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.

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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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Gatsby’s Grand Adventure, 2, by Barbara Cairns

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We enjoyed Gatsby’s first grand adventure so much, I think we should take a look at his second.

If you remember, Gatsby is the cat that lives with Miss Annabelle. He just can’t resist jumping into the paintings in Miss Annabelle’s art gallery. His first adventure was with the boys playing snap the whip in Winslow Homer’s “Snap the Whip.” The second adventure, by Barbara Cairns, is titled Gatsby’s Grand Adventure, 2: August Renoir’s “The Apple Seller.”

Everything would be fine if Gatsby remembered to leave the paintings before daybreak. But sometimes, time gets away from him.

That’s what happened when Gatsby is chased up a tree by the little black dog in Pierre August Renoir’s “The Apple Seller.” The apple seller with her basket of apples, two little girls, and the mother of the two girls, run after the animals, and finally, one of the little girls scoops up the dog. He escapes from her, but in the meantime, Gatsby gets away and returns to the art gallery. UT OH! He left behind a mess!

It takes Gatsby two more nights of jumping into the painting to set things straight.

Eugene Ruble’s illustrations again show Gatsby as the enthusiastic, bouncy ball of grey and white fur. The line drawings filled with watercolor depict the scenery and characters of the story in pleasant pastels with lots of movement and activity. In contrast, the apple seller is dressed in dark colors and the little dog is black. The apples are a delicious red.

It’s a treat to see a small reproduction of Renoir’s “The Apple Seller,” rendered in the artist’s soft, feathery style. The biography of Renoir at the end of the book is an excellent introduction to this great artist.

Mrs. Cairns has promised us more adventures starring the inquisitive cat, Gatsby.

Gatsby Grand Adventures series can be found at Guardian Angel Publishing bookstore, as well as other bookstores.

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Guardian Angel Publishing New Releases

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Here is a great selection of books for young children coming from Guardian Angel Publishing. And You Parents will enjoy reading along side your kids, as well. You can count on GAP books to be exciting, wholesome, fun, and informative–with lots of heart.

Guardian Angel August 2013 Releases
Andy & Spirit in Search & Rescue Academic Wings hardcover edition
by Mary Jean Kelso, art KC Snider
Great Gobs of Gustation: The Sum of Our Parts  Book 8 Academic Wings
by Bill Kirk, art by Eugene Ruble
A rhyme which describes the sense of taste and how it works to help you tell what you like to eat and what you don’t. Book 8 of the Sum of our Parts anatomical educational series
Just Too Little  Littlest Angel
by Judith J. Miller, art Sonal Panse
At her grandparents farm Pam is too little to help with the chores.
Michael’s Safari Littlest Angel
by JennaKay Francis art by Craig Howarth
Michael takes an imaginary journey.
The New Puppy Animals & Pets
by Raelene Hall art by Kevin Collier, Gisele LaBlanc
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Review of Barbara Cairns’ Gatsby’s Grand Adventure

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I’m happy to present a recent addition to the Guardian Angel Publishing family, Barbara Cairns, whose picture book is illustrated by a familiar GAP illustrator, Eugene Ruble.

In Gatsby’s Grand Adventure we get a double helping of artistic fare. No—make that a triple helping. We have Barbara’s colorful, energetic writing, Eugene’s amusing illustrations, and Winslow Homer’s realistic, homey Americana paintings.

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Barbara presents the problem right up front. “Gatsby the cat lived in Miss Annabelle’s art gallery. At night, he had the most peculiar habit. He jumped into famous paintings. When he remembered to jump out before sunrise, everything was fine. But sometimes, Gatsby forgot.”

Ut, oh. Did you see the word “WHEN”? I think we have one of those “when”s coming up.

And what more fun painting for Gatsby to jump into than Winslow Homer’s “Crack the Whip”!

In the painting, eight boys are playing crack the whip in front of a small one-room schoolhouse. Homer captures the spirit of fun and freedom of children of the 1870s (check out those clothes).

If you or your child, grandchild, or school class don’t know how to play crack the whip—you must take a look at this painting. Kids used to have hilarious fun without gadgetry—just friends.

Eugene not only had to reproduce Homer’s subjects, but add Cairns’ characters as well. And they are Gatsby the cat, his Mistress Miss Annabelle, and a mouse and a dog. He even goes inside the schoolhouse. And he does it smoothly and convincingly, integrating past and present.

Barbara’s main character, Gatsby, has a penchant for entering the paintings in the gallery. But when he enters “Crack the Whip,” he causes a minor problem. It’s funny the way one problem leads to another until Gatsby finally sets things right.

Gatsby’s now looking forward to more adventures with the new paintings set to arrive soon. But that’s another story.

This entertaining and educational book is available at Guardian Angel Publishing bookstore and other fine book stores . http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/gatsby-snap-the-whip.htm

My review copy was provided by the author. I enjoyed reading it and reviewing it.

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Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Independence Day!Speaking of pets, Angel and Lucky are spending the holiday with me. Their special treat is a little taste of milk (but don’t tell Peggi). Angel is a real firecracker. 

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