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Perfect Picture Book Friday! All About Korea by Ann Martin Bowler

27 Mar

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a great nonfiction book that teaches in a fun way. 

koreaAll About Korea

By Ann Martin Bowler

Illustrations by Soosoonam Barg

64 pages – ages 7+

Published by Tuttle Publishing on April 10, 2011

Opening and Synopsis-

Opening: “What’s the spiciest food you’ve ever eaten? How do you break a board with your bare hand? Why in the world would you send a message off on a kite at the end of the year? Can Blue Dragons protect you?

Synopsis from publisher: “Perfect for educators or parents wishing to teach kids about different Asian cultures, this new book in the Tuttle All About Asia series includes favorite games, foods, special holiday times and after-school activities unique to Korea. All About Korea is a fun-filled journey to a new place. Korean culture and history are featured prominently in this colorful Korean book for kids, allowing an educational as well as entertaining experience.

  • Learn how to play the exciting Korean see-saw game with a friend, how to sing “Happy Birthday” in Korean, and how kids say “hello!”
  • Other activities include making a White Tiger puppet, playing jegi (Korean hacky-sack) and singing “Arirang,” Korea’s most beloved song.
  • Enjoy the traditional Korean stories “Taming a Tiger” and “Two Foolish Green Frogs.”
  • Easy Korean recipes are included for delicious treats like kimbap (roll-your-own wraps) and songpyeon (sweet filled rice cakes).

All About Korea is a book for families to treasure together. It offers not only the most important facts about Korean, but also reflects the spirit that makes Korea one-of-a-kind.

What I Thought- This is a great activity-filled ,information-packed book that teaches you about life as it is and was in Korea (see my review of All About China from the same publisher HERE). It talks about the activities of Korea, daily life in Korea, games and traditions of Korea, and much more! It says a little about the separating of North and South Korea, and that there is now a huge military boarder in between (in the “A Bit of History” section). It says that the book is about life in South Korea, because the two governments have gone different ways. There is a huge diversity in the things to read about. Ms. Bowler has written a wonderful encyclopedia-like resource, with lots of activities to make it more exciting than just reading a textbook. Ms. Barg’s illustrations are a cool format and make the story come to life. They are realistic and captivating. I could see schools or homeschool families using this book to teach a whole unit on Korea.

Activities and Resources –  Tuttle Publishing has a ton of resources to go along with the book – Click HERE to get it.

One of the crafts I really like in the packet from Tuttle is to make a folding fan –

UntitledTo find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

 

The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake by Robin Newman

23 Mar

carrotcakeThe Case of the Missing Carrot Cake

By Robin Newman

Illustrated by Deborah Zemke

40 pages – ages 5+

Published by Creston Books  on May 12, 2015

Synopsis- From GoodReads: “When food goes missing on Ed’s farm, Detectives Wilcox and Griswold do what it takes to track down the thieves. In this case, Miss Rabbit’s carrot cake has disappeared. Has it been stolen? Or eaten? Or both? Who dunnit?

What I Thought- First off, I love the fact that the detectives are mice, and that they are MFI’s (Missing Food Investigators). That is just plain awesomeness there! The story is everything a kid would want – the writing is kid-friendly, there are cute main characters, a mystery to solve, humor, and great illustrations. The mystery keeps the main characters wrapped up in it and guessing. As more and more carrot cake goes missing, more and more suspects are added! The MFI’s have a big problem on their hands! The illustrations are great, with some funny details (the cop-car has a wind-up key on the side of it), and remind me of Roald Dahl’s illustrations. They compliment the story very well. Kids are going to love this one!

WANT TO WIN A COPY?!?

There is a GoodReads giveaway going on right now! CLICK HERE!

I give “The Case of the Missing Carrot Cake” five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

WANT TO KNOW MORE?!?

You can download a copy of the teacher’s guide that goes along with THE CASE OF THE MISSING CARROT CAKE – click HERE!

Check out Ms. Newman’s website by clicking HERE!

Check out Ms. Zemke’s site HERE!

