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The Wavering Werewolf Book Review

Courtesy of Tor Books

Disclaimer: We recieved a review copy from Tor Books. Ages 9-13 was really when I became a voracious reader, I attribute it to the huge selection of books that were beginning to be marketed to the pre teen market.  I loved read scary stories, there was just something about them that really drew me. I can still remember reading through the famous Goosebumps series.  While they weren’t works of art, they were essentially the beginning of my obsession with beach reading books. It is great to see the quality of preteen stories continue to get better.  I really think that it was due to the popularity of the Harry Potter series.  Harry Potter showed that books for teens and preteens can be huge sellers, which brought more talented writers to the genre.  It also didn’t hurt that supernatural stories have become the flavor of the month for the past couple of years. Recently, the author David Lubar has been coming out with a number of highly acclaimed short stories and novels such as … [Read more...]

Dancing Hotdogs Book Club: Requiem by Ken Scholes

Courtesy of Tor Books

The fantasy genre seems to have hit a sort of plateau, most of the great series are winding up or in a holding pattern (I am talking to you A Song of Ice and Fire) and it has been a bit of a struggle to find something fresh and exciting. Most fantasy or Sci-Fi books tend to repeat the similar themes over and over and over again.   It's almost started to mirror Hollywood, as the same story or premise is just beaten into the ground, leaving me not even wanting to crack open a book or kindle.  So when Tor (my absolute favorite publisher of Fantasy novels) reached out to me to check out a couple of new books I immediately jumped at the chance.  The really hard part was pick which books to start reading.  All I had to make my decision was the a brief synopsis of the story and that was it.  There was no recommendation ratings.  Only my gut, but one book did stand out to me.  Here is what I read:  The fourth book in Scholes’ critically acclaimed Psalms of Isaak series follows our heroes … [Read more...]

Dancing Hotdogs Book Club: Sea Change by S.M. Wheeler

sea-change-cover

Disclosure: We received a copy of Sea Change for review purposes.  This post represents my unbiased opinion. If Oprah can have one why can we?  Dancing Hotdogs has done a number of book reviews in the past, but Sea Change is the first that really merited the Book Club moniker.  After finishing the book on the train the first word that came to my mind was "bittersweet".  The inside cover the book breaks down the plot as follows: The unhappy child of two powerful parents who despise each other, young Lilly turns to the ocean to find solace, which she finds in the form of the eloquent and intelligent sea monster Octavius, a kraken. In Octavius’s many arms, Lilly learns of friendship, loyalty, and family. When Octavius, forbidden by Lilly to harm humans, is captured by seafaring traders and sold to a circus, Lilly becomes his only hope for salvation. Desperate to find him, she strikes a bargain with a witch that carries a shocking price. Her journey to win Octavius’s freedom is … [Read more...]

(Video) Captain McFinn and Friends Book Reviews

Captain McFinn and Friends

As a parent we worry about so many things. Are our children getting enough to eat? Good education and all the resources they need.  Are we teaching them the right things and now with all the national news: bullying. I know I worry that my little men may grow up to be bullies or victims of bullying so when I was contacted by Captain McFinn a series of children’s books and its S.H.A.R. K. patrol educational anti-bullying program I had to find out more. The concept is quite genius and is a whole system that includes books, parent and teachers and now an interactive app to help parents and elementary kids say no to bullying. S.H.A.R.K. program follows McFinn, once the biggest bully on Sand Dusty reef, a blacktip reef shark, renounced his bullying ways when the Undersea Friends showed him the virtues of helping and caring for others. The vision of Captain McFinn and Friends is to inspire children to make a difference by doing their very best. Each adventure will show that by … [Read more...]

(Video) Ruckus Reader Review

Ruckus Reader

I see the benefit of using technology as an educational tool and Ruckus Reader, a breakthrough learning program for the iPad featuring digital storybooks that provides parents with personalized feedback on their child’s reading experience, is a perfect example of using technology to teach your children new things.  (Of course, everything with moderation!) The Ruckus Reader turns your iPad into a kid friendly library of e-books designed to cultivate your children’s love of learning. The Ruckus Reader offers a collection of more than 15 iReaders from award-winning, best-selling children’s books with 20 new titles and activities added to the Ruckus Reader library every month.  So your little loved ones are improving their reading skills and while learning with their favorite friends like Hasbro’s MY LITTLE PONY and TRANSFORMERS brands and The Wiggles. Our little guys LOVE everything superheroes and crime fighting so I took the opportunity to download the SeaWord reader so Rock … [Read more...]

