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.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Our Newest Addition

GOTCHA!! But I sure got your attention, didn't I!?!?
Well - I didn't lie - it really is a new addition - just an inanimate one! (Those are the best kind for the Bilby's!!)

I got an email from Simply-Bags asking if I'd like a bag in exchange for a review - I am always excited to do something like this and so I agreed.
I have been nothing but pleased. The bag is classy and functional - there are lots of compartments - yep, I'm a compartment girl. And it is wonderful for my laptop or other items. I used it to tote some books to a meeting and it was great - thin, lightweight, and easy to take along.

I really like it - check it out for yourself. Embroidered Tote Bags

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Today I am going to gush all over Nancy Werlin. This is a YA author that KNOWS how to deliver! I loved Impossible and now I am thrilled with her latest title, Extraordinary. This book has SO much to offer - friendships, popularity, glamour, and yes, fairies - I know, I was skeptical too - but what a great tie-in - I loved it!

I really appreciate the emphasis on friendships and courage. When Mallory is sent to Earth on a mission to help Phoebe, Mallory comes all the way from the land of Faeries, but she must learn the ways of humans in order to befriend Phoebe and complete her mission. We see their friendship develop all through junior high and then things start to get very complicated when Mallory's brother shows up. This book does challenge you to think about what is important to you - I always like that in a book - especially for teens! It is just a great read - it is so intriguing that it keeps you enthralled from beginning to end.

The other thing I loved about this book is the Jewish protagonist - what a fun twist from what I normally read. I like glimpses into other cultures and this novel provided that as well. I would highly recommend this book - even compared to other YA, this book is fairly "tame" in content. There were mentions of sex, or places where it was alluded to, but the one that stands out to me is where the teens decide not to go through with it - so that helped to keep it's tame rating intact!

Pearl in the Sand

Pearl in the Sand is a first novel by Tessa Afshar. I am often disappointed with Christian fiction so I am leary with this genre. A friend told me to read this and so I took the plunge - WOW - what a fantastic read - it made the story of Rahab come alive. I so appreciate when authors take a little liberty and add background to Bible Character's lives. Sometime I need to read that to understand culture, background, etc. And that is exactly what happened with this book - a prostitute - God placed in the line of Christ - amazing!! Great Read!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Harvesting the Heart

If you've read my blog for any length of time, you know that Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite contemporary fiction writers. Her stories are well-written, thought-provoking, and relevant - I like that. I just finished one of her older novels, Harvesting the Heart, and again, found it to be worth the read. I resonated with so much of the book - a young mom, struggling to figure out where she fits with a newborn and being home all day and a husband that is very busy - I think many young moms can understand that whole feeling of "who am I?" I highly recommend Picoult - she just rarely disappoints!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Exiled Queen

The Seven Realms series began with The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima and is now continuing with The Exiled Queen. Chima is a magnificent writer that you DO NOT want to miss. Our teens thoroughly enjoy this author and this is a series that is hard to keep on the shelves. In fact, her first series, The Heir, was also incredibly popular so I just don't think you can go wrong!

This is what Disney/Hyperion has to say about the book:

Haunted by several losses, Han Alister journeys south to begin his schooling at Mystwerk House in Oden’s Ford. But leaving the Fells doesn’t mean that danger isn’t far behind. Han is hunted every step of the way by the Bayars, a powerful wizarding family set on reclaiming the amulet Han stole from them. And Mystwerk House has dangers of its own. There, Han meets Crow, a mysterious wizard who agrees to tutor Han in the darker parts of sorcery—but the bargain they make is one Han may regret.

Meanwhile, Princess Raisa ana’Marianna runs from a forced marriage in the Fells, accompanied by her friend Amon and his triple of cadets. Now, the safest place for Raisa is Wein House, the military academy at Oden's Ford. If Raisa can pass as a regular student, Wein House will offer both sanctuary and the education Raisa needs to succeed as the next Gray Wolf queen.

Everything changes when Han and Raisa’s paths cross, in this epic tale of uncertain friendships, cut-throat politics, and the irresistible power of attraction.
I am honored to be a part of this blog tour that is showcasing such a great author for our teens - keep them coming, Cinda!!

**I was provided an ARC copy for review purposes.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Not Like Me

Eric Michael Bryant's Not Like Me: A Field Guide for Influencing a Diverse World is POWERFUL - I can hardly say more than that. It is challenging and scripturally-based. Believe me, with all the odd stuff out there these days - I challenged the book while I read, I tried to find fault with it - but I could not. I found myself whole-heartedly agreeing with what I was reading - I was challenged spiritually - both personally and corporately - I am telling you - it is a great read!

Someone else said of the book: "We can become agents of change creating genuine unity among people from a variety of backgrounds and belief systems through our relationships." And that is what Bryant seeks to do - through humorous illustrations and heart-wrenching stories, he shows how to pour yourself into others, whether they are like us or not, and what a difference it can make in our world. Bryant himself says, "As followers of Christ, we need to actively pursue friendships with people we have tended to avoid. We need to see others with God's eyes and be willing to change how we live."

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

Visit other blogs on this tour:

A New Kind of Minister
Awesome God Ordinary Girl
Be Your Best Mom
Blog Tour Spot
Caminho de Memorias
Catholic View
Fresh Brewed Writer
i don’t believe in grammar
In the Pages
Joyful Beginnings Begin with Joy in the Morn
Literary Fan Girl
Marci Seither
Paper Bridges
Ponderings by Andrea
Ragamuffin Scrap Craft
The Writing Road

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Dewey's Nine Lives

If you read the first Dewey novel then you will be waiting in line for the second - this is a wonderfully touching compilation of some new Dewey stories and other cat stories that will leave you smiling! I am a cat fan - but even if you are not - you will still enjoy reading about how people's lives have been bettered by having a cat in it! This is another wonderful read by Vicki Myron - I highly recommend it!

Here is a brief synopsis of some of the cat stories:
Contributor QA Final

To whet your appetite - here is the prologue:
Excerpt from DEWEY’S NINE LIVES © 2010 by Vicki Myron with Bret Witter. Published By Dutton. Excerpted with permission from the publisher. All Rights Reserved.

AND - if you are interested - here is the "I Believe in Dewey Magic" Contest!!

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

Monday, October 11, 2010

Knuffle Bunny Free

LOVED Mo Willems' newest Knuffle Bunny book!!! I mean LOVED it. Chloe and I both nearly cried when Knuffle Bunny was lost and then we were SO surprised to figure out where he REALLY was!! AND THEN, what finally happens to him - we couldn't believe it!!!
Yep - you have to read it - it's a winner!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Creak! Said the Bed

Yep - this one is a WINNER!! Phyllis Root's Creak! Said the Bed is just too fun! You will want to share this one with a little one near you or just read it yourself. Oh yes, and keep your eye on the bed frame - a small cracks develops that leads into much bigger things!! Dad says, "Snore" and "Creak" goes the bed!!

Saturday, October 09, 2010

The Waiting

There is one type of book that ALWAYS catches my eye - and that is anything "Amish" in nature. That intrigues me - I love to learn about their ways and ideas. So, when I was asked to review Susanne Woods Fisher's newest release, The Waiting, I was pleased to read this one! It is the second in her Lancaster County Secrets Series. Fisher's books are tender but real. I enjoy her work - she never fails to please. Here is what someone else said about that book that totally sums it up for me as well: A multifaceted story about complex people living the simple life. Readers will find themselves transported into the world of the Amish and deeply invested in these wonderful characters.

Other notes from the publisher:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is thrilled to announce the release of The Waiting, book two in The Lancaster Secrets Collection. In The Waiting Jorie finds herself caught be two loves and two lives in this compelling page turner about complex people living the simple life.

The Waiting is the next stand alone story in The Lancaster Secrets Collection and follows in the footsteps of the best-selling, The Choice. The Waiting is in stores now and to celebrate Suzanne is hosting The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway.

One Grand Prize winner will receive a Kindle preloaded with Suzanne Woods Fisher titles and a gift certificate! The Prize Pack (valued at over $185.00) includes:

* A brand new KINDLE, Free 3G, 6", Latest Generation

* The Choice by Suzanne Woods Fisher

* The Waiting by Suzanne Woods Fisher

* A $15 dollar Gift Certificate

To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on October 28th at Suzanne's Lancaster Secrets Book Club Party.

Join Suzanne for the Lancaster Secrets Book Club Party on October 28th! She’ll be announcing the winner of the The Waiting KINDLE Giveaway, hosting a book club discussion of The Waiting and The Choice, and giving away copies of both books and HEAPs of readerly prizes! Be sure to join us on Thursday, October 28th at 5:00 PM PST (6:00 MST, 7:00 CST & 8 EST) at Suzanne’s Author Page.

