Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Come and join me as I talk with author Christy E. Bykowski about her book Gluten Free Me, Beckmin Goes to School on Stories From Unknown Authors 
http://blogtalkradio.com/storiesfromunknownauthors at 1 pm EST today. 

  • Publisher: Halo Publishing International (October 31, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612442285
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612442280

Book Summary:

"Beckmin goes to School" is meant to raise awareness for celiac disease and the everyday challenges children with celiac disease face in their otherwise normal activities. As diagnosis of celiac disease increases, education, awareness, and understanding will be the keys to making celiac kids feel normal and included. Written for children to help them express and understand celiac disease, the book is a wonderful tool for children and adults alike.


This is a well illustrated picture book about a boy who cannot eat gluten. Beckmin goes to his first day of Kindegarten and meets some new friends who do not know what Celiac Disease is. When he explains that he can't eat foods that contain gluten they think it's wierd but he corrects them and says that it's not wierd, it's special. 

For children who have this disease it is an on-going struggle to keep them healthy and safe, especially when the child is at school. Many dangers lurk around, even in certain products. Parents who have children with this condition will enjoy the positive message the book contains.  The illustrations are delightful, children will enjoy looking at them as they turn the pages of this e-book.    

Monday, January 27, 2014

Review for The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood by Gerald Hausman

The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood: A Creek Indian Story by Gerald Hausman and illustrated by Ramon Shiloh
Wisdom Tales
October 1st, 2013
ISBN-10: 1937786129

ISBN-13: 978-1937786120
4-8 years
36 Pages
Children’s Picture Book    Animals  Folktale

When Spotted Frog tells of a great flood that is about to destroy their homes, all of the animals ignore his warnings, except Listener, the Otter, who listens diligently. Ridiculed by the other animals, Listener heeds Spotted Frog’s predictions and begins to build a raft to try and survive the impending disaster, following the directions to the letter. But will the flood happen as predicted? 

This is an origin tale of the Georgia Creek Indians, ancestors of the Florida Seminole and Miccosukee. It parallels the story of Noah’s Ark in which Listener, like Noah, listens to God, or in this case a spotted frog, who says that a flood is coming. Readers will enjoy the dreamy artwork created with colored pencil and ink as it combines a mixture of nature and whimsy. Young children might have a hard time understanding the animal version of the great flood, especially with the idea of reincarnation and the marriage to a mosquito. Older children will appreciate the wisdom that is conveyed to the reader. Origin tales always contain a deep hearted message, this one does not depend on cleverness, but upon our ability to respond to Mother Earth’s messages.



Monday, January 20, 2014

New Creative Storytelling Card Game For Elementary and Middle School Children

New Storytelling Card Game Released March 1st! Pre-order now through www.reneeahand.com for a discounted price. Available for $12.00 by CIPHER KIDS USA.

Creative Storytelling is a fun and imaginative card game for children 4yrs old and up. Each card holds the key to unlock a hilarious story that children will be able to build on and modify as they go. Hours of fun and great entertainment for all.

Great game to use in the classroom to boost imaginations or for writing prompts.

Pick up your copy today! Will be mailed out to you March 1st!


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Interview with Jill Sayre for The Fairies of Turtle Creek



Come and join me as I talk with author Charles Strong about his book Butterflies in Autumn on Stories From Unknown Authors 
http://blogtalkradio.com/storiesfromunknownauthors at 1 pm EST today.

  • Hardcover: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Inifinity Oak Books (February 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0988506645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0988506640

  • Summary:

    Claire is a science-minded 13 year old whose brother is away fighting in the Iraq War. Her family life has changed and so she turns to her books and sketching by the creek. Then, her estranged and eccentric grandmother comes to live with Claire and her family. Grandma teaches her skeptical granddaughter to believe in magic, hope, love, and...fairies!


