How To Grow A Dinosaur

by Jill Esbuam

illustrated by Mike Boldt

 

 

This fun picture book is full of vibrant pictures that is sure to attract the youngest listener while reading this aloud. The story is simple and sweet making it perfect for toddlers through beginning readers. Follow a dinosaur family as they welcome a new sibling to the house. How To Grow A Dinosaur is a great big sibling book since dinosaurs appeal to both boys and girls alike. The author keeps it very real with what it’s like to have a new baby brother or sister from the screeching, burping, messy diapers and sleeping. She also talks about the big important job the big brother or sister has. They get to help teach their new little sibling the ropes. This book even goes into the toddler phase or tantrums, copy cat phase, stealing toys from bigger siblings and the all important one they don’t know what’s dangerous like big brother or sister. This book was a big hit with all the age groups I read it with and I can see why. It is such a cute story I wish it was around when my oldest was getting ready to become a big sister. Grab a copy or 2 or 3 and stick them back when you go to your next baby shower pop in a copy of this book for a big sibling gift!

about the book: Big brother dinosaur can’t wait to teach the new baby everything he knows in this funny, sweet, surprisingly practical “guide” for big siblings, from the celebrated artist of I Don’t Want to be a Frog


Good news: Your mom’s hatching a baby! Bad news: Babies take their sweet time. And when the baby finally hatches? He’s too little to play! He mostly screeches, eats, burps, sleeps, and poops. He doesn’t even know he’s a dinosaur! That’s where you come in. You can teach the baby just about everything—from peek-a-boo to roaring to table manners to bedtime. Growing a dinosaur is a big job, but you’re perfect for it. Why? Because one thing your baby brother wants more than anything . . . is to be just like you.

Thank you so much Penguin Random House for sending me a copy of How To Grow A Dinosaur. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

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Isadora Moon Goes to the Ballet

written and illustrated by Harriet Muncaster

Half Fairy – Half Vampire  – Total Ballerina

 

 

Isadora Moon is just like any other elementary student except her mom is a fairy and her dad is a vampire and she has wings! She has a favorite stuffed animal she takes with her everywhere called Pink Rabbit. When I was little I had a little grey cat I called Mousie – don’t ask I was 2 when I named it 🙂 Isadora is in school and they are getting ready to go on a field trip to the ballet! Isadora adores the ballet, even performs daily ballet recitals for her family starting her and Pink Rabbit. Her dream is to be as good as Tatiana Tutu, she can’t believe her lucky stars that she gets to see her perform in Alice in Wonderland the ballet. The field trip doesn’t go off smoothly there are some bumps in the road. They arrive at the ballet only to lose Pink Rabbit. Isadora and her mom go looking for Pink Rabbit. Isadora finds the bunny but also runs in none other than Tatiana Tutu and she is injured. The ballet will not go on unless they find a ballerina who can play the role of white rabbit. What about Pink Rabbit? Pink Rabbit saves the day and Isadora gets a special surprise for her being such a great listener and willing to stop and help someone in need.

Isadora Moon Goes to the Ballet is a great fast reading chapter book perfect for beginning readers or listener’s who are ready for longer stories. This series would be such a cute one for little girls from Pre-K to 3rd grade. The story line is sweet and shows great relations with family and friends. They are all accepting of Isadora even though she isn’t like them she is half fairy half vampire. The illustrations are black and white with shades of grey and pop’s of the color pink. Isadora Moon would be a great series to read aloud with your little bookworm. If you could find a pink rabbit that would make a wonderful addition to a gift of this adorable book series.

About the Book: Isadora Moon is special because she is different. But just like her other classmates, Isadora loves the ballet.

That’s why Isadora can’t wait for a field trip with her class to see the performance of Alice in Wonderland. Everything is totally normal. And then the curtain rises and Isadora’s special best friend, Pink Rabbit, is not in his seat. . .

Great Gift Idea for birthday or holiday or just because: Isadora Moon series and a pink rabbit stuffed animal

( I am not an affiliate to the sites that are linked, so I’m not compensated if you buy from them.)

Isadora Moon books

Pink Rabbit (this one would work)

Thank you so much Random House for sending me Isadora Moon goes to the Ballet. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Dear Martin

by Nic Stone

 

 