The Missing Alchemist by Caldric Blackwell

21 Mar

alchemisThe Missing Alchemist

By Caldric Blackwell

128 pages – ages 8+

Published by Icasm Press January 13, 2015

 

Synopsis- From the back cover: “Having grown up in an orphanage, Craig Pike appreciates his comfortable life as a student of Cornelius, a famous alchemist. But when Cornelius is kidnapped, Craig leaves comfort behind to search for him. Craig teams up with Audrey Clife, a clever archer, and together they travel across mysterious lands and battle otherworldly creatures. Their journey reveals that Cornelius’s kidnapping is only a small part of an evil alchemist’s elaborate grab for power, and the only people standing in his way are Craig and Audrey…

What I Thought- This was a really cool fantasy story. It explains how magic is incorporated into the world (and how it is used) very effectively. Craig is a good kid, whom you instantly want to cheer on. Audrey is a good character and she’s also a girl, which is awesome. She saves Craig multiple times, due to her creativity, and skill with a bow and swords. The land that the story takes place in is described well. Mr. Blackwell has written a good fantasy story (plot-wise and reading level) for young middle-grade readers or elementary kids just getting into fantasy. The story has the potential of being a great fantasy novel for older MG readers if the plot and characters were a bit more involved and expanded on.

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookworms!fourbooks

Review! Banneker Bones and the Giant Robot Bees by Robert Kent

18 Mar

WATCH OUT – A NINJA HAS INVADED MY BLOG!!!

Middle Grade NinjaOh **PHEW** it’s Robert Kent! The MIDDLE GRADE NINJA! Not one of those Ra’s al Ghul going-to-get-rid-of-Batman kind of ninjas.

Mr. Kent runs a blog called –

robotbeesBanneker Bones and the Giant Robot Bees

by Robert Kent

Illustrated by Adam Smith

Series The And Then Story

354 pages – ages 8+
Published by CreateSpace on September 18, 2014

Summary (from GoodReads) – “Fifth grader Ellicott Skullworth has always felt out of place at public school and now he’s tested into the Archimedes Program at Latimer University. While in Latimer City, he’ll be living with his world famous and insane(ly) brilliant cousin, Banneker Bones, the eleven-year-old inventor of robots. The only problem: Banneker doesn’t want to share his room. And he’s got an army of robots to make Ellicott miserable until he goes home.

When the boys are ambushed by robot bees as big as cars, Ellicott’s only friend is carried off and held for ransom. To rescue him, Ellicott has no choice but to partner with his maniacal cousin. Ellicott doesn’t know what’s worse: facing a hive of giant robot bees or spending more time with Banneker Bones.

BANNEKER BONES AND THE GIANT ROBOT BEES features original illustrations by Adam Smith. It’s a humorous, science fiction adventure for readers of all ages written in the spirit of a comic book.

What I Thought – This is a really cool book. Mr. Kent has written a unique story where the government’s fear is that robots will be taking over everyone’s jobs. And Banneker’s family are the ones making the robots. I like the fact that Banneker Bones isn’t the main character, and that he’s a jerk. It provided a lot of humor in the story. Ellicott is a great kid that you really feel for. It’s not his fault that his cousin wrongly hates him – like I said Banneker is a jerk!  The robots described in the book are really amazing. They are state-of-the-art technology, and the world still hates them! There is a ton of character development in the book. Reggie and Ellicott (sort of) bond, while Banneker just gets grumpier, but in a way you kind of like him. The black and white illustrations really do the story justice (there are a few scattered throughout the book). They picture the characters and setting just like what is described in the book, giving the story another dimension. The story is at a great reading level for MG readers. This new s is a really fun book to read!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

WAIT! HERE’S SOME AWESOME NEWS!

Click HERE to get a free Kindle copy of BANNEKER BONES AND THE GIANT ROBOT BEES ! This great story is FREE today and tomorrow! Hurry on over!

Want to know more? Click on over to MIDDLE GRADE NINJA (click HERE) and read excerpts from Mr. Kent’s books. You can also read more about Mr. Kent and his writings.

Review! Public School Superhero by James Patterson PLUS A HUGE GIVEAWAY!

17 Mar

I have so many awesome things to tell you about in today’s post! I have this great new book by James Patterson PLUS a HUGE James Patterson book prize pack to give away, PLUS I get to tell you about James Patterson’s First Book Donation and his plan to help public school libraries!

I have been a huge fan of James Patterson’s MG books – the I Funny series, Middle School, Alex Cross, House of Robots – so many great books. What I really have come to appreciate about Mr. Patterson is not just that he is a hugely talented author, but he gets out there and helps! He is a great supporter of literacy, independent book stores and schools.

