Tag Archives: bibliophile

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

19 Sep

AHOY MATES! Before I get t’ me Perfect Picture Book pick, I want t’ tell ye that after you be done here – please click over t’ me new Vlog – The Write Chat. If ye don’t, I’ll keelhaul the lot o’ ye!

Felicia (kid author and captain o’ the Stanley and Katrina blog) and I started a monthly Vlog and today marks me very first post (thar’s a great blooper video too)!

While you be thar, sign up fer our email and get notified when we post a Vlog. Check out th’ great line-up o’ authors we’ll be interviewin! CLICK HERE T’ GO THAR .

AVAST! What are ye bilge rats lookin’ at?

Did you be forgettin’ it be INTERNATIONAL TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY?!? AAARG!

pirateday

(No really- go check out my new Vlog where Felicia and I are going to be interviewing authors you want to hear from. We have our first interview up – Click HERE!)

For all you DONUT fans out there (you know who you are ObynRay AmpbellCay :P )  – all you have to do today is drive to a Krispy Kreme DONUT shop and talk like a pirate and you’ll get a free donut! Dress like a pirate and you’ll get a whole DOZEN! No kidding – click HERE.

ENOUGH OF THIS SILLINESS! ON TO -


PERFECT PICTURE BOOK FRIDAY! (Yar!)

 

flashlightSusanna 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 I love “outdoor” books and this one is done very well!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Flashlight by Lizi Boyd

2 – 6 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 1
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Chronicle Books (August 12, 2014)

Theme/Topic- Nature

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Flashlight is a wordless picture book

Taken from the inside jacket “Inside a tent it’s cozy. But what is going on outside? Is it dark? Is it scary? Not if you have your trusty flashlight!”

Why I liked this book-
I love when a wordless picture book is done really well! The illustrations in this book have such a story to tell! It is cool how Ms. Boyd draws the night scenes with very little color (just a splash here and there) – except where the flashlight beams. What will the MC see?

Another cool thing is that you don’t know if the MC is a boy or girl. When I read the book, I was thinking the MC is a boy, but Sue Morris of Kid Lit Reviews thought the MC is a girl (see her review HERE).

 

flafhlight1

You can look through the book several times and keep picking out little details and see all that the MC is missing in his little flashlight beam! There are little cut outs on the pages that ties the pages into each other. flashlight2 The story has some humor too. At one point the woodland creatures get a hold of the flashlight and they get a turn. Soon the MCs woodland buddies get him tucked back into bed.

This is a very cool book. :)

Activities and Resources-

How about a good game of Flashlight tag! Check out how to play (and a day time version for kids afraid of the dark) at Grandparents.com (Click HERE).

Go on a night time nature walk! Things are always different at night. If you don’t want to do it alone, check your local parks or wildlife preserves. Many do organized walks with a tour guide.

To learn more about Ms. Boyd and her other books, please visit her website HERE!

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

Review! Fantasy League by Mike Lupica

18 Sep

fantasyleagueFantasy League
by Mike Lupica
304 pages – ages 10+
Published by Philomel on September 16, 2014

SUMMARY- Seventh-grader Charlie Gaines was an everyday kid who loved football. Charlie also happened to be a whiz at fantasy football. Charlie’s best friend, Anna happens to be the granddaughter of the owner of a local  NFL Football team (a team that isn’t doing really well and is pretty much a laughing-stock). Charlie makes a draft suggestion to Anna’s granddad and Charlie is surprised when her granddad takes him seriously. Soon, the football team starts doing better with Charlie’s suggestions but Charlie isn’t very comfortable with his  new-found fame after the media gets wind of what’s been going on. As Charlie learns to cope with the good (and the bad!) of being locally famous, he soon learns things don’t always go the way you plan. Now Charlie is being targeted by the media and it also doesn’t help that his best friend is getting slightly peeved with him…

WHAT I THOUGHT- I will be the first to admit, I am not a huge football fan (give me ice hockey and baseball!) and I wasn’t real excited about reviewing this book. After reading the book, I will admit Mr. Lupica  has written a football story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I hung on every word, the story was that good. The book had a ton of football facts and strategies but I really enjoyed reading all of it because it was mixed into such a great story line. The book isn’t just about football.  It is more a story about being true to yourself, and making the most of the moment. It was about making new friends, and having fun with the old ones. It was very realistic and felt like a story that could happen to anyone. All the characters were excellent and each one had their own story behind them. I also liked the fact that Charlie’s best friend is a girl, but he doesn’t see her in any romantic ways – just someone who loves football the same amount that he does. Anna is a great character and it shows that she is as much an expert on football as Charlie. Mr. Lupica has written a wonderful story about so much more than football.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about Mr. Lupica and his other books, please visit his website by clicking HERE

