Apr 12, 2021

Recent Reads: Allergic: A Graphic Novel by Megan Wagner Lloyd

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

Allergic: A Graphic Novel by Megan Wagner Lloyd 
Illustrations by Michelle Mee Nutter 
Publisher: Graphix
Publication Date:  March 2, 2021

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook


Goodreads Synopsis: 
A coming-of-age middle-grade graphic novel featuring a girl with severe allergies who just wants to find the perfect pet!

At home, Maggie is the odd one out. Her parents are preoccupied with getting ready for a new baby, and her younger brothers are twins and always in their own world. Maggie loves animals and thinks a new puppy to call her own is the answer, but when she goes to select one on her birthday, she breaks out in hives and rashes. She's severely allergic to anything with fur!

Can Maggie outsmart her allergies and find the perfect pet? With illustrations by Michelle Mee Nutter, Megan Wagner Lloyd uses inspiration from her own experiences with allergies to tell a heartfelt story of family, friendship, and finding a place to belong.
I really appreciated this book, as someone that has had allergies her whole life, I can say that this one hit very close to home for me. It is written for a middle grade audience but it encompasses a lot of feelings about having allergies and how you feel like you ruin things for others and can't really be a kid. 

Maggie is a little girl who just realized he has allergies. She is already feeling ignored in her household and was supposed to get a dog, so it was a real blow. This graphic novel follows her from learning about the allergies to the testing and even the treatment options. It was well informed and well done in a way that portrays the symptoms and experience well. The story is great, heartfelt, brave, and inspirational. 

The graphic novel format is great for this type of book, the illustrations really help to tell the story and show Maggie's sadness and frustration with her diagnosis. The images were also bright and appealing and I think that a middle grade audience will really enjoy them.

This book is a heartfelt coming-of-age story that perfectly encompasses the frustration and demanding nature of allergies and I think that even if your kids do not have allergies, it is a great way to learn about them so that they can be empathetic toward those that might/do.

Apr 11, 2021

Building the Book Pile #342

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

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Happy Sunday Everyone! 
School is kicking my butt lately. I have had so much works and I am so tired of writing papers...I'm so close to being done though. I have 2 more weeks of this course then only ONE more to finish my degree!!! Starting to feel very burnt out though.

To decompress I have been playing a lot of Animal Crossing. We also got to have a boat day with the hubs family this weekend and that was very nice. 

I hope you have been enjoying the reviews. I think I am still on track and I have LOTS of blog tours coming up!

If you enjoy the blog and want to share some love and caffeine,
you can buy me a coffee via Ko-fi

Coming up on the Blog

Recent Reads: Allergic by Megan Warner Lloyd (MG, GN)

Early Reader Review: The Medusa Quest by Alane Adams (MG)

Recent Reads: Fangirl, Vol. 1: The Manga by Sam Maggs (YA, GN)

Books Received Recently...
Have you missed anything lately?

Comment or leave me a link and I will see you online again soon.
Happy Reading!

Apr 9, 2021

Early Reader Review: Call of the Night by Kotoyama

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

Call of the Night by Kotoyama 
Series: Call of the Night Volume 1
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Publication Date:  April 13, 2021

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Pages: 192
ISBN: 9781974720514, 1974720519
Format: Trade Paperback
Cost: $9.99 USD, $12.99 CAD

ARC Format: Ebook


Goodreads Synopsis: 

Antisocial, dorky boy seeks fun-loving, sexy vampire for blood-sucking and transforming into her minion.

One night, sleepless Yamori slips out of his home to walk the streets of his town. Life after dark is a revelation! Especially when he meets flirtatious Nanakusa... She’s a lot more fun to share the night with than old drunks on park benches. When she invites him to spend the night at her place in an abandoned building, he's stoked! But then he awakens to kisses on his neck with a little too much bite to them...  

Now that Yamori knows Nanakusa is a vampire, the question remains—is it just the delicious taste of his blood that makes her meet him night after night for late-night adventures, conversation and...naps? Or something else? Then, when a cute girl from Yamori’s past shows up and competes for his attention, his budding relationship with the undead is truly put to the test! 
A dorky kid, a vampire, insomnia...this book called to the depths of my soul in many ways. It is also Manga, so it had that going for it as well. I really enjoyed it but it was a bit off -putting at times.

What I liked: I really enjoyed the illustration, the art was so fun. I really liked the movement in it and eeriness of it. It is mostly set at night so there are a lot of this ways this might have been a miss, but it was far from it. I felt like it was nighttime without too much darkness and there was more than enough detail to really tell what was happening throughout. 

The characters were also interesting. I feel for the dorky kid that can't sleep... (ahem I was that kid) so that resonated with me. Yamori doesn't really like people and is feeling detached and down (also relatable) and so he finds himself in a relationship with a vampire. The vampire, Nanakusa, is brash, outspoken, forward, and raunchy at times and that is where the off-putting bit comes in.

