Thursday, October 27, 2011

Don't forget my latest giveaway!!

Hey y'all!!! Just wanted to remind you that there is still time to enter to win my latest giveaway!! Check out my review of The Journey of the Noble Gnarble by Daniel Errico and enter to win your very own copy!!!!

More storytime posts and some patron stories are coming up!!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Review: The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken

I am really excited to review The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken by Mari Passananti. This book completely held my attention, and I didn't want to put it down!!

From the Book Jacket:

Zoe Clark thinks her world will implode when her fiance dumps her on the eve of their splashy wedding. After nearly a decade with her college sweetheart, Zoe feels like a teenager about to be eaten alive by the New York dating scene. And her problems don't end there. Zoe works a less-than-ideal jobs, managing other people's careers while her own ambitions wither.

Enter Oscar Thornton. He's handsome, charming, attentive and rich - the perfect boyfriend. But does he harbor a dark secret? Or will Zoe torpedo her newfound happiness by indulging a far fetched suspicion?

My thoughts:

Zoe has been with her fiance for ten years. He breaks off the wedding the night before, with a pretty huge confession. Now, Zoe is questioning her instincts and judgement. Add in her job as a headhunter for a very well known, yet mostly crazy boss, and some interesting things start to happen!!

Enter Oscar Thornton, a gorgeous, successful and incredibly romantic man who is crazy about her. Since she has started to doubt her instincts, she suspects bad things of Oscar. Is she just paranoid, or is Oscar hiding something?!

The characters in this book were fabulous. The relationships that Zoe has with her best friends, Angela and Kevin are totally believable and it really seemed that they had been friends for a decade. Also, Zoe's coworkers were great additions to the story. Carol, the crazy boss who you can tell her mood by the state of her make-up, is appalling, yet incredibly intriguing.

The dialogue is witty and clever, and everything adds something special to the story. It is filled with twists that I just didn't expect. Mari Passananti crafted something that included romance, suspense and even a little thrill.

I especially loved the ending - Zoe figures it all out for herself. She finds what is going to be best for herself, and follows her heart. I wasn't expecting this ending, and it really works for the novel.

The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken was a great read, and I definitely think you should check this one out!!!

Thanks to Jocelyn at Kelley and Hall Book Publicity and Promotion for sending me a copy of this book to review!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Review and Giveaway: The Journey of the Noble Gnarble

I don't often review children's books, but I am really glad that I decided to take a look at The Journey of the Noble Gnarble by Daniel Errico.

Description from the book:

A gnarble left his cozy bed along the ocean floor.
He dreamt about a place that he had never seen before!

He headed to the surface for a glimpse of sun and sky.
The trip was so impossible, he'd be the first to try.

Gnarbles can't swim far with little fins and floppy tails.
What makes the gnarble noble isn't written on his scales.

You won't believe the new fantastic creatures that he found.
But did he reach the top or did he quit and turn around?

The thrilling tale of the noble gnarble, accompanied by vibrant, four color illustrations, will delight ages 3-6 - and their parents, too!!

My thoughts:

Well, I just have to say that this was just a great story!! The rhyming text flows perfectly throughout the book, and it kept the pace moving along nicely! It is the perfect length - not too long for wiggly youngens. I wanted to keep reading faster to find out what happened, and if the noble gnarble succeeded in his quest!!

I was very involved in the story, but I can't not talk about the illustrations. The full page illustrations in this story are amazing!!! The colors really pop and are so vibrant!! These visually stimulating pictures will seriously captivate the kids, and they really add something wonderful to the story.

All in all, this is a very sweet book with a nice message and beautiful pictures. An all around winner!!! Be sure to check out the website to learn more about the author and illustrator, see more examples of the illustrations, and even print out some coloring pages for the kids!!

I am also holding a giveaway for this awesome book!!! All you have to do is fill out the form below by Friday, October 28, and I'll choose a winner on Saturday, October 29!!! US entries only, please!!

Thanks to Marissa from JKS Communications for sending me a copy of this book!!! It was highly enjoyable, and - hey, I might just have to work it into my story time collection!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Hairy Wednesday

I found some AMAZING books about hair, and I just HAD to share them. It was great, too, because a dad came up to me after and told me that they were just dealing with hair brushing, getting your hair cut, and all that stuff, so he was excited that I was bringing things that are familiar to the kids to the story time. YAY!!!

