Thursday, August 3, 2017

Review: SUPER SAURUS SAVES KINDERGARTEN by Deborah Underwood (C)


Written by Deborah Underwood
Illustrated by Ned Young
Release date: June 27th, 2017
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Format read: Hardcover


SUMMARY

Arnold has a plan.

The evil genius Zorgo - disguised as Mr. Zachary - will never stop him.
That's because Arnold is...
SUPER SAURUS!

No kindergarten in the universe can hold him. 

Or can it?


MY REVIEW

There are so many amazing facets to this book!!!

Arnold aka Super Saurus is making plans and packing his things up to escape Kindergarten - he is convinced that his teacher will be the Evil Genius who will feed the school kids to his pet T-Rex! And Arnold is determined to take on his Super Saurus persona to save all of his classmates... When Arnold meets his teacher and introduces himself as Super Saurus, it is quite clear that they will have quite an adventurous day! 

The great thing about this picture book is that it not only shows Arnold as Super Saurus trying to do what Super Saurus should do to take precautions with his new teacher and surroundings, but it also lets the readers know that one has the right to feel what they feel when they need to feel it... Arnold is anxious and hesitant, but as the day goes on, his teacher continues to not only help Arnold feel safe in school by giving Arnold the reassurance he needs, he also doesn't push him to immediately follow along nor does he exclude him from any of the activities that the rest of the class are doing. Not all children are ready to go to school when they have to; some are anxious and scared, for some it is the first time they in such a setting without a loved one close by. It is so important to allow children to adjust in their own time.

Another wonderful thing about this story is its illustrations - they are so bright, engaging, inviting, funny and amazing! The pictures were so vivid my almost 4 year old kept touching the pages thinking he would be able to feel the texture... Arnold's crayon drawings on the end-pages are our favorite! 

And by the end of the book, Arnold is quite happy with how his day went and is excited to go back... as Arnold!

I highly recommend this for the little one in your life who is either hesitant, excited or over-confident to starting any type of school setting! It will definitely help get the nervous jitters out and give everyone a good happy vibe and even laugh out loud!


*This book was sent to me from the publisher, Disney-Hyperion, for free in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts here are my own.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Deborah Underwood

Deborah Underwood has written numerous picture books, including Interstellar Cinderella, Part-time Princess, and the New York Times best sellers Here Comes the Easter Cat, The Quiet Book, and The Loud Book!

LINKS: Goodreads / Website 


ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR - Ned Young

Ned Young is a self-taught painter and illustrator. 

He illustrated Jamie A. Swenson's Big Rig, and is the author and illustrator of the Zoomer series.

He lives in Brigham City, Utah.



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Review: A PATTERN FOR PEPPER by Julie Kraulis (C)


Written and illustrated by Julie Kraulis
Release date: August 1st, 2017
Published by: Tundra Books (NY)
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Format read: Hardcover


SUMMARY

Pepper is getting a dress made for a special occasion. It's the first dress that has ever been made just for her, and she wants it to be perfect. But what pattern is right for her?

Pepper is particular, and nothing works at first.
Dotted swiss? Too plain.
Houndstooth?
Not enough color.
Pinstripe?
Too glum.

As Pepper learns about each fabric, she finds a reason why it's just not the one. 

Will Pepper ever be able to find the perfect pattern?

Julie Kraulis takes readers on a journey through gorgeous patterns and their origins - from the mountains of Switzerland to the green grass of Scotland - in search of Pepper's ideal pattern. The incredible illustrations make for a dress, a character and a book that are impossible to forget.


MY REVIEW

It's not often that you come across a children's picture book that has so many amazing unique elements to it - it's soothing storytelling not only gives you the main character's good-natured adventure and are emotionally invested in the outcome, but you will also learn things that you will not soon forget! And when I say "you" I mean whomever is reading the book - whether you're a child, parent, teacher, etc.

In A PATTERN FOR PEPPER, Pepper is in need of a new dress for a special occasion so her mother takes her to their family tailor, who is conveniently named Mr. Taylor - which may have been done purposely for the young reader to remember and relate Mr. Taylor to his job as a tailor, but made me and my boys giggle at the coincidence... Mr. Taylor is determined to help Pepper find the perfect fabric for her dress and introduces her to many patterns - houndstooth, toile, argyle, and many others. With each pattern that is introduced to Pepper, Mr. Taylor explains what the fabric is, or why and how the pattern got it's name - very fun and informative! I've never given much thought to fabric patterns before, and as someone who comes from a long line of maternal seamstresses you'd think I would have known some of these! 

After a few patterns are introduced and Pepper answers as to why none of them would work for her, Mr. Taylor finally finds the perfect fabric for Pepper, and together, they design, cut, piece and sew the dress... in the end, we see Pepper wearing her beautiful new dress to her special occasion and the entire story falls into place... 

The illustrations are unbelievably remarkable - soft pencil drawings, and yet memorable and bold. It is hard to explain, but it is as if the illustrator poured their heart into each and every stroke of their pencil... and considering that this story was inspired by the author's mother and grandmother, I'm guessing that I may be right on this feeling... 

What I loved most about this book is that if you pay attention to ALL of the illustrations, Mr. Taylor's explanations and stories of each pattern and all the little details that one may miss the first time reading, there is underlying story that you can also piece together - and it is the sweetest thing to see how everything in this book ties together so beautifully! Which will make you want to re-read the story, over and over again to feel the love and warmth of it all. 

A definite favorite for those who love to sew, loves clothes, pattern, history or just a thoughtful and engaging story to share with someone they adore!


*A hardcover copy was sent to me by the publisher, Tundra Books, for an honest review.
All thoughts here are my own.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Julie Kraulis

Toronto-based author-illustrator Julie Kraulis is a stop and smell the roses kind of gal who loves to create. Her heritage is rich in clothes-makers - her mother and grandmother are both master sewers - which has inspired a lifelong interest in all things sartorial. While she loves patterns of every kind, her heart belongs to the Herringbone Club: the best place to find a good game of croquet. 

Julie is also the author and illustrator of Whimsy's Heavy Things, An Armadillo in Paris, and An Armadillo in New York



Blog Tour (Excerpt and Giveaway): THE WAY IT HURTS by Patty Blount (YA)


I am so very happy to be able to share with you today the release of another contemporary book by Patty Blount!

I have been reading and following Patty Blount since her debut of SEND was released back in 2012. She is a local Long Island author who usually uses NY as the settings to her stories; and who writes about real life teen topics that are very important and that everyone should read more about! 

"In Patty Blount's THE WAY IT HURTS, two teens' quest for fame goes terribly wrong when a single tweet goes viral and the online backlash follows them into real life. Fans of Gayle Forman's If I Stay will like how main characters Elijah and Kristen bond over their music in this edgy, real world contemporary young adult read that examines the impact social media has on the lives of today's youth."


by Patty Blount
Release date: August 1st, 2017
Published by: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Formats: Paperback (352 pages), eBook


SUMMARY

There may be two sides to every story, but sometimes there's only one way to set things right...

Music is Elijah's life. His band plays loud and hard, and he'll do anything to get them a big break. He needs that success to help take care of his sister, who has special needs. So he'd rather be practicing when his friends drag him to a musical in the next town... until the lead starts to sing.

Kristen dreams of a career on stage like her grandmother's. She knows she needs an edge to get into a competitive theater program - and being the star in her high school musical isn't going to cut it. The applause and the attention only encourage her to work harder. 

Elijah can't take his eyes off of Kristen's performance, and his swooning face is captured on camera and posted with an out-of-context comment. It goes viral. Suddenly, Elijah and Kristen are in a new spotlight as the online backlash spins out of control. And the consequences are bigger than they both could have ever imagined because these threats don't stay online... they follow them into real life. 


ADVANCED PRAISE FOR The Way It Hurts

"Blount writes authentically; both protagonists' voices are distinct. The author explores the rapidly consuming world of social media and how it affects relationships online and in real life. A relevant read and must-have for all YA collections.
- School Library Journal

"Elijah and Kristen's personal evolutions through the novel, along with their chemistry, feel as authentic as the conflicts they face. A genuine plot filled with steady tension that twill keep readers hooked." 
- RT Book Reviews 

"This book sensitivity covers topics such as sexism, handicapping conditions, communication, and ageism. Agency is also shown when Kristen says she wants to pursue studying in a conservatory rather than continue in the band and the three young men acknowledge her wish. Talking about what bothers us rather than trying to guess another person's feelings is demonstrated through the actions of the characters. The characters' issues are eventually resolved through hard work and understanding, making this an interesting and informative read." 
- School Library Connection 


EXCERPT


Elijah took my hands. "Okay, look. Maybe you're right. Maybe these people are taking this whole battle thing way too seriously. If you're scared, then we'll stop. No more posts except for appearance information."

"So no more battle of the sexes, no more make Kris scream?"

He held up his hand. "Swear to God."

"Okay." I sighed in relief. "You'd really do that?"

He leaned closer and repeated the vow. "I promise, Kris."

And just like that, I forgot why I was mad at him. I couldn't talk, couldn't breather, couldn't even blink because I was afraid he'd let go. This was the part of him I adored. I clung to him for a long moment, and when his gaze drifted to my mouth, I wondered if - hoped - prayed - he'd finally kiss me.

And then, Etta's voice suddenly spoke inside my head.

"Well, my God, darling, it's the twenty-first century. What on earth are you waiting for? You can kiss him." 

I could. Yes. Yes, I could just lift my head and lean in and kiss Elijah Hamilton like it was a normal, ordinary occurrence. 

Right. Like kidding Elijah Hamilton would ever be ordinary?

I'd watched him kiss that girl at the mall and was sure I'd memorized all the steps in his routine. He'd move in, grip m face between his hands, run his thumb along my jaw, and finally, glide his arm down around my body, pulling me against his own, all the while, peeking through his lashes to see if I enjoyed it. 

I wasn't sure when I decided - even what made me decide. I just touched my lips to his and waited.

it took a second or two. But then there was a sudden, tiny squeak from him, and I felt the pulse in his wrist leap under my fingertips.

And then, his hands were in my hair, angling my head just the way he liked it, his tongue brushing against mine, so soft it might have been my imagination,,, except imaginary kisses were never so intense. He kissed me like I was a song he wrote, lips wrapped around every word until it hummed with hidden meaning and promise, and his hands held me the way they held his guitar - like the music would stop if he let me go.

Copyright THE WAY IT HURTS by Patty Blount 2017


GIVEAWAY

Patty Blount is offering one (1) lucky winner a $50 Amazon Gift Card! 
To enter, simply fill out the Rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*Bumbles and Fairy-Tales will not be held responsible for any lost, damaged, unclaimed, etc. prizes.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Patty Blount 
Native New Yorker Patty Blount is the award-winning author of several critically acclaimed 'internet issues' novels for teens as well as a few adult contemporary romances. She is inspired to write by such greats as Judy Blume, J.K. Rowling, and Gayle Forman. In fact, Judy Blume is the reason Patty elected to write under her real name.. so she'd appear on shelves next to her idol. 

Patty adores writing; she's written everything from technical manuals to song lyrics (see THE WAY IT HURTS, coming August 2017). 

Patty wants you to know she loves chocolate... really, really loves chocolate. 

When not crushing on actors Gilles Marini or Sam Heughan, Patty can be found sitting in traffic somewhere on the Long Island Expressway, listening to audio books or talking wildly to herself about plots and characters. Prone to falling madly in love with fictional characters, Patty suffers frequent broken hearts when they all invariably prefer the heroine to her... go figure. 

When she's not writing, Patty loves to watch bad sci-fi movies and live tweet the hilarity, and scour Pinterest for ideas on awesome bookcases. 

Patty lives on Long Island with her family in a house that, sadly, lacks bookcases.



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