Friday, June 30, 2017

SOR Picture Book Review: When a Wolf is Hungry by Christine Naumann-Villemin Illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo

You can always seem to rely on *Netgalley to have some of the cutest and original picture books. I wasn't disappointed by this SOR read!

Edmund Bigsnout has a big craving for a rabbit. But not just any he wants city rabbit. Edmund, however, encounters the rabbit's neighbors. He is forced to go back and forth from his home to the city as each neighbor mistakes him for a new neighbor.  Each one borrows the items he has brought in order to eat the rabbit. 

EEEK!! I LOVED this! First, the story was adorably funny. Edmund didn't want any of the neighbors to catch on so he willingly lent them his items like a rope, pot, and chainsaw. I found myself actually laughing out loud when I read this.

The illustrations are awesome as well. The texture detail is great. I loved the high heeled shoes on the turkey and the tuxedo that Edmund wore. The drawings are sure to keep the interest of readers of all ages and both adults and children will find the story itself amusing.

5 out of 5 stars!!

*I recieved a free ecopy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. This in no way influenced my review. 

Thursday, June 29, 2017

SOR Children's Book Review: The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl Illustrated by Quentin Blake

I grabbed this from a pile of books I've had since my own childhood. Roald Dahl was always a favorite of mine as a kid so it is always a delight to go back and reread the books I read as a kid. This is on the 1001 book list and being read for SOR.

Enormous Crocodile is a vile evil huge greedy croc. This nasty crocodile has plans to eat some nice plump children. Despite being admonished by several animals he meets on the way he isn't deterred. However, these animals come back later to stop each and every single one of his dastardly plans to eat up a child or two.

I honestly didn't remember much about this book from my childhood so I don't think it was one of my favorite of his. But I do know I read it at some point since I own the book. But I guess 30 some years later it is understandable that I don't remember it. 

The illustrations are the very recognizable ones that you see through most of Dahl's books and that is very comforting. The ever present humor in them and the nostalgia makes me smile.

The story itself is funny and I love that as always Dahl doesn't candy coat things for children. He knows that they like gruesome horrible things but he does it with his unique style that makes it acceptable for kids to read but still gives a bit of a naughty delight. 

3 out of 5 stars

SOR Picture Book Review: Little Detectives At School: A Look and Find Book Illustrated by Baretti

I saw this on *Netgalley and thought it looked like a nice book to check out. Since I don't want to just read fiction books for the summer this gave a nice change up.

Follow along the school year and find as many hidden objects as you can. How many did you find?

For those of us who grew up reading Highlights magazine, we all know the very first page every single one of us would go to. The hidden object one of course! There was nothing worse than being at the doctor's office only to find some parent handed another kid a pencil so that kid could ruin the fun for all the other kids. 

This one is not an overly complicated one so it is perfect for the toddler set. Older children will find it too easy but hit the right age group and they will love it. In fact, because this is meant for the youngest of children I loved it even more as most hidden object books seem to cater to school aged children. This is also a good one for special needs children. The book also encourages counting, color recognition and at the end has extra activities so the children can go back through the pages and try and find more items. 

The drawings were great and even as an adult I enjoyed finding the objects simply because the illustrations were such a delight. There is something to look at on every inch of the page.  

5 out of 5 stars

*I received a free ecopy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. This in no way influenced my review.

Harry Potter Moment of the Week

My First Harry Potter Moment of the Week! This week we were asked if we could save ONE character who would it be.

This is a tough one and I know the obvious answer that a lot of people would give is Fred. But honestly, for me it is Hedwig. She had such a distinct personality but she was loyal. Her character shown through and it made me so sad when she died. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

SOR Picture Book Review: Argyle Fox by Marie Letourneau

I've been eyeing this book on *Netgalley for a while now. I knew I had to read it this summer as I have a huge love of foxes. There is just something so adorably cute about them.

Argyle Fox just wants to go out and play. But on this Spring day, it is extra windy. Everyone keeps telling him he can't play the things he wants while it is so windy and sure enough the wind ruins all his fun. Defeated he returns home but Mama Fox tells him not to give up and to think hard about what he can play in the wind. Using his creativity he manages to create the perfect windy day fun time activity.

Oh my goodness, this book was cute and fun. I love that Argyle Fox was so determined to have fun. He really reminds me of my own son. Strong willed and angry at what he can't control. But he overcomes it and has fun creating something with his own hands.

The artwork was drool worthy. My favorite thing about picture books is the artwork and this one didn't disappoint. The details on Mama Fox's sweater and even the mailbox just made this book for me. This is the kind of book you read over and over again and just stare at the wonderful drawings. 

