Oct 7, 2015

Recent Reads: A Halloween Scare at My House by Eric James

Disclaimer: Received from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters mu opinion or review.

21560249A Halloween Scare at My House: Prepare if you Dare by Eric James
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication Date:  August 1, 2014


Format: Hardback



Goodreads Synopsis: 
A fun and funny Halloween romp for children and parents alike!

It's Halloween night, and creatures and critters from near and far are starting to gather outside the front door. And now here comes a whole army of monsters, on broomsticks, buses, and bikes, all clamoring in the darkness. What is it they want? Are they coming for you?

This humorous, creative story is the perfect Halloween adventure for children and parents to share.
As you probably know, if you read my reviews, I do not have kids - but I LOVE children's books and this one was great. I love Halloween and so this book just seemed like a wonderful read for me - I read it aloud to myself (and my doggie) with gusto - as I expect any parent would - and the rhyming scheme was flawless. The book is beautifully illustrated by Marina Le Ray and the colors are bold and inviting and I expect young readers and listeners will love exploring them, they have a lot to offer. 

The book has a wonderful message about being yourself and not being afraid that I think will be great for parents as well, especially as Halloween draws nearer and costumes and decorations can give kids a fright. 

Wonderful parent-child read for Halloween, or really any time of year.

About the Author and Illustrator:

Eric James is a children’s book author, word tickler, and champion asparagus thrower. You can find him online at www.ericjames.co.uk. He lives in Bath, England, with his family.

Marina Le Ray has had success both as a children’s book illustrator as well as a greeting card designer. She lives and works in Nantes, France.

Buy Links:

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oct 6, 2015

Early Reader Review: Pop Sonnets by Erik Didreksen

Disclaimer: I won this book from Quirk Books during ArmchairBEA 2015, receiving this book in no way alters my opinion or review.
Pop Sonnets: Shakespearean Spins on Your Favorite SongsPop Sonnets: Shakespearean Spins on Your Favorite Songs by Erik Didriken
Publisher: Quirk Books
Publication Date:  October 6, 2015 TODAY!


Format: Paperback ARC




Goodreads Synopsis: 
The Bard meets the Backstreet Boys in Pop Sonnets, a collection of 100 classic pop songs reimagined as Shakespearean sonnets. All of your favorite artists are represented in these pages—from Bon Jovi and Green Day to Miley Cyrus, Beyoncé, and beyond. Already a smash sensation on the Internet—the Tumblr page has 20,000+ followers—Pop Sonnets has been featured by the A.V. Club, BuzzFeed, and Vanity Fair, among many others. More than half of these pop sonnets are exclusive to this collection and have never been published in any form. 
This book guys! It is hilarious and exactly what you would expect - modern pop songs with a Shakespearean twist.

The songs have been transformed into beautifully hilarious sonnets, which are short poems, consisting of about 14 lines that follow a particular rhyme-scheme, in the Shakepearean style that scheme is a-b-a-b-c-d-c-d-e-f-e-f-g-g. Didriksen follows this form perfectly, taking the most memorable parts of modern songs and lacing them with the charm of Shakespeare's style and making them even fit into the time period. 

Some of my favorites are -Eiffel 65's "Blue" (Da Ba Dee),  The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme, and TLC's "No Scrubs" - all brilliantly done and laugh-out-loud funny. With these hits there were also a few 'meh' moments for me, I was not a big fan of some of the older song choices. I felt like if I really knew the words to a song the parodies were funnier and easier to follow.

Either way, I loved this book and it is comedy gold and I even convinced my husband to read it by laughing so hard while reading it. Also - they are even better when read aloud - just sayin'...


Oct 5, 2015

Blog Tour: Reviews - Last-But-Not-Least Lola #2 and #3 by Christine Pakkala

Disclaimer: Received from Boyds Mills Press in exchange for an honest review for the blog tour. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Last-But-Not-Least Lola and the Wild ChickenLast-But-Not-Least Lola and the Wild Chicken by Christine Pakkala
Series: Lola #2
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
Publication Date:  September 1, 2014


Format: Paperback



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Lola’s back! She patched things up with frenemy Amanda Anderson, but it’s not happily ever after for these two best friends, at least not yet. Lola doesn’t want to share Amanda, especially not with Jessie, who seems to be around . . . all the time. Can there be more than two best friends? And what does a wild chicken have to do with anything? Hint: The answer involves a class trip to a farm. When Lola is around, you never know what will happen next. This second book in Christine Pakkala's dynamic series is sure to capture the hearts of readers who love a spunky heroine and some unexpected antics.
Lola and the Wild Chicken follows Lola a 2nd grader as she comes to terms with her parents being away for a week and someone trying to steal her best friend. Lola is a stubborn girl who often takes action before really thinking things through and this book shows just that - Lola's bad week, too many actions and no enough thinking. 

