Nov 16, 2018

Recent Reads: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Julia Kregenow

Source: From Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

36954713Twinkle Twinkle Little Star: I know exactly what you are by Julia Kregenow, Ph.D.
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication Date:  September 4, 2018

Format:  Paperback ARC



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Do you know why stars twinkle? It's time to find out!

Written to the classic melody of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" by an expert in astrophysics, this book is the perfect introduction to the real science behind the magic of stars. Discover how stars are created, what they're made of, and even what makes them look like they're twinkling.

Stars are not only great for wishing upon, but they are also spectacular examples of scientific magic. From atmospheric turbulence to fusing atoms, these delightful (more accurate!) lyrics will become your new favorite version of this classic tune. Instead of wondering what stars are, you will know for sure!

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
I know exactly what you are
Opaque ball of hot dense gas,
million times our planet's mass,
looking small because you're far,
I know exactly what you are.
A delightful book for all ages! Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is set to the classic tune but has wonderfully detailed information about what stars are and how the universe works. 

The first two-thirds of the book are the new lyrics while the last third is informational. The last section is where things get technical and even adults will learn something by sharing this book with their little ones. It also allows the book to be kept in the household for a while - once your child is past the rhyming lyrical side of it, there is even more to learn when they get a bit older. The book is put at ages 4 and up, and while the younger part was great, I am in my thirties and learned a lot from the last part.

However if you are buying this for a kiddo - the redone lyrics of  Twinkle Twinkle Little Star  are really well done and there is a lot of information there too. The song lyrics are also surrounded by wonderful images of the universe, stars and planets that are full-page spreads that really capture how large things really are. 

This book was non-fiction set in a fun way for all ages.

Nov 15, 2018

Early Reader Review: Watersnakes by Antonio Sandoval

Source: From Netgalley and Lion Forge Comics in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Watersnakes by Antonio Sandoval

Publisher:  Lion Forge Comics
Publication Date:  November 20, 2018

Format:  Ebook



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Mila is a solitary teenager ready to put another boring summer vacation behind her until she meets Agnes, an adventurous girl who turns out to be a ghost. And not just a regular ghost, but one carrying the essence of an ancient fallen king and a mouth full of teeth that used to be his guardian warriors.    Three-time Eisner Award–nominated writer/artist Tony Sandoval presents a wondrous world of secret places and dreamlike magic hidden in the everyday corners of our sleeping imagination.
This cover and description was very compelling but I think that the story was a bit confusing. 

This graphic novel follows Mila, who happens to meet another girl, Agnes. They become close because Mila is intrigued by Agnes' teeth. Which was the first odd point. Mila and Agnes form a friendship and Mila finds out the Agnes is actually a ghost and from here things get even more weird. 

Where the story fell a bit flat, the illustration throughout was beautifully done. There was only color when there really needed to be color and the images portrayed the magic of the world really well. I really loved the images and that is why I kept reading. 

After the first chapter I was confused, and honestly when I got into chapter 2 I thought that this was a book of short stories versus one full length graphic novel, because things seemed to change - the story wan't there for a few panels and it was confusing. 

This one really wasn't for me as far as the story building went but as a book of art, it was gorgeous.

Nov 14, 2018

Recent Reads: That Night by Amy Giles

Source: From a Publicist in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

That Night
That Night by Amy Giles

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date:  October 23, 2018

Format:  Hardback



Goodreads Synopsis: 
One night in March, a terrible tragedy shakes the Queens neighborhood where Jessica Nolan and Lucas Rossi live.

The year since the shooting has played out differently for Jess and Lucas, both of whom were affected by that night in eerily similar, and deeply personal, ways. Lucas has taken up boxing and lives under the ever-watchful eye of his overprotective parents, while trying to put good into the world through random acts of kindness — to pay back a debt he feels he owes the universe for taking the wrong brother.

Jess struggles to take care of her depressed mother, with the help of her elderly next-door neighbor, and tries to make ends meet. Without her best friend, who’s across the country at a special post-trauma boarding school, and her brother, who died that night, Jess feels totally alone in the world.

When Jess and Lucas's paths cross at their shared after-school job, they start to become friends… and then more.

Their community — and their families — were irrevocably changed by a senseless act of violence. But as Jess and Lucas fall in love, they'll learn to help each other heal and move forward — together.

That Night is an emotional and ultimately hopeful story about tragedy, love, and learning to heal.

Trigger warning... this book is about a shooting.
I am not even sure where or how to start with this review ... so the best place is probably by telling you that this book is tragic but in a good way.  The book is about a shooting and many teen lives were lost. The story does not focus on the event or even in the aftermath, but a year later with the families that are still broken and trying to live. 

