Tag Archives: children’s book

Our Moon Festival by Yobe Qiu (Book Review)

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“Our Moon Festival” is a beautifully illustrated children’s book celebrating the unique ways the Japanese, Vietnamese, and Chinese communities celebrate the Moon Festival.

The story highlights different families and their traditions as they observe Zhong Qiu Jie, Tết Trung Thu, and Tsukimi!

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

 
Earth is a big, majestic world-encompassing so many beautiful people and traditions. It’s crucial teachers and parents educate children on different cultures inhabiting it. Our Moon Festival by Yobe Qiu would be an excellent book to choose for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, May. 


In September, you could also read the book to celebrate the different festivals portrayed in the informative but entertaining children’s book: Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhong Qui Jie), Vietnamese Moon Festival (Tết Trung Thu), and Japenese Moon Festival (Tsukimi).


If a child isn’t familiar with the foods listed, this would be an excellent opportunity to introduce new dishes to their diet. After reading Our Moon Festival by Yobe Qiu, I began looking up recipes for mooncakes (dessert). If my daughter and I can make them successfully, we might hand them out to our neighbors. Who couldn’t use “best wishes for peace, health, and happiness!” 😀


The illustrations by Christina Nel Lopez gave me ideas for art projects. We could make starry night paintings, paper lanterns, or a rabbit (like in Tsukimi). For public and homeschoolers, teachers might have the students write a haiku about the moon. What can I say? The teacher in me always finds ways to expand on a story to fit various subjects. Our Moon Festival by Yobe Qiu checks off many boxes. If you don’t want to expand on the story, then don’t. Your child will still find it very enjoyable. 


My only slight change to the story would be the color choice for some of the text. A couple of lines/words were difficult for my daughter to see and read because the black text blended too much with the background images. Other than that, we found no issues. 

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

 
 
 
Meet the Author:
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Yobe is an educator, entrepreneur and mom who lives in NYC. As an educator, she focused on teaching families to embrace love, diversity and different cultures. Through the years working in the classrooms and closely with other educators, she noticed the lack of multi-cultural resources that represented children of color. That is when Yobe decided to create multicultural children stories that feature Asian children, families and cultures! Yobe loves spending time with her daughter, reading to children and taking long walks during the day!
 
Connect with the Author:  
Website Facebook ~ Instagram
 
 

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The Triumphant Tales of Rescue Dogs: Punk’s Plight by Dr. Hope A. Walter, EdD (Book Review)

THE TRIUMPHANT TAILS OF RESCUE DOGS: PUNK'S PLIGHT by Dr. Hope A. Walter

 
This is not just another book about a dog! Meet Punk, an eight-year-old petite English Bulldog. Her life appears great right now, but it wasn’t always that way. Join Punk as she recounts her story of neglect, her rescue and recovery, and her journey of learning to trust and heal again. Punk’s Plight is meant to help educators, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and allies of children teach children about the difficult topic of neglect. Punk teaches that neglect may change you forever, but it does not have to stop you from living your best life.
 
 
Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ B&N 
Mascot Books
 
 

 

Punk

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
When I can, I love sharing my daughter’s opinion on children’s books. I think the review holds more weight when the attended reading audience voices their thoughts on it. 
 
 

Daughter’s review of The Triumphant Tales of Rescue Dogs: Punk’s Plight by Dr. Hope A. Walter, EdD:


“The overall book was great. I loved the message of don’t mistreat your animal(s) and help an animal(s) in need. It was great how there were steps to help with abused animals at the end of the book. I didn’t understand the word “plight” in the title. I don’t think other little kids will know what it means either.”


When I asked her what she thought about the illustrations, my daughter said the following. “I prefer cartoony illustrations over watercolor. In picture books, details are easier to see if drawn cartoony. I couldn’t tell if Xavier was an adult or child in this book.”
 
 

Parent’s review:

Abuse occurs every day to animals and humans. Animals can not ask for help. All the time, humans are too scared to speak up. Maybe The Triumphant Tales of Rescue Dogs: Punk’s Plight will help children find their voice. Allow them to seek help or understand they are not alone or unlovable. 


I agree with my daughter’s assumption that little kids won’t know what “plight” means. The intended reading age is 4 – 7 years, and that’ll be a hard word to comprehend. However, it’s always a good time to add new and bigger words into their mental glossary bank. 😀


Great resources in the end credits! 

