Books that Came My Way in February 2020

This is my monthly roundup of books that were added to my shelves in the last month. I also share an update with you on other things going on in my life.

I’m leaving in just a few days for my trip to Nashville. I’m super excited to spend some time with my BFF from college and see all the fun sights in Nashville including Parnassus Books! Tune in next month and I’m sure I’ll be sharing about it. Or follow me on Instagram for all the fun this weekend!

Love watching our dancer perform!
We enjoyed watching the eagles on a beautiful Sunday at Lake Red Rock in Pella.
Show choir season has ended for us. Reagan had a blast competing, but now it’s time to get ready for her dance recital in a month!

February was NOT a good month for my walking goal. It’s crazy how a few busy/hectic days in a row can railroad your plans. Once I’m back from my trip I am back at the #Walk20in20 plan!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram, HERE to see snippets of what I’m reading or what’s going on in my daily life.

If you have missed any of my recent book reviews, you can see all of them by clicking, HERE.  Or you can stay up to date with my monthly Quick Lit Roundup.

If you choose to make a purchase through any of the links I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.

I have a crazy amount of books to share with you this month. Several of them I purchased as part of deals I couldn’t pass up, but the rest all arrived in my mailbox. I continue to be blessed to receive books and then share them with all of you. I hope you find something in this list for your own bookshelves or a book you want to share with your kids.


TO SHAKE THE SLEEPING SELF

By: Jedidiah Jenkins

Published: December 31, 2019

Publisher: Convergent Books

Non-Fiction

I’m fascinated by Jenkins’s trip and reflection on “What makes a life worth living?”.

On the eve of turning thirty, terrified of being funneled into a life he didn’t choose, Jedidiah Jenkins quit his dream job and spent sixteen months cycling from Oregon to Patagonia. He chronicled the trip on Instagram, where his photos and reflections drew hundreds of thousands of followers, all gathered around the question: What makes a life worth living?

In this unflinchingly honest memoir, Jed narrates his adventure–the people and places he encountered on his way to the bottom of the world–as well as the internal journey that started it all. As he traverses cities, mountains, and inner boundaries, Jenkins grapples with the question of what it means to be an adult, his struggle to reconcile his sexual identity with his conservative Christian upbringing, and his belief in travel as a way to wake us up to life back home.

THE WOMEN OF THE BIBLE AND YOU

A Weekly Devotional

By: Arionne Yvette Williams

Published: March 3, 2020

Publisher: Rockridge Press

Non-Fiction

I love learning about women in the Bible.

Join the inspirational women of the Bible on a weekly journey of devotion. The Women of the Bible and You examines the stories of female Biblical figures both big and small, so you can take a moment from your busy week to explore the lessons they reveal―and gain guidance for your own present-day journey of faith.

Each week, you’ll become acquainted with heroines of scripture from Queen Esther to Mary Magdalene, as well as Bible passages that speak to the obstacles and joys women face today. Discover how these women of the Bible overcame challenges―and how you can live faithfully in their footsteps. You’ll find journal prompts, reflections, and more along the way to help deepen your relationship with God.

ESSENTIAL OILS FOR PROMOTING WEIGHT LOSS

Speed Metabolism, Manage Cravings, and Boost Energy Naturally

By: Samantha Boerner

Published: March 17, 2020

Publisher: Rockridge Press

Non-Fiction

I am certainly curious about which oils can help with my energy and managing cravings.

Losing weight just got a natural makeover. In Essential Oils for Promoting Weight Loss, you’ll learn powerful ways that essential oils can help you shed unwanted pounds and increase your body’s metabolism and energy level.

This holistic guide goes beyond the basic benefits you get from essential oils and dives deep into the many different ways they can help you achieve your weight loss goals. Also, find out how oils can clear your mind of mental roadblocks, create balance in your body, and encourage detoxification to rid your body of impurities.

BURNOUT

The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle

By: Emily Nagoski, PhD, and Amelia Nagoski, DMA

Published: March 26, 2019

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Non-Fiction

I’ve been wanting to read this for a while. When Target had their Buy 2/Get 1 Free deal on books, I snagged this one.

