Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Book for Kids Who Love Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Let the Christmas countdown continue!  If you are still hunting for gifts to give the kiddos on your list, well you have come to right place.

It is hard to find a kid who has not succumbed to the charms of The Wimpy Kid series, so if they need a new book to devour, how about one that features a troll - in middle school?  Now don't worry, I wouldn't steer you wrong.  This is a twisted take on the fairytales that any kid who loves to laugh will enjoy.

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest for all the books where a troll can maybe, just maybe, be the hero of middle school.  I said maybe!

Title: Life of Zarf

Author:Rob Harrell

Target:Grades 3-7

Series: This is the first book in a planned series

What this book is about: 
Zarf is a troll who is doing his best to survive middle school.  This school is ruled by the princes and princess followed a close second by your knights and fair maidens.  Of course your wizards and witches are bit geeky but trolls, well they are on the bottom rung.  An incident between Zarf and Prince Roquefort leads to a duel (with nerf lances of course) and it ends up landing Zarf in the dungeons.  The only way restore his dignity is to find the king (who has mysteriously disappeared) but Zarf is not exactly the brave and noble type, or is he?

Why I love this book: 
This book has been described and Shrek meets Wimpy Kid, and an apt description it is.  Zarf is appealing and hysterical as he tries to make the best of his rather low social standing.  Of course when you have friends such as the jester’s son, who can’t tell a joke and the little pig who can’t get enough mutton, well the laughs keep coming.   I can’t imagine a kid not giggling through this one.

You also have to read this book if you want to know the fate of Goldilocks!  Can anyone say lunch lady?

Who this book is for: 
Kids who like Wimpy Kid will eat this one up.  Large type, appropriate content and pictures throughout make this book suitable for younger readers as well as middle school kids.

Final thoughts:
I love the fairytale twist to this story.  But with ogres and dragons, don’t worry, this isn’t Cinderella!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Life of Zarf: The Trouble with Weasels  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Picture Book to Make Kids Laugh

The countdown to Christmas continues and today I want to share a book for some of the younger kids on your list.  When you give a book at the holidays, it needs to be a showstopper to compete with all the toys under the tree.  With a book titled Naked! you will certainly catch their attention.  Guaranteed!

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Title: Naked

Author: Michael Ian Black

Target: Preschool - Kindergarten

What this book is about: 
I would like to say the title says it all, but I will give you a little more!  Our main character gets out of the bath and loves to run around, you guessed it, naked.  Then inspiration strikes and he realizes that being naked with a cape is even better.  There is only one thing that can truly motivate him to get dressed for bed, can you guess?  Well you didn’t think I was going to spoil the fun and tell you?

Why I love this book: 
I love funny books and this one had me chuckling from the first page.  This boy’s pure joy at running around in the buff is hysterical.  The illustrator Debbie Ohi perfectly captures the delight and frenzy of a little boy after bath time. 

Of course, every parent reading the story will notice the harried mother in the background trying to manage the going to bed ritual.  It is captured with both humor and exasperation.  Every child will see their last burst of energy before the inevitable occurs - sleep.  

Just to note, no private parts are shown in this story.  They are creatively covered with the placement of a foot, paper or yes, cape.

Who this book is for: 
Funny book for most kids.  I think just the naked running will have kids laughing from the start.

Final thoughts: 
Please don’t blame me if you kids start enjoying their time in the buff a little more after this entertaining book.  

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Naked!  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Friday, December 12, 2014

If You Buy One Christmas Book This Year ...

This is the one!

My favorite thing when the kids were young was to put out a book basket filled with holiday themed books about three weeks before Christmas.  The kids only saw them once a year, so they were always exciting and it provided what felt like new reading material even though the books were recycled from year to year (and even from my childhood!)

However, I always tried to add one or two new stories to spice up the selections.  If my kids were still in that phase, the book I am profiling today would have, without a doubt, earned a coveted spot in the basket this year.

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest for all the must have Christmas books for the holidays.  There are so many out there, how else do your chose?

Title:Here Comes Santa Cat

Author:Deborah Underwood

Target:Anyone who loves Christmas stories

What this book is about: 
Our funny cat is at it again.  This year he is afraid that Santa won’t bring him any presents because he has been a lot more naughty than nice.  He tries, with little success, to make up for his disobedient ways by caroling, delivery gifts to kids and decorating the town Christmas tree.  However, his less than melodic voice, the gift of fish and an incident with the Christmas lights thwart his best efforts. It is not until he performs an unexpected act of kindness that Santa makes him his helper and he is off to a wonderful holiday.

Why I love this book: 
Cat is extremely funny and kids will laugh at all his ill fated antics.  I especially enjoy the conversation between the narrator and the cat.  The comedic timing is perfect and the way Claudia Rueda captures cat’s expressive facial expressions is priceless.  Since cat doesn’t talk, their conversation is a series of “looks” and signboards which are extremely clever.

Who this book is for: 
All kids will enjoy this one. but only if they like clever, funny holiday books.  You have been warned.

Final thoughts: 
It’s never too late to start being nice.  Just ask the Grinch … and cat!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Here Comes Santa Cat  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Early Chapter Book for Girls

Fun early chapter book alert, and just in time for Christmas ... what luck!  If you have a girl who loves to be a frilly princess by day and a ninja princess by night, do I have the book for you.  Clever text and wonderful illustrations make this the perfect early chapter book for girls.

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest for all the early chapter books that make monster wrangling followed by a spot of hot chocolate the most delightful way to spend a day.

Title: The Princess in Black

Author: Shannon Hale

Target:Kindergarten - Grade 3

Series:This book is the first in a planned series

What this book is about: 
Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate with the Duchess when her secret monster alarm rings.  Princesses are supposed to be prim and proper, however, you can’t be that prim and proper when you are fighting a monster!  Princess Magnolia carefully slips away to transform into the Princess in Black, a girl with courage and moxie who can take on whatever our big blue monster can dish out.  She saves the day, never letting others in on her transformation.

Why I love this book: 
Of course a book where the girl gets to be lovely, lacy and all in pink and also the girl in black who can hog-tie a monster is just perfect.  And she never looses her tiara.  I love the appeal to girls who are normally very frilly that they too can have a bolder side.  

The illustrations by LeUyen Pham are absolutely charming and make the characters so likable.  The text is comical, so there are some good laughs.

If you took a Disney princess and shook it up in a bag with a superhero, you would get the Princess in Black.  

Who this book is for: 
Great for newly independent readers.  There are pictures on every page and large type.  It would also be a good read aloud.

Final thoughts: 
I got to see some of the artwork for the next book in the series and it is delightful.  Princesses from around the world bring some diversity into this new offering from Shannon Hale.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Princess in Black  A portion of each purchase will go back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.


Monday, December 8, 2014

Book for Your Sports Loving Son

Christmas is coming and you need some gifts that will be home runs.  Well, look no further because today I have a great book for boys who love the game of baseball.  This new series by Derek Jeter shares many of the values he imbibed during his long career and I appreciate that he sharing them with kids.

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest so you won't miss any of the books that will hit it out of the ballpark.  I really do have to stop myself.

Title: The Contract

Author: Derek Jeter

Target: Grades 3-7

Series: This is the first book in a planned series

What this book is about: 
These books are about Jeter and his experiences in Little League.  This particular book focuses on an essay he writes in English about his plans for the future.  He writes about wanting to be the shortstop for the New York Yankees.  His parents take him seriously and put together a contract for him to sign.  The contract outlines how he needs to conduct himself in order to reach his goals.  The contract is tested when baseball gets in the way of his schoolwork, when he finds himself at second base instead of shortstop on his little league team and when his team proves initially not to be the most successful.

Why I love this book: 
I really liked the baseball sequences in this story.  They were exciting and I got completely caught up in the game.  I also liked hearing about the friendships and team dynamics with boys.

The big draw for parents are the life lessons in the book.  Life is not always fair, even for Derek Jeter, so it is up to each kid to do the best they can with what life hands them.  Umpires are not always right, but you must always respect them.  Homework matters, even though it gets in the way of baseball.  And you may not always like what the coach does, but you are a member of the team, so act that way.  Great way to reiterate what you are always telling your kids.

If I have one fault with the book it is that Derek is almost too positive sometimes.  I thought a blowout was probably in order at least once in the story, but Derek remains on the right side throughout.  

Finally, Derek Jeter is such a wonderful role model for kids that I have no hesitation giving them this book.

Who this book is for:
Great for any kids who love baseball.

Final thoughts: 
The co-author Paul Mantell has written for the Matt Christopher series so he is well adept at writing sports books.  That makes this offering quite strong.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Contract (Jeter Publishing)  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Book for Your Child Obsessed With Percy Jackson

The holidays keep getting closer, but don't worry, I'm here to help you with great books you can put under the tree.  If your son or daughter has flipped for the Percy Jackson series, then you can't miss this latest from Rick Riordan.

These greek myths are recounted the same way you would share family memories, peppered with personal comments and humorous anecdotes.  For every kid who wants to know more about the greek gods, this book is a must have!

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest for all the books that share your favorite family stories, if your family happens to be a group of Titans.

Title:Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods

Author:Rick Riordan

Target:Grades 4 and up

What this book is about: 
Well, this is a book that recounts the stories of the greek gods.  Percy Jackson is the narrator and he brings wit, honesty and a little sarcasm to the myths as he shares an insiders view to how it all began and recounts some of his favorite stories … I mean family memories.

Why I love this book:  
I have always solidly been in the D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths camp.  This was the book of greek myths I grew up with and shared with my oldest son.  He devoured it the same way I had.  However, call me a convert.  I absolutely love this new version by Rick Riordan.

This book reads as though Percy Jackson is hanging out at your house telling you some family stories from the past - with plenty of color commentary.  I was drawn in immediately because of the tone of the stories and enjoyed them all over again, even though they were not new to me. 

Also the book has beautiful illustrations by John Rocco, it is oversized and feels extremely impressive.

Who this book is for: 
Any kids obsessed with greek myths after reading Percy Jackson must have this book in their library.  Also, if you have been itching to get your kids into mythology I absolutely guarantee that this book will delight them and peak their interest.

Final thoughts: 
Because of the impressive size of this book, it would make a great Christmas or Hanukkah gift that kids would actually want to read!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Percy Jackson's Greek Gods  A portion of each purchase will go back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Books for Your Fashionista

With the holidays around the corner it is time to get you gift giving hat on, but in this case make sure that it is on trend!  If you have a teen/tween with a fashion bent, then today I have a wonderful series that she would be delighted to see under the tree.

In fact, this series is only the beginning.  Make sure to stop over to see Ask Suzanne Bell.  She has a plethora of great gift ideas for your tween girl.  With her help your holiday shopping may just be over in one stop.  And they say teen girls are hard to shop for - but not with this fashionista's advice in your back pocket.

Don't forget to Follow One Great Book on Facebook, Twitter, Google + and Pinterest for all the great gifts for tween girls.  And stop by Suzanne's bog, but only if you want to get your girls gifts they will enjoy.

Title:The Allegra Biscotti Collection

Author:Olivia Bennett

Target:Grades 5-8

Series:Yes

What this book is about: 
Emma loves to design outfits.  In her spare time she sews her creations at her father’s lace warehouse.  When the fashion editor from a high end magazine accidentally sees and falls in love with her work, Emma invents a sophisticated designer, Allegra Biscotti as the creator of the dresses.  When the editor promotes her work in the magazine, the lies Emma must tell go deeper and deeper.  Can she make it all work, or will her schoolwork and friendships suffer as a result?

Why I love this book: 
My favorite part of the book was Emma’s attitude about clothes.  I love how she has a fresh and independent perspective and it made me look at my own choices in a new light.  She sees fashion as art and a mixture of textures and story telling.  I think this will give kids a new take on their own fashion decisions.

I also liked Emma’s issues with her best friend Holly.  Holly is making new friends that aren’t quite a fit with Emma.  How they both deal with this felt real and it is an issue lots of girls face.

Who this book is for: 
Any girl obsessed with Project Runway will immediately fall in love with this book.  But the book is also great for girls with an artistic leaning, who like to create art in many forms.

Final thoughts: 
I just adored the smaller fashion illustrations scattered throughout the story.  I always say that books for bigger kids should have great pictures, and these drawings are absolutely charming.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: The Allegra Biscotti Collection  A portion of each purchase goes back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.