Friday, December 31, 2010

The Clouds Roll Away

I have been introduced to a new author that I am bragging about! Sibella Giorello is a new-to-me-author that is FABULOUS!!! Her writing catches you from the first page - it is fresh and REAL - I enjoy that. She is a Christian writer and although I am not always a fan of Christian Fiction, this author is drawing me back!!! The novel I read, The Clouds Roll Away, is a book that I could not put down. The storyline is about Raleigh Harmon, an FBI agent, and the mystery is one that I could not even see how it was going to end - it kept me going until the very end! Great read - I highly recommend it! This is not her first novel and you can be sure I am going back and reading her others - what a great writer.


About Sibella: Sibella Giorello grew up in Alaska and majored in geology at Mount Holyoke College. After riding a motorcycle across the country, she worked as a features for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Her stories have won state and national awards, including two nominations for the Pulitzer Prize. She now lives in Washington state with her husband and sons. Find out more about Sibella and her other books at her website. www.sibellagiorello.com

About The Clouds Roll Away:
Forensic geologist Raleigh Harmon returns home for Christmas but discovers Richmond, Virginia running low on goodness and light.

Although her exemplary service in Seattle lifted her disciplinary transfer, Raleigh lands a hometown civil rights case riddled with problems that could get her sent away again. When she helps out a fellow cop, her life goes on the line, forcing her undercover in a sting operation. As Raleigh realizes the lines are crossing and double-crossing, her domestic life starts to unravel. Her mother's mental health cracks like ice, her closest friend grows cold, and her old boyfriend DeMott comes a-calling, hoping for more than chestnuts by an open fire.

While the city glows with Christmas lights and carols, Raleigh is forced to rely on her sharpest skills to stay alive, hoping for that one clear moment when everything makes sense and the clouds roll away.

Win a KINDLE from Sibella Giorello!
The Clouds Roll Away KINDLE Giveaway
**I was provided a copy of the book for review purposes by the publisher.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Scholastic Favorites

In my Scholastic box a month or so ago I had some great titles I wanted to mention!


The Odious Ogre by Norton Juster and pictures by Jules Feiffer is a great treat! Chloe and I LOVED this one! This is the story of a mean, vicious ogre - no one likes him and most are afraid of him.d UNTIL, one day he takes a wrong turn and comes upon a sweet young lady that may just change his mind!! We enjoyed this - great read!! Watch the book trailer HERE.

Ivy Loves to Give by Freya Blackwood is another sweet story. This is a great one for our younger set. Ivy is a little tyke that loves to give things - she gives things to people and even her dog - even if they aren't always what they need or want!! But most of all she loves when people give to her - even is sometimes she likes to take more than she likes to give! Honest and sweet - our younger ones will enjoy this one!

The Sea of Sleep by Warren Hanson and illustrated by Jim LaMarche is another wonderful story to top off this box! This is the story of Mama and Baby Otter and their sights on their way to sleep. What a magnificent, go-to-sleep story. The illustrations are just what this sweet story needed - simply WONDERFUL!!! Makes me want to cuddle up and take a snooze with my little ones!

**These books were provided to me for review purposes by Scholastic Books.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Love At Last Sight

I wanted to read Love at Last Sight by Kerry and Chris Shook because I am always looking for more practical ways to love others. This was JUST what I was hoping it would be. This is a 30-day program that guides you step-by-step to building deeper, more meaningful relationships. It isn't rocket science, but it's true - when we invest ourselves, relationships will grow and mature. Their ideas are practical and do-able - it really was a great read!


Watch the book trailer HERE.

**I was provided a copy for review purposes by Blogging for Books.

Out Live Your Life

Max Lucado has long been an author I enjoy. His books have nuggets of truth throughout that make me want to underline and re-read. His latest, Out Live Your Life, is no exception. It is the common thread of how God chooses to use ordinary people just like us to live out His plan. I love that - you don't have to be anything special - you just have to be willing. Lucado backs it all up with scripture and examples of people God used that were just like us! This was an inspiring read - a good challenge for all of us - all we need to be is willing!!


Here is what the publisher said about the book -

These are difficult days in our world's history. 1.75 billion people are desperately poor, natural disasters are gouging entire nations, and economic uncertainty still reigns across the globe. But you and I have been given an opportunity to make a big difference. What if we did? What if we rocked the world with hope? Infiltrated all corners with God's love and life? We are created by a great God to do great works. He invites us to outlive our lives, not just in heaven, but here on earth. Let's live our lives in such a way that the world will be glad we did.

