Thursday, February 4, 2016

Harry Potter Book Night - TONIGHT #HarryPotterBookNight


Harry Potter Fans, don't miss tonight's second annual world wide Harry Potter Book Night! Tonight's theme is the spells from all seven books. There are over 10,000 events happening world wide tonight. Check out the list of locations here. You can also host your own party! Find out more information about it here. Don't forget to get your own Harry Potter Book Night celebration kit, here! Share pictures from your event online via #HarryPotterBookNight



If you're looking for some ideas to host your Harry Potter Book Night, check out the ideas from FirstNews.UK. Check out some of their ideas below:

- Create areas in your house for Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin and decorate them with house colours and emblems. You can recreate house crests or use images of the house emblems (Lion, Badger, Eagle and Snake) as decorations.
- Make some colour changing drinks! To make drinks that look like potions, add drops of different coloured food colouring to paper cups and let them dry. Then when you add water or lemonade your guests will be amazed to see them change colour! To add coloured ice to your drinks, freeze ice cube trays with drops of different coloured food colouring in the water.
- Create a display of potion ingredients. Jars or bottles filled with glitter, twigs, jelly worms, leaves, earth or feathers will look just like potion ingredients.
• Dragon’s blood (water with red food colouring)
• Unicorn hair (silver ribbon or thread)
• Gillyweed (weeds in green water or green ribbon in water)
• Eel’s eyes (small pickled onions)
• Boomslang skin (shredded bandages or fabric with a snake print)
• Bezoars (small stones)
• Bat’s eyes (black lentils)
• Bloodworms (spaghetti with red sauce)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

RED: THE TRUE STORY OF RED RIDING HOOD by Liesl Shurtliff / Blog Tour: Book Review & Giveaway



Hello and welcome today's RED: The True Story of Red Riding Hood, blog tour. I am so excited about this upcoming release! We're big fans of Liesl Shurtliff's, and I love that she's continuing her magic of writing fairytailers with a twist, with the story of Red Riding Hood. After you check out my review below, be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of the post & follow the rest of the tour!

ABOUT THE BOOK


By: Liesl Shurtliff 

Published by: Random House Kids
To Be Released on: April 12th, 2016
PreOrder from: Amazon | B&N
Add it  Goodreads 
Rating: 4.5 owlets: I Really Enjoyed It!
Source: *I received an arc from the publisher to review, in exchange for my honest review

Red is not afraid of the big bad wolf. She’s not afraid of anything . . . except magic.


But when Red’s granny falls ill, it seems that only magic can save her, and fearless Red is forced to confront her one weakness.


With the help of a blond, porridge-sampling nuisance called Goldie, Redgoes on a quest to cure Granny. Her journey takes her through dwarves’ caverns to a haunted well and a beast’s castle. All the while, Red and Goldie are followed by a wolf and a huntsman—two mortal enemies who seek the girls’ help to defeat each other. And one of them just might have the magical solution Red is looking for. . . .


Liesl Shurtliff weaves a spellbinding tale, shining the spotlight on a beloved character from her award-winning debut, Rump. 


A fantastic fairy-tale retelling! Red, The True Story of Red Riding Hood is another Liesl Shurtliff classic!


Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood is a fabulous fairytale retelling with some exciting twists. When Red's Grandmother gets sick, it's up to Red to go out into the woods in search of the ingredients she needs to get well. While on her way, Red encounters more than just the wolf. Through Red's story, Shurtliff introduces readers to a variety of well known fairytale characters, and places. I loved the way she weaved together other fairytales, and the twist she gave those characters, in Red's story. I especially loved the twist on the wolf! That was one of my favorite parts of this story. 

Red is a character readers won't soon forget. In her quest to save her beloved Grandmother, Red takes readers on an unforgettable journey brimming with magic, friendship, and danger. Along the way Red learns to not only overcome her fear of her magic, she learns to trust herself, and her friends. Red has magic, just like her Grandmother. Unlike her Grandmother, Red has a fear of using it, because she never gets the spells right, which has resulted in a few disasters. I loved watching Red learn to trust in herself, and her abilities. Something her Grandmother always knew she could do. 

 I've always been a fan of Little Red Riding Hood, but I've never really come to love her character like I have with Shurtliff's Red Riding Hood. What a fabulous character to read about. Shurtliff makes reading fairytales cool, no matter how old you are! Fans will know her best for Rump (The True Story of Rumplestiltskin) whom is mentioned in the story, but is not a character you'll see in the story. As well as Jack (Jack The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk) I love how Shurtliff tied these stories to Red's. 

Whether you're a long time fan of Liesl Shurtliff's or this is your first book of hers to read about, I highly recommend picking up this book, as well as her other books! 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Liesl Shurtliff was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah, with the mountains for her playground. Just like Rump, Liesl was shy about her name, growing up. Not only did it rhyme with weasel, she could never find it on any of those personalized key chains in gift shops. But over the years she’s grown to love having an unusual name—and today she wouldn’t change it for the world!

Before she became a writer, Liesl graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in music, dance, and theater. She now lives in Chicago with her husband and three young children, where she still dreams of the mountains. Rump is her first novel.


Website  Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads 
ENTER TO WIN

  a Rafflecopter giveaway


FOLLOW THE TOUR

Monday, February, 1: Bookiemoji, Author Guest Post
Tuesday, February, 2: Seeing Double In Neverland, Review
Wednesday, February, 3: MundieMoms/Kids, Review
Thursday, February, 4: BookHounds, Author Interview
Friday, February, 5: The Lovely Books, Review
Saturday, February, 6: I'm Shelf-ish, Guest Post
Sunday, February, 7:  Kid Lit Frenzy, Review
Monday, February, 8: Mel's Shelves, Review
Tuesday, February, 9: Once Upon A Twilight, Author Random Facts
Wednesday, February, 10: SciFiChick.com, Review
Thursday, February, 11: Swoony Boys Podcast, Review
Friday, February, 12: Bittersweet Enchantment, Review
Saturday, February, 13: WinterHaven Books, Review except 18
Sunday, February, 14: The Cover Contessa, Review
Monday, February, 15: Pandora's Books, Review
Tuesday, February, 16: On Starships and Dragonwings, Review
Wednesday, February, 17: As They Grow Up, Review
Thursday, February, 18: Owl Always Be Reading, Review
Friday, February, 19: Such a Novel Idea, Playlist and Review
Saturday, February, 20: The Children's Book Review, A Selfie and a Shelfie
Sunday, February, 21: The Mod Podge Bookshelf, Author Movie Cast
Monday, February, 22: Katie's Clean Book Collection, Review
Tuesday, February, 23: Words We Heart, Review
Wednesday, February, 24: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers, Author Guest Post
Thursday, February, 25: Confessions of a Readaholic, Review
Friday, February, 26: Bookish Antics, Review
Saturday, February, 27: Bumbles and Fairy-Tales, Review
Sunday, February, 28: Valerie's Reviews, Review
Monday, February, 29: Lili's Reflections, Review
Tuesday, March, 1: To Read, or Not To Read, Review
Wednesday, March 2: Stories & Sweeties, Review
Thursday, March 3: Cafinated Reads, Review
Friday, March 4: The Book Monsters, Review
Saturday, March 5: Twinning for Books, Review
Sunday, March 6: Curling Up With A Good Book, Review
Monday, March 7: The Compulsive Reader, Review
Tuesday, March 8: The Reading Nook Reviews, Review
Wednesday, March 9: Resch Reads and Reviews, Review
Thursday, March 10: Beauty and the Bookshelf, Review
Friday, March 11: Xpresso Reads, Review
Saturday, March 12: Diamond’s Reads, Review
Sunday, March 13: Blissful Book Reviews, Review
Monday, March 14: Vi3tbabe, Review
Tuesday, March 15: The Book Cellar, Review

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Simon Thorn And The Wolf's Den by Aimee Carter / Blog Tour: Book Review & Giveaway


Hello and welcome to today's SIMON THORN blog tour stop! I'm so thrilled to host today's stop, as it's also the release day of Simon Thorn! Aimee Carter's newest release is a fantastic middle grade read! You can read my review below, and don't forget to enter to win!


ABOUT SIMON THORN AND THE WOLF'S DEN



By: Aimee Carter
Published by: Bloomsbury
Released on: February 2nd, 2016 - TODAY
Series: Simon Thorn #1
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | The Book Depository
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - I Loved It!
*Source: I received an arc from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

A thrilling debut in the tradition of Rick Riordan and Brandon Mull about a boy who discovers a secret race of animal shape shifters.
Twelve-year-old Simon Thorn’s life has never been easy or normal, but things like being bullied at school and living in a cramped Manhattan apartment with his Uncle Darrell are nothing compared to his biggest secret: He can talk to animals.

