Wish You Weren’t by Sherrie Petersen

11 Jul

wishyouWish You Weren’t

By Sherrie Petersen

138 pages – ages 8+

Published by Intrepid Publications on March 15, 2014

Marten couldn’t believe it. A wish he made on a star actually came true – and he feels awful about it. He wished that his little brother, Aldrin, wasn’t there. While at a museum, Aldrin just… Faded away. Marten and his best friend, Paul, meet a strange man named Tör, who says that he will help them get Aldrin back. Using watches that can control time, Tör, Marten, and Paul go through time, trying to undo what happened. When Tör’s star he comes from starts to die, and signs of Aldrin start disappearing, it’s up to Marten and Paul to stop Aldrin from disappearing forever.

This was a very good time travel book. Ms. Petersen’s plot has no holes and her description of the story puts the reader right in the middle of it. I like books like this – a little bit of magic, a little bit of time travel, a lot of adventure. It was a great read. I like Ms. Petersen’s writing style. She gets into the mind of an 11 (almost 12!) boy very easily. Marten is a great character and, speaking as a 12 year old boy, he acts very realistically. I understand why he does everything he does. I also like Tör – he is mysterious and I love the idea of him being in charge of making sure the wishes made on his star come true. The book was appropriate for all ages. I think a lot of kids (and adults) will love this story.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Fish Finelli Book 2: Operation Fireball By E.S. Farber

9 Jul

fish2Fish Finelli Book 2: Operation Fireball

By E.S. Farber

Illustrated by Jason Beene

177 pages – ages 7+

Published by Chronicle Books on April 1, 2014

Fish Finelli and his friends have to beat the school bully, Bryce Billings, in a boat race, due to a dare made at the end of book one. There is just one problem – that Bryce has a new boat with a 9.9 horsepower (which is the limit for the race) and Fish and his friends have an old whaler with a 5 horsepower motor. Will they beat Bryce?

This was a fun book. I didn’t read book 1, but Ms. Farber brings the reader right up to speed so I totally understood the back-story (As a note, I love it when an author recaps the previous book(s) in a series really well).  Fish is a great character, and I like how he solves his own problems. He is also devoted to sailing and I enjoyed reading about a kid who likes to sail. Ms. Farber has an enjoyable writing style. I love all of the humor she put in the story. I really enjoyed the little fact boxes and diagrams about things in the book. (like some about oysters, planing on a boat, etc.). That was a nice touch. The illustrations scattered in the book were great too. They had a very cool style. After reading this book, I’m going to go back and read the first one in the series. I like a good story. :)  This book is a great read for young advanced readers, reluctant readers and kids looking for a fun story!

I give “Operation Fireball” four out of five bookworms.fourbooks

Check out Book 1 in the series! I am!

fish1

Elementary, My Dear Watson: The Astounding Adventure of the Ancient Dragon by Jose Prendes

8 Jul

elementaryElementary, My Dear Watson – The Astounding Adventure of the Ancient Dragon

By Jose Prendes

174 pages – ages 9+

Published by Curiosity Quills Press on March 3, 2014

12-year-old John H. Watson was distraught. His mother was dying, his father was depressed because of it, and he was going to Candlewood Boarding School for Boys and Girls because his home was not a happy environment (and because he was neglecting his studies, of course). When a bully, calling himself Moriarty, orders Watson to hand over his money, a young boy, Watson’s age, saves him from Moriarty. The boy introduces himself as Holmes, Sherlock Holmes. When classmates start disappearing, Sherlock starts investigating, along with his new friend. Where are all the missing students going? And who is responsible for it?

First of all, I am a huge fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes books. Sherlock Holmes never ceases to amaze me.I was a little worried that reading about a young version of Sherlock would not live up to what I would expect. This book however, was a great read (cool cover too)! I really like how Mr. Prendes mixes up Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s characters and jumbles them into middle school. It was marvelously done. I especially like the irony in one scene, where Holmes, Watson, and another student are investigating the case, and the Head Mistress of the school walks in on it. Holmes says that they are acting out a play with 3 characters from Shakespeare’s plays. When the Head Mistress points out that they aren’t from the same play, Holmes states that it is pretending if the characters had met each other in Middle School – just like they are in this book! ;) Mr. Prendes also included of the thrill from Doyle’s mysteries, and I loved every second of it. The book was a very fast read for me. I read this book in less than a day. The plot of the story kept me on the edge of my seat, and I immediately liked John Watson. Mr. Prendes has written a great book. I would like to read other books written by him, especially from this series.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

June 2014 UBFP Column – The Benefits of Bilingual Picture Books

4 Jul

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY USA! WOO! :D

I write for the UBFP Newspaper!

 

I wanted to share the article I wrote for the Upper Bucks Free Press (the newspaper I write for) for the July 2014 issue! The print version was just published. To see the online version of the newspaper, click HERE (check out page 16), or read it below!

I hope you like it!

The Benefits of Bilingual Picture Books

I got the idea for this article when I reviewed C.L. Murphy’s picture book “The Adventures of Loveable Lobo: Lobo visits the Barnyard” and saw that the book is also available in Spanish (“Las Aventuras Del Adorable Lobo: Lobo visita la Granja”). In the book, a friendly wolf is visiting one of his friends at the barnyard. He proceeds to get a tour of the barnyard and meets lots of animals. I looked at both English and Spanish versions of the book side by side and before you knew it, I was learning the Spanish words for barnyard animals. Because of this, I did some research on using picture books to learn other languages. I found that learning a second language can really help kids in the future. An article on Scholatic.com states the importance of learning a second language. It says; “Research shows that students of foreign languages tend to score higher on standardized tests and demonstrate improved school performance overall. Additionally, evolving opportunities in the global workplace make knowing an another language a significant advantage.” Learning a foreign language gives kids more opportunities.

lobo

Picture books are a great tool for helping kids learn to read in any language. An article on the Reading is Fundamental website says “Picture books help young children understand that words convey meaning, well before they are aware of the text. Pictures can help increase vocabulary, an important building block for reading. Books can help young children identify colors, shapes, numbers, and letters, as well as names of people, places, animals, and everyday objects.” Because of this, picture books are especially helpful to learn a foreign language no matter what age you are.

Bilingual picture books can help make this happen. Picture books are usually less than five hundred words long and therefore can be used to learn simple phrases and words in a foreign language. A pamphlet published by the National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness (NCCLR) called “How to Use Bilingual Books” names three types of bilingual books that are useful for teaching second languages. One type has the words in both languages next to each other in the text. This type of book may have a line that reads “Bonjour!” dit la fille. / “Hello!” said the girl. Another type of bilingual book is having the same book printed in two languages (like the Adventures of Loveable Lobo books I wrote about earlier). I find having the same picture book in two languages is very helpful in learning words from a foreign language. The third type of bilingual book is one where there are some words in another language sprinkled within the story. For example, “Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of acqua” (Italian for water).

A 2007 study published by the National Education Association called “The Benefits of Second Language Study” shows that exposing kids to bilingual books and other languages helps them become better learners in all kinds of subjects. The study shows that teaching kids a foreign language helps “higher order, abstract and creative thinking” and achieve higher scores on standardized tests.

Teachers can use bilingual books in their classrooms, too. The NCCLR pamphlet suggests that teachers can pick a paragraph from a picture book or even just one or two words from a foreign language and read and talk about the words in the foreign language as an introduction for students to different languages.

Even if it isn’t the goal to become fluent in the language, exposing kids to words and phrases from different languages helps them become better learners. Picture books can help you do that.

For more on books and reading go to / For mer om bøker og lesing går til (Norwegian)

ThisKidReviewsBooks.com!

Paddington Bear Comes to the Big Screen!

3 Jul

paddington

 

This Christmas, a small bear will make a big splash.

