Tag Archives: cats

My cat brother, Sterling by Mayra Hernandez (Book Review)


A cat that barks, fetches the newspaper, and goes potty on trees?! How could that be?

Sterling idolizes his big brother Rocky and wants to be just like him. So much so, he actually believes he’s a DOG!

Rocky knows the truth about his cat brother, Sterling.

There’s only one problem! Rocky hasn’t told him yet! Or has he?

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

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

 

Aw, Sterling, the cat is so dang adorable. We loved the drawing of them, white as fresh powder snow and sporting a solid gray tail. We noticed a few illustrations had Sterling with a gray streak on his face, but others did not. There was a group shot of three cats together, and Sterling now had two stripes on his face. As the My cat brother, Sterling continued, the kitty gained more spots on his body. The inconsistencies in the design of Sterling couldn’t be overlooked.

We thought Sterling believing they were a dog was the cutest thing ever. FYI: We also have a cat who thinks they are a canine. Our cat barks like a dog, just like Sterling the cat did in My cat brother, Sterling by Mayra Hernandez. Our cat plays fetch too. However, our feline doesn’t pee outside on fire hydrants or head to the dog park. My kitty doesn’t dig in the trash either. They do stretch and sniff inside it quite often.

The similarities in coloring and hysterical canine behavior between Sterling and our furbaby made this story a home run in our house. Okay, we would’ve loved this story even if our cat didn’t look or act like Sterling. We loved the “Meet the real-life characters.” Your furry friends were just as adorable in person as they were in cartoon format.

Amazon’s recommended reading age is 3 – 8 years, and I agree with that assessment. Toddlers might not understand the dialogue, but I think they will get enjoyment out of the pictures. Kids love dogs and cats!

My cat brother, Sterling by Mayra Hernandez is absolutely, 100% brilliant. I will be recommending the book to my parenting groups, and my daughter said she would tell her friends about it too. We can’t wait to read more creations by Mayra Hernandez!

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

Meet the Author

I am a former kindergarten teachers aide, now author. I hope to continue writing books for children to find joy and laughter in. I love watching true crime shows, and having family game nights. My husband and I live in the beautiful Sunshine State with Rocky, Katie, Pumpkin, and Sterling, of course.

Reedsy Link

 

 

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Come and Play! Exploring Animal Friends by Heidi Dehncke (Book Review)

Kids love animals — and they love picture books about animals, too. Come and Play! Exploring Animal Friends takes children on a tour of fifteen types of animal friends. Discover what makes pandas, raccoons, spiders, cats, and frogs unique (just to name a few). Whether or how they play, and what makes them special. While this children’s animal book gives interesting and surprising facts, it is the original illustrations which makes this book a treasure. The animal illustrations magnify the beauty and distinctive qualities of each creature. Ultimately, kids learn they share many similarities with animals (both feelings and behavior), and they learn about the world around them.

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

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

 

I had mixed feelings regarding Come and Play! Exploring Animal Friends by Heidi Dehncke. I loved the facts about various animals and insects. There was a lot of information that might be NEW to most children. 

Examples: “Raccoon” is an adopted Powhatan word meaning “animals that scratches with its hands.” While spiders don’t like to play, some play dead. I knew that raccoon tidbit, but I did not know the spider information. That just proves even adults can learn something new with Come and Play! Exploring Animal Friends, and that’s a beautiful thing.

While I adored all the facts presented in the book, I wasn’t a huge fan of all the images. Some drawings were lovely, such as the bald eagle bust, elephants, penguins, and butterflies. On the other hand, there were some that I didn’t particularly care for, and neither did my daughter: the peek-a-boo frog and the first primate page, for instance. 

Amazon’s recommended reading age is 3 – 9 years (Grade level: Preschool – 4). I think everyone in that bracket can benefit from the content. Three-year-olds might not fully grasp (retain) the information as quickly as a nine-year-old, but that’s okay. If you read Come and Play! Exploring Animal Friends time and again, one day, they’ll tell you the facts before you have a chance to read them. 

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

I originally attended Pratt Institute for illustration. Then I became a self taught editor and multimedia producer. I received my MS in journalism from Columbia University in 2000 and made the film Dust to Dust: The Health Effects of 9/11, (Sundance Channel, 2006). I also pursue fine art painting. 

Reedsy Link

 

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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

add to goodreads
 
 
 
 
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: 
 
AMAZON ~ B&N
BAM ~ Walmart

add to goodreads
 
 
 
 
 
 
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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Romancing the Darkness by Tyler R. Snyder (Book Review / Author Interview)

ROMANCING THE DARKNESS by Tyler R. Snyder

 
Monsters of Mythical Proportion
Worlds of Magic and Power
Forbidden Love
And DEATH. DEATH is the consequence…

When Tristan defies Ambion’s only law—royal and common blood cannot mix, he discovers the consequences are real. The young guardian finds himself in a world where love and hate, war and peace, duty and betrayal blur into darkness. As his world devolves into a battle for survival, he learns only an Angel can save Ambion from the destruction wielded by the Dividers. Is Tristan the Angel destined to save the world or will he succumb to the wiles of a dark goddess?

​“Boy! Hey boy, let me show you the end.” Tristan looked in horror as tens of thousands of men and women were hooded figures. Explosions erupted everywhere, and the black sky spewed red lightning all around the warriors. A ground shaking roar forced Tristan to cover his ears. When he looked up, a massive golden dragon breathed fire upon the world: fire engulfed the horizon. “The end will begin with ash.”   

 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Romancing the Darkness is the first book in a series by Tyler R. Snyder. It’s rated PG-13 + M. There is no sex, but it is implied. I think teen movies and television shows are 1000 times more graphic than this story!


Now, let’s discuss the monsters! I loved the variety of mythical beasts. I was familiar with certain popularized ones, such as the Kraken, wraiths, and dragons. However, Tyler introduced me to some new creatures: terpsichore (serpent-like horse) and a barking rabbit. Yeah, a barking rabbit! Cool, right?!


I think teens will love the fantasy elements in the story. They will probably love all the action sequences as well. Trust me –there are a lot of them. Battles scenes participants included humans, elves, angels, gods, goddesses, and the animals listed above, plus many more I didn’t mention. Fighters used magical powers, medieval weapons (swords and bows, weapons from today’s world (guns), and even futuristic ones (airships). Even though there are numerous fight scenes, they are not overly graphic. I would say they are on par with what teens are watching now. 


What Romancing the Darkness is missing, though, is a glossary/character page. It’s a lot to remember between the characters, beasts, locations, etc. In all honesty, I took notes. What else I would like to see is a card game. I think they would be wildly popular. 


As I stated in my opening sentence, Romancing the Darkness is the first book in a series which means this story ends on a cliffhanger. 


Looking forward to book 2! 

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

Author Tyler R. Snyder
Tyler Snyder was born in 1984 in Medford, Oregon.

As a child, he was captivated by movies, video games, and Dungeons and Dragons, along with the worlds these activities created. The original spark that ignited Tyler’s imagination was when he wanted to see a movie similar to The Legend of Zelda, but the closest film at the time was The Dark Crystal. That itch, to this day, has still not been scratched. This led him to books and stories like the pastimes he adored and gave him exposure to a much grander well of ideas and possibilities. Meeting like-minded friends who shared the same hobbies, Tyler developed a passion for creating new worlds. In Romancing the Darkness, Tyler explores his world, Ambion, and the countless decisions confronting his characters.

Mr. Snyder currently lives in Wyoming with his wife, Sandra.

 

 

 

  1. If you could put yourself as a character in your book, who would you be?

Tristan. Easy. In creating Tristan, I tried to put as much of myself into him as I could without deluding the character too much. With Tristan entering this vast world of magic and mythical monsters he is pretty much going into it blind and not as prepared as he would like to be. I feel a lot like that with life, becoming an author and juggling my passion with my day to day life.

 

  1. Do you have another profession other than writing?

I work for Frito Lay. I stock potato chips at three in the morning. It’s not a bad gig. I work anywhere from fifty to sixty hours a week. I actually really enjoy my job. The people I work with are great. And all the new people I meet help fuel some of the character interactions I have in my story. Witnessing social events and interactions between people help me develop my world and the characters that reside within it.

 

 

  1. Do you write every day?

I try my darndest to. With my busy schedule I try to sit down and write for at least an hour every day. Whether it is actual writing or going back through and editing what I have already written. As long as some form of progress is made I’m happy. But man it can get exhausting trying to squeeze it into the schedule. I feel if I stop I will lose that rhythm of doing it each day. In some ways it’s a lot like going to the gym.

 

 

  1. With long work weeks how do you balance your time?

I mean you get used to it after a while. As long as I stick to the schedule it doesn’t seem so bad. I have been bad and haven’t gone to the gym in month so I got to find a way to squeeze at least an hour each day to do that as well. But it’s nothing more than just putting in the work and keeping on your schedule. I make sure I don’t write past a certain time. I have to make sure I have some form of downtime for myself. Whether I’m playing a game after, catching up on Netflix shows or reading a book. Otherwise I may go nuts if work sixteen hours a day with no breaks.

 

 

  1. What was the last book you read that you really enjoyed?

There is one book that has stuck with me for years. I’ve read other books since then but none of them ever really jumped off the page the way this one did. The book was Mr. Begone by Clive Barker. Outside my wheelhouse. But I really enjoyed this book. Mostly because I have never read anything like it. But the fact that this little “possessed” book spent every chapter trying to convince be to burn it so the little demon could be set free. I thought it was so clever.

 

connect with the author: 
website ~ twitter ~ facebook instagram goodreads

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
Disclaimer: All questions and answers were constructed by the author and/or their representative. 

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Cindi’s Chocolate Valentine by Beverley Reichman (Book Review)

CINDI'S CHOCOLATE VALENTINE by Beverley Reichman
Cindi isn’t sure about this holiday called Valentine’s Day, but after her people pair dress her up like a flamingo and take her for a walk in front of her friends, and her handsome new neighbor dog, Chip, she doesn’t like it at all! She and her BFF, Pitty Pat, have been watching Chip ever since he moved next door. She wants to meet him, but not like this! Have you ever changed your mind about something? In this outrageously funny story, meet some of Cindi’s fur-friends and find out if she changes her mind about Valentine’s Day.

Cindi’s Chocolate Valentine is an especially SPECIAL book because it features 17 pets that were chosen as winners in the Cindi Features a New Friend contest last summer.  As you can imagine, their ‘people families’ are beyond excited about their pets being part of the story.  They had over 750 pets, including dogs, cats, rabbits, horses, hedgehogs, and even a chicken, goat, donkey and monkey enter the contest!   

 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ B&N
BookBaby

18% of the Cindi series book sale proceeds is
donated to animal rescue and shelter organizations.

Picture

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Special note:
As with most children’s books I review, I share them with my daughter. This review and rating is a joint effort by the two of us. 🙂

We thought it was cute how Cindi and Pitty Pat experienced embarrassment over what their owners wanted them to wear. As humans, many of us can relate to outfits our parents made us wear that were not cool, hip, or whatever words kids are using now. 🙂

We also liked the diversity in animals. My daughter’s favorite canine was the dog with two different colored eyes. She told me that was very rare. She thought it was nice to see a dog with one eye and two dogs using walkers. I agree; it was nice to see the variety of animals.

While some illustrations were a hit, others struck out with us. My daughter pointed out Pitty Pat’s arm, pointing at the calendar, and remarked it looked odd. She also asked me why the older woman had a mustache and goatee like her dad. Okay, truth be told, I laughed at her question. I can see what she means. I have to explain those are wrinkle lines.

The colorful note from Chocolate ‘Chip’ was lovely, and so was the heart-shaped dog-bone.
 

Final Note: 
Cindi’s Chocolate Valentine by Beverley Reichman is listed for children ages 3-7. While young children will enjoy the pictures and storyline, I think the text will be too complex for them to read unassisted. 

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

Amazon ~ B&N
BookBaby

18% of the Cindi series book sale proceeds is
donated to animal rescue and shelter organizations.

Picture
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:

Author Beverly Reichman

Beverley Reichman is a devoted mom, retired elementary school teacher and author. She co-authored her first book, Justice and Honor for My Sister: The Story of Margie Grey in 2018 and published her first children’s book, Kevin Can, in 2019. The second book in her Kevin series, Kevin is a Smart Cookie, and the first book in her popular Cindi the Teenie Chiweenie series were published in 2020. Her delightful and beautifully illustrated Cindi book series include: Cindi’s Chocolate Valentine, Cindi and Sparkles Howl-oween Ghoulfriends and Cindi’s Christmas Kitten Surprise, which earned a 5-Star Readers’ Favorite review.

Beverley teaches, tutors, and mentors children and shares with them her passion for learning, literature, living in faith, and experiencing life to its fullest. Beverley currently resides outside of Atlanta, Georgia.

 

connect with the author: 
website facebook ~ instagram goodreads

 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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