Thursday, March 22, 2018

Book Review: My Kitchen Year By Ruth Reichl

136 Recipes that Saved My Life

By: Ruth Reichl

Published: September 29, 2015

Publisher: Random House


Reichl's world as she knew it came to an end in 2009 when her role as editor-in-chief of "Gourmet" magazine came to an abrupt halt. The magazine was no longer published and Reichl had no idea what to do with her life. I had seen this book mentioned a few times and it intrigued me, so when it was part of a Kindle Deal, I grabbed it and read it slowly over a few months. I must admit I was not enjoying it at the beginning. I wasn't expecting the depressing, poor-me attitude to be so prevalent on the pages. Reichl was truly lost, wandering the streets, and completely unsure of how to spend her days. She, of course, turned to her most treasured spot, her kitchen and created dishes that brought her comfort, gave her a challenge, or filled her need for adventure.

As she and her husband decide to go to their second home and live their lives in the country for the winter, I found Reichl relaxed a bit more and her story seemed to become less whiny. Maybe, she was able to breathe a little bit being away from the city and all that reminded her of her former career.

I found many of the recipes were over my head and were foods I would never make, let alone, eat. Here in small-town Iowa, I am not exposed to the range of flavors she raved about in her recipes. I'm also not much of a seafood fan, so those recipes were pretty much ignored. But, no matter what the recipe is, Reichl's descriptions of her cooking the food will make your mouth water. I found myself highlighting a number of her recipes from Roast Chicken with Potatoes to Pomegranate Sunrise Fizz to Banana Bread (I'm always looking for that perfect recipe) and her Grandmother's Cabbage. So far, that is the only recipe I have had a chance to try. I've made cooked cabbage several times as it's a favorite of my husband but hers had a few different steps that I hadn't done before. Did I notice much of a difference in the flavor from when I have made it? No, but still delicious either way.

Ultimately, Reichl's world as she knew it came to a halt and the making of meals helped her emerge from the sadness and shock of starting over. This book is the result of that year. Reichl's book reads much like a diary as you travel through the seasons both in weather and seasons of grief. The photography is limited, there isn't a photo of every recipe, but when a photo appears on the page, it puts you right in the moment. The chapters are short and everyone focuses on a specific emotion and dish, ending with the recipe. So, you can easily read this like I did over the course of several weeks or months. 

Even though this book had a rough start for me, I appreciated the journey and the food that helped her overcome her sadness. It reminded me how much I love cooking for my family and gave me a new excitement for creating meals out of love.

Ruth Reichl - source

Ruth Reichl is an American food writer, former editor-in-chief of Gourmet magazine and culinary editor for the Modern Library and a former food critic.  For more information, check out her website, HERE

To purchase a copy of MY KITCHEN YEAR, click the photo below:

I will be linking up this post as part of Beth Fish Reads' Weekend Cooking. Weekend Cooking is open to anyone that has a food-related post to share including a book review (fiction or non-fiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. Grab the button and link up on Saturdays, but you can post any day of the week. To see all the Weekend Cooking posts and this week's link up, click, HERE

This post includes affiliate links. If you choose to purchase I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Children's Book Review: Peep and Egg Series By Laura Gehl

I'm Not Hatching

By: Laura Gehl

Illustrated by: Joyce Wan

Published: February 9, 2016

Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Format: Hardcover/Picture Book

Peep is just begging for Egg to hatch. There are so many fun things ahead for them to do together.  But Egg is too scared to hatch. No matter what Peep tells Egg they would do together like watching the sunrise, visiting the ducks at the pond, or playing hide-and-seek in the yard Egg is just too scared to hatch. Until Peep gets tired of waiting. Will Egg have the courage to hatch?

This is the first in the adventures of Peep and Egg. The story has a repetitive feature of Egg saying "I'm not hatching" which will encourage toddlers to read along. The illustrations are adorable and fill the pages. Peep and Egg are destined to have lots of fun together and your child will love waiting to see what adventures lie ahead for them.

