Friday, August 31, 2012

Mud Puddle by Robert Munsch

Mr. Munsch just had to know my little brother. After all, George never met a mud puddle he could just walk by...

Annick Press and Net Galley let me download a copy of this book for review (thank you).  This book will go on sale tomorrow, so check with your local bookstore.
The illustrator for this edition is Dusan Petricic and he creates delightful pictures with living mud blobs hiding in waiting to attack Jule Ann.

Every time she goes outside, a mud puddle will attack her!  She has a very patient mother who washes her all up and gives her clean clothes to wear, only to have it happen again.  She must spend all her time washing Jule Ann and washing her clothes, poor woman.

I especially like how the little girl finally figures out how to outsmart the mud puddles.  She wins!  And I know her Mom must be relieved, too.

Mr. Munsch always tells wonderful tall tales where the children win their battles.  Since he was an oral storyteller first, these stories work real well for read-out-loud.  Add a little glitter instead of mud and you can shower your child with color each time Jule Ann gets covered with mud.  Have fun reading aloud!

Happy reading.

The Boxcar Children Beginning by Patricia MacLachlan

I remember reading the Boxcar Children series in grade school.  Gertrude Chandler Warner knew how children felt.  I really related to living in a boxcar because I was allowed to use an old chicken house as my own "home".  I swept it out a million times, added curtains, had a small table and chair set and some dishes and it was my place.  The Boxcar Children did much the same thing.

Albert Whitman & Company shared a copy of this book with me for review (thank you).  This is a prequel to the series and explains what happened before the children found themselves alone.  This book will be published tomorrow, so check for a copy at your local bookstore.

Ms. MacLachlan is the perfect author to write this prequel.  She picks up Chandler Warren's style and weaves a new tale of "before".  It's set in the depression, the family doesn't have a lot but they have enough.  Enough to even take in another family who had nothing.

These were times when folks worked together.  The family staying with them temporarily chips in and works on the farm with them.  When they move on to their destination, everyone is sad.

This is heartrending tale in more than one way, but it is an excellent beginning to a wonderful series that I got a lot of enjoyment out of when I was younger.  I'll still pick one up and read it occasionally.  Why not introduce your young ones to the Boxcar Children and then ask them where they would live and how they would survive.  I bet they have a better idea than a chicken house...

Happy reading.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Mother's Mother's Day by Lorna Balian

Everyone celebrates Mother's Day, right?  How many generations of your family are still alive?  Do you get together for pictures?

Star Bright Books and Net Galley allowed me to download this story in ebook form (thank you).  It has been published and is available for purchase now.

The story begins with one little girl mouse taking a present to her mother.  But her mother isn't home!  It's because mother is taking a present to Grandmother, who isn't home either...

Each mouse is taking a present to their mother all the way up to great-great-great grandmother, who isn't home either.  At her house, there a cat in wait, so the mice all scurry home to the little one's house where the story began.  THAT'S where great-great-great grandmother is bringing her a present!

The story meanders through a big circle returning to the point of origin when the mice take shelter from the cat following them.  And they all have their treats, so they have a wonderful celebration together.

The illustrations are whimsical and the story sweet.  I think most little ones will enjoy reading this tale again and again.

Happy reading.

Star Wars Origami by Chris Alexander

Have you ever tried origami?  I haven't.  I didn't do well with paper airplanes, so I figured trying to make paper figurines would be beyond me.  But this book makes it sound very tempting.

Workman Publishing sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can find a copy of it at your local bookstore.

The thought of Star Wars origami was intriguing to me and I had see how it was presented.  Mr. Alexander provides you with instructions on how to make 36 different projects, all Star Wars related.  I was most impressed by the fact that this book includes 72 sheets of specially designed Star Wars origami paper.  He not only shows you how so you can practice, he also gives you the paper to make the final product.  That's a win-win in my book.

The next thing that came to mind for me was how long has he been doing this and why?  When I found out he started at the age of four, I had to ask the author some questions. 

Here are my questions and his answers:

How did you develop an interest in origami? 

When I was four years old my mother loved to take my brother and sister and I to the library. She would pick a few books off the shelves and read to us. One day she grabbed an origami book thinking it was a Japanese story. It had all these cool pictures of thing made from paper. A boat, a fox, a grandfather clock, and a cup, things like that. She made a few things for us and I was fascinated. I wanted to make them myself but at that age the only thing I could handle was the cup, which has only three steps. I made that cup over and over and kept trying to use it at the dinner table. Paper doesn't hold juice very long before it starts leaking, but that didn't stop me from trying. My mom started bringing other origami books home for me and I started learning other simple models. She says it was to encourage my interest in the art form, but I suspect the real reason was to prevent the mess I'd been making at the table.
Isn't four an early age to start it? 

I don't think so. I remember playing with finger paints at that age. I think if I'd been able to paint something I could have put juice in, Today I might be trying to recreate the Mona Lisa instead of the X-Wing. At four my models were very sloppy and I couldn't read the instructions, they were mostly in Japanese anyway. But with a little help I could follow the diagrams and after a few attempts, I'd have the process memorized. With practice and time I could follow most simple models. As the saying goes... baby steps.
Have you always had an interest in Star Wars? 

You can blame my mother again. In the spring of 77 I was 13 and Star Wars Mania was sweeping the country. Before I ever saw the movie my mother gave me a copy of the book. I think I finished it in three or four days. I remember getting so wrapped up in the story I almost cried when Luke Skywalker's friend died over the death star. A few weeks later the family went to see the movie, and my younger sister did cry when R2 D2 was shot by the Jawas. The story really speaks to children. My friends and I started playing Rebels and Imperials instead of Cowboys and Indians, I had all the toys and comic books. I started learning about how the special effects were created and I began designing and building my own plastic space ships. I thought I would become a special effects artist when I grew up.
Which is your favorite character? 

Luke Skywalker. When I was growing up I wanted to be a jedi, protect the innocent with a lightsaber, and fly an X-Wing just like him. Today I just wish I had an R2 unit for a personal assistant. 

Do you have more ideas for unusual origami books? 

I do. I'm working on my next book which I'm calling Shadowgami.  It's a new style of origami no one has tried before. I don't want to give away it's secret yet, but I will say that a few well known origami artists I've shown examples to  were very impressed. I've designed a few models and when I have about 20 or so I'll try to get it published.

I think you can say he's addicted.  I loved hearing about his Mom's influence on him and his changing ambitions in life.  Why not share this book with your own Star Wars lover and inspire them?  Even if you just like doing origami, doing it with specially designed paper has to be much more fun.  Check it out!

Happy reading (and crafting).

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Bremen Town Musicians by Brian Wildsmith

I have to admit this is one of my favorite Grimm fairytales.  This story could have been morbid, but the Grimm Brothers actually gave them a happy ending.  I was looking forward to reading this rendition of the story.

Star Bright Books and Net Galley let me download an ebook of this story for review (thank you).  It's been published in softcover, so check with your local bookstore for a copy now.

These poor animals have all been judged too old and not worth much anymore.  The donkey leaves to seek a new life and meets the others on the way. The illustrations in this story show you how worn the animals are.  Their hair is thin, they look bedraggled and they move along slowly.

Their goal is to sing in town.  When they stop for the night, they see a cabin in the woods.  As they look through the window, they see robbers and all kinds of food on the table.  They're hungry, so they decide to sing to the robbers.

My favorite part of this story is when the one robber describes who attacked him in the house.  It makes me laugh.

If you have a young one that has missed this tale, here's an opportunity share it with them.  I bet they laugh, too.

Happy reading.

One Year in Coal Harbor by Polly Horvath

Primrose's parents have returned after being lost at sea and life should be getting back to normal, right?  I'm not sure Primrose knows what normal is.  She's outspoken, takes action when she thinks she needs to, and she has some challenges in this story, too.

Schwartz & Wade allowed me to download and read the ebook of this story (thank you).  It has been published, so you can find a copy at your local bookstore now.

The first thing Primrose tries to do is play matchmaker with her Uncle Jack and Kate, who runs the restaurant that always serves waffles.  They appear to be in love, but they aren't doing anything about it.  Her method of getting them together is unique and very quirky.  It will make you smile.

The other big excitement for Primrose is that the folks she stayed with when her parents were missing have a new foster child.  He's a boy close to her own age and they become good friends.  When his father takes him back, she's saddened and concerned about him.  

This is typical small town life and it's almost old fashioned in out look and life.  I was reminded of books published in the 50's that showed a simpler life and everyday concerns.  I enjoyed reading this book.  Primrose is a character that keeps your attention while you wonder what she's going to do next.  Why not buy a copy and follow her adventures yourself?

Happy reading.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Cow Went Over the Mountain by Jeanette Krinsley

Here is a classic Little Golden Book that I haven't seen before.  I'm amazed!

Random House for Kids is publishing these new editions of the old classics and sent me this one for review (thank you).  You can find a copy at your local bookstore.

The illustrations are done by Feodor Rojankovsky and look realistic mixed with a bit of whimsy. 

The calf is sure the grass is munchier on the other side of the mountain.  She tells Mom she's going to check it out and picks up friends along the way.  

What's cutest about the story is that when she gets there, the grass isn't munchier, so she leads the animals to another mountain.  There she finds out she's back home again.

Happy reading!

Beyond: A Ghost Story by Graham McNamee

Her shadow tries to make her kill herself.  Who's going to believe that if she tells them?

Wendy Lamb books and Edelweiss allowed me to download an ebook of this story for review (thank you).  It will be published September 11th, so make a note on your TBR list.

Jane feels perfectly normal until her shadow takes control of her life.  Then she loses control of her own body and does horrific things to her own body.  This is not your normal ghost story.  It's a very good thing she has Lexi as a friend.  She shares everything with Lexi.  They try to find a way to stop the ghost from controlling Jane's body, but have no luck.

As if the ghost story isn't enough, Mr. McNamee adds a serial killer to the mix.  Is there anyway Jane is going to get out of it alive?

The story flowed well, the plot was interesting and kept my attention, and I like how the author handled the ending.  Here's an interesting look at the other side that will keep you reading.

Happy reading.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Small Bunny's Blue Blanket by Tatyana Feeney

I had a favorite blanket as child, did you?

Alfred A Knopf sent me a copy of this children's picturebook for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Just looking at the cover of this book made me smile.  You can tell that small bunny is going to be just like Linus with his blanket in the Charlie Brown comics.

Small bunny does everything with his blanket.  It helps him swing higher, read bigger words, and is his best friend.  When Mom wants to wash it, he doesn't want it washed. Mom doesn't listen.

It takes him days to get it back to where it's "perfect" again.

If your little one has a favorite blanket, I know this will be a favorite book.  My blanket was spotted like a leopard.  (And I still have it, too.)  What did yours look like?

Happy reading.

Otherkin by Nina Berry

She's a shapeshifter and the callers want to capture her and kill her...

Kensington Publishing for Teens sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It is Book One of the Otherkin series and has been published.  Check your local bookstore for a copy.

Desdemona is just a normal young girl going to school and living with her adoptive parents.  Everything is fine until she gets very angry and suddenly finds herself changing into a tiger.  The shock about kills her and then an avenging angel shoots her full of tranquilizers and hauls off to a cage.  When she wakes up, she finds herself human again.  She also discovers another human in the cage below her.  What she learns changes her life forever...

She's an untrained shapeshifter.  She's not quite sure what Caleb is, but she took him with her when she escaped and he helped her.

Caleb takes her to a safe place, her parents have to go into hiding, and none of the other shifters like her or trust her.  But if she doesn't learn what she needs to here, she's probably going to die soon.  That's motivation for you.

I really enjoyed this story.  Magical shapeshifters, callers who think shifters are evil, Dez's unknown parentage, and fast action made this story move fast.  I'm already looking forward to the next book in this series.  And I'm keeping this book for me.  I'd read it again, it was that good.

Happy reading.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ballet Stars by Joan Holub

So you have a little one that likes to dance?  This is the book for her!

Step Into Reading sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so you can find a copy at your local bookstore.  This is Step 1, which is good for preschool and kindergarten.

Ms. Holub uses simple rhyming text that is easy to read to tell her story.  Shelagh McNicholas's illustrations are sweet with muted colors that add to the ambiance of the story.  There also two pages of stickers if you have a sticker lover in the family.

I can just see a small one doing the four step jump across your floor.  Make sure you have room!  You might also want to give them a tutu to wear so they can pretend they are doing ballet. If you're real brave, you could try some dance steps, too.

Happy reading.

Demon Hunting in the Deep South by Lexi George

Evie really didn't like Meredith and it didn't get any better when she called her a slut and accused Evie of sleeping with her husband.  If that wasn't bad enough, then she finds Meredith stabbed to death on her desk.  And the cops think she did it...

Kensington Brava sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  The book has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Stories about demons always grab my eye.  I had already read Demon Hunting in Dixie and was looking forward to getting back to Evie and seeing how her story worked out.

Ms. George writes a good story.  There is laughter, love, and demons galore.  Good (or almost good) demons, bad demons, local troublemakers, and lots of food are included in the story line up.

Evie is a big girl and has heard nasty insults from the locals for years; thunder thighs and worse insults about her butt.  So how can this protective demon hanging around her think she was underweight?  Or pretty?  Maybe he's just lying to get into her pants.

There is evil in this town.  The fact that Meredith discovered it is how she ended up dead.  The problem is that Meredith's ghost can't remember who killed her.  Evie has to find out to keep herself out of jail.

There is a plenty of action, some good lovin', and a big fight between good and evil.  This tale will keep you reading.  Why not give it a try?  Reading the first book will help fill in some blanks for you, but it's not necessary.  If you like a good fantasy read and demons, get both.  I really enjoyed both stories.

If you would like the ARC I read, leave a comment here on the blog and then email me at info at with your name and address and why you'd like to read the story.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Happy reading. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pretty Penny Comes Up Short by Devon Kinch

Pretty Penny stories are about the use of money and are written for young ones.  They send a positive message and impress children with the value of money and how to earn and save it.

Step Into Reading sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.  This book is for grades 1-3.

Pretty Penny wants to help Doodle's Animal Farm, but she doesn't even have a penny in her purse.  She does have the money she set aside to help others, so she takes that money from her savings jar.  But she'd really like to help more.

Soon she and her friends brainstorm for an idea to make money and come up with showing a movie.  It's a big success, but Iggy has kept some of the proceeds for himself.  It's not long until he's found out.  And his punishment fits the crime quite well.

This is an easy to read fun story that leaves your child with a good message.  There are other books in the Pretty Penny series that you can share with your children, too.

Happy reading.

Silent Slaughter by C E Lawrence

He picks beautiful young women and kills them slowly, savoring not only their pain and suffering but the knowledge that no one will understand the patterns he's carving in their bodies...

Pinnacle Books sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It was published earlier this month, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

He not only kills them and leaves them in secluded public places, he sends notes to taunt the police. When Lee comes in to profile him, he begins to feel that the killer is personally taunting him.

Lee is a very interesting character.  His sister disappeared years ago and has never been found.  He's been in a deep depression and has finally worked his way out.  He's ending his relationship with his girlfriend because they are both unsure of how they really feel about each other.  And now he has a deadly killer who is out of control and feels invincible.  His emotions play a large part in how he deals with this case.

This is a very good mystery with a very evil man at the center of the crime.  I really liked the fact that it takes an autistic man to help solve the crime.  Most everyone left him alone because he got easily upset and he was only there because he was travelling with his brother, a cop.  But when he makes a statement about math, everyone listens.

This story made me a bit uncomfortable because it hit fears I didn't realize I had.  That means the author did a really good job of presenting the emotional trauma and fear the victims felt.  The story moves quickly and I'm sure Lee will be back again in another book.  He hasn't resolved all his issues yet and there are always monsters in this world to be conquered.

If you would like my ARC of this book, please leave a comment here on my blog and email me at info at with your name and address and why you would like to read it.  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Happy reading.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Elephant Joe, Brave Knight by David Wojtowycz

Elephant Joe and Zebra Pete go on a big adventure...

Random House Kids Books sent me a copy of this picture book for review (thank you).  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

One of my favorite characters is the little frog that hangs out on the pages making various comments on the action.  He has big eyes and a crown.

Someone has stolen the king's crown and the two boys volunteer to recover it.  They just need armor and horses to do it.  The king provides that and off they go.

This story is full of surprises and smiles for the reader.  I mean, Elephant Joe is wearing red striped jockey shorts.  That made me grin.  So did the end of this tale.

Why not share a fun tale that is a joy to read with your little one?  I'm sure they'll read this one again and again.  It's a bit silly, the illustrations are vivid and busy, and they can root for Elephant Joe and Zebra Pete.  What could be better?

Happy reading.

Nowhere to Run by Nancy Bush

She's always felt someone was watching her every move.  That's why she moved away and maintained a very quiet life in an area she felt should be safe.  When she takes a late lunch and comes back to find almost everyone in the office dead, she knows he followed her...

Kensington Books sent me an ARC of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published so check with your local bookstore to get a copy.

Liv is scared, very scared.  She knows she must escape, so she jumps in a jeep passing by slowly and takes the driver hostage.  He's not sure if he believes her story, but he takes her home with him so she's in a safe place.  That's a good thing because the killer knows where she lives and kills her nosy neighbor when he sees him.

This is a thriller.  The tension can be cut with a knife, the killer is determined, desperate and unknown.  The only real chance Liv has is her hostage, who just happens to be an undercover cop.  Auggie starts out skeptical but soon begins to believe she's not lying.  Even if he believes her, can he save her?

I was totally amazed at the killer's identity.  It was someone I would never have imagined.

The best part is that you already know there will be another book in this series.  Auggie's sister, another cop, is the new target.  I'm looking forward to reading that one, too.

If you'd like my copy of this ARC, please leave comment here on my blog and email at info at  I'll pick a winner in about a week.

Happy reading. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I Galileo by Bonnie Christensen

Galileo had deep intelligence, a love of math and science, and ended up imprisoned in his home.  How could this happen to great man of science?

Alfred A Knopf shared this educational picture book with me for review.  It has been published so you can get a copy at your local bookstore now.

This is a well put together short biography of the scholar's life.  The illustrations are bright and colorful.  You learn that in the days of Galileo's life, different ideas were not well accepted.  Scholars were not admired, they were feared.

I never knew Galileo's father was a musician.  That was part of why Galileo got interested interested in measurements and movements.

What he learned still stands.  He was right in his thoughts and while he might not have been respected in his day, he has a place in history now.

This is an easy way to teach your child about this scholar and teach them a bit about the planet and the stars.

Happy reading.

The Twisted Window by Lois Duncan

Brad was just trying to get his half-sister back from his evil stepfather.  So why didn't this feel right?

Open Road Media and Net Galley allowed me to download and read this new ebook edition of Ms. Duncan's story.  You can buy a copy online now.  Ms. Duncan has been writing for a long time and her books are classics, so it's nice to see them being presented in ebook form for the new generation of geeks.

Tracy is staying with her aunt and uncle now.  Her mother died and her father is overseas in a new role and hasn't time for her right now.  She's in a new school and has made some new friends, but she's really vulnerable.  Brad realizes that.

He tells her how his stepfather has custody of his half-sister and his mother is losing her mind because of worry about her.  She's sympathetic but isn't sure about helping him.  When she gets in trouble with her aunt and uncle and feels no one really cares about what happens to her, she realizes that is probably how that poor little one feels.  She decides to help, but nothing turns out like it was planned...

Ms. Duncan has always written stories that have a bit of horror in them.  This story's horror is psychological.  She also has a message here:  Follow your gut instinct.  If it doesn't feel right, don't do it.

Happy reading.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Song for My Sister by Lesley Simpson

When she was little, she threw her pennies in the wishing well and made a wish.  It took four years for her wish to come true.

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

She was so excited to get her new sister, but then all she did was cry all the time.  For eight days straight, she cried.  Even on her "simchat bat", her welcome to world and her naming day.  Mira is still thrilled to have a new baby sister and she sings to her on naming day.  Imagine everyone's surprise when the baby settles down and sings too!

This is a sweet tale with colorful illustrations.  I just loved the last two pages where the sisters are singing together and I know you will, also.  It's just too cute.

Happy reading. 

Dead Man's Hand by Eddie Jones

He saw a dead man in the hayloft in the barn, but when he takes folks back there to show them, it's gone...

Zondervan and Edelweiss let me download the eBook of this story for review.  The book has been published and you can get a copy at your local bookstore.   This is the first book in the Caden Chronicles series.

Nick Caden is fifteen and on vacation with his family.  His little sister is a pain and his folks don't always get along.  And now they are going to a ghost town for vacation.  Can it get any worse?  Yep, when you know you found a dead man and nobody else believes you.

The story is set in a ghost town that the sheriff would have you believe holds actual ghosts as well as staff members named after characters in the old West.  This resort is not doing well and staff has dwindled, but there are still enough there to give Nick several suspects in the killing.