So what I didn't like was that Yamori is 14 and kind of being seduced by this vampire... completely understandable from a vampire POV, but a bit ick from a "how old are you!? He's a kid!" POV. 

That aside, I really enjoyed this story line. Yamori wants to be a vampire and leave his human life behind, Nanakusa only wants to feed on him, and in order to become a vampire Yamori needs to fall in love with her. It has the makings of so many YA tropes that I adore... love triangles, the outsider, oblivious parents.

Very much looking forward to Volume 2.

Apr 8, 2021

Recent Reads: Rosie: Stronger than Steel by Lindsay Ward

Rosie: Stronger than Steel by Lindsay Ward
Publisher: Two Lions
Publication Date:  April 1, 2020

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook
Source: Own


Goodreads Synopsis: 
A brave tractor farms for freedom in a story inspired by women who acted with courage and strength in American factories and on British farms during World War II.

This is our Rosie,
stronger than steel.
She’ll plow all the land
with a turn of her wheel.

Built by women in the United States and sent to England to dig and plow alongside female farmers during World War II, Rosie the tractor does whatever is needed to support the war effort. She works day and night to help grow crops for the troops…even when she has to hide in the fields. This is because she knows, like the women who built her and the women who farm with her, that they all must do their part.

Inspired by the group of American women collectively known as “Rosie the Riveter” and the British Women’s Land Army, this is a story about taking action and coming together for the greater good.
Keeping my review fairly short, like I do with most children's books so that I don't retell the whole thing.

Rosie is a "work of fiction set against a historical background" (authors note). It is told from the POV of a wartime tractor named Rosie. During WWII the US sent women-built tractors to help England farm for the soldiers. This historical, but whimsical tale is so cute and fun as well as educational. 

Rosie is so upbeat and happy about her role in helping produce for the wartime efforts. The book has fun and bright illustrations that are not common of  war-themed books, so it is a refreshing perspective.  

I enjoyed this one, it include Rosie's story as well as a few pages of Author Note for the adult readers about the history behind the tale. I enjoyed that I learned a lot and it is also a good way to teach younger generations about the war and the impacts women had on it. I did not really know anything about the Land Army before going into this one, so it is a great discussion starter for those that would like to learn more about the war efforts in a way that is fun and non-violent. 

Apr 6, 2021

Recent Reads: Julius and Macy: A Very Brave Night by Annelouise Mahoney

Julius and Macy: A Very Brave Night by Annelouise Mahoney  
Publisher: Two Lions
Publication Date:  April 1, 2021
Reading age: 3-7

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook
Source: Amazon Prime First Reads for Kindle


Goodreads Synopsis: 
A woodland tale about bravery and friendship.

Julius and Macy like to play heroes. Julius pretends he’s the defender of the forest, while Macy has a quieter strength. When their snack disappears one night, they decide to track down the only one who could have taken it—the Night Goblin. They both have to be brave in their own ways, and they ultimately discover that the real thief isn’t anything like they imagined.
This is a cute book about bravery and courage in many forms. Julian and Macy are different kinds of brave and very good friends. In this story they are playing and when they go to stop for a snack they find their cookies missing. On an adventure to locate their lost snacks they have to be brave and in the process realize that sometimes being brave is not just being a superhero. 

This is a beautifully illustrated children's book with detailed and vivid images of the forest and Julian and Macy, which are some woodland creatures. It is all about courage, fear, friendship and imagination. It is a very sweet story that I think parents will enjoy for the teachable moments and kids will enjoy for the fun characters, images, and imaginative adventure.

Apr 1, 2021

Early Reader Review: Perdu by Richard Jones

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

Perdu by Richard Jones 
Publisher: Peachtree
Publication Date:  April 2, 2021
Ages: 4-8 | 32 pages

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Hardback


Goodreads Synopsis: 
The heartwarming story of a little lost dog and his search for a place to call home.

Poor Perdu is all alone as he journeys from the countryside to the city in search of a home. The city is a big place when you are very small, but is it possible that someone is looking out for Perdu?

The first picture book to be both written and illustrated by Richard Jones — the illustrator of the internationally bestselling The Snow Lion, written by Jim Helmore — is a joyful, poignant gem.
A friend kindly pointed out that perdu in french means lost, and that is adorable in so many ways. This book is about a dog names Perdu that is out in the world on his own. He is not necessarily lost but he is looking for a place to just be. He follows a leaf and ends up in the city and his adventure goes from there. 

This poor little dog, I was so taken to him right from the start, as a dog lover I wanted him to be ok. This book was emotional for me, it was sad but also that happy kind of sad too. 

The book itself is beautiful. It has a nice textured cover with gorgeous end pages. It is on the larger side so the illustrations are very big and are a magical watercolor/pastel-esq style that invokes the overall mood of the story. 

Overall, this is just a heartwarming book about a little dog. I love it so much, the story, the beauty of the image, and the decisions they made about the book  construction.. all wonderful. HIGHLY recommend. 

