I am NOT a Princess! by Bethany Burt, illustrated by Brenda McCallum

Source: Schiffer Publishing
I am an Amazon Affiliate

I am NOT a Princess! by Bethany Burt, illustrated by Brenda McCallum, follows Eliza, a little girl who gets the idea that she wants to be a princess. She has everything she needs from the frilly pink dress and glass slippers to the beaded purse and gloves. From what she knows of princesses, Eliza turns down bike riding with her friend and going to the store with her mother because princesses have carriages and servants. After spending much of her day alone twirling and turning down other fun things to do, Eliza begins to realize that being a princess is boring.

While I liked the idea of this book and Eliza does realize that her perception of being a princess leaves her with little to do, she doesn’t come to the realization that princesses are more than frilly dresses and looking pretty. The author could have taken a moment for the mother to point out some other real-life princesses who did more than just look nice and order people around (i.e. Princess Diana).

I am NOT a Princess! by Bethany Burt, illustrated by Brenda McCallum, includes some great illustrations of Eliza and her escapades, but I wanted a bigger message here. Rather than Eliza realizing she likes to ride bikes and play ball with her brother and bake cakes and make messes, I wanted her to see that being a princess could be much bigger than the stereotype.

RATING: Tercet

Mailbox Monday #395

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:

I am NOT a Princess! by Bethany Burt, illustrated by Brenda McCallum from Schiffer Publishing for review.

Play-acting and self-identity are the themes of this charmingly illustrated book about a girl who dreams of being a beautiful princess. What s not to love? Princesses get to wear fancy dresses and beautiful jewels. They live happily ever after with the prince of their dreams in a splendid castle in the countryside. Plus, they are never burdened with boring chores or unpleasant activities. Their only real job is looking pretty. But when Eliza, dressed in full princess fashion, tries to join in on the fun in her household and neighborhood, she is disappointed to discover that being a princess prevents her from doing many of the things she loves. She can t ride a bike, play baseball, help her father paint, or bake cookies with her mom. See what happens as her frustration builds. This glimpse inside a little girl’s head helps preschoolers put their fantasies in perspective. For ages 0-6.

The Sheik of Araby: Pride and Prejudice in the Desert by Lavinia Angell giveaway win from Just Jane 1813.

While traveling in the heathen land of Algiers, Elizabeth Bennet is stolen from her companions and thrust into the power of a darkly handsome Sheik whose actions and manners immediately set them at odds. Can the desert-born hero overcome his native pride to humble himself before Elizabeth? Can Elizabeth put aside her reservations and accept the Sheik as her Mr. Darcy?

Divisions of culture join those of rank in this colorful retelling of Jane Austen’s celebrated novel, forcing Elizabeth Bennet and her captor, the Sheik Ahmed Ben Hassan, onto the path to a torrid desert romance.

Holidays with Jane: Trick or Sweet, an Amazon Kindle freebie.

Load up on pumpkin spice, grab your bowl of candy, and settle in for a spooky night with six brand-new modern Jane Austen adaptations from the authors of Holidays with Jane: Christmas Cheer and Spring Fever!

Must Be Magic
by Kimberly Truesdale
Eight years ago Anne Elliot made a devastating choice. When a new threat and an old love both come into her life, she faces that choice again. This time will it be love or will it be magic?

Once Upon a Story
by Rebecca M. Fleming
Catie Morland isn’t sure how to explain what happened at Abbey College’s annual Fall-o-Ween event until bumping into vacationing sisters Jane and Cassie. Will everything begin to make sense as she tells them the whole story?

by Cecilia Gray
Miriam Dashwood has to throw a party for straight-laced Brandon Firestone without spending a dime. When the lead for rock sensation Willow Bee offers a free performance, Miriam figures he’s her hero. Brandon has other ideas, but will free spirited Miriam come around to his way of thinking?

Emma Ever After
by Melissa Buell
Emma Woodhouse is determined that this year’s Fall Ball will be the most successful one yet. An influx of single men in Highbury make a Bachelor Auction a reality. Can she work her matchmaking magic once again?

Mansfield Unmasked
by Jennifer Becton
An impromptu Halloween party at Mansfield Park Boarding House provides Pug an opportunity to use his magic powers to unite Pryce and Spenser. But can he expose their true feelings for each other before his powers fade?

Beyond Midnight
by Jessica Grey
Halloween isn’t what Will Harper planned. His sister is playing fairy godmother. He’s at Chawton High’s Trick or Sweet Dance. He’s in costume…and falling for Elena Marquez? Is it real or magic…and can it last Beyond Midnight?

The Medium by C.J. Archer, an Amazon Kindle freebie.