The Incredible Hulk: An Origin Story Book Review

holiday gift guide incredible hulk

By Eddy In the past comic books have introduced the likes of Spiderman, Captain America and the Hulk to younger generation, unfortunately, comics have been in a steep decline.  In order to keep this tradition alive Disney Press and Marvel have created a series of books that introduce the origins of each of their more famous superheroes.  These heroes include Spiderman, the X-men, Captain America, Iron Man and the Incredible Hulk. We recently received from Disney Publishing The Incredible Hulk: An Origin Story.  I noticed a couple of things: ·         The book is laid out like a regular story book, no complicated comic book style boxes to navigate. ·         The story is straight forward and concise.  This books is an introduction for younger kids.  Keeping in this framework the violence is very subdued, don’t get me wrong the Hulk smashes his fair share of stuff but it is kept tasteful and appropriate enough to read to a 3 year old. ·         The art is very good, it … [Read more...]

Dragons of Babel Book Review

dragons of Babel DH

By Eddy I have read enough Fantasy novels lately to start getting sick of them.  I know all the hardcore nerds ( I can say this, I am one of them) are gasping with shock, but I had enough of underdog kid/small person going on long and perilous journey to save the world from Evil incarnate.  Whenever this happens I tend to drift into other genres such as action/thriller or horror books, but after reading the back cover of Michael Swanwick’s The Dragons of Babel, I decided to put everything down and start reading immediately. Thank God I did.  This is by no means your typical fantasy book.  Remove all thoughts of your preconceived notions of places such as Avalon, Faerie and Babel.  Swanwick’s novel twists and darkens this places we usually connect with beautiful and shinny faces.  He creates a world that is a clash between our modern industrial society with the legendary places of fairytales. The result is a land that is capable of awe inspiring beauty in one location and … [Read more...]

The Alloy of Law Book Review

alloy of law DH

By Eddy For people just getting into fantasy books, it is pretty daunting choosing what books to read. If you go online, and search for top fantasy books you are inundated with hundreds of titles and series.   Of course, there are the old standards such as Tolkien and Jordan etcetera and frankly these are the best for a reason.  Yet, the real problem is finding the next great Fantasy writer. Determining this isn’t an easy task and to list out all the criteria would be impossible.  Yet, I would like to humbly submit the name of Brandon Sanderson as possible suitor for the title.  The corner stone for any contender has to be a great book series (notice that I didn’t say just one book, to be the best lightning has to strike more than once).  In Sanderson’s case, the Mistborn trilogy fits the bill.  As far as I am concerned it is his calling card, and for me the first series that I mention to anyone looking to expand beyond the old standby’s in fantasy. Recently Brandon Sanderson … [Read more...]

The Complete Vader Book Review

The Complete Vader_cover

By Eddy Most adults now seem to take two paths when it comes to Star Wars.  The first enjoy it when they are younger but eventually lose interest and remain passive regarding the series, enjoying it for its nostalgia but not really going any deeper than the movies.  The other path goes way deeper than the movies and I will leave it at that.  The thing is there really aren’t products out there that seem to straddle in between the two paths. It become even more difficult for adults, it seems most Star Wars products are geared toward children and teens or for hardcore fans. The Complete Vader by Ryder Windham and Peter Vilhmur, appears to have successfully bridged many of those obstacles I just described. The coffee table size books, appeals to the hardcore Star Wars fan while providing enough interesting bits and pieces even to let a novice fan or even just some who enjoys pop culture follow along easily. The book mines the depth of the creation of Darth Vader both in Fiction but … [Read more...]

Little Pim: Color Baby Book Review and 25% Pim discount code

By Divina You all know how much we love the Little Pim language series so when we were contacted by them again to review their latest multi-language activity: a baby book we were all about it. Check out the video for my thoughts and some playtime with Baby X. Overall we were big fans of the book that retails for $8.95 AND they are offering 25% code for all future Little Pim purchases if you sign up for their newsletter.  Just go to www.littlepim.com/sittersstudio Little Pim was in our Dancing Hotdogs.com holiday guide last year and this year they have lots of new award-winning sets for your little loved one. Disclosure: I received the pictured above book for review purposes but my post is my unbiased opinion on the product. … [Read more...]