Monthly Archives: September 2022

Hector and Heloise in Paris by R. Janet Walraven (Book Review)

Sibling hedgehogs, Hector and Heloise, set out on a great adventure to explore the largest and most popular museum in the world, the Louvre in Paris, France. Their Uncle Ken has told them all about the amazing works of art ̶ paintings, sculptures, artifacts, beautiful architecture, and even mummies. Will hedgehogs be allowed in the museum? What is in that large package Hector is sneaking into the Louvre? Come along with Hector and Heloise on this miraculous adventure where you will discover their big secret.

Included are Internet links for virtual tours of the Louvre.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

“Throughout the book, the focus is on five specific, famous art pieces by various artists. With each piece, a link is shared for readers to see the art as it appears in the Louvre. At the back of the book are links especially for children to take a virtual tour through the museum and links to explain the history and architecture of these famous buildings. Included in the back is a glossary of terms used in the story.” – Janet Walraven, Prologue.

The hedgehogs riding on an escalator were cute. Heloise’s red hair-bow was pretty, and Hector’s suit, red bowtie, and glasses will make you smile. 

Heloise and Hector were on a great trip to see the Louvre in Paris, France. Oh, how I wish to go there one day. To see famous works of art in person would be an unforgettable experience. 

I love the author doesn’t just state, “Hey, there’s The Mona Lisa.” No, the author gives valuable information regarding the masterpiece. The Great Sphinx of Tanis (granite sculpture of a sphinx) would be a wonderful sight to behold. If you’re unfamiliar with it, you should look it up! 

There were links provided in my ARC (pdf). I could not access them, but I’m sure that won’t be the case when Hector and Heloise in Paris is viewed on a kindle. You’ll have to manually type the URL on your phone, tablet, or desktop for print readers. 

There’s so much to see in the Louvre; two adorable hedgehogs give you a tiny glimpse of the historical treasures you’ll discover there. 

Hector and Heloise in Paris by R. Janet Walraven give readers plenty of items to look up for themselves or a research project. It’s advertised for ages 4-12, and I believe young people in that age group can find enjoyment in the story in different ways. I also think adults reading the book can learn a thing or two, such as I learned about the famous staircase called The Daru.

The hedgehogs came to the Louvre will a specific purpose in mind. Rest assured, they completed their mission! Barb Ruble, your illustrations were quite lovely. I loved your “Beautiful Watercolor” and “Dürer with Hedgehog.” Plus, we can’t forget to mention (again) how darling the hedgehogs looked. 

Review submitted to Reedsy on 8/20/22.

#KamsPlace

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

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Meet the Author

R. Janet Walraven, an award-winning writer, has written historical romance, teacher-mentor non-fiction, children’s book, and historical fiction. After living all over the USA, she now resides in New Mexico with her companion, Mal, who is her best critic. She loves to read, write, garden and travel.

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The Sweet Friendship by Lisa R. Neuder (Book Review)


An idealistic, bright-eyed, lop-eared bunny (Baked Bean) is seeking the friendship and company of another bunny. But to her dismay, her new interest (Snowshoe) brings both joy and heartache. Will she be able to overcome her struggles with her new friend?

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

Before the first chapter, readers will meet all of Baked Bean’s friends through pictures. My favorite image was of Fancy Wat. I mean, you don’t see a mouse wearing a top hat every day. 

Chapters 1-3 gave insight into each friend’s personality and how each one was there for Baked Bean. For example, Biscuit has Snoopy-like ears and short legs but moves like lightning when he runs. Sometimes, his tongue would hang slightly out of his mouth when he sprinted across the field. 

Chapters 4-17 focused on the actual story with plot, climax, and resolution. Baked Bean was longing for a bunny friend. Someone who does the things she does and eats the food she eats. Her wishes came true when she met Snowshoe. They laughed, ate grass, drank water, and explored the countryside together. 

