REVIEWS | A Cat Family Christmas & Daisy Woodworm Changes the World

Description

Count down the twelve days til Christmas in this delightful advent book. With a nod to nostalgic Victorian advent calendars, open up tiny but sturdy flap ‘doors’ on each one of the 24 pages to reveal little details and surprises.

Peer inside the cupboard doors and different-sized tins in the busy Cat Family kitchen to find the missing ingredients for the cake. Open all the front doors on the street when the Cat Family go carol singing.

This is a whimsical Christmas book that gives the Victorian advent calendar tradition a contemporary twist for advent calendar door–hungry hands. Every page is rich with Liberty print–style patterns and William Morris–inspired friezes.

The Cat Family is full of character and personality, and the picture painted of the holiday season in this charming picture book will fill you and your family with Christmas cheer!

(Goodreads)


Review

Get this one before the 12 days of Christmas start!

This lift-the-flap advent book features beautifully illustrated pages of a cat family during Christmas as they prepare and celebrate the holiday season. The placement of the various flaps was done cleverly and will be so much fun for readers to explore as they progress through the story.

Not only are the activities engaging, but the story itself is as well, as it counts down the 12 days of Christmas. As you flip through the book, note the different animal families, which include rabbits, badgers, and foxes (among others!). It is lovely to see the various families as they board the sleeper train! Even the houses display snowmen outside (e.g., snow-cats and snow-ducks!)

This book is so much fun to read with your little ones as you approach Christmas day. The last page ends on Christmas Eve.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this advanced review copy. All opinions are my own.

This Book in Three Words

Cozy, Festive, Cats!

Values/Themes

  • Family
  • Holiday Traditions
  • Togetherness

Favourite Part

I loved to see all of the animal families boarding the train!

Feelings

  • Lighthearted
  • Relaxing
  • Fun

Overall Rating

Numerical Rating: 5 Stars


Description

Thirteen-year-old Daisy Woodward loves insects, running track, and hanging out with her older brother, Sorrel, who has Down syndrome and adores men’s fashion. When her social studies teacher assigns each student an oral report and project to change the world for the better, Daisy fears the class bully–who calls her Woodworm–will make fun of her lisp. Still, she decides to help Sorrel fulfill his dream of becoming a YouTube fashion celebrity despite their parents’ refusal to allow him on social media.

With the help of her best friend, Poppy, and Miguel–the most popular boy in school and her former enemy–Daisy launches Sorrel’s publicity campaign. But catastrophe strikes when her parents discover him online along with hateful comments from a cyberbully. If Daisy has any hope of changing the world, she’ll have to regain her family’s trust and face her fears of public speaking to find her own unique and powerful voice.

Daisy Woodworm Changes the World includes an author’s note and additional resources.

(Goodreads)


Review

When prompted with the question, “How can one save the world?” Daisy immediately thinks of Sorrel, her brother who has Down Syndrome, and how she could best support his ambition to become a fashion icon and youtube star.

Daisy and Sorrel are faced with many obstacles, and with the representation of Down Syndrome, another strength of this book is how Daisy, with the help of her friends, family, and teacher, can make the world a better place. I liked that this story showed how important it is to reframe goals and ask for aid when needed. I loved Sorrel and the strong bond between the two siblings. Regarding the pacing, the last half of the book flowed very nicely. I also wanted to know more about Daisy, but this may be something to look forward to in the future. This book is well-suited for a middle-grade audience/classroom. Daisy wants to study insects so cool facts about insects are provided.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this advanced review copy. All opinions are my own.

This Book in Three Words

Uplifting, Inspiring, Realistic

Values/Themes

  • Goal setting
  • Self-Esteem
  • Friendship
  • Family
  • Economic disparities

Favourite Part

Several friendships blossom throughout the book.

Feelings

  • Emotional
  • Hopeful
  • Uplifting

Overall Rating

Numerical Rating: 3.75 Stars

QOTD: What is the last book you’ve read? Let us know!

November TBR Game

Hello everyone and welcome to another round of our TBR Game, “Fighting Evil by Book Light!”

RULES

1. Five turns: two spins, each. First: card; Second: prompt
2. Played monthly.
3. If the wheel arrow lands exactly between two pieces, re-spin.
4. Cards updated.
5. Must accept result of each spin. No re-spins.
6. Unfinished books may be carried over to next month (optional)
*7. If participating in a readathon, can modify TBR game for that readathon.

