Tuesday, March 30, 2021

I Am the Shark Virtual Book Tour


Enter for a chance to win an I Am the Shark prize pack!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A hardcover copy of I Am the Shark, autographed by Joan Holub

  • A child-size shark print art/cooking apron

  • A $50 Target gift card

Two (2) winners receive:

  • A hardcover copy of I Am the Shark, autographed by Joan Holub

The giveaway begins March 26, 2021, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends April 26, 2021, at 11:59 P.M. MT.


I Am the Shark

Written by Joan Holub

Illustrated by Laurie Keller

Ages 4-8 | 48 Pages

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers

ISBN-13: 978-0525645283

Publisher’s Synopsis: Hi! I am Great White Shark, and if you get this book, you’ll read all about ME–the greatest shark in the sea!

Not so fast! Greenland Shark here, and as the oldest shark in this book, that makes me the greatest.

Did someone say fast? I’m Mako Shark, and I’m the fastest shark in this book! Eat my bubbles!

Wow, I’m Hammerhead Shark. You don’t need my special eyes to see that there are lots of great sharks in this book. Sink your teeth into it now!

New York Times bestselling author Joan Holub makes a splash with bestselling illustrator Laurie Keller to deliver an entertaining undersea story that encourages self-acceptance and self-esteem, and is filled with humor and the greatest shark facts in the ocean!


For more information, visit joanholub.com.





Do you know someone who enjoys reading about sharks? Someone who loves to learn new facts about sharks and share them with others? Then you need to put I Am the Shark in their hands. The Great White Shark is certain that he is the greatest shark in the book, but the others each have their own claim - the largest, fastest, smartest, sneakiest, etc. Readers will learn about what makes each species unique. Joan Holub’s text has the Greenland Shark explaining that he is the oldest shark in the book and that the Tiger Shark once ate a car tire “True story.” Laurie Keller’s illustrations give each shark a bit of personality, while also showing differences in coloration, size, and other details. A helpful diagram explains the purpose of Great White’s various fins and other body parts. There is also a list of “Fintastic Shark Facts” as well as a final spread with a recap of each shark’s claim to fame. Shark enthusiasts and animal lovers in general will have the greatest time taking a bite out of this book!


Monday, March 29, 2021

The Children’s Book Review

A book review of

I Am the Shark

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Life Is What It’s Called

An interview with

Joan Holub

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

The Fairview Review

A book review of

I Am the Shark

Thursday, April 1, 2021

J.R.s Book Reviews

A book review of

I Am the Shark

Friday, April 2, 2021

The Children’s Book Review

An interview with

Joan Holub

Monday, April 5, 2021

Glass of Wine, Glass of Milk

A book review of

I Am the Shark

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

icefairy’s Treasure Chest

A book review of

I Am the Shark

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Barbara Ann Mojica’s Blog

A book review of

I Am the Shark

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Library Lady’s Kid Lit

A book review of

I Am the Shark

Friday, April 9, 2021

Heart to Heart

An interview with

Joan Holub

Monday, April 12, 2021

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

A book review of

I Am the Shark

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

A Dream Within a Dream

A book review of

I Am the Shark

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Comfy Chair Books

A book review of

I Am the Shark

The Fairview Review is participating in the virtual tour in partnership with The Children’s Book Review.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Spring Reading 2021 The Bookshop of Second Chances


What do you get when you combine the end of a 20-year relationship, an unexpected inheritance, and a job at a used bookstore? You might wind up with a quaint home in Scotland, new friends, and the chance to start over. Thea has been made redundant at her job, discovered her husband has been keeping secrets, and decides to go see this house her great-uncle has left her. When she arrives in Baldochrie, she is only planning a short visit to sort out the house and then head back home to straighten out her life. But what could be better than sorting out herself along with the house? 

This is a book that explores how it feels to reevaluate your life after receiving several hard knocks. Starting over can be hard, especially when you are questioning what you did wrong or if you even did anything to cause all the turmoil. And as Thea learns, "It's good to have things to think about that have nothing to do with" your ex. Doing that thinking in a new place around new people may let you "pretend everything's is all right," and "maybe get to a point where everything is all right."  

The setting is a big part of the story - the lodge house near the old manor, the quaint Scottish town, the bookstore, the shore. And the characters are an entertaining group: best friend Xanthe, curmudgeonly bookstore owner Edward, local lord Charles, Jilly and Cerys at the local coffee shop. Each person's interactions with Thea help to make her more believable and 3-dimensional. When she has highs and lows, readers will feel them with her.

Perfect for fans of The Bookshop on the Corner or The Bookish Life of Nina Hill. Release date set for May 4, 2021.

Monday, March 15, 2021

Winter Reading 2021 Wild Sign


I love, love, love stories with Anna and Charles. There are always so many backstories woven into each new book, new revelations about the characters, new layers to the relationships. This one has a flashback featuring Sage. FBI Special Agent Leslie Fisher makes an appearance. Tag travels with the Cornicks as they follow up on information provided by the FBI and we get to see more of his personality and catch a few hints about past adventures with Charles.

So with an entire town that has gone missing there are plenty of mysteries, possible clues, and maybe even a few red herrings dropped here and there. Could it be witchcraft? Are there Native deities involved? Why is this happening on land that belongs to the Marrok's pack? Could it be an oblique attack at the pack or the Marrok himself? One of the big pulls of this book is the chance to learn more about Leah's past - where Bran found her and why he made her his mate. (All questions we have been wondering about.)

When the investigation is planned, Anna says, "So we three are going to venture into a situation that disappeared a village and brought a legendary werewolf - no...a legendary legend to his knees and killed who knows how many people. You and I and Tag." I've come to see sending Anna and Charles to handle something as a bit like the "one riot, one ranger" approach of the Texas Rangers. Sending Tag along seems like it might be overkill, but they have occasionally run into situations where a little backup is useful, so why not?

Existing fans of Patricia Briggs and the Alpha & Omega series will not be disappointed in this new story with its mix of ties to previous books and new revelations. For those just encountering Anna and Charles, there is enough detail to make the story enjoyable on its own - but they will probably wind up searching out the rest of the series when they finish this book.

Due for publication today (March 16). I read an advance review copy and the quote from Anna may appear slightly different in the published version.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Winter Reading 2021 The Magical Reality of Nadia


What happens when an Egyptian teacher is cursed to be trapped inside an amulet for two thousand years and the amulet is found by a modern student? Is there any way for a sixth grader to break the curse and free the prisoner? It isn't easy when that student is busy dealing with the challenges of middle school, a new kid who seems determined to tease her about her heritage, and working with her friends to win a contest sponsored by the local museum.

Nadia begins the school year full of enthusiasm for her classes, eager to reconnect with her friends after the summer, and proud of her cultural background. But the mocking of a new student, including an embarrassing scene at the carnival where he urges everyone to "walk like an Egyptian," has her trying to blend in and avoid being on his radar. Discovering that there is someone trapped inside the amulet just gives her one more thing to cope with, but maybe Titi can help her team design the winning idea for a new museum exhibit. And, just maybe, she can help Titi find a way to break his curse.

A great middle grade read about being true to yourself, the need for cultural sensitivity, and how friction can arise between even the best of friends (especially when they don't know what the other is going through). Shorter and more light-hearted than the Rick Riordan Presents titles that feature folklore from various cultures, Nadia's story reflects the real-life experiences of the author's family and others who have moved to the U.S. from Egypt. Titi's character has the humorous appeal of the genie in Disney's animated Aladdin, sure to generate laughter while passing along details about ancient Egyptian life.

Pass this book along to middle grade readers who enjoy stories that incorporate myths and tales from other cultures, humor, and school-based action. 

Winter Reading 2021 Pride and Premeditation (Jane Austen Murder Mystery #1)


If you enjoy Jane Austen's characters and seeing them in variations on the original story (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, anyone?) you should give this new series a try. Lizzie's father is a barrister and she wants to work by his side, even take over the practice when he retires - but a female practicing law is just not done. Determined to prove to her father and everyone else that she has the skills for the job, she takes on the case of Charles Bingley and sets out to prove his innocence. Bingley's best friend Darcy is the heir to a successful law office and is already on his friend's case. Sparks fly. Banter and verbal sparring occur. And we wait for everything to be resolved (happily, we hope), before the last page.

Readers of historical fiction will notice that a few liberties were taken to transplant the story into the legal arena rather than sticking to ballrooms and house parties, but those changes can be forgiven and are explained in the author's note. This version of Elizabeth Bennet is still close to her father, determined not to marry her mother's choice, dislikes her father's heir, and finds Mr. Darcy infuriating. Social customs such as calling cards and subscription dances at public assembly halls help bring the time period to life. Lizzie's use of street children is reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes and his Baker Street Irregulars. For those who have read the original, the motivations of the characters and hidden relationships between them may provide a few clues to the mystery's solution, but newcomers to the world of Austen will not be hampered in their enjoyment.

Future books Sense and Second-Degree Murder and Manslaughter Park are planned for the next year or two, so there is more mystery and good manners to look forward to.  For now, Pride and Premeditation is due out on April 6th - so get ready.