Opening Song:
Shake My Sillies Out - Raffi

Book: Ella Kazoo Will Not Brush Her Hair by Lee Fox

Song: This Little Piggy

Book: Baghead by Jarret Krosoczka (p.s. Make sure to stress that it is a BAD IDEA and you will get in to VERY BIG TROUBLE to cut your own hair - the grown-ups will appreciate that).

Freeze Dance by Greg and Steve

Book: This is My Hair by Todd Parr (this one was a HUGE hit. I LOVE Todd Parr!)

What's Wrong With my Hair? by Satoshi Kitamura

Mustache Masks (I just couldn't resist seeing these little kids walking around with these Monopoly Man mustaches...or the Pringles guy... Either way - too adorable!!!

YAY for FMRNS!!! This week's feature was a little lighter than last weeks!!! We watched the original X-Men not too terribly long ago, and decided it was time for X2 from 2003 with Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman (drool) and Ian McKellen. Fabulous, of course!!!

Big and Little Monday

This Monday, I decided to read about things BIG and little. The toddlers are so cute when they showed me how big they could be, and how small they could be!!

Opening Song: If You're Happy and You Know It from Favorite Children's Songs CD.

Book: Little Gorilla by Ruth Bornstein

Song: Itsy Bitsy Spider

Book: Blue Sea by Robert Kalan

Game: Ms. Real's Box of Mystery
This is a fun game where I bring in a box filled with stuffed animals and puppets, and the kids guess what's in the box. I start with this song:

There's something in my box today, my box today, my box today!
There's something in my box must be...
Something that lives on a farm, eats grass and makes this sound...MOOOO!!!

Book: Big and Little by Margaret Miller

Interactive Playtime

The Moon over Wednesday

For story time, I thought I'd break out some fun books about the moon and night time. These were perfect, and the kids had lots of fun with them!!

Opening Song - Shake My Sillies Out by Raffi

Book: Bringing Down the Moon by Jonathan Emmett

Flying Around the Moon (to the tune of She'll be Coming 'Round the Mountain) (taken from Preschool Express - moon songs and rhymes by Jean Warren) I changed a few of the words for my version:

We'll be flying around the moon, yes we will!
We'll be flying around the moon, yes we will!
We'll be flying around the moon
We'll be flying around the moon
We'll be flying around the moon, yes we will!!

Additional verses:
We'll be landing on the moon
We'll be blasting off again
We'll be landing back on Earth

See You Soon, Moon by Donna Conrad

Song: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

Book: Zoom, Zoom, Zoom, I'm off to the Moon by Dan Yaccarino

Craft: Moon and Star

Of course, it was also FMRNS!!! The feature for this time was a pretty intense drama. Soldier's Girl is a made for TV movie from 2003, starring Troy Garity and Lee Pace. This movie is based on true events and real people, and like I said, is pretty intense. It is pretty disturbing, and it just makes me sad to know that people can be so narrow minded and hateful. It has a very powerful message, and I am glad that it was on The List.

Know your body Monday

I thought we'd do some stories about knowing your body! The kids are too cute when I ask them where there hands, feet, noses are. I also like to point to my ears and ask if that's my nose - which causes all kinds of 'Nooooo!!' Seriously, too cute.

Opening Song: If You're Happy and You Know It from Favorite Children's Songs CD.

Book: All of Baby Noes to Toes by Victoria Adler

Rhyme: 10 Little Fingers (Taken from Everything Preschool - Body Parts Songs and Music)
I have 10 fingers and they all belong to me (hold hands up)
I can make them do things, would you like to see?
I can shut them up tight (form fist)
Or open them wide (hold fingers out)
I can put them together, or make them all hide (close both fists)
I can make them jump high (put hands over head)
I can make them go low (put hands down)
I can fold them quietly and hold them just so (put hands in lap)

Book: Ten Tiny Tickles by Karen Katz

Song: Two Feet (to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb) (Taken from Everything Preschool - Body Parts Songs and Music)

Book: Piggies by Don and Audrey Wood

Interactive Playtime