‘Blood Rose Rebellion’ by Rosalyn Eves is the first in a YA fantasy series

It's difficult to create a fantasy series that is unique in light of the plethora of fantasy series aimed at young adult readers. Rosalyn Eves' "Blood Rose Rebellion" will remind the reader of other fantasy series wherein the main character lives in a world where magic rules. In this world, those who have magic and … Continue reading ‘Blood Rose Rebellion’ by Rosalyn Eves is the first in a YA fantasy series

‘Penguin the Magpie: The Odd Little Bird Who Saved a Family’ is a heartwarming story of hope and renewal

In "Penguin the Magpie: The Odd Little Bird Who Saved a Family," Cameron Bloom shares the story of two accidents -- one that caused his wife to become paralyzed and another that brought a small baby bird into their lives. How the second accident made the first a bit more bearable is the basis of … Continue reading ‘Penguin the Magpie: The Odd Little Bird Who Saved a Family’ is a heartwarming story of hope and renewal

‘Bob, Not Bob!’ is a funny but also very touching picture book about a boy, a dog, and a cold

"Bob, Not Bob!" is written by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick and very ably illustrated by Matthew Cordell, and it comes with instructions right on the front cover: "To be read as though you have the worst cold ever." And the title says it all. Does little Louie want his mom, or is he … Continue reading ‘Bob, Not Bob!’ is a funny but also very touching picture book about a boy, a dog, and a cold

Two Children’s Picture Books Perfect for Summer and Water: ‘Vampirina at the Beach’ and ‘Holly’s Day at the Pool’

Two new picture books are the perfect introduction to a water-filled summer of fun, be it at the pool or the beach. "Holly's Day at the Pool" is about a young hippo, Holly, who is shown on the title page playing catch with her younger sister, Dottie. When Dottie's favorite toy gets stuck in a … Continue reading Two Children’s Picture Books Perfect for Summer and Water: ‘Vampirina at the Beach’ and ‘Holly’s Day at the Pool’

‘Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies!’ by Bruce Hale is a Fabulous ‘Monstertown Mystery’ for Middle Grade Readers

Bruce Hale is a master when it comes to using colorful, figurative language in his writing. "Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies," his sequel to "The Curse of the Were-Hyena," is filled with great imagery. When narrator Carlos describes his best friend, Benny, and himself he says, "...we'd been just your typical comics nerds -- as plain … Continue reading ‘Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies!’ by Bruce Hale is a Fabulous ‘Monstertown Mystery’ for Middle Grade Readers

‘A Darkness Absolute’ by Kelley Armstrong is a Chilling Sequel to ‘City of the Lost’

"A Darkness Absolute" is the sequel to the first book in the series, "City of the Lost." Kelley Armstrong creates a place in northern Canada where those who want or need to hide go to escape from their problems for a while. It's really far north, so the weather is usually cold -- very cold. … Continue reading ‘A Darkness Absolute’ by Kelley Armstrong is a Chilling Sequel to ‘City of the Lost’

Fabulous Summer Picture Books with Dogs and Cats

Three picture books worthy of purchase are "A Cat Named Swan" by Holly Hobbie, "A Greyhound, A Groundhog" by Emily Jenkins, and "Pig the Winner" by Aaron Blabey. "A Cat Named Swan" is written and illustrated by Holly Hobbie, and the illustrations, in watercolor, pencil and ink, are magnificent. What is unusual about the story … Continue reading Fabulous Summer Picture Books with Dogs and Cats

‘Dream’ by Matthew Cordell is an Ode to Parents and Their Babies

Matthew Cordell's "Dream" is a gorgeous and extraordinarily touching picture book evocation of the joys and fears of parenthood and childhood. New mom and dad gorillas adore their infant, and one of them dreams of his future and their own. That dream is rendered so movingly that every page commands our total emotional involvement in … Continue reading ‘Dream’ by Matthew Cordell is an Ode to Parents and Their Babies

Fabulous Picture Books by Steve Antony Kids Love that Teach Life Lessons

Steve Antony's picture books are brilliant. Each one is like a treasure filled with amazing animals, and each one teaches manners, patience and cooperation. It started with "Please, Mr. Panda," in which Mr. Panda has a box of doughnuts he is willing to give away. He asks the animals one by one if they want … Continue reading Fabulous Picture Books by Steve Antony Kids Love that Teach Life Lessons

‘Saturdays at Sea’ by Jessica Day George is a Beautiful Ending to a Lovely Middle Grade Fantasy Series

"Saturdays at Sea" by Jessica Day George is the last book in the five-book series that began with "Tuesdays at the Castle." It's a lovely fantasy series for middle grade readers who aren't really interested in romance, but do love adventure and magical creatures. "Saturdays at Sea" is the last episode, as Celie and her family … Continue reading ‘Saturdays at Sea’ by Jessica Day George is a Beautiful Ending to a Lovely Middle Grade Fantasy Series