Sunday, August 2, 2020

The Sunday Post - 2020 Week 31 - Hello August

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
and is a chance to share news, both new and old!

Hey there, bloggers!
It's been a couple of weeks since I last posted so here's an extended look at what I've read and reviewed since then!

Currently Reading:

Recently Finished:

Recent Reviews:

We had a 'Water Week' recently and read these picture books. Water Can Be... by Laura Purdie Salas is a beautiful look at water in all its forms. River by Elisha Cooper is a fantastic illustrated account of a woman who canoes down the River Hudson to NYC Harbor. The Blue Giant by Katie Cottle is an eco-tale about the ocean asking for help with pollution. 

The Mulberry Tree by Allison Rushby is a middle-grade horror-mystery that is a great not-too-spooky read for the upcoming autumn season!

Off the Blog:

I'm hoping to continue my self-appointed 30 minutes a day or more of reading time this month and knock out some arcs for #ARCAugust while I'm at it. I haven't had the best reading streak this year so I definitely have a stack of books to catch up on!

We are starting our 'first day of homeschool' tomorrow so we can dig into the curriculum I purchased and find our new groove. I'm hoping we can keep it laid back and low-stress and I'm excited to have an outdoor classroom to get us out of the house when the weather is tolerable. It's still in the works but will be a nice little hangout space. 

It's been raining nearly every day so my garden looks great, but maybe a little too overgrown. The crepe myrtles are in full bloom and I discovered a mature and flowering one hiding under the wisteria so now I'm up to 6 in all! We're getting ready for the Fall/Winter vegetable season now as well so be prepared for more garden talk in the future! 

As for blogging, I'm still working on reviews and other media as well but Blogger updated their site and it's as slow as a snail for me now unless it's the wee morning hours when I should be asleep. I'll be making the rounds today though! 

Also, I finally started a proper Pinterest for LazyDayLit and would love and appreciate a follow! 

Have a great week, readers!
Stay safe!


Saturday, August 1, 2020

(ARC) August 2020 TBR & Goals

Hello August!

I'm fully expecting this month to be grueling. We are starting our homeschool year in a couple of days. I'm participating in #ARCAugust. It's hurricane season. It's hot. The spiders are massive. C19 is still a thing. 
I'm sure it's going to be just as fun as the rest of the year.

So, books! 
My TBR is going to be a little ambitious this month.
I'm going to include the books I'm hoping to get to for #ARCAugust and a few others that I might be more prone to grabbing instead. Or library loans that I don't want to return without reading. Et cetera. 

Newer Releases:

Many thanks to Algonquin YR &  Aladdin.

Backlist Books:

Library Loans (Out or on hold)

Here's hoping to knocking some more backlist books off of my TBR! 

Are you participating in ARCAugust? 
Happy reading and have a great month! 

Friday, July 31, 2020

July 2020 Reading Wrap Up

Goodbye July

This month kind of flew by. 
It has rained nearly every day but we still fit in a few early hikes and an incredibly relaxing early-morning canoe trip with lots of wildlife to see. With all the social distancing, of course.

We're almost in full homeschool mode and I feel like I've spent the entire month looking at curriculum, planning, and organizing our (already busy) workspace. We're also working on an outdoor classroom space to get out of the house with our books and journals and art supplies more often. Weather permitting.
It's rained a ton this month and Hurricane Isaias is supposed to hit this weekend.  

I read a lot more this month than in June, which is mostly attributed to me setting aside a small chunk of my time to read each day. I still fell off toward the end of the month as I tried to balance too many things and realized I'm way too low on spoons to do it all.  Still, it was a productive month and I'm looking forward to August, if only to get it over with so we can get on to Spooky Season.

But for now, my July stats:

Books I Finished in July

Chapter Books We Finished in July:

Started But Haven't Finished:
The Sunday Post - Wk 29

Challenge Progress:

ABC Challenge
June: 14 / 26
July: 15 / 26 (+J)

Beat the Backlist / Tackle My TBR
June: +2
July: +2

James and the Giant Peach

New Release Challenge
June: +3
July: +3

Astronauts: Women on the Final Frontier by Jim Ottaviani
The Mulberry Tree by Allison Rushby
The Shadows by Alex North

PopSugar Challenge
June 8/50
July: 9/50
+ A book by a Journalist
Scat by Carl Hiaasen (writes for Miami Herald)

Read Harder Challenge
June: 7/25
July: 8/25
+Read a middle-grade book that doesn't take place in the US or UK
The Falcon's Feather by Trudi Trueit

1001 Books To Read Before You Grow Up

I haven't kept up with my progress on this one! 

How was your month?
What was your favorite read?


Friday, July 24, 2020

The Mulberry Tree by Allison Rushby (Middle Grade Book Review)

I received a DRC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Mulberry Tree
Written by
Allison Rushby
Published by
Candlewick Press
on July 14, 2020
Genre: Children's/MG
Length: 304 pages
9 - 12 years

Do naught wrong by the mulberry tree, or she'll take your daughters... one, two, three.
Is the eerie tree beside their bucolic cottage really a threat to ten-year-old Immy? Legend and hearsay give way to a creepy series of events in this captivating mystery.

My Thoughts:

Imogen "Immy" Watts and her parents move from Sydney, Australia to a small village in Cambridgeshire, England for her mother's new job. Immy's mother really wants the English cottage experience so they end up renting 'Lavender Cottage' despite the dark and foreboding ancient mulberry tree that spreads ominously over the back garden and the local gossip that the tree has stolen two girls away on their eleventh birthday. Immy just happens to be turning eleven soon, but she and her parents aren't all that superstitious and they wave off the concerns of the townspeople. But Immy can't shake the feeling that there really is something wrong with the mulberry tree and that she might end up as the latest victim!

This is a really cute story wrapped up in a mysterious and somewhat spooky shell. The mystery of the mulberry tree looms ominously over real-life issues that Immy, her parents, and the other townsfolk experience. Immy tries to unravel the mystery of the mulberry tree and the missing girls before it's too late while also maneuvering a new school, bitter rivals, and a father with PTSD.

While this seems like a strictly spooky read, it actually includes a lot of contemporary topics and touches on bullying, depression, guilt, and more. There's a good balance of everyday life and the mystery and thrill of the spooky tree. It's a great coming-of-age story with a few useful life-lessons thrown in and it has a happy ending!

I would recommend this to young readers who want a mystery but not too much spook!


Thursday, July 23, 2020

The Blue Giant by Katie Cottle (Children's Picture Book Review)

We received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Blue Giant

Written & illustrated by
Katie Cottle

Published by
Pavilion Books
May 26, 2020
Children's, Picture Books
32 pages
3 - 6 years

A poignant and timely picture book introducing children to the issue of ocean pollution, with ideas to help the world become a better, cleaner place.

Coral and her mom are enjoying a break at the seaside. Until a creature emerges from the waves! It's a giant. A blue giant. It is made of water, fish, and sea plants and has a stirring plea to help clean up the ocean.

This stunning follow-up to Katie Cottle's debut picture book The Green Giant is another entertaining and beautiful eco-tale from the 2017 winner of the Batsford Prize. 

Our Thoughts:

Meera and her mother are enjoying a vacation at the beach where they can sun, swim, and take their little boat out on the water. While there, they are confronted by a big blue giant that asks for help cleaning up the ocean. The Blue Giant shows them the pollution under the waves and how it affects the creatures that live there. Meera and her mother immediately start gathering as much underwater pollution as they can, but there are only so many hours in the day and they are only two people. Luckily, when we come together to heal the world, we are capable of great things.

Katie Cottle has given us another gem!
A lovely follow up to The Green Giant, The Blue Giant is a beautifully illustrated eco-tale that urges us to look below the surface at the reality of pollution in our oceans. It reminds us that we can do more and make a bigger impact when we come together to heal our natural spaces and that each good deed and act of kindness inspires another. 

 This gorgeous picture book has full-page illustrations that are bright, colorful, and teeming with life and life lessons. Budding conservationists will love the important message to save our seas as well as helpful suggestions for ways to reduce our own usage of single-use plastics. 

Be sure to check out The Green Giant as well!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

River by Elisha Cooper (Children's Picture Book Review)

Written & Illustrated by
Elisha Cooper

Published by Orchard Books

on October 1, 2019  
Genre: Children's, Picture Books, Nature
Length: 42 pages
Ages: 4 - 8 years

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

Caldecott Honor winner Elisha Cooper invites readers to grab their oars and board a canoe down a river exploration filled with adventure and beauty.
In Cooper's flowing prose and stunning watercolor scenes, readers can follow a traveler's trek down the Hudson River as she and her canoe explore the wildlife, flora and fauna, and urban landscape at the river's edge. Through perilous weather and river rushes, the canoe and her captain survive and maneuver their way down the river back home.

River is an outstanding introduction to seeing the world through the eyes of a young explorer and a great picture book for the STEAM curriculum.

Our Thoughts:

Come journey along on a river adventure!

This gorgeously illustrated and descriptive picture book chronicles one woman's solo canoe trip down the Hudson River, all the way to New York City Harbor.  It is a long trip that will take many days and nights and has many ups and downs. The narrator tells us what the woman has brought with her, what she sees on her journey, and the ins and outs of traveling such a long distance down a river.

This is an informative read with lengthy but beautifully descriptive prose that we found to be quite calming. The illustrations capture the beauty of the mountains, forests, towns, and cities she sees along her journey.

 If you've ever wanted to know what a long canoe trip downriver was like, this is the book to read! It's perfect for outdoorsy types or anyone who prefers an adventure from home, especially during these uncertain times! 


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Water Can Be... by Laura Purdie Salas & Violeta Dabija (Children's Picture Book Review)

Water Can Be...
Written by Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrated by Violeta Dabija
Published by Millbrook Press
January 1, 2014
Children's, Picture Books, Nonfiction, Nature
32 pages
5 - 8 years

Water can be a 
Thirst quencher
Kid drencher
Cloud fluffer
Fire snuffer

Find out about the many roles water plays in this poetic exploration of water throughout the year.

Our Thoughts:

Do you know all the forms water can take? A river, an ocean, a sea. Rain, fog, ice. There really are so many different forms of water!

This beautiful nonfiction picture book shows the reader how water is everywhere and how it benefits us, animals, plants, and more! Water keeps us hydrated. It helps keep us clean. It helps plants grow. It even helps create rainbows!

Water Can Be... features lovely, textured illustrations of water in many different forms and pairs them with minimal rhyming text.
This is a wonderful introduction to water for young children!