Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Linden Summer Happenings Book Signing Event

Hello Everyone,
I will be at the Linden Summer Happenings Festival in Linden Michigan on Friday June 25th and Saturday June 26th signing copies of all my books including book 1 of my Joe-Joe Nut Series. I look forward to seeing everyone there. Here is a link to the official website where there is literally tons of acivities for families to do together. This a great event for the community. There will be fireworks, a parade, bands, as well as carnival rides and much more. Lots of fun. See you there!


Book Review for Holiday Poems for Children by Barbara Bryan

Holiday Poems for Children by Barbara Bryan

Outskirts Press

Holiday Poems for Children is a collection of twenty poems that covers almost every holiday of the year, from Valentine ’s Day to Christmas. Each poem is focused on either the history of the particular holiday or the popular and most well known characters of it. Children will enjoy the simplistic and easy to understand rhyme learning about the meanings of the holidays or the feelings that every child has experienced during them.

The full page illustrations were colorful and filled with meaning. Children will be able to share in the same memories or can understand the images the illustrator inspires. The cover of this book was very nicely developed, covering the holidays throughout the year, attracting the readers attention. The drawback of this book is that the interior illustrations were done in crayon, colored pencil and marker and appeared childlike, distracting away from the poems. Illustrations are huge when the book is a picture book. They are a draw to the reader and are important in understanding the poems meaning because it is the first thing the reader focuses on, words become secondary.

When reading poetry, the words should capture the reader, making them think about what the author had in mind or what they represented, to be able to feel the author’s emotions. The poems didn't capture the essence that majority of poetry elicits regardless if the poetry is for children or adults. Young children will enjoy the simplicity of the poems created for this book for easy understanding, inspiring them to write and illustrate their own books, but older children will find it lacking in texture.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Interview on a Book and Chat with Renee Hand

I hope everyone was able to stop by and listen to my interview and conversation with Barry Eva on Blog Talk Radio. What a great interview. Barry is so easy to talk to and we have such a great time. It really does feel like you are sitting down and chatting with a good friend. For anyone who missed the interview. You can hear it at the following link. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Across-the-Pond

Thank you to everyone who took the time to listen to the interview. I greatly appreciate it, and thank you to Barry for taking the time to interview me on his show, "A Book and a Chat".

Renee Hand

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Book and a Chat with Renee Hand on Blog Talk Radio

Hello Everyone, on Monday June 7th at 6:30pm, I am going to be on “A Book and a Chat with Renee Hand” on Blog Talk Radio with Barry Eva. This is a great show to be on. It is very relaxing and fun. Please check it out and listen at location: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Across-the-Pond

More about Barry:

"A Book and a Chat" has proved a hugely popular radio program with people of all ages. With over a hundred and fifty shows already recorded, Barry's format of "a chat over a cup of tea" has received nothing but rave reviews from guest and listeners alike. The writer of a successful young adult romance book "Across the Pond" Barry has himself appeared on a large number of radio and TV programs. "A Book and a Chat" is a program for writers and readers, not so much a literary show, more like... let’s sit around have a cup of tea and a few laughs."

Thanks everyone.

Renee Hand

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Book Review for Donner the Western Dragon by Suzanne Davis Marion

Donner the Western Dragon by Suzanne Davis Marion

BookSurge Publishing (November 27, 2009)
Donner the Western Dragon is a wonderful story of a hero’s tale that expresses the importance of patience and humility.

Donner is a dragon that lives in the forest along with his family and other dragon families. His best friend is a unicorn named Una. Both creatures were playful and relaxed, never looking for a fight but just enjoying the beauty of nature. Though other dragons found this behavior strange, because they would blow fire showing off for each other, Donner was happy and content. He knew he could blow fire hotter and farther than any of the other dragon’s, but felt no reason to prove it.

However, Donner’s father, Ragnar, spoke with him about his behavior, wanting him to be more like the other dragons. Though Donner tried, wanting to please his father, he soon resorted back to his relaxed and playful ways, feeling that blowing fire for no reason was wasteful. He really found no purpose in it, especially when he saw how long the younger dragons took to regain their fire after they had spent it. Donner’s preservation of his gift was soon going to be tested. Trouble came to the younger dragons with swift wings. They found themselves in terrible trouble when they were playing in a cave and the exit was blocked with ice, rock and snow. Having wasted their fire in play, the young dragons could not save themselves. So who was to come to their rescue? The only dragon that had enough fire to do the job—Donner.

This story combines a lot of elements that children can relate to. In school, there are children who show off their talents to impress their friends, but it takes one moment for someone to shine like the sun, and it is usually someone that no one ever expected. Though Donner knew he was the best at doing something, he felt no need to show off. He was secure in his beliefs and was comfortable with who he was, not letting anyone change him into being something that he wasn’t. After Donner saved the younger dragons, he didn’t boast or brag, but merely returned to relax in the sun with a happiness filling his heart. Many lessons can be learned from this story. This paperback picture book is great for children between the ages of 9-12.

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

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Book Review for Animal Crackers Fly The Coop by Kevin O' Malley

Animal Crackers Fly the Coop by Kevin O’Malley

(Walker Books for Young Readers, April 13, 2010)

Animal Crackers Fly the Coop is a hilariously funny book that children will love and repeat the jokes in forever.

Animal Crackers Fly the Coop begins with a hen that likes to tell jokes. Not being happy with her life of laying eggs, Hen leaves to find a better life for himself, having a dream of opening up a comedy club. Along her journey, she meets other animals that want the same thing as she does, a more satisfying and funny life with animals who understand them.

She meets up with Dog, who is also a comedian; Cat, who wants to be a performer; and Cow, who loves telling jokes. The foursome join forces. As they continue on together, they soon come across an old house where they find three robbers inside. All the animals are focused on the tasty food that is sitting on the table and the nice and comfortable place to sleep, so they wait for the robbers to leave before entering. When the robbers return home, the animals scare the robbers. Out of nervousness, the animals begin to tell jokes. The robbers, clearly not able to understand what the animals are saying, soon run off, leaving the animals the house. You can imagine what the animals do with the house next.

The Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale “The Bremen Town Musicians” was the inspiration for this story. In that fairy tale the animals of the story become musicians, realizing that each animal has a specific talent that meshes well with the group. Mr. O’Malley goes another way with it, putting more humor into the story, which the reader will appreciate. His animals tell jokes and though some jokes are hysterically funny, some are also very corny—but all will put a smile on the reader’s face.

This reviewer’s only concern was that younger children might miss some of the weaved in humor. Adults will catch it easily, so will older children, but when this book was read to a group of children of various age groups, for though the children immediately laughed when hearing the jokes, younger children didn’t understand some of the humor. This book is best read with the intention of explaining some of the humor and how it relates to the specific animals. Otherwise the author’s meaning will get lost with the younger readers and they are the ones who should be enjoying this story the most.

The illustrations in Animal Crackers Fly the Coop, a 40-page story, depict the humor well. Children will laugh at the cleverly written story. And kids who love telling jokes will surely use its contents to add to their repertoire. This hardcover picture book is great for children between the ages of 4–8.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Barnes and Nobles Book Signing and Discussion Event

Hello Everyone,
I will be at Barnes and Nobles in East Lansing tonight from 6-7:30pm, to kick off summer reading. Please join me there and say hello. I will be signing all of my books in the Crypto-Capers Series and the Joe-Joe Nut Series.