November TBR Game

TBR Video

Today’s Candidates:

NEW RELEASES

  1. Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
  2. Fayne by Ann Marie MacDonalde
  3. The Theory of Crows by David A. Robertson
  4. Dashing Through the Snowbirds by Donna Andrews
  5. How to Succeed in WitchCraft
  6. Blackmail and Bibingka by Mia P. Manansala

CAT BOOKS

  1. A Cat, a Man, and Two Women by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, Paul McCarthy (Translator)
  2. Pickles Vs. The Zombies by Angela Misri
  3. Herding Cats by Sarah Andersen
  4. The Eyes of the Cat by Moebius & Jodorowsky
  5. Cat vs. Human Fairy Tails by Yasmine Surovec
  6. The Mutts Autumn Diaries by Patrick McDonnell

FANTASY

  1. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  2. Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury
  3. Babel by R.F. Kuang
  4. Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart
  5. The Witch Haven by Sasha Peyton Smith
  6. Sailor Moon Eternal Edition 6

MANGA/GRAPHIC NOVEL/Or PICTURE BOOKS

  1. Cassandra Steps Out by Isabelle Bottier, Hélène Canac (Illustrator)
  2. Pardalita by Joana Estrela
  3. Amazona by Canizales
  4. The Mutts Autumn Diaries by Patrick McDonnell
  5. Waiting for the Great Pumpkin
  6. Unfamiliar by Haley Newsome

ROMANCE

  1. Blood Like Magic by Liselle Sambury
  2. The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
  3. By the Book by Jasmine Guillory
  4. Finding Family at Seabreeze Farm
  5. Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis
  6. Noelle the First by Nicole Falls

THRILLER/CONTEMPORARY

  1. Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen
  2. Strangers by Katherena Vermette
  3. The Last Confession of Autumn Casterly by Meredith Tate
  4. To Paradise by Hanya Yanagihara
  5. A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
  6. Murder at the Bookstore by Sue Minix

And we also have rereads and an add a book cards as well!

TBR Game Playlist

Playlist Link

Want to play at home?

Simplified Version:

In this version, the Random Name Picker below will choose your genre cards for you!
Enter the following:

For list of names, enter:
New Releases (Sailor Mercury)
Add a Book
(Tuxedo Mask)
Fantasy
(Sailor Jupiter and Sailor Pluto)
Thriller/Contemporary
(Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune)
Cat Books
(Sailor Venus with Artemis and Sailor Moon with Luna)
Manga/Graphic Novel
(Sailor Moon)
Romance (Sailor Mars Saturn)
Reread
(Sailor ChibiMoon)

Do this five times to select your genre cards and from there, you can pick whatever book you would like to for your TBR! But remember, if “Add a Book” is selected, you will have to add a book! Or, you can delete this option since it can get out of hand pretty quickly! Alternatively, you can pick as many books as you’d like to.

Random Name Picker

If you would instead like to download the genre cards and select your cards in a different way, they are included below.

Genre Cards:

TBR Cards:

Detailed Version:


Before you play this version, download the Combined Genre + Book Cards below and add your own candidates to each card. For your first turn, select your genre card by pasting the following into the random name generator. This will provide you with your genre card.

for list of names, enter:
New Releases
Add a Book
Fantasy
Thriller/Contemporary
Cat Books
Manga/Graphic Novel
Romance
Reread

Random Name Picker

Once you have your genre selected, then roll the dice to select your candidate. Repeat this process five times, or as many times as you would like to in order to pick your TBR. Remember to add a book each time you choose Add a Book.

Random Number Generator

Combined Genre + Book Cards:

TBR Cards:

QOTD: Will you be playing along?
Let us know your TBR picks for November!

My Bookstagram account is hacked! UPDATE: it’s back!

Hi everyone, I’m currently hacked out of my bookstagram account. I don’t know what’s going on but if you receive any odd messages from @sarasreadingnook it’s not me. It looks like Instagram has frozen my account so hopefully the hackers haven’t done much damage. I’m hopeful that it can be restored within the next day before my November reading prompt challenge!

UPDATE:

I got it sorted out!
Basically, if anyone gets hacked out, make sure your phone hasn’t blocked Instagram in your blocked contacts list (32665). If it has, unblock and wait 24 hrs before trying to get the SMS code. That worked for me ✅

November bookstagram Photo Prompts

Hello everyone!

Olivia and I have decided to make a photo prompt/reel challenge for November. It’s my birthday month and I was inspired to celebrate things I love during this time of year. The warm colours, the yellow birthstone, grabbing warm mugs of peppermint tea! And spending time with family and friends, and of course, my cat Olivia.

Please join us! You can do as many or as few prompts as possible. And, of course, feel free to combine days together (I may be doing this as well!)

If you’d like to participate:

  • Use the hashtag: #ReadingWithSaraAndOlivia when completing the prompts to join!
  • Add your bookstagram posts to the linkup below so we can see them!
  • If you would like to blog with our prompts, add your blog links to the linkup below
  • Comment with your bookstagram handle
  • Enjoy!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

QOTD: Do you enjoy using prompts?
Let us know!

Where to find us: Blog | Bookstagram | Twitter | Booktube | BookTok | Storygraph | Pinterest

Ten Books With Spooky Season Vibes

We are excited to link up with Top Ten Tuesdays, hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl.

Most books Olivia and I read during this time are either cozy or scary. Here are our picks for books with Spooky Season Vibes!

Cozy Vibes

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks (Illustrator). Read this one for the coziest Autumnal vibes and the most delicious treats.
CW
Watch our Pumpkinheads Reading Vlog here!

Chapter and Curse by Elizabeth Penney. Read this one to enter a fantastic cozy mystery series that features cats, The Cambridge Bookshop Series.
CW

(Note: Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for Chapter and Curse. All opinions are my own).

Horror

The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke. Spooky! This book was a five-star read for me. Read this one for witchy vibes but beware – it’s dark.
CW

The Weight of Blood by Tiffany D. Jackson. This book is a Carrie retelling that I highly recommend! Make sure to read the content warnings.
CW

Watch our Lighthouse Witches reading vlog here!

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. This book is a wild ride! It’s a mixture of gothic, mystery, historical fiction and horror. It’s also one of my favourite books, though it’s not for everyone. If you like atmospheric reads, this may be for you.
CW

Watch our Mexican Gothic Reading Vlog here!

Lost Boy by Christina Henry. This book is a Peter Pan retelling told from the perspective of Captain Hook and I think it’s brilliant. There are lots of content warnings, but I do recommend it if you’re ready for a viewpoint that challenges thoughts on Peter Pan.
CW

Horror Manga

Lovesickness by Junji Ito. This manga is packed with scary and graphic scenes that make you want to scream! Read this if you are ready for a spook.
CW

Deathnote by Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata (Art). A haunting and cunning chess game that challenges good vs. evil vs. ethics.
CW

Cozy Graphic Novels

Séance Tea Party by Reimena Yee. Adorable! And tugs on your heartstrings.
CW

Witches of Brooklyn by Sophie Escabasse. It reminds me a bit of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Quirky, cute, and a perfectly cozy read.
CW

Watch our Wrap-Up for these two books here!

@sarasreadingnook

Thank you to everyone who cohosted and joined the Hello Autumn/Spring readathon! Here is our vlog and recap. Olivia and I made a Fall bucket list: to carve pumpkins, have pumpkin pie, go on lots of outdoor walks (Olivia to hang out on the catio), and to read lots of witchy books! #ReadathonVlog #48hrReadathonVlog #48HourReadathon #cozyBooks #MysteryBooks #HelloAutumnSpringReadathon Cohosts @Abigail @kaylasbookishlife @Ruby G Chiara Bianca

♬ original sound – Sara’s Reading Nook – BookTok

QOTD: Have any books caught your interest? Let us know!

The Sunday Post #14 and More!

Hello, everyone! Today we are linking up with

Olivia Update 🐾

Olivia is the best company and this week was no exception. Although I was ill earlier in the week with a cold, she cuddled with me and has been incredibly sweet. She would curl up into a ball beside me each day and wouldn’t leave my side.

Olivia likes to go on evening tours in the apartment. I pick her up so she can see everything in the apartment that is eye-level for me (e.g., countertops, bookshelves, windows, etc.). She’s not a climber and is about 14.5 years young, so I like to ensure she doesn’t miss out on the sights!

Watch Olivia with our current read here.

Reading/Watching Update

Reading

CW = Content Warnings (if available)

Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty. I am still reading and enjoying this short story collection.
CW

A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos with Hildegarde Serie (Translator). I am enjoying this one so far. This book is a buddy read with @officiallyreads!
CW

Recently Read

Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality by Bob Joseph and Cynthia F. Joseph. I thought this was a highly valuable read. I picked it up from the library and couldn’t stop flipping through it. I have requested 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act for further reading.

The next three books are eARCs received from NetGalley and their respective publishers this week. All opinions are my own. Reviews are to come for Hungry Ghost and Cat Family Christmas closer to their release date, but we suggest you keep all three titles on your radar.

Hungry Ghost by Victoria Ying. This book is an informative YA/contemporary/graphic novel focusing on mental health, eating disorders, and family relationships and influences. I’m so thankful to NetGalley and First Second Books for this title.
Release Date: April 25th, 2023
Review to come
CW

Cat Family Christmas by Lucy Brownridge and Eunyoung Seo (Illustrations). This children’s book is an engaging advent lift-the-flap book that displays over 140 doors to open. It shows the Cat Family decorating, baking, and preparing the house for the holiday. Thank you to NetGalley and Frances Lincoln Children’s Books for this title.
Release Date: November 8th, 2022

Cat’s Don’t Like Christmas by Andy Wortlock and Nahum Ziersch (Illustrator). Olivia and I loved this one. Thank you to NetGalley and Splash Books for this title.
Click here to see the full review.

DNF

Olivia and I decided to DNF Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert. Although the story was decent, there was content we weren’t comfortable reading, so we decided to pass.
CW

Watching

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5. We just finished episode 7. At this point, I’m ready for The Testaments.
CW

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. Catching up on this show next week.
CW

The Watcher. This show is about a family that moves into a stunning house in a new and “safe” community; however, soon after their arrival, they receive a suspicious letter from a stalker who is watching the family. Almost finished, and I have some theories!
CW

The Haunting of Bly Manor. I rewatched this series with Olivia and it was definitely worth the rewatch. There are so many easter eggs to find.
CW

This Week on the Blog

Next Week on the Blog

  • Book reviews
  • Top Ten Tuesday

QOTD: What did you read this week? let us know!

Where to find us: Blog | Bookstagram | Twitter | Booktube | BookTok | Storygraph | Pinterest

top ten portuguese words i love

We are excited to link up with Top Ten Tuesdays, hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl.

I’m so excited to share my top 10 Portuguese words I love with you all! My family comes from the Azores, and some of these words will be food related, but I hope you enjoy learning them. When I last visited Porto, I was amazed by how many dishes from my childhood were being made 🍃. If you ever visit Portugal, make sure you taste some of these wonderful foods!

I tried to do the pronunciation as best as I could for these haha. And although I speak Portuguese, it is rusty and needs to be improved!

1. As Queijadas (de leite)

Pronunciation: Kay-sha-das

The word “Queijada” makes me SO incredibly hungry. And that is because I am reminded of these creamy milk tarts my mother used to make when I was growing up. I love them so much and with some adaptations I can make these at home.

2. (Um) Guardanapo

Pronunciation: Gwer-de-nah-pu

It literally just means napkin haha. But I love saying it!

3. (Uma) Biblioteca

Pronunciation: Bib-lee-oh-tek-uh

Can you guess?

A library!

4. (Uma) Formiga

Pronunciation: For-mee-guh

An ant! I love how this one sounds!

5. (Um) Golfinho

Pronunciation: this one’s a bit hard for me to type, so I’ll link google translate!

A dolphin!

6. (As) Batatas

Pronunciation: Bah-tah-tas

The potatoes!

I absolutely love potatoes. Roasted, fried, in soup. You name it!

7. Puxar

Pronunciation: Pu-shar

This is actually the verb “to pull”! Very useful to learn this one quickly.

8. Saudade

Pronunciation: best to hear this one.

This is a very complex word. Saudade is a very deep feeling of melancholy/sadness/nostalgia.

9. (O) Gato / (A) Gata

Pronunciation: Gah-to; Gah-tah

Cat! Olivia’s request 😸

10. (Um) Beija-Flor

Pronunciation: Bay-jah-flor

Hummingbird.

QOTD: How do you like to eat batatas?
Let us know!

REVIEW | Cat’s Don’t Like Christmas! by Andy Wortlock and Nahum Ziersch (Illustrator)

Description

It’s Christmas time! It’s here again!

But first I need to say…

I think you’re making too much fuss

about this holiday!

