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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The Booker Award

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.

Gatsby

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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literary classics GOLD AWARD SEAL

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The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, II

I want to thank Tina Cho for tagging me to participate in “The Next Big Thing Blog Hop.” These answers pertain to my book, which has yet to have a publication date. After the questions, I tag other authors, where you can read about their “Next Big Thing!” Please join us!

My answers to these questions will introduce you to my next big adventure.

What is the working title of your book? Arctic Danger

Who or What inspired you to write this book? I was inspired to write a story about some kids I saw swimming in a river in Alaska when my husband and I were traveling there in our motorhome. But I had no plot. Then I heard about an Alaska pipeline oil spill, and there was my plot.

What genre does your book fall under? Middle Grade Adventure

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? I would choose a couple of unknown kids for the two main characters, Athabascan brother and sister.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? A leisurely kayak trip by two kids is interrupted whey they must rush to report an oil pipeline spill.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? It is under contract with Guardian Angel Publishing.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? About a week or two

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Any middle grade book that has children being courageous.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? The depiction of an unusual environment and the typical lives of youngsters living in a cold climate. Also, that the pipeline zig-zags across the countryside.

Thanks, Tina, for giving me the opportunity to talk about what I hope will be MY next big thing.

Now I would like to tag Jayne Moraski who has a beautiful book in production.

Sunshine Blogger Award

My fellow Guardian Angel Publishing author, Penelope Ann Cole, has passed on to me the Sunshine Blogger Award.

Thank you, Penny, for this honor.

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I will tell you about some of my favorite things so you can get to know me better:
Favorite Color – Rainbow
Favorite Animal –at the moment, Elephants, because I’m working on a story about an elephant
Favorite Number – 10, that’s how many grandchildren and great-grandchildren I have, combined
Favorite Drink – Gatorade (purple) mixed with cran-grape juice
Facebook or Twitter – don’t care much for either
Your Passions –Writing/Wild Flowers/Ecology
Giving or getting presents – Giving and getting
Favorite Day –Saturday. This is a holdover from when I was teaching–sleep in!
Favorite Flowers – Milkweed/Passion vine/Roses/Princess flower

I am now extending this honor of the Sunshine Award to 3 more Bloggers.

This prize is given to “bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” 

 

The 3 blogs I have awarded are listed below. A huge hug and thank you to each of  these bloggers for inspiring me with their knowledge, humor, and creativity:

Maggie Lyons: http://www.maggie-lyons.blogspot.com

Maggie’s blog is sunshine manifest; a smorgasbord of literary ideas.

 

Tina Cho: http://tinamcho.wordpress.com

Tina’s Tidbits is a glimpse into an active mind. If you need inspiration, go here.

 

Laura Sassi: http://laurasassitales.wordpress.com

Laura’s blog is a place that celebrates writing, reading, and life. It’s a joy simply to look at her home page.

 
Thank you, Maggie, Tina, and Laura for bringing SUNSHINE into the lives of children with your books.

 

Review of Penelope Anne Cole’s Magical Matthew

It is my pleasure to introduce Penelope Anne Cole and her picture book for kids ages 4-9, Magical Matthew.  This books is published by Guardian Angel Publising

 

 

 

 

Penelope Anne Cole is an observer. When she noticed a child moving into “double digits,” she wondered how she could put this aging process into a book for children. Magical Matthew is the result. She herself is much like Matthew; she has worked helping people as a Human Resources person and as a teacher. Ms. Cole has a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Jose State University and a Masters in Human Development Education from the University of Maryland.

What kid wouldn’t want to have special powers—like the one Matthew has? Matthew can magically fix things, but he keeps it a secret for a long time. It’s important that whoever learns about the secret can be trusted. Lily, Matthew’s good friend, helps him find things that need to be fixed. When she figures out about the secret power, Matthew shares everything with his grandma. Grandma wonders if Lily can be trusted and Matthew says he thinks she can. But suddenly Matthew no longer has his power. He lost his last baby tooth and this is a signal that he’s getting too old. At first he’s angry, but Grandma convinces him there are other ways to fix things, even though those ways take more effort. He and Lily will continue to do good deeds. But the power to fix things isn’t lost. When you read the book you will see how the spirit of helpfulness lives on!

