Thursday, December 31, 2015

Review:Santa, Is It Really You? by Marilyn Harkrider/Illustrated by Hannah Newsom

If you have ever wondered why there are so many men dressed up like Santa in stores and malls, then you have found your explanation in this story.
It all began long ago with a discussion between Mrs. Claus and Santa and a surprise meeting with a little boy named Ben. As you magically travel through the years with Santa, you will find the answer to the question you will never have to ask again.
My review:
This book is a cute explanation of how Santa gained some help and made children all over the world happy. I loved how the book went through a whole process leading up to other men dressing up to represent Santa himself, even though children know there is only one Santa.

This is not a picture book but one for children who can read well or a book for a bit older children to be read to. The story is well thought out and a book that certainly could easily become a family favorite read year after year.

I loved the illustrations that went along with the book. They are muted in Christmas colors and have a semi-Norman Rockwell feel to them. The illustrations add to an already great book that gives the reader a cozy feel and also answers questions that all children have about Santa.

Great book and 5 stars from me.
Bonus Points for the author: A portion of the profits from this book goes to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. That is a double win for the book!

Disclosure: This book was given to me in exchange 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:

Review: How the Grandmas and Grandpas Saved Christmas by Richard J. Gausselin

What happens when the Elves come down with colds am week before Christmas? Santa Claus call on special helpers to work his magic! Can the grandpas and grandmas from around the world save Christmas? Join Santa and his friends on this incredible journey to find out.

My review:
"Toys are to be made with hands and hearts." This is the whole summation of the book and how some grandparents saved the day because they love their grandchildren. This book took a long time to get to the meat of the story. In fact, it was almost not until the end before it did. It is not that the writing was bad because it wasn't, just in my mind it could have been much shorter and to the point faster. 

I did think this book, at first was a picture book, but then I discovered it is a book more for children who can read pretty well or at very least, be read too. This would not be a book for a very young child because attention span would not be kept.

The illustrations were cute but I was not overly impressed either. To me they looked like color book-ish and really not well done. That is rather sad because the illustrations could have lent so much more to the story.

I have seen that this book is a first in a series, I do hope the second book is much better because it does have potential.

I give this book, 3 stars for the story only.

Disclosure: I was sent this book in exchange for my open and honest opinion. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Michael Phillip Cash's, "The History Major" #giveaway: $200 Amazon GC and Signed Copy of Book! #MichaelPhillipCash @michaelpcash

Michael Phillip Cash is at it again with his newest novella and 12th book, The History MajorMichael Phillip Cash is an award-winning screenwriter and novelist. He's written the best-selling Brood X, Stillwell, The Flip, The After House, The Hanging Tree, Witches Protection Program, Pokergeist, Monsterland and Battle for Darracia series.

About "The History Major":

After a vicious fight with her boyfriend followed by a night of heavy partying, college freshman Amanda Greene wakes up in her dorm room to find things are not the same as they were yesterday. She can't quite put her finger on it. She's sharing her room with a peculiar stranger. Amanda discovers she's registered for classes she would never choose with people that are oddly familiar. An ominous shadow is stalking her. Uncomfortable memories are bubbling dangerously close to her fracturing world, propelling her to an inevitable collision between fantasy and reality. Is this the mother of all hangovers or is something bigger happening?

To introduce his book, "The History Major", Michael Phillip Cash is generously giving away a signed copy of his new book along with a $200 Amazon gift card to one reader.
Enter in the Rafflecopter below for your chance. 

Connect with Michael on:

Disclosure: This giveaway was arranged on behalf of  Michael Phillip Cash by Away We Go Media. Reading Authors was asked to promote this giveaway and received compensation for the post.
The giveaway begins at Midnight, CST on December 28, 2015 and ends Midnight CST on January 12, 2016.  The giveaway is open to U.S. only.
There will be only winner for a signed copy of above book and $200 Amazon gift card. Winner will be chosen at random by All entries will be verified.  Winner must respond to an email sent within 48 hours or forfeit prize and an alternate will be drawn.
NOTE: Prize may take up to 4-6 weeks to receive.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, December 19, 2015

#Review: Santa's Time Off by Santa on behalf of Bill Maynard/Illustrated by Tom Browning Guest Review!

My daughter, Natasha. is guest posting for this review. The review opinions are completely her own and yes, this is her first book review and yes, she is funny!

Have you ever wondered what Santa does when he's all finished checking his list and delivering toys? Perhaps, like most people, he needs a little rest and relaxation. Of course he does, and now you can see just what Santa is up to once his annual duties are done. The well-rounded Santa is off with his elves, making merry on beaches and boats and on fairways and slopes. 

Natasha's review:

Sorry. I rate the book a 5. The stars in the galaxy came down to me as I was reading and offered inside voices to fill my head. I think it was from Pluto, but it could of been Neptune also. Anyway, they told me Santa is called Atnas there and gave me a full insight I couldn't see before. I also liked that the book was short poems, but could read as a whole book as well. That was until Knarf, voice number two, told me that I should of read it in every other page format. Anyway, I give it a 5.

The long and short of it, I loved that it was full of short poems, but yet all tied together and could be read as a whole book and still made sense.

Where to find the author:

#Review: The Knights Before Christmas by Joan Holub/Illustrated by Scott Magoon

This parody of Clement Clarke Moore's well-known poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas is kid-friendly, clever, and just plain silly―sure to become a holiday classic of a different kind.

My review:
I have given no secret to the fact that I adore this author and her books. This little gem just gave me a good chuckle. She has taken the traditional telling of "The Night Before Christmas" and turned it with a poetic twist of laughter.

