The Little Book of Big Feelings: An Illustrated Exploration of Life’s Many Emotions



How are you?

Whenever someone asks you that question, how do you respond? Most people (myself included) respond “fine.” But are you REALLY fine? What emotion is “fine?”

I have discussed this with my husband many times over the years. I tell him how I would very much love to respond to that question with how I REALLY feel, or come up with some silly response.

Why do we shy away from how we are truly feeling? Are we afraid of being judged? Are we afraid the other person won’t understand how you are really feeling at that moment in time? There could be several reasons why we don’t respond with the answer that expresses our true feelings.

There is a new book by author Maureen “Marzi” Wilson called The Little Book of Big Feelings: An Illustrated Exploration of Life’s Many Emotions, that tackles the idea of emotions, and takes the reader on a journey of self-acceptance and acknowledgement. After all, as humans we have a complex set of emotions such as fear, sadness, happiness, apprehension, anxiety and joy. In this book, Marzi shows readers how to embrace each of these emotions.

This is not a “self help” book, per say, even if it comes across as one. It’s more of a lighthearted look at the complex emotions that we all feel from throughout the day.

The Little Book of Big Feelings: An Illustrated Exploration of Life’s Many Emotions is part book, part “comic” book, featuring adorable doodles that touch upon the various emotions. Here are just a few examples to give you an idea of what the interior of this book looks like.

Are you can see, this is not your typical “self help” book filled with big words and scientific mumbo jumbo. This is ones person’s insight on the various emotions and how they make her feel, which many people can certainly relate to.

The book’s table of contents show that it includes little tid bits about pretty much every emotion you would possibly feet.

I love her section on curiosity. I am probably one of the most curious persons out of my entire family and friends. Just like in the book, I will lose sleep at night because I can’t turn off my brain and I am constantly wondering about things. I literally have to take medication to help “turn off” my brain at night.

Like in the book, I always Google and read up on things that I am most curious about. I have been known to Google things I hear on the news because something about it I find curious.

I found this book to be very funny and entertaining. I especially love some of the ideas Marzi writes in the book, like why are croutons not called “toast babies” and an egg called “bird seed” (think about the last one – ha ha). There is also an entry where she asks why there isn’t a backpack that turns into a bed simply by pulling a string, so that the moment you walk in the door you can lie in a bed (I NEED something like that in my life).

Overall I enjoyed the book. As I said, it is very entertaining and the doodles (illustrations) are charming.

This book would be a great book for children as well (yes, this is actually a book for adults). It’s a nice way to introduce them to the various types of emotions, and to let them know it’s OK to feel all of them and that they never have to shy away from how they feel, or push their emotions down just because they don’t think they are acceptable.

After reading this book, I think the next time someone asks me “How are you?” I will respond with how I really feel (I just won’t go into great detail of course).

The Little Book of Big Feelings: An Illustrated Exploration of Life’s Many Emotions is available where ever books are sold, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


*I received a free copy to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Gift some fun and educational books from National Geographic Kids this holiday season


Are you still looking for gifts for your child?

I know that many parents try and get the “it” toys of the season for their child (or grandchild). That is fine and all, but there is a type of gift that is ideal for gift giving, whether it’s for the holidays, a birthday, or “just because” – BOOKS!

When I was a child I LOVED books. I could not get enough of them. I loved receiving books as a gift. I amassed a nice collection of books, many of which I still have. I kept a lot of my favorite books from my youth to share with my own children, and someday, my future grandchildren.

I loved to read all types of books – fiction, non-fiction, horror, comedy, drama, book series – you name it. I even enjoyed reading educational books. One of my favorite types of books to read were encyclopedias. I know that might sound a bit unusual, but I honestly enjoyed it.

Educational books are not boring. It just depends in the book that you read. Take for example National Geographic Kids books. I have been a fan of their books for many years. Not only are they filled with a lot of great information and facts about just about everything on Earth (and even space), but they are also filled with a lot of great facts.

I’m a smart person. I do very well when we watch Jeporady. That is because I know a little bit about a lot of things. Many National Geographic Kids books are a great way to let your child learn a little bit about a lot of things (that is a GOOD thing).

If you are considering gifting a child books this holiday season, here are some suggestions from National Geographic and National Geographic Kids.

I was sent a few of these books to review.