First up – here is Mr. Patterson’s latest book! It was just released yesterday!

pssh

Public School Superhero

Written by James Patterson & Chris Tebbetts

Illustrated by Cory Thomas

304 pages – ages 8+

Published by Little, Brown Young Readers on March 16, 2015

ABOUT THE BOOK

(from the publisher) In this story about a good kid with a great imagination struggling in a less-than-ideal world, James Patterson brings his bestselling “Middle School”-style humor and sensibility to an urban setting.

Kenny Wright is a kid with a secret identity. In his mind, he’s Stainlezz Steel, super-powered defender of the weak. In reality, he’s a chess club devotee known as a “Grandma’s Boy,” a label that makes him an easy target for bullies. Kenny wants to bring a little more Steel to the real world, but the question is: can he recognize his own true strength before peer pressure forces him to make the worst choice of his life?

 James Patterson’s newest illustrated novel is a genuinely funny yet poignant look at middle school in a challenging urban setting, where a kid’s life can depend on the everyday decisions he makes.

What I Thought- (from me) This was a really well-done school story. Mr. Patterson really knows how to get into the head of a geeky, nerdy, chess-playing, superhero-loving, awkward teenage boy entering a run-down middle school. I may have first-hand knowledge of this type of character. *cough cough* ANYWAY, the book is packed full of the kind of humor we kids like to read in our books – some of it is subtle and some out right hysterical. I really enjoyed the style of this book. I like how the book is half comic-fantasy (Kenny imagining himself as a superhero, with a mini-plot, related to the main plot) and the other half illustrated novel. The pictures are creative and resemble comic art.

pssh1pssh2

They give this book a cool feeling. The book has diverse characters (Kenny and the majority of the kids in school are African American). Besides from all the humor and awesome comic-style adventure, there is a great story! Kenny has to deal with all the usual life issues of being a kid (and kind of nerdy) – Kenny is a great character that kids can relate to. This is a fun book for any day and any kid!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

 ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JamesPattersonCreditDavidBurnett

Photo credit: David Burnett

 

James Patterson was selected by readers across America as the Children’s Choice Book Awards Author of the Year in 2010. He is the internationally bestselling author of the highly praised Middle School books, I Funny, Confessions of a Murder Suspect, and the Maximum Ride, Witch & Wizard, Daniel X, and Alex Cross series. His books have sold over 275 million copies worldwide, making him one of the bestselling authors of all time.

 Want to know more?!?

Learn More at PublicSchoolSuperhero.com

Visit the Author Site at JamesPatterson.com

Follow James Patterson on Twitter and Facebook

#PublicSchoolSuperhero

NOW FOR THE JAMES PATTERSON READS PRIZE PACK!!!

Make it through middle school with James Patterson! Enter for a chance to win copies of:

  • Public School Superhero
  • I Funny
  • Treasure Hunters
  • House of Robots

prizepackYOU ASK HOW DO I ENTER TO WIN THIS PRIZE OF AWESOMENESS?!?!

Leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite James Patterson book is (kid or adult) or if you have not read one of Mr. Patterson’s books – tell me which one you are looking forward to reading! Next Tuesday (March 24th) I will announce the winner of the prize pack. My sister Josie will pick a name out of a hat from all the people who entered. Good luck!

BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE AWESOMENESS!

FIRST BOOK DONATION

firstbook

In 2015, James Patterson will donate 100,000 copies of PUBLIC SCHOOL SUPERHERO to some of the most neglected and underfunded schools in America, and he will launch a major campaign to support school libraries. In 2014, in addition to giving a copy of one of his middle grade books to every sixth grader in the New York City and Chicago public school systems, Patterson gave $1,000,000 to independent bookstores with children’s sections.  

 When James Patterson meets with underprivileged kids at schools in some of the country’s poorest neighborhoods, they often ask him, “Why can’t we be heroes in any books?”  To answer that question and to bring more books into more kids’ lives, James Patterson is donating 100,000 copies of his new book for young readers, Public School Superhero, to some of the most under-resourced schools and youth programs in the country.  He was moved to make this donation after recognizing a large and underserved community of children who don’t see themselves portrayed in dynamic, entertaining stories often enough.

 These same kids also inspired Public School Superhero, by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts, with illustrations by Cory Thomas, a book about an African American sixth-grade chess devotee named Kenny Wright who lives in an inner city. It’s a story brimming with wit, action, and heart, one all kids are bound to find relatable and entertaining.

