Archive | July, 2012

Gone Fishing!

28 Jul

I just want to tell you that my family and I are going camping for a week starting today.

Be sure to stop by my blog on August second the blog tour of Michelle Isenhoff’s new book “Beneath the Slashings”! I get to be the first stop on the blog tour!!

I’m not sure if we’ll get wi-fi in the woods (kind of don’t think so), but I’ll be back on Friday! I hope you guys have a nice week! :)

Comic Reviews – Earthling! by Mark Fearing AND Monster Dinosaur by Lewis Trondheim

27 Jul

If you didn’t hear it before, I LOVE COMICS! I think comics are a great way to get some kids to read! Today I have TWO cool Graphic Novels to tell you about!

Earthling!

Written AND Illustrated by  Mark Fearing

248 pages – ages 8+

Published by Chronicle Books on June 20, 2012

Bud got on the wrong bus. Not a big deal right? Right. That is, if that bus doesn’t go into deep space to a school that is full of aliens that hate Earthlings! Bud got on that kind of bus. The kind with the aliens. He meets Gort McGortgort, another kid/an alien, who becomes his guide. Gort tells Bud that he can’t tell ANYONE he is an Earthling because Earthlings are feared and despised (apparently all the aliens think Earthlings want to kidnap them). Gort and Bud become friends even though Bud is an Earthling. Gort does his best to get Bud home, but bad (and somehow completely funny) things keep happening! Will Bud ever get home?

I have been waiting and waiting for this book to come out! I first read about it on Mr. Fearing’s blog, (click HERE). I really like Mr. Fearing’s illustrations and was happy to find out he was writing a graphic novel. I was not disappointed! I really did “laugh out loud” when reading this book! It was really likeable and hilarious! I really liked Bud and Gort. They were both good friends, nice and cool. I thought the plot was hysterical – Earthlings being feared and an Earth boy being trapped as the “new kid” in school. Mr. Fearing’s illustrations and story really make this an awesome graphic novel. I thought “Earthling!” did really well as a graphic novel because it was cool to see how all the aliens looked and the pictures really added to the whole story. I recommend this graphic novel to kids 8+ and young advanced readers because it is a longer graphic novel that actually has a good, long story that you can really get into.

I give “Earthling!” 5 out of 5 bookworms!

To learn more about Mr. Fearing and his books, click HERE.

On to the next comic!

Monster Dinosaur (A Monster Graphic Novel)

Written AND Illustrated by Lewis Trondheim 

32 pages – ages 6+

Published by  Papercutz on July 3, 2012

The Monster comics are based on this -

“Petey and Jean love to draw pictures of monsters. One day they draw a scary monster that comes alive – it escapes right off the paper and disappears into their home. Well, they certainly have to do something about that so they drew a nice monster, with three legs, four arms, and ten mouths to eat the bad monster. The plan works and Petey and Jean decide to keep the nice monster as a pet… and they name it Kriss.”

In Monster Dinosaur, Petey and Jean want to join a drawing contest where you have to draw a dinosaur and bring it to life with “the shiny powder” and it fights another dinosaur in the contest. The kids draw a dinosaur and enter it, while their dad enters his own dino. Somehow, Kriss, gets into the fight instead of their dino! Kriss is having fun beating all the dinos but the competition starts to get rough. luckily, Kriss gets disqualified because he runs out of the arena! Jean and Petey’s Dad’s dinosaur, Mortalosaurus wins the tournament but then goes on a rampage destroying everything in its path! Now it’s up to Petey, Jean, their Dad… and Kriss to stop Mortalosaurus!

This is the third book in the “Monster” series. I thought this book was really cute and very funny.  I thought Kriss really rocks, he’s a cool monster.  I really liked the part of the book where Petey and Jean’s Dad shows how he drew his dino. I thought the format of the book was unique. The characters don’t really have talking bubbles and aren’t saying things, the story is told as captions underneath the pictures told from the kid’s perspective. This is definitely a comic a lot of kids (boys and girls) will like!

5 out of 5 bookworms for Monster Dinosaur!

To learn more about Monster graphic novels visit Papercutz HERE!

Anabar Rises (Book 2 in the Anabar Trilogy) by Will Granger

25 Jul

Anabar Rises (Book 2 in the Anabar Trilogy)

by Will Granger

112 pages – ages 9+

Published in 2011

ebook reviewed

Anabar is back in an all new adventure! In the first book of this series (“Anabar’s Run”, see my review HERE), Anabar was being trained as a Scout (a protector of Anabar’s homeland Semdela) by his mentor Omalof. Omalof becomes angry with Anabar because he is getting too much unwanted attention (which a Scout shouldn’t do). Omalof sends Anabar to the border between Semdela and Ricamareth. Foreign soldiers have been coming over the border to scout around. Anabar is captured and taken to a labor camp in Ricamareth. After months of hard-work, Anabar saves the Queen of Ricamareth from a deadly snake. The  King frees Anabar as a reward. Anabar eventually falls in love with the King’s daughter. Anabar is still a Scout for Semdela and learns as much as he can before returning home. Anabar finds out he must now stop a war between the two countries!

