2-5, 3-6, Books, Children

5 Monster Picture Books for a Fun Halloween

For this week leading up to Halloween week I wanted to throw out some great spooky recommendations for kids.

I’m starting with the youngest and as they are meant for little kids these stories are not so scary, but star some of our favorite Halloween Horrors.

 

This one in particular is one of my favorites.  Monsters of all shapes and sizes are staples this time of year and many kids can relate to the fear of the monster under the bed.  This is a story of a young boy whose Monster is going to spend a week on vacation and he just can’t get to sleep without his monster’s usual slurps and groans.  He spends the week testing different Monsters but in the end, there is only one Monster for him.  If your kid is a Monster’s Inc fan, or is a little bit picky this story will definitely resonate with them.  We all know what it is like to feel like something isn’t right, we just might not realize that the thing that the knowledge of the thing that scares us is the thing  that makes us feel safest.

 

Some of you might recognize this author as  none other than the chronicler of A Series of Unfortunate Events.  Known for his melancholic nature it is surprising to read such an adorable story… even if it is about a dead fish.  Goldfish Ghost is the story of … well a goldfish ghost trying to find the right place for him.  He was lonely on the boys dresser and nobody seems to pay him much attention in the real world.  You follow along on his journey to find a friend and get to see our world from an incredibly unique perspective.  Definitely worth a read.

Zombies are a personal favorite this time of year.  I think I was a zombie of a ghoul at least three Halloweens in a row (but then again I was a fan of scary things at Halloween rather than Princesses, Witches, or Dolls.  I find this one super cute in general, but  if you have a kid who feels a little unique or left out.  When one little zombie wants a peanut butter & jelly sandwich … rather than brains. It shows how sticking to your opinions and being yourself is worth while.  Even old … zombies … can learn new tricks.

 

My little sister dressed as a black cat one year, and my family has always raised black cats so this one is a favorite just for that.  This is a story about fear, about overcoming fears and facing the world unafraid.  This is the story about someone who thinks he is brave, even when he isn’t and is brave even when he thinks he isn’t.  Cat owners will especially love this one, and the art style is very evocative and cute.  Always a plus.

I know monsters can feel like a boys club, I certainly felt that way as a child, even as a tom boy I was frustrated that the things I liked seemed to be marketed exclusively at boys.  Well, vampires have certainly become a beloved thing for young girls and this cute little one is no exception.  It is hard to be a ballerina when you are also a vampire.  Not all aspects of it match up with the vampire life style.  Following your dreams is important and so she pushes through.  Definitely a good choice for a little dancer or for a little darkling like myself.

Hopefully these guys sounded interesting.  There are scores more great spooky picture books out there.  Head to your local library and I’m sure the librarians will have some favorites for you to choose from.  There are always interesting new ones coming out as well so its worth a trip to the book store to see what  was released in that department as well.

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5-7, 7-12, Books, Children, YA (Young Adult)

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

This one goes out to all those parents, teachers, librarians, and kids who loved Wonder by R. J. Palacio and want something similar.  I gobbled it up and loved every second of it.

Title: Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus
Author: Dusti Bowling
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Page #: 272
Genre: Middlegrade, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

I made a video review of this one right after finishing it, watching it back several months later I realized that it took me a while to catch my footing while talking about it but if you can stick with my scattered thoughts for about a minute I get there and you can hear why I think this book is going to become an instant classic.

 

I liked it more than I liked Wonder which is blasphemy in some ways and warranted in others.  Definitely one to read to help introduce empathy and acceptance of diversity in kids, also a great way to discuss deformity, disability, and mental health at a young age.  One to pick up next week when it is published.

I look forward to Dusti Bowling’s future books because I’m sure she has a bright career ahead of her if this is any indication.  Well done.

Bibliomancy For Beginners, Books, Musings, YA (Young Adult)

Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor Review (Bibliomancy for Beginners)

That’s right folks we are almost done with this season of Bibliomancy for Beginners only one more book! *shock and awe*

I know you guys are all sad about it but don’t worry we have super secret plans in the works.  Secret plans you won’t hear about until the end of the next episode so be sure to stay tuned in!

