Saturday, October 4, 2014

Review #1763 The Numberlys

Review: #1763
Book: The Numberlys
Author: Williams Joyce
Illustrato: Christina Ellis
Rating: two stars (out of four)
Release date: May 27, 2014
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Pages: 56
Source: Library

It was a pretty cute book. I enjoyed the illustrations, but didn't really fall in love with the fantasy world. It seemed like a bit of a stretch to have everything be ruled by numbers and then these five people broke out and made the alphabet. And suddenly things like pizza was showing up and whatnot. Maybe I just didn't take to that fantastical element as much. But still an overall fun children's book.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Review #1761 Mr. Brown's Fantastic Hat

Review: #1761
Book: Mr. Brown's Fantastic Hat
Author: Ayano Imai
Rating: three stars (out of four
Release date: September 1, 2014
Publisher: minedition
Pages: 32
Source: Library

I really liked the quirky illustrations. Each page was interesting and even though they felt just a tad bit off, they still perfectly matched the story. The whole page setup/layout throughout was amusing. The book really played with margin usage and character setting and that was fun to see. A recommended read!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review #1719 Bink and Gollie Best Friends Forever

Review: #1719
Book: Bink and Gollie Best Friends Forever
Author: Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
Illustrator: Tony Fucile
Rating: three stars (out of four)
Release date: April 23, 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 96
Source: Library

Really thought this was pretty cute. I loved the interaction between the two best friends and thought it resembled a sweet and endearing friendship. I also might have been portraying a bit of my own friendship with my old roommate. I noticed a lot of similarities and that made me feel nostalgic! But overall an entertaining continuation in this series.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Review #1707 My New Friend Is So Fun! by Mo Willems

Review: #1707
Book: My New Friend is So Fun!
Author: Mo Willems
Rating: four stars (out of four)
Release date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 58
Source: Barnes & Noble

Such a cute book. I don't think there's an Elephant & Piggie book I don't like. I loved the interaction between Gerald and the snake. It was hilarious to watch how the situation unfolded and how Elephant and the snake jumped to all sorts of conclusions before realizing the truth. It had a sweet message at the end and I would definitely recommend.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Review #1706 Rosie's Magic Horse by Russell Hoban

Review: #1706
Book: Rosie's Magic Horse
Author: Russell Hoban
Illustrator: Quentin Blake
Rating: two stars (out of four)
Release date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 40
Source: Library

This story was pretty whimsical and imaginative, but still fell a little flat for me. It was a little far-fetched, but I can see other people enjoying it. I thought it was kind of a crazy idea to run with, but I did enjoy the illustrations and appreciated that it had a happy ending.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Review #1705 Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton

Review: #1705
Book: Humans of New York
Author: Brandon Stanton
Rating: three stars (out of four)
Release date: October 15, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 304
Source: Barnes & Noble

I've been following HONY for years and I love seeing his portraits and quotes online. Some of them are quite moving and I love how he captures ordinary people and makes them extraordinary. Everyone really does have a story and Brandon has given it a visual element. He does an excellent job of giving a brief glimpse of what it's like to be in someone else's shoes.

So you can imagine my excitement when I heard he was publishing a book. This collection was filled with beautiful photographs and several made me tear up. I love the honesty and depth of his pictures. I love how people open themselves up to him and I love that we're allowed to share in the moment. This book was also cool because I'm moving to Brooklyn and soon I'll be calling this city home.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review #1704 Working by Studs Terkel

Review: #1704
Book: Working
Author: Studs Terkel
Rating: two stars (out of four)
Release date: February 28, 1997
Publisher: The New Press
Pages: 640
Source: Library

We were assigned this book for one of my graduate courses. We ended up reading about half of the book because of its length. The interviews were fairly engaging. As a whole, it was an interesting project and I thought Studs did a good job of making people feel at ease and talk about their occupations. It gave a great picture of what people working in America at that time period was like. But it was also a little depressing. The people interviewed didn't seem to have much love for their lives and careers. They were only doing it because they needed to provide for families or they were trapped in a cycle. It was an interesting read, but not something I'd go out of my way to recommend.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Review #1703 Penguin in Love by Salina Yoon

Review: #1703
Book: Penguin in Love
Author: Salina Yoon
Rating: two stars (out of four)
Release date: December 3, 2013
Publisher: Walker Books for Young Readers
Pages: 36
Source: Barnes & Noble

This book had such a sweet looking cover. How can you ignore a penguin and knitting? You can't. Unfortunately, I wasn't as impressed with the story inside. I Felt like a page was missing in the middle because of the abrupt transition and random story line. The illustrations throughout were pretty cute, but the story was disjointed and needed something threading it together besides the yarn theme.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Review #1702 You Just Don't Understand by Deborah Tannen

Review: #1702
Book: You Just Don't Understand
Author: Deborah Tannen
Rating: two stars (out of four)
Release date: February 6, 2007
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 352
Source: Library

I read this for one of my graduate courses. It was an interesting book and I can see why it was assigned for the class, but I didn't feel like it was mind-blowing or anything like that. A lot of the stuff described in the book felt like common sense to me. But during our discussion a lot of classmates said this book was immensely helpful in understanding the opposite sex. I just didn't find it that engaging. And I thought it was a little repetitive. Probably not something I'd recommend. 

