Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Harry Potter cover makeover part 2!!!!

So I looked at my view stats today and realized 'Hey! When you don't post you only get 11 views!' So the time has come for another blog post and I'm pumped about this one! Do you remember when I revealed the first five new Harry Potter covers to ya'll? If you don't here's the link-go look and absorb
the first five

So in honor of Harry Potter and J.K. Rowlings birthday they released the final two covers! Are ya'll ready for this?! (I totally just started singing Space Jam in my head) Good! Let's do this!


I think that number six's cover is magical but I'm not going to lie to you I expected something more from the Deathly Hallows! I wanted something a little more epic BUT I still love them! So sound off! What are your thoughts!? I've already decided I want them! O dear heavens my poor bank account is already screaming! Happy birthday Harry and J.K.! You've made many of my days magical! :D

Monday, July 29, 2013

Calling all spies!

First of all I would like to say THANK YOU THANK YOU to all of you who entered my first ever giveaway! It won't be the last! Congratulations to Jessica J. for winning! Next giveaway will include international and maybe more men I promise! hahaha So-I love a good spy story! So I was excited to find this one! Also Known As by Robin Benway! 

So I was just browsing in the library for a book and picked up this one and read the back! It says, "And then he kissed me. I tried desperately to think of all the movies I had seen where people make out, but my brain was in meltdown mode and so I just went with it. Best. Assignment. Ever." I got the giggles and knew that I had to read this book! Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.

Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one super cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover. This book is laugh out loud funny! It reminds me a lot of Ally Carter books but more...edgy. It's not the deepest or mind-blowing read that you will ever read but if you are searching for an adventure and a few laughs-go and pick this up! :D

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


So for my first giveaway I decided to pick my last Sarah Eden excursion! It's Glimmer of Hope!

Stunning Miranda Harford once had the world at her feet. She was young, carefree, and desperately in love. But when her new husband left for London without her, her world fell apart. Devastated by his abandonment, Miranda fled their home, taking residence at her husband’s rarely visited countryside estate. For three years, she lived alone. But now, as the holidays draw near, an unexpected visitor arrives . . .
I liked this book for simply being different from other books that Sarah Eden has written. The couple in the story is already married so we didn't go through an entire story on courtship and miscommunication! I lied- there is plenty of miscommunication in this book! You can't have a romance without it! Hahaha also I liked it for being a little bit on the darker side of life. It wasn't all rainbows and butterflies. It was in your face honest and true to the characters' personalities. What I didn't like so much is once again I feel cheated in some way as to where the story ended! I wanted more!!!
So enter below! I think the odds are highly in your favor!!! :D  U.S entries only! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy 24th of July!!!

So if you are from Utah (like me) you know that it's Pioneer Day! Best Utah holiday ever! It's like the 4th of July part two! Love me some fireworks and hot dogs! I'm actually not one hundred percent sure if there is any other Utah holiday but hey...HUZZAH anyway! I love pioneers! I love pioneer stories! BUT if I was a pioneer I would have died! I would have crossed the Mississippi and gone no further! I played the Oregon Trail game as a kid and never survived! 

I'm a 21st century girl! I digress! So in honor of our pioneer ancestors I chose my favorite pioneer related book that rock my handcart pulling world! (I have done that by the way! I went on the Pioneer Trek Reenactment! Handcarts are really heavy! I even had the bonnet and apron!) This is one of my most favorite books by the way so even if you don't read it for the pioneers-do it for yourself!!! It's These is My Words by Nancy E. Turner!

These words belong to Sarah Prine, a woman of spirit and fire who forges a full and remarkable existence in a harsh, unfamiliar frontier. Scrupulously recording her steps down the path destiny has set her upon—from child to determined young adult to loving mother—she shares the events, both happy and tragic, that molded her, and recalls the enduring love with cavalry officer Captain Jack Elliot that gave her strength and purpose. This book is beautiful! It's rich and deep and it stays with long after you've read it! It's also one that is VERY hard to put down so you've been warned! You will literally fall in love with Sarah Prine and those around her! It is a tale of heartache and hardship and overpowering love. My sister gave this to me and I will always love her for it! If I could just give this book to all of you I would do it in a heartbeat! Do it! Read it! LOVE IT!!!

Heads up for tomorrow! MY FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY!!!! Shivers of excitement! And also...HAPPY PIONEER DAY EVERYBODY!!!!!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Just a little list...