Kevin Collier’s illustrations show just how excited and astonished Matthew is when he realizes he has this power and later, his disappointment when he outgrows it. It’s very interesting the way Kevin interpreted Penelope’s poem about the way Matthew sees himself. Together, Penelope and Kevin have created characters whom young readers will be happy to know and parents will find trustworthy.

disclaimer: I purchased a copy of Magical Matthew from Guardian Angel Publishing http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/matthew.htm in order to review it. I enjoyed it and think it is a worthwhile book to  add to any child’s collection. The book is also available at Amazon and Barnes and Nobel.

Written Inspiration, Nov. 4, 2012

Illustration by Jack Foster for Fantastic Flight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fantastic Flight was awarded the Children’s Literary Classics Gold Seal Book Award.

“Written Inspiration: A Children’s Book-Signing Event” at the Harn Museum of Art
will showcase Florida Authors and Illustrators

GAINESVILLE, Fla.— The Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida will be holding “Written Inspiration: A Children’s Book-Signing Event” on November 4 from 1 to 5 p.m. The books featured at this event will appeal to children ages five to thirteen.

More than 20 authors and illustrators from various areas throughout Florida will participate in the event. Visitors may browse booths, talk with authors and have their purchased books personalized. Each author and illustrator will offer a hands-on art activity that relates to his or her book.Book readings throughout the day include Troubles on the St. Johns River by Jacksonville author Jane Wood at 1:15 p.m., Some Call Me ‘Superstar’ by Tallahassee author Carl Joseph at 2:15 p.m., Victricia Malicia by Gainesville author Carrie Clickard at 3:15 p.m., and Jason and Elihu: A Fisherman’s Story at 4:15 p.m. by Gainesville author Shelley Fraser Mickle.

“Written Inspiration” is organized through the Harn Museum of Art Store and is sponsored by Wild Onion Press of Gainesville, FL and Friesens Printing. The Disability Affairs Cabinet of University of Florida Student Government is supporting Carl Joseph’s reading of Some Call Me ‘Superstar.’ A portion of book sales supports exhibitions and programs at the Harn Museum of Art.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 352-392-9826 or visit www.harn.ufl.edu.

The following books, authors and illustrators will be featured:

Mark Wayne Adams, Longwood, Florida
Nicholas, That’s Ridiculous
Jilli, That’s Silly!
Best Sketchbook
The Belly Button Fairy
The Fart Fairy
A Guinea in My Cap?
Teddy Tales
Pop the Bubbles 1, 2, 3
My Friendly Giant
Along the Cliff Walk
Jadyn and the Magic Bubble: I Met Gandhi!
Jadyn and the Magic Bubble: Kenya, Kenya!
King for a Day: The Story of Stories

Jan Godown Annino, Tallahassee, Florida
She Sang Promise

Nikole Brooks Bethea, Marianna, Florida
G is for Grits: A Southern Alphabet

Barbara Bockman, Gainesville, Florida
Fantastic Flight

Dr. Ruth E. Clark, Palm Harbor, Florida
Florida Santa: Is He Real? How Do We Know it?
Whilomeena Loves White
Airport Mouse
series and related activity books

Carrie Clickard, Gainesville, Florida
Victricia Malicia

Carl Joseph and Dr. Kevin McCarthy, Tallahassee, Florida
Some Call Me “Superstar”

Ann Clare LeZotte and Andre Frattino, Gainesville, Florida
Here Comes Julie Jack!

DeBorah Denson McCray, Gainesville, Florida
Diary of a Painted Lady

Shelley Fraser Mickle, Gainesville, Florida
Jason & Elihu- A Fisherman’s Story
The Story of Amos, the Bummed Out Canine
The Polio Hole

Nancy H. Murray, Jacksonville, Florida
The Night the Elephants Cried- A Story of the Tsunami
Gullah, the Nawleans Cat Meets Katrina

Bonnie Ogle, Gainesville, Florida
Arthur the Arthropod

Vivian Owens, Eustis, Florida
Nadanda The Wordmaker
The Rosebush Witch
How Oswa Came to Own All Music

Colleen Rand, Gainesville, Florida
Big Bunny

Merri Roderick, Naples, Florida
AlphaZany

Rob Sanders, Brandon, Florida
Cowboy Christmas

Annette Simon, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Robot Zombie Frankenstein!

Patricia Poyet Swingle, Gainesville, Florida
Incredibly Clever Critters

Elle Thornton, Atlantic Beach, Florida
The Girl Who Swam to Atlantis

June Weltman, Jacksonville, Florida
Mystery of the Missing Candlestick

Ellen Wolfson Valladares, Weston, Florida
Jonathan’s Journey to Mount Miapu

Jane R. Wood, Jacksonville, Florida
Trouble on the St. Johns River
Ghosts on the Coast: A Visit to Savannah and the Low Country
Voices in St. Augustine
Adventures on Amelia Island: A Pirate, A Princess and Buried Treasure

Janelle Woodyard, Sorrento, Florida
A Girl’s Guide to Softball

 

About the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art
Founded in 1990, the Harn Museum of Art is an integral part of the University of Florida. The Harn contributes to an interconnected, international community by integrating the arts and culture into curricula throughout the university’s system of colleges and centers. Its holdings include more than 8,300 works in five main collecting areas: Asian art, African art, photography, modern art of the Americas and Europe, and international contemporary art. In addition to rotating installations drawn from its permanent collection, the Harn organizes traveling exhibitions, public lectures, panel discussions, academic symposia and educational programs for adults, students and children.

The Harn Museum, at Southwest 34th Street and Hull Road in Gainesville, Fla., is part of the University of Florida’s Cultural Plaza, which is also home to the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Admission is free.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is open until 9 p.m. the second Thursday of every month for Museum Nights. The Camellia Court Café is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information call 352-392-9826 or visit www.harn.ufl.edu.

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Good News

I’m happy to announce that my picture book, Fantastic Flight, illustrated by Jack Foster, was awarded the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

THE FOLLOWING IS THE LETTER THAT CAME WITH THE AWARD:

Children’s Literary Classics is pleased to announce that the children’s picture book, Fantastic Flight, written by Barbara Bockman and illustrated by Jack Foster, has been selected to receive the Children’s Literary Classics Seal of Approval.  The CLC Seal of Approval is a designation reserved for those books which uphold the rigorous criteria set forth by the Children’s Literary Classics review committee, a team comprised of individuals with backgrounds in publishing, editing, writing, illustration and graphic design.

Fantastic Flight is the whimsical tale of a young girl staying for a week at her grandparents who becomes homesick after only one night away from home.  When her grandfather takes her for an adventure to help cure her homesickness, she soon learns that an outing with Grandpa is anything but ordinary.  Barbara Bockman has crafted an imaginative tale that is sure to enchant young readers.  Paired with delightful illustrations by Jack Foster, this book is a high-flying adventure in reading.

Children’s Literary Classics, an organization dedicated to furthering excellence in  children’s literature, takes great pride in its role to help promote classic children’s literature which appeals to youth, while educating and encouraging positive values in the impressionable young minds of future generations.   To learn more about Children’s Literary Classics, you may visit their website at http://www.clcawards.org or www.childrensliteraryclassics.com

Fantastic Flight is available at: http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/fantastic-flight.htm

Review of Liam Maher’s THE PLUMBER AND THE WISHING WELL

Here’s another extraordinary picture book from storyteller, Liam Maher, and illustrator, Gin May. THE PLUMBER AND THE WISHING WELL is published by Guardian Angel Publishing.

The plumber is in a quandary because he lost his job and has no money with which to buy Christmas presents for his family. His friend Tupo Hoopoe flies to visit Oracle Owl to see if he has any advice. Sure enough, he does.

Oracle Owl sends Tupo to the Wishing Well, where from the tall fir tree, he sees something unexpected.

Then the scene changes as three magical creatures approach the Well: an elf, a fairy, and a leprechaun. Each one wants to make a wish.  The elf wants a robot to do his wife’s housecleaning; the fairy wants a white horse for her fiancé; and the leprechaun wants a gold bar for the Leprechaun King.

Now they are up against a quandary, too. Their wishes do not come true, even though they tossed golden coins into the well over their left shoulders as they had always done.

Tupo Hoopoe offers to go get the plumber to fix the well. The three magical characters accept his offer and the plumber comes.

The plumber is tall enough to look down into the well and see the problem. Now he’s both a clever and generous person, so he comes up with a surprising and fun solution that makes everybody happy.

The magicals all get their Christmas wishes and the plumber has enough money to buy his wife and son and daughter nice gifts. Even the plumber’s donkey wishes the fairy’s horse (the one she wished for as a gift for her fiancé) a Happy Christmas and it’s reciprocated.

Gin May’s illustrations capture the place and emotions of the characters perfectly in a variety of ways, from pastel to jewel colors and even a captivating silhouette. She does a fantastic job with the birds.

Liam Maher grew up in the beautiful gardens of Dromoland Castle in County Clare, Ireland.

This and the surrounding picturesque countryside coupled with the old beliefs during his boyhood days of leprechauns, ghosts and fairies were to inspire his children’s stories that were to come in later life and originally written for his grandchildren.

Liam has had two other books published with Guardian Angel, The Golden Daffodils and Mr. Topper, the Lucky Potbellied Pig. More are coming soon.

Liam spends his time gardening, keeping fit, entertaining his grandchildren and searching for leprechauns.

Here’s the buy link for The Plumber and the Wishing Well at Guardian Angel Publishing:

http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/plumber-wishing-well.htm

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Review of Frederico the Mouse Violinist

Together Mayra Calvani and K. C. Snider have brought a sweet little mouse to life. Not only is Frederico sweet and cute, he is extremely persistent and talented. Mayra obliquely spotlights a historically famous musical figure, Antonio Stradivari. K. C.’s pictures are warm and friendly and give Frederico a charming personality as well as showing an authentic-looking workshop. This Guardian Angel Publishing picture book introduces kids to new words and an interesting profession.

 

Frederico lives in the workshop of Antonio Stradivari, the Italian luthier, that is to say, violin maker. Frederico loves everything about violins—the smell of wood and the oil to make it shiny, the various parts of the violin, and the beautiful sounds that come out of the finished product.

At night, when he has the workshop to himself, Frederico plays around on the violin that Stradivari made. By touching all of the parts of the violin, Frederico gives the reader of the book a guided tour of a violin. We learn about the Scroll, the Strings, the Fingerboard, and the Pegs that tune the sounds to a high or low pitch. When Frederico slides down the strings he trips on the Bridge, which keeps the strings from lying flat on the violin. He peeks into the F-hole “. . .  the secret, magical place where the sound comes out!” And he daydreams relaxing on the Tailpiece.

He daydreams about becoming a virtuoso, that is a great violinist.

This is when Frederico’s persistence pays off. Even though it was difficult playing the large people-sized violin, he practiced and practiced. And his talent emerged.

 

When Stradivari sees Frederico playing the violin, the luthier is impressed with the little mouse’s skill and decides to build a violin to fit little paws. He presents his gift in a beautiful, tiny box.

Stradivari knows that Frederico is pleased with the gift of the tiny violin because:

“Frederico lifted the instrument and began to play. The notes swirled about him in a cloud of pure joy as Frederico moved the bow over the strings.”

This book is available at the Guardian Angel Bookstore http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/frederico.htm , Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

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I purchased this book and give my comments freely.

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