Saturday, February 3, 2018

Graphic Novel Review of Little Tails on the Farm by Frederie Brremaud & Federico Bertolucci

Read for: Netgalley/ Requested Review/ Graphic Novel Challenge

Synopsis: "Little Tails is a series of young readers graphic novels created by Eisner Award–nominated illustrator Federico Bertolucci and writer Frédéric Brrémaud, creators of the world-famous, multi-award winning Love series of silent, wildlife graphic novels.

In each volume of Little Tails, Chipper and Squizzo set out on a fun, educational journey to a different location, encountering the real-world animals found there in beautiful illustration and fun cartoon strip antics. In this new volume, they visit a nearby farm and meet a wide variety of new and interesting domestic and wild animals!
Chipper and Squizzo set out on a hunt for some fresh milk for their breakfast, taking the adventurous duo across the fields of a nearby farm, where they meet horses, pigs, goats, bulls, and more!"

My Review: I have been wanting to give on of the Little Tails issues a try after they attracted my attention a year or so ago, so when this one came available on Netgalley I jumped at the opportunity. I love that there are more and more graphic novels and comics being made available to younger reading audiences, it is a great way to bridge the gap from illustrated picture books to novels and chapter books. Graphic Novels are also a great way to help young readers who may not be as interested in the activity to focus on a book. With that said, I don't think I have ever seen one done quite the way that Little Tails is done. It combines the classic comic cartoon strip with beautiful and artistic illustration. On each page is a short comic featuring the characters Chipper and Squizzo in simple cartoon pencil style and then the scene or animal on the farm they are discussing fills the remainder of the page in a beautiful artistic and realistic style. It really took me a bit to wrap my head around it but the funny adventure that the pair were on drew me in, along with the use of facts throughout the story. I don't know how well young readers will be able to make the connection between the comic and the images but it is certainly a unique book to share.

My Rating: This was an unusually formatted book, even for a graphic novel. I am not sure how that will translate for everyone but I found it unique and I love that it is written for children but enjoyable for all.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.

I received this book via Netgalley, the above is my honest review.

For more information about Frederie Brremaud and his work please check out his Goodreads Page.

Little Tails on the Farm was just released on January 16th and you can obtain your own copy in print format from Barnes & Noble or in print and digital formats from Amazon or check with your favorite comic book store or book supplier.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Early Reader Bedtime Story: Ice, Ice Puggy

Read for: Early Reader Challenge

Synopsis: "In this tale, Bob runs out of ice for his iced tea, so Bingo and Rolly head to Antarctica to get their owner the best ice ever! This book comes with a sheet of seriously cool stickers!"

My Review: One of Munchkin's new favorite shows is the Puppy Dog Pals so we picked up this book. It does follow an episode, though much abbreviated. While it does tell the story pretty well, but there just seems to be too many pieces missing and a few extra pages would have been great. With that said it is still a great level one with simple words and sentences and bright pictures to help young readers build confidence.

My Rating: Munchkin enjoyed it and was encouraged to read with some of his favorite characters. While it wasn't quite what I expected it was still a great book to read, we give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag!

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

January 2018 Challenge Wrap up and February TBR

Gosh, January absolutely flew by this year! As I have said all month, it has been a little all over the place, I spent the vast majority of the month floundering both with my personal life stress, schedules and even my reading.  It has taken until the last week for me to finally get my feet under me.  But with that said it turns out I had a rather fantastic reading month with some really, really fantastic books! So how about we check in with the books I have read so far . . .

