Monday, November 20, 2017

Picture Book Palooza

Welcome to Middle Grade Monday! Today I am looking at three different picture books that younger readers will enjoy. To check out the other stops that do Middle Grade Monday check out our new hub at Always in the Middle... by Greg Pattridge.

Sam & Eva
by Debbie Ridpath Ohi, published by Simon & Schuster Children's

This book is adorable! Sam and Eva are two friends who like to color and paint. One day Eva visits Sam and a picture war begins. Their wall drawings begin interacting until the mayhem is too much. Then, they draw a door in the wall, crawl through and begin on a clean white wall.

This book is full of imagination. Our two main characters are both done in black and white, while every thing they paint or color is bright and bold. Their characters come to life, reacting to each other and their drawer's moods. I enjoyed watching the story on the wall evolve and change and then when they draw a small door and go through the wall- priceless! 5 stars.

Polly and Her Duck Costume: The true story of a little blind rescue goat (GOA Kids - The Goats of Anarchy)
by Leanne Lauricella, Jill Howarth (illustrator), published by The Quarto Group

This story is full of warm fuzzies and kindness. It is a true story based on the author's animal rescue work. Polly is a blind goat that is rescued when her mom goat abandons her. Leanne saves her and brings her home to her farm. Polly looks to Leanne as her new mom and follows her everywhere, getting very nervous when she can't hear her. To help Polly's anxiety, Leanne puts her in a duck costume that she bought for Halloween, and it works miracles. Polly thrives, and when a new goat rescue, Pippa, shows up, she lets the new goat have her costume while she gets a bigger size.

The story is so fun and since it is real life it is even more exciting. You couldn't have thought up the idea of a nervous, blind goat that only wants to wear a duck costume.  It is a bit wordy, and I put that down to this being a real life telling rather than a picture book fiction. After the story, there are real life pictures of Polly and Pippa, which is an added bonus. I think it shares the great morals of love, care and acceptance. 4 stars!

Papillon Goes to the Vet 
by A.N. Kang, published by Disney

This book is all about a fluffy cat named Papillon, and guess what? He can fly! Which is really cool because the first thing I noticed was his name, Papillon, which means butterfly in French. This cat is so big, white and fluffy, he looks like a cloud, and I just wanted to hug him. He loves to play catch with his best friend, a bird (strange relationship there, lol). One day, Papillon swallows the toy mouse they are playing with and gets sick. He is stricken with the hiccups and can no longer fly! His owner rushes him to the vet, where he meets other cats who can do amazing things. He feels left out and sad. But then, after a violent hiccup, the toy pops out of his mouth and he is fine. Then he gets to play with the other cats and show them his talents.

This is a cute, simple book. The story is not very deep, but it does teach kids that when they are in a strange situation they can put their best foot forward. I love the illustration on the way home from the vet, Papillon is wearing his blanket like a cape, now feeling confident after having made many new friends. A fun, feel-good book for young readers. 4 stars!

Through Your Eyes: My Child's Gift to Me
by Ainsley Earhardt, Ji-Hyuk Kim (Illustrations), published by Aladdin

This book stole my heart! Not just the beautiful story of a mother and daughter, but the absolutely brilliant and colorful illustrations. They are very impressionistic with soft, blending images, and bright, warm colors. Hats off to illustrator Ji-Hyuk Kim.

The story also took my breath away, perhaps because I am a mother and could relate to every detail, but also because one of my motto's in life is, Be Still. This book brings that idea to the forefront of learning. We begin with a mom who has a list of things she wants her child to see and do, but one day, as she watches her child play at the park, she realizes that her child is already seeing and doing amazing things just by interacting with the world around her. She teaches her mom new ideas about feeling, being, hearing and seeing. The main idea being, "To slow down, take small steps. Make each moment last. The world is a blur if you're spinning too fast." Such a touching point and one every parent can relate to as their children grow by leaps and bounds. This is a book to share with those you love! 5 stars!

Buy them now on Amazon-

Sam & Eva

Polly and Her Duck Costume

Papillon Goes to the Vet

Through Your Eyes

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Cover Love- Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

*current giveaways*

My cover love for this week arrived with my son's Scholastic book club order. As I was pulling them out of the bag, this one grabbed my attention immediately- Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage.

Cover art by Gilbert Ford

First off, this is a panoramic cover, stretching the scene onto the back, sorry I can't show it to you. However, the back cover shows the water to actually to be part of a lake, not a river like the cover suggests. Don't these colors pop! The green bottle against the blue lake and then the title is bold, blending from yellow down to dark orange. I especially love the fireflies, they add that extra dynamic that makes this cover special. They remind me of growing up back in Maryland, when we used to catch fireflies at night and put them in a jar (with air holes). Along the shore you see various people enjoying the sunset, but on the back cover, you see one of these figures is hiding behind a tree with binoculars, hmm. Then there is the question, why is there a message in a bottle? I really like where this cover takes my imagination. What do you think?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Thankful for Cash Giveaway!

Could you use an extra $250 this holiday season? Here is your chance!!

The winner of this giveaway will receive $250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Gift Card.


Writing Contest Alert- Hey Writers! How's Your Writing Life? From The Writer Magazine

Look what I found in my inbox!

"Write a 2,000-word essay about any aspect of the writing life. Any topic is fair game, so long as it pertains to some aspect of writing. While the grand prize is $1,000 and publication in our magazine, every essay we receive will be considered for publication in The Writer". Learn more HERE.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Top 100 Book Review Blogs For Book Readers and Authors- The Write Path

I am excited to announce that my blog, The Write Path, was awarded #86 on the Top 100 Book Review Blogs For Book Readers and Authors from Feedspot. I am super excited to share the news with you because it means the idea of book blogs and encouraging reading in children is moving up in the world! Let's get kids to read :)

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Werewolf of Davenport (The Midnight Glass Volume 2) by D. T. Vaughn


Welcome to Middle Grade Monday! Today I am reviewing the latest release by DT Vaughn, The Werewolf of Davenport, The Midnight Glass Vol.2. Don't forget to check out all the other bloggers who post middle grade on Monday's at our new headquarters- Always in the Middle... by Greg Pattridge.

The Story- 
It has been two years since young Wyatt Dumount defeated the Dread and became the Gatekeeper of the supernatural city of Davenport. Only a handful of townies know his true identity. Now, just as middle school is starting up for the year, a rogue werewolf begins bullying and harassing the town. It becomes clear that his main goal is to find the Gatekeeper and take over the town.

Wyatt has his work cut out for him, because this werewolf appears unstoppable. Soon, strange creatures begin hunting Wyatt and to protect his family he decides to let the demon Vex remove their memories. He feels all alone, until a ghost pops into the picture and hints that she has clues about whatever is happening to his town. It will take the revealing of many secrets and the bonding of many friendships to ride out this storm. Can they do it?

My Thoughts-
I enjoy this author's writing. He has created a town, set apart from the world, where humans and supernaturals live hand in hand. However, as with all good things, they don't seem to last. Jealousy and bigotry appear, a theme that is taken on by the author in this volume. The author does a great job using the prejudices of both the humans and supernaturals against vampires as a case study.

The adventure is a fun ride too. Wyatt is still trying to find his place, his grandfather having died in book 1, before being able to pass on the secrets of being a Gatekeeper. I find it interesting that the author has not brought forward a character or device to teach young Wyatt, instead, after two years, he is still only able to teleport to and from the gate and open and close the barrier. I kind of want Wyatt to discover some cool stuff, but he is only just beginning to use his powers by the end of this story.

I have to say my favorite thing in this whole book is the concept of the Librarian's Book. I don't want to give it away, but what the author did in creating an almost Omnipotent intelligence is so fun and I can't wait to see how he uses this "being" in future stories.

This was a fun read full of adventure, friendship, good values and first love (yep! Wyatt's first crush.) I'm giving it 4 stars! Honestly, the only thing I didn't like was the cover, but I don't review based on that. Go read these two books. My review of the first, The Midnight Glass is HERE.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

And the winner is...

Congrats to Brandi D., the winner of PC Cast's latest book, Sun Warrior.