This groundbreaking book explains why women experience burnout differently than men—and provides a simple, science-based plan to help women minimize stress, manage emotions, and live a more joyful life.

Burnout. Many women in America have experienced it. What’s expected of women and what it’s really like to be a woman in today’s world are two very different things—and women exhaust themselves trying to close the gap between them. How can you “love your body” when every magazine cover has ten diet tips for becoming “your best self”? How do you “lean in” at work when you’re already operating at 110 percent and aren’t recognized for it? How can you live happily and healthily in a sexist world that is constantly telling you you’re too fat, too needy, too noisy, and too selfish?

Sisters Emily Nagoski, PhD, and Amelia Nagoski, DMA, are here to help end the cycle of feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Instead of asking us to ignore the very real obstacles and societal pressures that stand between women and well-being, they explain with compassion and optimism what we’re up against—and show us how to fight back. 

THE WHOLE30 FRIENDS & FAMILY

150 Recipes for Every Social Occasion

By: Melissa Hartwig Urban

Published: October 15, 2019

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Non-Fiction/Cookbook

Again, with the Target Buy 2/Get 1 Free deal, I snagged this book. I’m always looking for new Whole30 recipes even if I’m not “on Whole30” at the moment. Read about my first Whole30 experience, HERE.

One of the most asked questions from new Whole30’ers and long-time fans alike is, “How can I do the Whole30 and still be social?” It’s easy enough to find a holiday-free 30 days, but other social occasions occur all the time–birthday parties, movie nights, Sunday brunch, baby showers, date nights, and more. These ongoing events leave people wondering how they can stick with their Whole30 but not feel left out of the fun. That’s where The Whole30 Friends & Family comes in, with recipes and menus to help you get through any occasion. The book includes whole menus so you can offer to host yourself. Other times you might just want to bring a dish. Again, this book will come to the rescue. In addition, Whole30 co-creator and CEO Melissa Hartwig has packed the book with her signature no-nonsense tips on being social and sticking to the program. This book is a must-purchase companion for anyone doing a Whole30, whether they are a newcomer, or someone who has been doing Whole30 once or twice every year. Most important, these recipes and menus will help bring Whole30’ers closer together with friends and family.

THE WHOLE 30 SLOW COOKER

150 Totally Compliant Prep-and-Go Recipes for Your Whole30

By: Melissa Hartwig

Published: October 23, 2018

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Non-Fiction/Cookbook

Another Target buy! I bought this as a gift for my cousin and was wishing I had gotten one for myself as I liked so many of the recipes in it.

Since 2009, millions of people have transformed their lives with the Whole30. Now, co-creator Melissa Hartwig is making it even easier to achieve Whole30 success with delicious slow cooker recipes that turn ingredients into delicious, hearty meals while you’re out and about. This follow-up to the best-selling The Whole30 Cookbook is packed with 150 recipes designed to get you out of the kitchen fast, so you can enjoy all the benefits of your Whole30-inspired lifestyle. The Whole30 Slow Cooker features delicious, no-fuss dinners that cook while you work; roasts that transform into tacos, salads, and soups, for easy meals throughout the week; and satisfying one-pot meals that make prep and cleanup a breeze. These creative meals use whole-food ingredients found in any supermarket, and as an added bonus, feature recipes and directions for making your meals Instant Pot-friendly!

RACHAEL RAY 50

Memories and Meals from A Sweet and Savory Life

By: Rachael Ray

Published: October 15, 2019

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Non-Fiction/Memoir/Cookbook

I love Rachael Ray and her recipes. I snagged this with the Target deal and am so anxious to read it.

As her fiftieth birthday approached, the woman who taught America how to get dinner on the table, fast, started thinking not just about what to cook that night, but how her passion for food and feeding people had developed over her first fifty years.

Filled with twenty-five thoughtful essays and 125 delicious recipes, Rachael Ray 50 reads like a memoir and a cookbook at once. Captured here are the moments and dishes Rachael finds most special, the ones she makes in her own home and that you won’t find on her television shows or in her magazine. Here are the memories that made her laugh out loud, or made her teary. The result is a collection that offers the perfect blend of kitchen and life wisdom, including thoughts on how we can all better serve the world and one another.

