Book Review: Ogre Enchanted

Ogre Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

Ogre Enchanted (Ella Enchanted, #0.5)
by Gail Carson Levine (Goodreads Author)
3 out of 5 stars

Evie is a teenage healer, always concocting potions for her best friend, Wormy. When he proposes, she says no, and the fairy Lucinda curses her to be an ogre until she accepts a marriage proposal. Any marriage proposal from anyone. Evie travels to the Fens, hoping to learn the art of persuasion from the ogres who live there. Life as an ogre is more difficult than she imagined, but Evie becomes known as the healer ogre. She searches for someone who will awaken her ability to love, and hopes that someone will propose to her. But she isn’t even sure what love is supposed to feel like.

I was disappointed in this book.
The story was oddly disjointed, and there were several things that seemed exceedingly far-fetched, even for a fairytale world. The ending was rushed, and the relationships felt forced. The characters are okay, but I wasn’t amazed with their personalities or the bland character development.

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Book Review: Skunk and Badger

Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake

Skunk and Badger (Skunk and Badger #1)
by Amy TimberlakeJon Klassen (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars

Badger has a simple and quiet life studying rocks and doing Important Rock Work. One day Skunk shows up on Badger’s doorstep as his new roommate, and Badger’s quiet life is thrown into chaos. Skunk cooks delicious meals, but dirties up the kitchen. Skunk moves furniture around and recycles all the cardboard boxes that Badger was saving. Skunk invites guests over for a story-time popcorn party until the house is overrun with chickens! Badger is torn between enjoying all the excitement and being angry with Skunk for his wild behavior. How will these two roommates ever find a way to live together in harmony?

I loved this book so much! It reminds me of one of my favorite animal books, “Wind in the Willows”. There is a quiet character and an adventurous character, and they learn to be friends.

The character development is fantastic! Badger goes through a whole internal journey as his world begins to open up and he realizes just how isolated he has become. He is initially dismayed at Skunk’s antics, but also enjoys the good food and companionship that comes into his house. Skunk makes him think differently about his life and see things from a new perspective. I love the warmth of their friendship and how they laugh together.

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Book Review: How to Get Away with Myrtle

How to Get Away with Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce

How to Get Away with Myrtle (Myrtle Hardcastle Mystery 2)
by Elizabeth C. Bunce 
5 out of 5 stars

Myrtle is traveling by train for a holiday at the seaside, when a priceless tiara is stolen and one of the train passengers is murdered. The local police are incompetent, and only Myrtle and her irrepressible governess, Miss Judson, can solve the case and bring justice to the murderer. But how is a Proper Young Lady supposed to adhere to the Rules of Etiquette AND have the freedom to run around the beach solving crimes? Especially with mean Aunt Helena criticizing her every move.

I cannot describe how much I loved this second book in the Myrtle series!
One of the things that made me fall in love with this book is the incredible character development. I love how the main characters change their minds, discover new information, grow in their personalities and abilities, and suddenly realize that their relationships with other characters can be different.

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Non Fiction Book Review: Called to Be Creative

Called to Be Creative by Mary Potter Kenyon

Called to Be Creative: A Guide to Reigniting Your Creativity
by Mary Potter Kenyon (Goodreads Author)
3 out of 5 stars

This book explores what it means to be creative, and how to unleash your own creative energies. There are tips for exploring different arts or hobbies, and advice on gaining confidence and taking risks. I love how this book encourages the reader to try new things, learn from failure, and embrace anything and everything creative!

The authors spends a lot of time talking about her mother and how creative she was, including excerpts from her mother’s journals and photos of her mother’s artwork. I was not expecting this book to be quite so autobiographical, and I got bored with the long stories about the author’s family.

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Picture Book Review: Claris, Holiday Heist

Claris by Megan Hess

Claris: Holiday Heist: The Chicest Mouse in Paris
by Megan Hess
4 out of 5 stars

Claris and her best friend, Monsieur Cat, are visiting New York for the holidays. They are Christmas shopping at Cartier when they witness a burglary, and set off across New York to catch the thief!

I loved the beautiful illustrations in this book! The colors are bright, and the lines are delicate. I love all the Christmasy decorations!

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Picture Book Review: Claris, Bonjour Riviera

Claris by Megan Hess

Claris: Bonjour Riviera
by Megan Hess
4 out of 5 stars

Claris the Paris mouse is on her way to the French Riviera for a holiday with her best friend, Monsieur Cat. They pack their bags with chic ensembles by Dior, Gucci, Prada, and Pucci. They travel with style in a Louis Vuitton bag to a glamorous hotel where they see movie stars. But Claris meets a beautiful songbird who is in trouble, and the two are tossed into a wild adventure aboard a fancy yacht.

I loved the beautiful illustrations in this book! The colors are bright, and the lines are delicate. Each scene is designed to give the story more depth. I did feel like some of the artwork is just cut and pasted from one page to the other with only a wardrobe change to make it different. I would have appreciated separate art for each page, instead of copies of the same facial expressions.

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Non Fiction Book Review: Beginner’s United States Atlas

Beginner's U.S. Atlas 2020, 3rd Edition by National Geographic Kids

Beginner’s U.S. Atlas 2020, 3rd Edition
by National Geographic Kids
5 out of 5 stars

This beginner’s atlas is perfect for young readers with a curiosity about the world! It starts with how maps show different states and landscapes, and how to read a map using the key, the compass, and the distance scale that shows miles and kilometers. Full of colorful illustrations and photos, this atlas grabs the reader’s attention!

I like how the book is divided up by region into the Southeast, Northeast, Midwest, Southwest, the West, and territories. It makes it easy to find what you are looking for, and to see how states that border each other have a lot in common. Each state flag is featured along with the state bird, state tree, and common wildlife and crops for the region.

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Non Fiction Book Review: United States Atlas

National Geographic Kids U.S. Atlas 2020, 6th Edition by National Geographic Kids

National Geographic Kids U.S. Atlas 2020, 6th Edition
by National Geographic Kids
5 out of 5 stars

I love maps, and this atlas is full of incredible maps! It’s got photos and facts and culture and history, all with colorful designs and interesting little details.
The first thing I did was turn to the page for my state, Georgia, and poured over the pages, finding my town, and looking for nearby national parks and monuments.

I like how the book is divided up by region- SouthEast, SouthWest, NorthEast, MidWest, etc… It makes it easy to find what you are looking for, and to see how states that border each other have a lot in common. I was also happy to see that many of the Native American cultures are celebrated and featured in this book as a major part of the history of many states.

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Non Fiction Book Review: National Geographic Kids Almanac 2021

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2021, U.S. Edition by National Geographic Kids

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2021, U.S. Edition by National Geographic Kids
5 out of 5 stars

This book is full of weird facts and details about exploration, history, space, science, animals, ecosystems, geography, and nature. So of course, I devoured this book and enjoyed every colorful page!

With beautiful photos and maps, this book gives a quick look into fascinating cultures, amazing explorers, newly discovered animal species, and dazzling planets and stars all over the galaxy.

I especially loved the section about Space and Earth. It has information about minerals, and lava, and how the earth is formed, and about the vastness of space and all the wild phenomena out there in the universe. There are sections for dwarf planets and black holes, and of course a 2021 calendar of the best times to watch the skies for meteor showers, supermoons, or an eclipse.

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