Thursday, December 25, 2014

Memoirs of an Elf by Devin Scillian

In Devin Scillian's latest book, Memoirs of an Elf, readers get to travel with Santa and three of his elves as they deliver all the gifts around the world in just 24 hours.  It is Sparky the Elf who has to keep Santa on schedule and his job is a tough one.  Santa loves cookies and this year there are more cookies than ever.  In Mexico, Santa loves to eat the tamales the children leave out for him.  Since it takes him longer to eat the tamales than the cookies, he gets even more behind schedule.  Time must be made up as he travels around South America.  Sparky the Elf also gives out some fun facts about Santa in this book.  For instance, did you know that tinsel makes reindeer hyper?  Did you know that Santa loves dogs and dogs love him?  One such dog, without Santa and his elves knowing, becomes a stow away who is found when Santa returns to the North Pole. What will they do with this dog?  You will have to read this great story to find out.

I think that readers of all ages will enjoy this story.  I'm sure you will enjoy the fun Santa and his elves have as they travel around the world in just 24 hours.

Enjoy your Christmas!

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna



Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by: James Dean and Eric Litwin

Christmas is a fun time of year and I especially enjoy finding new Christmas read-aloud books.  In the book Pete the Cat Saves Christmas, written and illustrated by Eric Litwin and James Dean, the reader is reminded of the importance of giving at this time of the year.  It was so refreshing to read something that talked about giving and doing your best.  This is a great message all year 'round. Children love Pete the Cat books, and I am glad that Pete the Cat can teach children about the true meaning of Christmas.  I highly recommend this book for all ages.

It is Chistmas Eve and Santa is sick.  Will Christmas be cancelled?  Pete is willing to help Santa.  Pete knows he is small and he has never done Santa's job before, but he knows if he gives it his all he can be successful.  He sings as he delivers the gifts, sharing the message of giving at this time of the year. You can listen to the song by visiting http://www.petethecat.com.

After reading this story think about what you will be giving this year, not about what you want to receive.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Monday, December 22, 2014

Bayou Magic by: Jewell Parker Rhodes

Bayou Magic is another wonderful story written by Jewell Parker Rhodes.  The story is about Maddy, who is the youngest in her family.  All of her siblings have had a turn spending the summer on the Bayou with her Grandmere (Grandmother).  Now it is Maddy's turn.  She has always lived in the city and at first she is very nervous in her new surroundings.  However it doesn't take Maddy long to feel right at home on the bayou.

Maddy learns from her Grandmere that she has the "family magic" in her and she can call fireflies.  She soon has a special firefly of her own.  Grandmere tells Maddy about the history of their family and how they came to live in Louisiana.  During the story, Gradmere tells Maddy about Mami Wata, the mermaid who swam along the slave trading ships offering hope to those trapped inside the ships.

Bear is a boy who lives in the bayou and becomes Maddy's friend.  While they play in the waters of the bayou, they look for mermaids.  Bear is not able to see Mami Wata but he believes Maddy when she tells him about seeing her.  Bear's father works on an oil rig and is only home for short periods of time.  It is when Bear's father is home and Bear isn't with Maddy that Maddy has underwater adventures with Mami Wata.

Maddy has such love for the world around her that she will say "thank you" to the hen who lays her eggs for their breakfast.  While on a shrimping boat she thanks the shrimp for the goodness they will bring to her and her friends on the bayou.  Maddy begins to sense the world around her, sensing when things are not right and what to do to set things right.  When she sees three mermaids, she senses that trouble comes in threes.  Soon thereafter, Maddy hears a big explosion.  The rig where Bear's father works has exploded and word comes that Bear's father has died.  Oil is in the Gulf and it is soon entering the bayou and hurting many animals.  Maddy believes that she can save the people and animals she has come to love on the bayou but she is not sure what to do.  She begins to call to Mami Wata.  Can she and the other mermaids help?

Jewell Parker Rhodes and Me
I loved this book.  Jewell Parker Rhodes is one of my new favorite authors.  I had the pleasure of meeting her and she has such passion about the stories she writes.  She writes in such a way that you feel like you've made a new friend in the characters of her books.  I would highly recommend you find all the books she has written and read them.  Watch for this book in bookstores and online booksellers starting in May 2015.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Iron Trial by: Holly Black and Cassandra Clare

Holly Black and Cassandra Clare have written a wonderful new series book -- The Iron Trial.  I loved this book from the first page until the last!  If you like the Harry Potter series, you will like this series as well.

Callum (Call) Hunt is a young man that has been raised by his father.  His mother died when he was just a baby.  His father is a magi, a man that can do magic, but his father does not want his son, Call to have anything to do with magic.  Throughout Call's young life, his father has told him that magic is bad and should be avoided.  One day Call is invited to the Iron Trial and if he passes the trial he will get to enter the Magisterium, a place his father has warned him never to enter.  Call tries to fail the trial and even though he scores the lowest score of all the young people selected, he is accepted into the Magisterium.  His father was angry, but he understood that if you were selected to the Magisterium, you had to go.  It is here that Call begins to learn about magic.  He learns about magic that comes from fire, water, air, earth and chaos.  Call is able to make and keep friends at this school, unlike the schools he attended while living with his father.  Call likes magic and cannot understand why his father does not like magic.  As the year continues, he begins to learn more about his past.  Is knowing his past a good thing?  The reader is left wondering if Call is really doing the right thing by attending the Magisterium.

