Friday, April 29, 2016

Review for Where's Warhol? by Catherine Ingram and Andrew Rae

Product Details

Where’s Warhol by Catherine Ingram and Andrew Rae

Laurence King Publishing
May 3rd, 2016
ISBN-10: 1780677448
ISBN-13: 978-1780677446
40 Pages    

Reviewer: Renee Hand

Where’s Warhol is an incredibly detailed journey through various historical locations around the world. 

Similar in style to Where’s Waldo, this book has readers looking through 40 pages of vibrant scenes that Andy Warhol explored; he is placed among them in places such as the famous Studio 54, The Bauhaus, and Basquiat at Washington Square Park. 

Andy Warhol is well known for blurring the lines between commercial art and fine art. His silk-screen renderings of banal objects like Coke bottles and a Campbell’s Soup can established him as the leader of the Pop Art movement, as does his multi-image portrait of Marilyn Monroe.

Readers are going to have fun scouring each page to find Warhol somewhere in the scene. Certain pages are easier than others. With so much going on in the scene one really has to focus, but while doing so it’s easy to miss small details the illustrator threw in there—which is why the author and illustrator created pages in the back to look at the scene more closely to find more famous people. The info in the back also tells more about each place and the people of that time and their connection with Warhol. 

Not only are art lovers and Warhol fans going to enjoy this book, but also readers of all ages who like to search and find. This book is a unique piece to add to any picture book collection.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Review for Magic Cakes by Christelle Huet-Gomez

Product Details

Magic Cakes by Christelle Huet-Gomez
Hardie Grant Book
March 8th, 2016
ISBN-10: 1784880175
ISBN-13: 978-1784880170
Ages: All
72 Pages  

Cook Book Desserts

Reviewer: Renee Hand

“bakers of all ages will enjoy this 72-page dessert extravaganza . . .”

Magic Cakes is a simply delightful way to make three cakes with just one cake batter. A magic cake is very different than other cakes. The three layers are unique in texture and taste. One layer is dense and moist. Another layer has a delicate cream filling that tastes like pudding, while the third layer is light and spongy. The secret in all this is not some magical enchantment but the separation of egg whites at low cooking temperatures.

There are around 30 recipes from classical cakes to cupcakes, cheesecakes, quiches, and much more. The ingredients to each recipe are simple with less than 10 ingredients per recipe.

The measurements are laid out in two different ways: in grams and in ounces. This might need a little bit of getting used to depending on which country one lives. Some recipes are meant to be baked in smaller baking dishes, especially some of the cakes.

The egg whites are definitely key in these recipes. If your whites are not whipped well enough it will taste accordingly in the final product. Some of the ingredients can be modified that are more familiar to certain countries.

Though these recipes are simple in nature it does take time to have them turn out right. But don’t fret, the author gives the reader every tip needed for success, the baker just needs to be patient with the process.
Illustrations on every page help the baker with what the final outcome of the dessert should look like.

This is a great guide. Overall, bakers of all ages will enjoy this 72-page dessert extravaganza and the challenge to make these flavorful, yet simple recipes.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Review for President Lincoln: From Log Cabin to White House by Demi

Product Details

President Lincoln: From Log Cabin to White House by Demi
Wisdom Tales
February 7th, 2016
ISBN-10: 1937786501
ISBN-13: 978-1937786502
Ages: 6 and up years old
32 Pages  

Children’s Book Historical Reference

Reviewer: Renee Hand

Abraham Lincoln From Log Cabin to White House is an accounting of Lincoln’s humble beginnings in Kentucky to the height of his prominence and prestige as president in the White House.

The timeline of events begins on February 12, 1809, when Lincoln was born in Kentucky. It then progresses to his home life and his various moves, highlighting the importance of his mother and father in his life. His love of animals is prevalent throughout the pages in the various things that Lincoln does. His love of reading fueled his desire in becoming a lawyer and throughout his life he proves to be honest and kind.

From his start in being elected to the U.S. Congress in Washington, DC, to his election as president, Lincoln’s journey wasn’t easy, especially with slavery and the Civil War going on. He was a man torn between his wishes for peace and his belief that slavery was wrong.

Readers are going to love using this book as a secondary source for learning more about Abraham Lincoln, one of our country’s most beloved presidents. Though this book doesn’t cover all the facts of Lincoln’s life it does give a good summary that young readers will understand and enjoy.

The author also added in one of Lincoln’s greatest speeches, “The Gettysburg Address,” as well as a quick timeline of his life in the back of the book with fascinating facts that will interest young readers. With colorful illustrations and fabulous quotes on each page, children of all ages will enjoy learning about Lincoln’s life and his journey to the presidency.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Author Visit for The Case of the Missing Sock and my Crypto-Capers Series

The Case of the Missing Sock!

Thank you to Sequoya Elementary for the great author visit we had this week. The students read my book The Case of the Missing Sock. It is book 1 in my Crypto-Capers Series. The students asked me questions about the book and about being an author. What a great day!


