Thursday, March 23, 2017

On Spring Break....



Hello All,

I am on Spring break with my family this week.  
I will be back on the 31st with a blog tour post!  
  Have a great week...see you Friday!!!

Image result for chicago blackhawks
We are seeing the Blackhawks game...

Image result for epcot
Heading to Epcot...

Image result for legoland
Visiting Lego Land...and so much more!!!!

#MMBBR #Review Animal Ark by @NGKids


A howling wolf, a stalking tiger, a playful panda, a dancing bird – pairing the stunning photography of National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore with the delicate poetry of Newbery award-winning author Kwame Alexander, this lush picture book celebrates the beauty, diversity, and fragility of the animal world. 

Featuring more than 40 unique animal portraits, the pages invite kids to explore each creature's markings, textures, and attributes in stunning detail, while calling on all of us to help protect each and every one. Three picture-packed gatefolds inside showcase even more familiar and exotic species. These images are part of Sartore's lifelong project to photograph every animal in the world, with special attention given to disappearing and endangered species.



First, are you kidding me with this cover...supreme cuteness overload!!!  A baby sloth?!?!?  Come on...so adorable!  This book poem is AMAZING...the pictures, the words dancing along the pages allowing the reader to be introduced to so many animals is a reading sensation.  This book is sheer joy, love and smiles from cover to cover!!!  This book focuses on the need to conserve the beauty of nature, to embrace the all the animals and to take care of the world we live in.  This book highlights every species in captivity...let that sink in...that is no small feat.  This book is such a gift to the world to showcase and highlight these amazing creatures for future generations to see.  There are 100 pictures to see within this book and they are all stunning, vibrant and awe inspiring.  I have never really seen a book like this before and that is what makes it so special.  This book is a MUST for everyone to own a copy...it is really that wonderful.  Buy it, you won't regret it...I PROMISE! 



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#MMBBR #Review Motor Girls by @suemacy1 @NatGeo




Come along for a joy ride in this enthralling tribute to the daring women – Motor Girls, as they were called at the turn of the century – who got behind the wheel of the first cars and paved the way for change. The automobile has always symbolized freedom, and in this book we meet the first generation of female motorists who drove cars for fun, profit, and to make a statement about the evolving role of women. From the advent of the auto in the 1890s to the 1920s when the breaking down of barriers for women was in full swing, readers will be delighted to see historical photos, art, and artifacts and to discover the many ways these progressive females influenced fashion, the economy, politics, and the world around them.




National Geographic knows how to write books that engage readers of all ages.  In MOTOR GIRLS the reader hits the road with the bold, feisty and brave woman who changed history from behind the wheel.  This book is jammed packed with pictures, facts and engaging stories about the woman who changed the role that woman played when it come to automotive advancements.  This historically rich book not only illustrates the ways that woman changed the way we look at automotives, but also shines a light on this fascinating period of time.  This is a must for every library, school and home...this book will not disappoint, but rather inspire, engage and entertain!


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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

#MMBBR #Review The Orphan's Tale by @PamJenoff #FirstLine #MIRABooks

The Orphan's Tale: A Novel by [Jenoff, Pam]

"Readers who enjoyed Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale and Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants will embrace this novel. " —Library Journal
"Secrets, lies, treachery, and passion…. I read this novel in a headlong rush." —Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train
A powerful novel of friendship set in a traveling circus during World War II, The Orphan's Tale introduces two extraordinary women and their harrowing stories of sacrifice and survival 
Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night. 
Pam JenoffNoa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.

Pam Jenoff is the author of several novels, including The Kommandant's Girl, which received widespread acclaim, earned her a nomination for the Quill Awards and became an international bestseller. She previously served as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. State Department in Europe, as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army at the Pentagon and as a practicing attorney at a large firm and in-house. She received her juris doctor from the University of Pennsylvania, her masters degree in history from Cambridge University and her bachelors degree in international affairs from The George Washington University. Pam Jenoff lives with her husband and three children near Philadelphia where, in addition to writing, she teaches law school. 
Pam would love to skype with your book club or library group!



