Thursday, January 19, 2017

WHEN YOU'RE FEELING SICK by Coy Bowles / Blog Tour: Book Review


By: Coy Bowles

Illustrated by: Andy Elkerton
Published by: Random House Kids
Released on: January 10th, 2017
Ages: 3 & up
Rating: 3 Owlets - It's a Good Read
Purchase from: The PublisherAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, in exchange for my honest review

This laugh-out-loud picture book from Coy Bowles, guitarist for the Grammy Award–winning Zac Brown Band, will have sick kids feeling better in no time!

Sneezing? Coughing? Taking a sick day? Don’t worry, you’ll be feeling better soon thanks to this hilarious picture book from Coy Bowles, guitarist of the Grammy Award–winning Zac Brown Band. Full of encouraging—and super-silly—rhyming advice on how to face sick days with courage and a positive attitude, When You’re Feeling Sick is just what the doctor ordered! Comes with a sheet of stickers to bring a smile to every sick kid’s face.


A fun, cute book that will uplift the spirits of sick kids. Full of fun illustrations, rhymes, and silliness, this book will be a much needed distraction for sick kids. It's a fun interactive read as well. Ironically enough, it's one that I read with my daughter when she wasn't feeling well. It definitely earned a few laughs from her. 


Music definitely makes everything better. We may have laughed at the 'Sickness Song', 


"I feel sick and I feel poopy. 

All this medicine makes me feel loopy. 
So, sickness, sickness go away, 
Don't come again another day!"

Coy, who's apart of the Zac Brown Band, also has wrote & recored two songs that go along with this book. You can find both the songs here. We highly recommend checking them out. 


Written to bring hope, and happiness to kids when they're ill, Coy hit his mark with this book. I think this book is great for young kids, especially toddler and earlier elementary school aged kids. Coy also includes an author's note at the end of this book, and talks about the inspiration behind this story. 


Monday, January 16, 2017

Watch Free on Amazon (TODAY): An American Girl Story—Melody 1963: Love Has to Win #MLKDay


In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Amazon will be airing an original special for FREE. Their AN AMERICAN GIRL STORY - MELODY 1963 will be free TODAY, only, for all to watch. Please read what Amazon shared with us, below:


In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Amazon Original Special An American Girl Story—Melody 1963: Love Has to Win will be free to stream on Prime Video in the US beginning today and ending at 11:59 p.m. PST on Monday, January 16; no Prime membership required. 

The first of four original American Girl specials for Prime Video stars Marsai Martin(Black-ish) as the title character Melody, Frances Fisher (Titanic) as Miss Abbot, Frankie Faison (The Wire) as Melody’s grandfather Frank Ellison, and Idara Victor (TURN: Washington’s Spies) as Melody’s mother Frances Ellison. Executive produced by Alison McDonald (Roots), Oscar winner Common’s Freedom Road Productions, and Christopher Keenan and Melinda McCrocklin from American Girl, the special is directed and produced by Tina Mabry (Mississippi Damned, Queen Sugar). 

Based in 1963 Detroit during the civil rights movement, An American Girl Story—Melody 1963: Love Has to Win centers around 10-year-old Melody whose eyes are opened to the racial inequality surrounding her, including the 1963 Birmingham Church Bombing. As a result, her belief in the “indivisible” promise of our country’s Pledge of Allegiance comes into question as she challenges her teacher on the validity of this given the horrific tragedy. After an emotional journey of self-reflection, her mother gives her the courage she needs by instilling in her that love brings out the best in everyone; reminding Melody that it’s important to “stand up for what’s right, even when it’s hard or scary.”


An American Girl Story—Melody 1963: Love Has to Win recently received 2 NAACP Image Award nominations, including Outstanding Children’s Program and Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture, Television (Alison McDonald). The series also garnered a Directors Guild of America nomination for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programming (Tina Mabry). Additionally, the special is a Humanitas Prize Finalist in the Children’s Live Action Category (Alison McDonald).

The Amazon Original Special has an average customer rating of 4.7 stars. Here is what customers have been saying:

  • “My children and I LOVED this…it included history, challenge and determination to overcome injustice, family, friendships, great music!”
  • “It provides a great lesson in the power of humanity and the need to believe in one's dreams.”
  • “The main character is brave, compassionate, resourceful, and courageous. My girls loved her character.”
  • “Great to see diversity on amazon. They're breaking barriers and dispelling fear. We are all human, we all belong, and together we are at our greatest.”



An American Girl Story—Melody 1963: Love Has to Win is part of Prime Video’s growing line-up of award-winning and critically-acclaimed Originals for kids and families. Amazon Original Series and Specials are available to stream and enjoy using the Amazon Video app for compatible TVs, connected devices, including Amazon Fire TV and mobile devices, or online at www.amazon.com/originals, at no additional cost to their membership. Prime members can also download select titles to mobile devices for offline viewing. Eligible customers who are not already Prime members can sign up for a free trial at www.amazon.com/prime. For a list of all Amazon Video compatible devices, visit www.amazon.com/howtostream

An American Girl Story—Melody 1963: Love Has to Win is also available as part of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, the all-you-can-eat subscription service designed from the ground up for kids. FreeTime Unlimited is available exclusively on Amazon devices, including Amazon Fire TV and Fire tablets, and a year-long subscription is included with every Fire Kids Edition.

*Images and post content are courtesy of Amazon, and used with their permission.

Friday, January 13, 2017

PENGUINS LOVE COLORS by Sara Aspinall / Book Review



By: Sarah Spinall 
Published by: Blue Sky Press
Released on: November 26th, 2016
Ages: 4 & up
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets - We Enjoyed 

With colors as bright as sunshine, six little penguins paint a bold, cheerful surprise for Mama Penguin on a beautiful snowy-white landscape.

Mama loves brightly colored flowers and her little penguins too! Tulip, Tiger Lily, Dandelion, Bluebell, Violet and Broccoli use red, orange, yellow, blue, purple, and green to color in their snowy world and paint a colorful surprise for Mama. Will she know who painted what? Of course she will! But will YOU know?

Simple language and arresting, graphic illustrations introduce readers to the six primary and secondary colors and the adorable antics of six creative little penguins. A lively text, asking children to participate by answering questions, makes this an engaging, heartwarming story that is perfect for bedtime, story time, or anytime.


A fun, colorful, and engaging picture book for toddlers. 


PENGUINS LOVE COLORS is fun way for kids to learn the colors of the rainbow. I really liked the way Aspinall uses the penguins, and their names to help kids identify them with each color of the rainbow. Aspinall definitely knows her targeted reader audience. Her illustrations, and narration are engaging. The illustrations are colorful, and fun. Plus, what's not cute about penguins?! Especially ones who love to draw cute, colorful pictures for their mom. 


This is a great book to pick up if you're teaching colors to your child. It's also great for pre-school, and kindergarten classrooms. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

MY PEN by Christopher Myers / Book Review


By: Christopher Myers
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: March 10th, 2015
Ages: 4 & up
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It

My pen rides dinosaurs
and hides an elephant in a teacup.
What can your pen do?

Acclaimed author and illustrator Christopher Myers uses rich black-and-white illustrations to bring a sketchbook to life, showing that with a simple pen, a kid can do anything!


Imagination is priceless. Myers's book is proof that when you have a pen, the possibilities of storytelling through art, are endless. Anything can become a picture. There is now end to imagination. Anything is possible. I love the creative message Myers shares in his book, as much as I did the illustrations. This book is like getting a sneak peak into Myer's sketchbook. 


"There are a million pens in the world, and each one has a million worlds inside it. So if you have a pen, see what you can do- let those worlds inside your pen out!"


Monday, January 9, 2017

WE FORGOT BROCK! by Carter Goodrich / Book Review



By: Carter Goodrich
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Released on: August 25th, 2015
Ages: 4 & up
Purchase from: Simon & Schuster | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets - We Enjoyed It
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

The importance of imaginary friends is very real in this picture book adventure from the author of Say Hello to Zorro! and lead character designer for Despicable MeFinding Nemo, and Monsters, Inc.

Phillip and Brock are best friends. Everyone can see Phillip, but only Phillip can see Brock.

A night at the Big Fair is all fun and games until Phillip gets sleepy, heads home, and forgets Brock!

Brock misses Phillip. And Phillip misses Brock. Will they reunite? With the help of another pair of pals, they just might. Because even imaginary friends get lost sometimes. Finding them is part of the adventure.


Really cute story, with equally cute illustrations. This story is one that's full of friendship, imagination, heart, and adventure. Goodrich has captured the essence of childhood in both his story telling and illustration. Kids, and old readers who are kids at heart will enjoy this heartwarming story. We'd recommend this one to picture book readers of all ages. 

Saturday, January 7, 2017

ONE SNOWY NIGHT by M. Christina Butler / Book Review


By: M. Christina Butler
Illustrated by: Tina Macnaughton
Published by: Good Books
Released on: May 1st, 2013
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Caught unprepared by a chilly wind, Little Hedgehog sets out to remedy his situation. He has plenty of friends -- and an unexpected Christmas gift -- but lost and alone, he tries to warm up in a snowbank. Imagination saves him and warms him and brings him back to his circle of friends -- and then Christmas is complete. Jewel-like colors, animals with unmistakable character, and a flocked woolly hat, perfect for stroking, will bring young readers back to this book.

An adorable story with a great a message about sharing with others. What starts off as a gift for Hedgehog, the red, cozy hat ends up being gifted to each of his animal friends who could use the hat. Filled with friendships, giving, and cute woodland animals, this book made for a great read aloud on a cold winter's day. I read this out loud to a kindergarten class, and they not only enjoyed the story, and seeing which animal friends received the hat next, they loved that the hat is a velvet touch and feel. This book is great for pre-school and kindergarten age readers. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

I LOVE MY GRANDMA by Giles Andreae / Book Review


By: Giles Andreae

Illustrated by: Emma Dodd
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: December 6th, 2016
Ages: 3 & up 
Rating: 4 Owlets
Purchase from: Disney | Amazon | B&N 
Add it to Goodreads
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

From train rides to playtime, this book illustrates the love between grandmother and grandchild, and all the exciting things they can do together! Joyful and heartwarming, it will be a treasured addition to any grandchild’s collection.


Simply adorable. This is a heartwarming story about a grandchild's love for their grandmother and all the adventures, and fun things they do. This is a sweet story that captures the special bond a grandmother has with their grandchild.

We really enjoyed this heartfelt story, and it's adorable illustrations. The rhyming make for a fun read aloud. The wordage length is perfect for toddlers. This book would also make for the perfect gift for any grandmother and grandchild. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

THE LITTLE ELEPHANT WHO WANTS TO FALL SLEEP by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin / Book Review


By: Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin
Illustrated by: Sydney Hanson
Published by: Crown Books For Young Readers
Released on: October 4th, 2016
Ages: 6 & up
Purchase fromAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Add variety to your child’s bedtime routine with the latest book from the author of The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep, the New York Times and international bestseller that parents have been raving about! Features all-new child-tested, parent-approved techniques to reclaim bedtime and provide a sweet and tender end to each day.
 
Your child joins Ellen the Elephant on a journey through a magical forest that leads to sleep. Along the way, children meet different fantastical characters and have calming experiences that help them relax and slip into slumber quickly. The story works perfectly for either naptime or bedtime.

Children will love switching between stories about both Roger the Rabbit (The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep) and Ellen the Elephant (The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep), and parents will appreciate the diverse ways each character will help their loved ones fall asleep quickly and easily. 


Includes never-before-seen material that will make a difference at bedtime, including insightful sleep tips and answers to frequently asked questions to help guide families to an even more satisfying nighttime routine!

Cute illustrations and a good story concept. This book is great for older readers (7 & up), but falls short for young children. The word length on each page is too long to keep young attention spans. If the pages were half the length, it would have been perfect for toddlers-kindergarten age kids. While I get the concept of this book is to help readers understand sleep, and why our bodies need rest, it's not a good bedtime story like it's marketed for, for really young kids.


This book is a much better fit for children 6 & up. With having a longer word length than the average picture book, it will hold their attention spans longer than younger children. There is a calming effect that the author uses in the story that does seem to work towards the end of the story. The author also includes notes at both the beginning and end of the book to help readers better understand his strategy for his story. 


Over all, we felt this story needed to be a little less wordy for us to like it as much as we wanted to. 


Sunday, January 1, 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


Happy New Year! It's a new year, a new day, a new page in the story of your life. Here's to making today be the start of something new. We hope y'all have a wonderful New Year! MAY THE FORCE BE WITH YOU! *pic credit: Star Wars

Thursday, December 29, 2016

A GREYHOUND, A GROUNDHOG by Emily Jenkins / Blog Tour: Book Review


Written by: Emily Jenkins
Illustrated by: Chris Appelhans
Published by: Penguin-Random House / Schwartz & Wade Books
To Be Released on: January 3rd, 2017
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase from: Penguin-Random House | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets - We Enjoyed It!
A copy of this book was received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review 

From a heavyweight author-and-illustrator duo comes a delicious tongue twister of a picture book that features a little round greyhound and a little round groundhog. With very spare, incredibly lively language, this is an entertaining read-aloud, with two amazing—and oh-so-adorable—characters at its heart.
 
When a greyhound meets a groundhog, wordplay and crazy antics ensue. The two animals, much like kids, work themselves into a frenzy as they whirl around and around one another. (Around, round hound. Around, groundhog!) The pace picks up (Around and around and astound and astound!), until they ultimately wear themselves out. 


Really cute story complimented with simply adorable illustrations. A tongue twister with repetitive words, and rhyming, makes for a fun, read aloud and a lot of giggles.

When a greyhound meets a groundhog, they form a fast friendship. This unlikely pair has a fun filled day playing together, and discovering new things. This is a book we really enjoyed. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Disney's MOANA and SING / Movie Reviews


Two must see movies during this Winter Break. Disney's MOANA and Illumination's SING. We absolutely loved both movies, and for similar reasons. Not only are these fantastic family friendly movies, each movie has powerful message. There's humor, strong/wonderful characters, and messages that will resonate with movie goers of all ages. Not to mention the awesome animation, the songs, and the cast in both movies is fantastic. Definitely add these movies to your lists of family activists. *more detailed reviews coming soon* Both of these movies get 5 stars from us!

Editing- We also saw Trolls this holiday season. That movie got 3/5 stars from us. My daughter liked it better than I did, but she didn't love it like she did Moana and Sing. More coming on that movie was well. 

Monday, December 26, 2016

A BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS by Matt Haig / Book Review #MMGM


By: Matt Haig
Illustrated by: Chris Mould 
Published by: Knopf
Released on: November 1st, 2016
Ages: 8 & up
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository 
Add it to Goodreads
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Before there was Santa Claus, there was a young boy who believed in the impossible. . . . Lemony Snicket meets Elf in this warmhearted Christmas caper.

Eleven-year-old Nikolas—nicknamed “Christmas”—has received only one toy in his life: a doll carved out of a turnip. But he’s happy with his turnip doll, because it came from his parents, who love him. Then one day his father goes missing, and Nikolas must travel to the North Pole to save him.

Along the way, Nikolas befriends a surly reindeer, bests a troublesome troll, and discovers a hidden world of enchantment in the frozen village of Elfhelm. But the elves of Elfhelm have troubles of their own: Christmas spirit and goodwill are at an all-time low, and Nikolas may be the only person who can fix things—if only he can reach his father before it’s too late. . . .

Sparkling with wit and warmth, A Boy Called Christmas is a cheeky new Christmas classic-in-the-making from acclaimed author Matt Haig and illustrator Chris Mould.


This is a read fans of all ages will enjoy. With it's Lemony Snicket feel, Haig has created something that is unforgettable. 
There's humor, plenty of adventure, magic, trolls, elves, Blitzen, a mouse, a few not so nice characters, and an unforgettable character who will have you cheering him the entire story. 

The story of A Boy Called Christmas isn't the Santa you're excepting. No, this is the story of a boy who's been mis-treated, but never loses his kindness, his hope, and his will to do good. These attributes not only stay with him all through out his life. It's part of what makes him St. Nick, aka Santa Claus. They also save his life, and that is what this story is about. 

This story is about a boy who discovers his inner strength, finds his home, and discovers his own destiny. He realizes he's more determined and courageous than he ever imagined when he sets off to find his dad. Along the way he meets Blitzen, runs into a bit of trouble with trolls, and then there are the not too friendly elves. Nothing is as you think it is in this story, but the story's ending is just as it should be. 

Haig's writing is brilliant. His story's narration immediately pulls you in, and makes you feel like the story is being told just for you. It's like a Christmas secret, only this is one secret you want everyone to read. He has created a story that is not only for kids, but for kids at heart. Haig really gets his middle grade audience. I love the humor that is just right for both kids, and adults. This is a great story to read out loud. 

This is definitely a new Christmas classic that will be enjoyed for generations to come! Whether you read during the holiday season or a later time in the year, this is a book I'd recommend picking up. 

Favorite Quotes:

"An impossibility is just a possibility you don't understand yet."

"Where there is magic, there is always a way."

"If you keep on climbing a mountain, you will eventually reach the top. That's the thing with mountains. However big they are, there is always a top."

"There IS magic in this world." 

Please note that there are a few things within the story that may be hard for some readers. There's mistreatment towards Nikolas, a father who lets down his son because of his bad choices, and a reindeer who may not always be the sweetest reindeer you'd envision.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

Wishing y'all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful Holiday Season! 
Thank you for being apart of our blog this year, and sharing our love of reading. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Elena of Avalor: FELIZ NAVIDAD: A ROYAL CHRISTMAS / Book Review


By: Tom Rogers
Illustrated by: Mike Wall
Published by: Disney Press
Released on: September 13th, 2016
Ages: 4 & up
Purchase from: DisneyAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets - We Enjoyed It
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review 

Elena decides to host one big Navidad celebration in the park so everyone can celebrate together. But each community is trying to prove that their traditions are the best. Can Elena help her subjects see what the holidays are really about?


Based on the Elena of Avalor episode, "Navidad", this book is a fantastic Christmas story. Princess Elena knows that gifts aren't what make the holiday season special, it's being with family and friends, and doing nice things for others. When things don't go as planned for the towns people, she's the example the people of her kingdom need. She reminds them about the importance of the holiday season. With bright, colorful illustrations, this is a wonderful book to have, especially for young Disney Princess fans who have already seen the episode. We love Princess Elena. We really enjoyed this read and it's message.


Thursday, December 22, 2016

LITTLE BABYMOUSE and the Christmas Cupcakes by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm / Book Review



By: Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm
Published by: Random House
Released on: October 4th, 2016
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase from: Penguin/Random House | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 3 Owlets 
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review 

Graphic-novel darling Babymouse makes her picture-book debut in a Christmas story . . . all about cupcakes! (Typical.)
 
Thank goodness Babymouse ate all of the Christmas cookies her mom made for Santa. Now she can make him something he really wants—CUPCAKES! But wait . . . what’s that rumbling in the other room? OH NO! A DRAGON!!!!! Can Sir Babymouse defeat her fiery foe and save Christmas?! Or at least save a cupcake or two? Maybe not. . . .

Jennifer and Matthew Holm bring us Babymouse’s very first full-color adventure! With signature Babymouse humor, comic book–style panels, and oodles of pink-frosted cupcakes, new readers and devoted fans alike will find plenty to love.


There's no stopping BabyMouse once she puts her mind to doing something. When BabyMouse wants to make cupcakes for Santa, she does. Filled with humor, wild imagination and mishap, fans of the original graphic novel series will love seeing BabyMouse in her new picture book debut. The illustrations are great graphic novel pictures for young kids. This is definitely a fun Christmas read. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

FROZEN: A POP-UP ADVENTURE by Matthew Reinhart / Book Review


Story by: Disney
Artwork by: Matthew Reinhart 
Published by: Disney 
Released on: October 4th, 2016
Ages: 12 & up
Purchase from: DisneyAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Featuring nearly 20 pop-ups from the New York Times best-selling author, artist, and pop-up master, Matthew Reinhart, this breathtaking work of art revisits the enduring story of Frozen.


Elsa and Anna's remarkable adventure lives on in a 
magnificent display of paper engineering and artistic devotion. Frozen Pop-Up is a vibrant tribute to these beloved characters and teaches readers of all ages to let it go.


Featuring the Frozen story, illustrations, Matthew Reinhart's stunning Frozen pop-ups make this a must have for fans of FROZEN. 


This is one of the most beautiful pop-up books we've had the chance to read. Each page not only features a beautiful main pop-up, there are also other pop-ups/pull outs featured under the pieces that tell the Frozen story. That will make more sense when you see the pages in person. I think it's safe to say that we loved the entire book! Each piece of this story is absolutely beautiful. This is definitely a book worth owning! 



** While this is a great for fans of all ages to look at it, it's definitely not a book for young readers to look at by themselves, as the pop-ups can easily be torn. 

FROZEN: Northern Lights Adventure Notebook by: Elsa, Anna and Kristoff / Book Review


By: Jessica Julius and Becky Matheson
Illustrated by: Disney Storybook Art Team
Published by: Disney Press
Released on: November 1st, 2016
Ages: 6 & up 
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

A book written by Anna, Elsa, and Kristoff, who take turns documenting their action-packed journey to the Northern Lights. The guide features full-color journal entries and doodles created by your favorite characters, plus a double-sided pull-out poster!