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Review #1701 Rules of Summer by Shaun Tan

Review: #1701
Book: Rules of Summer
Author: Shaun Tan
Rating: two stars (out of four)
Release date: June 1, 2014
Publisher: Holder Children's Division
Pages: 48
Source: Barnes & Noble

The large eye and casually placed dinosaur on the cover were what initially caught my attention. It was a very striking cover. The illustrations inside were beautiful, but sometimes a little dark. I loved that you could see the individual brushstrokes. It seemed to be telling a story that got more and more ominous and then strangely ended happily. It was kind of bizarre. I'm not sure I understood what was going on or what the author wished to portray.  I wasn't sure how I felt though, at the end of my reading.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Review #1700 How to Not Write Bad by Ben Yagoda

Review: #1700
Book: How to Not Write Bad
Author: Ben Yagoda
Rating: three stars (out of four)
Release date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Riverhead Trade
Pages: 192
Source: Library

I read this for one of my graduate classes. I had seen this around Goodreads and it had been on my radar for a little while, so it seemed like a good choice for my individual picks for the class. The material was presented in an engaging and easily digestible format. There was also some humor throughout and the examples did a good job of highlighting what to avoid and what to do instead. It reminded me a little bit of The Elements of Style. It was fairly short but still managed to pack a decent amount in the book. I'd recommend especially for writers and editors. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Review #1699 What Do You Do with an Idea by Kobi Yamada

Review: #1699
Book: What Do You Do with an Idea
Author: Kobi Yamada
Illustrator: Mae Besom
Rating: two stars (out of four)
Release date: February 1, 2014
Publisher: Compendium Inc
Pages: 36
Source: Barnes & Noble

I loved the simple black and white illustrations with the bursts of color. The idea of an idea was also pretty great and it kept me interested throughout the story. It was fairly whimsical and I appreciated that, but I did like the first half of the book a lot more than the second half.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review #1698 How to Lose a Lemur by Frann Preston-Gannon

Review: 1698
Book: How to Lose a Lemur
Author: Frann Preston-Gannon
Rating: two stars (out of four)
Release date: October 5, 2013
Publisher: Pavilion Children's Books
Pages: 32
Source: Barnes & Noble

I picked up this book because I think lemurs are darling creatures and you don't usually see them featured in books. The story was pretty simple, but it was sweet and had a nice ending. I would have liked a little bit more drama, but that's probably just me. I did really like the illustrations. I'd probably recommend.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Review #1697 This Is a Moose by Richard T. Morris

Review: #1697
Book: This Is a Moose
Author: Richard T. Morris
Illustrator: Tom Lichtenheld
Rating: two stars (out of four)
Release date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 40
Source: Barnes & Noble

The cover caught my attention straight away. The story was pretty entertaining and I liked how the moose was not cooperating correctly, or at least, according to how a normal moose would behave. I did like the illustrations as well.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Review #1696 Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio

Review: #1696
Book: Gaston
Author: Kelly DiPucchio
Illustrator: Christian Robinson
Rating: two stars (out of four)
Release date: June 3, 2014
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Pages: 40
Source: Barnes & Noble

It's hard to just walk by this book without wanting to pick it up and read it. The cover is pretty cute, and I'm not even a dog person. I did enjoy the illustrations and thought they definitely lived up to the cuteness of the cover. The story was pretty entertaining and I thought the storyline was amusing. I'd recommend.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Review #1695 Chengdu Could Not, Would Not, Fall Asleep by Barney Saltzberg

Review: #1695
Book: Chengdu Could Not, Would Not, Fall Asleep
Author: Barney Saltzberg
Rating: two stars (out of four)
Release date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 40
Source: Barnes and Noble

I picked up the book because of the cute cover and it looked like it would be an amusing read. I did enjoy the illustrations and thought they suited the book perfectly. And while I definitely found the panda's insomnia amusing, it didn't quite add up to a complete story for me. I did really appreciate the fun fold out elements throughout the book and I think most kids will get a kick out of that feature. The ending was also pretty funny. A recommend, but not an instant favorite.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Our first look at Mockingjay Part 1. All I can say is that November cannot come soon enough.

Though I do wish Peeta and Finnick had made an appearance in this...

