Posts tagged ‘park’


Catch Up!

Written by Cazzy Zahursky

Illustrated by Sam Cabbage

A family enjoys a picnic in a local park. When a bottle-cap falls off the table, their dog Buddy runs away with it. He just wants to play fetch. But that bottle-cap finds itself on an unexpected journey when different animal groups in the park commandeer it to use for fun. The boy runs around trying to regain possession while readers are treated to a riotous adventure.

The funny picture book features huge, colorful illustrations and large font. It is a fun read aloud for adults or beginnng readers. Characters are multicultural and diverse including children with disabilities.

Highly recommended for children ages two through five.



In partnership with The Children’s Book Review and Mark Darden


Elijah Goes to Cleveland

Written by Mark Darden

Illustrated by Anh Bui

Ages 4+ | 32 Pages

Publisher: Buckeye Muscle Media | 9871736703007

Publisher’s Synopsis: Elijah is in Cleveland visiting his grandparents when he finds out that his favorite music band will be performing at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The tickets are free, but there is a catch: You have to do a scavenger hunt to find band members at various landmarks throughout Cleveland. With the help of his grandparents, will Elijah be able to secure tickets to see his favorite band perform? Pick up a copy of Elijah Goes to Cleveland to find out.


Mark Darden is an author, sports travel blogger, and Chief Content Creator for Buckeye Muscle Media, LLC. Since 2017, Mark has documented his sports travel adventures on his blog, Originally from Cleveland, Mark’s first book is IT’S GAME TIME FOLKS!: Quest for 30, a travelogue of his journey visiting all 30 MLB ballparks during the 2017 season. He is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA).

For more information, visit



Elijah Goes to Cleveland

Written by Mark Darden

Illustrated by Anh Bui

Elijah is so excited to be visiting his grandparents in Cleveland, Ohio. After he arrives, he views a commercial for a concert at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Elijah notes his favorite band will be performing and there is a contest to win free tickets. He immediately asks his grandparents to help.

They will have to scour the city because to win the prize the contestant must follow the clues to a scavenger hunt. During their mission, the family visits the town square, a museum, the zoo, a theater, a park, and the Hall of Fame. Will Elijah win the prize? What does he learn about Cleveland?

I enjoyed the beautiful multicultural illustrations, the map, and the warm family relationships portrayed in the story. Recommended for young children as a picture book, a travel guide for Cleveland, and a beginning reader.


Enter for a chance to win one of ten autographed copies of Elijah Goes to Cleveland—5 books will have a gift card to one of the following places: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Museum of Art, West Side Market, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Karamu House!

Five (5) winners receive:

A signed copy of Elijah Goes to Cleveland

A gift card to one of the following places: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland Museum of Art, West Side Market, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, or Karamu House!

Five (5) winners receive:

A signed copy of Elijah Goes to Cleveland 


Monday, March 7, 2022The Children’s Book ReviewTour Kick-Off
Tuesday, February 15, 2022The Fairview ReviewA book review ofElijah Goes to Cleveland
Tuesday, March 9, 2022The Momma SpotA book review ofElijah Goes to Cleveland
Wednesday, March 10, 2022Life Is What It’s CalledAn interview withAuthor Mark Darden
Tuesday, March 15, 2022icefairy’s Treasure ChestA book review ofElijah Goes to Cleveland
Wednesday, March 16, 2022Barbara Ann MojicaA book review ofElijah Goes to Cleveland
Thursday, March 17, 2022Because I Said SoA book review ofElijah Goes to Cleveland
Friday, March 18, 2022Crafty Moms ShareA book review ofElijah Goes to Cleveland
Wednesday, March 23, 2022Tales of a Wannabe Superhero MomA beyond the book activity forElijah Goes to Cleveland
Thursday, March 24, 2022Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersA guest article byAuthor Mark Darden
Friday, March 25, 2022Lisa’s ReadingA book review ofElijah Goes to Cleveland


Squirrel And The Yellow Balalaika

Written by Ira Alice

Illustrated by Elena Teplova

Chanterelle is a squirrel who lives in the park. She possesses an unusual passion for music. Chanterelle longs to hear musicians play each summer.

One day she hears music in the distance. Chanterelle is hesitant to leave her surroundings, but the sweet sounds lure her on. A raven gives her some advice. He encourages her not to be afraid. Chanterelle timidly ventures forth into the city.

Chanterelle meets Nina and her handicapped father. Nina plays a balalaika, the source of that sweet sound. But Chanterelle will also encounter bandits, bullies, and other dangers. Will she succeed in returning to the forest?
Can this plucky squirrel achieve her musical dreams?

I consider this book a beginning chapter or middle-grade tale that inspires young readers to stand up for their rights, maintain their dreams, and oppose bullies. Recommended for readers ages seven through twelve.

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Check out my website to see all my learning resources.


Good Morning World!

Written by Mrs. D

Illustrated by Eladziem



This new book by Mrs. D is a study in contrasts. The young generation versus the old, the optimist versus the pessimist and realism versus make believe. This story is dedicated to Baby Thomas and his grandfather Patrick, who are the models for the two main characters. At the end of this story, Mrs. D provides summaries and links to both her current books and those projects that are in the planning stage so that we readers know what is in store for us.

The setting is a comfortable family living room. Baby Thomas is playing on the floor while Grandma is watching from her chair as Grandpa is snoozing on the couch. When the baby gestures toward his stroller, Grandma places him in in and urges Grandpa to get up and go out for a walk to the park on this beautiful day. Grandpa reluctantly begins pushing the stroller, but the look on his face tells you he is none too happy.  On the other hand, Thomas is glowing with smiles and happiness as he engages with the world around him.

The author personifies all the forces of nature. The sun, the clouds, the trees and the wind have exquisite faces exemplifying their emotions. In addition, the author sprinkles her sentences with alliteration examples like “silly stroller” and sounds like “croak, craake. As they journey on, Grandpa complains with analogies comparing the sun to a boiling pot and  the sun baking us up like cupcakes.The park is too noisy, the path is too crowded, the skies too buggy, his shoes got too dirty and so on. Baby Thomas sees nothing but the positives as he greets the frogs, the birds, the wind, the lady bugs and the passers-by. Thomas enthusiastically greets the little girl and her mom that they meet on the path. The little girl feels as Thomas does; her mother is too busy talking on the phone all the time. When Thomas and his grandfather arrive home, Grandma is surprised to see that Thomas is still not sleepy, while Grandpa heads straight to the couch to resume his nap.

The illustrations by Eladziem are masterfully done and provide a study in contrast as well. The personifications look like human faces expressing emotions. Grandpa’s facial expressions are priceless. You want to hug and squeeze Thomas because he is so cheerful. The pot belly on Grandpa and the I love my Grandpa shirt worn by Thomas are great personal touches. Throughout the story, Eladziem alternates between pages drawn realistically in vivid, bold color, and soft nature scenes done in muted pastel colors.

It is wonderful to see the beauty of the world expressed through the eyes of a young child. How often we adults forget! Take a look at this exquisite book with your young child or grandchild and give yourself the opportunity to remember!

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