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Tag: Book review

The Other Side of the Wall Book Review and Tea Party!

The Other Side of the Wall Book Review and Tea Party!

I love it when a book inspires creativity! This happens A LOT at our house! So often we will be reading a book and all of a sudden an idea pops up for a craft, art project, or recipe! Well, I have just finished reading […]

Three Cheers for Olive Ewe!

Three Cheers for Olive Ewe!

You may have guessed by now that I really LOVE picture books…like, a lot! They are one of my favorite types of books to read and I absolutely LOVE sharing new picture books with you! Well, today I have a new book that I think […]

Malamander – A Must-Read New Middle-Grade Book

Malamander – A Must-Read New Middle-Grade Book

“If the impossible is possible anywhere, it’ll be possible in Eerie-on-Sea”

Welcome to the sleepy beach town of Eerie-on-Sea. It is winter, and everything is different during the winter. You see, legend has it that a monstrous creature called the Malamander prowls the shore of the beach in winter. Everyone has heard the legend of the Malamander. Everyone, including Herbie Lemon, one of Eerie-on-Sea’s full-time residents.

Herbie is the Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus hotel and he is in charge of all of the things left behind by hotel guests…books, coats, babies…that sort of thing. One day, a young girl wanders into his hotel…actually, it would be more like she frantically climbed through an open window in the hotel to escape a crazed man with a boat hook for a hand. Violet Parma is in search of her parents who went missing when she was a baby. Herbie is the perfect guy for the job, as finding lost things is his specialty.

Together, Violet and Herbie must unravel the mystery behind her parents’ mysterious disappearance, and in the process uncover a lot more than they expected! Over the course of their adventures, they will encounter the man with the hook for a hand (again), a book-dispensing Mermonkey (oh yes, that is a thing), and maybe, just maybe, the infamous Malamander (maybe).

A Must-Read

Malamander is everything that I love in a middle-grade novel! It is full of mystery, suspense, humor, and quirky characters. Author Thomas Taylor transports his readers right into Eerie-on-Sea…you can almost feel the mist in the air and the creepy things lurking in the shadows. I have to say, one of my favorite parts of the book are the zany and loveable characters he has created. I want to be the plucky Mrs. Fossil when I grow up…although, come to think of it, I might already be Mrs. Fossil. Filling buckets with treasures from the beach is pretty much my favorite thing. I also would love to spend the day with Mrs. Hanniver at the Eerie-Book-Dispensary and see which book the Mermonkey would dispense to me!

This would be an amazing read-aloud for your middle-grade kiddos! I can’t wait to visit Eerie-on-Sea again in the next book in the series, Gargantis! I also loved the illustrations that were scattered throughout the book. Illustrator, Tom Booth’s drawings are the perfect complement to the book!

For an interview with author Thomas Taylor, you can check this site!

Sending a big thank you to Candlewick Press for sending me a copy of this book to review and share with you! All opinions are my own.

You can grab your copy of Malamander below!

 

 

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Circus Mirandus is 100% Pure Magic

Circus Mirandus is 100% Pure Magic

Circus Mirandus is 100% pure magic from beginning to end. I finished the book in two days and could not put it down. Cassie Beasley beautifully weaves a story full of magic and heart with a little mystery tied in! I can’t wait to re-read […]

All The Impossible Things- A Must-Read New Middle Grade Novel

All The Impossible Things- A Must-Read New Middle Grade Novel

  Some books have a way of simultaneously breaking your heart and making it swell. All The Impossible Things was a gut-wrenchingly beautiful story that captured my heart and attention.  I hope that my words can do this book justice because it is just so […]

The Curse of the Werepenguin Review and Craft!

The Curse of the Werepenguin Review and Craft!

The Curse of the Werepenguin

Bolt Wattle is an orphan. He has spent most of his life at Having spent most of his life at the Oak Wilt Home for Unwanted Boys, all Bolt wants is to find his real family. One day Bolt learns that he has been adopted by a Baron! Baron Chordata lives in far off Brugaria and has sent for Bolt! Could this be the long lost family Bolt has been dreaming of? Nope. Not likely. When Bolt arrives in Brugaria he learns that the Baron is a short-tempered, tuxedo-wearing, 12-year-old BOY! Not quite what Bolt had hoped for. Things are about to get much worse, however. Bolt learns that the Baron isn’t your average 12-year-old in a tuxedo…he is a werepenguin. Yep…it’s a thing. To make matters even worse…the Baron bites Bolt and turns him into a werepenguin too. Half boy…half penguin…all the way scary! Bolt is determined to reverse this curse…but how can he do this alone? Maybe he doesn’t have to! Maybe, with the help of a rather zany cast of characters (a girl bandit, a crazy fortune teller, and a french-bread-wielding leader of a whale cult…told you they were zany) Bolt can reverse the curse and prevent the Baron from taking over Brugaria!

Our Thoughts

Have you ever read a book and immediately wished you could peek inside the authors head and see HOW the book came to be? In a non-invasive way of course! This was such a creative, zany, weird, and hysterical book that I am certain could only come from the most creative of minds.

