Wednesday, February 10, 2016

FOXHEART by Claire LeGrand / Cover Reveal

Welcome to today's cover reveal for Claire Legrand upcoming middle grade release, FOXHEART. I am so thrilled to help reveal the cover for this book. It is a stunner! Once you see it, I think you'll agree with us. Check out the cover below!


What an fabulous cover! Fans of Legrand's will be happy to know that FOXHEART'S main character is someone they already know. To find out more about who she is, check out my interview with Claire below. First, check out this exclusive first look of the inside artwork of FOXHEART. 

I can't wait for this book to be out! I love artwork in middle grade books. 



Hi Claire! I love the cover for Foxheart! What was your first impression when you saw the cover?

COMPLETE AND ALL-CONSUMING LOVE. I know, all caps, it's like I'm screaming at you, but seriously--from the very first mock-up, the Greenwillow team's vision for this cover--and illustrator Jaime Zollars's talent--blew me away. There are so many important details in this cover! And I love how the design makes it feel like you're peering out of a dark, dreary world into a world bright with magic and possibilities. Very fitting for Quicksilver's story. (Also, isn't Quicksilver's hair rad? I wants it.)

I love the title of this book! How did you go about coming up with the title Foxheart?

The original title was Quicksilver, but given that Marvel comics movie adaptations aren't going anywhere anytime soon, we needed to change the title so people wouldn't confuse it with the superhero of the same name. We threw around a few ideas, but Foxheart stuck. Quicksilver has a dog named Fox, who is also her best friend. And Quicksilver herself--a thief and a pretty good liar, too--is clever and swift, just like a fox. So the title worked well for a lot of reasons.

Quicksilver is a character fans of your short story "Quicksilver and the Stranger" from The Cabinet of Curiosities will recognize. What was it about this spunky character that made you want to give her her own book? 

I had no idea what I was going to do when I sat down to write the Cabinet story that month. Our theme was "tricks", so I thought, "Okay, tricks...maybe I'll write about a thief who plays tricks on people," and that was that. But I had no idea how deeply I would fall in love with my little thief. One moment in the story particularly struck me: Quicksilver doesn't feel remorse when she steals things--except for when she stole a statue of Saint Agatha from the convent where she was raised. The story says, "She had run away from the silent, stern Sisters as soon as she was strong enough, but one thing the Sisters had taught her was the beauty of prayer and faith, and she had never forgotten it." So here's this pretty ruthless, rebellious thief who treasures a statue of a saint. She stole it because she loves beauty and the idea of faith, of belief, and wanted a talisman to remind her of those things. That character trait of hers just came out of nowhere and fascinated me. I thought, "Who is this fierce, strange little bean?!" I had to know more about her. And I'm so glad my editor wanted to know more, too!

What is something you have come to admire about Quicksilver?

What don't I admire about her? She's resilient and witty. She's stubborn and rash and a liar. Sometimes she's a little bit heartless--and other times she feels and loves so deeply that she makes me cry. She's incredibly brave--not because she's fearless (although she'd never admit she's ever frightened of anything, ever) but because she keeps going even when every instinct screams at her to run away and give up. 

What are three things fans can expect to find in Foxheart

Witches (obviously). People with awesomely colored hair (#hairenvy). Bloodthirsty unicorns (YES).

Aside from Quicksilver, which character did you enjoy getting to know? Who surprised you in this story?

I typed like three different answers to this question, all full of spoilers. Eep! I'll just say that I loved getting to know Quicksilver's older self. She's like Quicksilver, and yet so different. Exploring different aspects of Quicksilver's personality by getting to know an older version of her was constantly surprising--not to mention wicked fun.

Can fans expect more middle grade books from you in the near future? 

Absolutely! Nothing I can talk about yet, but I deeply love middle grade and never plan to stop writing it. :)



ABOUT THE BOOK

By: Claire Legrand
Illustrated by: Jaime Zollars
Published by: Greenwillow Books
To Be Released on: October 4th, 2016
Add it to Goodreads
Find out more about the book here 

Hundreds of years ago, the Wolf King united the seven kingdoms of the Star Lands and began his Hunt, endeavoring to kill all the witches in the land. With seven enchanted wolves by his side, he has nearly eradicated witchcraft from the Star Lands, and the people worship him as a kind savior.

But when a man matching the Wolf King’s description attacks the convent where twelve-year-old Quicksilver has been raised, she quickly realizes the king is not who they thought he was. 

Now running for her life, Quicksilver finds herself face to face with an older version of herself named Anastazia. Together with a young thief-in-training named Sly Boots and her dog, Fox, Quicksilver hurtles back through time in an attempt to dethrone the Wolf King before his Hunt is complete. 

Full of magic, adventure, and an original and compelling cast of characters, QUICKSILVER is a fast-paced fantasy reminiscent of HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Ordinary People Change the World: I AM HELEN KELLER by Brad Meltzer / Book Review #OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld



Ordinary People Change The World is a fantastic series for kids. Let me rephrase that, it's great for adults as well. I've enjoyed reading these books along side my children. I'm thrilled to have the chance to spotlight the entire series though out the month of Febraury, here on Mundie Kids. A couple weeks back I shared my 5 star review for I Am Martin Luther King, Jr here. What a great book. I don't think you could go wrong with picking up any or all the books in this series. Today I'm thrilled to share my review for I Am Helen Keller

ABOUT THE BOOK


By: Brad Meltzer
Illustrated by: Christopher Eliopoulos
Published by: Dial Books for Young Readers
Released on: September 15th, 2015
Purchase from: The AuthorThe Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - I Loved It
*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

We can all be heroes. That’s the inspiring message of this New York Times Bestselling picture book biography series from historian and author Brad Meltzer

When Helen Keller was very young, she got a rare disease that made her deaf and blind. Suddenly, she couldn't see or hear at all, and it was hard for her to communicate with anyone. But when she was six years old, she met someone who change her life forever: her teacher, Annie Sullivan. With Miss Sullivan's help, Helen learned how to speak sign language and read Braille. Armed with the ability to express herself, Helen grew up to be come a social activist, leading the fight for people with disabilities and so many other causes.

"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched, but just felt in the heart." - Helen Keller 

Out of all the wonderful books in this series, the story of Helen Keller is by far my favorite. I love the way Brad Metlzer wrote Helen's story. It's an informative book that is written in a manner that it's relatable for children, and easy for them to understand what they're reading/what's being read to them. I even learned a few new things myself, reading this book. Within this book's pages readers will learn more about Helen Keller, get to read their name in braille (which we thought was really cool), see actual pictures of Helen, and see the timeline of her life, and achievements. 

One of the things I love about this book, is that it not only teaches readers about who Helen Keller was, it also inspires young readers, that no matter the obstacles you face in life, there will always be away around them (a quote that is referenced in the book). Helen Keller will inspire readers to not let their obstacle, whatever it may be, hold them back. Helen Keller is an inspirational women, who proved that once you put your mind to something, you can accomplish anything, no matter what anyone says. She proved this as a child, and it's something that stuck with her through out the rest of her life. 

As I'll say for all the books in this entire series, this is one that is worth picking up! Though if you had to only choose one book in the series, I would say pick up this one. I Am Helen Keller is perfect for in home libraries, classrooms, and both school and public libraries.  It's also the perfect reference for elementary school history projects and biographies. The illustrations are great, and compliment Meltzer's writing perfectly.  


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Monday, February 8, 2016

Here Comes Valentine Cat by Deborah Underwood / Book Review


By: Deborah Underwood
Illustrated by: Claudia Rueda 
Published by: Dial Books for Young Readers
Released on: December 22nd, 2015
Ages: All 
Purchase from: The Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It!
*I received this book from the publisher to review, in exchange for my honest review

The New York Times bestselling Cat is back just in time for Valentine’s Day—but he’s not interested in giving a valentine to any old dog. This homage to classic comic strips is perfect for fans of Pete the CatBad Kitty, Mo Willems’s Pigeon books, and of course, Cat’s two previous capers, Here Comes the Easter Catand Here Comes Santa Cat.
 
Cat does NOT like Valentine’s Day. It’s much too mushy, and no way is he making anyone a valentine—especially not his new neighbor, Dog. Dog refuses to respect the fence: He keeps tossing over old bones and hitting Cat in the head! But just as Cat’s about to send Dog an angry “valentine” telling him exactly what he can do with his bones, Dog throws a ball over the fence. What is Dog playing at? Cat is in for a hilarious—and heartwarming—surprise in this story about being perhaps too quick to judge. 


Underwood and Rueda have done it again! Here Comes Valentine Cat, is another memorable story staring our favorite cat. With adorable illustrations, and a story that has plenty of humor and heart, Cat continues to prove why fans of all ages love his stories. Not a fan of Valentine's Day, Cat learns there is more to the day than being mushy. Before Cat can get back at the pesky dog that lives next door for continually throwing his bones and ball over the fence at him, he just might realize that friends can be found in unexpected places. 


Cat continues to prove why he's such a charming, lovable character. Here Comes Valentine Cat has the right amount of both humor, and heartwarming, that we have come to except from his stories. We love Cat! This is another fantastic Cat story, and one we highly recommend picking up! If you have already got the rest of Cat's stories on your selves, be sure to pick this one up this Valentine's Day. If this is your first 'Here Comes' Cat book, then what are you waiting for? Hurry and pick this one up! You won't be disappointed that you did. 


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Disney Reads Day #DisneyReadsDay


Celebrate the magic of storytelling with Disney! Today is Disney Reads Day! Today, Saturday February 6th, Disney Store's nation wide, along with select participating retailers will feature events, activities and story time for the whole family! Find out more about Disney Reads, and find a location near you, here

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Harry Potter Book Night - TONIGHT #HarryPotterBookNight


Harry Potter Fans, don't miss tonight's second annual world wide Harry Potter Book Night! Tonight's theme is the spells from all seven books. There are over 10,000 events happening world wide tonight. Check out the list of locations here. You can also host your own party! Find out more information about it here. Don't forget to get your own Harry Potter Book Night celebration kit, here! Share pictures from your event online via #HarryPotterBookNight



If you're looking for some ideas to host your Harry Potter Book Night, check out the ideas from FirstNews.UK. Check out some of their ideas below:

- Create areas in your house for Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin and decorate them with house colours and emblems. You can recreate house crests or use images of the house emblems (Lion, Badger, Eagle and Snake) as decorations.
- Make some colour changing drinks! To make drinks that look like potions, add drops of different coloured food colouring to paper cups and let them dry. Then when you add water or lemonade your guests will be amazed to see them change colour! To add coloured ice to your drinks, freeze ice cube trays with drops of different coloured food colouring in the water.
- Create a display of potion ingredients. Jars or bottles filled with glitter, twigs, jelly worms, leaves, earth or feathers will look just like potion ingredients.
• Dragon’s blood (water with red food colouring)
• Unicorn hair (silver ribbon or thread)
• Gillyweed (weeds in green water or green ribbon in water)
• Eel’s eyes (small pickled onions)
• Boomslang skin (shredded bandages or fabric with a snake print)
• Bezoars (small stones)
• Bat’s eyes (black lentils)
• Bloodworms (spaghetti with red sauce)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

RED: THE TRUE STORY OF RED RIDING HOOD by Liesl Shurtliff / Blog Tour: Book Review & Giveaway



Hello and welcome today's RED: The True Story of Red Riding Hood, blog tour. I am so excited about this upcoming release! We're big fans of Liesl Shurtliff's, and I love that she's continuing her magic of writing fairytailers with a twist, with the story of Red Riding Hood. After you check out my review below, be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post & follow the rest of the tour!

ABOUT THE BOOK


By: Liesl Shurtliff 

Published by: Random House Kids
To Be Released on: April 12th, 2016
PreOrder from: Amazon | B&N
Add it  Goodreads 
Rating: 4.5 owlets: I Really Enjoyed It!
Source: *I received an arc from the publisher to review, in exchange for my honest review

Red is not afraid of the big bad wolf. She’s not afraid of anything . . . except magic.


But when Red’s granny falls ill, it seems that only magic can save her, and fearless Red is forced to confront her one weakness.


With the help of a blond, porridge-sampling nuisance called Goldie, Redgoes on a quest to cure Granny. Her journey takes her through dwarves’ caverns to a haunted well and a beast’s castle. All the while, Red and Goldie are followed by a wolf and a huntsman—two mortal enemies who seek the girls’ help to defeat each other. And one of them just might have the magical solution Red is looking for. . . .


Liesl Shurtliff weaves a spellbinding tale, shining the spotlight on a beloved character from her award-winning debut, Rump. 


A fantastic fairy-tale retelling! Red, The True Story of Red Riding Hood is another Liesl Shurtliff classic!


Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood is a fabulous fairytale retelling with some exciting twists. When Red's Grandmother gets sick, it's up to Red to go out into the woods in search of the ingredients she needs to get well. While on her way, Red encounters more than just the wolf. Through Red's story, Shurtliff introduces readers to a variety of well known fairytale characters, and places. I loved the way she weaved together other fairytales, and the twist she gave those characters, in Red's story. I especially loved the twist on the wolf! That was one of my favorite parts of this story. 

Red is a character readers won't soon forget. In her quest to save her beloved Grandmother, Red takes readers on an unforgettable journey brimming with magic, friendship, and danger. Along the way Red learns to not only overcome her fear of her magic, she learns to trust herself, and her friends. Red has magic, just like her Grandmother. Unlike her Grandmother, Red has a fear of using it, because she never gets the spells right, which has resulted in a few disasters. I loved watching Red learn to trust in herself, and her abilities. Something her Grandmother always knew she could do. 

 I've always been a fan of Little Red Riding Hood, but I've never really come to love her character like I have with Shurtliff's Red Riding Hood. What a fabulous character to read about. Shurtliff makes reading fairytales cool, no matter how old you are! Fans will know her best for Rump (The True Story of Rumplestiltskin) whom is mentioned in the story, but is not a character you'll see in the story. As well as Jack (Jack The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk) I love how Shurtliff tied these stories to Red's. 

Whether you're a long time fan of Liesl Shurtliff's or this is your first book of hers to read about, I highly recommend picking up this book, as well as her other books! 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Liesl Shurtliff was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, with the mountains for her playground. Just like Rump, Liesl was shy about her name, growing up. Not only did it rhyme with weasel, she could never find it on any of those personalized key chains in gift shops. But over the years she’s grown to love having an unusual name—and today she wouldn’t change it for the world!

Before she became a writer, Liesl graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in music, dance, and theater. She now lives in Chicago with her husband and three young children, where she still dreams of the mountains. Rump is her first novel.


Website  Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads 
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FOLLOW THE TOUR

Monday, February, 1: Bookiemoji, Author Guest Post
Tuesday, February, 2: Seeing Double In Neverland, Review
Wednesday, February, 3: MundieMoms/Kids, Review
Thursday, February, 4: BookHounds, Author Interview
Friday, February, 5: The Lovely Books, Review
Saturday, February, 6: I'm Shelf-ish, Guest Post
Sunday, February, 7:  Kid Lit Frenzy, Review
Monday, February, 8: Mel's Shelves, Review
Tuesday, February, 9: Once Upon A Twilight, Author Random Facts
Wednesday, February, 10: SciFiChick.com, Review
Thursday, February, 11: Swoony Boys Podcast, Review
Friday, February, 12: Bittersweet Enchantment, Review
Saturday, February, 13: WinterHaven Books, Review except 18
Sunday, February, 14: The Cover Contessa, Review
Monday, February, 15: Pandora's Books, Review
Tuesday, February, 16: On Starships and Dragonwings, Review
Wednesday, February, 17: As They Grow Up, Review
Thursday, February, 18: Owl Always Be Reading, Review
Friday, February, 19: Such a Novel Idea, Playlist and Review
Saturday, February, 20: The Children's Book Review, A Selfie and a Shelfie
Sunday, February, 21: The Mod Podge Bookshelf, Author Movie Cast
Monday, February, 22: Katie's Clean Book Collection, Review
Tuesday, February, 23: Words We Heart, Review
Wednesday, February, 24: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers, Author Guest Post
Thursday, February, 25: Confessions of a Readaholic, Review
Friday, February, 26: Bookish Antics, Review
Saturday, February, 27: Bumbles and Fairy-Tales, Review
Sunday, February, 28: Valerie's Reviews, Review
Monday, February, 29: Lili's Reflections, Review
Tuesday, March, 1: To Read, or Not To Read, Review
Wednesday, March 2: Stories & Sweeties, Review
Thursday, March 3: Cafinated Reads, Review
Friday, March 4: The Book Monsters, Review
Saturday, March 5: Twinning for Books, Review
Sunday, March 6: Curling Up With A Good Book, Review
Monday, March 7: The Compulsive Reader, Review
Tuesday, March 8: The Reading Nook Reviews, Review
Wednesday, March 9: Resch Reads and Reviews, Review
Thursday, March 10: Beauty and the Bookshelf, Review
Friday, March 11: Xpresso Reads, Review
Saturday, March 12: Diamond’s Reads, Review
Sunday, March 13: Blissful Book Reviews, Review
Monday, March 14: Vi3tbabe, Review
Tuesday, March 15: The Book Cellar, Review

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Simon Thorn And The Wolf's Den by Aimee Carter / Blog Tour: Book Review & Giveaway


Hello and welcome to today's SIMON THORN blog tour stop! I'm so thrilled to host today's stop, as it's also the release day of Simon Thorn! Aimee Carter's newest release is a fantastic middle grade read! You can read my review below, and don't forget to enter to win!


ABOUT SIMON THORN AND THE WOLF'S DEN



By: Aimee Carter
Published by: Bloomsbury
Released on: February 2nd, 2016 - TODAY
Series: Simon Thorn #1
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | The Book Depository
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - I Loved It!
*Source: I received an arc from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

A thrilling debut in the tradition of Rick Riordan and Brandon Mull about a boy who discovers a secret race of animal shape shifters.
Twelve-year-old Simon Thorn’s life has never been easy or normal, but things like being bullied at school and living in a cramped Manhattan apartment with his Uncle Darrell are nothing compared to his biggest secret: He can talk to animals.

But when his mom is suddenly kidnapped by a herd of rats, Simon finds out that he, his mom, and his uncle are all Animalgams—people born with the ability to change into an animal at will.

In search of his mom, Simon discovers the Animalgam Academy based at the Central Park Zoo. There he learns about the fractured five kingdoms that make up this secret world . . . and realizes he may be the only one who can save it.

This action-packed page-turner is perfect for fans of the Spirit Animals and The School of Good and Evil series.


A fantastic read! Simon Thorn is an action packed page turner that takes readers on an unforgettable adventure with an unlikely hero. If you've ever wish you could have the power to talk to animals, or shape shift into them, you're going to love this book. Aimee Carter has created something magical with Simon Thorn. I love that Simon's adventure takes readers into a magical world that exists among our own world.  

Simon Thorn is a character a lot of readers are going to love reading about. He is such an easy character to like. He's a lovable hero who at times can't seem to catch a break. Which is what also makes him a relatable character. He deals with his fair share of bullying. I love that he does stand up for himself, and those who also get bullied along with him. Thankfully he's got a wonderful Uncle who loves, and supports him, and a few good friends to rely on. If dealing with bullying wasn't enough, Simon quick finds himself thrust into a world he knew nothing about. In order to save those who loves, has to figure out how to navigate his way through it. In the process, he not only learns more about his heritage, and who he is, he also he learns to trust those around him. Most importantly he learns to trust himself. 


There is so much more to Simon Thorn than anyone realizes, including himself. That is part of what makes getting to go on this action packed journey with him, so much fun. Readers discover the secrets right along side Simon. The plot twists are engaging, and surprising, as are some the characters. Not everyone is who you think they are, and not everyone has Simon's best interest at heart. Thankfully Simon doesn't go about his journey alone. One of the things I loved about this book, was the importance of family and friends. Aside from Simon, his Uncles, and his new found friends were characters I really enjoyed getting to know. 


Simon Thorn is an engaging, exciting, and unforgettable read. It's one that will leave you one the edge of your seat while reading it. When you're finished with the last page, you'll be wishing the next book was already in your hands! This is an fantastic read, and though it may be targeted for middle grade readers, it is a book for all ages to read! I've really enjoyed Aimee Carter's young adult books, but I think she's found her niche with middle grade books. I loved this book, and all it offered. 

ABOUT AIMEE CARTER




Aimée Carter was born and raised in Michigan, where she currently resides. She is the author of several series, including The Goddess Test series, The Blackcoat Rebellion series, and the Simon Thorn series.

QUEEN (#3 of The Blackcoat Rebellion) will be released on November 24th, 2015. 


SIMON THORN AND THE WOLF'S DEN (#1 of the Simon Thorn series, Bloomsbury) will be released February 2, 2016.


Find Amiee: Website | Twitter | Instagram


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2/12: Avid Reader - Review

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 ~