Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Every Little Letter by Deborah Underwood & Joy Hwang Ruiz (Children's Picture Book Review)

Every Little Letter
Written by Deborah Underwood
Illustrated by Joy Hwang Ruiz
Published by Dial Books
on August 4, 2020
Genre: Children's, Picture Books
Length: 40 pages
Ages: 4 - 8 years

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

For fans of The Word Collector and Be Kind comes a story of words, walls, and widening your world, by New York Times bestselling author Deborah Underwood.

My Thoughts:

'How do you tear down walls?
With words at first.
Then brick by brick.'

Little h lives in a small, walled-in world with the other H's and all is pleasant for them, but curious Little h wonders what's beyond the walls and what the other letters are like. And then one day, Little h finds a little hole in the wall and peeks through, seeing and making quick friends with Little i. The big H's don't want the little letters to see each other, but friendship always finds a way! 

This is such an amazing picture book that takes a world of letters, all separated by their walls and their fears of the bigger world, and brings them together to show that we are better and stronger united rather than divided. 

Every Little Letter is a wonderful reminder to all that kind words bring us together and that we can use them to tear down walls, both physical and metaphorical.  This is one picture book I'd recommend every library, teacher, and parent have on their shelves! 


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Cozy by Jan Brett (Children's Picture Book Review)

Written & illustrated by
Jan Brett
Published by
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

on October 20, 2020
Genre: Children's, Picture Books
Length: 32  pages
Ages: 4 - 8 years

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

A group of clever animals find an unusual but warm and furry home during Alaska's long winter in Jan Brett's newest snowy adventure.

My Thoughts:

This is a sweet and heartwarming wintery story about a young, furry musk ox named Cozy who lives in Alaska and is separated from his family in a blizzard and shelters many of the critters he comes across.

This is very reminiscent of other Jan Brett picture books we've read such as 'The Mitten' and 'The Hat,' where many creatures search out warmth in the same small, cramped space, but 'Cozy' has it's own heartwarming creature to save the day instead of a discarded piece of clothing. 

As usual, Jan Brett does a fantastic job of illustrating winter scenes and Arctic creatures. We love her unique style of extraordinarily detailed artwork but also her uncanny way of weaving both words and illustrations into both an audio and visual story.


Monday, January 4, 2021

2021 PopSugar Reading Challenge


Hello Readers!

 Are you participating in the PopSugar reading challenge this year?

This will be the third year I've participated but I've never been strict with following the prompts and have yet to complete one.
Perhaps this will be the year that I change that!
 I'm going to continue with my trend from last year by adding books that I own/have on my TBR that might fit the prompts and then crossing them out once I read that book.

Feel free to leave me recs for the ones I haven't filled in yet!

 Title = finished reading
* = currently reading

1. A book that's published in 2021
Across the Green Grass Fields

2. An Afrofuturist book
The Deep, Binti, The Fifth Season, Akata Witch

3. A book that has a heart, diamond, club, or spade on the cover
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

4. A book by an author who shares your zodiac sign
Joan Aiken, Agatha Christie, Stephen King

5. A dark academia book
The Secret History, Catherine House, Dead Poet's Society

6. A book with a gem, mineral, or rock in the title
Gods, Jade, and Shadows by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

7. A book where the main character works at your current or dream job
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
The Haunted Bookshop by Christopher Morley

8. A book that has won the Women's Prize for Fiction
An American Marriage

9.  A book with a family tree

10. A bestseller from the 1990's
Practical Magic
The Virgin Suicides
Jurassic Park
Cold Mountain

11. A book about forgetting
The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by VE Schwab

12. A book you have seen on someone's bookshelf (in real life, on a Zoom call, in a TV show, etc)

13. A locked-room mystery
The Last Time I Lied

14. A book set in a restaurant
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

15. A book with a black-and-white cover
My Dark Vanessa, A Promised Land, Between the World and Me

16. A book by an Indigenous author
There, There by Tommy Orange
Elastsoe by Darcie Little Badger

17. A book that has the same title as a song
Layla by Colleen Hoover
For Whom The Bell Tolls
The Phantom of the Opera
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Brave New World
You Love Me

18. A book about a subject you are passionate about

19. A book that discusses body positivity

20. A book found on a Black Lives Matter reading list
Between the World and Me
Stamped From the Beginning
White Fragility

21. A genre hybrid
Gideon the Ninth

22.  A book set mostly or entirely outdoors
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
The Wood
The Boy In The Woods 

