Sunday, November 30

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

To All the Boys I've Loved Before
Jennifer Han

My rating: ★★★

ISBN: 978-1442426702
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date of publication: April 15, 2014
Age: Grades 9 and up
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Themes: love letters, communication, family, "saving face"

Lara Jean's life has just gone from normal to crazy: her five secretly-written love letters were accidentally mailed out to her crushes. They're not really love letters, just a confession of things that Lara Jean writes down for herself (she'd never say them aloud!) and they were never meant to be sent out. Now her first kiss, the cute guy from middle school, and even her sister's ex-boyfriend are confronting her, wanting to know the truth. She thought all these crushes of hers were done and in the past...but she may be feeling a spark once again. Maybe something good can come out of this.

I will admit right now that I had a hard time putting down this book, and was staying up pretty late trying to finish it. It was building itself up for this great romantic climax and ending! But just ended. I felt so unfulfilled. Granted, it has been let on that there will be some sort of sequel. But still! It just ended! I'm still frustrated about it.

As for the characters, Lara Jean was difficult for me to understand. On the one hand, she's pretty conservative and tries to live up to the ideals of her perfect older sister. On the other, she has a crazy best friend and made out randomly with a boy in the hall. She wants people to think she's dating the school's hottie, but bursts into tears when a rumor spreads that she had sex with him. It seems like these characteristics are on opposite ends of the spectrum. The boys of the book were a tad unpredictable, perhaps because their characters weren't as well developed as they could have been.

So how do I really sum this up. It was obviously a good story that kept me reading, but in the end, I was not impressed. I might recommend it to the right person.

Warning: Explicit Content
Some sexuality

Find it at your library or on Amazon

Friday, November 28

Loot: How To Steal a Fortune

Loot: How To Steal a Fortune
Jude Watson

My rating: ★★★

ISBN: 978-0545468022
Publisher: Scholastic
Date of publication: June 24, 2014
Age: Grades 4 - 7
Genre: Mystery, Contemporary/Realistic Fiction

Themes: family, thievery, fate, ingenuity,

As Alfie McQuinn, the world-famous cat burglar, lies dying in the street after a fatal fall, his final words to his son are to "find jewels." March McQuinn soon discovers his father is not talking about loot, but about Jules, the long lost twin he never knew he had. Orphaned, the two are sent to a group home—where they immediately escape with some friends. They are bent on finishing Alfie's work, a heist that will give the money they need to live the life they've dreamed. But they're up against some dangerous rivals and will soon realize that more than money is on the line.

March and Jules are almost 13-years-old and yet...they can steal a fortune like something out of Ocean's Eleven. While this came off as thoroughly unbelievable to me, I can see that it would make an exciting read for a middle-grader. Indeed, the book is non-stop action and thrills, with one dangerous stunt after another. The characters are not as well developed as I would've hoped—because of all the emphasis on the action. And they come and go as they're needed (there's a LOT of characters that just show up conveniently). But the variety is entertaining, and it works for the target age.

Basically, it's an exciting book that kids (especially boys) would probably enjoy. For me? I wasn't head-over-heels. But I'd still recommend it to the right person.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

Thursday, November 27

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello all and happy Thanksgiving! Just wanted to drop in on this lovely holiday and share this awesome video made by This Is Teen: "Stuff YA Readers Say at Thanksgiving"

Genius, yes? I echo their sentiments. May your days be filled with wonderful books and fantastic stories!

Wednesday, November 26

The Guardians

A break in the schedule: no storytime post today due to the holiday. But here's a four-in-one, kids-level book review!