I'm Not Trick-or-Treating

By: Laura Gehl

Illustrated by: Joyce Wan

Published: August 9, 2016

Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Format: Hardcover Picture Book

Peep is super excited to go out trick-or-treating, but Egg (who is no longer an egg but a chick just like Peep) is too scared. Peep tries to convince Egg that they will have lots of fun by visiting the ducks and the cows, but Egg is too scared. Then Peep tells Egg some Halloween jokes and Egg starts to giggle. Peep decides to go to the barn without Egg to see everyone's costumes and Egg thinks maybe having fun on Halloween isn't so scary.

Children will enjoy seeing all the barn animals in various costumes. They will laugh at all the silly jokes that Peep told to try to get Egg to go trick-or-treating. If you have a young child who may be afraid to go out on Halloween night, this may be a good book to share with them.

I'm Not Taking A Bath

By: Laura Gehl

Illustrated by: Joyce Wan

Published: October 24, 2017

Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Format: Hardcover Picture Book

The third in the Peep and Egg series continues with Egg not wanting to take a bath after Peep and Egg played in the mud. Peep offers lots of ideas for ways Egg can take a bath from using the sheep's special shampoo, or a dip in the dog's water bowl, or in the river. But, Egg has no interest in taking a bath...until there are bath toys involved. Egg will have so much fun taking a bath that getting Egg out of the bath will be the next problem.

Again, a super cute story with adorable illustrations of all the animals on the farm. Joyce Wan is also the talented illustrator in the PUG AND PIG books.

Young children will love this series. It helps them not be afraid and sometimes just getting started is the hardest part. Peep is an encouraging friend and this sweet story of friendship is one children will want to read again and again.

The newest addition to the series is PEEP AND EGG I'm Not Using the Potty.

Laura Gehl - source
Laura Gehl is the author of the Peep and Egg books and several other picture books, including ONE BIG PAIR OF UNDERWEAR. Laura has four children. She and her family live in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Find out more at

To purchase the Peep and Egg books, click the photos below:

I will be linking up this review on Booking Mama's regular Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. This is a place for bloggers to share posts related to children's and YA books. You will find spotlights, reviews, and sometimes even giveaways by clicking HERE, every Saturday.

Thanks to the publisher for providing copies of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase the book through the above link, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Quick Lit: Mini Reviews of Some Recent Reads - March Edition

I'm trying to read more books that I choose for my own reading enjoyment. Not for review, but because I've been wanting to read them or they caught my attention. Most of them have been talked about ad nauseam or have been on my to-read list for a long time so they don't really need a full review. But, I'd still like to give them some space here on the blog.

I'll be linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy and her monthly Quick Lit link up. Be sure to head over to see others link up their Quick Lit posts. 

Our family headed out for a somewhat spontaneous Spring Break trip. I took lots of books with me and you'll have to check in later to see which ones I actually finished. I always have high expectations for reading and don't usually read everything I take, but I'm hoping I make a dent in this pile. 

Here are a few of the books I read or listened to in the last month.....

Little Things that Can Change Your Life...and Maybe the World
By: Admiral William H. McRaven (US Navy Retired)
Published: April 4, 2017
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Format: Audiobook

This inspiring bestseller should be required reading for every high school or college graduate. After giving the commencement speech at the University of Texas in 2014, he was approached to make it into a book. It's a short, quick read or listen at just over an hour. But, it is extremely impactful and inspiring. 

Admiral McRaven offers stories from his multiple years in the military that can apply to everyone. He starts with the simple task of making your bed every day. This simple task helps you start the day with an accomplishment and sets the tone for the rest of your day. Some of the other inspiring mantras include Swim with the Sharks and Don't Ever Ring the Bell. Even though the stories are all military focused, you can still find ways to connect them to "civilian" life. His approach is straight-forward and direct. If you find yourself in a difficult situation, you can easily think back to a lesson that applies and face it with strength and integrity. 

