The Little Red Wolf by Amélie Fléchais – Children’s Book Review

The Little Red Wolf

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Blurb: Lose yourself in in the dark forests of Amelie Flechais’ spectacular artwork. A young wolf, on a journey to bring his grandmother a rabbit, is charmed by the nice little girl who offers to help him… but nice is not the same as good. A haunting fairy tale for children and adults alike.

My Review:

I found this book on Edelweiss and became instantly intrigued. I love fairy tale retellings and the beautiful cover and title were all I needed. I was lucky to get approved for it, then after reading the ebook I went straight to Amazon and bought a copy.

This is similar to Little Red Riding Hood, but the roles are switched. The story follows a little wolf pup in a red coat who’s heading to Grandma’s to deliver a rabbit. Grandma’s lost her teeth and can no longer hunt. Before Little Red Wolf sets out on his journey, his mother warns him.

“Be careful to avoid the forest of dead wood where the hunter and his daughter live. They are vile and cruel and hate wolves! I don’t want anything bad to happen to you, so make sure to stay away from there!”

Little Red Wolf is carefree and sings along his journey. As he walks he finds interesting things like a little beetle, a little mouse, and a cloud of pollen. He strays from the trail and becomes lost. At first, he isn’t scared and tells himself,

“I am a wolf, the forest is my home, I’m sure I can find my way on my own, even without the dumb trail!”

What will Little Red Wolf do? Will he find his way to grandmother’s house and what other encounters will he experience?

I absolutely loved this book. It reminds me of Grimm’s Fairy Tales with beautiful atmospheric artwork. The messages conveyed here are strong ones–never judge without knowing the truth, and never trust someone based on how they look. I think this is a stunningly beautiful book that will help children learn both of these lessons. People of any age will enjoy this twisted tale, especially those who love fairy tales and retellings.

Thanks to Edelweiss, the publisher, and the author for allowing me to preview this book in exchange for a review.

5 Sterne


You can find this book on Goodreads and Amazon as well as other retailers.

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 3
  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Lion Forge (October 3, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1941302459
  • ISBN-13: 978-1941302453

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Continue reading “The Little Red Wolf by Amélie Fléchais – Children’s Book Review”

Throwback Thursday – November 2nd – Before I Say Goodbye

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick:

Before I Say Goodbye

by Ruth PicardieMatt Seaton (Foreword by)

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Blurb: By turns humorous and heart-rending, an unforgettable account of a young woman’s spiritual triumphs over breast cancer in the last year of her life

Ruth Picardie was only thirty-three when she died, a month after her twins’ second birthday and just under a year after she was first diagnosed with breast cancer. For Ruth, a journalist, it seemed natural to write about her illness. She published only five columns for Observer Life magazine before she became too sick to continue, but her moving, funny, and very human account drew a huge response from readers all over England.

Before I Say Goodbye juxtaposes these columns with correspondence from readers, e-mails to her friends, letters to her children, and reflections by her husband and her sister. The result is a courageous and moving book, entirely devoid of self-pity, that celebrates the triumph of a brave and wonderful woman’s spirit. An international bestseller in England, Picardie’s sobering yet ultimately life-affirming book is destined to become a classic.

My Thoughts:

I picked this up from a library book sale years ago and read it in just a few hours. It’s a book about a woman named Ruth Picardie who was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early 30’s just after giving birth to her twins. She was an amazing journalist and her sister influenced her to write about her condition.

I was surprised by the format as pretty much the entire book contains personal email correspondence to and from friends and colleagues. It’s also interlaced with thoughts from family and the five columns Ruth wrote about her condition.

Letter from Jenny Dee, 18 September 1997
Dearest Ruthie,

You are my best friend and I am so reluctant to let you go. I’ve been putting off thinking about you dying because I just don’t know how my life will be without you. We have done so many hugely important and amazingly trivial things together – you are the diary that I never kept. The language of love and loss seems so inept at the moment. All I can say is that I will miss you forever, you are my best friend forever and I love you forever.

Even though Ruth was a very brave soul, the book still made me bawl my eyes out. By the time I got halfway through the book, I realized that Ruth was somebody I wish I would’ve known in my life. She was so courageous, positive, and kind. I couldn’t imagine being in her shoes and she handled everything which such strength all the way up until the end. This is a book I’ll always keep and my rating on it is 5*****.


 

You can find this book on Goodreads and Amazon

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks; First Edition edition (September 14, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805066128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805066128

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday – November 2nd – Before I Say Goodbye”

Halloween Reads for Children – Happy Halloween!

When I first started posting about our favorite children’s Halloween reads, I had big plans to share as many as possible. Last week we were so busy and things didn’t go as planned. So, I missed out on a few posts. Today I thought I’d share a bunch of our favorite Halloween reads for this season!

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First, let’s start with the board books. Of course, this was hard to pick just a few Halloween board books because there are so many adorable board books for toddlers, but we chose these two.

The Best Classic Halloween Stories – Board Book Collection

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We picked up this set from Costco last month. It contains eight different favorite Halloween stories in board book format for toddlers. You get all of these stories:

  • Little Blue Truck’s Halloween
  • Hooray for Halloween
  • Five Little Monkeys
  • Halloween Mice!
  • Ollie’s Halloween
  • Sheep Trick or Treat
  • Trick or Treat
  • Boo, Bunny!

It’s a very nice collection for your little ones. The books are good quality and have gorgeous illustrations!

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B is for BOO – A Halloween Alphabet

by Greg Paprocki

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A great introduction to the alphabet for babies and toddlers. The illustrations are perfect and have a vintage children’s book feel. There are twenty-six different illustrations throughout the book to teach all about Halloween to our little ones while they visualize the alphabet and learn the sounds as you read. A perfect addition to the Halloween shelf that I plan on keeping even when my little ones are grown!


Halloween Cats

by Jean Marzollo and Hans Wilhelm

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This is a super simple rhyming read for young readers with beautiful, colorful illustrations. It’s all about trick-or-treating cats causing trouble. There isn’t much of a story, but we still enjoy reading this one every year.


The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin
by Joe Troiano, Susan Banta (Illustrator)

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Spookley was different than all the other pumpkins. He was square, and the other pumpkins made fun of him and thought that he was worthless. Spookley finally gets the chance to prove that he’s just as good as all the others. Will he prevail?

This one is certainly a keeper. It’s a cute story that sends a strong message to children about the importance of kindness and that it’s not right to make fun of others. A cute story with colorful illustrations! The movie is also a family favorite.


 

I Like Pumpkins

by Jerry Smath (Illustrations)

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A cute Halloween story about the different sizes of pumpkins. Some are big, some are small, some are scary, some aren’t at all. The story shows many different ways we use pumpkins during the Halloween season. Easy to read for young ones and the end of the book has a few seek and finds.


