Posts tagged ‘fantasy’

#MEET THE AUTHOR

I am starting 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 Eugenia Chu, who has a brand new release tomorrow, September 3.


About the Author:

Eugenia Chu is an attorney, turned stay-at-home mom, turned writer. She lives on a magical beach in Miami with her husband and son, Brandon, who is the inspiration for her stories. She enjoys reading, writing, traveling, yoga and drinking too much coffee. She has been a presenter at numerous schools, libraries and book festivals.

When Brandon was very little, the author couldn’t find children’s storybooks to read to him which touched upon Chinese culture and which included some Chinese (Mandarin) words to teach and/or reinforce his Chinese vocabulary, so she started writing her own. Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京) is her second “Brandon” story and first children’s chapter book. 

Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京), a brand new chapter book by author, Eugenia Chu, launches on TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2019!As a special bonus, the Kindle Ebook version will be FREE on Amazon that day, too!!! Please download this adorable book and if you like it, please leave a review to thank the author and her illustrator, Eliza Hsu Chen, for all their hard work!

In this story, Brandon and his cousins are on a trip to visit their grandparents in Beijing, China! While bonding with family, practicing Chinese, touring historic sites and feasting on local dishes, Brandon thinks he sees a tiny panda. However, every time he gets close, the panda disappears! Is Brandon imagining this small creature, or is it real? Will Brandon find out before he has to fly back home?

Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京) is a multicultural, multigenerational chapter book. This book includes some Mandarin Chinese (Simplified) with Pinyin pronunciation, adding layers for those learning or interested in the Chinese language and culture. Brandon Goes to Beijing (北京) follows Eugenia’s debut picture book, Brandon Makes Jiǎo Zi (餃子)(a story about a boy and his grandma who bond while making Chinese dumplings, called jiǎo zi (餃子).

For more information about Eugenia or her books:

Website: http://eugeniachu.com

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/eugeniachu

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/eugeniachuauthor/

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/eugeniachu8245/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/chuauthor

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.

LOVE GROWS

Una Bo: The Magic Tree of Love

Written by Dr. Rebecca Verghese Paul

Illustrated by Ada Konewki

Podero is just a six-year-old boy when he meets Filgard, a wizard, who is passing through the town of Darae. Little Podero has been thinking about the way things were before the war. Podero wishes that he could have something sweet and that his parents would allow him to have a puppy. Filgard asks what he would do with the sweets and Podero says he would share them with his brothers. The wizard rewards Podero by causing a huge tree to grow in the center of town. This tree has the power to grant wishes, but only to those who are pure of heart and do not ask for more than they need.

Pretty soon the villagers gather round and try to rob the tree of its gifts, but they soon learn they will get nothing if they are greedy. Eventually, all learn to partake of the tree with good intentions and moderation. Podero and his best friend, Miyana develop a friendship and trusting relationship with the tree. They name it Una Bo, the tree of love. The tree helps the two friends to achieve their dreams of becoming a baker and a carpenter. Their life if happy until war threatens the town once more. Will the tree be able to save the villagers of Darae?

This chapter book tells a heartwarming story filled with lessons about bullying, generosity, greed, and coming of age. The characters are interesting and relatable. A few color illustrations enhance the tale. That adds to the appeal for beginning and reluctant readers. Highly recommended for middle-grade readers.

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

 

IN SEARCH OF SOMETHING BETTER

The Magic Forest: The Secret of the Golden Egg

Written by Maya Sanders

Shu is a mythical creature with a horn in the middle of her head. She lives at the top of a tall tree and acts as the protector of the Urman forest. Together with her horse, Tu, Shu wanders the forest assuring that the weak are protected. One day, Shu awakes in a bad mood because she is no longer satisfied with her small, cramped home.

Shu has heard rumors of a golden egg that can turn into a castle, so she and her winged-horse friend seek out Yukka, a 1000-year-old viper who knows all. Yukka assigns Shu three tasks to complete before revealing where to find the golden egg.

On the journey, Shu helps Su find her lost comb, restores the confidence of the Firebird, Rukh, and learns that appearances can be deceptive. Children come to understand the importance of helping others and the necessity of keeping our own needs in check. The tale is an old Tatar folktale that combines magic and fantasy with lessons to learn for humans. There are a few color illustrations that make this book choice more appealing for beginning readers. Recommended for ages seven through ten.

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.

MAN’S BEST SUPER SLEUTH

Hide and Panic Stations (Super Sleuth Sam Book 1)

Written by Monty J. McClaine

This is the first book in a nine-part series. The author uses the introduction to present the characters of the series. Jack is a mischievous six-year-old. His father likes to tinker in the garage with his Corvette, his mother is a devoted stay at home mom, his sister, Molly has just begun to crawl. Sam, the basset hound is always on red alert protecting the family and serving as Jack’s constant companion. But Sam is no ordinary dog, he has magical powers passed down to him from his ancestors. When Sam recites his chant, he develops super speed and the detective skills of a Sherlock Holmes.

One day Jack and Sam are playing hide and seek. Jack pushes the envelope by finding a hiding place in which no one discovers him. While Jack is comfortably ensconced reading his dad’s comic and enjoying a snack, the rest of the family is in panic mode. Readers will enjoy how Sam employs his super speed and detective smarts to solve the mystery of Sam’s disappearance. Sam’s parents are about to call the police. Will Sam be able to solve the mystery? Perhaps young readers will be able to help.

This book is a fun chapter book for beginning and middle-grade readers. It presents a typical family with some atypical characteristics, some humor, and a mystery for readers to ponder. Recommended especially for third to fifth graders. The length of approximately one hundred pages makes it a good choice for reluctant readers as well.

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.

SETTING THINGS STRAIGHT

The Adventures of Joy Sun Bear: The Blue Amber of Sumatra

Written by Blanca Carranza and John Lee

This is the first book in a series of adventures featuring a bear named Joy. Set in the tropical rainforest of Sumatra, readers are rapidly propelled into a nonstop fantasy adventure. Joy will learn a lot about himself and teach his readers about courage, bravery, and standing up for themselves and others. Joy meets an assortment of magical characters, an exotic bird, a magical frog, orangutans, and a trickster fox to name a few.

Joy teaches readers the importance of family relationships, stewardship of Mother Earth, and respect for creatures of other cultures. Readers are exposed to the good and bad of humans as well as the inner struggles faced within oneself. The color illustrations move the story along for younger readers and help to illuminate the hidden storylines. The chapter book runs close to two hundred pages so it might be a challenge for beginning readers who might want to approach it in several phases; it would make an excellent teacher read aloud book to discuss in the classroom. Recommended audience is for ages six through ten, though I would classify it more as a middle-grade selection. I am looking forward to reading the next tale and following Joy’s growth journey.

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.

SEIZING CONTROL

LIAM AND THE GRUMP

Written by Graham-Austin King

Illustrated by Sarah Heseltine

Liam is a young boy who has trouble controlling his temper. His father tells him to reach into his mouth, pull it out and throw it away. Liam attempts to do just that, but his temper comes alive and keeps growing every time Liam loses control. As the story continues, temper incidents escalate. Liam’s mother offers her son a different solution. She advises him to count to ten when he feels like he is losing control.

The illustrations are bright and expressive, perhaps a bit too scary for younger children. The author tries to approach the subject with humor, but some parents may think the message comes on too strong. While the book is targeted for a four to an eight-year-old audience, I would recommend it for the upper age range of that audience or advise parents of younger children to read the story with guidance.

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.

STAR LIGHT, STAR BRIGHT

Alicia and the Light Bulb People in Star Factory 13

Written by Barbara Roman

Illustrated by Vladimir Cebu

Ten-year-old Alicia is shopping with her mother for new lamps. Her mood is upbeat as she walks through Walker’s Furniture store two weeks before Christmas. Suddenly, she is mesmerized by a beautiful Christmas tree which appears in the middle of the floor. Alicia stares at its beautiful star and is whisked away to the 13th floor on an elevator that opens to a light bulb factory. She finds herself in a factory where light bulbs are retired after they stop working. Alicia meets Carelia, the fairy goddess who oversees the factory. Carelia informs Alicia that the light bulbs must pass a test to determine whether they might become stars and that she needs Alicia to help her. Alicia is confused and upset. She doesn’t understand why she is needed and how she wound up in a place where there is no past or tomorrow, but she will learn much about unique personalities, utilizing our talents, and working cooperatively. What is expected of her and why was she chosen? Will Alicia ever get back to her world? Did she ever leave it?

This book is a charming fantasy, mystery, and science fiction read. It might be considered both a chapter book or a short story. The fifty-page length makes it a good choice for reluctant readers. Cebu creates dazzling illustrations and the large font size make it a good choice for beginning readers, while the intricate plot and well-developed characters will appeal to middle-grade and young adult audiences.

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.

%d bloggers like this: