Tag Archives: childrens books

Hardy Belch and The Predator: Addressing Internet Safety by William Bentrim

26 Aug

hardybelchHardy Belch and The Predator: Addressing Internet Safety by William Bentrim

(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.

Four out of five bookworms for Hardy Belch and The Predator. fourbooks

 

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.

 

Ollie and the Science of Treasure Hunting by Erin Dionne

24 Aug

ollieOllie and the Science of Treasure Hunting : A 14 Day Mystery

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.

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookworms!fourbooks

Greenhorn by Anna Olswanger and Audubon Zoo WINNERS!!

18 Aug

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 William G Bentrim

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!

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Now for a review of a great book I read while I was away!

 

greenhornGreenhorn

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.

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookworms.fourbooks

 

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!”

sleepyanimals

They are -

Anne McKernan of the Itsy Bitsy Mom blog HERE

Donna Marie from The Writer Side Up blog (click HERE)

CONGRATULATIONS! :D

 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

15 Aug

ppsfrog

 

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!fivebooks

 

Chase Tinker and the House of Destiny by Malia Ann Haberman

9 Aug

chase3Chase Tinker and the House of Destiny

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!fourbooks

 

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? ;)

Alphabet Wildlife A to Z by Nata Romeo

7 Aug

 

IT’S A BLOG TOUR!

natablog

 

natacoverAlphabet 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 -

nataint

 

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!

nataAbout the author:

Nata Romeo is an author, illustrator, blogger, and freelance writer.

Authors Website:   www.nataromeo.com

 

 

 

Social Media Links:

Facebook

Twitter

Google +

Linkedin

You tube

Goodreads

 EBSQART

Amazon

Where to get the book -

Amazon

CreateSpace e Store

For an interview with Ms. Romeo, click over to Catherine Johnson’s blog! Click HERE to go THERE!

The Tail of a Boy Named Harvey by Gregory E. Bray

6 Aug

harvey

The Tail of a Boy Named Harvey

by Gregory E. Bray

Illustrated by Holly J Bray-Cook

32 pages  ages 4+

Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on June 1, 2013

My summary – Sometimes kids play with pets a little too rough. What a kid thinks is fun, isn’t always what their pet thinks is fun. Harvey didn’t was a kid who played with his pets in an unkind way. Harvey didn’t know why his dog and cat hid from him. One night Harvey had a dream and in his dream he became the pet… and he didn’t like getting “played” with! Seeing the world through his pet’s eyes changed the way he plays with his pets!

This was a funny, cute book. I like the idea of it – be nice to your pets. It is a unique story idea about teaching kids the right way to play with pets. Harvey is a nice kid – he’s not purposefully mean to the pets – he just doesn’t know any better. I think that kids will really like this book, and get a giggle when the tables are turned on Harvey. The illustrations are not my style, but they followed the story well. I think that young kids will love this book and any family or class room with a pet can benefit from it.

I give this book four out of five bookworms.fourbooks

What the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY!

4 Aug

sleepyanimalsWhat the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo

by Grace Millsaps & Ryan Murphy

Illustrated by John Clark IV & Alyson Kilday

44 pages – ages 4+
Publisher: The Sleepy Animals, LLC; 1st edition  on July 15, 2013

This is an awesome picture book! What’s even better is I have TWO copies to give away to TWO lucky people! (Sorry US addresses only)

“Erik, How do we enter such an awesome give away?!?” you ask…

Well read to the bottom and find out!

Goodreads description -

Rhinos rock out. Alligators stroll under limbo polls. Elephants pound the piano. Pelicans cater.

Ever wonder why the animals at the zoo are always so sleepy? What the Sleepy Animals Do at the Audubon Zoo will answer your questions once and for all.

When Renee asks her father why the zoo animals are snoozing all day, he dreams up an elaborate answer. At night, the monkeys steal the zookeeper’s keys, and all of the animals come out of their cages to dance, eat, and play. By the time the visitors arrive in the morning, the animals are all tuckered out. Renee doesn’t believe her father’s tale, but dads have a way of being right about these things…”

What I thought- Who hasn’t wondered why the zoo animals are always sleepy? Well, you can find out in this hilarious book! The illustrations are big, bright, kooky and super fun to look at. You could read this book 5 times, and catch something new each time in each illustration! I swear that I have seen a dinosaur or two in the details! Even the end pages of the book are fun to look at. The pictures make it seem like you are right in the party with the animal! The story is great too! The rhyme is great, and is kind of sing-song when you read it. It makes the story fun to read! This book makes a great bedtime story – or for kids interested in animals or zoos. I would certainly read other books by this team! :)

I give this hilarious book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

HOW DO I WIN A COPY OF THIS GREAT BOOK, ERIK?!?

Hey – I make it easy – just comment and say you’d like to be in the drawing. :) My sister will pick 2 lucky names out of a hat (US addresses only, please) and I will announce the winners on August 18th. Good Luck!

To learn more about this book, check out the website HERE!

Like the Sleepy Animals on Facebook HERE!

Find the Sleepy ANimals on Twitter HERE!

Check out this fun video about the book!

 

Check out more great Kid Lit posts at the Kid Lit Blog Hop! Click on the image to see more!

mdbloghoop

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

8 Jul

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

By Jose Prendes

174 pages – ages 9+

Published by Curiosity Quills Press on March 3, 2014

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

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

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

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

30 Jun

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

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

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

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

Check out the trailer!

 

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