Monday, August 29, 2016

{Review/Giveaway} A CLEARING IN THE FOREST by Kim Love Stump

Follow the blog tour for reviews, guest posts, and more!


O P E N I N G   H O O K:

    PRINCESS ADRIANA KEPT HER hand steady as she lifted the slim onyx cylinder from the castle courier's outstretched palm. But she could not keep her heart from pounding or her throat from squeezing shut, making it difficult to swallow. Her Summons of Standing had arrived. The small parchment scroll contained within ordered her to proceed at once to the King's Throne Room.
    Adriana hurried down the long stone corridor. She had been expecting the summons for days, both dreading and anticipating what it would reveal. She was not concerned over her reception by the King--she was the beloved eldest child, in her opinion her father's favorite, and the apple of the kingdom's eye.
    But this audience would set the course of her life.


(Page 6, US e-book edition)


“We gave you courage and fidelity and kindness. They were Ora to give and we gave then freely to you.

But be Forewarned, your greatest strengths can hinder you more than your weaknesses...” 

~The Three Gifters, A CLEARING IN THE FOREST



A CLEARING IN THE FOREST is the first stand-alone book in the Journeys from Ayrden series by Kim Love Stump, about a royal family who sends out its heirs on their sixteenth birthday to embark on a quest. Only those that return are eligible to one day inherit the throne. Eldest daughter Adriana is the first to embark on such a journey, and it is foreshadowed that she will encounter many perils ahead of her.

I was surprised and intrigued by the fact that the book was a stand-alone. I knew it was the first in a series, but I thought that Adriana's journey would continue and be longer. Fans of stand-alones--especially in fantasy--will rejoice. This book is also super appropriate for all ages and full of wonder and enchantment. In some ways, it reminded me of a fairy tale: Three paths lie before you. Which do you take, the ordinary or the spectacular? Your choice will prove your character. Etc, etc. Even one of the predicaments Adriana gets into had a fairy tale-esque spin to it.

The imagery of the world was unique and intriguing, from the way food was gathered to the types of worlds Adriana encountered.  Nothing was ordinary or expected, and I really enjoyed that, especially with all the musical elements brought into play at one point. I loved visualizing so many new elements and embracing this odd, marvelous little world.

The end did feel a little abrupt for me, and I hope the book overlaps into the second one and continues Adriana's journey a little further, one of those books where it can be read on its own but has something extra for continuing readers, too!
~*~
C O N T E N T R A T I N G S

Content Ratings: highlight between ( ) for details

Romance: G ( barely-there kissing )
Language: --
Violence: --
Other:  --
~*~
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

The cover itself isn't anything new, but I LOVE the stamp for the series:


I love the miniature kingdom and the swirls on either side and the unfurled scroll with the series name and the circle of leaves. I just love the series logo so much!!
  ~*~
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Title: A CLEARING IN THE FOREST
Author: Kim Love Stump
Release Date: Aug. 14, 2016
Publisher: Foxcroft Publishing
Received: Purchased
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18365279-the-castle-behind-thorns
SUMMARY:

Princess Adriana is about to leave the Kingdom of Ayrden on the Journey of her sixteenth year.

If she is ever to ascend to the throne, Adriana must go—alone and unarmed—into the unknown. She’s been trained and gifted for the journey, just like all the royals who preceded her—even the ones who never returned.

Adriana leaves Ayrden on her brother’s black stallion the day after her birthday celebration, with bravery in her heart and hopes for a quick return. When three paths emerge, one of grass, one of gold, and one of gemstones, she chooses the pragmatic path of grass. Although it seems safe, and the landscape familiar, she soon finds she will have to overcome nearly impossible challenges. Ultimately, an unexpected friendship not only changes Adriana, but the very kingdom she someday hopes to rule. The question is, will the friendship turn into everlasting love?
 ~*~
About the Author
Kim Love Stump has loved to read and write ever since she can remember. Whether it was writing a story in third grade called I am a Date, or curling up in her swinging chair reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, fiction in all its forms has always been the fastest way for her to transport herself somewhere else. Now, as an author, Kim strives to transport others in that very same way. She and her husband of more than 30 years make their home in Charlotte, NC.



~*~
****Giveaway*****

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15 winners will receive a finished copy!

(US/Canada Only)

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Friday, August 26, 2016

{Review} LET'S GO TO THE HARDWARE STORE by Anne Rockwell with illustrations by Melissa Iwai


O P E N I N G   L I N E:


WHEN WE MOVED INTO
our bigger house,
everything needed fixing.
That's what Mommy said.  

