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?

Review: Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #1)

Title: Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #1)
Author: Ben Clanton
Genre: Children’s, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Tundra Books
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: October 4, 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Narwhal is a happy-go-lucky narwhal. Jelly is a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but they do they love waffles, parties and adventures. Join Narwhal and Jelly as they discover the whole wide ocean together.

Review:

This is an adorable book!

I had seen this series around, and I wanted to read it for a long time. Narwhals are unusual creatures because they really look like unicorn whales. They don’t even look real.

I laughed out loud a few times while I read this book. Narwhal is learning about who he is while he teaches his friend Jelly the jellyfish. For example, he knows that a group of narwhals is called a pod, so he wants to make his own pod. Instead of finding a bunch of narwhals, he gathers his sea creature friends, such as a shark and an octopus and gives them horns to wear so they look like narwhals too. This part was funny, and educational because it teaches kids about sea creatures.

This short book is entertaining for kids and adults.

What to read next:

Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #1) by Ben Clanton

It Came in the Mail by Ben Clanton

Have you read Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea? What did you think of it?

Review: The Princess in Black

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Title: The Princess in Black
Author: Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, LeUyen Pham
Genre: Children’s
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Library
Format: ebook
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Who says princesses don’t wear black? When trouble raises its blue monster head, Princess Magnolia ditches her flouncy dresses and becomes the Princess in Black!

Princess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret —she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Can the princess sneak away, transform into her alter ego, and defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret? From award-winning writing team of Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham, here is the first in a humorous and action-packed chapter book series for young readers who like their princesses not only prim and perfect, but also dressed in black.

Review:

This is a girl power story about a princess who has a secret life as a superhero.

I’ve been interested in this series for years. I love the images on the covers. Princess Magnolia is a tough girl, who lives her everyday life as a princess. No one knows about her secret life as a superhero.

This story was very funny. Princess Magnolia was having tea when she heard her monster signal and she had to run way to change into her black costume to fight the dragon. This is unheard of because princesses don’t wear black.

Princess Magnolia is a strong character for kids to read about. She doesn’t follow silly, old-fashioned rules so she can make a difference in the world. I loved reading her story, and I can’t wait to read more.

What to read next:

  • The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, LeUyen Pham

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Have you read The Princess in Black? What did you think of it?

Review: Mortals and Immortals of Greek Mythology

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Title: Mortals and Immortals of Greek Mythology
Author: Françoise Rachnuhl, Charlotte Gastaut
Genre: Children’s, Mythology
Publisher: Lion Forge
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In Greek myths, extraordinary men and women are distinguished from other mortals: they are the heroes. Sometimes helped by the gods and sometimes hindered, they perform extraordinary exploits of strength, bravery, or intelligence. Jason, Theseus, Helen, Achilles, and Atalanta are among these mythical figures. The stories of the Greek mortals and immortals, and their legendary exploits, tower as tall now as they have for thousands of years! Alternately rivals or allies, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Athena, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes, Artemis, Apollo, and Dionysus form a restless family, which Zeus sometimes has trouble appeasing. But the king of the gods is far from irreproachable himself! Join these twelve gods at the top of Olympus, where they will give you all their secrets, even the most incredible ones. Never have these classic stories of Greek gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines, been so sumptuously illustrated. All your favorites are here, but this beautiful art and design will make you want to learn their stories all over again.

Review:

I love Greek mythology. I would have loved this book when I was a kid. My first introduction to Greek mythology was reading the book series Dolphin Diaries, where the dolphin was named after Apollo.

This book was filled with short origin stories of the Greek gods. They were each just a few pages long and told the most exciting stories about them. There were also some important mortals included at the end of the book including Jason, Achilles, Theseus, Helen and Atalanta.

I loved the way the stories were simplified for children to read. I found it funny when the male gods were described as having “adventures” which ended in them having children. It was a euphemism for when they would assume a mortal form and seduce a woman, but I found it funny to call them adventures.

I enjoyed this book. It’s a great guide to Greek mythology for young kids.

What to read next:

  • Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters by Donna Jo Napoli
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  • The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan

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Have you read Mortals and Immortals of Greek Mythology? What did you think of it?

Review: Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein

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Title: Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein
Author: Linda Bailey, Júlia Sardà
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: August 28, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The inspiring story of the girl behind one of the greatest novels — and monsters — ever, perfectly timed for the 200th anniversary of the publication of Frankenstein. For fans for picture book biographies such as I Dissent or She Persisted.

How does a story begin? Sometimes it begins with a dream, and a dreamer. Mary is one such dreamer, a little girl who learns to read by tracing the letters on her mother’s tombstone and whose only escape from her strict father and overbearing stepmother is through the stories she reads and imagines. Unhappy at home, she seeks independence, and at the age of seventeen runs away with poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, another dreamer. She travels to Europe and surrounds herself with more poets and writers, including Lord Byron and John Polidori. On a stormy summer evening, Byron suggests a contest to see who can create the best ghost story. After nine months of daydreaming, 21-year-old Mary Shelley’s terrifying tale is published, a novel that goes on to become the most enduring monster story ever — and one of the most popular legends of all time.

A riveting and atmospheric picture book about the young woman who wrote one of the greatest horror novels ever written and one of the first works of science fiction, Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein is an exploration of the process of artistic inspiration that will galvanize readers and writers of all ages.

Review:

I have never read Frankenstein. I tried to read it a few years ago, but I couldn’t get into it. However, I loved this book.

I didn’t realize that Mary Shelley was so young when she wrote the novel. She was only 18 years old! The story was born from a challenge given to a few friends on a trip. They were tasked with writing a ghost story, and Mary’s was so good that it is still talked about more than a century later!

The art in this book was very cool. The illustrations looked like patchwork. The colours were very dark, which suits the subject matter.

This children’s story about Mary Shelley’s life is great. It has inspired me to try reading Frankenstein again.

What to read next:

  • Frankenstein by Marry Wollstonecraft Shelley35031085.jpg

  • She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger34608694.jpg

Have you read Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein? What did you think of it?

Review: Small Things


Title: Small Things
Author: Mel Tregonning
Genre: Picture book
Publisher: Pajama Press
Source: Publisher
Release Date: March 1, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

On the cusp of having everything slip from his grasp, a young boy has to find a way to rebuild his sense of self. An ordinary boy in an ordinary world. With no words, only illustrations, Small Things tells the story of a boy who feels alone with worries but who learns that help is always close by. An extraordinary story, told simply and with breath taking beauty.

Review:

When I was a kid, I didn’t like picture books without words. However, now I know that the pictures can tell a more powerful story without words. This is the case with this book.

This book tells the important story of childhood anxiety. Children are not always diagnosed with anxiety, though it is very common. The main character in this story has little creatures or demons that are slowly eating away at him, until he is surrounded by them. His sister speaks to him one day and shows him that she has the same problems. Then, he notices that other kids at school also have the same problems, but he didn’t notice them when he was only thinking of his own problems.

The illustrations in this book are beautiful. The pictures look like detailed pencil sketches. The depiction of his demons were much more prominent though the images than they would have been with words. The number or demons increased so much that they eventually filled the entire page. This is a great, honest way to show how the demons of anxiety can consume a child or adult.

I loved this picture book! It is a powerful story for adults or children.

Review: The Lost Path

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Title: The Lost Path
Author: Amélie Fléchais
Genre: Children’s fiction
Publisher: Lion Forge
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

If you’ve got the taste for adventure, come join this treasure hunt! Three young boys set off from Camp Happiness, map in hand, determined to be the first to find the treasure before anyone else. But the shortcut they take leads to something far more spectacular and sinister! All manner of magical beasties live in these woods, and the kids find themselves caught between warring Forest Spirits. Will the three boys find their way out of trouble? Get your map and ready, set, go! Amélie Fléchais’s incredible artwork combines the best of French illustration with manga influences. A spooky new fairytale, for fans of Over the Garden Wall.

Review:

I loved Amélie’s book The Little Red Wolf, so I was excited to read this one.

This is a quirky story with fairytale elements. It’s great that the main characters are boys, because most fairytales have girls as the main characters, so boys are reluctant to read them.

There were some strange monsters in the story that seemed to be part of the forest. I loved how the drawings showed the creatures slowly emerging from the ground through a series of images. One of the boys wore a robot helmet throughout the story, which reminded me of when kids have to carry around or wear one thing constantly for a period. At times, the story would switch to his perspective and he saw the world made of robots. I liked that unique twist in the story.

I really enjoyed this story. It’s a short read that would be great for kids!