Exploring education through books, travel, and adventure

Tag: kidlit

It’s Okay to be a Unicorn

It’s Okay to be a Unicorn

Have I ever mentioned how much I love picture books? Once or twice? Maybe? Ok…well, I really do love them. A picture book can tell a story, it can make you laugh, it can hit you right in the feels, and it can send a […]

Halloween Morning Basket Fun and a FREEBIE!

Halloween Morning Basket Fun and a FREEBIE!

I am a Halloween slacker! It has never been my favorite holiday! Christmas is my jam…I go all-out! But this year, I want to add a little Halloween fun to our homeschool day! I have decided to put together a fun and easy Halloween Morning […]

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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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Celebrating Children’s Book Week with my Top 10 All Time Favorite Children’s Books!

Celebrating Children’s Book Week with my Top 10 All Time Favorite Children’s Books!

Did you know that this week is the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week? This year in honor of the 100th anniversary there will be two week-long celebrations…this week, April 29th-May 5th, 2019 and then again November 4th-10th, 2019. This is my kind of celebration. […]

The Bluest of Blues- A Book Review

The Bluest of Blues- A Book Review

I have been completely smitten with biographical picture books lately. I have always found it fascinating to learn about someone from history, but there is something so special about reading about it in picture book form. Picture books add a certain element of magic to every topic, and biographies are no exception!

One of my brand new favorites is a book called The Bluest of Blues. Full disclosure here…I bought this book solely based on the beauty of the cover. I was captivated by the illustrations! Thankfully for me, the inside of the book is every bit as gorgeous as that front cover. In this instance, judging a book by its cover completely paid off!

The Bluest of Blues

The Bluest of Blues is a brand new book from author/illustrator Fiona Robinson. The book shares the story of the life of Anna Atkins and the first ever book of photographs. Anna Atkins lived in the 1800’s and is known today for being a botanist, artist, and photographer. Anna lived at a time where very few women entered the field of science or academia in general! Thankfully Anna had a wonderful and dedicated father who encouraged her every step of the way. Anna is very well known for her cyanotype prints of seaweed and other plants. You can still see her “poppy” cyanotype at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London!

Fiona Robinson so beautifully shares the life of Anna. The illustrations are some of the most beautiful I have seen. The gorgeous shades of blue with the occasional pop of color are just stunning. The blue of the pages is so gorgeously complemented by the inclusion of Anna’s cyanotypes. I am embarrassed to say I had never heard of these types of prints before. I am sure that I have seen them somewhere along the way but I have never heard a name attached to them!

Creating Our Own Sunprints

I love when picture books inspire us to create our own art. There is something about a well-done picture book that just gets the creative juices flowing. So, Anna created her cyanotypes using a special chemical on paper that then had to be exposed to the sun and run under water. There is a way to re-create this at home. I wasn’t feeling super motivated to mess with a bunch of chemicals, so thankfully for us, I found an amazing solution!

Nature Print Paper! Nature Print Paper is a fantastic product. We ordered a stack of paper on Amazon and it was ready to roll when we got it. We got a package of 40 papers, each 5×7 in size. All we had to do was lay the items that we wanted to print on top of the paper and then expose it to the sunlight for a few minutes. You can watch the paper changing…homeschool win…Science and Art in one! The items only need to stay in the sunlight briefly and then you dip them in a pan of water for a minute. After they dry you are left with absolutely GORGEOUS images. The stark white of the image against “the bluest of blues” 🙂

We are so eager to head to the beach and get some seaweed to try. I think it will be absolutely beautiful. It truly feels like you are creating a piece of art!

You can grab Nature Print Paper right on Amazon!

I hope you get a chance to read The Bluest of Blues and learn all about Anna Atkins. Try your hand at making some beautiful sun prints as well…super easy and absolutely beautiful!

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Friday Favorites- Fabulous Picture Books

Friday Favorites- Fabulous Picture Books

  Happy Friday! Today is the first of what I hope to be MANY “Friday Favorites”. Every Friday I am hoping to share with you some of our very favorite books from the week. I always have so many books that I want to showcase, […]