Thursday, July 9, 2020

Lily's Water Woes (Wild Fairies #2) by Brandi Dougherty & Renee Kurilla (Children's Chapter Book Review)

Lily's Water Woes
(Wild Fairies #2)
Written by
Brandi Dougherty
Illustrated by
Renee Kurilla
Published by Rodale Kidson May 7, 2019
Genre: Children's, Chapter Books, Fantasy, Fairies

Length: 96 pages
Ages: 6 - 9 years

Prepare your wings and listen closely: the wild fairies are now in bloom and popping up in a forest near you!

Our Thoughts:
Lily, the mermaid flower fairy, is feeling quite left out from her fairy friends' favorite activities. She can't be out of water for very long so her visits are very short, meaning she spends most of her time alone in the pond with her frog friend, Splash. She thinks her friends have forgotten her, but it turns out they have whipped together a big surprise for their water-bound friend!

'Lily's Water Woes' begins where the first book in the series, 'Daisy's Decorating Dilemma', leaves off; just after the big Blossom Bash! We were introduced to the entire cast of fairy characters and their sidekicks in the first book and this sequel continues on with the same characters so it was extra easy to identify them and follow along, but in case anyone might read these out of order, each book includes a few pages in the back that show each character with a bit about them and their favorite things!

This nature-based series is super cute with a big focus on friendship. In this sequel, Lily realizes how different she is and how that affects what she can do. Not being as able-bodied as her fairy friends takes its toll on her. Luckily she has a really great group of friends!

My daughter adores these books so far but Lily, who is a mermaid as well as a flower fairy, is her favorite! She really loves all the and colorful illustrations that are added to every spread and the fun activities at the end of the book that includes how-to-draw prompts, spot the difference games, and more!

We can't wait to get our hands on the next one!


Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Swan Lake by the New York City Ballet & Valeria Docampo (Children's Picture Book Review)

Swan Lake
by the New York City Ballet
Illustrated by
Valeria Docampo
Published by
Little Simon
August 27, 2019
Children's, Picture Books, Fairytales
40 pages
4 - 8 years

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository

In this stunning follow-up to the bestselling The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty, the New York City Ballet presents another timeless tale for a modern ballet lover with Swan Lake.

Our Thoughts:

Based on the New York City Ballet production of Swan Lake, this beautifully illustrated picture book will delight readers of all ages with a classic and beloved tale.

Downtrodden by his parent's demands to marry, Prince Siegfried is too sulky to join his friends on a hunting trip to use his new bow, but he later has a change of heart and sets out toward the lake late into the night. Once there, he comes across a swan that turns into a beautiful young woman. The beautiful Odette, queen of the swans, has been put under a spell by an evil sorcerer. The only way to lift the curse is for someone who has never loved before to swear his love to her and marry her. 
But the sorcerer, von Rothbart, has other plans!

True to the original, this story does not have the happiest of endings. It's honestly a bit heartbreaking and tragic and my own daughter was a little disappointed when it didn't turn out like the children's animated film, 'The Swan Princess'. But it's a lovely story nonetheless, with beautiful illustrations that emulates the actual ballet performance, including costumes and choreography.


Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday - Most Read Authors

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and taken over by That Artsy Girl in 2018. 

Most Read Authors

Goodreads used to have a special feature that shared a list of your most-read authors but they apparently trashed that last year. Sigh. 
I don't have the time to go through thousands of books to count them all so I am going to guestimate off of memory. It's been a while since I last looked at the list though. 

Neil Gaiman
I discovered Neil Gaiman when I was 20, thanks to my sis recommending his graphic novels (which wasn't my thing at all at the time). I bought Coraline shortly after and fell in love. I adore that he can write amazing stories for every age group. He never disappoints me.

VE Schwab
There's actually quite a few of her books that I haven't read yet but I still consider her one of my favorites and own most of her books!

Patricia A. McKillip
I discovered her fantasy stories in my early 20's and read as many as I could get my hands on. I wouldn't say the stories themselves are particularly memorable but I absolutely adore her writing style.

Rick RiordanI was also introduced to the Percy Jackson series in my 20's while buddy reading with a teen and fell in love with the stories, characters, and humor. I didn't care much for mythology before reading his books. Now I love it.

Roald Dahl
I didn't read a single Dahl book until my early 20's but I loved a lot of the film adaptations as a kid. I've read quite a few of his books since then and have been rereading a few to my daughter recently.

Stephen King
I'll be upfront and say I am not the biggest fan of King's books. His early stuff is great but I've DNF'd and disliked just as many (or more) than I've liked. I do appreciate his ability to weave real-life horrors into his stories.
Ransom RiggsI'm pretty sure I've read at least 6 books of his so far, even though they're all in the same Peculiar Children series. I love his writing though and can't wait to see more from him. 

Seanan McGuire
Here's another that I feel like I haven't read enough of yet but have read at least 6 of her books so far. I can't wait to continue the Wayward Children series and really want to read Middlegame soon!

Sarah J. Maas
I didn't love or hate either of these series but I also haven't continued either so that's saying something. I think I read 6 from TOG and 3 from ACOTAR. I think she has good ideas but her writing could use some work.

Runner-up mentions include L. Frank Baum because I read all 13 Wizard of Oz stories a few years ago, Jean Craighead George because I loved all of her stories as a kid, JK Rowling at 10 books but I'm not okay with her anti-trans stance so she does not get a full feature, Ray Bradbury, Marissa Meyer, Jane Austen, Leigh Bardugo... and there are definitely others from large series I read as a kid, but I think this will do for now!

