Saturday, November 22, 2014

Graphic Novel Review of Korgi Book 1: Sprouting Wings by Christian Slade

Synopsis: "Korgi is a gorgeously illustrated woodland fantasy about a young girl. Ivy, her Korgi cub, Sprout, and their amazing adventures in Korgi Hollow.

In this first volume in the series, Ivy and Sprout discover some interesting things about themselves as they stray from their village and face danger for the first time. Perfect for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, Jeff Smith's Bone, or Andy Runton's Owly, Korgi is a charming all-ages epic that is sure to capture your heart."

My Review: An interesting graphic novel that I came across randomly and thought to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised! It is a mostly wordless novel and the simple black and white illustrations tell the story beautifully with only a brief introduction to the setting and characters. It is appropriate for all ages and would be especially loved by dog owners. I think I will be on the look out for additional novels in this series now.
My Rating: I found this one refreshing after reading a lot of graphic novels with pages of text.  This one was the complete opposite, but even without the dialog or text on the page, you didn't feel lost.  I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bedtime Story: Curious George Makes Pancakes by Margret & H.A. Rey

Synopsis: "Every year George and the Man with the Yellow Hat attend the pancake breakfast to benefit the children’s hospital. Always curious, George finds his way to the pancake table. After making some of the most interesting pancakes the crowd has ever seen, George gets into even more monkey mischief."

My Review: This was a great book for Munchkin, he loves George and he loves pancakes, a perfect combination. When we read this book we made it an event, he got to help make them like George (including adding blueberries) and we read the story while he ate his pancakes. This was a fun and silly book to share with Munchkin and we had so much fun, we will definitely be re-reading this one often.
My Rating: This is definitely going to be a favorite in our house.  I love that Munchkin enjoys the classic illustration style and of course the time tested character of Curious George.  We give this one a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Review of Motherhood Comes Naturally by Jill Smokler

Synopsis: "Newly pregnant and scared out of her mind, Jill Smokler lay on her gynecologists examination table and was told the biggest lie shed ever heard in her life: Motherhood is the most natural thing in the world.

Instead of quelling her nerves like that well intentioned nurse hoped to, Jill was instead set up for future of questioning exactly what DNA strand she was missing that made the whole motherhood experience feel less than natural to her. Wonderful? Yes. Miraculous? Of course. Worthwhile? Without a doubt. But natural? Not so much.

Jills first memoir, the New York Times bestseller Confessions of a Scary Mommy, rocketed to national fame with its down and dirty details about life with her three precious bundles of joy. Now Jill returns with all-new essays debunking more than twenty pervasive myths about motherhood. Shes here to give you what few others will dare: The truth"

My Review: This book was so much better than the first. I think it was a little more simple and straight forward which gave it the humor I was expecting. I liked the layout of the book with the lies as chapter titles that are debunked in the chapter, little tidbits at the end of each chapter for an added laugh and more mommy confessions at the end. I would maybe recommend this book to mommy's who have a little time under their belts and are ready for the humor and lies, let the brand new mommy's keep their innocence a little longer.
My Rating:  This one was so much better than the first book, Confessions of a Scary Mommy.  When it didn't have my laughing outright, it had me snickering.  I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review of Winter Horses by Philip Kerr

Synopsis: "From New York Times bestselling author Philip Kerr comes a breathtaking journey of survival by one girl and two horses in the dark days of WWII.

It will soon be another cold winter in the Ukraine. But it's 1941, and things are different this year. Max, the devoted caretaker of an animal preserve, must learn to live with the Nazis who have overtaken this precious land. He must also learn to keep secrets-for there is a girl, Kalinka, who is hiding in the park.

Kalinka has lost her home, her family, her belongings-everything but her life. Still, she has gained one small, precious gift: a relationship with the rare wild and wily Przewalski's horses that wander the preserve. Aside from Max, these endangered animals are her only friends-until a Nazi campaign of extermination nearly wipes them out for good.

