Thursday, November 19, 2015

Monsterland by Michael Phillip Cash

The hottest tickets in town are for the opening of the new amusement park, Monsterland. The new park has real vampires, zombies, and werewolves, all properly contained in this massive new project.  An eclectic group of local teens score tickets to the opening night which turns out a little more exciting than they expected.

Of course things went a little crazy or it would not have been such an exciting read. I was especially impressed with the way the characters were crafted. Each was unique and the teens dialog was true to their ages.  The step-dad trying to relate with the children was a nice addition.

Although it was written for a younger audience, I thoroughly enjoyed Monsterland.  I think it may be my favorite from this author so far!

I received a copy of Monsterland from the author in exchange for an honest review.

This is Camino by Russell Moore, Allison Hopelain, with Chris Colin

I have to admit that this is of the oddest cookbooks I have reviewed yet.  The recipe chapters are
broken down into The Basics, Vegetables, Fish, Chicken and Egg, Duck, Lamb, Pork, Dessert, and Cocktails. The book consists of recipes with many unusual ingredients that are not readily available outside of areas with specialty stores.

If you regularly visit Camino, then you may be interested in the people described and recipes included in this book. Chapter 3, A Week at Camino, is diary of the daily chores and duties involved with the running of Camino. For example, Wednesday 4:18 p.m., Becca the hostess, works a feather duster around the room.  Thursday, 5:32 p.m. Allison readjusts the lights. It isn’t very interesting unless you are familiar with the people and restaurant.

I was excited to find one recipe “Fried Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms, Scallions, and Herbs with Yogurt and green Garlic, although it contains ingredients I have yet to find.  I was a little less excited to find the Pig’s Head and Trotter Fritters. I did learn quite a bit searching for the definition of ingredients like Trotters, Jaggery, Korean Perilla and Shiso.  Just in case I decide to build an outdoor kitchen, there is a lesson on cooking over a wood fire.

I suspect that restaurant insiders will love this book, but I didn’t find it interesting or useful.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, November 2, 2015

How the Grandmas and Grandpas Saved Christmas by Richard J. Gausselin

Santa’s elves catch a cold a week before Christmas and can’t work on the toys! Joe, an elder elf, was listening to Santa talk about his grandfather when he came up with the perfect solution – Grandparents.

How the Grandmas and Grandpas Saved Christmas is an absolutely delightful Christmas tale.  The story is beautifully written and illustrated.   The story emphasizes love, friendship, family and does it brilliantly. It is a perfect book to read on Christmas Eve, or to break up into sections to read each day leading up to Christmas. 

It also has very nice full-page illustrations. Some of them are very detailed, and younger children would have fun picking out toys and tools in the pictures. I highly recommend this thoughtfully written book. Reading this book with your children or grandchildren could be a fun yearly tradition.
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