Posts from the ‘travel’ Category

STAYING STRONG

While Daddy is Away: Days of Deployment

Written by Trista Lawrence

Illustrated by Denny Poliquit

A Christian family talks about how to stay strong while dad is deployed in military service. The older brother and sister help with chores, assist their baby brother and create projects to send dad and keep his spirits up. Though it is difficult for them, they understand the meaning of his sacrifice and are proud of him.

This picture book is recommended as a resource for families in military service.

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THE NOT SO GILDED AGE

Victorian San Francisco Novellas: (San Francisco Novellas)

Written by M. Louisa Locke

If you are looking for a few quick reads and like history, this book may be your cup of tea.

The characters are secondary characters from the author’s mystery series. There is a good amount of historical detail about the Victorian age in San Francisco. These stories revolve around the working class and life in a boarding house. They tell about lives often forgotten and the struggles of the poor in San Francisco during a time when the needs of the poor were overlooked.

Fast reads with interesting plots and characters.

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DRESSING UP THE STARS virtual book tour and giveaway #dressingupthestars

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Jeanne Walker Harvey.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Dressing Up the Stars: The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head

Written by Jeanne Walker Harvey

Illustrated by Diana Toledano

Ages 3-8 | 40 Pages

Publisher: Beach Lane Books | ISBN-13: 9781534451056

About the Book: Discover the true story of how a shy miner’s daughter became one of the most legendary costume designers in Hollywood in this inspiring nonfiction picture book biography.

As a child in the small mining town of Searchlight, Nevada, Edith Head had few friends and spent most of her time dressing up her toys and pets and even wild animals using fabric scraps. She always knew she wanted to move somewhere full of people and excitement. She set her sights on Hollywood and talked her way into a job sketching costumes for a movie studio.

Did she know how to draw or sew costumes? No. But that didn’t stop her!

Edith taught herself and tirelessly worked her way up until she was dressing some of the biggest stars of the day, from Audrey Hepburn to Grace Kelly to Ginger Rogers. She became the first woman to head a major Hollywood movie studio costume department and went on to win eight Academy Awards for best costume design—and she defined the style of an era.

PURCHASE LINKS

Amazon

Bookshop.org

Barnes and Noble

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeanne Walker Harvey studied literature and psychology at Stanford University and has worn many job hats, ranging from being a roller coaster ride operator to an attorney, a middle school language arts teacher, and a long-time docent for school groups at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. She is the author of several books for young readers, including the picture book biographies Dressing up the Stars: The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head, Ablaze with Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas, and Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines. Jeanne lives in Northern California.

Visit her online at www.jeanneharvey.com.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

Diana Toledano is an illustrator, writer, and educator. She is also a Pisces who loves children’s books, patterns, and dancing her heart out. Originally from Spain, Diana (pronounced the Spanish way: dee-ah-na) grew up in Madrid where she studied art history and illustration. Now she lives in San Francisco with her husband and two fluffy cats. Her mixed media art seeks to capture the magic of the ordinary. Diana’s product designs, picture books, board books, and chapter books have been published and sold all over the world. Diana also teaches workshops for kids and adults. She enjoys doing school visits and speaking at conferences.

Learn more at Diana-Toledano.com.

My Review of This Book:

FASHION SAVY

Dressing Up the Stars

Written by Jeanne Harvey Walker

Illustrated by Diana Toledano

This is a beautifully illustrated picture book that relates the biography of Edith Head, the famous Hollywood costume designer.

Edith seemed an unlikely candidate for such a career. She grew up in isolated mining towns in the desert; her father worked as a mining engineer. Edith grew up with few friends, so she dressed up pets and invented make-believe friends with scraps of fabric. When she moved to Searchlight, Nevada, Edith created costumes for her two girlfriends.

Life changed when her mother sent her to high school in Los Angeles. There she fell in love with the movies. After attending college, she got a job drawing costumes. At first, she failed, but Edith worked hard until she became an Academy Award winning costume designer.

Edith provides a strong female role model for young girls everywhere, proving to them that through arduous work, determination, and perseverance, anyone can achieve a dream.

I would highly recommend this gorgeous picture book for primary grade readers, especially those interested in fashion design and the movies.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a set of five copies of Dressing Up the Stars: The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head!

Five (5) winners receive:

A set of five copies of Dressing Up the Stars: The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head

Click on the link below to enter the giveaway.

https://gleam.io/dtTDP/dressing-up-the-stars-book-giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, August 15, 2022The Children’s Book ReviewA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Tuesday, August 16, 2022BookoholicmomA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Wednesday, August 17, 2022The Fairview ReviewA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Thursday, August 18, 2022The Review WireA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Friday, August 19, 2022J.R.s Book ReviewsA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Monday, August 22, 2022Dad SuggestsA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Tuesday, August 23, 2022icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Wednesday, August 24, 2022Writer with WanderlustA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Thursday, August 25, 2022Me Two BooksA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Friday, August 26, 2022The Momma SpotA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Monday, August 29, 2022Because I Said SoA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Tuesday, August 30, 2022Some the WiserA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Wednesday, August 31, 2022Barbara Ann MojicaA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Thursday, September 1, 2022Heart to HeartA book review of Dressing Up the Stars
Friday, September 2, 2022Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA book review of Dressing Up the Stars

FINDING HER WAY

In Light of the Summit

Written by Jamie McGillen

A unique blend of genres melded into a young adult adventure series. This is the second book of the series, and while not necessary to read in sequence, readers will better understand the complexity of the main characters if read in sequence.

