Archive | June, 2012

Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting – by Darlene Foster

29 Jun

Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting

by Darlene Foster

104 pages – ages 8+

Published by ireadiwrite Publishing on May 4, 2011

Amanda is on another adventure (see my review of “Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask” HERE)! This time Amanda is in Spain with her friend, Leah and Leah’s family. In the beginning of the story they are all visiting a museum. Amanda sees a painting of a girl and she thinks the girl looks so very real. Later, Amanda actually sees the girl from the painting! Everywhere Amanda goes she sees the girl and Amanda realizes that she needs help. Amanda and Leah now get involved in a big rescue mission to help save the girl and her little pony from a mean horse dealer.

I really liked the first Amanda book –  “Amanda in Arabia”, and this book was just as awesome! The plot is very good and Amanda is a character everyone will like. I like how I learned a lot about Spain in this book because of the places Amanda goes and the people she meets. I hope I get to go to Spain someday! The cover is pretty cool too. I like the photos.The story is a great adventure and I think boys and girls would like it. I think this is a great book and a clean read except for a couple “OMG’s”s in it. I recommend this book to kids 8+

I give “Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting” five out of five book worms!

Check out the trailer (I love the music)!

For more information about the Amanda series and Ms. Foster’s other books, please visit Ms. Foster’s website HERE and her blog HERE.

Get ready for Amanda’s NEXT adventure when she goes to England! Ms. Foster just blogged about sending “Amanda in England – The Missing Novel” to her publisher and hopefully it will be published this August!

Pibbin the Small: A Tale of Friendship Bog (Friendship Bog Series) by Gloria Repp

27 Jun

Pibbin the Small:  A Tale of Friendship Bog (Friendship Bog Series)

Written by Gloria Repp

Illustrated by Tim Davis

Published by CreateSpace on September 23, 2011

100 Pages – Ages 6+

Pibbin’s (a frog) friend, Sheera (a turtle), has badly hurt her leg. Pibbin and his frog-friend, Leeper, go to find someone who can help Sheera. All the animals of Freindship bog tell Pibbin he is too small and the journey to the doctor is too dangerous. It will be a dangerous trip. Pibbin is small. But does being small mean you can’t be brave?

Taken from Ms. Repp’s website – Tales of Friendship Bog are easy-to-read chapter books with controlled vocabulary, simple sentences, and short chapters. Illustrations add context clues.”

I thought that this was a really cute story. I love the message in it – “If you are small, that doesn’t mean you’re not brave.” I like how all the characters in the book are animals (or amphibians or reptiles 😉 , Pibbin is a frog, Doctor Diggett is a woodchuck). This book is an awesome adventure book for young kids. There is mild violence (Leeper gets hit in the head by a bad toad and Pibbin kicks him and traps him in a box), but it makes a really great action book for young kids. I really liked the detailed pencil sketches in this beginning chapter book. I recommend it to kids 6+!

I give “Pibbin the Small” five out of five bookworms!

I liked Pibbin the Small so much I am going to read te next book in the series – “The Story Shell”!

To check out Ms. Repp’s website and to read a sample chapter of “Pibbin the Small,” and her many other books – click HERE.

12×12 Halfway There Blog Party!!

25 Jun


It is a 12×12 in ’12 blog party today! It is also the 12×12 halfway point! YAY!

I am trying to do Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 Challenge. It is a challenge to write 12 picture book drafts in 12 months in 2012. You can click on the 12×12 banner on the right side bar or the one above to learn more about it.

OK, OK, on to business – WE GET TO CELEBRATE!

Here goes –

At the beginning of 12×12, I thought I would only get 1 picture book manuscript done. Yes, that was my goal, one picture book manuscript. Well, not only did I already get TWO picture book manuscripts finished so far, the book I did for a school project (“Abraham Lincoln from A to Z”), was bound by my school! My school was nice and took all of the books we kids did to a local book-binding company and had them bound and they gave them to us. I know it isn’t like a real published book, but it still is cool to see a book I wrote in a hard cover and it made a lot of us kids even more interested in writing!

I would like to thank all of those people out there who have encouraged me so much and especially Julie Hedlund who is the creator and host of the 12×12 challenge. I give you, a big…


and a happy dance…

To all the 12×12’ers out there, CONGRATULATIONS on  making it this far! 🙂 

To celebrate I have made a little LEGO guy that is supposed to be me (as a LEGO guy) writing, with a lamp and a glass of water. Enjoy! 😀

Leaf & the Sky of Fire – Twig Stories Book 2 by Jo Marshall

22 Jun

Leaf & the Sky of Fire – Twig Stories Book 2

by Jo Marshall
Illustrated by D.W. Murray
Published by CreateSpace on November 17, 2011
370 pages – ages 9+

*Taken from the Twig stories website – ”Twigs are impish stick creatures – not much taller than robins. Tiny leaves sprout from their arms and legs, and their toes are very curly like roots. Their long, leafy hair can be many different colors – emerald, bronze, flaming red, and gold, for example. Twigs live in all sorts of trees, but the knotholes of enormous ancient cedars, big leaf maple, silver-leafed poplar, and whitebark pine are their favorite havens.”

The Northern Forest is under attack! Bark Beetles (barkbiters) have killed the trees in the forest and now the Twigs are in hiding. When Leaf (a Twig from the Old Seedar) hears about their problems, he goes to help but he is unaware of the evil barkbiters! When he gets to the twigs, Leaf accidentally started a fire on the dry wood, so now, they are running from millions of barkbiters and a huge forest fire! Can one little Twig save the forest and his fellow Twigs?!?

This story was as awesome as the first book in the series, Leaf and the Rushing Waters – read my review HERE. Leaf and the Sky of FIre, was exciting and fun to read. The illustrations through the book are fabulous. Mr. Murray really drew great representations of the Twigs and they really helped me picture the story in my mind. I like that this is a great adventure book with excitement and danger, but it is totally appropriate for younger kids. The book also teaches about environmental issues (like bark beetles) that kids should know about. I thought a couple of characters could have been described a bit better in the text (like Veil – I was surprised to figure out he was a chameleon) but overall the world that Ms. Marshall created with the Twigs is just awesome! I think kids and adults will love Twig stories!

Five out of five book worms for Leaf & the Sky of Fire!

Ms. Marshall does great work to help people learn about conservation and helping the environment. In fact she shares the money she makes from her books with “nonprofit groups concerned with wildlife protection, climate change research, nature conservancy, and forest preservation.”

I donated my copies of “Leaf and the Rushing Waters” and “Leaf and the Sky of FIre” to the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy because they lost their ENTIRE children’s library when hurricane Irene hit our area! They were VERY happy to get Ms. Marshall’s books!

To learn where to purchase the Twig Story books and to learn more about them, please visit the Twig Stories website by clocking HERE!

I can’t wait for the next book “Leaf and the Long Ice” to come out this year!

Night Buddies Give-Away! The Winner is…

21 Jun

Today, I shall tell you something. I will tell you who won the Night Buddies book! (see review of the book and an interview with the author HERE)

And the winner is…


Congratulations! I will email you for your mailing address.

To visit Ms. Larson’s blog, Creating Curious Kids, click HERE! 🙂

Alice Parker’s Metamorphosis by Nicola Palmer

20 Jun

Alice Parker’s Metamorphosis (Book 1 of Alice Parker’s Adventures)

by Nicola Palmer

152 pages – ages 9+

Published by Kallisto; 2 edition March 7, 2012

Alice Parker (13 years old) didn’t know what was happening to her. Besides being bullied at school by a bunch of mean girls, her back was killing her, she wasn’t getting enough sleep, suddenly she was getting straight A’s in school (even if she hadn’t studied ever), and she had a craving for fruit and sugar. Then, one day it happened, huge butterfly wings (almost as big as Alice) sprouted from her back! Alice’s brother, Thomas who is also a Finwip, (Fully Integrated Winged People) takes her to the underground Finwip village. Alice learns to get used to her wings and the idea of being a Finwip. After a while in the village, Alice is asked to rescue a Finwip from a Sinwip (an evil Finwip). To do this she must first befriend one of the mean girls that bullied her at school (something she’s not super happy about).

I think this story was totally awesome! What I first liked about the book was the cover art – cool! I really love the idea of the Finwips. I thought they were a really unique kind of being. I liked how they had all different sizes and kinds of wings. Alice was a great main character. She was mostly nice, kind and unselfish and seemed to be just like a good friend. The story read well and was fun to read. I like the humor mixed in with the action and adventure.

Five out of five book worms for Alice Parker’s Metamorphosis!

To learn more about Ms. Palmer and the other books in her series, please visit her website by clicking HERE.

Bellyache: A Delicious Tale by Crytal Marcos

18 Jun

Bellyache: A Delicious Tale

By Crystal Marcos

154 pages – age 7+

Published by Cat Marcs Publishing on June 15, 2010

Peter disobeyed his Papa by stuffing himself with candy from Papa’s candy store. Peter got a bellyache and soon found himself in Maple Town home of the  Candonites. Candonites are giant living candies complete with arms, legs and facial features. Peter is taken to the Mayor’s house where he is taken care of by the Baker family. The next day, Peter goes to a parade for him and he finds out that his Best Friend Lina also got a bellyache and she is in Maple Town too! When it is time for the kids to leave they find out that two  Candonites  have disappeared! They kids then set off on a dangerous quest to find them!

