Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Hello, welcome back to another month of terrific children's literature. We welcome you to the May 2017 Kid Lit Blog Hop. This hop takes place every 3rd Wednesday of the month. It is designed to engage a  group of people who love everything that has to do with children's literature. Everyone is welcome to join us: bloggers, authors, publicist, and publishers!

Have you seen the  Kid Lit Blog Hopper Facebook fan page? This page has all the news and information related to the hop plus ongoing posts, giveaways, news articles, etc. related to Kid's Lit. Check it out and of course, please like the page.

So for our hop, please make sure that your posts are related to Children’s literature only and add it to the linky. (Please make sure to add your direct post only) If you are an author, feel free just to link to your blog. Once you are done, then hop around to visit others. Please follow the co-host and visit at least the one or two people above your link. Please leave a comment when you do visit, we all like those.

Also, it would be appreciated if you grab the Kid Lit Blog Hop Badge and display it on your blog and/or your post. Note: Make sure you have the newest badge as the old one goes to the wrong page.
We would also be grateful if you tweet and/or posted on Facebook about the blog hop. Let’s grow this wonderful community.

Thanks for sharing your great children's books with all of us! The hostess will be around to see you.
Happy Hopping!
BeachBoundBooks, co-hostess
                                                    Pragmatic Mom, co-hostess
Jump Into A Book, co-hostess
Spark and Pook, co-hostess
                                             Carpinello's Writing Page, co-hostess

Monday, May 1, 2017

#Review: Ashes by Steven Manchester #AdultBooks

Middle-aged brothers Jason and Tom Prendergast thought they were completely done with each other. Perceived betrayal had burned the bridge between them, tossing them into the icy river of estrangement. But life and death has a robust sense of irony, and when they learn that their cruel father has died and made his final request that they travel together across the country to spread his ashes, they have no choice but to spend a long, long car trip in each other s company. It s either that or lose out on the contents of the envelope he s left with his lawyer. The trip will be as gut-wrenching as each expects it to be . . . and revealing in ways neither of them is prepared for.

At turns humorous, biting, poignant, and surprisingly tender, ASHES puts a new spin on family and dysfunction with a story that is at once fresh and timelessly universal."

My review:
Steven Manchester is by far one of my favorite authors. His newest book, Ashes, did not disappoint and was exactly what I would expect to come from this brilliant author.

This tells the story of two men, brothers, who couldn't lead more different lives. Both must come together to lay their estranged father's ashes to rest. The story is a rollercoaster ride with a cross-country trip that could either make or break the two of them. Along the way, they discover heartbreak, loss, and reconciliation that made this reader's head swim.

This book was a tough read for me because I could fully relate to the characters. I lost my Dad, although a good man, unlike the "Dad" in the book, six years ago (as of this review). I traveled to lay his ashes in, ironically, a similar place as the characters did in the book.

However, it is the author's weaving of words that made me continue to read. This book certainly made me laugh and cry. He is a master and I highly recommend this excellent book! 5 stars!

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book.  The review here is 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~M.M. aka Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Steven Manchester

Facebook       Amazon

Monday, April 24, 2017

#Review: The Library by Sarah Stewart/Illustrated David Small #AtoZBlogChallenge #T

Elizabeth Brown doesn't like to play with dolls and she doesn't like to skate. What she does like to do is read books. Lots of books. The only problem is that her library has gotten so big she can't even use her front door anymore. What should Elizabeth Brown do?

My review:
As a book and library lover, I was drawn to this book right away. I loved that the main character was based on a real person who was in the dedication. I found the character to be a compadre of sorts because she never stopped reading, not even to vacuum! The cover actually drew me in first as it was very nostalgic with a woman pulling a wagon load of books. This would be me, no doubt.

As I opened the pages to The Library, I was hit with more of those very well done nostalgic pages. The colors were in muted pastels, lined drawn and just gorgeous.  They jumped out of the book with every page turn. I loved seeing with each turn the 'books' getting higher and higher and cleverly stacked. Each illustration was framed in a black and white line drawn frame.

The writing was two to three paragraphs for each two-spread page. It was done in poetic form and again, perfect! By each of the paragraphs were smaller black and white images that went along with the poem and not necessarily the other illustrations. However, these enhanced the already fantastic book. The twist at the end was the culmination of a book lovers dream.

5 stars!

Disclosure: I obtained this book at my local library. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~M.M. Hudson aka Naila Moon

Sunday, April 23, 2017

#Review: Sona and the Wedding Game by Kashmira Sheth/illustrated by Yoshiko Jaegge #Multicultural #AtoZBlog Challenge #S

Sona's big sister is getting married and she's been given an important job to do. She has to steal the groom's shoes. She's never attended a wedding before, so she's unfamiliar with this Indian tradition as well as many of the other magical experiences that will occur before and during the special event. But with the assistance of her annoying cousin Vishal, Sona finds a way to steal the shoes and get a very special reward.

