Wednesday, September 26, 2018

J IS FOR JACK-O'-LANTERN: A Halloween Alphabet by Denise Brennan Nelson / Book Review

Written by: Denise Brennan-Nelson
Illustrated by: Donald Wu
Published by: Sleeping Bear Press
Released on: June 29th, 2009
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase Links
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets 
Source: School Library 

Who lit the first jack-o'-lantern? What creature of the night must return to his grave by dawn? And why do we holler "Trick or treat"? J is for Jack-O'-Lantern: A Halloween Alphabet invites you to come along on this A-Z adventure and celebration of all things that "go bump in the night."
Poetry and prose combine to entertain and educate.
H is for Haunted House
A haunted house; you better beware.
Only enter if you dare.
Monsters lurking, looking mean--
Just can't wait to make you scream!
Classic autumn games, jokes, and recipes (including gooey deviled egg eyeballs!) help round out the Halloween festivities. Atmospheric artwork blends just enough fun with fright to provide the perfect backdrop.

This book is must for any Halloween book round up. The Halloween alphabet is fun to read, and appealing to young readers as they discover all Halloween offers from letters A-Z. To add to the book's overall appeal, included in the margins for each letter, is a brief history on the Halloween/fall item featured. For example, Autumn. A is for Autumn. Included with the ABC mention of Autumn  there's also a brief history on it. It's interesting to learn about various Halloween traditions, and things associated with Halloween. To add to the over all festive appeal are some really cute illustrations that give the book a fun, festive atmospheric feel. 

Monday, September 24, 2018

GIRAFFE PROBLEMS by Jory John & Lane Smith / Blog Tour: Book Review #GiraffeProblems

Welcome to the next stop in the GIRAFFE PROBLEMS blog tour, hosted by Penguin Random House. Out TOMORROW, the creators of the popular children's book, Penguin Problems, are at it again. This time instead of penguins, readers will be falling in love with a giraffe.


By: Jory John 
Illustrated by: Lane Smith
Published by: Penguin Random House 
Released on: September 25th, 2018
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase Links
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets 
A bound arc of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Penguins aren't the only animals with problems. . . . A second hilarious collaboration from picture-book superstars Lane Smith and Jory John!

Can you guess what's making this giraffe self-conscious? Could it be . . . HIS ENORMOUS NECK Yes, it's exactly that--how on earth did you figure it out?

Cyrus the giraffe can't understand why his neck is as long and bendy and, well, ridiculous as it is. No other animal has a neck this absurd. He's tried disguising it, dressing it up, strategically hiding it behind bushes--honestly, anything you can think of, he's tried.

Just when he has exhausted his neck-hiding options and is about to throw in the towel, a turtle swoops in (well, ambles in, very slowly) and helps him understand that his neck has a purpose, and looks excellent in a bow tie.

Jory John and Lane Smith have truly outdone themselves in this companion book to Penguin Problems.


A wonderful follow up to Penguin Problems, Jory and Lane have created another  memorable picture book with a message that readers of all ages can take to heart. You'll find that penguins aren't the only animals this picture book duo will have readers falling in love with. A giraffe and turtle are equally as cute. 

When a self conscious giraffe who feels his neck causes him problems, meets a turtle who is just a self conscious of his short neck, a story about perspective unfolds. What Cyrus the giraffe doesn't realize until he meets his new friend, is all the wonderful things his long neck allow him to do. This story is told in a way that even the youngest of readers can understand, and relate to. 

We loved this book. It's cute illustrations and wonderful message make this a book worthy of picking up. It's great for reading out loud at story time or during bedtime reading. 

Thursday, September 20, 2018

BRUCE'S BIG MOVE by Ryan T. Higgins / Book Review

Written & Illustrated by: Ryan T. Higgins
Published by: Disney Hyperion 
Released on: September 26th, 2017
Series: Bruce #3
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase Links
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets 
A bound arc of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

After the events of Hotel Bruce, our favorite curmudgeonly bear shares his home with not only his four geese, but three rowdy mice besides! Fed up with their shenanigans, Bruce sets off to find a rodent-free household. But as usual, nothing goes quite according to plan…
A hilarious sequel for fans of the previous Bruce books, as well as a standalone discovery for new readers, Bruce’s next reluctant adventure is sure to keep kids giggling.
The third book in one of our favorite picture book series, the lovable, and ever grumpy bear, BRUCE is back! Picking up where the second book left off, Bruce is in need of more space. Once again, he finds that some of the things that might make him grumpy, are the very things that make his geese happy. What's a bear to do? 

