Thursday, July 27, 2017

‏#MMBBR @BookSparks #SRC2017 #Reviews @JennaLPatrick @grantdjarrett #CETobisman @iBooks



If Will Fletcher’s severe bipolar disorder isn’t proof he shouldn’t be a parent, his infant daughter’s grave is. Once a happily married, successful veterinarian, he now lives with his sister and thrives as the small-town crazy of Half Moon Hollow. But when a fifteen-year-old orphan claims she’s his daughter, Will is forced back into the role he fears most: fatherhood. 

Her biological dad isn’t the hero Regan Whitmer hoped for, but he’s better than her abusive stepfather back in Chicago. Still haunted by her mother’s suicide and the rebellious past she fears led to it, Regan is desperate for a stable home and a normal family―things Will can’t offer. Can she ride the highs and lows of his illness to find a new definition of family? 

The Rules of Half explores what it is to be an atypical family in a small town and to be mentally ill in the wake of a tragedy―and who has the right to determine both.

This book was amazing.  I was so moved by the sharp storytelling, richly created characters and heartbreaking, but hopeful, story.  I was drawn into the way Patrick beautifully created a story of mental illness, family, tragedy and heartbreak into a story that was so perfectly fleshed out that you could not help but get  lost within the pages.   Patrick was able to build that this into a setting that was equally captivating.  A brilliant and impressive debut novel.

When two vagrants meet on the streets of Muncie, Indiana, they are both unaware that their paths crossed years before. Chic, crude and uneducated, is convinced that Sam is nothing more than a harmless lunatic, and Sam, emotionally scarred and psychologically traumatized by events long past, regards Chic as just another denizen of the street. But Chic has spent his adult life trying to purge his soul of the brutal crime he committed as a teenager―the same botched burglary that resulted in the deaths of Sam’s wife and son. Meanwhile, Sam’s daughter Claire is still unable to give up hope that her father might someday reappear. 

When these three lives converge, the puzzle of the past gradually falls together, but redemption commands a high price, and what is revealed will test the limits of love and challenge the human capacity for forgiveness.

I love when a books have such a strong voice and the characters themselves are those that pull the reader in.  The Half-Life of Remorse is one of those books that is driven by the characters.  It his a book that takes unlikely characters and intersects their lives and it creates a story that moves the reader to the core.  It is one of those books that I find hard to put into words, but one that moved me deeply.  What I can say with certainly is that you want to read this book and you want to do it soon!

In this gripping sequel to C.E. Tobisman’s legal thriller Doubt, techie turned attorney Caroline Auden struggles to move on with her life after her last case nearly destroyed her career.
Still haunted by the betrayal that forced her to leave a prestigious law firm, Caroline Auden struggles to keep her fledgling practice afloat—and her paranoia in check. When her grandmother dies, she mourns losing the only constant in her life. But grief soon turns to suspicion when she discovers her grandmother left her entire estate—including a valuable antique watch, the family’s sole heirloom—to a charity called Oasis Care. On the surface, Oasis helps society’s outcasts, like Caroline’s alcoholic, homeless uncle. But as she digs deeper, Caroline uncovers a sinister plot that sends her running for her life on the dangerous streets of Los Angeles.
Plunged into a world of addicts and broken souls and operating without a phone or a computer, Caroline finds sanctuary with her uncle and a ragtag group of outcasts while building evidence for her case. As she sifts through the shadowy world of the Goliath nonprofit, Caroline is also forced to confront her own dark shadows, casting doubt on her ability—and her sanity.

Wow, this book was great.  It was so well plotted and had twists and turns I did not expect.  What I loved about it was that he characters were smart and fun to read.  You were quickly pulled in and I was never left hanging.  I was taken into a story that was thoroughly entertaining and important because the character are easy to relate to and the message is one that is relevant.  A great book to read this summer.  I cannot wait to go back and read the first book in the series.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

#MMBBR #Highlight #FirstLine #TheIdeaOfYou by @robinnelee @StMartinsPress


When Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of a prestigious art gallery in Los Angeles, takes her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band, she does so reluctantly and at her ex-husband’s request. The last thing she expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things.

What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as Solène and Hayes navigate each other’s disparate worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to secluded hideaways. And for Solène, it is as much a reclaiming of self, as it is a rediscovery of happiness and love. When their romance becomes a viral sensation, and both she and her daughter become the target of rabid fans and an insatiable media, Solène must face how her new status has impacted not only her life, but the lives of those closest to her.

#FirstLine ~ I suppose I could blame it all on Daniel.  

Robinne Lee

ROBINNE LEE is an actor, writer and producer. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, Robinne was born and raised in Westchester County, New York. Robinne has numerous acting credits in both television and film, most notably opposite Will Smith in both Hitch and Seven Pounds. She recently completed shooting Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, playing Ros Bailey. Robinne currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children. The Idea of You is her first novel.


Saturday, July 22, 2017

#MMBBR #Review @karenbwinnick #LauraWatkins #SusanSchaeferBernardo @MonkeeDoodle @AnnMarieNieves

THE BIG ADVENTURES OF TINY HOUSE by Susan Bernardo, illustrated by Courtenay Fletcher Picture book 3-8; Flower Child Books; April 2017

The adventure begins when an old farmhouse gets salvaged and recycled into Tiny, a snug little house with a big heart -- and WHEELS! With the help of Big Truck, Tiny sets off across America to discover if he is still a real home. Tiny makes friends on the road, like Shiny the Airstream, Waverly the houseboat, and Buster the skoolie. He even goes to a jamboree! After thousands of miles, Tiny discovers that home isn't a's a feeling in your heart. The irresistible rhymes and delightfully detailed illustrations in this lyrical new picture book from the creators of Sun Kisses, Moon Hugs are sure to enchant children - and the book's gentle messages about sustainable living, friendship and working together will delight parents and teachers as well.

The house is tiny in size, but goes on BIG adventures.  Travel along with tiny house as it travels through the USA, experiencing new things, meeting interesting people and learning that home is always in your heart no matter where you are geographically.  This story captures the concept that life is not about things, rather life is about experiences.  The illustrations capture the sheer beauty of this country and how glorious travel can be.  Such a delight.  I adored this new, original and beautifully illustrated tale of minimalist living and grand adventure.  My kids and I loved this book.  We even came up with ways to use this story in my classroom come fall.  I cannot wait to share this book with my students and their parents.  I know it will be a big hit.

Good Night, BABY Animals, You’ve Had a Busy Day Karen B. Winnick, illustrated by Laura Watkins  Picture book 0-7; Henry Holt & Co.; January 2017

Whether they're dashing, splashing, munching, or crunching, baby animals are ever-exploring! At home in their natural habitats, baby animals learn about the world that surrounds them. When the fun is done, it's time for baby animals to go to sleep. After all, every baby animal has to rest.

Full of action, sound effects, and patterned text, each story features the adorable antics and accurate behavior of six wild animal babies: tiger, elephant, giraffe, rhinoceros, panda, and gorilla. This 64-page, beautifully designed story book is perfect for bedtime.

This book contains 6 animal actions stories that are sure to delight any young readers at bedtime or anytime really.  The reader gets to experience a day in the life of tigers, elephants, giraffes rhinos, pandas and gorillas as they munch, splash, snap, chomp (among so many other things) until they all eventually go to sleep.  The illustrations beautifully captures the actions of the animals and the flowing text is both delightful, entertaining and a bit soothing.  My kids thought this book was a wonderful and we came up with so many ways to use it in my classroom.  Such sweet stories and with numerous learning applications.

#MMBBR #Reviews #AlphaBetter #LindaRagsdale #MartinaHogan #HowIDidIt #AnooshaSyed #FlowerpotChildrensPress #PeaceDragonPictureBooks

Empower your vocabulary with this hilarious dictionary full of playfully re-paired words that motivate, uplift, and inspire. Laugh and learn as you read each new word, and discover the amazing power our words have when we use them to encourage others and ourselves!

Publisher: Flowerpot Children's Press, Inc (May 2017)
ISBN: 978-1486712106
Series: Peace Dragon picturebooks

First the pictures are beautiful, colorful and quite delightful.  I adored paging through and just marveling at the illustrations before ever reading a word.  I adore that this book not only teaches simple words that fill the inside covers, but also all the new words that are contained in the book.  This book is about making new and fun combinations of words that spread kindness, love and encouragement.  I cannot wait to read it with my kids and see what great words they can come up with.  I also intend to buy my kid's teachers this book because I think it teaches so much about the power of words and their impact on others.  Brilliant and beautiful!!!

Curious and inspired, I was full of ideas. I turned adversity into adventure when I took a chance and tried to change. Readers young and old will be inspired by how did it.

