A New Friend for Sally

Title of book: A New Friend for Sally

Time length to read: 5-8 min

Age recommended: 4-8

Author: David Tang

Illustrator: Lora Lee

Publisher: Tiny Robot Books

Best place to purchase: The Kickstarter page for A New Friend for Sally (http://www.tinyrobotbooks.com)

Today I’m sharing a book with you all that is a true message of friendship. A New Friend for Sally, by David Tang, is about a little girl named Sally who lives on a farm, and finds herself lonely at times. She begs her dad for a pet, but to her surprise he brings home a pet chicken, something she wasn’t expecting. She found herself afraid of the chicken (which was named Chelsea) and couldn’t bear to be near her. However, after they both fall asleep in a barn when there’s a storm, they warm up to each other and Sally finds that there’s nothing to be afraid of after all. Chelsea and Sally find each other becoming the best of buddies.

 

I really liked this book because of the great message that I caught in it. A friend can come from anywhere, even when you least expect it. Although they may not be what we think they will be, sometimes they’re the best thing for us. The book was also very well put together as far a wording and layout. I also really enjoyed the illustrations, done by Lora Lee. The details of the pictures caught my eye at every page and were so very bright and colorful.
So if you are looking for a good book that is a great read for young children and with great colorful illustrations, I would recommend for you all to check this one out.
For more information on this book, and to help with their kickstarter goal and buy a copy, click here.

 

I was able to do a interview with the author, David Tang and Illustrator Lora Lee. You can check it out below. :)
Author Interview with David Tang &Lora Lee

 

Can you tell us a little about yourself? 

David: It sounds so random, but Lora and I actually met when we took part in a reality TV show in Singapore back in 2009. The show was a lot like The Apprentice except with creative people (directors, architects, graphic designers..). In each episode we had to work in groups to solve various design challenges like designing a hotel room or creating an animated video. Lora and I actually worked together for a few of these challenges, we had a great working relationship and have remained friends ever since.

A New Friend for Sally is our first children’s book.

What do you do when you are not writing? 

Lora: I spend most of my time working as a freelance artist and teaching at the University of Hartford. When I’m not working I’m probably watching movies, eating sushi and cleaning the house.

David: Similarly I’m a freelance graphic designer. Other than that I like going to the gym, reading comics, playing video games and eating hamburgers.

What inspired you to write your first book?  

Lora: I’ve been illustrating and designing for other people’s books and projects for a few years now. I’d been so caught up trying to make the deadlines that for the longest time I’d never considered putting out a book myself. Things changed when I started my MFA in Illustration. It was such an inspiring program that included a Children’s Book Illustration class taught by the legendary artists Ted and Betsy Lewin. I based an assignment on a childhood friendship with my pet chicken “Dodo”. I loved Dodo so much and used to hug her everyday after school. For the assignment I created a dummy book consisting of 13 illustrations, which I developed and eventually became our book A New Friend For Sally.

David: By the time I came along, a large portion of the book had already been illustrated. So I took Lora’s skeleton of a structure and after working with her to add in more pages, wrote (and rewrote many times many times) the story for the book.

How did you come up with the title?  

Lora: It’s so difficult coming up with a good title! We didn’t want to reveal the chicken in the title but still wanted the readers to anticipate something interesting. At first I named it “Sally’s New Best Friend”, but we changed it several times before finally settling on “A New Friend for Sally”.

Where do you get your ideas?

Lora: I get most of my ideas from my childhood. I grew up in China in the 80s when kids used to play outside a lot more. I loved playing in the woods, drawing and doodling animals and plants. Even now I tend to get a lot of inspiration from my everyday life.

David: For some reason I tend to get a lot of my best ideas when I’m in the shower or when I’m driving, basically anywhere I don’t access to a pen and paper! If I’m actively trying to think of ideas however, I would try to put myself in the shoes of the reader; what kind of books did I want to read when I was 5? What were the sorts of things that I was excited about?

