Valkyrie, War of the Realms Book 3)

By Kate O'Hearn
ISBN-13: 978-1444916614

By Rebecca Jones

Nosy Crow, 2016, $10.99

Grade Level: Kindergarten-12

​Genre:  coloring book, cards, envelopes, stickers

​ISBN:  97800763693404​

Mud BookMud Book by John Cage
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mud Book: How to Make Pies and Cakes
By John Cage (Author), Lois Long (Illustrator)

One of my new favorites in time for spring, this nonfiction picture book is fun for all ages, inspiring play, make-believe, and creative cuisines and combining them with genre-bending art, into a book that is a celebration of childhood.

As a life-long gardener with a love of planting that I inherited from my father, getting down in the dirt with kids is an immensely satisfying experience. Cultivating plants and watching them grow is an amazing experience for young children, and I love spending time in the garden with my children, their friends, and our neighbors. Books like Mud Book instill a love of gardening from a young age and remind readers of all ages exactly why we love playing in the dirt. I highly recommend!

#NFPicturebook #AllAges #MudBook #ChildrensWriters #CreativePlay #Imagination #InnerChild #gardening #creativecuisine #JohnCage #LoisLong #PrincetonArchitecturalPress #ChildressInk

"In the mid-1950s, legendary avant-garde composer John Cage and artist Lois Long created a truly marvelous object. Part artist's book, part cookbook, and part children's book, Mud Book is a spirited, if not satirical, take on almost every child's first attempt at cooking and making. Through the humble mud pie add dirt and water! Cage and Long encourage children to explore their imagination and to get their hands dirty, and they offer this warning: Mud pies are to make and look at, not to eat. A unique hybrid of art book, unconventional cookbook, and inspiration for young makers, this new edition of Mud Book will delight children and parents alike, and makes a charming gift for all ages."
Princeton Architectural Press, $14.95, Hardcover, April 4, 2017
ISBN 9781616895525

View all my reviews
TriangleTriangle by Mac Barnett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

By Mac Barnett, illus. by Jon Klassen
Candlewick, Mar. 2017

Besides being an all-around fun and funny story, this picture book combines genre-bending illustrations and a humorous story to explain the concepts of "shapes" to very young children, two shapes in particular, Triangle and Square. Kids will SO relate to mischievous, shifty-eyed Triangle, as he pranks his friend Square. Adults will appreciate the humor, which is good because kids will be requesting multiple re-reads. This book is planned to be the start of a new series. Previous collaborations by this author and illustrator team have resulted in Caldecott Honors: Extra Yarn & Sam and Dave Dig a Hole. Highly recommend!


The Thousandth Floor

By Katherine McGee

HarperCollins, Aug. 2016

Hot on my too-read pile ... especially now that book two is available, The Dazzling Heights


"The luxe lives of Manhattan’s elite are even more extraordinary in Katharine McGee’s futuristic, highly addictive page-turner. The Thousandth Floor will give you vertigo and leave you eager for more.”

-#1 New York Times bestselling author of Gossip Girl, Cecily von Ziegesar

​An unparalleled mash-up of romance, mystery, and science fiction unlike anything I’ve read before. Katharine McGee gives the speculative fiction genre a much-needed make-over with a novel that’s as glamorous as it is fiercely intelligent.”

-Kass Morgan, New York Times bestselling author of The 100

The Coloring Book of Cards & EnvelopesSummertime

Valkyrie, The Runaway

By Kate O'Hearn

Aladdin, Jan, 2017

​Age Range: 9 - 13 years
Series: Valkyrie (Book 2)
Aladdin HC: Jan. 2017
ISBN-13: 9781481447409

Aladdin PB, $

ISBN-13: 978-1444916607


By Kate O'Hearn

Aladdin, Valkyrie (Book 1), ISBN-13: 9781481447379

​Age: 9 - 13 

Middle grade fantasy, Norse Mythology, fantastic heroine, great for reluctant readers. This adventurous series has been in my too-read pile for too long! The best time to start a series--in my opinion--is after all the books are out. Then here isn't that torture of waiting after cliffhangers between each book. My 13-year-old daughter picked this out from my stacks and promptly plowed through the series! Valkyrie is a great series to get hooked on! 

Publisher description:

From the bestselling author of the Pegasus books, Kate O’Hearn, comes an exciting new series that puts a fresh twist on Norse mythology.
Valkyrie: Norse Goddess. Reaper of Souls. Defender of the Weak. Not someone you want to mess with…
     Freya is dreading her upcoming birthday when she’ll officially have to take up her duties as a Valkyrie. She doesn’t want to follow in the footsteps of the legends before her—legends including her mother and sisters. And she certainly doesn’t want anything to do with humans!

Freya thinks humans are cruel, hate-filled creatures, but as she observes their world, she begins to wonder what it would be like to make friends with the girls or laugh with the boys she sees. And what would it be like to live without the fear that she could cause someone’s death with a single touch?

Then when she’s sent on her first mission, she reaps the soul of a fallen soldier with unfinished business…business that sends her on an epic quest to the mortal world. Will Freya find the true meaning of being a human, or will she finally accept her destiny? 


The Book That Made Me
By Judith Ridge
Candlewick Press, Mar. 2017, $17.99

Age Range:14+

ISBN-13: 978-0763695491

Genre: Short Stories, True Stories, Original Stories, Book Lovers, Reading, Children's Authors Telling Stories

​*Review* Pencil drawings by Shaun Tan as well as photographs of the authors when they were young are visually engaging...this will likely be a favorite for those wanting a glimpse into the secret world of writers as well as a handy resource for book reports. Candid and inspirational.

I can't say enough good things about this series! I've gone through four copies, which I've used as part of gifts and thank you's, for teachers, graduates, birthday, just about any special occasion. I also share with children of all ages when I speak at schools on Find Your Future in Art, letting each student select a card, envelope, and everyone gets one, from elementary through high school, guys and girls! The unique concept makes any recipient feel special--and like coloring!


The war that saved my life

​​​posted by:  Kim     comments:  

by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Dial, $16.00

Reviewed by my good friend and colleague, Kathy Taber, with Kids Ink Children’s Bookstore in Indianapolis.
“War usually tears families apart and causes heartache, but for Ada, World War II saved her life. Born with a club foot, Ada suffered abuse and ridicule. When she and he bother were sent to the countryside to wait out the war, Ada had to learn to deal with her new life, including how to receive uncondiioal love. Ada’s stoy is a moving and poignant tale of acceptace and how change can be rewarding.
-Kathy Taber, Kids' Ink Children's Bookstore, Indianapolis, IN
 Kim Bradley was in my writer’s group in Indy! Go Kim!