Sunday, January 30, 2011

Children's Book Review for The Destiny of Solil Akwee by Larry Estes

The Destiny of Solil Akwee

The Destiny of Solil Akwee by Larry Estes

Tate Publishing
February 1, 2011
24 Pages
Ages 9-12
Fiction      Children’s      Picture Book

The Destiny of Solil Akwee is a poetic tale that brings the word soliloquy to life through the character Solil Akwee.

A soliloquy is a word often used in acting. It is when a character gives a speech on stage, but doesn’t address any other character specifically. It is the characters thoughts and feelings to the audience.

Solil Akwee lives in a tree near the sea. He is a Kwee, which is a turtle without its shell. He loves to read and often does so aloud to himself. He reads about knights, kings and elves. He is the hero coming to save the day. He performs near a cliff facing the sea, reciting poems and songs where the forest animals gather along, they watch behind him without a sound.

Solil Akwee turns around and sees the audience of animals gathering. Speaking to himself was one thing, but speaking in front of an audience was clearly another. Will he have the confidence to perform his first soliloquy?

The artwork is cute and colorful. Giving the reader the feel of what is going on in the story, explaining it well.

The Destiny of Solil Akwee is a delightful 24 page picture book that inspires children to remember that practice makes perfect, and never give up trying. Solil Akwee was good at acting and performing. He was enthusiastic and glowed when retelling stories—it was natural for him. In his heart he was a performer. He just needed the confidence to fulfill his destiny.

This is a great book for children who love acting and want to understand more about what a soliloquy is. Perfect book to have on hand for drama classes and clubs or a fun and simple read for children to learn about something new. Purchasers will also receive a free download of the story along with the paperback copy of the book. Book is available through Amazon, Tate Publishing and many other locations.

Linda's Lunacy

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Author Interview for my Award-Winning Books

Hello Everyone,
I currently did an interview with Review Carnival who is currently interviewing various authors. Please check out my interview at the following link. Stop by and say hello. You can leave me questions here or on her blog. Thanks so much.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Wacky Laws That Are Still on The Books in Michigan-America the Beautiful Series

Michigan (America the Beautiful. Third Series)

I am using this post for the Blog Hop. I am an award-winning children's book author. For more info on my books you can look at the rest of my blog or check out my website at I also review children's books for publishers as well as various authors. Thanks for stopping by from the blog hop.

My boys and I went to the library to check out some books. My older son picked out this book about Michigan. Well, we live in Michigan so it's always interesting to learn more about ones state. Well, as we read I noticed some interesting information. Wacky laws that are still on the books that no one knows about. The book mentions a few but, being curious, I decided to do a little research on the topic to find out more. Here is what I found. Keep in mind that some of these are specfic to certain towns in Michigan, not necessarily the entire state.

The last Sunday in June each year is Log Cabin Day in Michigan.

In Michigan, it is legal to kill a dog for attacking chickens, livestock or people, but you can't snuff the pooch in a high altitude decompression chamber or by electrocution.

According to law, if a man and wife kiss on Sunday, the guilty party shall be punished.

It is against the law for a woman to cut her hair without her husband's permission.

There is a law that states that "it is legal for a farmer to sleep with his pigs, cows, horses, goats, and chickens."

It is illegal to abandon a hoopskirt on any public street or sidewalk, with a penalty of $5 for each offense.

The law states that anyone appearing in public in a bathing suit must have it inspected by a police officer.

You cannot tie up your horse to a fire hydrant.

It's illegal to let your pig run free in Detroit without a nose ring.
It's illegal to sell a car on Sunday.
Five years in prison for seducing and corrupting an unmarried girl. 
Getting drunk on a train is prohibited.
Adultery can be punishable by law only if your spouse files a complaint.
Throughout the state, it is illegal to chain your alligator to a fire hydrant.

Some of these are very interesting and of course, some are very old. But it has to make you laugh anyway. The series of books in the America the Beautiful Series covers all of the 50 states. Each has great and amazing information about the states history, people, travel guides, fun facts and much more. In the back of the books it contains projects that children can do to further understanding life, people and events in a particular state and its government. A real valuable tool when doing a research report. It combines lots of good facts. Like one stop shopping.
Let me know if there are any more wacky laws in other states or in Michigan that we can share. Thanks!

Just Married with Coupons  

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Monday, January 24, 2011

Book Giveaway at The Frugal Free Gal blog

I am currently doing a giveaway at the following blog. Check it out if you would like.

Thanks everyone!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Essential Books for Discussing Strangers, Getting Lost, and More

Over the past week my children and I have been talking about safety. On the news I've recently been hearing about people going into schools and shooting children. Strangers trying to kidnap children on their way to school and so on. Schools have been practicing lock downs. Our church wants to have someone come in to talk to our children about strangers and personal safety. I am like, "Good Golly!" And I know why they are doing it. It's awful that we have to worry about this everyday and that people are willing to hurt children, but at least schools and everyone are taking the right precautions.

