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ARC Review: Kids’ Nonfiction Books for March 2023: No World Too Big and Facing Mighty Fears About Baddies and Villains

No World Too Big: Young People Fighting Climate Change by Lindsay H. Metcalf, Jeanette Bradley, Keila V. Dawson

Publication Date: March 14, 2023


Fans of No Voice Too Small will be inspired by young climate activists who made an impact around climate change in their communities, countries, and beyond.

Climate change impacts everyone, but the future belongs to young people. No World Too Big celebrates twelve young activists and three activist groups on front lines of the climate crisis who have planted trees in Uganda, protected water in Canada, reduced school bus’ climate footprint in Indonesia, invented alternate power sources in Ohio, and more. Fourteen poems by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, David Bowles, Rajani LaRocca, Renée LaTulippe, Heidi E. Y. Stemple, and others honor activists from all over the world and the United States. Additional text goes into detail about each activist’s life and how readers can get involved.

My Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The poems in this book were very moving. Each young activist featured has a very inspiring story and as a collection it really drives home the problem of climate change while still offering hope that we can still do something to fight it.

The pictures were simple but beautiful colored pencil drawings that captured a lot of emotion in the faces of the people pictured. They were also excellent likenesses of the young activists.

I intend to read this with my 3rd grader to help inspire him to come up with ways we can work together to fight climate change and to make him realize that 1) it’s a big problem and 2) even though it’s big, we can still work together to solve it.

Thanks to NetGalley and Charlesbridge for providing an e-arc for review.

Facing Mighty Fears About Baddies and Villains by Dawn Huebner

Publication Date: March 21, 2023


Many children are afraid of baddies and villains who do, in fact, do hurtful things. But sometimes fear far outstrips danger, and even children who are safe feel apprehensive all the time. Facing Mighty Fears About Baddies and Villains teaches 3 steps to help manage ongoing fears. Fun Facts engage children, while a Note to Parents and Caregivers and supplemental Resource section make this the perfect guide for parents and mental health professionals.

This book is part of the Dr. Dawn’s Mini Books About Mighty Fears series, designed to help children ages 6-10 tackle their fears and live happier lives.

My Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Update: I have read this twice with my kiddo now. I suggested it the first time and he listened very intently, and then the next night he asked to read it again. (He asked to read it again after that but I suggested taking a break to read something else.) Clearly he’s getting something out of it.

He was uninterested in the gum facts, and after several pages asked me to just skip them. It was the instructions on how to ‘chew out’ the thoughts about baddies and villains that really seemed to interest him. It makes sense, as he has been scared of bad guys lately. I get the feeling we’ll be reading this several more times in the coming weeks.

This is shorter than I expected but does a great job explaining in detail the exposure technique the author talks about in her Outsmarting Worry book. I’m really glad I requested this one as kiddo and I weren’t entirely sure how to implement the exposure technique from the other book. This one is a very clear, step-by-step guide to easing worries about ‘baddies’ that don’t pose any actual danger in particular. My kiddo does not have outward signs of this to the extent of the kid in the example, but he does definitely worry about certain ‘baddies’ and tends to get stuck worrying about them. We will try this method of un-sticking the worry for sure.

I wasn’t sure about all the facts about gum – they seemed kind of random. But after reading the author’s note at the end it made sense. The author is drawing an analogy between chewing gum (familiar to most people) and ‘chewing out’ the scariness of the ‘baddies.’ Pausing to read facts about gum also breaks up the heaviness of the subject and gives an opportunity for mental breathers.

I found this to be very readable and easily understandable, and don’t forsee my kiddo (8) having any trouble understanding it. After reading it I feel very motivated and look forward to reading it with him so we can talk about his own fears of ‘baddies’ and how I can support him in overcoming them.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Jessica Kingsley Publishers for providing an early copy for review.

Blog Tour and Arc Review: The Severed Thread by Leslie Vedder

Welcome to my stop on the Severed Thread book tour with Colored Pages Blog Tours. (This blog tour is also posted on my Tumblr book, art, & fandom blog Whimsical Dragonette.)

Book Info:

TITLE: The Severed Thread
AUTHOR: Leslie Vedder
February 7, 2023
GENRES: YA Fantasy
PAGES: 416


Fi has awakened the sleeping prince, but the battle for Andar is far from over. The Spindle Witch, the Witch Hunters, and Fi’s own Butterfly Curse all stand between them and happily ever after.

Shane has her partner’s back. But she’s in for the fight of her life against Red, the right hand of the Spindle Witch who she’s also, foolishly, hellbent on saving.

Briar Rose would do anything to restore his kingdom. But there’s a darkness creeping inside him—a sinister bond to the Spindle Witch he can’t escape.