Nerd A to Z: Your Reference to Literally Figuratively Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know (ages 8-12, $14.99)

“You don’t have to be a nerd to be captivated by this combination of Guinness Book of World Records, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and short form encyclopedia…..the info blurbs are fun to know and in many instances educational.  A bushel of inviting, idiosyncratic subjects” – Kirkus

“VERDICT A treat for visually oriented and information-hungry browsers.” – School Library Journal

This super-stuffed alphabetical compendium of must-know facts from science, pop culture, history, and more is perfect for kids who already know the names of every single dinosaur or want to understand exactly how the Millennium Falcon works. It’s a book for grammar gurus, science snobs, music geeks, and history buffs. In short, it’s a book for nerds. Inside, you’ll find browsable, info-packed blurbs that’ll give you the lowdown on everything from augmented reality to zydeco, with larger features that dive deep into fascinating topics like UFOs, pirates, artificial intelligence, and daring circus acts. And you’ll hear from the world’s most notable (and quotable) Nerds of Note from history and today.

As I mentioned earlier, I know a lot about a lot of things. This book is the prime example of ways your child can be the same way.

This book covers a huge assortment of topics on just about everything you can possibly think of.

There are even fun tests you can take to find out what kind of “nerd” you really are.

I’m an adult, and I found this book extremely interesting. I learned a lot from it myself.

The book is filled with colorful photos and illustrations that bring this book to life.

The Book of Bling: Ritzy Rocks, Extravagant Animals, Sparkling Science and More! (ages 8-12, $19.99)

“Bling is all around us,” the author writes. Maybe so…but rarely is the razzle-dazzle this cranked up. Should come with a cautionary note: sunglasses a must!” – Kirkus

From upscale splurges to flashy fun in nature, this treasure trove is filled with wonders that will dazzle and delight. Read about how nature struts its stuff with tantalizing tidbits about animals, including a few that literally glitter with iridescence to confuse predators. Or maybe you’ll strike it rich after reading about Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, U.S.A., where anyone can go hunt for sparkling gems. Dig into info about the world’s mysterious minerals, gorgeous geodes, and ritzy rocks. Discover extravagant expenditures like Canada’s million-dollar solid gold coin. Learn all about the splendid science of diamonds that rain from the sky in space. Get the secret behind glowing bio-luminescence. And go back in time to uncover palatial palaces, the riches of royalty, and other ancient treasures. To show off the lush content in proper fashion, readers will be dazzled by hundreds of fun flashy photos throughout.

This is a fun book about everything that glitters, shines and costs $$$.

I love the sections on the world’s richest animals, as well as the section on “cursed” jewelry that you should never touch. The section on gems and jewelry is pretty extensive.

The cat, “Grumpy Cat,” made it into the book as one of the world’s richest animals.

I like that angle this book takes. Would would have thought about writing a book all about rich, fancy, sparkly things around the world.

Treasury of Bible Stories written by Donna Jo Napoli, illustrated by Christina Balit (ages 8-12, HC, $24.99)

“Napoli brings her literary eye to yet another ancient tradition.  Balit’s bold illustrations accompany each tale and feature a diversity of skin tone that reflects the many lands from northeast Africa to the Middle East where the drama unfolds… Sidebars throughout add historical and scientific context to the stories presented while backmatter includes maps, timelines, and brief biographies of the major players. A worthy cultural treasury with appeal to both the faithful and irreligious.” — Kirkus

Noah’s Ark, Moses, David and Goliath, the ten plagues, Daniel and the lions’ den, Jonah and the giant fish, and many more of the Bible’s most powerful stories — 27 in all — are compellingly retold in this beautifully illustrated treasury. Readers will be fascinated by the ancient people and events they encounter, surprised by some of the lesser known accounts revealed, and inspired by the lessons these tales impart. Stories cover important ground beyond religion, such as culture, history, and geography, and they touch on issues that remain relevant today–faith, loyalty, kindness, violence, generosity, greed, jealousy, and more. These accessible, readible stories give kids a rich picture of biblical times, which encourages them to think about our role in the world and to learn more.

Dream Journal by Dr. Allan Peterkin (ages 8-12, $12.99 )

This stocking stuffer is what dreams are made of — literally!  Professor of Psychiatry Dr.Allan Peterkin helps readers uncover the power of their dreams and better understand the science of sleep. With lively text, vibrant imagery, and plenty of space for writing, it’s the perfect tool to help kids remember, record, and reflect on their nighttime adventures.  Catching Z’s has never been so much fun!

Brain Candy: Seriously Sweet Facts to Satisfy Your Curiosity – (ages 8-12, $8.99)

This offbeat, “stocking-sized” book is like a sweet treat that will satisfy any reader’s fun fact cravings. Cranium “cavities” will be filled to the brim with 500 fascinating knowledge nuggets about numbers, fun facts, and cool trivia on all kinds of topics.  With features that dive into why potatoes and tomatoes are a dynamic duo, amazing animal tongues and how they are used to ”lick” their competition and dental care through the ages, Brain Candy is a tasty approach to feeding kids tantalizing tidbits about the world.

This is another fascinating book filled with interesting facts.

I like how the facts are grouped by subject, such as size, heat, speed, numbers and more.

As with all National Geographic books, this book is overflowing with interesting and useful information, as well as beautiful, colorful photos and illustrations.

Any of these books would make a great gift for that special child in your life. To be honest, I think even grown-ups would appreciate these awesome books.

You can find these great books and more on the Shop National Geographic website. You can also find these books at book retailers such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Does your child/grandchild own any National Geographic and/or National Geographic Kids books?

Do you think your child/grandchild would like any of the books mentioned above? If so, which one(s)?


*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Holiday gifts from Highlights


Are you familiar with Highlights? Highlights is a kid’s magazine that has been around for as long as I can remember.

Going to the pediatrician is never fun for a kid, however, I didn’t mind going because the waiting room had Highlights magazines in it. Often my doctor would let me take some of the older issues home with me. It was like getting a “gift” every time I went to see him. For that reason, I didn’t mind going.

My most favorite thing from the magazine is the search and fine puzzles. Those were always a lot of fun. Actually, all of the activities in the magazine were fun.

I loved Highlights magazine as a kid. As an adult, I can still appreciate this quality children’s magazine. I used to subscribe to it for my kids when they were little.

Highlights has not changed since when I was a child, which is a good thing. The brand has also gone on to create many wonderful Highlights books – both reading books as well as puzzle and game books.

I was sent to review a few Highlights books, all of which are great for the holiday season and beyond.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas


Families will start a new holiday tradition with this special Hidden Pictures edition of the beloved holiday poem, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas”—the debut title in the HighlightsTM Hidden Pictures® Storybooks series.

MSRP: $12.99

Age: 4 to 8 years

This is such an adorable book! The illustrations are darling!

The front and back cover of the book have glitter on it, to bring the “snow” to life. That was such a creative idea.

This is the classic ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas story, but with a twist. Each set of pages is a a “find the hidden picture” page. One side features part of the story, as well as illustrations of the items you need to find. On the other page is a scene from the story with the hidden pictures somewhere inside of it.

This book is geared towards children 4-8 years old, but I must say, there were a few times I was stumped as to where the hidden item was hiding. Some are not as easy to find as others.

This is a fun book for children to read on their own, or if they just want to try and find the hidden objects without reading the story.

60 Second Puzzles

The Fun to Go books are ideal for busy kids—they fit easily into backpacks for travel, waiting time, or any “I’m bored” moment.

MSRP: $6.99

Ages 6 to 9

This is a small book that comes with an sand timer. The sand runs out in 60 seconds. The idea of the book is to see if you can complete a puzzle in one minute, before the timer runs out.

There is a nice variety of puzzles in this book, from mazes to find the hidden objects. I find that the mazes were a bit easier to do in the time frame than the find the hidden objects puzzles.

Each set of puzzles gives you four tries to complete them. I like that you get more than one chance. You can also do different puzzles each time, then go back to the ones you want to try over again.

This book is small (think), but it’s ideal for tucking into a backpack or luggage when traveling. You can even tuck it in your purse or tote bag to take with you to keep your child occupied and entertained while at a restaurant or waiting at a doctor’s office.

Jumbo Pad of Word Puzzles

This 256-page pad of word puzzles joins our successful, best-selling collection of jumbo books. It’s jam-packed with word searches, crosswords, riddles, codes, and logic puzzles, with removable sheets that are easy to share.

MSRP: $12.99

Ages 6 to 9

There are over 125+ puzzles in this jumbo pad. There is a nice assortment/variety.

Even though this is geared towards children, I found some of the puzzles to be fun to do myself.

You can work directly in the pad, or tear out pages if you want to share them among children (in case you have more than one child/grandchild who wants to use the pad).

The nice thing is that the backside of each page features the solution to the puzzle, so you can easily check your answers.

All of these books are “budget friendly.” They are available on the Highlights website, as well as on Amazon and other retail locations.

These not only make great holiday gifts and stocking stuffers, but they are also great gifts for year round gifting.

For more information about these and other Highlights products, visit Highlights.com. The brand can also be found on social media. Their links are found on the bottom of their website.

A Highlights magazine subscription also makes a great gift.


*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

National Geographic Kids Books new book series – So Cool! So Cute! (giveaway ends 10/12/19)


I’ve always been an avid reader. Sadly, I have been too busy over the years to read as much as I’d like to. I have a nice collection of books I’ve been meaning to get to. Someday…

As a child, I would read all kinds of books. I especially loved books that were educational. Yes… it’s true. I would read educational books. I would grab an encyclopedia (remember those?) and literally read through it from beginning to end. How nerdy was that? It’s true. I think that is why I am so good at answering questions on Jeopardy. I love it when “I” know the answer and the smart people on the show don’t.

I loved reading books about animals, ancient Egypt (I loved to learn about mummies), and other far away places.

If your child/grandchild love animals, and they love to read up about the various species, you should check out a new book series from National Geographic Kids Books called So Cool! So Cute!

So Cool! So Cute! books are filled with fun facts about the specific species. Each page features beautiful, colorful, photography of the species to help bring it all alive.

The first two books in the series are So Cool! Sharks and So Cute! Pandas. I was sent both books to review, along with adorable plush animals.

These books are geared towards kids 3-7 year olds (preschool to second grade). I’m an adult and I think these books are great. I even learned a thing or two that I didn’t know about sharks and pandas.

So Cool! Sharks

Sharks are among the world’s top predators, but that’s just ONE reason why they are SO COOL. So who wouldn’t want to hang out with them to learn more! These books blend awesome animal photos with silly quips and info that will delight young readers and animal enthusiasts. For example, kids can catch the hunting habits of a great white shark while learning that its true nature is as chill as a frozen fish stick. This is the perfect little reader to get their brain buzzing and keep them laughing during downtime, bedtime, or anytime.

I have always found sharks to be fascinating creatures. One of the things on my “Bucket List” is to cage dive off the Australian coast and see a Great White shark up close. I know, I know… sounds crazy. But I am really interested in doing something like that. I know it will never happen (we don’t have that kind of money), but it’s fun to dream about it at least.

I know a lot of people are into sharks. That is why “Shark Week” has become so popular over the years. Admittedly I watch some of the programs that come on that week. That’s because I find sharks so cool, just like the books.

This book is a great starter book for young children to learn about these fascinating creatures. You can read it to them, or they could read it themselves. These are easy readers.

The other book in the series has to do with Pandas. Who doesn’t love Pandas? They are SO CUTE! I especially love how they act. They are very silly. I love how they roll around.

I first fell in love with pandas when I saw the famous Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., when I was a young girl. It was back in the late 70’s or early 80’s if I recall correctly. Sadly, those Pandas died many years ago.

I also received the So Cute! Pandas book as well as an adorable plush panda.

So Cute! Pandas

Get ready for cute overload, panda style. And the funny thing is, this panda isn’t just cute. It’s got attitude! You’ll flip over the adorable photos and be equally charmed by what this sassy little panda is thinking on every page. Introducing the brand-new series from National Geographic Kids that combines two wonderful things: super cute photos of all your favorite fluffy animals and silly text that will have the whole family laughing. Add to that some great nonfiction content that gets kids learning, and, what can we say? This series is just so cute!

Admittedly, I didn’t know as much about pandas as I did sharks. That is because there is no such thing as “Panda Week” on television. There should be. Pandas are fascinating creatures too.

Both of these books would make a great addition to any family library.

If you are interested in learning more about these and other National Geographic Kids Books, visit the National Geographic store (linked here).

I have both books and the plush animals to give to a lucky reader.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on October 12, 2019. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen.

To enter, please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this giveaway?

For extra entries, please refer to the giveaway widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I received free product samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. The sponsor will be providing the prize package. 

Great books for young readers


Summer is over. School is back in session. Where did the time go? It seems like only yesterday families were celebrating graduations and prom. Now it’s a brand new school year. It’s back to reading, writing and arithmetic.

Is your child (or grandchild) a reader? Some kids LOVE to read. Other children, like my son, are considered “reluctant readers.” It’s not that they can’t read, or don’t want to read. It’s just that often titles presented to them to read of are no interest to them.

Our daughter would willingly read just about any book she had to for school. She also read A LOT just for the fun of it. Even now at 22 years old, she still reads books. Although I wish she’d utilize the library more and not buy brand new books. We have no room for them (she’s amassed quite a collection).

Our son has never been a fan of reading. When he was younger he was interested in Biscuit and Max and Ruby, so I picked up A LOT of books about them for him to read – which he would. There were other titles/book series he showed interest in, so I would borrow them from the library (or purchase them) just so he’d have something to read.

If you have a child that loves to read, or perhaps you are looking for titles to interest a child that may not be a big fan of reading, check out these great books from Silver Dolphin Books and Canterbury Classic Books.

The Big Book Adventure

Journey back through childhood classics like Peter Pan, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and more in this adorable picture book about the joys of reading!

There is nothing like a book to take you to places you’ve never been. Best friends Foxy and Piggy can’t wait to tell each other about all of their adventures in reading! Flying over Neverland, swimming with a mermaid, joining in a mad tea party, soaring on a magic carpet—old classics come to life in the eyes of two little readers who can’t believe what they’ve seen. Journey back to old favorites and experience the magic all over again in this adorable picture book about the joys of reading.

This is a super adorable book that is fun to read. It’s geared toward children in 1st – 3rd grade (6-8 years old). However, younger and older children can enjoy this magical story too.

The book is written by Emily Ford and illustrated by Tim Warnes.

The illustrations are charming. I adore the main characters in this story (Foxy and Piggy). They are absolutely adorable.

This is an easy reader, filled with creative and fun rhymes.

What I love about this book is that it “samples” various other well-known stories, as the friends travel through them on their many adventures. I think this is a fabulous way to encourage children to want to read these classic stories after they finish this book. I think this book is a great pre-cursor to enjoying those books as well. As a parent, anything that can stimulate a child and encourage them to read is wonderful in my book (no pun intended. OK… maybe a little).

If your child is interested in these classic titles (and more), then you should check out Canterbury Classic’s  illustrated classic series. This book series includes the titles;

I was sent a few of these titles to review. I was sent Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass, Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales, The Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales, and Peter Pan. These are some of my most favorite classic stories. In fact, I have a HUGE framed poster of the entire Peter Pan story, made to look like Peter Pan and Tinker Bell. From a distance it looks like their likeness, but when you get up close you can see that it’s made out of the words from the entire story, from beginning to end.

PHOTO SOURCE: Spineless Classics

My framed artwork, leaning against the fridge. It now hangs in our dining room.

Needless to say I was excited to receive a copy of Peter Pan, as well as the other titles, to review from Canterbury Classics.

These are high quality, collectible, heirloom quality books that can be passed on from generation to generation. They are exceptionally well made, including detailed foil stamping and a full-color illustration on the covers (they feel really nice to the touch) and colored ends to the pages. The books are colorful too, so they stand out nicely in your home library or bookcase.

These books are written for ages 10+ (they are the original, unabridged stories).

Each book features gorgeous, colorful illustrations by acclaimed illustrators that really add to the story (I’m a big fan of books with images/photos in them).

I have saved books from my youth for my children to enjoy. I also saved some of their favorite books for their children (my grandchildren) to enjoy some day. I am saving these books to pass down to my grandchildren too. They are beautiful and you cannot beat the classics.

I’ve read Peter Pan already (I am very familiar with the story, of course, and have read it a few times in the past). I am currently working on the Brother’s Grimm book. I’ve already enjoyed their interesting tales.

It’s funny that I received a Hans Christian Anderson book to review. Recently I found a very old (antique) copy of his stories at an old bookstore. That book is old and delicate, so I won’t open it that often. I appreciate the copy I received from Canterbury Classics to review. I feel better opening and reading that book.

If you are interested in learning more about these books (or where to purchase them), you can click on the links from above. You can also find Silver Dolphin on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

Look for Canterbury Classic books on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

What do you think about these titles? Do you think your child or grandchild would be interested in them?

Which title most interests you, or you think would most interest your child/grandchild?


*I received free sample copies to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Fun new Halloween books from Simon & Schuster


I know that summer just ended (technically it ends on September 23, 2019), but it’s never too early to start planning for Halloween. I don’t know about where you live, but here they’ve had Halloween things in the stores since the beginning of August.

I bought some Halloween decorations from AC Moore (craft store) around the first of August. I haven’t put them out yet. We plan on decorating for Halloween towards the end of September.

If your child/grandchild wants to get into the Halloween mood, there are plenty of fun books for all ages available from the publishing company, Simon & Schuster. They have plenty of new Halloween books for all ages, that are worth checking out.  I received a few of these books to review. I’ll comment about each one I reviewed below.

I also linked directly to the book on Simon & Shuster’s website so that you can learn more about it and where to purchase the book. Many of these books are found locally in bookstores, online book retailers and of course, Simon & Schuster.


By Doreen Cronin

Illustrated by Betsy Lewin

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781534450127 | All Ages

New York Times bestselling duo Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin’s beloved Halloween story is now available as a Classic Board Book!


By Salina Yoon

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781534443426 | All Ages

A cute kitten with a very twitchy tail is looking for a friend to trick-or-treat with in this purr-fect Halloween novelty book from award-winning creator Salina Yoon.

This book is super adorable! Throughout the story, you or your child can pull on the side tab to make the kitten’s tail wag back and forth.

I wish the book had “googly eyes” ‘instead of printed on eyes. I think that would have made the book even cuter.

The story is sweet, and the book is short enough to keep a young one’s attention.

The illustrations are adorable, and the images are bright and colorful.

This is such an adorable book.


By Tina Gallo

Illustrated by Mette Engell

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781534440197 | Ages 2-5

Kids are sure to laugh out loud at this pumpkin-shaped board book celebrating Halloween.


By May Nakamura

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781534440586 | Ages 3-7

The PJ Masks have to protect all the kids from Luna Girl, Night Ninja, and the Wolfy Kids who team up to steal everyone’s treat bags. It’s up to the PJ Masks to save the day—and Halloween! 

 Cast a spell on your curious child! Our Halloween picture books are both clever and cute:


By Muon Thi Van

Illustrated by Hyewon Yum

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781481481717 | Ages 4-6

Little Linh is the cleverest little witch on Mãi Mãi island. She has everything she could need: a trusty broomstick, a powerful spell book, and a magical pet mouse. She also has a new brother named Baby Phu, and she does not like him one bit. He crashes her broomstick, eats pages out of her spell book, and keeps her up all night. Little Linh tried giving Baby Phu away, but nobody will take him. So, she’ll just have to try something else…


By Muon Thi Van

Illustrated by Matt Myers

4/23/19 | ISBN 9781534417168 | Ages 4-8

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall, who’s the most terrible one of all? Every morning, Smugg’s magic mirror tells him that he’s the most terrible monster there is. Until one day, when the mirror tells him there’s an even worse monster, right next door!


By Blair Thornburgh

Illustrated by Scott Campbell

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781534414006 | Ages 4-8

Debut picture book author Blair Thornburgh and award-winning illustrator Scott Campbell put their heads together to celebrate one of the most important bones in your body: the skull! This smart, skull-positive story cheerfully dispels any fears kids might have about their skeletons, flipping our view of skulls from a spooky symbol to a fascinating, cool, and crucial.



By Jessie Sima

8/27/19 | ISBN 9781534418776 | Ages 4-8

When Spencer gets a new pet, he’s excited to do all the things that pets do—taking walks in the park, going to the vet, and attending parties together. There’s just one hitch: Spencer’s new pet is a balloon. And that means No. Sharp. Objects. 

For Ages 5-7, a spooky sleepover Ready-to-Read:


By Ximena Hastings

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781534440647 | Ages 5-7

Mavis is thrilled to be reunited with her friends Sophie and Charlotte, twin werewolves from her Ghoul Scout troop. But when Aunt Lydia smells humans on the premises, she orders a lockdown of the castle and a search of the entire hotel. Mavis’s sleepover goes awry in this hilarious Level 2 Ready-to-Read based on an episode of the hit Disney Channel show Hotel Transylvania: The Series. 