Review! Nanny X by Madelyn Rosenberg

17 Sep

nannyxNanny X
By Madelyn Rosenberg
112 pages – ages 7+
Published by Holiday House on September 15th, 2014

Summary- It’s never a good thing when an older woman with a baby bag, a gardening hat, reflective sunglasses, and a leather biker’s jacket shows up at your front doorstep, and your mother introduces her as your new nanny. At the very least, it’s not normal. And when you see her talking into diapers (which reply back?!?!?…) and when she gives you anchovy-and-peanut-butter sandwiches for lunch, you know something’s up (I mean, seriously? Who gives you peanut butter and anchovy sandwiches for lunch? That’s just not right. Not right at all…). That’s what Alison and Jake were thinking when Nanny X came into their lives. And pretty soon, Nanny X is saving their lives! Crazy! The woman serves them anchovies, and then… *grumbles something about how anchovies taste horrible* Well, nothing is as it seems (except those anchovies – they are what they seem – bad for your taste buds! ;) ) around here…

What I thought of it- Horrible. It was terrible. I can’t stand it.

-Wait. You want me to review the book, not the anchovy peanut butter sandwich? Ah. Well, in that case: The book was  awesome!

What I thought about the book- I love the idea of the whole book – spy nanny. Nanny X (besides her love of anchovies) is a marvelous character! Her baby bag of spy gadgets is pure awesomeness. I like how she handles situations. The story-line is great and the story will keep readers involved in it until the very end. There isn’t any major violence (a guy gets hit accidentally, Jake and Nanny X get kidnapped, etc.) so it is appropriate for all ages. It is perfect for young advanced readers. Alison and Jake are great main characters, and the chapters alternate between their POVs. The setting and the actions of the characters is realistic, and was described so well that I felt like I was there. Ms. Rosenberg has created a compelling spy story!

I give “Nanny X” five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Review! Miss Fatty Cat’s Revenge by Meg Welch Dendler

15 Sep

fattycatMiss Fatty Cat’s Revenge

By Meg Welch Dendler

pages – ages 8+

Published by on

Summary- In our world, all is not what it seems, especially when it comes to kitties! Did you know cats are actually space aliens living among us? Some realize their origin, while others just want ears scratched and tuna treats. Little do we humans realize there is a kitty command ship orbiting Earth watching some of the inhabitants…

Miss Fatty Cat is fed up with the kittens, Kimba and Hiro. They are spoiled, pampered, and attention-grabbing! Miss Fatty Cat gets no attention from Mama and Daddy (their humans). To make matters worse, Kimba and Hiro just found out they are royal daughters of the High Commander! And Miss Fatty Cat has had enough of it all. So, she agrees to help the evil rebel cats kidnap Hiro and Kimba, just so that she could get more attention from Mama and Daddy. And then it all goes downhill. Kimba goes missing during a transfer (teleporting)!

What I like about it- This is a really well done book. I think that it is pretty cool, in the sense of space-traveling cats with technology that surpasses ours. Plus, the title made me laugh out loud. The series is good, and consistent. I like that the characters’ have just the right amount of “maturing” throughout each book. Kimba and Hiro are nice characters that you care for, and you even understand how Miss Fatty Cat feels. Ms. Dendler really helps you get into the head of the characters! She has written a good, unique book!

I give “Miss Fatty Cat’s Revenge” four out of five bookworms.

fourbooks

 

 

-catmirror

Review! The Time Smugglers by Rosie Morgan

14 Sep

timesmugThe Time Smugglers

Book 2 of The Camelot Inheritance Series

by Rosie Morgan

275 pages – ages 9+
Published by Liscarret Creations on July 17, 2014

Summary – Arthur Penhaligon, and his friends Gawain, Nick, and Tamar, are back in another great adventure!

