Sunday, September 25, 2016

At the Beach & Shapes Are Fun by Katja Spitzer


Here are two mini books from Flying Eye Books that will teach your child about shapes and what's at the beach.  They're tough enough for small hands and they offer clear illustrations to help your child learn.

Flying Eye Books sent me copies of these two books to read for review (thank you).  They have been published so you can find a copy now.

Shapes is a bit repetitive but that will help your child retain the right name for the shape.  There are also pictures where you can look for the shape and identify it as you go along.

At the Beach was my favorite.  It might be because I love the beach but it's mostly because the items are identified on each page and then you get an overall scene where you can name them all.  It's  a bit different from the other form and makes both books work well, together.

Here's an easy fun way to get your child to understand shapes and know the names of beach items.

Solstice HC by Steven T. Seagle, Moritat

Russell Waterhouse has an obsession. He wants to find the Fountain of Youth.  He'll do anything to acquire it, even prostitute his son...

Image Comics let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 5th.

The father doesn't care what it costs or where it takes them, he's determined to find this mysterious fountain.  He has more than one kind of a cancer.  Only this might help him live longer.  He's not even concerned about the people who die on his expeditions; they're just collateral damage.

The son would like to go to college, maybe do some artwork and get married to his pregnant girlfriend.  His dad could care less.  Off they go on another trek.  By that time, the son isn't sure getting killed would be a bad thing.

This graphic novel was full of action, moved back and forth from present to past, and they faced incredible dangers.  What I found impressive was the ending.  This mean, hard man who was so obsessed with his goal he would let no one stop him had an ulterior motive that was totally unexpected.  It didn't make me like him better but it did have some redeeming qualities.  The ending will surprise you.


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Hold a Scorpion: A Diana Poole Thriller by Melodie Johnson-Howe

When Diana goes out her front door to do some errands, she sees a lady on the other side of the freeway.  She's waving at her.  Diana has no idea who she is.  As she watches a black SUV pulls up.  The person in it scares her and she runs across the freeway.  She's hit and killed.  The cops want to know who she is.  Diana can't answer that question...

Pegasus Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 25th.

If you want to read a story with unconventional characters, this book is for you.  Diana is an actress, following in her mother's footsteps.  Her neighbor is an oddball writer that has developed a new girlfriend who has ulterior motives.  The health rehabilitation center where the victim lived is strange.  So are the employees.  Add in Diane's old boyfriend, a scorpion bracelet that used to belong to her mother and another actress that competes with her for parts.  If that's not enough for you, her dead mother is still alive.  See what I meant?

It was interesting read, kept my attention and kept me going.  I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out but it ended better than I expected.  Trust me, you won't be bored if you have a good imagination.

Mirror: The Mountain TP by Emma Ríos, Art by Hwei Lim

This graphic novel is like a dark fairy tale.  The artwork by Hwei Lim draws you in and makes you wonder about what you're being shown.  The story seduces you and keeps you reading...

Image Comics allowed me to read a copy of this novel for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can get a copy now.

A colony of humans was looking for a new world to live on.  The one they found had sentient animals.  The people have a mage with them, even if he's undeveloped.  What they don't realize is that there is something else there.

Humans, being humans, capture the animals and run experiments on them.  They don't care that they are sentient.  Even the Guardians are not safe.  But it's the alien being that has settled in the squad leader that causes the problem.

The animals storm their walls.  The humans kill them in massive amounts.  No one is having a good time living there.  But how can they leave?  There's a way but it has a cost.

I was impressed by the ending.  I was beginning to think there was no hope for humans or animals.  Then someone makes the ultimate human sacrifice...

Here's your chance to visit an alien world and get out safely.  Why not give it a shot?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Journey's End by Rachel Hawkins

Her parents are getting divorced, so she goes to stay with her father in Scotland for the summer.  She can't believe he lives in a town that only has a few over four hundred people in it.  It's like it's lost.  Maybe that's why it's named Journey's End.  There's no place to go once you get there...

G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 25th.

The first thing Nolie notices is a young boy walking on the beach by the sea.  When she mentions it to her dad, he tells her people walk the beach all the time.  They fish, do boat tours and visit the caves as everyday activities.

When she visits the gift shop, she comes upon a display of photos.  When she asks the girl about them, she tells her they are the ones the fog claimed.  It sounds crazy to her but Bea tells her that if you went into the fog, you didn't return.  The fog is what her scientist father is studying so there may be something to it but it's odd.  It's even odder when she sees the boy on the beach in one of the photos.  It couldn't be him, he disappeared a hundred years ago.  But she's sure it is.

When she and Bea search the beach, all they find is a rowboat.  They do see some footprints, but they decide it must have been local kids.  It wasn't...

Mysterious fog, a witch, a curse and a ghost make this story interesting.  No one talks about the fog or the missing people but they also don't mess with the fog.  The problem starts when the fog moves closer and closer.  Suddenly more people are missing.  And the boy from the past and the two girls from present time decide to act on it.  When they set out, they don't know if they'll be able to return.  But both their fathers and Bea's brother were some of the ones taken, so they're going to try even if it means they are stuck forever in the fog.

There's mystery, imagination and a pretty good story here.  It's suspenseful all the way through with some silly spots.  Wait'll the boy from the past meets ice cream!

I enjoyed this read.  Why don't you give it a try?

Brian and Wendy Froud's The Pressed Fairy Journal of Madeline Cottington by Brian Froud, Wendy Froud

She sees things out of the corner of her eye.  We all do at times but hers seem to resemble fairies.  Could it be true?

Abrams allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published September 27th, so you can grab a copy then.

I read Lady Cottington's book so this was a natural choice for me.  I liked it even better than the first book.

When Maddie mentions what she's seeing, her father gets very angry and tells her he doesn't want to hear about it.  He won't tell her anything about his parents or grandparents or where he grew up.  It's like he's hiding his past.

She locates an old journal that gives her hints about the past, but he confiscates it.  They are in England because he has a new job there, so she snoops as much as she can.  She's seeing more fairies.  She knows something is going on.  When she finally finds a reference to their old home, she makes up her mind to go see it.  After all, the fairies are helping her.  They want to go.

What she finds is a partially burnt down building.  She finds a place to make her own and worries a bit about food but somehow she finds food in the kitchen each day.  She begins to explore...

She finds correspondence from the past and a secret portal.  She also finds that you can get stuck in the fairy world.  She's preparing carefully so she can go but she'll be able to get back home again.  But will it work?

There are illustrations of pressed fairies, photographs of people, the letters are handwritten in a fancy text, the typewritten letters look like they're from an old manual Royal typewriter, and you never know just what you're going to find on the next page.  You could spend a few hours just admiring the illustrations.

This is a fun read for fairy lovers, and you know I'm one of them.  Give it a try.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Mistletoe Murder: And Other Stories by P. D. James

P D James has always written good mysteries so this opportunity to read some of her short stories ws just too good to be missed.

Knopf and Edelweiss gave me the chance to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published October 25th.

The story I found most intriguing was her memory of a family Christmas where someone died.  This was not fiction.  She thought she knew who had done it but found out years later she was wrong.  It's interesting that she had been around a murder in her real life.

You have a few stories about Adam Dalgliesh, too.  I think the one I like best is the one that reads like an Agatha Christie novel.  I like her work, too.  This is when Adam was young and he's not as seasoned as he was in later books.

I like many books written about simpler times where it took brains to find the culprit.  I appreciate the fact that DNA can prove so much and technology has helped police procedures but they just don't have the charm for me.

These were light stories with tangled facts to keep your attention and make you wonder about how she will end the story.  I liked reading it.  I wonder which story will appeal to you the most?