Thursday, March 28, 2013

Book Review: Double Vision by F.T. Bradley

Title: Double Vision
Author: F.T. Bradley
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date of Publication: Oct. 16, 2012
Source: received from author for honest review

Level: upper elementary, middle grade 8 years & up
Get Your Own: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository |

Book Synopsis:
One's a Secret Agent, One's Not.
Twelve-year-old Linc is a trouble-maker with a dilemma. His antics on a recent school field trip went way overboard, landing his already poor family with a serious lawsuit. So when two secret agents show up at his house, Linc is eager to take them up on their offer to make the lawsuit disappear. They just need one tiny favor.
Turns out Linc looks exactly like one of their top kid agents--an agent who's vanished during a vitally important mission. But no debriefing can prepare Linc for how dangerous the mission really is. It's too bad he isn't a black belt, a math genius, or a distance runner like his agent double. He'll need all those skills and more if he hopes to make it out of this mission alive. . . .

Mom's Thoughts:
Yes this is an children's book but I found myself loving it as well!  I would read it out loud to the boys and I would get quiet for a little bit, and then, Conner  would say, " Mom! Stop reading ahead!"
He was right, too!  I was reading ahead!

The excitement level is very high in this book and it will keep you on your toes.  Linc is a wonderful, mischievous, interesting young boy that every child could relate to, especially my twins.  He tends to get in trouble because of his class clown status and the fact that he is very curious.  I swear the incident with the chickens (both times) had all of us ( even DAD) cracking up.  I even seen Conner's eyes twinkle with ideas; so I am definitely not taking him around any chickens anytime soon.
But besides all the comedy and interesting exploits Linc tends to make; there is a lot of mystery in this book.  That is what kept me so enthralled!  It made me think of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code only because of all the clues, puzzles, and tricks the characters needed to solve.
In Double Vision, Linc is steady trying to figure out different clues and different puzzles that are taking him around France, trying to get a very special person's father back.  This character is my girl!  I loved her and I think just including her in this story makes Double Vision fun for girls, boys, and adults too!
I loved the character development in the story and I love all the interesting people Linc meets that help him and yet sometimes hinder him too.  This book is packed full of action and it truly is hard to only read a few chapters every night.  I also had a very hard time not sneaking back and reading the whole book without my boys!  I would definitely have to give Double Vision five stars!   *****

Anthony & Conner's Thoughts:
Anthony: So Conner and I are really into spy books; basically spy anything.  We love all of the Spy Kids movies and we loved this book too!  In fact, it reminded me a little of Spy Kids just because of the kid spies that are in the book.
I really like the main character, Linc, a lot.  He was funny and seemed to be liked by everyone, except the guy he was pretending to be.  I think Conner and I could really hang out with him; he was really cool.  Even when he got into a lot of trouble at the farm.  Once cool thing was Linc's town he is from, Lompoc, is where our dad was born too.  That was really neat!
I also like Francoise and loved the fact that she was really good at fighting and figuring out really hard clues that her dad left her.
I enjoyed reading this book alot!  Our mom read it out aloud to us but the book was easy enough for us to read quietly too.  The chapters aren't that long and for the most part we could understand everything.  

Conner: This book was awesome!!!  It was fun to read and I always begged Mom to read "one more chapter" every night.  Linc is a really cool boy even though he gets in trouble a lot.  I really felt bad for him when he ended up getting his family in trouble too.  You can tell he didn't mean it because he felt really bad for his Dad and Mom.
I think Linc is pretty brave too going to France to help the government with some top secret mission.  I don't think I could do that, although, it does seem a little fun too.
I liked Henry alot.  He was a really good friend for Linc and helped him out a couple of times with his really neat gadgets!  Man, what I wouldn't give to be able to do what Henry can do!
I loved the idea about the evil painting that was pretty creepy!
But my favorite thing was the fact that Linc looks exactly like one of their agents.  But Linc is way different too.  That reminds me of Anthony and me; we are twins but we like different things.  But sometimes people can't understand that.  I wonder if we could pass as each other sometimes???

Connect with F.T. Bradley

Goodreads | Twitter | Website | Facebook | Blog |

About the author:

F.T. Bradley is the author of Double Vision (Harper Children's, Oct. 2012), the first in the middle-grade adventure series featuring Lincoln Baker and Benjamin Green. Her husband's Air Force career has F.T. and their two daughters moving all around the world, but for the moment the family lives on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

To find out more about F.T. and Double Vision, visit her website or, or follow her on Twitter. She likes to make new friends.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Character Interview + Giveaway: Carole P. Roman Interviews the Crew of the Flying Dragon{ Captain No Beard Series}

Hi everybody!  We have been so lucky to get a exclusive interview with the crew of the Flying Dragon from the series, Captain No Beard.    I can't wait to see what is going on with our lovable captain as well as Hallie and the rest of the group.    
After the interview, make sure to enter into our giveaway to win signed copies of both books, as well as a pirate prize pack.   We will have two winners and the giveaway is being hosted by Kids Corner For Super Reading and the author is sponsoring it for us.  
Alright lets join Carole while she interviews the most adorable pirates on the seven seas!