Seventeen year-old spirit medium Emily Chambers has a problem. Actually, she has several. As if seeing dead people isn’t a big enough social disadvantage, she also has to contend with an escaped demon and a handsome ghost with a secret past. And then there’s the question of her parentage. Being born an entire year after her father’s death (yes, a year) and without the pale skin of other respectable English ladies, Emily is as much a mystery as the dead boy assigned to her.

Jacob Beaufort’s spirit has been unable to crossover since his death. It might have something to do with the fact he was murdered. Or it might not. All he knows is, he has been assigned by the Otherworld’s administrators to a girl named Emily. A girl who can see and touch him. A girl who released a shape-shifting demon into the mortal realm. Together they must send the demon back before it wreaks havoc on London. It should be a simple assignment, but they soon learn there’s nothing simple when a live girl and a dead boy fall in love.

The Phantom of Valletta by Vicki Hopkins, an Amazon Kindle freebie.

Another chapter in the life of the infamous Phantom of the Opera, as penned by Gaston Leroux, continues when he leaves Paris and moves to Malta in search of a new beginning. Clothed in secrecy, he purchases The Royal Opera House in Valletta, which has been destroyed by a devastating fire. In an attempt to bury the pain of his past, the burned-out shell becomes his new obsession. He is determined to resurrect the structure from ashes and return it to glory.

To raise funds for his task, he holds a masquerade and encounters a strange woman who prophesies his destiny of undoing and death. Her words haunt the Opera Ghost, but he continues on his path of restoration. After years of hard work, the gala reopening occurs. The Phantom is convinced he has reached the pinnacle of success in his life. He rests in peace over his accomplishments.

For sheer amusement, he takes on a new student, which leads him down a path of romance, mystery, and danger. His fortune unfolds before him, and he discovers he cannot hide from those who seek retribution for his former sins. He is forced to reap the consequences and comes face-to-face with his darkest demons and fears. In the end, his insatiable hunger for beauty is challenged to the core. Will he survive the obstacles he encounters or will this finally be his undoing and death?

An Heir for Pemberley: A Pride and Prejudice Variation Short Story by Jane Grix, an Amazon Kindle freebie.

Fitzwilliam Darcy has it all – a beautiful, intelligent wife who loves him and she is expecting their first child. But Darcy’s mother died in childbirth and he worries that he could lose it all.

An Heir for Pemberley is a variation to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. It is a short story sequel, 4000 words long and takes about fifteen minutes to read. It is a quick escape to Pemberley.

What did you receive?

Mabel and the Queen of Dreams by Henry, Joshua, & Harrison Herz, illustrated by Lisa Woods

Source: Schiffer Publishing
Hardcover, 32 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Mabel and the Queen of Dreams by Henry, Joshua, and Harrison Herz, illustrated by Lisa Woods, is an adorable picture book that will help parents get their little ones to sleep. Parents know that children try their hardest to stay up the minute they are told it is time for bed. It’s as if they fear they are missing out on the fun, when in reality, their parents are merely sitting like zombies in front of the television.

In this book, Mabel is introduced as an expert on not going to sleep — something most children are at her age. As Mabel thinks up one more excuse — tell me a story — the mother replies that she cannot because the “Queen” will not visit until she’s closed her eyes. Her mother only begins the story about the fairy queen when Mabel has lied down and closed her eyes. Mabel begins to drift away with the sound of her mother’s voice, and by the end of the book, your children may be asleep as well — so long as they follow Mabel’s example.

The illustrations in Mabel and the Queen of Dreams are simple pencil drawings that are lightly colored, providing them a dreamlike quality. Mabel and the Queen of Dreams by Henry, Joshua, and Harrison Herz, illustrated by Lisa Woods, is a wonderful bedtime story to add to any collection.

Our daughter really liked this one and we’ve probably read it a few times since it arrived.

RATING: Quatrain

Mailbox Monday #392

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:

Fun with Stichables! by Suzy Ultman from Quarto Knows books.

Fun with Stitchables introduces young crafters to the fun of simple embroidery. Quick and easy cross-stitch sewing cards are included with punched holes for easy stitching, as well as a 16-page project book with instructions for designing your own unique stitching patterns and color combinations. A project gallery shows examples of what the hand-stitched cards can become once they are complete: everything from ornaments to greeting cards! The simple stitching patterns taught in this book promote growth and development, hand-eye coordination, as well as creativity and imagination. Fun with Stitchables will entertain and delight crafters of all ages and inspire a lifelong love of embroidery.

A Matter of Chance by L.L. Diamond from Anna (borrowed)

When single-mother Lizzy Gardiner meets William Darcy, he doesn’t make the best of impressions. Can the two of them leave their pasts behind and find love with each other, or will the ghosts of the past return to keep them apart?



Field Guide to the End of the World by Jeannine Hall Gailey, my autographed copy has arrived. I LOVED this book.

Field Guide to the End of the World, winner of the 2015 Moon City Poetry Award, delivers a whimsical look at our culture’s obsession with apocalypse as well as a thoughtful reflection on our resources in the face of disasters both large and small, personal and public. Pop-culture characters—from Martha Stewart and Wile E. Coyote to zombie strippers and teen vampires—deliver humorous but insightful commentary on survival and resilience through poems that span imagined scenarios that are not entirely beyond the realm of possibility. The characters face their apocalypses in numerous ways, from strapping on rollerblades and swearing to taking notes as barns burn on the horizon. At the end of the world, the most valuable resource is human connection—someone holding our hands, reminding us “we are miraculous.”

Just One Thing! by Nancy Viau, illustrated by Timothy Young, an unexpected surprise from Schiffer Publishing.

Every child about to enter middle school will be able to relate to this heart-warming, funny story. Anthony Pantaloni needs to figure out one thing he does well one thing that will replace the Antsy Pants nickname he got tagged with on the first day of fifth grade, one good thing he can own before moving up to middle school next year. It seems that every kid at Carpenter Elementary has a claim to fame: Marcus is Mr. Athletic, Alexis is Smart Aleck, Bethany has her horse obsession, and even Cory is known as the toughest kid in the school. Ant tries lots of things, but nothing sticks! It doesn t help that there are obstacles along the way a baton-twirling teacher, an annoying cousin, and Dad’s new girlfriend, to name a few. Just One Thing! is chock full of hilarious adventures that will keep young readers cheering until the very end. For ages 8-12.”

Mabel and the Queen of Dreams by Henry, Joshua, and Harrison Herz, illustrated by Lisa Woods from Schiffer Publishing for review.

Little Mabel is an expert at not going to sleep. She knows all the best bedtime-avoiding excuses. “I’m thirsty.” “I need to use the bathroom.” “Will you tell me a story?” Luckily, Mom’s quiver of bedtime tales includes the story of the Fae Queen, who paints children’s dreams and can only visit when their eyes are closed. Inspired by Mercutio’s soliloquy in Romeo & Juliet, in which he details how the tiny fairy queen influences people’s dreams as she passes by in her flying chariot, the soothing story evokes images of an ant in a worn gray coat and a hazelnut-shell chariot with a roof of grasshopper wings. Told in lyrical language that adults will also appreciate, the story helps parents get their kids to sleep. For ages 0-6.

The Fortress by Danielle Trussoni, an unexpected surprise from Dey Street Books.

From their first kiss, twenty-seven-year-old writer Danielle Trussoni is spellbound by a novelist from Bulgaria. The two share a love of jazz and books and travel, passions that intensify their whirlwind romance.

Eight years later, hopeful to renew their marriage, Danielle and her husband move to the south of France, to a picturesque medieval village in the Languedoc. It is here, in a haunted stone fortress built by the Knights Templar, that she comes to understand the dark, subterranean forces that have been following her all along.

While Danielle and her husband eventually part, Danielle’s time in the fortress brings precious wisdom about life and love that she could not have learned otherwise. Ultimately, she finds the strength to overcome her illusions, and start again.

An incisive look at romantic love, The Fortress is one woman’s fight to understand the complexities of her own heart, told by one of the best writers of her generation.

What did you receive?

The Lollipop Monster’s Christmas by Eric T. Krackow, illustrated by Heather Krackow

Source: Schiffer Publishing
Hardcover, 64 pgs
I am an Amazon Affiliate

The Lollipop Monster’s Christmas by Eric T. Krackow, illustrated by Heather Krackow, is a children’s story about the meaning of Christmas through engaging colored pencil drawings.  Reading this together, my daughter and I talked about the presents the monsters receive from one another, the cocoa they drank, and how they opened their hearts and home to a monster who was spending the holiday alone in the woods.  Larry’s favorite holiday is Christmas, not because of the gifts, but because he can spend quality and fun time with his friends.

At 64 pages, this was a little long for a young toddler, but she did take to heart what we discussed as Larry made the monster at home in his house and among his other friends.  She learned that holidays — and generally, most ever day — should be about spending time with friends and family and enjoying one another.  The text was not too much for her per page, which was nice, and the illustrations were colorful, but not overly vivid.

The Lollipop Monster’s Christmas by Eric T. Krackow, illustrated by Heather Krackow, is an engaging story, though we would have liked it a little bit shorter.  Otherwise, the story has a good message for young kids learning about the holidays and what is truly meaningful about spending time with family and friends.

69th book for 2014 New Author Reading Challenge.