I really loved this story.  There are so many twists and turns you will be up all night reading about Call and his first year at the Magisterium.   I am anxious to read the next book in the series.

After reading this book, spend sometime with your family learning about your past.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Friday, December 5, 2014

Sugar by: Jewell Parker Rhodes

Author Jewell Parker Rhodes in her book Sugar lets her readers know that friends can be found in the most unlikely places.  Embracing differences in each other is what makes the world such a beautiful place.

Sugar is a young orphan that is still living on the plantation.  Although slavery has been abolished, she and the other former slaves feel that there is no other place for them.  Working on a sugar plantation is hard work for everyone but Sugar is able to find fun in all she does.  She becomes friends with the plantation owner's son and they enjoy many adventures along the Mississippi River.  When she hears that people from China will be coming to work on the plantation, she is very excited.  The older folks in her neighborhood are very nervous and are sure they will be homeless after this sugar season.  Sugar befriends the Chinese (the book uses the colloquial term Chinamen) and soon she has built a bridge between the Chinese workers and the former slaves which helps them all work together to finish the sugar harvest.

Sugar is a girl you will not soon forget. She is a spunky young girl who isn't afraid of change.  In fact, she embraces change, looking for the good in all that is around her.  This is a wonderful book!

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Colors of the Wind by J.L Powers

Author J.L. Powers introduces young readers to the painter George Mendoza in her book Colors of the Wind.

The life of George Mendoza takes a major turn when at age 15 he becomes blind.  He always wanted to be a basketball player, but when he can no longer see the basketball hoop, he knew his dreams would have to change.  He began running and he loved running so much that he participated in two Olympics.  It was when he was running that he forgot about his blindness.

He felt that he could not do things like other people.  While talking to a priest, George is told that he sees the world differently that most other people and he should paint what he sees.  George's blindness made the world look like a kaleidoscope.  He began painting what he saw, and people responded favorably to his artwork.  His paintings are now displayed in museums.  He also visits schools teaching children about art and how we all have talents that enable us to do what we were meant to do.  For George Mendoza, he was meant to be an artist not a basketball player.

This is another great book about discovering who we are and how we can make the world a better place.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna


Monday, December 1, 2014

Fairy Tale Christmas by Michael McLean and Scott McLean

Michael and Scott McLean have written my new favorite Christmas book Fairy Tale Christmas.  This is a book you will want to read every single Christmas season.  When I sat down to read this book I couldn't put it down.  It is a funfilled adventure with a wonderful message, applicable not only at the Christmas season but all year long as well.

The Evil queen, wicked stepmother, a sorceress, a giant and Rumplestiltskin are tired of never receiving a happy ending to their stories.  It is always the heroes that receive a "happily ever after" and these villains want their own happy endings.  These evil villains plan to kidnap Santa Claus in order to demand a happy ending in order to release Santa and give the children of the world Christmas.  The villains are sure that the heroes of their stories will do whatever it takes to give Christmas to the world.  Rumplestiltskin is their inside man.  Disguised as an elf, he is able to learn Santa's routine and is instrumental in getting their plan started.

However, since it takes so long to actually trap Santa and get their demands known, Santa isn't going to have enough time to deliver Christmas to the world.  Santa tells the villains that they must help him deliver Christmas before they can have their demands met.  It is during this time, when the villains are out giving gifts to the world, that they have a change of heart.  They find another source of happinessm but you have to read the story to learn what exactly enables them to find this happiness.  But I can tell you that it is something that we can all have for ourselves.

After reading this story, go and do something nice for someone else.  When you return home, check out FairyTaleChristmasMusical.com to hear songs the McLean's have written that go along with this wonderful story.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Thursday, November 27, 2014

The Great Thanksgiving Escape by Mark Fearing


Author Mark Fearing has written and illustrated a fun read-aloud book about Thanksgiving at grandma's house in his book The Great Thanksgiving Escape.

Cousins Gavin and Rhonda decide that they do not want to play with the other  children while waiting for their thanksgiving meal at grandma's house.  Can they make their own fun?  They are sure that they can have fun in the backyard.  But they are not sure how to get out of the house without being seen.  You and your child will laugh as they try to get past the hall of Aunts and the Zombies (teenagers).  Just wait until you see the fun these cousins have together!

After reading this book, enjoy time with your family.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Zero by Kathryn Otoshi

Kathryn Otoshi has written a wonderful book about loving who we are, as well as what we have to offer the world in her book Zero.

Zero only sees a hole, right in her center whenever she looks at herself.  Everyday she watches the other numbers line up to be counted, she wants to be counted too.  She tries as hard as she can to change, to be a 1 or an 8 but it just doesn't work, she is simply empty in the middle.  With the help of 7 she is able to see herself in a new way and she gets the numbers to count like they have never counted before.

I really enjoyed this book.  I think it would be a great story to read to a child everyday and talk about how we all have gifts that we can and should share with the world.  We all count and we all can make the world a better place.  We also must realize, just like number 7 did, that others also count in the world.

