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Mailbox Monday #507

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what my daughter received in the last two months from her Scholastic book fair and order form:

Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Peter Brown

Jasper Rabbit loves carrots—especially Crackenhopper Field carrots.
He eats them on the way to school.
He eats them going to Little League.
He eats them walking home.
Until the day the carrots start following him…or are they?
Celebrated artist Peter Brown’s stylish illustrations pair perfectly with Aaron Reynold’s text in this hilarious picture book that shows it’s all fun and games…until you get too greedy.

Dogman: Lord of the Fleas by Dave Pilkey

When a new bunch of baddies bust up the town, Dog Man is called into action — and this time he isn’t alone. With a cute kitten and a remarkable robot by his side, our heroes must save the day by joining forces with an unlikely ally: Petey, the World’s Most Evil Cat. But can the villainous Petey avoid vengeance and venture into virtue?

Money Math: Addition and Subtraction by David Adler, illustrated by Edward Miller

Trusted team David A. Adler and Edward Miller continue their series of popular math books. Amusing cartoon versions of American presidents guide children through this lively introduction to currency values and adding and subtracting money. Topics covered include an introduction to American units of money; the many ways these units combine to make a price; basic money symbols such as the dollar and cent signs; and the math inherent in shopping. After reading this, kids will be confident with their pocket change! A Junior Library Guild Selection.

Kitty’s Magic 4: Star the Little Farm Cat by Ella Moonheart

Kitty has always thought she was allergic to cats, but during a midnight sneezing fit at a sleepover, she learns that the truth is far more magical–Kitty is able to turn into a cat! She eagerly takes her place as the Guardian of the local cats’ Cat Council, using her human knowledge to help them solve their feline problems.

Kitty is going to her cousin’s farm for the weekend! There are lots of animals to meet, including Daisy, an adorable black and white puppy, and Star, the old farmhouse cat. Star’s job is to chase mice away from the strawberry harvest–but it’s become hard now that he’s older. Daisy wants to help, but cats and dogs can’t be friends . . . can they? Will Kitty be able to solve her toughest problem yet–without the help of the Cat Council?

The Sun Is Kind of a Big Deal by Nick Seluk

Oh hey, guess what? The Sun never stops working to keep things on Earth running smoothly. (That’s why it’s been Employee of the Month for 4.5 billion years.) So why does the Sun get to be the center of attention? Because it’s our solar system’s very own star!

This funny and factual picture book from Awkward Yeti creator Nick Seluk explains every part of the Sun’s big job: keeping our solar system together, giving Earth day and night, keeping us warm, and more. In fact, the Sun does so much for us that we wouldn’t be alive without it. That’s kind of a big deal.

Each spread features bite-sized text and comic-style art with sidebars sprinkled throughout. Anthropomorphized planets (and Pluto) chime in with commentary as readers learn about the Sun. For instance, Mars found someone’s rover. Earth wants the Sun to do more stuff for it. And Jupiter just wants the Sun’s autograph. Funny, smart, and accessible, The Sun Is Kind of a Big Deal is a must-have!

Dork Diaries 1-6 by Rachel Renée Russell

Let your inner dork shine bright with these six—count ’em, six!—bestselling Dork Diary books, now together in one dorktastic boxed set.

Join Nikki Maxwell as she navigates the halls of middle school, mean girls, BFF drama and first crushes in this collectible boxed set that includes books one through six in the wildly popular New York Times, USA TODAY, and Publishers Weekly bestselling Dork Diaries series!

This boxed set includes:
Dork Diaries #1: Tales From a Not-So-Fabulous Life
Dork Diaries #2: Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl
Dork Diaries #3: Tales from a Not-So-Talented Pop Star
Dork Diaries #4: Tales From a Not-So-Graceful Ice Princess
Dork Diaries #5: Tales from a Not-So-Smart Miss Know-It-All
Dork Diaries #6: Tales from a Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker

101 School Jokes by Lisa Eisenberg , Katy Hall

Jokes poke fun at aspects of school life such as teachers, homework, lunch, and report cards.

 

 

Spy 101: Codes and Ciphers by Kris Hirschmann

The Princess in Black and the Science Fair Scare by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Princess Magnolia is excited. Excited and nervous. She’s going to the Interkingdom Science Fair today to present her poster about seeds and plants, and when she arrives, she sees that her friends are there too! Princess Honeysuckle made a mole habitat, Princess Sneezewort has built a blanket fort, and Tommy Wigtower has a talking volcano that’s saying “EAAAAT!” Wait, what? A surprise goo monster makes this a job for the Princess in Black, and the Princess in Blankets is on the scene to lend a hand. But will two masked heroes be enough to save the science fair? A little scientific problem-solving — and a lot of princess power — will make the sixth entry in the New York Timesbest-selling series a smash hit.

How to Catch Santa by Jean Reagan, illustrated by Lee Wildish

After waiting for days and days and days, it’s finally Christmas Eve. And that’s when you can try to catch Santa. . . .

From Jean Reagan and Lee Wildish, creators of the bestselling HOW TO… series, comes a delightful new offering, written again in a hilarious instructional style. Two sibling narrators give clever tips for “catching” Santa (be crafty! be clever! be gentle!) on Christmas Eve. Filled with humor and holiday warmth, this is a jolly read-aloud for the whole family to enjoy!

The Christmas SElfie Contest by Rosie Greening and Clare Fennell

Santa is holding a Christmas selfie competition, and one particular elf is determined to win! But what will he do when things don’t go to plan?

Shimmer and Shine: Kitchen Magic

All throughout the genie world, there are delicious dishes to make and eat—and Shimmer, Shine, and Leah are ready to try them all! From Rainbow Pizza and Sparkle Cakes to Beautiful Noodles and Bela Beach Coolers, there are tons of tastes to explore.
Shimmer, Shine, and Leah’s magical morning begins with a healthy best friends’ brunch, including Egg Cups Divine, Pretty Pet Portraits on toast, a Brrr-eakfast Sundae (a healthy smoothie), and Pizza Pancakes. Then the girls hop on their magical carpet to discover the many tastes of Zahramay Falls: They drink a Bela Beach Cooler, and then taste Zahramay Zucchini Fries and Cheesy Noodle Flowers (made with lasagna noodles) at the Genie Market. They have Gooey Gummy Genie Jelly (fruit juice gummies) as a snack on their way to the Azar Bazaar in Rainbow Zahramay, where they taste Fruit Stripe Delight, Beautiful Noodles (which change color right before your eyes!), and Rainbow Pizza. They join Princess Samira for a tea party, complete with Teenie Tea Sandwiches, Sparkle Cakes, and Cinnamon Tea. The day ends with a super sleepover, where they make Genie Bling Apple Rings for a snack, Fish Stick Tacos for dinner, and Cutie Pies for dessert.

Pete the Cat’s 12 Groovy Days of Christmas by Kimberly and James Dean

Pete and his friends are rockin’ and groovin’ while counting down the days to Christmas! Who needs five golden rings, when you can have five onion rings?

Join Pete and the gang for one-of-a-kind holiday cheer. He adds a cool-cat spin on a well-known Christmas carol, bringing a hip and energetic spirit to the season.

What did you receive?

Austenland, the Theme Park for the Rich


Shannon Hale’s Austenland examines the twentieth century woman’s obsession with Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy, and Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy. Jane Hayes, a very typical first name for a Jane Austenesque novel, is a thirty-something career woman in New York, whose mother is concerned that she has given up on love because of an unhealthy obsession with Mr. Darcy. An impromptu meeting with Jane’s Great Aunt Carolyn changes the course of this woman’s life when she is bequeathed a non-refundable trip to Austenland in England, which traditionally caters to the fantasies of the wealthy, trophy wives of powerful businessmen.

I saw this book on Eclectic Closet and added it to my list of Jane Austen spin-off reads. It also helps fulfill my Irresistable Review Challenge. I have only 2 more books to read to finish off this challenge.

***Spoiler Alert***

Jane is hesitant to take up the task of severing her ties with her Mr. Darcy fantasies in Austenland, but ultimately decides to go and reclaim her “real” self and her ability to have a relationship without worrying about how it would end before it even began.

She is a bit of a crazy character who numbers her boyfriends even if she only spent as little as a few weeks with them. She arrives at Austenland to be lectured by Mrs. Wattlesbrook about her finances and how she is not their typical client and that if she breaks the rules, she will be kicked out. Jane is uncomfortable in Regency clothes and manners from the start. The false manners and pretense grate on her nerves, which is when she begins to seek out some normalcy in Austenland and turns to the gardener, Martin. How cliche in my opinion, but for this book it worked. I was still rooting for Mr. Nobley…aka Mr. Darcy.

Through a series of bungling moments, Jane gets trapped up with Martin and untangled from him. She then falls into the trappings of Austenland and Mr. Nobley. By the time her vacation ends, Jane has grown and changed…become a stronger woman.

***End Spoiler Alert***

I like this book because it is entertaining. Jane Austen and Pride & Prejudice are my favorite part of classic literature. I like how Shannon Hale builds up Jane as a lost, romantic career woman who struggles to find her perfect man. I like how skeptical the character is throughout the Austenland experience and how she struggles with herself to stay focused on the act and immersing herself in the role she is expected to play. I also enjoyed how this character learned that she should not have given up her dreams and her artistic outlet of painting, despite her move to graphic design on a computer. Hale does a great job showing the reader how Jane evolves. The final scenes are spectacular and kept me enthralled until its conclusion.

Also Reviewed By:
It’s All About Books (SUEY)
Book Escape
The Written Word
A Girl Walks Into a Bookstore