Thursday, November 30, 2023

Review: Mini Artists


There are 20 projects in this book - that are inspired by famous art creations over time. For each of the project, there are discussion questions, a little bit of history, and step by step pictural instructions which also include tips.

This is a fun book for artists who want to branch out and try new mediums. It would also make a great gift! 

* book sent for review

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Picture Book Wednesday: Christmas Book Reviews

I love this time of year - reading Christmas picture books. 
Here are some new to me books this year:

A cross between We're Going on a Bear Hunt and Goldilocks and the Three Bears - this book is great. I love how the fairy tale rescue rangers came together. I love how they used each other's strengths to solve the problem. A very happily ever after here! 

A young girl shares how to decorate a Christmas tree. I loved this book - it's sweet and touching. I love how every ornament on her tree has a story (all the best ones do). And I love the ending! The illustrations are collages and they are magnificent. 

This is a fantastic take on the song The Twelve Days of Christmas! I love how each rhyme is just a little bit different - with the dinosaurs. I love that you can hunt for the kitten in every scene. I loved the Dad jokes. Just a perfect Christmas picture book filled with family and love. 

Two siblings are searching for a gift for their mother when they stumble upon this shop. There, in a magical shop, they cook up a book together. This was entertaining. I loved the concept of how books are created. Very clever! 

Having no idea that the Repair Shop is a UK show, I really enjoyed this book. It's about a grandmother and her granddaughter who are in need of help. A doll from the grandmother's past has seen better days. She tells the story of the doll and when Lizzy is repaired, she is gifted to the granddaughter. This is a moving story about a child in WWII away from her home and her family, who was gifted a doll and a lot of love. This is a very sweet story. 

Emma's parents are arguing about the Christmas turkey. The next morning it disappears. They try to investigate, and when that doesn't work, they try to purchase a new one. Instead, they have spaghetti for Christmas dinner and some other goodies with the help from their neighbors. I enjoyed how everyone came together in the building. These illustrations are ready to be poured over! 

Nicky Claus works with his three uncles at their toy store. One day he notices two children who come into the store to look around but don't buy anything.  When he sees them again, he follows them home. They belong to a community who are barely getting by - with no leftover money for toys. It breaks Nicky's heart, but he has a brilliant idea. He wants to give all the children in the city a new toy for Christmas. This is a sweet story about helping others, friendship, dreaming big, and community. 

At Elf School, Elroy is about to take his final elf test which will determine his job. When it's his turn to show off his skills - something goes terribly wrong and chaos ensues. This story is set to the rhyme of the Night Before Christmas. I loved the ending!

This is an interesting take on The Night Before Christmas - from the perspective of the mouse. I really liked this one - especially how Lois Ehlert played with the illustrations. Some lovely illustrations and very interestingly cut pages only add to the story. 

* Sent for review

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set in Vermont

 This week's topic is all about setting. I chose books set in Vermont because that's my home state.

Read this year:

Library on Wheels (connection to Vermont)

It's always fun to read a book about your home state! What books have you read that featured Vermont?

Monday, November 27, 2023

Review: Key Player


Mia Tang is play to win! The Women’s World Cup is coming to Southern California, and everyone has soccer fever―especially Mia Tang! The U.S. team is playing China in the finals, and Mia feels like her two identities are finally coming together. But when her P.E. teacher gives her a C, Mia tries to pull up her grade by scoring interviews with the championship teams. It’s not so easy when . . . 1. The two teams are hunkered down in secret hotels in Pasadena and not taking any media requests. 2. Mr. Yao is back at the motel―as a co-owner! Jason is sure his dad deserves a second chance. Mia is not so sure. 3. Mia’s parents are trying to buy a house of their very own, which turns out to be a LOT harder than they thought! As Mia aims for her goals, she'll have to face strikers from all corners, as well as her own fears. But if anyone can find a way to win big, it's Mia Tang! - summary from the publisher.

My Thoughts: I Love this series and Kelly Yang! This book was perfect, and it gave me ALL the feels. I felt so bad for Mia as she struggled with how to be "American" even though everyone judged her as Chinese.  I loved reading Jason's father's journal entries. It was interesting to see a different side of him. I loved the soccer moments - from Mia playing in school to searching for the players to meeting the players to the Big Game. My heart ached for Hank and what he went through. I loved the mathletes story. My heart hurts at all the racist comments and I just want to hug Mia!

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My library
Library Recommendation: This is a MUST HAVE series for your library collection.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Picture Book Biographies

Just a few new picture biographies that came into the library recently:

This isn't a straight biography, but it does share some knowledge of Langston Hughes; it's more of a celebration about the man and the people he inspired with his words. It might make you want to read more of his words or more about his life! I really enjoy how the illustrations come to life or create pictures with words. It's very cool. 

* Book sent for review

I didn't know much about Julie Andrews except for her movies; it was nice learning a little bit about her childhood. And now I want to know more about her. The illustrations are lovely. 

Chester Nez was forced into the world of white people. He was told his culture, and his language were unimportant. But he kept speaking his language. Then the marines came knocking; they needed him and his language skills. He helped create an unbreakable code that the military used for years. He saw terrible things, but he wasn't broken. A fascinating read complete with author's note, timeline, and the Navajo Code. 

Jerry loved tinkering with machines; he was always a problem solver. He had an engineering job in Silicon Valley where he worked on arcade games and later video games. He helped create video gaming technology that allowed for cartridges and not just one game. He and his team also created a joystick. He was never famous, but he helped change the world. I had never heard of Jerry Lawson before this book and now I want to read more about him. 

** This book also sent for review

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Small Business Saturday


In case you're in need of some gift ideas, here are some businesses that I've purchased from this year and enjoyed!

This week, I'm talking about the Etsy Shop Splasheroo

They have a small assortment of items from Tier Tray Decor and Ornaments

Here's what I purchased:

Isn't it cute?
I also purchased the wheelbarrow! 

Also these ornaments are cute:

Friday, November 24, 2023

Picture Book Review: Kindness


Books about kindness are always in style:

Maisy's rules for kindness include: sharing, giving, caring, helping, and playing with others.  

Bright colors, lots of vocabulary, and lots of ideas on how to be kind. This is a great way to talk about kindness and how littles can be kind. I love the ending question of this books.

We talk so often about being kind to others that we forget to be kind to ourselves.

This is a great book for sharing and talking about being kind to yourself. Accidents and mistakes happen. Things happen that are out of our control. How can we be kind to ourselves when things go wrong? The message about practicing, getting help, and thinking outside the box is great. I love the bit about what to do when we're angry. And I love even more the last page! The illustrations are bright and colorful and the book is filled with diverse characters.

So how are YOU kind to yourself today?

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Holiday Book Gift Ideas: YA Books


Each year, I share an annual list of books I've read this year that would make great gifts. I read a LOT of books, so I separate them so that the lists are not huge.

Today I'm talking about YA Books

YA Fiction:

YA Graphic Novels:

I hope you enjoyed ALL the lists!!
Happy Shopping!