Saturday, April 30, 2016

#Review: Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham/Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

Zebra thinks the alphabet should be simple. A is for Apple. B is for Ball. Easy! But his friend Moose is too excited to wait his turn, and when M isn't for Moose (Mouse gets the honor), the rest of the letters better run for cover. Exuberant and zany storytelling brings to life two friends and one laugh-out-loud comedy of errors that's about friendship, sharing, and compromise.

My review:
In essence this a simple alphabet book. Well, it is supposed to be. However, as the summary suggest Moose gets left out. He is sad, hurt, and down right mad. I had to chuckle as Moose appearance began almost immediately but when it was his laughter.

This book was truly a different take on an alphabet picture book with funny characters and laugh out loud words. Young kids will love this. The illustrations are simple line drawings but fill the entire page with muted colors. You have to check this one out!
4 stars.
Disclosure: I picked up a copy of this book from my local library. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Friday, April 22, 2016

Kid Lit Blog Hop April 2016 #Linkup #KidLitHop #KLBH, #A-ZChallenge

Hello! Welcome to the April 2016  Kid Lit Blog Hop. This month, I am asking you to go back through all of the posts I have made for the month of April. With the exception of a couple post, each and every one is a review for a children's book. I have found some really great literature and shared them. Some are surprisingly funny, including one from a well-known star. Several of the books I purchased for my collections, others I utilized the local library. Hope you enjoy them. I will come by to see you soon! 

This exciting,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 related to Children’s literature 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 would also be grateful if you tweet about the blog hop. Let’s grow this wonderful community.

Our next hop will be May 17, 2016. The hostess will be around to see you. Happy Hopping! ~Naila Moon

Reading Authors, Hostess

Julie Grasso

Cheryl Carpinello


Pragmatic Mom

The Logonauts

A Book Long Enough

Hits and Misses

#Review: Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family's Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh #Multicultural

Almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a “Whites only” school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California.

My review:

Before the Brown vs. Board of Education, which is well known to me, there was the Mendez family who fought for equality in the schools. I find it awful that such things have even taken place in this country, although, I know it has.

I applaud people like the Mendez's who fought for their children to have good education. All children deserve to have the same opportunities. This story follows them from the time the children were rejected right through the court case and back to the school.

I should not be, but I was amazed at the bigotry provided by the school, especially when the children were present at the case. Again, I question why?

In the back of the book, there is an update by the author, photographs of the real people involved, a glossary, and bibliography.

The illustrations in the book were simple line drawing and added to the feel. The colors were muted blues, browns, reds, and greens. I thought it was interesting that none of the character's faces were faced forward but always sideways. Was this a statement in itself? Perhaps.

Overall, I think this is a book that should be read to all children and the case should be brought to the public more as this was just the beginning of children's right to school. 

5 stars! Note: This book has received at least two rewards but I was not able to find which ones for my review.

Disclosure: I picked up a copy of this book at my local library to read and review. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

#Review: People by Peter Spier #Multicultural

My review:
As the title suggests, this book is all about people. People of every nation, people around the world, people of every color and creed. I love this book because it takes an in depth look of how we all live, dress, worship, play, and enjoy life without prejudice.

The book gives children an idea of how being different is ok. However, it does not shy away from the fact that when we are different, that other people may not like us but, it is still ok to be the way we are. The author shows us that in our differences we are still all human beings, we are born as babies and die at some point.

The colors of this book are amazing:blues, reds,yellows, greens, and browns. The illustrations are all pen drawn with the colors added. This adds to the whole feel of the book and once again, highlights the title, "People".

The author has been awarded several awards for the book and it is without a doubt deserving of my 5 stars. This should be in every home, library, and classroom.

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

Where to find the author:


Monday, April 18, 2016

#Review: Octopus Hug by Laurence Pringle/Illustrated by Kate Salley Palmer #Multicultural

When Mom goes out for the evening, Becky and Jesse start to bicker. But then Dad gives them an octopus hug, and the house is soon rocking with laughter.

My review:
This is a great book for kids that need time with their dads. The book shows a dad who takes responsibility for his children while mom goes out for the night. When the children start fussing, he makes up all sorts of games that get the kids interacting with him and laughing the whole way.

I felt this was a good book for dads to read to his children and maybe even have fun as they read. I loved that it put good dads in a great spotlight; as often times I think really good dads whether they are present in the home or not, get seen as no good or responsible.

The illustrations are done in pencil color on a white background. The imagination games are seen in muted colors in the background.

Kudos and 5 stars for making a nice multicultural-ed picture book.

Disclosure: I obtained this book from my local library. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Saturday, April 16, 2016

#Review: Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta / Illustrated by Ed Young #atozchallenge

Late at night, when all is quiet and everyone is asleep, a ninja creeps silently through the house in search of treasure. Soon he reaches his ultimate goal...and gets a big surprise! Will the nighttime ninja complete his mission?

My review:
The title of this book caught my attention which is why I purchased it without really looking through it. I usually at least do a quick flip. If I had done so, I would have known this is essentially a picture book with very few words. The book is targeted for kids 4-7 but in truth, I think it is more 2-5 and only that high in age because an emerging reader could handle it.

The book starts out really cute, as the reader has to turn the book sideways to the first two pages, to see black and gray ninjas coming down the page. One appears largely on the second page.
The book then has a myriad of  pages with this ninja making different moves and being very stealth.

He finally gets to his goal which is in the kitchen but gets stopped at the most unlikely character. I will not reveal what he is after or who stops him because well, it would ruin the entire story.

I have to say, I was really not impressed with this book. I thought there could have been so much more writing done to make it even cuter. Also, the artwork was done with paper cuttings which are fine but when the artist put the pages together, I could see the white lines of the pages and could tell it was not put together well. That was unfortunate. I think it would have been better with another form of artwork

I will give this book 3 stars but only because the premise is cute and young kids might like it. The author had a good idea but, it just went sour. It is not one I personally would reread. 

Disclosure: I purchased 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:

Friday, April 15, 2016

#Review: Maya's Mural by Lucia Gomez / Illustrated by Lorraine Sylvestri #DiverseBooks #atozchallenge #multicultural

My review:
This is the story of Maya who was diagnosed with polio as a young girl during the time of polio outbreaks in the 1930's. The story opens post-polio times, three years later, with Maya sitting at the window watching other kids head off to the pool.

Maya had an internal conflict as the other children seemingly are afraid of her. Through her homeschool studies,she learns about an artist named Diego Rivera who paints large murals of his Mexican culture. Maya convinces her parents to paint murals on her fence outside.

In time, children as well as adults, learn about Maya and come to appreciate her talents. Through her murals, they learn that Maya is much more that just "the polio girl."  Maya gains confidence that she lost and learns to make new friends and regain some old.

I liked that this book showed someone with a disability as more than just her disability. Those people are just people that have thoughts, feelings, and dreams just like anyone else, they want to be included. I also liked that those who did not have a disability worked at knowing Maya by asking her questions, even the hard ones, and looked at her work .

The book ended on a positive outcome which is not always the case in real life but none-the-less this time, it worked for me.  I give the book 4 stars.

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

NOTE: As with all books, I research on Amazon and Goodreads to give credit to the author where credit is due. I was only able to find this book on Amazon ( I added it to Goodreads)but there was no photo of the author, no summary was attached and can only be purchased through third parties. The book was apparently a book created as part of the Macmillan-McGraw-Hill instructional books to teach reading. 
My review will still be able to be found on Amazon and Goodreads.

#Review: Little Beaver's Gift by Janet Cassidy / Illustrated by Marni Backer #atozchallenge #Multicultural #NativeAmerican #DiverseBooks

My review:

This book tells the tale of Benny, the smallest boy in 5th grade and scouting. He is bullied by another boy who is much bigger and popular. The boys go on a Scout trip which results in Benny hiding from the other boys in a cave where he cannot be seen. Benny discovers an inner cave that seems to be inhabited. This leads to the discovery of a boy named Little Bear and friendship and growth emerge.

I liked this book because Little Bear teaches Benny about another culture as he shares food and life skills with him. Benny learns to be confident through the help of Little Bear and his family. He learns that friendships go both ways and that different people can learn from each other.
In the end, Benny can stand up to his bully.

Although this book is a work of fiction, I learned a little about the real native nation, the Lenape of which Little Beaver was from. This is a nation that I was unfamiliar with and the book compelled me to learn about them as I am sure it would children reading the book.

The illustrations in this book were dark browns, muted reds and yellows. The characters faces were either non-existent, which played on a  pseudo dream sequence throughout the book, or exaggerated to still not give facial features.

I did think the book ended abruptly but this did not take away from the overall feel and messages of the story.

It is my hope that children who may get the chance to read the book get the running themes. I give this book 4 stars.

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

NOTE: As with all books, I research on Amazon and Goodreads to give credit to the author where credit is due. I was only able to find this book on Amazon but there was no photo of the book or author, no summary was attached and can only be purchased through third parties. The book was apparently a "spotlight book" that were created as part of the Macmillan-McGraw-Hill instructional books to teach vocabulary. This is unfortunate as the book should now be in the hands of children in the new millennium. My review will still be able to be found on Amazon.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

#Review: Knots On A Counting Rope by Bill Martin Jr. & John Archambault/Illustrated by Ted Rand #Multicultural #Native American #ReadingRainbowBooks #atozchallenge

In this poignant story, the counting rope is a metaphor for the passage of time and for a boy's emerging confidence in facing his blindness.

My review:
I generally do not read a summary of a book until after I have actually read the book. I am glad I did not do that with this particular book because it gave me the element of surprise.

This book features two Native American Indians, an elder, and his grandson, sitting around a campfire. The elder begins telling the story of the young boys birth and growth, a story that the grandson has heard many times but wishes it to be told again.

As the story progresses, the tale gets more fantastic. The boy grows strong and faces obstacles of "the darkness" but overcomes them through the strength of his name and tenacity. The young boy has great reliance on his grandfather but his grandfather knows that his young grandson will make it on his own.

This story was simply beautiful and told how someone that may be born with a disability can still live a strong life and still do many things, just differently. I loved the meaning behind the counting rope!

The illustrations were done boldly and in darker muted colors to represent the blindness of the boy but also the telling of the story at night. The illustrations took up the majority of the pages with the telling of the story off to one side. Great addition!

I would encourage anyone to have this book for their own collections and to be in all classrooms. To make this even more fantastic, this book was also selected as a Reading Rainbow book and featured on that show.

5 stars and another knot on the rope!

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

Where to find the authors:

Unfortunately, author Bill Martin Jr. passed away in 2004.

Bill Martin Jr.-Amazon
John Archambault-Amazon
Bill Martin Jr.-Goodreads
John Archambault-Goodreads

Monday, April 11, 2016

#Review: Jay Leno:If Roast Beef Could Fly #atozchallenge #audio

Little Jay's mom is maniacally thrifty, his dad is extravagant, and little Jay always seems to be caught in the middle. So when Jay's dad decides that his next big "project" is going to be an ENORMOUS barbecue patio, the only way it's going to happen is if Jay, their neighbors, and Bruce, the laziest dog in America, help him out.
When the party to launch the patio arrives, there's more food than anyone could eat, and at the center is a HUGE roast beef that Jay would do anything to get a taste of. No one will notice if he sneaks a bite, will they? That is, until Jay's secret plan backfires!
What is Jay's secret weapon to sample a bit of the roast beef? Will he keep his dad from finding out? And finally, what could make a roast beef fly?

My review:
This book is a twist on a remembered Summer that Jay Leno had with his Dad and family. Everything was done largely on one side of his family, while the other side, was much more conservative. Reading about how Jay and his Dad took the entire Summer to build the bbq was funny enough. However, reading how he managed to get a taste, that is laugh out loud.

So, how is it the roast beef flew? Well, that is the twist in the story that you just have to read. I can tell you, though, Jay's taste buds managed to get him in a whole lot of hot water with his Dad and never getting another taste or for that matter, his family either!

The illustrations are done in large cartoonish characters, which from someone like Jay Leno, does not surprise me. The illustrations add to the book which makes it that much more fun.

This book also comes with an audio CD of Jay Leno reading the book. Although I did not listen, I without a doubt, figure it to be funny.

I give this book 4 stars.

Disclosure: I obtained a copy of this book at my local library. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Sunday, April 10, 2016

#Review:(The) Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig / Illustrated by Patrice Barton #atozchallenge #bullying

Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until that is, a new kid comes to class.

When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine.

My review:
When I was younger, I knew at times what it felt like to be invisible. I got picked last for games, last to be invited, last to be on the inside joke (if at all) and last to feel like the special one.  It happened a lot when I was a kid to not only me but others too, sometimes worse for the others. Today, we would call it bullying.

This is essentially what the premise of the book is about, how one boy is never on the receiving end. As the book begins, the boy is invisible in color to everyone around him, including his teacher. He feels small and is in his own world. 

A new boy enters the picture about mid-way through the book and even though "invisible" the boy welcomes this newcomer and in turns becomes a friend and eventually noticed. As the book progresses, the coloring of the boy becomes clearer.

I like the way the book was illustrated and overall, the book shows what the disenfranchised can feel like. However, I would not go so far as saying this would be the best book for the topic of bullying, but still one to read that gets, at least, half the point across. This book was written primarily for first graders and I think they would get it.

Overall, I can safely give this book a four-star review.

Disclosure: I obtained this book from my local library. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:


This post is linked up to Monday's Musings book post.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

#Review: Hillary Rodham Clinton: Some Girls Are Just Born To Lead by Michelle Markel / Illustrated by LeUyen Pham #atozchallenge


In the 1950s, it was a man’s world. Girls weren’t supposed to act smart, tough, or ambitious. Even though, deep inside, they may have felt that way. And then along came Hillary. Brave, brilliant, and unstoppable, she was out to change the world.
They said a woman couldn’t be a mother and a lawyer. Hillary was both. They said a woman shouldn’t be too strong or too smart. Hillary was fearlessly herself.
It didn’t matter what people said—she was born to lead.
My review:
Aside from whatever political leanings you or I have, this book is not only cute but timely. Girls need to know that they can be strong and lead in whatever capacity they want, president of the student body or President of the United States. Girls can dream to be anything.

When Hillary Clinton was a young lady, these things did not seem to exist for someone like her or any young girl but she made it happen and girls today can too. This is the story of how HillaryClinton grew up and did many things and still is making things happen today for herself. To this day, she encourages women all around the world to stand up and be counted.

This book is up-to-date and includes a timeline right up to 2015 when she announced her candidacy for President. My favorite is the one with Hillary Clinton and world doers and leaders.The illustrator includes notes in the back of the myriad of photos and articles she read in order to get correct drawings of Hillary Clinton.

I think this is a great book and I give it a 5 stars review.

Disclosure: I obtained this book from my local library. The view expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:


Friday, April 8, 2016

#Review: Grace For President by Kelly DiPucchio/ Illustrated by LeUyen Pham #atozchallenge #Presidents #Elections

"Where are the girls?"
When Grace's teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first. And she immediately starts off her political career as a candidate in the school's mock election!

My review:
When I was in high school, we held a mock election for then President Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale. We had all the states represented and electoral votes to be cast. The "candidates" had been campaigning for a bout a week.

I like this book because back when I was still in high school, there was never a second thought that a woman could run for President moreover possibly win.

This is essentially what this cute book is about, the electoral process but with one difference, one of the candidates is a girl name Grace. She becomes a candidate when she asks why there are no women Presidents. She runs against Thomas, a popular boy from another class. She finds out that the process to become President is not always easy.

How timely this book seems!

Even though the book was written in 2008, the illustrations of our current President is missing. This would be because he had not been elected yet and he was running against...a woman! None-the-less, I liked the bold and colorful pictures, each as expressive as the next. I also liked that the children were obviously from multiple ethnic groups of varying heights and sizes. Grace herself is African American which I think at least gives a nice nod to our current President Obama.

Will Grace win? Will the electoral college give them all her votes or will it be a close race? Grab a copy of this book and find out.

5 red, white, and blue stars for this book!

Disclosure: I obtained a copy of this book at the local library. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

#Review: A Flag For the Flying Dragon by Carole P. Roman/Illustrated by Bonnie Lemaire #Giveaway #CarolePRomanBooks #atozchallenge

It's business as usual on the Flying Dragon. Their mission is to find a flag for the ship. Captain No Beard sighs, "Being a captain is hard work," as he watches the busy crew preparing the vessel for their next adventure. 

Polly is giving out pretzels; Linus is polishing a lamp. Matie is cracking coconuts, Cayla is stuffing holes, and Hallie is swabbing the deck. High overhead, trouble is brewing, and it is not the weather. 

Mongo does not want any help from the newest crew member, and it is creating a hurricane of a mess on board. 

The team must come together and find a task that will fit Zachary without interfering with their own fun. On the way, they acquire a flag that will unite them as both friends and crew.

Join the problem-solving crew of the Flying Dragon as they find a flag for their ship and a job for Zach.

My review:

As with all books that I have read from the Captain No Beard Series, the author has a lesson to tell. Working together for the common good is the key here.

This time, the crew is working on finding the newest member, and Grandson of the author, Zach, a job. At the same time, Captain No Beard is wishing for a brand new crew flag. What is a captain to do when his crew is upset and there is a problem? Work it out!

In the end, after a few mishaps, the crew manages to find Zach the perfect job and the perfect flag! What is it you say? Well, my readers, you would just have to get a copy of the book and find out.

