Friday, December 19, 2014

The Animal's Santa by Jan Brett, Book Review

By: Jan Brett
Published by: Putnam Juvenile 
Released on: October 21st, 2014
Source: purchased
Rating: 5 Owls - We Loved It
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

When Big Snowshoe tells Little Snow that the animals’ Santa is coming with presents for everyone, Little Snow wants to know who he is. The animals say they have never seen him.  Maybe he’s a badger, a moose, a polar bear, or a wolf, they tell him.  But this spunky little rabbit thinks they are just fooling him.

On Christmas Eve, Big Snowshoe finds a way to see the animals' Santa when a Snowy Owl in a red cap swoops down with a pack full of presents.  Never again will an excited Little Snow doubt that there is an animals' Santa.

If you're looking for that special book to pick up this Christmas/Holiday season, this is one I'd recommend picking up. 

It's Little Snow's first Christmas, and Big Snowshoe tells him about the animal's santa. Each Christmas Eve the animal's Santa comes and brings a gift for each animal. Could he be a moose, a polar bear or a wolf? No one knows. Though no animal has ever seen him, they believe he's real. 

Little Snow doubts what Big Snowshoe and all the other animals are saying. He feels as though that they are all being fooled. That is until a special visitor pays the animals a visit on Christmas Eve. Readers will enjoy reading this story, and discovering which animal is the animal's Santa. Like her previous books, Brett's enchanting illustrations found within each page tell the story of Christmas past and present. 

Both the story and the illustrations compliment each other perfectly. True to Bret's previous books, the illustrations that grace each page tell the story beautifully. The small illustrations found within each corner of the pages though out the book tell a visual story that supports the one Big Snowshoe is telling. Little readers will not only enjoy the story as it's being read, they'll also enjoy looking at all of the illustrations. This book is the perfect Christmas picture book. 

Jan Brett is one of our all time favorite children authors and illustrators. Her whimsical illustrations and heartwarming stories have been a childhood favorite of mine, and I love being able to share her stories with my own children. The Animal's Santa, Brett's newest release, is a must have for fans of Jan Brett. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

10 Children’s Books Perfect for the Winter Holidays

Looking for that perfect book to celebrate the Winter holidays? Harper Collins Children's has put together a great list of 10 Children's Books Perfect for the Winter Holidays. Check out which books they've selected below:

Be sure to check out  their original post here. You'll be more information about each book.
 Happy Holidays & Happy Reading!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Perfect Princess Christmas, Book Review

By: Walt Disney Company
Published by: Disney Press
Released on: September 9th, 2014
Ages: 3 & up
Rating: 5 Owls - We Loved It
Source: book to review from publisher in exchange for my honest review
Purchase from: any of your favorite online retailers, Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Bonus: The book includes a free Royal Christmas app for our iPhone and iPad

Now little girls can celebrate the holidays with the Disney Princesses! From crackling fires and snowy sleigh rides to beachside gatherings and New Orleans feasts, each princess does Christmas her own way. These four Christmas-themed stories star Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella, Tiana, and their family and friends as they deck their castle halls. With gorgeous illustrations on every page, plus a foil-stamped jacket, this 96-page storybook is sure to be an instant classic. Plus, download the Royal Christmas app!

Beautiful illustrations with four great stories that capture the meaning of the Christmas season. Disney Princess fans will enjoy reading this collection of Christmas short stories featuring their favorite Princesses from The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and The Princess and the Frog. Readers will enjoy finding out how each Princess gets ready for the Christmas holiday.

Ariel's adventure is a holiday treasure hunt. When Max the dog takes all the gifts she has purchased for her family, and buried them, she tries to locate where each gift is hidden at. Princess Aurora wants to create something special and homemade for Prince Phillip, and enlists help from fairies Flora, Fauna and Merryweather.  Cinderella wants to do something nice for those who are always helping them, and plans the perfect Christmas party. Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen are getting ready to have family and friends over for a Christmas Eve party. While they're getting ready for the party Princess Tiana shares the traditions she grew up with and loves with Prince Naveen.

