Review: The Princess in Black and the Mysterious Playdate

Title: The Princess in Black and the Mysterious Playdate
Author: Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, LeUyen Pham (illustrations)
Genre: Children’s
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Noseholes and elephants! A pet-eating monster interrupts a perfect playdate with Princess Sneezewort . . . but who is that new masked avenger?

Princess Magnolia and Princess Sneezewort have plans . . . mysterious plans, like a princess playdate! They dress-up slam! They karaoke jam! They playhouse romp and snack-time stomp! But then a shout from outside Princess Sneezewort’s castle interrupts their fun. It’s a monster trying to eat someone’s kitty! This is a job for the Princess in Black. Yet when the Princess in Black gets there, she finds only a masked stranger and no monster in sight . . . or is there? Action and humor abound in this ode to friendship that proves that when shape-shifting monsters intrude on your plans, two heroes are better than one.

Review:

The Princess in Black makes a new superhero friend in this story. The story begins after she has defeated a monster with the Goat Avenger. She has a play date with Princess Sneezewort, but it is interrupted by a monster in the park. Princess Sneezewort uses the list of steps she read in a magazine to transform into a hero, the Princess in Blankets. Together, the Princess in Black and the Princess in Blankets defeat the monster.

This is an adorable series! The story is funny and the pictures are beautiful. I love the vibrant colours of the characters and the setting.

Though these stories are short, the characters become more developed in each one. A couple of books ago, Princess Magnolia met Princess Sneezewort. In this book, Princess Sneezewort transformed into a hero just like the Princess in Black. I love the running joke that no one recognizes these heroes in their disguises, even though it still looks like them.

This is a great series for kids and their parents!

What to read next:

The Princess in Black and the Science Fair Scare by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, LeUyen Pham (illustrator)

Have you read The Princess in Black and the Mysterious Playdate? What did you think of it?

Review: Work It, Girl: Boss the Bestseller List Like J.K. Rowling

Title: Work It, Girl: Boss the Bestseller List Like J.K. Rowling
Author: Caroline Moss, Sinem Erkas (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Nonfiction
Publisher: Lincoln Children’s Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this new series for aspiring future girl #bosses, discover the life of JK Rowling, the famous author. Be inspired by her remarkable story, and learn 10 key lessons from her life and work. Featuring inspiring quotes and mantras, this is a book for all girls wanting to forge their own career path. 

Review:

I’ve always been a huge fan of J.K. Rowling. I have fond memories of reading the first Harry Potter books with my dad when they first came out.

Her life story is a huge inspiration to me, as a writer. I was familiar with a lot of her story, but I still found this book fascinating. Jo created her own success by working hard at what she enjoyed doing. She wrote when she had time, including while her daughter was napping. She continued to work hard even after she became successful. She also never forgot her humble beginnings, by giving back to those in need.

The books in this series are beautiful. I love the creative graphics. The images look like they are created with layered pieces of paper. There are many pages just made up of just pictures, with short quotes from J.K. Rowling.

I love this series! There are currently two books, one about Oprah Winfrey and the other about J.K. Rowling. I can’t wait to see what other inspirational women are featured in this series.

What to read next:

Work It, Girl: Run the Show Like CEO Oprah Winfrey by Caroline Moss, Sinem Erkas (illustrator)

Who Is J.K. Rowling? by Pam Pollack, Meg Belviso

Have you read Work It, Girl: Boss the Bestseller List Like J.K. Rowling? What did you think of it?

Review: Work it, Girl: Run the Show Like CEO Oprah Winfrey

Title: Work it, Girl: Run the Show Like CEO Oprah Winfrey
Author: Caroline Moss, Sinem Erkas (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Nonfiction
Publisher: Lincoln Children’s Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 5, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A new series of empowering biographies featuring modern women.

When Oprah Winfrey was a little girl, she watched her grandma hang clothes out on the line. Oprah adored her grandma, but she knew in that moment her life would be different… And she was right. 

Discover how Oprah became a billionaire CEO and media mogul in this true story of her life. Then, learn 10 key lessons from her work you can apply to your own life. Featuring inspiring quotes and mantras, this is a book for all kids wanting to forge their own career path.

Review:

I didn’t know much about Oprah’s life before reading this book. She came from very humble beginnings. She had to live with her grandmother as a child, and they didn’t have much. Her mother didn’t care for her the way she should. She was discriminated against because of her race, including not being able to sleep in the same building as her family because her skin was too dark. Oprah made the most of her opportunities in school to become a very successful business woman.

I loved the art in this book. Each illustration looks like pieces of paper cut out and layered to make a picture. There are some parts where different materials are used, such as ribbon to create Oprah’s hair. One of my favourite pictures had a VCR tape with the tape coming out of the plastic to create an image of Oprah. This was such a creative way to illustrate the book!

This book is for kids, so it has simple language. It talks about the hardships that Oprah had to go through to get to where she is today, so it doesn’t talk down to the young reader. There was a list of further reading at the back, though I don’t think some books should have been included because they are too mature for children reading this book. It had a parental advisory next to the book titles, but I don’t think they should have been included. My copy is an ARC, so this may have been changed in the final copy.

I loved this book. I’ll be reading the other book in this series soon, which is about J.K. Rowling.

What to read next:

Work it, Girl: Boss the Bestseller List Like J.K. Rowling by Caroline Moss and Sinem Erkas (illustrator)

Have you read Work it, Girl: Run the Show Like CEO Oprah Winfrey? What did you think of it?

Review: Super Mario Adventures

Title: Super Mario Adventures
Author: Kentaro Takekuma, Charlie Nozawa
Genre: Graphic Novel, Children’s
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Format: Paperback
Release Date: October 11, 2016 (first published in 1993)
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Super Mario Adventures, inspired by the bestselling Super Mario video game franchise, is a collection of comics that originally ran in Nintendo Power magazine in 1992-93. 

The peril-plagued Princess Toadstool is kidnapped by the diabolical deadbeat Bowser but super plumbers Mario and Luigi hatch a plan with their new friend Yoshi to rescue her. Are the Super Mario Bros’ plans a pipe dream? Can they stop the Koopa King before he forces the Princess to be his bride?! 

Long out of print, this stunning, full-color graphic novel is now available once again!

Review:

I’ve always loved playing Super Mario video games! I was so excited to find this graphic novel. It tells stories in the Mario world.

These stories were interesting because they tell some origin stories for the characters. For example, Princess Peach was originally called Princess Toadstool because she was from the Mushroom kingdom. The Toads lived in the castle with her. I loved reading these stories and seeing where the characters come from.

I would love to see more Super Mario graphic novels or books. I would definitely read them, and the games are still so popular with kids today. For now, this is a great story!

What to read next:

Sonic the Hedgehog Archives: Volume 1 by Michael Gallagher, Dave Manak, Patrick Spaziante

Have you read Super Mario Adventures? What did you think of it?

Review: Narwhal’s Otter Friend (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #4)

Title: Narwhal’s Otter Friend (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #4)
Author: Ben Clanton
Genre: Children’s
Publisher: Tundra Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: February 5, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Narwhal and Jelly . . . and Otty?! Exuberant Narwhal and skeptical Jelly test the waters of adding a new friend to their pod when they meet Otty the super-adventurous otter in the fourth book of this blockbuster early graphic novel series!

Dive into three new stories about the joy of adventure and the power of friendship! In the first story, Otty the otter makes her debut splash; while Narwhal greets her with immediate enthusiasm, Jelly’s not so sure about her…mostly because he worries she’ll take his place as Narwhal’s best friend. Readers will easily see why Narwhal’s so excited to meet Otty, a boisterous explorer who even has an aunt who’s a real live sea captain! But readers will also relate to Jelly’s uneasiness seeing his best friend making a new pal.

Jelly tries to work out his jealousy in story two, and in story three, the new trio say “Ahoy, adventure!” and discover they all have more in common than they thought . . . including a love of waffles! Jelly also takes over the “Super Waffle and Strawberry Sidekick” comic providing a sidekick’s-eye-view of defeating the dreaded dEVILed egg!

Review:

The Narhwal and Jelly books are so much fun! They’re a quick read, but very enjoyable.

In this story, Narwhal meets Otter the explorer. They become friends and plan an adventure together. However, Jelly feels left out. He is suspicious of Otter. He tries to find other friends to play with, but in the end he goes back to his best friend, Narwhal.

This book was full of puns. They were very funny. There was a birthday “shellabration” for a turtle. The famous snail explorer Captain Goodhart had the motto “Seas the day.” I couldn’t help but laugh at all of the puns.

I love this book! If you’re looking for a funny read, you should check this one out.

What to read next:

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #1) by Ben Clanton

Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #2) by Ben Clanton

Have you read Narwhal’s Otter Friend? What did you think of it?

Review: The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde (The Princess in Black #3)

Title: The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde (The Princess in Black #3)
Author: Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, and LeUyen Pham
Genre: Children’s
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s a case of monstrous cuteness as the Princess in Black encounters her biggest challenge yet: a field overrun by adorable bunnies.

Princess Magnolia and her unicorn, Frimplepants, are on their way to have brunch with Princess Sneezewort, an occasion Frimplepants enjoys more than anything in the world. But just when he can smell the freshly baked bread and the heaping platters of sugar-dusted doughnuts, Princess Magnolia’s glitter-stone ring rings. The monster alarm! After a quick change in the secret cave, Princess Magnolia and Frimplepants are transformed into the Princess in Black and her faithful pony, Blacky. But when they get to the goat pasture, all they can see is a field full of darling little bunnies nibbling on grass, twitching their velvet noses, and wiggling their fluffy tails. Where are the monsters? Are these bunnies as innocent as they appear?

Review:

This book is by far my favourite in the Princess in Black series! It was hilarious.

When the Princess’s monster alarm rings this time, she is on the way to brunch with her friend, so she can’t use her closet to turn into the Princess in Black. She must use a secret tunnel to transform. Much to her surprise, the “monsters” are a bunch of bunnies in the goat field! Though they are cute and snuggly, they are very destructive.

This story was so funny and creative. The bunnies are deceiving because they look cute, but they are really harmful to the goats and anything around them because they want to eat everything. Unfortunately for the Princess, the bunnies speak in “cute,” so they can only speak to other cute creatures. However, the Princess’s pony, Frimplepants, is also cute, so he is able to communicate with the bunnies.

I loved this hilarious story! I highly recommend it for kids and adults!

What to read next:

The Princess Black Takes a Vacation (The Princess in Black #4) by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, and LeUyen Pham

King Baby by Kate Beaton

Have you read The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde? What did you think of it?

Review: The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party (The Princess in Black #2)

Title: The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party
Author: Shannon Hale, Dean Hale and LeUyen Pham
Genre: Children’s
Publisher: Candlewick
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 13, 2015
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Inconvenient monster alarms, a sparkly array of princess guests, and spot-on slapstick pacing make for a party readers will celebrate.

Today is Princess Magnolia’s birthday party, and she wants everything to be perfect. But just as her guests are arriving . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! Princess Magnolia runs to the broom closet, ditches her frilly clothes, and becomes the Princess in Black! She rushes to the goat pasture, defeats the monster, and returns to the castle before her guests discover her secret. But every time Princess Magnolia is about to open her presents, the monster alarm rings again. And every time she rushes back—an inside-out dress here, a missing shoe there—it gets harder to keep the other princesses from being suspicious. Don’t those monsters understand that now is not a good time for an attack?

Review:

I love the Princess in Black series! These stories are a lot of fun.

The Princess has to hide her secret identity as a crime fighting princess from all of her princess friends. When her monster alarm rings, she must find an excuse to duck away and fight the monster.

The monsters were so funny. They only go after the goats in a neighbouring field. The Princess is able to go and fight them, but she comes back to her party more and more disheveled each time, drawing suspicion from some of the princesses. However, she always gets the job done.

This is a cute story for young kids. I think adults would enjoy it too, because I kept smiling while I read it.

What to read next:

The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde (The Princess in Black #3) by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, and LeUyen Pham

The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch and Michael Martchenko

Have you read The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party? What did you think of it?