Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA by Jimmy Fallon

Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA 
by Jimmy Fallon
illustrated by Miguel Ordóñez 
Picture Book
June 2015
Book Jacket Summary
Your baby's first word will be . . .
Everyone knows that fathers wage a secret campaign to ensure that their babies' first word is "Dada!"
But how does it work?
One of the most popular entertainers in the world and NBC's The Tonight Show host, Jimmy Fallon, shows you how.

My Thoughts
Yes, it is a celebrity picture book but... I actually like it. Not just because I am a Jimmy Fallon fan but because the premise is adorable. I like that the dads are trying to get their babies to say Dada before any other word. It might just be bragging right over the moms but it is nice to see a book from a dads point of view. It is really short and I think that little kids will think it is funny plus it doubles as an animal sound book because the baby animals make their animal sounds. It is cute an laughable. I chuckled when one of the baby animals still doesn't get it right. 
This might be a library checkout rather than a full out buy but it might get a laugh at a baby shower. Especially for the dad.    

Book Pairings
Snowball Fight! by Jimmy Fallon 
Do Cows Meow? by Salina Yoon
Say Hello Like This! by Mary Murphy


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Spotlight: The Big Penguin Party

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The Big Penguin Party
By Christian and Fabian Jeremies
November 3, 2015; Hardcover ISBN 9781492623342
 Sourcebooks Jabberwocky


A new discovery book in the tradition of I Spy and Where’s Waldo

Can you spot what’s missing? It’s Grandma’s birthday, and the whole Penguin family has arrived to celebrate! It’s shaping up to be a splendid time, but 90 penguins make a big mess...and now Grandma can’t find her special birthday costume!

It’s up to Peter and his friendly crocodile neighbor, Percy, to find each item for Grandma’s costume in time. And they definitely need your help- quick! There’s something lost on every page; can you find it?

Buy Links:

Barnes & Noble: http://ow.ly/Sg2cW
Books A Million: http://ow.ly/Sg2k0
Indiebound: http://ow.ly/Sg2F2

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About the Authors:

Christian and Fabian Jeremies are brothers who have illustrated a number of books in their native Germany.

Rafflecopter Giveaway Link for Jabberwocky Kids Fall Picture Book Collection (Runs September 16-November 3rd, US & Canada only)

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Spotlight: A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius

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A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius
By Stacey Matson
November 3, 2015; HC ISBN 9781492620747
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Praise for A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius

“[A] humorous coming-of-age novel.” –Publishers Weekly

“Arthur, like Sedaris, is at essence, a self-dramatizing memoirist with a subversive sensibility, viperous yet vulnerable, sharp-witted with a magnet eye for the ridiculous. His writings and personality also bring to mind Jeff Kinney’s hilarious mini-Machiavellian schemer and pretension-piercing fellow diarist, Greg Heffley.” –The Vancouver Sun

“Arthur is a sweet funny character and it is a lot of fun to join him on his journey through the ups and downs of junior high.” –Shelf-Talkers


Arthur Bean is a genius. It’s just that no one else realizes this quite yet. He’s going to be a world-famous author, and the first step is to win this year’s story writing contest. What he writes is pretty funny, but it gets him into trouble too.
Like with his English teacher, and the school newspaper advisor. And cool girl Kennedy. And Arthur’s number one nemesis, Robbie Zack.

But all great authors spark controversy, so Arthur’s not too concerned. Through letters, email exchanges, “SEE ME AFTER CLASS” notes and doodles, enter the funny, touching, and often mixed-up mind of Arthur Bean, creative genius.

Goodreads Link:

Buy Links:
Barnes&Noble- http://ow.ly/SiHLD
BooksAMillion- http://ow.ly/SiHT4
Indiebound- http://ow.ly/SiIcc

About the Author:
Stacey Matson has worked in a theatre program on Parliament Hill and written theatre pieces for the Glenbow Museum and for the All-Nations Theatre in Calgary. She earned her Master of Arts in Children’s Literature at the University of British Columbia. A debut novelist, Stacey lives in Vancouver, BC. Visit Stacey at staceymatson.com.

Social Networking Links:

Excerpt from A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius:
The Next Great Bestselling Novel (Title to be announced)
By Arthur Bean

Once upon a time there was
There was once a
A long time ago
America is awesome! This is because
A boy and his unicorn sat on the grass and the unicorn could talk and said
Murder! There’s been a very violent murder!

