Tag Archives: be kind

Sunny and the Cats by Victoria Otto (Book Review / Author Interview)

SUNNY AND THE CATS by Victoria Otto
 
Everyone in meow village and woof village lived happily if they followed one very important rule…

​Dogs were not welcomed in meow village and any cat that stepped into woof village would be chased up a tree! But a special puppy named Sunny wants to become friends with the cats, so he breaks that rule to see if the cats might like to play.

What happened when Sunny went to meow village? Pick up this book to find out!


AMAZON ~ B&N
BAM ~ Walmart

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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 
My family is cat people. For the last 20+ years, we’ve had 1 to 3 adoptive kitties in our home. So, when I saw this story up for review, I jumped at the chance to read it. My daughter and I loved the cover. The inside was just as remarkable. 


From the initial pages, my daughter was hooked. She loved the name of the villages, meow and woof. She adored the background scenery very much on the story’s first page. We loved the creativity in the shape of the cat store and dog food buildingWe also liked the variety of feline and canine animals. They were all cute. Well done, Teguh Sulistio. We give your illustration TWO PAWS UP! 


The story contents themselves were just as entertaining. My daughter thought Sunny, the special puppy, was very sweet-looking. 


We both thought it was adorable how Victoria Otto labeled cats as clean, quiet, and calm while dogs are loud and smelly and filled with laughter. Out of the cats I’ve adopted, none had liked loud noises. My cats can get rowdy at times, but their energy level is nowhere near a dog’s, especially a puppy. They groom a lot, so the author is correct about their cleanliness. So, in a nutshell, I think Victoria Otto categorized them perfectly. 


Sunny and the Cats by Victoria Otto discussed how making new friends can be hard, but don’t give up trying. Be like Sunny, the playful puppy—try, try again. Also, help those in need because, you never know, the person (or feline) you help today just might be your new friend tomorrow. 
 

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

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Author Victoria Otto

 
Victoria Otto is a children’s book author, born and raised in Metro-Detroit. She has a passion for children’s literature and strives to create picture books that are engaging, educational, and lots of fun for both children and parents to read. Victoria loves to make author visits at schools and organizations. So far, she has been able to read her books to and visit eight hundred children across the United States.

 

 

1.) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I attended an event, and someone recognized me from my children’s books and not my pageant life. At that moment, I realized, “Okay, I guess I’m a writer now.”

 

 

2.) Describe your writing space.

It’s either very messy or very clean. There is no in-between. When I start to come up with a story, I first write it on lined paper, then I move to my desk and start typing what I wrote onto my computer. You can always find loose papers scattered in my space.

 

 

3.) Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

It depends. My readers, who are my close friends and family I always hear from, and occasionally a parent will email me pictures of their child reading my book, which I absolutely adore. But I would love, love, and love to hear from more of my readers, whether just a simple message or a picture. It brings me so much joy when I can connect with my readers and see how my book has impacted them. 

 

4.) Describe a typical writing day

Wake up at 6 am, make a cup of a honey lavender latte, and then head to the office to start writing for 3-4 hours.

 

 

5.) Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?

Remember that it is okay to take a break, whether you need a short break to gather your thoughts or a long break. There is no timeline for publishing, so go at your own pace.

 

 

7.) What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Don’t be afraid to write anything. Try not to get in your head and overthink things because writing is a very subjective sport, one person may love your work, and another person may not like it. Always go with your gut feeling and write about things you genuinely care about. 

 
 
 
​If you would like Victoria to make an author visit at your school or organization, please email her.

connect with the author: twitter ~ instagram
 

 
 
 
 
 

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Cool Kids by Arlene Freeman (Book Review)

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Like most kids, Michael and his friends are so excited for their first day at a new school. They have a lot of questions about what to expect, but most of all, they wonder if they’ll get to join the football team. That would be the perfect way to start the year! However, Michael soon finds out that it’s not as easy as he thinks. The team is filled with bullies, and to join, he has to become one of them. In order to be cool enough to get a spot on the football team, Michael has to start changing his behavior—for the worse! Suddenly, terrible things start happening to him. Finally, he begins to wonder: Was it all worth it?
 
 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
According to a UNICEF article, “On any given school day, over 1 billion children around the world head to class.” UNESCO stated, “New data reveal that one out of three teens is bullied worldwide.” Together Against Bullying lists 20% of kindergarten students reported being bullied often. Those numbers are saddening. Parents and educators should make every attempt to stop the spread of bullying. The author of Cool Kids, Arlene Freeman, is doing their part to show the repercussions of becoming a bully. 


