Sunday, February 28, 2021

A Year of Everyday Wonders by Cheryl B Klein


This is a good way to look at things.  At the start of the new year, everything is a first.  Qin Leng is the illustrator and her graphics are lovely.

Abrams Young Readers sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can get a copy now.

All year long is a season of firsts and that makes it fun.  The thing that really related to me was her fights with her brother.  I had a little brother that loved to antagonize me.  This girl has problems with hers, too!

This would be a good game you and your children could play.  How many things have you done for the first time this year?

Saturday, February 27, 2021

The 2nd Best Haunted Hotel on Mercer St. by Cory Putman Oakes


The Ivan Hotel has been there for ages and the same family owns it.  They have several ghosts as staff.  Some are relatives.  But another haunted hotel has moved in...

Amulet Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can get a copy now.

The ghosts are all a little bit quirky.  You never know when they will start to fade and move on.

Then they find out that a reviewer is coming around to visit both hotels and rate them.  The Ivan crew decides to put on a murder mystery dinner.

The food is not without it's problems, the truancy cop finds the people he was looking for are at the dinner, and things go downhill from there.  When the reviewer loses his wig, one of the girls recognizes him.  He looks just like the manager next door.

Come to find out, the reviews are really useless because the other hotel is using the brother to judge them and he only gives the #1 award to his own brother.  They've also managed to get control of the food emporium so they are assured of winning. 

The girls find evidence proving that and turn it in to the cops.  Soon their hotel is the one that is most famous.

There is a lot of action, plenty of bits of oddness, and plenty of ghosts.  It's a fun read.

Friday, February 26, 2021

A Pig in the Palace by Ali Bahrampour


He's home rolling in the mud when the postman shoves an envelope under the door.  What could that be?

Abrams Young Readers sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you van get a copy now.

It's an invite to eat with the queen.  He has fleas and isn't all cleaned up but he goes to bed with the intention of doing it in the morning.  He only awakens when the car arrives to take him to the palace.  Oh well...

This reminds me a bit of our family dinners we had when I was a kid.  We'd have thirty-three people at the table.

When he gets to the palace he finds he's the only one who doesn't have clothes.  He tries to take a small tablecloth but he dumps the flowers and makes a mess.  The longer he's there, the bigger the messes are.  They are trying to throw him out when the queen arrives.  You won't believe her response!

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Milo's Christmas Parade by Jennie Palmer


Milo loves the Christmas parade.  He attends every year so he can see all the new wonders.  His family comes too, but all they are interested in is the food people have dropped.

Abrams Young Readers sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can get a copy now.

Milo decides to create his own float so he can join the parade.  It's not going as smoothly as he would like, so his family joins in.  They might not be impressed by the parade, but they love Milo and help him achieve his dream.

He gets in the parade at the very back but a big balloon knocks him out of place.  They all band together and rush to catch up.  Miles is asked if he will take a passenger.  He says yes.   This passenger makes his float even more important.  Miles has lived his dream.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Thanks a Ton! Sabrina Moyle, Eunice Moyle



This is sweet picture book where the little elephant wants to say thank to his friends but words just don't do it...

Abrams Appleseed sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can get a copy now.

He starts by sending gifts.  The gifts get bigger and bigger each time.  Soon his wagon is overflowing.  You'll be amazed by all treats he comes up with.

This is a good read for the younger set.  Just hope they don't ask you for one of those gifts!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

JoJo and BowBow Jingle bells and Mistletoe by JoJo Siwa


JoJo is going with her friends to the mountains to watch the performance of the Snow Queen.  Another friend is playing the main part.  Once they get there it starts to snow.

Amulet Books sent me a copy of this book to read and review (thank you).  It has been published so you can get a copy now.

They have a few days there and they are going to take skiing lessons as well as doing some ice skating.  All is going well until Miley has a disagreement with one of the boys.  Then she starts acting weird.

Unfortunately the snow does not stop and they don't get to go home on the original flight.  But JoJo knows there are different traditions for Christmas so she starts collecting information.  The resort provides the food and they share the traditions.  That makes them not feel so bad.

Miley has a crush on the boy she met and she finally admits it.  JoJo encourages her to talk to him.  

The performance of the Snow Queen is a big success.  And when they finally get home, JoJo's mother has a surprise for them...

