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The Water Princess

Perfect Picture Book Friday

waterprincess.pngI love The Water Princess (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2016) by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds so much. It's beautiful--it's sad. The book clearly shows how water, something we take for granted in our country, is not so accessible elsewhere. The book is based on the childhood experience of Georgie Badiel in Africa. This experience is not limited to Africa--I've seen it in Haiti, too. What a good story for kids everywhere to experience.

Listen to the opening words: "I am Princess Gie Gie. My Kingdom . . . the African sky, so wide and so close. I can almost touch the sharp edges of the stars."

You can see Susan's books here and read her bio here. Susan's next book My Kicks, illustrated by Katie Kath, comes out in April.

Peter's illustrations make you feel what Gie Gie is experiencing. You may recognize some of the titles where he is both author and illustrator: The Dot, Ish. He's illustrated a lot of books, which you can start seeing here. Meet Peter here.


Who Wants a Tortoise?

Perfect Picture Book Friday

whowants.jpegWho Wants a Tortoise? (Alfred A. Knofp, 2016) by Dave Keane and illustrated by K.G. Campbell is a fun twist on the pet picture book. The little girl wants a puppy, but she gets a tortoise instead. She had plans for a puppy. She had names for a puppy. Tortoises can't play fetch or give kisses. How can you have an adventure with them.

Dave Keane is an author/illustrator. You can read his bio here. It's fun that he and his family have a tortoise.

I love the extra in the endpapers that K.G. Campbell included as well as the expressions on this little girl. He's also an author/illustrator. You can see the variety of his illustration styles just by looking at his book covers.



The Secret of a Heart Note

secretheartnote.jpegThe Secret of a Heart Note (Katherine Tegen Books, 2016) by Stacey Lee had me in awe of the author's imagination at creating characters with a unique ability. I love her descriptions of what Mimosa and her mom can smell as aromateurs, for example: "I clamp my lips, but the scent of my anger, like burnt rubber tires, blackens the space around me."

Fifteen-year-old Mimosa has convinced her mom to let her go to public high school versus being homeschooled, but she's having trouble balancing her duties as an aromateur with her seven periods of classes. When a client shows up whom Mim knows personally, its obvious she hasn't read his application, so Mom knows something is up.

What do aromateurs do? Help the lovelorn. "Clients come to us when they've tried everything to woo the target but can't get the fire going, whether due to shyness, insecurity, or even prejudice." Mim and her mom follow the Rulebook created by their ancestors. And the worst rule is "Love witches can't fall in love."

I loved reading the story of how Stacey was inspired to write this book. You can find it on the right hand side of this page.

This is Stacey's third book; now I want to read the others.


The Girl of Fire and Thorns

GirlofFireandThorns.jpegThe Girl of Fire and Thorns (Greenwillow Books, 2011) by Rae Carson is a wonderful YA fantasy. I just discovered book one of this trilogy and raced through it.

Sixteen-year-old Elisa has been chosen to be the Godstone bearer. But as the younger princess, the princess who keeps getting bigger and bigger because she eats when she's upset, she doesn't see how she can ever be used. Married off to a neighboring king, at risk from the enemy, Elisa goes on a journey that changes her and her whole world.

Loved this book and am looking forward to reading book two, The Crown of Embers (2012) and following it up with The Bitter Kingdom (2013). Why didn't I hear about this New York Times bestselling trilogy earlier?!

This was Rae Carson's debut novel and was a William C. Morris Award Finalist. The trilogy has been translated into other languages. See covers here. She's also written other stories in the universe, The Girl of Fire and Thorns Stories (Girl of Fire and Thorns Novella). WalkonEarth.jpeg

Like a River Glorious, book one in the Gold Seer Trilogy, came out in September 2015 and is a YALSA 2016 Best Fiction for Young Adults pick. More to add to my TBR pile. ;-)


Mrs. McBee Leaves Room 3

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Mrs. McBee.jpgMrs. McBee Leaves Room 3 (Peachtree Publishers, 2017) by Gretchen Brandenburg McLellan and Illustrated by Grace Zong is coming out in April and you won't want to miss it. (I'm holding a borrowed ARC* in my hands.)

It's the end of the year and Mrs. McBee has just told her class she won't be returning after summer vacation. The kids are disappointed, but Mrs. McBee wisely prepares the students for their "time together to end." You'll enjoy bossy Jamaika, William who's "not helping," and all the teams preparing the room for the last day.

