Posted in 4 paws, Children, excerpt, Review on July 12, 2017

Title: SCRIBBLE & AUTHOR
Author: Miri Leshem-Pelly
Publisher: Kane Miller Books
Pages: 32
Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Scribble & Author is written as a dialogue between the main character, Scribble, and the author who created her.

Scribble’s journey starts on a peaceful shore called THE BEGINNING, continues to the rough, adventurous MIDDLE, and leads finally to the gate of THE ENDING, but it’s not at all what Scribble expected… Scribble is a scribble and Author is an author, but who really gets to tell the tale?

A picture book about finding your own voice, making your own decisions, and writing your own story.

Watch the book trailer at Vimeo.

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Usborne Books & More

Excerpt

A color spot,

some pencil lines,

and here you are… Scribble!

Hi, who are you?

Hello Scribble.

I’m the author, and I’m here to help you create your journey.

Let’s start at the beginning.

Wow, Author, you’ve created a beautiful beginning!

Where do I go next?

Well, it’s your journey, so it’s up to you.

What would you like to do?

Review

Scribble is a character in this story that helps guide us on how to write a story. Scribble helps set up each phase of the story and how it might be written or things to think about for that part of the story.

The book has a quirky side to it in how Scribble approaches each section of the book – will it be scary? happy? sad? Anything is possible as long as the writer doesn’t let challenges or problems stand in the way.

I thought this was a good way to help new writers create their story and is good for anyone whether they are young or old.

We give it 4 paws up.

About the Author

Miri Leshem-Pelly is the author-illustrator of 14 children’s books. She’s also illustrated 14 books for other writers. When Miri isn’t writing she can be found speaking at schools, kindergartens and libraries. She is invited to do more than 200 presentations with her books per year. Miri is also a Regional Advisor for SCBWI (Society of Children’s book writers & illustrators).

Miri is represented by Olswanger Literary Agency.

Miri’s works have won awards and her illustrations have been shown on several exhibitions.

Miri lives in Israel with her husband and two children, and loves reading books and going on nature hikes.

Her latest book is Scribble & Author.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

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Posted in 4 paws, Children, Review on June 23, 2017

Dominick and the Dragon, by Anne K. Edwards

Age level: 4-8

Pages: 42

Synopsis

Dominick is a little boy fascinated by dragons. When he finally meets one named Elvis that wants to eat everything, including him, he has to find a way to outsmart him. His adventure proves a boy can be smarter than a dragon.

Review

Dragons are real, aren’t they?

A great story for a new reader to chapter books. Not a long book but if a child likes magic, dragons and fantasy then this would be a book for them to read.

The old adage that you shouldn’t talk to strangers applies here especially when you have a dragon that perhaps doesn’t always tell the truth….especially since he has been on a vegetarian diet and is anxious for some people soup!

I thought this was very well written and hopefully will lead a child to use their imagination when writing their own story or using their imagination when playing (assuming they are not tied to electronics). The story also has some problem solving for Dominick to figure out how to get out of this situation with the dragons.

We give this 4 paws up!

About the Author

Anne K. Edwards enjoys writing tales for children when she’s not focusing on a mystery. Some stories are ideas taken from little misadventures of her cat who actually did fall off the porch and land on a large blacksnake as it was sunning itself. Both were more than a little surprised.

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Posted in 4 paws, Children, Review on June 22, 2017

Changing Places, by Anne K. Edwards

Age level: 4-8

Pages: 14

Synopsis

A black cat named Whiskers encounters a snake that has lost his home when he goes outside to see the world.

Review

Cute children’s book that teaches you that the grass is not always greener on the other side!

A cat meets a snake and they both think they have the best lives and decide to trade places for a day. They learn quickly that what they had before is definitely the best for them and they shouldn’t try and be something they are not.

I thought the characters were cute and it was also a little educational about how a snake moves and eats and how cats climb trees (and get back down!).

It is only 14 pages and would be a great story to read to children especially if you make the hissing sounds for the snake!

We give it 4 paws up

About the Author

Anne K. Edwards enjoys writing tales for children when she’s not focusing on a mystery. Some stories are ideas taken from little misadventures of her cat who actually did fall off the porch and land on a large blacksnake as it was sunning itself. Both were more than a little surprised.

