The Observations of the Obstreperous Animals Blog Tour!!! Check out this kid Author!!!

16 Oct


Howdy folks! Have I got a ‘treat’ for you today! It’s hot-‘dogging’ good! As part of the blog tour for “The Observations of the Obstreperous Animals,” the new book in Stanley and Katrina’s series written by my friend and co-host of the Write Chat video blog (if you haven’t signed up for our newsletter – click HERE and go check it out!), Felicia “The Neighbor Girl” Maziarz! For the blog tour, I get to interview one of the main characters from the book! I had the fortune of chatting with the count of canines, duke of dogs, king of K-9 Units, prince of puppies, baron of chew-bones…

The one, the only -



bloglogo1. Stanley, in your new book, you and Katrina are preparing for a pet Agility Course. We learn in the story, Katrina isn’t a big fan of it, but what do you think of it?

s&kStanleyHonestly, I thought it was kind of fun. I mean I’ll take hot dogs any day, but I also enjoyed the exercise. The only thing I didn’t like was the tunnel. It was a dark abyss of nothingness. Naturally, I ran through that part pretty fast. That’s why I got the fastest time of the day. Though, it did get a little boring after a few runs through, so I decided to side with Katrina. Woah, never
thought I would say that. :)


2. How do you stand living with What’s it like living in the same house as Katrina?


It was a little tough at first, but now I am used to it. I now am able to tune out pretty much anything that distracts me from gnawing at Mr. Burger (my burger shaped chew toy.)


3. You can always count on a good burger to help you out. In the new book, you and Katrina and Zorg have a poetry contest, and your poetry was melodious. How did you get to write such great poetry (unlike a certain cat who we shall not name for obvious reasons)?  


It kind of came naturally. Once Katrina lectured me for three hours (THREE HOURS!!!!!) about how to write adequate poetry and so on and so on. I then wrote some of my own. You are probably wondering why she taught me. She taught me so that she could beat me in the competition, and then I won. Classic Katrina.


4. *stifles laughter* Who is your role model? Why do you look up to them?


Well, I guess it would be those dogs on TV who jump into pools and stuff like that. They respect their owners so well and are great athletes. Also, it looks SUPER DUPER fun to be one of them.


5. Yeah, they sure are cool! So, in the new book, you and Katrina move. I’m guessing you don’t move far because your owners still pet-sit Zorg. What’s it like hanging out with the alien-obsessed, astronaut-wannabe Zorg (AKA Mr. Fluffypants the hamster)?


I think he is pretty cool while Katrina says he is an “incorrigible tiny groundhog.” I think the whole alien thing is unique and cool, and if aliens were to attack, I would have the supreme alien buster by my side. I would be stopping the invasion with Zorg while Katrina would be trying to convince the aliens to join her country.


6. I know what you mean, Stanley! It seems that your book is already getting lots of fan mail! Even Clyde (our Basset Hound) wanted to join in! He asked me to write this to you:

Dear Stanley,

I live with a chinchilla named Smoky Gorgonzola III. I can’t help but notice that my fluffy friend happens to be getting more treats than me! What would you do?

Help me!!!

Treat Necessity

Biscuit, Kentucky



I would be really nice. DO NOT meow all day like Katrina. Just be a nice, happy pet.

For the links to the other stops in the blog tour (and other info on it), take a looky! :) PLUS make sure you make it to the bottom because there is a link to a raffle copter giveaway with a chance to win a $25.oo Amazon gift card!


Stanley and Katrina von Cat the Master of Wisdom and Knowledge are celebrating the release of their second book, The Observations of the Obstreperous Animals, by hosting their very own “Book Blasty Tour”. Thank you for taking the time to visit this special stop along their tour and be sure to enter the giveaway! 

About the Book

Title: The Observations of the Obstreperous Animals
Authors: Stanley & Katrina, Pet Authors
Year published:  2014
Number of pages: 106
Recommended ages: 10+ Independent Readers; 5+ Read-Aloud
Summary (Amazon): Cat and dog. It is a love/hate relationship. Stanley and Katrina are back to share more humorous glimpses into their exciting lives in their second book via short stories. Yes, the pets are at it again but this time compete in a slam poetry contest, visit a pet psychic, and much more.This cat and dog writing team makes you stop and wonder what happens at your house when you’re not there.