My review:
Usually, when I am reviewing a book, I have a clear mind of what I think about it. Sona and the Wedding Game happens to be one of those books that I had to think a little harder than usual.

This is the story of a fictional Hindu wedding but is based on real-life weddings for some Hindus. I thought the tradition of stealing a groom's shoes was very different but the book explains the reason and it is all about family. In fact, the book makes it clear that every nuance of this kind of wedding is to bring two families closer together. I like that!

I was a bit disappointed at the end as her request was asked but then there was no conclusion it seemed. Maybe I missed that part and it could be because...

The few illustrations I was able to see were colorful and cute. Unfortunately, the copy I had on Kindle did not convey as well as I would have liked to have seen. In fact, I think they were missing altogether. I do not think that is the fault of the author but if it had been a child trying to read the book, it would have been disappointing.

The book is a nice glimpse into some of India's rich culture It is only a small part, but still yet still worth reading, especially if learning about India.

3 stars

Disclosure: A Kindle copy of this book was obtained through NetGalley. All views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~MM. aka Naila Moon

#Review: Rosita and the Night of the Radishes by Dorothy Thurgood Manning #Multicultural #AtoZBlogChallenge #R

Young Rosita competes in Oaxaca, Mexico's radish carving contest which is held every December 23rd. She hopes to win first prize and use the money to help her family's failing farm.

My review:
Rosita and the Night of the Radishes is a fictional tale based off of a real live event in Oaxaca, Mexico.

The character, Rosita, is a young girl who must take care of her family farm while her parents try to sell what farm goods they have raised. They are poor farmers and Rosita enters the competition each year to try to help win money so her parents can hire more help.

The tale tells how she gets to grow the radishes and the carving she does. The ending is such a twist that I was surprised to see what actually happened. Is it a good ending? Bad ending? Ah, my readers, you must get the book to know.

To me, the whole story was a sweet and powerful take on dreaming about being better, persistences, hard work, and courage. I loved seeing the main character being a girl with all of these traits and more.

The illustrations were quite bold and colorful. They enhanced the already good story line and made it come to full life.

At the end of the story, it gave a brief history of the "Night of the Radishes." Again, I was surprised to know that this is a real event that happens every year just before Christmas. The end pages also include real photographs of the event. To me, that was really cool to see and a nice comparison to the fictional story.

This book is targeted for 3-8-year-olds. The younger set would enjoy being read to as the older children would enjoy reading the book.  I give this book a 5-star win!
I was so interested in this annual event because I had never heard it before, that I decided to look up a video. This video is not connected to the author or her book but is an interesting connection to it. Enjoy.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~M.M. Hudson aka Naila Moon

Friday, April 21, 2017

#Review: The Queen Is Coming to Tea by Linda Ravin Lodding/Illustrated by Constanze von Kitzing #AtoZBlogChallenge #Q

When Ellie finds out the Queen is coming to tea, she snaps to attention!
But will the Queen patiently wait? And what exactly will be waiting for the Queen?

My review:
The Queen Is Coming to Tea is a cute story with a cute twist of an ending. The illustrations are bright and bold but not overly exciting. I was not as drawn to this book as much as other picture books but that does not mean I did not like it.

I thought the book was imaginative and "took" kids around the world to get the things needed to prepare for tea. Preparation for such an important person would need to be much. However, my problem with the around the world trips was that the places and characters seemed to be stereotypical.  That was a definite oops for me even though I see what the author was trying to do.

For the emerging reader, this might be a fun book to read or for the child who enjoys dressing up and having tea parties. Overall, for me, this is a 3-star book.

Disclosure: I received an ARC copy of this book for free. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~M.M. aka Naila Moon

Thursday, April 20, 2017

#Review: Paul Needs Specs by Bernard Cohen/ Illustrated by Geoff Kelly #AtoZBlogChallenge #P

Paul's world is turning fuzzy, but luckily he has Sal, his big sister, who is happy to help bring it back into focus, and tell his story to the world.

My review:
Paul Needs Specs is a funny title to me which is why I picked up the book, to begin with. I was not overly enthralled with the cover as it was all in grayish color and silhouetted except for these big bulging eyes. I did not like that the title looked like a frown. I decided even still, to give the book a shot.

The book is told from the perspective of "Paul's" sister. She narrates this whole story of why Paul ended up having to have glasses. It is not the best story but I did like that the words are written sometimes very funky or even large. There is one point the words are written in the "glasses". I am sure that kids would find that to be fun.

The best part of this book is actually the illustrations themselves. As this is mostly a picture book, the pictures really stand out. Most of the pictures are a two-spread and are colorful and quite large. Funky does not even do them justice, they are just plain wild. The first few are also grainy which is intentional to show bad eyesight.

I wish that I could give this book more stars than the 3 I am giving it but the story line really hurts the book and for that reason, I cannot and is only ok to me.

Disclosure: I purchased a copy of this book for my own collections. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~M.M. aka Naila Moon