Dear Ms. Whitehead,
As you know, I haven’t been in class yet, but my next-door neighbor Nicole suggested that I write you a letter since I will be starting soon. I don’t really know what to write to you. Maybe I will tell you a little about myself so that you feel like I started school at the same time as everyone else.
My name is Arthur Aaron Bean, but I normally just go by Arthur. I spent the summer at my grandparents’ house in Balzac. It was a long summer. I actually live in one of the apartment buildings pretty close to the school. I like to knit and watch movies, sometimes at the same time. I’m a very good multi-tasker. I like creative writing, so I hope that we will do that and that I didn’t miss it. I was probably the best writer in my elementary school, and I plan on getting rich as a novelist when I’m a grown-up. I don’t have any siblings, but my cousin Luke is kind of like my twin brother.
My most profound work so far is the heartwarming story called “Sockland.” In this short story, a little boy climbs into the dryer during a game of hide-and-seek with his older brothers. He is accidentally shrunk and crawls through the dryer vent into Sockland. Sockland is a land where missing socks go to live. He enjoys it for a while, but then finds that single socks are very boring, and needs to find a way to get home. He then gets the socks to help him by promising to send their partners through the tunnel, and he crawls back up into the dryer to rejoin humanland.
Mrs. Lewis said it was highly original and that I showed real promise in becoming the next J.K. Rowling. The secretary told me that I’m in a class with some of the people from my elementary school so that I would feel more comfortable. Actually, she didn’t say people, she said some of my friends. This may seem weird, because I wasn’t really friends with a lot of the people in my elementary school. Actually, most of my friends went to the Catholic school next door to our school, and so I saw them all the time. I did have a couple of friends like Oliver, but mostly I wasn’t friends with people in my elementary school class. Besides, who would want to be friends with guys like Robbie Zack? I’m not friends with people who spell thoughts as thots. Good luck with that one. He’s what my mother called “a handful of trouble with a capital T.”
Yours truly,
Arthur Bean

Rafflecopter Giveaway Link for 2 Copies of A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius by Stacey Matson (Runs September 17th-November 30th, US and Canada only)
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Monday, November 2, 2015

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things 
by Jenny Lawson
September 2015

Book Jacket Summary
In LET'S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, Jenny Lawson baffled readers with stories about growing up the daughter of a taxidermist. In her new book, FURIOUSLY HAPPY, Jenny explores her lifelong battle with mental illness. A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. And terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.

According to Jenny: "Some people might think that being 'furiously happy' is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he's never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos."

"Most of my favorite people are dangerously fucked-up but you'd never guess because we've learned to bare it so honestly that it becomes the new normal. Like John Hughes wrote in The Breakfast Club, 'We're all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it.' Except go back and cross out the word 'hiding.'"

Jenny's first book, LET'S PRETEND THIS NEVER HAPPENED, was ostensibly about family, but deep down it was about celebrating your own weirdness. FURIOUSLY HAPPY is a book about mental illness, but under the surface it's about embracing joy in fantastic and outrageous ways-and who doesn't need a bit more of that?

My Thoughts 
Jenny Lawson is probably one of my favorite people on the planet and her second book just makes it even more clear that she is moving up the ranks to be right below my parent and my best friend (you know who you are). She makes me laugh, cry, and giggle hysterically with each blog post, book, and tweet. It is hard to describe her without sounding crazy because she is crazy herself and is quite open about it (although sometimes I wonder how she got in my own head). Her boughts with depression, arthritis, taxidermy buying, mental illness, love, and parenting are chronicled in this wonderful book. I have a copy of my own that I preordered and got signed in Dallas when Jenny stopped at the Half-Price Books to do a reading. It was all that I wanted and she is just as lovely, strange, and relatable in person. 

The audiobook is wonderful and I highly recommend listening to it at work because the day flies by and you can't wait to run into your office and listen to more stories. Jenny is a great narrator and she tells a story about reading her first book and how she had to pretend to be great. Well, she became great! A few of the stories I had read on her blog but most were new and made me feel like I was not alone in my life. I cannot tell you how much I loved this book- especially my signed copy! Just be sure you do not mind cursing because Jenny Lawson can keep up with any sailor and no topic is taboo- especially the taboo ones. Sit back and enjoy the maddness!    

Book Pairings 
You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day


Friday, October 30, 2015

Duck & Goose Find A Pumpkin by Tad Hills

Duck and Goose Find A Pumpkin 
by Tad Hills
Board Book
Schwartz & Wade 
July 2009

Book Jacket Summary
PRESCHOOLERS WILL CHEER the return of Duck and Goose in their fourth board book appearance. This time, Duck and Goose are looking for the perfect pumpkin. Is it in the log? Is it under the leaves? Is it in the apple tree? Young children will surely enjoy going on a pumpkin hunt with Duck and Goose . . . especially when they find the perfect pumpkin at the end!

My Thoughts
What can I say about Tad Williams that I haven't said before? Although I don't know if I have done a Duck and Goose before but his Rocket series is near and dear to my heart. Duck and Goose are just as cute but on a younger level than Rocket because it is a board book rather than a picture book. If you are looking for a seasonal board book to give a young child than you are in luck! This book is cute and follows Duck and Goose as they try to find a pumpkin in some very unlikely places. They are finally pointed int he right direction and enjoy their new pumpkins. Highly recommended for a baby shower near Autumn or just a good present.

Book Pairings
Mommy? by Maurice Sendak, Arthur Yorkins, and Matthew Reinhart
A Not Scary Book About Big Scary Things by C.K. Williams
Halloween Mice! by


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Bow-Wow's Nightmare Neighbors by Mark Newgarden

Bow-Wow's Nightmare Neighbors 
by Mark Newgarden
Library Copy
Picture Book
Roaring Brook Press
November 2014

Book Jacket Summary
As Bow-Wow naps, his neighbors creep in and steal his cozy green bed. When the expressive pup tries to get it back, colorful chaos ensues as the house next door might not be exactly what he thought. From authors Mark Newgarden and Megan Montague Cash comes Bow-Wow's Nightmare Neighbors.

My Thoughts
Bow-Wow just wants to nap on his doggie bed but the ghost cats have a different idea. They carry off the bed and Bow-Wow goes on a journey to get it back. This wordless picture book is just the right kind of fun that kids are looking for around Halloween. It is cute and the ghost cats are mischievous with a hint of kindness. I really like the art and way the story moves despite the lack of words. I would recommend this one as a bed time story to point out funny things and make up your own dialogue that fits the story. 

Book Pairings
Bow-Wow Bugs a Bug by Mark Newgarden
BirdCatDog by Lee Nordling and Meritxell Bosch
Sea of Dreams by Dennis Nolan 


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Thirteenth Princess by Diane Zahler

 The Thirteenth Princess 
by Diane Zahler  
256 pages
Middle Grade
Feb. 2010 

Book Jacket Summary
Zita is not an ordinary servant girl—she's the thirteenth daughter of a king who wanted only sons. When she was born, Zita's father banished her to the servants' quarters to work in the kitchens, where she can only communicate with her royal sisters in secret.

Then, after Zita's twelfth birthday, the princesses all fall mysteriously ill. The only clue is their strangely worn and tattered shoes. With the help of her friends—Breckin the stable boy, Babette the witch, and Milek the soldier—Zita follows her bewitched sisters into a magical world of endless dancing and dreams. But something more sinister is afoot—and unless Zita and her friends can break the curse, the twelve princesses will surely dance to their deaths.

A classic fairy tale with a bold twist, The Thirteenth Princess tells the unforgettable story of a magical castle, true love, spellbound princesses—and the young girl determined to save them all.

My Thoughts
I think the Twelve Dancing Princesses is my favorite fairy tale retelling. There are so many ways you can make it new and exciting. You can tell it from anyone one of the princesses, the solider, or in this case the thirteenth princess. In this story the thirteenth princess is banished to the kitchens because the queen dies giving birth to her. The sisters try to look after her but she is under the care of the cook who keeps her busy.
This book is really cute and perfect for a middle grade student that is looking for a quick clean read. It is not one of the darker retellings but instead focuses on the sweet nature of Zita who is will to to anything to save her sisters. They use a dumbwaiter to bring Zita up to the princess' room and spend the night once a week so they can get to know each other. When the sisters start to fall ill it is up to Zita and her friend Brecken to find out what is happening each night. There is also a kindly witch who helps them and provides the spell to keep them invisible while in the enchanted kingdom. It hits all the right notes that you look for when reading the twelve dancing princesses and gives you new plot lines to keep it fresh! Enjoy this retelling!    

Book Pairings
The Princes Curse by Merrie Haskell
Ella Enchanted Gail Carson Levine
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
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