Thursday, June 21, 2012

Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen: What is...Jeopardy?

Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen
By Donna Gephart
Hardcover, 288 pages
Delacorte Press, March 2012
Robot's Rating: Read it!

Olivia Bean knows trivia. She watches Jeopardy! every night and usually beats at least one of the contestants. If she were better at geography, she would try out for the show’s kids’ week. Not only could she win bundles of money, she’d get to go to the taping in California, where her dad, who left two years ago and who Olivia misses like crazy, lives with his new family.

One day Olivia’s friend-turned-nemesis, Tucker, offers to help her bulk up her geography knowledge. Before Olivia knows it, she’s getting help from all sorts of unexpected sources: her almost-stepdad, superannoying Neil; her genius little brother, Charlie; even her stressed-out mom. Soon she has breezed through the audition rounds and is headed for Hollywood! But will the one person she wants to impress more than anyone else show up to support her? 

My review: If you like easy reading (which to me is just light reading, not too serious, not too suspenseful), then I hope you will enjoy Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen. The main character is 12 years old and super smart (except for geography). I do enjoy books about super smart kids. As a mother I enjoyed reading the book too and it reminds you to really be there and care about your kids because Olivia's dad was kind of too busy/too self-centered. And it hurts the kids. But don't worry-it wasn't really a preachy book about that. Olivia's got a good head on her shoulder and probably like most kids just want the attention of both parents.

Great book for older kids- probably ages 10+.

Content Advisory: Parent-child dysfunctions, not married couple (Olivia's mom and boyfriend) living together.

Read a little from the book below

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Son of Neptune: Yay! Percy is Back!!!

The Son of Neptune (Heroes of Olympus #2)
By Rick Riordan
Hardcover, 521 pages
Hyperion Book, October 2011
Ages: 10+
Pricky rated it: 4 Bites and "Read it!"

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.An oath to keep with a final breath,And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Percy is confused. Hazel is supposed to be dead. Frank is a klutz. 

Beginning at the "other" camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven. (Abridged)

Pricky's Review:
Riordan's arrival to the "Roman Camp"
I don't know how he does it...After The Lightening Thief series (which if you haven't read it, what are you waiting for!), I thought Riordan wouldn't be able to produce another one just as entertaining...But I WAS WRONG! Thankfully...

The Son of Neptune is the second in his new series: The Heroes of Olympus. The first book, The Lost Hero, follows the adventures of 3 demigods: Jason, Piper, and Leo while The Son of Neptune begins at the "Roman" camp starring Percy, Hazel, and Frank.

Riordan's trademark humor and sarcasm is evident throughout the story, and I found myself laughing right at the start:

"Her Bargain Mart vest, her flowery dress, even her tusks were decorated with 50% OFF stickers. Her name badge read: Hello! My name is DIE, DEMIGOD SCUM!"

The chapters switch POVs seamlessly among the 3 characters. Each has it's own mystery, strength, and weakness. And Frank's Asian grandmother was so ON THE MARK!

There were only a few "buggy" things I noticed this time around:
1) The characters all seem to have the same "voice." I'm not sure if that really makes much sense, but while each of the characters have different backgrounds, they seemed to speak the same, have the same humor. It's not enough for a reader to notice unless there are being overly Type me.

2) Definitely try to read the books without waiting MONTHS in between. It made for a frustrating read as I was trying to pull my amnesia back into remission. There are A LOT of tiny references to both Book 1 and The Lightening Thief series--not enough to take away from the story, but it would have been nice if my memory served me better.

Alas...Signing my book but talking to another reader.
I highly recommend any of Riordan's books. The only bummer about finding an author you enjoy is that you're not the only one; Riordan's last book signing was INSANE and a bit of a disappointment. I literally was given less than 10 seconds to say hello and have him sign my book. Oh, wait, I didn't even get a chance to say hello because he was busy talking to the kid in front of me. I got a "head nod" and then herded out of line. Apparently, I haven't gotten over that. But still, go read the book. It was funny fun. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

"My Favorite Reads" Giveaway: And the winner is...

...Kim whose favorite book is: Beauty and the Beast!

Congratulations! You've just won a copy of Princess for Hire!
Imagine balloons and confetti along with some noisy noise-makers.
Please check your email to claim your prize.

And a great big THANK YOU to everyone for visiting the Little Zombies!
We hope to see you again soon! In the meantime, Happy Reading!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Press Here and Dot: Two different approaches to circles

Press Here
By Hervé Tullet
Hardcover, 56 pages
Chronicle Kids, March 2011
Rated: 5 Bites: Must Read 

Press the yellow dot on the cover of this book, follow the instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey! Each page of this surprising book instructs the reader to press the dots, shake the pages, tilt the book, and who knows what will happen next! Children and adults alike will giggle with delight as the dots multiply, change direction, and grow in size! Especially remarkable because the adventure occurs on the flat surface of the simple, printed page, this unique picture book about the power of imagination and interactivity will provide read-aloud fun for all ages!  

My son seemed to really like this book! Like the summary above says, each page has something for you to do. Sometimes you're pressing dots, tilting pages, blowing the pages. Whether you're reading the book to your child or they're reading it themselves, this will be one I'm not sure they'll only read once!

By Patricia Intriago
Hardcover, 40 pages
Margaret Ferguson Books, May 2011
Rated: 3 Bites: Still good, but not on the top of the list

Dots here, dots there, you can see dots everywhere! Some are loud, and some are quiet. Some are happy, and some are sad. Some dots even taste yummy, while others taste bad. Graphic designer Patricia Intriago sets bold, circular shapes against a stark white background to emphasize opposite dot relationships.

This one takes a different approach to dots than Press Here. This one shows how the dots can be different with comparisons/opposites. Enjoyable. But I did like Press Here better. But they're different types of books so you can't compare them solely on entertainment factor.

Reviewed by Robot

Friday, June 1, 2012

"My Favorite Reads" Giveaway

One of my favorite authors is Lindsey Leavitt. She has written the Princess for Hire series and Sean Griswold's Head (YA) which I loved. So for this giveaway you can win a paperback copy of Princess for Hire. Plus I'll include an Leavitt autographed bookmark! Double win.

You can read my review of Princess for Hire here.

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