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Sunday Book Review: “Cookiesaurus Rex,” by Amy Fellner Dominy, Nate Evans & AG Ford; “31 Proverbs to Light Your Path,” by Liz Curtis Higgs & “God Gave Us Family,” by Lisa Tawn Bergen & David Hohn

November 12th, 2017

Hello and happy Sunday, ya’ll.

“Cookiesaurus Rex” (Disney-Hyperion, 2017, written by Amy Fellner Dominy and Nate Evans, illustrated by AG Ford, $16.99) Cookiesaurus Rex is one demanding little cookie. “So you should frost me FIRST.” He wants sprinkles, he wants stars… Hey, Rex, simmer down. Great illustrations, playful and bright.

“31 Proverbs to Light Your Path” (Waterbrook, 2017, 206 pages, $14.99) This new book by Liz Curtis Higgs (“31 Verses to Write on Your Heart”) is sure to inspire and comfort many.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” — Proverbs 16:3.

“The old saying,” Higgs writes, “‘If you want to hear God laugh show Him your plans’ surely must be true, because I’ve heard His holy laughter rolling down from heaven many times in my life.” Lol. It’s true! I can relate. Higgs has a matter-of-fact, touching writing style. The layout of the book is interesting, and includes “One Minute, One Step” tips for getting back on track.

“God Gave Us Family” (Waterbook, 2017, written by Lisa Tawn Bergen, illustrated by David Hohn, ages 3-7, $10.99) Sweet little book about all the different types of families, and why they all count.

My disclaimer. (I need to update it, because I haven’t run paid ads on here in years.)

Bon appetit, babies.



Saturday Book Review — Coloring with Disney: “Don’t Color This Book! It’s Cursed! (Gravity Falls),” “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” & “The Percy Jackson Coloring Book”

November 11th, 2017

How fun is it to write a review of coloring books? And then I get to color in them? That’s right. Fun! :)

All three of these books are 2017 Disney-Hyperion releases, and pretty perfect for holiday gifts. You will need to include a set of colored pencils, crayons or markers, lol.

“Don’t Color This Book! It’s Cursed!” This Gravity Falls coloring book (written by Emmy Cicierega, illustrated by Stephanie Ramirez, $12.99) takes us on the adventures of Mabel Pines, as she seeks to free her twin, Dipper Pines, from the confines of the book. Does he want to be freed, though? Does Mabel care? “Get ready for the Mabel magic, honey butt!” Oh, my Lord. Great pages. Some of the designs are intricate, some are more simple, so this is a good one for budding and advanced artists. Perfecto. Based on the Disney channel cartoon, which is set in my home state, Oregon, U.S.A.

“Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” (subtitled “100 Images to Inspire Creativity”) is pretty cool. I’ve never understood how someone can be so macabre and so sweet at the same time, but that’s the beauty of Burton. Hello, Jack Skellington, hello, Sally, whassup? ($15.99)

The Percy Jackson coloring book, based on the Rick Riordan series (art by Keith Robinson, $15.99), includes some simple and some detailed patterns, as well. Color Hades, Ares, Apollo, New York City and all of your other favorite characters and destinations. Super cool.

And a disclaimer.

The End, and bon appetit, babies!

— wm

What’s New on My Nightstand: Friday Book Review… Disney Holiday Round-up for the kids! “Mickey’s Christmas: Storybook Treasury,” “Countdown to Christmas: A Story a Day,” “My First Christmas,” “Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” & Greg Pizzoli’s “The 12 Days of Christmas”

November 10th, 2017

That’s right. Halloween is over, Thanksgiving is coming up, which means it’s almost over already, and you know what’s next… Winter holidays!!! Walks in the snow, caroling, baking sugar cookies, putting up the lights, making potato latkes, having family and friends over, watching movies, and reading, reading, reading as much as you want.

I love summer, but I really love winter.

I start receiving big boxes of holiday books to review, that is one of the reasons. #ohhappyday #holiDaze #DisneyHyperion #happyplace #I’mwatchingTheWalkingDeadwhileIwritethislol #yesIam

Maybe I should give up completely on writing real sentences and just switch to hashtags. No? Yeah, no. Writing is good. Real words count.

Here is my disclaimer, by the way. I don’t run ads on this site any more, but if I did, they wouldn’t influence what I write. I receive books (for free) to review, but no cash compensation. #doyoudoitforthemoneyhoney? No, I just like books.

Here we go! (All titles are from Disney-Hyperion and are 2017 releases.)

“Mickey’s Christmas: Storybook Treasury” (255 pages, $30) This is a real treasure. The collection includes “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” “Donald Duck’s Christmas Tree,” “Mickey and Minnie’s Gift of the Magi” and “Huey, Dewey, and Louie’s Christmas Wish.” Big, full colorplate illustrations, and one that families will want to pass down to the grandkids.

“My First Christmas” (Written by Sara Miller, illustrated by Jerrod Maruyama, $8.99) This is a touch-and-feel board book, which should delight the babies. I get a kick out of seeing the looks on their faces when they start exploring textures. They’ll love the scratch-and-sniff candy canes, and the soft snow on the tree. Lady and the Tramp even make an appearance.

“Countdown to Christmas” (59 pages, $10.99) Great Christmas stories including tales from “A Bug’s Life,” “Lady and the Tramp,” “Snow White” and other classics.

“Olaf’s Frozen Adventure” (Written by Brooke Vitale, with illustrations by Griselda Sastrawinata-Lemay, $12.99) It’s a light-up board book, first of all. Second of all? It’s Olaf. Perfecto.

“The 12 Days of Christmas”
(Written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli, $16.99) Beautiful rendering of the classic Christmas song. Sweet illustrations from Pizzoli (“Templeton Gets His Wish,” “Good Night Owl”). The book has a vintage look, think 1940s-1950s, with a simple color scheme of red, green, white, black and gray. The nine ladies dancing are kittens, btw. The ten lords a-leaping? froggies. This is a charming title.

What’s New on My Nightstand: Friday Book Review — “The Perfect Score,” by Rob Buyea; “Nutcracked,” by Susan Adrian; “Choose to Matter: Being Courageously and Fabulously You,” by Julie Foudy; and “Bugs of Washington and Oregon,” by John Acorn and Ian Sheldon

November 3rd, 2017

Starting out with…

“The Perfect Score,” by Rob Buyea (Delacorte Press, 2017, 358 pages, $16.99) is the latest from the author of the “Mr. Terupt” series. Nothing like getting the scoop from a former teacher. Buyea taught elementary and high school, and coached, besides that. His ear for dialogue and his respect for kids shows. The students at Lake View Middle School are thrown when their expected teacher bails and they end up with an old lady, Mrs. Woods, and a hippie without shoes, Mrs. Magenta. Well. We’ll have to see how this goes…

The book is told from the perspective of five students, Randi, Natalie, Trevor, Scott and Gavin, as they navigate the waters of middle school.

In a direct, practical way, the book tackles their day-to-day dramas, but takes on serious issues, too. These include (but aren’t limited to) physical and emotional abuse by siblings and friends; the challenges of elder care; overbooked days and demanding parents. Buyea also takes on one of the biggest challenges in modern day education: the devil that is standardized testing aka CSAs (or Complex Student Abuse, as the students dub them). Mrs. Magenta is compared to “a bird with its wings clipped” when she is told to do nothing but test prep and is not allowed to teach.

I speak from experience, y’all. Excessive standardized testing hurts teachers and staff as much as it hurts students. So I appreciate that Buyea is willing to tackle the subject.

Great book, great characters, and a good book list, woven throughout. Author, author! Buyea gives shout-outs to Jerry Spinelli (“Crash”), Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (“Shiloh”), Gordon Korman (“Ungifted”), Eve Bunting (“The Memory String”) and loads of others. Nice! :)

“Nutcracked,” by Susan Adrian (Random House, New York, 2017, 233 pages, $16.99). This new release, like “The Perfect Score,” is about friendship and its complications. Unlike “The Perfect Score,” it includes a possibly-possessed nutcracker as one of the main characters. Hmmm.. very interesting. The plot is lively, the descriptions of the dance world are spot-on, and its well-written. This one is a perfect stocking stuffer for the upcoming holiday season.

“Choose to Matter: Being Courageously and Fabulously You,” by Julie Foudy (ESPN W, 2017, 287 pages, $17.99) is an inspirational book by the 13-year captain of the U.S. Women’s National soccer team. Her writing “team” includes Robin Roberts (from “Good Morning America”), soccer players Mia Hamm and Alex Morgan, softball star Jessica Mendoza, and others. The book includes space to write, different exercises to work through, and loads of positivity.

“Bugs of Washington and Oregon,” by John Acorn and Ian Sheldon. (Lone Pine, 2001, 160 pages, $14.95.) This is just a super-cool, well-illustrated non-fiction book that’s been sitting on my shelf for a few years now, and I thought it deserved a mention.

Bon appetit, babies!