Friday, December 2, 2016

Christmas Gift Guide Picture Books Part 1

Because really, there's no way I can cover all the picture books in one post.  That would be crazy.

(Some of these we've received for review)

If You Give a Mouse a Brownie by Laura Numeroff
Yes, that's right.  There's a new one.  Really, you just can't go wrong with any of these.  Are some cuter than others? Sure, but they're all pretty darn fun.

This Is a Serious Book by Jodie Parachini
Hilarious.  This one kind of reminds me of The Book with No Pictures.  It's just so goofy!

I Am A Story by Dan Yaccarino
I know, I've talked about this one before, but I really do love it.

Hello, My Name is Octicorn by Kevin Diller and Justin Lowe
I'm not sure "bizarre" is a strong enough word for this one.  It's totally nuts, but it's funny.

Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes by James and Kimberly Dean
I think I've confessed before that I don't actually love Pete the Cat.  However, I know I'm in the minority.  This is the latest.

(Side note: the confusion in my house lately regarding Pete the Cat, Cat the Cat, and Splat the Cat [all series] is pretty darn funny.)

Mervin the Sloth Is About to Do the Best Thing in the World by Colleen AF Venable
I thought this one was really cute.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Christmas Gift Guide Middle Grade Edition

(Also known as JF because that's what my local library calls it, lol)

Disclaimer-- I have not actually read any of these yet but I like the looks of them, have received some of them for review, and my kids are getting some of them for Christmas (shh, don't tell).

Kid President's Guide to Being Awesome by Robby Novak
My kids LOVE Kid President.  They love this book.  Good bet for elementary kids, especially the older ones.

Fancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy Seeks a Fortune by Jane O'Connor
This is the 7th in the series, so really you might want to start at the beginning (Nancy Clancy Super Sleuth) but these are a great choice for younger readers transitioning to chapter books.  They aren't terribly long, they're illustrated, and they're a familiar character.  Good for 1st-3rd grade-ish, especially kids who love the Fancy Nancy picture books.

My Weird School Fast Facts: Geography and Sports by Dan Gutman
(That would be 2 different books)  I don't know about you, but I've found that boys especially LOVE books of facts and trivia.  These books are a great choice for fans of the My Weird School series or kids who want to know things like why major league umpires are required to wear black underwear.  (I have no idea on that one.  Maybe I need to read it.)

Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson
This looks SO GOOD.  Recommended for later elementary probably.  This one looks a bit more serious, but I think Boo's going to enjoy it.  And you can bet I'll be stealing it from her pile to read it myself.

The School for Good and Evil: The Ever Never Handbook by Soman Chainani
I don't know a ton about this one, but I do know that things like this are crazy popular with the 4th-6th grade girl crowd right now.

Moo by Sharon Creech
Forget the kids, I want this one for me!  Two kids move to Maine and their parents "volunteer" them to work for an eccentric neighbor.  I am very much looking forward to this one.  (I'll definitely give y'all a full review once I've read it.)

Hamstersaurus Rex by Tom O'Donnell
This looks hilarious and right up Mister's alley.  Really, it's a hamster gone Godzilla-- what's not to love?

Also-- the Big Nate series.  I know I've talked about them before, but I'm talking about them again.  New this year: Big Nate Flips Out, Big Nate Doodlepalooza, and Big Nate Puzzlemania.  Mister would read little else if I let him.  An excellent choice especially for reluctant readers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Beehives Part the Final

Last but not least, we have the Young Adult Fiction category

(Young Adult is trickier to navigate content-wise, so you may want to double-check or further investigate these to see if they're appropriate for your reader.)

A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielsen (Both Boo and Mister have read and enjoyed this historical novel.  I haven't gotten to it yet sadly, but I'm really looking forward to it.)

The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz (This seems to be another historical set in 1911 Baltimore.)

I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest (Boo LOVED this one.)

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine (Alternate history?)

Jackaby by William Ritter (Oh how we love Jackaby!  Boo and I have recommended this to many people.)

Kissing in America by Margo Rabb (This is noted as being for more mature readers.)

The Leveller by Julie Durango (Virtual reality gone haywire-- Boo really enjoyed this one.)

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson  (Graphic novel, Boo and Mister both enjoyed this one.)

