Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Sometimes Rain by Meg Fleming & Diana Sudyka (Picture Book Review)

Sometimes Rain
Words by Meg Fleming
Ilustrations by Diana Sudyka
Published by Beach Lane Books
on October 30, 2018
Length: 40 pages
Ages: 4-7

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

Celebrate the four seasons of the year and all of the fun that comes with them with this lyrical, rhyming picture book from the author of I Heart You. 

Sometimes it rains, sometimes it snows, sometimes the sun shines, and sometimes the trees change color. But no matter what the seasons bring, there is lots of fun to be had! This lyrical exploration of the four seasons and all of the wonder that they bring is illustrated with vibrant watercolors.

Our Thoughts:
This is a lovely, lyrical look at the four seasons. The perfect read for any time of year! See what the weather has in store for us, how it affects us, and what we may do to enjoy it! 

The watercolored illustrations are gorgeous! We especially loved that you can see the wind and blizzards throughout the seasons. There's tons of detail to draw the eye! 

We picked this up thinking it was all about rain (perfect for our upcoming rainy season) but it turned out to be a fun romp through all four seasons! The rhyming couplets make it a quick read but also sort of dreamy and perfect for bedtime! 

A House For Mouse by Gabby Dawnay & Alex Barrow (Picture Book Review)

A House for Mouse
by Gabby Dawnay
Illustrated by Alex Barrow
Published by Thames & Hudson
on October 2, 2018
Length: 36 pages

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

In a faraway land, a little gray mouse leaves his tiny hole in search of a new home. On his journey, he unwittingly encounters some of the biggest stars in the fairytale genre. He discovers a house shaped like a shoe (belonging to Old Mother Hubbard), which he concludes would be too noisy; he dines with a little pig in a house made of straw (awfully breezy); is flummoxed by a tower with no door (Rapunzel's); and dares to take a nibble from a most remarkable house made of gingerbread (narrowly missing Hansel and Gretal). 

The little gray mouse is about to give up when he comes face to face with the most spectacular house of all: a glorious castle (Sleeping Beauty's). Its ballrooms, turrets, and drawbridge win him over, but he finds himself feeling alone, until--surprise!--his friends from the forest and all those he has met along the way come to the castle, where they feast and dance, and the little gray mouse learns that it is family and friends that turn a house into a home. 

Children will delight in this fun, rhyming story with all of its rich references to well-known fairy tales. 

My Thoughts:
When a little gray mouse decides to find a new house, he sets off on a journey across the land in search of the perfect place to rest his head, but none of the houses or dwellings he comes across seem to be the right fit. He tries the easily-blown-over houses of the Three Little Pigs, Rapunzel's doorless tower, and even a witch's tasty gingerbread house, but none seem quite right for a mouse. 

Join this little gray mouse on a fantastic journey through stories your little ones are likely to already know by heart such as Hansel & Gretel, Jack and the Beanstalk, and more! 

This picture book starts out with a map, like all my favorite fantasy novels, so I automatically enjoyed it! The illustrations are very fun and I absolutely loved that the trees in the forests have faces! 

This lovely little picture book has a wonderfully happy ending like all fairy tales should! I loved the dedication: "For all the children who do not have a home or are yet to find one."

Monday, June 17, 2019

Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears by Margaret Wise Brown & Julie Clay (Picture Book Review)

We received a free physical copy of this picture book from the publisher to facilitate a review. All thoughts and opinions are our own. 

Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears
by Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrated by Julie Clay
Published by Silver Dolphin Books
on April 2,  2018
Length: 32 pages
Ages: 2-5 years

There was a big sleepy bear and a little sleepy bear. Go through the motions with sleepy bears in Sleep Tight, Sleepy Bears, a sweet story from the hidden treasures of Margaret Wise Brown, author of the children's classics Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny. Yawn, stretch, sing, and sleep tight with this book illustrated by Julie Clay. 

Our Thoughts:
A very cute story about two sleepy bears; one big, and one small. This is the perfect bedtime story for little listeners.

Simple illustrations in calming pastel colors and the repetition and rhymes make this picture book the perfect choice for bedtime. It has a very soothing effect, very similar to Goodnight Moon! It will having you yawning in no time! 

This picture book also focuses on opposites; specifically big and small.  

More from Margaret Wise Brown:

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Read It First: Book to Movie Adaptations Master List (2019+)

Do you read the book before watching the movie adaptation? Know of any upcoming adaptations that aren't on this list? Let me know in the comments! I'll try to keep this list as updated as I can!



Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
by Alvin Schwarts
releases: August 9, 2019

The Art of Racing in the Rain
by Garth Stein
releases: August 9, 2019
(Goodreads) (imdb) (movieinsider)

Where'd You Go, Bernadette?
by Maria Semple
releases: August 16, 2019


IT [Part 2]
by Stephen King
releases: September 6, 2018
(Goodreads) (imdb) (movieinsider)

The Goldfinch
by Donna Tartt
releases: September 13, 2019


The Woman in the Window 
by A.J. Finn
releases: October 4, 2019
(Goodreads) (imdb) (movieinsider)


Doctor Sleep
by Stephen King
releases: November 8, 2019
(Goodreads) (imdb) (movieinsider)

The Good Liar
by Nicholas Searle
releases: November 15, 2019
(Goodreads) (imdb) (movieinsider)


Little Women
by Louisa May Alcott
releases: December 25, 2019
(Goodreads) (imdb) (movieinsider)


The Voyages of Doctor DoLittle
by Hugh Lofting
releases: January 17, 2020
(Goodreads) (imdb) (movieinsider)

The Call of the Wild
by Jack London
releases: February 21, 2020

by Noelle Stevenson
releases: March 5, 2020

The Invisible Man
by H.G. Wells
releases: March 13, 2020
(Goodreads) (imdb) (movieinsider)

Artemis Fowl
by Eoin Colfer
releases: May 29, 2020

The One and Only Ivan
by Katherine Applegate
releases: August 14, 2020
(Goodreads) (imdb) (movieinsider)

Death on the Nile
by Agatha Christie
releases: October 9, 2020
(Goodreads) (imdb) (movieinsider)

The Witches
by Roald Dahl
releases: October 16, 2020
(Goodreads) (imdb) (movieinsider)

2020 TBA

[Chaos Walking]
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
releases: 2020

Fear Street
by R.L. Stine
releases: 2020 TBA
(Goodreads) (imdb) (movieinsider)

The Willoughbys
by Lois Lowry
releases: 2020 TBA
(Goodreads) (imdb) (movieinsider)

by Jerry Spinelli
releases: 2020 TBA
(Goodreads) (imdb) (movieinsider)


by Gregory Maguire
releases: December 22, 2021

2021 TBA

My Father's Dragon
by Ruth Stiles Gannet
releases: TBA 2021
(Goodreads) (imdb) (movieinsider)


Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones
The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King

I'll be adding to and editing this list throughout the year so feel free to comment if you know of any new adaptations or updates! 

Friday, June 14, 2019

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (Young Adult Book Review)

Shadow and Bone
(The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1)
by Leigh Bardugo
Published by Henry Holt and Company
On June 4, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Length: 358 pages

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

Literary Awards:
Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2012)
Lincoln Award Nominee (2014)
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award Nominee (2014)
Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult (2014)
Rhode Island Teen Book Award Nominee (2015)
South Carolina Book Award Nominee for Junior Book (2015)

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. 

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life--a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. 

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha... and the secrets of her heart. 

My Thoughts:
Alina Starkov is a young orphan soldier who hopes not to die on the Shadow Fold but comes to learn that she has a buried power that saves her life and may be the key to saving all of Ravka. She is whisked off to the Little Palace by The Darkling, where she is trained with her fellow magic-wielding Grisha. But being a Sun Summoner has its downfalls as well as its perks and Alina finds that her life is anything but easier thanks to it. 

I wish I hadn't put this one off for so long. I honestly kind of wish I had read it instead of Maas' 'Throne of Glass' and ACOTAR series, which eventually aided in my turning away from YA.  This was much more interesting, with characters I didn't loathe, but I'm still a little disillusioned by YA right now and think I would have liked it better when I was younger.  

This book is filled with magic and evil and romance and is perfect for young fantasy lovers. 

I did not read this trilogy before I read the Six of Crows duology and because of that, I didn't quite understand the Grisha magic parts of it. My mistake. I don't think it's required to read this trilogy first but I will say I would have been less confused about the magic system if I had. 

I don't want to give anything away but if you enjoy YA, fantasy, or reading the book before the tv/film adaptation, I'd give it a chance! Netflix will be adapting this into an eight-episode series! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines and kids (Picture Book Review)

We Are the Gardeners
by Joanna Gaines & kids
Illustrated by Juliana Swaney
Published by Thomas Nelson
on March 26, 2019
Length: 40 pages

Ages: 4-8 

In We Are the Gardeners, Joanna and the kids chronicle the adventures of starting their own family garden. From their failed endeavors, obstacles to overcome (bunnies that eat everything!), and all the knowledge they've gained along the way, the Gaines family shares how they learned to grow a happy, successful garden. As it turns out, trying something new isn't always easy, but the hardest work often yields the greatest reward. There are always new lessons to be learned in the garden!

You and your children can learn all about the Gaines family's story of becoming gardeners in Joanna's first children's book--starting with the first little fern Chip bought for Jo. Over the years, the family's love for gardening blossomed into what is now a beautiful, bustling garden. 

Our Thoughts:
Joanna Gaines and her kids chronicle their gardening adventures; from the lonely little fern that Chip brought home, to the sprawling gardens they have now. Through mistakes and heartaches, they persevere and continue their garden until they can finally reap the rewards of their hard work. 

This is a fantastic look at gardening, and one I haven't really encountered in picture books before but closely mirrors my own journey with the hobby. I did not grow up in a gardening household but I did learn to love plants from my own mother and started growing them myself as soon as I was free to. Fast forward to ten-plus years of gardening lessons learned and I have a space to grow plants, vegetables, and fruit trees and a daughter that loves to join in that I hope will learn from it just as much as I have.

I really loved the focus on persevering with gardening, even after so many setbacks. I have dabbled in gardening since I was a young adult and learned many lessons from it and have many still to learn. It's very good advice to apply to all aspects of your life. 
Don't give up. Try again. You'll learn to do better. 

I will note that this picture book has absolutely no mention of religion. No dedications or quotes to, from, or about religion, which is something I haven't encountered before with Thomas Nelson books.  The gorgeous illustrations and moral of the story make it worth the read! 

Monday, June 10, 2019

Captain Aquatica's Awesome Ocean by Jessica Cramp (Nat Geo Kids Nonfiction Book Review)

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

Captain Aquatica's Awesome Ocean
by Jessica Cramp
with Grace Hill Smith & Joe Levit
Published by National Geographic Society
on June 11, 2019
Genre: Children's Nonfiction
Length: 128 pages
Ages: 8 - 12 years

Take to the seas with marine conservationist and shark researcher Captain Aquatica and her hammerhead shark sidekick, Finn, to explore the ocean's wettest and wildest depths and get the latest facts from the field! 

Scientist Jessica Cramp illuminates her work studying sharks and protecting our amazing oceans with in-depth scientific info and comic-book flair. Cramp's conversational and witty explanations will make kids want to dive right in. Colorful side stories in graphic novel-style feature Cramp as character Captain Aquatica, with her sidekick shark, Fin. Together they help make big concepts accessible and interesting to kids of all levels. Amazing photography and cool content draw kids into the subject and story, attracting STEM fanatics and reluctant readers alike. 

Our Thoughts:
Jessica Cramp, a marine conservationist, brings her world to life in this fun and educational nonfiction all about our oceans! She explains that her love of sharks has prompted her to show us more about the oceans and the effects that we have on them!

Jess becomes the colorful comic strip character, Captain Aquatica, with her loyal sidekick, a hammerhead shark named Fin. Together, they show us that learning can be really fun.

In typical National Geographic style, there's plenty of text for readers to learn as much as possible about many different aspects of our oceans, with bright, beautiful photographs on every page. There's a Captain Aquatica comic spread at the beginning of every chapter and the chapters are only a handful of pages long.

I especially loved the longer last chapter on saving our oceans!
These Nat Geo Kids books are perfect for curious readers and homeschoolers alike!