Our adorable little cat is back this Christmas and he thinks there might be a little too much fuss this holiday season. Cats aren’t great with change and there’s plenty this time of year, in such a short period of time! For little and big readers, this is the funny, festive, companion to the award winning, Cats Don’t Like That! by Andy Wortlock and Nahum Ziersch.

Enjoy this special holiday treat and get your festive paws on a copy today!

(Goodreads)


Review

This feline-tastic book is an adorable and hilarious picture book detailing all of the annoyances cats face during a busy family Christmas. Each page features a clever rhyme and is beautifully illustrative of the narration, full of wit and charm!

As a mega cat lover, I feel like there is also an important tale to tell here: with compassion and empathy, we can enjoy Christmas while not pestering our pets too much, if only our family and guests let them have adequate quiet time in addition to love, and affection.

Make sure to read until the end because every page features a hidden mouse! Enjoy finding these together with your little ones (or, in my case, my cat Olivia who was eager to spot them!).

Highly recommended! Purrfect for kids and adults, too!

Thank you to NetGalley for this review copy. All opinions are my own.

This Book in Three Words

Witty, Charming, Cute

Values/Themes

  • Cats during Christmas time
  • Awareness of feline friends during the holidays
  • Scavenger Hunt

Favourite Part

Clearly, our favourite part was the mouse scavenger hunt!

Feelings

  • Funny
  • Lighthearted
  • Adorable

Overall Rating

Numerical Rating: 5 Stars

QOTD: What is your favourite Christmas-time picture book? This is a new favourite for us!

Review | Tacos for Two by Betsy St. Amant

Description

Rory Perez, a food truck owner who can’t cook, is struggling to keep the business she inherited from her aunt out of the red–and an upcoming contest during Modest’s annual food truck festival seems the best way to do it. The prize money could finally give her a solid financial footing and keep her cousin with special needs paid up at her beloved assisted living home. Then maybe Rory will have enough time to meet the man she’s been talking to via an anonymous online dating site.

Jude Strong is tired of being a puppet at his manipulative father’s law firm, and the food truck festival seems like the perfect opportunity to dive into his passion for cooking and finally call his life his own. But if he loses the contest, he’s back at the law firm for good. Failure is not an option.

Complications arise when Rory’s chef gets mono and she realizes she has to cook after all. Then Jude discovers that his stiffest competition is the same woman he’s been falling for online the past month.

Will these unlikely chefs sacrifice it all for the sake of love? Or will there only ever be tacos for one?

(Goodreads)


Review

I’ll be frank: You’ve Got Mail is one of my all-time favourite movies. I watch it nearly every Christmas, it’s the film that made me fall in love with coffee shops and NYC as a setting, and I cannot think of a better RomCom. Of course, that leaves me searching for a similar read, and I’m always on the lookout for an adaptation with similar vibes.

Betsy St. Amant did a great job with Tacos for Two and crafted two characters I enjoyed reading. You learn that there is much more than meets the eye with these two, especially Jude, who could easily fit into one stereotype but breaks the mould. Pair that with delicious food and cooking scenes, and it combines to make one super cute RomCom.

Perhaps it’s because I know the plot of YGM so well that I found it predictable, but some creative decisions kept me engaged. And it was so much fun to see the cooking lessons unfold!

I recommend this one if you are looking for a cute RomCom with a cooking contest, themes of family heritage, a second-chance romance, and You’ve Got Mail vibes. And if cilantro is a divisive spice in your household, watch the drama unfold!

Thank you to NetGalley for this advanced review copy. All opinions are my own.

Content Warnings

This Book in Three Words

Scrumptious, Adaptation, Cute

Values/Themes

  • Family Heritage
  • Forgiveness
  • Trust
  • Second Chances
  • You’ve Got Mail Influenced/Adaptation

Favourite Part

I really enjoyed all of the cooking scenes! And Jude coming into his own as a chef.

Feelings

  • Hopeful
  • Lighthearted
  • Cute

My Ratings:

Writing Style: 3.5
Characters: 4
Plot Development: 3.5
Originality: 3.25
Engagingness: 3
Insightfulness: 3.5
Comprehensiveness: 3.5
Impactfulness: 3.5
Spice: Mild
Makes you want to eat? YES (but no cilantro, please!)

Overall Rating

Numerical Rating: 3.5 stars

QOTD: Do you enjoy romance books centred around food? Let us know!