Tag Archives: friendship

Ozzy Ox: Moody Morning by Callen Kropp (Book Review)

When was the last time you woke up on the wrong side of bed? In Ozzy Ox: Moody Morning, Ozzy Ox finds it’s not the best way to start out his day. In this second title in the Ozzy Ox series of children’s picture books, the young ox grumpily greets the morning with some choice words for his feline friend.

Finn Cat’s raucous response is a screech heard around the Land of Ox, summoning a startled menagerie of cagey neighbors hoping to help bring peace back to the community. 

But their good intentions clamorously fall apart, and Ozzy is soon in disbelief how quickly the neighborhood comes together while the day falls apart. Is he able to address the consequences of his moody morning? Ozzy Ox: Moody Morning resonates with a powerful message: that words and friendships matter!

Ozzy Ox: Moody Morning, by Callen Kropp, is one of four books in the Ozzy Ox series.  It is a 42-page rhyming picture book for children ages 3-8 that warmly embraces children and encourages them to make better choices. It shows children that acceptance and forgiveness are more likely when they admit their mistakes.

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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.


We’ve all woke up on the wrong side of the bed. We may be dreading the first day back to school or work. Perhaps we didn’t sleep well or were feeling under the weather. Ozzy Ox woke up moody and didn’t waste a moment unleashing his crabbiness onto others. He screeched at Finn, scaring the cat to death and possibly knocking away one of his nine lives. Finn’s frightened, hair-rising illustrations were funny. His twitchy, spasming pose had me in stitches! 

Things turn disastrous when a cow jumps through the window and enters the house with the frame stuck around his head. More barnyard friends came to the rescue, only to make matters worse. The front door flew off its hinges, thanks to two horses! The drama-filled day is no fun for the animals, but kids will laugh loudly at the crazy scenes. Three cheers to the storyline (writer: Callen Kropp) and artwork (artist: Emily Hagen)! 

A steady stream of calamity befell the animals in the story, and Ozzy Ox realized everything started when he yelled at his friend. That show of anger caused a ripple event of fear and destruction. In the end, Ozzy realizes how his words and actions affect others. He vows, “To choose the words that launch each day In a much brighter, lighter way!”

Ozzy Oz learned several valuable lessons in Ozzy Ox: Moody Morning. One, treat others how you want to be treated. Two, choose your words carefully and realize how your words and actions might affect the day. Third, friends help friends in need. 

No one can be happy 24-7, 365 days a year; however, we can teach our children to think before they speak and treat others with kindness. Make better choices! 

I recommend the humorous, slightly under 40-page storybook to children ages 3-8. 

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

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Meet the Author

Callen Kropp is a North Dakota author whose family has raised bison for decades.  After a career in corporate communications, she pursued her lifelong dream of writing books.  Adventures with her family, including children and grandchildren, provide inspiration for her Ozzy Ox picture book series.

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Dino Ride: A Curious James Book by Jaybie D. (Book Spotlight)

Join Curious James on a mission divine,
To help a Brachiosaurus in this modern time.
In a world not built for their massive frame,
This dino needs transportation that’s not the same.

They face bumps along the way,
Though they won’t give up – no, not today.
With determination and spirit, they persevere,
Proving the journey itself is something to hold dear!

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Check these out too!


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Meet the Author

Meet Jaybie D., (Miss Debbie in real life). She’s a children’s book author and illustrator capturing the hearts and imaginations of young readers everywhere. With a creative spirit that was nurtured from an early age, Jaybie D. has always had a passion for creating opportunities for the people in her life (all ages) to have new experiences and engage with the world around them.

Born in El Centro, California, and raised in Tulare, Jaybie D. spent much of her childhood babysitting, organizing neighborhood plays and selling baked pastries made with her easy bake oven. In high school she discovered a love for leadership and community involvement, which led her to become an active member of organizations like Students Against Drunk Driving, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and Future Business Leaders of America.

Jaybie D. has a BBA from Colorado Technical University, a successful career in the business world and now lives in Austin, Texas. Though these days the passion that fills her soul is getting back to her roots by embracing the magic of childhood imagination through children’s literature. Drawing on her experiences as a Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader, as well as the inspiration she finds in her two children, five grandchildren, and menagerie of pets, Jaybie D. crafts stories that are entertaining as they are educational.

Whether she’s whisking readers away on a magical adventure, or teaching them valuable lessons about empathy, kindness, and courage, Jaybie D. approaches her work with passion, creativity, and a deep respect for her young audience. If you’re looking for a children’s book that will capture your child’s heart and inspire their imagination, look no further than Jaybie D. Visit her website at www.JaybieD.com to learn more about her books and sign up for her newsletter.



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The Migrating Millimunger by Charlotte Chaplin (Book Review)

On the shore of Blue Bear Island,
One dark and stormy night,
Washed up a Millimunger
In a boat with a green light.

After being chased away from home by a crocodile, Millimunger lands on Blue Bear Island. Sadly, the island’s inhabitants are not very welcoming. Can one special bear change the others’ minds?

Find out what happens to Millimunger and enjoy finding the crab as you read along.

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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.


Millimunger is forced to leave her home when she is chased away by a hungry crocodile. Sadly, the inhabitants of Blue Bear Island are less than welcoming when Millimunger washes ashore. Why? Well, Millimunger did not resemble the bears on the island. The islanders were blue, while Millimunger had pink fur, a red nose, and ears that looked like pink pom poms on a pink stalk. Due to Millimunger’s appearance and the fact they were a stranger on Blue Bear Island, the blue bears assumed the worst about Millimunger’s intentions. This behavior is a common occurrence in our society. Unfortunately, we judge on appearances way too often and often unfavorably. 

In real life, there are those who stand up for the mistreated. In The Migrating Millimunger by Charlotte Chaplin, the smallest blue bear, Baby Bear, broke down in tears. They were distraught over their family’s treatment of a bear who just wanted to belong. This small bear changed the minds of many. They helped the other bears see the error of the ways, which propelled the islanders into action to make amends to Millimunger.

The Migrating Millimunger promotes kindness and acceptance, which should and must be instilled in our children, starting when they are very young. 

The Migrating Millimunger is a lovely book with a spectacular message and wonderfully bright illustrations. Alice Pieroni, the illustrator, impressed me with their designs. Each bear had their own clothing style that made them stand out as individuals. And, Millimunger was the cutest pink bear I have ever seen! Oh, I love the banner at the end, and so will other supporters of the PRIDE community. 

Parents, share this picture book with your children. 

Educators, share it with your class.

Together, let’s create a more accepting society! 

At under 30 pages, I recommend The Migrating Millimunger for children two years of age and older. 

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

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Meet the Author

Charlotte Chaplin is a professional writer who loves writing entertaining stories for little people. She has a BA (Hons) degree in English Literature from the University of Sussex and is the proud author of ‘The Migrating Millimunger.’ She grew up, and still lives in, South East London, UK.

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Closer to Okay by Amy Watson (Book Review)

Weaving culinary delights with an honest, appraising look at how we deal with the world when it becomes too much, Closer to Okay is the comfort food we all need in these, well, crazy times.

Kyle Davies is doing fine. She has her routine, after all, ingrained in her from years of working as a baker: wake up, make breakfast, prep the dough, make lunch, work the dough, make dinner, bake dessert, go to bed. Wash, rinse, repeat. It’s a good routine. Comforting. Almost enough to help her forget the scars on her wrist, still healing from when she slit it a few weeks ago; that she lost her job at the bakery when she checked herself in as an inpatient at Hope House; then signed away all decisions about her life, medical care, and wellbeing to Dr. Booth (who may or may not be a hack). So, yeah, Kyle’s doing just fine.

Except that a new item’s been added to her daily to-do list recently: stare out her window at the coffee shop (named, well…The Coffee Shop) across the street, and its hot owner, Jackson. It’s healthy to have eye candy when you’re locked in the psych ward, right? Something low risk to keep yourself distracted. So when Dr. Booth allows Kyle to leave the facility–two hours a day to go wherever she wants–she decides to up the stakes a little more. Why not visit? Why not see what Jackson’s like in person?

Turns out that Jackson’s a jerk with a heart of gold, a deadly combination that Kyle finds herself drawn to more than she should be. (Aren’t we all?) At a time when Dr. Booth delivers near-constant warnings about the dangers of romantic entanglements, Kyle is pulled further and further into Jackson’s orbit. At first, the feeling of being truly taken care of is bliss, like floating on a wave. But at a time when Kyle is barely managing her own problems, she finds herself suddenly thrown into the deep end of someone else’s. Dr. Booth may have been right after all: falling in love may be the thing that sends Kyle into a backslide she might never be able to crawl out of. Is Jackson too much for her to handle? Does love come at the cost of sanity?

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


Closer to Okay tore me up. I cried so many times that I thought I would have to go to the store for more Kleenex. I choked up when Kyle threw her arms around Jackson because she desperately needed a hug. I wanted to hug her at that moment, and I am not a hugger. 

When Kyle confided about her mother to Jackson, I again felt the urge to hug her. Kyle seemed so broken and, at times, almost came across as a lost child – not a struggling adult. 

When Jackson showed us his vulnerable side, my heart began to ache for him. I felt terrible for him when he begged Kyle for help, and she turned him down. I shed a tear when he first hugged her and wrote that beautiful letter. 

Closer to Okay does contain subject matter that might be difficult for some people to read. Trigger warning: suicide attempt, suicide, anxiety, depression, anorexia, panic attacks, etc. If these areas are difficult for you to read, I suggest not reading this book. If you suffer from mental disorders and feel like you can handle these topics, I encourage you to give this book a chance. I suffer from many issues and will admit this book was hard for me to read, BUT I’m glad I didn’t give up on it. Kyle and Jackson are beautifully broken people who bring out the best in each other. 

I don’t feel like the end is the end of their story. At least, I hope there’s a sequel in the works. 


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

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Meet the Author


Amy Watson is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas. A wife, a mother to two boys, and a full-time office manager. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, baking, drinking coffee, knitting, and watching football.

Amy Watson | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads





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Summertime with Snowman Paul by Yossi Lapid (Book Review)

Sure, Paul is a snowman – but should that preclude him from having fun with his best friend all year long (including the Summer)?

Snowman Paul doesn’t think so, but hot summer days do pose some obvious problems for a snowman.

Snowman Paul is ready to give up when his best friend (Dan) comes up with a brilliant idea that saves the day.

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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.


Joanna Pasek, marvelous job on all your illustrations. My family liked the images that dealt with summer activities. My daughter was curious what would’ve happened if Snoman Paul did a cannonball in the pool. We also pondered if the beach sand stuck to his snowy feet and backside.

I must give props to Richard Bruning for art direction, lettering, and design. First impressions matter and the cover for “Summertime with Snowman Paul” caught my eye immediately. If I saw this in a bookstore, I would buy it for sure!

For the majority of the book, the word choices were simple. I think only one word might trip up kids 4 – 8 year-olds (Amazon’s recommended reading age), and that’s chagrin. I know Yossi Lapid was trying to find a word to rhyme with “in,” but I would’ve stuck with a word that children understand. No offense, but I wondered how many adults know the meaning of “chagrin” or use it regularly in everyday interactions.

“Summertime with Snowman Paul” did have many positive qualities. The book teaches children about the seasons, which season was not the snowman’s favorite (at first), and why. These seasonal pages led to a lovely discussion with my child on which season is her favorite and why. She loves fall because it’s not too hot or too cold. It’s just right. Oh, and it has Halloween in it.

When you’re a snowman living in hot temperatures, you must think outside of the box to survive the heat from the sun. Summertime with Snowman Paul by Yossi Lapid teaches more than just the seasons. It teaches children how to problem-solve.

My daughter enjoyed “Summertime with Snowman Paul” by Yossi Lapid, and so did I. I will be recommending it to my parenting groups, especially those with children who are beginning readers.


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

Amazon Purchase Link



Meet the Author

Yossi Lapid was born in a small town in Romania where toy stores were absent, but stories and snowmen were abundant. Lapid holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University. He has three children and lives with his wife Susan and a little dog named Sasha in New Mexico.

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