Book Review: Children’s Literature

Book Review: His Name is Joe by Mimi Lou Martin and Chloe Mathis

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I was introduced to this adorable children’s book in early 2018 and liked the premise enough to add it to my TBR. A young boy befriends another kid who happens to be wheelchair-bound. Knowing how awkward life can be for a third grader, especially while playing dodge ball in gym class, I was curious to give this one a shot. His Name Is Joe by Mimi Lou Martin explores the impacts of a school children learning how to put themselves out there, find friends, develop confidence and teach others small life lessons. While the book is relatively short at 24 pages, it’s filled with wonderful drawings and a great moral lesson. To top it off, the book is co-written by the author’s young children… even including multiple sketches (really fantastic for their age and contribution to the book) and artwork by the whole family. It’s a very cute story, and I think it would be a great addition to all libraries and a family’s reading shelves. I’d recommend it for being fun, inspirational, rewarding and confidence-building. Kudos to this wonderful family and the adorable book they’ve built together. The world needs more people like this!

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. 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: Sir Alex Sleighs a Dragon by Russ Towne

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Review: Five (5) stars — what a fantastic children’s book! Sir Alex Sleighs a Dragon, published in 2017, is my second read from Russ Towne. I’m not sure I can decide which of the two I like better, but both are at the top of their genre. When I first read this picture/chapter book, my immediate reaction was that it resembled at a very high level the story of Beowulf. I say this only because it’s about a village trying to protect itself from a powerful and scary monster, but in truth, it feels apropos on other levels given I could see this book being a bit of a classic in its own right.

The writing is clean, direct, funny, memorable and solid from all angles. The illustrations are captivating; I found myself looking at them twice — once before I read the page, then after I finished to see what I had missed the first time. Alex is an adorable kid whose bravery and modesty are a lesson we should all learn; however, it is the queen who proves to everyone what moral we should be taking away from the book. She helps school her own townspeople in how to best work together to accomplish a goal. And as readers, we will very quickly learn how not to judge a book by its cover. (By the way, the cover of this one is brilliant. It will make you laugh throughout the story as you see what unfolds in this little quest to save a village!)

There are tons of children’s books available these days, and many of them are good. But when you want to select the best ones for your kids or to give as gifts, you want to know it’s a perfect fit and a truly remarkable read before you buy it. I’ve no doubt in my mind that this book and author will do well. There’s a beauty and truth in the stories he tells without ever feeling formal or educational. The balance between a cozy read in a big comfy chair and an introductory discussion on how to be a good person is quite strong. That’s where this author strikes gold.

I encourage you to read this book, or even one of Towne’s others, as you will not be disappointed. I can’t wait to sample more this year. I also look forward to sharing this one with some family members soon, too.

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. 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: Alicia and the Light Bulb People of Star Factory 13 by Barbara Roman

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If you’re looking for an adorable children’s book with a unique and charming set of characters, set within a bit of a fantasy world, and full of wonderful life lessons, look no further than Alicia and the Light Bulb People in Star Factory 13 by B. Roman. I downloaded this book shortly before the holidays, but only just found the time to read it last night as I was going through my Kindle Reader.

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Alicia, a 10-year-old girl, accompanies her mother to the department store to select a new lamp for their home. Alicia is worried that she doesn’t know what kind of personality her lamp should have, then finds herself awestruck by a Christmas tree and gold door at the store. When she presses a button on the door, she is immediately transported to the 13th floor and into a magical world where lamps and light bulbs can speak. Each is different, containing a special personality that matches their name — dim, flood, three-way, flicker… how cozy and cute is that? Alicia must help the light bulbs figure out how to turn into stars; through her relationship with them and Carelia the Light Goddess, she must also find her own way back to the department store before tomorrow arrives.

Roman’s ingenuity in building all the different characters is top notch. I laughed and smiled, then felt a pang of sorrow and hope as they searched for a way to become stars at the end of one stage in their life. The book explores how we are all different, sometimes teasing each other for being too dim or too bright, changing our minds or shooting too far too quickly in life. It also teaches children how to work together to achieve a common goal, or to feel better about who we are. By transporting us into a different world, one where objects we thought were inanimate and had no personality come alive, Roman provides a way to truly engage children in a fun manner with memorable characters.

The illustrations are vibrant. The words flow. The story is simple yet endearing. It’s a perfect bedtime read for all children, but especially any who worry about being different than others. I’m so glad I picked this one up last night, as I needed a boost to feel better. And this did the trick. Kudos to this fine author.

 

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. 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: Wilbur the Duck Who Flew Upside Down by Russ Towne

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5 stars! Kudos to author Russ Towne, and illustrator Josh McGill, for drafting Wilbur the Duck Who Flew Upside Down, a 2017 children’s picture book I recently had the pleasure of reading. On the outskirts, this is a cute story with adorable drawings that will entertain and amuse kids of all ages. As you dig a little deeper, you’ll find a wonderful lesson about what it means to belong and to accept another’s differences. A dapper little duck unfortunately has a faulty thingamajig (you’ll have to read the book to find out what it is… the only hint I’ll give you is it’s somewhere on his head!) which causes him to fly upside down. Poor Wilbur can’t land properly and feels ostracized from his friends, but when he begins to find other ducks, and a larger extended family, they learn to rely on one another. By the end of the book, an entire flock of birds, who are all slightly different than the rest of their species, come together to celebrate their friendship.

I won’t give away the major conflict they battle together, or the wonderful ending the author has dreamed up, but it’s a feel-good, warm, inviting and refreshing story that will help children learn to be more open and tolerant. They won’t even realize the lesson they are learning, as the book just feels like a movie as you watch the ducks, and their friends, fly through life. If you’re looking for a fun new children’s story about birds, friendship and bonding, this is the one for you. Read it to your children, grandchildren or nephews and nieces together in a group and talk about all that you can learn and love in this story. I’m bringing it with me to see mine this holiday in Louisiana. I can’t wait to share it and read more from this author.

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About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. 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: Ronaldo: Rudi’s Birthday Extravaganza by Maxine Sylvester

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Ronaldo: Rudi’s Birthday Extravaganza, the third in an adorable children’s picture book series, written in 2017 by Maxine Sylvester, is another winner.

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Book Review 
In this edition, Ronaldo’s best friend Rudi hurts his hoof, but won’t go to the doctor to heal it. Rudi’s mother enlists Ronaldo to help trick Rudi into the office visit, which leads to even more hilarity and conflict. Along the way, Ronaldo picks up a side job to help earn some money for a new flying class, but after Rudi’s dad runs into money issues, he’s unable to attend. When it comes time for his birthday party, it’s up to Ronaldo to find a way to cheer up a very sad Rudi. And boy does he find a way!

The creativity in this series is magnificent. Not only do you have a wonderful family and village full of reindeer, but you have tons of great locations, events and themes. Children easily learn how to interpret a range of feelings, from conquering fears of the doctor to not having enough money to go to a special class. It’s a realistic lesson built into a cute set of characters, full of charm and emotion. Adding to the great story are beautiful drawings filled with humor, detail and imagination. I enjoyed the bakery setting in this edition, almost wanting to taste some of the delicious looking and sounding carrot cakes. They can probably be enjoyed by humans, too… right? 🙂

I applaud Maxine Sylvester for creating such a lovable series — a perfect gift for someone’s birthday or the holidays. If you love animals and fun in the snow, this is a must read!

About Me

For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. 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: The Phantom Carrot Snatcher by Maxine Sylvester

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Overview 
With the holiday season coming up, this is a definite read for children who need a touch of hope and humor. Loosely based on the concepts of reindeer who fly through the sky, with a famous one named Rudolph, this beautiful picture book takes off dashing from there… the lead reindeer character, Ronaldo, is named for a famous soccer player — you can imagine the great amount of other antics incorporated in the rest of the book. The background story that Maxine Sylvester has created is pure imagination woven tightly with a reality we all know.

In this second book in the series, the reindeer crew, in school to learn how to properly fly, meet a young wolf who needs help finding her pack. She’s feisty and protective, loyal and adorable. The book makes you feel part of the story, including the wonderful drawings done by the author herself. Add in a contest, a scary forest and a kooky instructor, there are bunches of warm moments and great arcs to tantalize kids with as you read to them. I highly recommend this series.

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About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. 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: Ronaldo – The Reindeer Flying Academy by Maxine Sylvester

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If you’re looking for a new holiday children’s book series, look no further. I read Ronaldo: The Reindeer Flying Academy, the first of three books by Maxine Sylvester, published in 2015. Ronaldo is a hilarious, fun and adorable main character that kids will just love!

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Book Review 
Most of us are familiar with the the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. But what we never knew was how exactly did those reindeer learn how to fly, how many of them exist and what’s life really like for them at the North Pole. Now you can find out… Ronaldo is a hilarious, fun and adorable main character your kids will just love!

I read this adorable story on my iPad via Kindle Reader in one sitting, enjoying the wonderful illustrations (all done by the author herself) with each chapter. I only wished I had read it with one of my younger cousins, nephews or nieces, but it’s the perfect excuse to read it all over again another time. This is the ideal storybook to share as an electronic read, teaching kids how to use an iPad or Kindle while reading a familiar yet much more detailed holiday tradition.

Ronaldo is not just any young reindeer; he’s bound to be a leader of his future pack. What I loved about this story is how detailed the setting and characters are compared to other children’s books. The language is strong and helps teach in a way that doesn’t feel like teaching. It would be a fun treat to read over a couple of night’s around Christmas to kids, switching back and forth between watching cartoon versions of other famous reindeer… helping create a beautiful world around the holiday time.

I look forward to reading books two and three in the next couple of weeks as a way to usher in this year’s holidays!

Website: https://ronaldotheflyingreindeer.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MaxineSylves…
Twitter: @flyingronaldo
Pinterest: https://id.pinterest.com/flyingronaldo/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/maxinesylve…

About Me 
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. 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 also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can 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. 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.