Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Picture Book Wednesday: Fatima's Great Outdoors

Fatima's going camping for the first time. She and her family has some mishaps, but in the end, everything turns out right. And Fatima imagines more trips, which makes her happy and full of hope.

Fatima has a hard time at school, so the trip allows her to relax and connect with her family. We can all relate to that. I enjoyed how her parents shared stories from their past in connection to camping adventures. A really sweet story with great illustrations.

Library Recommendation: High recommended for your school and public libraries.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: 2021 Books

 This week's topic is most anticipated books of the second half of 2021. 

My list is usually huge, but last time, it was under twenty. I just went back and looked at my list. And I've read most of the books on that list, which is great. So I'm going to try to keep it smaller and more manageable. Since we just did summer, I'm going to say Sept thru December (minus those fantastic holiday romances which will be a separate post).

Always here for donuts


Will read any Stephanie Plum book
Adore Jenn McKinlay's library cozy series
Love the Torte Bakeshop Mystery series

I'm a sucker for enemies to lovers and also Hollywood stories

Both of these YA books look amazing. A fan of both authors!

Two of my favorite children's book series

Dogs and romance - yes please!

Any of these on your list?

Monday, June 28, 2021

Review: Gilded Girl


Emma Harris is late to learning about magic. But her father drops her off at Miss Posterity's Academy for Practical Magic where she hopefully has time to catch up before the kindling ritual. Emma's father spares no expense for his father. As such, she becomes a favorite amongst the other students.

Until, an accident claims the life of her father. Now penniless, Emma's forced to work at the school. Gone are her fancy clothes and belonging. Gone is her comfortable room and days filled with lessons. Now she's a scullery maid and shares a room with Izzy.

Emma can tell that Izzy's not thrilled at having to show her the ropes. But gradually they begin to talk. Izzy lets it slip that she's not interested in having here magic eliminated because she's not from the higher society. She means to perform the kindling ritual. But, she'll need Emma's help to complete the task. Emma's not sure she wants to. However, reluctantly, they come up with a plan. And they cross their fingers that everything comes out they way they need it to...
My Thoughts: This delightful novel is The Little Princess meets magic. It's charming. I loved the bits about magic and learning about the kindling ritual with Izzy and Emma. I loved how Emma learned more about the world - but I also wanted to give her a great big hug. I really loved the house dragon, the way the house moves rooms, the library, Emma's new friend Tom and his family, and of course, the magic. This novel touches on true friendship, class and society, snobbery and bullies, and kindness. And I loved the ending - simply magical. This book soothed my heart and made me believe in goodness in the world again.

Cover Thoughts: Charming
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Highly recommended for school and public libraries.

And I'm ever so happy there's a follow up book out next year!

Sunday, June 27, 2021

Board Books (8): Dinosuars

We just bought a bunch of new board books for our library.

I'll be talking about a few favorites over the next couple months

This week, it's all about dinosaurs and reptiles:

Baby Dinosaurs - a touch a feel book. It's a cute little book with different textures and dinosaurs.

Clever and funny. I like how this one asks questions of the readers. The last page has a look and find.

This stacked book compares dinosaurs to animals and objects like tents or a ladder on a fire truck. Lots of great information here. The last page has dinosaur bone statues.

A touch and feel book that contains lots of animal facts. I love the touch and feel, especially the frog's tongue. 

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Graphic Novel Review: Pizazz

OK, so this book is half graphic novel and illustrated book and half novel.
But it will appeal to graphic novel readers, so I'm going with it.

Pizazz is a Superhero who hates her power, her name, and her costume. She wishes she could be cool - especially when her parents move and she has to attend a new school. Her sister is thriving, but Pizazz is...Not.

Then she's given a role - Eco Monitor. At first, she thinks the role will be easy. But then Ivy comes to her with a problem - there's a park that's set to be demolished for a parking garage. Ivy's very upset. Together, they try to come up with a plan to save the park.

But creating change and awareness is hard. And everything they try seems to blow up in their faces.
Can Pizazz figure out how to save the park in time?
My Thoughts:

Friendship Drama 

Concern about the Environment  

Family Drama 



Fun illustrations 

Saving the World 

As you can see, this book, has it all.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: ARC sent for review
Library Recommendation: Recommended for your school and public libraries. 

Friday, June 25, 2021

Middle Grade Review: Winterborne Home for Mayhem and Mystery


April thought everything was fixed and everyone would be happy. But life isn't a fairy tale. Secrets have a way to coming out. And when April accidentally puts herself on the front page of the paper - trouble starts following them around.

The orphans all know that Gabriel is a vigilante - but it seems he's not the only one. When he becomes involved in a case, April only wants to help. But she makes a bigger mess out of everything.

Now there's no one to take care of them. And someone will stop at nothing to gain control over them and the family fortune.
My Thoughts: Another fantastic novel in this world. I really hope there are more Winterborne books coming. I love these characters and their adventures. I loved Gabriel's grumpiness. I loved all the action and the danger and the mystery. Most of all, I simply enjoyed spending more time with these characters. 

Library Recommendation: Highly recommended for your school and public libraries.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Review: One of Us is Lying


Five high school students arrive in detention. One of them never leaves the room alive. He's also responsible for the school's gossip site - a site that's showcased a lot of student secrets. The other four have secrets that they didn't wanted posted. Could one of them have killed them to keep their secret safe?
My Thoughts: This is one of those books you read in one sitting because you HAVE to know what happened. It was really good. However, I wasn't a huge fan of the twist. I did enjoy getting to know the characters and their secrets. I'm curious about the next book. The tagline Breakfast Club meets Gossip Girl is spot on. And this would make a great Netflix movie.

Cover Thoughts: Good
Source: My library
Library Recommendation: Highly recommended for your YA collection.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Picture Book Wednesday: Bear Can't Wait

Bear is throwing a party, but time is moving SO Slowly! He's having a hard time waiting.

Tomorrow is my half birthday, so this was a great day to talk about the newest BEAR book. I love this series. And waiting for something special is really hard. I loved how bear's friends came together to celebrate - even though it didn't go as planned. Another great addition to this charming series.

My Thoughts: Highly recommended for your picture book collection

*Book sent for review

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Wishes

 This week's topic is all about book wishes. I have to be honest, I've been terrible at reading ARCs lately. There's never enough time to read all the books I want to read. That being said, here are 10 books I would love the chance to read early.

The start of a new series plus a Christmas book = sold!

Christmas and YA - so here for it. I wish there were more Christmas books in YA published. So excited for this one!

I loved the first two books in this series

Always happy to read more from Jennifer Lynn Barnes - but can't wait to read this book!

Love royals

Donuts and Romance!

Love Little Women - this looks fantastic!

Loved the first two books!

Will read anything Sarah writes!

Ice Dancing with Olympic goals and romance!

Are any of these on your list?

Monday, June 21, 2021

Review: Anna on the Edge


Ana is the reigning US Juvenile Figure Skating Champion. She's interested in moving to the next phase, which requires a chorographer. Her mother's able to afford a big deal in the skating world. But Ana isn't pleased. The costume isn't right and the music isn't her.

When Ana meets a transgender boy who mistakes her for being a boy - she starts thinking. Could she be something other than a girl?
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this story -  I picked it up for the figure skating but was also curious about the gender identity moments. This was a great read - lots of friendship, financial worries, honest conversations, and of course figure skating. I loved how everything came together. Ana worried through most of the book and made some not great choices, but then found a way to fix them. A great middle grade read - both for the sports and the LGBTQ+ content. 

Cover Thoughts: Great
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Highly Recommended for school and public libraries

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Board Books (7): People from History


We just bought a bunch of new board books for our library.

I'll be talking about a few favorites over the next couple months

This week, it's all about famous people:

This is Amelia Earhart's story - about her dreams and how she persisted. I like how they ask the readers to follow the trail with their fingers.

* If you like this book, there is a series of both board books and picture books called Ordinary People Change the World

Famous people said NO and then they helped change the world. Lots of history in this one little book - lots of important people. I like how they include a small biography at the end of everyone mentioned. Great pictures. Great diversity. 

Women helped change the world and you can too! A small introduction to women who persisted - lots of diverse women. And this one even include Jane Austen. I love the message of this book. The illustrations are fantastic. 

Lots of people here to talk about - each one as a mini biography. This is for a little bit older children because there is so much text. I love the bright colors and the illustrations. And even I learned about some heroes of color from around the world.

I loved this book - from the message to the illustrations. Vashti Harrison is one my favorite illustrators. If you haven't read her books, pick one up today.