Han and the Mysterious Pearl

Han and the Mysterious Pearl

You’ve probably heard of the fishing cormorants on the Li River in China. I included one in my re-telling of this fable as a sort of Kiplinger “just so” explanation.

HAN AND THE MYSTERIOUS PEARL is my fifth picture book with Guardian Angel Publishing. I am very pleased with the illustrations by Carl Kocich, who also illustrated my friend, Jayne Moraski’s, HOW ALLIGTOR GOT HIS SMILE BACK. These pictures will take you right to Ancient China to meet Han, his mother, and his pet cormorant. Also an enigmatic figure.

The story is about a Chinese boy, Han, who goes on his first solo fishing expedition—with his faithful companion—his cormorant, after his father has died. Han inherited his father’s knife with which he hacks down the bamboo poles to build his own raft. His mother provides him with a simple lunch. But before the day is over, Han has the adventure of his life.

On that first evening, Han spies a glow from a cave on the river, and goes to discover what causes it. There he finds a wonderful pearl. He takes  the pearl, but there will be consequences!

Watch out for those river monsters!

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The book is available at Guardian Angel Publishing:http://guardianangelpublishing.com/han-pearl.htm

as well as Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, and Goodreads.

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Susan J. Berger’s Earthquake

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Though earthquakes are something we don’t want to experience, Susan J. Berger’s book, EARTHQUAKE! (2nd edition) is infused with enough humor to keep the reader from being terrified while gaining information and safety precautions about the subject.

EARTHQUAKE! Susan J. Berger

Eugene Ruble’s charts and graphs are easy to read and understand and help to clarify the many facts. In addition, he includes funny illustrations that take the scare out of the topic, for instance, the fellow “quaking” in his bed during a large earthquake.

Susan goes into the causes (faults in the earth’s crust) and what a quake feels like, from quick and jerky to a roller coaster ride. The places on earth that are most likely to experience quakes surround the Pacific Ocean, in what is called the Ring of Fire.

Besides naturally occurring earthquakes, some have been caused by the building of large dams and reservoirs and FRAKING (the forcing of oil from rocks).

Two types of scales are used to measure quakes: the Richter scale that we are familiar with, measures the intensity of a quake, and the Mercalli scale which measures the level of damage after the quake. There is a picture of the very first seismometer, built in China by Chang Heng in 132 A.D.

Interesting statistics are provided about individual quakes. The largest quake in the United States occurred in Prince William Sound in Alaska. It measured 9.2 on the Richter Scale. Susan tells about experiencing the Northridge, CA, quake of 1994, which measured 6.7 on the Richter scale of intensity. (This reviewer was in an earthquake in Japan in 1965 that rippled and made me nauseous). The safety precautions and preparedness guides for both children and adults are thoroughly itemized and explained.

EARTHQUAKE! is nicely broken up with sidebar FACTOIDS and science experiments for children ages 7-12. The rice experiment is especially fascinating. And kids will love sloshing water out of the bathtub in an experiment called Seiche (saysh).

I enjoyed reading the pdf of this book which Susan sent me for review.

2/2016 UPDATED SECOND EDITION NOW RELEASED! in softcover, ebook and hardcover. Available at Guardian Angel Publishing,

http://guardianangelpublishing.com/earthquake.htm

and other outlets.

 

 

 

 

 

Review of LITTLE BUG by Karin Larson

Little Bug

Karin Larson’s first Guardian Angel Publishing picture book, LITTLE BUG, develops the concepts of “where” and “when” using a little critter’s search for home and comforts. 

            Persistence is the name of the game here. If Little Bug can’t find what he’s looking for in one place and one way, he continues in another place and another way. Fortunately, there are lots of prepositions, cum adverbs, to help him in his searches. For instance:

            “Little Bug crawled and crawled to find a hill to tunnel through.

He looked beyond. He looked beneath. He looked toward. He looked among. He looked about and past. He was too small.”

            Young students learning to use the English language will be astounded at the ways in which a verb can be controlled to show time and place. And teachers will be delighted to have a book they can use to teach grammar in a fun and simple way with lots of good examples. 

This little rhyming verse will have readers rooting for Little Bug to find a snug place to rest.

“Little Bug crawled and crawled to find a place to rest. He looked high. He looked low. He looked above. He looked below. He got tired and slow. He needed a break.”

Good luck, Little Bug!          

            Illustrator, Eugene Ruble, has in some cases, made Little Bug’s movements seem animated.

Karin Larson is a freelance writer living in Mitchell, SD, with her husband and three children. She has enjoyed publishing success in both children and adult markets. Karin is a member of SCBWI and a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature.

Visit Karin at http://www.karin-larson.blogspot.com  or   http://karinlarson.com

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Review of Jill Dana’s HER BROWN HAIR and HER PINK HAIR

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Her Brown Hair

Her Pink Hair

It’s hard not to feel sad when reading these companion books, HER BROWN HAIR and HER PINK HAIR, by writer/illustrator Jill Dana. Until you get to the end.

These two books, HER BROWN HAIR and HER PINK HAIR,  are about Stephanie, a little girl who has cancer. The narrator is a friend who visit Stephanie at home and in the hospital and plays with Stephanie when she is well enough. Other friends visit and bring her books to enjoy.

Stephanie’s illness worsens to the point that her hair falls out after chemo. The narrator explains that her friend goes from having long, curly brown hair, to being bald, to regrowing her hair. To bring some happiness and cheer into Stephanie’s life, her mother dyes her hair PINK.

The unusual aspect of these books is that author/illustrator Jill Dana has illustrated the characters in clay figures. Every page is bright and cheerful, created in vivid colors. The rainbow over the bed in the hospital brings a touch of hope and optimism.

Now, when the narrator thinks of her friend, she closes her eyes and sees a beautiful picture of Stephanie under an arch of flowers against a joyful cloud-studded blue sky.

This touching story has a very personal feel to it. Many children five to nine are mature enough to handle the illness aspect of the book, but it is a decision for the parents to make. They will definately love the illustrations.

Ms. Dana’s background in psychology is evident in her spare prose. She’s talented in several areas: she’s an artist, a sculptress, and a filmmaker.

She would be pleased if you would visit her at www.jilldanabooks.com

Cogratulations, Jill, on the launch of your first two Guardian Angel books!

The books are available at:

http://guardianangelpublishing.com/brown-hair.htm

http://guardianangelpublishing.com/pink-hair.htm

sunshineaward

Today begins 2015 PiBoIdMo. Eh?

Today is the first day of PiBoIdMo, 2015. If you’re a picture book writer you probably already know what that stands for: Picture Book Idea Month. Think of a new idea for a picture book every day for thirty days–it’s that easy. This is Tara Lazar’s brain child for people who don’t use the month of November to write a novel in. Or you can do both. This is my first year to join in the challenge. I have started my list–but I ‘m not telling. Maybe some of my ideas will materalize into books.

In the meantime, check out my two latest picture books from Guardian Angel Publishing:

BonBon

BonBon

BonBon is a plush toy French Poodle dog. She lives, for the time being, at the Twice-Loved Toy Shop in Paris, France. She longs for a nice child to take her to a loving home. While she practices being patient, she and the other toys look out the window and see the Eiffel Tower. They talk about other beautiful and famous places in Paris. But, oh, no! BonBon is hidden by another toy, a large bear. Will BonBon ever be seen by tourists walking up and down the Champs Elysees Boulevard? A series of fortunate events is about to happen. Eugene Ruble used photographs of the real BonBon to share the pup’s story with readers.

http://guardianangelpublishing.com/bonbon.htm

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Colby Mouse’s Christmas Gift

Colby Mouse's Christmas Gift

Colby Mouse thinks of a way to take part in the Christmas festivities in the people house where he lives. The little girl, Becky, realizes that the gift left on Santa’s plate is from the clever little mouse.

http://guardianangelpublishing.com/colby-mouse.htm

And here is an announcement from Lynda S. Burch: More new books from Guardian Angel Publishing:

100 Pecans for Tabitha
Academic Wings
Author: Tracey M. Cox; Illustrator: Eugene Ruble
Tabitha is on the search for 100 pecans. Help her count by 5s to reach her goal and have her favorite treats. Recipes and Pecan info included.
http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/tabitha.htm

America Bless God,  a Children’s Musical
Angelic Harmony
Authors: Dixie Phillips, Sharon Phillips
Light up your 4th of July with this simple easy-to-perform patriotic children’s musical.
http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/america-bless-god.htm

Papillon and the Magic Lamp
Chapbooks for Tweens
Author: Osa Kauffman; Illustrator: Aumi Kauffman Perry
A talking butterfly and a boy embark on an adventure in the desert. They encounter a talking camel, a wily salesman, and a magical lamp.
http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/papillon-magic-lamp.htm

Review of Penelope Anne Cole’s “Magical Max and Magical MIckey”

Magical Max and Magical Mickey

What fun to be part of a magical family!

Magical Matthew is called home from college and questions Magical Mea, who is now in middle school, about the mysterious family meeting. They don’t have long to wait.

In MAGICAL MAX AND MAGICAL MICKEY, Penelope Anne Cole’s chapter book for grades 1-3, Matthew and Mea’s family will soon be enlarged by two: twin boys that is. The older children, whose magic went away after they lost their last baby teeth, Grandma Nonie, and neighbor Lily are wondering if these two babies will also be magical. If so, they won’t mention it to Mom and Dad, just as they never mentioned Mea’s and Matt’s special talents.