Watch a trailer for the book HERE.


Peachtree LOVE!

Peachtree Publishers sent me a box and I am THRILLED!! What great books they publish! You honestly can't go wrong.


No Bows! by Shirley Smith Duke and illustrated by Jenny Mattheson is a hit at our house. This little girl is opinionated! She certainly has her likes and dislikes and she lets it be known! My girls laughed the whole way through AND then told me what they liked or didn't like! What a fun one to share with our little ones - would be great for story hour as well!

Little Rabbit's Christmas by Harry Horse is another story that will be a Christmas favorite for years to come! All little rabbit wants for Christmas is a sled - it's all he thinks about UNTIL he gets it!! Then, since he doesn't want to share - he comes to wonder really how fun a sled is all by yourself. Cute story with a wonderful moral. Harry Horse is a wonderful author and I am glad his stories live on even though he passed away in 2007.

Immi's Gift by Karin Littlewood is a tender story - Immi lives in the Arctic and she is lonely - no one ever comes to visit her. Until, as she is fishing one day, she begins to find gifts. She loves the gifts so much, she decides to send out her own gifts via the ocean. This story is so sweet - someone finds her gifts and the story ends in a wonderful way! Truly a touching story that my girls LOVED.



**I was provided copies of these titles by the publisher for review purposes.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Family Media Diet Calculator

Nashville, Tenn. Dec. 15, 2010… After a season filled with record-setting cell phone and gaming gifts to teens and tweens, iShine is announcing the upcoming Dec. 26 release of the Family Media Diet Calculator. The calculator is a new tool providing customized awareness to families in regards to how much time they spend connected to media in comparison to the amount of hours they spend plugged in with real life interaction and content consumption.

By visiting http://www.familymediadiet.com, parents nationwide will be able to plug in amounts of time their families spend texting, browsing online, consuming television and more. They will then be able to print a free custom analysis of where their families are spending their time in comparison to their involvement in recreational and faith-based activities along with family time and reading. The campaign is not an anti-technology movement. It is about use awareness and being intentional about the content.

It is estimated that the 20 million tweens in this country spend 25 hours a week watching television and playing video games and only one hour in church. George Barna (The Barna Group), a pioneer in research on Christian culture, recently noted that kids spend more time absorbing media than anything else in their lives, except sleeping. A recent article in The New York Times titled “Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction” (insert link - http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/technology/21brain.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=technology) also discussed the effects of technology compared to focusing and learning.

We as parents must be deliberate of what media our kids consume, understanding that it is forming the way our kids look at everything – self image, friends, parents, leaders, themselves,” remarks iShine Founder and Chief Creative Officer Robert Beeson.If we as parents aren’t actively forming the person our kid’s are becoming – make no mistake – someone else is.”

iShine, known for bringing family-friendly media options through tours, music, television and radio mediums, is sponsoring the free Media Diet Calculator. The organization will also be releasing a new interactive Bible for tweens with Tyndale House Publishers in Feb. of 2011.

# # #

http://ishinelive.com

More about iShine:

iShine is a Christian media group dedicated to ministering to “tweens” and their families. Tweens are defined as children between the ages of 7 and 13, and represent the single most influential age group in the world today. Mainstream media and consumer marketing groups focus their messages of identity, popularity and value predominately to the “tween” marketplace for a reason. iShine reaches today’s “tweens” through Biblically-based live concerts events (iShineLIVE!), unique television programming seen weekly on TBN (iShine KNECT), iShine artist releases to CD and DVD, interactive websites and coming in 2011, an entire line of books and Bibles all specifically designed to be relevant to this vital audience.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Language of Trees

Ilie Ruby's debut novel, The Language of Trees, is captivating, in a word. I was caught up at the first page and never wanted to put it down. The characters are real and become people you know, the places are places you can see and feel - it is a great read - one that will stay with you even after you've finished. Maybe "haunting" is a better word - because it is that as well - you are "pulling" for the characters and, even at the end, you continue to think of how their lives will change or continue on. Ruby is on my "watch list" - can't wait for her next novel!


Don't miss this one!

(And, as usual, my disclaimer that some content is mature - not recommended for younger teen readers, in my opinion.)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Big Fork Little Fork

As a mom who needs all the help she can get in the kitchen, I am excited about this opportunity!!

I am testing out Kraft's Big Fork, Little Fork app for iPad. This is a great app - for starters, it has:
  • 50 exclusive recipes spanning breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack-time, focused on families interacting in the kitchen; such as Yummy Roast Chicken, Sweet Potato Mash and Banana-OREO Lassi
  • Tips and tricks giving parents and kids cooking ideas
  • 10 how-to videos demonstrating cooking tactics with kids and offering step-by-step, professional instruction
And an exclusive recipe collection by Marcus Samuelsson.

I just see SO many great uses for this app. Just a few would be:
  • Parents and kids cooking together
  • Parents looking to expand their children’s (or even spouse’s) palates
  • Cooking inspiration during the holiday season
  • College kids learning how to cook on their own for the first time
  • Home-schooling parents looking to infuse food education into their curriculum
I downloaded the app itself, which is free, but the exclusive content of new recipes really intrigues me! As soon as I have played with the app more, I will be posting another review to let you know what I think! And Becky, in the kitchen, should be INTERESTING!!! :)

Here is a link so you can find the app too! Big Fork Little Fork is free until Dec. 31, 2010 and you can buy the new and exclusive recipe collection for just $4.99 right now on iTunes as well.

**“I wrote this blog post while participating in a TwitterMoms program, making me eligible to get an iTunes gift card in order to purchase the Marcus Samuelsson recipe collection on Big Fork Little Fork free. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

Contests and More Contests!!

Another contest you need to check out!!


Sibella’s celebrating the release of The Clouds Roll Away by giving away a KINDLE prize pack worth over $150.00!

giorello_300x250

One Grand Prize winner will receive:

  • Latest Generation KINDLE with Wi-Fi

  • $25 gift certificate to Amazon.com

To enter simply click on one of the icons below! Then tell your friends! Winner will be announced January 3, 2011 on Sibella's blog: http://sibellagiorello.blogspot.com/.



About The Clouds Roll Away - "Beautifully written with exquisite descriptions, Giorello's mystery also features well-developed characters..."
—Booklist, starred review


Monday, December 20, 2010

Don't Miss This Fun Contest!!!!

I wanted to fill you in on an exciting contest that is currently being run and sponsored by the New Living Translation. They are highlighting three ministries, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Oasis International, and The Dream Center, (click on the link to learn more details about these ministries) and by voting for one of these ministries you’ll be entered to win one of many prizes.

To enter, visit the NLT Facebook page by clicking here.

There are several levels of prizes you can win, here are the details:

With the Give the Word Bible Contest and Giveaway:
• Ministries win: Each time the NLT Facebook Page reaches a fan count milestone, votes will be tallied and the three ministries will receive cash donations from the New Living Translation and Tyndale House Publishers.
• Everyone wins: Everyone who enters on the Bible Contest website wins a free download of Matthew West reading the Christmas story.
• Daily NLT Study Bible winners: Vote on the NLT Facebook page and you will be entered to win two NLT Study Bibles—one to keep and one to give away. A new winner will be chosen every day.
• Weekly Give the Word Locally winners: Tell us about a deserving local ministry on the NLT Bible Contest website and they could win five NLT Study Bibles and $250 worth of NLT products.
• One Grand Prize winner will enjoy a unique trip customized just for them and their family (or three guests of their choice), to Wycliffe Bible Translators world headquarters and the WordSpring Discovery Center where they will experience firsthand the exciting world of Bible translation. The Grand Prize winner could also choose to donate the value of the trip--$2000--to Wycliffe instead.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Garden Spells

For a total change of pace, I picked up Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. Yes, it's a fiction romance-filled story but it totally intrigued me. It is the story of Claire and Sydney - two sisters that have chosen totally different paths in life but are brought back together later in life. They have to work through some things in order to build their relationship again, but what they build is something so much stronger than anything they had before. It is a beautiful story of friendships, relationships and flowers - yes, flowers. Claire's garden is full of flowers - each with a different "purpose" when it is used in a recipe. I really enjoyed it - it's a fast read - but one that reminds you to let love in - even when it might hurt.


*Just a note here - definitely an "adult" read - and it does have some scenes that are more graphic than I normally read. I just wanted to add that for those that pass my reading suggestions on to teens - not a book I'd want my teen to read because of the content.

Red in the Flower Bed

If there is one type of book I am ALWAYS on the lookout for - it is books on adoption for children. SO, when I was contacted by Tribute Books about Red in the Flower Bed by Andra Nepa - I was over-the-top-excited! Nepa is the mother of an adopted Vietnamese daughter so she KNOWS what adoption involves and what it can mean to our little ones that we bring into our homes. That is why I am so excited about this book - the theme of adoption all wrapped around a little seed that grows. The analogy is wonderful! I love how the seed becomes a flower and blends into the rainbow in the flower garden. I can't wait to share this one with my daughters - it is perfect!


*I was provided an online link for review purposes by Tribute Books.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Crashing Through

I think the very first conference we went to for our daughter was one put on by the Braille School here in Iowa. And what I kept hearing over and over was about a book - Crashing Through - I am not kidding - MANY people kept telling me to read it. SO that is just what I went and did. What an inspiring story - it is the true story of Michael May. He became blind at the age of 3 from a chemical reaction and spent the rest of his life NOT letting his blindness stop him. He truly faced his blindness and did not let it get in the way of life - in fact, he was even a champion downhill skier - he truly amazed me at how he tackled life. But the crux of the book comes when Michael is faced with a decision - there is a doctor that feels he can possibly restore May's sight with stem cells and surgery - and here is where the story got very challenging. In my mind, I am thinking - well, of course I 'd have the surgery - even in light of the risks - but May has learned how to live a very full life because of his blindness and you really wonder if he is going to go through with the surgery or not. It is a great read - it challenges me as a mom of a little girl that is nearly legally blind - but it will challenge all of us as well - what really is important in our life??

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Whats In the Bible??

When I was asked to participate in the blog tour for the new DVD series, What's In the Bible?: Battle for the Promised Land - I had no idea what an advocate I would become. I have to just say right up front - ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS series! I have always thought Phil Vischer was marvelous (think Veggie Tales) but this new series, published by Tyndale, is loaded with content that I am so excited about. The series takes individual books of the Bible and teaches our kids history and contextual material that otherwise I am afraid would be lost to most children. We watched just one volume, vol. 4, Battle for the Promised Land, and that covered the books, Joshua, Judges and Ruth. We watched it once with our older kids and then with our younger daughter, age 6. What was amazing was that when we watched it with our teenage sons, we laughed at humor our six year old would not understand, but even our teens said they learned biblical things they had not known before. Then, we watched it with our six year old and she came away laughing at the humor that was definitely prevalent and also said she learned some new things as well. And the best part?? Even my very strong Bible-knowledge husband said he learned some things he hadn't known before either!! What a versatile and useful Bible teaching tool - that is what I love most about it.


Here is my interview with our six year old daughter:
Did you learn from it? YES!! I learned LOTS - I didn't know there were so many judges!
Did you find it funny? (Well, I wouldn't have had to ask her really - she was laughing OFTEN!!) YES!! It was very funny - especially the old ladies!
Would you want to watch more of these? YES! Can we go get one now??
Who was your favorite character? Michael made me laugh! He is funny.

My husband had this to say: (And he's the authority on this sort of thing with his seminary background!!)
I really enjoyed episode 4 of the What's in the Bible Series. It was the first time I had seen the series and I was very impressed. I appreciate the chronological approach to teaching the Bible. There are many advantages I see in this. So often we teach children the Bible in a shotgun approach. We jump from one story to another without connecting the dots. There is a greater story and flow to the scriptures and children need to see the plan of redemptive history as it unfolds.

I also appreciate the emphasis on teaching doctrine along the way. Explaining the "whys" to the stories helps children understand the deeper truths of scripture.

Another great technique is the use of repetition. Stories are told in one format and then often retold in another. This is great in helping children to understand and remember the truths that are presented. The review at the beginning of each series also helps children understand where things fit in and how they are connected. The review of the books of the Bible along with the breakdown or divisions of the books helps children become more literate in their Bible knowledge.

Basically what I am trying to say is that these videos are packed full of great stuff. I hope to get the entire collection not only for myself but also for my kids.
So there you go - and if you needed one more reason to go get these for yourself - my husband and I were even saying what a wonderful family Sunday School curriculum this would make - or any family learning at our church - they are just as enjoyable to adults as children. They really are NOT to be missed!!



Now - for the best part - I actually have a DVD certificate to give away to one lucky reader!! So - leave a comment and we will choose a winner next Monday, December 6!!!

*I was provided a copy for review purposes by Tyndale Publishers.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Care for Creation

Christy Baldwin has written a children's book that I think is very worthy of sitting up and taking notice!! Her book, Care for Creation, is just that, a call for us to think about how we care for our Earth. Each page is carefully illustrated and given a scripture verse to show how each mandate can be traced back to the Bible. I really liked this - it is not "over the top" but it creatively shows us how to take care of what we have - as we are called to do. This is a children's book that will be fun to share with our little ones - and may plant seeds while you are reading!!


Here is a little background on the author:

Writing has been a passion of Christy's since she was very young. As a child, she loved to write stories for her grandfather and poems just for fun. She lives in Mason, Ohio with her family and is active in church, Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts and volunteering with various organizations. Christy has a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Cedarville University and a master's degree in Special Education from the University of Scranton. She is a stay at home mom who enjoys spending time with her kids and being involved in their schools. Her previous children's titles include Nine Things Nathan Noticed at Night and Remembering Wilma.


*I was provided an ebook for review purposes by the publisher.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

If I Could Keep You Little

Marianne Richmond's If I Could Keep You Little is, in a word, WONDERFUL!! What a tender, touching story for parents and children to share together.


My favorite lines:
If I could keep you little, I'd tell you stories every night.
But then I'd miss you reading the words you've learned by sight.
If I could keep you little, I'd keep you close to me.
But then I'd miss you growing into who you're meant to be!

Don't miss sharing this one - with your kids, your grandkids and other little ones in your life! Truly a wonderful story!

*I was provided a copy for review by the publisher.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Widow's Season

I just finished Laura Brodie's The Widow's Season - I am still trying to take it all in. It is a read that kind of threw me for a loop - the ending was not was I was sure was going to happen - although I wondered - just a very interesting read. Now I want to talk to someone about it.....


It is the story of Sarah McConnell - she looses her husband after he is in a boating accident. But what comes next totally kept me guessing. She thinks she is seeing his ghost occasionally - or is it really him??? Oh dear, see why I need someone to read it!!

It is compelling, I will say that. Wasn't thrilled with all of her choices after her husband's death, but then I'm not the author, now am I!?!?!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Active, Creative Child

The Active, Creative Child is Stephanie Vlahov's work on how to parent a child that is in perpetual motion. I SO enjoyed reading her book - it rang true to me, not only with some of my own children, but also with many children I saw in the classroom - those so quickly labeled ADD - may have easily fit into this category of being active and creative and may have only needed another outlet. Vlahov's degree and background, even her own children, have given her credibility in an area that many just label and move on. Vlahov provides hints for coping with these children, establishing boundaries that will work with them, and avoiding labels and judgments that are so easy to fall into with these kinds of children. Interesting and helpful read.


*I was provided a copy for review by the publisher.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Other Goose

J. Otto Seibold is simply one of the best for taking an old and making a new!! You may remember, Olive the Other Reindeer, which was simply wonderful - but his latest, Other Goose has to be just as good!! How could you even improve on Mother Goose?? Well, simply by making them more "Goosian" says Other Goose. You will love these new-fangled rhymes as much as the old. I was laughing out loud at some of them - what fun!!


I leave you with one of my favorites:
Little Miss Muffet (muf-fay)

Little Miss Muffet
held an insect buffet
featuring curds and whey.
Along came a spider
whit a jug of cherry cider
who said,
"I think I'll join you today."

**I was sent a review copy by Chronicle Books.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Day Leo Said I Hate You!

Robie H. Harris has written a book that kids just resonate with - The Day Leo Said I Hate You! is truly a book that kids love. I took it to a classroom to share and they begged me to leave my copy with them - and the teacher shared that it was THE BOOK that was asked for day after day. I think kids live this often - we all say things we wish we hadn't said - and we know we can't take them back. So what do we do then to make things alright?? That is the topic that Harris explores on a child's level - and I am telling you - they get it! Molly Bang is the illustrator that superbly gives you the feel of anger that Leo expresses in this book - as well as his repentant heart that comes through in the end. This books is available in paperback this November!!


*I was provided a copy for review by the publisher.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sea of Bath

The Sea of Bath by Bob Logan is wonderful!! This is a winner for reading aloud together - whether in story hour or just at home with your own kids. I love this little sailor that is sailing away at sea, meeting creatures of all kinds, even soap bars while he passes them at sea - all while not knowing which sea he is floating on!!! Will he ever find out!??! This is a fun one to read together and explore the sea or your own bathtub!!



