Archive | December, 2011

Perfect Picture Book Friday- Naughty Bus

30 Dec

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 of its unusual illustrations and great imagination story.

Naughty Bus

By Jan and Jerry Oke

46 pages – Ages 3+

Published by Little Knowall Publishing March 10, 2005

Theme/Topic – Using Your Imagination to Play

Opening and Synopsis – “This is for you. I hope you’re a good driver.”

When a little boy gets a toy double-decker bus as a gift, he uses his imagination to make the bus come to life. The little bus gets into all sorts of trouble -driving over the table, crashing through breakfast and falling in a lake. The toy bus is certainly naughty!

Why I liked this book – I first read about “Naughty Bus” on the “One Book On The Shelf” blog (see the original post HERE) . The blog post was an interview of the owner an independent bookstore in England called Victoria Park Books (visit their webite HERE). The store owner said that “Naughty Bus” was one of the store’s bestseller. I figured if it’s a bestseller in England, why not try it out (you can buy the book through Amazon sellers)? I am glad I did because I really enjoyed it! First of all, the illustrations are real photos and they are awesome! The photos were really funny and really amazing because of the action shots. The words are large print and should be a great read aloud and good for beginning readers. The fonts and the lay-out of the words made the book even more interesting! For an example look down below! 😉 See how the words get all bumpy when the bus is on a rough road?

This is one of my favorite illustrations in the book

Activities and Resources – I really like how the book encourages kids to use their imagination. Parents can have their kids take any ordinary object (not necessarily a toy), for example a spoon, and pretend it’s something else. Perhaps that spoon could be a magic fairy wand or a sleek, silver yacht. Parents could let their kids take pictures (or if the kids are too young the parents could take the pictures) of their favorite toy and use their imagination to make up stories about it. As an example, I did a photo of Godzilla “editing” my blog. Want to see? Check this out!

I was happy to learn that Jan Oke wrote another book called “Major Glad, Major Dizzy.” Ian Nolan did the photography for this book because sadly, Mr. Oke who created the awesome pictures in “Naughty Bus”, passed away. I already asked my mom to order me “Major Glad, Major Dizzy”. The description of the book said that the book will “entertainingly introduce the topic of recent British history.” To learn more about “Naughty Bus” and Ms. Oke’s other books, please visit the Little Knowall website HERE.

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

*** I Announced the winner of the That Pup! illustration give-away!! Click HERE to see if you won!

Winner of the “That Pup!” Illustration

30 Dec

The winner of the original illustration GENEROUSLY donated by Lindsay Barrett George author of many awesome picture books including her newest – That Pup! is…

Diane of The Patient Dreamer blog! Please visit Miss Diane’s blog HERE.

Here is (a not really great scan of) the illustration! Seriously, I couldn’t get it to scan well. It is an adorable illustration of the cute little Pup from the story!

Congratulations! I will be contacting you for your mailing address (or if you are reading this you can email it to me at

To learn more about Ms. Barrett George and her books please visit her website by clicking HERE.

SuperHero ABC

28 Dec

SuperHero ABC
Written and Illustrated by Bob McLeod
40 pages – ages 3+
Published by HarperCollins 2006

Bob McLeod makes learning your ABCs fun by including superheroes for each letter of the alphabet! Not only does the superhero have a name that begins with a particular letter, but there are also other phrases that uses the letter that tells about each super hero -for example: check out Danger Man! He Does Daring Deeds every Day!

The illustrations in this book are fantastic! If you don’t know, Mr. McLeod has worked illustrating comics for DC and Marvel and it shows in his artwork! I think boys and girls who love comics would really love this book!  Some of the words on the pages seems to be a bit hard for beginning readers, but parents and kids can read it together and the kids can get to know the sounds of the letters. There is one kind of gross superhero on the V page (I’ll let you imagine what is superpower is but his name is The Volcano and the power rhymes with comet) it didn’t bother me too much but I think some people may not like it. The illustrations are really awesome and it is kind of fun to pick out the words that begin with the letter of the alphabet being talked about!

Four out of five books worms for SuperHero ABC!

Horton Halfpott

27 Dec

Hello everyone! I am back from my grandparents after a great Christmas celebration 😉 (there’s no internet at my grandparents so sorry if I didn’t get back to your comments/emails until now 🙂 )

I have a really funny book to tell you about today  (even the title is funny) –

                         Horton Halfpott
The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor
 The Loosening of M’Lady Luggertuck’s Corset


Horton Halfpott
By Tom Angleberger
224 pages – ages 9-12
Published by Amulet Books on May 1, 2011

Horton was a poor , miserable servant in the neat and strict Smugwick Manor. When the grouchy Lady of the Manor (M’Lady Luggertuck) loosens up her corset , everything goes crazy! Apparently her corset is what made M’Lady so grouchy and strict.  After she loosened her corset, all the rules of the Manor are broken but what is even worse, the Luggertuck Lump (a priceless family heirloom) is stolen! The Luggertuck family goes even crazier trying to find who took it. Horton realizes that the detective that comes to investigate just wants to eat and pretty much can’t do his job. Horton finds himself getting blamed for the theft. Horton and his friends, the snooping stable boys (Bump, Blemish, and Blight), decide that they have to catch the real thief!

This book was hilarious! The characters in the books were really great. The names are even funny, like Loafburton (the baker). There were also The Shipless Pirates, a cranky cook and kooky relatives in the Manor (among others)! The book is set in Victorian times and I think it helped the story be even more funny. There are some illustrations in the book that show what the characters look like, but the story is the best part of the book. I think the book it’s good for any age because there is no violence or bad words and Mr. Angleberger just writes really well for kids (Mr. Angleberger also writes the Origami Yoda series see my reviews HERE). Although I loved just reading about all the funny characters, I think the mystery part of the book really made the story and I HIGHLY recommend it to everyone!

Five out of Five Book Worms for Horton Halfpott!

To learn more about Mr. Angleberger and his books, please visit his STOOKY site HERE. Mr. Angleberger’s next book is called “Fake Mustache: How Jodie O’Rodeo and Her Wonder Horse (and Some Nerdy Guy) Saved the World” which will be published on April 1, 2012. I am definitely looking forward to that one!!

Merry Christmas!

25 Dec

Merry Christmas to Everyone!

I hope you were on the “nice” list!

TODAY I TURN DOUBLE DIDGITS and I’m a Leibster Blog!

24 Dec

All together now…

Happy Birthday to me.

Happy Birthday to me.

Happy Birthday dear Erik.

Happy Birthday to me!

Today I can no longer say “Hi my name is Erik. I am nine years old and I have a blog…” Why not? BECAUSE I am TEN!

I have to say all you people who read my blog and are so nice to me are the BEST birthday present ever!


Also Check this out!

I was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by Caroline of the Children’s Books and More blog! Children’s Books and More is a great book review site and also has quotes of the week and weekly photo challenges! I’m very happy that Miss Caroline would choose me as one of her Liebster blogs and I want to thank her VERY much! Liebster is a German word that means beloved or love, so it’s a blog that you love. The Liebster blog award is given from one blogger to another and the blogs have to be “up and coming” (I searched Liebster on WordPress and this is what I found about it). My mom explained it to me like it’s a way for newer or lesser known bloggers to let each other know about your favorites and then other people can enjoy their blogs too.

Here are the ‘rules’ to accept the award:

  • Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
  • Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
  • Give your top 5 picks for the award
  • Inform your top 5 by leaving a comment on their blog.
  • Post the award on your blog.

So I like so many blogs it’s hard for me to pick just 5 so I decided to look at the blogs I have followed for the longest time and the ones I think should have more and more people looking at them.

1 – Bookworm Blather – Michelle Isenhoff’s blog. Mrs. Isenhoff writes the most awesome historical fiction books and she also just wrote a new fantasy adventure book called “The Quill Pen.” Mrs. Isenhoff also reviews middle grade and young adult books on her blog. I have reviewed several of her books on my blog if you search her name they come up.

2- The Librarianista – Alex Arthun’s blog. Ms. Arthun has a great bunch of books she reviews. She reviews everything from picture books to young adult. She also has a funny sense of humor. Her favorite quote is “Put something silly in the world that ain’t been there before.” Shel Silverstein

3 – Sir Books-A-Lot – OK so I haven’t been following Sir Books for that long only because he’s pretty new at blogging BUT he has an awesome blog AND he’s a kid like me! Sir Books is an eleven year old book blogger that you should really check out!

4 – Illustration – Mark Fearing’s blog. I’ve been reading Mr. Fearing’s blog since I’ve started blogging. I like how he posts about illustration and the illustration process. I’ve also just read a book he illustrated (The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot – watch for the review) and I am anxious to read his new graphic novel, Earthling! that comes out in July 2012.

5 – Bookworms Read More Books – Cindy’s blog (A.K.A. The Cookie Jar Princess). She is having a “12 Days of Christmas (in books)” right now! Check it out! But on normal days, she does something I love to do – talk about books and authors! Check those out!

If I didn’t pick your blog it doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s TOTALLY AWESOME (because I do), but these are the up and coming blogs I’ve been following the longest.

Happy Holidays!

Perfect Picture Book Friday – That Pup!

23 Dec

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’s a nice story with great illustrations.

That Pup!
Written and Illustrated by  Lindsay Barrett George
32 pages – ages 2+
 Published by  HarperCollins Publishers  on August 23, 2011

Theme/Topic – Friendship / Forgiveness

Opening and Synopsis – “What is that pup up to? That pup digs. And digs. And digs some more. What is that pup looking for? And why should this squirrel care?” (from the inside jacket cover).

A young pup decides to play a game and digs up ten acorns. What the little pup didn’t realize is that the acorns were hidden by a little squirrel who was storing them for winter. The little pup hurts the squirrel’s feelings even though she didn’t mean to. The little pup has a great idea to play a new game…HIDE the acorns and she asked the little squirrel to help. Together they put all the acorns back.

Activities and Resources – There are some good questions parents could ask their kids about this book like; Did the pup mean to hurt the squirrels feelings? How do you think the squirrel feel? or What should you do if you hurt someone’s feelings? I think a great activity parents could do with their kids is a scavenger hunt like the pup did in the book (who doesn’t like those?!?). Here’s a cool blog post from Go Explore Nature about a winter scavenger hunt (click HERE) and another about a holiday scavenger hunt (click HERE).

Why I liked this book – Last week I posted a book called The Tree Monkeys by Wynne Marshall (see the post HERE) and it taught a lesson that sometimes actions we do can’t be taken back or in other words somethings can’t be fixed. Well this book shows that some things can be made right if you try to make them right. I thought the book had a good story for little kids and showed them how the pup and squirrel become friends even after the pup digs up all the squirrel’s acorns. The illustrations in the book are great (the pup is adorable)! There are few words on each page so it can be read by kids just starting to read.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog “Just Right Books” HERE!

To learn more about Ms. Barrett George and her books (she has a lot of really good ones!) please visit her website by clicking HERE

**BONUS** (again 😉 )

I met Ms. Barrett George at my school when she visited to talk about writing books. When I emailed her to tell her I was nominating her book as a Perfect Picture Book, she generously offered to donate an illustration from “That Pup!” to one lucky commenter! All you have to do is comment and you’re in! I will pick (actually my sister Josie does the picking) one name from all the comments for this post (the illustration hasn’t come in the mail yet, when it does I will post a picture 🙂 ) and post the winner on December 30th!

Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula

22 Dec

Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula

By Elise Stokes

Published by JACE Publishing LLC on December 13, 2010

325 pages – ages 9+

Kindle version reviewed

Cassidy Jones was a normal, shy teenager. Normal until she accidentally breathed in the gas from a secret experiment conducted by a world-famous scientist (Dr. Phillips) called Formula X.  Now she can run faster than a race horse, she’s stronger than a rampaging rhino, has better sight than an eagle, she can leap higher than a jungle cat and can hear better than a deer! Cassidy doesn’t know what to do about her new super powers, but she decides she can’t tell anyone. When the famous scientist AND her Dad get kidnapped, Cassidy decides to use her new powers to save them, but when she can’t even control her own emotions, how is she going to control her new super powers?!? She finds a “friend” in the kidnapped Dr. Phillips’ son, Emery…but she’s not sure if she can trust him completely.

I totally enjoyed reading this book. Cassidy Jones rocks as a superhero! The book is written for older kids but there is no bad language or inappropriate things in the story so you can have younger kids read it too. A lot of books with a teen protagonist (that’s my new word now that I know what it means 😉 ) are not appropriate for kids my age, but this isn’t one of them. There is some fighting (she is a superhero after all) but nothing graphic (it’s actually kind of like comicy fights or like the Saturday Morning Cartoons fights). It was also cool how the hero is a girl because there are barely any girl superhero main characters. I really liked Cassidy Jones personality too. Emery was also a great character. He was really interesting to read about. It is a very action packed and detailed story that keeps you interested!

I give Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula 5 out of 5 book worms!

GOOD NEWS! There is a second Cassidy Jones book out, it was just published on December 4th! I can’t wait to read it! For a sneak peek check out Michelle Isenhoff’s review of it HERE.

You can also learn more about Elise Stokes and her books by visiting the Cassidy Jones website HERE.

“Infinity Ring” A New Alternate-History Time Travel Series

21 Dec


Scholastic Books just announced a new historical fiction/time travel 7-book series called “Infinity Ring.” Like the 39 Clues series, “Infinity Ring” will combine books and an online game that allows kids to go back in time and try to “fix” historical events that have gone wrong. Also like the 39 Clues six different authors will write the series.

This is taken from the New York Times –

The first book, “A Mutiny in Time,” will be written by James Dashner, the best-selling author of “The Maze Runner.” Like “The 39 Clues,” the new series is intended for children ages 8 to 12 and will explore historical events in both the print books and online game.

See the whole New York Times Article HERE.

This is a description of the series from the Scholastic press release –

History is broken, and a long-feared Cataclysm seems imminent. The capital of the United States is Boston. Lincoln’s face is nowhere to be seen on Mount Rushmore. Everyone’s buzzing about the French royal wedding. And an international group of men and women known as the SQ is more powerful than kings, richer than nations, and more fearsome than armies. When best friends Dak Smyth and Sera Froste stumble upon the key to time travel – a hand-held device known as the Infinity Ring – they’re swept up in a centuries-long secret war for the fate of mankind. Recruited by the Hystorians, a secret society that dates back to Aristotle, the kids learn that history has gone completely, and disastrously, off-course. Now it’s up to Dak, Sera, and teenage Hystorian-in-training Riq to travel back in time to fix the “Great Breaks”… and to save Dak’s missing parents while they’re at it. First stop: Spain, 1492, where a sailor named Christopher Columbus is about to be thrown overboard in a deadly mutiny!

Scholastic says the books are written for 8-12 year-olds. I think the series is going to be cool if they keep the history facts right! Sounds like a fun and action packed way to get a history lesson! The first book “A Mutiny in Time” written by James Dashner will be out in September 2012.

How do you think it sounds?

“This is Dot” and “Dot Wonders” – Two great picture books!

20 Dec

Today I have two great picture book recommendations!

This is Dot - Children's Book by Bjorn AnsbroThis is Dot

by Bjorn Ansbro

28 pages ages 1+

Published by Squiggly Line Media on July 4, 2009


Dot Wonders

by Bjorn Ansbro

32 pages – ages 1+

Published by Squiggly Line Media on February 1, 2011

Dot is…well,  a dot (but he kind of looks like a “Magic Eight Ball”). In “This is Dot”, Dot likes to explore the world around him (or her). He likes to go to warm, watery places, likes to play “hide-‘n’-go seek,” and loves to laugh. In “Dot Wonders”, Dot wonders what it is like to be different thing than a dot (or Magic Eight Ball 😉 ). He wonders what it’s like to have a shell, be big,  or have a ton of arms. The books are simple but you really take your time going through them because of the illustrations. Mr. Ansbro also uses different fonts throughout the book that adds to the fun of the story.

Mr. Ansbro uses awesome colors in his illustrations! I think he’s used every bright color there is in these two books – they’re that  bright!  The books have very few words per page, so it’s easier for beginning readers to read. Even though there are few words on each page,  the story and awesome drawings, encourages readers to use their imagination to think about what’s going on! 🙂

Just look at some of the pages!

Cool huh?!?

I think toddlers would like these books because of the bright illustrations. The few words on the pages make the stories great for beginning readers and, as an older kid, I just really liked the pictures too (I’d even hang one on my wall 😉 ).

I give both these books five out of five book worms!

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