5 out of 5 stars!

*I received a free ecopy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. This in no way influenced my review.

SOR Picture Book Review: Benji and the 24 Pound Banana Squash by Alan Fox Illustrated by Eefje Kuijl

I saw this book on *Netgalley and fell in love with the cover so I just had to go ahead and add it to the pile of books I'm reading this summer

Benji saved some seeds last year from a banana squash and has waited a very long time to plant them. Over several weeks and months he lovingly tends to his plant till finally, it is ready to be picked and eaten. 

This was a cute book and I can see many children enjoying it especially those who are interested in plants and gardening. I like that it was a boy who was doing the planting as way too often our society seems to think of gardening as a girl thing. 

I'll be honest I've never had banana squash before and after reading this book I had to look up some recipes and I think I very well may give it a go!

The highlight of this book though is the illustrations. They are gorgeous and there are so many great little and hidden details. Among my favorites was the mouse lounging on a pillow while eating berries. 

4 out of 5 stars.

*I received a free ecopy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. This in no way influenced my review.

SOR Picture Book Review: The Duck in the Gun by Joy Cowley Illustrated by Edward Sorell

First off there are apparently at least two different versions of this book. By versions I mean the illustrations. The one I read was illustrated by Edward Sorell. The other version is illustrated by Robyn Belton. Second I had never heard of this book before but it was on the 1001 list so I had to check it out for SOR.

A general and his men are off to war. As they get ready to fire their gun (a cannon) at the town they discover a duck in the gun. The duck refuses to leave as it has a nest full of eggs it is sitting on in the gun. The general carrying a white flag visits the town to ask for the use of their gun. While both sides wait for the duck to leave the giant gun the men do work for the town and the general gets to know the prime minister's daughter.

Ok, why oh why has no one told me about this book before. No Seriously! Why!?! This book was AMAZING! The humor in it was great and I found myself laughing which had my husband asking me what was so funny. In the end, I ended up reading the story to my husband and son to their delight. I tried doing a french accent but failed miserably at it.

The ink drawings were so charming and reminded me so much of books I read in my childhood that were hand me downs from my sister. It also reminded me of some of the Saturday morning cartoons like the hunka cheese advert...if you grew up in the 70s and 80s you are probably singing it right now.

So now listen to me if you have not read this book GO NOW and read it! If you can't find a copy at your local library you can borrow an e-copy through I loved this book so much I'm now determined to find a permanent copy for my collection of children's books.

A solid 5 out of 5 stars!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

SOR Picture Book Review: The Elephant and the Bad Baby by Elfrida Vipont Illustrated by Raymond Briggs

So here is a SOR book that I have never read before but is on the 1001 children's book list. What sold me on reading it was that it was illustrated by one of my all time favorites Raymond Briggs.

One day an elephant encounters a bad baby and takes him all through town. All along the way, the elephant swipes treats for both himself and the bad baby. However, at no point does the baby say the word, please. Chasing behind them the whole time is an ever growing following of shop owners that they stole from.

For me, the story was a bit weird. The elephant had no problem stealing but had a problem with the baby not saying the word, please. I suppose that he had his own moral code. Also one has to wonder if the shop owners told the mother about what the elephant and bad baby did. 

What made this book was the illustrations. I know I'm biased as I'm a huge fangirl for Briggs but really the drawings make this book. My favorites were when all the shop owners run into the elephant's rump and the HUUUGE pan that the mother uses to make pancakes.  

So the story line is more like a 2 star for me while the drawings are a 4 star. I'm in a debate on where I fall overall on this book. So I'll split the difference

3 out of 5 stars

SOR Picture Book Review: Pig's Eggs by Elizabeth Partridge Illustrated by Martha Weston

Another SOR book found on I had never heard of this book but found it when I searched for a book with pigs (cause uh, who doesn't love cute little pink piggies?!?).

Pig and Hen are the best of friends and spend most of their time together painting. One day Hen fails to show up and when Pig visits her he finds her sitting on a nest full of eggs. When Hen goes out to get to herself Lunch Pig is bored. But soon he finds a way to entertain himself by painting Hen's eggs. When the eggs hatch the chicks are as colorful as the shells that Pig painted.

Despite the Easter colored eggs this was not an Easter themed book (though it certainly can be used at that time of the year). The illustrations were gorgeous and remind me why watercolors are my favorite type of paintings in picture books. I love that both Hen and Pig have a healthy love of painting and that they bond and connect over it.

I loved that Hen showed she was a protective mother without it being over the top. I also love that in the end Hen and Pig make sure that the little colorful chicks are included in their love of painting. Older generations passing on a love of art and creativity is a positive theme.

