You Can’t Take the Dinosaur Home by Mary Esparza-Vela

dinosaurWith You Can’t Take the Dinosaur Home, Mary Esparza-Vela has created a unique and delightful new take on a classic storyline.

Three alien siblings visit a nearby planet to collect treasure. The youngest, Hunee, is upset when he finds a large piece of treasure he wants to take home, but his older sister and brother tell him he can’t take the dinosaur with them.

Young readers will be captivated by this neat story and the adorable artwork by Mike Motz. I applaud Esparza-Vela’s imaginative reworking of a classic storyline to fit a modern audience. It’s a fabulous idea.

Not only are the aliens so cute you want to pinch their cheeks, but it’s hilarious watching them try to find a way to jam the huge dinosaur into their tiny spaceship and witnessing Hunee’s temper tantrums as Kyzzie and Sweetz explain there is no way to get the dinosaur home. With a funny surprise ending, this book is destined to be a hit with young readers.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 16 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc (February 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616333642
ISBN-13: 978-1616333645

I received a free electronic copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Goodbye Is Forever by Mary Jean Kelso

GoodbyeIsForever-TN

Lynne Garrett’s life changed forever as a result of a horrific car accident that required one of her legs to be amputated. Not wanting to join her family for a trip to Disneyland, Lynne decides to visit her Aunt Pat in the historical area of Virginia City, Nevada. Pursued by strange men she saw on the plane, Lynne must uncover a mystery that threatens her life.

Mystery and history blend together in this suspenseful young adult novel from award-winning author Mary Jean Kelso. Relying on her vast knowledge of the area, Kelso creates an adventure story filled with historical tidbits and locales. The author was wise to make Lynne new to the area, so other characters had a reason to share those tidbits. I enjoyed learning more about the area, too. It was also good to see Lynne having more than the mystery to focus on. She is adjusting to life after her accident while also trying to stay one step ahead of the men who seem determined to harm her. Twists and turns lead to a surprising ending that satisfies.

Goodbye Is Forever is a quick summer read.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

File Size: 520 KB
Print Length: 148 pages
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Wings ePress (April 1, 2010)
ISBN 978-1-59088-511-6 (e-book)
ISBN 978-1-59088-542-0 (paperback)

I received an electronic copy from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

First Chapter Review: Spider Brains by Susan Wingate

TC&TBC

The first chapter of Spider Brains by Susan Wingate was sent to me by the author’s publicist.

spider

BLURB: Susie Speider has big troubles. She suffers from A.D.D. (Attention Deficit Disorder). Her future now lies in the cold, calloused palm of her gnarly teacher’s hand–a, one, Ms. Morl-son–and Susie fears she won’t get into college. But when a small black arachnid bites her on the finger, Susie’s nights transform into fantastical adventures. The problem? Susie fig-ures out the dreams are REAL! So, she ups the ante by visiting Morlson nightly…

…AS THE SPIDER! (And on the back of Delilah, her pussy cat ☺)

Through it all, Susie must come to terms with the death of her father. While Matt Ryder, the geeky neighbor boy, deals with the loss of his own mother.

COVER: Very neat. You have the main character, the setting, and the spider tie-in all together. Love how Susie is not looking straight, but somewhere off camera.

FIRST CHAPTER: In a rambling first person narrative, Susie talks all about school, her nerdy word-loving personality, her mom, the death of her dad, and the night she got bit by a spider.

KEEP READING: Definitely.  I like unique characters and Susie fits that bill. Though I have to admit I found the rambling narrative a bit nagging, it stays true to this character’s psychological make up, so it works. And what’s better is that she’s hilarious. Suddenly some random thought pops into her head and she blurts it out, moving the reader in a new direction for a few moments before bringing them back to what she was saying earlier. There are times when she sounds younger than a sophomore in high school, but I remember being that age where you’re still straddling the line between kid and young adult, which creates confusion.  Susie feeling like a nerd and not fitting in well will help many readers relate to her plight, and there’s an air of mystery about the spider bite and what it means for her. I also appreciated the inside details, like a photo of Susie on the first page and the spider web drawings that start and end the chapter. Based upon some of the words and topics discussed, I would say this book is for older teens and up.

I look forward to discovering more of Susie’s story.

File Size: 1365 KB
Publisher: Astraea Press (March 25, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00C1JUVAC

BN ID: 2940016190914
Publisher: Astraea Press
Publication date: 3/26/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: eBook

I received the first chapter of this book from the author’s publicist. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Hug! and Peek-a-boo! by Ben Mantle

hug

Two adorable rhyming books come to you from author/illustrator Ben Mantle. Hug! talks about how fun it is to share all kinds of hugs: squashy, squeezy ones and wriggly, jiggly ones and everything in between. This book is filled with colorful, zany animals that will have your youngsters laughing out loud. In Peek-a-boo! bunny rabbits, penguins, hippos and more play a peek-a-boo game with the reader.

These sturdy board books for  ages 2 to 5 will stand up to many reads; and with the vibrant colors, lyrical prose, and silly creatures, there will be plenty of reading going on. Both books have magnetic arms that hold the book shut, making them easy to pack in the car or tuck into a bag. Mantle is also the author of Five Little PumpkinsI absolutely adore his work. He captures the hearts of children with everything he does.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Hardcover: 16 pages
Publisher: Tiger Tales; Board Book edition (March 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1589256379
ISBN-13: 978-1589256378

I received a copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.