Friday, January 27, 2023

*Book Blogger Hop* Reading Atmosphere Preferences



We are on to a new week for the Book Blogger Hop hosted by the lovely folks over at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. This weeks questions is: 

Do you prefer to read in a quiet or noisy setting? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

Yes. That's the short answer because I don't have one specific preference. Sometimes I like having music playing in the background while I'm reading (when I was in school I ALWAYS had music playing in the background while I read, now it's not an every time thing). Other times, especially if what I'm reading is on the heavier side, I do need my environment to be quiet. It's quite frustrating when I sequester myself in the bedroom to read while my husband plays video games, then he decides we need to spend time together and comes in watching reels on Facebook at full volume. Like dude, did you not see me in a completely quiet room here? 

So how about you? Do you like background noise or silence? If you're stopping by from the linkup, please be sure to drop a link to your post below so I can stop by and check out your full answer. - Katie 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Review: Spring Fun by Anita Bijsterbosch

 

Genre: Children's 3-7
Published: March 14, 2023
Pages: 32


Spring is finally here! Time to go outside and play with your friends!

Join Fox, Mouse, Raccoon, and Owl as they get ready to see animals, take a hot-air balloon ride and have an amazing day! But, wait. They need your help. Get ready to shake, shake, shake, blow hard and move this book all around to make it happen!

An interactive picture book filled with spring cheer! For children ages 3 years and up.



I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

This is a cute little story about a couple of animal friends heading out for an adventure on a spring day. There are periodic action instructions for the audience that would be much more fitting with a physical book rather than an ebook (which is probably why this book is only available as a hardcover). 

The illustrations were very vibrant and crisp, showing the action along the adventure. This is a book I'd be okay reading a few times because it's fun and short. I'm fairly certain it would be a kid favorite as well because of the interactive element of the story. 

Overall I give it 4.2 out of 5 stars. - Katie 




Anita Bijsterbosch was born in the Netherlands and has loved reading her entire life. As a child, she could spend hours poring through books, looking at pictures and hoping one day she could make such beautiful illustrations herself. After high school, Anita took drawing and painting lessons and practiced on her own until she had mastered many illustration techniques. When her children were young, Anita read to them every night and became inspired to write and illustrate her own children’s books. Her first book, Whose Hat Is That?, was awarded the Key Colors International Illustrators Award in 2012, and she has been creating books ever since.

Review: Sally's Big Day by Andrew Larsen


Genre: Children's 3-5
Published: February 14, 2023
Pages: 32


Sally is excited for the first day of puppy school, but it isn’t easy when there are so many new things to see (and sniff!).

It's hard to focus at puppy school when there are all kinds of pups to play with, water to splash in...and so many smells! But Sally doesn't give up and keeps trying, ending the day triumphantly.

Just like children, puppies have a lot to explore in and learn about the world around them. This sweet story will give confidence to young readers as they venture into the world to learn and try new things.



I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

This was a very short book about a young puppy going to puppy school. On the way to school, Sally sees several different pups that are also heading to puppy school. At school she learns how to sit, but it takes a few tries before she really gets the concept down. 

The illustrations were bright and whimsical and finding the hiding bunnies was mildly amusing for me. I wouldn't want to read this story too terribly often, but the occasional re-read wouldn't make me want to claw my eyes out either. And it does have the brevity on it's side for extra re-reads. 

Overall I give it 3.3 out of 5 stars. - Katie 




Amazon had no information about this author. 

Monday, January 23, 2023

*Top Ten Tuesday* New to me Authors I Discovered in 2022



Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Joood - Hooligan of Platypire reviews bossed me into doing this, so I guess this is a thing I do now. 

This week’s theme is new to me author's I discovered in 2022. Now like I mentioned in my favorite books of 2022 TTT post, I didn't really do a whole heck of a lot of reading in 2022 at all, so I'm going to twist this topic a little bit and just feature some books from my shelves that I won on Goodreads in 2022, because that's honestly basically the same thing as authors I discovered in 2022 (I just haven't read the books yet). Here we go. 


Author: Ellen Alpsten


Author: Emily Thiede


Author: Kristina McMorris


Author: Cole Arthur Riley


Author: Casey McQuiston


Author: Fatima Ali and Tarajia Morrell


Author: Lyndall Gordon


Author: Mary-Alice Daniel


Author: Addison Fox


Author: S.K. Ali

Have you read any of these books? Or are there any that you think I should move higher up my TBR pile based on the cover? 

What new authors did you discover in 2022? If you're stopping by from the linkup, please be sure to drop a link to your post below so I can stop by and check out your list too. - Katie 

Review: Blurry - The Epic Hunt for Bigfoot by Kahi Aspelund

 

Genre: Children's 3-7
Published: October 30, 2022
Pages: 38


Monsters don’t all have to be scary.
Some can simply be blurry.
Timmy doesn’t understand why there are no clear pictures of the monsters we all talk about. He is off to solve this problem once and for all. This fun book is about Timmy and his adventures. There is drama and excitement. There is laughter and fear.

Most of all there is a fun story that your child will want to read. Again, and again.
Written for ages three to seven, this book is a great addition to your library.
It would make a great gift for kids who love reading, monsters, or are beginning to fear what lies in their closets or beds.
Grab this book and go on an adventure with your little one, on the hunt for a monster.


I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

This was an adorable story about a boy going hunting to find Bigfoot. Before his hunt, he researches monsters and tells us a little bit about a few of them. Then he details the steps he takes to get ready for his hunt. After that he's off. He wants to get the first non-blurry picture of Bigfoot!

The illustrations were colorful but dark. The kid is hunting in the woods though, so that makes sense. And when he finally gets the chance to photograph Bigfoot...well I won't ruin that surprise for you (for once). 

