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.

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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.

The Museum of Us

by Tara Wilson Redd

 

 

I just couldn’t connect with this book and set it aside for another time. I will give it a second read but for now it just wasn’t holding my attention. Looking on Goodreads before I posted this showed that it has a lot of mixed reviews so I guess I’m not the only one on the fence for this one. Grab a copy from your library and give it a try you might like it.

Trigger Warnings: Mental Illness and Cutting

 

About the book:  Sadie loves her rocker boyfriend Henry and her running partner and best friend Lucie, but no one can measure up to her truest love and hero, the dazzling and passionate George. George, her secret.
When something goes wrong and Sadie is taken to the hospital calling out for George, her hidden life may be exposed. Now she must confront the truth of the past, and protect a world she is terrified to lose.

Thank you Wendy Lamb books and Random House for sending me a copy of The Museum of Us. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Strange Star

by Emma Carroll

 

 

Strange Star is such an enchanting tale. It is like you’re getting 2 stories in one book. The book is divided into 3 parts. Part 1 sets the ground work for part 2. In part one you meet most of the cast of characters included in Strange Star. What really intrigued me is the inclusion of the Mary Shelley. She is the writer of Frankenstein, one of the all time horror classics. The author even includes some history of the author and book and why it inspired her to write this book. In the first section of the book (Part 1) the characters are all together for a dinner and ghost story session. The only requirement for the storytelling is to tell a story that will freeze your blood. They are all telling stories, interesting enough Mary Shelley has a problem coming up with one and passes. Then something very strange and mysterious happens and in walks Lizzie. Now you begin the middle section (Part 2), in this you learn all about Peg, Lizzie and the mysterious scientist. This story is very mysterious and fast paced. This section is full of adventure and testing one’s will to not only do what’s right but reunite family. It is also full of all kinds of mad science as they would call it. That scientist lady was mad crazy and definitely the idea behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein I think. The last section is thinner and from here the reader will be  back at Villa Diodati and the dinner party that Lizzie was able to locate and crash. She is a very strong-willed girl to travel from England to Switzerland not only by herself but also she was blinded by the lightning strike that happened in part 1. Her bond and love for her sister Peg is what gave her the will to never give up. The last little section and the epilogue wraps everything up quick and fast, maybe a little to fast but it was still a great book and ending. This book was really enjoyable and one I’d recommend to upper elementary and middle school readers looking for a good book with a tiny bit of creepy but a great story of sister bonds that can’t be broken, as well as a semi introduction into a classic: Frankenstein. My middle grader (6th grade) read Frankenstein recently and really enjoyed it. Maybe gift your middle grader with Strange Star and Frankenstein this summer for something different for their summer reading.

About the book: 

They were coming tonight to tell ghost stories. ‘A tale to freeze the blood,’ was the only rule.

Switzerland, 1816. On a stormy summer night, Lord Byron and his guests are gathered round the fire. Felix, their serving boy, can’t wait to hear their creepy tales. Yet real life is about to take a chilling turn- more chilling than any tale. Frantic pounding at the front door reveals a stranger, a girl covered in the most unusual scars. She claims to be looking for her sister, supposedly snatched from England by a woman called Mary Shelley. Someone else has followed her here too, she says. And the girl is terrified.

 

Thank you so very much Delacorte Books for Young Readers and Emma Carroll for allowing my middle grade reader and I read this wonderful book. All thoughts and opinions are our own and not influenced by the free book.

The Science of Breakable Things

by Tae Keller

The science nerd in me loved that each chapter was set up like a middle grade science notebook. STEM and girls is a huge movement right now. This book is more than a book about STEM it tackles a subject that some middle grade books haven’t touched on much: depression. Depression in a parent is one I’m not sure I’ve read about in middle grade lit. So I was interested to see how it was handled in this book. I feel in love with this book, it was heartwarming and touched me.

The main character Natalie’s science teacher has assigned a big school year-long science project. They have to create a scientific question and use all that they learn to research it and present everything they have learned in their science notebooks.  Natalie isn’t sure here question really counts as scientific inquiry but she is going to try because she really does want to know:  How do you grow a miracle? See she needs a miracle to get back the mom she use to have before the sadness took over. Natalie’s scientist mom is very sad and doesn’t get out of bed. She is suffering from depression and no one is addressing it. Natalie is going to do everything she can to get her family back to the way they were before. Natalie has 2 great friends that will do anything to help their friend. Twig and Dari are just who Natalie needs right now and sometimes just having great friends can help more than you realize. Depression is a hard thing to understand for anyone who doesn’t have it, even harder for kids to understand why does their parent not want to be with them. The author Tae Keller does an amazing job at showing how the depression of a parent can effect a child and family. Yes The Science of Breakable Things was sad but it wasn’t unbelievably sad. It shows sometimes families can’t be happy go lucky and sometimes we need to heal before we can get back to where we were before. She has created a well written book that might show a child who is also experiencing the same thing Natalie is that it is alright and it will be Okay. The Science of Breakable Things tackles family members depression,  the challenges of friendship in middle school, not giving up hope when you really feel like there is nothing you can do.  I really loved this book and I think and hope it helps a reader who might just need a glimmer of hope in a trying time.

About the book: How do you grow a miracle? 


For the record, this is not the question Mr. Neely is looking for when he says everyone in class must answer an important question using the scientific method. But Natalie’s botanist mother is suffering from depression, so this is The Question that’s important to Natalie. When Mr. Neely suggests that she enter an egg drop competition, Natalie has hope.

Eggs are breakable. Hope is not. 
Natalie has a secret plan for the prize money. She’s going to fly her mother to see the Cobalt Blue Orchids–flowers that survive against impossible odds. The magical flowers are sure to inspire her mother to love life again. Because when parents are breakable, it’s up to kids to save them, right?

Thank you so much Random House and Tae Keller for sending me a copy of The Science of Breakable Things. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Poppy, Buttercup, Bluebell and Dandy

written and illustrated by Fiona Woodcock

 

 

 

This picture book from the cover reminded me of the flower fairy chapter books my youngest loved when she was in kindergarten and first grade.  The illustrations are the strength in this picture book they are so beautiful and I love them. They are frame worthy works of art. The story was good and has a good message. They are on a mission to bring back color and happiness in the world – in this case New York City.  They spread their bold bright flower colors all over the city making it come alive with fresh fragrant flowers.  This would be a fun book to read at the beginning of spring when everything is starting to brighten up with color. Pair the book with some poppy, buttercup, bluebell and yellow flower seeds since I don’t think you can buy dandelion seeds 🙂 . Read the book – plant some flower seeds or plants or even better spread your own color by gifting some family and friends with the planted seeds on May-day and your little bookworm can be like these sweet little flowers!

About the book: A group of beautiful and feisty young wildflowers on skateboards and scooters zoom through the pages of this stunning book, spreading flower seeds as they go. Together they transform their urban environment into a place that is no longer gray, but filled with color and scent. Nature’s magic is revealed in all its glory, embodying Ralph Waldo Emerson’s idea that a weed is “a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” Budding environmentalists will respond to the underlying themes of conservation and stewardship of the earth.

Thank you Random House Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy of Poppy, Buttercup, Bluebell and Dandy. All thoughts are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Moon A Peek Through Picture Book

written and illustrated by Britta Teckentrup

 

 

Oh my gosh I can’t say enough about this beautiful picture book! I loved it so much, all of Britta Teckentrup books are amazing but there is something magical about the moon. Moon A Peek Through Picture Book follows the moon through its cycle. The peek through picture book pages are the shape of the moon from waxing to waning, full to new. This is a semi introduction to non fiction for the picture book readers and listeners. The author used simple words and a rhyming text to make this book capture the youngest of listener’s to the early readers. If you are looking for a great gift idea for kids of all ages think about gifting Moon, Tree and Bee by Britta Teckentrup. She captures the beauty of the world in these amazing picture books. I hope she continues creating picture book treasures for kids for many years to come.

About the book: Over deserts and forests, Arctic tundra and tropical beaches, the moon shines down on creatures around the world. Children will love discovering how it changes from day to day as the lunar cycle is shown through clever peek-through holes, each revealing the moon in a different size and shape.

Thank you so much Random House Books for Young Readers and Doubleday Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy of Moon A Peek Through Picture Book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.