Book Review: The Dragon in the Library

The Dragon in the Library by Louie Stowell

The Dragon in the Library
by Louie StowellDavide Ortu (Illustrator)
5 out of 5 stars

Kit doesn’t like to read. She can’t sit still. She would much rather be climbing trees or playing with matches or other dangerous things. Her friends, Alita and Josh, convince her to visit the library with them. Kit discovers magical properties within the books that propel her and her friends into a wizarding adventure.

I loved this book from start to finish! The characters, the plot, the world-building, the magic; everything is wonderful!

I liked that the plot is simple and straightforward, but has a few little surprises that keep the story fresh and exciting. The writing style is absolutely hilarious! There are so many cute bits of dialogue and funny scenes that had me laughing.

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Book Review: The Maze of the Menacing Minotaur

Zeus the Mighty by Crispin Boyer

Zeus the Mighty: The Maze of the Menacing Minotaur (Book 2)
by Crispin Boyer
4 out of 5 stars
Zeus is a hamster who rules over the Olympian gods, who are pets in an animal shop. Demeter, a little cricket, assists Zeus as he investigates the maze below the Olympian shop. Athena, the cat, and Ares, the dog, prowl around to find clues about how to defeat the blazing minotaur whose heat is making the entirety of Olympus swelter and sweat. But it is Poseidon, the ruler of the underwater kingdoms of fish tanks, who takes charge just when the Olympians are ready to give up.

I loved this second book in the series! It’s such a funny and imaginative story. I loved the parallels to old Greek myths and adventures. This time Zeus goes on a quest to find a spear that will help him defeat the Minotaur just as Theseus did in Ancient Greece.

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Book and Puzzle Set Review: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Book and Puzzle Box Set by Rebecca Sorge
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Book and Puzzle Box Set
by Rebecca Sorge (Illustrations)

5 out of 5 stars


This boxed set of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz book and puzzle makes a beautiful gift set! The paperback book has a beautiful cover just as shown on the front of the box, however there are no illustrations inside the book which was a little disappointing. I was hoping for more gorgeous artwork like the cover!

The puzzle is a 500 piece puzzle included inside its own separate box inside the gift set. The puzzle picture is the same as the cover. I just love that artwork and the bright colors and all the details in the background, which makes it perfect for a puzzle!

The box itself is a delight, with a magnetic clasp and lovely endpapers. You could use it like a treasure box if you didn’t want to keep the puzzle inside it. Continue reading

Children’s Book Gift Guide

Snow Globe Wishes: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1534110313/

‘Twas an Evening in Bethlehem: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0988451212/

Santa and the Goodnight Train: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1328618404/

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Book Review: The Magic Christmas Ornament

The Magic Christmas Ornament by James Barbato
The Magic Christmas Ornament
by James and Victoria Barbato (Authors) Joe Huffman (Illustrator)

2 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Three siblings hear the story about how their father found a magic ornament when he was a boy. When they examine the ornament on Christmas Eve, the children are whisked away to Santa’s Workshop in the North Pole, where they play with toys and meet Santa’s elves. They are given an ornament off Santa’s own Christmas tree, and they return home full of the joy of Christmas.

The writing is good, but has a stiff style, especially in the dialogue. It doesn’t flow as well as it could, but it’s not bad. The story is interesting, but rather simple. There isn’t anything particularly memorable or special in the plot, but it is a sweet story.

The illustrations really bothered me.

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Book Review: Doctor Dolittle and the Secret Lake

Doctor Dolittle And The Secret Lake by Hugh Lofting
Doctor Dolittle And The Secret Lake
by Hugh Lofting

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Doctor Dolittle returns to the Secret Lake hidden in the depths of Africa to interview the oldest living animal, a massive turtle named Mudface. His journey is perilous, but he has his trusty animals by his side. With the help of Chee-chee, Polynesia, Dab-Dab, Cheapside, Gub-Gub, Jip, and his faithful assistant Tommy Stubbins, the Doctor travels through swamps and jungles to find the old turtle and hear the story of the Flood.

I loved the plot in this one! The first part of the book is taken up with the Doctor’s preparations for the journey to Africa, and then his travels to get inland from the African coast to the Secret Lake. Once they find Mudface, the rest of the book chronicles his adventurous story about Noah and surviving the Great Flood.

The writing is charming and hilarious! The animals are all so funny and full of life, and the ridiculous situations are interesting. I’m amazed at how imaginative all of the Dolittle stories are, and the books never seem to run out of wild material for an adventure.

Book Review: The Magic Half

The Magic Half by Annie Barrows
The Magic Half
by Annie Barrows

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

Miri is the only single child in a family of twins. When she is whisked back in time, she meets a girl from 1935 named Molly, and the two embark on a mission to save Molly from her abusive aunt and cousins. But the magic that allowed Miri to travel through time is unpredictable, and it will take a special perspective for Molly and Miri to unravel the mysteries of time before it’s too late.

I liked the plot and the adorable characters! Miri is so relatable and sweet, and Molly is quite brave in the face of her terrible relatives.
The plot is not amazingly mind-blowing, but it kept my interest and I liked the interesting magic system that allowed Miri to travel through time. Continue reading

Book Review: Jennifer Murdley’s Toad

Jennifer Murdley's Toad by Bruce Coville
Jennifer Murdley’s Toad 
by Bruce CovilleGary A. Lippincott (Illustrations)

4 out of 5 stars on GoodReads


Jennifer wishes she could be beautiful, but feels ugly and dumpy. When she buys a talking toad at the Magic Shop, her entire life changes, and she is whisked on an adventure where she will have to choose between pursuing beauty or saving her friends.

I loved this hilarious story, and read it all in one sitting! The madcap plot is full of surprises, and the snappy dialogue makes every page interesting. I enjoyed the magic system and how it interacts in strange ways with the modern world.

I thought Jennifer was sweet and REAL and beautifully awkward. Her family is quirky and weird, and her friends are peppery and unreliable. The best part of the book was Jennifer’s various relationships with her parents, siblings, and school friends, and of course, her magical talking toad.

I adored every chapter! Can’t wait to read more from this series.

Book Review: Emily’s Fortune

Emily's Fortune by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Emily’s Fortune
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

3 out of 5 stars on GoodReads

When Emily’s mother dies, Emily plans to travel West to live with her aunt, but the state orphanage has other plans, and Emily is forced to run away from the Orphanage Child Catchers. With the help of another orphan boy and her trusty turtle, Rufus, Emily will travel by train and stagecoach through the Wild West to reach the safety of her aunts home. 

This is a funny and cute little story with plenty of adventure and hilarity! It would be a wonderful book to read aloud to children, because there are so many opportunities for funny voices and dramatic voices. 
I enjoyed the story, but it’s not particularly amazing or special. The plot is simple, the characters are static, but it’s the writing style that really keeps the reader interested. The writing is witty, the dialogue is snappy, and the scenes flow smoothly into a cohesive story. And young readers aren’t looking for complex plots or deep characters, so it’s a perfect book for children!