Thursday, June 22, 2017

A List of Middle Grade-ish Things

(These are books we've received for review and kept... and my kids probably have read, or will read.... but I don't necessarily intend to do so myself.... but I'm telling you they exist.... 'cause I'm helpful that way.)

A Dog Like Daisy by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb
This story of a dog training to be a service animal for soldiers with PTSD is told from the dog's perspective as far as I can tell.  Looks like a really sweet story.

Marty Pants #1: Do Not Open! by Mark Parisi
Another new option for kids who are into the Diary of a Wimpy Kid style.  Looks pretty funny.

Planet Jupiter by Jane Kurtz
This one I hope to get to, but I'm listing it A) just in case and B) so that y'all don't have to wait that long to hear about it.  This is a coming of age-ish, finding family sort of a tale.

The Supernormal Sleuthing Service #1: The Lost Legacy by Gwenda Bond and Christopher Rowe
Look at that title-- what's not to love there??  (Unless you're my weird son who balks at fantasy in book form but spends ridiculous amounts of time playing basically fantasy-based games.  Whatever.)

Pixie Piper and the Matter of the Batter by Annabelle Fisher
I don't want to say the title aloud to often or too quickly, but this one looks fun.  Plus I think it has recipes.

Olga the the Smelly Thing from Nowhere by Elise Gravel
Another Diary-ish book, this one looks weirder and possibly for a younger audience.  Naturally it went straight to MeiMei.

Chester and Gus by Cammie McGovern
Another dog trying to be a service dog, again from the dog's point of view.  Looks cute.  Mister liked it, I believe.

King of the Bench: No Fear! by Steve Moore
Yet another Diary-ish style book.  About a kid who is the bench-warmer in every sport.  Always.  Looks silly but great for elementary school kids, especially boys.

Gabby Garcia's Ultimate Playbook by Iva-Marie Palmer
Interestingly-- given that this is a book about SPORTS and a GIRL-- Mister took this right away and read it.  And seemed to like it.  Weird.  Diary-ish again, about a baseball-obsessed girl trying to keep her win-streak going.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Notebook Doodles

Coloring and Activity books by Jess Volinski
received for review

These are best-sellers and I can see why!  I love the designs and I really like that they have info at the beginning about color theory and examples to show.  I also like that the non-picture page has a cool quote and lines for notes.  I love the layout concepts.

Super Cute
Oh my word, that's the way to describe it!  Boo tried to steal it from me, but it's MINE I tell you.  MINE.  Owls, turtles, flowers, birds.... so so so cute.

Henna Style
This one is maybe more pretty than cute, but just as awesome.  Lots of flower and paisley type designs.  Maybe a little more intricate than Super Cute, but similar.

Colorful Creations Positively Inspiring: Today is a Happy Day
All the QUOTES!  Love it.  Cool colorable uplifting quotes on every page (in addition to the cool quotes on the backs of all the pages).

Colorful Creations: Butterfly Mandalas
Gorgeous butterfly-themed mandalas.  Sometimes you have to really look for the butterflies, but they're there!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Series Updates

In case you aren't aware:

There is a third Teddy Mars book-- Almost as Outlaw.
(By Molly B Burnham, fun books)

There is a second Stick Cat book-- Cats in the City
(By Tom Watson, kind of Diary of the Wimpy Kid/doodle style)

There are, I believe, now three Ivy Pocket books.  I am reading the first one right now (when I typed this... which is a couple weeks before posting... whatever) and it is BIZARRE.  In good ways, you understand.  Full review coming at some point, lol.

There is a sequel out to Riddle in Ruby-- The Changer's Key.  Also book three The Great Unravel is out this year...  I hope to get to these eventually.

There is a sequel to Fog Diver-- Lost Compass.

Monday, June 19, 2017

All the Laughing Out Loud

I've talked about these before, I'm pretty sure.

Laugh-Out-Loud ..... Jokes for Kids by Rob Elliott

We've gotten a bunch of these for review and they are well-loved.

MeiMei seems to have just hit the sweet spot for them.... end of first-grade.  She reads them aloud to me and makes me text them to my dad.

