It’s the October Kid Lit Blog Hop!

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We want to welcome you to the October 2016 Kid Lit Blog Hop!

Fall is here and Halloween is in a mere two weeks…WOW! There are some really great Halloween and Autumn books out there for children. We have seen some listed already. How about you share some of those on our monthly hop or for that matter, any great kid’s literature. We love it all!

 
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.

This monthly hop, 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!

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.

Our next hop is still to be determined. We will let you know via Twitter and our Facebook page when the next one will be.

 
Thanks for sharing your great children’s books with all of us! The hostess will be around to see you.

Happy Hopping!

Reading Authors, Host

The Bookshelf Gargoyle

BeachBoundBooks

Cheryl Carpinello

Pragmatic Mom

The Logonauts

Spark and Pook

 

Click the link below to get hopping!

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Until next time,

Bruce

I’m Baaaa-aack…on the Kid Lit Blog Hop!

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I am super-duper, mega excited to be back on the Kid Lit Blog Hop! Yippee!  I have been asked to serve as a host for this fun hop and so every month you can pop on in and add any links to posts you have relating to Kidlit! Read on to find out how and to visit the other participating hoppers.

We want to welcome you to the August 2016 Kid Lit Blog Hop. It’s back to school time! Some kids are already in school, some are going soon. The kids will be bringing home great books from their libraries. How about you share some of those on our monthly hop or for that matter, any great kid’s literature.

 
This month we welcome a new co-host, Bruce from the Bookshelf Gargoyle! We welcome you
 
aboard and so glad you are here with us! (THANKS!)
 

This exciting, monthly hop, is where we develop an engaged 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 new 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-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.

We would also be grateful if you tweet and/or posted on Facebook about the blog hop. Let’s grow this wonderful community.
 
Our next hop will be September 21, 2016.  Thanks for sharing your great children’s books with all of us! The hostess will be around to see you.

Happy Hopping!

Julie Grasso

BeachBoundBooks

Cheryl Carpinello

Pragmatic Mom

The Logonauts

Spark and Pook

Hits and Misses

To see the posts and visit the participants, just click on the below link:

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Putting the “Ha!” in Halloween: Three Fun, Creepy Reads…

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Good afternoon on this bright and breezy All Hallow’s Eve’s Eve!  Today I have three reads for the young and young at heart that are sufficiently spooky, creepy or icky as to qualify for the “Halloween Reads” category, while also having enough humour to satisfy those with a sissy sensitive consitution.

In ascending order of age-appropriateness, we have:

Spinster Goose: Twisted Rhymes for Naughty Children

by Lisa Wheeler and Sophie Blackall

spinster goose

Synopsis:

A cautionary tale in poetry warning children to behave, lest they be sent to learn proper decorum under the guidance of the horrid headmistress, Spinster Goose.

In case you’re wondering who might be sent to such a school and what their fate might be, the following verse from the tome will probably suffice to explain:

The pinchers get pinched,

and the pokers get poked.

The biters get bit,

and the smokers get smoked.

The takers get taken.

The sordid get sore.

The shakers get shaken right down to their core.       (p7)

So watch out.

Spook factor: A resounding 3 out of 5 screams for anyone who has ever attended (or is about to attend) school…

Laugh-o-meter: Giggle-inducing. Particularly if you are, or ever have been, a teacher.

Reading Age: Read-aloud-able from early school age

And next we have…

Sucked In! The Story of an Appendix on the Loose

by Paul Jennings and Terry Denton

sucked in

Synopsis:

A jaunty tale about a disembodied appendix that escapes its specimen jar and creates stomach-heaving havoc around the neighbourhood.

Spook Factor: 4 out of 5 screams for pure, unadulterated ingestion-by-appendix

Laugh-o-meter: Guffaw to Belly Laugh. 

Reading Age: Read-aloud-able from early school age, read alone for middle grade

And finally…

Demon Dentist

by David Walliams

Demon dentist

Synopsis:

Local kids begin finding unspeakable offerings under their pillows instead of the usual coinage, in exchange for loose teeth.  On a completely unrelated note, a new, slightly odd dentist sets up shop in the town.

