Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Review: Give Your Heart a Break by Helen Peterson


Gorgeous? Check.
Wealthy? Check.
Sweet? Double check.
When Rachel Thomas meets Mason Conner, it seems she has found a man who is everything she’s ever wanted. After years of the single girl life in New York City, she’s due for some luck in the romance department. But with her less than stellar track record, Rachel can’t seem to let go of her past failures to fall too hard.
That is until Mason’s ex-fiancĂ© reappears, determined to steal him back. With more than winning Mr. Perfect’s heart on the line, is Rachel finally ready to give her heart a break?

4.5 stars
What a great read about the trials and tribulations of dating! With humor, great characters, interesting dialogue and twists and turns GIVE YOUR HEART A BREAK is sure to please anyone who wants to get taken away on true-to-life dating journey! I found myself really engaged and felt like this is what chick lit is all about...fun, romantic and imperfect misadventures in love and life! A great debut novel!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Books in the Classroom with Yvonne Mullen!

I want to start by welcoming our NEWEST book reviewer Yvonne Mullen to Mrs Mommy Booknerd's Book Reviews!  She is an awesome 2nd grade teacher and book nerd/guru!  I am so excited to have her on the team blogging about books in the classroom.  She will be taking the books that we review and applying them into the class!  She also shares the books she loves with the district and helps other teacher's use the books in new and fun ways!  

So here are Yvonne's first book reviews.  I am so looking forward to seeing how she uses them in class!


If You Give a Mouse an iPhone: A Cautionary Tail

If you give in to temptation and give a bored little mouse your iPhone,even for ten minutes, he’s probably going to beam to some faraway place beyond time, space, and the sound of your pleading voice. And if he’s that far gone, he won’t have any idea what’s going on around him, and he might end up missing out on all the real fun.

From the New York Times-bestselling author of Goodnight iPad comes a delightful new commentary on the perils of our tech-obsessed lives and a fully charged romp for readers of all ages.

If You Give a Mouse an iPhone

What a fun twist on a very familiar book. I like the repetition of language for beginning to transitional readers. The story could easily be read to beginning readers and then they would be able to "read" the story back.  That is how many students begin reading. 

The story could easily be used for:
  • teaching predictions
  • using technology purposefully
  • adding dialogue through speech bubbles (great way to teach k-2 student about dialogue and then transition into using quotation marks)
  • using different types of punctuation (?, !, ...) how to use in writing and how we "read" the punctuation to increase student fluency
  • partner reading (1. narrator 2. boy)
  • contractions
  • text to self connections
  • comparing/contrasting two stories
  • the dedication is perfect for any age to read... 45 drafts! All students need to be taught and retaught that good writing rarely if ever happens the first time. 
It is great to have one text that can be used in so many ways.  That is when it can truly becomes a mentor text. I will be adding this to my wishlist and to my next staff development session. 5 stars


Things That Float and Things That Don't

Things That Float and Things That Don't

As a science geek I love this book.  It definitely is a book that upper elementary - freshman science teachers should incorporate into their unit on density. It does an amazing job of explaining many concepts (density, cubic foot, water displacement, and solutions). It actually walks readers though the scientific method in a fun and easy to understand way. I appreciate the data table and the accuracy of how data tables should be constructed (title, labels, straight lines, hypotheses). Finally the book sets readers up for many mini experiments to try on their own.

This would be a great book to have for sharing because there are not many picture books that explain such a large science concept. I think it is important for upper elementary teachers and beyond to realize the role picture books can play in their teaching. 5 stars

Highlight: Fyire Blue by Elvie Richter


Fyire Blue

Fourteen-year-old Danielle McGowan always suspected her imagination was seriously overactive.

But when only she can see a pint-sized dragon who turns up over the summer and starts following her around, Danielle begins to worry she's actually losing her mind. Her doubts quickly transform into fear when shadows she's seen circling above transform into winged demons.

And their intent is to kill.

While going to school every day trying to fit in and pretending her life is totally normal, Danielle must figure out who her true friends really are, and how her feelings for a fascinating but troubled boy fit into her struggle to overcome the danger that stalks her. But Danielle was born with a power she is just starting to understand. She must tap into her hidden strength before the power of darkness destroys her.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Giveaway--Tempting Fate by Jane Green plus 8 wine charms

ABOUT THE BOOK:  TEMPTING FATE is the stunning and heart-breaking new novel from the No. 1 bestselling author Jane Green.
When Gabby first met Elliott she knew he was the man for her. In twenty years of marriage she has never doubted her love for him—even when he refused to give her the one thing she still wants most of all. But now their two daughters are growing up Gabby feels that time and her youth are slipping away. For the first time in her life she is restless. And then she meets Matt…
Intoxicated by the way this young, handsome and successful man makes her feel, Gabby is momentarily blind to what she stands to lose on this dangerous path. And in one reckless moment she destroys all that she holds dear.
Consumed by regret, Gabby does everything she can to repair the home she has broken. But are some betrayals too great to forgive?
Jane Green’s sixteenth novel, Saving Grace, was just released in the UK and will be released in the US in late December. She is the author of fifteen previous New York Times Bestselling novels, including most recently Tempting Fate which comes out in paperback in November.
Jane GreenA former feature writer for the Daily Express in the UK, Green took a leap in faith when she left, in 1996, to freelance and work on a novel. Seven months later, there was a bidding war for her first book,Straight Talking, the saga of a single career girl looking for the right man. The novel was an immediate top-ten bestseller in England, and Green was an overnight success.
Initially known for writing about single thirty-somethings with her trademark wisdom, wit and warmth, but Green has graduated to more complex, character-driven novels that explore the concerns and conflicts of real women’s lives, from marriage (The Other Woman) to motherhood (Another Piece of My Heart) to divorce, stepchildren, affairs, and most recently, midlife crises (Family Pictures and Tempting Fate).
She joined the ABC News team to write A Modern Fairytale—their first enhanced digital book— about the history of Royal marriages, then joined ABC News Radio as a live correspondent covering Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton. She has written a micro-series for Dove starring Alicia Keyes, many short stories, and has contributed to various anthologies, as well as regularly appearing on television shows including Good Morning America, The Martha Stewart show, and The Today Show.
Together with writing books and blogs, she contributes to various publications, both online and print, including Huffington Post, The Sunday Times, Cosmopolitan and Self, has taught at writers conferences, and does regular keynote speaking.
A foodie and passionate cook, Green filled one of her books, Promises to Keep, with recipes culled from her own collection. She says she only cooks food that is “incredibly easy, but has to look as if you have slaved over a hot stove for hours.” This is because she has six children, and has realised that “when you have six children, nobody ever invites you anywhere.”
Most weekends see her cooking for a minimum of twenty people in her home in Westport, Connecticut, where she lives with her husband and their blended family. When she is not writing, cooking, gardening, filling her house with friends and herding chickens, she is usually thanking the Lord for caffeine-filled energy drinks.


Peanuts Holiday Gift Buying Musts!!!!


Hard as it is to believe, but this year marks the 50th annual airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas!
To celebrate the occasion, ABC will air the special twice: Tuesday, December 2 at 8:30PM ET/PT and Tuesday, December 16 at 8:00PM ET/PT.  

Here are some AMAZING Peanuts gifts!!!


This lushly illustrated tribute to the television classic takes readers behind-the-scenes of the Peanuts holiday special. Including the script of A Charlie Brown Christmas, more than 200 full-color pieces of original animation art, Vince Guaraldi’s original score, and a look at the making of feature from producer Lee Mendelson and original animator, the late Bill Melendez, fans of Charles M. Schulz, the Peanuts gang, and A Charlie Brown Christmas will treasure this beautiful keepsake volume for years to come. Available at amazon.com and major book stores nationwide for $19.99.
My Review:
This is a treasure of treasures! I have LOVED A Charlie Brown Christmas since I first saw it at two years old! To have a book that chronicles the making of the show with storyboards, the original drawings, the whole show laid out, well I was blown away. There is so much awesome packed in this book that every time to you look or read you will see more and more fun stuff. It is one of my all time favorite books EVER. I think it is a must for any Peanuts fan. 5 stars
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This charming little book filled with Peanuts inspirational wisdom is the perfect stocking stuffer! The book highlights the simple joys of friends, life and goodwill through a collection of heart-warming quotes and illustrations from the Peanuts classic comics.  Available at amazon.com or wherever books are sold for $7.95.
My Review:
A cute pocket sized books with quotes from the Peanuts characters. What a cute book to keep by the nightstand and read before bed. Who doesn't love the famous quotes from the zany characters we have gorwn up with. What a great book! I love it so much! 5 stars
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Charlie Brown and the football, Snoopy’s happy dance, Schroeder at his toy piano—cherished characters and iconic moments come to life through the magic of Scanimation.  Created by Rufus Butler Seder, an inventor, artist, and filmmaker fascinated by antique optical toys, Scanimation is a state-of-the-art six-phase animation process that combines the “persistence of vision” principle with a striped acetate overlay to give the illusion of movement. It harkens back to the old magical days of the kinetoscope, and the effect is astonishing, like a video without a screen.  It is Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts—funny and wise and beloved, forever a part of our lives—like you’ve never seen before. Available for $14.95 at workman.com, amazon.com, Powell’s Books, Barnes and Noble, and independent book stores nationwide.
My Review:
This is one of the coolest books I have ever seen! The moving pictures with the quotes make for a perfect gift or keepsake for any Peanuts fan! I have never seen scanimation before and my kids and I went wild for it. They spent so much time watching the pictures move and come alive before their eyes. Such fun...5 stars!
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This play-a-sound book comes with its own adorable mini-Snoopy plush—essentially making it two gifts for the price of one! Aimed at the toddler on your list, the book spotlights the topic of best friends from the Peanuts point-of-view and features three buttons that highlight a different sound from the story when you press them. Available for $11.99 at Toys R Us or wherever books are sold.
My Review:
What is better than a snuggle Snoopy to accompany a book with sounds...really very much! It is such a great gift for a 18+ month old. Any child who has seen the Christmas special or any of the holiday shows or other cartoons will fall in love with this stuffed plush and book. Perfect size to throw in the diaper bag the book and stuffed animal will become a cherish favorite. 5 stars
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The Peanuts gang believes in “growing up without growing old” and that’s the message behind this hilarious book filled with famous celebrity quotes paired with artwork from the classic Peanuts comic strip. Among the celebrities quoted are George Burns, Mae West, Audrey Hepburn, and of course, Charles M. Schulz himself! Perfect for anyone on your list celebrating a birthday in December and beyond. Available at Target or wherever books are sold for $9.66.
My Review:
Such a great gift idea for any one having a birthday...filled with witty, funny and cute quotes about getting older will please anyone!  
So example:
'Birthday are good for you. Statistics show that the people that who have the most live the longest."
-Larry Lorenzoni
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For the budding artist, The Classic Peanuts Paint-by-Number Kit provides everything you need to make five paintings of iconic Peanuts moments.  From a group shot of Charlie Brown and the gang to Snoopy as Joe Cool, bring the charm and nostalgia of the classic comic to the canvas. Inside the box, you’ll find five paint-by-number canvases and stands, 10 acrylic paints, paintbrush, and a book exploring the comic’s great moments. Available for $15.25 at Barnes and Noble or wherever books are sold.

My Review:
My boys went nuts for this Peanuts paint by numbers set! They think that is the coolest thing they ever saw. They have had coloring books, but never paint by numbers. I can remember doing them when I was little and as excited for the me to share in the fun of a white sheet becoming a beautiful finished product! I loved that the pictures were on very thick cardboard canvases (5 total) so that it would not get soggy and ruined when they were done. Plus there were a few other cool bonuses like 5 stands and an illustrated book as well as 10 paints and paint brush. What a great gift for art loving kids! 5 stars


OPI Peanuts Collection (Pick Your Color) (OPI Peanuts Mini Collection)
My Review:
I cannot wait to do my nails up Peanuts style! What a great idea! I just love nail polish and now to have Peanuts colors with nail art decals, well that is just too much fun! Small 3.75 mL bottles make it perfect to keep in your purse for touch ups! 5 stars

My Review:
An adorable notepad to jot down your thoughts, to write Christmas lists or anything else you can think of!   Magnetic closure in a perfect sized notepad.  5 stars


Review: Grandma, Aren't You Glad The World's Finally in Color Today by Lori Stewart

We all can imagine what children think when they first see the old black and white family photos hanging in the hallway, framed on the mantle, or carefully tabbed into place in the family photo album. It's certainly enough to make grandchildren say, Aren't you glad the world's finally in color today!

Grandma, Aren't You Glad The World's Finally in Color Today! is a story in rhyme that takes readers on a then and now journey through time. Narrated by a grandmother, the story compares her own mother's life and times to those of her grandchildren. Side by side vintage and full color photos contrast fashion, schools, transportation, entertainment, technology, culture and the arts from the Great Depression and World War II years to those of today.
This book creates an opportunity for readers to share their own family tree, and gives grandparents a way to start conversations about who we are and where we came from, and fulfill their role as family historian.

What an AMAZING book to show how the world we live in has changed!  With amazing pictures and rhyming text the book is sure to please any grandparent, parent or child of any age.  It is a great book to use in the school because it shows the timeline of history (and the personal history of the author) in a new and fun way.   I showed this to my son's second grade teacher and she took it home to read and she said "Thank you for sharing! I love it!".  We all loved it!  4.5 stars

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