Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Poem Mobiles: Crazy Car Poems by J. Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian

You've seen the odd cars that companies make:  the Cube, the Mini Cooper, big four wheel drive pickups and SUVs and the even smaller electric cars.  That's in the here and now.  Wait until you see the cars and trucks in this book!

Random House Children's Books sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  The book has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

The authors have all sorts of silly ideas about vehicles of the future and express it in rhyme.  Jeremy Holmes is the illustrator and he depicts each odd auto in a funky graphic.  They have a dragon wagon (is that related to the Dodge Power Wagon?), an eel-ectric car, a high heel car and many more.  They're all fun to look at.

There are also little hidden things in the illustrations.  See if you child can find the Royal Throne; it's in plain sight.  Another fun thing to do would be to look at the cover after you've read the book and see if you can name all the cars on there.  Which car is your favorite?  I think the love car is mine.

Tales from High Hallack, Volume 2: the collected short stories of Andre Norton

I've always loved Andre Norton's work.  She had a marvelously rich imagination and she loved cats and added them to her stories.  She could write about anything and make it interesting.  Her sci fi stories are always a pleasure to read.

Premier Digital Publishing and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 20th, so make a note to grab it then.

High fantasy, fables, science fiction, coming of age stories, and more are included in Norton's work.  Many of these stories came from Witch World.  The stories range from the 1930s forward.  They haven't lost any charm with age and are still a joy to read.

I started reading this one evening and didn't stop until I was done.  Magical worlds grab me, nice flowing words speak to me, and Ms. Norton's tales amuse me.  Her women are strong, her cats are smart and sometimes deadly, and there's hints of romance here and there.  These stories are my "cup of tea" and I'm thankful I had the chance to read her work again.

If you haven't met Andre's writing yet, try this sample of her style and her way of getting her point across.  I bet you'll get hooked, too.

Monday, April 21, 2014

West of the Moon by Margi Preus

When Astri's father immigrates to America, he leaves them with their aunt.  He promises to send money and news, but she and her sister never see any.  When the goatman comes to get a new goat girl, the aunt gives him Astri.

Amulet Books sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It was published the first of this month, so you can find a copy at your local bookstore now.

This concept for this book is interesting:  Mix an old fairytale while telling a new one and give the reader twice as much pleasure.

The goatman is not a nice man.  He lives in a hovel, he keeps some outbuildings locked and he barely shares any food with her.  When he starts to push her to marry him, she knows she has to leave.  When she escapes, she takes the young girl she found incarcerated in one of those outbuildings.  She also gets her little sister, Greta.  She's bound and determined to get to America.

The original tale is Norwegian.  The two fairytales are similar and it enhances the current story being told.  Astri and Greta have quite a journey ahead of them.  Even travel on the boat isn't safe.

What made the story entertaining was how Ms. Preus wove her two tales together.  Life was not easy for these girls, but it's not easy for anyone trying to immigrate.  Even more interesting is the fact that the reason the author wrote this story is because it came from a few lines in her great-great-grandmother's diary.  She includes a picture from long ago and a copy of a page of the diary.  The story is fictional; the circumstances are authentic.

I liked it.  Why don't you give it a try?

Cupcake Cousins by Kate Hannigan

This story is filled with calamities.  First they are expected to wear bubble gum colored dresses and be flower girls at the wedding.  Then their access to the kitchen is limited so they can't show off their baking prowess.  And the little brother and the dog create a bigger mess by eating specialty items the new cook has made.  How can they save this wedding?

Disney Book Group and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 13th, so check with your local bookstore then to get a copy.

This is a cute story about two young cousins who want to prove they would be a bigger help by cooking desserts than by wearing those ugly dresses.  They had plans but we all know how that goes.  There's a new cook who doesn't want them in her kitchen.  Their dog loves bacon and destroys one whole tray of hors d'oeuvres before it even gets served.  The brother eats a specialty tart.  The cook is getting crabby and the wedding date is closing in...

The wedding day arrives and the girls find the kitchen empty.  The wedding cake is a mess, the cook is nowhere to be found and it looks like disaster has struck big time.

This story is delightful.  Mysteries unravel, they help save the cake and they get through the mortification of wearing those horrible pink dresses for the event.  The end of this story is "happy ever after" in more than way.

This sounds just like the type of family I grew up in.  The story will make you laugh and you'll appreciate the cousin's ideas for dressing the cake up...

Happy reading.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

This little girl has a canine companion.  They do everything together and look real cute doing it.  But then the girl has an inspirational moment:  She's going to make the most magnificent thing!

Kids Can Press and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It was published the first of April so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

This is a cute story about a child trying hard to make something "just right".  I laughed when she takes all these various things she plans to use for her creation right out in the middle of the sidewalk, where she has lots of room and won't bother anybody.  Never mind about the pedestrians...

She creates and creates and creates and nothing is quite right.  She gets mad, she fumes and then she goes for a walk with her dog to think about it.  She finally sees that each had something right about it and if she melds these parts she will have her marvelous thing.  While she's creating that, all those odd things she made are being claimed by the people walking by.  They think they are magnificent and will do something just right for them.

The best part is what she actually made.  It's very special and it will make you and your young one smile.

Happy reading.

Ladder to the Red Star by Jael Wye

Martian Head Tech is Devi, a beautiful smart woman who sees your DNA like music.  She can tell when the notes aren't playing right and can adjust your body to correct it.  This correction is free on the moon; it's not free on Earth...

Carina Press and Net Galley allowed to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published April 28th, so grab a copy then.  Be sure to read the first in this series, Ice Red.  It will set the stage for book two.

Two people are coming to Mars with plans for the correction units:  A selfish business man who can only see how much money he can make with it, and a young man who wants to fix his own trouble and save his mother from cancer.

The story is complex and interesting.  Besides the two men after the big prize, there are terrorists on board.  Some are suicide bombers.  The business man wants Devi for his wife.  He intends to take the sass out of her and make her fear his touch because that makes him feel powerful and full of lust.  (Sick man, I know.)

When Devi finds out Jack can't feel any pain or sensations, she runs him through the corrector and it rehabilitates him.  Imagine not feeling anything and then having your body come alive...

Things go bad and Jack must go now or he will be dead.  He has a space shuttle ready and forces Devi to go with him.  He needs her to save his mother.  When she finds out he's not who he said he was, she's willing to save his mother but doesn't like him very much.

I enjoyed both these stories.  The main characters are strong and fight for what they believe in.  The stories are fast and full of challenges and near death.  I just wish there wasn't as much sex in the stories.  Give me a good story without graphic sex scenes and I'm happier.  For those that like a little erotic stuff in their stories, these two books will do that for you.

All in all, I did enjoy reading them and watching the girls find love.Why don't you jump on the shuttle and see what you think?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

If You Happen to Have a Dinosaur by Linda Bailey

Does your child have a good imagination?  Then you need to buy this book for them!

Random House of Canada Limited and Net Galley allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published May 13th, so check with your local bookstore for a copy then.

This book made me laugh out loud!  Ms. Bailey has a marvelous imagination and Mr. Jack's illustrations are outrageous, colorful and perfectly depict the story the text is telling.  It's perfect.

There are uses for dinosaurs here that are just wonderful:  A can opener, a nutcracker, an umbrella, how about a pillow?  I just kept reading to see what would he would use his dinosaur for next and enjoyed each page.  I'm sure your young one will, too.

The best part?  At the end, the question is what would you do with a Kangaroo?  Time to make up your own story!

Sharing your imagination with a child is very important thing.  A child with an imagination is never bored.