23. A book with something broken on the cover
Ready Player Two (broken letters)
 This Is Where It Ends

24. A book by a Muslim American author
We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal
A Thousand Splendid Suns
Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Have Read & Recommend: Internment by Samira Ahmed

25. A book that was published anonymously
Go Ask Alice (reread)

26. A book with an oxymoron in the title
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth
The Once and Future Witches

27. A book about do-overs or fresh starts
The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

28. A magical realism book
House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune
 The Snow Child by 
 Love in the Time of Cholera

Have Read & Recommend: Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, Beloved by Toni Morrison

29. A book set in multiple countries
The Midnight Library
Gods of Jade and Shadow

30. A book set somewhere you'd like to visit in 2021
Cold Mountain
A Walk in the Woods

31. A book by a blogger, vlogger, YouTube video creator, or other online personality
Turtles All the Way Down

32. A book whose title starts with "Q," "X," or "Z"
The Queen's Gambit
Queen of the Tearling

33. A book featuring three generations (grandparent, parent, child)
The Vanishing Half
A Thousand Splendid Suns
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
The Four Winds
Spinning Silver

34. A book about a social justice issue
The Vanishing Half
Stamped from the beginning

35. A book in a different format than what you normally read (audiobooks, ebooks, graphic novels)

36. A book that has fewer than 1,000 reviews on Amazon or Goodreads

37. A book you think your best friend would like

38. A book about art or an artist

39. A book everyone seems to have read but you
Practical Magic
Salem's Lot

40. Your favorite prompt from a past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge


41. The longest book (by pages) on your TBR list
Dune, A Priory of the Orange Tree

42. The shortest book (by pages) on your TBR list
Brokeback Mountain

43. The book on your TBR list with the prettiest cover
The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea
Pan's Labyrinth
 King of Scars
 The Snow Queen

44. The book on your TBR list with the ugliest cover 
The Hunger
The Virgin Suicides
Fried Green Tomatoes

45. The book that's been on your TBR list for the longest amount of time
The Thirteenth Tale
 A Tale of Two Cities

46. A book from your TBR list you meant to read last year but didn't
The Near Witch
The Starless Sea
Gideon the Ninth
The Library of Auschwitz
Fever 1793

47. A book from your TBR list you associate with a favorite person, place, or thing
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

48. A book from your TBR list chosen at random
The Caseof the Missing Marquess
Bridge of Souls
The Colorado Kid

49. A DNF book from your TBR list
The Sun Down Motel
 The Year of the Witching

50. A free book from your TBR list (gifted, borrowed, library)
Verity by Colleen Hoover (was free on Kindle!)

You can find the original challenge post over on

 Instagram #popsugarreadingchallenge 

Saturday, January 2, 2021

2021 ABC Reading Challenge


Hello readers! 
Happy New Year!
Are you ready for an all-new year of reading?

I've been doing some form of this ABC challenge for years now and really enjoy making both a list to cross off and a list to add the books I finished reading to, in alphabetical order. 
I like to make a list of 100 books I'd love to read each year and I share that list here, on Goodreads, and on ListChallenges (for the cover visuals). 

Previous Years

2021 Alphabet Challenge!

 title  = finished reading
* = currently reading



(scroll down for list of books I've read for the challenge in 2021)

Across the Green Grass Fields, An American Marriage, Animal Barn

Bridge of Souls, The Boy From the Woods, The Broken Girls, Between the World and Me, Binti, Brain On Fire

Code Name Helene, Class Act, The Case of the Missing Marquess, The Colorado Kid, Chance: Escape from the Holocaust

Dune, The Deep, Dread Nation, The Dovekeepers

Elysium Girls, Elatsoe, Emma in the Night, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

The Family Upstairs, The Frozen Crown, Final Girls, The Four Winds, Fable, Firefly Lane, Fever 1793, Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

Gods of Jade and Shadow, 
Gideon the Ninth, The Girl With the Louding Voice, The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon, The Girl in the Blue Coat, The Girl Who Saved Christmas

Hamnet, The Hunger, House in the Cerulean Sea, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, 

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue, In the Night Wood


Kill Creek

The Last Time I Lied, Lobizona, The Librarian at Auschwitz, Let the Right One In, Lovecraft Country, The Library of Legends, Layla, A Little Life, The Light in Hidden Places

Miracle Creek, The Midnight Library, My Dark Vanessa, Magic Lessons, The Mermaid the Witch and the Sea, Monsterland, Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, My Sister's Bones, My Sister the Serial Killer

The Near Witch

The Once and Future Witches 

Poison, Poison Thread, Practical Magic, A Promised Land

The Queen of the Tearling

Ready Player Two, The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories 

The Starless Sea, The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires, A Sky Before the Storm, Survive the Night, Salem's Lot, The Secret History, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, The Snow Child, Sin Eater, A Song for A New Day, The Star Dunes

The Thirteenth Tale, This Is Where It Ends, A Thousand Splendid Suns, To The Bright Edge of the World

Ugly Love

Verity, Vicious, The Vanishing Half, The Virgin Suicides

Watch Hollow, Wolf Hollow, The Woman in Cabin 10, White Fragility, The Wood, The Witch's Heart


The Year of the Witching, 
You Love Me


Books I Actually Read in 2021

* = Currently reading 




Dune: The Graphic Novel Vol 1


The Frozen Crown*


Home Body*








A Promised Land*











Friday, January 1, 2021

2021 TBR & Reading Goals

 Happy New Year, readers! 

I hope your new year rings in with all the best
after the train wreck of a year that was 2020!

2020 did not go as planned and I have no idea if this year will be any different so I am taking it easy on challenges (and probably even blogging) but I will keep up with my reading, as usual. In case I don't blog much this year, you can keep up with what I'm currently reading on Goodreads and Bookstagram

My 2021 Reading Goals

Like last year, I am keeping my personal reading goal at 52 books. 
I'm going to continue reading at least one graphic novel a month but also want to attempt to read one non-fiction a month in 2021.
I've also joined a historical-fiction book club, called Bookstorians, through a friend on Bookstagram and will be reading along with their every-other-month choices. It'll be my first time participating in an actual book club so I'm really looking forward to the discussions.

I'd like to read at least 30 extra read-aloud chapter books to my daughter, which won't be difficult considering that we still read every night and are continuing our home education program which has plenty of reading material! 

As for challenges, I am going to keep track of the books I read for the ABC Challenge, the settings of the books I read, and am participating in the PopSugar Reading Challenge. 



PopSugar Reading Challenge

on Goodreads


I won an ecopy of Animal Barn from Goodreads and The Frozen Crown was sent to me unsolicited. Many thanks to the publishers!. 

Are you participating in any reading challenges or setting a reading goal this year? Whether yes or no, happy New Year and happy reading! 


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Mouse's Night Before Christmas by Tracey Corderoy (Children's Picture Book Review)


Mouse's Night Before Christmas
by Tracey Corderoy
Published by Nosy Crow Ltd
on October 13, 2019
Genre: Children's, Picture Books
Length: 32 pages
Ages: 2 - 5 years

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

It's Christmas Eve, and everyone is fast asleep except for a lonely mouse that lives in the grandfather clock. When Santa arrives, lost in a blizzard and called by Mouse's wish, it's Mouse who is there to show Santa the way. 

Our Thoughts:

This adorably illustrated picture book has many similarities to the classic  'Twas the Night Before Christmas' rhyme, but this gorgeously illustrated picture book but looks a little closer into the well-known story, at the mouse that lives at the bottom of the grandfather clock. This cute little mouse has a special Christmas wish and when Santa loses his way, Mouse knows just how to help! 

This is a sweet little Christmas Eve story with lovely illustrations that takes us on an adventure with Santa and has a heartwarming ending!


Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Claris: Holiday Heist: The Chicest Mouse in Paris by Megan Hess (Children's Picture Book Review)

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

Claris: Holiday Heist
The Chicest Mouse in Paris
(The Claris Collection #3)
by Megan Hess
Published by Hardie Grant
on October 6, 2020
Genre: Children's, Picture Books
Length: 48 pages
Ages: 3 - 8 years

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

A sweet little mouse takes on a cheeky cat burglar with holiday cheer! Can Claris and Monsieur save the day - the New York way?

Our Thoughts:

Claris, the 'Chicest Mouse in Paris' is visiting New York City with her owners and their pet cat, Monsieur, for Christmas when they spot a holiday heist at the jewelry store! Claris and Monsieur are determined to stop the thief and ensure that everyone has a fantastic holiday, all while looking fabulous! 

The fourth book in the Claris: The Chicest Mouse in Paris series from acclaimed fashion illustrator, Megan Hess, is a beautiful picture book with a gorgeous, shiny cover and is filled with popular fashion brands and gorgeous dresses, winter coats, and more for those that love all things fancy! 

This book is especially perfect for the holiday season but this series is absolutely perfect for any fashion-loving Little!
My daughter loves to draw fashion and thought this was incredibly inspirational. She was astonished and 'tickled pink' to find out that the author is a fashion designer!