The Day My Fart Followed Me to Hockey

Fart Hockey Kindle Cover

Authors: Ben Jackson and Sam Lawrence
Illustrator: Danko Herrera
Publisher: Indie Publishing Group
Genre: Children’s Books / Sports & Outdoors / Hockey
ISBN: 978-0995234024
Pages: 42
Price: $12.45 (Paperback) Kindle ($2.99) Hardcover ($19.99) Audible ($3.95)
Available at: Amazon.com

Book Review:
Life isn’t always a gas. Well, unless you are Timmy and your best friend happens to be a literal vapored pal named, ‘Fart’. Fart is the type of friend, despite his off-putting aroma, who always has your back whenever you find yourself in a crack. Timmy wants to try out for the hockey team and he doesn’t want his best friend, ‘Fart’ at the rink because well, fart stinks. But, ‘Fart’, being the loyal friend-in-the-wind that he is, breezes over to the audition anyway to support his best mate. Somehow, in the process, Fart helps Timmy overcome his insecurities by cleverly turning the hockey team tryouts into a stinking good time to be had by all.

‘The Day My Fart Followed Me to Hockey’ certainly does not reek. In their third installment of the hilarious ‘The Day My Fart…’ series, Ben Jackson and Sam Lawrence deliver a brilliant lesson in the areas of encouragement and overcoming one’s uncertainties to reach goals. And, with a little help from a best friend, confidence is built and new friends are eventually made.

The illustrations by Danko Herrera in, ‘The Day My Fart Followed Me to Hockey’ are colorful and quite whimsical in style and character expressions. Complimenting Mr. Jackson and Ms. Lawrence’s wordings, Mr. Herrera’s drawings enable one to almost smell the…let’s just say, excitement of the story as it bubbles n’ squeaks its way towards a hilarious arch with each turn of the page.

One simply mustn’t wander into the book store, have a ‘brain fart’ and forget to leave without purchasing a copy of ‘The Day My Fart Followed Me to Hockey’ for their child to enjoy. Avoid the “penalty box”, launch your “power play” and complete the “hat trick” by scoring a copy of this enjoyable book.

Ben and Sam
Author Bio:
Ben lives in Tasmania, Australia. While working during the week as a Boiler Maker/Welder, specializing in Aluminum Welding, he also writes at night as a Freelance Writer and Author. Ben is in a Long-Distance Relationship with his wife Sam, who lives in Canada, where she works as a full-time formatting professional, publisher, and author. Be sure to check out his books, there is something there for everyone!  He has numerous books in progress so stay tuned for information on those by following this page, connecting with him on Facebook or Goodreads. As Indie Authors, we rely on our valuable customers to write a review, if you could spare a minute to leave a review of one of our books, we would greatly appreciate it.

Author Website:
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Illustrator Bio:
Danko is a Christian visual artist, illustrator, designer and didgeridoo player born in Mexico. His work has pure inspiration on nature, the landscapes of the mind and explorations through the poetry of color. Danko’s freelance work has been found on environmental organizations and educative material, and other commercial fields.  Danko has illustrated best-seller books, painted mural art and his work has been exhibited at underground art festivals in some particularly beautiful places of the world, such as Denmark, Argentina, USA, and his native Mexico.

 

ABC

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Author: Paul McDougall
Illustrator: N/A
Publisher: Paul McDougall
Genre: Children’s Books / Educational
ASIN: B01N4CQZWQ
Pages: 28
Price: Kindle ($2.99)
Available at: Amazon.com

 

Book Review:
Everyone loves making friends. But, what about making new and interesting friends, while at the same time learning your ABC’s?

Paul McDougall has taken the twenty-six letters of the alphabet and transformed them into twenty-six unique characters with whimsical traits for the properly titled book, ‘ABC’. You have ‘N’ for Nelson who goes by the adorable nickname, ‘Noodles’. Then there is Elle the erupting volcano. Careful, you do not want to make her mad, “Boom! Fizz! Boosh!”  And zany Xavier, the x-ray taker, who loves to show off dem’ bones.

The illustrations in ‘ABC’ are colorful in appearance, as well as personality when it comes to each individual character. Mr. McDougall tosses in bits of whit, assuring that the cast are quite memorable, along with their matching alphabet letter. This is certain to help any child learn their ABC’s with occasional laughter tossed into the mix.

