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Review: Friendshape

July 31, 2015


Friendshape is an adorable picture book about friendship, obviously, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld.  The friends in this book are different shapes and colors but they play fair, stand behind each other, and make each other feel at home.  They stick together and support each other, most of the time, because, even the best of friends quarrel every once in a while.

The story in Friendshape is simple but the message is loud and clear:

Friends are a gift, because they fill our lives with joy and love.

I thought using shapes was very clever and loved the simple, eye-catching illustrations.  Parents can talk about shapes and colors as well as friendship and acceptance as they read this delightful book!  I recommend this book and will definitely be giving it for baby gifts.

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Scholastic. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.


At the movies: Spy

July 30, 2015
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I consider myself a fan of Melissa McCarthy but I’m not really sure why because her movies are hit or miss for me.  I loved her in The Heat and St. Vincent but wasn’t crazy about her role in Tammy.  Unfortunately, Spy was another miss for me.

McCarthy plays Susan Cooper, a CIA analyst who volunteers to go in the field when her partner is murdered.  Her boss lets her go but tells her to stay in the background and collect data.  That’s not enough for Susan though, and, before she knows it, she’s in the middle of an international terrorist plot.

I expected Spy to be a spoof but it’s not.  It’s not sure what it wants to be but basically it’s a spy movie with some funny parts, most of which are in the trailer.  I found the pacing to be too slow and the amount of profanity to be unnecessary.  If you decide to see this one, I recommend waiting until you can rent it.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 29, 2015

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

My first word came from Break These Rules, a collection of essays by YA authors, edited by Luke Reynolds.  My new word is from the essay Don’t Tell by Neesha Meminger.

1. foeticide – “Punjab has one of the highest rates of both female foeticide and bride burning in all the states of India.”

Foeticide is destruction or abortion of a fetus.


I also found one more word in No Better Friend by Robert Weintraub.

2. rumbustious – “One chap named Winstanley had a very powerful baritone voice and had quite a repertoire of rumbustious songs which were very popular.”

Rumbustious means rambunctious.


What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: Picnic in Provence

July 28, 2015

Picnic in Provence

Several years ago, Elizabeth Bard documented her transition into the French culture in her first memoir, Lunch in Paris, which I loved.  When I found out she’s continued her story in Picnic in Provence, I was excited to read the book and, happily, was not disappointed.

Bard and her husband Gwendal, along with their infant son, visited Provence and fell in love with the area and decided to relocate there.   Their house needed a lot of work but they quickly fell into the slower pace of life in Provence.  Bard cooked with local ingredients and wrote while her husband ran his consulting company.  When he’s offered a chance for bigger and better things, they decided they can’t bear to leave Provence so he came up with the idea to open an ice cream shop.  Throughout the book, Bard writes of the fresh, local foods she gets and the dishes she creates with them and ends each chapter by sharing the recipes she writes about.

I thought Picnic in Provence was just as delightful as Lunch in Paris.  Bard shares the good and bad of adjusting to life in a different culture.  She’s learned the language, loves the food, and does all she can to absorb the culture but still feels like an outsider at times.  At other times, she feels she’s right where she belongs.  Having lived in France myself, I could totally relate to her feelings.  Bard writes with a lot of heart so I found Picnic in Provence hard to put down.  I thoroughly enjoy this book and I recommend it to Francophiles and those who like memoirs and/or foodie books.

weekend cookingI will link this up to Weekend Cooking which is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.

Review copy provided by Hachette Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Mailbox Monday

July 27, 2015

Mailbox Monday July 27

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued, and now hosted on its own blog.    Last week was busy but also a lot of fun.  My book club had our best discussion/meeting ever on Wednesday and I attended a Coloring, Cocktails, and Conversation at Fiction Addiction on Thursday.  I discovered that I’m really good at cocktails and conversation but not so great at coloring.  Still, it was a super event!  I found these books in my mailbox last week:




What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: The Queen’s Hat

July 24, 2015

The Queen's Hat

The Queen is out to visit “someone very special” when a big gust of wind sweeps her hat off of her head.  The wind is so strong it sweeps the Queen’s hat all through London – passing places like Trafalgar Square and the London Eye – and neither she nor her men can catch it.  When the wind finally settles down, her hat is near Kensington Palace and lands in the most delightful place!

The Queen’s Hat written and illustrated by Steve Antony is an adorable picture book for the youngest Anglophiles.  It takes readers on a quick tour of London and celebrates the newest member of the royal family.  The illustrations are muted in shades of blue, black, and red but fit the story perfectly.  Youngsters will delight in the creative drawings and text placement which dips and swirls.  This is a great way to introduce London and the royal family to little readers.

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Scholastic. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.


Review: The Status of All Things

July 23, 2015

The Status of All Things

Thirty five year old Kate is obsessed with presenting a perfect life on social media.  When Max, her fiancé, breaks things off at their rehearsal dinner, telling her he’s in love with a friend of hers, the first thing she does is post on Facebook, wishing for a “do over.”

No one’s more surprised than Kate when her status update comes true.  She now has exactly one month to figure out where things went wrong so she can make things right between her and Max.  Things don’t go exactly the way she planned, though, and that just might be okay.

At first glance, The Status of All Things by best friends Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke is a light, fun read – I know I laughed several times as I read it – but, on closer inspection, it’s a book with a lot of heart and a great message and I really enjoyed it.

Kate is constantly checking her social media and all of her friends appear to have perfect lives with perfect husbands and children.  Kate’s life is not that way but she does her best to make it appear that it is by only posting the best pictures and updates possible.  She’s devastated when her fiancé walks away and worries how she’ll break the news to everyone.  Her opportunity to do things over results in lots of funny situations but also an awakening of sorts for her as she learns that things aren’t always the way they appear.

I thought the ending of The Status of All Things was perfect and loved the message of the book.  I think it’s one that many people need to hear and thought the lighthearted manner was a great way to present it.  If you want a fun book that will make you think, pick up The Status of All Things!

Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

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