Winter Reading 2021 Fearless


Written by Broadway star Mandy Gonzalez (Hamilton, In the Heights, and Wicked), this middle-grade novel combines mystery and musical theater in a very entertaining way. Protagonist Monica travels from California to New York when a big break as understudy for a Broadway show is offered. But her arrival finds a once great theater now in shabby splendor, rehearsals plagued with accidents, and a rumored curse on the entire thing. Can Monica and the other child actors find the clues to why the theater's luck has run out in time to save their own show? 

Monica's character is well-developed. Readers will see the close relationship with her grandmother Abuelita, who accompanies her to New York and also with her brother Freddy. Although she is a bit shy, she still makes friends with the other actors and gets along well with the adults she meets. Her determination to save the production stems from her own love of performing, but also from her knowledge of what a successful show will mean for her family and for the others involved.

The curse shows itself in large and small mishaps and problems. Some may be the type of accidents that could happen in any theater, but others seem too bizarre to be anything but the result of vengeful spirits or some other negative force. As the kids investigate, they learn more about the history of the theater housing their show and readers learn  more about Broadway in general. (It certainly helps that the author has inside knowledge of theater traditions.)

Recommended for upper elementary or early middle school readers who enjoy mysteries, have a love of the theater, or prefer stories with a group of friends working together to solve a problem or puzzle.

Due for publication April 6. 

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Winter Reading 2021 The Little Butterfly That Could


This seems to be a year for picture book follow-ups. Ross Burach fans will be thrilled to see that The Very Impatient Caterpillar now has a companion book. This time the title character is in search of the other migrating butterflies. As the length of the migration is revealed by a helpful whale, the butterfly despairs of ever completing the journey. "Can I take a plane?" "No." "A hot air balloon?" "No." "A blimp?" "No." Our friend the butterfly is worried about all sorts of obstacles - getting lost, storms, being eaten, etc. But with some pep talk from the whale, the migration is resumed.

The comments and antics of the butterfly are made even more humorous by the illustrations. Readers will see the butterfly attempt to set up housekeeping in the whale's stomach, chugging from a water bottle and wearing a headband like a marathon runner, even standing in a puddle of its own tears. They will also learn a few facts along the way about migration, dormancy, predators, and perseverance.

Those who have already met The Very Impatient Caterpillar will delight in this new story and end it with the hope for yet another sequel. Readers new to this feisty protagonist will be just as entertained and amused. Perfect for preschool and early elementary readers.

Expected to publish on April 6th.

Winter Reading 2021 Chicken Little and the Big Bad Wolf

What do you get when you combine a character known for panicking and a character that instills fear in others? A bunch of secondary characters running around like, well...chickens. "I am SO not scared of any wolf," Chicken Little declares on the title page and then proceeds to explain that it doesn't matter because there are no one but chickens around. "Wham!" A wolf out for a jog crashes into Chicken Little and sets off a flurry of activity when the news reaches the barnyard. Wolf didn't eat Chicken Little, but does that prove anything?

Plenty of clich├ęs are worked into the story and used to great comic effect. The chickens argue over what to do and break into "Team Fight" and "Team Flight" as they debate their options. Chicken Little channels Nancy Sinatra declaring, "These boots aren't made for running!" When everyone decides their best option is "to fly the coop," they all don aviator goggles and caps. (They do look very charming.) And one chicken even blurts out that the wolf "will huff and puff and blow our coop down!" Readers will be curious to see how the story ends.

This is a great read for classes studying folktales or fractured fairy tales. It is also a good story to start a discussion about judging people on appearances or preconceived notions. The dedication "For anyone who's had to look for a place to belong and for all the flocks that welcomed them in" offers a clue to the books' theme of welcome and inclusion. Fans who enjoyed Wedelich's  Chicken Little: The Real and Totally True Tale will be delighted at this second book, and new readers will want to search out the first book as soon as they finish this one. 

Just released and sure to be a hit among elementary and preschool readers.


Monday, March 1, 2021

Winter Reading 2021 Walking Toward Peace: The True Story of a Brave Woman Called Peace Pilgrim

Stories of pacifists are not always told in a way that captures the interest of young readers. This picture book uses details like Peace Pilgrim's goal of walking twenty-five thousand miles, preparing for her trip by learning to forage for food,  and the fact that she never carried any money to arouse curiosity. The illustration of a giant crayon tracing a path across the United States is the perfect image to show how she visualized her journey. The ways she immersed herself in "good thoughts and good actions every day" offer examples for others to follow. Illustrations of the areas she traveled through and the people she met help to show how large and varied our country is. The diversity of the children and families she visits also help to underscore the universality of her message. 

Great for classes looking for positive role models or parents looking for strong female heroes.