Excellent Blog
2007 Inspiring Blog
Rockin' Girl Blogger

Thursday Book Review: “Mother of Sharks” and “Elemental”

June 29th, 2023

Winter 2021-2022

(Photo credit to Rawley; use with permission only.)

For today’s review, let’s check out water and the rest of the elements.

“Mother of Sharks” is a big, cool story by marine biologist Melissa Cristina Marquez, with awesome on-land, undersea, and shark illustrations by Devin Elle Kurtz. Marquez wrote this science book in a fantasy style, and it works. She sets it at la Playa del Condado, in Puerto Rico, where she grew up learning to love sharks and the water. Glossary/references/back story/translations are always appreciated, thank you! The illustrations, so flawless, are like something out of a dream. For more about the author and artist’s work, check out info on Marquez and take a look at Kurtz’s website.

Awww, summer = movie tie-ins, and here is another good one. Disney/Pixar’s newest release, “Elemental,”  set in a city “where Fire, Water, Earth and Air Elements reside,” in spite of the fact that they don’t have a lot in common. Or… do they? Look for the junior novelization and the Little Golden Book, they’re sweet.

Talk soon! Bon appetit!


Book review: “Where Wildflowers Grow”

June 28th, 2023

Colorado flowers

(“Colorado Flowers,” photo by Steven Pings Rawley, use with permission only)

Ha Dinh, who came to America as a child, following the American war in Vietnam, took all of her memories, pain, fears, opportunities, growth and passion to bring us, “Where Wildflowers Grow,” a beautiful new picture book. (Waterbrook, 2023, $14.99.)

Bao Luu illustrated the book — the art is lovingly and colorfully drawn. Two little girls, Ha and Chau, have made a new home and life in their refugee camp in the Philippines. They’re reluctant to leave each other, but Ba and Ma, Ha’s parents, are taking our hero and her siblings to America. This book is a treasure, and includes Ha’s personal story and photos in the back, along with instructions on playing O An Quan, a game Ha and Chau enjoy.

Book Review: Lia Park, Dungeons & Dragons

June 14th, 2023
Hahaha (Photo by Nancy Ellen Rawley; use with permission only) Hello, dear Summer Readers. You’re different than rest-of-the-year readers because it’s summer time and that means, Summer Reading Clubs, Book of the Month Club (my sister gave me a subscription for my birthday! Thanks, schwes!), Reading is Fundamental, beach trips, camping trips, out in the hammock reading time… all of it. So here are a few new titles for you. I’ve never played or really understood Dungeons & Dragons, but there is a new movie out, and that means books and toys to go with it, yay! “Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves,” is a junior novelization that is available in hardback or paperback, with color inserts. The hardback includes the color inserts, plus a cool little poster. All kinds of cool stuff to go along with the movie and the books — action figures, a Monopoly game… have fun. My new favorite book (I’m about halfway through reading it) is Jenna Yoon’s “Lia Park and the Heavenly Heirlooms.”  (This is the second book in the adventure/magic/fantasy series.) Our 12-year-old heroine is now attending the International Magic Academy full-time with her best friend Joon, and her magic abilities aren’t exactly going the way she’d like. This is a great, well-written and interesting book. The grown-ups and the kids will all enjoy this one. Enjoy your summer. Put some Otter Pops in the freezer and fill up the kiddie pool. All for now, bon appetit, WM