Audiobook Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi


Summary from Publisher:

They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us. 
Now we rise.

Zélie remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. When different clans ruled – Burners igniting flames, Tiders beckoning waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoning forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, anyone with powers was targeted and killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Only a few people remain with the power to use magic, and they must remain hidden.

Zélie is one such person. Now she has a chance to bring back magic to her people and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must learn to harness her powers and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where strange creatures prowl, and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to come to terms with the strength of her magic – and her growing feelings for an enemy.



It’s been awhile since I fell hard for a YA series.  Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi kept showing up as a recommendation for me.  With all the hype around it, I was kind of avoiding it to be honest.  Then I saw it sitting on the audiobook shelf over in our teen section the other day.  I figured if it was actually in, and I was actually in need of an audiobook for the commute home, then the time had come. I snagged it.  And fell.  Hard.

Adeyemi’s world building is nothing short of amazing.  It’s vibrant and beautiful and true to the magic she has created.  The characters are strong and real.  The growth each encounters is uniquely drawn on the strengths and weaknesses each have been given but they are true and consistent, sometimes frustratingly so as you see them react badly to a situation but know it is consistent for them.  By the book’s end, I found myself cheering for the character I disliked the most in the beginning of the book because she grew stronger and gained depth as a person that I never would have imagined but when I looked back over her journey, made perfect sense.

I was lucky enough to snag our audiobook copy.  Bahni Turpin narrates this book.  I cannot say enough about her talent! If you have never heard her perform an audiobook, I recommend giving her a listen.  Click here to see her audiobooks at the library.  She could make the phone book sound good.  This book is the most amazing book I’ve ever heard her perform.  Her rich accents bring so much depth to the characters. Click here to see if our copy is in.  I promise, you won’t regret it!

Miss Marta


What We Did in Storytime: Frogs

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Storytime was all about frogs today! We splashed around in the sensory bin and made a frog craft with green tissue paper.

Copy of SET LIST

Song: If You’re Ready for a Story 


Book: Leap Back Home to Me by Lauren Thompson

I liked this book! The little frog leap frogs over different things but always comes back to mama frog.

Felt Board: 5 Little Froggies

Five little froggies sitting on a well,
One looked up (point up)
and down he fell. (fall down)
Froggies jump high (reach up high)
Froggies jump low (reach down low)
Four little froggies hopping two and fro.
(Keep going until there are no more frogs.)

I like that this little rhyme for the flannel board has actions to go along with it to keep everyone interested and moving while we count down the froggies.


Book: Frogs by Marysa Storm

This is the first time I’ve tried using a nonfiction book in storytime, and I’m not sure how well it went over. It was shorter than Leap Back Home to Me but didn’t seem to hold the kids’ attention. I’ll have to think this over before trying another nonfiction book.

Song: Mm Ah Went the Little Green Frog 

              Mmm ahh went the little green frog one day.

Mmm ahh went the little green frog.

Mmm ahh went the little green frog one day.

And they all went mmm, mmm, ahh.

But… We know frogs go (clap) shanananana.

(clap) shanananana.

(clap) shanananana.

We know frogs go (clap) shanananana.

They don’t go mmm, mmm, ahh.

This is a classic kids’ song, but if you haven’t heard it before Jbrary has their version here.

What I Didn’t Use: 

Fingerplay: “Two Little Frogs”

Two little frogs sitting on a hill,
One named Jack and one named Jill.
“Jump,” said Jack. “Jump,” said Jill.
And they both jumped down the great big hill.
Come back, Jack. Come back, Jill.
And they both jumped up the great big hill.

Book: Jump! by Scott M. Fischer

Fingerplay: Mr. Bullfrog

Here’s Mr. Bullfrog (make a fist)
Sitting on a rock (put fist on palm)
Into the water he jumps
KERPLOP! (clap loudly)

And that’s what we did in storytime today! If you’d like to see what we did in past weeks, click on the “What We Did in Storytime” tag. Also, just a reminder – we will be taking a break from Littles over the summer, so this was our last regular session for a few months. BUT!! Miss Marta and I have planned some really fun themed storytimes for over the summer too. We hope you can join us for Storytime Rocks! on June 3rd at 10 AM for a super fun music and dance themed storytime. Or why not check out Messing Around at 10 AM on July 1st, our art themed storytime program? We promise it will be LOTS of fun and make LOTS of messes. But don’t worry, you leave the clean up to us! Both programs are for kids up to age 6, with siblings welcome. Hope to see you there!

Miss Jessica

Summer Reading Pool Party!

Registration is NOW OPEN for the Riverside Aquatic Center Summer Reading Pool Party.  Click Here to register online or call us at 309-524-2440 to reserve your spot today!


Review: Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

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From the publisher: How did a raw chicken get inside Yasmany’s locker? When Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn’t under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal’s office for the third time in three days, and it’s still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal. She is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany’s locker, even though nobody saw him do it and the bloody poultry has since mysteriously disappeared. Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician, but for this sleight of hand, he relied on a talent no one would guess . . . except maybe Gabi, whose sharp eyes never miss a trick. When Gabi learns that he’s capable of conjuring things much bigger than a chicken–including his dead mother–and she takes it all in stride, Sal knows that she is someone he can work with. There’s only one slight problem: their manipulation of time and space could put the entire universe at risk. A sassy entropy sweeper, a documentary about wedgies, a principal who wears a Venetian bauta mask, and heaping platefuls of Cuban food are just some of the delights that await in his mind-blowing novel gift-wrapped in love and laughter.


You ever read a book so good that once you finish it, you hug it and thank it for its existence like some kind of nerdy version of KonMari? That is exactly what I did after finishing Carlos Hernandez’s middle grade debut, Sal and Gabi Break the Universe. Sal is one of the most delightful and charming protagonists I’ve read in a long time, and even though the scifi part of the plot wasn’t as significant as I had expected, it never dragged because I loved Hernandez’s style so much. Filled with heart and humor, this is a story about love and grief and friendship without ever getting preachy. The publisher suggested ages are 8 to 12, but I think kids on the older end of that range and even into young adult readers would better appreciate it. Highly, highly recommended.


Check it out on the catalog here!

Miss Jessica