Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks. ~ Dr. Seuss







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Odd Duck

Odd Duck
by Cecil Castellucci (Author), Sara Varon (Illustrator)

First Impressions!

 Theodora is a duck with a routine. Her days are filled with routine exercises and swimming sessions at a nearby pond with a tea cup on head for perfect posture. Her afternoons are spent running errands at the grocery store, a visit to the craft store for occasional projects and finally a visit to the library for some interesting reads. All is well and her life is perfect. She wishes that nothing in her life would ever change.

Odd Duck Ts routine

 

Odd Duck Ts routine2

One day Theodora finds a moving truck in the empty house next door. It seems she has a new neighbor. By the look of things (smelly armchair, giant cardboard chicken, weeds in the pot!), Theodora is unsure about this odd duck with strange objects around his house. But Theodora makes an attempt to be gracious and invites Chad her new neighbor to her home. At the end of the visit, Theodora has determined  that she and Chad could never be friends!

Odd Duck friend

In the days that follow, Theodora keeps to herself and goes about her usual routine. It’s almost winter and all other ducks are flying off to warmer places. Theodora stays back and to her surprise finds her neighbor Chad has stayed back too!

Over the winter Theodora and Chad get to know each other better. They find things that they both liked such as gazing at stars at night, their mutual love for mango salsa and a love for books! Finally Theodora has to admit that “Maybe Chad was not so bad after all!”

What follows is a wonderful story about friendship, impressions and acceptance. We absolutely loved this tale. The author/illustrator duo have created a charming story in a “graphic novel” format. Word balloons, clear pastel colors and strong lines with lots and lots of whimsical, quirky details makes this book very endearing!

This tale has an age old theme of “be yourself”. The unique twist however comes when the “Odd Duck” seems to think that their world is quite normal while the others are somehow “different”. At the end, however, the “Odd Duck” realizes that being different, isn’t that bad after all.. 

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books


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Kid Lit Giveaway Hop Holiday Extravaganza

Kid Lit Giveaway Hop Holiday Extravaganza

Happy Holidays! Wishing everyone a Wonderful New Year!

StackingBooks blog is celebrating this Christmas and our First Year Anniversary with an AWESOME Giveaway. As a BIG Thank you to all our readers and followers, we are giving away ONE copy of Jan Brett’s Snowy Treasury, a collection of beautifully illustrated winter tales. A winner will be randomly chosen by the Rafflecopter giveaway (Link below) and the book will be shipped to all countries served through www.bookdepository.com.

Our Giveaway is also a part of the Kid Lit Holiday Extravaganza hosted by Renee from MotherDaughterBook Reviews and Katie from Youth Literature Reviews. Do take a moment to see all our Holiday Giveaway participants on the host’s websites. (link below)

Jan Brett’s Snowy Treasury

by Jan Brett (Author, Illustrator)

Jan Brett's Snowy Treasury

A Perfect Gift!

 This book is a collection of four wonderful books by Jan Brett. Stunning borders, beautiful details and heartwarming stories for winter reading. This book is a perfect gift for the season. This book has all the memorable characters and stories perfect for read aloud as well for quiet bedtime or fireside reading.

Gingerbread Baby:

A family classic, this version of the timeless Gingerbread Man story, is perfect for young readers. Set is the beautiful snowy landscape of Switzerland, this story takes you through the Swiss countryside as the Gingerbread baby escapes Matti’s kitchen and the encounters from other animals. The “spin” in this wonderful story is that Matti “knows” the fateful ending of the traditional tale. Will he be able to “rescue” the little baby in time?? Wink

Jan Brett Gingerbread Baby

Jan Brett Gingerbread Baby inside

 The Mitten:

This is a wonderful story set in Ukraine. A boy named Nicki wants his grandmother to knit snow white mittens for him. Grandma warns him that “white” was not the right choice of colors for mittens during winter time! But Nicki is insistent. Alas, as suspected Nicki manages to loose his mittens in the snow. What happens next is a surprising delightful tale involving a refugee  mole, rabbit, hedgehog!, owl, badger and a FOX! But wait! there is more.. turns out that a  BEAR comes sniffing and finds the mitten too! A perfect tale for a frosty night by the fireside!

Jan Britt The Mitten cover

Jan BRett The Mitten

 The Hat:

Curiosity gets the best of this little hedgehog called “Hedgie”. Lisa’s red and white stocking blows off the clothesline one day and Hedgie find its. He sticks his nose inside to discover that he is now STUCK! All the nearby farm animals gather around to see  whats going on. Hedgie tries to hide his despair by pretending how he actually likes being stuck inside Smile. How will poor Hedgie make his way out of this “situation”?? Wonderfully illustrated, this story is set in the Denmark.

Jan Brett The Hat cover

Jan Brett The Hat inside

The Three Snow Bears:

Aloo-ki, an Inuit girl, lives in the Arctic snow-lands. One day she glances up from his fishing and sees that her sled dogs are floating away on a ice floe.  She races off to look for them and ends up at an igloo. Curious, Aloo-ki peeks inside to find… Sounds familiar?Smile A polar bear family, a curious girl and a cozy igloo is a setting for Jan Brett’s Three Snow Bears story. Readers will fall in love with this spin on the traditional Goldilocks tale set in the Arctic woods.

