Saturday, January 21, 2017

Graphic Novel Review of The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle Adapted by Peter B. Gillis

Read for: Graphic Novel Challenge
Synopsis: "Adapted for the first time from the novel by Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn is a tale for any age about the wonders of magic, the power of love, and the tragedy of loss. The unicorn, alone in her enchanted wood, discovers that she may be the last of her kind. Reluctant at first, she sets out on a journey to find her fellow unicorns, even if it means facing the terrifying anger of the Red Bull and malignant evil of the king who wields his power. Adapted by Peter B. Gillis and illustrated by Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon."

My Review: I have never read the original book, the movie was a favorite as a kid, but I decided to go with the graphic novel edition to have the beautiful artwork to go with it. I really enjoyed it and the artwork is absolutely stunning. I do have to say that I feel like maybe there was some symbolism that may have gotten lost in this version, but again I am not sure since I never read the orginal by Beagle, but I just feel like there is more to the story.
My Rating: Reading this graphic novel definitely took me back and made me nostalgic. I must say that while I enjoyed this version, I think I need to either read the original work or stick to the movie.  I give this one a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Bedtime Story: All By Myself by Mercer Mayer

Read for: Children's Book Challenge
Synopsis: "All the many things a young child can do independently are demonstrated, (tying shoes, riding bike, kicking ball), but there is one thing one cannot do alone."

My Review: Of course we love Little Critter books and this is a great one for young ones, especially when they are trying to do more and more things on their own but maybe getting a little frustrated that they can't do everything yet. Munchkin really enjoyed reading this book, and pointing out all the things he can do all by himself and also we discussed the things he is still learning and practicing. Another great book from Mercer Mayer!
My Rating: This was such a great Little Critter book. It makes a nice transition from picture books to early readers, the story was easy and short enough for Munchkin to start reading on his own.  We give it a rating of Four Paws!
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Early Reader Review of Dinotrux: To the Rescue by Emily Sollinger

Read for: Early Reader Challenge
Synopsis:"Meet Ty, Revvit, Ton-Ton, Ace, D-Structs, and all the awesome characters from the fantastic and action-packed world of Dinotrux! With text that's perfect for an emerging reader, kids will love reading all about their new favorite friends!

DINOTRUX ©2016 DreamWorks Animation LLC."

My Review: We don't have Netflix but Munchkin has been seeing DinTrux everywhere. I finally found this book for him for Christmas. It is a great story to pull him in, though I think it is more suited to Level 2 readers. I have to say though that the images were very dark and hard to see, making it hard for him to distinguish the characters. He still really enjoyed the story.
My Rating: While Munchkin really loves the Dinotrux, it was so hard to see the pictures that it lost some of it's magic.  It was also a little difficult to figure out how to say some of the names.  We give it a rating of Three Paws.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

After Dark Review of The Edge of the Blade by Jeffe Kennedy

I have added After Dark Reviews to my blog as a way of notifying you of a review of a book with Adult themes and scenes. From now on I will keep my reviews of all books I read that have explicit scenes in them for late night posts for those of you who prefer to avoid them or easy to find for those of you who seek them out ;)
Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley
Synopsis: "A HAWK S PLEDGE
"The Twelve Kingdoms rest uneasy under their new High Queen, reeling from civil war and unchecked magics. Few remember that other powers once tested their borders until a troop of foreign warriors emerges with a challenge . . ."
Jepp has been the heart of the queen s elite guard, her Hawks, since long before war split her homeland. But the ease and grace that come to her naturally in fighting leathers disappears when battles turn to politics. When a scouting party arrives from far-away Dasnaria, bearing veiled threats and subtle bluffs, Jepp is happy to let her queen puzzle them out while she samples the pleasures of their prince s bed.
But the cultural norms allow that a Dasnarian woman may be wife or bed-slave, never her own leader and Jepp s light use of Prince Kral has sparked a diplomatic crisis. Banished from court, she soon becomes the only envoy to Kral s strange and dangerous country, with little to rely on but her wits, her knives and the smolder of anger and attraction that burns between her and him . . ."

My Review: The first book in the Uncharted Realms series (Pages of the Mind) was my favorite book of 2016 so I was so excited to read this book. Unfortunately I was rather disappointed. This series is a branch off the original Mark of the Tala trilogy and while it wasn't necessary to read those books before Pages of the Mind, it was really needed for this book. There is a lot mentioned about the world, the characters and the backstory from those first three books, that if you hadn't read them (like me) you will end up completely lost and grasping for threads. The villain in this book is I guess the same that they fought all through the first trilogy so there is a lot of history there that you don't have if you hadn't read those books. With that said, there was plenty adventure and action for Jepp and the back and forth between her and Kral was rather entertaining. I would have liked the tension to have been built up a bit more before jumping into bed though. I do love a strong female character that stands by her values but Jepp was almost a little too headstrong for my liking, after reading Daphne's story and her looking at things from both sides, it was an abrupt change. Kral's view of women was so infuriating and I honestly don't think he developed an understanding in that aspect either by the end of the book. If you have read the first trilogy then you may enjoy this book so much better than I did and if you are looking forward to this one, I strongly suggest making sure you read them first otherwise you may end up confused and disappointed.
My Rating: Unfortunately, I am so disappointed in this book, I had really high hopes after reading Pages of the Mind but with out the backstory knowledge that was needed and little connection to the characters it was a real struggle for me.  I give it a rating of Two Paws.
I received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
To find out more about Jeffe Kennedy and her other books you can visit her Goodreads Page and Website.
The Edge of the Blade was just released December 27, 2016, you can obtain your own copy in digital or print format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Monday, January 16, 2017

