Dough Knights and Dragons by Dee Leone

Dough Knights and Dragons by Dee Leone  Illustrated by George Ermos

Due to their collective love for cooking and baking, an unlikely friendship blossoms between a knight and a dragon.  Unfortunately for the pair, friendship is forbidden between knights and dragons.  In fact, when a knight comes of an age by law, he is expected to engage in duel to the death with a dragon.  As that day approaches, the now inseparable pair have an ingenuous idea.  Together they collaborate on a plan to stay true to the law without harming each other.

Told in rhyme, Dough Knights and Dragons is pure delight to read aloud to students.  Thanks to Dee Leone’s precise choice of words, students will also be exposed to rich vocabulary on each page of the story.  George Ermo’s illustrations convey the warm and tender relationship between the knight and the dragon.  Dough Knights and Dragons is a delicious and enchanting story that teaches that friendship comes in all shapes and sizes.

Special thanks to Dee Leone for a copy of Dough Knights and Dragons through a Twitter giveaway. It was released in October 2017.


The Great Puppy Invasion by Alastair Heim

The Great Puppy Invasion by Alastair Heim Illustrated by Kim Smith


In Strictville, fun is forbidden, play is prohibited, and cuteness is downright criminal.   So when hundreds of puppies show up, the town is in turmoil.  How can they get rid of all these adorable animals?  When their solutions fail, all the townspeople run and lock themselves safely in the houses except for little Teddy.   Teddy wonders “How could these cute puppies be scary?”  With one simple gesture, Teddy teaches the townspeople that fun, play, and cuteness make Strictville a happier place to live.

Being a proud dog mom, I loved turning each page to see piles and piles of puppies. I am amazed that each puppy is unique in its own way!  Kim Smith has included so many details in every illustration; therefore, rereading is required! No doubt children will fall in love with this picture book and want it to be read aloud over and over.  Adults need not worry for Alastair Heim has included plenty of humor to keep all ages entertained!

Special thanks to Alastair Heim for a copy of The Great Puppy Invasion through a Twitter giveaway.



The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie

Happy Book Birthday Lindsay Currie!

shady street

Prepare to be spooked!  Tessa moves from sunny and sandy Florida to rainy and cold Chicago.  She is not happy about starting over at a new school and desperately misses her best friend Rachel. Not long after her family moves into their new home, Tessa notices strange things happening.  Could her house really be haunted?  With the help of new friends, Tessa begins to uncover a mystery involving a young girl who died many, many years ago.   Highly recommend this #mglit book for its seamlessly blending of suspense, humor, and most importantly the power of friendship.  The book trailer can be viewed here.

Thank you to the author, Lindsay Currie, the publisher, Simon and Schuster Children’s and NetGalley, for providing me with an advance reading copy of Peculiar Incident on Shady Street.



A Tribute to Annie

Although my posts are reviews on recently read books, I wish to share some sad news.

It is with heavy hearts that my husband, Etta, and I had to say goodbye to our sweet Annie yesterday.

When we adopted Annie in early June, we knew she had health issues due mostly to her 13 years of age. What we didn’t know is that Annie had a mass on her spleen, kidneys, and liver.  After this discovery in July,  Annie did not have a lot of time. But she was not in pain and our goal was her comfort.

Annie’s diagnosis did not prevent us from taking our vacation to western North Carolina in early August. Annie and Etta enjoyed rest and relaxation in the Pisgah National Forest and even visited Oskar Blues Brewery in Brevard.



When we returned, Annie’s eating became erratic which made her weak. She slept most of the day but truly enjoyed her view looking out of our front door.  Being a teacher still on summer vacation, I was able to be home and give her the care she needed.


This past weekend Annie stopped eating and by Sunday night even refused water. She could not stand up on her own. She was telling us it was time.

Although Annie was only in our lives for a short time, she taught us to slow down and truly appreciate the simple things in life- a home cooked meal, a warm bed, a caring home, and most importantly spending time with the ones you love.

Thank you Annie. You will always be a part of our family.


Wishtree by Katherine Applegate


The narrator of this inspiring story is Red, a wise, optimistic oak who is affectionately known in the neighborhood as the “wishtree.” Each year on the first of May,  people write down their hopes and tie it to one of Red’s branches.  In two hundred and sixteen years, Red though has learned sometimes “there’s not much you can do except stand tall and reach deep.” But after Samar and her family move in and some neighbors are not welcoming, Samar shares her wish that Red feels moved to grant.  Red makes the bold decision to intervene with the assistance of a pessimistic crow named Bongo and other tree-dwelling animals.

Wishtree is beautifully written with a powerful message of acceptance, friendship, and hope. Red reminds us that “real life, like a good garden, is messy” but it is so important to always keep the faith for a better future.

Pre-order your copy now, for it will be released on September 26, 2017. The publisher Macmillian is partnering with independent bookstores, schools, and libraries for a nationwide Wishing Day.  For more information, click here.

Thank you to fellow #bookexcursion member CeceLibrarian and the publisher Macmillian for providing our #bookexcursion group with an advanced reader copy of Wishtree.