Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Washer and Dryer's Big Job

This board book is part of a series that explains machines to little curious minds. The google eyes make this cover pop. And it has a super fun ending!

Here's my childhood stuffed bunny Secret (named for their big ears) hanging out with our Washer and Dryer and making sure everything in the book is how it actually works. 

* board book sent for review

Top Ten Tuesday: Fictional Crushes

 This week's topic is all about book crushes - or in my case book boyfriends. 

We're done this topic a couple times. Check out my answers from recent reads and also ones from ages ago.

This time I'll try to capture more recent crushes from adult romances. Have you read any of these?

Most Recent:






Monday, August 30, 2021

Another Year of Summer Reading: The Covid Years


Another year of summer reading is over.

And it was again a different summer - but similar to last summer.

Looking back, in some ways it's easier and in some ways it's harder. 

We still don't have huge numbers of readers. And we didn't go into the schools to publicize it. But I don't think we were that far off from "normal" times.  

My library was not hosting any in person programs with the exception of an outdoor storytime (not on the library grounds.) 

The storytime was at a local park and it was great. We didn't have to limit the number of people to fit our storytime room. Children could wander a little bit. They could snack. We all enjoyed the fresh air. Everyone was happy to be there and I left every storytime feeling happy.

For the other programs, we pretty much did the same types of programs we've always done - BUT they were Take & Make bags. So no one had to be at the library at a certain time.

The bags didn't run out quickly, with the exception of the Foodie Fun bags. I think it was a little bit easier on parents because they always had crafts to pick up but they didn't have to rush to the library.

The Take & Make bags also allowed us to have more people participate in the programs.

Personally, it is a little be easier. All the Take & Make Bags come out in the beginning of the week. I'm not hosting there programs a day. It's easier to manage the desk with people taking summer vacations.

 (I actually managed two long weekends this summer - which is unheard of for a Children's Librarian). We didn't have huge crowds at the library, it was a steady but more quiet pace. 

Of course the weeks before summer, were hectic getting all the recorded programs filmed, edited, and scheduled for social media. 

Summer is always going to be stressful, busy, and challenging - just in different ways. 

Of course we missed doing the programs in person, but the library folks did had the patron interactions. The patrons missed the interactions with each other.

I honestly think after the world goes back to normal, we'll end up doing a hybrid of in person and Take & Make programs. As we always have more programming supplies than needed. Families will be able to pick up the program supplies to do at home if they couldn't make the program.

The one thing didn't really work (in terms of numbers) was performers. We had a few meet the animals over zoom. Our families are zoomed out or the timing was terrible. Either is possible. 

Our finale program was a live recording. I honestly think parents like this better. It's less stressful for parents and library folk. We give them a week to enter their earned raffle tickets into the prize packs.  It's not rushed. You're not required to be there that night. Everything is just smoother and easier. But the kids might like the excitement of that big night. However, they are more than happy to come into the library to see what they've won.

If you're in the library world, have you started talking about that yet?

Friday, August 27, 2021

Book Lists: YA Historical

Yesterday I talked about the reasons I enjoyed Sixteen Scandals.

I'm a sucker for a good historical fiction. I'm partial to the Regency Era novel - in both YA and Adult. I also love WWII books - but mostly in adult. I don't really like reading historical fiction past WWII. 

Here are some favorites:

Book List:
Sixteen Scandals by Sophie Jordan
The Season by Sarah MacLean

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers
Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbsotson
Ransom My Heart by Meg Cabot

Not Pictured:
Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee
La Petite Four by Regina Scott
Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle
Love, Lies, and Spies by Cindy Anstey
In the Shadow of the Lamp by Suzanne Dunlap
Maid of Secrets by Jennifer McGowan

What are you favorite YA Historical Fiction Books?
Do you have a favorite historical era?

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Cover Reveal: Chasing Alys

Today Morgana Bevan and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for CHASING ALYS, the first book in her new rockstar romance series which releases September 28, 2021! Check out the awesome cover and enter the giveaway!


On to the reveal!

About the Book

Title: CHASING ALYS (True Platinum Series, #1)

Author: Morgana Bevan

Pub. Date: September 28, 2021

Publisher: C Bevan Publishing

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Google Play Books, All other retail sites


Check out a preview of CHASING ALYS! 

When love’s song takes over, I’m forced to find the beat.


Heartbreak has been my dance partner for years, but I’m done. Love is a complication I no longer want. Especially from a rockstar.


Ryan Evans is the very definition of heartbreaker. Women line up so he can rock their worlds.


Not me. I’m determined to resist his charms.


Who cares if he has striking blue eyes, and a voice that lights me up? Our beats are thoroughly out of sync.


I am definitely, one hundred per cent, never again waking up to a stupid thank you note, for a night that probably shouldn’t have happened, with a guy who’s already on a plane out of here.

Except, there’s something about Ryan’s charming determination that gets past my defences. He creeps into my heart… and my bed, until I’m so wound up in him, there’s only one way it can possibly end…


Heartbreak! Mine. Again.


Chasing Alys is a full length steamy rock star romance. It is the first book following Rhiannon and the first in the True Platinum Series.


“I’m sorry about that.” He gestured back to the club. “That doesn’t normally happen. I don’t understand why it did tonight.” He dragged a hand through his hair, frustration darkening his eyes.

I shrugged, magicking up an air of nonchalance from somewhere. “You’re an up-and-coming rock star. It was going to happen someday.”

“I know, but not here. We don’t have a following in Cardiff.”

My eyes flicked back to the club. I could still hear the music; the bass vibrated down the street. They were lucky this was a commercial zone. The complaints would have been constant.

“Looks like you just got one.”

My words didn’t ease the tension in his face. I didn’t know how to do that or why I felt the need to comfort him.

“I’ll be better prepared from now on,” he said, his tone dripping with desperation.

Despite the situation, my lips twitched. “What are you going to do? Wear a disguise?”

His nod was swift. “If it’ll help, absolutely.”

“I appreciate the suggestion, but maybe this was just a sign that it wouldn’t work out anyway.” I took a step back, towards the waiting taxi. “It was a fun couple of days, Ryan,” I said, trying to inject some light into his sad expression.

The truth in those words took me by surprise. I had had fun with him, even if our interactions were brief. I’d miss his easy smile and the way he seemed to draw me to him like a magnet.

Wordlessly, he stepped around me and opened the taxi door. With a grateful smile, I slid in and buckled up.

Fun or not, I couldn’t give in. At this point, it felt like I needed to prove that I could be happy without a man messing with my head. Breaking a promise to myself for a guy who had women tracking his every movement would be foolish.

I was giving the driver my address when Ryan knocked on my window. He gestured for me to roll it down and I hit the button, frowning.

Ryan leaned forward until his head was level with mine. Something had eased in him and he had that determination shining in his eyes again. My stomach dropped at the sight. In that second, my wishes to be a mind reader came true. I knew what he was going to say before he uttered the words.

“There’s something important here and I’m not giving up yet.”


About Morgana Bevan:

Morgana Bevan is a sucker for a rock star romance, particularly if it involves a soul-destroying breakup or strangers waking up in Vegas. She's a contemporary romance author based in Wales. When Morgana's not writing steamy rock star and movie star romances, she's working in TV production in the UK.

When not writing, she enjoys travelling, attending gigs, and trying out the extreme activities she forces on her characters (see Instagram for evidence!).

Sign up for Morgana’s mailing list!


Website  Facebook | Facebook Group  | Twitter  | Instagram | TikTokGoodreads | Amazon | BookBub

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive an eARC of CHASING ALYS, International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Review: Sixteen Scandals


Sixteen Things I enjoyed about this book:

Prim's determination
Regency Era
Sixteenth Birthday Party - despite parents
Friendship - Olympia 
A Mysterious Gentleman Stranger
Vauxhall Gardens
Breaking society's rules
The danger of getting caught
Wearing masks
All the kissing
Prim's sisters
The not grounded - grounded moment
The hinted romance of Prim's sister and her best friend
The short time frame of the book
I really love the author
And that cover is cute!

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Picture Book Wednesday: Camp Books


Ok, so I fully admit that this post would be better in the beginning of summer. But these books are still fun to read and share any time during the year.

Have you ever wondered what to pack for your next sleepover or the first day of school? The alpactory is here to help! (mostly)

A funny story about being brave enough to try new things and knowing just what you need to help get the job done.

It's the first day of camp and EVERYONE is nervous. They all have unique quirks and they're all scared no one will like them. 

I love how they come together as a team when something goes wrong.  A great book about fears and being nervous but discovering that everything's going to be ok.

Would you like to go to camp on the moon?  One child is not pleased that their parents signed them up for moon camp. It's awful there - until they make a friend.

Camp isn't going well but then it turns around with a little kindness and a new friend. I love how they match each other so well. Moon Camp sounds like a really fun idea and I love how they capture different activities. 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Rewind

 This week's topic is books I wish I could read again, BUT for the first time.

For me, this is a lot of series books.

Princess Diaries

Sarah MacLean's books

Throne of Glass

Canterwood Crest

Lucky Harbor

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Poison Study

For Nostalgia Purposes

Sweet Valley High

Baby Sister's Club

Betsy Books

Monday, August 23, 2021

Review: Vineyard at Painted Moon


Mackenzie thought she had it all - the perfect job, a happy marriage, and a great family. But someone else's happiness makes her take a long look at her life. Before she know what's happening, she and her husband are getting a divorce.

Her perfect job comes from his family vineyard. She's fired from her job. Her family is his family, but her best friend is still on her side. 

Mackenzie always had plenty of ideas for the vineyard that the matriarch refused to allow. Now, she has a new business partner and they are purchasing a local winery. She'll be able to make all the decisions. Mackenzie's grieving the loss of her marriage, her job, and the family she always wanted. 

She's starting to do things she's never done before - live alone, cook dinner for herself, and not be consumed by work. Will she find a new place for herself?
My Thoughts: I really liked this book. It made me want to drink wine and tour wineries. I like learning about wineries and wine making. But I loved Mackenzie and my heart broke for her. But I admired how she landed on her feet with lots of luck and lots of hard work. I loved Four and Stephanie. I love how they stood by Mackenzie.  And how they were true to themselves - which wasn't easy. The family matriarch, Barbara, was the worst - mean, self absorbed, and cruel. Rhys wasn't too much better. Another great story from Susan Mallery.

Cover Thoughts: Gorgeous
Source: My library
Library Recommendation: A fantastic women's fiction story for your collection - highly recommended. Although I assume that Susan Mallery is an automatic purchase for most libraries. 

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Board Books (15) Nature

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

I've been talking about a few favorites. Today I'm talking about nature and animals

A funny story with lots of different animals showcased. I loved the sloth moments. Lots of movement and family moments.

So much to explore in this book. And lots of great information with great photographs. This one is perfect for next year's summer reading ocean theme!

These lift the flaps make it tough for a library book but this book is great. Lots of wildlife in different seasons to explore plus nighttime. 

Lots of information and vocabulary words in this alphabet book. I love the bright colors too. A great series of books!

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Recent Favorite Picture Books

Here are a few recent picture book favorites:

Mother Goose and her team of firefighters help the Queen of Tarts after a baking mishap.

I love the fun play on nursery rhymes in this book and the pictures are super cute too!

Fern is writing a story about her friendship with Otto. Otto doesn't think it's very exciting. Together they go looking for adventure for inspiration.

I loved this book - the illustrations are gorgeous. I love the nods to fairy tales and nursery rhymes. And the friendship is very sweet too. Plus who can resist a story about writing a story?

Agent Lion is back and helping skunk find her missing birthday party. They search high and low for clues to discover the party room.

Another fun book with Agent Lion. He's not really a great detective, but he always seems to get the job done. I hope there are more Agent Lion books ahead.

Two best friends are having a sleepover and they mean to stay up ALL night....until the yawns come.

A funny book about not wanting to go to bed...And it will make you yawn.

Boys dance too....and this book celebrates the love of dancing. 

I loved seeing the famous men ballet and other types of dancers on posters in the studio. Plus there are mini biographies in the back of the book. Celebrate what you love and what you have fun doing.

Library Recommendation: Highly recommend all these picture books for your school and public libraries.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Review: Bone Maker


25 years ago, Kreya and her companions fought a war and won. Now she's desperately trying to keep the man she loved from dying permanently. After the war, she became a hermit, gathering small bones where she could. The bones help give her husband life, a little at a time. But in order to give her husband his life back, she needs lots of bones. There's only one place to get those bones, but she can't go alone.

She needs her old friend's help. It's not going to be easy, but for the sake her husband, she travels the cities. There Kreya meets with her old friend, who is happy and angry to see her. Eventually, they come to terms. 

Upon traveling to the Forbidden City, they stumble across something from their nightmares - something from the past. What if their enemy never died? What if he's just waiting for them...
My Thoughts: I loved the premise of this book - what happens after five heroes save the world? Where does their story end? I really liked Kreya's relationship with Zera. They have great banter. I love how they came back together after all those years apart. This is a creepy but fascinating book in terms of the bone magic and the animation creatures. I love the moments of friendship and trust between the five heroes. I loved the addition of the new people in their lives. It was interesting to explore the question - do people change? Another great book for Sarah Beth Durst - I love her books.  

Cover Thoughts: Creepy
Source: Netgalley 
Library Recommendation: Highly recommended for your public library's adult fantasy collection.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Picture Book Wednesday: School Books

For many kids, back to school has already happened and for many more, it's right around the corner.

Here are some picture books about going to school:

Kayla has the first day jitters, but when her teacher makes all kinds of mistakes, she's there to help correct them.

A funny book about mistakes, the first day of school, and helping others.

This book isn't technically about school, but it all leads up to going to school. A sweet story about growing up and changes.

Amira's picture day at school is also the celebration of Eid - she's heartbroken when she can't do both. A great book to share and talk about Ramadan and Eid - but also about anxiety and missing out on something big.

A counting book with fun illustrations and a great message about community.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Places to Read


This week's topic is all about places to read. 

I have to say, there are few places that I can't/wont read.

I can't read on a bus or a car.

But I can on a plane or a train (as long as I'm facing the way the train is going)

I love reading by the pool.

I love reading in bed or on the couch.

The most interesting place I might have read a book is at the bottom of the Grand Canyon 

Where's the most interesting place you've read?

Monday, August 16, 2021

Review: Tokyo Ever After


Izumi's never felt like she fits in. She's a Japanese American living in a small predominately white town. She doesn't know her father's identity. But she discovers a clue in her mother's bedroom.

Before she knows what's happening, she learns her father is a crown prince of Japan. Suddenly her life has been turned upside down. She's traveling to Japan to learn more about him and her new family. 

But it's not easy. In fact, she's floundering. One moment the press loves her, the next she messes everything up. It doesn't help that her cousins love feeding her to the sharks.

Can she find her footing or is she in way over her head?
My Thoughts: Think Princess Diaries crossed with What a Girl Wants. Seriously I needed this to read this book. I loved it. I loved watching Izumi become a member of the royal family. She struggles - greatly at times and soars at other times. I loved watching her get to know her family. I loved learning more about Japan. I love her moments with her bodyguard - the brooding Akio. I loved their banter. I also loved the moments between the Crown Prince and Izumi. As well as the moments between Izumi's parents - especially orchids. I would love to read more of Izumi and her story - and luckily there is more coming!

Cover Thoughts: So amazing! I love the details
Source: My library
Library Recommendation: Highly recommended for your public and school libraries. 

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Board Books: (14) Farms

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

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

Today I'm talking about farm and fall books:


Lots of zooming around the area for this little orange truck. This is a thicker lift the flap book but also small in dimensions. So many animals to see in this charming book. 

This is a super cute book but maybe not the best for libraries with felt pieces and lift the flaps. I love how much there is to see and the bright colors. This would make a great gift.

This is a large touch and feel board book that talks about animals found on the farm. 
A very sweet story.

Another larger board book - with big lift the flaps. 
Lots of farm and animal knowledge in this one. 

Thicker flaps on this Disney book about saying good night to animals on the farm. Another sweet animal story.

Textures and lots of vocabulary this is touch and feel farm book. The questions are great and can spark up lots of conversation.

Lots of pictures - this one talks about farm chores. And it goes through the seasons. Love the illustrations and the flaps here.


A great start to learning about apple (even I learned things.) 
Love the bright illustrations and the facts. 

A short but sweet celebration of fall and fall activities. This is a touch and feel book with various textures. Love the illustrations in this one.