Thursday, November 29, 2012

Countdown to Christmas- Preschool Fellas

Here is a list of what to give that special preschool guy in your life for Christmas this year. I happen to have a couple of boys this age roaming around the house, so these are our tried and true, read so many times I don't need to look at the words favorites. Enjoy!

Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Dusky

Little Blue Truck by Alice Shertle

Skippyjon Jones by Judy Shachner 
If you can find these as books on CD, all the better. The author does such an amazing job reading them!
Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site
Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney 

Little Critter books by Mercer Mayer 
An oldie, but goodie. 

The Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems
All of the books in this series are fun, fun, fun! 

No, David! by David Shannon

Click, Clack, Moo Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff
Any book by Laura Numeroff seems to make it into our top favorites-also try the Christmas book, If You Take a Mouse to the Movies.

Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson
I really love anything by Karma Wilson, and the Bear books are no exception. The pictures are wonderful and they are truly heartwarming and fun stories to read with little ones. Also try The Cow Loves Cookies.

Happy reading!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Countdown to Christmas....2nd Grade List

Christmas is just around the corner! I thought that it would be nice to have some lists of recommended books by grade for those special readers on your lists. I've indicated whether or not they're a series (most are) so that you can help young readers find lots of books that they love!

2nd grade list:

The Adventures of Nanny PigginsAlvin Ho by Lenore Look (series)

Zoobreak by Gordon Korman

Framed by Gordon Korman

Bunnicula by Deborah Howe (series)

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

American Girl by American Girl Editors (series)

Ivy & Bean by Annie Barrows (series)

Theodore Boone series by John Grisham (series)

Nate the Great by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat (series)

Ramona Quimby by Beverly Cleary (series)

Nanny Piggins by R. A. Spratt (there are four written by this author-so fun!!)

Little House on the Prarie by Laura Ingles Wilder (series)

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (series)
** A Harry Potter note: please read these before your child. They get scary as you proceed through the series. Books one and two aren't terribly frightening, but that's not the case with the later books. 

Mouse and the Motorcycle by Beverly Cleary

Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol (series)

Geronimo Stilton by Geronimo Stilton (series)

Thea Stilton by Geronimo Stilton (series)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Torn Series

Torn, Tangled, and Bound

Ages- 14+

The series written by Erica O'Rourke is about a girl, Mo Fitzgerald, who witnesses her best friend's murder in the first book.   As the police try to discover the "real" truth, Mo's family becomes a suspect because her father is in jail and her family is connected with the mob.  Her uncle hires a body guard, Colin who Mo begins to fall for. As she investigates further, she finds out that her best friend, Verity, was magical.  Verity was murdered because of her magical connections.  Mo becomes involved in the magical world and has a strong connection a magical boy, Luc. 

After her first adventure, Tangled, she again is needed in the magical world and has to make some difficult decisions about her life.  Mo is torn between her love for Colin and Luc.  She struggles with the magical world when she has no magic, but the magical world needs her presence. 

Bound is the third book in the series, I have not read it, but I am interested to see how the trilogy ends.  Will she choose the magical world with Luc and her powerful connection with him or the human world and her strong love for her previous bodyguard Colin that could protect her from her families connections? 

This series is alright.  Mo is not as annoying as Bella is in Twilight, but frustrating enough as struggles between the two worlds. 

Warning to Parents: Mo is a typical teenager who struggles with the lustful feeling she has Colin. She begs Colin to give her into her lustful feelings.  He refuses.  The book language could be considered inappropriate for some families.   

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25

by Richard Paul Evans
Ages: 12 +
Book Trailer
If you liked "I am number four", you will LOVE this book.  Michael knows that he is not a typical 14 year old boy with Tourette's Syndrome and special electric powers.  He knows that he is different and believed he was unique until he meets another girl, Taylor, with similar powers.  Michael and Taylor investigate their backgrounds to discover the truth about why they have this powers with the help of Michael's best friend, Ostin.  They quickly find out that somone is hunting for this special children and try to help those other children imprisoned. 

I was surprised Richard Paul Evans wrote this book, it doesn't seem to fit his genre of other books, but extremely enjoying reading this book.  I felt myself sucked into the world he created.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

How to Get Married

How to Get Married ... by Me, the Bride

Written and illustrated by Sally Lloyd-Jones and Sue Heap
Ages: Ages 4-8 (and their parents)

Take it from the six year old bride there are just certain things that you should do if you want to get married. This book gives advice on how to choose the perfect person to marry, pop the question, and plan the ceremony and reception. Taking place in the narrator's daycare, this book is charming and so funny.  Some sage advice includes: you should definitely brush your hair so that it doesn't look like a bird's nest back there. And according to the narrator, who is wearing a paper crown, "you can marry anyone you like!" and advises the reader not to forget to "throw a big bunch of flowers at people's heads." The illustrations alone would certainly keep readers busy and engaged-no pun (entirely) intended!

We all enjoyed this book and laughed out loud! This would be a perfect book for your preschooler, early grade schooler, or a bride to-be. This book is the second from the creative team that wrote the NY Times Bestseller How to Be a Me, the Big Sister. There is also a third installment in the series, How to Get a Me, the Boss. We will be getting both of those titles as soon as possible. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


by Ally Condie
Ages: 12+

Finally, Cassia is the age to be matched.  She has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, to watch, and to believe. She is matched with someone from her area- Xander, but when she watches her microchip about her match another face appears, Ky Markham.  A society official claims it was a rare malfunction because Ky is Abberation.  She should focus on her future happy life. 
Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky and slowly falls in love and doubts the Society.  She has to chose a path between Xander and Ky, life has she's known and a path no one else has to dared to follow.   

I am in the teen fiction genre and I am loving it.  I love the different future societies/government and young people beginning to realize the government is not correct.  They are no longer blinded by the lies the government provided.  It is like Hunger Games, Maze Runner, The Giver, Cinder, and Birthmarked.  Of course, this is book one of a trilogy. Crossed is book 2 and Reached which will be released November 2012 (this year).     

Sloppy Joe

Sloppy Joe

written by David Keane
illustrated by Denise Brunkus

Joe has always been good at being sloppy. His room is sloppy, his manners are sloppy, even his attempts at helping around the house are sloppy. When Joe decides to become Neat Joe, his attempts are fun and heartfelt. And he learns that being messy is just a wonderful part of who he is.

This is the perfect book for anyone in your life who is a little less than neat. Fun illustrations and charming situations make this book just plain fun. Try this book out with your own Sloppy Joe.

Sunday, April 8, 2012


Book One in the Lunar Chronicles
by Marissa Meyer
Ages: 12+

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg.  She is considered a second-class citizen in New Beijing.  Her stepmother blames her when the stepsister gets the mysterious plague.  Her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai and finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle between humans and the ruthless lunar people.  She uncovers her mysterious past which leads her into making difficult choices in order to protect her world's future.   

I was very hesitant to read this book at first because it seemed like another Cinderella story remake.  I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed this book and had to finishing reading.  I was drawn into the world of humans and androids.  I felt torn when Cinder's past was slowly revealed and she had to make some difficult decisions. I can't wait until Book 2 Scarlet comes out.  It will be featuring Cinder meeting Little Red Riding Hood in France.  There will be four books in the series.     

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Big Little Brother

Big Little Brother

written by Kevin Kling
illustrated by Chris Monroe
ages: preschool through grade school

There's nothing quite like being an older brother. The advantages of being able to boss someone else around, to be in charge of the games and the toys-except for when your little brother grows bigger than you. Could there possibly be any advantages to having a little brother that is bigger than you?

This book is an utter delight from beginning to end. The illustrations are laugh out loud funny and it has the kind of humor that will make parents love reading this to their kids over and over. This book became an instant hit at our house because we have a big little brother under our very own roof! Give this a try for a quirky and touching brotherly read.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Virgie Goes to School with Us Boys

written by: Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard

illustrated by: E.B. Lewis
ages: school aged

All that Virgie wants to do is attend school with her five older brothers, George, Will, Nelson, Val, and C.C. They keep saying that she is too small to walk the seven miles, that she'll miss her parents too much, and that girls don't need to go to school anyway. Virgie proves them wrong with her desire to learn to read and go to school.

Set in the post-Civil War South, this true story is beautifully written and illustrated. Virgie's story takes place during Reconstruction when schools were created to educate newly freed slaves and their children. Fewer than 10% of slaves were literate and schools offered an unprecedented opportunity to learn. During Reconstruction, only boys were allowed to go to school, but that doesn't stop Virgie. This book has a rich message of education and freedom and can be a real jumping off point for conversations with kids about the Civil War, slavery, determination, and the value of education.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Goodnight Ipad

by Ann Droyd
All ages

A great parody book of our technology craze society.  I laughed so hard.  Everyone will enjoy this book if they loved "GOODNIGHT MOON."

Friday, March 9, 2012

Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Moon (Board Book)

written by: Margaret Wise Brown
illustrated by: Clement Hurd
ages: birth-preschool

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is about as classic as a children's book comes. This is a lovely bedtime story using soothing words and soft pictures. It won't take long for your child to become familiar with the simple vocabulary of this beautiful book. The safety and peace of the "great green room" will make this a bedtime favorite.

Goodnight Moon was, hands down, my son's favorite nap time and bedtime book. In fact, we have three (count 'em!) copies of this book; one board book and two hardcovers in different sizes. It has been a cherished book in our family. Give Goodnight Moon a chance to work its magic on your baby or toddler.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Happy birthday to Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss! Dr. Seuss was a man who wrote books filled with wonderful wordplay and jubilant silliness. Although he was a cartoonist and not a real doctor, we can thank him for some of the most memorable characters in children's literature: the Grinch, the Cat in the Hat, and Yertle the Turtle to name only a few.

To celebrate his birthday and National Read Across American Day, here are a few favorites to try with your family:

Oh, the Places You'll Go!

Horton Hears a Who!

One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish

The Cat in the Hat

Here's an interesting fact: did you know that The Cat in the Hat was originally created as a reading primer for children? The Beginner Reader series includes other new reader favorites such as Hop on Pop and Green Eggs and Ham.

Whether you celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday with crazy socks or green eggs and ham, make sure that you include some quality reading time with your favorite kiddos. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

11 Experiments that Failed

Okay folks, we're back! I can't believe how long it has been since I've reviewed a book or a series; shameful really! Well, we're back and thrilled to share some amazing new books with you and your kids!

11 Experiments That Failed

written by Jenny Offill and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
age: elementary aged children (and their parents or grandparents)

11 Experiments that Failed is what every kid dreams of trying at least one time. I'm reminded of one time that I shot mashed potatoes across the table and they landed smack between my grandpa's eye and the lens of his glasses. Automatic trouble-but I digress. What would happen if you ate nothing but ketchup snow cones or tried to grow fungi in your brother's shoes? Can a washing machine wash more than just clothes? Well, this book answers those and many other pressing questions!

This is such a charming book with clever illustrations. 11 Experiments that Failed is fun and filled with whimsy and childhood imagination. The scientist in the family will enjoy the clever use of hypotheses and results. Everyone was laughing out loud by the time we finished the book. Reading this book is one experiment to try!