We’re Going on a Spooky Ghost Hunt (A StoryPlay Book)

by Ken Geist
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This is a new Halloween book that I purchased from Scholastic. It’s our first Story Play book yet. The story can be read to the song “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.” The story contains little questions along the way that inspire young readers to count and answer questions about the story. It really gets them thinking about the story. The illustrations are detailed and interesting. I’m happy with this one and I think it’s best for preschoolers.

The Pumpkin Smasher

Anita Benarde
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It’s October, and the people of Cranbury are getting reading for Halloween. Scarecrows, big black cats, ghosts, and jack-o-lanterns adorn the town, until Halloween comes and a pumpkin smasher smashes all of the beautiful pumpkins. Who would do such a thing?
Next year, signs are posted and police are on the lookout. Unfortunately, the pumpkin smasher strikes again. The people of Cranbury are ready to cancel Halloween. They come up with a plan, but will Halloween be ruined again?
Our copy of this one is very old. It’s from 1972 and falling apart, but it’s still a favorite. The illustrations are black and white with a bit of orange for color.

Love Monster and the Scary Something (Love Monster)

by Rachel Bright

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Love Monster just can’t sleep and the night becomes spookier. Is something out there to get him? Love Monster must be brave. Follow along to see if he can overcome his fears.

Although this isn’t technically a Halloween book, we love this one for this time of year. The best illustrations!


Franklin’s Halloween

by Paulette Bourgeois, Brenda Clark (Illustrations)
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Franklin has always been a favorite show in our house and my kids would watch it on PBS all the time. In this book, Franklin dresses up as Frankenstein for Halloween and prepares for a Halloween party, parade, haunted house and games. It’s a cute book for Franklin fans complete with a wonderful story and detailed illustrations.

Happy Halloween, Snoopy!

by Charles M. Schulz, Jack C. Harris, Art Ellis, Kim Ellis
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Better than candy, “Happy Halloween, Great Pumpkin!” is a great gift-giving opportunity, coinciding as it does with the Great Pumpkin TV special, the most popular of the Peanuts cartoon specials. Full color.


There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat!

by Lucille Colandro, Jared Lee (Illustrator)
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What won’t this old lady swallow? This time around, a bat, an owl, a cat, a ghost, a goblin, some bones, and a wizard are all on the menu! This Halloween-themed twist on the classic “little old lady” books will delight and entertain all brave readers who dare to read it!

Room on the Broom

by Julia Donaldson, Axel Scheffler
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The witch and her cat are happily flying through the sky on a broomstick when the wind picks up and blows away the witch’s hat, then her bow, and then her wand!  Luckily, three helpful animals find the missing items, and all they want in return is a ride on the broom.  But is there room on the broom for so many friends?  And when disaster strikes, will they be able to save the witch from a hungry dragon.

Gus And The Baby Ghost (Gus the Ghost)

by Jane Thayer, Seymour Fleishman (Illustrator)
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Gus, Cora the cat, a mouse named Mouse, and Mr. Frizzle all live in the Historical Museum. They have a fairly symbiotic relationship, until the arrival of this baby ghost that is left on the doorstep. Frizzle who has a terrible temper and is reminiscent of most bad-tempered excessively rigid old men overreacts a number of times in most theatrical and entertaining ways before the mild-mannered Gus stands his ground, puts Frizzle in his place, and restores order to the emotional state of the household.

 


It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

by Charles M. Schulz

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We read this book every year and even when it’s not Halloween. Ours is a 1972 printing and a Charles Schulz favorite all about Linus and his belief in the Great Pumpkin. He gives up trick-or-treating to wait for the Great Pumpkin on Halloween night and just about the only person who believes he might be on to something is Sally.

“Dear Great Pumpkin, I am looking forward to your arrival on Halloween Night. ” – Linus

Will the Great Pumpkin bring toys and visit Linus this year? Follow along to find out!


Continue reading “Halloween Reads for Children – Happy Halloween!”

Music Monday: Michael Jackson – Thriller – 1982

Music Monday

This meme was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I’m having so much fun with this meme and look forward to sharing a new song every Monday.

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This week’s song pick is:

Michael Jackson’s

Thriller

I chose this song because it’s a childhood favorite and perfect for the Halloween season. I can still remember the first time I saw it on MTV as a child. It still captivates me and this still remains my favorite Michael Jackson album of all time. There’s a story here and if you watch the entire video, you’ll see some phenomenal dancing.

Continue reading “Music Monday: Michael Jackson – Thriller – 1982”

Shabby Sunday: Time Life – The Enchanted World Series – Ghosts 1984

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Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

Ghosts (The Enchanted World)

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Blurb: Presents tales and examines varieties of beliefs about death and hauntings, characteristics and habits of ghosts, exorcism rites, and haunted places.

I chose this book because it’s one of my favorites in the series and perfect for this time of year. This volume is from 1984 and although the cover has some heavy wear, the pages are in excellent crisp condition.

My Thoughts:

I’ve been working to complete my collection of The Enchanted World Series throughout this year and this has to be one of my favorite volumes yet. The volume titled Ghosts is packed full of ghost stories dating from the 1800’s up to the 1980’s. Some are hauntings and exorcisms, while others cover haunted places. Some of the stories include banshees, nightwalkers, ravens, poltergeists, ghost children, and the Ankou (skeletal monsters). A few of my favorites in this volume are “Glam’s Tale” and “Song of the Sorrowing Harp”, but my absolute favorite is a story about a woman and her detaching head from the English county of Lancashire titled “A Meeting on the Road Home” which is creepy and comical.

These books contain stunning works of art and they always steal the show. You can locate the artists in the back of the book and learn about where all these tales originated in the bibliography. I like the way this volume was put together as it contains multiple stories from around the world. The artwork in this volume isn’t as explicit as the others, and the tales are interesting, but I probably wouldn’t recommend this one to young children as some of the stories are very eerie and involve killings. 4.5 ****


You can find this book on Goodreads and Amazon

  • Series: Enchanted World
  • Hardcover: 143 pages
  • Publisher: Time Life Education; 1st edition (September 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809452162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809452163

With shipping, you can probably find this volume on eBay and Amazon for under $9

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Some of the gold letters on the title are wearing off. The fabric cover is a bit faded as well.

 

 

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Glam’s Tale

 

 

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To see the banshee, said the Irish, meant to foresee one’s own death. This sad harbinger often appeared as a pale young woman, washing graveclothes in lonely streams.

 

 

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Song of the Sorrowing Harp

Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Time Life – The Enchanted World Series – Ghosts 1984”

Flower Friday: October 27th – Calibrachoa

I learned about Flower Friday from Lorilin@Bugbugbooks last month and have been having a lot of fun sharing some flower pics every Friday.

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This week’s flower is the Calibrachoa. This is a picture of one of my hanging baskets from this summer. Our Mourning Doves love to lay their eggs and raise their young in these hanging baskets.