This is another hilarious, and highly entertaining read. From Bruce's expressions, to the events that unfold. Bruce's stories are never short on laughter. He won't like this comment, but his stories are heartwarming, and ones the entire family can enjoy. Be sure to look carefully through out the entire book. There are always fun details Ryan includes in his books.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

WHEN THE WORLD IS FULL OF FRIENDS by Gillian Shields / Book Review #WhenTheWorldIsFullOfFriends

By: Gillian Shields
Illustrated by: Anna Currey
Published by: Bloomsbury
Released on: February 20th, 2018
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase Links
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets 
A bound arc of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

When the world 
is full of friends,
the fun and laughter
never ends.

Albert, Tom, Flossie, and Pipkin love to play. And while they have fun inventing games together, their biggest wish is to have friends to share them with. One day, something magical happens. A family of squirrels moves in across the stream! They could be the perfect friends--but how will they cross the stream?

With a little help from Father Rabbit, Albert, Tom, Flossie, and Pipkin will discover just how wonderful it is when the world is full of friends. This touching story from the revered team behind When the World Is Ready for Bed and When the World Was Waiting for You will warm the hearts of readers young and old.

A simplistic story about friendship, imagination, teamwork, and plenty of outdoor play. This adorable story about a family of bunnies who discovers there are a new family of squirrels that moved in across the stream. With no way to get to them to play, the siblings use their imagination, and team work to come up with a solution. We loved the timeless, beautiful illustrations that made this story easily come to life. This book would make a great read aloud for story time reading.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

STORM by Sam Usher / Book Review #Storm

Written & Illustrated by: Sam Usher
Published by: Templar Books 
Released on: September 4th, 2018
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase Links
Rating: 4.5 Owlets - I really enjoyed this book!
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Despite the storm weather, a boy and his granddad decide it's the perfect day for kite flying. First they have to find the kite... then their adventure really takes off!

If this book doesn't get you in the mood for Fall, I don't know what book will. With it's beautiful fall colors, the illustrations through out this book bring to life the bond and adventure a grandfather and his grandson share on stormy afternoon. The lively story is one that will engage readers of all ages. It's one that will resonate with older ones as well. I loved this book's illustrations. STORM is one book I'd recommend picking up, and adding to your seasonal books collection. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

SANTA BRUCE by Ryan T. Higgins / Book Review #SantaBruce

Written & Illustrated by: Ryan T. Higgins
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: September 4th, 2018
Series: Bruce #4
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase links
Rating: 5 Owlets
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Everyone’s favorite curmudgeonly bear is back, and this time he and his goslings are gearing up for Christmas!
Bruce is a lot of things. He is a bear. He is a grump. He is a pretty decent cook. And he is a mother. One thing Bruce is not? Santa Claus. But that doesn’t stop the whole forest from lining up to give him their Christmas wishes when he becomes the victim of mistaken identity—again. Kids will howl with laughter as award-winning author-illustrator Ryan T. Higgins delivers another hilarious story about this bear who just can’t catch a break.
Santa Bruce is a great holiday read. Full of cheer, and out loud moments, Bruce the Bear can't seem to catch a break. A case of mistaken identity has him playing Santa Claus to all of his new woodland friends. Though Bruce would have you believe this book lacks any Christmas cheer, the geese, mice and all the other characters in this book would tell you other wise. This is one book that is worth picking up this upcoming holiday season. The illustrations and one-liners make this book one adults will enjoy as much as kids. Santa Bruce another great addition to one of our favorite picture book series. 

Monday, September 10, 2018

HERSTORY: 50 Women and Girls Who Shook Up the World by Katherine Halligan / Book Review #Herstory50WomenAndGirlsWhoShookUpTheWorld

By: Katherine Halligan
Illustrated by: Sarah Walsh
Published by: Simon & Schuster
To Be Released on: September 11th, 2018
Ages: 8 & up
Purchase Links
Rating: 5 Owlets 
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Move aside history—it’s time for herstory.