On a warm, sunny day I had the pleasure of being aboard the Flying Dragon, with the ultimate pleasure of an exclusive interview with daring pirate Captain No Beard and his hearty crew.  After lunching on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, the captain's favorite, we sat down to business.  The crew sprawled around the deck before me in careless abandon, a real treat to see them so casual.

Q- So How long have you been together?

CNB- Oh, (he was laughing) how about forever!  The crew all chuckled at this.

First Mate Hallie- Well really, Captain No Beard is two years older than me, so until Polly and our newest member Cayla joined us, I was the newbie.

Q-  Great!.  So how about the rest of you?

Mongo the monkey- I came home with the Captain from the hospital.  I served as lookout  from his bassinet to crib.  All those looming people.  He's the first grandchild.  (Mongo shuttered) All that kissing.  Someone had to watch out for the little tyke!

Linus the lion-(Roaring) I have to say Mongo, that you might have watched over him, but Uncle Eric bought me to protect him.  Sort of a double gift, the captain is a Leo, just like me.

Q-You're awfully quiet here Fribbet.  When did you come along?

Fribbet the frog -Can't  have bath time without me.  Mommy bought me in a park somewhere for bath time.  My job to make sure the water temperature is perfect.  We've been avoiding hot water together for a long time.  I like to give warnings, you see.

Q- Oh, so you warn Mom when the water's hot?

Fribbet- That's my job, Mate and I take it seriously.

CNB- That's my Fribbet.  He's a serious frog.

Q-So you all know eachother quite well?

This brought on an explosion of laughter.  I guess they did.

CNB- I knew I wanted to go to sea from the beginning.  The water,the sand, the air..

Hallie- The clothes!

CNB- Well, that's important for just a few in our crew.  I like adventure myself.  What better way than taking along your best friends.  Hallie's a peach.  She's always ready to tackle anything. Couldn't have done it without her  common sense.

Hallie- It's easy, when you have a great leader.  Alexander, I mean, Captain No Beard always knows what to do.  He's really good at this.

Polly the parrot- Polly has something to say!!!

Q-Yes, Polly?

Polly- I was an angry bird when I joined this crew.  I was so mad because I was embarrassed I couldn't tell my right from left.  Let me tell you about this group of jolly tars.  They are sensitive.

Mongo- Polly,we're pirates!

Polly- They not only helped me, but made me confident enough to ask for help when I needed it.

Cayla- And they don't judge a book by it's cover, anymore either!

Q-And you must be Cayla.

Cayla- Yes, Mommy let's me join the crew in book four and what an adventure we had.  Not only did we learn not to talk to strangers.  ( The crew all nodded gravely at this)  We learned not to diminish someone's' importance because they may be small or young.  Help can come from anyone who is willing to try!

Hallie- You said it lil cousin!

Q-So what's on the horizon for the Flying Dragon?

Mongo- Snake Island!

Linus- Barnabas the scurvey dog!

Fribbet_ Crab Cakes! I hate crab cakes!

Q- One at a time, please.

CNB -Well, on our next voyage we are "Stuck in the Doldrums" and I ( here he is very embarrassed) learn a valuable lesson on sharing.

Cayla- Don't forget my book "Strangers on the High Seas".

Fribbet- Aye, that was a treacherous encounter!

Hallie-(goosebumps clearly visible) How about the "Treasure of Snake Island".

CNB- There weren't too many snakes,Hallie.

Hallie- One snake is too many!

CNB- We love to explore. No matter what we encounter from rough seas, to battered feelings, this crew can go anywhere our imagination takes us and come back better for it.

A great group of friends that appear ready for anything.  This interviewer left wondering where her own imagination could take her today.

This giveaway is open to US residents only.  Sorry guys but shipping can be murder on you internationally.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 4, 2013

Book Review: Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life & Pepper Parrot's Problem with Patience: A Captain No Beard Story by Carole P. Roman

Title: Captain No Beard: An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life
Series: Captain No Beard
Author: Carole P. Roman
Publisher: Michael/Okon
Date of Publication: April 12, 2012
Source: received from author for honest review,paperback 40 pages

Amazon Synopsis:
Captain No Beard and his pirate ship The Flying Dragon set sail for a voyage of the imagination with his fearless crew of four: First Mate Hallie, Mongo the Monkey, Linus the loudmouthed lion, and Fribbit the floppy frog. Normally a young boy named Alexander, his cousin Hallie, and three stuffed animals, once they board his bed their world is transformed into a magical vessel, sailing the seven seas on dangerous and exciting adventures! Captain No Beard - An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate's Life named to Kirkus Reviews' BEST OF 2012 for Children's Indie Books, and garnered the star of remarkable merit! "Roman charms with an imaginative,whimsical picture book that will entertain even the oldest pirates." Kirkus Review

Mom's Thoughts:
I am such a huge fan of pirates. There is just something breathtaking about walking around saying "Aarrgh!" or "Ahoy Mateys!"  that seems like it makes your day just a tad more fun.  