Spook Factor: 2 out of 5 screams for the unspeakable offerings

Laugh-o-meter: Chortle-icious

Reading Age: Middle grade

So there you have it – three spooktacularly fun reads for mini-fleshlings.  Enjoy!

Until next time,

Bru -oooo -ce

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Pre-release Read-it-if Review: The Dead Men Stood Together….

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Good Sunny Morning to you all! Today’s offering is a pre-release from one of the shelf’s favourite authors: The Dead Men Stood Together by Chris Priestley.  I was lucky enough to receive a digital review copy via Netgalley from Bloomsbury in return for an honest review, so three cheers to Bloomsbury!

As I mentioned, we are big Chris Priestley fans around the shelf – indeed, he has even been the subject of one of Mad Martha’s Odes to an Author, which you can check out here, if you so desire.  So it was with great anticipation that I got my paws on this latest tome.  As a bit of background, Priestley has recently published a number of books that are retellings of well-known horror stories, and The Dead Men Stood Together is the latest in this line-up.  Based on Coleridge’s poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, Dead Men follows the adventures of the young narrator as he sets sail through every extreme of weather, on a highly unusual and extremely creep-inducing adventure in the company of a crew of hardened sea dogs and his highly unusual and extremely creep-inducing uncle.

I had not read the poem before starting the book, but a few chapters in, I thought I probably should, just to have something with which to compare the story as it unfolded.  If you are of a similar mindset, you can find the text of the poem here, although it is by no means necessary to be familiar with the poem in order to enjoy the book.

dead men stood together

Read it if:

* you can’t resist a rollicking tale set on the high seas

* you have ever been held captive by an elderly person as they regale you with far-fetched stories from the distant past

* you are inclined to complain heartily and predict impending doom should the weather stray more than a couple of degrees either side of your preferred temperature

* you have an objectionable uncle (or indeed any type of irritating relative) and you would love to witness their come-uppance…particularly if that come-uppance involves the wearing of something large, ridiculous and foul-smelling as a means of public ridicule

Priestley has a very recognisable style that pops you straight into the gothic, atmospheric headspace required for maximum enjoyment of a fear-laden tale.  The voice of the narrator is just perfect for read-aloud and I can definitely picture fathers and sons (probably best to avoid uncles and nephews, unless you are indeed the objectionable sort of uncle who finds amusement in creeping kids out) enjoying this one together as a before-bed serial.  This would also be a good choice for middle-grade lads who like a bit of substance with their adventure.

The only trouble I would note for this as a read-alone for the younger end of the target age bracket is the pace of the book in some parts – particularly towards the end of the tale, there are a few large chunks of text that are almost entirely comprised of the narrator’s reflections and I found that without any dialogue or real character interactions that I had to really focus my attention through those sections.  This may also have been due to the fact that I find myself far more distractable when reading e-versions  – I would definitely say this type of story suits a print book. Preferably a hardback. Dog-eared. With an attached fabric bookmark.

Overall, this was a nice, atmospheric read; light on the blood-spattering gore type of horror but well-divested of a sense of creeping dread.  And I will award bonus points because, as it’s based on classic poetry, it allows one to indulge in a bit of book-snobbery: “Coleridge? Oh of course darling, I’m utterly familiar with his major works….”

Until next time,

Bruce

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Haiku Review: Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great….

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Afternoon my Spring-time lovelies! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, the bees are buzzing (or would be, were there any bees left in our neighbourhood) and cupcakes are raining from the heavens! Sorry, northern hemisphere-friends, just couldn’t resist making you a little jealous.  Although admittedly, the cupcakes part is made up.

Mad Martha here with you again, and speaking of cupcakes, the title character in today’s Haiku review does actually have the ability to make it rain cupcakes! Yes, I’m speaking of Unicorn, from Bob Shea’s colourful and inviting, Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great…

unicornI found this book to have an incredibly high “I can relate to that” factor.  Being a sock creature created from the dregs of the fabric off-cuts basket, I admit I can be overly-sensitive to those who may be considered “the beautiful people”.  For this is the crux of Goat’s dilemma – how can ordinary old goat ever be friends with such a stand-out over-achiever as Unicorn?  Luckily, with a bit of heart-to-heart, honest communication Goat learns that he too has some pretty enviable skills and abilities.