Book Preview Video

Amazon U.S. * Amazon U.K. * Amazon Canada 

 Barnes & Noble 

The Buzz

“All the animal snippets are very funny. If you like animals and a good laugh, this is the book for you.” ~Carly K., Age 10
“Hilarious! Instantly became my favorite book!” ~Stephen E., Age 12
“You did it again! I loved reading about your crazy adventures!” ~Rachael S., Age 13
“Another one? How do they do this?” ~Stanley & Katrina’s owners

About the Authors: Stanley & Katrina

Stanley and Katrina are the pet authors of The Observations of the Obstreperous Animals.

is a three-year-old black Labrador/Rottweiler mix who does his best to ignore Katrina. Stanley enjoys snow, attention and turkey.

Katrina von Cat the Master of Wisdom and Knowledge is an eight-year-old grey tabby cat who loves her toy mouse.She enjoys treats, naps and bossing the dog around.

Neighbor Girl (Felicia) is the human who knows us (Stanley& Katrina) the best and helps us with everything. She loves writing, reading, acting, singing, reading gymnastics, doodling, reading, ice skating, painting, reading, doing computer stuff, oh… did we mention reading? She is the co-creator and co-host of “The Write Chat.”

You may visit the entire gang online at

* Free Printables For This Book! *

Kid Lit Printables has created fun and FREE printables for The Observations of the Obstreperous Animals and will be adding more in the future. Click here to view all available printables now. 

Get the First Book in the Series Free 

10/6 & 10/7/2014
The pets are offering their first book for free, via Amazon Kindle, the first two days of the Blog Tour. Click here to download Book 1 in the Stanley & Katrina series now. 

Stanley & Katrina’s 

Book Blasty Tour Stops(2014)

*Denotes Book Review Stops

October 6

* $25 Book Blasty Tour Giveaway *


Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest runs:October 6 to October 31, 11:59 pm, 2014 
Open: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget above or by clicking here.
Terms and Conditions: A randomly drawn winner will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest or any other entity unless otherwise specified. If you have any additional questions, feel free to send us an email at stanleyandkatrina (at) gmail (dot) com.
* This giveaway is sponsored by the authors, Stanley & Katrina.*

*As seen on the official Stanley and Katrina blog, some promotional videos, this fantastic blog tour, with that catastrophic feline KvCtMoWaK, and on this blog.

Book Launch Tour! Andy Smithson: Disgrace of the Unicorn’s Honor by L.R.W. Lee

15 Oct



unicornAndy Smithson Book 3: Disgrace of the Unicorn’s Honor

by L.R.W. Lee

252 pages – ages 9+
Published by CreateSpace  on September 23, 2014

Summary- Author’s summary]

Andy returns to Oomaldee and learns the next ingredient to collect is the horn of a unicorn. Not unexpectedly, as he and his company embark upon their quest, they face stiff opposition from the evil King Abaddon, a foreign enemy who seeks to conquer that world. The physical battle, while intense, pales in comparison, however, to his conflicted heart, when a seductive voice calls to Andy, tempting him to surrender the unicorn horn in exchange for a promise to preserve his mom when he breaks the curse. Desperate to save her, he falls for the lie and puts in jeopardy his ability to end the curse.

What I liked- Mrs. Lee has written another great book in the Andy Smithson series. In the newest book, Andy Smithson: Disgrace of the Unicorn’s Honor, Andy really grows as a person. It made me like his character even more. In addition to the vivid description of the land of Oomaldee, the action and twists that Mrs. Lee packs into this story makes it a totally enjoyable read. The plot of the story captures the reader’s attention and Mrs. Lee’s writing style keeps you reading until the very last word. I especially like the unusual animal inhabitants of Oolmaldee (like dragons, unicorns and “herewolves”). They add a lot to this fantastic world. Mrs. Lee has written a long-lasting story that is part of one of my favorite series.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms! fivebooks


Want to learn more? Visit Mrs. Lee’s website HERE


Review! Little Dead Riding Hood by Amie Borst and Bethanie Borst

14 Oct

It’s October and time for some monstrously fun books! Here is one that is released today!


