The Broken Bees' Nest, by Lydia Ludikis and André Ceolin

“'BEES!' Keya cried. 'Run for your life!'
Arun grabbed her hand. “They won’t hurt you
if you don’t bother them. Bees are totally amazing."

THE BROKEN BEE'S NEST, by Lydia Lukidis, is a great way to introduce bee facts to any child. The engaging fictional story is interspersed with fun facts about bees, and there's additional backmatter too that helps kids understand how to be friends to bees. Whimsical illustrations by Andre Ceolin pair with well chosen words that encourage kids to respect living things, make things with their hands, and create. This story is part of the MAKERS MAKE IT WORK STEAM series, one of many books that empowers young readers to explore ideas and use their creativity.

The Candle and the Flame, by Nafiza Azad

"They are like puzzle pieces, straining toward each other, trying to form a whole, but being kept from unification by viscous matter than to Fatima Ghazala's eyes looks very much like grief made tangible."

Nafazia Azad's debut novel is lovely, lyrical and filled with diverse characters.  The book is about belonging and family and powerful women.  The world building is extensive and immersive and I found the premise intriguing and the plot fast paced.  This story will evoke discussion of grief, loss, discrimination, war, differences, friendship, loyalty, family and love.

The cover and entire book are dazzling, yet I found it hard to connect with at first.  There were so many words that I didn't understand that it pulled me out of the story as I tried to use context clues to discern the meaning. I didn't realize until the end of the book, that there was a thesaurus which I definitely needed!  Overall, well-worth the read!

*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Two Terrific New Picture Books!


"Dinosaurs love company. Why not encourage you pet to meet new people and make friends? This can also be a good opportunity to teach your dinosaur about...sharing"

How to Take Care of Your Dinosaur, by  Jason Cockcroft, is delightfully fun to read. The illustrations enhance the already entertaining story with comical and expressive characters. The story follows a routine that will mirror most kids daily routines in a way that is both predictable and surprising. This is a great bedtime book for any dinosaur or pet lover.

"I'm waiting for Chicken Smith.  He won't be long now."

Waiting for Chicken Smith, by David Mackintosh, is a quirky, child-like story about a kid who is waiting for his summer friend to show up.  As his younger sister repeatedly tries to get his attention, he ignores her and explains that he can't attend to her because he is waiting for Chicken Smith.  Finally the main character listens to his sister and is rewarded with a delightful surprise.  Perhaps sisters can be just as much fun as friends?  The whimsical illustrations add to the well chosen text and help young readers understand loss and appreciate the relationships that they have.

Finding Orion plus GIVEAWAY!!!!

"It's hard, sometimes, reconciling the difference between what you really feel about something and what you know you're supposed to feel."

John David Anderson's books never fail to engage and amaze.  FINDING ORION is a story of grief, belonging, and finding your place in the world.  Orion Kwerk is the only ordinary person in his family of brilliant and quirky characters. A life full of strangely flavored jelly beans, constellations, dictionaries and show tunes is interrupted  when Orion's grandfather's death is announced by a singing clown.  Papa Kwirk's death leads Orion and his family to a journey full of mayhem, mystery, ice cream, understanding, and forgiveness.  

To win a copy of this book, comment on this post. If you share on facebook or twitter, you get another entry. Giveaway closes in one week.

Sometimes you need to lose something in order to find yourself.
Beloved author John David Anderson returns with a heartwarming, heartbreaking and unforgettable story of the true power and limits of family.
    Ron Kwirk comes from a rather odd family. His mother named him and his sisters after her favorite constellations, and his father makes funky-flavored jelly beans for a living. One sister acts as if she’s always onstage, and the other is a walking dictionary. But no one in the family is more odd than Rion’s grandfather, Papa Kwirk.
    He’s the kind of guy who shows up on his motorcycle only on holidays, handing out crossbows and stuffed squirrels as presents. Rion has always been fascinated by Papa Kwirk, especially since his son—Rion’s father—is the complete opposite. Where Dad is predictable, nerdy, and reassuringly boring, Papa Kwirk is mysterious, dangerous, and cool.
    Which is why, when Rion and his family learn of Papa Kwirk’s death and pile into the car to attend his funeral and pay their respects, Rion can’t help but fell that that’s not the end of the story. That there’s so much more to Papa Kwirk to discover.
    He doesn’t know how right he is.

John David Anderson is the author of some of the most beloved and highly acclaimed books for kids in recent memory, including the New York Times Notable Book Ms. Bixby’s Last Day, Posted, Granted, Sidekicked, and The Dungeoneers. A dedicated root beer connoisseur and chocolate fiend, he lives with his wonderful wife and two frawsome kids in Indianapolis, Indiana. He’s never eaten seven scoops of ice cream in a single sitting, but he thinks it sounds like a terrific idea. You can visit him online at

Blog Tour May 6-14 2019
May 14 Kirsti Call

4 Attachments


"'I'm falling in love with you, too.'

I hear nothing else.  the sound those words carry is far greater, so much more exceptional, than any piece of music I could ever make."

ALL OUR BROKEN PIECES by L. D. Crichton took my breath away. The story is compelling and the characters realistic and complex. I found the book so engaging and thought provoking that I read past midnight, and then couldn't stop myself from percolating on what would happen next in this story of star-crossed teens. 

This stunning debut YA mirrors the teens' English project on Romeo and Juliet, but they are determined for a happy ending. Pairing a girl with OCD and a boy with serious external scars was brilliant and I love that two broken people come together to help each other heal.  As a marriage and family therapist, appreciate how Kyler accepts Lennon as she is, expressing curiosity about her quirks and how this helps Lennon accept her own quirks, leading to fewer compulsions.  And Lennon accepts Kyler for he is, helping him to understand that he doesn't need to hide his scars in order to live the life he wants to live.  The song lyrics in this book powerfully express Kyler's angst, the texts and letters between the MC's also made for an interesting, and well written book.  Still in a residual book haze after reading this one!