Tag Archives: Holidays

Bunster, An Easter Story by Christine Hwang Panzer (Book Spotlight)

BUNSTER: AN EASTER STORY by Christine Hwang Panzer

 
​Join Bunster as he finds friends in unlikely places as a celebration of Easter!
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:

Author Christine Hwang Panzer

Christine is an artist that dabbles in storytelling and enjoys working in different mediums including marker, ink, watercolors and colored pencil. She enjoys drawing fantasy creatures, anthropomorphic animals, and kids. She lives with her husband, Ian and sweet black kitty, Kida in the Bay Area, California and likes to take walks, go out driving, and play video games and board games with her friends.

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The Mirabal Sisters: From Caterpillars to Butterflies by Raynelda A. Calderon (Book Spotlight)

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​Born in a small town in the Dominican Republic, the Mirabal sisters lived at a time when the country was under the merciless rule of a dictatorship. Their deaths on November 25, 1960 (at ages 36, 34, and 25), have received international coverage. In their honor, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is observed annually on November 25.
 
 
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Meet the Author:
 
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​Raynelda A. Calderón, a Dominican native who lives in Queens, NY, is a children’s book author who has worked in public libraries for more than 15 years. She holds a doctorate in leadership in higher education, and she has taught Information Literacy at various colleges, most recently at Bronx Community College. As a librarian, working with children inspires Raynelda to write about the accomplishments of Hispanic women in history. She hopes to inspire young readers to follow their passions and never take no for an answer. Raynelda is the creator of the first Hispanic Heritage wall calendar that honors the accomplishments of Hispanic Americans in the United States. She lives with an untamed Shih Tzu, Toby, and a much attached Chihuahua, Maya. She spends her free time thinking (and drafting) about books to write, or painting, crocheting, or crying over abused dogs.
 
 
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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!   

 
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Amazon ~ B&N
BookBaby

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

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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.
 
 
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.

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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.

 

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Our Lunar New Year by Yobe Qiu (Book Review)

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It’s almost Lunar New Year! Xiao Mi, Hang, Kwan, Malai and Charu all celebrate the New Year in their own special way. Read this book to learn how each one of the Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese and Indian children and their families honor Lunar New Year, from dragon dances in China to firecrackers in India!
 
 
Buy the Book
 Amazon
ByYQ ~ ​Barnes & Noble
 
 
 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book ToursI voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
 
Our Lunar New Year by Yobe Qiu educates readers on how five countries (China, Korea, India, Vietnam, and Thailand) celebrate their new year. Under each header, it lists the proper name for their holiday. Example: Chinese Spring Festival is Chun Jie, and Thailand is Songkran. 

I absolutely love learning new facts. For instance, in Our Lunar New Year, I discovered “Firecrackers scare away naughty spirits.” The clothes worn during Seollal (Korean New Year) are called hanbok. Every country mentioned, except Thailand, spoke of something people eat, wear, possess, or even a color that is supposed to bring good luck to them in the new year. Fascinating, right?! There’s so much nifty information — facts that any child or adult should learn because it’s essential to be informed about other cultures. 


Maria Christina Lopez, Jennifer Prevatt, and Pui Yu Chan worked very well together to create illustrations that captured the reader’s eye and elevated the story. I loved the dragon, the scrumptious-looking food, the diverse characters, and all the beautiful colors. 


I highly recommend everyone read this book!
 

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!
 
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Second Chance Christmas by Lori Wilde (Book Showcase)

 

New York Times bestselling author Lori Wilde returns to Twilight, Texas, with a love story filled with the magic of the season, about a couple who discover an abandoned baby on Christmas Eve-Eve.

 

It’s Christmastime in Twilight, TX. The lights are twinkling, carols are being sung, and the cookies are baking. And this year, best friends Joel and Jana discover a shocking surprise: as they are organizing the living Nativity, they find a sweet little baby in the manger with a note saying the mother will return…soon.

Jana tucks the infant into her arms, and she and Joel make the impulsive decision to take the baby home. Jana is spontaneous, Joel is a planner, but they agree that it’s better to care for this precious bundle for the holidays, in hopes that the mother really will come back by New Year’s.

As the days pass, the pair begins to fall in love with the child and they’re also forced to face facts: their relationship goes far deeper than friendship. As the spirit of Christmas—and the magic of Twilight, TX—takes over, this unlikely couple must open up to the feelings they’ve been hiding from each other all along. 

 

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EXCERPT

 

What on earth was she going to do?

It was three days before Christmas and she had no money, no food and no place to stay. Every measly thing she owned was tucked inside the battered backpack weighing heavy on her shoulders.

Shivering in her in her thin jacket, not nearly warm enough for the winter storm rolling through North Central Texas, the teen tightened her grip on the tiny bundle in her arms.

Some dude she barely knew had said she could couch surf with him for a couple of days, but the guy had been adamant. No brats allowed.

Panic rose in her throat, swelling and bubbling like the sourdough starter Grammy fed on her kitchen counter. No, not anymore. Grammy and her sourdough were gone forever, and she was all on her own.

A gust of wind blowing off Lake Twilight, shook the tinsel garlands strung from quaint lantern lampposts. Gaily colored lights flickered through the thickening darkness like fickle beacons. On-off. On-off. Her teeth chattered, braces clicking together. Her bare knee, poking from the hole in her jeans, turned as numb as her nose.

For the past three hours, she’d ringed the entire town square, entering boutiques and restaurants to get in out of the cold, leaving when shop owners started giving her dirty looks.

In one restaurant, with hunger gnawing a hole in her stomach, she’d pretended to need to use the restroom, then slipped into the dining area targeting an un-bussed table and flitching leftovers.

It wasn’t stealing, she’d told herself. The food was getting thrown out.

Then she saw a ten-dollar bill on the next table and her heart leaped. That was stealing. She inched over, reached for the ten, and had it in her fingers when one of the servers caught her.

“Put that back!”

She dropped the ten. “I wasn’t—”

“You were.”

“I—”

“Get out. Now!”

Ducking her head, she moved toward the door. As she passed, the server whispered “you’re disgusting” with a curled lip. Then the woman’s gaze landed on the baby tucked up underneath her jacket and the curl had become a full-on snarl. “For shame! What kind of mother are you?”

That was a knife through her heart. She was a horrible mother. She knew it. The baby would be much better off without her.

“Get out.” the server said. “before I call the cops.”

 

Click HERE to read the excerpt in its entirety!

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