Open dialogue

defeats Tall Poppy Syndrome.

Cloven is cool too.

The title and cover art alone were enough to get me straight into this book, but I found even more to enjoy inside the covers.  Take, for example, this page:

cloven justice

Apart from giving me an idea for a fantastic literature-related Halloween costume, what a catchphrase! I have immediately brought it into use around the shelf, while dusting and generally keeping things tidy….I find it lifts the spirits in an otherwise uninspiring circumstance.

Go on, try saying it.

A bit louder.

Fun, isn’t it?

Until we meet again my pretties, TASTE MY CLOVEN JUSTICE!!

Mad Martha

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Reminders and Teasers: A Smorgasboard of Bookish *Stuff*…

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Good afternoon shelf-buddies!  I bring to you today a veritable picnic basket overflowing with tempting and exciting reading-related delicacies! Hopefully by the end of this post you will find yourself filled to elegant sufficiency, slightly drowsy from the richness of your bookish repast and with any luck, not covered with crumbs or being stalked by the inevitable trail of ravenous ants.

First up, REMINDERS:

kid-lit-blog-hop-button-sep-2012-e1349976901756

Kid Lit Blog Hop #22

In case you missed my last post (and related fancy hat), I am currently tickled pink to be co-hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop, home of all things child and literacy related. Click the button to join in the fun!

Fiction in 50 Challenge: August

fiction in 50It’s on again! For those who love to write but can never get past the first few sentences of your epic novel, this is the challenge for you! Create a piece of fiction in 50 words or less, and post it on your page in the last week of August.

This month’s prompt is: FAMOUS LAST WORDS

Click on the button for more info, and for upcoming prompts!

Second up, a TEASER!

I’m a little ashamed to admit that we shelf-dwellers have all been having a little trouble with skulkreigning in overblown egos in the last week or two.  The reason behind our sudden inflatedness of head is that we were recently approved to review our first ever ARC – for SKULK, by Rosie Best and published by Strange Chemistry!

Check out that cover – doesn’t it just suck you in? Skulk introduces us to Meg, an ordinary young lass who witnesses the death of a fox…who shapeshifts into a man.  Meg then discovers that she has inherited this power….and things go downhill for her from there!  Skulk is a great example of young adult urban fantasy, but I won’t say too much here because…..

…..In preparation for Skulk’s release on the 1st  (US/Canada/ebook) and the 3rd (UK) of September, I will be reviewing Skulk next week and then on the 2nd of September, the shelf will be honoured with a post from the author herself – Rosie Best!!

And finally, a bit of RETAIL THERAPY!

winterowls fox toy

In order that you are fully prepared when you rush out and order your copy of Skulk, I also have a little bit of foxy goodness from my crafty mate WinterOwls.

This darling little fox friend is available at her etsy shop here:

http://www.etsy.com/au/listing/155720293/handmade-fox-toy-fox-plush-upcycled-fox

It would make a great cuddle buddy to accompany the scarier bits of Skulk!

So there you have it – plenty to ponder over a lazy weekend.

Until next time,

Bruce

 

 

 

 

Kid Lit Blog Hop #22: Join in if…..

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klbh pimpin shotEveryone get your glad rags on because it’s time once again for the Kid Lit Blog Hop!

As you can see, I’m a bit excited because I have donned my special, first-time-ever, KLBH Co-Hosting Hat! For those of you who have never participated before, the KLBH provides a platform for any blogger who has ever had anything to say about children’s books (or literacy, or literacy-related activities) to hitch their post to the hop, so others can share in their wisdom (or wit, or wonder, or wordiness).  In the same vein, the hop is a great place to visit if you have any interest in children’s books (or literacy, or literacy-related activities, or wit or wonder or wordiness!).

SO JOIN IN IF:

you get a little thrill every time a new visitor pops by your blog

– you can’t go past a good linky party without considering how you can bend at least one of your posts to fit the rules

– you want to be part of a cheerful, all-species-inclusive, community of bloggers with an interest in kid lit!

