Tag Archives: childrens books

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Ava’s Adventure by Laura Pedersen

14 Nov

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 seems to realistically capture how a young child thinks when it comes to being disappointed.

avasAva’s Adventure

by Laura Pedersen

Illustrated by Penny Weber

32 pages – ages 5+
Published by Tilbury House Publishers on September 3, 2014

Theme/Topic- Disappointment / imagination

Genre- Fiction

Opening and Synopsis- Opening – “Bye, Ava! Bye, Lucas!

Synopsis (publisher’s description) – “Disappointed that she can’t go on a snowboarding trip with her friend, Ava escapes to her room, where she finds that the power of imagination and her own creativity take her farther than any snowboard could. At the same time, she learns that life’s tradeoffs aren’t all bad.

Why I liked this book- This is a marvelous picture book. I like that it shows that life isn’t all unicorns and rainbows (and donuts). Ava is a realistic girl, and teaches a nice lesson without being preachy. In the book, even though her parents say ‘No’, and Ava can’t go, besides being upset that she can’t go, Ava is still nice to her parents (after throwing a minor fit). Ava comes to realize not getting what she wants isn’t the end of the world. The illustrations are very well-done water color, and really portray the characters’ emotions. Ms. Pedersen has written a great book!

Activities and Resources- I think it is a good idea to read this story BEFORE a disappointment happens then you can talk about what Ava did and how, even though she was disappointed, she had a really great time.

As part of the story, you could ask, “If you were Ava, what kinds of things would you find to do in your room?”

The Mrs. Picasso’s Art Room blog has TONS of great Winter-themed craft and art ideas – I really like the Popsicle stick snowflakes. Check it out – click HERE!

Want to know more? Check out Ms. Pedersen’s website HERE!

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

Interview with Author/Illustrator Jeff Mack!

11 Nov
A few Fridays ago I nominated DUCK IN THE FRIDGE by Jeff Mack (Published by Two Lions on September 2, 2014) as a perfect picture book (see the review HERE). Mr. Mack has written and illustrated numerous picture and chapter books (see more at JeffMack.com ), some of which I have reviewed on my site. I am quite a fan of Mr. Mack’s work.  Today I am happy to have him as a guest on my blog! Read on to enjoy learning more about Mr. Mack’s writing and illustrating process!
 
duckinthe
 
 
Erik – When I saw the title of your book – Duck in the Fridge, I knew I had to have the book! How did you come up with such an awesome title?
 
Mr. Mack – I took the title from a line in the book.  When I started writing this story seven years ago, the first sentence I thought of was “I don’t know how the duck got in the fridge, but he made a huge mess.” To me, this sounded like a great way to start a story, a real attention grabber that made me wonder what would happen next. The trouble was, it took me a long time to figure out what happened next. After many revised drafts, I added the parts about the father at the beginning and at the end. And I moved that first sentence about the duck in the fridge closer to the middle. But the title stayed exactly the same.
 
 Erik -  You are right about it being an attention grabber! Why a duck and not a squirrel or a bunny?
 
Mr. Mack – Well, if you think about it in a certain way, it’s not so rare to keep a duck in the fridge. Or at least duck leftovers. I like that it sounds as if I’m talking about two different things: either a roast duck or a quacking duck. If I called it “Turkey in the Fridge” or “Tuna Fish in the Fridge”, the joke might be too obvious. But if it was a bunny or a squirrel in the fridge, at least on one level, it would be too creepy.
duckinfridgefinal
 
 
Erik -  Well I for one am glad it was a quacking duck in the fridge not a roasted one! As an author/illustrator, what’s your favorite part – writing or illustrating or do you enjoy both?
 
Mr. Mack – My favorite part is telling a story. With picture books, I think the writing and illustrating are difficult to separate. Drawing pictures in a sequence is one way to write. Each picture represents a whole bunch of words. And the sequence creates the plot. Then the actual words provide extra info that adds meaning to those pictures. The two parts, writing and illustrating, work together to tell the complete story. So, basically, I like both.
 
Erik – Mr. Mack sent along some sketches from his book DUCK IN THE FRIDGE. It’s cool to see how the sketches get turned into the illustrations in the book and how they change from the original idea.
 
Erik – Did your dad tell you wacky stories like this (I know mine does ;) )?
 
