Day: August 15, 2018

Book Review: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

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As part of a Children’s Readathon on my blog in August 2018, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems was selected as one of the award-winning books to read. It took home the Caldecott Honor Award in 2004. Since I’d just finished my children’s education courses in college right before then, I never had a chance to read this one. It was a first-time experience thanks to the lovely Nina @ The Cozy Pages; she suggested this wonderful book.makes a difference in their lives! 4.5 stars for this one!

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A pigeon driving a bus? Well.. it’s very cute and part of a whole series involving experiences the pigeon goes through. I must read more of them! In this adorable picture book, the bus driver needs to step away from the bus. He tells everyone not to let the pigeon drive the bus. As soon as the driver leaves, the pigeon tries his or her best to convince everyone to let him drive. But they won’t give him, so he never gets to do it! When he jumps off in frustration, the driver returns and leaves without the poor pigeon!

What a lesson for kids. Peer pressure. Bad attitudes. Silliness. Safety. Keeping quiet. All the things to show why it’s good not to ‘give in’ to someone just because they try to get you to do something.

If you’ve not seen the series or heard of them, check it out! Buy a copy for a kid you know… it’s what

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

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Book Review: Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

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Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown is one of the books that followers of my blog voted as a must-read for our Children’s Book August 2018 Readathon. Come check it out and join the next few weeks!

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This picture book was such a delight. I hadn’t remembered reading it when I was a child, but it might have been read to me… either way, it was like a whole new experience! It’s always so difficult to convince a child to fall asleep at night. I don’t have kids, but I do have a 5-month-old puppy who whines for 5 minutes every night when he goes in his cage/crate (hopefully he’ll be fully housebroken soon so he can roam around when he wants). I can only imagine! I babysat a lot as a teenager and I have tons of younger cousins, nieces, and nephews, so I’ve been through it before, too. This was a believable experience, and it really helps show kids how to relax and just let go when it’s time to sleep.

The bunny’s are adorable. The rhymes are exquisite. I found it pretty fun, but possibly a little dated given many of those things aren’t normal routines anymore. But the lessons to take from it are still powerful. Loved it! I want to sample some more books by this fine author and her illustrators.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

Book Review: Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

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Where the Wild Things Are written and illustrated by Maurice Sendak in 1963 was a Caldecott Medal winner the year after it was published. I treasured this book in elementary school when I played the lead in our school play (okay, co-lead with another kid so we didn’t have to work too hard). I wrote a review a few years ago from memory, then explored it during my college years when I studied children’s literature and language. Now, in August 2018, I’m hosting a Children’s Book Readathon on my blog. Come check it out!

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I read the book twice this week. Once to absorb it as a fresh set of eyes, then again to see what I liked and didn’t like. On the whole, I still love it. I also see how it could encourage a few bad behaviors, but then again, so can movies, overhearing conversations, and music. Books are about learning. It’s important to read them with a child at the appropriate age and use it was a way to teach what’s wrong and right. For those reasons, I highly recommend sharing this with kids from 6 to 8. Younger might understand it. Older might find it amusing. But that’s the sweet spot in my opinion.

Max doesn’t like being told what to do. He just runs around a lot. I have a 5-month-old puppy named Baxter who’s just like Max. I get frustrated, but I love him. I’ve put him in time-out. Max was sent to bed without supper. I can only imagine where Baxter goes in his imagination… if it’s anything like where Max goes, we’re in for trouble!

So glad to re-read this one!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My novels, Watching Glass Shatter and Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon as electronic copies or physical copies. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators. Follow my blog with Bloglovin.

July 2018 – Author Newsletter & FREEBIE coming up!

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Hi. Today I emailed my quarterly author newsletter to everyone in my email distribution list. Below is a copy in case you are interested in reading. To subscribe, please go to my website. Thanks for reading and sharing with everyone. Have a great day.

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Happy Summer! I can’t believe this year is more than half over and this is my third quarterly newsletter. I’m excited to share all the news going on in my literary and personal life. Let’s cover the big stuff from last quarter:

  • Watching Glass Shatter was offered as a FREE download for 5 days. In the first week after this promotion, book reviews on Amazon and Goodreads increased by 15% with multiple 5 and 4 star awards!
  • Father Figure, my second novel, was launched with great success. It’s been available for 4 months and has been doing very well. Check out the blog tour and book blitz promotions.
  • I committed to reading 104 books on my Goodreads 2018 Challenge. I finished in early August. Rather than increase it to 150, I’ll leave it as it stands, but that’s my new goal! How’d you do?

Let’s talk about what’s coming up later this year!