    Jill K. Sayre had lived all of her life in a small town in California, but suddenly moved to Texas, looking at it as an adventure. Little did she know she’d fall in love with her new town, especially with the beautiful creek that runs through it.

    The Fairies of Turtle Creek is her first novel, set in Highland Park, Texas. Drawing on the history of the area, she sets the stage for her story, weaving in folklore and modern fairy beliefs. Magical realism is a favorite of Jill’s, to read and write. She also loves nature, art, music, and seeking everyday beauty that is hidden in plain sight. Jill holds a degree in art and elementary education, specializing in gifted students. She currently teaches children and teens at a local conservatory.
    Jill is a professional writer, freelance editor, and educator. She also is an educational speaker on such subjects as "Writing Your First Book" and "Helping Your Child Become a Better Reader."

    Jill lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband, three kids, two cats, and a vizsla..


    The Fairies of Turtle Creek is a story of life at its fullest. The twist and turns the story takes as the main character, Claire, figures out what she truly believes, is a wonderful ride. Claire has put up a wall around her heart to block out emotions she doesn't want to feel. With a brother in the military, the thought of caring for someone so much and then having a chance of them dying, frightens her beyond belief. But one day she comes upon the possibility that fairies could exist. She can hear them fluttering about her, warning her of something. Or were those just insects flying about?

    Being logical and science minded, her motto is, "If you can't see it, then it doesn't exist." But that all changes when an estranged grandmother comes to visit, opening up Claire's heart and mind to the unbelievable, and breaking down her wall of disbelief by showing her love and understanding. With the help of her grandmother, Claire finds her true self, a person that can believe in the magic of the unknown and the thought of what could be. A life of possibilities.  

    The author creates a story mixed with relatable emotions. Teens and tweens will enjoy this 322 page novel. 

    Wednesday, January 15, 2014

    New 5 Star Review for Secret of the Missing Arch by Readers' Favorite

    Please check out my new review for book 3 in my Joe-Joe Nut Series: The Secret of the Missing Arch.


    Friday, January 10, 2014

    Review for There Once Was a Man From The USA-50 State Limericks by Joshua Kraushar

    There Once Was a Man From The USA-50 State Limericks by Joshua Kraushar illustrated by Victoria Weiss

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press (October 21, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1478721073
  • ISBN-13: 978-1478721079

  • Summary:

    The 50 states of limericks! There Once Was A Man From the U.S.A. is a book of limericks about each of the fifty states in alphabetical order. The book contains several illustrations from the talented Victoria Rose Weiss. Many of the limericks have very little connection with the states mentioned but some are directly related to several of the others. Although it may seem simplistic to use the same rhyme scheme, it turned out to be much harder than one would think. Try rhyming words with Massachusetts, (not that's something that you would normally do) and you might find it more difficult than you would imagine. If you are a teen or a geographically challenged adult who needs an easy way to remember the fifty states, this may be the book for you. This book may not be appropriate for young children and is not geography book but is designed to be funny and quirky.


    This is Joshua Kraushar's first attempt at writing a teen/adult book. The author is a retired high school Social Studies teacher who recently ended his career of thirty-five years. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York and is working as a tour guide in New York City. Victoria Rose Weiss is a talented young illustrator who was Joshua's former high school student in Ridgefield, New Jersey.


    There Once Was A Man From the U.S.A is a book of limericks about all of the 50 states. It is supposed to be for children/teen/adults. When receiving this book it was in the hope of having a good tool to use in the classroom. Very mistaken.

    The book has very little to do with the 50 states, in fact, nothing at all. The limericks are not cute, or even funny, but they are crude. Alabama has a sorority girl who kills a man with a hammer. This was on the first page. Not a great opener, had to hide the book from the kids.

    Adults may appreciate the authors humor but majority of people will not. Definitely not a book for children or even teens. The illustrations by Victoria Rose are well done but she didn't have enough illustrations to fill the book so the publisher left those pages blank. The book looks incomplete.

    Though I applaud the authors effort to branch out from teaching and to create a book about social studies, he would have been better to focus more on social studies for teens and to make the book beneficial in that area instead of trying to make it funny, which probably matches the authors sense of humor. He relayed his humor well, but to the wrong audience. The book should be relabeled for adults and should be redesigned for that purpose.

    Unfortunately, I wouldn't recommend this book.   

    Wednesday, January 8, 2014

    New Review For What Would You Do If You Were Left At The Zoo?

    Hello Everyone,
    There is a new 5 star review up for my picture book through Readers Favorites. The link is below.


    Monday, January 6, 2014

    Review for Blueberry Bubble Gum by Mahamad Ali ElFakir

    BlueBerry Bubble Gum 

    Blueberry Bubble Gum by Mahamad Ali ElFakir and illustrated by Victor Guiza

    Get ready for adventure!

    School’s out, and Max is gearing up for a summer of baseball with his friends. He’s expecting fun in the sun and long, lazy days. But to his surprise, he finds himself transported to a strange and wonderful world after chewing magical blueberry bubble gum—bubble gum his parents warned him not to chew! Join Max in his adventures through Blueberry Bubble Gum World and meet the fascinating creatures who live there—the Blueberry Boy, King Erudition, and the lumpy, moldy green evil Waywards. Will Max learn his lesson and find his way home? Find out in this thrilling journey!

    Product Details

                Print length: 44 pages
                Publisher: Elfa books
                Language: English
                Genre: Fiction / Action & Adventure
                5.5 x 8.5 color casebound glossy $16.95
                ISBN: 9780578109787
                5.5 x 8.5 color paperback glossy $11.95
                ISBN: 9780578109749

    About the Author

    Mahmad Ali ElFakir was born in Detroit, Michigan in January of 1975. He is an entrepreneur who works hard for his family. He is blessed with his wonderful wife and amazing children. Blueberry Bubble Gum was inspired by his children and is his first of many books to come. He says, "A child's imagination can inspire anyone."
    Blueberry Bubble Gum is a story about a boy who doesn't listen to his parents, doesn't follows the rules, and lies a lot. Because of this he finds himself on an adventure that teaches him a lesson.
    Max has just finished his last day of school. With a promise of a summer filled with tons of baseball, his mind is aglow with all of the fun he will be having. When he gets home his father hands him a bag of magic blueberry gumballs. He then tells him to not eat one until he listens to the rules about them. They are magical so Max didn't know what they would do. His father gets called back to work and doesn't have a chance to go over the rules. Impatiently waiting for his return, and being tempted by the smell of sweet fruit, Max does exactly what he's not supposed to and puts a gum ball in his mouth, and then another. Thinking that no harm was done, he soon realizes, after he passes gas, that a bubble forms from his bottom soon carrying him away to a distant land where he has to listen to instruction and follow the rules to find his way back. Will he be able to accomplish the goals set forth or will he fail again and not listen, causing himself to get into more trouble?
    The author does a great job focusing on a topic most children find themselves in. Not listening to their parents and doing as they are told, as well as lying. This is a problem majority of parents, at one time or another, find themselves in. The author creates a story to show what might possibly happen when you don't listen to your parents and follow the rules. There are consequences to their actions, and though this story embellishes a lot, especially with a bubble coming out of someone's booty and carrying them away, the message is loud and clear.
    Though some parents will not like the fact that the child says,"Dude" all the time or that there is a bubble coming out of the boys rear when he toots, especially when the boy technically didn't swallow it, yet that is what the story implies. Parents will enjoy the messages the author focuses on.
    The book is more of a chapter book than a picture book. Though it is not broken up into chapters and is on the longer side than most picture books, it covers that middle ground. The book will be good for second to third grades and up to read alone, though it can be read to younger children. The lessons are a good one for all ages to learn. The illustrations are colorful and fun, matching with the text nicely. Overall, most children will enjoy this 44 page book.