Also featured within these pages are gorgeous food photography, personal photos, and Rachael’s own hand-drawn illustrations, offering a revealing and intimate glimpse into her world and her every day inspiration.


THE CARE AND FEEDING OF RAVENOUSLY HUNGRY GIRLS

By: Anissa Gray

Published: January 14, 2020

Publisher: Berkley

Fiction

A family drama centered around sisters is one of my favorite kinds of stories to read. This one is already getting lots of buzz and I can’t wait to read it.

The Butler family has had their share of trials—as sisters Althea, Viola, and Lillian can attest—but nothing prepared them for the literal trial that will upend their lives.

Althea, the eldest sister and substitute matriarch, is a force to be reckoned with and her younger sisters have alternately appreciated and chafed at her strong will. They are as stunned as the rest of the small community when she and her husband Proctor are arrested, and in a heartbeat the family goes from one of the most respected in town to utter disgrace. The worst part is, not even her sisters are sure exactly what happened.

As Althea awaits her fate, Lillian and Viola must come together in the house they grew up in to care for their sister’s teenage daughters. What unfolds is a stunning portrait of the heart and core of an American family in a story that is as page-turning as it is important.

AND THEY CALLED IT CAMELOT

A Novel of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis

By: Stephanie Marie Thornton

Published: March 10, 2020

Publisher: Berkley

Fiction

I became much more interested in JBKO after visiting Dallas and touring the Book Depository. I wasn’t born yet, when JFK was assassinated but I’m super interested in learning more about that time period and how JBKO recovered after that fateful day. Reading Clint Hill’s FIVE DAYS IN NOVEMBER was a fascinating look at her life in those five days while he was her secret service agent.

Few of us can claim to be the authors of our fate. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy knows no other choice. With the eyes of the world watching, Jackie uses her effortless charm and keen intelligence to carve a place for herself among the men of history and weave a fairy tale for the American people, embodying a senator’s wife, a devoted mother, a First Lady—a queen in her own right.

But all reigns must come to an end. Once JFK travels to Dallas and the clock ticks down those thousand days of magic in Camelot, Jackie is forced to pick up the ruined fragments of her life and forge herself into a new identity that is all her own, that of an American legend.

ACT OF MURDER

A Medical Thriller

By: John Bishop MD

Published: March 24, 2020

Publisher: Mantid Press

Fiction/Thriller

For fans of thrillers or medical thrillers this sounds like a page-turning, heart-stopping ride.

Doc Brady became an orthopedic surgeon to avoid being surrounded by death. But now it’s everywhere around him.

One spring day in 1994 Houston, Dr. Jim Bob Brady witnesses his neighbor’s ten-year-old son killed by a hit-and-run driver. An accident, or an act of murder? After the death, Brady enlists the help of his twenty-year-old son J. J. and his wife Mary Louise in chasing down clues that take them deeper and deeper into a Houston he never imagined existed. In the process, they discover a macabre conspiracy stretching from the ivory towers of the largest teaching hospital in Texas, to the upper reaches of Houston’s legal community, to the shores of Galveston.

Doc Brady soon realizes that the old adage remains true: The love of money is the root of all evil.

CONSPIRACY OF BONES

By: Kathy Reichs

Published: March 17, 2020

Publisher: Scribner

Fiction/Thriller

I am quite certain that this would give me nightmares. But, my daughter read the synopsis and said she was interested! Kathy Reichs is hugely popular and readers love her thrilling reads.

It’s sweltering in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Temperance Brennan, still recovering from neurosurgery following an aneurysm, is battling nightmares, migraines, and what she thinks might be hallucinations when she receives a series of mysterious text messages, each containing a new picture of a corpse that is missing its face and hands. Immediately, she’s anxious to know who the dead man is, and why the images were sent to her.

An identified corpse soon turns up, only partly answering her questions.

To win answers to the others, including the man’s identity, she must go rogue, working mostly outside the system. That’s because Tempe’s new boss holds a fierce grudge against her and is determined to keep her out of the case. Tempe bulls forward anyway, even as she begins questioning her instincts. But the clues she discovers are disturbing and confusing. Was the faceless man a spy? A trafficker? A target for assassination by the government? And why was he carrying the name of a child missing for almost a decade?

With help from a number of law enforcement associates including her Montreal beau Andrew Ryan and the always-ready-with-a-smart-quip, ex-homicide investigator Skinny Slidell, and utilizing new cutting-edge forensic methods, Tempe draws closer to the astonishing truth.

But the more she uncovers, the darker and more twisted the picture becomes.

AMERICAN DIRT

By: Jeanine Cummins

Published: January 21, 2020

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Fiction

I chose this as my February Book of the Month. I am very aware of the controversy surrounding this novel, but the story holds merit and I’m curious and want to read it. The book shaming that has been happening around the internet makes me so angry. No one should be told what they can and can’t read. But, we should all read it with open minds and hearts and remember that it is a fictional story written by an author who spent a lot of time and effort and research into writing it. If you don’t like the story or the author’s ethnicity or the publisher’s handling of the marketing then you can choose not to read it or buy it.

Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to? 

FOURTEENERS

Hydraulic #3

By: Sarah Latchaw

Published: February 14, 2020

Publisher: Omnific Publishing

Fiction

Sarah Latchaw grew up on the same street, just a few blocks down from where we live in this small town of 700 people. She graduated from the same high school our kids attended and still makes visits back to her home area. I was fortunate to meet her and interview her about five years ago. She took a break from writing to be a mom and foster mom and has finally released her third installment of the Hydraulic series.

Life and love are more brutal than the crackled ice of a Rocky Mountain fourteener…

That’s what thrill-seeker Kaye Trilby believed, until a deadly avalanche almost swept her from the face of the earth. Now, tackling life and love with her ex-husband isn’t as traumatic as scaling the mountains she once longed for.

Or is it?

Kaye has loved the brilliant and guarded Samuel Cabral since childhood and, at last, he’s allowed her behind his carefully-cultivated veneer. But so much has changed in the years they lived apart, Kaye worries she may never fully know him. Why is Samuel firmly against becoming a father? Who is this mysterious woman in Mexico, and why is she a secret?

While Samuel chases ghosts through the lush hills of Tamaulipas, Kaye chases the woman she once was, up the peaks of Colorado’s gleaming fourteeners. In the end, is it possible Kaye and Samuel are chasing separate futures?

With this life-affirming and personal novel, Sarah Latchaw returns with a stunning, multifaceted conclusion to her Hydraulic series. Fourteeners is a grown-up story of first love and second chances.

ALL THE WAYS WE SAID GOODBYE

A Novel of the Ritz Paris

By: Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White

Published: January 14, 2020

Publisher: William Morrow

Fiction

I absolutely loved the W Tribe’s first collaboration novel, THE FORGOTTEN ROOM and I was super excited to get their next one. I purchased it as part of the Target Buy 2/Get 1 sale. I actually purchased three and gave two as birthday gifts.

France, 1914. As war breaks out, Aurelie becomes trapped on the wrong side of the front with her father, Comte Sigismund de Courcelles. When the Germans move into their family’s ancestral estate, using it as their headquarters, Aurelie discovers she knows the German Major’s aide de camp, Maximilian Von Sternburg. She and the dashing young officer first met during Aurelie’s debutante days in Paris. Despite their conflicting loyalties, Aurelie and Max’s friendship soon deepens into love, but betrayal will shatter them both, driving Aurelie back to Paris and the Ritz— the home of her estranged American heiress mother, with unexpected consequences.

