Book Review: Rebel Genius

Rebel Genius
Rebel Genius by Michael Dante DiMartino

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so impressed with this book! I loved every second of it! There are definite influences of the Italian Renaissance in the setting through the artwork, architecture, and names. The writing is full of action, mystery, and magic, and of course, the characters are absolutely delightful. They feel like real people, varied and interested, changing and growing all the time, each with their own secrets and agendas.

Giacomo is an orphan, living on the streets, when he mysteriously acquires a Genius, a little bird that is a companion to artists to inspire their imaginations and give them magical powers of creativity. But the evil ruler, Nerezza, sends her soldiers to kill all the Genius birds and their artists, and Giacomo and his new little friend are on the run. Giacomo teams up with some other artsy children, and they go on a quest to find an object of magical power to bring Nerezza’s evil rule to an end. Continue reading

Book Review: Terrible, Horrible Edie

Terrible, Horrible Edie
Terrible, Horrible Edie by Elizabeth C. Spykman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A completely marvelous harbor summer on the beach, messing around with boats, camping out, fishing, surviving a hurricane, and of course catching a burglar or two. When the Cares spend their summer by the ocean, one thing is for certain, that the incomparable Edie will get into trouble in every chapter.

Edie is curious, resourceful, courageous, and has a deliciously rebellious and independent spirit. She is always generous and does her duty, but somehow trouble seems to follow her around. Her hilarious misconceptions about the world lead her into ridiculous situations, such as when she was certain that another Civil War must have started and the enemy were breaking into her house! Haha! Continue reading

Book Review: The Two Noble Kinsmen

The Two Noble Kinsmen
The Two Noble Kinsmen by William Shakespeare

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In Ancient Greece, three queens come to plea with King Theseus and Queen Hippolyta to avenge the deaths of their three kingly husbands, who died at the hand of the evil tyrant Creon. Theseus agrees to go to war against Creon.

In Creon’s army are two cousins, Palamon and Arcite, who are noble of heart, and do not agree with the tyrannous methods of Creon, but they are honor-bound to fight for Creon, and are taken as prisoners in the war.

While imprisoned they both fall in love with the beautiful Emilia, sister to Queen Hippolyta, and these two cousins who were once so close begin a fight to the death over Emilia’s hand. They escape prison, are caught fighting, and agree to a tournament for Emilia’s hand in marriage. Continue reading

Book Review: Hawksmaid

Hawksmaid: The Untold Story of Robin Hood and Maid Marian
Hawksmaid: The Untold Story of Robin Hood and Maid Marian by Kathryn Lasky

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Any story about Robin Hood is bound to be delightful, full of fun and adventure, but the addition of a Maid Marian who is obsessed with falconry, can talk to her hawks, and enlist their help in the fight against the evil Prince John… well, that is simply genius!

I adore Marian’s character, or Matty as she is known in her youth. She’s plucky and independent, brave and smart. She just wants to be one of the guys, hanging out with the Merry Men, doing the whole outlaw thing in Sherwood; and eventually, through her resourcefulness, she wins their respect and admiration. Continue reading

Children’s Picture Books Reviews

Dot And Dash Play Together
Dot And Dash Play Together by Emma Dodd

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dot is a little dog with spots, and Dash is a kitten with stripes, and the two friends find a lot to do when they go out to play with their friends. They swing and slide and skate and see-saw the whole afternoon!

An adorable picture book with pull tabs and pop-ups and little windows that open. I loved stuff like that when I was a kid, amazed that a simple piece of paper in a book could magically move and enhance the story.

Dot and Dash are sweet characters, and the colorful pictures show all the bright fun in the outdoors on a sunny day. The animal friends (elephant, mouse, and giraffe) that come out to play add another layer of interest to the story.
I love how clean and bright the artwork is!

This would be the perfect book to read aloud to a child 3-5 years old. Old enough not to destroy the pull tabs and pop ups, but young enough to enjoy the simple story.

One Little Penguin and His Friends: A counting board bookOne Little Penguin and His Friends: A counting board book by The Top That Team

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A cute little board book for counting Artic animals! This one would be fun to read aloud to a child learning their numbers, because the book asks questions of the reader. (“Who is swimming in the ocean?” and the answer is 10 whales, etc…) Since the book is full of animals, the child is also learning types of artic animals; seals, polar bears, artic fox, reindeer, artic hares, puffins, orca, etc…)

The illustrations are colorful and with backgrounds of wintery snow and ice for the animals, and at the end is one little Eskimo in an igloo! That little surprise ending was so charming and cute! After all the animals, there’s one Eskimo child in the middle of this frozen wonderland.

I’m not sure why the title only mentions Penguins. It makes it sound like one particular penguin is the main character or something, but penguins are NOT mentioned once in the entire book!!


Love is You & Me.
 Love is You & Me. by Monica Sheehan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This sweet little board book, told in rhyme, is all about what love means, what it looks like, and how it works. With adorable illustrations of a dog and mouse who care about each other and express their friendship and love, this book is perfect for a parent to read aloud to their child, or even for a gift to any loved one.

Love is smiling together. Love is fun and free. Love holds us together. Love makes us belong. Love wipes away tears. Love means sharing. The book tells these and many more with colorful pictures and rhymes that trip off the tongue.

The pictures are lovely, some are a little bittersweet, and some are so funny they made me laugh! I love the art style and the expressions of the dog and mouse. They really captured my attention and made me look closely.

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Book Review: The Penderwicks at Point Mouette

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette
The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Every Penderwick is a phenomenal person! I have so much love for this beautiful Penderwick family, I can’t even contain my emotions long enough to write a decent review. Every book in this series is absolute gold, every character is delightfully unique, and every single word in every chapter is genius. I love how the author takes small everyday doings and makes them dramatic and interesting and fun! Just building a campfire on the beach and toasting marshmallows becomes an adventure fraught with peril and meaning. Continue reading