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Continue reading “Flower Friday: October 27th – Calibrachoa”

Throwback Thursday – October 26th – Fall to Pieces: A Memoir of Drugs, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Mental Illness

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick:

Fall to Pieces: A Memoir of Drugs, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Mental Illness

by Mary Forsberg WeilandLarkin Warren

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Blurb: Fall to Pieces is a beautifully written, visceral, roller coaster ride inside bipolar disorder, rock ’n’ roll, celebrity culture, and the world of modeling. Mary Forsberg Weiland, wife of Scott Weiland, frontman for Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, tells a harrowing true story of depression, drug addiction, and mental illness with candor and, often, humor. Co-written with veteran journalist Larkin Warren, Fall to Pieces is a blistering, eye-opening memoir of Hollywood meltdown in the bestselling vein of Tatum O’Neal’s A Paper Life and Valerie Bertinelli’s Losing It.

My Thoughts:

Fall to Pieces by Mary Forsberg Weiland is an insightful memoir about Mary and her struggle with mental illness, drug use, and her relationship with Scott Weiland, former singer of Stone Temple Pilots.

My entire life I’ve loved music and my teen years in the 90’s was where music became a necessity for everyday life as I experienced similar issues to what Mary had, although nowhere near as extreme. Stone Temple Pilots was one of my favorites and Scott remained a favorite singer of mine in STP, Velvet Revolver and even his solo albums. When he passed away in 2015 I was shocked. Another great artist was gone and the horrible comments and accusations about him as a person began. People would call him a junkie, loser, abuser, and careless to name few. These words from people who were obviously not fans and those who don’t understand addiction and mental disease. They also don’t know what Scott experienced in his life. After reading Scott’s book, I wanted to see what Mary had to say. To see my review on Scott Weiland’s book Click Here

Firstly, this book has much more content than Scott’s Not Dead and Not for Sale. This book doesn’t highlight everything about Scott, but covers Mary and Scott’s relationship from the beginning until their divorce. Mary starts by discussing her early family life and emancipation at 17 which leads into her modeling career. She talks about her struggle with addiction long before her relationship with Scott started.

Mary obviously loved Scott, but it seemed like their relationship was doomed from the beginning. Scott was heavy into drugs and Mary knew it. They both had issues from the past and despite their mental illnesses, they got married and had kids. Up and down and all around is the best way to describe their journey together. It’s sad at times and at one point Mary pulls a Bernadine from “Waiting to Exhale” on Scott’s wardrobe. There’s a lot here you’ll never know if you don’t read the book. It contains journal entries, photos, and a lot of personal information. I learned about friendships that Mary had with other models, actors, and celebrities that I never knew about. Her bi-polar episodes didn’t really appear until the last quarter of the book.

What’s sad is that Scott couldn’t straighten up despite Mary’s persistence. Obviously, it’s what she wanted for herself and the kids, but she had her own demons to deal with and it’s sad the kids don’t have their dad to grow up with. I suppose having kids in this relationship was a bad idea, but I love Mary’s “no regrets” attitude. His kids are teens themselves now.

I enjoyed the writing style and the story told in chronological order. It’s an easy, fast-paced read that’s written well. If you want to know more about Mary and Scott, read it. You won’t be sorry…

4****

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday – October 26th – Fall to Pieces: A Memoir of Drugs, Rock ‘n’ Roll, and Mental Illness”

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld – Book Review

The Child Finder

by Rene Denfeld

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Blurb: Three years ago, Madison Culver disappeared when her family was choosing a Christmas tree in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She would be eight years old now—if she has survived. Desperate to find their beloved daughter, certain someone took her, the Culvers turn to Naomi, a private investigator with an uncanny talent for locating the lost and missing. Known to the police and a select group of parents as The Child Finder, Naomi is their last hope.

Naomi’s methodical search takes her deep into the icy, mysterious forest in the Pacific Northwest, and into her own fragmented past. She understands children like Madison because once upon a time, she was a lost girl too.

As Naomi relentlessly pursues and slowly uncovers the truth behind Madison’s disappearance, shards of a dark dream pierce the defenses that have protected her, reminding her of a terrible loss she feels but cannot remember. If she finds Madison, will Naomi ultimately unlock the secrets of her own life?


 

My Review:

After witnessing many friends rate and review this book so highly, I had to read it! I was lucky enough to be the first in line for it at my library.

The story begins with Madison, a young girl who is in search for the perfect Christmas tree alongside her parents in Oregon’s Skookum National Forest. She’s only five-years-old and suddenly disappears. Her parents are distraught and search teams have come up with nothing. Madison’s parents find Naomi,  a private investigator with an interest in child finding. It’s been three years and Madison is now eight-years-old if she’s still out there. Her parents are desperate, having trouble in their marriage, and cannot move on until they know what happened to Madison and whether or not she’s still alive.

Madison Culver is a five-year-old girl. Her parents say she likes reading, writing, and going for nature walks. She was excited to get a Christmas tree. 

As Naomi begins to search, her own past comes into light and readers learn that Naomi was once a lost child too. The book flips back and forth between Naomi’s past and the present search for Madison and also another case, a missing baby.

In the dream it was night and she was again a naked child running across a dark field. She was ageless, shedding her name and false self the way she had shed her clothes. The fields were wet and black and sticky. her feet were churning, her naked knees rising, and she could feel the wind in her hair, on her cheek, and around her helpless, clutching hands. 

It took me forever to get into this book and I just couldn’t get used to the format and writing. When I first started reading it, I thought it was going to be so awesome. I liked all of the characters, but I wasn’t sure about how I felt about the story switching back to Naomi’s past.  Learning about Naomi’s foster mom and the love she instilled in her after she’d been found was heartwarming and fills you with hope, but I just couldn’t connect with it, and for some odd reason it felt out of place and seemed like the details were lacking. I felt the same with her relationship with Jerome. I liked the interaction between Naomi, Detective Winfield, and Ranger Dave, but it felt a tad underdeveloped to me as well, although I still enjoyed it.

As the story continued, I found it moving and even poetic. This book was definitely haunting and hard to read at times, but for me, this wasn’t a thriller until page 240. At that point, it was a race to the end. I’m really hoping for a second book to see if Naomi will solve her own mysteries and I’m definitely looking forward to reading more from this author.

I did enjoy this and my rating on it is 4 stars.

4-stars


Find this book on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (September 5, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062659057
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062659057

Continue reading “The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld – Book Review”

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne – Book Review

The Heart’s Invisible Furies

by John Boyne

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Blurb: From the beloved New York Times bestselling author of The Boy In the Striped Pajamas, a sweeping, heartfelt saga about the course of one man’s life, beginning and ending in post-war Ireland

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery — or at least, that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?

Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from and over his many years will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country, and much more.

In this, Boyne’s most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. The Heart’s Invisible Furies is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit.


My Review:

I picked this up on Netgalley as soon as I saw it and I was luckily approved. I read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas years ago with my oldest son and couldn’t wait to read this after I read a few reviews on Goodreads from some close friends. The book wasn’t what I expected and due to the myriad of feelings I have about it, I’ve been struggling to write a review on it for a few weeks now. There might be spoilers here.