The Team: In this story siblings Max and Mia Holmes, along with their good friend Morris and their flamboyant Granny Holmes, are known as The Crypto-Capers. They are a group of detectives who unravel crimes by solving cryptograms that criminals leave behind. Mia is an expert puzzle solver. Max is great at deduction and reasoning. Morris is a computer genius, and Granny . . . well, Granny is the muscle of the group. Don't let her size or age fool you she is quite handy. 

The Stolen Items: An antique sock (just one) and Prada sunglasses. 

The Assignment: The Case of the Missing Sock leads the Crypto-Capers to Florida, where they are hired by a Mr. Delacomb. The mystery leads the team to different locations. Clues flourish throughout the mystery. Suspects by the handful seem to pop up at every turn, but who committed the crime? Help the detectives solve the case by solving the cryptograms and puzzles. Good luck!

Friday, April 1, 2016

Book Review for Wish by Emma Dodd

Wish by Emma Dodd
Nosy Crow
December 8thth, 2015
ISBN-10: 0763680095
ISBN-13: 978-0763680091
Ages: 2-5 years old
24 Pages    

Wish is a delightful 24-page story about the relationship between a wolf and her cub, which is relateable to a parent and child. This hardcover picture book features a tenderly composed rhyming text, heartwarming blue and gray illustrations, and flurries of foil throughout which makes certain pages look silver.

Each scene expresses the bond between a parent and their child. As the story is read it can be emotional. The texts echo the thoughts of most parents and how they feel towards their child during various phases of their lives.

Children between the ages of 2-5 years old will delight in the story which revels in the knowledge that when they grow up there will always be someone special who only wants what’s best for them. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Book Review for National Geographic Kids Funny Fill In: My Bug Adventure

National Geographic
December 8th, 2015
ISBN-10: 1426321996
ISBN-13: 978-1426321993
Ages: 8-12 years old
48 Pages

My Bug Adventure is a funny fill-in by National Geographic that is colorful and fun. Similar to Mad Libs, funny fill-ins can be played alone or with a partner. Using the parts of speech and other terms, children can create wild and funny stories over and over again.

What sets this fill-in apart from others is that it is in full color instead of black and white. It also has fun facts about bugs on every page that children will find interesting. Directions are given in the front of the book as well as break downs of the parts of speech and other terms children will need to know.

Children 8-12 years of age will enjoy this new type of fill-in activity book. This is a fun activity to also do as a family to create wild and crazy stories while traveling in the car on long trips. Children who love this type of fill-in will also enjoy the dozens of other fill-ins by National Geographic all with a different theme that will appeal to the reader.    

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Interview with Heather Harlow for her Sci-Fi Novel The Argon Factor

Come and join me as I talk with author Heather Harlow about her Sci-Fi novel The Argon Factor on Stories From Unknown Authors at 3pm EST today.

Product Details

Book Summary:

In a futuristic world, where Earth's cities are still recovering from being ravaged by gang wars, cyber crime is at its peak and threatens the world's digitized monetary supply. 

Susan Caldwell is a newly hired security development manager at GTS, the company that controls the world's monetary supply and data. The sophisticated systems have been hacked and now people on Susan's team are being killed while they try to fix the breach. 

Susan, who trusts no man, must rely upon the GTS CEO, Christoph Baldric, to keep her safe. Little does she know that he's the Argon alien commander on Earth. She's not interested in him, doesn't want a hookup with him, but is extremely attracted to him. Susan has her own plans and will be having a baby through the fertility clinic. She's excited about her pending future, that is, if she is still alive. 

Christoph Baldric's mission is to protect the Earth's humans and nurture them so that eventually his people can merge with the humans. Christoph's planet, Argon, was blown up when their major sun exploded into a black hole. The people of Argon have been studying and nurturing Earth for many millennia as a new, potential home. Now is the time to make Earth their home and begin merging with Earth's humans, making both races stronger. 

But first, the Argonians must save Earth from the Grogan's, the Argon nemesis from their home universe, Baldracon, who want to eliminate all life on Earth and take the planet for their own.

Author Bio:

She likes sci-fi movies and series, like Star Trek and Battle Star Galactica. More recently, she's been enjoying the Avenger movies. In addition to her sci-fi interests, she's a romantic. Therefore, it was natural for her to write about science fiction and combine it with a human interest story that has sex and romance in it.

Heather graduated from University of Memphis (BBA) and Tennessee Technological University (MBA). She currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her dogs, Mickey (13) , a Golden Retriever, Jack (5mos), a black lab/shepherd mix, and two cats, Smokey and Cali.

She loves wine, good music, great food, the beach, swimming, football (college and NFL), World Cup Soccer, and NHL Playoffs.

  • Paperback: 266 pages
  • Publisher: Heather Harlow Books (October 19, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1627471715
  • ISBN-13: 978-1627471718