Friday, December 30, 2016

My top 9 Favorite Covers of 2016

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    What can I say this year was full of amazing book covers! I have read almost all the books of here; sadly not all over them but will here soon. Blue and gold, was popular book theme colors for me this year. I also see space and magic a high enjoyed theme too!
    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is my favorite, I love the dark navy blue, the gold; so many feelings! Black Moon, is my favorite cover of this series; that purple is my favorite shade of purple and the stars are wonderful! Children of Eden, where do I start with this cover? I enjoy the cover, it's crazy cool without over powering the eyes. Crooked Kingdom, I can't even start with this cover, it's just astonishing! The dark colors with the red pages... it just stunning! Rebel of the Sands I love the boarder, starts and the colors fit; the overall theme of this cover is one of my all time favorites for this year. The Sun is Also a Star is on the list of covers I want posters of. Its simple but powerful! Ten Thousand Skies Above You if you didn't know, this series covers are one of my top favorites; I just love the colors and the collage theme of the covers. Zenith I have no clue where to start with this one; even though this book was offered only in E-book, I love this cover. The cover always pull me in. If I happened to pass it on twitter or Instagram, I'd head right back to it and read whatever is says; I per-ordered it & love it! Aerie, the ship anchors looks as if its breaking off into starts, the purple and yellow background it's just beautiful.
    It was so hard to pick my top nine favorite covers, there's so many covers I enjoyed this year. Took my an hours to make that little photo, I kept switching the covers out. I can't wait to see what book covers await for us in 2017!

What was your favorite cover of 2016?

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Review: Eat This Poem by Nicole Gulotta

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Eat This Poem: A Literary Feast of Recipes Inspired by Poetry
A literary cookbook celebrating food and poetry, two of life's essential ingredients.
In the same way that salt seasons ingredients to bring out their flavors, poetry seasons our lives; when celebrated together, our everyday moments and meals are richer and more meaningful. The twenty-five inspiring poems in this book from such poets as Marge Piercy, Louise Gluck, Mark Strand, Mary Oliver, Billy Collins, Jane Hirshfield are accompanied by seventy-five recipes that bring the richness of words to life in our kitchen, on our plate, and through our palate. Eat This Poem opens us up to fresh ways of accessing poetry and lends new meaning to the foods we cook.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Review: Ivy in Bloom by Vanita Oelschlager

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 photo 6270527_zpsoiidrjdo.jpgIvy in Bloom captures the weariness of a young girl tired of a long winter. "I stare out the window," she says on the first spread of brown and gray, "looking for birds or flowers / or even warm showers / but I don't see any such thing." But then Spring comes when "March is out of breath snow melting to flowery waters and watery flowers spring rose from its wintry rest." And Ivy's "heart dances with daffodils." As these words also dance across each spread, Ivy's world erupts into a riot of color.

Ivy in Bloom introduces the poetry of Dickinson, Longfellow, Browning, Wordsworth, Frost and others. Excerpts from their writings, as seen through Ivy's eyes, will open up poetry as a way for children to express their own feelings about the changing of seasons. This book includes longer excerpts and brief bios of each author.

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Quiz: Can You Name The Series These Books Are From?

OMG! You've read all the series, haven't you? 
We salute you!

11 Right!

 My Thoughts! 

I got all the books I know right but one and that was The Grisha Series. I couldn't remember it to say my life! 😒
But other than that I really like this quiz!

Please feel free to take the quiz and share it here with me or Tweet me! I'd love to know what you go!

Take Quiz Here!


Reviews of Children Books I Read in 2016

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An enchanting modern fable

The frogs enjoy their life at the pond, filling their days with fly brunches and night music. But one day a little frog finds a crown at the bottom of the pond and is instantly pronounced a queen. She starts doing what queens do: making demands and expecting others to serve her. But when her royal subjects start to question her authority, she must prove she's fit to rule—if she can.

Reminiscent of Aesop's fables, this beautifully illustrated book is sure to start a discussion about the concept of leadership and the importance of humility.

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 photo 28256172_zpseupihqqf.jpgMaxwell the monkey operates a barbershop, where he offers everything from a trim to a chop. He excels at helping his fellow animals look shipshape and feel their best, no matter how unruly their locks. Whatever the coiffure quandary, Maxwell is your monkey. He tames Baboon’s curls, styles Lion’s mane, and trims Bear’s beard, exclaiming each time: “Your hair’s the best I’ve seen today!”

All’s well until Elephant comes in, feeling sad because he has no hair. Can Maxwell help? Of course! After some careful thinking, he devises a solution to help even Elephant feel his best.