I love this series and I am certainly a fan of this author. I love the tales and lessons each book brings. The illustrations always bring a liveliness to the books which make each book a lovely work of art as well as a good story.

Another 5 stars from me for this author!
Would you like to win your own copy of this book? Simply enter in the Giveaway Tools below and good luck!

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

ABOUT THE GIVEAWAY: The giveaway is open internationally. However, if the winner is outside of the U.S. there will only be a Kindle copy given to that winner. The giveaway will run from April 7, 2016 at 1AM CST-April 21, 2016 at 5AM CST. Carole P. Roman is responsible for the prize shipment. Please allow up to 4 weeks for prize to be shipped. If you have won this book previously, you will not be eligible. Winner must submit their mailing address (if inside the U.S.) or email for outside the U.S. upon receipt of an email notifying them as a winner. Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or an alternate winner will be drawn. All entries will be verfied and winner is drawn at random by Giveaway Tools.

Where to find the author:


#Review: Emergency! by Joy Masoff #ScholasticBooks #atozchallenge

Discusses all aspects of emergency medicine including the medical personnel and equipment needed to successfully help the patient.

My review:
I found this book to be an excellent source for children or even adults who might be interested int the medical field. The author takes a first hand look at every aspect there may be when an emergency happens. She breaks down each piece of the puzzle so that the reader gets a good glimpse of what it takes to help out people when things go wrong.

The photos included in the book show real-life emergency workers as they are doing their jobs: 911 dispatchers, EMT, fire personnel, nurses, and lab technicians. They also show machines, medicines, and items needed. There are also historical photos that show people of old who helped doctor others even when there was no modern medicines or equipment to be had.

The author includes other ways for people to get help when it is needed: Bicycle Red Cross teams, Doctors Beyond Borders, MASH units, and doctors flying planes is just a few of those mentioned.

As I said, a good book of information if anyone wants to know about Emergencies. I give this book 5 stars.

Disclosure: I obtained this book from my local library. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

#Review: Dream:Clarify and Create What You Want by Marcia Wieder #Giveaway @marciawieder @iReadBookTours #adultnonfiction #selfhelp #PersonalDevelopment #Dreams #atozchallenge

Do you dare to dream? If so, you are a results-oriented person. Dream is designed to help you both transform your own life and contribute to making the world a better place. Dreaming is something you do—or should do.

You were created to create, and your ability to dream is paramount and fundamental when it comes to living a dream-come-true life. Dream will help you design a life that is the highest expression of your purpose by creating dreams in every area that matters to you, both personally and professionally.

This book will help you take real steps toward creating and achieving the dreams that matter to you most. It will help you to uncover, or recover, your purpose so that you can live with purpose—and there’s nothing that will bring you greater fulfillment.

Reading this book will help you to fully understand:

• Who you really are
• How you want your life to be
• How to develop dreams that inspire you
• How to look at your life with a fresh perspective
• How to remove fear, doubt, or other obstacles
• How to implement shortcuts and the techniques you will learn

​Dream will teach you exactly how to do these and so much more.

My review:
In the past, I have dreamt big things for myself. I have also wanted for small things too. I wanted to be a teacher, an author, a business owner, a mother.
The author says all of these things big or small are dreams, the things we want for ourselves. The problem for almost all of us is achieving those dreams. How do we do it? 

The author shows us step by step how we can achieve anything we desire to be but she begins by telling us that we need to heal first. She calls these our sacred wounds. By acknowledging those wounds and healing them by turning them to a positive, we break through and remove those things that are holding us back and gives us new perspectives. We see our worth!

One of the best lines I found in the book was this, "You are valuable, even priceless, your life is meaningful, and what you say, think, or do truly does matter."

That one line alone gave me a new reason to want to continue pursuing my dreams and to live with passion. To know I matter in a world that does not seem to care, that makes a huge difference. I matter and so do you!

The author illustrates through her own life that once you understand that you matter and you have a new perspective in life, then you start or renew your belief in your dreams. She tells us that you must believe, make room, and cultivate those dreams for them to become reality. More importantly, never ever give up.

The author is a life coach and has helped many celebrities and others to realize and live their dreams. Just take a gander of some of the people she has helped when you look at the reviews in the front of her book.

This is a gem of a book to refer to time and time again. 5 stars!

Would you like to win a copy of this book? Then simply enter in the Rafflecopter below. There will be 10 winners.

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. This book is also part of the iRead Book Tours. I am not responsible for prize distribution.~Naila Moon

Where to find the author:
Website   Amazon 

a Rafflecopter giveaway