Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holiday Release!

December has arrived and with it, holiday books!! Strawberry Shortcake is welcoming the winter with a book of her own. My oldest already owns this book and has been loving it. It's available in your bookstores now. I am happy to present...

Strawberry Shortcake and her friends are going to put on an ice-skating performance. Since Plum Pudding is the berry best dancer, she will be the star of the show. But the day before the performance, Plum hurts her leg. How can the show go on without her?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Favorite Character Book Release

Diary of a Wimpy Kid #5: The Ugly Truth
by Jeff Kinney
"See, when you're a little kid, nobody ever warns you that you've got an expiration date. One day you're hot stuff and the next day you're a dirt sandwich," Greg Heffley tells readers partway into this fifth installment of Kinney's bestselling Wimpy Kid series. There's a noticeable feeling of transition in this outing as Greg negotiates a sour patch with longtime best friend Rowley, his mother's decision to go back to school, the imminence of puberty (and dreaded accompanying discussions at home and at school), and the fact that one can't stay a child forever--despite evidence to the contrary provided by Greg's Uncle Gary, who's embarking on his fourth marriage.
Although there is perhaps less of a central focus in this book than in some of its predecessors, the sense that "all good things must come to an end" emerges, something that inevitably will be true of the series itself at some point. But Kinney hasn't lost his touch for spinning universal details of middle-school life into comic gold--he doesn't have to worry about becoming a dirt sandwich anytime soon.
-from barnesandnoble.com
This book was released on November 9. Find it in your local bookstore. I know that Barnes and Noble has it! My review will be coming soon!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

In honor of Halloween........



The Doom of the Haunted Opera


By John Bellairs


"Beware!" the ghost whispered. "Beware the doom of the haunted opera! He means to be King of the Dead!"



When Lewis Barnavelt and Rose Rita Pottinger explore an old, abandoned theater, they find an unpublished opera score. Disregarding the warning of the ghost, they bring the sheet music to school, where The Day of Doom is heralded as a masterpiece.

Then Henry Vanderhelm, the composer's grandson, arrives and manipulates the town into putting on a performance of the opera. Only Vanderhelm knows that when the opera is played, the dead will awaken.......to help Harry Vanderhelm enslave the world! Will Lewis and Rose Rita stop the performance- or watch the curtains rise on the undead?




My mom gave this book to me last year for Christmas. What a perfect book to read for Halloween! And it's illustrated by Edward Gorey, my favorite artist. What more could I want?


I'm just starting it, so I will update later to let everyone know how it was.



HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle


Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
By: Betty MacDonald
130 Pages
Ages: 8-12

Summary:
Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle lives in an upside-down house and smells like cookies. She was even married to a pirate once. Most of all, she knows everything about children. She can cure them of any ailment. Patsy hates baths. Hubert never puts anything away. Allen eats v-e-r-y slowly. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle has a treatment for all of them. -- bn.com

This book was recommended to me by my blog partner, Rose. She told me I would like it and she was right!! I loved reading this book so much that I read the whole thing in one day, which isn't easy with two small children!

I loved her "cures" for common childhood "diseases" like 'The-Won't-Pick-Up-Toys Cure" or "The Radish Cure". She puts a new spin on common childhood behaviors. I wish I was this creative and inventive!! Through giving the child exactly what they want she gets them to realise they don't really want it after all. It's brilliant!!

One child decided she didn't want to take baths anymore. OK, so out with the baths... Until she's got enough dirt on her to plant radish seeds on her and they grow! Another child decides he doesn't want to share anything that's his anymore. Alright... Until he gets picked on for having labels on everything that's his and looses the keys that go to the locks on everything that's his. And they only to way to cure a child suffering from the "Answer-Backer" disease is to get a parrot involved.

Each chapter is a separate child suffering from a "disease" that Mrs. Piggle- Wiggle has the perfect and guaranteed cure for. I can't wait to read this book to my girls when they're old enough. It's perfect for those family readings or bed time stories.

Rating: Buy It!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Search for WondLa

by Tony DiTerlizzi
"Don't you get it, Muthr?" Eva said, affronted. "Look at the girl and her parent. Look at their robot. See how happy they all are?"

Eva Nine had never seen the actual sun before, or walked outdoors. In fact, she had never seen another living person in all twelve years of her life. That changes when a marauding huntsman destroys her underground home and sends her fleeing for her life. So begins the harrowing quest of Eva Nine, seemingly the only human alive on an extraordinary alien planet. Through daring escapes, confrontations with beguiling characters, and travels over spectacular vistas, Eva is led by a single clue that gives her hope: a crumbling picture of a girl, a robot, and a human with only the word "WONDLA" still visible on it. Along the way, she comes to understand the true meaning of home and family.

With its classic prose and breathtaking illustrations, The Search for WondLa is sure to inspire dreams. The search is just the beginning......

This book cast a spell over me. I became completely drawn into Eva Nine's world, and her adventures with the various fascinating characters that she meets throughout the story. I was up until 3am because I needed to know if she was going to find any more humans on the planet.

I read the Advance Reader Copy of this book, which was missing most of the illustrations. The illustrations that are in it are absolutely amazing. I was already a fan of Tony DiTerlizzi from The Spiderwick Chronicles, but this is his best work yet. I could just feel the pictures coming off the page. I will definitely be purchasing the fully illustrated hardcover edition!

