Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Our Big House

Thanks for the post from Barney Crosby

My wife and I lived in Manhattan until we had kids. Connecticut seemed like a good choice for us since we could both keep our jobs and commute into the city, so we moved out here last year. We think it is hilarious that when we lived in Manhattan we were never scared of anything, but now that we live in Connecticut we are worried that someone will rob our house. I think that we were so used to the hustle and bustle that the quiet makes us uneasy. Having so much space also freaks me out for some reason. I always think there is someone lurking around the corner in the dark. I feel like we lived in a shoebox for 10 years, and all of a sudden we have this great, four-bedroom house, and we don’t know what to do with it. We went ahead and started research on Connecticut home security so we could get a home alarm system. We know it doesn’t guarantee that we’ll be safe, but we think it’ll give us some peace of mind.

Monday, January 30, 2012

What happens to our trash?

Ever wonder what happens to our trash? Let's face it, there's definitely a lot of it.

In WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR TRASH, D.J. Ward fills young readers in on what we throw away and where it goes. Young readers will be astounded to learn that we make more trash than any other country (almost 5 pounds per person every day)and the amount of trash produced in America annually can fill up enough garbage trucks, lined up end to end, to reach the moon. But that's not all. Learn how a landfill works, what people shouldn't throw in their garbage can, and much more.

Everything is covered in this book and the fun-filled illustrations make learning about trash, well, not stinky! After a read through this one, young readers will know just where their trash goes and will be the next generation that makes a lot less trash than we do now.

Additional Information:
Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061687553
ISBN-13: 978-0061687556
Source of review copy: Publisher
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Fish for a Free Book: January 27

Welcome to Fish for a Free Book!

If you are hosting a children's book giveaway, or if you found a giveaway somewhere on the net that you just have to share, I'd love to have you share your links with us here on our weekly giveaway linky so that we can all stop by and enter.

If you're looking for more children's book giveaways, be sure to visit
Brimful Curiosities' Full to the Brim,
Winning Readings (listings of adult and children's book giveaways),
and Got Great Giveaways? (linky of adult and children's book giveaways at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer)

Please post your links however you wish. Some like to include their blog name, some just want to leave the prize and the ending date. Post it whatever way you feel like, but make sure that the prize listing and the date the giveaway ends is listed. And make sure you post a link directly to your giveaway - not just to your main blog page.

Here's an example:
Your name: Lori Calabrese Writes--Two YA Novels--6/24
Your URL: http://loricalabrese.blogspot.com/2011/06/welcome-to-midsummers-eve-giveaway-hop.html

Now it's your turn. Leave your links here...
(If you're reading this in a reader, please click through to the original post)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Enter the Max McTrue Flash Fiction Contest!

Cold weather got you down? Looking for something to do? How about a weekend full of flash fiction writing brought to you by www.figment.com and Kim Culbertson, author of the new ebook, The Liberation of Max McTrue?

All you have to do is write a super short story under 500 words that follows one of the four prompts below. Submit your entry between 11:00am on February 3rd, 2012 and 11:59pm on February 5th, 2012. The Figment editorial staff will choose the top ten entries as finalists, and Kim will choose the winners from those finalists.

The Prompts:
(1) Write a story set against the backdrop of a scavenger hunt.
(2) Write a story confined to the periods of a school day. The character can be in school or out of school.
(3) Write a story in which a character is deeply afraid of something.
(4) Come up with a totally ordinary character and then set him/her up to have an extraordinary day.

How to enter:
1. Go to www.figment.com and sign up.
2. Once you have received your confirmation email, go to your Figment profile page, click “My Writing,” and “Create Something New.”
3. Before you start writing, read the full rules on the Max McTrue contest page, which you’ll be able to find under the “Contest” tab on Figment on February 3rd, 2012.
4. Write an original story, under 500 words, that follows one of the four prompts above.
5. Go to the “Details” tab of your story, and put maxmctrue in the “Tags” section.
6. Wait the 2 hours it sometimes takes to see your story appear on the contest page.

There will be a total of three prizes: Each winner gets a free download of The Liberation of Max McTrue as well as a custom-made “beautiful things” journal. The first place winner will also receive a 30 minute manuscript review by Kim Culbertson.

About The Liberation of Max McTrue: 
Have you ever had an extraordinary day? Max hadn’t. Until one winter day when he met a girl. THE LIBERATION OF MAX MCTRUE takes place in a single day. The classic Boy Meets Girl story. Well, sort of: Boy meets homeschooled girl. Boy ditches school. Boy finds his future. And there's an ice cream truck. And archery. It's a bit like what would happen if Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Alchemist had a kid, well...a kid who was a YA eBook novella. You get the idea.

Monday, January 23, 2012

2012 Newbery and Caldecott winners announced

It was a big day for children's and young adult books! The American Library Association (ALA) announced the 2012 Youth Media Award winners at its Midwinter Meeting in Dallas, which includes the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards.


The John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature went to:
Dead End in Norvelt,” written by Jack Gantos.

Two Newbery Honor Books also were named: "Inside Out & Back Again," written by Thanhha Lai and "Breaking Stalin’s Nose,” written and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin.

The Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children went to:
A Ball for Daisy," illustrated and written by Chris Raschka.

Three Caldecott Honor Books also were named: “Blackout,” illustrated and written by John Rocco, "Grandpa Green" illustrated and written by Lane Smith, and “Me … Jane,” illustrated and written by Patrick McDonnell.

A big congrats goes out to all and all winners of the ALA Youth Media Awards can be found on the ALA website.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Get your Ducks in a Row

If you're looking for some quacky, whacky fun, enter the world of Max the Duck. If you're a fan of Max, you'll love one of his latest, DUCKS IN A ROW. And if you've never picked up a Max the Duck book, now is the time.

In DUCKS IN A ROW, Max takes some time to relax, but as he leans back in his chair, he realizes everyone has something to do, except him. Feeling a bit unwanted, Max is excited when he hears the doorbell ring. It's Aunt Pat, Aunt Dot, and Aunt Flo who are on their way south, but stop to visit until the first snowfall. As soon as the aunts come in, they need Max quite a bit as he ends up doing everything from bringing their books to finding their glasses to running their baths and more. Although it's nice to be needed, Max gets to the point where he's not sure how much he can take.

One of my favorite Duck books is DUCK SOUP, so when I saw an easy reader, I couldn't wait to check it out. Jackie Urbanovic's illustrations are absolutely amazing and so much fun, it makes it hard to put these books down. I often find Level 1 Easy Readers to be so choppy and unappealing story-wise, but that is not the case with Urbanovic's latest. She certainly has her DUCKS IN A ROW!

Additional Information:
Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (February 22, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0061864374
ISBN-13: 978-0061864377
Source of review copy: Publisher
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A chapter book for the flower girl in your life

Every girl dreams of being a flower girl in a wedding and Hailey Twitch is no different. Hailey is back in book four of this intriguing series in HAILEY TWITCH AND THE WEDDING GLITCH.

The bride is Hailey's cousin Genevieve and yes, Hailey will get to wear a "fab, fab, fabulous princess dress." But Hailey's closest confidante, a magic sprite named Maybelle, might have to go back to living in her magic castle and leave the Twitch house for good. Can Hailey make it through the wedding and come up with a plan to keep Maybelle her friend forever?

Hailey might be seven, but don't underestimate her. This was my first trek into Hailey-ville and I must say, young readers will love this book and will be excited to check out the rest of the series. First off, any girl will be pulled into this book by the cover alone, which glitters and sparkles as much as any wedding dress. And as soon as they open the book, they'll be pulled in by Hailey herself, who is entertaining, funny, and mischievous.This is a whimsical, charming story perfect for any emerging reader who's dreamed of being a flower girl and wearing sparkly shoes!

Additional Information:
Reading level: Ages 7 and up
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky; Original edition (November 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1402224478
ISBN-13: 978-1402224478
Source of review copy: publicist
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Have you met Juno?

In THE DAY THE MUSIC STOPPED Juno takes her little brother, Rai Rai, to the town of Harmonia Springs to make music. However, when they arrive, one of Juno's friends shows them his latest invention, The Shush Machine. The Shush Machine can shush anything making too much noise. When their friend Bunny pushes too many buttons, the whole town is quiet. Juno and Rai Rai set out to fix Harmonia Springs by what else? Making music!

This is a wonderful book to teach pre-schoolers about music. They'll learn about melody, harmony, rhythm, and that music comes from ordinary things like a clock's tick-tock or a bouncing ball. The illustrations will captivate pre-schoolers with the cartoon-like characters and vibrant colors and they'll be ready to set off on their own musical adventure.

What's even more fun is that THE DAY THE MUSIC STOPPED is also available on DVD and as an interactive e-book app, featuring 2 mini-games and original music. Learn more at The Juno Company website.

Additional Information:
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Publisher: The Juno Company
Source of review copy: Publisher
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Teach young readers about the power of music

Venture into the Deep South where everything is segregated in the new book by Margaree King Mitchell and James E. Ransome, WHEN GRANDMAMA SINGS.

When Belle's grandmother is asked to go on tour and sing, 8-year-old Belle can't wait to go with her. She's never been anywhere before, just like her Grandmother, so it will be her job to help out Grandmama when she can. However, the trip awakens Belle to how everything is segregated, just like in their hometown of Mississippi. One night, only seventeen people show up to hear Grandmama sing. Another night, Grandmama isn't paid. They also have to fight to get food from a "Whites Only" diner. But Belle loves how Grandmama's voice can bring everyone together. When they get home, they knew everything would work out as Grandmama receives an offer from a record company.

This is a beautiful story that teaches young readers about the time of segregation and the importance of music, mainly how it can bring people together.The artwork by Ransome captures the essence of the era and will remind young readers to shoot for the stars, no matter what obstacle.

Additional Information:
Reading level: Ages 5 and up
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Amistad (January 3, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0688175635
ISBN-13: 978-0688175634
Source of review copy: Publisher
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fish for a Free Book: January 6

Welcome to Fish for a Free Book!

If you are hosting a children's book giveaway, or if you found a giveaway somewhere on the net that you just have to share, I'd love to have you share your links with us here on our weekly giveaway linky so that we can all stop by and enter.

If you're looking for more children's book giveaways, be sure to visit
Brimful Curiosities' Full to the Brim,
Winning Readings (listings of adult and children's book giveaways),
and Got Great Giveaways? (linky of adult and children's book giveaways at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer)

Please post your links however you wish. Some like to include their blog name, some just want to leave the prize and the ending date. Post it whatever way you feel like, but make sure that the prize listing and the date the giveaway ends is listed. And make sure you post a link directly to your giveaway - not just to your main blog page.

Here's an example:
Your name: Lori Calabrese Writes--Two YA Novels--6/24
Your URL: http://loricalabrese.blogspot.com/2011/06/welcome-to-midsummers-eve-giveaway-hop.html

Now it's your turn. Leave your links here...
(If you're reading this in a reader, please click through to the original post)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

You've never seen Hilarious Heroes like these

It's a new year, which means you need new ways to keep your kids busy! If you have a superhero fan on your hands, you might want to introduce them to My Beastly Book of Hilarious Heroes. Trust me when I say, you've never seen heroes like these!

As soon as my son picked up this activity book, he couldn't wait to cut out one of the masks found in the book and don it as if he was saving the world. There are so many things to keep young readers busy in this book, it's amazing. And not to mention hilarious! For instance, if potty humor is big in your house, your kids will enjoy drawing a puddle underneath Super-Urgent as he's dashing to the bathroom. They'll also enjoy ripping out pages, doodling, scribbling, completing mazes, and balancing a mountain of cars on a strongman's pinky finger.

With a super marker, super crayon, super scissors, and glue, you'll find there's nothing your superhero can't do.

Additional Information:
Reading level: Ages 4 and up
Paperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Owlkids Books; 1 edition (August 2, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1926973011
ISBN-13: 978-1926973012
Source of review copy: Publisher
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Get ready for the Super Bowl with this

Who's ready for the Super Bowl? We're only a few weeks away, as crazy as that is, so why not get your future quarterback geared up for the big game?

HOW FOOTBALL WORKS by Keltie Thomas introduces young fans to everything they need to know from who's who on the field to legends of the game to formations and more. As soon as I opened this book, I couldn't get over the amount of information inside. Young readers will be fascinated to learn that the NFL uses a machine like a shoe buffer to break in official game balls, quarterbacks used to call their own plays, the Vikings were called the Purple People Eaters, and Jim Plunkett remembers a game in which Astroturf burned the bottom of his feet! I love this book because it's full of fun facts like that, but it also covers all of the basics of the game with fun illustrations and diagrams.

By the time the Super Bowl rolls around, your future QB will know all of the tricks in the playbook!

Additional Information:
Reading level: Ages 8 and up
Paperback: 64 pages
Publisher: Maple Tree Press (November 1, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1897349882
ISBN-13: 978-1897349885
Source of review copy: Publisher

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday! Nonfiction Monday takes place every Monday as various blogs throughout the kidlitosphere write about nonfiction books for kids and collect them all in one place. This week, check out the Nonfiction Monday roundup at The Nonfiction Detectives. To see the entire schedule, please visit the blog of Anastasia Suen.

Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.