Archive | October, 2011

This Has Nothing to do with Books….but We Look Cool!!

31 Oct

Happy Halloween!

  ..In case you didn’t know, I’m the one on the left (Ha Ha)!

My sister and I are Steampunk kids for Halloween! What are you going to be?

Quote of the Week – Mark Twain

30 Oct

Today’s quote of the week was sent to me by John a commentor on my blog. 

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.” – Mark Twain

Great quote! Thanks John! If you have a great quote about books or reading for my quote of the week please email it to me at Erik@thiskidreviewsbooks.com

Erik’s Mom Reviews a book – Wreck the Halls: Cake Wrecks Gets “Festive”

28 Oct

I have a special guest reviewer today -MY MOM :o ! She will be telling you about a book signing we went to and a very funny book. The book isn’t for kids but I know a lot of my readers are adults and I think you’ll think it’s funny (or at least what I was allowed to read was funny).  Take it away Mom…. 

Hello everyone! I’ve been a fan of Jen and John Yates ever since I stumbled across Cake Wrecks a couple of years ago. For those of you who do not know what Cake Wrecks is, it is a website showcasing a hilarious compilation of confectionary disasters. Case in point –

**snicker**

While most of the cakes are just plain funny for all ages, they can be a bit risqué and cheeky so I would not recommend the site or book for kids, but you parents will get a hoot out of them! You can also show the kids some of the cake wrecks that they will appreciate like -

Yes that is the USS Enterprise on a Star Wars cake - One of Erik's favorites

So Erik tagged along with my friend, Cheryl and me when we went to a book signing with Jen and John Yates for their new book “Wreck the Halls: Cake Wrecks Gets Festive” at the Barnes and Noble in Exton PA last Monday (Erik won’t pass up an opportunity to meet an author or get into a book store). Well, the event wasn’t just a book signing! The Yates put together a hilarious slide show of all their favorite cake wrecks and told us the back-story behind some of them (BTW – slide show was kid friendly) There was also re-create your favorite cake wreck in a cup cake contest and there were a lot of really funny entries.

AND Guess who won a naked mohawk baby carrot jockey necklace for her rendition of the “Homicidal Horned Boo Boo”??? ME! YEA!!
Carrot jockey you ask? It’s the Cake Wreck logo – and yes they found them on a cake.

Jen and John then took questions from the audience. The most interesting question I heard was when someone asked if anyone ever got mad at them for posting pictures of their bad cakes, they said that they’ve only taken down about ten pictures in all the years they’ve been doing this. They even said that bakers themselves submit wrecks of their own! Both Jen and John were the nicest people you’d ever want to meet. They mingled with the crowd and really wanted to interact with their fans. They are a super cute couple too. Here they are posing with a sweet steampunk hat that my friend Cheryl made for Jen (if you have no idea what steampunk is check out their other blog EPBOT). They even took time to chat with Erik and Jen asked if he was going to review her book. He looked at me and said “No she is”  – HA!

So now for the review part -

Wreck the Halls: Cake Wrecks Gets “Festive”

By Jen Yates
232 pages
Published on October 18, 2011 by Andrews McMeel Publishing

Wreck the Halls is the second book by Jen Yates (the first was published in 2009 titled Cake Wrecks: When Professional Cakes Go Hilariously Wrong). Both of her books are compilations of the best of the worst cake wrecks submitted to her website. What makes the books truly funny aren’t just the pictures but the commentary written by Jen about each bungled baked good. Like the site the book can get a little racy at times (I’d say PG-13), but if you can laugh at yourself you’ll enjoy the book. I had quite a few LOL moments reading Wreck the Halls. In closing, Wreck the Halls isn’t going down in the annals of great literature, but it will give you a good chuckle if you need one!

I give Wreck the Halls: Cake Wrecks Gets “Festive” five out of five book worms!

Oh! Did I mention they serve cake at all their signings? The cake we had was NOT a wreck. It was amazing – AND delicious!

