Thursday, December 27, 2012

Blog Tour: Book Review: The Lonely Christmas Tree by Brent A. Marthaller

Title: The Lonely Christmas Tree
Author: Brent A. Marthaller
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Length: 24 pages
Genre: Children's, Inspirational, Motivational, Spiritual
Source: Sage's Blog Tours / author

Book Synopsis:
The Lonely Christmas Tree is born with a purpose to be cherished by someone at Christmas. When the tree is the last one remaining in the lot, the tree starts to believe that all hope is lost.  A bright light comes along restoring faith in dreams and encourages the spirit to persevere. The tree is small and limp but has the spirit to find love and acceptance. This story demonstrates that all of us have that spark within us to find what we long for. Persistence and fortitude can lead us out of despair to the light that shines for all of us. 

Mom's Thoughts:
This is such a sweet little book!  It is so full of heart and Christmas spirit that I had to read it a few times to the kids because of the beauty it held.  Just looking at the lonely tree he isn't much to look at but wow!  He is just so full of the holiday spirit it makes you realize that is what is important; not the outside but what's on the inside.  
The Lonely Christmas Tree has a great message for kids and adults alike to learn and it was such an enjoyable read for my children as well as me!  Five Stars!! *****

Jace's Thoughts:
I really like the colors! I love all the colors of the rainbow but blue and green have a special place too.  I really liked how each page had snow coming down.  My favorite part was when the little boy carries the lonely tree like a baby all the way home to the other kids too.   He carries it so gently that you can tell the little boy really loves that tree.  Five Stars!!!  *****

Mikey's Thoughts:
I really liked the pictures and I loved the rhyming too!  Whenever I hear stories that rhyme it makes me think it is like a song and I just want to sing it.  
I felt so bad for the little tree but I thought he was beautiful just the way he is!  I didn't like the other really big trees and I thought he was the perfect size.  I know my family and I would have been happy with him.  My favorite part was when the children decorated the lonely Christmas Tree and made it even more happy and beautiful.  The children were happy and smiling enjoying each other's company, even though they didn't have any presents.  They didn't need any because they had the love and Christmas spirit and that was enough.  
I give it five stars! *****

Author Bio:
Brent Marthaller lives in West Fargo, ND, and has written music and lyrics since 1978. During the 1980’s and 1990’s he was a member of several bands which performed throughout the area and at local venues. While those days of performing are in the past, he continues to write whenever he can. He also enjoys introducing his grandchildren to all varieties of music.

Purchase Links:
Tate Publishing:


Barnes & Noble

Author’s Website -

Exclusive Hardcover versions may be purchased for $11.99 directly from the author website!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Review: The First Christmas: The Story of Jesus by June Spears

Title: The First Christmas: The Story of Jesus
Author: June Spears
Publisher: self
Date of Publication: November 4, 2012
Source/Format: received from author for our honest   review of it/ Kindle

Goodreads Summary:

What says Christmas time better than the true story of Christmas. 

The story of Jesus broke down for children to understand. With sketch illustrations to match.

Mom's Thoughts:
First, the illustrations are so sweet and beautiful we enjoyed looking at those the most.  I loved that there was sketches, even though it was an e reader version.  I also liked that the chapters were short because it is hard to keep a young child's attention span ( 4 years old) if the chapters drag on and on.  
I am not usually one to do the religious books, but I figure you can't go wrong with Christmas time anyways.  
It was nice how Mary, Joseph, the angels, God, and Jesus was explained in simple terms for a child to grasp.  
However, in one of the chapters it talks about how Joseph thought Mary was unfaithful and back then she could be stoned to death for it.  I felt that might be a little too much for anyone younger than 8 to really talk about.  And besides this is supposed to be a fun book but that little tidbit of information kinda put a downer on the rest of the story for me.  
I know my seven and four year old boys got bored with it because there was a lot of explanations for some of the ideas in it.  I could have been reading it to a younger age limit to handle it, though, so that could be my bad.  I did enjoy getting a little explanation and especially enjoyed seeing quotes from the Bible in it as well.  
Overall, this is a cute, short, and easy way to tell the kids about how and why Christians celebrate Christmas. I would skip the small part of "being stoned to death" to keep the mood light and cheery.
I gave it 3 stars!

If you would like your own copy you can get it here:


The Author:
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, June E Spears had spent her early years writing mostly poems and school songs. However, she could not escape the allure of storytelling and quickly began studying to become a novelist. She began by reading every chance she had. Mostly Fantasy and Romance novels, June's love of writing was uncontrollable. Once she began typing, she never stopped.

June is best known for her Fantasy Novelette Series "The Blood Moon Chronicles". She is a single mother to her only daughter Isabella Rose.