Sometimes I like going to bookstores and flicking through children’s books – but that’s more for inspiration than ideas. I’m someone who’s motivated by competition so when I read a book that has a great premise or beautiful artwork, it only pushes me more to try and do something better.

Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?  

Lora: I believe that everybody has a fear of certain things. And often this fear is the result of simply not understanding the actual thing that we’re afraid of. I used to have a fear of birds when I was little, as their pointy beaks and feet looked weird and unfriendly to me. But then my uncle got me this big white chicken (Dodo), I ended up loving her. So when I did the illustrations for this book, I tried to convey the same emotions I felt into the images, and encourage the readers not to judge a book by it’s cover, or in our case a chicken by it’s feathers!

David: I grew up on a healthy diet of 80s cartoons where each episode would end with an overt public service announcement, something like “Stay in school!” or “Don’t do drugs!” I was actually one of those kids who obeyed intently; I’ve never smoked a cigarette in my life and I don’t drink either. If only there was an episode about not eating carbs!

So when it came time to writing A New Friend for Sally it was really important to me that the story would be more than just pure entertainment for kids. And the lesson of being open minded and accepting of others who may be different to us, is a great one for children to learn.

Do you have any advice for other writers? 

David: Writing children’s books? Not as easy as you think! Everyone thinks that they have a good idea for a children’s book and that they’re easy to write, but when you actually sit down and try – it’s a completely different story! Writing for children specifically comes with a lot restrictions; words can’t be too long or contain too many syllables for example, because the younger children might struggle to pronounce them.

Another thing I learnt along the way is why so many picture books feature animal protagonists. In part because of the nature of the story and in part because this was our first children’s book, we didn’t realise that making the main character a girl would potentially alienate boy readers. Making a character a cute animal though, side steps this problem. Also: whatever you do, don’t choose to write your book in rhyme!

Do you have anything specific to tell your readers?

David: If you’re interested in reading A New Friend for Sally please check out our Kickstarter campaign (http://www.tinyrobotbooks.com)! Oh, and eat your vegetables!

The Big Splash!

Title Of Book: The Big Splash!

Time length to read: 4-6 min

Age recommend: 3 and up

Author: A.H. Benjamin

Illustrator: Jon Lycett-Smith

Publisher: Digital Leaf Publishing

Best place to purchase: The Books Depository. For Paperback click here. For Hardcover click here.

Price: $9.57 (Paperback)  $15.09 (Harcover)

With summer being in the air, I’m glad to share this next book with you all; The Big Splash, by A.H. Benjamin. “Hare, Beaver, Fox, Skunk and Raccoon are all minding their own business when something BIG comes along that changes… everything.” -The Big Splash. Indeed something big does come along; that something big turns out to be a big buffalo that just wants to be friends with them and join the fun. He tells them to hop on his back where he takes them to an edge where they run off and splash right into a big lake. They had so much fun doing it they want to go back and splash in the water all over again.

To be honest, this book really took me by surprise of how well done it was. The story plot line was perfect and the way the words about appeared throughout the story were really creative, matching the scenes of the story. The message I saw in the story was to never judge anyone by their “cover” so to say. Although, all they could hear was a big booming sound that they thought was something scary, it turned out to be something they didn’t expect. The illustrations, done by Jon Lycett-Smith, were very well done. They really brought the book to life. The colors he used in the book were very creative and matched every scene. I think that  it will draw in children to this book because of that.

If you are looking for a good book to splash up your summer, you should check this one out. If there was a fun summer book to recommend right now, this would be the one I would for all you out there.

For more information on the book, you can visit the publisher’s website here.

I did an author interview with A.H. Benjamin. You can check that out below! :)

Author Interview with A.H. Benjamin

Can you tell me about yourself?

I’m a father of four grown up children and the grandfather of four young children. I live with my wife in a small town in Lincolnshire in the UK. I’m not great or special or exciting but I am happy.

What do you do when you are not writing?

When I’m not writing I’m thinking of writing. I like to do that especially when I’m walking. However, I love reading and of course playing with my grandchildren!

What inspired you to write your first book?

I became a writer almost by accident; that is I never thought that I would become an author one day…When my eldest daughter was about three I started telling bedtime stories made up on the spot. I realized I was quite good at that, so I decided to write them down… Later on I tried my luck with publishers and eventually I got my first picture book published back in 1987. More and more followed…

Where do you get your ideas from?

Ah, the inevitable question for an author! Well, personally I get my ideas from my head, where else? I have a very lively imagination and I use it. It’s as simple as that.

Is there a message in your book that you want your readers to grasp?

I write to entertain, that’s my main objective. I never think of including a message in my books; that comes of its own accord. And that’s how it should be, because children are very sensitive and they don’t like being preached to in a condescending way. Oh, no!

What books have most influenced your life?

Roald Dahl is my all time favourite author, so I would say all his books.  Especially his two autobiography books, Boy and Going Solo.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

If you are honest and genuine and you love writing you have a very good chance of being published.On the other hand, if you are doing it simply to become rich and famous and for people to say how clever you are then you are very likely to fail – unless you are a genius!

Do you have anything specific to tell your readers?

I do my upmost to write good  stories to please my readers, whether they are young or old. If they are happy I am even more so.

Rescue Pups: The Adventures of Maxwell and Kota

Authors, Lindsay and Bonnie. And the Rescue Pups Kota and Maxwell.

Title Of Book: Rescue Pups: The Adventures of Maxwell and Kota

Time length to read: 6-9 min

Age recommend: 2-8

Authors: Bonnie Bentley & Lindsay Gamache

Illustrator: Kimberly Soderberg

Publisher: BEB, LLC Repetoire Films

Best place to purchase: Kitereaders Website (click word for direct link)

Price: $1.99(Amazon Kindle) $2.99 (ITunes iBooks) $2.99 (Barnes & Noble Nook)

Hey everyone! Today I bring you a cute book about two dogs that is not to disappoint. Rescue Pups: The Adventures of Maxwell and Kota, by Bonnie Bentley & Lindsay Gamache is about a dog named Kota, who feels lonely and out of place after he moves into a neighborhood with dogs that won’t befriend him because he doesn’t know where he is from since he was adopted by his owner. Feeling like he isn’t going to be accepted by any of the dogs or make any friends, Kota all the sudden finds another dog on the other side of the fence. At first, he’s hesitant, not knowing if this dog will reject his friendship as well. However, after talking to the dog named Maxwell, he finds out that like Kota, he was rescued and adopted by his owner as well. The two dogs end up being friends and even start to help another dog when she gets caught in the fence. This is just the beginning of the adventures that lie ahead for the rescue pups, Maxwell and Kota.

My thoughts…..I really loved this book! I am a total dog person, so any children books that are about dogs I’m a sucker for, but I really liked this book because of how well it was done. This book is an e-book, and I got the book through the ITunes iBookstore. It was really cool because they have also made it a narrative story. So you and your child can read the book together, or you can listen to narration version of the book, which includes voiceovers for the dogs, and sounds that match the scenes perfect. I liked the messages that the book portrayed. I felt like it portrayed a lesson of how we need to try to be friends to everyone, no matter what their circumstance may be. I also liked the message of working as a team that it had, and to always help others when they are in need. The illustrations, done by Kimberly Soderberg, were very colorful and well done. They fit the descriptions of the story perfectly and really helped set each scene of the story.

