The Worm and the Bird by Coralie Bickford-Smith

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

A new, beautifully illustrated picture book from the bestselling author of The Fox and the Star, winner of Waterstones Book of the Year 2015.

Via Goodreads

Deep below the earth, Worm dreams of having more space. There’s not much room down there.

Above, Bird waits, through sun and rain and wind.

As the day goes on, will they both find what they are looking for?

From the author of The Fox and the Star, this is a book about searching and hoping, and how the smallest moment can be beautiful.

Absolutely beautiful cover, and gorgeous illustrations. A somewhat dark tale about the importance of devoting time to the things that really matter.  It’s a bit about mindfulness and the desire for solitude too I think.  I may even be seeing the story though adult eyes and it will mean something completely different to a child!  Poignant and layered and a little bittersweet (at least if you are an adult), it’s added to by the use of metallic ink both on the cover and inside.  It is  just so beautiful!

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The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

A beautiful children’s book about the friendship of a Fox and the Star that guides him through a dark forest.  Fox looks for food, runs with rabbits and dances in the rain until the sky goes dark and suddenly everything starts to change around Fox.  So he sets out to find the light again which carries Fox a journey lit by courage, newfound friends.

Via Goodreads

Inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement and the art of William Blake, The Fox and the Star is a heartwarming, hopeful tale which comes alive through Bickford-Smith’s beloved illustrations, guiding readers both young and grown to “look up beyond your ears.

The art work is amazing in this book, anyone from young to old will find the beauty in this story.   When you handle the cloth bound hardback, it feels like a beautiful old edition of a children’s classic that has been handed down for generations.

Summer of the Wolves by Polly Carlson-Voiles

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is a middle grade story for fans of  Julie of the Wolves or Hatchet.

The story is about a 12 year old orphaned girl Nika and her 7 year old brother Randall as they leave a California foster home to visit a long-lost uncle in the wilderness of Northern Minnesota.  This takes them on a journey in a small floatplane over the thick green forest canopy, to spend the summer on a wilderness island. Nika, of all people, knows not to get her heart set on anything, but as she follows her uncle in his job studying wolves, Nika stumbles upon a relationship with an orphaned wolf pup that makes her feel — for the first time since her mother died — whole again. Here in these woods, with this wolf, none of the hard things in her past can reach her.

I really like to read books about wolves and this one touches great details about wolf behavior and a deep sense of interconnection with nature.  I really enjoyed it.

 

The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

If you enjoyed the Maze Runner books, you’ll like this story as well.  This is a dystopian novel that will keep you on turning the pages until you realize that you’re at the end and you haven’t moved in hours.  I enjoyed the story line, although in a few places I felt as though the story was going drug along.  I will chalk this up to the fact that 90% of the story is riveting and a story does need a little down time every once in a while.

Main character Eden’s life has changed drastically since the war.  There’s a new powerful group called the Wolfpack that is controlling everything on earth including all the resources.  This group killed Eden’s family and has imprisoned her.  She has a lot of spunk and decides that she isn’t going to be held captive any longer.

Eden knows a secret.  She knows that the myth of Sanctuary Island, is actually not a myth at all…thanks to her father.  Eden races and risks her life to reach this island to find solace.  What she finds is far more complicated than she or the others escapees had expected.

What would you do to reach freedom if your future is looking deadlier every second?  How do you survive?

A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting (Babysitter’s Guide to Monsters #1) by Joe Ballarini

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This was a FANTASTICALLY  entertaining book! I cannot wait to share this with a girl I know who is just getting into the ‘Goosebumps’ books, she will love this!

Main character Kelly Ferguson is in middle school and has been working hard at earning money to go to camp, which is high dollar.  Kelly’s life changes in flash one Halloween, when she is asked to babysit instead of going to a Halloween Party with a friend.  Disappointment and a tug between earning money for camp or hanging out with her crush is all Kelly was worried about.  Little did she know, she was about to experience babysitting at a whole new level!

