Book Review: Naji And The Mystery Of The Dig By Vahid Imani

Author: Vahid Imani
Release Date: 9th May 2014
Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction
Series:
Edition: E-book
Pages: 198
Publisher: Stormtop Publishing
Blurb:
One summer morning, eight-year old Naji woke up to an unusual sound. Three strangers were digging in her courtyard. Naji’s sixth sense warned her: something suspicious was lurking down there. As events unfold and suspense rises, readers will enjoy the many colors of Persian culture, cuisine, folklore, history, geography, religion, language, and intrigue through Naji’s eyes and heart. No one was prepared for what the diggers discovered far below the surface of the courtyard. Not even Naji.

REVIEW

★★★

Naji And The Mystery Of The Dig by Vahid Imani is a delightful children’s book rich with cultural details and full of moral lessons. Naji was a likeable kid and therefore the story didn’t fall behind in grabbing my interest. Though the story could have been a bit shorter and therefore a much faster read.

It is a humble and honest story full of innocence and wonders and I’m sure that the kids would love it. I feel that children younger than middle-graders might also enjoy a light reading of this book.

I’d recommend this book for all children as this book has some really good aspects that the children would love and their parents would greatly appreciate.

You can also read this review on Goodreads and Amazon

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Book Review: Braidy Von Althuis And The Dastardly Djinn By Cassidy Dwelis

Author: Cassidy DwelisRelease Date: 30th October 2018
Genre: Middle-Grade, Fantasy, Supernatural
Series: Braidy Von Althuis #3
Edition: e-book
Pages: 228
Publisher: Precursor Publishing
Blurb:
“He should have known this would happen. Wishes in movies and books seemed to go bad, so why would this one be any different?” 
Ten-year-old Braidy von Althuis misses his family dearly. Ever since his father, his aunt, and his uncle went to look for Gran in Europe, the house has been quiet and lonely. Even worse, Braidy’s cousin Blockhead is miserable after a breakup. Braidy wishes more than anything that he could do something to make his cousin happy. His wish is granted by a mysterious djinni, but the wish does not solve all his problems. Something is wrong with Blockhead, and Braidy learns a dark secret about his family that changes everything he knew. Will Braidy and Blockhead be able to undo the djinni wish, or will Braidy spark a war that may change the world as he knows it? Braidy von Althuis and the Dastardly Djinn is a story about identity, self-worth, consent, and responsibility. 
This book is suitable for children aged 8 – 11.

Review

★★★★

Braidy Von Althuis And The Dastardly Djinn by Cassidy Dwelis is the sequel to Braidy Von Althuis And The Gullible Ghost Hunter. I had a bit of a complaint from the last part because of the absence of a character, but this book totally made up for everything because this part focused mainly on Braidy and Blockhead, Braidy’s cousin. So I really, really enjoyed this book (as much as I did the first one, Braidy Von Althuis And The Pesky Pest Controller.) 

The story in this book starts where the last one left off and the plot progressed further featuring Braidy on yet another adventure, this one, again, a little bigger and better. Reading about the familiar characters felt so good and in no time I was there living the plot myself right beside Braidy. I loved this book and I’m looking forward to reading more books (especially in this series, if the author plans to continue) by the author.

I’d recommend this book to all middle-graders and to their parents and siblings and friends alike because this book has so much to offer that anyone could enjoy it.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Braidy Von Althuis And The Gullible Ghost Hunter by Cassidy Dwelis

Author: Cassidy Dwelis
Release Date: 30th March 2018
Genre: Middle-Grade, Fantasy, Supernatural
Series: Braidy Von Althuis #2
Edition: e-book
Pages: 228
Publisher: Precursor Publishing
Blurb:
“Braidy felt a churning cauldron of fear stirring in his stomach. Uncle Rolo had the habit of destroying good things.” Ten-year-old Braidy von Althuis finally has what he needs: a good friend, Saturday-Morning cartoons, and a loving family. While life has been perfect since Braidy defeated the warlock that attempted to kidnap his father, Braidy knows the quiet will not last. Strangeness creeps through Maple Hills, especially since a ghost hunter moved into town. This ghost hunter has Braidy’s dead Uncle Rolo worried sick, but Braidy’s family thinks the newcomer in town is harmless. Braidy feels otherwise, and to make matters worse, a friend from Uncle Rolo’s past comes to call. Will Uncle Rolo follow the rules and stay safe, or will Braidy watch his uncle tear their family apart? Braidy von Althuis and the Gullible Ghost Hunter is a story about telling the truth, taking responsibility, and what it means to be a family. This book is suitable for children aged 8 – 11.

Review

★★★+1/2

Braidy Von Althuis And The Gullible Ghost Hunter by Cassidy Dwelis is the sequel to Braidy Von Althuis And The Pesky Pest Controller, a book which I heartily enjoyed. This book was a bit shorter than the last one and as a result, for me, did not pack as much punch as I was expecting. Still, overall the series kept progressing nicely through this book and the story in this one tackled another great adventure which was very enjoyable.

The book was good, but I felt that it missed a couple of characters entirely, for example, Blockhead and Kara. Kara at least made occasional appearances, but blockhead was missing entirely from the second half of the book which felt more like a plot hole than a planned event. Even Gran, Aunt Liz and Mrs Althuis were shown very less which affected the characterization in this one (which was really unfortunate as I had huge expectations from this one.)

Nonetheless, the story was exciting in its own way and the plot was, yet again, a winner. I loved the fact that in this book, the story focused on Brady’s uncle, Rolo, and that new characters were introduced in a nice way. I again came across the issue of unpolished dialogues, but the brilliance of the plot again made it up for me.

If you’re looking for a fresh series to explore than I’d highly recommend this series, though I don’t recommend reading this part without having read the first one as the first part, Braidy Von Althuis And The Pesky Pest Controller, gives an intimate knowledge of all the characters and their backgrounds.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Book Review: Braidy Von Althuis And The Pesky Pest Controller by Cassidy Dwelis

Author: Cassidy Dwelis
Release Date: 10th May 2017
Genre: Middle-Grade, Fantasy, Supernatural
Series: Braidy Von Althuis #1
Edition: e-book
Pages: 323
Publisher: Precursor Publishing
Blurb:
Ten-year-old Braidy von Althuis just wants one thing: to fit in. The other kids at school think he’s weird, and for good reason. Despite his oddities, Braidy wants more than anything for his dad to be able to come to Township Day, a fun-filled event at school, but Mr. von Althuis refuses. “It’s too dangerous,” he says. Things change for Braidy when Mr. von Althuis gets sick, and, even wose, this pesky pest controller won’t leave Braidy alone! Will Braidy be able to get his family to Township Day without his world falling apart? Braidy von Altuis and the Pesky Pest Controller is a tale of frienship, family, magic, and mayhem that takes a look at what it means to be bullied and how to rise above it. This book is suitable for children aged 8 – 11.

Review

★★★★

Braidy Von Althuis And The Pesky Pest Controller by Cassidy Dwelis is an insanely enjoyable middle-grade fantasy book that will definitely warm your heart. This book is about a ten-year-old boy, Braidy, who lives with his odd family in an old palace and faces challenges in school in the form of bullying for being different. But in reality, Braidy is a brave boy who can go to any lengths in order to help his family and loved ones.

This is a beautiful story and I loved it to the core. The characterization is brilliant and the story progression is really, really good. The writing was mostly good but did feel a bit rough around the edges and in all honesty, seems to require a bit of a polish. Even the dialogues felt a bit crude and sometimes out of place, but these are minor flaws which can always be corrected by the author and seem minuscule in front of such a winning plot.

The best part about the book was that it had a lot going on which made the overall plot very interesting as well as very realistic. Each and every character’s internal conflicts were displayed beautifully and I really liked reading about each and every single person and incident.

I’m sure the kids would love to read this book (or listen to it as an elaborate bedtime story.) If you like reading books with honest characterization and concept then go ahead and grab yourself and/or your kids a copy of this amazing book.

this review is also posted on Goodreads and Amazon

Audiobook Review: Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin

Author: Kate Douglas Wiggin
Narrator: Ann Richardson
Release Date: 
8th December 2017
Genre: Classic, Children’s Fiction
Series: 

Length: 8 hours 11 minutes
Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press Inc.⎮2018
Blurb:
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm has delighted readers for over 100 years. Published in 1903, when girls were inevitably depicted as pretty, gentle and proper, Rebecca Rowena Randall burst onto the scene of children’s literature. Sent to live with her prim and proper Aunt Miranda, who is expecting her much more demure sister, Rebecca is a “bird of a very different feather”. She has “a small, plain face illuminated by a pair of eyes carrying such messages, such suggestions, such hints of sleeping power and insight, that one never tired of looking into their shining depths….” To her Aunt Miranda’s continual dismay, Rebecca is exuberant, irrepressible, and spirited – not at all “proper” or “demure”. She wins over her aunt soon enough, and the whole town, and thousands of readers and listeners everywhere.
In 1904, author Jack London wrote Kate Douglas Wiggin: “May I thank you for Rebecca?…. I would have quested the wide world over to make her mine, only I was born too long ago and she was born but yesterday…. Why could she not have been my daughter? Why couldn’t it have been I who bought the three hundred cakes of soap? Why, O, why?” And Mark Twain called Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm “beautiful and warm and satisfying”. This recording, narrated by Ann Richardson, whose sweet voice has a facility for accents and character voices, is a satisfying listening experience you’ll want to revisit. Upcoming from Post Hypnotic Press is a new annotated print/eBook edition of this book, with illustrations from the original publication and a new introduction, as well as a work-book f…

Review

★★★★

Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin and narrated by Ann Richardson is a beautiful audiobook that is a must read (must-listen?) for everyone.

It is a beautifully sweet book with a lovely young girly-girl character at its heart who will win your heart by the end of the first chapter itself. Unlike many other readers, I have not yet read Anne of the Green Gables (a reference I came across in many reviews for this book while deciding whether to accept this book for review or not) so I can’t offer any comparison, though what I can say is that this is a very thorough book full of moral lessons and hearty anecdotes of a time that is long gone and is always remembered. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book because of the colourful narration which was fun to listen to.

I’d recommend this audiobook to everyone who loves reading (or more specifically, who loves listening to audiobooks.)

This Review Is Also Posted On Audible and Goodreads


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Book Review: Horatio And The Fear Of Dying by J.D. Oldenburg

Author: J.D. Oldenburg
Release Date: 4th October 2017
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Edition: Audiobook
Pages: 13 minutes
Publisher: J.D. Oldenburg Publishing

Blurb:

Once upon a time… a brave boy named Horatio challenged and conquered Death, dawning everlasting life over his Kingdom. But as life and death are in love, one without the other became joyless. Soon,

Horatio must mend the cycle he has broken. Horatio And The Fear Of Dying was inspired by Jim Henson’s adaptation of the famous 1850s Russian Folktale, The Soldier And Death.

Review

★★★★★

Horatio And The Fear Of Dying by J.D. Oldenburg is a coming of age children’s book which will absolutely blow your mind with its brilliant storyline, amazing narration and a beautiful message for children and adults alike.

This book not only teaches its readers how to get over their fear of death/dying or of anything that seems scary but it also successfully teaches the importance of relationships in one’s life. I had a chance to see some of the illustrations that’d be going in the illustrated edition of this book, and I must admit that they were beyond amazing!

I’d recommend this book to every parent and all the children who love reading or listening to stories as this can possibly be one of the best children’s book you might come across these days.

More from the author:Author Interview: J.D. Oldenburg #authorinterview

Graphic Novel Review: Nina The Neighborhood Ninja by Sonia Panigrahy

Author: Sonia Panigrahy 
Illustrator: Hazel Quintanilla
Release Date: 2nd November 2016
Genre: Children’s Book | Illustrated | Graphic Novella
Edition: Ebook
Pages: 44
Publisher: 

Rating: ★★★★

Blurb:

Nina’s a girl who takes charge. She uses her brain and her muscles to complete rescue missions. She doesn’t mind getting dirty and climbing trees. It’s all part of the life of the everyday girl superhero. Young readers are encouraged to recognize that the traits of being smart, strong, and speedy exist within themselves. Young girls will find this book to be a positive affirmation that they too can be superheroes.

Review

Nina The Neighborhood Ninja by Sonia Panigrahy is a delightful read that teaches young children, especially girls, to be a super-hero in their own worlds in their own way.

I rarely read children’s books, but when I was asked to review this title, I simply couldn’t say no. Look at the cover, who can say no to that cute face?!

The book is so adorable that it stole my heart right from the first page and made me smile with each and every turn of the page. Nina is a normal kid who does extraordinary things and has super powers, the best one being her kindness. She teaches kids to be their best self and to do their best to help others in whatever little way they can.

The illustrations are equally beautiful and I’m sure that this book will be quite visually appealing to children.