Now that I’ve convinced you, you can read more about the hop and its guidelines below, and right at the end of the post is the linky so you can toss your own funky, fashionable, kid-lit-related hat in the ring!

See you round the hop!

Bruce (KLBH Co-Host. With hat to prove it.)

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Welcome to the 22nd Kid Lit Blog Hop. The Kid Lit Blog Hop takes place on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month. We have managed to create a dynamic and engaged community of children’s books bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists, as well as parents seeking out their next great read. So, you are more than welcome to link in and take some time to make some new friends.

Please join me in welcoming back our co-hosts for this Hop, Bruce from The Bookshelf Gargoyle, Victoria Simcox – author of The Magic Warble and The Black Shard, Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. A big, big welcome to all of you! Please be sure to give each of our hosts a visit to say a quick hello and we’ll be sure to visit you right back!

Happy Hopping everyone and enjoy the Hop!

Kid Lit Blog Hop
<div align="center"><a href="http://motherdaughterbookreviews.com/category/kid-lit-blog-hops/" title="Kid Lit Blog Hop"><img src="http://motherdaughterbookreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Kid-Lit-Blog-Hop-Button-Sep-2012-e1349976901756.jpg" alt="Kid Lit Blog Hop" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Kid Lit Blog Hop Rules *Please Read*

1. We ask that you kindly follow your hostesses and co-hosts. You can follow us any way you choose (Email, GFC, Twitter, Facebook, G+, Pinterest, etc.), but we’ve added our preferences below. If you could just give us a quick “follow” or “like” that would be much appreciated! Make sure to leave us a message if you are following us (i.e., on Twitter or Facebook or on our websites) and we will be sure to follow you back. Thanks! 🙂

Hostesses:

Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews Twitter * Facebook

Jaymie @ Snacks for Max Twitter * Facebook

Sue @ Kid Lit Reviews Twitter * Facebook

Katie @ Youth Literature Reviews Twitter * Facebook

Julie Grasso, Author/Blogger Twitter * Facebook

Cheryl Carpinello, Author / Blogger Twitter * Facebook

Co-Hosts:

Bruce @ The Bookshelf Gargoyle Goodreads * Facebook

Victoria Simcox, Author Twitter * Facebook

Stacie @ BeachBoundBooks Twitter * Facebook

2. Link up any Kid Lit related post. This can be a link to a children’s book review, a discussion about children’s literature/literacy, or a post on a recently-read children’s book or one that you love from your childhood.

* Don’t link directly to your blog, it must be a specific post*

* For Authors, we prefer you to link to your blog if you have one *

* Make sure you include an image relevant to the POST (e.g., book cover), not your blog button or photo of yourself.*

* Feel free to link more than one post.*

3. Please visit AT LEAST the TWO LINKS directly ahead of your own and leave them some love in the form of a comment. We are trying to build a community of bloggers, readers, parents, authors, and others who are as passionate about children’s literature as we are so please CONNECT and follow any or all of the blogs that interest you!

4. If you like, grab the button above and put it somewhere on your blog, preferably the post you’re linking up. If you’d prefer, you can just add a text link back to this Hop so that others can find it and check out all these great book links!

5. It would really help us get the word out about the Kid Lit Blog Hop if you would be so kind as to tweet, share, and spread the word about the Hop!

Interested in co-hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop? Please email renee @ motherdaughterbookreviews (dot) com and put Co-Hosting Blog Hop in the subject line.

Happy Hopping!

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Retro Reading: The Brothers Lionheart…

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Today I present to you a book that I have been forced to categorise (since my most recent reading) as a riddle, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in a very attractive dust jacket. I first encountered The Brothers Lionheart by perennial favourite Astrid Lindgren (she of Pippi Longstocking fame), as a reasonably young gargoyle. If memory serves I would have been around 9 or 10 years stony standing and was deeply involved in a “medieval” phase – which has been acknowledged as a highly important developmental period for gargoyles and other stone-creatures alike.  It was first published in the original Swedish in 1973, and had its first outing in English in 1975.

