Thursday, July 2, 2020

Review: Bubble Kisses by Vanessa Williams

by Vanessa Williams
Illustrated by Tara Nicole Whitaker
Sterling Children's Books
Picture Book/Song
32 pages
ages 3 to 7

From singer, actress, and dancer Vanessa Williams comes a sweet, sparkling story about a young girl whose beloved pet fish has wonderful, magical powers.

She gives me bubble kisses, bubble kisses as she swims by in the water.
She never misses with her bubble kisses. And I’m so glad I got her.

A young girl adores her goldfish, Sal. But Sal is no ordinary pet: while she can’t fetch a ball or curl up on a lap, she can give bubble kisses that transform the girl into a mermaid and transport her to a world of underwater adventures. There, beneath the sea, they play, sing, and dance with other mermaids. The catchy, breezy, rhymed tale is perfect for bedtime, and the book includes a CD plus a link to a digital download.



Light-hearted and packed with energy and love, this is a fun book to use as a sing-a-long or flip through and simply enjoy.

A little girl loves her pet goldfish, Sal, and celebrates every moment. But then, Sal is a special fish. Every time she kisses the little girl, they are transferred to an underwater world full of lovely mermaids. And what fun it is!

The illustrations in these pages are well done and allow the girl, her goldfish and the undersea world to come to life on the paper. Young listeners will enjoy the happiness and colors, while they flip through and see all the excitement the girl experiences.

The story itself is simple and holds tons of imagination and good vibes. It's simply an entertaining read, which celebrates the love for a pet and fantasy. The text is fine. Nothing special, but then nothing bad, either. But that's also not the purpose of this book. The book holds a CD (and for those who would rather listen underway, a code for download/streaming fun) with the song, which the book is written for. It's a sing-a-long with pictures and fun, which can accompany the music, be sung to without, or simply enjoyed as it is. The song is quite up-beat and easy for kids to join in on. The text might be complicated at first for younger ones, but it won't take long for them to know every word.

It's a lovely combination, which mixes music, visuals, and reading. So, I'm giving this one a thumbs up and am sure kids will enjoy it.

Cover Reveal: Damned When I Didn't by Cherie Colyer

Damned When I Didn’t
by Cherie Colyer
The Wild Rose Press
YA Paranormal, Romance


Death isn’t the end for eighteen-year-old Avery Williams, and her final resting place isn’t beyond the Golden Gates. No, the Queen of the Damned has plans for her and, unbeknownst to Avery, fought hard to gain possession of her soul. As Hell’s newest succubus, Avery is expected to siphon life from the living. It only takes a long, meaningful kiss, but for a virgin like Avery, kissing guys she barely knows isn’t something she’s comfortable doing. Avery focuses on the upside of her fate—she’ll be returning home, or so she thinks. When the Queen of the Damned cuts her off from her old life, Avery is determined to find a way back to her family and friends, even if it means facing Hell’s fury if she’s caught.

And here she is...
Cherie Colyer is the author of Challenging Destiny and the Embrace series. When she's not getting the fictional people in her life into trouble, she can be found solving network issues at work, spending time with family and friends, reading, or exploring the great outdoors.
Cherie lives in Illinois with her family.
To learn more about Cherie and her novels visit 


Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Review: 10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon

Dimple and Rishi, #3
by Sandhya Menon
Simon Pulse
YA Romance
368 pages

JULY 21st!!!

The follow-up to When Dimple Met Rishi and There’s Something about Sweetie follows Pinky and Samir as they pretend to date—with disastrous and hilarious results.

Pinky Kumar wears the social justice warrior badge with pride. From raccoon hospitals to persecuted rock stars, no cause is too esoteric for her to champion. But a teeny-tiny part of her also really enjoys making her conservative, buttoned-up corporate lawyer parents cringe.

Samir Jha might have a few . . . quirks remaining from the time he had to take care of his sick mother, like the endless lists he makes in his planner and the way he schedules every minute of every day, but those are good things. They make life predictable and steady.

Pinky loves lazy summers at her parents’ Cape Cod lake house, but after listening to them harangue her about the poor decisions (aka boyfriends) she’s made, she hatches a plan. Get her sorta-friend-sorta-enemy, Samir—who is a total Harvard-bound Mama’s boy—to pose as her perfect boyfriend for the summer. As they bicker their way through lighthouses and butterfly habitats, sparks fly, and they both realize this will be a summer they'll never forget.



Hearts will be touched thanks to a cute couple, who can't seem to agree on anything...and yet, they agree on so much.

Pinky is trouble pure. Or at least, that's what her mother thinks. But then, her parents are both powerful lawyers and have their expectations set way too high. When Pinky is again accused of doing something awful, which she's totally clueless about, she decides to take action. Unfortunately, her mouth acts faster than her brain, and she ends up claiming someone, who can't stand her, is actually her boyfriend. Luckily, fate is on her side, and she's able to convince him to jump in on her scheme. But oil and water get along better than these too, and things take turns neither could have ever seen coming.

Note: This is the third book in a series. I did not, however, read the first two and had absolutely no trouble diving into this book. In other words, it can easily be read as a stand alone.

Anyone who loves romances, where opposites attract, and enjoy tons of humor along the way are going to enjoy this one. Pinky is a handful with her colorful hair, piercings and lots of attitude, especially since her parents are polar opposites and aren't sure what to do with her. I mean, who has a boyfriend named Pistachio? Her rebellion is a bit over the top, but that makes Pinky so much more likable, especially since it's clear she isn't as naught as her parents might think...oh, but that doesn't mean she's flows with the usual stream, either. Simply said, she's a handful and a lot of fun.

The romance is very predictable, but that's always the case when it's clear that the pair will end up together. It's the humorous path which makes this one fun, and it's filled with heart. Her fake boyfriend is everything her parents love, and he packs clever wit. The come-backs are snort worthy and make both easy to like.

As far as pacing goes, this is one of those books which digs deep into the characters and lets them take over. We get to know Pinky and the BF very well and slide right into both worlds. Each has their own issues—giving the plot all the depth needed to make it stick—and both come across very natural. But it's this depth which also makes the plot run a little slower at times than I prefer. But it's a lovely read, through and through, and I can't imagine rom/com fans won't love every single page of this tale.

And here she is...

Sandhya Menon is the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi, Of Curses and Kisses, and many other novels that also feature lots of kissing, girl power, and swoony boys. Her books have been included in several cool places, including the Today show, Teen Vogue, NPR, Buzzfeed, and Seventeen, A full-time dog servant and part-tie writer, she makes her home in the foggy mountains of Colorado. Visit her on Twitter @smenonbooks. Instagra @sandhyamenonbooks, and at

The Quest by Karina Kantas

by Karina Kantas
 YA Fantasy/PNR
Cover Designer: Sharon Lipman - Fantasia Cover Designs
Editor: Michell Dunbar
Asteri Press

Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR

When Haty notices a Tsinian crystal glowing, she knows she must stick to her word and return to her homeland as Thya. Knowing her kinsmen needed her, there was no hesitation. Even though there was more to lose than just her life.
Once more a prophecy informs the reader of oracles that only Thya could stop the war and save not just her people, but the rest of Enumac from Kovon’s psychotic plans.
Along with three other companions, Thya is sent on a perilous quest to locate a crystal eye which holds an evil known as the Dark Force.
The group is tried and tested throughout their journey by monsters, death and courage.
New friendships will be formed and others lost.
Thya’s power becomes stronger and a second will threatens to take over her mind body and soul.
A terrifying surprise waits for them in the city of Helkon.
Will they survive?
Will Thya return to Tsinia and for the final showdown with Kovon?
Find out by reading the thrilling concluding part of Illusional Reality.

Karina Kantas is a prolific author of 13 titles. Including the gritty MC thriller series, OUTLAW and the exciting YA fantasy duology, Illusional Reality. She also writes short stories and when her imagination is working overtime, she writes thought-provoking dark flash fiction.
There are many layers to Karina's writing style and voice, as you will see in her flash fiction collection, Heads & Tales and in UNDRESSED she opens up more to her fans, giving them another glimpse into her warped mind.
When Karina isn't busy working on her next bestseller, she's a publicist, author manager and VA. She's also the host of the popular radio show, Author Assist on the Artist First Radio Network and host of the YouTube show, Behind The Pen.
Karina writes in the genres of fantasy, MC romance, Young Adult. sci-fi, horror, thrillers and comedy, romance, PNR, dystopian and erotica.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

What's Coming in July!

I actually had a day free from reviews today (Yippee! and Wow!) Yes, it does get crazy when I try to put up a review almost every single day (leaving weekends as free as possible). And I've always hoped to somehow find time to squeeze in a 'What's Coming!' post. Why? Because there are so many books I can't wait to share with you, and I wish I could get you as excited about these as I always am. (Some awesome books are coming up!)

But, alas, it's never worked out.

Until today.

So, here's some of the goodies you can expect to see this month here on Bookworm for Kids...
(and no, this isn't the entire list, just a tiny taste)

And notice the diversity! I didn't even realize how many different cultures are hitting this blog until I did this post. Amazing!

10 Things I Hate About Pinky

Written by bestselling author, Sandhya Menon, this is the highly anticipated, third book in the Dimple and Rishi series. It has romance. It has diversity. It has a fake boyfriend. And oh-so-much more!

Coming July 21st, we'll have this one up here tomorrow, July 1st, so you can get an early peek into my thoughts.

YA Romance

Bubble Kisses

Vanessa Williams? Yes, this is from THE Vanessa Williams that so many already know and love—actress, singer, dancer, and now... author!

This one came out May 5th, but you can see my thoughts on it on July 2nd.

Picture Book, ages 4 to 8

Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything 

Science Fiction meets the very modern theme of immigration and ICE in this middle grade novel, which I'm really looking forward to diving into. It releases on August 4th, but you can already hear my thoughts about it on July 7th.

Middle Grade Science Fiction, ages 8 to 12

The Sisters of Straygarden Place

And it's time for some mystery mixed with fantasy! This novel comes from an author, who grew up in Africa and promises chills and surprises. It's release date is planned for September 15th, but take a peek with me already on July 13th (and nope, that's not a Friday this month. Oh well)

Middle Grade Mystery/Spooky, ages 8 to 12

The Little Kitten

I'm LOVED the first book in this series and was super excited when I was asked to review this one. It's not fall yet, but it's never, ever, ever too early to dream. Coming out on July 21st, you'll see my review here on July 15th.

Picture Book, ages 4 to 8

The Invention of Sophie Carter

It's rare that I peek into a book more than a week or so before I post a review here, but I was so tempted by this one, that I already have read the first few chapters. And...I'm hooked! This already shows so much promise that I can't wait to drown myself in these pages. Coming July 14th, you'll have to wait until the 17th before I get this review up.

Young Adult Historical Romance

The Jade Rebellion

Science Fiction collides with magic to form a tale about rebellion, artificial intelligence, greed and slams it into dystopian form. I'm always up for a bit of action-packed science fiction, an I'm hoping this one fits the bill. My thoughts will be up on July 23rd.

Young Adult Science Fiction/Fantasy


This tale is set in the 1980's and revolves around more meaningful topics such as learning to trust oneself, dealing with the loss of a loved one, and carrying on. I'm expecting a lot of emotions and magical moments in this one, but we'll see. It's release date is scheduled for August 4th, but you'll get a glimpse at my thoughts on July 21st.

Middle Grade Contemporary (maybe, a little historical?)

Picture of Dorianna

I happened across this one by accident but fell in love with the surmise—so mysterious! It comes out from Konjur Road Press on October 23, but I'll have my thoughts up already on July 24th.

Young Adult Paranormal

Trust the Grind

And since I love to spice things up and head in other directions than just fiction, I'll be diving into this book about well-known athletes and the stories of how they achieved their goals. This is one for upper middle grade through young adult and, I'm hoping, will make sport fans' hearts' beat faster. I'll be reviewing this one on July 28th.


I'd love to list all of the others, too, because I plan on reviewing a total of (at least) 25 reads during July. So, grab that beach chair and a cool drink because there is bound to be something here for your young reader, too.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Review: The Morning Flower by Amanda Hocking

by Amanda Hocking
Wednesday Books
YA Fantasy
352 pages

AUGUST 4th!!!

New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking returns to the magical world of the Trylle with The Morning Flower, the second book in the Omte Origins arc.

Nestled along the bluffs of the forested coast lays the secret kingdom of the Omte—a realm filled with wonder... and as many secrets.

When Ulla Tulin took her internship at the Mimirin, the only mystery she thought she'd have to solve was that of her birth parents. After a girl named Eliana gets kidnapped while in her care, Ulla knows she has to find out the truth of who Eliana really is—and the only way to do that means traveling to the Omte capital, the place she suspects her mother is from.

