Freebie Friday: Food! A Themed Booklist

Hello Readers!

As a Youth Services Librarian I read a lot of books … specifically picture books. And honestly I am okay with that. Why? Because I absolutely love them. They’re chock full of laughs, have really sweet/touching moments, and often times feature beautiful artwork. And what I realized recently is that I really enjoy picture books about food. I find them to be so, so funny.

I can’t be the only one who enjoys a good picture book about food, right?! So with that sentiment in mind, I decided to put together a themed booklist. And the theme is …

FOOD!

This themed booklist contains books featuring food as a main character or a main plot point. Basically, if food is involved, it’s on this list!

Sweet Tooth by Margie Palatini

“Lots of kids have a sweet tooth. But not like Stewart’s. His very loud sweet tooth wants what it wants, when it wants it…and lets everyone know about it.
Stewart’s sweet tooth screams for cake at weddings, for candy during class, and torments him at the movies. Stewart has had enough, and he’s bringing out the big guns — a carrot.
Can he stand up to the most annoying sweet tooth in history?

Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

If food dropped like rain from the sky, wouldn’t it be marvelous! Or would it? It could, after all, be messy. And you’d have no choice. What if you didn’t like what fell? Or what if too much came? Have you ever thought of what it might be like to be squashed flat by a pancake?

Dragon Loves Tacos by Adam Rubin

This scrumptious New York Times bestseller has a whole lot of kick!
Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa . . . oh, boy. You’re in red-hot trouble.
[…]”

Little Pea by Amy Krause Rosenthal

If Little Pea doesn’t eat all of his sweets, there will be no vegetables for dessert! What’s a young pea to do? Children who have trouble swallowing their veggies will love the way this pea-size picture book serves up a playful story they can relate to.

Jampires by Sarah McIntyre

A delightful, whimsical, JAM-tastic adventure!
The jam has been sucked out of Sam’s doughnuts! Who are the culprits? Sam sets a trap to catch the jam thieves and gets a surprise! It’s the Jampires: friendly little creatures whose love of jam and sweet things gets them into trouble! They fly off with Sam to their magical land sitting in the clouds, where doughnuts grow on trees, jam tarts sprout like flowers, and castles are made of jammy sponge cake.”

Too Pickley by Jen Reidy

Too wrinkly, too squishy, too fruity, too fishy!
It’s time to eat, but somebody doesn’t like a single item on his plate. What’s a picky eater to do?
This romping text and stylishly bold art make for a delectable board book. Parents (and the
picky eaters they love) will recognize themselves in the hilarious antics played out here, while the ending brings reassurance-and with a little luck, a clean plate.”

Peanut Butter & Cupcake by Terry Border

What’s a little piece of bread to do when he’s feeling lonely? Find a friend, of course!
And that’s exactly what Peanut Butter tries to do. But sometimes friends are hard to come by, especially when Hamburger has to walk his (hot) dogs, Cupcake is too busy building castles in her sprinkle box, and Egg laughs so hard he starts to crack up! Does Peanut Butter have a soulmate? Young readers will know the answer long before Peanut Butter does and laugh along with each mismatched pairing.
In a story that pairs silliness with poignancy, and friendship with anthropomorphic food, Terry Border, the photography mastermind behind the Bent Objects project, makes a triumphant entrance into the children’s book world. Complete with a rhyming refrain, this is sure to be a favorite family read-aloud–and laugh-aloud.
[…]”

Bear Wants More by Karma Wilson

” “When springtime comes, in his warm winter den, a bear wakes up, very hungry and thin!…”

Bear finds some roots to eat, but that’s not enough. He wants more! With his friends’ help, he finds some berries, clover, and fish to eat, but that’s not enough. Bear wants more! How Bear’s friends help him to finally satisfy his HUGE hunger in a most surprising way will enchant young readers. Karma Wilson’s rhythmic text and Jane Chapman’s vibrant illustrations make Bear Wants More a perfect springtime read-aloud.”

Bonus!

As an added bonus, I decided to dig a little deeper and feature, not only picture books, but also books for middle grade and teens.