brothers lionheart

The story centres around young brothers Karl and Jonathan Lion, who die within weeks of each other and are reunited in Nangiyala, which appears at first glance to be an afterlife consisting of simple country living, such as one might have experienced during “the time of songs and sagas” as Lindgren puts it.  Shortly after Karl’s arrival in Nangiyala however, it becomes apparent that a creeping evil is descending on the valley where the boys reside and the story really takes off when Jonathan vanishes while on a secret mission into the heart of enemy territory.  Essentially, the plot unfolds as your basic good townsfolk versus tyrannical despot type of story, until we leave the boys as they gain entry into a second afterlife-y place called Nangilima.

bl pic 1

Right. Now as soon as this book popped unbidden back into my head n years after first reading, I immediately added it to my “to read retroactively” list as the thought of it was accompanied by a lovely warm feeling of satisfaction and enjoyment in the story.  Weirdly, as I re-read it, I also remembered that I was not able, as a youngling, to read this book in one sitting due to a feeling of dis-ease that seeped into my young mind with every turn of the page.  In fact, after some really focused reminiscing, I acknowledged that while I remember borrowing this book out from the library multiple times, I did so only because I found the book too discomfiting to finish in one reading.

bl pic 2

As a grown stone re-reading this story, I could see why it made my young self a tad unsettled.  For a start, it’s chock-full of death. The two main characters die not once, but twice; the second time in a way that I found, as an adult reader, a bit disturbing.  There’s plenty of terror and tyranny in the story as well – dissenters being carted off to a secret prison, traitors revealed amongst trusted company, and so forth.

I think though that this book is one of those tricky ones that can be interpreted at a much deeper level if first encountered as an adult.  Prior to re-reading, I had fond memories of my experiences with this book, with only vague undertones of something a bit frightening lurking within the pages.  As an adult reader, I’m now a bit unsure as to whether I like the story or not, and what sense or message I can take from it, and this might be a little unfair.

Soooooo…….do I recommend this one for young readers or not? I think I’ll have to err on the side of a guarded recommendation. It’s an engaging and action packed read, but “Macy the Shopping Mall Fairy” or “Captain Underpants” this book ain’t.  There are deeper themes presented here than one would normally find in children’s literature and for that reason I would recommend this book as a read-aloud, or for young independent readers who are fairly mature and/or sensitive in their outlook on life and books.

I would love to hear from anyone else who encountered this book as a youngling, and how their recommendations would pan out now.

Until next time,

Bruce

 

Weekend Gargies: Congratulations go to…..

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Yes indeed, I have seen fit to spring a Gargie award presentation on you all!  In case you are unaware, the Gargie awards (also known by their official name, The Order of the Stony Groove) are bestowed upon those deserving individuals (fleshing or otherwise) who have served their community in some important way.

Official Gargie Award Badge

Official Gargie Award Badge

This time around it is a collective award.  Today’s Gargie goes to the hostesses of the Kid Lit Blog Hop!

kid-lit-blog-hop-button-sep-2012-e1349976901756

For those who don’t know, the Kid Lit Blog Hop happens twice a month and is a place for bloggers with any kind of interest in children’s literature or literacy to link up posts and mosey through the posts of others.  I am a regular linker-upper-er, and therefore it is high time I acknowledged the outstanding contribution of this particular hop to bloggers of a bookish persuasion.

The hostesses of this hop (and winners of this round’s Gargie) are listed below for your perusing pleasure:

Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Jaymie @ Snacks for Max

Heidi @ Geo Librarian

Sue @ Kid Lit Reviews

Katie @ Youth Literature Reviews

Julie Grasso, Author of Escape From the Forbidden Planet/Blogger

Congratulations to all!  The requirements of the Gargie award are entirely non-onerous and optional, but for those who are interested and prepared to take on the challenge, here they are.

1. Display the award badge prominently  on your site….if you want…and link back to the person who nominated you…for courtesy’s sake.

2. Publish a post to inform the world of your great achievement…..unless you can’t be bothered.

3. Nominate some fellow bloggers (who have been outstanding in their field…figuratively or literally) and tell us the particular way in which they have excelled….if you feel inclined.

4. Indicate to your nominees that they have received the award….provided you have completed step three.

Now I must away and indulge in some form of relaxing beverage before the excitement causes my horns to fracture.

Until next time,

Bruce