Posts tagged ‘interactive book’

COZY AND COMFORTABLE

LITTLE ACORN AND THE GREAT BIG HAPPY HUG

Written by Hilary Hawkes

This book encourages children to be positive and enthusiastic about life and their role in it.

Hawkes uses a little acorn as a metaphor for human growth and potential. The young reader watches a little root pop out of an acorn shell and then traces its path of growth from the earth into a sapling and finally an acorn tree.

I like the use of alliteration and body movements to encourage the reader to participate in the little acorn’s growth cycle. Children are encouraged too find Snippy Snail hidden in each picture. Hawkes includes interactive activities that readers may use to relax and stay calm.

This book may be particularly useful during the pandemic when children are feeling unsettled. Recommended for elementary school readers.

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TREE SCIENCE

Can a Tree Be Blue?

Written and illustrated by Audrey Sauble

A delightful science book about trees targeted for preschoolers and primary grade children. The author poses the question, can trees be blue? and goes on to examine different types of trees and the colors of their leaves. She explains that many trees change colors in the fall. Winter changes them into grays and browns. Sauble reminds readers about evergreens and how they retain their green leaves. Just when the reader concludes no leaves are blue, the author introduces a surprise.

The illustrations are simple but explain the text appropriately. I enjoyed the interactive features of searching for bugs hidden throughout the pages and the scavenger hunt activity. This is a fun book to add to a science homeschool or distance-learning curriculum.

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PLAYTIME

Sam the Speedy Sloth (Book 1)

Written by Matthew Ralph

Sam is an unusual sloth. Unlike the rest of his species, Sam does not enjoy sleeping or staying inactive. One day he searches the rainforest for a playmate.

He meets Tammy the Toucan, Amy the Armadillo, and Oscar the Otto. Each has a favorite game, but they do not share the same set of skills. Will they be able to find a game in which each can use their unique talent to excel?

This charmingly illustrated picture book teaches children about animals of the South American jungle. They also learn that individual differences are not a roadblock to friendship and shared activities.

This book is a good choice for preschoolers as well as primary grade readers. In addition to the tale, readers are challenged by interactive activities like finding the hidden fruits, spotting the differences in pictures, word scrambles, and a fun fact pages on each of the animals featured in the book.

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#BethatSpark Blog Awareness Tour and #Giveaway

This tour is hosted by the Children’s Book Review and sponsored by Zuroam Media.

ABOUT THE BOOK

A Little Spark

Written by Chris Parsons

Illustrated by Mike Motz

Publisher’s Synopsis: When the survival of their hometown is threatened, two unlikely comrades join forces on a quest to defeat a dangerous enemy and bring back the only one who can save them all.

Beyond the frozen mountains there lies an oasis from the frigid cold and the howling winds. A place the animals call Lake Zuron. What a wonderful place, happy creatures of all kinds, living in harmony and warmth thanks to their very own fire-breathing dragon named Daniel.

But one day everything changed when the unthinkable happened. The Dragon fire goes out and immediately the air begins to chill. Things were not looking good but just when all hope was lost, an unlikely hero steps up. Join Spark the mouse on an adventure of a lifetime as he and his friends do their part to save their town from an icy demise.

With the magical power of Daniel, the Dragon there could be hope. But first, they must face and defeat a dangerous enemy, the vile beasts who own these mountains where nobody passes through.

Along this journey maybe you will discover that it’s that little Spark in each of us that really matters, and that a little Spark could save them from the coming cold. The story reminds us that we all need something in life every day to ignite our passion and spirit – to help the world be a “warmer” place and to look for ways to “Be That Spark.”

Ages 7+ | Publisher: Zuroam Media | October 1, 2020 | ISBN-13: 978-1735145501

About the Author

Chris Parsons grew up in the small fishing village of Flatrock, Newfoundland where he was surrounded by storytellers. When he became a father, he began creating his own children’s stories, and soon he was sharing them with a wider audience.

Over time, his audience grew up, but he continued to create his stories and colorful characters mostly for his own enjoyment. One day he had a flash of inspiration about a little mouse named Spark and began to create the world of A Little Spark.

Today, Chris lives in Dallas. He has left the high-tech world of innovation and business development behind and is focused on his real passion – to create new meaningful experiences for children centered around powerful and engaging stories like ” A little Spark.”

