Book Review: Laugh Out Loud Christmas Jokes for Kids by Rob Elliott


The first-ever Christmas collection from the #1 bestselling author of Laugh-Out-Loud Jokes for Kids is finally here with hundreds of holiday- and winter-themed jokes to make the season bright.


The holiday season just got a whole lot merrier now that Rob Elliott is back with another instant classic full of fresh, frosty fun to bring the whole family together. These pages are bursting with laughter to warm up the fireside, the sledding slopes, and everywhere in between.
 

Why don’t lobsters give Christmas presents?

      
Because they’re shellfish! 
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Release Date: September 2016
Age Group: Children, Family
Source:  Gifted
Reviewed By: Nat

Review:

This is a great family funny! I brought this book out at breakfast and read a few of the jokes out loud while my kids were fighting, wailing, gnashing their teeth getting ready for school. It started off with an eye roll and an "it's too early for this" but by the time we were ready to go, I'd gotten a few smirks and a "this are so corny but funny when you get all excited reading them". I'll take it thank you very much!

My first grader thought a few were so great that he tried memorizing a couple to re-tell to his friends at school. He really got a kick out of the knock, knock jokes too. πŸ˜‚  
πŸŽ…πŸ½ What's Santa's favorite candy?
    Jolly Ranchers, of course!

And a little trivia too.
What do you have in December that's not in any other month?
    The letter "D" πŸ€“
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🎁🎁🎁 This little gem is a great gift for: any family, a children's book exchange, teacher gift or even a stocking stuffer. I found it on Amazon for less than $5 (and it's prime)! 🎁🎁🎁



Book Review: The Reader by MK Harkins (The Immortal Series #1)

Summary: Hunted, shot, and without her memory, eighteen-year-old Ann Baker wakes in shallow water on a deserted Pacific Northwest island. She is soon approached by two young men claiming to be her friends. Something isn’t right, but when gunshots sound, Ann is left with little choice but to allow Devon and Archer to help her escape. Soon she finds herself in their North Bend mountain compound, where the higher evolved humans claim to be mind-readers. While Ann heals, she realizes they believe her to be one of the last and most powerful of all – The Lost One.

She’s welcomed by most with opened arms, but not everyone is happy about her arrival. A jealous adversary has plans for Ann, which spirals the entire Reader community into chaos.

As lies, murder, and betrayal threaten to rip apart the once harmonious mountain dwellers, Ann is thrust into making a decision that could save or devastate not only The Readers, but all of mankind. But there’s just one glitch: by doing so it may require her to make the ultimate sacrifice.


Release Date: August 2016
Age Group: YA, Paranormal
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Reviewed By: Nat

Review:
I've read several Harkins contemporary books, I like the easy flow of words and the angst she gives her characters when it comes to love. However, the cover of The Reader is what initially caught my attention, the freckles reminded me of our middle grade reviewer Macy Kate. A simple, raw beauty. When I realized that it was Harkins work and her shift into the paranormal/dystopian genre I was interested!

Y'all, THE HOOK! Nothing like starting right off with a little amnesia, hot guys and bullets flying! This is the stuff YA dreams are made of... #allthefeels

At first the world building seemed simplistic and a bit mysterious but it didn't take long to realize that this was headed into a paranormal setting. The premise of genetically superior humans, divided by divine roles felt a tiny, tiny bit mythological/historical and it worked. The hidden city in the mountain was written very vividly and I really could picture the beauty of it all.

Humans with unique gifts, long life expectancy, bad guys, love triangles and mind reading is really what every woman YA teen girl pines for, right?!

The MC, Ann, is both strong and flawed. She isn't too go to be true but relatable... you know, she will scissor kick you in the throat if you cross her yet she can't make a decent judgment on a guy.

Devon & Archer were so Edward and Jacob for a hot minute but it worked. The character development was pretty steady and the plot twists kept making me love someone one minute and hate them the next. Good stuff.

The ending was a bit anti-climactic for me BUT that's because it isn't over yet! This is a duology and concludes with The Jack!

Overall, The Reader is a nice addition to the YA genre and fans of dystopian & paranormal lit. will enjoy its fast pacing and unique imagery.

If you liked: Gameboard of the Gods, Perfected, Uncharted  you will enjoy The Reader.









*I waited FOREVER for book 2... I started to loose hope. But one morning BAM! there it was on NetGalley, just waiting for me to download!-- review coming soon (*spoiler: it was better than The Reader #sorrynotsorry).


Book Review: The Thank You Book by Mary Lyn Ray


I saved this little gem until today, in the Spirit of Thanksgiving, THANK YOU to all the authors, readers and friends who share the love of a good book!
You are special.


Summary:
"Perfect for fans of Margaret Wise Brown and Pat Zietlow Miller’s Be Kind, The Thank You Book explores the many ways of being thankful that can fill a child's day. Timely, wise, and accessible, the poetic text and tender illustrations celebrate the powerful impact gratitude can have on our lives."

Thank you isn't just for learning manners.
It's also for when something wakes a
little hum
a little happy huminside you
and you want to answer back.


The Thank You Book explores the many ways we can be thankful for the pleasures great and small that await us every day. Tender and poetic, it reflects on the role gratitude can play in our lives and celebrates the powerful impact it can have on us.


Release Date:  September 2018
Age Group: Childrens, Picture, Read-Aloud
Source: Publisher
Reviewed By: Nat

Review:
The Thank You Book's target audience may be children but this is such a sweet reminder to everyone to simply be thankful, in all things. 

"Thank You" and "I'm Sorry" are probably two of the hardest phrases for people to express to one another and yet they mean so much. Teaching young kids to say them may start out in an effort to teach a child good manners but it needs to progress into so much more. I think worldwide, we could use a good book full of Thank You's right now. Life is hard but it can still be happy.

This book is a sweet and gentle expression of simply being thankful for the big and little things, the good and the not-so-good times and everything in-between. I loved how the simple pleasures in life that we may take for granted were celebrated. I mean, I am pretty grateful for puddles. They sure brought me a lot of joy as a kid. They have also saved my sanity when all my kids were little and I'd yell "Go play in the puddles!" It's a real game-changer when you tell kids to go and get muddy.

Art.
The illustrations are beautiful and so detailed. I really enjoyed studying the pictures and finding little treasures (like the bear dressed as Harry Potter for Halloween!).

And I have to mention that the physical copy of this book, it is very nice quality! I know I am thankful for the good feel of a book. 

This would be a perfect book to gift for a new mom, preschool teacher, and/or makes a great read for a new Thanksgiving tradition. I paired my book with our Turkey on the Table this year. Even though it's for a much younger audience than I have, it was still fun to read and have the older kids teach the younger ones about being thankful.


Hats off to Mary Ray & Stephanie Graegin for creating such a sweet reminder of gratitude.

Book to Movie Spotlight: Mortal Engines


MORTAL ENGINES – In Theaters December 14

Hundreds of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, a mysterious young woman, Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar), emerges as the only one who can stop London — now a giant, predator city on wheels — from devouring everything in its path.  Feral, and fiercely driven by the memory of her mother, Hester joins forces with Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan), an outcast from London, along with Anna Fang (Jihae), a dangerous outlaw with a bounty on her head.

Mortal Engines is the startling, new epic adventure directed by Oscar®-winning visual-effects artist Christian Rivers (King Kong).  Joining Rivers are The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogies three-time Academy Award®-winning filmmakers Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, who have penned the screenplay.  Visual effects are created by a Weta Digital team led by Ken McGaugh, Kevin Smith, Luke Millar and Dennis Yoo.  The Universal and MRC adaptation is from the award-winning book series by Philip Reeve, published in 2001 by Scholastic. 

On board as producers are Zane Weiner (The Hobbit trilogy), Amanda Walker (The Hobbit trilogy) and Deborah Forte (Goosebumps), as well as Walsh and Jackson.  Ken Kamins (The Hobbit trilogy) joins Boyens as executive producer.  Universal will distribute the film worldwide.  www.mortalengines.com

Genre: 3D Epic Adventure
Cast: Hugo Weaving, Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Jihae, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide and Stephen Lang
Directed by: Christian Rivers
Writers: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Based on the Book by: Philip Reeve
Produced by: Zane Weiner, Amanda Walker, Deborah Forte, Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson
Executive Producers: Ken Kamins, Philippa Boyens

Watch and share the new MORTAL ENGINES extended look.

#MortalEngines is in theaters December 14.

