Exploring education through books, travel, and adventure

Tag: Read Aloud

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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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 […]

10 Amazing Books to Read to Your Kids on Earth Day!

10 Amazing Books to Read to Your Kids on Earth Day!

  Earth Day is right around the corner! My kiddos are so excited to celebrate by heading to the beach to pick up some trash! In addition to helping clean up the beach, we will be reading a LOT of books! Whenever a holiday, special […]

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, so featuring a few at a time will be a much less daunting task!

Let’s jump right in and chat about our four favorite picture books this week. I have a slight obsession with picture books. I like to tie them in with everything I am teaching in our homeschool. They are just such relatable books…and there is just something about gorgeous illustrations that bring a story to life! We read picture books every.single.day. They don’t always tie in with our schoolwork…we often just read them because they are lovely and gorgeous and fabulous! My kiddos are on the older side…12,10, and 8…but they still sit and listen and LOVE having picture books read to them.

So, without further ado…Let’s talk picture books!

FRIDAY FAVORITES

We had such an amazing book week! We had some amazing new releases arrive from Harper Collins and some long-awaited library holds arrived! Yes my friends, these are the things that excite me! So, I am going to share with you our top 4 standouts from the week. SO hard to narrow them down, but here we go!

MARY WEARS WHAT SHE WANTS

Have you ever heard of Mary Edwards Walker? I know I hadn’t until I opened this beautiful picture book by Keith Negley! Mary Wears What She Wants is the story of young Mary Edwards Walker who is known for being one of the first women EVER to wear pants.

This is the story of young Mary, who was tired of being told she had to wear dresses. Mary gets an idea…a very daring idea. What if she didn’t wear dresses…what if she wore pants instead? Who said that boys had to wear pants and girls had to wear dresses. So Mary decided one day that she was going to wear those pants…and let’s just say it caused quite a stir! Thankfully, young Mary stood up for what she believed was right and she continued wearing those pants! The illustrations are absolutely beautiful. They are so bold and vibrant and fit the story so well.

I absolutely love how Keith Negley included a note at the end of the book all about the real Mary Edwards Walker. I am fascinated by her and can’t believe I have never heard of her before! Mary not only wore those pants…but she got arrested for it! Can you imagine? Being the first woman to wear pants isn’t the only thing Mary is known for. Mary attended medical school at a time when women just didn’t do that, she served as a surgeon in the Civil War often behind enemy lines, and she was instrumental in fighting for women’s right to vote!

This is an amazing book for teaching kids that it is ok to stand up for what they believe is right. Mary showed us that sometimes all it takes is one very brave person to spark a huge change. What an awesome message for our kiddos.

PLANTING STORIES- THE LIFE OF LIBRARIAN AND STORYTELLER PURA BELPRE

This book needs to be in every library and every home. It is just the most beautifully written and gorgeously illustrated book. I have read it countless times over the last week and just continue to love it more and more. Much like Mary Wears What She Wants, Planting Stories is based on a real-life person. I think I have a new obsession with biographical picture books!

Planting Stories- The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpre is about the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City. Pura arrived in New York in 1921 and began her life at the library. When she noticed that the library was lacking in the beautiful folktales from her youth, Pura began to tell the stories herself. She began to make puppets and people from all over began to come and hear her folktales in English and Spanish. But what about the library shelves that are missing stories from her homeland…well, Pura puts pen to paper and writes the tales. She is soon a published author. Though life takes Pura away from the library for a time, her heart and stories live on because of the seeds that she planted!

I can’t say enough wonderful things about this book. It was so lovingly and beautifully written by Anika Denise. The gorgeous illustrations were created by Paola Escobar. This is a story about dreams, traditions, love, and legacy. This is one that you are going to want in your home library or classroom library…truly a gem!

JULIAN IS A  MERMAID

Julian is a Mermaid is the sweetest book with a very big message. This is the story of a little boy named Julian…and more than anything, he loves mermaids. He wants to be just like the mermaids. Julian wants to be a mermaid SO badly that he uses items around the house to dress up like one. What will his abuela think? The facial expressions tug at your heartstrings as you can see Julian wondering how his abuela will react to his mermaid costume. Without giving away all of the details of the end of the book, let me just say that I wish all children could have someone like abuela in their lives!

Author/Illustrator Jessica Love has created the most gorgeous book in both artwork and words. Each page is so beautifully illustrated…with some pages having no words and only full-page illustrations. This book has a very important message as well. A message of acceptance. To accept yourself for who you are and to not be afraid to be that person. It is a celebration of individuality and of unconditional love. Just a wonderful book!

