Thursday, April 29, 2010

Henry's Night by D.B. Johnson and Linda Michelin

Henry is a curious bear. He decides to go on a journey to find the night song bird also known as the whippoorwill. He's not sure where he'll find it so he goes off on a search. How long will it take? Will he ever find the whippoorwill?

Mr. Johnson and Ms. Michelin have done a fantastic job incorporating nature into this book and making it a good adventure as well. It doesn't drag out long but keeps moving at a great pace. I loved being able to spot the creatures that were on the side of the page in the picture. It was a very participatory book. The pictures were gorgeous and only helped the story come to life even more. This is one good illustrator.

My son kept asking me questions about each animal. It was a lot of fun to read. The fact that it is inspired by Henry David Thoreau made it even more fun for me. I have studied some of his work and found this book extremely fascinating and a good way to start looking at the world around us. I definitely recommend this book to any nature lover who is around children. This is a good book to use in the classroom as well. Henry is a great bear and I would love to read more of his adventures.

D.B. Johnson and Linda Michelin/ New Authors/Children's fiction/ 32 pages/ Nature/ 5 out of 5

This is another book my son brought home from school! I am learning about other authors out there and books that are so much fun to read! I cannot wait to see what he brings home from school today since Thursdays are library days!

FTC: Book from son's school library

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Fashion Hound Murders by Elaine Viets

Josie Marcus gets a call from her boss Harry. He has another place for her to mystery shop. It's a pet store that has been in the news and Josie is more than reluctant to help them out. Even if they did ask for her specifically. Finally gives in but is less than happy about it. Alyce comes along with her. Pets 4 Luv has been accused of taking puppy mill dogs. She just hopes that she is wrong. While working the case, she has a chance to go visit a puppy mill and is more determined to help. But when a pet shop employee gets killed over talking to her, Josie is in way over her head. She begins to question taking the job.

Ms. Viets has done her research and puts everything well balanced. There are some funny moments but serious ones as well. She really puts her heart into the story. I was very impressed with how well the story flowed no matter what the mood was. Everything comes alive on the page.

Josie really is doing her best. I am so surprised at the work she does and how difficult it is. Being like every one else isn't easy and she has to blend in without standing out. Alyce is always a helpful friend who helps her to blend in even more. Amelia keeps her level headed. Amelia is also quite the smart mouth kid and keeps things in perspective. Jane, Josie's mom, may have quite the bark to her but in reality it is just a cover for watching over her daughter.

This series keeps getting better. It definitely gets personal. I hope things settle down for Josie. That girl has more ups and downs in her life than a roller coaster sometimes. I also am learning to appreciate the things that secret shoppers do as having experience with them in my personal job. I'm on the edge of my seat just hoping there are more books in this series to come!

Elaine Viets/ Cozy Mystery/ 304 pages/ Secret Shopper/ Family/5 out of 5

So glad to read the first one in the cozy mystery challenge. I am hoping to read more next month.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Ireland by Frank Delaney

Ronan O'Mara, at the age of nine, has a life changing experience when a story teller comes to stay at his house. For three nights, he is captivated by the stories told at his fire place. The story teller is banished from the house for blasphemy. From there, Ronan wants to know more about the history of Ireland but longs to find the Story Teller.

Mr. Delaney weaves history into this fiction that blew me away. Some of the events told are too old to know what really happened. Yet everything is set before you like you are actually there while it is happening. Mr. Delaney has a way of putting you right in the midst of the story. I was blown away not only by the details but how each story was laid out. It was never so long that it overwhelmed you and the jumps between the stories and Ronan's story flowed so easily.

Ronan's love of history is cultivated by the Story Teller and encouraged by his father. His mother is a bit quiet but you can tell that she loves him in her own way. His aunt Kate gushes over him when his mother either can't or won't. It's not always easy to distinguish what her reasons were. John, Ronan's father, makes sure to help Ronan in his love of history in every possible way that he can. Even if it means he takes him on trips to go see people who might help them on his journey.

This book was so good that I didn't want to see it end. I fought to read the last bit as it completely captivated me. Having a love of Ireland, the stories presented here made me appreciate them since I knew about most of them. They were very well told and the personal experiences on the part of the story tell at the end had me in awe. The twists in the book surprised me and I never saw them coming. Mr. Delaney is a master at story telling and I definitely hope to read more of his work.

Frank Delaney/ New author/ 651 pages/ Ireland/ Family/Stories/ 5 out of 5

FTC: This book was bought and is part of my book collection.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hi Cat! By Ezra Jack Keats

Archie says hi to a cat as he walks by to go see his friends. The cat follows him and trouble ensues. His show for his friends may not go how he plans. Is he able to make it all work?

Mr. Keats is a fantastic children's author. The illustrations are beautiful. The story is simple yet a fun romp. The author really knows how to keep things light and fun. I enjoyed the fun the kids had with each other.

Archie loves to put on shows for his friends. What a cute kid and so friendly. The cat is curious like most cats are. I am loving this author's work. I hope to read more by him and see what the characters in his stories get up to next.

Ezra Jack Keats/Children's Fiction/ 40 pages/ Friendships/4 out of 5

This was a great book my son brought home from the library. I am loving this! :) Off to read more of Ireland hopefully. :)

FTC: Book from my son's school library

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Horatio's Birthday by Eleanor Lowenton Clymer

Horatio was a happy cat in a busy home. His owner Mrs. Casey loved looking after animals. There was a pigeon, a dog named Sam and two lively kittens. Then she found homes for the dog and the kittens while the pigeon made a home in a roof nearby. It was quiet, it was lonely and Horatio didn't know what to do. Mrs. Casey planned a party for his birthday but the night before Horatio was curious. He was in a pillow on the kitchen floor but couldn't sleep. His adventure brings about a wonderful experience.

Ms. Lowenton Clymer did a fabulous job with this story. I fell in love with Horatio right away! He is a precocious cat who is set in his ways. Yet even the quiet begins to bother him. She creates a wonderful person in Mrs. Casey. She is so sweet and caring.

My son got this from his school library and I fell in love with it right away. I see that this author has written more with Horatio and I would love to read them. Great kids book for young readers!

Eleanor Lowenton Clymer/ New Author/ Children's Fiction/59 pages/ 5 out of 5

I couldn't find a picture of the cover which bummed me out. It was soo cute! My little guy did a great job picking out this book.

FTC: From my son's school library

Thursday, April 01, 2010

March Stats and Reads

Books I read:
1.The Legend of the Green Man by Sara Hely 02-06-10 through 03-05-10 B
2.Alaska Twilight by Colleen Coble 03-06-10 through 03-09-10 A
3.For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn 03-16-10 through 03-22-10 A+ (Best book so far)

Total Books I read: 3
New Authors: 3
Fiction: 2
Non-Fiction: 1
Chunkster: 0
Romance: 0
From The Stacks: 3
Books for Review:0
Books I Bought:0
Total Pages Read: 807 pages

I haven't finished Ireland by Frank Delaney yet and it might be a few more days. :) I hope everyone has a Happy Easter and enjoys some family time! :)