Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Book Releases and Updates

Good Morning,

I just wanted to send everyone updates about my new releases. Just released in September was Book 4 of The Crypto-Capers Series: The Chest of Mystery. This is the long awaited other half to Book 3 The Legend of the Golden Monkey. The summary of the book is below. Also released this year was my new lower elementary series. It is about animal detectives. The reader will be learning about animals and animal tracks. My website is full of great information. More is going to be added. Books are available through Barnes and Nobles, Amazon .com, my website of course, and other bookstores. Thank you and hope everyone is doing well.

Book 4: The Crypto-Capers in The Chest of Mystery


In the conclusion of the search for the Golden Monkey, the Crypto-Capers, Granny, Max, Mia and Morris, find more than what they bargained for. From the very beginning, their resolve will be tested. Having found two of the pieces to open the treasure room in book 3, they soon come to realize they only have half of the puzzle solved. Their search for the other two pieces, will become more exigent. The Panther is hot on their trail, sabotaging them at every turn, like they had done to him in Chichen Itza. Feeling like he is close to finding the Golden Monkey, the Panther sends every accomplice he knows to thwart the detective team from finding the pieces, while at the same time, using their talents and knowledge for his own gain.

In The Chest of Mystery the team will travel across the globe to Pisa, Italy where they will have to fight for their freedom, or be captured by the enemy. They must be one step ahead, but can it be done when the man who holds all the answers disappears without a trace? The Crypto-Capers list of friends begins to dwindle until they realize the answers are right in front of them, all they have to do is look, and believe. Their fate drops in the hands of one boy, Emmanuel Watson, whose history is tied to the chest, but can he find the strength to do what he must, especially when the world is against him? When so close to accomplishing their goal, obstacles arise, and the scent of betrayal is in the air. Come join the Crypto-Capers in the closure of the Golden Monkey. Good luck!


The Adventures of Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill in Case#1 The Great Pie Catastrophe 
Down in Acorn Valley just before the 42nd annual Pie Festival could begin, a crime was committed. Someone stole Miss Cluck’s blueberry pie that she was going to enter into the pie contest. Who did she call to come toher aid? She called the best detectives in the valley of course—Joe-Joe Nut and Biscuit Bill animal detectives. As they discover clues and gather facts, the hunt begins and Joe-Joe and Biscuit follow animal tracks that lead them to four different suspects. Bears, ducks, frogs, raccoons…oh my! But who committed the crime? Use your deduction and reasoning skills to solve the case along with Joe-Joe and Biscuit. Learn about animaltracks and some of the animals who make them. Can the case be solved before the judging of the pies? Come find out in Book #1: The Great Pie Catastrophe.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Book Signing Event at Durand Middle School

I will be at Durand Middle School for their Craft Show signing and discussing all of my wonderful books on Saturday October 23 from 10-4pm. Feel free to stop by and enjoy the 75 other crafters. See you there.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Book Review for National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Animals by Catherine D. Hughes

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Animals by Catherine D. Hughes

(National Geographic Children’s Books, October 12, 2010)
ISBN 10: 1426307047
ISBN 13: 978-1426307041
128 Pages       Ages 4-8        Nonfiction/Children’s Books/Animals/Reference

National Geographic Little Kids’ First Big Book of Animals is a wonderful animal reference that will delight children and will entertain them for years to come.

Inspired by the National Geographic Little Kids magazine comes an exhilarating new reference book for children between the ages of 4–8. It is a 128-page book filled with various types of information about some well-known animals of the world and some more obscure ones as well.

The table of contents is broken down by habitat plus a few of the animals that live in that particular habitat. It is an easy guide to help readers find their way through the pages. Each spread is filled with wonderful up-close photographs of animals and their babies in their natural habitat.

What was an excellent addition to this book was the Facts section on each page. Each Facts section includes: kind of animal, where it lives, the size of the animal, the types of food it eats, the sounds it makes, and how many babies the animal typically has. Children will find this information really interesting, as well as the facts about some of the various species of certain animals. The added pictures help compare the different species so the reader can see the differences or similarities. The text is simple enough not to be intimidating.

Children and parents will love the section in the back of the book that includes parent tips for extending the reader’s experience beyond the pages of the book. The activities relate to majority of the animals, helping children picture themselves in that animal’s world. An animal map in the back of the book color codes each continent, showing the reader where each animal discussed can be found. There is also a glossary and an index.

The only quibble was that not all babies of the animals were shown, or all the names of what they were called. With majority of the animals in the book shown taking care of their young, and how the baby animals grow and change, this felt like a misstep in the text.

Overall, this book was well developed, bringing many unique features to the younger age group, keeping them fascinated with animals and the world around them. Children of all ages will enjoy this hardcover book and will learn a ton.

Reviewer Renee Hand is the award-winning author of The Crypto-Capers series for children. Look for her new release in the Crypto-Capers Series: Book 4: The Chest of Mystery.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Book Review for G.W. Frog and the Circus Lion by George W. Everett

G.W. Frog and the Circus Lion by George W. Everett

(West Bow Press, August 2010)

G.W. Frog and the Circus Lion is a cute story about friendship and helping others.

G.W. Frog and the Circus Lion begins with G.W. Frog being woken from his sleep by loud noises coming from the town of Frog Holler. G.W. and several of the other animals of the wood, soon come to realize that a circus has come to town. Curiosity, getting the better of them, caused the animals of the woods to walk around and look at all of the amazing animals of the circus. There was one animal, however, that caught their attention the most—a sobbing lion. A lion, who was usually the king of all beasts, brave and strong, was sad about something. G.W. Frog wanted to know why.

So, he asked him. The lion replied that he was sad because he was old and had lost all of his teeth. He felt he was more of a laughing stock to children instead of the proud lion he was before. It is because of this that the circus boss won’t let the lion travel with them during the parade in town. G.W. Frog, along with his friend, Gerald the Grasshopper, feels sorry for the lion. Naturally they also feel compelled to help him by finding him some new teeth. But can it be done before the parade starts at 2pm? What will they try to use for teeth?

The bright and colorful illustrations, really accentuates the words of the story. The book is bigger than most children books and is paperback, but works well with children’s hands, the pictures large enough for children to analyze and admire.

Children between the ages of 4–8 will especially enjoy the simple and cute story that speaks of how strangers can help someone in need, bringing them happiness, in this 32-page picture book.

Reviewer Renee Hand is the award-winning author of The Crypto-Capers series for children. Look for her new release in the Crypto-Capers Series: Book 4: The Chest of Mystery.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Book Signing for Kapnicks Orchard

Hello Everyone,

I am going to be at Kapnicks Orchard for their fall festival this weekend on the 9th and 10th of October. I will be signing all copies of my books and discussing them. It should be a great time with hay rides, picking pumpkins and buying apples. Hope to see everyone there.


Friday, October 1, 2010

Book Review for Me, Frida by Amy Novesky

Me, Frida

Me, Frida by Amy Novesky

(Abrams Books for Young Readers, October 1, 2010)

Me, Frida is an exhilarating true story about an amazing artist who changed the way people saw her and inspired many others to not forget their own dreams.

Me, Frida is about Frida Kahlo. She married a great Mexican painter named Diego Rivera. To Diego, his wife was as bright as the stars in the sky, but Frida felt small and unimportant in comparison to him. It was how she saw herself—and the way others had also seen her.

Frida and Diego were both artists, Diego more well-known. Frida was still trying to find herself as an artist and a woman when they moved from Mexico to San Francisco during the 1930s. And though Frida was at first intimidated by the big city, it was there that she found her muse.

Frida discovered the beauty, diversity, and exuberance of America. She found her hidden talents as an artist and was soon working diligently to become better. At parties, Frida would cling to Diego’s arm and it was there, in the public eye, that no one ever saw her. People would ignore her existence. It was at one such party, after Frida found her inner strength, that she was tired of being silent. She began to sing the most inspiring song, and it was her husband who cheered the loudest, believing all along in her abilities, but just waiting for her to express them.

She created a painting called Frieda and Diego Rivera. It was this painting that expressed how the world saw them as a couple. Her husband was painted big while she was painted smaller. But it was not how Frida felt anymore. She knew she was more than this, and she began to put herself first.

This is an inspiring story for young children encouraging them to believe in themselves and never settle for something less than what they truly deserve. Frida found herself in San Francisco, and she will forever be remembered as a woman who changed the art world. She is now one of the most celebrated artists of all time.

Children between the ages of 4–8 will especially enjoy the colorful artwork throughout this 32-page picture book, as well as the meaningful message.

Reviewer Renee Hand is the award-winning author of The Crypto-Capers series for children. Look for her new release in the Crypto-Capers Series: Book 4: The Chest of Mystery.

Book Review for The Legend of the Golden Snail by Graeme Base

The Legend of the Golden Snail
The Legend of the Golden Snail by Graeme Base

(Abrams Books for Young Readers, October 1, 2010)

The Legend of the Golden Snail is an amazing adventure that will sail into reader’s hearts.

In Wilbur’s favorite picture book, there is a legend about a Golden Snail sailing through a magical realm to its home in the Spiral Isles. A Grand Enchanter banished it there to the Ends of the Earth until a new master came to claim it, reciting a spell that will awaken it from its slumber.

Wilbur feels he is destined to be the next Grand Enchanter, so he sets off for the Ends of the Earth where he tells his mother that he will be gone for a hundred years. Her only request? To make sure he wears his captain’s hat.

On his adventure he runs across a bush of blossoming butterflies that are wilting—so he waters them. He then comes across a monstrous sea creature and begins to fight him, until he realizes that the monster is ensnared in a net and is just upset. He then comes across a motley crew of earwig pirates who are catching lantern fish and stealing their light bulbs—so he frees them.

Not feeling much like a Grand Enchanter, he becomes sad as his sails begin to lose the wind—until the butterflies he had helped whisk by and generate a tremendous wind. He then became ensnared in the Slithering Sea, until the sea monster comes to free him. A storm blows him into the Maze of Madness where he thinks he would be lost forever, until he sees the avenue of lights from the lantern fish to guide him safely along his way.

As Wilbur reaches the Ends of the Earth, saying the magic spell that will awaken the Golden Snail, he soon finds that his desire to be the Grand Enchanter wanes. It’s not what he wants anymore. He then commands the Golden Snail to take him to the Spiral Isles where he does something unexpected. It is there that he begins his next journey. What will Wilbur be in search of next? And what miraculous treasure will he find?

The author, Graeme Base, is well known for his vibrant and bold images that make the reader feel a part of the adventure. He has authored and illustrated many books that are equally as charming, such as Uno’s Garden, Jungle Drums, and Enigma: A Magical Mystery. Base’s fanciful locations create a smile as they draw the reader into Wilbur’s adventure, watching him unknowingly be the best captain that ever was.

Children between the ages of 4–8 will especially enjoy trying to find the hidden snail and crossbones that are hidden throughout this 48-page picture book.

Reviewer Renee Hand is the award-winning author of The Crypto-Capers series for children. Look for her new release in the Crypto-Capers Series: Book 4: The Chest of Mystery.