Mar 31, 2021

Early Reader Review: The Thingity-Jig by Kathleen Doherty

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

The Thingity-Jig by Kathleen Doherty
Illustrations by Kristyna Litten
Publisher: Peachtree Publishing Company
Publication Date:  April 1, 2021

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Hardback


Goodreads Synopsis: 
This jovial frolic through the city and woods celebrates ingenuity and teems with whimsical wordplay--a delightful read for any STEAM storytime.

Under the light of a silvery moon, Bear wanders into people town and discovers a springy thing, a bouncy thing--a sit-on-it, jump-on-it thing! This Thingity-Jig is too heavy to carry home by himself, so Bear runs back to the woods and asks for help. Too bad for Bear, his friends are sleepy and shoo him away. So Bear invents a Rolly-Rumpity to wheel the Thingity-Jig home, but then it all gets stuck in the mud! How will Bear tackle this bump in the road? With a Lifty-Uppity, of course!

Reading specialist and former educator Kathy Doherty perfectly blends inventive upcycling and STEAM elements with a delightful story in this wonderfully charismatic picture book. Illustrator Kristyna Litten brings the world to life with incredible settings and empathetic characters.

Teacher's guide and activities available!
Such a fun book about innovation and being creative!

Bear can't sleep and so he goes out to find some fun...he stumbles upon a thingity-jig that he is so excited about that he keeps trying to wake up his sleeping friends to come and help him bring back. They are too tired to help so Bear uses problem solving and innovation and a few made up words to get the thingity-jig back home to his friends. 

This book is adorable, it is larger with beautiful illustrations that are whimsical and detailed. The writing is just as perfect for it. Doherty uses made up words, that can be a little tongue tying to read. but that are fun ways to talk about Bear's contraptions. And why not use made up words?! sometimes they are what you need and they are a little silly too.  She also uses onomatopoeia throughout the book for all the action and movement. I really enjoyed this book for the cute little forest animals, but also for Bear's creativity and problem solving... sometimes you might not have help, so what is your creative solution? I really like this as a fun lesson for younger kids. 

If you are looking for some cute animal, problem solving, and fun word books, this one meets all those criteria. It is recommended for ages 4-8. 

Mar 29, 2021

Blog Blast: You Were Made for Me by Jenna Guillaume

About the Book
You Were Made for Me by Jenna Guillaume
Publisher: Peachtree Publishing Company 
Publication Date: April 1, 2021
Hardcover: 336 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1682632956

YA author Jenna Guillaume is back with a fun and modern feminist twist on the 1985 pop cult film Weird Science.

Sixteen-year-old Katie Camilleri can’t believe she’s accidentally created a teenage boy. A boy six-feet tall with floppy hair and eyes like the sky on a clear summer’s day. A boy whose lips taste like cookie dough and whose skin smells like springtime. A boy completely devoted to Katie. But silly musings and kitchen antics with her best friend, Libby, have definitely taken a whimsical twist into something bigger than Katie could have ever daydreamed. Turns out the consequences of fumbling a human being into existence are rather complicated. More importantly, does Guy, the golden Adonis Katie’s created, like her because he wants to, or because he has to? And will he be Katie’s very first kiss?

From the author of What I Like About Me comes a hilarious feminist twist on a classic narrative, loaded with laughs, mishaps, and plenty of 80s and 90s pop-culture callbacks. Jenna Guillaume’s entertaining romantic comedy novel features a humorous and relatable voice and will appeal to fans of Jenny Han.


You can purchase You Were Made For Me at the following Retailers:


“An enjoyable rom-com.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Plenty of early 2000s rom-com vibes and lighthearted mishaps… Guillaume’s cinematic story weaves together beloved romantic comedy tropes touched with magic―or is it science?―and drops them into a fresh, contemporary setting. Despite the playful tone, this isn’t without nuance, taking on serious topics such as male body image, friendship, and asexuality.” ―Booklist

About the Author

Jenna Guillaume
is a writer based in Sydney, Australia.
Photo Content from Jenna Guillaume

As an entertainment and lifestyle journalist, Jenna regularly contributes to The Sydney Morning Herald, Junkee, BuzzFeed, and Flicks. She has also written for publications such as MTV, The Guardian, and Metro UK, and was previously editor-at-large for BuzzFeed Australia and features editor at Girlfriend magazine.

Jenna frequently appears as a moderator and panellist at festivals, and has extensive on-camera experience through her work at BuzzFeed and as a pop culture expert for ABC News. She also contributes to a fortnightly segment about streaming for ABC Radio.

As a social media consultant, Jenna has worked with companies such as the Australian Children’s Television Foundation and Amazon Prime. She is currently senior contributor for Netflix ANZ’s social media channels.

Jenna is the author of Young Adult rom-coms What I Like About Me and You Were Made For Me. When she’s not binge-watching her favourite shows from the ’90s or cuddling her dogs, she’s working on her third YA novel and honing her screenwriting skills.

Find the Author

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
ENDS: APRIL 19, 2021

5 Winners will receive a Copy of YOU WERE MADE FOR ME by Jenna Guillaume.

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