Review: Does Frankenstein Get Hungry?

does frankenstein get hungry

From Penguin Random House: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/538536/does-frankenstein-get-hungry-by-john-solimine/9780399546419
About Does Frankenstein Get Hungry?
In this monstrously funny picture book, an inquisitive young girl with some pressing questions proves these creatures may not be so scary after all.

Tucked up in her bed, a little girl wonders about the creatures rumored to go bump in the night. But instead of pulling the covers over her head, she comes up with a list of important questions, like:

Does Frankenstein get hungry?

Does Dracula floss his fangs?

Does the boogeyman have boogers?

Does the thing that lives beneath my bed get lonely under there?

With each inquiry, the little girl’s confidence grows–proving monsters are no match for her imagination! From debut talent John Solimine, this laugh-out-loud picture book has all the silly and gentle reassurance kids need for a good night’s sleep.

This book is adorable, funny, and sure to make young ones (and older ones too) smile. The release of this book in mid-August set it up perfectly to be a great confidence booster for our young children who are about to be inundated with imagery of monsters and spooky things for the fall season. I love that this book draws the young readers in and they want to know what the next question will be, they want to know who will be in the next image. I received this book in mid-August and the students in my classroom (who range from pre-k – high school) have been picking it up and enjoying the message and illustrations ever since.

However, I do have one major issue with the book and that is that the rhythm of the words falls apart in a few places. A big part of children’s literacy in the early stages is the prediction of rhythm and words on the upcoming pages and when that rhythm breaks down for a second, it can cause issues for the emergent readers. While this book does have a great rhythm, the cadence in a couple of places seems to stutter and pull readers out of the story for a moment. This is not, by any means, a large detractor from the book itself and I still highly recommend that you pick this up to read with the tiny people in your lives.

I give Does Frankenstein Get Hungry a 3.75 out of 5 dragons. Munch on Frankenstein’s Monster…munch on.

**I was sent this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are my own.**

3 Middle Grade Recent New Releases: REVIEWED

Hey Everyone! It has been a long and hectic school year and I definitely let the ball drop on my blog (AGAIN…I KNOW!). However, it is now June and I’m hoping to get back into the groove of posting blogs, as well as the BookTube videos. So today, in an attempt to make do just that, I am bringing to you a quick review of THREE recent Middle Grade Releases. Each of these is now a couple of months old and definitely deserving of all the love…so let’s get in to them.

First up I want to talk to you about Sticky Notes by Dianne Touchell. This book debuted on February 20th and was published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers.
sticky notes

This book follows 10 year old Foster as he and his family deal with his father’s decent into Alzheimer’s. Fossie is used to his dad being a vibrant, story telling, suit wearer who loves his son and his dog. But then Dad starts forgetting the numbers that make up his job, and the supper that he’s got burning on the stove, and the dog.

This book takes a close look at the effect of the disease on those around the sufferer, namely the child who is confused and left to figure things out on his own (for the most part). I thought that Dianne Touchell did a wonderful job of handling this topic in a way that would appeal to readers of varying ages, from the early Middle Grade target age group to those of us who have had a smidgen more life experience. I give Sticky Notes a 3.5 out of 4 Dragons and you can find your own copy here.

The second book I want to bring to your attention is The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller.
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Published on March 6th by Random House Books for Young Readers this extraordinary debut novel takes a look at Hope and Love (and depression) through the eyes of a 7th grade girl writing in her science notebook. When Natalie’s teacher Mr. Neely tells the class that they must answer an important question using the scientific method, Natalie comes up with the question
How do you grow a miracle? and is determined to solve her mother’s depression with the answer. This book is poignant, humorous, and beautiful…and will make you experience a rainbow of emotions. I read this at the very beginning of March and still find myself idly thinking of the characters and story. This book gets 5 out of 4 dragons and you can go grab your own tear jerking copy here.

Finally, I want to talk to you about an entirely different type of novel. Emma Carrol’s Strange Star was published on March 20th by Delacorte Books for Young Readers and is a spine tingling middle grade thriller.

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This book begins at Lord Byron’s summer home where he and his guests, the Shelleys, are challenging each other to a ghost story tell-off…but as Mary Shelley is stuck for an idea, a knock on the door reveals that sometimes the truth is more frightening than any ghost story could be. Told as a tale of family, friendship, woe, redemption…and inspiration this was a quick moving and interesting read. While there were a few spots that pulled me out of the atmosphere of the story, I felt that it was over all well done and this thrilling, seat-of-your-pants book was one I read in one sitting. Ultimately, I gave 3.5 out of 4 dragons. If you’re looking for a little summer chill, grab your copy here.

I would love to hear about your favorite new releases, what you’ve been reading lately, and if you’ve read any of these three marvelous books! Until next time, may your days be blessed with books and love!