Children's Book Challenge:
30 - 40 books

Early Reader Challenge:
30-40 books

Graphic Novel Challenge:
23-28 books

Audio Book Challenge:
28-32 books
4. Voyage of the Basilisk

Classics Challenge:
5 books (1 re-read)
None this month

Series Challenge:
4 full series & 6 duologies
Memoirs of Lady Trent Series (5 books & 1 novella): Book 1Book 2, Book 3
Butler VT/Green Mountain Series (9 books & 2 novellas): (Books 1-3 read in 2017) Book 4
Nevernight Chronicles (3 books so far): Book 1
Winternight Trilogy (3 books): Book 1Book 2
Unicorn's Secret (8 books): Book 1, Book 2, Book 3
Ree Verakai Duology: Book 1

Requested Reviews:
No more than 25

TBR Challenge:
50-75 books that I already own as of 12/31/2017
1. Breath of Fire  (re-read)
12. Nevernight

Books Added to Shelves in 2018:
As I read the books I purchase this year I will add a link (I will also note the month they were purchased/ read)
1. Plague of Giants (Jan./)
2. Moonsilver (Jan./ Jan.)
3. Silver Thread (Jan./Jan.)
4. The Silver Bracelet (Jan./ Jan.)
5. Mountains of the Moon (Jan./)
6. Practical Magic (Jan./)
7. I Love My Love (Jan./)
8. The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry (Jan./)
9. Gods of the North (Jan./)
10. We Have Always Lived in a Castle (Jan./)
11. Life Changing Manga of Cleaning Up (Jan./Jan.)
12. Heart on Fire (Jan./ Jan.)

January Reading Stats:
I read a total of 27 books.
3,532 pages read and 2 days, 9 hours and 57 minutes of audio books.

Resolutions Check in:
1. Read Less Books: Last year I read 31 books in January, this year I read 27 so progress!
2. Be More aware while reading: I have marked a quotes in two books as well as noted favorite characters and scenes. Yay for that!
3. Read More Chunky Books (12 books over 450 pages in 2018): Nevernight was 462 pages it makes the cut!
4. Use Library & Overdrive more: I haven't used it to get any books I don't own but I have borrowed 3 audio books & 1 ebook to streamline reading.
5. Purge & Re-organize shelves: I DNFed one book this month and pulled 3 more off my shelves and made a pile of 8 books I am considering donating. Slow but steady goes the tortoise.


So February always messes with me, I have so many plans but the short month throws me for a loop.  I really need to start getting ready for the RI Author Month in April and I would like to have a Romance week in February too, so lots of books to read and so little time (I think I need a snow day or two).

So here are some of the books I would like to read in February:

The Trail and Sierra by Ray Anderson
Lightning in the Blood by Marie Brennan
Blasphemy Series (so far) by Laura Kaye
Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff
Vengeance Road and Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman
PO Box Love by Paola Calvetti
The Landscaper Series by Robin Stone
Crewel Work and Trouble Looming by Natalie Alder
In the Labyrinth of Drakes and Within the Sanctuary of Wings by Marie Brennan
A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne
Mountains of the Moon by Kathleen Duey
Gods of the North by Lucy Coats
I Love My Love by Rayne Biddy
Life Changing Manga of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
Southern Spice and One White Lie by Jeannette Winters
Secret Hunger and Secret Need by Satin Russell
It's Only Love and Ain't She Sweet by Marie Force
Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Tarnished City by Vic James
Survive the Night by Katie Ruggle

So that looks like a little much for an already busy February but I guess we will run with it!

So what did you read in January? And what is first on your TBR for February?

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Hidden Gems of Fantasy Romance

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

So this week's prompt was to pick 5 books from our favorite genre that we think don't get the attention they deserve.  So I love fantasy book, but more specifically fantasy romance, which is often hard to find since there really isn't a sub-genre easily searchable on most sites.  So I decided to share some with you, I am also trying to pick a few different ones I don't mention often.  I also want to note that these are adult fantasy romance, they do often have explicit scenes and may not be suitable for everyone.  To not overload everyone I am going to share 3 individual series, each with multiple books, I could share 5 series but that just gets a little crazy.

Chronicles of the Warlands

So I totally inhaled this series back in 2011 and I raved about it a ton at the time but it did finally fade to the background with some new releases but I loved this series. I was looking for books I would like to re-read this year and discovered that a 5th book in this series was released in 2017! You better believe I will be heading back to the Warlands this year!

