Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Father's Road by Ji-Yun Jang & illustrated by Tan Jun from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (97808028)54728)

ISBN13: 9780802854728
Paperback - Eerdmans Publishing
My thoughts:  Introducing young children to history using stories about children their own age, is a good educational tool. The author should be careful to make certain his or her historic account is authentic and simply embellish the story with words and actions of the characters to make it suitable reading for youth.

The Trade Winds educational series publication Father's Road brings a story to the reader of what might have occurred during the period of time that was about 100 years prior to the birth of Christ. The story recounts the harshness of the journey that took over a year for the caravan to reach their destination. Not only was the terrain rugged and unforgiving, there were bandits and many dangers along the way.

Things that can be learned include the type of journey, the terrain, the terror of bandits, and the possibility of illness overtaking the traveler.

The pages in the back of the book give opportunity for the young reader to learn more about the period of history with a short history of the origin of The Silk Road, some key terms and concepts, the beginning of global exchange, merchandise from around the world, the geography of The Silk Road, and a timeline of events.

This is a children's picture book and is meant to entertain as well as educate. Hopefully, books like the Trade Winds Series will plant seeds of interest in the minds of young readers encouraging them to further explore history as the grow into adulthood.

I highly recommend.

About the book: Wong Chung is thrilled when he has the chance to join his father’s caravan and embark on a journey along the Silk Road. But with the harsh terrain, brutal sandstorms, and marauding bandits, the journey is not an easy one. With so many obstacles will they ever be able to reach the magnificent markets in Constantinople?
This book in the new Trade Winds series presents historical information about the most well-known trade route in a fun, accessible way.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Eerdmans Publishing to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own. I was not compensated.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Queen of the Frogs by Davide Cali & illustrated by Marco SomΓ  from Eerdmans Publishing

ISBN:  9780802854810
My thoughts:  To me a children's book should be rich with illustrations that tell the story visually interpreting the text from the author. In The Queen of the Frogs the muted browns, greens, and reds and the charm of the frog drawings themselves, are true to the story with true merit of their own.

Looking at the story from the point of view of a child: It is a story of a group of frogs and an imaginary life that one can perceive exists in the pond. The illustrations bring hilarity and life to the simple story of finding an object that promotes the finder to queen status. Then of course they have to figure out just what it is that a queen does. Eventually, the queen's crown is lost again in the depths of the pond so the frog-queen is no longer regarded as special and therefore queen. So life in the pond returns to its previous state of blissful frog happiness.

Looking at the story from an adult viewpoint (and wondering if this deeper meaning is meant to be conveyed to the child reader/listener): The frogs living a simple life create a one in which a single individual dominates the populace simply because of a status symbol. Made up rules grant elevated rank to the holder of the crown and servitude to the remaining frogs. Then, when the status symbol is lost, the servant-frogs demote the crown wearer to their own level. Life returns to its once blissful state. 

The ending is interesting as humans are inserted into the tale and their ownership of the "crown" is shared as one of happiness.

I prefer to read the story simply on the level that a child might enjoy it without the heavy thoughts of political gain and loss. I love the illustrations and their colors so reflective of life around a pond. I love, too, the charm and liveliness of the frogs as they go about their wonderful life in the pond with a touch of whimsical charm.

About the book: 
An enchanting modern fable

The frogs enjoy their life at the pond, filling their days with fly brunches and night music. But one day a little frog finds a crown at the bottom of the pond and is instantly pronounced a queen. She starts doing what queens do: making demands and expecting others to serve her. But when her royal subjects start to question her authority, she must prove she's fit to rule—if she can.

Reminiscent of Aesop's fables, this beautifully illustrated book is sure to start a discussion about the concept of leadership and the importance of humility.

DISCLOSURE: I received a copy from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers to facilitate a review. Opinions are my  own and are freely given.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Worthy Kids has new line of Bible Stories for Babies & Toddlers - "In the Beginning" and "Noah's Ark" [Review & Giveaway]

WorthyKids/Ideals Publishing has embarked on a new venture: to create a Bible story series fit for the youngest of children. Beginning with the Creation story, In the Beginning, and with the story of the w orld wide flood in Noah's Ark  utilizing a simple vocabulary of 100 words  combined with simple straight-forward illustrations, they have brought to these young "readers" a concrete introduction into the truth of God's Word. Not intended to replace the Bible, these little board books are intended as an introduction to learning about God and His Word.