Connect with June Spears:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

{Character Interview} + Giveaway: Chase Danger Super Spy: Mystery of the Special Sauce by Chad, Lisa, & Chase Olivera

It's interview time!  We are so excited to have the star of the new spy series we love, Chase Danger Super Spy and he is kind enough to answer a few fun questions for us!  Also the authors, Chad, Lisa, and Chase Oliveria, have been so great to offer a free signed copy of their book in a giveaway we are hosting.

Here is a little background on the Chase Danger Series first:

Book 1:                                  Chase Danger Super Spy: Mystery of the Special Sauce
Chase Danger is a boy just like your son: He loves his family, friends and pizza. He is also easily enraged by bad guys, who he quickly hunts down and defeats.

In his first adventure, he fights a giant octopus, pilots a flying saucer through space, builds his own flying car, and visits Paris, where a "special sauce" is brewing to take over the world.

Along the way he befriends Ali Bali, a mysterious girl with secrets of her own.

Book 2:                          Chase Danger Super Spy: Pirates of Pineapple Island

7-year-old super-spies Chase Danger and Princess Ali Bali must think fast when they discover pirates have stolen Zalezgon's magical pineapples. But that's not all! Ali's little brother Aiden has been kidnapped by the dreaded pirate Captain Looney, who is planning on taking over the world with his newly invented Weather Rockets!

And now without anymore waiting we welcome.......................................

KCFSR: Is it hard being a spy?
Chase:   It's natural.  If I had an older brother, I would spy on him.  I'm an only child, so I spied on the neighbors.  When the neighbors turned out to be bad guys, I was in business!

KCFSR: Besides pizza, what is your other favorite food?
Chase:  Zalezgon's Spicy Jalapeno Chunk o' Cheesy Guacamole Burger.  I also like whatever my Mom or Dad cooks.  Pizza is really just a treat.

KCFSR: What is your favorite color?
CHASE: Blue.  Ali says she likes to paint bad guys black and blue.  I like those colors too.

KCFSR: Ha! Good one!  Do you have any super heroes or movies that you like a lot?
CHASE: My favorite superheroes are Ironman and Batman.  My favorite movies are Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones and James Bond.

KCFSR:  We like those too!  So who was the toughest villain you ever fought?
CHASE: Probably Veisky.  You won't believe me when I tell you this, he really is a villain!  Everyone likes him though.  He's very slippery.

KCFSR: Can you give us any teasers on what to expect from Chase Danger Super Spy?
CHASE: You wouldn't believe me if I told you.  But you can expect even more action, suspense and intrigue than any other Chase Danger book.  Ali and Alixson will be helping me out, and I'm really excited about that!  The Veisky is a master of many things, including magic and music!  He's actually a virtuoso violin player! How does playing the violin fit in?!? You'll see.

That's it everybody!  We are so happy that Chase had time to stop by here and chat with us!  Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win your very own signed Copy of Book 1!  It is such an exciting series that we are really enjoying!
Don't forget to get your parent's permission (if you are under 13) to enter the giveaway.  You also have 36 hours to reply back or another winner will be chosen.  US residents only.
Here are the links if you would like to connect with Chase Danger Super Spy and where you can get your own copy:

Facebook | Website | iBookstore | Goodreads

To Enter the Chase Danger Super Spy Giveaway click HERE.

Monday, November 5, 2012

ARC Review: Chase Danger Super Spy:Pirates of Pineapple Island

Title: Chase Danger Super Spy: Pirates of Pineapple Island
Series: Chase Danger Super Spy book 2
Author: Lisa, Chad, and Chase Oliveria
Illustrations: Adam Goodman
Publisher: Magic Fire Music Studios
Date of Publication: August 2012
Source: received from author for honest opinion of it.
Get Your Own: website

7-year-old super-spies Chase Danger and Princess Ali Bali must think fast when they discover pirates have stolen Zalezgon's magical pineapples. But that's not all! Ali's little brother Aiden has been kidnapped by the dreaded pirate Captain Looney, who is planning on taking over the world with his newly invented Weather Rockets!
Hang-gliding, jungles, giant sharks, super Roller Coasters, pirates, and a sky-dive will keep your children's attention from start to finish and give them a thirst for adventure!
Mom's Thoughts:
I just love Chase Danger!  If you just look at the cover you can tell this is one little boy who can get the tough jobs done!  But then add to the mix, a mysterious little girl and they make a great team that makes this book for both boys and girls. I love the graphics in this book.  All the different colors, the different characters  being portrayed, makes me get excited and my children are no different!  When we got book #2 in the mail, all I could hear was squeals of happiness as they ripped open the packaging to get their hands on this book.  Do you know what makes this book even more better?  The fact that it brings together all of my boys.  My nine year old twins love it because of all the action and different spy gadgets; my seven year old adores Chase and Ali Bali and loves reading it out aloud, and my four year old loves to sit among his older brothers listening to the read-along cd that comes with it; not to mention he loves sword fights.  I think this would be the perfect gift for that reluctant reader or any child that just loves a really good story! ***** stars for me!

