Monday, December 31, 2012

Book Review #1360 Dream Big, Little Pig by Kristi Yamaguchi




Book Review #1360
Dream Big, Little Pig by Kristi Yamaguchi, illustrated by Tim Bowers
Rating: two stars (out of four)

A pretty amusing tale. I liked how it showed that even though the pig wanted to do a lot of different things and failed several times she was still persistent. I also appreciated the support system of her family, even if they were a little misguided. (Always cheering her on, even when she wasn't good at something?) But eventually the little pig realized she needed to do something she loved. The message of the book was sweet: do what you love and work hard if you want to become successful.  It was good to get this perspective from a famous ice skater. I enjoyed the book.

Happy New Year 2013 Giveaway!

I'm part of the Happy New year 2013 Giveaway hop hosted by 
I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Babs Book Bistro!

My giveaway is open to those living in the United States and run from January 1st-7th 2013! To enter all you have to do is follow this blog. For two bonus entries you can friend me on Goodreads and tweet about the giveaway!

And the best part? I'm letting you choose from one of three popular young adult titles!

Book #1
The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater!

It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.

*Summary taken from Goodreads. Check out the book page HERE.

Book #2
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers!

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf?

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others.

Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

*Summary taken from Goodreads. Check out the book page HERE

Book #3
The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton!

Debut novelist Kiki Hamilton takes readers from the gritty slums and glittering ballrooms of Victorian London to the beguiling but menacing Otherworld of the Fey in this spellbinding tale of romance, suspense, and danger.

The year is 1871, and Tiki has been making a home for herself and her family of orphans in a deserted hideaway adjoining Charing Cross Station in central London. Their only means of survival is by picking pockets. One December night, Tiki steals a ring, and sets off a chain of events that could lead to all-out war with the Fey. For the ring belongs to Queen Victoria, and it binds the rulers of England and the realm of Faerie to peace. With the ring missing, a rebel group of faeries hopes to break the treaty with dark magic and blood—Tiki’s blood.

Unbeknownst to Tiki, she is being watched—and protected—by Rieker, a fellow thief who suspects she is involved in the disappearance of the ring. Rieker has secrets of his own, and Tiki is not all that she appears to be. Her very existence haunts Prince Leopold, the Queen’s son, who is driven to know more about the mysterious mark that encircles her wrist.

Prince, pauper, and thief—all must work together to secure the treaty…

*Summary taken from Goodreads. Check out the book page HERE.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Book Review #1359 Boy and Bot by Ame Dyckman




Book Review #1359
Boy and Bot by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Dan Yaccarino
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This featured an amusing tale about a boy and his friend bot, a robot. I liked the interaction between the two friends and how they cared so much about each other they wanted to fix their "problems." It was sweet. The illustrations were fun too - I liked the modern feel and the spiffy interaction between the two friends. It was cool how they made the text of the robot hyphenated so you got a visual representation of how the robot talked. It was a good story with a happy ending. I'd probably recommend for children who like books about technology or robots.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Book Review #1358 Smile, Principessa! By Judith Ross Enderle and Stephanie Jacob Gordon




Book Review #1358
Smile, Principessa! by Judith Ross Enderle and Stephanie Jacob Gordon, illstrated by Serena Curmi
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I really enjoyed the illustrations in this book; they were unlike anything I had ever seen before and very unique. The story was pretty straightforward I liked the interaction between the parents and their children - it was sweet. I also thought the authors did a good job of describing the frustration that an older child might have when they are not the center of attention any more. It was a pretty good book with a happy ending.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Book Review #1357 A New Year's Reunion by Yu Li Qoing




Book Review #1357
A New Year's Reunion: A Chinese Story by Yu Li Qiong, illustrated by Zhu Cheng Liang
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book was supposed to celebrate family and the special traditions, but it actually had a little bit of the opposite effect on me. It was a little depressing to read about families that only get to be with each other once a year and while I did appreciate learning more about another culture, it was bleak in comparison. I can't imagine what that would be like - but in some ways, it was good that this book brought it up, because I hadn't been aware of it before. It was interesting to see the perspective from another culture, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Book Review #1356 Loon Baby by Molly Beth Griffin




Book Review #1356
Loon Baby by Molly Beth Griffin, illustrated by Anne Hunter
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a fairly interesting romp about one loon's paranoid notion that his mother was gone forever. The loon doesn't have a good sense of time and before he knows it he suddenly realizes he hasn't seen his mother in a really long time. It was fairly entertaining to see how this baby reacted to the apparent loss of his mother, but all was righted in the end. It's a nice story, but not something I'm going to read over and over.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Book Review #1355 I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat by Carlyn Beccia




Book Review #1355
I Feel Better with a Frog in My Throat: History's Strangest Cures by Carlyn Beccia
Rating: two stars (out of four)

There were definitely some strange cures and remedies in this book. Few I would have ever want to try. I felt a little sick when I read about some of the cures because they were gross. I'm also fairly squeamish, though. But I think children who are interested in medicine or learning more about medicine usage through history might find this book entertaining. Though curious children be warned - they shouldn't try these remedies themselves! I liked the illustrations and I appreciated the extensive bibliography at the back; it showed all the author's research. I might recommend.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Book Review #1354 Wave by Suzy Lee




Book Review #1354
Wave by Suzy Lee
Rating: four stars (out of four)