How about you?
What authors have you read the most?


Sunday, July 5, 2020

The Sunday Post - 2020 Week 27 - 4th of July

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

Hey there, bloggers!
Here's my week at a glance!

Currently Reading:

Recent Posts & Reviews:

Top Ten Tuesday: New Releases
June Reading WrapUp
July TBR & Goals
Stacking the Shelves

We read and reviewed the nonfiction picture book,
Even More Lesser Spotted Animals by Martin Brown, and StarWars: The Galaxy Needs You by Caitlin Kennedy as well as our latest chapter book read, Daisy's Decorating Dilemma (Wild Fairies #1) by Brandi Dougherty.

What I'm Watching:
I watched the 2006 version of Sense & Sensibility on Hulu recently and Hunderby started playing on its own right after but was so oddly funny that I ended up hooked on.
We've also rewatched Charlotte's Web a couple of times already since my daughter loved the story so much!

Off the Blog:

This week was a little better in real life and in blog posts but I didn't get much writing done for this upcoming week and I'm still catching up on replies from the past week.

We got out for another early morning hike this week. We didn't see as much wildlife this time around but we did see the tiniest little fawn. So cute.

As for the weekend holiday, we planned a nice lowkey day at home, to swim in the pool, grill, and hang out in the yard. It rained on and off but we were still able to make a nice day out of it and lit off fireworks before bed, which my daughter ended up loving! She hasn't stopped talking about them!

How has your week treated you?
Feel free to share your Sunday Post links in the comments!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Stacking the Shelves 2020 #4

Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Here's a little haul from the past month or so!

I don't have much spending power right now but I grabbed this last month while it was on sale.
It covers a lot of eye-opening topics and includes a 28-day journaling challenge. 

In My Mailbox

Many thanks to Aladdin Books and Walker Books for these MG reads!

For Review
Many thanks to Netgalley and Walker Books!

Kindle Freebies

We read and reviewed the picture book version of Hidden Figures last year but snagged a free copy for rereads!

Library Loans
My library has been fully opened since the beginning of May and I had a million newly-purchased books on hold before COVID so some of them have come in since then! Here's some of what I have out (and definitely plan on reading) right now.

And that's about it!
What have you added to your shelves recently?


Friday, July 3, 2020

Daisy's Decorating Dilemma (Wild Fairies #1) by Brandi Dougherty & Renee Kurilla (Children's Chapter Book Review)

Daisy's Decorating Dilemma
(Wild Fairies #1)
Written by
Brandi Dougherty
Illustrated by
Renee Kurilla
Published by Rodale Kids
on May 1, 2018
Genre: Children's, Chapter Books, Fantasy
Length: 96 pages
Ages: 6 - 9 years

Spring is in the air in Sugar Oak!

Before the fairies can smell the flowers and soak in the sun, they must plan the biggest party of the year--the Blossom Bash!

Infused with ecology and botany, the wild fairies' whimsical adventures will inspire in kids a sense of wonder and curiosity for nature, as well as inform them about the wildflowers and critters behind the fairies.

Our Thoughts:
It is Spring and the wild fairies of Sugar Oak are preparing for the Blossom Bash, a big neighborhood party to greet the new Spring season. Daisy is in charge of the decorations but after hearing so many great suggestions from her fairy friends, she just can't decide what will work best.

This series starter is super cute with amazing illustrations on every page and a group of fun flower fairies that are the best of friends!

Each character is introduced in a way that makes it easy to know who is who among the friends, with Daisy as the main character, and each fairy has a critter pal that matches them in color and style. With illustrations on every single page, this makes a great chapter book for beginner readers. There are eleven short chapters in all.

There are also extras at the end of the book that includes a couple of pages 'all about honey', a recipe for one of the yummy desserts in the story, a step by step how-to-draw Daisy, a spot the difference game, and more!

My daughter loved reading this together! We flew through it and really enjoyed the extras at the end. She loved how colorful and beautiful the pictures were and can't wait to continue on to the sequel, Lily's Water Woes, which features the unique mermaid fairy in this story!


Thursday, July 2, 2020

Star Wars: The Galaxy Needs You by Caitlin Kennedy & Eda Kaban (Children's Picture Book Review)

Star Wars:
The Rise of Skywalker:
The Galaxy Needs You
Written by
Caitlin Kennedy
Illustrated by Eda Kaban

Published by Disney LucasFilm Press

on December 17, 2019
Genre: Children's, Picture Books
Length: 48 pages
Ages: 5 - 8 years

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | BookDepository


Have you ever stopped to think about how there is nobody else in the galaxy who is exactly like you? This empowering picture book celebrates young heroes-in-the-making and features illustrations that follow Rey on her own hero's journey.

Our Thoughts:

This inspirational Star Wars based picture book encourages self-worth and empowerment with positive messages paired with illustrations of Rey, the female Jedi introduced in the Star Wars: The Force Awakens film.

The soft, friendly illustrations portray bits of Rey's story from the films while the text reminds the reader that no one in the galaxy quite like you.  No one is smart in the way you're smart, or curious in the way you are curious, or kind in the way you are kind.  That the galaxy needs you.

This wonderful book has a beautiful message that every human should know--that they are worthy--and would be a wonderful gift or addition to any child's library whether or not they are Star Wars fans!