This sweet book is one teacher's and parents can use to help children with change and good-byes, but I think kids will enjoy the book simply for the enjoyable story of a fun classroom. And the illustrations are absolutely adorable!

Here's Gretchen's author spotlight on her publisher's site. In it, you can read why Gretchen wrote the book. Also visit her website where you can find out about other books Gretchen has coming and about all the school good-byes she's had to make.

See more of Grace's illustrations here. There's also a link to see her other books.

*Advanced Reader Copy


The Water Princess

Who Wants a Tortoise?

The Secret of a Heart Note

The Girl of Fire and Thorns

Mrs. McBee Leaves Room 3

Pug Meets Pig

Normal Norman

Mother Bruce

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook

Handbook for Dragon Slayers

Enchantress Sacrifice

Shadows

One for the Murphys

A Time to Dance

Dying to Meet You

Iron Hearted Violet

Let Me Finish!

Scythe

The Girl Who Drank the Moon

The Scourge

Written in the Stars

Dead Boy

Poppy

Ms. Bixby's Last Day

Towers Falling

Echo

The Seventh Wish

All Four Stars

the impossible knife of memory

Just My Luck

The Thief of Mirrors

Snoring Beauty

The Inn Between

Bottled

Booked

The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary

Counting Thyme

In the time of the Dragon Moon

The Chance You Won't Return

The Fire Sermon

The Crossover

A Hungry Lion or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals

Sweet Home Alaska

Mouseheart

How to Capture an Invisible Cat

The Year We Sailed the Sun

The Wrinkled Crown

Ship Breaker

Uprooted

Circus Mirandus

Dragon Slippers

Mr. Pusskins: a Love Story

Prisoner 88

Tuesdays at the Castle

Not in the Script

All the Bright Places

Fuzzy Mud

Rhyme Schemer

Switch

El Deafo

Nightsong

On My Way to Buy Eggs

The Last Child of Hamelin

The Cabinet of Earths

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

Castle Hangnail

Moonpenny Island

Waiting for Unicorns

This Girl Is Different

An Ember in the Ashes

Tunnel Vision

How It Went Down

Loved It! - Fish in a Tree

Not Easy - The Truth about Twinkie Pie

Argh, Mateys - Hook's Revenge

Thrills and Chills - The Third Twin

Payback - Nickel Bay Nick

Eerie - Sorrow's Knot

Quick and Cute - Number One Sam

Saved by the Milk - Fortunately, The Milk

Dory Fantasmagory

Born to Succeed - Every Day After

Captured by the Title - Also Known as Elvis

MG Adventure in Verse - May B.

Absolutely Almost

Out-of-this-World Adventure - Space Case

Discoveries and Escapes - Rooftoppers

A Wow Adventure

Dangerous Adventure - Badger Knight

Draw or Die - The Rithmatist

An Eggstraordinary Story - Under the Egg

Looking for Magic? - A Snicker of Magic

MG Mystery - Three Times Lucky

Not just a Mystery Weekend - Suspect

Dangerous Impersonation - The False Prince

A Boy and an Elephant - Chained

Charming, Literally - Rose

Girl in Trouble - The Rules for Disappearing

Shaping Her Own Fate - Passion Blue

Fated to be Useless? - Firstborn

Secrets! - The Pledge

Ultimate Fractured Fairytale - Enchanted

Deliciously Funny - Monsters Eat Whiny Children

Hilariously Creepy - Creepy Carrots

Moving Story - The Stamp Collector

Cute Grandma Story - Silly Frilly Grandma Tilly

A Cat Lover's Novel - Cat Girl's Day Off

Secret Agents - Junior Style - Double Vision

A Dark Story - Wooden Bones

Contemporary Fantasy or Magical Realism - Drizzle

Heartbreaker - The One and Only Ivan

Fantasy AND Humor - The Last Dragon Slayer

The amazing Laini Taylor - Daughter of Smoke & Bone

Eye-opening Historical - Jepp, Who Defied the Stars

Amazing Story - Wonder

Unexpected - The Hop

Anything But Typical

Words in the Dust, an amazing story

Historical MG in Verse - Inside Out and Back Again

Hysterically Funny - Fetching

Light-hearted Story - The Grand Plan to Fix Everything

Not Your Average Greek Myth - King of Ithaca

Amazing Historical - The Year We Were Famous

Fascinating Premise - Wake

Good and Creepy - The Cabinet of Wonders

Fascinating problem - Flip

Whose life? - How to save a life

Historical YA Giveaway - Second Fiddle

Another time and now - Blessing's Bead

Another place - Island's End

Just love this kid! - Okay for Now

Powerful Story - After

Memorable Story - Tell Me A Secret

Twist after twist - White Cat

A book with heart - Heart of a Shepherd

Really good story - Grounded

Family Story with Photographs - Finding Family

Halley's Comet and Hope - Selling Hope

One Strong Girl! - One Crazy Summer

Distinct voices - Blink & Caution

Great first line - Split

Phew - almost missed this goodie - Schooled

Very Very Good! - Crunch

Very Interesting - The Everafter

Real or not real? - The Strange Case of Origami Yoda

Sympathetic Character - Windblowne

Humorous sheep and more - The Quest of the Warrior Sheep

Funny pet story - Guinea Dog

Hard to put down! - Divergent

Murder in Space? - Across the Universe

What Happened?! - No Passengers Beyond This Point

More History - The Fences Between Us

Historical for Boys - The Walls of Cartagena

Grown-upness is truly wasted on grown-ups - Cosmic

Something a bit different - Ashes

Fearful stuff - Countdown

Humor and Heart - How to Survive Middle School

Love the opening - Ratfink

More Humor Mixed with Mystery - Belly Up

What a sweet winner! - Moon Over Manifest

All that jazz - The Little Piano Girl

Sweet Sibling Rivalry - Flora's Very Windy Day

Another great heroine - Girl, Stolen

Incredible Story - out of my mind

Funny! - Fiona Finkelstein Meets Her Match

Another Very Good Book - Absolutely Maybe

Bedtime Bible and more - Read and Share Bible

Unputdownable Fantasy - The Demon King

Humorous SciFi - The Dangerous Days of Daniel X

Shortlisted? - Mockingbird

Historical Fantasy - Plain Kate

Facts just slip into your mind - The Red Umbrella

How could you not care?

Novel in Verse . . . for boys - Hate That Cat

Must Read Book - Escaping the Tiger

7th Grade - no laughing matter - Mackenzie Blue

Focus, shoot! - Flash Burnout & hold still

Book just came out - God's promises...for boys...

Aren't they cute? - Poodle and Hound

Book Felt SO Real - memoirs of a teenage amnesiac

Great First Line - How to Steal a Dog

Book Plus - Invisible i - The Amanda Project

Fantasy Sequel - yea! - The Timekeeper's Moon

Book 1 - glad more is coming - Shiver

Steampunk and Darwin - Leviathan

Newbery honor book - The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate

Emotional Book - Rubber Houses

Modern Fantasy - The Demon's Lexicon

Coming Out This Month! - Boys without Names

Great opening scene - The Middle of Somewhere

You thought you had it tough? - Sweetgrass Basket

Powerful Book - Hate List

Please let me slap the father! - Candor

Unforgettable - Unwind

Parental Discretion Advised - Jumping Off Swings

Companion Book - Eternal

Character Growth - Red Glass & Mexican WhiteBoy

Modern-day Retelling - Beastly

Powerful story - Right Behind You

Must read - The Hunger Games

More Author Interviews

Got voice? - Penny from Heaven & Elijah of Buxton

Sympathetic character - Ethan, Suspended

2009 Newbery Winner - The Graveyard Book

Fantasy to Love - Graceling

"we become what we have to be" - Nation

Calling Baseball Fans and others! - Keeping Score

Memorable story - Ways to Live Forever

Mystery to Solve - The Postcard

Wow! Really moving story! - The Mailbox

A 2009 Newbery honor book - Savvy

Don't miss this award winner! - Home of the Brave

Catching Up on Reading - Book of a Thousand Days

Makes me smile - A Crooked Kind of Perfect

Puns galore - Punished!

Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time by Lisa Yee

Love this character! - Beka Cooper, Terrier

Murder Mystery, yet so much more - Perfect Shot

Couldn't Stop Reading - Elsewhere

Prepare for fun - Once Upon a Marigold

Make me laugh! Thor's Wedding Day & Queen Sophie Hartley

Arriving in March - Reaching for the Sun

Science Fantasy - Enchantress from the Stars

Twist, twist, twist - Carmine, A Little More Red

Graphic Novel - Here Be Monsters

Novels in Verse - Seeing Emily

prepare to be amused - The Wee Free Men

Limits not reached - Downsiders

Hooked by Voice - Stuck in Neutral

Delightful book - Sylvia Jean, Drama Queen

The Sea of Trolls

The Schwa Was Here

LOL - Ruby Holler