The story begins with a teenage girl named Catherine who is pregnant and not accepted by her family or church any longer. It’s the 1940’s in Ireland and she’s exiled and expected to start a new life elsewhere, which she does. After her baby is born, she gives him up and he’s adopted by a couple named Charles and Maude Avery. They name him Cyril and he loves his adoptive parents very much, but he doesn’t receive the love he deserves from them and he’s consistently told, “You’re not a real Avery.”

As Cyril grows older, he begins questioning why he doesn’t seem to have an interest in girls and seems to have an attraction to only boys. At the age of 7, he discovers after meeting a boy named Julian, that he loves him and eventually they become best friends into adulthood. Julian is attractive and always interested in new women, but Cyril won’t be accepted for who he is and must live in secret by hiding behind his true self due to his sexual identity. From that moment on, he continues to act as though he has an interest in women while keeping the truth a secret because it’s not accepted by anyone and can be flat-out dangerous if someone finds out. Being gay wasn’t accepted and people who were suspected to be gay were beaten up and called names like ‘nanny boys’ and ‘queers’. Cyril loved Julian from the moment they meet, but even his best friend won’t accept the truth when he finds out that he is gay and becomes very upset with him because he didn’t tell the truth from the beginning.

As time moves forward, many different events take place. Cyril get’s married, he moves away and starts a new life, wonders where his real mother is and who he really is. Will Cyril ever find the love he deserves and will it last?

-There were parts of the story that were slow, but something would happen to pull me right back in again.

-I had many emotions when reading this book and even laughed and cried a few times. I found it sad, shocking, comical, and scary.

-I was angry with how Cyril and others were treated and parts of the story were very difficult to read. From the beginning of Cyril’s life, it seemed as though he had to live as an outsider and wasn’t accepted.

-I had a little bit of a hard time connecting with the characters at first even though they are unique, interesting, and unforgettable.

-I loved the way characters came in and out of the story as the book is written in intervals of about 7 years from the 1940’s to the present.

-The ending was exactly what I wanted. Even though I found it sad, I was happy and surprised by it. Everything I wanted to find out about was there, especially in the end.

-I was very pleased with the epilogue and glad that it was included.

I seriously want to just list out everything that happened in this book and express every emotion I had, but I’m not going to. I’m going to say that it’s a good book, written well, and I enjoyed it. At nearly 600 pages, even with the slower parts in the story, there was always something new happening and I had to finish it. I’m giving it a rating of 4 stars.

Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for sharing this book with me in exchange for an honest review.

4-stars


 Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Hogarth; 1st Edition edition (August 22, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1524760781
  • ISBN-13: 978-1524760786

Continue reading “The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne – Book Review”

Music Monday: Cry Little Sister by G Tom Mac aka Gerard McMann from “The Lost Boys”

Music Monday

This meme was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I’m having so much fun with this meme and look forward to sharing a new song every Monday.

musicmonday

This week’s song pick is:

G Tom Mac aka Gerard McMann

“Cry Little Sister”

I chose this song because I still love it after all these years. I actually have the soundtrack on vinyl. This time of year I watch “The Lost Boys” from 1987 a lot and had the song on my mind. I know I’ve recently shared this song on a previous tag, but here it is again.

Lyrics

Last fire will rise
Behind those eyes
Black house will rock
Blind boys don’t lie

Immortal fear
That voice so clear
Through broken walls
That scream I hear

Cry, little sister! (Thou shalt not fall)
Come, come to your brother! (Thou shalt not die)
Unchain me, sister! (Thou shalt not fear)
Love is with your brother! (Thou shalt not kill)

Blue masquerade
Strangers look on
When will they learn
This loneliness?

Temptation heat
Beats like a drum
Deep in your veins
I will not lie

Little sister! (Thou shalt not fall)
Come, come to your brother! (Thou shalt not die)
Unchain me, sister! (Thou shalt not fear)
Love is with your brother! (Thou shalt not kill)

My Shangri-Las
I can’t forget
Why you were mine
I need you now!

Cry, little sister! (Thou shalt not fall)
Come, come to your brother! (Thou shalt not die)
Unchain me, sister! (Thou shalt not fear)
Love is with your brother! (Thou shalt not kill)

Cry, little sister! (Thou shalt not fall)
Come, come to your brother! (Thou shalt not die)
Unchain me, sister! (Thou shalt not fear)
Love is with your brother! (Thou shalt not kill)

Cry, sister!

Continue reading “Music Monday: Cry Little Sister by G Tom Mac aka Gerard McMann from “The Lost Boys””

Halloween Reads for Children #5 – Octavius Grimwood’s Graveyard Guide by Rod Green

Every day or so, until Halloween, I’ll post one of our favorite children’s reads for the fall and Halloween season which will end with a grand finale on Halloween!

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Today’s pick is:

Octavius Grimwood’s Graveyard Guide

by Rod Green

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Blurb: Boys and girls who relish scary stories and macabre movies will love this coffin-shaped book. It’s an illustrated collection of short articles that present thumbnail descriptions of vampire bats, the Frankenstein monster, the spooky tunnels beneath the streets of Paris, the Dracula legend, and much more. Each two-page spread is devoted to a separate category of factual or fictitious creature, such as Vampires, Skeletons, Werewolves, Zombies, and others. Kids will also find fact lists of descriptive details about terrifying beings, and even ghoulish jokes, such as: ” Why doesn’t Dracula have any friends? Because he’s a pain in the neck. ” The color illustrations on every page are comically creepy.


My Thoughts:

Leave it to Rod Green to come up with the coolest children’s books. We already have a few Christmas books written by him that are forever favorites. This one is for Halloween and it’s titled Octavius Grimwood’s Graveyard Guide. It’s shaped like a coffin! So cool.

The book starts with an introduction of Octavius Grimwood, an investigator of the supernatural, spooky, and weird. Octavius Grimwood is the guide as he takes readers on an exploration retelling stories about ghosts, witches, skeletons, werewolves, vampires, mummies, and zombies. Each page contains true facts and some events as well. It even covers some fairly spooky legends and places like a few different haunted houses, Highgate Cemetery, and Borley Rectory in England to name a few.

“Borley Rectory was one of the most famous haunted houses in England. It was built near the ruins of Borley Hall, once home to the wealthy Waldegrave family. Its most famous ghost was a nun, and she was the figure I met there one chilly night in 1939. The specter told me she ran away to marry one of the Waldegrave sons. However, her fiance killed her in a violent argument. The rectory burned down shortly after my visit, and the bones of a young woman were discovered.”

The book finishes with an explanation of Halloween and how it all got started. It may not seem like it, but it’s actually quite educational. I even learned a few things myself about safety coffins and the story of “Stingy Jack.” Overall, it’s fun and we love the format. The illustrations are both creepy and interesting. We look forward to pulling it off the Halloween shelf every year!

