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1. #660 – Edgar and the Tattle-Tale Heart by Jennifer Adams & Ron Stucki

cover babylit first steps book



Edgar and the Tattle-Tale Heart
Sequel to Edgar Gets Ready For Bed
Written by Jennifer Adams
Illustrated by Ron Stucki
Gibbs Smith           9/20/2014
32 pages           Age 4 to 8

Edgar is dreadfully nervous.. The rambunctious raven knocked over his mother’s prized stone sculpture. But even the influence of his sister, Lenore, threatening to tattle can’t keep Edgar from trying to hide his misdeed.”


Mom leaves her two little ravens alone for a short while with paper and crayons to occupy them. Little boys being little boys, Edgar—inspired by The Raven— decides to make paper airplanes and throws them at Lenore. Lenore hides. Edgar runs after her with another plane, knocks into a table, and accidentally breaking a statue.

“Look what you did! I’m telling mom when she gets home.”

Sisters can be such difficult creatures. Edgar, hoping mom won’t notice, tries to hide the broken piece. A little mouse suggests under a floorboard and then in a drawer. Finally, while hearing Lenore repeat her I’m-going-to-tell mantra, Edgar and the mouse try to fix the statue—as its eyes look fearfully at the mouse’s offering of tape.

gss pdf 1The illustrations, are black and white with red highlights and light purple backgrounds. This gives the feeling one is peaking in on the raven’s home as the scenes unfold. The story, based on Edgar Allen Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, uses a statue—head bust—of Poe, who watches over the children, his eyes darting here and there, providing additional humor for those that notice. The illustrations are very good, though near the end, when the ravens speak their mouths no longer open as they do earlier. Certainly only a small detail and one children may not notice.

When mom returns, Lenore is ready to tell on Edgar, who, with the helpful mouse, has been pacing ever since “fixing” the statue of Poe. Mom stops Lenore short, admonishing her not to tattle. She asks Edgar,

“Edgar, do you have something to tell me?”

gs pdf 2

Edgar tearfully apologizes. Mom reminds the young raven how much she loves him; a sweet ending to a typical brother-sister afternoon. Children will laugh at the two ravens, while parents will immediately recognize the tattle-tell from their own lives or that of their children. Edgar and the Tattle-Tale Heart is a beautifully illustrated story told succinctly in dialogue. It should be another hit in Gibbs Smith’s line of literary-based BabyLit® children’s books. (BabyLit® First Step book)

EDGAR AND THE TATTLE-TALE HEART. Text copyright © 2014 by Jennifer Adams. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Ron Stucki. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Gibbs Smith, UT.

Purchase Edgar and the Tattle-Tale Heart at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryGibb Smith.

Read more about Edgar and the Tattle-Tale Heart HERE.
Meet the author, Jennifer Adams, at her website:  http://jennifer-adams.com/
Meet the illustrator, Ron Stucki, at creativehotlist: http://www.creativehotlist.com/Individuals/details/200567 
Find more BabyLit® at the Gibbs Smith website: www.gibbs-smith.com

Edgar Gets Ready For Bed2amazonx


Edgar Gets Ready for Bed: A BabyLit® First Steps Picture book


Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews

Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book, Series Tagged: BabyLit®, BabyLit® First Step book, Edgar and the Tattle-Tale Heart, family, gibbs smith, Jennifer Adams, relationships. Edgar Allen Poe, Ron Stucki, siblings, tattle telling

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2. Indiegogo Campaign Launched For a Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Documentary

Producer Cody Meirick has launched a crowdfunding venture on Indiegogo. He hopes to raise $28,000.00 to shoot a documentary about Alvin Schartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.

The film will explore several topics including gothic folklore, censorship, and Schartz’s process for creating this classic children’s book. We’ve embedded a video above that features more details about this movie.

Here’s more about the project: “This upcoming documentary will explore the history and background of one of the most controversial works of modern children’s literature: Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. In many American libraries of the ’80s and ’90s these books developed a growing interest from boys and girls who were taken in by the gothic tales, the whimsical tone, and the ghostly illustrations. Now the Scary Stories book series stands as the most challenged children’s book of the last 30 years and a testament to the power of something that is often taken for granted: a good scary story.” (via Nerdist.com)

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3. #659 – Peace is an Offering by Annette LeBox & Stephanie Graegin




Peace is an Offering

Written by Annette LeBox
Illustrated by Stephanie Graegin
Dial Books for Young Readers         3/10/2015
40 pages          Age 3 to 5


“Peace is an offering.
A muffin or a peach.
A birthday invitation.
A trip to the beach.

