Activity Book: Paint by Sticker: Unicorns and Magic, Music Icons

Paint by Sticker Kids by Workman Publishing

Paint by Sticker Kids: Unicorns Magic: Create 10 Pictures One Sticker at a Time! Includes Glitter Stickers
by Workman Publishing
5 out of 5 stars
This activity book has 10 beautiful designs of all kinds of fantasy creatures and scenes. The glitter stickers make it really special and cute. It’s easy for kids to do!

Paint by Sticker by Workman Publishing

Paint by Sticker: Music Icons: Re-create 10 Classic Photographs One Sticker at a Time!
by Workman Publishing
5 out of 5 stars
This sticker activity book has 10 colorful pictures of cool and famous musicians from all styles of music, country, rock, and blues. The designs in this one are a little more complex for teens or adults.

There are hundreds of stickers in little mosaic shapes! It’s so easy to put the stickers into place, and the finished product looks wonderful. It’s very relaxing and helped me to get creative. You really feel a sense of accomplishment when you finish!

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Book Review: Starcross

Starcross by Philip Reeve

Starcross (Larklight, #2)
by Philip Reeve (Goodreads Author), David Wyatt (Illustrator)
5 out of 5 stars

Myrtle and Arthur are having adventures again! This time they are visiting a seaside hotel called Starcross located in the asteroid belt. There are mysterious disappearances and strange beings lurking around the hotel, and it’s up to Myrtle and Arthur and their friends to save the empire!

I loved everything about this book! The plot, the characters, the hilarious writing, the world-building, the mystery, the adventure, and every single dramatic chapter all kept me reading for hours on end. This is one of those books where there isn’t a good place to stop reading. You just have to keep going through the next chapter and the next.

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Book Review: Borrowers Afield

The Borrowers Afield by Mary Norton

The Borrowers Afield (The Borrowers #2)
by Mary NortonBeth Krush (Illustrator), Joe Krush (Illustrator)
4 out of 5 stars

I love seeing how the Borrowers survive in the wild, fighting off insects, gathering nuts and berries, and finding shelter in an old boot. The plot in this book has so many interesting little twists and turns, as the Clock family meet Spiller, a Borrower who lives in the fields and hedges.

They are such funny characters with grit and determination. Pod is resourceful and serious, but cracks a joke now and then. Homily is fearful, but has a reserve of inner fortitude that comes up in a crisis. Arrietty is adorable and sweet, plucky and adventurous and playful. Spiller is mysterious and taciturn. I just love them all!

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Book Review: The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre

The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine

The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre (The Two Princesses of Bamarre, #0.5)
by Gail Carson Levine (Goodreads Author)
3 out of 5 stars

Perry is the adopted daughter of Lakti noble parents, but her real parents are Bamarre servants. Her true bloodline is kept a secret, because the Bamarre people are considered inferior and cowardly. The fairy Halina visits Perry and urges her to embrace her true heritage and free the Bamarre people from Lakti tyranny. With the help of a magic tablecloth, seven-league boots, and a perfect disguise, Perry plunges into espionage and rebellion. But can she ever escape her Lakti upbringing and be accepted by the Bamarre?

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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: Celtic Mythology for Kids

Celtic Mythology for Kids by Christopher Pinard
Celtic Mythology for Kids: Tales of Selkies, Giants, and the Sea
by Christopher Pinard

5 out of 5 stars

I love these fairy tales from Celtic myths! They are retold in a simple manner for children, and each tale is between 3-7 pages long. The tales use a few Irish and Scottish words, but they are explained and there is even a glossary of Celtic words in the back of the book. I love how the rich Celtic culture is celebrated in this book!

The stories themselves are wonderfully interesting and full of magic and history! At the end of each story, there are some questions to prompt discussion and get the reader thinking about the choices made by the characters in the story. Continue reading

Book Review: The Ravenous Gown

The Ravenous Gown by Steffani Raff
The Ravenous Gown: And 14 More Tales about Real Beauty
by Steffani Raff (Goodreads Author)

5 out of 5 stars


These fairy tales focus on daring young men and women who want to be appreciated for their personality, virtues, and inner qualities rather than outward beauty. They battle dragons, fight wars, defeat evil sorcerers, and unravel magic in order to find their true identity and inspire their kingdom.

I loved that these fairy tales use all the old tropes about dragons and knights and fair maidens, and then turn everything upside down and surprise you with the plot twists when the maiden saves herself.
Each fairy tale is short but powerful with meaningful messages of hope and acceptance. 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

Book Review: The Skull of Truth

The Skull of Truth by Bruce Coville
The Skull of Truth
by Bruce Coville, Gary A. Lippincott (Illustrator)

3 out of 5 stars

Charlie is a liar. He meets the Skull of Truth and is cursed to always tell the truth, and his life changes in unexpected ways. Telling the truth gets him into a lot of trouble, and the curse begins to affect other people around him.

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as some of the others in the Magic Shop series. I thought some of the plot points didn’t quite fit in with the rest of the story. There were some radical leftist political ideas that I didn’t agree with. I was surprised to find them in a children’s book.

I was pleased to find that the skull himself is not scary at all. He’s a humorous and silly character, and there’s nothing frightening or creepy about him other than the fact that he’s a skull. Continue reading

Book Review: Tales from Earthsea

Tales from Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
Tales from Earthsea (Earthsea Cycle, #5)
by Ursula K. Le Guin

3 out of 5 stars

These short stories add to the folklore and stories of Earthsea. They range from ancient tales of how the Wizarding School of Roke was first founded to more recent tales that fit in with the timeline of the rest of the Earthsea books. Some are parallel stories to the main books in the series that tell of other characters with similar magic and how their experiences dovetail with the main character’s stories although the characters may never meet.

The writing is excellent and the stories draw the reader into the world of Earthsea. Some of the stories are very sad and full of violence, but others are bittersweet and beautiful. The author does a wonderful job of describing a setting and a new character in a few well-chosen words that immediately connect the reader to the story.

I enjoyed these stories, and they are a wonderful addition to the Earthsea books!