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Review: Marcel

September 2, 2016

Marcel

 

Marcel is a cute little French bulldog who lives in New York City.  He loves it there and thinks his human is the best in the world.  They keep running into the same man, which seems to please his human, but Marcel’s not so sure he likes it.  But then, one day, the new human in his life slips Marcel into his jacket and sneaks him into the museum and Marcel thinks this new arrangement just might work out.

Marcel by Eda Akaltun is an adorable picture book about accepting change.  Marcel is perfectly happy in his life and can’t understand why his human would want someone else in hers.  He thinks things are moving too fast and wishes everything would go back to the way it used to be.  When the new human does something special for him, Marcel realizes there is room for others in his life.

Young children will delight in the gorgeous illustrations of the cute little dog and will learn a lesson about accepting change and new people.  I think Marcel would be especially relevant for children who have a parent in a new relationship.

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.

I won this book from Flying Eye Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Review: 9 1/2 Narrow

September 1, 2016

9 and a half Narrow

Patricia Morrisroe has always been drawn to shoes and tells her life story through the shoes she’s worn.

While I can’t always recall the dresses or coats I wore on various occasions, I have a vivid memory of the white Mary Janes that represented my first shoe “crush”; the confirmation wedges that celebrated my entrance to adulthood; the red patent-leather Puma sneakers my husband sported on our first date; the gray ostrich flats I wore to a girlfriend’s funeral; the New Balance sneakers I bought my elderly mother, who was losing her balance and was too proud to use a cane.

9 1/2 Narrow: My Life in Shoes is Morrisroe’s story told in vignettes around the shoes that marked the occasions.  I’m going to admit to being shallow here and say that I was initially drawn to this book because I wear the same size shoe as Morrisroe.  Morrisroe’s story isn’t particularly unique but her way of telling it is and I was charmed by it.  She starts her story when she was ten and longing for a pair of white Mary Janes and ends it after the death of her mother and the discovery of her baby book in which her mother inscribed, “She loves wearing my shoes.”  In between, readers learn of her courtship with her husband and her difficult relationship with one of her sisters as well background on some well known shoe designers.

Morrisroe tells her story in a light, off-handed way and I found it to be a quick, fun read.  I could relate to her obsession with shoes and like the way she framed each story around a pair of them.  If you enjoy memoirs and/or shoes, you’ll want to pick up 9 1/2 Narrow.

Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

August 31, 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 guess I haven’t been reading anything too challenging because, once again, I had to turn to my Word-a-Day calendar.

1. mansuetude – “The mansuetude of Tina’s voice made it hard for her teachers to hear her over the drone of her louder classmates.”

Mansuetude is a noun that means the quality or state of being gentle: meekness or tameness.

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2. verjuice – “Seared foie gras balances atop a miniature tart filled with braised green grapes in a verjuice reduction . . . .” — S. Irene Virbila, Los Angeles Times, February 23, 2005

Verjuice is the sour juice of crab apples or of unripe fruit; also: an acid liquor made from verjuice.

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3. precocial – “The mallard is a type of precocial bird that can often fly independently just 24 hours after hatching.”

Precocial is an adjective that means capable of a high degree of independent activity from birth.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: The Couple Next Door

August 30, 2016

The Couple Next Door

When Anne and Marco leave their baby at home alone to attend a dinner party next door, they figure everything will be fine. The two houses are attached so they’re not that far away plus they’ve brought the baby monitor with them. The couple take turns running home to check on the baby and when they return home together at the end of the evening, they encounter a parent’s worst nightmare – the front door is ajar and their baby is missing.

No one is totally innocent so everyone’s a suspect in The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. The book started out with a bang for me. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough and just had to know what was going on. It seemed everyone had some dirty secret they didn’t want revealed. There was plenty of tension and twists to keep me invested in the story the whole time but the ending felt a little complicated and rushed to me. The book was a quick read and, overall, it was satisfying for me. I liked it a lot but wouldn’t say I loved it.  I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more from this author.

Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.

Mailbox Monday

August 29, 2016

Mailbox Monday August 29

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.    I’m back from my mom’s and still playing catch-up.  This will be a busy week because I’ll be filling in for Vance all week.  I found these goodies in my mailbox last week:

Wednesday

Friday

Saturday

What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: 101 Reasons Why I’m Not Taking a Bath

August 26, 2016

101 Reasons

When a young boy is told it’s time to take a bath, he balks and comes up with lots of reasons to stay out of the tub.  Of course, once the little guy gets in the tub and starts having fun, he doesn’t want to get out and suggests he can give you 102 reasons why he should stay in the bath.

101 Reasons Why I’m Not Taking a Bath by Stacy McAnulty is just what it sounds like – a list of reasons to stay out of the bathtub.  Some of the reasons are just what you’d expect – “I’m not dirty” – and others are clever, funny, and sure to produce giggles from little ones.  I think both parents and kids will be able to relate to this cute book.  Joy Ang‘s colorful illustrations add to this story about a typical kid.  Pick this book up to share a laugh with your little one.

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.

Review: Jonathan Unleashed

August 25, 2016

Jonathan Unleashed

Jonathan is living what he thought was the dream – he’s landed a job in advertising in New York City.  There are a couple catches, though – he hates his job, his apartment is questionable, and his relationship with his girlfriend is strained.  Jonathan’s brother asks him to take care of his two dogs while he’s out of the country and, with the help of the two dogs, Jonathan discovers what he truly wants in life.

Jonathan Unleashed by Meg Rosoff is a cute, chick lit book about growing up and moving on.  Jonathan is an amiable young man – riding the wave of life and pretty much going along with what everyone else wants.  A friend gets him his job, his brother dumps his dogs on him, and his girlfriends presses him to get married when her magazine offers to foot the bill.

Jonathan’s not particularly happy but figures that’s the way life’s supposed to be.  He projects his unhappiness upon the dogs and becomes a regular at the local vet’s office.  It’s a good thing the dog’s are around because they sense what’s going on and lead Jonathan in the right direction.

I picked up Jonathan Unleashed after Jill said she and her husband enjoyed it and laughed out loud as they read it.  I enjoyed the book too – it’s smart, clever, and fun, even when it’s somewhat predictable.  It’s not necessary to love dogs to enjoy this book but I think animal lovers will like it more.  Qwerty Films has bought the movie options for Jonathan Unleashed and I think it will make a cute movie.  Pick this book up when you’re in the mood for something light and fun!

Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.