His parents know he's bored, so they decide to humor him and ask the sheriff to hire him as a deputy and let him try to "solve" the case.  They have no idea just how dangerous this lazy resort can be.

The author makes Nick a strong character with some geeky knowledge and an eye for facts that fit and those that don't.  Mr. Jones also gives him "Annie Oakley" to help and hinder his case.   This is a fast paced interesting story that is fun to read.  It's also just the first in a new series with a young detective.  Nick will be back.

Happy reading. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ollie & Moon Fuhgeddaboudit by Diane Kredensor

Ollie and Moon visit New York in this story.  Moon sets out to make Ollie laugh, but NOTHING is working!

Random House Kids shared a copy of this picture book with me for review (thank you).  It has been published, so look for it at your local bookstore.

Ollie and Moon are funny looking cats who travel together and are great buddies.  Ollie laughs at almost everything so when they start out to explore New York, Moon says she's going to make him laugh.  He says no, she can't make him and the dare is on.

Moon tries all sorts of things and Ollie won't laugh.  It looks like she's losing.  But then she has some help from an unexpected friend and they both crack up.  No matter what age you are, you'll enjoy the "friend" and how it helped them.

The photos are excellent and really add to the story.  You can do a photographic tour of New York highlights as well as follow Ollie and Moon in the quest to make Ollie laugh.

This is a fun series written for small ones.  They'll enjoy reading this book again and again.  And they'll be snorting by the time they get to the end of the story and the punch line the author chose.  It's all in good fun.

Happy reading.

The Key & the Flame by Claire M. Caterer

Holly and her family are going to England over the summer break; her mother has a temporary job there.  The house is so-so, the woods are interesting and there's a boy next door, so it may not be totally boring.  But her life really gets interesting when she meets the old gardener who also lives in the neighborhood...

Margaret K McElderry Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to download an ebook of this story and read it (thank you).  I am reviewing it now because my ebook will expire shortly.  The actual publication date is April 2, 2013, so make a note on your TBR list.

This is a fantasy novel for ages 8-12, but I enjoyed it, too.  There's a bit of the flavor of the Narnia series mixed with a bit of Harry Potter in it.  I even noted a taste of Camelot.  Despite that, it is its own unique story and there will be more in this series.

Holly is given a key by the old gardener.  She's amazed to find it will fit in an old oak tree in a grove in the woods.  She runs back to talk to the old man again, but finds he's not home and Everett has followed her.  She won't talk to him about what she found and goes home.  Everett is jealous because he's known the gardener for a long time and never got a  present. So he steals a key.  He should have figured out that "magic" has to be freely given, not stolen.

In the morning, Holly, goes back to the tree.  Then she finds she has been followed by Everett and her younger brother Ben.  They all go through the tree.  None of them had any idea what kind of adventure they were starting.

From centaurs, shape-shifters, a familiar for Holly and more odd characters to a malevolent king and his soldiers and son, the story starts fast and continues at that pace until the end of the book.  It started as an adventure and becomes an attempt to stay alive.

Young readers will be glued to the pages.  There's lots of action and excitement within.  Nothing works as planned.  Even Everett finds himself in deep trouble.

This new fantasy with action/adventure is just the thing for those who are looking for something new to read that offers thrills and chills.  It's a PG rated adventure, no cuss words, and no dying main characters.  Just what the book doctor would order for a bored young teen during the summer months.

Grab yourself a copy when it comes out and let me know how your child enjoyed it.  (Or how you enjoyed it.)

Happy reading.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Baby Faces by Mallory Loehr

Babies are real good at making faces.  Here's a book that showcases some of them.

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

Vanessa Brantley Newton has created cute baby faces for the pages.  Each baby does something different and the child can watch the action by pulling a tab and and seeing the results.  The book is put together firmly and should handle little ones hands.

The babies chew, wink, sneeze and more.  I can see little ones reading the story again and again so they can play with the tabs and watch the faces change.

This would be a good gift for a child who will be having a new brother or sister, or for a child that is three or four and enjoys new things (like tabs).  Why not pick up a copy for the young one in your life?

Happy reading.

Found: The Secrets of Crittenden County, Book Three by Shelley Shepard Gray

Detective Luke Reynolds is still looking for Perry's killer.  He won't give up until he finds him...