A great collection of stories, Disney fans will enjoy this book. Be sure to download the free Royal Christmas app for iPhones and iPads, that comes with this book.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Adventures with Barefoot Critters: An ABC Book by Teagan White, Book Review

By & Illustrated by: Teagan White
Published by: Tundra Books
Released on: June 24th, 2014
Source: Bought
Rating: 5 Owls - We LOVED It!
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Join an adorable cast of animal characters as they explore the alphabet through the seasons. From gathering honey in spring to building cozy campfires in fall, the friends make the most of each season, both enjoying the great outdoors and staying snug inside. Learning the alphabet is fun when adventuring with these critters, and children and adults alike will delight in Teagan White's sweet, nostalgic illustrations.

This book is simply adorable! I adore the illustrations in this book, as well as the way this story takes readers through the four season, while teaching readers their ABC's.

Teagan White is an author/illustrator whom is now on my radar. I love that she created a children's ABC picture book that teaches kids their abc's by letter identification. Each word that begins with the letter being taught is a different color, so that it stands out for easy identification. For example, for C, she includes the words: catch, colds, can't, and each of those three words stands out among the other words on that page, so that children can easily identify those words.

The illustrations that accompany each page are simply adorable! I love the charming woodland critters, and want to decorate my library with them. The inside flap of the hard cover book has a poster that can easily be framed and hung up. I'm hoping Teagan White has an Esty shop, because I would seriously purchase some of her artwork, it's that adorable.  I'm looking forward to reading more of her children's pictures book.

This is a must have book! It's one that will make a great gift.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Day Dreamers: A Journey of Imagination by Emily Winfield Martin, Book Review

Written & Illustrated By: Emily Winfield Martin
Published by: Random House
Released on: August 26th, 2014
Source: purchased
Rating: 5 Owls - We Loved It
Ages: all ages
Purchase it From: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

This companion to Dream Animals celebrates the imagination and will have children dreaming both day and night!
Emily Winfield Martin's newest picture book shows readers that letting their imaginations run free will lead them into fantastical day dreams. Whether cloud-gazing or wandering through a museum, reading a book or playing in a tide-pool, the children in this picture book find themselves in places  inhabited by magical creatures such as dragons, unicorns, griffins, and jackalopes. A whimsical rhyme accompanies the dream-worthy illustrations.

Emily Martin does it again. With the companion to her Dream Animals, Martin takes readers on a whimsical adventure to the land of wonder and dreams with Day Dreamers. There's nothing more magical than a picture book that brings to life an enchanting world of imagination. With creatures you wish you could fly through the clouds on, Martin's lovely illustrations and beautiful words create a book that readers of all ages will enjoy.

I have been an Emily Martin fan since I first discovered her Etsy shop, The Black Apple years ago. I absolutely love that her whimsical illustrations now graces the pages of children's books. I have a few of her framed artwork in my library and office, and I love that now I'm able to purchase her artwork in the form of children's pictures books.

I highly recommend picking up Day Dreamers and it's companion, Dream Animals. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Merry Christmas Cookbook, Book Review

By: Walt Disney Company
Published by: Disney Press
Released on: September 16th, 2014
Source: book from publisher in exchange for my honest review
Ages: 5 & up
Rating: 4 Owls - We Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Treat your taste buds to a feast of traditional holiday delights! With simple step-by-step instructions, helpful cooking tips, color photographs, and charming character art, this book is the perfect way for parents and children to make holiday magic in the kitchen! A rating system lets kids know how difficult the recipes are, and cooking tips are sprinkled throughout. Kids will enjoy making Rolly's Spotted Cranberry Pancakes, Sugar Rush Popcorn Gumdrop Garland and Anna's Frozen Ice Candy!

