Sunday, July 29, 2012

Lizzie and the Guernsey Gang book one Channel Islands Resistance by April W. Gardner

About April

A military spouse, April has performed the art of homemaking all over the world. Currently, she lives in Georgia with her two children, and USAF spouse. She is unashamedly a child of the King. In her free time, April enjoys reading, solving her Rubiks Cube, and DIY. In no particular order, she dreams of owning a horse, visiting all the national parks, and speaking Italian.

She is the founder and senior editor of the literary site,Clash of the Titles, and the author of the award-winning novel, Wounded Spirits.

LIZZIE and the GUERNSEY GANG book one 
DIGITAL VERSIONS ONLY .99 cents! Kindle Nook 

An island occupied by Nazis makes life hazardous, but for an adventurous nine-year-old girl bent on escape, it could be deadly.

Lizzie Browning loves nothing more than her tiny, island-home of Guernsey, but when German bombs drop on her crystal beach, her peaceful world is shattered. For months, the big war on the continent has been nothing more than stories in the paper, but as the enemy takes over Guernsey, the war rushes to her doorstep. For Lizzie, younger brother Andre, and cousin James, the time to escape is now, and they know just how to do it.

Phillip Seifert, the odd boy from down the street, has all the markings of a genuine Nazi-lover. Lizzie knows better than to trust him, but he somehow manages to weasel his way into James’ good graces. Phillip joins the gang in their audacious escape plan, and Lizzie can do little more than pray he doesn’t get them all shot. But Lizzie soon learns that God doesn’t always answer prayers in the way she expects. He might actually plan for them to live under Nazi rule…forever.

What? You didn't know the Germans occupied British soil for five years during WWII? Don't feel bad. I didn't either. Not until I met Ruth, a dear friend from our church in England, who lived the experience.

Ruth is a wonderful story teller. And the best part? Her stories are true. Like Lizzie, the main character in my book, Ruth was nine with the Germans bombed her beautiful beach, but that was only the beginning of five long years of fear and faith.

Lizzie and the Guernsey Gang is founded on Ruth's life experiences and constructed with a healthy dose of my imagination. It's the first in a series of historical adventure books geared toward children ages 9-12.

My Thoughts

Lizzy is only nine years old is facing the reality of War with Germany. They have taken over her beautiful Guernsey Island leaving all of it's residents cut-off in every way from the rest of the world. Lizzy, her six year old brother and her best friend James love to play on the beach but now there are restrictions, rules and curfews to abide.

Lizzie believes that God will only be on England's side and not the German's. She does not like Philip the weird boy that lives in the same hotel the German's have occupied. In her opinion he is a German Nazi traitor. But he has always been kind to her. She will not be kind to him or the other German's.

In order for Lizzy, her brother and James to play they go to James garage and play under, in and all over an old boat that is in need of repair. They are on a cruise or they are pirates while at play. No matter how much they play the fact that they could be killed at any time by the German's never leave there young minds.

Lizzie can see the stress and fatigue in her parents faces. She can also hear them whispering and she knows it has something to do with the war. Her father is a preacher and tells them that God has a plan and they should trust God and not be afraid because He is with them always.

To find out this story is about an actual girl named Ruth but has been given the fiction name Lizzie making the book even better.

This book and series will be an eye opener and interesting read for children. What a wonderful way to learn about WWII. History is not an easy or fun subject for some kids and this I am sure will peak their interest to learn more. Teacher's need to share this series with their students.

I am looking forward to reading more about Lizzie and the Guernsey Gang.

I highly recommend this book.

I rated this book 5 out of 5.

I was given a free digital copy of this book from the author and Astraea Press for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

New Animated Series Review and Giveaway - The Jungle Book


New Animated Series Review and Giveaway - The Jungle Book: Based on Rudyard Kipling’s original storybook, The Jungle Book became a hit Walt Disney film years ago, but it’s back in a “new” The Jungle Book animated series for kids! Already a hit in Canada, the new animated series has been brought to the US for the first time and is currently airing on Disney XD Monday thru Friday at 11:00 a.m. daily, right after Disney XD’s #1 show Phineas & Ferb! Educational Insights

'via Blog this'

Giveaway/Review - Three Hens and a Peacock written by Lester L. Laminack illustrated by Henry Cole

About Lester 

Lester L. Laminack is Professor Emeritus from department of Birth-Kindergarten, Elementary and Middle Grades Education, at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina where he received two awards for excellence in teaching [the Botner Superior Teaching Award and the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award]. Lester is now a full-time writer and consultant working with schools throughout the United States. He is an active member of the National Council of Teachers of English and served three years as co-editor of the NCTE journal Primary Voices and as editor of the Children’s Book Review Department of the NCTE journal Language Arts (2003-2006). He also served as a teaching editor for the magazine Teaching K-8 and wrote the Parent Connection column (2000-2002). He is a former member of the Whole Language Umbrella Governing Board, a former member of the Governing Board and Secretary of the North Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children, and a former member of the Board of Directors for the Center for the Expansion of Language and Thinking. He served as the Basic Reading Consultant to Literacy Volunteers of America from 1987 through 2001. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Our Children’s Place [].

His academic publications include several books including Learning with Zachary (Scholastic), Spelling in Use (NCTE), Volunteers Working with Young Readers (NCTE), and his contributions to The Writing Workshop: Working Through the Hard Parts (NCTE), Learning Under the Influence of Language and Literature (Heinemann) Reading Aloud Across the Curriculum (Heinemann, Cracking Open the Author’s Craft (Scholastic) and Unwrapping the Read Aloud (Scholastic). In addition he has several articles published in journals such as The Reading Teacher, Early Years, Science and Children, Language Arts, Teaching pre-K/​8, Primary Voices, and Young Children. Lester is also the author of six children’s books: The Sunsets of Miss Olivia Wiggins, Trevor’s Wiggly-Wobbly Tooth, Saturdays and Tea Cakes, Jake’s 100th Day of School, Snow Day! and most recently, Three Hens and a Peacock all from Peachtree Publishers.

Lester was born July 11, 1956 in Flint, Michigan. His mom and dad had left their families in Alabama and moved to Michigan where his dad, Jimmy, worked for GM. But Michigan is long way from Alabama when you have a two year old and a brand new baby. So, just two weeks after Lester was born his parents packed everything and moved back to their hometown, Heflin, Alabama. They wanted Lester and his brother Scott to grow up near grandparents, aunts and uncles and lots of cousins.

When Lester was 6 the family moved again. This time to Zachary, LA where Lester attended part of 1st and all of 2nd grade. Then they moved back to Heflin where he completed 3rd grade and 4th grade. In April of 1966, while he was in the 4th grade, Lester's sister, Amanada, was born. She was so little when they brought her home that he had to hold her on a pillow. Every day when he came home from school he held her and told her stories. Some people think that's why he is a writer. Lester and Amanda have always been very close even though he is 10 years older.

When Scott was in the 7th grade and Lester was in the 5th grade and Amanda was just one year old the family moved again. This time it was to Key West, FL. They lived there under a year before moving back to Alabama.

Lester finished high school back in Heflin and then earned a BS and MS in Elementary Education from Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL. Then he earned an Ed.D. in Elementary Education and Reading from Auburn University, Auburn AL.

And now Lester lives downtown in Asheville, North Carolina. He starts every day with a cup of coffee, loves to listen to music and NPR. He plays saxophone and a Native American flute made from river cane. He reads a lot of children's books, Southern Fiction, poetry, and books on teaching reading and writing. He loves taking drives on the Blue Ridge Parkway and along the two-lane roads in the countryside.

For more information go to author's website here.

About Book

Hardcover, 29 pages
Age 4-8
Published March 1st 2011 by Peachtree Publishers
ISBN 1561455644 (ISBN13: 9781561455645)
literary awards Children's Choice Book Awards Best Book for Kindergarten - Second Grade

Nothing unusual ever happened on the Tuckers farm. Until the day that peacock showed up...

When a glamorous visitor lands unexpectedly in their midst and begins attracting customers, three hardworking hens protest: How come we do all the hard work and he gets all the attention? To keep the peace, the wise old hound dog suggests a swap. The hens and the peacock soon find out that others jobs aren t always as easy as they seem. What will happen when three gussied-up hens spend the day prancing and parading at passing cars? And will that peacock ever figure out how to lay an egg?

Visit illustrator Henry Cole on his website and play games. 
You will have a blast!

Where to buy this book: 
Barnes & Noble

My Thoughts

Another day on the Tucker's farm.  The dog is snoozing on the porch,  the hens are laying eggs and the cows are chewing their cud.  That is until a truck passing by the farm has a crate fall off the bed of the truck cracking it open as it hits the ground and a peacock stumbles out of the crate.

The peacock makes himself at home on the Tucker's farm but the he is at a lose as to what he is suppose to do on a farm.

We all have talents or skills that is useful to our existence.  What could the peacock do to be useful on a farm? So far the three hens think the only thing he is good at is screaming and strutting his feathers. What good is the screaming and strutting?  I know do you?  Surely there is some way he can be useful on the farm.

What makes you an asset at your home, school or job?  We should all be thankful for what God has given us and put it to good use.  Do you have a talent or skill? What is it?

I really enjoy this book it is an good example as to the fact God has put every creature on this earth with a purpose.  This book will open the child's imagination to see the prissy peacock  really was a benefit to the farm.

The illustrations took the author's words and used bold and bright colors for the characters and scenery to complete the story for children of all ages to enjoy.  I know I enjoyed Three Hens and a Peacock and will be sharing it with all my grandchildren.  I recommend you get this fun book for that special child or children in your life.

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

I received a copy of this book from Peachtree Publisher for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review. It was my own opinion.

 Now for the giveaway 
of Three Hens and a Peacock 
provided by Peachtree Publishers 
will be 7/26 until 8/15. 

 1+. All you need to do is leave a fun comment 
and be sure to leave your email address
 so I can contact you if you are the winner. 

 2+. I will give you two more points if you 
 join by email, GFC or Linky Follower. 

 The winner will be announced on August 16th. 


Saturday, July 21, 2012


Sharon Jean Cramer was born in Jamestown, New York in 1960. Sharon’s education includes a Master’s in Anesthesia Education from Gonzaga, with her minor area of study in fine arts at the University of Houston. She pulls heavily from her experiences in healthcare to consider subject material for her children’s books.

She also pulls from very personal experience for The Sneezy Wheezy Day. Her twin sister struggled with childhood illness for many years. Sharon observed that the treatments, though helpful and therapeutic were not what was ultimately most significant. What mattered most to Vonnie was the family and friends around her, who supported and loved her.

Sharon is surrounded by her own cubs. Her three sons all live in Spokane, and though grown, have opinions about the cougar cubs. Lost and Alone was actually written for her youngest son, Chase, when he was born. It is about his two older brothers, who were eight and ten years old at the time! Cole and Shad tangled on occasion so it was easy for Sharon to write about sibling rivalry and conflict resolution!

Sage is Sharon’s granddaughter, loves the Cougar Cub Tales, and is a tough critic! She pits the cubs against Dora, Spongebob and of course the Disney princesses, but so far, the Cougar Cubs hold their own (and dad doesn’t bore so quickly over reading them over, and over, and over!)

Sharon’s husband, Daryl, is a nurse anesthetist, and ‘personal organizer’ for Sharon. He is also chef, karaoke partner, best friend, and inspiration to the author. He is a good voice of reason, sometimes editor, and unlikely audience during studio recordings. (More than one take has occurred due to his enthusiastic presence!). If you see Sharon at a big event, say hello to Daryl as well. He is usually close by.

More information on website here.


Cougar Cub Tales: I’m Just Like You is the second book in the Mom's Choice Award Winning Series, COUGAR CUB TALES. 

I'm Just Like You is about a cougar cub brother and sister who, one day, encounter a creature very unlike themselves. They have ungrounded apprehension about whether or not the blind bobcat is “a REAL cougar cub”.

By the end of the tale, they realize that they really ARE the same, overlooking their physical differences as they embrace their new friend. It is a timeless story that deals with the everyday childhood issue of intolerance, especially regarding physical difference and disability. It is written in a wonderful nonsensical rhyme, and the eighteen watercolors are an exquisite representation of this charming tale.

You can meet the cougar cubs and view all of the Cougar Cub Tales at

Written and illustrated by Sharon Cramer, Cougar Cub Tales: Lost and Alone is the first in the children's picture book series, Cougar Cub Tales. It is a hardbound edition of 37 pages and is illustrated with watercolors.

The story is the first in the ongoing adventure series of a brother and sister cougar cub; it deals with the childhood issues of rivalry and conflict resolution and communicates to a child in a delightful, nonsensical rhyme.

The tale is the prestigious winner of a Silver Award for Mom's Choice Award for best picture book about family values.


From the award-winning series, COUGAR CUB TALES: The Sneezy Wheezy Day continues the adventures of the cougar cub brother and sister as they venture into the world to play. When one of the cubs becomes ill, they decide to seek their well-intentioned friends for treatments and remedies for brother cougar's ailment. One friend even tells the cub, "Tickle your nose with the tail of a goose and do it before the next blue moon rise!". Although the recommendations are sincere, the final remedy is a sibling's love. The rhyming verse is captivating, not just for the child, but for the adult reader, and it is illustrated with incredibly vivid watercolors. It is a heartwarming story about negotiating childhood illness, but in a hilarious and lighthearted way. Make sure your child searches for the small additional creature on each page!

From the award-winning writer/illustrator Sharon Cramer comes her newest Children's Book, Marlow and the Monster.

Marlow has a Monster, and he's not very happy about it! Every night, Marlow is visited by this unwelcome guest. It pesters him terribly and often has him in trouble with his parents. At his wits' end, Marlow tries to give the Monster to little sister, Sarah. Is it Sarah who finally figures out what to do with the Monster? This is a charming tale, rendered in visually stunning detail. The book is quill pen and ink, black and white. The only splash of color is the Monster. Enjoy this walk on the wild side as you and your small ones help Marlow negotiate his Monster and learn that things are not always as they appear. Don't forget to find the mouse on every page!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Publication Date: March 12, 2012
Age 8 and up

LOST IN A MAZE OF MONSTERS . . . Everyone knows that the creatures of the outside world are forbidden by magic to enter the land of Een. That’s why Kendra Kandlestar is so surprised when a giant Unger arrives in the middle of the night to deliver a cryptic message: If she can find the Door to Unger, she will be able to unlock the truth about her long-lost family. But when Kendra finds herself trekking through the wilderness with a magic-peddling faun and a rebellious Unger, she begins to wonder if it’s all just a clever trap to lead her into the heart of danger. Whom can Kendra trust? There’s only one way to find out: peek through the Door to Unger and enter a world of magic, monsters, and mystery!

