Thursday, October 30, 2014

Bear Has a Story to Tell by Phillip C. Stead

Bear Has a Story to Tell 
by Phillip C. Stead
illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Picture Book
September 2012

Book Jacket Summary
It was almost winter and Bear was getting sleepy.
But first, Bear had a story to tell...

Bear found his friend Mouse, but Mouse was busy gathering seeds and didn't have time to listen to a story. Then Bear saw his friend Duck, but Duck was getting ready to fly south. What about his friend Toad? He was busy looking for a warm place to sleep. By the time Bear was through helping his friends get ready for winter, would anyone still be awake to hear his story?

This endearing story of friendship and patience is a worthy companion to Philip and Erin Stead's last collaboration, A Sick Day for Amos McGee, winner of the 2011 Caldecott Medal.

My Thoughts
This is the perfect bed time story and makes me sleepy reading it (in the best way possible). It is not boring but calm and sweet. Even the colors are subdued with rich browns and oranges that give it a fireside glow. You feel like you should be wrapped up in a blanket and sipping hot chocolate as you leaf through the pages with a kid on your lap. That kind of sleepy. 
Bear wants to fall asleep for winter hibernation but has a story he wants to tell first. He approaches Mouse first but he has to find seeds for the winter and Bear helps him look. The Bear sees Duck who need to fly South, so Bear checks the weather. This continues with Frog and Mole. Bear then falls asleep. 
This book is beyond cute and I would read it to a child as they fall asleep. Hearing a story about a good friend who helps others out. It will lead them off to sweet dreams.  

Book Pairings
Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue
A Sick Day for Amos McGhee by Phillip C. Stead


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Made For You by Melissa Marr

Made For You 
by Melissa Marr 
Narrated by Shannon McManus, MacLeod Andrews, Samantha Quan
8 hours and 54 minutes
September 2014

Book Jacket Summary
Bestselling author of the Wicked Lovely books Melissa Marr’s first contemporary YA novel is a twisted southern gothic tale of obsession, romance, and murder. A killer is obsessed with Eva Tilling. Can she stop him, or will he claim her?

When Eva Tilling wakes up in the hospital, she’s confused—who in her sleepy little North Carolina town could have hit her with their car? And why? But before she can consider the question, she finds that she’s awoken with a strange new skill: the ability to foresee people’s deaths when they touch her. While she is recovering from the hit-and-run, Nate, an old flame, reappears, and the two must traverse their rocky past as they figure out how to use Eva’s power to keep her friends—and themselves—alive. But while Eva and Nate grow closer, the killer grows increasingly frantic in his attempt to get to Eva.

For the first time, New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr has applied her extraordinary talent to contemporary realism. Chilling twists, unrequited obsession, and high-stakes romance drive this Gothic, racy thriller—a story of small-town oppression and salvation. Melissa’s fans, and every YA reader, will find its wild ride enthralling.

My Thoughts
Very good and fast paced thriller! I was always disappointed when I had to stop listening for the day because it has such a sense of urgency. Eva is hit by a car in an attempt on her life by an obsessive stalker, Judge. He believes she deserves to be punished because she has not come to him despite the "clear" messages he has sent. Eva is clueless about his stalker and wakes up in the hospital with a new found gift of seeing peoples deaths. At first she thinks it is part of her brain damage from the accident but as bodies pile up she starts to trust these visions. With her best friend Grace, Eva tries to piece together her accident and the deaths of her friends. She is also distracted by her crush, Nate, and his return to her life.  
It is told by three narrators and the voices really stood out in the audiobook with three people reading. You learn so much about the character by getting in their head and seeing their motivations, especially the boy who calls himself Judge. He is about the creepiest POV I've read in a long time. He talks about the horrible things he will do and does do to the girls he is killing. He has a code that he kills by and feels that he is being tested by the Lord. It is just plain creepy. I do like the friendship between Grace and Eva. It feels like the strongest part of the book and I am glad to see two girls who have such a strong friendship with no backstabbing at all. So many books have frienemies that two friends who are unwilling to lie to each other, even when it hurts, is so refreshing. 
This is a great book to listening to in long stretches because you will not want to stop. It left my heart racing and it is a great thriller. It also has great friendship, some romance, and a great southern gothic feel. I would recommend reading it to those with a strong stomach though. There is a lot of disturbing imagery and thoughts that come from the killer.        

Book Pairings
Graveminder by Melissa Marr
Servants of the Storm by Delilah S. Dawson
Clarity by Kim Harrington

Monday, October 27, 2014

Cecil the Pet Glacier by Matthea Harvey

Cecil the Pet Glacier
by Matthea Harvey 
illustrated by Giselle Potter
Picture Book
August 2012

Book Jacket Summary
In a starred review Publishers Weekly raves: "It’s an avant-garde, surrealist story with a Hollywood-style tearjerker lurking within—and a surprisingly charming and affecting one at that."

