Wednesday, February 14, 2018

THIS IS NOT A VALENTINE by Carter Higgins / Book Review #ThisIsNOTAValentine

By: Carter Higgins
Illustrated by: Lucy Ruth Cummins
Published by: Chronicle Books
Released on: December 26th, 2017
Ages: 4 & older 
Purchase from: The Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets 
Thank you to the publisher for sending us a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review 

This book is not a valentine. It doesn't have lacey edges or sugary hearts. But it is full of lucky rocks, secret hiding spots, and gumball machine treasures. This is a book about waiting in line and wishing for cinnamon buns. About recognizing that if you care so much about someone not thinking you care, maybe you really do. But wait—isn't that exactly what love is about? Maybe this book is sort of a valentine after all. A testament to handmade, wacky, bashful, honest love—sure to win over the hearts of all readers—this offering from debut picture book author Carter Higgins and children's book veteran Lucy Ruth Cummins is the perfect gift to celebrate every relationship, from parent to child, sibling to sibling, partner to partner, crush to crush.

This is the perfect, NOT a Valentine, Valentine. It's the kind of not a Valentine that isn't store bought, or glamorized. Instead it's the real, every day kind of non-Valentine Day things that show you care about that certain someone. It's in the little details, and the things you notice about the other person likes. It's a book about friendship, giggles, secrets, imaginative play, having fun with that certain someone, sharing, and realizing that the feelings you have for someone you really care about go beyond just one day. It's every day. Whether in friendship or when you really fall in love with someone. 

This is the perfect NOT a Valentine, because this book isn't a Valentine book. It's a fun story with cute illustrations that makes you realize loving someone goes beyond what Valentine's Day has become. It's in the little, every day things you do with that someone special. Loving and deeply caring about someone goes beyond one day, though there isn't anything wrong with making them feel special on one day. That's not what this book is about. It's NOT about Valentine's Day, but it's definitely worth picking up on Valentine's Day, or any day after it. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

I AM HARRIET TUBMAN by Brad Meltzer / Blog Tour: Book Review #OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld

Welcome to the first stop in the I AM HARRIET TUBMAN blog tour, hosted by Penguin Kids. The, Ordinary People Change The World series is a fantastic series for young readers. It teaches them about iconic, historical people, and makes it relatable for their age. The newest releases in a series I highly recommend picking up, is one of our favorite historical heroines. 


Harriet Tubman's heroic and pivotal role in the fight against slavery is the subject of the fourteenth picture book in this New York Times bestselling biography series
This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great--the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. Each book tells the story of one of America's icons in a lively, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers and that always includes the hero's childhood influences. At the back are an excellent timeline and photos. This volume focuses on Harriet Tubman's brave heroism as part of the movement to abolish slavery. As one of the key players in the Underground Railroad, she helped enslaved African Americans escape and find freedom.

Another fantastic book is a series that's perfect for young readers, as much as it is for older readers. Like the rest of the books in this series, it takes readers back into the time period each of these iconic heroes lived in. It introduces readers to historical figures who were ordinary people, just like them, that did extraordinary things, just like they can do. 

I AM Harriet Tubman is one of our favorites. That may have to do with the fact that this is a women both my daughter and I greatly admired. She is the kind of woman that you want to aspire to be. Her story is one I am glad to see apart of this series. It's one that will hopefully inspire young readers to make the change they want to see made. Regardless of how scary that may be. 

Harriet Tubman is a woman who did extraordinary things. Her story is one that needs to be read, and taught. She's a true example of courage. She over came horrendous things, and did some of the most extraordinary things. She changed the world in which is was apart of, even if no one else thought it was possible. She's proof at how one person can and does make a difference. She never gave up, and in doing something so extraordinary, she saved countless people. 

Like the other books in this series, this is another incredible story that should be included in libraries, whether at home or school. Young readers will fall in love with history, and discover heroes and heroines who have done some really extraordinary thing. This is one book I highly recommend picking up!

Two of my favorite quotes from this book is:

"... You must follow your heart - your own North Star. It will always point you in the right direction."

"In every life, we face hard decisions. At those times, we can make the safe choice... or the right choice." 


