#BookReview Matt, The Green Cat by Jenny Mitchell

I love cats, so this little picture book already had me interested when it presented me with a cute, little, itty, bitty, green kitty! Matt, our lead, was a ginger cat who accidentally got some green paint on him!

The plot of this book is really simple – we learn all about Matt the cat and his general day. The book is all about his life as an accidental green cat and how friendly and lovely everyone is. As it says at the end of the book, it’s a short story!

The cartoon style of this book was really lovely! I think it fit in wonderfully with the story and I loved looking at all of the pictures. The details were incredible, and yet just enough at the same time. There’s lots of animals and fun backgrounds to keep you occupied when you aren’t reading the words on the page. There’s just so much to look at!

If I had one con about this book it would be that it was hard to read on my device. Some of the pages looked like they would have been better suited for an actual two page spread on a physical copy rather than the electronic copy I got when I downloaded it.

Four out of five stars!

I found this book on Bookbub.

 

You can purchase this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out some other books and reviews you might enjoy!
#BookReview Backyard Hullabaloo by Junia Wonders
#BookReview My Snowman, Paul by Yossi Lapid
Collection 1: #TopTens – Children’s Fiction Part 1

 

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

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#BookReview Zachary and the Great Potato Catastrophe by Junia Wonders

This tale is super sweet and adorable! The very beginning had me hooked instantly – this tale might be true, and the identity of the leads are disguised. How much cuter can this book get?!

The soft tones of the art in this book made me feel really happy. I love the style and I think it went well with the story. The rhyming scheme was also silly yet it worked! I found myself giggling along the way. Sometimes the words didn’t rhyme exactly, but it was the thought that counts.

If you’re looking for a goofy, short, animal filled story book, then you’ve come to the write place! I absolutely adore Junia Wonders and her picture books. They are filled with silly plot lines, amazing art, and lots and lots of fun!

Overall, the story is cute and fun and I’d highly recommend parents and teachers pick this book up! Children will love it! This book is totally worth every penny!

Four out of five stars!

I found this book on Bookbub!

 

You can purchase this book on:
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca

If you enjoyed this book, check out another book or review you might enjoy!
#BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton
#BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller
#BookReview Boy and the Very Lonely Pony by Junia Wonders
#BookReview Backyard Hullabaloo by Junia Wonders

 

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Yara’s Tawari Tree by Yossi Lapid

Yossi Lapid does it again with another beautifully written story with a truly marvelous (and important!) theme.

Yara’s Tawari Tree follows a young girl named Yara in her rain forest, jungle hut. Her parrot friend brings her to a little tree seedling that is going to be cut down due to deforestation and together they save it! Years down the road, her family needs that tree’s help and it delivers!

This is a truly wonderful story with absolutely remarkable art work. The water colour style really fits with this story and is really beautiful! I’d love to see more stories with this art style. Give a big round of applause to the illustrator because W-O-W! Throw in the fact that deforestation is a really big issue these days, and you’ve got yourself a real winner!

I love Yossi’s stories because they are cute, fun and always bring something to the table. When you’re looking for a quality children’s story book with lots of pretty pictures and an important theme, why wouldn’t you pick up this book? It hits all the marks that an educator or parents would want! There’s also a cute rhyming scheme so you could make a fun song up about this story!

Overall, I think this is a really lovely book and should be read by many parents, teachers and reading buddies alike! Stories like these are important to share and a fun, colourful way to spend time together.

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Yossi Lapid, in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

 

If you like Yara’s Tawari Tree, you might enjoy some of these books and reviews too!
Quick #BookReview Snowman Paul and Kate’s Olympic Dream by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview My Snowman, Paul by Yossi Lapid
#BookReview The Water War by Kevin Miller

 

If you read this review, give me a follow on Twitter for more urgent updates! @ReviewAlholic #briarsreviews

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Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview The Mega Collection by Scott Gordon – Nine Awesome Bedtime Stories!

Here’s a collection of my reviews for Scott Gordon’s books! The specific book I read was called the Mega Collection #1 – Nine Awesome Bedtime Stories for Children 3-5, and boy was it worth every second! If you’re looking for some fun and friendly stories, I’d recommend picking this book up!

Now onto the show!!

Pigtastic by Scott Gordon

Pigtastic by Scott Gordon is a super fun, super cute, children’s novel!

I absolutely love the 3D design of our lead character, the pig! He looks super cute! Add in the wonderful story about accepting people and you’ve got yourself a winning combination! Scott Gordon and his unique style makes me want to shout from the hills about how awesome these books are. Seriously, I’d recommend reading them to your kids if you are looking for something a little different yet still just as fun.

I really loved all of the Pig’s different costumes. That was a really nice touch to make this book cool! The England costume was definitely my favourite one!

Who doesn’t want to be Pigtastic?! We all have to be ourselves in this absolutely crazy world! If we all have hearts of gold, we’ll be Pigtastic!

Overall, it’s super cute and worth every penny!! The 3-5 age group will definitely love this book and all of it’s silliness!

Five out of five stars.

My Little Pet Dragon by Scott Gordon

My Little Pet Dragon is a unique children’s read full of fantastical fun!

I really liked the cover page with the CD art of the dragon on a skateboard. To me, that really stood out compared to other children’s books I’ve seen around recently. The entire book is continues to pack each page full of the awesome 3D art that’s on the cover.

Each page has just a few words on it and a 3D picture that matches the plot that’s carrying on.

I’d say the general age group for this book would be between 2 to 9 years old. The story is rather simplistic, but is extremely cute.

At the end of my copy, which was an eBook I found via BookBub, it has a story about how Scott got into writing. While I thought it was a touching story to include, I felt that it didn’t need to be in a children’s novel that a child might read themselves on a parent’s tablet or phone. As an adult I loved reading it, but it felt out of place (in my humble opinion). It is a motivational and inspirational set of words though!

The version I was reading also included lots of sneak peaks at his other books! While it does a great job advertising these books, it didn’t feel right sitting in a book that a child could be reading. You’re introducing them to a couple chapters and then they can’t necessarily finish it. As someone who has studied marketing, I understand the need to market and advertise your books, but it just didn’t mesh well with the way this book was set up. Maybe put sneak peaks as links at the end or on your website? Not in the book that ends up taking WAY more pages than the story itself.

The final bit (I promise!)… It asks to support the author on Patreon. Again, I totally understand the need to support artists and writers, but it felt out of place.

Overall, this book was really cute and I’d love to read more by Scott Gordon! I think he has lots of potential and he appears to have quite the catalogue!!

Four out of five stars!

Ninja Robot Repairmen by Scott Gordon

This story is full of pushy, robot repairmen! It’s a unique and silly story that is full of laughs for your 3 to 5 year olds.

Scott’s unique style of 3D designs on a white background continues with this book. His style seems to be ingrained in all of his work.

They cause quite the nuisance for our unknown lead! I could see this book being best used as a reading buddy story. It would be a great way to get kids to laugh and get to know each other. In this story, ‘No’ is not an answer no matter what! Even the bad guys at the end were quite amusing!

This story felt more like a fun one than one that will teach you an important lesson. Regardless, I love having a good story full of goofiness around on my shelves!

Three out of five stars!

A Pocketful of Dinosaurs by Scott Gordon

This book was styled a little different at the start! There were actual cartoon pictures! I liked the change from the 3D, computer animated style that is featured in almost every other Scott Gordon book. Change can be good!

Seeing the names of the dinosaurs and the pronunciations was fun! I wish I would have had a book like that when I was growing up and learning about dinosaurs in science class! I think little kids who love dinosaurs would be totally obsessed with this book! The only downfall about this book, is that I don’t think kids ages 3-5 would be able to pronounce some of the words or even the word segments. Hopefully they are able to read this book with a parent, guardian or reading buddy to make it more engaging!

I’m not sure how accurate this book is, but it was definitely cute!

This book also features links to dinosaur research websites and exhibits! That may or may not be a bonus for some people – I’m not going to test the links, so I’m not sure how safe they are. The PBS and wikipedia articles should be safe to visit.

Four out of five stars!

If I Were a Robot by Scott Gordon

If I were a robot…. I’d have enhanced reading abilities!

This book was cute, but was not my favourite of all of Scott Gordon’s books. But not all books can be the best, now can they?! I think it is another cute addiction and full of wacky, fun and zaney ideas but it just wasn’t my favourite. Kids who love science, technology and robots would kill for this book!! I think it’s great that Scott has such a unique library of stories! Every kid should love at least one of his stories! He doesn’t just stick to one genre and I applaud him for that.

Yet again, the 3D computer animated style is back, and the robot has cute costumes! The costumes are always my favourite part of his stories. His creativity with the costumes is just too good! AND THERE’s A LIGHTSABER! And maybe a deathstar?! The easter eggs in this book are definitely the best part!

Side note: There’s another uncanny valley creepy guy in this book. That drops me score down by quite a bit. No amount of Star Wars references can fix the creepy, uncanny valley men.

Two out of five stars.

My Crazy Pet Frog by Scott Gordon

The lead of this story looks so… weird. Weird yet interesting all at the same time! I’m not quite sure what to think of it. Even when he starts doing different activities, it’s like he is staring into my soul. That uncanny valley feeling is amped up a bit in this book. And… a rubber ducky normally looks like a duck and not like an inflatable you wear around your waist.

But hey, it turns out the uncanny frog is a secret agent. That’s cool… right?! And he dances like he’s a fan of the Bee Gees!

The end of this book is what really gets me… he has a family who’d like him to come home and just hang out instead of being all of these crazy careers. It felt slightly depressing, yet kids wouldn’t see that. Only the parents.

It was one of the shorter books, but it was one of the weirder books. I think it’s cool but… odd. Let’s go with odd. It honestly felt like the author was picking up story ideas from a hat and mashed them all together.

Two out of five stars.

My Daddy’s Cool Car Collection by Scott Gordon

This book is all about cars! There are a variety of vehicles featured in this book, and my wonder is how the Dad afforded all of these cars! A limo, a semi-truck, a Volkswagen! The antique cars were definitely my fave! And what type of car book would this be without some sports cars in the mix?!

Some of the cars looked more realistic than the others. A group of them appeared to be quite cartoony, some appeared to be tilted on a strange angle and others looked like they had a professional photographer put them in the book.

Little kids interested in cars would totally dig this book! Scott does a great job at having a library full of different genres of kids books to let everyone in on the reading action!

While this wasn’t my favourite book, I still think it’s mighty cute! At the end there is a little lesson about spending time with your kids instead of buying cars, but it felt just thrown in. As if there had to be some sort of really important message at the end… I would have preferred the message to be woven into the story somehow instead of forced in.

Three out of five stars.

A Little Book About You by Scott Gordon

The uncanny valley is strong in this book… I don’t know why, but the 3D animated people always creep me out Scott Gordon’s books. I’m sure kids wouldn’t notice, but as an adult I’m just weirded out. That shouldn’t let the story down though!

This book is all about the reader being special and one of a kind. It’s a great message that is told right off the bat! This message is told through a variety of characters holding signs and objects, for reasons unknown. The story itself is great, but I don’t totally get the illustrations.

Overall, it’s cute!

Four out of five stars!

Additionally, this book has a lot of BONUS content!
Some chapters to Disco Frog’s new story, a puzzle, and lots of synopsis of Scott Gordon’s books.

 

Average: 3.3 out of 5 stars!

 

If you enjoyed this book, check out some more children’s books you’d like to read too!

#BookReview Snowman Paul Returns to the Winter Olympics by Yossi Lapid

#BookReview HughTube by Richard Clark

#BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller

Collection 1: #TopTens – Children’s Fiction Part 1

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

#BookReview Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

 

Crazy Rich Asians is a fun, comedic romance that opened my eyes to a whole new world!

Before anyone asks, yes, I read this book because I saw the movie and loved it. Was the movie identical to the book? No. Was it still super cute and a great adaption? Yes. So, now that we’re past the point that the movie introduced me to the book, onto my book review!

I found this book to be the perfect mix of romance, comedy and knowledge! I absolutely loved being introduced to a variety of Asian words and concepts in this book. There aren’t many books out there (that I have read, anyways) that make me feel like I’ve learned so much while having a good time!

The book did feel soap opera-y, but I loved every second of it! I’m at the point that I’m desperate for the sequel, and can’t wait to get my hands on it! The characters were interesting and all had crazy backgrounds, the drama was high, and the family values were intriguing.

I have no idea how honest/true the Asian side of the story is, but it did make me more interested in Asian cultures. I love when books can open your eyes to a world you haven’t thought about looking at before, so I give lots of praise to Kevin Kwan! Books like these truly deserve attention, because not only are they well written but they pull the minorities out of the background. Even if it’s not totally accurate, I’m sure at least a few more readers can appreciate the Asian culture!

This book could easily be binged (if you have time to read a 500+ page book). I seriously wanted to continue reading it, but I just didn’t have time! That being said, every chance I got I was instantly glued to the pages.

I loved Nick and Rachel, I loved Kerry, I loved Peik Lin, I loved Astrid and I loved every little description that Kevin Kwan had woven into this tale. I seriously felt for these characters all along the way (even the “bad guys”…sometimes…). I really hope the drama between certain characters (like Astrid’s story) are expanded in the next books, because they were all so interesting! There wasn’t enough pages to really see all of the characters! Luckily there are at least two more books to devour to learn a little bit more about my fave characters…

There are some cons about this book, but for me it wasn’t to hard to fly past them. The story jumps a lot between chapters (point of view, time changes, etc.). Also, some of the characters felt very… stereotypical (that’s the best word I have for them right now). Is that necessarily a bad thing? No. But many other reviewers are complaining about parts of this book. To me, I didn’t really care. It didn’t take away from the fun of the story.

Would I recommend this book to other readers? HECK YES! If you love romance, a splash of comedy, and Asian representation, then get on it! The movie just makes this book more in the spotlight, which should help it’s sales. The book is dramatic, but it’s a fun and wild ride!

Also, I loved the cover. It’s simplistic and yet perfectly summarizes the story in a weird way.

Five out of five stars!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Kobo

Coles/Indigo/Chapters

Barnes & Noble

 

Find out more about the author, Kevin Kwan, on:

http://www.kevinkwanbooks.com/

Goodreads – Kevin Kwan

 

What else do you want to see on my blog? Let me know in the comments below, tweet me at @ReviewAlholic or tell me on Facebook!

#BookReview A Cup of Redemption by Carole Bumpus

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If I had to describe this book in one word, I’d use the word “journey”.

This incredibly breath-taking tale by Carole Bumpus wow-ed me more than I can say in a few words. When I started reading this book, I just figured it was another Women’s Fiction novel that would be a great ‘on the side’ read to keep my mind off of my homework. Once I got into the book, I was instantly hooked and amazed at how Carole can weave words into the most beautiful and heart breaking tale I’ve ever read! It’s an Oscar-worthy book that is shockingly under-appreciated! Seriously, this is in my Top 10 reads now from how freaking fantastic is was!

A Cup of Redemption follows multiple generations in one family. Sophie’s Mother (Marcelle) has just passed and she is asked to investigate her family tree. She goes on this wild adventure about her heritage with her friend Kate, and enlists the help of some of her siblings. Along the way, we learn about the haunting past of her, her mother and her grandmother. These tales are seamlessly written and tie in with one another throughout the story. This book will break your heart, warm your heart, and then make you believe in familial love all over again.

There’s a splash of history in this book, since it goes over the World Wars and other historical events that occur behind the scenes (or during the scenes!) of the story. There’s a wee bit of romance, a whole lot of drama, and a splash of mystery as well! If you like fiction where the story slowly unfolds and everything comes into view, then you will love this book! The ending isn’t right out there, you have to learn through Sophie and the other characters what really happened in the past – and I loved that aspect. I’m glad the ending wasn’t obvious like some mystery novels.

I loved the characters and how they interacted with each other. Even when Carole is changing back and forth between the decades, she makes these characters lovable and feel real. At times, I could relate way harder to these characters than I ever expected to. That realism is what really sets this book apart from other stories like this. I almost felt like this could be a non-fiction retelling of a woman’s life. Seriously, it’s that good.

The downfalls of this book are as followed:
1. There’s a lot of characters to follow, and if you put down this book a few times like me – you might forget who’s who!
2. There are some plot points that don’t end up resolved, but they aren’t major ones. I would have liked a few more of my questions answered, but the story does come to a close so I guess that’s a bit of a positive…
3. This book can be quite…upsetting. There’s rape, sexual assault and other dark occurrences in the book that aren’t for the light of heart.

By the end of this book, I couldn’t put it down! I absolutely loved it! Even with the slow start, it slowly burned a hole into my heart and I absolutely need more by Carole Bumpus! If you haven’t picked this book up, seriously, get on it! I’m utterly surprised by how well this book connected with me and I want to make sure more readers are able to connect to books with this much talent in it!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Find this book on:

Kobo

Indigo/Chapters/Coles – eBook

Indigo/Chapters/Coles – Paperback

Barnes and Nobles – Paperback

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

Find out more about Carole Bumpus on:

Goodreads – Carole Bumpus

http://www.carolebumpus.com/

Twitter – @CaroleBumpus

If you enjoyed this review, give me a shout out on Twitter: @ReviewAlholic or check out my Facebook page: @BriarsReviews

 

While you’re at it, check out another book review you might enjoy! #BookReview Driving on the Left by Gail Ward Olmsted

#BookReview Backyard Hullabaloo by Junia Wonders

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I was lucky enough to find this book for free via BookBub!

Backyard Hullabaloo is a fun and spunky picture book by Junia Wonders and Divin Meir!

What I liked about this book was that there was a little more reading content in it. The picture books I have been picking up lately had barely a sentence per page, but this book had multiple sentences and even paragraphs per page! Having a little more content made this book a little more fun and inventive when I was reading it.

We follow Mr. Bagoo, who overslept since his alarm clock didn’t ring! We also meet his neighbors along the way as he tries to get his chores done! Everyone seems to be in a bad mood for some reason! Mr. Bagoo and his neighbor aren’t getting along, and they must solve their issues with each other.

I also loved that there was no rhyming scheme to this book – it moved at a nice pace and didn’t feel forced. It was written in a tone that felt professional and yet humorous or child-like all at the same time.

The artwork was a style I don’t see to often – it looked like digital crayons! I really liked this different art style, especially since it felt like it belonged with the story. I couldn’t see any other art style fitting with the tone and silliness of this book!

Overall, I’d highly recommend this book! It’s a great picture book with a fantastic story! I could see this book easily being used for story time at a school!

Four out of five stars!

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

If you enjoyed this book or review, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Half Done Fun by Katja Vartiainen

 

Why not give me a shout out on Twitter? Recommend me books, chat about all things nerdy, find other reviews and books I recommend and talk about my upcoming and current reads! @ReviewAlholic

 

Photo via Goodreads.