Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Countdown 2979 Days to the Moon by Suzanne Slade and Thomas Gonzalez

Countdown 2979 Days to the Moon 
by Suzanne Slade and Thomas Gonzalez
Expected Publication Sept. 1, 2018
Peachtree Publishers
144 pages
Nonfiction
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
Free verse and illustrations tell the true story of the American effort to land the first man on the Moon.
In 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced that the United States would try to land a man on the Moon within ten years. During the two thousand, nine hundred and seventy-nine days that followed his speech, eighteen astronauts climbed into spaceships; three of them died before even leaving the ground. Eight rockets soared into space. And four hundred thousand people--engineers, technicians, scientists, mathematicians, and machinists--joined Project Apollo in hopes of making the dream a reality.


My Thoughts
I will admit that I normally shy away from nonfiction that is longer than a picture book. It is just not a genre I am drawn to.  I received this book from Peachtree in exchange for my honest thoughts. I was immediately drawn in to the story. The story itself was compelling. I was familiar with Apollo 11 and the first Moon landing of course, but I had no idea about the first 10 Apollo missions and all that went into the US's quest to put the first person on the moon. Before I knew it, I had finished it in one sitting. 
I found the free verse format very appealing and will make the book accessible to a wide-range of readers. The book itself is a bit larger (10"X10") with a mixture of beautiful illustrations and original photographs. 
I would recommend this book for grades 4-7. It would be fun to read it aloud to students a little each day as they see how the events unfold. 

Check out the book trailer!

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

Review and Giveaway of All is Assuredly Well by Professor Gore and Maestro Wilson

All is Assuredly Well 
by Professor Gore and Maestro Wilson
Illustrated by Angela F.M Trotter
Published June, 2018
Camille Lancaster Literary Children's Books
Softcover
Review copy provided by publisher

Received a starred review from Kirkus

Summary from Publisher
King Phillip the Good and his husband, The Most Excellent Don Carlos Emiliano Felipe de CompaƱero y CampaƱero, live sedate, uneventful lives until King Phillip dreams of having a baby girl. Structured around The Hero's Journey, King Phillip must follow his mentor, the Blue Star, and encounter allies (a newt and a bluejay) and overcome gatekeepers (a biting fish and a bear) as he completes a series of tasks to prove himself worthy of becoming a father. Once proven, the Blue Star presents him with a baby girl in the middle of a fairy circle of a thousand different flowers in a thousand brilliant hues. He returns home to present Baby Milliflora to his husband, and the loving husbands joyfully become loving fathers.

My Thoughts
This story definitely has a mystical fairy tale feel to it.  The fact that it is two husbands, and not the "typical" fairy tale scenario, really has not bearing on the story. It is the story of a loving couple who wishes for a baby and is willing go to great lengths to get a little baby girl. After nearly two years of wishing, the blue star finally fulfills their wish. The authors include rich vocabulary of the period throughout the story.
The font is set in a medieval type fitting for the story. Repetition lends a bit of predictability. The text is set in a text box and surrounded by detailed, colorful illustrations. It is a bit busy for my taste, but is reminiscent of Jan Brett's intricate Illustrations.  
I would recommend this book most for ages 4-7. 
All is Assuredly Well is available at Amazon.com.

To win a copy of All is Assuredly Well, please leave a comment on this post by August 12:00 midnight on August 22, 2018.  One winner will be selected at random. Book will be mailed from me to one winner in the US. 

About the author, Professor Gore
Professor Gore's proudest hours were spent in Federal Court testifying as an expert witness and plaintiff against the city she loved. The city commission had passed an amendment that banned Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy's Roommate from the children's section of the public library. A storyteller, Professor Gore is delighted to contribute to the canon she once defended.

About the Author, Maestro Wilson

Co-author Maestro Phillip Wilson is a retired band director, music teacher, composer, and arranger. A poet at heart, his love for word play and ear for rhythm and meter lend themselves well to the lyrical art of storytelling.

About the Illustrator, Angie F. M. Trotter
Artist Angie F. M. Trotter holds a BA in Religion and Fine Art. Her pen and ink illustrations are an amalgamation of icons, illuminated manuscripts, stained glass window design, and her spiritual life. Her work has been compared to the masters of the Golden Age of British book illustration.

You can find more about All is Assuredly Well and the authors and the illustrator online:
www.AllisAssuredlyWell.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/All-is-Assuredly-Well-355497344947289/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AssuredlyWell


- Blog Tour Dates (in Chronological Order)


July 2nd @ The Muffin
Grab a morning treat over at Women on Writing's blog The Muffin and read our interview author Professor M.C. Gore and enter to win a copy of the book All is Assuredly Well.
http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

July 3rd @ Mari's #JournalingPower Blog
Author Professor M.C. Gore will be a guest writer over at Mari's #JournalingPower blog where she talks about writing the hero's journey.
https://www.createwritenow.com/journal-writing-blog

July 5th @ Mommy Daze: Say What??
Come by Ashley's blog Mommy Daze: Say What?? where she shares her thoughts on Professor Gore and Maestro Wilson's book All isAssuredly Well.
http://adayinthelifeofmom.com/

July 6th @ Coffee With Lacey
Get your coffee over at Lacey's blog Coffee With Lacey where she shares her thoughts on the book All is Assuredly Well.
http://www.coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com/

July 7th @ Cassandra's Journey
Stop by Cassandra's blog where she interviews author Professor Gore about her book All is Assuredly Well.
http://cassandraulrich.blogspot.com/

July 8th @ Madeline Sharples Blog
Author Professor Gore is a guest writer over at Madeline Sharples blog where she shares her thoughts on alchemical literature and how it affects her thinking as a writer.
http://madelinesharples.com/

July 9th @ Bri's Book Nook
Stop by Briennai's blog Bri's Book Nook where reviews Professor Gore and Maestro Wilson's book All is Assuredly Well.
https://brisbooknook.wordpress.com/

July 10th @ Break Even Books
Come by Erik McManus' blog Break Even Books to find out what he had to say about the book All is Assuredly Well.
https://breakevenbooks.com/

July 10th @ Georgia Ball's Author Blog
Come by Georgia's blog where she features a blog post written by Professor Gore about how the author found her illustrator and who she is. http://georgiaballauthor.com/category/book-review/

July 12th @ Mommy Daze: Say What??
Professor M.C. Gore will be a guest writer over at Ashley's blog Mommy Daze: Say What?? where the author describes her experience on the witness stand as an expert witness when the city of Wichita Falls, Texas banned Heather Has Two Mommies and Daddy's Roommate. http://adayinthelifeofmom.com/

July 12th @ George Ball's Author Blog
Come by George Ball's blog where she shares her thoughts about Professor Gore & Maestro Wilson's book All is Assuredly Well.
http://georgiaballauthor.com/category/book-review/

July 14th @ A Storybook World
Professor Gore is a guest writer over at Dierdra's blog A Storybook World and she'll be writing about how her local writers’ club convinced her to self-publish, and why/how she started her own micro-publishing company (including how a MAJOR publishing company editor she pitched to told her that she would buy the manuscript, but not the illustrations because she had a “completely different vision” for the book). http://www.astorybookworld.com/

July 15th @ The Late Bloomers Blog
Come by Gigi's blog The Late Bloomers blog where she shares her thoughts on Professsor Gore and Maestro Wilson's book All is Assuredly Well. http://thelatebloomersbookblog.blogspot.com/

July 16th @ Auden Johnson's Blog
Stop by Auden Johnson blog to read Professor Gore's guest post on her supernatural experience involving her Advanced Graduate Statistics professor and how that relates to this book.
https://www.audenjohnson.com/

July 17th @ Coffee With Lacey
Come by Lacey's blog and read her interview with Professor Gore, one of the authors for All is Assuredly Well as well as with the illustrator of the series, Angie F. M. Trotter.
http://www.coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com/

July 19th @ The Writing Dreamer
Come by Jessica's blog where Professor Gore will be a guest writer and will be talking about how a workshop on screenwriting made her a better story writer. 

http://wolfdreamer25-myjourney.blogspot.com

July 22nd @ Just a Place to Drop My Thoughts
Stephanie will be reviewing Professor Gore & Maestro Wilson's book All is Assuredly Well. Come by and see what she thought about this impactful book!
https://stephaniemathis.blogspot.com/

July 23rd @ Cassandra's Writing World
Check out Cassandra's blog to find out her thoughts on Professor Gore & Maestro Wilson's book All is Assuredly Well. Professor Gore will also be discussing her thoughts on why attending conferences and workshops are worth the money (and how to make the best use of your time at one).
http://cassandra-mywritingworld.blogspot.com/?m=0

July 24th @ Author Anthony Avina Blog
Come by Anthony Avina's blog where he shares his thoughts on Professor Gore & Maestro Wilson's book All is Assuredly Well.
https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

July 26th @ Author Anthony Avina Blog
Check out Anthony Avina's blog where he will be sharing Professor Gore's guest post on why she
selected Maestro Wilson as her co-author and how they worked together.
https://authoranthonyavinablog.com/

July 27th @ The Faerie Review
Come by Lily Shadowlyn's blog The Faerie Review where she reviews the book All is Assuredly Well.
www.thefaeriereview.com

July 28th @ The Faerie Review
Make sure to catch Lily's interview with author Professor Gore, one of the co-authors of All is Assuredly Well. 
www.thefaeriereview.com

July 30th @ Books and Motivation
Come by Prakash Vir Sharma blog and read his interview with author Professor Gore.
www.booksandmotivation.wordpress.com

July 30th @ The Faerie Review
Come by Lily's blog where author Professor Gore writes about fighting academic freedom after a student complained about Professor Gore's class material about LGBQT class material.
www.thefaeriereview.com

To win a copy of All is Assuredly Well, please leave a comment on this post by 12:00 midnight on August 22, 2018.  One winner will be selected at random. Book will be mailed from me to one winner in the US. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

How to Trick the Tooth Fairy by Erin Danielle Russell and Jennifer Hansen Rolli

How to Trick the Tooth Fairy 
by Erin Danielle Russell 
Illustrated by Jennifer Hansen Rolli 
Published May, 2018
Alladin (Simon and Schuster)
Fiction
Hardcover
40 pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
Kaylee loves pulling pranks: from dropping water balloons on passers by to even tricking Santa Claus, she’s a prize-winning prankster!
But is she the Princess of Pranks? No! That title is held by none other than the Tooth Fairy. But when Kaylee loses a tooth and the Tooth Fairy goes about her usual tooth-taking business, Kaylee pranks her with a fake frog. As Kaylee and the Tooth Fairy try to out-prank one another, things get way out of hand, until the two finally see eye and eye and decide to share the crown!


My Thoughts
It is really fun to watch Kaylee and the Tooth Fairy prank each other back and forth. Neither wants to be out-pranked so each prank getting messier and messier.  I do wish there had been a more dialogue between the two, but there is a bit of talking provided in speech bubbles. 
The illustrations are terrific. The characters are charming and include a variety of ethnicities. The Tooth Fairy is whimsical and glittery with pink hair and a silver dress. The cover has real sparkles and the end pages are gorgeous. 

Image from: http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/How-to-Trick-the-Tooth-Fairy/Erin-Danielle-Russell/9781481467322

I wonder if this book would encourage kids to try to pull a prank the Tooth Fairy the next time they lose a tooth? 
I would recommend it for ages 4-8. 

Check out this book trailer!


See what others have to say about this book:

Visit the book's website

Thursday, July 12, 2018

A Perfect Summer Trip Book: National Geographic Kids Almanac 2019

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2019
Published May, 2018
by National Geographic Society
Nonfiction
Paperback
352 pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
The world's best-selling almanac for kids is back and in demand! This year's includes the latest information about what's new and newsy in our world, special dates to anticipate, and fresh topics, and much more.

Have fun keeping up with our quickly changing world with the New York Times best-selling almanac, curated and created just for kids. It's packed with incredible photos; tons of fun facts, crafts, and activities; and fascinating features about animals, science, nature, technology, and more. New features include an updated "Fun and Games" chapter filled with all-new games, jokes, and comics; all new weird-but-true facts; "19 Facts for 2019" feature in every chapter; updated reference material; and cool stuff on topics today's curious kids care about.

My Thoughts
As usual, this almanac is packed full of interesting information. It is organized into 11 sections like Your World 2019, Amazing Animals, Going Green, Wonders of Nature and Fun and Games. There is something for everyone. Information is presented in narratives, captions, stats, lists, charts and tables. Most sections have a quiz at the end so kids can test their knowledge. There are fun mazes, fill-ins, comics, jokes and puzzles as well. National Geographic has provided online resources such as downloads, games, and videos to accompany the almanac (I did not examine these resources). Of course, with over 500 pictures, this almanac is a visual feast for the eyes! 
I can see this book going on car trips and kids spouting off facts they learn or a funny joke they find. I would recommend this book for ages 8+. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs by Melissa Stewart and Stephanie Laberis

Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers: Celebrating Animal Underdogs 
by Melissa Stewart 
Illustrated by Stephanie Laberis
Expected publication Sept. 1, 2018
Peachtree Publishers
Nonfiction
32 pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
Puny? Poky? Clumsy? Shy? A lighthearted look at the surprising traits that help some animals survive.
Written with a lively, playful voice, Pipsqueaks, Slowpokes, and Stinkers introduces young readers to a variety of "animal underdogs" and explains how characteristics that might seem like weaknesses are critical for finding food and staying safe in an eat-or-be-eaten world.
Award-winning author Melissa Stewart offers readers a humorous and informative nonfiction picture book with a gentle message of understanding and celebrating differences. Stephanie Laberis's bright, bold--and scientifically accurate--illustrations add to the fun.


My Thoughts
Melissa Stewart has done it again! This nonfiction picture book is just wonderful. It is informative, interesting and witty. 
I learned a ton!
For example, did you know that sleeping a lot, is a survival behavior? Animals like koalas and armadillos need much less food because they are not as active. I also learned about a really stinky bird called a hoatzin who uses its stench to deter predators. 

Stewart effectively uses a variety of structures to present information. She often utilizes a question/answer structure to share information. I think students will find this format very appealing. 

The illustrations help to support the information. Stephanie Laberis has created critters that are animated, but seem real at the same time. They have a cuteness that will draw children in. 

I would definitely add this book to your nonfiction collection. I would recommend it most for ages 5-9

See what others have to say about this book:

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Amazing Animal Friendships: Odd Couples in Nature by Pavla Hanackova and Linh Dao

Amazing Animal Friendships: Odd Couples in Nature 
by Pavla Hanackova
Illustrated by Linh Dao
Published 2017
Book House
Nonfiction
36 Pages
Review copy provided by publisher





My Thoughts
Talk about cooperation! This book is chocked full of examples of ways that plants and animals rely on each other. 
Did you know...
Baboons and antelopes live help keep each other safe from predators? 
Aphids suck nectar from plants and often cannot absorb it all. The excess is released from their bodies and gobbled up by ants. 

The information in this book is presented in bite-sized chunks with accompanying adorable illustrations of animals and plants. Some animals are quite silly and speak in speech bubbles. 
Readers will learn content vocabulary such as mutualism, symbiosis, bacteria and many more. The book's organizational structure includes 2-page spreads depicting two animals or animal/plant combinations. The back matter consists of a short glossary and an index. 

Image from: https://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Animal-Friendships-Couples-Nature/dp/1912006480

This book would make a nice addition to any library. I think students ages 7-10 would enjoy it most. 

See what others have to say about this book: Kirkus
Through the Looking Glass

Monday, July 9, 2018

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? July 9, 2018


Please visit the amazing blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers who host this terrific meme each week.

Here is my reading from the past couple of weeks. Click on the book covers to learn more about the books. 
Finished

Read



See review here.


Currently Reading

What are you reading friends?