Saturday, July 15, 2017

Kid Konnection: Heartwood Hotel Series

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week I'm going to share with you two books in a new chapter book series starring an adorable mouse!

Summary: When Mona the Mouse stumbles across the wondrous world of the Heartwood Hotel in the middle of a storm, she desperately hopes they’ll let her stay. As it turns out, Mona is precisely the maid they need at the grandest hotel in Fernwood Forest, where animals come from far and wide for safety, luxury, and comfort. But the Heartwood Hotel is not all acorn soufflĂ© and soft moss-lined beds. Danger lurks, and as it approaches, Mona finds that this hotel is more than a warm place to spend the night. It might also be a home.

This delightfully enticing start of a new chapter book series tells a tale of friendship, courage, and community, with exquisite black-and-white illustrations throughout. -- Disney Hyperion

Summary: Mona the mouse has finally found a place to call home, the cozy Heartwood Hotel, where she works as a maid and sleeps snuggled up in a room with her best friend. Following the festive St. Slumber celebration, most of the guests have settled in to hibernate, and the staff is looking forward to a relaxing winter. But disruptions abound, from a difficult duchess to a mysterious midnight snacker. As the snow stacks higher, Mona will have to gather friends both old and new to keep the peace, finding help in some of the most unexpected places. 

The second book in the enchanting Heartwood Hotel series, The Greatest Gift will warm your heart with its endearing characters and exquisite illustrations. -- Disney Hyperion

A TRUE HOME and THE GREATEST GIFT by Kallie George and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin are the first two books in the new Heartwood Hotel series, and I have to say that I found them to be delightful. Kids who enjoy stories about animals are going to love them, and I will even admit that I was charmed by the little mouse named Mona.

A TRUE HOME kicks off the Heartwood Hotel series by introducing Mona, the little mouse. Mona is all alone in the middle of a storm when she discovers the Heartwood Hotel. She is desperate for a place to stay, and she's even willing to work for her keep. Luckily for Mona, the hotel was in need of a maid!

Heartwood Hotel is a safe haven for all types of animals. There are rooms that cater to the various types of creatures including birds, squirrels, and even skunks! There are also plenty of hotel employees who not only clean the rooms, but also make food and provide entertainment. Even though Mona knows that her stay there is only temporary, she falls in love with the place and the animals... and she hopes that Heartwood Hotel will become her new home!

THE GREATEST GIFT picks up where A TRUE HOME ended. I don't think I'm giving too much away to say that Mona does end up staying at the hotel and working as a maid. In this second book in the series, Mona is settling into her new home and making some special friendships. She is even part of the St. Slumber celebration -- the feast before many of the animals hibernate for the winter. This is the slowest time for the hotel, and the animals are looking forward to a calm winter.

However, a rabbit duchess shows up and the staff finds her quite demanding, and there is a mysterious stranger who seems to be sneaking food from the kitchen. The animal folks at the hotel are pretty forgiving, but when the food levels dwindle to almost nothing, someone needs to get to the bottom of the mystery. Fortunately, Mona once again saves the day!

A TRUE HOME and THE GREATEST GIFT are adorable chapter books aimed at kids ages 9 - 12, or early chapter book readers. Truth be told, I think it will appeal to younger readers too. The stories are adorable and would make terrific read-aloud books for parents and teachers. The books also have some precious illustrations which are the perfect complement to the sweet stories.

I will admit that I'm not usually a huge fan of books about animals. (I know, I know!) However, I found these books to be adorable. I loved Mona and the other animals who live and work in the hotel, and I especially appreciated their (mainly) sweet interactions with each other. The books had some terrific messages... and they are definitely funny and uplifting.

The publisher decided to release both A TRUE HOME and THE GREATEST GIFT at the same time so readers wouldn't have to wait for a book two! I found it interesting that they have also planned an accelerated publishing schedule with the intention of keeping kids hooked on the adventures of Heartwood Hotel.

I'd be remiss if I didn't share with you the adorable website devoted to the series. There are lots of fun extras including finding your perfect room, meeting the staff, checking out the current menu or making your own, and seeing the events schedule. In addition, there are some crafts and other activities that your kids will enjoy!

I highly recommend the Heartwood Hotel series to youngsters. The characters are so charming, and the stories will definitely provide some important lessons about friendship and helping others!

Thanks to the publisher for providing review copies of these books.

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!


bermudaonion said...

I love books like this - these sound charming!

Karlie said...

These sound adorable! Are they geared for boys and girls?