I read this book to my 3 kiddos and it had us laughing out loud. Author Allan Woodrow wove humor throughout the majority of the pages! We especially enjoyed the jokes that traveled the length of the story, such as what happens when someone says Baron Chordata’s name…cue the screaming and fainting. The characters were all so zany and interesting…we especially enjoyed the “lowly” housekeeper and the french bread wielding leader of the whale cult…not to mention Blazenda, the cackling fortune-teller (See, I bet you want to peek inside his mind now, don’t you?) This was such an off-the-wall, fun read that left us craving fish sticks…;)

Let’s Get Crafty

One of our favorite things to do after we finish a book is to come up with some form of art project or craft project. We were inspired by the cover of the book and decided to make our own werepenguins. Being the crafty folks that we are, we decided that we would bust out our needle-felting supplies and create our very own crazy eyebrowed werepenguins. The little needle-felted penguins started out so cute…all fuzzy and black and white and harmless. However, once you add little red eyeballs, scraggly eyebrows, and scary horns…you end up with a pretty evil looking werepenguin…mission accomplished I suppose! My son flat out refused to make his evil, so we have 3 evil penguins and 1 cute fuzzy penguin. He couldn’t be swayed. It was such a fun project and we were super excited with how they turned out! For those of you who are crafty readers, we just used a simple needle felting kit, wool roving, and a styrofoam egg from the floral section at the craft store. Side note, the egg shape makes the perfect wobbly little penguin and doesn’t use as much wool!

werepenguin book and craft

AUTHOR BIO

Allan Woodrow is the author of many books including The Pet WarClass DismissedUnschooled, Field Tripped, and now, inspired by Dracula, old werewolf movies, Young Frankenstein, and an odd affection for fish sticks, The Curse of the Werepenguin. When Allan isn’t writing, or noshing on breading-coated seafood, he’s often presenting to schools, libraries, and conferences. You can learn more about Allan at allanwoodrow.com

 

If you are looking for a fun, funny, wildly absurd, and out of the ordinary read, then I absolutely suggest you give The Curse of the Werepenguin a try!

The Curse of the Werepenguin released on August 13th, 2019 and is published by Penguin Random House (the irony is not lost on me). You can grab a copy here.

Thank you so much for Penguin Random House for providing me with an Advanced Copy of this book for review. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own!

 

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My Most Anticipated August New Releases!

My Most Anticipated August New Releases!

I have a new hobby. You might even call it a sport. It takes great skill, determination, and endurance…I stalk Amazon for upcoming new book releases. Oh, it’s a thing. So, instead of just stalking alone and creating beautifully long wishlists, I have decided to […]

Out of this World Books for your Astronomy Unit!

Out of this World Books for your Astronomy Unit!

We are just at the beginning of our astronomy and space unit! The kids have been looking forward to this unit for months! I have spent so much time collecting resources, books, supplies, and organizing activities and I can’t wait to share it all with […]

Llama Destroys the World is a Laugh-Out-Loud Gem

Llama Destroys the World is a Laugh-Out-Loud Gem

You guys…have I got a hysterical book recommendation for you! What was the last laugh-out-loud hysterical book that you’ve read? I can’t remember the last book that had me cracking up as much as this one did. Llama Destroys the World is a brand new release that I KNOW your kids will find irresistible!

Llama Destroys the World

Now, you might be thinking…HOW…how can a llama destroy the world? Well, I will give you a little hint…it *might* involve lots and lots of cake, some extremely tight pants (from the aforementioned cake…don’t judge, we’ve all been there), and an overenthusiastic tango. Chaos and hilarity ensue. Follow Llama day by day to see everything that leads up to the end of the world. Will the world really end? Can it be stopped?

Llama Destroys the World is written by Jonathan Stutzman, author of Tiny T.Rex and The Impossible Hug. Llama Destroys the World is the first book that we have read by Stutzman and I can promise that it won’t be the last. We were laughing out loud at his witty writing and all of the antics that llama gets up to.

Fantastic illustrations are created by Heather Fox. She creates the most loveable yet mischievous Llama. Her ability to create the perfect facial expressions to tie into the story was just brilliant. Such an amazing complement to the story.

llama dancing book llama pants rip

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i am llama pic

 

We have fallen in love with Llama…I’m not sure if it is his dancing pants, his love of cake, or the way he “cha-cha’s real smooth” but he is for sure a character we hope to see more of!

And now, for the ultimate compliment…my son said that Llama is as funny as the pigeon. Yep, THAT pigeon. We have been longtime fans of Mo Willems and his Pigeon books, so this is a super duper big heap of praise from my 8-year-old!

 

Llama Destroys the World is published by Henry Holt and Company which is a part of Macmillan Publishing.

To grab your copy of Llama Destroys the World click here!

kid llama drawing

 

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Summer: My New Favorite Book to Teach Kindness

Summer: My New Favorite Book to Teach Kindness

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted”- Aesop   Friends, have I got a wonderful new book for you. Teachers, homeschool families, parents…this is a book you are going to want to read with your kiddos. Summer, is a new release […]