So I realized I wanted to put my Erika's Top 60 Kids Book in a complete list and haven't yet so here it is!!! It's nice to have the list of books all in one place! Read them, love them!!

Top 60 Kids Books You NEED to Read

1. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.
2. I Like Myself! by Karen Beaumont
3. Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss
4. Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
5. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
6. Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner
7. Tikki Tikki Tembo retold by Arlene Mosel
8. Owen by Kevin Henkes
9. Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein
10. Time For Bed by Mera Fox
11. This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
12. Stephanie's Ponytail by Robert Munsch
13. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff
14. If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff
15. The Sniffles for Bear by Bonny Becker
16. Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton
17. The Empty Pot by Demi
18. Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
19. Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
20. How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night? by Jane Yolen & Mark Teague
21. A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
22. The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood
23. Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
24. Parts by Tedd Arnold
25. You Are Special by Max Lucado
26. Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham
27. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
28. Stellaluna by Janell Cannon
29. If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff
30. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
31. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka
32. Julius, Baby of the World by Kevin Henkes
33. Is Your Mama a Llama? by Deborah Guarino
34. The Napping House by Audrey Wood
35. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
36. The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Hughet Bishop
37. Pingo by Brandon Mull
38. Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
39. The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf
40. Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester
41. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr.
42. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
43. Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! by Mo Willems
44. Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
45. Miss Nelson is Missing by James Marshall
46. Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin
47. Giggle, Giggle, Quack by Doreen Cronin
48. If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff
49. Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy Shaw
50. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears by Verna Aarderma
51. The Mitten by Jan Brett
52. Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin
53. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
54. Three Cheers for Tacky by Helen Lester
55. The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss
56. Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
57. Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban
58. King Bidgood's in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood
59. Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli
60. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywelt

Refined by Christ

It's the Sabbath! How the time does fly! As you know on Sunday I pick one of my favorite spiritual books to recommend to you! Today that book is Refined by Christ by Toni Sorenson. 

"At our spiritual best we are a brew of splendid flaws and unspeakable potential...You have fingerprints and toe prints that are uniquely yours. You are a spiritual snowflake. No one is exactly like you. The One who created and assembled you made you absolutely unique. You have been given gifts that are yours alone."-pg.13 & 28

"In the pain, the agony, and the heroic endeavors of life, we pass through a refiner's fire, and the insignificant and the unimportant in our lives can melt away like dross and make our faith bright, intact, and strong."-James E. Faust

Sometimes I think that the stars and planets align and send you the book that you just need at that precise moment in your life. For me, this was the book! Lately I have been feeling a little overwhelmed in certain aspects of my life. I find myself looking around and not seeing very clearly an end in sight to my different trials. Toni Sorenson has written this book about how we have come to this earth, not to have an easy life, but to go through fire and come out on the other side refined. She breaks down the process in which actual metal is refined and then equates it to the spiritual refinement process that we all must go through. She writes, "How interesting our life stories would be if we told them scar by scar."  Mortality tests us all, feeling at times like a scorching crucible built to try our faith and fortitude. When disappointment overwhelms us and our adversity seems unfathomable we must decide: will we be defeated by life's unavoidable tribulations, or will we allow them to make us stronger? Amidst the storms of life - when the heat of the refiner's fire seems too much to bear - we can take comfort in the realization that refined is not a word of warning, but a remarkable word of hope

We'd all better understand that we all struggle and need each other. And we can take comfort in the fact that the Refiner is always with us. Remember-

"Our refinement isn't all about the falling; it's about the rising."

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

As far as authors go, we should all just bow on down to Markus Zusak and his brilliant stories! He has a way of bringing a sense of poetry to his books that is beautiful, breath-taking and sometimes harsh. He is one of my all time favorite authors! He wrote my number 1, read too many times, highlighted the heck out! But I will talk about that book some other day! Today I just want to give a shout out to one of his books that I HIGHLY recommend called...

As of right now this book has been read by over 325,918 people on Goodreads and has an average star rating of 4.35 out of 5 stars! THAT'S HUGE! 
The book is set in World War II Germany and is about a girl named Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau. What is most intriguing about this book is that it is written from the perspective or rather narrated by Death. 