I like Lola and the plots of these books - they don't show kids getting away with things but they do show a girl who is easily jealous and leaning how she should be handling her problems more effectively. 

This is the second book in the Lola series, but you do have to have read book 1 in order to follow along which was good - you could pretty much grab a book and start reading. In this installment Lola's parents are away on business, grandma is watching her and her brother, and her class is gearing up for a trip to a farm. So many things go wrong in this week for Lola, but she is able to pull everything back together and slowly make things right.

I love the problem solving in these books and Lola learning what is right and wrong, I think the plots are funny enough to engage young readers and the lessons are great ones.

Last-But-Not-Least Lola and the Cupcake QueensLast-But-Not-Least Lola and the Cupcake Queens by Christine Pakkala
Series: Lola #3
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
Publication Date: October 6, 2015


Format: Hardback



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Lola’s mom is home but not home, because she’s frantically working all the time. Lola’s friends are here but not here as allegiances among the foursome change faster than you can forget your lines for a school play. Lola means well but can’t help acting on her emotions and getting into trouble. She’ll need to dig for bravery as she deals with a possible ghost next door, stage fright, and, hardest of all, making amends with her friends. Lola is braver than she thinks and her friendships are stronger than she realizes in this funny, heartwarming tale. 
Lola is still learning, as many 2nd graders often do. She is learning how to be a good friend, how to share, and how to not lie. In this, the 3rd book of Lola, we follow her and her friends as they prepare for Halloween and a class performance. 

What perfect timing for this book since it is coming up on Halloween and I think this plot will help kids realize some important lessons. In this case: you can't lie to your friends, you shouldn't keep secrets, and you shouldn't make your friends feel bad. I think this last one is important around Halloween, since not everyone has the income to buy fancy costumes. I really enjoyed this book in the Lola series. It didn't seem like too many things happened but it was entertaining and enjoyable and I love books about Halloween :)

These books really do have great lessons for young readers and I do recommend them. They not only express the problems but Lola must solve them on her own and I think more kids need that- problem solving is important.

Oct 4, 2015

Building the Book Pile #156

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!  A Weekly meme inspired by Stacking the Shelves

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

AND it's October! Bring on the spooky, Halloween themed fun.
This past week was the beginning of Blog Ahead, a challenge where in the month of October you prep/schedule posts for November and December to get ahead :) 
I signed up and am excited to be getting some content for the blog planned. If you want to participate here is the SIGN UP.

As you are reading this I am probably away from home visiting my parents and siblings and getting inflatable Jack Skellington and Oogie Boogie for my front yard - my dad is finally passing them on to me :D SO MUCH JUMPING UP AND DOWN EXCITED!

What's Happening?! 
How was your week ? Let me know in the comments.

  Giveaways on Cover2CoverBlog!

the dragon of the month club



Coming up on the Blog... 

Blog Tour w/ Giveaway!: Reviews of Last-but-not-Least Lola and the wild Chicken (Lola #2) and Last-but-not-Least Lola and the Cupcake Queens (Lola #3) by Christine Pakkala (MG)

Early Reader Review: Pop Sonnets by Erik Didriksen (Adult)

Spotlight w/ Giveaway!: Review - A Halloween Scare at My House by Eric James (Youth)

Early Reader Review: The Legend of the Christmas Cookie by Dandi Daley Mackall (Youth)

Early Reader Review: The Mutt's Winter Diaries by Patrick McDonnell (GN)

Books Received this Week


Escape from Witchwood Hollow

Escape from Witchwood Hollow by Jordan Elizabeth in exchange for review.

Oct 2, 2015

Early Reader Review: The Unquiet Past by Kelley Armstrong

Disclaimer: From Librarything Early Reviewers and Orca Book Publishers in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book in no way altered my opinion or review.
The Unquiet Past by Kelley Armstrong
The Unquiet Past (Secrets)Series: Secrets
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Publication Date:  September 29, 2015


Format: Paperback ARC



Goodreads Synopsis: 
You can only hide from the truth for so long.