I’d recommend this book to all the parents who have young children, especially for their little girls. Nina is one superhero you wouldn’t want your child to miss.


Goodreads and Amazon

Graphic Novel Review: Warren The 13th And The All-Seeing Eye

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Author: Tania del Rio
Illustrator: Will Staehle 

Release Date: November 24, 2015
Series: 
Genre:  Fantasy | Mystery | Paranormal | Children’s Fiction | Adventure | Sequential Arts > Graphic Novel
Edition: ASCM
Pages: 113
Publisher: Quirk Books
Distributer: –
Source: NetGalley

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb: 

Meet Warren the 13th, a cursed 12-year-old Victorian bellhop who’s terribly unlucky . . . yet perpetually optimistic, hard-working, and curious. Orphan Warren’s pride and joy is his family’s hotel, but he’s been miserable ever since his evil Aunt Anaconda took over the management. Anaconda believes a mysterious treasure known as the All-Seeing Eye is hidden somewhere on the grounds, and she’ll do anything to find it. If Warren wants to preserve his family’s legacy, he’ll need to find the treasure first—if the hotel’s many strange and wacky guests don’t beat him to it! This middle-grade adventure features gorgeous two-color illustrations on every page and a lavish two-column Victorian design that will pull young readers into a spooky and delightful mystery.

Review

Warren the 13th And The All-Seeing Eye is a delightful read not only for children but for adults as well (at least I enjoyed reading it and would love to read it again!)

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WT13ATASE is about Warren (the 13th), a toad-faced and unlucky 12-year-old orphan who stays with his uncle Rupert – a lazy dumb chap – and his wife, Annaconda – a clever witch who continuously troubles Warren to search The All-Seeing Eye (a legendary treasure about which no one seems to know.) Warren is a bright kid who tries to see the good in every situation and who dreams about growing up and restoring his forefather’s hotel to its full glory someday. He’s a good lad who tries to do everything at the same time and wanting nothing in return.

Paleface

Warren stole my heart in the first few pages of the book and, as I read ahead, I was totally spellbound by his cuteness and willingness to help everyone. It really broke my heart to see him trying to be the bellhop of the hotel, carrying all those heavy luggage alone, with no help from his lazy uncle. I also loved chef Bunion, and Mr. Friggs, Petulia and Paleface, but I hated aunt Annaconda and despised uncle Rupert, all to say that the characterization is terrific! The author made me feel like I know all these characters well enough to have such strong emotions and that’s where this book earned all the raves from me.

The illustrations are truly magical. I loved them and they managed to take the story to a whole new level.

This book is simply outstanding and I’d recommend it to all the children, and even to their parents and brothers and sisters. Everyone needs to read such an amazing book!

Bookstagram

Instagram


You can also read this review at Goodreads, Amazon and NetGalley.

Picture Book Review: The Most Magnificent Thing

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Author: Ashley Spires
Release Date:
March 31, 2016
Series: 
Genre: Suspense, Thriller, Mystery, Speculative Fiction
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 250
Publisher: Obsidian Dawn
Source: Author
Buy it here: Amazon

Rating: ★★★★★

Blurb:

A warning from a stranger.
“Nothing you know is real. Your name isn’t Shawn Jaffe, you’re not an investment broker, and you’re not from Ohio.”
But the stranger is murdered before he can explain.
Now Shawn isn’t sure who he can trust.
Even his own memories are suspect.
Someone is watching him, controlling him, using him.
To survive, he’ll need to find out who and why.
But the stakes are much higher than one man.
Our humanity is on the line, and on the eighth day, it could be the beginning of the end.

Review

The Most Magnificient Thing is indeed the most magnificent thing I’ve read in the last few months. This book is utterly adorable and so cutesy that you’ll fall in love with this book as soon as you’ll open it. It has a unique feel good factor that really touches the heart as you follow this cute “regular girl” on her journey to create the most MAGNIFICIENT thing.

The illustrations are simply beautiful and elegant and they look really precious. The color-scheme of the book is simply stunning and quite soothing to the eyes (considering this book is for children.) I loved the concept the simplicity of the story and the wit that the author included in this beautiful story skillfully.

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The simplicity of the story and the concept is something that made this picture book a special read.

If you have a child, or even if you don’t, you really, really need to get this book! It’s the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen ❤

Bookstagram

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Instagram


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.