Publisher: Flowerpot Children's Press, Inc (May 2017)
ISBN: 978-1486712113
Series: Peace Dragon picturebooks

Another beautifully illustrated book that teaches young readers that anything is possible with a great attitude.  I find that the illustrations add to the amazing story.  The illustrations beautifully showcase emotions that I goes through.  Those emotions are what can act as talking points with young and new readers.  You are able to see the frustration, excitement, sadness and joy, among other emotions, as he works through his adventure.  It allows the readers to work through difficult situations and learn that hard times are easier when you look at them from a new and/or different perspective.

About the Author:  
Linda Ragsdale wants everyone to be a dragon, a Peace Dragon that is! As an author, illustrator, international speaker, and peace teacher, Linda has developed her Peace Dragon series to teach us how to harness our fiery energy into a peaceful and productive outlet by owning our human powers of view, voice, and choice. Linda invites you to be a peace dragon ambassador and join the 30,000 students she has taught around the world!


#MMBBR #Review #HippoPottyMouth by #KenLefkowitz #MascotBooks @MascotBooks ‏

Who is Hippo Pottymouth? Hippi just moved from the city to the country and learns that pottymouth words aren't acceptable there. Join Hippi on fun-filled and exciting adventures as she meets a new friend and discovers that she needs to control her.

Ken Lefkowitz lives in central New Jersey with his wife Tracy, daughter Katie, and their assorted furry friends. Katie’s bedtime stories always include her best plush friends. When it was time to teach Katie about pottymouth language, her purple hippopotamus named Hippi created the perfect inspiration for Hippo Pottymouth. Katie’s hysterical and uncontrollable laughter inspired this first book.

This book is a great way to have kids learn about "potty words"  and the impact they have on other people.  This book allows children to see how speaking poorly changes how people see you and that one must make sure to conduct themselves in a way that makes you feel proud.  


Thursday, July 20, 2017

#MMBBR #Review @NatGeo @NGKidsBooks #WeridButTrue #Presidents #KnowItAll #BenjaminFranklin #WiseWords

Weird But True Know-It-All: U.S. Presidents by Brianna Dumont, illustrated by Adrian Lubbers (ages 8-12, $12.99, June 2017) - What's so weird about U.S. presidents? Plenty! Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was a great wrestler? That Ulysses S. Grant got a speeding ticket riding his horse – twice! Or that Benjamin Harrison was afraid of electricity? And let's not forget that President McKinley had a pet parrot that whistled "Yankee Doodle Dandy" duets with him. Every president — from the 1st to the 45th — is spotlighted, featuring important historical information alongside vignette’s highlighting the oddities of each prez. “Extras” include an introduction that delves into the powers of the President, Congress, Supreme Court, an explanation as to how the electoral college works, a glossary, an index and even a listing of the Presidents’ most outrageous pranks. 

This book is one of the BEST I have seen.  It is awesome how it is laid out.  It is like a vision sensation because it jammed with pictures, illustrations and facts galore.  There is so much to look at and read.  I am sure that you could read this over and over and over and learn something new.  Here is a fun tidbit:  Monroe once defended himself with a fire tongs after a disagreement with his secretary of state.  Learn about so much awesome and wacky facts about our presidents in this book!  It is filled with things that I find fun, interesting and oh so strange.  My kids loved this book so much too.  What a great way to teach history.  Kids cannot help but be entertained because Nat Geo Kids knows what kids want and delivers it in spades.  

Benjamin Franklin’s Wise Words by K.M. Kostyal, illustrated by Fred Harper. (ages 8-12, $16.99, hardcover) - In this day and age, we could all use some words of wisdom and there are but a precious few individuals that have proven themselves to be of a greater mind than Benjamin Franklin.  Complete with fifty of Ben Franklin's renowned sayings and paired with modern-day translations, whimsical caricature artwork and fascinating stories about Franklin’s life, this title gives sage advice on everything from good citizenship and manners to friendship, achieving your dreams and being happy. It's a great go-to for inspirational and innovative ways to practice mindfulness, industriousness, and self-improvement by one of the United States’ most famous Founding Fathers.  History buffs young and old will particularly enjoy the book’s forward by H.W. Brands.  Brands’ book, The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. 

This book is fantastic.  What a great way for kids to be inspired...through the words of the amazing Benjamin Franklin.  This book has 50 of the most inspirational and powerful saying Franklin ever spoke.  It was whimsical, funny and illustrated beautifully and quite ingenuously...really just brilliantly.  This is one of those books that brings history to life.  It allows the reader to become part of history and to explore and think about things like friendship, happiness, humility and sincerity, just to name a few.  I was transfixed by this book and will certainly read it again.  My kids also loved it so much! They were quite moved by this amazing man and this book was one that created great dialogue between my boys and I.  Absolutely loved it! 


#MMBBR #Review #Roundup @SilverDolphin #Books #GarethLucas #noisybook #woodworks #DinosonDeck #DigDigDigger #OldMaDonald #WheelsontheBus

Join your favorite dinosaur friends on an adventure in the seas in Gareth Lucas Noisy Books: Dinos on Deck! Hoist the sails, press the sound buttons, and laugh along as a Triceratops, a Stegosaurus, a T. rex and more search for treasure. With humorous art by Gareth Lucas and charming rhyming text, this sound book will be a perfect addition to story time. What will these dinosaur friends find when they open the treasure chest?

MY REVIEW:  This book is so much fun!  I cannot wait to use it in my classes.  I know the kids will love the story and the sounds that accompany the amazing story.  I love that the dinos are searching for treasure and the reader gets to watch the story unfold with a funny and satisfying end.  There are so many activities and art project that can be paired with this story.  I loved that the text was easy to read, with descriptive words.  The rhyming text make this book a wonderful story to read aloud to children.  The colorful illustrations are bright and fun to look at. This book is sure to please any young or new reader.

Dig, dig, dig…and dig some more with your favorite animal friends! In Noisy Books: Dig, Dig Digger, children will be amused by the hilarious antics of the animals as they build an adventure playground. Young readers will delight in Gareth Lucas's artwork and in finding the sound button on every spread. Each turn of the page will bring humor and fun with hippos, bears, camels, and more on their day at the construction site.

MY REVIEW:  Another delightful installment in the Noisy Book series.  This time we head to the construction site and get to listen and watch as the animals build a playground.  The bright and fun illustrations pull the reader into the book.  The sounds that accompany the book add to the reading experience.  These books pack a lot into 10 easy to read pages and the classroom applications seem endless.  I cannot wait to use this book in my classroom because I know that I can come up with amazing art projects and activities to accompany it.  I know that the kids will appreciate the rhyming text, illustrations and sounds.  These books are perfect for young and new readers and will be a hit in my classroom.

Old MacDonald had a farm, E-I-E-I-O! This brand-new playset featuring the classic children’s singalong song "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" will be the perfect addition to your child’s library. With a chunky board book, a wooden tractor, and a playmat, little ones can read and play along as they go through the farm and meet cows, ducks, horses, and more! Join Old MacDonald and his farmyard friends for a reading adventure in Woodworks Nursery Rhymes: Old MacDonald.

MY REVIEW:  This playset is amazing.  I wish I had these when my kids were young.  They would have loved the play mat, tractor and book.  I adore the size because it would be easy to take along in a diaper bag for use at a restaurant or while waiting for an appointment.  These types of sets are those that have endless uses because they are so practical and fun for all ages.  The wood tractor is well made and the play mat is a great size.  I love the tiny book that comes with it.  Easy for kids to take along and read on the go.  These sets are great for kids 3+ and they will certainly love them.  I cannot wait to put them out in my classroom and allow the kids to enjoy some free play! 

The wheels on the bus go round and round! Climb aboard the yellow bus with this sweet playset featuring a chunky board book, a woodenschool bus, and a playmat for added fun. Young readers will enjoy reading and playing along with their favorite nursery rhyme as they drive around the town and sing their way through Woodworks Nursery Rhymes: Wheels on the Bus.

MY REVIEW:  This playset is amazing.  I wish I had these when my kids were young.  They would have loved the play mat, bus and book.  I loved the version of the story in the book too.  A bit different than the one I grew up singing.  A fun new spin on an old favorite.  I adore the size because it would be easy to take along in a diaper bag for use at a restaurant or while waiting for an appointment.  These types of sets are those that have endless uses because they are so practical and fun for all ages.  The wood bus is well made and the play mat is a great size.  I love the tiny book that comes with it.  Easy for kids to take along and read on the go.  These sets are great for kids 3+ and they will certainly love them.  I cannot wait to put them out in my classroom and allow the kids to enjoy some free play! 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...