Tess has always been tormented by waking visions that make her question her sanity. When the orphanage she lives in burns down, she decides to face her fears and find out once and for all what is wrong with her. She believes the truth must lie with her parents, and so, armed with only an address and phone number, Tess travels to a crumbling mansion in rural Quebec, where she discovers evidence of mistreatment of mental patients. She also makes an unlikely ally and gradually unearths her family’s sad history—and finally accepts the truth about her paranormal powers.

Armstrong has this wonderful way of really getting the reader pulled into her characters and this short book is no exception to this rule. The Unquiet Past focuses on a young orphan girl looking for answers about her past and in turn gets a mystery and adventure. 

This book was not entirely what I expected of it - seeing the cover and reading the synopsis, I was thinking more horror than mystery. That being said, I love a good mystery and this holds up pretty well in the genre. 

Tess was a little naive at times and that made me want to whack her in the head but otherwise she was a great point of view for this story. We follow her through her story as she tries to piece together what happened to her parents, and really it is about the adventure and the journey. Once you find out what happened it is brushed over and then the story ends - thus the 4 and not a 5 star rating. 

Overall this was a semi-spooky, mysterious book, that I very much enjoyed. If you are a fan of mystery I think this will be for you.


Oct 1, 2015

Blog Tour: Ice Cream Work by Naoshi


About the Book:
Publisher: Overcup Press
ISBN: 0­9834917­3­9
Price: $14.99 hardcover
Pages: 40
Appropriate for ages 3 and up

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0983491739/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0983491739&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2Where will Ice Cream Man work next??
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26106629-ice-cream-workIce Cream Man knows there’s lots of work to be done! Whether it’s cheerfully posing next to chocolate cake, beaming team spirit as 1/8th of a sunflower, or glowing bright as he becomes a fabulous night light, Ice Cream Man is ready for the job!
This delicious, quirky children’s book by internationally acclaimed Japanese artist Naoshi combines a whimsical story with colorful sunae (sand art). A “Look & Find” section challenges youngsters to scour the pages for medium details, and a “How To Make Sunae” section guides readers step‐by‐step through a “sand painting” art project of their own.
“Ice Cream Work is a meticulous and stunning piece of art. The story exudes a loopy, anarchist joy: chronicling the adventures of a hard­working and stylish frozen dairy confection and his eclectically industrious week.” ­­ Dale Bayse, author of Heck, Where the Bad Kids Go series.

Ice Cream Work was a very strange book - it is simple and follows an ice cream man as he goes from job to job. I didn't really know what I was starting to read when I began but the cover was cute and I was curious. I had no idea going into this that it was sand art - and knowing that I am SO impressed but this artist and author. There is so much detail in this book and I am thoroughly amused and amazed by her skill. The book is very short and includes a small search and find feature at the end, kind of in the style of Where's Waldo. 

The story is unique and fun, showing pictures as normal, then as ice cream man performs his job and they become playful and whimsical. I think young readers will find this book very fun and funny to read and look at. This would be a fun book to read and then do some sand art afterward. (Yay for crafts).

About the Author:

Naoshi is an internationally acclaimed Japanese illustrator whose distinctive characters and original style are recognized around the world. She uses  shiny colorful sand to create surreal people living  in the real world. She has participated in a wide range of projects including gallery exhibitions, commercial work, and children’s workshops. Naoshi is a Tokyo based artist currently living in Los Angeles.

Advance Praise for Ice Cream Work:
“Naoshi’s work is original and unmistakably recognizable. With a dry sense of humor, appreciation of fashion, video games, fine pastries, and just plain fun, each piece by Naoshi is a finely made confection with a charm all her own.” — Ben Zhu, owner of Gallery Nucleus

“Naoshi represents everything I love about contemporary Japanese art: one foot in history, one foot in pop culture, two skilled hands, and her head firmly in a cloud of unadulterated enthusiasm for making art.” — Matt Wagner, author of The Tall Trees of Portland and The Tall Trees of Tokyo
“Naoshi’s pure approach to her art form is inspiring: knowing that the shiny bright colors that bring her stories alive are tiny grains of sand always transfixes me. Naoshi is one of today’s greatest artists.” — Carrie Gifford, founder & creative director of Red Cap Cards
“Some people bury their heads in the sand. Some draw lines in the sand. Sunae artist Naoshi does both: creating surreal worlds alive with wit and whimsy, one vibrantly colored grain of sand at a time. Ice Cream Work is a stunning piece of meticulous­yet­oddly spontaneous art that is as sweet and cool as a pint of hand­crafted ice cream. The story has a loopy, anarchist joy about it, rather like The Point by way of Cibo Matto, where a hard­working and stylish frozen dairy confection guides readers through his eclectically industrious week, even divulging how much he is paid for his days of outlandish toil. Children, hipsters, and anyone with an eye for the absurd will thoroughly lap up Ice Cream Work: from the top of its rainbow sprinkles right down to the tip of its sugar cone.” ­ Dale Bayse, author of Heck, Where the Bad Kids Go series.

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Sep 30, 2015

Blog Ahead: Planning List

Blog Ahead 2015

I am not even sure what I am getting myself into, but for the month of October I will be participating in Blog Ahead, a challenge hosted by herding cats and burning soup and Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Here are the details, borrowed from the lovely Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer...

Purpose: Increase the number of scheduled blog posts you have ready to publish by 31 posts during the month of October. (You can set your own goal) All post will be scheduled from November 1st or later.
Who Can Join: Any blogger or author can join. Brand new, been around for years.Blogger, WordPress or other platform. Any heat level, genre or theme, etc. If you blog…you’re welcome to join.
Types of Posts that Count: Any finished posts count! Meme, review, guest post, interview, discussion. Top Ten Posts, Favorites posts, Shopping Guide Posts, Cooking posts, pet posts, photo posts, etc. Posts do NOT have to be book related.
Required: The post must be complete and scheduled from November 1, 2015 onward. (So not just blurb, buy links, etc for a review post. The review needs to be complete for the post to count.)

So here are my goals for Blog Ahead.

I hope to complete 31 posts that will include the following + some others:
  • Ho Ho Ho Read-a-thon Goals Post (11/6) - started composing
  • Kid Athletes Review (11/17) - drafted so far/ awaiting my review
  • Waiting on Wednesday Posts (for the 9 weeks of Nov. & Dec.) - Done with all these :)
  • 'Series I Need to Finish' Post
  • Drones Review (11/27) - drafted so far/ awaiting my review
  • Thanksgiving Post (11/26)
  • 'Books you will shun me for not reading' Post
  • Discussion post, topic TBD
  • Recommendations post
  • Movie Mondays, new feature (@ least 4 weeks worth) - 2/4 posts done
  • Blogger Pet Profiles, short series (maybe Linky for others to join?)
    • Rolo, Cooper, Shreki & Timmy
  • Happy Holidays Post (12/1)
  • Merry Christmas Post (12/25)
  •  Anything else that comes up :)
I will be tracking my progress as I go with strike thorugh here and on the sidebar with my the pumpkin/bats tracker (yay for Halloween themed things).

Wish me luck!

Monthly Re-Cap: September 2015

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

And it's October - WOOHOOOOOOO! I love October, pumpkins, pumpkin flavored everything, costumes, parties, Halloween! It is my absolute FAVE!  But also that means we are another month through 2015 :/

September was a great month - being in Vermont it is even more fun than when I was in Virginia - the leaves all start to change and there a so many more trees here. The air is crisp and cool and mornings are extra dew-y and I love everything about it. Autumn really is my favorite time of year and September is its kick-off. Speaking of kick-off, football is in full swing and a lazy day of football watching is my jam. 

On another note: This month we had some visitors to the house, we had a Labor Day party with some friends, did a bunch of crafts, I started decorating for Halloween, and it have overall been a great month.

How was your September? What Autumn things do you love?

What did you read or listen to in September? 

Link me up in the comments section! 


     ~~Books Read in September ~~     

The Inheritance  Garden Spells (Waverley Family, #1)  Hoodoo  The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray: A Critical Appreciation of the World's Finest Actor  The Mutts Winter Diaries   Ice Cream Work  26096827  The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1) 
Princess in the Spotlight (The Princess Diaries, #2)  the dragon of the month club  The Unquiet Past (Secrets)

~~Links to Reviews ~~