Today on Creative Kid Thursday, I have a special guest for you, my little sister Josie! Josie reviewed a book that has to do with frogs being endangered. Jo really cares about this issue. She even made a frog pond at our house this year to help the frogs near us (see her blog post about it HERE).
(Ruthie’s wildlife Book 1) by Emma J. Homes
44 pages – ages 8+
Published by Spark Street Communications Pty Ltd on June 25, 2014
Description from Amazon:
The beautiful waterfall frogs of Cascade Creek have suddenly disappeared and Ruthie’s parents have been asked to help solve the mystery. So now it’s all aboard the big green bus, pet wombat and all, for a wildlife adventure in the rainforests of northern Australia.
Join ten-year-old Ruthie as she and her wildlife scientist parents, Tom and Kate, track down why the frogs have vanished from their home. Together with Ruthie’s younger brother Liam and sister Bel, and with a little help from the mischievous wombat, Womble, they are soon discovering clues to the puzzle.
What Josie thought: I liked that this was about saving frogs and it was kind of a mystery. I liked reading about how Ruthie and her family live. They travel around in their bus and go from place to place to help animals (and frogs :) ). Ruthie and her brother and sister even do to school at their bus, not a regular school. I like that the story describes the science lab trailer where her parents do experiments to find out what’s wrong with the frogs. I never heard of a waterfall frog before. It is a real frog. I looked it up and learned more about them. I liked reading the book. I like that Ruthie is my age (ten :) ). The book is a good chapter book and I thought the story was exciting! I would read the other stories in this series.
You can find out more about Ms. Holmes and her other books by visiting her website HERE.
(The Adventures of Hardy Belch Book 7)
52 pages – ages 9+
Published by Bearly Tolerable Publications on May 27, 2014
Hardy Belch was excited! For Christmas he got the newest video game and it was AWESOME! Hardy’s cousin, Mardi a portable version of the same game. She tells Hardy that a friend online has been gifting her extra game boosts. Hardy is excited because he thinks that maybe someone will gift him extra stuff online! But when Mardi says she is going to meet up with this online “friend” named Amy, Hardy gets worried. What if Amy really isn’t Amy?
Wow – this is an important book! The message of internet safety is something every kid needs to hear and every parent needs to teach. Mr. Bentrim addresses the issue very well and creates a believable situation for Hardy and Mardi to be in. I can see this happening. The illustrations in the book go along with the story very well. Mr. Bentrim gets this serious message across in a very kid friendly way. The only issue I had with the book is that this is the first Hardy Belch book I have read in the series (this one is the 7th) and it took me a while (and a couple of times re-reading) to realize that Hardy’s dog, Tiny, is telepathic and Hardy understands his thoughts. Once I understood the characters, the story read well and it left me really thinking about the message of safety in the book.
Like Mr. Bentrim and Bearly Tolerable Publications on Facebook HERE.
Follow Mr. Bentrim and Bearly Tolerable Publications on Twitter HERE.
Learn more about Mr. Bentrim and his other books at his website HERE.
Mark your calendars for this wonderful book that will be released September 23rd! Can’t wait?!? Well comment below and enter to win a signed copy (US residents only, please). On September 1st I will… I mean my little sister Josie will pick a name out of a hat and declare the WINNER of a SIGNED copy of THE GUARDIAN HERD: STARFIRE! WOO! :D
I reviewed Ms. Alvarez’s book “The Pet Washer” a while ago (see my review HERE) and I really enjoyed her writing style. I was very excited to get an ARC of the first book of this new series by Ms. Alvarez and really looked forward to reading the story. I wasn’t disappointed!
By Jennifer Lynn Alvarez
272 pages – ages 8+
Published by HarperCollins on September 23, 2014
Anok is a land full of pegasi – winged horses – and no humans.
Star is the “black foal” – a black pegasi that is born once every 100 years. On the black foals’ first birthday (at midnight), the Hundred Year Star gives its power to the black foal of the century. With this power, the black foal can become either the Destroyer or the Healer of the herds. Either way, the foal will become more powerful than any pegasi in Anok. Thunderwing (and most of Sun Herd) thinks that Star will become the Destroyer, if he lives. Star doesn’t blame them – he isn’t so sure himself! Thunderwing, the over-stallion (chief) of Sun Herd now is the head of the Guardian Herd, the herd to which the black foal is born. It is the Guardian Herd’s responsibility to keep track of the black foal and to determine it’s fate when the time came. Thunderwing gave Star until his first birthday to live and then declared that Star must be killed in case he becomes the Destroyer. When the lead-mare of Sun Herd helps get Star to safety by bringing him to a secluded cave, she gets kicked out of Sun Herd. She dares to go back only to warn the Sun Herd about the pegasi army about to attack the Guardian Herd because they lost track of Star. The warning didn’t help. Now Star’s friends’ lives are in danger! What can he do?
This is an amazing book! It reminded me a little bit of the Warrior Cats series by Erin Hunter, with all of the Herds and all – but it was also very different (not just because it’s about pegasi). I liked it. The Guardian Herd series is very unique and I like that it hooks you right in the first paragraph! I could not put it down! ( Seriously. I didn’t really leave my bean-bag chair at all until I was done… ;) )! Ms. Alvarez is a great author with a descriptive writing style that gets the reader involved. Star is a character you really come to care for. He is a great main character, and is a nice
guy pegasi. I like how Star’s character developed during the time he spent exiled in the cave. I love how Ms. Alvarez describes the world of Anok. It felt like I was really there, diving through the trees, galloping through the plains! I thought all the interactions between the herds and members of each herd was interesting. You got to learn about their society and chain of command and such. I can’t wait for the other books in this series! Bonus points for an awesome cover too!
To learn more about Ms. Alvarez and her books, please visit her website HERE.
By Erin Dionne
269 pages / ages 10+
Published by Dial on July 10, 2014
Ollie still wasn’t adapted to his new-found fame in the last adventure he was in (Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking – Dial 2013). The reporters that watched his front door still bothered his family (well, who wouldn’t be bothered by that?). Ollie understood why they were there – they wanted to learn all about the mystery that he and his best friend Moxie had solved earlier (he and his friend Moxie found 500 million dollars worth of stolen art) – but Ollie thought that they were too insistent. Ollie, being a Boy Scout, was going to go to the Boston Harbor Islands. But, instead of going with Troop 5 – like normal – Ollie was going to be with Troop 7 as a provo member, to get away from the paparazzi, and to let the FBI agents finish doing their “jobs”. Ollie thought it’d just be another scout camping trip, but Ollie soon found himself in the middle of a treasure hunt for a pirate’s treasure and all is not what it seems.
Ollie and the Science of Treasure Hunting is the second book in the “A 14-Day Mystery” series (I did not read the first book). This was a fun book. I really like the character of Ollie. He seems like a real kid, which makes him believable. I found it hilarious that Ollie describes himself as looking suspiciously like “the kid in that animated movie about the old guy who floats his house away with a zillion balloons”. I really liked the geocaching and orienteering brought into the story (they are both really fun activities that you should try if you haven’t). It went along with the treasure hunting plot in the story well. The mystery and plot were a little predictable at times, but it was still an enjoyable story. The publisher has the book for ages 10+ but I think it is appropriate for younger kids too. I think boys and girls will enjoy this fun read.
Wish me luck! Today is my first day of MIDDLE SCHOOL!!
Now on to my review!
Written and Illustrated by Marko Kitti
150 pages – ages 8+
Published by CreateSpace on April 28, 2014
Jesper Jinx may be one of the unluckiest (or maybe the luckiest?) kids in Puffington Hill, England. Everything he does somehow comes out hilariously messed up. When Jesper accidentally (and literally) bumps into a children’s books author who had rented a nearby house, Jesper makes the author promise to write his real-life stories, as long as he doesn’t share it with anybody else. The author was not true to his word, well, as long as the reader promises not to tell Jesper! He shares 3 short stories – each with a prank that Jesper does. This includes staining the white cat red, and swapping his sister’s favorite drink out for a concoction that is undeniably foul.
This book, all in all, is hilarious. I love that the author is a character that interacts with the reader through notes. That provides a bit of humor right there. Then you add in all of Jesper’s kooky actions and you get a ton of laughs. I like the fact that the reader can be involved in the story, it feels like the author is talking to you. The illustrations remind me of the kind in most of Roald Dahl’s books. I like that touch. It provides a nice feeling that draws you into the story. Jesper is a nice kid who likes to do pranks and practical jokes. It’s not his fault that they normally backfire on him. He’s just a normal kid trying to “break the boredom”. The book was a quick read for me at 150 pages with illustrations, but it is meant for younger kids so the reading level is just right for 8+ or young advanced readers. I am looking forward to reading more of Mr. Kitti’s work.
For more information on Mr. Kitti and Jesper Jinx, please visit the Jesper Jinx website HERE.
HELLO blogosphere! I’ve missed you while I was away camping – okay not really the blogosphere but the awesome people I get to talk to on it. :)
So the big question was – how many books will I read while I was away camping for a whole week –
Here is the run down –
12 middle grade books and 2 graphic novellas (so I am not sure if I should say I read 12 or 14) and yes I did go fishing, hiking, bike riding, visited touristy things, roasted marshmallows and
got bit by misquotes had a really great time! :)
What books did I read?
1. Spirit Animals #3 Blood Ties by Garth Nix and Sean Williams
2. Cassidy Jones and the Luminous by Elise Stokes
4. Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick
5. After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick
6. Greenhorn by Anna Olswanger
7. Hardy Belch and the Internet Predator by
8. Choice of Twilight by Tyler Wise
9. Ollie and the Science of Treasure Hunting by Erin Dionne
10. The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson
11. Mystery on a Church Hill by Steven K. Smith
12. Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus by Tom Angleberger
13. Toto Trouble by Thierry Coppee
14. The Legend of Chima: The Right Decision
Guess what else I found on vacation? A LITTLE FREE LIBRARY! It was right in Lackawanna State Park where we were camping! How cool!
Now for a review of a great book I read while I was away!
By Anna Olswanger
Illustrated by Miriam Nerlove
48 pages – ages Middle grade
Published by NewSouth Books on December 3, 2012
Aaron, a young Jewish boy living in 1946 Brooklyn, attends a yeshiva (boarding school for Jewish boys). When 20 boys who survived the holocaust and came from a concentration camp arrive at the yeshiva, they fit right in. All except one. Daniel barely talked, and he always kept a hold of a small tin box. Daniel goes through relentless teasing from the other boys (except Aaron, who is also teased because of his stutter, and became a friend of Daniel’s) because he would not say what it contained. When the boys get fed up, they manhandle the box away from Daniel. When the rebbe (teacher) walks in on this, he has Daniel open the box (after stopping the boys, of course). It contains a bar of soap. Not a big deal, right? Not quite. Apparently, the Nazis had experimented making soap in the concentration camps. Daniel has it to remember his deceased parents.
This was a well-written nonfiction story about a holocaust concentration camp survivor and the friend he makes in Aaron. But, it is also about so much more. The story is for middle grade readers but it is only 48 pages (with illustrations). The writing was solid and the story was incredible but I would have liked the story to be expanded into a full novel – it was that good and it would be better for kids my age to have more details/backstory. The book is based on a true story. Aaron is a real person (with a different name of course) and I think that I would’ve liked to have met the young Rabbi Rafael Grossman (AKA Aaron). The color illustrations were a nice addition to the story and went well with it. The history taught in the book and the message – is very important. I’d just love to see this as a novel. The publisher has a parent and teacher guide to go along with the story. You can find it HERE.
To learn more about Ms. Olswanger, Greenhorn and the film that the book is being turned into, please visit her website HERE.
And, remember that post 2 weeks ago? What the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo? Well, remember the giveaway? Guess what?
WE HAVE WINNERS!!!
I get to give away 2 copies of the awesome picture book “What the Sleepy Animals do at the Audubon Zoo!”
They are -
Anne McKernan of the Itsy Bitsy Mom blog HERE
Donna Marie from The Writer Side Up blog (click HERE)
I will send you an email to get your mailing address!
The Platypus Police Squad Book 1: The Frog Who Croaked
by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
240 pages – ages 8+
Published by Walden Pond Press on May 7, 2013
Rick Zengo was excited. It was his first day for his new job. Zengo was going to be joining Kalamazoo City’s police force, the Platypus Police Squad (PPS for short). He spilled some hot chocolate on his partner in the first hour. On the second hour, they get a case about an illegal fish exchange gone wrong. But, that’s not important. Nope, not at all. We’re talking about Zengo’s first hour at work. So… He spilled some hot chocolate on his grumpy (but kindly) partner, Corey O’Malley, and they both got made fun of by two over-confident platypi detectives (can someone lend a helping mouse? ;) Platypi or platypuses?). It was a perfectly normal hour. Nothing out of the ordinary. No wondering if the local billionaire panda is behind the fish exchange. No fretting over where the school professor was who apparently disappeared at the fish exchange. Not a minute spent over worrying that a night club owned by the billionaire panda is behind the illegal fish market. No pondering how many hot dogs Corey O’Malley can eat at a time. Nope. None of that. Now, on the other hand, about that second hour…
THIS WAS HILARIOUS!!! The title is a wonderfully done pun and a marvelous hooker! The book was well done and was fun to read. I read it in one day. Mr. Krosoczkais a great author who has a way of creating a wacky world that pulls you in and only lets you out when the mystery has been solved. Detective Rick Zengo is a great guy, er… platypus… who tries to do the best he can, even if he messes up sometimes. I love all the goofy characters in the book. This is a fun book! I already read Book 2 (see my review HERE) which prompted me to go back and read book 1. I am glad I did (and obviously you don’t have to read the books in order to enjoy them!)! I am already waiting for the third book…
yup still waiting…
…someone please tell Mr. Krosoczka I’m waiting…
okay, okay I’ll get on with it -
I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!
by Malia Ann Haberman
211 pages – ages 8+
Published by Crossroad Press; Otherside Press Digital Edition edition on May 27, 2014
Chase Tinker is back for a third adventure! When two Marlowes (the evil British family that is the arch-enemies of the Tinkers) show up at the Tinker House (a magical house that the Tinkers live in) with a message – Surrender or die. At the end of August, we are coming. – the Tinker family realize that they are out-numbered. They do the only thing that they can think of – go to the magical communities to ask for help. The team of Tinkers taken to see the communities are shocked – the leprechauns’ shillelaghs are useless sticks, and their rainbows are gray; the vampires are all tired and wimpy and lazy; the witches’ and wizards’ wands are just twigs, and they couldn’t make a potion to save their lives (which explains why they can’t save themselves) – all of their magic is gone! The Marlowes are stealing it!
Chase Tinker and the House of Destiny is the third book in the series. Read my review for book 1 HERE and for book 2 HERE. The third book in the series was great! Ms. Haberman knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat! This book is full of action and adventure! I loved the plot (and character) development in the book. It really revealed a lot about the characters. I think that Ms. Haberman has gotten into the minds of her characters really easy and realistically. The vampire section was pretty funny, as were using a “vicious” magical hugging plant as a “torture/interrogation” base. I do think that this book got a bit dark and somewhat depressing at times (especially the ending). At times I got “angry” at Chase for being so arrogant and stubborn, when if he had thought it through, he would’ve realized something (can’t tell you what ;) ). I think this also shows how talented Ms. Haberman is as a writer and really getting the reader involved in the story and how well she gets into her characters’ minds. I can’t wait for book 4!
I give this book 4 out of 5 bookworms!
Check out Ms. Haberman’s website HERE!
Find Ms. Haberman on Facebook HERE.
Follow her on Twitter HERE.
WAIT! – BEFORE YOU GO –
I am taking a couple of days off. We are going camping. :) I will be back next week! How many books do you think I’ll read while I’m gone? ;)
IT’S A BLOG TOUR!
Alphabet Wildlife A to Z
Written and Illustrated by Nata Romeo
Paperback: 32 pages – ages 4+
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on July 7, 2014
Author’s Summary – “Alphabet Wildlife A to Z invites young readers into an enchanting world of animals.”
What I thought -This is a cool ABC book. Ms. Romeo is an amazing artist! The animal images are MARVELOUS! They look very realistic, and all are extremely beautiful! The book is a simple ABC book. On each page the only words are A is for…, B is for… so it is very easy to read. Also young kids will love looking at the illustrations and the patterns in the drawings! I found that the book is much better when I read it on my cloud reader on my computer rather than my kindle because the larger screen is what the illustrations deserve. I liked that Ms. Romeo included some unusual animals (some of which I never heard of). Ms. Romeo is a wonderful artist. I think that kids will love the book – especially the art in it.
Check out an interior page -
Want to win a copy? Ms. Romeo has a Goodreads giveaway going on right now! Click HERE to go to the giveaway!
Want to know more about Ms. Romeo?
Here is how!
Nata Romeo is an author, illustrator, blogger, and freelance writer.
Authors Website: www.nataromeo.com
Social Media Links:
Where to get the book -