This is a great cookbook for Disney fans young and old. With it's easy to read and easy to follow directions, detailed pictures of what you're preparing/cooking, and illustrations of Disney characters with each recipe it will make learning to cook, and cooking together fun. This cookbook is sure to create lasting memories in the kitchen. This cookbook is great for young children, and parents, as well as kids that are looking to do more in the kitchen on their own with parental supervision. Parents will love that these are healthy recipes using many of the ingredients they'll most likely already have on hand. I'd definitely recommend picking this one up.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Image found via Google

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I'm grateful for many things, but being that this is a book blog, I'm so grateful for Books! 
I'm grateful to those who inspired my love of reading as a kid, and supported it.
I'm grateful for the friendships I've made through books, and the many opportunities that have come my way through my love of reading. I'm grateful that I'm able to promote reading through my blogs, and to each of you who visit my blogs, and support what I do. 
I'm grateful to those who write children's books, those who publisher, promote them, review them, and read them. I'm so grateful that books have been and will always be a huge part of my life.

I hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving and that it's filled with love, laughter, family, friends and books. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

HOME Movie Trailer

Looking for a family friendly movie to take your kiddos to this Spring? 
Check out the newly released trailer for HOME, coming March 27th, 2015 from DREAMWORKS.

Watch the movie trailer: 

When Earth is taken over by the overly-confident Boov, an alien race in search of a new place to call home, all humans are promptly relocated, while all Boov get busy reorganizing the planet. But when one resourceful girl, Tip, (Rihanna, who also contributes a song) manages to avoid capture, she finds herself the accidental accomplice of a banished Boov named Oh (Jim Parsons). The two fugitives realize there’s a lot more at stake than intergalactic relations as they embark on the road trip of a lifetime. 

Release: March 27, 2015, in 3D
Director: Tim Johnson
Screenplay by: TBD, based upon the novel The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex
Producers: Chris Jenkins, Suzanne Buirgy
Cast: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, and Jennifer Lopez

HOME Official Socials

DreamWorks Animation Official Socials

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

10 Children’s Books that Celebrate Thanksgiving

Happy almost Thanksgiving! 
If you're looking for some books to share with you children about Thanksgiving, check out these titles from Harper Collins Children's Books. They recently shared their list of 10 Children's Books That Celebrate Thanksgiving.

To find more about each book, visit Harper Collins Children's, 10 Children's Books that Celebrate Thanksgiving list here

Monday, November 24, 2014

Signed MG & KidLit Books Available During Barnes & Noble's Black Friday Sales

What's better than a book sale? Having signed books on sale! This Friday (which just happens to be Black Friday, and a day I avoid going to any store at all costs), Barnes & Noble is having an incredible Black Friday sale. Their sale includes a limited number of signed YA, MG & Kidlit books. This sale is for *in stores only*. Check out some of the books that will be available on Friday, here. I love seeing a variety of MG and children's picture books on this list. I may have to make an exception and venture out to the store on Friday. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Bed for Kitty by Yasmine Surovec, Book Review

By: Yasmine Surovec
Published by: Roaring Book Press (MacMillan)
Released on: September 23rd, 2014
Source: book from publisher to review in exchange for my honest review
Rating: 4 Stars
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Sweet dreams, Kitty! This adorable bedtime book from the creator of I See Kitty is perfect for tucking the very youngest cat lovers in at night.

Kitty sleeps everywhere: on the TV, in the sink, even in her litter box! But she never sleeps in her own bed. This follow up to Yasmine Surovec's I See Kitty shows that sometimes it takes a friend to find the perfect place to sleep. With bright, bold artwork, A Bed for Kitty will charm very young readers with its gentle humor and genuine warmth.

Reviewed by my daughter:

I really liked it. It's a cute book. Chloe gets her kitty a new bed, but her kitty sleeps every where but the bed. The kitty sleeps on Chloe's chair, her socks, her bookcase, on her dad's slippers, and her mom's sweater. It's funny, because Kitty won't sleep in her new bed until Chloe goes an lays on her bed, and then Kitty lays on it.

My thoughts:

A cute, easy to read book for young readers. Chloe gets her kitty a new bed, but Kitty will sleep every where but her bed. She sleeps on Chloe's socks, in her sink, on her chair, and just about anywhere else. Chloe wonders why this, because she got her Kitty a nice bed. It's not until Chloe lays on the bed does her Kitty come over and lay on her bed with her. 

