Tag Archives: bibliophile

Review! The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel (Vol. 1) by Neil Gaiman, adapted by P. Craig Russel

1 Oct

graveyard1

The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel (Vol. 1)

Adapted by P. Craig Russel

Original novel by Neil Gaiman

192 pages – ages 11+

Published by HarperCollins on July, 29 2014

Summary (from the inside cover)-

“Nobody Owens, known as Bod,  is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead.”

What I liked- I am not one for horror stories. The Graveyard Book is not really a horror story – it is more a supernatural story. I am a fan of graphic novels especially when they are done well (just like with movies – it’s sad to see a graphic novel adaptation of a favorite story fall short). I am glad that this book has finally had a graphic novel adaptation, and this one was marvelously done. It really captures the spirit (no pun intended!) of The Graveyard Book. The illustrations add feeling to the story and the text tells the complete story. I like the look of the artwork. Bod was done very well – he’s just what I imagined.  I don’t like how Silas was represented. He was pictured as a stereotypical vampire. I wish he was more mysterious and not so obvious. Still, the artwork was excellent and the story was adapted very well. I think it is cool that more than one artist worked on this book. Someone did Chapter 1, another did Chapter 2, etc. (there are 6 chapters in this volume). I am glad the book is broken into 2 volumes and that Mr. Russel took his time adapting the story to graphic novel form.  I like the Volume idea – there will be two volumes. As a kid, I think the graphic novel makes the book easier to understand. There is a bit of violence at the beginning (Bod’s family is dead, killed by the man Jack.), so it is for a slightly older audience (the same as the original book). I am anxiously waiting for the next volume which comes out October 7th!

 

I give “The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel (Vol. 1)” 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooksgraveyard2

Review! WhipEye by Geoffrey Saign

1 Oct

whipeyeWhipEye

WhipEye Chronicles (Volume 1)

by Geoffrey Saign

312 pages – ages 9+
Published by KiraKu Press on June 19, 2014

Summary- Samantha knew nothing good would come of her stealing the Congo African Gray Parrot named Charlie from the Endless Pet Store. But the parrot ordered her to do it. Apparently, Charlie is a magical powered animal called a methuselah animal – an animal born every 1,000 years, lives for a thousand years, and it will then give its energy to the Earth when it dies – and Charlie’s 1,000th birthday is coming up. Magnar, an evil man who has found a way to trap the methuselahs’ energy and has been using it for nefarious reasons, has been holding Charlie captive for almost Charlie’s entire life. When Sam, and her neighbor, Jake, rescue Charlie from his prison at the Endless Pet Store, Magnar is fast on their tail! Will two kids, one ancient parrot, and one even ancient-er ;) magic staff be able to stop Magnar from being the most powerful man on Earth?

What I thought- This was amazing. When I started the book, I wasn’t sure if I  was going to like this story, but then it really sucked me in. I couldn’t put it down. I thought that Sam was a little stand-offish and hard to like, but her character develops through the story and she becomes a great character. She plays a great female hero! Magnar is an awesome villain! You despise him! Because he is at least 10,000 years old, Magnar is like Moriarty, just add a magical touch and evil shadow monsters (the trapped methuseleh energy). Charlie is very likeable, fun character. It was cool to have an animal character in a story that is a bird. :)  He is a great friend to Sam. I like how Mr. Saign describes the setting. It is very realistic. I felt like I was actually there. This was a wonderful story for middle grade kids! Bonus points for a cool cover too! I am looking forward to the second book in this series.

Five out of five bookworms! fivebooks

Review! No More Slooping, Sara Sue! by Ali Pfautz

30 Sep

sloopingNo More Slooping, Sara Sue!
by Ali Pfautz
Illustrated by  Carolyn Schallmo
36 pages – ages 4+
Published by Artistic Endeavors, LLC on April 9, 2014

SUMMARY - Sara Sue loves soup, no matter what kind. She has it every day. There’s just one tiny, little, slight problem – whenever she takes a sip, it turns into a humongous “SssLLuuuoooorrrrrPPPP”! When her parents get annoyed by the slooping, they make her a deal. Over five days, Sara Sue must figure out how to stop her slooping, or her mom will never make soup again!

WHAT I THOUGHT - This was a cute book. The illustrations are really nice, and portray the characters’ personalities well. Ms. Pfautz uses a nice amount of onomatopoeia to make kids laugh and enjoy reading the book. I think it would make a great read aloud. Sara Sue is a likeable character, and you understand how she feels. I like how the dog makes a comical appearance every once in a while. Ms. Pfautz has written a nice story about manners, and meeting your goals!

I give this book four out of five bookworms!fourbooks

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

 

Review! The XYZs of Being Wicked by Lara Chapman

29 Sep

xyzsThe XYZs of Being Wicked

by Lara Chapman

272 pages – ages 9+
Published by Aladdin on July 22, 2014

Kid witch Hallie Simon was very excited when she got accepted into the Dowling Academy School of Witchcraft. After all, her great-grandmother was a very famous hedge-witch! Hallie is determined to be as friendly as possible to the other students at the academy (Hallie didn’t have much luck being friends with “normal” kids). Hallie’s excitement gets ruined when she gets her roommate – Kendall Scott. Kendall used to be Hallie’s best friend, until Kendall turned on a sour note, and started tormenting Hallie. Now Hallie is roommates with her! Between Kendall and some weird things going on with Hailey’s powers, can life at Dowling get any worse? Um… Well, yeah they can.