Together with his wife, Kathleen, daughter, Maggie, and son, Kealan, they share a love for all God’s creatures.

bethatspark.com | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

About the Illustrator

Mike Motz is a children’s book illustrator and publishing professional based out of Toronto, Canada. Motz has helped writers around the world fulfill their dreams of publishing their works. To date, Motz has been responsible for the creation of the artwork for over 300 self-published children’s books.

About the Narrator

Brandon McInnis is a voice actor and singer known primarily for his work on animation and video games. He voices Sir Nighteye in My Hero Academia, Ganos in Dragon Ball Super, Finral Roulacase in Black Clover, Asagiri Gen in Dr. Stone, Yuna D. Kaito in Cardcaptor Sakura: Clear Card, Frodo Baggins in Lord of the Rings Online, Patrick Phelps in Black Butler, Sonosuke Izayoi in Danganronpa 3, Erlang Shen in SMITE, and many more.

With a deep love for music production and originally trained as an opera singer, Brandon also produces music for release on YouTube and Spotify. He can be followed on Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram: @BranMci.

About the Music Producer

Bruce Faulconer is a musician, composer, and record producer based in Dallas, Texas. He is the owner and founder of Faulconer Productions Music, and CakeMix Recording Studio. Faulconer writes music for orchestra, various instrumental and choral groups, along with the music for feature films, and TV series, including the anime Dragon Ball Z. He recently completed twelve songs for A Little Spark, included in a new audiobook, an interactive children’s book, and an animated feature film in development. He resides in Dallas with his wife Lisa and is the father of two sons.

My Review of A LITTLE SPARK

SMALL BUT MIGHTY

A Little Spark

Written by Chris Parsons

Illustrated by Mike Motz

This interactive book is a valuable resource for young children’s minds on so many levels. It is innovative, inspiring, and entertaining.

The target audience range is a wide one. This book contains rich illustrations that could place it in the picture book category. But with a length of more than one hundred fifty pages, it also might be considered a chapter book or a middle-grade reader. What it delivers is a range of fascinating animal characters which are personified with a range of human emotions and aspirations. There are fire-breathing dragons, bears, mice, weasels, goats, cats, and raccoons. They live in Lake Zuron, an oasis on the edge of a frozen world. Their world survives only because of the warmth provided by Daniel, a fire-breathing dragon. Lake Zuron is not an ideal society. The “Supervisors” contain the stronger animals, a ruling class. Far below them, “The Streeters,” perform all the work.

One day, Daniel loses his ability to produce fire. Lake Zuron faces extinction. But Sparky, a tiny mouse, finds within himself the courage to make the perilous journey over the frozen wasteland of their enemies, the Scabes, to follow a rumor that another land survives on the other side of the mountain. He and Veen venture to the other side. Will they discover salvation or face extinction?

Young readers learn many lessons from the colorful cast of characters as the adventure unfolds. Hope, courage, friendship, equality, fairness, and responsibility are exemplified in the faces and actions of the characters, both large and small. But Parsons provides much more than an excellent book. Embedded within its pages are a collection of twelve songs, private video messages from the characters, the ability to take a photo with your favorite character, or an opportunity for readers to share their personal opinions on the interactive lesson pages at the end of the book.

I highly recommend this unique educational resource for readers age eight through eighty-eight.

PURCHASE LINK

Before October 1st, pre-order your copy, email the team at Zuroam Media, and they’ll give you the audiobook free so you can enjoy it while you wait for the book to arrive. You can find all the email address and links to your favorite bookstore here: https://bethatspark.com/shop/.

Click the link below to enter the GIVEAWAY

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3d5cb282179/

Enter for a chance to win the A Little Spark prize pack.

One (1) grand prize winner receives:

  • A hardcover copy of A Little Spark, autographed by author Chris Parsons.
  • A downloadable audiobook of A Little Spark.
  • A Little Spark USB drive with the A Little Spark music album.
  • One set of Apple AirPods Pro for listening to the outstanding audiobook and music!

Two (2) winners receive:

  • A hardcover copy of A Little Spark, autographed by author Chris Parsons.
  • A downloadable audiobook of A Little Spark.

Giveaway begins August 24, 2020, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends September 24, 2020, at 11:59 P.M. MT.

TOUR SCHEDULE

August 24The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/Book Review
August 25JrsbookreviewsHttp://www.jrsbookreviews.wordpress.comBook Review
August 26Over Coffee Conversationshttps://gmarciano.blogspot.comGiveaway
August 27Heart to Hearthttp://tynea-lewis.com/Giveaway
August 28The Children’s Book Reviewhttps://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/Interview
August 30Barbara Ann Mojica’s Bloghttps://bamauthor.meBook Review
August 31Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Momhttp://wannabesuperheromom.blogspot.com/Book Review
September 1A Dream Within A Dreamhttp://adreamwithindream.blogspot.comBook Review
September 3Satisfaction for Insatiable Readershttp://insatiablereaders.blogspot.comGuest Post
September 8Fairview Elementary School (Library)https://fveslibrary.blogspot.com/Book Review
September 9icefairy’s Treasure Chesthttp://icefairystreasurechest.blogspot.com/Book Review
September 15Library Lady’s Kid Lithttps://janemouttet.wordpress.com/Intervie

#Too Tough to Handle

Never ask a Dinosaur: Funny Read-Aloud Story Book for Toddlers, Preschoolers and Kids 3-6) Book 4

Written and illustrated by Melinda Kinsman

A little boy decides to bring his pet triceratops to school with him, thinking that they will both have lots of fun. At first, his friends think this is cool. His teachers, principal, cafeteria workers, and staffers don’t agree.

This book contains terrific illustrations that are colorful and expressive. The rhyming text flows well and is fun to read aloud. Children will love the humor and funny antics. The bonus puzzles, matching activities, and games keep the fun rolling along. Book 4 in this series does not disappoint. Preschoolers and primary grade readers can have lots of fun with this series of books.

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#Building Bridges

Aspergers Books for Kids: Joey the Weather Boy – A Story About Asperger Syndrome

Written by Dr. Sam Caron, PhD

Illustrated by Jeremy Caron

The author of this boy is a psychologist/ventriloquist who has been working with children and their families for thirty years. As a special educator, I applaud his approach. Dr. Caron has used this fictional short story to address the child and parents and then provided an interactive guide to implementing its lessons.

Joey is an eight-year-old boy who does not look at people and is obsessed with the weather. He has an uncanny talent to predict all aspects of the weather. Joey could talk about nothing else. His parents, teachers, and classmates could not understand him. That was okay with Joey because he preferred to be alone.

Joey’s parents took him to Dr. Caron who introduced Joey to Elwood, his puppet. Joey was able to relate to Elwood. With Dr. Caron’s help, Joey introduced a kids’ weather program and began speech therapy. Joey became more comfortable communicating with others. Children and adults recognized his talents.

This book goes a long way in helping parents, teachers, and children to understand Asperger Syndrome. Children who are bored easily, hyperactive or impulsive are not behavior problems. Books like these go a long way to eliminate preconceived notions. I highly recommend this series of books as a good start to building bridges with families who deal with the problem and members of the general population who misunderstand its symptoms.

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BAD BOY

The Worst Book Ever

Written by Beth Bacon

Illustrated by Jason Grube and Coriander Hale

This book desperately wants to be a bad boy. His goal is to become a banned book in the library. He tries everything to win the librarian’s disapproval. Some of his tactics include using gross words, misspelled words, and made-up words. The book enlists readers to assist him by being loud and doing everything possible to annoy the librarian like flapping arms, wiggling and jumping up and down in their seats. To his dismay, the book makes its way into storytime.

This book is filled with much humor, graphics, and simple illustrations. There are vivid colors, lots of variation in print size, alliteration, and onomatopoeia. Bacon playfully encourages her readers to become accomplices in the book’s quest for notoriety.

Bacon targets the book for a kindergarten through grade five audience. Beginning, intermediate and reluctant readers can join in the fun.

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LEARNING HOW TO BE A TRUE FRIEND

Emilia’s Treasure: How a Mermaid Makes Friends

Written by Anca Niculae

Illustrated by Maria Falie

Emilia, the mermaid, is upset because none of her mermaid friends want to search for pearls with her. She goes off in search of other mermaids, a snail and a school of fish, but none of them seem interested in her project. When a little mermaid loses her seahorse, Emma decides to search with her. As the two new friends continue on their exploration they meet other creatures of the sea. This time the two mermaids stop and listen to what these creatures have to say. They learn the valuable lesson that in seeking friendship listening is more important than seeking to impress others.

At the end of the book, the author supplies a questionnaire to assist children in assessing their own relationships. Children are presented with a list of questions to answer and activities to use that are placed in appropriate age categories. I would particularly recommend this book for beginning readers and shy children who have difficulty with peer relationships. This book has value for children of all ages.

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CYBILS BLOGGING AWARDS 2017

This year I had the honor of participating on a panel of judges to determine the winners in the Easy Reader and Early Chapter Book categories of the 2017 Cybils Blogging Awards for Children’s Literature.

Today I would like to share my reviews of the winning books in the Easy Reader and Early Chapter Books. I will share reviews of the finalists in each category in the next few weeks.

EASY READER WINNER!

King and Kayla and the Case of the Secret Code

Written by Dori Hillstead Butler

Illustrated by Nancy Meyers

This is the first book in the mystery series featuring Kayla and her golden retriever, King. I enjoyed the author’s approach of first introducing the dog and later his human, Kayla. King is frustrated that he cannot communicate to his owner in words, so he uses actions to express himself. By the end of the tale, readers learn more about King’s intelligence.

Kayla and King answer the doorbell. No one is there but a letter has been left on the doorstep. When Kayla’s friend Mason comes to visit, he reveals that he has received a letter as well. Neither of the friends can read the letter because it is written in secret code. Kayla and Nathan set out to decode the letters. They find that only the second word is different. King is sure he knows the author, but the humans don’t understand what he is saying. A chance meeting with Jillian, who lives a few houses away may hold the key to the mystery.

I would consider this book more of a chapter book than an easy reader. Children in second and third grade will better understand the nuances and messages of the plot. This book presents multicultural characters and interactive learning opportunities. Recommended for boys and girls in the seven to nine age range.

EARLY CHAPTER BOOK WINNER!

Wedgie & Gizmo

Written by Suzanne Selfors

Illustrated by Barbara Fisinger

Book 1 of a new series featuring a cavy named Gizmo and a corgi named Wedgie. Gizmo introduces himself as a Genius with an Evil Plan. Gizmo has recently been uprooted once again. He began his life in a pet store where a parrot taught him to read. His human, Elliot, chose him and brought him home. But Elliot’s dad has remarried and now Gizmo must learn to live in a new human house. Elliot now has a stepsister named Jasmine and a stepbrother named Jackson. Worst of all, Wedgie, their corgi pet, wears a cap and thinks he is the protector of the family.

The book hilariously describes how Gizmo and Wedgie compete for control and human attention. Gizmo gets seriously ill when he attacks a cereal box in the pantry, and Gizmo hatches a scheme to get Wedgie in trouble with Jasmine. Selfors artfully weaves the animal conversations into the story. Children who feel displaced by moving or becoming a part of a blended family will empathize with their situation. Gizmo undergoes serious trauma when he learns the grandmother comes from Peru where caves are eaten. There are a lot of twists and turns, laughter, and tears, as the new family learns to live and love each other.

The illustrations are fun and humorous. My favorite illustration depicts grandmother (abuela) sleeping in bed with curlers in her hair while Gizmo places a delivery label addressed to Peru on her head. The story is almost two hundred pages and that might be a challenge for beginning readers. While the plot moves along quickly and is really entertaining, I believe it better suited to a third to a fifth-grade audience. Can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

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CAT CITY CAPER

The Three Pirate City Cats

Written and illustrated by John E. Dorey

threecitypiratespic

Cute picture book for students in the primary grades. I like the author’s layout using speech bubbles for the text and animation type illustrations for the animal characters. Dorey introduces his readers to three abandoned cat siblings, Grace, Sam and Charlie. Left to fend for themselves they observe a human watching a TV show about pirates. The siblings are frightened by a dog, who turns out to be a friend. He leads them to a storage locker that will provide them with the props they need to create their own pirate adventure.

This forty two page book has visual and story-line appeal for early readers. My only criticism of the book is that it does not provide a conclusion, but rather invites the reader to create their own story. While I certainly do not object to an interactive story, some readers may be disappointed that there is no definite denouement to the plot. That is my reason for not giving the book a five star rating.

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