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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 Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #1) by Carolyn Keene

The Nancy Drew Mystery Stories by Carolyn Keene is a book series that my mom introduced to me in middle school. I remember falling in love with it immediately, so as part of my quest to read my way through my childhood, I had to reread it again. Of course, I started with the first book in the series, The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #1). There were a few things that ran through my mind reading it as an adult that I know I didn't think of as a child. 

Most importantly, this book was originally published in May 1930, and I didn't give it a second thought that cars were still relatively new in the United States and that it was highly unlikely that an eighteen year old would have their own car let alone a convertible. What surprised me the most is that at least the first book had been rewritten since its original publication date. So, I have purchased a copy of what is supposed to be the original story through I am hopeful that it really is the original story, and I can't wait to compare the two versions.

Other things that I didn't really think much of when I originally read this story as a kid is that Nancy's dad, Carson Drew, is an attorney, and he obviously is a very good lawyer because he has a live in housekeeper that also has served as a nanny of sorts for Nancy. That isn't a common thing for people who are middle class. Then, there is the clothing stores where customers actually have a seat and wait for a sales clerk to wait on you. Wow, times sure have changed since then! And, the writing in The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #1) is very mature. I think kids today would be shocked at some of the words that are used because they aren't commonly used words today . . . words like shan't.  

The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #1) is extremely well written and held my interest even as an adult. I even think children today would enjoy this first installment in the series despite it missing some of the modern conveniences of today like cell phones and computers. I gave it four out of five stars.

Synopsis of The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #1) by Carolyn Keene:  By pure chance, Nancy Drew witnesses a little girl named Judy fall off a bridge and rushes to help her. When she helps Judy home, Nancy gets roped into searching for the missing will of Josiah Crowley, which supposedly leaves money to Judy's aunts.

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