Find out more about the series here. Later today, and through out the week I'll be spotlighting more of the books in this series, that I've not already reviewed. You can check out our 5 star reviews for the entire series here



Brad Meltzer is the New York Times bestselling author of Heroes for My SonHeroes for My Daughter, and a number of suspense novels like The House of Secrets. He is also the host of the History Channel television shows Brad Meltzer's Decoded and Brad Meltzer's Lost History. He lives in Florida with his wife and their three children.


Christopher Eliopoulos began his illustration career at Marvel Comics, and has worked on thousands of comics, including Cosmic Commandos (Summer 2017), Franklin Richards: Son of a GeniusPet Avengers, and Cow Boy, all of which he wrote and illustrated. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and their identical twin sons. 

February 12 – Mundie Moms – Review and Series Spotlight
February 13 – All Done Monkey – Learning Activity
February 14 – Payne Lover Reviews – Review
February 15 – Books and Giggles – Creative
February 16 – How Useful It Is – Review 
February 19 – InRandom – Review
February 20 – Gravity Bread – Review with language and learning tips and free printable for vocabulary expansion
February 21 – Coquette Maman – Review
February 22 – Swoony Boys Podcast – Mini Swoon: Kid's Review and Mom Review
February 23 – As We Bloom – Review

Friday, February 9, 2018

THE UNICORN QUEST by Kamilla Benko / Blog Tour: Book Review #TheUnicornQuest


By: Kamilla Benko
Published by: Bloomsbury
Released on: February 6th, 2018
Series: The Unicorn Quest #1
Ages: 8 & up
Purchase from: Amazon
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets
Thank you to Bloomsbury for providing an arc of this book in exchange for my honest review

Claire Martinson still worries about her older sister Sophie, who battled a mysterious illness last year. But things are back to normal as they move into Windermere Manor... until the sisters climb a strange ladder in a fireplace and enter the magical land of Arden. 

There, they find a world in turmoil. The four guilds of magic no longer trust each other. The beloved unicorns have gone, and terrible wraiths roam freely. Scared, the girls return home. But when Sophie vanishes, it will take all of Claire's courage to climb back up the ladder, find her sister, and uncover the unicorns' greatest secret.

An unforgettable, magical adventure. This is a fantasy story perfect for fans of magic, sibling relationships, and an unforgettable adventure to a whole new world. With mystery, danger, and betrayal, this is one middle grade fantasy readers will quickly fall in love with. 

This is the kind of story that makes you think 'what-if', and leave you wishing you had your own portal door to magical world. Benko's rich world building, paired with her heartbreakingly beautiful sister bond, adds a layer to this story that makes it feel real, and that anything is possible. With the unlikeliest of friends, terrible danger, a quest for answers, and unicorns, this story will keep readers hooked. 

This is a story that will leave readers feeling as though they themselves have emerged into a world that could be, and introduced them in characters who feel more like they could become your friends. This is the kind of book that keeps readers reading. We can hardly wait to read the next book in this series. 


"Fans of magic and fantasy, especially those who love Madeleine L'Engle's A WRINKLE IN TIME or the dark, creepy atmosphere of Neil Gaiman's CORALINE can't miss this debut."  - Booklist, Starred Review 

"Hand to readers who love NARNIA." - School Library Journal 

"An adventure-quest brimming with magic and heart, Benko reaches the child in all of us who secretly hopes that door is never just a door. Mesmerizing." - Roshani Chokshi, NYT bestselling author 

Friday, February 2, 2018

GROUNDHUG DAY by Anne Marie Pace / Book Review #GroundHugDay

By: Anne Marie Pace
Illustrated by: Christopher Denise
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: December 5th, 2017
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Moose is having a Valentine’s Day party, and all his friends are so excited! Everyone except Groundhog, that is. If Groundhog sees his shadow outside, he’ll hide in his hole for six more weeks and miss the party! Determined to help their friend join them, Moose, Squirrel, Bunny, and Porcupine put their heads together and come up with a plan. But will it be enough to get Groundhog out to play? This heartwarming picture book by the author of Vampirina Ballerina, with adorable illustrations by Christopher Denise, is sure to be a hit, whether readers are bursting for spring or snuggling up for six more weeks of winter.

A delightful mix match of holidays, this picture book is simply adorable! With lush and colorful illustrations, Groundhug Day is makes you feel as though you've gained some wonderful woodland friends. This is definitely a new favorite picture book of ours. 