I REALLY liked this book! The plot was very interesting – a kid eats lots of candy and ends up in a fantasy candy world complete with evil candy! I love the description of the Candonites. The story was a fun read. I think this book is good reading for a lot  of age and reading levels. I thought the candy world was described really well. I think it was a funny thing that the Candonites thought of vegetables as dessert! I liked that uniqueness! I recommend it to kids 7+ and young advanced readers!

Five out of five bookworms for Bellyache: A Delicious Tale!

I liked Bellyache: A Delicious Tale so much that I immediately also read  “Headache: The Hair-Raising Sequel” (published by Cat Marcs Publishing March 16, 2012)! I loved that book as much as Bellyache and also recommend it!

To learn more about Crystal Marcos and her books, please visit her website by clicking HERE.

You can also check out the book trailer (I like the music!) –

Happy Father’s Day

17 Jun

I want to say to all you Dads out there:


Happy Father’s Day!

Especially the World’s Greatest Dad (in my opinion) –



Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen by J.L. McCreedy

16 Jun

Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen

by J.L. McCreedy

193 pages- ages 9+

Published by Penelope Pipp Publishing on February 4, 2012

(ebook reviewed)

It all started when Libby’s parents got a letter from her grandparents saying Libby’s grandfather was ill (Libby didn’t even know she had a grandfather). Libby soon found herself travelling to Germany with her parents to visit and care for her sick grandfather. What she found in Germany was a lot more than what she expected! Libby finds out that she is from a line of witches and that her mother is a witch. A series of weird things start to happen. First she finds that her grandfather already passed away, next her parents are poisoned and kidnapped and she doesn’ know which relative to trust!   

Overall I thought this story was awesome! The characters in the book were great and you really got to know them. Libby is a great main character. She is smart and loyal. I did find that the beginning of the book was a little confusing (there were things that were explained later in the book, maybe because I am a kid, I found it a little confusing). I like the adventure and the fact it wasn’t too scary or violent. I really like how Libby kept finding more and more about her family and who she really was. I think boys and girls will like the book. It is a very fun story and I hope that this turns into a series because this is a really great book and I know that it could stop at one book, but I would like to learn more about what happens next with Libby!

I give Liberty Frye and the Witches of Hessen 4 out of 5 book worms!

To learn more about the book and author, please visit the book’s website HERE.

Perfect Picture Book Friday – Sweet Moon Baby

15 Jun

PHEW! What a week! I totally blew past my blog schedule limit (sorry mom and dad)! Instead of posting just 3 days this week, I ended up posting on almost all of the days! This was the first week off of school and I had some posts to catch up on (but I did)! I will have to tweak my schedule a little bit because PPBF is going on a Summer Hiatus. So sadly, this will be the last PPBF post until September 7th. I will resume my Monday, Wednesday (only Thursday if someone sends something in) and Friday post schedule on Saturday (wait, I still need to post the review I bumped this past Monday for my black belt news) Sunday (Nope. Father’s Day. Gotta say happy father’s day) MONDAY (and I mean it! 😉 ).

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because it is a cute story about being adopted (a subject very important to me) and being loved (another subject important to me 😉 ).

Sweet Moon Baby

By Karen Henry Clark

Illustrated by Patrice Barton

32 pages – ages 5 and up

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers on November 9, 2010

Theme/Topic – Adoption

Opening and Synopsis – 

“On a summer night in China, a baby girl was born. She was perfect.”

A little girl was born on a summer’s night in China. Her parents were poor and they wanted her to have so many things that they couldn’t give her. The little girl’s parents made the decision to set their little girl sailing in a basket and they trusted that “only good things will happen” to her. The little girl goes on a long but peaceful journey. On the other side of the world a husband and wife wait for a daughter and the little girl finds her way to them.

Why I liked this book –   I thought this book had a really cute story. It is more of a fairy tale about an adoption (not a re-telling of an adoption story) and I really like that. I think the story idea is really different (it being a fantasy tale about adoption). I think it would make a great bed time story for any kid! The author wrote the book for her daughter who she adopted from China. The illustrations in the book are excellent! I loved seeing the little girl floating in her basket!

 Pictures from Patrice Barton’s website (click HERE to get there)

Activities and Resources –

I thought it would be cool to make a map of the journey you took (for adoptive parents or kids) when you were adopted. I found world map coloring pages HERE and North America coloring maps HERE.I think it would be fun for kids to see how far, what route, and what stops there was during the adoption. I like hearing how my parents had to drive all night long Christmas Eve out to Ohio when I was born 😉 (For those of you who do not know, I am adopted 🙂 ) I think I am going to make a map!

You can learn more about adoption at the National Adoption Center (click HERE).

 Check out the book’s trailer!

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

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