Really Ravishing Review (Hedgehog Bakes A Cake)

literati_rain66 Saturday, June 9, 2012 ,
Title: Hedgehog Bakes A Cake

Author: Maryann Macdonald
Illustrator: Lynn Munsinger
Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, originally published by Gareth Stevens Publishing

Beanie's Reaction: Absolute adoration. Beanie and Goobie both love to help me in the kitchen, and he especially loves eggs and messes, so when Rabbit, Squirrel, and Owl all try to "help" Hedgehog bake his cake, he showed me where the eggs were and told me where the messes were. Interactive reading is awesome. :)

Goobie's Reaction: For a reluctant reader, he was very into Hedgehog Bakes a Cake. (insert hoots and hollers and confetti) As soon as I started reading he asked to bake a cake. He listened intently and commented right along with Beanie. Goobie even took the book afterward so he could look at it by himself. Success!

My reaction: I was thrilled that both boys enjoyed it, listened, and sat through the whole thing. I was even more thrilled with the story itself. Hedgehog just wants to bake a cake. But the poor hoggie gets some very unhelpful and undesired assistance. Squirrel, Owl, and Rabbit make a mess of his kitchen and essentially ruin his cake, but through it all he accepts their help. He knows they mean well. They all leave to get cleaned up, and while they are gone he cleans up the messes and fixes the cake. When everyone returns they all sit and enjoy the cake. Hedgehog's so called "helpers" say things like, "Aren't you glad I showed you how to do it?" and other such things. Hedgehog never once gets upset with them or tells them HE made the cake, thank you very much. Instead he just smiles, enjoys his friends' company, shares the cake, and says:

"Thank you for all your help," said Hedgehog. "Next time I will try to do it all by myself."

Isn't that fantastic? What a story of kindness. It was so nice to read a story that celebrated good behavior and kindness. And humbleness to boot! 

I have a feeling this is a book we will be checking out often. :)

Really Ravishing Review (Pug In A Truck)

literati_rain66 ,
Title: Pug In A Truck
Author: Nancy Coffelt
Illustrator: Nancy Coffelt
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Today was the kickoff of our library's summer reading program for kids. Goobie came with me, since Beanie was asleep. (Goobie is four, Beanie is two and still takes his afternoon nap) Goobie had a very nice time, although he was disappointed our new library doesn't have an elevator like our old one in North Carolina did. Despite that, he had a nice time meeting kids and playing with the puzzles and toys. I got both boys signed up, completed my library card registration process, and we got to looking! We checked out a few kid's books and Beanie was thrilled with our choices. One of the books we picked up today was Pug In A Truck, by Nancy Coffelt. That brings us to Beanie's and my review. :)

Beanie's reaction: ELMO!! (We have a pug. His name is Elmo.) Beanie happily sat and read Pug In A Truck with me. He loved the bright, simple illustrations and he loved that two of his favorite things were combined: Pugs and trucks. Beanie gives Pug In A Truck his full endorsement.

My reaction: Pug In A Truck was perfect for my two year old. It had bold, bright pictures and didn't drag along with big descriptions. I had to read quickly because Beanie was so excited to turn the page and see what "Elmo" would be doing next. It was an enjoyable read for both of us and was the perfect length for his toddler attention span. It used some terminology that neither of us was familiar with, but there was a Trucker Glossary in the back. When I read this book with Goobie I'm sure we'll utilize that, but Beanie really didn't care, which was just fine. I like that Pug In A Truck is an acceptable book for both of my kids.

Examples of terminology from the glossary:
Hammerdown - To go fast, step on it.
Double nickel - Fifty-five miles per hour, the speed limit.

Examples of terminology in the text:

"Now we're at a double nickel again and back in business."

"We get on the freeway and put the hammer down."

Of course there's more, but you get the idea. It was fun learning the meanings, even for someone as old as me! ;-)

We would both recommend this book.

Well Who Won? (ABEA)

literati_rain66 Friday, June 8, 2012 ,
As I don't really have any questions for today's Armchair BEA topic because all of my questions were answered in the Twitter parties, I will skip straight to the good stuff: Winners!!

The winner of giveaway 1, the book pack, is:


The winner of giveaway 2, the international only gift certificate, is:

Kim from A Dutchie on Books!

Congrats Kim and Stacy, and thanks to all who visited my blog and entered the giveaway. *hugs all around*

Winners, I will be emailing you shortly. Please respond ASAP!

Fun Fab Facts (ABEA)

literati_rain66 Thursday, June 7, 2012

Today's Armchair BEA topic is going beyond your blog; taking your writing elsewhere and possibly making some moolah from it. Or maybe just doing some freelance.

I have written outside of this blog, but nothing all that wow-worthy. I wrote an article for a parenting magazine once, freelance. I was asked to do it, I did it, not much more to tell. If asked, I'd do it again. If asked to write regularly, I would expect compensation, but the occasional article? I'm not worried about it.

I've written for other blogs, I've written poetry and stories and I technically have the start to a novel, but I've not made a penny and in all probability, won't. 

I blog because I want to. I want to talk about books and let people in on what books are must reads. If someone offered a partnership, I'd be okay with that. But my goal isn't money. I don't even email authors or publishers really. I have, once in particular, emailed an author and received an ARC for review. But I don't typically do that. I'm content reviewing the books I buy, find at the library, or books that other lovely people choose to give me. That's not to say I will never in the future email an author or a publisher and request something, but it's not my standard practice. I have no problem with the folks that do that, I just don't enjoy the blogger envy that can result, and I really don't enjoy flaunting my good fortune in others' faces. *shrug*

I'll go ahead and answer the second part of today's topic -Share a fun aspect about your blog or life that may be completely separate from books. 

Seeing as how this blog is all about books... I'll have to go with my life. ;-) Something fun- I have been going bonkers with LivingSocial lately. They have so many great deals in my area! (I promise, this isn't a LivingSocial ad!) I am SUPER excited about the gift I bought my hubby for his birthday and for the gift I bought myself. Hubs gets to try this crazy cool thing called a JetLev. Basically, he'll go to this resort place and they will teach him how to use this JetLev thing and he will wear a water jet pack on his back that will propel him 30 feet off the water. Is that cool or what? 

Credit: Splash News
Credit: Mobile Magazine

My gift to myself includes three visits to a SPA. *grin* Each visit will include a massage, a luminous facial, a hydra-derma fusion treatment, and a tanning session. Can we say heck yea? 

Credit: Planet Beach Contempo Spa

I also got tickets for the family to go to the Florida Aquarium. We love going to zoos and aquariums and things of that nature, so we are all pretty excited about that. 


I would say that all of those things are FUN. And none of them have anything at all to do with books or blogging! ;-) 

*ABEA graphic designed by Nina of Nina Reads.


Now Needing Noggins (ABEA)

literati_rain66 Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Today's Armchair BEA writing topic is: Share a "real life" book experience. The theme is connecting with bloggers and your community, and what kind of things you've done in real life as a result of book blogging.

Er, well, the thing is... I really have no good thing to write about! I'm an introvert! A hermit! A cave-dwelling fish with white eyes! I mean, sure, I go out. I have to. And I'm capable of small talk and polite talk and smiling and being friendly to passersby and the nice folks in line at the grocery store. But beyond that? PANIC. HEART PALPITATIONS. SWEATY PALMS. We're talking a seventh-grade-crush kind of reaction. The OMG I CAN'T EVEN SPEAK IN HIS PRESENCE OR I WILL SURELY DIE kind of deal. I am truly grateful for the people in real life that have gotten through to me and are in my life. They've worked hard to get there and I am ever grateful for their perseverance. Because I really, honestly suck at reaching out. Which brings me to the point- I've gone in to local bookstores on many occasions with a wonderful plan to chat them up and see what they might think of a scratch-my-back-and-I'll-scratch-yours kind of arrangement, but I just end up buying a book or two, smiling, and leaving. The really pathetic part is that some of the lads and lasses behind the counter are chatty and we discuss books and I have many perfecto openings that I am too chicken to take. I admit it. I'm a chicken. Bwaaakkk.

How do YOU do it? Do you have any kind of partnerships? Do you have any advice for a socially awkward chicken? I think part of my problem is I'm terrible at self-promotion. So many times other peoples' self-promo has turned me off from their blog/book/etc. I guess there's a classy way and an un-classy way and I typically see the latter. I really kind of hate it.

Another problem I have is that I don't even know what a partnership would do to help me or them. I have a very vague idea, but it's not enough to take to a bookstore owner or a publisher or even my cat to present. I know my cat would yawn and lick her paws, and I'm pretty sure the bookstore owners and publishers would do the same.

Any and all help is appreciated!

I have met some bloggers, yes, but not because of my book blog. I've met them through fansites. And they are fantastic people who also happen to be book bloggers. But I'd really love to expand and meet new bloggers and form  partnerships.

Hope you are having a fantastic ABEA!!

