Picture Book Saturday: The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Mermaids

The Deets:
Audience: small kids
Pages: 32
Publisher: February 7th 2012 by Tanglewood Press
ISBN: 9781933718590
genre: picture book, activity book
Source: e-ARC from Netgalley



On hot summer days, the beaches are packed with all kinds of people swimming, splashing, or lying in the sun. But there are other days—magical ones—when the beach is empty. Whoosh! The wind tosses up the sand in curling eddies. Kazoom! The waves cymbal-crash against the shore. Yes!

Days like these are just right for finding mermaids.


Have you ever walked on the beach and looked for shells or or clams? There are creatures, more like you and me, who are even more interesting to look for. Most people don’t see them, but they might just not know how to look for signs. That sand dollar—why, that could be a mermaid-size surfboard. Those twisted reeds—a bed for a lovely afternoon mermaid nap. And if you peer closely into the water, you might see a mermaid market.

This is a lovely activity for a fun day at the beach and a way to encourage paying close attention to all the interesting things that can be found on the beach or in the water.



This was not what I was expecting. I have not read other books in this series, but I assumed this would be a picture book based on the cover. I was partially correct. It's a combination of photographs and illustrations. Personally, I did not care for the combination. But, if a very small child was looking at the pictures, they might enjoy it. The illustrations were very cute and whimsical.

I noted this as an activity book, because it gives the impression of a beachy scavenger hunt. I would say this is best suited for kids between the ages of 2-4 with very active imaginations.


Minute review: The Savage Blue ( Zoraida Cordova)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 416
Publisher: May 7th 2013 by Sourebooks Fire
ISBN: 9781402282065
Genre: fantast/ adventure
Source: e-ARC from Netgalley


The Savage BlueA storm is coming...

The ocean is a vicious place. Deeper and darker than Tristan could have imagined. Beneath its calm blue surface, an ancient battle is churning —and no one is safe.

In the quest for the Sea Throne, Tristan has already watched one good friend die. Now he must lead the rest on a dangerous voyage in search of the trident that will make him king. But while Tristan chases his destiny, the dark forces racing against him are getting stronger, and the sea witch of his nightmares is getting closer.

Battling sea dragons and savage creatures of the deep, Tristan needs his friends' support. But they each have their secrets, and a betrayal will force Tristan to choose between his crown and his best friend Layla — the only girl he's ever loved.




This is going to be short and sweet because this book did not impress me. I really enjoyed The Vicious Deep. I was on pins when it ended-- I couldn't believe that scene was the end of the first book. So naturally, I was anxious to read The Savage Blue and find out what happened next.

Unfortunately, this book dragged on for-ev-er. I looked at my status updates and saw it took me a month to read this book. An entire month! That is unheard of. I am a book-a-day kind of gal. That right there speaks volumes. Why did this story lag? I really don't know. There was some special something that seemed to be missing from the first 350 pages. No spark. No pizzaz. Just fizzle. Tristan didn't really grow as a character. Layla felt more like a supporting actress in a B list movie than the love of his life. And everyone else was just there.

So that was the bad of it, but there was enough good at the end to make me want to keep reading this series. Just like in The Vicious Deep, there is an amazing cliffhanger. I mean, sit on the edge of your seat biting your nails kind of intense. Those final 50 or so pages opens a serious can of worms that will be resolved in book 3, and I must know what happens. Must!

So the short run of it is, this was not my favorite read. It is, however, necessary to read in the series. Just be prepared to muddle through the slow plot and lackluster action scenes before you get to the good stuff.


Review: Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle

The deets:
Audience: middle grades
Pages: 496
Publisher: April 30th 2013 by Walden Pond Press
ISBN: 9780062118455
Genre: fairy tale, adventure


The Hero's Guide to Storming the CastlePrince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You remember them, don't you? They're the Princes Charming who finally got some credit after they stepped out of the shadows of their princesses - Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White, and Briar Rose - to defeat an evil witch bent on destroying all their kingdoms.

But alas, such fame and recognition only last so long. And when the princes discover that an object of great power might fall into any number of wrong hands, they are going to have to once again band together to stop it from happening - even if no one will ever know it was they who did it.

Christopher Healy, author of the acclaimed The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, takes us back to the hilariously fractured fairy-tale world he created for another tale of medieval mischief. Magical gemstones, bladejaw eels, a mysterious Gray Phantom, and two maniacal warlords bent on world domination - it's all in a day's work for the League of Princes.



Another great installment in the League of Princes series!

This time around we see a whole new side to some of our beloved princes and princesses. I was so intrigued by the 'other side' of Briar Rose and Liam. I can't tell you much, but I can say there are some definite surprises in store for you, dear reader.

What I really enjoyed in The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle were the new characters. The villains were extra vile and the sidekicks were extra punchy. (I love Mr. Troll!) The ending had a nice surprise that sets the stage perfectly for the next book. I also really enjoyed watching some of the princes grow. Liam learned that he is not perfect, and Frederic learned he has strengths. Duncan is still a little 'off' but such a delight. I really think that he and Snow White are my favorites.

If you're wondering what you can expect in The Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle, that's simple. You can expect mischief and mayhem of the highest quality. You can also expect uproarious laughter and strange looks from bystanders (because you will laugh out loud). Finally, though, you can expect an excellent adventure full of surprises that will not disappoint.

 
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Announcing June's VBC read along choice

Here it is... that long awaited moment when I deliver more life altering news.

Well, okay, maybe not life altering like winning the lottery or announcing the discovery of a new solar system, but something pretty awesome all the same-- our next read-along choice for the virtual book club.

The poll was a little shady this time around-- not saving votes and all-- so I had to rely on official Facebook posts to determine the June book. Because we know that everything on Facebook is official and totally legit. Duh!  In June we will be reading, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.

I'll be announcing more information about the VBC (virtual book club) on the 26th. That gives you plenty of time to get your copy ready! As a matter of fact, just skip the beach Memorial Day and hit the book store (since the library will be closed). Easy peasy.

The offical read-along will begin on June 2nd. If you feel so inclined, I would appreciate the help spreading the word... maybe a Tweet or sharing the button? What ever tickles your fancy.


Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?



Yes, the awesomeness shall commence soon. March was a blast with our first ever VBC read along. Thank you to all that participated!

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