Friday, April 29, 2022

#MMBBR #Reviews Bright Books for Little Hands and New Middle Grade Must-Haves from @NGKids #NatGeoKids via @mediamastersbks



These books are FANTASTIC. I could not stop reading them and both my boys thought that they were all cute, educational and fun to read and look through. Did you know that "dinosaur" means "terrible lizard" or that the mythical Nemean lion had a hide so tough no weapons could cut it?!?!!! So cool right! In these books you will read about dinos, birds, puppies, mythical beasts, rocks/gems, baby animals, science and weird but true faces on rocs and minerals. These books have all the things that I love about National Geographic...the amazing photos, great tidbits and facts, as well as the well written index located in the back of the books. These books will make you want to learn and read well past your bedtime!!! 


Weird But True Know It All: Rocks and Minerals (ages 8-12, paperback)

  • Did you know that Montana’s Grasshopper Glacier is filled with millions of frozen locusts that got caught in a storm more than 300 million years ago? 
  • Or that Roman soldiers were said to get some of their pay in salt, and the word salary comes from "sal," the Roman word for salt?
In this latest single-subject Weird But True! book, readers will learn about everything from rocks in outer space to precious gems found in Earth's deepest oceans and everything in between, including rock-related careers, art, geography, history and consumer products (did you know the average car has 44 pounds of copper in it??). 


Just Joking Science (ages 8-12, paperback)

A perfect read for science whizzes (and whiz wannabes), kid comedians, and laughter-lovers of all ages, Just Joking Science features 300 science-themed jokes that is scientifically proven to leave kids laughing:). Jokes about all kinds of science stuff―kooky chemistry, funny physics, dinosaurs, space, and more―is combined with fast STEM-centric facts and 10 stories of real-life scientific experiments that are almost too wild to believe. Sized for Easter baskets, back packs and camp care packages, Just Joking Science is an ideal party-starter with friends and family or a quiet-time entertainer. 


 Little Kids First Board Book: Birds (board book, ages Baby-3)

Designed to be the stepping stone to the best-selling National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book series, the Little Kids First Board Book series takes similar big subjects and distills them down to the simplest nonfiction concepts for the youngest audience. Not only will readers learn about a variety of birds, they can also find recurring shapes and patterns in the art, while adults can keep their eyes open for occasional funny commentary from the animals. With their bright and playful design, awesome photography, clear text, and cues to encourage interactive learning, the Little Kids First Board Books take a fresh new approach to make learning about nature and science fun.


So Cute! Puppies (hardcover, ages 3-5)

From puppies at playtime to rascally ruff-housing, this book is filled with humor and informational sidebars, and pairs super cute puppy photos with imagined inner dialogue that will have the whole family laughing. Perfect for little kids getting acquainted with a new pup at home or kids who love animals in general.


So Cool! Dinos (hardcover, ages 3-5)

Those sharp, pointy teeth! Those terrifying claws! Those long necks and pointy spines! Let’s face it ... dinosaurs are SO COOL! Blending dinosaur art with silly quips and Informational fact boxes about when dinosaurs lived on Earth, stats about dinos, dinosaur feathers, and more, this is the perfect little reader to get kids’ brains buzzing and keep them laughing while learning.


Newest addition to the best-selling series! From panda cubs and prairie dog pups to beluga calves and fuzzy flamingo chicks, meet more than 40 animal babies from every corner of the globe and find out how these wee wild ones are born, where they live, what their families are like, how they get their food, and how they learn to do things on their own―all the things that are important to young humans, too!
Features include:
  • A map that shows where these animals are found in the wild
  • Questions in each chapter that encourage interactive learning
  • Simple text for reading aloud or for beginning readers
  • Engaging photography of real animals in their habitats
  • Parent tips that extend the experience beyond the book

Expertly vetted, the National Geographic Readers series has drawn high critical praise from the likes of School Library Journal ("Highly Recommended") and Booklist (“Reliable in format and solid in execution, this series works well to introduce children of varying levels of reading comfort to nonfiction and research formats.”). 