The book alternates between two point of view - Jess and Lucas, both have lost a sibling in the shooting and both are trying to cop in separate ways. The book is about them coming together to heal and move on as best as they can and it is a beautiful story. 

Their turmoil was real, the grief was laced through the whole book, but there was also a brightness that was really well done. I really enjoyed this book, and that feels weird to say about book that is so heavily loaded with sadness but it was really really good.

The book it contemporary and the author notes that it was not written to be a certain event but the feeling of an event. She notes that the people that die are not the only ones that lost something and that is really important especially now that we are dealing with this kind of thing all too often.

Nov 13, 2018

Recent Reads: One Snowy Day by Diana Murray

 Source: From Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

One Snowy Day
One Snowy Day by Diana Murray
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication Date:   October 2, 2018

Format: Paperback ARC



Goodreads Synopsis: 

The snow coats the treetops
and covers the grass
as THREE happy faces
peer out through the glass.
When millions of snowflakes blanket the town in white, ONE energetic puppy and TWO children set out for some snowy day fun―full of friends, sledding, snowballs, puppy hijinks, and more. The lyrical, rhyming text counts up to ten and back down to one, making this the perfect way to incorporate learning into snow day fun.

One Snowy Day is a counting book set on a snowy day. It is very simple and very cute. It has fun snow-day activities for kids and friends all while helping them count. You begin by counting up to ten and then going back down to one by the end of the snowy day.

The book has a rhyming scheme that works really well and the illustrations are big an vibrant. There aren't too many words so this would also be great for learning to read. The publishers note that the book is for ages 4 and up and that seems reasonable.

I found the book fun and cute and I really liked the rhyming text throughout. (There is also an adorable puppy in the story that I think kids will really love.)

Nov 12, 2018

Recent Reads: 30- Minute Cooking for Two by Taylor Ellingson

Source: From the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

30-Minute Cooking for Two: Healthy Dishes Without All the Fuss30- Minute Cooking for Two: Healthy Dishes Without All the Fuss by Taylor Ellingson
Publisher: Rockridge Press
Publication Date:  November 13, 2018

Format: Paperback



Goodreads Synopsis: 
30-Minute Cooking for Two offers the fastest, perfectly portioned recipes to make homemade meals every day of the week.

Imagine if cooking for two cut prep and cook times in half, too. 30-Minute Cooking for Two offers perfectly portioned, time-saving recipes to make whipping up meals for just the two of you, easy to do.

Table-ready in 30-minutes or less, these recipes offer fast solutions for meals any day of the week, from a quick breakfast sandwich to a proper date-night steak. Using no more than 8 staple ingredients per recipe, 30-Minute Cooking for Two gives you fewer leftovers, less processed food, and more time to spend between your twosome.

Whether you're a newlywed, an empty nester, or just plain tired of giant portions and days of leftovers, this cookbook is for you. Inside you'll find:

Tips for kitchen prep that include shopping lists for pantry staples and essential cooking equipment to stock your kitchen with.

30-minute recipes for breakfast, soups, salads, sandwiches, dinner, and dessert, with quick-reference labels super-fast recipes (20-minutes or less) and one pot meals.

8 ingredients per recipe that are easy-to-find all year around, and make every meal fresh and healthy.
Every twosome has a special thing that they do together. With the quick and easy recipes in 30-Minute Cooking for Two, cooking can be your thing, too.

Soo... I did not read this entire cookbook, but I read through a few of the recipes - ones that I fully intend on making and really enjoyed what I saw.

This book is designed with for couples that are busy. So much food now is sold in bulk or family size that so much of it goes bad in our home and we feel bad about the waste, but to buy things for just the two of us actually ends up being more expensive than buying the family size and not eating it all... 

The is a full Intro as well as a chapter about "Why Two Can be Tricky" which were really informative and had a lot of great information about what staples you should be keeping around and how to store leftovers.

Once you get into the recipes they are SO easy to follow. Each is only a page long and includes an about blurb, the prep/cook times, your ingredients, the instructions AND some notations. These notations are EVERYTHING, they include One Pot, Super Quick, 5-Ingredient, Vegetarian etc. These make picking out what you need even easier. If you don't want too many dishes, pick a One Pot meal, if you don't have a lot pick a 5-Ingredient meal, on a timeline - Super Quick is where it is at. 

This cook book is super easy to use and it has some delicious sound recipes, its only downfall is that there aren't really any images but that could be a blessing in disguise because you are getting more recipes and if yours doesn't look like the picture that can be a bummer - so it solves that problem too.

Nov 11, 2018

Building the Book Pile #279

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!  A Weekly meme inspired by Stacking the Shelves

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Wooo. On time this week. (HAHAHAHAHA)

The hubs was away this past week at a conference ... so I did nothing. I watched Netflix Christmas movies and ate Dominoes. I wanted to be productive and did get some laundry done, but that was about it.

If you enjoy the blog and want to share some love and caffeine, you can buy me a coffee (almost Peppermint Cocoa time now...) via Ko-fi

Share about your week with me in the comments below!

  Giveaways  on Cover2CoverBlog! 
See the sidebar for more
Coming up on the Blog

Recent Reads: 30-Minute Cooking for Two by Taylor Ellingson (Non-Fiction)
Recent Reads: One Snowy Day by  Diana Murray (Youth)
Recent Reads: That Night by Amy Giles (YA)
Early Reader Review: Watersnakes by Tony Sandoval (GN)
Recent Reads: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star by Julia Kregenow (Youth)

Books Received this Week

Ghosters 2: Revenge of the Library Ghost

For Review:
Ghosters 2: Revenge of the Library Ghost by Diane Corbitt from the Author for review.

Have you missed anything lately?

Comment and leave me a link to your Round-up/ STS/ Weekly...anything, post and I will happily stop by and say hello!
Happy Reading!

Nov 9, 2018

Recent Reads: No Shoes, No Shirt, No Spells by Rose Pressey

No Shoes, No Shirt, No Spells (Mystic Cafe, #1)
No Shoes, No Shirt, No Spells by Rose Pressey
Series: The Mystic Cafe Series - Book 1
Publisher: Rose Pressey
Publication Date:  June1, 2011

Format: Ebook

Source: Bought of Amazon



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Elly Blair welcomes the chance to escape her ex-fiance and job from hell when Grandma Imelda, ready to retire to sunny Florida, calls for her to take over her little southern cafe.

Elly has no idea her grandmother has baked up magic for the unsuspecting townsfolk for thirty years-and now Grandma Imelda insists that Elly use her own hitherto unsuspected magical powers to carry on the family tradition.

But Elly's new at this stuff. Her dishes don't turn out as full of smidgens of enchantment and dashes of wishes come true as she'd hoped. When handsome customer Rory Covington takes a bite of the wrong burger, he ends up capturing the attention of every woman in town. Elly doesn't know if her feelings for Rory are true or based on her magic gone awry.

Tom Owenton is an investigator the National Organization for Magic sent to look into the magical mishap. Unless Elly can reverse the spell, the cafe will be closed permanently. Tom is more than willing to help Elly out of this magical pickle, but she's not sure she should accept his offer.

Elly only has forty-eight hours to find a way to reverse the spell, or she'll lose the cafe and never discover if her feelings for Rory are real.
I got this book for free off of Amazon a while back and I was interested in it because it is a modern-esq take on witches in the world and that seemed fun (and the cover was  bright and fun).  So...sometimes when I am reading in bed at night I feel bad for leaving the light on and reading a physical book, so I started reading this on my phone while my husband sleeps but I can't fall asleep. This was a great book for that purpose.

Since it wasn't a review book, I had all the time I needed to read it slowly and I could pick it up when I was in between books etc. I read it slowly and when I could and that was nice. The book has good pacing and while I read it slowly, there was enough plot to keep it moving steadily forward. It is a categorized as a Paranormal Romance but it was a clean romance. I really liked the main character she was relatable and had been through some things and your felt that as she learns how to navigate this new life and the cafe. 

If you are looking for something fun and light, and like romance and a bit of magic this is a fun one to pick up.

I do have to note, that I did notice a few typos in the edition I had though, so if that is going to bother you - steer clear.

Nov 8, 2018

Recent Reads: Sweet Dreaming by Julia Rawlinson

Source: From Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Sweet Dreaming
Sweet Dreaming by Julia Rawlinson

Pictures by: Nicole Wnag
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication Date:  October 2, 2018

Format: Paperback ARC



Goodreads Synopsis: 
"I can't sleep!" said Molly.
"You can," said her Mom.
"Just think of a story and sleep will soon come..."

When Molly can't fall asleep, her Mom has the perfect remedy: a soothing bedtime story! Mom dreams up a variety of sleep-inducing scenarios, but Molly manages to find something exciting and energizing in each one. Eventually, Mom's stories work, just not in the way she expects...
Books about sleep and putting children to bed are a very common occurrence, so it is hard to read them and not think about others. But this book is a little bit different, it tells stories in the story with rhyme and beautiful imagery.

Sweet Dreaming is a very pretty book. The illustrations are full page spreads that have wonderful detail and color and they go perfectly with the story. In the story, a mother is helping to put her little girl to bed by having her imagine that she is part of stories, like a bird flying through the trees, each one doesn't feel quite right until the end. All of the options her mother gives her are captured with these gorgeous images.