(pgs. 1-2, US Hardcover Edition)


LET'S GO TO THE HARDWARE STORE would have been my brother's FAVORITE BOOK IN THE ENTIRE WORLD when he was little. The boy was OBSESSED WITH TOOLS!!! He always wanted to help out Daddy and had his own little toolset and everything. My brother now has a son who is turning one next month, and for Christmas, he was already getting his own baby tools because we knew he'd love them as much as his daddy! When I heard about this book, I HAD to grab it so that I could introduce it to my nephew.

What struck me the most was the cover--There is both a boy AND a girl on the cover, and they are both having fun!!!! Y'all, tools aren't just for boys. There aren't enough books that feature girls who love inventing. I LOVE that there is a toy line called GoldieBlox (That began on Kickstarter, no less!) that you can find nationwide at Toys R Us, Barnes & Noble, etc.

They even put together this great invention commercial, where three little girls build a whole lot of awesome together:


The book itself is from the little boy's POV, but he and his sister are on every page having fun together and helping Daddy pick out tools. Plus, they even get to buy a birdhouse kit that they can put together themselves!

I LOVE that Daddy is taking the kids to the store with him and having a Daddy and Me day. I love that he's fostering a love of tools in his kids so young and not only sharing that love with his son. Mommy stays home because there is an infant child (And there's even a scene where she's breastfeeding, which is pretty awesome!). The family is also interracial, so points there, too!

One thing I really enjoyed was the way the pages would portray images of the tools being talked about, such as:



If a kid is having trouble visualizing various tools (Such as types of hammers and screws!), they're pictured. If a kid is obsessed with tools and wants to know about types of hammers (Framing, tack, sledge, ball-peen, mallet, claw...), they're pictured and will help give that child the vocabulary and imagery they crave.

This book is also fun for kids moving to new houses, because it's about a family that moves, and all the cool things they get to do to make the new home THEIRS!!!!

I really love this book for both genders, and think it's a great story about a family going through a typical day!  It has so many awesome themes and should definitely be a storytime title at schools and libraries to expose more kids to this awesome concept!


(How can you help spread the word? 
Ask your local libraries and schools to order a copy to share with young readers!) 

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:


Title:  LET'S GO TO THE HARDWARE STORE
Author: Anne Rockwell
Illustrator: Melissa Iwai
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) / Macmillan
Received: For Review
SUMMARY:

When the new house needs fixing up, it's off to the hardware store to find the tools and materials needed to get the job done—a hammer, a screwdriver, a shiny tape measure, and even a stepladder.

This family outing explores a familiar errand that fascinates plenty of young children: the hardware store. Anne Rockwell's perfectly pitched story and Melissa Iwai's child-friendly illustrations make this book ideal for the preschool audience.


{Review} LET'S GO TO THE HARDWARE STORE by Anne Rockwell with illustrations by Melissa Iwai


O P E N I N G   L I N E:


WHEN WE MOVED INTO
our bigger house,
everything needed fixing.
That's what Mommy said.  

(pgs. 1-2, US Hardcover Edition)


LET'S GO TO THE HARDWARE STORE would have been my brother's FAVORITE BOOK IN THE ENTIRE WORLD when he was little. The boy was OBSESSED WITH TOOLS!!! He always wanted to help out Daddy and had his own little toolset and everything. My brother now has a son who is turning one next month, and for Christmas, he was already getting his own baby tools because we knew he'd love them as much as his daddy! When I heard about this book, I HAD to grab it so that I could introduce it to my nephew.

What struck me the most was the cover--There is both a boy AND a girl on the cover, and they are both having fun!!!! Y'all, tools aren't just for boys. There aren't enough books that feature girls who love inventing. I LOVE that there is a toy line called GoldieBlox (That began on Kickstarter, no less!) that you can find nationwide at Toys R Us, Barnes & Noble, etc.

They even put together this great invention commercial, where three little girls build a whole lot of awesome together:


The book itself is from the little boy's POV, but he and his sister are on every page having fun together and helping Daddy pick out tools. Plus, they even get to buy a birdhouse kit that they can put together themselves!

I LOVE that Daddy is taking the kids to the store with him and having a Daddy and Me day. I love that he's fostering a love of tools in his kids so young and not only sharing that love with his son. Mommy stays home because there is an infant child (And there's even a scene where she's breastfeeding, which is pretty awesome!). The family is also interracial, so points there, too!

