Space Travel Review (Picture Book with Facts)

Space Travel is a book that unlocks the mysteries of space, featuring several interesting facts about Space with unique pictures.

Space Travel

Space Travel Review

Space Travel wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but it wasn’t necessarily bad. The seven year old who pressed herself to my side the whole time we were looking at it loved reading off the simple facts. She had fun identifying the planets and looking at some of the pictures (especially the illustration that had all the planets lined up).  The fact about astronauts feet grossed her out, so that was a fun little interlude. So, in terms of being a quick easy book that will delight (and apparently gross out) kids, it’s definitely a winner. If it gets kids interested in learning more about space, all the better.

From an adult standpoint, though, the pictures were odd. There were realistic pictures mixed in with complete fantasy pictures. Also, the dimensions on the pictures looked off. You could tell some of them had been incorrectly sized/distorted to fit the page.  I did like the white on black text that the author chose to use. It’s not something I’m used to coming across in kid’s books, but it worked well and the kiddo had no problem reading it.

Space Travel may not be perfect, but it does exactly what it sets out to do. It’s a book for beginning readers that gives them a few fun facts and a few cool pictures to look at. It also lists a reference at the back so you can see exactly where the author pulled all the facts and pictures from. Space Travel is available on Amazon.

4 Star Rated Space Travel Review

Title: Space Travel | Author: M.D. Johnson | Publisher: Self-published | Pub Date: 2016-7-20 | ASIN: B01ITRPHK8 | Genre: Children’s Nonfiction (The facts portion, at least) | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Date Read: 2016-7-30 | Source: Kindle Unlimited


Nat Geo Kids: Weird but True Sports Review

Weird but True Sports Overview: Everything has its weird side — even sports! Add wacky stats, facts, and stories to your arsenal of spots trivia with this new slam-dunk addition to the very popular Weird but True series! With the Olympics on the way, discover tons more zany fun, focused totally on the subject of sports! So step up to the plate to get 300 ALL-NEW amazing facts plus photos.

Weird But True Sports

Weird but True Sports Review

National Geographic Kids Weird but True Sports definitely gets the seal of approval in this household. Not only did it entertain the child in the family, but it was a hit with the adults too! It’s stuffed with facts, filled with pictures, and formatted so that each page is attention-grabbing. The facts vary greatly. There’s a bit of the absurd in the custard throwing contest, pole-sitting competition, glacier racing, etc.  For the serious (but little known) facts to offset them,they have stuff like the fact that divers use a bubbler machine to ‘soften the water’. There’s also animal sport facts that totally had the kiddo and myself grabbing my phone so we could look stuff like the Pig Olympics up.

It was so fascinating for my child that she made it halfway through the book before her attention wandered! Parents of the 5 to 7 age range can understand exactly how rare that is.  Almost all the information was new to her, and it was fun to discover it together. Weird but True Sports perfectly nails how to be informative and entertaining at the same time. It’s a book that kids can pick up and browse at any time. The set-up means there will be things for them to discover time and time again.  It’s the perfect size and length, so I’d definitely recommend picking it up. Especially with the Olympics not too far away. What better way to get your kid excited and interested in what will be going on?

Weird but True Sports is available on Amazon.

5 Star Rated Weird but True Sports Review

Title: Weird but True Sports | Series: Weird but True | Publisher: National Geographic Kids | Pub. Date: 2016-5-17 | Pages: 208 | ISBN13: 9781426324680 | Genre: Children’s Nonfiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Date Read: 2016-7-29 | Source: Received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

The Boy Who Got Lost in Dreams

Tom Apple falls into a Dream Machine and finds himself in The Realm, a place where dreams have become real. The boy is chased by monsters and helped by a fire beast, two birds, a golem, and a band of warriors, and must find a way home as the memories of his real life start to fade. He must escape a sea monster, a dragon and other monsters as he is pursued by a powerful enemy, The Dark Lord. He finds himself in a mighty battle between the light and dark sides of the Realm as the Dark Lord seeks a Map Tom holds that is a means for the Dark Lord to recreate the Realm in his own image. – Goodreads Synopsis

The Boy Who Got Lost in Dreams
The Boy Who Got Lost in Dreams Review

The Boy Who Got Lost in Dreams was a great kid’s book for ages 7+. It’s short, filled with action, and pushes the imagination. It provides the perfect adventure for any young reader (boy or girl) who likes fantasy. Tom Apple is a sweet kid with a good heart, and his animal companions he gathers on his adventures are the perfect team. Things don’t go easy for Tom on his journey through the dream realm, but there’s a reassuring sense that everything is going to work out okay.

