Posts tagged ‘compassion’

#MEETTHEAUTHOR

I have begun a new feature on my blog. Rather than simply reading and reviewing family-friendly books for my audience, I will be taking a peek behind the scenes at the writer. After all, we all want to know the mysterious person behind the curtain. So without delay, let me introduce you to the talented Becky Benishek.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Becky Benishek  has a B.A. degree in English and loves to create stories that  help children believe in themselves and also develop compassion and empathy for others. This goes for adults, too! She also writes adult science fiction and fantasy stories. In her day job, she manages online communities that help people connect to people and resources they need. Becky is married with guinea pigs.

About the book:

The Squeezor is Coming!

**BRONZE MEDAL WINNER: Children’s Books – Social Issues, in the Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest**
**Five Star Readers’ Favorite**

The Squeezor is a monster who just wants to give hugs: Great, big, wrap-his-arms-around-you-twice, squeezy hugs. The trouble is, he looks so scary, even other monsters run away!

This makes the Squeezor very sad. He can’t help how he looks. How can he get everyone to look past his appearance and be his friend?

Then he gets an idea: What if it’s not about what he wants, but about what the other monsters might need? Join the Squeezor in Ghastly Gigapolis as he changes first impressions for the better–his own included.

The Squeezor is Coming! is illustrated by Matt Fiss and is available on Amazon and through MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing. It is also available in dyslexic font.

Review:
“Far too many kids feel as unlovable as the Squeezor, and this story is for them. Benishek’s droll and humorous story will please everyone in the room and maybe especially those adults who are still kids at heart. Matt Fiss’s brilliantly grotesque illustrations make this book one to linger over and read again and again and again. Literally. It’s that good.” –Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT BECKY AND HER WORK VISIT:

Website: https://beckybenishek.com
Amazon: https://amazon.com/author/beckybenishekMacLaren-Cochrane Publishing (children’s books): https://mcp-store.com/becky-benishek
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beckybenishekauthor/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/beckybenishek/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/beckybenishek
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLN82aT3Az157cKCNUvRs9qdWfD83Q4OFj
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16364162.Becky_Benishek
Black Hare Press (science fiction & fantasy): https://www.blackharepress.com/becky-benishek/

TEA-TIME TRAVELS

Mrs. Trimble’s Magic Tea-Pot!

Written and illustrated by Steven-Watson-Morris

MagicTea-pot

This book is really an early chapter book which could also be used as a classroom read aloud or bedtime story. All the stories center around Mrs. Trimble, her assistant Rose and her twin nephews, John and Jack. Mrs. Trimble owns a tea shop where she serves tea and delicious home baked cakes. While working one day in her shop, suddenly a giant cloud of smoke arose and a giant tea-pot appeared in the center of the shop. A wizard wearing a pointed cap adorned with stars popped out. Walter the Wizard needs her help because the king’s cook is ill, and he is in need of someone to bake cakes for his party. They all climb into his tea-pot and are whisked away to the kingdom where Mrs. Trimble saves the day by baking the cakes. Walter is so grateful that he gives her a magic tea-pot as a gift that will take her anywhere in the world she wants to visit. The magic words are magic teapot backwards—“Top eat Cigam!” So begins the magical adventures of our characters.

In the first book of adventures, they decide to visit a spooky house and some ghosts where they meet Arthur Halloween, they take a trip to the moon and visit four purple men who are in need of polishing dust to keep the moon shiny and then visit another moon to gather supplies, convince a greedy dragon that he is eating too much and needs to go on a diet, and visit a land of dwarfs where Jack and John receive some surprise birthday presents. Mrs. Trimble even manages to confront an ogre and rescue the key to the city for the mayor. Perhaps my favorite adventure involves her ingenious solution to save the day when Santa Claus is unable to deliver presents on Christmas Day because his reindeer are sick.

There are just enough black and white pencil drawings to hold the interest of young readers just getting accustomed to longer story books. I like the mixture of conversation and prose. Neither one overpowers the other so that the story flows

The Further Adventures of Mrs. Trimble’s Magic Teapot!

Written and illustrated by Steven-Watson Morris

MagicTeapot,pic2

So delighted that the author is giving us a sequel. In Book Two the reader is treated to seven more magical adventures. This time the reader will meet a one-eyed giant, a silver snake, a naughty goblin, the Easter bunny, an alien planet, some bubbles, and a castle of dreams. The children will learn through Mrs. Trimble that we should be kind and understanding toward others even when others are angry with us, but she also teaches us that when we are naughty like the goblin, we need to undo the harm we have done to others, apologize, and make restitution for our mistakes. When Mrs. Trimble meets the Dream Maker, she learns how to drink hot chocolate as well as tea and sees how sweets can be turned into healthy fruits. What child would not like to have a bubble adventure! Mrs. Trimble and the twins are astonished when the Easter bunny oversleeps one year; they must rescue him and save the day! In their last adventure the stalwart group get to land on the Teapot planet where everything is shaped like a teapot, and where they are introduced to Earlgrey who will restore the magic to their teapot. To return his kindness, Mrs. Trimble will leave them with a special gift of her own. As in the first book, there are delightful pencil drawings. At the end of the book, readers will find a special bonus, coloring pages that feature all the characters in the book’s stories.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right hand corner of this page.