The language used in this book makes it sound like the kid is really telling the story, even like it could have been written by a child. It's just very authentic feeling kid speak. I'd probably be okay reading this book a few times, but the authentic kid speak also makes not think I'd probably not want to read it too often. 

Overall I give this book 4.1 out of 5 stars. - Katie 




Kahi Aspelund was born and raised on the Hawaiian island of Oahu and graduated from the Academy of Art in San Francisco with a bachelor’s degree in Visual Development and a minor in Fine Art.

Previously an artist in the video game and feature film animation industry for 12 years, Kahi is now helping his wife and sister run the family business while writing entertaining books for children that are filled with monsters, ghosts, and ghouls.

Today, Kahi lives in North Texas, with his wife, three children, and their rescued Australian Shepherd dog. In his free time, he enjoys reading books set in the Warhammer 40k universe, Japanese anime and manga, painting Plein-air landscapes, and drawing horses. He is also a big fan of monster movies and anything in the sci-fi or fantasy genres.

Review: Good night, Body by Britney Winn Lee

 

Genre: Children's 4-8
Published: February 7, 2023
Pages: 40


Bedtime can be full of big emotions for kids! Calm anxious, busy thoughts with this body scan meditation designed to help kids relax and prepare for sleep. This mindfulness practice will help children let go of the worries, stress, and excitement of the day as they reach their arms like a telescope, let their mouths hang like a hammock, dance their fingers like wind chimes, and listen to their hearts beat a reassuring cadence, "you're loved, you're loved."

From Britney Winn Lee, author of popular books The Boy with Big, Big Feelings and The Girl with Big, Big Questions, comes another powerful book for helping children navigate stress, form positive self-perceptions, and strengthen their hearts and minds. Good Night, Body echoes the comforting chants of Goodnight Moon as it leads children in greeting, moving, and relaxing each body part. With lyrical text and body-positive illustrations, this mindfulness picture book guides kids in connecting with who they are inside and out.

Good Night, Body: Finding Calm from Head to Toe is perfect for

  • children 4 to 8 and their parents and caregivers
  • families who enjoy yoga and mindfulness exercises
  • children who need a relaxing bedtime ritual to smooth the transition from play to sleep
  • children who experience anxiety, insomnia, bedtime fears, and intense emotions


I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

This is a short meditation book to help kids calm down and relax for sleep at the end of the day. Walking them through all their body parts to focus on them for a minute. I fully intend to give it a shot myself to see if it helps quiet my mind at the end of the day. I will report back with results. 

The illustrations were very purple feeling, which I consider a good thing because I like purple. I'm pretty sure they were just using more muted pastel like colors to help with calming feelings. The scent of lavender is supposed to be sleepy making, so maybe the color is too? 

Depending on how successful the book is at calming children down, would determine how often I would want to read this book I think. Unfortunately, my kids are a bit past the age of this type of suggestion, but maybe I can try it on my niece this weekend when I see her. 

Overall I give this book 3.6 out of 5 stars. - Katie 




Britney Winn Lee writes to make room. She is a faith-rooted writer and pastor living in Shreveport, LA, with her creative husband and big-hearted son. She is the author of The Boy with Big, Big Feelings and The Girl With Big, Big Questions and is the editor of Rally: Litanies for the Lovers of God and Neighbor. A lifelong lover of the story of faith, Lee centers her work on wrestling through, dreaming about, and experimenting with how to better connect the church with the world. See what she's creating at www.britneywinnlee.com and on social media @britneywinnlee.


Borghild Fallberg is an illustrator and graphic designer living in Arendal, Norway. She loves to illustrate cute and thoughtful children’s books and to tell stories through expressive characters. When she’s not creating books, stickers, cards, and other fun projects, Borghild enjoys hiking, yoga, reading, and learning new skills.

Review: A Not So Lonely Day by Deborah November

 

Genre: Children's 3-8
Published: October 4, 2022
Pages: 32


Thea has a broken arm and must spend a few days home from school, adjusting to her cast. She does not like feeling left behind from the happenings at school, so her daddy comes up with a brilliant plan: they’ll do all the things she and her friends would normally do in the classroom, but at home! Together, Thea, Daddy, and their doggy Rosie fill their day with learning, play, a snack, and even a nap! It may not be the same as what she’s used to, but Thea’s about to discover the joy of implementing everything she’s learned from her school friends (including tidbits on their individual cultures!) right in her very own home.

In this sweet and informative story time book, one little girl with some big FOMO learns there are different ways to keep the things and people we love close to us. And that being absent from something doesn’t always mean you have to miss out.

Written in partnership with an accomplished child therapist, 
A Not So Lonely Day combines playful art a relatable story to explore the CASEL standards of social emotional development and the concepts of loneliness and isolation in young children.

This title is leveled using both the Lexile and Fountas & Pinnell reading level standards. Includes backmatter that cover tips for helping children cope with loneliness and isolation.


I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

This was a fun little story about a girl who has to stay home from school because she broke her arm and she needs to get used to doing things with her cast on. She misses her friends, but her dad works really hard to ensure that her school day feels as normal as possible. They even get a zoom call and an after school visit from her friends. 

The illustrations on my phone were a bit chopped up, but mostly visible. They were bright and colorful, showing the various activities the girl and her father did throughout the day. And there were some helpful tips for helping children to talk about their feelings at the end. I don't think I'd want to read this book all the time, but reading it a few times would definitely not suck too much. 

Overall I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. - Katie 




Deborah November specializes in writing for young children with an emphasis on social/emotional issues. For many years, she was the editorial director of Sesame Street Books, where she wrote many mass-market story and concept books based on the Sesame Street curriculum and starring the Sesame Street Muppets. Deborah lives in NYC.