*I received these books in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and rating are my own!*

Review: Elemental Island

elemental island

Summary: Astie has always been different. Her 12th birthday is looming and she still has not decided on her thesis. All the Learners at the Hub picked theirs years ago. If it wasn’t for her cousin, Jakob, life would be unbearable on Elemental Island. On the verge of being diagnosed with Social Syndrome, she stumbles upon Danny who has landed in a forbidden flight machine….(continued here)

Age Level: Middle Grade (ages 8-13)

Genre: Adventure (with low level Sci-Fi feels)

Pages: 224 (hardcover)

Published: December 2015 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers

This book is a celebration of differences. In a world where everyone loves logic, order, and alone time, main character Astie is on the verge of turning 12 with no scientific thesis to obsess over and an enjoyment of spending time with people, and hugs, that is going to get her shunned as having what is known as Social Syndrome. Of course, Astie winds up saving the day. But I will leave it to you to discover just how she does it.

I enjoyed this book very much. It was a quick read, coming in at only a few hours in one of my days to read it, but the storyline has stuck with me. The world Ms. Hoopmann created is a logical, scientific narrative of what an island full of fully functioning autistic humans might be like. They are secluded. They are safe. They have no contact with an outside world, because there isn’t one (as far as they know). They like it that way, and if anyone starts being too social, or illogical, or touchy feely. Well they might have to be retrained. This flip-flop of what we normally see in books made me happy and excited to read on. I really liked the interactions between our main character and her family and friends. They were written true to how someone with non-neurotypical tendencies might speak and react, which I really appreciated.

This book earned 3.5 dragons from me. Go check it out.

 

The Curse of Crow Hollow | A Review

The Curse of Crow Hollow

By Billy Coffey

Published in 2015

Thomas Nelson Publishing

Summary:

With the “profound sense of Southern spirituality” he is known for (Publishers Weekly), Billy Coffey draws us into a town where good and evil—and myth and reality—intertwine in unexpected ways.

Everyone in Crow Hollow knows of Alvaretta Graves, the old widow who lives in the mountain. Many call her a witch; others whisper she’s insane. Everyone agrees the vengeance Alvaretta swore at her husband’s death hovers over them all. That vengeance awakens when teenagers stumble upon Alvaretta’s cabin, incurring her curse. Now a sickness moves through the Hollow. Rumors swirl that Stu Graves has risen for revenge. And the people of Crow Hollow are left to confront not only the darkness that lives on the mountain, but the darkness that lives within themselves.

“Coffey spins a wicked tale . . . [The Curse of Crow Hollow] blends folklore, superstition, and subconscious dread in the vein of Shirley Jackson’s ‘The Lottery.’”

—Kirkus Reviews

 

Review:

I picked this up on Christmas Day, when I was in the mood for a thriller that would sweep me through the story and send tingles up and down my spine. Unfortunately, this was not that type of book. The narrator’s voice was confusing and wandered back and forth in time on a few occasions. The story meandered and took until 3/4 of the way through to really pick up and get exciting. I did, however, enjoy the look at small town beliefs and the type of people who inhabit such places and beliefs.

While the story is slow and slightly confusing at times, I did enjoy the journey and give this an overall rating of 3.25 dragons. If you like books dealing with secrets, lies, and demons…this is something you might want to pick  up!

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*

Blog Tour: Soul Blade by Aaron Hodges

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Title: Soul Blade

Author: Aaron Hodges

Series: The Sword of Light Trilogy

Genre: Epic Fantasy/Sword and Sorcery

Release Week Price: $0.99

Page count: 300 pages

Soul Blade Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Soul-Blade-Sword-Light-Trilogy/dp/0473375184/

Giveaway: http://blog.ravenpublicity.com/giveaways/sciencefiction-fantasy-win-3-paperbacks-giveaway-kindle-amreading/

Website: http://www.aaronhodges.co.nz

Soul Blade Excerpt Link: https://1drv.ms/b/s!AiW-Qzg6KJmRgbp3yl1h_Rh42xWgcw

Synopsis:

The Three Nations are crumbling.

Darkness is gathering.

And only Eric remains to stand against it.

 

Eric stumbles through the wilderness, searching, hunting – desperate for sign of his sister. But the girl is gone, stolen away by the power of the Soul Blade. With each passing hour its hold on her tightens, her spirit fading before the onslaught of its magic. If he cannot save her soon, it will claim her soul. And he will have to kill her.

 

Meanwhile, Gabriel is locked in the cells beneath Ardath. The darkness presses in around him, absolute, suffocating. Time, hope, sanity, all have long since slipped beneath the waves of his despair. Only it remains – the unrelenting voice of the demon. It haunts the darkness, tempting him with promises of freedom.

How long can he resist its call?

 

Author Bio:

Aaron Hodges was born in 1989 in the small town of Whakatane, New Zealand. He studied for five years at the University of Auckland, completing a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Geography, and a Masters of Environmental Engineering. After working as an environmental consultant for two years, he grew tired of office work and decided to quit his job and see the world. During his travels he picked up an old draft of a novel he once wrote in High School – titled The Sword of Light – and began to rewrite the story. This book, Soul Blade, marks the final conclusion of that epic tale.

author-picture

 

Fans of Aaron can signup for updates and special offers at:

aaronhodges.co.nz/newsletter-signup/

 

 

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*

Idioms from Around the World

9781607749332

This short, illustrated book of idioms from around the world includes a description of each word’s etymology, origin, and meaning for both the language of origin and English terms. The descriptions by Ella Frances Sanders are well done and interesting, but the illustrations steal the show! If you enjoy learning about word play, idioms from other languages, or just fun trivia you should definitely check out this book!

5 out of 5 dragons to this little knowledge fest.

*I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review*

 

What is “Diversity?”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t usually think of skin color/ethnicity/sexual orientation when I hear the word “Diverse.” What I DO think about are things like genre, country of origin, is it original or trope-ful, target audience, etc. Apparently that’s not what most people think of, however, because they start talking about the ‘other’ things…i.e. color, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. So here are my two cents, I expect most of you will disagree with me and (PSA) I’m not particularly sorry about it. I hope you have your own opinions. I will continue to adore you whether or not you agree with me. Moving on:

  1. I’m all for proper representation of minorities…white women are becoming a minority (at least where I’m from) so don’t roll your eyes at my white protagonist.
  2. I have no problem with most people’s sexual orientations. Yes, I said most because there are some orientations that I just can’t figure out or wrap my mind around. However, I don’t want to always read about something I’m not a part of just because it makes me ‘more diverse’
  3. I do believe that reading across genres and age levels is part of reading diversely.
    1. I do NOT believe that reading in one genre and age level will allow you to be properly diversified.
  4. If you don’t think about country of origin for the story and/or characters then the diversity falls a bit flat (in my opinion)
  5. If a character is NOT specified as being white, don’t complain about “all those white chicks/characters” in literature. Guess what…I know a lot of ethnic people (male and female) with blond or red hair. Welcome to the age of discount drug store hair dyes and cheap(ish) eye color changing contacts.

Ok, this has been slightly rambly and soap boxy…but I did try to keep that to a minimum. What do you think about all this? Am I wrong? (I’m not…but you’re probably not wrong either).

The Way You Feel Book Tag (Recommendations)

Hello my Literary Lovelies! I saw this tag done as a BookTube video last week and thought that the questions were incredibly interesting. The more I thought about them, the more I wanted to answer them…So I decided to do that through this blog and let you all join me! The originator of the tag is linked down below, I hope you will visit both Liz and Sam’s channels.

And now, without further ado, I present to you….*fanfare…drumroll**

THE WAY YOU (MAKE ME) FEEL BOOK TAG:

1)      You’ve just spent the last 3 months reading nothing but hyped books. Burn out has set in. Try this unique book to cool you down…

I love to read children’s books with my daughter to break up the burn out and if I’m choosing one of those for this answer, I have to go with Shannon Thompson’s the Princess in Black series. So cute, fun, and unique. Like Zorro with a unicorn and frills.

However, if I’m going with a MG and up book, I’d probably have to choose The Young Wizards Series By Diane Duane.

2)      Work was a complete drag and you need to get lost in another world. Check this out…A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin. I am currently reading this and it sucks me into a world of wars and intrigue every time I open the book.

 

3)      Are you seeking a book with epic twists & turns? If you want to be shocked, look no further than… Skullduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy. Seriously! I almost used this on both of the previous questions but this book series is full of double crosses, surprise friendships, random twists, and epicness. These are dark MG books that, at times, read like an adult fantasy in the best way possible. Read them. Read them all. Read them now. Just read them!

 

4)      Summer will be over before you know it and you need a nice cozy read. I love to read the Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien in the fall. I don’t know what it is about them, but I feel as though those books are amazingly cozy for adventure fantasy books. I also like to read the classics around fall/winter times so Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) and Little Women (and also anything else) by Louisa May Alcott

 

5)      Your Booktube friends are so far away. You really need a great friendship book right about now. Here you goAnne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery is one of my all-time favorite friendship books. I also love MG/YA friendship reads like the Babysitter’s Club Books and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

 

I hope that you have enjoyed seeing my answers to this tag! The original tag was created by Liz over at the blog Let’s Book About It and I snagged it off of the BookTube channel Sam’s Nonsense. You should definitely go check them both out. I will be posting the new ‘fall’ tag from Liz sometime soon as well because…FALL IS AWESOME AND BOOKS ARE AMAZING AND PUMPKINS MAKE ME HAPPY. *ahem* sorry about that, I got a bit excited. ;P

 

If you would like to let us know your responses or chat about any of mine, please feel free to leave a comment! Have a wonderful week and enjoy some words.