Anna and her best friend, Emily, are opposites. Anna embodies the traditional values of a woman living in 1890 Seattle, while Emily fights for the rights of an untraditional woman who struggles to fit into nineteenth-century society. Anna has her sights on climbing to the top of Mt. Rainier. Lots of details about the history of the period and the beautiful natural setting of the Pacific Northwest. As one reads about nineteenth-century expectations of women and Anna’s struggles, one is reminded of the struggles women have faced and overcome. Readers can expect elements of outdoor adventure, friendship, and romance weaved into the stories of these two women.

A quick and interesting read for young adults and adult women.

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JIMMY CHARTRON AND THE LOST KEYSTONE VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR AND GIVEAWAY #JIMMYCHARTRON

SO MUCH TO OFFER

In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and J.T. Michaels

ABOUT THE BOOK

Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone

Written by J.T. Michaels

Ages 13-18 | 336 Pages

Publisher: J.T. Michaels | ISBN-13: 9781778035203

Publisher’s Synopsis: Author J.T. Michaels brings a fantasy tale of an ancient war, a modern-day murder mystery, mystical creatures, and memorable characters in his masterfully written young adult novel, Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone.

The Great War ended a century ago. Peace reigns across the eight countries. Epic tales of heroic men and women of those times are recounted in song and story. Yet, history seems to have forgotten a young battlefield healer, Tessa Marlise…

Sixteen-year-old Jimmy Chartron has just enrolled at the Navale Academy of Eagleon, his mind set on becoming an electrician. A chance magical encounter binds him to the trapped soul of Tessa Marlise. As Jimmy struggles to deal with this shocking development, murder and mystery unravel in the academy. Caught in the middle of everything, Jimmy realizes that a larger evil is afoot and that only two things can stop it: himself and the ghost in his head…

PURCHASE LINK

Amazon

Bookshop

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Author J.T. Michaels has always loved storytelling, no matter the medium. Being immersed in a different world, whether it’s through books or video games, has also been an obsession for him. Years after writing for his school magazine, he discovered he wanted to create his own worlds for readers, and his journey to fantasy writing began with Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone, the first volume in his epic fantasy series.   

J.T. gets inspiration for his books from everything around him, incorporating his friends as character ideas to make his stories as relatable and realistic as possible. He hopes his young readers come away from his stories having escaped from the real world for a bit and with a spark of magic that lasts long after the book is closed. 

When he isn’t writing enchanting fantasy novels for teens, J.T. enjoys running and spending time outside in the sunshine and hunkering down in a bookstore or library on rainy days. He lives in British Columbia, Canada, where he likes to indulge in a great cup of coffee. Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone is his debut novel, the first in a planned fantasy trilogy. 

For more information, visit https://www.jtmichaels.ca/.

https://www.instagram.com/storiesbyjtmichaels/

https://www.tiktok.com/@storybyjtmichaels

MY REVIEW OF THIS BOOK:

JIMMY CHARTRON AND THE LOST KEYSTONE

Written by J.T. Michaels

This young adult novel combines the most popular genres for this age group of readers. Fantasy, ghosts, a murder, coming-of-age struggles, and strong characters all rolled into a fast-moving adventure written with humor and great dialogue. The setting consists of a peaceful world left behind after a devastating war that wiped out civilization a century ago. Myths and stories tell the tales of former heroes. A battlefield healer named Tessie attaches her lost soul to Jimmy, the protagonist, who has just enrolled in school to become an electrician.

Jimmy struggles to deal with this dilemma but soon finds himself embroiled in a murder mystery at the school. Readers become immersed in his struggles, the murder mystery, and the lives of other colorful characters at the school. Michaels artfully reveals the successes and failures of the characters through skilled dialogue and humor.

This young adult novel is the first in a series and has much to offer to its targeted audience of readers thirteen and older but has widespread appeal for adults.

GIVEAWAY

Enter for a chance to win a  Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone prize pack!

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

The Comfy Couch Reader Prize Pack

– Two Alice in Wonderland throw covers

– A side lamp with a unique horse stencil design

-A signed copy of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

The Books and Beverage Lover Prize Pack

– A Jimmy Chartron mug

-A Magic Mug with 3 Reveal Characters

-A signed copy of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone

Three (3) winners receive:

A signed paperback copy of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone

CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

https://gleam.io/BiYWY/jimmy-chartron-book-giveaway

TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, July 18, 2022The Children’s Book ReviewA book review of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone
Tuesday, July 19, 2022The Children’s Book ReviewA Growing Readers Podcast interview with author J.T. Michaels
Wednesday, July 20, 2022J.R.s Book ReviewsA book review of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone
Thursday, July 21, 2022The Fairview ReviewA book review of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone
Friday, July 22, 2022The Momma SpotA book review of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone
Tuesday, July 26, 2022icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone
Wednesday, July 27, 2022Barbara Ann MojicaA book review of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone
Thursday, July 28, 2022Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersAn article by author J.T. Michaels
Friday, July 29, 2022Confessions of a Book AddictA book giveaway of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone
Monday, August 1, 2022The Children’s Book ReviewAn Instagram Video Review
Tuesday, August 2, 2022Tales of a Wanna-Be Superhero MomAn article by author J.T. Michaels
Wednesday, August 3, 2022Lisa’s ReadingA book review of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone
Thursday, August 4, 2022Because I Said SoA book review of Jimmy Chartron and the Lost Keystone

INFORMATION OVERLOAD

Kids on Earth: A Children’s Documentary Series Exploring Global Cultures & the Natural World: Costa Rica

Written by Sensei Paul David

My title does not necessarily imply criticism. This book contains a wealth of information. Readers learn about the climate, customs, language, culture, topography, economy, and recreational pursuits available in Costa Rica. A brother and sister, Joaquin and Yocsary, narrate a soup-to-nuts tour of what a visitor might find while in this intriguing land.

Each page includes a colorful illustration and a box of more fun facts after the explanation. My only criticism is that the storyline could be tightened up to read more smoothly. It feels a bit choppy because the information switches topics rapidly. On the other hand, almost any type of question that a reader might have is answered.

I recommend the series to children who love learning about new cultures, travel, and adventure. Recommended for elementary and middle-school students

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SET IN STONE?

The Pharaoh’s Stone: (The Stone Collection)

Written by Nick Hawkes

This book is part of a series that may be read as a stand-alone novel.

Peter has just been released from prison in London. He meets Alex, a history professor and they form an unlikely alliance. They team up with an Egyptologist named Beth to solve an Egyptian mystery. All of this combined with Freemasonry makes for an interesting read.

This author has sometimes been criticized for injecting too much of his religious opinion within his stories but this did not particularly bother me because the characters were intriguing and the twists and turns of the plot held my interest and kept me reading. Recommended especially for those who enjoy mysteries and ancient Egypt. Appropriate for middle-grade, young-adult, and adult readers.

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DETERMINATION AND PERSEVERANCE

Agnes’s Rescue: A True Story of an Immigrant Girl

Written by Karl Beckstrand and Veara Southworth Fife

Illustrated by Sean Sullivan

This book is book one of a series for children about young immigrants.

Agnes was born in Scotland and lived there with her siblings. After her father’s disappearance at sea, her mother turns to the Mormon faith. When Agnes turned nine in 1856, her mother had saved enough money to sail to America and become a part of the Latter-Day Saints community in Utah.

Their journey contained numerous perils. After sailing to New York, they took a train to Iowa. There the hardships began. The family must walk pulling a cart with their possessions. Their food supplies became depleted, and the weather turned frigid. Agnes and her family faced frostbite and near annihilation.

The story is biographical and written by a descendant. Sean Sullivan does a marvelous job with emotive illustrations. I like the interactive aspect of the book allowing readers to revisit the story by answering questions and voicing their opinions. This series is sure to inspire readers in elementary and middle school.

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GALLIVANTING THROUGH GERMANY

Mishi and Mashi go to Germany: Mishi and Mashi Visit Europe Series

Written by Mary George

Illustrated by Lisa Sacchi

This book is part of a European travel series. Mishi and Mashi are two sisters who accompany their parents on travel adventures. The series is intended for elementary school readers.

The author manages to create a pretty comprehensive picture book. Cities visited include Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, and Frankfurt. They visit kid favorites like museums, zoos, castles, and food venues that feature German specialties. Of course, they experience an Octoberfest and Bavarian costumes. Illustrations are pastels done in soft colors.

My first book of the series, but I will definitely come back to read others.

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FAST, FASCINATING, AND ENLIGHTENING

The Magic Volcano: Molly’s Magical Adventures: Book One

Written by V. K. May

Although this book is targeted at a middle-grade reading audience with short chapters, it contains all the elements that will please young adult and adult audiences.

Molly Marsh possesses an insatiable curiosity and strong determination to get to the bottom of things. As the book opens, she has departed Australia for Papua, New Guinea. Upon landing, a blue butterfly lands on her nose assuring her things will be okay. Let the adventures begin.

Molly teams up with Michael to explore the island. The characters are well-defined, and the action is continuous. Readers discover all types of useful information. I won’t spoil the plot but will say once you start reading, you will not be able to put the book down.

A delightful chapter book for readers eight through eighty.

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