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Title: Days of Blood and Starlight
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Browne Books for Young Readers
Page #: 517
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal

 

Almost done.  I believe.  Let’s go.

Adult, Bibliomancy For Beginners, Books

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides Discussion (Bibliomancy for Beginners)

What?  I actually am posting two days in a row and one of those posts is literally a book club episode.  Somebody check to make sure the world hasn’t ended.

You know how this goes by now!

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Title: Middlesex
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
Publisher: Picador
Page #: 529
Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Ficion, LGBTQIA+ Fiction

We do plan to make book club a regular thing again … hopefully… if life maybe stops being shit.  It won’t stop but we can hope.

Adult, Books

Lions by Bonnie Nadzam ARC Review

I read this book waaaaay back in February so I’m talking to you guys from the past!  Hello future me!  Hello future you!

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Title: Lions
Author: Bonnie Nadzam
Publisher: Grove Press, Black Cat
Page #: 288
Genre: Literary Fiction

This Book Will be Released on July 5th!

Now because I am writing this review after just having read the book in February something weird is going to be happening.  I have ordered a copy of Bonnie Nadzam’s first novel, Lamb and am planning to read that as well (which spoils a bit of what I’m going to say in this review, tldr; I liked it).  The reason I am saying this is because one book is called Lamb the other is called Lions they have to be connected somehow.  You don’t name things like this unless they are meant to be in some sort of conversation with each other.  There is a chance that by the time this review goes up that I have read and reviewed Lamb… in which case you already know whether or not I was disappointed that there wasn’t any repeating themes or super excited that both books gain deeper meaning when read and compared.  If not, perhaps I will do that soooooon.  SOOOOOOON.

You aren’t here for things that may or may not have happened already, you are here for a review of this book right here!  Like I said, I liked it.  I read it in one sitting despite the fact that is literary fiction.  That isn’t to say this is a light read, its just an engaging one, or at least it was for me.  It does have several trigger words associated with it that I particularly love though so I may be a bit biased (ghost story, mysterious stranger, westerns … yes please!)  It is relatively short being under 300 pages so it wasn’t too much of a stretch to spend a couple hours curled up in my nice warm bed on a snowy February evening (HI JULY HOW ARE YOU? HOT AS BALLS? PROBABLY) and escape into a summery setting.

One of the things I found most enjoyable about this books is that there are these long prosaic descriptions of the setting and everything going around in this tiny little town in Colorado.  However, whenever anyone speaks its this clipped back and forth exchange of a handful of words.  It is as if the people in this town don’t need to say a lot, everything is already known and understood, and what is unknown is left to the imagination or ignored.  For instance, the catalyst to most of the events in this novel, that mysterious stranger walking into town with his dog.  He is mostly ignored even when he stirs up a bit of trouble.

The other thing I think this book did incredibly well was to move around the idea of ghosts and haunting.  One of the character’s father dies within the first couple pages of the novel and his father’s dying wish was for him to continue his life’s work.  Now we are not privy to what that is and neither is anyone else in the town beside the now deceased father and his son just about to step out into the world for the first time.  People speculate that their family has been tasked with taking care of a sick or injured ghost.  The mysterious stranger is believed to be a ghost.  Then of course there is the theme of this dying town with all of the inhabitants moving away to something larger, something better, something bigger creating the illusion of a ghost town because it is so empty.  This theme continues through the book in different ways including the haunting of regret, the haunting of past relationships and even insanity in some cases.  It was fully explored without being too heavy handed.

There was enough mystery involved in several aspects of the story and whenever something got resolved something new sort of sparked up.  There is a lot of secrets in this town and a lot of inferring and gossiping.  There is always something new to try and glean from the sparse words you get or to parse out through the narrators description of this town and its few straggling inhabitants.