I would definitely recommend this book to parents, teachers, dog book lovers and just picture book lovers in general. It will make you want to keep tagging along with the future adventures of the Rescue Pups Maxwell and Kota

 

 

Millie Fierce Sleeps Out

Author, Jane Manning

Title Of Book: Millie Fierce Sleeps Out

Time length to read: 5-8 min

Age recommend: 4 and up

Author/Illustrator: Jane Manning

Publisher: Philomel Books

Best place to purchase: Amazon (click word for direct link)

Price: $10.99 (Kindle) $12.74 (Paperback)

Happy June everyone! Today I’m excited to bring you a book filled with fun, adventure, and fierceness. Jane Manning, who is the author of Millie Fierce, brings back Millie with Mille Fierce Sleeps Out. When Millie plans a sleepover with her friends, she is convinced that she will not ruin the night by letting her “fierce” out. As she has her sleepover, she finds that nothing is going as planned and she has to contain her fierce inside her even more. Until she spots something outside their tent that might ruin the night even further…and she lets her fierce out! Chasing away the creature who had interrupted her party, Millie thinks the night is now ruined because she showed her fierce side. However, she is soon cheered up when she finds out that her friends weren’t bothered by her fierce side, and that they were happy she chased the creature away and saved the day. It looks like her night went better than she originally planned.

I really loved this book! It shows kids that they don’t have to hide their personalities, in order to make friends, or think it’ll ruin everything. I think it also shows children to let loose once in a while, and as kids, you don’t always have to be that little obedient child and you can have some fun. It also really reminded of the times when I was a child and had sleepovers in the backyard. So adults, it may be a memory reminder for you all as well. ;) The illustrations, also done by Jane Manning, fit the story perfectly. It has great blends of various watercolors, but gives it the “kid look” that children can relate too.

If you are looking for a great book to read to your children, especially in summertime, I really do recommend this book. It’s a great mixture of fun, and has a great lesson and reason behind it.

For more information on this book, you can check out their website here.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for having me apart of another tour!

Blog Tour: Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew

 

Hey everyone! Today I partnered again with Mother, Daughter and Son Book Reviews for this blog tour of Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew. For information on this view, as well as our review, check it out below. Happy Weekend Everyone!

About the Book

Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew by Melissa Perry MorajaTitle: Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew: The Super Secret | Author: Melissa Perry Moraja | Publication Date: May 5, 2014 | Publisher: Melissa Productions | Pages: 154 | Recommended Ages: 6+ (read-aloud)

Summary: Up until a few days ago, nothing extraordinary had ever happened in ten year old Josh Wunderkind’s life – except eating a whole pot of pasta by himself. But that all changed after a mammoth-sized bird hit him smack on the face with a glob of neon green bird poop, triggering his superhuman Wunderkind ability and leaving him with the responsibility of caring for a baby bird he named Max. Now Josh was just like his older brother and twin sister Madison-super extraordinary! But what Josh didn’t realize was that being superhuman wasn’t all fun and games.

And things only got more complex in Josh’s life when his two siblings and a couple neighborhood friends persuade him to lead a super crime-solving, neighborhood news team—the Gumshoe News Crew. But not before they agree on the Super Secret and complete Gumshoe Boot Camp.

Find out what the Super Secret is. Will the Gumshoe News Crew complete boot camp? Or will Josh let his team down?

 

Purchase

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes

 

Storytime Books Review: I thought this book was really humorous, and it does fit the age group for 6-12, but also I think older children as well. The story seemed to flow really well together, and I think that this is a book that children will be able to relate to because of the characters. This is definitely a page turner that will leave you wanting more at the end! This is a great book that parents can read with children, or a great book for that early reader that is wanting to read a book of their own. So if you are wanting to check out a great series for that early reader of yours, I would recommend this one! For more about the author and the series, keep reading below! :)

 

About the Author: Melissa Perry Moraja

Melissa Perry Moraja, Author

Melissa Perry Moraja

Melissa Perry Moraja, Award-Winning Author and Founder of Melissa Productions, Inc., is an entrepreneurial mom, a multifaceted business woman, a creative producer, and an author and illustrator of numerous modern-fantasy children’s books and self-help books. And that’s just the beginning! Melissa also has published articles, appeared on television, been interviewed on radio, has spoken in front of hundreds of people, and held workshops at local schools, discussing creative learning, publishing and parenting. Her desire to make a difference in her four young children’s lives inspired her to leave her six-salary career at IBM in 2007 to become a full-time mom, children’s author, speaker, and consultant. Melissa spends her personal time coaching soccer and softball, painting, and coming up with fun art projects for her kids. She also blogs for Working Mother blog, has guest blogged for Charlotte Observer Mom’s Charlotte, and has her own personal blog at Not Your Ordinary Psychic Mom. Melissa is also committed to building awareness and support for type 1 diabetes. Her twin daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes November 4, 2011. To learn more about Madison’s type 1 diabetes disease please read Madison’s Story.

For more information about Melissa and her books, please visit http://www.melissaproductions.com and http://www.notyourordinarypsychicmom.com

Website | Wunderkind Family | Blog | Facebook (Author Fan Page)

Facebook (Book Fan Page) | Twitter | Goodreads | Google+ | Pinterest

 

* Josh and the Gumshoe News Crew Blog Tour Schedule (2014) *

May 5

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch & Review)

BeachBoundBooks (Review)

Bookworm for Kids (Review)

May 6

A Leisure Moment (Review)

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys (Review)

May 7

Kay LaLone I Love Books (Review)

Brooke Blogs (Review)

May 8

Alwaysjoart (Review)

Chris Weigand, Author (Review)

The Hippie Bookworm (Review)

May 9

Let’s Talk About Books (Review)

Sunshine, Bubbles & Books (Review)

May 10

Adalinc to Life (Review)

The World of ContestPatti (Review)

May 11

Oh My Bookness (Review)

Unschooling Mama (Review)

May 12

WS Momma Readers Nook (Review)

The Ninja Librarian (Review)

Kid Lit Reviews (Review)

May 13

Mel’s Shelves (Review)

Heart of a Philanthropist (Review)

May 14

Once Upon a Time (Review)

We Are the DinoFamily (Review)

4 The Love of Books (Review)

May 15

Dawn’s Disaster (Review)

Purple Monster Coupons (Review)

May 16

Nanna of 3 and Counting (Review)

Musings by Jay Faulkner (Review)

Lisa Cresswell (Author Interview)

May 17

Jemima Pett, Author (Review)

Storytime Books (Review)

May 18

The Squishable Baby (Review)

Stitch Says (Review)

 

* Blog Tour Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: June 3, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Melissa Perry Moraja and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services

Sticky Icky Booger Bugs

Title Of Book: Sticky Icky Booger Bugs

Time length to read: 5-8 min

Age recommend: 5 and up

Authors: Sherry Frith

Illustrator: Carol Newell Walter

Publisher: Archway Publishing

Best place to purchase: Amazon (click word for direct link)

Price: $3.99 (Kindle) $15.29 (Paperback)

 

Now before you all get weirded out by the title of this book, there’s a very good reason behind it! Sticky Icky Booger Bugs, by Sherry Frith, is written about her two boys, Kory and Kevin, who were both diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. This is their story of what daily life is like for a child who has Cystic Fibrosis.

I found this book very informative. I didn’t think about how much treatment it took, for even a child with cystic fibrosis. It also made me very aware of the disease. I had heard about the disease before, but didn’t know much about it. So it was interesting to learn more about it, and what life is like for someone who has it. The illustrations, down by Carol Newell Walter, were very detailed in showing how the treatment was , and did a good job in displaying the plot of the story. However, I think the coloring of the illustrations needs a little bit of work. It looked like it was just colored with crayons and would look better with different options of doing the colors of the illustrations. With that being said, I think in a way, it can go both ways. Children might relate better to the story if they see it is colored like how they would color a picture.