Little Dead Riding Hood

By Amie and Bethanie Borst

Illustrated by Rachael Caringella

320 pages – ages 9+
Series: Scarily Ever Laughter
Published by Jolly Fish Press on October 14, 2014

Scarlet Small was new in town. Her dad, Drac, is in the army, and they moved a lot. Scarlet was scared of her new school. It smelled of werewolf. It didn’t help that at her old school, she was friendless and ridiculed. A lot. Did I happen to mention that Scarlet Small and her “parents” are vampires? And that Scarlet is over a century old? In a 12-year-old body? So far, school is going great for her, until Scarlet meets Ethan. She is sure that he is the werewolf she smells, which is bad, because a werewolf’s bite is the only thing that can kill a vampire. And he seems to hate her. Could things get any worse for a pre-teen vampire?

This is a fun book and it is the second in the Scarily Ever Laughter Series (Cinderskella is the first). The Borst mother-daughter team have written monster characters that even I (who really doesn’t like monster stories) like. There is humor in the story, which is always a plus for me. The characters act like middle schoolers and have many of the same issues – fitting in, doing well in school (only in monster terms). I like the sense of fractured fairytales throughout the book. It adds to the enjoyment of reading it. I felt like I was really there with Scarlet as she went on with her story. The Borsts describe the setting very well – it gave the perfect feeling for the story – a small town with a humongous woods surrounding it. This story contains minor spoilers about Cinderskella so I’d read the books in order. Scarlet befriends Cindy (Cinderskella) in the story. I love Scarlet’s “parents’ ” names – Drac and Mort: Dracula and Morticia. The language in the book is kid appropriate. Obviously the book is about monsters and some of the things they do, but there is nothing graphic or unpleasant in the story. It’s a really nice story about trying to fit in. I hope that there are more books in this series!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Want to learn more? Visit Amie Borst’s blog HERE! No, really visit her blog because they are having a blog scavenger hunt and you can win a copy of the book and CHOCOLATE! :)


Guest Post by Kid-Character Linc Baker of the Double Vision Series! Plus a 3 Book Giveaway!!!

13 Oct

Top Secret Stamp


F.T. Bradley’s Double Vision: The Alias Men!

Today I have a fun guest on my blog – Linc Baker, kid spy, government agent, and fictional character from F.T. Bradley’s awesome series: Double Vision (see my review of book 2 in the series Code Name 711 HERE). Check back to my blog for the review of book 3 in the series: The Alias Men – coming soon! In the mean-time I have a great guest post from the series main character and a chance to win all THREE books in the series! Just comment below and let me know you’d like to be in the drawing! I will put all the names of people who want to be in the drawing in a hat and my little sister Josie will pick one out. The contest ends on October 19th and the winner will be announced on October 20th!

Now On to Linc!

How to Shake a Tail: Spy Tips from Double Vision’s Linc Baker

Double Vision front cover

 Hey, it’s me, Linc Baker. I’m a regular kid from California, but I happen to look just like this kid spy named Benjamin Green. So when he went missing, this top-secret government organization named Pandora asked me to take his place on this dangerous mission in Paris.

Not that I know anything about being a spy. I’d rather be playing Racing Mania on my Xbox, or riding my skateboard. But I got into some trouble on a field trip (it involved chickens—you’ll just have to read Double Vision to find out more), and Pandora promised to get me off the hook if I went to Paris. That was my first mission.

Code Name 711--cover(1)

My second mission took me to Washington, D.C., where I had to save President Griffin and her daughter—you’ll have to read about that in Double Vision: Code Name 711. It was a pretty crazy adventure, let me tell you…

Double Vision The Alias Men hi-res cover


Anyway, I just finished my third mission in Double Vision: The Alias Men. I was on this blockbuster Hollywood movie set, where I had to catch a bad guy. Can you believe Pandora made me come back, to be a temporary kid spy again? I still can’t. I’m kind of a trouble maker, to be honest.