CAPTIVATING CATS

Coming Home (the journey of two special cats)

Written by Jane Ayres

Coming Home cover

This short novella is targeted for pre teens and teens, but cat-loving adults will enjoy it just as much. Ayres has written many books about ponies and horses; in this particular book she displays a unique talent in having the ability to make the reader experience the story through the cat’s eyes. Sky and Max are two beautiful sibling cats who are abandoned and found by Kira. She pleads with her parents to adopt them. They agree reluctantly. Soon after Kira’s parents are divorced, she and her mother Joy are about to move to the seacoast.

Tragedy strikes when the cats are trapped in a garage overnight. Kira pleads with her mom but the moving van is ready to leave. She urges her neighbors to contact her if they see her beloved cats. One mishap after another befalls Kira and the cats. Kira goes searching for them; she is robbed and left abandoned overnight at a train station. The cats search the old neighborhood frantically. They find temporary shelter with a homeless man and a good Samaritan named Gabrielle who unknowingly aids Kira get back home. Kira and the cats keep missing each other until an automobile accident and trip to the vet allows Sky to be traced by microchip. But Sky is crestfallen without her Max and both of them are now on the verge of death. Will the feline siblings ever be reunited? Does Kira ever get her life in her new home back on track?

The author writes from the heart and gives from the heart. All the proceeds from the sale of this book are donated to a charity for cats. I read the entire book in a couple of hours. Simply could not put it down until I found out what fate had in store for the devoted and compassionate Kira and her stalwart pets. A heartwarming read that teaches persistence and compassion.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS FEED button in the upper right hand corner of this page.

BOOK BLAST AND GIVEAWAY

MAGELICA’S MAGICAL VOYAGE

Louise Courey Nadeau

BARBARA ANN MOJICA’S REVIEW

At the beginning of the story we meet Magelica who has supposedly been hatched from a sapphire egg. She wants to know where she really came from. Tris, her pet dragon, and she go on a journey through the woods when darkness falls. Magelica calls on her guardian angel to guide them home. A strange creature named Odin retrieves her feather necklace and takes her on a journey in a flying bathtub to an island inhabited by a wizard. Odin teaches her to fly to the Isle of Dreams where she will meet Queen Raya and learn about the lost prince. Magelica realizes that wonderful things happen when you open your heart, use your imagination and trust in love. She no longer worries about where she came from, but now understands that it is more important to know where you are going. Young children will enjoy this book as a read aloud. Older children will find it a challenging independent reader.

About the Book

Magelica's Voyage by Louise Courey NadeauTitle: Magelica’s Voyage | Author: Louise Courey Nadeau | Publication Date: August 24, 2013 | Publisher: Kite Readers | Pages: 48 | Recommended Ages: 5 to 10

Summary: Who ever heard of a girl being hatched from an egg the colour of sapphires? Magelica doesn’t know where she came from or who she really is. But when she’s transported to the Isle of Dreams in a flying bathtub, she launches into an adventure of discovery, and learns that wonderful things can happen when she uses her imagination, believes, opens her heart and trusts in love. Come fly with her and discover for yourself the power of imagination,gratitude,believing in yourself, and love! In this special first voyage, fantasy, adventure, magical illustrations, empowering messages, and a wonderful cast of enchanting characters come together as Magelica takes young girls and the special people in their lives on a fun, inspiring voyage about making your life magical.

* Available in English / French / Spanish *

 

Purchase

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Barnes & Noble | iTunes

 

Book Trailer

The Buzz

“Magelica’s Voyage is an inspiring, magical tale of a world that I did not want to leave. The author’s imagination takes off with vivid magical characters transformed into beautiful illustrations that your child will love. At the Isle Of Dreams anything is possible including Wally the wizard, the benevolent queen, Odin and even a Warblegrif. In the Festival Of Cheer the message is clear; just be yourself and let love be your guide. When you open this book you’ll instantly discover that magic is indeed in the air.” ~ 5 Star Review, StevieV, Amazon

“This is a wonderful, enchanting book! The story is so imaginative and the illustrations are beautiful! It is delightful to join Magelica on her adventure to the Isle of Dreams, and it is great to see such a positive, confident heroine. I highly recommend this book!” ~ 5 Star Review, Laurie J., Amazon

