Must Read March Releases!

The universe poured into me.
My brain was overloaded.
It smoke and glowed red-hot. And then
it actually exploded.

My 8 year old son and I read THE DAY THE UNIVERSE EXPLODED MY HEAD  in one sitting. We both loved the playful language, humor, and interesting facts embedded in each poem. Anyone interested in astronomy will find this a delightful read. Whimsical illustrations enhance the well chosen words to create a true work of art.









Birds are like thoughts. They come, stay awhile...and then fly away. They fly where their hearts call them. Birds are free. They make our imaginations soar.
I adore bird books! BIRDS's lovely lyrical text combines with whimsical illustrations to produce the perfect read-aloud. I love how it starts with different types of birds and what they do and then ends with how birds are metaphors for life! Kids will enjoy the colorful illustrations and the variety of birds on each page. This book is truly a work of art.







It all started yesterday when my roommate, Barbra, got out her new recorder. She only knows this one terrible song and keeps playing it over and over again. I hate the recorder! And you're not even allowed to use the word hate. But I just did, so there.

Reminiscent of THERE'S A MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK, this hilarious and interactive book will joke your child right out of a bad mood. The idea of an angry cookie is comical and Cookie's strong personality shows kids that feelings aren't permanent and it's okay to feel mad sometimes. This is a great book to evoke discussion around how thoughts leads to feelings and how to deal frustration. ANGRY COOKIE is a super fun read aloud!




Circle closed her eyes. "I wonder," Circle said. "What kind of shape was it?"

CIRCLE is an interesting book about friendship, overcoming fears and imagination. I love all the Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen books--the illustrations perfectly compliment the sparse text. Although I found the ending intriguing, I felt I was left hanging in the end. Perhaps this is another thing we can learn from this book--not all mysteries will be unshrouded!






What new releases have you read recently?

The Fairest Kind of Love, by Crystal Cestari

"Out of wishes, and out of time, I decide to make what I'm sure will be an Amber Sand Top Five Worst Choice Ever..."

Happy Book Birthday to THE FAIREST KIND OF LOVE, by Crystal Cestari!


Although I never read the first two books, in this series, I ADORED this book. This story is filled with mystery, complex characters and magical teens who never do what their parents want them to do. I love Crystal Cestari's story voice and can't wait to read the first two books in the series.

This is the perfect entertaining romance--all about a matchmaker whose skills are on the fritz, who only wants to see matches again and help people find their true loves. So. Much. Fun. 




"Sharp wit makes [Cestari's heroine, Amber Sand] an authentic and relatable narrator as she's forced to learn how to see the magic in everyday."--Publishers Weekly

"This cute take on paranormal romance is stuffed full of entertaining supernatural creatures: a nightclub-owning vampire, a high school siren, a gold-digging leprechaun...more adventures to come."--Booklist

More about the book: 

Amber Sand has spent half her life solidifying other people's happily-ever-afters. As a matchmaker, she has the ability to look into anyone's eyes and see their perfect match. But lately, her powers have been on the fritz, and not only is she totally unsure whether her matches are true, she can't see anyone in the eyes of her boyfriend Charlie Blitzman. With Amber and her friends graduating high school and about to take off for various colleges, Amber is hoping to have one last carefree summer-but she's also dying to find a way to fix her powers, and learn, for better or worse, if she and Charlie are truly meant to be.

So when an online matchmaker named Madame Lamour comes to Chicago, Amber sets out to talk to her and find out who her match is once and for all. Of course, when it comes to the magical community, nothing's ever that easy, and Amber soon finds herself caught up in a breathless showdown that involves a fairy family feud and a magical-creature auction--and requires teaming up with a certain siren nemesis. Can Amber and her friends save the day one more time before setting off for their new lives? And will Amber ever learn whether Charlie is her one true love?

With tons of laugh-out-loud moments, appearances by all your favorite characters, and one totally tearful reveal, you won't want to miss a single swoony moment of this romantic conclusion to the Windy City Magic trilogy.

More about the author:  

Crystal Cestari lives just outside Chicago with her daughter.  Her hobbies include avoiding broccoli and wanders the aisles at Target.  She holds a master's degree in mass communications, and writes all her stories longhand.  She is also the author of the first two books in the Windy City Magic series, THE BEST KIND OF MAGIC and THE SWEETEST KIND OF FATE.  Visit Crystal at www.crystalcestari.com and on Twitter @crystalcestari

Jed and the Junkyard Rebellion, by Steven Bohls

"Who Am I?

He tried to think.  The image of a burning heat melting his mind surfaced.  He shook his head.  Memories felt buried and looked blurry--dreams he could not remember.

What am I?"

Happy happy book birthday to JED AND THE JUNKYARD REBELLION, the perfect companion to JED AND THE JUNKYARD WAR!  Quirky, magical, steampunk with genuine surprises combined with a fast plot and wacky world building make this a must read.  The book reminded me of Serenity and Cinder; filled with danger and humor at the same time.  Themes of friendship, loyalty, temptation, choices, heroism, love, adoption and family will evoke discussion and thought.  As Jed discovers his true potential, the reader is swept up in his journey and how he transforms from scrawny inept boy into a self assured, powerful, literal golden boy. 






The Simple Art of Flying, by Corey Leonardo

Happy happy book birthday to THE SIMPLE ART OF FLYING by Corey Leonardo--a breathtakingly beautiful book. The stunning cover, lyrical writing, and 3 points of view makes this a phenomenal debut novel. Since the story is told through poetry, prose, letters and a medical log, each character is distinct, complex and relatable.

I love Alistair, the African Grey Parrot whose intellect and determination to escape to be with his sister drive almost all of his actions. He writes the most beautiful poetry. One of his poems is written after Bertie (POV #2-- a grieving old woman who writes letters to her dead husband), attempts to teach him his colors:
"That ribbon is not BLUE--
It's ghost-whale ocean-dust.
That couch-it's not pink--
It's pearl-berry petal-wisp..."


Fritz is the 12 year old aspiring doctor whose differences make it hard for him to make friends. His medical logs and interactions with other characters in the story help us understand his fears, his longing to connect with his father, and the price he's willing to pay for friendship. The book covers themes of grief, loyalty, hard work, friendship, family love, pet/owner relationships, freedom, depression, anxiety, and discovering that you've always had what you needed all along.