Saturday, April 18, 2015

Graphic Novel Review: Korgi Book 2: The Cosmic Collector by Christian Slade

Synopsis: "The Cosmic Collector is the second volume in the critically acclaimed, all-ages graphic novel series, Korgi. In this volume, things are not going too well in Korgi Hollow. While a mysterious hunter has trapped and clipped the wings off of many mollies, Ivy and Sprout search for answers in the surrounding woods... but they may be facing something that is totally out of this world!"

Review: I really adore this little series of graphic novels. It is nearly wordless, there is just a brief introduction at the beginning. The simple pencil type drawings seem to really fit this story and there really are no words necessary, the images are so descriptive in themselves. Korgi is great for all ages and lovers of animals and fantasy alike. Little Sprout and Ivy are unexpected and loveable heroes.
My Rating: I really enjoy the simplicity and creativeness of this series of graphic novels, I plan to continue reading them.  I give this one a rating of Four Paws!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Bedtime Story: Out of this World

Synopsis: "A WHOLE UNIVERSE of stars lights up when WALL•E blasts off Earth and into the unknown for the adventure of a lifetime. Children will love how spaceships, robots, and the stars ignite with the touch of a button in this fun, interactive, light-up book."

My Review: Munchkin is huge into WallE right now and I was thrilled to find this book. It is a very abbreviated version of the movie storyline. The story really just gets lost anyway when the book lights up. It turns into more of a picture book, pointing out the characters, the stars, the rocket ships and of course the lights. Munchkin adores this book and I can imagine will eventually wear it out.
My Rating: This is such a simple yet absolutely perfect book for WallE fans! Munchkin cannot get enough of it. We give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Beginning Reader Review: Big Bear Little Bear by Susan Amerikaner

Synopsis: "Pixar Animation Studio's 13th animated feature film, Disney/Pixar "Brave, " is an epic adventure set in the rugged and mysterious Highlands of Scotland. Determined to carve her own path in life, a skilled archer named Princess Merida defies a sacred age-old custom--and inadvertently unleashes a beastly curse upon the kingdom. To set things right, Merida embarks on a perilous quest and discovers the meaning of true bravery. Kids ages 4-6 will love learning to read with this Step 1 reader based on the film."

My Review: This is probably one of the best level one books I have come across so far. It has simple sentences that include actions, sizes and sight words for those beginning readers. The use of favorite characters from the movie Brave will also motivated young readers. There isn't so much of a storyline as just simple lines to read and familiarize new readers.
My Rating: This was perfect for putting those site words to use. Though the lack of storyline is a little disappointing. I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

After Dark Review of The Unleashing by Shelly Laurenston

I have added After Dark Reviews to my blog as a way of notifying you of a review of a book with Adult themes and scenes. From now on I will keep my reviews of all books I read that have explicit scenes in them for late night posts for those of you who prefer to avoid them or easy to find for those of you who seek them out ;)
Synopsis: "Kera Watson never expected to face death behind a Los Angeles coffee shop. Not after surviving two tours lugging an M16 around the Middle East. If it wasn’t for her hot Viking customer showing up too late to help, nobody would even see her die.

In uncountable years of service to the Allfather Odin, Ludvig “Vig” Rundstrom has never seen anyone kick ass with quite as much style as Kera. He knows one way to save her life—but she might not like it. Signing up with the Crows will get Kera a new set of battle buddies: cackling, gossiping, squabbling, party-hearty women. With wings. So not the Marines.

But Vig can’t give up on someone as special as Kera. With a storm of oh-crap magic speeding straight for L.A., survival will depend on combining their strengths: Kera’s discipline, Vig’s loyalty… and the Crows’ sheer love of battle. Boy, are they in trouble."

My Review: I am a little so-so with this book. I really want to like it, I am a big fan of Norse mythology and gods but I just can't make myself rave about it. There wasn't as much involvement of the gods/goddesses or myths as I had expected. The world building seemed to be the real problem for me, it took a lot of time to create the setting and new information, in fact it took almost the entire book to really put all the pieces together, while that is great for some books this one just felt like Laurenston just wasn't sure how to get all the info out there and would just dump at random times. I wasn't a huge fan of Kera until the end and most of the other Crows were unbelievable irritating (except Jace, I adore Jace) and I ended up preferring the Ravens even though they are nearly all sub-characters. I did enjoy the 'training to fight' scene with Kera, that was really the best part of the book for me and all too short. I am not really sure if I will continue to the next book when it comes out, I guess it really depends on what characters will be featured.
My Rating: I am so on the fence with this one, it has so many aspects that I love but it just didn't quite come together. I may give this series another try when the next book is released.  I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Review of Jesper Jinx and the Turkish Pepper by Marko Kitti

Synopsis: "Jesper Jinx is eleven, and probably the unluckiest person in all of Puffington Hill. Everything he touches seems to end up in sweet disaster. Hence his nickname 'Jinx'.

In the third book of his wickedly funny adventures, Jesper goes camping and develops a taste for Turkish Pepper. (WARNING: Turkish Pepper might not be what you think it is!) You'll also get to know Jesper's 99-year-old neighbour. Oh, and a fox called Frank. Finally, there's a huge concert coming to town starring local rapper Horrid Porridge.

Can Jesper rise to the occasion with another Boredom Breaker or will the Turkish Peppers get to him?

Some truly splendid antics are in store for you, lucky reader!"

