Monday, January 30, 2017

Magic Mondays

by Liza Gardner Walsh, Hazel Mitchell 
Rowman & Littlefield
Muddy Boots
Outdoors & Nature, Children's Fiction
Pub Date 09 Feb 2017

Goodreads Description: After a long winter s rest with little to do, are the fairies ready to start something new, Do they use tiny brushes and oil pastels to paint crocuses, lilacs, and daffodils? Everyone knows fairies love spring flowers and summer sun, but is it the fairies who wake up the earth as the snow melts? Do they entice the trees to turn green and the flowers to grow? In this charming follow up to Where Do Fairies Go When It Snows, Liza Gardner Walsh, acclaimed author of the Fairy House Handbook and Fairy Garden Handbook, explores the matter in a children's picture book of rhyming questions. Combined with delightful illustrations by Hazel Mitchell this whimsical book will help children discover the world of fairies and learn to enjoy and appreciate the outdoors."
My thoughts: I read this book with my 10 yo girl and we both loved, loved, loved the illustrations in this book…they are cute, colorful, vibrant, and just so ‘aaaw’some! While the text itself did not get our attention as much, the message conveyed is sweet and important, and the almost rhyming prose takes us through what the fairies are maybe doing to help plants and vice versa. One line that caught my attention was one that wondered if either (fairies and/or plants) would vanish without the other. By extending the concept of fairies to us, we can work on how important conservation is. 

Rating: B..
Reading Level: 4-8 years
Reread Level: 3/5 * though the illustrations are ones I will keep looking at over and over again.
Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley for providing an eARC of this book.

by Jostein Gaarder, Don Bartlett (Translation), Akin Duezakin (Illustrations)
Hardcover, 72 pages
Expected publication: May 9th 2017 by Elsewhere Editions (first published 2012)

Goodreads description: A picture book with fundamental philosophical questions, posed in a way only Jostein Gaarder is capable of. The illustrator has made an independent visual narrative that underscores the existential aspect of Jostein Gaarder's philosophical questions. "Questions Asked" shows confidence in a child's capacity to think deeply and read between the lines. The book follows a little boy traveling alone in an open landscape. Soon we realize he is on a journey of thoughts and dreams, asking questions about loss, myth, language, magic, and what it means to be a human being. Jostein Gaarder's philosophical questions merge with the beautiful illustrations of Akin Duzakin into a tale of friendship, love, and grief - and about daring to think about life as you live it."

My thoughts: If you think all those questions that your kids ask you each day, the endless hows, whys, whats, whos, wheres and whens, are going to make you run for cover or googling to find answers, these questions will leave you wondering as well. In addition, they will amaze you with their depth and variety. The accompanying illustrations are, due to lack of any other words - simply beautiful, and add their own telling to the ‘tale’ as it is (though they do not always relate directly to the words). The age-old tale of curiosity about ourselves, and the world(s) around us (the worlds that we see, in reality, in dreams, and beyond us).  Do note that this is an extremely short read – a few minutes at the most – it is a series of points to ponder and great points (and ones you might say, I had this question as well , at every turn of the page!).
This book is recommended for ages 3 -7 but while children that age might have such questions, this book is for everyone, and maybe better suited for young adults, and adults.

Rating: A
Reading Level: All ages
Reread Level: 4.5/5

Disclaimer: Thank you to Edelweiss for providing an eARC of this book.
As I continue my UBC journey, I am linking these books to What are you Reading? From Picture Books to YA at Teach Mentor Texts and to NetGalley/Edelweiss Reading Challenge
For Musing Monday over at The Purple Booker and for What are You Reading?

Books/stories read last week:
Books read and reviewed above
We Should all be Feminists by Chimamanda Adichie
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (my copy) - review coming soon
A Wrinkle in Time (my copy) - review coming soon
Flowers for Algernon by David Keyes - read as part of my son's school assignment :) - review coming soon

Books/Stories/Other I am reading this week:
Fan Art by Sarah Tregay (library ebook) Dingus by Andrew Larsen (NetGalley read)
Brown Girl Dreaming (library ebook)
Also planning....many more :) 

For Monday Mellow Yellow, here is my photo: this is a photo of, well, a wash basin (I need to look back to check where I took this one - but was a few years ago during a local day trip!)


  1. I really do need to start reading books again. Great post

  2. I enjoy your book reviews and the book "Do Fairies Bring the Spring" sounds like book my granddaughter would love! Thanks for sharing.

    1. thank you Martha.. my kids (now 10 and 14) still enjoy when we read together;
      and yes, this is a lovely book.

  3. Illustrations are so critical in a children's book, aren't they? Good text is important, but wonderful illustrations can really elevate any story, and can turn a so-so book into a book that gets read again and again.

    1. Hi Jane, thanks for visiting.. and yes, many a time, I have ended up loving a book mainly because of the illustrations and they are what 'catches our eye' literally:)

  4. I like your book reviews! I think the "questions" book sounds fascinating. :)

    1. thanks Vicki! both the illustrations and the questions make that book..

  5. Thanks for the reviews. I mainly read bios. Need to expand my reading!

    1. thanks Anne.. i need to read more bios!

  6. Hi, would you categorize Questions Asked as a picturebook? Or more like an illustrated middle grade read? Thanks! - Myra from GatheringBooks

    1. Myra, the book is recommended for 3-7 year olds and it is a picture book. (the questions themselves apply to everyone.. I still need to ask my kids - 14 yo and 10 yo - to read this; That will give me a better answer; normally I read with at least one of them, like with the Fairy book here; but somehow missed with this book). I will update this review and let you know as well once they read it

  7. Loved the second book review- it sounds amazing and something I will pick up to read too.
    I am starting a #BookSlutThursday prompt on my blog for the entire month of feb - do check it out tomorrow; might be interesting for a book lover like you! Cheers

  8. I hate when a read a book review, like yours here, Questions Asked, and then I have to wait for the actual book!


Love to hear from you! I do read all your comments and do reply whenever I can.. but I will definitely hop on over to visit you...