Tag Archives: birds

Popper and Friends: Popper Finds a New Home by IL Ritchie (Book Review)

POPPER FINDS A NEW HOME by IL Ritchie
 
 
Popper is a sweet little woodpecker who is trying to find a new home. Now that he is grown, it’s time for him to leave the nest and find a home of his own. The first book in the Popper and Friends series, follow along as Popper explores different options and gets helpful advice from his friends.
 
 
Buy Links:
Amazon ~ B&N
add to goodreads
 
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Story: Like most parents, we hope that when our kiddos leave the nest, they don’t “fly” too far away from home. We want them (our children) to spread their wings and soar but still be close to us (parents) as well. 


I loved following Popper’s search for a new home & reading which ones were not ideal and why. When parents or educators read Popper and Friends: Popper Finds a New Homaloud, I’s suggest asking your children or students if they know why certain places would be the wrong home for Popper before you divulge the answer. 


 
Illustrations: Yulia Potts seemed to tap into a child’s mind when they drew up the animals and people. For example, Popper’s color scheme was full of color and nothing like a realistic woodpecker, which is spectacular, in my opinion. I think children will love the character even more because of it. My youngest laughed at Filbert the squirrel’s plump cheeks and the dizzy-looking kitty, who appeared to be eating a sausage link. She even thought Webster the spider was cute, and she never finds them adorable. 


Popper and Friends: Popper Finds a New Home by IL Ritchie is appropriate for various ages. Non-readers can point out and name the animals and make their sounds, while experienced reads will have little to no trouble with the text. It’s also a great story to read in a classroom or by a librarian. 


Craft idea: Build a birdhouse. Draw your version of a woodpecker and its home. 
 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
 
 
add to goodreads
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author IL Ritchie
A California native, IL Ritchie lives in San Francisco, where he is creating new adventures for Popper and his friends.
 
connect with the author: goodreads

 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Living Christmas Tree by Kristin Sponaugle (Book Review)

THE LIVING CHRISTMAS TREE by Kristin Sponaugle

2021 Family Choice Award Winner

 

During the day, the Miller family’s Christmas tree stands tall in their living room, sparkling with lights and ornaments. Little does the family know that their Christmas tree is anything but ordinary. Each evening, the magic of Christmas brings their tree to life—much to the delight of Hannah and William Miller. Follow along as Hannah and William experience the magic of Christmas in a whole new way.
 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~  Barnes and Noble ~ Target
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 I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Christmas is a magical time of year. The days, and especially the night before it, are filled with excitement for young children. They dream about Santa leaving them toys, gobbling up the cookies, and drinking the milk. Kristin Sponaugle made the holiday even more magical by bringing ornaments to life in The Living Christmas Tree. As you know from the success of the Toy Story franchise, kids love when their favorite items become “real” and interactive. 


Every child, young in body or heart, will adore the beautiful ornaments illustrated by Agus Prajogo. We loved every single one! They were cute, fun to watch at play, and brought a smile to our faces. 


My youngest doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, but we agreed you don’t have to believe in Christmas magic to enjoy The Living Christmas Tree


Imagination has no age limit. We sat and discussed what ornaments on our tree we’d like to see come to life. Since my youngest wants superhero ornaments on the tree this year, she picked those to become active at night. 🙂


Great story. 


Beautiful illustrations. 


A marvelous addition to any home, school, or library. 

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤

 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Kristin Sponaugle

 
Kristin Sponaugle was born in Butler, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Duquesne University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in health sciences and her master’s degree in physician assistant studies. Kristin had always dreamed of becoming an author, and made that dream a reality with her two published children’s books, The Princess Puppy and The Living Christmas Tree. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cross-stitching, and playing with her Maltese dog, Rosie. Kristin lives with her husband, daughter, and Rosie, and resides wherever the Air Force sends them.
 
 
Connect with the Author: website ~ facebook instagram
 
 

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Mia and the Hummingbird by Nancy Carlisle (Book Spotlight)

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“An inspirational story! The juxtaposition of the hummingbird’s struggle with Mia’s struggles is unique and I feel that kids will be able to relate to it.” – Reader in a 5-Star Review
 
Mia and the Hummingbird is the story of a young girl who immigrates to a new country and learns to accept a new life.She sees the hummingbird building her nest for her babies and thinks that she and the bird are similar as they learn to adapt to their new homes. Mia and the Hummingbird includes information about environmental and social reasons for immigration, the struggle to adapt to a new home and information about hummingbirds.
 
 
Included is a glossary about these issues, a bibliography, and references.
 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon
add to goodreads
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
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Nancy Carlisle is an author, illustrator and retired architect and manager. She writes hopeful books for kids that interweave facts and fiction about the environment and global responsibility.

During her 38 year career, as an architect and researcher, her focus was on the environment. She led work nationally and internationally on sustainable and energy efficient buildings and communities and won awards for collaboratively designing award-winning sustainable buildings, a laboratory campus, and as part of a team to develop a program to improve the energy efficiency of laboratories in the U.S.

 

connect with the author: website
 
 
 
 
 

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A Curse of Mayhem: Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions Book 2 by Sunayna Prasad (Book Review)

A CURSE OF MAYHEM by Sunayna Prasad

Middle-Grade Fiction (Ages 8-12),  173 pages

History, like magic, has a habit of repeating itself.
It’s been six months since thirteen-year-old Alyssa McCarthy left magic behind for good. Or so she thought…
Then the enchanted objects that protected her disappear. Now a skeleton named Errol has cursed her with magical powers that keep getting her in trouble. Suddenly strange things are happening with disastrous effects, and if Alyssa can’t remove the magic, she will lose everything she holds dear. In order to get rid of her unwanted wizardry, Alyssa will have to boost her bravery and confidence and determine who Errol really is. But every time Alyssa uses an enchantment, Errol is one step closer to getting his flesh back and becoming alive, and he will do anything to achieve his goals…even if it means destroying Alyssa’s happiness.
Originally published in 2016 as “Wizardry Goes Wild” and “The Unruly Curse” in 2019, “A Curse of Mayhem” is book two in the exciting and suspenseful “Magical Missions” series.
 
BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Kobo
Add to Goodreads
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from 
iRead Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 

Since my (pre-teen) daughter gave me such valuable feedback regarding The Frights of Fiji, I enlisted her again in the review for A Curse of Mayhem (Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions, Book 2). 

 

Cover:  She thought the winged person was creepy and didn’t understand who it was supposed to be since she didn’t recall a flying kid in the story. The birdman didn’t bother her; in fact, she thought he looked comical. 

Plot:  We both agreed there were plot holes again. We didn’t understand how Alex, the godfather, forgot about magic and Alyssa’s kidnapping. 
We weren’t sure how mortals could be so confused magic exists when there is a magical zoo in Nebraska. 


Characters:  
She liked the winged unicorn-zebra, and so did I.  

 

Extras:  We both agreed the community service hours for students are a good idea. It teaches young people to take care of our world, and it’s important to take care of your community/people. However, realistically, I don’t think many schools will make it a requirement for school. Maybe for a class, though. 

While there were some hits and misses in this story, it was more enjoyable than The Frights of Fiji. It did represent how I believe a person would react to unwanted powers and the lack of control over them. 

On a final note: My daughter said the ending was “Ahhh, so sweet.”  She’s right; it was adorable. 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤1/2
 
BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Kobo
Add to Goodreads
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Sunayna Prasad
 
Sunayna Prasad enjoys writing fantasy books for children, as well as cooking, creating artwork, watching online videos, and blogging. She has also written The Frights of Fiji, and A Curse of Mayhem. She constantly in creating and brainstorming new ideas.
 
Connect with the Author:   website ~ twitter goodreads
 
 

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The Frights of Fiji: Alyssa McCarthy’s Magical Missions by Sunayna Prasad (Book Review)

The frights of Fiji (Alyssa McCarthy Magical Missions #1) by Sunayna Prasad

(Ages 8-12)

 
A world of magic and adventure awaits…


Sent to live with her strict, aloof, and uncaring uncle after her parents are killed in a car accident, twelve-year-old orphan Alyssa McCarthy longs for the life she used to have—one filled with fun and love. Then one stormy night, a message appears in the raindrops on the window that will change everything.

“Your life will never be the same again, as magic will interfere.”

Before long, Alyssa is kidnapped by Master Beau, a banished sorcerer with a mysterious connection to her who can only regain his power by weakening hers. Suddenly hurled into a world of wizardry filled with fantastical beasts and marvelous technology beyond her wildest imagination, Alyssa must defeat Master Beau if she ever wants to get home again. But Master Beau will stop at nothing, including using Alyssa’s friends, to ensure he is triumphant.

Originally titled “From Frights to Flaws”, this story is the exciting and enchanting first book in the “Magical Missions” series.

 
BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon  ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Kobo
Add to Goodreads
 
 
 

Alyssa McCarthy

I received a complimentary copy of this book from 
iRead Book Tours.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 
My pre-teen and I had mixed feelings about The Frights of Fiji by Sunayna Prasad. There were parts we enjoyed a lot and sections we weren’t particularly fond of at all. 


Our Likes: We both agreed colored sleet was cool. 🙂 
When we read about the wizards using magic to conjure a meal, we talked about what full meal we would create. She shocked me when she said a pepperoni calzone, oreo ice cream cake, and Dr. Pepper float. I really thought she’d say mac and cheese. 


Since dolphins are her favorite animals, she was captivated by the dermaidens. They are half-human, half-dolphin beings. She adored their unique talent, but I won’t disclose it. You’ll have to purchase the book to find out what it is. 


She thought the names given to magical versions of non-magical tech such as iPhone, iPod, iPad, and much more were funny. Example: WiPhone, WiPod, and WiPad. I asked her what she thought they’d call a magical version of a Wii. Her response, in a French accent, was “Wii Wii.” 😀


Our Dislikes: While this book DOES NOT have mature language or adult content, it does have scenes that might make your child uncomfortable. There’s a moment where Uncle Bruce physically assaults a child. Since this book is for 8-12-year-olds, this altercation might upset younger readers. My daughter and I spoke about her feelings regarding it. She said, “He shouldn’t have smacked her. It’s rude and unnecessary.” I agree. I also told her no adult should ever hit a child. She said, “Well, yeah, duh.” 😀


We also thought there were some plot holes. She didn’t understand why the godfather didn’t seem very worried Alyssa was taken or expressed anger for what the wizard did to her or the other girls. Again, I agree with her. 


Since the book was intended for her age group, I asked her to score it. She said the book was just alright, so she gave it a 3. 

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Sunayna Prasad
 
Sunayna Prasad enjoys writing fantasy books for children, as well as cooking, creating artwork, watching online videos, and blogging. She has also written The Frights of Fiji, and A Curse of Mayhem. She constantly in creating and brainstorming new ideas.
 
Connect with the Author:   website ~ twitter goodreads
 
 
 

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