Change the World Before Bedtime
Advance Reader Copy , Children's / June 30, 2016

Change the World Before Bedtime. Mark Kimball Moulton, Josh Chalmers, Karen Good. 2013. 32 pages. Schiffer Publishing. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] This book reminds me of the quote “Be the change you want to see in the world.” It is a story that shows what kids (and adults) can do to make the world a better place by engaging in small tasks that impact the people and community around them. Some lessons include taking care of oneself by eating well, being sustainable, taking care of others around you, etc.

Maybe Baby

Maybe Baby. Andrea Smith. 2014. 500 pages. Meatball Taster Publishing. [Source: personal copy.] I wanted to like this book, but it fell short in a lot of ways for me. The premise was intriguing for me – Tylar has a strained relationship with a mom who was more interested in her own romantic life than the well-being of her child; her father was never in the picture. Now, she’s on her own and pursuing her dreams in equine science, thanks to a trust fund from her absent dad. She’s working at the Sinclair ranch, which is being run over the summer by tightly-wound Trey Sinclair. Within the first chapter, I began to dislike Tylar. She comes across as incredibly timid to the point of being a push-over (no pun intended). Her youth, both in age and maturity, is shown right off the bat when she chugs a bunch of coolers, plays a drunken game of chicken in the Sinclair pool, and ends up with a concussion. That starts a running theme for me – she’s a borderline alcoholic before the book is even half-way done, and generally seems to have piss-poor judgment in everything she does. Even when I wanted…

Ladybugs Have Lots of Spots
Advance Reader Copy , Children's / June 21, 2016

Ladybugs Have Lots of Spots. Sheryl and Simon Shapiro. 2013. 24 pages. Annick Press. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] This is a cute and fun read for younger readers that focuses on shapes. It’s good to read to your child, but is also a fantastic start for emerging readers to try on their own. The rhyming scheme also helps with sounding out words they may not be familiar with.

Big Cat, Small Cat
Advance Reader Copy , Children's / June 17, 2016

Big Cat, Small Cat. Ami Rubinger. 2009. 28 pages. Abbeville Kids. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] This is a cute picture book about … cats. It’s filled with contrasting descriptions (big/small; fair/dark, sick/well) of illustrated cats. Although we’re not huge cat fans in my household, we did enjoy the book. The illustrations are extremely colorful, and the details are fun/quirky.

Yummy Addictions

Yummy Addictions. Belle Davis. 2015. 145 pages. BD Books. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] I had so much fun reading Yummy Addictions!  I’m not sure if it was more because of the main characters’ playful, sensual rapport, or the decadence of the Parisienne  vacation the main character is one. Either way, it makes an unfortunately short book more fun to enjoy. Vale is a fun and relatable character.  She’s been burned in the past and has turned over a new leaf in how she looks at herself and her relationships. I feel like I’ve seen parts of her personality and approach to life and love in myself and friends. I also enjoyed how authentic her vacation felt – I was enjoying a French vacation along with her, taking in more common as well as lesser-known destinations. The progression of her relationship with Jason is unexpected, but enticing. I definitely understood her attitude toward him (for better or worse) and caught myself getting excited or apprehensive along with her. I definitely recommend this for a fun, flirty read, and I’m ready to read the rest of this trilogy.