Age 5 and up

Jack and Annie are ready for their next fantasy adventure in the bestselling middle-grade series--the Magic Tree House Where did the tree house come from? BeforeJack and Annie can find out, the mysterious tree house whisks them to the prehistoric past. Now they have to figure out how to get home. Can they do it before dark . . . or will they become a dinosaur'sdinner?

Amazon, Paperback
Age 5 and up

Two children compare their granny with others. Some grannies have thin legs, fat knees, crinkly eyes, or big soft laps. Their granny has a wobbly bottom and wears an old red sweater that was grandpa's. She has a style all her own--and to the children who love her, this granny is perfect. Full of warmth and good humor. Full color.



For ages 3-9

Hailey is an 8-year-old girl who lives on the beach and her best friend is Scarlet, who happens to be a dolphin. Scarlet takes Hailey on a new adventure every day and teaches her all about life in the ocean. On this adventure, Scarlet takes Hailey off the coast of Hawaii where she meets Link, a Green Sea Turtle. After Hailey learns all about Green Sea Turtles she gets to play with Scarlet and Link before having to return back home to the beach.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Giveaway/Review - THE MONSTER Who Ate My PEAS written by Danny Schnitzlein illustrated by Matt Faulkner

About Danny

Danny Schnitzlein was born in Birmingham, Alabama. He has two brothers and one sister.

"As a kid I was crazy about dinosaurs. They were my proof that fantastic things could exist, and that meant anything was possible. I loved Dr. Seuss' books and Stoo Hample's The Silly Book. As I got older, I loved The Hobbit, by Tolkien. My parents made sure we had lots of books and took us to the library frequently. My mother often read poetry to us before bed."

In third grade Danny's family moved to Tampa, Florida where he got the writing bug.

"My English teacher, Mrs. Williams, gave us tough writing assignments, but we didn't know we couldn't do them . . . so we did them."

While in high school, Danny captained a boat on the African Queen Boat Ride at Busch Gardens, Tampa. He played trumpet in his high school band and directed the marching band as Drum Major.

Danny studied creative writing at Eckerd College and television production at The University of Florida. He has had several careers before becoming an author, including: television writer, video editor, artist, and painting instructor.

Danny's new book, Trick or Treat on Monster Street, was inspired by a "what if."

"I wondered, what if there was a place where monsters celebrated Halloween completely backwards from the way we celebrate it? As a kid I was nutty about Halloween. I would dress as a monster and visit every street in my neighborhood. Then I'd dress as a different monster, visit all the houses again, and hope nobody recognized me."

Danny Schnitzlein's first book, The Monster Who Ate My Peas, was inspired by Danny's childhood hatred of peas. The book received two state awards: Indiana's 2004 Young Hoosier Book Award, and Virginia's 2005-6 VSRA Readers' Choice Award. The book was nominated for Readers' Choice Awards in Maryland, Missouri, and Pennsylvania and was selected to represent the state of Georgia at the 2004 National Book Festival.

Danny was chosen by the Georgia Department of Education to be part of its "READ MORE" initiative. Pitcher, John Smoltz, recited The Monster Who Ate My Peas for a special dvd. See the clip at

Danny's second book, The Monster Who Did My Math, was based on another childhood phobia. MATH!

"I'd ask my dad to help with my Math homework. He'd get out his 300 pound calculator. (Calculators were big in those days). Then he'd work all the problems without explaining them very well. Or maybe I didn't listen very well. When I took my homework to school the next day and discovered that many of his answers were wrong, my fear of Math increased exponentially."

The Monster Who Did My Math was listed as one of the Best Books of 2007 by both Parent and Child Magazine and Atlanta Parent Magazine.

Danny also writes scripts and songs for children's educational television, including "SALSA," a show which teaches Spanish, and "The Organwise Guys," a program about good health. In his spare time he loves playing guitar, reading, painting, hiking, and seeing movies. He lives in the Atlanta area with his family and their Golden Retriever.

Visit to learn more about Danny's books and find out how you can bring Danny to your school!

