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

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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
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Review of Helping Herbie Hedgehog by Melissa Abramovitz

I just love hedgehogs. They are so cute. And even though they are described as being spiny, they look so much more cuddly than porcupines. That’s why  I’m happy to present to you today Melissa Abramovitz’s chapter book HELPING HERBIE HEDGEGHOG.

Helping Herbie Hedgehog

You are probably wondering what kind of help a little hedgehog needs.

In this clever rhymed picture book, Melissa presents Herbie with a series of choices. The young reader is given the job of helping Herbie choose the right thing. If the wrong thing is selected, Herbie might end up looking foolish. For instance, should he choose a tutu and ballet shoes to go jogging or sweat pants and track shoes? The young reader will know the answer. Herbie might go hungry if he looks for spaghetti hanging from a tree.  And he would surely make a mess if he tried to cook stew on the TV set. “Or is using the stove a better bet?”

Ch. 1 Helping Herbie Hedgehog

The artist, Robert Lee Beers, has illustrated Herbie to look like a cheerful little fellow who is a bit confused, but wants to know what the right thing to do is.

This book is recommended for children 6-8 and as a read aloud for younger children.

A bit of trivia:

The collective noun for a group of hedgehogs is array or prickle.

Each of the chapters, with titles listed below, contains several conundrums for the reader to help Herbie with.

Chapter 1, Places to Go

Chapter 2, Home Helpers

Chapter 3, Shopping for Clothes

Chapter 4, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Chapter 5, Exercise Time

Chapter 6, Shopping for Food

Chapter 7, Bedtime

Melissa Abramovitz is the author of more than 45 books and hundreds of magazine articles for children, teens, and adults. She specializes in writing educational nonfiction, but enjoys creating all types of fiction and nonfiction that make learning fun. She also enjoys helping other writers achieve their goals with her acclaimed book for writers, A Treasure Trove of Opportunity: How to Write and Sell Articles for Children’s Magazines. Her children’s picture book, ABCs of Health and Safety, was also published by Guardian Angel. www.melissaabramovitz.com

Robert Lee Beers is an award-winning artist and illustrator with an extensive artist portfolio. Besides doing the art for this book, he has authored several fantasy novels. Look for more of his illustrations in Guardian Angel books. He currently resides in Green Valley, Nevada. You can see more of his work at Kids Picture Book http://kidspicturebook.com/

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HELPING HERBIE HEDGEHOG is published by Guardian Angel Publishing, Publisher: Lynda S. Burch, from whom I purchased my copy.

Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.

Saint Louis, MO 63128 USA

http://www.GuardianAngelPublishing.com

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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 and Giveaway of Porcupine’s Seeds

I’m happy to welcome The World of Ink Tours to Stories a la Mode. This blog tour is sponsored by Stories for Children Magazine and its publisher, V. S. Grenier.

Viji K. Chary’s colorful picture book, Porcupine’s Seeds, begins with Porcupine admiring the soft grass, juicy apricots, and soothing fountain of Raccoon’s garden.

The illustrator, Bridget McKenna, has almost animated the exuberant Porcupine and the cheerful garden with its flowing vines and nodding flowers. The sweet little miss Raccoon could almost be offering the reader a glass of lemonade.

The beauty of Raccoon’s sunflowers makes Porcupine wish he too could grow sunflowers.

The problem is that in the past his plants have all died. People say he has a “brown thumb.” That’s a funny way of saying he doesn’t have the ability to grow plants.

But Raccoon encourages Porcupine to give it another try, and she gives him some seeds. She says, “All they need is soil, sun, and water.”

Porcupine memorizes that phrase and repeats it throughout the book. That is the kind of phrase little kids quickly learn and love to repeat when the story is read to them. Young readers will also recognize the refrain and enjoy the repetition.

Back home, Porcupine prepares to become an expert gardener.

But all doesn’t go smoothly for Porcupine. After overcoming one set of problems through his determination, Porcupine succeeds in planting the five seeds in a pot of nice soil. For several days, he gives them water and the sky is full of sunlight.

Now Porcupine thinks, maybe there is more sunlight on the other side of the house. While moving the pot, he trips and drops the pot and everything scatters.

Porcupine is so sad he takes to his bed.

But wait! Did he give the seeds all the soil, sun, and water they needed? Are they hiding in the ground doing what little seeds do? Are they growing and will they sprout up the next day? And if so, will Porcupine water the sprouts and tend them while the sun beams down on them?

You’re right! Porcupine was rewarded for his hard work with bright yellow sunflowers with centers full of brown seeds and standing on graceful green stems. His flowers were so beautiful that when his friend Skunk admired them, Porcupine said proudly, “All it took was soil, sun, and water.”

(But we know it also took hard work, determination, and encouragement from a friend).

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Don’t forget to leave a comment with your email address or url so I can put your name in the hat for a drawing of this book.

About the Author: 

Viji K. Chary was born in India and immigrated to the United States at the age of two. Her passion for writing stories began in elementary school and has evolved from coaching children in various activities; including gymnastics, classroom activities and creative competitions. Her stories have been published in Highlights for Children, Ladybug Magazine, Hopscotch for Girls and many more.

Porcupine’s Seeds was published by 4RV Publishing. Viji says of her editor, “The editor Vivian Zabel is very thorough in printing an excellent product.”

The book is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

You can find out more about Viji K. Chary’s World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/6wewb3c

To learn more about the World of Ink Tours and lots of other terrific children’s writers visit http://worldofinknetwork.com  

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I was provided with a copy of this book for my honest and freely given opinion. It’s delightful.

Contact Info:

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.

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