Award-winning poet Matthea Harvey and illustrator extraordinaire Giselle Potter team up to create an indescribably unique picture book about wanting to be normal, then coming to appreciate being different. Ruby would love to be like everyone else—not easy when you have a tiara-wearing mother and a father who spends his time trimming outrageous topiary. She'd also like to get a nice normal pet, maybe a dog. Then, on a family vacation to Norway, she finds herself adopted by a small, affectionate glacier. How Cecil, as the ice pet is named, proves himself to Ruby—risking his own meltdown—is a story sure to thrill and delight young readers.

My Thoughts
Truth be told I picked this book up because it looked so weird and it did not disappoint. The cover intrigued me with a girl, three identical dolls and a glacier that seemed to be following her. It made me pause and want to know what in the world is going on. That is a good cover. The book is even better. 
Ruby just wants to be normal in a family that does crazy things, Her father cut topiaries into animal shapes and her mother designs tiaras (and wears them). All Ruby wants is to have tea parties with her three dolls and maybe get a normal pet. Instead on a trip to Norway she gets a pet glacier, not that she wants a pet glacier mind you. It is a book about acceptance and redefining normal. Plus maybe figuring out that normal is not all it is cracked up to be in life. I have to say that it was all that I wanted and more in a story about a pet glacier. 
Please pick this on up and maybe give Cecil, the pet glacier some love!   

Book Pairings
 Infinity and Me by Kate Hosford 
The Best Pet of All by David LaRochelle


Friday, October 24, 2014

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs 
by Mo Willems
Picture Book 
September 2012

Book Jacket Summary

Once upon a time, there were three hungry Dinosaurs: Papa Dinosaur, Mama Dinosaur . . . and a Dinosaur who happened to be visiting from Norway.

One day--for no particular reason--they decided to tidy up their house, make the beds, and prepare pudding of varying temperatures. And then--for no particular reason--they decided to go...someplace else. They were definitely NOT setting a trap for some succulent, unsupervised little girl.

Definitely not!

This new take on a fairy-tale classic is so funny and so original--it could only come from the brilliant mind of Mo Willems.

My Thoughts
Oh Mo Willems, I think you are awesome. He makes the funniest books ever and has now dipped his toe into the fairy tale realm. Fracture fairy tales gotta love 'em. I know I do! You take something you heard a hundred times and find a way to make in unique. Willems is no exception.
I picked this one up for two reasons, the first listed above and the second because of dinosaurs. There is a little boy in life who loves them and funny stories starring dinosaurs would make his day. He already read this one and was rolling around laughing at the shenanigans. This is one to read right away and if you do not come out loving Willems then I am just shocked.
Goldilocks is the same but she ends up in the house of three dinosaurs that may or may not have laid a trap for such an occasion. However, Goldilocks figures it out in the nick of time! My favorite part might be her seeing the three bears and yelling with delight. Or the crossed out unused titles, such as Goldilocks and the Three Cyclopes, Three Salmon, or Three Opera Singers. Also, look for the little things in the book like a picture of the Pigeon, the wipe your talons mat, and the We Are Natural Gas poster.  

Book Pairings
The Three Ninja Pigs by Cory Rosen Schwartz
Goldilocks and Just One Bear by Leigh Hodgkinson


Thursday, October 23, 2014

This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

This is Not My Hat
by Jon Klassen
Picture Book
October 2012

Book Jacket Summary
When a tiny fish shoots into view wearing a round blue topper (which happens to fit him perfectly), trouble could be following close behind. So it's a good thing that enormous fish won't wake up. And even if he does, it's not like he'll ever know what happened...
Visual humor swims to the fore as the best-selling Jon Klassen follows his breakout debut with another deadpan-funny tale.

My Thoughts
How did I miss reviewing this one? I can honestly say that Klassen has never disappointed me when it comes to picture books. He is probably my favorite now and it is easy to see why. His humor is kinda macabre and tone is just spot on. It just makes me laugh. I just want to flip back to the beginning and start again. The expressions on the big fish just make me giggle.
This is Not My Hat is in the same vein as I Want My Hat Back in that a hat is stolen except this time it is the point of view of the thief, a small fish that feels entitled to a small hat that belongs to a big fish. He wants to hide out and not get caught but we all know that Klassen won't let this happen. we never do find out what happens to him. I think kids will be able to draw their own conclusions though. You should go out and buy it- along with I Want my Hat Back because they are practically flip side of the same coin. They balance each other out.      

Book Pairings
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
Extra Yarn by Marc Barnett
The Dark by Lemony Snicket


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It's a Dog's Life by Susan E. Goodman

It's a Dog's Life: How Man's Best Friennd Sees, Hears, and Smells the World
by Susan E. Goodman
illustrated by David Slonim
Non Fiction
July 2012

Book Jacket Summary
Have you ever wondered what your dog sees when he looks at a sunset? Or what she smells when she has her nose to the ground? And what IS your pooch trying to say when he looks at you with those big puppy eyes? With a thoroughly silly text and adorable illustrations, IT'S DOG'S LIFE answers those questions and a whole lot more. Covering everything from dog breeds to their evolution and behavior, this accessible nonfiction book is sure to satisfy even the most voracious fact hounds.

My Thoughts

Being entertained while reading a nonfiction book can be difficult sometimes but Goodman and Slonim do a great job of working together of making the history and science behind dog fun! The pictures a silly and cute. Each dog has a unique personality that makes the book fun to flip through and the facts actually are easy to remember. Narrated from the dogs POV makes it even more fun when trying to explain why they roll around in gross stuff. "Humans wear perfume, why shouldn't we?" is the witty reply. 
A bibliography, grown-up books, and kid's fiction and nonfiction is included for a more indepth look at dogs. The author and illustrator even dedicate the book to their dogs (with pics). This book was a cute pick me up after a long day. I think kids would get a kick out of the interesting facts presented in a unique way. Plus the illustrations will make them giggle. Go ahead and check this one out!

Book Pairings

Super Sniffers: Dog Detectives on the Job by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Blitz: The Secret Diamond Sisters by Michelle Madow

The Secret Diamond Sisters  
(The Secret Diamond Sisters #1)

by MichelleMadow

Release Date: 02/25/13

Harlequin Teen

381 pages

Summary from Goodreads:

Savannah. Courtney. Peyton.
The three sisters grew up not knowing their father and not quite catching a break. But it looks like their luck is about to change when they find out the secret identity of their long-lost dad—a billionaire Las Vegas hotel owner who
wants them to come live in a gorgeous penthouse hotel suite.

Suddenly the Strip's most exclusive clubs are all-access, and with an unlimited credit card each, it should be easier than ever to fit right in. But in a town full of secrets and illusion, fitting in is nothing compared to finding out the truth about their past.

Buy Links:


"Sexy and often electrifying ... Gossip Girl meets The Princess Diaries in a city that never sleeps." 


"This quick and entertaining read is filled with glitz and glamour ... get ready for one crazy and fabulous ride." 
--RT Book Reviews

Book Two:

(cover linked to Goodreads)

(Available for Pre-Order)

Amazon | Barnes and NobleBooks A MillionBook DepositoryiBookstore

About the Author

Michelle Madow was inspired to write The Secret Diamond Sisters series while walking through her favorite hotel in Las Vegas. The next book in the series, Diamonds in the Rough, launches in October. Prior to The Secret Diamond Sisters , she successfully self-published The Transcend Time Saga . A tireless promoter of her work, Michelle is active on social media networks and has toured across America to promote her books and encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. A graduate of Rollins College, Michelle lives in Florida ... but she loves going to Vegas.

To chat with Michelle and other fans about her books, join Michelle Madow's Street Team on Facebook!

Displaying Savannah.jpg
At fifteen years old, Savannah is the youngest Diamond sister. Her older sisters have sheltered her for her entire life. Despite her rough upbringing, she’s optimistic and wants to think the best of people, although this can sometimes lead to her coming off as na├»ve. She wants to fit in at school, but has always felt like an outsider. She tends to feel overshadowed by the people around her. She trusts easily, and it sometimes leads to her getting hurt, but she’s always there for her sisters and friends when they need her!

Savannah loves singing, and has a fantastic voice, so it’s her ultimate dream to be a famous pop star. She’s been stage fright since a talent show disaster in middle school, but wants to record cover songs and post them on YouTube to try to get a following, like the YouTube stars she idolizes. She also plays guitar, but is self-taught, so she’s still learning how to improve. She mainly plays to accompany herself while singing. She’s athletic, and played on the JV volleyball team in her school in her hometown. She hopes to make Varsity as a sophomore.

She loves shopping and wearing anything that sparkles—dresses, nail polish, shoes, eye shadow, you name it! She loves reading fashion magazines and trying to duplicate the high-end styles worn by the models. Her favorite meal of the day is breakfast, and her favorite food is pancakes. Savannah has never had a serious boyfriend, and wants more than anything to believe that true love is possible!

Author Links:

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