Friday, July 21, 2017

Bedtime Story: Swimmy by Leo Lionni

Read for: Children's Book Challenge

Synopsis: "Deep in the sea there lives a happy school of little fish. Their watery world is full of wonders, but there is also danger, and the little fish are afraid to come out of hiding . . . until Swimmy comes along. Swimmy shows his friends how—with ingenuity and team work—they can overcome any danger. With its graceful text and stunning artwork, this Caldecott Honor Book deserves a place on every child’s shelf."

My Review: I know this is pretty popular classic book, so I picked it up for Munchkin. It is a good book, a little tough for a kid who is already afraid of water, but it does have a good message in the end about working together. While I like the art style, some of the font gets lost in the paint and makes it difficult to read, especially at bedtime when the lights are low. Munchkin though did enjoy it, we have had a few nightmares about big fish eating his family, but he has asked to read it repeatedly.

My Rating: Munchkin obviously enjoys it and it is a classic, I just have a hard time reading the words (maybe other editions have bolder or darker font) and the nightmares were a bit of an issue but now we don't read it before bed.  We give it a rating of Three Paws.

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Early Reader Review of Storms by Miriam Busch Goin

Read for: Early Reader Challenge

Synopsis: "Storms are SCARY! But it’s cool to understand what’s going on when Mother Nature gets angry. Why does the wind howl? Why does it rain for days? How do rivers overflow? Thunder and lightening, monsoons, hurricanes, tornadoes... the facts and photos in this book will blow you away!"

My Review: Munchkin really enjoys the weather, one of his favorite helper jobs at school is the weather watcher, so of course I had to get him a non-fiction book to read. Unlike so many of the other non-fiction early readers, this one is a great level one (while others are much more advanced). It tells about different times of stormy weather in simple, easy to understand and read words. The pictures are great and the details are interesting and easy to remember. 

My Rating: I always love finding non-fiction books for Munchkin, he is a kid who likes the facts.  This was a great one because it was a lot easier than some of the other non-fictions I have found. The pictures were great and Munchkin is now spouting facts to me.  We give it a rating of Four Paws. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Top 5 Wednesday - Books not set/inspired by the Western World

Top 5 Wednesday is a group on Goodreads hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tome on Youtube.

"--I know this is a long title, but I couldn't figure out how else to word it and still get the point across. Talk about books that are set outside of the Western World (so outside of North America and Western Europe) or if they are SFF, books that aren't inspired by those places (so no medieval setting fantasy!)" - Quote from the Goodreads Group because I couldn't really state it any better.   I thought I would either skip this subject or have to dig really deep in my archives to find suitable books.  Turns out I have read at least five books in the last year alone and had several once I looked in my past reviews.  So here are my top five books inspired and set in the Eastern World . . .

This was a beautiful and heart wrenching middle grade book.

If you are looking for a book that packs a punch, try this one, it is slow to build but so worth the time.

Fantasy novels can have a basis in non Western world cultures too, The Reader is one of my top books this year!

While maybe not 100% historically accurate it was still an enjoyable historical romance.

And I really couldn't leave this list without mentioning the Grisha Trilogy (now known as Shadow and Bone Trilogy).  I just finished this fantasy series with a basis in Russia and it was fantastic!

There are certainly many more that I am not mentioning too but there are my top recommendations.  I still have so many on my TBR too, including The SpeakerSamurai RisingFlame in the MistThe Tiger Queens, and many more.  What are your favorites? I can always do with more recommendations!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Review of Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science by Jeannine Atkins

Read For: Recent Purchase

Synopsis: "A novel in verse about three girls in three different time periods who grew up to become groundbreaking scientists.

Maria Merian was sure that caterpillars were not wicked things born from mud, as most people of her time believed. Through careful observation she discovered the truth about metamorphosis and documented her findings in gorgeous paintings of the life cycles of insects.

More than a century later, Mary Anning helped her father collect stone sea creatures from the cliffs in southwest England. To him they were merely a source of income, but to Mary they held a stronger fascination. Intrepid and patient, she eventually discovered fossils that would change people’s vision of the past.

Across the ocean, Maria Mitchell helped her mapmaker father in the whaling village of Nantucket. At night they explored the starry sky through his telescope. Maria longed to discover a new comet—and after years of studying the night sky, she finally did."

My Review: As soon as I saw this book I knew I had to get it. I love that it highlights not only 3 young female scientists but that they were making discoveries in time periods when it wasn't popular, even frowned upon. I did really like the way the book is written in verse, it adds a little something extra to the story when it flows so beautifully. While obviously not all details are known about these three women I think that Atkins did a great job of filling in the gaps. Definitely a great book to encourage those young curious girls.

My Rating: I really enjoyed this book, even though it is geared towards younger readers I think many people will enjoy it.  The only thing I wish had been different is I would have liked sketches or art similar to what could have been in their journals. I do find myself wanting to learn more about each of them too, which is really what I think the author was striving for in a way.  I give this one a rating of Four Paws.  And can we all just take a moment to enjoy this cover?!

Monday, July 17, 2017

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

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (Series Review)
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (Series Review)
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (Series Review)
Berenstain Bears are SuperBears by Mike Berenstain (Early Reader)
Big Frank's Fire Truck by Leslie McGuire (Bedtime Story)
Local by Brian Wood and Ryan Kelly (Graphic Novel)

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

Ruin & Rising
Southern Comfort
Supergirl Vol. 1
Bedtime Blues
Make Way for Ducklings

Currently Reading:

Scythe by Neal Shusterman - Print - on page 265 of 435
Pax by Sara Pennypacker - Audio - 62%
Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop - print - on page 96 of 365

 Books to be Read Soon:

Pages Read/ Time Listened
126:03 Hours Listened (none listened this week)
33,569 Pages Read (665 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently TBR
Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
Samurai Rising by Pamela Turner
Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder
Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Saga Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughan
Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton
Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
How to Tame a Willful Wife by Christy English
New World: Rising by Jennifer Wilson
The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson
And I Darken by Kiersten White
Finding Wonders by Jeannine Atkins
World Mythology in Bite Sized Chunks by Mark Daniels
Eliza and Her Monster by Francesca Zappia
Turning Pointe by Katherine Locke
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Windwitch by Susan Dennard
Done Dirt Cheap by Sarah Nicole Lemon
Frogkisser by Garth Nix
Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen
Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac
Princess Leia: Royal Rebel by Calliope Glass
Northern Exposure by Jayne Rylon & Mari Carr
Southern Comfort by Jayne Rylon & Mari Carr
Eastern Ambitions by Jayne Rylon & Mari Carr
Western Ties by Jayne Rylon & Mari Carr
American Street by Ibi Zoboi
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
The Beast's Garden by Kate Forsyth

Books Read From My Shelves

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:


So I think I might actually be a victim of the dreaded reading slump! I haven't been in one of these in several years.  I am still reading but I am really struggling to get really involved with my books, I still read about 100 pages a day but that is nothing compared to usual.  With that said I feel like I am getting the rest of my life in some kind of order, work is on track, blogging is on track, my chores are caught up and I am working on some of the bigger projects around the house that always get pushed off.  So I guess when one thing suffers, others benefit, so it all evens out in the end.

I do hope to get back into my reading soon, we are taking a short trip to a friend's cabin soon and I hope to get some relaxation time in and maybe read some lighter books to get me back into the swing of things.