This book is perfect for fans who want to join Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf and their friends on their new adventure to see the Northern Lights. It's full of fun, adventure, and friends working together.

Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and their friends are back in a brand new adventure. Featuring journal entries, and illustrations from each of the friends, this journal/book chronicles the friends on their brand new adventure to find the Northern Lights. Filled with the same humor, and heartwarming moments you'd except from the Frozen Friends, this is a book worth picking up! With it's collection of journal entries, and illustrations, this scrapbook/journal feel will be a great read even for the most reluctant reader. 
This is a book we loved, and we'd highly recommend picking it up! 

"A true adventure is full of surprises." 


Have you seen Disney's newest Lego adventure? While this book doesn't feature Frozen Lego characters, this book is the perfect companion to that feature. This book will make a great gift this holiday season. 


A WARM WINTER by Feridun Oral / Book Review


Written & Illustrated by: Feridun Oral 
Published by: Minedition 
Released on: October 1st, 2016
Ages: 3 & up
Rating: 4 Owlets - We Really Enjoyed It
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
A copy of this book was provided from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

One cold winter morning Little Mouse ventures out in search of enough firewood to heat his nest. But when he tries to drag his pile home, he realizes everything he’s gathered is much too heavy for him. Maybe his friends can help out, but they’d better hurry, because there’s a blizzard on the way. If they can find a way to work together and keep each other safe, maybe they can all have the warm winter they've been hoping for. 

This beautifully illustrated picture book shows the power of friendship, persistence–and a little luck–to make our dreams come true. This is a winter story that will warm your heart.

What's better than kicking off the Winter Solstice than reading a book that has winter, snow, woodland animals, and friendship. A WARM WINTER is about woodland animal friends working together to help Little Mouse get his firewood home. When an excepted snowstorm hits, things don't go as planned. If they continue to work together, they'll stay warm and safe through the blinding snow storm. With it's great illustrations, wonderful message about friendship, this is the perfect story to read on a cold winter's day. 

Happy Winter Solstice


Happy Winter Solstice! 

Today I'll be celebrating the first day of Winter by featuring three books that are just perfect for winer reading. Check out my reviews later today for:


Have a wonderful WINTER! 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

BEFORE YOU by Rebecca Doughty / Blog Tour: Book Review / Author Q&A #picturebookparade


Written and Illustrated by: Rebecca Doughty
Published by: HMH Kids
To Be Released on: December 27th, 2016
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase from: HMH Kids | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Through simple, yet lively text and whimsical illustration, the love from parent to child, or friend to friend, is celebrated. The perfect gift for a loved one and fans of perennial favorites like I Like You and Guess How Much I Love You.


Simple rhyming phases, and childlike illustrations, make for an easy to read picture book. 


This book is about how someone feels until that special person comes into their life, and makes it complete. Doughty uses simple phrases pre-school age children can understand. Pairing those phrases with rhyming, make for a quick, easy read that will hold even the shortest attention spans. The illustrations have a childlike look and feel to them, which may appeal to young readers. I think this book would make a great board book for toddlers, vs being in picture book form.


Phasing examples:


Prior to the special person coming to the the story, 


"I was a bowl without a fish. | A birthday cake without a wish."


After that special person is introduced to the story,


"I had a cup, you brought the tea. | I had a boat, you brought the sea." 


While we thought the concept of the story was good, overall we didn't enjoy this picture book as much as we have the vast number of other picture books we've read this year. 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW 



If you weren't an author or illustrator what would you do for a living? 
I’d be an acrobat.

What is the first book you remember loving as a child?
Boats Finds a House by Mary Chalmers.

The best thing about my job is ______ 
Wearing pajamas.

What's your favorite word? 
Yes.

If you could have any super power what would it be? 
To bring universal happiness.

What's the best snack to eat while reading a good book? 
Lobster.

Picture books are important because _____ 
They have superpowers.

An ice cream sundae is not complete without _____ 
Tums.


*Interview questions provided by the publisher 


Don't miss the fun! Be sure to HMH Kids's Picture Book Parade. You can follow along via the social media hashtag - #PictureBookParade 

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 ~