Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Children's Book Release for Children in Pre-K to 1st Grade and Up

I am so excited. Yesterday I received copies of my new release, Do You Have Ants In Your Pants That Make You Dance? It is such a great feeling. This is book number 8. It is a coloring and activity storybook for children in Pre-K to 1st grades and up. I am traveling around and visiting schools with all of my books.

This is a great addition to my children's books. My Joe-Joe Nut Series is for children in 2nd and 3rd grades and up.

My Crypto-Capers Series is great for 4th graders and up into middle school. All of my books are available through various Barnes and Nobles bookstores, Amazon, and of course other bookstores big and small, including the Slimy Book Worm where readers get free shipping on all books.

Also check out my website at for summaries of books and more info about them. All of my books are educational and interactive. Books can also be bought through my website where I can personalize them.

Do You Have Ants In Your Pants That Make You Dance? is for sale through my website for $5.00. Thank you so much for your support. Look for my other new release coming out in March, book 2 in the Award-Winning Joe-Joe Nut Series, Mineral Mischief. This is a mystery with animal detectives. The main topic is rocks and minerals. I include the rock cycle, terminology and much more. Fun! Fun!


This is a story about an energetic boy named Sheldon. Sheldon is curious about the world around him and often pretends he's someone else. His imagination takes him to places where there are no limitations. He's a pirate captain on a ship, leading his crew to buried treasure. Or an archeologist riding a dinosaur in search of new species to discover. Though his imaginary adventures take him all over the world, he often finds himself in disaster. Children will like the humorous repetition and delight in Sheldon's adventures. Sheldon embodies the spirit and curiosity of all children. Teaching them to delight in the beauty and wonder of the world, and to fill them with the hope that dreams can come true.

Monday, February 21, 2011

President's Day Books

Because it is President's Day, and of course George Washington's birthday coming up, I have chosen books that not only talk about some presidents, but talk about the histories of other fine Americans, who helped build our wonderful country. What led up to their presidencies, or what went on in their childhoods, or how they got the reputations. These are fun books that give the reader a different perspective of these amazing men. Remember that not all of them were presidents, but these men knew each other and fought for the same causes.

 John, Paul, George & Ben (Bccb Blue Ribbon Picture Book Awards (Awards))

This book is a fun book that talks about John Hancock, George Washington, Paul Revere and Benjamin Franklin in their early years. Book is for ages 4-8. It is a picture book with very nice artwork. It gives brief information about each person. At the end of the book is a fun true and false section that will interest the reader.

 Big George: How a Shy Boy Became President Washington
What is interesting about this book is that it talks of the youth of George Washington. He worked hard to become a man who was polite, clever, fair and wise, loyal and true. He never dreamed he would be a president, but when the duty called, he answered. He grew much during his younger years to become the man who led a country.

How George Washington Saved The American Revolution (The Crossing)

There is another book about George Washington's battles that I reviewed. The link is above. This is a detailed history and is on a more serious note. But is detailed really well. It was great to learn all the history and how he had grown during the war.

A Feast of Freedom: Tasty Tidbits from City Tavern

This is an interesting story about some great Americans, including George Washington, that is based off an actual City Tavern in Philadelphia. It is now a restaurant. The story is based off a tremendous amount of actual information that incorporated many people in history who had visited the restaurant and had done business there. Readers will find this story very interesting. It also includes a time-line of historic events and a recipe for Old-Fashioned Corn Bread.

Stay tuned for one of my new releases coming up here in March. Do You Have Ants In Your Pants That Make You Dance? for children in lower elementary school. It is a coloring book that speaks of the imagination of children and how they hold true to their dreams.

Thanks Everyone!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Review for Felicity & Cordelia: A Tale of Two Bunnies by Lisa Jahn-Clough

Felicity & Cordelia: A Tale of Two Bunnies

Felicity & Cordelia: A Tale of Two Bunnies by Lisa Jahn-Clough

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
February 15, 2011
40 Pages
Ages 4–8
Fiction Children’s Picture Book

Lisa Jahn-Clough has written and illustrated many books for children and young adults and is the chair of Illustration at the Maine College of Art. She lives in Portland, Maine.

Reviewer: Renee Hand

This is a tale of how friendship can bloom and warm the most unique of hearts.

Felicity & Cordelia is about two bunny friends who are very different. They love spending time together, but do not enjoy the same things. Felicity wants to go into a hot air balloon for an adventure, but Cordelia would rather stay at home making a pie for them to eat.

So Felicity decides to go by herself, leaving Cordelia behind. Felicity assures Cordelia that she will pack everything she needs to be safe on her adventure. Cordelia makes a pie, cleans the house, and waits for her dear friends return—but it doesn’t happen.

Felicity gets into an accident and is lost. She is, however, determined to find her way back home again. She promised Cordelia before she left that she would write to her letting her know how she was doing on her adventure. She does this several times. Felicity wishes she was back home with Cordelia but, being lost in a far away land, prevents that from happening. Will Felicity ever find her way back home to Cordelia?

Children between the ages of 4–8 will enjoy this hardcover 40-page picture book about friendship and the acceptance of differences. The book contains simply defined drawings that relay the story well, helping to impart its series of messages. Though we may not always enjoy our friend’s interests, we should always embrace their tastes, talents, and skills encouraging them to do what they love the most. Our differences makes each one of us special, but it’s our acceptance of each other’s dreams that lights the way like a beacon in the night creating an everlasting bond between friends.

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, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to Everyone.
Happy Birthday to my Wonderful Son!

Here is a poem for everyone on this day of hearts.

Colors of Love


Love can be red, like the intense heat of a passionate kiss

.....the color of sweetness

.....the color of strawberries

Love can be blue, like the comfort we take in a pair of denim jeans

.....the color of strength

.....the color of perfect skies

Love can be yellow, bright and warm like the morning sun the sounds of laughters of children on the merry-go-round the sounds of fun from the boys flying kites in the open


Love can be green, peaceful and serene I can hear your heart beats is the feeling of a loving hand that touch a grieving heart is the whispering of trusting words to a distressing soul

Love can be orange, the loudness of it can drive you up a wall can drive you to sing like nobody is listening can drive you to dance like nobody is watching

Love can be purple, the courage we need to love bravely and unselfishly

.....the moment I first kissed you I knew that I was not afraid to risk involvement .....the day the declaration of your love for me was made known to the world my heart was whole.

by Arun Kumar

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Review of the Smart Seat Protector

Waterproof SmartSeat Dining Chair CoverA few weeks ago I ran into a wonderful product. It is called the Smart Seat Protector. Anyone who has children knows that messes can happen at anytime and anywhere. Like so many of you, I have a nice kitchen table set. When the kids were younger I used booster seats. I had tried everything under the sun to keep those booster seats from messing up my chairs, while trying to keep smeared food and fingerprints off them as well. Well, as you probably know, not to much helped. I was constantly wiping, shaking and cleaning. Marks were also left on the chairs.

Now that my kids are older, they do not make as much messes as before, yet it still blows my mind that food can never make it into their mouths and when they leave the seat, have it everywhere. So, I needed to find a seat protector that stayed on the seat, looked appealing, didn't move or slide off, and was just plain functional. I found it!

The great thing about this seat saver is that it fits about any size chair. It is thin and a little stretchy. I ordered the black one which matches my rugs. The protector comes in 3 different colors, blue, tan or black. There is a video on-line that shows you how to install it, but it really is very easy without it. There are velco strips that go together under and behind the seat.

I have tall wood chairs. My concern was that it would slide all over the place, to my great relief, it didn't. It holds firmly in place without damaging the seat in anyway. All materials are soft, yet durable. My youngest is an antsy pants so I placed it on his chair to test it out. The child could make a mess in a matter of seconds. It held up beautifully. I sat on it, moving around and adjusting all over the place for weeks--the seat cover didn't move. Finally, a product that looks nice and lasts.

The cover is thin and durable. I have washed it a few times and it still looks beautiful. The quality of the product is done well. The idea was definetly well thought out. Depending on the size of the chair there may be some extra material on the sides. Overall, I feel it is a great product. To check out the blog for more info, here it is below.

The seat cover can be ordered through Amazon as well as through the site. If you have this product please comment so you can share your experiences. If you don't, please check it out. It might be something that you need to save the seats of your chairs.



Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day Reads

Valentine's Day is one of those days that will always be close to my heart. Not only is it a day when my husband had officially asked me out on a date those 18 years ago, but my oldest son was also born on Valentine's Day. I told my husband that he will never be able to top that gift.

I have reviewed a few Valentine's Day books you might be interested in. I am going give you the links here for the full reviews. I will also be adding the photos. All are cute and fun to read. Perfect picture books for children. I hope you enjoy.

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

Monday, February 7, 2011

Welcome St. Lawrence Parish

Hello students at St. Lawrence Parish.
Here is a video I set up for you. I am looking forward to everyone reading my book and answering any questions you may have. I am excited about this opportunity.
Talk with you soon.