Calling all monster lovers! Junior Monster Scouts is a new series for ages 7-10 for fans of Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol and Hotel Transylvania!


9/3/19 | ISBN 9781534436770 | Ages 7-10

By Joe McGee

Illustrated by Ethan Long

Wolfy, Franky, and Vampyra—the children of the classic monsters—are Junior Monster Scouts. And even though ‘monster’ is their middle name, these funny fiends just want to help anybody in need, earn their Junior Monster Scout merit badges, and make friends. But, their good deeds are always foiled by Baron Von Grump, a cranky schemer who doesn’t like noise, doesn’t like kids, and most of all doesn’t like the Junior Monster Scouts.


9/3/19 | ISBN 9781534436800 | Ages 7-10

By Joe McGee

Illustrated by Ethan Long

It’s The Village’s 150th birthday celebration! And that means bright lights, popcorn machines, a marching band, and a musical merry-go-round. But not if Baron Von Grump can help it! 

I received both of these books to review. They are a fun read. I hope that the author, Joe McGee, plans on writing more books about these lovable characters.

These books are easy to read, and feature black and white illustrations sprinkled throughout the pages. I personally prefer reading books with interior pictures (I’ve always been that way). I find that illustrations keep my attention and add to the visualizations I have in my head about the content I am reading.

There is a third book coming out in April of 2020. I wouldn’t mind reading that book either.

I could see myself reading these books back in the day when I was in the 7-10 range (maybe even younger or older). I love monsters and scary things, so these books would have been perfect for me.

No worries, these books are NOT scary. They are just super fun books that really grab your attention (which is why I’d love to read the 3rd book in the series.

Check out these Halloween-themed tales from our other favorite chapter books series:


By Andres Miedoso

Illustrated by Victor Rivas

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781534433519 | Ages 5-9

Camping with Desmond Cole is a lot of fun, until he starts telling ghost stories around the campfire. Most kids tell creepy stories that are totally fake, but Desmond tells totally true stories that will give you goosebumps.

This is another fun Halloween book.

Recently, the film Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark came out. That movie was not suitable for young views (in my opinion). This book would be a great alternative. It’s not scary at all.

I think most people share stories around a campfire (I used to when I went camping with my cousins). I could see someone reading this out loud to little ones around a campfire (or fire pit).

This book features different stories (each one is only a few pages long). Some are a bit more “spookier” than others, but nothing scary (in my opinion).


By Franklin W. Dixon

Illustrated by Santy Gutierrez

9/3/19 | ISBN 9781534431249 | Ages 6-9

Detective brothers Frank and Joe investigate a crime of smashin’ in the tenth book in the interactive Hardy Boys Clue Book series. Can Frank and Joe find out what happened before it’s too late? Or is this pumpkin crime unpatchable?


By P.J. Night

8/27/19 | ISBN 9781534445635 | Ages 8-12

Ashley is shocked to find out that her new friends in Heaton Corners are forbidden to go trick-or-treating, so she convinces them to sleep over at her house and go trick-or-treating anyway. But she soon discovers that Halloween in Heaton Corners isn’t like Halloween anywhere else. Halloween is more than haunted in this superspecial You’re Invited to a Creepover book, featuring a glow-in-the-dark cover.


By Natalie Shaw

9/17/19 | ISBN 9781481494878 | Ages 5-8

A sleepover at the Royal Castle has Mini, Taffy, Frosting, and even Gobo the little troll believing in marshmallow ghosts in this fourth super-sweet Aladdin QUIX story. Perfect for fans of Sofia the First. 



By Andres Miedoso

Illustrated by Victor Rivas

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781534440456 | Ages 6-9

On Halloween, a curious Mavis and her friends break with tradition and do something every monster has been warned not to do: they go trick-or-treating. How much trouble can they cause? Plenty apparently.

Discover the wacky world of Franken-Sci High, the only school in the world for aspiring mad scientists! A new series created with the Jim Henson Company, perfect for ages 8-12.


8/27/19 | ISBN 9781481491310 | Ages 8-12

By Mark Young

Illustrated by Mariano Epelbaum

It takes a lot to stand out at a school for mad scientists—but Newton Warp is unlike anyone (or anything) else at Franken-Sci High. Newton Warp is a mystery, even to himself: He wakes up one day in the library with no idea of who he is, how he got there, or where he came from. He’s eager to find out who his family is, but this is high school after all, and he soon has other problems.


9/24/19 | ISBN 9781481491341 | Ages 8-12

By Mark Young

Illustrated by Mariano Epelbaum

In the second book in the Franken-Sci High series, Newton Warp’s friends notice he’s being followed around by a strange new professor, Dr. Flubitus, but have no idea why. Newton wonders if it has something to do with the barcode on his foot. He doesn’t have much time to dwell on it, though, because soon there are reports of a giant monster loose on campus!

Beware of these spooky middle-grade novels for ages 8-12, guaranteed to hook any young reader:

BUNNICULA: 40th Anniversary Edition

By James Howe

5/21/19 | ISBN 9781534435933 | Ages 8-12

Celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the fluffy and fearsome classic Bunnicula with this pocket-sized edition, perfect for accompanying readers on all their mischievous adventures. This special edition includes bonus content and a deluxe cover that looks and feels as eerily delightful as the story within!

Seriously? Is Bunnicula FORTY years old already? Sheesh… I feel old. Very old!

This book has a velvet-like cover, which kids are going to love to “pet” and stroke.

This is a classic story that I read many times over the past few decades. This book is so funny! It contains a plethora of crazy characters that you are sure to love.

I know this story is geared more towards younger children (8-12), I think older children and even us “big children” (adults) will enjoy reading this. I’ve read this book numerous times and I still find myself laughing at certain parts.

Cute! Cute! Cute! You really should read this book at least once in your life.


By Alexander William

Illustrated by Kelly Murphy

5/21/19 | ISBN 9781481469197 | Ages 8-12

Rosa Diaz saved the town of Ingot by unleashing all the ghosts who were previously banished. Now, like the rest of the world, Ingot is filled with spirits and poltergeists. But unlike the rest of the world, the town’s residents have no idea how to cope, and some of the ghosts are holding century-old grudges. National Book Award winner William Alexander conjures up a spooky adventure full of excitement in this entertaining sequel to A Properly Unhaunted Place.

This book is actually a series of sorts, There is another book that preceeds this book. I haven’t read that one, but I’d be interested in reading it because there were some parts in this book where I feel there is a backstory and I’d love to learn more about it.

This book, in a way, reminds me of Mean Girls in that Rosa (the main character) has to attend middle school after being at home for many years. She needs to find a way of navigating middle school, which i s a lot scarier than the ghosts she’s experienced. She’s also seeing as the “weird” kids at school, which honestly doesn’t bother her.

Even though the lead character is a girl, I think boys would enjoy this book just as much as girls would.

I enjoyed reading this book. I don’t think it’s necessarily scary. But there is a bit of a creepiness factor too it, which is cool.



3/5/19 | ISBN 9781534430884 | Ages 8-12

By Heather Shumaker

A charming, adventure-filled debut novel that’s perfect for fans of The Penderwicks series. The Griffin siblings can’t wait to spend a week visiting their eccentric aunt in England. But when they finally arrive, they’re faced with a few local secrets that stir up more than a little trouble. Apparently this town has a ghost problem and the three children must race to solve the mystery before the ghosts take something that doesn’t belong to them. 

Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind Sabrina the Teenage Witch meets Roller Girl graphic novel for ages 8-12:


9/3/19 | ISBN 9781534431461 | Ages 8-12

By Emma Steinkellner

Thirteen-year-old Moth Hush loves all things witchy. But she’s about to discover that witches aren’t just the stuff of movies, books, and spooky stories. It turns out that Founder’s Bluff, Massachusetts, has a centuries-old history of witch drama. And, surprise: Moth’s family is at the center of it all! 

For readers 14 and up, a plague called “Wickedness” is pulses through the world in this dystopian YA:


By Alexander Yates

7/23/19 | ISBN 9781481419840 | Ages 14 and up

When an insect-borne plague begins to envelop the world, three sixteen-year-olds struggle to survive amongst the healthy “trues” and the infected “wickeds” in this gripping dystopian tale from the author of The Winter Place.

What book (or books) stood out to you the most? What book (or books) do you think your child/grandchild would love to have? Feel free to comment and share your thoughts. I always love to hear from readers.


*I received free book samples to review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.