Avon Inspire and Edelweiss have let me read this whole series in ebook form (thank you).  It's an excellent Amish series and I was really looking foward to this final book.  It did not disappoint me.  This book was just published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Jacob is carrying some secrets about the last time he saw Perry.  He's conflicted by what he knows happened and how Perry was found.  He's also in conflict because he's attracted to Perry's sister, Deborah.  He's afraid he's falling love with her but thinks she will hate him when she knows the truth.

Amish people are very self-contained and they work very hard on doing and speaking no harm.  Someone has fallen off the path in this village.  Luke is doing his best to find out who it may be.

I was beginning to wonder if we would ever know.  The Amish keep their secrets.  Murder is not something can be condoned, even by other family members.  I found myself amazed at the identity of the killer.  I had no suspicions about that character until towards the end of the book.

The whole series is well written.  The Amish aspect is interesting, there are several romances growing, and the mystery is exactly that:  a mystery.  Why not grab the series and settle back for a good country visit with a bit of intrigue in it?

Happy reading.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Mario Makes a Move by Jill McElmurry

Mario has all these cool moves and thinks he's pretty special.  Until his best friend, Isabelle, isn't impressed.

Schwartz & Wade sent me copy of this children's picture book for review.  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Mario is a cute little fella that is full of self-importance.  Imagine how embarrassing it must be for him when Isabelle has an even cooler trick and she points out all the animals in the forest have "moves".  Mario and Isabelle work out their differences before the end of the story.

What I liked is how the author added drawings to show the moves.  They are done on lined paper and look like pencil.  You could use this an opportunity for your child to create their own moves and draw them out for you.  It's not just a read the book activity, it could be an art activity too.

Happy reading.

City Girl, Country Vet by Cathy Woodman

Maz is only coming to help Emma out.  Emma is worn and burned out from being the only vet in her clinic and needs a vacation.  Maz comes in thinking a couple of weeks, Emma says six months!  A lot can happen in six months.

Voice and Edelweiss let me download an ebook of this story for review (thank you).  It's due to be published September 4th in trade paperback, so you'll be able to get a copy soon.

This story reminds me a bit of the James Herriott books.  Being a country vet has it's own flavor and it's own odd customers.

Maz has come from London after a disastrous love affair and loss of her job doing no more than trying to find a temporary home where she can get her life back in order.  What she finds is much more challenging.

The vet experiences in this story have the ring of truth.  Not all the patients survive.  And Maz begins to think she's lost the faith of her staff, the customers and even what little self-respect she still had.

Then the author pours in a spoonful of additional conflict.  She's attracted to the other veterinarian's son.  The fact that the father is trying to run Emma's business out of town doesn't make that a comfortable situation. 

I really enjoyed this story.  It's a soft sweet tale filled with choices, chances, and healing spirits.  Why not get yourself a copy and visit the countryside and meet the townfolks pets?

Happy reading.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hide & Seek by Il Sung Na

Imagine playing hide and seek in the jungle, there would be lots of places to hide.  But how many places would there be for a big giraffe to hide?

Alfred A Knopf sent me a copy of this children's picture book to review (thank you).  It has been published, so check with your local bookstore to pick up a copy.

This is a fun book for young ones.  The illustrations are vibrantly colorful and they learn to count to ten.  My favorite part is the elephant who is doing the countdown.  In each illustration he has changed positions.  Just watching his changes keeps you turning pages.

It's also great fun to watch the animals try to find a place to hide.  Everyone hides and everyone is found, except the chameleon.  Here's a good way to introduce them to this camouflage creature and discuss a bit of science.  They might want to learn more about animals who can hide.

You will have fun searching for the animals.

Happy reading.

Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction by Carrie Ryan (Edited by)

Witches, demons, horror, love, hate and death linger in these pages.  Only turn the cover on this book if you're sure you're ready for this journey...

Delacorte Press and Edelweiss allowed me to download a copy of this ebook for review (thank you).  This book will be on sale August 28th.

This an eclectic group of stories written by fourteen different authors.  The taste of each story is different.  In some cases, I rushed right into the next story to get rid of the taste of the last story.  Horror or bad endings will do that to me. I did pick some favorites to highlight.  This is small list and by no means the only stories I liked.  It's just a bit to tantalize you and perhaps let you see some of the contents in advance.

Gentlemen Send Phantoms is a gentle tale of sweet love with a touch of paranormal.  Laini Taylor does nice job of blending fear and superstition into a quest for love.