Blog tour schedule:


Crystal at Eccentric Eclectic Woman

Charlene at Quintessentially Quilly

Linda at Mocha with Linda

Sarah at Growing For Christ

Wendi at Wendi's Book Corner

Holly at 2 Kids and Tired Book Reviews

Wendy at itsJUSTme

Tina at TinasbookReviews


Becky at In The Pages

Debra at Footprints in the Butter

Abi at 4 the LOVE of BOOKS

Susan at Susieqtpies Scraps of Life

Billie at Billie the Girl

Melissa at Books R Us

Beckie at Beckie at RBC Library

Shindorf at Farming On Faith


amy at The 160 Acrewoods

Mindy at Ponderings of the Heart

Tasra at tasra mar | transform

Margaret at Cappuccino Life

Mindy at A Room without Books is Empty

Michelle at Chelle at Chasing the Divine

Julia at Thou Art Jules


Lynn at Lynn Dove's Journey Thoughts

Judy at Judy @ Seize the Book Blog

Alaina at {my heartfelt} Life

Danielle at The Happy Wife

Michele at My Blessings From Above

Tammy at Tammy's Book Parlor

Karla at Quiet Quilter

Jennifer at Rundpinne


Janet at Janet at Along the Way

Julie at Julie at One Rainy Afternoon

Stephanie at Stephanie at Coupon Clippin' Mommy

Unsell at Adventures in Unsell Land

Christine at Sticky Fingerprints

Gretta at The Johns Family

Michelle at My Semblance of Sanity

Annette at A Well-Watered Garden

Meinhardt at Knits and Reads


Sharon A at I Dream Of Writing For God

Sherry at Sherry@myjourney

Glidewell at My Daily Trek

Catherine at Cuzinlogic

Urailak at Living for God


Melissa at Real Heart Prints

Erin at Erin at Connected2Christ

Isabelle at Canadianladybug Reviews!


Heather @ Mommy Of 1 and Counting

Thirsty at Fill My Thirst

Vicki at Reading At The Beach

Elliott at Ramblings By Nicole

Lizzie @ A Dusty Frame

Marissa at Marissa at The Review Stew

Jenifer at Parris Ponderings

Jettie at Jetties Rambings

Stephanie at The Creative Side of Me

Vera at Luxury Reading

Janet at Janet at Home Is Where God Sends You

Jennifer at Mrs. Q: Book Addict

Suzanne at Clicking Her Heels


Sheri at The Shades of Pink

Carie at Carie's Coins & Cents

Tammy at Bluerose's Heart

Janie Hickok at JHS at Colloquium

Carol at Carol at Books Before Food

Cindy at Cindy's Love of Books

Myrtle at Myrtle's Turtles

Revka at The Porch Light

Heidi at Reviews & Reflections

Stefany at ToBeThode

Deb at Just Short of Crazy


Amy at Girlfriends Get Real

Lori at Frog's Lilypad

Tracy at Tracy’s Booklet


Gwyn at Mommy Daily Vent

Stacie at Stacie at Simply Stacie


Marjorie at The Writer's Tool

Wanda at The Watered Soul

Tammy at

Patty at Patty at Broken Teepee

Christina at Will Blog 4 Books

Suzanne at suzannesaphone

Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer


Alayna at Joyful Beginnings Begin With Joy In The Morn'

Sharon at Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews

Melissa at Learning to Sail

Ruth at This That and the Other Thing

Ashley at One of a kind review for Great books...


Jody at the corner book blog

Kathryn at Home Spun Soul

Virginia at Lady V dZine

Wendy at Minding Spot

Selena at Colloquy Moms

Darlington at Our Whiskey Lullaby


Patricia at The Academy of Cybetoria

Briana @ I Can't Decide

Michelle at Our Little Corner of the World

Scott at LaVigne's Blog

Grace at Books Like Breathing

Al at Celibate in the Suburbs

Kate at Fuzzy Black Slippers and a Pink Hoodie


Freda at Freda's Voice

Lynn at Musings By Lynn

Massey at Morning Cup With Meg

Avesian at Cafe Lily Book Reviews

Brooke at i blog 4 books


Libby at Libby's Library News

Jill at Frugal Plus

Rosellini at Patty’s Escape

Linda at Linda's Lunacy

Trisha at Trisha's book reviews

Katrina at Life With Katie


Angela at Angi at All Grown Up?


Tiffany at A Cozy Reader's Corner

Kathleen at Quiet Quilter

Melissa at bookreviews

Lori at Two Southern Girls

Linda at Christian Book Reviews

Ariel at The French Daydreamer

Jodie at Digging For Pearls

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

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