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Review: Mog’s Christmas

December 2, 2016


It’s Christmas and poor Mog doesn’t know what to make of all the activity.  She’s scared and hides on the roof and nothing her family does gets her to come down.  Her family’s sad because they miss Mog and are worried about her.  When she comes crashing down the chimney, it feels like a Christmas gift.

MOG’S CHRISTMAS by Judith Kerr was first published in 1976 and it’s stood the test of time very well.  It’s the second in a series of seventeen featuring the adorable Mog, who young children will adore.  Christmas activities are starting at Mog’s house and the change in her routine is scaring her.  Her family tries to reassure her but it doesn’t help so she runs and hides, making everyone sad.  I’m happy to say that things end happily for Mog and her family.  I think a lot of young children will be able to relate to Mog’s feelings and will be reassured by the happy ending.

My copy of MOG’S CHRISTMAS came with a fun CD that contains two tracks.  The first track is an enhanced version of the story, complete with sound effects, expertly read by Geraldine McEwan and a cast and the second track is toned for a read-along.

MOG’S CHRISTMAS is a great book to get all of the members of your family into the Christmas spirit.

Ikid konnection new 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 Harper Collins.   I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Review: The World’s Largest Man

December 1, 2016


Here in the South, we value storytelling and don’t mind it when the storyteller exaggerates a little bit – as a matter of fact, we rather encourage it.  Harrison Scott Key‘s memoir, THE WORLD’S LARGEST MAN is a wonderful example of that southern tradition and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Key was raised in Mississippi by an asphalt salesman dad and a teacher mom.  His dad was a manly man who taught Key how to hunt and fight but Key preferred reading and grocery shopping.  The two couldn’t have been more different and their relationship was tenuous at times.  Determined to make his mark and prove how different he was from his father, Key went to college and earned degrees in English and playwriting.

Once Key married and had a family of his own, he reflected on his past and realized he’s not as different from his father as he first thought.  THE WORLD’S LARGEST MAN is the story of his journey to that realization and an homage to his father.

I laughed my way through THE WORLD’S LARGEST MAN so wasn’t surprised to learn it won the Thurber Prize for American Humor.   Key’s dialogue is spot on as is his portrayal of a certain part of the southern population.   There’s a reflective side to the book that will make readers think as well.  Pick this book up when you need a good laugh!

Review copy provided by Harper Collins.   I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

November 30, 2016

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 book club read for November is THE BOOK OF SPECULATION by Erika Swyler and it’s been the source of several new words for me.

1. cartomancy – “‘Cartomancy?’ he says with a light laugh.”

I figured this one out from the story’s context but looked it up to be sure.  Cartomancy is fortune-telling by interpreting a random selection of playing cards.


2. buckram – “It’s a book on selkies, one that’s thick, with a green buckram cover.”

After reading the definition, I can picture buckram.  It is coarse linen or other cloth stiffened with gum or paste and used typically as interfacing and in bookbinding.


3. duvetyn – “Behind him is Enola’s tent — purple velour and duvetyn, spangled with gold moons and stars, hand painted.”

Duvetyn is a napped fabric, in a twilled or plain weave, of cotton, wool, silk, or rayon.


What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: Gut Instincts

November 29, 2016


Are you familiar with The Awkward Yeti? It’s an online comic by Nick Seluk featuring a blue Yeti named Lars.  Seluk has started a few spin-off comics, one of which is Heart and Brain, which follows the adventures of Lars’s internal organs with the heart and brain taking the lead.  A collection of these comics has been published  as THE AWKWARD YETI PRESENTS HEART AND BRAIN: GUT INSTINCTS.

I picked up GUT INSTINCTS thinking it was a kids’ book but it’s not.  There’s nothing inappropriate in the comics, but the humor of the heart and brain fighting against each other is definitely geared towards adults.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading this short book and laughed out loud fairly often as I read it.  I shared a lot of the comics with Carl and we joked about several of them for days.  In other words, I loved this book and now consider myself a big fan of the comic.  I shared this panel with a lot of my friends:


I’ve picked this book up several times since I first read it.  Everyone will find something they can relate to in  GUT INSTINCTS  so I think it would make a great gift.  Grab this book when you need a laugh!

I won this book from Andrews McMeel Publishing.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Mailbox Monday

November 28, 2016


Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.  Last week was a busy one for us, but we’re not complaining.  Even with all that was going on, our Thanksgiving was low key and we had much to be thankful for.  I found these goodies in my mailbox last week:




What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: Mistakes That Worked

November 25, 2016


Did you know potato chips were in invented when a customer sent his fried potatoes back requesting they be thinner and fried longer?  Chef George Crum wasn’t too happy about the request so he sliced them very thin and fried them until they were crispy.  The customer loved them and now they’re America’s favorite snack.

You might be surprised to learn the Slinky was invented when a Naval engineer dropped a torsion spring and noticed the way it flip flopped when it landed.  He and his wife made the toy and it’s been a hit since 1945.

Those fun stories plus a whole lot more are in MISTAKES THAT WORKED: THE WORLD’S FAMILIAR INVENTIONS AND HOW THEY CAME TO BE by Charlotte Foltz Jones.  Jones tells the story of a lot of great inventions including Post-it Notes, Penicillin, Coca-Cola,  chocolate chip cookies and lots more.  She also includes fun facts about many of the inventions:

Americans eat more than three hundred million sandwiches every day – an amazing statistic, since there are slightly more than three hundred million Americans.

John O’Brien’s great illustrations are eye catching and do much to enhance this book and will help keep kids engaged.  The back of the book contains a bibliography and index and includes information on the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

I loved the stories and the fun facts in this book but, even more than that, I loved the message it contains – that it’s okay to make mistakes.  I’m sure this book will inspire many 8 to 12 year olds.  Be sure to pick up MISTAKES THAT WORKED for the curious kids in your life!

Ikid konnection new 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 Penguin Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.

Happy Thanksgiving

November 24, 2016


Happy Thanksgiving to my American readers!  I hope everyone has much to be thankful for and I wish you a day full of family, food, and fun.