Award-Winning Author
Renee Hand

Friday, February 4, 2011

Review of Railroad John and the Red Rock Run by Tony Crunk

Railroad John And the Red Rock Run

This is a story I read a few years ago with my children. We had found it in the library. We had read the book several times and returned it. We really enjoyed the book and I thought about buying it. Well, afterwards I couldn't remember the full title of the book and the author. I could only remember part of it. I went back to the library and couldn't find it again. It happened to be that the last time we went to the library, low and behold, there it was sitting as pretty as could be on the shelf. Well, needless to say, I snatched it up and took it home where we read it several times. Not wanting to forget about the book again I bought a copy for the kids and am saving it for Christmas. I know its early, but I stash gifts throughout the year. My kids love trains!

This book is one of my favorites. I review, literally, at least 100 books in a year. Well, as you can imagine there are certain things that keep my attention. In picture books, in my minds view anyway, illustrations are key. If they are not done well, they do not enhance the story and can actually take away from it. When I buy books the whole package needs to be appealing. The cover, illustrations and of course, the story. Now, I'm big on education so throughout my house I have educational games and books all over the place. But, I also do enjoy some stories here and there that are fun and cute as well, mostly written for entertainment. This story happens to be one of them. I love the artwork. It appears as it the illustrations were old pictures that were framed. They have tons of detail. The illustrator is Michael Austin. He has also illustrated a few other books as well.

Today is the day Lonesome Bob is set to marry Wildcat Annie. The wedding ceremony begins at two o'clock in Red Rock and Wildcat Annie waits for no one. "I've driven this train for forty years, and we've never been late once yet!" Railroad John reassures proudly, as Lonesome Bob and Granny Apple Fritter board the Sagebrush Flyer train for Red Rock. They hope they can get there on time. But fate has other plans. Bad Bill and his outlaw gang are waiting up around the bend wanting to steal some coal to feed his horse Flame, and a fierce thunderstorm kicks up with rain so heavy you could float toads on it. And that's just the beginning of their troubles. Now the Sagebrush Flyer train and Lonesome Bob are twenty-two minutes behind schedule! Can Granny Apple Fritter's Hard-Shell Chili-Pepper-Corn-Pone Muffins help save the day? They are known to be hot enough to set fire to an iceberg. Or will Lonesome Bob lose his bride by arriving late? He sings mournful tunes on his guitar box as he worries of losing Wildcat Annie. Plenty of surprises wait in store, especially a tornado that crosses their path sending livestock flying all around them. Whooo! What a ride!

This story is perfect for chidlren who are 4-8 years of age. A southern draw can be heard when read aloud which makes the story fun. The art work will bring a smile to the lips as the reader can picture clearly what is going on, yet will bring enough suspense for the reader to want to learn what is going to happen next.
One of my favorites! I hope you enjoy.


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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day Books of Interest

  As we all know Groundhog Day is today February 2nd. It is an American and Canadian tradition that is celebrated every year. But many countries around the world have something similar. The day falls between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. The day is also known as Candlemas Day for many. In midieval times the saying used to go that if the weather on Candlemas Day was fair, the second half of winter would be cold and stormy, but if the day was cloudy, the rest of the winter would be mild and spring would come early. For most of us in the U.S. we are getting hammered with snow. So my feelings is that we are going to have 6 more weeks of winter, even though the day is far from being fair in Michigan, lets talk blizzard white-out conditions shall we? Groundhog Day has turned into something that is more fun then actual truth. The groundhog is only right 37-39% of the time. But it is fun to see what Punxsutawney Phil is going to say every year.

Here are some books I encountered and read with my children that gives more of an understanding of what Groundhog Day is all about and how it began.

Punxsutawney Phyllis

Punxsutawney Phyllis
The first book is a fun fictional story. It is about a groundhog named Phyllis who wants to take over her Uncle Phil's job as being Punxsutawney's Groundhog Day weather forecaster. Phyllis is different than her other family members and loves to play outdoors. When she realizes Spring is coming she tries to wake up Uncle Phil so he can make his forecast, but he is not as spry as he used to be so decides to pass down his legacy to another groundhog in his family. Will it be Phyllis?

There is also info in the back of the book which gives more factual information.

The Groundhog Day Book of Facts and Fun
The Groundhog Day Book of Facts and Fun

Now, this book is not a story at all, but a book full of facts, riddles and colorful illustrations. You learn a tremendous amount about Groundhog Day. More than what you could ever imagine existed. It explains the history of the groundhog, the reason for the seasons, how the groundhog lives under the earth, the beginnings of Groundhog Day, and so on... There are fun pictures and riddles. Overall, a great and informative book, but it's a lot to go through for younger children, it is mainly for children between the ages of 9-12. You will need to take breaks for the younger readers. But it does have some fun activities and crafts for all.

Hope you enjoy these books. Your local library should have these in stock. That is where I found mine.