The cake was made by Stacey of Truly Custom Cakery in Warminster, PA. You can visit their site by clicking HERE. Stacey was also the one who picked my cupcake to win a prize so I just want to say to her…..

No, thak YOU Mom for doing that awesome review!! I was LOL-ing when I just saw the kid friendly photos!  :)

**Note photos are personally taken, from the Cake Wrecks website, or from the Truly Custom Cakery website.** 

Erik’s Halloween Book Picks!

26 Oct

For Halloween I thought I’d list a couple of books I think are 5 book worm books if you are looking for something special for the day!

If you have young kids and don’t want them to be up all night having nightmares, I would suggest -

Splat the Cat in Good Night Sleep Tight (an I Can Read! Book level 1)

Based on the Creation of Rob Scotton

Ages 4-8 -32 pages

Published by HarperCollins June 14, 2011

Splat the Cat has a camp-out with some other cats that his mom invited over. Splat has to deal with his “friends” that he doesn’t like too much and a spooky camp out. This is great for kids just starting to read.

Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters – a lullaby

By Jane Yolen

Illustrated by Kelly Murphy

Ages 4-8 – 32 pages

Published by Candlewick July 12, 2011

This book has awesome illustrations and a kids imagination can take over! The illustrations aren’t scary because the monsters are nice. The story tells about the monsters day in a  rhyme. This is a great book for a parent to read aloud to a kid.

………………………………………

If you have a little older kids that can take a bit of a scary story, I would suggest –

A Big Spooky House

By Donna Washington

Illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers

Ages 6+ – 32 pages

Published by Hyperion Books June 20, 2006

He was a BIG man. He was a STRONG man. He wasn’t afraid of NOTHING….or was he?

This book has been out for a few years but it was the first “scary” book that I really liked so I am recommending it! The story is great and the reading level is a little harder. It is also a little more spooky of a tale. I really like this book!

The Monstrous Book of Monsters

By Libby Hamilton

Illustrated by Jonny Duddle and Aleksei Bitskoff

Ages 9-12 – 20 pages

Published by Templar September 13, 2011

“Whatever so-called sensible people may tell you, there are such things as monsters.” “All my tips on monster identification and avoidance are contained in this book. Reading it may save your life”. I’m quoting Dr. Thomas Jelly from the first page of The Monstrous Book of Monsters.

This book just came out this year and I think it is really cool! It’s not a scary book but it is about monsters so I’m including it in this list. The format of the book is like a pop-up book like I remember from when I was younger. It has pop-ups and flip-up tabs, but trust me it’s not baby-ish. The book is also made to look like a spiral notebook and it even looks like some of the monsters have taken bites out of the book. The illustrations are awesome and the whole book is really unique and imaginative. Take a peek at a couple pages so you can see how cool it is!

………………………………………….

For older kids who you want to scare the pants off, I would suggest -

3:15 Season One Things That Go Bump In The Night

By Patrick Carman

148 Pages (plus some extra features) – Ages +10

Published by Scholastic Press September 1, 2011

A super creepy awesome collection of short stories that uses web-based videos to tell the ending of the story. See my complete review of this one HERE. Don’t read it with the lights off!

What are your Halloween book suggestions?

 HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!! MWAHAHAHA!!!

Check out Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo) hosted by Author Tara Lazar!

24 Oct

I’ve been asked to be a guest blogger for Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo)!! How cool! At the end of the month I get to blog about what I learned during PiBoIdMo. Every day there will be a different post by bloggers, authors, writers, publisher, all sorts of people! To participate you have to write an idea for a children’s picture book a day for 30 days. At the end of the event you can win prizes. To learn more about PiBoIdMo visit Tara Lazar’s blog Writing for Kids by clicking HERE! Pickup the cool participant badge too!!

Winner of the signed patrick Carman 3:15 Book!!

24 Oct

Winner, Winner, I HAVE A WINNER!!

This morning we put all the names of the people who entered the contest into the hat from my Halloween costume (seemed to be a good idea) and my little sister Josie pulled out …

Michelle Isenhoff! Congratulations! I hope you and your kids like the book (and don’t get too scared of it :) ). I’ll mail your book as soon as I have your address :)

If you didn’t win, DON’T worry! I’ll be back soon with another cool give away!