At 171 pages, it could easily be broken down over a week’s worth of bedtime chapters. It would be the perfect adventure story to send your child off to sleep with. There are some scenes that may bother the more easily frightened. Violence does happen, but there is no mention made of blood, guts, or gore. Instead creatures are chomped, swallowed whole, or brought down in valiant battle. It is age appropriate for the most part.

I appreciated that not everything worked out perfectly. Not all of the companions survive. Tom is forced to make at least one difficult decision. The author balances the dark and the light fairly well. He acknowledges good dreams, bad dreams, and nightmares. The dark lord and the bad guys are stereotypical, but that is exactly what is needed for this particular adventure.

Overall, a great read. I really enjoyed it, and definitely recommend it. It’s available on Amazon, for purchase or free with your KU subscription.

4 Star Rated The Boy Who Got Lost in Dreams Review

Title: The Boy Who Got Lost in Dreams | Author: M.F. Cain (site) | Publisher: The Good The Bad and The Odd Press | Pub. Date: 2016-6-9 | Pages: 171 | ASIN: B01GLDTC3U | Genre: Children’s Fantasy | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Date Read: 2016-7-23 | Source: Kindle Unlimited



Sherlock Sam and the Missing Heirloom in Katong Review

Meet Sherlock Sam, Singapore’s greatest kid detective. With his trusty robot Watson, Sherlock Sam will stop at nothing to solve the case, no matter how big or small! In Sherlock Sam and the Missing Heirloom in Katong, Auntie Kim Lian’s precious Peranakan cookbook disappears, and Sherlock Sam cannot eat her delicious ayam buah keluak anymore! Will Sherlock Sam be able to use his super detective powers to find this lost treasure?
Sherlock Sam

Sherlock Sam and the Missing Heirloom in Katong Review

I decided to check out this book from Netgalley because the seven-year-old is in a robots phase. There’s not exactly a plethora of those books to find, so I was delighted to see this. Sherlock Sam and the Missing Heirloom of Katong is a pretty good kids mystery, all things considered. It teaches kids simple problem solving techniques. There wasn’t much of a mystery involved, but it’s perfect for beginning chapter readers who fancy themselves mini-sleuths .

I liked the smart-mouthed Watson, and the way he interacted with Sherlock. Some of his lines will probably sail over younger kids heads, but older kids and parents will appreciate them.  On the other hand, parents need to be careful here.  The other characters’ (robot included) teasing about Sam’s weight and eating habits is a bit bullying. It’s fine to read it in a book (to an extent), but impressionable kids might think its okay to do.

Overall, it’s a fun, simple story with non-white characters that is a great introduction into mystery/detective stories for young readers. The teasing is a bit much, but with discretion its fine. My seven-year-old had no problem telling me that saying that stuff to people in ‘real life’ was not appropriate, even if it was funny to read. We look forward to reading more in this series together.

You can find Sherlock Sam on Amazon here.

Title: Sherlock Sam and the Missing Heirloom in Katong | Series: Sherlock Sam #1 | Authors: A.J. Low, Adan Jimenez, Felicia Low-Jimenez | Publisher: Epigram Books (site) | Pub. Date: 2013-1-21 | Pages: 112 | ISBN13: 9789810747503 | Genre: Childrens Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Date Read: 2016-6-26 | Source: Received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


Nothing Left to Ooze Review (The Zombie Chasers #5)

After the original antidote wears off and millions of Americans suddenly rezombify, Zack Clarke and his crew of Zombie Chasers are on a mission to find a lasting cure. But to stop the undead for good, they’ll have to track down a brand-new Zombie Chaser first!

