Thursday, October 31, 2019

Graphic Novel Review: Pumpkinheads


Since their freshman year of high school, Deja and Josiah spend their fall (September 1st thru Halloween) working together at the pumpkin Patch. Together they oversee the Succotash Hut.  Each year, for two months they're best friends. After Halloween, they go their separate ways.

But now it's Halloween night, their senior year. It's their last night together. Deja has a plan for them to have an adventure. She wants to try all the snacks. She wants Josiah to talk with the girl he's been crushing over for three years. She wants them to have a night to remember. 

My Thoughts: I really loved this graphic novel. I loved the story. I loved the art. I loved that the events took place in just one night. I loved spending time in the pumpkin patch - it made me want to visit. It's a sweet story about friendship, romance, making every moment count, not having regrets, and taking chances.

It's also the perfect book to read over Halloween!
I would love to see this team pair up again - maybe for a Christmas/Winter story.

Library Recommendation: A must have graphic novel for your school and public libraries.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Picture Book Wednesday: Mary Blair's Unique Flair

43211986. sx318

Mary Blair worked for Disney - at a time when not many women did. She's responsible for the creation of the It's a Small World ride.

Mary Blair worked for Disney - at a time when not many women did. She's responsible for the creation of the It's a Small World ride.

This picture book biography talks about her working on movies like Dumbo and Lady and the Tramp. She left Disney, but ended up traveling with Walt Disney and the company on a trip to South America. I love that the trip inspired her creativity, her use of colors, and opened her eyes to power of possibilities. I love that the children influenced her. A really great book about believing in magic, the inspiration of art, and colors. I loved the art work and how the illustrator was inspired by Mary Blair. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween

This week's topic is a Halloween freebie. I've already talked about some fun Halloween Picture books here and here. I've also read two children's fiction books that are perfect for this time of year - here and here. I also don't read scary books because...I scare easily. Here are some other times I've talked about Halloween, including some costumes.  So I'm talking about candy today!

I'm a candy freak. I'm a Dark Chocolate only person, so here are candies I would love in my trick or treat bag:

Peanut Butter M&Ms
Peanut M&Ms
Sour Patch Kids
Sweedish Fish
Reese Peanut Butter Pumpkins
Gummy Bears

What's your favorite type of candy?

Monday, October 28, 2019

Blog Tour: Bruce's Big Storm

About the Book
Author: Ryan T. Higgins
Pub. Date: September 3, 2019
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 48
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonKindle, B and N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD

Bruce's home is already a full house.

But when a big storm brings all his woodland neighbors knocking, he'll have to open his door to a crowd of animals in need of shelter-whether he likes it or not.

Readers will love this next installment of the uproarious, award-winning Mother Bruce series.

I'm really excited to read this book. I've loved the previous Bruce books. They're sweet, funny, and charming. I love the mice and their mischeivious ways. I love that Bruce is a little bit grumpy, but secretly has a big heart. He's a big hit in my library too! I'm looking forward to see what kind of animals will seek shelter with Bruce and the mice.  And how will they spend their time together? 

I reviewed Mother Bruce and Bruce's Big Move and Santa Bruce

About Ryan: 
Ryan T. Higgins is a New York Times Bestselling author/illustrator residing in Southern Maine. He lives with his two dogs, two cats, one gecko, one tortoise, one son, one daughter, and one wife. As a child, he lived on a diet of cartoons, cheese sandwiches, and climbing trees. At the age of four he decided to become a cartoonist and he’s been making his own cartoons ever since.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Follow the Tour:
10/28/2019- YA Book Nerd- Review
10/29/2019- Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers- Review
10/30/2019- Nerdophiles- Review
10/31/2019- Wishful Endings- Review

Giveaway Details:
3 winners will receive a finished copy of BRUCE’S BIG STORM, US Only.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Walt Disney World Photos (4)

My husband and I recently traveled to Disney World, I thought I'd share some fun photos of our trip. We were at Hollywood Studios - were we spent a good deal of time in the Toy Story Land and of course Star Wars

I loved the Toy Story D├ęcor - everything was bright and colorful. And it reminded me of toys I played with as a kid. Plus the Toy Story Mania is my new favorite ride. Lots of fun!

And Star Wars Land - which was really cool. Some day time and night time shots

Inside Olga's Canteen 

The DJ robot inside Olga's Canteen 

My drink: Punch it
It was 9:30 in the morning, so too early for an adult beverage for me.

The Millennium Falcon ride

Some Racers


The market place

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Review: Marshmallow Ghosts

The Marshmallow Ghost (Royal Sweets #4)
A sleepover at Candy Castle has some people believing in ghosts. Princess Mini worries that this sleepover might turn into a nightmare. Can she convince her friends the tower isn't haunted?
My Thoughts: A cute story about friendship, having fun together, and being scared. I enjoyed this one. I liked how the friends supported arch other, even when they were nervous or scared. I loved the silly jokes and the sweets they ate. I love how the midnight ghost turned out. A fun story with cute illustrations that's perfect for Halloween.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: Book sent for review
Library Recommendation: Grad this one for your school and public libraries.

Friday, October 25, 2019

Review: Better Than the Best Plan

Better Than the Best Plan
Ritzy can't believe her whole summer changed. One day her mom was talking about leaving and the next day...she was gone. Ritzy carries on like nothing's changed, but someone finds out.

When social services can't get a hold of her mother, Ritzy's placed into foster care. She uncovers the truth about her past - that she's been in the system before. Her former foster mother takes her in.

Kristin seems nice, so does her husband. She's trying really hard. But Ritzy's been taking care of herself for as long as she can remember; she's not used to rules.

How can you plan for the future when everything changes?
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. My heart broke for Ritzy has her whole life was turned upside down. And then she learned about her past. I enjoyed Kristin and her husband - how they tried to help her. I liked the friendship and the romance. I enjoyed watching Ritzy navigate through a different social world. - that part reminded me of Rory Gilmore. I enjoyed the family dynamics here - because sometimes people do get to chose their families. I really liked seeing a book about foster families - especially in older YA. And of course right before all the really hard decisions about the characters future. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My library
Library Recommendation: Grab this one for your school and public libraries!

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Blog Tour: Candy Cane Caper

The Candy Cane Caper
Author: Josi S. Kilpack
Publication Date: 10/1/19
Paperback ISBN: 9781629726014
Retail Price: $15.99
Page Count: 320
Fiction / Mystery and Detective / Cozy / Culinary
Book Design: © Shadow Mountain Art Direction: Richard Erickson  Design: Kimberly Kay

About the Book:
The Candy Cane Caper
This Christmas, Sadie Hoffmiller Cunningham is making a list and checking it twice. For the first time since she and Pete married five years ago, their combined families are gathering for the holidays in Fort Collins, Colorado, for a party that would make Santa and Mrs. Claus proud.

She just has to bake the famous Cunningham Candy Cane Cake, make sure the looming snowstorm doesn't derail everyone's travel plans, and oh, yes, solve one teensy-tiny mystery before the big day.

At ninety-four and nearly blind, Mary, Sadie's friend and neighbor, knows this will be her last Christmas. When Sadie learns that someone has stolen antique Christmas ornaments from Mary's tree, she vows to find the thief, no matter what. The ornaments had been appraised at more than $40,000, but they were worth even more to Mary, who had intended to bequeath them to her great-granddaughter, Joy, as a final gift.

With Pete in Arizona wrapping up a case of his own, it's up to Sadie to question the residents of Nicholas House, where Mary lives, and deduce who had the means and the motive to steal heirloom ornaments during what should be the most wonderful time of the year.

When stories of other thefts surface, Sadie feels like she's creating a "naughty" list that could rival Santa's. Identifying the thief, recovering the ornaments, and restoring them to Mary's tree in time will take a Christmas miracle—and maybe a few extra-special cookies.
My Thoughts: I didn't realize this book was part of a series. To be honest, the cover pulled me in. And although the book referenced other moments in the previous books, I was fine without reading the prior twelve books. I enjoyed this cozy Christmas mystery. Sadie's trying to help create a magical Christmas for her new blended family. I love how she was trying to make dishes from both sides of the family to make this holiday special for everyone. And I love how that turned out. I enjoyed learning more about these special holiday ornaments. I enjoyed watching Mary's family interact with each other, knowing that this would be the last holiday for Mary. A fun cozy that's perfect to read in front of the fire with a warm cup of cocoa.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: ARC sent for review

About the Author: 

Josi S. Kilpack is an accomplished and prolific author of nearly two dozen novels including the Sadie Hoffmiller Culinary Mystery Series. She has won multiple Whitney Awards for Myster/Suspense, Romance, and Novel of the Year as well as the Utah Best of State Fiction Winner. She lives with her family in Utah.

Follow the author on Instagram @authorjosiskilpack

Advance Praise/Endorsements:

“A warmhearted mystery.” -Kirkus

“Sadie Hoffmiller dishes up a fresh serving of Christmas cheer. An inspirational cozy whose feel-good vibe will be perfect for fans of Julie Hyzy's and Nancy J. Parra. Readers with a sweet tooth will be sure to enjoy Sadie's family recipes, sprinked throughout the book.” -Booklist

“Kilpack represents a nice range of ages in this story, and the relationships feel both real and aspirational. The clues and solution are complex enough to keep readers guessing. Recipes are included, making this a fun choice for cookbook discussion groups as well as general readers. Twelve previous "Culinary Mystery" titles precede this entry, which can be read on its own.” -Library Journal

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Picture Book Review: Count on Me

42041930. sx318

Everyone has a spark (a passion).
The key is to finding out what's yours!

Math is this little girl's passion. She sees the world differently because of it. A great lesson for everyone. The color palette makes the book stand out and the illustrations are fun.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Songs from Movies

This week's topic is another one about titles. I'm not good at making up titles, so I'm changing the topic. I'm talking about songs that when they come on the radio remind me of a movie scene. Not musicals - obviously. And not songs written for the movies (that I know of)

This is a favorite movie from my childhood. I never hear this song without thinking of this movie.
Adventures in Babysitting - Then He Kissed Me by The Crystals

I do love a good dance scene!
Love Actually - Jump by The Pointer Sisters

Another Hugh Grant movie...
I love the time lapse here. Clever. 
Notting Hill  - Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone by Billy Withers

And more Hugh Grant.
I especially like Happy Birthday whatshisname 
Bridget Jones's Diary - The Weather Girls

Another fun dance scene
13 Going on 30 - Thriller by Michael Jackson

More dancing. Oh, how I wish I could dance
Center Stage - The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson

Obviously this one.

Pretty Woman - Oh, Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison

And this one too come to think of it
Pretty Woman and Kiss by Prince

And really anything from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack

What songs take you back to a movie?

Monday, October 21, 2019

Blog Tour: The Upper Case Trouble in Capital City

About the Book:
Author: Tara Lazar; Ross Macdonald (Illustrator)
Pub. Date: October 15, 2019
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 32
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB and NTBD

42873951. sx318
Just when Private I thinks all is calm-now that he's cracked the case of 7 Ate 9-Question Mark storms into the office.

Mark is worried. All the uppercase letters are M-I-S-S-I-N-G! But that's absurd. This is CAPITAL City!

Private I is the last letter standing. Will he solve his BIGGEST mystery yet, the UPPER CASE, before it's too late?!

Filled with the same humor, wit, and quirkiness of the hit 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story, comes another laugh-out-loud whodunit.

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. It's just as much fun as the first book. Private I is smart and always follows the clues. He doesn't give up easily. I love the story's humor and grammar jokes. A fun book for all ages with great illustrations that add to the story. I hope there's more trouble in Capital City because these books are full of awesome.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Library Recommendation: A must have for school and public libraries.
Source: Book sent for review

About Tara:
Street magic performer. Hog-calling champion. Award-winning ice sculptor. These are all things Tara Lazar has never been. 
Instead, she writes quirky, humorous picture books where anything is possible. 

Her picture books available now are: 
THE MONSTORE (Aladdin/S and S, 2013)
I THOUGHT THIS WAS A BEAR BOOK (Aladdin/S and S, 2015)
LITTLE RED GLIDING HOOD (Random House Children’s, 2015)
NORMAL NORMAN (Sterling, 2016)
WAY PAST  BEDTIME (Aladdin/S&S, 2017)
7 ATE 9: THE UNTOLD STORY (Disney*Hyperion, 2017)
Tara is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency.
Her last name rhymes with “bazaar”—you can listen to Tara pronounce her name on She’s not Tara Laser-beam (although that would be awesome).

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

Follow the Tour:

YA Book Nerd Review
Wonder Struck Review
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers Review
Two Chicks on Books Excerpt
books are love Review
Books a Plenty Book Reviews Review
Savings in Seconds Review
Lifestyle of Me Review
two points of interest Review
A Gingerly Review Review

Giveaway Details:
3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE UPPERCASE, US Only.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Walt Disney World Photos (3)

My husband and I recently traveled to Disney World, I thought I'd share some fun photos of our trip. Here are some pictures from our third day at Epcot where the Wine and Food Festival is in full swing.

I loved seeing the different countries, but England is my favorite. Probably because I spent a semester abroad there and it feels like home to me.

Wine and Food Festival Decor

Wine and Food Festival Decor


England - the Twinings Tea Shop is my favorite building. It's so cute and cozy.

More England. Also where I met Mary Poppins

I loved the clever signs for the Wine and Food Festival 

Norway - where you can meet Anna and Elsa

This picture didn't come out the best, but it's another building in Norway with grass growing on the roof. Totally charming. 

Mickey Mouse waffle

A book of fairy tales

We ate our way around the world - I tried mostly desserts while Chris had real food. Some of it was amazing and some we were surprised by. This is a chocolate raspberry mousse cake. And it was amazing!

We also tried scallops, a game day burger, artisanal cheeses, bread pudding, a lobster roll, baklava, ramen noodles (which surprised us because they were cold and there was something crunchy about them), and shrimp dip.

Recreating a picture from 10 years ago

Listening to an A cappella group - they had amazing voices

At the end of the day.