*I was provided a copy for review purposes by Sourcebooks.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Story of Little Red Riding Hood

The Brothers Grimm gave us this wonderful story that has been handed down from generation to generation. But when Christopher Bing illustrated it- it became a family heirloom! What magnificent illustrations - they just add to the beauty of the story! This edition of Little Red Riding Hood is not to be missed!!


*I was provided a copy for review purposes by Chronicle Books.

Monday, November 08, 2010

FOOD - 25 Amazing Projects

Kathleen M. Reilly has written a book that is just a great way to learn a lot of history while not knowing you are learning!!! FOOD 25 Amazing Projects is full of history, science and FUN!! Readers will get to investigate the history of what we eat. Through science experiments and other fun activities, readers will learn about food in ancient times - all the way up to now. The book touches on the route from farm to market, vegetarians, and how modern technology plays a part in food production and more!! Great for a food unit - don't miss this one!


*I was provided a copy for review purposes by the publisher.

Let's Eat!

Denise Burroughs has written a cookbook of her family favorites called, "Let's Eat!" Coming from an Italian background, Burroughs' cookbook has flavorful recipes that include a wide variety of foods. She has some standard Italian favorites, but also some new recipes that sound like they are sure to become family favorites. I appreciate that her recipes are not overly fancy - they are recipes that anyone can attempt and call for ingredients that you may even have on hand! I haven't made any recipes out of her cookbook yet, but I plan to - they sound tried and true and sure to be favorites!!

*I was provided a review copy by the publisher.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Scholastic Goodies

I was thrilled with the new books for this Fall in my Scholastic Box!!


Will you Wear a Blue Hat? is a Rookie Toddler book. This is a wonderful series of books aimed at Toddlers and the things they are experiencing. This particular title could be used for winter clothes or colors - what a great board book!

Dot and Dash is a new series by Emma Dodd! I can't say enough good about this new series. What fun!! Dress Up and Go To Bed are both fun books with stickers inside. The outlines of the stickers are left blank on the pages for the kids to add them. I LOVE the illustrations on these - they are whimsical and fun! The stories are ones our little ones will relate to as well - WONDERFUL!! Dot and Dash Eat Their Dinner is a fun board book - I love how they name the animals "Tall" and "Small" - the kids will love that! Dot and Dash Meet Their Friends is a board book with flaps - something all little hands enjoy! What a wonderful variety of books and characters Dodd has created in this delightful new series!


**All of these books were provided as review copies by Scholastic Books.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Classic Horse Stories

What more can I say about this wonderful title? Classic Horse Stories compiled by Christina Rossetti Darling and Blue Lantern Studio will be a favorite of all of you horse fans. My daughter saw it lying here and said, "Oh mom, can that be mine??" Yes - it is a superb compilation that horse lovers are sure to enjoy - shortened versions of Black Beauty, The Black Stallion, C.S. Lewis' The Horse and His Boy, and poetry as well - all illustrated with that classic look that brings back such fond memories! Thank you, Chronicle Books, for finding this gem!!


*I was provided a copy for review by Chronicle Books.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Need Nonfiction??

These books are fabulous non-fiction choices for our young readers.
Sterling Publishers has a series the "Inside" series that will capture young readers and excite them about learning. (Reading level ages 9-12)

Inside Hurricanes by Mary Kay Carson
Inside Dinsoaurs by Andra Serlin Abramson, Jason Brougham, and Carl Mehling
Inside Human Body by Dr. Aron Bruhn, MD and
Inside Tornadoes by Mary Kay Carson

FABULOUS books - fold out pages, photograph images, factual information - SURE to PLEASE!!


*I was provided all copies for review purposes by Sterling Books.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Christmas LOVE!

Yes, we take a break from our regular blogging to share some CHRISTMAS LOVE!! I got a box that you need to hear about - Sterling Books - has some great Christmas titles that I am sure your younger readers will ask for over and over!


Richard Scarry's Best Christmas Book Ever! is a classic that never fails to delight young readers. In our library, Richard Scarry's books were the ones that I was constantly replacing - kids just thrill to look through them over and over. This Christmas compilation is sure to be another winner! His fans will be thrilled!

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Iowa by Sue Cornelison is a read that us Iowans are sure to put on our shelves!! I mean really, how often do we get books about Iowa that are also about Christmas!?!?! You will love this tale told to "The Twelve Days of Christmas"!!