 The books will be distributed through First Book, a nonprofit social enterprise that provides new books for kids in need. First Book is a nonprofit social enterprise that has distributed more than 125 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families in the United States and Canada. By making new, high-quality books available on an ongoing basis, First Book is transforming the lives of children in need and elevating the quality of education. For more information visit firstbook.org or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

 James Patterson really is a superhero!

Think Outside the Circle with Seaver the Weaver by Paul Czajak

16 Mar

Okay, HOLD IT! Before you read about this awesome book, check this out! Stanley and Katrina (from stanleyandkatrina.com) kindly invited the Write Chat co-hosts (Felicia and me) to be a guest on their Word of The Week video thingy! ;) Why don’t you go PERUSE it?

peruse

Now on to the review!

Get ready to think outside the circle (or orb as the case may be) with Seaver the Weaver! Seaver is a little orb spider who likes to spin all sorts of shapes – not the orbs the rest of his family spins. Seaver the Weaver will be published tomorrow! Read down to the bottom to see how to enter a GoodReads giveaway for a copy of this wonderful book!

Seaver-Cover

Seaver the Weaver

By Paul Czajak

Illustrated by The Brothers Hilts

32 pages – ages 6+
Published by Mighty Media Kids on March 17, 2015

Summary from GoodReads : “Seaver is an orb spider with a sky full of inspiration. His siblings prefer tradition and aren’t afraid to let him know. But Seaver doesn’t mind! He loves his new shapes and isn’t afraid to stand out. Told with quiet charm, this picture book tangles readers in a web of delight.

 

What I Thought- This is a marvelous picture book on being yourself and succeeding. I like how Seaver keeps building a geometric web, and saying he’ll make an orb, right after he takes care of his guest (a trapped insect). The orb spiders’ webs are perfect orbs, but they are still untouched by their “guests”. Mr. Czajak has written a beautiful book that makes you feel good about being you. Seaver ultimately shows that being unique instead of perfect is a better option. The story is great for young kids. I love Mr. Czajak’s books!

If you hurry on over to GoodReads, you can still enter to win a copy of Seaver the Weaver! The giveaway ends on March 17th. Click HERE to go THERE!

Mighty Media Press has put together a great activity packet to go along with this book. Click HERE to get it!

seavercolorWant to learn more?

Author and Illustrator Websites:

Review! Stellarcadia by Julie Anne Grasso

15 Mar

sellarcadiaStellarcadia

By Julie Anne Grasso

Series: Adventures of Caramel Cardamom (Book 3)

102 pages – ages 8+

Published by Julie Anne Grasso on January 21, 2015

Synopsis- From Goodreads: “Caramel Cinnamon is one lucky elf. She can hardly believe has been invited to attend the first Intergalactic Youth Summit, on-board the Stellarcadia.

Her friends can’t wait to go “hyper,” but even the thought of it chills Caramel to the bone. However, nothing could compare to the icy reception she receives upon her arrival. Keen to get to the bottom of it, Caramel stumbles on a dangerous conspiracy, but no one will believe her.

What I Thought- I am a huge fan of Ms. Grasso’s books. (See my reviews of Book 1 HERE, Book 2 THERE of the Caramel Cardamom series and a review of the first book in a new series by Ms. Grasso (Frankie Dupont) HERE!) She writes fabulous adventures for young people that make you keep reading. The action was non-stop! Caramel is a great main character that one really wants to know more about. She interacts with her friends in a positive way, and is always curious! I like that the characters travel into space in this book. The story was a quick and easy read for me, but a fun read. Ms. Grasso ‘s writing style keeps a smooth flow to the story. The plot is solid and keeps you interested in the story. This is the third book in the series, but it can be read as a stand alone. Apparently, this is the last book in the series, but there is room at the end to have the story go on *hint, hint*  4th book Please! ;)

I give Stellarcadia five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Want to learn more? Find Ms. Grasso at –

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

Stay Calm and Glitter On! Creative Kid Thursday Guest Review!

12 Mar

Before I get to today’s Creative Kid – I want to tell you to click on over to author Mike Allegra’s blog where he is giving away a customized one of a kind DOODLE! Click HERE to go THERE! Make sure you ask for cat doodles! Mr. Allegra LOVES cats! :D

Now, on to Creative Kid Thursday!

Hi! It’s me – Josie, Erik’s sister. :)

Erik is very busy at play practice. He got a part in the High School Musical. They are doing Tarzan. Erik gets to be the ship’s captain and a monkey in the jungle (which I think is a good part for him – ha ha ha).

I have a new storybook character I wanted to tell you about so I am today’s Creative Kid Guest. :)

gltterb

The new character is called Glitterbelle. The reason why I like Glitterbelle so much is because I like princesses and she is pretty and she has good best friends (Angel and Dazzlina). I also like her dog, Bob. :)

I also REALLY like the illustrations in the book. They are like cut outs all put together. Here is a video about it.

Purple is also my favorite color and all the books are purpleish.

The books I got to look at were a story book, a journal book and 2 activity books.

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I especially liked the journal book called “Glitterbelle Me and You: It’s All About What Makes us US!” I like that it is kind of like a diary.

I really liked the storybook too especially because of the pictures. I like that Glitterbelle likes to climb trees. I like to climb trees. I think Glitterbelle is a good character.

The activity books were fun and there was a lot to do. I think girls will like them.

I would give these books five book worms. :) fivebooks

That is all I have to say. :)

Thank you Josie!

The storybook GLITTERBELLE THE SPARKLIEST PRINCESS EVER! summarizes Glitterbelle this way: “Glitterbelle is not your usual fairy-tale kind of princess. She’s the more sparkly, adventurous, totally caring, tree-climbing kind of princess!

The series is written by Rachael Duckett and Illustrated by Harriet Munchester

Want to learn more?

The publisher of Glitterbelle is Paragon Books. You can learn more about Glitterbelle on their website HERE!

The Day We Saved The World by Katie Smotherman

11 Mar

thedayweThe Day We Saved The World

By Katie Smotherman

147 pages – ages 8+

Published by CreateSpace  on November 13, 2014

Synopsis- 13-year-old Alex Tice didn’t know what to think when two government officials came to his house and one of them telepathically talked to him – communicated just by thinking! The other one seemed to brain-wash his parents. Apparently, Alex is a “gifted” individual – he has a genetic mutation (that usually skips a generation) that causes the mutated being to have superpowers. All superpowers are charted and numbered. Alex has a unique power – he can absorb others’ powers if he is in close proximity to the other “superhero.” Because of this, he gets taken to a government-run camp for other nearby powered beings. He makes new friends there and quickly learns to use his power.

What I Thought- This was an amazing book! I love how it clearly explains how people get their powers and sets up the story perfectly. I like the cover a lot too, but I don’t like how Alex looks more like 9, 13. Alex is a great main character who you come to care for. While the characters are 13+, the story is completely appropriate for younger readers and I think kids 8+ will totally get into the story. Ms. Smotherman has written a fun and adventurous story about a fantastic group of superpowered teens saving the world. There were some well-executed plot twists and turns. The book is a quick read, but a good one. It is perfect for reluctant readers that like superheroes! This is another example of a very well edited and thought out self-published book.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Review! License To Thrill by Dan Gutman

9 Mar

geniusLicense To Thrill

By Dan Gutman

272 pages – ages 8+

Published by HarperCollins on January 27, 2015

Synopsis- From Goodreads: “The wackiest road trip in history comes to an action-packed conclusion in book five of the New York Times bestselling Genius Files series.

When we last left our heroes, twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald were in Roswell, New Mexico, and they had just seen a strange beam of light. Now their cross-country road trip is about to take a detour that’s out of this world–literally!

Once the twins get their feet back on the ground, they embark on the final leg of their trip, which will take them from the Hoover Dam all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. Chased by nefarious villains, the twins will be trapped with a venomous snake, pushed through a deadly turbine, and thrown into a volcano. And craziest of all, their parents might finally believe them!

What I Thought- This was a marvelous conclusion to the Genius Files. Mr. Gutman knows how to pull the reader into a story, and then completely throw you off your guard. Mr. Gutman has narrated the story in a funny way, he tells you right from the beginning that Coke will get thrown into a volcano (which actually happens in Chapter Twenty). Mr. Gutman injects a lot of humor into his stories. I really enjoy his writing style. It is helpful to read the other Genius Files books before reading this one, but not necessary, as Mr. Gutman pretty much brings the reader up to speed. Coke and Pepsi have changed a lot from the first book to this one, and it really shows – I like that their personalities developed over the series.  There are pictures throughout the book of real-life places that the characters went to – some of which I’ve been to (but some not) which are a nice addition to the book. This was a thrilling fifth book in the series!

I give “License To Thrill” 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

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