Tag Archives: picture book

A Very Chilling Mystery Kindle Edition by Steve A. Erickson (Book Review)

There are spine-chilling secrets hiding behind your refrigerator door!
When you close the refrigerator door, does light inside really go out? And if it doesn’t, what might be happening inside? Readers are about to discover the cold hard truth of what actually goes on within the walls of their seemingly dark and peaceful refrigerator.

 

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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.

 

A Very Chilling Mystery, written and illustrated by Steve Erickson, was a true delight to read. I’m not sure what my daughter loved more – the adorable antics of the refrigerator occupants or the drawings of the food, beverages, and condiments having a blast in the cold box. 

There was so much to love, so much to see and read; we read it more than once. In fact, we read it three times. We would have probably read it more if we had a physical book and not an advanced copy, a file. 

I thought the two potatoes leaning against the meatloaf while they watched t.v. was hilarious. Oh, and the drumstick arguing with the eggs about who came first made me snort. That argument has been around longer than I have been alive, but it’s the funniest version of that debate to date. 

My daughter loved the drumming beet, even though she had no idea what it was. She also liked the chillin’ ice cube. She said it reminded her of a frozen SpongeBob SquarePants. Yeah, I can see what she means. 

Amazon has the recommended reading age set to 4 – 6 years. I think families with even younger kids can find enjoyment in this story. You can use the images to teach the names of items such as carrots, mustard, bologna, and lettuce. Some should be familiar to them, but I think every kid might learn a new foodie name. For kids learning their colors, you could point to a product and ask them to name the color. 

If your child is like mine, they’ll run to the fridge to try and catch the food, beverages, and condiments in the act. My daughter was bummed no one was moving. I told her they must be all asleep. I have a feeling she’ll be opening and closing the fridge doors a lot more in the next few days to catch them when they are wide awake. 

 

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

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Meet the Author

After graduating from Drake University with a Fine Arts degree, I worked more than forty years in the advertising industry, first as an art director and then as a creative director. Recently retired, I now live near my three sons and six grandchildren in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with my dog Alex.

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Sunny and the Cats by Victoria Otto (Book Review / Author Interview)

SUNNY AND THE CATS by Victoria Otto
 
Everyone in meow village and woof village lived happily if they followed one very important rule…

​Dogs were not welcomed in meow village and any cat that stepped into woof village would be chased up a tree! But a special puppy named Sunny wants to become friends with the cats, so he breaks that rule to see if the cats might like to play.

What happened when Sunny went to meow village? Pick up this book to find out!


AMAZON ~ B&N
BAM ~ Walmart

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

 
My family is cat people. For the last 20+ years, we’ve had 1 to 3 adoptive kitties in our home. So, when I saw this story up for review, I jumped at the chance to read it. My daughter and I loved the cover. The inside was just as remarkable. 


From the initial pages, my daughter was hooked. She loved the name of the villages, meow and woof. She adored the background scenery very much on the story’s first page. We loved the creativity in the shape of the cat store and dog food buildingWe also liked the variety of feline and canine animals. They were all cute. Well done, Teguh Sulistio. We give your illustration TWO PAWS UP! 


The story contents themselves were just as entertaining. My daughter thought Sunny, the special puppy, was very sweet-looking. 


We both thought it was adorable how Victoria Otto labeled cats as clean, quiet, and calm while dogs are loud and smelly and filled with laughter. Out of the cats I’ve adopted, none had liked loud noises. My cats can get rowdy at times, but their energy level is nowhere near a dog’s, especially a puppy. They groom a lot, so the author is correct about their cleanliness. So, in a nutshell, I think Victoria Otto categorized them perfectly. 


Sunny and the Cats by Victoria Otto discussed how making new friends can be hard, but don’t give up trying. Be like Sunny, the playful puppy—try, try again. Also, help those in need because, you never know, the person (or feline) you help today just might be your new friend tomorrow. 
 

 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: 
 
AMAZON ~ B&N
BAM ~ Walmart

add to goodreads
 
 
 
 
 
 
Author Victoria Otto

 
Victoria Otto is a children’s book author, born and raised in Metro-Detroit. She has a passion for children’s literature and strives to create picture books that are engaging, educational, and lots of fun for both children and parents to read. Victoria loves to make author visits at schools and organizations. So far, she has been able to read her books to and visit eight hundred children across the United States.