Thanks to everyone who entered!!

Erik }:o})>

Quote of the week Abraham Lincoln

23 Oct

Today’s quote of the week was sent to me by Michelle Isenhoff -children’s book author and fellow book blogger! You can find out about Mrs. Isenhoff and her awesome historical fiction novels and her newest novel “The Quill Pen” by visiting her blog HERE .  

‘My Best Friend is a person who will give me a book I have not read.’  – Abraham Lincoln

If you have a great quote about books or reading for my quote of the week please email it to me at Erik@thiskidreviewsbooks.com !

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS A MOVIE?!?!

23 Oct

The Headline from the Sacramento Bee Says it all!

DreamWorks Animation Plans to Bring Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants to the Big  Screen

Article originally from the PR NewsWire check out the full story HERE!

Book Signing with Michael Buckley and Review of THE CHEERLEADERS OF DOOM!

22 Oct

Well I may have missed Michael Buckley, author of “NERDS” and “The Sisters Grimm”, at the National Book Festival in Washington DC (read the sad story HERE), but I got to meet him Last night when I went to a book signing with him at Children’s Book World , a totally AWESOME independent bookstore in Haverford PA! He was promoting his newest NERDS book -(book 3) “The Cheerleaders of DOOM”. Mr. Buckley was SUPER nice and you could just tell he was happy to be there talking to us. In fact he said he had the best job in the world because he got to go around and talk with kids about his books. He also talked about what he did before he started writing children’s books and how it led him to what he’s doing now….

Interesting Fact: Michael Buckley said he hung out with BEARDED LADIES and SWORD SWALLOWERS and FIRE BREATHERS. He said he went underground in New York City to find a group of people called “The Mole Men.” He did all of this when he was making documentaries.  Now that’s interesting!

 Stuff we learned from Mr. Buckley -

Mr. Buckley has been writing children’s books for 6 years now. He told us he was born in Ohio (Akron) and the town has NO bookstores because the Borders bookstore closed!!! That’s sad!!

He also told us worked at all sorts of cool jobs like for Nickelodeon, David Letterman, the Discovery Channel, VH1 and MTV!

When he writes books he sees it in his head like a movie first. He even  sees his books in his head at different angles.

Mr. Buckley also said that it is important for kids to try to write and although it is hard to edit and re-write it is worth it because the first draft of anything is never good (Boy do I know that, my mom makes me re-write all my blog posts -including this one!)

Mr. Buckley is the author of the Sister’s Grimm and NERDS books and he has a show on Cartoon Network called “Robotomy.”

When asked how he came up with the idea for NERDS –the super agents, he said “At my 2oth (he didn’t see his friends for 2o years) High School reunion I saw that all the popular kids you wanted to be friends with were… well… pretty much losers BUT the nerdy people were actually kind of popular and I wish someone would have told me when I was a kid, that this is how life worked out”. So Mr. Buckley based his NERDS books on his life experiences. In fact the main character of his new book “Cheerleaders of Doom”, Matilda, is based on his wife.

 I asked Mr. Buckley “Who’s your favorite NERD? (Mine is Braceface).” He replied: “I really like Gluestick.” And I can’t tell you why because he told me not to publish it on my blog HA HA!!

Mr. Buckley said that he is writing the 4th NERDS book and it’s called “The Villain Virus” where the main character is the NERD Flinch and there is a virus which makes everyone want to take over the world, but Flinch, surprisingly, is immune to the virus and has to defeat his own friends. I can’t wait to read it!

Mr. Buckley then signed all of our books and even had time to talk to each of us and take pictures when we got to meet him!

READ ON FOR MY REVIEW!

NERDS Book 3 -The Cheerleaders of DOOM

By Michael Buckley

Illustrated by Ethen Beavers

Ages 9-12 – 288 pages

Published by Amulet Books on September 1, 2011

NERDS super agent, Wheezer finds herself having to go undercover and infiltrate an elite group of evil doers – cheerleaders! Wheezer never thought she’d ever even wear a skirt but now she finds herself in a CHEERLEADING OUTFIT, wearing MAKE-UP, at A CHEERLEADING CAMP! Wheezer must figure out who “Mathlete” is and convince her to stop using the machine she invented that allows people to travel to alternate universes because it is destroying the world. Will she find Mathlete, be able to endure cheerleading, save the world, and find out that she is not just a tomboy? This book is a hilarious 3rd book to the NERDS series! I like how Mr. Buckley features a different NERD as the main character in each  book. The story is awesome, I like the idea that Wheezer was traveling to different worlds and seeing other versions of herself and her friends. I also like how there is narration from Mr. Buckley in NERDS books like he is a former NERD agent.  I recommend this to all geeks, nerds, poor kids that get picked on and just any kid 8+. I think if I were a NERD I’d like to have the code name “Techno”  with the NERDY powers of knowing how everything works.

To learn more about the NERD books visit the official website by clicking HERE (the website is pretty cool). You can read my review of NERDS Book 1 HERE and NERDS Book 2 M is for Mama’s Boy HERE.

 I give “The Cheerleaders of Doom” 5 out of 5 book worms!

--End Transmission–

 

 

Darth Paper Strikes Back – Book Club Discussion and My Review!

21 Oct

The first monthly Boys Book Club met at Harleysville Books this past Thursday. The book club was started by the book store for boys ages 8-12 to try to get kids that like to read together and maybe get some more kids interested in reading! The book that we discussed was Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger. Pete, an employee at Harleysville Books, was the adult that lead the group discussion. I have never been in an official book club before and I was excited to see what it would be like! I was there with Pete and a bunch of other kids my age. Pete called the club to order and then we read along as Pete read the first chapter of Darth Paper Strikes Back. We next got to watch a video that showed Mr. Angleberger HIMSELF demonstrating how to make Darth Paper and we got to follow along and make our own! We all thought that was pretty cool. We all helped each other make our Darth Papers and then we all started to play with them and light saber each other…well what would you expect when you have a bunch of boys making the most awesome Sith Lord out of paper! Pete was nice and laughed along with us.  We also did a Star Wars mad-lib which turned out to be pretty funny. Pete next quizzed us on our Star Wars knowledge and I have to say we kids knew 99% of the answers (OK we missed how many languages does C3PO know). The whole evening was AWESOME and I can’t wait for next month when we discuss Michael Buckley’s first N.E.R.D.S. Book!

NOW FOR MY REVIEW OF DARTH PAPER!

Darth Paper Strikes Back (an Origami Yoda Book)
By Tom Angleberger
Ages 9-12 – 176 pages
Published August 23, 2011 by Amulet Books

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Book 1 of the Series) has special meaning to me. That book is actually why I started my blog. You can read about it on my “About” page by clicking HERE (I also reviewed The Strange Case of Origami Yoda click HERE to read it). Origami Yoda is a mystical piece of paper that everyone at the Mcquarrie Middile School believes that it helps people solve their problems…well everyone except Harvey. Harvey thinks Origami Yoda and its creator Dwight are annoying and he calls Origami Yoda “Paperwad Yoda”. Harvey decides to bring DOOM to the school by getting Dwight expelled and creating Darth Paper to ruin all the good Origami Yoda has achieved! Will Tommy and his friends survive the 7th grade?!?

When I saw that there was a sequel to Origami Yoda, I was super excited! I LOVED Origami Yoda and I actually thought Darth Paper Strikes Back was even better! I really liked the idea that there was an evil piece of paper messing with all the kids at the Mcquarrie Middle School. I really like the format of the book (Origami Yoda was written like this too) where the story is told by different narrators. BUT I really enjoy how Tommy and Harvey’s  comments keep popping up all through the book. The story idea is really original and I really like the characters (Kellen is my favorite). I think Darth Paper Strikes Back would be a good book for young advanced readers as well as all kids 9+.

I give Darth Paper Strikes Back 5 out of 5 book worms!

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