Celebrate fifty inspiring and powerful women who changed the world and left their mark in this lavishly illustrated biography compilation that’s perfect for fans of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and She Persisted. 

Throughout history, girls have often been discussed in terms of what they couldn’t or shouldn’t do.

Not anymore.

It’s time for herstory—a celebration of not only what girls can do, but the remarkable things women have already accomplished, even when others tried to stop them.

In this uplifting and inspiring book, follow the stories of fifty powerhouse women from around the world and across time who each managed to change the world as they knew it forever. Telling the stories of their childhood, the challenges they faced, and the impact of their achievements, each lavishly illustrated spread is a celebration of girl power in its many forms. From astronauts to activists, musicians to mathematicians, these women are sure to motivate young readers of all backgrounds to focus not on the can’ts and shouldn’ts, but on what they can do: anything!

An inspiring collection of 50 women and girls who shook up the world. This book is one that will inspire readers of all ages. With it's compilation of brief histories on each person featured, this book is a great introduction into some ordinary people who have done some extraordinary things. From historical to modern day, these 50 women and girls have left their mark on the world, and continue to do so today. Not only is this book great for elementary school research papers, it also makes a great addition to both classroom and school libraries. 

Friday, September 7, 2018

MONSTER BOOGIE by Laurie Berkner / Book Review

By: Laurie Berkner
Illustrated by: Ben Clanton
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Released on: July 24th, 2018
Ages: 4 & up
Purchase Links
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Laurie Berkner, “the queen of children’s music” (People), pairs the lyrics of her infectious hit song with Ben Clanton’s whimsical illustrations in this groovy and adorable picture book—a must-have for fans of Laurie, dancing, and all things monstrous!

I’m the biggest monster
that you’ve ever seen!
My eyes are purple
and my teeth are green.
I’m big and I’m scary,
you know what I mean?
And this is what I like to do… 

Boogie away those bedtime fears and embrace your inner monster with Monster Boogie, based on Laurie Berkner’s irresistibly fun song and featuring lively, playful artwork by Ben Clanton!

I do the monster boogie.
So can you!

A fun, entertaining read. With bright illustrations, repetition and rhyming, kids will love having this book read out loud to them, as much as they'll enjoy reading it on their own. Be warned, it's definitely a challenge to not sing the words as you read it out loud. You can find the song, and her video for it on Youtube. This book is great for music and story time.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

SNOW PONY and the SEVEN MINIATURE PONIES by Christian Trimmer / Book Review


By: Christian Trimmer
Illustrated by: Jessie Sima 
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Ages: 4 & up
Where to buy links
Rating: 4 owlets
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review 

From Christian Trimmer and bestselling illustrator Jessie Sima comes an adorable and imaginative twist on the tale of Snow White…with lots more ponies!

Sweet Snow Pony is loved by all for her beautiful coat as white as snow and her mane as black as ebony. Children come to her farm from all over just to have her braid their hair and teach them line dancing.

But not everyone loves Snow Pony. Jealous Queenie hatches an evil plan to make Snow Pony run away from the stable by planting a trail of apples into the woods and before long Snow Pony is lost! Full of delicious apples but all alone in the woods, Snow Pony stumbles upon the home of seven miniature ponies. The mini-ponies couldn’t be cuter, especially with Snow Pony’s braids, but they don’t have quite the same moves as the kids back on the farm.

Will her new friends help her find her way home? Or will the evil Queenie get her way?

A fun, fractured fairytale with twists, and humor both kids and adults will appreciate. The illustrations for this picture book are adorable. The seven ponies definitely add to the over all humor. The story itself is one that will resonate with kids, especially the ending.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

OCEAN MEETS SKY by The Fan Brothers / Book Review #OceanMeetsSky

Written and Illustrated by: Terry and Eric Fan
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Released on: May 2018
Ages: 4 & up
Purchase from: The Publisher | Amazon | B&N | BAM
Rating: 5 Owlets 
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

It’s a good day for sailing.

Finn lives by the sea and the sea lives by him. Every time he looks out his window it’s a constant reminder of the stories his grandfather told him about the place where the ocean meets the sky. Where whales and jellyfish soar and birds and castles float.

Finn’s grandfather is gone now but Finn knows the perfect way to honor him. He’ll build his own ship and sail out to find this magical place himself!

And when he arrives, maybe, just maybe, he’ll find something he didn’t know he was looking for.

The creators of THE NIGHT GARDENER have done it again. Their newest release, OCEAN MEETS SKY, is a stunning picture book about one boy's journey to find the place his grandfather always told him about. Captivating illustrations will make readers feels as though they're sailing along side Finn on his journey to find where the ocean meets the sky. 

This book is visually stunning. The whimsical illustrations alone make this book one that's worth picking up. The story itself is beautifully told. Finn's story will resonate with kids who are missing someone they love. This book is definitely on the top of my list of 2018 favorite picture books. I'm going to be shocked if this book doesn't win some kind of award.


*All images are owned by Simon & Schuster 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

CHOMP GOES THE ALLIGATOR by Matthew Van Fleet / Book Review #ChompGoesTheAlligator #NationalWildlifeDay

Happy National Wildlife Day & Happy Book Birthday to this new release from Matthew Van Fleet. What better way to celebrate both days than to feature Chomp Goes The Alligator on the blog today. This book is another Matthew Van Fleet classic! Whether you're a long time fan of his books, or this is your first introduction to his books, this new release is worth picking up! 


Written & Illustrated by: Matthew Van Fleet
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Released on: September 4th, 2018 - TODAY
Ages: 2 & up
Rating: 5 Owlets
Purchase from: The Publisher | Amazon | B&N
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Along came the alligator,
chomp, chomp, chomp!

From the internationally bestselling children’s book creator Matthew Van Fleet comes the story of a hungry little alligator who gulps his way from one to ten. Ten touchable textures, a sturdy chomping pull tab, and a grand finale pop-up are sure to engage the youngest readers.


A brightly illustrated counting book that is sure to make reading time a fun one. With sturdy pages, and touch & feel textures on each page, this engaging book makes learning to count fun. Readers will also enjoy learning about the various animals that live in baby alligator's swamp, as well as their colors. What happens when baby alligator gets hungry? Be sure to look at the last page to see what happens! 

This is another Matthew Van Fleet classic that is sure to be a big hit. My kids grew up on loving his books. This book may be our favorite of his yet. 


*Images courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Monday, September 3, 2018

THERE'S A DRAGON IN YOUR BOOK by Tom Fletcher / Book Review #TheresADragonInYourBook

Welcome to the next stop in the THERE'S A DRAGON IN YOUR BOOK blog tour, hosted by by Penguin Kids. This adorable picture book will be out TOMORROW and I'm thrilled to feature it today on the blog. 


By: Tom Fletcher
Illustrated by: Greg Abbott
Published by: Random House Kids
To Be Released On: September 4th, 2018
Ages: 3 & up
Rating: 5 Owlets
Purchase from: Penguin Random House | Amazon | B&N
We're a PRH partner & a copy of this book was received in exchange for my honest review

OH NO! There’s a dragon in this picture book by bestselling author, YouTube star, and musician Tom Fletcher–author of There’s a Monster in Your Book!

First, there’s an egg in your book. Then the cutest baby dragon you’ve ever seen hatches from it. But don’t tickle its nose, and whatever you do, don’t let it sneeze! ACHOO! OH MY!

Tom Fletcher’s infectious read-aloud invites kids to use their powers of imagination–along with some stamping, blowing, and flapping–to save their book from an adorable little dragon’s flammable sneezes! Children will be delighted to participate in this satisfying tale, a sequel to There’s a Monster in Your Book

The bestselling author of The Dinosaur That Pooped series has once again paired up with illustrator Greg Abbott to create another creature that readers will fall in love with–and want to play with–again and again! Tom Fletcher has a huge social-media presence with over a million followers on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. His videos “Buzz and the Dandelions” and “My Wedding Speech” went viral and have been viewed tens of millions of times all over the world.


A fun, laugh out loud, interactive read! This book makes reading out loud fun. It's one that quickly captures young kids' short attention spans, and gets them to quickly interactive with the story by following the prompts the reader reads. 

It's a little reminiscent of a childhood favorite book of mine, and one my kids loved, The Monster At The End of This Book. Much like that book, this charming book provides a lot of laughs, and fun story time memories. Mixed with it's adorable illustrations, this book is sure to be an instant hit! 

Full of imaginative fun, this adorable dragon story is one that will be read over and over again. Great for classroom, and at home story times, this picture book is one readers of all ages will love. 

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 ~