When kids start a new school, some follow the lead of others to fit in, which sometimes means being mean to others. They just want to feel accepted. Michael fell into this role. The meaner Michael became, the uglier he felt. This was reflected in thoughts and imagery. My daughter called mirror Michael a monster, and that’s how Amelina Jones (the illustrator) and Arlene Freeman (the author) wanted us to view him. 


Rest assured, Michael does see the error of his ways. 


When I read this with my daughter, she remarked Michael’s apology was nice, but it doesn’t repair the damage. She grabbed a sheet of paper and said the following: “Imagine if this paper was a person. If you tear a section off here (rip) and here (rip) and here (rip), it’s still damaged no matter how much tape you put on it. Apologies don’t fix everything, not completely. If you don’t want to cause harm to another person then don’t be mean in the first place.” 

I couldn’t agree more. 


Thank you, Arlene Freeman. I hope many parents and educators read your story to their children/students. 

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

Author Arlene Freeman

Freeman’s first career was a third-grade schoolteacher in the Passaic School System. Teaching children is her true passion, and she incorporated this passion in her community involvement. Her second career as a real estate broker and appraiser enabled her to open her own real estate company, Prime Realty, with a partner. After thirty-five years, they sold to Coldwell Banker. She loves dogs, playing piano, telling stories, singing, dancing, and sharing wonderful examples of life’s lessons with her grandchildren. Arlene lives in Woodland Park, New Jersey. She has two sons, Dr. Ted Freeman of Long Branch, New Jersey, and Dr. Eric Freeman of Westfield, New Jersey, as well as three grandchildren: Michael, Max, and Quinn. This is her first book and maybe her third career.

Connect with the Author:  Twitter FacebookInstagram

 
 
 

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The Christmas Blanket by Ed Damiano (Book Review)

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What is the meaning of Christmas? That’s what eight-year-old EJ wants to know. The other kids say it’s about getting toys‚ but is it, really?
​One evening, EJ’s mother takes him to the Rockefeller Center to see the lighting of the most magical tree in the world, and EJ meets someone who teaches him what Christmas is truly all about.
 
 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
As a parent, it’s so nice to see the kids excited about Christmas. Everything about the holiday is magical and full of wonder. However, Christmas can bring out the greed in some. They forget and need to be reminded Christmas is not just about the presents. In The Christmas Blanket by Ed Damiano, this misgiving is brought up between two characters (EJ and Tommy). 


EJ asked his mom, “What was Christmas really about?” but she just laughed. That response, in my opinion, was not the optimal way to handle a sad child who is pondering an important question. 


Soon enough, EJ met a man who helped him understand the true meaning of Christmas, and, not, it was no Saint Nick.


While it’s lovely to receive presents on Christmas, it’s also essential to understand the rewards of giving to others. This vital lesson should be taught to young children. During this holiday season, encourage your child to help others. Donate toys, blankets, jackets, etc. Make cards for residents at your local nursing home. Teach them that doing for others is the true joy of the holiday season. 


I want to wrap up my review, talking briefly about the illustrations. Life on the streets is hard, and the elements show no mercy. Jeff Vernon’s drawings captured the harshness of living outside and the gratitude an individual feels when they are shown a bit of kindness. 


In a world where you can be anything, be kind! 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
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Born in Newark, New Jersey, Damiano has a passion for creativity, and his stories always contain a positive message. He also wrote The Christmas Blanket, which earned him a Mom’s Choice Award. In The Christmas Blanket, his character EJ realizes the true meaning of Christmas, which is not about getting presents, but about giving back to others.
 
Connect with the Author:  ​goodreads
 
 

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Chipper Makes Merry by Kimber Fox Morgan (Book Review)

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Children’s Fictions (Ages 3-7)

 
​Tip toe, tip toe, crackle, crunch!

​Chipper the Fox sneaks through the forest to spread cheer to his weary friends. Will his merry making be a success? Or will a smelly fish disaster and a log pile tumble ruin his plans?
“Chipper Makes Merry” takes you on Chipper’s arctic quest filled with lessons of love, kindness and determination.

 
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 
Chipper Makes Merry by Kimber Fox Morgan is a delightful children’s book that left my niece smiling. She loved the cute characters drawn by Kim Sponaugle, especially the walrus. She liked its large teeth and round body. She also laughed when the Arctic fox held up the sticky fish. 


What I loved about Chipper Makes Merry, besides the adorable drawn characters, was the repetition. My niece was saying the following line with me in no time flat: Tip toe, tip toe, crackle crunch! 


While my five-year-old niece could make out some of the sight words in Chipper Makes Merry, there were still several words she needed my assistance with, such as mischief and scheme. This didn’t bother me because, with repetition, she will be able to decipher the words on her own soon enough. 


Overall, Chipper Makes Merry was a humungous hit. I love any book that promotes spreading cheer and helping out others. When people or animals are feeling sad, we should want to lift their spirits.
 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

 
 
 
Meet the Author:
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Morgan is a fun wife, and imperfect mom of 3 crazy kiddos and 2 little lemon (problematic) dogs. She tries to live her strengths the best she can. She likes to say she is creative, not crafty. Morgan is a homemade Halloween costume type of mom. She lets her kids mix the play doh. She bakes fun birthday cakes (cutely, but far from perfection). She loves a homemade valentine and a school project. Chipper the Fox is an extension of Morgan’s creative strength. Originally designed as character to create merry during the holiday season, Chipper has grown and developed into a story of determination and love.

connect with the author:
website ~ instagram  ~ Facebook

 

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Spirituality, Healing and Me by Ilana Estelle (Book Review)

Spirituality, healing, and me by Ilana Stankler

 
Everyday life has never been more challenging and it’s easy to lose sight of who we are and who we want to be. In Spirituality, Healing and Me, Ilana Estelle draws on her experiences of emotional, mental and physical disability to show how tuning into our spiritual side can improve well-being, heal our minds and set us firmly back on track.

Ilana shows how focusing on values such as understanding, empathy, compassion, tolerance, kindness, creativity and acceptance can help us find our inner calm.

Packed with inspiring messages and real-life vignettes, Ilana’s book shows how spirituality can help us navigate even the roughest waters.
•Improve emotional balance and wellness
•Boost confidence and self-esteem
•Stay self-aware, grounded and patient
•Appreciate life and each other
•Accept changing circumstances
•Enhance positive emotions and personal healing

 

Buy the Book:
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B&N Indiebound ~ Waterstones
Book Depository
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book ToursI voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Ilana Estelle wrote a very straightforward book that dealt with many topics such as mental health, global warming, covid, achieving inner peace, and much more. Even though Ilana gave her opinion on various these subjects, in no way did Spirituality, Healing and Me come off as preachy. In fact, she made it abundantly clear spirituality and religion are not the same. You’ll have to read Spirituality, Healing and Me to read her explanation on each and how to become more spiritual. 


Many points were made in Spirituality, Healing and Me that I 100% agree with, and I’d like to share a few of those with you so you, the potential reader, can get a feel for the book and its content. 

  1. You don’t have to be religious to be spiritual. 
  2. Fearing death can cause a person to stop living life to the fullest. 
  3. Perform random acts of kindness without expecting anything in return. 
  4. Listen more. Be respectful. 
  5. We must value nature and help it to survive. Our existence depends on it. 
  6. Covid and the pandemic are real, and so is global warming. 

I also agree with Ilana Estelle’s “Natural Stress Remedies.” (read the book to view them)


I appreciate every passage that dealt with mental health. Our society needs to talk openly and embrace the mental struggles people face. As a person battling inner demons, I love how the world is no longer shying away from mental health issues. 


I encourage everyone to read Spirituality, Healing and Me by Ilana Estelle and start their journey to a more spiritual life. 

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


Amazon ~ Amazon.uk

B&N Indiebound ~ Waterstones
Book Depository
add to goodreads

 

 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
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Ilana was born with a disability she didn’t know she had until the age of 46, when through her medical notes she discovered she had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of 2.

That discovery turned out to be a unique and life-changing experience that has forced Ilana to stand back and look at her life experiences differently. On her late diagnosis, Ilana set up her website The CP Diary and uses her experiences to explore her emotional and physical health, with an inspiring message advocating resilience and change.
Ilana likes to spend her days writing and blogging about anything that contributes to her health and well being. She is an animal advocate and is passionate about environmental issues. When she is not writing to tending to her blog, Ilana enjoys days out exploring the Yorkshire countryside. Ilana lives with her husband and their much-loved cat, in Yorkshire. Her grown up son and daughter both live in London.

Connect with the author: 

website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ pinterest ~ goodreads

 
 

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