A review of Tangled Up! More than 40 Creative Prompts, Patterns, and Projects for the Tangler in You by Penny Raile

Too rainy for outdoor play? Are your kids bored with the usual after school activities? For those tweens and teens that love to color, create or doodle, this is a great way to work those creative muscles. Using official tangles to create Zentangle Inspired Art, Raile covers all the basics, the art tools needed, the patterns with step-by-step instructions, and she shares many creative applications and variations on the tangles.  She has divided the book into various types of tangles - more

Reviewed by Karen on
September 11, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of The Monkey goes bananas by C.P. Bloom

This is a fresh look at the conundrum of the monkey on an island who has a yen for the bunch of bananas hanging from a tree on another island, separated by water, and a hungry predator, in this case, a shark.  Bloom and Raymundo have created a story with just a few words, and highly expressive, cartoon-style illustrations.  Monkey tries various methods to reach the bananas, or make the bananas reach him, and is foiled again and again, in progressively more dramatic and hilarious ways more

Reviewed by Karen on
July 31, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

Humans and Dragons have lived together for years with a tenuous truce between them. Yet factions of both humankind and dragonkind are trying to spark a war. Seraphina lives in the palace, daughter of a diplomat, and child of both a human and a dragon. She hides her scales and tries not to call attention to herself, all while working to find a role in the Royal court that would preclude marriage and discovery.I'm a big fan of intrigue, so I liked the Royal intrigue that gets set into play in more

Reviewed by Karen on
June 19, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar

This year’s Teen’s Choice Awards program has gotten off to a busy start. Already there are four votes cast on the Teen’s Choice blog.  Sleeping Freshmen is one of this year’s review books.  At first, Scott is that kid who just wants to get through the day without getting smacked in the back of the head on the bus, without being targeted by older kids for his money, without looking like too much of a nerd to his crush, Julie. Then he sees Julie is involved in various activities and more

Reviewed by Karen on
June 12, 2015 | 0 comments
Safe Dog Stories I’m a sucker for dogs. I love the memories of my first dog that I lost to cancer in the spring of 2013. I love our hound mix who barks way too much. I love our new dog even as she wraps her paws around my shoulders and smears her tongue all over my face and neck for “hugs and kisses.”  But whenever I read a dog book, I know I have to brace myself for the inevitable ending of the book in which the wonderful dog I have gotten to know on paper dies. It’s easy to come up with a list of dog more

Reviewed by Karen on
March 10, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of El Deafo by Cece Bell

Cece Bell received some well-deserved recognition from this year’s Newbery Award* committee for her Graphic Novel autobiography, El Deafo. Bell lost most of her hearing due to a childhood illness at the age of four. El Deafo covers her childhood up to the age of ten, grappling with her hearing loss, various hearing aid instruments, various friendships some of which last and some of which don’t. more

Reviewed by Karen on
February 5, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Hooray For Hat by Brian Won

When Elephant wakes up on the wrong side of the bed one morning, he is in no mood to hear his doorbell ring.  But after stomping down the stairs, he is surprised by a beribboned box on his doorstep.  Inside he discovers a tower of hats.  “HOORAY FOR HAT!”  Then Elephant goes off to show his friends who each have their own case of the grumps, and who each cheer for the hat Elephant offers them.  With minimal text and deceptively simple yet fully expressive illustrations more

Reviewed by Karen on
January 9, 2015 | 0 comments
A review of Little Elliot, Big city by Mike Curato

Will Little Elliot the small, white, polka-dotted elephant be the next big children’s book character?  I don’t know.  What I do know is that this is one book I couldn’t rightly judge by its cover.  Little Elliot is a small soul overlooked in a big and bustling New York City.  Pushed around in subway crowds, unable to reach up to the bakery counter to purchase a cupcake, Elliot defines the word diminutive.  Until, that is, he meets Mouse.  Mouse needs Elliot, and more

Reviewed by Karen on
December 26, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of The cat, the dog, Little Red, the exploding eggs, the wolf, and Grandma by Diane Fox

Cat would like to read a simple story about a little girl who wears a redhood and takes a basket of goodies to her grandmother’s house. At least that’s what Cat is trying to do. Dog has other ideas. And questions. Lots of questions. What’s the little girl’s superhero power? After all she is wearing a cape. Does she hypnotize bad guys? Why doesn’t the wolf eat little red riding hood in the woods? Does little red have a Kindness Ray? Are the eggs in the basket exploding eggs? In fact Dog is more

Reviewed by Karen on
October 31, 2014 | 0 comments
A review of Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

Check out one of our 2014 Teen's Choice books! Evie works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency. Her best friend is a mermaid, she’s falling for a shape-shifter, and she’s the only one who can see through glamours of the many paranormals on the earth. But now Evie’s dreams are filled with haunting voices and mysterious prophecies, and the paranormals are dying. White adds more than a dash of humor in this novel, where Evie is the only one who can protect the paranormals from more

Reviewed by Karen on
July 11, 2014 | 0 comments