 
*Score issued by my daughter*
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Dr. Hope A. Walter, EdD

 
Hope A. Walter, Ed. D grew up in East Greenville, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Upper Perkiomen High School, Hope received her B.S. in Elementary Education at Kutztown University in 1996, her M.S. in Educational Psychology in 2002 from the University of Las Vegas in Nevada, and her Ed.D in Educational Leadership in 2018. Currently, Hope resides in McMinnville, Oregon with her husband of 25 years, her 3 boys, and her 2 dogs and 2 cats. She works as an adjunct professor at Linfield University and Oregon State University teaching mathematics education and educational psychology to future teachers.

Punk’s Plight was conceptualized after teaching future teachers about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Hope saw the connection between ACES and the journey of her own bulldog, Pumpkin, who was neglected, rescued, and spent the rest of her life learning how to trust and love again. Sadly, Pumpkin passed away peacefully in November 2020 after a long life with the Walter family. Hope wants Punk’s story to help children suffering from neglect by showing children they can recover, heal, and prosper despite experiencing neglect.

 
 
connect with the author: 
website ~ facebook instragram
 
 
 
 

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The Red Fence by Ed Damiano (Book Review)

THE RED FENCE by Ed Damiano

(Ages 3-7),  38 pages

 
In the uniform town of Vanderloo,

Everyone, everywhere has the same view.
What happens when Astred, tiny Todd, and Ned
Decide to paint their white fence red?
Children’s author and Mom’s Choice Award winner Ed Damiano delivers a poignant message about community and creativity in The Red Fence.

 

 

 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
The Red Fence by Ed Damiano reminds me of the Dr. Seuss books, from its illustrations (characters and color spectrum) to its catchy rhymes. I’m sure at first glance many parents will come to the same conclusion. As for children 3-8, the intended age group, they won’t recognize the similar style. What they will remark on are the cute characters and all the newly painted fences. These painted fences will reinforce color recognition for non-readers. 


Shout out to Jenn Polk, whose artistry brought the wonderful town of Vanderloo to life! 


Parents, teachers, and librarians will adore reading this story. It promotes inclusion and community togetherness. In a world where division is still prominent in every walk of life, we need to stress to young children it’s okay to look different. Looking different DOES NOT reflect who you are on the inside. What’s important is YOU BE YOU and support others. 
 

Remember –> You can’t spell community without unity! 

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

Author Ed Damiano
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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Interview with Sandra Kopp (A Multi-Genre Author)

I want to welcome author Sandra Kopp to Kam’s Place.
Howdy, Sandra!

 

  1. For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?

 

Sandra: Howdy, Kam! It’s a pleasure to be here. I grew up on an Idaho potato farm along with two brothers, one sister, an accordion, and an assortment of dogs, cats, horses, and cows. I’d wanted to be a farm wife, but Fate propelled me into the wonderful world of IBM and computer programming, a career I pursued for 33 years. A music lover and history buff, I played the trombone and accordion semiprofessionally and served as a docent at a number of historical homes, notably the Pittock Mansion in Portland, OR. As for writing, I have loved books since childhood. In grade school I spent more time reading library books than doing my homework (which landed me in the corner more than once!), and my active imagination churned out stories I would scribble down and show my teachers who, in turn, asked me to share with the class! As I entered adulthood, however, career demands and social commitments forced my writing onto the back burner. But the fire never died, and neither did my imagination. A mundane event might spark a plot that took intriguing turns as it evolved into a full-blown novel (case in point: THE WINDWILDER HAUNTING, inspired by the Moore Mansion fire in Pasco, WA). In 2003 I decided to get serious. Now that I’m retired, I have committed myself to honing and polishing my craft and producing the best work possible.


Kam: Holy smokes, that’s an impressive amount of time in one establishment. Now days, it seems no one can stick that long in one place. I’m also in awe of your musical achievements. I can’t play any instrument, but I do appreciate the time and effort it takes to learn a single instrument and you’ve mastered two. NICE! 

 

Let’s Check Out The Windwilder Haunting


Once acclaimed the Crown Jewel of Twin Bridges, Washington, a derelict mansion with a sordid past sits condemned, awaiting demolition. At the eleventh hour the great-grandson of its original owner intervenes to rescue and restore it. But few rejoice, particularly those whose lives the malignancy within those walls destroyed.

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

 

 

  1. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.

Sandra: Oh, yes; in fact, for a while writer’s block so crippled me that I went for weeks and even months unable to write anything. In 2003 I enrolled in a creative writing course. Each session began with a 10-minute exercise during which we were to WRITE. Wasting time trying to pick a subject was NOT allowed—those pencils had to move! “If you can’t think of anything,” the professor told us, “just write ‘I can’t think of a thing to write, but the prof says I have to write something, so here I go.’ Write that sentence over and over, and pretty soon ideas will come.” Surprisingly, his method worked. The first session I think I wrote it twice. After that I always had a topic for class.  

 

While effective for beginning a piece, the method didn’t work so well for works already in progress. My major hurdle stemmed from striving to write the finished product on the first try.  Every few sentences I stalled, fumbling for the “right” words, until I became so mired in verbiage I forgot what I wanted to say. Finally I decided to, rather than flounder, just output the main points and then flesh out the details the following day. This actually works best for me. As I read over the previous day’s effort the creative juices flow, providing the missing elements and a running start into developing new material. 

 

 

  1. Will you please share with the visitors what genre(s) you write? Also, when you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

Sandra: Except for sci-fi and romance, I love most genres. My current books are fantasy and paranormal, but I find myself leaning more toward contemporary, historical fiction, and a children’s series I started several years ago, along with a western based on an event in my father’s life when he was 10.

When not writing, I enjoy photography, hiking, bicycling, playing the accordion, knitting, and gardening. I’m also planning a You Tube channel featuring my better half, Sassy the Cat!


Kam: What a cutie! 

 

  1. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?

Sandra: Yes. One or two consider me gifted, but the majority recognize the flaws and weak spots in my work and aren’t afraid to point them out. It nettled me at first, but I quickly found their criticism valid and invaluable during the editing process. My Mom and sister are especially good beta readers, quick to pick up on parts that don’t flow right. I thought them too critical at first; but when my critique group pointed out the same issues, I decided I’d better listen! At any rate, all of them urge me to keep the stories coming.

Kam: Fantastic!!! 

 

 

  1. Will you share with us your all-time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.

Sandra: This is tough; I love so many! Colleen McCullough and Charlotte Bronte top the list, followed by Johanna Spyri. I still own a copy of HEIDI I received as a gift when I was eight. That book so captivated me I could smell the fresh alpine air and hear the wind roaring through those huge branches.  Lately I’ve discovered several excellent indie authors, including: Rebecca Carey Lyles, Ken Stark, Bibiana Krall, MK Whiting, Mike Wells, Isis Sousa, and Anastasia Abboud.

Kam: I actually reviewed Troika: A Supernatural Short Story by Bibiana Krall  back in 2019. 😀

 

 

  1. If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love to see cast in the parts?

Sandra: Peter Jackson’s movie series, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings had a huge impact on me. That said, I would like to see my book, REALMS OF GLORY, REALMS OF DEATH hit the big screen, since it contains many similar elements. I’m not sure, though, which actors I would choose, as I really don’t spend much time watching movies. Probably many of those that appeared in the Peter Jackson movies.

 

 

 

Valhalea lies in ruins, the victim of sorcerer Lucius Mordarius’ wrath.

In the black forests of Barren-Fel Ryadok, a rival sorcerer possessing a weapon capable of leveling the continent, snakes his destructive tentacles across Epthelion. Amid the chaos Destiny unites five unlikely allies: an ostracized mystic and his younger brother; a tradesman and a battle-hardened mercenary; and the daughter of a murdered nobleman–each a thorn in a sorcerer’s side and marked for death.

Battling nature’s wrath, the sorcerers’ relentless pursuit, and a land notorious for devouring its inhabitants, they find temporary sanctuary only to be thrust to opposite ends of Epthelion–the girl to the west where she falls into the hands of the blood-thirsty Horse Lords; and the men into the dark reaches of the shadowy east.

Victory is essential; defeat spells certain death for their world.  The girl must survive the Horse Lord’s brutality and rally them to her aid in defeating Mordarius while the mystic races to destroy Ryadok before his sweeping holocaust.

Kindle Purchase Link

Print Purchase Link

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

My review of REALMS OF GLORY, REALMS OF DEATH will be live August 14th!
I encourage you all to come back and read my thoughts on it. 😉 

 

 

  1. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now?