October 4, 2011
February 21, 2012
October 2, 2012
November 5, 2013

The Guardians
William Joyce

My rating: ★★★★★

Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Age: Grades 2 - 6
Genre: Fantasy

Themes: legend origins, believing, magic, good vs. evil,

After the battle with Pitch that ended of the Golden Age, only the Man in the Moon remains. He watches over the kids on Earth, and protects them. But when Pitch, the Nightmare King, rises again, MiM knows he must find fellow guardians to protect the children. Through the series, he recruits: the wisest of wizards, Ombric; the swashbuckling thief-turned hero, Nicholas St. North; the bright protector in the dark, Nightlight; the last remaining Pooka, E. Aster Bunnymund; the queen of tooth fairies and collector of memories, Toothiana; and former shooting star captain and dream/wish master, Sanderson ManSnoozy. Together with Katherine, the orphaned child who is often the target of Pitch's fury, they battle Pitch again and again in hopes of finally banishing the nightmare.

While I am reviewing these books as a series, I will break them down a little bit more. But first, my overall impression: I LOVE these books. They are hope and goodness and feel-goods and happiness and all things that bring me joy. They're the ultimate fairy tales with magical beings in a terrifying battle against true darkness and evil. I LOVE it. But that is also my biased sentiment; I love a good fairy tale and prefer fantasy. It's definitely my style of book: all that is good about being a child. In a more professional sense, I would still rate these books high because of the imagination, thorough development, and careful structure put into these stories. It seems as if Joyce has prepared for everything and left no loose ends. They're brilliant.

In Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King, Pitch is first loosed on the world and we are introduced to Ombric, Nicholas, and Nightlight. Katherine, an orphaned girl living with Ombric in Santoff Claussen, attaches herself to the guardians, developing into a stronger, braver character. She finds and adopts her giant Snow Goose and records the stories of their adventures (*coughMotherGoosecough*). Since everything is so new, there are still some shallow, just-believe-it moments. It could serve as a perfectly fun standalone story, but it still had me grabbing for the next one, just knowing it was available...

In E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core, Pitch has built a sanctuary for himself in the center of the earth, kidnapping the kids in Katherine's village in attempts to draw in and trap the guardians there. Who better to help than the oldest & wisest creature on Earth? Who also happens to be a tunneling master? Bunnymund is a fascinating character, because he is totally unlike any others in the books—very formal, but can succumb to craziness. It's fascinating.

Then, Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairies, makes the series even more complex. Toothiana's origin is very...fraught with heartache. A lot more emphasis is placed important elements of humanity: kindness, forgiveness, and the like. In the final battle of this book, the gaurdians are set to kill Pitch once and for all, but it is Katherine who remembers the importance of mercy. So, compared to the other books, this one was very heavy. Still, it added amazing depth to these tales.

Finally, Sandman and the War of Dreams, it which Katherine is subjected to torturous nightmares that only the love of Nightlight can disperse. It's a tad darker—which makes sense, because ever since the beginning, Pitch has been getting stronger and more cunning. It also gives more history, specifically Pitch's history, which brings SO much depth to what could be just an evil villain. I'm telling you guys, Joyce knows what he's doing.

And the title-less book 5, due perhaps as late as 2016, is eagerly awaited. But I wouldn't let that stop me from reading all of these books. Heck, ALL of Joyce's books! The man is a genius, celebrating all that is good about childhood. He gives depth and origins to the fantasies of Santa, Easter Bunny, and Tooth Fairy in a fascinating, skillful way. And I am a fan. Go. Go and read.

Or see the movie, that's pretty good, too.

Find the books at your library or on Amazon

Tuesday, November 25

Amelia Bedelia Chalks One Up

Amelia Bedelia Chalks One Up
Written by Herman Parish, illustrated by Lynne Avril

My rating: ★★★★

ISBN: 978-0062334213
Publisher: Greenwillow
Date of publication: August 26, 2014
Age: Grades K - 2
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Themes: weather, mood, friends, help out

Amelia's mother feeling pretty blue, especially with the glum weather. Amelia encourages her to go out and have some fun to help cheer her up. While her mom is gone, Amelia and her friends decide to brighten her day even more with some colorful chalk drawings in the driveway—flowers, sunshine, and a red carpet included.

