Friday, September 30, 2016

Review: Mixed Up Trucks with Baxter, Rosie and Gus by Robert von Goeben

Title: Mixed Up Trucks with Baxter, Rosie and Gus
Author: Robert von Goeben
Geared Towards: Pre K to K

Baxter, Rosie and Gus were born to drive trucks. But soon they learn that the only way to get things done is to work together, or what a mess they will have! Join the three dogs as they discover just how fun cooperation can be. 

Working with kindergartners and 1st graders I'm developing even more appreciation for picture books for this age.  Ones with stronger story and not just simplistic writing are much more fun and engaging for the students.  This one fits that.  I like the rhyme in it making the story flow.  But I really like how it shows the characters getting jobs that fit what they liked to do as kids.  What a great thing for kids to see!  But them it goes further by showing how we need to work together and listen to each other in order to be successful when working together.  I nice little lesson.  

Media Thoughts:  For sure I'd add this to the collection for the younger kids.

Construction trucks
Like Bob the Builder
Like playing outside digging and moving dirt

Monday, September 26, 2016

Review: Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy by Doug Savage

Title: Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy
Author: Doug Savage
Geared Towards: 4th grade and up

The forest is full of danger . . .  but help is here. Meet Laser Moose and Rabbit Boy, improbable pals who use their powers—laser vision and an unrelenting sense of optimism—to fight the forces of evil. Join the dynamic duo as they battle aliens, a mutant fish-bear, a cyborg porcupine, and a mechanical squirrel, learning along the way that looking on the bright side might be just as powerful as shooting a laser. 

Graphic novels are HUGE at my media center.  We cannot keep them on the shelf.  So when I was offered this book for review I wanted to check it out.  I do think it's one that kids will enjoy.  I mean really what kid wouldn't like a story with a moose that can shoot lasers out of his eyes?! But what is fun about it is that he isn't the best aim and some funny things happen because of it.  What I found interesting about this book is that it's several shorter stories in one book.  That is not something I've seen before in a graphic novel.  I think kids would like that as well because some need shorter pieces and like to read a story beginning to end in one setting.  

Media Thoughts:  Yes I'd put this in the media center.  One thing to note is that even though it looks like it could be for younger kids I think it's more for like 3rd and up.  

Like graphic novels

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Library List

I thought I'd start sharing with you the books a saw checked out this week.  
These are books real K-5 students are reading.

Many checked it out. This one was super popular.  Two reasons I think.  First it's a graphic novel and they are popular.  
Plus I book-talked it!

A new one kids found.  I hadn't seen this checked out before.

I'll keep you posted on what books I see this upcoming week! 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Book Birthday Celebration: Wishapick by M.M. Allen +GIVEAWAY #WishapickBookBirthday

Today I'm excited to share a wonderful sounding book and a chance to win some great prizes! I teamed up with The Children’s Book Review to celebrate the book birthday of:

Wishapick:Tickety Boo and the Black Trunkby M. M. Allen


Highly praised classic fairy tale, Wishapick Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk, a children’s book for all ages, written by acclaimed author MM Allen; and a CD of Wishapick Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk soundtrack composed by the talented Deborah Wynne.

Darkness-utter blackness. Was this why his mother had refused to let Jack unlock his father’s old trunk? It had been two years since his dad had died, and all Jack could think about was examining whatever treasures were stored inside the beloved trunk. But when he finally lifted the lid, he didn’t just fall in –he fell through it into a pit of rattlesnakes. Trying to recall his mother’s stories about the Breathe of All Good Things –anything to help him out of his dangerous predicament-Jack wished he had paid attention rather than mock the tales as childish myths… and that he’d waited to enter the trunk with his sister, Lilly. They could have at least faced this together. Jack quickly learns two things; the villagers in Wishapick think Jack is the only one who can bring light back to Wishapick –and accomplishing this feat is the only way he can return home.

Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk is available on Amazon (


About M. M. Allen

M. M. Allen, author of the acclaimed children’s picture book Let’s Play Ball, is the mother of two adult children and aunt to twenty-three nieces and nephews, including ten great-nieces and great-nephews. MM is a former teacher and university lecturer. She has also worked extensively in marketing and communications with varied businesses and non-profits. MM lives in a picturesque northern California town where she enjoys writing, tending to her rose garden, and caring for her West Highland terrier, Pip.

About Deborah Wynne

Composer and lyricist Deborah Wynne created a companion CD of songs to accompany Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk. Wynne’s primary talents lie in choral singing, stage musicals, and composing. Her musical projects include the 2013 album Strands of Gold and 2007 musical Moment of Truth. She is an active singer and composer in Santa Barbara, California, where she lives with her husband and their two shelties, Sparkle and Gracie.