Dear Martin is very relevant to what is going on in today’s society and on the news. I remember Ferguson MO like it was yesterday, it is such a scary time. One person I was talking to said he reminded him of what was like way back when and he wished it hadn’t brought back all those nightmare times. He said if Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. was alive today he would be so sad and I agree. It’s like we took 2 steps forward than 2 giant leaps backwards. Dear Martin will make the reader uncomfortable, and it should, it better make you uncomfortable. It will also open your eyes with this very   raw in your face look at police brutality and racism. I do want to  say not all cops are bad there are so many great ones who don’t agree with this and don’t do this. Justyce is instantly stereotyped because he is a African-American teen wearing a hoodie. He is being a gentleman and helping his drunk girlfriend into the car but to the cops he is a big bad carjacker. Justyce has to deal with all the anger and hurt he is feeling and he writes letter’s to Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. Those were my favorite parts of the book. Doctor Martin Luther King Jr fought for equal rights for all in a peaceful way and he protest didn’t destroy property or harm people. Dear Martin is a book that high school readers should read. For me it opened my eyes beyond what I hear on the news to what is going on places. I think this would be a great book for high school or college classes to use to discuss the state we are in now. This book is raw and realistic so it does have language and violence – but it has positive role models and a very powerful moving message. Nic Stone is a very talented writer and I can’t wait to read more books by her.

About the Book: Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the cross hairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack

Thank you so much Penguin Random House and Crown Books for Young Readers for allowing me to read Dear Martin. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Christmas series by Matt Haig

Matt Haig writes books for all ages from this Christmas series for the older elementary reader to adult books. The Christmas series tells the story of Father Christmas AKA Santa Claus. The Boy Called Christmas and The Girl Who Saved Christmas to me read more for the older reader. I’m thinking mid to upper elementary. If your younger bookworm wants to read these books I suggest reading them yourself first to decide if they are a-okay for your child. I would have given these to my 3rd grader if they had come out at the time since she was already reading a collection of Grimms fairy tales, these 2 books would have been right up her alley. There are some intense times through out both books and some sensitive readers might find it a bit scary. For me personally I LOVED these books! They were funny at times, a bit dark and creepy at times – thinking Tim Burton would have a hay day with making these into movies. I loved that the darker parts were a bit Dickens -esque , I mean have you read some of the Victorian classics they are dark even the kids books are. I loved reading what could possibly be the read story of Father Christmas I mean who knows what he went through to become the great guy that we all still talk about. 🙂 The Boy Called Christmas and The Girl Who Saved Christmas would be a fun set of books to read this holiday season. Pop some popcorn, make some cocoa, snuggle under the blankets and get wrapped up in some great holiday reading!

The Boy Called Christmas

by Matt Haig – illustrated by Chris Mould

Eleven-year-old Nikolas—nicknamed “Christmas”—has received only one toy in his life: a doll carved out of a turnip. But he’s happy with his turnip doll, because it came from his parents, who love him. Then one day his father goes missing, and Nikolas must travel to the North Pole to save him. 

Along the way, Nikolas befriends a surly reindeer, bests a troublesome troll, and discovers a hidden world of enchantment in the frozen village of Elfhelm. But the elves of Elfhelm have troubles of their own: Christmas spirit and goodwill are at an all-time low, and Nikolas may be the only person who can fix things—if only he can reach his father before it’s too late. . . .

The Girl Who Saved Christmas

by Matt Haig – illustrated by Chris Mould

Amelia Wishart was the first child ever to receive a Christmas present. It was herChristmas spirit that gave Santa the extra boost of magic he needed to make his first trip around the world. But now Amelia is in trouble.

When her mother falls ill, she is sent to the workhouse to toil under cruel Mr. Creeper. For a whole year, Amelia scrubs the floors and eats watery gruel, without a whiff of kindness to keep her going. It’s not long before her hope begins to drain away.

Meanwhile, up at the North Pole, magic levels dip dangerously low as Christmas approaches, and Santa knows that something is gravely wrong. With the help of his trusty reindeer, a curious cat, and Charles Dickens, he sets out to find Amelia, the only girl who might be able to save Christmas. But first Amelia must learn to believe again. . . .

Thank you so much Penguin Random House for sending me copies of these great books. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

If you and your bookworm really love these 2 as much as I did you might want to check out their other one called Father Christmas and Me.  These one looks like it might have been a England or Europe only release. I wish I could have read it right along with these 2 books. I might have to nab a copy since it sounds just as great as the others.

LET THE BATTLE FOR CHRISTMAS BEGIN

It isn’t always easy, growing up as a human in Elfhelm, even if your adoptive parents are the newly married Father Christmas and Mary Christmas.

For one thing, Elf School can be annoying when you have to sing Christmas songs everyday – even in July – and when you fail all your toy-making tests. Also it can get very, very cold.

But when the jealous Easter Bunny and his rabbit army launch an attack to stop Christmas, it’s up to Amelia, her new family and the elves to keep Christmas alive. Before it’s too late . . .

One Leaf, Two Leaves Count With Me!

by John Micklos JR

illustrated by Clive McFarland

 

 

About the Book: This playful counting book shares the colorful highlights of the four seasons in charming illustrations.  Count your way through the seasons! In spring, the tree’s leaves appear, one by one. By summer, there’s a glorious canopy. And when autumn winds blow, leaves fly from the tree, one after another, leading us into winter. There’s a world of activity to spy in and around this beautiful tree as the wild creatures, and one little boy, celebrate the cycles of nature. As little ones count leaves, look for animals, and enjoy the changing seasonal landscape, bouncy rhymes and bold illustrations make learning to count easy—corresponding numerals reinforcing the learning fun.

