Tag Archives: music

Pookie and Tushka Find a Little Piano – 20th Anniversary Edition (Icelands) by Jorge Tello Aliaga (Book Review)

Over 1 million downloads and 5 Years in the Top Ten

Pookie and Tushka are back! Meet Pookie and Tushka, the proud winners of the “BEST NEW CHILDREN’S BOOK OF THE YEAR” award, with this heartwarming story.

A frozen little piano arrives on the shores of the Icelands, bringing Pookie the penguin and Tushka the polar bear an abundance of fun, excitement, and a valuable lesson about the essence of friendship.

This enchanting tale also includes educational facts about penguins, polar bears, Antarctica, and the Arctic.

Don’t miss out on “Pookie’s Song” by Jorge! Listen at Icelands.com and on popular platforms such as Spotify, Amazon, Apple, YouTube, and more!”


20th Anniversary Edition includes:
• “Pookie’s Song” lyric video.
• New character profiles
• Deleted pages
• Sketches and work in progress
• 15 page preview of “Pookie and Tushka Become Friends”
• A letter from the author
And much, much more!

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


Pookie and Tushka are back and celebrating twenty years of bringing joy to kids worldwide. Including in this edition, kids will enjoy bonus material such as new character profiles, deleted scenes, and a 15-page preview of Pookie and Tushka Become Friends. First, let me share my thoughts on today’s featured title, Pookie and Tushka Find a Little Piano.


Pookie, the penguin, loves to sing. Happy or sad, he let the words pour out. To his dismay, his songs carry so much ache. One day, while hanging out with his new friend Tushka, the polar bear, they spot a little blue piano in the sea. Pookie was excited to play the piano and happy songs for his best buddy. He tried with all his might, but only sad tunes surfaced. The little bear also tried to make music but failed as well. In his defense, he didn’t know what a piano was until Pookie informed him. That didn’t matter to the sweet bear; he was devastated he couldn’t play the piano and erupted in big tears. 


Pookie was more concerned for his friend’s feelings than his own. Determined to lift Tushka’s spirits, the penguin had a great idea: a wonderful gift for the small polar bear. Tushka discovered that playing the drum required practice, and Pookie found the key to playing happy tunes. (No spoilers. Read the story!)


Pookie and Tushka Find a Little Piano teaches children valuable lessons. 

1.) To be good at something requires practice. Yes, you’ll make mistakes, but you grow through these mistakes. Have patience, and keep trying!

2.) Thinking of ourselves is easy, but sometimes we must put others first. Helping others may be the ticket to your problem and lift your spirits. 

3.) Always be nice and ready to help your friends! 


I loved reading Pookie and Tushka’s adventure with the little blue piano. Tushka once again amused me with his vivid imagination. I would also be worried about a monster fish in the frigid waters, but a monster piano…hmm, not so much. The bear’s overboard response to everything touched my heart. After reading two books by Jorge, I can see why their series has been downloaded over a million times. These two will warm your heart and make you smile.


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

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Meet the Author

Jorge (or Jorge Antonio Tello Aliaga for short) is a writer and illustrator born and raised in Lima, Perú. He has created books, toys, and apps that have received several awards including a “Children’s Book of the Year” award. His experience includes having worked for Apple, Adobe, Cisco and Oracle.

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Little Sammy Square Finds His Voice by Lisa R. Thomas, M.Ed (Book Review)

In a family of circles, Little Sammy Square struggles to fit in. He is very different from the rest of his family members. They are all circles, and he is a little square. Everyone in his circle family plays an instrument, but not Little Sammy Square. This makes Sammy feel very sad. He doesn’t like to feel different. He wishes he could be just like everyone else. Little Sammy will soon discover a special treasure. This treasure will help him to see that he doesn’t have to be just like everyone else to fit in. Will Little Sammy find his treasure before it’s too late?

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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.


Little Sammy is a square who lives in a family of circles. Sammy wishes he could be round-shaped like them. He wishes he could play a musical instrument like them too. He wants to fit in. Period.

Sammy’s family loves to make music together. Each member excels with their instrument of choice. Macie plays the bass while the other sister, Tracie, tickles the ivories. Sammy’s dad harmonizes with his saxophone while mom adds the pounding beat of the drums. Sammy attempts to rock out with several instruments but can’t find his perfect match. The children’s book explains why Sammy couldn’t or wouldn’t play each musical device. 

Sammy was understandably sad when he tried unsuccessfully to “fit in.” It’s hard to feel like an outsider, especially in your own family. Many people can identify with Sammy’s mindset, young and old. 

As Sammy enjoyed a bubble bath, he went from humming a tune to belting out the lyrics. His family was surprised at his singing capabilities. They had no idea how the talent Sammy possessed, and neither did Sammy. 

Sammy found his musical instrument. In fact, he had it with him the entire time. 

Little Sammy Square Finds His Voice by Lisa Thomas teaches children that you don’t have to look like someone else to belong. Embrace your individuality! 

Amazon has Little Sammy Square Finds His Voice set for children between 5 and 9; however, preschoolers would also enjoy the story. The storyline is easy to follow, and the illustrations are big, bold, and fun. You could also share the book with toddlers to introduce instrument names.

This story would be perfect for a home or school setting. I would follow up on the book by having a jam session. Let your child or class pick their favorite musical instrument and rock out! 


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

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Meet the Author

Lisa R. Thomas is a professional school counselor who works with grades PreK-8. She specializes in student advocacy, and the social/emotional development of young children. She writes books to give children strategies to live their best lives. In the end, she hopes her books make them smile.

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The Adventures of the World Patrol Kids by Ben Goldstein (Book Review)

Strange things are happening in town. Mysterious accidents are occurring at the Recycling Center and hazardous wastes are washing ashore on the beach. When the beaches are closed for the summer due to the dumping of medical waste, the “World Patrol Kids” decide to track down who is responsible.

“The Adventures of the World Patrol Kids” features a multi-ethnic, crime-solving, environmental kids singing and dancing group, (ages 10-14) that take on polluters, climate change, and traffickers in endangered species.

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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.


Six brave kids, fourteen years of age and younger, have taken it upon themselves to figure out who’s illegally dumping poisonous chemicals into the ocean. Their mission began after they saw plastic washing ashore during a day at the beach. The trash that flowed in the water and covered the beach was potentially hazardous. Ten-year-old Thoreau was unexpectedly cut by the dangerous plastic and needed medical assistance. 

During a town hall meeting, the citizens had the opportunity to let their voices be heard about the closure and how to fix the contaminated water and beach. Many were angry over the closure and thought fixing the problem was too costly. Some opted to burn the trash than recycle. They didn’t seem to mind that it would cause more harm to the environment. The World Patrol Kids did care, and with a handful of volunteers, they went to clean up the beach. It’s at this point that readers will learn a valuable lesson. Tracey tells her friends in the book and readers at home why you should always cut up the plastic ring supporting soda cans and bottles. After reading the story, I implore you to follow Tracey’s example! 

As the kids band together to find the culprits behind the illegal dumping, lives come into jeopardy: on land and under the sea. We see how far some people will go for money. 

I’m unsure how the team found time to write a song for the WW101 Earth Day Contest, but they did. The event enabled them to attend a special Earth Day Special in Kenya, Africa, where the plot went from pollution to poaching. Poaching is a tremendous problem, so I was glad to see this addressed. Children need to realize that humans are causing harm to the animal population under the sea and on land. Humans are also the only ones who can rectify the disastrous situation.

As your family reads The Adventures of the World Patrol Kids: Kids Can Change the World by Ben Goldstein, you’ll learn the importance of recycling and how the process works. You will see the importance of protecting all animals, endangered or not. Thanks to the World Patrol Kids, you’ll also experience many moments of suspense and learn a new catchy tune.

The messages behind the story are ones that every child should learn. I would recommend this book for elementary school age and older.

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

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Meet the Author

Ben Goldstein has written, produced, and directed, books, songs, films, and audio and video productions for such companies as Sesame Street, Jim Henson, Holt Rhinehart, Nelvana, CBS, and Scholastic. He has written for licensed characters, Clifford the Dog, Snuggle the Bear, and Rainbow Brite.

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When Your Feet Hit the Street, You Gotta Look Around! by Gabriella Fantoccini (Book Review)

Kids should look both ways before crossing the street, but what about when they are actually in the street?

When my daughter was little, she would make a big show out of looking both ways BEFORE crossing the street, but when she was actually in the street, she completely zoned out.

I was concerned that somehow she might wind up in the street one day when I wasn’t around, so I came up with the memory aid, “When Your Feet Hit the Street, You Gotta Look Around!”

It worked!

Whenever her feet were in the street, she was aware that she had to keep looking around until she safely reached the sidewalk.

“When Your Feet Hit the Street, You Gotta Look Around!” is a memory aid turned into a SUPER FUN children’s book based on a children’s song I also wrote.

A free download of the song is included with the book.

Have fun singing along with your little ones as you turn the pages, reminding them to look left, look right, look all around!

You can listen to the song and see the lyrics in a video at…


I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
“When Your Feet Hit the Street, You Gotta Look Around!” reinvents the vital life lesson “Look both ways before crossing the street” in a fun way with animal characters to educate and entertain young listeners/readers. Using this phrase on repeat – “When your feet hit the street, you gotta look around.” – in conjunction with darling illustrations created by Geraldine Nunez, kids will learn the proper way to cross a street. 

Since children have personal phones at an early age, this book points out not to text or stare at your cell when your feet step off the curb. It’s good practice not to text and walk in general. Head up is what I tell my kiddos all the time. 

The story also suggests holding an adult’s hand when stepping off the curb and crossing a street. It’s precisely how my family crosses the road. 

“When Your Feet Hit the Street, You Gotta Look Around!” is a memory aid turned into a SUPER FUN children’s book based on a children’s song Gabriella Fantoccini wrote. Great news – you’ll receive a FREE MP3 Download of the song with every purchase. What a marvelous gift from the author! Now, if you’re wondering if you’re following the right beat, guess no further. Be ready for an earworm because I think you and your family will sing this song a lot! Oh, I’d like to note the lyrics are in the back of the book. 

Amazon’s recommended reading age for When Your Feet Hit the Street, You Gotta Look Around! is 3 – 8 years (grade level: preschool – 3); however, I think toddlers might enjoy the catchy tune. Let’s start teaching them street safety at an early age! 

I will recommend this book to my school’s librarian and fellow elementary school parents. It’s a book that should be read often! 


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

Amazon Purchase Link



Meet the Author


When my daughter was little, she would make a big show of looking both ways BEFORE crossing the street, BUT when she was actually crossing in the street, she completely zoned out.

I was concerned that somehow she might wind up in the street by herself one day, so I came up with the memory aid, “When Your Feet Hit the Street, You Gotta Look Around!”

It worked! She remembered!

One day, I pulled out my guitar and the phrase became a song, and then eventually the song became this children’s book.

I hope you and your little one(s) stay safe and enjoy the book and the FREE MP3 song download.

And please check out my website at…

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The Dirty Martini Club (A Tess Kincaid Novel) by Jude Randazzo (Book Review / Author Interview)

THE DIRTY MARTINI CLUB (a Tess Kinkaid Novel) by Jude Randazzo

Tess Kincaid, celebrity golf professional, decides to visit and meet, for the first time, her presumptive fiancé Eddie Spinozza’s family in Albany, New York for Thanksgiving, in anticipation of the next step in their relationship. The Spinozza and Cuchinelli families have been entrenched in Albany for two generations, but Eddie has assured Tess that he is not involved in his family’s “business”. However, on the first night of her visit, sitting in The Dirty Martini Club watching Eddie perform with his band, she witnesses the brazen shooting of one of the band members. Almost simultaneously, and without much warning, an epic, once-in-a-lifetime snowstorm suffocates Albany, preventing Tess from leaving town. 

She subsequently becomes a material witness to a series of events, which the police are only reluctantly investigating. What happens next is a daring, and life-altering event that brings Eddie and Tess to a do or die scenario amid mob warfare. The results are quite unpredictable.

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
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I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book ToursI voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
Tess Kincaid, a professional golfer, went to meet her fiancé’s family, but everything didn’t go as planned. Dealing with a less than welcoming embrace from her future mother-in-law was the least of her worries. On the same night she met Connie (MIL), a rival mob family struck The Dirty Martini Club.

Tess soon discovered what type of family she was marrying into, and she wasn’t a fan. I can’t blame her. As things went from bad to worse, we met Ari, who runs an Army surplus store. Once I met him, I was Team Ari all the way. I wish he had more screen time because I liked him, not Eddie (Tess’s fiancé).

We also met a fireman named Stone. He wasn’t present for long but left a lasting impression on me.

Okay back to Tess…

Tess has big cajones! She took it upon herself to save a damsel in distress. Her feat even impressed Ari (ex-military). She showed readers her strength of body and mind.

Tess also took on Grandpa Spinozza in a checkers match that shouldn’t require an opponent to have a big set of (you guessed it) cajones, but it did. Tess proved time, and again she was no pushover. She’s too good for that family. Too good for Eddie (IMHO).

The finale was not the end for Eddie and Tess. Hopefully, we will see Ari and Stone in future installments. A girl can only hope!

Side note: I’ve never tasted a martini before. Also, I love the club’s music choices. 🙂

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

Do you have another profession besides writing?

Jude: Yes, I’m a financial advisor and have been since I retired the first time in 1997 to Maui.


How long have you been writing? Do you ever get writer’s block?

Jude: I wrote my first story when I was seven years old. I had been flitting around the house annoying my siblings until my mother told me to sit down and write a story instead of being obnoxious. I wrote The Door Knob which is about a boy who becomes a door knob and sees and hears all on both sides of the opened and closed doors. It didn’t help with being obnoxious which six decades later I have perfected to an art, but it did get me started. I’ve been writing novels since I first got inspired on a beach in Maui twenty-five years ago. I wrote The Golden Cocoon on a dozen yellow legal tablets. I do not suffer writer’s block and never have been afflicted with same, but I do have arthritis in my thumbs and cure that temporarily with copious amounts of Scotch.


What is your next project?

Jude: The continuance of Tess’s adventures. Oh, and maybe a little more of Eddie.


What genre do you write and why?

Jude: I like the idea of a suspenseful thriller to keep readers entertained and engaged but I like a little romance thrown in for spice maybe because I’m Italian. The Omen of the Crow is in the same genre as Rear Window which I found incredible.


 What is the last great book you’ve read?

Jude: Stuart Little! Who doesn’t like a story about a mouse against the world who is debonair, adventurous, and romantic? It’s the greatest story ever told.


connect with the author: 
website twitter facebook instagram ~ goodreads



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