Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Cuddle up with a Cup of Adagio Tea and a Good Book


I can't think of a better way to spend a free evening or long weekend than with a book and a cup of tea! I absolutely love sitting in my favorite chair, under my cozy blanket, with a book in my hand and a cup of tea sitting next to me. I have typically purchased tea at my local grocery stores, but for the first time, I was able to try loose teas. This gourmet tea bursts with flavor and I savor every sip.

I was given a gift certificate to purchase an assortment of teas from Adagio Teas. The teas I chose included hot tea, cold tea, and limited edition teas. It's taken me a couple months to work my way through all the varieties and I can't say anything negative about any of them. It's super simple to make the flavored iced teas and I appreciated having them in the fridge during our early warm days of fall.

Then as the days grew cooler, I couldn't wait to try some of the unique blends of gourmet teas. I loved that I could purchase a small sample size tin and try out some of the tea blends without committing myself to a whole bag. I think my favorite so far has been the Drink Me blend of caramel, vanilla, and raspberry. I also liked that it was decaffeinated so I could drink it later in the evening.  Even though I really liked the Berry Blast Tea, my husband did not. But, that meant I got to have the whole pitcher to myself. I also really liked the White Peach Iced Tea.

There are so many varieties of tea blends for every flavor and mood. I love having a variety of teas at my disposal for just the right mood. I've found that brewing tea is somewhat of an art. Brewing temperature and the length of brew time make a difference in flavor. Also, since these are loose teas, you either need to purchase an infuser,special brewer or tea pouch to brew the tea. I used a mesh ball that I already had, but can tell I need to get something different as the loose tea sometimes slips through the holes.

I am completely satisfied with my Adagio Teas purchase. Their website is easy to navigate and by signing up for emails you can receive helpful tips on how to best prepare your teas. The shipments of teas arrived quickly and well-packaged. Each purchase you make earns rewards toward free product later. Their teas would make excellent Christmas Gifts, especially their unique blends like these Gilmore Girls Tins or seasonal sets. These Holiday Tinsel Teas (pictured at the top of this post) would make the perfect stocking stuffer! Pair the tea with a book and a cozy blanket and you have a wonderful gift for someone special.

Thanks to Adagio Teas for providing free product in exchange for an honest review. This review is my honest opinion. If you click the links above, you will be taken to their website.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Children's Book Review: Bookroo Picture Book Subscription and Discount Code

Bookroo is a monthly children's book subscription curated, wrapped, and delivered for the child in your life. Nurture a love a reading by giving a gift of board books, picture books, or junior books for that 7-10 year old.

I first featured Bookroo just over two years ago and I am still just as thrilled with this company as I was then! I wholeheartedly believe this makes the perfect Christmas gift for the children in your life. Do you have a baby or toddler on your gift list? Then check out the Board Book Subscription. For your preschool - lower elementary-aged readers, check out the awesome Picture Book Subscription. New since I last checked them out, they now offer a Junior Book Subscription for those middle-grade readers.

What do I love about this company? First of all, it was started by three sisters-in-law who shared a love of reading and a passion for reading to children. Secondly, the subscription arrives every month as a gift for your child. Each book is wrapped as a present and what kid doesn't love opening a present?

The books are high-quality picture books and usually ones I have never heard of before. Even with shipping, you are getting two books cheaper than if you went to a book store plus they are gift-wrapped and delivered right to the child saving you time (which to me is the most valuable piece).

The two books included in this shipment were delightful: a bedtime story and a silly story guaranteed to get your kid to laugh.

By; Susan Meyers
Illustrated by: Amy Bates
Published: October 1, 2013
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams

I am a sucker for a good bedtime story and this one is just beautiful. A mother is ready to tuck her daughter into bed by going through their nightly ritual of telling everything in her room good night. It uses a soothing rhyming theme with gorgeous, muted watercolor illustrations. As the little girl climbs onto her mother's lap for her bedtime story, the magic happens and the little girl imagines she is in a swing bed being lulled to sleep by her mother's reading. It would have been the kind of book I would have gotten to read to our kids at bedtime.

By: Beth Ferry
Illustrated by: Ben Mantle
Published: August 4, 2015
Publisher: Chronicle Books

Bobby has a birthday coming up and he doesn't want the typical gift. He wants a pet shark for his birthday. So he creates a plan. Step 1: Convince Parents, Step 2: Get shark. What follows is a perfect plan that comes together...maybe not exactly how Bobby imagined it. It's full of silly antics sure to get your child giggling. The illustrations are top-notch and will keep you from turning the pages too fast because your child will want to look it all over. What a great book for a birthday boy or any child that loves the aquarium...or getting back at their older siblings.