Jan Brett Three Snow Bears

Jan Brett Three Snow Bears Inside

Win this Fantastic collection of stories by entering the GIVEAWAY below

a Rafflecopter giveaway

AND THE WINNER OF THIS FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY IS TERRA J. SWEEPS

And don’t forget to visit my Children’s Literature bolggers who are also hosting some AWESOME Giveaways here:

Click here to view this Linky Tools list…

WISHING YOU A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR!

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Stackingbooks.com. The “Jan Brett’s Snowy Treasury” will be shipped through Bookdepository.com website and is available to anyone served by the website.


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Cat Talk

Cat Talk
by Patricia MacLachlan, Emily MacLachlan Charest (Authors), Barry Moser (Illustrator)

Cuddle-some to Troublesome!

Princess Sheba Darling is a beauty queen.

Romeo is a lover.

Tuck knows the coziest spots to sleep.

And Eddie.. has a job to do.

From the cutest to the most troublesome kittens, cats and toms, “Cat Talk” features furry friendly poems for children to read. Authors MacLachlan captures the many “cat” personalities in 13 different poems. Written with a gentle flow or words, these poems are told in first person and delightfully easy to read.

Meet “Tough Tom” who walks into a window with his nose scratched and ear torn up from a street fight with cats. He is cold and hungry and scared but he takes a chance and walks into a new life.

Cat Talk Tough Tom

Then there is Princess Sheba Darling. This majestic graceful cat poses herself and shows off her importance in this world.

Cat Talk Princess Sheba Darling

At the end there is playful and friendly Eddie who has a “job”.  He meets and greets people. He runs when the phone rings and makes himself busy all through the day.

Cat Talk Voices of Eddie

A lovely set of poems for a cat lovers. Enjoy reading these out and talking about the different personalities of the feline world. Barry Moser’s wonderfully warm watercolor paintings of sometimes playful and sometimes graceful cats are charming and kind to the eye.

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books


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The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me

The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me
by Roald Dahl (Author), Richard E Grant (Narrator)

A story about friendship!

The Ladderless Window Cleaning Company is unique. They can clean any window and make it spotless. They can reach the highest windows and clean them quickly. The Ladderless Window Cleaners consists of the Giraffe who has an ever-extending neck, a Pelican who can carry a large amount of water in its deep retractable beak and a dancing, singing agile, Monkey. Together the three use their very unusual talents to form a business. Now all they need is customers!

To attract customers, they have a wonderful jingle too:

We will polish your glass
Till it’s shining like brass
And it sparkles like sun on the sea!
We will work for Your Grace
Till we’re blue in the face,
The Giraffe and the Pelly and me! 

The story of The Giraffe, The Pelly and Me, begins with a boy named Billy. Billy stumbles across an old store that has recently been closed. There he meets these three unusual friends.

The Girrafe The Pelly and Me Billy_Pelican

As they get acquainted, a limousine drives up to them. The rich duke of the Hampshire House needs his windows cleaned urgently. His huge mansion has 677 very dusty windows which haven’t been cleaned for a long time! No one can reach that high and clean that fast to keep them dust free! Smile

Excited about the opportunity, Billy and the Giraffe, the Pelly and Monkey head over to meet the Duke. As they go about their very first cleaning job, they meet the singing Duchess and a most notorious thief.

The Girrafe The Pelly and Me Billy

Roald Dahl weaves yet another fantastically funny tale. Richard E Grant’s voice over is delightful to listen. His enunciations and tone changes with every character in the tale. Apart from all the usual Dahl quirky parts of the story, what we loved most was the theme of making the most unusual friends in the most unusual places! Moral of the story for us: Friends can be made and found anywhere… even in a rundown abandoned building.

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books


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Curious Critters

Curious Critters

 

by David FitzSimmons (Author, Photographer)

The Curious always learn!

David FitzSimmons is still learning! As he travels through North America looking for critters commonly found in nearby woodlands , in local lakes and sometimes in our own backyards, David clicks on his camera and captures stunning pictures of some fantastic critters. Photographed against a white backdrop, these 21 critters are portrayed in stunning detail. But what is more fantastic is the clever poses and personalities that David has been able to capture with his camera.
Curious Critters posing

Along with every animal, David has also included an educational snippet.  What we loved is how the snippet matches the personality of the animal in the picture. Told from the creature’s point of view, this little snippet is entertaining and enraging. What a fun way to keep young readers learning and reading! For example this Southern Flying Squirrel says : “Yes. I can fly. Just a secon. Okay. I spread my legs. Wait! Yes! I’m a bit jumpy, jittery… I spread them. Then I gracefully G    L    I   D   E…

Curious Critters flying squirrel

This Monarch caterpillar says… “It’s the most curious thing: A few minutes ago, he broke out of his covering and he’s a butterfly now. ..I guess like is all about change, and change looks good!

Curious Critters Caterpillar

At the back David also includes a nice Natural history description for parents to read aloud. There is also a neat match-the-silhouette activity to encourage little learners to remember the common names of the animals. A beautiful book all around! Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books


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Mitchell Goes Bowling

Mitchell Goes Bowling
by Hallie Durand (Author), Tony Fucile (Illustrator)

“Battle On!”

How can you NOT pick up a book that has THIS adorable a cover? Smile

Mitchell loves to knock things down. That’s just how he rolled.

Mitchell Goes Bowling inside

He is always knocking things down…

Until ONE Saturday, Mitchell’s dad took him bowling

There were lots of bright colored balls, good pizza smell and giant crashing noises.Wink

Mitchell picked the biggest ball.. and he threw it. He just KNEW that he was going to win! Smile

Mitchell Goes Bowling inside2

 Mitchell Goes Bowling is a HILARIOUS story of a four year old and how his dad combats, with AMAZING amount of patience, a simple every-day problem of keeping his son’s energy in check. This cool dad finds the perfect way to give his son a way to knock things down and be safe.

As Mitchell plays the game, he  looks up at the scoreboard. Against his dad’s name are several “X” marks and Mitchell has none. Strike after strike, his dad keeps rolling the ball and getting “X”‘s… Will Mitchell EVER find a way to win this game???

This cartoon style illustrated book keeps the humor alive and in place. Durand and Fucile play the words and the art in perfect balance. We loved reading this one. At the end, the dad has to figure out how to keep playing without his son giving up. If you got to know how this story ends…

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books.


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Grumbles from the Forest

Grumbles from the Forest
by Jane Yolen, Rebecca Kai Dotlich (Authors/Poets), Matt Mahurin (Illustrator)

 ” Spell’s over, Imagine this! All because of a stupid kiss”

For a long time now we have enjoyed reading the classic fairy tales such as the Princess and the Pea, Snow White, Beauty and the Beast and Three Billy Goat Gruffs. But have you ever wondered, what these popular fairy tale characters were thinking?

Did you ever wonder whether Cinderella really enjoyed wearing glass slippers? Or whether it was the mattresses and not the Pea that kept the Princess awake in the night? Jane Yolen and Rebecca Kai Doltlich gave some thought to these questions and came up with some interesting answers! “Grumbles from the Forest” is a collection of 13 creative poems, each beautifully illustrated on double sized pages, each giving you a glimpse on the alternate reality of these characters. Smile

In “Beauty and the Beast”, Beauty wonders whether she has made the right choice of spouse.

Grumble in the Forest Beauty and beast1

Snow White looks into the magical Mirror and wonders if really she is the “prettiest” woman in the kingdom!

Grumble in the Forest Snow White 2

And the troll wonders what he would be having for dinner tonight Smile

Grumble in the Forest Billy Goats

These are poems, some rhyming, a haiku .. each a voice from a character of these fairy tales. They grumble, plead and confide.  And if you can’t get enough, the authors invite you to think some more of your own!

It was hard to pick a favorite one from this surprisingly creative list of poems. Here is one that I really liked.. Can you guess which character this one is?

Wake up, princess, time to rise.

Open up your dreamy eyes.

Never mind the prince or kiss.

By no means were you raised for this.

Take the plot back from the witch.

Kick her spindle in the ditch!

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books


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Fatima and the Dream Thief

Fatima and the Dream Thief
by Rafik Schami, Els Cools (Author), Oliver Streich (Illustrator)

A Folk Tale from Middle East!

Hassan and Fatima are siblings. They are very poor. Their widow mother works hard to provide for them. But one day she falls sick and the family is running out of food. So Hassan decides to go and find work.

After asking around and knocking on several doors, Hassan finally arrives at the castle of a wealthy master. The Master hires him on ONE important condition… that Hassan cannot lose his temper. If he does, then Hassan loses his weekly pay of 1 gold coin and all of his dreams! Hassan would never be able to dream again!

Hassan readily accepts and sets upon his daily tasks. He encounters an old woman who works to clean the hundred rooms in the castle. One room is always locked and only the old woman is allowed inside. The master of the castle visits it once a day. When he comes out of the room, he seems to be re-energized and happy. Hassan observes all of this.

Fatima and the Dream Thief inside the castle

Finally on the day of the payment, Hassan arises early. He is eager to get about his duties and earn his gold coin. He can’t wait to take it home and feed his hungry sister and mother and make them proud. But alas, the master has other plans.. evil plans. He taunts Hassan and tests his patience.  He makes Hassan do his chores over and over again. He makes him work out in the cold. Finally Hassan can’t take it anymore. Hassan loses his temper! and stomps out of the castle losing not just his gold coin but also his dreams.

Hassan returns home empty handed and dejected. His mother and sister Fatima are happy to see him home. Hassan then shares all that had transpired. Fatima listens carefully and decides to take matters in her own hands and teach this Dream Thief a rich lesson!

Fatima and the Dream Thief Master

This rather long but engaging folk tale is a choice read-aloud. This tale of wit and courage will engage readers and make you want to read it again! The story setting is exotic and the illustrations capture this beautifully. The minarets, palaces and the “Aladdin” style atmosphere is appealing.

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books


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