I think this is a very pretty book and is another bedtime book that may help put a child to sleep with it slow and steady rhymes.

Nov 7, 2018

Early Reader Review: Astronomy for Kids by Dr. Bruce Betts

Source: From the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Astronomy for Kids: How to Explore Outer Space with Binoculars, a Telescope, or Just Your Eyes!Astronomy for Kids: How to Explore Outer Space with Binoculars, a Telescope of Just Your Eyes! by Dr. Bruce Betts
Publisher:  Rockridge Press
Publication Date:  November 13, 2018

Format:  Paperback


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Astronomy for Kids is a fun, how-to-guide to explore outer space with binoculars, a telescope, or just your eyes!
One of the coolest things about outer space is that anyone can explore it. All you have to do is go outside and look up! Using plain sight, binoculars, or a small telescope, Astronomy for Kids shows stargazers how easy it is to explore space, just by stepping outside.
With this book as their guide to the northern hemisphere, kids will learn to find and name amazing objects in the night sky. Fully illustrated with fun facts throughout, kids can point out sights to friends and family, saying things like, “that’s Jupiter,” and, “those stars are the constellation Cygnus the Swan,” and maybe even, “that group of stars doesn’t have a name but I think it looks like my dog getting belly rubs.”
From the Milky Way Galaxy to Mars to the Moon’s craters and mountains—Astronomy for Kids helps young astronomers discover important parts of our solar system, with:
30 sights for the naked eye (yes, 30!) objects to see without any equipment, including Orion’s Belt, the Big Dipper, Mars, and even the International Space Station. 25 sights magnified with binoculars or a basic telescope to make objects in the sky easier to find and explore. Plus, buying tips and usage tricks to get the most out of astronomy equipment. Clear illustrations that show kids where to look and what they can expect to see.
Like all big things, outer space is something you have to see to believe. Astronomy for Kids teaches kids that planets, shooting stars, constellations, and meteor showers are not only in books—but right in front of them.

I was offered this book and I jumped at the opportunity! If you have read the blog or my reviews for any length of time, you might have realized that I LOVE when a book teaches and teaches something well to kids. I am also a very nerdy adult (without kids) BUT I know a lot of kids and know what they will appreciate or literally throw across a room (I have a lot of younger siblings and friends with children). This book is going to be AWESOME for kids! I loved it and I think they will love it too.

I am a visual person, I love pictures and diagrams, I like to look at what the thing it then read the words to learn more and this book does that so well. Firstly, the book is arranged into sections, and intro and background, things to see with your eyes, things to see with binoculars, and things to see with a telescope. This arrangement allows for so many reader to utilize this book and learn something fun.  

Secondly, the images are amazing - they are detailed but easy to read and almost on every page (yea... so much fun right?!)

This book taught me so much even though I am an adult and I cannot wait to get more into it and use the techniques they suggest. It is getting very cold here at night in Vermont so I may be waiting until summer to use it but I am very excited! 

An added bonus: my husband just got a small telescope for his birthday, not related to this at all just a happy coincidence, so I can use more of the books wonderful teaching.

Nov 6, 2018

Recent Reads: If I Had A Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle

Source: From Librarything Early Reviewers and Tundra Books in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

If I Had a Gryphon
If I Had A Gryphon by Vikki VanSickle

Publisher:  Tundra Books
Publication Date:  October 2, 2018 (Board Book Version)

Format:  Board Book



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Sam just got a hamster for a pet. But the hamster is kind of boring ... he just eats and sleeps and gets his shavings wet. Inspired by her book of mythological creatures, Sam longs for a more exciting pet. But she soon realizes that taking care of these magical beasts might not be as wonderful as she thought. Sasquatches are messy, unicorns are shy, hippogriffs scare the dogs at the dogpark, and having a fire extinguisher handy at all times makes dragons seem like an awful lot of work. In the end, Sam realizes that her hamster is a pretty sweet and safe pet ... or is he?
If I Had a Gryphon is a raucous rhyming read-aloud about fantastical beasts in everyday situations--and the increasingly beleaguered heroine who has to deal with them.
A book that rhymes calls to me... as this one did. I read this hilarious and wonderful board book to my dog (yes I am a weirdo) but kids books should be read aloud, so that is what I did. My husband was around as well. Both really enjoyed this book and as the reader I think I enjoyed it even more. 

The book is about a little girl who has a hamster but wants a more exotic pet and as she goes through all the fun options she realizes that a hamster might not be so bad. The book is a wonderful collection of rhymes and also introduces your little ones to the amazing world of fantasy beasts which is so much fun. 

I fully expect some little ones to ask more about all the creatures, but I think that added element could be fun too. If you are a parent who likes fantastical beasts, this book would be so fun in your household.