Draw 50 Sea Creatures: Review

As most of you know by now, I have a delightfully sassy little girl. Last time I was looking through Blogging for Books’ list of available titles, she excitedly exclaimed that I HAD TO GET the book on drawing sea creatures FOR HER. Well, how can you say no to that? (Especially when there really weren’t any other books I wanted to look at)

4108AJg5ODL._SX389_BO1,204,203,200_When the book arrived at our home, she immediately wiggled out of nap time and into art time, and the two artists in my family (my mother and the tiny one) are absolutely enamored with this simple, easy to follow drawing book. They even convince me to give it a go and I made a halfway decent piece of kelp (NOT as easy as you would think!) We give this book 4 out of 5 sea dragons and recommend that you go check it out!

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The Story Cure: A Quick Review

The Book Doctor, Dinty W. Moore, has created this book in order to help authors break through writer’s block, rearrange stumbling blocks into creative staircases, and basically just fix whatever ails ya…or your book. As a professor of writing, and an author himself, Moore as spent years coming up with ‘diagnoses’ and ‘prescriptions’ for all sorts of common (and not quite so common) author ailments, and lays them out with charming witticisms and blunt truths. This book is a great read for authors in all phases of their walks through words.

I give it 4.5 out 5 Stars and encourage anyone who writes or thinks they might want to give it a whirl to pick up a copy.

 

*I was sent this book by Blogging for Books in return for my honest review. All opinions cited in this review are my own.*

 

Review: The Midnight Queen

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Summary: In the hallowed halls of Oxford’s Merlin College, the most talented—and highest born—sons of the Kingdom of Britain are taught the intricacies of magickal theory. But what dazzles can also destroy, as Gray Marshall is about to discover…(more here)

Pages: 417

Published: 2014 Ace

 

I’m not going to lie to you here. I requested to review this book (from Blogging for Books) because of the cover. If you’ve been around awhile, you probably already know of my obsessions with owls. Well…that explains that right? It probably wouldn’t have mattered what the book was about, honestly. However, I have happy to report that it turned out to be a fabulous historical fiction/fantasy novel.

This book delights with a beautiful mixture of historical fiction and magical elements, adventuresome bits and slow romance, and some strong leads of both female and male variety. The scholarship and work of magic delights me to no end, and Ms. Hunter’s work here is no exception. Well done, delightful, and interesting.

This book gets a 4 out of 5 dragons. If you enjoy adventure, fantasy, and historical fiction all rolled into one very European bundle, I suggest you go grab your very own copy and give it a read.

When God Made You | Picture Book Review

When God Made You

by Matthew Paul Turner

Illustrated by David Catrow

A picture book of verse all about how God made,

and is proud of, the child reading it.

This  book is well written, beautifully illustrated, and just a bit too repetitive for my taste. It felt as though the author had a great idea and then pushed to hard, stretched too far, and made something that should have been beautiful and reassuring into something that felt forced and too long. Had the book been a few pages shorter, we (my daughter and I) probably would have given it 4.5 stars/dragons. As it stands, I give the book 4 dragons for the whimsical and adorable illustrations, and 2.5 dragons for the elongated storyline.

Overall, we are rating this book 3 dragons. It is very cute and an interesting read for young children, but ultimately too long and redundant for my taste.

*I received this from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own*

Review: A Boy Called CHRISTMAS

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Written for Middle Grade Readers (Ages 7-12/Grades 3-6), this book is an origin story, a fable, a history, a drama, a family tale, and much more. In this adorable story we meet and follow a boy who grows up to be Father Christmas.

I read this via the audiobook (provided by Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review) and the story is amazing, grabs you right off the bat and keeps you in its grips…and the narrations by Stephen Fry are so spot on it feels like the smoothest and most natural thing in the world.

There are some difficult issues addressed within the folds of this story: loss of parents, extreme poverty, and violence…but along with that are the trappings of Finnish mythology, the impossibilities of life, and magic (LOTS of magic!).

I am not the biggest fan of Christmas stories, they often seem to be formulaic and cheesy as all get out. This is not one of those stories. This is an adventure, a fable, a legend in the making. This is a story to listen to every year, for all the years. Haig has created a story with a life of its own, and I loved it.

4.75 dragons (stars) to this beautifully written phenomenon.

The City Baker’s Guide to Country Living: Review

Louise Miller, a pastry chef who knows her way around cooking up words as well, has created a yummy look at small time life and big time choices. Take her delicious descriptions, her cozy set up, and the charm that oozes in layers and add to it the slow melting chocolatey goodness of Jorjeana Marie’s voice and this is an audio book that will have you coming back for seconds!

I don’t often read books in this contemporary, cozy, adult genre but this book drew me in and bade me stay to curl up with some hot tea and a piece of cake. a solid 4 stars to Louise Miller, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

 

*I was sent this book by Blogging for Books for free in exchange for an honest review*

Besties: Leah Reena Goren

besties

Ladies, have you ever wanted to try to explain your relationship with that Best Friend you’ve had forever? Well this adorable, bright, and fun picture book does it for you! Or, at least, for me. While I have more than one bestie, and some of them weren’t around for the elementary school snack time, there is a page in this book for every one of them (well…except for my brother. But who needs to count him anyway?)

There are so many important and special things in our relationships with our BFFLs (Best Friends for Life) and this book portrays those for us beautifully. If you’re looking for a heartfelt and quirky gift to hand over to your own BFF, look no further!

 

*I was sent this book free in exchange for an honest review, the opinions stated within this blog are my own*

The Fir Tree – Review

The Fir Tree is a story I had heard before, but did not know well. The sad tale is a cautionary fairy tale with traditional Hans Christian Anderson tropes and an ending that will bring a tear to your eye. In this beautiful green, cloth bound edition, the illustrations of Finnish artist Sanna Annukka elevate the story to new heights of beauty and devastation. Gorgeously rendered and written, this book is definitely worth the read. 4152frzf4cl-_sx282_bo1204203200_*this book was sent to me in exchange for a fair and honest review by blogging for Books*

The Snow Queen – Cloth Bound and Beautiful

This cloth bound, silver foiled, illustrated edition of Hans Christian Anderson’s timeless tale is even more beautiful than I expected it to be. The tall, skinny hardback feels gorgeous in your hand and the illustrations by Finnish illustrator Sanna Annukka create an atmosphere that combines with the beloved words into something that will stick with you. 41zbzfrlyul-_sx282_bo1204203200_

Published by Ten Speed Press, translated by Odense City Museums, this book brings to life the classic story of The Snow Queen with imagery that makes me feel a part of the story, and reminds me of the ancient picture book edition my mother no longer allows me to play with. Five out of five Dragons to this gorgeous book.

*I received the book in exchange for an honest review from blogging for books*

Artsy Animals

Do you like random facts? Do you enjoy animal artwork? Do you love tiny little books that can conveniently be carried with you virtually anywhere???

THEN I HAVE JUST THE BOOK FOR YOU!!

9781607748328

*Slightly smaller than actual size*

Maja Safstrom is an architect and illustrator from Stockholm who has worked with Ten Speed Press to bring us a small book with a big impact. Coming at a mere 6.3×0.7×7.8 inches in dimension, The illustrated Compendium of Amazing Animal Facts combines pen and ink/black and white drawings with facts about several different animals, all seemingly hand lettered. This book gives us not only  peek aat nature, but  look at the author’s nature journal (of sorts).

The book is very well made, the cover binding feels nice and fits very well into a hand, the interior pages have the look and feel of thicker art paper, and the entire piece feels like a work of art lovingly created for the audience.

If you enjoy Maja’s style of artwork, as I do, I highly suggest also following her on Instagram!

I’ll leave you with a  fact to ponder while you’re waiting on that page to load.

“Penguins laugh when they are tickled.”

You’re welcome and have a marvelous day!