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Book Review: Santa's Countdown to Christmas, 24 Days of Stories by Kim Thompson, Illustrated by Elodie Duhameau

Santa's Countdown to Christmas by Kim Thompson, Illustrated by Elodie Duhameau was published on October 2, 2017 and is a book format of an advent calendar.  Told from the perspective of Santa Claus, the storyline chronicles what Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, the elves, and the reindeer do in preparation of Christmas on each day of December leading up to Christmas Day. I'd like to thank NetGalley and Crackboom! Books for giving me a copy of Santa's Countdown to Christmas in exchange for my honest review.  I was thrilled to be approved to read this book because I love Christmas and am a kid at heart. This picture book was well written and engaging.  The illustrations were phenomenal as well.  I even enjoyed reading it as an adult.  I wish I had kids of my own so I could buy it for them, but I guess I'll have to settle for buying it for family members and friends who have kids that believe in Santa Claus.  I'd recommend this book for babies through eight years old.  Reading

Book Review: The New Girl (Sweet Valley Twins, #6) Created by Francine Pascal

Children's Book SeriesThe Sweet Valley Twins book series is what made me an avid reader as a child. I couldn't get through each book fast enough. This book series is perfect for children between the ages eight and twelve, and I definitely urge people to introduce these books to their kids, especially those who aren't interested in reading. I wish they had been introduced to me a lot earlier. As part of my rereading my way through my childhood, I picked up The New Girl (Sweet Valley Twins, #6) created by Francine Pascal.

What I love about this series is that it always seems to deal with real life issues that children might deal with and teaches a lesson. In The New Girl (Sweet Valley Twins, #6), the lesson is that things aren't always what they seem and bullying isn't the answer. Kindness can go a long way, so don't act like a jerk towards people.

Rereading this book as an adult, I didn't remember anything about this installment going into it. I think this was one of the few times that I actually liked both twins within the same book. Usually, I would favor Elizabeth as my favorite character, but on rare occasion, I would like Jessica better.

I was engaged in this book, even as an adult because this series holds such a special place in my heart, and I was torn as I read it . . . I definitely felt for the twins because they didn't deserve the mean remarks from Brooke Dennis. At the same time, I felt bad for Brooke when we find out that her parents had gotten divorced. Because of this, she felt unloved and unwanted, so she was acting out as a result.

What's great about the endings in these books are that they typically show the reader a better way to go about things, and I do hope that kids who pick up this book, and any of the others in this series, really do learn a lesson from it. With that being said, The New Girl (Sweet Valley Twins, #6) wasn't one of my favorite books in this series this time around. I gave it three out of five stars.

Synopsis of The New Girl (Sweet Valley Twins, #6) When new girl Brooke Dennis moves into town and is snotty to everyone she encounters for no reason at all, Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield decide to team up and invent a triplet. Soon the whole school gets involved in the Wakefield girl's practical joke.


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