Thursday, February 27, 2014

I Know A Story


I’ve always been a fairytale fan.  It all started in second grade when we got a reading book called I Know a Story, then It Happened One Day and finally After the Sun Sets.  I think I finished the last one in third grade.  They had fairy tales I didn’t know about like the princess on the icy hill and Snow White and Rose Red.  I remember the books especially well because when I taught second grade, they still had the them so I read them with my students. 

I love the watered down versions of fairy tales like Cinderella and The Little Mermaid that Disney produced and I love the originals, even Hans Christian Andersen who was really depressing.
So I have some suggestions of classics that I think are well done.  I won’t give a synopsis today since they are all familiar ones.  Take your pick and enjoy!

Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Caralyn and Mark Bueher

 The Three Little Pigs by Paul Galdone

Red Riding Hood by James Marshall

The Gingerbread Boy by Richard Egielski

The Princess and the Pea adapted by John Cech

Hansel and Gretel by Dom Deluise and Christopher Santora

Jack and the Beanstalk

Rapunzel by Alex Berdedzy

Rumpelstiltskin by  Desideria Guiccardini

Three Billy Goats Gruff by Stephen Carpenter

Emperor’s New Clothes by Starlight Foundation

Note:  Read by a cast of famous actors organized by Steven Spielberg included in book!

The Elves and the Shoemaker by Alison Edgton


So, as you can see, I do “know a story”! And until next week, keep on reading!




Monday, February 24, 2014

Tempus by Holly Lauren

Available Now

 Chapel Ryan isn't crazy. At least, that's what she's been trying to convince herself of for most of her life. But after being hallucination-free for three years, Chapel finds herself facedown on her English classroom’s gritty linoleum floor. When she looks up, everyone around her is suspended in animation. Mouths hang open mid-yawn, feet hover mid-cross, Ms. Freeman’s arm flexes mid-sentence diagram. It's another hallucination. Or, is it?

Chapel prepares to tear herself back to reality when something happens. Something that has never happened before in any of her hallucinations--someone moves. And not just any someone—it’s the new guy with a scar over his lip and a reputation as black as his perfectly styled hair. And all of the sudden Chapel's white-knuckle grip on her life has slipped, and with it, her assurance that what she's experiencing isn't real.

        Genre: New Adult Fantasy

        One Sentence Description: After she learns the true nature of her hallucinations, high school senior Chapel Ryan must decide who she can trust in a world where the rules of genetics do not apply

        Available here: Amazon & Barnes & Nobles


Holly Lauren

Holly was born and raised in a small town in North Georgia. The third of four children, Holly grew up telling stories to get herself out of—and her siblings into—trouble. When she was eight years old, she penned her first publication: a newspaper called Sunny Dayz News. While she didn’t sell any actual copies, her sympathetic grandmother did peruse through the edition at least once.

When Holly isn’t dreaming up new plotlines for her next book, she enjoys breakfasting at Picnic CafĂ© in Dahlonega, Georgia with her (handsome) husband and their two (adorable) daughters.




                                              RATED 5 STARS

She always thought something was terribly wrong with her….maybe she was even crazy.
Chapel Ryan can stop time and no one ever knows until she sees Isaiah Halstead move during one of her episodes. 
Isaiah keeps showing up in her life from then on.  He already lives next door but now he shows up to walk her home from work. Zay, as he wants to be called, keeps trying to convince her to go out with him but Chap has been burned before by her longtime friend and recent boyfriend, Logan, so she refuses anything but friendship.

Her home life is a mess too.  Her policeman father died when she was little and her mom has remarried and had twins with a man Chapel just cannot stand.  The only one who seems to keep her connected to her dad is the family friend, Hunter Carter who is also a coach at Chap’s school.

In spite of herself, Chapel finds herself falling for Zay.  She keeps having more episodes until it if finally revealed that she has a special gift and she is being recruited by two factions of people who have unusual talents such as hers.

With decisions to be made about college, a suspicious step father, a repentant boyfriend, a mother who leaves notes at Chap’s father’s grave, the poor girl is confused and doesn’t know what to do.

A big surprise at the end of the book may change Chapel’s life forever.

Chapel was an interesting girl.  Besides having an exceptional talent, she has all the normal problems of a teenage girl.  She was cheated on, has an enemy who doesn’t hide it and unusual things keep happening to her at a higher and higher rate.  I loved that she detested her stepfather but adored the twins he had with her mother.
There were a lot of surprises with other characters that I won’t reveal but trust me, they are unexpected.

I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to anyone even though it is a Young Adult book I found the characters engaging and the story intriguing.  Can’t wait to hear more from this new author.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Soup to Nuts


Kidz Korner
I’m not nuts about soup as food but I am a fan of books about soup.
Here are a few favorites.

Stone Soup by Marcia Brown

 This classic tale finds three hungry soldiers in a village that claims it has no food.  With a few stones and their wits, the soldiers end up having a feast with the villagers.  I would read this book to kids from 4-8 years old. Making stone soup with your kids is a great cold day activity.  Just make sure the rocks are good and clean!

There’s a Flyguy in My Soup by Tedd Arnold

 This little chapter book is kind of whacky but it has a lot of appeal for young kids.  The pet fly starts all kinds of trouble when he goes to the hotel and mistakes a bowl of soup for a bathtub.  Easy and fun to read.  I would read this to kids 3-6 years old.


Perfect Soup by Lisa Moser

 Murray starts to make the perfect soup for a winter’s day but finds he has no carrots.  In his quest to find one, he ignores his friend snowman.  He asks other friends and they trade tasks so he can finally get what he needs. Does it end up in the perfect soup or not?  Read the book to find out.  I would read this book to kids from 3-6 years old.

Chicken Soup by Jean Van Leeuwen

 The chickens all go hide when they see Mrs. Farmer get out her big pot.  They know what she has in mind. Little Chicken sneezes in every hiding place he finds and has to run to another. Mr. Farmer finally catches Little Chicken and takes him to the house for a surprise.  I would read this book to kids 2-6 years old.
So heat up some soup for one of these cold days and until next week, keep on reading!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Stealing Time by Nancy Pennick Book Cover Reveal

Drew from the past…

Kate from the present…

Two worlds collided.

As senior year comes to a close, a promise of new beginnings is on the horizon. Kate longs to head to Arizona and college until her former friend, Tyson, does the unimaginable forcing her to stay in Ohio. Her family has to pull together to keep their secrets safe. Anna wishes to return to the canyon in 1927 once more and Kate’s determined to make that a reality. Summer’s filled with wonderful memories and little warning of things to come. Kate’s world grows darker and she must be the one to conquer the demons and save the world that is most precious to her.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines Day

Congratulations to the winner of the Amazon gift card, Brenda B. I'll contact you later today.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hail to the Chief

I heard an interesting fact recently.  Very few kids want to grow up to be the President of the United States.  Only 27% of kids from ages 10-14 wanted to be the President and the number dropped to 13% for 15 and 16 year olds. WOW!  So here are some books that might encourage your kids to consider the Presidency.


I am Abraham Lincoln by Brad Meltzer

This is an inspiring little book about Lincoln that is definitely written for children.  From little boy to President of the United States, Lincoln’s message is to speak up for what is right.  No reference to the assassination either.  Meltzer has other books in this biographical series too.  I would read this book to kids 5-8 years old.

President’s Day by Anne and Lizzie Rockwell

I loved this book about a group of six year olds who put on a school play about President’s day!  Simply told facts about Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt are age appropriate.  I liked how the narrator explains why each child was given his or her part. I would read this book to kids 4-7years old.

Duck For President by Doreen Cronin

If you are looking for a good laugh, come along on Duck’s trip to becoming President.  Duck is disgruntled about the chores assigned to him by Farmer Brown.  He stirs up the other animals and holds an election which he wins by a landslide.  When he finds out how hard it is to lead he decides to run for Mayor.  Find out how he ends up in the highest office of the land.  Kids will find it funny and adults will enjoy the thinly veiled sarcasm about our leaders.  I would read this book to kids 4-8.

A Picture Book of George Washington by David A. Adler

This is a factual but simple book about George Washington from his childhood to the day he dies.  Beautiful drawings accompany the very readable text.  I would read this book to kids 5-8 years old.

Hope this inspires some future leaders!  Enjoy these books and until next week, keep on reading!

Monday, February 10, 2014

No Time for Horses by Shannon Kennedy


Rated 4.5 stars


Vicki is a cheerleader so you probably would assume she lives a golden existence.  Not so for this teen.  She is saddled with the responsibility of five younger siblings and the upkeep of their home as well as fixing dinners and doing laundry.

Her mom is getting a divorce from her step dad and things aren’t going well.  Mom has to work too many hours and guilts Vicki if she tries to have any kind of life that a teenage girl deserves.

Luckily, Vicki has a supportive group of friends and a super boyfriend who understands her plight and helps her as much as possible.

Even a terrible accident doesn’t make Vicki’s mother or step dad see the light.  Only the intervention of a caring court-appointed counselor begins to change Vicki’s life for the better.  She can finally begin to live her life as a teen age girl instead of an unpaid nanny.

 I really liked Vicki a lot.  She was great with her younger siblings and had a loving relationship with each of them.  The younger kids were well written and believable.

Vicki began to stick up for herself and even though she sounded defiant and angry at times, she had valid points and I was glad she found some adults to help her.

Her boyfriend, Jack was a superhero.  She even called him that.  He was there for her and her siblings too.  Of course, he was handsome and made her heart flutter as all good boyfriends should.

As always in the Shamrock Stable Series, the friends are supportive and loving and understanding of one another.  Their strongest bond is the love they have of horses and everything to do with them including mucking stalls!  I really like this group of friends and look forward to reading more about them.

This is the book that preceded Deck the Stalls which I already reviewed and it was a good lead in to the story.

If you are a fan of horses or you just like a story about a good group of friends, I strongly suggest you read No Time for Horses.
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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Hugs and Kisses



Valentine’s Day is around the corner and it’s the time for loving up those kids of yours an extra bunch.  Sharing these books will spread some of that love around.  Extra hugs and kisses wouldn't hurt either.
I Love Chocolate by Davide Cali

 A little boy gives all the reasons to love chocolate and all the different ways to eat it.  I have to admit I got hungry just reading it!  I’d read this book to kids 4-8.

Where Is Baby’s Valentine? By Karen Katz

This little flap book has the baby looking high and low for the valentine.  It has to be somewhere in the house, doesn’t it?  When it’s found, guess who gets to keep it?  I would read this book to kids 6 months to 2 years old.

The Day It Rained Hearts by Felecia Bond.

Cornelia Augustus catches hearts one day as they fall from the sky like rain.  She comes up with all kinds of creative ways to share them with her friends.  This story will inspire your little ones to get creative themselves!  I would read this book to kids 3-6 years old.

Roses are Red, Your Feet Really Stink by Diane de Groat

 Gilbert writes very nice valentines to his classmates but nasty one to the two people who have treated him meanly.  That gesture turns out to get him in all kinds of trouble and shunned by his classmates until Gilbert decides to make amends and all ends up well.  A good story about people’s feelings and the consequences of one’s actions.  I would read this book to kids 4-7 years old.

Stay sweet as you are and until next week, keep on reading.

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Monday, February 3, 2014

Last Ghost at Gettysburg by Paul Ferrante

Don't miss your chance to win a $10.00 Amazon gift card at the bottom of the review!
Rated 5 STARS


TJ Jackson, who is getting ready for his first year of highschool, is informed by his dad that he will be spending the summer in Paris, France with his new girlfriend so TJ will have to go to Gettysburg and stay with his Uncle Mike’s family.

TJ is less than thrilled at this prospect as it will mean he can’t train for the cross country team at the highschool, Gettysburg is a small, boring town and his cousin, Louanne is well, a nerd.

He does go to his Uncle’s and WOW, Louanne has transformed into a beauty, she’s into cross country, wants to train together and something frightening is making Gettysburg far from boring.

TJ gets involved with the ghost of Major Crosby Hilliard and it is not an easy relationship.  He involves Louanne and his best friend, Bortnicker from home and the three try to make sense of why the Major is still here on Earth.
Uncle Mike gets in the mix also since a rash of murders seem to point to him and an antique gun he owns.
The story has so much history and the author is so well informed that I couldn’t help but get wrapped up in the story.

TJ was a good kid and his friend, Bortnicker was funny , nerdy and a slightly annoying Civil War enthusiast.
Louanne was pretty, athletic, a historical actress and former nerd.  She and TJ bond over their love of cross country and an attraction might be growing between her and one of the boys.
Uncle Mike was supportive and yet very protective of the three teens.  When they finally involve him, he proves to be an essential part of the team.
The ghostly character of Major Hilliard was a combination of terrifying and pitiful.  His explanation of his part in the Civil War made him surprisingly human.

Even if you aren’t a history buff, I think you will be very intrigued by the story.  Ferrante pulled me in and I couldn’t stop reading until I was done with the book.

This is his first novel and I hope there will be more.
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