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Muffy Turns One: The Mini Tour – COVER REVEAL!

20 Jul
Today I get to kick off blog tour celebrating the one year birthday of a great story about a little dog and her great adventure. Since I am the first stop on this mini tour, I get to reveal the cover!
Muffy and the Dog Catcher (The Muffy Series Book 1)
Written and illustrated by Devra Robitaille
 66 pages – ages 7+
Published by The Hologram Library, July 20, 2016
 

Synopsis (from the publisher) – Muffy is a happy and curious Goldendoodle puppy who lives on a farm. One day she chases a silly grasshopper and gets lost. She finds herself alone and hungry, on the point of collapse, but luck is on her side and she is adopted by a wonderful family, the Gabriels, who have a very orderly and devoted pack of dogs. Muffy becomes part of her new family, and is accepted by Radar and Oliver and the gang, but she still pines for her sister, Riff, and misses the farm. One of her new friends, Wise Dog, introduces her to a very unusual Dog Catcher who has a special talent.

Muffy’s courageous journey is full of laughter and adventure as she tries to unite her two families.

 
 The cover is in the same style as the other illustrations in the book. The whimsical illustration style adds depth to the story. I found Robitalle’s story-telling to be thoughtful and entertaining. The story is so much more than a lost puppy story. There are shades of lessons on the struggles of growing up, what family truly is and also diversity. It is a rich and well crafted book that packs a lot in the 65 pages of text! 
Want to learn more?

Muffy turns one!…the mini-tour

Be sure to check out all the stops!

Cover reveal for Muffy’s new artwork

July 20th 2017

This Kid Reviews Books

Character Interview with Pete, the Dog Catcher

July 21st 2017

​Something to Chew On

Interview with Devra Robitaille

​July 27th 2017

Reading With Your Kids

Visit the Hologram Library Website by clicking HERE!

Check out the book’s trailer –

 

Review! 100 Things to Be When You Grow Up by Lisa M. Gerry

10 Jul

100 Things to Be When You Grow Up
By Lisa M. Gerry
256pages – ages 7+
Published by National Geographic Children’s Books on March 14, 2017

Synopsis from Publisher- “Who says adults can’t have fun? This book explores 100 of the coolest, wackiest, and most amazing jobs and careers out there, from astronaut to zookeeper, ice cream taster to game maker. ”

What I Thought- I really like the format of this book. It is a list, with one career per spread – except for when they include a longer interview with an expert in a field. That’s another thing I liked; the interviews with people who actually do the job – it’s a nice touch. The jobs are ones you may or may not have heard of, with things like a fire fighter to an adventure guide. Ms. Gerry presents the information in a fun way, and I love that she also includes tips for any career, made to get kids thinking about the future. I like the variety of jobs included, and that they included some odd ones that aren’t that hard to get. This was a nice nonfiction book to get kids thinking about their future, and I really hope that kids give it a look and find something to tickle their inspirations!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

Blog Tour! Beach Party Surf Monkey by Chris Grabenstein

26 Jun


Beach Party Surf Monkey
Series: Welcome to Wonderland #2
Written by Chris Grabenstein
Illustrated by Brooke Allen
320 pages – ages 8+
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on May 23, 2017

Synopsis from the Publisher- “There’s always something wacky happening when you live at a motel, and P. T. Wilkie has grown up at the world’s wackiest one yet! When word gets out that the hottest teen idols in Hollywood will be filming their next movie-BEACH PARTY SURF MONKEY-right in St. Pete’s Beach, P.T. and Gloria know that Wonderland would be the PERFECT location. Now they just have to convince the producers! But when things start to go wrong (Crazed fans? Missing stars?!) it will take all of Gloria’s business genius and P.T.’s wild stories to save the movie before the movie AND the Wonderland are both all washed up!”

