Books, Current Events, Reviews

Fantastic Flowers, Floats, Frogs and Much More

Today, I bring you another blast from the past, a post dusted and brought back to life from the archives. Forgotten but not really. And adding a bit of new as well to the post. The flowers and floats are in the second section, while there is much much more in the third. But you might be wondering – what about the frogs? Where are they? There are going to be a great many

Jumping Frogs

later this week at Angels Camp in California!

And I mention frogs because May 13th happens to be (apparently) National Jumping Frog Day and this weekend, May 16 – 19, 2024 is the annual Frog Jump in Angels Camp in Calaveras county, CA!

This event is thanks to Mark Twain and his story titled The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.

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The Blast from the Past Section: No Frogs Here

(Note: this section is almost as is – save some formatting changes and typo corrections – from May 2012, specifically, the second Monday of May that year, same as today)

There are so many books I have been reading for and with my little ones and the past few weeks got away from me as life took over. But here are quick recaps of a few of the books I have been reading many times over these weeks.

Huck Runs Amuck

Huck Runs Amuck!  by Sean Taylor with illustrations by  Peter Reynolds (Children’s Fiction | 5 – 8 years, and up) 

Description: Meet Huck. He loves flowers. FLOWERS, FLOWERS, FLOWERS. And he’ll do whatever it takes to get a mouthful: climb the highest mountain, walk a tightrope, even defy speeding trains! It’s true, he can’t resist!

A goofy goat who loves munching – not anything and everything – but flowers. Unfortunately, other goats love munching everything around too and soon, he has to go away from home to seek his favorite food.  Will he succeed?

Catchy rhymes which kids will love to say out loud along with bright, colorful, as-goofy-as-Huck illustrations take us along for Huck’s quest for flowers. We watch his near misses with eating them, and finally when he does have his chance, what will he do? Whom will he think of – himself or others?

Without being preachy and by being bloomingly fun, this book is a treasure!

Reread factor – 5/5 | Rating – A

Ladybug Girl

Ladybug Girl by David Soman and Jacky Davis (Children’s Fiction | 2 – 5 years, and up)

Description: When Lulu puts on her ladybug costume, she becomes Ladybug Girl, a superhero who uses her imagination to have adventures right in her own backyard.

Every little girl loves lady bugs and almost every little girl wants to be a hero too.. And if your little girl is like that, she and you will love reading this book. Ladybug Girl is cute, cool, composed, and resourceful – that is what I love most about her. Everyday things, seemingly mundane to most people, take on a fresh lease of life through Ladybug Girl’s eyes and you will love seeing things around you from her view.

Reread factor – 4/5 | Rating -B

Balloons over Broadway

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by Melissa Sweet (Children’s Biographies | 5 – 8 years, and up)

Description: Meet the master puppeteer who invented the first balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Fact has never been so much fun – floating fun, in fact! This book tells the story of ‘the puppeteer’ – the one who brought balloons to Broadway – floats off to him in salute.  As we watch the Thanksgiving Parade each year, few of us have ever given a thought to who started it all and how.

This book tells us the story of Tony Sarg and with wonderful, eye-popping illustrations as grand as the puppets in the parade, enchants us with that story – of a little boy who figured out how to feed his dad’s chickens early in the morning without getting out of bed and how he grew up to be the man behind Macy’s marionettes. A must read for all ages.

Reread factor – 5/5 | Rating – A

Other Stuff from the Past

What are you reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey (now hosted by The Book Date). It is a time when we share what we’ve read, currently reading, or what is up next on our reading list. This weekly meme is geared towards books for adult readers while there is also a kid lit version of the same hosted by Unleashing Readers.

Completed reading:

  • Books reviewed here today
  • Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne (review coming next week)
  • Feast of Roses by Indu Sundaresan (review coming tomorrow)
  • Katie Woo rules the School (review coming next week)
  • More books have been read as well

Currently reading:

  • Shadow Princess by Indu Sundaresan
  • Unspoked by Sarah Rees Brennan (ARC)
  • and a few more…(Yes, I know, I read too many books at the same time)

Next to read:

  • Lots to pick from…

So what are you reading this book? Any favorites of yours in my lists? Or any favorites you have for me to try out? Please do let me know…

Now, Back to the Future (Only Princesses, No Frogs!)

May is AAPI Heritage Month here in the US, and so I am bringing you a few books by Asian Americans, or about Asian Americans. No books about floats here (either the noun form of floats or the verb.. but, well, many a thought floats through this section for sure!)

Amil and the After

Amil and the After by Veera Hiranandani (Children’s Fiction | )

Description: A hopeful and heartwarming story about finding joy after tragedy, Amil and the After is a companion to the beloved and award-winning Newbery Honor novel The Night Diary, by acclaimed author Veera Hiranandani

My Quick Thoughts: A current read at this time, and one that is tugging at my heartstrings way too many times.

Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment

Arya Khanna’s Bollywood Moment by Arushi Avachat (Teen and YA Fiction)

Description: Save the Date meets Never Have I Ever in this sparkling debut rom-com about a high school senior whose life suddenly gets a Bollywood spin when her sister gets engaged.

My Quick Thoughts: Loved this sweet read that I can easily visualize on screen!

The Blue Bowl

The Blue Bowl by Flo Leung (Children’s Fiction | 4 – 7 years and up)

Description: A young boy realizes, thanks to his family, that he can enjoy both his Chinese and North American cultures through his favourite dishes

My Quick Thoughts: A heartwarming cheery blue bowl indeed…

Kismat Connection

Kismat Connection by Ananya Devarajan (Teen and YA Fiction)

Description: In this charming YA debut, a girl who’s determined to prove her star chart wrong ropes her longtime best friend into an experimental relationship—not knowing that he has been in love with her for years.

My Quick Thoughts: This was a fun, sweet read and I enjoyed the take on astrology here.

Of Curses and Kisses

Of Curses and Kisses (Rosetta Academy Book 1) by Sandhya Menon (Teen and YA Fiction)

Description: From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the first novel in a brand-new series set at an elite boarding school that’s a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast.

My Quick Thoughts: I picked this up because I loved Sandhya Menon’s previous books, and while her writing still shines through here, I think I like her other books better. But there is still something about what this started to want me to check out the next book in the series.

A Pho Love Story

A Pho Love Story by Loan Le (Teen and YA Fiction)

Description: ​When Dimple Met Rishi meets Ugly Delicious in this funny, smart romantic comedy, in which two Vietnamese American teens fall in love and must navigate their newfound relationship amid their families’ age-old feud about their competing, neighboring restaurants.

My Quick Thoughts: Another current read that I am enjoying because of the setting (the Bay Area), food, rivalries, families, and lots to relate to.

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear reader, have you read any of these books? Your thoughts on them if you have, and if not, which ones would you pick first? Any similar books you can recommend?

7 thoughts on “Fantastic Flowers, Floats, Frogs and Much More

  1. I love that you’re unearthing reviews from the past, Vidya—I feel like both older reviews and older books get lost in the archives, and deserve to be seen again! And the books you’re reading now look wonderful too—The Blue Bowl looks beautiful, and I’ve heard great things about Amil and the After. Thanks so much for the wonderful post, and enjoy your week!

    1. thanks so much Max… I realize that most of my discoveries from years ago were more because I found them in a bookstore or a library compared to today 🙂 and they were already usually the “hidden-gems” kind so rediscovering these treasures is kind of cool..

  2. Unfortunately, I haven’t set aside much time for reading since I started my own business in 2019. I need to do some reading when I take my daily bath! I’m going to check out these books by Asian authors that you mention. Which one should I start with?

  3. These are wonderful book recommendations! I would love to get a copy of the Balloons over Broadway for my daughter. I actually have no idea about the person who invented the first balloons for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and would love to know more about him.

  4. It’s packed with great book recommendations that I can’t wait to share with my little ones. Huck Runs Amuck sounds perfect for my flower-loving child, and Ladybug Girl is sure to be a hit with my superhero enthusiast.

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