Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tot Tuesday Review: How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Hannukah? by Jane Yolen; illustrated by Mark Teague

Synopsis:

With more than 9 million books in print, America's favorite dinosaurs can't wait to celebrate Chanukah!

From the warm glow of holiday candles in the menorah to the fun of family gatherings, little dinosaurs love to celebrate the Festival of Lights. But sometimes the excitement of Chanukah, its treasured rituals, and the tradition of gifts can tempt a youngster to misbehave. . . .

Come along on a joyful romp filled with tumbling dreidels and melting gelt as America's favorite prehistoric pals spread a little mischief this season. Children will laugh out loud as dinosaurs fidget, fuss, and stomp through every occasion, while their human parents shift from shock to weary patience.

Filled with warmth and cheer, this new book by the bestselling team of Jane Yolen and Mark Teague makes a perfect gift to be read again and again, year after year. How do dinosaurs say Happy Chanukah? The same way they say Merry Christmas: With an abundance of love, joy, memory, and gratitude.

Details:

Published September 1st 2012 by The Blue Sky Press

The Elliott Review:

This book is a cute companion to How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? Again, the dinosaurs don't behave inappropriately - they do just the right thing. The pictures are whimsically cute and fun. This is perfect for any family that celebrates Chanukah to use to help kids know in advance what the desired behaviors are. It could also just be a fun read for anyone and can help educate everyone about some of Chanukah's favorite traditions.

Source: Thanks to Scholastic for providing a copy of this title in exchange for a fair review.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tot Tuesday Review: How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas by Jane Yolen; illustrated by Mark Teague

Synopsis:

Ho! Ho! Ho! With more than 9 million books in print, America's favorite dinosaurs can't wait to celebrate Christmas!

From decorating the tree to wrapping presents, little dinosaurs love to celebrate Christmas-and everything about it. With ornaments on the branches and carolers singing at the door, the spirit of Christmas is finally here and filling the hearts of families everywhere. But when the stockings are hung on the chimney, and the cookies are left out for Santa, how can little dinosaurs go to sleep? It's so exciting! How can they possibly calm down and behave?

Children will laugh out loud as dinosaurs secretly lick candy canes, take sneaky peeks at gifts, and disrupt the traditional family feast.

With holiday surprises around every corner, the award-winning team of Jane Yolen and Mark Teague create an engaging, fun gift sure to be read again and again, year after year. How do dinosaurs say Merry Christmas? The same way they say Happy Chanukah: With an abundance of love, joy, memory, and gratitude.

Details:

Published September 1st 2012 by The Blue Sky Press  

The Elliott Review:

This quirkily beautifully illustrated book walks kids through the events that they might likely encounter during an typical Christmas season and helps them learn through the examples of the dinosaurs. Of course, dinosaurs do NOT do anything the wrong way, they do everything the right way and have a great time doing it. 

This book provides an opportunity for parents to teach kids appropriate behavior along with having fun seeing the dinosaurs being silly in both bad and good ways. This book will be one that kids will want to read again and again so they can take in the fun illustrations.

Source: Thanks to Scholastic for providing a copy of this title in exchange for a fair review.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Review: Tap Out by Eric Devine

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Tony Antioch lives in Pleasant Meadows, a trailer park where questions aren't asked since everyone already knows the answers from their own experience. He dreams of rescuing his mother from her constant stream of abusive boyfriends but in reality can barely duck the punches that are aimed at himself.

When Tony is coerced into joining his friend Rob's Mixed Martial Arts class, he is surprised to find that he has a talent that he actually wants to develop. But with a meth-dealing biker gang that is hungry for recruits and a vicious cycle of poverty and violence that precedes him, Tony is going to need a lot more than blood and guts to find a way out.

Gritty, powerful, and unapologetic, Tap Out explores what it takes to stay true to oneself and the consequences of the choices made along the way in order to do so.

Details:

Published September 11th 2012 by Running Press Kids  

The Elliott Review:

This book has some of the heaviest realism that I have ever read. I feel that the reader has a complete view of Tony's motivations and emotions, and in light of what he faces, they are extremely realistic. I have read some mixed reviews about his personality and actions, but I think that for someone who feels so trapped in his very difficult life, everything in the book works. The language and the bitter outlook on life are things I would expect to see from someone who has been through the things Tony has been through.

In fact, my emotions got so wrapped up in this book that I had to put it down every so often just to keep from taking that subtle depression on myself. At times, I was was like, "Give up already. You're not going to win." Even though it made it minimally less enjoyable of a read, it thoroughly convinced me of Eric Devine's enormous talent as a writer, that he can make me feel the same way as a character with experiences that are the complete opposite of my own.

Even though the book somewhat reads as a trial of the truth of Murphy's Law, with basically everything going wrong at every turn, I still feel that there is a note of hope at the end. Not some wow we had an epiphany and the sun will come out tomorrow ending, which I was very glad of. After all that Tony experiences and works through, that kind of ending would've been cheap and unbelievable. However, I get the overall sense that Tony hasn't been beaten yet even though he will obviously have more battles to fight in the future.

Young Adult Notes:

Name something that would offend someone, and it's probably in this book. Reading about the lives of these characters is not for the faint of heart.

Source: Thanks to Running Press for making this title available at Netgalley.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Review: Live Through This by Mindi Scott

Synopsis:

Sometimes hiding the truth requires more than a lie . . .

From the outside, Coley Sterling’s life seems pretty normal . . . whatever that means. It’s not perfect—her best friend is seriously mad at her and her dance team captains keep giving her a hard time—but Coley’s adorable, sweet crush Reece helps distract her from the annoying drama. Plus, she has a great family to fall back on—with a stepdad and mom who would stop at nothing to keep her and her siblings happy and safe.

But Coley has a lot of secrets. She won’t admit—not even to herself—that her almost-perfect life is her own carefully-crafted fa├žade. That for years she’s been burying the shame and guilt over a relationship that crossed the line. Now, Coley and Reece are getting closer, and as Coley has the chance at her first real boyfriend, a decade’s worth of lies are on the verge of unraveling.

Mindi Scott offers an absorbing, layered glimpse into the life of an everygirl living a nightmare that no one would suspect in this unforgettable powerhouse of a novel.

Details:

Publication date: October 2nd 2012 by Simon Pulse

The Elliott Review:

This book takes a sensitive subject and deals with it in an incredibly intelligent, sensitive, and realistic way. Coley keeps the secret of the inappropriate relationship she has against her will while on the side maintaining what appears to be a perfectly normal and perfectly good life, with the people closest to her having no idea as to what is going on. Coley is in denial, forcing herself to believe that nothing really horrible or bad is happening to her.

Yet on a family ski trip when her crush comes to visit, it becomes completely obvious to her that she can't continue living this way even has she has no idea how to get out of the cycle she has been placed in. Everything in her normal life begins to spiral out of control once she accepts that she can't live this way. She has to open up to someone about 

This is a very important, very well done book that chills you with its premise and chillingly realistic prose.

Young Adult Notes:

Sexual abuse - incest, teen drinking, language.


Source: The Teen {Book} Scene