Picture Book Review: William Sheepspeare

William Sheepspeare by Courtney Acampora
William Sheepspeare 
by Courtney AcamporaMaggie FischerZoe Perisco (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

“To baa or not to baa… That is the question.”

The cuteness factor in this board book is through the roof! Reimagining the life of William Shakespeare as a sheep, everything is transformed into animalistic phrases, words, and illustrations. William Sheepspeare writes “ram-ances” instead of “romances”, and “shearious” tragedies like “Lamblet, MacBleat, and Julius Fleecer”.

Introducing young children to the beautiful Globe Theater and Sheepspeare’s home in Stratford with his family (his “ewe, Anne Hoofaway” and three “lambs”), the simple story-telling is the perfect style for little readers to learn about this historical figure. Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Wind in the Willows Jigsaw Puzzles

Wind in the Willows Jigsaw Book by Kenneth Grahame
Wind in the Willows Jigsaw Book 
by Kenneth GrahameErnest H. Shepard (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


A beautiful board book with jigsaw puzzles on the pages. I will NEVER take those puzzle pieces out. They are too perfect! I adore Shepard’s whimsical illustrations, and enjoyed reading the little excerpts from the Wind in the Willows book that accompany each puzzle.
So cute!

Book Review: Falcon’s Feather

The Falcon's Feather by Trudi Trueit
The Falcon’s Feather (Explorer Academy, #2) 
by Trudi Trueit 

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Cruz and his friends are searching for clues left behind by Cruz’s mother, on a quest that will take them to Norway and Iceland. The team stops along the way to do some underwater diving, help some whales in trouble, and tour the beauties of Norway in between their Academy classes and explorer training. Cruz and Emmett soon discover that there are spies on board the Academy’s flagship, Orion, and they don’t know who to trust. When Cruz’s diving equipment fails and puts his life in danger, it only makes him more determined than ever to find some answers.

I didn’t think it was possible for this book to be even BETTER than the first one, but WOW! I am so crazy impressed with this series.

The plot is non-stop action with tons of wonderful adventure, mystery, puzzles, spies, betrayal, high-tech gadgets, and of course, the fascinating characters.

Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Frida Catlo

Frida Catlo by Courtney Acampora
Frida Catlo 
by Courtney AcamporaMaggie Fischer,  Lindsay Dale-Scott (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This adorable board book tells the story of Frida Kahlo, a famous Mexican artist reimagined as a cat with nine lives. The simple story-telling is perfect for young little readers, and a wonderful way to introduce them to this well-known artist. The book includes Diego Rivera as a dog, making him “Doggo” Rivera, and animalistic versions of some of Frida’s most famous paintings.

The cartoon illustrations are full of vibrant colors and cute animals. The writing hilariously uses animal made-up words, like “purr-fect”, “furgotten”,”Meowxico”,”mewseum”, and “paw-traits” instead of portraits. Continue reading

Book Review: Fell Farm Holiday

Fell Farm Holiday by Marjorie Lloyd
Fell Farm Holiday (Fell Farm, #1) 
by Marjorie Lloyd

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

 

I am just delighted with this old-fashioned book about five siblings camping out and climbing the fells for their summer holidays. The simple charm of the story, the amusing dynamics between the Browne siblings, and the details of their little camping adventures, kept me absorbed and interested through every chapter.

The two eldest siblings are Pat and Kay, twins with a love for hiking and camping. Pat is the leader of the group, and prides himself on his knowledge of survival and mapping. Kay is the quartermaster of the group, taking special care of the meals and all the supplies.

The next set of twins are Jan and Hyacinth. Jan is obsessed with birds, and creates his own hiding spots where he can observe and sketch the birds of the fells. Hyacinth is more imaginative and dreamy, and loves to write stories of her own.
And the smallest sibling is Sally, who is only eight years old, and so is not allowed to stay out all night camping, but still manages to join in the fun whenever possible.

I adore this whole series!

Book Review: The Nebula Secret

The Nebula Secret by Trudi Trueit
The Nebula Secret (Explorer Academy, #1) 
by Trudi Trueit

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Cruz has just been accepted into the elite Explorer Academy, which only accepts 25 students per year. In the midst of his classes on anthropology, science, geography, history, and conservation, Cruz also has training sessions in a virtual reality program designed to prepare the students for real-life exploring all over the globe. Then Cruz starts to receive threats from an unknown enemy, and discovers a mystery in the school. His mother died working in the top-secret labs at Explorer Academy, and Cruz is determined to find out what really happened to her.

I loved this book so much! The adventure, the mystery, the engaging characters, the impressive setting at the Academy… I love it all. But the best thing of all… the puzzles and codes!!! I LOVE puzzles and codes.
Continue reading

Picture Book Review: Rabbit and Bear

Rabbit's Bad Habits by Julian Gough
Rabbit’s Bad Habits 
by Julian Gough (Author), Jim Field (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Bear is peacefully sleeping through the winter when she is awakened by a thief stealing her stockpile of food. She stumbles out of her cave into the snow, and decides that as long as she’s awake, she might as well build a snowman. The cranky Rabbit is determined to build a bigger, better snowman on the neighboring hill, but when the ravenous Wolf shows up, Rabbit’s plans take a dangerous turn when he can’t get back to his safe burrow.
Who stole all of Bear’s food? How will Rabbit get to safety? Who will win the snowman-building competition? And the most important question of all, can a Bear and Rabbit really become friends? Continue reading

Book Review: Make This!

Make This! by Ella Schwartz
Make This!: Building Thinking, and Tinkering Projects for the Amazing Maker in You 
by Ella Schwartz

5 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

This book is perfect for any curious child who loves to take apart their toys, build a bridge out of books, or create their own system of pulleys and levers to open the bedroom door.

With special sections for materials, energy, optics, connecting systems, acoustics, and forces in motion, this book provides all the steps to create a rocket ship powered by your breath, make an entire rainforest ecosystem in a jar, and make a periscope out of cardboard, along with dozens of other projects. Each chapter also has questions to be solved and scenarios that require an imaginative solution.
Continue reading

Book Review: The Case of the Sliding Spaceship

Art Smart, Science Detective by Melinda Long
Art Smart, Science Detective: The Case of the Sliding Spaceship 
by Melinda Long ,  Monica Wyrick (Illustrations)

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Art and his friends are on the watch for alien activity in their neighborhood, but they never expected a REAL alien spaceship to appear in Art’s telescope viewer. The aliens appear to be in a purple spaceship right next to the moon, and Art and his friends prepare for an invasion. Art prides himself on being a logical scientist, so he uses his knowledge to hatch a plan to protect his friends from anything the aliens might use to attack.
Are there really aliens attacking Earth, or are Art and his friends overreacting?  Continue reading

Book Review: Emily’s Fortune

Emily's Fortune by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Emily’s Fortune
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

When Emily’s mother dies, Emily plans to travel West to live with her aunt, but the state orphanage has other plans, and Emily is forced to run away from the Orphanage Child Catchers. With the help of another orphan boy and her trusty turtle, Rufus, Emily will travel by train and stagecoach through the Wild West to reach the safety of her aunts home. 

This is a funny and cute little story with plenty of adventure and hilarity! It would be a wonderful book to read aloud to children, because there are so many opportunities for funny voices and dramatic voices. 
I enjoyed the story, but it’s not particularly amazing or special. The plot is simple, the characters are static, but it’s the writing style that really keeps the reader interested. The writing is witty, the dialogue is snappy, and the scenes flow smoothly into a cohesive story. And young readers aren’t looking for complex plots or deep characters, so it’s a perfect book for children!