Sandra: I am working on the illustrations for the first book of my children’s series, TIMOTHY WONDER AND THE MAGIC SHIP. I started that story when I was twelve but never finished it. That magic ship took Timothy and his dog into the clouds but never brought them back! Now, several decades later, I decided it’s time to bring them home.  In addition, I am putting together notes for a humorous ghost story and an historical fiction novel, both inspired by my docent experiences at the Pittock Mansion.

Kam: I can’t wait to read them both. 

 

 

  1. Where can we find your stories, and is there a particular reading order?

Website:     https://www.sandrakopp.com

Amazon:     author.to/skoppbooks

Sandra: I gave each book a satisfying end, with no cliffhangers that resolve in subsequent books. Because many of the characters in later books are introduced and developed in the earlier volumes, reading the series sequentially provides a more even flow.

 

 

  1. Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?

Website:       https://www.sandrakopp.com/contact 

Email:          sandra@sandrakopp.com

Goodreadshttps://bit.ly/3i4Uo5b

Twitter:        twitter.com/EverDreamer7321

Sign up for my newsletter for updates on new releases, giveaways, and other fun things!

 

 

  1. Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.

Sandra: First of all, Kam, thanks so much for this spotlight opportunity.  Marketing has proven the toughest part of indie publishing, and I welcome the chance to introduce my work to new audiences.  Taking this plunge opened up a whole new world.  Not only am I an author and publisher, I’ve had to become a publicist, marketer, and I even designed and built my own website!

I appreciate my readers and am grateful for each and every one. I also appreciate their opinions of my books!  One of the nicest things you can do for an author is leave a review.  Of course, I love 4 and 5 stars best, but I also want to know the downside so that I can improve.  I have developed a newsletter, which you can sign up for on my website.  From time to time I host giveaways, contests, and opportunities for readers to become a character in an upcoming book!

Becoming a writer was my dream come true.  I encourage all of you to pursue your dreams.  You never know what you can do ‘til you try!

 

 

 

 

As a fellow author, I know the struggles of marketing a story. It’s a never-ending battle to get a story in front of new readers and build up reviews. As I stated above, my review of REALMS OF GLORY, REALMS OF DEATH will be live on August 14th, and you’ll love the score. 

For those visiting Kam’s Place, I highly encourage you all to check out Sandra Kopp’s works and sign up for her newsletter. I know once you read one story by her, you’ll want to be instantly notified when she’s created something new. 

To Sandra Kopp, thank you so much for allowing me to interview you and graciously asking me to read your stories. I can’t wait to read your future stories and/or the ones I haven’t read yet.

 

 

Before you go… How about a sneak peek at REALMS OF GLORY, REALMS OF DEATH!

 

Bristles brushed her feverish cheek.  Merewyn moaned and tried to move, but unbearable pain wracked her body.  Every bone felt broken and she lay still, wishing whoever hovered over her would thrust her through and end her torment.  Velvety lips nuzzled her ear and then her neck.  A horse nickered softly.

Merewyn rolled onto her back and opened her eyes.  Windrunner lay down beside her and nudged her cheek.  Gritting her teeth against the searing pain, Merewyn mustered her strength and crawled into the saddle, clinging to the horse’s mane as Windrunner hoisted herself to her feet.

“My faithful Windrunner.”  Merewyn could scarcely talk.  “Take me to the king.”

Windrunner stepped out, and as they crossed the corpse-littered plain, Merewyn’s heart sank.  Familiar faces stared vacantly through the cold gray light.  Some appeared to slumber peacefully.  Others grimaced in agony.

“Ohhhh!”  Merewyn’s anguished soul poured out its misery.  Bitter tears rolled down her cheeks.  Feeling dizzy, she closed her eyes, wishing only to distance herself from this place of death.  Windrunner walked on, her head bobbing lightly as she deftly stepped over and around the dead. 

Gradually the faintness passed.  Merewyn’s senses cleared.  She opened her eyes and recognized Aethelion, Elund, Hamiel, and Zithri amid a small group a short way ahead.  Zithri saw her first and alerted Hamiel and Aethelion.  Together they raced to Merewyn.

“My queen!”  Aethelion reached up and helped her dismount.

Zithri alit and rushed to her side.  “You’re hurt, my lady.”

“No worse than any of you.  Where is the king?”

“We don’t know.”  Aethelion grimly surveyed the field.  “Ryadok decimated our forces last night, both here and on the river.”

“How many of your five hundred remain?” Merewyn asked.

“Less than a hundred.  As yet we have no final tally.”

“And the enemy?”

“We drove them back after that fiery brute fell, but they’ll return in numbers beyond our strength to withstand.”

“The beast. . .slain?”  Merewyn’s memory had clouded. 

“Yes.”  Aethelion frowned.  “How, I don’t know.  The carcass burned, leaving nothing to examine.  When we engaged him at the river we made what should have been mortal strikes with every weapon we had, to no avail.”  His frown deepened.  “I would give my best horse to know what killed this one.”

“So Destroyer can be killed.”

“If, indeed, that was Destroyer.”

With great effort, Merewyn remounted and turned Windrunner toward the battlefield.  “First we must see to our wounded and find the king.”

The sun slowly rose, gouging the sky with blood-red shafts before hiding itself behind a curtain of somber gray clouds.  The Horse Lords wandered among the carnage, hoping against hope that some among their warriors lying there yet breathed. 

They found only death.  Over half of the valiant warriors of Ha-Ran-Fel had fallen, and the company could only guess what percentage of the enemy now littered their land.  Many wore the crest of Ryadok, but even more Lucius Mordarius’ green dragon.

The roughly four hundred remaining warriors fanned out to search for their wounded, strip the enemy corpses, and kill any foe still alive.  Merewyn searched for Ruelon, refusing to believe what she already knew.  Aethelion, Elund, Hamiel, and Zithri still lived.  Surely, she reasoned, God had spared Ruelon as well.

But hope quickly waned.  Ruelon neither answered her calls nor rode to meet her.

And then she saw him, lying beside his beloved charger, his sword impaling an enemy’s throat, his ashen face turned to the sky.  Red streaks trickled down his side from the bloody pool on his breastplate, and another from one corner of his mouth.  For a moment it seemed he looked at her, and she thought he would speak.  But his vacant blue eyes stared past her; his strong voice forever stilled.  Never again would he hold her close and soothe her in the night.  Never again would he whisper words of tender love.

“My lord.”  Swallowing hard, Merewyn knelt beside him and tenderly stroked his cheek.  The world blurred around her.  “Beloved husband. . .do not leave me.”  But she knew that he already had, and now the tears came fast and hot.  Merewyn collapsed on his chest, sobbing.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Don’t forget to visit  Sandra Kopp’s Amazon Author Page!

 

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I Miss School by Ryan Reaves (Book Review)


“I Miss School” is written by a child, for a child. In this heartwarming and honest story, kids will understand that their feelings about the pandemic are normal and it is perfectly acceptable to feel a range of emotions related to not going to in-person school. The book instills hope for kids that brighter days are ahead.
 
 
 
 
 I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
I Miss School will strike a chord with young readers/listeners because many children have spent this year attending class from their kitchen tables. 


I Miss School touched my heart because these thoughts belong to a real-life six-year-old—a child who also happens to be the author. As a parent of a tween daughter, I know the lack of interaction has negatively affected my child. Like Ryan, she misses her teachers, eating lunch with her friends, and every fun activity they did at school.


This pandemic has been brutal on all of us, but especially young children. 


For so long, children could not hang out due to the fear of catching covid-19. Facetime and Zoom calls are nice, but most kids crave in-person interactions. 


I encourage all parents/caregivers of young children to sit down and read I Miss School with your little ones. Maybe they’ll share with feelings with you if they haven’t already. 


As I am writing this review, covid vaccines are not readily available for Ryan’s age group, but I hope it will be soon. I hate to see any child sad— real or in character form. As for the characters, the illustrations were beautifully drawn. I couldn’t locate the illustrator’s name, but whoever you are, I commend you on your artistic ability. 


Nice job, Ryan Reaves! You, my dear, are a superstar! 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
Author Ryan Reaves
Six-year-old Ryan Reaves began writing her debut story “I Miss School” at five years old after yearning to return to her brick-and-mortar school during the covid 19 pandemic. She wanted to write the book for other kids, so they knew they weren’t alone in their thoughts and feelings and that we are all in this together.

connect with the author: instagram

 

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