It's been a long time since I've loved a book as passionately as I love DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE. Laini Taylor has created a fascinating novel witIt's been a long time since I've loved a book as passionately as I love DAUGHTER OF SMOKE & BONE. Laini Taylor has created a fascinating novel with a lush, atmospheric setting and terrifyingly beautiful characters. I really, truly never wanted to leave.
Karou leads a double life. As art student in Prague, she creates fantastical artwork and elaborate stories that amuse and entertain her peers and teachers. She has an ex-boyfriend that she can't seem to shake and a protective, and adorably vicious, best friend.
What no one knows is that Karou's artwork and stories aren't just a product of an overactive imagination. The "monsters" she depicts and fanciful stories that accompany their images are all true... These "monsters" are her family.
Karou has no memory of a time before her unconventional family. She was raised in a curious shop by even more curious creatures. Many would call them monstrosities - they call themselves chimaera. Chimaera have both human and animal characteristics and speak a language entirely their own.
I found myself particularly drawn to a specific member of Karou's family: Brimstone. He's a very private creature and that deals in teeth and wishes. He shoulders an immense responsibility - though Karou, and the reader, aren't exactly sure what this responsibility entails. The mystery surrounding his past, his shop, and his wishes was one of the many reasons I couldn't set this book down.
Karou herself is a mystery. She has no recollection of who she is and where she came from. In one moment she appears very young, using wishes to create awkward itchiness for her ex-boyfriend, the next moment she seems much wiser and older than the body she inhabits. Who is this peculiar blue-haired girl?
All of this, coupled with the arrival of painfully beautiful Akiva, builds to an truth of epic proportions....more
THERE WAS AN OLD SAILOR is a clever twist on There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. It all starts when a tough, old sailor makes the mistake of swTHERE WAS AN OLD SAILOR is a clever twist on There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. It all starts when a tough, old sailor makes the mistake of swallowing a krill, though it will, no doubt, make him ill. As the story progresses, the sailor makes some rather extreme food choices in an attempt to rid himself of the pesky krill. Before the end of the book he's swallowed all manner of marine life, including a squid, a ray, a seal, a shark, and a whale. Then, with a burp, he sets sail. The book is finished with a quick, amusing facts about the sea creatures found within the book (and the sailor's stomach). Vibrant illustrations of the sailor and the creatures he fearlessly swallows will no doubt captivate young readers. Recommended!...more
When Lucy's mother gives Lucy her last hug, she promises to keep it safe. As she runs throughout her house, sharing the hug with others and taking itWhen Lucy's mother gives Lucy her last hug, she promises to keep it safe. As she runs throughout her house, sharing the hug with others and taking it back to pass along to the next person, the hug changes but never loses its magic. When Lucy's dog runs away with the hug, she worries she'll never catch it again, but it will soon be safe and sound with Lucy's mother again! Minimal text with fun and soft illustrations make THE RUNAWAY HUG a great bedtime book!...more
The Snowman has returned to delight a new generation of young readers! The Snowman, first introduced to readers by Raymond Briggs in 1982, returns witThe Snowman has returned to delight a new generation of young readers! The Snowman, first introduced to readers by Raymond Briggs in 1982, returns with a new friend in this continuation by Joanna Harrison.
As winter falls a young boy is missing his beloved dog and, this year, he wants nothing more than a new canine friend from Santa. When he discovers an old hidden box and a picture of a boy much like himself standing next to a snowman, he follows suit. Outside he builds his own snowman... and a snowdog companion. When the two magically come to life, the boy embarks on a wondrous adventure, flying high over his town and competing in the Snowman's Annual Downhill Race!...more
When secret and unlikely friends Maria and Mouse Mouse both discover their mothers aren't there to tuck them in, they set off on a parallel search toWhen secret and unlikely friends Maria and Mouse Mouse both discover their mothers aren't there to tuck them in, they set off on a parallel search to find them. Readers will explore upstairs with Maria and downstairs with Mouse Mouse until their independent searches bring the two friends together for a climactic surprise! The downstairs world of Mouse Mouse in comparison to Maria's life upstairs will enchant young readers and amuse adults, while the deceptively simple story imparts a lesson about friendship between two very different girls....more
Tony Johnston's SEQUOIA couples lyric prose with luminous illustrations by the great Wendell Minor. Third person narration propels the story with theTony Johnston's SEQUOIA couples lyric prose with luminous illustrations by the great Wendell Minor. Third person narration propels the story with the majestic sequoia as the protagonist, his wisdom and towering height leaving an impression of a proud yet kindly old man spinning tales for young listeners. This gorgeous read will no doubt be a great addition to any home library, as well as a great resource in a classroom setting....more
Mr. Fox's hot air balloon has arrived and now he's off to the moon! Except Elephant wants to go too. And Giraffe. And Squirrel. And maybe a few otherMr. Fox's hot air balloon has arrived and now he's off to the moon! Except Elephant wants to go too. And Giraffe. And Squirrel. And maybe a few other friends too. Will everyone fit in the balloon? Readers will have fun guessing who will want to join next (and what silly item they'll want to bring along!). Colorful, retro illustrations accompany the simple, repetitive text....more
Margaret descends from a family of time travelers, but she, as all of her relatives before her, has sworn never to use her gift, no matter how temptinMargaret descends from a family of time travelers, but she, as all of her relatives before her, has sworn never to use her gift, no matter how tempting it may be. When Margaret's father is wrongly convicted of a horrible crime and sentenced to life in prison by a corrupt judge, she feels she has no choice but to break her promise. Her plan? Prevent Judge Lucas Biggs from becoming the corrupt, jaded man that he is today. So, with the help of her best friend, Charlie, and his grandpa Josh, Margaret sets out to rewrite history and change her present.
To be honest, I knew very little about this book before reading. The real reason I decided to read it was the cover. It's striking; I kept finding myself drawn to it. If you look closely at the branches of the trees, you'll see hidden images, like a clock, a pickaxe, a star, and a fountain pen. I had to know what part each item played in Margaret's story.
One of my favorite parts of this novel was the dual perspective. Margaret narrates some chapters, while Josh, her best friend's grandfather, narrates others. The twist is that Josh's chapters take place during his childhood, the time Margaret decides to travel back to. This plot device created a situation in which readers can clearly see the connection between past and present, the choices that inform who you become, and the lasting power of family and friendship.
In the end, it's Margaret's actions in the present, not her extraordinary powers, that save her father and Judge Biggs. This, perhaps, is the element of Saving Lucas Biggs I most appreciated. Readers will pick up this novel for the time travel and mystery, but they'll walk away with a clever and important message: You have the power to be a hero. To affect change. To make a difference.