Giveaway and Review: "Mighty Dads"

"Mighty Dads"
by Joan Holub, Illustrated by James Dean

Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Source: sent by the author


My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
A new constructacular picture book from the New York Times bestselling creator of Pete the Cat, James Dean and bestselling author, Joan Holub.

Mighty dads, strong and tall,
help their children, young and small.

They keep them safe and bolted tight
and show them how to build things right.

Inventively told through James Dean's colorful construction vehicle characters, MIGHTY DADS is an adoring dedication to hardworking fathers and the subtle ways they teach their boys and girls to follow in their tracks. The Dump Trucks learn to get dirty. Crane keeps his little one safe from harm. The busy Cement Mixer gives his daughter a hug. The Forklift cheers his son on.

A surprising and touching view of a father's love for his children, MIGHTY DADS is the perfect way to say: I'm proud of you!
My Review:

This children's picture book is just too adorable. What a fun and sweet story to share with the children in your life. The "I love my dad" quote on the cover instantly warmed my heart, it's just too adorable for words, and so is the rest of the book.

Joan Holub, co-author of the fantastic Goddess Girls series, weaves a story that children are going to love to listen to and read along with. The excellent rhyming with just enough repetitiveness is a match made in heaven for kiddos. I know the little girls in my family will want to be reading this one again and again. I can just hear them giggling at the sound effects.

James Dean, creator of "Pete the Cat", illustrates the story with bold, painterly styled art. I'm sure kids will love seeing what each unique vehicle does on each page, and the vivid colors are perfect.

Of course, the main point of the story is that fathers are always proud of their children, and that message outshines even all the fun rhymes and illustrations.


Bottom Line: I loved this warm-hearted picture book, and I know that children will want to hear this story again and again.


Trailer: 




Buy links:



GIVEAWAY RULES
The author has generously provided a copy of this book for a lucky reader of my blog.
All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
  • US only
  • Prizes will be mailed out by the author
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends Sep 8
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

DVD Review: "A Young Doctor's Notebook"

"A Young Doctor's Notebook"

DVD Review
BBC Home Entertainment


Release Date: July 1, 2014
Source: DVD sent by publicist in exchange for an honest review

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About the DVD: (from the publicist)

Jon Hamm (Mad Men) and Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) star in this insanely dark, and brilliantly hilarious 4-part comedy noir from the BBC. It’s 1917, on the eve of the Russian Revolution, and a young doctor (Radcliffe) arrives in the middle of the night to lead an eerie, back-woods hospital. Fresh from med school, he is completely unprepared for the bizarre people and alarming medical maladies that face him, so, in an unexpected twist, he turns to his older self (Hamm) for advice. It’s a fascinating, dark and original comedy with two of Hollywood’s leading talents that surprises and entertains in a wholly unique way.

My Review: 

I honestly hadn't heard of this series before I received the DVD for review, but with Daniel Radcliffe and John Hamm in starring roles, I knew it would be great. It didn't disappoint, and my fiance and I really enjoyed this mini series and watched it all in one sitting. While I understand that the series may not be for everyone, I do highly recommend it as long as you know what is in store. There is a lot of gore, they don't hold back in showing exactly how bloody the medical field is in 1917. There is also (I hope this isn't too spoiler-ish) drug use, but it definitely isn't glamourized. So as long as you can handle those two aspects, this is really an excellent series!

Daniel Radcliffe is superb as the young doctor who has just graduated from medical school. All of his lofty dreams are given a fast dose of reality when he realizes just how much he still doesn't know about saving lives. John Hamm is wonderful in his role as the same doctor later in life. It's genius how the two men interact in real time and Hamm's character tries to save himself from a terrible fate.

The tone of the story darkens a lot as you continue through the four episodes. The series starts out so funny, it's truly hilarious. It's dark humor even in the beginning, but the series takes a much darker turn as the doctor begins to unravel. Between the isolation of the hospital, the stress of being responsible for whether patients live or die, and being physically unwell, it's understandable how he starts to lose control.


Bottom Line: This series is truly brilliant, with a fantastic story told in a new and inventive way, and exceptional performances by both lead actors.