I liked that this was a book my daughter and I could read together. The words are simply, and easy to read. The illustrations are just as a cute as Yasmine's previous book. I think fans of Surovec's will enjoy this one. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

50 Books Every Kid Should Read

Happy Marvelous Middle Grade Monday! 
Today kicked off my first day of sales for my Scholastic Book Fair, which means I won't be online much at all this week, hence the reason why I'm a little late in getting this post up today. 

Entertainment Weekly recently published a list of 50 Books Every Kid Should Read!
I love the variety of books featured on this list. I've found that there are many books on this list that I either read as a child or have read to my own children. There are a handful of books on the list I've yet to read. Check out their list here to see if your favorite kid lit books made the list. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Little Red Riding Hood adapted by Sybille Schenker, Book Review

Adapted and Illustrated By: Sybille Schenker
Originally written by: Jacob Grimm
Published by: MINEDITION
Released on: October 1st, 2014
Source: received from publisher in exchange for my honest review
Rating: 4 Owls - I Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

A fresh take on a timeless fairy tale

This stunning edition of the favorite fable about a little girl in red on her journey through the woods makes brilliant use of laser die-cut paper and silhouette-like illustrations to enliven every page. Sybille Schenker’s evocative and exquisite illustrations bring a unique beauty and graphic excellence to this beloved favorite.

A beautiful companion to Schenker's Hansel and Gretel. With it's beautiful silhouetted illustrations, this tale of Little Red Riding follows the dark tale of the original telling. Though the adaptation feels a little choppy at times, the story and it's message come across clearly. The unique illustrations make this book stand out among children's books. The book is worth having for the illustrations alone. I've not seen anything else like them, other than in Schenker's previous book. With it's delicate pages, this Little Red Riding book is not one I'd recommend for little hands. This is book that fans of fairy tales of all ages will enjoy. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day

Image found via google

It's VETERANS DAY and we'd like to take a moment to say
THANK YOU to all who have served our country, and protected our freedoms. 
We thank you and your families for your sacrifices. 

Please take a moment today and tell a veteran THANK YOU for their service! 

If you're looking for some great material to teach your kids about Veterans Day, check out my post here

Monday, November 10, 2014

Veterans Day: Teaching References & Children's Books Honoring our Veterans

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day, and Scholastic some great tools for parents and teachers to use to teach our children about the importance of that day. Whether your child is elementary ages or middle school ages, check out Scholastic's online resources about Veterans Day. Then check out some of these great titles that honor those who have served their countries!

What are some of your favorite books that honor our Veterans?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

BLIZZARD by John Rocco, Book Review

Hello & Welcome to the BLIZZARD blog tour! I'm so thrilled to kick off Disney Hyperion's tour for John Rocco's newest release. Grab a cozy blanket, get a warm cup of cocoa and get ready to enjoy the BLIZZARD. 

By: Jon Rocco
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: 10.30.14
Ages: 3 & up
Rating: 5 Owlets - Loved It!
Add it to Goodreads
Purchase it from: Amazon | B&N
Source: book from publisher to review, in exchange for my honest review

Blizzard opens with a boy’s excitement upon seeing the first snowflake fall outside his classroom window. It ends with the neighborhood’s immense relief upon seeing the first snowplow finally break through on their street many days later. In between the boy watches his familiar landscape transform into something alien, and readers watch him transform into a hero who puts the needs of others first. John cleverly uses increasing amounts of white space in his playful and nostalgic images, which include full-bleeds, comic panels, and a glorious gatefold spread of the boy's circuitous expedition to the store. 

Whether readers are all-too-familiar with blizzards or have never experienced the wonder of a winter storm, John Rocco’s BLIZZARD is as delicious as a mug of hot cocoa by the fire on a snowy day.

Rocco has created another fantastic, award worthy children's book that fans of all ages will enjoy.

