Monday, January 12, 2015

Monster needs His Sleep (A Monster & Me™ Book) by Paul Czajak, illustrations by Wendy Grieb

About the book: A Monster & Me™ book

It's time for bed, and Monster needs to go to sleep. But he just keeps finding more things to stay awake for! It isn't until Monster admits he is afraid of the dark that he finds a glowing solution to his nightmare problem.

In this playful, rhyming story, Monster shows young readers that with a little help from a friend, the dark isn't that scary after all.

Review: “Monster Needs His Sleep” is the second book in the Monster series by Paul Czajak and it is an absolutely wonderful bed time book.  In fact, it is an “any time” fun book to read.  The story is in a rhyming-type format and the pictures are so colorful.  What also makes the book fun is that it’s the kid who is trying to get the monster to go to sleep, instead of Mom & Dad ( a great role reversal).  The Monster makes all kinds of excuses for not going to sleep and these same excuses will probably sound very familiar to any child reading the book with their parents.

The author Paul Czajak, who once got an “F” on his college writing paper, has done an excellent job in making a story about bed time such fun, and illustrator Wendy Grieb’s pictures are very appealing and even energetic.    Although the target age is preschool through kindergarten, this is a great book for all kids.  I eagerly look forward to the other “monster” books in this series! (reviewed by P.Howard)

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher, Scarletta Press, in exchange for our review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer. No compensation was received for this review.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Double Vision: The Alias Men by F. T. Bradley

ISBN-13: 9780062104434

About the book: Undercover Junior Agent…Take Three!  

With the annual Baker family reunion only days away,  Linc expects a weekend full of cousins, cars, and his mom’s terrible macaroni salad.  But then secret government agency Pandora contacts him – again!  They need Linc’s help to secure the Dangerous Double of Charlie Chaplin’s famous bowler hat before mysterious master Ethan Melais uses its invisibility powers for world domination.  Linc agrees to join the mission.  Easy peasy, right?  But if there’s one thing Linc should know by now, it’s that nothing is easy when it comes to being a junior secret agent – especially when you accidentally land yourself a role in a Hollywood blockbuster.  With bogus leads, baffling dead ends, and constant one-upping from his look-alike nemesis, Ben Green, Linc’s jugging a lot more than he bargained for!

Review: Again, F.T. Bradley delivers.  “Double Vision – The Alias Men” is the third book in her “double vision” series and it is an excellent book; easily just as good as the first two:  “Double Vision”, which is set in Paris; and “Double Vision – Code Name 711” set in Washington, D.C. 

Although the target age for the book is 12 and up, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It is entertaining, easy to read and just plain fun.  I did not want to put it down until it was finished.  With so many books these days with a sci-fye theme, this book is just an old fashioned spy game.  Again, this book is such fun to read!!  Easily recommended. (reviewed by P.Howard)

DISCLOSURE: We received a complimentary copy from the author for the purpose of this review. No compensation was received for this review. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Secret of Pembrooke Park By: Julie Klassen

Review: Abigail Foster is the oldest of two daughters. She was the practical daughter and loved helping her dad with the financial aspect of their life. Her younger sister Louisa was more into fashion and finding the right suitor. When Abigail's life long friend Gilbert shows interest in Louisa it breaks Abigail's heart. She was just sure that the night of his going away party Gilbert was going to ask her to marry him. Instead he tells her not to shackle herself to him while he is away.That was just the start of shocking events to come.

Abigail had talked her father into investing their money in her Uncle's new banks. However the bank had to claim bankruptcy which led to the Foster's funds being low. They had to start making decisions to sell their house and other possessions. Abigail felt as if it was her fault. She willingly gave up her dowry and made finding new living arrangements her top priority.  One day a man named Mr. Arbeau came by the Foster house with a very interesting offer. He tells them that they have a distant relative that has an old manor house and is offering them to live there. The relative wants to keep his identity
hidden and wants the Foster's to know that they are not inheriting the house but cleaning it up and giving it life. The house is known as Pembrook Park.  Mr. Foster decides that the  timing couldn't not be more perfect.

Mr. Foster and Abigail head to Pembrooke Park and are shocked to see how run down it looks. They have a lot of work to do. While looking around a man comes out with a gun. He lets them know that he was once the caretaker and has made it his priority to keep theives and treasure hunters away. Mr. Foster assures him that they are not here for any treasures and tells him their reason for coming. The care taker introduces himself as Mac Chapman and lets them know that he will still be a part of keeping the manor safe.  Mac also tells them that he will be in charge of hiring their staff. He lets them know that they should not believe all that they hear around town.

The first night Abigail is awakened by strange noises. She feels as if some one is sneaking around the other rooms. When she awakes the next morning she is met with a letter that seems more like a journal entry.This letter contains information about a secret room, hidden treasures, and money. Abigail is now very interested in finding out the mysteries and back ground of the house and the family that used to live there.  While doing this she becomes friends with the son and daughter of Mac Chapman. They become very close after Abigail shows them they can trust her. Through their friendship the history of the manor is revealed.

Julie Klassen is one of my favorite authors and she didn't disappoint me in this book. She grabbed me from the beginning and had me until the last page.  This book was full of mystery. There were times when you thought you knew what was about to happen but were surprisingly off. You fell in love with the characters right away. I would recommend this book to women of all ages.(reviewed by S.Wall)

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided to facilitate this review from the publisher, Bethany House a division of Baker Publishing Group. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer. No compensation was received for this review.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Draw- A- Saurus Everything you need to know to draw your favorite dinosaurs By: James Silvani

  • ISBN-13: 9780385345804
    Paperback $18.99
About the book: This in-depth yet accessible dinosaur drawing guide combines humor, creativity, and the latest dino research to show artists young and old how to breathe life into drawings of their prehistoric favorites.

Prehistoric Pencil Power!
Even though they lived some 65 million years ago, dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles continue to rule today. From movies to comics and cartoons, these ancient, giant beasts are everywhere you turn. Of course, who wants to just read about or watch these dinos when you can learn how to use pencils, pens, markers, and more to draw your very own?
Cartoonist James Silvani combines easy-to-follow art exercises with the latest, greatest dino-facts to help you create fun and cool dinosaur doodles all by yourself. With lessons on old favorites like T-rex and stegosaurus, as well as lesser-known (but still awesome) creatures like the massive argentinosaurus, Draw-a-Saurus has everything the dinosaur fan could ever ask for (outside of their very own pet dino!).
Review:  If you are looking for a how to book for drawing this book is a great choice. The chapters are based on different dinosaurs.The last chapter tells you where the different dinosaurs live.That way you can draw the dinosaur in its natural habitat. They teach you step by step how to draw a detailed dinosaur. Children who are interested in drawing will be able to learn a lot from this book. They will be able to draw a dinosaur that looks as if it could walk off their page.
I would definitely recommend this book for children of all ages. If your child loves dinosaurs and drawing then this book will become a favorite. This book also provides information about the different dinosaurs.So not only will your child learn how to draw they will also learn interesting facts. This book will bring the dinosaurs to life.  (reviewed by S.Wall-mother of 2 boys)

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided to us by Blogging For Books review program in exchange for a review. No compensation was received. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.)

Mother Osprey Nursery Rhymes for Buoys & Gulls By Lucy Nolan Illustrated by Connie McLennan

Hardcover ISBN: 9781934359969, $16.95
About the book: What if Jack and Jill had been playing on a nice soft sand dune instead of that treacherous hill? And suppose Mary's pet wasn't really a lamb. What if Mary had a little...clam? Those questions - and more - are gleefully answered in Mother Osprey: Nursery Rhymes for Buoys & Gulls. This collection retells Mother Goose rhymes and celebrates America's coastlines and waterways - from sea to shining sea. Young readers will meet playful pelicans, seagulls, and otters. They'll ride wild island ponies, meet pirates, and hopefully, they'll learn the important difference between "orca" and "okra." With clever twists on old standards, Mother Osprey is a salute to sea breezes, sand, and just plain silliness.

Review: This is the cutest book! I love how the author took traditional nursery rhymes  and rewrote them into rhymes about the ocean. This book isn't just for very young children but for any age. The rhyme and meter are pretty true to the original Mother Goose nursery rhymes and for that reason will engage the mind and attention of the child.
Sing a song of sixpence,
a pocket full of hay;
four and twenty pelicans
fixed a luncheon tray.

When the tray was finished,
the birds knew what to do;
they set this very dainty dish
before the trawler crew.......
 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
One flamingo, two flamingo, three flamingo, four.
A flamboyance of flamingoes is a group of three or more.

First a goose, and then some geese--a gaggle in the lane.
But if the geese are flying, then the gaggle is a skein.....
The illustrations are great also and fit the rhymes very nicely. In the back of the book, there is a section "For Creative Minds." Nuggets of factual information connected to each of the rhymes is featured. And then there is a map that shows the location of various features of the book. This provides a nice study tool for young children engaged in early map reading. There are also Map Activity Questions and Poem-related Questions. This educational material can be further enhanced by visiting providing an added bonus to this great book.

This copy will be placed in the school's library and I encourage families to purchase their own for the sheer fun of reading nursery rhymes.

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided for the purpose of this review. Opinions expressed are those of the reviewer. No compensation was received for this review.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Love Letter from God by P.K. Hallinan & illustrated by Laura Watson [Review & Giveaway]

About the book: A sweet new book from perennial best-selling author P. K. Hallinan.

In this new title by P. K. Hallinan, the author supposes what God might say in a personal letter written to a child. The unconditional and unlimited nature of God's love is revealed through simple and lyrical language.
I love you, My child, so hear what I say:
Nothing can pry Me or drive Me away.
Your future's as brilliant as the sun on the sea...
Review: Young hearts. Young minds.Young hands. This book is perfectly suited for them. God's Word, the Bible, is actually a love letter to mankind. In it God tells us He is there for us, loving us, caring for us. This little book introduces young minds to the concept that God communicates with them in His love letter, the Bible. The author uses gentle poetry to engage the heart and mind of the child to "hear what I say: Nothing can pry Me or drive Me away."
This is a board book, yet it is larger than the usual board book and the inner pages a little less stiff (but still very durable). Each page has cutouts in the shape of little hearts that let the child peek and poke his or her way from page to page seeing the connection between the pages. A book perfectly suited for those little hands.

The illustrations by Laura Watson are delightful and childlike in their novelty and beauty. I love the gentle colors and the way the text and pictures blend and flow together so nicely.

P.K. Hallinan is famous for his endearing books for children and this one is a winner as well. I can heartily endorse this book for those little hands you love to hold and treasure.

GIVEAWAY: Begins January 1 & ENDS January 9 @ 12:01 a.m. ET. Open to USA & CANADA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
P. K. Hallinan, author, has been creating books for children since his wife first asked him to write one for their two boys many years ago. Today P.K. writes inspirational stories about holidays, relationships, and life values. In addition to his writing, P.K. is an ordained minister and a well-known school speaker. He lives in the mountains above Ashland, Oregon, with his wife, Jeanne, and their three dogs.
Laura Watson, illustrator, has been creating whimsical illustrations for children's books, educational materials, and magazines since 1995. She is a graduate of Sheridan College's Interpretive Illustration program in Oakville, Ontario. She lives in Toronto with her husband and five-year-old daughter and works in a converted backyard garage studio surrounded by a slightly unkempt garden.

DISCLOSURE:In accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising": Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own (Rafflecopter/ and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.  Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are  not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.