Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Cradle Me

Cradle Me by Debby SlierCradle Me by Debby Slier by Debby Slier

Cradle boards are used by Native American mothers to carry their infants, so the mother's arms can be used for different tasks during the day. Each cradle board is unique and each tribe create their own style of boards. Slier shares a glimpse at cradle boards from around the United States. Real photographs with Native American children are on each page with an action word. There is space below each verb, so book owners can write in their language the word written in English. The final page of the book shares a miniature photo with the tribe, so readers can see the wide variety of cradle boards.

Slier shares an excellent book that will be appreciated by young children, mothers, teachers, and librarians. The pictures are large and focused on the child in the cradle board. Infants and toddlers who naturally love to meet and see other children will enjoy paging through this board book. Slier found a niche and her book is a great stepping stone for readers to learn more about the Native American culture.

Reviewed from Star Bright Books, Inc. via NetGalley

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Review: Food from My Frontier

The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier by Ree Drummond

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Food from My Frontier is the second cookbook by Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. Her first book, Recipes from an Accidental Country Girl, featured "hearty family recipes interspersed with photos and stories." Ree takes a new turn with her latest cookbook. Her categories include breakfast, lunch, soups, starters, pasta, pizza, supper, sides, sweets and canning. Along with all the delicious recipes, Ree shares step by step photos and family photos from around the ranch.

I haven't tried any recipes yet (I picked up the book yesterday) but I cannot wait! I enjoyed her previous books (and blog) and created several recipes from both. I look forward to exploring Food From My Frontier in my own kitchen. Happy cooking, friends!

Reviewed from a library copy.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Review: Snow in Summer

Snow in Summer: The Tale of an American Snow WhiteSnow in Summer: The Tale of an American Snow White by Jane Yolen

It's the well-known tale of Snow White set in America's Appalachia. Yolen takes readers on an adventure in West Virginia where folks make a living by hunting and gardening. She shares the story of the Lem Morton family who reside in deep mourning. The daughter, Snow in Summer, wants to be free and return to the time where Papa interacted with who love him. All too soon, a beguiling woman enters the scene and becomes Stepmama. Papa falls under Stepmama's spell and Summer turns to Snow. Summer's life of work becomes a life of servitude. She needs to run before someone dies.

I love a retold fairytale. I selected this book because of that fact and didn't bother to read the description. I was taken aback to read the author's note about her sources about snake-handling sects. Just like in Yolen's Snow White, I am not a fan of snakes. I couldn't see where the story would lead with a setting around the Depression era in Appalachia including a section on snake faith. It was quite a journey following Snow in Summer. Yolen's title of "the Hans Christian Andersen of America" is appreciated. She weaves in the love of fairy tales (along with the beloved Anne of Green Gables) within her book. The time period and location are unique and will be enjoyed by readers. The set-up of the story takes about 3/4 of the book while the classic storyline will be recognized toward the final 1/4 of the novel.

Time Period: Early 20th Century
Location: West Virginia, USA

Reviewed from a library copy.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: Summer of Promise

Summer of PromiseSummer of Promise by Amanda Cabot

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Amanda Cabot's new series "Westward Winds" opens with Abigail Harding in Summer of Promise. Abigail is the middle sister who sensed a need to visit her older sister, Charlotte, in Fort Laramie, Wyoming. She hopes to visit her sister and then return to her beau and teaching position in Vermont. After all, Wyoming is a boring place with nothing to do.

I love a Western novel. Cabot offers a new look at the West. Her focus was on the final days of the fort, after the Civil War and after the great migration. It was a pleasure to imagine life in the Fort without the hubbub of people passing through it. At the end of Cabot's novel, she shares that her next novel in the "Westward Winds" series will be coming in Spring of 2013. (It's so hard to wait!! Patience is a virtue and there are so many books to read in one year!) Don't worry, she also shares that a novella will be coming in the Fall. Thank you, Ms. Cabot! I look forward to reading it.

Time Period: Western, 1885
Location: Fort Laramie, Wyoming, USA

Reviewed from a library copy.

Friday, March 09, 2012

Review: Kaki Warner

Pieces of Sky (Blood Rose, #1) Open Country (Blood Rose, #2) Chasing the Sun (Blood Rose, #3) If you are a fan of Linda Lael Miller's Westerns, I would recommend Kaki Warner's novels. Her first series is the Blood Rose Trilogy set in the New Mexico Territory. Love and hate surround RosaRoja Rancho. The Wilkins brothers inherited the rancho and fight to keep it a safe place for everyone who lives on their land. Ramirez is fighting to reclaim the land his father originally owned. The brothers come and go from their land, but circumstances always bring the siblings home. Family ties are strong and they become stronger with the women they meet during their travels away from RosaRoja.

Blood Rose Trilogy
Book 1 - Pieces of Sky
Book 2 - Open Country
Book 3 - Chasing the Sun

Heartbreak Creek (Runaway Brides #1) Colorado Dawn (A Runaway Brides, #2)Warner's next series is Runaway Brides. Heartbreak Creek (Book 1) and Colorado Dawn (Book 2) are currently available. Bride of the High Country is coming later this year. I look forward to following Warner's Westerns.

Bride of the High Country

Reviewed from library copies.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Review: Swirl by Swirl

Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in NatureSwirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Swirl by Swirl is getting heaps of attention, but I didn't care to find the book. My co-worker passed it to me and said, "This is a great book. It looks like your type of storytime book." Okay. I'll give it a chance.

It's wonderful! A beautiful piece that weaves non-fiction and fiction together. Swirls surround us every day if we look closely. They protect and comfort. They are powerful and beautiful. Swirl by Swirl can be a fantastic storytime book. The colors are dark and detailed (another reason I did not seek out this book). The publishers kindly shared the artwork medium - scratch board. Scratch board? Wow! WOW! I appreciate this read for it's wonderful story that can be shared with all ages and the amazing talent of a scratch board artist.

Reviewed from a library copy.
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