Calling all fans of unicorns, dragons, sea monsters, and fantastical beasts! This Level 3 reader explores animals that are mistaken for mythical creatures, critters that are almost too weird for reality, and other creatures with incredible abilities.


In this Level 3 reader, discover fascinating facts about the incredible rocks and minerals under our feet and deep in Earth’s crust. Budding geologists will love reading about how rocks form, learning the names and features of the coolest rocks and minerals, and exploring rare and beautiful gemstones. 


Thursday, April 28, 2022

#BlogTour #BlogTourHost #MMBBR #FlowersGrowOnBrokenWall by #FarenaBajwa via @Bookgal #Poems #Prose



Flowers Grow on Broken Walls is a unique collection of poems and prose that talks about healing and finding yourself in a world that constantly tells you that's who you shouldn't be. 

The poems, which tell a story, go over our everyday human emotions; from being heartbroken and questioning our self-worth in a world of judgment and scrutinizing social media, to finding ourselves and appreciating those really important in our lives - especially our inner, true selves.

The collection displays a raw and honest portrayal of an artist who cannot help but create something beautiful in the midst of the ugliness she has been put through, and who continues to hope against all odds, as she lets go of what she has been told is important and finds herself in one truly is.

The story that starts with heartache ends with healing, it starts with rejection from someone but ends with self-acceptance, which is the only way for true healing.


I loved this book. It was vulnerable, honest, beautiful, compelling, heartbreaking and hopeful all mixed together. I loved the beautiful words, but I also loved the fabulous illustrations inside. It was a perfect union of art and words merging into a stunning book!!! A must read!!!

Author Bio:

Farena Bajwa is a talented poet, storyteller, actor, filmmaker, and voice-over artist. Even though she studied Marketing Management, her creativity comes from her heart. Whether it’s filmmaking, voice-over, or acting, she owes it to her life philosophy: ‘’learning by doing’’. ‘’Flowers Grow on Broken Walls’’ is Farena’s first written collection of poetry that speaks about the journey to self-healing after experiencing the loss of someone, but mostly, the loss of yourself. She wants to inspire her readers using her power of words to make them feel less alone and to let them know that no matter what they go through, healing is just around the corner, already cheering for you.



On writing:

Where do you get inspiration for your stories?

I am primarily inspired by my own experiences, but I love to hear and to learn about other people’s experiences too. I am also inspired by situations going on in the world.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been journaling my whole life. But I only started writing poems when I started writing Flowers Grow on Broken Walls. The interesting thing is, I’ve always had thoughts running through my head formed in a poetic way. When I didn’t understand, when something happened, I would think those thoughts in small poems. I thought art would be able to lift off the weight from unpleasant situations I was dealing with right away. And oftentimes, it turned out to be true.

Do you ever get writer’s block? What helps you overcome it?

Yes, constantly. But I don’t get intimidated by it. Whenever I have a writer’s block I just feel like: “Oh, I am probably not meant to be writing right now. So let’s see what I can do to take are of myself/have fun/get some other work done etc. And eventually the block ends and I am inspired again. The key? Letting go.

What is your next project?

All I know is that I am currently writing poems. One poem after another. I don’t have a specific theme, I guess I’ll find out when the time comes.

What genre do you write and why?

I write poetry because poems are able to give my feelings a voice. They help me understand what I am feeling and also how I can deal with these emotions.

What is the last great book you’ve read?

The invisible life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab. A magnificent piece of work dancing between different timelines, magic, and blood cold reality that we often think boring. But truthfully, it is our reality that is more enchanting than magic if you stop taking friendly gestures of strangers, or new shortcuts you discovered etc. for granted. 

What is a favorite compliment you have received on your writing?

A reviewer wrote:

I loved reading Shakespeare and feel that this author could certainly be a modern day version of him. The disappointments, loss, love, and other happenstances of life are well within these poems.”

