Picture Book Saturday: Roly Poly Pangolin

The Deets:
Genre: picture book
Pages: 40
Publisher: March 9th 2010 by Viking Juvenile (first published 2010)            
ISBN: 9780670011605
Source: Library copy

Roly Poly Pangolin
Roly Poly, very small, doesn't like new things at all. Meet Roly Poly Pangolin, a little pangolin who'd rather stick close to his mama instead of facing anything unfamiliar. Whether it's a line of ants, a friendly monkey, or a loud noise, Roly Poly runs the other way. Then he hears something that really scares him. So he does what all pangolins do when they're frightened: he rolls up into a tiny ball. But Roly Poly is surprised when he finally peeks out, because another ball is peeking back . . . it's a small pangolin just like him!

Attention all Llama Llama Red Pajama fans: There is another adorable Anna Dewdney book for you! Fans of Llama Llama will instantly fall in love with Roly Poly Pangolin. This little Roly Poly reminded me so much of my beloved Llama.

You will notice instantly that Roly Poly Pangolin rhymes much the same was as the Llama Llama stories do. There is a phrase or two that is repeated throughout the book, which makes it a hit for younger readers. Also like the little llama, there is a lesson to be learned here. Roly Poly is scared of new things, which almost cost him the chance to meet a new friend. All young readers can relate to--and learn from-- Roly Poly.

Cover Alert: Emerge

Emerge has a new cover! Check it out, y'all...

New Cover:
Emerge (Evolve Series, #1)

Old Cover:

Emerge (Evolve Series, #1)

A little bit about Emerge:

Laney Walker is a quick witted, athletic, southern tomboy who lets few get too close, using her sarcastic zingers to deflect. She also has no idea how others view her, Evan having protected and coveted her since they were children. But college puts a gap between Laney and Evan that neither of them were prepared for- old relationships are tested, new ones are formed and nothing will ever be the same.

Especially when in walks one Dane Kendrick, not at all the familiar, southern charmer of home, but an animal all his own.

A story of growing up, friendship, loyalty, first love, primal love...and life.

*** There is mature content in this book. It is best suited for mature readers.

Free Book Alert: Chasing Justice by Danielle Stewart

Do you love books? Do you have an e-reader?

How would you like a FREE book for that e-reader? Sounds pretty great, right?

Check out Chasing Justice by Danielle Stewart.

It's currently free on Amazon.

Chasing Justice (Piper Anderson, #1)Piper Anderson has been given a fresh start in the picturesque town of Edenville, North Carolina. But her plans of settling into a normal life are derailed when she witnesses a prominent judge in her community committing a violent assault. Running from her own past and fueled by a passion to make the judge answer for his crimes, Piper is forced to decide if she’ll play by the rules or achieve justice in her own way.
Complicating things further, Piper finds herself fighting a powerful attraction to rookie cop, Bobby Wright. Although she’s increasingly enamored with Bobby, his staunch belief in the justice system is in stark contrast to her own. She may not share his opinions about the effectiveness of the law, but she certainly can’t deny how safe she feels when she’s in his arms or how every kiss leaves her desperate for more.
For Piper, the idea of finally living an ordinary life with a man to love is tempting. However, fate keeps placing the judge, quite literally, in her path. Will she decide the only way to win is to be as wicked as the judge, but with righteous intentions? And more importantly, will Bobby choose to let her go, or follow her as she crosses the line and takes justice into her own hands?

See what others are saying about Chasing Justice on Goodreads.

Review: Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return (Marjane Satrapi)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 192
Publisher: August 2,2005 by Pantheon (first published July 1st 2001)            
ISBN: 9780375714665
Genre: nonfiction, memoir, graphic novel
Source: library copy

Persepolis 2: The Story of a ReturnIn Persepolis, heralded by the Los Angeles Times as “one of the freshest and most original memoirs of our day,” Marjane Satrapi dazzled us with her heartrending memoir-in-comic-strips about growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Here is the continuation of her fascinating story. In 1984, Marjane flees fundamentalism and the war with Iraq to begin a new life in Vienna. Once there, she faces the trials of adolescence far from her friends and family, and while she soon carves out a place for herself among a group of fellow outsiders, she continues to struggle for a sense of belonging.

