Book Review: Anna Hibiscus

Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke

Anna Hibiscus (Anna Hibiscus, #1)
by Atinuke, Lauren Tobia (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

Anna Hibiscus lives in Nigeria, in a beautiful garden compound with all her aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, and her wonderful parents and twin brothers. They are a very big loud family! Sometimes Anna wishes she could have a few moments alone, but when she goes on vacation with just her parents and brothers, she begins to miss all the rest of her big family. How can they manage without everyone to pitch in and help?

I loved this sweet book! Anna is so adorable, and I loved her amazing family. I especially loved learning about Nigerian culture and traditions. It’s so interesting and beautiful!

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Book Review: Death at Dusbar College

Death at Dusbar College by Laura DiNovis Berry

Death at Dusbar College
by Laura DiNovis Berry (Goodreads Author), Lee Thompson (Illustrator)

3 out of 5 stars

Cristiano is visiting his aunt at the magical Dusbar College, where he hopes to learn more about magic. When the Grand Magician of the college dies, he leaves behind a riddle. Whoever solves the riddle will win the Grand Magician’s amazing sorcerer’s hat. Cristiano begins to investigate, looking for clues in the Grand Magician’s office.

I love how imaginative and funny this book is! The people and creatures in Dusbar College are so interesting and weird. The writing style is really funny and had me laughing!

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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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Book Review: That Boy Johnny!

That Boy Johnny! by Evelyn Ray Sickels

That Boy Johnny!
by Evelyn Ray Sickels, Jean Martinez (Illustrator)

5 out of 5 stars

Johnny’s grandmother sews a new pair of pants for him, and hangs them up on the line to dry. But the wind is so strong that it blows the pants away, and Johnny is terribly disappointed. Johnny and his sisters get into mischief on the farm and have little adventures, until one day the peddler comes to the farm with a surprise.

I love this book so much! I read it over and over when I was a little girl. Johnny is so mischievous and full of energy. I love all the characters, from the delightful grandmother to the littlest sister. Their grandmother tells them stories about the days of the Civil War when her mother quilted a Liberty Quilt. Johnny’s father remembers the shenanigans he got into when he was a boy, and realizes how he and Johnny are so similar.

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Book Review: The Bobbsey Twins in Mexico

The Bobbsey Twins In Mexico by Laura Lee Hope

The Bobbsey Twins In Mexico
by Laura Lee Hope
4 out of 5 stars

The Bobbsey Twins have some new neighbors in Lakeport, a Mexican family, the Castillos. The twins make friends with the Mexican children, and even learn a little Spanish. When it’s time for the Castillos to return to Mexico, they invite the Bobbsey twins to visit them on their hacienda.

I enjoyed this book a lot, because I grew up in Mexico as a child. The Bobbsey twins visit the same area in Mexico where I grew up, Mexico City D.F. They visit the pyramids at Tenochtitlan where I have been many times, and Bert even climbs the Pyramid of the Sun which I myself have climbed many times. Reading this book made me so homesick!

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Book Review: Egg Marks the Spot

Egg Marks the Spot by Amy Timberlake

Egg Marks the Spot (Skunk and Badger 2)
by Amy TimberlakeJon Klassen (Illustrations)
4 out of 5 stars

Skunk and Badger set off on a new adventure searching for Important Rocks, and they go camping in the woods. All Skunk wanted to do was eat a leisurely breakfast and read the Sunday “New Yak Times” Book Review, but instead he forces himself to trek miles through the countryside with a massive pack on his back. A simple rock expedition turns into a wild adventure with cats, rats, bears, and a very strange egg.

Skunk and Badger are so funny and adorable! I love the warmth of their friendship and how they laugh together. In this second book, their friendship is put to the test, and they have to prove their loyalty.

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Book Review: The Saddest Kitten

The Saddest Kitten by Holly Webb

The Saddest Kitten
by Holly WebbSophy Williams (Illustrations)
4 out of 5 stars

Hailey’s family has just adopted a new kitten, but their older cat, Pickle, doesn’t like having a new cat in the house. Pickle fights with the new kitten, and tries to run her out of the house. Hailey’s best friend, Ilsa, has always wanted a cat, and she is jealous that Hailey has two. Ilsa offers to cat-sit for Hailey’s family when they are gone, and she discovers Pickle terrorizing the helpless kitten. Ilsa and Hailey will have to work together to find a solution so that both cats can be happy again.

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Book Reviews: The Mystery Kitten and Little Lion Rescue

The Mystery Kitten by Holly Webb

The Mystery Kitten
by Holly WebbSophy Williams (Illustrator)
5 out of 5 stars
Elsa is worried about moving into a new house and having her own room, separate from her sister, Sara. When she hears scratching and mysterious noises coming from the attic, she is terrified. But then she discovers an adorable black kitten, and has to keep him a secret from her family.

Elsa meets new friends, solves the mystery of the kitten, and figures out how to convince her family to keep the kitten. I love Elsa’s character. She is smart and compassionate, but she is full of anxiety about moving to a new house. She learns to have more confidence and build stronger bonds with her family. I was impressed with her simple but powerful character development.

Little Lion Rescue by Rachel Delahaye

Little Lion Rescue (Little Animal Rescue, #1)
by Rachel Delahaye
4 out of 5 stars
Callie loves animals, especially lions. She is visiting the zoo with her class, when she is whisked away to the African Serengeti, where she rescues a lost lion cub and tries to find the lion’s family.

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Book Review: Maylie and the Maze

Maylie and the Maze by M.L. Tarpley

Maylie and the Maze (Tales of a Travel Girl #1)
by M.L. Tarpley , Monica Bruenjes 

3 out of 5 stars
Maylie is finding it difficult to write a story, any story. She has plenty of ideas, but keeps second-guessing herself when she starts to write. Hoping to find inspiration, she goes on a trip to London with her aunt, her grandmother, and her twin brother, Camden.

Maylie is a great character. I liked being inside her head and seeing all her fears and anxieties, and how she manages to overcome those things. I liked Aunt Layla because she is always encouraging and inspiring. Camden got on my nerves (just like he is supposed to) as the annoying brother character, but I could also see hidden depths in his personality reminding me that he is more than just an immature class clown. There is some good character development for both Maylie and Camden.

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Book Review: Skunk and Badger

Skunk and Badger by Amy Timberlake

Skunk and Badger (Skunk and Badger #1)
by Amy TimberlakeJon Klassen (Illustrations)
5 out of 5 stars

Badger has a simple and quiet life studying rocks and doing Important Rock Work. One day Skunk shows up on Badger’s doorstep as his new roommate, and Badger’s quiet life is thrown into chaos. Skunk cooks delicious meals, but dirties up the kitchen. Skunk moves furniture around and recycles all the cardboard boxes that Badger was saving. Skunk invites guests over for a story-time popcorn party until the house is overrun with chickens! Badger is torn between enjoying all the excitement and being angry with Skunk for his wild behavior. How will these two roommates ever find a way to live together in harmony?

I loved this book so much! It reminds me of one of my favorite animal books, “Wind in the Willows”. There is a quiet character and an adventurous character, and they learn to be friends.

The character development is fantastic! Badger goes through a whole internal journey as his world begins to open up and he realizes just how isolated he has become. He is initially dismayed at Skunk’s antics, but also enjoys the good food and companionship that comes into his house. Skunk makes him think differently about his life and see things from a new perspective. I love the warmth of their friendship and how they laugh together.

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