Monday, September 29, 2014

Book for Your Video Game Loving Child

Ok, truth time.  I don't love all the books that I recommend, but I do try and recommend books that will get kids excited about reading.  Somedays, like today, I find a book that kids will love, parent's won't object to but that didn't really do anything for me.  So be it.  My job is not give you the books I can't live without, but to give your kids books that will develop their love of reading.

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Title:       Game Over, Pete Watson

Author:  Joe Schreiber

Target:   Grade 4-6

Series:    No

What this book is about: 
Pete loves video games, and what a surprise … his parents are less than thrilled.  When the new Brawl-A-Thon 3000 comes out, Pete just has to have it, but his bank account is a little low on funds.  With his parent’s out of the house he decides to stage a garage sale of all the old things they no longer use to get more cash.  However, when he sells his dads old CommandRoid 85, a video console from the 80s, to a rather shady looking character, strange things start to happen.  Could there be more to this old console than meets the eye? 

Why I love this book: 
Ok, let me say first off that I did not love this book, but your video game loving son will.  It has all the silly jokes and level ups that make this a read perfect for kids who would rather be gaming.  For an adult, this book is less than stellar, but we are definitely not the target audience.  Nothing objectionable here, it is just meant for a 4-6 grade boy.

The one thing I did enjoy were the video references to the 80s, when I grew up.  Yes, I was the proud owner of Pong and my video games looked just as ancient.  Oh the memories.

Who this book is for: 
I think we have that covered, but to repeat, video game loving boys.

Final thoughts: 
The only thing better than playing video games is reading a book about playing video games!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Game Over, Pete Watson  A portion of each purchase will go back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Friday, September 26, 2014

What Kid Can Resist a Ninja?

The book I am sharing today is for any girl who wants to be a ninja master.   Oh, and its funny, action packed and entertaining to boot.

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Title:       Ninja Red Riding Hood

Author:  Corey Schwartz

Target:   Preschool - Grade 2

What this book is about: 
This book follows the very successful The Three Ninja Pigs.  Now that the pigs have taught the other animals ninja skills, the wolf has not been able to scare up a satisfying meal.  He secretly takes classes in martial arts to even the playing field, and then conveniently runs into Little Red Riding Hood.  When Red discovers the wolf is impersonating grandma, she is ready to battle and her ninja skills save the day.  The defeated wolf decides to become a vegetarian and takes up yoga to handle the stress!

Why I love this book: 
Once again Schwartz has turned a classic fairytale into a ninja tushy kicking adventure story.  The story is told in rhyme which keeps a nice flow, even through the battle scenes.

Of course the gorgeous artwork of Dan Santat makes the narrative come alive.  His illustrations are bold, colorful, funny and extremely appealing.  This is probably why he is in constant demand!

Who this book is for: 
Great for kids who like action and humor in their picture books.

Final thoughts: 
Little Red Riding Hood is no shrinking violet.  She is a wolf wrangling ninja master!

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Ninja Red Riding Hood  A portion of each purchase will go back to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Fun Mystery For Kids

Today's book is focused on how to steal a fortune.  I know that as parents you want the best for your kids.  You want them to acquire all the skills that will make them successful in this challenging world we live in.  This book is guaranteed to help them run the perfect con, to work as part of a well oiled crew and to scale buildings with only the aid of a curtain (ok, maybe I made that last one up.)  See, your parenting job is not done until you give your kids this book.  Now they are set for life.

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Title:       Loot:How to Steal a Fortune

Author:  Jude Watson

Target:   Grade 4-7

Series:   I do not know if there will be more books

What this book is about: 
When Alfie McQuin, master thief, falls to his death in Amsterdam, he leaves behind a son March to whom he has taught all his tricks of the trade.  His dying words are to “find jewels.” but unfortunately March is shipped off to a group foster home before his search has even begun. As luck would have it, the twin sister he never knew is also placed in the foster home.  They have both inherited their fathers “talents” so after recruiting two other foster kids they are off on an adventure to find the jewels promised by their dad in his dying breath.  However, there are a few bad guys in their way who would like nothing better than to see this gang of kids fail!

Why I love this book: 
Ok, who doesn’t love a good heist story?  It is great book full of successful cons, scheming villains and action around every corner.  As the kids have to work to collect seven moonstones scattered around the globe, they must use their most cunning skills to outwit the jewel owners and stay ahead of the bad guys, and they’re just kids.  What could be better?

Who this book is for: 
Perfect book for kids who like action where they are the heroes.

Final thoughts: 
Make sure to secure your valuables after your kids have read this one.  They may outwit you for great financial gain!

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

Monday, September 22, 2014

Eliza Boom Is an Explosive Early Chapter Book

Today we get the joy of an early chapter book.  I am always on the hunt for great books to keep kids reading as their skills are developing.  This is a wonderful time to cultivate a love of books.  Suck them in early and you have a reader for life!

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Title:       Eliza Boom:My Explosive Diary

Author:  Emily Gale

Target:   Grade 1-3

Series:    Yes

What this book is about: 
Eliza is an inventor, whose inventions have a history of, how shall I say  … exploding onto the scene.  Of course her father is an inventor who works for spies, so it is a family skill - that Eliza still needs to perfect.  When she accidentally gives the class bully a top secret roll of film, which she thinks is a ribbon, she has to get it back or her father could loose his job.  Leave it to Eliza and her new friend Amy, to keep inventing things to retrieve the ribbon.  Can she improve her inventions in time to keep the film out of enemy hands?

Why I love this book:  
I always like it when girls are portrayed as inventors.  Eliza is full of good ideas that she can’t wait to implement.  Of course, I am also reminded of another great inventor early chapter series, Franny K. Stein, which is so well done.  

I like the friendship that Eliza forges with Amy after the class bully intimidates them.  It shows kids that they are not alone.  Eliza’s voice is fun and energetic and she will appeal to a lot of readers.

Who this book is for:  
Plenty of pictures on each page make this book accessible for newly independent readers.

Final thoughts: 
A nice entrant into the early chapter book genre.  This series originally appeared in England, so it is a lovely import.

To purchase this book:
Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: My Explosive Diary (Eliza Boom)   A portion of each purchase will go to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Gaston is a Delight of a Picture Book

It's picture book time.  This book caught my eye from just observing the cover.  The artwork by Christian Robinson is delightfully enchanting and a treat to page through.  Paired with a lovely story, this book is a whimsical read.

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Title: Gaston

Author:Kelly DiPucchio

Target:Preschool - Grade 2

What this book is about: 
Gaston, looking very much like a bulldog, is a puppy in a new littler of poodles.  He is taught to be a proper pooch and works very hard to please his adoring family.  However a trip to the park quickly reinforces that a mistake has been made somewhere, when a new litter of bulldogs has one puppy that looks exactly like a poodle.  The two puppies trade places, and while they look like they belong, they do not feel right at all.  When the chance comes to switch back, they realize that their original family is home, despite how it may look on the outside.  

Why I love this book: 
First off the illustrations by Christian Robinson are gorgeous.  The muted colors and adorable pooches are brought to life in this story.  

I  also like the message for kids.  They may occasionally feel like the black sheep of a family, but home is where they belong.  This would also be a lovely story for kids who are adopted to see that having them as part of the family feels just right even though they may look a little different from the other members.

Who this book is for: 
Great for all kids.  A lovely story with humor and a serious cute factor.

Final thoughts: 
I really enjoyed DiPucchio’s Crafty Chloe so I was looking forward to this book.  It did not disappoint.

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

Thursday, September 18, 2014

5,000 Awesome Facts ... Yes 5,000




Title:     5,000 Awesome Facts (About Everything!) (National Geographic Kids)

Author: National Geographic Kids

There isn't much of a review I can give of this book, other than to let you know it is out there.  If you have a child that goes gaga for random trivia facts listed at nauseum, then this is the book for them.

Your child will learn:

The largest s'more ever made used 40,000 marshmallows

Scientists have invented a clock that is powered by dead flies

97 percent of water on earth is undrinkable

and 4,997 other things to amaze and thrill you both.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sisters is a Funny Graphic Novel for Kids

Smile is such a wonderful graphic novel, it is nice to see Raina Telgemeier share more of her story with her new offering.  In this companion book she is looking at the relationship between sisters, which is quite funny when you are not one of the sisters.  Her honest observations about family life will have kids and adults chuckling with a knowing smile!  Check out the book trailer at the end of the post.

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Title:       Sisters

Author:  Raina Telgemeier

Target:   Grades 3-7

Series:    Yes

What this book is about:  
In this companion novel to Smile, Telgemeier is exploring the complicated relationship between sisters.  The book adeptly moves from past to present showing us the early years when Raina desperately wanted a little sister to - flash forward - when they can’t get through a conversation without pushing each others buttons.  In this story, Raina and her family are taking a road trip to a family reunion and it shows us how all the drama on the trip is rooted in relationships that developed from when they were very young.  

Why I love this book: 
I may never have had a sister, but the truth about family dynamics is honestly revealed in this book.  I couldn’t help but see myself and my kids time and time again.  I have to admit it is a lot funnier to see them play out in someone else's family!  I was constantly smiling with a knowing understanding at this book.

As in Smile, Raina is a likable and relatable character, so kids will warm to her and her struggles.  They will also see the fights and triumphs they deal with every day play out in this story which will make it all that more relatable.   On top of that the book is just charming and funny. 

Who this book is for:  
Any girl who has a family, especially a sibling, will be able to relate and laugh at this story.  While the subject matter is deep, the delivery is deftly done and the story will appeal to kids on many levels depending on the reader’s age.  You do not have to have read Smile to enjoy this story.

Final thoughts: 
My daughter stopped asking for a sister after reading this book.  A girl cousin is just fine for her now.  Also, I loved the references to a walkman, a little blast from my past!  

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