Friday, December 30, 2011

The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot

The Three Little Aliens and the Big Bad Robot By: Margaret McNamara & Mark Fearing

This is a great spin on the classic tale of the Three Little Pigs. In this adventure three little aliens are sent away from home to find their own home. Their mother tells them to stick together and watch out for the big bad robot, but they loose track of each other when a couple of the aliens see something they think is exciting and fun. But the third little alien finds a nice safe place to live and builds a safe house. When the big bad robot comes the first two aliens are not safe and they find their way to the third aliens home where they defeat the robot. But nothing is as good as Mom tucking you in so they call their mom to come for a visit and read them a story.

I love this spin off of the book.  My kids also loved to read it.  The pictures are really great and very detailed.  I think that any kid will enjoy this book, especially if they are into space books. I think that it would also be a great part  of a collection of "three little _______" stories if you are making a book collection!

I bought this at the Scholastic Book Fair
ISBN: 978-0-375-86689-0

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Candymakers

The Candymakers By: Wendy Mass

This is the story of four young people in a  competition of a lifetime! They have been chosen to compete to make the best new candy.   Each of them has a reason to win and a story to tell.  Logan is the Candymaker's son and so everyone is out to beat him, but he just might beat himself first because he is full of doubt. Miles is trying to find a way to forget the past and so is excited to be in a candy factory. Daisy is just in love with candy and wants to make some of it for herself.  And then there is Philip who is not very nice to anyone and is always writing in his notebook. But are these the real people that you see before you? Or is someone not quite telling the truth?  And the bigger question is who is going to make the best candy?!

I loved this book. It was a great story, it had candy in it and the descriptions alone make your mouth water!  And there is also mystery in it, because the characters actually turn out to not be what you expected them to be!  I loved the way it told the story from each characters perspective because then you got to see things in a different light each time it changed characters!!  I thought that it was also well played out as you start to understand the story as the book goes on and nothing is given totally away until the end!  Awesome read for about higher fourth grade readers and up!

I was given this as a gift from a student who purchased it at the Scholastic Book Fair.
ISBN: 978-0-316-201061-2

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011


Today for Christmas I am posting about two books that I think share the true meaning of Christmas. While I love all the holiday stuff Jesus is the reason. Merry Christmas!

On This Special Night By: Claire Freedman and Simon Mendez

This book tells about the birth of Jesus from the animal's point of view. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is fantastic!  A perfect Christmas read for all ages!

This was a gift to my kiddos!
 ISBN: 978-0-545-10568-2

A Tree for Christmas By: Dandi Daley Mackall Illustrated By: Dominic Catalano

This book tells the story of Jesus' life using different trees as illustrations.  It shows him in different stages of his life and in poetry ties it to a tree. Which at the end gives us a great reason for the Christmas Tree.  I love the illustrations in this book because each time it tells a new story there is a sketch of a family going and cutting down their Christmas tree.

This was also a gift to my kiddos!
ISBN: 0-7586-0669-9

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures By: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Ethan wakes up on his first day of his sophomore year after having the dream again. He is trying to catch her and cannot.  When he wakes up he realizes that again his window is open and he is covered in dirt.  He has had this dream many times always trying to save her.  When he gets to school he finds that there is a new girl in town.  And being a small town it is not normal for someone to show up, especially one who lives with the town recluse.  But as soon as he sees her he knows that she is the girl from his dreams. Lena is the one, and he can hear her thoughts and she can hear his.  Ethan knows he has to get to know her and he does, even though it means that they are ridiculed by the people around them. He also knows that there is something strange going on and is determined to find it out.  Lena happens to be a Caster and is able to do magic. She is approaching her sixteenth birthday where she fears the Book of Moons will chose to make her Dark instead of Light. Ethan is determined to help her be taken by the Light. But is it all to much for them?  Can they fight the battle that is before them and still survive and save the ones around them?

I thought this book was interesting and a great story. It was nice to read a book about teens that actually attempt to get to know each other before they are automatically in love forever.  I thought it was an interesting plot and the action and mystery that surrounded the characters were  fantastic.  I think that it is a good read for high school or older and maybe even as young as eighth grade as there is nothing to mature in it.

I bought this in Kindle Edition from
ISBN:  978-0316042673

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Nest For Celeste

A Nest for Celeste  By: Henry Cole

Celeste is a mouse living in a big house.  She likes to make baskets and makes due with little. But there are two rats in the house too that make her do things for them. One night she is put out of her home as the two rats draw the attention of the cat to her hiding place and she is no longer able to get out or in her house without the cat being nearby. She ventures upstairs and is found by a young man named Joseph that likes her and lets her live with him.  Celeste likes Joseph but does not like that Joseph and Mr. Audubon kill birds so that they can draw them and make a catalog of birds. She finds a way to show Joseph that you do not have to kill the birds to draw them and therefore makes friends with the birds. She goes on a few adventures and when Joseph leaves she knows she needs to find a nest for herself. She wanders to the attic and finds a doll house with a bed the perfect size for her. Until the remaining rat finds her again, can the friends she has made help her?

I liked this book because of the ability of someone small to make changes to others lives. Celeste is not able to talk to humans but is able to help her friends by showing them ways to behave so that they are saved from the previous bird's fate.  I loved the illustrations in this book and those alone make this a special book.  The story is great but the pictures were fantastic.  They are very detailed sketches that come alive on the paper.  I think that this book would be great for a third grade (if they are great readers and can handle the images of a rat or bird that are dead) or older reader. This would also make for a great read aloud book as the images that are told with words make great ones in your mind too!

I was given this gift by a student who purchased it at the Scholastic Book Fair,
ISBN: 978-0-06-170410-9


Fish By: Gregory Mone

Fish, otherwise known as Maurice, does not want to be a farmer.  So when his family's horse dies he is the one that is sent to work for his uncle as a messenger.  It is while delivering a package that he is robbed and finds himself aboard a pirate ship.  He becomes part of the crew and finds that he might have a knack for finding treasure.  He also makes friends in the ships other boys, and the ships cook.  Fish being a person who knows how to swim also is a very useful boy to have on the ship.  Fish begins to help the captain and the captain's wife solve the mystery of the greatest treasure and for this reason the first mate, Scab. does not like Fish.  When Fish finds out that Scab is out to cause mutiny on board the ship Fish decides to act fast and save his new pirate ship home. Can he do it in time, and still get treasure enough to save his family's farm?

I liked this book! It was a great pirate adventure.  I think that the character of Fish is a character that you find yourself rooting for.  I think that this would be a great book for a  fourth grade probably until about seventh grade.  I think that anyone who likes to read about pirates would love this book because it shows a different side to them. They are not the completely mean and nasty people they are made out to be, just people looking to make some money on the open sea.

I was given this book from a student who purchased it at the Scholastic Book Fair.
ISBN: 978-0-545-33335-1

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

13 Gifts

13 Gifts By: Wendy Mass

Tara Brennan is being sent to live with her Aunt and Uncle for the summer after she tries to steal something from her principal's  office and then sprays him with pepper spray on accident.  She is frustrated and upset because her family is leaving her and she is learning that people in the town of Willow Falls are full of secrets. When her backpack is emptied by someone on the train, Tara is left without a phone or money and she needs it.  So she meets a strange old lady named Angelina who agrees to give her money if she finds the things she has on her list.  The only rule is that she cannot steal them  and she must find all the items before her 13th birthday.  This leads Tara and her new friends on a wild chase through the town as they only have 2 weeks to find them. Tara is happy to finally have friends and is so excited when they are able to get all the things on the  list, which requires them to do random things for people, pay them with money or deeds.  When Tara finally thinks that she has completed her task she finds she has a lot more to learn!!

I enjoyed this book.  It was written really well and I was not expecting the twists and turns that the story took. I thought it was fun because of the little quest the characters were on to find the items on the list and it showed how creative the characters were at collecting things from people even if the people did not want to give them up.  I liked the mystery of the town of Willow Falls and thought that it was a creative magical place.  I think that this would be great for any 4th grade or older reader, but probably to young for high school!

I purchased this from the Scholastic Book Order.
ISBN: 978-0-545-38494-0

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Month of Sundays

A Month of Sundays By: Ruth White.

April Garnet Rose has never known her father so when her mother tells her that she is going to leave her with her father's family while she goes in search of a better job in Florida Garnet is not happy.  She is angry and feels strange when her mother drops her off at her Aunt June's house.  While she is there she starts to feel a part of the family but still is angry at her mother for leaving her. She finds out what it is like to have a family and finds a boy Silver that she spends a lot of time with. Her mother sends letters telling her she is going to send for her soon but Garnet is not really sure. Then one day her father August Rose shows up.  This makes her really confused because her father says he never knew anything about her. So she is faced with figuring out what really happened. Soon her mother returns to bring her home and then her father and mother are in the same house after so long apart. When a tragedy occurs with Silver April is now forced to face life and she is surrounded by the people she has come to know as family.

I do not know that I loved this book but it was good. It was a story of growing up and dealing with events in your life that you cannot change.  I thought the characters were developed nicely but I do not know that I connected with the book.  I think that it had a good plot and story line and I really wanted April's life to be better then she thought it would be. I did think that it was interesting that it took place in the 1950s because I don't  know that divorce was ever out there like it would be in a novel about today.

I picked this up at the public library.
ISBN: 978-0-374-39912-2

Friday, December 16, 2011

Jan Brett

In honor of my favorite time of year, todays Picture Perfect is Jan Brett's Christmas Treasury!

What a wonderful collection of Jan Brett's work.  It has seven of her well known stories in it. The Mitten, The Wild Christmas Reindeer, and The Night Before Christmas are all included. I love Jan Brett's illustrations.  She is one of my favorite picture book author/illustrators because her pictures are great. She also uses the whole page, she tells you about the story using the margin of the books that most people don't use.  Each picture has a border that tells part of the story.  This collection is perfect for any Christmas set!!

I purchased this so long ago I have no idea where I got it.
ISBN: 0-399-23648-1

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bloody Jack Adventures

This is my plug for the Bloody Jack Adventure Series by L. A. Meyer.  I have now read all of them and they are fantastic. They are about a girl named Mary Faber that hops on a ship one day and pretending to be a boy "Jack" so that she can be a ships boy.  She has many adventures that lead her to be a pirate, a naval officer, and many others jobs and misadventures.  She falls in love with Jaimy and things never seem to work out for the two of them. As soon as they think they can be together, they are separated by somethings else.  In the latest adventure Jacky Faber is feared dead after she is tossed from her ship in a storm.  She must find her way home and rescue her love Jamiy from certain death as he sets out to avenge her death and looses his mind.

I love this series.  I have read all nine of them and think that the characters are well played out.  They are fantastic adventure books and the main character Jacky always seems to always find her way out of the most difficult situations. I like how the characters can never seem to get what they are most looking for, even though I wish that they could just be together it makes for a great series. I would recommend these to any young adult looking for a great series.
Here is a link to the Bloody Jack Page that gives you a ton of info about the series and has a lot of cool stuff.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Michael Vey The Prisoner of Cell 25

Michael Vey The Prisoner of Cell 25 By: Richard Paul Evans

Michael knows he is not to tell anyone of his abilities.  He has been hiding them his whole life.  He appears to be an average teenager with Tourette's syndrome. But there is more than meets the eyes. Michael has the ability to produce a electrical shock from his body.  Michael has only ever told one person about this, his best friend Ostin.  But when he gets in trouble again for being stuffed into his locker by three school bullies, he fights back when they attack him and shocks them all. The only witness to this event is Taylor, a cute cheerleader, with her own secret.  Taylor invites Michael over to her house to tell him that she too has a special power. Taylor and Michael become fast friends and they along with Ostin begin a club of special people called the Electroclan.  They do some research and they find that they were born a day apart in Pasadena.  Little do they know this leads the people who are tracking them right to them.  The adventure begins when Taylor and Michael's mother are kidnapped by Dr. Hatch.  Michael must find a way to save them.  He is lead right into the trap at the Elgen Academy.  Can Michael rescue Taylor and his mother without getting sucked into the trap there?

This is a great book. I was literally on the edge of my seat trying to finish it so I could see what was going to happen. I loved how it told the story through two characters when Taylor and Michael are separated.  We get to see what is happening to her at the Elgen Academy while he is trying to get there. I liked this characters in the book because they had a sense of honor to each other.  I also thought that the story line was fantastic, I am not a huge science fiction reader but this book really appealed to me.  I think that it is a great read for maybe mature middle school and older readers. As I think some kids in middle school would really enjoy it and even though the character is in high school there is nothing inappropriate about it.  And great news!!  There is another Michale Vey book.

I borrowed this from the public library.
ISBN: 978-1-4516-5650-3

Friday, December 9, 2011

Duck Rabbit

Duck! Rabbit! By: Amy Krouse Rosenthan and Tom Lichtenheld

Have you ever disagreed with somebody about what you think something is or looks like? Then this is the book for you!  The two voices in the book cannot decided whether they are looking at a duck or a rabbit. Each voice is very convinced they are correct until the duck or rabbit leaves.  I like this book because as I read it aloud to my children or my class they each have their own opinion too!  I think that it makes the minds start to think and question.  I also think it is so simple it is just funny!

I received this as a gift from the Scholastic Book Fair
ISBN: 978-0-545-26437-2

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Name Change!

So I decided to try out a new name for the blog! I hope you like it. I think that this just sums me up!  I am a teacher and a lot of what I read is brought about because I love children's and young adult books the best. Occasionally I do read adult books, but I really find that I love them a little less. :) So same blog, new name!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Claire Freedman and Ben Cort

Today I have two funny books for you from Claire Freedman and Ben Cort!

Dinosaurs Love Underpants:  This book is a book about how the dinosaurs went extinct! They did so because they were fighting over the caveman's underwear.

Aliens Love Underpants:  This book is about aliens that travel the galaxy looking for underpants. And when they come to Earth and find some on the line in your backyard, they like to play in them.

Both books are hysterically funny for me to share with my 3 boys. We of course love to talk about our underwear around here, hopefully that will end soon!  But for now these books fit right into my kiddos sense of humor. I love the pictures in these books! They are so colorful and expressive.  I think that these are a great addition to any library.  Probably my kids who are in second grade, kindergarten, and a two year old, are a better market than most kids, but the forth and fifth graders I read these to also laugh, a little. :)

I purchased these at the Scholastic Book Fair.