Any Amelia Bedelia book is sure to get a chuckle out of me; I love this series and it's literal-thinking character. This one was no different, and sweet Amelia Bedelia doesn't think her mother looks blue at all. She's not even wearing blue. The story is simple, but adorable. It encourages happy thoughts and doing nice things for others. Overall, an excellent read.

Find it (or any Amelia books!) at your library or on Amazon

Monday, November 24

Mock Caldecott 2015

The Caldecott, my friends. Awarded to the best illustrated book of the year. How to choose?? So many great ones this year, but I went ahead and made a list of my favorites.

Saturday, November 22

Princess of Thorns

Princess of Thorns
Stacey Jay

My rating: ★★★★

ISBN: 978-0385743228
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Date of publication: December 9, 2014
Age: Grades 9 and up
Genre: Fantasy

Themes: family, fate/prophecies, journey, pride

Sleeping Beauty's daughter, Princess Aurora, is fairy-blessed with strength, bravery, and mercy—but also that no man in love with her will defy her. A curse, since any man who kisses her loses his free will. Giving up on love, she disguises herself as a boy and enlists the help of Prince Niklaas—himself cursed—to fight for her throne and kidnapped brother, challenging the ogre queen and her army of monsters that stole the kingdom from her family 10 years previous.

I loved this book. The story itself was interesting with a dark, exciting, Game of Thrones-esque twist on a classic fairy tale. But I was most impressed with Aurora, the character. She's stubborn, prideful, and quite full of herself (she is only barely mortal). When faced with the consequences of her choices, however, she is dealt with a harsh blow to her ego. Her character develops magnificently.

And the ending is fabulous. Well, mostly. The actual climax is a bit hollow, with me doing a "wait, what?" I was doing a lot of "wait, what?"s at the beginning, because you're dropped right in without much of an understanding (hard to tell what is prophecy and what's really happening). But it works out in the end. So not a five-star, but still way good. I recommend it.

Warning: Explicit Content

Pre-Order now on Amazon!
...or wait for it at your library

Friday, November 21

10 Tips for Reading Aloud to Children

Got an advice-ful post today! Parents, librarians, and teachers alike will all have a chance to read aloud to children at some point. Usually, it's pretty often (as it should be!). Each person has their own style and approach, but I thought I'd put out my two cents on some good ways to showcase a book.

Thursday, November 20


Raina Telgemeier

My rating: ★★★½

ISBN: 978-0545326995
Publisher: Graphix
Date of publication: September 1, 2012
Age: Grades 6 - 9
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Themes: theater, homosexuality, crushes, friendship

Callie is in love with Theater, and is a set designer for the upcoming performance of Moon over Mississippi at her middle school. She has big plans, but only a middle-school budget. Besides that problem, real drama soon arise between actors and crew members. And Callie may be developing a crush when twin boys enter the scene. How can she navigate through this all-around drama?

Drama is right! But, at the same time, this book felt pretty realistic. Callie is a great character; she's confident in her abilities behind stage, but can get flustered by the guys in her life. She's definitely not perfect, and has some great depth. Also, I was surprised by the ending, which I think is impressive—it's not easily predictable. Of course, middle school isn't all that predictable. Kids are trying to figure out who they are (and, perhaps, their sexual orientation) and Telgemeier does a good job of tapping into that. Overall, the story was a good one and I appreciated the theater-drama theme that permeated the whole of it.

This is a graphic novel, and reads pretty quickly (I read it during my lunch break). I think it makes a great option for kids who don't like the traditional book format, and it's a good story—so a win-win for them. It's a good true-to-life book that could help some middle-schoolers. Overall? Not really my personal preference (the reason for 3.5 instead of 4) but I would still recommend it to the right person.

Find it at your library or on Drama

Tuesday, November 18

The Princess in Black

The Princess in Black
Written by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

My rating: ★★★★

ISBN: 978-0763665104
Publisher: Candlewick
Date of publication: October 14, 2014
Age: Grades K-3
Genre: Fantasy

Themes: monsters, princess alter ego, secrecy, heroics

Prim and proper Princess Magnolia sips hot chocolate with Duchess Wigtower, who is known for uncovering people's deep dark secrets. But then, the Monster Alarm rings and the Princess must find a way to transform into her secret alter ego—the monster-fighting Princess in Black—without Wigtower discovering where she went! She must save the goats from being eaten and keep her identity a secret!

