Reviews for ABCs With The Vejigantes
Teach children the alphabet and introduce them to Spanish words and Puerto Rican folklore with Liz DeJesus' debut children's picture book, ABC's with the Vejigantes.
Using the traditional Vejigantes Parade as an anchor, which takes place in Ponce, Puerto Rico every year, this talented Boricua author takes children on an exciting journey from A to Z. While the book is written in English, each new letter of the alphabet is represented by a word in Spanish, with the corresponding word in English written in bold.
Here are examples for A and G:
The first vejigante to walk down the street has a costume that is blue like the Puerto Rican sky.
Some of the vejigantes' costumes have rooster feathers sewn into them!
What is the meaning behind the tradition of the vejigantes? How is it connected to the church? How did it originate? What are the main characters of the parade? These and other questions are answered, and more. The style of illustrations and the vivid colors are very fitting for this Puerto Rican tradition and evoke the excitement of the parade.
ABC's with the Vejigantes is an educational picture book that not only teaches the alphabet and words in Spanish, but also stimulates children's imaginations and sparks their creativity, inviting them to become artisans and create their own masks and costumes using coconuts, papier-mache, newspapers, and other materials. Accompanied by activities, the book would be excellent for an art or social studies class, or simply for an enjoyable Sunday afternoon of crafting and learning. What a fun way to discover another culture. ABC's with the Vejigantes gets 5 stars from this reviewer!
Reviews for First Frost
Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
First Frost is the first book in the Frost series written by Liz DeJesus. Bianca Frost smiles as she listens to her mother read ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarves’ to the children during Storytelling Hour in the Princess Room of the Museum for Magical and Rare Artifacts. Her mother, Rose, reads to the children three times per week, each time with a new story, much to the delight of the children and their parents. It had been ten years since Bianca’s father had mysteriously disappeared without a trace and she often thought about him. On returning home one night, after feeling something was terribly wrong, Bianca walks into the middle of a battle of magic between her mother and another woman, who then tries to kill Bianca. Realizing that magic is actually real, Bianca now sees the museum’s magical artifacts in a whole new scary light and is further horrified to learn what had really happened to her father. With the clock now ticking, Rose needs to teach her daughter to become a magical warrior in order to prevent their blood line from being eliminated completely in a war which began many generations ago.
Liz DeJesus has produced an incredibly imaginative novel which was not at all what I expected. I felt sorry for Bianca in so many ways, especially in that she lost her father when she was so young. I pictured First Frost being a book about a cooler climate, but was pleasantly surprised by the story within which was fast-paced and introduces a girl who’d had her whole family lineage hidden from her. Liz DeJesus has created two very strong female roles – Bianca Frost and her mother, Rose – both of whom are able to protect themselves from harm on a whole new level. Each of the well-known (and not so well-known) fairy tales were so cleverly introduced, taking me back to my childhood years, although the revelations in First Frost most definitely painted them in a whole new light. I very much enjoyed reading the first book in the Frost series and would recommend this book to anybody who loves mystery, drama, and humor dished up with a huge dollop of magic on the side.
....I’m very intrigued with the ending of First Frost. Nearly all the loose ends were wrapped up when Ms. DeJesus threw in a wonderful twist at the last minute that had me thinking about Bianca long after I finished reading. I’m hoping that Ms. DeJesus writes a sequel to First Frost because I’d love to read more about Bianca and her adventures.
I’m glad I had the opportunity to read First Frost. Ms. DeJesus has taken classic fairytales and given them a modern feel while remaining true to the original stories. Anyone longing for a little magic and adventure should definitely pick up a copy of First Frost today.
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4.5 stars. Reviewed by Poinsettia from Long and Short Reviews
Everything in Bianca's life seems to be going great. That is until Lenore comes back with a vengence and a warning. Bring her a magical spell book she wants or Bianca's mother dies, and with that Bianca's mother disappears. After that it is a race against time to find the book, and figure out a way to find Bianca's mother before it's too late. With Ming and a few unlikely friends Bianca makes her way to a magical world to find her mother...or die trying.
Overall great book. Not too cliche with the whole Snow White story. I love how she put a spin on the tale with everything that happened. So amazing. The world that Liz DeJesus created was amazing, as was the tale. First Frost does contain romance, fight scenes, hot guys, magical powers and even an appearance or two from The Big Bad Wolf! Hope you pick up a copy!
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4 stars. Reviewed by Reese's Reviews
What I loved most about this book was that Bianca was such a normal teenager! She and her friend Ming are there for each other, and I loved her when things got tough they both knew each others breaking points. I also loved how the romance in this book was gradual and I loved that it surprised me . The setting of the fariy tale realm was great-I loved how there wasn't a lot of info dumping and I felt like I was experiencing it with Bianca and Ming instead of being confused. While I thought the parts of the book where a tad unbelievable, most of the book had me cheering Bianca on. The ending made me think that there is a possibility for a second book, and I really hope that there this! I really look forward to reading more by this author.