“Magelica is easy to love; a child who accepts herself as she is but who questions the very world around her, is someone many children will be able to relate to. Give this wonderful story a try- you won’t be sorry you did.” ~ 5 Star Review, Shelley V., Amazon

“Magelica’s Voyage by Louise Courey Nadeau is a beautifully written enchanting tale filled with alluring adventure. The story is magnificently illustrated, from the winsome depiction of Magelica to the creative Isle of Dreams, the authors gifted imagination is prevalent on every page. I found Magelica’s Voyage to be a charming story with a very special message for all. I highly recommend picking up a copy..” ~ 5 Star Review, Stacie T., Amazon

“I purchased the book in August and since then, my 2 kids request to read it for them every single time. I travel and I have to read it over FaceTime to them as they do not want to miss when their mom is unable….Same Timezone has helped. I recommend it to every kid between the age of 3 until 9 whether it is a girl or boy. The energy when reading it is indescribable. I bought 2 versions (the english and the spanish). Both are well made and I recommend it to every parent that cares about how their children should be raised! Great buy and thank you for the author.” ~ 5 Star Review, Hassan, Amazon

 

About the Author: Louise Courey Nadeau

Louise Courey Nadeau

Louise Courey Nadeau

A marketing and advertising executive, a tireless fundraiser for many charities, a painter, gardener and mother to two daughters and two sons, Louise’s passions keep growing. Sensing the need to do more for young children in our challenging world and inspired by life itself, Louise created MAGELICA, a young girl with fairy blood and her own questions about life. In the first book of Magelica’s Voyage trilogy, Louise takes our winged heroine along with her fun and wacky friends to new worlds of magic and adventure, where the reader discovers the magic of life and the power of love and how faith in the unknown can create confidence and a sense of empowerment . More than a decade in the making and with new stories underway, Louise and MAGELICA intend to spread their magical feathers and create a bond with children and their caregivers around the globe.

Book Website | Twitter | Facebook

 

* Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift cardAmazon 25 gift card

 

 

 

 

Prize: Two winners will each receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: May 2, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Louise Courey Nadeau and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services
Copyright © 2014 Mother Daughter Book Reviews, All rights reserved.

AUTISM AWARENESS DAY

The Thursday Surprise:A Story About Kids and Autism

The Saturday Surprise: A Story About Kids and Autism

by Ryan R. Ennis

Illustrations: Brenda Stroud

The Thursday Surprise picSaturdaySurprisepic

This post reviews two books written about autism. They were written by an educator who works with autistic children. It is his belief that typically developing and autistic children have a lot to teach each other. As an educator who has worked with both populations of children, I can empathize with his perspective. These books are not boring tomes about educational theory and practice, but stories with characters who display the real emotions of these children. For parents and students who are currently being co taught in one of these classrooms or for adults and children who do not understand autism, these two books will shed a lot of light on the topic. Ennis has also thoughtfully included a section of discussion questions about the story as well as teaching resources and techniques that might be found effective in working with a blended classroom.

In The Thursday Surprise, we meet a fourth grader named Katie who is best friends with Melissa. One Thursday, Mrs. Burnette ends recess early informing the students that she has chosen a few of them to take books in to read to students in Mr. Appleton’s room. He teaches students who have autism. Katie and Melissa find the room well-organized but stark and boring. The students act different, and there are a lot of rules. Katie is paired with a boy named Michael who does not pay attention and will not look at her. She can’t get him interested in anything. Katie is so frustrated that she does not want to go back again and is still upset when she gets home. Her mom explains that each autistic child is very different; you need to be patient and try different things. Katie promises her mother and teacher that she will try, but nothing seems to be working. Will Katie find a way to help Michael and gain a new friend?

The September Surprise is not a sequel in the strict sense of the word. We do meet some of the same characters sharing the same problems. As the story begins at the end of the summer, Katie is eagerly awaiting a letter from Parker Elementary School informing her who will be her fifth grade teacher. She is hoping that it will be Mr. Sanders or Mr. Greenley. Instead she finds out that her teachers will be last year’s teacher, Mrs, Burnette along with Mr. Appleton. Katie is convinced that she needs reading help because she is in a class with two teachers and last year Mr. Appleton taught the autistic students. To make matters worse, she finds out that her friend Melissa is in Mr. Greenley’s class. Melissa suggests that maybe Katie did not so so well on her reading test.

On the first day of school Katie reluctantly enters the class and finds herself paired with an autistic child named Brianna, who has echolalia, which means that she repeats everything Katie says. Katie is not amused. She wants Brianna to respond and gets more suggestions from Mr. Appleton. When Katie hears about a writing contest, she is determined that will find a way to communicate with her partner, make her a friend, and win that contest! Katie is beginning to think that this class is a special one and not in the negative way she thought originally.

Ennis presents parents, educators and students with an explanation of autism and a wealth of information on how to handle it. Autism encompasses many issues, and no two autistic children have the same needs. Ryan succeeds by using a simple story with believable characters that make it more understandable and meaningful. The reader will walk away with greater knowledge and compassion.

If you enjoyed reading this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow, or by hitting the orange RSS feed button in the upper right hand corner of this page.

LESSONS FROM OUR ANIMAL FRIENDS

Tales of the Friendly Forest

Written by Alexi Lushkin
Translated from Russian by Galina Krylova

TalesoftheFriendlyForest,pic

This kindle book is a collection of ten fairy tales told from the point of view of several animals living in the forest. At the outset the reader is introduced to a poem that tells of the song of the forest. The animals in the tales introduce themselves one verse at a time. In the beginning, the forest was in chaos. Each of the animals went about doing whatever he wanted. One day a clubfooted bear shouted out to the other animals of the forest from the top of a tree that from now on there would be a truce; all animals would be friends to one another and there would be no territorial boundaries. From that point on, all the animals of the forest had their own names, but they were all friends and helpers to each other.

The rest of the stories focus on one or two animals who are able to teach the reader about compassion for others, the need to share knowledge, not to be afraid of the unknown, and to be true to oneself. In the story about fashion, the animals decide to be fashion mongers. Even though the boars delight in rolling around in the mud, they then rub against the trees ridding themselves of all dirt. The animals decide that boars are the neatest and cleanest animals in the forest. Appearances can be deceiving! In the story about the forest beasts watching children play hockey, children learn that TV and cinema did not always exist, there should be time for other pursuits.

These short stories are intended for children and adults. The format is a bit unusual in that the book begins with a poem and then switches to verse. In a few places the flow is a bit choppy due to the translation. Still, I found the stories refreshing with good lessons for children and reminders for adults. The book can be broken up into sections for younger children and read independently by children eight and older. Makes a nice bedtime story book for children who love animals.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS feed button in the right hand corner at the top of this page.

MICKEY’S MAGIC

Walt Disney: Saving America’s Lost Generation

Written by R.H. Farber
WaltDisney,pic

I thought I knew quite a bit about Mickey Mouse and the Mickey Mouse Club TV show that I enjoyed watching on TV while growing up in the fifties. Turns out, the Micky Mouse Club involved a lot more than the TV show, and its origin happened quite by accident.

Back in 1927, the young Walt Disney signed a one year contract with Universal Pictures to do animated films with his new creation, Oswald the Rabbit. After the contract expired, Walt learned that he had been misled. A loophole in the contract gave Universal full ownership of the character. To make matters worse, the studio had stealthily hired Walt’s best animators so they could continue making the cartoon. Walt refused to deal with the studio and developed a new character, a mouse named Mortimer. His wife encouraged him to change the name to Mickey, and so the soon to be famous character was born. When Disney decided to produce his third Mickey cartoon, Steamboat Willie with sound, it met with rave reviews.

Children were flocking to the movies to see the cartoons that preceded the movie. An entrepreneur named Harry Woodin of the Fox Dome Theater had a brilliant idea. He suggested to Disney that they launch a fraternity for children which would focus on the latest Disney cartoon. Walt’s brother, Roy, worked with Woodin to develop the club with Mickey Mouse as its central character. Walt was delighted that these clubs could teach children about values he thought were important: honesty, integrity, compassion and patriotism. He insisted that these clubs be made available to all children regardless of race, creed or sex. Club membership was open for children in grades one through seven; children had to be enrolled in a school. They needed to maintain high grades and moral values. All members were eligible for election to officer positions. The first club opened in September, 1929, and by 1933, three million children were enrolled. The Saturday meeting with entertainment, contests, and child centered activities helped lift the spirits of children and parents during the Depression when there was so little to be hopeful about.

Mickey Mouse became a role model to children and adults. Merchandise and advertising sprung up everywhere. Mickey Mouse and his character friends became associated with every major holiday and event like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Mickey became a part of weddings and family vacations. The California Pacific Exposition and the New York World’s Fair featured the cartoon character. Mickey became a symbol of all that is good versus all that is evil in society. By the time World War II came around, the original Mickey Mouse Club members would find his name and image a significant inspiration in war operations.

This book contains pictures of priceless Disney mementos. There are movie posters, flyers, pictures of historical events, touching photos of Disney and his family, as well as Disney merchandise and the adorable children who enjoyed it. Personally, I wish the author would have continued the saga into the later stages in the fifties and beyond with the advent of television and the development of Disneyland. Perhaps too much time was spent on the early years. Unless, of course, the author plans to write another book finishing the story to the end of Disney’s life. If you are in the mood for some nostalgia and an uplifting read, this book is recommended for ages eight through eighty.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe by clicking on the word Follow or by hitting the orange RSS feed button in the upper right hand corner.

%d bloggers like this: