bookmark_borderBlog Tour: Hippopotamister by John Patrick Green

Hippopotamister

  • Original Title: Hippopotamister by John Patrick Green
  • Edition: Hardcover, 96 pages
  • Published: May 10, 2016 by First Second
  • Characters: Hippo, Red Panda
  • Rating: 4/5
  • Goodreads, Macmillian

Description:The zoo isn’t what it used to be. It’s run down, and Hippo hardly ever gets any visitors. So he decides to set off for the outside with his friend Red Panda. To make it in the human world, Hippo will have to become a Hippopotamister: he’ll have to act like a human, get a job, and wear a hat as a disguise. He’s a good employee, whether he’s a construction worker, a hair stylist, or a sous chef. But what he really needs is a job where he can be himself.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Hippopotamister is an amazing and beautiful children’s book! The bright and colorful cover instantly caught my students’ eyes, and the stunning pictures inside kept their interest piqued throughout the entire 96 pages. “How did you read a 96-page book to a group of 2nd graders in one sitting?” you ask. Despite the length, Hippopotamister is set up in panels comic-book style, so there’s not a whole lot of text. It’s a pretty easy read for even some of my lowest students, and again, the beautiful and detailed pictures really encourage comprehension of the text. My students did a great job of making predictions and inferences just during the picture walk alone. This book will definitely be a fixture in my classroom for the foreseeable future. I just have to be extra careful not to let those little paws do any major damage!
Continue reading “Blog Tour: Hippopotamister by John Patrick Green”

bookmark_borderBookish Tips: Beautiful Bookstagram Staging

Most young bookworms, like myself, are fascinated with bookstagram and booklr. The sheer amount of accounts that pop up daily is astounding, and I say the more, the better. The great thing about bookstagram is that almost no two accounts are the same. Even though you may see a plethora of the same books, everyone’s staging is unique. If you’re looking to start or improve your bookstagram photos, here’s a few tips I’ve learned along the way.

FIND A NATURAL LIGHT SOURCE

Have you ever taken a photograph outside and been absolutely amazed at how crisp and professional it looks? Well, natural lighting creates the same effects for your bookish photos too. If you can, go outside and take pictures. If you’re like me and live in an apartment in the big city, you may not have the space to go set up outside, so open up those windows and let the light in. (If your window is obscured by another tall building, again, like mine, you’ll get the best natural lighting between noon and 3 when the sun is the highest.)

Take a look at the two photos below. The first I took late one day after work. I really wanted to keep up with my daily book challenge, so I sacrificed natural light and did my best by turning on all the lights in my apartment. The second photo is a reshoot that I took the next afternoon, using natural light near an open window. It’s the same books, same props, same background, and I even arranged the books and props almost identically. Look at the difference. The first photo is yellow and dark and grainy, while the second photo is very light, crisp, clean, and colorful.Artificial vs Natural Lighting

CHOOSE YOUR BACKGROUND

Background is a little more simple. My personal favorites are either the torn out pages from an old poetry book, or a plain white background. Most bookstagrammers have a theme and they stick to it. I say try out a bunch of different themes and eventually you will find something that you love. My feed is a reflection of me, which is code for, “It’s a mess.”  But it’s my mess, and I love it.

SET UP YOUR PROPS AND STAGING

The last key to staging a beautiful photo is choosing what props you will use, or maybe you’re going to keep it clean and simple and have no props. Popular props include flowers and candles, bookish related mugs and pillows,  postcards, artwork, and art supplies. It really is amazing the things that bookstagrammers use as props though. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to find beautiful things. All of my flowers are artificial bouquets purchased from the Dollar Tree… actually, all of my props come from the Dollar Tree or Target’s One Spot. I really try to buy items that I can and will use in my everyday life and decor, not just as props for a photo (notice that my candles have been lit).  If you are using props, especially a lot to get the messy effect like I use, try to make your props and books as cohesive and coordinated as possible. If there’s red books in the photo, I like to use my red and white flowers and props. If there are yellow books, or yellow accent in the book covers, I like to use my yellow flowers and props–you get the idea.  If you are using a background with a bold pattern or color, it’s really going to make coordinating your books and props harder though, so keep that in mind.

Most importantly, follow other bookstagrammers and booklrs that you admire. Take note of their techniques and try to emulate [but not steal] their style. Remember, to have fun! Bookstagram is a great place to make friends and discover new books. Try not to focus too much on your follower count and likes because that will just make you crazy! Bookstagram is like a field of dreams: if you post it, they will come.

 

bookmark_borderBoxing Day Book Outlet Haul

My Boxing Day book haul from @BookOutlet has finally arrived. I’ve already read the Caster Chronicles series via Kindle, and I really enjoyed them so I couldn’t pass on having these beautiful hardcovers for so cheap! The rest of this haul is a gamble, but I hope I find a new favorite among them. I will say the J.J. Abrams book is stunning visually. I will take more pictures of it’s contents.

The Haul (Links to Goodreads):

bookmark_borderWhat’s your favorite genre?

My favorite book genre  is young adult, but specifically fantasy or anything that involves magic, witches and wizards, vampires, faerie, angels, and other creatures! I really love that you can step completely into a fantasy world and let your imagination run wild. It’s the ultimate escapism!

QOTD: What’s your favorite genre and why?

bookmark_borderWhat are you currently reading?

I’m STILL currently reading Carry On. If you follow me on Instagram, you already know I’ve been “reading” this for weeks (I didn’t pick up a book at all during my 2 week Winter Break). I’m also reading Dorothy Must Die as an eBook and The Sorcerer’s Stone though so I’m giving myself a pass for being extremely slow.

QOTD: What are you currently reading? What are your reading goals for the year?

bookmark_borderWhat were your favorite books read in 2015?

These were the creme de la creme of the novels I read last year. They are all so beautiful and heartbreaking, so getting emotionally dragged was obviously my aesthetic in 2015. I’d recommend any one of these in a heartbeat though. There’s one more Raven Cycle novel. I’m so excited!

QOTD: What were your favorite books read in 2015? And what are you most looking forward to in 2016?

bookmark_borderWhat’s your favorite book or series?

This is my January tbr. I’m almost done with Carry On finally. (It’s so perfect!) I also plan to read The Devil’s Only Friend by Dan Wells, which I’m really, really excited for. It’s the 4th book in the I Am Not A Serial Killer/John Cleaver series. Lastly, I’m going to start rereading the Harry Potter series. I am hoping to finish all 7 books by August 4th, which is the day I see The Cursed Child. 😀

QOTD: What’s your favorite book or series?