Little Critter's The Night Before Christmas by Mercer Mayer is another timeless classic told "Critter-style" - I love everything about this one - and there is a CD included with a recording of this holiday classic.

The Toymaker's Christmas by Marilyn Scott-Waters is a book of paper toys that you can make to decorate for the holidays. I groaned remembering all of my attempts at origami - but this book is REALLY very do-able. They are already illustrated, perforated, and labelled - all you have to do is punch out and assemble. My girls are going to LOVE these!!

Merry Sparkling Christmas by Elizabeth Spurr is a board book that sparkles! Kids will love this one - it is told in rhyme and truly is Christmas through a child's eyes!!

Jingle-Jingle by Nicola Smee brought a smile to my face before I even opened it up - Smee is MAGNIFICENT and all of my favorite characters are back in this very fun board book! Poor Mr. Horse - he is always taking his friends for rides and telling them to "hold on tight" but they always seem to bump into trouble!! Another wonderful read!!



*All of these titles were provided by Sterling Publishers for review purposes.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The 13 Days of Halloween

Carol Greene has written a parody on "The 12 Days of Christmas" called The 13 Days of Halloween - it is so fun and kids will truly relate! It's catchy and Tim Raglin's illustrations are SUPERB!! Here is what the publisher had to say about Greene:

Carol Greene wrote her first poem when she was six years old (it was about a spider). To date she has published over a hundred books for children. Tim Raglin brings his wacky imagination and wonderfully odd cast of characters to The Thirteen Days of Halloween. His previous books include Five Funny Fights, Pecos Bill, and The Birthday ABC. He received a silver medal from the New York Society of Illustrators for his book Uncle Mugsy & the Terrible Twins of Christmas.

This is a fun Halloween title - not-to-miss!!

*I was provided a copy by Sourcebooks for review purposes.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Martha Doesn't Share!

Samantha Berger has created a character that is simply a delight! Martha is wonderful - made even more wonderful by the talented Bruce Whatley as he makes her come to life through his illustrations. Martha Doesn't Share! is a treat! She does not like to share and she has a new favorite word, "Mine!" But this doesn't last long because she realizes that if she doesn't share - she will always have to play alone.


This is story that all kids will relate to - it is a wonderful follow up to her first book, Martha Doesn't Say Sorry! Both would make great read alouds!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Chronicle Goodies

I have to share some of my latest and greatest!

I have gotten a few Chronicle books that I just have to share!

By FAR my favorite: Just One Bite by Lola Schaefer - what a wonderful book! Giant illustrations that come to life so that you, the reader, can see what it is that 11 animals are eating - in LIFE SIZE! What a fun concept - reminiscent of something by Steve Jenkins - this is truly a new children's book not to miss!

Chicken Big by Keith Graves is one for many good laughs!! When the other chickens see this giant egg with a giant chick inside - they hardly know what to make of it. And that is the crux of the story - the chickens are baffled and have to figure out who or WHAT this giant thing really is. It isn't until Chicken Big does something extraordinary that he is one of them!! LOVE this one - the humor is wonderful!!

Oh, oh this one is pretty much another of my favorites as well!! (I know, how many favorites can one have?!?!) A Long Piece of String by William Wondriska is so clever. The story is told all in red and black - red pictures/items in the story and black string tying them all together. But there are no words - just pictures - but here is what I love - it is an alphabet book - yep, the kids will get it - even without any words. It is wonderful!!! And it ends with the only words found in the book, "What do you have on your string?" This was originally published in 1963 and I am SO glad someone found it and brought it back for us!

Day and Night by Teddy Newton is a Disney Pixar book - I like this one because it focuses on how our differences are good and just might bring us together! Yep, Day and Night meet - they find out what one another like and dislike - what fun things they each have to share - and in the end, even what they can do together! Fun read aloud.

Lastly, Shadow by Suzy Lee - and this one may be one of the last we'll talk about but certainly NOT least! Lee is imaginative and inspirational in her work. This books begins with a girl, and a light bulb, in an attic - and ends with a girl, and a light bulb, in an attic - but what comes in between all of that is PURE JOY!!! What fun one can have with shadows and a little creativity! I was enthralled to watch what she comes up with - and kids will be too - SUPER read aloud, and yet even more fun with a child cuddled up beside you! There is SO much to enjoy in this one!



*All books were provided by Chronicle Publishers for the purposes of review.

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