France, 1942. Raised by her indomitable, free-spirited American grandmother in the glamorous Hotel Ritz, Marguerite “Daisy” Villon remains in Paris with her daughter and husband, a Nazi collaborator, after France falls to Hitler. At first reluctant to put herself and her family at risk to assist her grandmother’s Resistance efforts, Daisy agrees to act as a courier for a skilled English forger known only as Legrand, who creates identity papers for Resistance members and Jewish refugees. But as Daisy is drawn ever deeper into Legrand’s underground network, committing increasingly audacious acts of resistance for the sake of the country—and the man—she holds dear, she uncovers a devastating secret . . . one that will force her to commit the ultimate betrayal, and to confront at last the shocking circumstances of her own family history.

France, 1964. For Barbara “Babs” Langford, her husband, Kit, was the love of her life. Yet their marriage was haunted by a mysterious woman known only as La Fleur. On Kit’s death, American lawyer Andrew “Drew” Bowdoin appears at her door. Hired to find a Resistance fighter turned traitor known as “La Fleur,” the investigation has led to Kit Langford. Curious to know more about the enigmatic La Fleur, Babs joins Drew in his search, a journey of discovery that that takes them to Paris and the Ritz—and to unexpected places of the heart.

THE SCENT KEEPER

By: Erica Bauermeister

Published: May 21, 2019 – Paperback edition February 4, 2020

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Fiction

Erica Bauermeister’s book JOY FOR BEGINNERS was one of the very first books I received from publishers in exchange for a review back in 2011. I purchased this one as part of the Target sale and I can’t wait to read it.

Emmeline lives an enchanted childhood on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the natural world through her senses. What he won’t explain are the mysterious scents stored in the drawers that line the walls of their cabin, or the origin of the machine that creates them. As Emmeline grows, however, so too does her curiosity, until one day the unforeseen happens, and Emmeline is vaulted out into the real world–a place of love, betrayal, ambition, and revenge. To understand her past, Emmeline must unlock the clues to her identity, a quest that challenges the limits of her heart and imagination.

Lyrical and immersive, The Scent Keeper explores the provocative beauty of scent, the way it can reveal hidden truths, lead us to the person we seek, and even help us find our way back home.


ANDRES AND HIS RUBIK’S CUBE MADNESS

By: Andrea Alvarez

Illustrated by: Ana Sebastian

Published: March 3, 2020

Publisher: Mascot Books

Fiction

I love that this story is based on a real kid who worked hard at something to achieve his goal. An inspiring story for kids.

Have you ever tried solving a Rubik’s cube? Better yet, have you ever imagined competing at a Rubik’s cube championship?

When Andres saw the new kid in the neighborhood solve a Rubik’s cube super fast, he wondered if he could learn to solve one too. He tried twisting and turning the multicolored cube but it seemed impossible. With a little encouragement from his mom, Andres began to practice every day. And when he discovered a Rubik’s cube competition to qualify for the biggest championship, he knew he had to try!

Andres and His Rubik’s Cube Madness is based on the true story of Andres – a boy who cleverly practiced hard and learned hundreds of algorithms to solve the Rubik’s cube in lightning speed. He was dedicated and persistent but most importantly, he never gave up. 

ROSIE: STRONGER THAN STEEL

By: Lindsay Ward

Published: March 1, 2020

Publisher: Two Lions

Fiction

Lindsay Ward is one of my favorite children’s books authors. I can’t wait to share this one with you.

This is our Rosie,
stronger than steel.
She’ll plow all the land
with a turn of her wheel.

Built by women in the United States and sent to England to dig and plow alongside female farmers during World War II, Rosie the tractor does whatever is needed to support the war effort. She works day and night to help grow crops for the troops…even when she has to hide in the fields. This is because she knows, like the women who built her and the women who farm with her, that they all must do their part.

Inspired by the group of American women collectively known as “Rosie the Riveter” and the British Women’s Land Army, this is a story about taking action and coming together for the greater good.

THE NUFF

By: Veronica Waldrop

Illustrated by: Cat Elliott

Published: January 1, 2020

Publisher: Tailwind Publishing

Fiction

An inspirational message full of lessons but in a picture book format is always a win for me. Plus a cute unicorn as the main character makes it even better.

Through a series of adventures, a unicorn with a broken horn discovers the truth about herself and what it means to be enough… or a NUFF!

GREEN ON GREEN

By: Dianne White

Illustrated by: Felicita Sala

Published: March 17, 2020

Publisher: Beach Lane Books

Fiction

Dianne White also wrote WHO EAT’S ORANGE? which I loved. This ones features all the colors of the seasons and it is lovely!

A child is on a colorful journey through the seasons, filled with yellow flowers and blue coral in spring and summer and orange pumpkins and green pine forests in fall and winter. All the while, there is another colorful change on the horizon—the birth of a new sibling.

With gentle, rhyming text and vivid artwork, this book is a heartfelt celebration of family, nature, seasons, colors, and the wonder and magic of them all. 

THE SEEDLING THAT DIDN’T WANT TO GROW

By: Britta Teckentrup

Published: March 24, 2020

Publisher: Prestel Junior

Fiction

I love Britta Teckentrup’s books. Her writing and illustrations are top-notch! I love this one already.

It’s early spring and below the earth’s surface seeds are just starting to sprout. One by one they stretch through the dirt and towards the sun, extending their shoots and leaves and growing tall. All except for one seedling, who isn’t quite ready. Each page of this gentle but powerfully evocative book demonstrates how some of us are different. As most of the seeds transform into strong flowers, they block out the sun from the one left behind. But the little seedling persists, twisting and turning until, with the help of bird and insect friends, it finds its own place to grow and blossom. In the end, this little seed turns into a flower that’s just as beautiful and healthy as all the others. Hailed by Publishers Weekly as “delicate, complex, extravagant, beautiful and strong,” Teckentrup’s inviting and softly colored illustrations provide the perfect backdrop for this moving tale about being unique while subtly teaching kids about the life cycle of plants.

IT’S A GREAT, BIG COLORFUL WORLD

By: Tom Schamp

Published: March 17, 2020

Publisher: Prestel Junior

Non-Fiction

All the colors of the world are featured in this book with page spreads full of items in the featured color. Not so much a story, but a Richard Scarry type of seek and find book.

One winter morning, Otto the cat looks out the window and sighs, “Why is everything so gray today?” Luckily his friend Leon the chameleon is around to show him just how many colors there are in the world. In these exciting and funny spreads filled to the brim with brilliantly illustrated objects, Leon and Otto identify people, places, and things of every hue. On pages dedicated to infinite shades of a single color, Tom Schamp’s brilliant drawings play with perspective and unexpected pairings. An enormous Bengal tiger lords over an orange-tinted world, while a giant blue whale dwarfs elephants, pairs of jeans, and police officers. Throughout, cleverly inserted puns and allusions will elicit plenty of laughs from parents and children alike. Parents will enjoy the numerous ways color is depicted and kids will spend hours looking for their friends Otto and Leon as they traverse the busy pages. Best of all, this delightful adventure comes to a perfect end when all the colors come together in one beautiful, joyful rainbow of fun.

FLOWER POWER

The Magic of Nature’s Healers

By: Christine Paxmann

Illustrated by: Olaf Hajek

Published: April 14, 2020

Publisher: Prestel Junior

Non-Fiction

This book is truly amazing. It’s a physically large book with gorgeous illustrations that fill the pages. Each plant item and it’s benefits to healing are explained in simple enough explanation for kids to appreciate and understand.

Olaf Hajek’s fantastical and mesmerizing art is familiar to many adults. Now young readers can enjoy his work while learning about the fascinating health benefits of flowers they encounter every day. Hajek’s paintings spring to life, populated by insects, birds, fruit, and fairytales that illustrate the drama of the natural world. Accompanying each painting are engaging texts that explore various cultural and medicinal aspects of the flowers as well as their importance to artists, writers, and healers. As they learn how iris roots were used to alleviate teething pain in babies and how poppy plants led to the invention of the salt shaker, kids will also get to know a garden’s worth of blooms–from wild roses to carnations and peonies to marigolds. Kids will look at flowers in a whole new light and will delight in this beautiful keepsake of botanical illustrations by a celebrated artist.

PETS AND THEIR FAMOUS HUMANS

By: Ana Gallo

Illustrated by: Katherine Quinn

Published: April 21, 2020

Publisher: Prestel Junior

Non-Fiction

Just a quick skim of this book had me wanting to stop and read it right then. I love these types of true bios and one about pets is even better. The bios are short and with illustrations for even younger kids to enjoy.

Did you know that Mozart’s pet starling was the inspiration for his Piano Concerto No. 17? Or that writer Dorothy Parker loved animals so much she let a pair of alligators swim in her bathtub? These are just a couple of the stories in this delightful and surprising collection that profiles the strong bond between humans and their pets. Some of these stories are touching: Frida Kahlo memorialized her pet deer Granizo in her painting The Wounded Deer. Some are a little quirky: Albert Einstein, convinced that his parrot, Bibo, was sad, told bad jokes to cheer the bird up. Each of these wonderfully entertaining stories is made even more appealing by Katherine Quinn’s captivating illustrations. Rich in detail and reminiscent of folk art, they capture the humor and poignancy of these fascinating pairings. Together these stories and illustrations will create lasting impressions that will help young readers identify historic figures and spark joy in friendships with the animals in their own lives

SAMANTHA HANSEN HAS ROCKS IN HER HEAD

By: Nancy Viau

Published: May 28, 2019

Publisher: Schiffer

Fiction

I recently shared SOMETHING IS BUGGING SAMANTHA HANSEN with you and since I hadn’t read the first in Viau’s series, the publisher sent it to me.

Big rock collector. Big mouth. BIG problem! Ten-year-old Samantha Hansen loves science, especially rocks and minerals. Her family is planning a dream-come-true trip to the Grand Canyon where Sam will finally see the “biggest chunk of sedimentary rock on the planet.” But there’s a problem–Sam has a temper. She works hard to stay out of trouble, but it’s not easy because she has to deal with a bossy sister, a busy mom who’s obsessed with birthdays, and a playground bully who calls her a science freak. Will Sam survive the class cave trip, a rocky talent show, and a visit to the principal’s office? Will her lists of science facts and thoughts about her world help her calm down? Will she ever get up the nerve to ask her mom about her dad? Filled with laugh-out-loud dialogue, school drama, and poignant family moments, Samantha Hansen is sure to delight and inspire. This kid ROCKS!

ONCE UPON A WORD

A Word-Origin Dictionary for Kids

Building Vocabulary through Etymology Definitions and Stories

By: Jess Zafarris

Published: February 25, 2020

Publisher: Rockridge Press

Non-Fiction

This book worm is also a word nerd. We had a children’s dictionary when our boys were little that I read to them every night to increase their vocabulary. This would have been a great book to have as well.

The English language is made up of words from different places, events, and periods of time. Each of those words has an exciting story to tell us about where, when, how, and why they came about. Once Upon a Word is packed with easy-to-understand definitions and awesome word-origin stories. With this dictionary for kids, you can understand the history and meaning of English words, improve your vocabulary and spelling, and learn to play with language.

Explore how weird words like gnome, fun words like zombie, and common words like caterpillar came to exist. Discover why some words sound funnier than others (like cackle, sizzle, and twang) and why some groups of words start with the same few letters (like hydrate, hydrogen, and fire hydrant). In this dictionary for kids, there’s a whole world of English words to uncover!

SUPER FUN FAMILY CARD GAMES

75 Games for All Ages

By: Corinne Schmitt

Published: March 10, 2020

Publisher: Rockridge Press

Non-Fiction

Our family loves playing cards so I’m super excited to find some new games to play and then share with our friends.

Make your next family game night unforgettable with just a single deck of cards. Super Fun Family Card Games is bursting with all kinds of easy-to-learn, enjoyable, and challenging games that are perfect for family game nights.

Shuffle up your evening with hundreds of hours worth of engaging, screen-free fun that every member of the family can get in on! This giant collection of card games features everything from all-time classics to schoolyard favorites to beloved solo-play options. There are even handy tips for making sure your game nights are a big success!


Which one of these books will you be adding to your list?

To see all the posts featuring new books on my shelves, click HERE.

So many books, so little time!

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