4 out of 5 stars.

SOR Picture Book Review: Peppermint By Dorothy Grider Illustrated by Raymond Burns

Here it is my first SOR book review. For this one, I decided to pick something I've never heard of or read before. Thanks to I found this cute little picture book.

Peppermint is a scrawny little cat who was born with her siblings inside of a candy shop. Each little kitten is given a sweet confectionary name and sold off one by one till all that is left is Peppermint. Poor Barabara has no cat and the school will be doing a cat show. When Mr. Dobby gives her Peppermint she is excited and can't wait to show Peppermint to her mother.

This was a cute book. I loved the illustrations but what was my favorite part was the price of the kittens... only .15 cents. That's right for .15 you could have your very own fluffy candy named kitten. You can't even get a piece of gum for .15 these days. Oh, and you have to love the candy shop owner being named Mr. Dobby (hello, fellow Potterheads). 

This is a classic book with the type of illustrations and story you would expect. It wasn't a masterpiece but it was still very enjoyable and I would read it again.

4 out of 5 stars

Summer of Reading!!

Welcome to the Summer of Reading aka SOR. I've decided to spend this summer devouring as many Children's books as I can get my hands on. That means about 3-7 books a day!! Old, new, never read before, always wanted to read, childhood favorites etc! 

While this will mostly be picture books there may also be some early readers and middle-grade books. I'm so excited and looking forward to this. Over two months of reading should guarantee that I'll find plenty of books to love and cherish forever. I'll be using Netgalley,, my local library, Amazon free books and books I already own to find books to read. 

Got any books you think I should read? Some childhood favorites or newer favorites? Are you an author or illustrator and have a review copy of your book you'd like me to review? Let me know in the comments or send me an email. Requests and suggestions in no way influence my reviews and I'm always honest about what I like or don't like about a book.

Books Read: 9

1. Peppermint- June 27, 2017

2. Pigg's Eggs- June 27, 2017
3. The Elephant and the Bad Baby June 27, 2017
4. The Duck in the Gun-  June 28, 2017
5. Benji & The 24 Pound Banana Squash - June 28, 2017 
6. Argyle Fox - June 28, 2017
7. Little Detectives at School- June 29, 2017
8. The Enormous Crocodile - June 29, 2017
9. When a Wolf is Hungry - June 30, 2017
10. Harry Potter and Sorcerers Stone- Read July 7, 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017

Where I've Been and Why it was All My Fault

Well hello, my little blog that I seemingly abandoned. But there is a more sinister truth. I was happily
chugging along with the April Blogging event. I had pictures and posts lined up I was excited and loved the theme I picked. Suddenly one day I felt great pressure on my chest and was having difficulty breathing. I laid down and told myself I just had to wait it out till my son was almost home from school then I'd give my hubby the call I was dreading to plead him to come home early and drive me to the ER. A few hours later I felt marginally better and chose to just ignore it. Yeah, stupid I know.

A day later I was still not feeling myself. So I went to my doctor who I admittedly hadn't seen since 2014. I, of course, got the scolding I was due. She ran an EKG and took my blood pressure. She did find anything out of the ordinary but prescribed my some meds and then talked to me about my diabetes....Several years ago I had gestational diabetes that eventually progressed to Type 2 a few years later. Yeah, I haven't um been taking care of it at all. As in candy, cakes, cookies, large bowls heaping full of pasta, french fries galore, white bread everywhere (despite the fact that I actually prefer rye). Well, you get the picture. It was a sugar and carb free for all. 

That free for all for over the last 3 years finally had caught up with me. I was in diabetic ketoacidosis aka DKA. My blood sugar right then? 501....It should have been in the 120s not in the 500s. Anything over 300 and you have to start checking for ketones in the urine. Looking back I was lucky that it took till now for this to happen. I mean how did I not go into DKA before this?!?! DKA can result in a coma or even worse death.

A trip to the hospital and a HUGE hospital bill later I've been home and doing my best to control my eating. I've had a few moments where I've been bad and spiked my BS. And they are still not in the range they need to be. Because my body has gotten used to being at a higher BS when I'm where I'm supposed to be it feels SUPER DUPER low but slowly I'm getting adjusted to it. I've been walking more and taking my meds and BS like I'm supposed to. 

This was a huge wake-up call for me. I hadn't taken care of myself for waaaay too long and now I have no other choice but to eat healthier and exercise more. I've already lost over 15 pounds (with over 100 more to go).  So the lesson here is never put off your health. Now that I'm back to myself I plan on blogging again.