Blood and Shadows

This was a series that again I binge read back in 2013 and while my ratings did go down a bit with each book, they still come to mind often.  There is a 5th book in the series that at the time I was unable to track down due to publishing issues, but I know Joely Sue Burkhart has gotten rights back on a lot of her books and is getting them out there again so I hope I can revisit this series and complete it at some point.

Five Hundred Kingdoms
This is a series I read before starting blogging or even goodreads, I think I only got through the 3rd book, all that was published at the time.  This is a fun series of fairy tale retellings with an adult twist and a fun way to link them all.  I do plan to re-read this series at some point, there are now I believe 6 books in the series, but I had lent out my copies and they were never returned.  Time to go book shopping I guess!

So what are some of your hidden gems? Do you have any to add to my TBR list?!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Review of Marabel and the Book of Fate by Tracy Barrett

Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley

Synopsis: "In Magikos, life is dictated by the Book of Fate's ancient predictions, including the birth of a royal Chosen One who will save the realm. Princess Marabel has grown up in the shadow of her twin brother, Marco, who everyone assumes is the true Chosen One. While Marco is adored and given every opportunity, Marabel is overlooked and has to practice her sword fighting in secret.

But on the night of their thirteenth birthday, Marco is kidnapped by an evil queen, and Marabel runs to his rescue. Outside the castle walls for the first time, accompanied by her best friend and a very smug unicorn, Marabel embarks on a daring mission that brings her face-to-face with fairies, trolls, giants--and the possibility that all is not as it seems in Magikos."

My Review: As with so many other books lately, I was completely drawn in by the unicorn on the cover and then the synopsis sounded like a grand and magical adventure. The book starts off great setting Marabel up as a completely ordinary princess, but then we are led to feel bad for her for being ignored in favor of her brother. I always have difficulty with when we are basically told to have sympathy for a character, but this seems to be common in middle grade books. After that the adventure takes off. I do like how Marabel cares so much for her brother, even if she is brushed aside for him, in my opinion family should always have a priority in your life and this does a great job of giving that message in a fun way. The underlying message of following your heart and being true to yourself while seeking your own destiny was interwoven throughout the story beautifully. I loved all the unique characters that are introduced in the story, the friendships that are built with that variety of creatures and characters is a great example to set for the young readers.

My Rating: While the adventure was a little slow and a bit anti-climatic, it was the people that Marabel meets and the unique way of solving problems that kept me reading. I think that young readers will really enjoy this book.  I give it a rating of  Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

I received this book via Netgalley, the above is my honest review.

You can find out more about Tracy Barrett and her work on her Goodreads Page or Website.

Marabel and the Book of Fate is schedule for release on February 6th but you can pre-order your copy in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or ask for it at your favorite bookstore.

Monday, January 29, 2018

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

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell
The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden
Pancho Bandito and the Avocado Desperadoes by Mike Sundy (Bedtime Story)

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

The Tropic of Serpents
The Girl in the Tower
Marabel and the Book of Fate
Voyage of the Basilisk
Little Tails on the Farm
Down & Across (110 pages then DNF)
Ice Ice Puggy

Currently Reading:

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff - print - on page 131 of 429

Pages Read/ Time Listened
57:57 Hours Listened (22:24 listened this week)
2,782 Pages Read (842 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne
Moonsilver by Kathleen Duey
Silver Thread by Kathleen Duey
The Silver Bracelet by Kathleen Duey
Mountains of the Moon by Kathleen Duey
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
I Love My Love by Reyna Biddy
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Gods of the North by Lucy Coats
We Have Always Lived in a Castle by Shirley Jackson
Life Changing Manga of Cleaning Up by Marie Kondo


Another pretty good reading week this last week. I had a brief period where I was really struggling with what book to pick up next but I ended up reading a bit of each of my choices until one grabbed my attention.  I have also really loving audio books so far this year. 

Can you believe that January is already almost in the books?! I definitely cannot believe that the month has flown by so quickly.  I saw on one of my groups of facebook that someone decided to celebrate the chinese new year as a second start of 2018 and I am totally on board with that! I only just now feel like I am getting on top of things and am ready to start the year.

What books have you been enjoying so far this month?