Moose wants to have a Valentine's Day party, but worries about Groundhug seeing his shadow. As the woodland animals learn to work together, they discover there is a lot of fun in helping each other, and their friend, Groundhog. They throw party they won't forget, complete with fun activities even young readers can do. In the process, the woodland friends also help Groundhog over come his fear of shadows. Shadows can be a lot of fun, especially when making finger puppets. 

This picture book is a charming story about friendship, and one we absolutely loved reading. Paired with Pace's cute story, and Denise's adorable illustrations, readers will fall in love with a book they can enjoy on a cold winter's night as well as on a beautiful spring day. Definitely a must have! I'm not sure which I loved more, the story or the illustrations. Together they make this a book I'd highly recommend reading. 

Thursday, February 1, 2018

FESTIVAL OF COLORS by Surishtha Sehgal & Kabir Sehgal / Book Review #FestivalOfColors

By: Surishtha Sehgal & Kabir Sehgal
Illustrated by: Vashti Harrison
Published by: Beach Lane Books
Released on: January 30th, 2018
Ages: 3 & up
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review 

Learn all about Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors, in this lush picture book from bestselling mother/son duo Surishtha Sehgal and Kabir Sehgal.

Spring is here, and it’s almost time for Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors. Siblings Mintoo and Chintoo are busy gathering flowers to make into colorful powders to toss during the festival. And when at last the big day comes, they gather with their friends, family, and neighbors for a vibrant celebration of fresh starts, friendship, forgiveness, and, of course, fun!

This is a diverse, educational, and entertaining picture book for readers of all ages. It's adorable, brightly colored illustrations help create a book that leaves you feeling happier after reading it. It's incredibly easy to feel happy while reading a book about colors, flowers, family, and festivities. 

The Festival of Colors is a picture book about Holi, the Indian festival of colors. I knew nothing of this festival prior to reading this book, but love all that this festival represents. What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful festival. 

What a great read. This book is also great for pre-K to 2nd grade classroom use. Also helpful, included at the end this book are the author's notes telling readers more about the Festival of Colors. This is one picture book I'd recommend picking up.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

THE CAMELOT CODE: THE ONCE and FUTURE GEEK by Mari Mancusi / Cover Reveal

It's here! We're so thrilled to help reveal the cover for Mari Mancusi's upcoming release, THE CAMELOT CODE: The Once and Future Geek. This book will be released this coming October (2018) from Disney Hyperion. It sounds like such a good read too, but more on that below. First;


Isn't this a great cover? I'm loving it. I'm even more excited to read this book after reading what it's about. This sounds like a great middle grade read and one to definitely add to your lists. You can find out more about the book here.


Imagine a world without pepperoni pizza . . . 

When young Arthur of Camelot accidentally time-travels to the 21st century and Googles himself, he discovers the not-so-happily ever after in store for him once he pulls the sword from the stone. Yes, he’ll go from squire to sovereign basically overnight, but he’ll also lose the love of his life to his best friend and eventually die in battle. What’s a once-and-future king to do? Easy: stay in the future, where he’ll actually have a future—and join the football team instead. Unfortunately, this kind of puts a crimp in the universe’s timeline.

Now, with the help of the great wizard Merlin, modern-day gamer-geeks Sophie and Stu travel back to Camelot and find themselves in a race against time to get that sword pulled from the stone and the stubborn soon-to-be-king Arthur back to the past where he belongs. Complicating the plan? Lady Morgana—Arthur’s sister and greatest enemy—has traveled to the future as well, determined to take Arthur out and seize the throne. Can Sophie and Stu use their gaming abilities to defeat the evil Morgana and set the timeline right? With the very existence of their friendship, their families, and the world as they know it (including pepperoni pizza!) at stake, they’ll use every skill, power-up, and cheat code they know in their quest to save the day.  


Mari Mancusi always wanted a dragon as a pet. Unfortunately the fire insurance premiums proved a bit too large and her house a bit too small--so she chose to write about them instead. Today she works as an award-winning young adult author and freelance television producer, for which she has won two Emmys.

When not writing about fanciful creatures of myth and legend, Mari enjoys traveling, cosplay, snowboarding, watching cheesy (and scary) horror movies, and her favorite guilty pleasure—playing video games. A graduate of Boston University, she lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Jacob, daughter Avalon, and their two dogs.

