Monday, January 14, 2019

Mailbox Monday

Welcome back to another Mailbox Monday post! I had a terrific book week with lots of children's books... and two fun adult ones!
99 PERCENT MINE by Sally Thorne came from William Morrow

SOCIABLE by Rebecca Harrington came from Vintage

POLLY DIAMOND AND THE SUPER STUNNING SPECTACULAR SCHOOL FAIR by Alice Kuipers and Diana Toledano came from Chronicle Books

FREYA & ZOOSE by Emily Butler came from Crown Books for Young Readers

MAX EXPLAINS EVERYTHING SOCCER EXPERT by Stacy McAnulty came from Putnam

MOST MARSHMALLOWS by Rowboat Watkins came from Chronicle Books

ONE IS A PINATA: A BOOK OF NUMBERS by Roseanne Greenfield Thong came from Chronicle Books

RUBY'S SWORD by Jacqueline Veissid came from Chronicle Books

What was in your mailbox?

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Kid Konnection: Waiting for Pumpsie

Every weekend, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekly feature about anything related to children's books. This week I'm going to share with you a picture book biography that's tells a very important story.

Summary: "Change is coming real soon." In 1959 the Boston Red Sox was the last team in the Major Leagues to integrate. But when they call Elijah "Pumpsie" Green up from the minors, Bernard is overjoyed to see a black player on his beloved home team. And, when Pumpsie's first home game is scheduled, Bernard and his family head to Fenway Park. Bernard is proud of Pumpsie and hopeful that this historic event is the start of great change in America.

This fictionalized account captures the true story of baseball player Pumpsie Green's rise to the major leagues. The story is a snapshot of the Civil Rights Movement and a great discussion starter about the state of race relations in the United States today. -- Charlesbridge

WAITING FOR PUMPSIE by Barry Wittenstein and illustrated by  London Ladd received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and it's no wonder why. This picture book aimed at ages five to eight tells the story of Pumpsie Green, the first black baseball player for the Boston Red Sox, through the eyes of a young black fan.

Like many kids growing up in Boston, Bernard is a super big Red Sox fan; however, he wonders why they do not have an African American player for them like other Major Leagues teams do. He has grown up rooting for the black players on other teams, even when it's not always easy, but he really wants his home town favorite to have a black player. His parents tell him that change is coming, but he's still doubtful that it will ever happen. When the 1959 Boston Red Sox finally call up Pumpsie Green from the minor league, Bernard is thrilled... and it's even better when his father surprises him with tickets to the game!

I loved WAITING FOR PUMPSIE! It's a beautifully illustrated picture book that teaches young children about the important topic of integration. Not only is this book extremely educational from a historical perspective, but I love that it personalizes just how much this meant to African Americans at this time. In addition, it teaches readers that this transition wasn't easy for our country and many people (unfortunately) weren't accepting of these players.

By telling the story through the eyes of Bernard, I think it personalizes the story for children. It's probably hard for some children to believe that baseball used to be this way, and I think WAITING FOR PUMPSIE shows just how far our country has come... and how far it still has to go.

Another special thing about WAITING FOR PUMPSIE is that the publisher has an excellent curriculum guide available. This guide provides discussion questions with common core standards as well as activity suggestions, a cause and effect analysis worksheet, a making connections worksheet, and a timeline of events worksheet.

WAITING FOR PUMPSIE is an outstanding book that should be in every school and public library. Highly recommended!

Thanks to Blue Slip Media for providing a review copy of this book.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Review: Nine Perfect Strangers

Summary: Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be.

Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can?

It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question.

Combining all of the hallmarks that have made her writing a go-to for anyone looking for wickedly smart, page-turning fiction that will make you laugh and gasp, Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers once again shows why she is a master of her craft. -- Flatiron Books

I was so excited that Liane Moriarty had a new book out -- so excited that I reserved it at the library. It's called NINE PERFECT STRANGERS, and it tells the story of nine people who visit a health resort for ten days. Each of these individuals have their own reason for being there whether it be weight loss, marriage counseling, self-help, etc. However, they have no idea how difficult these ten days might be.

In theory, I figured I'd really enjoy NINE PERFECT STRANGERS. I usually love Ms. Moriarty's novels and especially her intriguing characters. However, for whatever reason (and I'm not entirely sure I know that reason), this novel didn't work for me. I didn't particularly like any of the characters and it wasn't a page turner. There were times I thought the story might be picking up, but unfortunately I just didn't "get" this book.

I think I see what Ms. Moriarty set out to do with this novel; and for many people, it probably was a great read. NINE PERFECT STRANGERS was a bestseller and chosen as an Amazon.com and Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. So rather than delving into what I didn't like about this book, I'm just going to cut this review short. If you are interested in getting a more positive view, I suggest checking out other reviews!

While there were times when I appreciated the author's wit and satire as well as her smart social commentary, overall the book just didn't resonate with me.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Mailbox Monday

Welcome back to another Mailbox Monday post! I had a few good books arrive while I was in Florida. Even better, I managed to get quite a few books read while traveling!

MY MAGICAL UNICORN came from Abrams Kids

THE WITCHES OF ST. PETERSBURG by Imogen Edwards-Jones came from Harper Books

BLOODLEAF by Crystal Smith came from HMH Teen

IT'S NOT HANSEL AND GRETEL by Josh Funk and illustrated by Edwardian Taylor came from
Two Lions

What was in your mailbox?

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Kid Konnection: Duck & Goose A Gift for Goose

Every weekend, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekly feature about anything related to children's books. This week I'm going to share with you a book starring two of my favorite picture book characters.

Summary: Kids will giggle along when they learn to read with beloved picture book book characters, Duck & Goose! Tad Hills the #1 New York Times bestselling author is back with another easy-to-read story.

Duck and Goose, the stars of the New York Times bestselling picture book series including Duck & Goose, Duck, Duck, Goose and Honk! Quack! Boo! and the bestselling board books including Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin, and What’s up Duck? return in an all-new, easy-to-read book. Duck has a very nice gift for Goose, and the perfect box to put it in… maybe it’s too perfect! With predictable patterns, simple words, lots of repetition, and bright, colorful illustrations, young readers will love this new Duck & Goose book, which they can read all by themselves! -- Schwartz & Wade

Duck and Goose are back, starring in another great book in this series by bestselling author and illustrator Tad Hills. The one is titled DUCK & GOOSE: A GIFT FOR GOOSE, and it's going to appeal to even more fans. That's because A GIFT FOR GOOSE is perfect for early readers ages four to six.

A GIFT FOR GOOSE is adorable! Duck decides to give a beautifully wrapped gift to Goose. Goose loves it so much, but he mistakenly thinks that the box is the actual gift. Duck tries to explain, but Goose is busy collecting all of his special items to keep in the box. When Goose finally understands that his gift is inside the box, he opens it to discover another fantastic surprise!

It's hard to not fall in love with these two special characters. They are too cute thanks to Tad Hills precious illustrations, and they are both so sweet and funny. I thought A GIFT FOR GOOSE had a cute ending; and it is perfect for very early readers. The text is simple, with lots of repetition; and even the youngest of readers will find satisfaction in being able to read this book independently.

DUCK & GOOSE: A GIFT FOR GOOSE is the perfect addition to an already wonderful series. Highly recommended!

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!

Monday, December 31, 2018

Mailbox Monday

Welcome back to another Mailbox Monday post! I managed to get another nice week of books, but I'm not really doing much reading right now. I am in Orlando enjoying Christmas at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and the Citrus Bowl. Hope you have a great time celebrating New Year's Eve!

WE ARE....! PENN STATE!!!!

LADY DERRING TAKES A LOVER by Julie Anne Long came from Avon Books

I (HEART) ART by The Metropolitan Museum of Art came from Abrams Books

TRUST EXERCISE by Susan Choi came from Henry Holt

DUCK AND HIPPO: THE SECRET VALENTINE by Jonathan London and illustrated by Andrew Joyner came from Two Lions

WAITING FOR PUMPSIE by Barry Wittenstein and illustrated by London Ladd came from Charlesbridge

What was in your mailbox?

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Kid Konnection: What Can a Citizen Do?

Every weekend, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekly feature about anything related to children's books. This week I'm going to share with you a book that's geared towards making a difference.

Summary: A citizen can pick up litter
A citizen can pull a weed
A citizen can help that critter
A citizen can plant a seed

A citizen can aid a neighbor
A citizen can join a cause
A citizen can write a letter
A citizen can help change laws . . .

Empowering and timeless, What Can a Citizen Do? is the latest collaboration from the acclaimed duo behind the bestselling Her Right Foot: Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris. This is a book for today's youth about what it means to be a citizen.

Across the course of several seemingly unrelated but ultimately connected actions by different children, we watch how kids turn a lonely island into a community—and watch a journey from what the world should be to what the world could be.

This is a book about what citizenship—good citizenship—means to you, and to us all. -- Chronicle

WHAT CAN A CITIZEN DO? by Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris is a wonderful picture book that introduces the concept of being a responsible citizen. The text is simple, with only a few words per page; however, it is a powerful testament to how the little things you do can make a big difference in the world.

Of course, the message is a great one especially in today's society. WHAT CAN A CITIZEN DO? allows parents and children to talk about not only what needs to be changed, but how every person has the right to speak up about these things...and choose to try to change them. The book also encourages readers that just helping even one person can make a huge difference!

I loved the message in WHAT CAN A CITIZEN DO?, and I thought the illustrations were a perfect complement to it. The children in this picture book come from many different backgrounds, and I appreciated how diverse this book was. It's an absolutely must-have for school (and home!) libraries!

WHAT CAN A CITIZEN DO? is an interesting book with an important message. Highly recommended!

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!