Find out more and purchase the dvd here: http://shop.bbc.com/us/comedy/a-young-doctors-notebook/invt/18469
You can also purchase the dvd here: http://www.amazon.com/A-Young-Doctors-Notebook-Various/dp/B00D49YFLY




Disclosure: I received a copy of this DVD from the publicist in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday Shout Out 53


Recently, I introduced a new feature here at In the Hammock on Sundays. It's called "Sunday Shout Out" and it's a place where I can give a special shout out to those publishers and authors who have sent me books over the week, as well as those bloggers who have hosted contests that I've won! I'll also be giving shout outs to any other cool books, blogs or bookish news that I've spotted during the week.

For Review


 "Destined for Doon" by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
 
Finally!!!! I'm so excited!

 "Duke of Dark Desires" by Miranda Neville


"Destiny's Captive" by Beverly Jenkins



"Guinea Dog 3" by Patrick Jennings


"In Your Dreams" by Kristan Higgins

 Seriously cute cover!

"I Want it that Way" by Ann Aguirre


"The Winter Guest" by Pam Jenoff


"Harbor Island" by Carla Neggers


"The Beautiful Ashes" by Jeaniene Frost





What books did you receive this week?


"Lucky Me" Review

"Lucky Me"
by Cindy Callaghan

Publisher: Aladdin
Release Date: July 15, 2014

Source: sent by publicist

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
After breaking a chain letter, can superstitious Megan find a way to turn her luck around?

Meghan McGlinchey is the most superstitious girl in her family, and probably in the entire state of Delaware. When she receives a chain letter from a stranger in Ireland, Meghan immediately passes it on, taking only a tiny shortcut in the directions.

But after a disastrous day, made complete by losing the election for class president and embarrassing herself in front of the entire school, Meghan realizes that tiny shortcut was a big mistake. Thankfully, her family was already headed to Ireland on spring break, and Meghan makes it her mission to find the original sender and break her extremely unlucky streak.

With the help of an eccentric cast of characters, and one very cute Irish boy, can Meghan figure out a way to stop her bad luck? Or is she cursed forever?
My Review:

What an adorable book! I just loved it! I am definitely recommending it to my niece, a smart 6th grade girl, because that's exactly the perfect reader of this book. Some MG books can be geared more towards the younger end of the spectrum, but this book is so smart and the writing is sharp enough for an older MG reader while still having age-appropriate content. There was never a dull moment, and I just kept turning the pages to see what would happen next.

I read the author's first book in her international series, "Lost in London", and while I enjoyed it too, I really liked this book even more. I loved the 'homey' feel of the castle bed and breakfast that Meghan and her family stayed at. I also loved the idea that family was the main focus of the book, it was great to see Meghan meeting new members of her Irish family. The romance between Meghan and Finn was super adorable and completely perfect for this age group.

There was a lot of smart humor in this book, which was really refreshing. Meghan and Finn are driven around the Irish countryside by an eccentric older woman who wears a cape and has taken an oath of silence for the week. Meanwhile, two burly but overly sweet brothers have set their cap for Meghan's sister back at the bed and breakfast. I loved the vivid cast of characters and the peaceful Irish countryside setting made this such an enjoyable book to read.

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5

Romance: 5/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 5/5


Bottom Line: I loved this book, and I highly recommend it to MG readers (even the older ones) as well as grown ups who enjoy a great story.


About the author: Cindy Callaghan is the author of the middle-grade novels Just Add Magic (2010) and 2013’s Lost in London (Simon & Schuster). She is a full-time writer, animal advocate, and supermom. A native of New Jersey, Cindy lives, works, and writes in Wilmington, Delaware, with her family and numerous rescued pets. She loves hearing from fans, speaking at schools and conferences, and zip-lining.

A Book Sparks Tour Book

Disclosure: I received a  copy of this book from the publicist in exchange for an honest review.

"Vixen in Velvet" Review

"Vixen in Velvet"
by Loretta Chase

Publisher: Avon 
Release Date: June 24, 2014
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
From the Diary of Leonie Noirot: The perfect corset should invite its undoing . . .

Lethally charming Simon Fairfax, Marquess of Lisburne, has reluctantly returned to London for one reason only: a family obligation. Still, he might make time for the seduction of a certain redheaded dressmaker—but Leonie Noirot hasn't time for him. She's obsessed with transforming his cousin, the dowdy Lady Gladys, into a swan.

Leonie's skills can coax curves—and profits—from thin air, but his criminally handsome lordship is too busy trying to seduce her to appreciate her genius. He badly needs to learn a lesson, and the wager she provokes ought to teach him, once and for all.