“Follow these neighborhood children as they find love in everyday things—in sunlight shining through leaves and cookies shared with friends—and learn that peace is all around, if you just look for it.”


Peace is an Offering contains a strong message about what the abstract concept of peace means for the young (and old): helping one another, being kind, joining together, and enjoying all aspects of life with respect to your family, friends, and neighbors. Peace does not need to be overcomplicated or forced. Peace is the accumulation of all the small, meaningful acts we do each day.

“Will you stay with me?
Will you be my friend?
Will you listen to my story
till the very end?”

The children in this large neighborhood, make, find, and (most importantly), show kindness to each other every day in simple heartfelt ways. The poem is beautifully written and illustrated. Children will easily understand each deftly visualized line or verse of the poem. Multicultural children interact with each other, families spend time together, and friends stay close.

peace is an offering 1

What is not to love about Peace is an Offering? Nothing, though the spread alluding to 911 seems unnecessary. The verse feels out of place, as does the illustration, which deviates from the light, airy, everyday life depicted on the other spreads (see two examples here). but for those who lost a loved one or friend, the spread may provide comfort. Peace is an Offering is a gratifying read; uplifting and inspiring young and old alike. The author finishes the poem by offering advice to children.

So offer a cookie,
Walk away from a fight.
Comfort a friend
Through the long, dark night.

I loved every aspect of every spread. The poetry speaks to the heart. Pencil and watercolor illustrations have those details I rave about. Simply said, Peace is an Offering is a joy to read.

PEACE IS AN OFFERING. Text copyright © 2015 by Annette LeBox. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Stephanie Graegin. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Penguin Random House, NY.
Purchase Peace is an Offering at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryPenguin Random House.
Learn more about Peace is an Offering HERE.

Meet the author, Annette LeBox, at her website:  http://annettelebox.com/
Meet the illustrator, Stephanie Graegin, at her website:  http://graegin.com/
Find more picture books at Dial Books for Young Readers website:  http://www.penguin.com/meet/publishers/dialbooksforyoungreaders/

Dial Books for Young Readers is an imprint of Penguin Random House.  http://www.penguin.com/children/

Last Chance! VOTE for YOUR FAVORITE BEST BOOK for 2014 HERE.


Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews

Last Chance! VOTE for YOUR FAVORITE BEST BOOK for 2014 HERE.

Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Picture Book, Poetry Tagged: acceptance, Annette LeBox, Dial Books for Young Readers, family, friends, love, multicultural, peace, Peace is an Offering, Penguin Random House, relationships, Stephanie Graegin

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4. #658 – The Story Starts Here! by Caroline Merola




The Story Starts Here!

Written and illustrated by Caroline Merola
Owlkids Books         9/15/2014
40 pages      Age 4 to 8


“Little Wolf wants to do things his way. And that includes starting HIS story from the back of the book. But Little Wolf’s topsy-turvy day gets a unexpected twist  when someone else decides to join in on the fun.

Play along as Little Wolf turns the picture book on its head!”


Little Wolf is one stubborn little guy.

Oh, wait! I forgot to tell you a very important thing—The Story Starts Here has the ending at the beginning and the beginning at the end.  So flip the book around and upside down, and then open the back “front” cover. Ready?


Little Wolf is one stubborn little guy.

“Because I said so.”

He wants things his way, including with you; you are reading his book upside down and backwards. Little Wolf eats dessert first, puts his pants on his head, and plays piano with his toes. Little Wolf declares today is backward day to his unwilling and objecting parents.

“No, you will not begin with dessert.”
“No, you will not play piano with your toes!”

Sent to his room to think about his contrary behavior, Little Wolf sneaks outside (with his pants still fashionably atop his head). Outside, all the creatures are quickly running away from something. Little Wolf turns around and finds he is face-to-face with a monster. The Story Starts Here had me laughing from the get go at Little Wolf and his backward antics. Little Wolf playing the piano and wearing his trousers’ on his head is hilarious, but not as much as the twist. The monster is feeling a bit topsy-turvy itself. “It” explains this to Little Wolf, who seems to understand . . . until the monster tells Little Wolf to flip the book back over.


Oh, wait! I forgot again. Keep the book open and flip back over so the beginning is the beginning and the end is the end. Now we can finish the story.

Despite the funny goings on the story could be better. Little Wolf is the same stubborn wolf as he was at page . . . the beginning of the story. He does not even think the twist is funny. (Spoilt sport, he is!)  I really like The Story Starts Here and the concept of an upside day. Feeling a little off is a good time to mix things up. Good thing dad understands his son.

I love “Dad Books.” The Story Starts Here will entertain fathers and sons, making a great reading experience for both. Little Wolf is generic and so can be any child; dad can be any father. Kids will love the craziness of flipping and reading backward, then suddenly flipping back. It is one more way to engage and interest them in reading. Kids will also love the surprise ending (a new fashion, which had me laughing, is born).  If the book does not make you dizzy—it will not—you and your child will enjoy a funny story and a great lead into a discussion on how sometimes a story—or the world—has more than one view.
THE STORY STARTS HERE! Text and illustrations copyright © 2014 by Caroline Merola. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Owlkids Books, Berkely, CA.
Purchase The Story Starts Here at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryOwlkids Books
Learn more about The Story Starts Here HERE.
Meet the author/illustrator, Caroline Merola, at her website:  http://www.carolinemerola.com/
Find more picture books at the Owlkids Books website:  https://store.owlkids.com


Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews
Last Chance! VOTE for YOUR FAVORITE BEST BOOK for 2014 HERE.

Filed under: 4stars, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: "my way", Caroline Merola, fathers and sons, Owlkids Books, stubborn, The Story Starts Here, tolerance, topsy-turpy, world view

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5. PPBF: Eine Kleine Dickmadam


Check out this board book on Julie Rown Zoch’s site. The illustrations are AWESOME! I can’t review this one myself, so this may be a one time look-see. (Don’t forget to come back.)

Originally posted on julie rowan-zoch:


A Little Fat Madam: Funny Rhymes for Children (my direct translation!)
Illustrator: Franz Zauleck
Publisher: LieV, 2010; originally published 1979
Ages: 3-6yrs
Themes: funny rhymes in German


Opening: “Eine kleine Dickmadam reiste mit der Eisenbahn; Eisenbahne krachte, Dickmadame lachte, lachte bis der Schaffner kam und sie mit zur Wache nahm.”

EineKleineDM3Summary: board book with funny rhymes for children.

EineKleineDM4I bought this book because: my daughter planned a visit to the Leipzig Biook Fair while I stayed with her in Germany. I planned to purchase a select few that I could fit in my wee suitcase. This one has pretty edgy illustrations for a 36 year old book! Sure, I enjoy rhymes, and hope to read this to a child someday, but I bought this last Friday for ME!

EineKleineDM5Resources/activities: though it may seem odd to read a few German rhymes to English speaking preschoolers, I think it would be fun for them…

View original 58 more words

Filed under: Children's Books

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6. #657 – We’re the Center of the Universe!: Science’s Biggest Mistakes About Astronomy and Physics Series: Science Gets It Wrong by Christine Zuchora-Walske




We’re the Center of the Universe!: Science’s Biggest Mistakes About Astronomy and Physics

Series:  Science Gets It Wrong
Written by Christine Zuchora-Walske
Lerner Publishing Group         9/1/2014
32 pages          Age 9 to 12

“The universe circles around Earth.
Creatures live on the Sun.
You can tell the future by looking at the Stars.

At one time, science supported wild notions like these! But later studies proved these ideas were nonsense. Discover science’s biggest mistakes and oddest assumptions about physics and astronomy, and see how scientific thought changes over time.”


Why is Pluto no longer a planet? What makes waves ebb and flow as they do? How did the universe begin? We’re the Center of the Universe will answer these questions and many more in this truly fascinating read. Even non-science buffs will find We’re the Center of the Universe interesting.

