My New Favorite Board Game

Saturday night, Jacob and I went to game night again. It's really fun to have a group of friends we play board games with. It's also really nice to have a fun place to go on a date together, and to know that we're just paying for the babysitter and not for something else on top of that.

We do game night in an auditorium. I'm kidding, this photo is from a concert we went to recently.

We played two games this time: Tsuro: The Game of the Path and 7 Wonders

I had never played Tsuro before, and when someone said "That's a really beautiful board," I had to agree.

The game has quick turns, something I love in a game.

I took 2nd place the first time we played, then said "Ok, now I want to play it like 20 times, to figure it out." So, we played again.

We played with 5 people, no problem. As many as 8 players can play at once. The second time we played, I took last place. So of course I'm dying to redeem myself.

I would recommend this to fans of Blokus, because I'm a fan of Blockus and I can see some similarities between the games: moving across the board, planning your moves out and getting blocked by opponents.

My kids (ages 5-10) could play Tsuro, I think, and I've got something to prove, now. I'll be putting this game on my Christmas list.

7 Wonders: Leaders Expansion

Expansions sometimes give me a headache, but this one did not. I've played 7 Wonders enough to be able to handle the upgrade: be impressed! Of big board games with lots of tiny pieces and obscure rules, I think 7 Wonders is my favorite. Thanks to the Van Noys for introducing us to it, five years ago.

The Leaders expansion fits nicely into the original game, basically adding a new phase before phase I starts. You get to choose 3 "leaders" for your city and at the beginning of each phase you can play one of them if you like. They give you extra powers and/or chances for victory points.

I went whole hog on the army stuff, and thought I was going to take 2nd place, but it's better to go whole hog on the science stuff, which is what the winner did. The 2nd place winner went with a very round strategy, whereas I pretty much passed on all the science cards, and took 3rd.

We played with 6 people, one newbie. The new player made a couple of mistakes (see above: "obscure rules") but everyone in the group made similar mistakes the first time they played. I actually said, "Oh, we forgot to mention that rule," and our host said, "No, we mentioned it, but it's ok..." I love the good sportsmanship that I see at game night.

Played any good games, lately?

Nominate these Graphic Novels!

Hello! I'm looking for some people to nominate some books! Are you a person? You have an email address? You have not already nominated? You can nominate*! 

If you nominate, these books are in the running for the Cybils Awards. One of them could win! You could help someone find a book they love. 

Perhaps you're not up on the latest graphic novels? These are books that my Graphic-Novel-loving panelists say could be contenders and haven't been nominated yet. :-O *gasp of horror* Monday 10/15/2018 is the last day for public nominations!

Elementary/Middle Grade:
  • Violette Around the World Vol 1: My Head in the Clouds by Teresa Radice published by IDW Publishing May 8, 2018. 
  • Brave Chef Brianna by Sam Sykes, Selina Espiritu, published by KaBOOM! Dec 12, 2017.

Young Adult:
  • Perfect World by Rie Aruga, published by Kodansha Comics March 20, 2018
  • Luisa: Now and Then by Carole Maurel & Mariko Tamaki, published by HumanoidsJune 20, 2018
  • Wotakoi by Fujita, published by Kodansha Comics Apr 17, 2018
  • A Girl in the Himalayas by David Jesus Vignolli, published by Archaia April 24, 2018. 
  • Ladycastle by Delilah S. Dawson, et. al, published by BOOM! Studios October 24, 2017
  • Moonstruck Vol 1: Magic to Brew by Grace Ellis et al, published by Image Comics March 27, 2018
  • Supergirl: Being Super by Mariko Tamaki published by DC Comics June 5, 2018
  • Macbeth (Manga Classics) by William Shakespeare, adapted by Crystal S. Chan,  UDON Entertainment September 1, 2018.
Thanks, friends! Nominations are now closed!
*But please, nominate books that are eligible. Books must be published between October 16, 2017 and October 15, 2018 to be eligible. They must also be widely available, and published for childrens/YA markets. 

Carmela Full of Wishes

The other day I was on Instagram and I saw that Christian Robinson (who I enjoy following over there) was going on a book tour. Then I saw he was coming to my town! How fantastic!

Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson are the duo who produced Last Stop on Market Street. It's kind of a big deal, because it was the first picture book to win the Newbery Award in ages (one of only two picture books that have ever won, according to this source) and it was also the first time a Latino author has been awarded the Newbery, and it also got a Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award.

So, I figured a new book by them ought to be alright.

Well, Carmela Full of Wishes is great for us!

Carmela wakes up on her birthday and is so happy that she is finally old enough to go with her big brother on the errands. Her brother, on the other hand, is less than thrilled. Along the way, Carmela finds a dandelion, and manages to both annoy her brother and think up all kinds of great wishes to put into this dandelion fluff before she blows it. Always realistic and eventually heartwarming, Carmela Full of Wishes is our new favorite picture book. Even Jubilee's older brothers, who declined my invitation to come to the event, were caught reading and quoting Carmela.  I plan to read it to Jubilee's class at school tomorrow.

We went to the launch with my friend, Bethany, who has written a few posts for me here on Everead. (Check them out, here.) Having Bethany along made the event at least 10x more fun for me. My best tip about book events is to bring a friend alongit makes the signing line go faster.

Jubilee has been to other book events, but has forgotten them, so this one was effectively her first.
  • She got to spin a wheel, and won some twizzlers. 
  • She got to ask Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson a question: "Have you ever made a wish on a dandelion?" (Thanks for feeding her the stellar question, Bethany!) Christian answered that he had, in fact, wished on a dandelion that this book would make it out into the world. Hurrah! 
  • She got to make a wish on a paper dandelion: "I wish that a fairy would come to life!"
  • She got a free book, just for being an elementary school student at the event! Thanks New London Education Foundation! That was definitely unexpected and fulfilled my wish.
  • She got to have a book signed to her and a little kitty cat drawn into it, too. 
  • And she got to stay up way past her bedtime. 
How about you? Read any good books lately? Made any good wishes?

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