Review #1694 The Monsters' Monster by Patrick McDonnell

Review: #1694
Book: The Monsters' Monster
Author: Patrick McDonnell
Rating: two stars (out of four)
Release date: September 4, 2012
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 40
Source: Library

Of course I'm going to pick up any other book Patrick McDonnell writes. Me...Jane was SO GOOD. This book, however, wasn't an instant fav. I did love the illustrations for and thought they were really cute. I also loved how the "monster" the three little guys created reacted to things quite differently than they had expected. The ending was a little too wrapped up...maybe too neat for my tastes? I don't know, I'm probably just being picky. It was a fun book.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Review #1693 Sleep Like a Tiger by Mary Logue

Review: #1693
Book: Sleep Like a Tiger
Author: Mary Logue
Illustrator: Pamela Zagarenski
Rating: Two stars (out of four)
Release date: October 23, 2012
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Pages: 40
Source: Library

This was an interesting take on putting kids to sleep. It was quite different from what I had expected, but I still enjoyed it. The illustrations were great. There was a lot of detail infused on each drawing and I loved the color and style. But the pictures weren't overdone, they were subtle and still highly animated. I'm not sure how well it would have put me to sleep as a child, but I think other people will really enjoy it. I can see why it won a Caldecott Honor.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

18 Quirky Literary Items You Can Buy On Etsy - A Buzzfeed List

I've dabbled into the world of Buzzfeed and created a post that all book lovers should enjoy! And it was selected by the Buzzfeed editors to go TO THE FRONT PAGE. Yeah, I was stoked.

It features items from Harry Potter, The Fault in Our Stars, Sherlock, Game of Thrones, Emily Dickinson, and many more. I've included a small sampling of the items, but to see the full list you should check it out here!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Cinder, The Maze Runner, Before I Fall, and The Name of the Star still up for grabs!

Just a friendly reminder! These four books are still up for grabs on my latest giveaway!

You can enter the giveaway at this post.

Here's covers of the books to jog your memory! Good luck and happy reading!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Leap Into Books Giveaway! [2014]

Hi guys,

I'm participating in another book giveaway hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Jinky is Reading. This time around, I've created a facebook page for my blog and the only thing you need to do to enter is like the page! I also have some bonus entries for you as well.

This giveaway is open to people living in the US and will end on March 7th at midnight! Best of luck!

And now....the books I'm giving away - the winner will be able to select a book from FOUR options!

Book #1
Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

*Book summary taken from Goodreads.

Book #2
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

*Summary taken from Goodreads

Book #3
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson

Jack the Ripper is back,
and he's coming for Rory next....

Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school just as a series of brutal murders mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper killing spree of more than a century ago has broken out across the city. The police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man believed to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him - the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target...unless she can tap her previously unknown abilities to turn the tables.

*Summary taken from Goodreads.

Book #4
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he's not alone. When the lift's doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade-a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.

Just like Thomas, the Gladers don't know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they've closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.

Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up-the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers.

Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

*Summary taken from Goodreads.

Enter the form below for a chance at winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


In case you hadn't seen the sudden explosion of FEELS on the internet today...

Seriously. I've watched it three times and have cried. every. single. time.

But still SO STOKED FOR THE MOVIE. June. June. June. June.

Anyway, your thoughts? Reactions? Sudden need to buy tissue?

Monday, January 27, 2014

The 2014 ALA Youth Media Awards Winners!

So there was a lot of excitement this morning for the announcement of the ALA Youth Media Awards! I've included some of my favorite awards here with links!

How many have you read? And how many are you now adding to your to-read list? I'm SO THRILLED for all the winners!

John Newbery Medal
Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by K.G. Campbell
Candlewick Press

Newbery Honor
Doll Bones by Holly Black, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
Margaret K. McElderry Books (Simon & Schuster)

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes
Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins)

One Came Home by Amy Timberlake
Alfred A. Knopf (Random House)

Paperboy by Vince Vawter
Delacorte Press (Random House)

Randolph Caldecott Medal
Locomotive by Brian Floca
Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster)

Caldecott Honor
Journey by Aaron Becker
Candlewick Press

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle
Chronicle Books LLC

Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner
Clarion Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Michael L. Printz Award
Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan Children's Publishing Group

Printz Honor
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
St. Martin's Griffin (Macmillan)

Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal
Candlewick Press

Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner, illustrated by Julian Crouch
Candlewick Press

Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
Delacorte Books for Young Readers (Random House)

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award
The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli
Disney Hyperion Books

Geisel Honor
Ball by Mary Sullivan
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Hyperion Books for Children (Disney Book Group)

Penny and Her Marble by Kevin Henkes
Greenwill Books (HarperCollins)

Schnieder Family Book Award
A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Alfred A. Knopf (Random House)

Handbook for Dragon Slayers by Merrie Haskell
HarperCollins Children's Books

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
Hyperion (Disney Book Group)

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award
Parrots over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore, illustrated by Susan L. Roth

Sibert Honor
A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Alfred A. Knopf (Random House)

Candlewick Press

Locomotive by Brian Floca
Atheneum Books for Young Readers (Simon & Schuster)

The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan
Roaring Brook Press

William C. Morris Award
Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn
St. Martin's Griffin

Margaret A. Edwards Award

Markus Zusak

A full list of the awards can be found here: