Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Blog Tour: Tilda Pinkerton's Magical Hats by Angela Shelton


For this blog tour, we have an interview with Angela Shelton, the author of Tilda Pinkerton's Magical Hats.
What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
The hardest thing was waiting actually. Waiting on the editor, waiting to see the artwork, waiting while the artwork was totally changed and then waiting to see the final hardcover book that I love so much! I wrote the book pretty quickly. It was the waiting that made me pace the porch!
Which of your characters can you relate to the most?
I relate to Tilda the most since I put a lot of myself into her.  Much like Tilda, I try to teach others that they have the answers to their life questions already. They just need to look within and let their own light shine. Sometimes it just takes a hat to spark new ideas.  
Which part of the book was the easiest to write?
The talking animals were the easiest and most fun to write. I mean a woodchuck named Samuel P. Hopbottom who wears a helmet? Come on, that’s fun!
Which actors would play the main characters in the movie version of the book?

I could see Zoe Deschanel playing Tilda Pinkerton actually. She has those magnificent eyes and that quality about her that seems like she’s thinking about a myriad of things all at once.
Which songs would be on the soundtrack of the movie version of the book?
Wow, I think a composer would have fun creating a song along the lines of Imagination from Willy Wonka – but about the power of magical hats. 
Any future books in the works?
Yes, there are quite a few other chapter books of Tilda Pinkerton’s Magical Hat Shop for this reading level (K-3) in the works. Tilda’s hat shop goes all over the world from the circus tent, to the middle of the city, to the sea! 
There are also more big books of the Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton for more advanced readers coming too. 
ABOUT THE BOOK:


Eleven-year-old Madison Mae and her younger brother, Albert, want to help save the family farm during troubled times. When a mysterious Magical Hat Shop appears by their grandpa's red tractor mailbox, the children meet Tilda Pinkerton who presents them with one-of-a-kind hats, causing new ideas and talents to suddenly burst forth. As a flood of harm comes rushing towards the farm, Tilda Pinkerton teaches the children how they can accomplish much more than anyone ever imagined.

Increase your child's vocabulary, self esteem and awareness of social issues, while they enjoy a great story!  Tilda Pinkeron's Magical Hats does it all. Grades K1-4.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Angela Shelton is an author, actor, blogger and public speaker. She has been writing since she was eight years old. Her first novel was adapted into the movie Tumbleweeds. Angela won a regional Emmy award for her portrayal of Safe Side Superchick in The Safe Side video series created by Baby Einstein's Julie Clark and America's Most Wanted's John Walsh. After living in Los Angeles for over a decade, Angela left the big city for a one-light country town to marry her first love and fulfill her dream of writing books in a barn house.

Find out how Angela has incorporated the character of Tilda Pinkerton into an entire line of book projects, each geared towards a different age group at  www.MagicHatShop.com

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

There are five basic biomes: tundra, grassland, forest, desert and water.
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Monday, July 29, 2013

Review: Pandemic Survival It's Why You're Alive by Ann Love and Jane Drake


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
The Black Death. Yellow Fever. Smallpox. History is full of gruesome pandemics, and surviving those pandemics has shaped our society and way of life. Every person today is alive because of an ancestor who survived--and surviving our current and future pandemics, like SARS, AIDS, bird flu or a new and unknown disease, will determine our future. Pandemic Survival presents in-depth information about past and current illnesses; the evolution of medicine and its pioneers; cures and treatments; strange rituals and superstitions; and what we're doing to prevent future pandemics. Full of delightfully gross details about symptoms and fascinating facts about bizarre superstitious behaviors, Pandemic Survival is sure to interest even the most squeamish of readers.
MY TAKE:
As a former medical student, I find books like this one interesting.

In Pandemic Survival, readers get to learn about some of the different pandemics that swept through the U.S., England and other countries from ancient times until modern times.

I liked that there were numerous examples and stories that supported the medical and scientific facts in the book. This makes it easier to see the background and effects of the diseases and made the book less boring. The book can get technical at times, and the length and some of the language used may be intimidating to younger readers, but for those who find the topic fascinating, this book should be a fun book to read.

Thanks to NetGalley and Tundra Books for the e-ARC. Publication date of Pandemic Survival It's Why You're Alive is on August 27, 2013.

THE GOOD:

  1. It covers a wide range of topics.
  2. It's very thorough.
  3. There are plenty of interesting stories that people might not be familiar with yet.

THE BAD:

  1. The illustration style might not work for everyone.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
A standard ship's diet of biscuit, cooked and salted meat or fish, and beer contained zero vitamin C.
READ IT IF:

  1. Your child wants to be a doctor someday.
  2. You or your child finds science and medicine interesting.
  3. Your child likes almanacs and reference books.

RATING:
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Sunday, July 28, 2013

In My Mailbox


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

FROM NETGALLEY:



The Adventures of Detective Luke The Disappearing Dog Bowl by 
Wilson Hickman

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Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Review: I Hate Picture Books by Timothy Young


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Max hates his picture books and he’s throwing them all away. But he soon learns just how invaluable imagination is and has a change of heart. Find out why in this outrageous book that both pokes fun at and celebrates many of the classics of children’s literature. Join writer and illustrator Timothy Young for this irreverent and humorous story ideal for children and adults alike. Early Reader; Ages 5-8.
Timothy Young is the author/illustrator of I’m Looking For A Monster!, Shadows On My Wall, and They’re Coming! 

MY TAKE:
I had a lot of fun reading this book.

Max hates picture books because whenever he tries to do what the books say or wish for things that happened in his picture books, nothing happens the way he wants it.

Part of what I liked about this book was trying to guess which picture books he was talking about. The book ends happily, though, with Max realizing how much he actually likes picture books.

The illustration and coloring style feels a little bit like a comic book or a graphic novel. Personally, I would have preferred it actually looked more picture book-like.

Thanks to NetGalley and Schiffer Publishing Ltd. for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. It's fun to guess which picture book Max is talking about.
  2. It has a good message.
  3. It's a fun read.

THE BAD:

  1. The illustration style may not work for everyone.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Because Toy Bears don't talk or walk around
READ IT IF:

  1. You or your child likes picture books.
  2. Your child doesn't really like to read.
  3. You like funny books.

RATING:
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Friday, July 26, 2013

Review: The Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson; art by Dušan Petričić


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Who is playing that beautiful music in the subway? And why is nobody listening?
On January 12, 2007, the world-famous violinist Joshua Bell took part in an experiment conducted by the Washington Post. What would happen if Bell played his violin in a subway station? Would anyone stop to listen? Dressed as an ordinary street musician and with his priceless Stradivarius in hand, Bell played for 43 minutes in the L’Enfant Plaza Station in Washington, D.C. Over 1,000 busy commuters rushed past. Only seven stopped to listen for more than a minute. Many children had wanted to stop, but an adult inevitably rushed them along. Inspired by this event, author Kathy Stinson imagines what a child who had wanted to stop might have experienced. From this emerged the lovely story of The Man with the Violin.
When young Dylan hears the beautiful music, he tries to get his mother to stop and listen, but like everyone else rushing past, she is focused on catching the train. The strains of the music linger in his head all day long until that evening, when he hears the same music being played on the radio. The announcer reveals who the violinist was and why he was playing in the subway station. As Dylan is swept up again by the gorgeous sound, his mother finally stops and listens too.  
Award-winning illustrator Dušan Petričić eagerly embraced the challenge of rendering Stinson’s lyrical text in a way that would capture Dylan’s emotions while interpreting the sounds he heard. With his skillful use of color and imaginative depiction of all the sounds in the subway station, Petričić succeeds in providing the perfect match for the poignant words. Together, Stinson and Petričić have created a picture book classic that reminds us all to open our eyes and ears to discover the beauty around us.
A short biography of Joshua Bell, a recap of the story that inspired this book, and a postscript by Joshua Bell enhance this wonderful tribute to the power of music.

MY TAKE:
There aren't many street musicians where I'm from, but most people here tend to ignore or shut them out too.

In The Man with the Violin, a young boy finds the music of a violinist irresistible. However, his mother drags him along. He ends up thinking about the music all day until later on, he and his mother find out who the violinist is.

I like music a lot and I play the piano and guitar so I have a deep appreciation for musicians. As such, I found the story sweet and inspiring, especially since it shows that lots of kids found the music fascinating. It shows that people, especially kids, have an innate connection to music.

While the illustration style isn't really my thing, I liked the coloring a lot. The pictures make use of a lot of black and white and other colors are used to emphasis certain characters or elements.

Thanks to NetGalley and Annick Press Ltd. for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. The story is heartwarming.
  2. The coloring style is pretty.
  3. The last part of the book details the inspiration for the story.

THE BAD:

  1. The illustration style might not work for everyone.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
The music is telling an exciting story.
READ IT IF:

  1. You are a musician.
  2. Your child likes music.
  3. You often ignore street musicians.

RATING:
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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Review: Lilly Traps the Bullies (Formac First Novels) by Brenda Bellingham


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Lilly and Theresa run into bullies at the pool, Spider and Bugsy, who tease Theresa but take an interest in Lilly. Lilly faces tough decisions about being a good friend versus trying to fit in. Brenda Bellingham’s story emphasizes the importance of problem-solving and teamwork in standing up to bullying.
MY TAKE:
It's nice to read a book like this wherein the bullies get what's coming to them, but in a humorous instead of dramatic way.

In Lilly Traps the Bullies, Lilly meets two bullies who she likes spending time with. However, these two bullies are making life miserable for her friend Theresa. Now Lilly must decide if she'd rather be with her old friends or with the new ones.

I felt a little bit bad for Lilly's friend Theresa. While there were moments wherein I sided more with Lilly who seemed to be getting irritated with Theresa, Theresa has good intentions so it's hard to hate her.

The plot itself isn't particularly new, but I did enjoy seeing how the bullies were put in their place. I could imagine seeing that exact scene in a movie like Diary of a Wimpy Kid or a Disney cartoon show.

Overall, it's a pretty quick chapter read and would be good reading for young elementary school kids.

Thanks to NetGalley and Formac for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. The bullies are made to look pretty silly.
  2. It's a book about friendship.
  3. Kids may be able to relate well to it.

THE BAD:

  1. The book feels like it could be just a couple of chapters in a longer novel.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Going for a burger sounds like fun - like we're teenagers.
READ IT IF:

  1. Your child is being bullied.
  2. Your child has a friend who is being bullied.
  3. Your child is looking for an easy chapter-read book.

RATING:
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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review: Crazy About Basketball by Loris Lesynski; art by Gerry Rasmussen


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
The footsteps pound / the shoes all squeak / the crowd is loud / the floorboard creak / but still we can hear it--that smallest sound-- / the one that's high above the ground / the most important noise of all / that swishing of the basketball!
This new collection of more than 40 poems by Loris Lesynski captures the joys, thrills, and challenges of one of the most popular sports in the schoolyard today. Crazy About Basketball! is full of energy and humor, and is sure to appeal to anyone who has ever played the sport.
Wonderfully ridiculous artwork and catchy, rhythmic poems highlight both the silly and serious side of the sport, with emphasis on training, tactics, and teamwork, but most of all, on having fun. This is a perfect complement to Lesynski and Rasmussen's previous collaboration, Crazy About Soccer!

MY TAKE:
I like basketball and I used to be really into poetry, so I thought this would be interesting to read.

Crazy About Basketball features a number of poems, both long and short, that celebrates everything about basketball.

The thing about poetry books is that chances are, not every poem is going to work for everyone. For the most part, I liked the poems, especially since they used different rhyme schemes. However, there were some that didn't quite appeal to me. Usually it was because it was too short or felt forced or the topic didn't interest me.

The illustrations were mostly okay for me. The coloring was nice, overall, but the actual drawing style didn't always appeal to me.

Thanks to NetGalley and Annick Press Ltd. for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. The poems use different rhyme schemes.
  2. It covers different aspects of basketball.
  3. There's plenty of variety when it comes to layout, poems and illustrations.

THE BAD:

  1. Some of the poems might not work for everyone.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
the world is made
of bounce and aim
basketball's
not just a game

READ IT IF:

  1. Your child likes basketball.
  2. Your child likes poems.
  3. You want your basketball-loving child to be more interested in poetry.

RATING:
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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

in every little cell alive,
you'll find a move,
a bounce, a jive
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Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Review: Made You Look How Advertising Works and Why You Should Know by Shari Graydon; illustrated by Michelle Lamoreaux


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
The kids' survival guide to advertising, revised and updated for the digital age.
Ads are everywhere these days: they are trying to be your friend on Facebook, popping up in the background of your video game, and even messaging your phone when you walk by a store. More than ever before, kids are the prime target of these marketing messages. But they also have more power than ever to fight back.
For ten years, Made You Look has been an essential self-defense kit for anyone trying to make sense of the complex world of advertising. Now fully revised and with a fresh new look, the book has been updated to reflect the modern ad landscape, from digital tracking and cookies to social media, viral videos, and reality television. From the earliest roots of advertising to the undercover marketers of the 21st century, this revealing book shows kids where ads come from, how they work, and why it matters.

MY TAKE:
I worked in advertising for awhile so I was curious to see what this book had to say about advertising.

In Made You Look How Advertising Works and Why You Should Know, kids are introduced to the basics and history of advertising.

As with most Annick Press non-fiction books, this book is very colorful and the layout has the perfect balance between text, illustrations and other elements.

The text is conversational and the illustrations are pretty funny, too. Considering how the topic can get boring at times, this allows kids to stay focused a little longer. The book tackles a lot of aspects for advertising, even new media like online ads and product placements. There are also activities that kids can try which helps illustrate the impact of advertising in their lives.

Thanks to NetGalley and Annick Press Ltd. for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. The layout, colors and illustrations help keep kids interested.
  2. The tone is conversational.
  3. It covers a lot of advertising-related topics.

THE BAD:

  1. The book can get boring for some kids after awhile.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Characters like the man who still appears as part of the Quaker Oats logo were created to make people feel as if they were buying from a trusted shopkeeper.
READ IT IF:

  1. Your child is interested in advertising.
  2. You want to teach your child more about advertising and its effect on kids.
  3. You want to learn more about advertising.

RATING:
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Sunday, July 21, 2013

In My Mailbox


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

FROM NETGALLEY:



I Hate Picture Books Written & Illustrated by Timothy Young
The Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson; art by Dušan Petričić
Lilly Traps the Bullies (Formac First Novels) by Brenda Bellingham

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Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Review: Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe by Sheryl and Simon Shapiro


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
This little book shows children / That squares are here and there. / And if they keep an eye out, / then stripes are everywhere.
A perfect companion to Ladybugs Have Lots of Spots, the fun, simple text and vibrant design of Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe explore the concept of squares and stripes. Using words such as "cube," "block," "line," and "band," short poems encourage readers to spot the similarities (and differences) between the shapes of the stripes on a zebra and a colored striped sock, for example, or between a square soda cracker and cubes of cheese.
Whether paired with Ladybugs Have Lots of Spots or read independently, this innovative book is a great way to introduce the concept of shapes to young children.

MY TAKE:
This book was cute, but I liked Ladybugs have Lots of Spots more.

In Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe, rhymes and pictures are used to help kids learn about square and stripes.

The rhymes don't feel forced or haphazardly put together. The pictures also perfectly complement the rhymes. As with Ladybugs have Lots of Spots, I felt that the editing of the pictures and the layout were professionally done.