5 Sterne

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 – 7
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Barron’s Educational Series (August 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764163779
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764163777

Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon


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Continue reading “Halloween Reads for Children #5 – Octavius Grimwood’s Graveyard Guide by Rod Green”

Shabby Sunday: The Nature Doctor by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel – 1991

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Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

The Nature Doctor

by Alfred Vogel (Dr. H.C.A. Vogel)

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Blurb: The first British edition of this worldwide bestseller, The Nature Doctor, fully revised and updated, comes complete with comprehensive appendices, offering the reader easy access to a wealth of information from the ‘father’ of natural healing.

Dr. H. C. A. Vogel comes from a Swiss family where the secrets of herbalism were known and practiced. From early childhood he was eager to learn about the healing powers of plants and bit by bit he collected and expanded the traditional and empirical knowledge of European folk-medicine. Since 1929 he has reported his experiences and observations as a nature practitioner, nutritionist, researcher of medicinal plants and discoverer of natural healing powers, in his monthly periodical Gesundheit-Nachrichten (A. Vogel’s Health News).

First published in 1952, The Nature Doctor has become a recognized standard publication even among medical doctors and scientists.

I chose this book because it’s one of my favorite health book finds of all time and from 1991. I found this book at a rummage sale years ago and I’ve used it so much and it’s fairly shabby. My copy has scratches, a bent cover and pages, and heavy wear to the binding.


My Thoughts:

Ever since I found this book, I’ve discovered so many natural cures and reliable remedies that have helped me in so many ways. I’m not always a fan of self-help/health books, but this one is a favorite.

There are treatments for multiple conditions including wounds, burns, colds, diseases, and many other ailments. There are diet recommendations for prevention which teaches us how we can keep ourselves clean and free from disease before it strikes. Prevention is better than cure! It contains multiple sections of information on how to care for our bodies from our hair to our feet and stay connected to the earth. One of my favorite paragraphs in the book discusses walking barefoot.

Walking barefoot is increasingly becoming a thing of the past. In fact, nowadays many people associate it with poverty or excentricity — they look down on it. Just try it and dare to go for a long walk without your shoes and watch how many glances of surprise, pity, and even contempt you will attract. What does this indicate? That the onlookers have all but forgotten or never learned the benefits of walking. They know nothing of the peculiar, mysterious power it can convey, or else they would not react the way they do. If you go for an early morning walk on dewy grass you will soon notice that going barefoot makes you feel really good, generating new strength when you have been feeling tired and worn out. It is like recharging one’s batteries, so to speak, recharging your run-down nerves with energy. It seems as if Mother Earth is giving off energy that improves glandular functions. This is why I consider it rather strange that, although overtired and worn-out, we do not take full advantage of this simple regenerative treatment, which is able to stimulate our endocrine glands to increase their activity. 

I noticed that only a few of the actual medicines may be out of date, but most of the book offers a plethora of natural medicine treatments from plants (herbs, fruits, and vegetables). It answers simple questions about calcium, what type of rice to eat, and even cancer causes and what to do about it. There’s so much we can control by just eating the right foods that are available to us and The Nature Doctor reminds us that everything we need to stay healthy is right here on Earth and within our grasp! Readers will also be inspired by simple measures such as taking a brisk walk outside and breathing in deeply.

I recommend this book for anyone who has an interest in natural medicine, wants to stay healthy, or those that suffer from sickness, common ailments, or disease.

5 Sterne

Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon

  • Paperback: 678 pages
  • Publisher: Keats Pub; Rev Sub edition (November 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879835591
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879835590

 

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Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: The Nature Doctor by Dr. H.C.A. Vogel – 1991”

Flower Friday: October 20th – Rafflesia

I learned about Flower Friday from Lorilin@Bugbugbooks last month and have been having a lot of fun sharing some flower pics every Friday.

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This week, my friend Nel@Reactionaryales shared a post on the rafflesia flower. I thought I’d share a picture of it for Flower Friday today as it’s a very interesting one. You can see her post on the rafflesia HERE. You’ll find out where it grows and learn some interesting facts about the flower as well.

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Continue reading “Flower Friday: October 20th – Rafflesia”

Tag: The End of the Year Book Tag

I was tagged by Alex@Coffeelovingbookoholic for The End of the Year Book Tag last month. I’d like to thank Alex for the tag and please check out her blog! She has many book reviews, tags, awards, beautiful Bookstagram photos, and more!

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Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Yes. I need to finish The Cottingley Secret. I picked this book up and started reading it, but I lost interest. It didn’t have anything to do with the book, I think I just picked it up at the wrong time. I still plan on having it read by the end of the year.

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Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

Well, these aren’t really autumnal, but I am reading the Harry Potter series which will take me to the end of the year or longer to read. I’m listening on Audible, but I may transition into some of the physical books. I really want to read the new illustrated editions too.

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 Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

I was waiting for The Wife Between Us, but then I got approved for it on NetGalley.

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What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

Hmm, only three? Okay, Little Fires Everywhere, The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding, and The Glass Castle.

 

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

I’ll say White Fur. I have to start this soon and have a good feeling about it after seeing a few friends reviews.

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Have you already started making reading plans for 2018?

Oh yeah, big plans for 2018. First, I plan to have better control of my TBR which has now just surpassed 10,000. There’s no way I can read all of those. I try to add books I genuinely want to read, but that’s just way too many. I also plan to have better control of my reading schedule. I tried working with lists, but find that I’m much happier just picking up a book when I want to and reading it when I feel like it. I also plan to control my ARC requesting. I requested too many this year and I’ll be lucky to have them all read and reviewed by the end of the year.

Continue reading “Tag: The End of the Year Book Tag”

Throwback Thursday: Paw Tracks in the Moonlight by Denis O’Connor

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick:

Paw Tracks in the Moonlight

(Paw Tracks #1)

by Denis O’Connor

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Blurb: The heart-warming story of one man and his cat

When Denis O’Connor rescues a three-week-old kitten from certain death during a snowstorm, little does he know how this tiny creature will change his life forever. Against all odds the kitten – who he names Toby Jug – survives and forms an unusually strong bond with his rescuer.

Set against the rural splendour of Northumberland, “Paw Tracks in the Moonlight” charmingly chronicles the adventures of one man and his Maine Coone cat. From an invasion of bees at Owl Cottage to the case of the disappearing tomatoes, life with Toby Jug – who believes himself to be human – is never dull. Nevertheless, it is only when Denis and Toby Jug embark on a summer camping trip on horseback in the Cheviot Hills that a new world opens up for them both.

Cover illustration: Richard Morris

My Thoughts:

I first noticed this book after my friend Leila was reading it on Goodreads and then I noticed that Luis Carlos Montalvan had rated it highly and reviewed it as well. I got online and ordered a copy and was pleasantly surprised to obtain a signed copy. I’m so happy to have found this gem of a book! It’s one of the best cat stories I’ve read.