 

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Posted in Adventure, Children, excerpt, Giveaway on June 19, 2017

THE ELDRIDGE CONSPIRACY

Sir Kaye the Boy Knight, Book 4

by

Don M. Winn

  Genre: Children’s Chapter Book / Adventure / Medieval

Publisher: Progressive Rising Phoenix Press

Date of Publication: June 16, 2017

Number of Pages: 166, B&W illustrations

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Kaye’s father is in danger! The young knight, Kaye, and his friends Reggie and Beau enter Eldridge in search of the only man who can save Kaye’s father. During their journey, they encounter and make a powerful enemy of Baron Thomas—the self-proclaimed heir to the throne of Eldridge—who also has his sights set on ruling the country of Knox. Together, the boys dodge the baron’s henchmen and race against time to stop an assassination that would plunge the two kingdoms into war in this exciting conclusion to the series.

Website * Amazon * B&N * Publisher: Signed Copies

PRAISE FOR THE ELDRIDGE CONSPIRACY

“This set of books just gets better and better. Yes, it’s a non-stop adventure, packed full of nasty barons and battling knights. But it’s also a story which is strongly-themed and where the bond between the characters is highly prized.” —The Wishing Shelf Awards Book Review

“Books of adventure and challenge that still offer an emotional component are hard to come by for middle-grade readers—and even more so for middle-grade boys—yet Don M. Winn hits the mark dead center with The Eldridge Conspiracy.” —Patricia Reding, 5-Star Readers’ Favorite Book Review

“This is more than just a fictional story; it teaches children about life, about friendship, making decisions, and about not putting too much stock in pride all the time – sometimes pride gets in the way of making the right decision. Great story. I would recommend that the whole series be read in order to get the most out of it and I think all kids will enjoy this tale.” —Ann-Marie Reynolds, 5-Star Readers’ Favorite Book Review

“The Eldridge Conspiracy was a rewarding read due to a wonderful writing style of incorporating dynamic characters, humor, relevancy, and the thought that even without superpowers, children can be heroes.” —Stacey Waltzer, Urban Mommies

 

Excerpt from Chapter Three

The Eldridge Conspiracy

by Don M. Winn

Beau woke me in the gray light before dawn. “It stopped raining,” he said. “Let’s go.”

My stomach felt so empty, it tied itself into knots, but I kept quiet and saddled my horse. I was tired of hearing myself complain, and I’m sure Beau was too.

As we rode, the birds sang themselves into fits of joy over the coming day. The sky grew pink and golden, and the birds fell silent as the tiniest sliver of sun like molten steel peeked over the edge of the world. Then it popped up into the sky all at once, the birds so wild with excitement that you’d never think it happened every day.

Beau whistled a cheery tune and I rode up alongside him. “I’m sorry I was grouchy yesterday,” I said. “I was wet and worried about Kaye.”

“You’re still wet and still worried,” Beau said. “What’s different now?”

“The sun’s up, I guess. I can see where I’m going. And you promised a fire and maybe a bed later at the abbey.”

He nodded. “And soup. At least, I hope they have soup. There’s a cold spot inside me that only hot soup will fix.”

“I was thinking about hot cider last night,” I said with a laugh. “It’s almost fall. Look at the trees.” Tiny patches of orange and yellow edged a few clumps of leaves in the trees along the road.

Soon we came to a crossroads in a village with an old gray church. People moved about, stopping to eyeball the strangers riding through.

“Pardon me,” Beau asked a man nearby. “We’re looking for the abbey. Can you tell us how to get there?”

The man grunted. “Most boys would be helping with the harvest these days, not traveling about to abbeys. We barely got the wheat and barley under cover yesterday before the rain came to spoil it.” He yawned. “And now there’s threshing to do.” He yawned again. “Wislett Abbey is the closest. Keep following this road and you’ll find it.”

“Thank you,” Beau said. “Good day to you, sir.”

As we passed the old church, I heard a familiar neigh. “Wait. That sounds like Kadar,” I said. Sure enough, Parsnip whinnied back, as if greeting an old friend.

We rode behind the ancient building and found Kaye’s fine warhorse Kadar grazing under an apple tree at the edge of the churchyard. He nickered to our horses like they had been parted for months and sniffed at Acorn, which is what I had named Birket’s roly-poly brown horse. Then Kadar went back to munching the apples littering the ground.