Find Mari online: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

Monday, January 29, 2018

ELMORE by Holly Hobbie / Blog Tour: Book Review #Elmore

By: Holly Hobbie
Published byRandom House Books for Young Readers
To Be Released on: January 30th, 2018
Ages: 3 & up
Pre-Order from: Penguin Random House | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets 
Thank you to PRH for providing an arc of this book in exchange for my honest review

The creator of the Toot & Puddle series brings us Elmore–the warmhearted porcupine sure to steal the hearts of a new generation of Holly Hobbie fans!

Elmore is a porcupine desperate to make friends. But it is hard to seek closeness with others when you’re covered with spikes that shoot off your back every so often. Elmore suffers rejection and heartbreak, but the goodness of his forest community ultimately shines through as the animals find a way to connect with this prickly bundle of love.

Holly Hobbie is the creator of the beloved Toot & Puddle series and now brings us a character for the next generation. Just as charming, funny, and good-hearted as her little pigs, Elmore the porcupine will snuggle and prickle his way securely into the picture-book canon. 

This delightful story is a beautiful reminder of embracing the things that make you different. With her trademark charming illustrations, Holly Hobbie has created a new character for picture book readers to fall in love with. 

Elmore is a lonely porcupine who just wants to make friends. His quills put him at a disadvantage. Feeling down, and sad, he's reminded that his quills are what makes him a beautiful porcine. Feeling inspired, Elmore comes up with a creative way of making friends. In return, the woodland animals find a friend in him. 

With cute illustrations and an equally cute story, Elmore is a character readers of all ages with adore and fall in love with. Elmore's story is the perfect book to introduce Holly Hobby's newest generation of readers to. Having been a fan of her work when my oldest was younger, I am thrilled she has a new book out. 

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A CHANCE By Kobi Yamada / Book Review #WhatDoYouDoWithAChance

By: Kobi Yamada
Illustrated by: Mae Besom
Published by: Compendium Inc
Released on: December 26th, 2017
SeriesWhat Do You Do With A?
Ages: 4 & up
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets

The award–winning creators of The New York Times best sellers What Do You Do With an Idea? and What Do You Do With a Problem? return with a captivating story about a child who isn't sure what to make of a chance encounter and then discovers that when you have courage, take chances, and say yes to new experiences, amazing things can happen.

In this story, a child is visited by his first chance and unsure what to do with it, he lets it go. Later on, when a new chance arrives he reaches for it, but this time he misses and falls. Embarrassed and afraid, he begins ignoring each new chance that comes by, even though he still wants to take them. Then one day he realizes that he doesn't need to be brave all the time, just at the right time, to find out what amazing things can happen when he takes a chance…

The final addition to the award-winning What Do You Do With…? picture book series created by New York Times best selling author Kobi Yamada and illustrator by Mae Besom, What Do You Do With a Chance? inspires kids of all ages and parents alike to find the courage to go for the opportunities that come their way. Because you never know when a chance, once taken, might be the one to change everything.

Another fantastic book is a series I highly recommend picking up. Yamada has a way of writing a book that encourages kids to to not be afraid; of embracing their ideas, of facing their problems, and now, with overcoming their fears of taking a chance. His insightful writing, and engaging story is one that readers of all ages can take to heart. Mixed with Besom's beautiful illustrations, this book is one that we absolutely loved reading. 

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A CHANCE helps young readers realize that sometimes taking a chance is scary, but you can't let that fear become bigger than the excitement of having your chance. And if you happen to miss your chance or fail, it's okay. Get back up and try. Be ready for your next chance, and take it. 

One of the things I love about this series, is that with the idea, the problem, and now the chance, Yamada and Besom give these things a universal face without making them scary. They give each of the things something that inspires it's readers and helps them realize, both in the story and illustrations, that it's okay to having feelings of doubt, fear, insecurity, but don't let those feelings be bigger than the excitement and courage of embracing your idea, facing your fear, and taking your chance.

I highly recommend picking up this book, as well as the entire series. You can read my reviews for the first two books here.

Favorite quotes from this book: 

- "I now see that when I hold back, I miss out. And I don't want to miss out. There's just so much I want to see and do and discover." 

- " So, what do you with a chance? You take it .... because it just might be the start of something incredible."

Saturday, January 27, 2018

I'm Scared (My First Comics) By Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm / Book Review

By: Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm
Illustrated by: Matthew Holm
Published by: Penguin Random House
Released on: August 22, 2017
Ages: All Young Readers
Series: My First Comics
Add it to Goodreads
Purchase from: Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 5 Owlets - We loved it!
A copy of this book was provided by Penguin Random House in exchange for my honest review

The fourth board book in Matthew and Jennifer L. Holm's My First Comics series! I'm Scared teaches young children a simple lesson about overcoming fears and trying something new.