Stories about the 12 Hardest Things I'm Learning to Say
By: Kelly Corrigan
Published: January 9, 2018
Publisher: Random House
Format: Audiobook 

I listened to this one on audio because I really enjoyed listening to THE MIDDLE PLACE on audio. The author narrates this one and her emotions are just on the edge of falling over the cliff, but she holds on. Unfortunately, she shares her deep grief after losing her father and her best friend. But she also shares the life lessons she has learned over the years through her own cancer experience, the death of the two important people in her life, being married for nearly 20 years and raising two daughters. This is a short book, but it packs a punch. It's full of Aha! moments and sadness and hope. I had to stop listening to it a few times because I can't put on makeup and cry at the same time, but it's one I would listen to again.

A Novel
By: Andrew Gross
Published: August 23, 2016
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Format: eBook

My niece recommended this to me knowing I love novels set during WWII. Even though this one has been loosely based on actual people and events from WWII, it is a fictional story. But, let me tell you, it is intense. I think it is the most intense story I have read set during WWII. The premise is that there is one man that can help the US in the war efforts. This man is one of two who knows how to build an atomic bomb. The other man with the knowledge is working for the Germans. So the US feels it is imperative to find this one man and get him to the US. Through intelligence and information from the inside, he is found in Auschwitz. Now the US has to figure out how to get him out and there is only one man who they believe can do that. 

I liked how the title of this book gives two different meanings...the one man who is needed to bring back to the US with the knowledge of bomb building and the other is the one man who the government believes can get him out. Of course, all the horrors of WWII and concentration camps fill the pages and the buildup to the main climax of the book was quite intense. You can't imagine how these two men will actually find each other in a camp of tens of thousands of men and then get out in the specified time. You can't imagine it, but know, the ride will not be what you expected. 

 I admit, the scientific formulas and talk about bomb-making was like reading another language, so I skimmed those parts of the book. But, that information isn't needed to understand the story or the great importance of the mission. It is a thrilling read and one I'm glad I read. But, I think I'll need to find something much lighter for my next book choice. 

"It was for this reason that man was first created as one person, 
to teach you that anyone who destroys a life is considered by Scripture 
to have destroyed an entire world; and any who saves a life
 is as if he saved an entire world."

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on the links above it will take you to that product's page on Amazon. If you choose to purchase I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Children's Book Review: Questions and Answers for Kids By Scott Bowen

A Three-Year Journal for Kids with Inspirational Bible Verses

By: Scott Bowen

Published: February 18, 2018

Publisher: Freely Give Co


If you asked an eight-year-old if they would want to live with their parents after college, I bet you would get a totally different answer looking back ten years later. That is the joy of keeping journals with your kids and I have a truly awesome one to share with you today. I am bummed that my kids are too old for this book because I would have LOVED creating this journal with them. This journal offers pages for each day with space for three years of recording answers to specific questions for that day. As your children grow, their answers will change and it would be fun to go through the previous years' answers with them. This journal would be a great activity for dinner-time or bedtime. Or maybe your family has a breakfast time devotion before the kids head off to school, then this would work for that time as well.  You could even ask the day's question in the morning so the kids have all day to think about their answer and then complete the journal at bedtime.

Author Scott Bowen created this journal as a way to get his eight-year-old son to talk more about his day at the dinner table. I think this book would work best for children 7-11, depending on the maturity of your kids.

Each page offers plenty of space for your child's answer to the question. For example, a couple questions are "What is your favorite family memory from last month?" and "What car would you like to drive for one day?". Then at the bottom of each page is a Bible verse that goes along with the question of the day. If your child doesn't have an idea of what to answer, then you could come back to it the next day after they've had time to think about it or create your own questions that are maybe a follow up to the prior day's question.

A ribbon bookmark is attached so that you can easily find the page you are on.  The pages are a heavy paper so they won't easily rip and the book is a hardcover to protect it over the three-year use. This journal allows families to create lasting memories with their children and watch their interests change over the years in the journal. The Bible verse on each page offers an opportunity for more conversation about the lesson it may be teaching and the illustrations on the page will make your child laugh and maybe help them come up with some ideas for answers.

This would make an excellent gift for your child's or grandchildren's Easter basket. What better way to encourage conversation and build memories with your child than through a personalized daily journal that parents or grandparents and child can complete together.

Photo provided by the publisher

To purchase a copy of QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS FOR KIDS, click the photo below:

The publisher Freely Give Co offers gift baskets for all occasions perfect for new moms, birthdays, appreciation, and weddings. Check out their website, HERE.

I will be linking up this review on Booking Mama's regular Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. This is a place for bloggers to share posts related to children's and YA books. You will find spotlights, reviews, and sometimes even giveaways by clicking HERE, every Saturday.

Thanks to the publisher for sending this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to purchase the book through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Books that Came in February 2018

If you remember, back in January I read 15 books! My all-time high for a month. February was not quite so exciting. I only read 7 books and that included a children's book, 2 middle-grade books, and a novella. February went by so fast, I can barely believe we actually had the month. Just when I think our family is in a lull and we will have more downtime, I look at my calendar and realize...nope....not gonna happen. But, I am still sticking with my plan of always having a book with me and trying to be more conscious of going to my Kindle app versus going to social media and losing minutes or hours there.

I have so many great books to share with you this month. Some were purchased and others were sent for review. Be sure to look at the children's books, many would make great Easter Basket gifts!

Currently Listening: GIVE A GIRL A KNIFE

If you would like to purchase any of the books in this post, clicking the photo or title of the book will take you directly to the product on Amazon. If you choose to purchase the book I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. 

By: Clare Mackintosh
Published: March 13, 2018
Publisher: Berkley
Format: Paperback

I read and enjoyed Mackintosh's previous two novels I LET YOU GO and I SEE YOU. They had just the right amount of secrets, lies, and creepiness that kept me turning the pages. Can't wait to see what thrills lie ahead in her third novel.

The police say it was suicide.
Anna says it was murder.
They're both wrong.

One year ago, Caroline Johnson chose to end her life brutally: a shocking suicide planned to match that of her husband just months before. Their daughter, Anna, has struggled to come to terms with their loss ever since.

Now with a young baby of her own, Anna misses her mother more than ever and starts to question her parents’ deaths. But by digging up their past, she’ll put her future in danger. Sometimes it’s safer to let things lie…

By: Veronica Henry
Published: August 15, 2017
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
Format: Hardcover

I took a bag of books to Half Price and brought two books back home. This was one choice. It might be cheesy, fluff read, but I love books about books and bookstores, so why not? Sometimes I just need a light, fun read. I was surprised by how recently it was published and I hadn't heard of it before.

Everyone has a story . . . but will they get the happy ending they deserve?

Emilia has just returned to her idyllic Cotswold hometown to rescue the family business. Nightingale Books is a dream come true for book-lovers, but the best stories aren't just within the pages of the books she sells - Emilia's customers have their own tales to tell.

There's the lady of the manor who is hiding a secret close to her heart; the single dad looking for books to share with his son but who isn't quite what he seems; and the desperately shy chef trying to find the courage to talk to her crush . . .

And as for Emilia's story, can she keep the promise she made to her father and save Nightingale Books?

By: Fredrik Backman
Published: June 16, 2015
Publisher: Atria Books
Format: Paperback

My other choice from Half Price. I'm making it my mission to read all of Backman's books so this is next!

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa's best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother's stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa's grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa's greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother's letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

By: Hannah Tinti
Published: January 30, 2018 (March 30, 2017 original)
Publisher: The Dial Press
Format: Paperback

I joined the Target Book of the Month and this was their choice for February. Since it's just come out in paperback, I'm guessing that is why it was chosen for by Target.  I've heard of the title but that's about it. 

After years spent living on the run, Samuel Hawley moves with his teenage daughter, Loo, to Olympus, Massachusetts. There, in his late wife's hometown, Hawley finds work as a fisherman, while Loo struggles to fit in at school and grows curious about her mother's mysterious death. Haunting them both are twelve scars Hawley carries on his body, from twelve bullets in his criminal past; a past that eventually spills over into his daughter's present, until together they must face a reckoning yet to come. This father-daughter epic weaves back and forth through time and across America, from Alaska to the Adirondacks. 

On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World
By: Anthony Doerr
Published: June 12, 2007
Publisher: Scribner
Format: Paperback

I loved Doerr's book THE SHELL COLLECTOR. I've heard about this memoir of his family's time in Rome and Anne Bogel has raved about it several times. It was super cheap for a paperback (and still is) so I snagged a copy! I am dying to visit Rome so I'm sure this will feed my desires to travel there!

From the award-winning author of The Shell Collector and About Grace comes an evocative memoir of the timeless beauty of Rome and the day-to-day wonderment of living, writing, and raising twin boys in a foreign city.

A Memoir
By: Amy Thielen
Published: May 16, 2017
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Format: Audiobook

As of today, this is just $1.99 on Kindle. I've been wanting to read Thielen's book since it came out. My cousin knows her and has helped with a few of her book/food events in Minnesota. After Sheila at The Deliberate Reader mentioned it last month, I decided it would make a good audiobook so I used an Audible credit and just started listening. She reads it herself which makes any audio memoir better in my opinion.

Before Amy Thielen frantically plated rings of truffled potatoes in some of New York City s finest kitchens for chefs David Bouley, Daniel Boulud, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten she grew up in a northern Minnesota town home to the nation s largest French fry factory, the headwaters of the fast food nation, with a mother whose generous cooking pulsed with joy, family drama, and an overabundance of butter.

Inspired by her grandmother s tales of cooking on the family farm, Thielen moves with her artist husband to the rustic, off-the-grid cabin he built in the woods. There, standing at the stove three times a day, she finds the seed of a growing food obsession that leads to the sensory madhouse of New York s top haute cuisine brigades. When she goes home, she comes face to face with her past, and a curious truth: that beneath every foie gras sauce lies a rural foundation of potatoes and onions, and that taste memory is the most important ingredient of all.

A Novel
By: Ann Leary
Published: January 15, 2013
Publisher: Picador
Format: Audiobook

I think this was also recommended by Anne Bogel and especially on audio, so I used another credit and purchased it. I was running low on audiobooks and my library holds aren't coming through as fast as I had hoped. It was already on my to-read list so I'm hoping the audio version lives up to its great reviews.

How do you prove you're not an alcoholic?

Hildy Good has reached that dangerous time in a woman's life - middle-aged and divorced, she is an oddity in her small but privileged town. But Hildy isn't one for self-pity and instead meets the world with a wry smile, a dark wit and a glass or two of Pinot Noir. When her two earnest grown-up children stage 'an intervention' and pack Hildy off to an addiction centre, she thinks all this fuss is ridiculous. After all, why shouldn't Hildy enjoy a drink now and then?

But as the story progresses, we start to see another side to Hildy Good, and to her life's greatest passion - the lies and self deceptions needed to support her drinking, and the damage she causes to those she loves. When a cluster of secrets become dangerously entwined, the reckless behaviour of one threatens to expose the other, with devastating consequences.

By: Eoin Dempsey
Published: February 1, 2018
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing 
Format: eBook

This was a choice in the February Free Reads for Kindle through Amazon Prime. It sounded like something I would like.

December 1943. In the years before the rise of Hitler, the Gerber family’s summer cottage was filled with laughter. Now, as deep drifts of snow blanket the Black Forest, German dissenter Franka Gerber is alone and hopeless. Fervor and brutality have swept through her homeland, taking away both her father and her brother and leaving her with no reason to live.

That is, until she discovers an unconscious airman lying in the snow wearing a Luftwaffe uniform, his parachute flapping in the wind. Unwilling to let him die, Franka takes him to her family’s isolated cabin despite her hatred for the regime he represents. But when it turns out that he is not who he seems, Franka begins a race against time to unravel the mystery of the airman’s true identity. Their tenuous bond becomes as inseparable as it is dangerous. Hunted by the Gestapo, can they trust each other enough to join forces on a mission that could change the face of the war and their own lives forever?

A Novel
By: Benjamin Ludwig
Published: May 2, 2017
Publisher: Park Row Books
Format: eBook

My BFF told me she was reading this book and enjoying it, then that same week it was part of the Kindle Daily Deals so I snagged it.

After years in foster care, Ginny is in her fourth forever family, finally with parents who will love her.

Everyone tells her that she should feel happy, but she has never stopped crafting her Big Secret Plan of Escape.

Because something happened, a long time ago – something that only Ginny knows – and nothing will stop her going back to put it right…

By: Ann Hood
Published: August 9, 2016
Publisher: W. W. Norton and Company
Format: eBook

This came up in my library overdrive loans. I read it quickly and it was an enjoyable read although it did take a few unexpected turns. You can see my thoughts in my Quick Lit Post

Ava’s twenty-five-year marriage has fallen apart, and her two grown children are pursuing their own lives outside of the country. Ava joins a book group, not only for her love of reading but also out of sheer desperation for companionship. The group’s goal throughout the year is for each member to present the book that matters most to them. Ava rediscovers a mysterious book from her childhood—one that helped her through the traumas of the untimely deaths of her sister and mother. Alternating with Ava’s story is that of her troubled daughter Maggie, who, living in Paris, descends into a destructive relationship with an older man. Ava’s mission to find that book and its enigmatic author takes her on a quest that unravels the secrets of her past and offers her and Maggie the chance to remake their lives. 

By: Andrew Gross
Published: August 23, 2016
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Format: eBook

My niece told me about this one and it came up in my library overdrive loans. It's a bit different from other WWII books I've read. It's going a little slow for me, but I have a 14-day deadline, so I'm hoping I can keep at it before it disappears from my Kindle. 

Poland. 1944. Alfred Mendl and his family are brought on a crowded train to a Nazi concentration camp after being caught trying to flee Paris with forged papers. His family is torn away from him on arrival, his life's work burned before his eyes. To the guards, he is just another prisoner, but in fact Mendl--a renowned physicist--holds knowledge that only two people in the world possess. And the other is already at work for the Nazi war machine.
Four thousand miles away, in Washington, DC, Intelligence lieutenant Nathan Blum routinely decodes messages from occupied Poland. Having escaped the Krakow ghetto as a teenager after the Nazis executed his family, Nathan longs to do more for his new country in the war. But never did he expect the proposal he receives from "Wild" Bill Donovan, head of the OSS: to sneak into the most guarded place on earth, a living hell, on a mission to find and escape with one man, the one man the Allies believe can ensure them victory in the war.

A Novel
By: Victoria Helen Stone
Published: November 1, 2016
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Format: eBook

I chose this as part of a free book through my IHG Hotels app. A free Kindle book is a reward for members and so my cousin and I chose this one from the options. She's already read it which means it must be a quick and thrilling read. 

Evelyn Tester is sleepwalking through her suburban life—until a late-night phone call startles her awake. Her husband, a prestigious psychiatrist, has been in an accident. And he isn’t alone.

Suddenly Evelyn’s world isn’t as tidy as she thought. And in the midst of it all is Juliette, not only her husband’s secret lover but also his patient. If news of the affair were to get out, it would ruin more than just Evelyn’s marriage. Although it’s a bitter pill for Evelyn to swallow, protecting her family means staying silent—even if, as she begins to discover, the night of the accident has consequences far more dangerous than the unmasking of an affair.

But the more Evelyn learns about Juliette’s picture-perfect life—complete with a handsome, unsuspecting husband—the more she yearns for revenge…and satisfaction. Her growing obsession fuels her rage, burning away her complacency. What will be left of her after it flames out?

By: Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie
Illustrated by: Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
Published: March 1, 2018
Publisher: Albert Whitman and Company
Format: Hardcover Picture Book

This is a book for review that looks like a fun read for kids.

Kiely knows she is famous! The paparazzi (her parents) follow her every move, documenting with cameras. It’s exhausting being famous, but someone has to do it! She even gets to perform a big song at her grandfather’s birthday. When she messes it up, she’s worried she’s lost her audience forever, but it turns out that no one is as loyal as her fans who love her.

By: Robb Pearlman
Illustrated by: Eda Kaban
Published: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Running Press Kids
Format: Paperback

After reading THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS this book came up in my email as a potential review book. It seemed like perfect timing. This book doesn't come out until this summer though so you'll have to wait a bit to purchase. You can always preorder if you are interested!

Pink is for boys . . . and girls . . . and everyone! This timely and beautiful picture book rethinks and reframes the stereotypical blue/pink gender binary and empowers kids-and their grown-ups-to express themselves in every color of the rainbow. Featuring a diverse group of relatable characters, Pink Is for Boys invites and encourages girls and boys to enjoy what they love to do, whether it's racing cars and playing baseball, or loving unicorns and dressing up. Vibrant illustrations help children learn and identify the myriad colors that surround them every day, from the orange of a popsicle, to the green of a grassy field, all the way up to the wonder of a multicolored rainbow.

A Three-Year Journal for Kids with Inspirational Bible Verses
By: Scott Bowen
Published: February 18, 2018
Publisher: Freely Give Co.
Format: Hardcover

The three-year journal would make a great gift for Easter baskets or birthdays. I'll be reviewing this one on Friday.

Questions and Answers for Kids is a journal that provides a wonderfully unique way to gather your family to intentionally grow together. With this tool, you will be able to ask your kids a question each day for the next three years. This little book will serve your family well as a place to meet together daily to talk about both the silly and the serious and document it along the way. This journal gives your family space to explore together both core questions about building character, such as 'What's the difference between a mistake and a bad choice?', 'What qualities are in a true friend?' and silly questions about the world around us like, 'What animal makes the coolest noise?' and 'What is the worst smell in the world?'. Together you and your kids will be able to visit the same question on the same day year after year and watch how your child's thoughts about life and the world change. Each question is also partnered with an encouraging verse from the Bible that will help point your family together to the what the Word of God says about the serious and the funny. Their response may be serious, silly, or surprising. This can be a safe place where your child can share their real, authentic self. The wide range of questions offer a few lines to write a response- an easy way to freeze time for a moment. As you revisit the same question on the same day year after year you and your child will be able to see how their responses change over time, or don t change at all! A wonderful way to get to know your child s unfolding personality as well as an open door to ask the hard questions. This journal will be a keepsake for years to come. A priceless way to get to know your child and help guide them in following Jesus.

A True Story about an Invention (Really!)
By: Barry Wittenstein
Illustrated by: Chris Hsu
Published: February 13, 2018
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Format: Hardcover/Picture Book

A fun story about the invention of the bandaid!

1920s cotton buyer Earle Dickson worked for Johnson & Johnson and had a klutzy wife who often cut herself. The son of a doctor, Earle set out to create an easier way for her to bandage her injuries. Band-Aids were born, but Earle's bosses at the pharmaceutical giant weren't convinced, and it wasn't until the Boy Scouts of America tested Earle's prototype that this ubiquitous household staple was made available to the public. Soon Band-Aids were selling like hotcakes, and the rest is boo-boo history.

50 Fun & Safe Experiments for the Mad Scientist in You
By: Karen Romano Young
Published: September 26, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic Children's Books
Format: Paperback

I wish I had this book when my daughter had to come up with her own science experiment every few weeks during 6th grade! This would also make an excellent book to keep your child busy (and learning) during the summer months with minimal supervision!

Science can be extreme! Let curious kids discover it for themselves in this fascinating book of hands-on science experiments that takes interactivity to a whole new level.

Weird, wacky science facts and basic principles are explained as a first step to launching these creative (and safe) science projects. Dynamic photos and art clearly highlight each step so kids can conduct experiments with confidence and accuracy. Projects involve kid-friendly subjects like force and motion and temperature and freezing points, and most experiments are based on materials easily found at home. Bonus projects throughout encourage curious kids to dig deeper and discover more!

The Human Body
By: Courtney Acampora
Published: December 12, 2017
Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books
Format: Paperback and Kit

Oh my gosh, this is an awesome kit for science fans. I can't wait to look through the flash cards, put the skeleton together and read through the book. Very cool! A great gift for your child's science teacher!

Which part of the brain is in charge of creativity? What is the smallest human muscle? Take a trip inside the human body and discover the amazing systems that allow us to move, breathe, and speak. After reading about everything from the digestive tract to the cornea, kids can assemble their own plastic skeleton and view the systems of the body in a layered cardstock model. With 20 fact cards, 2 sticker sheets, and a double-sided poster, this interactive kit is a perfect primer for learning about how the human body works.

By: Mary Russell
Published: February 1, 2018
Publisher: Autumn Arch Publishing
Format: Paperback

This is written by a local author who contacted me to consider reviewing her book. 

Have your parents ever sent you to someplace you didn't want to go to?

For me, it was summer camp. Camp Peony Pines to be precise.

It's not necessarily camp that's the problem, but that my parents want me to go with my scuzzball cousin, Caryl.

Caryl and I simply have nothing in common. We might as well be from different planets. She's a flea market wrapped up in a garage sale, delivered in army surplus. I simply cannot go. It will be the end of my life. But off to camp I go, where things take a surprising turn. And the most unexpected person comes to my rescue.

By: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Published: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Dial Books
Format: Paperback

The is the sequel to THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE which I loved. So, I purchased this one to finish the story!

When Ada’s clubfoot is surgically fixed at last, she knows for certain that she’s not what her mother said she was—damaged, deranged, crippled mentally as well as physically. She’s not a daughter anymore, either. What is she?

World War II continues, and Ada and her brother, Jamie, are living with their loving legal guardian, Susan, in a borrowed cottage on the estate of the formidable Lady Thorton—along with Lady Thorton herself and her daughter, Maggie. Life in the crowded cottage is tense enough, and then, quite suddenly, Ruth, a Jewish girl from Germany, moves in. A German? The occupants of the house are horrified. But other impacts of the war become far more frightening. As death creeps closer to their door, life and morality during wartime grow more complex. Who is Ada now? How can she keep fighting? And who will she struggle to save?

By: Jessica D. Adams
Published: October 7, 2015
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Format: eBook

The author contacted me about reading and reviewing her book. I liked the premise so decided to give it a look.

Peggy remembers a time when she was the only baby doll in the house. Janice loved Peggy so much, but as all little girls do, Janice grew up. Peggy was passed down to Janice's two daughters, Jessica and Jennifer. Peggy had to learn to share her time with other toys. 
After the two girls grew up, and Janice passed away, Peggy was forgotten. What will happen to Peggy? How will she ever find children to love her again?

I'm linking up with THE DELIBERATE READER for her monthly feature NEW ON THE STACK. To see other bloggers' new books from February, click HERE.

As always, be sure to let me know if you read any of these.