Wolf Won't Bite by Emily Gravett

No Matter What, “Wolf Won’t Bite!”

Wolf Won’t Bite! written and illustrated by Emily Gravett

In a seeming role reversal from the original fairy tale, three little pigs capture a big, toothy wolf and put him on display in their very own circus where, no matter what they do, “wolf won’t bite!”

Sure of their safety despite their antics, the three little pigs (dressed in a strongman leotard, ringmaster suit, and frilly tutu) continue to up the ante in their circus acts, rejoicing in the knowledge that they are safe no matter what. Kids will delight in going from one page to the next as the pigs lift Wolf in the air, make him jump through hoops, and even shoot him from a cannon. While the pigs twirl in excitement, safe and sound, wolf looks confused at his predicament, and kids will laugh at the ridiculous pictures and, in a twist from the original story, perhaps even feel sorry for the poor wolf as he’s dressed up and put on display. In the end, predictably, wolf is tested to his limit and the three little pigs… Well, let’s just say things don’t go according to plan! (more…)

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Happy Holidays!!

Once Was a Shining Christmas Tree

There once was a shining Christmas tree

Standing out where all could see.

Its brilliance captured every eye

And seemed to cheer each passer by.

Happy Holidays from Our Time in Juvie! Have a wonderful rest of the year and we’ll see you back here in 2013!

Poem from http://bit.ly/Tn1As0

Wedding Hippos

Congratulations to Jenny!!

My wonderful partner in crime, Jenny, got married on June 16th!

“This is your life. Find a passion and pursue it. Fall in love (check!) Dream BIG. Drink wine, eat great food and spend quality time with good friends. Laugh everyday. Believe in magic. Tell stories. Reminisce about the good old days but look with optimism to the future. Travel often. Learn more. Be creative. Spend time with people you admire. Seize opportunities when they reveal themselves. Love with all your heart. Never give up. Do what you love. Be true to who you are. Make time to enjoy the simple things in life. Spend time with family. Forgive even when it’s hard. Smile often. Be grateful. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Follow your dreams. Try new things. Work hard. Don’t count the minutes count the laughs. Embrace change. Trust in yourself. Be thankful. Be nice to everyone. Be happy. Live for today. And above all….make every moment count.”

Image from http://bit.ly/MKo8cQ

YAY!BOOKS!

Brief Hiatus

Hello friends and fellow book lovers!

You may have noticed that we’ve been conspicuously absent this month, and unfortunately, it is likely to continue through the month of June. Our lives have been briefly taken over by things like jobs, moving, and wedding planning (Ruby is one of Jenny’s bridesmaids!). But never fear–we shall return! In the meantime we’ll likely keep updating our Facebook page and Twitter, and we encourage you to read through some of the past reviews on the site that you may have missed. And yes, we do still have all those wonderful reviews and author interviews we’ve been promising, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, READ! It is a wonderful era in the world of children’s and young adult literature, and fantastic new books are being published every week by debut and established authors alike. Summer is a great time to read, and we’ll be back with more reviews before you can say, “There are so many good books to read that I don’t know which to choose next!”

See you soon!

Jenny and Ruby

hippo birdie two ewe

Many happy returns of the day, Jenny!

Hau’oli La Hanau!

I hope you have a very Happy Birthday!! Love you!!

 

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

History Turns Into Itself in This Newbery Winner

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

Jack Gantos has a whole summer planned full of baseball, history books, and war movies when suddenly, caught in the middle of his quarreling parents, he becomes “grounded for life,” ruining everything. Even though he lives in the dying town of Norvelt (originally founded by Eleanor Roosevelt to help poor families) and there’s not much to do, when his mom volunteers him to help an aging neighbor type up the town’s obituaries, he’s less than thrilled. Soon, though, Jack finds himself absorbed in the town’s history and the “original” Norvelters, as his spunky neighbor calls them, and he’ll do anything to get out of house arrest and over to help her in her task. Soon he’s involved not only with the obituaries but in a feud with an old man who ride’s a trike, play-acting the Grim Reaper, distributing Girl Scout cookies, digging a fake bomb shelter, and a near-constant nose bleed, not to mention a potential murder. Suddenly his summer is anything but dull!

Described as “melding the entirely true and the wildly fictional,” Dead End in Norvelt is a most-times funny and sometimes heart-breaking story of a boy coming of age in an old town past its prime full of wacky yet believable characters. Both darker and lighter themes blend with Gantos’ humor as Jack finds himself imbedded in nearly everything going on in town. The relationships between Jack’s parents and himself are enough to fill a book, but author Gantos has woven an entire town’s worth of personalities and interactions together seamlessly. (more…)

It's Milking Time

A Beautiful & Authentic Midwestern Picture Book

It’s Milking Time by Phyllis Alsdurf, illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher

In the interest of full disclosure, I feel I should tell you something: I fell in love with It’s Milking Time before I opened it.

Based on author Phyllis Alsdurf’s own childhood on a Midwestern dairy farm, this book has a lyrical story, a description of the daily chores a daughter shares with her father each evening as they milk and take care of their cows. Each two-page spread is a beautiful illustration that supports Alsdurf’s simple, straightforward narrative, a step-by-step introduction to evening tasks on a small family dairy farm. The story goes beyond that, though, sharing not only chores but the loving relationship between a father and daughter as well as the relationship between humans and animals.

So you won’t think I’m overly infatuated with this book (and maybe I am), I’ll let you in on a secret: I showed this book to an authentic dairy farm girl, and she loved it too. My soon-to-be Mother in Law grew up on her father’s Wisconsin dairy farm, and she gave It’s Milking Time her official seal of approval and accuracy. (more…)

Author Lissa Price

Author Spotlight: Interview with Lissa Price

Please give a warm welcome to author Lissa Price whose book Starters, a sci-fi thriller for young-adults, hits bookstores and libraries this month! Starters is the first in a duology of books (the second is Enders, due out December 12th), and it has a rip-roaring pace full of twists and turns galore. We met with Lissa after a shared event she had with fellow debut author Marissa Meyer (Cinder), and it was very clear what a huge fan of YA literature she is!

If you’re new to Starters, be sure to check out our review. Also check out John Scalzi’s blog where Lissa writes about how she got the idea for the series. Here’s a teaser:

My Big Idea was that in the future, desperate teens would rent out their bodies to rich seniors who could then enjoy being young again. It came to me in Costco, a few years ago. Trying to get a flu shot.

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Thanks so much for meeting with us! I’d just like to say that I really enjoyed Starters, and the way you set the pace was fantastic. You talked about some of the inspiration for Starters coming from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. Did you have other literary inspirations?

I’m glad you asked that – Catherine Fisher’s Incarceron. I love that book! I am probably more passionate about that than the other two, partly because a lot of people haven’t read it and don’t know about it (even though it’s being developed into a film by Hugh Jackman’s company). I think she came up with such an amazing world. [Fisher] managed to get part of the old world in there but make everything new. I love different levels of reality–that’s my thing (MementoInceptionThe Matrix)–so, I love Incarceron. (more…)

Rabbi Rocketpower and the Mystery of the Missing Menorahs

Oy Vay! Up, Up and Away!

Rabbi Rocketpower and the Mystery of the Missing Menorahs: A Hanukkah Humdinger by Rabbi Susan Abramson and Aaron Dvorkin; illustrated by Ariel DiOrio

Faster than a speeding matzah ball!

The Passover and Easter holidays are almost upon us, and in a random karmic universal moment (or something), I happened upon this fantastic title… and at a local rummage sale, no less! And sure, I’m about four months off as far as holidays go (this title is clearly about Hanukkah), but it’s one in a series that covers many of the traditionally celebrated Jewish holidays, and Passover has its own title. So, moving forward:

Meet the Mensches, a completely normal family: mom Rabbi Beatrice Ann Mensch (B.A. Mensch, for short) has a superhero alter-ego as Rabbi Rocketpower. Dad is super-smart and has a super-smart computer on which he uses his mad search engine skills to solve epic puzzles. Aaron, their son, is a Super-Boy-In-Training, and his cranky cat Purr (short for Purreneal Pest) is actually an alien. Like I said, pretty normal, right? (more…)

Soulbound: Legacy of Tril by Heather Brewer

A Healer Wants To Be A Fighter In This Fantasy-Adventure World

Soulbound by Heather Brewer (Legacy of Tril book one)

Review based on Advanced Reading Copy (ARC).

What’s worse than being blackmailed to attend a hidden school where you’re treated like a second-class citizen? How about nearly getting eaten by a monster when you arrive? Or learning that your soulmate was killed in a centuries-old secret war? And then there’s the evil king who’s determined to rule the world unless you can stop him…

”  – Goodreads

In the land of Tril, war against the Graplar King has ravaged the land for ages, but only a handful of the population really knows it: the Barrons and Healers. Barrons are warriors, and each Barron is soulbound to a Healer who, you guessed it, heal them when they’re injured. Once bound, they are bound for life, and Shadow Academy protocol dictates that they will stay together, the Barron protecting and the Healer lingering in the background out of danger.

Kaya is seventeen, a Healer, and seriously doesn’t like protocol. In fact, she wouldn’t even be at the Academy if they hadn’t threatened her parents (two married Barrons, a serious protocol no-no). When she gets to Shadow Academy, she learns that her soulbound Barron died in battle, and she becomes bound to a new Barron, a gorgeous guy who makes her melt any time he’s around. When Kaya starts meeting others at the school, though, things are not so smooth–Healers are expected to be complacent and serve, something Kaya cannot stop challenging. When her Barron refuses to teach her how to fight, she learns illegally from a young, brooding teacher who, for some reason, seems to have it in for her. As Kaya learns more about the centuries-old war and the people in her new life, she digs herself closer to the truth and further into danger. Nothing is truly as it seems, and Kaya is thrown about in the waves of conflict, both from within academy walls and in the outside war against the Graplar King.

And can you say super-crazy-cliffhangers ten times fast? Fans will be clamoring for the next book before the first is even published! (more…)

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