I didn't like it as much as the other book, though. I guess it was because it focuses on two things: squares and stripes. As such, the focus was divided between the two and it felt a little confusing. Perhaps it would have worked better if stripes and squares had their own individual books.

Thanks to NetGalley and Annick Press Ltd. for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. The pictures match the rhymes well.
  2. The rhymes don't feel forced.
  3. The layout is nice.

THE BAD:

  1. Focus is divided between stripes and squares.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Crispy crackers
thin and flat,
cubes of cheese go
great with that.

READ IT IF:

  1. Your child is learning about squares and stripes.
  2. Your child likes books with rhymes.
  3. Your child learns better with pictures.

RATING:
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Friday, July 19, 2013

Review: Ladybugs Have Lots of Spots by Sheryl and Simon Shapiro


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Circles can be fat or thin / There can be lot--or one / And round things can be big or small / And learning can be fun.
This innovative new picture book encourages children, through poetry and photographs, to explore the idea of what is round--from the spots on a ladybug's back to a ring on a finger or a wheel on a bike. Using words such as "dot," "spot," "loop," "hoop," and "ring," it shows that round things aren't all alike, but can be anything!
A perfect companion to Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe, the simple text and vibrant design of Ladybugs Have Lots of Spots encourage children to look for and identify similarly shaped objects in their own environments.

MY TAKE:
It's tricky to come up with rhyming children's books that have the perfect accompanying pictures or designs.

In Ladybugs Have Lots of Spots, kids are introduced to different things that are circular, via rhymes and their corresponding pictures.

With some rhyming children's books, the rhymes feel a little forced or amateurish. With this book, though, I didn't feel that at all. The rhymes work and the examples are creative. I also liked that though pictures are used, instead of illustrations, they look professionally edited instead of just slapped on, like some children's books tend to do.

Thanks to NetGalley and Annick Press Ltd. for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. The pictures are well-edited and appropriate.
  2. The layout is nice.
  3. The rhymes work.

THE BAD:

  1. The font and use of pictures may not work for everyone.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
A cylinder's
both round and flat-
the bottom of
a baker's hat!


READ IT IF:

  1. Your child is just learning about shapes.
  2. Your child likes rhymes.
  3. Your child learns better with pictures.

RATING:
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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Review: It's a Feudal, Feudal World A Different Medieval History by Stephen Shapiro; art by Ross Kinnaird


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Enter a medieval world unlike any you've seen before.
Welcome to an innovative and reader-friendly approach to medieval history, one that combines visually appealing infographics, whimsical cartoons, and lively, information text. Each spread offers a snapshot that highlights an aspect of the diversity and intercultural dynamics of the medieval world, from Europe to the Byzantine, Ottoman, and Islamic empires.
Readers get the inside scoop on crusaders and caliphs, Mongols and midwives, as they read about expanding trade routes, power shifts, conquests, adventure, and persecutions. The result is a colorful and varied picture of what life was like a thousand years ago.

MY TAKE:
I've always found medieval history fascinating.

In It's a Feudal, Feudal World, information about the Middle Ages is presented through a mix of illustrations, infographics, and text.

The book is illustration/infographic-heavy, which really helps keep the reader's interest. The dialogue and the comments in the illustrations are also quite funny. This means, though, that it reads like an almanac, instead of some nonfiction reference books that are mostly paragraph after paragraph of information.

In terms of information provided, some of the information should be familiar to anyone who likes medieval history or has watched documentaries or movies about it. There are plenty of facts, though, that most people probably wouldn't be familiar with. For example, I know about fiefs, but this was the first time that I've read about allods, pronoias and timars.

Thanks to NetGalley and Annick Press Ltd. for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. The infographics are funny .
  2. There are plenty of new information to be found, even for those who are familiar with the Middle Ages.
  3. It covers a lot of material.

THE BAD:

  1. Some may find the sequence of information to be random or not clearly structured.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
I can't wait until they invent supermarkets.
READ IT IF:

  1. Your child likes the Middle Ages.
  2. Your child likes learning new facts.
  3. Your child likes infographics.

RATING:
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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Review: Before the World Was Ready Stories of Daring Genius in Science by Claire Eamer; art by Sa Boothroyd


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Eight fascinating tales of scientists ahead of their time, from Copernicus to Rachel Carson.
Earth revolves around the sun. Washing hands helps stop the spread of disease. Poisons in the environment affect the entire ecosystem. Today, these ideas are common knowledge, but at one time they were all rejected. It can take years for people to accept a new idea or invention that changes the way they see the world.
In this thought-provoking book, you'll find out what happened when people weren't ready to listen to innovators who came up with revolutionary ideas. Discover why "mad scientist" Nikola Tesla's futuristic ideas about electricity were dismissed, why Charles Darwin delayed publishing his controversial theory of evolution for decades, and how Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace nearly invented the first computer in the 1800s. Nowadays, we think of these scientists are heroes, but they all endured great personal hardships for daring to think differently.

MY TAKE:
The most challenging part of non-fiction books for kids is making the book interesting yet informative.

In Before the World Was Ready, we are presented with the stories of eight scientists who made revolutionary discoveries.

I found the language used in the book to be funny, interesting and accessible to kids. It also helped that the book was colorful and there were plenty of humorous illustrations. While I was familiar with most of the things mentioned in the book, there were some details that were new to me. For example, I wasn't aware that Charles Darwin took a long time to publish his theory of evolution and that another scientist came up with the same idea.

The book also has short features peppered throughout the book which are related to the chapter wherein they are contained. Because the facts are presented like stories, it doesn't appear boring at all. It doesn't feel like information overload either.

Thanks to NetGalley and Annick Press Ltd. for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. The illustrations are funny.
  2. The facts are presented like stories.
  3. It's jam-packed with information.

THE BAD:

  1. The illustration style might not work for everyone.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Charles Babbage designed the Analytical Engine, but Ada Lovelace was the visionary who understood what it might do.
READ IT IF:

  1. Your kid likes science.
  2. Your child dreams of being a scientist.
  3. You like reading about pioneers of science.

RATING:
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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The person who comes along and explains the idea clearly is more likely to be listened to- and often gets credit for the idea itself.
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Note: This post may contain Amazon affiliate links.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Review: A Big Year for Lily by Mary Ann Kinsinger and Suzanne Woods Fisher


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
As Lily settles into the routine of school and home, she learns valuable lessons about making new friends.
MY TAKE:
Ever since I saw Meet the Hutterites, I've been fascinated with the Amish lifestyle.

In A Big Year for Lily, readers follow a year in the life of Lily, her family, and her friends.

While the chapters are told in chronological order, for the most part, each part feels like a separate, stand-alone anecdote. It worked for me anyway, because it was like watching episodes of a TV show. I could stop after any chapter and still know the complete story.

Each chapter was able to show different facets of Amish life. While I don't think I would be able to last long in Lily's community, some of Lily's adventures seem fun and interesting. The Amish, or at least Lily's family, are incredibly self-sufficient, and it makes me realize how much those of us in the city take for granted.

I liked Lily well enough, although there were moments when she wasn't exactly nice. The character I disliked the most was Effie. What a horrible little girl. I was pretty surprised that the adults were so lenient with her. If ever there was a kid who needed to be disciplined, it's Effie.

Thanks to NetGalley and Revell for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. It's a great way to read about Amish life.
  2. The characters are realistic.
  3. Even the more mundane events are interesting to read about.

THE BAD:

  1. The anecdote-type style might not work for everyone.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Mama had made all of Lily's favorit3e foods: fried chicken, fluffy mashed potatoes topped with browned butter and sprinkled with parsley, fried green beans with bacon bits, and golden flaky biscuits.
READ IT IF:

  1. You are curious about Amish life.
  2. You like books with stand-alone chapters.
  3. You are looking for books with interesting female protagonists.

RATING:
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