Review of Laura Sassi’s GOODNIGHT, ARK

Goodnight, Ark







If you like surprise endings, you will LOVE  Laura Sassi’s picture book, GOODNIGHT, ARK.

This new take on the story of Noah’s ark is written in short, pithy rhymes, beginning with:

Bed are ready.

Food is stored.

Noah hollers,

“All aboard!”

The storm bringing the rain that floats the boat is a bit scary. Some of the animals find it hard to sleep. Now for the surprise: But I’m not telling.

Eventually everyone gets back to bed and

Noah smiles

In the dark.

“Goodnight, friends.”

“Goodnight, Ark.”

Sometimes kids need to know that other people (and critters) have a hard time sleeping, but going to sleep can be fun. This is a special bedtime book.

The illustrations by Jane Chapman add a whimsical aspect to the story with pairs of some of the usual—and some unusual—animals on the ark. The double-spread outside view of the ark in the storm is quite beautiful.

I am happy to share with you that Laura and I are in a critique group together, Pens and Brushes. She is an excellent critiquer and has a beautiful blog, Laura Sassi Tales,

Laura Sassi



Laura lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children, and a black Cockapoo named Sophie. She has a facility for telling humorous stories in rhyme. Her work has appeared in Highlights for Children, Cricket, Ladybug, Spider and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr.

I recommend GOODNIGHT, ARK for people aged 3 and up.

It’s published by Zonderkidz and is available at your local bookstore and Amazon.



Review of Penelope Anne Cole’s picture book, Ten Little Tricksters


You might have to scroll down to see my review.

Ten Little Tricksters by Penny Cole


















This cute counting book will delight little kids with its colorful illustrations and its rhythm and repetition.

But parents beware: Once the child has mastered its rhythmic chants, you will be hearing them over and over. The Tricksters are pictured by Kevin Scott Collier

to look like kids dressed up for trick or treating. They are more funny looking than scary. Penny says on her blog that Kevin’s artwork is a “special effect” for nighttime.

You can see how well it works in the cover illustration.

Penny has given over a complete page for each of the ten various creatures, starting with ten ghosties and counting down—not up—to  a lone pumpkin.

Let me give you a taste of the book:

Eight little monsters out on Halloween.

Run monsters!

Run monsters!




(The monsters have a family resemblance to Frankenstein). Another fun treat from Kevin is seeing an owl who lives in one of the houses, and of course, there is a spider web.


Penelope Anne Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level. She enjoys writing children’s stories for read aloud time. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” She has a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and an M.A. in Education.

When not writing stories or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church and choir activities. Ms. Cole is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, the Fremont Area Writers of the CA Writers Club, and is a Certified Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books on her blog at


TEN LITTLE TRICKSTERS is recommended for readers ages 4-7. It is available at Amazon.

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A book review and Two Parties in One for Carrie and Mayra

How’s this for a great combination: a ship full of pirates, an ancient Sea Monster, trunks full of doubloons (ooops, they might have all gotten sunk into the ocean after slipping and sliding in “soap . . . created from squid spit and lotion”), and spaghetti served with mysterious looking sea creature tentacles. So what’s the problem?

Pirate Daughter hates the sea and yearns to live on dry land. Victricia Malicia, title character of VICTRICIA MALICIA: BOOK-LOVING BUCCANEER by Carrie Clickard, never did learn to climb the rigging or tie knots that would hold. And frankly, she didn’t care for Spaghetti Tentacular. Her great passion was reading books.

After a lively discussion, the family decides that the best way to cure Vic is to “ground her.” But before she can be put ashore with her book collection, she saves the family from the Sea Serpent, Scylla. And as a reward, Vic gets her greatest wish.

Mark Meyers did a superb job of bringing Carrie’s story to life. Each family member is distinctively drawn and dressed and the facial expressions are appropriate to each escapade. Even the ship critters are interesting: Vic’s gold fish in a bowl, the green potbellied parrot, and the mice that can’t abide Vic’s cooking. The sketch of the ship adds to the understanding of piratical terms and the treasure map is absolutely authentic. By the way, the name of the ship is The Potbellied Parrot.

I can’t help but brag that Carrie is a member of my SCBWI group and I’m sure the entire state of Florida is proud of her even though it’s only been two years since we stole her from the state of Michigan. They’re welcome to be proud of her, too.

Did I mention that Carrie writes in killer rhyme?

VICTRICIA MALICIA was published by Flashlight Press and is available at Books-a-Million, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

Carrie’s Glob-Trotting Bear, Berenice, has a unique website where young readers can follow her to places like Egypt and China.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading my copy of this book, which I purchased at the Book Launch Party at Colleen Rand’s home.

And secondly, the Party at Colleen’s was a Farewell to another of our fine writers, Mayra Donnell. Mayra transplanted herself to Florida for a few years, but her adopted home state of Maine kept calling her to return. The manuscript she just completed is about the year 1816, and it is full of fascinating lore about the troubles brought on the folks of The Province of Maine (which at that time was part of the state of Massachusetts)  by a year with NO summer (how’s that for a teaser). The book is written in the form of a diary of a young girl. I think Mayra changed Sara’s age from10 to 12 or 13.  Can’t wait to see this in print. Might just go to Maine for my copy and stay in Mayra’s Bed and Breakfast and bathe in goats milk. Mayra, thanks for the Maine Maple Syrup; it is superbly delicious.

It was a pleasure to meet Mayra’s daughter and Carrie’s mother at the party. Please visit us again, ladies.


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