Just reading the name Shakespeare connected to my book gave me all the right chills- and I am so grateful for it😊

What were the biggest rewards and challenges with writing your book?

The biggest challenge was having to go back to these intense negative feelings that I was experiencing. I had to recall every emotion and I was scared I would be pulled back into the dark. The biggest reward was knowing that I had overcome these feelings. While I was writing the pages for the first few chapters that cover those lower feelings, I realized how much I had changed and how it didn’t affect me as I thought it would.


On rituals:

Where do you write?

Primarily in Cafés. The smell of coffee, the cozy ambience and the gentle, faint talking of people inspires and energizes me.

Do you write every day?

No, only when I am inspired. I can’t write if I don’t feel the words I am writing. If a word only feels like a word to me and not like an emotion, I can’t write because it doesn’t seem truthful to me. Afterall, poetry is all about a feeling wanting to take shape, so it can be released.

What is your writing schedule?

I don’t set specific timeframes to write, nor do I schedule specific days. I write when I feel like I have something to say, when something is bothering me, when I need to put my feelings into written words. I can write for a whole week and create 3 poems a day or I won’t write for weeks. I can write and pretend but I can’t lie about how I feel. Also, readers are not stupid, they know instantly if someone is being authentic in their words or not.

In today’s tech savvy world, most writers use a computer or laptop. Have you ever written parts of your book on paper?

I almost only write my poems on paper. Flowers Grow on Broken Walls was entirely handwritten. I bought a notebook with colorful flowers on the cover when I started writing my book. I saw that notebook and it just called out to me. I didn’t know then, “Flowers” would become the main message in my book😊


Fun stuff:

Favorite dessert?

Cake. In any shape or form. I love cake. I would die for cake.

What TV series are you currently binge watching?

Killing Eve and Peaky Blinders. My two favorite series I’ve already watched a thousand times. Both series are brilliant. Amazing writing, amazing acting, fast paced, dramatic with moments of fun and ease in between and – I just love these kinds of series!

What song is currently playing on a loop in your head?

There are actually two songs:

Love wave by The 1-800

Ebb tide by The Platters

What is your go-to breakfast item?

Coffee. Always and forever coffee.

Who was your childhood celebrity crush?

Ash Ketchum of Pokémon…I mean come on. How can you not find that drive and that determination that boy had attractive? He wanted to become the Pokémon master and he was GOING for it. Damn.

One thing no one would expect from you.

I have a deep love for dinosaurs. I am fascinated by the thought that there’ve been huge reptiles walking on our earth once. I used to collect dinosaur figures, read books and watch documentaries (and of course Jurassic Park). I wanted to become a paleontologist when I was a child because I always hoped to find a living dinosaur one day. It is my dream to see a real-life sized skeleton of a dinosaur someday. I never had the opportunity to see one.

Really? What is your favorite dinosaur?

A Brachiosaurus. You’ve got to love this teeny tiny head on this big fat body. The fact that it weighed more than 28 tons but only eat plants, it belonged to one of the tallest dinosaurs and could easily crush another dinosaur with a slight step - but still was one of the friendliest and more peaceful reptiles is just ridiculous- and so cute. 


#MMBBR #Review #QuokkasGuideToHappiness by #AlexCearns via @Harper360

The Quokka's Guide to HappinessThe Quokka's Guide to Happiness by Alex Cearns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Meet the Quokka. Miniature marsupial, tourist attraction and the happiest animal on the planet.

Unique to Rottnest Island and small areas of the West Australian coast, these cute little critters have featured in more selfies than the Kardashians - no pouting necessary, just an adorable smile!

Featuring stunning photography from award-winning Alex Cearns, and uplifting quotes, The Quokka's Guide to Happiness is a gorgeous compilation sure to bring a cheeky little grin to anyone's face.


If I could give this book 100 stars I would. I am OBESSED with quokka's. They are seriously the sweetest and cutest animals in the whole darn world. I also love quotes. So...when you mix those two things together you simply have perfection. I want to buy a bunch of these books and give them as gifts to everyone I care about. Anyone who sees this adorable cover will fall in love instantly. Readers will have so much fun looking at the delightful pictures and reading the quotes contained inside!!!! EVERYONE will cherish this book. You cannot help but smile and feel inspired. A great book for the display on the bookshelf and to give as a gift.

View all my reviews

#MMBBR #Review #Youology A Puberty Guide for EVERY Body by #TrishHutchison #KathrynLowe #MelisaHolmes via @TeszlerPR @AmerAcadPeds

You-ology: A Puberty Guide for EVERY BodyYou-ology: A Puberty Guide for EVERY Body by Trish Hutchison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You-ology: A Puberty Guide for Every Body (American Academy of Pediatrics; April 19, 2022) – AAP’s first children’s book – offers a one-stop-shop, explaining what every body goes through—with cute illustrations, to boot. 

Gynecologist Melisa Holmes, MD, FACOG and pediatricians Trish Hutchison, MD, FAAP (co-founders of the popular website, Girlology, and proud stars of a Tampax commercial in which they blitz through a lightening-round of tampon myth-busting, so you know you’re in good company) and Kathryn Lowe, MD, FAAP keep the tone upbeat and engaging, while short stories featuring a cast of diverse characters add relatability and humor in their colorfully-illustrated guide. 


The docs are available to discuss:

·           How educating adolescents about their bodies makes them more confident (at a key time when hormones and anxiety rise)

·           The most frequently asked questions parents and caregivers have about puberty 

·           What should I do if I accidentally walk in on my kid watching porn and/or masturbating?

·           How educating kids about the changes happening in other kids’ bodies improves understanding and empathy and reduces bullying

·           Hygiene – from natural deodorant to jock straps and beyond

·           Why it’s important ALL kids learn about erections and periods

·           And much more


For curious kids and parents trying to take the sting out of the birds and the bees talk, You-ology offers fact-based, age-appropriate information about the physical, social, and emotional changes ahead for kids. Helping kids understand what every body goes through in puberty breeds greater compassion and empathy all around.


The book is best suited for kids ages 9-13, grade level 4-8 and their parents.


Dr. Holmes on Access Hollywood


Dr. Hutchison and Dr. Holmes’ Tampax commercial


Dr. Lowe and Dr. Hutchison on-camera clip



Melisa Holmes, MD, FACOG is co-founder of Girlology and a graduate of The Medical College of Georgia. As an Ob-Gyn, Melisa joined the faculty at the Medical University of S.C. (MUSC) where she held joint appointments in Obstetrics/Gynecology and Pediatrics. She served as director of the MUSC Teen Clinic and created a clinic for sexual assault survivors. As a nationally recognized advocate for adolescent health, she has served on the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' Committee on Adolescent Health Care and worked with National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. She is on the Board of Directors for the SC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy and serves on the Advisory Board for, a global sexuality education project. In addition to co-authoring the Girlology series of books, she has written numerous scientific papers and textbook chapters as well as articles and guest blogs. As a passionate teacher for her patients, Dr. Holmes received a national award from the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists for patient education. As an excellent clinician respected by her peers, she was also named among the Best Doctors in America.


Trish Hutchison, MD is a board-certified pediatrician, nationally-recognized health educator, and author. Dr. Trish is the co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of Girlology — a leading girls’ health app.Dr. Trish founded and directed a young women’s health center for the Department of Adolescent Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina. She is an expert on adolescent development, teen sexuality, parenting, and has been listed among the Best Doctors in America. Dr. Trish has also co-founded the Period Education Project — a not-for-profit organization providing menstrual health education to underserved groups throughout the country.In addition to creating the Girlology content, she currently practices medicine at the College of Charleston’s Student Health Center. She earned her MD at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) then completed her Pediatrics residency at Vanderbilt University

Kathryn Lowe, MD, FAAP
 graduated from Concordia College and then served in Peace Corps in Bolivia for two years where she discovered her passion for pediatrics.  Following that, she attended the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and completed her pediatric residency at Maine Medical Center.  Since then, she has worked as a pediatrician in both the clinic and hospital setting and currently is a Clinical Assistant Professor with the University of Washington School of Medicine where she helps educate our future generation of physicians.  She currently serves on the executive committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on LGBT Health and Wellness, and has also had leadership positions with the Montana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She is the co-founder of the non-profit Gender Equality Montana whose mission is to raise awareness about gender diversity at the community level.  She has also led many trainings on gender diversity at the community level, state level, and national level.  