Facebook:

Twitter:
https://twitter.com/mortal_engines/status/1060336102169399296

BOOKtober: EERIE Non-Fiction that Middle Schoolers will Love!



They Lost Their Heads!: What Happened to Washington's Teeth, Einstein's Brain, and Other Famous Body Parts by Carlyn Beccia 

Summary: From the kidnapping of Einstein's brain to the horrifying end of Louis XIV's heart, the mysteries surrounding some of history's most famous body parts range from medical to macabre. Carlyn Beccia explores the misadventures of noteworthy body parts through history and springboards to exploring STEM topics such as forensics, DNA testing, brain science, organ donation, and cloning. The engaging tone, wonderfully creepy subject matter, and delightfully detailed art are sure to capture even the most reluctant readers.
The famous people and their body parts include:
     Galileo Galilei / Fingers
     Louis XIV / Heart
    George Washington / Teeth
    Franz Joseph Hadyn / Head
    Beethoven / Hair
   Abraham Lincoln / Body
   Chang and Eng Bunker / Liver
   Phineas Gage / Skull
  John Wilkes Booth / Neck vertebrae
  Sarah Bernhardt / Leg
  Vincent Van Gogh / Ear
 Mata Hari / Head
 Albert Einstein / Brain
 Elvis Presley / Wart
Thomas Edison / Last Breath

Release Date: April 2018
Age Group: Childrens, Middle Grade, Non-Fiction
Source: Purchased at a Book Fair
Reviewed By: Nat

Review:

Gross. 
Fascinating. 
Odd. 
Unbelievable. 

I READ EVERY WORD!

This book causes severe "googling" and really brought out my Southern drawl as I kept saying things like: "Oh no they didn't" or "Bless their hearts".

I have also lengthened my bucket list because you know I want to track down Elvis' mole. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I couldn't even type that without cracking up! Dang people are so weird!

If anyone wants my body parts and can sell them for millions, they are yours! I just request that you give my kids at least 33% (I don't want them getting too rich off my parts, they need to work!)



Book to Movie Review: The House with the Clock in Its Walls


I am not sure where to begin... I'll start with two names: Jack Black & Eric Kripke. Now sprinkle in Eli Roth's debut into family entertainment and you have the oddest cocktail ever!

When you set out to scare, Eric Kripke is your man! One, glorious title Supernatural. Ahhhh, the Winchesters. Now combine Jack Black AND Kate Blanchet, pure magic!

I wasn't sure how in the world someone from the realm of Supernatural was going to hone it in for a "family" friendly scare but man did he deliver. The House with a Clock in Its Walls was everything!

Louis was weird and it was a celebration to watch. This movie was jam packed with themes: family loss, bullying, the underdog, persistence, believing in yourself and so on.

I left loving the color purple, wanting a ginormous fireplace, feeling the need to burn all dolls and a little afraid of Jack-o-Lanterns. It was G-R-E-A-T.

πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³
Scare factor according to The Mob

✔︎ Pre-teens: loved it.

✔︎ Middle schoolers: loved it.

𐄂 1st grader: had to sit in my seat and remind me he loved me and thought I "just needed a hug" right at that pumpkin filled moment. No crying. If your youngsters can't handle the Goosebumps flicks, you might want to wait until they are a bit older and desensitized.

πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³πŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ’€πŸ˜³




THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS – In Theaters September 21
Official Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | #HouseWithAClock

In the tradition of Amblin classics where fantastical events occur in the most unexpected places, Jack Black and two-time Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett star in The House with a Clock in Its Walls, from Amblin Entertainment.  The magical adventure tells the spine-tingling tale of 10-year-old Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) who goes to live with his uncle in a creaky old house with a mysterious tick-tocking heart.  But his new town’s sleepy faΓ§ade jolts to life with a secret world of warlocks and witches when Lewis accidentally awakens the dead.

Based on the beloved children’s classic written by John Bellairs and illustrated by Edward Gorey, The House with a Clock in Its Walls is directed by master frightener Eli Roth and written by Eric Kripke (creator of TV’s Supernatural).  Co-starring Kyle MacLachlan, Colleen Camp, RenΓ©e Elise Goldsberry, Vanessa Anne Williams, Lorenza Izzo and Sunny Suljic, it is produced by Mythology Entertainment’s Brad Fischer (Shutter Island) and James Vanderbilt (Zodiac), as well as Kripke.

Executive produced by William Sherak, Tracey Nyberg, Laeta Kalogridis and Mark McNair, The House with a Clock in Its Walls will be released by Universal Pictures.  www.housewithaclock.com

Genre: Adventure
Cast: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, RenΓ©e Elise Goldsberry, Sunny Suljic and Kyle MacLachlan
Directed by: Eli Roth
Writer: Eric Kripke
Based on the Novel by: John Bellairs
Produced by: Brad Fischer, James Vanderbilt, Eric Kripke
Executive Producers: William Sherak, Tracey Nyberg, Laeta Kalogridis, Mark McNair

Book Spotlight: Roald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories

If you are in need of a quick classic tale, this is the collection for you! 

This is not a work of Dahl himself but a compilation of some of his favorite ghost stories (and authors). He read close to 800 stories in the late 1950's/early 60's and these are the few that made the cut. Each short story is unique and unexpected. I loved the classic feel of each authors writing-- although I did not love every one I read. 

 

Who better to investigate the literary spirit world than that supreme connoisseur of the unexpected, Roald Dahl? Of the many permutations of the macabre, Dahl was always especially fascinated by the classic ghost story. For this superbly disquieting collection, he selected fourteen of his favorite tales by such authors as E.F. Benson, Rosemary Timperley, and Edith Wharton

Includes:
"W.S." L.P. Hartley
"Harry" Rosemary Timperley
"The Corner Shop" Cynthia Asquith
"In the Tube" E.F. Benson
"Christmas Meeting" Rosemary Timperley
"Elias and the Draug" Jonas Lie
"Playmates" A.M. Burrage
"Ringing the Changes" Robert Aickman
"The Telephone" Mary Treadgold
"The Ghost of a Hand" J. Sheridan Le Fanu
"The Sweeper" A.M. Burrage
"Afterward" Edith Wharton
"On the Brighton Road" Richard Middleton
"The Upper Berth" F. Marion Crawford


Release Date: October 1984

Spoktacular Giveaway!

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Let's be honest, there isn't anything better than a gift card! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
πŸ‘»πŸ•ΈπŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ‘»πŸ•ΈπŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ‘»πŸ•ΈπŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ‘»πŸ•ΈπŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ‘»πŸ•ΈπŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ‘»πŸ•ΈπŸŽƒπŸ•·πŸ‘»πŸ•ΈπŸŽƒπŸ•·
 
 

BOOKtober Fest: Kindle Unlimited Spooky Stories for Beginner Readers


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Each book has been Monster tested and APPROVED!

{Click titles for KU link to download}
1. Arthur's Halloween by Marc Brown

2.  This Book is Haunted! by Haven Dexter
3. Halloween Hustle by

4. Sammy's Spooktacular Halloween by Mike Petrik

5. Go to School Little Monster by Helen Ketteman
>  Goodnight, Little Monster is also available o KU
6. There Was an Old Mummy Who Swallowed a  Spider by Jennifer Ward 
>  I ended up purchasing a hard copy of this one because we HAD to add it to our "Somebody Swallowed Something" collection. It was less than 5 bucks and totally worth it!










Easy Character Costume: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie




I'm pretty sure reading If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is a rite of passage in childhood; which makes this an easy sell to tweens/teens when trying to get them to dress up! The best part, it is so cheap and quick to throw together, I only had to buy a few supplies for about 10 bucks and BAM props & costume done.

What you need:
  •      Cookie
    • Cardboard box (poster board, old box, whatever you can find that is big enough to make the circle)
    • Light brown paint & dark brown paint (about 97 cents each)
    • Sheet black poster board (cut odd shaped "chocolate chips"
    • Large bowl (to trace perfect circle) 
    • Scissors
  •      Ears
    • Brown headband (I got a pack of three at Dollar Tree)
    • Dark brown felt (33 cents a sheet)
    • Light (or dark) pink felt
    • Craft glue
    • Ear template (the one I used is found HERE)
  • Outfit
    • Overalls
    • White tee
    • A pair of white shoes (Vans, Keds, really any slip-on will work- cheap Wal-Mart pair of Faded Glory will do the trick)
  • Face Paint
    • Black eye liner 




Happy Tricks & Treats Friends!