Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I Got the Rhythm by Connie Schofield-Morrison

I Got the Rhythm
by Connie Schofield-Morrison
illustrated by Frank Morrison 
32 pages
June 2014

Book Jacket Summary
On a simple trip to the park, the joy of music overtakes a mother and daughter. The little girl hears a rhythm coming from the world around her— from butterflies, to street performers, to ice cream sellers everything is musical! She sniffs, snaps, and shakes her way into the heart of the beat, finally busting out in an impromptu dance, which all the kids join in on! Award-winning illustrator Frank Morrison and Connie Schofield-Morrison, capture the beat of the street, to create a rollicking read that will get any kid in the mood to boogie.

My Thoughts 
Colorful and bright! This book catches your attention right away. There are bold colors and the little girl is just bursting with energy as they walk through the park. Plus she is adorable and I love her hair! It is nice to see so many multicultural characters in one book. It is just like a real walk in the park.
I always wanted to incite an impromptu dance party on the streets. Growing up on musicals and Disney films will do that to you but this book almost makes it real. The little girl is dancing to the sounds of the world around her. The drummer in the park, the snapping of fingers, and the stomping of feet. The illustrations have fluidity to them and you can almost see the characters dancing to the music. The pure joy of music and dance will set your toes a tapping and itching to dance.
I highly recommend this one, if only for the illustrations. They are delightful and I love the main character! She gets everyone to dance and have fun. Plus it is nice to see a picture book about dancing that does not focus on ballet. There should be more books about just loving the joy of dancing. 

Book Pairings
Dance with Me by Charles R. Smith Jr.
How Do You Wokka-Wokka? by Elizabeth Bluemle
Kitchen Dance by Maurie J. Manning


Monday, February 2, 2015

Marlene, Marlene, Queen of Mean by Jane Lynch

Marlene, Marlene, Queen of Mean
Marlene, Marlene, Queen of Mean
by Jane Lynch and A.E. Embrey PhD
illustrated by Tricia Tusa
32 pages
Random House
September 2014

Book Jacket Summary
Glee actress Jane Lynch takes a look at bullying head-on in her first picture book.
Marlene is the self-appointed queen of the playground, the sidewalk, and the school. She is small but mighty . . . intimidating! Known for her cruel ways, the little Queen of Mean has kids cowering in fear—until big Freddy stands up to her and says what everyone has been too fearful to say. In Seussian rhyme, actress Jane Lynch, clinical psychologist Lara Embry, and former children’s book editor A. E. Mikesell gently and comically depict the undoing of a bully and her efforts to reform. Tricia Tusa’s charming illustrations make the story an even more accessible conversation starter for all ages.
My Thoughts
I am usually a bit wary of celebrity picture books but the more I heard Jane Lynch talk about how she used to be a bully the more I wanted to read it. Plus you should always be wary of girls with huge bows on their heads. That is one thing I learned from Saturday morning cartoons.
The book is simple enough with rhyming couplets that describe the atrocities that Marlene creates across the playground. She rules the school yard until one boy stands up and asks "Why?" Why is she ruling us? Especially since she is so small. The wind is taken out of Marlene's sails and she realizes that having power over people do not make friends.
The best part is that Marlene does slip back into her mean streak every once in a while. It is more believable than if she suddenly became perfect. Plus it is a good teaching moment for kids that even if people change they can still make mistakes and hurt you. Marlene backslides but still tries to be good most of the time.
It is a good book to add to the anti-bully pile. I would check it out of the library rather than run out and buy it though.

Book Pairings
The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill 
Fancy Nancy and the Mean Girl by Jane O’Connor
The Only Boy in Ballet Class by Denise Gruska


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Magic Half (Miri and Molly #1) by Annie Barrows

The Magic Half
(Miri and Molly #1)
by Annie Barrows
212 pages
Middle Grade- Time Travel
December 2007

Book Jacket Summary
Miri is the non-twin child in a family with two sets of them--older brothers and younger sisters. The family has just moved to an old farmhouse in a new town, where the only good thing seems to be Miri's ten-sided attic bedroom. But when Miri gets sent to her room after accidentally bashing her big brother on the head with a shovel, she finds herself in the same room . . . only not quite.

Without meaning to, she has found a way to travel back in time to 1935 where she discovers Molly, a girl her own age very much in need of a loving family. A highly satisfying classic-in-the-making full of spine-tingling moments, this is a delightful time-travel novel for the whole family.

My Thoughts
I picked this up as a Kindle Daily Deal a while ago but put off reading it like I do so many of my ebooks. When I saw that the squeal was coming out I decided to just sit down and read it. Much to my surprise it turns out to be a time travel book! My favorite genre! There is just something thrilling about being able to travel back in time.
Miri set in the middle of two sets of twins and always feels left out. Her older brother don't want to play with her and her little sisters are just too young. Miri wants to have a friend all her own that loves to pretend. Moving to a new house is stressful but soon Miri finds magic that lets her time travel to the past. There she meets Molly and they hatch a plan to bring Molly forward in time with Miri to escape her abusive aunt and cousin. There is hidden treasure, magical glasses, fairy godmothers, and evil relatives to liven up this book.
I really like Miri because she acts impulsively; she whacks her brother in the head with a shovel and with rush to the past to save Molly. I think that I would have bee the same way when I was younger and caught up in an adventure. This book is really cute and I can't wait to see what time traveling Molly and Miri do in their next book. Plus we have to see how Molly acclimates to a new loving family. I recommend this fast read, especially to those who love a time travel adventure.

Book Pairings
The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone and Greg Call
The Rise of the Darklings by Paul Crilley 
The Cabinet of Earths by Anne Nesbet 


Monday, January 26, 2015

The Magical Animal Adoption Agency #1: Clover's Luck by Kallie George

The Magical Animal Adoption Agency #1:
Clover's Luck
by Kallie George
illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
Chapter Book- Fantasy 
February 3, 2015

Book Jacket Summary
Despite her name, Clover has always felt decidedly unlucky. So when she stumbles upon a mysterious cottage in the Woods, she can hardly believe her good fortune. It's the Magical Animal Adoption Agency, and it houses creatures of all kinds. Fairy horses, unicorns, and a fiery young dragon are just the beginning!
Mr. Jams, the Agency's owner, agrees to hire her as summer helper and Clover hopes her luck has finally changed. But when she's left alone to care for the Agency, a sneaky witch comes after the magical creatures! Will Clover outsmart her in time to protect the animals?

My Thoughts
Extremely cute! If you are looking for a brief description of the book those are the words I would use. I wish that I could wander into the woods behind my house and find a Magical Animal Adoption Agency. There were many mythical beasts that I would love to take of but I think the fairy miniature horses would be my favorite. Not the usual miniature horses mind you but ones the length of your finger. They live in an aquarium that has a miniature forest and I want one (or the whole herd).

Clover thinks she is unlucky at everything, especially when it comes to keeping pets. However, things start to look up when her latest pet, a bird, flies out the window and Clover follows it into the Woods. Finding the Magical Animal Adoption Agency is a stroke of luck for Clover because she can take care of the animals without the risk of loosing them at home. There are unicorns to brush down, a dragon to feed, and a white witch's cat that needs a home. 

I really liked Clover and her willingness to help out with the animals. I understand that love of animals but not being able to keep one. She is sweet and kind without seeming Mary Sue-ish. I think this will be a great series for children who like mythical creatures and fairy tales. Make sure you check this one out!

Book Pairings
Whatever After Series by Sarah Mlynowski
Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg by Gail Carson Levine
A True Princess by Diane Zahler


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To

January 13: Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant To Read But Didn't Get To

This year felt for along the lines of what did I not read? These are the ones I want to read the most though.

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1) 
A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird #1) by Claudia Gray

Rebel Belle (Rebel Belle #1) by Rachel Hawkins

House of Ivy and Sorrow by Natalie Whipple

Rat Queens by

Inland by Kat Rosenfield

Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff

Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine

Winterspell by Claire Legrand

Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper


Monday, January 12, 2015

Ms. Marvel vol. 1: No Normal

Ms. Marvel vol. 1: No Normal
by G. Willow Wilson
illustrated by Adrian Alphona
120 pages
October 2014 

Book Jacket Summary
Marvel Comics presents the new Ms. Marvel, the groundbreaking heroine that has become an international sensation!

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she's suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she's comin' for you, New York! 

My Thoughts
Ms. Marvel is back as Kamala Khan, a teenage girl who is Muslim and the daughter of Pakistani immigrants. I am not a huge comic book reader but this sounded to great to pass up. Kamala is your typical teenager who wants to fit in with her high school crowd, to be blond and popular. However these kids are not exactly the most welcoming. One girl says she is going to stand away from Kamala because she smells like curry. Ugh! I really like Kamala and her wicked sense of humor. She stands in front of a sandwich area to smell the "delicious, delicious infidel meat." She also writes Avengers fan fiction! I think I fell in love with her the moment she started writing her Avenger/My Little Pony crossover. 
The superpowers come in when a mysterious mist takes over the city and Kamala wishes she could be like Captain Marvel. She wakes up and can suddenly morph into Captain Marvel's former identity Ms. Marvel, blond hair and wedge shoes included. However, it does not stop there. She can now morph her body to be bigger or smaller. I cannot wait to see how she learns control because she is morphing all over the place at first. Her powers come in handy and when we see our first villain The Inventor. 
I am glad they put in translation for Pakistani words and phrases like, Shalwar Kameez translates to Pakistani clothing. It is great to see a the Muslim culture being explored in an American comic book. I also like that Kamala uses her Pakistani wardrobe to create her own version of a costume. This is going to be a great series and I cannot wait for volume 2. This is a great comic and a wonderful addition to the Marvel universe!       

Book Pairings
Captain Marvel, Vol. 1: Higher, Further, Faster, More by by

Friday, January 9, 2015

Fly Away by Patricia MacLachlan


Fly Away 
by Patricia MacLachlan 
108 pages
Middle Grade
McElderry Books
April 2014

Book Jacket Summary
From the Newbery Award–winning author of Sarah, Plain and Tall comes a story about one brave girl who saves her family from losing everything.

Everyone in Lucy’s family sings. Opera. Rap. Lullabies. Everyone, except Lucy. Lucy can’t sing; her voice just won’t come out.

Just like singing, helping Aunt Frankie prepare for flooding season is a family tradition—even if Frankie doesn’t want the help. And this year, when the flood arrives, danger finds its way into the heart of Lucy’s family, and Lucy will need to find her voice to save her brother.

My Thoughts
This is a very quick read that had quite an impact on me. Patricia MacLachlan is an author that does not waste words. Her writing is clean and each word seems to make an impact. Lucy is also a poet and wants to use her words to create a poem as perfect as a cow. I make a big deal about words because it is the central theme of the book with Teddy not speaking and Lucy keeping a poetry journal. 
Music is another important element of the book with little Teddy singing to Lucy at night. It is their secret. Teddy has a perfect voice while Lucy does not sing instead her voice gets choked up with singing while Teddy does not speak. It is their love for each other that keeps them linked. It also keeps them safe when Teddy goes missing.  
The book is lovely and I actually felt a longing for words like Lucy. It is strange how MacLacklan can create such powerful feelings in so few pages. The river that threatens to flood the house seems like its own character with whims and Aunt Frankie even talks to it at night.  The family leaps off the page with their love of music and each other. Family is everything to them and they help each other, even when help is not wanted. Aunt Frankie wants to keep her independence but is still grateful when her family comes to help. I loved the fact that the mother's chickens had to travel with them wherever they went.    

Book Pairings
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...