This book is adorable. Which, I realize, isn't a very professional way of critiquing it—but I can't help it! It's just so cute! It's written in such a way that any adults reading it will laugh at its cheesy (but classic) superhero plot made extra-girly. But at the same time, I think that kids will love the story. There's intrigue, secrecy, monster battles, ponies, and a sparkly tiara. It's got all the right stuff. I appreciated the characters, too; they're not the flat, uninteresting characters that are common in other easy-readers. They're fun and fascinating (even the pony!). As a whole? I recommend it. It's adorable.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

Monday, November 17


Written by Tom Lichtenheld and Ezra Fields-Meyer, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

My rating: ★★★★★

ISBN: 978-0811878982
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Date of publication: October 19, 2011
Age: 4 - 7 years

Theme: alphabet, emergency, interactive, helping out

The letter E is injured! She fell down the stairs and is in the hospital, needing a rest. Who can cover for her? Z is too sleepy, P is in the bathroom, and U wants to stick by Q...but O can help, being so well-rounded! Ho'll covor so that E can got bottor! Now ovoryono mako suro to lot E rost!

This book is downright hilarious. I mean, you get a taste of it with the summary, but I honestly haven't laughed so much for any other picture book. There's so many punny jokes for kids and for adults. And if you choose to read it aloud...well, just be ready. Because it's going to be funny. Try saying "ovoryono" with a straight face. Plus! E is my favorite letter of the alphabet. So, a whole book on the importance of the letter E? Yeah, I might be biased, but I'm a fan. Go check it out!

Find it at your library or on Amazon

Sunday, November 16

The Accidental Highwayman

The Accidental Highwayman: Being the Tale of Kit Bristol, His Horse Midnight, a Mysterious Princess, and Sundry Magical Persons Besides
(Adventures of Kit Bristol #1)
Ben Tripp

My rating: ★★★½

ISBN: 978-0765335494
Publisher: Tor Teen
Date of publication: October 14, 2014
Age: Grades 7 and up
Genre: Fantasy

Themes: fugitives, fairies, 18th century England, performances, true love

Christopher "Kit" Bristol is shocked to discover he is working for the famed Whistling Jack (a highwayman of highest ill repute) when is master comes home in the middle of the night, mortally wounded. Kit dons Jack's cloak in attempt to save him, only to become locked in the magical contract his master was in: to rescue the rebellious fairy princess, Morgana. Chased by the English king's red coats and the fairy king's goblins, Kit and Morgana flee across the country for their very lives, picking up some unlikely comrades along the way.

As you can probably infer from the title, this novel is written in an old fashioned sort of way that is very reminiscent of the likes of Robert Louis Stevenson and Jane Austen. Also, Ben Tripp claims, in the preface, to have found this lost manuscript of Kit Bristol, and that the story is all true. Thus, the antique script with "found manuscript" plot, along with all the fantasy elements, does indeed make the novel of the likes of The Princess Bride. Rather promising, yes?

And so the story is pretty good, but I did like The Princess Bride better. Which is to say this book had some slow spots that were pretty tough to get through (and the old-timey vocabulary can get rough, but that might just be me). It took me a good long while to finish it. Kit is a great character, and I enjoyed reading the story through his words, but the other characters were a bit more difficult to get attached to (Morgana was pretty difficult for me to understand—so much goes unexplored). In all, I want to like it, so I gave it an extra half-star. I'd recommend it if you're up for it.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

Friday, November 14

Why Picture Books Are Important

As part of National Picture Book Month, asks a different author/illustrator each day to explain why picture books are important. Today, for instance, is Anna Dewdney, of Llama Llama fame, and she focused on the human-interaction of it. Really though, all of the explanations this month are varied, from the humorous to the serious and personal to educational.

