Sunday, September 29, 2013

Book Review: Hotdogger by Karla Oceanak & Illustrated by Kendra Spanjer

Publisher provided a review copy at no charge.

Aldo Zelnick can't figure out why living in Colorado automatically means he should like skiing. It doesn't help to have a jock for a brother who is good at every sport. To make matters worse, even his grandma can show him up on the slopes. Honestly, Aldo would rather stay inside where it's warm. Forget about a ski vacation. A sunny day in Hawaii sounds better and better to Aldo. 

By January, Aldo gets desperate enough to entertain the idea that he could do some successful hotdogging of his own on the ski slopes. After studying about Hercules at school, he musters some of the same courage and takes his brother on in a ski race challenge. Though things don't always turn out as planned, Aldo manages to get a much needed reprieve from the dreary days of winter.

Hotdogger, the eighth installment of the Aldo Zelnick comic novel series will have the reader cheering on a much beloved protagonist while learning some great vocabulary words all starting with the letter H. Each novel follows a new letter of the alphabet in hilarious series of events that young middle grade readers can easily relate too. Bravo to the author for weaving in lively words that fit the situation and not merely building a list to check off. A fun addition to the wildly popular comic novel genre boys have come to love.

Rating: Recommended ****

Publishing Information:

Publisher: Bailiwick Press (Sept. 1, 2013)
Pages: 160
Ages: 9-12

ISBN: 978-1-934649-37-4

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**Publisher provided review copy to facilitate review. No monetary compensation was received nor do I accept compensation for book reviews.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Claude at the Circus Book Review and Giveaway

Disclosure: I received a copy at no charge to facilitate my review. No payment was received.

Claude and his best friend, Sir Bobblysock return. When Mr. and Mrs. Shinyshoes leave, Claude jumps at the chance to put on his beret and go on an adventure to the park. Not one to be left behind, Sir Bobblysock risks setting off his hay fever to join him.

Claude enjoys a scooter ride and ice cream during his first trip to the park and even rescues a baby in a run away stroller. His trip ends with an offer for another adventure, tickets to the circus where he and Sir Bobblysock end up taking center stage through a hilarious string of mishaps.

 Claude once again captures the young readers heart through bizarre humor. Loyal fans will revel in each zany chapter, while anticipating their next fun adventure with Claude.
An endearing early reader that will make children smile.

Rating: Recommended ****
Publishing Information:

Publisher: Peachtree Publishing (Sept. 2013)
ISBN:  978-1-56145-702-1
Ages 7-9

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Giveaway details: 

Prize fulfillment by the Peachtree Publishers. Winner will receive a copy of Claude at the Circus. Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the Rafflecopter form and agree to them. Contest ends 9/29/2013 at 11:59 PM EST.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: Penumbras by Braden Bell

For Conner Dell, dealing with the aftermath of spending time  locked in the Shadowbox fills his days with guilt. With the appearance of his new powers, he fears he is becoming a Darkhand. To make matters worse, the Stalker is following him but when he tries to tell others, he discovers he is the only one who can see him.

When Conner develops feelings for his twin sister's best friend, Melanie, it makes matters worse. His sister, Lexa struggles with her own feelings as Melanie and Conner spend less time with her and more time with each other. Their small group must develop their skills through Magi training and overcome teenage angst to conquer the dangers that lie before them.

Second in the Middle School Magic Series, Penumbras moves smoother than the first book. Author Braden Bell has a knack for getting into the characters heads which adds depth and makes them likable. Teen romance and complex feelings will appeal to the older middle grade reader. A solid, realistic fantasy.

Rating: Recommended ****

Publishing Information:

Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc. (July 9, 2013)
ISBN-13: 978-1462112203
Pages. 320
Ages 8-14

                                        This book can be purchased from the following retailers:

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**I received an electronic review copy of this book at no charge to facilitate my review. No monetary compensation or product of value was received.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

BOOK REVEW: When Edgar Met Cecil

Publisher provided review copy at no charge.

Edgar loves hanging out with his best friend, Quincy, whether it's watching scary movies or building things. When he finds out his family is moving, he worries about leaving Quincy behind. 

Everything at Edgar's new school is alien to him. The kids look "weird" and listen to "bizarre music." It doesn't help that the biggest and weirdest kid of all keeps staring at Edgar. Is he about to scare Edgar to death when he introduces himself as Cecil or is there a budding friendship brewing? Edgar learns he must branch out of this world to find friendship with unlikely space creatures.

Bright and zany illustrations add an additional fun dimension to a scary situation. The outlandish illustrations show that looking different is a two way street and that meeting new people can be quite entertaining.

            Rating: Recommended ****

Publishing Information:
Peachtree Publishers (Sept. 2013)
ISBN: 978-1-56145-706-9
Ages 4-8

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BOOK GIVEAWAY: When Edgar Met Cecil by Kevin Luthardt ends 9/16/2013

Picture Book Giveaway

Enter now to win the colorful picture book, When Edgar Met Cecil by Kevin Luthardt. A great book to add to your bedtime collection.

Use the Rafflecopter form to enter. By entering, you acknowledge you have read the terms on the Rafflecopter form and agree to them.

Contest ends 9/16/2013 at 11:59 EST.

**No compensation was received for this post. Contest prize provided by publisher.

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