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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!


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BAM ~ Walmart

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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.

 
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: 
 
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BAM ~ Walmart

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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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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
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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.
 
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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Greedy the Crow: Finders Keepers – Teaching Values to Children in a Fun Way by Mother Melania Salem (Book Review)

GREEDY THE CROW: FINDERS KEEPERS by Mother Melania
​Greedy the Crow’s greedy ways are going to get him in trouble! Will anybody help him?

Amazon
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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.

 

When our children are very young, we begin teaching them about fire safety. We teach them the dangers of playing with matches or lighters, what to do if a fire starts (escape route/meet point), and what happens if you catch on fire (stop, drop and roll). 

Greedy the Crow: Finders Keepers – Teaching Values to Children in a Fun Way by Mother Melania Salem teaches children some helpful ways you can make your home safe from fires and what to do if a fire starts. 

 

Examples: 

Water and mow your lawn to prevent fires because tall, dry grass can easily catch on fire. 

Don’t block doorways and windows with trash because those are your potential escape exits. 

Have several escape routes because you never know where a fire might start or what exits are blocked. 

Get out quickly! 

All good points and solid advice!

 

Amazon has the recommended reading age of 3 – 8 years for Greedy the Crow: Finders Keepers – Teaching Values to Children in a Fun Way. I don’t think most 3-year-olds will be able to read this story yet, but 8-year-olds should be able to, for the most part. There might be a few words that might trip them up. 

No matter the age, though, every child will learn something through the text and very realistic illustrations by Cayce Grace Kruse. 

Special note: Greedy the Crow: Finders Keepers – Teaching Values to Children in a Fun Way contains a link to worksheets, which include a vocabulary page and vocabulary quiz. Check them out! 

 

 

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

Amazon
add to goodreads

 

 

 

Meet the Author:

Mother Melania is the Abbess of Holy Assumption Monastery in Calistoga, CA. She grew up in a house that always had tons of children around, her poor parents had to read to her till they were hoarse, and from the moment she learned to read, she always had her nose in a book. So, it was only natural for her to grow up to write children’s books. In her books, she strives to teach virtue in a fun, non-preachy way.
 
 

 

 

 

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Love Is Love: Picture Book for Gay and Lesbian (LGBTQ) People with Dementia by Laurette Klier (Book Review)

 

Love Is Love is a beautifully curated collection of 21 vintage photographs paired with 21 classic love poems to engage and delight LGBTQ elders living with dementia. Nostalgic poetry is an invitation into the past with representation, compassion, and joy. Love Is Love invites conversation and connection, to affirm identity and awaken the spirit within. Designed to read aloud, read along, to share as a ‘picture walk’ with a friend, neighbor, family member, or allied health professional.


The NANA’S BOOKS series is recommended by ALZ Authors and ALZ Speaks. Featured resources in the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America Teal Room, NANA’S BOOKS are the winner of a Maude’s Award for Innovation in Dementia Care for Making Connections.

 

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

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

 

Love Is Love: Picture Book for Gay and Lesbian (LGBTQ) People with Dementia by Laurette Klier is a heartfelt mixture of poetry and black/white/gray photography. 

Laurette Klier chose poems written by notorious authors in the literary field, such as Emily Bronte, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and Lord Byron, expressing love between partners in same-sex relationships. Even without the poetry, the love is evident in every single photo. 

A subtle touch. 

A kiss. 

A twinkle in their eye.

A laugh. 

A loving embrace. 

Some photographs also captured couples in a more serious manner, but expressionless faces were the norm in certain periods. 

No matter the tone of the photographs, it was lovely to see a collection featuring same-sex couples from years past. 

My favorite male/male image was of the two gentlemen wearing hats and smoking cigars. They have a look on their face where I imagine they’re holding back laughter, and once the photo was taken, they break out in boisterous laughter. They also have a mischievous look in their eyes. I bet these two men have/had a lot of fun in life.

My favorite female/female photo is the neighbors kissing over their shared fence. I wonder how many times did they meet there? Did anyone know of their passion? I can almost hear their giggles when they call for each other. The woman with one foot up is posed in a famous romance swoon position. Love it! 

I loved all the works of art, textual and visual. 

 

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

Amazon Purchase Link

 

 

 

Meet the Author

 

Nana’s Books is an award-winning series designed to engage and delight people living with dementia and their care partners through nostalgic art and verse. Nana’s Books are crafted to ease conversation and to awaken the spirit within. Nana’s Books bring back connection… one page at a time.

Reedsy Link

 

 

 

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