About Illustrator

Award winning children’s book author and illustrator Matt Faulkner grew up in a small town just outside of Boston, Ma. Upon graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1983, Matt took a job setting typography in NYC at an ad agency. Boy, was that the wrong job for Matt! Just as the studio manager was about to let him go, the owner of the agency saw the drawings Matt had done on his work table during lunch and hired him to draw storyboards for t.v. commercials! He got his own office and a pay raise! Woohoo!

Not long after, Matt created his first author/illustrated picture book- “The Amazing Voyage of Jackie Grace” with Scholastic. Since then he has created over 30 books for children. He delights in illuminating both historic stories and more fanciful tales and he works very hard not to get the two mixed up. Recently his author/illustrated book “A Taste of Colored Water” received the Comstock Honor award by the Minnesota State University, was chosen as a finalist by the California Commonwealth Club for it’s 2009 Book award and was chosen as a winner in the pre-adolescent category by the National Storytelling Network. The NSNetwork also chose “Independent Dames: What You Never Knew About the Women and Girls of the American” (written by Laure Halse Anderson) as the winner of it’s adolescent category in 2009. He is currently working on a graphic novel on the Japanese-American Internment during World War II for Disney/Hyperion Publishing. Matt is married to author and children’s librarian, Kris Remenar, and lives with their 3 children in the lower right hand corner of Michigan.

About Book

A young boy thinks he's discovered a way to avoid eating his peas -- he makes a bargain with a fiendishly funny monster. First the deal is simple: the monster will eat the boy's peas in exchange for his soccer ball. But with each new encounter, the monster's demands escalate. Eventually, our hero faces a daunting decision -- can he conquer his loathing for peas or will he lose his most prized possession?


Young Hoosier Book Award (picture book) ―Association for Indiana Media Educators 2003-2004
Virginia Readers' Choice (Primary winner) ―Virginia State Reading Association 2005-2006
Show Me Readers Award (nominee) ―Missouri Association of School Librarians 2003-2004
Pennsylvania Young Readers Choice Award (nominee) ―Pennsylvania School Librarians Association 2003-2004
Black-Eyed Susan Book Award (nominee, picture book) ―Maryland Educational Media Organization 2003-2004

Published by Peachtree Publishers

Peachtree Pointers Teacher/Librarian Guide for THE MONSTER WHO ATE MY PEAS

Where to Buy
Barnes and Noble

My Thoughts

As the boy sits at the dinner table staring at the peas on his plate his mother very seriously tells him he will not get his dessert unless he eat every single peas on his plate. When she leaves the room a monster that looks like a giant blog of mixed veggies offter to eat his peas in exchange for his soccer ball.

The monster continues to return offering to eat whatever the boy did not want to eat and he always wanted something that was very special to the boy.  

Would you give up things that are special to you just so you would not have to eat something you disliked?  

Could you lie to your parents and tell them you ate all of your food?

This story was fun with all the rhymes that I now have stuck in my head.   

The author have a hilarious imagination to write such a fun rhyming tale.   So did the illustrator in creating the perfect characters for the tale, especially the grotesque monster, the darling baby and cute puppy.

Kids will want to read or have this book read to them over and over again.

I rated this book 5 out of 5.

I received a free copy of this book by Peachtree Publishers for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review.  It is my own opinion.

Now for the giveaway of 
will be 7/17 until 7/31. 

1+. All you need to do is leave a fun comment and
 be sure to leave your email address so 
I can contact the winner.  
2+. I will give you two more points if you 
join by email, GFC or Linky.

The winner will be announced on August 1st.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Rough-Face Girl by Rafe Martin illustrated by David Shannon

Author & Storyteller 

Rafe Martin is the author of over 20 books that have been translated into many languages including Swedish, French, Xhosa, Zulu, Afrikaans, Korean, Japanese and Portuguese. Speaking as both an author and a storyteller, Rafe has appeared in thousands of schools, libraries, festivals, and conferences in nearly every state—including Alaska and Hawaii—and as far away as Japan.

In schools he works with all grade and ages, kindergarten through college and adult, telling stories and sharing an empowering vision of language, writing, creativity, and imagination. He leaves listeners with an awareness of their own power to create. He offers writing, storytelling and professional development workshops, as well as adult and family performances.

Among the many prestigious festivals, conferences, and institutions at which he has been featured are: The National Storytelling Festival; The Joseph Campbell Foundation Festival of Myth, Folklore, and Story; The P.E.N. American Literary Center, The American Museum of Natural History, The Detroit Institute of Arts, The Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Ganondagan-NYS Historic and Sacred Seneca Site, The Chautauqua Institute, The Three Apples Storytelling Festival, Sharing the Fire Storytelling Conference, The International Storytelling Institute, The Sierra Storytelling Festival, The Vassar College Summer Institute on Children’s Book Publishing, The Talking Island Storytelling Festival of Honolulu, Hawaii-to name just a few!

His keynotes and workshops at library and reading conferences include: The American Library Association, the New York Library Association, library/media conferences in Michigan, Utah, Alabama, Tennessee and New York; The National Council of Teachers of English; and The International Reading Association International Convention.

Rafe Martin’s writing has appeared in Parabola: The Magazine of Myth and Tradition; Blind Donkey; The Sun; Enquiring Mind; Storytelling Magazine; Mountain Record; Zen Bow; Buddhadharma; Tricycle: The Buddhist Review and The Animals’ Voice as well as in the books Who Says? Essays in Contemporary Storytelling; Between the Lines: A Modern Midrash; Peace Tales; Stories for the Spirit; Stories of the Heart; The Ghost and I; Read-to-Tell Tales, More Best-Loved Tales from the National Storytelling Festival and in A Treasury of Stories Recorded Live at the 20th Anniversary National Storytelling Festival.

Rafe has a Master’s degree in English literature from the University of Toronto where he studied with such notable figures as Northrop Frye and Marshall McLuhan. He was the first person to ever be granted Highest Honors in English from Harpur College (now Binghamton University) where he graduated magna cum laude.

Published by G P Putnam & Sons 1992
Where to buy:
Barnes & Noble

Illustrated by David Shannon

David Shannon grew up in Spokane, Washington and graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in 1983. He has written and/or illustrated over 25 books for children, including the bestselling "Too Many Toys," "A Bad Case of Stripes," and the semi-autobiographical "No, David!," which received a Caldecott Honor. His newest book is "It’s Christmas, David!." David lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Heidi, their daughter, Emma, and their dog, Fergus.


An award-winning recreation of a classic Native American (Algonquin) Indian Cinderella, this is a mysterious, magical, powerful book. Many of Rafe’s readers call it their favorite of his books, and it has won much recognition in the world of children’s literature. It is the Cinderella we all know, but bears no resemblance to the Disney version.

“There are many versions of the Cinderella story,
but none is more eloquent or
affecting—or more strikingly illustrated.”

—Parent’s Magazine

My Thoughts 

In a small Indian village by Lake Ontario there was a humongous wigwam and in this wigwam lived a wealthy, handsome Invisible Being and his sister. Every single woman in the village wanted to marry the Invisible Being because of his great wealth.

Also in this village lived a poor man and his three daughters. Two of the daughters were very self-centered and made the third daughter do the chore of tending the fire. From tending the fire the young woman had burns and scars all over her hands, arms and face because of sparks flying up and on her. Her sisters teased her and called her Rough-Face Girl.

One day the two sisters dressed up in the finest their father could provide and they went to seek out the invisible being to become his bride. But they first had to answer his sisters questions correctly.

The third sister has faith that she will marry the Invisible One. So she dresses in what little her father has to offer, which was far less than her sister had. Which of the young women do you think the handsome Invisible One should choose? Why?

This is a different twist on the Cinderella tale that we all know well. The story in this book is an Algonquin Indian Cinderella tale.

I enjoyed this story with the Rough-Face Girl. Most people only saw her scars and had no idea what beauty she held within.

How many times have you looked at someone and not wanted to be their friend just because of their outer appearance?

I purchased this book for my own pleasure to read.

I highly recommend this book for ages 8 and up.

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

My Spotlight is on author Cheryl Willis Hudson

Cheryl Willis Hudson is the author of a dozen books for children, including BRIGHT EYES, BROWN SKIN (coauthored with Bernette G. Ford) and COME BY HERE, LORD: EVERYDAY PRAYERS FOR CHILDREN. She says that HANDS CAN was inspired by her own children. "I was amazed by the versatility, dexterity, utility, and even gracefulness of such small fingers," she says. "I began to see hands as marvelous works of art, and I wanted to somehow capture that vision in a children’s book."

Bright Eyes, Brown Skin (Feeling Good)Hands Can

 CHERYL WILLIS HUDSON is editorial director of Just Us Books, Inc., an independent publishing company that focuses on Black interest books for children and young adults. She and her husband Wade Hudson, founded Just Us Books in 1988 to address the need for more African American children’s books in the market place.

Ms. Hudson has authored many books for young children including AFRO-BETS ABC and 123 Books, Hands Can, Good Morning, Baby, Glo Goes Shopping, Many Colors of Mother Goose and Bright Eyes, Brown Skin, (co-authored with Bernette Ford). She has also co-edited a number of titles including How Sweet the Sound: African American Songs for Children (Scholastic, Inc.), Kids’ Book of Wisdom: Quotes from the African American Tradition and In Praise of Our Fathers and Our Mothers

Construction Zone was published by Candlewick Press in 2006. My Friend Maya Loves to Dance (illustrated by Eric Velasquez) was published by Abrams in 2010. From Where I Stand in the City (illustrated by Nancy Devard) is one of her titles published under the Marimba Books multicultural imprint.

In 2003 Ms. Hudson was inducted into the International Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent. She is a frequent speaker on the topic of diversity in literature and has served as an parenting expert for ClubMom. She is also a member of PEN America’s Children Book Committee.


Where to buy Amazon

Afro-Bets ABC Book

Thanks for all the time you have committed to our children and for all the beautiful books you have written for them.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

World of Ink Tour - NIGHT BUDDIES and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare writtern by Sands Hetherington illustrated by Jessica Love

About Ol' Sands

Sands Hetherington, creator of the Night Buddies series of chapter books, credits his son John for being his principal motivator. Together they developed the Crosley crocodile character during months of bedtime story give-and-take. Sands majored in history at the University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) and has an M.F.A. in creative writing and an M.A. in English from UNC-Greensboro.

Fantastic and delightful fun filled new chapter book for kids.

Night Buddies and the Pineapple Cheesecake Scare by Sands Hetherington is an after lights-out adventure story that will delight young readers and middle graders who relish roller coaster fantasy and fun, filled with unforgettable characters and an astonishing and inventive collection of magical whatchamacallits.

The book is all about the nighttime adventures of a young boy named John, who is not ready to go to sleep, and his friend, a bright red crocodile named Crosley who turns up under John’s bed.

They sneak out of John’s house using Crosley’s “I-ain’t-here-doodad” which makes them invisible to John’s parents. They then embark on an adventure chasing down enemies and cleaning up one mess after another as they solve the earthshaking mystery: who stole all the pineapple cheesecakes from the only factory in the world that makes them!

John, Crosley, and the amazing get-anything-free card.

CrenwinkleThe investigation starts out fine but things get a little crazy when Crosley, who is allergic to water, gets wet. Hilarious things happen when Crosley’s allergy to water kicks in, and when they get to the pineapple cheesecake factory and meet Big Foot    Mae, the investigation gets more complicated and zany than either of them bargained for.

Night Buddies is an astonishing and inventive adventure with unforgettable cast of characters that will make you laugh and win over your heart. The book has lots of thoughtful, multi-layered twists, giggles, and perils -- things kids can relate to and enjoy.

My Thoughts

John loves Pineapple Cheesecake and he was not ready to go to bed because he had not had his fill of the Pineapple Cheesecake his parents had served for dessert.  He complained about everything including a stomachache.  After he was tucked into bed and lights were out he kept hearing something. So he grabbed his flashlight and listened closely to hear where the sound was coming from.  There was definitely something under the bed.  It turned out to be a red alligator wearing a bright yellow jacket.  Yes, I said red not green.

The alligator's name is Crosley and he wants John to go with him to the Pineapple Cheesecake Factory because there seems to be a problem that needs to be investigated. With the help of an  "I-ain't-here-doodad"  that Crosley had among his Whachamacallits which made them invisible so they were able to sneak out past his parents.

John meets some of Crosley's friends and end up having a great adventure at the Pineapple Cheesecake Factory.

The characters were very unique in themselves.  Crosley had a special language of his own and it was quite amusing.  The stories leaves plenty of room for the child to use their imagination.  The illustrations gave funny depictions of the characters.

What a great story!  Let's just hope none of our kids decide to take off during the night with a red alligator.  That is unless they take us with them.  I love cheesecake!

I highly recommend this book.

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

I received a free copy of this book from Dune Buggy Press/WOI for review.  I was in no way compensated for this review it is my own opinion.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

LIFE ACCORDING TO LIZ by Rebecca Williams Spindle and Madelyn Spindler

About Rebecca

Rebecca has a richly diverse heritage reaching from the Appalachia Mountains region of Virginia to shores of the Philippine Islands and nesting in the Wisconsin heartland. Her short stories have been featured in books by Mountain Girl Press and other published books. She's worked in Television, Radio, and performed in short feature films. She is a frequent speaker on the creative writing process for students of all ages. She has presented to Wisconsin Screenwriters Forum, UW Madison Literary Fest, Girl Scouts of Badgerland Council and at the South East Wisconsin Book Festival. She's a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators and Vice President of the Wisconsin Screenwriters Forum. She has passion for a great story and an even greater desire to create inspiring characters that provide laughter, love and strength for whatever life throws their way.

She is co-writing the middle grade book series “The Tale of Two Sisters” with her daughter, Madelyn, for Little Creek Books (

Her career has spanned from on-air radio personality, television camera operator, script editor, assistant producer, and Human Resource professional at one of the leading trauma and research hospitals in the nation. She currently serves as the Vice President of the Wisconsin Screenwriters Forum. She resides in South Central Wisconsin with her husband, daughter, and rambunctious terriers.

About Book

LIFE ACCORDING TO LIZ delves further into the life of 11-year-old Liz McCormick. Sixth grade is not starting off great for Liz. Her best friend, Veronica, ditches her to hang out with the popular kids, she humiliates herself at the big homecoming parade and to top it all off, she has to come home every day to her pain of a big sister, Sara Jane. How is it that two sisters can be so different?

Not only does Liz have school to worry about, but she also is preparing her unpredictable goat, Ginny for the 4-H Festival, and she discovers her parents are having financial difficulties. As her twelfth birthday draws nearer, Liz wonders how she is going to make it through the ever-changing world of home life and middle school.

Sixth grade continues, and Liz faces more challenges that come with growing up. She begins to realize that maybe boys aren’t so gross, that true friends are hard to find and that you can always count on family. As her tastes and priorities change along with everything else in her life, Liz discovers that becoming a teenager isn’t as bad as she thought, and maybe she and Sara Jane are more alike than they think.

Fun read Book one 
 "Tale of Two Sisters” series: 

COMING 2013:
Final book in the “Tale of Two Sisters” series: 

Please visit our publisher for all the details on this new book and other exciting books for tween readers!

My Thoughts

Liz is starting sixth grade with her best friend Veronica they are like sisters. The girls are starting sixth grade. Veronica seems to be changing to a girly girl where Liz is perfectly happy just being herself. Some would describe her as a tomboy. Veronica ends up making friends with the popular group and neglecting Liz. Since they have been so close over the years this is hard for Liz.

Then there is Liz's older sister Sarah Jane. Sarah Jane is sixteen and is still a pain. Liz caught Sarah Jane with a new cute guy Charlie but she is suppose to be exclusive with longtime boyfriend Jack. As far as Liz was concerned Jack was the best. She thought Sarah Jane was horrible cheating on Jack with Charlie.

Liz is in the 4-H and will be showing her goat Ginny. At the 4-H meet she makes friends with a wild and crazy girl named Paula. She also seems to noticing the boys more which is very confusing to her as to why she was thinking so much about boys here lately. She was especially noticing and being noticed by a boy named Robbie.

To make things even more complicated for her she has to give up her room to her Grandma that has just moved in with her family. Sarah Jane is not dealing very well with the idea of Liz sharing her room.

This book reminded me of my older sister and me. She was two years older than me and saw me as a pain. The story is pretty typical of sisters relationships at that age. I was telling my fifteen year old twin granddaughters about the book and they piped up and said they would read the series. So I will be passing the books to them.

I enjoyed reading about the relationship between Liz and her grandmother. The grandmother was able to show Liz that she was just as pretty as Sarah Jane. Liz turning twelve is a really difficult age for girls. So many changes to deal with. Their emotions and hormones are all over the place.

I recommend this book for tweens and young adults.

I rate this book a 5 out of 5. More than likely a tween would give it a five.

I received a free copy of the book from the author for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It was my own opinion.

Friday, July 6, 2012

My Cowboy Boots written by Crystal Bowman, illustrated by Meredith Johnson

My Cowboy Boots 
written by Crystal Bowman
illustrated by Meredith Johnson

Crystal Bowman’s use of fun rhymes in My Cowboy Boots gives level-one readers ideas for an “I’m bored” day. In this delightfully illustrated softcover book, a little girl and her red cowboy boots do all sorts of things together. Things that make her feet “very happy.”

My Review

This is such a cute rhyming story about a little girl that finds so much happiness with her new red cowboy boots.  She talks about them as if they were friends that she shared her daily life  with.  

I liked the illustrations they made this little girl come alive.  The colors are so vibrant they will  give you a happy heart.  Images of the little girl  reminds me of a little cherub angel.

We should all let our children  be free to find themselves even if you do not think the shoe fits them.  In this case if the cowboy boots fit wear em.  God has made each child in his image and they are original copies and are to be treasured.

If I had time to dig the picture out I would show you a picture of my second daughter and wearing her red cowboy boots.  She wore with her Houston Oilers western outfit. I think it was in 1979 or 1980.  She loved those boots. I have to admit I chose this book because the cover reminded me of her.  

After I read the book I knew I wanted to write more than just a review.  I had to let you know about this author.  She has some majorly impressive books for children. On her website there is a longer bio you must read.  I would have added more of her books below but I just didn't have enough time to to post all of them.  I sure wanted to though.

I highly recommend this book!

I rated this book a 5 out of 5.

I purchased this book for my personal reading pleasure and was in no way compensated for this review.  It is my own opinion.

About Crystal

Crystal Bowman is a best selling author of more than 60 books for kids as well as 3 books for women. She also writes magazine articles and lyrics for children's piano music. She wrote her first poem when she was in the 4th grade. Her teacher told her she would be a poet someday. Her first book of poetry, CRACKS IN THE SIDEWALK, was published in 1993. It has been republished several times and is still in print. She also speaks at schools, churches, and writers' conferences. 

For more information on Crystal, you can visit her website at

Below some of her books.  They can be found on Amazon along with many more of her books.

There are many more to check out on