One thing I really enjoyed was the way the pages would portray images of the tools being talked about, such as:



If a kid is having trouble visualizing various tools (Such as types of hammers and screws!), they're pictured. If a kid is obsessed with tools and wants to know about types of hammers (Framing, tack, sledge, ball-peen, mallet, claw...), they're pictured and will help give that child the vocabulary and imagery they crave.

This book is also fun for kids moving to new houses, because it's about a family that moves, and all the cool things they get to do to make the new home THEIRS!!!!

I really love this book for both genders, and think it's a great story about a family going through a typical day!  It has so many awesome themes and should definitely be a storytime title at schools and libraries to expose more kids to this awesome concept!


(How can you help spread the word? 
Ask your local libraries and schools to order a copy to share with young readers!) 

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:


Title:  LET'S GO TO THE HARDWARE STORE
Author: Anne Rockwell
Illustrator: Melissa Iwai
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) / Macmillan
Received: For Review
SUMMARY:

When the new house needs fixing up, it's off to the hardware store to find the tools and materials needed to get the job done—a hammer, a screwdriver, a shiny tape measure, and even a stepladder.

This family outing explores a familiar errand that fascinates plenty of young children: the hardware store. Anne Rockwell's perfectly pitched story and Melissa Iwai's child-friendly illustrations make this book ideal for the preschool audience.


{Review} LET'S GO TO THE HARDWARE STORE by Anne Rockwell with illustrations by Melissa Iwai


O P E N I N G   L I N E:


WHEN WE MOVED INTO
our bigger house,
everything needed fixing.
That's what Mommy said.  

(pgs. 1-2, US Hardcover Edition)


LET'S GO TO THE HARDWARE STORE would have been my brother's FAVORITE BOOK IN THE ENTIRE WORLD when he was little. The boy was OBSESSED WITH TOOLS!!! He always wanted to help out Daddy and had his own little toolset and everything. My brother now has a son who is turning one next month, and for Christmas, he was already getting his own baby tools because we knew he'd love them as much as his daddy! When I heard about this book, I HAD to grab it so that I could introduce it to my nephew.

What struck me the most was the cover--There is both a boy AND a girl on the cover, and they are both having fun!!!! Y'all, tools aren't just for boys. There aren't enough books that feature girls who love inventing. I LOVE that there is a toy line called GoldieBlox (That began on Kickstarter, no less!) that you can find nationwide at Toys R Us, Barnes & Noble, etc.

They even put together this great invention commercial, where three little girls build a whole lot of awesome together:


The book itself is from the little boy's POV, but he and his sister are on every page having fun together and helping Daddy pick out tools. Plus, they even get to buy a birdhouse kit that they can put together themselves!

I LOVE that Daddy is taking the kids to the store with him and having a Daddy and Me day. I love that he's fostering a love of tools in his kids so young and not only sharing that love with his son. Mommy stays home because there is an infant child (And there's even a scene where she's breastfeeding, which is pretty awesome!). The family is also interracial, so points there, too!

One thing I really enjoyed was the way the pages would portray images of the tools being talked about, such as:



If a kid is having trouble visualizing various tools (Such as types of hammers and screws!), they're pictured. If a kid is obsessed with tools and wants to know about types of hammers (Framing, tack, sledge, ball-peen, mallet, claw...), they're pictured and will help give that child the vocabulary and imagery they crave.

This book is also fun for kids moving to new houses, because it's about a family that moves, and all the cool things they get to do to make the new home THEIRS!!!!

I really love this book for both genders, and think it's a great story about a family going through a typical day!  It has so many awesome themes and should definitely be a storytime title at schools and libraries to expose more kids to this awesome concept!


(How can you help spread the word? 
Ask your local libraries and schools to order a copy to share with young readers!) 

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:


Title:  LET'S GO TO THE HARDWARE STORE
Author: Anne Rockwell
Illustrator: Melissa Iwai
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) / Macmillan
Received: For Review
SUMMARY:

When the new house needs fixing up, it's off to the hardware store to find the tools and materials needed to get the job done—a hammer, a screwdriver, a shiny tape measure, and even a stepladder.

This family outing explores a familiar errand that fascinates plenty of young children: the hardware store. Anne Rockwell's perfectly pitched story and Melissa Iwai's child-friendly illustrations make this book ideal for the preschool audience.