Ulla didn’t expect that when she arrived she would discover the identity of a Skojare man who crossed paths with her mother—a man who could very well be her father. When the head of the Mimirin learns Ulla's father is connected to the Älvolk, a secret society who believes they were tasked with protecting the First City and the only ones who know its location, he sends Ulla and Pan to Sweden where they find him living among the Älvolk. But all is not what it seems with the Älvolk and their urgent quest to find the Lost Bridge to the First City leaves Ulla feeling uneasy—and possibly in danger.



Note: This is the second book in a series and needs to be read as such, since it picks up where the first one left off and offers basically no backstory to catch a reader up.

While the first book in the series laid the foundation of the world and characters, this second one shoots off into an ever growing mystery and brings mounting tension just like it should.

Eliana's disappearance and the desire to discover more about her own past has Ulla driving off in search of the impossible—the Lost Bridge to the First City. When she arrives at the Omte tribe, she's not sure what to make of the Queen's inability to answer her questions, but another door opens as she runs across a strange man, who knew her mother and might be her father. Learning that her father supposedly is a part of the secret guard, which protects the mythical city, she's sent to Sweden to live with the guardians there and him. But Ulla has doubts behind the true intentions of her journey and soon finds herself deeper in secrets than is safe.

As in book one, this is an imagination packed world, which gently brushes against modern reality every now and then. The characters are easy to like or hate, and yet, others sit heavily in the gray zone, making it difficult to decipher what their true intentions are. Ulla grows with every book as she struggles not only to uncover more about her own past, but also to come to terms with it. She has a few true friends at her side as well as Pan, the obvious love interest. It's fun to cheer the characters on as they stumble over lie after lie, and discover all sorts of things about this intriguing world.

The plot thickens in this second book, just as it should. There were still a few paragraphs I grazed over, but all in all, it is an engaging read. The romance slides alongside the main plot, adding a little zest without overpowering the story line...which I appreciate. Still, it's a bit too obvious for my liking, although the awkward moments fit well to Ulla's age. The new characters weren't as easy to fall into in these pages, but then, book one excelled in this area and with the increasing tension and mystery, the new characters simply aren't getting the same love as Ulla, Pan and friends.

Fantasy friends who enjoy refreshing takes on fantasy worlds and rich world building are sure to enjoy this one.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Review: Only the Cat Saw by Ashley Wolff

by Ashley Wolff
Walker Books
Picture Book
32 pages
ages 3 to 7


What does a curious farm cat see when the sun goes down, the stars come out, and everyone else is fast asleep? Find out in this brand new, fully refreshed and repainted edition of Ashley Wolff’s classic Only the Cat Saw.

When night falls, a family eases into supper, bath, and bedtime. But while their day is ending, their farm cat’s adventures have just begun! Only the cat sees the sun set over a flock of sheep, an owl stalking a mouse, a shooting star...and much, much more. This peaceful, visually stunning story explores what happens at night when no one—well, almost no one—is watching.



Filled with the warmth of family and simple, daily life, this book shows that there's always something magical happening even when no one is watching.

A family goes through their daily life from evening to the next morning, eating, getting ready for bed and sleeping through the night. While the individual members are busy with their usual activities, the cat witnesses what goes on outside of the house. The wonders of nature are brought to life as the cat alone witnesses each event.

When I picked up this one, I was expecting a little more pizzazz, excitement or, at least, catching moments. Instead, this is a very gentle book, which hits upon the beauty of life. The family consists of a father, mother, older sister and a baby brother. They present a wholesome image as they conduct their meals, getting ready for bed, and then try to sleep through the night...which does have a couple very calm interruptions. The images and atmosphere is very loving, which offers the perfect background for the cat as it goes on its own adventure outside and witnesses sunsets, fireflies and other 'magical' moments.

The illustrations are lovely. While the home scenes carry many familiar things and present the family in a wonderful light, the scenes with the cat are simply beautiful. It flows right along with the text, which is perfect for the intended age group and never ways too heavy.

In these pages, it's shown that while we go about our usual lives, many wonderful things are happening, which we don't even notice. It encourages listeners to take occasional pauses and take a peek outdoors to see what they might miss out on otherwise. It's a calming book, great to read before nap time or bed time. While it might not become a favorite, it's one of those books that can easily be picked up, quickly read, and enjoyed.