Goodreads description:

It’s been a year since Arthur Penhaligon swapped his skateboard for a sword and became a reluctant, teenage hero – and a Guardian of Cornwall.
Twelve months since he and his friends found themselves among time-travelers and ancient knights.
Fifty-two weeks of wondering what would happen next. The waiting is almost over.
On Cornwall’s shores, old and new enemies are gathering, more deadly and more powerful than the four Guardians could ever imagine.
Memories will live and the Time Keeper will be named. There will be bloody battles, death will finally claim its prize and a tiny green dragon will make its mark
.”

What I thought - Rosie Morgan has written another great book in the Camelot Inheritance series! The series mixes modern characters with characters right out of the Arthurian legends. It is not simply a re-telling of the legends of King Arthur. I think Arthur and his friends are great characters, and people you want to see succeed in their mission. The book picks up from where the last book left off. I felt there should have been a bit more back story in the beginning, but the reader catches up pretty quickly. You don’t have to read the first book, but it would help going into the second, (plus I’d recommend reading it because it’s good). ;) I like how the plot gets thicker in this book, but a lot is revealed too. The story is action-packed and there is some violence, but nothing graphic at all. There are black and white illustrations scattered throughout the book that are a nice addition to the story. I like the Writer character, a mysterious lady who pretty much records everything that happens and is in charge of the time-travelers. I think it’s cool that the story takes place in modern Cornwall but people from different times pop in and out. The setting is described well and I found the story very enjoyable. This is great for MG or young advanced readers looking for a thrilling adventure.

I give this book four out of five bookworms!fourbooks

Check out my review of the first book in this series: The Golden Sword (click HERE)

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

Follow Ms. Morgan on Twitter HERE.

I love the cover on this book and the updated cover of the first book in the series – The Golden Sword!

Check it out!

gloden

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato

12 Sep

I HAVE BEEN WAITING AND WAITING for Perfect Picture Book Friday to come back from summer vacation to tell you about this book!

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 Little Elliot had me at the cover!

 

littleelliotbigcityLittle Elliot, Big City

Written and Illustrated by Mike Curato

40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on August 26, 2014

Theme/Topic- Making friends / Having a cupcake ;)

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- (publisher’s description)

“Amid the hustle and bustle of the big city, the big crowds and bigger buildings, Little Elliot leads a quiet life. In spite of the challenges he faces, Elliot finds many wonderful things to enjoy—like cupcakes! And when his problems seem insurmountable, Elliot discovers something even sweeter—a friend.”

Why I liked this book- Little Elliot is an amazingly cute little elephant. Who doesn’t love him? Come on? Who didn’t see Elliot on the cover and go “Awwwww”? ;) Mr. Curato has written a great story about friendship. I like how Elliot meets someone smaller than him and together they tackle the big city! The illustrations are magnificent, and if you don’t believe me, just take a look!

littleelintIsn’t that great? I like how it seems to take place in the 1940’s. The cars are well-drawn (and pretty cool). The clothing on the people match the time period too. I love the feel you get from just the pictures (like looking at an old picture). This story is awesome also! I think that it would make a marvelous read-a-loud and a book to teach that with a little help, we can meet our challenges! :)

 

 

Activities and Resources-

I love it when publishers have activity guides to go along with their books! Check out the parent and educator guide for Little Elliot HERE!

 Kindergarten-Lessons.com has a list of suggested friendship activities for the classroom. Click HERE to go THERE

To learn more about Little Elliot, Big City, please visit the publisher’s website HERE.

To learn more about Mr. Curato and his other works, please visit his website HERE.

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

Why Did The Chicken Cross My Blog?

11 Sep

Why Did The Chicken Cross My Blog?

To get her book reviewed of course!

I have a dynamic duo of delightful chicken picture books to tell you about!

 

Henny

Written and Illustrated by Elizabeth Rose Stanton

40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books on January 7, 2014

-

-

Summary (from the inside jacket) – “Henny wasn’t a typical chicken. Henny had arms. And dreams. And plans. Big Plans.”

 

What I thought – This is a hilarious picture book about being unique! Henny isn’t sure what to do with her arms – she liked them, yet she didn’t like them. They made her different (good), and they made her different (bad). This is a wonderful story about finding yourself. Henny doesn’t know what to do with her arms and the results are awesome! Here is an example of what I mean (plus you get to see the awesome illustrations):

See what I mean? Ms. Stanton has created a wonderful story about a unique chicken with a wonderful meaning – be yourself.

I give Henny five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about Henny, please visit the publisher’s website HERE.

To learn more about Ms. Stanton and her other works, please visit her website HERE.

 

bravechickBrave Chicken Little

Retold and Illustrated by Robert Byrd

40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Viking Juvenile on August 7, 2014

-

-

-

-

Summary (from the inside jacket) -

Whack!
What’s that?
Could it be? A piece of the sky!
Oh my!

Chicken Little and his friends run, run, run to tell the king. Nothing stands in the way except…the sly Foxy Loxy. Surely they have time to stop for lunch with Foxy and his kits. But what happens when Chicken Little and company find themselves on the menu?

What this classic story needs is a new ending and a brave hero. And maybe this time, it’s Chicken Little!”

What I thought – This book is a marvelous retelling of “Chicken Little”! I love that our young chick here is a real problem-solver. When faced with a serious situation, he calmly handles it (unlike in the original story). The illustrations are breath-taking, and I think it is really cool how they have an old-time feeling to them. I like that the clothes match the time period the art style portrays. Mr. Byrd has written a wonderful version of Chicken Little while still keeping the great fairytale feel to the story!

I give this 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about this great re-telling of the classic story, please visit the publisher’s website HERE.

Review! Ariona: The Bounty Hunter by Anthony Lampe

10 Sep

Ariona: The Bounty Hunter (Explore-A-Quest)

by Anthony Lampe

edited by Kristi Lampe

104 pages – ages 10+

Published by CreateSpace on February 8, 2014

 

Summary –  The reader becomes Ariona The Bounty Hunter who is out to avenge the death of her father. Ariona is tracking  a thieving thug who is preying on sickly villagers by selling them poisoned medicine. To make things worse, her father’s murderer, Ludwig von Aldon, is now in control of an army of the undead. What happens next is up to you (literally) as you choose which path Ariona takes!

What I thought – This is the 5th book in Mr. Lampe’s Explore-A-Quest series. It is very well-done, and transitioned well from page to page. The choose your own part of it worked well and I enjoyed going back and trying different paths. Ariona is a great character who you really cheer on. The story is good, and I really like the setting, too. I really felt like I was there. The characters are realistic and fun to read about. The fact that Ariona is a girl is a great touch. For a choose your own adventure, the story was pretty cool. I like that it is written toward MG aged kids – most choose your own adventures I read are written for grade-school aged kids. The book was a very quick read for me. I think that kids in the middle grades would really enjoy this. There is some violence but nothing graphic. I’d definitely give the other books in this series a try.

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookworms! fourbooks

To learn more about Mr. Lampe and his other Explore a Quest books, please visit the series’ official website HERE.

 

 

 

Review! The River Way Home by Mary E. Dawson

8 Sep

riverwayThe River Way Home: The Adventures of the Cowboy, the Indian, & the Amazon Queen
by Mary E. Dawson
338 pages – ages 12+
Published by WRB Publishing; 1 edition on December 31, 2013 (ebook)
Published by AQ Press; AQ Press edition on March 12, 2014 (paperback)

Summary – It was the year 1914, and Queenie (an African-American girl) never could have imagined how running into a white fishboy (Billy) and a Seminole Indian (the Chief was his nickname) would change her life. But change it they did. It all started out with a simple boat ride onto a lake. It turned into an all-out adventure! From running from an outlaw to getting struck by lighting, join the tale of 3 unlikely friends on an adventure through the Everglades!

What I thought – Historical fiction is a favorite of mine and this book did not disappoint! It is chock-full of action, history, and excitement! Queenie is a great main character, and she sounds like someone that I would love to go on an adventure with. I like how Ms. Dawson teaches her readers about the Everglades and the time period while wrapping a great story around it. I also like how she works in the Odyssey, the Iliad, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, Seminole Legends, and more, into her story, while making it all sound good and come together. I would read another book by Ms. Dawson!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms.fivebooks

Check out the awards his book had received -

2013 Best Florida Fiction from the Florida Authors & Publishers Association
2013 Best Florida Young Adult Book from the Florida Authors & Publishers Association
2014 James J. Horgan Award Winner from the Florida Historical Society

To learn more about this book and Ms. Dawson, please visit her website HERE.

Follow Ms. Dawson on Twitter HERE.

 

My September UBFP Newpaper article – AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR PAUL ACAMPORA

5 Sep

Before I get to my post today, if you missed it, please click over to Michael Gettel-Gilmartin‘s blog – PROJECT MAYHEM – for an interview Mr. Gettel-Gilmartin did with me! CLICK HERE TO GO THERE!

 

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 September 2014 issue! The print version was just published. To see the online version of the newspaper, click HERE – September hasn’t been published online yet, but it soon will be.

I hope you like this interview! I really enjoyed Mr. Acampora’s latest book I KILL THE MOCKING BIRD. I thought the situation the friends find themselves in was very realistic and I liked how Mr. Acampora puts the right amount of humor into the story at all the right places. I liked the feeling that the characters in the book really care for each other. At 177 pages it is a short read, but you sure get an excellent story in those pages. Plus the book has a cool cover. :)

Enough of me – on to the newspaper article!

AN INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR PAUL ACAMPORA

 

Former kindergarten teacher and presently a full-time college development officer, Paul Acampora writes children’s books and stories in his spare time. Mr. Acampora was raised in Connecticut but now lives in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Acampora’s latest book is titled I KILL THE MOCKINGBIRD (Roaring Brook Press (May 20, 2014)). The book is a middle grade novel about 3 friends and their school’s summer reading list. Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is on the list and was a favorite of the kid’s English teacher who suddenly passed away at the end of the school year. The friends hatch a plan to honor their teacher by getting everyone talking about and wanting to read the classic novel by making copies of the book scarce. As their plan starts to work, the kids realize they started something much bigger than they expected.

 ikill

I really liked Mr. Acampora’s last book, RACHEL SPINELLI PUNCHED ME IN THE FACE, and was anxious to read I KILL THE MOCKINGBIRD. Mr. Acampora has a great writing style and I was happy that he agreed to an interview about his latest book.

 bloglogo – I personally have not read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD yet. If you had to review it in one sentence, what would you say?

ikill

Mr. Acampora – Set in a largely racist, depression-era Alabama, To Kill a Mockingbird is a beautifully written and powerfully told coming-of-age story featuring three young friends who experience joy and evil, kindness and stupidity, honor and tragedy, and lots more through their small town’s neighbors, family and friends.

bloglogo

 That is definitely going on my “to be read” list! How did you get the idea for I KILL THE MOCKINGBIRD? It is a quite interesting plot idea and made a great adventure.

ikill

I keep a notebook where I play with words and make lists of funny phrases and crazy ideas. I KILL THE MOCKINGBIRD was one of those phrases that sounded like it would make a good title. From there, I had to write the book to find out what it was about!

bloglogo

That’s cool how you came up with the title first and then wrote the book! The characters in I KILL THE MOCKINGBIRD and your other book RACHEL SPINELLI PUNCHED ME IN THE FACE are very realistic middle school-aged characters. To portray them like you do, do you do research, or do you just write what seems natural to you?

ikill

Thanks! Mostly I just try to pay attention to the world. I always carry a notebook so that I can make quick word sketches of scenes that I see, and I’ll often jot down bits of conversation that I overhear. With those ingredients, I can start to create characters that look and act and sound real.

bloglogo

I love all of the humor in the book, and you even made me laugh during the more tense parts because of it. I loved the Christmas pictures scene, Fat Bob, the scene where Michael was reading FAHRENHEIT 451, and much more! Do you think that humor is important in books?

ikill

Yes! Humor is the basis of all civilization. If we couldn’t laugh, I think we’d just sit around and cry all the time, and then who’d have time for big ideas or great works of art? Who’d paint the Sistine Chapel? Who’d write the Declaration of Independence? Who’d put Disney’s Little Mermaid on ice? I think humor is important in every aspect of our lives. Books included.

bloglogo

Are you working on any upcoming projects that you would like to tell us about?

ikill

Mr. Acampora – I’m working on several projects right now including a couple novels and short pieces too. If they come together, you’ll see stories with a run-away grandma, a duck that thinks it’s a dog, a dinosaur obsessed waitress, a school play about battling lemonade stands, and hopefully lots more.

 To learn more about Paul Acampora and his books, please visit paulacampora.com.

 For more on books and reading visit my blog ThisKidReviewsBooks.com!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,330 other followers

%d bloggers like this: