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Saturday, December 31, 2016

SHOULD old acquaintance be forgot?: The FINAL reviews of 2016!

Hi there!
Welcome back to the FINAL post for 2016 here at Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

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Many of you are counting down the minutes right now, or quite possibly have even turned the calendar for me, I've been stuck at work all day and in limbo for the 40 minutes waiting on the night crew, so, here I am, wishing you and yours a safe and happy didn't seem right to leave you without a post today either.  The book selection today varies from Middle Grade Fiction to Young Adult to Non-Fiction and as the post title suggests, some (at least for this reader) may be better left in the old year versus the new.  Ready or not, fair readers, here comes today's final contestants....

Young Scrooge
R.L. Stine
Feiwel & Friends

I was SO SIKED for this one, despite having read it after the Christmas holiday, because it was serving my purpose, nay my tradition of reading some version of A Christmas Carol every year.  Well, it DID serve that purpose, but I can't say I enjoyed the ride...and it all comes down to our leading man, Rick Scroogeman.  Where do I even begin?  He's a bully straight to his core, that doesn't even recognize that he IS a bully.  He's been delicately told by teachers, shown videos that were suppose to help put an end to it that only encouraged him more, and after his lessons from three unusual spirits...he's still a grade "A" a**hole.  (< --- highlight that area for a mini-spoiler) I mean not to sound all Scrooge-like but he should be boiled in his own pudding for the things he does!  My book's end, I was ready to lock him back up in that attic closet and throw away the key.  To me, it felt like this one did a Mexican hat dance on the classic we've come to love, so while I can see perhaps young lads getting into it for the micro-scare and humor factors, I'm not certain I'd be comfortable with the other lingering messages it conveys.<- a="" approaches="" but="" creative="" enough="" experience.="" for="" ghosts="" highlight="" it="" make="" me="" mini-spoiler="" my="" nbsp="" one="" p="" read="" s="" save="" stick="" story="" t="" that="" the="" to="" took="" true="" wasn="" were="" with="">

Image result for twelve days of dash and lilyThe Twelve Days of Dash and Lily
Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Alfred A. Knopf Books

For those of you who read Dash & Lily's Book of Dares once upon a time, this is the book you didn't know you were waiting on.  Was it better than the first?  No...sadly, but it would be pretty hard to top that initial intro to these crazy kids.  It WAS however, highly satisfying, emotionally evocative, and a refreshing blast of yuletide-iness just perfect for the season.  The bookish duos personalities remained intact, allowing readers to find many of those "that-is-so-me" moments along the way.  The way Lily described the way Christmas weather SHOULD be versus what was...perfection!  I myself have uttered at least half of her monologue throughout this holiday season...seriously, Christmas Day was 80 degrees....New Year's Eve, 35.  (WTH?)

Dash was a bumbling genteel gentleman once again, striving to make things oh-so-right but not quite always getting it....same can be said for Lily though.  She's in a really dark place this time...think familial illness, sibling upsets, and kama sutra gingerbread couples ~shutters~...but even with "Jahna" making an appearance, you can see our Lily Bear hiding within.  Just gotta break her out...leave it to Dash and friends.  They got this Christmas on lock.  Final note, I adored Mrs. Basil E's character....absolute love and respect for that woman!  Highly recommend this read for the holiday season and beyond...

The Lost Airman:
A True Story of Escape from Nazi-Occupied France
Seth Meyerowitz
with Peter F. Stevens
Berkley Caliber

This is the reconstructed account of Arthur Meyerowitz's time in World War II.  Using first hand accounts shared many years later, and declassified documents, this remarkable man's grandson has created a book that takes us on a journey back in history.  It will make you cringe at the atrocities man carried out against their fellow man, shutter at the numerous close calls where capture seemed merely a breath away, and yet, in the midst of all the horror, stand in awe at the resourcefulness and inner strength found among those that would stand for what's right even in the bleakest of hours.  The inclusion of pictures of many of the key players, several documents, and scenes from around the area the aircraft was downed really help to solidify that connection between the reader and those that would be subject matter.