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Reviewed by A Buckeye Girl Reads
Wow! Let me start by saying I ADORED this book. It was the perfect before bed young adult fairy tale! Liz has done an amazing job with this book! The idea behind First Frost was so imaginative and unique. I loved learning about the museum and all the artifacts it held. A fairy tale museum is such a great idea! I was sucked into this story from the first chapter, and it only got better as it went on.
Mystery, adventure, romance... This book really had it all and was so well rounded. Liz took an otherwise unrealistic chain of events and made them believable. It was like I was saying, "Yes! Of course there is an evil witch after them!" I really enjoyed Bianca's character. I was surprised at how well she took everything going on around her. She made a headstrong and likable main character.
I enjoyed Ming's character as well, all though she disappointed me a bit at being Bianca's best friend.
Their knights in shining armor (literally) were delightful. Terrance and Bianca make a great couple. I really hope there will be more on the land of Ever After, perhaps in a follow up? The ending to this book had me thinking in the wrong direction for a bit. Then in the last two pages, well lets just say the ending was perfect!
I happily recommend First Frost to anyone looking for an enchanting tale, where the old and new come together. Young Adults and adults young at heart will surely enjoy this book!
Reviewed by Jill Marie ~ Little Hyuts
First Frost is a modern fairy tale novel by Liz DeJesus. From the beginning I was drawn into Bianca's life. I love fairy tales and re-tellings of fairy tales anyway so, this story was right up my alley. All the characters introduced so far played important parts in the story. Some of them you will recognize, like Snow White and the Big Bad Wolf while others are completely new, or at least they were new to me. The author took these characters and really made them her own. She took aspects from the classic fairy tales and blended them with her own interpretation, and the result was a very entertaining and engaging story.
Reviewed by What's Beyond Forks?
Reviews for Glass Frost
Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Glass Frost is the second book in the Frost Series by Liz DeJesus. Bianca Frost is next in line to run the Museum for Magical and Rare Artefacts, which has been run by her family for many generations. When Terrance, the grandson of Magnus (aka the Big Bad Wolf), arrives at the museum from Everafter with a message that the Queen needs her help, Bianca heeds the call. Her parents reluctantly allow Bianca to go, on the condition that her best friend, Ming, is with her at all times. On discovering that one of Cinderella’s glass slippers has been stolen, Bianca and her loyal friends set out to discover who the thief is and to stop them from stealing the other, which is housed at her family’s museum. If the two slippers are united, it will cause much devastation. The chase takes them through many fairy tale landmarks such as an enchanted forest full of fairies as well as the home of the seven dwarves, before leading them through the portal to Earth and back again to Everafter. Bianca suffers injury, loss, and great sorrow, but she is determined to do everything she can to protect those she loves in both worlds, while trying to prevent the two glass slippers from being reunited.
Liz DeJesus tells the most enchanting of all magical tales, encompassing some of the greatest fairy tales and blending them with dark magic, mystery and twisted realities which Bianca never knew existed until just a few months earlier. The characters in Glass Frost are so much fun and bring back many happy childhood memories. Facing your fear of the unknown and pushing yourself that extra mile to save those you love, regardless of the dangers faced, is a strong message in this second title. I look forward to reading the third book in the Frost Series to see what happens next. I recommend Glass Frost to young and old, who enjoy the magic of fairy tales with a twist, blended with humor, adventure, suspense, real life social issues, loss and sacrifice.
Glass Frost is the second book in the First Frost Series by Liz DeJesus. If you haven't read First Frost yet, you need to read it before reading Glass Frost. Check out my review of First Frost too. Glass Frost lets us meet some new characters and new villains. We're placed in some new situations as well. I enjoyed meeting Snow White's Dwarves the most. The romances and how the couples respond to each other and their ever changing situations are exciting and believable. They don't just jump head first into their relationships. They are thinking things through. I love how the First Frost Series not only brings fairy tale characters that we've all grown up with to life, but it brings them into the present in delightful ways. Liz DeJesus has put together this world so well that it's easy to imagine it's existence, and I want it to be real. I'm anxious for more!
4 stars! Read and reviewed by Gabby from What's Beyond Forks?
My favorite part of the story was when Bianca and the others, met three of the seven dwarves. It was a bittersweet meeting. It's twenty different kinds of awesome, if I may use Ming's signature dialogue. But it was also kind of sad because they all waited for Snow White to comeback but she never did because she was captured by Lenore. And when they saw Bianca they thought she was Snow because of their resemblance but they were disappointed when they realized the truth. The way that they talk about the memories that they had with Snow White, makes me so emotional. I can clearly hear the longing in their voices while they reminisce the past and it's really breaking my heart. I'm just comforted with the fact that they will soon see her and that they are eager for that day to finally come.
Overall, this is a really great read! If you love everything about fairytale, you will definitely enjoy this one. And if you think your fairytale belief has died a long time ago, then this book will revive that. I'll certify this as a MUST-READ and highly recommended to everyone.
5 stars! Read and reviewed by Erleen from Books for YA!
I liked the plot layout and the story behind the slippers. Bianca and Terrence make a great duo and really carry the story. I liked the interlude of humour from Prince Ferninand too, gave the book a real funny element as he is such a likeable character.
We meet some new characters in Everafter - some of the 7 Dwarves, Bluebell a fairy with attitude and the Frog Queen. The world really takes shape and feels like you are stepping through the pages and journeying with them. The imagery in the writing carries you in and builds everything up.
I found myself desperate to pick up the story again to know what happens next. It took me a little bit longer to read as it was an ebook which always slows me down, but it couldn't quell my enjoyment!
Looking forward to more from Bianca and friends. Hope Liz has more up her sleeve for this series.
4 Stars! Read and Reviewed by Becky's Barmy Book Blog.
Reviews for Shattered Frost
Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Shattered Frost is the third book in the Frost Series by Liz DeJesus. With high school finally over, Bianca Frost and her best friend, Ming Lee, step through the portal to Everafter to attend the Winter Ball. During the ball, Bianca receives many threatening stares from Count Bleu, a descendant of the notorious murderer, Captain Bluebeard. That evening, Bianca and Ming are beaten unconscious and kidnapped by the count. Both women regain consciousness in Count Bleu’s basement. The many ghosts of Captain Bluebeard’s wives appear and start chanting, hoping to save Bianca and Ming. As a large hole appears in the floor, their kidnapper enters the basement, forcing the girls to jump into the hole, transporting them to Wonderland. A whole new adventure unfolds while Bianca and Ming try to find their way home. They find themselves captured once again after the Queen of Hearts imprisons them, determined that they are executed as soon as possible. With Terrance and Prince Ferdinand furiously seeking the women that own their hearts to bring them home, the men eventually find an alternate route into Wonderland, but are running against the clock in a land where people seem to know not only who the newcomers are, but where their fates lie.
Liz DeJesus has written another timeless classic, which takes place inside both of Alice in Wonderland’s fairy tales – down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass. With all of these wonderful characters being magically linked in some way, the impossible always seems to make sense. Terrance’s secret surfaces create hope for all who are facing death in a land which is famous for sending people mad; if only Bianca and Ming would stop disappearing! The added story lines, which are not in the original fairy tales, are a clever delight in this fast-paced, action packed adventure which becomes more and more mysterious with each page. I thoroughly enjoyed Bianca and Ming’s new friends and the love and determination shown by Terrance and Prince Ferdinand, who will do anything to save them. I recommend Shattered Frost to ages 12 and over who enjoy romance, paranormal, action, adventure, drama, along with their favorite fairy tales on steroids.
Reviews for Morgan
There is a prologue in this book that might scare some readers away. I contemplated that and chose to continue. I was not disappointed and for those not burdened with a faint heart, I suggest you continue so as to enjoy this compelling story. Spellbinding!
Morgan is the focal personage within this tale. She is/was a police detective with the distinct reputation of being a ball buster—which may be a bit blatant but still an animated description. However, Morgan experiences a violent transformation that many women apparently don't live through. Her internal toughness most definitely serves her well after she has crossed over into a dangerous world where staying alive while keeping oneself adequately fed is a constant top priority. I like Morgan, especially for her adaptability even if she is constantly at odds with her transformed nature. Nevertheless, she certainly sends chills through me. Terrifyingly engrossing!
Elizabeth Bathory, a Hungarian countess, is a darkly mysterious entity, yet immobilizing and utterly terrorizing within her domain. Oh my, someone even more terrifying than the transformed Morgan. However, this Countess Bathory is considerably more complex and amazingly intriguing. Some of this has to do with how historically rich her narrative is and some has to do with the nature of her beasts. When Elizabeth and Morgan join forces, well Katy bar the door! This presents and expands a blending and merging that felt as if the earth is shaken to its core. They definitely know how to heat things up on many levels, but always the countess rules the roost. Spine tinglingly magnificent!
There are many other characters on all sides of the spectrum. However, the intricacies that weave in and around these glorious folk are more delightful than I could have possibly imagined. Things get bloody. Torture is often right around the corner. However, I found such features incredibly entertaining. So, with no consternation, I definitely recommend this book. I did need to take an internal reading on my fortitude and I am so glad I had the right stuff to see me through the end of the book. Mind-bogglingly wonderful!
Reviewed by JJ at Rainbow Book Reviews