Archive for the Category » Book Review «

Property Brothers Book Signing

September 9 the Property Brothers, Drew and Jonathan Scott, went to RJ Julia in Madison, CT to sign copies of their latest children’s book. Each book purchased allowed up to 4 family members to meet the brothers, so as expected, this event was sold out and the line was large. When I went in to pick up my books (I ordered their previous to get signed as well) the brothers arrived and Drew said hello. (I didn’t see Jonathan sneak in.) I was assured the line would “move quickly” but was not told that we would have go to upstairs! Fortunately, staff at the book store was SUPER accommodating and pulled a few of us who couldn’t make it up the stairs to a different room and had the brothers come by to sign our books there instead. When they entered one of them said “We heard you were having a party down here and we weren’t invited!” They were super nice, chatted and teased and signed our books and posed for photos (They are also SUPER TALL!) After we got our books signed we went outside to have our photos taken with the costumed property brothers – dressed like the characters in the book! RJ Julia always has wonderful events and I am looking forward to who else they have come through CT next!



Category: Book Review  Comments off

Book Review: Awesome Achievers in Technology

Whenever I get books like this, I start by skimming the table of contents to see if any of the names are any that I recognize.  Then I see when i read the book how many of their achievements I know about.  This book was no different – of the 12 listed in the table of contents I thought I may have recognized 1 name, but I wasn’t entirely sure. Then I read the note from the author that said, “And then there’s a giant list of heroic figures that are unknown to most people. Top achievers whose work hasn’t been properly celebrated”  So maybe it makes sense that I didn’t recognize these names upon first inspection. But their achievements I knew all about – Atari, Siri, seat belts, Sierra Online, TV remote, windshield wiper, cell phone, home security system, web browser, fiber optic cables, microwave oven, Scotchguard.

Some of these things I use daily, and still have no idea where they came from or invented them.  Well, now I know.  Will I remember? We’ll see the next time one of their names pops up at trivia.  In addition to the information about each inventor, each chapter has some extra details, some fun notes from the author and some illustrations as well.  There’s also a sneak peak at Awesome Achievers in Science – and wouldn’t know you BOTH of the guys mentioned I knew who they were and what they achieved.  Guess I’ll have to read that one next.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.  This book will be released August 6, 2019 from Perseus Books, Running Press.

About the Book
Category: Book Review  Comments off

Book Review: Make Music!

This book is a lot of fun and full of a bunch of ways you can make music.  The first chapter is all about Body Music – Clapping your hands, filling your cheeks full of air and patting them, using your voice! (And my least favorite, whistling) The next chapter is all about making instruments out of things that you can find around the house – bowls, pots, pans, etc. Who knew you had a whole orchestra right in your house? The 3rd chapter is all about Breath music – making tones by vibrating the air – making a kazoo out of a comb, making homemade flutes, etc.  Then we move on to strings! There are instructions on how to make a guitar out of a cereal box (and some other supplies you probably have around the house).   Instruments from the workshop are more indepth instruments that probably need some help from adults to make.  These all seemed to be a bit over my head!  The last chapter talks all about creating music and how you can make musical scores.  This book has a ton of great ideas and definitely fun things to do on a rainy (or snowy!) day.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated. This book will be released April 30, 2019 from Storey Publishing.

About the book

Category: Book Review  Comments off

Book Review: My Cat Looks Like My Dad

I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect with a book called “My Cat Looks Like My Dad” but the Dad kind of reminded me of my Dad (though we have never had a cat) so I had to give it a go.  In addition to this author’s Dad looking like their cat and vice versa, they also seem to have a lot of other things in common – like what they like to eat and drink and how they spend their day!  While the story may be a bit on the stranger side, the illustrations were a lot of fun to look at.  They looked like they may have been made of paper piecing and some really, really cool patterned paper at that. (The Dad’s outfits are really retro and fun!)  I really ended up enjoying this book a lot.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.  This book will be published April 15 from Owlkids Books.

About the Book

New from the creator of Wallpaper and Skunk on a String comes a witty and uplifting picture book that will speak to families of all varieties about how family really is what you make it.

Minimal text paired with bright paper-collage illustrations create comparisons on each spread in which the narrator talks about their family—especially the striking similarities between Dad and the cat. Both have orange hair, love milk, start their days with stretches, appreciate a good nap, and are brave (some of the time). The narrator is more like Mom, with wild hair, blue eyes, and a love of dancing.

A surprising twist at the end reveals the narrator’s unexpected identity, also hinted at with clues in the art throughout the book. Warmth and whimsy in the illustrations add a playful balance to the story’s deeper message about the love that makes a family a unit, no matter how unusual it may look from the outside.

Category: Book Review  Comments off

Book Review: Backpack Explorer: Beach Walk

Backpack Explorer: Beach Walk is all about taking a beach adventure! It starts out with suggesting things you should bring in your backpack – like this book and something to write with, some toys, sunscreen, etc.  The back of the book has 12 stickers that look like patches so when you find something at the beach that matches one of the “I See It!” stickers, you can stick it in the book!  There are tips for going to the beach and some fun games you can play at the beach.  As someone who grew up near the beach, I always kind of took it for granted and never looked for any of these fun items. Maybe I’ll have to go on an adventure this summer and make up for lost time!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. This book will be released April 16 from Storey Publishing.

About the Book

Category: Book Review  Comments off

Book Review: Kat Makes

This is a great book for a beginning reading that goes over everything that Kat Makes!  It is a very short book but has a lot of great content. Easy read. Great for new readers.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated.