I fell in love with this book! It was cool how Suzy Lee played the dynamics between the water and the little girl. This was also accented by the grey scale setting compared to the vibrant hues of blue for the ocean. There were no words in the book, but you accurately got the personality of the girl and her playful banter with the wave. I also liked the funny little gulls that chose to watch the whole scene unfold. I would definitely recommend this book.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Book Review #1353 Migrant by Maxine Trottier




Book Review #1353
Migrant by Maxine Trottier, illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This story showcased a lifestyle I hadn't even heard about. It was poignant to see it from the perspective of a young child through her musings. The illustrations were a little strange and I'm not sure if I liked them. I may need to get used to them. The book's footnote explained how it might be to live in those times. I think children will catch a glimpse of what other people do for a living and it will hopefully give them a broader view of the world.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Book Review #1352 I Must Have Bobo! by Eileen Rosenthal




Book Review #1352
I Must Have Bobo! by Eileen Rosenthal, illustrated by Marc Rosenthal
Rating: three stars (out of four)

I really liked the interaction between Willy and Earl..and of course, Bobo's part in all of this. It was vastly amusing to see how much the cat wanted the stuffed monkey too and what lengths he was willing to go to get it. I was glad they were able to find a happy compromise, but the last page hinted it might not stay that way for long. It was a cute book and I enjoyed reading it.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Book Review #1351 Ice by Arthur Geisert



Book Review #1351
Ice by Arthur Geisert
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This was a very whimsical book about pigs. Their journey to get ice was pretty crazy and entertaining. I also liked how they used the ice to enhance their everyday life. The story was told completely through the illustrations. And the author bio in the back pointed out that these illustrations were made completely from etchings.  Pretty impressive. I enjoyed this book, but it's probably not something that I'm going to read over and over again. I'd still recommend though.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Book Review #1350 On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman




Book Review #1350
On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I really liked the essence of this story. It’s important for children to they are special and loved and this book illustrated that through nature and animals. It had a good message, but for some reason it didn't click with me. The illustrations were a little random at times, but I got what they were going for. I think other people would definitely enjoy this book; it has a sweet message.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Book Review #1349 The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle




Book Review #1349
The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle
Rating: two stars (out of four)

While I liked the sentiment of this book and the illustrations were colorful and bright, I wasn't blown away by the premise. Carle's message good: you should be able to creatively express yourself and not necessarily listen to or follow other people's expectations. But I wasn't sure if this book had adequately gotten that point across. It seemed a little simplistic - the author’s note at the back was good, but I felt like the story needed a little bit more development for me to fully embrace it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Book Review #1348 Along a Long Road by Frank Viva




Book Review #1348
Along a Long Road by Frank Viva
Rating: two stars (out of four)

A fairly interesting book; not a lot of stuff going on throughout the story, but it was fun to look at the modern page designs and feel the different textures. They had applied a gloss to the road so it was slick and smooth compared to the rest of the pages. I enjoyed this simplistic story, but it's not something I'm going to go back to again and again.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Book Review #1347 Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems



Book Review #1347
Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems
Rating: four stars (out of four)

Loved, loved, loved this rendition of the popular fairy tale Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I thought Mo Willems did an excellent job with his hysterical retelling and definitely made it his own. I liked the nuances of humor throughout the house, particularly the posters and pictures hanging on the walls - great fun for older readers to catch.  I also loved the "tone" of the story and the comical antics that readers were obviously in on and could eagerly follows. Things would be said or illustrated and then sloppily covered up so as to provide more hilarity for the readers. Goldilocks was funny, if not a tad bit under prepared and lackadaisical. She certainly had her faults, but she finally got her act together at the end and did the appropriate thing. I especially enjoyed the two morals - they deftly tied the story together and gave parents and children something to laugh about. Throughout the book I found myself smiling and laughing at the antics of the hungry dinosaurs and oblivious Goldilocks. This is a story I'd visit again and again. Definitely a recommend!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Book Review #1346 Brother Sun, Sister Moon by Katherine Paterson




Book Review #1346
Brother Sun, Sister Moon by Katherine Paterson, illustrated by Pamela Dalton
Rating: two stars (out of four)

The illustrations were really interesting. I was even more intrigued to see they were scherenschnitte - paper cutting! All of the illustrations were one marvelous paper design and then the illustrator painted over them with watercolors. Impressive! The newer rendition of the prayer of Assisi was good as well. While I enjoyed this book and thought it showcased a rather remarkable layer of skill in the design; it's not something I'd see buying or reading over and over. I'd probably still recommend it.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Book Review #1345 Pig Kahuna by Jennifer Gordon Sattler



Book Review #1345
Pig Kahuna by Jennifer Gordon Sattler
Rating: two stars (out of four)

I enjoyed the illustrations for this book - they were animated and playful. The antics of the little pigs were amusing and I liked seeing how much fun they were having on the beach together. I enjoyed their irrational fear of the icky murkiness in the ocean; I remember being afraid of the slimy seaweed when I was a young child and I had a grave fear of stepping on it too. I was happy they eventually had some adventures once they realized what they were missing. Wasn’t sure where the parents were in the story, but I'm assuming they were close by. I'd probably recommend this book.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Book Review #1344 A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea by Michael Ian Black



Book Review #1344
A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
Rating: two stars (out of four)

This book was funny and amusing. I liked all of the reasons why a pig parade would be a terrible idea. Very persuasive and innovative. It was comical to hear the author's obvious expertise on how things would go down if a pig parade happened. Of course it would be utter chaos! The illustrations were fun, but I didn't fall in love with them. The ending was comical too. I'd recommend to pig fanatics or people looking for a fun and quirky read.