Hitting the road again, the Zombie Chasers set out on a zany international expedition where they’ll have to plow through abominable snow zombies on the Niagara River and outrun slime-drooling thrill-seekers at the biggest and best amusement park in the country! With rotting fairy-tale princesses and half-dead vacationers, it’s not just the Tilt-a-Whirl that will make them woozy. Can the Zombie Chasers end this carnival of frights before it’s too late? – Goodreads Synopsis

The Zombie Chasers: Nothing Left to Ooze Review


Nothing Left to Ooze Review

I didn’t realize that this was book 5 in a series when I picked it up, and I think my reading of it definitely suffered for that. I would have enjoyed the story more if I’d known the characters and the details of the Zompocalypse more. Still, for a book that aims to entertain kids in grades three through seven, it does a decent job.

A horror that is more disgusting than scary (zombie snot bubbles), Nothing Left to Ooze is surprisingly action-packed. The characters are diverse in race, gender, and attitude.  The illustrations definitely add to the ‘more disgusting than scary’ air. David DeGrand’s bad guys look like half-melted wax figurines. Not a bad thing, mind you.  There’s also definitely a comedic air, with snappy one-liners only elementary kids can appreciate and lots of “schnargle-blargle”ing by the zombies.

For a book about the zombie apocalypse, it definitely keeps it very child-friendly. None of our zombies are actually dead. None of them die in this quest to save the world, either. Instead they can be turned back into humans by a cure the team are out to find. When one of the group gets turned, there’s never even a question of leaving her behind. Instead, they handle the zombification in a matter of fact fashion. They make her as non-dangerous as possible, and haul her along. There’s a pretty snicker-worthy scene in the middle of a theme park as a result of this.

Overall, it’s not great, but it is good, and it’s got plenty of bits in it to amuse chapter-readers who are looking for something gross to read. Nothing Left to Ooze is available on Amazon.

4 Star Rated Review

Title: Nothing Left to Ooze | Series: Zombie Chasers #5 | Author: John Kloepfer (site) | Illustrator: David DeGrand  | Publisher: HarperCollins (site) | Pub. Date: 2014-1-21 | Pages: 224 | ISBN13: 9780062230980 | Genre: Kids Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Date Read: 2016-6-24 | Source: Library

Forest Secrets Review

The half-tree, half-human beings lived a secret existence deep in the old growth forest.

Until now.

When 11-year old Daisy Castillo discovers a plot to destroy the forest, she tries to halt the approaching evil while keeping these magical creatures from being discovered.

But danger waits in every shadow. For if these corrupt men succeed, the Forest People will die. A few surprises are in store, as some unknown and undiscovered friendships hold the key to her success. Fate hangs in the balance as Daisy faces her deepest fears, including heartbreak from the past, to rise up against all odds.

Suspenseful, mysterious, and full of danger, Forest Secrets captures the enchantment of nature and the power of friendship in this classic tale of good vs. evil. – GoodreadsForest Secrets Review

Forest Secrets Review

Forest Secrets is a good read. It’s well written, with unique metaphors suited to the setting, and addresses serious issues. Daisy Castillo gets in over her head when a simple jaunt into the forest leads to uncovering a conspiracy. Along the way, she learns that simple things like everyone has sadness. That just because someone gets mad at you doesn’t mean they don’t like you. She also learns about good and bad aspects of logging, protecting the environment, and what endangered species are. This is a kids book, but it is not a simple kids book. It will educate and touch your child’s heart.

I can only imagine self-doubt and sad thoughts that a child must feel when one of their parents decides to not be in their family life any more. When they seem happy to just up and disappear and not look back. It must be horribly stressing for them. Laurie Woodward addresses this issue in Forest Secrets. The main character, Daisy, is still dealing with the pain of her father’s voluntary separation from her and her mother. She doesn’t realize at first that she did nothing wrong. She idolizes her father, and thinks that he’ll be back. That he will come back if she makes things interesting enough for him to come back. Finally, she realizes that she can have adventures for the sake of having adventures, not because she needs to do it to bring her daddy back.

Overall, Forest Secrets is one of those books that I would definitely recommend to classrooms and local libraries. It is not the type of book that enthralls you, but for the right kid, it might make all the difference. Also, Daisy is an adorable, adventurous, kick-butt girl heroine. It’s good to read stories like this. Get it for your children/students (it’s available on Amazon), you won’t regret it.

4 Star Rated Forest Secrets Review

Title: Forest Secrets | Author: Laurie Woodward (site) | Publisher: Self-Published | Pub. Date: 2016-1-20 | Pages: 162 | Genre: Children’s Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Date Read: 2016-6-18 | Source: Received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Yobgorgle, Mystery Monster of Lake Ontario

Eugene Winkleman is all set for a boring two-week vacation in Rochester, New York, when strange coincidences start to happen. First, he and his Uncle Mel see a movie about a monster called “Yobgorgle” that is supposed to live in Lake Ontario. Then Eugene actually meets the man who made the movie — none other than the great Ambrose McFwain of the Piscean Discovery Institute. Professor McFwain is looking for an assistant to help him with his latest monster hunt. He hires Eugene! Between bites of Greaso-Whammy Burgers, Eugene has the craziest, strangest and funniest summer vacation that any boy has ever had.

Yobgorgle by Daniel Pinkwater - Cover for review of Yobgorgle

Yobgorgle, Mystery Monster of Lake Ontario Review

Yobgorgle, Mystery monster of Lake Ontario by Daniel Pinkwater was a silly, entertaining kids’ book that was originally written in 1979. Even though it feels a bit dated, due to the payphone and ridiculous amount of food Eugene can eat with just a couple of dollars, it’s still entirely enjoyable. I came across it on Amazon, and the ridiculous name meant I just had to check it out.

This is almost perfectly written, with nearly ever sentence propelling the story forward. Eugene is a kid with common sense, surrounded by adults who seem to go out of their way to not make sense. From the uncle who can’t stand to eat anything but food that is bad for you, to the monster hunter who is a bit crazy. More than a bit crazy, actually. However just when you think you know exactly the direction the story is going in, Daniel Pinkwater throws another bit of crazy into the mix.

Yobgorgle is a nicely-paced, imaginative, and adventurous story that will definitely appeal to third and fourth graders and beyond. Check it out on Amazon now.

5 Star Rated Yobgorgle, Mystery Monster of Lake Ontario Review


Title: Yobgorgle, Mystery Monster of Lake Ontario | Author: Daniel Pinkwater (site) | Publisher (kindle edition): Amazon | (Re)Pub. Date: 2014-4-13 | Pages: 96 | ASIN:  B00JOQ0GSC | Genre: Children’s Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Date Read: 2016-6-3 | Source: Kindle Unlimited

If You Were Me and Lived in… Renaissance Italy Review

If You Were Me and Lived in…Renaissance Italy is another entry into the “If You Were Me and Lived in…” series. Aimed at children, this series tells what your life would be like if you lived during this time. Types of clothing, food, and classes of people are looked at. There’s also a section on art, influential people, and a glossary for the more foreign terms.
If you were me... Renaissance Italy Review

If You Were Me and Lived in… Renaissance Italy Review

I’ve previously reviewed a few books from this series, and loved them. Carole P. Roman has a method of entertaining and engaging children that actually works. It’s easy to absorb some of the facts of the time period because she sticks you right in the middle of it. She doesn’t hide some of the stranger practices/ideas of the time. Instead she shoves them to the forefront to give parents or teachers and children something to discuss together. (Such as: not drinking water because everyone knew water was bad.)

Then there’s a section on why the Renaissance was so important, and a brief look at famous people from the era. Roman does a great job in putting the changes in art in simple, easy to understand terms. Honestly, I wasn’t aware of all that had changed during that time, so it educated me too. Beyond the people that everyone’s familiar with (Da Vinci, Donatello, etc), she mentions some lesser known figures. For example: Artemesisia Gentileschi. She was apparently one of the most famous female painters of the time.

The illustrations are solid, if not exciting. The information is enough to get your child interested without overwhelming them. The series, as a whole, is worth taking a look at, and would make a great addition to a classroom library. However, to be fair, there were a lot of errors in this book that should have been caught by a proof reader. It holds me back from giving it the rating I would have otherwise given it.

4 Star Rated Renaissance Italy Review

Title: If You Were Me and Lived in….Renaissance Italy | Series: If You Were Me and Lived in… | Author: Carole P. Roman (site) | Illustrator: Silvia Brunetti Publisher: Self-published | Pub. Date: 2016-5-6 | Pages: 58 | ISBN13: 9781523234271 | Genre: Children’s Non-Fiction | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 4 out of 5 | Date Read: 2016-5-18 | Source: Received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.