Which seems only fair given the jokes he inflicts upon the rest of us.

Be aware that some of the titles are 2-in-1 style combos of other titles.   (For example, Ultimate is Awesome plus Road Trip.)

But seriously folks.

If you've got an elementary school kid in your life, you've got to try these.

I think they'd be really great for a reluctant reader.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

LuLu's Current Fravorites

I did not spell it wrong, that's how she says it.

How to Eat an Airplane by Peter Pearson
This one is getting a fair amount of bedtime story action lately.  It's hilarious.  If you've got kids who are fans of the ridiculous, you must try this one.

Samson The Piranha Who Went to Dinner by Tadgh Bentley
Speaking of ridiculous-- this one's great.  I won't spoil the twist, but look carefully at the illustrations on the final page.

Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Matheson
I think I've already reviewed this one, but I'm doing LuLu's fravorites and this one definitely qualifies!  She LOVES the interactive style and pretty much has the text memorized.

Good Night, Good Night by Carin Berger
Pretty sure I've already talked about this one too (it's a Pixie favorite) but it's been picked so much by LuLu lately it had to be on the list.  Shockingly, I'm not actually tired of it yet,

And finally, drumroll please.....

Announcing what is (based on giggle-o-meter) LuLu's current FRAVORITE:

The Princess and the Frogs by Veronica Bartles
illustrated by Sara Palacios
Oh my gosh, you guys.  If you haven't read this one YOU MUST and I do mean MUST go find it and read it.  What a hilarious take on the princess and the frog.  So cute.
(My only whine, because I'm OCD and once I saw this I couldn't unsee it, you know? Her "favorite green dress" seems to change.  Doesn't look the same towards the end as at the beginning.  Nit picky, yes.  Bugging me, also yes.)

So if you have a 4-ish (or any age really) you simply must try these!  They are LuLu approved.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Shakespeare Retold by E. Nesbit

illustrated by Antonio Javier Caparo

Look how pretty it is!!




I am usually SO NOT A FAN of retellings and abridged nonsense for kids.  I'd rather have them read the real thing.


Nesbit's prose retellings are kind of awesome.

I haven't read them all, but I like what I'm seeing, you know?

And it's gorgeous.

(I mentioned that, right?)


Take a look.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.

(Received for review)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

10 Things For Teen Girls by Kate Conner

5 stars

So I was browsing at the library.... trying to waste enough time that all my kids would be in bed when I got home.

(Oh, like you've never wasted time for that reason.)


I spotted this one on the shelf and since Boo is at THAT AGE I picked it up and flipped through.

I wasn't sure about it at first.... but decided I liked enough of what I saw to read through it myself and then if I liked it I could pass it off to Boo and if I didn't it could just quietly head back to the library.


If I could give this more stars, I would. I LOVED this book. So much that anyone who's been around me for the past couple of days has heard all about it.  (Including the doctor.  Hey, she took a pic of the cover with her phone.)

So I gave this to Boo and told her to read it.... and told my husband that we need to buy it... and that our girls are going to read it at 12, 14, 16, etc.

Here's what parents should know-- this is a Christian/Bible-based book. It's not the same flavor of Christianity that I subscribe to, so the vocabulary (and translation of the Bible) is not what my kids are used to. It's all good, we'll talk about it.  (That's part of why I want to own it.  I want to add Book of Mormon references.)

There is some discussion of sex. Also prostitution, sex trafficking, cutting, and eating disorders.

I would recommend this to girls 12 and up, though depending on the girl it might be appropriate as early as 10.

I plan to acquire a copy and mark it up and make all my girls read it over and over.

Overall, I'd suggest parents read it, if only to be able to better talk to their teen about it.

(Note, the author also has a book called Enough that seems to be more or less the same stuff but geared to adults and what we should be telling teens.  I haven't looked at that one yet.  GoodReads currently thinks the two are the same book.)

(Also, the author's husband has 10 Things for Teen Guys but I haven't gotten hold of that one yet.  It seems to be harder to get.)

(The word "enough" really stops looking like a word if it's used a lot on a single page.)