 

This super cute counting book as well as a seasons book follows a boy and the tree in his yard. It opens up in spring and you count the leaves appearing on the bare tree 1-10 and the tree and scene’s are very spring like. The book briefly shows summer, then we are into fall. For fall you count down 10-1 as the leaves fall off the tree. Then you see the bare tree for winter. One Leaf, Two Leaves Count with Me! ends where it began with Spring. I really love the simple story and colorful illustrations. The simple sentences make the counting concept easy for the youngest listener and/or reader to understand. The concept of counting up and down leaves for the seasons is a neat one and I really enjoyed it. This is great addition for counting  or seasons story time.

Thank you so much Penguin Young Readers for sending me a copy of One Leaf, Two Leaves Count With Me! All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole

by Michelle Cuevas

A pet black hole can be your light in the darkest dark” {back cover}

This book was not like anything I was expecting it to be. I thought it would be a fun care free book about space and a pet black hole. However once I got into it I realized that it was actually a sad story about a little girl who was healing from her father’s unexpected and sudden death. They loved space and the launch of the Voyager in 1977. This is the second book I’ve read that has taken place in this time era this summer. I like that middle grade books are exploring this time. Stella has always wanted a dog so a pet black hole might not be so bad. However she very quickly learns they are bad they eat everything in sight and really love furry things. Stella takes the time to train Larry the black hole and it helps her get her mind of the painful memories of her dad. My middle grade reader and I decided that Stella had her own black hole and it was full of memories, pain and grief of losing her dad. She devises a sure-fire way to get over the pain and grief is to feed everything that was her dad’s to Larry the black hole. By doing so she erases those memories and she wants them back they are all she has left. Her and her little brother go on an amazing trip into the black hole. They go on this journey and are able to confront their fears, pain and heal in the process.

This book was such a great one even though it through me for a loop and was such a sad touching novel. Don’t let the cute little cover fool you though I would suggest this for 5th grade and up. Some younger elementary kids might be good with it however it does tackle some sad times. I just think the older reader would get more out of it and understand the physics and astronomy facts better. Overall this is a 5 star book and one I would suggest to readers looking for a book that will stay with them after they are done reading.

We decide this one needed a bit of a display for our bookshelves. So we created a cute Larry the pet black hole. Picture was taken outside since the lighting wasn’t good in room that has all our bookcases at the time. It was super easy to make just take a black bath poof and add google eyes or foam eyes and your done.

About the book: When eleven-year-old Stella Rodriguez shows up at NASA to request that her recording be included in Carl Sagan’s Golden Record, something unexpected happens: A black hole follows her home, and sets out to live in her house as a pet. The black hole swallows everything he touches, which is challenging to say the least—but also turns out to be a convenient way to get rid of those items that Stella doesn’t want around. Soon the ugly sweaters her aunt has made for her all disappear within the black hole, as does the smelly class hamster she’s taking care of, and most important, all the reminders of her dead father that are just too painful to have around.

It’s not until Stella, her younger brother, Cosmo, the family puppy, and even the bathroom tub all get swallowed up by the black hole that Stella comes to realize she has been letting her own grief consume her. And that’s not the only thing she realizes as she attempts to get back home. This is an astonishingly original and funny adventure with a great big heart.

Thank you so much Penguin Random House for sending us a copy of The Care and Feeding A Pet Black Hole. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Black Moon

Zodiac Series book 3

by Romina Russell

First off I have to say this series has the most beautiful covers ever! I mean look at them, they are works of art and the designer Vanessa Han is seriously talented. If you want to see more of her work check out her site. I mean I might the books she designed covers for just because they are so pretty. 🙂

 

OK now on to book 3 of this amazing series. I mean this series just keeps getting better and better with each book. The world building and characters are so well developed and nothing is forgotten from other books. The series is consistent and keeps building from one book to another. The series I really can’t wait to see how this series ends. Lots of big events happen in Black Moon, all leading up to the final book Thirteen Rising. A lot goes on in this book. Rho really shows all of herself in Black Moon she matures and really grows as a character. So much is exposed in this book and so much comes to the surface. If you are looking for a series to gift to an upper middle school and YA reader than I would seriously suggest giving the Zodiac series a try. This is a science fiction – fantasy series that somewhat parallels stuff that is happening right now in the world right now. Thirteen Rising comes out 2.5 weeks on August 29th. So if you or your YA reader like to wait for the whole series to be out before you start than your wait is almost over.

Thank you Penguin for sending me a copy of Black Moon. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.