One day, Snowshoe did not arrive to play as promised, and poor Baked Bean’s heart was crushed. When Snowshoe came days later, he acted like it was no big deal. These chapters will open doors for teachers and parents to discuss if listeners ever had someone break a promise and how they felt when it happened. It’ll give the reader the opportunity to encourage children to try their best not to break promises because a broken promise can make a person sad, just like Baked Bean in the story. 

As the story progressed, Snowshoe’s callous behavior worsened, and Baked Bean started feeling worse and worse. Baked Bean begun to feel insecure and question everything about herself. Again, this is another excellent time to discuss how this section makes the listener feel. Do they agree with how Snowshoe treats Baked Bean, and what’s the proper way to treat a friend?

The Sweet Friendship by Lisa Robin teaches children to value their friendships. Treat others how you want to be treated! 

Snowshoe might’ve not been the picture-perfect friend, but Baked Bean met somebunny who was superb! (FYI: Somebunny was written that way on purpose.) 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

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Meet the Author

Lisa R. Neuder is a debut children’s author from Rockville, Maryland (US). She is a member of The Writers Guild and The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is an organizer of a creative writing group. She is starting an MFA program in the Fall 2022.

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HELLO! MY NAME IS… BOOK by Wendy Mendoza (Book Review)

Book is ALIVE! Book is humorous and fun. It introduces itself in lively descriptions as Book takes you on many explorations like outer space and inside a cave. Book encourages you to read, and reminds readers the importance of books. “OUCH! Ripping hurts!”

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

The cover for HELLO! MY NAME IS… BOOK by Wendy Mendoza will light up a child’s face. They’ll giggle and point to the eyeballs in place of the letter O in the word book. They’ll also love the humungous smile. 

Wendy Mendoza states in summary, “Book is ALIVE! Book is humorous and fun. It introduces itself in lively descriptions as Book takes you on many explorations like outer space and inside a cave. Book encourages you to read, and reminds readers the importance of books.”

Books come in different sizes and take us on grand adventures. When you are an infant, many books are filled with different textures and scents. Some are even waterproof for bath time fun. As you grow, books help teach the listener their colors, shapes, and letters. They fill our minds with knowledge and bright, bold images. Each year as we mature, our reading material changes. Soon, plots take form. This is where many grand adventures occur in real and make-believe locations. We meet the most extraordinary characters that have stuck with us for many years. 

Oh, and then there are joke books, a favorite in our house. We also love weird facts and how-to books. Of course, search engines are beneficial when you want to learn how to fix or build something right now and not later.

So many genres…so little time! 

HELLO! MY NAME IS… BOOK also points out where books can be read and the reading platforms: print and digital. I’m reading this book’s digital copy, but I prefer print editions. I think print is more engaging, but that’s my humble opinion. I like to hold a book in my hands, smell the new book scent, and flip back and forth through it. I also love bookmarks. BTW: I collect them. 

The author notes that you should never put a booger in a book. I agree; keep the boogers in your nose or a tissue. PLEASE!

Books can last a very long time with proper care, so please be nice to them. Oh, and listen to Book and read a lot! 

Review submitted on 8/18/22.

#KamsPlace

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

 

About the Author

Having worked with children, a passion to teach, inspire, and bring laughter has developed in my writing. Stories written to them and for them! A child’s development is important and education through reading a book is one of the many ways to achieve that. I also enjoy baseball, Let’s Go Red Sox!

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Sweet Love by Iman Osman (Book Review)

Sweet Love is a compilation of classic desserts handed down from one generation to the next. It is the way Iman’s family connect, sharing and making new memories. The intention behind this book is to revive bonding, love, appreciation, and connection throughout generations of families through the love of baking.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

“Sweet Love is a compilation of classic desserts handed down from one generation to the next. The intention behind this book is to revive bonding, love, appreciation, and connection throughout generations of families through the love of baking.” – Iman Osman

The author’s intent with Sweet Love is to bring her kids and her mother together over our shared love for food, for the timeless desserts that her grandmother has passed down to them. I couldn’t wait to see what seasonal and nonseasonal desserts Iman had shared. 

Iman Osman did not only offer recipes; they also shared tips. For starters, they instructed readers on what to use in place of ghee, how to properly cut and store a vanilla bean, and dividing a cake. As a fan of cooking and baking shows, I’ve seen bakers (professionally and home cooks) attempt to do the perfect split. I haven’t tried it myself, but I think it’s time to try it using Iman’s instructions. 

Iman Osman’s family recipes look divine. Oh, how I wish I could reach inside my laptop and pull out the beaters. I bet the chocolate ganache tasted delicious. 

My family loves raspberry jam, so I know they will be thrilled if they see me making fresh jam for them. With only three ingredients, the recipe will be easy on the wallet. Since I have never made fresh jam before, I appreciated all the “Tips and Tricks” and the storing information. 

The “Linzer Cookie” also looked yummy and activated my sweet tooth. I will have to try it this winter. Thank you, Iman, for the “How to assemble a Linzer Cookie.” You took the guesswork out of the process! 

There are numerous mouth-watering recipes in Sweet Love. Chocolatey, fruity, custards, pudding, biscuits, cheesecake, cookies, nutty—Iman has that and much more! 

This book contained recipes for desserts that I have tried before in my home and through travels. It also had desserts I’ve only seen on television and longed to try, such as “Granita” and “Kunafa.” With Iman’s how-to images, tips, and suggestions, I feel empowered to take them all on. My family will thank you; my waistline, not so much. 

Sweet Love is the perfect book for any time of year. So, grab your apron, and let’s serve something sweet for your family tonight! 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

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The Squirbles and the Messy Room: Another Squirble® Story! by Kate Teves (Book Review)


Could this messy squirble bedroom get any messier? If Percy and Pip aren’t careful, it just might! In this heartwarming Squirble® story, Percy and Pip return to make things right in their very messy room. But when their pet fish and pet cat suggest a shortcut, things might just get a lot… worse. Will the brothers have the strength and the focus to make things right?

This playful book is told in breezy rhyme that will delight early readers. The cheeky humor of this squirble family will make little children, big children, and parents laugh together. And what child doesn’t love listening to their parents’ friendly giggles? This is the kind of book that parents and kids both love.

Written and illustrated by Kate Teves from her studio in South Florida, this book radiates with life and color.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy DiscoveryI voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

My first impression, the cover will make your child smile at the unique way Percy (character on top bunk) is picking up his stinky sock. Yup, I can only surmise it’s stinky because a sock on the floor in any room is more than likely a stinker. 

Before the story begins, Kate Teves (writer and illustrator) introduces the cast of characters. What a fun-looking crew! My family liked Pip’s goggles and Elaine, the airplane flying fish, the most; however, all the characters were spectacularly drawn. 

The opening segment of The Squirbles and the Messy Room is very relatable to children and adults. Percy and Pip’s parents enter their room, shout about how messy the room is, and demand they clean it up. Yup, that happens every minute of every day in some home, somewhere. As with real life, the fictional parents repeatedly asked them to clean up before they blew up at them. 

Percy and Pip had to tidy up the toys, straighten posters, pick up the clothing, and toss the trash. They had help, though. The cat in a maid outfit carrying a feather duster made me laugh. It’ll make your children laugh too! 

Things were progressing smoothly in the clean-up process until a flying fish (Elaine) and a cat (Bessie) made contact with a ceiling fan. Yes, you read that right. Wacky scenario, but I loved it, and your kid(s) will love it too. The cleaning adventure is 100% AFV material! (That’s America’s Funniest Home Videos.) 

Amazon’s recommended reading age is 2-7, grade level of preschool -2. Kids close to 2 might not understand words like inspection, toiled, and squalor. However, they will love the comical illustrations. 

One final thing, after the cast of characters, there’s an opportunity to scan “robot puke” to discover more Squirble® books + activities! I encourage you to check it out! 

Review submitted to Reedsy on 8/29/22.

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 

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About the Author

I am a writer and illustrator in South Florida. In 2017, I had an idea for a children’s book, but I did not know how to draw. I started teaching myself the basics, and soon I was just as much in love with illustrating as I was with writing!

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