Snappsy The Alligator by Julie Falatko

I saw some tweets about Snappsy The Alligator, and immediately knew that my girls would love this book. I made a request through my library network, and was amazed when the book arrived at my town library only two days later.

Snappsy The Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book!) is a picture book written by Julie Falatko and illustrated by Tim Miller.

The premise is rather clever: as the narrator describes what Snappsy is doing, the alligator breaks the fourth wall to address the narrator directly. He is annoyed by the narrator’s descriptions, and he does not like being followed around. Snappsy even ends up changing his plans because he knows he is being watched! Can Snappsy and the narrator resolve their feud before the end of the book? Continue reading


Happy Birthday Oliver by Pierre Le-Tan

My oldest daughter helps me with reading and reviewing middle grade books, and I wanted to be able to include my twins in my reading and blogging. They are strong readers, and they read independently every night, but I want to be able to read with them.

I have decided to start with the Best Book Club Ever Books. Do you remember them? They were published in the late 1970s-early 1980s. I’m not sure where they came from- maybe the grocery store? I remember loving them when I was a child, and my husband had all the books too. When my oldest daughter was much smaller, my in-laws brought us a box full of them. They had been languishing in the attic (the books, not my in-laws) for years, but they were in perfect condition.

The first book that I chose to read to my twins was Happy Birthday Oliver. This picture book, written by Pierre Le-Tan, was originally published in 1978. This is the story of an anthropomorphic dog named Oliver, who is very excited about his upcoming birthday. But when he wakes up on the big day, his parents don’t acknowledge his birthday. He mopes around so despondently that he gets a pity present from his teacher: a beautiful peacock feather. Did everyone really forget his birthday or is there a surprise waiting for him at home? Continue reading


The Adventures of Lettie Peppercorn by Sam Gayton

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I have a daughter who is eight years old. She is a voracious reader, so when I receive the opportunity to read a middle grade book, I often read it with her. We have discovered some lovely stories together, and it’s nice to be able to spend time with her one-on-one.

As soon as I saw The Adventures of Lettie Peppercorn, I had a feeling that my daughter would like it. This book was originally published in England under the title The Snow Merchant, and it was written by Sam Gayton.

Lettie Peppercorn is only twelve years old, but she is a formidable landlady in the town of Albion. Her Da is often at the local tavern, and her mother left over ten years ago. When a mysterious alchemist arrives with an incredible invention called “snow”, Lettie’s life changes forever.

Lettie’s mother left an ominous note warning her to never leave their house on stilts, and Lettie has never broken that promise…until now. This is a story full of first for Lettie: first time leaving the house, first time having an adventure, and the first time she makes a real friend who isn’t a parrot or the Wind. Before Lettie can process what is happening, she and a boy named Noah are chasing after the alchemist, trying to find out the secret of snow and what happened to her Ma.

The Adventures of Lettie Peppercorn is an absolutely amazing book. At the end of each chapter, my daughter looked up at me with big eyes and asked if we could read more. She gasped with indignation at pivotal moments, or called out excitedly as she guessed what would happen next. I can confidently say that this book was a big hit with our family.

I would enthusiastically recommend The Adventures of Lettie Peppercorn. This is a delightful middle grade book. It has some lovely lessons about family, friendship, and believing in yourself. Lettie has never left the house before, but she is able to accomplish so much. Gayton’s writing is very wry, and my daughter and I both laughed out loud at many times throughout our reading. My daughter and I are both looking forward to reading more of Sam Gayton’s books in the future!


Too Many Carrots by Katy Hudson

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

My daughters and I love to read together. I hadn’t seen very many picture books on Netgalley recently, so I was very excited when I received the opportunity to read several around the same time.

Too Many Carrots was written and illustrated by Katy Hudson. The story begins by introducing the reader to Rabbit, who has outgrown his burrow. The problem is that he has too many carrots, and there is no room left for anything else. So, instead of downsizing the carrot collection, he sets out for greener pastures. Rabbit tries to move in with Tortoise- cramming himself into Tortoise’s shell. That doesn’t work out very well, and Rabbit and Tortoise must seek shelter elsewhere. I don’t want to give too much away, but needless to say, we are introduced to a variety of animals, and their living situations. Rabbit is not a very good houseguest, and he needs to make amends for the havoc he has caused. There’s just one problem- Rabbit really loves his carrot collection. Are the carrots more important than his friendships? Continue reading


Of Better Blood by Susan Moger

I received a copy of this book from Albert Whitman & Company/Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.


I enjoy reading young adult historical fiction, so I was very excited about the opportunity to read Of Better Blood. Author Susan Moger has written several educational books and teaching materials, but this is her first novel.

Rowan Collier comes from a “good” family. She lives with her father and older sister in relative affluence, but that all changes when she contracts polio at the age of 11.   Five years later, Rowan has regained the strength in her paralyzed leg, and she can walk with a cane. She never returned home after her diagnosis, and has spent all that time living in various hospitals. When the story begins, she is spending the summer in the most humiliating way: playing the role of the “crippled” daughter in a traveling production about Fitter Families sponsored by a eugenics council. Continue reading


I Am A Droid by Christopher Nicholas

My girls are fans of Star Wars. One of my six-year-old twins is a Star Wars superfan. I purchased the collection of six Star Wars Little Golden books on Amazon, so when I found I Am A Droid at my town library, I knew my daughter would enjoy it.

I Am A Droid is a book about the droids in the Star Wars universe. The language used is simple “Some droids are small. Some droids are big. Some droids walk… some droids roll.” The book goes into slightly more detail in explaining things like the difference between an astromech droid and a protocol droid. There’s not really much of a plot; it’s an explanatory book that reads like nonfiction. Continue reading


Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

I bought the Kindle edition of Library of Souls on release day back in September, but I had a backlog of books to review. I had the opportunity to purchase the Audible edition at a discount because I already owned the Kindle edition. I didn’t have anything to listen to in the car/house, so Library of Souls moved to the top of the queue.

Library of Souls is the third novel in Ransom Riggs’ Mrs. Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series. The books do need to be read in order, so if you have not read the first two books, please be aware that this review might contain spoilers for the first two books. Continue reading