All Aboard the ARC: Stick and Stone Explore and More by Beth Ferry (Words) and Kristen Cella (Pictures)

Stick and Stone Explore and More by Beth Ferry (Words) and Kristen Cella (Pictures)

***Note: I received a free digital review copy of this book from NetGalley and Clarion Books (formerly HMH Children’s Books) in exchange for an honest review.***

I believe we can officially add Stick and Stone to the canon of great friends in children’s literature.

I believe we can officially add Stick and Stone to the canon of great friends in children’s literature. They are joining the ranks of Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad, Mo Willems’s Elephant and Piggie, and Marc Brown’s Arthur Read and Buster Baxter.

In “Stick and Stone and the Nature Girl”, the two friends try (and fail) to evade being captured by an opportunistic Nature Girl who, along with other members of her troop, is collecting objects from nature starting with each letter of the alphabet. While the friends do end up being snatched (erroneously as Rock and Twig), they are never in any real danger, because the Nature Girl’s Troop Leader reiterates to all of the participants the Nature Girl motto, which is: “Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Keep nothing but memories.” The friends are deposited back in their original spots and all is made right again in their world.

Nature Girl Motto: Take nothing but pictures. Leave nothing but footprints. Keep nothing but memories.

In “Stick and Stone and the Sticky Situation”, Stick and Stone get a little more adventure than they bargained for when they end up on a beach and instead of enjoying a nice soak in the sun, Stone is used for a beach campfire along with other rocks of varying sizes and Stick gets a marshmallow for a hat and very nearly gets roasted. A beneficent rain ruins the beachgoers’ fun while saving the lives of Stick and Stone and their new friends.

Beth Ferry and Kristen Cella have delivered another excellent chapter in the saga of Stick and Stone, and readers of all ages are sure to delight in their latest adventures.

Stick and Stone Explore and More is due to be released by Clarion Books (formerly HMH Children’s Books) on June 7th, 2022 and is available to preorder wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

All Aboard the ARC: The Hiking Viking by Laura Gehl (Words) and Timothy Banks (Pictures)

The Hiking Viking by Laura Gehl (Words) and Timothy Banks (Pictures)

***Note: I received a free digital review copy of this book from NetGalley and Capstone Editions in exchange for an honest review.***

Leif isn’t like other Vikings. He doesn’t like to battle or brawl, holler or howl, wrestle, or throw spears. No, Leif’s idea of a good time is hiking to the top of the fjord and beholding the majesty of the natural world.

No one in Leif’s family can understand why he is the way he is. They’re always pressuring him to join them in the activities they enjoy, which naturally leaves Leif feeling like an inferior outcast in his own clan. When it comes time for the Viking Games, Leif’s family’s honor is at stake and he can’t let them down. What Leif learns and is able to teach his family and the other members of his village is that the best contribution you can give to your community is being yourself.

What Leif learns and is able to teach his family and the other members of his village is that the best contribution you can give to your community is being yourself.

Laura Gehl and Timothy Banks have crafted an instant classic with The Hiking Viking. With gorgeous illustrations and positive messages about the benefits of honoring your own authenticity, The Hiking Viking will appeal to young readers of all genders.

The Hiking Viking is due to be released on February 1st, 2022 by Capstone Editions and is now available to preorder wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Quote for the Day: December 16th, 2021

The Creature of Habit by Jennifer E. Smith (Words) and Leo Espinosa (Pictures)

The very big creature had never been out at this hour before. Everything looked different. The sky was full of color, and the sun—as round as an orange—was disappearing into the water. He knew this wasn’t where he was supposed to be right now. But as the world turned from pink to orange to purple all around him, he wondered if maybe it actually was.

Jennifer E. Smith, The Creature of Habit

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Picture Book Review: Unicorn Day by Diana Murray (Words) and Luke Flowers (Pictures)

Unicorn Day by Diana Murray (Words) and Luke Flowers (Pictures)

Review

Note: I did not receive any compensation from either the publisher or the author(s) to read and review the book discussed below. As of the time of the writing of this review, I do not belong to any affiliate programs which compensate me for sales arising from links included on this page or on any page created and maintained by The Voracious Bibliophile. Links are provided as a courtesy to the author(s) to help them continue producing their works. I am not responsible for the content and/or claims contained on sites linked away from The Voracious Bibliophile and the inclusion of such links do not imply endorsement on my part.

Bright and rambunctious with clever wordplay to encourage kids and their adults to sing along, with Unicorn Day you can’t go wrong!

This book has some of the best illustrations I’ve ever seen in a picture book. Bright and rambunctious with clever wordplay to encourage kids and their adults to sing along, with Unicorn Day you can’t go wrong! You see what I mean? It’s infectious. Another thing I loved about this book is the way it encourages tolerance and acceptance of those who are different.

During the celebrations, a horse masquerading as a unicorn is discovered when their horn falls off, and the horse starts to leave in shame. It really tugs at your heartstrings, especially if you’ve ever been ostracized yourself. The unicorns, not wanting to lose a friend, help their new friend reattach their horn and the celebration continues, adding non-hooved friends along the way to celebrate everyone’s individuality and uniqueness. Unicorn Day is for everyone!

Would it be too much for me to sing along with the unicorns, proclaiming proudly, “I’m on the right track, baby, I was horn this way.”

Also, it did not escape my notice that one of the unicorns featured on the book’s cover has a rainbow horn that looks not-too-subtly like a Pride flag. Would it be too much for me to sing along with the unicorns, proclaiming proudly, “I’m on the right track, baby, I was horn this way.” You see what I did there?

