Greystone Valley

November 23, 2014 at 3:19 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

Greystone Valley“Which one of these could I read out loud to my daughter?” I always ask that question when perusing piles of books these days.  Not necessarily because I will read the title to my kid, but should she walk up and say, “Read it LOUDER, mommy,” because I’m not reading out loud at all – I want to feel comfortable with the words coming out of my mouth and falling on her ears.

She likes to hear my voice.  Not my singing voice, just my voice.  Which surprises me.  No one likes my speaking voice – no one.  As pretty as I sing, my speaking voice is annoying to the ears.  It grates.  I know this.  This isn’t self-deprecating, this is knowing myself.  So when my daughter wants to hear me talk, it surprises me.

Jason, the head honcho of awesomeness at Grey Gecko Press, pointed at Greystone Valley and said, “Greystone Valley for sure.”  He began telling me about the little girl, featured in her pajamas on the cover.  About Keely, about the world, about all of it.  Sold.  Well, not technically, I got a freebie copy from them on my kindle.  But I put it on my priority reading list.

And I’m so glad I did.

Greystone Valley is so much fun! With the holidays coming up and everyone setting out to buy gifts – even though it’s not yet Thanksgiving, so don’t get me started – this is the book I want to put into all the parents’ hands.

It’s not just for kids.  It’s not just for parents.  It’s for both, for the relationship you have with them.  It’s for the magical worlds you want to share with them, but instead you’re caught up teaching them about the real one.  It’s pretty spectacular in every way.

For all the kids who finished Harry Potter, who know Chronicles of Narnia like the back of their hand, and have moved on from A Wrinkle in Time… for the ones looking for that next classic fantasy and just haven’t found it yet – It’s Greystone Valley, hands down.

Charlie Brooks has created something that can stand the test of time all alone as an individual story, but I’m still tapping my fingers on my night stand demanding a sequel (for the record).

Please, this holiday season, when you’re picking out book gifts for your loved ones: remember to shop indie and shop small.  There are amazing things out there to be discovered that don’t have giant window displays or the backing of multimillion dollar publishers, but that doesn’t make them less amazing.  Charlie Brooks of Grey Gecko Press is one of those amazing authors whose book deserves a special place for a special little someone under the Christmas tree.

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The Latest from M.G. King!

December 12, 2013 at 3:43 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


Title: The Clock Snatcher

Author: M.G. King

Illustrators: Angela A. Corson & Sebastian Alvarado

Genre: Children’s Picture Books


Dragon from Clocksnatcher

Bartholomew the Dragon

When I heard M.G. King was writing another book, I was pretty excited.  We love Librarian on the Roof! here at our house and I completely devoured Fizz & Peppers.  Anything M.G. King touches, pretty much turns to gold in my opinion.  She’s Texas’ very own Rumpelstiltskin.

This latest picture book is 47 pages long, with a lot of glorious black and white pictures.  Think The Spider and the Fly when Tony DiTerlizzi did the illustrations – a myth to last the ages in combination with high quality sketches can’t go wrong.

Right now the book is only $3.99 on Kindle.  Maybe if everyone buys one and supports our favorite local kid’s author there will be a hardback edition in our future.  My bookshelves are already itching for a copy… I can hear them calling for it… this book belongs in every mother’s library… and child’s, and dragon lovers’, and clock collector, and art appreciator, and…

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While the Net was Sleeping…

November 21, 2012 at 2:09 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Too many Sandra Bullock allusions for one heading?  I think so, but I don’t feel like Starting from Scratch.  Heehee, see what happens when I go without my internet for 3 whole days.  The cheesy humor that only I find funny gets out of control.  And this post isn’t even about Sandra Bullock.

It’s about the fact that my internet was down for 3 days and in that time the Kiddo and I went on a bit of a young adult binge.  If you follow my blog, or my life, you know we read a lot of picture books.  This last weekend, however, we just couldn’t help ourselves.  After finishing Pippi Longstockings, the kiddo seemed more and more interested in sitting through me reading chapter books, and there were two in particular calling my name.

The Magician’s Elephant and Kenny & the Dragon had both been sitting on the shelves for quite sometime.  I impulsively bought each from Half Price Books in hardback because the price was too wonderful, the illustrations on each were beautiful (and I’m a sucker for beautifully illustrated fantasy books), and I thought one day the kiddo would enjoy devouring these.

With The Magician’s Elephant I was moved first by all the deep blue hues. Rich blues and grays give the impression of a romantic gloom I find fascinating. Of course, after it was off the shelf and in my hands, the elephant sealed the deal. I adore elephants and half our lives consists of elephant art and books with elephants on the covers.

The fonts, the illustrations, the beautiful fairy tale… what is not to like about this wonderful book? Everyone should have a copy of Kate DiCamillo’s tale of family and keeping promises. It makes for a great Thanksgiving and Christmas season read, and I highly recommend sharing it with your children by the fire.

Kate DiCamillo is famous for Because of Winn Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, and countless others.  She has made quite a name for herself in the book-world as a trustworthy storyteller, but this is the first I’ve actually read of her work, and what a testament it was! My two year old sat through the whole book in one morning.

Of course, author Kate DiCamillo can’t take credit for the art, that is the fine work of Yoko Tanaka. She has quite a bit of published work and still manages to stay in the non-book art scene at galleries and group shows and such, according to her online bio which is actually more of a resume. I’m excited about keeping track of her future ventures as well, because I’ve really fallen in love with what she did for The Magician’s Elephant.

 Tony DiTerlizzi became a part of our lives when I first grabbed a copy of The Spider and the Fly picture book. Of course, I was familiar with the dark tale, but DiTerlizzi’s art really sucked me in. It was not until later that I discovered he was the same DiTerlizzi who wrote and illustrated The Spiderwick Chronicles. What a clever, talented man! Where I previously lamented over whether the kiddo was ready for such a gothic tale as Spider and the Fly, Kenny & the Dragon is a story of friendship and book-love for any age. Again, everyone needs a copy. We will probably re-read this in the Spring or Summer.

Side note: I totally want a bicycle like Kenny’s, it’s so cool.

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Ladybugs and Dragons for Summer

May 16, 2012 at 7:05 pm (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

The first time I saw Ladybug Girl by David Somer and Jacky Davis, I fell in love.  It was long before I’d even thought about having a kid, but I wanted an excuse to buy it.  Not that I had a kid in order to buy kid’s books – I definitely did NOT do that!  But the moment I found out I was pregnant, I purchased a copy.  The reason I fell in love is because the story is about a little girl that frolics around in a ladybug costume with her faithful hound Bingo, and the first book includes a fabulous page where she and her hound stand in front of a wall of glorious books.  Its wonderful.  I wanted the illustration framed on my wall.

So lucky me when my daughter fell in love with the book too.  I was certain she would because its familiar.  She has walls of books.  She has a hound (we have a beagle named Geoffrey Chaucer).  She absolutely adored her ladybug costume when she tried it on after I decided to do a ladybug themed one year birthday party.

All these thoughts rushed over me when we were at the library this week and Ayla discovered a Ladybug Girl board book called Ladybug Girl Makes Friends, featuring moments from Ladybug Girl picture books.  She loves finding familiar things, so of course we checked it out and I vowed to look for it today at the Half Price Books Humble Story Time today, where I bought Ladybug Girl and the Bug Squad.  (We already own Ladybug Girl, Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy, and I’m on a mission to find Ladybug Girl at the Beach.)

On top of all this Ladybug Girl excitement, we discovered The Touble with Dragons by Debi Gliori at the library this week.  The Trouble with Dragonsis a great book for any budding environmentalist! We loved it.  “Respect all the Earth’s creatures and cherish the land.  Recycle, reuse, and reduce your demands!” The Trouble with Dragons proclaims after explaining all the habits dragons have that might harm the world in which they live.  Its a great book to have around to discuss world views  and recycling with your own little dragon at home.

Both these books are excellent choices to kick off your summer with, and they will both become long time favorites, through summer and beyond.

In additon to keeping your kiddos entertained, start your summer off right with by keeping your house smelling wonderful – lots of awesome summer scents available from Scentsy.  Join the Summer Kick Off Party now:

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