#FirstLine ~  
Paris 
They will be looking for me by now.

A story that will move you and perhaps cause tears to fall, you will not soon forget THE ORPHAN'S TALE after you finish.  Jenoff is a master of her craft and tells historical stories with astute accuracy, well fleshed out characters and a story line that is so well written you cannot help but to become emotionally involved.  Beautiful, thought provoking and honest...brilliant!!!

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#MMBBR #Review The Year of Loving by @tracilslatton @ParvatiPress #FirstLine

The Year of Loving by [Slatton, Traci L.]


Art gallerist Sarah Paige’s world is crumbling. One daughter barely speaks to her and the other is off the rails. Sarah is struggling to keep her gallery afloat in a tough market when she learns that her most beloved friend has cancer. In the midst of her second divorce, two men come into her life: an older man who offers companionship and stability and an exciting younger man whose life is as chaotic as hers. 




#FirstLine ~ In the beginning, there was my bohemian poet mom and square attorney dad, who met at a concert and shared only three interests in common: rock and roll, Renaissance art, and me, Sarah Melissa Paige conceived in the backseat of a Chevy Impala to the strains of Deep Purple.

This book is a realistic romance that will have you guessing and touches on many areas...love, motherhood, life, struggle, romance, friendship, betrayal and so much more.  The main character is raw and harsh, but also funny and smart.  This book is one that romance readers will certainly enjoy.  


Traci L. SlattonTraci L. Slatton is the international bestselling author of historical, paranormal, and romantic novels, including IMMORTAL (BantamDell) and BROKEN; the award-winning dystopian After Series which includes FALLEN, COLD LIGHT, FAR SHORE and BLOOD SKY; the bittersweet romantic comedy THE LOVE OF MY (OTHER) LIFE; and the vampire art history romp THE BOTTICELLI AFFAIR. She has also published the lyrical poetry collection DANCING IN THE TABERNACLE and THE ART OF LIFE, a photo-essay about figurative sculpture through the ages. Her book PIERCING TIME & SPACE explores the meeting ground of science and spirituality. Her latest novel THE YEAR OF LOVING follows an art gallerist through a steamy love triangle and a challenging year of love and travail. This story seeks to answer the question, What sustains you when all else falls apart?




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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

#MMBBR #Review We're All Wonders @RJPalacio @randomhouse #Wonder #thewonderofwonder


We're All Wonders by [Palacio, R. J.]

The unforgettable bestseller Wonder has inspired a nationwide movement to Choose Kind. Now parents and educators can introduce the importance of choosing kind to younger readers with this gorgeous picture book, featuring Auggie and Daisy on an original adventure, written and illustrated by R. J. Palacio.

Over 5 million people have fallen in love with Wonder and have joined the movement to Choose Kind. Now younger readers can meet Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, and his beloved dog, Daisy. 

Countless fans have asked R. J. Palacio to write a book for younger readers. With We’re All Wonders, she makes her picture-book debut as both author and artist, with a spare, powerful text and striking, richly imagined illustrations. Palacio shows readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world—a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he’s not always seen that way. 

We’re All Wonders may be Auggie’s story, but it taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It’s the perfect way for families and educators to talk about empathy and kindness with young children.

MY REVIEW:
I adored this book!  I love how they have perfectly adapted the book Wonder to suit young readers.  This story was one that my son dove in and read the minute it arrived at the door.  He loved Wonder and said this book was just as good.   This book focuses on kindness, our desire to belong, friendship and trying to create a world where we all feel like Wonders.  This book will be a great book to initiate conversation with our children about being kind, understanding and inclusive.  I love that this book allows the reader to see how hurtful words and actions affect other people.  We need to focus on making the world a better, kinder place for everyone!  This is by far one of my favorite books EVER!!!





With more than 5 million copies sold worldwide  and over four years as a New York Times bestseller, Wonder has inspired countless readers to reflect on their actions and to Choose Kind. This journal prompts writers to reflect on ways they can actively be kind every day to the people in their lives and to themselves. Filled with quotes from the book and questions that are both fun and insightful, this journal is the perfect gift for a Wonder fan and a great activity for parents to do with their kids.

MY REVIEW:
DO ONE WONDERFUL THING EVERY DAY.   This journal is FANTASTIC.  It guides you though the year by asking you questions, providing writing prompts and inspiring writers with quotes.  It helps the writer to focus on the good (the wonders) of each day.  It also helps the writer to discover who they really are by providing questions that allow you to think, fill-in and act.  I am going to get one of these journal for each of the family members and we are all going to journal together!!!  What a great way to spend family time.  A gift that Palacio has given us!!!  I am so excited!!!




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With more than 5 million copies sold worldwide and over four years as a New York Times bestseller, Wonder has inspired countless readers to reflect on their actions and to Choose Kind. This bright blue note cube of 368 tear-out sheets is the perfect vessel for kind thoughts, thoughtful notes, and quick lists.

MY REVIEW:  If you love Wonder you will love this note pad...every time you write a note you will smile!!!



Wonder by [Palacio, R. J.]

SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING JULIA ROBERTS, OWEN WILSON, AND JACOB TREMBLAY!

Over 5 million people have read the #1 New York Times bestseller WONDER and have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. 

The book that inspired the Choose Kind movement.

I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. 

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. 

"Wonder is the best kids' book of the year," said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate.com and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out. 

Join the conversation: #thewonderofwonder

MY REVIEW:
This book moved me.  As a person, mother and teacher of small children.  This book teaches us how to really judge a person.  It teaches all of us what it means to be a good person, to be a good friend.  I loved this quote: "I think there should be a rule everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives".  This is only one of the many great quotes in this outstanding book about so many things...bravery, family, love, friendship, self confidence and strength under pressure (just to name of few).  All kids need to read this book with their parents and then they need to sit down and discuss it together....you and your children will be better for it!!! 5 stars!


Praise for Wonder:
A #1 New York Times Bestseller
USA Today Top 100 Bestseller
An Indie Bestseller
Time Magazine 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time Selection
Washington Post Best Kids’ Book
Parents Magazine Top 10 Book of the Year
New York Times Book Review Notable Book
An NPR Outstanding Backseat Book Club Pick
An Entertainment Weekly 10 Great Kids’ Books Selection
Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
Booklist Editors’ Choice
An E. B. White Read Aloud Award Winner
An ALA Notable Book
A Bank Street Best Book of the Year
An IRA-CBC Teachers’ Choice
A New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing Selection
A Christopher Award Winner

“A beautiful, funny and sometimes sob-making story of quiet transformation.” —The Wall Street Journal

“A crackling page-turner filled with characters you can’t help but root for.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Rich and memorable.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Wonder is the best kids’ book of the year.” —Slate.com

“A glorious exploration of the nature of friendship, tenacity, fear, and most importantly, kindness.” —The Huffington Post


“Endearing, enduring Auggie and his family and friends will find a place in the hearts of readers and prompt reflection on how we treat others.” —The Washington Post






#MMBBR #Review Hello There, Do You Still Know Me? by @HelloThereLBA


Hello There, Do You Still Know Me? by [Arnold, Laurie B.]

In this sequel to the popular kids novel, Hello There, We’ve Been Waiting For You!, it’s summertime and Madison McGee’s best friends, Violet and Noah, join her in Costa Rica, where she’s staying with Rosalie Claire. Their dreams of lazy sunny beach days come to a screeching halt when Madison’s grandmother, Florida Brown, unexpectedly shows up on their doorstep. Dangerously ill with a mysterious ailment, Florida needs help. But the magic in Rosalie Claire’s fanny pack has stopped working. Only one person knows how to revive it - Grandma Daisy. The only problem? She’s been dead for five years.

Enter the MegaPix 6000. Together, Madison and her friends have to figure out a way to turn the magic TV into a time machine so they can visit Grandma Daisy and save Florida. Once the intrepid trio hurtles into the past, a dizzying adventure unfolds, filled with heart-filled, unexpected consequences.

When Madison McGee is orphaned and forced to live with her wacky grandmother in boring old Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, she’s pretty sure nothing will ever be right again. Her grandmother is addicted to TV shopping shows. Her only neighbors are a crazy lady and a vicious junkyard mutt. And she misses her old life something fierce. Could it get any worse?


A magical book that has so many wonderful elements.  I really thought the book was well written, well plotted and so original.  There are so many important lessons in this book that are great for younger readers to learn.  Plus, there is magic around us all the time, we just need to take time to notice it.  




A jeans and T-shirt kind of girl, Madison refuses to be seen in the “cupcake dresses” her grandmother tries to get her to wear. Everything changes when a MegaPix 6000 TV mysteriously shows up on her doorstep. With the accidental push of a button on the remote control, Madison teleports into a dizzying world of lights, cameras, action, and peril. But with the help of a little magic, she discovers that things aren’t always what they appear to be, and that life can actually get better in a brand new way.


Laurie B. ArnoldLaurie B. Arnold has been a video producer; a writer and designer of over 50 children's interactive computer games; a scriptwriter for children's television shows, including DRAGON TALES; and the author of three picture books: PUTT-PUTT'S NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, PUTT-PUTT'S PET PARADE; and GO, GO, PUTT-PUTT GO!

HELLO THERE, WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU! is the first in a trilogy of HELLO THERE books that take young Madison McGee on magical journeys though the portal of a mysterious TV. The book was a finalist for ForeWord Review's Book of the Year in the juvenile fiction category and a New Mexico Battle of the Books selection. Madison's adventure continues with the sequel, HELLO THERE, DO YOU STILL KNOW ME? 

Laurie has two grown sons and lives with her husband on Bainbridge Island in Washington State. 

You can visit her at www.lauriearnoldbooks.com



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Monday, March 20, 2017

#MMBBR #Spring #PictureBooks #Reviews @BrightGroup_USA




On this first day of Spring, what is better than some awesome new Spring books for the kids....



by Douglas Florian (Author), Barbara Bakos (Illustrator)

"In this fun, rhyming story by award-winning author Douglas Florian, little ones can meet pairs of animals and discover how they're different! The pairs include bears/bees, shrews/giraffes, rhinos/tigers, turtles/snails, sloths/cheetahs, eels/tree frogs, hippos/butterflies, and ravens/doves."

MY REVIEW:  Simple in text, but big in heart!  Bears Are Big is a great book to teach young readers comparison.  The pictures are larger than life and bright and oh so adorable. This book will be a hit with new and young readers as the pictures capture the fun of comparing animals!  Differences can be fun and this book is nothing but sweetness and cuteness galore.  A must for all home libraries!  Plus, this book would make a PERFECT baby gift!!! 



Spring for Sophie by [Werber, Yael]
by Yael Werber (Author), Jen Hill (Illustrator)

"From snowy days to gray skies, a little girl watches and waits and wonders, will spring ever come?”

MY REVIEW:  Follow along with Sophie as she patiently waits for Winter to become Spring while she uses all her powers of observation.  Sophie listens to the birds singing their songs and watches as things slowly change from white to green.  Then her patience pays off when she gets to taste the wonderfulness of Spring.  A delightful and endearing story about the beauty in the transformation from Winter to Spring.  This book is filled with detailed full page colored illustrations that match the story beautifully.  This will be a hit for Spring reading!




Caterpillar Dreams
by Clive McFarland

The Very Hungry Caterpillar meets Giraffes Can’t Dance in this sweet coming of age story about finding one’s courage.

All Henri the Caterpillar has is a dream. It’s an amazing, incredible, impossible dream.  And to chase it, Henri will have to leave the safety of his garden and embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
Written and illustrated by the award-winning creator of A Bed for Bear, Clive McFarland, Caterpillar Dreams is the inspiring story of what can happen when you dare to believe in yourself. 

MY REVIEW:  This book is super sweet and bright and beautifully illustrated. Henri is determined to follow his dreams and so he sets out to do just that with the help from some friends he meets along the way.  Henri had a dream to fly and he was not going to rest until it was done...then something happens and he falls asleep and when he awakens he is so pleased to see his dream came true!!!  This book is perfect for Spring and for young readers to read because it encourages us to follow our dreams and to always remember where home is.  A sheer delight for eyes and mind!!!  



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Sunday, March 19, 2017

#MMBBR #Review Great Horned Owlets Rescue by @CherylAguiar

Great Horned Owlets Rescue: Where There's a Will, There's a Way.... by [Aguiar, Cheryl]


Cheryl Aguiar has a strong connection with wildlife and a great love for exploring nature. This is the story of how she gains the trust of one of Mother Nature’s most magnificent and mysterious creatures…the Great Horned Owl. These majestic birds known as raptors have a reputation of being extremely aggressive, but show a different side when struck by tragedy. With some help from her husband, Cheryl’s devotion and determination to help this family of owls turns out to be one of the most gratifying decisions she has ever made. The strong-willed adult owl parents accept help from humans to keep their family safely together. Cheryl gives us an unprecedented look into the life of these wild birds while she closely documents the journey of these two adorable owlets as they grow and experience life in the wild. Through this experience, she witnesses the struggles of survival, the amazing bond of a family and the gift of gratitude. What makes this story special is to see how animals and humans from two different walks of life can co-exist and discover that we are not so different after all. By trusting each other, working together and showing each other respect, the family of owls allow her into their world; now, they have become a part of hers. Together, Cheryl, her family and these magnificent birds have proven ever more, the statement...Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way.

Never stop exploring ...with Mother Nature by your side, the possibilities are endless. ~ Cheryl Aguiar

Cheryl AguiarCHERYL AGUIAR is a first-time author and entrepreneur who has an intuitive admiration and in-depth respect for nature and its wildlife.
Cheryl is a hardworking, self-employed salon owner in the small, New England Town of Westport, Massachusetts where she also resides with her husband Jim. Cheryl and Jim live in a quaint, country style home, hand built by themselves near the woods she explored as a child. With nothing more than a high school diploma, Cheryl has succeeded in her businesses, becoming a self-taught photographer and learning the art of writing.
Cheryl’s true passion is her love for nature, traveling, exploring and photographing the beauty of our landscapes and magnificent wildlife all around the country. She travels whenever it's possible with her husband Jim. They also own land in New Vineyard, Maine, their own piece of woodland paradise. In discovering the amazing beauty surrounding her homes and around the country, Cheryl founded Roadside Stills Photography and continues growing while exploring her talents. Her strong passion and entrepreneurial spirit have granted her the ability to share her experiences with nature through the lens of a camera and now... on paper.




You can tell from my blog that I LOVE owls.  There is something very magical about them.  I have always been fascinated with birds, since I was very little.  My love of owls is, however, a bit newer.  It was when I saw an owl in the wild for the very first time that the love of owls began.  When you see an owl, in its natural surroundings, it is a humbling experience.  I live in the city, but there are woods near by and I can hear owls hooting back and forth very late at night into the early morning.  It is one of my all time favorite nature sounds, ever!!!  Now onto the book...

It is a short book, but it is filled with heart.  You will not help but be pulled into the story of this owl family...cheering them on and willing them to survive their struggles.  Filled with pictures of the fuzzy and adorable owl family the story of the great horned owlets rescue will be one that will fill your heart with sheer joy because in the end it is about the human/animal bond that allows for amazing results.   I am so totally in love with this story 

In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous. Aristotle


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