Kaye sat under the same tree. He held a parchment in one hand and a half-eaten apple in the other. “What took you so long?” he asked. “I’ve been waiting for you.”

I scowled at Kaye. “Why didn’t you just take us with you in the first place?”

“Because you would have tried to stop me,” he said. “And just so you know, I’m not going back. I’m going to find my father and warn him that he and the king are in danger.”

“We know,” Beau said, sliding off his horse.

I stared at Kaye’s hand. “Are you eating apples from the churchyard?”

He took a bite. “Why not?”

I swept my hand around the yard, which seemed empty except for a few flat stones. “There are people buried here!”

“It’s public land, and anyway, they’re not eating them,” Kaye said. “These are good apples. They shouldn’t go to waste.”

I shook my head at Kaye.

He shook his back at me. “Look, I found something important. This was nailed to the church door.”

Click to read all of chapter three and its illustration!

 

about the author

 

don-winn

Don M. Winn is a multiple award-winning children’s author of ten picture books and three children’s novels. His Sir Kaye the Boy Knight® series of novels for independent readers include The Knighting of Sir Kaye, The Lost Castle Treasure, and Legend of the Forest Beast. Don’s picture books include The Higgledy-Piggledy Pigeon; Superhero; Twitch the Squirrel and the Forbidden Bridge; Shelby the Cat; Space Cop Zack, Protector of the Galaxy; and many others.

Don has been writing for over 20 years. After beginning with poetry, Winn moved on to writing children’s picture books. Almost immediately, his growing young readers begged for chapter books, which led to the creation of the Sir Kaye series. As a dyslexic himself, who well knows the challenge of learning to love to read, Winn’s goal is to write books that are so engaging they will entice even the most reluctant or struggling reader. Winn lives in Round Rock, Texas.

Twitter * Website * Author Facebook * Sir Kaye Facebook * YouTube * Goodreads * LinkedIn

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6/14 Book Trailer Chapter Break Book Blog
6/15 Review Margie’s Must Reads
6/16 Guest Post Books in the Garden
6/17 Review The Page Unbound
6/18 Author Interview My Book Fix Blog
6/19 Excerpt StoreyBook Reviews
6/20 Review Reading By Moonlight
6/21 Scrapbook Page Syd Savvy
6/22 Guest Post Forgotten Winds
6/23 Review Hall Ways Blog
6/24 Character Interview Missus Gonzo
6/25 Educators’ Special The Librarian Talks
6/26 Review CGB Blog Tours
6/27 Scrapbook Page Texas Book Lover
6/28 Review Books and Broomsticks

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Posted in Children, Family, Giveaway, Spotlight on June 4, 2017

#BABYLOVE:

MY TODDLER LIFE

by

CORINE DEHGHANPISHEH

  Genre: Children’s Picture Book / Technology / Family

Publisher: My Art to Inspire

Date of Publication: September 20, 2016

Number of Pages: 40

Scroll down for Giveaway!

A curious toddler loves to play…especially with his mommy’s smartphone!

When Mommy finds him using her phone without permission, it’s the perfect teaching moment.  Mommy reminds her little one that what matters most in life is time together filled with love and attention.

Her simple reminder: Put down our phones.

Praise for #BabyLove: My Toddler Life

“This poignant and entertaining tale about a playful toddler aimed at young lap readers works on a much deeper level for parents.” – Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“This light-hearted reflection on social media habits is a great tool for starting discussions with young children.” — Forward Clarion Reviews (5 Stars)

“Dehghanpisheh’s illustrations and text are simple, colorful and charming, and many families will relate to the question of how, and how much, to integrate technology into their child’s day.  #BabyLove: My Toddler Life is a fun and timely picture book for 21st century preschoolers. — BlueInk Review

“I can’t wait to read this to my 2 year old grandson.  This book is his life curious, sweet and funny.  His mommy has a collection of his photography on her phone.  Priceless. — Kindle Verified Purchase

 

Corine Dehghanpisheh is an award-winning author, whose own family life serves as inspiration for her fun and engaging children’s books.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Creative Arts Therapy & Creativity Development from Pratt Institute in New York City.

Ms. Dehghanpisheh currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her family.  There she continues to write the #BabyLove series, focused on the blending of modern technologies with classically familiar child raising situations.

The 2nd book in the series, #BabyLove: My Toddler Life is now available along with #BabyLove: My Social Life, which is a Next Generation Indie Book Awards winner.

Her debut children’s book Can We Play Again? is a Mom’s Choice Awards® Silver Recipient and a Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist. Corine’s inspiration for this book came from her work as a Licensed Creative Arts Therapist in NYC.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Pinterest * Blog * Amazon Author Page

 

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Next Two Winners: Signed Copy of #BabyLove: My Toddler Life + $5 Amazon Gift Card

 

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5/29 Promo Hall Ways Blog
5/30 Review Missus Gonzo
5/31 Sneak Peek Excerpt 1 Forgotten Winds
6/1 Character Interview Books and Broomsticks
6/2 Review The Page Unbound
6/3 Sneak Peek Excerpt 2 Reading By Moonlight
6/4 Promo StoreyBook Reviews
6/5 Review Chapter Break Book Blog
6/6 Scrapbook CGB Blog Tours
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Posted in Children, nonfiction, Parenting, Spotlight on April 27, 2017

Raising teens and tweens to become healthy, loving, and independent individuals is a process filled with pitfalls and challenges — from bullying, drugs, sex, and peer pressures to unrelenting societal demands, endless technology challenges, and negative parental or school influences. Award-winning educator Douglas Haddad, who has helped thousands of middle school students transition from being kids into young adults, presents a forceful, insightful, and inspiring guide for parents, educators, and caretakers to use to help raise the newest generation in his latest book, The Ultimate Guide to Raising Teens and Tweens: Strategies for Unlocking Your Child’s Full Potential (Rowman & Littlefield, February 2017, ISBN: 978-1-4422-5695-8; 286 pages).

Doug identified 10 tools to nurturing smart, successful, and self-disciplined teens and tweens, including:

  • Be the boss by sharing power with your child
  • Use empathy and consequences
  • Kick your kid’s butt effectively – but not literally
  • Give your child the license to problem ownership
  • Get your kid iMotivated

He also outlines the warning signs and solutions to 10 critical challenges middle schoolers and high schoolers are exposed to, including:

  • How to take the “bull” out of bullying and address youth violence
  • How sex can change a child’s life forever
  • Bad habits: gambling, alcohol, drugs, smoking
  • Depression and suicidal tendencies
  • Eating disorders, physical inertia, and health issues

Doug has seen firsthand many of these challenges that kids experience. As an educator, he spends between seven and eight hours a day working with children from different backgrounds and possesses a wide perspective on the needs of “the whole child” and the challenges they are going through. Furthermore, as a child, he experienced relentless attacks from bullies, and because of that he’s been an outspoken advocate against youth violence.

His book provides a fresh, comprehensive guide for parents who desperately seek solutions, especially answers to these problems:

  • “How do I gain confidence as a parent to choose wisely and help my child succeed at all levels?”
  • “How can I react better when faced with temper tantrums or rebellious behavior?”
  • “How do I effectively talk about topics like sex, drugs, and bullying with my kid?”
  • “How do I listen better so I actually get to know who my child really is?”
  • “How can I communicate effectively and connect with my child so she knows I love her?”
  • “How do I get my child to be motivated at school and in organized activities without becoming detrimental to my child’s development or injuring our relationship?”

Doug provides parents with useful, time-proven, kid-tested methods to handle stressful or dangerous situations appropriately and effectively. By providing anecdotes, specific steps and tools, practical exercises, and encouraging ideas, Doug provides the strategies that parents will need to simplify parenting in a fast-paced, tech-driven, info-saturated and complex world – and gain a lasting connection with their child – while truly helping them prepare for adulthood.

Q & A with Doug Haddad

What are the 3-5 takeaways from your book?

In The Ultimate Guide to Raising Teens and Tweens, parents will:

  • Discover the secrets of effective communication with their children and learn the techniques to stop behavior problems right in their tracks when they happen.
  • Know the strategies to best motivate their children and unlock their potential.
  • Find out how to set appropriate limits and hold their children accountable for their actions.
  • Understand all of today’s “child-limiting challenges” and strategies for preventing and intervening to best handle them with their children.
  • Apply the 10 specific, proven “child unlimited” tools on a regular basis with teens and tweens to help them unlock their full potential to become smart, successful, and self-disciplined individuals and have a strong connection with their child for a lifetime.

You were named teacher-of-the-year in your school district. What does it take to motivate, teach, and grow middle school students?

Connections, care, and compassion are at the core of my practice as an educator and are the key ingredients to help motivate, teach, and grow middle school students. The old adage, “A kid doesn’t care how much you know until he/she knows how much you care” is so true. Finding a way to connect with all children in a genuine, meaningful way through care, compassion, humor, and storytelling or just being a lending ear for students when they need it, all while creating a safe classroom environment, can make the world of difference. By putting myself out there in a vulnerable state by acting, singing and dancing, my students come to know that I am not afraid to take chances, be real, show vulnerability and would do anything for them to succeed.

Why is adolescence an important state in a child’s development?

This is the period in life when children test boundaries, strive for independence, seek to be understood, become curious about the opposite sex, place greater importance on image and being accepted among their peers, engage in different risky behaviors, and develop lifestyle habits that will be carried with them throughout adulthood. In order for parents to have the best chance at raising a smart, successful, and self-disciplined child, they need to be aware of the challenges that their children face and possess strategies to help their children cope to best prevent them from making poor decisions along with techniques on how to intervene in a crisis. Additionally, making connections with children and being actively involved is paramount to them developing good fiber and lifelong habits of success.

You note there are many potential pitfalls for the new generation, from addiction, sex, and alcohol to gambling and violent video games. How does today’s parent navigate through this minefield?

Applying the “child unlimited tools” in this book, on a daily basis, will help all parents establish effective communication with their child and apply strategies to regularly and openly discuss the different challenges and pressures that their children face. In turn, this will facilitate a strong, lasting relationship that is rooted in trust. By applying these tools, parents can help their children become good problem-solvers, map out and set meaningful goals, develop resiliency skills to persevere through adversity, and learn and practice coping mechanisms that are non-destructive and emphasize self-responsibility. By spending quality time with a child and displaying a genuine care, interest, patience, and support over a child’s lifetime, a lasting positive impact can be made in a child’s life.

About the Author

Douglas Haddad is an award-winning middle school teacher, best-selling author, and parenting and education expert.

Douglas has been awarded “Teacher of the Year” in his Connecticut school district, and is the author of The Ultimate Guide to Raising Teens and Tweens (Rowman & Littlefield, February 2017). He has taught over 2,000 students in his 17 years as an educator, working with children from all different backgrounds and abilities.

He was recognized as the 2016-2017 Simsbury, Connecticut Teacher of the Year and has been named a 2017 Teacher- Ambassador for Public Education in the State of Connecticut. Douglas has worked as a coach, personal trainer, nutrition counselor, tai chi ch’uan and reiki master, one-on-one mentor, and tutor. He is certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Performance Enhancement Specialist for elite athletes. Douglas has been featured in the NEA Today magazine and the CEA Advisor for educators for his unique contributions in curbing childhood obesity.

Douglas is also a blogger, contributing writer, and has been featured in many national print and online outlets. In addition to his work as an author, educator and wellness expert, Douglas Haddad is a modern-day Renaissance man who has also been on stage singing, playing piano, writing music, performing voiceovers for various companies and products, and acting in theatrical performances, film, television, and commercials over the years.

He has been featured as a regular guest expert on FOX, NBC, ABC, and ION television. He graduated magna cum laude from Central Connecticut State University with a bachelor’s degree in biology/secondary education and a master’s degree in biology. Furthermore, he graduated summa cum laude from the University of Bridgeport with a second master’s degree in human nutrition and was inducted into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi as a lifetime member.

Douglas resides in Connecticut with his wife.

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Posted in Children, Giveaway, Interview, women on April 7, 2017

ALMOST A MINYAN
by

LORI S. KLINE

ARTWORK BY SUSAN SIMON

  Genre: Picture Book / Jewish Traditions

Publisher: Sociosights Press
Facebook

Date of Publication: April 5, 2017

Number of Pages: 40

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Will she be the one to take Grandfather’s place?

According to Jewish tradition, a quorum of ten adults is required for public worship. Almost a Minyan traces the story of a young girl whose father and grandfather are regular participants in the town’s minyan – until her beloved Zayde passes on.

Without him, it is even harder for her father to find enough people to make a minyan. Then one day, he brings Zayde’s tefillin to his eldest daughter. A striking new addition to the diverse books movement, Almost a Minyan shares important Hebrew terms and religious concepts through a compelling and beautifully illustrated story for children.

Purchase from Sociosights Press

PRAISE FOR ALMOST A MINYAN

“A warmhearted introduction to coming-of-age in a worship community.” Kirkus Reviews

“A story of inclusion, belonging and equality. I loved the modern, egalitarian, and traditional values shared in this meaningful story. This is a wonderful modern story for our children and grandchildren!”  Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray, Congregation Shir Shalom, CT Founder of the Women Cantors’ Network

“A delightful read for girls and boys alike, this poetic family tale brings a wonderful sentimentality to daily Jewish prayers. Moreover, the beauty of the illustrations contributes additional warmth to this snapshot of Jewish life. A nice addition for all libraries and all ages.” Rabbi Jimmy Kessler, DHL, DD Congregation B’nai Israel, Galveston

 

What was your inspiration for writing Almost a Minyan?  Moving to Austin, where there was often difficult to gather the complete 10 Jewish adults to “make a minyan,”–from the large city of Pittsburgh, PA—where there are several morning minyans daily, gave me pause, as well as concern that we would lose our opportunity to transmit out traditions to our next generations.

What can you share with readers about minyans and Jewish traditions? I would say that, “community” is one of the basic pillars of the Jewish religion. Minyanim (plural of, “minyan”) require a gathering of 10 adult Jews in order to recite prayers. These prayers remind us and bind us to each other and as a community. Also, many of our traditions rely on gathering and engaging with each other. Our Tradition is replete with customs in which together we pray, celebrate, study, mourn and work together toward social justice.

What cultural value do you see in storytelling?

Stories serve as a natural means of transmitting traditions and values.  Nearly no one I know likes being told what to do, but in a story, one can glean…from the characters.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer?  How does that affect your writing?

I have the luxury of writing when the inspiration hits me, and socking away a manuscript for months or even years before rousing it from slumber.  This gives me a chance to step back from the writing and its cadence and more objectively read it.  I imagine that my life experiences over time also affect the manner in which my stories evolve into their final form.

What book do you wish you could have written?

Anything by Dr. Seuss.

What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

Lie on the beach in Hawaii, sipping a drink garnished with a paper umbrella, breathing in the ocean air and listening to the rhythm of the waves.

Do you have a mantra for writing and/or for life?

“Yes, you can.”

Lori Sales Kline heralds from Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, PA, which hosts a wonderfully rich Jewish community that fueled her love for Jewish tradition, ritual and practice at home and at, “the shul.”  Following her undergraduate and graduate work at the University of Texas in Austin, Lori chose to make Austin her home, largely due to the spiritual connection she felt in the close-knit Austin Jewish community.  In her spare time, Lori enjoys camping, celebrating Judaism with her husband and son, and friends. She previously authored the children’s picture book,  Josiah’s Dreams.

Website * Facebook

Artist Susan Simon

Facebook * LinkedIn * Website

 

 

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3/24 Illustration Preview CGB Blog Tours
3/25 Review Hall Ways Blog
3/26 Author Interview My Book Fix Blog
3/27 Review Momma On The Rocks
3/28 Guest Post Texas Book Lover
3/29 Promo Missus Gonzo
3/30 Review Syd Savvy
3/31 Illustration Preview Reading By Moonlight
4/1 Review The Page Unbound
4/2 Author Interview Margie’s Must Reads
4/3 Review Books and Broomsticks
4/4 Excerpt Forgotten Winds
4/5 Illustration Preview Chapter Break Book Blog
4/6 Review Books in the Garden
4/7 Author Interview StoreyBook Reviews

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Posted in 4 paws, Book Release, Children on April 1, 2017

Written by Holly L. Niner, Illustrated by Isabella Ongaro
April 2017, Hardcover, 32 color pages, ages 4–8, $17.95 US/CAN
ISBN 9781936261895
Published by Flashlight Press
Distributed by IPG

Synopsis

While Dad tucks her in, a little girl named Grace calmly recounts her day—which was anything but calm. She had a tantrum (because of some injustices involving a purple shirt and breakfast cereal) and was banished to her bedroom before deciding to run away. Understanding that kids have ups and downs, Grace’s mom wisely gave her daughter the space and time she needed to reach her own decision to return home—to open arms.

The Day I Ran Away amusingly captures Grace’s mutable moods and childlike logic, making her a character readers care about and can relate to. Warm, humorous digital paintings offer fun details to keep little listeners busy. Kids can compare the bedtime and daytime scenes and try to figure out how Grace got that purple paw-pint on her cheek—and when it got washed away. They can mimic Grace’s facial expressions or copy her poses for some soothing bedtime yoga. And of course, they can create a safe place to run away to when the injustices of Pre-K existence become too much to bear. A pop-up tent in the yard and the haven beneath the dining room table are excellent run-away destinations, as long as you come home for dinner.

Review

This is a cute story with a bit of a lesson for both children and parents. All children (actually people of all ages) will get upset at one time or another and this story shows that if you handle it properly and have taught your children well that it will all work out. I like how the mother handled the situation – giving her daughter some freedom and letting her think she was running away from home without actually leaving the yard. In a small way she turned it into an adventure and having taught her daughter some lessons earlier in her life about crossing the street, she was able to keep her close. It was really ingenious!  Hopefully though it doesn’t teach the little girl that she can throw a tantrum and get away with it.

The only thing that was wrong is that the story never says the little girls name in the text.  No where in the story does mom or dad call her by her name. (at least not in the ARC that I had been provided).  Her name does appear in an illustration, and while I did look at the illustrations (they depicted the words beautifully) I would not have expected to have to look there for her name.

We give it 4 paws up.

About the Author

Holly L. Niner grew up in Newburgh, NY, where on a bad day she would run away with a book to a swing under a willow tree. She is a speech therapist and the award-winning author of I Can’t Stop and Mr. Worry. Holly lives in Fort Wayne, IN, and this is her third picture book.

About the Illustrator

Isabella Ongaro grew up in Verona, Italy, where on a bad day she would run away to her garden shed to draw her cat in her notebook. She creates 2D animation, character designs for apps, and illustrations for the educational and fashion markets. Isabella lives in Paris, France, and this is her fourth picture book.

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Posted in Children, Fantasy, Spotlight, Young Adult on February 9, 2017

Synopsis

Math City is a place within a Math book, and the pages of the book are the streets of Math City.

In this City, Monster Number was grossly overweight and had a shaggy body, like a mammoth. In the beginning, Monster Number could not walk very well. Though he swayed a little, tottering and often falling, my father trained him to detect and to kill. In a few days, we attacked Math City.

Math City was bombarded, the doors and the walls shaking while the dark shade ofthe Monster Number came down, covering the city. Monster Number threw big stones, one after another; and like a repulsive ghoul crashed throughany barrier.

Then, after many horrible explosions, Monster Number entered the city, and we followed him. He smashed countless numbers as he plodded along.

Reviews

“I have a feeling that the author is from another planet. It is the only explanation for his knowledge.” –  One of Math City’s Readers

“Math City is uniquely written in that the book is the city and the streets are the pages within it. Readers are introduced to characters that are products of mathematical equations, but the significance of these characters is much more than mere numbers.” – Stacie Theis

“Math City is different than any story you’ve ever read. Although, it appears to be a simple story written to entertain children through the use of numbers and math, it is anything but simple. The underlying story of war, conflict, and human rights is cleverly interwoven throughout the pages. Math City is a short story, but readers should take their time and absorb all the book has to offer.”

About the Author

Ahmad lives in the Middle East. He is a graduate of the Art University in Tehran. He has worked for many newspapers in Iran and Iraq as a journalist.

His books are stories about people, society, and culture.  The books were written in a new concept and fantasy form.

He hopes that his books make you think, while you enjoy it.

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Posted in Children, excerpt, Science Fiction, Young Adult on December 31, 2016

Synopsis

Fourteen-year-old Hannah Bradbury loved her father so much that she worried about him constantly. After all, he was a photographer who traveled to the most dangerous places in the world.

To allay her fears, each time he came home he brought her silly gifts, each one with supposed magical powers: the Seal of Solomon, the Ring of Gyges, even Aladdin’s Lamp. It was that lamp Hannah found the most unbelievable, for it looked like an ugly teapot. Nevertheless, her father assured her it was real, and made her promise to save her three wishes for something very special.

Then . . . six months later . . . the unthinkable happened. Her father was killed while on assignment to Baghdad. And so on the day of his funeral Hannah did something she never thought she would ever do.

She took out that teapot and gave it a rub . . .

The Ugly Teapot by Fred Holmes is a timeless tale, filled with magic and adventure. More importantly, it will make you believe in the overwhelming power of love.

Excerpt

Hannah Bradbury opened her eyes, feeling forty, not fourteen. Every part of her ached: head, stomach, neck, back—which was weird because she had felt perfectly fine two seconds ago. Plus now she was freezing. That part, at least, made some sense, for it was cold outside and she was lying next to her cupola window.

But the weird part? —the seriously bizarre, mind-blowing part? —two seconds ago she had been lying in her bed across the room.

She pulled her father’s shirt tighter around her narrow shoulders and sat up. Her dog, Griff, was still asleep in her bed, just as he had been two seconds ago. And her furniture looked fine—chest-of-drawers, study desk, nightstand—right where they should be. At least they hadn’t moved like last time.

The only thing that wasn’t where it should be—other than herself—was her clock. It was one of those old-fashioned analog clocks—brought to her from London by her father—and night before last it had been moved from her nightstand to her study desk. Now it was back on her nightstand. And the time had changed. She had checked it before closing her eyes, and it had said it was midnight. Now, two seconds later, the luminescent hands pointed to 6:15 a.m.

She shivered as she swung her legs off the love seat. Keeping her thigh muscles tensed in case someone grabbed her legs, she let the toe of her left foot touch the floor first. The wood felt buckled and splintery and colder than usual, but nothing grabbed her legs, so she stood up.

She hovered next to the love seat for a moment, her hand gripping the wall for balance, then wobbled unsteadily to a pile of dirty clothes on the floor of her closet. She rifled through them until she found a pair of jeans that didn’t smell too badly, slipped them on, then took one of her father’s sweaters off a hangar and pulled it over her nightshirt. It was thick and warm and still smelled like her father. Thinking of her father made her smile, but that smile disappeared when she saw her reflection in the mirror on the back of her closet door.

She looked horrible: pale skin, dead seaweed hair, dark circles around her eyes. Her skin used to be tan, her hair the color of burled walnut, and everyone used to compliment her eyes. Now everything about her looked dull and lifeless. And she was weary, dead tired. She would have loved to climb back in bed with Griff, but morning would be coming soon, and she didn’t want to miss anything.

She returned to her love seat and sat down with her legs crossed. The advantage to living on the second floor of a three-story house in Green Park, Tennessee, was that on a clear morning you could see for miles. The disadvantage was that there were very few clear mornings in the Great Smoky Mountains. They were usually—well, smoky—and it often took the anemic sun half a day to burn off the fog.

Fortunately, the mist was already starting to lift from the cemetery below. Soft, grey wisps still lingered lazily among the tombstones, but they would be gone soon. A dove was cooing, and that meant the sun was about to peek over the mountains.

She was starting to think they were going to be late, when she suddenly heard the deep rumble of an engine. Seconds later a pickup truck chugged through the cemetery’s wrought iron gate. Hannah followed it with her eyes as it came, fog swirling around its tires, engine sputtering, tailpipe coughing. It stopped beneath the gnarly branches of an arthritic oak tree not far from her house. She watched it shake off like a dog after a hard rain, then heard its motor shut down. All became quiet again.

Trailer

About the Author

THE UGLY TEAPOT is Fred Holmes’s first novel. He’s known primarily as a writer/director of television and films, specifically children’s television and family films. He’s worked on such TV shows as WISHBONE, BARNEY & FRIENDS, MARY LOU RETTON’S FLIP FLOP SHOP, IN SEARCH OF THE HEROES, HORSELAND, and many, many other shows. He’s written and/or directed over 250 episodes of television and has been nominated for Emmys five times and has won twice. He’s also won three CINE Golden Eagles, plus numerous other awards. Besides his work in TV, he’s directed three feature films: DAKOTA, starring Lou Diamond Phillips, for Miramax; HARLEY, starring Lou Diamond Phillips, for Lionsgate; and HEART LAND, a Bollywood feature film that he directed in India and starred Indian superstars Divya Dutta and Prem Chopra.

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