Book Review: The Ordinary Princess

The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye

The Ordinary Princess
by M.M. Kaye

5 out of 5 stars

At Princess Amy’s christening, one of the fairies grants her the gift of ordinariness. Compared to her beautiful royal sisters, Amy is plain and ordinary. All her sisters have long blonde hair and perfect complexions. Amy has short mousey brown hair and freckles on her nose. As Amy grows up the royal family is distressed, because no prince wants to marry an ordinary princess with freckles. Princess Amy must take her destiny into her own hands, and prove that you don’t have to be beautiful and perfect to find happiness.

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Book Review: Crimson Twill- Witch in the City

Crimson Twill by Kallie George

Crimson Twill: Witch in the City
by Kallie George, Birgitta Sif  (illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

Crimson is different from other witches. She doesn’t want to wear a pointy hat; she wants a hat with a bow. She doesn’t like black dresses; she wants a dress with pretty polka dots. When Crimson accompanies her mother to the department store, Broomingdale’s, Crimson wants to shop for something unique that will reflect her own style. But she finds much more than she bargained for!

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Book Reviews: The Famous Five #1-2

Five on a Treasure Island by Enid Blyton

Five on a Treasure Island (Famous Five, #1)
by Enid Blyton, Eileen A. Soper (Illustrator)

3.5 stars
Three siblings go to visit their cousin and explore a small island just off the coast. One day a storm uncovers a wrecked ship that had been sunk generations ago. The storm throws the sunken ship up onto the rocks of the island. The children explore the wreck and discover a treasure map for gold ingots that are hidden in the ruins of the island.

It took me half the book to realize that the fifth person of the “Famous Five” is actually the dog. I kept waiting for another character to show up in the story, wondering where the mysterious fifth person was going to come in. Haha! I was a bit disappointed that it’s only the dog.

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Book Review: Witchlings

Witchlings by Claribel A. Ortega

Witchlings (Witchlings, #1)
by Claribel A. Ortega (Goodreads Author)

4.5 out of 5 stars

Seven is worried that when she is sorted into her witches coven she might not be in the same coven with her best friend. However, she never imagined that she would be a Spare, a witch without a coven at all. Seven and the other two Spares are set an impossible task to defeat a horrific Nightbeast. They must complete the task, or they will lose their magic forever, or worse, be turned into toads!

This book has everything I was looking for! There’s a great magic system and interesting world-building. I really liked that the witches’ world has a distant past that must be reckoned with. You really get a sense of the depth of the history behind their laws and the way their everyday lives are ordered.

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Book Reviews: Museum Kittens The Sleepover Mystery and The Treasure Map

The Sleepover Mystery by Holly Webb

The Sleepover Mystery (Museum Kittens)
by Holly Webb,Sarah Lodge (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars

In this third book of the series, Bianca befriends a group of schoolchildren who are at the museum for a sleepover. She loves all the attention she gets for her beautiful white fur! But the rats are scampering around the museum at night, frightening the children. When Bianca disappears, the other kittens look everywhere for her and finally confront the rats. Maybe the rats kidnapped Bianca? Or maybe Bianca wants to run away with the schoolchildren?

The Treasure Map by Holly Webb

The Treasure Map (Museum Kittens)
by Holly Webb

4 out of 5 stars

Boris leads the kittens in exploring an old pirate ship in the museum. They overhear the mischievous rats talking about a treasure map, and begin to follow the rats in order to claim the treasure for the museum. I really enjoyed the puzzle aspect of this fourth book in the series! As the kittens follow the clues, they really have to think carefully to figure out where the treasure might be hidden.

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Picture Book Review: This is the Boat that Ben Built

This Is the Boat That Ben Built by Jen Lynn Bailey

This Is the Boat That Ben Built
by Jen Lynn Bailey (Goodreads Author), Maggie Zeng (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

Ben goes an adventure down the river in his boat. His mother and dog follow a path on land, walking along the shore and waving hello. Ben observes animals and fish along the river. He examines a loon with his magnifying glass. He catches a fish and releases it later. He captures butterflies and fireflies in a jar.

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Picture Book Reviews: Pumpkin and Me (English and Spanish Editions)

Pumpkin and Me by Alicia Acosta

Pumpkin and Me
by Alicia Acosta, Mercè Galí (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

When Pumpkin (the family dog) dies, a little girl is feeling very sad. A dark cloud seems to follow her around. She must have gotten soap in her eyes, because she can’t stop crying. A mean octopus appears to be squeezing her heart so much that it hurts all the time. Her family tell her that it is normal to feel grief and sadness when you lose something you loved. The little girl has a dream about her dog, Pumpkin, visiting her. In the dream, Pumpkin chases away the dark cloud and licks away her tears. Pumpkin barks so loud that the octopus is scared away. The little girl realizes that the memory of Pumpkin will be something she will always carry with her.

This is such a sweet and thoughtful book about grief. Emotions can be overwhelming, and this book is a gentle way to open up a conversation about grief. The story is tender and insightful, and is sure to soothe any little readers who might be dealing with some big emotions.

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Picture Book Review: Fox Tells A Lie (English and Spanish Editions)

Fox Tells a Lie by Susanna Isern

Fox Tells a Lie
by Susanna Isern, Leire Salaberria (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

Fox tells his friends that he knows the superhero, Superturtle. He tells them how he knows Superturtle’s secret flying techniques. But it is a lie. Fox’s friends get very excited and want to meet Superturtle. Squirrel thinks she can try to fly too. All of Fox’s lies are putting his friends in danger! Can Fox admit the truth before Squirrel gets hurt?

I really appreciated the good moral messages in this book about the importance of truthfulness. There is one page where the story says that all the attention from his friends made Fox “feel important” at first. I love the depth of this story, and the way it explores Fox’s emotions surrounding the lies. He begins to worry that he has told too many lies and he feels ashamed.

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Picture Book Review: What’s Cooking in Flowerville?

What's Cooking in Flowerville? by Felicita Sala

What’s Cooking in Flowerville?
by Felicita Sala

4 out of 5 stars

People all over the city are harvesting fruits, vegetables, and herbs from their gardens. There are rooftop gardens, community gardens, window ledge herb gardens, and fruit trees in the apartment square. Each month of the year, something is being harvested and used in a special recipe. With a list of fresh ingredients, the reader can also make each recipe following the instructions.

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Book Reviews: Museum Kittens #1-2

The Midnight Visitor by Holly Webb

The Midnight Visitor (Museum Kittens)
by Holly Webb, Sarah Lodge (Illustrator)

4 out of 5 stars

Three kittens (Tasha, Boris, and Bianca) live with their family in the basement of a museum, where the night guard keeps them to scare away the rats. The kittens are intrigued when a stray cat brings in a black kitten, Peter, to live in the museum. Tasha, Boris, and Bianca are not sure they want to welcome Peter. He is so different, and no one knows where he is from. Peter will have to prove his worth if he wants to become a museum kitten.

This is such an adorable book! The kittens are so cute, and I love the little adventures they have. The plot is simple, but interesting. The writing style is perfect for this age group, and even enjoyable for an adult to read.

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