Monday, March 29, 2010

School Event

This month has been a wonderful ride of book signing and school events. Today I will be visiting Mt. Hope School in Lansing where I will be discussing my new Joe-Joe Nut Series for lower elementary and my Crypto-Capers Series for upper elementary. Hello to all of the students!


Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Review for Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill

The Adventures of Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill, The Great Pie Catastrophe, is released. It is a chapter book perfect for younger children. Check out my website for more info about this book as well as some of the other books I have available. On the Book 1 Joe-Joe Nut page I even have a video for parents and children to watch to get familiar with the book as well as coloring pages for kids to print out. My website is:

I will be posting some of the new reviews for Joe-Joe on this page and others as they come up. I hope everyone will enjoy them.

I just received a great review for Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill, The Great Pie Catastrophe, at
A give away is also being done for this book but you must check it out and follow the rules to enter at the Heavenly Savings Book Reviews and Giveaways link. Thank you so much.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Berkley School District's Read in the Park Event

I am going to be at the following event on Sunday. Look forward to seeing you there.

Berkley School District’s Read in the Park; Sunday, March 21, 1pm-4pm

“There is no substitute for books in the life of a child” – Mary Ellen Chase

Book Beat and The Berkley Area PTSA Council are proud to present the Read in the Park on Sunday, March 21, 2010 at Berkley High School in the Collaborative Center, 2325 Catalpa Drive, Berkley, MI 48072-1897. The Collaborative Center is on north side of the building, facing the courtyard and Catalpa. March is Reading Month and in celebration five Michigan authors and illustrators have been invited to speak and autograph books for children and families. The event is free and open to the public. Books by the participating authors will be available at the event, also we will be sending out an order form for people who cannot attend but would like to purchase books and get them signed. Your purchase of these author’s books at the event, through the book-order form or at the Book Beat is important because it makes these events possible. We thank you for your support in the salute to reading!

Here’s the schedule for the day:


1:00 Doors open and reception table is available

1:15 General welcome to the event, summary of activities, thank you to our guests, vendors, administration, PTSA Council etc.

1:30 Author and Illustrator Amy Young

2:00 Author Michael P. Spradlin

2:30 Illustrator Kathryn Darnell

3:00 Author John Perry

3:30 Author Renée Hand

4:00 End of event and clean-up

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Review for Batty Malgoony's Mystic Carnivale

Batty Malgoony’s Mystic Carnivale
by K. Michael Crawford
(Virtual Book Worm, June 2009)

Batty Malgoony’s Mystic Carnivale is a magical drawing escapade that artists, young and old, are going to love. This is a true drawing book. Along with the beautifully brightly colored artwork covering every page, there are white spaces within the pictures for the reader to draw in and add their own special touches. The theme to this interesting drawing book is the carnival. Carnivals are legendary for their oddities and uniqueness, and what makes them different is what also seems to draw in the crowd. Things people have never seen before, and may never want to see again after they do.

Each page is filled with beautiful artwork of each event at Batty’s Carnivale and the interesting characters who work there, including Batty himself. The author introduces the reader to each area and explains a bit about it, guiding the reader to what needs to be done. What is fantastic are the spaces that he leaves for the reader to draw in. For some of the harder creatures or objects, he created an outline for the reader to follow to help them along and to inspire creativity.

This drawing book is for seven years old and up, definitely for the older children. There may be some drawings that younger children may not like and might find a little gruesome, though the drawings are cleanly done with no violence whatsoever. Even though both boys and girls could have fun with this book, the older boys who like the oddities and the gruesomeness of things, will love the chance to expand on it and be able to add and create really gross and disgusting things and characters.

K. Michael Crawford does a fabulous job with this book. He created a world that the reader can dive into, using their imaginations to propel them into another realm challenging their minds to go beyond the everyday and to really be creative. This drawing book is of course, fantasy, which allows the creation of several fantastical objects, characters, and things. The reader can just have fun. This would be a great book for children to take with them when they go on long trips or are in the car. It will keep their little hands and minds busy for hours.

Reviewer Renee Hand is the award-winning author of The Crypto-Capers series. Look for her upcoming release The Adventures of Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill, The Great Pie Catastrophe.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Review for The Mystery of Journey's Crowne

The Mystery of Journey’s Crowne
by K. Michael Crawford
(Virtual Book Worm, September 2008)

The Mystery of Journey’s Crowne is an amazing adventure drawing game that is unique and different. It begins with Bazel Lark who is confronted by a man who has a box with a mysterious key tucked neatly inside. The key is supposed to unlock the mystery of Journey’s Crowne. So, of course, Bazel, being the adventurer that he is, buys the key from the man and there begins his adventure. The problem is that, after years of searching, he cannot unlock the mystery. So he puts the problem and adventure to the reader to discover its secrets by having them draw in pictures and solve various puzzles that guide the reader along the way inside of the book.

This book is unique because it is a well-developed picture book slash drawing book slash workbook. The beautiful pictures dominate the reader’s view helping them become creative as to the characters and creatures they will be drawing in the spaces provided. Children who love to draw will love a chance at solving this drawing mystery. The puzzles in this book are diverse and challenging for the reader, which makes them fun to solve. This book is definitely for older children. With the diversity of puzzles, not all readers may know how to solve them. Some of the puzzles have directions on how to solve them, some do not. Unless you are familiar with the various puzzles that are out there, without direction, some may struggle through the puzzle portion. However, if the reader is a big puzzle fan like this reviewer, then the reader will have no problem solving the puzzle portion and can figure everything out on their own just fine.

The author gives several opportunities for children to do research on answering the questions and topics the reader is not familiar with and does not know the answers to, which is really fun. It gets the reader into the story even more and gets the reader to learn interesting facts as well.

Overall, K. Michael Crawford’s adventure book is unique and different from the other picture books slash workbooks out there. The author does a great job at creating such wonderful mysteries and interesting characters.

Reviewer Renee Hand is the award-winning author of The Crypto-Capers series. Look for her upcoming release The Adventures of Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill, The Great Pie Catastrophe.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Review for Racoon Tales by Joy E DeKok

Raccoon Tales
By Joy E DeKok
Jabberwocky Press, 2009

Raccoon Tales is a true story about the raising of five baby raccoons. The author shares her experiences with the reader and explains what happened to these little critters in that first year of their lives. In the beginning, they rested a lot and loved being held. Each of the raccoons were different, so they were given names. There was Chatter, Lucy, Shadow, Meeko and RC. The raccoons began to drink milk, but it was soon not enough, so they had to start eating fruit, cereal and other foods. Then Meeko becomes sick, but is nursed back to health. RC escapes from his outdoor cage and begins to wander the world, but soon returns. By the end of a year, it was time for the raccoons release back into the wild.

DeKok tells this story with charming rhyme and with the belief and reassurance that God is watching over all, including animals. Children will find the pictures delightful while the story teaches the reader about baby raccoons and some of the things they need in order to survive without a mother. The bible verses at the end of each chapter will inspire children to look beyond their worries and to be able to put some of them in God's hands. DeKok also leaves a section in the back of her book that gives the reader more information about raccoons.

Raccoon Tales show that we must take care of animals that are in need of help, and though they do not have voices that can tell us how they feel or what is wrong, their actions and unmistakable importance in this world can touch our hearts causing us to do what is right. The rest is in God’s hands.

Renee Hand is the award-winning author of The Crypto-Capers Series.

This review was for Pump Up Your Book Virtual Book Tour Promotions!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Review of Cat the Cat, Who is THAT? by Mo Willems

Cat the Cat, Who is THAT?
By Mo Willems
Harper Collins Publishers, 2010
Sent for review by Harper Collins Publishers

A Cute Read-Aloud Book That Will Delight Young Children

Cat the Cat, Who is THAT? Is a simply written story that teaches friendship to children up to 5 years of age. The energetic Cat the Cat introduces readers to her friends, like Mouse the Mouse, Duck the Duck, Fish the Fish and of course, to someone new. This stranger is quite different than Cat the Cats other friends, but after thinking about it for some time, not sure what to do, Cat the Cat decides to accept the uniqueness of this stranger and wants to become his friend. She instantly welcomes the stranger into her life and the lives of her friends. Cat the Cat shows children how easy it is to make new friends and to accept people who are different than they are.

The artwork guides the reader through the story as they watch Cat the Cat meet all her friends. Very young readers will love the colorful pages and simple text making them smile along with the characters. Mo Willems has other books in the Cat the Cat series including Let's say Hi to friends that FLY!

Renee Hand is the award-winning author of the Crypto-Capers Series.