The three very good Knights with funny names defend the castle, that also has a funny name, from the likes of an invader. Who would this invader with the "dragons" be? Well, I am sure you might guess.  Their fight to defend is downright hilarious with the sugar plums, and other things flying back and forth. Oh, how I wish I could tell you, but that would ruin it for you if I did. 

I also loved seeing the cartoon-ish pop up bubbles that tell what each knight is thinking. Of course these little bits are Christmas sayings or song related.

The author is so good at what she does and obviously can see a good bit of humor in everything. She manages to get the feel of what children would think is funny in every book she writes. This book is no exception!

The illustrator was also able to envision what the author was going for. His large, somewhat exaggerated characters enhanced what was already a great book. The colors are muted to give the feel of medieval times and yet has spots of Christmas colors that you would expect from such a book.

You would be amiss if you did not get a copy of this book. 5 stars and a HO HO HO!

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book in exchange 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:

Joan Holub

Amazon | Goodreads | Facebook

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Review: Can You See What I See? Night Before Christmas by Walter Wick #Scholastic #ISpyBooks

Scenes from Clement Moore's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas inspire twelve elegant and fascinating compositions where readers search for dozens of intriguing hidden objects.

The first photograph, "The Night Before Christmas," features a gingerbread house, Christmas cookies, candles, bulbs, and more. "Visions of Sugarplums" is an abstract composition of Christmas confections; and "Such a Clatter!" is a dynamic explosion of objects. In "It Must Be Saint Nick," Santa is shown in shadow; and in "A Bundle of Toys," the presents in Santa's sack are revealed as a magnificent jumble. The final photograph, "Happy Christmas to All" is a beautiful, pastoral landscape, lustrous under new-fallen snow. 

My review:
As I do with all the book reviews I do, I look up the author to see what makes him/her tick and what other books he/she may have written. In this case, I found out that the author has photographed and collaborated with another author  on everyone of the "I Spy" books there are out there. That in itself is awesome.

This book takes the traditional telling of "The Night Before Christmas" and breaks it into pages of fun-filled toys and games to look for. The objects on each page are cleverly arranged so that the reader has to go on a "hunt" of sorts. This is no surprise if you have read any other "I Spy" books. 

The photographs are clear and concise. Each page has large photographs with traditional Christmas colors in the background. I had a bit of a hard time finding items but the fun of this book is looking at it over and over.  The pages are two spread with one giving clues as to what to look for. 

Finally, the end pages have the story of the "Night Before Christmas" which to me is a nice touch.
The weirdest thing I found about this book is that some pages are upside down until I got about half way through the book. I am not sure if this was intentional or accidental, either way, it makes the book that much more fun!

Oh, and one more thing, this book is from Scholastic books, so I can be reassured it is worth children to look at and read.

5 Stars!

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book for my own collections. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may not reflect yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:


Monday, December 14, 2015

KID LIT BLOG HOP-December 2015 #KLBH #KidLitHop

Hello! Welcome to the December 2015 Kid Lit Blog Hop. This exciting, now monthly hop,  is where we develop an engaged group of people who love everything that has to do with children's literature. Everyone is welcome to join us: bloggers, authors, publicist, and publishers!

Simply make a post and add it to the linky. (Please make sure to add your direct post only) If you are an author, feel free just to link to your blog.
Once you are done, then hop around to visit others. Please follow the co-host and visit at least the two people above your link. Please leave a comment when you do visit, we all like those.
Also, it would be appreciated if you grab the Kid Lit Blog Hop Badge and display it on your blog and/or your post.

We want to welcome a new co-host to the blog hop, Ann from Hits and Misses. Welcome, Ann, it is great to have you on board! 
Our next hop will be January, 20, 2016. The hostess will be around to see you. Happy Hopping!

Reading Authors, Hostess

Julie Grasso, Author 

Cheryl Carpinello, Author 


Pragmatic Mom

The Logonauts

A Book Long Enough

Spark and Pook

Hits and Misses

***This time around I am featuring a cute little book all about a snow family. Review HERE.
Enjoy the holidays wherever you may be. Stop back by again for a few more reviews through the end of December. Thanks for being here. ***

Saturday, December 12, 2015

#Review: The Snowbelly Family of Chillyville Inn by Cheryl Hawkinson/Illustrator Mike Esberg #HallmarkBooks

"It's holiday time at the Chillyville Inn, and the Snowbelly family is in quite a spin..." Every year the Snowbelly family open their inn to frosty holiday travelers. This spirited story tells how their bustling preparations this season go a little differently than planned...

My review:
This is a cute little rhyming book that tells the tale of a snowman family. Who doesn't like a snowman tale after all? I love how they are doing what many families do when getting ready for the holidays. This family is also getting ready to greet guest as they are the owners of an inn.

I found it humorous to see what the Snowbelly children and their pets get into when they go to help Grandma. Of course, I cannot tell you that or it would give most of the book away. Trust me, it is what ends up making this book cute.

The rhyming in the book is ok, but the illustrations are awesome. With colorful pinks and blues, and of Christmas-y colors throughout, this makes for the perfect companion to a cold night and a cup of hot chocolate.

Oh, and one more thing, this book is from the Hallmark series of books, so you and I can be assured it is a book that is wholesome enough for the whole family to enjoy.

I give the book 4 stars and a brrrr.

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

Where to find the author:

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Special Post-Inquisitive Mind Wants To Know

,If you have not figured out by now, I have a great love of reading and writing too. I was wondering what kinds of books do you like to read?  Comment below daily with either the book name or a link to the book. No links to blogs please.
All I ask is that if you do comment daily to leave a different book each day. ~Naila Moon