The best news about this book (and also the worst, if you're impatient like me), is that it's the beginning of a series. I will tell you this much- the ending leaves you totally hanging. I can't wait for book two! This is solid science fiction that would be great for anyone age 9 and up. Or should I say age 9 to 99? This is one of those books that adults will enjoy just as much as adolescents.

Rating: Buy it, buy it, buy it!


Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Great Anti-Bullying Program!!

Attention all children who go to school. WeTip is there, if you ever need them.




Bullies have become an all too present part of school. (I had mine in junior high) WeTip understands how scary dealing with bullies can be and how difficult it is to resolve the problem. Through this company, you can report a bully without anyone knowing who lodged the complaint.

The author of Bully Billy Beranger, Dan L. Mayfield, is a father himself. Through this story he illustrates a common bully scenario: Billy Beranger gives Carol the option of either giving him her lunch or he'll beat her up. Luckily, Carol's best friend, Sarah, knows of the WeTip hotline and gets poor Carol to call. The story walks you through the phone call. Oh how I wish I had that number when I had my bully.

I encourage every student and parent to become very familiar with the WeTip program! Bullying has gotten out of control and leaves devastating scars on the victims. It's time those who have been, or are being now, bullied to take back their lives and get control of the situation. WeTip has the means to make that happen.

Here's some information:
WeTip website:
www.wetip.com

WeTip Hotline: 1-800-78CRIME

To Buy Bully Billy Beranger:
http://www.daleepublishing.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=28

I hope you never have to deal with any form of bullying. But if you become one the millions who have, please know you are not alone.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Favorite Character Book Release!

Attention All Knuffle Bunny Fans! Trixie & Knuffle Bunny are back...
KnuffleBunny Free
By: Mo Willems
Ages: 4-8

Trixie accidentally forgets her beloved stuffed toy on an international flight, as she travels from Brooklyn to Holland with her parents to visit her Dutch Grandparents. --bn.com

Available now at your local bookstore. We hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Modern Fairies, Dwarves, Goblins & Other Nasties

A Practical Guide by Miss Edythe McFate
As told to Lesley M. M. Blume
Illustrated by David Foote

To: The children of the world

From: Miss Edythe McFate

Re: The wondrous, dangerous world of modern fairies-READ IMMEDIATELY!

My names is Miss Edythe McFate, and once you've read my practical guide to modern fairies, you will never see the world around you in the same way again.

Perhaps you think fairies are figments of the imagination, or even relics of a ancient past. You may even think that all fairies are lovely winged creatures who dance in bluebell fields, granting wishes to anyone who encounters them.

You would be wrong on all counts.

Fairies are very much alive today, and they are everywhere-in our cities, our backyards, and even our kitchen cupboards. Some of them are indeed the sweet-tempered winged creatures of folklore, but the fairy family also includes goblins, trolls, brownies, and other strange creatures- some of which are revealed in this book for the very first time. While many fairy breeds are harmless, others can be quite nasty or even dangerous.

In my luxuriously-illustrated guidebook, I share my knowledge of the modern fairy world and include practical advice on matters such as:

-How to tell a good fairy from a bad one,

-How to spot a "fairy ring",

-How to tell the difference between dwarves and trolls (one species is far deadlier than the other),

-How to defend against fairies who would do you harm,

......and much, much more. Also included: eight true cautionary tales about children your age who have encountered deadly fairies in ultramodern New York City. You would be advised to read my book closely, lest you find yourself in your own fairy encounter.

After all, forewarned is forearmed.

-from www.lesleymmblume.com

I just finished up this book today while waiting around at jury duty. I'll say this- it was certainly amusing enough to keep my mind off the boredom of waiting around. I absolutely loved this book! It had an old-fashioned quality to it. The eight cautionary tales are very much modern fairy tales. Some of them turn out well, but many of them not so well for the children involved. Of course, that's only because those particular children are selfish, nasty, or just all around mean. There are also the poor innocent children who don't know what they're getting themselves into. Lesson learned-don't mess around with fairies!

The illustrations are really really cool. The artist, David Foote, used pen and ink (which is my favorite style of drawings), then smeared the ink with water in many illustrations for an almost Ralph Steadman-like effect. He also draws round circles of blush on his faces, which I find to be endearing. (Although it can look sinister on the evil fairies).

I like that Miss Edythe McFate gives exact locations in New York City of various fairy dwellings (for example, the exact tree in Central Park that the brownies relocate to from the Algonquin Hotel). I can just imagine being a kid, begging my parents to take me to New York so I can go look for the fairies. Heck, even as an adult I want to go look for the fairies. Who am I kidding?

My verdict is-this book is a great book for kids who liked The Spiderwick Chronicles or fans of magical realism. It would be a great read-aloud!

Rating: Buy it! You will need it for reference!


Favorite Character Book Release!

Okay Olivia fans, the wait is over!!!! She's back and ready for you to read!

