We’re Buying Books for the Holidays!

We are Buying Books for the Holidays because literacy is something we love and love to promote. Books also happen to be one of our favorite gifts to give and to get because there are so many great ones to choose from! As some of you are very aware, the publishing industry has felt the squeeze of our diminished economy. So, this year even more than last year, your support of books and the book industry as a whole is valuable. We have already filled our checked off Christmas lists with some great books, and asked for a few we really want for ourselves! We still need to make a few more purchases in that arena before we’re through and we hope that all of you are doing the same.

We have some great recommendations here at Bookscoops from books we’ve reviewed this last year that you can check out in our archives to take some of the guesswork out of buying books for those you love. Some of our favorites and most highly recommended books would be our Doublescoops. If you’re looking for some holiday themed books we have our Twelve Days of Christmas Reads from last year when we both reviewed 12 books each. Of course, we can’t cover everything, but we have great links to other reviewer websites, such as Pam at Mother Reader who has 105 Ways to Give a Book and we can’t forget the Buy Books for the Holidays challenge with some great lists and posts featuring independent book sellers for your holiday shopping. Hopefully, with all our help, you’ll be able to find just the right gifts for your loved ones.

Just in case you are an aspiring author, here is a great opportunity over at Writer Unboxed. If you buy books for the holidays you can enter a contest for a chance to win a review of a query letter or the first 5 pages of your manuscript. Generously donated by author Anna Elliott (Twilight of Avalon). Simply email the title of the book and who you bought it for to anna at annaelliottbooks dot com to enter.

If you have a recommendation for a holiday book or a post on your own blog about buying books for the holidays please put the title and or link in the comments.


Nic Bishop Butterflies and Moths by Nic Bishop

We are big fans of Nic Bishop in our house and here at Bookscoops as my sister and I reviewed Nic Bishop Spiders for our Double Scoop in March and I reviewed Nic Bishop Frogs, which is my favorite, the month before. I highly recommend both of those other books. I finally got a copy of Butterflies and Moth meaning we actually purchased this one. My daughter loved the photographs and learning about butterflies. Although I don’t necessarily agree with her about the picture (shown 45 times it’s actual size)  of the newly hatched caterpillar/larvae looking creature – she thought is was adorable. I should have guessed she would think that because after all I did tell her it was a baby caterpillar. To me it’s larvae and it gives me the creeps. That said though it is a lovely book with not only fascinated pictures, but fascinating text to keep the reader engaged.

Another favorite picture is of a caterpillar that resembles a snake. We spent several minutes on that page. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking for a high quality book about such beautiful creatures and butterflies and moths.

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday hosted by Rasco from RIF. Check out some of the other great titles.

I’m Bad! by Kate & Jim McMullan

A buck-toothed T-Rex? Yes. A very cute, funny buck-toothed T-Rex that is trying to catch some dinner. This is an excerpt from my favorite page:

Are you Bad?

I’m Really bad.

Scare-the-tails off-



 Got Rip-’em up CLAWS.

 Got Bite-’em-up FANGS.

Bad Breath?


My dinosaur loving boys all got a kick out of this one- especially the ending!

Road to Tater Hill by Edith M. Hemingway

My eyes were red all morning from reading this book. I started and had to finish in one day because I knew I couldn’t handle not knowing how this story that starts out so sad would end. Annie Winters is spending the summer with her mother at her Grandparents home while her Dad is overseas with the military. Her mother is pregnant and they have all been eagerly anticipating the arrival of a new baby. But baby Mary Kate comes too early, and everyone spends the summer grieving in their own personal ways.

Annie befriends a mysterious woman with a questionable past, but everyone is too wrapped up in grief to notice until . . . Well, I’ll let you read the story. This is a great stormy day sit by the fire and ball your eyes out read. I loved it and felt very connected to the characters. As Hemingways debut ‘solo’ novel, I was very impressed. The characters are vividly depicted and the descriptions are first-hand as Tater Hill is a place that the author grew up visiting. Based on the dedication at the front of the book, “In memory of my baby sister Kate”, it seems this book is very real for a reason.

I think this book would be a great gift for Christmas- especially if you are wanting to pass on a little lesson on empathy, depression, understanding, and healing.

The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley

folk keeper

It took me a while to get into this book, but once I did I found it rather interesting. The Folk Keepers protect villagers from the scary, creepy cave-folk. Corinna has disguised herself as a boy so that she can become a Folk Keeper, a position reserved for males. When Corinna is recruited as the new Folk Keeper for Mablehaugh Park, Corinna learns a lot about herself and her power to hurt or help others. I was intrigued by the last few chapters of the book, and wished for more detail, but found it a bit elusive where I wanted it and more prolific in areas I wasn’t expecting.

This one didn’t hit the top of my list and I almost stopped reading a few times- I’m not sure really why, boredom factor or if I just wasn’t getting the whole folk keeper thing at first. It isn’t really until the end of the book that you get a handle on what the ‘folk’ really are, but then I guess that was supposed to be part of the whole mystery/intrigue part. I hate to sound like this is a negative review, because it really isn’t, it’s just not my favorite book, although I feel that it’s a better way to pass the time than watching tv.

Fall Bookscoops Update

European Ambulance - Royalty Free Clipart Picture

As you may have noticed, things have been a little slow around Bookscoops lately. One of us (Cari) has been having ambulance rides and numerous hospital visits dealing with a child’s medical diagnosis of Epilepsy. Things are beginning to settle down (we hope) and we (mostly Cari) have learned a lot in the interim. Thank you very much for all your support!

The other one of us (Holly) has been making the final transition to a new home, which has taken longer than either Cari or Holly expected. Moving during soccer season with two boys on two different teams, and being pregnant at the same time just means it takes a little longer to get things done. Boy #4 is well on the way and we anticipate an early spring visit from the stork.

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At this time of year, when gratitude is paramount, we would like to say how grateful we are for wonderful books to read and for great readers and friends in the kidlitosphere. We’ve been having some great experiences and look forward to sharing them with you as we start to churn out more reviews and recommendations.