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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Land of Permanent Goodbyes

by Atia Abawi

 

How do I begin to describe the incredible journey this book will take you on. It is heart wrenching  raw story. It doesn’t hold back any punches the author describes the horrors of war, living in a constant state of violence while trying to stay alive. Tareq is just a normal teenage boy living a life that no teenager or anyone wants to live. He lives in Syria where he has seen bombings, lost friends, seen his beloved city torn apart literally and figuratively. He still has his family: mom, dad, younger brother, little sister and twin baby siblings and grandma lives with them as well. All that changes in the blink of an eye when bombs are dropped on their apartment complex. Dad was at work and rushes home to find the devastation. The dad decides it’s time to leave and head to Europe while the family he has still can. Part one is graphic and very raw. He witness’s an execution and beheading. I had a hard time reading it, I had to put it down at times. It made me mad, sad, uncomfortable but I should feel all those emotions. If I didn’t I’d be very worried about me. No one should have to witness that. I kept picking it up because I was wrapped up in the story and I had to know what happened to Tareq. I wanted to make sure him and his family made it to safety. Part two of the book enters a new cast of characters. Some are aid workers and you get a backstory for one in particular. She went to Greece for a vacation but got so moved by the refugee’s that she put college on hold and joined an organization that helped the refugees once they made is safely to shore. Alexia is a very likable girl with a heart of gold. You also get to meet two girls from Najib and Jamila they are escaping Afghanistan. They are all that they have left of their family. They are trying to make it Germany to live with an aunt. They become fast friends with Tareq and his younger sister Susan. Maybe all hope isn’t lost, they forge a friendship and maybe even can fall in love during all the despair they are experiencing.  The romance was nothing so don’t worry this isn’t a YA romance novel. This is a refugee story like none I’ve read in the YA genre. I know this story will stay with me. I can’t get Tareq, Susan, Najib, and Jamila out of my head. This author is new to me and she has written another book called The Secret Sky that I’ll be checking out. This is YA, usually most YA can be for a middle grade. It is graphic and a very real raw story so if your middle grade reader wants to read this I’d read it first. I’d give this to a 9th grade and up no problems. This would be a book I think everyone should read at some point. The author gives a very realistic peek inside the life of a refugee and what they go through to survive and find a place they can call home after losing everything near and dear to them.

About the Book:  Narrated by Destiny, this heartbreaking — and timely — story of refugees escaping from war-torn Syria is masterfully told by a foreign news correspondent who experienced the crisis firsthand.

In a country ripped apart by war, Tareq lives with his big and loving family . . . until the bombs strike. His city is in ruins. His life is destroyed. And those who have survived are left to figure out their uncertain future.

In the wake of destruction, he’s threatened by Daesh fighters and witnesses a public beheading. Tareq’s family knows that to continue to stay alive, they must leave. As they travel as refugees from Syria to Turkey to Greece, facing danger at every turn, Tareq must find the resilience and courage to complete his harrowing journey.

But while this is one family’s story, it is also the timeless tale of all wars, of all tragedy, and of all strife. When you are a refugee, success is outliving your loss. Destiny narrates this heartbreaking story of the consequences of war, showing the Syrian conflict as part of a long chain of struggles spanning through time.

 

About the Author:

 Atia Abawi is a foreign news correspondent who was stationed for almost five years in Kabul, Afghanistan. She was born to Afghan parents in West Germany and was raised in the United States. Her first book for teens was the powerful Secret Sky, about forbidden romance between different ethnic tribes. She currently lives in Jerusalem with her husband, Conor Powell, and their son, Arian, where she covers stories unfolding in the middle east and the surrounding areas.

 

Thank you so much Penguin Teen for sending me a copy of A Land of Permanent Goodbyes for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Dolphins Voices in the Ocean

by Susan Casey

 

Dolphins Voices in the Ocean is a young readers edition to her adult non fiction book Voices in the Ocean A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins. I love dolphins so much, when I lived in Florida it was so neat to see them swimming in the ocean. Dolphins are fierce animals that are gentle to humans. Well I’ve never heard of a dolphin attack so I’m going with the are gentle to humans. They are highly intelligent and while it’s not scientific study results I would say most people who want to be marine biologist it is for their love of Dolphins.

Susan Casey hadn’t really thought much of dolphins till she had an encounter with a pod that changed it in so many ways. She decided to research and really get to know these amazing ocean mammals. The reader will learn all about how dolphins are treated around the world. Some stuff they will read are going to be upsetting but some are so inspiring. She talks to not only marine biologist but locals who live day to day with dolphins. For me I liked that she also talked to activist trying to save dolphins and bring to light the fisherman and towns that kill them for sport!  I learned a lot about dolphins and their treatment that I didn’t know. I felt this book was a fast enough read that readers that are not into non fiction would still enjoy this book. I know I’m not a non fiction reader – this year I’m trying hard and will be reading more.  This book is for older elementary through middle grade, really I think even a high school and adult reader would enjoy this book. It doesn’t go to deep into information, just enough to hold a non fiction reader and the not so non fiction reader alike. Overall I really enjoyed it and it has me looking for more books like this. My middle grade reader read it in one setting, she loves non fiction. She loved it so much she has asked me to get a copy of the book it is based on from the library so she can get  more in-depth information about dolphins.