Anthony and Conner's Thoughts:
We loved the first book but I think this one just made it even better!  When we first got our hands on this book, (we jerked out of our mom's hands-sorry Mom) all we wanted to do was just look at the pictures before we even started reading it.  Anthony and I just love the pictures!  We have even tried our hand at drawing a couple of Chase Danger scenes, but we aren't really that great at it.
Anthony: Okay hands down, my favorite part is when they ride the roller coaster and then shoot into the sky!  This is why I will not ride a roller coaster at Six Flags; you never know when this could happen!  (Okay, so it is probably next to impossible...) But it was pretty exciting reading about it.  I really like Chase but my favorite character is Ali Bali.  She is so tough and I think she makes a great friend for Chase.
This is one of those books that is great for older and younger kids, girls or boys.
Conner: We have really gotten into comic books lately.  Our dad bought us a lot of comics the other day.  That is a major reason I like Chase Danger so much.  It is written out like a comic book would be.  It is easy to follow along to and the read along cd makes all the action seem to come alive.  After listening to it the first time, our little brother, Jace, picked up a toy sword and started pretending he was Chase.  It was really funny, but even more funnier when our other brother, Mikey, decided he was going to be Captain Looney.  He does that part really well-he is kinda crazy.
I like that we have this story that all of us can enjoy.  It's something that us big kids can read, but little kids get a real kick out of all the funny scenes, like with the shark. In fact, we all kinda laughed at that one. I am a huge fan of spy movies, like Spy Kids, and this series is a lot like that.  It is funny, exciting, and has a lot of interesting different characters.  Even the villains have some cool parts; but it the most fun watching Chase and Ali put the bad guys away.
I wish we could give it more than five stars; like a hundred!  Because it is really that great!
Mikey and Jacey's Thoughts

Mikey: I think it is super cool that Chase and I are the same age.  I always like to imagine the different things I could do, like travel to outer space, but it is really fun to act out the scenes from the Chase Danger series.
Chase and I have a lot in common, but most importantly, we get our strength from eating pizza! I love pizza, though not really pineapples much.  My favorite scene was Operation Baby Safe.  I love little babies and it was funny when Chase said, "born potty trained!"  I can understand how Aiden gets his feelings hurt from his sister.  My brothers tend to do that to me and it is easy to think they don't care about me.  I am just glad my feelings can't set off rockets!  That wouldn't be good at all!  I really liked the surprise we find out in this book and I can't wait for book 3!
Jacey:  I love the sword fighting!  Yah!  I like to hear the sounds that come from the cd and I always get to turn the page too.  I am even learning which words are Chase, spy, and Danger.  I really like this book a lot and I always get really excited to hear it before I go to bed at night.  Sometimes, its fun just to listen to the cd, and other times I like hearing my mom read the book to us.  She does pretty good voices with our different stuffed animals and she can read books pretty good too.  I want to give this book as a present to our cousins for Christmas.

All in all, we have all talked and decided Chase Danger Super Spy and The Pirates of Pineapple Island deserve five stars!  This is one of those books that you can read over and over again and it just keeps the excitement level constant!

Make sure you stay tuned in the next few days because we will be having an interview with someone very special to this series.

Monday, October 8, 2012

ARC Book Review: Upside Down (A Vampire Tale) by Jess Smart Smiley

Title: Upside Down 
Series: A Vampire Tale
Author: Jess Smart Smiley
Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
Expected Date of Publication: October 16,  2012
Format: hardcover, 144 pages
Source: eARC from publisher via Net Galley for honest opinion of it.

Harold is a friendly young vampire - but he loves candy so much, the dentist might have to pull his teeth! Now, what if he and the dentist, plus a couple friendly bats, all get caught up in the evil plots of the local witch? It's a wild magical romp for all ages, just in time for Halloween!
                                                         -Goodreads summary

Mom's Thoughts:

I was really hoping that this would be a great friendly vampire story kids to enjoy for Halloween.  Harold was friendly indeed, but he fell a little flat for me as a character.  The book is set up in comic book style, which seemed to be good idea for the older kids but unfortunately, the plot just couldn't keep our interest piqued.
From a mom's perspective, I understand the moral hidden among the funny images and story line and I couldn't agree more with it.  But the delivery of it just couldn't be carried through enough for my kids to take anything away from reading this.
I also would have liked a little more variety of colors instead of the dull monotone of green and black throughout the novel.
Even though this wasn't something that could keep us entertained; if you like funny vampires, a mean witch, and the dentist, this unlikely combination might just be what you are looking for.  
We gave it 2 stars.

You can pre-order your copy at: 


Barnes and Noble

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Book Review: Poppy and The Stranger by Eli Jay

Title: Poppy and the Stranger
Author: Eli Jay
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Date of Publication: Sept. 5, 2012
Format: paperback, 42 pages
Source: received from author for honest review

Goodreads Summary:
In this fabulous and delightful story for children ages 2 and up, our adorable and sweet Poppy, the Wandering Balloon once again continues on his adventure of learning, fascination, and self-realization. This time, he faces a dark stranger under the moonlight. The stranger appears to follow Poppy no matter what he does, or where he goes. In hopes of escaping from the stranger, Poppy finds his way through the woods, meeting both old and new forest friends. But only Lyndon might have a real solution to Poppy's fear. Read this enchanting story and find out what Poppy learns at the end of his puzzling, but intriguing journey.....

Mom's Thoughts:

What an interesting idea to make a balloon the main character!  My younger sons loved this concept.  Just think: Poppy could be one of those balloons that little kids have unwittingly let go only to watch them float high up into the air off to another place.  I loved that this helped the younger children relate to Poppy.  
It was fun to meet the forest animals that helps Poppy solve his problem.  Everyone had a favorite.  Mine was the snake.  We enjoyed reading the snake's voice, especially putting a lot of emphasis on the "s" sound.  I would give this 3 stars for the fun we had reading it together.  The plot was simple for young kids to understand while the illustrations weren't very elaborate to cause too much stimulation.  Now let's hear what my sons thought of Poppy and the Stranger.

Michael's Thoughts:

I loved Poppy!  Balloons are so much fun to play with anyways.  My little brother, Jace, and I always like to pretend our balloons have special powers that make us superheroes.  This story was pretty funny when Poppy was afraid of the stranger following him.  I knew who it was the minute we read it but I didn't want to give it away for my little brother.  This story was easy for me to read, even though I liked my mom reading it to us too.  
I also loved all the green in the book.  This is one of my favorite colors, besides yellow, and I really liked all the pictures.  My favorite animal was the fox.  It was nice to meet a helpful fox instead of the sneaky ones in most kids stories.
Poppy is a great friend and I can't wait to read some more of his adventures!

Jace's Thoughts:

Mama wanted to read us a new book about a balloon that gets scared of something that he sees following him.  We get to see him ask all of his friends what they think the stranger is.  I got to see an owl and a fox and a snake but my favorite was the Bear.  He seemed so nice and it was funny because he lived in a house instead of a cave.  I laughed a lot at that.  I liked the pictures a lot.  They made the story really fun to listen to and my older brother, Mikey, could read it to me too.  We read it a bunch of times the next day.  I loved this story so much I can't wait to get a new balloon.  I am going to name it Poppy!

Get your copy at: Amazon / Barnes and Noble

Sunday, September 30, 2012

ARC Review: Dolphin, Fox, Hippo, and Ox: What is a Mammal? by Brian P. Cleary

                  Title: Dolphin, Fox, Hippo, and Ox
                           Series: Animal Groups are CATegorical
                                                  Publisher: Millbrook Press (Lerner Publishing Group)
                     Date of Publication: October 1, 2012
                                       Format: ebook, paperback, hardcover 32 pages
           Source: eARC from Netgalley

The Words Are CATegorical® cats are back again . . . and they're on the loose to explore animal groups! This time, those zany cartoon cats provide a playful look at common animal classes. Brian P. Cleary's text and Martin Goneau's illustrations comically combine to give the defining characteristics of each class. They also offer a variety of animals in each group. Animal classification has never been so much fun!    -book description from Netgalley

Mom's Thoughts:

I love rhyming books, especially when it can hold my interest as well as my kids too.  I also enjoy books for the kids when they can learn in a fun and colorful way and this book makes that happen.  
Mr. Cleary did a wonderful job of explaining the different reasons mammals are mammals and even took into account some of those unique mammals that don't always follow the rules making it easier to understand for a young child as well as upper elementary school too.
The illustrations are pretty awesome too!  My four year old was laughing at the pictures as he was learning all about how to classify lions, bats, whales, and even a happy platypus.  
There is a lot of visual stimulation throughout the book so make sure not to let the kiddos get confused.  We just took our time enjoying the different pictures and tried naming even more animals that weren't in the book to see if they applied to the "mammal rules."  
I enjoyed this book immensely for many reasons.  We learned while having fun but most importantly; this is a book that all four of my sons, from the 4 year old all the way to the 9 year old,  could enjoy together.  

I gave it four **** stars!

*clicking on title will take you to goodreads page; clicking on author's name will take you to a wonderful interactive website for extra activities and fun.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

ARC Review: The Eyes of the Desert Sand by Edwin Wolfe {Book 1 Chrysalis Chronicles}

Title: The Eyes of the Desert Sand
Series: Chrysalis Chronicles
Author: Edwin Wolfe
Publisher: Aauvi House Publishing Group
Date of Publication: January 11, 2012
Format: paperback, 320 pages
Source: received from the author for our honest opinion of it.

Goodreads Summary:
How many parents would believe their thirteen year old son who told them that two vampires and a hooded stranger had tried to abduct him? Strange thing is, young Ethan Fox is convinced his parents, George and Betsy do believe him. Could it have something to do with the mysterious poem he wrote in his sleep? Or maybe it has something to do with his past, the past he cannot remember before his eighth birthday. Something strange is afoot, and it is about to turn Ethan’s world upside down.While vacationing with his parents, to get away from the crazy events of the previous two weeks, Ethan encounters a young girl named Haley Hunt who he is strongly drawn to… and the feeling is mutual. Together, Ethan and Haley are lured to The Residence, home of the Caretakers, an organization of intelligent beings sent to earth to nurture the human race and protect them from un-earthly influences.Armed with special abilities, including the power to evolve any earthly creature, the Caretakers take in their unexpected guests. They have been watching young Ethan Fox, and are curious as to why the Grimleavers, their mortal enemy on earth, would want to abduct a young human child. Together, Ethan and Haley journey to magical worlds, make new friends, and help the Caretakers unravel the stories greatest mysteries. Along the way, they learn that the Caretakers have been here since the beginning of human history and have played a key role in shaping human lore. In their world, vampires, werewolves, trolls, and even Medusa herself really do exist but have been kept hidden from the human world around them. Ethan is the key as they ultimately discover the Grimleavers true intentions, to unlock the four portals to the elemental worlds of the Chrysalis

Mom's Thoughts:

This is a interesting story that mixes the two genres of fantasy and science fiction to create a great adventure for middle grade students.   
Ethan Fox is a wonderful protagonist in this story.  He is smart, funny, a good kid in general, and has a pretty cool family, including his dad that makes video games.  And then we have Haley Hunt, who is the mysterious girl that just shows up in Ethan's life.  She is definitely an enigma.  She seems like she is much more but has no memory of where she comes from, just like Ethan's foggy past too.  But Ethan and Haley seem to draw strength from each other, which makes their friendship even more special.  
This story takes an unique perspective on the idea of evolution including the idea of an advanced race having a hand in this process.  These characters are called The Caretakers which seems like such a fitting name since they seem to take care of the inhabitants of Earth as well as the magical beings here too.  We have so many different fantastical creatures including vampires.  
There are parts that tend to drag a little but it seems to balance out with all the amazing creatures we get to meet in this story. 
There were parts that made me think of Harry Potter's world, but Wolfe takes these similarities and puts his own creative spin on it.  He creates a brand new fantasy world that I can't wait to see what else happens in it.  

Anthony's Take:

This was a really cool book!  I liked the cover with all the eyes on the sand.  It was a little freaky but really neat too!  
I loved the fact it had vampires in it but it was still a kids' book.  Ethan is a pretty cool guy and his dad makes videogames.  That is a really big plus for me!  
The Grimleavers were scary but exciting, especially when they tried to kidnap Ethan.  
Haley was pretty cool too.  She seemed like a really good friend and helped Ethan make sense of these new environments he travels to with the Caretakers. RGB was really funny.  I liked them a lot.   I think kids 9 and up could enjoy and get into this book really good.  

Conner's Ideas:

Haley and Ethan are great characters to follow through this adventurous story about beings from outer space watching over Earth and all of its creatures.  The Grimleavers are the bad guys that keep trying to kidnap Ethan and they have vampires.  How freaky is that?  
While I was reading this, it made me think of Star Trek(I have watched it with my Nana a couple of times) especially when Haley and Ethan find the hidden room in the garden with Daavic's help.  
That was really cool!   I am still not sure why Haley and Ethan was so scared of The Hall of Doorways, unless they were afraid of getting lost.  Personally, I think it would be fun to play hide and seek in there.  
I really liked Mrs. Moongarden too.  She reminded me of my Nana working in her garden, except Mrs. Moongarden's creations in the garden were a lot more cooler!  
I have to give this story four stars and I can't wait to read other books by Mr. Wolfe.  

Favorite parts:

Mom: When Haley and Ethan visit Mrs. Moongarden and learn everything about the plants in it.  Those were some very interesting trees and flowers.  

Anthony: I liked the whole book!  I didn't really have a favorite part because it all rocked!

Conner: Me too!  Though, I do like how the Caretakers travel with the portal books.  I sure do wish I could get one of those!

We give The Eyes of the Desert Sand four stars!  

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mikey's Review: Spongebob Superstar (Chapter Book # 5) by Annie Auerbach

Title: SpongeBob Superstar
Author: Annie Auerbach,  Mark O'Hare(Illustrator)
Series: Spongebob Squarepants
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Date of Publication: April 2001
Format: paperback,63 pages
Source: bought 

Mikey's Thoughts:

I love Spongebob Squarepants!  I watch the tv show all the time and I even get to watch it on Netflix too!  So I was even more excited to find out I could read about Spongebob too.

In this book, Spongebob gets to do a whole lot of stunts and it gets put on a T.V. special in Bikini Bottom.  He does many things like he paddles with his hands on the water;  he also makes krabby patties blindfolded.  

There are a lot of characters from the show in this book including, Mr. Krabs, Spongebob, Sandy, Squidworth, and of course Patrick.  We also get introduced to a new guy named Bailey who is trying to direct the show.  Bailey is a sneaky one too!
I liked this book a lot especially since I haven't seen an episode for this book yet.  
I think this book would be great for anyone 7 and up.  I am very proud because I read this book all by myself quietly.  
I hope you can pick up a copy of this for your Spongebob Squarepants library too!

Thank you very much!

Four Stars! 

Friday, August 31, 2012

Another exciting MG Greek Mythology book!!!

We are super excited to announce that another wonderful book about Greek Mythology has come out for younger kids like ourselves!

It is called  Heroes in Training: Zeus and the Thunderbolt of Doom by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams.  Take a look at the book blurb for it below:

 After pulling a magical thunderbolt from a stone, ten-year-old Zeus goes on the adventure of a lifetime in this thrilling start to a brand-new series! The terrible Titans--merciless giants who enjoy snacking on humans--have dominated the earth and put the world into chaos. But their rule is about to be put to the test as a group of young Olympians discover their powers and prepare to righteously rule the universe....
     Ten-year-old Zeus is mystified (and super-annoyed) by the fact that he keeps getting hit by lightening. Every. Single. Year. He also longs for adventure, as he has never been far from the cave where he grew up.

     Zeus gets his wish--and a lot more than he bargained for--when he is kidnapped by dangerous, giant Titans! In self-defense, he grabs the first thing he sees--an actual thunderbolt he pulls from a stone that is covered in mysterious markings. Zeus is the only one who can decipher the markings, and sets off on a quest to rescue his youthful fellow Olympians from the evil Cronus. Armed with his trusty thunderbolt (named Bolt, of course), Zeus is on an adventure of a lifetime--and a journey to fulfill his destiny as King of the Gods.

We can't wait to get our hands on this!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Last Days of Freedom Giveaway Hop

We are super excited to be hosting a giveaway for our first ever hop!!! *Mikey is doing the happy dance right now*  

We want to say thank you to very nice people at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and The Elliot Review  for putting this together for everyone!!

So everyone knows that we are huge Goosebumps fans.  In fact, our long time wish is to meet R.L. Stine and have dinner with him.  Then we will talk about all of his wonderful books and give him some of our ideas about Goosebumps.  (Oh it will happen...eventually)

We have already started school here :(  We aren't exactly jumping for joy for it either, well Mikey is but he is always jumping anyways.  

Anyways, we really wanted to giveaway a Goosebumps book that we have read and just know that everyone else would like these too.  So we are giving away 1 used paperback copy of Piano Lessons Can Be Murder by R.L. Stine.   Here is the book blurb of it:

Practice till you drop . . . dead. When Jerry finds a dusty old piano in the attic of his new house, his parents offer to pay for lessons. At first, taking piano seems like a cool idea. But there's something creepy about Jerry's piano teacher, Dr. Shreek. Something really creepy. Something Jerry can't quite put his finger on. Then Jerry hears the stories. Terrifying stories. About the students at Dr. Shreek's music school. Students who went in for a lesson . . . and never came out.    -Goodreads summary

You guys can enter below and remember that if you are under 16 you need to make sure you have a parent/or guardian's permission.    Hope ya'll enjoy your last days....of freedom too!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway And don't forget to go to the other blogs on this hop and check out their awesome giveaways!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

ARC Review: Song For Papa Crow by Marit Menzin

Title: Song for Papa Crow
Author: Marit Menzin
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
Date of Publication: 
Format: hardcover, 32 pages
Source: ARC from Net Galley

Little Crow loves to sing, and Papa Crow loves his song. But when Little Crow shares his crow songs with the other birds at the big old tree, they laugh and scatter. Maybe the Amazing Mockingbird can teach him to sing songs with the finches, flycatchers, and cardinals – and help him make some friends. But Little Crow should be careful what he wishes for… Using Mockingbird's tip, Little Crow quickly becomes the most popular bird on the block. But, in a moment of danger, he learns that singing someone else's song can have terrible consequences and that his own voice – and his father's love – is of the greatest value. Paired with colorful collage illustrations, this inspirational story is complemented by fun facts about North American birds and their sounds. . Grades Pre-K to 2.

-blurb from  publisher

Mom's thoughts
This was a beautifully illustrated story with a wonderful moral to be learned at the end as well.  I love to read books to my children that are engaging, colorful, but most importantly, teaches them confidence and compassion.  This book does that and much more.  
Song for Papa Crow has this collage- like feel to it which makes the birds really stand out for us.  They seemed to come alive and pop off the pages for me and my sons.  For young children, pictures are mainly what will keep them entertained.  If the pictures are fun then the story will be more interesting to them too.  
Little Crow loves to sing but the other birds don't like his singing voice and they fly away whenever he starts belting out his "caws."  
This story book shows little ones that it is okay to be different and that is what makes you even more special.    I am so happy that all my sons loved this story, even the older ones,  and they were able to see the beauty in Little Crow, inside and out.  Papa Crow is very supportive of his baby crow and is a good example for parents to see the differences in their "little crows" and celebrate them.  
Then in the back is this "Fun Facts" section that gives us details about all the birds mentioned in the book, including their specific calls.  This is a great little book for that young bird watcher in the family with all the different birds, including a mockingbird.  
I have to give Song for Papa Crow five stars!

Jacey and Mikey's thoughts:
J:  I love all the pretty colors in the book.  Baby crow is funny and really cute especially when he can't remember what a crow sounds like.  My brother and I had fun pretending to be the different birds and singing like them.
M: This book is really neat with all the different birds and learning about their different calls.  I could read this book with my mommy because the words weren't very hard to say at all.  
I liked how Papa Crow told Baby Crow to just be himself because my mommy always tells me to be happy just the way I am.  
I liked learning about the mockingbird and I always wondered why it was named "mockingbird".  Now I know why.  

Friday, July 27, 2012

Review: iSad by Shane Saathoff

Title: iSad
Author: Shane Saathoff
Publisher: self
Date of Publication: July 10, 2012
Format: paperback
Source: pdf copy from author for honest review

Goodreads Summary:
When a child receives an iPad for Christmas, he soon realizes that it is not everything he thought it would be. iSad tells the story of the child's quest to turn the clock back on his neighborhood, returning it to the way it once was before the "cold circuitry" interfered in their every aspect of life.

Anthony's thoughts:

I really liked the book especially the colors of the different pages.  The illustration of the kid was funny too.  He reminded me of a snowman for some reason.  I know how he feels about reading books on the computer I would much rather have a book in my hand with a cover and everything.  
I also like how the writer rhymes the story to make it more fun.   I am almost 9 years old so I could understand all the big words in it but anyone younger than 7 would probably just be attracted to the bright colors of the book.  I give it 4 stars!

Conner's Thoughts:

I liked this story because it teaches kids not to rely completely on electronic devices for happiness.  Although the rhyming was cool, the story was kinda boring for me.  There really wasn't much action in it for me.  But  I did like all the different colors throughout the story.  So I gave it 3 stars.

Mikey's Thoughts:

I liked it a lot!  I thought it was funny and there were some words that my mommy had to explain to me but I still enjoyed the rhyming.  My favorite part was when the little dude went out into the street yelling for someone to come play tag with him.  That is a really funny part.  But I would still like to have an iPad, I just wouldn't use it all the time.  

Mom's Thoughts:

The book had a great moral to teach, especially in this day and age, when electronics are a staple in almost everyone's home.  There were parts that were funny because of the exaggerations of the parents not paying any attention to their son at all while busy on the iPad.  
The rhyming was cute, although, there were some words that may be a little over some 7 year olds' heads.  The illustrations were vibrant with each page a different color.  The little figures reminded me of the advertisements for the iPod with all the shadows.  I don't know if that was what Saathoff was going for but I found it ironic nevertheless.  
It was cute and we enjoyed reading it but it was a little boring for kids any younger than 8.  I gave it 3 stars.

If you would like to connect with Shane Saathoff:


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Review: Chase Danger Mystery of the Special Sauce by Lisa Oliveria, Chase Oliveria, Adam Goodman

Title: Chase Danger:Super Spy Mystery of the           Special Sauce
Author:Chase and Lisa Oliveria
Publisher/Date of Publication: Magic Fire Music Studio
Source: we received this book from the author for our honest review of it.

Join 6-year-old super-spy Chase Danger on his very first illustrated adventure. Chase Danger is the world's youngest super spy - ready to fight villains wherever they appear. In his first adventure he battles a giant octopus and terrifying scorpion, builds a super flying car, takes a quick trip to space, and befriends Ali Bali - a mysterious 6-year-old girl that helps him along the way. Chase Danger and Ali Bali will return in Book 2. 1st in a series of Chase Danger: Super Spy books. 22 full color illustrations by Adam Goodman. Read-Along CD included featuring a dramatic performance of the entire story.  -Amazon summary

Mom's thoughts:

I remember when I was a little girl my parents collected The Gremlins books and in the back of these paperback goodies were a 45 record.  (I know I just dated myself there a little but oh well)  I would get up in the rocking chair and listen to that record as I followed along through the book.  It was amazing and it was almost like I was a part of the action.  

Chase Danger Mystery of the Special Sauce is even a hundred times better than that!  It comes with a cd read a long that will narrate the book but it does much more than that.  It has these awesome sound effects to go along with the action of the book. I personally, loved Chase's voice, it was adorable and is done by a real child.  (At least it sounds like it)
The illustrations are colorful and bright and easily captures the child's attention.  Even my 3 year sat in my lap the entire time while we listened to the story.  He would pick out the pictures that went with what we were listening to at the same time.  
This is a wonderful story with non stop action, creativity, humor, and the sweetest lil hero the world has ever seen.  I would recommend this book to anyone with kids.  It is truly fun to read for all ages!  

Anthony's Take:
This book is really really good! When we opened the package it came with coloring sheets but you can also go to the website and download activities too.  We listened to it before bed the other night and then when we got up in the morning we begged mom to let us listen to it then.  I don't really have a favorite part because I love the whole thing!  It's real easy to follow along with the CD through the book and I like the all the different sounds that go along with the story.  

Conner's Take:
My favorite part in The Chase Danger book was when he has to take control of the scorpion.  I have a toy scorpion that looks exactly like the one in the book and that was pretty amazing for me.  
This story is great for little kids like my baby brother but it's also really cool for me and Anthony who are almost 9 years old. I can't wait to see what happens to Chase in the next book with his friend Ali Bali!  

Mikey's Take:
This book is so simple to understand and follow along.  I liked it alot!! It was very good and I loved how Chase and me are close to the same age.  I think Chase and me could be great friends going on adventures together.  I love to invent different things so I liked how I was kinda the same as Chase too!  My favorite part was the Flashblack.  He was a cute little baby and I laughed at his disguise too!

Jacey's Take
My favorite part was the giant octopus in it!  That was wow!  I liked all the sounds on the CD and I can hold the book while the man on the CD reads it to us!

Every one of us agreed Chase Danger Mystery of the Special Sauce deserves five smiley faces!  This is a great book that we will probably wear the CD out listening to.  We can't wait till the next book comes out and we can go on another adventure with Chase Danger-Super Spy!!!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mikey's Take on Taming Your Pet Monster: An Operational Guide by Scott Gordon

Title: Taming Your Pet Monster: An Operational Guide

Author: Scott Gordon
Publisher/Date Published: S.E. Gordon/July 5, 2012
Source: Kindle Cloud Reader, bought, Amazon

Goodreads Summary:
The craziest user guide you'll ever read! Written for mommies and daddies just as much as their children, Taming Your Pet Monster is filled with laugh-out-loud humor and bizarre situations. Witty, colorful and unique, this is one wacky ride you'll never forget!

Mikey's Take:  

This was  a really funny book with lots of colors, especially my favorite color, green in it.    I liked the picture of the explosion a lot.  It was neat how it made you think you could really buy a pet monster.  
I did have trouble with some of the words and I wasn't sure what some of them meant.  I am glad I had my mom reading it to me and my baby brother so she could explain some of the definitions to us.  
But this book really made me laugh a lot and I almost wish I could order my very own TP-6 monster.  

I gave this book 4 smiley faces!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Conner's Review: Goosebumps: Don't Scream by R.L.Stine

                       Title: Goosebumps: Don't Scream
            Series: Hall of Horrors # 5
Author: R. L. Stine
   Publisher: Scholastic
                 Publication Date: Jan.1, 2012
                             Source: library, paperback, 160 pages

Welcome to the Hall of Horrors, HorrorLand's Hall of Fame for the truly terrifying.
Jack Harmon finds a cell phone on the school bus. He raises the phone to his ear and hears a girl's voice: "Hi, Jack. Don't scream. I've been waiting for you. I'm your new friend." Jack thinks it's a joke. He tries to end the call, then turn the phone off, but the girl's voice won't go away: "Don't make me angry, Jack. I'm warning you." Jack is puzzled and a little frightened. He must obey her every wish. She appears in all sorts of electronic devices-he can't escape her. "Don't scream, Jack. I'm just a voice. But you're going to be my body." She begins to force him to do dangerous things like stealing a laptop from school. But Jack finally outwits the voice when she jumps into his wristwatch. The school bully has been after that watch all year, so Jack finally lets him have it.
-goodreads summary
Conner:  I really liked this book because of a lot of reasons.  One, it is a Goosebumps book and we are huge collectors of this series.   
I also liked this story because the boy in the story, Jack, finds a cell phone and hears a ghostly voice on it talking to him.  I can really relate to this book because I was walking with my Nana one day and I found a cell phone in the grass too.  
Of course no one mysterious talked to me on it but what if?  
I liked his little sister who likes macaroni and cheese.  She reminded me of my little brother who is crazy about mac and cheese too.  
This book isn't as scary as the other R. L. Stine books I have read.  I wasn't scared once reading  this.  
I would have to give this story five smiley faces!