Sunday, May 24, 2015

Wild Ideas By Elin Kelsey, Artwork by Soyeon Kim

I have a wonderful and unique picture book to share with everyone today. It is Wild Ideas- Let Nature Inspire Your Thinking by Elin Kelsey, artwork by Soyeon Kim.

First a little about the book. The core purpose is to show children that everyone has problems, even wild animals, and that they don't give up, but create their own answers. For example, sea otters that use rocks to open shells or humpback whales that capture fish in bubbles. The ideas encourage children to be creative and look around them to see what solutions animals in nature have innovated. I found the text enjoyable with different sized fonts and bold words to help children focus.

 I would have liked a little more explanation about certain animals, and found myself looking at the inside cover art to explain what certain animals were doing, such as the elephant. In the book it says elephants innovate, but I couldn't tell from the picture or the text how they innovate. By looking at the inside cover I gathered more detail and read about an elephant stepping on a fence to get fruit. I guess I just need somethings spelled out.

The artwork is non typical and 100% brilliant. The artist uses different mediums to illustrated the author's words. There are collages that seem to jump off the page, felt moons that show texture and bright bold colors highlighting events. I was eager to turn each page to see how the artist would express things.

Wow, this book is so fun. Kids will enjoy every page. I do suggest looking at the inside cover art first so you get a better idea of what the animals in each page are actually doing. 4 stars!

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Phoenix Files- Arrival by Chris Morphew

YA Friday Time! I went to an Usborne book party this week and picked up The Phoenix Files- Arrival by Chris Morphew. I read it in one day and can't wait to buy the next. Here's my review:

The Story-
Luke is not happy. His parents just went through a divorce and his mom is moving him to some strange nowhere place far away from his dad. When Luke gets to Phoenix he is surprised to find no cars, no Internet and worse, no phones. He can't contact his dad, and his mom doesn't seem to care.

He quickly makes friends at school with Peter and Jordan. Jordan too feels like something is wrong in Phoenix, and together they get Peter to join them on a quest to find out what. When the crazy hobo of the town starts attacking the three, they get desperate. He seems to be the only one with the answers they need, but he is psycho. All they understand is that someone in the town is plotting to end the human race in 100 days, and only they have a clue to stop him.

My Thoughts-
I really enjoyed this story. At first I couldn't believe how duped the people of the town must be to live in this weird town, but then I began to notice that many were unhappy, but the threat of death kept them in line. For those that were actually oblivious, what?

Luke is a good character and is relatable. He is a typical kid and just happens to be the last to arrive in town before they seal it up. He really wants to contact his father and is dismayed at the lack of communications. I think this is why he is ready to question things immediately. Where the other families are complete, his is the only divorced family, so he wants to be outside the town.

Another thing I enjoyed was that this book stands alone, and yet sets up the others in the series. I didn't get to the end and feel like it was a cliff hanger. I felt like the author had finished this part of the story. Plus, there are so many good questions left to be answered, like how do they intend to wipe out the world and what type of mutation made the hobo crazy.

Kids will enjoy this story and it is a good read. 5 stars!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fan Art Thursday- Harry Potter

Fan Art Time! Here is a little Harry Potter to make your day! Check out more on Tumblr from louloud123

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Percy Jackson- The Lightning Thief book 1 on sale!

The book that started it all is now on sale for .99 cents at Amazon Kindle. A middle grade tale of magic and wonder, I couldn't put down the entire series. Book 1- The Lightning Thief. Just click the link below to purchase.

Blurb- Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can't seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy's mom finds out, she knows it's time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he'll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends -- one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena -- Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

Monday, May 18, 2015

James Bond Books on E-Sale!

I read these as a kid and they are great! If you haven't delved back into the world of James Bond- 007 for some time, now is your chance! The are on sale TODAY at Amazon Kindle for only $1.99 each! FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited. Check out some below :)

*Okay, I know the picture header is from a movie, but it looks so cool.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Cover Reveal! Fires of Invention by J Scott Savage

Book Description:
 J. Scott Savage’s newest MIDDLE GRADE series Mysteries of Cove (Shadow Mountain Publishing; Sept 29, 2015).  Book one of the trilogy, Fires of Invention, sets the stage for a sensational Steampunk world where every chapter reveals the next clue using steam-powered, iron-clad, gear-moving technology of the 1800’s.

STEAMPUNK! Plus Dragons!

Trenton Colman is a creative thirteen-year-old boy with a knack for all things mechanical. But his talents are viewed with suspicion in Cove, a steam-powered city built inside a mountain. In Cove, creativity is a crime and "invention" is a curse word. Kallista Babbage is a repair technician and daughter of the notorious Leo Babbage, whose father died in an explosion-an event the leaders of Cove point to as an example of the danger of creativity.

Working together, Trenton and Kallista learn that Leo Babbage was developing a secret project before he perished. Following clues he left behind, they begin to assemble a strange machine that is unlikely anything they've ever seen before. They soon discover that what they are building may threaten every truth their city is founded on-and quite possibly their very lives.

Meet the Author- J Scott Savage-

J. Scott Savage is the author of the Farworld middle grade fantasy series and the Case File 13 middle grade monster series. He has been writing and publishing books for over ten years. He has visited over 400 elementary schools, dozens of writers conferences, and taught many writing classes. He has four children and lives with his wife Jennifer and their Border Collie, Pepper, in a windy valley of the Rocky Mountains.

Find out more-

INSTAGRAM: jscottsavage

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

May Issue of Middle Shelf Magazine is out!

I am happy to announce that the latest issue of Middle Shelf Magazine is out! I have an ad for my book, The Awakening! There are some wonderful reads including Jack Andraka, Sophie Blackall, Matt Nadel, sports books, and more. Remember -it's free to subscribe and perfect for teachers, schools and most importantly, kids.