This was a great book. The cover really drew me in. Hallie is such a great main character. I like how she perseveres through it all, and even makes a wonderful friend in the process. The use of magic is very cool, although I’m not sure if I like or don’t like the fact that in the story, magic doesn’t exhaust you (take all your strength to use it). I think I’d like a little more about the magic and history of the witches in the story, but that’s just my taste. You may think this book is like Harry Potter plot, but it’s not. First off, Dowling is a school for girls (they have a brother school for boys), and there is no monster fighting, evil ghosts/spirits, etc. It’s actually pretty cool plot idea and very different from other magic type stories I’ve been reading lately. There is a lot of “girl drama” in the story – being popular – the “in” crowd etc, but the characters are middle-school-aged and (trust me) the stuff goes on so I think it makes the characters more real (if witches can be real ;) ). Overall it is a very fun read.

Four out of five bookworms.fourbooks

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Telephone by Mac Barnett

26 Sep

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 cute story about how it is easy to misunderstand each other.

telephoneTelephone
by Mac Barnett
Illustrated by  Jen Corace
40 pages – ages 4+
Published by  Chronicle Books on September 9, 2014

Theme/Topic- How easy it is to mishear something someone said

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis-
Opening –  “Tell Peter: Fly home for dinner.”

Publisher’s summary: “It’s time to fly home for dinner! In this witty picture book from award-winning and bestselling author Mac Barnett, a mother bird gives the bird next to her a message for little Peter. But passing messages on a telephone line isn’t as simple as it sounds. Each subsequent bird understands Mama’s message according to its own very particular hobbies. Will Peter ever get home for dinner? This uproarious interpretation of a favorite children’s game will get everyone giggling and is sure to lead to countless rereads.”

 

Why I liked this book-

*in a whisper* Psst – this book is great: pass it on.

This book is very cute and well done. It reminds me of a game that we played in school when I was little. We called it “whisper down the lane.” I think it’s also called “pass it on.” It was a fun game and this book captured that. The illustrations are cute and show lots of humor. First of all, check out the below image, an ostrich is a maid. Makes sense, with their black, fluffy feathers, right?

telephone1

But how in tarnation did she get on that wire? Ostriches can’t fly! I LOVE that funny touch! The story is light-hearted and full of everything someone could want in a picture book! The plot of the book shows that it is easy to mishear/misunderstand someone. It is a very fun and just plain silly read! I recommend this book to young kids and their parents/teachers!

Activities and Resources-

Play a game of “whisper down the lane.” Get your friends to stand in a row, and the kid at the front of the line whispers a phrase (or word) to the next, and that student then whispers the phrase to the next and so on, until the person at the end of the line got the whispered message and he/she says what they thought the word (or phrase) was. Usually it is completely wrong and pretty hysterical!

I think another activity you can do with the book is identify all the different birds in the book and what hobbies they like to do and then you can see why they changed the sentence like they did. The illustrations are great and that activity will get kids looking at them closely.

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

Review! The Bloody Book Bag Ordeal by C. Maguire

25 Sep

bloodyThe Bloody Book Bag Ordeal
by C. Maguire
194 pages – ages 9+
Published by CreateSpace on April 22, 2013

SUMMARY –  3rd grader Mary Fountain has bad luck. When her mom has finally gotten her to pronounce “pen” right (she pronounced it “pin”), pens keep causing her to get in trouble! Pens start leaking left and right! Worst of all, Mary gets accused of having something horrible in her backpack! And it’s not her fault that her sister put her dress on Mary’s bed and then ink got on it… Will the inky imperil ever stop?

WHAT I THOUGHT - I wasn’t sure if I would like this book – the title really threw me off (in reality, the book bag wasn’t bloody – it was ink from a red pen). The book is good, and actually quite funny. The plot shows how one disaster after another follows Mary. Mary is likeable character. She acts like someone her age would, and I like her creativeness. I like how she tries to be good, but whatever she does gets messed up. Ms. Maguire made all of her characters realistic and believable and that makes all the wacky stuff that happens even more funny. Ms. Maguire’s writing style is fun to read and kept me reading/interested in the book. The story is appropriate for all ages. I am glad I read this book!

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookworms!fourbooks

Review! Tales of an Alien Invader by Michelle Brown

22 Sep

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00095]Tales of an Alien Invader

By Michelle Brown

160 pages – ages 9+

Published by Pants On Fire Press on August 4, 2014

Felix Winters is not who he says he is. He is not the troubled son of two archaeologists. He is not visiting his aunt and uncle for a year while his parents are off on a dig. He is a Bopton, an alien species from a galaxy far, far away… Right now, he was sent to Earth to study it and he is to decide the fate of the world. Is the human race worthy of being? “Felix” must try to fit in with the Earthlings in order to study them. But there’s one problem that “Felix” encounters – he’s starting to think too much like a human…

This was an amazing book. I think the plot is a great one for an MG book. It is one that made me think about Felix’s purpose. I like that “Felix” isn’t evil. He is a normal alien, who was assigned to check out Earth and, well, to decide its fate. Ms. Brown’s writing style makes the book exciting and the story is explained well. Felix is a believable character (for an alien) who you really like. The character relations seem natural and I like the struggle Felix has with being too human.  It is interesting to see how he changes in his thoughts about Earthlings and their habits. At 160 pages the book was a fast read for me. I think I would have liked the story plot to be expanded a bit. I really enjoyed it and would have loved to have a longer book with this one. The book ends well, but also leaves room for a sequel – which I’d be very happy to read.

I give this book four out of five bookworms.fourbooks

Like Tales of an Alien Invader of Facebook HERE.

Learn more about Ms. Brown and her other books at her website HERE.

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

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