Now Kalinka must set out on a treacherous journey across the frozen Ukrainian forest to save the only two surviving horses-and herself.

This sensitive, inspiring tale captures the power of sacrifice and the endurance of the human spirit."

My Review: Wow, this is probably one of the best books I have read so far this year! It was totally captivating and was one to stay up late reading. I am not sure how much of this book was based on fact, but in the end I really didn't care, I just wanted more. At times things got a little far fetched and maybe took away from the story a little but those parts were quickly forgotten. I also liked there were facts at the end of the book about both the actual preserve and the Przewalski horses. It was very interesting and the story flowed beautifully. This is one I might have to revisit down the road.
My Rating: This book was fantastic, I could not put it down. Even though parts were very unbelievable, the story was so enthralling you couldn't help but get sucked in.  I give this one Four Paws and a Stump Wag!  Oh and did you see that cover? You should see it in person!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Review of Daniel's Esperanza by Veronica Randolph Batterson

Synopsis: "A rancher and his wife provide a haven for wild mustangs on ten thousand acres in northern New Mexico. Unable to have children of their own, they also provide a home to a broken and abused teenage boy from Virginia. Their wild horse sanctuary gives comfort to the boy, while the family faces challenging actions and lies from a vindictive neighbor and the threat of the boy's biological father resurfacing.

Under the backdrop of Native American culture and New Mexico ranch life, Daniel escapes his abusive father and finds a new home with Frank and Sarah Carpenter, ranchers and owners of a wild horse sanctuary. For three years, he heals, is nurtured and becomes an adult. Daniel learns how to ride horses, train them and accept a family as his own.

However, a vengeful, neighboring rancher and son become formidable enemies. They engage in threats against the Carpenters and Daniel that involve horse stealing, gambling and potential danger to the sanctuary horses. The neighbors also hire a private investigator to look into Daniel's past, allowing his abusive father to learn of his whereabouts."

My Review: This was a Goodreads First Reads book and I am so glad I won a copy. It was a great book with fantastic characters. I loved Daniel and Joe, but my favorite by far was Frank. This book has a lot going on, almost too much, I could have done with maybe one less traumatic event. It does tackle a lot of very tough issues including alcoholism, abuse, infertility, bullying, gambling and of course issues with the wild horse preservation and management. It was all put together very smoothly and was an enjoyable book to sit down and read, it kept drawing me back in and turning the pages.
My Rating: This was a good book, there was just a little much going on, one less setback would have made the book feel a little more realistic for me. It just tackled a little too much in my opinion, but it was still filled with such fantastic characters you still wanted to keep reading.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Monday, November 17, 2014

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

Behind You by Carly M. Duncan
Confessions of a Scary Mommy by Jill Smokler
We're Going on a Leaf Hunt by Steve Metzger


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

Holidays On Ice
A Home for the Holidays
Christmas Kisses
Reasons My Kid is Crying
Giving Thanks
Winter Horses
Currently Reading:

 Books to be Read Soon:

Silent Night: The Remarkable Christmas Truce of 1914 by Stanley Weintraub
Enfold Me by Steven Greenberg (Requested Review)
Nine Lives of Christmas by Sheila Roberts
Santa is Coming to Rhode Island by Steve Smallman

Interesting Tidbits from the Web:

Comics 201 - information about comics once you know you want to read them.



Well as you know I have had to bow out of Nanowrimo this month, I will continue writing but there is no way I can make that push with what little time I have at both the office and at home. Since making that determination I don't feel so bad spending a little time here and there reading.

I have also been working on my plans for the blog next year.  Not only do I have most of my challenges planned but after the event last weekend for the RI Authors Association, I plan to share the books I have discovered and host at least a couple of weeks for Rhode Island authors, reviewing their books, maybe some guest posts and interviews as well.

My bookshelves are already overflowing with all the books I want to read next year.  While this year is still going strong and I am possibly going to hit that elusive 365 mark, I think next year might be even bigger!