The Boy, The Bird, and The Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods

CoverTitle: THE BOY, THE BIRD, AND THE COFFIN MAKER
Author: Matilda Woods
Genre: Children’s Fantasy Fiction
Pages: Print 189
Release Date: May 4, 2018
Rating: ★★★★.5


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Penguin Young Readers partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copy used in this review is an uncorrected copy from the publisher, some quotes may have been changed prior to publishing.


Description:

Friendship and magical realism sparkle on the page in this heartwarming, delightfully eccentric illustrated middle-grade gem from an extraordinary new literary voice. Perfect for fans of A Snicker of Magic and The Penderwicks.

Alberto lives alone in the town of Allora, where fish fly out of the sea and the houses shine like jewels. He is a coffin maker and widower, spending his quiet days creating the final resting places of Allora’s people.

Then one afternoon a magical bird flutters into his garden, and Alberto, lonely inside, welcomes it into his home. And when a kindhearted boy named Tito follows the bird into Alberto’s kitchen, a door in the old man’s heart cracks open. Tito is lonely too–but he’s also scared and searching for a place to hide. Fleeing from danger, he just wants to feel safe for once in his life. Can the boy and the old man learn the power of friendship and escape the shadows of their pasts?

With a tender bond that calls to mind The Girl Who Drank the Moon, charming characters reminiscent of The Penderwicks, and the whimsy of A Snicker of Magic, this is a novel to curl up with, an extraordinary work of magical realism that makes the world feel like a warmer and happier place. Complete with dazzling interior illustrations, a gem from start to finish.


Author Bio:

Matilda Woods (www.matildawoods.com) grew up in the small town of Southern Tablelands, Australia. She graduated from Monash University with a Masters of Social Work. Matilda splits her time between writing middle grade fiction and working as a youth social worker. The Boy, the Bird, and the Coffin Maker is her debut novel. She currently lives in the same small town where she grew up, with her four chickens, three dogs, two cats and one bird.


Final Thoughts:

This entrancing middle grade read follows the life of a boy, a bird, and a coffin maker. Alberto has been making coffins since the death of his family. Allora, once a thriving town, is merely a place of silence. Sickness has taken over many lives and in the wake of death, silence is imminent. Alberto continues to make coffins in hopes of giving back to the dead. One night, Miss Bonito is brought in. She was found in her home in a still warm bed. As the weeks follow after her funeral Alberto starts noticing food items missing. Who is the their in his home? Did Miss Bonito really die alone?

Overall, this was such a great book. I loved the interaction between characters and the turmoil between the thief and Alberto. I would have liked for more of a backstory on Miss Bonito and more explanation about Mister Bonito. The author did a great job portraying the challenges of diseases during a time where there was no cure. I assumed the story was written in a time before medicines were popular. It was a bit harder to tell the setting and time frame of this novel. The text had me wanting more. I would recommend this book to any middle grader looking for a good read pertaining to families, friendships, and unlikely relationships with animals. Birds are free, are you?


Interested in me reviewing your book or have suggested reads? Email me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com

ARC Review!: Unicorn Rescue Society: The Creature of the Pines

cover.jpgTitle: Unicorn Rescue Society: The Creature of the Pines
Author: Adam Gidwitz , Chris Lenox Smith, Jesse Casey
Genre: Children’s FantasyFiction
Pages: Print 176
Release Date: April 10, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from Penguin Young Readers partner in exchange for my honest review.  The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or the publisher. The copy used in this review is an uncorrected copy from the publisher, some quotes may have been changed prior to publishing.


Description:

A fully illustrated, globe-trotting new middle grade fantasy-adventure series about mythical creatures and their cultures of origin, from the Newbery Honor-winning author of The Inquisitor’s Tale.
Elliot Eisner isn’t exactly excited about starting at a brand-new school in a brand-new town; he’d much rather stay at home and read a book. But things take an unexpected turn when he finds out his weird new teacher, Professor Fauna, has planned a field trip for Elliot’s very first day. Along with a new friend–brave, outspoken Uchenna Devereaux–Elliot gets caught up in a secret group of adventurers, The Unicorn Rescue Society, whose goal is to protect and defend the world’s mythical creatures. Together with Professor Fauna, Elliot and Uchenna must help rescue a Jersey Devil from a duo of conniving, greedy billionaires, the Schmoke Brothers.

Unicorn Rescue Society is an exciting and hilarious new series about friendship, adventure, and mythical creatures from around the world by Newbery Honor-winning author Adam Gidwitz teamed up with Mixtape Club founders Jesse Casey and Chris Smith, and Hatem Aly, illustrator of The Inquisitor’s Tale.


Author Bios:

Adam Gidwitz is the author of the critically acclaimed, New York Timesbestselling Grimm trilogy. He spent six years researching and writing his Newbery Honor-winning The Inquisitor’s Tale, including a year living in Europe. Adam lives with his family in Brooklyn, NY. Find Adam online at adamgidwitz.com or @AdamGidwitz.

Chris Lenox Smith is the Creative Director and cofounder of Mixtape Club, an award-winning audiovisual creative studio. Mixtape works with a range of brands and artists, including Google, HBO, ESPN, Spotify, Primus, and They Might Be Giants, to create memorable, narrative-driven films. Chris is a two-time winner of the ADC Young Guns Award for animation and music composition, his work spans across media, from short films and commercial work to musical scores that marry influences from the precomputer era with modern techniques.

Jesse Casey is the Managing Director and cofounder of Mixtape Club, an award-winning audiovisual creative studio. Mixtape works with a range of brands and artists, including Google, HBO, ESPN, Spotify, Primus, and They Might Be Giants, to create memorable, narrative-driven films. Drawing from his twin backgrounds in computer programming and printmaking, Jesse’s work embraces contemporary technology as a means to recreate the craft and artistry of classic film and animation.

ILLUSTRATOR
Hatem Aly is an Egyptian-born illustrator whose work has been featured on television and in multiple publications worldwide. He currently lives in New Brunswick, Canada, with his wife, son, and more pets than people. Find him online at metahatem.com or @metahatem.


Final Thoughts:

Unicorn Rescue Society is a book that will take anyone on an adventure through a forest. In this imaginative tale, two young students make some unlikely friends as they discover the real secrets of the Pines. It’s Elliot’s first day of school, and he has already been roped into an adventure by his new best friend, Uchenna. Uchenna is spunky, outgoing, and not afraid to go on experience. The author did a fantastic job capturing my attention and portraying teachers in a different light. The two adventurers become friends with the teacher they feared the most, Mr. Fauna. But, Mr. Fauna harbors many secrets about the Pines and the mythical creatures that lie within. The two must learn who to trust and learn new ways to protect their newfound friends. I recommend this book to anyone in elementary. This adventurous novel takes any reader on a mythical journey through friendship, trust, and the Pines.


Question: What mythical creature would you like to meet?

-I would actually like to meet a mermaid. I would love to get a selfie with one. It partly has to do with my name being Ariel but, also I think mermaids are interesting creatures. I would also like to meet a Pegasus and see if it will take me on a ride.-

Comment your answers below! I’d love to hear your responses!


Interested in me reviewing your book or have suggested reads? Email me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com

The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee by Deborah Abela

36748599
this image was taken from the following site: https://www.goodreads.com/book/photo/36748599-the-stupendously-spectacular-spelling-bee

Title: The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee
Author: Deborah Abela 
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Pages: Print 224
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★


Disclaimer: This review is solely my opinion. I was provided a copy of this book from @KidLitExchange #partner in exchange for my honest review. Thanks again to @KidLitExchange  #partner for access to review a free copy of this book! The comments in this review do not reflect the views of the author or KidLitExchange. The  copy used in this review is an uncorrected copy.


Goodreads Synopsis:

A heartwarming story about a girl who’s afraid to follow her dreams, and the family who help make them happen.

India Wimple can spell. Brilliantly. Every Friday night, she and her family watch the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee on TV. When the Wimples suggest she enter the next Bee, India feels nothing but trepidation. She’s sure she’s not good enough – but with the support of her family, India finds the courage to sign up.

There are plenty of obstacles to reaching the finals, like Summer Millicent Ernestine Beauregard-Champion, a spoiled rich girl who isn’t afraid to step on anyone who gets in her way of winning.

The whole thing seems rather calamitous to India. But with hope, hard work, and a little bit of heart, something splendiferous might be on the horizon…


Final Thoughts:

Overall I thought this was a well-written novel that focuses on the importance of family and friends. The book follows the journey of one girl by the name of India Wimple. India Wimple is a fantastic speller with stage fright. She can spell all the words from the competition but is too afraid actually to enter. With the help of her family, she gets up the courage to enter the contest for the next year. India Wimple is hugely protective of her younger brother and will do anything for him. She must learn to put herself first to win this competition and trust her parents to take care of her brother. The entire town rallies to support India as she travels the world to compete in the most significant spelling bee competition. We watch as she overcomes her fears, makes new friends, and surprises everyone including herself. Will she win the competition? What is the grand prize?

If you are looking for a fast read that showcases essential life lessons, then I recommend this novel. This book is intended for elementary and middle-grade readers. It showcases resilience, support, family, and the importance of not giving up. India is a model character and learns to trust her instincts.


Interested in me reviewing your book or have suggested reads? Email me at librarielbookreviews@gmail.com

Emmaline and the Second Summer by Britt Hampton

Rating : 4 out of 5 Stars

Emmaline and the Second Summer by Britt Hampton is a juvenile fiction novel. A copy of this novel was provided to me in exchange for my honest review. This review is solely my opinion. This novel focuses on solving the problem of broken stories. Emmaline is a reserved child that prefers reading over adventures. She doesn’t cry or make a fuss. Her life changes and first the first time she cries because she feels a change coming. A spiral of events occur after her parents reveal some life changing news to her. She must learn to have fun this summer at her grandfathers farm. Can she have an adventure? She arrives at her grandfathers farm and upon her arrival he gives her a ring that belonged to her grandmother. Once she grasps the ring she is transported to a new place, confused with so many questions. She must taken on a new important role this summer and truly take an adventure by trusting her feelings. As she takes on this new role as a storysmith, she must decide who to trust and who not to trust. If you want to learn more about Emmaline’s adventure, this book is available to purchase.

Overall this short read was absolutely adorable. I would recommend it to younger kids. This book challenges your imagination and forces the reader to look at the bigger picture. I loved the connection between the characters and the writing. I personally wanted to know more about her parents and what happened to her grandmother. I also hoped to find out who the mystery person was. ( you’ll have to read it to figure out what I’m talking about)