Cale Atkinson’s bright, cartoon-like digital illustrations beckon readers into Maxwell’s world in this playful tale. Rhyming text, speech bubbles, and a refrain make this story a fun read-aloud accessible to early readers. Full of personality and style, Maxwell has a genuine charm and enthusiasm for helping others that kids will find immediately contagious.

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 photo 32956666_zpsheccnobh.jpgA lovely and tranquil celebration of nature

The sun has set, the day has ended, but the night hasn't quite arrived yet. This magical twilight is known as the blue hour. Everything in nature sky, water, flowers, birds, foxes comes together in a symphony of blue to celebrate the merging of night and day.

With its soothing text and radiant artwork, this elegant picture book displays the majesty of nature and reminds readers that beauty is fleeting but also worth savoring.

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 photo 30817596_zpsed5pgrdg.jpgOne by one, Caterpillar, Tadpole, and Flamingo gaze up at the night sky and wish upon a star for their wildest dreams. Baboon, who can’t help but overhear, insists these dreams could never come true. But when he sees Caterpillar turn into a winged butterfly, Tadpole into a dancing frog, and Flamingo into a beautiful pink bird, Baboon realizes that a transformative power exists between these stars and the animals once they truly believe in themselves and their dreams. When Baboon tries out this secret, CATCH-M, his Magical, Mystical, Wished-Upon Star, whooshes down from the heavens to wham! ignite the courage in his chest too, and what happens next is fantastic!

Inclusive of an Arts/Activities resource section, this richly illustrated book demonstrates that together we can all be inspired to identify and pursue our dreams, no matter how big or impossible they may seem. Dream Big is the perfect heart-warming gift of encouragement for anyone starting a new phase in their life or a great send-off for grads—preschool, high school, college, and beyond!

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 photo 28957170_zpsakazwdnl.jpgPrincess Lemonella is born angry. She always looks sour and never smiles.
When the king and queen try to find a prince for her, she sends all the candidates away.
Until one prince just rides past her …

A funny and romantic fairy tale about how love can make you smile.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Quiz: Pick a Holiday Decoration, Get a Book Rec!

I got: You should read Shatter Me!
🎤Oh Shatter Me, oh Shatter Me
How lovely are thy pages...
Especially in
that new box set
And particularly on
chapter sixty-two
Oh Shatter Me, oh Shatter Me
How lovely are thy pages... 🎤

 My Thoughts! 

I'm not going to say what I picked but I haven't read Shatter Me, it's on my TBR list and hoping to get to it here soon!
I've heard both good and bad things about these books so whenever I do go to read them, I am going to keep an open mind about them!

Please feel free to take the quiz and share it here with me or Tweet me! I'd love to know what you go!

Take Quiz Here!


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Tour of Legend With Giveaway

TITLE – Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom
AUTHOR – Cheryl Carpinello
GENRE – Middle Grade Arthurian Legend
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 120 Pages
DISTRIBUTOR – Bublish, Inc.
PUBLISHER – Beyond Today Educator
COVER ARTIST – Berge Design
Formats – paperback, ebook

Answer the hero's call to Adventure with the Young Knights of the Round Table on their Quest.

Three friends. Three quests. Three mysterious predictions.

In medieval Wales, eleven-year-old Prince Gavin, thirteen-year-old orphan Philip, and fifteen-year-old blacksmith's apprentice Bryan are brought together in friendship by one they call the Wild Man. When an advisor to the king is killed and a jewelled medallion is stolen from the king's treasury, the Wild Man is accused of the theft and murder. Filled with disbelief at the arrest of the Wild Man, the three friends embark upon a knight's quest to save their friend's life. To succeed, the three must confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all. Join Gavin, Philip, and Bryan on their quest and share the adventures that await them in the land of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.


