Tuesday, January 26, 2016

#Review: Crazy Horse's Vision by Joseph Bruchac/Illustrated by S.D. Nelson #ReadYourWorld #MCCBD

Crazy Horse is among the best known Native American heroes. Yet many people do not know his boyhood name was Curly, inspired by his curly hair.
Curly was a leader even as a young boy, taming wild horses and hunting powerful buffalo. But all his bravery could not prepare him for the trouble he and the other Lakota Indians would face with the white settlers. Wanting to help his people after a fierce battle that mortally wounded Chief Conquering Bear, Curly defied traditional custom and risked his own life by running away, up to the hills, to seek a vision.
Renowned Abenaki author Joseph Bruchac tells a gripping and compelling story of how the dedicated young boy, Curly, grows into the brave warrior Crazy Horse.

My review:
As with many other people I have heard or at least known about the legend of Crazy Horse and his fierce battles. I especially have know about the Battle of Little Big Horn with Custer's defeat. 

What I did not know was Crazy Horse had another name given to him as a child or the fact his adult name was actually after his father, Tashunka Witco. "Crazy Horse" is the English translation of his name and most well know. The origins of names always fascinate me.

I was impressed to find out the many things about Crazy Horse that lead him to the person he is known as today. I will not reveal all but one most impressive was that he was actually a very gentle man among his people. That is a truly different picture of the man, isn't it?

The book was fantastic in itself but the added illustrations are top notch. The pictures, according to the illustrator, whom writes in the back of the book, were all done with acrylics on wood. He did them in the traditional style of ledger books from the Lakota people using the same colors the nation would use. To me, that adds to the authenticity of the book.

This book is without a doubt a 5 star book for me. The book also won the Parent's Choice Gold Award and should be on all children's books shelves.

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. 
**This book review is part of Multicutural Children's Book Day. For more information about the day and its sponsors see below.**

Where to find the author:

Activities to go along with this book:
1. Have children research the meaning of their name and Lakota alphabet symbols. Taking colored pencil and lined paper, have the individual child draw symbols that they think represent their name. Find More HERE and HERE

2. Talk about visions. What does it mean? Have children write a dream that they have had and illustrate it.

3. Talk about how Crazy Horse was very brave. Ask children how they think they are brave. Find out about others who might be brave. 

4. Have children research about the Lakota Nation. What does their name mean? Have them tell another person about them. If possible, visit a Pow Wow and seek out the Lakota people. Listen to their stories.


Monday, January 25, 2016

#Review: Fraud, Fraudsters, and Scams: What to Watch for on Instagram by Ian Leaf #IanLeaf

With the world around us changing at a seemingly breakneck pace and technological advancements radically altering the manner in which we communicate and do business with each other, far too many people are falling prey to fraudsters who understand all too well how to take advantage of our rapidly changing world. Ian Leaf’s newest work focuses on addressing this important issue by demonstrating how people can utilize new and innovative social media platforms like Instagram without placing themselves at risk of being scammed in some unforeseen way. 

My review:
When I first got this book, I was intrigued by the title. I have been using Instagram awhile and was curious as to how you could get scammed in Instagram. Was this really possible?

As it turns out, I feel like the title of this book was fraudulent. This is not to say that Mr. Leaf meant it to be that way but I do think it is misleading. The fact is, this book is about setting up Instagram for business so that the businesses do not mislead the consumer. In essence, it is a how to book.

I read the book but really felt this was not for me. I am pretty knowledgeable of how Instagram works, what hashtags are, and how to use other social media along with Instagram. Truth is, I would probably be asking for my money back right now if I had bought this book but alas, I didn't.

So, the question remains, is it a good book? Well, yes if you are starting out a business and want to do things right or have no knowledge of Instagram or other social media, then this one is for you. Or in my mind, at least a good start.

It is also good that this book is short by a mere 47 pages. If it had been longer, it would not be a perfect door stop. In truth, I think the author could have even made it shorter but maybe he couldn't to call it a book.

In spite of it all, I still see this as an ok book for the beginner company who wants to utilize Instagram, therefore, I give it 3 stars.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book for my open and honest opinion. I will be given a small compensation for my time which has no bearing on my review. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may not reflect yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Hello! Welcome to the January 2016  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.

NOTE: This month is the annual Multicultural Children's Book Day which takes place on January 27th. Please stop by and see the reviews and projects from bloggers all over the world. Want to know more? Go HERE!

