The Mortal Word (The Invisible Library, #5) by Genevieve Cogman

The Mortal Word (The Invisible Library, #5)
Any time a new book in this series is announced, there should be an international holiday of celebration and reading. What a treat.

Fans of Investigator Vale will be happy to know that he is back and center-stage. When an assassination takes place at a fae-dragon peace conference, he is the natural choice to find the killer. However, there are political considerations involved, and he is given a team of one librarian, one fae, and one dragon work together. Irene is, of course, the assigned librarian, and Kai, as a dragon prince, is able to insert himself wherever he'd like.

Irene, Vale, and the team must determine who is trying to derail the peace conference, and try to stay out of the path of a new sadistic enemy.

I daresay this was my favorite installment.

P.S.: The author recently announced there will be at least 8 books in the series.

arc received from the publisher


Artist Saturday: Claude Monet

Study art from the past and create your own work inspired by their style. Best suited for ages 6-12.


  • Heavy weight mixed media paper. I like this kind from Target.
  • Small stretched canvas. You can get packs like this from Michael's and, when you have a coupon, they are crazy cheap.
  • Washable tempura paint. No matter how careful you are, it will get one someone's clothes and hair.
  • Paint brushes
  • Styrofoam disposable plates make the best artist palettes because they can go directly in the garbage when you're done.
  • Cups of water for rinsing brushes


If you have a projector, it's nice to have a slideshow going with images of some of Monet's work. If not, I'd recommend getting a book of his art, or printing out some favorites online. 

Here is a good website for his biography and for viewing his paintings.

I prefer to only use red, yellow, blue, white, and black paint and have the kids mix their own colors. Kids love color theory.


Introduce Claude Monet and impressionism, while showing them some of his artwork -

Claude Monet was not the first artist to start painting in the impressionist style, but he is the most famous. He was born almost 200 years ago in France. He was very talented at art, but instead of studying the way artists used to paint, he decided to start painting the people and places that he saw outside.

Impressionism was a new way of painting. Instead of painting perfect, photograph-like portraits of famous people, or scenes from mythology, history, or the Bible, they would do quick and imperfect paintings of people and places from everyday life. Some of Claude Monet's most famous paintings are of a Japanese bridge, water lilies, or garden scenes.

The great thing about creating our own impressionist work is that it doesn't have to be perfect! Their work wasn't perfect, either, but it was still beautiful and important. As we're making our own impressionist art, don't worry so much about whether or not you are making mistakes -- as long as you are happy with how it looks at the end, there weren't any mistakes at all.

It's true.
Give the kids a sheet or two of the mixed media paper to begin experimenting, and to achieve the colors they'd like. When they're ready, pass out the canvases, and they can get to work.

Many artists would make their own paint to get the perfect color they were looking for. A good exercise in this is mixing eyeshadow with white school glue to make your own paint. You can hit a dollar store for eyeshadow or ask staff if anyone has any to donate.
Additionally, if weather permits, set up painting stands outside and paint something you can see in real life. If weather is crummy, you can paint each other, painting each other. Very meta.


Cravings: Hungry for MoreChrissy Teigen is delightful. She's goofy and beautiful, and, despite being glamorous, doesn't seem pretentious.

The same can be said for this cookbook. While elegant dishes abound, there are also multiple grilled cheese recipes, some BBQ, and corndogs. Many recipes can be easily made vegetarian, and there is a good assortment of healthy and not-so-healthy. It includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, salads, dessert, and an entire chapter appropriately named "Thai Mom."

The directions are easy to follow and the pictures are large and welcoming.

This was a library checkout but it may become a personal purchase in the near future.



This Old Gal's Pressure Cooker Cookbook: 120 Easy and Delicious Recipes for Your Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker by Jill Selkowitz

This Old Gal's Pressure Cooker Cookbook: 120 Easy and Delicious Recipes for Your Instant Pot and Pressure Cooker I can't be the only person who put a pressure cooker on their wedding registry, unwrapped it, and then sentenced it to solitary confinement in some dark, forgotten corner.

It's time to pull it back out and make some tasty food. I enjoyed the author's introduction on how this contraption works, and the recipes were varied in their complexity. (I may hold off a bit on the more complicated ones!)

arc received from the publisher


Earthrise: Apollo 8 and the Photo That Changed the World by James Gladstone

Earthrise: Apollo 8 and the Photo That Changed the World Beautiful illustrations of our planet, and a beautiful message about how we're all in this together. I'm looking forward to sharing this at storytime, reading this to my son, and putting it on display. I've already ordered a copy for the library and will likely add one to the library at home, too.
arc received from the publisher


Ira Crumb Feels the Feelings by Naseem Hrab

Ira Crumb Feels the Feelings A short and cute story that will appeal to younger pre-readers who are learning to deal with negative feelings in social situations. The illustrations are incredibly pleasantly bizarre and eye catching. (I mean, there's bizarre-o animal people. But cute, not creepy!)
arc from the publisher