Saturday, May 9, 2020

Children's Book Week: Graphic Novel: Owly Vol. 1 by Andy Runton

Children's Book Week

Read for: Borrowed Books/Graphic Novel/ Children's Book Week

Synopsis: "Owly is a kind, yet lonely, little owl who's always on the lookout for new friends and adventure. The first graphic novel in the series contains two enchanting novellas, "The Way Home" & "The Bittersweet Summer," wherein Owly discovers the meaning of friendship, and that saying goodbye doesn't always mean forever."

My Review: I have been wanting to read Owly for quite some time and finally found it on my library's overdrive. This is super cute, a wordless graphic novel that all ages can enjoy. Owly is so sweet and just wants a friend and finds one in the most unusual way. I like the illustrations style though I would have enjoyed a hint of color here or there. There are two stories in this one, but clearly happen in a timeline, both revolve around friendships, a great theme for younger readers. This is definitely one that can be enjoyed by everyone.

My Rating: I am glad I finally found these and was able to read them. They are great for readers of all ages but would really appeal to younger readers and possibly reluctant readers. It will spark imagination without having to read a bunch of text.  I give this one a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag and look forward to reading more in this series.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Children's Book Week: Bedtime Story: Home by Alison Neuman & Illustrated by Katherine Restoueix


Read for: Children's Book Week/ Requested Review/ Pump Up Your Book Tour

Synopsis: "Fluffy, the cat, knew the minute she met Levi that he would become fast friends with the friendly mouse using a special wheelchair. In the third installment of their adventures, join Fluffy, Levi, and his family on their final leg of adventure to find their forever homes together."

My Review: This is a very cute book, I like the bond between Fluffy and the mice.  They are very humanized, they talk and it appears people understand them.  This is clearly a part of a series as we don't get much backstory on how they met and became friends or why they can no longer live in the car, so I would recommend reading the previous books first.  We also don't get to find out much about Buster, is he a friend or a foe?  With that said, Fluffy, Levi and his family all have quite a journey in this book. They have to figure out how to overcome obstacles throughout the story from tired little mouse feet, fences and a cat door.  The illustrations are beautiful and watercolor like and lend to a bit of a dreamy atmosphere in the story.

My Rating: This was a unique and sweet story about friendship, I do wish I had read the previous books ahead of time and I think I would have enjoyed it even more.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author as part of the Pump Up Your Book tour. The above is my honest review and opinion.  You can read a sample below and find out more about the author and where to get your own copy below. 

It was a playful neighbourhood dog named Buster, and a winter storm that had brought Fluffy, the Persian cat, to a warehouse where she’d met a little mouse named Levi. Levi had taken his new friend to meet his family who made their home in an old car. Now Fluffy, Levi and his entire mouse family were headed to Fluffy's home, in a swing the cat had made his new little friend to help transport him and his custom-made wheelchair.
 “I’m going to miss this car. It’s been a good home to us, but staying here is no longer safe for our growing family,” Levi’s dad said.
The area the mice lived in was patrolled by a cat whose job it was to hunt them.
 “Me too. But at least we’ll be together at Fluffy’s,” James, Levi’s big brother, squeaked.
 “No sign of that mouse-eating cat! Best to get going while the coast is clear,” their friend Charlie the Sparrow chirped, pointing his wing in the direction of Fluffy’s house. “I’ll keep an eye out until you’re at the fence.”
“Thanks, Charlie,” Levi’s dad squeaked, as they all started across the large field ahead.

Alison Neuman is a writer, author, choreographer, and dance artist, who is passionate about sharing underrepresented voices. She holds a Bachelor’s of Applied Communications Degree, a diploma in Professional Writing, and a Master of Arts degree with a focus on Educational Studies.




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Tome Topple Sign Up & Updates

Just when I was thinking I needed another reading challenge or readathon to keep momentum going, along comes Tome Topple, one of my favorites!  This time Tome Topple runs from May 9th (already begun) through May 22nd, which coincides with both Bout of Books Readathon and Medievalathon, so that is exciting that books read now will count towards multiple readathons.

 I discovered the Tome Topple Challenge through Sam at Thoughts on Tomes on Youtube and the Readathon is hosted as a Goodreads Group. The goal for this challenge is to tackle the Tomes on your shelf, books over 500 pages.