So if you are looking for an informative book about cystic fibrosis for children, I would recommend this one. It definitely portrays the disease in a way that children can understand it.

I was also able to do an author interview with Sherry Frith herself, check that out below. :)

Author Interview with Sherry Frith

Can you tell us a little about yourself? 

I am a simple person who enjoys simple things in life. I indulge in monthly manicure/pedicures and a bi-monthly hair salon visit.  Amazing Grace Emulsion is my favorite indulgence.

What do you do when you are not writing? 

I am the chief financial officer at a local concrete construction company.   Most days I can be seen driving the highway picking up or dropping off my boys where they need to be.  It is not out of the ordinary to find me cheering at a soccer, football, or baseball game during a single weekend.   When my time is not consumed with my boys, I enjoy the company of delicious food and intriguing conversation.

What inspired you to write your first book? 

My son Kory continues to inspire my writing.  Children have a wonderful innocence; their questions and answers can bring tears of laughter or sorrow to a conversation.

How did you come up with the title? 

Sticky Icky Booger Bugs was born 6 years ago when Kory was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis.  Doctor’s explained cystic fibrosis to Kory in medical terms. However, as we walked out of the building Kory asked “What does this mean for me”? I told him that he had sticky boogers that wanted to stay in him and we had to get them out.  When the medical equipment arrived to help improve Kory’s quality of life we gave them all names so he could understand them and not be so overwhelmed. My heart broke knowing the challenges he would be facing with this incurable disease and felt the need to convey them in terms that he could relate to.

Where do you get your ideas? 

I get ideas from everywhere. I love to listen, look, and linger for a topic to write about.

Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp? 

I want readers to feel empathy.  You never know what is happening in a person’s life.  My theory is that just when I feel my life is rough, someone has it rougher.   I hear their story and stop the poor me woes an appreciate another day of life.

What books have most influenced your life most? 

Judy Blume, led me through puberty and made me feel normal, and Danielle Steele because I am a hopeless romantic and want to believe in the impossible.=

Do you have any advice for other writers? 

I think that everyone is a writer and has a story to tell.

Do you have anything specific to tell your readers?

I want to thank people for taking the time to read my book. It is so dear to my heart. To know that people are reading the book makes publishing Kory’s story worth it.

Emma and the Princess

Title Of Book: Emma and the Princess

Time length to read: 3-5 min

Age recommend: 3 and up

Author/Illustator: Peter Steinberg

Best place to purchase: Amazon (click word for direct link)

Price: $5.99 (kindle book)

 

Today I bring you a very cute kindle book! So all you kindle readers out there looking to add a great children’s story to your collection, you may want to check this one out. :) Emma and the Princess, by Peter Steinberg, is about a little girl named Emma who finds during bedtime that she can’t sleep. In search of adventure, she looks out the window to the castle in their village and wonders if a Princess still lives there. So with her red cape, sword and shield, she wanders out to the village searching to see if the Princess is still in the castle. When she enters the castle, she finds the Princess is indeed there and learns that an evil goblin has been going around stealing things. The Princess’ crown,  a golden pretzel, are just a couple of the things the goblin took. Emma then sets off to find the Goblin, and to get the things back which he has stolen. Will she be successful in finding the goblin and getting back the things he has stolen from the Princess and the people in the village? Check out this book and find out!

When I first looked at this book, I already knew I was going to like it. The illustrations, also done by the author Peter Steinberg, were very colorful, but simple, and very inviting. It looked like something you would see on a children’s cartoon show. The illustrations were very well done to match the story, and displayed every scene perfectly. The story itself was very creative. You do not find very many stories where the little girl is the one that wants to be the hero and save the day. I found that it sends a very good message to children that you can be anything you want to be, and to not let your fears hold you back.

So if you are looking for a great book for your kids that is on the kindle, this would be one of the books I highly recommend you check out. It is the perfect story to tell your kids right before they go to sleep.