What I Thought- I didn’t know what to expect with this. I love Mr. Grabenstein’s books, but I hate starting a book in the middle of a series – I am reading the second book before the first. Grabenstein brings the reader up to speed that in the best way I’ve ever seen! P.T. is known for his wild stories, so he is introduced by telling a tall tale about the previous book, giving major plot points, but not ruining the entire climax. Genius! From there, I just kept liking the book more and more. I  am getting my hands on the first book asap!  The story did take a little bit to reveal the plot, but I was so immersed in the details and Grabenstein’s masterful story-telling, I didn’t even notice! Once the plot is revealed, the reader is totally hooked into the story! The characters don’t want their hotel to falter (and a bit of fame would be nice!), so they are trying to have the movie at their motel. But then everything goes wrong. It’s awesome. Grabenstein has a cool way of writing scenes that are completely wacky, yet still believable – it’s wonderful reading the book! One of the things I liked were the black-and-white illustrations, some with word bubbles like a comic. They added a lot of humor to the story. Brooke Allen has a great way of combining cartoon with realism. I loved this book, and want to see more from this series!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

CHRIS GRABENSTEIN is the author of the New York Times bestselling The Island of Dr. Libris, Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics, and Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, which was nominated for over 30 state awards lists!

Follower him on Twitter at @CGrabenstein, and visit him online at chrisgrabenstein.com.

Blog Tour! TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE: IT’S ALIVE! By Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie A. Thompson

24 Jun


TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE: IT’S ALIVE!
By Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie A. Thompson
Illustrated by Lisa K. Weber
176 pages – ages 7+
Will be Published by Walden Pond Press on June 27, 2017

Synopsis from Publisher- “Did you know that there is a fungus that can control the mind of an ant and make it do its bidding? Would you believe there is such a thing as a corpse flower—a ten-foot-tall plant with a blossom that smells like a zombie? How about a species of octopus that doesn’t live in water but rather lurks in trees in the Pacific Northwest?
Every story in this book is strange and astounding. But not all of them are real. Just like the old game in this book’s title, two out of every three stories are completely true and one is an outright lie. Can you guess which? It’s not going to be easy. Some false stories are based on truth, and some of the true stories are just plain unbelievable. And they’re all accompanied by dozens of photos, maps, and illustrations. Amaze yourself and trick your friends as you sort out the fakes from the facts!”

What I Thought- This was a really cool book! I enjoyed trying to see which stories were false, and am proud to say that I got a few! It’s a really neat idea for kids, because they learn real facts too – as they try to discern what is false! There are also little activities (ie, observing nature, asking questions, etc.) for kids, as well as mini-challenges. The authors work well together, and you can tell they had fun with this project. Weber brightens the story with her fun cartoon illustrations throughout the stories. I really like what was done here with this book, and I hope to see more in this series!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

Ammi-Joan Paquette has traveled to twenty-four countries, has the ability to wake herself up at a given time without an alarm clock, and once climbed Mt. Everest. (Not all of these are true!) Joan is the author of the novels Rules for Ghosting, Paradox, and Nowhere Girl, as well as the picture books Petey and Pru and the Hullabaloo, Ghost in the House, The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Mermaids, and The Tiptoes Guide to Tracking Fairies. She lives outside Boston, Massachusetts, where she balances her own writing and her day job as a literary agent. You can visit her online at www.ajpaquette.com.

Laurie Ann Thompson has ridden a pig, gotten stuck in an elevator overnight, and jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. (One of these facts is not true; can you guess which?) She is the author of Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters, My Dog Is the Best, and Emmanuel’s Dream, a picture book biography about Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, which was the recipient of the Schneider Family Book Award and was named an ALA Notable Book, a CCBC Choice, and a Bank Street College Best Book of the Year, among dozens of other accolades. She lives outside Seattle with her family. You can visit her online at www.lauriethompson.com.

