Blog Archives

Smarter, Faster, Better (Charles Duhigg)

3 out of 5 stars
The short version:
This felt like a second-rate rehashing of The Power of Habit. Even though the stories are different and *some* of the points are different, you could have probably whittled this down to 2-3 chapters and stuck it onto the back of The Power of Habit and called it a day…

Read more ›

Posted in Nonfiction

Worth Winning, Parker Elling

Since we personally know the author involved, we cannot fairly review/endorse it.

However, it’s a Maggie Unpublished Awards Finalist (2nd Place, 2015) and was selected via Amazon’s Kindle Scout program!

 

Posted in book promotion, Romance

The Big Orange Book of Beginning Books (Dr. Seuss)

Recommended, Repeatable

This is a great book for beginning readers — not only are the pictures engaging in the way that all Seuss-drawn books are, but the words are simple and meant to be either already in the emerging reader’s vocabulary, or on the edge of what they can do. There are great rhymes (which adds to the young reader’s ability to guess at what the words they can’t read must be), and as always, the story flow is great.

There are a total of six books and the only real drawback is that not all of the books are illustrated by Seuss (only I think the first two are both written and illustrated by Seuss, that those are definitely our two favorites (Marvin K. Mooney, Will you Please Go Now! and The Shape of Me and Other Stuff). I think all the books are good, but the collection is definitely worth owning for nothing more than the first two books if you’re a die-hard Seuss fan, or just looking for something that will hold your emerging reader’s interest.

Posted in Children's/Young Adult

Little Kids First Big Book of Bugs (National Geographic Kids)

5 out of 5 stars

Great for 3-6 year olds

If your little one is interested in insects at all, this is a great book to read to them. My 2-year-old daughter, my 4-year-old son, are both enthralled by it: they love the vibrant pictures, the completely age-appropriate facts (and bite-sized, suitable for their short attention span).

The pictures are bright and wonderfully done, there’s nothing that would be at all scary or off-putting, and though you may not make it through the whole book in one sitting, this is definitely one you’ll get your money’s worth out of, going through one small section at a time.

Posted in Children's/Young Adult

Big Words for Little People (written by: Jamie Lee Curtis, illustrated by: Laura Cornell)

Good for toddler-5 year olds

3 out of 5 stars

This is an okay rhyming book. Definitely below the best of Seuess (maybe even below like mediocre Seuss), but better than a lot of what’s up there. It’s well-intentoned and some parts are definitely stronger than others.

Read more ›

Posted in Children's/Young Adult

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life

4.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:

Super-interesting, mostly-research-based book that details the habit loops of people (from athletes to addicts) and organizations. It’s full of interesting anecdotes and small business history lessons and functions mostly as a quick and easy read, one that is full of little snippets of advice on how you might change your personal habit loops, as well as concrete examples of how such patterns have worked in the past. There are definitely times when he’s chosen to present one particular side of a very controversial event, and other times where things seem to be a bit glossed over, but it’s a fun read (which I valued slightly more for entertainment/habit-thought-provoking, than actual research).

Read more ›

Posted in Nonfiction

Because Dragons Love Milk (Chinese and English Editions)

It’s bedtime and Tycho is worried about the monsters in his room, particularly the dragon, a T-Rex, and an alligator. But his wise and loving father knows just how to handle the scary monsters and make sure that Tycho’s sleep is sweet and peaceful. Introduce your young precious ones to Because Dragons Love Milk, a new classic book they’ll hold in their hearts forever. Book is written to read smoothly in both languages, so that it’s a bilingual book for children.

There are three versions: English only, Traditional Chinese and English, as well as Simplified Chinese and English.

Like Unwell, this is a book that’s by one of the friend’s of our site, and also edited by friends from this site.

Posted in book promotion, Children's/Young Adult

Counting by 7s (Holly Goldberg Sloan)

4 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:

Well-written, middle-school-appropriate story about a genius outcast/orphan who has to deal with the grief of losing her beloved adoptive parents and struggles to find a new home situation. There’s a lovable cast of side characters (the underachieving school counselor, the dictator-like Vietnamese matron, etc), a nice progression from super sad (the parents die in the first opening scene) to happy equilibrium/resolution, and lots of fun/quirky moments in-between. I’m not a big fan of the genius-protagonist thing, but this was fairly well-conceived and mostly believable.

Read more ›

Posted in Children's/Young Adult

The Book with No Pictures (B.J. Novak)

(great for 2, 3 year-olds and up)

I love it, my 3.5 year old loves it, even my 2 year old loves it.

As long as you’re an adult who can have a good sense of humor about reading lines like “My head is made of blueberry pizza,” it’s hard to go wrong.

Yes, it’s one long-running-meta-ish joke about being a nonsense book that’s all about “tricking” adults into saying their best friend’s a hippo named “boo boo butt” and yes, it may get old hearing your children repeat certain lines from the book, but even despite that, I think it’s a huge win.

This is the book we hand to our friends when they visit. It’s the only book that can reliably tear my toddlers away from the legos almost instantaneously. It’s one where the adults can’t help but make funny voices (to match the funny, nonsensical words), and it really is a must-have.

 

Tagged with:
Posted in Best of, Children's/Young Adult

Some Bugs (Angela DiTerlizzi, Illustrated by Brendan Wenzel)

Recommended, Repeatable

(great for 2-4 year olds)

This is a charming book — it’s one of those books that’s fun to read, that makes you just want to keep flipping the pages to finish the rhyme, and there’s just so much going on in every page that it’s sure to keep your kids completely entertained.

It’s a short, quick read, but one that my toddlers have asked for time and again.The words are fun and memorable (it quickly made it onto my son’s “completely memorized” list), the drawings are bright and whimsical, and there’s a last couple of pages of just bugs and bugs and bugs (that your kids will pore over and really, really concentrate on…)

Posted in Children's/Young Adult