***I am glad to have you all here. I am very excited to be a part of the Multicultural Children's Book Day once again. This is a great effort and one that needs to continually be highlighted. All children need to see themselves in books and all children need to see books that are not like them too.

I also want to mention that on Jan. 22, it is National Reading Day. Children and adults alike gather together to read. How will you take part? Let me know in a comment. Post a photo to me of you reading together on  my Facebook.

I will be around to see you soon. ~Naila Moon**

Our next hop will be February 17,2016. 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

Hits and Misses

Monday, January 18, 2016

#WintersRespite ...and Go!

Here I am again at the beginning of an annual read-a-thon, "Winter's Respite." It is a week long read-a-thon to read novels or novellas, although, children's books are okay too as long as a novel is read.
I am not sure at this very moment what I will read because I just moved and well, my books are in between places.

So, this is my beginning post and hope everyone has a good time reading a good book. I know I will.
Hmm...maybe I should check out the library tomorrow!

Naila Moon

Friday, January 15, 2016

Review: Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth #Multicultural


Three strangers, hungry and tired, pass through a war-torn village. Embittered and suspicious from the war, the people hide their food and close their windows tight. That is, until the clever strangers suggest making a soup from stones. Intrigued by the idea, everyone brings what they have until-- together, they have made a feast fit for a king!

My review:
This is a tale I have read and heard in other forms. This story is all about learning to take care of others and being happy in what you have and can give. I have used a similar story in classroom setting with each child bringing their own thing to make classroom stone soup.

As unlikely as it would seem, I liked this different twist with the people being monks that frighten the villagers. It is the bravery of a young child that teaches the rest of the village along with the monks how to work together. Does this not make sense as so often that is exactly what children will do.

I enjoyed the somewhat muted colors and the Asian flair that was brought to the book. The expressions on the villagers faces were priceless to me. The huge over-the-top pot that the stone soup was made in was humorous.

Overall, a great book that should be read in all classrooms and maybe read to adults who could take a few notes from the tale.

5 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
Where to find the author:

Review: Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo's Saturn Surprise by Dr. Oneeka Williams/ Illustrated by Valerie Bouthyette

The rings of Saturn go round and round, Disappeared one day and could not be found. To put them back, just take a chance, And join me in the Saturn Dance! Meet Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo- 9-year-old girl Super Surgeon on the Go. Born with supernatural powers from electrical energy, she jets around the Universe fixing problems with her gifted hands. Dr. Dee Dees, and cousin Lukass, visit to the Island of Positivity Planetarium is interrupted when Gordon the Gullible Globe sounds the alarm that Saturns rings have disappeared. Dr. Dee Dee is skeptical but mobilizes her team of assistants and instruments for a mission to Saturn. Oh boy! Is she SURPRISED when she arrives at Saturn!

My review:
Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo is not your normal everyday action hero. She is young girl who lives with her mom and dad but just happens to also be a surgeon who goes and fixes planetary problems. In this case, Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo has to fix Saturn and its rings.

When she arrives, the rings are all out of whack and complaining about Saturn. They decide that they want to have their own space and moons. What is Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo to do? Well, fix it, that's what!

With the help of her medical bag friends, a grumpy Koala Bear named Kyle, and her cousin,
she manages to save the day and Saturn appreciates his rings so much better.

I loved that real up-to-date scientific evidence and terms was introduced into this book which included satellites and the moon names. Science is made fun with this book!
This book is targeted for 6-12 year olds and is aligned with Common Core for the sciences in schools. Some words are a bit difficult to pronounce and read but the author does provides a glossary reference in the back as well as words for learning. In addition, the author has added discovery questions and a math challenging page. This would be perfect for homeschoolers too.

Among the  author's goal by writing this book series was to introduce young girls in particular to the sciences and to give strong, positive role model for girls of all colors. She accomplished this quite well with sporadic bit of scientific information throughout the book. With the two books I read before, I was not sure that children could tell between fact and fiction. This time, I think the author addressed that issue quite well.

Well done and 5 stars from me.

Disclosure: I received 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 the author:


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Review: Little Red Writing by Joan Holub/ Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

An exuberant retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, in which a brave, little red pencil finds her way through the many perils of writing a story, faces a ravenous pencil sharpener (the Wolf 3000)... and saves the day.

My review:
As with many books that I have read by this author, her mind is always thinking like a child would. She sees humor in the most ordinary things, in this case, a pencil that is red.
I love this total retelling of Little Red Riding Hood.

The main character Little Red Writing takes the reader through her school as she is trying to write a story as an assignment for her class. The reader encounters all parts of writing in a fun way.
The book is cleverly illustrated in cartoonish like characters and all the class including Little Red are pencils.

I also liked the near ending which is a nice departure from some books when a "girl" character is the main character.

I think kids would enjoy the humor of the book while learning to write. I think it would be great for a bit older classroom although the book is targeted for K-3rd grades.

I give the book 5 stars.

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

Where to find the author:

Review: Shoo, Fly! You Can't Eat Here by Liller Hamilton

He must have been very hungry because... The common housefly is an unwelcome pest that will find its way into your home, school, business, and even the White House to get a meal. But the kindergarten students in Shoo, Fly! are determined not to share their well-balanced lunches with a hungry fly!

My review:
At first when I was to receive this book, I thought it might be along the lines of the song, "Shoo, Fly, Don't Bother Me," the fact of the matter is, it wasn't.
The story line was not that great at all. In fact, if anything, it was the same concept over and over, just a different child.

I got the idea that having bugs around food is not good, that kids should eat healthy food, and that we are all different, but that is where it ends and begins. I am not sure a young reader would get any of that out of reading this book. In fact, I am pretty sure the attention span of a child being read to would last about 2.5 seconds, if that long.

The illustrations were ok but mostly it was the same picture with only a slight variance to match the words on the opposite page. At least the pictures were large to semi-qualify as a picture book.

I really wish I could say I was impressed with the book as a whole, but I am not. 3 stars and that is only because of the concepts and I did not completely hate it.

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:

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Review: How Big Is A Million? by Anna Milbourne/ Illustrated by Serena Riglietti #ScholasticBooks

Pipkin the smallest penguin is always asking questions, but what he wants to know most of all is how big is a million? So he sets off to find out, and along the way meets a hundred penguins, sees a thousand snowflakes and meets one new friend before being amazed to finally find out how big a million really is.

My review:
Kids love to ask questions constantly. It is easy to ignore these questions but curiosity usually wins out. In this book, the little penguin is full of questions but his biggest is "how big is a million?" Which of course, leads the reader to the title of the book. His momma penguin allows him to explore the answer instead of giving him the answer. I liked that!

Along the way he discovers other things around his world and bigger numbers as he goes. He even finds an unlikely friend who is as curious as he. Eventually, he makes his way back home to discover his answer. Of course I will not divulge what that is but I found it to be simply perfect. I will say though that apparently, there are exactly 1 million but I did not count them. *wink*

This is a cute book to help children learn larger numbers and to discover things for themselves.
The Illustrators pictures were good but I felt did not necessarily add to the book. That could have been intentional though, as this was not the premise of the book to begin with.
4 stars.

This book can be found with the Scholastic books collections.

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

Where to find the author:

Review: I Know A Wee Piggy by Kim Norman/Illustrations by Henry Cole #DollyPartonImaginationLibrary

A fun day at the fair becomes color chaos when one boy's energetic pig gets loose. Upside down, piggy wallows in brown, but that's only the beginning of this cumulative, rhyming text. Soon, he's adding a rinse of red (tomatoes), a wash of white (milk), a pinch of pink (cotton candy), and many more. Can piggy be caught before he turns the whole fair upside down?

My review:
I really loved the fact that the pig in the story starts out clean but then gets away from his owner to cause all sorts of havoc at a county fair. What to do? This is an awesome and fun way to teach kid's colors as well as rhyming.

The first time I read this book, I laughed out loud along with my grandchild as the pig found different colors to add to his body. The over-the-top illustrations just added to the overall humor of the book.

I also loved the rhyming was done in homage to the book, "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly" and yet, the author found her own niche. It was fun to pause at the end of a sentence before flipping the pages to find out a new color.

The ending was simply a blast at an already fun book.
To make this book even better, if that is at all possible, this book is part of  Dolly Parton's Imagination Library that provides books free of charge to children birth to age 5.

5 stars!

Disclosure: This book was received from Dolly Parton's Imagination Library for free. The views expressed are my own and may not reflect yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Review: Alexander and the Wind Up Mouse by Leo Lionni #Caldecottt

Summary: Everyone loves Willy the wind-up mouse, while Alexander the real mouse is chased away with brooms and mousetraps. Wouldn't it be wonderful to be loved and cuddled, thinks Alexander, and he wishes he could be a wind-up mouse too. 

My review:
It is not uncommon that we human beings want to be like someone else or even someone else altogether. We envy Hollywood stars and celebrities of all kinds. Sometimes we even want to be another family member because we think their life is better.
That is what happens with Alexander, an ordinary mouse. He thinks being a wind-up mouse would be so much better but his in the end, just as he begins to change, he realizes that his friendship with WIlly is grander than his own. In a nutshell, this book is first about enjoying who you really are and also about friendship. I enjoyed the story line of this book and thought it was a cute way for the author to show friendship can mean everything.

This book was also a Caldecott medal winner which means it is great literature for children. That is a win for me. I am only saddened that this author is no longer here with us as he wrote many great books for children of which a few were winners. This book should be on every child's shelf.

5 stars!

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book for my own collections. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Monday, January 11, 2016

2015 Wrap-up & Plans for 2016 Challenges

I really have not had the chance to wrap up 2015 on this blog or truly begin 2016. Some things just went a little haywire at the end of 2015 for me so, now I can ease into this a bit better.

Anyway, in 2015 I took on a few reading challenges, Here are my results:

Goodreads Reading Challenge: I ended up reading 99 of the 104 books I planned to read. That was like right at the finish line and getting second place. I shall prevail this year!

The Oddity Challenge (with The Bookshelf Gargoyle): I managed to blow this one out of the water. There were only 6 categories and I did all of those and then some. That was fun!

The Net Galley Challenge: I seriously stunk at this one. I read so many hard/soft cover books that reading on my Kindle or (shudder) PDF is simply not the thing I generally do.  I did read a few titles and have some in cue for 2016. I will unlikely do the challenge again.

What's In A Name Challenge (with The Book Worm Hole): I did really well with this one too. Again, there were 6 categories and I finished 5.

Reading Local Heroes Challenge: I failed this one miserably. I just did not work hard enough to read local heroes. Part of my challenge here was that I moved states after I had begun one state. I did manage to get one good book read for this challenge but that was it.

Moving on into 2016, I have planned a few challenges for reading but not as many. I want to read because I like to and I like to review, not because I am in some challenge. Having said that, this is what I have planned thus far:

Goodreads Reading Challenge: I have decided to lessen the books to 75 this year. If I do more (which is likely) then great!

Reading Local Heroes: I am not sure this is an actual challenge this year, but I am going to attempt to do 3-5. I will have to do a bit of research.

Title Fight Reading Challenge: This one is being hosted by The Bookshelf Gargoyle. I was not sure if I was going to take this one on this year. However, heck, why not?

So, that is it for now. If something else comes along that I like, I may or may not do them too.

~Naila Moon

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Review & #Giveaway: The History Major by Michael Phillip Cash

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?

My review:
As I was a History major in college, I thought reading Michael Phillip Cash's newest novella book would be interesting. I was correct and wrong at the same time. Yes, his book was interesting but even more so down right thought provoking.

As usual, the author weaved bits of history into his book which you would expect from such a title but the history was a far cry from Long Island where many of his stories have taken place. The main character development was so craftily handled in such a way that at times, it was hard to distinguish between present reality and past history. I kept wondering how all these characters fit together.

As I said, it took me some time to understand what exactly was happening and left me on the edge of my seat at every page turn. The ending was a stunner and left me still questioning, "What if..."
The whole book was meant to learn from History in order to not make the same mistakes now.
I suppose the whole questions begs, "Have we?" "Will we?"

This is not the usual paranormal book I have come to enjoy from Michael Phillip Cash. It was quite a departure and I did like it very much. 5 stars.

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book for my own collections. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon
Would you like to win a copy of this book? Simply enter in the Rafflecopter below.

Where to find the author:

Giveaway Rules: 
You MUST enter your mailing address as the first entry but this entry will not be a sole entry to win, you must enter at least one more entry. The giveaway is open from Jan. 3-Jan. 18, 2015. The giveaway is open to U.S. only. There will be only one winner chosen at random by Rafflecopter. org. All entries will be verified. The author is responsible for giveaway. Naila Moon of Reading Authors has received no compensation for this post. 

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