Thursday, December 2, 2021

Take Advantage of the Friends and Family Holiday Sale at Chronicle Books and Save 35% Off These and Other Great Books and Gifts (Review)

z Disclosure: I was sent review copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

Chronicle Book's Friends + Family Holiday Sale is Here! Save 35% off Books Now!

Get 35% off with promo code GIVEBOOKS. Order by December 5 for holiday delivery.

I love when there are special sales on books, as it lets me save $$ on books I was already planning on buying....enough to get maybe a drink from the local coffee shop, or maybe another book that catches my eye.  And, when I find book deals online I find myself stocking up on books for the winter and to gift at the holidays. So, you can imagine how excited I was to visit the Chronicle Books website yesterday and saw they were offering 35% off books and gifts from their website. I had a list of books, puzzles and games I wanted to grab my girls and family, and this unexpected savings made for a more fun shopping experience, as I was able to get all the items on my list, as well as others as I knew they were discounted.  Who doesn't love a new book at the holidays. I, for one, am excited for the few cookbooks I ordered from Chronicle Books, and know my girls will be even more excited when the they see the puzzles I found for us to do this winter, as well as the stacks of new books I scored at a discounted price.  This 35% is only a limited time, and if you order by Dec. 5th, they guarantee delivery by the holidays.  

Here are just a handful of recent releases from Chronicle Books my girls have been enjoying this month, including two pop up books, a graphic novel and two middle-grade novels/chapter books.  And, there are more books, cookbooks, games and puzzles and more worth checking out at  


Buy now for only $14.99

This is the third book in the "Astro-Nuts" book series, and so far my girls' favorite book in the series.  They were first introduced to this outer space adventure series from a friend who received the first two books as a birthday gift.  She is big into Outer Space and the Galaxy like my girls, and once they saw the book, they knew they had to read the books.  We found the first two books at our library and took them out. And, then the kind folks at Chronicle Books sent this third installment, which released back in Sept. for them to enjoy.  They read this new book in an hour's time, and then went back in to admire all the full color illustrations.  

When they were done, they came to tell me about the book, the story line and all the interesting facts they learned along the way.  I could hear the excitement in my girls' voices as they described their favorite parts, and then showed me the cool illustrations -- unlike other books they read.  I could see why this series has become popular among fans of "The Bad Guys," as it has a similar feel.  Reluctant readers will really find themselves getting hooked on these books as there aren't a lot of words to read on each, and the full-color illustrations alone will draw them in.  My girls can't wait for the 4th and even more books to release in the "AstroNuts" series, but in the meantime are enjoying this third book again and again.

More about this book: 

"This series is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy meets The Bad Guys in a funny, visually daring adventure series for reluctant readers, teachers, and librarians alike. 

This hilarious, visually groundbreaking read is the conclusion to a major series by children's literature legend Jon Scieszka.

The book follows a final mission, where AlphaWolf, LaserShark, SmartHawk, and StinkBug must find a planet fit for human life after we've finally made Earth unlivable.

Time is up for our friends the AstroNuts. In fact, time is up for you, too. If they don't succeed on this mission, Earth is doomed! So when the team finds out they're being sent to a place called "the perfect planet," their mission sounds way too easy. Unfortunately, the second they land, they realize they'll be dealing with the most dangerous species of all time . . . humans. Huh? Where in the universe is this supposedly perfect place? And how will the Nuts manage to convince the humans to risk death . . . for the sake of their lives?!

Featuring full-color illustrations throughout, Planet Earth as the narrator, an out-of-this-world gatefold, and how-to-draw pages in the back, eager and reluctant readers alike will be over the moon about this new mission. Full of laugh-out-loud humor with a thoughtful commentary on the reality of climate change at the core of the story, this creatively illustrated, full-color, action-packed space saga is a can't-put-it-down page-turner for readers of all levels and fans ready to blast past Dogman."


Buy now for only $17.99

This is another book in a series, that is definitely worth checking out for the middle-grade crowd. As you can see from the cover art of this book, it will remind readers of Minecraft. And, when they start reading there are fun visuals and illustrations inside the book that give it a video game and online chat feel. My girls really liked this layout of the book, as well as how it was written in verse.  The characters really are funny and authentic and made them relatable.  My oldest talked to me afterwards about the themes she picked up on while reading, which included navigating difficult and changing friendships, family, loss, and finding and loving yourself and your own identity.

Middle grade readers will really enjoy this book, and will find themselves to relating to making new friends, losing old friends and just growing up and finding yourself.  I ended up reading this book after my girls, and really enjoyed it.  After I was done, I ended up picking up the first book so that we could it together, and that way we could start a collection of these books from K.A. Kolt.  

The first was just as good as this book.  And, my girls can't wait for books from this author.  

More about this book:

"George meets Ms. Bixby's Last Day in this inspiring, heartfelt novel-in-verse, the second in a new series from bestselling author K.A. Holt. 

This second book in a new series by K.A. Holt will appeal to fans of House Arrest, Rhyme Schemer, and Knockout, in addition to fans of Jason Reynolds's Track series. 

Ben Y's just about had it with school. Every corner she turns, she’s being called "Benita," getting Dress Coded by Mr. Mann for some supposedly inappropriate item of clothing, or running into the ineffable, inescapable, indefinable Ace—who makes her feel weird, weirdly seen, and strangely at peace, all at once. Even her best buds—Ben B, Jordan J, and Javier; the kids under the stairs—are all far too content following the rules and making their school newspaper under the attentive direction of their beloved teacher, Ms. J.

And home's no better. Last year, Ben Y's older brother died, and the family is still learning how to cope—if by coping you mean coming home to cry at lunch, or secretly building a friendship bracelet empire, or obsessively visiting a chatroom to talk to Benito's ghost. When Benito suddenly starts typing back, Ben Y must act. But what happens when those very actions make Ben Y's deepest secrets impossible to hide?

Readers will easily identify with the variety of funny, authentic lovable characters—not to mention the emphasis on a Minecraft-like game and fun visuals like online chats and doodles. Parents, kids, educators and librarians alike will love the way the book celebrates all the different ways to be smart—and recognizes all the different ways it's hard to be a kid.

With a lovable cast of characters and raw, authentic emotion, this heartwarming, laugh-out-loud novel-in-verse tells an honest story about friendship, family, and personal identity that celebrates different types of intelligence and shows how every kid deserves to become their own "divergent" self."


Buy now for only $16.99

This is another great book for middle-grade readers, as they will find themselves relating to the story and characters. In this book, readers will pick up on the themes of self-acceptance, friendship, family, and growing up.  Both of my girls read this, and said they found the book to be really moving.  It is all about the drama and ups and downs you go through in middle school, and how friendships and believing in yourself will help you cope and get through even the most trying times of adolescence, including family issues at home.  

My girls couldn't put this book down, and ended up reading it cover to cover. And, when they were done, they had me read it, before they passed it around to their friends so that they could enjoy it, too.  This book is perfect for tweens, fans of fantasty and unicorns, and those that like to find relatable characters to help them navigate growing up and surviving middle school and beyond.

More about this book:

"Magic, adventure, and friendship collide in warm and funny novel about the power of self-acceptance to change the world. 

Jewel’s your average eighth grader. Awkward relationship with a cute boy, ex-BFFs with a popular girl, mom issues at home. You’ve read it all before. Except for one thing: Jewel has a unicorn horn on her head. 

(Okay, and one other thing, but it’s just too weird to mention here!) 

Jewel tries to stay invisible at school, looking forward to the day when she can finally leave her small town behind, making art with her fellow weirdos, and obsessively reading graphic novels with her best friends. But when she’s selected to represent her school at the regional French speaking competition, she decides she’s had enough of the shy life. The horn needs to come off.

What happens when you have the ability to become the girl you’ve always wanted to be? When you don’t know your true self, how do you know your true friends? What happens when everything in your life—your biggest struggle, your greatest joy, and your dearest friends—all combine in one calamitous adventure?
With a sparkle of magic, a treasure trove of true determination, and help from all her friends both real and invisible, Jewel just might survive this year with her heart—and her head—intact."