This book is the true story of Toby Jug, a Maine Coone kitten rescued at the age of three weeks old from the barren winter by the author, Denis O’Connor. The book highlights the author’s experience with trying to save Toby Jug with limited resources and knowledge. Denis O’Connor shares the story of the relationship they build together over the course of a year and beyond.

Toby Jug proved to be a unique cat who was both curious and adventurous but remained loyal to Denis throughout his life. I loved reading about their adventures together, including car rides and walks through the garden. It reminded me of my own cats and the time that we spend together outside when I come out into their world and the unique relationship we can have with animals if we only let them lead the way. Not only that, I admired the way the author describes the countryside in Northumberland, England, and at their place of residence, Owl Cottage. It’s quite fascinating and I began to reflect on how much I appreciate the seasons as each season from Toby Jug’s first winter, spring, summer, and fall is described in beautiful detail. All of their adventures together from an infiltration of bees into Owl Cottage, to riding horseback through the countryside are described in this book. When reading, parts of the book seemed boring, but they really aren’t if you take the time to appreciate the beautiful prose. The ending of Toby Jug’s life is saved for the epilogue and can be skipped entirely if desired.

I do plan on reading the next two books in the series. My rating on this book is 5-stars.

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Paw Tracks in the Moonlight by Denis O’Connor”

Halloween Reads for Children #4 – Happy Troll-o-ween! by Mary Man-Kong – Random House

Every day until Halloween I’ll post one of our favorite children’s reads for the fall and Halloween season which will end with a grand finale on Halloween!

 

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Today’s pick is:

Happy Troll-o-ween! (DreamWorks Trolls)

by Mary Man-Kong –  Random House

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Blurb: Trolls—the most magical creatures with the wildest hair—go on a hair-raising adventure just in time for Halloween.

Poppy and Branch and their Bergen friends King Gristle and Bridget from DreamWorks Trolls have a scary good time when they learn about things that go bump in the dark forest. Boys and girls ages 3 to 7 will love this adventure-filled book that comes just in time for Halloween!

My Thoughts:

This book really doesn’t have much of a story, but for kids who love Trolls, this will be one of their favorite Halloween books. Branch tells readers all about how they used to be scared of the Bergens, but now they’re not. There are plenty of spooky things that live in the dark forest though, like Tarantapuffs (spiders) and other creatures.

It comes with a few pages of stickers and a Poppy and Branch pop out mask. It’s a cute book at a good price that Troll fans will enjoy.

4-stars

  • Age Range: 3 – 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 2
  • Series: Pictureback(R)
  • Paperback: 16 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; Stk edition (July 25, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1524769584
  • ISBN-13: 978-1524769581

Find it on Amazon and Goodreads


 

 

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Pop-out Poppy and Branch Masks

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Continue reading “Halloween Reads for Children #4 – Happy Troll-o-ween! by Mary Man-Kong – Random House”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Rice Pudding Smoothie – The Child Finder – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Happy Wednesday everyone! I’m back this week with a new recipe and two books that I’m reading. I hope you enjoy!

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Rice Pudding Smoothie

Ingredients:

1/2 cup almond milk

1 Frozen banana (substitute ice for the banana if you’d like)

1 TB Vanilla

1 heaping tsp of raw honey

1 stevia packet

1/2 cup white rice (cooked and cooled)

1/4 to a 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

Directions:

Add everything into the blender in the order specified omitting the rice. Blend it smooth, then add in the rice and pulse a few times for 5 seconds or so. If you blend the smoothie too much, it will get very thick and hard to drink.

Here are some of the spice brands I like to use. I buy all of these from Costco.

 

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Ground cinnamon

 

 

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Pure Vanilla

 

 

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Sweetener made from stevia

 

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I buy whole nutmeg locally and store it in a jar.

 

I like to use a microplane to grind down my nutmeg and other whole spices. It’s so easy and fresh spices really make a difference.

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I ended up doubling the recipe to make a few servings. The key is to stick with the exact amount of ingredients. If you add to much rice, it will ruin the smoothie. Stick to the ratio in the recipe above and it’ll be perfect.

 

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I think it’s best with a little less cinnamon! I went with the full half tsp. Start with 1/4 tsp and then add more to taste.

 

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Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Rice Pudding Smoothie – The Child Finder – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

Halloween Reads for Children #3 – Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman and S.D. Schindler

Every day until Halloween I’ll post one of our favorite children’s reads for the fall and Halloween season which will end with a grand finale on Halloween!

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Today’s pick is:

Big Pumpkin

by Erica SilvermanS.D. Schindler (Illustrator)

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Blurb: The witch has grown the biggest pumpkin ever, and now she wants to make herself a pumpkin pie for Halloween. But the pumpkin is so big she can’t get it off the vine.

It’s so big the ghost can’t move it, either. Neither can the vampire, nor the mummy. It looks as if there’ll be no pumpkin pie for Halloween, until along comes the bat with an idea to save the day.

How can the tiny bat succeed where bigger and strong spooky creatures have failed? You’ll be surprised!

Book Details:

Format: Paperback Publication Date: 9/1/1995 Pages: 32 Reading Level: Age 4 and Up

  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Aladdin; Reprint edition (September 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689801297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689801297

Find on Amazon and Goodreads


My Thoughts:

As soon as we saw this on the Halloween table at Barnes and Noble, we had to grab it. It a book about a witch who grows a giant pumpkin! She plants the seed and watches it grow with plans to make a pumpkin pie, but the pumpkin is so gigantic, she can’t even remove it from the vine. The ghost thinks he can help, then the vampire, then the mummy, but not one of them is strong enough. Will a little bat be the answer? Follow along in the story to see if they can devise a plan as a team and finally enjoy some delicious pumpkin pie and good company.

We loved the story and colorful illustrations which aren’t scary at all. It has the perfect amount of text per page for young readers. It’s great with or without the audio and if you’d like, you can see and hear the book on YouTube. The ending is a wonderful surprise.

My rating on this one is 4****

4-stars


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Continue reading “Halloween Reads for Children #3 – Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman and S.D. Schindler”

Music Monday: Faith No More “A Small Victory”

Music Monday

This meme was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song that you really like and share it on Monday. I’m having so much fun with this meme and look forward to sharing a new song every Monday.

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This week’s song pick is:

Faith No More

“A Small Victory”

I was around 15 years old when this album came out. I had enough money to purchase three CD’s from my favorite place in the world at that time–Hegewisch Records. I ended up purchasing Faith No More’s Angel Dust, Nirvana’s Nevermind and Pearl Jam’s Ten. The lead singer of Faith No more, Mike Patton, has always been a favorite and his voice captivates me. The band has been together since 1979, became Faith No More in 1982, and they still perform today.

 

Lyrics:

A hierarchy
Spread out on the nightstand
The spirit of team
Salvation is another chance
A sore loser
Yelling with my mouth shut
A cracking portrait
The fondling of trophies
The null of losing
Can you afford that luxury?
A sore winner
But I’ll just keep my mouth shut

It shouldn’t bother me, no
It shouldn’t, no, no
It shouldn’t bother me, no
It shouldn’t
But it does!

The small victories
The cankers and medallions
The little nothings
That keeps me thinking that someday
I might beat you
But I’ll just keep my mouth shut

It shouldn’t bother me, no
It shouldn’t, no, no
It shouldn’t bother me, no
It shouldn’t
But it, but it does!

It. Shouldn’t. Bother me!
It. Shouldn’t. Bother me!

It. Shouldn’t. Bother me!
(It shouldn’t bother me, no
It shouldn’t, no, no)
It. Shouldn’t. Bother me!
(It shouldn’t bother me, no
It shouldn’t)

If I speak at one constant volume at one constant pitch
At one constant rhythm right into your ear, you still won’t hear
You still won’t hear
You still won’t hear
You still won’t hear
You still won’t hear
You still won’t hear
You still won’t hear

Continue reading “Music Monday: Faith No More “A Small Victory””

Shabby Sunday: Witch Poems by Daisy Wallace and Trina Schart Hyman – 1976

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To see all the Shabby Sunday books that I’ve chosen, please click on ‘Shabby Sunday’ under categories.


Shabby Sunday Meme

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then, I thought that maybe there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? Please feel free to participate. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s shabby share is:

Witch Poems

by Daisy Wallace (Editor)Trina Schart Hyman (Illustrator)

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Blurb: Small, tall, nasty, nice, old, and young witches by prominent poets. Eighteen poems about witches by L. Frank Baum, E.E. Cummings, Eleanor Farjeon, and others.

I chose this book because it’s a childhood favorite from 1976 and definitely in shabby shape. My edition is very worn and a previous library book with stickers and markings. This is another book that my dog Winston got to when he was a puppy. He ate the corner and I had to do a duct tape repair on it.


My Thoughts:

This book is one of our favorites to read around Halloween time. There are witch poems from multiple poets including Shakespeare, L.Frank Baum, Myra Cohn Livingston and a few anonymous.

One of our favorites is written by Myra Cohn Livingston. It’s titled “Lazy Witch.”

Lazy Witch

Lazy witch
What’s wrong with you?
Get up and stir your magic brew.
Here’s candlelight to chase the gloom.
Jump up and mount your flying broom
And muster up your charms and spells
And wicked grins and piercing yells.
It’s Halloween! There’s work to do!
Lazy witch,
What’s wrong with you?

–Myra Cohn Livingston

What makes this book so atmospheric are the illustrations. They’re all black and white and remind me of Pam Smy’s illustrations in Thornhill.

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It sets the mood and makes this a perfect book for Halloween. There is actually one semi-nude illustration in the beginning of the book, but the book is labeled for children ages 3 and up. We enjoy all eighteen poems.

My rating on this one is 5-stars.

5 Sterne


Add it on Goodreads or find this edition on Amazon

  • Age Range: 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 30 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House; First Edition edition (December 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823402819
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823402816

 


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Continue reading “Shabby Sunday: Witch Poems by Daisy Wallace and Trina Schart Hyman – 1976”

Halloween Reads For Children #2 – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 1-3

Every day until Halloween I’ll post one of our favorite children’s reads for the fall and Halloween season which will end with a grand finale on Halloween!

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Today’s pick is:

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark:

Books 1-3

1- Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark: Collected from American Folklore (Scary Stories #1)

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Blurb: This spooky addition to Alvin Schwartz’s popular books on American folklore is filled with tales of eerie horror and dark revenge that will make you jump with fright.

There is a story here for everyone — skeletons with torn and tangled flesh who roam the earth; a ghost who takes revenge on her murderer; and a haunted house where every night a bloody head falls down the chimney.

Stephen Gammell’s splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories — and even scary songs — all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark. If You Dare!

Find on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Scary Stories Scary Stories
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HarperColl; 1st edition (January 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0397319266
  • ISBN-13: 978-0397319268

My Thoughts:

This is a great collection of short scary stories for kids to enjoy. It’s a book that I enjoyed as a child and can now share with my own kids. Some of the stories are pretty scary and best for older readers, but a few of them can be read to younger readers as well. There are plenty of traditional ghost stories, retellings and folklore to enjoy. The black and white illustrations add even more eeriness!

A few of our favorites include The White Wolf, The Guests, The Wendigo, The Girl Who Stood on a Grave, and The Attic.

I really enjoyed reading the references in the back of the book which explain the tales and where they originated.

5 Sterne


2- More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Scary Stories #2)

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Blurb: All those who enjoyed shuddering their way through Alvin Schwartz’s first volume of Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark will find a satisfyingly spooky sequel in this new collection of the macabre, the funny, and the fantastic.Is it possible to die — and not know it? What if a person is buried too soon? What happens to a thief foolish enough to rob a corpse, or to a murderer whose victim returns from the grave? Read about these terrifying predicaments as well as what happens when practical jokes produce gruesome consequences and initiations go awry.Stephen Gammell’s splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories — and even a scary song — all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark. If You Dare!

Find on Amazon and Goodreads

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Scary Stories Scary Stories
  • Library Binding: 112 pages
  • Publisher: HarperColl (August 21, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0397320825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0397320820

My Thoughts:

Here’s another scary story collection that’s perfect for this time of year. Some of these are downright horrifying, but so much fun.

A few of our favorites are: Something was Wrong, The Cat’s Paw, Ba-Rooom!, which includes the simple sheet music we enjoy playing on the piano, Wonderful Sausage, and One Sunday Morning.

One of my favorite sections in the book contains the sources which explain the tales, adaptations, retellings and even different variations. Some even have a little history with them which explains where these tales were heard and when. The illustrations by Stephen Gammell are perfect and never disappoint!

5 Sterne

Irish Washerman Tune – “Ba-Room”

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The Cat’s Paw

Continue reading “Halloween Reads For Children #2 – Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark 1-3”

Halloween Reads For Children #1 – Creepy Pair of Underwear!

Every day until Halloween I’ll post one of our favorite children’s reads for the fall and Halloween season which will end with a grand finale on Halloween!

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Today’s pick is:

Creepy Pair of Underwear!

by Aaron ReynoldsPeter Brown (Illustrator)

 

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Blurb: Jasper Rabbit is NOT a little bunny anymore. He’s not afraid of the dark, and he’s definitely not afraid of something as silly as underwear. But when the lights go out, suddenly his new big rabbit underwear glows in the dark. A ghoulish, greenish glow. If Jasper didn’t know any better he’d say his undies were a little, well, creepy. Jasper’s not scared obviously, he’s just done with creepy underwear. But after trying everything to get rid of them, they keep coming back!

My Thoughts:

We loved Creepy Carrots, so when we saw that Creepy Pair of Underwear came out, we couldn’t resist and had to grab it!

The story begins with Jasper Rabbit as he heads to the store with his mom to pick up some new underwear. He notices a new underwear section featuring creepy underwear and mom agrees that he can purchase them. He’s feeling so grown up and can’t wait to wear them to bed that night.