Baby Jacob was easiest enough for Kelly to handle, but then once she put him to bed, the night took a turn for the worse when Jacob is kidnapped by the Boogyman’s minions called Toadies!  Now, with the help of the Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting and a secret society of Monster Hunting babysitters, Kelly’s new mission is to get Baby Jacob back safe and sound before his parents come home!

This book puts a fun twist on the babysitting gig!  Readers will love the fast paced amusing story.  Hop into the story and grab a flash light…….you’re going to need it!

*Film adaptation starring Keegan Michael Key in the works.*

Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Before, I didn’t know about perspective.  Now I know it can change how you see the whole world.

This was a beautifully written story!  I didn’t realize until the end that this was a rendition of the author’s life as a little girl.  I loved the main character, Ruthie Mizrahi.  It’s the 1960’s and Ruthie is a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl adjusting to her new life in New York City.  It’s been hard for her family to learn the customs of the big city and on one dark night, their lives are changed forever…a horrific car accident leaves Ruthie in a body cast and confined her to her bed for a long recovery.

This is the story of a young girl who learns to love in darkest of times and how her heart can go from being stone cold to growing larger.  She teaches us how fragile life can really be and no matter what your circumstances happen to be, there is always something to look forward to.  Ruthie’s hope was to recover and learn to walk again as well as forgiving the person who had caused the accident and her displacement being confined to her bed for almost a whole year.

This moment in their lives seems to have brought many people together and closer to Ruthie.  The story was moving and very well written.  I felt myself rooting for Ruthie and almost crying with her at times.  She is a tough gal, who although fell into the darkness, it didn’t take long for someone to show her the light again. She let their rays of sunshine warm her heart and from there, Ruthie spread the rays onto others.

 

 

The Photo Ark: One Man’s Quest to Document the World’s Animals by Joel Sartore (National Geographic)

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is a book that should be on everyone’s coffee tables and book shelves!  I found it on the ‘new’ release shelf at my local library, being an animal lover I had to check it out.  National Geographic the Photo ark is a lifelong project, already spanning 25 years, of photographer Joel Sartore.  It is his goal to take portraits of the world’s animals, especially those that are endangered and put them at our fingertips.  Joel has a powerful message sprawling through this fantastic book conveyed with humor, compassion and art.  Joel hopes we will look into the eyes of these animals, to know these animals, in order to save them.

Sartore’s intends to photograph every animal in captivity around the world.  He is visiting zoos and wildlife rescue centers to create studio portraits of 12,000 species, with an emphasis on those facing extinction.  He has photographed more than 6,000 already and now, thanks to a multi-year partnership with National Geographic, he may reach his goal.

As I was going through the book, I happened upon an Albino North American Porcupine with the caption “This albino porcupine is named Halsey for the spot in Nebraska near where she was rescued after being hit on the highway.  Today Halsey is thriving, despite a dental condition that prevents her from ever being returned to the wild.”  This caught me off guard because I happen to live in Nebraska!  Not only that, but as I kept reading I read more captions and descriptions of animals that were photographed at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium (Nebraska),  Nebraska Wildlife Rehab in Louisville (Nebraska) and the Lincoln’s Children Zoo (Nebraska).

Then, after finishing the book, I read about the photographer and author Joel Sartore.  He is a photographer, author, teacher, conservationist, National Geographic Fellow and a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine.  He is the founder of this project, the Photo Ark, has contributed to Audubon magazine, Sports Illustrated, the New York Times, Smithsonian magazine and numerous book projects.  Are you ready for the icing on the cake????  Joel is always happy to return from his travels around the world to his home in Lincoln, Nebraska, where his lives with is wife and their three children.

I cannot stress enough how amazing this book was, especially from the fact that this project is being conducted by a fellow Nebraskan.  I look forward to seeing more of Joel Sartore’s work in the future!