The Sasquatch Escape: Book Review

September 3rd, 2013 by

the-sasquatch-escape_suzanne-selforsOver Labor Day weekend, I decided to escape into a book — specifically, The Sasquatch Escape, the first book in The Imaginary Veterinary series by Suzanne Selfors, illustrated by Dan Santat. Now, you might recall how much I already adore Dan Santat’s illustrations but I decided to do a little digging on Ms. Selfors, and on her biography, I found…

Suzanne Selfors lives on an island near Seattle where it rains all the time, which is why she tends to write about cloudy, moss-covered, green places… Her favorite writers are Kurt Vonnegut, Charles Dickens, and most especially, Roald Dahl.

Anyone who most especially likes Roald Dahl is okay by me!

Now, back to the book review: Ben Silverstein is sent to live with his grandfather in the rundown town of Buttonville for the summer, and even though he gets to eat junk food and wear whatever clothes he’d like (something his mother would never approve of), he’s still pretty bored. Well, mostly bored — after all, he did see a dragon flying about and his grandfather’s cat delivers an injured baby dragon right to his bedroom floor.

Ben decides to enlists the help of Pearl Petal, a local Buttonville girl with an eye for adventure (or as the adults annoyingly put it, “a troublemaker”). They head to the new veterinarian’s office in town — Dr. Woo’s Worm Hospital. But our suspicions are correct: It’s not a worm hospital at all — it’s actually a secret hospital for imaginary creatures, managed by the very odd, very feline Mr. Tabby. But disaster — and adventure — strikes when Ben accidentally lets a rather large, rather stinky, and very hairy sasquatch escape into Buttonville. Will Ben and Petal be able to catch the 400-something pound beast? What happens to the injured baby dragon? And who is Dr. Woo, and what is she up to? Pick up The Sasquatch Escape to find out!

This was a perfect, end-of-summer light read — but a teensy bit bittersweet, because as we’re finishing up our summer, Ben Silverstein is just starting his! I’m looking forward to reading the sequels in the Imaginary Veterinary series, The Lonely Lake Monster and The Rain Dragon Rescue, so I can continue living vicariously through Ben’s summer vacation (especially because it promises to be very monster-filled).

Bonus: Check out this amazingly spooky hilarious trailer for the book:

Now to spend the day echoing words like “stampeding squirrels.” …stampeding squirrels

“I’d like to order the blueberry waffles.” …blueberry waffles

“How was the Bruins game yesterday?” …yesterday

“Stop that, Nancy! It’s getting annoying!” …annoying

— Nancy

icon_nancyNancy looooooves reading about cryptozoology (the study of animals not yet proven real — like all ones in the Imaginary Veterinary). She still holds onto the hope that something will be found someday!

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The Adventures of Nanny Piggins: Book Review

July 11th, 2013 by

nanny-piggins_ra-sprattA few warnings for The Adventures of Nanny Piggins, written by R.A. Spratt and illustrated by Dan Santat:

  1. This book will make you hungry.
  2. This book will confuse you.
  3. This book will make you laugh!

In order to avoid his three children, Mr. Green, a stingy workaholic lawyer, decides to hire a nanny — but he doesn’t want to pay for one. So when Nanny Piggins shows up at his door and says her rate is 10 cents an hour, she’s hired on the spot! And so begins the adventures of Nanny Piggins and her three charges: Derrick, Samantha, and Michael.

The book is illustrated by Dan Santat, whose illustrations are just completely awesome:

So, back to my original warnings…

1. This book will make you hungry.

Explanation: Nanny Piggins is, after all, a pig. She has an insatiable urge to eat chocolate (along with pies, cakes, and other deliciously unhealthy treats), and the book mentions this a lot — which made me feel pretty hungry when I read it too. The only thing I wasn’t really hungry for was bacon, because Nanny Piggins makes you feel a little guilty about eating bacon.

2. This book will confuse you.

Explanation: Nanny Piggins is a wonderful, sweet, caring, but sometimes TERRIBLE nanny. She’s not fond of the kids attending school or doing their homework.

A rare moment of responsibility: Nanny Piggins decides not to throw a heavy object on a rival nanny.

A rare moment of responsibility: Nanny Piggins decides not to throw a heavy object on a rival nanny.

And as I alluded to above, it’s really not healthy to eat roomfuls of chocolate! Literally. Roomfuls of chocolate. Even the author has a disclaimer at the beginning of the book:

“Unless you are a pig, do not copy Nanny Piggin’s diet IN ANY WAY. You see, pigs and humans have very different bodies. Pigs are a different shape, for a start (mainly because they eat so much). Plus, Nanny Piggins is an elite athlete so she has a freakishly fast metabolism that can burn a lot of calories.”

The rest of the disclaimer is also quite amusing, which leads me to…

3. This book will make you laugh!

Explanation: Even though she dresses impeccably, Nanny Piggins is still a pig. So even though she can bake delicious pies… she also can’t help but eat ALL of them. She has an adopted brother, an eight-foot-tall Russian ballet dancing bear. She manages to reform a burglar by assigning him household chores… and much more!

Think of this book as a combination of Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, Mary Poppins, and The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events): So if you like any of those books, you’ll love The Adventures of Nanny Piggins!

Here’s Nanny Piggins herself, telling you a little more about “her” book.

So, what do you think? Are you going to join Nanny Piggins on her adventures? Let us know in the comments!


icon_nancyOne of Nancy’s nicknames growing up was Nanny. She was not a fan.

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Kidsmomo Podcast #61: Superheroes and Sweet Potatoes

January 24th, 2012 by

Remember when we used to have themes for our podcasts? Well, this time we accidentally created a themed podcast — by reading each other’s minds! Or maybe it was just coincidence… Either way, we’ve got superheroes all over the place! Take a listen to meet Captain Amazing, Captain Nobody, a few animal crime-fighters, and — completely unrelated — a sweet mother of potatoes!

    Listen now:

    Download the MP3 (5.4 MB)

  • Dictionary people, are you paying attention?
  • Karen’s book review: Sidekicks by Dan Santat
  • Nancy’s book review: Captain Nobody by Dean Pitchford
  • A review from YOU: Never Mind by Avi
  • A new exclamation marks record!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And don’t forget: write in with a book review below. We’ll feature a kid review in our next podcast!

— Karen and Nancy