  • A 2019 sequel focusing on all the drama the Glass family encounters after Olivia revealed everyone’s secrets at the end of the first book. Savvy readers will remember she never actually told the truth of what was in the second letter, but rest assured, it’ll come full circle again.
  • A short story collection is in the works for 2018! Based on your input in the ‘Favorite Character’ poll, Ethan Glass will be the focus of the first short story, due out in October 2018.
  • Details about my third book were released. Academic Curve Ball, the debut in a new series entitled Braxton Campus Mysteries will be available for pre-order in September 2018. Description below:
  • Kellan Ayrwick, a 32-year-old single father, moved to LA to escape his complicated but lovable family. When Kellan requests time off to attend a party for his father’s retirement from Braxton College, his boss assigns him to meet with Abby Monroe, a source for their upcoming tv series who happens to live nearby. Unfortunately, while Kellan’s socializing at the campus event, he finds Abby’s dead body in a stairwell at Diamond Hall. Although Kellan’s family and friends are all on the suspect list, he’s compelled to investigate once he learns about a mysterious donation to the college, a nasty blog denouncing his father, and fluctuating grades to allow the star baseball pitcher to play in the season opener. As Kellan settles back into his hometown and finds a second body on campus, his eccentric and trouble-making nana helps him weed through the clues. Is it the shady director of the athletic teams? A victim’s soon-to-be ex-husband? A player desperate to be noticed by an MLB scout? Kellan’s intent on solving the case just a smidge before the county sheriff, but that win might just put him in even more dangerous hot water. Readers discover a cozy, secluded Pennsylvania village full of quirky, charming, and nosy residents. Among the daily workings of Braxton College and the memorable Ayrwick family, Kellan weighs his investigative talents against an opportunity to achieve a much sought-after dream. Is he ready to move back home, take a job as a professor at the college, and re-unite with a former girlfriend? Or will he return to LA to raise his young daughter away from all the chaos?

Children’s Readathon – Robbie Cheadle’s Fondant Art

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I’m hosting a children’s book readathon in the month of August 2018. We’re reading 2 or 3 books each week ranging from children’s pictures to young adult novels, including a few award winners and authors who blog. We’re currently in our second week reading 3 books that have either won the Caldecott or Newbery honors. To learn more, check out the main page at the Children’s Book Readathon.

Throughout the month, we’ve highlighted books from Robbie Cheadle, a wonderful and talented author who has at least a dozen extraordinary books she co-writes and co-designs with her children. Check out previous posts on her author spotlight and latest short story. Today, we’re in for a special treat as Robbie shares with us some baking tips… and knowing how amazing all the dessert photos look from her blog and books, this is one we’re all gonna want to read and learn. And a little secret… I love hibiscus flowers either in a pot on my terrace or dried and in a margarita!

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(a preview of the book cover we’re reading in two weeks!)

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How to make a hibiscus flower out of fondant

(from Robbie)

Flowers are one of my favourite things to make as decorations for cakes. The look so pretty if you get them right and they have the delicate and subtle appeal of the real thing.

My Mother is turning 80 years old in October this year and we are having a party for her. She decided she wanted a Polynesian theme. I am making the five-tiered birthday cake which will be a surprise for her and I plan to decorate it with 80 fondant hibiscus flowers. As fondant flowers take time to make I have started making the flowers. My plan is to make about 10 a week so I will have them all ready in time for the party.

To make a hibiscus flower out of fondant you need a few items as follows: fondant (I buy bulk 15 kg buckets but you can buy 1 kg packets in most supermarkets), powdered food colouring in the colour/s of your choice, sugar glue, a ball tool, a shell tool (you can use a cocktails stick but it takes longer), silver foil cut into squares, a large rose flower cutter and white sugar.

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Colour the white fondant the colour of your choice. You must use powder food colouring or the fondant will go sticky. Roll a medium size ball of coloured fondant and flatten it between your palms. Lay it in the plate of corn flour and turn it over so that both sides are covered.

Roll the fondant out with a rolling pin on a sheet of wax paper. The corn flour will stop the fondant from sticking. You need to roll the fondant out as thinly as possible.

Use the rose cutter to cut out three rose shapes. Don’t cut out too many shapes as the fondant will dry out and you can’t work with it. Use the shell tool or cocktail stick to draw the lines detail on the petals. Use the ball tool to go around the edges of the petals and frill and flute them as per the picture.

Shape the square of silver foil into a bowl shape and lay the hibiscus flower shape inside it to dry. Pour some white sugar into a bowl and colour it sunflower yellow. Break off a small ball of yellow fondant and roll it into an elongated triangle shape. Cover the triangle shape with edible glue and roll it in the sugar mixture. Glue the flower pistil into the centre of the hibiscus flower, the sugar creates the look of the stamens.

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Leave the flower to dry completely. The last step is to use a paint brush and some powder food colouring to add depth to the flower by dusting the centre of the petals with the food colouring. Blow on the flower gently to get rid of any excess food colour.

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These are my completed flowers in yellow and pink. I will leave them in the silver foil cups until I use them for my cake.

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So who’s gonna be the first to make one and share it with everyone on the blog???

 

About Me
I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS.  My second novel, Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/FatherFigure.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.