In her first brand new adventure in three years, Olivia takes her discerning eye for style to beautiful Venice on a family vacation that involves dodging pigeons in the Piazza San Marco, gorging on gelato, and barely staying afloat in a gondola. -- bn.com

Olivia Goes To Venice came out today, so run to your bookstore and get her!!! I know my oldest daughter is anxiously awaiting her copy!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pippi Longstocking Reading Invitation Update

We hope you enjoyed Pippi In The South Seas! What did you think of it? Here are our thoughts:

Rose:
The third Pippi Longstocking book was not quite as good as the first two. There were still funny moments, but they were fewer and farther between. My favorite parts were where Miss Rosenblom comes to the school and quizzes all the children, and the part about Jim and Buck. If you are trying to decide which of the three Pippi books to read, go with Pippi Longstocking or Pippi Goes on Board. Compared to those two, this book is a bit lacking.

Jen:
While this one had some charm, it wasn't as full of it as the prior two. In this book you get to see what word Pippi creates. You'll go to school with her again and find out what happens when she fails a question and answer. And, lastly, you'll get to travel to her Dad's island. From teasing and toying with would-be thieves, to tangling with a shark, to taking an interesting ride in a barrel down a tall water fall... Pippi In The South Seas is an adventure to be read, but maybe not more than once.

Pippi Longstocking remains my favorite of the series. This book wasn't as enthralling or engrossing, but it still gives you a good story to read.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Favorite Character Book Release!

Attention all Pinkalicious Fans!!!! She's back with a new book....


Pinkalicious: Pink Around The Rink*
By: Victoria Kann
Ages 4-8

After Pinkalicious colors her white ice skates with a cotton candy pink marker, she feels ready to spin, glide, and soar with the best of them. But as the color starts to run off of her skates, she is embarrassed. When Pinkalicious thought she was going to leave her mark on the skating rink, she didn't mean it so literally. . . . amazon.com

*The publication date is for October, but there was 2 copies in my local Kmart.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pippi Longstocking Month Update

We hope everyone enjoyed Pippi Goes On Board! We surely did!

Here's What Rose Thought:
I thought that Pippi Goes On Board was equally good as the first book. There were many hilarious moments, but I have to say that the funniest thing to me was when Pippi, Tommy, and Annika go see the play at the fair. I almost died laughing when Pippi starts bawling during the play and yells out, "Please don't talk like that! Things will be brighter for you. The children will find their way home, and you can always get another husband. There are so many me-e-en."I also enjoyed when Pippi goes shopping, and when she goes on the class picnic. There are so many hilarious moments. Definitely read it!

Here's What Jen Thought:
Pippi Goes On Board was another great time spent with Pippi and her friends. Who else could make a day at the fair more entertaining? And only Pippi could make being shipwrecked sound like something to do when your parents are away. I enjoyed meeting Pippi's Father, Captain Longstocking, who comes to Villa Villekulla to take his daughter back to the sea with him. Will she go or will she stay? I still prefer the first book a little more than this one, it's definitely a fun read.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ages 11+

Notes from a Totally Lame Vampire
by Tim Collins
Illustrated by Andrew Pinder

Nigel Mullet isn't your typical teenager......HE'S A VAMPIRE! But unfortunately, when Nigel transformed, he didn't become all broody and interesting, and as for super strength and speed....well, forget it! Nigel got acne, a voice that squeaks, a tendency to break out in a rash (not sparkles!) when exposed to the sun, and still had absolutely no idea how to talk to girls. Nigel just may be the first and only lame vampire on record.
When a beautiful new girl comes to school, Nigel is determined to impress her. Of course, that would mean actually speaking to her......and he will.......eventually. But until he can win the girl and the respect of his family, Nigel will just be utterly lame.

Let me start off by saying that this book was pretty funny. My hopes were high for it to be the next new thing for Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans, but now having read it, it's really more the next new thing for fans of vampire satire. There are a few jabs at the Twilight series in it that I found amusing (he agrees to watch her all night while she's sleeping, and is so bored that he wants to go get a magazine from the 24 hour convenience store, but is afraid she'll wake up while he's gone). I do think fans of Diary of Wimpy Kid will enjoy it, if for nothing else than the format, which is very similar to Wimpy Kid. The story itself is really more about Nigel's love for his classmate Chloe, and him overcoming his fears and insecurities to win her heart. I liked how it ended, because the main character gained confidence in himself, instead of constantly wishing that he were a different person (or vampire).

by Rose
Rating: Check it out from the library

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pippi Longstocking Reading Invitation Update






Okay everyone! Get ready for book 2!!

Pippi Goes Onboard
By: Astrid Lindgren

On Your Mark! Get Set! READ......





Pippi Longstocking Update...

Pippi Longstocking
By: Astrid Lindgren
We hope you've enjoyed week #1 in our Pippi Longstocking month! We would love to hear your feedback about this delightful series. Here is what we thought of the first book!

Rose:
This book was really really good! I was laughing out loud at all of Pippi's crazy antics. This would be a really fun read out loud story for a wide range of ages. I would say anywhere from age 6-12 would enjoy it.
I think my favorite parts were when Pippi went to school and when the burglars try to rob her house. It is also hilarious when Pippi goes to the 'surkus'.

Jen:
Pippi has been one of those characters that has stayed with me for as long as I can remember. What's not to love about a little girl who cleans her floors on brush skates?! Or fends off burglars by outwitting them, only to give them something in the end?! And who cannot love a girl who puts an end to bullying by throwing the bullies into a tree?! She's a girl after my own heart.

Pippi is the character you love to re-read and visit. Of course, every time you do, it's like you never left!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ages 11+


The Giver by Lois Lowry

Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community.
When Jonas turns twelve he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now it's time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

Hmmmm, I don't really know what to write about this book. I feel like all the things I want to write about are going to give too much away for the people who haven't read it yet. I'll just say this: this book makes you think. It's definitely for the older kids, because a lot of the concepts in the book and the way it ends would be hard to understand for younger children. I think this book is perfect for middle school aged kids. It's a good book, but I did find the ending a little depressing, at least the way I interpreted it. Anyone else have any thoughts on this book? I would love to hear your feedback! I'm interested in how others interpreted the ending.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Pippi Longstocking Reading Invitation Update




Ok everyone! Are you ready?! It's time to start reading!!


Get a copy of Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren & start reading! We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Happy Reading Everyone!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pippi Longstocking Month!!!

I am Pippi Longstocking,
If you say it fast it's funny!
Pippi, Pippi Longstocking,
How I love my happy name.....

Kids Book Korner is declaring September....

Pippi Longstocking Month!

Spend the month going on one adventure after another with a character who has her own way of doing things.

Week 1: Pippi Longstocking
Week 2: Pippi Goes On Board
Week 3: Pippi In The South Seas

We invite you to join us as we spend the month with a beloved girl! Get ready, because you never know what will happen when Pippi Longstocking is around...

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Favorite Character Book Release!

Library Mouse A World to Explore
By: Daniel Kirk
Ages 6-8

One night in the library, Sam meets fellow mouse Sarah. Sam learns that Sarah is quite the explorer. She loves to scurry to the tops of shelves and explore the darkest corners of the building. Sam never climbs far up—he’s too afraid! He prefers to research subjects—such as exploration—and write about them. Sarah doesn’t know much about writing or research, but could reading and research help her learn more about the places she wishes to visit? Together this duo shows that, with teamwork, anything is possible.

According to bn.com, the book's release date is in September. However, it was on my local Barnes & Noble's bookshelves last night. My oldest daughter LOVED the other 2 Library Mouse books, so I'm sure we'll be buying this one very soon. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ages 11+

The Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow

Lydia Goldblatt and Julie Graham-Chang are best friends with one goal: to crack the code of popularity. Through careful observation of the fifth-grade class and brave experiments throughout the year, they plan to start junior high at the top of the social order. But somehow Lydia and Julie's bold tests don't translate into instant popularity. And even worse, as the school year passes they seem to be drifting farther and farther from their goal....and each other.
Amy Ignatow's hilarious debut novel introduces the intrepid fifth-graders Julie and Lydia, whose quest to understand popularity may not succeed in the ways they want but will succeed in keeping readers in stitches.

I really enjoyed this book. It is done in a diary style, handwritten with lots of pictures. This format is really popular right now, mainly because of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. (Which I absolutely loved). This will appeal to all those middle grade girls, who like Wimpy Kid but also want a story more girl oriented. I thought this book explored a lot of topics that I can remember were really important to me right before entering middle school. I remember I wanted to make more friends and "be cool", whatever that is. For me, more friends ended up translating into more drama, which is exactly what happens to the two main characters in this book. So yes, although I am now 27 years old, I found a lot to relate to in this story.

One thing I really liked about this book was that as the quest to become popular begins to tear apart their friendship, they learn that popularity isn't all that it's cracked up to be. I thought that this book had a really sweet ending. Another thing that I loved about this book was that neither of the characters have a traditional nuclear family structure at home, but they both still have a really good home life. I don't think you see that as often in young readers books as you see the kid having trouble with a step-parent or their parents' divorce. I think there is a need for both kinds of books.

The only thing that I thought maybe wasn't well planned about this book was that the author chose to have the girls be in fifth grade. As I was reading the book, I really felt what the story was about and what the characters cared about were more sixth grade level. Maybe I'm just thinking back to my own experience of those ages, because I never cared about popularity or social things until at least sixth grade, and it was the end of sixth grade. Well, I guess the kids grow up faster these days.

My overall verdict on this book is it's perfect for a girl who is starting middle school.

Rating: Check it out from the library or buy it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Ages 6+


Tumtum & Nutmeg: Adventures Beyond Nutmouse Hall
Stories by Emily Bearn
Pictures by Nick Price

Deep inside the broom cupboard of Rose Cottage, two mice live in great style.

Tumtum and Nutmeg lead cozy and quiet lives, secretly looking after Arthur and Lucy, the disheveled human children of the cottage, never dreaming that so many exciting adventures will soon find them. But when evil Aunt Ivy, a squeamish schoolteacher named Miss Short, and pirating pond rats threaten the safety of those they hold dear, the courageous pair will stop at nothing to save the day.

In three thrilling tales with charming illustrations in every chapter, Tumtum and Nutmeg--along with the valiant efforts of veteran hero General Marchmouse, Ms. Tiptoe's bouncing ballerina army, and a team of caged gerbils--prove that small-size mice can have world-size hearts.

I loved this book. I mean, really really loved this book. It made me want to be a little kid again so my mom could read it out loud to me. There are several books she read to us that will always stick with me. Among these are Mother West Wind by Thornton W. Burgess and The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban. I would say as far as qualities of a great read-aloud go, Tumtum and Nutmeg is right up there with these two. The stories have so much charm and low-key humor to them. They're not knee-slapping, laugh out loud funny so much as very quirky. I really liked the fact that the good and bad characters have very well-defined roles, and they stick to them. Aunt Ivy, Miss Short, and the pond pirates got what was coming to them in the end- nothing grisly of course, but enough for the reader to feel the satisfaction that justice has been served. And I, for one, love happy endings!

This would be a really great read-aloud for any parent to read their child from age 5 up. (Depending on the particular child's attention span, of course). It may just be too wordy for some of the younger kids. I think a child up to age 10 or 11 would enjoy this book, so if you have kids between ages 5 and 11, this is the family read-aloud for you. But let me warn you right now, watch out for General Marchmouse. He is always getting into trouble! He's also one of the characters that made me laugh the most.

Rating: Buy it!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Amelia Bedelia

Amelia Bedelia**
By: Peggy Parish
64 Pages
Ages 6-8

**this is a Step 2 reader book**

Summary:
Amelia Bedelia is hired by Mr. & Mrs. Rogers. They leave a list of things they would like her to do that day. What they didn't know was that Amelia has her own way of doing things. Be careful how you say things when Amelia Bedelia is around...

I LOVED Amelia Bedelia when I was a kid and I love her even more now that I'm an adult! She was such a wonderful character and I loved getting to revisit her. She is the house cleaner with the heart of gold who's heart is always in the right place, but doesn't exactly do things the normal way.

Take her version of dusting the furniture, for example. Instead of removing the dust from it, she dusts the furniture with dusting powder she finds-- though it smells nice!! Or when she's asked to draw the drapes. The Rogers' are trying to keep the sun out of a room, but Amelia thinks they want a picture of their drapes drawn, so she draws them one! What saves her from being fired, you ask? Her yummy lemon-meringue pie!

Children will love reading how she interprets things and goes about doing them. You can't help but chuckle and laugh! Amelia Bedelia is a childhood treasure and I can't wait to read her to my girls! I hope they love her as much as I did growing up!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Ages 9+


The Night of the Solstice by L. J. Smith

When Claudia Hodges-Bradley meets a fox, she knows it will be an extraordinary day. Not just any fox, this vixen is the magical familiar of the sorceress Morgana Shee. For years Morgana has guarded the solitary gate between Earth and the Wildworld, a shimmering parallel universe where legends still live. She alone holds the secret of the mirrors that serve as the last passage to enchantment. But Morgana has been betrayed and imprisoned in the Wildworld, and the fox is determined to recruit the Hodges-Bradley kids for the rescue mission.
Armed only with courage and determination, Alys, Charles, Janie, and Claudia must save Morgana before the winter solstice, when the evil sorcerer Cadal Forge plans to escape Wildworld and conquer Earth. And with December 21 only 2 weeks away, there is no time to lose...........

There is quite a story behind this book for me. I've been looking for it for years, because I read it when I was 10 years old from the library, then could never find it again. I remembered it was called Night of the Solstice, and I remembered it had something to do with the winter solstice and there was a grotto in it. That was all I could remember, and of course I had no clue who the author was. I had searched for it in the computers at work before, and figured it was probably out of print. So when we got this book in about 2 months ago, I immediately bought it. The summary didn't sound much like what I remembered, but the winter solstice was in there and it sounded good, so I figured it was worth the risk.
Now that I've read it, I am positive it's the same book I read as a kid. I remembered virtually nothing from the story, and the things that I did remember were really minor parts, but there were a couple of things that jogged my memory. It's hard to measure something you read as a kid against an adult interpretation. I think that usually some of the magic of the story gets lost. That being said, this was still a really good book. Definitely a great one for kids that like fantasy and adventure. My favorite characters were Alys, the winged serpent, and the vixen. I think most kids could find something to relate to in this book, because the 4 main characters-the Hodges-Bradley kids- range in age from 7 years old to 16 years old. There is a sequel that I haven't read yet, and didn't know about as a kid. I will definitely be reading that!

Rating: Buy it!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Ages 3-7

A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker
Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton

Bear is quite sure he doesn't like visitors. He even has a sign. So when a mouse taps on his door one day, Bear tells him to leave. But when Bear goes to the cupboard to get a bowl, there is the mouse- small and gray and bright-eyed. In this slapstick tale that begs to be read aloud, all Bear wants is to eat his breakfast in peace, but the mouse-who keeps popping up in the most unexpected places- just won't go away!
-from barnesandnoble.com

This book is awesome! Ruth and I read it for storytime a couple of weeks ago, and the kids really liked it. It was the last of 4 stories, and they paid attention through to the very end. (Usually by the fourth story you've lost half of the audience). My favorite character is the mouse, and lucky for me (probably because I insisted), I got to be the voice of the mouse at storytime! This story is destined to become a classic.


Rating: Buy it! This would make a great birthday or baby shower gift.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Ages 8+


Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls: Moving Day by Meg Cabot
When Allie's parents announce that the family is moving, Allie's sure her life is over. She's not at all happy about having to give up her pretty pink wall-to-wall carpeting for creaky floorboards and creepy secret passageways.....not to mention leaving her modern, state-of-the-art suburban school for a rundown, old-fashioned school just two blocks from her new house.
With a room she's half-scared to go into, the burden of being "the new girl", and her old friends all a half-hour car ride away, how will Allie ever learn to fit in?
-from scholastic.com
When I first started this book I wasn't enjoying it very much, and I was finding the main character to be kind of annoying. I was thinking that maybe it was one of those books that would appeal to kids but adults wouldn't like. Since I am a huge fan of Meg Cabot, I didn't give up three chapters in like I wanted to. I'm glad I didn't give up on this book because it improved greatly about halfway through. After Allie's so-called best friend Mary Kay (who is really lame, by the way) stops speaking to her, I enjoyed the book a lot more. Then I realized that it actually wasn't Allie that I didn't like, it was all the parts about Mary Kay. She's supposed to be annoying, but it was hard to understand why Allie was friends with her at all, since they had basically nothing in common. I guess it was just a friendship of convenience, since Mary Kay is the only girl her age who lives on her street. Luckily, for the sake of the story, Allie realizes pretty soon that her and Mary Kay are better off parting ways. Although Mary Kay is super annoying, I think young girls could relate to having a friend like that, who you don't really like but still hang out with for whatever reason.
One thing I really liked about this book was it has a really good message about change. Allie thinks that her life will be ruined by moving, but it actually turns out to be a good change in the end. I also liked the part where Allie saves the turtle. (You'll have to read it to find out what happens!)
After I finished the book, I felt that this would be a great series to start a 3rd to 5th grade girl on. I think Allie Finkle is a relatable character for that age group. I'm glad I kept reading!
Rating: Borrow from the library or buy in paperback

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Good-Night, Owl Review


Good-Night, Owl
By: Pat Hutchins
Reviewed By: Bethany Nusbaum, 5 yrs old

Summary:
What does an owl have to do to get some sleep? Well in a tree full of day time birds, this can prove to be quite tricky. See who is responsible for keeping the owl from a good daytime of sleep.

1. What is this book about?
A silly owl just trying to sleep.

2. If you could be anything in the story, who or what would you be?
I would be the dove, she has the best feathers and she coos.

3. What is the best part of the book?
When the owl wakes up all the birds at night time!!!!!!!!!!

4. Is this book something you would want to keep forever?
Yes, and I will read it to my baby owl.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Beezus & Ramona Review

Beezus & Ramona
By: Beverly Cleary
159 Pages (my hardcover book)

Summary:
Starting with a fairly mild encounter with the librarian, which is harder on Beezus than anyone else, Ramona goes from strength to strength, winding up by inviting her entire kindergarten class to a part at her home without mentioning it to her mother. The riot that ensues is probably the most hilarious episode in this extremely funny book, which proves that Mrs. Cleary's imagination is almost as lively as Ramona's. -- bn.com

I thoroughly enjoyed this book from cover to cover. Never having had a sister ( I was the youngest in my family) I was spared all of this. However, my 2 daughters will probably relate to this book once they are older.

Ramona is such a little fireball of energy. From embarrassing her sister with the bunny ears to "writing" her name on every page of a library book, the first chapter was entertaining. When Ramona crashes her older sister's art class more hilarity ensues. However, I got exhausted just reading what happened when Ramona decides she wants to have a party and proceeds to invite all her friends-- without telling her Mom first.

Beezus is an amazing character. She thinks of ways to handle whatever her sister throws at her. This book is only the first in the Beezus & Ramona series, and I think I'll be reading more of them. You never know what will happen when Ramona is involved.

Rating: Buy It!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Favorite Character Book Release!!!

Coming Soon To A Bookstore Near You.....



Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth
By: Jeff Kinney
224 Pages
Ages 8-12
Releases: November 9, 2o10

A Summary for the book was not available

Online bookstores are currently taking pre-orders

The Mysterious Benedict Society


The Mysterious Benedict Society
By: Trenton Lee Stewart
512 Pages* (actual story is shorter)
Ages 8-12
Summary:
4 children are the only ones who pass bizarre tests advertised in the newspaper. All are orphans and all are chosen for a specific reason. Now they must go undercover to find out the secrets that lie in Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened. What is going on and can they save the day in time?

My first impression is that this book is meant for the higher range of the ages it's directed to. This story itself is over 400 pages long- a bit long for younger children. While it's a good read, even I was ready to be one half way through the book.

The tests the children take were interesting and fun to read about. Each child uses their own reasoning and methods for accomplishing the tests and it was fun to see how they did it. I have to say I liked the character Constance the least. Like the other 3 children in the book she worked my nerves with her attitude. Reading how they each bring their unique thinking to the table to solve this mystery was my favorite part of the book.

This book is the 1st in a series that is currently 3 books strong. And while it's says 8-12, I think the older kids from that range would get more out of it than the younger ones.

Rating: Borrow From The Library

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Favorite Character Book Releases!!!

Attention All Pinkalicious Fans! 2 new Pinkalicious books have been released & readyfor you to read!!

Pinkalicious Tickled Pink
By: Victoria Kann
24 Pages
Ages 3-8
Summary:
When Tiffany challenges Pinkalicious to a laugh-off, the pressure is on to create the most pinkerrifically funny joke of all time. Even if Pinkalicious doesn't win the contest, she's going to have a lot of fun trying!


Pinkalicious School Rules**
By: Victoria Kann
32 Pages
Ages 5-8
Summary:
When Pinkalicious brings her imaginary unicorn, Goldilicious, to class one day, she learns that with her companion by her side, school rules!

** This book is for beginner readers. **


Monday, July 26, 2010

For All Ages

Miss Rumphius
Story and pictures by Barbara Cooney
As a child Great-aunt Alice Rumphius resolved that when she grew up she would go to faraway places, live by the sea in her old age, and do something to make the world more beautiful- and she does all those things, the last being the most difficult of all.
-from barnesandnoble.com
This book is one of my favorites. There is a message in here for everyone. It's a great read out loud, that can be read over and over.

Rating- Buy it in hardcover, the paperback will wear out.


Ages 10+


Hawksmaid
The Untold Story of Robin Hood and Maid Marian
by Kathryn Lasky
Before she was Maid Marian, she was Matty.......
Matty has been raised to dance well, embroider exquisitely, and marry nobly. But when Matty's mother is murdered before her very eyes and her father, a nobleman, is reduced to poverty, Matty's life changes.
As the daughter of Nottingham's most famous falconer, she finds a new destiny in the hawks her father keeps. She begins to understand their thoughts and even speak their language. The beautiful merlin Marigold becomes Matty's closest winged companion and her fiercest ally.
It is a treacherous time in England. The sheriff of Nottingham is rising to power, and a true king has been kidnapped. Determined to fight, Matty's friend Fynn becomes Robin Hood. As Maid Marian, Matty joins Fynn and his Merry Men, famously robbing from the rich to give to the poor.
You thought that you knew the legend, but this is the untold story. Bestselling author Kathryn Lasky soars to magnificent new heights here, giving us a bold tale of bravery and romance.
-from barnesandnoble.com
I picked up this book because I've always loved the Robin Hood legend, and often wondered about the origins of Robin Hood and Maid Marian. This book doesn't disappoint.
There was a lot of information about falcons and the art of falconry in this book, which I found interesting. I thought the addition of Matty (who later becomes Maid Marian) being able to communicate with the falcons will draw in kids, especially the animal lovers.
I loved the main character, Matty, because she had a lot of spunk and wouldn't let the boys tell her that she couldn't do something just because she was a girl. I thought the author did a good job representing what Maid Marian would have been like as a kid.
I also enjoyed Fynn (who later becomes Robin Hood). The way Kathryn Lasky wrote his personality, I could totally believe that he would become Robin Hood. He was a bit of a smart aleck and very clever.
My final verdict- if you like the legend of Robin Hood, you will enjoy this book.
Rating: Borrow it from the library or buy it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Favorite Character Book Release!

Olivia Goes To Venice
By: Ian Falconer
Ages 3-7
Release Date: September 28, 1010

Olivia takes her discerning eye for style to beautiful Venice on a family vacation that involves dodging pigeons in the Piazza San Marco, gorging on gelato, and barely staying afloat in a gondola.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

My Childhood Favorites

By Rose

I've always loved reading. I was that kid that woke up super super early so I could read for 2 hours before I had to go to school. I still remember attempting to walk around the house and do chores while reading. It didn't work too well. At 2 years old, I used to sit by myself in a corner with my mother's Glamour magazine and read myself a story. (She eventually had to take Glamour away because she was worried about the content). Was I born to be a bookworm? Yes, I was.
The books that I read as a kid are what made me love reading so much as an adult. I've always been a bit obsessive over whatever book/TV show/movie/music I happen to be into at a particular time. There are certain books- Bridge to Terabithia, Anne of Green Gables, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH- that I remember reading over and over. These are still some of the best books I've ever read. There's something magical about books when you're a kid.


I guess you think you know this story.
You don’t. The real one’s much more gory.
The phoney one, the one you know,
Was cooked up years and years ago. . . .


With his famous wicked humor and the cunning of a big bad wolf, master storyteller and satirist Roald Dahl retells his six favorite fairy tales. Get ready for Dahl’s diabolical version of what really happened to Cinderella, Goldilocks, the Three Little Pigs, Jack and the Beanstalk, Snow White, and Little Red Riding Hood. -from barnesandnoble.com



This book greatly influenced me as a child. I actually taped my performances from it on

the tape player I got for my 10th birthday. For ages 7 +.


All summer, Jess pushed himself to be the fastest boy in the fifth grade, and when the year's first school-yard race was run, he was going to win.But his victory was stolen by a newcomer, by a girl, one who didn't even know enough to stay on the girls' side of the playground. Then, unexpectedly, Jess finds himself sticking up for Leslie, for the girl who breaks rules and wins races. The friendship between the two grows as Jess guides the city girl through the pitfalls of life in their small, rural town, and Leslie draws him into the world of imaginations world of magic and ceremony called Terabithia. Here, Leslie and Jess rule supreme among the oaks and evergreens, safe from the bullies and ridicule of the mundane world. Safe until an unforeseen tragedy forces Jess to reign in Terabithia alone, and both worlds are forever changed.

In this poignant, beautifully rendered novel, Katherine Paterson weaves a powerful story of friendship and courage.

-from barnesandnoble.com


This was my favorite book of the 5th grade. I read it over and over. I always was a

sucker for books that make you cry. For ages 10+.



Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, is faced with a terrible problem. She must move her family to their summer quarters immediately, or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma. And Mrs. Frisby in turn renders them a great service. -from barnesandnoble.com


I found this book completely fascinating. The idea of these highly intelligent rats

and their secret underground world will draw in any kid. Good for ages 8-12.