Adding the book ‘ABC’ to your child’s collection of learning material is as easy as 1-2-3.

Currently ABC is available in Kindle format. This book would also make an excellent hands-on, board book due to its vibrant colors, lovable characters and clever writing.

Author Bio:
Paul McDougall is a Toronto-based designer who moonlights as an author and illustrator. His quirky creatures first appeared as a daily Tumblr blog and on Storybird.com – where kids can write their own stories using professional illustrations. Paul’s first children’s book, ABC, is now available as an eBook on Kindle, iBooks, and Kobo.

Author Website:
http://www.paulmcdougall.com

Author Links:
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Made by Raffi

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Author: Craig Pomranz
Illustrator: Margaret Chamberlain
Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books
Genre: Children’s Books / Activities, Crafts & Games / Crafts & Hobbies / Needlecrafts & Textile Crafts
ISBN: 978-1847804334
Pages: 40
Price: Paperback ($9.99) Hardcover ($2.97)
Available at: Amazon.com

 

Book Review:
Raffi is like any young boy who is struggling to learn where his patch fits best in the quilted fabric of life. The answer comes to light after an encounter with his teacher, Miss Fernandez, who enjoys spending her free-time knitting. Raffi is immediately smitten with the activity and soon discovers he has a talent for making beautiful scarves, capes, dresses and more. But not everyone is on board with Raffi’s choices. He endures bullying and even more self-discovery questions, like “Do tomgirls exist?” “Why do I feel different from the other children at school?” But, through it all, Raffi remains strong and continues doing what brings him joy no matter if others accept him or choose to label him instead.

‘Made by Raffi’ is certain to have a reader in stitches. But not the humorous kind. Craig Pomranz has cleverly woven together a tale about a young boy who one day, during quiet time at recess on the noisy playground, inadvertently discovers he has  a gift for design. The lead character Raffi is very fortunate throughout the story. He has the loving support of both parents, Miss Fernandez and some students at school. Raffi’s parents encourage him to pursue his craft and help him purchase the necessary materials he needs like: wool and knitting needles. His mom even joins the assembly line by creating special clothing labels for Raffi’s birthday which read, ‘Made by Raffi’, a rather witty play on words when it comes to the clever title of the book.

Margaret Chamerlain’s vision of color and creativity shine brightly on each page of ‘Made by Raffi’. Her illustrative talent brings Raffi to life through his various expressions of joy while working on his craft, including the times when Raffi questions who he is. And of course, those dashing garments, especially Dad’s long rainbow-colored scarf. While the colors are vibrant, they are not overwhelming to distract from Mr. Pomranz strong message which is; everyone has a gift and never should one judge another.

‘Made by Raffi’ is an excellent choice to read, especially if a parent has a child who has many self-discovery questions, including what their purpose or talent in life might be. So, knit one, purl two, don’t drop a stitch and cast on by purchasing a copy of ‘Made My Raffi’ today.

 

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Author Bio:
Craig is an internationally known singer/song-stylist, actor… and now author!  Made By Raffi is his first children’s book with illustrations by award-winning artist Margaret Chamberlain.  The book is published in eight languages and distributed in eleven countries so far by UK publishers Frances Lincoln. Craig received New York’s MAC Award for Best Male Vocalist in 2012.  Inspired by Made by Raffi, composers Amanda McBroom (Bette Midler’s award-winning “The Rose”) and Michele Brourman (The Land Before Time series) wrote the song “Different.”  You can hear it on Craig’s YouTube Channel.

Originally from St. Louis, Craig got his professional start performing at age 12 at The MUNY, the largest professional outdoor theatre in the country. He attended Carnegie-Mellon University and The Goodman Theatre – The Art Institute of Chicago. Craig lives in New York City and travels the world performing in nightclubs and theatres.  His popular CDs “More Than A Seasonal Thing” and “My Heart Don’t Skip A Beat” can be heard on radio stations around the world and are available on iTunes, CDBaby and his website www.CraigPomranz.com.

Craig is working on several new books. He hopes his books will continue to enlighten and empower children.  He also continues to travel the world singing.  You can find his schedule on his website and see if he is appearing in a town near you.

Author Website:
http://www.CraigPomranz.com

Author Links:
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‘Different’ (a song) for the book

 

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Illustrator Bio:
Children’s Illustrator Margaret Chamberlain produced her first children’s picture book illustrations while still at the Royal College of Art. She has produced illustrations for many more children’s books since then including; ‘The Man whose Mother was a Pirate’, still a bestseller after more than twenty years; and ‘The Tale of Georgie Grub’ now re-issued with completely new illustrations. Being a children’s illustrator means that Margaret Chamberlain loves producing illustrations of children and animals. She especially likes to do dogs, with her favorites being little white ones with black patches. She has now illustrated lots of funny stories about dogs (as well illustrating quite a few about cats!) In fact she has recently written and illustrated a children’s picture book about two cats called ‘Mimi and Moochie go Shopping’ as well writing and illustrating a children’s picture book all about being kind to animals called ‘Please don’t Torment Tootsie’.

Illustrator Links:
http://www.margaretchamberlain.co.uk/

Author Interview with Adalina Mae

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Book Summary: Zara is a vibrant, funny, resilient American born woman struggling with a traumatic past. At the age of eight years old, her father, in a drunken rampage, accidentally shoots himself dead, leaving her to battle through her life carrying the responsibility of fatherly duties. She is torn between the memory of his benevolence and the drunken, violent, incoherent alcoholic she viewed as a ‘monster’ the last time she saw him. With his death begins Zara’s long journey of haunted nightmares of her father and life struggles, along with exhausting failed relationships and self-discovery in search to find peace and happiness, until one day, Zara discovers some disturbing news. Adalina Mae takes us on a journey through the States, Lebanon, and Europe, interspersed with sad, heartbreaking moments as well as hilarious escapades with various gorgeous men, particularly her “Swiss God”, Livio from Switzerland. This is life and nothing is predictable. Adalina Mae ends the story with a mystery to solve: Why does Zara have recurrent nightmares of her last night with her father?

What advice do you have for beginning writers?
If you have a story to tell, write it and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You need to be patient and don’t rush your work. Market your novel profusely. Unless you want to keep your work locked away in the cupboard.

What was the hardest part of writing ‘Nothing Is Predictable’?
At times the scenes were extremely emotional, I was crying as I wrote them. It was hard to let go of the emotional effect it had on me. Also at times, as all writer’s experience, that dreadful Writers block. So annoying!

What genre do you consider your books? Have you considered writing in another genre?
Nothing Is Predictable is Fiction / Roman A Clef. Meaning based on some true events. Most scenes and characters are fictitious, the sequel will be mostly Fiction. I would love to write historical romance novels one day.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Jane Austen all the way. I love the eloquence in the manner of her writing.

What would the main character in your book have-to say about you?
What would Zara have to say about Adalina Mae? Well, thank you Adalina for creating a complex woman into a person that many women can relate to and for adding in your sense of humor into my character. Thank you for taking me across many countries to explore the wonderful world we live in.

Have you traveled to any of the places your lead character, Zara has traveled too?
Every single one of them. That is why Zara the protagonist could describe her experiences well.

Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years?
I wrote Nothing Is Predictable and the sequel (Nothing Can Last Forever) with the vision of turning them into a movie. So, my vision is to see myself walking down that red carpet…. Wouldn’t that be a dream come true. I need the readers support to get me to that level. I promise you there will be gorgeous actors playing the roles of Zara’s men.

Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book, ‘Nothing Is Predictable’ and why it is a must-read?
Nothing Is Predictable is an emotional roller coaster. You will cry, you will laugh, you will be on the edge of your seat and just when you think all has calmed down there is a twist in the story. It relates to women that have endured childhood abuse and many failed relationships. It is an empowerment that one should not put up with abuse in relationships and understand there is strength in oneself no matter how tough life can be. Pick yourself up and be as resilient as Zara. As Kuya, the monk in the story says “Drop it like you drop a sac of potatoes, let it go”.  It is a sad love story, a traumatic story, a mystery and most of all an inspiration to many readers to understand the importance of forgiveness. Along with all the heartache, there are numerous hilarious and adventurous scenes readers will enjoy. If you read it and vision it as a movie, you will understand why I think it will be visually entertaining.

What tactics do you have when writing? (For example: outline or do you just sit down and write whatever comes to mind.)
Firstly, the area I sit in must be clean and arranged in a certain manner that is comfortable for DELL and I. Dell is important to me. My laptop Dell is my boyfriend, hence my joke name aDELLina. I like to change scenery, this usually opens my creativity to write. There has never been a moment of writing without a Skim Cappuccino beside me. Usually my writing flows as I write keeping in mind where I want that chapter to go.

Is there a message in your novel, ‘Nothing Is Predictable’, that you hope readers will grasp?
Absolutely! a message of resilience and forgiveness and women do NOT have to put up with abusive relationships, physically or mentally. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

What projects are you working on at the present?
I have a social media marketing agency that is hired for Nothing Is Predictable. We work together quite well.  I am also writing the sequel Nothing Can Last Forever. That should come out this year. I am negotiating with screenwriters to convert my novel into a movie script. All that should be completed this year. I need a lot of support from readers to help me get this to motion picture.

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NOTHING IS PREDICTABLE
Author: Adalina Mae
Illustrator: N/A
Publisher: Adalina Mae
Genre: Literature & Fiction / Contemporary
ISBN: 978-0995409712
Pages: 270
Price: $12.24 (Paperback) Kindle ($7.50)
Available at: Amazon.com


Author Bio:
After leaving the corporate world of management, I decided to pursue my lifelong passion to write. I’m also a lover of movies and always wanted to be an actress, however, the universe did not align that path for me during my professional career. I am hoping that one day my novels will become a motion picture. I guess there is always a way to fullfil my dreams in some way or another. I hope you get to read the novel Nothing Is Predictable, so far, I am overwhelmed with the reviews I have received from readers and professional reviewers. Mostly 5 Star Reviews! Wow. You will find the message of the story an inspiration to find true happiness through forgiveness.  I know many of us have experienced heartbreaking moments that stamp an ugly footprint in our lives. Just know that in 100 years all our problems with be solved. If we can’t wait that long, as Kuya the monk said to Zara in the novel: “Drop it like you drop a sack of potato. Let it go”. That’s right! Because, MY life’s incidents have taught me, that Nothing Is Predictable and Nothing Can Last Forever.  Love and Light and Peace xx Adalina Mae

Author Website:
http://adalinamae.com/

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Priscilla and the Sandman

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Author: Anders Roseberg
Illustrator: Danilo Parajes and Anders Roseberg
Publisher: Anders Roseberg Books
Genre: Children’s Books / Growing Up & Facts of Life / Family Life / Sleep
ISBN: 978-9574339679
Pages: 32
Price: $9.13 (Paperback) Kindle (Unlimited)
Available at: Amazon.com
Hardcover available at: https://andersrosebergbooks.wordpress.com/shopping/

 

Book Review:
When one hears the word, “Sandman”, they often think of The Cordettes song, “Mr. Sandman”, a song about a girl wishing for the man of her dreams. But, Mr. Sandman is more than just a cupid. He is also a guide to a land of endless possibilities and sugary delights. Mr. Roseberg has brilliantly unveiled the secret adventures of the Sandman and what goes on when we sleep. Through the eyes of a young sleeping Priscilla, one is soon exposed to a land of custard cream moats, jelly bean raindrops and pancake trampolines.

‘Priscilla and the Sandman’ is a precious and entertaining story, based on Mr. Roseberg’s clever imagination and an experience he had while rocking his own baby daughter to sleep while singing. It is no secret that parents often have a challenging time getting their children to go to sleep. Mr. Roseberg is quick to demonstrate such is not the case while reading ‘Priscilla and the Sandman’.  By the turn of the last page, through the clever, engaging written verses, a child is certain to visit Mr. Sandman in his land of sugar-coated dreams, as they drift off to sleep.

Mr. Parajes, along with Mr. Roseberg give Willy Wonka a run for his chocolate factory money with their illustrations in ‘Priscilla and the Sandman’. The drawings are not only delicious, some are quite decadent, too. The popcorn, gummy bears and marshmallows almost tempt one to sample the page. But there is more to their sketches than the candy. Mr. Parajes and Mr. Roseberg manage to capture the adorable, innocent expressions of the book’s star, Priscilla, as she ventures from one scene to the next. Their talent and ability is showcased particularly on the last page, where one finds a lone picture of Priscilla with an expression of overwhelming joy upon waking from her nighttime adventure with Mr. Sandman.