But when his mom is suddenly kidnapped by a herd of rats, Simon finds out that he, his mom, and his uncle are all Animalgams—people born with the ability to change into an animal at will.

In search of his mom, Simon discovers the Animalgam Academy based at the Central Park Zoo. There he learns about the fractured five kingdoms that make up this secret world . . . and realizes he may be the only one who can save it.

This action-packed page-turner is perfect for fans of the Spirit Animals and The School of Good and Evil series.


A fantastic read! Simon Thorn is an action packed page turner that takes readers on an unforgettable adventure with an unlikely hero. If you've ever wish you could have the power to talk to animals, or shape shift into them, you're going to love this book. Aimee Carter has created something magical with Simon Thorn. I love that Simon's adventure takes readers into a magical world that exists among our own world.  

Simon Thorn is a character a lot of readers are going to love reading about. He is such an easy character to like. He's a lovable hero who at times can't seem to catch a break. Which is what also makes him a relatable character. He deals with his fair share of bullying. I love that he does stand up for himself, and those who also get bullied along with him. Thankfully he's got a wonderful Uncle who loves, and supports him, and a few good friends to rely on. If dealing with bullying wasn't enough, Simon quick finds himself thrust into a world he knew nothing about. In order to save those who loves, has to figure out how to navigate his way through it. In the process, he not only learns more about his heritage, and who he is, he also he learns to trust those around him. Most importantly he learns to trust himself. 


There is so much more to Simon Thorn than anyone realizes, including himself. That is part of what makes getting to go on this action packed journey with him, so much fun. Readers discover the secrets right along side Simon. The plot twists are engaging, and surprising, as are some the characters. Not everyone is who you think they are, and not everyone has Simon's best interest at heart. Thankfully Simon doesn't go about his journey alone. One of the things I loved about this book, was the importance of family and friends. Aside from Simon, his Uncles, and his new found friends were characters I really enjoyed getting to know. 


Simon Thorn is an engaging, exciting, and unforgettable read. It's one that will leave you one the edge of your seat while reading it. When you're finished with the last page, you'll be wishing the next book was already in your hands! This is an fantastic read, and though it may be targeted for middle grade readers, it is a book for all ages to read! I've really enjoyed Aimee Carter's young adult books, but I think she's found her niche with middle grade books. I loved this book, and all it offered. 

ABOUT AIMEE CARTER




Aimée Carter was born and raised in Michigan, where she currently resides. She is the author of several series, including The Goddess Test series, The Blackcoat Rebellion series, and the Simon Thorn series.

QUEEN (#3 of The Blackcoat Rebellion) will be released on November 24th, 2015. 


SIMON THORN AND THE WOLF'S DEN (#1 of the Simon Thorn series, Bloomsbury) will be released February 2, 2016.


Find Amiee: Website | Twitter | Instagram


ENTER TO WIN


3 Finished Copies of SIMON THORN
US Only
a Rafflecopter giveaway

FOLLOW THE TOUR

Week 1:



Week 2:
2/12: Avid Reader - Review

Monday, January 25, 2016

I Am Pusheen The Cat by Claire Belton / Book Review


By: Claire Belton
Published by: Touchstone
Released on: October 20th, 2013
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It!
Source: Purchased Book
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Who is Pusheen? This collection of oh-so-cute kitty comic-featuring the chubby, tubby tabby who has taken the Internet by storm-will fill you in on all the basics.

Things you should know about Pusheen.
Birthday: February 18
Sex: Female
Where she lives: In the house, on the couch, underfoot
Her favorite pastime: Blogging, sleeping
Her best feature: Her toe beans
Her favorite food: All of them

Pusheen is a pleasantly plump cat who has warmed hearts and tickled funny bones of millions worldwide with her signature GIF animated bops, bounces, and tail wiggles. Now, Pusheen is ready to make the leap from digital to print in her first comic collection! Learn what makes her purr and find out why millions of people have already fallen in love with this naughty, adorable kitty. Featuring some of the most popular stories from Pusheen's Tumblr and Facebook pages (plus a healthy serving of never-before-seen material), I Am Pusheen the Cat is a treat for cat lovers and comics fans alike.


This book is hilarious, and highly entertaining. Having never read any thing on Pusheen until I picked up this book for my daughter, I didn't realize what we were getting ourselves into. Now I get why Pusheen the Cat is such a huge craze. We're the latest victims to become addicted to Pusheen the cat. We breezed through this book one afternoon, and then re-read it again, and have many times since then. It has been a long time since we have laughed so hard reading a book together. Pusheen is a cat we wish we had, and reminds me so much of my cat I had growing up.

What's not to love about Pusheen? Her cat antics are spot on, and laugh out loudable. I'm not sure 'laugh out laudable' is a word, but I'm sure Pusheen would approve to it. Pusheen is proof that cats really do have the best lives. I now understand why Pusheen was an internet sensation prior to this book being released. Pusheen either makes you wish you could be a cat, or if you didn't already love cats, you'll love this cat. If you already loved cats prior to reading this book, then you'll wish you had your own Pusheen the Cat. We can't forget to mention her cute little sister Stormy. 


We've fallen in love with Pusheen the Cat, and we're looking forward to reading more of her books. We highly recommend picking up your own copy of I Am Pusheen The Cat! Here are some of the reasons why we love Pusheen:






Friday, January 22, 2016

The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin / Book Review



By: Emily Winfield Martin
Published by: Random House Kids
Released on: August 25th, 2015
Pages: 36
Ages: All
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It!
Purchase from: PublisherAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Source: unbound book from publisher at TLA

From Emily Winfield Martin, author/illustrator of Dream Animals, comes a new book that celebrates the dreams, acceptance, and love that parents have for their children . . . now and forever!

From brave and bold to creative and clever, the rhythmic rhyme expresses all the loving things that parents think of when they look at their children. With beautiful, and sometimes humorous, illustrations, and a clever gatefold with kids in costumes, this is a book grown-ups will love reading over and over to kids—both young and old. A great gift for any occasion, but a special stand-out for baby showers, birthdays, and graduation. The Wonderful Things You Will Be has a loving and truthful message that will endure for lifetimes.


"I'll love you, whomever you're grown up to be." 


I have long been a fan of Emily Martin's whimsical artwork. I have a couple of her prints hanging up in my library that I purchase years ago from her Etsy shop. I absolutely love that her work is now featured in children's picture books. The Wonderful Things You Will Be not only show cases what I love about Emily's artwork, it also captures the joy, the innocence and the marvel of a child's world. To match it's beautiful illustrations, this picture book also has an equally beautiful, moving message that children can be anything they'd like to be, and can go anywhere they'd like to go. I love this book's message. As a mother that's one of the best messages that we can teach to our children. The Wonderful Things You Will Be is simply lovely. It's one of those books that belongs in every baby nursery, and on the bookshelf in every child's room. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Duncan The Story Dragon by Amanda Driscoll / Book Review


By: Amanda Driscoll
Published by: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Released on: June 9th, 2015
Pages: 40
Purchase from: Random HouseAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 owlets - We Loved It!
Source: arc from publisher at TLA

A charming story about the joys of reading that is perfect for fans of Dog Loves Books and Stellaluna.

Duncan the Dragon loves to read. When he reads a story, his imagination catches fire! Unfortunately…so does his book.

Fire breath is great for roasting marshmallows, but it’s not so great for reading. Duncan just wants to get to those two wonderful words, like the last sip of a chocolate milk shake: The End. Will he ever find out how the story ends?

This bright, warm tale champions determination, friendship, and a love for books. And milk shakes!


Duncan the Dragon loves to read books. Being a dragon poses a problem for him. Duncan breathes fire, and accidentally burns his books. In his quest to find a friend who can read to him, he meets a small mouse who loves reading as much as he does. Through the stories they read, these two friends go on epic, unforgettable adventures together. 

We loved this book! It's a great story about friendship and the imaginative world of reading that brought two friends together. Duncan The Story Dragon is a must have for any children's picture book reader. With adorable, colorful illustrations that capture the magic of reading, this is the perfect book for story time, and bedtime reading.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Winnie The Pooh Day #WinnieThePoohDay

Image from Penguin Kids via Instagram

Happy Winnie The Pooh Day! Today also happens to be A.A. Milne's birthday! This beloved character is one I grew up loving, and one my daughter loves. I read Winnie the Pooh stories to my youngest sister when we were growing, and I've loved continuing that tradition with my daughter. I couldn't let the day end without posting a Happy Winnie The Pooh Day, even though it's belated, at being posted at the end of the day.

ABOUT National Winnie The Pooh Day

National Winnie the Pooh Day is observed annually on January 18th.  Author A.A. Milne brought the adorable, honey-loving bear to life in his stories which also featured his son, Christopher Robin.  National Winnie the Pooh Day commemorates Milne’s January 18, 1882 birthday.
Milne’s lovable Pooh Bear, as he was fondly called, is a fictional bear inspired by a black bear named Winnie who lived at the London Zoo during World War I. The author’s son, Christopher Robin, would visit the bear often and named his own teddy bear after her and a swan named Pooh.
This friendship inspired a collection of books starting with Winnie-the-Pooh in 1926. The books were illustrated by E.H. Shepard.
In the 1960s, Disney bought the rights to the Winnie-the-Pooh characters dropping the hyphen from Pooh’s name. The illustrations were a bit different, too.
Milne’s stories have been translated into over 50 languages and are considered classic children’s stories today. (Read more here).
To celebrate today's Winnie The Pooh Day, here are a few favorite quotes of mine, and images of Winnie the Pooh.




 *@Thomas Kinkade 

*@ThomasKinkade


* All images property of Disney, A.A. Milne, unless other wise noted. 

Ordinary People Change the World: I Am MARTIN LUTHER KING, Jr. by Brad Meltzer / Book Review



By: Brad Meltzer
Illustrated by: Christopher Eliopoulos
Published by: Dial Books for Young Readers #8
Released on: January 5th, 2016
Series: Ordinary People Change the World 
Purchase from: HereAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It!
*Find out more about the book here

We can all be heroes. That’s the inspiring message of this New York Times Bestselling picture book biography series from historian and author Brad Meltzer.
 
Even as a child, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shocked by the terrible and unfair way African-American people were treated. When he grew up, he decided to do something about it—peacefully, with powerful words. He helped gather people together for nonviolent protests and marches, and he always spoke up about loving other human beings and doing what’s right. He spoke about the dream of a kinder future, and bravely led the way toward racial equality in America.

This lively, New York Times Bestselling biography series inspires kids to dream big, one great role model at a time. You’ll want to collect each book.


Heroes come in all different shapes and sizes. They live in various places, and have over come a variety of different challenges. If we look closely, we can see they live all around us. Modern day heroes do exist. Sometimes the best heroes are the ones that make up our own modern day history. 

"The time is always right to do right." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is a hero I've always admired. His lessons on love, standing up for something you believe in, doing good, forgiving, and being immovable in your faith and convictions, is something that has always inspired me. He is proof that when we stand together, we can accomplish great things. 

This book is a child sized history of Martin Luther King, Jr. It gives readers a look into the life of a young Martin Luther King, Jr, all the way through his adult years. Readers get to read about the experiences he had as a child growing up in a time of segregation, and how those experiences inspired him to want to make a change. Readers also learn about the events that shaped him into the man he became, and  the things he did to inspire change. He made a difference. He inspired change. His actions turned him into a modern day hero.

What I loved about how this book, is how it reads. Young Martin Luther King, Jr himself, is giving readers a brief history of his own life. The book reads as though he's telling the reader about his own life, and what inspired him. Written for children, and simply told, this is a book that's engaging, and very easy for readers to understand. It's one that will capture, and hold shortened attention spans, while teaching them a valuable history lesson.

Everyone can learn something from this amazing hero. I have done a lot of reading up on Martin Luther King, Jr. through the years, and I'm always inspired by this incredible leader, and modern day hero. I learned something from this book, and walked away feeling inspired to do better. To get up and keep going on, and to love those around me more. Something Martin Luther King, Jr, lived his entire life doing. 

I'm so happy to see that Martin Luther King, Jr.'s story has been added to this amazing book series. Ordinary People Change the World is a fantastic series for young readers. It provides them with a look into the lives and examples of extraordinary people who have helped shaped our history, and who still stand out as heroes today. 

This book is a must have for all classroom libraries, home libraries, and any school or public library!

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~