Finding Fuzzy: A You-Decide Tale of a Lost Friend

Title of book: Finding Fuzzy: A You-Decide Tale of a Lost Friend

Time length to read: Varies

Age recommended: 5-9 yrs

Author: Cat Michaels

Illustrator: Irene A. Jahns

Publisher: 2101 Ink

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

Price: $5.86 (Paperback) 

It’s that time again! Well, at least where I live it is…back to school! As I drive by, all the school zone areas are full of kids as they head back to school. So as I was reading today’s book I am sharing with you today, I thought that this book is perfect to share since it’s that back to school time. Finding Fuzzy: A You-Decide Tale of a Lost Friend, by Cat Michaels, is about a little girl named Jenna who goes on a vacation with her family to a beach coast. And who does she take with her on her vacation? Why, her plush rabbit named Fuzzy. She is sure her and Fuzzy will have the best time on vacation. But her vacation takes a turn when she loses Fuzzy. When she does find Fuzzy, she discovers that a cat and her kittens have been using Fuzzy as warm place to stay. So…what happens to the rest of the story? It’s up to you! In the book, there are a couple pages where the reader can write their own ending to what happens, if Jenna decides to take him home or to leave him with the kittens.

I honestly was impressed with this book more than I thought I would be. The whole twist of letting the reader decide what happens to the story was a nice little twist that was put in there. It gives the reader a chance to write their own ending, and it helps children with their creativity, writing and thinking skills. Another neat feature with this book is that within it is a reading assistant’s guide. This helps if the child is not reading the book alone, and is reading with a teacher/parent/reading assistant. This section gives some different ways that they can help the reader write and come up with their own endings. A very creative thing to have in the book! I think this is the most hands on educational book that I have read so far, and the reader can be happy as well because the ending to the book is the way they think it should end.

The illustrations, done by Irene Jahns, are perfect for the book. Since the book it set on the scenery of a beach atmosphere, Jahns gives it exactly that. The book had a lot of water color and colored pencil kind of look which is what a lot of beach type paintings have in them, which is why I thought it was perfect, in my opinion.

So, if you are looking for a perfect back to school book for your child, I would recommend checking this one out for sure! It’s a reading adventure and educational helpful book all bundled into one. :)

For more information on this book, or the author, you can check out her Website, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Twitter pages below!

www.catmichaelswriter.com 

Cat Michaels:

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Awesome Possum Family Band

PossomTitle of book: Awesome Possum Family Band

Time length to read: 4-7 min

Age recommended: 4-8 years

Author: Jimmy Osmond

Publisher: Regnery Publishing

Best place to purchase: Amazon and iTunes (Click word for direct link)

Price: $9.99 (Kindle & iTunes) $13.18 (Amazon, Paperback)

The book I bring you today is a fun one, as it is filled with a creative storyline that does have some truth and fact in it as well.  Awesome Possum Family Band, by Jimmy Osmond, is about a family of possums that want to make it in the music industry, however, possum number nine doesn’t know his place in the band. After trying several things, possum number nine is feeling out of place. Before he can give up, mother possum gives him some words of encouragement. With this, he just starts singing to himself, and then the rest of the family finds out where their talent singer is at, in possum number nine! He then ends up becoming the singer of their band.

I thought that this book was really neat. Although the possum storyline is fictional, the plot of the story is actually true. Author Jimmy Osmond created this story based on his experience in his family band, The Osmonds. Another thing I liked about this book is it teaches children that if they can achieve anything they want, and to not give up on themselves. It also has some rhyming that goes along with the story and pages, which could be a way to help children read it.

The illustrations in the book were very colorful and creative. It will draw every child and parent to each page as they read along it.

If you are looking for a book that not only gives a little music history into it, but is also a great book with good messages in it, I would check it out. I definitely would say this book is “awesome possum!” :)

Bedtime Mischief

Title of book: Bedtime Mischief

Time length to read: 4-7 min

Age recommended: 3 and up

Author: Julia Randall

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

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

Price: Free for KindleUnlimited Users ($1.99 to buy on Kindle per Amazon) ($8.54, Amazon Paperback)

Hello Everyone! Long time no writing, huh? ;) Sorry for being away for a while. My husband and I recently moved to a new house and so for most of July we spent our days after work packing up and getting ready for that. So I am glad that we are done with that!

Now that I am back, I bring you a cute book today that I read right before I went to bed last night. The book is called Bedtime Mischief, by Julia Randall. This book was a perfect book to read as it was filled with a creative story, as well as cute illustrations. The story begins with a little girl who is doing different little mischievous things to avoid going to bed. The story is filled with rhyming and fun words. The other cool thing about this story is it has a word dictionary in the back of the book, just a little one, for all the words that are in the book that children may not understand what the meaning is, which is very helpful for both the parents and children.

The illustrations in this book were very good. I feel like it definitely partnered with the story; when I say that I mean that the words and the illustrations wouldn’t of worked unless they were together. The illustrations were very colorful and seemed to complete the story of the little girl, getting into her mischievous ways before going to bed. If definitely going to catch children’s eyes.

So if you are looking for a great book that can relate to your children when it comes to going to bed, I really would recommend you check this out. It’s the perfect going to bed book that could become the traditional “good night” book as you put your kids to sleep. :)

For more information on this book or where to purchase it, click on the link above in the “Best place to purchase” section.

 

 

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!