Boasting Bookish Bounty (ABEA)

literati_rain66 Tuesday, June 5, 2012 ,

Good day! Welcome to Literati's Literary Library! Today is GIVEAWAY DAY for Armchair BEA and I am hosting TWO giveaways right here on LLL. You do not have to be a registered participant of Armchair BEA to enter my giveaways, everyone is welcome!

Giveaway 1:

The goods:
~Going Bovine, by Libba Bray (paperback)
~Beautiful Darkness, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Signed paperback)
~Across the Universe, by Beth Revis (paperback)
~Looking for Alaska, by John Green

The deets:
~US and Canada only.
~Giveaway winner will be chosen Friday, June 8th. You've got all week to enter!
~Please fill out this FORM. You are only entered if you fill it out.

Giveaway 2:

The goods:
~A $20 gift certificate from The Book Depository

The deets:
~ Must NOT reside in the United States or Canada.
~ Please check and see if The Book Depository ships to your country prior to entering, as I would be very sad to give you a certificate that you couldn't use. THIS is the list, check it peeps!
~Winner will be chosen Friday, June 8th.
~ Please fill out this FORM. You are only entered if you fill it out.

*Graphic designed by Sarah of Puss Reboots.


Artfully Arranged Armchair (ABEA)

literati_rain66 Monday, June 4, 2012
Hello! Welcome to Literati's Literary Library! This week is all about Book Expo America... or for those of us unable to attend- Armchair BEA! To kick things off, everyone is doing a self-interview. Here's mine!

The folks in the Armchair Throne have given us all a list of questions and instructed us to answer five of them. My five:

1. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?
I'll answer both parts of that. I'm currently reading The Serpent's Shadow, by Rick Riordan, third book in the Kane Chronicles. Love Riordan! My favorite book so far this year? That's a tie between Black Heart, by Holly Black, or Lola and the Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins.

2. What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?
I have a gargantuan list, but topping that list is the world of The Edge. The Broken, The Weird, The Edge, and all the places within. I adore the series (book one is The Edge) and the authors, Ilona and Gordon (Ilona Andrews is the name they write under).

Why? It's beyond weird and beyond fantastic. The agents from The Hand are super freaky alterations of people. They've got extra body parts that do unheard of things; they are modification personified. It's very detailed and there is so much thought and imagination that went into the creation of the world. You really, truly feel like you are a part of it. I could say that for any of Ilona and Gordon's books though.

3. Have your reading tasted changed since you started blogging? How?
Changed? Hm. I don't think they've made any dramatic change. Content and genre-wise, my tastes are the same.  A change I have noticed, however, is that I definitely am a more critical reader and I no longer have a problem putting a book down. When I started blogging I read every book I picked up, cover to cover, even if I wasn't loving it. I know better now. Time is precious and if that book doesn't work for me, maybe the next one will.

4. If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?
Easy peasy. Edgar Allen Poe. I'd like to imagine that it would be wildly creepy and morbid and not lack for entertainment. Or else I, the dinner guest would be ignored, or only politely included. But I'd rather we go with the first scenario. ;-)

5. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
Who am I? I am the Literati that lives in the Literary Library. I like alliterations. I enjoy going on walks with no time limit and my camera. I am a wife and mother and an avid popcorn consumer. I am an impulsive shopper and I've recently discovered that I find weeding to be a good outlet for frustration.

How long have I been blogging? Two years on this blog I think. Something like that. But blogging in general? Eleven years.

Why blogging? For this blog, it's because I love books. I love books like kids love bubbles. Like fish love water. Like aliens love probing. Like moths love flame. Well, hopefully with a better end result than those last two... but you get this gist. They help me cope with my life, with the people in my life, and with myself. They help me to understand others and see things from other points of view. They open my world. Through books I've learned that it's okay to feel how I do, to think as I do. I know that I'm not alone with my problems. They ground me and yet let me float high above and look down on the universe from astounding, shocking heights.

I've loved reading since I was not yet able to do it by myself. I remember begging my parents for just one more Berenstein Bears book at bedtime. Begging my dad for another chapter of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Waiting after class so I could test into reading college level fiction in the fourth grade - a fact I was not to disclose to my peers upon pain of removal of the privilege. I remember getting a tongue lashing from my mother after my brother tipped her off to me reading The Secret Garden in church. I remember getting extra chores when I'd promise to stop at the end of the chapter... only to read another couple of chapters of Redwall, Treasure Island, Kneeknock Rise, The Odyssey, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Island of the Blue Dolphins. Books have done so much for me. And I think it's only fair that I share that with everyone I possibly can, so that they too may benefit.


Holy moly. I sort of got going there, but hey, that's it! I'm done now, promise. ;-) I hope you enjoyed my interview with myself. I'm off to read some of yours!