Thursday, April 29, 2010

Review for Nobunny's Perfect by Anna Dewdney

Nobunny’s Perfect by Anna Dewdney

(Puffin, February 4, 2010)

Nobunny’s Perfect is a simply illustrated 32-page picture book that teaches children about different kinds of behavior and about using good manners.

Nobunny’s Perfect uses bunny children to demonstrate how every child wants to be good, but at times might find themselves in a position to be not so good. Sometimes a child’s feelings are caused from sadness, from being overly tired, or just having a bad day that might be triggered by the smallest of things. The story then rolls into covering instances when a child can misbehave. Any parent in the world can relate to the examples that Mrs. Dewdney writes about and illustrates. Many parents probably have a few gray hairs from similar experiences. I know I do.

After covering some ways a child can misbehave, the author then goes into the preferable ways a child can behave. The illustrations express the feelings and emotions of each character during the entire story, allowing children to visualize how relaxing and enjoyable the environment around them can be when they behave properly, and how tense and frustrating the environment can be when they do not.

Though this story covers good and bad behavior and having good manners, it misses how a child, when having feelings of anger or frustration, can learn how to diffuse it. Children sometimes act out because they don’t know how else to express themselves. A good point to have added might be how a child could have dealt with those feelings. How a child could go from acting out and misbehaving to learning how to act more properly and how to become a well behaved child on his or her own.

The truth concerning children’s emotions is that each day is like flipping a quarter. You never know what you’re going to get. One day behavior is great; the next day, the parent’s gray hairs are taking over.

Overall, Nobunny’s Perfect is written in easy rhyme with a good moral that children will enjoy listening to and learning from. It’s a great read for children between the ages of 4–8.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Book Review and Giveaway for Clive Cussler's New Children's Book, The Adventures of Hotsy Totsy

The Adventures of Hotsy Totsy by Clive Cussler
(Philomel Books, May 13, 2010)

The Adventures of Hotsy Totsy is a flavorful combination of adventure and youthful ingenuity.

This story begins with a magical machine in the shape of a small box, which is given to twins, Lacey and Casey Nicefolk, as a gift from a mysterious man who had helped out on their farm. This machine has the capability of changing any toy-sized object into one of life-sized proportions. Realizing the machine’s capability, Lacey and Casey try it out by enlarging a model wooden boat, one which they are determined to enter into the Gold Cup Grand National Race in San Francisco, California. But the twins are going to be getting more than what they bargained for in Hotsy Totsy. The boat has a mind of its own, with determination and spirit, and is simply magical.

With the twins’ goal in mind of winning the race, they neglect to see the evil that lurks in the darkness, threatening to stop them. A phantom black boat, which houses old enemies, soon surfaces and kidnaps the twins, taking them to the island of Alcatraz. However, help comes in the shape of their loyal dog, Floopy, and of course, Hotsy Totsy.

The twins are freed and begin and finish the race with an outcome so unexpected, that it causes the world to fall in love with them, because winning is not everything. What the twins discover in themselves is more than the satisfaction of crossing the finish line; it is the compassion, kindness, and unselfishness along the way that shows what true heroes are all about.

True to Clive Cussler’s love and knowledge of boats and adventure, he creates a wonderful tale in his first children’s book, a 192-page adventure filled with intrigue and suspense. Children of all ages will enjoy this middle-grade novel and will look forward to reading many more interesting adventures of the Nicefolk twins.

The one thing this reviewer would like to have learned more about was the adventures of Vin Fiz, which is an air plane that the twins first used the magic box on, making it life-size. It was on one of their adventures with Vin Fiz that the twins meet up with the villains from The Adventures of Hotsy Totsy. There is quite a bit of information in Hotsy Totsy which insinuates many things about a previous adventure that the reader knows very little about and the author keeps referring to, making this reviewer think that there was another children’s book out there that was a prequel to this one—which there is: The Adventures of Vin Fiz, published in 2006. Aside from the fact that this book should stand on its own and provide any missing information within its own covers, this reviewer enjoyed Hotsy Totsy.

Overall though, an enjoyable read.

Reading level: Ages 9-12

Hardcover Price: $14.99

Friday, April 16, 2010

Barnes and Nobles Book Signing Event

Barnes and Nobles Education Event in Flint with Award-Winning Author Renee Hand

Award-Winning author, Renee Hand, will be at Barnes and Nobles on April 16th starting at 5:30pm to discuss with parents and educators her new children's mystery series. Her upper elementary series known as The Crypto-Capers Series, is an interactive series where the reader is apart of the story solving the case. Mrs. Hands lower elementary series known as, The Adventures of Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill, is a great combination of fun loving animal detectives who solve their case by following animal tracks and learning about clues. Author will also be signing books after the event and answering questions. For more information about these book check authors website at

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New Review For The Raindrop

The Raindrop by Brian D. McClure

(Universal Flag Publishing, February 1, 2006)

The Raindrop is a beautifully illustrated picture book about a raindrop and its place in the world. The story begins with the Raindrop having a discussion with a cloud. The Raindrop tells the cloud that he is smaller than small, and that he feels that he has no use at all. The cloud tells the Raindrop of its importance in the world, and that he should rethink his worth, but the Raindrop does not listen and chooses not to believe the cloud. His head is too filled with negative ideas and thoughts about himself. As the Raindrop falls to the ground and gets sucked into the parched earth, which seriously needs water because it is going through a drought, the Raindrop fears being alone. It still does not see its purpose.

Then the rains come and fill the earth with water, bringing everything back to life again, and still the Raindrop cannot see its purpose. It is not until a farmer uses water from a well, which sucks up the Raindrop and sprays it all around his fields of corn, that he finally sees his purpose. He is a part of the water system all along, which is indeed, very important to the world. He has always been a part of something special, but never saw it until that day. The Raindrop is happy again. He now understands his gifts and what he was born to do, and that was to help hydrate the world. If things do not all work together, nothing would exist, including us. The sun, moon and earth must create a balance, which they do and because of this we can maintain life. Everything has a purpose, sometimes we just don't see what our purpose is until we discover it for ourselves.

This adventurous journey uncovers many truths, which help the Raindrop remember the higher purpose of his life. This story also teaches us about the water cycyle and how important it is. This is a simple, heartfelt story that allows children and adults of all ages to remember the truth of who they are and their place in the world. Everyone is important and everyone is needed.

This picture book is available through
This book was sent to me for review from Pump Up Your Book Promotion Tours. Thank you so much.
Renee Hand

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Interview and Book Give-Away for Author Robert Calixto

Joining us today is Robert L. Calixto, author of The Cloud Seekers, A Pirate Ship in the Clouds, a picture book for children. We’re going to talk to Robert about his new book and learn more about him as an author.

Welcome, Robert. It’s great to have you with us. Please tell my readers a bit about yourself.

Robert: I was born in Manila, Philippines. My family migrated to Los Angeles in the late seventies, when I was ten years old. So you can say I’m bi-cultural. I’ve always been a very creative person, and have had a passion for all forms of arts ever since I can remember; music, photography, film, writing original stories, etc. I also have a passion for pop culture, business and the world at large.

How did your writing career begin?

Robert: I began writing seriously about three years ago. Prior to that, I owned and operated a real estate company for over seventeen years. Between the years 2001 and 2006, as a way to give back to the community, I taught real estate and loans to would-be agents in my area, for free! I put together my own “manual” as a guideline for the classes, complete with motivational articles and my own personal take on the business world. The response was great, and a few students suggested I re-write it as a self-help book. The author in me came out from this promising experience. About three years ago, I started writing various stories and began my research on publishing my stories.

What age group is this book for?

Robert: It is written for the first and third grade levels, but really for children of all ages!

What inspired you to write it?

Robert: When I was a child growing up in the tropical islands of Manila, I used to go to the roof of my grandmother’s house and “stare at the clouds” for hours, sometimes all by myself. I used to love the rainy seasons because after it rained, the clouds would move very quickly and I could find more things in the sky. I wrote about the experience in an essay called “A Cloud Seeker’s Story”. A friend read it and convinced me to include it in the first book. I’m very glad I did. It’s also in the website.

In what forms is your book available? Is it available in e-book, hard cover or traditional paperback, or all?

Robert: For now, it’s available only on perfect-bound paperback. That could change depending on the demand.

Tell us about any other books that you have written and or are working on.

Robert: The Cloud Seekers “A Pirate Ship in the Clouds” is my very first published literary work. I am currently working on publishing the next two follow-ups to the series: Book 2 is called “Meet The Cloud Seekers” and Book 3 is called “Whales in the Sky”. In Book 2 and 3, the kids actually “ride” on Cloud Nine, and their cloud-flying adventures begin!

I’ve also written three other children’s books that hasn’t seen the light of day yet. I am currently in the process of finding the right illustrator for two of them. The third one, called The Racers, looks like it will also be illustrated by Russel Wayne. He illustrated the Cloud Seekers.

For homeschool parents, such as myself, we are always looking for the best curriculums, workbooks, supplements and subjects to best teach our children. What will children learn from The Cloud Seekers?

Robert: There are two major lessons that children will get out of the Cloud Seekers series. One is diversity and acceptance. The characters come from various cultural backgrounds, and they are all very friendly with each other. Another is the idea of being outdoors, using your imagination when you look for things in the clouds. There is absolutely no age limit to using our imagination. I still love to look for things in the clouds!

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

Robert: Yes. We’re at

For more of my other writing projects, please go to:

Where can readers purchase your books and how much do they cost?

Robert: You can purchase the book from,,, and If you get it through The Cloud Seekers website, I will personally sign the book! The cost is $12.95

What's next for you? Is there anything else that you are involved in?

Robert: I am in the process of shopping The Cloud Seekers series for a production company, to produce The Cloud Seekers Animated Television series, if you can believe that. I am also working on other movie and book projects.

Is there anything else that you would like to add or share about you or your books?

Robert: Yes, my favorite genre is definitely chidren’s books, but I’ve also written quite a few original stories for adults, soon to be in a bookstore or movie theatre near you!

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to our readers today. Good luck in all of your future endeavors. Please check out The Cloud Seekers, A Pirate Ship in the Clouds.

Robert: Thank you and God Bless!

This book is also being offered as a book give-away. Here are the rules. Anyone who wishes to participate will need to:

1) Become a member on both of my sites. and

2) Become a member on Robert Calixto's site as well at

Please blog me and let me know that you are a member on all three sites. A drawing will be done randomly Monday April 19th.

Good luck to all who enters. This book was given to me by the author for review.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Book Review for The Cloud Seekers, A Pirate Ship in the Clouds, by Robert Calixto

The Cloud Seekers, A Pirate Ship In The Clouds by Robert L. Calixto
(Halo Publishing, March 31, 2010)

The Cloud Seekers, A Pirate Ship In The Clouds, is a story about a group of friends who are known as The Cloud Seekers. One day they were sitting in their tree house high up in a tree, after attending their friend Teresa’s birthday party, where she was called Princess Teresa for her special day. The group gazed up into the heavenly sky and realized that many of the clouds looked like different shapes and objects, like a dog, a hat, a heart, a key, an umbrella, and many other shapes that their imaginations allowed them to see.

The clouds that were most fascinating to the group of friends were the ones shaped as a long train that seemed to move so effortlessly through the sky as if it had passengers to pick up. Another, was of a pirate ship that appeared so detailed and real that one could almost walk on it and have an adventure in the skies. It was at that moment The Cloud Seekers discovered their true calling.

This picture book brings an interesting twist to a childhood memory. I can remember a time, not so long ago, when I would gaze into the sky and see all the various shapes in the clouds my imagination could muster. I still do that today on occasion, along with my children. This is a great book that children are going to read and enjoy. If a child hasn’t begun to notice the clouds in the sky and the images their imaginations can uncover before, they certainly will after reading this delightful story.

An interview with the author Robert Calixto, will be posted tomorrow along with an opportunity for a book give-away. Please check it out then.

His book can be ordered through Amazon at the following link.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Book Signing Event

I will be at Barnes and Nobles in East Lansing off of Grand River Ave to talk about my Crypto-Capers Series and Joe-Joe Nut Series to educators. I will be signing books afterwards so please stop by and say hello and purchase your signed copies. Please visit my website at to look at videos and to print out color sheets for the Joe-Joe Nut Series. I will be there from 10am -1pm. Thanks!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A review for The Imaginary Journeys of BJ and Dobbin

The Imaginary Journeys of BJ and Dobbin by Betty J. Riordan
(Xulon Press, November 2008)

The Imaginary Journeys of BJ and Dobbin is a collection of bedtime stories involving a little girl named BJ and her rocking horse, Dobbin. During those times when she is getting ready for bed, BJ imagines Dobbin trotting off with her, the pair taking an imaginary journey into history. The chapters are about people and places that made America what it is today. Each chapter ends the same: with BJ's mother tapping her shoulder to tell her to get off her rocking horse and go to bed. It is at that moment BJ realizes it was just an imaginary journey and yet her experience has taught her much. The stories bring to mind BJ being a much older child than what she actually is.

Have you ever imagined going back in time, meeting various kinds of people in history? It would make one wonder: How did they dress? What foods did they eat? What was their family life like? Who were their friends? The answers to some of those questions can be found in this story. Some of the people BJ learned more about are Christopher Columbus and other explorers, Sacagawea, Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross, Daniel Boone, Patsy Washington (George Washington’s wife), Abraham Lincoln, the Statue of Liberty, the Wright Brothers, and other notable personages.

This book brings up some great historical information that children of all ages will be able to learn from. It helps the reader become consumed in a specific moment in time and understand what it might have been like to live in that time period or to be involved in a certain situation. Furthermore, the narrative helps readers to understand better the adversities some of the people in our past had to endure, or the reasoning behind why some of them did what they did.

This collection of imaginary journeys brings up some great questions that children will be able to learn from that may help them write about specific historical figures when required by the school curriculum. It also might fire up a child’s imagination, inspiring him or her to ask other, more in-depth questions. Upper elementary-age children will benefit from this creative learning tool.