Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Review: Don't Let the Cat Out of the Bag (Leave It to Beamer) Clay Boura

Title: Don't Let the Cat our of the Bag
Author: Clay Boura
Published: Jan. 6, 2015
Publisher: Mascot Books
Pages: 38
Genre: Children ages 5 on up
Review: ebook provided by author
Buy Link: Amazon 

The Leave it to Beamer series explores the wide world of English Idioms. And we'll even Go Out On A Limb to say that you will enjoy these stories Until The Cows Come Home! So grab a Leave it to Beamer story today. You'll be left In Stitches and fall Head Over Heels in no time!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Review: The Snail Who Forgot The Mail by Sigal Adler

19009071Title: The Snail Who Forgot the Mail
Author: Sigal Adler
Published: Aug. 12, 2014
Pages: 40
Genre: Children Ages 3 on up
Review: ebook
Buy Links: Amazon, Amazon.uk  

"You forgot the mail?!?!"
The king yelled at the snail.
But the snail stayed as calm as could be.
He was not afraid of the king, you see.
He knew where the gift was; he knew what to do.
The monsters learned that patience pays off too.

We are all familiar with the phenomenon of children wanting everything "here and now". This story describes just such a situation. I hope you and your children will enjoy it and learn from it.
This book good for beginner readers - and bedtime story

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Review: Toddler's book: Beary Cute Baby Bears (Cute Baby Animals) by Roni Shwartz

19468860Title: Beary Cute Baby Bears
Author: Roni Shwartz
Published: Dec. 11, 2013
Publisher: Self
Pages: 36
Genre: Children ages 1-4
Review: ebook
Buy Links: Amazon, Amazon.uk

Take your toddlers on a fun pictorial journey to the land of the bears, where they can meet cute baby bears of different species and see how their daily lives look like...

Your toddler will learn that baby bears, just like human babies, like to play, to explore the world around them, to be naughty and have fun and, of course, to hug mommy!

Review: Dinosaurs for Kids: Beautiful Pictures and Fun Dinosaur Facts by Julie Crystal

18186796Title: Dinosaurs for Kids: Beautiful Pictures and Fun Dinosaur Facts
Author: Julie Crystal
Published: Nov. 4, 2013
Publisher: Unique Vision Press
Pages: 53
Genre: Children age 7 on up
Review: ebook
Buy Links: Amazon, Amazon.uk

Children of all ages and their parents will enjoy this fun, colorful, picture- and fact-filled book, Dinosaurs for Kids: Beautiful Pictures and Fun Dinosaur Facts. Join our host, Michael, or Mike as he is known to his friends, as he takes you through the great age of dinosaurs, telling you everything you always wanted to know about the “terrible lizards,” including the part about how dinosaurs are not lizards at all.

Dinosaurs for Kids is a great book for children who want to learn about these fascinating creatures of the past. Best of all, with Mike as their guide, they will have fun while they are learning dinosaur facts in easy-to-read sections that are geared toward inquisitive young minds.

So be sure to get this great, accessible, and totally up-to-date book to start learning all about dinosaurs with your kids today.

Review: Clever Baby Animals by Ruth Overton

28165506Title: Clever Baby Animals
Author: Ruth Overton
Published: Oct. 30, 2015
Pages: 13
Genre: Children ages 1-5
Review: ebook provided by author
Buy Links: Amazon, Amazon.uk

Clever Baby Animals is a delightful non-fiction book for little ones.
Full of beautiful high-resolution images of baby animals, and fun facts which may even surprise the not-so-little, Clever Baby Animals is a must-have for all animal-lovers!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Book Blast: This Little President A Presidential Primer by Joan Holub and Daniel Roode


Title: This Little President: A Presidential Primer
Author: Joan HolubIllustrator: Daniel RoodePublication Date: January 12, 2016
Publisher: Little Simon
Pages: 26
Recommended Ages: 2 to 6

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million

Goodreads | Indiebound | iBook | Kobo

 A board book primer on presidents Learn about the US presidents with this bright and playful board book! Highlighting ten of the most memorable presidents—and featuring all forty-four on the last page—parents and little leaders-in-training alike will love sharing this fun primer full of age-appropriate facts, leadership skills, and White House history.
Leading our country. Helping you and me. Keeping all fifty states safe, happy, and free. Little presidents have a great big job.
See more at Little Simon  