A great plan, in theory—but Lisburne's become a serious distraction, and Leonie's usual logic is in danger of slipping away as easily as a silk chemise. Could the Season's greatest transformation be her own?
My Review:

This was a really fun romance, and there were quite a few things that I loved about it! However, the romance between the two main characters was only okay for me.

I loved that Leonie was a dressmaker and that so much detail was given to the historical clothing and the buzzing business in her dress shop.

The other aspect that I absolutely loved was the supporting characters- Swanton and Gladys! Swanton is a poet who's star is on the rise in London, all the ladies are absolutely in love with him and his romantic poetry. I could read about poets with their heads in the clouds all day, and Swanton is just so adorable! Lisburne feels he has to watch over him and protect him because Swanton is so fanciful and can't be bothered with anything practical.

While nearly every lady in London is in love with Swanton, he is mesmerized by one in particular, especially her voice. Gladys is not the most traditionally beautiful of ladies in London, but with Leonie's help, she is learning to showcase her assets, and London learns that she has a lot to offer besides just looking lovely.

I found myself wanting to flip pages forward to read the next bit of information about Swanton or Gladys. The leads, Leonie and Lisburne, were just a bit too bland for my liking. They were both sweet and likable, but they didn't have a spark for me. I thought their wager was a bit silly, and I would have rather seen a real conflict move the story forward rather than a vague wager about making Gladys the toast of the town.


Main Characters: 3/5
Supporting Characters: 55
Setting: 4/5

Romance: 4/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 5/5


Bottom Line: A nice romance but the real stars were the supporting players and the beautiful dresses!




Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Giveaway: "The Summer Queen"

"The Summer Queen"
By Elizabeth Chadwick
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Release Date: June 3, 2013

Summary from goodreads:

Eleanor of Aquitaine is a 12th century icon who has fascinated readers for 800 years. But the real Eleanor remains elusive.

This stunning novel introduces an Eleanor that all other writers have missed. Based on the most up-to-date research, it is the first novel to show Eleanor beginning her married life at 13.

Overflowing with scandal, passion, triumph and tragedy, Eleanor's legendary story begins when her beloved father dies in the summer of 1137, and she is made to marry the young prince Louis of France. A week after the marriage she becomes a queen and her life will change beyond recognition . . .


Book Trailer:




Buy Links
IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781402294068


GIVEAWAY RULES
The publicist has generously provided a copy of this book for a lucky reader of my blog.
All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below.
  • US only
  • Prizes will be mailed out by the publicist
  • Must be 18 or over 
  • Ends July 30
Thanks to everyone for entering! Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, the publicist will provide a book to the giveaway winner.

"My Zombie Hamster" Review

"My Zombie Hamster"
by Havelock McCreely


Publisher: Egmont USA
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:
A laugh-out-loud funny middle-grade debut with a scary twist, "My Zombie Hamster" will appeal to readers who like their animal stories mixed with chills. Fans of R.L. Stine's Goosebumps Most Wanted series will grab this one right up.
Matt Hunter and his buddies are looking forward to Christmas--actually, they're looking forward to receiving the latest sword-and-fantasy video game. But Matt's parents have other thoughts--they give him a fluffy little mammal, a hamster called Snuffles, for the holiday. And his grandmother makes it worse by giving him a hamster cage and wheel. But the hamster isn't all that cute--at least not after part of its cheek and belly fall right off--without bothering it a bit! And why is it staring at Matt with black beady eyes and a lean and hungry look?
Say hello to Anti-Snuffles, the zombie hamster! Or better yet, run!
This series combines middle-school readers' passions: humor, animals, and scary stories, into one unbeatable package.
My Review:

This book is seriously adorable. I was chuckling the entire time I read this one. I loved the author's style of humor, it was so witty, and he has a knack for making every day observances so funny! The author sets up a world where zombies live with humans that is believable and easy to understand. The characters are great as well, but I think the real stand out element of this book is the humor.

Matt is a great lead, he's a real kid who most young readers should be able to relate to. I love his best friend, Charlie, who is one tough little girl!Anti-Snuffles himself is hilarious. He really doesn't have a huge number of appearances in the book, so when you do get to see him and his antics, they are so fun to read about.

The book does take a turn that I didn't expect, which turns out to be a great plot element. It really ends up being the heart of the story, and you learn a valuable lesson as well.


Main Characters: 4/5
Supporting Characters: 4/5
Setting: 4/5

Romance: N/A

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 5/5
Writing: 5/5


Bottom Line: This time, you can judge a book by it's cover, because this story is just as fun, adorable, and quirky as that great cover!




Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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