ISBN: 9780824919924
Board book ~ Ages 1 - 3My thoughts:
"Children’s Bible stories exist in abundance, but retellings aimed at babies and young toddlers can be hard to find. Author Susana Gay discovered this problem when she couldn’t find a suitable book for a baptism gift. Her solution? She worked with her young son to create Bible story books that are perfect for christenings, baby showers, and everyday use. With bold, modern art and simple words, In the Beginning and Noah’s Ark bring a fresh perspective to classic Bible stories. " [source: Worthy/Ideals]

My thoughts: A simple presentation of the Creation story for the very young child. Told with few words and illustrated simply yet definitively, the days of creation are covered. A sturdy board book that will surely endure the rough handling that little ones tend to give books.

About the book: In the Beginning tells the story of Creation in just one hundred words, highlighting key moments for little ones. Children will learn that in the beginning, everything was dark. Then God said, “Let there be light.” He created the seas and the land, the sun and the moon, all the creatures on the earth . . . and us! And then God rested.

ISBN 9780824919917
Board book ~ Ages 1 - 3
My thoughts: The story of Noah's Ark has proven through the years to be one that young children enjoy; not because they understand the salvation message and judgment by God in the story. No, they just love the tale of lots of animals getting on board a big boat, etc.

This little board book is simply the bare bones story of the Flood and how God provided a means of saving mankind and the animals. It ends with the rainbow (a good color teaching tool).

Being a very short book for the very young child, it must be realized that the depth of the Biblical story can not be fully covered. One slight error I noticed was that all the animals entered the ark - two by two. We know that the "clean animals" were taken in sevens. This is a very good introduction to Noah's Ark for the young child. I would suggest a small "Noah's Ark" playset of little figures and an ark to enhance understanding.

About the book: Noah’s Ark Children will learn that God asked Noah to build a big boat; that it rained and rained for days; and that God saved Noah and the animals, placing a rainbow in the sky. They will learn to count the animals two by two and will discover the many colors of the rainbow.

Both books feature the vibrant artwork of Susana Gay. Uncluttered pages make a nimals and objects stand out, helping to build a child’s vocabulary as the parent or child names zebras, fish, bears, and more. These board book keepsakes are fresh, simple, and uniquely crafted for today’s families.
Begins April 24
Ends May 4 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Author: Susana Gay is an award-winning graphic designer and the owner of Threehaus, a branding and design studio in Winter Park, Florida. Susana collaborated with her seven-year-old son, Owen, to create Noah’s Ark as a gift for a family baptism. Owen retold the story and sketched some of the fun and friendly scenes. Working with Owen, Susana polished the text and created the art. They followed Noah’s Ark with In the Beginning, resulting in a series of unique and beautiful introductions to favorite childhood Bible stories.

Worthy Publishing Group ( is a privately held, independent voice in inspirational publishing, based in Nashville, Tennessee. Worthy has four imprints: Worthy Books publishes a broad spectrum of genres, including current events, pop culture, biography, fiction, spiritual growth, and specialized Bibles; WorthyKids/Ideals creates colorful, interactive children’s books, including VeggieTales and Berenstain Bears, for ages 2 to 8; Ellie Claire produces beautifully crafted journals, gifts and paper expressions; and Worthy Inspired publishes inspirational felt-need, personal growth, and devotional books.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of each book from Worthy Publishing Group to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and freely given.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Becky Wade’s ‘True to You’ Author Chat Party


Raise your hand if you're ready for Becky Wade's new series! Celebrate the release of book one, True to You, with Becky and other readers on Facebook on May 4th during a fun author chat party at 8:00 PM EDT (that's 7:00 Central, 6:00 Mountain, & 5:00 Pacific)! Becky will be chatting about the book and answering your questions about the new series, and of course, there will be plenty of fun giveaways too!

Pre-order your copy of True to You so you're ready for a fun book discussion. Find out more about the book here.

Hope to see you on May 4 for Becky's True to You Facebook Party

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Search and Find: Animals by Libby Walden & illustrated by FermΓ­n SolΓ­s

ISBN13: 9781626867710
Hardcove - Ages 3 - 7
Silver Dolphin Books
My thoughts: Children absolutely love search and find books. No matter the subject matter, they become engrossed in finding the most minute detail in books of this type.

In Search and Find Animals by Libby Walden the fold out pages make this very durable book even more fun and the amount of interesting critters to find is fantastic. Going from the barnyard to the tropical forest, the young reader will be engaged in this unique opportunity to find the animals. As the books is opened, you see that on the left is a flap and the instructions direct the child to search for what is hidden under the flap. This continues with cold climate animals (penguins, etc.), jungles, the sea, the African savannah, and the forest.

And there is more than just the specific animals for which the reader is to search. There are more animals and objects that can capture the child's attention and become a focused learning point.

The colorful illustrations are cute and whimsical and easy for the child to identify. This can be a fun, entertaining, and educational exploration into the animal world.

I highly recommend for the home with young children.

About the book: Can you find a pair of birds playing badminton, a gibbon with a ribbon, and a starfish shining in the spotlight? In Search and Find: Animals, young children are prompted to search six busy foldout scenes to find theHa illustrations highlighted on the large flaps. Each colorful spread features 20 things to find, plus additional amusing animals on a farm, in the Arctic, under a jungle canopy, beneath the waves, across the savannah, and in the nighttime woods. As readers explore the pages and find the animals, they will encounter other creatures scampering about—so parents can help children identify and learn the names of even more animals.
Begins April 20
Ends May 11 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from MMPublicity on behalf of Silver Dolphin Books to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and freely given.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Harry Miller's Run by David Almond & illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino [Review & Giveaway - USA/CANADA]

ISBN: 978-1406362244
Ages 7 - 9
My thoughts: This is an incredibly touching story written with lovely flowing words that ring true to the time, location, and era of the tale. The story is of an older man who recalls his youth and his running. But as important as the recollection of an older man is, the respect showN to him by a younger generation and the respect for the elderly it will instill in young readers is truly wonderful.

The story resonates with wonder as the joy of the older man is recalled and captures the attention and imagination of the young boy, proving that interests and goals span the generations helping young Liam see that going to help Harry proves beneficial for both Harry and Liam.

I strongly encourage adults to find ways in which their young children can engage the senior population learning their stories and finding things they can do to help the aging population. This story shows a way the generations can benefit from each other and also is a powerful story.

About the book: "That's reet, lad! Run! There's a wolf at your tail! Run for your lovely life!" A joyful, uplifting story of times gone by, from the internationally acclaimed author of Skellig. A joyful, uplifting story of times gone by from the internationally acclaimed author of Skellig, illustrated in full colour by the award-winning illustrator of A Walk in London. Liam just wants to go out running with his mates - it's not long till the Junior Great North Run, and there's training to be done. But Mam needs him today, to help old Harry clear out his house. Harry knows a thing or two about running. When he was a lad, he says, he ran all the way from Newcastle to South Shields. "But Harry," says Mam, "that's thirteen miles!" Harry grins. "Different times," he says. This is the story of that day: of sweltering heat, clattering boots, briny sea air and the heavenly taste of ice cream; the day when Harry and his pals ran and ran and ran through the blazing sunlight all the way to the sea.

GIVEAWAY - 2 Winners

Begins April 19
Ends May 11 @ 12;01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA & CANADA addresses
No P.O.Boxes
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by Candlewick Press to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and are freely given. Winner's copy is provided directly to them by Candlewick.

Beauty and the Beast: A Coloring Book from Silver Dolphin Books [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts: There has been a lot of press recently about fairy tales and specifically about "Beauty and the Beast." A recently released film has drawn interest and piqued hearts young and old with its tale of love overcoming ugliness.

There are books on Beauty and the Beast that facilitate enjoyment on various levels. And today we're looking at a beautifully drawn coloring book from Silver Dolphin Books that has quotes from the original story.

This is a quality product that older children, teens, and adults will enjoy coloring with highly detailed drawings that will fascinate and draw out the creative spark in the most avid "colorers." The designs are quite intricate and very pretty reminiscent of Walter Crane's art. Coloration will require very fine points and care to be done well.

About the book: This enchanting coloring book is full of wonderful pictures, patterns, and borders to be colored in, as budding artists immerse themselves in the story of Beauty, who goes to live with the terrifying Beast in order to save her father…and then gradually learns to love him. All the key scenes and characters are here to color in as you relive this most romantic of fairy tales.
Begins April 18
Ends May 9 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from MMPublicity to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and freely given. Winner's copy is provided directly winner by publicist or publisher.