The Six by Mark Alpert (This one looks dystopian.)

Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee (Oregon trail historical.  This looks really interesting.)

Monday, November 28, 2016

Beehives Part 3

Now we come to the chapter books-- the Children's Fiction category.

Appleblossom the Possum by Holly Sloan (We read this aloud together on a family vacation this summer and while it was a little weird, I liked it.  Boo and MeiMei liked it too... Mister was a little indifferent.)

Beast Keeper by Lucy Coats (We haven't read this one, but Mister wants to)

The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands (Boo really liked this one.)

Castle Hangnail by Ursula Vernon (Boo LOVED this one.)

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (Oh my gosh, this book.  Loved it.  Mister describes it as awesome.  Boo does too.  Heartbreaking and heartwarming and ultimately beautifully hopeful.)

The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart (This one is noted as being for more mature readers.  Boo says it was good and it's told from two alternating viewpoints.  She also says it was sad.)

My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons (Mister says "That. Was. Awesome. and absolutely recommends it.)

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (Graphic novel.  Boo says it was really good and I've heard good things from others too.)

The War that Saved my Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Noted as being for more mature readers.  Boo says it was good.)

Zane and the Hurricane by Rodman Philbrick (Noted as being for more mature readers. Boo says that while this wasn't really her thing she still enjoyed it.)

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Beehives Part 2

Today we have the Picture Book category.

[insert cheering here]

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach (SO FUNNY.  Seriously, you've got to read this one.  Or check out the read-along at Brightly Storytime)

Blizzard by John Rocco (This looks interesting.)

The Book with No Pictures by BJ Novak (If you haven't read this one yet GO DO IT RIGHT NOW.  Hilarious.  My dad bought it and reads it to my kids-- the LOVE it.)

Duck's Vacation by Gilad Soffer (This looks so funny.)

Duncan the Story Dragon by Amanda Driscoll (I have heard FABULOUS things about this one.... just haven't had a chance to look at it myself yet.)

Goodnight Already! by Jory John (I think possibly I love this one even more than my kids do.  It cracks me up.)

I Don't Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty (Looks cute)

It's Only Stanley by Jon Agee (I honestly know nothing about this one, lol)

Ninja! by Arree Chang (This sounds funny)

Pool by Jihyeon Lee (Haven't looked closely at this one, but it looks like a good choice for shy littles.)

Friday, November 25, 2016

Beehive Nominees 2017

So, this is my holiday kickoff post.

I'm celebrating Black Friday by A) not shopping because OH. MY. GOSH. NO.

 and B) locking myself in my bedroom to catch up on blog posts.

I'm lining up a whole bunch of "here's what books to get people for Christmas" posts (because Christmas is only a month away.... how the heck did that happen?!?!?) ....

... and I'm starting with The Children's Literature Association of Utah's Beehive nominees.

If you aren't familiar with CLAU or the Beehives you can check out their website (

The Beehives four categories and always have amazing books.  I haven't read everything on the list (I'll let you know which ones I have) but the fact that they're on the list is always a good sign to me. :)

I'm going to do one category per post... because otherwise TL:DR.

So today: Informational Books

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose (This looks like a great choice for the history-lover.)

Emmanuel's Dream: The True Store of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson (This came up on a list of books Mister brought home from school.  He and I both enjoyed it.  Very interesting story.)

Gordon Parks: How the Photographer Captured Black and White America by Carole Boston Weatherford  (This looks really interesting.)

Hippos Are Huge! by Jonathan London (I haven't actually read this one yet, just glanced through it, but it looks so fun!)

The House that Jane Built: A Story About Jane Addams by Tanya Lee Stone (Jane Addams was an activist that worked to better the lives of the poor.  This is on my to-read-soon list.)

If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers by David J Smith (This looks so fun.)

I'm Trying to Love Spiders by Bethany Barton (This one was a hit in my house.  It's hilarious.)

Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled all of France by Mara Rockliff (Really good.  Very interesting story.)

Winnie: The True Story of the Bear who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh by Sally M Walker (LOVED this one.  If you ignore everything else on this list, check this one out.)

Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman (Now that it's actually turned cold we need to get this book of nature poems.)