Honey Moon #3: Not Your Valentine – Sofi Benitez

Illustrations – Becky Minor

Sorry but this one wasn’t for me. I really enjoyed the first two Honey Moon books though.

Thank you very much to NetGalley, Rabbit Publishers and Diamond Book Distributors for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

A Sleepy Hollow Valentine’s Day dance with a boy! NO WAY, NO HOW is Honey Moon going to a scary sweetheart dance with that Noah kid. But, after being forced to dance together in PE class, word gets around that Honey likes Noah. Now, she has no choice but to stop Valentine’s Day in its tracks. Things never go as planned, and Honey winds up with the surprise of her Sleepy Hollow life.

Honey Moon #2: Scary Little Christmas – Sofi Benitez

Illustrations – Becky Minor

Honey Moon just wants to be able to celebrate Christmas like they do in normal towns, but nothing seems to be going right this Christmas. First Honey is cast as a shepherd in the annual Christmas pageant when she’s certain she would be perfectly cast in the role of Mary. Then she discovers that the pageant is in jeopardy this year because evil mayor Kligore is organising a Haunted Holiday Festival instead. Honey also stumbles upon a town mystery and is determined to solve it with the help of her friends.

Throughout the story Honey reminds us to stand up for what we believe in, even when it seems like we’re alone in our convictions. Honey is quite bossy with her friends in this book, with her assertion that she is the leader, and it was nice to see her flaws along with her good intentions. She also reintroduced me to the word numbskull so I should be thanking her for that. I haven’t heard that word used in years and am now determined to find a way to use it in everyday conversation.

The illustrations were so much fun and a great blend of Halloween and Christmas. I particularly loved that the scenes depicted at the beginning of each chapter were inside snow globes. My favourite snow globe scene was the snowman in a black cape with fangs. If I ever see snow I’m sure this will be the inspiration for my first snowman.

One of my pet peeves showed up frequently in this book. The detail in the illustrations didn’t always correspond to the description in the text. This happens a lot in children’s books and I’m not sure whose role attention to detail is, but it really frustrates me. Each instance is only minor but if the text specifically describes how something looks, then I expect that something in the illustration to match its description. Some of the examples in this book include:

  • Mrs Keys is wearing heavy boots. In the illustration she’s not wearing boots.
  • Miss Fortissimo was wearing a necklace that was so long it reached past her belly button. I didn’t see a necklace in the illustration.
  • Honey and her friends have fries and milkshakes. In the illustration there are milkshakes but no fries.
  • Honey is sitting on a bench with her little brother. Her little brother is not in the illustration.
  • The spots on a turtle shell are all different colours. In the illustration the turtle is only green. On the front cover the turtle is green with white segments on its shell.

While overall I enjoyed reading Dog Daze more than this book (although I am quite partial to the first book in a series), I was still entertained and it made me laugh. I liked the story and the development of the mystery, and I love Honey’s determination and courage. I’m definitely interested in reading more Honey Moon books.

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Rabbit Publishers and Diamond Book Distributors for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Honey Moon has had it with the scary stuff, at least for Christmas. She wants Sleepy Hollow to celebrate her favourite holiday like normal people. Honey and her friends, Becky, Claire and Isabela, have one chance to take the holiday back, but it means solving a decade old mystery and ringing some bells. YIKES!

Honey Moon #1: Dog Daze – Sofi Benitez

Illustrations – Becky Minor

When there’s a mystery, Honey Moon needs to solve it and she always goes where she’s needed. When Honey hears howling during a stormy night in Sleepy Hollow, the town where it’s Halloween all year round, she and her mother find a dog out in the storm. After looking after the dog for the night and christening her Stormy, they take her to the local animal shelter to give her the best chance at finding a forever home.

Through this experience Honey comes up with the idea for a dog walking business to keep busy during the holidays and earn some money. Along with her best friend Becky, the business begins and throughout the book there are adventures with runaway dogs, mud puddles, a competition with Honey’s arch nemesis, Clarice, and lots of fun along the way.

Honey and Becky make a new friend, Isabela, who lives in a foster home. Isabela volunteers at the dog shelter and empathises with the dogs because she’s also wanting to find her very own forever home.

The first in a new series and a companion to the Harry Moon series, young girls will really connect with Honey Moon. She’s quirky, is a loyal and trustworthy friend, and loves to have fun and help others. She wears her heart on her sleeve and is someone that you’d want your child to be friends with.

This book subtly teaches children so many valuable lessons and values including responsibility, honesty, bravery, generosity, empathy, resilience, helping others and being a good friend. Throughout the book you hope, right along with Honey, that Stormy and Isabela both find their own forever homes.

The illustrations by Becky Minor (based on the artwork of Christina Weidman) are perfect for the target audience. The use of an illustrated dog tag at the beginning of each chapter is a really cute but effective way of communicating something about the chapter’s contents.

I expect young girls to enjoy this book and want to continue reading about the new adventures Honey and her friends experience in subsequent books. I know I plan to continue reading the series. This book is both a fun read and a rewarding experience.

Thank you very much to NetGalley, Rabbit Publishers and Diamond Book Distributors for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Wanting to start a business together to earn some spending money, Honey Moon and her friends have a magical idea. In the town where every day is Halloween night, Honey and friends start a dog–walking service called the Sleepy Hollow Howlers. But when the business becomes more than the girls can handle, dog–walking suddenly takes on a new leash and fur flies with disastrous and entertaining results.