Go and find this book right now please and thank you! 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

60 Books in 6 days! LAST DAY!

Hello there all you beautiful people! It is insane to me to think that we have now reached 60 books and we are over and done with this challenge! My roommate and I were laughing that this challenge had nothing to do with snogging or Sunday! Well...let's call the blog Hugging Your Kids All Week Long-just for this week!  hahaha jk I hope you come back and visit my blog often! It puts a huge smile on my face when I see that I've had some visitors! And when people pin stuff I said onto Pinterest! That's always a fun time for me! hahaha In celebration of 3000 views I'm concocting in my brain a fun giveaway that I can do so I'll keep you posted on that! Share away so we can get there! So since it is my last list I saved back some of my favorites...even though I have a million favorites! So my last last...51-60!!!

51. The Mitten

I would consider it a great injustice to Childrens Lit everywhere if I did not include a book by Jan Brett! Her illustrations alone are breathtaking! They are magical! They are pictures framed in pictures! When Nicki drops his white mitten in the snow, he goes on without realizing that it is missing. One by one, woodland animals find it and crawl in; first, a curious mole, then a rabbit, a badger and others, each one larger than the last. Finally, a big brown bear is followed in by a tiny brown mouse and what happens next makes for a wonderfully funny climax. As the story of the animals in the mitten unfolds, the reader can see Nicki in the boarders of each page, walking through the woods unaware of what is going on. 

52. Diary of a Worm 

This is the diary . . . of a worm. Surprisingly, a worm not that different from you or me: He lives with his parents, plays with his friends, and even goes to school. But unlike you or me, he never has to take a bath, he gets to eat his homework, and because he doesn't have legs, he just can't do the hokey pokey -- no matter how hard he tries. Oh, and his head looks a lot like his rear end. This is the same author of the book Giggle, Giggle, Quack so of course I HIGHLY recommend it! It's hysterical!

53. Where the Wild Things Are

“And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!” One night Max puts on his wolf suit and makes mischief of one kind and another, so his mother calls him 'Wild Thing' and sends him to bed without his supper. That night a forest begins to grow in Max's room and an ocean rushes by with a boat to take Max to the place where the wild things are. Max tames the wild things and crowns himself as their king, and then the wild rumpus begins. But when Max has sent the monsters to bed, and everything is quiet, he starts to feel lonely and realises it is time to sail home to the place where someone loves him best of all. This book is a classic! Every kid should experience the Wild Things! But DON'T let them watch the movie! I swear the only time you should watch that is while you are on an acid trip! (Sidenote: Don't do acid!)

54. Three Cheers for Tacky

Tacky the Penguin is back, this time trying to compete with Goodly, Lovely, Angel, Neatly, and Perfect in the iceberg-wide Penguin Cheering Contest. But will Tacky ever be able to learn the synchronized moves and win the contest? I LOVE TACKY! He is the ultimate role model of "Be Yourself". I love that little penguin! 

55. The Sneetches

This will always and forever be one of my top favorite Dr. Seuss stories! It reminds me of this old VHS that I had as a kid that was the Sneetches singing about their stars or lack thereof! "Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches / Had bellies with stars. / The Plain-Belly Sneetches / Had none upon thars." This is an unforgettable tale of the unfortunate Sneetches, bamboozled by one Sylvester McMonkey McBean ("the Fix-it-up Chappie"), who teaches them that pointless prejudice can be costly. 

56. Each Peach Pear Plum

This is your classic "I spy" game. The rhymed verses give kids clues about who to look for in the detailed illustrations. The thing that I love is that it brings in classic fairy tales! Kids will spy Tom Thumb, Jack and Jill, The Three Little Bears and many other nursery rhyme characters hiding in the pictures. This was one of my favorites as a kid!

57. Bread and Jam for Frances 

I think that my mom read this to me as a kid because I was a picky eater! So I dedicate this book to the choosy ones! In this memorable story, Frances decides that bread and jam are all she wants to eat, and her understanding parents grant her wish at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacktime. Can there ever be too much bread and jam?

58. King Bidgood's in the Bathtub

Okay I love love love this book! This is in the Erika Top Five! (I don't actually know how many times I've said that but it's true!) I have since I was a little girl! I reread it tonight when I was having a good flashback to the good ol days moment! I love King Bidgood! I would hang out in his bathtub because it is magical! And I adore the illustrations! :) And it's got that medal that I love! In this raucous tale, the Knight, the Duke, the Queen--and eventually the whole court--all try to lure King Bidgood from his cozy bathtub, but he won't get out! Will anyone be able to solve this problem? 

59. Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch

And it was on the day that I read this book as an adult that I realized I was turning into my mother. She would always cry at the end of this story and I could never figure out why. Now I know because I cry every time I read it! It's because it's one of the cutest most heart-warming stories on love that I have yet to read in a kids book. One wintry day, a postman delivers a mysterious package with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch. "Somebody loves you" the note says. "Somebody loves me!" Mr. Hatch sings as he dusts his living room. "Somebody loves me!" Mr. Hatch whistles as he does his errands in town. "But who, " Mr. Hatch wonders, "could that somebody be?" After some time, Mr. Hatch discovers just who his secret admirer is and, in doing so, enjoys the biggest surprise of his life! You would be cheating yourself out of something great if you did not pick up this book! 

Oh my's the last one! I feel a little sad! Okay drumroll! 

60. The Day the Crayon Quit

This is my most recently discovered gem! It just came out this month and I just adore it! Consider it the newest, hottest kids book that I could recommend to you! I love it when I find any book that is literally laugh out loud funny! This book was about a boy who goes to color and finds a bunch of letters from his crayons! Tan is tired of only drawing wheat, white is mad because no one can see him, pink feels unloved because she's a girl color, and peach is too embarrassed to leave the box ever since she lost her paper wrapping and feels naked! I must own this! You must own this! I loved it! :-) 

And now we have come to the end of my challenge! It's been great fun! I hope that I got you one step closer in your journey of finding a favorite book! I guess we can now get back to Snogging....on Sunday!!! ;D

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

60 Books in 6 Days Round 5!

Yes indeedy folks we have come to day five! Time flies around here! So let's do this! 41-50!

41. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

This book is fabulous! Eric Carle's illustrations will alway impress and astound me! This book is perfect for a smaller child who can help you answer the question of "What do you see?" A classic all around!

42. Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!

No matter how much he begs-do not let the pigeon drive the bus! When a bus driver takes a break from his route, a very unlikely volunteer springs up to take his place-a pigeon! But you've never met one like this before. As he pleads, wheedles, and begs his way through the book, children will love being able to answer back and decide his fate.

43. Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! 

Hurrying away to brush his teeth, the pajama-clad bus driver implores readers not to let his feathered friend stay up late. Youngsters are thrust into the role of caregiver as the puerile pigeon attempts to talk his way out of the inevitable, coming up with requests that range from manipulative (I hear there's a good show about birds on TV tonight. Should be very educational) to cajoling (Y'know, we never get to talk anymore. Tell me about your day) to classic (Can I have a glass of water?). Meanwhile, the fowl fights yawns and tries to keep his wide eye open, despite a drooping lid. Defying drowsiness to the last, he finally falls asleep, clutching his stuffed bunny tightly under his wing. I love the Pigeon series! They are hilarious!

44. Chrysanthemum 

She was a perfect baby, and she had a perfect name. Chrysanthemum. When she was old enough to appreciate it, Chrysanthemum loved her name. And then she started school. "I'm named after my grandmother," said Victoria. "You're named after a flower." Chrysanthemum wilted. Life at school didn't improve. In fact, it got worse. Then the students were introduced to their music teacher, Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle. And suddenly, Chrysanthemum blossomed! A cute book about loving who you are!!

45. Miss Nelson is Missing

As a person who substitute taught for 4 years this is still one of my favorite books! The kids in Room 207 were misbehaving again. Spitballs stuck to the ceiling.  Paper planes whizzing through the air. They were the worst-behaved class in the whole school. The students don’t proffer a shred of respect for their good-natured teacher Miss Nelson, but when the witchy substitute Miss Viola Swamp appears on the scene, they start to regret their own wicked ways. This one is CLASSIC! 

46. Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type 

This book is just flat out funny! I love it! Another book with a shiny medal on it, which it completely deserves!! Farmer Brown has a problem. His cows like to type. All day long he hears Click, clack, MOO. Click, clack, MOO. Clickety, clack, MOO. But Farmer Brown's problems REALLY begin when his cows start leaving him notes....join the fun as a bunch of literate cows turn Farmer Brown's farm upside down.

47. Giggle, Giggle, Quack

Farmer Brown is going on holiday and so he asks his brother, Bob, to take care of the animals. 'But keep an eye on Duck. He's trouble.' Bob follows the instructions in Farmer Brown's notes exactly to the letter. He orders pizza with anchovies for the hens, bathes the pigs with bubble bath, and lets the cows chose a movie. Is that giggling he hears? The duck, the cows, the hens and the pigs are back in top form in this hilarious follow-up to 'Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type'. I dare you to try not to laugh through this one! The illustrations are precious and the story line will make you giggle! 

48. If You Give a Cat a Cupcake

By now it should not be a surprise to you that I love the "If you give..." books! This one is no exception! If you give a cat a cupcake, he'll ask for some sprinkles to go with it. When you give him the sprinkles, he might spill some on the floor. Cleaning up will make him hot, so you'll give him a bathing suit . . . and that's just the beginning!

49. Sheep in a Jeep

Beep! Beep! Sheep in a jeep on a hill that’s steep. Sheep in a Jeep is well loved for its slapstick story of five sheep (in a jeep) and silly sound effects—especially when the jeep goes splash and thud in the mud! Great for beginner readers! And the rhymes are great! 

50. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears

Have you ever wondered why those pesky mosquitoes buzz in your ear? After a tragedy happens in the jungle all of the animals gather to tell their side of the story. Only there's a problem! Mosquito stirs up a bit of trouble with what he has to say! A very good fable! 

That's it ya'll! It's crazy to think that tomorrow is the last day of my challenge! I've saved a few of my best for last! See you tomorrow! KISSES! 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

60 Books in 6 Days round #4

Woo hoo! Welcome to day four! Love day four! Okay here's the new list! 31-40!

31. The True Story of the Three Little Pigs

Did you ever wonder about the Wolf's side of the story from the classic tale of the Three Little Pigs. Perhaps all the Wolf was trying to do was borrow a cup of sugar! Perhaps he had a terrible cold that kept causing him to sneeze. And maybe, just maybe, the Three Little Pigs weren't the most gracious of neighbors! A hilarious parody of the long loved tale!

32. Julius, Baby of the World

Lilly thinks her new baby brother, Julius, is disgusting -- if he was a number, he would be zero. But when Cousin Garland dares to criticize Julius, Lilly bullies her into loudly admiring Julius as the baby of the world.Lilly knows her baby brother is nothing but dreadful -- until she claims him for her own. This book is perfect if you are introducing a new baby into a family where the other kids might be apprehensive about the new arrival! 

33. Is Your Mama a Llama?

Lloyd the Llama travels around asking baby creatures if their mama is a llama. This book is a rhyming book and a very cute way to teach kids about different animals! 

34. The Napping House 

The Napping House is a favorite of mine! I love Audrey and Don Wood! This is a comical tale of how many people of creatures can you fit on a bed for a nap! It includes rhymes such as: “And on that granny, there is a child, a dreaming child, on a snoring granny, on a cozy bed,  in a napping house,  where everyone is sleeping.” Included in the napping house menagerie is a dozing dog, a snoozing cat, a slumbering mouse, and a wakeful flea who ends up toppling the whole sleep heap with one chomp! 

35. I Want My Hat Back

Bear wanders around asking other creatures if they have seen his hat! And someone has stolen it! It's as simple as that! This book is super sweet and extremely funny! And it has some shiny medals on it! :D 

36. The Five Chinese Brothers

When one of the brothers is sentence to be executed, he enlists the help of his brothers who all have extraordinary abilities to save him from dying! Extremely clever book! 

37. Pingo

What happens when your imaginary friend turns into your imaginary enemy? Pingo is Chad's imaginary friend. They do everything together. Then one day Chad decides that he is too old for an imaginary friend and Pingo doesn't take it well and sticks around Chad until he's old and gray and maybe finally ready for more adventures. So adorable! 

38. Owl Moon 

Late one winter night a little girl and her father go owling. The trees stand still as statues and the world is silent as a dream. Whoo-whoo-whoo, the father calls to the mysterious nighttime bird.But there is no answer. Wordlessly the two companions walk along, or when you go owling you don't need words. You don't need anything but hope. Sometimes there isn't an owl, but sometimes there is. This is one of those magical books where you feel like you really are out in the frosty winter air! And once again it's got a shiny medal on it! 

39. The Story of Ferdinand

All the other bulls would run and jump and butt their heads together. But Ferdinand would rather sit and smell the flowers. So what will happen when our pacifist hero is picked for the bullfights in Madrid? The perfect book for the gentle creature in us all! 

40. Tacky the Penguin

This is another Erika's top favorite books of all time! Tacky has always been a bird that walks to the beat of his own drum. Tacky's perfect friends find him annoying until one day hunters come. Tacky just might be the bird to save them all! The perfect book that tells you it's okay to be yourself! 

Man oh man these are just flying by! I hope you are enjoying them! Tune in tomorrow! LOVES!!!