But now I know a thing or two about being a kid spy. Well, I know the basics anyway. Like how to shake a tail—that’s when someone is following you, and you want them to go away.


Here are some spy tips:

Think you’re being followed? First off: trust your gut—that’s what agents do. Or at least that’s what I do, and my gut is usually right (unless I just ate a bunch of French fries, then maybe my gut is a little off). If someone seems suspicious to you, you might be right. But you don’t want to get too paranoid. It happens to even the best of agents, so confirm your suspicions first.

Try turning right, and then stop and pretend to tie your shoe. Your follower will be forced to stop, or pass you by.

If you’re sure you’re being followed, try making a quick exit, like going into a store. I find that a book store works best for some reason. You can buy a little reading for the road—and take your time. That way, your tail will get tired of waiting.3d small people - detective

If you have a stubborn follower (it happens, unfortunately), try using a disguise, like a baseball cap, to change your appearance. Turning your coat inside out works too, if you don’t have a disguise handy.

When all else fails, you can always yell really loud. That usually scares bad dudes off—though I have to warn you: moms and dads don’t like this kind of behavior, and neither do teachers or librarians. So leave the yelling as a last resort. Especially if you’re in the library.

If you want more spy tips, or if you want links to kid-friendly spy games from the CIA and FBI (cool, huh?), check out If you want to meet F.T. Bradley (she wrote down my crazy spy stories) or have her visit your school in person or via Skype, check out

F.T. Bradley--photo

And I hope you’ll read all about my spy missions in the Double Vision trilogy! In case you want to read them in one go, you can enter to win signed hardcovers of all three books: Double Vision, Code Name 711, and The Alias Men—right here on Erik’s cool blog.

Spy on, everyone!

Hi everyone -Erik here. I just wanted to tell you to check out the other stops on the Double Vision: The Alias Men book tour -

Follow along with the Double Vision: The Alias Men blog tour:

Oct. 6-10: The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow features Double Vision: The Alias Men with a review, author interview, plus a GIVEAWAY..!

Oct. 13: Linc hangs out at the great Erik’s blog, This Kid Reviews Books. Linc talks about spy techniques he picked up on his Pandora missions. And there’s another GIVEAWAY…

Oct. 14: Double Vision: The Alias Men is released! Have a virtual party at the YA Sleuth blog…! And follow F.T. on Twitter @FTBradleyAuthor for more kid spy fun.

Oct. 16: F.T. Bradley gives you Five Ways to Bring MG into The Classroom at the Unleashing Readers blog, plus a GIVEAWAY.

Oct. 17: Linc is interviewed by Lizzy, Fairday and Marcus over at The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow blog. A fun post!

Oct. 20: Buried in Books lets F.T. Bradley talk about the Double Vision trilogy…

Oct. 20: Also this day, the fabulous Ms. Yingling reviews Double Vision: The Alias Men on her blog for Marvelous MG Monday…

Oct. 21: Another favorite blog, YA Book Nerd, hosts F.T. Bradley and the Double Vision trilogy, plus a GIVEAWAY

Oct. 21: F.T. Bradley hangs out at Sleuths, Spies and Alibis

Oct. 24: F.T. gives tips for parents of reluctant readers, Seven Ways to Get Your Kid to Read, at Pragmatic Mom’s blog, plus a GIVEAWAY!

Oct. 25: At the Nerdy Book Club, find F.T. Bradley’s top 10 books for reluctant readers…

Happy Star Wars Reads Day! Belches, Burps, and Farts – OH MY! by Artie Bennett

11 Oct



Erik -Today is the day we get to celebrate my 2 favorite things – READING and STAR WARS! Hmm maybe there should be a Star Wars Reads while Eating day – then it would be the perfect day…

Today I have a special guest to help with the review. Please welcome CTR0929 -

IMG_2931Yes, good old CTR0929, member of the Royal Guard, we are happy to have you here today. Would you like to say Hi to the blogosphere?