Sneak Peek

This Little President Joan Holub - Inside Page AThis Little President Joan Holub - Inside Page B  

Joan Holub is the author of 140+ books for children including the Mini Myths series of 8 board books: Be Careful, Icarus!, Brush Your Hair, Medusa!, Make A Wish Midas! Joan also authored the acclaimed picture books Little Red Writing, The Knights Before Christmas, and Mighty Dads, a New York Times bestseller. Joan also co-authors (with Suzanne Williams) three series: Goddess Girls (ages 8-12, Greek mythology with a middle school twist), Grimmtastic Girls (for ages 8-12, fairy tale adventure with a middle school twist), and Heroes in Training (ages 6-11, Greek mythology adventure chapter books).

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** Book Blast Giveaway **

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner's choice Giveaway ends: January 26, 11:59 pm, 2016
Open to: 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 Joan Holub and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send an email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

MDBR Book Promotion Services  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 11, 2016

Guest Post with author Jackie Minniti

A Guest Post by Jackie Minniti
In my former life as a middle school reading teacher, I got an “up close and personal” look at what middle graders like in a book. This came in handy when I decided to pursue a second career as a writer.
My dad, a WWII veteran, only shared one war story with our family – the tale of Jacqueline, a little girl who stole his heart while he was stationed in France. When I started writing, Dad asked me to write a book about her. Jacqueline was about 11 years-old when she met my father, so I decided to write her story as a middle grade novel. Since writing for this age group presents some unique challenges, I used what I knew about middle school students to craft a novel that would appeal to even the most reluctant readers. I’d like to share ten middle grade writing tips.
  1. DO familiarize yourself with your audience
If it’s been a while since you been around 8 to 12 year old kids, find some and spend time with them. Talk to them about the books they like (and the ones they don’t.) Ask them what makes them choose one book over another, and what genres and topics they’re interested in.
  1. DO plunge right into the action
Once they pick up your book, you’ve got one chance to hook them. Your first sentence may that chance. For my book, Jacqueline, I spent more time on the first sentence than on the entire first chapter. I finally came up with this: “Her mother’s scream was followed by the crash of shattering glass.” My 10-year-old beta reader said it made her want to keep reading, so I knew I had a winner.

  1. DO make your protagonist age-appropriate
Your main character will make or break your novel. Middle schoolers like to read about kids a little older than they are, so your protagonist should be between 10 and 13 years old. Your main character should be someone your readers can identify with and care about; a kid with strong opinions and beliefs. Be sure your character has a few flaws though – middle graders have lived long enough to know there are no perfect children.

  1. DO use authentic dialogue
Middle school students like to talk, and they like books with lots of dialogue. Listen to middle grade kids, get the sound of their dialogue into your head so your character will sound realistic. Make sure all your characters don’t sound the same. Steer clear of coarse or vulgar language – remember that your book will have to be pre-approved by parents and teachers (the actual buyers.)

  1. DO focus on friends and school
Middle school students are straddling the worlds of childhood and adulthood trying to figure out where they fit in. Their focus is shifting from home and family to school and friends, and your story should reflect this. Keep parents, teachers and other adults in the background, with most of the action centered on the main character’s interaction with the outside world. Keep introspection to a minimum. Middle schoolers don’t do a lot of self-analysis.

  1. DO center the story around a problem the main character can solve independently
There should be a single inciting element in the story – something that sets the main character’s life askew. In Jacqueline, it was her father’s plane being shot down by the Germans. The central problem should be one that the protagonist can eventually solve without adult intervention, so keep this in mind when you plot your story.

  1. DO edit out anything that doesn’t propel the plot
Be relentless in your editing. Your final word count should fall between 30,000 and 60,000 words. Avoid excess adjectives and adverbs. Eliminate everything that doesn’t move the plot forward, no matter how much you may love the sound of it. While you should definitely include descriptions and sensory details, make this about 10 percent of the total text. My students steered clear of thick books, so keep that in mind when you have to cut a favorite paragraph.

  1. DO challenge them
Just because your readers are young, there’s no reason to “write down” to them. They can deal with difficult subjects if presented appropriately. Use language that makes them stretch a bit, but include context clues so they can figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words. I used several French words in Jacqueline, and my beta reader was able to mentally translate them using clues I embedded into the text. (She was very proud of herself!)