Learn More About Wishapick 

Wishapick Soundtrack: Be sure to check out the companion music CD, Wishapick, for purchase or download from

Book Club Questions: Get to the heart of Wishapick by downloading this set of book club questions: Wishapick by M. M. Allen: Book Club Questions


One (1) Winner Receives The Grand Prize:
  • An autographed copy of Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk
  • A CD of the Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk soundtrack
  • A Fitbit Alta
Four (4) Winners Receive:
  • An autographed copy of Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk
  • A CD of the Wishapick: Tickety Boo and the Black Trunk soundtrack

Giveaway begins September 23, 2016, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends October 23, 2016, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

Giveaway open to US and Canadian addresses only.
Prizes and samples provided by M.M. Allen and Deborah Wynne

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For this post and giveaway I worked with: The Children’s Book Review, M.M. Allen, and Deborah Wynne

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Blog Tour: The Story Book Knight by Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty +GIVEAWAY!

Title: The Storybook Knight
Authors: Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty
Gear towards: Pre-K to 1st Grade
Copy Obtained: Publisher in exchange for honest review

Even dragons can’t resist a good story…

Even though Leo would rather sit at home and read, his parents send him out into the world in the hopes that Leo will become a famous knight. But when Leo comes up against the land’s most fearsome beasts, he soon discovers that scary monsters enjoy a good book as much as anyone…

What a super cute book! Little Leo is sent out to fight a dragon but it's really not his thing! He much more enjoys reading a good book (a knight after my own heart).  As we goes along he encounters different beasts and ends up battling them all with the power of stories! I love that it shows him staying true to who he is and showing how that can be wonderful! And I love that his family sees it too in the end! A great little message for kids to hear. 

Media Thoughts:  For sure I would add! Plus I'm planning on reading it to my 2nd graders to talk about finding a book that fits you.  And - there is a website where kids can pledge to be kind and caring (see below!).  I can see a ton to do with this book!

Like to read
Feel like they don't belong
Like stories with knights

Author Links:

Thomas Docherty:
Twitter: @TDIllustration
Helen Docherty:
Twitter: @docherty_helen

Educator Resources

Download an educator or activity kit:

Book Website:

Enter for a chance to win an original sketch of Leo and Ned by illustrator Thomas Docherty!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Blog Tour: Max at Night by Ed Vere +GIVEAWAY!

Title: Max at Night
Authors: Ed Vere
Gear towards: Pre-K to 1st Grade
Copy Obtained: Publisher in exchange for honest review

This is Max. Max is very sleepy. It's way past Max's bedtime. Max has drunk his milk. Max has brushed his teeth. Max has cleaned behind his ears. Now Max just needs to say goodnight... Max is tired and all ready for bed, but when he can't find the moon to say goodnight to, he sets out to find it. But that's not as easy as Max had hoped... Witty and heart-warming, this stylish and beautifully illustrated book is the perfect bedtime read.

Sweet, sweet book! I adored this book!  Max is so cute as he climbs higher and higher intent on wishing the moon goodnight! I loved it. And then when the moon tells him he could hear him from home, Max's reaction was just precious.  This is a wonderful bedtime story.  It's calm, positive and has enough little laughs to make it fun to read.  I also love the illustrations.  They are soft - perfect for a bedtime story - simple but yet help convey Max's emotions clearly.  I love his big eyes.  They remind me of my animals! 

Media Thoughts:  I would for sure add this to my "everybody books" collection.  I can see kids liking it a lot especially when Max finally finds the moon (I personally loved when he climbs the dog!).  I plan on using it with my kindergartners and having them have Max climb something to find the moon.

Like to read
Fans of Goodnight Moon

Author Links:

Twitter: @ed_vere

Educator Resources

Download an educator or activity kit:

Enter for a chance to win an original sketch by author and illustrator Ed Vere and a copy of Max at Night!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Peter Powers and His Not-So-Super Powers by Kent Clark

Title: Peter Powers and His Not-So-Super Powers
Author: Kent Clark
Geared Towards: Mid Elementary

Everyone in Peter Powers' family has super awesome superpowers. His dad controls fire with his mind, and his mom can fly. His big brother makes copies of himself, and his little sister is super-strong. And his baby brother even turns invisible! But all Peter can do is--this is really embarrassing--make ice cubes with his fingertips. 

When Captain Tornado comes to town and begins robbing banks, will Peter Powers and his totally lame abilities step up to save the day--or will he get cold feet? Join Peter Powers and his fantastic family for their first action-packed and fun-filled adventure to find out!

I just got this book in the mail and picked it up during the evening to start reading.  I finished reading it right then.  Very quick, very fun little read.  Kids will identify with Peter if they've ever felt like their brother/sister(s) can do things better than them or pick on them all the time.  That's how Peter feels because he doesn't have a very good super power and they do.  (I do have to admit I'd love his brother's power of being able to duplicate himself multiple times!) Peter gets advice from his grandfather that he needs to do something to show his siblings he's just as fantastic.  His first attempt is an utter failure! I mean even his parents show up giving him the old "parent eyes".  BUT the story takes a twist and Peter as to step up! I really liked the ending.  I thought it was a great example for the reader.  Can't wait to read more about Peter and his not-so-powerful power! 

Like superheroes
Like like books with action
Fight with their siblings

Media Center Thoughts:  For sure I'd put this in the media center.  For kids who love Roscoe Riley are are ready for something new and to move up a bit in their read, it will be perfect.  

Monday, September 5, 2016

A New York Year and A Texas Year by Tania Mccartney and Tina Snerling

A New York Year
A Texas Year
Author: Tania Mccartney and Tina Snerling
Geared Towards: K-2nd Grade

Meet Madison, Alexander, Fabian, Sophia and Jayla - New York kids representing a blend of culture and race that typifies this impressive state. They'll take you through a year in the life of New York's kids, from celebrations, traditions and events, to the everyday way of life and the little things that make childhood so memorable. A New York Year is a picture book showcasing the cultural diversity of the state.

It's a snapshot of New Yorkers, blending modern-day culture and lifestyle with the traditions of the past. Its pages feature meandering text, dates and gorgeous illustrations showcasing five New Yorker children at play, at school, at home, and enjoying the sights and sites of New York. From the spectacular Niagara Falls and Adirondack Mountains to the beaches of Long Island, and the dazzling lights of Manhattan, this is a New York childhood.

Meet Luis, Alexis, Christopher, Ethan and Mia - Texan kids representing a multicultural blend that typifies our amazing state. They'll take you through a year in the life of Texan kids, from celebrations, traditions and events, to our everyday way of life and the little things that make childhood so memorable. A Texas Year is a picture book bursting with state pride. It's a snapshot of who we are as Texans, blending our modern-day culture and lifestyle with past traditions and multicultural heritage.

Its pages feature meandering text, dates and gorgeous illustrations showcasing five Texan children at play, at school, at home, and enjoying the sights and sites of our great state. From the plains and canyons of the Panhandle to the beaches and wetlands of the Gulf Coast, vibrant cities and friendly country towns, this is our Texan childhood.

These are wonderful picture books!! Loved them.  They follow a group of kids from each location throughout an entire year.  It was fun to see what they did and how it was similar, but more fun to see what ways they differ from each other and from what goes on in my state.  What I really liked too was that it was a straight forward sentence story.  It has words and pictures scattered across the page, so you can spend time exploring each page! I always like books like that, and I find they tend to pull kids in as well.  And the more time they spend pouring over the pages, the more they will learn about different places and different people.  

I also liked that the books were very multi-cultural.  As a look for more and more diverse books these are great! They are also diverse by showing kids in wheelchairs.  Very well done! 

Love to pour over the pages of a book
Like to learn about different places
Have family in other parts of the country

Media Center Thoughts:  I would definitely add this to the media center! It has a lot of what I look for.  Diversity.  Colorfulness.  Appeal.  

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Drawing Lesson: A Graphic Novel That Teaches You How to Draw by Mark Crilley

Title: The Drawing Lesson: A Graphic Novel That Teaches You How to Draw by Mark Crilley
Author: Mark Crilley
Gear Towards:  4th Grade and Up

An instructional art book in narrative graphic novel form that uses the tale of one aspiring young artist and his reluctant mentor to impart easy-to-follow lessons on the fundamentals

of drawing.

With over 10 million views and growing, Mark Crilley's YouTube drawing instruction videos have an enormous worldwide legion of fans and have been featured on sites such as Yahoo News and Reddit. In addition, Crilley is an accomplished graphic novelist. Now for the first time, he pairs both strengths resulting in a one-of-a-kind art instruction experience. Through the story of aspiring, overeager young artist-in-the-making David and his helpful, but often flustered mentor, Becky, readers gain a grounding in the basics of drawing and rendering, along with a helping of laughs and poignant entertainment. Each lesson builds off the previous, with sidebars at the end of each chapter that direct readers to tackle some of the very same drawing exercises that David has just completed. The sequential art format provides the perfect vehicle for these step-by-step lessons, and the Pixar-esque approach to the surrounding characters and story ensures an enjoyable experience that readers will want to revisit again and again.

This is a very creative idea for a book! I love that this is both a book to read and look at (since it's a graphic novel), but it is also a book that can teach you how to draw! I've never seen a book like this before.  In the book David wants to learn how to draw.  Like a lot of kids he wants to jump in and get going, but Becky teaches him the pieces he needs in the order that he needs it.  It's a perfect example of how learning takes time and practice and that you cannot give up right away.  Slowly as the story goes along you see how David is progressing and how Becky does know what she is doing when it comes to teaching him.  

It's also really neat that the reader can join in and attempt the lessons that David is learning as well.  I know plenty of kids who would take that challenge and try right along with him.  And like David they might feel frustrated - but with the story they can see that is a normal part of learning! Great lesson to learn!

Like to draw
Like to be active with their reading
Enjoy graphic novels

Media Center Thoughts:  I would put this in the media center.  It will not have a huge following unless one student finds it and begins drawing from it.  Then I see others wanting to read it as well!