There are a few challenges to help you along, but are not a requirement.  Those updated challenges are A) Tome that has been on your TBR the longest, B) An Audiobook Tome, C) Tome that is part of a series, D) A standalone Tome, E) Read one Tome, F) Tome featuring an Asian American/Pacific Islander character or written by a AAPI author, G) Tome from a genre you don't normally read, H) Tome on TBR with the highest page count, and I) An adult Tome  (There is also a photo challenge this time around on Instagram, check it out @ThoughtsonTomes)

I will try to post updated at the bottom of this post every few days but I will also be posting on Instagram @EasternSunset9

So here is my Tomes to be Toppled:
Wrath by John Gwynne (Audiobook Tome)- 720 pages

Re-read Tiger's Daughter by K. Arsenault Rivera (AAIP Characters) - 526

The Summer Dragon by Todd Lockwood (Adult Tome)- 512 pages - This one has been calling my name from the shelf, so why not. 

The Ranger of Marzanna by Jon Skovron (In a series Tome)- 528 pages

If by some miracle I finish all these, here are a couple more on my potential list:
The Phoenix Empress by K. Arsenault Rivera - 544 pages
The Eyes of Tamburah by Maria V. Snyder - 512 pages
The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky - 544 pages

Are you participating in the Tome Topple? If yes what are you reading?  What is your nemesis Tome?



Thursday, May 7, 2020

Children's Book Week: The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate

Children's Book Week

Read for: Recently Added/ Audio Book/ Children's Book Week

Synopsis: "Bob sets out on a dangerous journey in search of his long-lost sister with the help of his two best friends, Ivan and Ruby. As a hurricane approaches and time is running out, Bob finds courage he never knew he had and learns the true meaning of friendship and family."

My Review: I was so excited when I found out that Bob was getting his own book. Due to the current situation, my pre-order copy has yet to arrive so I listened to an audio book. I highly recommend the audio book, it is narrated by Danny DeVito and he gives Bob so much personality! Since the book is written from a dog's perspective, it does get off tangent from time to time, but it adds to the quirky personality. Not only do we get to see our favorite characters from One and Only Ivan, but we get introduced to a new cast of characters. Bob goes on quite the adventure in this one, full of action and danger but also, Bob discovers that life isn't all about himself and his own survival, it is about so much more.

My Rating: I have become a huge Katherine Applegate fan over the past couple of years and so I was very excited to find out that not only is Ivan being made into a movie but we also got this book.  I love how much of Bob's personality came through on this book, especially the audio book. I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Children's Book Week: The Lifters by Dave Eggers

Children's Book Week

Read for: Middle Grade March

Synopsis: "Journey to an underground world where adventure awaits and heroes are made in this middle grade novel from the bestselling, Pulitzer-nominated author of The Monk of Mokha and Her Right Foot.

When Gran and his family move to Carousel, he has no idea that the town is built atop a secret. Little does he suspect, as he walks his sister to school or casually eats a banana, that mysterious forces lurk mere inches beneath his feet, tearing up the earth like mini-hurricanes and causing the town to slowly but surely sink.

When Gran's friend, the difficult-to-impress Catalina Catalan, presses a silver handle into a hillside and opens a doorway to underground, he knows that she is extraordinary and brave, and that he will have no choice but to follow wherever she leads. With luck on their side, and some discarded hockey sticks for good measure, Gran and Catalina might just find a way to lift their town--and the known world--out of danger.

In The Lifters, critically acclaimed author Dave Eggers establishes himself as a storyteller who can entertain and inspire readers of any age."

My Review: Munchkin has had this book sitting on his shelf for a while, so I thought I would give it a try for Middle Grade March. The characters were rather unique, I loved the Duke, he reminded me of a janitor at my school when I was a kid. It did take a bit for the story to come together and pick up pace. Once it got going though, the pages flew by. I really love the concept of this story, of sorrow and sadness dragging us down but others supporting us and joy holding it all together. While this book may not appeal to all young readers, it was still a rather enjoyable read as an adult.

My Rating: It took quite a while to get into this book and it may be a struggle for reluctant readers, but avid readers will enjoy it.  I also think this would be a great book to discuss as a class in school.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Children's Book Week: Moo by Sharon Creech

Children's Book Week

Read for: TBR/ Middle Grade March

Synopsis: "Fans of Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech’s Love That Dog and Hate That Cat will love her newest tween novel, Moo. This uplifting tale reminds us that if we’re open to new experiences, life is full of surprises. Following one family’s momentous move from the city to rural Maine, an unexpected bond develops between twelve-year-old Reena and one very ornery cow.

When Reena, her little brother, Luke, and their parents first move to Maine, Reena doesn’t know what to expect. She’s ready for beaches, blueberries, and all the lobster she can eat. Instead, her parents “volunteer” Reena and Luke to work for an eccentric neighbor named Mrs. Falala, who has a pig named Paulie, a cat named China, a snake named Edna—and that stubborn cow, Zora.

This heartwarming story, told in a blend of poetry and prose, reveals the bonds that emerge when we let others into our lives."

My Review: I am just going to start this by saying, I adore Sharon Creech's books! This one in particular I loved. It is such a heart warming story with some told in prose and other parts with unique poetry. As a person who grew up in a country setting, raising livestock for fairs, but now I live in a more urban setting with a son who has never had those experiences, this book is something I could see happening in our future. I love the way the characters grew and developed throughout the story. This was such a fun book to read, and an example of why I love reading Middle Grade books as an adult!

My Rating: I love Sharon Creech's writing, and this one was a bit nostalgic for me too. I loved reading this one and hope that Munchkin will enjoy it as well.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Monday, May 4, 2020

Children's Book Week: Star Wars: Forces of Destiny: Daring Adventures by Emma Carlson Berne

Children's Book Week

Read for: Children's Book Week & Star Wars Day

Synopsis: "Read-along for three all-new adventures about Sabine, Rey, and Padmé!"

My Review: Of course I had to pick this book up. I love that we got to focus on 3 different strong female characters from the Star Wars Universe. You don't necessarily have to be familiar with the shows/movies with the characters but it does help a bit. It was fun the way this book was formatted with Maz acting a story teller and breaking up each adventure. While it does follow some of the story lines from the movies, we do get a slightly different story that could have taken place off screen. Three fun stories full of girl power and the power of friendships.

My Rating: I enjoyed this book, it was a quick and fun read, and while it is clearly geared more towards the young female fans, any fan can enjoy it,  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Monday Reading List

It is Monday again, and time to update with what I read last week, what I am currently reading and what to look forward to next week.

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

To Be Fortunate, If Taught by Becky Chambers
White Rose by Kip Wilson
Starbreaker by Amanda Bouchet (Date Night)

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

Winter of the Witch
Rogue Protocol
Exit Strategy
But Not the Armadillo
Ronan and the Mermaid
Owly Vol. 1
Forces of Destiny: Daring Adventures

Currently Reading:

You Can't F*ck Up Your Kids by Lindsay Powers - Print - on page 43 of 320
The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa - Print/Audio - on page 247 of 368

Pages Read/ Time Listened
353:16 Hours Listened (21:32 listened this week)
12,171Pages Read (812 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
White Rose  - READ
Stealing Thunder (gift)
The Eyes of Tamburah (gift)
The Wolf in the Whale
~~~~~~~~~~March Birthday Waiver Books ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Rain Dragon Rescue
The Order of the Unicorn
The Book of Boy
All the Wandering Light
Life on the Leash
Phoenix Unbound
Magic Bites - READ
Fantasy Lover
Night Pleasures
The Midnight Lie
You Can't F*ck Up Your Kids  (gift)
Mary Shelley Monster Hunter Vol. 1
The Caged Queen
The Mum Who'd Had Enough
Ash and Quill
The Voyage to Magical North
I Needed a Viking
Smoke and Iron
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~End Birthday Waiver~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Red Hood (gift)
The Worst Best Man
Scavenge the Stars
Hades & Persephone
Beachside Beginnings (gift)
Finding Forever
Uncommon Type
Red, White & Royal Blue
The Monster of Elendhaven
Sorcery of Thorns - READ
Beach Read


I am finally finding my rhythm in this new home life, school in the morning, some exercise and fun time together, then audio book while I do office work, then dinner, bedtime, chores and finally a little reading time.  While it isn't ideal, it has started working for us. I am also getting more reading done now which is helping my overall mood and stress levels.  I still need a mommy break desperately but that won't come anytime in the near future. 

I have started participating in my first readathon this month with the Medieval-a-thon, I have finished my first book and will finish my second today! I also have Children's Book Week this week, so will have a new book to share with you each day, ranging from picture books up to middle grade books. I hope you will enjoy them and find something you can share with the kids in your life (or just read for yourself).

I hope you are all safe and healthy and that maybe you have found peace with the new normal.

Oh and May the Force Be With You!!