We’re the Center of the Universe packs a wild punch. Kids can learn about some of the greatest thinkers and scientists throughout history, and how their thoughts and postulates—once considered true—are now terribly off base. The physical sciences change with time. New information and tools improve research. New scientists bring new ideas. We’re the Center of the Universe will have kids laughing—and thinking—about the beliefs people once held, but as the author states,

“. . . in the future, people might think our scientific ideas are pretty goofy too!”

I loved the book and found it difficult to put down. Well-written and well-researched, kids will be drawn into to this primer on the misconceptions regarding our world and universe, specifically in the areas of physics and astronomy. The illustrations and photographs are fantastic and teachers can quickly incorporate We’re the Center of the Universe into the Common Core requirements.  


Ms. Christine Zuchora-Walske knows how to write non-fiction for children. We’re the Center of the Universe is not a dry textbook, but rather a great adjunct text, a quick reference, and a fun read. In the resources section, she thoughtfully summarizes each book and website so readers can quickly find more information about whatever sparked their interest.

From ancient times to modern times, science continues to change and, sometimes, old ideas and thoughts are simply funny or just odd. Kids will find much to laugh about and learn inside the covers of We’re the Center of the Universe.
WE’RE THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE! : SCIENCE’S BIGGEST MISTAKES ABOUT ASTRONOMY AND PHYSICS (SCIENCE GETS IT WRONG). Text copyright © 2014 by Christine Zuchora-Walske. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Lerner Publishing Group, Minneapolis, MN.
Learn more about We’re the Center of the Universe! HERE.
Purchase We’re the Center of the Universe! at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryLerner Publishing Group.

Meet the author, Christine Zuchora-Walske at her Lerner bio:  https://www.lernerbooks.com/contacts/987/Christine-Zuchora-Walske
View  Christine Zuchora-Walske’s linkedin page:  https://www.linkedin.com/pub/christine-zuchora-walske/5/998/847
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SevenCsEditorial
Find more from the Science Gets it Wrong series at the Lerner Publishing website:  https://www.lernerbooks.com/





Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews

Last Chance! VOTE for YOUR FAVORITE BEST BOOK for 2014 HERE.

Filed under: 4stars, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, Middle Grade, NonFiction, Series Tagged: astronomy for kids, Christine Zuchora-Walske, Lerner Publishing Group, physics for kids, scientific misconceptions, We're the Center of the Universe!: Science's Biggest Mistakes About Astronomy and Physics (Science Gets It Wrong)

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7. CBC Children’s Choice, Vote Polar Bear

KaliChildrensChoiceIt is such an honor to have Kali’s Story: An Orphaned Polar Bear Rescue selected as a finalist for the CBC Children’s Choice Awards! But kids, now we need your help!

Vote for Kali!!


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8. Award-winning children's author, visits #IWSG

I invite you to cruise on over to #IWSG and visit with me today as I chat about... "Book Festivals: A Must Have for Your Book Marketing Toolbox" at...


Thanks for your interest, I look forward to chatting with you, once I return from work!


Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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9. In this mornings email from Publishers Weekly!

0 Comments on In this mornings email from Publishers Weekly! as of 3/17/2015 11:54:00 AM
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10. Why I Love to Read Sad and Dark Books to Children (and You Should Too)

  • Gleam and Glow written by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Peter Sylvada
  • Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust written by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Stephen Gammell
  • Hiroshima No Pika written and illustrated by Toshi Maruki
  • Fox written by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Ron Brooks
  • The Harmonica written by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Ron Mazellan
  • Peppe the Lamplighter written by Eliza Bartone, illustrated by Ted Lewin
  • The Shark God written by Rafe Martin, illustrated by David Shannon

What do they all have in common?

  1. They have very sad and dark themes
  2. I love to read them to third graders

According to the What Kids Are Reading report from Renaissance Learning and Kids & Family Reading Report from Scholastic, it seems pretty clear that funny books are the most popular when choosing books for unassigned reading. In the Kids & Family Reading Report, 70% of 2,558 parents and children look for a book that “makes me laugh.” As you scroll across the top fiction titles per grade of the 9.8 million students from 31,633 schools nationwide who read more than 330 million books during the 2013-2014 school year tracked in the What Kids are Reading, you see the same lighthearted, amusing titles appear over and over again.

Although these reports do not encompass all the books students read or measure all the students in the United States, these do provide useful snapshots into the homes and schools of today’s young readers.