So with that in mind, I thought I'd answer the question. Why are picture books important? Seeing as I have based my entire career on sharing picture books, I feel rather invested in the answer. But seeing as I simply love picture books, the answer will not be completely professional. No, this will be a nice blend of completely biased opinion and some fact-based evidence.

Thursday, November 13

Genie Wishes

I'm talking about the Virtual Book Club book today! We meet on Twitter and you can join in too! Just follow along with #vbcbooks!

Genie Wishes
Elisabeth Dahl

My rating: ★★★★

ISBN: 9781419705267
Publisher: Henry A. Abrams
Date of publication: April 2, 2013
Age: Grades 4 - 7
Genre: Realistic Fiction

Themes: friendship, boy/girl interactions, growing up, blogging

Genie Haddock Kunkle has just been elected as the 5th grade class blogger, assigned to report on hopes, dreams, and wishes. But what sorts of things should she write about it? Plenty of changes abound: her best friend hangs around the boy-crazy, new girl more and more; bras, deodorant, and other such things are a popular topic of conversation; and her dad has a new girlfriend. So Genie starts writing about it all. She soon discovers her own hopes, dreams, and wishes and how they'll shape her school year.

Dahl has captured perfectly the struggles kids face when they reach THAT age. The age where everything starts changing and puberty kicks in. Genie, as a character, has just the right amount humor, fear, courage, and naivete. I wish I had had this book when I was at that age. Even now, I feel that I can really relate my growing up years to Genie and the decisions she has to make with friends and family. Also, I read it in one evening and didn't put it down once. Basically, it's a great book and I recommend it. Granted, remember that it is definitely targeted more towards girls, so you may want to take that into consideration.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

Wednesday, November 12

Veteran's Day Storytime

This storytime was for preschoolers & toddlers at my library. We hosted some special guests: active-members of the Army National Guard from the community!

Tuesday, November 11

Waiting Is Not Easy

Waiting Is Not Easy
(Elephant & Piggie Book)
Written and illustrated by Mo Willems

My rating: ★★★★★

ISBN: 978-1423199571
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Date of publication: November 4, 2014
Age: 5 - 8 years

Themes: patience, friendship, waiting, suprise

Piggie has a surprise for Gerald--a most amazing surprise that they can share! But it's not here yet. So Gerald has to wait. And wait. "GROAN!" Waiting is not easy. Will it be worth it? What is the surprise??

I think I have a new favorite Elephant & Piggie. Not necessarily because of the way it's written but because of personal preference. See, I think Piggie's surprise is the best thing in the whole universe, so I was a fan the minute I finished the book. But on to the more technical aspects...

This is a fantastic new Elephant & Piggie book because Willems has once again introduced an important value--in this case, patience--to his young readers in a fun and understandable way. The simple illustrations are fantastic as well, such as the illustration I shared below. Don't impatient children make you feel like Piggie in that picture? Willems captures emotions with the simplest illustrations, which helps the beginning readers really understand what is going on. So give it a try!

Find it at your library or on Amazon

Monday, November 10

12 Brand-Spankin' New Favorite Picture Books

It's National Picture Book Month! Woo! In celebration of such, I have decided to create a list of my favorite favorites of the fall-published picture books. So, of those that have come out in the last couple months, I think these are just awesome.

Sunday, November 9


Scott Westerfeld

My rating: ½

ISBN: 978-1481422345
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Date of publication: September 23, 2014
Age: Grades 10 and up
Genre: Romance, Paranormal Fantasy/Realistic Fiction

Themes: publishing, independence, New York City, death, ghosts, terrorism,

Darcy has just signed a publishing contract for her YA novel, Afterworlds. With her sizable advance, she decides to defer college and move to New York--no friends, no apartment, no idea what she's getting into. Still, she has a network of fellow authors to help guide her--including Imogen, with whom she falls in love. Told in alternating chapters is Darcy's novel about Lizzie, a girl trapped in the middle of a terrorist attack who fakes death so well she travels to the Afterworld. The transition makes her a spirit guide and she must soon learn to navigate her new abilities. She gets help of Lord Yama, a god of the dead, with whom she falls in love.

It's really two books in one and they are both difficult to read. Darcy's story is flat and boring, with no real climax. And it's somewhat unrealistic--not so much about the publishing industry (which has been criticized by others for good reason) but about Darcy's sudden homosexual love life. Like, that came out of nowhere. Darcy as a character was unlikable because she is shallow, insecure, and whiney. The Afterworlds story was a bit more readable with more excitement...but the insta-love (again, unrealistic) combined with a scot-free murder at the end just kills any appreciation one might have for the story.

I'm rather disappointed. Westerfeld has written some great novels in the past for teens. This, however, is a trendy, meta book that seems to be desperate for attention. He throws in paranormal romance, homosexuality, liberal use of the f-word (you'd think authors would have a more impressive vocabulary), death and violence, all while constantly praising his own writing (think about it: every time a character compliments Darcy's book, he's really just complimenting himself). It's really unattractive. I barely finished. I was about to give up, when I just decided to skim all of Darcy's story and then go back and read all of Lizzie's story--no alternating. Made it a little easier, but still not worth it. When I consider his other books, I can't even fathom how this is the same author.

Warning: Explicit Content
Some sexuality
*Also, the terrorist scene at the beginning is pretty graphic.

If you really want to, find it at your library or on Amazon

Friday, November 7

Library Display: No-Shave November

Update: Due to the popularity of this post, I've decided to share the .pdf files for both the main poster and "Excuse Me" sign on Google Drive. Enjoy! 

Free files: No-Shave Sign and Excuse Me Sign

In some form of support for No-Shave November, I figure that books here in the library can show their appreciation for a fine mustache...

Thursday, November 6

Sky Raiders

Sky Raiders
(Five Kingdoms #1)
Brandon Mull

My rating: ★★★★

ISBN: 9781442497009
Publisher: Aladdin
Date of publication: March 11, 2014
Age: Grades 4 - 8
Genre: Fantasy

Themes: courage, friendship, adventure, magic, dreams, parallel universe

Cole Randolph did not expect the haunted house to be this terrifying: his friends have just been kidnapped. After sending for help he decides to follow them, only to find himself falling through a portal to another world. The Outskirts is a land of five kingdoms, somewhere between dreams and reality. Instantly captured to be a slave, Cole must find a way to save his old friends, help his new ones, and escape back home before he is forgotten. But once in the Outskirts, it is very hard to get out.

This novel is instantly intriguing because of the amount of pure imagination poured into this book. The kingdom Cole is in, Sambria, is ruled by Shapers, with some who can literally create anything they imagine—like giant pond of milk with floating cookies. Honestly, the adventure in this book is fascinating because of it. That being said, it can feel a bit much. Mull has a lot to explain to start off this five-book series. There are some rather unbelievable twists to make things work.'s not unbelievable because everything seems possible, you know? So it actually works. I actually really enjoyed this book.

Besides the story, the characters are actually pretty well-developed and deep for a (younger) middle-grade book. Cole is fantastic—just the right amount of fear and indecision mixed in with his courage. Those he meets along the way are just as varied and fascinating. So I would recommend it. Especially if you like Mull's other books.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

Wednesday, November 5

Clothing Storytime

Guess what? I was interviewed over on The Library Adventure today! If you want to know more about what I do as a children's librarian, check it out! 

If you're visiting my blog from The Library Adventure, welcome! Stick around and check out my storytime ideas, book reviews, and other such fun things.

This storytime was for a preschool-aged group at my library.

Tuesday, November 4

Fix This Mess

Fix This Mess
Written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold

My rating: ★★★★

ISBN: 978-0823429424
Publisher: Holiday House
Date of publication: January 14, 2014
Age: 4 - 8 years

Themes: robot, instructions, cleanliness, misunderstanding

Jake just received his R.O.B.U.G in the mail (Remote Operating Basic Utility Gizmo). He turns it on and eagerly gives his first command. Jake's house is a bit of a mess, and he's sure Robug will be able to fix it. However, Robug's version of fixing the mess may not be exactly what Jake was envisioning...

I have nothing but praises to sing about this book. First, to understand why it's so good: this book is an easy reader; it is minimally written, using only a few phonetically related words to tell a story. Usually, that means you get a really boring story about a frog on a log. But this one--while staying true to that same style--actually has a very fantastic story. I mean, this is Tedd Arnold we're talking about. His illustrations carry the minimally-worded story perfectly. It teaches a lesson, it's funny, and the kids (and parents!) will like it. I recommend it.

Find it at your library or on Amazon

Monday, November 3


Written and illustrated by Antoinette Portis

My rating: ★★★★

ISBN: 978-1596439221
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Date of publication: May 6, 2014
Age: 4 - 8 years

Themes: birds, the norm, unconventionalism, changes, friends

On an average day, in an average neighborhood: the dog barks, the cat meows, and the birds chirp. But what if a certain little brown bird is tired of saying, "peep?" Today will not be average. Today, little brown bird is going to say, "froodle!" And the raven, dove, and cardinal just don't quite know what to do about it.

It's the all of the birds collectively that really make this book rather fantastic. Sure, the brown bird is the one to get the ball rolling, but it's the (spoiler alert!) coming around of the other birds that makes me happy. In particular, I love it when the big raven finally gives it a try. The illustration is fantastic in that part--you just have to read it to see what I mean. All of the illustrations are fantastic. Also, reading it aloud is a must--it's just so fun!

Beyond the cuteness of the book, there's a moral behind the story. All the great ones have one! With this book, you can take the opportunity to talk with your child about change. This change may be brought about by a good friend doing something in a new and crazy way--is it something your child should try? Or maybe your child is the one who wants to try to shake things up a bit. Also, you can examine the different birds reactions and the impact of brown bird's actions. What are the consequences of the change?

See? It can get pretty deep around here. Just go check it out!

Find it at your library or on Amazon

Sunday, November 2

My First "DNF" & Other Book News

I had totally planned on doing a review for the book This is Not a Test (by Courtney Summers) this weekend, because it was a zombie apocalypse book—perfect for Halloween right?

Well, I had my first "DNF" since writing this blog. Yep, I Did Not Finish. The book was definitely not my type. I got to page 70ish? Then I skipped to the ending and gave up. It was just...brutal. And not in the way you'd think. I mean, yeah, there was some brutal zombie battles, but the language (so much swearing) and the characters (so much angst)—I couldn't handle it. But hey, if you want a thoroughly realistic look into the zombie apocalypse from the eyes of a suicidal teenager, give it a try.

In other news, I thought I'd still do a post about just that. Other book news! Woo!

Remember how much I love the Throne of Glass series written by Sarah J. Maas? I mean, every single one of her books has received five stars on my blog. I LOVE her books.

Well, imagine my excitement upon discovering her new book, A Court of Thrones of Roses with the cover reveal a couple weeks ago.

Intriguing? I'd say so. Expected publication is May 5, 2015, by Bloomsbury. Here's the official synopsis:

"When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

"As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she's been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever."

Sound vaguely familiar? It's a retelling of Beauty & The Beast. But only in a way Maas could tell.

Am I excited? Oh sure. Do I wish she'd actually just finish the remaining Throne of Glass novels so that I could satiate my undying thirst for those books? Yep. I'm a little torn.

In a more technical sort of sense, I do wonder if this book will be catalogued in YA, with the other teen books. Based on the synopsis and her own commentary about the book, I really think it should be part of the newly-popularized "New Adult" collection (books for 18 years of age to mid-twenties or so). But we shall see.

So after this totally random post, thanks for sticking around. We'll be back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow.