Tag Archives: health

Sanity for Humanity in a Calamity: A Cartoon Journey of Our First Year through COVID-19 by Jon Bowerman (Book Review)

A comedic, illustrated, and unapologetic memoir to look back and remember our first unprecedented year of COVID-19, in a different light.

Yes, there were challenges, and there were also triumphs to be celebrated. This book surely doesn’t forget those. Along with each cartoon, comes a time-stamped reflection of whatever was flipping the world on its head that day. Some snapshots are happy. Some are sad. Some are hilarious. Summed up, it’s truly a diary of the coronavirus that everyone can relate to.

Everyone’s coping mechanism was different. Mine happened to be cartoons. As abruptly as our world came to a screeching halt, my foray back into drawing began. Art has always been my passion, but life got in the way for a decade.

To bring some humor and for my own therapy, I began cartooning in lockstep with the world changing daily. With nearly every week of the pandemic changing our cultural norms, I continued chronicling our evolution as a society. After sharing a few cartoons on social media and getting such a great response and momentum, the collection started to build.

Here we are, our first year of COVID-19 over, and I’m ready to share them with the world.

Keep this book on your coffee table, in the bathroom, or as a guidebook for the next (year of this) pandemic. A keepsake with perspective that all adults won’t soon forget.

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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.

 

Everyone has been affected by the covid pandemic. We felt it in our wallets. Store shelves dwindled down to almost nothing. We lost jobs and businesses because of it. Schools went to remote learning. Family members could no longer hug their child(ren). Worse, we lost families and friends to the virus. 

Jon Bowerman’s cartoons for Sanity for Humanity in a Calamity: A Cartoon Journey of Our First Year through COVID-19 made me smile. Barney the dinosaur’s mugshot was funny. Loved the nods to DC Comics (Batman and Bane). I loved ALL the pop culture references! 

There was one cartoon that was hard to read. Senior Defender-19‘s image was sideways with tiny lettering, which made it virtually impossible to read. I could zoom in on the pdf (author-issued copy), but I could not rotate the image. 

Covid Safety Tip #3 – Day 123 – One Sheet conservation Method: OMG, I spit out my drink, reading the instructions and looking at the figures A-F. Seriously, that one was funny as heck! 

Jon Bowerman was correct in people’s worry about how others would view someone wearing a mask. Were they being cautious, or are they contagious? He also spoke of how to wear one properly. FYI: It’s not helpful if you don’t cover your mouth AND nose. Just sayin’.

Jon Bowerman gave props to his wife during the remote-learning days. He also gave a shout-out to all teachers, showed his appreciation for all their work, and encouraged increasing school funding. I agree!

It’s hard to imagine speaking of covid, reflecting on what it’s done worldwide, and laughing or cracking a smile, but that’s precisely what Jon Bowerman has made me do through his witty text and funny cartoons. He brought lightness to a rather dark time. Thank you, Jon Bowerman. Well done! Oh, and I love the cover too! 

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

Meet the Author

A tech entrepreneur in marketing, Jon founded a non-profit focusing on increasing the mental health of children through art. Jon enjoys spending most of his personal time denying his kids more screen time, scrambling for par on the golf course, smoking ribs low and slow, and cracking open a beer.

Reedsy Link

 

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Letters to Jacob: Grieving the Loss of a Child by Maria Hopfgarten (Book Review)

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​Maria Hopfgarten’s son Jacob was born on January 31, 2006. He was the most perfect baby boy she had ever seen. But Jacob had devastating health issues, culminating in a diagnosis of mitochondrial disease, a fatal condition. In the ten short years of Jacob’s life, Maria found strength in blogging about Jacob’s life. Her raw, honest posts from the year after Jacob’s passing have been gathered into this book along with Maria’s tips for parents coping with their their own grief after losing a child. “If you have lost a child, you know you’re weathering the largest storm life can bring you. I hope that my words of loss, tears, punches, smiles, friendships, and renewed happiness can give you a sense of not being along on this journey.”​
 
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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.
 
 
No story has ever hit me as hard as Letters to Jacob: Grieving the Loss of a Child by Maria Hopfgarten didThe “Introduction” did not just bring tears to my eyes; it had me sobbing. I had to lay the book down several times because I could not see the words through my tears. 


Each “letter” to Jacob touched my heart deeply, and I felt the family’s pain and their love during and after his departure from this world. At the end of each letter, Maria Hopfgarten (the author and mother to Jacob) gave helpful and thoughtful tips/pieces of advice in “Coping with Grief.” Since there are over 100 in all, I don’t think Maria Hopfgarten will mind if I share a few with you. 


 

  • Transform pieces of your loved one’s clothing into blankets or pillows.
  • Plant a tree or bush in memory of them.
  • “Cherish your family who is still standing by your side.”

 
Through the sadness, many touching moments will make you smile and possibly cry some more. I don’t want to divulge too much, but certain events recapped will emphasize how one little boy touched so many hearts, and his story will continue to do so for many years to come. 


After the “Epilogue,” I thought my crying time was over. I was wrong. “Mom” didn’t just make me cry a little — it caused me to sob. Throughout the story, I thought of my children, especially at this point, and the tears would not stop flowing. Even now, as I write this review, I’m wiping tears off my cheeks and stopping to blow my nose repeatedly. 


Maria Hopfgarten, thank you for sharing Jacob’s story with us. It was sad, beautifully written, and I’m forever changed for reading it. 

 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
(deserves a million more)

 

Buy the Book
Amazon

 
 
Meet the Author
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Maria Hopfgarten began her blog Moments with Jacob in 2009, writing about Jacob’s life with mitochondrial disease. She had followers around the globe. Maria continued to write blog posts to Jacob after he passed in 2016 to make sense of the loss of her son. Jacob was 10 years old. She has now turned part of the blog into the book “Letters to Jacob,” sharing her raw, honest first-hand experience on grieving the loss of a child.

Maria is the President of the non-profit Miracles for Mito and has been supporting families living with mitochondrial disease for over a decade. She has also been an active Parent Partner at Children’s Hospital Colorado and has been a Parent voice for many chronically ill children. Maria also sits on the Patient Safety Committee of the Board at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Originally from Sweden and with a degree in Journalism from Stockholm University, Maria lives with her husband Joakim, daughter Sarah, and rescue dog Max in Colorado. Her favorite thing to do is to share a good cup of coffee or glass of wine with a friend. Maria loves the outdoor and is always up for a bike ride or hike.

Connect with the Author:  Website ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

 
 

 

 

 

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The ‘Piper the Elf’ Series by Colleen Driscoll (Author Showcase)

The following books are great stories for children 3-8 years of age.

Hardcover: 32 pages

Mom’s Choice Award–Children’s Picture Book Health and Safety

Uh-oh! Santa’s suit is too tight and Mrs. Claus is worried about Santa. What can she do to help Santa shed a few extra pounds? She calls on Piper the elf to be Santa’s personal trainer. Problem is…Santa doesn’t want to exercise and Piper doesn’t know what a personal trainer is supposed to do! Piper wisely engages Santa’s help to build snowmen, make snow angels, and have a snowball fight. Find out if Piper’s plan works and if Santa can make his Christmas Eve rounds. The beautiful illustrations by noted illustrator Brian Dumm will delight every reader.

This is an excellent book for the classroom, home, or library. Bring fun, exercise, and healthy snacks to your family to help celebrate the holiday.

 

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Print Purchase Link (UK)

 

 

Hardcover: 32 pages

The Christmas celebration at the North Pole needs music! Piper puts together a Rockin’ Band of Christmas elves at the request of Santa. Piper has many volunteers and the band works hard practicing for the big event, but not everyone is happy about the band. Does the band get to play for Santa? Find out in this new Piper the Elf adventure!

Award winning author Colleen Driscoll puts her musical talent to work in Santa’s Rockin’ Band. Parents, teachers, and kids will love the beautiful story that teaches about music, instruments, and most importantly about getting along with others. Driscoll hits every note in her newest Piper tale.

 

Print Purchase Link (US)

Audible Audiobook – Unabridged Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (UK)

Audiobook – Unabridged Link (UK)

 

Hardcover: 32 pages

Mom’s Choice Award Recipient

Christmas is coming and Santa’s sleigh is in dire need of repairs. When Santa asks for assistance, only Piper volunteers to help patch the run-down sleigh. As Piper learns how to repair a sleigh, she also learns a valuable lesson on helping others. Will the sleigh be ready for the midnight ride on Christmas Eve? This newest Piper the Elf adventure is full of surprises!

 

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Print Purchase Link (UK)

 

 

Hardcover: 32 pages

Mom’s Choice Award
Preferred Choice Award Creative Child Magazine

When a new visitor comes to the North Pole, Piper learns about patience as she struggles to teach the stubborn reindeer, Stomper, how to fly. Despite Piper’s efforts, Stomper refuses to cooperate, and Santa leaves on Christmas Eve without the little reindeer. Will Santa take Stomper back to his herd on Christmas, or is there another way to get the reindeer in the air? Also includes animals of the Arctic!

 

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Print Purchase Link (UK)

 

 

Piper the Elf Coloring & Activity Book is a wonderful companion to the Piper the Elf series by multi award winning author Colleen Driscoll. The elves are preparing for Christmas Eve and they find a stowaway in the sleigh! Fun games, mazes, puzzles, for the entire family!

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 Colleen Driscoll grew up in western Pennsylvania where she earned her B.S. degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She taught in Virginia before relocating to the scenic mountains in West Virginia.

 
 

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Dream Accomplished: A Story of Cancer, A Mother’s Love & Taylor Swift by Elizabeth Gross (Book Review)

(Note from the author, Elizabeth Gross) 

Taylor Swift is not affiliated with the book, Dream Accomplished: A Story of Cancer, A Mother’s Love & Taylor Swift
 We are simply a family wanting to say “Thank You”.
For information about Taylor Swift, please visit her website at www.TaylorSwift.com
For Links to more of the good that Taylor Swift does for so many, please click HERE.​​ 

 

**All proceeds are donated to various charities. For the complete list, visit the Dream Accomplished website**

 

Hello, my name is Elizabeth Gross, author of Dream Accomplished.  In 2012 I was diagnosed with a rare cancer.  It changed my life.  This book chronicles my journey and is my way of saying “Thank You”, ​to my daughter’s hero, singer, Taylor Swift.  Paying forward the kindness shown our family, we donate all profits to fund cancer and invisible illness research and support causes.  I’d never written a book before, and didn’t know I was going to write this one, but in hopes my illness journey could be of help to others, ‘Dream Accomplished: A Story of Cancer, A Mother’s Love & Taylor Swift’ just poured from my heart, filling the pages with inspiration, resources, hope, humor, tips, tears & Taylor.  Thank you in advance for reading & sharing about ‘Dream Accomplished’.
​I sincerely hope it is a help to you or someone you love.   ​-Elizabeth Gross 

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

Print Purchase Link (UK)

 

Awards:​

 
Dream Accomplished has won the globally recognized Silver Mom’s Choice Award For Excellence in family-friendly media, products & services. Please Click Here to learn more.
 
‘Dream Accomplished’ has won Gold in the Memoir category at Readers’ Favorite.  Please Click Here to learn more.
 

New Apple E-Book Award for Excellence in Independent Publishing General Non-Fiction 2015 
Please Click Wording Above To Learn More.

 

Dream Accomplished has won the 5 Stars Award from Readers Favorite.
Please Click Here To Learn More.​

 
 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Cancer is a big, scary, ugly word. It creates havoc in your body. It affects your life, job, daily routine, and your family. It can break you down. If you can find a reason to fight, then FIGHT like Elizabeth Gross did. This is your body. Your life. If you give up hope, you’re not the only one affected. 

Elizabeth wrote a captivating story about the struggles a person faces when diagnosed with CANCER. Cost, procedures, conflicting diagnoses, specialists, and sometimes-unsympathetic hospital staff are just a few obstacles Elizabeth and her family faced. The frustrations, fears, confusion, and pain would break most people. Depression is not unheard of. However, despite all the uncertainties she faced, Elizabeth and her husband (Marc) had a little girl who needed them….needed a smile. 

I don’t know Taylor Swift personally. I know what I see and read about online or through magazines. What I learned through Dream Accomplished is that Taylor is kind, has a generous heart and made a lasting memory for a sweet young girl (Page) and her family. In the darkest of times, she gave them all a reason to smile. 

So even though the Gross family’s medical journey is far from over, when they need something happy to focus on, they can remember the time Taylor Swift made a little girl’s dream come true. 

Stay positive and never lose hope! 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

Kindle Purchase Link (US)

Print Purchase Link (US)

Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

Print Purchase Link (UK)

 

**All proceeds to donated to various charities. For the complete list, visit the Dream Accomplished website**

 

 

Elizabeth Gross is a Wife, Mother, Cancer Battler, Invisible Illness Spoonie, Wildlife Gardener, Guest Blogger, Good News Sharer, Chocoholic, Dream Accomplisher & SwiftieMom.  She’s proud to now be able to also add  ‘Award-Winning Author’ to this list (Yay!!)  Most days you’ll find her singing along to Taylor Swift songs as she types away on her laptop or gardens with her husband, Marc, and their daughter, Page, on their Hudson, Ohio ‘Little Lot’.  

This is her first book. 
For more information please visit with her at www.lotsoflifeonalittlelot.com

Twitter Link
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