All hopes of restoring Andar rest on deciphering a mysterious book code, finding the hidden city of the last Witches, and uncovering a secret lost for centuries—one that just might hold the key to the Spindle Witch’s defeat. If they can all survive that long…

Set in a world of twisted fairytales, The Severed Thread combines lost ruins, ride-or-die friendships, and heart-pounding romance.

Author Bio:

Leslie Vedder is a YA author who loves girl heroes and adventurers. She grew up on fantasy books, anime, fanfiction, and the Lord of the Rings movies, and met her true love in high school choir. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in creative writing, and currently lives in Colorado with her wife and two spoiled house cats.

Author Links:

My Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This was such an incredibly good follow-up to the Bone Spindle. I loved it!

I love love love these characters and this world. They’re all so multi-faceted and intriguing. I can’t wait for the next book. I especially love how unpredictable I find it. I’ve read so many YA fantasy novels over the years and this one never quite reveals what I expect it to with each turn of the page. As is the way of second books in trilogies, the entire story feels like a relentless headlong rush, and at the same time a carefully balanced push-and-pull of wins and losses. Not a stalemate, exactly, but never with a clear winner either.

My absolute favorite part, hands down, is when they form a small band of adventurers and treasure-hunters. First it was Fi and Shane, then they picked up Red and Briar, and now they’ve reeled in Perrin as well. And there is such warmth and camaraderie between them — and they all seem a lot happier out in the elements, fighting for their lives and searching for treasure and hatching plans. I never trusted the golden city of Everlynd, and I find I like the story much better once they leave it behind.

I’m not sure what I think of the Paper Witch either. He has his own secrets, and he holds them closer than the others do. He’s more enigmatic and I’m never sure what he’ll do. The others’ motivations are easier to read.

I love how we get a glimpse into the founding of Andar, with the history of Aurora and the Butterfly Witch and the Spindle Witch! I hope we get to discover a lot more about this later because I find it fascinating.

The ending came out of nowhere and wasn’t anything like what I predicted and at the same time I can’t imagine it going any other way. It, like the rest of the storytelling, feels right and perfectly placed and thought-out.

I care about these characters so much: Fi and Shane and Briar and Red. Perrin, too, though I don’t know him that well yet. I’m not sure I trust him yet – his motivations have been too unclear to me, but I like him quite a lot. I like all of them and I feel almost like a part of their group. Which is probably why the plot was able to take me so off-guard – I’m in the thick of it with the rest of them.

This (and the Bone Spindle) are definitely going on my favorite books of the year list.

*Thanks to Colored Pages Blog Tours, Penguin Teen, and NetGalley for providing an early copy for review.

Favorite Quotes:

Fi looked disappointed. But Shane wasn’t surprised. The kind of person who crawled around in the bowels of Witch mines prying out rubies with ominous names was just asking to go missing.

The Severed Thread by Leslie Vedder

Ivan must have mounted up after she lost track of him, fast enough on horseback to get out of the way of the mudslide. Or he’s come back from the dead to get revenge, Shane thought. She wouldn’t put it past him.

The Severed Thread by Leslie Vedder

“Just cut it all off,” Shane insisted. She was looking a little ragged around the edges and a dark bruise stood out on her cheekbone, but she was in high spirits.

“With what, your ax?” Fi asked, arching an eyebrow. “Because I can guarantee that haircut would strike fear into the hearts of your enemeis—and your friends.”

The Severed Thread by Leslie Vedder

“No,” Perrin said with a smile. “The magic is locked tightly inside it. It’s perfectly safe. Well, mostly safe.” He gave it a mistrustful look. “Probably safe. You know, on second thought, I’m just going to put this away.”

The Severed Thread by Leslie Vedder

“I didn’t even know you could burn soup,” he admitted.

“Typical prince. You can burn anything—I would know,” Shane assured him. “But most of it’s edible anyway.”

The Severed Thread by Leslie Vedder

Her fingers fumbled for something to hold on to—and then her hand found Briar’s, squeezing it tight, and something swept through him, such a big warm feeling it had to be magic.

The Severed Thread by Leslie Vedder

Tour Schedule:

February 1st

Fall Between the Pages – Book Review

Allmyfriendsareinbooks – Book Review

February 2nd

@the_princess_library – Book Review

February 3rd

More Books Please – Book Review

February 4th

Brittyoreads – Book Review

February 5th

Whimsical Dragonette – Review & Favorite Quotes

February 6th

Conn_reada – Book Review

Leandra the TBR Zero – Book Review & Recommendation

February 7th

Pisces: The Book Lover – Book Review

February 8th

Ofbooksandromance – Book Review

February 9th

Readwithatlas  – Book Review

February 10th

Utopia.state.of.mind – Book Review

The._bookarazzi – Book Review

February 11th

My World of Wonders – Book Review & Favorite Quotes

@poatic.library – Book Review & Reel

February 12th

@Margiebythebookcase  – Book Review

February 13th

_holmescollections – Book Review

February 14th

@theenchantedshelf – Book Review