Sure enough, when the boys are three years old, their magical abilities start to show up. They quickly build a lounge chair with  plastic blocks so Grandma Nonie has a place to land when she falls. It looks as if they are going to be as helpful as Matt and Mea are in the other books in this Magical series.

But I’m not going to reveal all the secrets in this clever book, illustrated in a realistic way by award winning artist Kevin Scott Collier.

I enjoyed seeing Matthew and Mea growing up;  it’s like watching neighbor children. I think this is probably unique in a series, and a good  idea to keep the readers interested and coming back.

Penelope Anne Cole is the Award Winning Author of Magical Matthew and Magical Mea 
plus Mateo Mágico  (Spanish) and Ten Little Tricksters. Also, Magical Mea Goes to School.

Ms. Cole has used her books to show the story arc in response to literature lessons (main character has a problem or obstacle). How does MC solve problem, get around obstacle in the climax, then what does MC learn, how do they grow, and then their response to the surprise ending.

Attention teachers: Ms Cole does Free Skype Author Visits.

Folks can contact her to order a signed copy using the contact form on her blog or through her website.  Or they can order ebooks and print copies on Amazon.

Web:  http://www.penelopeannecole.com/
Blog:  http://pennyreviews-chat.blogspot.com/

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

Review of Clayton Stone, At Your Service by Ena Jones

Ena Johes, Clayton Stone

There’s a new Secret Agent on the block and his name is Clayton Stone. He is the brain child of Ena Jones, an old friend and former critique-group partner of mine. Clayton turns 13 in the first book of this new Middle Grade series, published by Holiday House.

So, let’s do some sleuthing of our own and find out How this star lacrosse player at a posh private school gets to be an agent for the Special Service.

What criminal intrigue does this hero help the Special Service solve?

Where does all this take place?

Why is Clayton, a twelve-year old boy needed?

Who recruits Clayton to help?

Who is in trouble?

And How does Clayton’s grandmother fit into the whole plot?

It appears that someone is robbing wealthy ladies and their daughters who shop at shopping centers and force them to take money from ATMs. But when the latest family to be involved in this nefarious activity is that of a prominent politician (this is Washington, D.C., after all)things escalate. A Senator’s wife and step-daughter are kidnapped.

Clayton is recruited (after a nudge from the President) to help because what is needed is a kid and he fits the bill. It is assumed Clayton will not arouse suspicion as he gathers information. No one meant for him to get so involved. “They want to use me as ‘bait’? To get the mall napper dude?”

Here’s a sampling:

“Chapter Four: Less than twenty-four hours later, I’m in the underwear section at Macy’s. Shopping. Normally, I wouldn’t be caught dead here. Now I might be. Caught dead, that is. I lean over and mutter into my shoe, trying to act like bra-shopping with my fake mom is a regular day in the life of me. ‘Can you hear me? Over.’”

As Clayton spends more and more time in his secret mission, he misses some lacrosse practice and his friends become, not just suspicious, but downright hostile.  He can’t explain. “Real secrets suck.” To complicate matters, the busy-body girl in his class tries to convince Clayton to get involved in campus politics. Then there is the other girl, the one who was kidnapped. There’s a lot going on here.

For instance, there’s the diner his Grandmother owns with the mechanical booth that dumps those in the know into the underground Headquarters.  .  . . A Secret Agent who will risk his life for you would make a great father figure. . . .  I’ll bet you thought Men In Black drove around in inconspicuous cars, not Lamborghinis and BMWs. . . .  Sometimes a Secret Agent must wear a disguise, and Clayton’s involves wearing a wig. “. . . the next team rushes at me with hair clippers and pushes me into my own barber chair. They’re barely finished when another member of the pit crew pounces with shaving cream and a razor while a guy with a Shop-Vac sucks up all my hair from the floor.” . . . .  Why did busy-body girl have to go for pretzels at just the wrong time? . . . You’ll never guess who is the Head of the Special Service.

I recommend this book for both boy and girl middle schoolers who like a bit of danger and adventure in their pleasure reading material.  They will be right at home in the up-to-the-minute lingo and self-confident attitudes. Sample: “Carlos’s (the head cook at the diner) face is set to the serious channel.”

Decoy or not, Clayton is committed to finding and saving the wife and step-daughter of the Senator.

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Review of Two House Lilly by Candace J. Hardy

Two House Lilly

Don’t be fooled by the cover of this book, TWO HOUSE LILLY, written and illustrated by Candace J. Hardy. It isn’t really about witches, although a witch costume plays a prominent part in the story.

Lilly is a nine year old fourth grader whose life has been turned upside down by the divorce of her parents. The story is sad at times, but the age group who will be reading it should be able to handle the honest approach to family problems in this chapbook for tweens published by Guardian Angel Publishing.

Lilly’s dad has remarried. His wife came to the marriage with a set of twins and  a special needs daughter, although she seems quite smart to me. Now Dad and his wife have another child, a baby girl.

Lilly lives with both families. Her calendar is divided between Red Weeks with her father and Blue Weeks with her mother (with every other weekend at Grandma’s).

Lilly’s mom has not remarried. She resents the fact that her husband left her and is vocal about her feelings. She also appears to be drinking a bit too much. Her attitude is making Lilly wish she could live full-time with the dad’s family.

When Lilly discovers that her mom has muscular sclerosis, which sometimes mimics drunkenness, and when Mom gets on medication and becomes a calmer and nicer person, Lilly draws closer to her mom.

Complications set in when 1) Dad’s employer is moving him to another state, 2) a boy who is a bully hurts Lilly and they become enemies, 3) Lilly wants to be the witch in the school presentation of HANSEL AND GRETEL but can’t make the rehearsals, (so will she or won’t she get to play the witch?) and 4) Lilly’s step-mother becomes grouchy knowing she has to leave the town that feels like home to her, and 5) the witch costume gets splashed with bleach.

And there are other complications. Some of the problems are out of Lilly’s hands, but Lilly speaks up about honesty and saves the bully from being expelled by defending him against a wrongful charge.

Now about that witch costume. Need I say, it’s Grandma to the rescue?

This book is well written, with a variety of interesting characters, well-meshed sub-plots, suspense, and humor.

Candace Hardy has a great love for all things vintage and enjoysdoing historical research. During her younger years, she taught in her mother’s piano studio, then became a teacher in the former Hebrew Academy of Toledo and a
special education teacher, teaching hearing impaired children. She lives near Toledo, Ohio with her husband
and their two beautiful dalmations.

TWO HOUSE LILLY, with 25 Chapters and 190 pages, is Candace’s second book with GAP.

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I purchased this book in electronic form from Guardian Angel Publishing Bookstore and have presented an honest opinion.

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Review of Erin Liles picture book, A Friend for Freckles

 

A Friend for Freckles

Erin Liles  has presented us with an adorable little dog protagonist. Freckles is sweet, kind, helpful, and friendly.  Alexander Morris’s cartoon-like illustrations show him being all of these things to his friends in the Animal Shelter. And each of the friends is depicted with individual traits and personality. The silhouettes of background figures add an interesting layer of artistic technique.

A Friend for Freckles, 1,2

Each animal is on its best behavior in hopes of going to live with a loving family.

ANYONE would find Freckles irresistible. Well, you would think so, at any rate. But there are those who are unable to see beyond the fact that Freckles has only three legs.  Having only three legs doesn’t seem to bother Freckles at all. He is certainly well adjusted. His real problem is that he wants to live in a home, not in a shelter.

Ms. Liles has paired up the traits of the dogs with the wants and needs of the human patrons who come to the shelter looking for a pet. She made sure that Freckles did not go with the wrong family. Such a super-friendly dog as Freckles goes to live with a boy who understands that “perhaps the most important thing of all” is that Freckles is a FRIEND.

A Friend for Freckles is available at  www.GuardianAngelPublishing.com/   and is recommended for children 4-8.

Erin Beth Liles is a children’s author and mother of two. She loves animals and personally knows a three-legged dog who can do anything!

Visit her at https://editperfectword.wordpress.com/

Alexander Morris graduated from the Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg with a Bachelor’s in Media Arts & Animation. He has been an artist since he was a child. Check out the Books and Artists page at Guardian Angel Publishing to see more books he has illustrated. http://www.GuardianAngelPublishing.com/

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VISIT MY WEBSITE: WORDS WITH WINGS
logo for website, Elexis King

my newest book, ARCTIC DANGER

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I am pleased to let you know that my second picture book, ARCTIC DANGER, is published by Guardian Angel Publishing. And I want to thank Eugene Ruble for illustrating it.

Arctic Danger, cover

The story is about an Alaskan brother and sister who take a leisurely kayak trip down a stream to the store. They go under the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.  Along the way they see lots of wildlife but also encounter dangers. There is additional information at the end of the book about the important and interesting pipeline. I hope you and your children and students will find the story both exciting and informative.

ARCTIC DANGER is recommended for boys and girls ages 6-11.

The book is available at Guardian Angel Publishing: http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/arctic-danger.htm

and Amazon. All reviews on Amazon are welcome.

Visit my website, Words With Wings, to read about how this book came about.

logo for website, Elexis King

www.barbarabockman.com

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