My Life in Smiley – Save Me BK 3 by Anne Kalicky

This Story starts with a teenage boy named Max, who is going to attend summer camp. Max believes this is cruel and unusual punishment, and future humans will never be subjected to such an unfortunate thing. Max brings along a diary which he writes in every night. He carefully places the journal inside his pillow so no one would find it. As Max undergoes ultimate summer camp “punishment’ with no electronics of any kind, his life seems dismal. The food is terrible and the activities boring. With his sense of humor and twist in fate, Max may come out on top this summer. Will summer camp be the cool place to be, or will it always be the place of nightmares?  Read this book to find out. 

I rate this book three thumbs up- the books are full of sketches which helps transitional readers. It’s perfect between a graphic novel and a full-on chapter book. The smileys and emojis were funny and well placed, but it didn’t hold my interest the entire time.

My daughter, who is now 10 gives it a three thumbs up as well. Kat says the book is set up similar to Geronimo Stilton books but relates more to real-life events.

Perfect for 4-6 grade readers.


Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

imgresMother Bruce is a hysterical lovely book about a bear that is pretty selfish but ends up having to put aside his selfish ways to accommodate a small troop of geese. When this grumpy bear goes about his daily routine of stealing eggs he ends up with a surprise that will change his life.

Katherine and I loved this book. We give it a 4 thumbs up!

Visually this book has it all. While you read this book for your child you will chuckle at some of the illistrations.

Ryan T. Higgans is a wonderful author/illistrator. He has a sequel to Mother Bruce called Hotel Bruce. We think it is worth checking out!

Also check out Ryan Higgins website to learn more about this amazing author and his books.



What mom doesn’t feel like this when multitasking! haha- Jenna

The Library Dragon and Return of the Library Dragon by Carmen Agra Deedy. Illustrated by Michael P. White.

Library Dragon and sequel

So Katherine currently is obsessed with Dragons. When I say obsessed I am talking about this little girls imagination is on fire. She wants to be a dragon, raise a dragon, find a dragon. She dreams, eats and sleeps dragons.

On her quest to find everything dragon we stopped at our local library and she picked up these two books. I am so tickled by both these books and the surprise ending of the sequel that I can’t hold my tongue. YOU NEED to read these books. If you or your child is a lover of books and libraries you won’t be disappointed. This is a 4 thumbs up book set!

The story starts out about a dragon librarian who works at an Elementary School. She is protecting the library from children and people who mishandled books.  She has so many rules people are afraid to enter the library. However, one little girl’s interest in learning changes the dragon’s heart and she transforms back to a regular librarian. Ready to share the contents of her treasure box of books.

In the sequel the librarian decides it is time to retire and the school is sad to see her go. One day, as she comes in to finalize her moving plans, she sees that the school has implemented an ALL DIGITAL Library! Gadgets and pods take over not one book is on the shelf. This releases the inner dragon of the librarian and she returns with all fury…..

Investigate for yourself how the stories end!

Also check out the authors other titles on her page:

Author Carmen A Deedy


Small Saul by Ashley Spires


In this book Saul knows he is meant to be sailing the seven seas. However he is too short to be a sailor. So he looks for alternatives to making his dream come true. Saul goes to pirate school! Saul passes pirate school but still has some trouble finding a job. While he didn’t give up Saul finally made it to the crew of a pirate ship. Saul was the best pirate ever! But the pirates didn’t think so…

It wasn’t until Saul was gone that the pirates recognized the value in having someone different than them aboard.

This picture book is about following your dreams and learning self acceptance.

I am reviewing this book not only because I liked it, but Katherine asked if we could add it to our personal library for keeps. It was that GOOD! 4 thumbs up from us! The illustrations are superb!


Ashley Spires

Flora and Ulysses Written by Kate DiCamillo Illustrations by K. Gordon Campbell


Kate Dicamillo does it again with this beautiful story of friendship between animal and human. Flora is a lonely child who is affected deeply by the divorce of her parents. She is a self-declared cynic and hates that her  mom sits up most nights typing romance novels. Flora makes an unusual friend with Ulysses, who is a squirrel, in an unusual way. Flora and Ulysses need each other. This book is a extraordinary example of how animals can be therapeutic to humans in all situations.

Your child will love this action packed book that has the best ending ever.

We give it a 4 thumbs up! We love Kate Dicamillo and encourage you to read her other titles:

Mercy Watson – series

Bink and Gollie


Tale of Despereaux

Follow this amazing author on her personal website! She won’t disappoint!

Mesmorized How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled all of France. Written by Mara Rocklift Illustrated by Iacopo Bruno

MesmerizedDoes your son or daughter love history and science?

The setting of the story takes place in France.  Benjamin Franklin arrived in France to seek support from the King for the American Revolution,. While there he  stumbled on Dr. Franz Mesmer stirring all of France, with his new ideas on drawing power from the stars that allowed him to “Mesmerize” his patrons.

Women and men alike were flooding ballrooms to see Dr. Mesmer.

However, King Louis the XIV  wasn’t convinced and wanted to know if there was any truth or healing to Dr. Mesmer’s “powers”. So he sent Benjamin Franklin to check it out.

Read on to see how using the scientific method can prove or disprove a theory.

Katherine and I loved this book. Although the reading age is for 7 up she was intrigued by the illustrations and flow of the story. This is a 4 thumbs up for sure.







Who likes Facts? Who likes AWESOME ANIMAL FACTS?! Check out Julia Moberg’s books!

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Katherine and I had the pleasure of meeting Julia Moberg at an Author event at the American Library in Paris. We sat as Julia read sections of her book “Historical Animals, The Dogs, Cats, Horses, Snakes, Goats, Rats, Dragons, Bears, Elephants, Rabbits, and Other Creatures That Changed the World.” Julia has done a fantastic job of not only telling a short story of the animals and their influence over history, she provides Historical Stat’s, Did You Know? Facts and Tell Me More on every page. Continue reading

The Secret Lives of Princesses by Philippe Lechermeier

P1040388_Princess_bookSo I was thinking today as I sit here and stare at the stack of books that Katherine and I have read lined up for me to post. How much we really do love books. Recently while Volunteering at the American Library in Paris I was browsing through a large book called the 1001 Children/ Youth Books you must read before you die (or something like that). Looking through it I realized I had read a good number of the books either as a child or at least read them in school. As I flipped through the age groups a book in the 5+ stuck out to me. The title was “the secret lives of Princesses” by Philippe Lechermeier Illustrated by Rebecca Dautremer the book was first written in French. However, an english version is published so I was excited! A reason this book stuck out to me was one….the illustration of the cover (AMAZING!) and two well I am living in France and anything about princesses is awesome to me and Katherine.

So as you may judge me for judging the book by it’s cover I do this because a cover a children’s book is going to be what draws the child in to read it. So publishers who have good authors pair them with amazing illustrator’s and so on.

I purchased the book “the secret lives of Princesses” and received it in the mail today. It is AMAZING the work of art for all the Unknown and Forgotten Princesses (which is the direct translation of the French Title) are so unique. The individual stories read like a Mother Goose rendition of fairytales.

Continue reading

Peter Reynolds; inspires, and changed my view of children’s books.

NorthStarOne may ask why do I prefer children’s books over most novels. Well I stumbled upon a book called The North Star by Peter Reynolds. My father had just passed away and I was looking to connect myself to something through reading. I tried to immerse myself in stories that were full of emotion and multiple characters but just felt like I would get my head confused with my thoughts and the life situation of the main characters. Continue reading