Monday, February 22, 2021

Murder with Strings Attached by Mark Reutlinger

She's been taken to jail by the cops because she was caught in someone else's house.  She was going to use her one phone call to talk to her boss, but he was already there.

The author and Goddess Fish Blog Tours let me read this excerpt to review (thank you).

She manages to get out of jail because she has a clean record and had nothing on her person from the home she was in.

As they leave her boss asks some very searching questions.  He asks why she shot him and where she put the violin she was supposed to be stealing.  She has no answers for him.  Someone got there ahead of her.

Mark Reutlinger will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.  Enter HERE.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found HERE.  

Happy reading and good luck.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Ghoulia and the Ghost with No Name (Mortina #3) by Barbara Cantini


Ghoulia and her aunt are getting ready for the "Dead But Not Departed" New Year's Eve party.  Then there is a knock at the window.

Amulet Books sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

There's a ghost outside who would like to come in.  He doesn't remember his name or anything about him.  They determine what era he's from and then Ghoulia sneaks out at night to get the church record and determine who she he is.  She gets caught in the church but she scares the caretaker into fainting and runs!

After all, if it takes too long to identify him, he'll vanish entirely.  It's no small feat to go through the church records.  Do you think she'll manage it in time?

There are bonus activities included at the back of the book.

Saturday, February 20, 2021

My Magical Leprechaun by Yujin Shin


This time it's a leprechaun instead of snowman, but it's just as much fun!

Abrams Appleseed sent me a copy of this book to read and review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

This is another push, pull, and slide book.  The little leprechaun is looking for the end of the rainbow.  Do you think he will find it?

I can see little ones having a lot of fun with this book.

Friday, February 19, 2021

My Magical Snowman by Yujin Shin


Yujin Shin is an illustrator and her graphics stand out in this book.   They are charming and fun.

Abrams Appleseed allowed me to read and review this book (thank you).  It has been published.

This is a push, pull and slide book that changes what you are looking at.  It should fascinate little ones when they read it to see what shows up.  Mom or Grandma will have to read the book but I know the little one will want to do the interactive things!

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Is It Time For Christmas Yet? Frederick Glasser


This is a lift the flap book that is sweet and full of Christmas cheer.  Edward Miller was the illustrator and he does a great job with the illustrations.

Abrams Appleseed sent me a copy of this book to read and review (thank you).  It has been published and would make an excellent gift for a young one in the Christmas season.

The book reminds me a bit of the old time story of Santa coming down the chimney with his gifts.  The flaps add more to the story and it will be great fun in anticipation of Christmas!

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

The Creak on the Stairs by Eva Bjorg AEgisdóttir


A body was found in the water by the lighthouse.   They knew who she was but they had no idea why she was killed.  It wasn't suicide.

Orenda Books and Edelweiss allowed me to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on March 1st.

This is the story of a few families in a small town.  The woman killed was a quiet youngster who had a limited number of friends.  She also had an evil side.

As they try to dig up what happened, they know some are not telling all they know.  This is set in Iceland and it's not a big town.  Everybody knows everybody else but secrets can be hard to keep.

One girl goes missing early in the story.  Eventually they found out what happened.  The victim by the lighthouse had a drunk mother who traded her favors for rent.  Then the man's interest turns to the daughter.  The reason they knew what happened was because the person molesting them took pictures.

The families all had their secrets and justice is only partially served but the police finally figure it out.  It doesn't seem like Iceland would have problems like that but there are crimes everywhere...


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Winterkill by Ragnar Jonasson, David Warriner (Translated by) Series: Dark Iceland series


He liked working in this small town, there weren't many big problems.  But then he gets a call about a dead body in the main street of the town.  He goes and when he sees who is dead, he knows he'll never get that image out out of his head.  She's only nineteen but her life is over...

Orenda Books and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 1st.

Ari doesn't know if she jumped or was pushed from the balcony of the building.  He starts asking questions.  The lady had opened the door from her bedroom thinking it was one of her tenants.  She didn't see her come in or see her fall to her death.

The people he questions are not telling the whole truth, but it doesn't take long before he realizes that.  It gets even more complicated when he realizes there was more than one death.

As he tries to make sense of the clues, he finds even another death.  It was a murder, but I felt like it was justice.

The reasons for the first two deaths were rather mundane but no one wanted to be blamed.  It just doesn't work that way...

Monday, February 15, 2021

Black Panther, Illustrations by John Buscema


This comic book character comes to life in this Mighty Marvel First Book.

