Turtle Without a Home

Title Of Book: Turtle Without a Home

Time length to read: 4-6 min

Age recommend: 4 and up

Authors: Dr. Sharon Gaston & Richard Halttunen

Illustrator: Dr. Sharon Gaston

Publisher: Creative Minds Publications

Best place to purchase: Turtle Without a Home Website (Click here for direct link)


Happy Spring everyone! And to bring in the springtime joy, I have a book filled with lots of springtime like quality in it! The book, Turtle Without a Home, by Dr. Sharon Gaston & Richard Halttunen, is about a little turtle that is on a journey to find a different home after the river he swims in comes up to be trashed and polluted. On his quest, he encounters several animals and bugs to see if he could join their homes, only to find himself out of luck in the end. He finally comes across a butterfly who guides him to a beautiful nature spot that is taken care of by an elementary school and it turns out to be the perfect home for turtle.

I thought that this was a very creative and cute book. It has a great story, that has many great messages in it. It teaches kids to not give up hope when your feeling like you won’t achieve something, and it also shows children the importance of keeping the environment clean so that it doesn’t pollute animals homes. The illustrations in this book, done by one of the author’s herself, are very colorful and resemble that of crayon like coloring, which is different, but I thought it was kind of cool. I think that children will relate to the pictures because of that.

This book is excellent not just for parents, but teachers as well. This book would do well in a elementary classroom setting. In fact, on the authors’ website (www.turtlewithoutahome.com), there is a link that you can go to to read more about a special teachers guide they have that connects with the book. It’s supposed to show teachers who are interested in environmental things they can teach students and would make an excellent activity to do on earth day. So if your a teacher, I’d check that out on their website!

For more information on this book or the authors’, you can go to their website Turtle Without a Home.

I was also able to do an author interview with the authors of this book! Hope you all enjoy!

Author Interviews with Dr. Sharon Gaston and Richard Halttunen

Tell us a little bit about yourselves:

We are both Elementary school teachers in Northern Virginia. Rich teaches third grade and is affectionately known to the school community as “Mr. H.”He bases his teaching style on Howard Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences and the use of his own books and plays. Rich believes that education should be meaningful and fun. Sharon is a Reading Specialist who understands the power of literacy and its effects on all that we do. She is a professional storyteller who has written and illustrated her own alphabet books and a series of character education books based on stories her mother used to tell her as a child. You can learn more about Sharon’s other books at http://www.drsharongastonbooks&storytelling.com We both are members of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI).

What do you do when you’re not writing?

As stated earlier we are full time educators in Northern Virginia. Rich directs a very popular after school drama club, enjoys riding his bike, hiking and being in nature. Sharon enjoys summer vacations at the beach, writing and doodling in her journals, walking for exercise, book club discussions and going out to dinner and laughing with friends.

What inspired your both to write this book?

Sharon was inspired to write her first book at age 8 because of the t.v. show “Land of the Lost”. Sharon and Rich were inspired to write Turtle Without a Home when Sharon’s school was moving to a new location. There was no pond at the new location to move the turtles to. I told Rich about the Dilemma and we laughed and I said, “The poor turtles are without a home.” Rich said, “That’s a book title!”

Where did you get your ideas?

Rich always says just wake up and walk out the front door. Ideas are everywhere. They come from everyday and past experiences. Sharon says that children can inspire a lot of book ideas.. I wrote a story entitled The Rainbow Pumpkin because of what a student told another student who had no idea what color he wanted to color his halloween pumpkin. The little girl said just as eloquently, “Like Ms. Gaston always says, use your imagination.” She went on to tell her classmate, “Make it a rainbow pumpkin. That’s creative.” I went home that evening and wrote a story about a rainbow colored pumpkin who was not accepted by other vegetables in the garden because he was not only one color. I was inspired by a 6 year old.

Is there a certain message in your book for your readers?

Rich and Sharon want everyone, especially children, to know that taking care of animals and the environment ultimately teaches respect for each other. Everyone can do something to be good stewards of the this planet. Sharon also created a teacher’s guide for the book to extend this idea.

Are there any books that inspired you to write?

We are both huge Dr. Seuss fans. Our favorites are The Lorax, The Sneetches, The Better Butter Battle and The Zax. He was so far ahead of the crowd in his thoughts on the environment, racism, war and progress. The way that he could bring these massive, world issues and sit them at children’s feet in a way that was entertaining but educational was a masterful talent. Rich had been greatly inspired by Thoreau’s Walden and I recently read Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson that was so moving and poignant.

Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to write?

We believe that ideas for writing are everywhere. Just wake up and go about your day. Write about what moves you whether it’s happy, sad, morbid or thrilling. Get your thoughts out on paper. If you like to draw, keep drawing and develop your own style.

Do you have anything you would like to tell your readers?

Remember to always be a part of a solution and not a problem. Walk in the positive!

Book Tour: Good Night Animal World

Hey Everyone! Today I partnered with Mother Daughter and Son Book Reviews to review a book for a book tour they had! My review, as well as more information about the book and the author is posted below! I hope you enjoy!

Good Night Animal World Blog Tour - Button Final

About the Book

Good Night Animal World by Giselle ShardlowTitle: Good Night, Animal World: A Kids Yoga Bedtime Story | Author: Giselle Shardlow | Illustrator: Emily Gedzyk | Publication Date: September 20, 2013 | Publisher: Company: Kids Yoga Stories LLC | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 2.5 to 6 years

Summary: Say good night to the animals of the world! Calm your mind and body before bedtime by taking a journey around the world with this kids yoga storybook. Join six Kids Yoga Stories characters as you perch like a bald eagle, crouch like a tiger, and curl up like a sloth. The book includes a list of Kids Yoga Poses and a Parent Guide with tips on creating a successful bedtime experience. Learn something new, explore movement, and unwind together before bedtime!

Storytime Books Review: I thought that this book was very creative. I reviewed a kids picture/yoga book before and didn’t really find that it was relevant to the story.  However, I think this time, the author did a good job as far as making the yoga poses relevant to the plot and tying it in with animals, which most children love doing. The illustrations are really detailed as well, making the animals and scenery look as real as it can get.
It’s a great book to read so that kids can learn a new way to exercise, but still get in a good story as well. So if you are looking to try out a yoga/picture book for your children, I recommend checking this one out. They’ll be wanting to do the yoga poses with the animals, over and over again!

The Buzz

“This book has been so amazing for my 2.5 year old daughter! The illustrations are adorable! She is always so rambunctious at bedtime and this lets her get out some of that excess energy. She loves the book so much that this has been one we read every night. It helps my daughter fall asleep faster which means more time for mom in the evenings.” ~ 5 Star Review, cwalt047, Amazon

“Another GREAT book!! I used this book for my kids yoga classes for ages 2-5 years old. After a very active yoga class, we read this book and did the yoga poses before the resting portion of the class. My little yogis loved the pictures and saying Good Night to all of the animals one by one. I played a calming song with some animal noises in the background and we were then able to quiet our minds and bodies for the pose of rest. I think this will become a regular pre-resting story for my classes with this age group. My 5 year old son loves to read this book again and again too! Keep the great books coming!” ~ 5 Star Review, Stacy Daniels – Kids Yoga Teacher, Amazon

“What a delightful book to get young children reading and moving in a wind-down, calming story about saying goodnight to the animals of the world. I am a k-12 Reading Certified teacher who blogs about parenting at The Educator’s Spin On It. I am big fan of literacy activities that combine movement and geography in a loving parent / child interaction experience and Good night, Animal World does just that. This book would be a great addition to your book shelf.” ~ 5 Star Review, Amanda at The Educators’ Spin On It, Amazon

About the Author: Giselle Shardlow

Giselle Shardlow from Kids Yoga Stories

Giselle Shardlow

Giselle Shardlow is the author of Kids Yoga Stories. Her yoga-inspired children’s books get children moving, learning, and having fun. Giselle draws from her experiences as a teacher, traveler, yogi, and mom to write the stories found at www.kidsyogastories.com or on Amazon (amazon.com/author/giselleshardlow) worldwide.

Book Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Google+

Good Night, Animal World Blog Tour Schedule (2014)

March 10

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch & Review)

My Devotional Thoughts (Review)

Books Direct (Author Interview & Review)

Amanda’s Books and More (Review)

K&A’s Children’s Book Reviews (Review)

March 11

Brooke Blogs (Review)

Doodles, Doodles Everywhere (Review)

Reading List (Review)

Coffee & Books & Art (Review)

March 12

When I Grow Up I Wanna Write a Kids Book (Review)

Heart of a Philanthropist (Review)

Kay LaLone I Love Books (Review)

Alwaysjoart (Review)

March 13

Baby Bookworms in Black Words – White Pages (Guest Post)

Christy’s Cozy Corners (Review)

Christy’s Houseful of Chaos (Review)

Hazel Nutt’s Toddler Talk (Review)

March 14

For the Love of Books (Review)

Books, Babies and Bows (Review)

Sweet Day’s LifeBook (Review)

March 15

Stitch Says (Review)

WS Momma Readers Nook (Review)

Edventures With Kids (Review)

The Reading Room (Book Spotlight)

March 16

Deal Sharing Aunt (Review)

Lakshmi Gosyne (Review)

Growing Intentional Families Together (Review)

March 17

BeachBoundBooks (Author Interview)

Adalinc To Life (Review)

A Year of Jubilee Reviews (Review)

No Doubt Learning (Review)

March 18

Generation iKid (Review)

Domestic Randomness (Review)

Identity Discovery (Review)

Storytime Books (Review)

March 19

Victoria Simcox’s Blog (Author Interview)

Mommynificent (Review)

Desperate Homeschoolers (Review)

March 20

Looney’s Literacy (Review)

Dawn’s Disaster (Review)

Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys (Review)

Hershey Wishes and Kisses (Review)

When Did I Become My Mom (Review)

March 21

Lobo’s Follies (Guest Post)

Grandbooking (Review)

Picture Books & Pirouettes (Review)

Say What? Savannah Mae Kids (Review)

March 22

Nana Three and Counting (Review)

Once Upon a Time (Review)

Learning and Growing the Piwi Way (Review)

March 23

The Owl’s Skull (Review)

The Squishable Baby (Review)

A Leisure Moment (Review)

Living as We (Review)

* $25 Blog Tour Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

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

Contest ends: April 8, 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, Giselle Shardlow 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.

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The Adventures of Lovable Lobo: Lobo Visits the Barnyard

Title of Book: The Adventures of Lovable Lobo: Lobo Visits the Barnyard

Time length to read: 4-7 min

Age recommend: 3 and up

Author/Illustrator: C.L. Murphy

Best place to purchase: iTunes (Click words for direct link)

Price: $.99 (virtual iBook) For a spanish version of the book, click here

A little while ago, I had the chance to review a book from author C.L. Murphy, The Adventures of Lovable Lobo: Lobo Finds Bigfoot. It was such a cute, creative book and I’m glad I got the chance to review another book in her Lovable Lobo series, The Adventures of Lovable Lobo: Lobo Visits the Barnyard.  In this book, Lobo ventures off to a barnyard, visiting his friend, a cow named, Lulubell. Together they visit all the different areas of the Barnyard, visiting many of the other farm animals and learning many great lessons.

This book is an iTunes interactive book, and I think it’s really creative and gives kids the chance to interact with the story, which is always a plus. In this book, it has little paw prints throughout the story that readers can press, and it will give you the sound of the animal that is beside the paw print. It’s an excellent way to get your kids into the story. The illustrations, done by C.L. Murphy, are very colorful and detailed, giving it that cartoon like appearance to all the animals and scenery. There is also a special lesson that can be learned in this book, and that is to be yourself. In the book, Lobo tries to act and be like the different barnyard animals that he comes across. However, it never works out for him. In the end, he finds that he is perfect just the way he is, being a wolf. What a great message to give young readers now, especially in today’s society, where there is so much pressure to try and be something else, when in fact, the most important thing is to be yourself and to love it! I loved that message that was portrayed in the book.

So if you are looking for a great interactive book for your young children, that has great learning values and will keep them entertained, then I suggest you check it out!

For more information on the series, you can check out their website at: http://lovablelobo.com

Flower Girl World: Rosie and the Wedding Day Rescue & Iris and the Aloha Wedding Adventure

Title Of Book: Flower Girl World: Rose and the Wedding Day Rescue & Iris and the Aloha Wedding Adventure

Time length to read: Varies

Age recommend: 6-12

Author: Lynelle Woolley

Illustrator: Karen Wolcott

Publisher: Markelle Media

Best place to purchase: Rosie and the Wedding Day Rescue: Amazon, Flower Girl World Website  and Iris and the Aloha Wedding Adventure: Amazon, Flower Girl World Website

Price: $4.99 (Flower Girl World Website) Rosie Book via Amazon: $4.49 (Paperback) $3.49 (Kindle) Iris Book via Amazon: $4.28  (Paperback) $3.19 (Kindle)

Today I am excited to bring you this new series featuring adventure, self learned lessons, and just pure girl fun. The Flower Girl World Books, by Lynelle Woolley, are a series that are about young girls that get to experience the excitement when they are asked to be flower girls at different weddings. In Rosie and the Wedding Day Rescue, a little girl named Rosie is asked to be a flower girl at a good friend’s wedding. She is nervous about it at first, but then along the road to being a flower girl, meets new friends and helps save the wedding day from being ruined. And in Iris and the Aloha Wedding Adventure, Iris experiences becoming a flower girl again by being asked to be one at her cousins wedding. She discovers the adventure of a wedding in Hawaii, and makes a new friend along the way. The cool thing about the Flower Girl World, is that every time a girl serves as a flower girl and makes new friends that are flower girls as well, they form a “Flower Girl World” club that promises that they will all stay in touch and remain friends and remember the adventures and memories they all experienced as being Flower girls.

I really loved these books. I was able to have the chance to read both the first and second book in the series, and let me tell you, they do not disappoint. The story line is great, and perfect for younger girls that are looking for a starter chapter book with a cute storyline. It’s also great book to read out loud to children as well. The story also has great lessons to learn. It teaches leadership, doing what’s right, and have courage, which are all important messages for children to hear. The book also has illustrations, done by Karen Wolcott, throughout the chapters and it really does show the storyline really well and are very detailed and well done. It looks like it could be it’s very own cartoon show. :)

So if you are looking for a good book series aimed at young girls I would definitely recommend these ones! You’ll be wanting to join the flower girl world club after reading this cute series! :)

There’s more! I was abled to do an author interview with Lynelle Woolley herself. Check out her Interview below! And for more fun on the Flower Girl World Series and more information on the books, check out the Flower Girl World Website (click words for link)

Author Interview with Lynelle Woolley

Lynelle Woolley Print

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I’m a mom, wife, author, and kid at heart. I began my career writing synopses for video/DVD packaging at MGM studios. Twenty years later, I was heading the creative department for home entertainment at New Line Cinema. Then in 2008 and we were all laid off. With a flooded job market, I knew I had to reinvent myself, so I took an atypical route: flower girls. It’s so much fun working on a business that’s colorful and joyful every day. I’m now a Mompreneur and I couldn’t be happier.

What do you do when you are not writing?

We are remodeling our house, so I’m spending way too much time on home furnishing and interior design sites.

What inspired you to write your first book? 

My daughter. When she was four-years-old, she was a flower girl in three weddings. Each event was so different, but one thing remained the same: her enthusiasm. Little girls dream of being flower girls and not everyone gets to be one. I wanted to express the flower girl experience through stories for all girls to share.

How did you come up with the title? 

The series was originally called The Flower Girls Club, but Flower Girl World is much more inclusive. It incorporates global customs, diverse characters, and universal themes.

Where do you get your ideas? 

Anything can spur an idea, but I love meeting Flower Girl World fans at live events, like Girl Scout expos and book festivals. Their observations and comments are inspiring.

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

Being a flower girl is much more than wearing a pretty dress and looking adorable. The experience teaches important lessons in responsibility, leadership, communication, etc. My goal in writing these books is to introduce young readers to these characteristics and to highlight new customs and cultures set against the exciting backdrop of different types of weddings.

What books have most influenced your life most? 

Some of my favorite children’s books include The Phantom Tollbooth, Where the Wild Things Are, the Knuffle Bunny series, and anything by Shel Silverstein.

I love reading a book and thinking “Wow, that’s so creative and smart.” Those are the best reads.

Do you have any advice for other writers? 

Don’t be afraid to make revisions to your stories. It can be scary to open up a section of a tightly written manuscript, but if something isn’t working, it’s important to get it right. The hard work will be your payoff in the end.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? 

Thank you so much for your support! I promise there are more fun Flower Girl World adventures coming soon!

Lily Lemon Blossom: Welcome to Lily’s Room

Title of Book: Lily Lemon Blossom: Welcome to Lily’s Room

Time length to read: 2-4 min.

Age recommend: 3-6

Author: Barbara Miller

Illustrator: Inga Shalvashvili

Best place to purchase: Amazon (Click words for direct link)

Price: Free (Kindle versions) $8.58 (Paperback)

So today I am sharing a book that I discovered while looking through the Amazon Kindle store. Yep, I finally got a kindle for Christmas (I can hear the “Hallelujah” chorus already ;) ) and I saw this book and had to check it out. Lily Lemon Blossom: Welcome to Lily’s Room, by Barbara Miller, is just one of the books in the series Lily Lemon Blossom. In this book, Lily takes you on a little tour throughout her room and shows you the various activities that her imagination takes her throughout a day in her room.

I thought this book was really cute. It is a good read for really young girls and toddlers as well. While there is really no specific moral value/lesson in the book, I found that it still shows that having a creative imagination can keep you happy, and that’s something important to remind kids today. I wouldn’t recommend this book to older children though, as it is more focused on the younger ages for reading.

The illustrations, done by Inga Shalvashvili, are beautifully colored (in pink mostly). Inga does a good job of really bringing the story of Lily to life with the details she puts into the illustrations.

So if you are looking for a good book (more so for young girls) then I would highly recommend checking this one out. And if you have a Kindle, it’s free, so why not check it out? But if you’d like a paperback copy, that is available as well. Just check out the “Best Place to Purchase” link above. :)

For more information about the author and the series you can visit: www.lilylemonblossom.com 

Look and Find: Disney Friends and Favorites

Title of Book: Look and Find: Disney Friends and Favorites

Time length to read: varies

Age recommend: 3 and up

Author: Editors of Publications International

Best place to purchase: Amazon (Click words for direct link)

Price: $7.18 (Hardcover)

So I thought I would start the first post of 2014 with something a little bit of fun with look and find books! I always loved these books growing up and thought it would be good to spotlight them. While look and find books don’t have any certain story to them, they still hold educational value and entertainment to a child. These books could end up becoming some favorites as they grow up. This book, inspired by various Disney characters, has hidden items, or characters throughout the book and the objective is to find all those items/characters, as each page has different characters/scenarios.

I thought this book was a really cute book. If you know me, you know that I have always been sort of a kid at heart. So when I see books like these, it makes me want to “look and find” all over again and again. By doing so, children will develop skills like attention to detail, as they try to search for that “needle in a haystack.” Also, the creative coloring throughout the book will draw children in to this book time and time again. Another great thing about Look and Find books is that they can promote teamwork/family time together as you hunt for that certain character or object. Anne Marie White on Amazon Reviews says: “My 3-year-old loves this seek-and-find book – the scenes are captivating and the items you need to find are well-hidden.  Sometimes he doesn’t even want to find the objects, he just wants to look at the spread and see what’s going on with all the characters in the picture.  Some of the pages are less ‘true’ to the movies, i.e. the characters aren’t as well drawn, but to my preschooler they are good enough.  We’ve ordered a few more seek-and-finds after using this one for so long and they are all big hits with my son!”

So if you are look for a good book that will have your child entertained and is a good book to spend time with your child with, I highly suggest you check out this book and other look and find books. It won’t be the last time you “look and find” through it, I promise! :)

New Year, New Storytime Books!

Hello Everyone!

I know it has been quite a while since you’ve seen a post on here. Due to a very busy schedule that I have beyond Storytime Books and some stress, I felt like I needed a little break, and that involved taking a break from Storytime Books. A while ago I thought I was ready to start writing again, but then my full-time job got a little chaotic, and so I put a little more time into my break. My blog was also getting so many requests that it was getting hard to meet a lot of the posting deadlines when there were so many requests. However, it made me very grateful to know that so many people wanted me to post their book on my blog, and I therefore, I am very honored to have all you on here who follow my blog and who continue to send me emails to review your book. And with that being said, please keep doing so! After the much needed break, and a New Year, I am ready to continue to post more on this blog. So check back in a couple days for a new book post, and with more to come. I have so many things I want to do with Storytime Books this year, I hope you all continue to join me for the ride as I explore children’s books! I hope you all had a great holiday season!