About the Book: A thrilling journey into the spiritual, scientific and sometimes threatened world of dolphins. Based on Susan Casey’s bestselling adult work Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins, this young readers adaptation, which includes an 8-page photo insert, explores the extraordinary world of dolphins in an interesting and accessible format that engages as well as entertains. Inspired by an encounter with a pod of spinner dolphins off the coast of Maui, author Susan Casey embarked on a two-year global adventure to study these remarkable beings. Casey details the extraordinary connection between dolphins and humans, including shared characteristics such as capacity for emotion, playfulness, sociability, and intelligence, the sophisticated navigation ability innate in dolphins, and the dangers they face from people who aim to profit by putting them in captivity or far worse.

Thank you Delcorte Books for Young Readers for sending me a copy of Dolphins Voices in the Ocean. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

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.

Fairy Mom and Me

by Sophie Kinsella

illustrated by Marta Kissi

Hi there. My name is Ella Brook, and I live in a town called Cherrywood. 

Fairy Mom and Me is such a fun little book. The chapters are short enough to hold even young listeners. Each one has a message with in as well as the book as a whole. The main messages I think a reader or listener would get is be patient, sometimes taking the short cut isn’t always best when it comes to getting the job done. Another message is teamwork and being nice is always best. It deals with the next door neighbor girl being a bully to Ella. This is my only problem with the book. Ella’s mom and even her aunt hears Zoe being mean to Ella but they don’t really say or do anything about it. I wish they would have addressed this and shown kids how to handle a bully or a chapter on Ella and her mom talking about it would have been great since even the youngest kids are getting bullied or picked on at school this days. The chapters are short and really to me it seems like each chapter in the book is a whole separate story not a continuing one. Each chapter is about Ella’s mom learning a new spell, with a total of 4 spells and the first chapter being an introduction to  Ella’s family. This book is perfect for elementary aged readers grade 2 – 4, you could even do it as a quick little read aloud one week with a younger bookworm. At the end of the book is some book discussion questions if you want to go further into what you read. In the family activity guide there is even some fun craft ideas like fairy wings, fairy necklace and more. This book would make a cute gift with the craft supplies to make a necklace and maybe some cupcakes to go along with Spell #2 Cupcakeridoo

About the Book: Ella Brook can’t wait to grow up, because one day she will become a fairy and have her own sparkly wings and a teacher on Fairy Tube, just like her mom! Until then, Ella has to learn by watching her mom in action. But sometimes spells go wrong, and Ella’s mom can never seem to remember the right magic codes. A lot of the time, it’s up to Ella to come to the rescue. Does she have what it takes to be a fairy one day? Or will there be more glitches than glitter? 

Thank you Random House Kids for sending me a copy of Fairy Mom and Me. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Everless

by Sara Holland

Publication date: January 18, 2018

Most people find the forest frightening, believing the old tales of fairies who will freeze the time in your blood, or witches who can spill your years out over the snow with only a whisper. 

Doesn’t that opening sentence grab you, it did me! It’s been a while since I’ve read a YA fantasy book that has really captured me and held me as a reader. Something about them just doesn’t click with me. All that changed when I got the chance to read a copy of Everless.  

In this world your time is measured in blood, literally. If you owe you can be bleed for a day, week, month or even a year. They turn your blood into iron coins, and Jules is in need of some money. Her father is very ill and doesn’t have much time. If he gives any blood it might be the last of him. So Jules does something she never thought she’d do ever. She returns to Everless a place where she grew up but ran from to get away from a ruthless boy who is now a man. She has a plan but might have been a little rushed when she thought it up and sometimes (most of the time) plans never go exactly the way you want or need them too. Jules starts to unravel the mystery of her and her father’s past and learns that things were not as she was told or remembered. There is 2 brother’s in the picture so of course their has to be the YA love triangle. 🙂 It’s OK and really was just a small bit part of the book to me. I liked that it didn’t consume the book. The world building was great and I could really envision the places and characters. There are so many plots twist, just when you think OK I think I’m getting it you get thrown another curve ball.  I liked that it kept me on my toes, made it a fast moving story. The plot seems very unique to me and I don’t think I’ve read anything like Everless before.

I couldn’t believe that this is a debut novel for Sarah Holland! This girl has some major writing talent and I can’t wait to see where she goes. I can’t wait to read book 2 of the series. According to GoodReads it has a title: EverMore and it comes out January of 2019! Eeks that is so far away. 😦  This is a YA fantasy book, but I think it would be alright for older middle grade readers. Jules is a good person and role model. She is strong and doesn’t back down from a challenge. The violence is there but very minimal – strong language and adult situations are very mild and infrequent. I would be fine with given my middle grade reader this book to read.

about the book: EVERLESS presents the kingdom of Sempera, where your life’s blood is not only your time on earth but also something that can be drained and magically converted into money. Here we meet 17-year-old Jules, who’s tired of living in poverty, always at the mercy of the tax collector, ever since she and her father were banished from the Gerling estate when she was still a kid. Now that her childhood friend Lord Roan Gerling is about to marry the queen’s heiress, the estate is taking on extra help and paying handsomely for it. Despite her father’s warnings never to go near the estate again, Jules determines to get work there. Lucky (and pretty) enough to be selected, she’s put to work in the kitchen. Being back on the estate brings back a lot of memories, and those memories start to raise more and more questions about who she is and where she came from. If she can get close to the queen and find what’s hidden in the Gerling family vault, she just might find the answers she’s looking for.

Thank you HarperTeen and BookSpark for allowing me to read and review Everless. All thoughts and opinions are mine and not influenced by the free book.