If you think a Bookroo Subscription sounds like the perfect gift idea for the child in your life, then I have the perfect discount for you. My readers can use the code BFSTACIE for 25% off any multi-month subscription (3,6, or 12 months) This offer is good for only one redemption per family. Valid for new customers only. Existing customers may use for the purchase of one gift subscription. This code is only valid 11/24 - midnight PST 11/27 so ACT NOW!!! 

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

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


I have much to be thankful for this amazing family, friends that make me laugh and bless me every day, good health, a pantry filled with food, a warm home, and co-workers who have helped me beyond measure and kept me sane these last few weeks. I’m especially thankful for the break this week and looking forward to reading!

I’ll be sharing the joy of reading this week with the hashtag #thankfullyreading because I am truly thankful for time to finally read! Check out Instagram or Twitter for the hashtag and see all the great books everyone is reading.

What I am planning to read over these next 5 days:

I have about 35% left in this book. It's a WWII story based on true events and truly an amazing story. I gave the book to my cousin for her birthday and we've been reading it together, but she has already finished it.

I have homework just like my students do. We will be discussing this next week and so I have to read it for the first time just like they do. We will be comparing it to the tragedy of Oedipus Rex. Should be an interesting discussion on Monday.

I've read the first two in Correll's series and really enjoyed them. This is her newest and just came in the mail. I can't wait to get back in touch with the characters.

Thanks to for the way to connect over books this week!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Children's Book Review: How to Ace the National Geographic Bee By Stephen F. Cunha


By: Stephen F. Cunha


Publisher: National Geographic


This week was Geography Awareness Week. I can't think of a better way to bring awareness about Geography then to highlight this book.

From National Geographic:

Each year more than 100,000 Americans actively participate in Geography Awareness Week (GeoWeek). Established by presidential proclamation more than 25 years ago, this annual public awareness program organized by National Geographic Education Programs (NGEP) encourages citizens young and old to think and learn about the significance of place and how we affect and are affected by it. Each third week of November, students, families and community members focus on the importance of geography by hosting events; using lessons, games, and challenges in the classroom; and often meeting with policymakers and business leaders as part of that year’s activities. Geography Awareness Week is supported by year-long access to materials and resources for teachers, parents, community activists and all geographically minded global citizens.

For more information about Geography Awareness Week, click HERE

Students in grade 4-8 from over 10,000 schools across our nation compete every year in the National Geographic Bee. The deadline to register your school for the state bee is January 26, 2018, with the State Bees being held April 6, 2018. Winners then travel to Washington D.C. for the National Geographic Bee from May 20-23, 2018, its 30th year in existence. Our school has never participated in this, but I know it is something our kids would have done if they had offered it.

Even if you aren't interested or don't have an opportunity to participate in a Geographic Bee, this is still a great book to have in your school or home library. This book can be used at the dinner table for discussion or for studying in your homeschool. Kids that like trivia books or learning about various countries and world demographics will enjoy reading and answering the questions in the book.

The book begins with laying out how the Geographic Bee works and some study tips. It offers maps and tips for learning various landscapes, populations, languages, and other physical features of various continents. The next sections offer questions much like the Geographic Bee would ask. Numerous pages of various book and online resources are shared for further study. The end of the book includes a map of each continent with all the countries marked and then basic stats about each country. 

In my quick skim through the questions, I did ok with the questions about the United States. But, once the questions asked about what country borders the Adriatic Sea or do the snow egrets or chimpanzees live in the mangrove forests, I knew I was not as knowledgeable about our world as I should be. I think this book will encourage kids and adults to learn more about habitats, countries, and nature and encourage kids to research when a question piques their interest. It has certainly given me some motivation to throw some of these questions out to our kids (7th grader, 11th grader, and 12th grader) to see what they know.

Maybe you will enjoy this book enough to get your school to start hosting a Geographic Bee! If nothing else, it will encourage an interest in learning more about the world we live and interact in.

Stephen Cunha - source
Geographer, educator, and author Stephen F. Cunha spent ten years as a national park ranger in Yosemite and Alaska. Now a geography professor at California's Humboldt State University, he studies diverse landscapes around the world. He is the author of National Geographic's Our Fifty States and How to Ace the National Geographic Bee: The Official Study Guide. For more than a decade, he directed the California Geographic Alliance, which promotes geographic education and literacy among California teachers, students, and the public. Stephen spent four years developing the Pamir National Park in eastern Tajikistan, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013. He recently received the California State University system’s highest award for exemplary contributions and achievements in the Social and Behavioral Sciences and Public Service.

To purchase a copy of HOW TO ACE THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC BEE, click the photo 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 sending a copy 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 links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Quick Lit: Mini Reviews of Some Recent Reads - November 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. 

I've crossed the half-way mark of my long-term sub gig. But, I know with all the holiday stuff coming up and basketball season and concerts, it is going to get really crazy around here. My life is full and I'm trying to squeeze in reading when I can. I've finished a couple books with my classes and listened to an audiobook. Otherwise, I've also been trying to catch up on my podcasts as I got way behind in listening to them. 

By: Ruth Wariner
Published: April 25, 2017
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Format: Audiobook

I love memoirs and this one piqued my interest and I loved it. I listened to it on audio and it is read by the author which made it even more personal. Ruth Wariner was born into a polygamist family. Her father was murdered when she was just a few months old by his own church members. Her mother remarried another leader in their church and continued to have children. Her family lived mainly in Mexico but moved to the states a few times during various family struggles. They were always poor, living mostly on rice and beans, with no proper bathrooms, and minimal electricity. Visiting her grandparents in California would open her eyes to cartoons, macaroni and cheese, and showers. But, beyond the poverty were the abuse that her mother and Ruth suffered through, the mental illness, her siblings' handicaps. Her story is gripping and heart-breaking. But, you know she makes it out because of the book which makes it easier to get through the devastatingly awful situations she had to survive. It's an eye-opening look at the world of polygamy, poverty, and family loyalty. 

By: John Steinbeck
Published: 1937
Format: Hardcover

A classic that I have read before, but read again with the Freshman English class. A story of hard times, friendship, and loyalty. The students will be answering...."Is George a good friend to Lennie?" and I don't want to give anything away, but it is up for a heated debate!

It's a short novel about George, a small, hard-working man, and his friend, Lennie. Lennie is a big, burly guy who isn't the smartest but can work harder than anyone. Lennie seems to always be getting into trouble and after his last escapade, George and Lennie are trying out working on a ranch in California. It's the Depression and all a guy wants is to have his own place, a garden, some chicken, and don't forget.....some rabbits. Lennie gets himself into a bit a trouble and George may not be able to get him out of this one. A quick read with lots to discuss! 

By: Sophocles
Format: Paperback

Oh my....this was a tough read. Once I got into it, I could read around the difficult text and get the gist of what was going on. I'm so glad I wasn't reading this as a freshman. This has been the book for the Freshman Honors English class and they were intimidated, but we have gotten through it.

Oedipus is the new King of Thebes after solving the riddle of the Sphinx and saving the people from her torment. Laius, the former King of Thebes, had just been murdered and Oedipus is chosen as the new king and has been given Laius's wife, Jocasta. But, there is an oracle that Oedipus would grow up to kill his father and marry his mother. He doesn't believe it and his excessive pride gets in the way of him realizing what is right in front of him. Watching the students' reaction while reading this one was priceless!

I really can't wait for Thanksgiving break because I am hoping to get some time to read. Next up for school is DEATH OF A SALESMAN and we are still reading JULIUS CAESAR. I'm also reading BENEATH A SCARLET SKY (still) and listening to FOR THE LOVE: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards. May your Thanksgiving remind you to be grateful for every book, every moment of quiet, and the family around you that keeps you from reading!

I'm also joining a new link up, sharing what I've been reading at THE PRUDENT PANTRY. Check it out HERE

Friday, November 10, 2017

Children's Book Review: Weird but True Know-It-All Us Presidents By Brianna Dumont


By: Brianna Dumont

Illustrated by: Adrian Lubbers

Published: July 4, 2017

Publisher: National Geographic Kids


Even though we didn't have a Presidential election this month, it's still a good time to share a  fabulous book about the U.S. Presidents, past and present.

These WEIRD BUT TRUE books are always a hit with kids. Whenever I am subbing they are the first ones chosen from my book bag during free reading time. They are fun and informative and the kids don't even realize they are learning something every time they read it.

This book begins with facts about the job of President of the United States in general. Then it features every U.S. President and their own little-known facts. The bobblehead like caricatures of the Presidents on every page are awesome!

I looked up a couple of Presidents including Herbert Hoover, the only President from Iowa. The Hoover Dam was named for him, he was not in attendance when it opened because he wasn't invited. Even though his Presidency was during a difficult time in our history, he was still an interesting and intelligent man. He and his wife learned enough Mandarin to be able to speak it to each other during White House events so people couldn't understand what they were saying. Our family's favorite President is Ronald Reagan so I didn't think I would learn anything new about him, but I did! I knew he liked to joke around, and before he went into surgery after being shot by John Hinckley, Jr. he asked the doctors if they were all Republicans.

The end of the book offers some peeks into the life of the Presidents after they leave office. I didn't know that President George H.W. Bush has since jumped out of a plane at the ages of 80, 85, and 90. Herbert Hoover and JFK both donated their salaries while in office to charity.

As you can imagine there is much to learn and laugh about in this book. There are some really great historical moments as well as personal ones that will engage the children and their parents. This would make a great gift for a teacher to have for her classroom.

To purchase a copy of WEIRD BUT TRUE KNOW-IT-ALL U.S. PRESIDENTS, click the photo 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 sending a copy 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 links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase. Thanks for supporting 

Monday, November 6, 2017

Books that Came in October 2017

October has been a month full of blessings for me and our family. Both my husband and I celebrated our birthdays with family and friends this month. Our son Patrick finished his high school cross country career at the State of Iowa Cross Country Meet. He medaled, finishing 13th in 3A and with his personal best time ever of 16:34. We are very proud!

As you can imagine, I am not getting much outside reading done. I have been keeping up with my weekly children's book reviews and I read a bit when I have time and listen to an audiobook while I get ready in the morning. But, I'm mostly reading papers and the books that I am teaching from right now. Our nights will free for a couple weeks until basketball starts. But, I am anxious for December 22 to arrive to get some of my free time back. Teaching is going well and I'm really loving the conversations and "book talking" that is done in every class. So, I will miss that, but I won't miss all the grading!

Currently Reading: OEDIPUS REX (with students), OF MICE AND MEN (with students), BENEATH A SCARLET SKY and JULIUS CAESAR (with students)
Currently Listening: FOR THE LOVE
Up Next: I can't even say because these are going to take me awhile to get through now.

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 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. Thanks for supporting me.

Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff
By: Chip Gaines
Published: October 17, 2017
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Format: Hardcover

We are fans of Chip and Joanna in our house, so I purchased this book for my husband's birthday. 

The funny and talented Chip Gaines is well known to millions of people as a TV star, renovation expert, bestselling author, husband to Joanna, and father of 4 in Waco, Texas. But long before the world took notice, Chip was a serial entrepreneur who was always ready for the next challenge, even if it didn’t quite work out as planned. Whether it was buying a neighborhood laundromat or talking a bank into a loan for some equipment to start a lawn-mowing service, Chip always knew that the most important thing was to take that first step.

In Capital Gaines, we walk alongside him as he relives some of his craziest antics and the lessons learned along the way. His mentors taught him to never give up and his family showed him what it meant to always have a positive attitude despite your circumstances. Throw in a natural daredevil personality and a willingness to do (or eat!) just about anything, and you have the life and daily activity of Chip Gaines.

A Commander in Chief's Tribute to America's Warriors
By: George W. Bush
Published: February 28, 2017
Publisher: Crown
Format: Hardcover

I also purchased this book for my husband's birthday gift. 

A vibrant collection of oil paintings and stories by President George W. Bush honoring the sacrifice and courage of America's military veterans. With forewords written and read by former First Lady Laura Bush and General Peter Pace, 16th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Growing out of President Bush's own outreach and the ongoing work of the George W. Bush Institute's Military Service Initiative, Portraits of Courage brings together sixty-six full-color portraits and a four-panel mural painted by President Bush of members of the United States military who have served our nation with honor since 9/11--and whom he has come to know personally.

Our men and women in uniform have faced down enemies, liberated millions, and in doing so showed the true compassion of our nation. Often, they return home with injuries--both visible and invisible--that intensify the challenges of transitioning into civilian life. In addition to these burdens, research shows a civilian-military divide. Seventy-one percent of Americans say they have little understanding of the issues facing veterans, and veterans agree: Eighty-four percent say that the public has "little awareness" of the issues facing them and their families.

Each painting in this meticulously produced hardcover volume is accompanied by the inspiring story of the veteran depicted, written by the President. Readers can see the faces of those who answered the nation's call and learn from their bravery on the battlefield, their journeys to recovery, and the continued leadership and contributions they are making as civilians. It is President Bush's desire that these stories of courage and resilience will honor our men and women in uniform, highlight their family and caregivers who bear the burden of their sacrifice and help Americans understand how we can support our veterans and empower them to succeed.

136 Recipes that Saved My Life
By: Ruth Reichl
Published: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Random House
Format: Kindle

I kept seeing this book pop up on various blogs and when it came up for a Kindle Deal, I decided to snag it. I usually prefer cookbooks as physical books but decided to get this on my Kindle first and I can always purchase the book if I really like it. 

In the fall of 2009, the food world was rocked when Gourmetmagazine was abruptly shuttered by its parent company. No one was more stunned by this unexpected turn of events than its beloved editor in chief, Ruth Reichl, who suddenly faced an uncertain professional future. As she struggled to process what had seemed unthinkable, Reichl turned to the one place that had always provided sanctuary. “I did what I always do when I’m confused, lonely, or frightened,” she writes. “I disappeared into the kitchen.”

My Kitchen Year follows the change of seasons—and Reichl’s emotions—as she slowly heals through the simple pleasures of cooking. While working 24/7, Reichl would “throw quick meals together” for her family and friends. Now she has the time to rediscover what cooking meant to her. Imagine kale, leaves dark and inviting, sautéed with chiles and garlic; summer peaches baked into a simple cobbler; fresh oysters chilling in a box of snow; plump chickens and earthy mushrooms, fricasseed with cream. Over the course of this challenging year, each dish Reichl prepares becomes a kind of stepping stone to finding joy again in ordinary things. 

Updated and Expanded Edition
When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control Your Life
By: Henry Cloud, John Townsend
Published: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Zondervan
Format: Kindle

I have read a few snippets from this book lately and I have found much of it reaffirming and comforting. 

Having clear boundaries is essential to a healthy, balanced lifestyle. A boundary is a personal property line that marks those things for which we are responsible. In other words, boundaries define who we are and who we are not. Boundaries impact all areas of our lives: Physical boundaries help us determine who may touch us and under what circumstances -- Mental boundaries give us the freedom to have our own thoughts and opinions -- Emotional boundaries help us to deal with our own emotions and disengage from the harmful, manipulative emotions of others -- Spiritual boundaries help us to distinguish God's will from our own and give us renewed awe for our Creator -- Often, Christians focus so much on being loving and unselfish that they forget their own limits and limitations. When confronted with their lack of boundaries, they ask: - Can I set limits and still be a loving person? - What are legitimate boundaries? - What if someone is upset or hurt by my boundaries? - How do I answer someone who wants my time, love, energy, or money? - Aren't boundaries selfish? - Why do I feel guilty or afraid when I consider setting boundaries? Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend offer biblically-based answers to these and other tough questions, showing us how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, co-workers, and even ourselves.

By: Wiley Cash
Published: October 3, 2017
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: Hardcover

This was the book in my Page Habit Historical Fiction shipment. I've been wanting to read a Wiley Cash novel for awhile but haven't had the chance. This one sounds right up my alley. Unfortunately, I'm a bit disappointed in my Page Habit shipments so I may be canceling. I love the book choices and the personal author annotations throughout the book, but the extras seem a bit cheap for the price. 

The author of the celebrated bestseller A Land More Kind Than Home returns with this eagerly awaited new novel, set in the Appalachian foothills of North Carolina in 1929 and inspired by actual events, that chronicles an ordinary woman’s struggle for dignity and her rights in a textile mill, a moving tale of courage in the face of oppression and injustice, with the emotional power of Ron Rash’s Serena, Dennis Lehane’s The Given Day, and the unforgettable films Norma Rae and Silkwood

Twelve times a week, twenty-eight-year-old Ella May Wiggins makes the two-mile trek to and from her job on the night shift at American Mill No. 2 in Bessemer City, North Carolina. The insular community considers the mill’s owners—the newly arrived Goldberg brothers—white but not American and expects them to pay Ella May and others workers less because they toil alongside African Americans like Violet, Ella May’s best friend. While the dirty, hazardous job at the mill earns Ella May a paltry nine dollars for seventy-two hours of work each week, it’s the only opportunity she has. Her no-good husband John has run off again, and she must keep her four young children alive with whatever she can find. 

When the union leaflets first come through the mill, Ella May has a taste of hope, a yearning for the better life the organizers promise. But the mill owners, backed by other nefarious forces, claim the union is nothing but a front for the Bolshevik menace sweeping across Europe. To maintain their control, the owners will use every means in their power, including lies, threats, and bloodshed, to prevent workers from banding together. On the night of the county’s biggest rally, Ella May, weighing the costs of her choice, makes up her mind to join the movement—a decision that will have lasting consequences for her children, her friends, her town—indeed all that she loves.

Seventy-five years later, Ella May’s daughter Lilly, now an elderly woman, tells her nephew about his grandmother and the events that transformed their family. Illuminating the most painful corners of their history, she reveals, for the first time, the whole story of what happened to Ella May after that fateful union meeting in 1929. 

By: Virginia Lee Burton
Published: April 26, 1978
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Format: Board Book

This was part of an Amazon deal and I got this book for just a bit over $2.00. It's one of my favorite children's books and so I snagged a copy to give as a gift. I always give books as a new baby gift so this will go in my gift stash. 

A poignant story of a cute country cottage that becomes engulfed by the city that grows up around it. The house has an expressive face of windows and doors, and even the feelings of a person, so she’s sad when she’s surrounded by the dirty, noisy city’s hustle and bustle: “She missed the field of daisies / and the apple trees dancing in the moonlight.” Fortunately, there’s a happy ending, as the house is taken back to the country where she belongs.

By: Stephen F. Cunha
Published: August 15, 2017
Publisher: National Geographic Kids
Format: Paperback

This official study guide is full of awesome info from previous finalists, past questions, and vital statistics for various countries. Even if you aren't studying for the National Bee, it is still a fun read. Make it a family trivia night!

The National Geographic Bee is a local, state, and national academic contest for students in grades four through eight. The competition culminates in a finals face-off, broadcast live on National Geographic Television. This is the ultimate guide for gearing up for the events.

Like the Bee, the guide has expanded its range of material to include social studies, earth and space science, the environment, and culture. Of course, geography is at its core, and the guide features the latest country and geographic statistics; selected new question rounds; updated resources; new tips from past winners; and a brand new country index full of vital stats. It's the perfect resource to help millions of school kids prepare to compete in the Bee. It's also a fun and helpful resource for trivia buffs, challenge seekers, and college-bound test-takers.

By: Laura Gehl
Illustrated by: Joyce Wan
Published: October 24, 2017
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Format: Hardcover

I'm super excited to share this fun series in an upcoming Kid Konnection post. These books are adorable!

In this lively addition to the funny Peep and Egg picture book series for toddlers, a reluctant chick named Egg overcomes her aversion to taking a bath.

Peep thinks Egg needs to take a bath after playing in the mud. But Egg is not taking a bath. Not in the river, not in the duck pond, and definitely not in the dog's water bowl--too slobbery! Does Peep have any tricks up her feathers to help a chick change her mind? Laura Gehl and Joyce Wan are back with another fun, colorful story that takes the "not" out of "I'm not taking a bath!"

By: Laura Gehl
Illustrated by: Joyce Wan
Published: August 9, 2016
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Format: Hardcover

Peep is so excited to go trick-or-treating with her friend Egg. She wants to visit the duck pond and the cow pasture to get treats. But Egg thinks Halloween is too scary, with frightening monsters possibly lurking everywhere! Peep tells her jokes because laughing helps you feel less scared. Egg is still not cracking. But soon Egg learns that maybe trick-or-treating is not so scary after all when you have a friend to hold on to. 

By: Laura Gehl
Illustrated by: Joyce Wan
Published: February 9, 2016
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Format: Hardcover

Egg is not hatching.

No way. No how.

It is too scary out there.

Peep wants Egg to hatch so they can do fun things together, like watch the sunrise, splash in puddles, and play hide-and-seek.
But Egg is not cracking... 
Joyce Wan's bright and bold illustrations will have young chickies giggling at Laura Gehl's reassuring tale that takes the not out of I'm not.

By: Katy S. Duffield
Illustrated by: K.G. Campbell
Published: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Candlewick
Format: Hardcover

I thought this sounded like an adorable book and one to keep on hand for when your little one gets sick. 

Little Alien is sick. And sick is extra-terrestrial bad when you have two scratchy throats, five ears that hurt, and three runny noses. Splatch! Sputter! Spurt! Luckily Mama and Daddy Alien have an arsenal of lunar decongestants and meteor showers on hand to make him feel a little better (not to mention a Milky Way milkshake to help the medicine go down). Even so, the family's alien pooch, Mars Rover, can't stand to see his little buddy feeling out of sorts. Can a loyal pup's funny tricks finally coax a smile?

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

If you have read any of these books or read them after seeing them listed here, be sure to let me know your thoughts! Happy November reading!