In I'm Scared, Chilly the snowflake is a real worrywart. He is scare of everything! The reassuring narrator in this simple, comic book-style board book gently shows Chilly that sometimes, to have fun, it is important to face your fears and try something new!

Matthew and Jennifer L. Holm are the bestselling creators of Babymouse and Squich, and Jennifer is the author of novels such as The Fourteenth Goldfish. The Eisner Award-winning siblings use panel frames, speech balloons, and thought bubbles to teach children how to read a story. Be sure to look for the other My First Comics Books: I'm Grumpy, I'm Sunny!, and I'm Silly!

Another great book in the My First Comics Series! I'm Scared is a quick and enjoyable read for any young reader. Following the fears of Chilly, the snowflake, may seem a little silly but most young readers will connect to his fearful emotions. We loved when Chilly finally decides to overcome those fears and make new friends and try something new. 

The pictures are creative, comedic and perfect for children. The comic-book style is engaging and also teaches emerging readers to read left to right and top to bottom. The word bubbles and sound effect words make this book fun for anyone to read. We love when books also are effective teachers, and the discussion of emotions in this series is great way to help children identify emotions. The book created an easy atmosphere into a discussion on what scares us and how can we be brave like Chilly. We enjoyed this read and we love the teachable moments from this book!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A PROBLEM? By Kobi Yamada / Book Review #WhatDoYouDoWithAProblem

By: Kobi Yamada
Illustrated by: Mae Besom
Published by: Compendium Inc
Released on: May 24th, 2016
Series: What Do You Do With A?
Ages: 4 & up
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets

What do you do with a problem? Especially one that follows you around and doesn't seem to be going away? Do you worry about it? Ignore it? Do you run and hide from it?

This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn't so sure what to make of it. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different than it appeared.

This is a story for anyone, at any age, who has ever had a problem that they wished would go away. It's a story to inspire you to look closely at that problem and to find out why it's here. Because you might discover something amazing about your problem… and yourself.

What are problems for? They challenge us, shape us, push us, and help us to discover just how strong and brave and capable we really are. Even though we don't always want them, problems have a way of bringing unexpected gifts.

So, what will you do with your problem? Now that's up to you.

We absolutely love this series. What Do You Do With A Problem is another fabulous picture book for readers of all ages. This book is perfect for young readers who are learning to navigate their own little worlds. With richly detailed illustrations, and engaging story, What Do You Do With A Problem, teaches it's readers, in an engaging way, how to face a problem and tackle it. 

My favorite quote from this book is: "Every problem has an opportunity for something good. You just have to look for it." 

While this book is geared towards young kids, this book is great for all readers. It tells the story of what you'll feel the first time you do have a problem, and while that problem might be scary, when you have the courage to face it, you'll discover your problem may not be what you first thought. This is definitely a must read, with great teaching techniques. This is one book we'd recommend picking up.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

MY LITTLE CITIES: SAN FRANCISCO & PARIS by Jennifer Adams / Book Review #MyLIttleCities

By: Jennifer Adams
Illustrated by: Greg Pizzoli
Published by: Chronicle Books
Released on: July 2017
Ages: All Ages
Series: My Little Cities
Add it to Goodreads
Purchase from: Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 5 Owlets - We loved it!
Thank you Chronicle Books for sending a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review

In this delightful series written by BabyLit author Jennifer Adams and illustrated by kidlit darling Greg Pizzoli, each book showcases a different city with sweet baby-appropriate text, ridiculously charming illustrations, and a light introduction to rhyme and opposites. High-chair travelers can explore the City by the Bay: cruise along the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, play with the sea lions at Pier 39, ride cable cars up steep hills, and have a picnic in lovely San Francisco.

With only a few words on each page, My Little Cities books take you on a tour through some of the top cities in the World. Exploring the top tourists places in each city, these amazing books highlight fun attractions to see in the city. Whether stopping on the Golden Gate Bridge, walking down Lombard Street or playing in front of the Eiffel Tower, these books are perfect for little travelers.

The bold pictures and fun images will engage children of all ages and the simple text is perfect for beginning readers or young children. The book contains a guide at the back to explain the importance of each location featured. We loved talking about some of the places we have visited and made some plans on future places to one day visit.

Whether an avid traveler, or a dreamer of traveling, this series is great way to engage children in discussions about cities around the world. We enjoyed learning and discovering new places. These small board books are perfect for taking on your next trip!


In this delightful series written by BabyLit author Jennifer Adams and illustrated by kidlit darling Greg Pizzoli, each book showcases a different city with sweet baby-appropriate text, ridiculously charming illustrations, and a light introduction to rhyme and opposites. High-chair travelers can take a whirlwind tour of the city of light and love! Listen to the choir at Notre Dame Cathedral, explore the catacombs, ride up to the tip-top of the Eiffel Tower and, of course, say good night to the sparkling city of Paris.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Wild Tech! (Wild Kratts) by Martin Kratt and Chris Kratt / Book Review

By: Martin Kratt and Chris Kratt
Illustrated by: Random House
Published by: Random House Children's Books
Released on: July 25, 2017
Ages: 3 & Up
Rating: 4 Owlets - We enjoyed it!
Purchase from: Publisher Amazon | B&N
Thank you Random House for sending a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review

Wild Tech! is a part of the Wild Kratts collection. PBS’s successful animated show Wild Kratts joins the adventures of zoologists Chris and Martin Kratt as they travel to animal habitats around the globe. Along the way, they encounter incredible creatures while combining science education with fun. Boys and girls ages 3 to 7 can learn all about the Wild Kratts’ amazing tech—from their flying ship the Tortuga to their shrink ray miniaturizer, and of course, their Creature Power suits! This full-color storybook features trading cards and stickers to add to the fun!

We love the Kratts' brothers and following all of their amazing creature adventures and so we enjoyed this book! Wild Tech is all about the Kratts' gadgets and inventions. This is not another creature adventure story and we loved learning more about the technology they use in their show, like the Creature Power Suits and the Tortuga.

This book was a perfect companion for fans of Martin and Chris! Any one who watches their show will recognize the different gadgets and will enjoy the Kratts' humor we all love. This will definitely be a fan favorite for younger readers who love the Wild Kratt show.

Monday, January 22, 2018

LOVE by Matt de la Pena / Blog Tour: Book Review + Feature #ThisIsLove

I am thrilled to partner with Penguin Kids to feature a must read picture book. LOVE by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Loren Long, which was released earlier this month, is a simply lovely! I absolutely love this book's message about what love is, and the way this book is illustrated. Below you'll find more information about the book, my 5 star review of the book, as well as a special feature, featuring what a group of kids shared with me about LOVE IS to them. 


By: Matt de la Pena
Illustrated by: Loren Long
Published by: Penguin 
Released on: January 9th, 2018
Ages: 4 & up
Purchase from: Penguin | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets

From Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long comes a story about the strongest bond there is and the diverse and powerful ways it connects us all.

“In the beginning there is light 
and two wide-eyed figures standing near the foot of your bed 
and the sound of their voices is love.

A cab driver plays love softly on his radio
while you bounce in back with the bumps of the city
and everything smells new, and it smells like life.”

In this heartfelt celebration of love, Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long depict the many ways we experience this universal bond, which carries us from the day we are born throughout the years of our childhood and beyond. With a lyrical text that’s soothing and inspiring, this tender tale is a needed comfort and a new classic that will resonate with readers of every age. 


A beautifully illustrated book with an equally beautiful message that will resonate with readers of all ages. This moving book is a reminder of the importance of LOVE, and the role is plays in a child's life. It's also a story that features a wide variety of LOVE in it's different forms. From being taking care of, to spending time with those you love, helping others, the comfort of being held when scared during the night, to enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, and so much more. 

LOVE comes in so many different forms. It's evident in the world around us. I absolutely love how this book illustrates love in it's vast and diverse forms. LOVE knows no bounds. That is something both Matt de la Pena and Loren Long bring to life within the pages of this book perfectly. 

LOVE is a wonderfully diverse, vibrantly illustrated picture book. Whether you're looking for the perfect book to read to your young child, or looking for a book to gift someone you love who's venturing out on their away, or traveling far away, this book makes the perfect gift. It's a reminder that love will be with them on their way, and it will connect you while you're apart. 

* If you're looking to add this book for educational purposes, this book is written so that readers age of will understand it's message. Depending on the age of your reader audience will depend on the depth of the conversation you have about love. For older readers, you can have a much more in-depth conversation about all that love is and what it encompasses. 


For today's post, I recently had the chance to ask a group of 5th graders what they thought, "LOVE IS". Below is a picture of their answers I wrote down on the posit notes provided for today's blog tour. I absolutely love the answers they came up with.

Similar to that of the picture book, LOVE, many of their answers about what love is to them, were the priceless ones. Some of their answers include: 

LOVE IS ....
  • My dad making me laugh
  • My parents having my back
  • My parents loving me no matter what
  • My mom making me her best pancakes
  • Spending time with my parents
  • My parents teaching me things that will help me when I'm older
  • Taking care of pet
  • Caring for someone
  • Having food to eat
  • Having a roof over my head
  • Having clothes to wear 
  • When my parents are there for me
  • Being you
  • Kindness
  • Helping others
The list of answers goes on and on. I was so impressed with many of their answers. These kids get what LOVE is. Like the message in this book, LOVE is all around us. These answers are such a great reminder of the importance of what LOVE is.

* Thank you to Penguin Random House for providing me a copy of this book to review, as well as inviting me to be apart of their promotional book tour. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

I Am MARTIN LUTHER KING, Jr.; Ordinary People Change the World Series by Brad Meltzer / Book Review

Great for fan of of the Ordinary People Change The World Series, and for young readers who want to know more about Martin Luther King Jr. This is such a great book to pick up and read. It's a great introduction for young readers to a person's legacy who continues to live on. This book is definitely worth picking up and reading. I've previously shared this review for this book here, but thought I'd share it again, since today is MLK Day. 


By: Brad Meltzer
Illustrated by: Christopher Eliopoulos
Published by: Dial Books for Young Readers #8
Released on: January 5th, 2016
SeriesOrdinary People Change the World 
Purchase fromHere | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It!
*Find out more about the book here

We can all be heroes. That’s the inspiring message of this New York Times Bestselling picture book biography series from historian and author Brad Meltzer.

Even as a child, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shocked by the terrible and unfair way African-American people were treated. When he grew up, he decided to do something about it—peacefully, with powerful words. He helped gather people together for nonviolent protests and marches, and he always spoke up about loving other human beings and doing what’s right. He spoke about the dream of a kinder future, and bravely led the way toward racial equality in America.

This lively, New York Times Bestselling biography series inspires kids to dream big, one great role model at a time. You’ll want to collect each book.

Heroes come in all different shapes and sizes. They live in various places, and have over come a variety of different challenges. If we look closely, we can see they live all around us. Modern day heroes do exist. Sometimes the best heroes are the ones that make up our own modern day history. 

"The time is always right to do right." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. is a hero I've always admired. His lessons on love, standing up for something you believe in, doing good, forgiving, and being immovable in your faith and convictions, is something that has always inspired me. He is proof that when we stand together, we can accomplish great things. 

This book is a child sized history of Martin Luther King, Jr. It gives readers a look into the life of a young Martin Luther King, Jr, all the way through his adult years. Readers get to read about the experiences he had as a child growing up in a time of segregation, and how those experiences inspired him to want to make a change. Readers also learn about the events that shaped him into the man he became, and  the things he did to inspire change. He made a difference. He inspired change. His actions turned him into a modern day hero.

What I loved about how this book, is how it reads. Young Martin Luther King, Jr himself, is giving readers a brief history of his own life. The book reads as though he's telling the reader about his own life, and what inspired him. Written for children, and simply told, this is a book that's engaging, and very easy for readers to understand. It's one that will capture, and hold shortened attention spans, while teaching them a valuable history lesson.

Everyone can learn something from this amazing hero. I have done a lot of reading up on Martin Luther King, Jr. through the years, and I'm always inspired by this incredible leader, and modern day hero. I learned something from this book, and walked away feeling inspired to do better. To get up and keep going on, and to love those around me more. Something Martin Luther King, Jr, lived his entire life doing. 

I'm so happy to see that Martin Luther King, Jr.'s story has been added to this amazing book series. Ordinary People Change the World is a fantastic series for young readers. It provides them with a look into the lives and examples of extraordinary people who have helped shaped our history, and who still stand out as heroes today. 

This book is a must have for all classroom libraries, home libraries, and any school or public library! Check out my reviews for the other books in this series, here.

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~