Sleepover At The Museum

by Karen LeFrak

illustrated by David Bucs

Publication Date: January 15th 2019

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First thing I thought of when I saw and read the title of this book was one of our favorite family movies: Night at the Museum! We love the whole series and watch them a lot. This book is adorable and sure to be a hit with kids. I know my girls would have read this one over and over. Sleepover At The Museum is fun because you get to solve the clues along with Mason and his two best friends. The clue is given in bold type and then you flip the page to find out answer is along with information on the answer and room in the Museum of Natural History. You could wait to flip the page till after your reader/listener has given their answer or just flip the page right away. I really liked the fun educational mystery riddles part of this book. At the end of the book you get to find out what room Mason picked to have his sleepover in and I have to say he picked a good one. This book really makes me want to have a sleepover at the Museum of Natural History even as an adult! That would be so much fun. The illustrations are bright and full of bold colors and really captures the rooms in the museum. This picture book is definitely on my top 10 of 2019 and I’m pretty sure it will stay there.

About the book: Mason couldn’t wait to celebrate his birthday with a sleepover at the museum of natural history–his favorite place to visit.

Armed with headlamps for the dark hallways, a map, and a list of clues, Mason and his two best friends take off on a scavenger hunt through each hall of the museum. But they aren’t just trying to solve the clues. They’re scouting for the best place to spend the night.

Sleeping next to a T. rex in the Hall of Dinosaurs felt too scary. And sleeping with the monarch butterflies would probably tickle. This decision isn’t as easy as Mason thought it would be….

Wherever they end up, the museum at night is the best place for a birthday adventure!

Thank you Random House Kids and Crown Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy of Sleepover At The Museum. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

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There Are No Bears In This Bakery

written and illustrated by Julia Sarcone Roach

Publication Date: January 8th 2019

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I read The Bear Ate My Sandwich and it was so cute. I love her fun stories and bright vibrant illustrations. In There Are No Bears In This Bakery you follow a cat as he investigates the source of a loud noise at his bakery. He assumes it’s a mouse or two. To his surprise he finds a cute hungry baby bear, so Muffin helps baby bear out by giving him some yummy baked goods to curb that growling stomach. Problem is where there is a baby bear there is a momma bear…

This story is cute and sure to tickle the youngest listener to older listener. Loved how she made the colors of the illustrations really put the emotions into the illustrations. When Muffin was scared the colors in the  illustrations are dark, happy feelings lighter colors in the illustrations. This would be a fun book for storytime, and great for a book to craft activity at home – making some muffins, cookies etc…

About the book: A tough gumshoe of a cat–the name’s Muffin–protects his territory: The Little Bear Bakery. But there are no bears here. Not on Muffin’s watch.

One night, Muffin hears a suspicious noise. Mouse? Raccoon? Bat? Nope, not the usual suspects. But Muffin hears . . . growling. Could it be? Yup. A bear. Just a cub. Whose stomach is definitely growling. Muffin’s got this case solved–clearly this bear needs some donuts.

In this wonderfully noir-tinged tale, Julia Sarcone-Roach gives us another funny story of a hungry bear in the wrong place at the right time. This tale is sly and sweet, with sprinkles on top.

Thank you Alfred A Knopf and Random House Kids for sending me a copy of There Are No Bears In This Bakery. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Fairy In Waiting

by Sophie Kinsella

illustrated by Marta Kissi

Publication Date:  January 29th 2019

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I loved the first book in this cute series Fairy Mom and Me so I was happy to see the next one Fairy In Waiting had arrived. The book is pure magic, it has funny stories, great friends, family fun, and magic. This book had 4 fairy spell stories which read like short stories. This book had a meet fairy mom and me introduction so if you haven’t read the first book that is okay you can know exactly what is going on. All for fairy spell stories were cute but I had a few favorites.

Fairy Spell #1 Monkeridoo! – was cute and funny had lots of animal antics and is sure to make kids laugh

Fairy Spell #2 Stoperidoo! – has a magic wardrobe so this was a favorite because who doesn’t love a magic wardrobe. However this did have a burglar in the house at night so that might scare a younger reader / listener. The author did a great job at making it not scary but for sensitive ones you might want to save this one for another time ( or at least not right at bedtime)

Fairy Spell #3 Sprinkleridoo! – super cute family vacation where they meet another fairy family! There is lots of fun family time and maybe even some ice cream magic.

Fairy Spell #4: Flyeridoo! – Ella has her birthday party and things get a little out of hand when 3 fairies work their magic. A funny story full of a mountain sized cake and flying party guest.

At the end of the book the author includes some fun activities the reader can do by themselves or with family. This series is just so sweet and cute and perfect for any reader / listener who likes fairies and magic in their stories.

About the book: Ella Brook is used to being a Fairy-in-Waiting. It means that one day she will become a fairy with her own sparkly wings and Computawand just like her mom.
But sometimes Ella doesn’t want to have to wait any longer. After all, she helps her mom remember magic codes all the time! If only there was a spell for growing up faster.
Will Ella prove that she’s ready to become a fairy? Or will she learn that she doesn’t need real magic to save the day?

Thank you Random House Kids and Sophie Kinsella for sending me a copy of Fairy In Waiting. All thoughts and opinions are mine and not influenced by the free book.

Snow in Love

by Aimee Friedman –  Kasie West – Melissa De La Cruz – Nic Stone

I said I’d never read a Christmas / Hanukkah / Winter themed YA compilation again after Let It Snow. I didn’t like that book at all. However I’m a sucker for sweet holiday themed stories so I knew if I saw there was a new compilation made I’d check it out from the library. I’m so glad I did I really liked these stories, some more than others but they were all great.

SNOW AND MISTLETOE by Kasie West: ( 4 stars )  The first story in the book and the best one! I really loved everything about this story from Amalie and Sawyer secretly crushing on each other to the great road trip that followed. The story was sweet and innocent and a great way to start off this book. This was my favorite of the four.

WORKING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND by Aimee Friedman:  ( 3 stars ) This story I guess was okay. I was happy to find out the main character Maxine was Jewish. There are so few Hanukkah books out there for teens. So I was excited to dive into it. However it didn’t really even touch Hanukkah this holiday and all the rich traditions that come with it. I guess in a way it did show us what’s it is like to have Christmas everywhere and very little Hanukkah anywhere.

THE MAGI’S GIFTS by Melissa De La Cruz: ( 2 stars ) I just didn’t click with this one. Nothing wrong with the story really just didn’t hook me like the first two.  I mean come on you sell a family heirloom to buy a gift for a friend and not get in trouble really!

GROUNDED by Nic Stone: ( 3.75 stars ) I super sweet cute story. I really enjoyed the storyline and characters. This was a first for me to read Nic Stone but I think I need to read more. If Nic Stone can write such a fully developed story in so few pages I really need to read one of their books and ASAP.

Mother Ghost

Nursery Rhymes for Little Monsters

by Rachel Kolar

illustrated by Roland Garrigue

Borrowed on HooplaDigital

 

I loved this book and wish it had been around when my kids were little I would have bought this in a heartbeat. I think I still will just for me. I love picture books they are just so magical. The stories or in this case nursery rhymes combined with beautiful illustrations really bring this fun Halloween book to life. The dark deep purples and blacks with pops of color really set the mood for a funny semi spooky book. The nursery rhymes are all funny and while I say semi spooky they are very calm and tame. They include ghost – zombies and graveyards all very much associated with Halloween but the funny nursery rhymes take away the fear factor.  Some of my favorite nursery rhymes: Mary Mary Tall and Scary – Twinkle Twinkle Lantern Jack  and Wee Willie WereWolf . To be honest I really loved them all but these 3 I can’t get out of my head and loved the rhymes and illustrations so much. If you have little bookworms are home or even at school this would be a cute one to have out for the next few weeks. I would gift this one for moms to be or for a fun themed birthday gift for a fall little bookworms birthday. I am so glad I found this book through Hoopla and was able to read it. On a side note have you checked out Hoopla? It’s a great e-book library that has no waiting list some of the hot new releases that have huge waits on overdrive for me I’ve been able to read right away through Hoopla! It’s free to join and has a pretty good selection, so check them out if you don’t mind e-books (I linked to Hoopla right above the book picture.)