  1. DO keep the momentum going
Middle graders have no qualms about abandoning a book that gets “boring.” If you want them to make it to the end, you have to keep them flipping pages. Don’t use too many abstract concepts. Stick to the “Show, don’t tell” rule so that there’s a steady flow of action. Try to end each chapter with a cliffhanger. Don’t let up on them until the last page.

  1. DO end on a positive note
Be sure that your ending is positive and satisfying. Middle grade readers don’t react well to open endings. I’ve seen kids throw a book across the room because the ending left them hanging. In Jacqueline, I decided to end with an epilogue that showed what happened to the characters as grown-ups. My beta reader really liked that.

Most of all, DO enjoy the process. Middle grade readers can be profoundly influenced by the books they read, and that’s what makes writing for them so much fun.

Jackie Minniti brief bio and links
Jackie is currently a columnist for The Island Reporter in St. Petersburg. She is a member of the Florida Writers Association, the Bay Area Professional Writers Guild, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Several of her stories have been included in Chicken Soup for the Soul collections. She lives on Treasure Island with her husband, John, and two noisy macaws and enjoys reading, walking on the beach, boating, and visiting her three children and six grandchildren in New Jersey. Jackie has been a featured speaker at schools, book clubs, women’s clubs, and libraries and writes a blog featuring Florida writers (www.fabulousfloridawriters.blogspot.com.She can be reached through her website: www.jackieminniti.com.
Website URL: www.jackieminniti.com

Blog URL: www.fabulousfloridawriters.blogspot.com
Facebook URL: https://www.facebook.com/Jackie-Minniti-writer-125991605555/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jackieminniti
Skype: jackie.minniti

Barnes & Noble buy link for Jacqueline:

Amazon buy link for Jacqueline:

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Review: Bala-Gala the Brave and Dangerous by Gita V. Reddy

26127035Title: Bala-Gala the Brave and Dangerous
Author: Gita V. Reddy
Publisher: Self
Published: Aug. 7, 2015
Pages: 24
Genre: Children ages 6 on up
Review: ebook
Buy Links: Amazon, Amazon.uk 

Bala-Gala the Brave and Dangerous is a bed time story for kids, and also a first-read for early readers.
Bala-Gala lives in the forest of Gamba-Bamba, and must save himself from the crocodile, Brammy-Gommy, who lives in the River Kanga.
But who is Bala-Gala? Is he is deer, a tiger, a dinosaur, or a dragon? The answer will delight kids, as will the story.
This is a tale to tickle the imagination of every child.

Review: If You Were Me and Lived In...Italy: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World by Carole P Roman

28079765Title: If you were me and lived in Italy
Author: Carole P. Roman
Publisher: Red Feather Publishing
Published: Dec. 22, 2015
Pages: 18
Genre: Children ages 6 on up
Review: ebook provided by publisher
Buy Links: Amazon, Amazon.uk

Join Carole P. Roman as she visits the Republic of Italy. Learn what it is like to live in Rome, see the famous architecture, celebrate a favorite holiday and discover popular names for both boys and girls. Be fascinated with it's diverse and rich history and colorful traditions. On the way, you might learn a word or two in Italian!

Review: Milana and the Escalator by Lou Silluzio

25712225Title: Milana and the Escalator
Author: Lou Silluzio
Published: Feb. 2, 2015
Publisher: Domjaf Media
Pages: 34
Genre: Children ages 3 on up
Review: ebook provided by author
Buy Links: Amazon, Amazon.uk 

Milana is a beautiful and mischievous little girl with a naughty habit of running away. While she finds it amusing, it frightens her family. One day, on a trip to the shopping center with her grandfather, Milana is excited by all the shops and people, lights and indoor play equipment. Milana wants an adventure, but she’s promised her grandfather she won’t run away. Sometimes, the call for an adventure is too hard to resist, and sometimes, adventures aren’t all they’re cracked up to be…

Monday, January 4, 2016

Review: Shimmer the Glowworm Finds Her Glow by Shelby Herman

23338416Title: Shimmer the Glowworm Finds her Glow
Author: Shelby Herman
Published: Sept. 26, 2014
Publisher: Inner Treasure
Pages: 54
Genre: Children ages 6 on up
Review: Paperback provided by author
Buy Links: Amazon, Amazon.uk

Shimmer the glowworm has a low glow and goes on an inspirational journey to find it. She discovers along the way that helping others find their glow is what makes her glow show and the ME TREE she lives in reflected that all along.