Book Review: A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story

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Author: A.J. York 
Release Date: December 1, 2015
Series: None
Genre: Children's Fantasy|Fairytales|Magic|Middlegrade|
Edition: Ebook (mobi)
Pages: 31
Publisher: Nova Sky Books
Source: Author (Thanks, Jen!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

A fully illustrated Christmas story that will make your heart sing!

Upstairs in the Anderson’s attic there is chatter coming from the Christmas, Easter and Halloween boxes. Someone new has arrived. Tallulah the Christmas Fairy wakes to find herself attached to the top of a tree. She soon makes friends and has a magical first Christmas. Once the festivities are over, Tallulah finds herself in the attic with the other decorations from Easter and Halloween. Each year they watch the seasons change as they wait excitedly for their turn to go downstairs. Until one day new boxes appear and then the unthinkable happens. A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story is a magical and uplifting tale for the whole family.

RatingTRB 5 stars

Review

A Fairy Extraordinary Christmas Story is a beautiful book that gives us a peek in the lives of the various decorations (that we assume to be non-living) such as Christmas decorations, Halloween decorations, Thanksgiving decorations, etc. and even a few toys.

It’s a heart melting story about how the decorations get all super-excited as their time of the year comes and how, when the festival ends, they get sad as they are stowed away in the attic. How they wait for the seasons to proceed and for their festival to come so that they can again be hung or placed downstairs and can finally see the family and the world outside (through the windows.)

The story is told from the POV of princess Tallulah, who is a new addition to the Anderson’s Christmas decorations. She sits at the top of the Christmas tree and makes loads of friends over time. And as the years go by all the decorations grow extremely close to each other and finally all the events lead up to the most amazing Christmas ever. (I won’t say anything further as it is a surprise after all!)

This story is so beautiful that not only children but adults will also enjoy it thoroughly. It’s a fairly quick read and will be a nice gift to give it your kids this Christmas. (I know I’m a little late, but what the heck, it’s still holiday season.)

In the Christmas spirit, here’s some magic for all the readers of TRB:

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Source: http://24.media.tumblr.com/eb323b1073d16f12cb46f41f8cc93b3f/tumblr_mftv2hFCaA1ric07zo1_400.gif

Book Trailer

Other Stuff

Opening Line: Tallulah had no idea she was alive. At least, not straight away.

Highlights: Awe-inspiring story.

Lowlights: None.

Final Thoughts: A magical read!


You can also read this review at Goodreads and Amazon.


 

Comic Book Review: Apocalypse Meow Meow (ARC)

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Author: James Proimos III 
Illustrator: James Proimos Jr.
Release Date: 3rd November, 2015 (I received an ARC)
Series: -
Genre: Children's Fiction | Comics | Post Apocalypse
Edition: ascm file
Pages: 224
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA CHildrens
Distributer: 
Source: NetGalley

Blurb

Brownie, Apollo, and their ragtag group of strays have raided the grocery store and defeated some very mean mutts–but now they’ve run out of food. So when the crew discovers a nearby Twonkies factory, and all the Twonkies they could ever eat, they think they’ve got it made.

The only catch is the cat guarding the factory–and this “cat” is MUCH bigger, and far more sophisticated, than any feline they’ve ever met. Can the dogs and their friends defeat their foe and claim the Twonkies for themselves?

The Proimos father-son team returns with another irreverent, dog-filled take on the apocalypse, told in a graphic novel paper-over-board format. The instantly accessible artwork and laughs on each page will charm everyone from the most reluctant reader to the coolest of cats (humans and animals alike)!

Rating

4-stars

Review

description
I had a good laugh reading this comic and would definitely read the other books in the same series.

The book started brilliantly and I adored all the dogs and the cat (meow.) I really enjoyed the quirkiness and the cuteness of the plot and the characters. I absolutely loved the whole thing about the “Twonkies” (with a capital T) and the nude dude.
description
It’s a funny book and that’s what I was expecting from it, so it delivered what it promised and considering that it’s a children’s book, I can’t expect anything more from it.

Having said that, i did feel that the end could have been a little different or a page sooner.
Originally I wanted to give this one a 5-star rating, but before I did I found out that the other books in this comic-series are far funnier than this one, so I thought of giving it a 4-star for now. If later, after reading the other books, I’ll feel that it deserves an added star or half, then I’ll definitely update my review. But for now I think 4-star rating is perfect.

description
Aww… isin’t he adorable!? ❤

 

You can also read this review at Goodreads.