I loved this book! I thought it was even better than Anabar’s Run (the first book in the series). There is a ton of action and adventure in the book. Anabar is an awesome character (especially in a “boy’s book”). He is brave, nice, cool, and he knew what had to be done and then did it. I really like that in a main character. The story was really great too – very exciting. I like learning about Anabar’s homeland, Semdela, and Ricamareth. I recommend “Anabar Rises” to kids 9+.

Five out of five bookworms for “Anabar Rises”!

For more information about the Anabar Trilogy please visit the series website HERE .  (You can also read parts of the first two books , Anabar’s Run and Anabar Rises). You can also learn about Mr. Granger at his website HERE.

Guardian Cats and the Lost Book of Alexandria by Rahma Krambo

23 Jul

Guardian Cats and the Lost Book of Alexandria
By Rahma Krambo
272 pages – ages 9+
Published by Reflected Light Books on July 15, 2011

Marco the cat’s owner Lucy read books out loud to him all the time. One night Marco walked by a book that was lying open and he realized he could read the words! Through some unfortunate events, Marco finds himself living on the streets as a stray. Marco found shelter in a library and when he was exploring it he met Cicero, the library cat. Cicero told Marco that he is the guardian of  a magical book. A book so powerful that if it fell into the wrong hands, horrible things would happen! Cicero asks Marco to be his apprentice and take the responsibility of being the Guardian. Marco begins his training but he doesn’t get far when an evil cat (Bait) comes around and will stop at nothing to get The Book and Bait isn’t the only bad guy after The Book! Cicero and Marco find themselves in horrible danger as they try to protect The Book and survive.

 Don’t let the name and cover of the book fool you into thinking it is like the Warrior Cat series, it isn’t. The story is totally different. Speaking of the cover, I really liked the cover art! I really liked the plot of the book. I thought it was very interesting. I thought it was cool that the cats could read and lived in a library and they were guarding an ancient magical book (my kind of story!). I liked the tons of action and  excitement in it and it wasn’t too graphic or violent for younger readers. Marco was a good main character, but I liked Cicero the best because I felt like I knew him better in the story. I would have liked to have more information about the story in a couple of places, like where they go back in time to meet Akeel (the original librarian in the Library of Alexandria) and in some of the flash-backs that the characters have. Overall, I thought the story was intriguing and fun to read.

Four out of five bookworms for Guardian Cats!

To learn more about Ms. Krambo and Guardian Cats please visit her website HERE! There is also cool information about the Library of Alexandria there!

Check out the book’s trailer!

SHOW ME HOW! by Vivian Kirkfield

20 Jul

SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING
By Vivian Kirkfield
209 pages – ages 2+
Published by MoneyPenny Press, Ltd.; First edition (July 18, 2011)

A little while ago Ms. Kirkfield was giving away 20 copies of her books to her reader’s local library, and I won one! I donated the copy to the Upper Perkiomen Library in Red Hill PA (my local library before we moved) and they were super happy to have it! Ms. Kirkfield also offered to send me a second copy to review as long as I donated the book after I am done reviewing it. I am going to donate the book to the school (Red Hill Christian School) my little sister went to because they helped her a whole lot and they have a small parent library where they have books about being a better parent and helping kids.  

When I first started to read “Show Me How!” I was expecting to read a book about crafting and helping your kids feel good about themselves. Well, I did find that but I also found a lot more! The book recommends 100 already published picture books and has a cool craft and cooking activity to go with the book! The book is divided into 6 chapters. Each chapter has a different topic like “I Love You and You Love Me” (chapter 3) and “I Am Really Mad Right Now” (chapter 4). Then there are a bunch of picture book suggestions in each chapter and a description of each book, a note for parents about what the book teaches, a craft that relates to the story and a cooking idea that also goes with the story. There is also a place where parents can write their own notes about each story/activity.

For an example, Josie and I did the things for “Norman The Doorman” book by Don Freeman. It is in chapter 2 of “Show Me How!”- “I’m Special.”

First Josie and I read “Norman the Doorman.”  It is about a little mouse who loves art and gives tours of the art museum to other mice while trying not to get caught by the guard. Norman made a sculpture out of the wire from a mouse trap and entered it in a contest at the museum. We both really liked the book!

Next Josie and I did the craft in the “Show Me How!” book. The craft was to make your own sculpture out of wire (we used pipe-cleaners). You use a piece of foam as a base. Josie made a girl on a swing and I made an alien in a flying saucer.