HAROLD SNIPPERPOT’S BEST DISASTER EVER

Harold Phillip Snipperpot is about to turn 7 years old…and he has never had a birthday party. He has never had a birthday party because he has a pair of very grumpy parents. This year he hopes that things will be different. Sensing that their son is feeling down, Mr. and Mrs. Snipperpot call in the help of the fabulous Mr. Ponzio to make sure Harold has a special party. Well, Mr.Ponzio has something up his sleeve that no one expected! Mr.Ponzio arrives at the party with a menagerie of animals. That is when all sorts of mayhem ensues! The house gets trashed, there is animal poo everywhere, and his parents end up locked in a trunk. What mayhem, what chaos, what a disaster…or is it? Maybe it is kind of…funny? I will let you read the ending to see how Harold Snipperpot turns a complete disaster into the best day ever!

This book is beautifully written and illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna. The pages of the book are complete magic. So much detail and so beautiful. We adored this book…it was full of laughs but also full of heart. Highly recommend adding this one to your shelves as well.

Thank you so much for stopping by and chatting books with me! I have some exciting books to read to the kiddos next week, so stay tuned for next weeks “Friday Favorites”! For more favorites click here.

 

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Add Adventure to Learning with Literary Adventures for Kids

Add Adventure to Learning with Literary Adventures for Kids

  Have you seen the movie The House With a Clock in Its Walls? I was so intrigued by this movie from the very first preview! Imagine my book nerd excitement when I found out that it was a book long before it was a […]

Raising Readers – One Books at a Time!

Raising Readers – One Books at a Time!

  I have loved books for as long as I can remember! My Mom actually used books as bribery to potty train me when I was 2 (OK, that is moderately embarrassing!) We would walk to the store together and I would get to pick […]

Get Lost in a Book This Summer! 3 Great Reads for the Adventure Lover!

Get Lost in a Book This Summer! 3 Great Reads for the Adventure Lover!

Summer is the perfect time to get out and take some family adventures! Trips to the beach, hikes in the mountains, camping trips…whatever your idea of adventure is, summer is a great time to get out and explore! Summer is also one of my favorite times to get lost in a good book…ok, pretty much any time is a good time to get lost in a good book…but summer reading is just the best!!

I have 3 awesome books for you that are full of excitement and adventure! These were 3 of our favorite family read alouds this year and I can’t wait for you to check them out! These are all middle-grade books but were enjoyed immensely by all 3 of my kiddos…ages 7, 9, and 11…and their Mama…her age is irrelevant to this post! 😉

First up is The Explorer by Katherine Rundell. This book kept us on the edge of our seats from beginning to end! The book begins with a young boy named Fred on a plane with 3 other children. They are heading to England from Manaus. The pilot stops breathing and the plane crashes. Fred awakens to find that the pilot has died and that he and the 3 other children are alone in the jungle. Rundell writes in such a way that you actually feel as if you are trapped in the jungle with the kids. Fred, Con, Lila, and Max have to fight to survive in the jungle…how will they ever get home…and are they actually alone?

 

The next book that you must read is called Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire by John August. This is the first book in a brand new series. I read this book by myself first and I loved it so much that I am currently re-reading it aloud to my kids. This book is fabulous! If you love a good mystery, wrapped up with amazing adventure, with a splash of the supernatural…this is the book for you! Arlo Finch is brand new to the town of Pine Mountain. It doesn’t take long before he realizes that this small town is far from ordinary. From the ghost dog in his uncles front yard to the mysterious purple goo that makes bell sounds when it moves…Pine Mountain definitely holds some secrets. August is a master storyteller…a great read-aloud for all ages! The second book in the series is due to arrive in Spring of 2019 and we can’t wait to get our hands on it. The second installment is called Arlo Finch in the Lake of the Moon and is due out in February of 2019!

 

The last book I have chosen is a brand new release called Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain by Zac Gorman. Again, we were hooked from the very first pages. Thisby Thestoop is the Gamekeeper for the dungeon of Black Mountain. She is in charge of all of the creatures that reside in Black Mountain…some not so scary creatures…and other creatures that you wouldn’t want to run into in the day time let alone at night. The day of the official royal inspection arrives and suddenly Thisby finds herself on an adventure deep within the darkest part of the dungeons. She is in charge of escorting the Princess Iphigenia out of the dungeon after she has become separated from her twin brother and all of her guards. Thisby must keep the princess safe from all of the beasts, attempt to find this missing Prince Ingo, and save her precious dungeon from the threat of creatures even worse than the ones she cares for! Not only is this book edge-of-your-seat entertaining, but it is also a hysterical and heartwarming tale of bravery and friendship! It is a fabulously well written and gorgeously illustrated book that I know you will love. Just a word of warning…if you have a younger reader who is sensitive to scary things and monsters you may want to pre-read the book ahead of time. The book can be scary at times and does have a few scary illustrations! My youngest is 7 years old and he didn’t have any issues with the scariness…but I did want to mention it just in case!!

 

I hope that the adventure lovers in your life will enjoy these awesome books!!

 

Do you have any favorite adventure books that I can add to my reading list this summer??

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