About the Book: From “Mary, Mary, Tall and Scary” to “Wee Willie Werewolf,” this collection of classic nursery rhymes turned on their heads will give readers the chills–and a serious case of belly laughs. With clever rhyme and spooky illustrations, Mother Ghost is perfect for getting in the Halloween spirit. Boo!

A Pile of Leaves

in collaboration with the Whitney Museum of American Art

by Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin

 

A Pile of Leaves is such a cool concept in a picture book. It’s completely wordless with see through pages. As you flip the pages it’s like you are digging through the leaf pile. Most of the art in the books are the fall colors of red – orange – and yellows with some green thrown in for good measure. They also include fallen acorns as well as other surprises throughout the pile. I think it’s fun that they create a realistic leaf pile. Sometimes while flipping through A Pile of Leaves you come across a line of ants, or a grasshopper. While other times you come across a lost forgotten mitten, a key and a worm. Want to know what makes this book even cooler? As you flip through the book and move the see through pages your are recreating a new leaf pile on the left side as you take apart the leaf pile on the right side. The author’s include an answer key of sorts labeling all the different leaves as well as non leaf items included in this fun – colorful and artistic book.  This book would be great from infant through preschool. A perfect addition to a sensory table created just for the A Pile of Leaves book including all the items that were in the book as well.

About the Book: Readers explore the concept of layering and collage with this interactive exercise in composition. Each clear acetate page features a single element in the leaf pile, though some are not leaves at all! As readers turn the pages, the leaf pile is deconstructed piece by piece on the right side, and reconstructed on the left. Younger readers will enjoy the seek-and-find aspect of the hidden objects, while older readers might experiment by adding their own images between the pages. A key at the back provides the names of each kind of leaf shown. Inspired by the Whitney Museum’s approach to looking at art, these books provide a new way to look at the world.

Thank you so much Phaidon Press for sending me a copy of A Pile of Leaves. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Saving Winslow

by Sharon Creech

 

Have you heard about this cute book Saving Winslow? It’s been on my radar for some time and today I finally was able to sit down and read it. If you have a reluctant reader this might be a good pick since it is a short book coming in at 165 pages. Sometimes short books feel like they are missing some of the storyline, but not Saving Winslow. The characters and storyline are fully developed and it really grabbed me from the first page. I think the fact that Louie was determined to save the little sick baby donkey came from the fact that his brother Gus was not home anymore because he had enlisted in the army. I think Louie felt that he couldn’t control Gus leaving but could control little Winslow. He could do everything in his power to save the sweet little donkey and it would get his mind off the hole he felt without his best friend and big brother Gus. Winslow gave hope to so many on Louie’s street as well as some headaches from a donkey braying day and night. I really enjoyed the can do positive attitude that Louie had on whether or not Winslow was going to make it. It was an uplifting story and had a very happy ending. It is recommended to middle grade readers. I’m not sure if many middle grade (6,7 and 8th) grade would pick this up. While I think once they did and start reading it they would fall for it as much as I did. I think it’s really more appealing to elementary aged kids from 3rd grade and up. It would even be a great read aloud for class reading time. It is IndieNext Fall Kids pick for ages 9-12 and I can see why. It was a solid 4 star read for me and I really was happy Winslow and gang got their happy ending!

About the book: Louie doesn’t have the best luck when it comes to nurturing small creatures. So when his father brings home a sickly newborn mini donkey, he’s determined to save him. He names him Winslow. Taking care of him helps Louie feel closer to his brother, Gus, who is far, far away in the army.

Everyone worries that Winslow won’t survive, especially Louie’s quirky new friend, Nora, who has experienced loss of her own. But as Louie’s bond with Winslow grows, surprising and life-altering events prove that this fragile donkey is stronger than anyone could have imagined