Mr. Mack – Yes, all the time. He still does. I’ve heard them all a million times, but he keeps telling them. And they never get old. Well, almost never.
dadfinal
 
Erik -  Ha ha! I know what you mean about “almost never.” What is your favorite fairytale of all?
 
Mr. Mack – I was always partial to Rumplestiltskin. I love the idea of a character who makes something valuable (gold) out of something worthless (straw). Isn’t that what every artist does? Spin precious metals out of horse food?
 
 Erik -  Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to share with us?
 
Mr. Mack – Sure, I have a new picture book coming out in April called “Look!”. It’s about a gorilla who competes against a television for a little boy’s attention. It’s also about a battle between low-technology vs. high-technology, books vs. screens. So I used both low and high-tech methods to illustrate it: watercolor and digital collage. It’s a fun and interesting story, and there are only two words in the entire book. One of them is “Look.” Can you guess what the other one is?
 
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Erik – That’s a GREAT premise for a story! I will definitely be on the LOOK OUT for this one! Thank you for joining me today on This Kid Reviews Books Mr. Mack!
To learn more, please visit Jeff Mack’s website by clicking HERE!

Double Play! Mutation by Roland Smith & Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

9 Nov

Get ready for some literary awesomeness in my post today! I have reviews of two books by two  of my favorite authors I waited for months to read!

mutationMutation

By Roland Smith

Series: Cryptid Hunters
352 pages – ages 11+
Published by Scholastic Press on September 30, 2014

Marty, Grace, and Luther are back in the thrilling conclusion to the Cryptid Hunters series! Wolfe, who is Grace’s dad and Marty’s uncle, and scientist specializing in cryptids (animals rumored to exist but were never proven (Ex: giant squid, Bigfoot)), and his strange group of employees have pinpointed where Marty’s parents disappeared in the Brazilian jungle. The cryptid hunters team get to a member’s research base in Brazil, only to keep having team members go missing. It almost seems like they are getting picked off one by one… It seems like an isolated tribe is to blame, but how do they know basic English, and how to disable modern-day electronics? What will happen when the kids are the only ones left to protect the cryptids that Wolfe has rescued?

This was an amazing ending to the Cryptid Hunters series! Mr. Smith has a great series here, and I was sad to see it end, but I was very satisfied with the ending. There is enough action, adventure, and excitement to go around – I couldn’t put it down! Marty and Grace (and you as the reader) learn a lot about Noah Blackwood (the millionaire zoo-chain owner who is diabolically evil) in this book (for example, his name isn’t even Noah Blackwood!). I love how Mr. Smith mixes science and sci-fi together in his story lines. The characters in the series are ones that the reader gets to know well. The good guys are ones you will like and cheer for and the bad guys will make your skin crawl. The ending is great, but I also kind of thought it had to end the way it did (Noah was too popular to just go to jail). I really like how Mr. Smith pulled everything together in the end… now maybe he’ll reconsider and write another Marty and Grace book… pretty please?

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

~~~

bloodThe Blood of Olympus

By Rick Riordan

502 pages – ages 10+
Published by Disney Hyperion on October 7, 2014

Percy. Jason. Annabeth. Piper. Frank. Hazel. Reyna. Leo. Nico. Coach Hedge.  Greek demigods. Roman demigods. (and one satyr) Traditional enemies. (except for the satyr) And the fate of the world rests upon their shoulders. (including the satyr) They must stop the evil earth giant, Gaea, from rising to destroy everything of mankind. She’s kind of in a grouchy mood and has made it hard for those demigods to stop her. Especially since she’s convinced the two Greek and Roman camps to fight each other to the death. With about a week before Gaea rises, and the two camps warring, how will the team stop the end of the world happening?

This was a very thrilling conclusion to the Percy Jackson Saga. It was also sad to see this series go, but I still enjoyed reading it. Mr. Riordan sure knows how to keep you hooked and reading. He adds just the right amount of humor into this book, mixed with plenty of thrills and danger, and a dash of despair. I finished it in about 3-5 days, only reading it in school (except for the last day). I noticed that The Blood of Olympus is darker than the other books. It seems that everyone is at their wit’s end in it,  which makes sense, seeing how they are going to go against extremely powerful giants. Everything gets tied up neatly. It also makes a nice progression in the series. As this is the last official Percy book that Mr. Riordan is doing (he’ll be doing a series on the Norse gods next!) we readers couldn’t have asked for a better end – well maybe that it wouldn’t end! Mr. Riordan has written a rather stunning ending to the Heroes of Olympus series. I can’t wait to read the Magnus Chase books (the Norse god books)!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

 

Review! Madison Lane and the Wand of Rasputin by Elle Carter Neal

6 Nov

madisonMadison Lane and the Wand of Rasputin

By Elle Carter Neal

287 pages – ages 8+

Published by Elle Carter Neal on September 9, 2014

SUMMARY – Madison Lane was feeling exhilarated. Her aunt Ruby was coming to visit, and that meant more magical items! You see, the Lane family is involved in magical items, and they try to stay under the radar of an agency that is supposed to keep track of the magical items. This time, Madison receives a magical wand that apparently gives the user 2 wishes, and then must be passed to another person. Apparently, Ruby got it from Anastasia Romanov and Maria Rasputin. When a kid grabs the wand and wishes them to a different world, they are taken to Ground, a world that is billions of light-years away from Earth, yet linked through a wormhole. And both worlds, Earth and Ground,  may be destroyed if Madison doesn’t help them even out the magical Sources that keep the worlds in balance!

WHAT I THOUGHT – This was an amazing book. It kept me on the edge of my seat. It was edited well, and Ms. Neal’s writing style was fun and realistic.  I like the idea of Ground. It sounds like a fun place (besides the banshees!), and I love the play on words with Ground/Earth. :) I got lost in the story as I read it. There is just enough fantasy elements in it, mixed with the realistic elements, to make you wonder if such a world could exist. Madison is a strong female character. I think she acts reasonably at all times, and isn’t afraid to help anyone out, even if they are on the other side of the universe. I love the fact that her family collects magical items and the historical character references. At 287 pages, it is  a nice size for an MG reading fan. The content in the book is appropriate for all ages (unless you object to magic). Even though I enjoyed the ending of this book – everything tied up nicely, I am hoping there is a follow up book. There are two bonus short stories at the end of the book which are a nice addition.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms! fivebooks

November UBFP Column – Author Spotlight: Roland Smith

4 Nov


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

I hope you like it!

Author Spotlight: Roland Smith

One of my favorite authors is Roland Smith. Mr. Smith writes middle grade fiction and nonfiction stories and he co-authors picture books with his wife, Marie. The biography on his website (RolandSmith.com) shows an interesting path for him becoming a writer. Mr. Smith says he was always in love with writing and wanted to be a writer when he grew up so he became an English major at Portland State University. One day, while he was looking for part-time work while he was in school, he saw an ad for help wanted at the children’s zoo in Portland. One thing lead to another and Mr. Smith ended up working with animals for over twenty years. The good thing for us readers is that his experiences with animals gave him great ideas to write about.

Why do I like Roland Smith’s books so much? Let me tell you. First of all, his novels are packed with on-the-edge of your seat excitement. He writes great action/adventure stories that are completely appropriate for middle grade readers and his writing style will keep you reading. Mr. Smith knows how to mix the right amount of humor into his books. I really like how he will diffuse very intense scenes with a bit of humor. It really adds to the enjoyment of the books.

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The characters in his books are very realistic. Most of his characters are early teenage – aged and I think they act and talk like kids do in real life. He has great male and female characters and I think both boys and girls would think his books are a great read. I also like how Mr. Smith has characters from his different series show up in each others’ books. It’s a cool detail and all the more reason to try out different Roland Smith books.

