Monday, December 22, 2014

#Review: The Christmas Cats Encounter Bats by Constance Corcoran Wilson/ Illustrated by Gary McClukey

The Christmas Cats Encounter Bats is a Seuss-ical tale for young children which builds upon the morals of the first two Christmas Cats books.
Book Three, The Christmas Cats Encounter Bats urges everyone to honor life in all its forms. Love and accept all God’s creatures. Some animals---(puppies and kitties come to mind)--- are popular with nearly everyone. Others (spiders, lizards, bats, etc.) may not seem as worthy, but all are small cogs in the universe. Bats serve a very useful purposes in God’s grand scheme. All life should be valued. The bats of story three are just as deserving of respect and have as much of a right to life as any other creature on the planet

My review:
I wished that I could say that I liked this book, that it was cute or something. Truth is, I don't.
The description calls the book Seuss-ical. However, it is anything but.

The authors attempt to rhyme fell flat. It did rhyme but it came off weird at many points.It felt like the author was really grasping to make the book something. In addition, the book seemed to end abruptly which made for more weirdness.

The only saving grace for the book is that the illustrator had bold and colorful pictures. The lights that bordered each page gave a nice feel for Christmas. Also, at the end of the book there was a coloring page and an activity for children to do.

Unfortunately, I can only give this book 2 stars and only because of the illustrator's contributions.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book for my open and honest opinion. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find author:

Sunday, December 21, 2014

#Review: Baby Kitten and Friends Celebrate Yule/Winter Solstice by Sherrie Dolby, Illustrated by Malgorzata Godziuk #Yule #Kidsbooks

Baby Elephant, Baby Tiger, and Baby Bear have never celebrated Yule before. Their friend Baby Kitten invites them to Yuletide dinner where they learn about this day of celebration.

My review:
This book I found to be a nice little book from the start. Young friends have gathered together to talk about their individual celebrations at this time of year. As you would expect they are excited. Only the one, Baby Kitten, is unsure because she celebrates something different.

Curious as "kids" will be, they want to know what Yule is and as the summary states, they learn about the celebration when they go to her house. There were explanations along the way but not in an overly religious fashion but also not dumbed down either. Yule was explained enough that the characters and the readers could understand. A tiny ritual was even integrated into the book.

A nice feature as with other books I have read, is the use of a glossary in the back of the book. This certainly helped to explain some difficult words or what things are that were used for the celebration of Yule.

The reader could celebrate Yule/Winter Solstice along with the characters and still feel comfortable with their own celebrations.  I liked how the author incorporated acceptance throughout the book.

If I was to say anything negative about this book, it is the fact the author chose to have baby animals for the characters. Usually I would not mind this but it just seemed wrong for this book. I really would have liked to have seen real children. Also, since this is essentially a chapter book, albeit only three chapters, this cannot be classified as a picture book, thus the idea of "baby" anything seemed inappropriate.

In spite of what I just wrote above, I overall liked this book and give it 4 stars and a Happy Yule.

Disclosure: I picked up a Kindle copy of this book for my own use. As with other books, I have read this month, I wanted to give an over view of the celebration of Yule that you, my readers, might do. I should not have been amazed at the lack of books for children on the subject, but I was.
The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Reading To The Grand-kids: "Snowmen At Christmas" by Caralyn Buehner #Christmas, #ChristmasSpirit, #Kidsbooks

This is a cute book about how snowmen celebrate Christmas. I read this book on YouTube last year but it is always a good re-read for the Grand-kids of all ages. Enjoy! ~Naila Moon

Saturday, December 20, 2014

#Review: The Reindeer Keeper: Believe Barbara Briggs Ward #Christmas #ChristmasSpirit #AdultBooks

Abbey senses something special about the little man tending to the reindeer who, along with a century-old farmhouse, a barn full of animals, and fields abounding in woods and pasture, was a gift to Abbey from a stranger. Abbey and her husband, Steve, move in just before the holidays. They have been together since the '60s, eloping when Steve returned from Vietnam. Now with Abbey's cancer in remission, they're looking forward to their boys coming home for Christmas. Turns out this Christmas proves to be more magical than anticipated as Abbey realizes an understanding never thought possible through the rekindling of a belief rooted in childhood. Of course it's who delivers this gift on Christmas Eve that gives Abbey and Steve the strength to face their greatest challenge.

My review:
I truly loved this twist on the Santa Claus story. It was a beautifully written and sentimental story about believing in what was lost as you get older. It was also about hoping, dreaming, and loving. This book had everything you would want in a sweet tale.

Abbey's cancer and her fight was in there, yes, but it also should how the love of one's family is important and needed when challenges are faced. Sometimes it even means making changes that are unexpected but well worth the change.

I loved also that this book did not end in a downer but one of hope and the idea to carry on and keep moving forward, to be child like, and keep believing even when the world tells you not too.

Awesome book and I highly recommend. 5 stars!

Disclosure: I won a paperback book from the author in a contest. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours.

Where to find the author:

Friday, December 19, 2014

#Review: The Dreidel That Wouldn't Spin: A Toyshop Tale of Hanukkah by Martha Seif Simpson/ Illustrated by Durga YaThisel Bernhard #Hanukkah #Kidsbooks

“This dreidel doesn't work!” the father had cried. “What do you mean? How can a dreidel not work?” the shopkeeper asked. It was certainly the most beautiful spinning top the shopkeeper had ever seen, with magical golden letters on its sides. But it just would not spin for two spoiled children who insisted on owning it! Later, the shopkeeper decides to try it one last time: would it spin for another child, one who carried the true spirit of Hanukkah in his heart?"

My review:
This is a delightful story that gives the true meaning for Hanukkah. The author's message is clear that only a grateful heart will see the miracles and this is something that money cannot buy. The character of the shopkeeper is reminded of this as he interacts with the various characters that come into his shop.

I enjoyed the bright illustrations and how the character's features and the toy shop drew you in. The reader cannot help but be disgusted and happy for each of the characters as you read along. This is one of the beauties of this book.

I loved the fact that in the back of the book, the author chose to explain the reason behind the celebration of Hanukkah. In addition, she told how the dreidel game is played and included a chart for the different words on the dreidel. To me, that is a win in understanding the holiday further.

I loved this book and recommend it for anyone whether you celebrate Hanukkah or not. 5 stars!

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for my open and honest opinion. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Secret Santa Book Wrap Up #Christmas #ChristmasSpirit

I participated for the first time in a Secret Santa book exchange hosted by Michelle M. of The True Book Addict. We had a limit on the amount we could spend, not including shipping. It was a small amount and I am grateful for that.

However, I think my Secret Santa went crazy but I do adore her for the gifts she sent. Lori from Psychotic State Books, sent me the sweetest Santa tea pot and cup. She also sent me the book "Wolves" and the book, "Me" by Katherine Hepburn. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

#Review: The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats #Christmas, #ChristmasSpirit, #Kidsbooks

This is a small hard back picture book and ironically not one of the authors most well known. However, that does not stop the book from being colorful and imaginative. 

The book stays true to form of the traditional Christmas song. Each page gives homage to a line from the song, which is posted in its entirety on the last two pages.
The author/illustrator made each page come alive and yet also gives the feel of the original song through the character's emotions. 

I love this author's books and it is too bad that he is not around anymore to create such wonderful works. This book I give 4 stars.

Disclosure: I purchased this book for my own collections. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

About the author:

Born March 11, 1916 – Died: May 6, 1983) 
An American writer and illustrator born to poor Polish-Jewish immigrants.
In 1963 he won the  Caldecott Medal for his book, The Snowy Day, which he wrote and illustrated. This book is considered a most important book in American culture as it introduced mulitcultural children into mainstream children's lit. He enjoyed collage as his main artistic medium for illustrations.