For the middle grade set …

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

“When James accidentally drops some magic crystals by the old peach tree, strange things start to happen. The peach at the top of the tree begins to grow, and before long it’s as big as a house. When James discovers a secret entranceway into the fruit and crawls inside, he meets wonderful new friends–the Old-Green-Grasshopper, the dainty Ladybug, and the Centipede of the multiple boots. After years of feeling like an outsider in his aunts’ house, James finally found a place where he belongs. With a snip of the stem, the peach household starts rolling away–and the adventure begins!

Roald Dahl’s first and most widely celebrated book for young people continues to thrill readers around the world. […]”

Stef Soto, Taco Queen by Jennifer Torres

Estefania “Stef” Soto is itching to shake off the onion-and-cilantro embrace of Tia Perla, her family’s taco truck. She wants nothing more than for her dad to get a normal job and for Tia Perla to be put out to pasture. It’s no fun being known as the “Taco Queen” at school. But just when it looks like Stef is going to get exactly what she wants, and her family’s livelihood is threatened, she will have to become the truck’s unlikely champion.

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Serving justice . . . and lunch!

Hector, Terrence, and Dee have always wondered about their school lunch lady. What does she do when she isn’t dishing out the daily special? Where does she live? Does she have a lot of cats at home? Little do they know, Lunch Lady doesn’t just serve sloppy joes—she serves justice! Whatever danger lies ahead, it’s no match for LUNCH LADY!”

All Four Stars by Tara Dairman

Meet Gladys Gatsby: New York’s toughest restaurant critic. (Just don’t tell anyone that she’s in sixth grade.)
Gladys Gatsby has been cooking gourmet dishes since the age of seven, only her fast-food-loving parents have no idea! Now she’s eleven, and after a crème brûlée accident (just a small fire), Gladys is cut off from the kitchen (and her allowance). She’s devastated but soon finds just the right opportunity to pay her parents back when she’s mistakenly contacted to write a restaurant review for one of the largest newspapers in the world.
But in order to meet her deadline and keep her dream job, Gladys must cook her way into the heart of her sixth-grade archenemy and sneak into New York City—all while keeping her identity a secret! Easy as pie, right?

For the teen set …

Hungry by H.A. Swain

In the future, food is no longer necessary—until Thalia begins to feel something unfamiliar and uncomfortable. She’s hungry.
In Thalia’s world, there is no need for food—everyone takes medication (or “inocs”) to ward off hunger. It should mean there is no more famine, no more obesity, no more food-related illnesses, and no more war. At least that’s what her parents, who work for the company that developed the inocs, say. But when Thalia meets a boy who is part of an underground movement to bring food back, she realizes that most people live a life much different from hers. Worse, Thalia is starting to feel hunger, and so is he—the inocs aren’t working. Together they set out to find the only thing that will quell their hunger: real food.
H. A. Swain delivers an adventure that is both epic and fast-paced. Get ready to be Hungry.”

The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler

“[…]When her mother moves them from the city to a small town to open up a cupcake bakery, Penny?s life isn?t what she expected. Her father has stayed behind, and Mom isn?t talking about what the future holds for their family. And then there?s Charity, the girl who plays mean pranks almost daily. There are also bright spots in Hog?s Hollow?like Tally, an expert in Rock Paper Scissors, and Marcus, the boy who is always running on the beach. But just when it looks as though Penny is settling in, her parents ask her to make a choice that will turn everything upside down again. A sweet novel about love, creativity, and accepting life?s unexpected turns.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Winning will make you famous. Losing means certain death.
The nation of Panem, formed from a post-apocalyptic North America, is a country that consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of the power and grace of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.
When 16-year-old Katniss’s young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12’s female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives. , she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.

 

 

(All of the book summaries are from GoodReads)

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Graphic Novels/Comics I Want to Read This Summer

(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.)

Hello Readers!

I always say that I’m going to read more graphic novels/comics. And I somehow never get around to reading them. Well this summer, I’m truly hoping to read them. And today, I am sharing with you the top ten graphic novels/comics that I want to read this summer.

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani – I first heard of this as I was preparing to go to this years Book Expo. While I read the summary on Goodreads I was just charmed.  And after meeting the author/illustrator, I’m just as charmed.

Ms. Marvel (Vol. 2) by G. Willow Wilson – I read volume one of Ms. Marvel for mainly one reason. It was set in Jersey City, New Jersey. And while I don’t live there, I live pretty close to it. That was the main reason why I read this comic, but after a few pages I really loved Ms. Marvel. I loved how it wasn’t what I expected, and I’m excited to continue on with it.

Giant Days by John Allison – Emma (aka Miss Print) said I should read it. Isn’t that enough of a reason to add it to my graphic novel/comic to be read list!

The Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson – This just sounds like fun. That’s enough for me to want to read a book!

Paper Girls (Vol. 1) by Brian K. Vaughn –  This is one of those books that I don’t know a lot about. What I do know is this: the cover totally drew me to it. I love the colors, how cool the girls look, and how it’s mysterious in a way. I can’t wait to read it to see what mystery unfolds

Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu  – To be honest, I’m not sure where I’ve heard of this book from, but I have heard of it.  And I want to read it. I don’t know much about the plot, but the cover is so stunningly beautiful, how can I not WANT to read it.

Wytches (Vol. 1) by Scott Snyder – I like witches, and horror and this seems to be the perfect combination of the two.

Nana (Vol. 1) by Ai Yazawa – I’ve only read a handful of manga. And while I’ve enjoyed those I have read, I struggled through them. Not because of writing or illustrations, but because of the format.  The format is what keeps me from reading more. But I may have to suck up my struggles and finally pick up Nana because it’s one that I’ve wanted to read for quite some time. The premise sounds so … interesting and intriguing: two different girls with the same exact name. Is there a connection?

Fun House by Alison Bechdel – one of my best-est friends kind of sold me on this one. After she saw the play, and raved about it, she told me all about it. And I’m kind of glad she did because otherwise I wouldn’t have heard of it before.  And this friend knows me pretty well (seriously, sometime I think she knows me better than I know myself) so I can’t wait to read it and talk about it with her.

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill – I just recently heard of this one. I think I maybe/possibly read about it on a blog I follow. Wherever I read about it, I read good things. Good enough to add it to my TBR list.

Through the Woods by Emily  Carroll – I actually own this one. A year or so ago a local-ish to me bookstore opened. I had gone in with the intentions of buying something to show my support. While browsing around I stumbled upon their very small, yet very well stocked graphic novel/comic section. I picked this one up randomly because the plot sounded so go. I’m saddened (and a bit ashamed) that I have yet to pick it up a year later.

Spinning by Tillie Walden – this is a Book Expo book that I was lucky enough to meet and have signed. I don’t know what it is about this book, I just want to read it.

While I’m excited to read all these graphic novels/comics there is one comic that I am over the moon excited about.  And that comic is …

Skin & Earth written and illustrated by Lights.

Light is one of my most favorite musicians. She’s a super talented electro-pop artist whose music just puts me in a great mood. I can’t wait to read Skin & Earth.  I can’t wait to find out what this comic book holds and see where it takes her music.

 

Freebie Friday: What I Learned In Washington D.C.

Hello Readers!

A few weeks ago I took a mini vacation. Myself, my mother, a good friend and her son went down to Washington D.C. . We traveled down on a Friday and came back home on a Sunday … so yeah, when I said it was a mini vacation, I meant it was a mini vacation.

In the solid day and a half we were there we packed a TON of sightseeing in. To briefly recap we went to the zoo, saw the White House, the Washington Monument, the World War II memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, visited Ford’s Theater, the Peterson House, and even managed to squeeze in a haunted Georgetown ghost walk.

I also managed to have a very lovely breakfast with my friend Cecelia from The Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia (if you haven’t heard of her blog, you should totally check it out!) We went to Busboys & Poets, and oh my! was it good! And it was great to see/catch up with Cecelia, even if it was only for an hour or so.

I decided that I am not going to give a play-by-play recap my mini vacation. Instead, I am going to share with you, not only pictures, but what I learned during my mini vacation.

John Wilkes Booth originally planned to kidnap President Lincoln and hold him hostage until Confederate soldiers/sympathizers were released from prison. When this plan failed, he decided that the only way to seek revenge was to shoot and kill him. 

The tradition of presidential pardoning a turkey started when Lincoln’s son Tad, barged into one of his fathers meetings and begged his father not to kill the turkey since the turkey was his friend.

Robert Todd Lincoln, though not responsible, is linked to not one but assassinations: his fathers, President Lincoln, President Garfield, and  President McKinley. 

Speaking of Booth and Lincoln, Booth’s brother, Edwin, once saved Robert Todd Lincoln from falling off a train platform. 

Never underestimate a beautiful woman. Betty Duvall was a confederate spy, who charmed her way past Union Soldiers with a hidden message hid in her hair. Because of this, the first and biggest battle of the Civil War, The Battle of Bull Run, was won by the Confederacy and led to over 1000 Union Soldiers being killed that day. 

Haint Blue can keep unwanted ghosts/spirits out of your house. According to Gullah belief painting a front door, porch ceiling, or even shutters this specific shade of blue will not let unwanted ghosts/spirits enter into the house. Because this shade resembles that of water, ghosts/spirits won’t be able to pass it. 

The Exorcist steps are steeper than they appear in the movie. Speaking of The Exorcist,its author William Peter Blatty, had written several books but was unsuccessful in getting them published. His first published novel, The Exorcist, was an instant best seller. 

So there you have it reader! That’s just some of the interesting things I learned while I visited Washington D.C.

Wherever Nina Lies

Wherever Nina Lies by Lynn Weingarten

When Ellie’s older sister Nina left two years ago, she took more than just a bag of clothes. She took a piece of Ellie’s heart with her. And ever since then, Ellie hasn’t given up hope that she’ll find Nina.

When stumbles upon a drawing that looks like one of Nina’s, she’s sure this is a sign. Nina is out there, just waiting to be found. Ellie isn’t sure how she’s going to find it, but she’s certain there’s another clue out there waiting for her.

So when she meets Sean, a charming stranger who says he understands – not only Ellie but also her feelings – she wastes no time. Together they set off on a last minute, whirlwind road trip in search of, not only the next clue, but for Nina herself.

Sean seems too good to be true.  The more time the more Ellie starts to suspect that maybe he’s hiding something. Will she figure his secrets out, or will figuring out his secrets cost Ellie her and her sister’s lives.

Wherever Nina Lies, is a suspenseful mystery, that is written by author Lynn Weingarten.

Weingarten is a master of her craft. Wherever Nina Lies is a well written mystery that will keep readers, not only entertained and engaged, but will also keep them guessing. With each twist and turn the suspense builds and builds. Readers will be kept gripping the edge of their seats as they try to crack this almost uncrackable mystery.

In my opinion, Wherever Nina Lies is a character driven book. And while all of the characters are vividly crafted, they aren’t always likable, nor are they reliable. Take Nina, while she isn’t present in the book (or is she?!) you get the sense that she’s a bit flakey, and that maybe she doesn’t want to be found.

Then there’s Ellie, who upon first meeting seems to be a smart, well adjusted teen who’s been through a really tough situation. But when she willingly gets into a car and travels with a complete strange you’ll start to question just how smart she is.  And then there’s Ellie’s traveling companion, Sean. He’s a serious charmer that will easily work his way into reader’s minds, just as he’s worked his way into Ellie’s life. He is so charming, that it’s actually a flaw. Reader’s won’t necessarily believe in his motives.

And while these don’t seem like the characteristics that make up a cast of great characters, they truly are. The unreliable cast of characters only lends to the overall mystery.  And in all honesty, even though I didn’t necessarily trust Ellie and Sean, or even Nina for that matter, I really liked them. And I felt for them as well.

Wherever Nina Lies is a book that has been living on my Kindle shelf for quite some time. I’m so happy that I finally got around to reading it because I really enjoyed it. I feel like I experienced every emotion, and that there was a little bit of something for almost every reader. If you’re looking for suspense filled mystery about a missing person, Wherever Nina Lies is the book for you!