Monday, June 29, 2015

Review: "The Day is Waiting" by Don Freeman and Linda Zuckerman

The Day is Waiting is a collection of illustrations by the late Don Freeman, author and illustrator of Corduroy books I enjoyed as a child. This book is full of images that published posthumously with text written by a close friend and colleague of Freeman's.

The illustrations are just as beautiful as I remember and it is a very nice collection covering a wide variety of subjects. My favorite is a goat standing on top of a hut. There's also a mouse in a suit of armour, a squirrel wearing a scarf, a bear riding a unicycle, and more than one page of penguins.

The story itself poses three questions: What do you see when you look outside? Where can you go on a fine, free day? and What can you do with the long, lazy hours? Each is answered by a few pages of short rhyming list of things.

There's not a lot of cohesiveness, which I was wondering about when I heard about this book. However, since the book is about finding joy and peace in the world around you and treasuring your home (the concluding sentence), the random pictures of things you could see, places you could go, and things you could do works out pretty well.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Book Look for this review.  The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Review: "Princess Charity Sticker & Activity Book" inspired by Jeanna Young & Jacqueline Johnson, pictures by Omar Aranda

Princess Charity is part of a five-book sticker and activity book series titled The Princess Parables. Each 16-page book focuses on one of five sisters and Princess Charity is the youngest.

The activities are similar to the other Princess Parable books, but some types are unique to this book as well. Activities include: coloring, filling in stickers, word search, connect the dots, color by number, maze, find things that don't belong, spot the differences, drawing yourself as a princess, and drawing a kingdom. It's a handy little book of entertainment that would be perfect for vacations or waiting rooms.

The only problem with these books is that the 50 sticker insert is in the middle of the book, which is always a two-page spread photo. The stickers sheets would have to be pulled out of the book's staples so that the child doing the activity could see both sides at once.

The story line for Princess Charity leaves a bit to desire...There are short descriptions of what Princess Charity is doing and directions for activity. Most of them are very generic, about the princess, her sisters, and their father, but all of a sudden one page there's a Prince Jack without any introduction and then later he leaves the kingdom. It just seems weird in the limited story that it would focus on him leaving instead of arriving, since there was no prior mention of him. Maybe that was explained in Hope and Faith's books, since I haven't read those yet.

The story isn't terribly important though, especially with all of the great activities and stickers for children to play with. I would still heartily recommend this book.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Book Look for this review.  The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

Celebrating My 100th Blog Post with a Puppy Picture

In honor of my 100th blog post yesterday, here's my adorable dog with a pile of books that've been sitting on my shelf waiting to be read for ages! 

The woes of being a many books, so little time!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Review: "I Take You" by Eliza Kennedey

I Take You follows lawyer Lily Wilder in the week leading up to her wedding in Key West where she grew up. The only problem is, she can't decide whether or not she wants to get married. Her continued promiscuity with coworkers, men she meets at bars, and men from pretty much anywhere has her friends, family, and even herself a little concerned. The first third of the book is mostly about her partying, drinking, having sex, and doing drugs mostly as part of her bachelorette parties (she has three). She also seems unable to help her profane language, which comes out at the least opportune moments.

As if she didn't have enough going on trying to plan a wedding while thinking about whether or not she wanted to go through with it, her law firm also has her working on preparing a witness for a deposition. She quickly realizes she's out of her depth when she opens the file and sees some very incriminating emails that show her witness admitting to fraud.

Lily's fiance, Will, seems to be near perfect - an archaeologist who is absolutely head over heels for Lily, but also has a lot on his mind. They got engaged after only two weeks of knowing each other, and the wedding is just six months later. Do they know each other well enough to get married? That's the question that Will, Lily, and all of their family and friends wrestle with throughout the book.

It is a funny and captivating book in all of the crazy antics of Lily, her family, and everyone they encounter, though Lily is an endlessly frustrating narrator. She's outspoken, obnoxious, and continuously makes horrible life decisions that just make her terribly unlikable.  She is overly rude and often just plain mean. But she does learn from them and we do get to see character growth that leaves the novel with a satisfying conclusion and slightly minimizes the negative feelings toward the narrator.

It's definitely not for everyone, but I thought the story was interesting and I was very invested in seeing how it was resolved until the very last page.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from Blogging for Books for this review.  The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

To Review: "I Take You" by Eliza Kennedy

Next up to review is I Take You

It's the first novel by author Eliza Kennedy, and I can't wait to read it!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Review: "Princess Grace Sticker & Activity Book" inspired by Jeanna Young & Jacqueline Johnson with Pictures by Omar Aranda

The Princess Grace Sticker & Activity Book is one of five in the series that follows a princess and her sisters. It is a 16-page activity book and includes 50 stickers. The main "story" of the Princess Grace book is following her mischievous kitten, Poppy.

Some of the activities were the same type as in the Princess Joy book, but others were new.  Activities include: picture with sticker placement marked, word search, coloring page, connect the dots, draw flowers in a vase, find missing items, spot the differences, follow the path (similar to a maze), secret code, counting, and drawing people you love.

It's a little odd that the stickers are placed in the middle of a spread that has a two-page picture with missing items to locate. It makes it so you would have to remove the sticker pages to see the whole picture (or keep flipping back and forth).

Other than that, it's a great activity book for a young princess fan! There is a good amount of variety in the activities, and the pictures and characters are all adorable. The publisher recommends this book for ages 4-8.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from BookLook for this review.  The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the product.