If you enjoy books about how our decisions effect us, tales of mystery, tales of young love and regret then this is definitely something you should pick up.  It creates a story through atmosphere and both gives and withholds of information with perfect timing.  This was one of the best books I’ve read so far this year (reminder this is in February I could read something earth shatteringly good two months from now but as of the 22 books I’ve read so far, this was really freakin’ good).

That’s all I have for you guys today!  I hope you enjoyed this review from the past, now back to the present!

Bibliomancy For Beginners, Books, YA (Young Adult)

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry (Bibliomancy for Beginners)

Alright we are caught up.  This post was supposed to come out today.  It came out today, *breathes a huge sigh of relief*  From now on we are moving forward and we are going to stay on track or so help me, I’ll have to apologize AGAIN.

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Title: A Fierce and Subtle Poison
Author: Samantha Mabry
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Page #: 288
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Magical Realism

Alright, there we are.  We did it.  We got caught up.  There were a million posts, but its there now, we managed it.  I will see you guys tomorrow for a new post!

Bibliomancy For Beginners, Books, YA (Young Adult)

Nostalgia Junkie: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (Bibliomancy for Beginners)

Speaking of late content, we did this live stream last Sunday which was very nearly a week lately.  Not quite, but almost.  Casey joined us for this discussion which is always a good time!

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Title: The Golden Compass
Author: Philip Pullman
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Page #: 399
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

I hope this episode was entertaining for you all, a bit contented I think.  Will hopefully be posting the rest as they come.

Bibliomancy For Beginners, Books, YA (Young Adult)

Invisible Fault Lines by Kristen-Paige Madonia (Bibliomancy for Beginners)

Those of you who saw my last post will know why this post is two weeks late.  We did do this hangout two weeks ago, I just never got around to posting it.  So here we are, I have it for you, if you missed the livestream:

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Title: Invisible Fault Lines
Author: Kristen-Paige Madonia
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Page #: 320
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Magical Realism

I wasn’t feeling well when we did this livestream but we managed to get it out to you.

Adult, Books, YA (Young Adult)

The Weekly Wrap Ups That Never Were~

Wherein Michaela is the sickest thing and under ludicrous amounts of stress and Gretchen can’t help her even if she wanted to.

You know I’ve been behind because of the shoddy content and the complete and utter lack of book reviews on the blog as of late, but I couldn’t even edit together these two wrap ups until now.  So here they are in one Frankenstein’s monster of a post.  Enjoy.

 

Monday 5/23: Gretchen’s From the Notebook on A Court of Mist and Fury
Tuesday 5/24: Gretchen’s Ruler of Books Tag
       Michaela’s Ruler of Books Tag
Wednesday 5/25: Gretchen’s Worth it Wednesday on The Queen of the Tierling
       Michaela’s Review of The Vision: Vol. 1
Thursday 5/26: Michaela’s Thursday Musing on Moving Out
Friday 5/27: Gretchen’s Review of Lady Midnight
       Michaela’s Discussion of Book Hoarding

Monday 5/30: Gretchen’s May Wrap Up
Tuesday 5/31: Bibliomancy for Beginners Discussion of The Bone Gap
Wednesday 6/1: Michaela’s May Wrap Up
        Gretchen’s Worth it Wednesday on Circle of Magic
Friday 6/3: Gretchen’s Review of The Vanishing Throne
        Michaela’s Summer Reads Recommendations 

I did it… it took two weeks but by god its here.

Bibliomancy For Beginners, Books, Musings

#NostalgiaJunkie Season 2?

Remember the good old days when I wasn’t late posting?  I have been struggling again guys, come help me out!  Send me all of your love and well wishes~

In any case, this was supposed to be posted yesterday and it completely slipped my mind.  It was live on the YouTube channel in time but that’s about it at this point.

I will also be posting something that has been missing the last few days on the blog later today, and the Wednesday post that was supposed to be out today anyway.  ALL OF THE POSTS ALL OF THE TIME…. or all of the posts just on Wednesdays… how would you like a weeks worth of content in one day.  Probably will be way too overwhelming.

 

Whose ready to read some middle grade fiction?  We are!  I’ll be back in a few hours don’t you worry.