The Chosen One by Saundra Mitchell was wonderful.  The story is filled with action and ends on a high note.  It's true that love is blind.

Fate by Simone Elkeles also caught my eye and my interest.  This is tale of love in unexpected places.

None of these tales will bore you.  Most will intrigue you.  Why don't you read the book and tell me which tales you liked best?  I'd love to see if our interests are the same.

Happy reading.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Baby Listens by Esther Wilkin

Just what does a baby hear?  Here is real cute look at the various sounds and where they come from that should charm any small child.

Random House Books for Kids is printing new editions of the Little Golden Books.  This is a classic Golden Book that they sent me for review (thank you).  This book has been published, so check at your local bookstore for a copy.  There are more in this series and I love them all.  Once you look at them, I bet you do, too.

The story is cute; it even includes baby pounding a spoon on a pan to make noise.  The illustrations by Eloise Wilkins are precious.

Why not return to the simpler world of the past and share this book with a young one?  If you're old enough, you'll remember having read this as a child.  Here's your chance to share some treasured memories with them.

Happy reading.

Stranger in the Room by Amanda Kyle Williams

Keye Street is a private detective and does profiling for the police department on the side.  Her boyfriend is a cop.  And her cousin is an addict that doesn't want to be saved.  But when Miki is threatened, Keye is there to help.  Even when the killer says:  I will always find her..."

Bantam Books and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this ebook for review (thank you).  The book will be published August 21st and is coming out in both hardback and Kindle form.  Make a note to grab it.

Keye is an interesting character.  She lost her job with the FBI due to drinking.  She had become an alcoholic and is now working on recovery a day at a time.  Being around Miki is challenging for her because Miki both drinks and does drugs.  But you can't turn away from your only relative left.

Aaron, Keye's boyfriend, has two murders that seem to be unrelated until Keye points out there is evidence left at the scene that ties them together.  Aaron is a good cop and a nice man so it's easy for you to relate to him and hope that things will work for the couple.

Keye also has a case that is pretty unique.  The ashes in the urn are not the deceased.  They are cement, mixed with a bit of chicken poop.  The family is distraught and wants Keye to prove it so they can sue the crematorium.  This doesn't sound like it would be dangerous, but it turns out to be.

Between the two cases and dealing with Miki and trying to stay alive, Keye is very busy in this story.  There are parts that make you laugh and parts that make you sad, but it all feels realistic and reminds you of life.

I read The Stranger You Seek and enjoyed it.  This book was a continuation of Keye's story and it's just as excited and complex in plot as the first book.  You won't be disappointed if you read this book.  Keye's trying to foil a psycho and definitely needs Aaron to watch her back.

Happy reading. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tools of Prophecy by Michael A Rothman

The Riverton boys are back in this second book of the series and they are training for war...

The author and Goddess Fish Blog shared a copy of this book with me for review (thank you).  The book has been published, so you can find a copy now.  The first book in the series is Heirs of Prophecy, so check that one out, too.  If you only buy this one, there is enough information in it to make it stand alone.  I'm glad I read the first one though because it added to the story continuity.

Ryan and Aaron have grown.  Ryan is a skilled wizard; Aaron is a skilled warrior.  To meet the challenge before them, they need to become more honed at their skills.  The elves agree to train them.  Elves have more stamina and strength than humans, so Aaron is challenged big time.  Elves live long, long lives, so Ryan has a lot to learn, too.

The demon's minions are after the boys, so everyone has to be on their toes and able to react instantly.  That includes their fiances and friends.

This is an action packed story that includes magic, demons, monsters, elves, dwarves, humans, and an ogre.  The fight between good and evil is intense.  The outcome of the fight is unknown.

This story has a very ironic ending.  I think there will be more to this series.  I don't see the evil demon giving up his fight...

If you would like my copy of this book, leave a comment here and email me at info at with your name and address and why you'd like to read the book.

Also, one random commenter on this book will get a $50 gift certificate for Amazon.  Be sure to visit the other blogs for more chances.  They are listed here:  Goddess Fish Blog

Happy reading.

The Golden Quest by David Delisle

The Golden Quest is a graphic novel about a young boy who embarks on a Hero’s Journey with his dog Shelby to discover the Golden Rules of Mo...