Prince Gavin
Gavin’s gaze was drawn back to the castle’s battle-scarred walls and the heavily armed guards. The evil emanating from the structure surrounded and held him captive, like a lone deer surrounded by hungry wolves in the dead of winter, unable to move, its eyes glassy with fear, its limbs frozen by the hypnotic gleam of the wolves’ yellow eyes. Even knowing its life was ending, the deer wouldn’t break and run. So Gavin sat frozen in front of the castle.
The enormity of his quest enveloped Gavin and he sighed. Continuing on meant he might save the Wild Man, but he might put himself in danger as well. King Edward was his father’s enemy and possibly responsible for Aldred’s murder. If Gavin were caught, Edward wouldn’t treat him kindly. The young prince summoned his courage and focused on the Wild Man. It had seemed so simple last night in the company of Bryan and Philip.
Looking at the stack of chopped wood, he smiled sadly. Two years ago he would never have dreamed he’d be here, chopping wood for food and a dry place to sleep. He shook his head at his thoughts, his shaggy, ill-cut black hair falling unevenly across his forehead. Two years. It seemed like forever.
Two years earlier, he had lived with his parents and baby brother on their small farm up north. His parents worked hard to put food on the table and to pay off the farm. Philip’s main job was to watch baby Benjamin while his mother helped his father in their small field. When Benjamin fell sick, Philip helped his father clear the old stalks and rocks from the soil while his mother nursed the baby. He helped his father carefully plant the winter wheat and barley for harvest in the spring.
As autumn slipped into winter, Benjamin hadn’t gotten better. His tiny body burned with fever. Those last few days when Philip held him, the heat coming from Benjamin threatened to slowly engulf him like the embers of a dying fire.
In the five years he’d been James’s apprentice, Bryan had learned a lot. He made a sturdy sword, so James said. Two years still remained in his apprenticeship. Two long years.
Like most sons of tradesmen or farmers, his family had secured this apprenticeship early on. At eleven, he and his father had made the three-day journey south to the Pembroke Castle blacksmith. At first, the prospect of being away from home, on his own, and learning a respectable trade, was exciting. More importantly, it allowed him to see and talk with real knights.
He spent every day learning how to forge stronger swords, tougher armour, how to shoe horses, and even make pots and pans. It was a satisfying trade and one that would ensure him a livelihood. But Bryan didn’t want just a livelihood. Even now, only two years away from completing his apprenticeship, he still couldn’t see himself working with metal for the rest of his life. As long as he could remember, he had wanted only one thing: to be a knight like Sir Lancelot.

I am a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long past. Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those Young-at-Heart to read more through my Tales & Legends for Reluctant Readers set in these worlds.


Author Playlist

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Quiz: Can You Identify the YA Book by the Tagline?

7 out of 15
Good . . . job?

 My Thoughts! 

Eeee! Truth, most of the books on this list I haven't read. So, I am happy with seven; even though this is a low score, but it lets me know that I still have many books to learn about!

Please feel free to take the quiz and share it here with me or Tweet me! I'd love to know what you go!

Take Quiz Here!


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Pretty Little Liars Seson One Review

Season one Notes
This is a huge post of random rambling of Pretty Little Liars. Season one oh how the memories came flooding back! I haven't seen season one in what feels like forever. I've been watching Pretty Little Lairs since high school. Six years! And in April 2017 the last ten episodes will began the end. I can't believe that! Hint the reason for the re-watching.
For first seasons of series PLL it's a strong starting seeing. Great, character building and world building. Loops you in and pulls you right into a knot.
Breaking this down into characters starting with Aria!
When I started watching this back in 2010, Aria became my favorite out of the girls. I love the artery side of her. But also the relationship between Mr. fitz and Aria. They were my favorite out of the couples. (Hint it changes, more than once.) 
The forbidden love; teacher, student relationship. The bond between them and the world of words could be my favorite part about them. The fact they both write, love to read, all of that is my favorite part.

Moving on to Hanna Marin…
The first few episodes I didn't care for her but once her character became more developed she started growing on me. (More about why and her in season two.) But for, now we'll talk about the start of Hanna and Caleb. When watching the first season again I was counting down the episodes till he showed up. I forgot how much I love Caleb when he first showed up. Caleb is my second favorite character of all time. I just love his character so much! When he first showed up and the drama between him and Hanna plays out. Oh my…. They are so cute. That playfulness between Hannah and him is perfection. The on and off. Oh, and his long hair!
When Caleb and Hanna splits, he got on the bus. my heart shattered.
Mona ripping the letter felt like she was ripping my heart. I just…
The character change that Hanna has on Caleb is one of favorite character relationship development in this whole series.

Emily! Talk about character change. Season one Emily has the biggest character change in the season and I love it. Watching her become herself and knowing that Maya is the main reason for that is what makes her such an important character. If Maya never happened Emily character would have been totally different. I enjoy the playful and realness that Emily and Maya brings to the first season.

Toby and Spencer! Awww, I just love them. They are amazing. The way their relationship developed and builds. How much Toby chances because of Spencer and how she affects him, and his role in the show. They are just great example of not judging a person. Toby is my favorite character, from the every start I liked him! Their relationship has many ups and downs but they stay together.

I also totally forgot that in season one there was a different actor who played Jason and other characters. The characters seem so young, this series is a great stage that leads to some of the huge twists that I've ever seen in any story before.

Overall I felt that this, as for as first season goes, is a great building season. Whenever something happens with 'A' I could help but think this is just the start. 'A' has so, so much planned for you. "A" just playing nice in this season; 'A' felt kinda soft seeing as I already knew other things that have happen in the upcoming seasons. I didn't feel there was an OMG twist but this season was a basic building block for this twisted world.

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“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.” —Lemony Snicket