Saturday, April 19, 2014


Title: Quiet Bunny & Noisy Puppy
Author/Illustrator: Lisa McCue
Publisher: Sterling Children's Books


"Quiet Bunny woke up one morning to find the forest blanketed in snow.
Big white snowflakes swirled around his head as he hopped through the forest.

I wish I had someone to play with in the snow, thought quiet Bunny.
He hopped to Bear Cub's den."

Synopsis: With all of Quiet Bunny's friends fast asleep for the winter, who will play with him? Sometimes meeting a new playmate can be scary when everything about them is different. But sometimes being different is what makes two small woodland animals become best friends.

Why I liked it: Young readers will enjoy the cute illustrations of Quiet Bunny and Noisy Puppy. Ms. McCue did a wonderful job of showing the different seasons through her artwork as well as providing a lovely story of two animals becoming fast friends despite their differences.

Friday, April 18, 2014


Title: Piggyback Ninja
Author: Neal Shusterman
Illustrator: Joe Boddy
Publisher: Lowell House Juvenile

Ages: 4-8

"Marshall McGumbo, until he turned nine,
Would play Piggyback Ninja on his father's spine.
With his hair-pulling power, and drop-kick finesse,
He would pulverize Pop's pooped-out spine, more or less.
And so from his path Dad was quick to depart.
For fear of fast Marshall and his martial art.'"

Synopsis: Marshall might know a karate chop or two but still has much to learn about being nice to others. With a foolish kick Marshall ends up in a twisted mess and the fun begins as his parents try to come up to a solution to Marshall's knotty problem.

Why I liked it: Of course being a martial artist myself, the title of Mr. Shusterman's book captured my attention from the beginning. But it was the whimsical illustrations and rhyming text that kept me turning the pages to find out if poor Marshall would ever get untied and learn to be kind to others. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Title: Ol' Clip-Clop

Author: Patricia C McKissack
Illustrator: Eric Velasquez
Publisher: Holiday House Books

Ages: 9-11

"The year was 1741. The month was October. The day was Friday the thirteenth.'"

Synopsis: On a dark, cold October night, John Leep closes shop and heads over to the widow Mayes' house to evict her for back rent. Maybe he should have had a kinder heart. Maybe he should have had a more forgiving nature. And maybe John Leep should have paid more attention to whatever was making that clip-clop sound as he set out  on Friday the thirteenth.

Why I liked it: Older children who love spooky stories will enjoy both the fast pacing and wonderfully drawn illustration of Ms. McKissack's book. The time frame and setting gave me the feeling I was reading a tale of Ichabod Crane and yet there were still enough twists to the story to surprise me with it's ending.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Title: Noodle Soup
Author: Gloria Repp
Illustrator: John Roberts
Publisher: Bob Jones University Press

Ages: 8-11

"This summer we moved to the city.

I missed feeding the chickens
and hunting for Indian arrowheads
and fishing in the creek.

But I liked the city."

Synopsis: A family moves to the city and Mom works hard to make the new place feel like home. But things begin to change when she suddenly gets sick and can't seem to get well. Singing no longer fills the rooms and dinner comes from a tin can. Maybe a neighbor's family recipe will help Mom smile again.

Why I liked it: Illness, whether physical or mental, can take it's toll on a family, especially if they are adjusting to life in a new place. I enjoyed how Ms. Repp addressed a touchy subject, showing how a family's support and a neighbor's kindness can help lift the human spirit in times of trouble.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Title: The Monstore
Author: Tara Lazar
Illustrator: James Burks
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Ages: 4-8

"At the back of Frankensweet's Candy Shoppe, under the last box of sour gum balls, there's a trapdoor. Knock five times fast, hand over a bag of squirmy words, and you can crawl inside THE MONSTORE."

Synopsis: Zack would do just about anything to stop his pesky sister, Gracie from snooping around in his bedroom. But a trip to the Monstore actually causes Zack more problems than he bargained for, especially when there are no returns and no exchanges on all the monsters who don't seem to be able to do their job of frightening one pesky sister.

Why I liked it: I love the idea of a store where a kid can buy a problem solving monster. Ms. Lazar has taken a universal problem of nosey siblings and added a fun twist sure to give kids delightful ideas of how to solve their own pesky problems.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Here is my friend, Linda Brindle, and the trailer reveal for her upcoming debut memoir A LONG AND WINDING ROAD from Anaiah Press. Linda's lovely book is scheduled to be released July 1, 2014.

Sometimes reality really bites. Alzheimer’s has wrapped Mom’s brain into knots, vascular dementia has attacked Dad, and instead of carefree retirees, we have become caregivers. Regardless, dreams die hard, and we somehow stumbled into the purchase of a forty-foot motor home. That’s when all four of us set out on this seven-week trek across sixteen U.S. states. Now, Dad stopped-up the toilet again, Mom wet her last pair of clean jeans, and David just announced that he was hungry. My head is beginning to pound, and I know this isn’t going to be the easygoing retirement we’d imagined for ourselves.

Linda Brendle takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotional and spiritual challenges that many families are facing right now. Co-dependency, mental breakdowns, and finding love after divorce are just a few of the issues weaved into this journey of caregiving. Whether you’re looking for an inspirational story to help teach you how to “let go and let God,” considering becoming the caregiver for one of your own parents, or are just looking for an entertaining travel book, this story is sure to strike a tender nerve. 

After 15 years as a family caregiver, Linda began writing to encourage, inspire and amuse other caregivers. She loves to travel and since retiring has traveled mostly by motorcycle and RV. She and her husband live in a small East Texas town where she gardens, writes and attends church.




Title: The Lady With The Alligator Purse
Author/Illustrator: Mary Ann Hoberman & Nadine Bernard Westcott
Publisher: Megan Tingley Books

Ages: 4-8

"Miss Lucy had a baby,
His name was Tiny Tim,
She put him in a bathtub
To see if he could swim.

He drank up all the water,
He ate up all the soap,
He tried to eat the bathtub,
But it wouldn't go down his throat..."

Synopsis: Miss Lucy isn't sure what is wrong with Tiny Tim so she calls in the doctor. She calls in the nurse. She even calls in the lady with the alligator purse but only one of them can figure out what is wrong with the baby.

Why I liked it: Nursery rhymes set to song was a strong part of my childhood and when I turned to the first page of this picture book, I immediately went back in time to childhood memories of jump rope on the playground while singing nursery rhymes.  What a fun read with a chance for little ones to sing along with the story.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Title: King Bidgood's In The Bathtub
Author: Audrey Wood
Illustrator: Don Wood
Publisher: Harcourt Brace & Company

Ages: 4-8

"'Help! Help!' cried the Page when the sun came up. 'King Bidgood's in the bathtub, and he won't get out! Oh, who knows what to do?'"

Synopsis: All the king's people don't know what to do when one unruly royal decides to spend the day in the bathtub. Everyone from the Knight to the Queen tries to entice King Bidgood to step out of the tub but it takes one smart Page at the end of the day to pull the plug on the king's shenanigans.

Why I liked it: Unless I love the author already, most of the books I decide to read is based on the cover art and Caldecott Honor illustrator Don Wood has immediately captured my interest with his full bodied colorful cover artwork. The historical research of subject matter shows through Mr. Wood's delightful illustrations which perfectly compliments his wife's whimsical tale of a day in the life of one naughty king.