It was lunch time after we got done our craft, so we did the cooking idea from “Show Me How” for lunch – “Child-Friendly Macaroni and Cheese”! It was easy for us to make by ourselves and it was delicious!

I really LOVED this book and the activities in it! I thought the format was unique and very cool. Even though the book is meant for kids younger than me, I really enjoyed doing the things in the book. I think all parents and kids will really enjoy this book. I also think that books that help kid’s self-esteem and bring parents and their children closer together are very important!

I’d like to give “Show Me How” (and all its activities) ten bookworms, but my scale only goes to five! –

To learn more about “Show Me How!” please visit the book’s website HERE. Ms. Kirkfield also has a great blog you can visit HERE.

Josie and I (and Mary Poppins) Get Creative with Cooking!

19 Jul

For today’s Creative Kids my little sister, Josie and I get creative with cooking!
The title of today’s post was going to be “Yorkshire Pudding is Not Pudding” but I changed it at the last minute ;)

I first heard about Yorkshire Pudding on Catherine Johnson’s blog (click HERE to read the post). When I read about it on Ms. Johnson’s blog, I asked my mom if we could make it and she said “yes” (but then I never got around to it).

I then found a cookbook called “Mary Poppins in the Kitchen: A Cookery Book with a Story” and I read it and guess what!?!? It had a recipe for Yorkshire Pudding in it! In fact, the book is pretty cool. It is seven chapters long, one chapter for each day of the week and it talks about the story behind what Mary Poppins makes for the family’s meals each day. Then there are recipes for each of the menus at the end of the book. The illustrations in the book are very nice too and I think it makes a great story book. Josie and I decided to be creative and make a Mary Poppins dinner of our own!

Mary Poppins in the Kitchen: A Cookery Book with a Story
By Dr. P. L. Travers
Illustrated by  Mary Shepard
Ages 8+ –  88 pages
Published by Harcourt Children’s Books on October 1, 2006

We chose to make Monday’s meal. Here’s is a part from the book -

“What are we cooking today, Mary Poppins? Jane wanted to know.

“Roast Beef,” said Mary Poppins. “And Yorkshire pudding to go with it and just a suspicion of cabbage.”

We also added mashed potatoes and gravy to go with it because Josie wasn’t sure she would,like Yorkshire pudding.

Our mom made the roast beef and mashed potatoes and Josie and I made the Yorkshire pudding and cabbage.

I don’t think our Yorkshire pudding was as fluffy as it should have been.

Well the results are in and our dinner came out great and everyone liked our Yorkshire pudding and cabbage (and mom’s roast beef ;) )!

Our Dad was confused about the Yorkshire pudding though. He was expecting pudding -

Josie and I thought it was fun to cook a different food! What is your favorite food from a country different from the one you are living in?

Mine is sushi and Josie’s is Mexican food!

Oli’s Uncommon Cents by Deborah Allen

18 Jul

Oli’s Uncommon Cents
By Deborah Allen
138 Pages – Ages 10+
Published by Xulon Press on March 9, 2012

Oli Swank was really sad that her Grandpa (Geepa) died. Geepa left Oli his special coin pouch. One day, she opened the pouch and heard voices coming from it! She took the coins out and realized that money in Geepa’s coin pouch are not what they seem! Each coin can speak and they all have different personalities. The coins teach Oli how to be a good person. They teach her to be honest, kind, and much more! Oli learns to love the coins and their true value (which is totally not $1.41)!

This was a book with a  good message. I really liked Oli as a main character. The story is told through her perspective and I could tell her feelings really well. I really liked all of the five coins (I love their names! Nicolette the nickel, Penny the, well, penny, Buck the silver dollar, Two Bits the quarter) and Dimeon the dime was the best. He was a veteran, nice, French-speaking dime. I like the pencil-sketch illustrations, they were very nice to look at. There were a couple throughout the book and they really added to the story. My favorite part was when Oli and Ben (a friend of Oli) were attacked by wolves because it was really exciting.  I like the play on words in the title. It really tells what the book is about! The book was a quick read for me. I think the book is good for 9+ kids because the wolf attack and there is a part where Oli gets hit by a car that might be upsetting to littler kids.

I give “Oli’s Uncommon Cents” a space on my library shelf and 4 out of 5 bookworms.

If you want to know more about the author, Deborah Allen, visit her website HERE.