My Review:  I have really enjoyed the Jesper Jinx series so far and am happy that it is continuing with new comedic happenings in each one. I found it interesting that in this one it seemed that the boredom breakers and pranks were pulled more on Jesper than he did to everyone else (and it wasn't even due to them backfiring), this added a new element of fun. I particularly enjoyed Mr. Frank Fox and Snowy the Cat, they made me really giggle. This is a great series and book for both boys and girls of all ages.
My Rating: This series is just so great, I really hope you are all paying attention (in my opinion these are the next Diary of a Wimpy Kid).  This installment of the series gets a rating of Four Paws!
Jesper Jinx and the Turkish Pepper was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
You can find out more about Marko Kitti and his work on his Goodreads Page or Website.
You can also obtain your own copy in digital or print version from Amazon or in print from Barnes and Noble.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Review of If You're Reading This by Trent Reedy

Synopsis: "Mike was seven when his father was killed in mysterious circumstances in Afghanistan. Eight years later, the family still hasn't recovered: Mike's mom is overworked and overprotective; his younger sister Mary feels no connection to the father she barely remembers; and in his quest to be "the man of the family," Mike knows he's missing out on everyday high school life.

Then, out of the blue, Mike receives a letter from his father - the first of a series Dad wrote in Afghanistan, just in case he didn't come home, meant to share some wisdom with his son on the eve of Mike's 16th birthday. As the letters come in, Mike revels in spending time with his dad again, and takes his encouragement to try new things - to go out for the football team, and ask out the beautiful Isma. But who's been keeping the letters all these years? And how did Dad actually die? As the answers to these mysteries are revealed, Mike and his family find a way to heal and move forward at last."

My Review: I purchased this book to put on Munchkin's bookshelf for when he gets older. I am now wondering if he will enjoy it. While it is a great coming of age book with a lot of wisdom, but it is a very slow moving story. I did enjoy the idea of the letters being delivered at this crucial time from a father who had passed many years before. I can see the wisdom and advice given in the book but I really wonder if a reader of the same age as Mike will absorb it or not. That said it is still a good book and one I would encourage reading.
My Rating: I enjoyed this book for me personally but I wonder if it will be something Munchkin or anyone else in the appropriate age range will enjoy. It is a rather slow moving story with not a lot of climax or action. I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday Reading List

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review
Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald (Audio Book Review)
The Queen's Dagger by Merilee Andelin Saunders
The Beast in Him by Shelly Laurenston (After Dark)
Mr. Grumpy by Robert Hargreaves (Bedtime Story)

Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Pete's Big Lunch = 1pt
Sea Glass = 3pts
Nobody's Prize = 5pts
The Unleashing = 3pts
Follow the Leader = 1pt
Pout Pout Fish = 1pt
I'm a Bulldozer = 1pt
Scuffy the Tugboat = 1pt
Pout Pout Fish and the Big Big Dark = 1pt

Currently Reading:

The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai - Audio - 86%
Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder - Kindle - on page 86 of 424

 Books to be Read Soon:

I Loved I Lost I Made Spaghetti by Giulia Melucci (Mount TBR)
Princesses of Myth Series by Esther Friesner


Total Points Earned
 66 +19 earned this week + 10pts for 10K pages + 10pts for completed children's book challenge =  105 points

Pages Read/ Time Listened
20,313 pages read (1,250 read this week)
35:07 listening time

Books Added to Shelves

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:



After the crazy rush that was Easter I felt so out of sorts. I couldn't even concentrate on sitting down to read. Thankfully that only lasted a little over a day! The good thing about being forced to host Easter is that all the chores for the week are pretty much done. I was able to focus on some little projects and of course reading.

I think I did over estimate how many books I would be able to read this month, especially the print books. I have such a limited time to read at home and usually end up so involved in a book on the Kindle at work that I end up continuing that story first.  I plan to work on that this week, it is supposed to be beautiful weather (finally) and I plan to take a day off work when hubby and Munchkin are both out of the house.

I have started working on some of the new posts and content for the blog. I will have some reviews coming up in a slightly different style and the Pen to Paper posts will be starting the 2nd week in May (I am already scheduled up until then). I am also working on some crafts and recipe posts too.

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Crafty Times: Easter Egg Dyeing Fun with Munchkin

Crafty Times is a new thing I am trying on the blog where I can share some of the art and crafts I have created (you can too of course). I really dabble in a wide variety of crafts and hope you can find something that sparks your interest or inspires you!
Seems like all my Crafty Times lately revolve around Munchkin but honestly who doesn't enjoy doing the things we all had fun with as kids?! Of course, last weekend was Easter and I always loved dyeing eggs. I use to get really creative with them and it was time Munchkin got in on this awesome tradition.
I must say it was a little nerve racking for me, having a toddler, eggs (granted they are hardboiled but still), cups of dye and a family coming for dinner the next day! It all worked out just fine.  We bought a Mickey Mouse kit and used the little egg wraps on a couple of them and the tablets. I also used regular food dye in some cups. We ended up with 15 different colors!
He took my instructions very serious
The first egg goes down

It came out yellow

This is so much fun!


Look at all those eggs!

His favorite was the green one.
All in all it was a huge success! A couple of weeks ago we also did his first professional photos for Easter. He really wasn't too sure about those baby bunnies, they looked awfully vicious but eventually he got over it.

And of course Easter morning egg hunt was a huge success and he had load of fun.
The egg hunt started at 6:15am and Hubby was definitely not ready for that if you can't tell!