Mon ami thé #10

27 Jul

Ami Thé 010 - Positive


Positive by Paige Rawl
[strength, courage, determination, confidence, falling and rising, continuing]


Garcinia Goodness by David’s Tea
[orange peel, hibiscus, stevia, red cornflower, garcinia]


I was blown away by the courage that Paige Rawl demonstrated in her memoir.  Although I’d like to think that now, as an adult, I can stand up for myself when need be, the truth is, when I got bullied as a child, I was more the type to ignore my bullies rather than stand up for myself.  I chose this tea because I think the scent of oranges is both powerful and subtle, which suits Rawl’s personality.  The hibiscus flower, too, I find both feminine and feisty (a great combination!).  Finally, there is a lot of goodness that radiates from Rawl, and I really admire that.

Bookcation 2015 #7: Operation Pucker Up

24 Jul

I have three compound nouns for you to go along with today’s grammar lesson: “best friends”, “school play”, “first kiss”.


Operation Pucker Up 

Newly published (as in a couple of days ago), Rachel Alpine’s Operation Pucker Up is the story of Grace Shaw, who is juggling a lot of issues and tissues in her life at the moment. On the plus side, she lands the lead role in the school play; on the other hand, she’s worried about locking lips with Prince Charming in front of a theatreful of gawkers. If that weren’t enough, Grace’s dad—who upped and left the family six months back—pops back into her life, and while her mom and sister are thrilled, Grace is decidedly less so. With all these problems occupying her mind (plus school and homework, of course), what’s a girl to do? It’s a good thing she’s got two best friends who help keep her life from spinning out of control … Or do they?

I’m looking forward to reading Operation Pucker Up. If you manage to give it a go (or you’d like to preview the book) before my copy comes in the mail, let me know what you think! Should I add it to our library?

Student Review: My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish

23 Jul

Let’s talk about Mo O’Hara’s book, My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish. Here’s the gist for you:

  1. Tom has a zombie goldfish named Frankie.
  2. Tom’s evil big brother basically murders a goldfish as a science experiment.
  3. Frankie can hypnotize people and make them do what he wants.
  4. Frankie tries to kill Tom’s brother, Mark.
  5. Mark wants to get rid of Frankie (forever!).

Who do you think wins in the battle between Frankie and Mark?


My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish 

I like that Frankie has hypnotic powers because he can hypnotize people into doing unusual things, such as riding a bicycle with a monkey on their heads. Another reason I like this book is that Tom has an evil scientist for an older brother. Not everyone has an evil scientist older brother, and I think it’d be cool to figure out how to avoid becoming his next science experiment. The thing I like the most is that this book is unique. I have never read or even seen another book about a zombie goldfish that hypnotizes people. This makes this book special. It was a lot of fun reading it – and I enjoyed the story so much that I finished reading it in a couple of days.

One part I didn’t like was the fact that Sanj is a hacker. I did not like this because I think BBEDLAM would have had better use of an evil magician. He could just do a magic trick that makes the zombie-goldfish stare appear on TV and who know what might happen?

I would recommend this book to all people who like zombies, hypnotism, and evil scientist older brothers. I think people who like book with pictures (but not necessarily picture books) and who have curious personalities might enjoy reading My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish.  I wonder what will happen in the SeaQuel and in the rest of the series … It’s up to SIX books now!

Review by Alex P., grade 6


My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish 2 

Squinklebooks Says …

If you’re looking for some fun activities, check out this page on Mo O’Hara’s website!  But don’t stare at Frankie’s eyes too long, just in case something unusual happens to you …


My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish - Series

Cover Love: UK Editions of the Iron Trial and the Lightning Thief

20 Jul

Hi Squinks,

Hardcore bibliophiles like me sometimes cannot explain certain behaviours.  (Yes, I DO mind if you look at this brand-new book that I’ve just begun reading.  If you must, could you wash your hands first, please?)  But I’m sure that one of the least strange of my strange behaviours is amassing a collection of various covers of the same titles.  I can’t help it – I really do judge books by their covers.  So when I see great artistic interpretations of books I’ve read and loved, I can’t help but drool a little … and then (more often than not) take out my wallet and get a copy.

Here are the UK covers of three books published in Great Britain by Penguin though by different houses in North America (and probably elsewhere).  Aren’t they pretty?


UK Covers - PJ & Magisterium 

Compare them to their North American counterparts: Magisterium: The Iron Trial and Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.  Which versions do you like better?

Bookcation 2015 #6: Super Shark Encyclopedia

17 Jul

If you missed last week’s celebration of all things shark, otherwise known as Shark Week, here’s a great book to help abate your disappointment. My love for DK grows more and more every school year with each of their awesome non-fic titles, and Super Shark Encyclopedia and Other Creatures of the Deep (pubbed June 2015) fits snugly in my list of great DK books.


Super Shark Encyclopedia 

All my Squinks loved looking through this trove of information, and while some people enjoyed reading the pages devoted to the different sharks and other sea creatures that infest our ocean waters, a great many more loved simply looking (and admiring) the colourful (and sometimes icky) illustrations on almost every page.

My favourite feature was the one-off box found on some of the pages, which called out a particular species and gave just enough trivia to interest me in reading more. Here’s an example:


Super Shark Encyclopedia - Plankton Plunderer 

Your fellow Squinks and I had a lively debate about this one: Is it cute or creepy? You tell me.


Super Shark Encyclopedia - Demon Stinger


There’s so much to learn here, that it can easily take you the entire summer to truly digest the meaty Super Shark Encyclopedia. But I bet you’ll love it so much that it won’t take you very long to go through it. But I bet, just as much, that you’ll come back to this book over and over again because of the valuable resource that this is.

I anticipate long waiting lists to borrow this book from our library. Better sign it out now!  (These stinging battleships remind me of OOD, by the way.)


Super Shark Encyclopedia - Excerpt 2


Thank you, DK Publishing, for sending me a copy of Super Shark Encyclopedia in exchange for an honest review.
All opinions and suggestions expressed herein are entirely my own.


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