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Review: The Fashion Book

February 20, 2015

The Fashion Book

Everyone who knows me knows I’m not much of a shopper and have little to no fashion sense –  I’m sure the two are related somehow.  On a whim, I picked up The Fashion Book by DK Publishing and no one was more surprised than I was by how much I liked it.  I found a lot to love in this book aimed at teenage girls.

The Fashion Book covers the history of fashion through the ages and shows how you can put a modern twist on an old style.  It also highlights some fashion mavens like Marie Antoinette and Madonna.  For teens interested in a career in fashion, it shows what’s involved in being a fashion designer or makeup artist.  The back of the book includes some great quotes and an illustrated glossary.

The Fashion Book interior

There’s a lot of information packed in the fully illustrated pages of this book and I learned a lot as I read it.  For instance:

  • In the 1770s ladies wore hoops and pads under their skirts to make their backsides look bigger.
  • Both men and women wore dresses in medieval times.
  • The oldest piece of lace found was buried with an Egyptian mummy.
  • In the 19th century, it was considered “monstrous” to wear jewels in the morning.

I just loved The Fashion Book and recommend it to anyone interested in fashion.  It’s a must have for teens trying to find their own style or those interested in a fashion career.  Be sure to check this book out!

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 DK Publishing. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Review: Fire Shut Up in My Bones

February 19, 2015

Fire Shut Up in My Bones

Charles Blow grew up in a loving but somewhat dysfunctional family.  He had a strong mother and a mostly absent father.  He suffered abuse at the hands of a cousin but kept it to himself out of fear and embarrassment.

Determined to make something of himself, he worked hard and was given the opportunity to attend college.   He was driven to succeed and became class president and pledged a fraternity.  The fraternity’s hazing is brutal but Blow accepts it, not realizing the affect it will have on him.

Blow shares his story in his wonderful memoir, Fire Shut Up in My Bones.  Blow grew up with love but his life wasn’t always easy.  He figured out early on what he wanted in life and realized he had the tools to get him what he wanted.  That doesn’t mean things were easy for him – he faced hardships and setbacks but he never lost sight of his goals and worked hard to achieve them.

I loved Fire Shut Up in My Bones.  Blow’s writing is gorgeous and his story is captivating.  He shows what can be achieved when you dream big and work hard.  I found the book hard to put down and read it very quickly.  If you enjoy memoirs or inspirational stories, you must read this book.

Review copy provided by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

February 18, 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!

This week’s first word came from a caption in The Fashion Book by DK Publishing.

1. winkle-pickers– “Pointy-toe stilettos (called winkle-pickers)”


According to Wikipedia, winklepickers are shoes or boots with a very long and sharp pointed toe.


My second word comes from I Never Promised you a Goodie Bag by Jennifer Gilbert.

2. trance – “They wanted Top 40, while the DJ, a snotty-looking kid with slicked-back hair, was playing nothing but trance.”

I know what a trance is but have never heard the word used to refer to music.  Trance is electronic dance music that developed in Germany in the 1990s.  I suspect I’m too old to appreciate it.


What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: An Age of License

February 17, 2015

An Age of License

I thoroughly enjoyed Lucy Knisley‘s first two graphic memoirs – French Milk and Relish – so was very excited when Heather mentioned An Age of License: A Travelogue.  I saw that there was a copy available at our local library so I rushed to get it and was certainly glad I did because, once again, Knisley charmed me with her wonderful drawings and her travel adventures.

When Knisley is invited to speak at a Comics Fest in Norway, she accepts and decides to incorporate other adventures into the trip, spending some time with her mom and some of her mom’s friends in France and meeting up with a Swedish guy she’d met while he was visiting friends in New York.  Knisley is excited about her travels but also anxious and she shares all of her worries, the ups and downs of her trip, and the comfort of being home in this quirky memoir.

The title of the book comes from a French saying:

The French have a saying for the time when you’re young and experimenting with your lives and careers.  They call it: L’Age Licence.

As in: License to experience, mess up, license to fail, license to do . . . whatever, before you’re settled.

I didn’t think An Age of License was particularly profound but it’s certainly very relatable and I enjoyed it very much.  If you enjoy graphic novels, memoirs, and/or travelogues, you’ll want to check this book out!

I am an Indiebound Affliate.


Mailbox Monday

February 16, 2015

Mailbox Monday February 16

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 I didn’t do anything terribly exciting.  Today finds us anticipating bad weather.  They keep changing the forecast, though, so we’re not sure what we’ll get.  Whatever it is, it’ll be nothing compared to what our friends in the northeast have been suffering through this winter.  I found these books in my mailbox last week:





What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: Penguin Pandemonium

February 13, 2015

Penguin Pandemonium

Attendance is down at City Zoo so they might have to shut down and relocate all the animals.  In a last ditch effort to save it, the zookeeper’s daughter suggests installing a camera in the penguin pen to live stream their activities.

Worried they’ll be moved and separated, the penguins decide to put on talent show that people will never forget.  Surely, that will help bring people to the zoo.

Penguin Pandemonium by Jeanne Willis is a cute middle grade book that is sure to delight young readers, especially those who love penguins.  The penguins set aside their differences to work together for the common good, encouraging each other along the way.  They find undiscovered talent and gain confidence as they put together their talent show. Nathan Reed’s adorable illustrations will keep young readers involved in the story.  You’ll want to pick this book up for the young animal lover in your life.

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 Barron’s.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

At the movies: Birdman

February 12, 2015


In Birdman, Michael Keaton plays Riggan Thomson, an actor famous for portraying Birdman in a series of three movies about the super hero.  After he refuses to do the fourth Birdman movie, his career goes nowhere.  In an attempt to revitalize his career, he has written a play that he is directing and starring in.  The play is getting ready to open on Broadway and he has to deal with an egotistical actor and a critic who promises to destroy the play.  In an attempt to make the play succeed, he decides to do something very risky.

Birdman features an all star cast including Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, and Edward Norton.  The casting was terrific – everyone does a great job and the whole cast has great chemistry.  The movie is shown as one long shot – a technique that is difficult for the actors and editors.  I was engrossed in the movie and thoroughly enjoyed it, until the end which is left open to interpretation.  Vance, and most film critics, felt differently though.  This movie is worth seeing, especially for the acting and the editing and will be out on DVD next week.



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