5-Jun

Librarian’s Quest

7-Jun

Flowering Minds

11-Jun

Pragmatic Mom

Geo Librarian

13-Jun

Smack Dab in the Middle

14-Jun

Bluestocking Thinking

15-Jun

Novel Novice

Library Lions Roar

16-Jun

Archimedes Notebook

18-Jun

Nerdy Book Club

19-Jun

Cracking the Cover

20-Jun

Writers Rumpus

The Hiding Spot

21-Jun

Maria’s Melange

23-Jun

Unleashing Readers

24-Jun

This Kid Reviews Books

Review! The Fallen Star by Tracey Hecht

19 Jun

The Fallen Star
Series: The Nocturnals #3 (#1, #2)
Written by Tracey Hecht
Illustrated by Kate Liebman
208 pages – ages 7+
Published by Fabled Films Press on May 2, 2017

Synopsis- It was a nice night out, and the Night Brigade (Dawn the fox, Tobin the Pangolin, and Bismarck the sugar glider) were out watching shooting stars. That is, until one star keeps coming towards them. After a big explosion, a big rock is found in a crater – but that’s not the only change! Whenever animals are eating the fruit, they are getting sick to their stomachs, and something is taking the only cure! It is up to the Night Brigade to solve this mystery before it’s too late!

What I Thought- Hecht has a really great series going on here, and this book is no different. The story is one that little kids can read with no problem, while still possessing a conflict – a good bridge into chapter book stories. I definitely like how Hecht includes endangered nocturnal animals in her books, which inspire kids to look them up. There are really nice watercolor illustrations by Liebman at the beginning of each chapter that add to the story. The story is simple and age-appropriate for young kids, and Hecht’s writing style is perfect for an early chapter book. I can’t wait for the next book!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

Review! The Eldridge Conspiracy by Don M. Winn

1 Jun

The Eldridge Conspiracy
Series: Sir Kaye the Boy Knight 4 (1, 2, 3)
Written by Don M. Winn
Illustrated by Dave Allred
167 pages – ages 8+
Will be Published by Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, LLC on June 16, 2017

Synopsis- There is a plot of treasonous measures being taken against the neighboring kingdom of Eldridge, and Sir Kaye the Boy Knight has uncovered the horrid conspiracy! It could lead to the invasion of his country of Knox, and even more – to the death of Eldridge’s king and Kaye’s father, Sir Henry! Kaye and his friends, Reggie and Beau, set out to do what they can to prevent it. But time is of the essence, and with an evil baron trying to get them all out of the picture, it isn’t certain they even have a chance!

What I Thought- I really enjoyed this fabulous conclusion to the Sir Kaye series. Winn knows how to bring the tension up in the series, raising the stakes in the book to keep the reader on the edge of their seat. It is interesting to see Kaye unfold as a character; he fluctuates, learning and then forgetting as he lets pride or guilt or some other emotion take control of his actions. Altogether, this makes for a maximum learning experience for both Kaye and the reader. Winn writes a good story for younger kids who have progressed from early chapter books, but aren’t quite ready for another step up – the chapters are short, with a mildly challenging age-appropriate vocabulary, and neat black-and-white illustrations throughout the story. The series is good for kids who like knights and medieval times, and show that sometimes it is hard to do what is right, but having honor is a good thing to strive for. Morals are taught in the books, as well as just plain old essential character traits. Winn has written a good series about a kid who strives to do his best even when times are hard, and a lot of things can be learned from that. I am sad to see this series come to a finish, but I look forward to seeing more come from Mr. Winn!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

Creative Kid Thursday! Josie Reviews #PETERRIFIC!

1 Jun

Today is Creative Kid Thursday! YAAAAAAY! A day where I feature other Creative Kids. Today I have a guest reviewer – Josie! I happen to be Josie’s big brother. Josie was excited to review Peterrific as she is a big fan of Pinkalicious and was happy to see Peter get his own book.

Peterrific
By Victoria Kann
40 pages – ages 4 – 8
Series: Pinkalicious
Published by HarperCollins on May 2, 2017

Summary from the Publisher: In Peterrific, readers can follow Peter’s own adventures as he builds a tower of blocks all the way to the moon. Peter loves to build with blocks. One day, he decides to build a tower that will reach the moon, and he wants to do it all by himself. Will the moon be made of cheese? Can he catch a shooting star? As Peter climbs higher and higher into space, he discovers he doesn’t have a way down! He’ll have to figure out what to do next—all by himself.

What Josie Thought:  I really like Pincalicious and am happy that Peter gets his own book! I liked how in the story Pinkalicious is helping Peter build his tower and they are working together. I also like how Peterrific is in gold sparkly letters on the cover of the book. The inside pictures are nice. I really like the ones that show outer space and the one where Peter is looking at the moon is really cool! I think I would have liked to have seen more of Peter in space trying to get a star for his mom. I like that Peter thinks to design his tower before building it. That is smart. I hope Peter gets another book!

I give this book four out of five bookworms!

Go to the Pinkalicious website to find some Peterrific downloadable activities.

You can get a sneak peek of the inside of the book HERE

For those of you in the Philadelphia Area, Victoria Kann will be at the Doylestown Bookshop in Doylestown PA on June 3rd at 2pm for a PETERRIFIC storytime!

 

WOO! I’m giving away a #CaptainUnderpants prize pack thanks to @Scholastic!

30 May

Captain Underpants – (the name elicits giggles – doesn’t it?) is the very first series I read when I was a kid. I begged my mom to pick them up for me when I saw the first three books in the series at a yard sale – The Adventures of Captain Underpants – Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets – Captain Underpants and the Invasion of the Incredibly Naughty Cafeteria Ladies from Outer Space (and the Subsequent Assault of the Equally Evil Lunchroom Zombie Nerds) – Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants. Although Mom kind of looked at me a little funny with the Professor Poopypants one, she knows fine literature and got it for me anyway.  I read and re-read these books until they literally fell apart.  I then sought out new additions to the series and loved every one of them. I still am a strong advocate for Captain Underpants. It is a great series to get kids to start reading independently. It is a fun series that will engage all kinds of readers.

I was THRILLED to see that DreamWorks is making a Captain Underpants movie!!! The movie hits theaters on June 2nd. It is my hope that kids will see the movie and want to start reading about Captain Underpants other adventures! To celebrate this Earth shattering event, Scholastic sent me new Captain Underpants books, AND is offering a prize pack for one of you!

One randomly picked commenter from this post will receive:

The Adventures of Captain Underpants (Book 1, now in full color!)

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Official Handbook

Captain Underpants: Wacky Word Wedgies and Flushable Fill-Ins

That’s right – just comment below to be entered to win! Winner will be selected randomly and announced one week from today.

One of the giveaways is the original Captain Underpants book (with some additional content) but in full color!

The illustrations are the same but the color really makes them come alive!

The other two books are complimentary to the movie. These books feature the CGI images of Captain Underpants, Harold and George.

 

I know you all are saying”ERIK, WE NEED TO KNOW MORE!”

So check this out – Visit PilkeyPower.Scholastic.com

Follow Scholastic on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Check out the movie’s trailer!

May The Fourth Be With You! – Double Review! The Thornton Burgess Library

4 May

Today I welcome back a special guest reviewer that takes over graces my blog once a year!

Welcome back Darth Vader and May the Fourth Be With You!

shhhhhh skaaaahh shhhhhh skaaaahh shhhhhh skaaaahh

Darth?

shhhhhh skaaaahh shhhhhh skaaaahh shhhhhh skaaaahh

Darth why are you just standing there breathing?

I FEEL A DISTURBANCE IN THE FORCE.

Really? What kind of disturbance? I thought we were here to review the Thornton Burgess books – you know Peter Cotton Tail and Jimmy Skunk?

YES. THE FORCE IS STRONG WITH THIS ONE.

Which one?

shhhhhh skaaaahh shhhhhh skaaaahh shhhhhh skaaaahh

Okay- never mind I will just get on with the reviews. 

 

The Adventures of Peter Cottontail
Series: The Thornton Burgess Library
By Thornton W. Burgess
128 pages – ages 6+
Published by Seagrass Press on March 1, 2017

Synopsis from the Publisher- Introduce a new generation to Thornton Burgess’ Peter Cottontail in The Adventures of Peter Cottontail.
The Adventures of Peter Cottontail recounts the hijinks of one of the most endearing and beloved creatures in children’s literature. Full of mischief (and then remorse), Peter has exploits that are delightfully recognizable to anyone who has children and will surely tickle yet another generation of young readers.
Peter Cottontail’s efforts to outwit the ever-hungry Reddy Fox lead to a number of whisker-thin escapes, and his fascination with the hibernation of some of his neighbors, such as Johnny Chuck, leads to his decision to hibernate . . . with riotous consequences.
This reprint of the classic that was originally published in 1914 presents Burgess’ classic style of telling a terrific tale while imparting information about the environment and its creatures.

