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Mailbox Monday

August 8, 2016

Mailbox Monday August 8

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.   Last week was quiet and uneventful and I consider that a good thing.  It’s hotter than heck here but, thankfully, we’re supposed to see cooler temperatures this week.  I found these goodies in my mailbox:






What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: Animal Planet Animal Atlas

August 5, 2016

Animal Atlas

Time Inc. and Animal Planet have teamed up to publish another fabulous book for kids – Animal Planet Animal Atlas by James Buckley, Jr.  This atlas is a little different than most in that it divides continents up by biomes rather than countries so young readers learn about eight different biomes and the animals that live in them.

Each continent has a native animal as its tour guide to share interesting facts.  There are also “ROAR” boxes on conservation and “Surprisingly Human” boxes that show the ways humans are similar to other animals.  This book is filled with gorgeous photographs and wonderful illustrations by Aaron Meshon and also includes a glossary and index in the back.

I adored Animal Planet Animal Atlas and think most kids will too.  I loved the illustrations and photographs and learned quite a bit as I read this book.  Did you know scarlet macaws use their left foot for food and stand on their right foot?  I learned jaguar’s spots are called rosettes and three-toed sloths are so slow algae grows on them.  This is the kind of book kids will pick up over and over again.  I have to agree with Stacie, though – the book is a little large – at approximately 11¼ x 13, it’s a little unwieldy to hold in your lap.  I can picture kids lying on the floor happily perusing its pages and enjoying the large photographs so the size probably won’t bother them.  Pick up a copy of Animal Planet Animal Atlas – it belongs in every home and school library.

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 Blue Slip Media.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Review: The Round House

August 4, 2016

The Round House


Joe’s mother, Geraldine, is brutally raped near the tribal round house and sinks into a depression.  She stays in her room no matter what Joe and his father, Bazil, a judge on their reservation, do.  Since there’s no one to stop him, Joe decides to look into the case himself and, with the help of his friends, learns some shocking things.

The Round House by Louise Erdrich is told from the point of view of thirteen year old Joe.  Since adults don’t share everything with a child that age, he had to learn some things on his own, adding an element of mystery to the story.  I enjoyed the story and appreciated all that I learned from it, but I can’t say that I loved it.  I thought the story itself was terrific but it was told in a sort of round about way so the book dragged in parts for me.  I’m very glad I read the book, though, and think it has a lot of merit.  It’s possible that it’s just a little too smart for me.

Since The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2012, my book club decided to read it this month.  I missed the meeting but spoke to several members and most of them felt the way I did.  A few said they couldn’t finish the book and one person loved it.  I heard that it generated a great discussion and I’m sorry I had to miss the meeting.

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

Wondrous Words Wednesday

August 3, 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!

I haven’t found any new words this week so I had to turn to my Word-a-Day calendar.

1. brachiate – “Sarah sat on the park bench and watched as her five-year-old son confidently brachiated along the monkey bars.”

Brachiate is a verb that means to progress by swinging from hold to hold by the arms.


2. volte-face – “The candidate’s volte-face on the proposed property tax cap struck many voters as opportunistic and insincere.”

Volte-face is a noun that means a reversal in policy: about face.


2. doughty – “Noticing that the cashier shorted him a nickel, the doughty child marched up to the counter and demanded it from her.”

Doughty is an adjective that means marked by fearless resolution: valiant.


What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: Prayers for Sale

August 2, 2016

Prayers for Sale

Seventeen year old Nit Spindle moves to Middle Swan, Colorado with her new husband.  She’s recently lost a baby and is grieving and lonely.  When she sees a sign that says “Prayers for Sale,” she approaches the house and finds a kindred spirit in eighty six year old Hennie Comfort.  Hennie senses the young woman needs help and takes her under her wing – she shares stories with her and brings her into her quilting circle.

Prayers for Sale by Sandra Dallas is the story of an unlikely friendship between two women who are generations apart but have much in common.  Their lives haven’t always been easy and they find themselves in a mining town that’s seen better days.  The two bond quickly and form a lasting friendship.  I enjoyed the women and their friendship but can’t say I loved the book.  The book didn’t always hold my attention so, for me, it was good, but not great.

The audio version of Prayers for Sale is read by one of my favorite narrators,  Maggi-Meg Reed.  As usual, she nailed the voices and dialogue but I found my mind wandering during some of the book.  I’m not sure if it was the story or the narration.  I do think historical fiction lovers will enjoy this book more than I did.

I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Mailbox Monday

August 1, 2016

Mailbox Monday August 1

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.    Last week was busy but fun!  Carl and I made a spur of the moment trip to Richmond and, after we got back, my friends and I won at trivia!  I’m looking forward to a slower pace this week.  I found these goodies in my mailbox last week:




What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review – Big Nate: Revenge of the Cream Puffs

July 29, 2016


Revenge of the Cream Puffs

Big Nate is up to his usual antics at school and at home – he always try to figure out a way to do less and get more and it usually lands him in hot water.  This year, his baseball team is sponsored by Cressly’s Bakery and have been stuck with the worst name ever – the Cream Puffs.  They don’t get a lot of respect with a name like that but manage to persevere.  When it’s time for the big game, the team is riddled with injuries and sick players and they’re forced to turn to their bench.

Even though they’re aimed at middle grade readers, I’m a big fan of Lincoln Peirce‘s Big Nate books and was excited to read the latest book in the series, Big Nate: The Revenge of the Cream Puffs.  This book did not disappoint.  Nate has an over-inflated sense of importance and is always trying to figure out a way around things.  Things rarely go the way he planned so he stays in trouble.  You can’t help but like him, though, because he’s earnest and really does have good intentions.  I think the real appeal of Big Nate is that most people see a little of themselves in him.

kid konnection new

I 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 Andrews McMeel Publishing.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

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