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When his mom shuts off the light, he notices that the underwear actually glows in the dark. He realizes that they are a little TOO creepy and becomes afraid! Jasper is a big rabbit and convinces himself that he’s not scared, or is he? He tries to hide the creepy underwear with the ghoulish glow in multiple places and even sends them to China, but they keep coming back.

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Follow along in the story and discover if Jasper can find a way to overcome his fear of the creepy pair of underwear.

We loved the illustrations and the story is adorable. Our rating on this one is 5-stars.

5 Sterne

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Continue reading “Halloween Reads For Children #1 – Creepy Pair of Underwear!”

Flower Friday: October 13th – Zinnia

I saw this beautiful blog post at Lorilin@bugbugbooks blog and thought I’d jump on board. It’s Flower Friday! Be sure to check out Lorilin’s flower pic for today. It’s so beautiful!

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I missed Flower Friday last week and didn’t realize it until the weekend. I’m back this week with a special picture of a zinnia we grew together from seed. My 7-year-old daughter took this picture with her tablet. I was quite amazed by it. It reminds me that kids can do some pretty constructive things with their tablets.

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Continue reading “Flower Friday: October 13th – Zinnia”

TAG: The Playlist Shuffle

I was tagged by Claire @ BrizzleLassBooks for The Playlist Shuffle Tag. I’ve never done a tag like this and I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited to do one either! If you haven’t been to Claire’s blog, please go check it out. You’ll find wonderfully written book reviews, music, blog tours, and more. Claire’s also a great friend and I’m glad to know her.

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The Rules

  • Put your music on shuffle and list the first 15 songs to play (no cheating).
  • Tag 10 others to do it as well.

Here we go…

My Shuffle

Seether – Driven Under

 


Alice In Chains – Would?

 


Stone Temple Pilots – Sex Type Thing

 


Imagine Dragons – Demons


Pearl Jam – Release Me

I want to talk about this one. This is one of my favorite songs of all time by Pearl Jam and I had plans to use it for Music Monday. I went ahead and picked this alternate video below because the song is in the movie and this movie is at the top for me. If you haven’t seen “Out of the Furnace” yet, you might want to check it out. It is a violent and emotional movie, but great.

 


Eurythmics – Here Comes The Rain Again

 


Pantera – Walk

 


Drake – Hotline Bling

 


Norman Greenbaum – Spirit In The Sky

 


Linkin Park – Numb


Soundgarden – Rusty Cage

 


Cold War Kids – First


Creed- One Last Breath

 


Sam Smith – I’m Not The Only One


Metallica – The Shortest Straw

Continue reading “TAG: The Playlist Shuffle”

Throwback Thursday: October 12th – The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic as well. Please link back to her@It’s Book Talk.

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This Week’s Pick

The Butterfly Garden (The Collector Book #1)

by Dot Hutchison

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Blurb: Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…

My Thoughts:

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison is a captivating thriller. The collector a.k.a. “The Gardner” begins collecting girls and tattooing them with beautiful designs.  His plan is to keep them until they reach a certain age and then make them permanent fixtures in his garden for all to see. The girls know their fate, but it’s a mystery exactly how and when it will come about. Maya is one of those girls, and the brave one. The Gardener sees something special in her and it might be more than he can handle as she devises a plan of her own.

I liked the characters and felt they had good development. Maya is tough and the main character throughout the story as she’s interrogated by the FBI while giving her side of the story. The Gardener isn’t completely understood, but what serial killer is? Here we have a man who’s living a separate life in his fantasy garden, and it works. When reading the book, I had flashbacks to some of my favorites like The Silence of the Lambs and Kiss The Girls. 

I wasn’t sure if I liked the format of the writing, but still remained fairly fascinated with the story. I found it difficult to read at times and even nightmarish, especially when Keely comes into the picture. It’s definitely not a book everyone will enjoy as it contains rape, kidnapping, and other sick and twisted events, although it seemed that some details were spared and it wasn’t overly gory. There were many twists and turns and it didn’t feel predictable at all.

There is a weird twist toward the end, but unfortunately, the ending was too abrupt and I wasn’t thoroughly satisfied with it. I still give this one 5-stars for captivation and a unique story.

This is one of my favorites for 2016.

Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: October 12th – The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison”

Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Sweet Golden Sun Juice – The Roses of May by Dot Hutchison

After last Wednesday’s Breakfast and Book, my week sort of fell apart. This week is much better and I hope everyone else is having a great week too. I’m back with a new book and recipe that I hope you will enjoy.

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Last week I mentioned that I was back to gluten-free again. It’s actually been close to a month now that I’ve not allowed myself to have any baked goods at all. I’m not supposed to have gluten, yet I’ve learned that a little bit won’t kill me, but my problem is moderation. Gluten causes me to have horrible sick feelings and headaches like you wouldn’t believe. So, I’ve pretty much stayed with salads, smoothies, and juices for the past four weeks or so and all is working out well. I’m still eating eggs and nuts too to help keep myself satisfied. My body is refreshed again and I’m feeling quite well.

One of the books I’ve been using is titled Healing Tonics, Juices, and Smoothies which I’ve already introduced to you in a previous Breakfast and a Book post featuring the Funky Monkey Smoothie. I have that smoothie nearly every day and love it so much. If you haven’t tried that smoothie yet, give it a chance because it’s my new favorite smoothie of the year!

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I thought I’d share one more favorite recipe from this book today as I’ll be reviewing it hopefully later today or tomorrow.


The juice recipe I’m sharing today is titled “Sweet Golden Sun” and it’s very delicious.

Here are the ingredients:

  • 1 inch of fresh turmeric (I’m using fresh dried turmeric)
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/2 of a pineapple

That’s it! Three ingredients!

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Directions:

Wash and peel all produce. If you’re using fresh turmeric, start with that and juice everything after it. This allows the sweet potato and pineapple to push all that wonderful turmeric goodness out of the juicer and into your cup.

Why do I love this recipe so much? It’s packed full of nutrients and turmeric is a huge anti-inflammatory. This is a great start to your morning and a great cold/flu fighter.

*This can be adapted into a smoothie very easily. Just cook the sweet potato first, then blend everything in the blender. This is a great winter smoothie.*

Here’s what I did:

Wash, chop, and peel. I already had some pineapple in the refrigerator ready to go.

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I’m using some smaller size sweet potatoes. One garnet yam and two Japanese sweet potatoes. Japanese sweet potatoes are my absolute favorite and they’re so sweet.

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I’m using fresh dried turmeric that I dried. It’s so easy to do and I’ll do a post on that soon.

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Put the produce through the juicer alternating with pineapple and sweet potato. Save the dried turmeric for after the juice is complete.

Mix in about 3/4 tsp dried turmeric to your juice.

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Continue reading “Wednesday’s Breakfast and a Book – Sweet Golden Sun Juice – The Roses of May by Dot Hutchison”