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The topics of his books are wide, ranging from searching for cryptids (creatures in folklore or mythology rumored to exist) across the world to learning to living with huge secrets to taking down terrorist ghost cells. Then there is all of Mr. Smith’s nonfiction works on animals. Mr. Smith write exciting action packed books that are appropriate for middle grade readers and young advance readers. He has books with airplane hijackers, people in the witness protection program, countries in war, terrorism, and tying to survive natural disasters. Mr. Smith’s writing style keeps a reader hooked until that last page.

mutation

Mr. Smith’s Cryptid Hunters series is one of my favorites from him. The fourth and final book in the series, MUTATION, was just published at the end of September and it was a book I’ve been waiting for. The Crypid Hunter series follows teen-cousins Marty and Grace and their friend Luther all around the world as they try to track down mythical creatures and locate Marty’s missing parents. Although I am sad to see the series come to an end, I was not disappointed with the finish. MUTATION is the kind of on the edge of my seat exciting adventure I am always looking for as a young reader. I highly recommend the whole Cryptid Hunter series or any of Mr. Smith’s works.

Want to know more? Visit Roland Smith’s website at RolandSmith.com

For more on books and reading, visit my website at ThisKidReviewsBooks.com

 

Book Review – SEEING By Joseph Falank

28 Oct

seeingSEEING

By Joseph Falank

214 pages – ages 12+
Published by Winter Goose Publishing on June 27, 2014

Summary – 13 year-old Jake Sheppard has always been mocked in his class. After his father walked out on his mother and him, and his best friend became his tormentor, his life has been even harder. The fact that his grandfather, who has recently lost his wife, has come to live with them helps. His mom dating another guy doesn’t. Not in Jake’s mind.

What I Thought – This book is amazing. First off - the characters; Jake is a great kid. It’s not his fault that his life was turned upside down. Jake seems like a normal kid – nice boy, bullied, but still tries to keep positive. His life is harder than it seems to outsiders. Jake’s grandfather is the backbone of his family, after Jake’s father walked out on them. He props Jake and his mom up (emotionally), while doing the chores around the house, to help out. I like how Mr. Falank’s writing style shows the depth of the bond between Jake and his grandfather. Mr. Falank writes realistically. He seemed to get into Jake’s head well. Even though this isn’t the typical action/adventure book I usually go crazy over, the book really left an impression on me. The story kept me reading. I finished it in one day. The story, even though is one of loss, is also one of hope. It is motivating, in a way. The book is appropriate for all ages, but I think kids 12+ and adults will truly enjoy the message of the story. For anyone who says small press publishers don’t produce good books – check out Seeing. It will change your mind in many ways.

I give “Seeing” five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Want to learn more? Check out Mr. Falank’s website HERE.

Review! Lobo Goes to the Galapagos by C.L. Murphy

27 Oct

AAAROOO!

No that’s not my Halloween werewolf imitation!

It’s my “I’m going to tell you about a howlin’ good book” cry!

A book starring my favorite Canis Lupus -

LOVABLE LOBO!

 

lovableloboLobo’s newest adventure takes him to the Galapagos Islands!
Lobo Goes to the GalapagosThe Adventures of Lovable Lobo: Lobo Goes to the Galapagos

Written and Illustrated by C.L. Murphy

32 pages – ages 4+

Published by Peanut Butter Prose on August 22, 2014

Summary - (author’s summary) Lobo returns in this adventure, sweeter and a bit salty this time. This lil’ wolf pup finds that there’s nothing like a little sea air to bring out the best in him and his unlikely tag-alongs. Take a trip to the Galapagos with Lobo and his right-hand raven, Roxy, as they help an injured, new feathered friend return home. Lobo faces some fears and witnesses the joy that comes from helping others in this “birds of a different feather DO flock together” tale.

What I thought - Lobo is a great wolf pup. He is a character that lots of young kids (and older kids!) will love. He is cute and friendly, and will help anyone in need. Lobo is a great friend. Ms. Murphy is a great author who has written a great addition to a marvelous series. I like how this book includes a lesser known species in it – the blue-footed booby. To be more specific, a blue-footed booby named Bobby (HA!). The adventures that Lobo goes on are very fun to read about. I like how this book tells about the Galapagos Islands, even including a map of the islands. The illustrations are cool and kid-friendly. They are realistic, fun to look at and have great detail in them. I like how they kind of look 3D-ish too.

lobo1Lobo is a great character and I always enjoy reading about his adventures. In this book it is nice that Lobo helps a new friend by helping him get back home. There is also a great message of trust in the book.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

Check out the trailer for the book!

 

Want to learn more?!? Find Ms. Murphy on  Twitter, Facebook, or her blog HERE (her website is really fun and had activities you can print out to go with her books). :)

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

13 Oct

Top Secret Stamp

IT’S A BLOG TOUR!

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 www.doublevisionbooks.com. 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 www.ftbradley.com

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…

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!

zerodegree

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

NOW ON TO MY NOODLE REVIEW!

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 ;) )

5 STARS – ERR -NOODLES!

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