From the beloved novels by Michael Bond and producer David Heyman (HARRY POTTER), PADDINGTON tells the story of the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear who travels to the city in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone, he  begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined – until he meets the kindly Brown family who read the label around his neck that says “Please look after this bear. Thank you,” and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist.

paddington2paddington3

Director: Paul King
Written by: Paul King
Screenplay by: Henry Paul King
Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi and Nicole Kidman

I am excited to watch this movie. Paddington is so cute. It’s been a while since I read the stories, I’ll have to re-read them. I think the movie looks hilarious (but I like goofy movies ;) ). I think Paddington looks a bit tall, but I like the animation and the details in him. I’ll have to do a book vs. movie post after I see it. :) I hope you all get to see this movie when it comes out on Christmas Day, 2014!

Check out the trailer and tell me what you think of the movie Paddington.

 

Learn More About the Movie -

Official Website | Facebook | Twitter

#PaddingtonMovie

The Dragon Hollow Trilogy by Christy Bower

2 Jul

Before I get to today’s review – I get to tell you Stephanie The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow blog (Click HERE to go THERE) won my give away copy of The Starburst Juju (see my review HERE). Congratulations! I will be emailing you to get your mailing address. :)

juju

HELLO BLOGOSPHERE! :D

Happy Wednesday to you! Today I have not one, but 3 books to tell you about! An exciting and fun TRIOLOGY!

The Dragon Hollow Trilogy

By Christy Bower

draghol1Book 1: The Legend of Dragon Hollow

212 pages – ages 9+

Published by CreateSpace on May 25, 2013

Summary (From the back of the book): When an enemy army attacked Mirabeau, Peter and his friends, Sebastian and Alexandra, lost their parents, their homes, and their city. They set off in search of the dragon’s treasure that Peter had read about in his favorite book, The Legend of Dragon Hollow.

On their journey, they encounter all sorts of people and adventures, and they learn valuable lessons that will help them fulfill their destiny – a destiny that is greater than dragon treasure.

draghol2Book 2: The Secret of The Sword

186 pages – ages 9+

Published by CreateSpace on September 23, 2013

Summary (From the back of the book): [SPOILER ALERT] After Peter learned he was the rightful heir to the throne, he returned to Mirabeau to discover a tyrant had made himself king. When Peter and his friends, Sebastian and Alexandra, try to spy on the tyrant king, they are captured as traitors. It looks as if things will end badly for the three young people, especially when an invading army attacks the city, complicating the situation.

draghol3Book 3: The Rise of The Dragon King

196 pages – ages 9+

Published by CreateSpace on October 8, 2013

Summary (From the back of the book)[SPOILER ALERT] In this third book in the Dragon Hollow Trilogy, young Peter Cole has just taken the throne of Mirabeau, but being a king is not what he expected. In addition to the city’s financial crisis that left knights and workers unpaid, King Peter is also faced with the disappearance of a friend; a dragon bent on revenge; a call for help from an ally; and a horde of barbarians on the march for his city. Meanwhile, his two friends, Sebastian and Alexandra, face problems of their own. Alexandra is coming to grips with being scarred by the dragon burns and Sir Sebastian is learning to be a knight while dealing with a bully in Knight School. Peter’s destiny as the foretold Dragon King is liked to whether he can navigate these difficulties and fulfill his calling.

What I Liked About the Trilogy: This series was action-packed, hilarious, and great for kids. The books are full of “references to fairy tales, fables, fantasy fiction, classic literature, nursery rhymes, and children’s songs”. I laughed at “The Three Musket Deer”, a tyrant king named Ham Burger (or King Burger), King Cole, and his wife’s name, Nat (some kids may not get some of the references – I didn’t get a couple and asked my parents about them), and so much more! I think I fell off my beanbag chair a couple of times laughing at the book! The story, itself, very good. Ms. Bower’s writing style is enjoyable and the self-published book is edited well. I liked the story-line a lot. Peter was a great main character. He was brave (for a kid), smart (for a kid), and awesome (for anybody). He handles situations very well. Donkey Oatie was hilarious too. In the book, there is a** repeated, but it is normally talking about Donkey Oatie (as in Donkey Oatie said things about him, like his mother always said that he was a “smart a**”). The theory that geckos, when put in water, turn into dragons, was a great one (and was a TOTAL surprise to me *Note to self – get geko). The books were quick, fun reads for me and I think they’d be great to bring along in the car on summer trips. If the series went on, I’d gladly read the next book, but sadly, trilogies end at three.

I give this series four out of fie bookworms!fourbooks

To learn more about Ms. Bower and her books, please visit her website HERE.

Follow on Twitter HERE.

Follow on Google+ HERE.

Eva and Sadie and the Worst Haircut EVER! by Jeff Cohen

30 Jun

evaEva and Sadie and the Worst Haircut EVER!
By Jeff Cohen
Illustrated by Elanna Allen
32 pages – ages 5+
Published by HarperCollins on June 3, 2014

Eva and Sadie are sisters. Eva’s hair is long and curly. Sadie thinks that it is too long, too curly, and too much of a bother. It is practically impossible to tame! Then, Sadie had an idea – why not give Eva a haircut? Awesome idea, right? Maybe not so much…

An NPR radio reporter, Jeff Cohen has 2 little girls, Sadie, 5, and Eva, 3. He interviewed his kids after a disastrous hair cutting incident. Click HERE to go to the original interview (it’s hilarious). Apparently the interview went viral and Mr. Cohen turned the story into a very cute picture book. The story is very well-written, and has a great message. The message that Sadie learns is “It’s okay to make mistakes, as long as we learn from them, and try not to do them again.” Sadie and Eva are great characters, ones you can relate with – after all who hasn’t done something like this when you were little?  Ms. Allen’s illustrations put the finishing touch on the book, like the whipped cream and cherry on the sundae. I think children will love learning from Eva and Sadie’s mistake. :)

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Check out the trailer!

 

The Chocolate Challenge Stops At This Kid Reviews Books

28 Jun

C.L. Murphy awesome author extraordinaire of the Loveable Lobo series (click HERE to go to her blog) invited me to participate in the CHOCOLATE Challenge! In the chocolate challenge, you name six of your favorite books and pair them up with a type of chocolate! :)

Here is my list -

Counting Down:

dumas-three-musketeers6. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas = Milk Chocolate – old-fashioned, but still tickles your taste-buds – just like this book, a classic read to whet your sense of adventure!

Milk_chocolate

 

 

 

 

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5. The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan = Dark Chocolate with Coconut-filling – a slightly healthy, tasty chocolate treat – this book is incredibly amazing and you learn a little about Greek Mythology while reading a great story!

download (1)

 

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4. Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger = Chocolate milkshake with chocolate jimmies/sprinkles – Sounds funny, tastes funny, but is still great – like this hilarious book – it sounds funny, it IS funny, and it is awesome!

 

milkshake

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chupacabra
3. Chupacabra by Roland Smith = Chocolate with Peanut-Butter Inside – the perfect blend of flavors, like this book has the perfect blend of humor and adventure.

 

pbcup

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theendofinfinity

2. The End of Infinity by Matt Myklusch = Caramel-filled milk chocolate – A tasty treat with a creamy inside – The end of Infinity is a solid ending to the Jack Blank series, and it leaves a great feeling in you.

caramel

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RedwallUSCover1. Redwall by Brian Jacques = Cookies’n’Cream white chocolate – an unhealthy pleasure to eat with lots of crunch – in this book, you don’t gain much education-wise, but it is a fun read with lots of action, adventure, and excitement!!!

whitechoc

Now on to the next CHOCOLATE TAG team’s posts scheduled to go live July 5th…

I am nominating kids! :)

Rena Marthaler, of www.renawrites.com, kid-author extraordinaire of Magic the Crest.

Felicia Maziarz, of www.stanleyandkatrina.com, kid-author phenom of The Perpetual Papers of the Pack of Pets.

Josie, of www.animalsandart.wordpress.com, kid-artist, animal lover and my little sister.

