Archive for January, 2016

POTPOURRI

WILLAKAVILLE: Baffling Ballads of Boisterous Braveness

Written by Bald Guy

Willakaville,pic

I was drawn to this book by the mysterious title as well as the pseudonym of the author. The dedication is for anyone trying to follow their dreams. They are strange dreams indeed. Ten stories centering around children learning how to deal with life and its problems. For example, in the first tale, Daisy and her mother are working in the garden when suddenly the plants and garbage are at war with one another. Soon the planet is being overcome: Daisy figures out a war to initiate a truce. She and the residents of Willakaville find a solution to please everyone. In the Lost City, Jeremy receives a mysterious necklace that proves to be his salvation, but he will have to keep what he found a secret forever. Equestrian lovers Kara and Judy get a lot more than they bargained for while riding one day. They are enlisted to help Acknothilus save Snobbleland, meeting dinosaurs, two headed beasts and a golden nose. Readers will also meet Suzy, who has an overactive imagination, robot insects trying to take over the world, and a boy named Eric who is trapped under the town in a sewer. I think you get the idea. Creative stories involving interesting characters based on real issues that tweens and teens face in real life.

Magic, fantasy, science fiction, bullying, coming of age issues, family relationships and ghosts are just a few of the elements woven into the tales. The plots might seem far-fetched but they strike familiar chords. Recommended for readers who like to use their imaginations and enjoy getting lost in a fascinating read. Most appropriate for ages ten and older though younger children will certainly enjoy these stories if read aloud with guidance.

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#READ YOUR WORLD IT’S MULTICULTURAL CHILDREN’S BOOK DAY

BloggerMCBD2016

1. Our Mission: The MCCBD team’s mission to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media.

The co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book/Audrey Press. You can find a bio for Mia and Valarie here.

Multicultural Children’s Book day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors! #ReadYourWorld

Platinum: Wisdom Tales Press * StoryQuest Books*Lil Libros

Gold: Author Tori Nighthawk*Candlewick Press,* Bharat Babies

Silver: Lee and Low Books*Chronicle Books*Capstone Young Readers T

Tuttle Publishing ,NY Media Works, LLC/KidLit TV

Bronze: Pomelo Books* Author Jacqueline Woodson*Papa Lemon Books* Goosebottom Books*Author Gleeson Rebello*ShoutMouse Press*Author Mahvash Shahegh* China Institute.org*Live Oak Media

Our CoHosts

All Done Monkey, Crafty Moms Share,Educators Spin on it,Growing Book by Book,Imagination Soup,I’m Not the Nanny,InCultural Parent, Kid World Citizen,Mama Smiles,Multicultural Kid Blogs,Spanish Playground

Teachers! Earn a FREE #Multicultural Kids Book for Your Classroom! #teachers, #books #teacherlife
http://ow.ly/UUy96
The Classroom Reading Challenge has begun! Teachers can earn a free diversity book! #teachers, #books
http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/?p=1796

 

 

 

NOW I AM PLEASED TO PRESENT MY BOOK REVIEW

Obstacl
ēs

Written by Gregory E. Ransome

OBSTACLES,pic

Obstaclēs has a difficult problem. He is facing his thirteenth year and his prospects of being accepted at Fo Fum Prep, the school for training giants is next to nil. While he has a stout heart, he lacks the size of a giant and he suffers from AED (Attention Elsewhere Disorder). If Obstaclēs is not accepted, he faces banishment from his homeland of Humongopolis. But Obstaclēs has a plan, he will introduce the dreaded Dragonbush Rash and then swoop in with the cure of Saw Grass Tea and become a hero.

Unfortunately, Obstaclēs never gets a chance to implement his plan. His grandmother engages her neighbor Zorgon, the bean giant farmer to whisk Obstaclēs away to Podunkia Educational Academy and Remedy for Lost Sheep (PEARLS). To get there, the travelers will have to cross The Forest of Future Regret,the Lake of Lost Souls, the Willow Hawk Raptors and the lizard kingdom. Obstaclēs,will meet up with a human friend named Griff, and together they will outsmart their enemies. As the adventure unfolds, Obstaclēs learns a lot about himself, those he loves, and how to be true to oneself.

This book is the perfect choice for middle school students coping with issues of bullying,mental or physical disabilities, self-esteem and coming of age. The author artfully combines alliteration, onomatopoeia, and colorful imagery to paint the plot. There are a few well-drawn black and white illustrations inserted at critical junctures of the story line. Combining elements of fantasy, science fiction, fairy tale, and adventure, this fictional account of less than two hundred pages is a good choice for multicultural students ages eight through twelve, reluctant readers, and parents or teachers who want to enjoy a well-written story that hits the mark on addressing so many issues children growing up in today’s complex world.

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HERE IS A GAME THAT PARENTS OR TEACHERS CAN SHARE WITH THEIR CHILDREN TO PROMOTE FEELINGS OF SELF-WORTH:

selfesteemgame

 

 

 

BIRDS OF A FEATHER

BIRD LIFE FUNNY &WEIRD FEATHERED ANIMALS Funny & Weird Animals Series

Written by P.T. Hersom

Birds,pic

Nonfiction book of approximately sixty pages features more than twenty of our feathered friends. The author first presents an overview of the characteristics of birds and then considers the reasons why some birds are considered strange. For each of the books considered readers are informed about the size, habitat, diet and a few paragraphs that make that bird particularly interesting. While I was familiar with a few of them like the pelican, grouse and hawk, there were many I had never heard of like the Hoatin, Cassowary, and Red-footed Booby.

I came away with some fascinating details. Did you know that Helmeted Hornbills are hunted for their casque (helmets) that are carved like ivory and their feathers are used in ceremonial dances? The Frigatebird acts like a pirate because it attacks other birds which have their lunch in their mouths, stealing it for a free meal. Even though they soar over the sea for their prey, Frigatebirds hate the water because their feathers become easily waterlogged.

Readers can test their memories by answering the What Did You Learn Today? Questions following the profiles of each bird. The answers are included, but don’t cheat! This is a fun feature for siblings or groups of children to use as a game or for a parent/teachers to use as reinforcement for a classroom lesson. Children eight and older who love birds or who are looking for an animal science project will find this book a good starting point. Available in kindle and paperback format.

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FINDING YOUR WAY

Luna, The Night Butterfly +5 Bonus Stories

Written by Lily Lexington

Luna,pic

Luna is an emerald green butterfly who was different from all the other butterflies. While they invited her to play, Luna felt dull and listless in the light, but in the night she glowed and came alive. A wise old owl tells her the reason why; Luna is not a butterfly but a beautiful moth. Luna decides that it is fun being different and special.

Five other stories about familiar children’s characters like pumpkins, mice, ponies, ducklings, and the tooth fairy, each in their special way teach children the values of cooperating, taking care of their health, self-confidence, and finding one’s own particular niche in life. Young children will learn, “It’s okay to be different,” and “Be the best that you can be.”

Targeted for preschoolers, some of stories are written in rhyme, and others in prose. All together totaling a little more than one hundred pages, the book is best read in sections as a bedtime story or as a circle time classroom discussion. Parents with children who are experiencing problems like the characters in the stories might choose and discuss one to help a child cope. I read this book on my kindle HD fire and did not experience the formatting problems that some reviewers mentioned. Recommended as a nice add on to a preschoolers library.

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THE COURAGE TO TRY

Dearie: A Tale of Courage (Chapter Books Book 1)

Written by Gita V. Reddy

Dearie,pic

Beginning chapter book of approximately thirty-five pages which is just right for a new or reluctant reader. The protagonist is a deer named Dearie. At first, it appeared that Dearie was too weak and frail to survive. Beating the odds, he soon grew strong and fast. As time went on, a bigger problem surfaced. Whenever danger appeared, Dearie froze. He could not respond to danger. That put the rest of the herd at risk.

Despite the pleadings of his mother, it is agreed that Dearie must leave the herd to learn how to overcome his fears and master the skills needed to survive. Dearie must face wild boar, wolves, lions and crocodiles. Will Dearie find his courage, and more importantly, will he ever rejoin his beloved herd?

This is an animal coming of age story that teaches children we all must not be afraid how to learn to be independent. Simple pen and ink drawings accompany the short chapters. I think the plot begins a bit slowly; the real story unfolds halfway through the book in Chapter 5. Recommended as an independent read for eight to ten year olds or for reluctant readers who feel challenged by the length of most middle grade chapter books. Short enough to be used as a read aloud classroom discussion.

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MONTE’S MEANDERINGS

Books in the Adventures of Monte Series: Book 1 Monte Travels the Rainforest

Written by D.J. Thomas

Monterainforest,pic

Monte is a monster with a penchant for travel. He takes the reader on a journey through the African rain forest. Monte takes photographs as he departs his campsite and walks through the forest. Readers gain knowledge of twenty animals including size weight, habitat, breeding, food choices, communication and distinguishing features. Each animal’s description is accompanied by a photograph of the animal.

The book is advertised as an interactive book. This author offers readers and subscribers activities to accompany the books. The first kindle book in this series is just over fifty pages and targets readers ages three to nine. Young children might enjoy looking at the pictures, but they will have difficulty understanding the text containing sentences with as many as thirty words. The book needs some editing; there are too many adjectives and exclamation points.

Monte the Monster is pictured on the cover, but does not appear inside the book. He is narrating the story, and I think that children would like to visualize him doing so. This book contains information that could be useful for elementary school children, but the text is difficult for children under age ten to read independently. Parents, teachers or librarians might want to break down the information and simplify for easier understanding.

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STEP INTO ANOTHER WORLD

The Crumbling Brick: The Land of Neo Book 1

Written by JoHannah Reardon

Crumblingbrick,pc

This approximately one hundred page book might be likened to a Christian fairy tale. Some reviewers have noted similarities to The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. Targeted for readers age seven and up, I feel that it will appeal most to tweens and young teens. The characters are charming, appealing, and fairly well developed for the length of the story.

Plot involves a twelve year old girl named Ella, who lives in her grandmother’s urban house. One rainy day, she is asked to clean the basement. Ella reluctantly agrees; she finds a loose brick behind an old trunk. When she removes it, Ella finds a beautiful fantasy world on the other side. She steps into it and embarks on an adventure that involves a princess, her suitors, a unicorn, some mischievous monkeys, and a bear mentor named Sequor. Ella learns that the wise and all-knowing Kosmeo has chosen her to save the land of Neo. Ward, her unicorn friend, will assist her in warning the princess Onyma that one of her suitors is involved in a plot to overthrow her kingdom. While the story is somewhat predictable, there are enough twists and turns with delightful characters and moral lessons to give the fairy tale a wide appeal to boys and girls alike.

This book is the first of a series. It can be used as bedtime story, an independent chapter book or a classroom read aloud that combines many interesting elements for classroom discussion. If you enjoy fairy tales, give this one a look.

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