Unicorn Day was published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in June 2019 and is available to purchase wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

Goodreads Reading Challenge Update

There are 52 reading days left in the year. My current count is 211 books, which means I have 52 days to read 89 books. For those of you who are interested in the mathematical breakdown, this means I’ll have to read 1.68 books per day for the rest of the year to meet my goal. Looks like I’m going to be settling in with a stack of picture books and graphic novels. By the way, those totally count, and you can bite me if you disagree.

I missed my goal by two last year and I’ll be darned if I let a late-evening nap on December 31st make me fail again.

I missed my goal by two last year and I’ll be darned if I let a late-evening nap on December 31st make me fail again. To be fair to myself, I do work nearly 50 hours a week at my day job so my free time is limited. Add that onto the fact that this blog (which I love dearly and wouldn’t give up for any amount of money) quickly went from a side project to a second full-time job, and I’m constantly going sixty per.

The other day I was taking lunch in my office at work and one of my employees came to ask me a question and caught me dead asleep.

But you know what? It’s true what they say: Dreams don’t work unless you do. I would like to be more intentional about carving out time for R&R though because I am never not tired. The other day I was taking lunch in my office at work and one of my employees came to ask me a question and caught me dead asleep. I’m talking mouth open, blacked out. But ironically, my hand was still in perfect position on top of my computer mouse. If that’s not #hustleculture in a nutshell then I don’t know what is. He immediately videoed it and SnapChatted it to another employee so I’m sure I’m enjoying a presence as a meme somewhere on the Internet right now.

Speaking of coworkers, another of mine just hit 100,000 pages for the year toward their reading goal and color me impressed. Between the two of us we probably read more than a hundred average humans combined each year.

At any rate, I can’t see myself stopping the tradition anytime soon, especially since I’ve got a TBR mountain that would make an Olympian (god, not athlete) feel inferior.

I have lots of other librarian and bookseller friends who set reading goals each year, but there’s a growing contingent of them who are dispensing with the tradition, citing it as stressful and sucking the fun out of reading. And they’re not wrong. If I were to put very much stock into whether I make my goal or not, it’d probably depress me on the years I didn’t make it. I don’t let it get to me as much as I used to, except for last year when I missed it by TWO FREAKING BOOKS. Huh…maybe they’re onto something. Oh well. At any rate, I can’t see myself stopping the tradition anytime soon, especially since I’ve got a TBR mountain that would make an Olympian (god, not athlete) feel inferior.

Did you set a reading goal this year? Do you ever? Why or why not? Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email. Only if you want to, of course.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

All Aboard the ARC: Dad Bakes by Katie Yamasaki

Dad Bakes by Katie Yamasaki

Review

***Note: I received a free digital review copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

Katie Yamasaki has gifted us with a heartwarming story about a devoted father, his beloved daughter, and the delightful activities they enjoy doing together. It’s evident that Yamasaki’s work as a muralist informs and influences her work as a picture book author and illustrator. Her uncluttered, dynamic, and vibrant images leap off the page and drive the narrative forward from the father’s early morning shift at the bakery before the sun rises to the time in late evening when he finally gets to rest.

Dad Bakes is due to be released on September 28th, 2021 by Norton Young Readers and is now available to preorder wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please like, comment, follow, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at fred.slusher@thevoraciousbibliophile.com or catch me on Twitter and Instagram @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

All Aboard the ARC: The Littlest Yak by Lu Fraser (Author) and Kate Hindley (Illustrator)

The Littlest Yak by Lu Fraser (Author) and Kate Hindley (Illustrator)

***Note: I received a free digital review copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

Gertie is a little yak with a big heart. Eager to be big and tall like the other yaks in her herd, Gertie tries her hardest to make herself bigger and stronger but finds her negative self-perception tested when an emergency calls for someone smaller like her.

In the end, Gertie learns that it’s not the size of your horns that matter but the strength of your character, and that everyone in the herd has something amazing to offer regardless of their size or ability. Reminiscent of the story of Rudolph with his blinking red nose or Kyo Maclear’s picture book Spork, The Littlest Yak shows readers of all ages that sometimes the things we don’t like about ourselves end up becoming our greatest assets. Five stars and two thumbs way up for Gertie, who now holds a coveted spot as one of my favorite heroines in all of children’s literature.

Five stars and two thumbs way up for Gertie, who now holds a coveted spot as one of my favorite heroines in all of children’s literature.

The Littlest Yak is due to be released in the U.S. on October 1st, 2021 and is now available to preorder wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please follow, like, comment, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at thevoraciousbibliophile@yahoo.com or catch me on Twitter @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.

All Aboard the ARC: Anthony and the Gargoyle by Jo Ellen Bogart and Maja Kastelic

***Note: I received a free digital review copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. Anthony and the Gargoyle tells the story of Anthony, a little boy who lives with his parents in a house full of photographs. These pictures tell the story of his life and his parents’ lives before him. In the background of some of them, you can see Parisian landmarks beside the smiling happy couple.

In one of the photographs, Anthony can be seen holding a pet rock. One day, this rock breaks open and from it springs a gargoyle that teaches Anthony an important lesson: sometimes loving something means being willing to let it go. He also learns along the way that love doesn’t end at separation—it can break any boundary and traverse any distance.

Perfect for fans of Aaron Becker’s Journey trilogy and Molly Idle’s Flora and Her Feathered Friends series, Anthony and the Gargoyle is sure to delight readers of all ages. It is due to be released on October 5th, 2021, and is now available to preorder wherever books are sold.

Thanks as always for being a faithful reader of The Voracious Bibliophile. If you like what you see, please follow, like, comment, and subscribe to my email list to get notified of new posts as soon as they drop. You can also email me at thevoraciousbibliophile@yahoo.com or catch me on Twitter @voraciousbiblog. Keep reading the world, one page (or pixel) at a time.