After reading this book write a letter to a friend and let them know how much you appreciate them.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Monday, November 10, 2014

Dog vs. Cat by: Chris Gall

Can Dog and Cat get along when they have to share a room?

Author Chris Gall in his book Dog vs. Cat answers this question.  Mr. Button brings home a friendly dog on the same night Mrs. Button brings home a smart-looking cat.  Dog and Cat need to share a room and soon there are all kinds of problems.  Dog and Cat do not like each other and when they divide the room in half, life becomes complicated for them both.  What do you think will happen when Mr. and Mrs. Button bring home a new baby that is now sharing the room with Dog and Cat?



After reading this book go out and play with your pet.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Fourteenth Goldfish by: Jennifer L. Holm

Ellie is 11 years old and many things are changing in her world.  One day, her mother brings home a very strange teenage boy who reminds Ellie of her grandfather Melvin.  Could this boy really be grandpa?  Jennifer L. Holm in her book, The Fourteenth Goldfish, has written a very fun story about life, family and the possibility of the fountain of youth.

Grandpa had always been crazy about science and he wasn't happy when his daughter, Ellie's mom, decided to become an actress.  Grandpa Melvin and Ellie's mom do not get along, and this is shown even more after one of Grandpa's science experiments actually works and he is transformed once again into a teenager.  Melvin is eager to share his new magic youth formula, so that everyone in the world can be young again.  But because he is now a teenager, he is unable to get past the security guards to enter his laboratory, where he has more of the ingredients for his magic youth formula.  Instead, he attends school with Ellie and helps her make new friends.  Can Ellie and her friends help Melvin sneak into his laboratory and make more of his new formula?  Ellie is learning that science can be fun, but is being young really what the world needs?

After reading this book spend sometime with an older family member.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Monday, November 3, 2014

A Library Book For Bear by: Bonny Becker

Bonny Becker and Kady MacDonald Denton have created another fantastic book about Bear and his friend Mouse.

In A Library Book For Bear, Bear is sure that he has plenty of books. In fact, he has seven.  Mouse takes Bear to the library where Bear is surprised to see so many more books.  He thinks it is quite extravagant to have so many books.  He begins to search for a book but cannot find the right book for him.  That is, until he hears a librarian reading a book to other children.  Mouse and Bear join storytime and Bear finds his just right book!

There is always a just right book for each of us when we are able to visit a library.  I hope that you take your children to the library to share with them all the wonderful stories that can be found in books.

After reading this book go visit your local library.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Friday, October 31, 2014

Scary School by: Derek Taylor Kent AKA Derek the Ghost

I had the opportunity to meet Derek the Ghost, AKA Derek Taylor Kent and after our meeting I could not wait to read his book Scary School.  With all the wacky teachers and students at Scary School I couldn't help but think that fans of Sideways Stories From a Wayside School will also like this book.

Scary School is the first school of its kind.  It allows monsters and humans to attend the same school at the same time.  Charles, the new kid is in for some surprises on his first day of school.  He learns that one must cross the moat to gain entrance to the school.  He also notices that none of the other students are wearing the school uniform.  Students in Dr. Dragonbreath's class need to follow all of his rules or else they will be eaten.  If you get sent to Nurse Hairymoles look out, she will cure you of what you have but then you might end up with something worse.

There are those in the monster world that do not like humans interacting with monsters and will do whatever they can to close Scary School forever.  At the end of the school year a very special event, The Ghoul Games will take place at Scary School.  Contestants can choose any event they want to participate in the Ghoul Games.  However, if you lose the game your opponent can eat you!?  Will Scary School be able to stay open?  Can monsters and humans really be friends?

This is a book that you will enjoy anytime of the year, but especially now, during Halloween.  It will have you laughing on every page and you will look forward to the next in the series.

After reading this book write a thank you note to your teacher, for not eating you!

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna
Me and author "Derek the Ghost"

Monday, October 27, 2014

Blast to the Past LINCOLN'S LEGACY by: Stacia Deutsch & Rhody Cohon

Authors Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon have written a great time travel book in the first of their series Blast to the Past, Lincoln's Legacy.  Mr. Caruthers begins his elementary school lessons every Monday with a question "What if...?".  This week he asks "What if Abraham Lincoln quit and never issued the Emancipation Proclamation?"  Students are asked this question and they talk about what the United States might be like today if that event had never happened.  Four students are asked to come after school to Mr. Caruthers' class and it is then that they are able to travel back in time and meet Abraham Lincoln.

The Civil War isn't going well and Lincoln isn't sure he should give his Emancipation Proclamation.  The students  help convince him that he is doing the right thing and that he must move forward even if he thinks the Union might lose the war.  The students return to school and cannot wait for next Monday, when they once again have the opportunity to answer "What if...?"

Fans of Magic Tree House books will enjoy this series.  At the end of the stor, the authors tell the reader about the historical facts in the story.  I enjoyed learning a little bit of history through the eyes of these four young students.
Stacia Deutsch and me

After reading this book go and read more about the life of Abraham Lincoln.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Summer I Saved The World in 65 Days by: Michele Weber Hurwitz


I could not put down Michele Weber Hurwitz's newest book The Summer I Saved The World In 65 Days.  It is a wonderful story about doing good just because it is the right thing to do.  I think this will be a book that you will never forget.

It is the summer before High School for Nina and her friends.  She lives in a cul-de-sac with the same 7 families she has known her entire life.  Nina was very close to her grandmother and it has been one year since her grandmother's death.  Nina thinks of her grandmother all of the time and tries to live as her grandmother did.  Things are changing with some of the families on her street, so Nina decides to do anonymous good deeds for the people on her street.  She does one good deed everyday of her summer vacation.  As she begins doing these things, one neighbor suspects there is a ghost in the neighborhood doing mischief.  The neighbor begins to be on the lookout with her pet dog.  When her dog gets hurt, she is even more convinced something bad is going on and the police and ghost hunters are called.  It is too bad she doesn't see that all the "mischief" is really just helpful things for each person.  Will Nina be able to continue doing her deeds in secret?

Along with all of this, Nina and her friends are growing up and changing as well.  Her best friend is now into flirting and clothes.  Nina isn't into that and is very surprised to see that the boy next store is suddenly so cute?!   There are a lot of books out there about growing up and maturing but I think this one is the best!

After reading this book go out and do some good deeds of your own.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Monday, October 20, 2014

Uni the Unicorn by: Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Amy Krouse Rosenthal in her book Uni the Unicorn has written a story that I am sure all little girls will love.

Uni is the only unicorn that believes that little girls are real.  Even when all of Uni's friends laugh at her, Uni still believes.  Uni is absolutely certain little girls are real and imagines all the fun a unicorn and a little girl can have together.  Somewhere, not too far away there is a girl that is certain unicorns are real.  She imagines all the fun she would have with a unicorn as a friend.  Will these two ever meet?

Illustrator, Brigette Barrager, has drawn beautiful photos that will have even the biggest doubters believing that Uni is in fact a real animal.

After reading this story draw a few pictures of what you would do if a unicorn was your best friend.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Teacher is a Monster by: Peter Brown

Author Peter Brown has written and illustrated many wonderful childrens books.  He does not disappoint with his book My Teacher Is A Monster!.

Now, to be honest, there is always one teacher during your educational years that you believe could be a monster.  That is the problem Bobby has in this book.  He is convinced that his teacher is a monster and when he sees her in the park one day, he isn't sure he should sit on his favorite bench because that is exactly where his teacher was sitting.  They end up spending an afternoon together in the park and Bobby learns the truth about his teacher.  What do you think he learns?  Is she really a monster?


After reading this book go and spend sometime at a local park.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Book With No Pictures by: B.J. Novak

I've been reading this book to a few of my classes this past week.   They are a bit concerned when they hear the title "A Book With No Pictures" but it takes just a few pages before they absolutely love the story.   I think The Book With No Pictures is my new favorite read-aloud book.

B.J. Novak has written an entertaining book, The Book With No Pictures.  It's true, the book does not  have any pictures, but it has the reader doing some funny things!  The rules of reading this book are that the reader has to say the words that are written on the page no matter what.  So...as you turn each page you, the reader, end up saying some very funny things.  Pay attention, or you just might miss out on the giggles!

After reading this book take some time and make up some of your own nonsense words.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Absolutely Almost by: Lisa Graff

Albie is a fifth grader whose life is upside down.  He has just moved, is starting a new school, dealing with a new nanny and trying to figure out where he belongs.  Lisa Graff's Absolutely Almost is a book may readers will able to relate to since we all have had those moments in life when we feel almost good enough.

Albie struggles in school with friendships and with academics.  At his new school, he is excited to attend Math Club where he doesn't have to do real math, at least he doesn't think he is doing math.  He makes a new friend at school who, like Albie, doesn't quite fit in at school.  When Albie's neighbor and friend begins a reality show with his family Albie really is left out.  When he is at his friends house he is labeled as the "no release" child so his face is blurred when it appears on TV.

With the help of his new nanny, Calista, Albie is able to find his own talents and strengths.  He learns that being kind to others is more important that trying to be cool.  He is able to make friends at a variety of places in his neighborhood.  The biggest change in Albie's life is that he finally begins to get the attention of his own parents.  I think there is a little bit of Albie in all of us and I'm sure you will enjoy this story.

After reading this book, go and eat a donut!

Happy Daily Reading!
Deanna

Monday, October 6, 2014

All Four Stars by: Tara Dairman

Author Tara Dairman will leave you wanting to eat at a four star restaurant after reading her first novel All Four Stars.

Eleven-year-old Gladys loves food, especially gourmet food.  She has been cooking since the age of seven and she has become a great cook.  Unlike her parents who only serve take out or microwave meals.  When a cooking accident causes the kitchen curtains to go up in flames, Gladys is no longer allowed in the kitchen.  She must survive on what her parents believe are good meals.  Cooking is her passion and she is unsure what to do now that she is no longer allowed to cook.

This is when Ms. Quincy, her new teacher, announces an essay contest for the biggest newspaper in New York City.  Ms. Quincy wants each student to write about what they want to be when they grow up.  Gladys is convinced she should not write about cooking, since her parents no longer allow her to cook.  Gladys turns in an essay about becoming a veterinarian, but her teacher sees right through that ruse.  She makes Gladys write another essay.  Gladys decides to write about becoming a food critic.  Her essay wins at her school and is sent to the newspaper.  However, there is a mix up at the newspaper and when Gladys hears from the newspaper it isn't because she won the essay contest they believe she is an adult and they want her to review a new dessert restaurant in New York City.  How is an eleven-year-old going to get to New York without any parents?  Will she be able to actually get into the restaurant?  With the help of friends she is able to come up with a plan that will have you turning page after page to see if Gladys' dream comes true.

After reading All Four Stars do some baking of your own or write a restaurant review for your favorite restaurant.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Friday, October 3, 2014

Dinosaurs Before Dark by: Mary Pope Osborne

My Friday Friend, Norah is back with another book review!  Thank you, Norah, for being such a great first grade reader!
I read the book Dinosaurs Before Dark It’s the first book of the Magic Tree House series by Mary PopeOsborne.  It was about a brother and sister named Jack and Annie.  They go out to play in the woods and find a treehouse.  They go up into the tree and inside there are lots and lots of books.  Jack and Annie picked up a book about dinosaurs and Annie said “I wish we could go there.”  Then the treehouse took them there.  They had an adventure with the dinosaurs and had to figure out how to get home. 
I really liked reading about the dinosaurs and how Jack and Annie got home.  I really can’t wait to read the next one and see if they find out more clues about the treehouse.  I would recommend this book to kids that like dinosaurs and adventures. 


Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Numberlys by: William Joyce & Christina Ellis

Imagine a world with only numbers, that is just what authors William Joyce and Christina Ellis have done in their new book The Numberlys.

Everything is ordinary and orderly in the land of the Numberlys until one day 5 friends decide that something different is needed.  They begin to build.  At first, it was awful but they kept on working and amazing things began to happen.  First there are letters and then colors.  The world becomes an amazing place!  The Numberlys see and experience things they have never done before.

Children will love this book as they see the letters being created.  It is different because you hold the book vertically instead of horizontally which makes for wonderful illustrations that keep children's attention.

After reading this story, go out and build something new for yourself.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Monday, September 29, 2014

Millhouse by: Natale Ghent

Millhouse is a guinea pig whose story you won't soon forget.  Author Natale Ghent has written a wonderful story about a hairless guinea pig named Millhouse, Milly is the name he prefers.

Milly loves the theater and when is is left at an old, hardly visited pet shop he is sure he will never get to the theater again.  He acts out many plays for the mice who appreciate him.  However, he has a ferret who wants to eat him and the other guinea pigs want nothing to do with him.  How can he ever get out of the pet shop, and will he ever get to the theater again?  You will be surprised to find out who is willing to help Milly make his dreams come true.  It is such a sweet ending to a book that you just may want to go out and buy yourself a cute guinea pig of your own!

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Friday, September 26, 2014

Dragon Slippers by: Jessica Day George


I am happy to have Evelyn visiting again as my Friday Friend.

I recently read the book Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George.  This book is the first book in the Dragon Adventure series and is about a girl named Creelisel Carlbrun. Creelisel lives with her brother, aunt, uncle, and eight cousins because her mom and dad died from a fever. The family was really poor so her aunt came up with a plan to get rich.  Creelisel’s brother and cousins throw coal at the dragon, Theordus, while Creelisel waited.  When the dragon appeared, her aunt mouthed the words of what she should say.  The dragon took Creelisel into his cave.  They made a deal that Creelisel will stop a prince that is going to save her and she can have something from his hoard.  So she left the cave and stopped the prince and said to him “Go tell my family that I’m all right and I’m going to the King’s Seat to find work.” Since she kept her part of the deal, she chose a pair of magic dragon skin shoes.  Creelisel went to the King’s Seat to find work; she found work at the best sewing shop in that city.  But she barely gets paid.  That is when she meets Luka who is a prince.  One of the girls that Creelisel works with tries on her shoes. The girl figures out that her shoes are magical and she shares this information with a princess from another country. They steal her shoes and a dragon war starts. That’s when Creelisel find out her shoes are magical. 
I really enjoyed reading Dragon Slippers and especially liked the part with the dragon war because when I read this part of the book I visualized dragons making fire.  I also liked Shardas, the king of dragons because of how he met and saved Creelisel.  I loved this book so much I couldn’t put it down and can’t wait to read the next book Dragon Flight.  If you enjoy reading about princesses Jessica Day George has two other series that are totally awesome. The first series is the Twelve Dancing Princesses and the second is Tuesdays at the Castle.  

Thank you, Evelyn.
Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher by: Jessica Lawson

How does an author change a classic story like Tom Sawyer?  Hopefully you will want to read this book to find out the answer to that question.  I am sure you will love the answer!

Author Jessica Lawson has written a book that I really enjoyed with her book The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher.  Samuel Clemens is a riverboat captain, staying in a small town along the Mississippi River while his boat is repaired.  He ends up boarding  at the Sawyer household where he meets a young girl who is always looking for adventure named Becky Thatcher.  Tom Sawyer is a shy tattle tale who is just trying to get noticed by the adults as a "good boy".   His older brother Sid also likes adventures but doesn't believe that girls can do things as well as boys.  So, the bet is on--who can steal something from the "witch's" home on Saturday night?  You will really love the way the girls plan on not only beating the boys but also avoiding having spells cast on them by the witches.  Of course there are more adventures that get Becky into trouble.  However, since she is the one who finds the outlaw's hideout in the local caves, she also becomes the hero of the story!

The author leaves us wondering whether Twain changed Becky's story to that of Tom Sawyer because many girls at this time period were not the adventuring type?  I wonder.

This was such a fun book to read.  When you finish this one, go and read the original Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Problem with Not Being Scared of Monsters by: Dan Richards

In his first picture book, The Problem with Not Being Scared of Monsters, author Dan Richards shares that it really can be hard to be best friends with monsters.  After reading this book, I think it might be easier to remain afraid of monsters.  The young boy in this book encounters problems even before getting out of bed in the morning.  Homework is a problem and so is snack time.  What is he supposed to do?  You will laugh as you find out what this young child does.

This will be a fun bedtime story for children of all ages.

After reading this book, make sure you check under your bed for monsters and then enjoy a good night's sleep.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Island of Legends by: Lisa McMann

Volume 4 of The Unwanteds series does not disappoint.  Author Lisa McMann in Island of Legends takes us back to Artime and Quill where twins Alex and Aaron are still learning and growing into their roles as leaders.

Alex, as the mage of Artime, is learning to use his magic more efficiently.  He works at creating a new creature and is sure he has failed as the creature seems to die as soon as it comes alive.  However, don't lose your faith in Alex's powers as his new creature will surprise you along with Alex.  Alex gets a few of his friends to go with him to Pirate Island to save Sky's mother.  It is a tricky rescue since this island is a volcano that will sometimes disappear from sight.  Can they rescue her mother before it goes underwater once again?  Alex and his friends meet other sea creatures on this adventure, some nice and some very mean.  They also decide to head out and visit another island, meeting more amazing creatures and making new friends.

Aaron is pleased to be the new High Priest in Quill and wants to get the remaining residents of Quill to see Artime as a threat that must be eliminated.  Aaron discovers a hidden jungle on the island where animals live that Mr. Today had created that didn't really turn out as well as expected.  Aaron pretends to be Alex, gaining the trust of these creatures and he uses one to begin his attack on Artime.  Aaron is also rebuilding his governing board but can he really trust these people?

I loved this book in The Unwanteds series.  I have enjoyed all of the books but this one I couldn't put  down.  I know you will enjoy this book as well as the others in the series.

After reading this book take some time to create some new creatures of your own.  Because that is what an "unwanted" would do.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Three Bears in a Boat by: David Soman

Three Bears in a Boat is written and illustrated by David Soman.  This is a beautiful read aloud that I'm sure your family will enjoy.

The three young bears want to get to the honey pot.  But one time as they climb to reach the honey pot, their mother's favorite sea shell gets broken.  They decide that they will try to replace the shell before their momma gets home.  They set sail and have quite the adventure as they search for the perfect sea shell.  They meet other sailors and even encounter other sea creatures. They finally decide to return home and tell their mother the truth.   Once back on their own island, they find the perfect shell for their mother.  Will they tell their mother the truth?  Will their mother forgive them?

This is a great story that surely will open up a discussion about what we should do when we make a mistake.

After reading this book, you should call your mother and thank her for being your mom.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Grimm Warning by: Chris Colfer

Author Chris Colfer has written a great story with this book A Grimm Warning.  Twins Conner and Alex Bailey need to work together to save the Land of Stories.  How can they do this when they are living in two different worlds?

Alex is living in the Land of Stories, being trained to become the next fairy Godmother by her grandmother who is the current fairy Godmother.  Conner is headed to Germany on a school field trip.  He will be able to visit the graves of his distant relatives, the famous Brothers Grimm.  He is with a teacher and a few students and plan to attend a ceremony at the graves of the Brothers Grimm.  Three newly discovered Grimm tales are going to be read at the ceremony.  During the reading of the last story, Conner realizes the story is actually a secret message directed to him.  He learns from the message that he must travel to the Land of Stories before the land is destroyed.

Conner manages to leave the field trip group with his friend Bree.  Together they travel around Europe looking for a portal to get to the Land of Stories.  There is a French army that has been stuck in the portal for 200 years.  If the portal is opened, the army will conquer the Land of Stories.  Conner and Bree must get there first to help prepare the kingdoms for war.  Along their way, they meet a remarkable young boy named  Emmerich, who helps them in their quest to find and enter the portal.

Alex is almost finished with her training in the Land of Stories.  There will be a ceremony in which she officially becomes a member of the fairy council.  Passing her tests before the ceremony is making her very nervous.  She begins to spend more time in the Red kingdom receiving encouragement from her friend Red Riding Hood.  While visiting Red they learn that Little Bo Beep wants to be queen of the Red kingdom and she has challenged Red to run in an election.  Will Alex be able to help Red and be ready for her ceremony?  Alex learns that Little Bo Beep has an evil acquaintance who is helping her take over Red's kingdom and she is trying to figure out who that is when Conner and friends arrive with news of the invasion.

Alex and Conner are able to get the Royals, the Fairies, the Elves and the Trolls to work together to fight against this army.  Will they succeed and be able to have peace and happily ever afters in the land once again?  Does Conner have magic ability too?  In runs in their family and Alex is sure Conner can learn to use magic just as she does.  It just might be necessary to save the kingdoms in the Land of Stories.

I really enjoyed this book and I am sure you will too.  If you like fairy tales you will love this book.  It wasn't until I began reading that I realized this is volume 3 in the Land of Stories series.  You will want to read all the books in the series.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water by: Gemma Merino

There once lived a family of crocodiles with six baby crocodiles.   All but one of the babies loved the water.  You thought  all crocodiles loved the water?  In Gemma Merino's debut picture book, The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water, we meet one young crocodile who does not like water.  He wants to enjoy the water just like his brothers and sisters, but he is very afraid of the water.  He tries various ways of getting into the water but each one fails.  One day he finds out who he really is and what he was meant to do.  Fulfilling his own destiny is where he finds happiness.

This is a fun read-aloud book that I am sure all ages will enjoy.  When listeners or readers find out little crocodile's true identity, they are sure to giggle.  I also believe this book will inspire us all to do what makes us happy.  That will certainly help make the world a happier place for everyone.



Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

R is for Robot A Noisy Alphabet by: Adam F. Watkins

Who knew the alphabet could be so noisy?  Author Adam F. Watkins in his book R is for Robot knew that it would be noisy for these adorable robots to assemble the alphabet.  Each letter has its own unique sound, and lets that sound be heard as it is being put in it proper order in the alphabet.  I love ABC books and this is one read-aloud that I am sure children will love because of the new describing words they will be exposed to with each of the letters.

This is the first picture book that Adam F. Watkins both wrote and illustrated.  He has always been a fan of robots and I'm sure you will love his illustrations of the robots in this story.

After reading this book, make up your own ABC story.  Maybe make up ABC's of your day today!

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Number One Sam by: Greg Pizzoli

Like most of us, Sam loves winning.   In Greg Pizzoli's book Number One Sam, he is the fastest and best race car driver there is!  However, one day he loses a race and he isn't sure his life will ever be the same. On the day of the next race, he is very nervous.  He wonders whether he can win and be number one once again.  He is so nervous he misses the starting flag and starts in last place!  Sam, with his great racing talent, soon finds himself in the lead.  That is, until he spots trouble ahead.  What will he do now?

You will love the ending of this story and your children will win when they learn how important it is to be kind and support their friends.  They will also learn it is not necessarily to win every race.

After reading this book, play a few games with family and friends.  See if you will insist on winning, or whether having fun is more important.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Friday, August 22, 2014

Genius Files from Texas with Love by: Dan Gutman

This is my friend Dylan.  He is today's Friday Friend...

In this book, the fourth book of the Genius Files series, Genius Files From Texas With Love by Dan Gutman, Coke and Pepsi McDonald are still being chased and someone continues to try to kill them.  They are returning from their aunt's wedding in a corvette because their RV exploded from fireworks and caught everything they had on fire.  They are being chased by a Dr. Warsaw robot (Doominator).  Coke was almost run over by a motorcycle, put into a drier, a cow was dropped almost landing on his head.  Coke and Pepsi were kidnapped and put in a boat where they were swarmed by bats.  Sleeping powder was put in their bowling shoes which knocked them out when bowling balls began being thrown at them!  They were left in the heat of a vapor cabinet and thrown into a Snickers machine.  It is one thing after another for these twins.  At the end, something came to take Coke and Pepsi, I think it could be a UFO.  We will have to wait for book #5 to find out.  I really enjoyed this book and I am sure you will too.

Thank you, Dylan, for your review.  I'm glad you enjoyed this book.  I have read book #1 in the series and thought it was great.  With twins named Coke and Pepsi McDonald anything can (and does) happen.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Paperboy by: Vince Vawter

This story is based on author Vince Vawter's own life.  It is the summer of 1959 and he becomes the neighborhood Paperboy when his best friend, Rat, leaves for a month.  He is excited to deliver the papers.  He is the star pitcher on his baseball team.  He knows he can throw each paper right onto each porch.  However, he has a stuttering problem.  It takes him awhile to be able to communicate to people, especially those he doesn't know very well.  So he is concerned whether he will be paid (he only gets paid from what he collects from customers.

Throughout the month he is able to get to know a few of his customers.  He learns that some of his customers are struggling financially, and he would love to help but he doesn't know how to help them.  He also receives help from one of the neighbors with his stuttering.

This is a great story and I believe there are characters that readers can relate to.  I am sure you won't forget this book for a very long time.  It won a 2014 Newbery Honor Award and it deserves the award.

After reading this book go and read the newspaper, we don't do that much anymore!

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Saturday, August 16, 2014

My Pet Book by: Bob Staake

Do you have a desire to have a pet?  Do you want a pet that is easy to take care of?  This may be just the right book for you, a pet book!

Author and illustrator Bob Staake has created a wonderful read aloud book with his My Pet Book.  A young boy in Smartytown wants a pet that is easy to take care of as he doesn't like puppies and he sneezes at cats.  His parents tell him that a pet book would be perfect, so they head to the bookstore to find him one.  He finds a red hardcover book that makes the perfect pet book for him.  He loves that the book doesn't need to eat and he enjoys taking the book for walks.  The best part is the stories inside the book.   He imagines himself being inside the stories.   One day his book is missing!  Who ever heard of a book that runs away?  Will he ever find his beloved pet book again?

This is a great story that the entire family will enjoy.  After reading this story take your own pet for a walk, or go and buy yourself your own pet book!

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Lions of Little Rock by: Kristin Levine

Author Kristin Levine in her book The Lions of Little Rock takes the reader back to 1958 in the city of Little Rock, Arkansas.  It is the beginning of another school year, but it happens to be the school year after the students named "the Little Rock nine" made history by standing firm against segregation.  But all is not calm in Little Rock.  Many parents, both black and white decided to send their high school-age children to other schools, some in other parts of Arkansas, some far away in other states.  Not one high school in Little Rock is open due to lack of students.

The main character, named Marlee, is a white girl.  Marlee is beginning middle school and as a very shy girl.   She isn't sure she will enjoy this new phase of her life.  On the first day of middle school, she meets Liz and Marlee's life is changed forever.  Liz is a black girl who is smart and very outgoing.   An unlikely friendship is formed by these two girls.  When it is discovered that Liz is trying to pass as a white student, she is immediately expelled from school.  Marlee still wants to be friends and so does Liz.  Can they continue their friendship in the face of segregation?  Is it even safe for them to remain friends?  They find ways to see each other as much as possible.  But keeping their friendship a secret even from their own families is not easy.

I found this book to be very interesting.  Most of us have heard about "the Little Rock nine" but how many of us knew that all of the high schools in Little Rock were closed the following year because of them?  Kristin Levine writes a great story that not only teaches us some history about this period of time but she creates two characters who help the reader understand that it doesn't matter your color.  All that matters is that you are kind.

After reading this book go and make a new friend. Perhaps you will want to visit a zoo...you have to read the book!

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The School is Alive by: Jack Chabert

Many of us are beginning another school year and this is just the book you may want to read as school begins.  The School is Alive is the first book in the new series Eerie Elementary written by Jack Chabert.  It is a fun story that I am sure all students who are just beginning to read chapter books will enjoy.  There are many illustrations which is just what those beginning readers want.

Sam is the new hall monitor and he isn't too excited about his new responsibilities.  Especially as he begins to see some strange things going on at school, beginning with the quicksand he steps into on the playground his first day on the job!  Mr. Nekobi, the school's custodian is there to rescue Sam from the quicksand and he will be there to teach Sam more about the responsibilities of being a hall monitor.  You see, the school is alive and it will be up to Sam to save not only his friends but all the students and their parents on the night of the school play.

After reading this book go and enjoy a play at your local school.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Rush Revere and the First Patriots by: Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh has created a fascinating history teacher that I wish that I had when learning American history.  Rush Revere and the First Patriots is the second in this series, where Rush Revere is a substitute history teacher who, along with his time-traveling horse, takes a few of his students back in time to view historical events in action.  In this way, the students can see for themselves how America became a country.  The students not only get to see historical events, they actually meet people like Samuel Adams, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington.  They are very careful to not change history.  However when one student bullies her way onto Liberty, Rush's horse, that may change.  She liked meeting King George III and didn't think his taxing the colonies was a bad thing.  She wants to see him again and maybe change history forever!  Will she succeed?

The benefits of being a free country is stated often in this book.  I really wish I had books like this to read when learning history.  I encourage you all to read this series you enjoy Rush Revere's teaching methods as much as I did.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The 13-Story Treehouse by: Andy Griffiths

The 13-Story Treehouse written by Andy Girffiths is a book that I know many children will enjoy reading.  It is similar in style to that of Dork Diaries and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, there are a lot of drawings to go along with the text.  Book two is already available with book three coming soon.

In this story, two friends named Andy and Terry live in an amazing treehouse together.  It is here that they write books.  One day they cannot figure out what their next book should be about.  They have a deadline of tomorrow at 5pm and they start to write a story until they get sidetracked.  They encounter sea monkeys, a cat who becomes a canary, a gorilla, a super hero finger and a super hero dog.  How all these characters come together to create this story is one that will have the reader laughing out loud.

After reading this story, go and enjoy the great outdoors for awhile!

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna

Friday, August 1, 2014

Rufus Goes to School by: Kim T. Griswell

I picked up this read-aloud book from my public library and I loved the story of Rufus and his desire to attend school.  In my area of the country, school starts the beginning of August.  I am sure there are parents out there that would love to read this to their children before the next school year begins.

Author Kim T. Griswell has created a lovable character in a pig named Rufus.  In the book Rufus Goes to School he really wants to attend school so that he can learn to read.  He loves books and looks at them often, he just doesn't know what the words say.  He gets a backpack and heads off to school where the principal tells him that pigs are not allowed in school because pigs track in mud and start food fights.  Rufus is determined.  He returns the next day with his backpack and a lunchbox and again the principal sends him home. Rufus continues in his quest for knowledge and once the principal learns the real reason Rufus wants to attend school he is allowed into a classroom.  It is here that Rufus learns and he especially loves story time.

School might seem scary for some children and others cannot wait to begin school, just like Rufus.  Either way, take the time to share with your children your own school experiences as they begin a new school year.

Happy Daily Reading
Deanna