How Does My Fruit Grow? by Gerda Muller

cover132730-mediumHow Does My Fruit Grow? by Gerda Muller is a story with detailed illustrations and close up view of many of the fruits and nuts being described in the story. This is an excellent resource for any library to teach children about plants and gardening.

The reader follows the main character, Sophie, who enjoys picking berries at his relatives house only to learn that she would be moving to the south of France. Sophie was not happy about moving but soon she makes some new friends and enjoys learning about the fruits that grow in the new climate.

As Sophie learns about the delicious foods, so does the reader. The illustrator does an excellent job of highlighting each fruit/nut on the page. Sophie’s story concludes with a presentation from each of her classmates about how various fruits grow. The end pages contain sketches of 11 different fruits, including almonds, pineapples, and cherries, and the flowers that preceded them. Readers can match the number of the fruit with its flower on the facing pages, thus, learning even more about the foods introduced in the book. Originally published in France, this is an extraordinarily beautiful and informative book.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

I received a dARC from NetGalley via Myrick Marketing & Media, LLC and Floris Books in exchange for an honest review.


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Kid Scientists by David Stabler and Anoosha Syed

cover140273-mediumKid Scientists by David Stabler and Anoosha Syed is a wonderful collection of stories that share the early path of some famous scientists. This is an excellent nonfiction book that would be great upper elementary and middle school students. I enjoyed reading about the ‘young’ scientists.

This book is fill with fun facts about a wide variety of famous scientists, with the focus on their lives as youngsters. You’ll find the stories to be motivational and inspirational. Some of the scientists you will find in the book is Benjamin Franklin, Vera Rubin, and Stephen Hawking. Stabler does a good job of covering details of these brilliant scientists and bringing light to the well-known and the not so well-known scientists.

This title was provided by NetGalley via Quirk Books in return for an honest review.

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Tree Song by Tiffany Stone

cover129618-mediumTree Song by Tiffany Stone is a joyful book follows the life cycle of a tree as it grows from seedling to mature tree, and finally gives way to a new sapling. At every stage of the tree’s life, children are seen playing under its branches. Each season brings with it new sounds, whether it’s the chirping of birds in the spring or the flitter flutter of leaves in the fall. As well as a home for animals, the tree provides a canopy for a summer picnic, and a perfect place to hang a swing. Most important of all, when old age fells the tree, it provides an acorn from which a new tree will grow. Colorful illustrations with lots of small details will capture the attention of young readers, while the lyrical text makes this an ideal read-aloud book. It can also serve as the perfect introduction to nature’s life cycles.

The message to me is conservation, getting out in nature and learning about the seasons and their affect on trees. There is so much to see in each illustration that this book could take a long time to get through if you encourage conversation. The text is written in a rhyming form that has a singsong cadence to it. A great book for use in classrooms to teach about a variety of things.

An absolutely wonderful book that has a lovely story and wonderful drawings.

I give this book 4/5 stars.

I received an e-book ARC from Netgalley via Annick Press Ltd. in exchange for an honest review.

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When God Gave Us Words by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso

cover139681-mediumWhen God Gave Us Words by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso is an imaginative origin story. The story is that God wants to give humans words, the angels resist, wanting that ability to be theirs alone. God persists, so the angels distribute words throughout the world and watch what happens.

There is humor to be found in this book; such as, why dictionaries and spelling lists are necessary, how the angels tire of all of our relentless talking while God is still content to listen. The story covers how humans use language in a negative way through ugly words, gossip, and curses. Just as there could be regret, we see songs, lullabies, poetry, jokes, prayers, and stories redeem the hurtful parts.

The illustrations are different yet interesting. This book shows the readers the impact of our words and how stories can compel might extend beyond the pages of this book. While the idea of the book is there it is a tonal issue of how the ideas are presented. 

I give this book 3/5 stars

Thank you to Netgalley via Flyaway Books for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Adventure, ARC, behavior, Bible, book, book review, books, children, Children's Fiction, Children's literature, Children's Nonfiction, children's poetry, Christian, christian fiction, compassion, education, family, Flyaway Books, funny, God, honest review, inspiration, Inspirational, kids, NetGalley, Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, spiritual, spirituality, words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cat Lady Embroidery 380 Ways to Stitch a Cat by Applemints

cover142450-mediumCat Lady Embroidery 380 Ways to Stitch a Cat by Applemints is a very useful embroidery book to have, especially if you like cats. It has a variety of cat patterns! Silly ones, realistic, playful, outlines, completely filled and detailed, letters with cats on them, cats for borders, small dainty cats, large cats, and everything in between.

The book is well laid out with a Contents page, embroidery stitch guide, thread conversion chart, tools and materials section, motifs and templates. There many gorgeous cat designs to embroidery including Christmas cats, Halloween cats, Folk cats, kitty borders, kitty corners and alphabet cats.

The book goes through and shows the reader how to do the many different stitches! For each cat, there was a pattern with color, stitch, and every thing you would need!

Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group – Creative Publishing International for this e-book ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in animal, animals, ARC, art, arts and crafts, book review, cats, craft, Crafts & Hobbies, creative, embroidery, honest review, NetGalley, nonfiction, Quarto, Quarto Publishing Group | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This Is a Taco! by Andrew Cangelose, Josh Shipley

37771276This Is a Taco! by Andrew Cangelose, Josh Shipley is a hilarious children’s book told by a squirrel named Taco. It starts with a few facts about squirrels. Taco is fine, until the author tells us what squirrels eat. At this point Taco speaks directly to the reader, explaining that he does not like nuts and tree bark, his favorite food is tacos! As the facts continue, Taco intervenes more and more actually changing the story to what he wants it to say.

This is a great book for young readers and writers as well as being used for a mentor text when teaching about voice. The illustrations are funny and add to the story showing his emotions, especially when there is a hawk around. A great book for schools, classroom, and family libraries.

Thank you Diamond Book Distributors and Lion Forge via NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Lulu Is A Rhinoceros by Jason Flom, Allison Flom

cover139975-mediumLulu Is A Rhinoceros by Jason Flom, Allison Flom is a cute, silly story of a dog who thinks she is a rhino, even though the world sees her as a bull dog.

Lulu is a bulldog who sees herself as a rhino and only if she had a horn, then everyone would know it. The illustrations are adorable and the story is affirming to anyone who has felt different. The book is a silly story with cute pictures. No one is fooled by Lulu thinking she is a rhinoceros, but the lengths she goes to are sure to bring on the giggles with young readers.

I give this book 3.5/5 stars

I received an e-book copy from Diamond Book Distributors and Wicked Cow Studios via NetGalley

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National Parks of the USA by Kate Siber

cover140487-mediumNational Parks of the USA by Kate Siber is a visually stunning guide for young readers. It is a wonderful collection of facts and detailed  illustrations highlighting some of the more popular national parks in the United States.

The parks are divided by region and each feature includes the state, founding year, and acreage. The crisp and modern graphic design layout includes wildlife and plant species native to the area, natural phenomena, and interesting facts. It has a blurb of each national park and where it’s located on the map, then features some of the more notable national parks with details and tidbits about the park’s interesting features; such as, animals, plants, geologic formations, weather, and Native American history.

This is an excellent book for young readers beginning to show an interest in nature and our national park system filled with brief but exciting descriptions and lovely artwork.

Thanks to Quarto Publishing Group, Wide Eyed Editions via NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Adventure, ARC, book, book review, books, children, Children's literature, Children's Nonfiction, culture, honest review, informative, national parks, nature, NetGalley, nonfiction, Outdoors & Nature, picture book, picture books, Quarto Publishing Group, travel, Wide Eyed editions, Wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

A Literary Tea by Alison Walsh

cover130268-mediumA Literary Tea: Party Blends and Treats for Alice, Bilbo, Dorothy, Jo, and Book Lovers Everywhere by Alison Walsh is a collection of literary-inspired recipes of savories, breads, and desserts, which are inspired by familiar children’s classics. Enjoy a Beorn’s Honey Nut Banana Bread (The Hobbit) or delight your palate with Jo’s Gingerbread (Little Women), or Candied Flower Cookies (inspired by The Secret Garden).

The food recipes are fairly clear, and range from simple to more complex. While most can be made with commonly-available ingredients, pans, and utensils, a few require more obscure tools, such as a mandoline, or ingredients you will only find in an upscale or gourmet grocery store. Cooks who prefer metric measures can relax; there are two handy conversion tables at the end, one for quantities and the other for oven temperatures.

This was a wonderful read and I can’t wait to try some of these classic literature recipes. I recommend A Literary Tea Party for anyone looking to throw a literary party, or just curl up with a cup of tea, a good book, and the perfectly-paired snack.

I give this book 5/5 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, and Skyhorse Publishing for the Advanced Readers Copy of A Literary Tea Party. 

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Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

cover130444-mediumLove and Ruin by Paula McLain is a historical fiction book that focuses on on Ernest Hemingway’s third wife, Martha Gellhorn. Martha was a respected and celebrated person with many accomplishments. She was a war correspondent for 60 years, and an author in her own right, but the times were such that Ernest Hemingway often overshadowed her.

The best parts of the book are Martha’s travels as a correspondent, along with the descriptions of the Spanish Civil War, and the events leading up to WWII. She was very driven, independent, and adventurous, but was also empathetic and drawn to the untold stories of the suffering of ordinary people. She was at her best and most alive when she was at the front lines in the midst of the action, and her first-person narration was riveting. Among many other accomplishments she was the only woman to land at Normandy on D-Day, and was among the first journalists to report from the Dachau concentration camp.

Love and Ruin was the perfect title for this book. My one complaint is it got a little angsty at times when talking about their relationship and it began to wear thin. But it still gets all the stars for highlighting Martha’s career and accomplishments.

I give this book 4/5 stars

Thank you to Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine and Ballantine Books via NetGalley for the opportunity to review this wonderful book.

Posted in Ballantine Books, biographical, biographical fiction, biography, book, book review, books, Cuba, Ernest Hemingway, fiction, historical fiction, history, honest review, Literary Fiction, literature, marriage, Martha Gellhorn, NetGalley, Random House Publishing, Review, Spain, war | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,