Savvy’s Best of 2014 List


I cannot believe how quickly 2014 has flown by, and I also cannot believe I read more than 150 books this year. 2015 will be a year of changes for me, as I pull back from reviewing and reading so many books here on Savvy Verse & Wit as I start my own business, Poetic Book Tours.

I did want to share with my readers here the best books of 2014, in case you missed the day-by-day announcements on the Facebook page.

  1. Jane Austen’s First Love by Syrie James (my review)
  2. Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming (my review)
  3. Lust by Diana Raab, read by Kate Udall (my review)
  4. Any Anxious Body by Chrissy Kolaya (my review)
  5. Going Over by Beth Kephart (my review)
  6. The Descent by Alma Katsu (my review)
  7. Still, At Your Door by Emma Eden Ramos (my review)
  8. A Long Time Gone by Karen White (my review)
  9. The Vintner’s Daughter by Kristen Harnisch (my review)
  10. Children’s Activity Atlas from Sterling Publishing (my review)
  11. Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion (my review)
  12. Women of Valor: Polish Resisters to the Third Reich by Joanne D. Gilbert (my review)

What books have made your end of the year favorites??

Children’s Activity Atlas by Jenny Slater, illustrated by Katrin Wiehle and Martin Sanders

Source: Sterling’s Children’s Books
Hardcover, 31 pgs
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Children’s Activity Atlas by Jenny Slater, illustrated by Katrin Wiehle and Martin Sanders from Sterling Children’s Books, is chock full of information about landscapes, national flags, and industry.  This volume focuses mainly on the large continents, and each region is depicted over a two-page spread, complete with mountains, lakes, rivers, and topography like desert and grasslands, etc.  The book comes with a passport that kids can use to answer questions about specific items on the regional maps using the map key and once those questions are completed, the kids can place their seal on the passport page.

Each page is colorfully illustrated, includes local industry and culture on each nation, as well as a key to the land and other facts about those nations.  The back pages have stickers for the individual flags of each nation, which kids can add to each map and stickers for a variety of industries, animals, and local sites.  My daughter and I have started doing a region every few days and placing the stickers and answering the questions, but we’re also talking about what I learned about those nations and where I’d like to visit someday.  She points to things that interest her on the map and we make sure that we fill out the passport together where the questions are and affix her seal when she’s done.  Rather than be a one-time use atlas, this book contains information that can be referred to again and again, and there are postcards included for kids to share with family and friends.

Children’s Activity Atlas by Jenny Slater, illustrated by Katrin Wiehle and Martin Sanders from Sterling Children’s Books, is an interactive look at other countries and regions that kids and parents can use together to discuss different cultures, topography, and industries, etc.  My daughter gets excited when I ask if she wants to bring out the atlas and check out some other countries and regions.  I would recommend this for parents with toddlers eager to learn and interact, as well as older kids who are in school.

68th book for 2014 New Author Reading Challenge.


Mailbox Monday #287

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links.  Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

1. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: The Making of a Television Classic by Charles M. Schulz and Lee Mendelson for review from Harper’s Dey Street Books.

Now available in a hardcover edition, the lushly illustrated It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: The Making of a Tradition, stars Charles M. Schulz’s beloved Peanuts gang, and features hundreds of full-color images as well as enlightening anecdotes that take you behind-the-scenes of how the charming Halloween special was created.

Trick-or-treating has never been more fun—with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Sally, Schroeder, Linus, and, of course, the Great Pumpkin. Since its first airing more than forty years ago, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown has become a beloved perennial classic synonymous with Halloween.

Illustrated with more than 250 full-color images.

2. The Rat (Disgusting Creatures) by Elise Gravel for review from Tundra Books.

One in a series of humorous books about disgusting creatures, The Rat is a look at the black rat. It covers such topics as the rat’s long, agile tail (it’s good for balancing and picking noses), long teeth (they can chew through anything, including books) and disgusting taste in food (delicious electrical wires in tomato sauce, anyone?). Although silly and off-the-wall, The Rat contains real information that will tie in with curriculum.

3.  Children’s Activity Atlas by Jenny Slater and illustrated by Katrin Wiehle and Martin Sanders for review from Sterling Children’s Publishing.

Young explorers: grab your ticket to a world of fun! Featuring 12 fully illustrated maps, this atlas is jam-packed with information about the different continents and each region’s wildlife, food, architecture, and culture. The journey continues with more than 250 reusable stickers, eight perforated postcards, and a pocket-size passport with quizzes and cool facts. Curious kids will dream about their adventures to come.

4. GI Brides: The Wartime Girls Who Crossed the Atlantic for Love by Duncan Barrett and Nuala Calvi for TLC Book Tours in September.

The “friendly invasion” of Britain by over a million American G.I.s bewitched a generation of young women deprived of male company during the Second World War. With their exotic accents, smart uniforms, and aura of Hollywood glamour, the G.I.s easily conquered their hearts, leaving British boys fighting abroad green with envy. But for girls like Sylvia, Margaret, Gwendolyn, and even the skeptical Rae, American soldiers offered something even more tantalizing than chocolate, chewing gum, and nylon stockings: an escape route from Blitz-ravaged Britain, an opportunity for a new life in affluent, modern America.

Through the stories of these four women, G.I. Brides illuminates the experiences of war brides who found themselves in a foreign culture thousands of miles away from family and friends, with men they hardly knew. Some struggled with the isolation of life in rural America, or found their soldier less than heroic in civilian life. But most persevered, determined to turn their wartime romance into a lifelong love affair, and prove to those back home that a Hollywood ending of their own was possible.

What did you receive?