Monday Reading List

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Running on Empty by R.M. Clark
It's Snowing! It's Snowing by Peter Prelutsky (Early Reader)
Big Snow by Jonathan Bean (Bedtime Story)
 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Harry  Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Running on Empty
Icicles like Kindling
Edge of the Blade
It's Snowing
The Last Unicorn
Of Fire and Stars
Dinotrux to the Rescue
Max has a Fish

Currently Reading:

Ice Like Fire by Sarah Raasch - Audio - 76%
Like a Closed Fist by E.H. Nola - Kindle - on page 32 of 236
I Will Always Write Back by Caitlin Alifirenka - print - on page 78 of 392

 Books to be Read Soon:


Pages Read/ Time Listened
10:56 Hours Listened (none listened this week)
3,357 Pages Read (1,676 this week)

Books Added to Shelves This Month
Be Like a Bird by Monika Schroder
Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Viking Warrior Rising by Asa Maria Bradley

Books Read From My Shelves
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The Last Unicorn
Of Fire and Stars

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:



 It was another great reading week for me this last week, and I am really liking the more laid back posting schedule for the blog too. I feel like I am much less stressed so far, of course that can always change. I am also feeling more on top of my house too so I can have more time for reading, letter writing and crafting.

I did post over the weekend a little discussion post regarding counting Children's books towards reading numbers. I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter too!

Anyway, today is a holiday here so Munchkin and I are off to play some games and then do some crafting! I hope you all have a wonderful week and find some great bookish adventures!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Reading Time Discussion: Counting Children's Books

Back in November I posted about how I manage to read so much and I promised to have more posts on the subject.  So I have decided to post around once a month if possible under the title of Reading Time Discussion. I want to start conversations with you about the different ways we read, and what we read. I hope you will chime in and maybe bring your fellow readers into the discussion as well.
Previous Post - How do I read so much?
Since it is January there has been a lot of talk about our reading numbers (you can see mine HERE), how much did we read in 2016, what did we read in 2016 and how we plan to improve in 2017.  When I tell other people the number of books I read in a year (generally over 375 books) and then I tell them that I have read fantasy, romance, graphic novels and children's books.  I often get the response 'well kids books don't count'.  While I understand that a lot of people don't think they count because they are short books with mostly images and not a lot of substance or text to them, I want to talk a bit today about why I count them and why I think you should too.
Reading is Reading
The first obvious response for me is that reading is reading. If you are reading words on a page or listening to someone read to you (be it audio books or a author reading event), you are reading. Anything you read should count (no, I am not going to get into the debate of how it shouldn't be a competition, and why should we keep track anyway, that is a whole other discussion for another day).  Obviously, it is difficult or near impossible to count all your reading (heck if you want to get super specific you could even count reading this post as reading). Anyway, my point is that if you are reading, you are reading. If you want to get technical where it only counts if you read a work of literature bound for the purpose of reading, guess what, Children's books fall into that category too.
Read it Once, Read it Twice, Read it a Hundred Times
When I add a Children's book to my Goodreads page, or to my own book tracking, I only add it once.  Do you know how many times I read that same book with a small child in the house?!  I read 3 books with my son each night at bedtime, I often read a book each morning as well, and maybe one or two after preschool and work. On weekends and holidays I can read upwards of 6 to 10 books a day! Sometimes, I am reading the same book back to back to back because he enjoys it so much.  I do not count each time I read that book or my page counts would be astronomical!
Reading With and Not To
This is a concept that is difficult for people who have never read with children to understand, but when you are reading Children's books with children it should be an active thing. Children are still learning and growing and discovering, often it is through the books we read together. So when reading you are not simply reading the words on the page as fast as you can, but you are often answering questions about the pictures, playing a "what will happen next" game, pointing out familiar figures, animals, letters, etc. You are explaining why things are happening and where things are in relation to others. You are often making up voices for the characters, you have to have the proper intonation for what is happening so they can grasp the message so many of the books contain. As the kids grow older you start sounding out words so they can follow along and then they start sounding out words too (which while it seems like magic, is very time consuming). Each book (and sometimes each page) sparks conversations as your new developing reader is discovering not only the world but also the magic of books.
So there you have it, this is why I count Children's books in my reading totals and challenges. You don't have to have a child to count children's books that you read either (and honestly if you aren't reading Children's books you are missing out on some truly beautiful and magical books), as I said before reading is reading.  I hope that this will convince you to start counting those Children's books too. 
I would love to hear your opinion on the subject. Start a conversation!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Bedtime Story: Big Snow by Jonathan Bean

Read for: Children's Book Challenge
Synopsis: "An excited and frustrated boy watches hopefully as wintry weather develops slowly into a 'big snow.'"

My Review: This is a great book to read before a snow storm like we did. The book follows a boy eager for the snow from the first flakes that fall to mid storm and to see how much snow has fallen by the end of the day. It does a great job of building anticipation of the snow but also reminding little ones that it will come when it comes, Momma has no control over it. Munchkin really enjoyed the book and now asks when it snows if it will be a big snow or a little snow.
My Rating: This was a really fun book to read before and during a snow storm we had here. Munchkin loves when it snows and this book matched his anticipation level perfectly. We give this one a rating of Four Paws!
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!