Book Review! Little Orchid’s Sea Monster Trouble by Claudine Gueh Yanting

27 Jun

littleorchLittle Orchid’s Sea Monster Trouble

By Claudine Gueh Yanting

98 pages (estimated – ebook reviewed) – ages 9+

Published by Carry Us Off Books on April 8, 2014

Little Orchid lives in 1960’s Singapore with her family. When Little Orchid and her sister are invited  to a wealthy classmate’s house for dinner, Little Orchid realizes that they are being served a giant cuttlefish – a special animal from the sea. They brought the mighty beast in, still alive, to be prepared. Little Orchid felt a connection with the cuttlefish when she made eye-contact with it, and feels sorry that she could not help it at all. Little Orchid tried to not eat the dishes with cuttlefish – and she was doing pretty good at that – until the hosts plopped a piece of cuttlefish on  her plate. It would have been disrespectful not to eat it! While everyone is watching, Little Orchid chokes down the piece of cuttlefish. A few minutes later, she throws up. Little Orchid and her sister quickly leave the premises. The next morning, Little Orchid wakes up to find herself covered in boils and rashes. When Little Orchid finds herself stretching out, elongating, she realizes that she is turning into the giant cuttlefish. She doesn’t know why, but she is. Her family will despise her. She quickly crawls to the nearby sea, and enters it without telling anyone. She begins her new life as a sea monster, wondering if she’ll ever see her family again.

This was an enjoyable story. I love the message I got out of it- if we take something special from the sea, the sea will take something special from us. I like that it takes place in Singapore during the 1960’s. It was nice to read a novel set in a place I usually don’t read about. Little Orchid is a good main character who thinks that everywhere she goes, she brings trouble. You really care for her, and you cheer her on until the last page.  Ms. Gueh has a wonderful writing style, and it makes you feel like Little Orchid is talking to you. I enjoyed the voice of the story. I like how there are cool painting-like illustrations scattered throughout the book. This book would be great for reluctant readers, and young readers. For me, I would have liked for the story to be a bit more involved and give me more because I enjoyed the plot concept so much. It’s a good thing that I would like more.  Little Orchid earned a spot on my library shelf!

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookworms.fourbooks

Book Review! The Starburst Juju by Monica Strang AND GIVEAWAY!!!

25 Jun

juju

Ms. Strang has offered to give away a copy of her book to one lucky person (USA addresses only)! Read to the bottom to find out how to enter!

The Starburst Juju

By Monica Strang

278 pages – ages 12+

Published by Pants on Fire Press on January 3, 2014

15-year-old Pepper Jones was shocked. The Maddocks, aliens that are kidnapping the best of the best humans on Earth (the best architect, the best artist, the best scientist, etc.), just kidnapped her parents. Two ordinary, run-of-the-mill school teachers. So, what were they the best at? Pepper and her best friend Parker wondered that, until they were met by a human-like cat-looking man. He says his name is Ando and that he is a Popoki (not a cat!) and that he was a friend of her parents – brilliant inventors from an academy on a different planet! Pepper and Parker go to the academy and hatch a plan. They plan on how to save her parents by finding the Starburst Juju, a powerful alien stone that can help free her parents.  But Pepper and Parker are only two humans and they are up against an entire race of aliens.

This was a great story. I loved all of the cool gadgets, especially the Orico. I really want one – they are bracelets that can do a bunch of things at a command. I love that the book made me think about some things. For example the story says all planets that can support life are about the same size, same distance from their sun, same temperature range, etc. compared to Earth – I never thought about it like that. But I guess that only goes for life-forms like us but what if there are other types of life… okay getting off topic… Back to my point – I like books that make me think! :) The characters in the book were developed well. The aliens were fun to read about. I like Ando. He is really interesting, and I would love to spend a day with him. Pepper is a great character – smart, realistic, and nice. I also liked Parker. He’s a great friend to Pepper, and an immature normal teenage boy. ;) I think that this book is awesome, but I am slightly sad that this is a stand-alone novel. It ended well though. I think Ms. Strang closed it very nicely. Ms. Strang has a great writing style. I think this is another cross over type book – one that advanced MG readers will love as well as younger YA readers.

I give “The Starburst Juju” five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Watch the awesome book trailer!

Now, for the GIVEAWAY!!!

To enter in the contest, all you need to do is comment and say that you want to win a copy of this great book (USA addresses only please)!

If you want to make it fun, name your favorite alien from any novel, TV Show, comic, movie, etc. For example, I would say “Superman” or “General Grievous”.

Next week my sister Josie will pick the winner from all of the names put in a hat! :)

Good luck and thanks for reading my blog!

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