My girls stopped believing this Christmas earlier this year, and found out that there wasn't a Santa Claus.  While it was difficult at first, as I hoped they would have believed a little while longer, I also knew they were growing up, and that now they would have a greater appreciation of Christmas, and not just think of it as a tree full of gifts come Christmas morning.  And, this year, we are focusing more on giving to others, and just enjoying the holidays and beauty of the season.  Each of my girls have adopted a few kids each and have used their own saved money to shop for them.  They feel really good about making sure other kids wake on Christmas morning to find gifts under the tree for them, and to keep the spirit of Christmas alive.  They love being Santa's helpers and spreading goodwill and helping those in need, and I think this year and going forward, the holidays will be more meaningful and magical, as they will be heartfelt and filled with love and generosity.  

When I saw this book, I knew I had to share it with my girls, as it summed up everything I just spoke of -- of spreading joy and Christmas cheer!  We read this book together, and talked about the true meaning of Christmas and how their views on the holiday have changed now that they know about Santa.  They said they still believe in the magic of the holidays and love this festive time of year. But, now they want to make sure they do their part to keep the magic of Santa alive for little ones, especially those less fortunate. Would more could I ask for this holiday season?  This book will really warm your heart and remind your that it is better to give, and that spending quality time with family and those you love is more important than gifts.

More about this book:

"I Wish You More meets "I wish you a Merry Christmas" in this sweetly spirited book by the bestselling creators behind Happiness Is . . . . A festive gift spreading joy and Christmas cheer! 

Each star you see
on Christmas Eve
is a wish that's come true
for those who believe.

So many millions
of wishes come true!
Here are a handful
that I wish for you...

From the bestselling creators of Happiness Is . . . comes a touching celebration of the holiday spirit, from spreading Christmas cheer to spending sweet moments together with the ones you love. Featuring an affirming rhyming text and charming illustrations with bright pops of Pantone colors, this merry and bright celebration of the holiday season makes a wonderful gift, reminding readers of what Christmas is truly about: togetherness, the spirit of giving, and spreading goodwill with heaps of heart."


Even though my girls are older and not into board books any more, they can't resist a good old pop up book.  And, when they saw this book, they had to sit down and flip through it to see the different 3-D scenes that really popped and leap of the pages.  As the book title suggests, this book is all about vehicles. From emergency vehicles to construction vehicles and other on the road and rails vehicles, this book will mesmerize and entertain little ones, especially those fascinated with vehicles and things that move.  My girls thought that this was a super cool book, and liked the addition of the elastics at the corners of the book, so that readers can highlight their favorite vehicle pop up pages.  Both of my girls really liked the Outer Space and in the air vehicles, and found themselves lingering of these two pages, as the pops and colors were so vibrant and fun. 

This pop-up board book would make for a great gift ideas for little ones this holiday season, paired with a few matchbox cards or other fun vehicles, so that they can play and pretend after enjoying the book and the 3-D pop-ups.

More about this book:

"Which vehicles work on construction sites? What types of vessels travel across oceans? Which ones take us up in the air? Children can find out the answers to these questions and more in this accessible and interactive guide. The multilayered 3-D scenes leap off every page, allowing young readers to explore the world of vehicles in a unique way.

From vehicles that travel on city streets and highways to those that explore outer space, the latest title in the Pop-Up Guide™ series brings to life dramatic settings that capture children’s imagination and encourage them to find out more. Each book also includes elastic bands that allow readers to display their favorite pages."


This is another great pop-up book for young children, that is all about the animals found in Antarctica and around the Arctic Circle. And, if the pop-ups weren't enough, this book also offers lift the flaps, pull tabs and more, making this a really fun and interactive book about polar animals that kids will enjoy time and time again.  Not only are the pup-ups fun to look at, but this book is chock fun of information about these animals and their habitats.  My girls really enjoyed this book, and learned some really cool facts, while enjoying the pop-ups and interactive aspects of this well put together board book.

More about this book:

"Brr . . . it’s cold! Animals in Antarctica and around the Arctic Circle live in extreme conditions. How do they survive? 

Chock-full of fascinating facts, Ultimate Spotlight™ Polar Animals offers young readers a closer look at many animals that live in the polar regions, including polar bears, penguins,  caribou, snowy owls, and humpback whales. With interactive elements on every spread, this book is an endlessly engaging hands-on learning experience!"

 Disclosure: I was sent review copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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