This is a topic that I talk to my children about all the time. I homeschool my children, so there are certain dangers I don't have to worry about, thankfully, but even so, I make sure they are aware of how to handle certain situations that might arise. It's a must! Well, as a mother you all know that fears automatically come to mind, and that protective instinct comes out in full force like a tiger on the attack. If we can prevent something from happening, we will.

I found some books that we have been discussing that might be helpful to many of you. Some books are silly, some are more serious, but they all make for great discussion when read to your children. They ask questions, you give wise answers, and there you go. Some cover quite of bit of interesting info.

Here are a few of my books. If any of you know others, please share. I got these books through scholastic but they are also available through Amazon.


  Lost is about a bear who gets lost. When a truck breaks down the bear climbs into the back looking for a good place to nap and finds himself in the city. He has no idea where he's at. A young boy finds him and helps him find his way home by asking him many questions about where he lives. This book brings up conversation pieces about knowing where you live and how to describe it. Also, knowing where to look. In a parents case we can discuss a child knowing their address, phone number and who a safe person is to talk to if they do get lost.

Another book:

Emergency! (Picture Books)

This one talks about the various emergencies that can happen everyday. It mentions calling 911 for emergencies, ambulances, policemen, tow-trucks, flooding, blizzards, and so on. It talks about how certain people help in various situations. For parents, a discussion about these situations, especially if they happen in your area, like flooding or blizzards, will prove helpful for your childs understanding. Simple book with lots of pictures.


Stop Drop and Roll (A Book about Fire Safety)and No Dragons for Tea: Fire Safety for Kids (and Dragons)

These are both great books which talk about creating an emergency escape plan in case of fire. Testing fire alarms, what you should do if you catch on fire (obviously stop, drop and roll), and reminder tips. Stop, Drop and Roll has 10 actual fire safety tips from Sparky on the back. Both books create lots of discussion opportunities in various ways relating to fire safety. Both cover a tremendous amount of area.

Where are YouThis book is also about getting lost, but in a grocery store. A parent can relate it to any store situation, like the mall or department store. A child wanders off, in this case a pup, and they find that they do not know where their parents or grandparents are. Creates discussion about staying close and not wandering.

Never Talk to Strangers (Little Golden Books)This is a silly story, but it gets the point across. Do not talk to strangers. It doesn't scare children, but makes them laugh at the examples that are given. There are exceptions, of course, like if the parent knows the person and so on, but the book discusses those situations in a fun way.

 Again, if anyone knows of other books that are informative and helpful, please share them. I would definetly be interested.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book Review for Discover Science Maps and Mapping by Deborah Chancellor

Discover Science Maps and Mapping

Discover Science Maps and Mapping

by Deborah Chancellor
November 9, 2010
56 Pages
Ages 9-12
Nonfiction/Maps and Mapping/Children’s

Maps and Mapping is a breakdown of various maps that are seen and used on a daily basis and some that are used to find information in different ways.

The beginning of the book explains to the reader what maps are, then goes into discussion about why we need them. The information moves into the numerous maps that people use every day such as street maps, town maps, and country maps. The reader will learn more about understanding scale, longitude and latitude lines, and making maps using alternating tools.

The section on drawing maps heads up another section explaining contour lines, reviewing older maps, and how the world was viewed hundreds of years ago. Map keys and how symbols are used are explained, so is how compasses can be used in telling directions on a map.

Map projections are another theme. This section explains how the earth appears using flat maps, underwater maps, and weather maps. We learn that people can create maps of underwater canyons or they can even map the stars.

In the back of Discover Science Maps and Mapping are activities that can be done in the classroom or at home. Readers can make a magnet and create different maps. There is a glossary in the back of the book, a parent and teacher’s section, and a “Did you know?” section. The pages are designed and broken up into a similar fashion to the other books in the rest of the Discover Science Series.

Overall, this book gives a plethora of basic information about maps and mapping. It scratches the surface of many topics, but nothing in too much depth for the target age, 9–12. The pictures throughout the book show various maps and pictures in detail that will interest the reader.

There are a few minor quibbles with this book. This book is meant for children in that K–5 school-age group, but even so it would have been nice to see more detailed information on a few of the topics. The book did its job on relaying a tremendous amount of information about maps and mapping, but there was some basic information left out.

In the map scaling section, it neglected to show what the map scale on a map actually looks like and how the reader can then use that scale to measure distance on a map. When discussing compasses and direction, information and pictures about maps having a compass rose and the intermediate directions were left out.

Though compasses are used for finding directions, the most popular way to find directions these days is by using a GPS. Many vehicles have some type of GPS system in them, and this information is something that majority of children can relate to because they have seen it actually working in their parent’s vehicle. More explanation about that would have interested children as opposed to information about using a compass. The discussion was also limited in newer technology and the use of satellites.

Though certain added information would have benefited Discover Science Maps and Mapping, it does cover lots of valuable information regarding our everyday view of the planet—whether looking at the stars or viewing the world from under the sea or by land.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mystery Book Series Giveaway

Hello Everyone,

In preparation of my new releases coming out in March, I am doing various giveaways. The first one will be with my Crypto-Capers Series. There are currently 4 books in the series and they are interactive. In order for the reader to solve the case they must solve cryptograms and puzzles. This series is great for children in 4th grade and up into middle school. More info and a breakdown of each book is available through my website at

The giveaway will go until February 31st. Then a name will be chosen by


To join in on the give-away you will need to be a member of this blog as well as a member of my website.

You must post on my blog letting me know that you have entered and are following with your working email address. This determines eligibility (one comment, one e-mail per person).

Its that simple. The giveaway is for people in the U.S. and Canada. Winner will be posted on my blog.

Good luck everyone and thank you for your participation!


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Book Review For A Very Scary Valentine’s Day (Scooby-Doo Reader) by Mariah Balaban

A Very Scary Valentine's Day (Scooby-Doo Reader)

A Very Scary Valentine’s Day (Scooby-Doo Reader) by Mariah Balaban

December 1, 2010
32 Pages
Ages 4-8

True to all Scooby-Doo mysteries A Very Scary Valentine’s Day follows a similar pattern as the other books. This addition concentrates on the fact that misunderstandings sometimes happen—especially with Scooby and his gang.

Scooby and Shaggy are staying after school to work on their Valentine’s Day cards. When they are finished they go in search of the rest of their team. The hallways of the school appear desolate and scary when no one is about. Thinking that their team is in the gym, they try that room first, but are met with a surprise.

When they open the door, a mysterious fog consumes the air. Feeling uneasy, they try to calm themselves, hoping that something fishy isn’t going on—then it happens. Their fears come to fruition when they see a spooky form coming toward them wrapped in tape. It chases them across the gym. Thinking it’s a zombie out to get them, the pair bolts from the room and out into the hallway. But instead of finding relief, there is another zombie chasing them. No matter what room they go in to hide, another zombie seems to appear.

Following their stomachs, as always, Scooby and Shaggy head for the cafeteria where they find Velma and Daphne. When the girls turn around their faces are covered in red punch and a chase ensues. Could they be zombies, too?

Children between the ages of 4–8 will delight in book #29. A Very Scary Valentine’s Day is filled with enough suspense to keep them engaged and the ending proves satisfying. This book is a Level 2 reader with 692 words, and is within reach for readers who have progressed beyond sounding out words and are ready for more of a challenge.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My review was quoted for My Name is Not Isabella which just made the bestsellers list

I have some good news. One of my reviews was quoted for a book that just made the bestsellers list. Yeah! I am very excited. I review for the New York Journal of Books, as most of you know. Thanks everyone! Here is the link if anyone wants to check it out. If anyone wants to please leave a comment on my blog.

If you want to check out the book and review look at my following page. It is for My Name Is Not Isabella at

Here is the article that quoted me.

Thanks everyone!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Book Review for Forsythia & Me by Vincent X. Kirsch

Forsythia & Me

Forsythia & Me by Vincent X. Kirsch

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
January 4, 2010
40 Pages
Ages 4–8
Fiction/Children’s/Picture Book

Vincent X. Kirsch is the author and illustrator of Natalie & Naughtily and Two Little Boys From Toolittle Toys. He grew up in a very snowy place where the sight of forsythia in the spring amazed him. He now lives in New York City.

Forsythia & Me is a story about friendship, devotion, and self-confidence.

Forsythia & Me begins with two best friends, Chester and Forsythia. Forsythia is a unique child who does some pretty amazing things. She can make the most incredible birthday cakes. She flies out of the one she has made for Chester.

She can play the piano so well that she can do it while standing on her head if requested. She can grow prize winning purple roses in the wintertime. On Saturday afternoons, Forsythia performs in the circus and on Sunday afternoons, she dances in the ballet.

Her many talents constantly impress Chester. He’s in awe that she can tame ferocious animals in the city zoo, so they are never late for tea. And her painting skills are good enough to entice the attention of royalty—but what can Chester do that can possibly compare to his friend’s immense talents? He doesn’t know because the focus has always been on Forsythia, but he finally gets his chance to prove himself.

One day Forsythia falls sick. She tries everything to feel better, but nothing works. It is then that Chester bakes her a cupcake decorated in frosting with her initial in the center. She begins to feel better.

Chester then plays her some music. He isn’t perfect, making 13 mistakes, but he tries his best. She asks him to play again.

Chester proceeds to show Forsythia all the wonderful, albeit imperfect, things he can do for her.

Forsythia & Me is a great story for anyone who admires a friend. For a long time Chester’s talents are hidden in the shadows of Forsythia’s. Yet as a devoted friend, it doesn’t matter to him. He takes joy in her accomplishments as she eventually does in his.

After reading this 40-page hardcover picture book, children between the ages of 4–8 should leave the story with these messages: Believe in yourself. Never hold back. Don’t settle for staying in the shadows. Rise and shine like the sun, like Forsythia—and you don’t have to have extraordinary talents to do so.