Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Book Review Club (December 2014)

Season's Greetings! It's that gift-buying time of year. It's also that party-going, cookie-baking, house-decorating time of year. But since today's post is all about book reviews, we're focusing on the gift-buying part. And what makes a better gift than a book? Nothing. That's what. So, sit back and enjoy our book reviews...put together to help you with your holiday shopping and, of course, personal reading. Enjoy!

WAGGERS (picture book)
Written by Stacy Nyikos
Illustrated by Tamara Anegon

This is one of the few times I've reviewed a picture book. As a result, I ended up googling "how to review a picture book." I figured you'd want more than just my saying things like: I really think you'd get a kick out of this book or You can't go wrong with giving this book to a child on your gift list or You'll appreciate the unique way the author resolved Wagger's problem.

Anyway, googling "how to review a picture book" wasn't over helpful. Everyone has their own ideas on the subject! As do I! So, here goes...

In a nutshell: When Waggers is adopted, he tries to be good; he really does! But it isn't Waggers's fault that his tail goes crazy when he gets excited. How much harm can a tail do, anyway? Well, his new family is about to find out. (borrowed from amazon)

What Struck Me: There's a delicate dance between the words and the illustrations. They complement and enhance each other. Sometimes the words tell more of the story. Sometimes the illustrations do.  It's beautifully executed in WAGGERS. Also, this book is funny, with unique situations and illustrations full of personality.

Surprisingly: I could relate to this book! Waggers is a lot like my child #3! In fact, the author's solution for Waggers might have worked in my situation, too. Unfortunately, I'll have to leave it at that so as not to spoil anything for you. Ha!

Here's an interesting interview with Stacy about WAGGERS.

Dear FCC: Surely you know me well enough by now to understand no one paid me or badgered me in any way to write this review. Yes, the author is OUR VERY OWN STACY NYIKOS. When I see her next fall, I may convince her to sit next to me at lunch. But she probably would've anyway. She's pretty friendly and sociable. 

To the left is a photo of Desi, the dog who inspired the book.

You can order autographed copies from Best of Books. Because the one thing better than giving a book is giving an autographed book.

Now onto the last reviews of the year. Please click through. We'll make your day!


Alyssa Goodnight: A LITTLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT by Sandy Hall (YA)

Ellen Booraem: EGG AND SPOON by Gregory Maguire (YA)

Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: AMAZON BURNING by Victoria Griffith (YA)

Stacy Nyikos: BELZHAR by Meg Wolitzer (YA)


Linda McLaughlin: MAP OF LOST MEMORIES by Kim Fay (mystery/historical adventure)

Patti Abbott:  IN THE MORNING I'LL BE GONE by Adrian McKinley (crime)

Sarah Laurence: THE BONE CLOCKS by David Mitchell

Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!


  1. Congrats, Stacy, on what sounds like a delightful book! We've had more than a few dogs with an errant tail/tale. A fine job on your first picture book review, Barrie. Thanks for hosting! Yes, books are on my holiday shopping list.

  2. Thanks, Sarah! It was fun switching genres for this review. Like you, books are on my holiday list. So far, I've picked up six. ;)

  3. Thanks, Barrie, for an amazing review and putting so much effort into it. You're awesome. And for the record, I'd sit next to you at lunch any day. You're a blast! I'm so glad you liked the book. Whew! Books are on my shopping list this season, too. So far, I've got about ten sitting in small piles for wrapping, sending, or secretly peeking inside before I part with.

  4. Sounds like this would be the perfect book for a dog owner of any age--especially those of us who've gone through The Puppy Years a time or two. Congratulations, Stacy, and thanks for the tip, Barrie!

  5. You're very welcome, Stacy! It's pretty easy to review a book you love!!! I have little piles of books, waiting to be wrapped as well ;) P.S. You do understand that now you'll have to sit next to me at lunch!

  6. Hi Ellen! I know you've had a couple of scary adventures with your dog this year. I'm glad they all had a happy ending.

  7. It's funny that Waggers reminds you of one of your children. Dogs really do have distinct personalities, despite what some people might think. Cute picture of Desi. :)

  8. Thanks for hosting, Barrie. I truly hadn't begun to read YA books until we connected. Good work, my famous friend!

  9. Very professional to have Googled how to review a picture book! ;)

    You did great! And now I'm intrigued to uncover the method to solve a similar problem for both a dog and a child. :)



Comments are always welcome!