The Adventures of Jimmy Skunk
Series: The Thornton Burgess Library
By Thornton W. Burgess
128 pages – ages 6+
Published by Seagrass Press on March 1, 2017

Synopsis from the Publisher- Introduce a new generation to Thornton Burgess’ Jimmy Skunk, the good-natured character who is usually left alone because of his potent “perfume.”
Like all of Thornton Burgess’ characters, Jimmy Skunk’s natural instincts are completely accurate, but his personality is easily relatable!
Jimmy Skunk thinks that the old barrel at the top of the hill will be a perfect place for a restful nap. But mischievous Peter Rabbit thinks up a way to upend this plan, very literally, and even arranges that Reddy Fox will get the blame – and a dose of Jimmy’s “perfume.” But Jimmy figures out the truth and makes sure that Peter gets his comeuppance with the help of a nest of yellow-jackets. Later, when Jimmy gets a hankering for some fresh eggs, he and Unc’ Billy Possum wind up in a pretty pickle in Farmer Brown’s henhouse.
Originally published in 1918, this book will inspire giggles and gasps from another generation as readers and listeners will learn about skunks, opossums, and life in the meadow through the eyes of Jimmy Skunk.

What I Thought About the Series- I really enjoyed reading these; they have a way of transporting you to another time. The storied are timeless, and actually took me a bit to realize they were written early 20th century. As a kid, I knew the stories of Peter Cottontail but never really knew who Thornton Burgess was and that there were more stories of his out there! I am glad to know now. – Burgess wrote stories similar to Beatrice Potter, but also charmingly different. The books are accompanied by what appears to be original illustrations. They tell neat short stories with chapters, good for a beginning reader or installments at bedtime. Burgess’ writing is timeless and will connect with any child today. The stories show good clean fun with tricksters, friendships, consequences, and also forgiveness. The book also talks about nature and creates an appreciation for the animals that live outside. I am extremely excited that Seagrass Press is bringing these classics back into print! I love the updated covers – very eye-catching!

I give these books five out of five bookworms!

Now for Darth Vader’s take on the books –

Darth- what do you think about Peter Cotton Tail?

HE WASN’T ON ANY MERCY MISSION AFTER ALL.

Huh? No Peter Cotton Tail just tries to fool Reddy Fox…

PERHAPS I CAN FIND NEW WAYS TO MOTIVATE THEM.

Umm – okay. Well what about Jimmy Skunk? What do you think about him?

HE IS AS POWERFUL AS THE EMPEROR HAS FORESEEN.

What emperor? There’s only Farmer Brown.

IT IS OF NO CONCERN. SOON THE REBELLION WILL BE CRUSHED,

Darth, I need you to focus. I’ve got a blog to run here and… ahk ahk gasp

Darth that was uncool. You need to stop force chocking me. Every year it’s the same thing. Just tell me how many book worms you’d give the books.

I WILL GIVE THEM 10,000 DEATH STARS.

Nice Darth but my rating scale is in bookworms and it only goes to five

I FIND YOUR LACK OF FAITH DISTURBING.

*sigh*

Okay you win, 10,000 Death Stars. Any last words Darth?

 

 

Poetry Month Wrap up!

1 May

As we say good-bye to April and poetry month – I have some great title suggestions that you may want to pick up and keep the poetry going!