"Well, first of all, " said the BFG, "human beans is not really believing in giants, is they? Human beans is not thinking we exist."

Sophie discovers that giants not only exist, but that there are a great many of them who like to guzzle and swallomp nice little chiddlers. But not the Big Friendly Giant. He and Sophie cook up an ingenious plot to free the world of troggle-humping -- forever. -from barnesandnoble.com


I actually did a book report on this book in 4th grade, where I brought my clarinet in and played in class. The BFG had a horn that he played, and I used my clarinet to represent that. This book is really funny and strange. Great for ages 8-11.


Father is missing! His top secret job as a physicist for the government has taken him away—but where?—and how? Meg and her younger brother, Charles Wallace, set out with their friend Calvin on an exciting adventure through time and space to search for him. With the help of the mysterious Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who and Mrs. Which, the youngsters learn to expect the unexpected as they move in the fifth dimension known as the "tesseract".

With this award-winning story, Madeline L'Engle has captivated millions of readers throughout the world. Her universal themes of courage, perseverance, and love are interwoven with imagination and suspense. A Wrinkle in Time, published in 1962, won the distinguished Newbery Medal for children's literature in 1963. -from barnesandnoble.com

Wow, I loved this book. In fact, the whole series. I found the idea that actual science was behind these stories obsession-worthy. This is the first in the series, although my very favorite was A Wind in the Door, where they talk about mitochondria. Just read it, you won't regret it. For ages 9+.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Story Time Idea

Tea For Ruby
By: Sarah Ferguson
Ages 4-8
One sunny morning, the postman brings Ruby an amazing invitation to have tea with — the Queen! Ruby had better polish her manners and quickly. Will Ruby really be ready in time?

I have a 4 year old little girl who LOVES story time. Once she hit 3 1/2 she decided she no longer just wanted to sit and hear the stories, but read them to me instead. Not being able to read made this endeavor a little hard for the stories she didn't know by heart. At the very least she wanted to take a more active role in the stories. Enter: Tea For Ruby.

Instead of just listening to the story, she was now able to help me tell it. In the story the words "The Queen" are said quite often. When they came up she was in charge of saying them. She was able to be as dramatic or creative in saying them as she wanted to be. All of a sudden a cute story became a cute interactive one. We both have fun with this story. It's a great time when you have several children who can yell it!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pinkalicious And The Pink Drink


Pinkalicious And The Pink Drink
By: Vidtoria Kann
22 Pages
Reviewed by: Alyssa, 4 years old
(A HUGE fan of Pinkalicious)

Summary:
One hot summer day, Pinkalicious gets an idea that is simply pinkerrific—a pink lemonade stand! But before Pinkalicious can start selling her lemonade, she has to figure out how to make it. Pink grapefruit, pink watermelon, and pink frosting—if it's pink, it's the perfect ingredient! --bn.com

1. Did you like the story?
Yes, I did. I just love Pinkalicious

2. What was your favorite part?
When Peter knocked over the lemonade & when Pinkalicious put all the things in the drink.

3. Who was your favorite character? Why?
Pinkalicious. Because we both like the color pink.

4. Do you think other kids would like this book?
Yes, I do. They should read it.

The Mystery Of Biltmore House


The Mystery of Biltmore House
By: Carole Marsh
139 Pages (there are extras after the story)

Summary:
In 1981, Carole Marsh (a real writer) took four real kids on a visit to the famous Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina. They went to learn about George W. Vanderbilt, the Victorian Era, O. Henry, and more. There was only one little problem... First one kid disappeared. Then another! Then, so did a priceless antique chess set! There was the creepy Halloween room, the very scary basement, the eerie attic, and all those gape-mouthed gargoyles. Oh yeah, and all that blood! And did I say that the kids got trapped in the mile-long heating system? Did I say ONE LITTLE problem?! How about LOTS of BIG problems! --bn.com

I LOVED this book!! It was so much fun to read! This is a good mystery for beginners. The way educational facts were blended into the story was phenomenal. This was the first book in a series that is going on almost 30 books (at the time of this copy's printing) and it's geared for children reading between 3-5 reading levels. With stories involving New York City, Chocolate Town, Disney World and sooo many more, there is something for everyone in this series.

The characters, both the main 4 and all the secondary ones, were fun to read. Uncle Ed is the security guard who befriends them. I thought he was aptly named, too. Stacy was the girl who's been to Biltmore House more times than she can count and wasn't happy to be going now since she had other plans. She was able to offer a lot of detail and authenticity to the book. You had the one spooky guest of the Writing Class who liked to dress up like Edgar Allen Poe. He felt the need to tell the children a bizarre and disgusting link between the house's original owners & Napoleon (I don't think it was true).

I'm looking forward to reading another book in this series, though I don't know which one it'll be. I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

Rating: Buy It

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mystery Series For Reading Level 3-5

Carole Marsh is the author behind is HUGE mystery series geared for children reading between Level 3-5. She takes real children and places them in her books. There are TONS of books in this series, so there should be something for everyone! She has stories involving, Chocolate Town, Disneyland, Pirates...


I'm reading the first book in this series now: The Mystery of Biltmore House. So far I'm enjoying it. I'm already deciding the next one of this series I'll read. Give it a try!!