You should try it-you might like it.  Talk like a pirate with your kids while you go about the chores or pretend you are the captain and they are your first mates.  It will bring a smile to your kids' faces, and probably yours too.
So my boys and I were super excited to find this cute little series about a captain and his unlikely crew sailing the imaginary seas.  I think the title is adorable~Captain No Beard~ because he literally has no beard.  He is a very interesting pirate captain, not to mention his shipmates as well.  He has a mix of animal friends that help navigate on his boat, The Flying Dragon.   For example,  there is Mongo the Monkey, Linus the loudmouthed lion and of course, Fribbet the Floppy Frog.   
I love the alliteration that is going on right here.  It is so much fun.  In fact, I think that was the first thing my son, Mikey, pointed out to me.  
This isn't specifically a "learning" book; but I do think it could be if you really wanted it to be.  I do, however, think this is a great teaching tool for imagination.  I appreciate the fact you have the adventure the crew goes on and then always at the end, the captain and his first mate, Hallie, find themselves back home.  
I think this book is great for both sexes as it doesn't really play to either one.  It is just fun to read, fun to pretend with, and fun to imagine.  
I have to give it five stars *****

Michael's Thoughts -7 years old 
Captain No Beard is a very funny pirate that is a kid just like me.  I love the monkey; in fact he is my favorite.  It is cool to say his name: Mongo the mast climbing monkey.  I laughed really hard when Captain No Beard pulled out a dictionary to look up the famous pirate phrase, "Shiver Me Timbers".  And after everyone figured out what it meant they ran off doing their chores on the ship.  My little brother and me started saying that while we were cleaning our room.  It was pretty funny. 
I give it five stars *****

Jacey's Thoughts - 4 years old
My favorite part was when Mom would read us the different pirate phrases, using her best pirate voice.  And then she would tell us we needed to repeat the words so we could be pirates too.  We were honorary members of the Flying Dragon.  Besides his first mate, all of his crew is animals.  I love animals!  I did wish he had a dog since dogs are my favorite animal in the whole wide world.  
Oh and the pictures in the story were very cool!
I gave it four stars ****

                                Title: Pepper Parrot's Problem with Patience
Author: Carole P. Roman
          Series: Captain No Beard Story
                                   Date of Publication: CreateSpace-Jan. 19, 2013
                                                         Source: received with first book from author in exchange for our honest opinion of it.

Goodreads Summary:
The crew of the Flying Dragon are sailing again. This time, new crewmember, Pepper Parrot is having a hard time keeping up with the drills. Captain No Beard and his mates join together to help Pepper achieve her goals with patience and tolerance.

Mom's thoughts:
I know my kids (and myself) can always use patience when it comes with dealing with many issues we face everyday as part of a family, part of a community, and even being part of this world and this great little story helps us see why.  
Ya'll know I love my alliteration and there it is smack dab in the title!  This was a wonderful story to read with my kids.  I even found my older, more mature, (yeah right) nine years old twins listening in and chuckling at Pepper.  
That is actually one of my favorite aspects of the book: the humor Ms. Roman  works into it.  It is simple enough for the kids to get a kick out of it but even the adults can smile at the Pepper Parrot and the crew's patience or lack thereof.  
I think this book has a bit more of a learning vision than the first book because of course, patience is a virtue we could all have a little more of.  Especially Pepper the Parrot.   I think Pepper Parrot's Problem with Patience could be a great teaching tool for kids as a fun imaginative read that helps children unlock their potential  to do great things.  As long as they can be patient enough for those great things.  
I loved Pepper and loved how the story turned out for Pepper!  Five Stars!!!!  *****
The Boys' Thoughts:
( Conner ~ 9, Anthony ~ 9, Michael ~ 7, & Jacey ~4)

This is a great book with lots of funny parts!  We all decided that probably the best part is when the crew and Pepper is trying to figure out what left and right is and Pepper keeps getting confused!  It's also cool that the trick Hallie teaches Pepper to learn left from right is the same trick our mom taught us too!  That is pretty amazing!  
Another funny part is when everyone keeps saying, "AARGH!" all the time.  Conner laughed so hard he snorted and then everyone was laughing from that too.  
We loved this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes pirates, using their imaginations, or just a really  good laugh!  We decided it deserves five stars!  *****
We did have one question though:  How was Pepper the Parrot going to be the cook??  That would have been definitely a funny sight!

Connect with Carole P. Roman:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter

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