 

 

1.) When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I attended an event, and someone recognized me from my children’s books and not my pageant life. At that moment, I realized, “Okay, I guess I’m a writer now.”

 

 

2.) Describe your writing space.

It’s either very messy or very clean. There is no in-between. When I start to come up with a story, I first write it on lined paper, then I move to my desk and start typing what I wrote onto my computer. You can always find loose papers scattered in my space.

 

 

3.) Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?

It depends. My readers, who are my close friends and family I always hear from, and occasionally a parent will email me pictures of their child reading my book, which I absolutely adore. But I would love, love, and love to hear from more of my readers, whether just a simple message or a picture. It brings me so much joy when I can connect with my readers and see how my book has impacted them. 

 

4.) Describe a typical writing day

Wake up at 6 am, make a cup of a honey lavender latte, and then head to the office to start writing for 3-4 hours.

 

 

5.) Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?

Remember that it is okay to take a break, whether you need a short break to gather your thoughts or a long break. There is no timeline for publishing, so go at your own pace.

 

 

7.) What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Don’t be afraid to write anything. Try not to get in your head and overthink things because writing is a very subjective sport, one person may love your work, and another person may not like it. Always go with your gut feeling and write about things you genuinely care about. 

 
 
 
​If you would like Victoria to make an author visit at your school or organization, please email her.

connect with the author: twitter ~ instagram
 

 
 
 
 
 

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Alina All Alone by Laura Tava-Petrelli (Book Review)

 

This book summons up all the pain of separation and loss . . . and the joy of being reunited.

In an era of never-before-seen difficulties, our very young children have been challenged by feelings of solitude and frustration. This book attempts to demonstrate to our youngsters that these feelings are shared and understood.

This book is unique in that there is a very distinct and purposeful absence of any adult’s voice or perspective or commentary-there is no adult talking to Alina about what is happening. Alina’s voice and reactions to isolation are hers alone, but key.

Alina demonstrates to adults and children alike that long-term persistence wins in the end, and that sometimes the only way to react to situations is to “stamp your feet, cross your arms and scream and shout until you’re red in the face!”

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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.

 

Children grow attached to objects and people. When someone or someone is missing, for whatever reason, they miss it or them dearly. In Alina All Alone by Laura Tava-PetrelliAlina loves visiting her neighbors and their doggies. They are an intricate part of her day and daily routine. When she knocked, and no person or animal answered, she went through many emotions. All these emotions were brilliantly expressed through Jupiters Muse’s illustrations. As a parent, a child screaming is rarely a cute moment, but the images of Alina screaming were very cute. All the various poses with all her treasures were also adorable. My daughter and I loved Alina wearing a mask while holding a cat, who was also wearing a mask. She looked so perturbed while the kitty looked excited to play dress-up. My daughter remarked she wished her kitty would allow her to play dress-up with it. I had to assure her it was a stuffed kitty so she’d let our feline sleep. 

The scene where the child was crying and whispering, “I miss you,” touched our hearts. As a mother, I never like to see a child sad. Alina won’t be crying long because you can’t have a picture book end with tears. Alina’s neighbors and doggies come home. HOORAY! Happy face returned on the pages and on my daughter’s face. 

For those reading Alina All Alone in the states, you will have to explain to your child that some familiar words are written differently in our country than in European countries, such as in Australia, where the author resides. We don’t add a U after the O in favorite or neighbors. We also tend to spell the color gray with an A instead of an E. 

Kids as young as 3-4 can follow the storyline with no issue. Young readers should have minor difficulty reading the text. Established readers should breeze through the pages with no problem. 

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

Meet the Author

Laura is an Early Childhood Teacher, currently working as the Director of a community-based preschool in a suburb of Sydney, Australia. She is a trained Mothercraft nurse, adult educator, mother to three adult children, and unofficial nonna to a few more.

Reedsy Link

 

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What Makes Me…Me by Anne Baldwin and Levi Baldwin (Book Review)

Picture

 
What Makes Me…Me is a story about harnessing your super powered brain. We are all special and unique and our differences are what make us all special. What Makes Me…Me was written especially for those kids with neurological differences, their families, and their friends.
 
 
BUY THE BOOK:
Amazon ~ indiebound
add to goodreads
 
 
 
 
I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
 
Children, like adults, vary in their outside appearances, their genetic make-up, and how their body functions. Some people are shy, while others are talkative. Some like sports while others prefer video games. Some have soft voices, and others people have loud voices. These differences make us unique. 

People’s brains also behave differently. Some people have little or no control over thoughts and impulses. Their body moves at will. They might appear bouncy. Anne Baldwin and Levi Baldwin (co-authors) were correct when they said teachers sometimes get mad at students for their lack of attention or the inability to remain seated. The reality is that their brains make it difficult for them to sit quietly. That doesn’t mean they are less intelligent! More educators need to remember this fact. 


What Makes Me…Me by Anne Baldwin and Levi Baldwin reminds and educates people that a child whose brain might be different can still be brave, kind, intelligent, and capable of loving their family and friends. I also love the part where the child said he would not let the “labels” define him. He also didn’t care what others thought of him and his tics. Brilliant message! Pass that one along! 


QBN Studios did a fantastic job bringing the story to life. Every image was remarkably drawn, even the image with the brain and heart. It was gross or overly medical-looking. It was simple and complimented the text just right. 


What Makes Me…Me recommended reading: 3-7-year-olds 
Content Rating: G -Suitable for everyone. 
Page length: 34 pages

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

 
Anne Baldwin is a wife, mom, and fierce advocate for neurodiverse kids. Anne wrote her first book What Makes Me…Me after her son Levi was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. Passionate about stopping the stigma around Tourette-Syndrome, Anne hopes that her books about embracing your differences as what makes you unique will help kids with Tourette Syndrome, ADHD, and other neurological disorders to feel included and accepted by everyone. Anne lives in metro-Detroit with her husband Nick, their sons Levi and Gus, 3 cats, a dog, and a leopard gecko. 

connect with the author:  website instagram

 
 
 

 

 

 

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The Fancy Schmancy Lifeguard: A Tale of Bravery by Gilda Boram (Book Review)

The Playful Tale of a Persistent Puppy!


Buddy really, REALLY wants to be a lifeguard.

There’s only one problem … he’s just a teeny weeny, fluffy puffy toy poodle!

Meet Buddy, an adorable pocket-sized puppy who will stop at nothing to become a lifeguard. He practices hard every day … swimming, diving, rescuing … but no matter how hard he tries, nobody thinks he can do the job. His heart is full of hope, but when the family move from beachside Sydney all the way to chilly London, this determined little dog’s efforts to chase his dreams don’t go to plan at all!

Can he find a way to prove his bravery and show everyone there’s more to him than meets the eye?

 

Buddy will steal your heart, and his spirit-lifting journey will inspire every reader to follow their dreams.


Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery.
I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

The Fancy Schmancy Lifeguard: A Tale of Bravery by Gilda Boram is a story about Buddy, a black toy poodle who longs to become a lifeguard. His dream wasn’t fulfilled very quickly or easily. He was met with skepticism, ridicule, and laughter on more than one occasion.

Poor Buddy’s feelings were understandable hurt.

When you and your child witness Buddy’s dropped head, sad face, when others laugh at him, it’ll break your heart. Julian Boram, the illustrator, did a fantastic job with every image. He made us feel what Buddy, the toy poodle, felt: sadness, joy, pride, etc.

My daughter and I really enjoyed this story and the images. We clapped when Buddy became the hero. We laughed when he was riding the waves and jet ski.

Gilda and Julian Boram created a book I know many kids will love as much as my child did. Parents will love it too because it teaches children to chase their dreams, as Buddy chased after his dream of becoming a lifeguard.

I agree with the author’s suggested reading age (2 – 6 years) and grade level (preschool – 3). The text was simple. I think the only word that might confuse some readers is rip (as in tide), depending on where they live. They can pronounce it but may confuse it with rip, as in tear.

One last thing!
BE sure and read the end credits where you’ll learn a “Fun Fact.”

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

Meet the Author

Gilda was born and raised in Australia. Her lifelong love of poodles began one day after school when her mum told her to take a peek inside her handbag. There she found a teeny weeny, fluffy puffy, black toy poodle puppy. It was love at first sight.

 

Reedsy Link
Amazon Author Page Link

 

 

 

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