Board Book Reviews: Maisy’s Animals, and Maisy Explores

Maisy's Animals by Lucy Cousins    Maisy Explores by Lucy Cousins
Maisy’s Animals: A First Words Book
Maisy Explores: A First Words Book

   by Lucy Cousins

5 out of 5 stars

In Maisy Explores, Maisy explores a variety of different ideas, like the weather, types of plants, insects that change from caterpillar to butterfly, body parts, textures from rough to smooth, sounds, colors, and everyday items. The only text is labels for each type of item, but the drawings show Maisy playing the drums, planting a seed, flying a kite, and painting a picture.

In Maisy’s Animals, Maisy travels all over the world and interacts with animals in different places. The only text is labels for each type of animal, but the drawings show Maisy riding a camel in the desert, dog-sledding with a husky in the Arctic, swimming with fish in the ocean, and feeding chickens on the farm, and putting out cat-food for her kitty at home. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: That’s Good, That’s Bad

That's Good, That's Bad by Joan M. Lexau
That’s Good, That’s Bad
by Joan M. Lexau,  Aliki (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars

A young boy is confronted with a ferocious tiger, but buys time by telling the tiger a story about how he escaped from an angry rhino. During the ups and downs of the boy’s story, the tiger is alternately glad or sad as the boy gets in and out of trouble.

The boy runs away from rhino, but rhino can run faster. That’s bad.
The boy climbs into a tree to escape. That’s good.
The boy throws a stone at the rhino. That’s good.
But the stone doesn’t hit rhino. That’s bad.

The illustrations are so cute!

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Board Book Series Review: All Around Bustletown

All Around Bustletown by Rotraut Susanne BernerAll Around Bustletown: SummerAll Around Bustletown by Rotraut Susanne BernerAll Around Bustletown by Rotraut Susanne Berner
5 out of 5 stars
Everywhere in Bustletown people are getting things done, going to a museum, doing their shopping, finding lost objects, playing ball with their friends, getting their car repaired, and tending to the animals. Everywhere you look there is something interesting happening and a story line to follow!

I love the colorful and detailed illustrations! Each page is beautifully drawn with fun little details to draw the reader in. I’m 37 years old, and I was fascinated with each beautiful scene! Continue reading

Graphic Novel Review: Batman Overdrive

Batman by Shea Fontana
Batman: Overdrive
by Shea Fontana,  Marcelo Di Chiara (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars

Young Bruce Wayne is weeks away from getting his driver’s license, and decides to repair his father’s classic car, and maybe give it some upgrades, and maybe start calling it the Batmobile. Bruce is tracking a car theft ring, and hoping they will lead to clues about his parents’ murders. He is isolated and alone, but as he searches junkyards for replacement parts and tracks the car thefts, he befriends two teens that he is certain he can trust… until he can’t.

I loved this graphic novel! Batman has never been my favorite superhero- too dark for me- but I really enjoyed reading about a young Bruce who is just forming his identity as a hero and learning from his early mistakes. Bruce is charming and just so cool. He takes too many risks and has a lot of anger inside though. It was great to see his character growing and developing as he dealt with some of those issues. Continue reading

Book Review: Septimus Heap: Darke

Septimus Heap: Darke (#6)By Angie Sage

4 out of 5 stars

That stinking Merrin Meredith is back, threatening the Castle with the power of the Darke. Only Septimus, his dragon Spitfyre, and Princess Jenna can stop Merrin from covering the entire city in Darkeness.

I loved this book! The plot is full of action and magic and twists. I adore the characters, and I love how they grow and learn throughout the series. This book was particularly emotional for the Heap family as prodigal son, Simon, strives to win back his family’s love and trust.

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Picture Book Review: Luis and Tabitha

Luis and Tabitha by Stephanie  Campisi
Luis and Tabitha
by Stephanie Campisi, Hollie Mengert (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars 

Luis is a suave cat who lives on the streets and hangs out at the firehouse, but when he falls in love with Tabitha, a house cat, how can the two ever be together with the doors that separate them? Tabitha’s owner shoos Luis away whenever he comes near Tabitha, but Luis never gives up.

I just adore how dashing and gentlemanly Luis is, and how gentle and elegant Tabitha is. I was really rooting for those two and their forbidden romance! Luis brings sardines and flowers and does everything he can to woo Tabitha, but she is trapped inside the house, mournfully watching him through the windows. Luis’ cat friends tell him to just accept the situation, but Luis is indefatigable! I loved his energy and determination! Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Unicorn and Horse

Unicorn by David W. Miles
Unicorn (and Horse)
by David W. Miles, Hollie Mengert (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

Horse is plain and frumpy. He’s jealous of the gorgeous Unicorn, who eats pink cupcakes and makes rainbows. Unicorn dances around spreading cheer and sunshine. Horse eats hay and scowls at everyone with a grumpy attitude. Can these two ever resolve their differences and becomes friends?

This story is hilarious! It’s so much fun that I read it three times in a row!
I laughed and laughed at the funny predicaments poor Horse has to deal with. The illustrations are a big part of the humor, with silly expressions on the character’s faces and background details that make the story even funnier. I just love the soft cartoon style of the illustrations. The artwork is bright and vibrant with adorable animal characters and plenty of action. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Goodnight Whispers

Goodnight Whispers by Michael Leannah
Goodnight Whispers
by Michael Leannah, Dani Torrent (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars

“You are strong. You are brave. You are so incredibly good.” A father whispers words of affirmation to his baby daughter as she falls asleep every night. She grows into a toddler, then a teen, and a young woman. Through every step of her life, she hears his voice encouraging her.

This book is so sweet and heartfelt that it actually made me cry! I am blessed to have a kind and loving father like the one in this book, and it brought back old memories of times that my Dad encouraged and supported me.

I love the soft illustrations and the muted color scheme. The artwork really brings the story home, and draws the reader into the emotions of the characters.

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Board Book Review: Little Fingers Ballet

Little Fingers Ballet by Ashley Marie Mireles
Little Fingers Ballet
by Ashley Marie Mireles, Olga Skomorokhova 

5 out of 5 stars

This board book features finger holes where the reader can make leg movements for the ballerinas in the illustrations. There are even little “finger tights” that you can wear like little ballet slippers to match the costumes of the dancers!

I can’t stop playing with this book! It’s so adorable!
The ballet scenes are taken from famous ballets and includes characters like Romeo and Juliet, the Snow Queen, Coppelia, and Cinderella. The text also includes ballet terminology like “plies, grande battements, grand jete, pirouettes, chasse steps”, and more that I didn’t understand but would be fun to learn about! Continue reading

Book and Puzzle Set Review: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Book and Puzzle Box Set by Rebecca Sorge
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Book and Puzzle Box Set
by Rebecca Sorge (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars

This boxed set of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz book and puzzle makes a beautiful gift set! The paperback book has a beautiful cover just as shown on the front of the box, however there are no illustrations inside the book which was a little disappointing. I was hoping for more gorgeous artwork like the cover!

The puzzle is a 500 piece puzzle included inside its own separate box inside the gift set. The puzzle picture is the same as the cover. I just love that artwork and the bright colors and all the details in the background, which makes it perfect for a puzzle!

The box itself is a delight, with a magnetic clasp and lovely endpapers. You could use it like a treasure box if you didn’t want to keep the puzzle inside it. Continue reading