Chrysalis Chronicles Book 1: The Eyes of the Desert Sand by Edwin Wolfe

16 Jul

Chrysalis Chronicles Book 1: The Eyes of the Desert Sand

By Edwin Wolfe

320 Pages – Ages 12+

Published by Fox Hunt Publishing Group on March 24, 2012

 Ethan Fox lived in the city but really wanted to be somewhere outdoors with big open spaces. His family took a vacation to the beach and Ethan went for a walk where he met a young girl, Haley. Haley had amnesia and couldn’t remember anything. While Ethan was talking to Haley, he saw a blue bunny with yellow polka-dots named Jasper. Ethan followed the bunny and Haley followed Ethan and they found a hidden staircase into the ground. From that moment on, both of their lives get more dangerous and more exciting when they meet the Caretakers and their allies!

I loved this book! The characters in the book were very unique and cool. Some of the creatures were totally new and some were ones you heard of before but were totally different from what you know (did you know that leprechauns are really nasty small people who kill the Grumplings by using a four-leaf clover (a Grumpling’s favorite food) as bait?) I liked really liked the Hydromorphs (creatures that could breath under water and shape-shift). The strange creatures and hidden worlds Mr. Wolfe describes are very interesting and I really got into the story. The reading level was more challenging and that made it more enjoyable for me. I recommend it to kids 12+ and young advanced readers that are 9+.

I give “The Eyes of the Desert Sand” five out of five bookworms!

To learn more about Mr. Wolfe, visit his website, HERE. There are a lot of fun things to see on the website and you can even read a sample chapter of “The Eyes of the Desert Sand.”

It’s a uTales Triple-Play!

13 Jul

Today I am going to tell you about an awesome triple-play, but there are no sports involved! I am going to let you know about 3 must read ebooks from uTales! I recently reviewed the first uTales ebook I ever read (“Annie and Me” by Sandra Hershenson, read my review HERE) and I was really impressed with the ebooks on uTales. My little sister (who has some trouble reading) also really liked the ebooks on uTales and thought they were fun to read.

Now on to the game!

Our first batter up is “The Cat Who Swallowed the Moon” by Heather Dickinson. This marvelous ebook has a fun tale about what happens when Horace the cat sings too much and opens his mouth too wide. Yep, you guessed it, he swallows the moon! All the other animals miss the moon and try to get it out of Horace but nothing works until one little bird has the perfect idea! The illustrations in the book are really detailed and very nice to look at! The story is cute too! This uTales tale scores BIG!

On deck is the heavy hitter “The Snug Snag” by  Laurel Heager and illustrated by Claudia Fehr-Levin. This really cute story is about animals living in a hollowed-out tree stump. It is told from the perspective of two children watching the animals in their home. The children are surprised at how many different animals are living inside. This rhyming tale is fun to read and there are great sounds and animations in the book too! SWING and that ball…ER book is OUTTA HERE!

Batting clean-up is the ace “The Boy Who Cried Shmutz” by Sandra Hershenson and Illustrated by Claudia Fehr-Levin. OY, you are going to LOVE this funny Yiddish re-telling of the Boy Who Cried Wolf! The town of Tidyberg always was sparkling clean and the townspeople made sure it stayed that way. Hershel, the town’s shmutz finder thought it would be funny to yell “SHMUTZ” even when there wasn’t any and watch all the cleaners schlep over to clean the smutz up as he laughed his tuchus off. I really love that I learned Yiddish words from the book. I thought the illustrations were really great too! It’s GOING…GOING…IT’S GONE! HOME RUN!

And that’s the game folks! The final score is 0 TV Remotes for The Junky TV Shows and 5 bookworms for The Ebooks from uTales!

To read these uTales books and find out more about uTales, please visit the website HERE!

 

Saving Redwind: A Wallpaper Adventure by Kris Yankee

11 Jul

Saving Redwind: A Wallpaper Adventure

By Kris Yankee

164 pages -ages 8+

Published by CreateSpace on July 13, 2011

Nick really didn’t like his new room in his family’s new house that much. The ceiling acted like a storm was going to break out in his room any second. The landscape wallpaper had things moving in it. You heard me right, the wallpaper had things moving in it! When a kid comes out of the wallpaper, into Nick’s room, he asks Nick to come to Redwind to help save it. Redwind is a world and the portal to that world was in Nick’s room! Nick is ready for an adventure and follows the boy back into the wallpaper although he’s not really sure what he can do to help. What he finds in Redwind is the adventure he has been wanting, unexpected dangers, new friends and kooky creatures!

I think this book was cool. I really liked the made-up creatures in the story, especially the Krog. The plot idea of creepy wallpaper coming to life and being a doorway to another world really got my interest. Redwind is a cool world that Ms. Yankee described really well. Nick was a good main character, but my favorite was Simon The Elder because he was really nice, smart and he could shape-shift (who doesn’t like shape-shifting?). The book is a clean read with no graphic violence or bad words. I think this is a great book for boys but girls will also like it.

Five out of five books worms for “Saving Redwind”!

To learn more about Ms. Yankee and her books, please visit her website by clicking HERE!

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