Poetry for Kids: Carl Sandburg
Written by Carl Sandburg
Edited by Kathryn Benzel, PhD
Illustrated by Robert Crawford
48 pages – ages 8+
Published by MoonDance Press on April 3, 2017

Synopsis from Publisher- Professor and scholar Kate Benzel has carefully chosen 35 poems of interest to children and their families. Carl Sandburg divides the poems into poems about people, and poems about people. You’ll find classics including “Young Bullfrogs,” “Shenandoah”, “Jazz Fantasia”, “Fog”, and 31 more of Sandburg’s favorite and most accessible works. Each poem is beautifully illustrated by the award-winning Robert Crawford. This gentle introduction includes commentary, definitions of key words, and an introduction to the poet’s life, plus a final synopsis of the author’s interpretation of the pieces.

What I Thought- I really liked how this book was laid out. I was introduced to Sandburg and his poems, which is a plus, as I appreciate learning more about his works. The illustrations are also gorgeous, full of so much life and emotion.

I also like that the book includes definitions for some words that younger readers may not know, such as “shrewd” and “cornsilk”. This is a fabulous idea, and kids will have a nice way to learn about a great person in poetry’s history. There is also so extra information at the beginning and end of the book about Sandburg. This is a fine introduction to Sandburg’s poetry.

Poetry for Kids: Walt Whitman
Written by Walt Whitman
Edited by Karen Karbiener, PhD
Illustrated by Kate Evans
48 pages – ages 8+
Will be Published by MoonDance Press on May 1, 2017 (TODAY!)

Synopsis from the Publisher- Carefully chosen for kids, 35 illustrated poems are presented and explained by New York University professor Karen Karbenier, PhD, a Whitman expert. Walt Whitman includes enlightening commentary for each poem, definitions of key words, and a foreword by the expert. Vibrant illustrations invigorate the poetry.

Starting off with “I Hear America Singing,” the collection includes excerpts from “Song of Myself,” “O Captain! My Captain!”, poems from Leaves of Grass, and many more thought-provoking, descriptive, and kid-friendly selections.

What I Thought- This book is very cool. The illustrations evoke a lot of emotion to go along with the poems. I think it is great to pair illustrations with poems especially for younger kids who may not get the meaning of the words but the illustrations really help convey the message.

 

I really like how Karbiener goes into depth about what each poem means in the section “What Walt Was Thinking.” This section is a great addition for older kids (or even adults) who are curious about the meaning of the poems or what  may have been going on in Whitman’s head as he wrote them. This is an excellent introductory book for kids to a legendary American Poet.

The Poet’s Dog

by Patricia MacLachlan 

96 pages – ages 6+
Published by Katherine Tegen on September 13, 2016

Synopsis for the Publisher:

From Newbery Medal winner Patricia MacLachlan comes a poignant story about two children, a poet, and a dog and how they help one another survive loss and recapture love. “Just what I needed,” raves Brightly.com. “It’s a heart-warming story of loss and love that filled me with hope for a better future and renewed my belief in good.”

Teddy is a gifted dog. Raised in a cabin by a poet named Sylvan, he grew up listening to sonnets read aloud and the comforting clicking of a keyboard. Although Teddy understands words, Sylvan always told him there are only two kinds of people in the world who can hear Teddy speak: poets and children.

Then one day Teddy learns that Sylvan was right. When Teddy finds Nickel and Flora trapped in a snowstorm, he tells them that he will bring them home—and they understand him. The children are afraid of the howling wind, but not of Teddy’s words. They follow him to a cabin in the woods, where the dog used to live with Sylvan . . . only now his owner is gone.

As they hole up in the cabin for shelter, Teddy is flooded with memories of Sylvan. What will Teddy do when his new friends go home? Can they help one another find what they have lost?

What I thought: Wow. I have to say I am a sucker for a well written prose book and also books told from a dog’s point of view  as long as it is told well. MacLachlan nailed this one. There are so many emotions pulled out of you in this book – from the dog loosing it’s owner to the lost children to the uncertainty of what will happen when the kids leave. There is a sweetness about the story too. The book is only 96 pages and the words are easy to read. This is a perfect book for young children who may be seeking more meaning out of stories. I think it would make a wonderful read aloud for a class or family. MacLachlan has crafted  an incredibly moving story that is completely accessible for younger kids. A book like this can spark an interest in children to seek out more meaty stories.

 

All of these book get a five out of five on my scale!

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