‘Priscilla and the Sandman’ is the type of book that opens a child’s imagination, while at the same time making bedtime a more pleasurable invite for both child and parent. And while an apple a day may keep the doctor away, dreaming of sweets, versus actually eating them, is certain to keep the cavities away. Don’t be surprised, though, if the tooth fairy makes an appearance and leaves some quarters under the pillow. After all, kids still lose their teeth, sweets or not.

Author Bio:
Anders Roseberg has been an imaginative story teller since the days of his childhood, where he would make-up stories and imagine the wildest of things. When he isn’t writing children’s books, he dabbles in writing music lyrics and writing film scripts. He’s passionate about vintage memorabilia, rock ‘n roll music, and anything else coming out of the 1950’s. His first picture book, ‘Priscilla and the Sandman’, which was inspired by a made-up doo-wop lullaby he sang to his daughter Priscilla while he put her to sleep, has that magical, vintage flare. Although ‘Priscilla and the Sandman’ is Ander’s first self-published children’s book, he continues to devote his time and energy to write creative stories that will bring smiles and awe to the future readers of his books.

Author Website:
https://andersrosebergbooks.wordpress.com

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Author Interview with Maria Luisa Lang

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Book Summary: The Eye of Nefertiti is both a stand-alone novel and a sequel to The Pharaoh’s Cat. The time-traveling ancient Egyptian feline with human powers returns together with his beloved Pharaoh and his close friends, the High Priest of Amun-Ra and Elena, an Egyptologist’s daughter. The cat is quick-witted, wise-cracking narrator as well as free-spirited, ever-curious protagonist, and the story he tells is an exotic, imaginative, spell-binding tragicomedy. The cat travels from present-day New York City to England, both ancient and modern, then to ancient Egypt, where he confronts a horrible demon and experiences a sublime emotion. Once back in England, he descends into a psychological abyss so deep only the Pharaoh can save him. The Eye of Nefertiti interweaves feline and human, past and present, natural and supernatural. It contains numerous surprises, twists and turns, intriguing characters, both human and animal, fascinating revelations about ancient Egyptian history and culture, and an ingenious application of the Tarot and an Italian opera.

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book,’The Eye of Nefertiti’?
I didn’t want to abandon my cat or the little family I’d created at the end of The Pharaoh’s Cat and felt the cat could further evolve emotionally and psychologically if he faced new obstacles and experienced new feelings. The Egyptian queen Nefertiti was also an inspiration. I’ve always been fascinated by her famous bust and the part she played in Egyptian history.

Did you already have your book, ‘The Eye of Nefertiti’, planned following the completion of your first book in the series, ‘The Pharaoh’s Cat’, or did it take some time to figure out where you wanted the storyline to venture to next?
When I was writing The Pharaoh’s Cat, I knew that there would be a sequel and Nefertiti would be involved. I spent several months researching Nefertiti and figuring out how to bring her and my cat together.

How many books have you written (published and unpublished)? Which is your favorite?
So far just the two, The Pharaoh’s Cat and The Eye of Nefertiti. Though both novels have the same major characters, they’re quite different. I can’t say The Eye of Nefertiti is my favorite, but it’s certainly more complex.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?
I combine different elements that are familiar and important to me. I describe my novel as comedy, fantasy, historical. Had I limited myself to a single genre, I couldn’t have written the novel I wanted to, a novel that reflected my interests and personality. I was inspired not only by my love of cats and fascination with ancient Egypt, but also by the creative freedom of comedy and fantasy.

What inspires you?
All the cats I’ve ever known–there have been many!–and my fascination with ancient Egypt. Also, since I enjoy comedy, I couldn’t resist the challenge of making ancient Egypt funny by having a wise-cracking ancient Egyptian cat as my protagonist and narrator.

What do you like to read in your free time?
Mysteries very often. Ruth Rendell’s Inspector Wexford series has always delighted me.

Does music influence your writing, particularly when you are working on a certain scene or, do you prefer to write in silence?
I prefer silence, and get my best ideas at night when it’s very silent.

What gives you inspiration for your book(s)?
Besides my love for cats, my fascination with ancient Egypt, and the creative freedom of comedy and fantasy, I’m inspired by life. I live on the Upper West Side of New York City, and as I did in The Pharaoh’s Cat, I used my neighborhood as one of the settings in The Eye of Nefertiti. In Nefertiti my cat leaves New York for Bath, England, before returning to ancient Egypt. I’ve spent a lot of time in Bath and know the beautiful Georgian city quite well. It’s one of my favorite places. When I was planning my sequel, I knew Bath would play a major part in it. Also, I enjoy going to flea markets, and my cat visits a Bath flea market.

What character in your book, ‘The Eye of Nefertiti’, are you least likely to get along with?
I could get along with any of the major characters, including my villain who, though evil, is also quite charming and funny. But I don’t like one of my secondary characters, the merchant who leads my cat to the royal tomb. He’s an ignorant drunkard who cheats his workers, and he tries to sit on the back of a pathetic donkey that couldn’t possibly carry his weight.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Not new so much as contemporary. Martin Amis, Will Short, and Ian McEwan.

What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing ‘The Eye of Nefertiti’ to life?
Researching ancient Egypt thoroughly so that everything I said about it would be completely accurate, then integrating the information into the narrative without it sounding like something from a text book. With Nefertiti, I had to make sure that what’s known about her and her famous bust with the missing eye would be fully compatible with what I invented.

What books were among your childhood favorites and why?
Fairy tales, Jules Verne, Arthur Conan Doyle, Dostoyevsky’s stories. Later, Kingley Amis’s Lucky Jim and Mikhail Bulgakov’s Heart of a Dog and The Master and Margarita. Lucky Jim is marvelously funny and Bulgakov’s two novels are fantasies with humor. My cat has some of Lucky Jim in him, and my novels owe much to Bulgakov’s.

What were the earliest inklings that you would someday become a writer?
I’ve sketched and painted, and writing seemed a natural extension. Writing seems to be in my blood. My mother wrote a memoir of her experiences in Rome during the war, and one of my brothers is a noted Italian art critic and the author of several books and numerous articles.

 

THE EYE OF NEFERTITI

Author: Maria Luisa Lang
Illustrator: N/A
Publisher: Maria Luisa Lang
Genre: Literature & Fiction / Genre Fiction / Historical / Fantasy
ISBN: 978-0996335218
Pages: 208
Price: $8.35 (Paperback) Kindle (Unlimited)
Available at: Amazon.com

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Author Bio:
Maria Luisa Lang has published two novels, The Pharaoh’s Cat and The Eye of Nefertiti, which is both a sequel to The Pharaoh’s Cat and a stand-alone novel. She was born in Rome, Italy, and lives in New York City. She often returns to Italy to visit her family and has stayed for extended periods in Bath and London. She has a degree in art from the City University of New York, and her artwork has been exhibited in New York galleries. She is an amateur Egyptologist. Her love of cats and ancient Egypt has inspired her to write two novels set there with a very special cat as her protagonist.

Both The Pharaoh’s Cat and The Eye of Nefertiti are available on Amazon in paperback and in a Kindle edition.

Author Links:
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Children Have Got to be Carefully Taught

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Author: Kat Michels
Illustrator: A. Sutton
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Genre: Children’s Books / Literature & Fiction / Poetry / Stories In Verse
ISBN: 978-1494956295
Pages: 34
Price: $10.00 (Paperback) Kindle ($2.99)
Available at: Amazon.com


Book Review:

Kids go to school to learn their ABC’s, 123’s and oodles of other logical things. But there is more to learning than facts, figures and social skills. Children also need to be taught to have fun. They need to chase moon beams, stare up at the sky to admire the various shapes seen in the clouds and act like silly ducks having a merry splash in puddles after a good rain.

Ms. Michels has written an entertaining, story-laden book that is certain to open a child’s eyes to a world they may not have known existed. In the technologically fast paced world we now live in, it is easy to overlook those simple kid-like things many parents grew-up enjoying. Some examples of these old pleasures are outdoor games like ‘Mother May I’, riding bikes until sunset and blowing bubbles through straws in sodas until noses tickled from the carbonation. We were free to be goofy, zany kids. But, with computer games and social media, it appears many kids are unintentionally being robbed of such precious, merrymaking moments. Parents are quick to pass down family heirlooms, but what about passing down to our own kids the heirloom of silly, fun things we used to do as kids? Ms. Michel’s book, ‘Children Have Got to be Carefully Taught’ gently recalls those fond easy-going childhood memories of cartwheels, slurping soup, sled rides and more in this wonderful, refreshing book.

Anastasia Aryn Sutton’s artistic talent shines through with her lively illustrations in ‘Children Have Got to be Carefully Taught’. The hand-drawn, painted sketches fill the entire page and leave one with a desire to join in on the fun right along with the characters. The color schemes are both appealing and captivating to the eye. There is plenty of activity drawn on each page to hold a child’s short-attention span, while at the same time, encouraging them to turn the page and discover the next fun thing to try.

‘Children Have Got to be Carefully Taught’ is the type of book that should be handed down from one generation to the next. The greater technology grows, the less inclined children of the future may be taught to have fun. Ms. Michel’s book is full of enjoyable things that money simply cannot buy. It is the pot of gold at the end of a jolly rainbow.

 

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Author Bio:
Kat Michels is an award-winning writer, including two regional Emmy awards and a TDMonthly Editor’s Choice Award. She is known for her passion in digging beyond the surface to unearth the hidden stories beneath, and is comfortable working in a variety of mediums. She has written two children’s books, two short-form documentaries, and she worked as a theater critic in the Los Angeles Metro area for over four years. Kat is also the author of the column Heroines of History for Business Heroine Magazine. These articles examine the deeds of great women in American history who received little to no recognition for their work.

Author Website:
www.katmichels.com

Author Links:
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Illustrator Bio:
Anastasia Aryn Sutton is a Los Angeles based artist specializing in painting, photography, jewelry, sculpture, illustration and graphic design.  While residing in the Denver Metro area her work was showcased in galleries downtown and the Cherry Creek Arts district. She was a guest artist assisting DL Cooper on Communis (Thornton,CO), and Pioneer Figures at the California Trails Museum (Elko, Nevada).  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Metropolitan State University of Denver, and considers herself to be a life-long lover of learning.

 Illustrator Website:
http://www.asuttondesigns.com/

I Can Be Me

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Author: Miriam Laundry
Illustrator: Jenniffer Julich
Publisher: Laundry Books
Genre: Children’s Books/ Growing Up & Facts of Life / Friendship
ISBN: 978-0993896422
Pages: 32
Price: $19.95 (Hardcover)
Available at: Amazon.com

Book Review:
Growing up, children are taught to “just be yourself”. But sometimes this simple positive phrase gets lost along the journey of life as a child grows and begins interacting with others who offer differences: ethnicity, race, style or even quirky personality traits. Taking notice of such differences, while it is educational and horizon broadening, can sometimes lead a child to stop and question who they are and what they are about.

 The book, ‘I Can Be Me’ is about a girl named Maria, who begins to question who she is after being teased by a boy in her class. Alex makes fun of Maria’s traditional Latin lunch dish called, Pupusa (poo-poo-sa). What causes further confusion and pain for Maria is when she witnesses Alex engaging with the other kids in their class, yet he does not tease them. In fact, Alex is open-minded and appreciative of their differences. Maria’s confusion begins to change into understanding through an intriguing CSI type homework assignment from the teacher, Ms. Ruby, entitled “Discovery”. Maria also gets a friendly reminder from a classmate, Molly, that it is okay to be you.  However, the question remains whether Alex will learn a lesson as well. Perhaps, a lesson about being more considerate of others’ feelings, whether they are like you, or not.

Ms. Laundry did a phenomenal job in writing the book, ‘I Can Be Me’, by weaving together a lesson about the importance of not only being who you are, but also embracing who you are. Even though someone may say or do something that causes hurt feelings, the important thing to always remember is to never change who you are as a person to gain someone’s acceptance. Self-acceptance is an important value to learn. You cannot expect others to accept you, if you fail to accept yourself. Ms. Laundry conveys that strong point in, ‘I Can Be Me’, while cleverly teaching the reader to understand differences about one another by using snowflakes, peculiar wardrobe choices and ethnic traits.

 The illustrations in ‘I Can Be Me’ compliment the story. Ms. Julich draws each character uniquely and captures their emotions, but not necessarily with their facial expressions or reactions alone. The eyes Ms. Julich draws, which are the windows to the soul, speak volumes, especially with the main character, Maria. In the beginning, the reader can clearly see Maria is happy just by looking at her bright eyes. But, after the unpleasant encounter with Alex, there is a sadness that appears in her eyes until the end, when that happiness returns. The various watercolors used throughout the book by Ms. Julich are pleasant, but not overly vibrant to distract the reader from the message that Ms. Laundry is delivering on each page.

 ‘I Can Be Me’ is an excellent book for any child to read. It is the type of book I would highly recommend to be read by/to a child who is being bullied or has been bullied for being different. The book is also perfect for aiding in the building up of self-esteem before beginning school or social interactions with other children. Overall, ‘I Can Be Me’ holds a valuable lesson in acceptance, while also showing the fallout caused to another through rejection for being different. Though birds of a feather are known to flock together, sometimes it is good to spread your wings and fly like an eagle.

 

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Author Bio:
Miriam Laundry is a Canadian author and speaker with a goal of empowering children to believe in themselves and to know they CAN! Best Selling author and mother of four, Miriam writes books that inspire and empower children to make choices that promote confidence, happiness and responsibility. Miriam set a Guinness World Record™ in 2014 with her first book in the I CAN series, I CAN Believe in Myself.

Author Website:
www.laundrybooks.com

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Eeek! Halloween!

9780761193005

Author: Sandra Boynton
Illustrator: Sandra Boynton
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; Brdbk Edition
Genre: Children’s / Animals / Farm Animals / Halloween / Humor
ISBN: 978-0761193005
Pages: 24
Price: Board book ($6.41)
Available at: Amazon.com

Book Review:
Treats or Tricks.
Chickens roost on sticks.
Until come Hallow’s Eve.
When a Boo produces an Eek!

Eek! Halloween! is a seasonal board book created by World-renowned author, Sandra Boynton. Chickens are naturally skittish and become even more so on Halloween. Who can blame them? They are suddenly faced with strange happenings around the barnyard like: an intone speaking robot, a duck with over-sized feet and a pumpkin with eerie, flickering eyes. What do all of these whacky things mean to those who peck about the ground for worms at sunrise?

Ms. Boynton has certainly not laid an egg with this enchanting short story about chickens and their first time experiencing Halloween. Eek! Halloween! is a treat to be read to or by your little one in preparation for Halloween. The story, though told from the point of view of scaredy-cat, curious chickens, is friendly and can be paralleled with how a child might see the strange and whacky things suddenly appearing around them during Halloween time.

The board book, Eek! Halloween!, is filled cover to cover with Ms. Boynton’s signature drawing style of adorable animals with big white eyes and quizzical expressions. The characters really pop off of each page, as they are set on various colored backgrounds from black to many shades of blue. The cover of Eek! Halloween! truly stands out on a bookshelf as it features a scared chicken inside a cut-out circle. The chicken is drawn on a vibrant, eye-catching orange-yellow background. The rest of the book’s cover is decorated in traditional Halloween colors of black with orange and red diamond flecks scattered about.

If you are looking for something funny to read, grab your plastic pumpkin, throw on a costume and head to a bookstore and ‘treat’ yourself to a copy of Eek! Halloween! this October. There are no tricks – only hilarious cackles while reading this book.

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Author Bio:
Sandra Boynton is a cartoonist, children’s author, songwriter, producer, and director. Ms. Boynton has written and illustrated over fifty children’s books and seven general audience books, including five New York Times Bestsellers.  Ms. Boynton has written (with Michael Ford) and produced five albums of renegade children’s music. Three of her five albums have been certified Gold and “Philadelphia Chickens,” was nominated for a Grammy and has been certified Platinum. Ms. Boynton has also directed six music videos of her songs, including the award-winning “One Shoe Blues” starring B B King. She currently resides in rural New England.

Author Website:
http://sandraboynton.com/sboynton/index.html

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