Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Gollywhopper Games: The New Champion by Jody Feldman

*This is a Boo review

[Copy received for review]

5 stars

Cameron gets entered into the gollywhopper games-- and he's sort of excited.  They're a series of games designed by a toy company.  The games are hard.

{Mommy note: So.... yeah.  I mentioned that it's like pulling teeth to get anything out of that girl, right?  You wouldn't believe what it took to get those paltry sentences.  She really enjoyed the book, she apparently just doesn't want to talk about it.  Whatever.  This one is supposed to appeal to fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which got her attention immediately.  Of course, it's not JUST LIKE that... so when you ask her if it really is like it, she says no.  Whatever again.  Anyway, she really did love it, and highly recommends it, I promise.]

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Big Nate: Mr. Popularity by Lincoln Pierce

*This is a Mister review

[Copy received for review]

70 stars

This book is all in comic strips.  There are a few storylines.  There are activities at the end.

It's awesome and really funny.

Highly recommended.

{Mommy note: I think he's already read this one like 3 times.  Seriously.  The kid LOVES comics and graphic novels.  This is basically a collection of strips from the Sunday Funnies.}

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Seven Wonders {Series} by Peter Lerangis

*This is a Boo Review

Short Story (0.5): The Select
5 stars
Book 1: The Colossus Rises
5 stars
Book 2: Lost in Babylon
5 stars
Short Story (2.5): The Orphan
5 stars
Book 3: Tomb of Shadows
5 stars

[Copies of Tomb of Shadows and the 2 short stories received for review, others were checked out from the library.]

Jack, Ally, and Cass have to find the loculi- so that they can be cured.  The loculi are hidden in the seven wonders of the world-- either now or in the past.  The kids all have powers or talents: Ally can hack anything, Cass has a photographic memory... Jack's power hasn't quite been figured out yet.


{Note from Mommy:  Boo is on a "I hate reviews" kick, so it was seriously like pulling teeth just to get that much out of her.  She DEVOURED all of the books, though, and took it as a personal affront that the rest of the planned books aren't out yet.}

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Nick and Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab

A mystery with electromagnets, burglar alarms, and other gadgets you can build yourself.

by "Science Bob" Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith

4 stars from me
5 stars from Boo
Copy received for review


This book was delightful.  It did feel like things happened fairly quickly, especially the resolution, but given the target age and length of the book that seems pretty normal.

There are also instructions throughout so that you can make your own version of the crazy gadgets Nick and Tesla come up with!  What's not to love?

Boo is a HUGE HUGE HUGE fan of this series.  It combines two of her favorite things: science and mysteries.  I asked her if she had anything to add to a review and she said "Awesome, awesome, and AWESOME!"

We've been getting them for review as they come out and they disappear as soon as they arrive... I don't see it again until she's done.  Though, really, that's usually later the same day because she just devours them.

Equal appeal for a boy or girl here-- it's a great brother/sister duo.

Definitely recommended.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

And Then Life Happened....

See I was going to do really well posting this year....
Then life happened, lol.

Here's a recap of Jan-early April:

Boo, Mister, and MeiMei all had strep throat at least twice.
Hence, we were referred to an ENT and over 6 weeks (2 week recovery time each) all three had their tonsils out.

I know how to have a fun time, let me tell you.

Also, since her birthday in December LuLu has gone from 2 teeth to... 12 with 2 coming in.  So... yeah.  (And she got tubes put in her ears within a week of her birthday too.)

And then there's this....

Meet Pixie, coming this summer to a Habitue home... well, not necessarily NEAR you, but you know what I mean.

So really... reading isn't happening a lot.

It's happening a little... and come late summer/fall it will probably be happening a lot, but in the meantime reviews might be a little more sporadic.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Unfeathered Bird by Katrina van Grouw

Today I have a guest post from my awesome cousin Maija!!  This is a book I was offered for review and it looked really interesting but I knew Maija would have far more intelligent things to say about it than I.
The Unfeathered Bird
4 stars
This is a book for people who love birds, anatomy, and art, probably in that order. I have an amateur interest in all those subjects. Although I was very impressed by the artwork and fascinated by the skeletons and muscles arranged in natural poses, I was often frustrated by the fact that there were no illustrations of the whole feathered bird. I understand that the point of the book was to show the beauty of birds’ internal structure (and Katrina van Grouw does a wonderful job of this), but so many of the birds were unfamiliar to me that I found I needed to read while sitting next to a computer so I could plug the species names into a search engine and see a picture of the complete animal. The book is organized using Linnaeus’s original classifications, which is interesting and fits with the sepia-style drawings. I appreciated that the author also tells us the birds’ current classifications. The text held my attention and did not feel heavy-handed and difficult to follow. There were times when I wanted more information. Some of the birds were summarized so quickly that I again found myself consulting other sources to learn more. (You can look at this as a compliment—the author inspired me to do more reading.) I was also torn with my desire for the illustrations to function as diagrams with arrows pointing out the various features described in the text, but that would have interfered with the artistic elements of the drawings and that is probably why arrows were not used.

Overall, I think this book was designed with a very specific and small audience in mind. It does not have enough information in it to function as a reference book. It assumes that the reader has a basic knowledge about bird species and body parts, but you don’t need to be an expert. Like many coffee-table books, the contents are best suited to casual browsing. I do think that even small illustrations of the complete feathered birds to give the reader a reference point might have been helpful, especially in expanding the audience. However, I respect that they would have interfered with the artistic style of the work.