An important book for kids of all kinds. I loved that this book is both easy to read and to understand. It approaches puberty with dignity and self respect of the process and your body. A great book for all parents and kids to read together.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

#MMBBR #Review #FirstLine #WatchOutForHer by @sbaileybooks via @netgalley @simonschuster

Watch Out for HerWatch Out for Her by Samantha M. Bailey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wherever you go…
she’ll be watching.

Sarah Goldman, mother to six-year-old Jacob, is relieved to move across the country. She has a lot she wants to leave behind, especially Holly Monroe, the pretty twenty-two-year-old babysitter she and her husband, Daniel, hired to take care of their young son last summer. It started out as a perfect arrangement—Sarah had a childminder her son adored, and Holly found the mother figure she’d always wanted. But Sarah’s never been one to trust very easily, so she kept a close eye on Holly, maybe too close at times. What she saw raised some questions, not only about who Holly really was but what she was hiding. The more Sarah watched, the more she learned—until one day, she saw something she couldn’t unsee, something so shocking that all she could do was flee.

Sarah has put it all behind her and is starting over in a different city with her husband and son. They’ve settled into a friendly suburb where the neighbors, a tight clique of good citizens, are always on the lookout for danger. But when Sarah finds hidden cameras in her new home, she has to wonder: Has her past caught up to her, and worse yet, who’s watching her now?

A tense psychological thriller about a mother who must keep watch at all times if she wants to keep her family safe—from USA TODAY and #1 national bestselling author Samantha M. Bailey.

A spine-tingling, page-turning novel from USA TODAY and #1 national bestselling author Samantha M. Bailey, Watch Out for Her is psychological suspense at its very best—a chilling look at trust, voyeurism, and obsession in the modern age, and how far we will go to watch out for those we love.


#FirstLine ~ I watch people.

Wow, I loved this book. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. I loved the pacing, the characters and the dialogue. It was such an intense read, which I gobbled up. I loved how original is was. I had a hard time putting it down because I was gripped from that brilliant first line to the very last page!!!

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#MMBBR #Review #FirstLine #TheChildrenOnTheHill by #JenniferMcMahon via @ScoutPressBooks @GalleryBooks @netgalley

The Children on the HillThe Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A genre-defying new novel, inspired by Mary Shelley’s masterpiece Frankenstein, which brilliantly explores the eerie mysteries of childhood and the evils perpetrated by the monsters among us.

1978: at her renowned treatment center in picturesque Vermont, the brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. Helen Hildreth, is acclaimed for her compassionate work with the mentally ill. But when she's home with her cherished grandchildren, Vi and Eric, she’s just Gran—teaching them how to take care of their pets, preparing them home-cooked meals, providing them with care and attention and love.

Then one day Gran brings home a child to stay with the family. Iris—silent, hollow-eyed, skittish, and feral—does not behave like a normal girl.

Still, Violet is thrilled to have a new playmate. She and Eric invite Iris to join their Monster Club, where they catalogue all kinds of monsters and dream up ways to defeat them. Before long, Iris begins to come out of her shell. She and Vi and Eric do everything together: ride their bicycles, go to the drive-in, meet at their clubhouse in secret to hunt monsters. Because, as Vi explains, monsters are everywhere.

2019: Lizzy Shelley, the host of the popular podcast Monsters Among Us, is traveling to Vermont, where a young girl has been abducted, and a monster sighting has the town in an uproar. She’s determined to hunt it down, because Lizzy knows better than anyone that monsters are real—and one of them is her very own sister.

The Children on the Hill takes us on a breathless journey to face the primal fears that lurk within us all.


#FirstLine ~ Her smell sends me tumbling back through time to before.

I loved this book. I love ALL the books by McMahon. She is able to create a genre seemingly all of her own. This is not just one kind of book and that is what is so great about it. There are parts that make you think, others that make you jump and even others where you get the chills. It is such a fun book to read because you never now that is going to happen. I will be thinking of this book for a long time!!!

“Monsters are real and living among us.”

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#MMBBR #FirstLine #AnHonestLie by @tarryn__fisher via #GraydonHouse

An Honest LieAn Honest Lie by Tarryn Fisher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars


"An Honest Lie is riveting suspense, but it’s also a scream of defiance, a howl of rage." --#1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover

“I’m going to kill her. You’d better come if you want to save her.”
Lorraine—“Rainy”—lives at the top of Tiger Mountain. Remote, moody, cloistered in pine trees and fog, it’s a sanctuary, a new life. She can hide from the disturbing past she wants to forget.
If she’s allowed to.
When Rainy reluctantly agrees to a girls’ weekend in Vegas, she’s prepared for an exhausting parade of shots and slot machines. But after a wild night, her friend Braithe doesn’t come back to the hotel room.
And then Rainy gets the text message, sent from Braithe’s phone: someone has her. But Rainy is who they really want, and Rainy knows why.
What follows is a twisted, shocking journey on the knife-edge of life and death. If she wants to save Braithe—and herself—the only way is to step back into the past.
This seething, gut-punch of a thriller can only have sprung from the fiendish brain of Tarryn Fisher, one of the most cunning writers of our time.

Looking for more great reads by Tarryn Fisher? Don't miss 
The Wives and The Wrong Family.


#FirstLine ~ At the end of the highway sat an old town, not completely dead, but on it s last breath.

I really enjoyed this book. This is the first book I have read by Fisher and I was really anticipating it because I see her and her books EVERYWHERE! I was not disappointed. It was very engaging and I loved the past/present way the book was laid out. I think that helps to provide breadcrumbs to the reader by providing tiny bits of information throughout. There were very satisfying twist and turns, which added to the fun of this book. I highly recommend this awesome story!!!

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Thursday, April 21, 2022

#MMBBR #FirstLine #Review #KillerView by @royjohansen via @HachetteUS and @GrandCentralPub who provided a free review copy!

Killer ViewKiller View by Roy Johansen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

#FirstLine ~ She should have taken the million dollars.

I loved the first line of this book and everything that followed. It was a fast paced and easy to read entertaining story. It had fantastic characters and a perfectly paced plot. I had a great time reading and could really see this book play out in my mind. It was a delight and one I highly recommend.

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Monday, April 18, 2022

#MMBBR #Showcase #PositivelyIntroverted by @IntrovertDoodle via @simonschuster


POSITIVELY INTROVERTED by Maureen “Marzi” Wilson

Adams Media | On sale: April 5, 2022 | Hardcover | $16.99 | ISBN: 9781507216682

Discover how introverts can succeed in a world designed for extroverts with this advice-driven collection of words and illustrations.

Self-proclaimed introvert and creator of Introvert Doodles, Marzi Wilson, knows introverts are still a thriving community. Now she’s back sharing her introvert expertise with a brand-new advice-driven collection of words and illustrations, offering insight on how introverts can succeed in life, focusing on relationships, mental health, career success, and more!


Maureen “Marzi” Wilson had a quiet childhood by the Chesapeake Bay, and is enjoying an equally quiet adulthood by the Yellowstone Forest. Her hobbies include reading, swooning over typography, and cuddling her Yorkie, Kiko. That’s as much information as she’s willing to share with you, as she’s an introvert and doesn’t know you very well. Check out her website and find her on Instagram @IntrovertDoodles.

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