Thursday, June 21, 2018

Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin

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Dragon's love tacos, it's a known fact, but watch out for spicy salsa! What kind of tacos do dragons like? All kinds! Chicken, beef, fish, veggie, I don't believe that there is a taco that a dragon doesn't like. If you want to throw an awesome party that all the dragons will want to attend, one word: tacos. The more the better. I don't want to give away the ending, but remember watch out for spicy salsa! 

The book was so popular that the author wrote a second book, aptly titled Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel. 

Quite simply, this is a fun/funny read. It is written as a how-to manual for dragon party hosts, combining witty language and hilarious illustrations. If you are looking for an educational read for your child, this is probably not the book for you. It does in a roundabout way discuss food allergies, being a gracious host and fixing your mistakes. Yet, the main purpose of the book is entertainment. However, if you are looking for a whimsical read with a clever premise, Dragons Love Tacos is right up your alley! 

If you enjoyed this book, you might also like The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great by Bob Shea. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

My Lady's Choosing: An Interactive Romance Novel by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris

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Do you often find yourself yelling at the heroine of a romance novel for not simply speaking her mind? Do you close a book in disgust when the obviously wrong man wins her hand? Do you sometimes wish the jerks in a novel would reach an untimely demise? What if you had the power to choose? 

The beauty of My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris allows you to do just that! 

This interactive novel casts you as a down on your luck, lovely twenty eight year old woman living in Regency London. Acting as a lady's companion to an absolute nightmare of an employer, your journey begins, as all good Regency Romances should, in a ballroom. From that defining moment forward, you have control of your happily ever after. 

Unlike some interactive novels, you can alter your path at anytime and do not have to keep tally, or score. Reader beware though, this is a steamy read! 

In my opinion, the best aspect of the book is that the authors don't take it too seriously. It is fully of pop culture references, swoon worthy love interests and classic romance tropes turned upside down. Although, from the start there are four main suitors, the twists and turns of your decisions can open the door to surprising new love interests. Overall, this is a very fun and light read that you will want to read again and again (I did)! 

If you like interactive novels with romantic leanings you might also enjoy Lost in Austen by Emma Campbell Webster and Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure by Ryan North. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Shake It Up, Baby! by Karen Katz

My child has not even reached one year old and already has an extensive library. I guess that's what happens we your parent is a librarian. However, she does have one book that is her current favorite: Shake It Up, Baby! by Karen Katz. This interactive read, gets baby involved in reading and making music. Babies move and groove to tambourines, drums and maracas. Along that way they learn counting, directions and dance. The best part of this book is that it comes with a rattle build into the spine! 

"Reach up high! 
Count one, two, three. 
Shake your rattle. . . . 
Shout, “Hooray for me!”

I highly recommend all of Karen Katz Baby! books. The artwork is simple and bright with contrasting colors that attract developing eyes. She uses rhyme in all her books, the various sounds are wonderful tools in teaching your baby language. Not to mention, all of the books are very sturdy and can take a baby beating! 

If you enjoyed Shake It Up, Baby and are looking for similar titles, I suggest: Dancing Feet! by Lindsey Craig and Marc Brown and You Are My Sunshine by Jimmie Davis 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore


Milo is the oldest soul in the universe, but he just can't seem to get to get it right. The goal: become one with Everything. Yet, our intrepid hero manages to mess up every life he is given. He has been catapulted into castles, eaten by sharks, watched the Apocalypse, never getting any closer to the literal end goal. Complicating matters, Milo meets Suzie, aka Death, and the two fall madly in love. Now, Milo is intentionally screwing up his chances of attaining Oneness with the Universe in order to be with her. However, the powers-that-be are getting fed up and if Milo can't find his way to Nirvana soon, he will be erased from existence. 

Written in a series of vignettes, each chapter opens in a different lifetime. The tone is often lighthearted, even when the themes are dark, including death, imprisonment and disease. Mostly humorous, readers with be enchanted by the author's witty interpretations of life, death and philosophy. 

Michael Poore takes readers on a roller coaster through time and space that always ends in the Afterlife. 

If you enjoy reading this, you might also enjoy Spoonbenders: a novel by Daryl Gregory and Gil's All Fright Diner by A. Lee Martinez. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair

"Sometimes all you need is a little splash of colorto notice it's importance in the world.  

The Secret Lives of Color is an attractive and informative book that explores seventy-five of the colors that have fascinated the author the most. They are arranged in categories (color pigments, dyes, etc.) and families (red, green, etc.) with interesting stories about each one.  The pages are color-coded with swatches of the warm and cool colors being discussed.  

Some of the topics that she covers are: the science of colorthe politics of color and the cultural significance of color. Who knew that color has played such an important role throughout history. During her many years of research she has uncovered many hidden mysteries.  

The information in her book is written for a lay audience so you are not bombarded with jargons.  This made it easier for me to understand what I was reading.  My knowledge of color has certainly been expanded beyond the sixty-four colors in the crayola crayon pack used in school.  

She also shares an interesting story about the color red.  She says that it is a color that has intrigued Psychologist for years because of it's influence on the psyche. Research was performed in the Hospitality and Tourism industry and found that waitresses who wore red received larger tips from men?  This color had no effect on women; they still tipped the same.  

If you are a history buff, interested in art, fashion, have an eye for color, or just curious it is worth reading for the knowledge you will gain. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Spring Hare by Eugene Yelchin

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Yelchin, an award winning author and illustrator, has written and illustrated his first wordless picture book Spring Hare. It is a delightful tale about friendship and full of adventure.  It is told through the author's rich and colorful illustrations and his use of panels and frames to show the sequence of events.  Early readers will enjoy being able to tell the story through describing the images they see on each page.  Beginning with the illustration on the cover where it looks like the hare is smiling.

The sky is blue, the grass is green, and the sun is yellow shinning brightly. Nearby, a curious baby hare and an attentive little girl are watching each other.  They become new friends jumping together on a trampoline. The little girl jumps so high that baby hare's can no longer see her.  He begins his exciting journey to search for her. As I was reading the story, I found myself connecting to baby hare's concern that he can't find his new friend.

I think that this type of book is ideal to encourage conversation with a child.  The child is able to use his or her imagination when telling the story, and learn observation skills when looking at the expressions and the actions in the illustrations.  

If you would like to read more wordless books,  The red book by Barbara Lehman, and Wave by Suzy Lee is a good start.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Class Action by Steven B. Frank

A gutsy sixth grader fed up with being overloaded with class assignments, champions for the cause to end homework for all students.  

Since elementary school, Sam has been assigned work to take home.  He is now in middle school and his teachers are overwhelming him with homework.  He has no free time to play with his friends or work on his treehouse with his dad. He can't even play his piano at his convenience. Sam is frustrated because he has no childhood.  

When his teacher assigns the class homework over the holiday weekend, Sam protests and encourages his classmates to go on strike.  He is sent to the Principal's office and suspended from school.  In a chance meeting with his cranky neighbor, a retired lawyer, Sam is informed of his student rights.  This gives him the idea to fight back.

The author writes an amusing story that will keep your attention from beginning to end. Sam tells the story from his point of view so you see how he and his team of clever juveniles handle this mature situation.  From the yard sell to his claim for damages from the school system, their dedication and sense of purpose is something to root for.

If you liked this book, you will enjoy these: Armstrong & Charlie, and Hello, universe.