emily and the Spellstone by Michael Rubens (6/13/17), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Michael and 10 chances to win a copy of Emily and the Spellstone, as well as a Grand Prize GiveawayToday we're thrilled to have Michael stop by Mundie Kids. Before I share his guest post, and the epic giveaway, here's a little bit about his newest release:


By: Michael Rubens
Published by: Clarion Books
Released on: June 13th, 2017
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound
Add it to Goodreads
Emily picks up a stone that looks like a cell phone but has unexpected magical powers. It's a Spellstone! Now that she has become an unwilling Stonemaster—one who wields the power of the Stone—she has to figure out Spellstone technology fast if she is to survive a hair-raising adventure among giant dogs, demons, clones, mean girls, and deeply wicked people who want the Stone. A witty tale of a quiet girl who discovers she's a hero when she needs to be. Stonemasters rule!


Here are some of the things you will find on my bookshelves (other than my own books, which is sort of embarrassing):

  • - A complete series of Dragon Ball books in the original Japanese. A long time ago I studied and worked in Japan (I actually graduated with a degree in East Asian Studies), and read the series as a way to improve my Japanese – it’s incredibly inventive, funny and entertaining, the artwork is topnotch, and most importantly, it’s written at just the right level of complexity (Japanese-learners take note: it has furigana next to the kanji so you know the pronunciation without looking them up).
  • - Other foreign language books, including lots of novels in Spanish. I speak Spanish, too, and periodically read books in the language so I don’t forget it. I’m fascinated by other languages. 
  • - Works on philosophy, including the collected works of Montaigne. This are usually gifts from my dad; I’ve even read some of them. Mostly they – like the foreign language books -- are on display to make me look smart. 
  • - Lots of genre fiction, in particular lots of Elmore Leonard. 
  • - The complete collection of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and also all the Raina Telgemeier books. My daughter – the owner of those books -- is standing next to me right now and reminded me to include them (I actually think they’re pretty brilliant, too). 
*  *  *  *  *

Stop by WordSpelunking tomorrow for day #3 the tour!


Michael Rubens is the author of two YA novels, Sons of the 613 and The Bad Decisions Playlist, and one novel for grownups, The Sheriff of Yrnameer. A correspondent and producer for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, he has also been a producer for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. His writing has appeared in places like The New Yorker’s Daily Shouts, Salon and McSweeney's. He lives with his family in Brooklyn. Visit his website at

Follow Michael: Website | Twitter


  • One (1) winner will receive signed copies of Spellstone and Michael’s 2 YA novels, Sons of the 613 and The Bad Decisions Playlist, as well as a custom Spellstone phone case!
  • Enter via the rafflecopter below
  • US Only
  • Ends 7/2 at midnight ET
a Rafflecopter giveaway


June 19th — Bookhounds 
June 20th — Mundie Kids
June 21st — WordSpelunking 
June 23rd — Positively Book Crazy 
June 26th — GeoLibrarian
June 27th — YA Books Central 
June 28th — A Dream Within a Dream 
June 29th — Book Swoon 
June 30th — Crossroad Reviews

Thursday, June 15, 2017

We're Back!

We're back! I've missed posting our love for children's books, and talking to you about kid books. I apologize about our absence without much note as to why. Over the last few weeks I've moved, wrapped up the school year, and went on a quick vacation. While my books are sadly still in boxes, I've finally got the rest of my house unpacked. That means more reading time, and catching up on all the reviews I sadly fell behind on. I apologize in advance for the upcoming posts that will be filling up the void from the last couple of weeks. 

I hope y'all are having a great start to summer vacations. Thank you so much for still supporting us while we've had mini break. Between us, I'm not a big fan of breaks, because that just means I've missed out on talking books. However, life happens, when closing dates get moved up, you have to go with the flow no matter how much you're stressing out. THANK YOU for your patience. I look forward to talking books again with you. 

I'd also like to take a moment to introduce and welcome my sister, Lizzy, who's joined my review team! I'm so thrilled she's apart of Mundie Kids now. She'll be reviewing a lot of the board books, and picture books. She's also shared a number of reviews, and has a lot more she'll be sharing. She loves kid books just as much as I do. 

We look forward to sharing reviews and talking kid books with you! There are a lot of great releases coming up, and some great books that have recently been released that we're excited to share with you. 

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 ~