Abrams Appleseed sent me a  copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

You learn about the Black Panther, who he is, who he works with, and then you get to see him in battle.  This is a great way to introduce your child to comics.

The illustrations are great, the lift a flaps show more, and I bet your young one will be rooting for the Black Panther!

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Love Block by Christopher Franceschelli, Peskimo


This a lovely block book.  It has all kinds of animals in it and they share the various nuances of love.

Abrams sent a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

There are lift up flaps that expand the illustrations, some have additional text on them.  The graphics are lovely, the message is clear:  Love is for everyone!

Young ones should have fun lifting the flaps and telling them they are loved should make a big smile on their face.

Saturday, February 13, 2021

What's Up Fire Truck? by Matthew Reinhart, Toby Leigh


Do you have a child that is interested in fire trucks?  This is the perfect book for them!

Abrams Appleseed sent me a copy of this book to review (thank you).  It has been published and would make a special gift.

The child can read the text about how fire fighters get ready.  There are lift up flaps that show more.  The best part is that the book turns into fire truck!  The directions for doing so are on the back cover.

What fun!  I can see them doing it again and again, can you?

Friday, February 12, 2021

Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly


This is a tale of slaves during the Civil War.  You learn about how they were treated and what their limitations were.  It's a fictional account but it shows you the facts.  Being a slave was not pleasant.

Ballantine Books and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on March 30th.

Georgeanna Woolsey, a Union nurse during the Civil War,  Jemma, a young enslaved girl who is sold off and conscripted into the army, and Anne-May Wilson, a Southern plantation mistress are the main characters. 

You see how the war changes things.  Not everyone has enough to eat, many are whipped or hung, and love is a hard thing because slaves are sold and they may never see their spouse again.

One of the owners is a spy.  One has relationships with the female slaves.  None of them are very kind.  I hate reading about things like this but it's a fact things like that happened.

Georgey is determined to open a nursing school for women.  She has learned how to nurse but the male nurses take her jobs away from her.  Jemma is a young slave living with her mother and father and other siblings.  But they hang her father and her mother runs.  Soon Jemma is sold to the Union Army.  Anne-May is the owner of Jemma and she comes after her when she gets separated from the army.

There's a lot of trauma in this story.  This is not a time to be proud of but it is a good look at what history can teach you... 

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Phantoms and Felonies by Lucy Ness, Series: A Haunted Mansion Mystery (#2)


Avery is excited that the theatrical group is going to do a play at the club she runs.  There are a lot of details to work out and they are in the midst of getting everything ready when they find one of the actors dead...

Berkley and Edelweiss gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 30th.

Avery's boyfriend is a cop and he takes her Aunt to the station because she was found standing over the victim with the knife in her hand.  She said she found him dead and she didn't even think of taking the knife out.

Then another woman says she did it.  They took them both to the police station.  It doesn't last long though.  They are both left handed and he was stabbed by a right handed person.

There are more questions for everybody but no one person stands out.  They have a seance and get a visit from the victim's ghost.  He speaks but he doesn't identify the killer.

Then Avery was talking to some of them and realizes what the significance of what the ghost said.  She leaves and calls her boyfriend but the call go to voicemail.  Then she finds someone is trying suffocate her with a plastic bag.  She has two coming after her, will help show up in time?


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Meet America's Presidents!: 2-Minute Visits by Scott Peters


This is a very nice way to learn facts about the presidents and what they accomplished during their presidency.  It's quick to read, very concise, and has photos of all the presidents.

The author and Library Thing let me read this book for review (thank you).   It has been published so you can get a copy now.

I was amazed to see how many of them had died from a heart attack or stroke.  Then there were assassinations that cut their term short.  It's not easy to be president.

This would be a good reference book.  It shows the years they were alive and when they died.  A lot of the agencies we take for granted today were put into place by a president.

 I was impressed how much was included and how well it was done.  This is a great historical resource.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

The Wolf in Underpants at Full Speed by Wilfrid Lupano, Illus. by Mayana Itoïz and Paul Cauuet


This is a cute story.  The birds are all getting ready for a race.  The wolf who wears underwear goes unto the woods to find out who beat up the guards.  It's a little bird that one wing didn't develop; he can't fly.

Lerner Publishing and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on March 2nd.