A beautifully illustrated children's picture book, BLIZZARD is an autobiographical story of the 1978 blizzard that hit parts of the North East, bringing with it 53 inches of snow. Author/illustrator John Rocco drew from his own experience as a young kid during that blizzard to create a story fans old and young alike will enjoy. With what I imagine started out as fun and memorable snow day, quickly turned into one of fear and panic for some. Unlike today's technology world, back during this book's era, there were no cell phones, or internet service, making it much harder to stay connected to each other. Rocco does a brilliant job at keeping his story light and adventurous, making it easy for young readers to engage with the story.

What's a young boy to do when his family and neighbors are all snow bound, and supplies are running low, and there's no help in sight? He becomes a hero! Young John sets off to the grocery store to try and get a few things they're in need of. Escaping from his bedroom window, since the door can't open with all the snow piled up against, his trusty map in hand, and tennis rackets for snowshoes, John heads to the store. A trek that seems a little difficult at first, but thankfully he makes it, and gets all the items his family and neighbors are in need of.

I loved the illustrations in BLIZZARD. Rocco is a great story teller, and a gift illustrator. His illustrations are some of my favorite in children's literature. With Blizzard, he captured that simpler way of life during this era perfectly. He didn't leave out any details too little or too big in his illustrations. I loved looking through the book with my kids, and then reading the book with them. Like BLACKOUT, Rocco has created another fantastic, award worthy children's book that fans of all ages will enjoy.

If you're looking to curl up with a fantastic children's book on a cool afternoon, I highly recommend picking this one up! Just be sure that you're snuggled under warm blankets or near a warm fire, so you stay warm while reading it.

Check out a spread from BLIZZARD below: (click on the image to enlarge)

You can also learn more on and find John on Facebook and Twitter

About John Rocco

Rocco studied illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design and School of Visual Arts in New York City. He is the author of four acclaimed books for children: Wolf! Wolf!, winner of the Borders Original Voices Award for best picture book; Moonpowder, part of the Original Art Show at the Society of Illustrators; Fu Finds the Way, and Blackout, a New York Times Best Book of the Year and winner of a 2012 Caldecott Honor. 

Rocco also illustrated Whoopi Goldberg‘s Alice and the covers for Rick Riordan‘s multi-million copy internationally bestselling series Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Kane Chronicles, and The Heroes of Olympus. Most recently, Rocco illustrated the fantasy fairy tale, The Flint Heart, written by Katherine Paterson and her husband, John. For many years Rocco has been an art director in the entertainment industry, both in the US and abroad. 

At Dreamworks, Rocco was the pre-production art director on the top-grossing animated film Shrek. For Walt Disney Imagineering, he designed attractions at Disney’s Epcot and served as art director for DisneyQuest, a virtual reality theme park in Downtown Disney. Rocco has worked with computer graphics pioneer Robert Abel, the creator of some of the first CGI commercials and special effects, and contributed to several museum projects including Newseum in Washington D.C. and Paul Allen‘s Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.Rocco lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Aileen and their daughter, Alaya.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Blizzard Blog Tour! There are fantastic author interviews, sneak peeks at the artwork inside the book, and giveaways.

Thursday, November 6  - Mundie Kids
Friday, November 7 - Kid Lit Frenzy                                                                                     
Monday, November 10 -  The Children’s Book Review        
Tuesday, November 11 - The Kids Did It                   
Wednesday, November 12 - OC Mom Media                                
Thursday, November 13 -  As They Grow Up                             
Friday, November 14 - Curling Up With a Good Book     
Monday, November 17  - Ben Spark                                            
Tuesday, November 18 - Mr. Schu Reads                                 
Thursday, November 20 - Elizabeth Dulemba                          

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Goodreads 2014 Choice Awards: Best Picture Books of 2014

Goodreads recently announced their list for the Best Picture Books of 2014 for their 2014 Choice Awards. They need your vote! Check out this year's Best Pictures Books:


 For as much I love picture books, I have to say I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I've only read a small handful of these. One of the things I love about this list, is getting some new book rececommendadatins. Be sure to head over to HERE and vote for your favorite!

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~