Finding that she misses her home more than she can stand, Marjane returns to Iran after graduation. Her difficult homecoming forces her to confront the changes both she and her country have undergone in her absence and her shame at what she perceives as her failure in Austria. Marjane allows her past to weigh heavily on her until she finds some like-minded friends, falls in love, and begins studying art at a university. However, the repression and state-sanctioned chauvinism eventually lead her to question whether she can have a future in Iran.

As funny and poignant as its predecessor, Persepolis 2 is another clear-eyed and searing condemnation of the human cost of fundamentalism. In its depiction of the struggles of growing up—here compounded by Marjane’s status as an outsider both abroad and at home—it is raw, honest, and incredibly illuminating.

Marjane is back and older in Persepolis 2. Now that she is living and attending school in Austria, she has a whole new set of problems to deal with. I have to admit that I realized how selfish I could be when I read her story this time around. It has never occurred to me how lonely it would be to be surrounded by people that I have nothing in common with culturally. I've never lived abroad in a country that does not speak my language, so this situation never crossed my mind. However, reading what Marji went through during her high school years, I was shocked by how easy it would be to disappear among a crowd.

The author did a great job of taking what was probably a retched time in her life and making it both humorous and believable. She did not take away from her experiences with her witty remarks, but she did not share all of the gut-wrenching details either.

What I found myself really enjoying this time around is how Marji both lost and found herself between the pages of Persepolis 2. It was also an eye opener in that I now understand why some cultures are so against the West and our "decadence" after seeing the extent Marji went to fit in. It must be a horrible feeling to lose what makes you you in order to fit in, only to find that you still don't truly belong. (Okay, to be fair, don't most teenagers go through some extent of this growing up? I know it's part of the process, but Marji went through an extreme version.)

But Marji has amazing parents that realize she is the daughter they raised. She is outspoken, independent, and not a coward. Marji just needed a bit of a push to remember that. When she does realize her place and purpose in the world, she becomes an amazing force. I really wish this story continued on because I want to know more. I was just in awe the entire time. I could write more, but I would start babbling over all the connections and comments I wrote down while reading. The pages were filled with insight, but it wouldn't be fair to try to squeeze it all into a few paragraphs in this review. Again, just like with Persepolis, this is a must read.

Review: Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi)

The Deets:
Audience: anyone, older readers (due to a few graphic images of mature material)
Pages: 160
Publisher: June 1st 2004 by Pantheon (first published January 1st 2000)            
ISBN: 9780375714573
Genre: memoir, nonfiction, graphic novel
Source: Library copy

Persepolis: The Story of a ChildhoodWise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.

Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life. Marjane’s child’s-eye view of dethroned emperors, state-sanctioned whippings, and heroes of the revolution allows us to learn as she does the history of this fascinating country and of her own extraordinary family. Intensely personal, profoundly political, and wholly original, Persepolis is at once a story of growing up and a reminder of the human cost of war and political repression. It shows how we carry on, with laughter and tears, in the face of absurdity. And, finally, it introduces us to an irresistible little girl with whom we cannot help but fall in love.

In one word: Poignant.

For anyone that does not like to approach nonfiction should give Persepolis a chance. It's an interesting look into Iranian culture during the Islamic Revolution. In this edition of Persepolis, the young Marji learns many lessons about life and her culture. She has a unique family situation, so she is raised a bit differently than her peers. Her life experiences and observations help show an outsider what it was like growing up in Iran during this time.

I will admit, I do not know much about the Islamic Revolution or Iraq's invasion of Iran in the 1970s. That was way before my time and I was just a kid in the 1980s. Needless to say, this story was fascinating for me. I was instantly engrossed with what was happening around Marji and within the walls of her home.

Like all graphic novels, there are many details left out. As a reader, you were left filling in the gaps with what was happening outside of her home. Since she was a young child during this time, the information is shared in the perspective of a young child. The adults in her life were the real enlightenment.

I loved the author's humor. Information was given, but it was sprinkled with a kind of wit and insight that made me connect instantly with what was being shared. I could not put this book down, and I consider it a must read.

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