The bird is really depressed but the wolf comes up with an idea.  He takes the bird to where the race was started, pulls the banner back like a slingshot and flings him in the air.

The bird loves it!  He can try all those things other birds do in the air.  It gets him close to the finish line, too.  Will he win the race?

Monday, February 8, 2021

Checking Out Crime by Laurie Cass - Series: A Bookmobile Cat Mystery (#9)


Minnie drove the bookmobile with her cat, Eddie.  She's traveling back roads and almost gets run over by a car driving too fast and partly in her lane.  She manages to avoid the car but then she sees something worse.  There's a man lying in the road and she doesn't know if she can stop soon enough.  She managed to stop but she was close to him.  She tries to help him but it's too late for that...

Berkley and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published March 30th.

She wonders if the car going so fast held the killer.  She couldn't see the driver.  The police can't do much with no description to focus on.

Then they find a dead woman.  The man had been hit in the head, the woman was strangled.  Minnie starts asking questions and looking for a reason why they died.  It's a small town, she can't believe the people she knows would commit murder, but someone had.

She gets her friends involved and they all attempt to help crack the case.  She finally figured it out but while she's explaining to someone, a bullet takes out the water bottle in her hand.  Will she be victim #3?

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Big Little Spies by Krista Davis


The judge's dog is missing and everyone is searching for it.  Holly finds the pet detective in someone's backyard.   He's dead.

Berkley and Net Galley gave me the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on March 30th.

There is a group of ladies in town that is called Wagtail Animal Guardians or WAG.  They have cats or dogs and enjoy get togethers with both the people and the animals eating.

The police initially consider Holly as a suspect because she found him.  So Holly launches her own investigation.  She thinks it's someone in the group because the victim died in the back yard of one of them.

It's amusing because the judge, who is a widower, is being pursued by three women.

Holly looks at all of them with new eyes looking for clues.  She's wrong most of the time but she finally thinks she has it right.  The trouble is that the killer knows what she works out, so she's on the list for removal next...

Feathered Serpent and the Five Suns: A Mesoamerican Creation Myth by Duncan Tonatiuh


The gods of Mesoamerica attempted to create humans.  Instead they created some animals.  So they threw the bones to their version of the devil...

Abrams Books for Young Readers sent me a copy of this book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

Only one god did not give up.  He was the Feathered Serpent.  He went after the bones.  He had to go through tests to get there.  It was good that he had Xolotl from the first challenge with him.

When he gets there he asks for the bones.  The other evil god does not want to give them so he grabs them and runs.  The evil god sends bats after him and he and the bones fall in a deep hole.  

Will he be able to get out of the hole?  Did the bones get broken?  Read it and see.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Your Heart My Sky by Margarita Engle


This story is told in verse form.  It's a tale of Cuba and two young people who fall in love.  It's a story of survival when you are starving.

Atheneum Books for Young Readers sent me an ARC to read and review (thank you).  It will be published on March 23rd.

The author skillfully makes you feel their hunger.  They eat almost  anything they can find.  They even chance going to jail by trading things with black marketers for food.  A lot of what they eat sounds awful but if you get hungry enough you'll eat most anything...

The girl and her boyfriend were supposed to be part of a work crew.  Since they didn't go when called, they can get in trouble for that, too.

She creates a garden with help of seeds from his grandparents.  That helps.  She also finds a dog that adopts her and acts as a matchmaker with the boy.

This is an interesting look at how some others live.  It will make you feel better about living where food is taken for granted...

Friday, February 5, 2021

Answering Liberty's Call - Anna Stones Daring Ride to Valley Forge by Tracy Lawson


This is a fictional account of a woman's journey based on historical notes.  Anna wasn't going to marry but then she met Benjamin and he told her he wasn't going to tell her what to do like most of husbands did in that day.

Fidelis Publishing sent me a book to read for review (thank you).  It has been published and you can get a copy now.

Anna and Benjamin have three children.  He's in the service as well as her brothers.  She gets word that they are sick and don't have enough to eat so she gathers up food, blankets and clothes for her and heads out.  

She goes alone but every one is worried about her.  It's not safe for a young woman to ride through the forests and hills to get to Valley Forge.  She knows that but she goes anyway.

She almost gets raped, gets caught by enemy soldiers, and more.  Then someone wants her to take a message to General Washington.  She agrees but she has to find a place to hide it well.

She makes it to her destination and meets her husband who can't believe it's her.  She helps those she can and then she has to turn around and go home.  General Washington lets her husband escort home.  Her message to him helps him win the upcoming battle.

This is interesting and there are lot of challenges for Anna.  She's a strong woman.  I'd never heard of her before but this story introduces you to her.  It was a good read.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Fatal Fried Rice : A Noodle Shop Mystery by Vivien Chien


Lana is tired of her sister giving her a bad time about not being able to cook Chinese food.  She decides to take a class and learn how.  Then she forgets her ingredient list and heads back to the classroom to get it.  She gets a big surprise when she looks in and sees the teacher dead with a knife in her back.

St. Martin's Paperbacks and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on March 9th.

The detective thinks she killed her with the help of the janitor.  That doesn't leave her much choice.  She's going to have to run her own investigation.  Her boyfriend is a cop in another town and he tries to talk her out of it, but it doesn't work.

She checks out the janitor and the students that knew the teacher and then she gets a clue from one of the suspects.  Pictures that show a teacher flirting in the hall and the victim watching him.  She checks him out.

Then she sees more pictures of her looking at the original photos.  Someone is stalking her.

Then she starts looking at the women.

She figures out who killed the victim but she's in a car with the person who just happens to have a knife.  Can she save herself?

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Cloudmaker by Malcolm Brooks


Two young boys find a dead body in a local creek.  They fish him out and discover the special watch he is wearing.  One of them takes it.  That results in trouble.

Grove Press and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on March 9th.

Huck is building himself his own airplane and he thinks finding the watch is lucky.  It's just like Charles Lindbergh's watch.

This book is filled with information about flying.  Huck's plane is a success.  But there are men coming after the watch.  There was a bank robbery and the watch indicates where the gold was hidden.

Annelise is his cousin and she has taken flying lessons.  Huck gets her to tell him how to fly.  It isn't long until he decides he needs turbo charger to make it stronger in the air.

The young men and women discover where the gold is hidden.  They can't do anything with it but they don't want to turn it in yet.

There's a lot of action, lots of secrets, and in the end, Annelise ends up flying the plane with Huck's mom on board with appendicitis.  The plane is quicker than driving.  And mom can't be against the plane when it saved her life.

Set in 1937, Huck was amazing with his building and creating airplane things.  This was an interesting read.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Grand Openings Can Be Murder by Amber Royer


Felicity has come back home after her husband's death.  She's going to run a chocolate shop they had planned but in her hometown where she has friends.  She never expected to find one of her employees dead...

BooksGoSocial and Net Galley let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published February 2nd.

She's shocked to find out the detective is her boyfriend from high school.  They act like they are walking on eggs when they are around each other.  He even accuses her of murder.

She decides to figure out who the murderer is so she can get that accusation stopped.  She finds a man who was a bodyguard and hires him to help keep her safe.

They arrest a friend of hers (and an employee).  She can't believe she did it.  And then someone is in her home and shoots at the purse she threw back down the hall.  

She keeps checking all the people who knew the victim.  She needs her bodyguard now.

It comes down to a dramatic ending.  I was surprised by who the killer was...

Monday, February 1, 2021

The Windsor Knot by S J Bennet


Queen Elizabeth is getting ready for her 90th birthday party.  Then she learns of a death of one of her guests.  She lets the men do their investigation but she doesn't agree with their solution...

William Morrow and Edelweiss let me read this book for review (thank you).  It will be published on March 9th.

The Queen knows it was murder, not suicide.  So she sends her servants who are close to her to check things out.

At first, it is thought that Russians did it (he was a Russian pianist).  But that is not the answer.  The fact that someone in the castle did it bothers everyone.

Not everybody is what they seem.  The Queen uses her assistant private secretary to investigate and after she has gathered all the facts, Rozie knows the answer is there but she can't see it.  Then she has a dream and everything falls into place.

Rozie comes close to dying when she's facing a gun, but she has learned how to defend herself and she does a good job on the killer.

The Queen is an interesting character.  Her mannerisms and actions mimic the real Queen.  

This was a interesting read.  With so many staying at the castle, there are plenty of suspects.  It takes a while to weed them out.


Long Road to the Circus by Betsy Bird, David Small (Illustrated by)

Suzy is tired of boring summers.  Then she finds out there is a retired circus performer living in her area.  She also finds that her Uncle ...