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Review! Rude Dude’s Book of Food by Rude Dude AKA Tim J. Myers

17 Nov

rudedudeRude Dude’s Book of Food: Stories Behind Some of the Crazy-Cool Stuff We Eat Paperback
By Tim J. Myers

Illustrated by Jess Smart Smiley

144 pages – ages 9+
Published by Familius on September 5, 2014

SUMMARY – Have you ever wondered where modern pizza came from? Did you know that those “Chinese Fortune Cookies” are originally Japanese? You will learn this and more in this non-fiction book about why food is great. It is filled with miscellaneous information, under different categories, like a chapter about pizza also talks about tomatoes (an ingredient). The book shows food from around the world, to show kids that we are all different, but we all eat FOOD.

WHAT I THOUGHT – I think that this is a great non-fiction book. I like all of the little tidbits and fun facts about food it has. Did you know that tomatoes were called Golden Apples (after the yellow tomatoes) and thought poisonous for a bit? Did you know that scientists have found 4,000-year-old noodles in China? Oh, and by the way, Rude Dude, the author’s pseudonym, isn’t really rude, he just speaks his mind. And he advises healthy eating, which is another plus. The book is formatted very well, and made it fun to read – there are little fact boxes and poems scattered throughout the book, plus cool pencil/pen illustrations by Jess Smart Smiley that mix well with the text. Mr. Myers has written a fun mini-history of the diversity of food for kids. It would be perfect for reluctant readers, or kids who don’t usually like nonfiction books… or kids like me, who just like to eat. ;) Which reminds me, there is a warning at the front of the book – “This book will probably make you very, very hungry! Good luck with that.”

Erik the Great Eater gives this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Ava’s Adventure by Laura Pedersen

14 Nov

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 seems to realistically capture how a young child thinks when it comes to being disappointed.

avasAva’s Adventure

by Laura Pedersen

Illustrated by Penny Weber

32 pages – ages 5+
Published by Tilbury House Publishers on September 3, 2014

Theme/Topic- Disappointment / imagination

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “Bye, Ava! Bye, Lucas!

Synopsis (publisher’s description) – “Disappointed that she can’t go on a snowboarding trip with her friend, Ava escapes to her room, where she finds that the power of imagination and her own creativity take her farther than any snowboard could. At the same time, she learns that life’s tradeoffs aren’t all bad.

Why I liked this book- This is a marvelous picture book. I like that it shows that life isn’t all unicorns and rainbows (and donuts). Ava is a realistic girl, and teaches a nice lesson without being preachy. In the book, even though her parents say ‘No’, and Ava can’t go, besides being upset that she can’t go, Ava is still nice to her parents (after throwing a minor fit). Ava comes to realize not getting what she wants isn’t the end of the world. The illustrations are very well-done water color, and really portray the characters’ emotions. Ms. Pedersen has written a great book!

Activities and Resources- I think it is a good idea to read this story BEFORE a disappointment happens then you can talk about what Ava did and how, even though she was disappointed, she had a really great time.

As part of the story, you could ask, “If you were Ava, what kinds of things would you find to do in your room?”

The Mrs. Picasso’s Art Room blog has TONS of great Winter-themed craft and art ideas – I really like the Popsicle stick snowflakes. Check it out – click HERE!

Want to know more? Check out Ms. Pedersen’s website HERE!

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

Review! Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone by Darlene Foster

13 Nov

perf5.0625x7.8125.inddAmanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone

By Darlene Foster

156 pages – ages 8+
Published by Central Avenue Publishing on July 11, 2014

Amanda is back in an all-new adventure, but this time, it’s on her turf! Leah (Amanda’s friend) has come all the way from England to visit Amanda in her province of Alberta, Canada. Everything goes well, until a rodeo clown drops a strange stone. Amanda picks it up, and tries to return it to the clown, but she was too late – he was gone. The stone was round and had a marking on it. Suddenly, people seem to be wanting the stone urgently, although their purposes may be unclear – and maybe even dangerous!

This is a marvelous book, one that made me feel like I was there with Amanda and Leah. Ms. Foster really has a way of taking you through the landmarks of Alberta. I found it funny that Alberta has both the World’s Biggest Dinosaur, and the World’s Largest Tipi – Alberta must be a big province! ;) Amanda is a great middle-grade character. She is a friendly person, and a wonderful role model. Leah is a pretty cool Brit. ;) The plot is fun and engaging as are all of the Amanda books. I love how Ms. Foster puts the reader right in the action and kids get to learn about the exciting places Amanda goes. The action and mystery in the book makes it a fun read for kids!

I give “The Writing on the Stone” five out of five bookworms! fivebooks

Want to learn more? Visit Darlene Foster’s website by clicking HERE!

Check out my reviews of AMANDA IN ARABIAAMANDA IN ENGLAND  - AMANDA IN SPAIN!

Blog Tour! LUG, DAWN OF THE ICE AGE by David Zeltser

10 Nov

lug_web

 

Here is a cool book (get it – ice age – cool book *hee hee*) I get to tell you about today!

I give you -

LUG, DAWN OF THE ICE AGE!

image001

Lug, Dawn of the Ice Age

by David Zeltser

192 pages – ages 8+
Published by EgmontUSA on September 9, 2014

 

LUG, DAWN OF THE ICE AGE is the first book in a new satirical series about the world’s inaction on climate change from debut author David Zeltser.

Summary (from publisher) - In Lug’s Stone Age clan, a caveboy becomes a caveman by catching a jungle llama and riding against the rival Boar Rider clan in the Big Game. The thing is, Lug has a forbidden, secret art cave and would rather paint than smash skulls. Because Lug is different, his clan’s Big Man is out to get him, he’s got a pair of bullies on his case—oh, and the Ice Age is coming.

When Lug is banished from the clan for failing to catch a jungle llama, he’s forced to team up with Stony, a silent Neanderthal with a very expressive unibrow, and Echo, a girl from a rival clan who can talk to animals and just may be prehistory’s first vegetarian and animal rights activist. Together they face even bigger challenges—Lug discovers theIce Age is coming and he has to bring the warring clans together to save them not only from the freeze but also from a particularly unpleasant migrating pride of saber-toothed tigers. It’s no help that the elders are cavemen who can’t seem to get the concept of climate change through their thick skulls.

“My aim with Lug, Dawn of the Ice Age was to launch a gripping and funny book series that would get kids, parents and educators to enjoy focusing on climate change and the perils of ignoring it,” says Zeltser. “The impacts of global warming are devastating communities around the world. Lug is dedicated to ‘all the kids brave enough to speak up,’ andI have a ‘Giving Back’ section on my website pledging that 20% of my proceeds from Lug will go toward organizations that help such communities, with an emphasis on children and families.”

What I thought -

This was a fun book to read. I like how the cavemen (and cavewomen) speak – not stereotypical caveman (example – I blogger. You blog readers.), but not perfect English either (although, I think that Lug is the closest). The idea of the story is pure genius – the Ice Age approaches, saber-toothed tigers are invading, and Lug gets banished from his tribe because he won’t bash heads with stones. Yup. Nothing wrong there. Not at all. There are pretty cool cave-art-style pictures scattered throughout the book. Mr. Zeltser has a great writing style that is chock-full of humor and the story teaches a good lesson without being “preachy.” Most of all, I love the off the wall sometimes corny humor of the book (for example, at one point in the book, Lug is talking with a banished caveman inventor, who says that he has invented some pretty useful things, like the “feather fluffer” and the “rock holder”, but he also has some useless things, like this round rock slab with a hole in the middle. Completely useless. He called it a “wheel.”). The environmental message in the book is an important one and one that gets across to the reader. Kids who like Wimpy Kid humor will love Lug. This is an awesome book! I couldn’t put it down!

I give Lug, Dawn of the Ice Age, 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Who is the David Zeltser?

SONY DSC

 

DAVID ZELTSER emigrated from the Soviet Union as a child, graduated from Harvard, and has worked with all kinds of wild animals, including rhinos, owls, sharks, and ad executives. He is the author of Lug, Dawn of the Ice Age, the first book in a satirical series about the world’s inaction on climate change, for ages 8-12. He also has a forthcoming picture book, Ninja Baby, with Caldecott Honor illustrator Diane Goode (Chronicle Books). David lives with his wife and daughter in Santa Cruz, California. He performs improv comedy and loves meeting readers of all ages. His second book about Lug is scheduled to publish in Fall 2015. Visit David’s website at www.davidzeltser.com. He’s also on Twitter: @davidzeltser

Praise for Lug -

“Readers will cheer for prehistory’s earliest underdog in this rollicking adventure of cave kids, wild boars, and woolly mammoths. Lug makes the Ice Age sizzle.”—Gordon Korman, #1 New York Times best-selling author of The 39 Clues and Swindle

 “A merry prehistoric romp filled with unexpected laughs and sly humor! Following Lug as he tries to negotiate the mysteries of art, girls, changing climate, and the rowdy game of Headstone is sheer delight. Fast-paced and funny, with a heart of gold, this is one that kids will love.”—Bruce Coville, author of My Teacher Is an Alienand Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher

Find other stops from the tour -

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Pinky’s Favorite Reads for Kids

Q&A and giveaway

Thursday, September 04, 2014

From the Mixed Up Files

Giveaways only

Geo Librarian

Guest post and giveaway

Friday, September 05, 2014

Read Love

Guest post and giveaway

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Curling up with a good book

Guest post and giveaway

Hook of a Book

Review and giveaway

Sunday, September 07, 2014

The Book Beacon

Guest post and giveaway

Monday, September 08, 2014

The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

Review and giveaway

My Brain on Books

Guest post and giveaway

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Nathan Bransford’s Blog

Guest Post and giveaways

Live to Read

Guest post and giveaway

A Backwards Story

Guest post and giveaway

Future Dates

Friday, September 19, 2014

Rockin Book Reviews

Q&A and giveaway

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Elizabeth O. Dulemba

Guest post and giveaway

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cynsations

New Voices Interview

Monday, November 10, 2014

This Kid Reviews Books

Review only

Perfect Picture Book Friday! The Great Thanksgiving Escape by Mark Fearing

7 Nov

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 funny Thanksgiving story that is great for telling a kid’s perspective of the holiday! :)

 

thanksgiving_escapeThe Great Thanksgiving Escape

by Mark Fearing

32 pages – ages 5+
Published by Candlewick on September 9, 2014

 

Theme/Topic- Thanksgiving / family

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “It was another Thanksgiving at Grandma’s.

 

Synopsis (taken from the inside jacket) – “It’s another Thanksgiving at Grandma’s. Gavin expects a long day of boredom and being pestered by distantly related toddlers, but his cousin Rhonda has a different idea: make a break for it — out of the kids’ room to the swing set in the backyard! Gavin isn’t so sure, especially when they encounter vicious guard dogs (in homemade sweaters), a hallway full of overly affectionate aunts, and worse yet, the great wall of butts! Will they manage to avoid the obstacles and find some fun before turkey time? Or will they be captured before they’ve had a taste of freedom?

Why I liked this book- This is a hilarious book, and a great take on the traditional Thanksgiving story. Mr. Fearing has written an amazing book here! I love how Rhonda, using her imagination, crafts a super-thrilling, slightly dangerous (“vicious” wiener guard dogs!) adventure, and takes Gavin along with her! The illustrations are amazing! LOOK!

 

Image from MFearing.wordpress.com

Image from MFearing.wordpress.com

Isn’t Gavin’s expression priceless? I like how there are tiny little details through out it. My favorite part has to be the “The Great Wall of Butts” the kids have to navigate around. It’s a good thing to remember that family get-togethers may not be as exciting for kids compared to adults. It’s great how the kids turn every-day boring things into an awesome adventure. As a kid, I can say Mr. Fearing got the Thanksgiving dinner kid-perspective spot on! You’ll get a bunch of laughs from this book!

Activities and Resources-
Mr. Fearing and Candlewick Press have a great activity kit to go along with the book! There is a maze, word search, drawing activities and an activity for us to remember to be thankful. Check it out HERE.

Create your own “Thanksgiving Adventure” – take the events that happen at your Thanksgiving celebration and exaggerate them into a full-blown adventure! Maybe have your kids color a picture or write a short story. Hmmm… Ms. Hill? I see another writing contest here… ;)

If you have a Thanksgiving celebration at your house, try to plan something fun for the kids to do – games (pin the feather on the turkey!), toys, coloring pages, etc. Maybe let them go outside! :)

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

Review! Madison Lane and the Wand of Rasputin by Elle Carter Neal

6 Nov

madisonMadison Lane and the Wand of Rasputin

By Elle Carter Neal

287 pages – ages 8+

Published by Elle Carter Neal on September 9, 2014

SUMMARY – Madison Lane was feeling exhilarated. Her aunt Ruby was coming to visit, and that meant more magical items! You see, the Lane family is involved in magical items, and they try to stay under the radar of an agency that is supposed to keep track of the magical items. This time, Madison receives a magical wand that apparently gives the user 2 wishes, and then must be passed to another person. Apparently, Ruby got it from Anastasia Romanov and Maria Rasputin. When a kid grabs the wand and wishes them to a different world, they are taken to Ground, a world that is billions of light-years away from Earth, yet linked through a wormhole. And both worlds, Earth and Ground,  may be destroyed if Madison doesn’t help them even out the magical Sources that keep the worlds in balance!

WHAT I THOUGHT – This was an amazing book. It kept me on the edge of my seat. It was edited well, and Ms. Neal’s writing style was fun and realistic.  I like the idea of Ground. It sounds like a fun place (besides the banshees!), and I love the play on words with Ground/Earth. :) I got lost in the story as I read it. There is just enough fantasy elements in it, mixed with the realistic elements, to make you wonder if such a world could exist. Madison is a strong female character. I think she acts reasonably at all times, and isn’t afraid to help anyone out, even if they are on the other side of the universe. I love the fact that her family collects magical items and the historical character references. At 287 pages, it is  a nice size for an MG reading fan. The content in the book is appropriate for all ages (unless you object to magic). Even though I enjoyed the ending of this book – everything tied up nicely, I am hoping there is a follow up book. There are two bonus short stories at the end of the book which are a nice addition.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms! fivebooks

Review! Future Flash by Kita Helmetag Murdock

2 Nov

futureflashFuture Flash
by Kita Helmetag Murdock
208 pages -  ages 9+
Published by Sky Pony Press on June 3, 2014

Laney Magee has always been different. She’s the girl that draws on her falling-apart-sneakers, and always wears her favorite black hoodie. It doesn’t help that she has this weird power that when she meets someone new and makes contact with them, she sees a short vision of their future, to the exact detail. A new student comes to their school, and Laney is dreading it. She touches his hand in gym class (they are learning about square-dancing), and she gets a horrible vision, the worst she sees – the new boy, clothed in flames, in a burning building. Laney decides to stop his fiery fate from happening. To do that, she must stay close to him. Which might be hard, because he, well, kind of hates her.

This was a cool book about an ordinary girl with an extraordinary power – when she makes contact with someone, usually for the first time, she catches a glimpse of something in the future concerning that person. Laney is a nice, art-loving, “oddball”-type girl who risks her skin to try to save someone she doesn’t even know, who doesn’t really like her (at first – they become friends). She is a marvelous role model, and a great female lead character. The setting is perfect for the story – a small, rural town. Literally – there are only 13 kids in Laney’s class! My school is small, but it isn’t that small! The cover is gorgeous and fits well with the story. I like the silhouette on it a lot. Ms. Murdock’s style kept me reading. I like how she gave every character a unique personality. For example, you know that saying “Never trust a skinny chef” – well, apparently the town baker is super skinny. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms.fivebooks

Perfect Picture Book Friday! The Memory of an Elephant by Sophie Strady

31 Oct

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 very cool and somewhat odd book. ;)

thememoryofelephantThe Memory of an Elephant: An Unforgettable Journey
by Sophie Strady

Illustrated by Jean-Francois Martin

38 pages – ages 5+
Published by Chronicle Books on September 9, 2014

Theme/Topic- Elephants/memories

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis-
Opening -  “Marcel is an elephant – a very old elephant. Like all elephants, his skin is gray and wrinkled, so it is difficult to tell his exact age.

Synopsis – (publisher’s description) Memory and meaning are at the heart of this oversized, content-rich picture book celebrating the life of Marcel, a soulful elephant. From the towering buildings outside his window and his recollected world travels, to the friends, flora, and fauna that flourish around him, Marcel finds significance in his surroundings and, most importantly, in life’s abundant details. Marcel is writing an encyclopedia, after all, and his entries are featured in full-page spreads packed with facts, elegantly situated alongside the story of his day and his life. Part story and part miscellany, this unforgettable book with dream-like illustrations will transfix both parents and children.

Why I liked this book- This book is very unique. I had a hard time thinking of the theme and genre – it’s a pretty odd book (but I like odd ;) ). Even the size of the book is odd – it’s a large 10×14 – but Marcel is a very large elephant so I guess that makes sense. There is a fictional story in the book – the story of Marcel and his memories, but there is also a ton of facts about everything you can think of (Marcel is writing an encyclopedia). Take a look at what I mean:

memoryeleph1The illustrations are incredible. I love the detail in them (check out Marcel’s tattoo ;) ) and the old-fashioned feel.

memoryeleph2The story of Marcel is nice. He thinks about his life and the things in it and what he’s experienced. We get to meet some of his friends. It’s a nice story by itself but when you put it together with the awesome illustrations and all the fact information packed into the book, I think the book is just super cool. The publisher rates the book for kids 5+. Kids that young probably wouldn’t be able to read the book independently, but this book would make an awesome read aloud. It is the kind of picture book I would have loved when I was little. I always loved books with lots of fact boxes and tons of stuff I could look at. This isn’t a “normal” picture book, but if you are looking for something a little unique – I recommend this one!

Activities and Resources-
I didn’t have to go far for activities. There is a bunch right in the back of the book. There are 2 pages of information on Marcel’s friends who happen to be endangered species. You can use the thumbnail pictures as a look and find in the book for all the endangered animals. There is an “encyclopedia” section on Marcel’s favorite foods, and his furniture. There is also a recipe for “La Crèpe Marcelette” (which I need to try)!

The International Fund for Animal Welfare has a bunch of lesson plans, videos and information in a section called “Elephants, Never Forget.” Click HERE to go to it.

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

Review! Lobo Goes to the Galapagos by C.L. Murphy

27 Oct

AAAROOO!

No that’s not my Halloween werewolf imitation!

It’s my “I’m going to tell you about a howlin’ good book” cry!

A book starring my favorite Canis Lupus -

LOVABLE LOBO!

 

lovableloboLobo’s newest adventure takes him to the Galapagos Islands!
Lobo Goes to the GalapagosThe Adventures of Lovable Lobo: Lobo Goes to the Galapagos

Written and Illustrated by C.L. Murphy

32 pages – ages 4+

Published by Peanut Butter Prose on August 22, 2014

Summary - (author’s summary) Lobo returns in this adventure, sweeter and a bit salty this time. This lil’ wolf pup finds that there’s nothing like a little sea air to bring out the best in him and his unlikely tag-alongs. Take a trip to the Galapagos with Lobo and his right-hand raven, Roxy, as they help an injured, new feathered friend return home. Lobo faces some fears and witnesses the joy that comes from helping others in this “birds of a different feather DO flock together” tale.

What I thought - Lobo is a great wolf pup. He is a character that lots of young kids (and older kids!) will love. He is cute and friendly, and will help anyone in need. Lobo is a great friend. Ms. Murphy is a great author who has written a great addition to a marvelous series. I like how this book includes a lesser known species in it – the blue-footed booby. To be more specific, a blue-footed booby named Bobby (HA!). The adventures that Lobo goes on are very fun to read about. I like how this book tells about the Galapagos Islands, even including a map of the islands. The illustrations are cool and kid-friendly. They are realistic, fun to look at and have great detail in them. I like how they kind of look 3D-ish too.

lobo1Lobo is a great character and I always enjoy reading about his adventures. In this book it is nice that Lobo helps a new friend by helping him get back home. There is also a great message of trust in the book.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Check out the trailer for the book!

 

Want to learn more?!? Find Ms. Murphy on  Twitter, Facebook, or her blog HERE (her website is really fun and had activities you can print out to go with her books). :)

Perfect Picture Book Friday! At the Old Haunted House by Helen Ketteman

24 Oct

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 counting book for Halloween!

theoldhauntedAt the Old Haunted House

By Helen Ketteman

Illustrated by Nate Wragg

32 pages – ages 3+
Published by Two Lions on August 12, 2014

Theme/Topic- Halloween/Counting

Genre- Fiction

-

-

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Opening and Synopsis-
Opening – “At the old haunted house
In a room with no sun
Lived a warty green witch
And her wee witchy one.”

Synopsis – (publisher’s description) There are all kinds of creatures in the house: a big Ma monster and her wee monsters two, a scrawny black cat and her wee kittens three, a green Pa goblin and his wee goblins four, and more! Count along as the creatures prepare for the Halloween Fright. The text, written in the pattern of the popular poem “Over in the Meadow,” makes reading aloud fun, while the cinematic illustrations set the scene for an unforgettable romp through the old haunted house. Trick or treat!

 

Why I liked this book- This is a fabulous counting book with marvelous illustrations. The rhyming’s, slightly repeating rhythm makes it sing-song in a little. I like that a lot. The illustrations are cartoony and fit the book wonderfully! Look!

theoldhaunted2theoldhaunted3

They have a warm feeling to them, making it Halloweeny, but not specifically scary. I like the little details you can find in the pictures, the picture frames, with the ma monster and her two kids in them. The writing style is awesome and had me chuckling along as I read it. It was fun to pick out all the spooky creatures in the book. I think it is a great Halloween read for little kids – kind of spooky but not scary!

Activities and Resources-
On the back of the book it says there are 2 witches, 3 monsters, 4 black cats, 5 goblins etc. Use the book as a seek and find and find all the spooky creatures (up to 11 spiders!).

The All Kids Network website has a TON of cool Halloween worksheets for parents and teachers  check it out HERE.

Check out this very cute counting candy corn Halloween activity HERE.

candycorn

Want to learn more? Check out Ms. Ketteman’s website HERE and Nate Wragg’s website HERE.

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

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