About the book

Kat Can Reader: Kat Makes 

Kat is a busy girl. In this very simple 8-page reader, short sentences are paired with fun illustrations to get kids reading about Kat and all of the things she likes to make.
Sample Text:
Kat makes forts. Kat makes pizza.
This book is part of the Kat Can series from Brenda Ponnay Kat Can Readers are Guided Reading Level A, are very short and are suitable for kids just learning to read.

Category: Book Review  Comments off

Book Review: Kahlo’s Koalas

Kahlo’s Koalas is a 1,2,3 count with me book.  Each number is represented by a different artist and a different animal done in the style or likeness of that artist.  It counts from 1-10 and has really great illustrations in the style of some very famous artists.  At the end of the book it features each artist and says how each artist would have painted the animals if they had the chance to.  Really fun to look at!

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.  This book will be released on April 9th from Andrews McMeel Publishing.

About the Book

From Henri Matisse’s monkeys and Jackson Pollock’s poodles to Roy Lichtenstein’s llamas and Wassily Kandinsky’s kangaroos, this beautiful 1-10 counting book provides an imaginative learning experience that will delight adults and children alike.

Introduce your little one to some of the world’s best artists while teaching them their numbers 1 to 10. With illustrator Grace Helmer’s quirky renderings of animals in the style of world-famous artists, Kahlo’s Koalas extends the basic counting concept in a simple, one number, one image per spread format that introduces the smallest children to their first concept of numbers, animals and art appreciation.

Category: Book Review  Comments off

Book Review: #Single

As someone who is currently attempting online dating and failing miserably, I had to see that I was not alone. This book is made up of a bunch of bizarre and funny responses from guys who matched on Tinder.  Unfortunately the blog that this book is based from no longer seems to exist which is a shame because I am sure that it would have brought me lots of laughs because if there is one thing that online dating has taught me it is that GUYS ARE WEIRD. So, so, so weird. (And a lot don’t check their typos and end up asking you lots of things about their… duck.)  In fact I may just end up writing my own book (or at least a blog) about my adventures in not-dating.  (Just have to find the free time between this blog (which im failing at updating, im aware), working, traveling, and grad school…)

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated. This book was published in November 2018.

About the book

This book is a must read if you match any of the following criteria: You are currently online dating. You have online dated. You will online date in your future. You are a smug couple. You worry your child is a spinster/bachelor for life. You like to laugh. You are a Jewish mother. You like to breathe and live and stuff. Is it a perfect match? Swipe right (okay, click) and add it to your cart.  #single is based on the popular blog with 20,000 weekly visitors.

Category: Book Review  Comments off

Book Review: K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches

I like reading books about baseball, but there really isn’t too much about the game itself that end up being new or interesting.  However, this book took something I already know something about and expanded on it in a way that was new and exciting.  Each chapter is about a different type of pitch that can be done in the game of baseball.  Throughout each chapter, the author talks to some of the pitchers who excelled at and were known for that pitch as well as some of the hitters who faced them.  This was really interesting and the different types of pitches and what you can do with them is not something I usually think or read about, so I liked that this book gave me some more insight.  The author also did his homework and it was really great to see how many pitchers and hitters he was able to include in each chapter.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.  This book is scheduled to be released on April 2, 2019 from Doubleday Books.

About the Book

From the New York Times baseball columnist, an enchanting, enthralling history of the national pastime as told through the craft of pitching, based on years of archival research and interviews with more than three hundred people from Hall of Famers to the stars of today

The baseball is an amazing plaything. We can grip it and hold it so many different ways, and even the slightest calibration can turn an ordinary pitch into a weapon to thwart the greatest hitters in the world. Each pitch has its own history, evolving through the decades as the masters pass it down to the next generation. From the earliest days of the game, when Candy Cummings dreamed up the curveball while flinging clamshells on a Brooklyn beach, pitchers have never stopped innovating.

In K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches, Tyler Kepner traces the colorful stories and fascinating folklore behind the ten major pitches. Each chapter highlights a different pitch, from the blazing fastball to the fluttering knuckleball to the slippery spitball. Infusing every page with infectious passion for the game, Kepner brings readers inside the minds of combatants sixty feet, six inches apart.

Filled with priceless insights from many of the best pitchers in baseball history–from Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, and Nolan Ryan to Greg Maddux, Mariano Rivera, and Clayton Kershaw–K will be the definitive book on pitching and join such works as The Glory of Their Times and Moneyball as a classic of the genre.

Category: Book Review  Comments off

Book Review: Oh No

Oh No is a collection of comics about being a disappointment or being disappointed.  Every panel ends in the character saying “Oh no” after something happens – or doesn’t happen, as it were.  It made me laugh many times, and the illustrations are just perfect for the subject matter I think. And I could relate to a lot of the comics as well.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review, I was not otherwise compensated. This book will be released April 2 from Andrew McMeel Publishing.

About the Book

A humorous and poignant comic collection about disappointments big and small based on the popular webcomic, Webcomic Name.

Alex Norris’ viral webcomic Webcomic Name, has captured the internet’s heart. The disappointed blob and its resigned “oh no” has become a recognizable slogan, tapping into the current internet zeitgeist of self-conscious pessimism to hilarious and heartbreaking effect.

Now in this alternately funny and gloomy collection, oh no brings together all the series’ greatest hits as well as dozens of never-before-seen comics. With exciting material for established fans and newcomers alike, oh no will have something for everyone. Because, after all, we are all the disappointed blob; the disappointed blob is us.

Category: Book Review  Comments off