For me, I enjoyed learning about this airman and his family, but I wasn't as keen on the deep exploration of some of the other notable characters in history that we also dive into.  Yes, they were important to Arthur's quest to see his family once again, but I "signed up" for Arthur's story, not Markel's or anyone else.  For me, it devoted a tad too much attention to the other gentlemen, but eventually we got back on track to see our man safely (well, he was alive, at least) home. Recommended for history fans, both military and WWII sub cat's...and a lot of dad's because I know mine was chomping at the bit to get his hands on this one.  ^-^


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So in answer to the question posed in the post title, yes AND no.  I say don't necessarily forget, but learn from it, grow from it, and pass it on...the same can be said for the year's transition.  Review copies received courtesy of the publisher and author for books 1 and 3; book 2 was a Christmas present from Mom, so my thanks to her.  (THANKS!)  For more information on there titles, authors, or publishers, feel free to click through the links provided above.  All books featured are available now, so be on the lookout for them wherever books are sold.

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

Friday, December 30, 2016

BLOG TOUR: A Greyhound, A Groundhog by Emily Jenkins

HI guys and gals!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.

Today, we're joining Random House Children's Books in celebration of a Picture Book title about to celebrate its book birthday.  It's releasing under their Schwartz & Wade imprint and from my own experience between the pages, I can see little ones getting a kick out of it....and adults being plied with "just one more time, please" over and over again.  Why?  Oh, you'll see.  Ready or not, here comes today's blog tour guest and book of choice...

Emily Jenkins
Illustrated by
Chris Appelhans

From the moment my eyes read the title to the second I saw the cover, I knew I had to see what magic was in store for me in this read...after all, how often do a get such a cute set of animal friends on the cover, with their opposite ends on the back!  ^-^

The watercolor (at least to my eyes) treatment of the images works perfectly to create texture within our "dogs" without having to resort to extreme detail work, making it easier for wee ones to simply have fun with it all.  Surprisingly though, the book is at first more rhyme than picture, as the sparse illustrations allow the word play to be front and center.  As the tongue twisty ride progresses though, we are treated to a visual array of wonders equally as beautiful as the simple tale being portrayed...the interactions and friendship between a greyhound and a groundhog.  

I dare you to try to make it through this tale without tripping over your tongue at least once.  It practically begs to be read allowed and I've no doubt (as mentioned in my intro) that readers will have the request from the listeners, over and over again.  The trick...getting the listeners to join in!  Really don't think that'll be a problem though with this adorable duo.

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About the author...

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Emily Jenkins has written many highly acclaimed books for children, including the picture book Toys Meet Snow, a New York Times Notable Children’s Book and a Wall Street Journal Best Children’s Book of the Year, and the popular award-winning chapter books that feature the same beloved characters, Toys Go Out, Toy Dance Party, and Toys Come Home. She is also the author of A Fine Dessert, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year; Water in the Park, a Booklist Editors’ Choice and a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book; and Lemonade in Winter, a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year. You can follow Emily on Twitter at @elockhart.

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About the illustrator...

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Chris Appelhans was selected as the Children’s Choice Illustrator of the Year at the Children’s Choice Book Awards for Sparky!, written by Jenny Offill. The book received two starred reviews, including one from Booklist declaring, “Appelhans is a revelation.” Chris has also worked on several films, as an illustrator and a production designer for Coraline, an environment designer for Fantastic Mr. Fox, and a visual development artist for The Princess and the Frog. You can follow Chris on Twitter at @dairysnake.


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Special thanks to Kathy at Random House Children's Books for the copy for review as well as the chance to bring this tour to you.  (THANKS!)  For more information on this title, the author, illustrator, or publisher, feel free to click through the links provided above.  This title is set to hit store and virtual shelves January 3, 2017, so mark your calendar or preorder a copy today!

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

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