CTR0929 -

Erik – You don’t say much do you?

CTR0929 -

Erik – Well maybe we should move along to the review. Today I give you BELCHES, BURPS AND FARTS – OH MY! – The book, not the actual stuff. ;)


belchesBelches, Burps, and Farts – OH MY!

By Artie Bennett

Illustrated by Pranas T. Naujokaitis

40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Blue Apple Books on September 2, 2014

Summary- (From the book jacket):

Belches, burps, and farts. We all do it. So isn’t it time we learned about those often awkward, sometimes comical sound effects… before our next blastoff?!

What I like about it- After tackling the subjects of butts and poop (THE BUTT BOOK and POOPENDOUS) where else would Mr. Bennett turn – body gasses of course! This is another hilarious yet scientifically amazing book from Artie Bennett! He handles these subjects with so much ease and humor, you just can’t put this book down! It is put into two separate sections (BELCHES & BURPS, and FARTS), which are equally hilarious. I like that it shares fun facts about our internal gasses, too! Did you know that we can’t burp when on our backs? That termites fart the most? That you fart about 14 times a day (I counted – it’s true!)? Mr. Bennett makes these books great for any age and you also get to learn a bit about biology! The story is done in a well-done rhyme that sounds natural and flows off of the tongue. It makes it easier for younger kids to read, and there will be giggles all around. The illustrations are awesome, and have tiny little details in them that will keep you howling with laughter!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Erik – So CTR0929 What do you think about BELCHES, BURPS, AND FARTS OH MY!?


CTR0929 –

Erik – Still not saying anything, huh? Hey, you can tell me, does Darth Vader ever fart (I want to use it against him know, so I’m prepared for the next time he invades visits my blog)?

CTR0929 –

Erik – CTR0929?


Erik – Well I guess that he likes the book and that we’ll never know if Vader farts…



Perfect Picturebook Friday! Duck in the Fridge by Jeff Mack

10 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 so ZANY!

duckinthe Duck in the Fridge

by Jeff Mack

32 pages  – ages 4+

Published by Two Lions on September 2, 2014

Theme/Topic- Bedtime

Genre- Fiction/Humor

Opening and Synopsis-
Opening – “Daddy, why do you always read me Mother Goose before bed?

Synopsis – (from the inside jacket) “When Dad was a boy, he discovered a duck in the fridge! And more ducks all over the house. He invited some sheep to get rid of the ducks. And then dogs to get rid of the sheep. And so on and so on. But no one left. The house was a mess!

Why I liked this book- DUCK IN THE FRIDGE – come on the title is awesome! *hee hee* This story is all out fun. Every time I turned the page (after I had calmed my giggling down), I’d giggle again! Mr. Mack has written a very funny, wacky book about a dad telling his son about a time when he was younger and had to get someone who didn’t want to fall asleep to fall asleep! His illustrations are cute and light-hearted. Ducks are just funny too! I like all of the little details in the pages. There’s no great message in the book, just a fun bedtime story and sometimes we just need one of those! The ending is really nice too.


Mr. Mack has previews of the interior pages on his website (click HERE to go THERE).


Activities and Resources-

I had a hard time thinking of activities for this one. A lot of kids get baths before bedtime so maybe get some rubber duckies for their bath and make a matching game out of it. You could write letters or numbers on the bottom of each duck (make sure you make pairs up) and put the duckies in the bath and have your child try to find the matches. Then after the bath your child can dry the duckies off and get them ready for bed.


You could also do what the dad did in the book! Read some Mother Goose before bed (after you read DUCK IN THE FRIDGE ;) )!

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

Review! The School for Good and Evil books 1&2 by Soman Chainani

9 Oct


goodevil1The School for Good and Evil

By Soman Chainani

Illustrated by  Iacopo Bruno

512 pages – ages 12+
Published by HarperCollins on April 15, 2014 (reprint) Originally published in 2013

Summary- Agatha and Sophie. Best friends. Polar opposites. Everyone believes that Sophie, who is beautiful and loves pink, will be chosen to go to the mystic School for Good and Evil, specifically the Good School. Agatha, who wears black, unshapely dresses, and has dark, misshapen hair, is expected for the School for Evil. But what happens when Sophie gets put into the School for Evil, and Agatha – the School for Good?

