Homicide and Halo-Halo by Mia P. Manansala

"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

Rating: 4 out of 5.

It’s time for another fantastic book in the Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery series! This cozy mystery was just as wonderful as the first book in the series!

This book picks up just a while after the ending of the first one. Lila is still working to get into a better headspace after the recent murder. There’s a focus here on mental health, and I really liked how it was handled.

Continue reading “Homicide and Halo-Halo by Mia P. Manansala”

Bob the Banana Goes Bad by Steve Petzinger

"Childrens" Genre Block - 4 kids laying on stomachs looking at book
Bob the Banana Goes Bad book cover with browning banana with grumpy face
Book Genre Block with image of group of children

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I read this book with both kiddos and it was a HIT! The artwork brings these characters to life, and the story really draws the reader into the life and situation for these food friends. This seems like the kind of story that could turn into a series. There are a lot of very unique characters in this refrigerator, and we really enjoyed them all!

So, Bob the Banana, like all the other food in the refrigerator just wants to be eaten. That is their role in life. The Mayor supports every food by telling them they will be chosen before they go bad, but when Bob starts to turn brown, it doesn’t look good for him.

Continue reading “Bob the Banana Goes Bad by Steve Petzinger”

Above the Bay of Angels by Rhys Bowen

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

What an absolutely lovely surprise this book turned out to be! I loved everything about this book. The characters, the setting, the plot, the mystery…everything.

My Synopsis:

Isabella Waverly was born into an aristocratic family that fell from grace early in life. After her mother’s death and her father’s drunken escapades, Isabella finds herself as a servant. After growing up as the one being served, this change of events is frustrating and “beneath her”. Isabella perseveres though. She is earning money that supports her father who can’t get a job and her younger sister who would go hungry without Isabella’s wages.

Isabella is a hard worker and finds she has an interest in the kitchen, soon managing to get placed there as an assistant. After her father’s death, she mentions her dreams of possibly going to America to start a restaurant, and her employer tells her she would not provide a reference. Isabella feels stuck.

Then, she witnesses a young woman get hit by an omnibus in the street. The girl hands Isabella a letter before she dies. Inside she finds an invitation for an interview as a cook…at Buckingham Palace. Isabella decides to impersonate the girl, Helen.

Above the Bay of Angels follows Isabella/Helen on her incredible journey through the kitchens of the palace. There is court intrigue, murder, love, and above all else, a fierce determination to succeed.

How I Felt:

This is my first book by the author, Rhys Bowen, but it will NOT be my last. I am so happy that I stumbled across this book on Netgalley, and after the last page, I jumped on Netgalley hoping for more!

Continue reading “Above the Bay of Angels by Rhys Bowen”

The Adventures of Princess Pudding Pie by Saureen Naik Desai – A Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Photo of two children reading with label "Children's" intended to note that this article is a children's book.
The cover of the book The Adventures of Princess Pudding Pie.  A little girl on a stone road with a travel bag and passport.
A passport in a bag with the text Travel. This is intended to inform the reader that the book is about travel.

What I Loved:

The story takes us through many countries and each image correlates with the country! The illustrations for each country were perfect. I loved how Princess Pudding Pie’s clothing changed to coordinate with the country’s flag colors!

How I Felt:

This book was wonderful! It’s a little trip around the world with a bit of education! Princess Pudding Pie greets the reader in each country’s “Hello” exposing the child to just a little language from each country. I found that I knew more greetings than I thought I did and my daughter enjoyed repeating the words after me.

Her clothing changes as we move from country to country, matching their flag colors. It is designed to resemble an iconic look from each country. I enjoyed discussing these pieces of apparel with her. She had a ton of questions about each page.

The background image is a recognizable landmark from each country. We got a chance to see the Great Wall of China, which was my favorite!

Finally, the BEST part, she shares a delicious treat from each country! There is excellent artwork to show the reader what the dessert is and Pudding Pie’s descriptions make you want to taste each one. This book should come with a sampler of these desserts!!

An image of Princess Pudding Pie's face showing the pie crust ring around her head.

My only complaint is Pudding Pie’s illustration. My daughter couldn’t figure out what was around her face and it continued to bother her throughout the book. She kept saying her crown had fallen down. I have to agree, it isn’t my favorite artwork either. However, this in no way detracted from how awesome this book was!

To Read or Not To Read: The Adventures of Princess Pudding Pie is an excellent book for any young reader. The exposure to so many countries was easy to understand and was so enjoyable! This would be an excellent book for a preschool, elementary school, and absolutely at home!

Princess Pudding Pie has her passport and is taking us on a trip around the world! Each page has us visiting another country. The illustrations give a great visual of the country with the apparel, the background, and the food all being well represented. She greets the reader in the language of the country and the child can practice repeating the greeting. Each page is filled with a short blurb that is the perfect length for a young child. A great book full of tasty treats and excellent information from around the world!

  • The Adventures of Princess Pudding Pie by Saureen Naik Desai
  • Appropriate For: Preschool to middle elementary
  • Page Count: 38 pages
  • Publisher: Mascot Books
  • Pub Date: February 4, 2020

The Adventures of Princess Pudding Pie is scheduled to publish on February 4, 2020.

I received a copy of this advanced reader’s copy for free. I am leaving my honest, unbiased review voluntarily.

All Amazon links are affiliate links.

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The Boy Who Invented the Popsicle Treat by Anne Renaud

The The Cool Science Behind Frank Epperson’s Famous Frozen Treat

Rating: 5 out of 5.

My Thoughts:

What I Loved: A non-fiction story that read like a fiction book. My daughter was so interested in the story. She kept asking, so this is a true story mom, a “NON-FICTION”. It was so fun for her to imagine how this favorite treat of hers came to be.

How I Felt: The book paused with each piece of science that led to the final creation of the Popsicle and would have a Do-It-Yourself page on how to try this science experiment. It made me so happy to see this as I have children that adore a good science experiment day! This book would be great in schools and classrooms. Children become connected to the story and then see how the science behind it worked.

To Read or Not To Read: Everyone can read this book. It’s an easy story for a young child to enjoy, but it would hold the attention of up to a 4th grader because the content is very intriguing.

What’s This Book About Anyway?

Frank Epperson invented the Popsicle as a man, but as a boy, he was already in love with science and inventions. He had the spark of genius as a young child, that he held on to until his adulthood when we pushed himself to create it and sell it.

Fun Fact: Not only was a he a great inventory, but also a skilled salesman. He would send his children in one at a time to a store and have them ask for the Popsicle, and the owner would have to say they didn’t carry it, then Frank would come by a few days later, after the kids had been in a few times. Frank would offer the Popsicle, and had a sale, no problem!


This ARC was provided to me by NetGalley and KidsCanPress in exchange for my honest review.

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