What I thought- This is a great book about how looks can be deceiving. Sophie and Agatha are really great, realistic characters, who you really route for, although, I knew at once that Sophie would really be Evil (her state of mind in her old town kind of set me up for it). With this story, Mr. Chainani really prompts deeper thinking about what is really good and what is really evil. I like how the characters develop in the story and Sophie and Agatha decide who they really are and what is really important in their lives. The ideas of the schools for good and evil is cool. I like that it is where fairytale characters get their “training.”  I also like how it references common fairytales (or not so common), as in that some of the characters are related to the main characters from the fairytales (someone is the daughter of the Sheriff of Nottingham (Robin Hood), for example). This book is a marvelous debut from Soman Chainani! It kept me up at night reading **Oops. Sorry Mom! ;) ** It is very well written, and is quite funny! The black and white illustrations are a great touch.

goodevil2School for Good & Evil: A World Without Princes

School for Good and Evil (Book 2)

By Soman Chainani

Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno

448 pages ages 12+
Published by HarperCollins on April 15, 2014

Summary- All is well. Sophie and Agatha are back in their hometown. When Agatha accidentally wishes for a boy she fell in love with, she and Sophie get drawn back into the world of the School. Only to be completely befuddled. Upon their return, they find out that there is no School for Good and Evil anymore. Now it is just the School for Girls and Boys! After what happened in the last book, all of the princesses and witches realized that they didn’t need princes to have a happy ending, and the boys were kicked out, taking refuge in the Evil School. The Princes (and warlocks) are out for revenge, and with Sophie apparently on the verge of becoming a full-blown witch again, Agatha has her hands full! And don’t forget the mysterious new Dean Evelyn Sader who seems to be hiding something…

What I thought- This is a magnificent sequel to The School for Good and Evil. It captures all of the greatness from the last book, plus more! I love the chaos created when the schools are split. All the girls realized they don’t need princes, but do they? I also like the twist in the book about who is really behind all the decisions at the schools. There is a cool back story there too. This book has the perfect amount of drama and mystery in it, creating the feeling of hopeless despair, and the need for a resolution. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think the story was depressing, but it really made you feel for the characters! It kept me hooked – so much, that I couldn’t put it down, and stayed up past my bedtime to finish it. **Yup. Again, Mom. Sorry.** The ending sets it up for another book, which I hope will happen. I can really see this series as a movie (and yipee! I read on the official website that they are making it into a movie – I hope it is as good as the books!). The black and white illustrations, again, are a great addition to the story!

I am really enjoying this series!

Five out of five bookworms fivebooks

Want to learn more? Check out the official School for Good and Evil website HERE!

Review! The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

7 Oct

FourteenthGoldfish_CoverThe Fourteenth Goldfish
By Jennifer Holm

210 pages – ages 8+
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on August 26, 2014


Summary – Ellie’s parents keep telling her she needs to find her passion in life, but lately Ellie is only feeling numb. The start of sixth grade is not going well. Her best friend, Brianna, is more interested in the volleyball team than being with Ellie, middle school seems like an alien world, and she just found out that her parents have been replacing her beloved pet goldfish “Goldie” with a new fish for the past seven years every time a “Goldie” died! Things get a lot more interesting complicated when her mom brings home an ornery, pushy, oddly dressed teenage boy who just happens to be Ellie’s scientist grandfather (Melvin) who found a cure for old age, but has been locked out of his lab by its new owners. Will Ellie ever find her passion or at least survive middle school now that her grandfather is enrolled as a student?

What I thought – I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK.  I loved everything about it. I loved it so much I told my mom to read it (she is a scientist) and she loved it too. I really like that the book isn’t focused on the wacky science experiment that turned Ellie’s grandfather, Melvin, into a teenager, but rather it is focused on Ellie’s struggle to find her “passion,” dealing with growing apart from a friend, and getting closer to her grandfather. The wacky science stuff happens all around all these big topics. Of course I love Melvin. He is so cranky and nerdy it’s awesome! That part of the story is hilarious! I also like that there is real science facts in the book not just the wacky reversing age thing. It also teaches an important lesson about the power of science and how it has to be used wisely (I sound like Uncle Ben in Spiderman “With great power comes great responsibility” ;) ). One of my favorite character interactions is how Ellie and her grandfather get to know each other better and they both seem to help each other. The book is just an awesome read. The chapters are very short and you just want to read the whole thing right away. One thing I noticed is that on each chapter heading, there are that many goldfish (like one goldfish on chapter 1 and two goldfish on chapter 2 and so on) up until chapters 14, 15 and 16 – they all have 14 goldfish. Then chapter 17 has 13 goldfish, 18 has 12 and so on until the last chapter has just one goldfish again. Okay that’s pretty nerdy of me to notice that, but I still think it’s cool. ;)

This is one of those books where I wish my rating scale went higher. Five out of five bookworms – fivebooks

Review! The Zero Degree Zombie Zone by Patrik Henry Bass

6 Oct

Happy Monday! I am sure you all know that October 6th is National Noodle Day right? Well, after my review of the great new book, THE ZERO DEGREE ZOMBIE ZONE, read on for my review of the noodle recipe I made from the picture book Mei-Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodles AND find out who wins a copy of Mei-Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodles!


The Zero Degree Zombie Zone

By Patrik Henry Bass

Illustrated by Jerry Craft 

  144 pages – ages 8+
Published by Scholastic Inc. on August 26, 2014

Summary – Bakari Katari Johnson is feeling like his life is out of control. Not only did his best friend Wardell sign him up to run in the election for hall monitor before he said it was okay to do, he keeps butting heads with his fourth grade nemesis, Keisha whose cousin, the ever popular Tariq, is also running for hall-monitor. Oh yeah, there’s also this magical ring that ice zombies from another world want and they think Bakari has and they want it back – or else!

What I thought –  The combination of this fun and unusual zombie story along with the great illustrations make this book a winner! The story is an interesting take on zombies (like they don’t infect anyone and they are ice zombies – actually that’s kind of cool) and it is completely appropriate for younger kids. I think a lot of kids will get into the story because it is a fun and easy read but it is packed with action. Bakari is a great character who is very believable as a fourth-grader. I like how he handles everything even with the threat of a full-scale zombie invasion looming (and also dealing with a bully). I like how Mr. Bass mixes a bit of magic and fantasy in a realistic setting. Mr. Craft’s illustrations go with the story very well and make it all the more enjoyable. The characters in the book are all African-American so people looking for diverse characters – check it out – even if you are not – check it out – it’s a good book! I think kids who like NERDS and Diary of a Wimpy Kid-type books will enjoy this book. I hope there will be a sequel. 

 I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks


Mei Mei Lucky Noodles

On Friday, I reviewed MEI-MEI’S LUCKY BIRTHDAY NOODLES (click HERE to read it) and I announced that I get to give away a copy of the book. Well I put all the names of the people who commented on my blog and my sister Josie picked on out! The winner is:

Joanne Roberts!

YAAAAAY!!! *waving arms Kermit the Frog style*

Congratulations Ms. Roberts! I will email you to get the address you’d like your book sent to.

But what about those noodles?!?

I wanted to make the noodle recipe in the back of the book. I started off by making sure we had everything we needed (thanks mom for food shopping!). The recipe needed carrots, bok choy, bean sprouts, green onions, shiitake mushrooms, and steak (but you can use chicken or shrimp too) oh and noodles – we used lo mein egg noodles. ;)

???????????????????????????????Ingredients – CHECK!

My cousin came over and he helped me with the recipe. We had to chop everything up and marinade the steak. The steak got cooked first. The recipe said to use a wok. We don’t have a wok so we used a big cast iron pan.


My dad and Josie decided we needed dessert to go with our noodles so they decided to make cupcakes (with cream cheese frosting) – YUM!

???????????????????????????????After everything was chopped up and the noodles were made, it was time to cook the veggies and mix them in with the noodles.

???????????????????????????????Then it was time to eat!

???????????????????????????????Everyone agreed Mei-Mei’s Lucky Birthday Noodles were FANTASTIC!!! (and the cupcakes were very good too ;) )


May UBFP Column – The 2014 Lititz Kid and Teen Literature Festival

5 Oct

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 October 2014 issue! The online version was just published. To see the online version of the newspaper, click HERE.

I hope you like it!


The 2014 Lititz Kid and Teen Literature Festival

Every fall the town of Lititz, PA becomes a destination for children’s book lovers. The

Lititz Kid and Teen Literature Festival is now in its sixth year. Aaron’s Books, a family

owned and operated bookstore in downtown Lititz, is the host of the festival and they

are planning a great line-up of authors this year, including Eric Wight, David Levithan

and Newbery Honor Winner Jennifer Holm! The festival isn’t just about meeting some

of your favorite authors and getting your books signed, there are writing and illustration

classes for kids that are taught by the authors at the festival. There is also story time for

the younger kids and talks about kids literature for kids (and parents) of all ages.

Todd Dickinson of Aaron’s books, answered some questions about the festival for me.

Erik – What made you decide to start the Lititz Teen and Kids Literature Festival?

TD – The goal of the festival has always been the same: to inspire young readers in our

community by bringing them together with great authors. We love meeting authors and

talking with them about writing. And we think giving kids a chance to meet authors gets

them more excited about books and reading.

Erik – The festival is now in its sixth year. How has it changed from when you started?

Also, how many people are you expecting this year?

TD – The festival has grown in every way since we started. Our first year, the festival

was inside our store, and we set out tables on the sidewalk for the author signing

time. Now we take over many rooms, large and small, throughout Linden Hall School

for presentations, workshops, author signings, and storytimes. We expect about 150

people this year, including kids, teens, parents, teachers, and librarians.


Author Illustrator Matt Phelan and me at the 2013 Lititz Kid Lit Festival

Erik – Your festival gets some pretty big names (2014 authors include – Matt Phelan,

A.S. King, Tom Angleberger ) to come and give talks about their books and even teach

workshops. How do you get all these authors to come to the Festival?

TD – We get great authors because we tell them we like their books and we ask them

to come to Lititz. It’s amazing how generous these authors are with their time, and how

willing they are to come and support us. And after they come and enjoy the festival, they

tell their fellow authors about it and encourage them to come the next year.

Erik – I know from experience that all the authors you get are very happy to meet and

talk to their fans at the festival. What’s your favorite festival memory?

TD – My favorite is probably the year we arranged for Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and

several Storm Troopers to escort Tom Angleberger (author of The Strange Case of

Origami Yoda) to the stage for his presentation. That was pretty cool.

Erik – I was there for that! The members of Vader’s 501st

costume. It was great! Where do you see the festival five years from now?

Legion were there in full

TD – We’d like to see the festival grow each year, with more kids and teens from Central

PA and beyond wanting to attend again and again. We’d like to work more closely with

area schools so they can read the books of our festival authors in class or in the library

before the kids come and meet the authors. And we have a few authors on our dream

list that we hope to bring someday, like Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson series) and Neil

Gaiman (The Graveyard Book and Coraline).

Erik – What are some things you’d like to highlight about this year’s festival?

TD – We are so excited about all 11 of this year’s authors. Jennifer Holm writes some

of our favorite middle grade fiction and has won so many awards for her work, and she

also does two incredible graphic novel series for kids called Babymouse and Squish.

Tom Angleberger entertains a crowd of kids better than anyone else we know. David

Levithan writes some of the smartest teen fiction that also covers serious issues, and

we think our older readers will really enjoy hearing from him. We think everyone who

attends will meet someone whose books they already love, and they will also discover

new books to love because of who they meet at the festival.

For more information on the Lititz Kid and Teen Literature Festival, please visit!

For more on books and reading, please visit my blog at!


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