I get it: Light humorous fiction provides much-needed escape and reminds readers not to take the world or ourselves too seriously. These books offer an escape from harsh realities and a place to dream and imagine another, better, or different world.

Sad and Dark Books for ChildrenWhile I encourage all readers to choose their own books based on their interests, needs, and experiences, our unique roles as educators make us critical influencers on exposing students to a wide variety of texts they might not have considered for themselves.

Some of my most meaningful teaching moments and conversations came when the 27 of us would be clustered together on the carpet reading one of those texts. When we read Fox, my students were disturbed at the Fox-Magpie-Dog relationship and were dismayed by Magpie’s actions. This led us to a discussion (and away from the day’s read aloud lesson plan…) about betrayal they had experienced in friendships and families.

The world is messy, sad, and dark. Kids face racism, poverty, homelessness, neglect, violence, hunger, sexism, divorce, disempowerment, and more. Sharing sad or dark books with students starting in elementary school, like A Shelter in Our Car and When the Horses Ride By, challenges students emotionally and recognizes their realities and capacity to empathize.

Using books with dark themes or settings in the classroom can give students the language to express their emotions, models for how to discuss and engage on these topics with adults and peers, and a safe space to explore difficult topics. When students read about characters struggling with abuse, bullying, or poverty, they also see how the characters found strength and resources to cope and thrive.

Think of your most memorable texts from middle school, high school, or college. The further students advance into social studies and literature they engage with darker subjects and content. Incorporating such texts early on stretches the types of books young readers can see themselves reading and liking, as well as prepares students for analyzing complex themes and characters.

Next read aloud, choose a sad, dark book because it can:

  • provide an opener into difficult conversations and topics
  • offer complex themes, characters, and motivations worthy of multiple readings
  • give young readers words to express what they are feeling or experiencing
  • model how we act and talk about tough situations, including the grieving process, processing anger, witnessing trauma or violence
  • reinforce the development of the whole child: we want children to explore the whole human condition and develop empathy
  • prepare young readers for the world they belong in and will someday lead
  • prepare them for profound, challenging books to come in middle school and high school  (hello, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Metamorphosis, Their Eyes Were Watching God among so many others)

When I look for a meaningful text, I am on the hunt for authors and illustrators who have tackled difficult topics with not only respect, but also with honesty and with the perception that even the hardest topics like racism, sexism, poverty, and war can be understood by children.

Things to think about when selecting a sad or dark book:

  1. What is the purpose of introducing a sad, dark book?
  2. Is this the best book for the unit’s content or skill?
  3. Where do parents fit in this?
  4. What background information do students need beforehand to handle, appreciate, and comprehend this book and its message(s)?
  5. What follow-up discussion or activities should I organize to help students process and appreciate this book?

There are many authors and illustrators who are finding powerful stories, communicating difficult subjects to children, and treating young people with respect and dignity. Looking for your next thought-provoking book to explore with students? Try…

What are the saddest, darkest books your students love? Share with us!

Jill Eisenberg, our Senior Literacy Expert, began her career teaching English as a Foreign Language to second through sixth graders in Yilan, Taiwan as a Fulbright Fellow. She went on to become a literacy teacher for third grade in San Jose, CA as a Teach for America corps member. She is certified in Project Glad instruction to promote English language acquisition and academic achievement. In her column she offers teaching and literacy tips for educators. 

6 Comments on Why I Love to Read Sad and Dark Books to Children (and You Should Too), last added: 3/18/2015
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11. #656 – Gollywood Here I Come! by Terry John Barto & Mattia Cerato




Gollywood Here I Come!
written by Terry John Barto
illustrated by Mattia Cerato
Author House       8/14/2014
30 pages        Age 4 – 8
“When Anamazie isn’t twirling a baton, taking an acting class, or attending singing and dance lessons, she fantasizes about being a movie star. One day, after leading the Wattle View School Band in the 4th of July parade, and a few hard knocks, her dream comes true.”
The Story

Anamazie, a talented young turkey, leads the school band in the local holiday parade, and then hops in her doting mother’s car. They are off to the Korn-A-Plenty Community Theater for the finals of the Gobbleville’s Got Talent show. Though she gave a rousing performance, Anamazie does not win the show.
Mom Henrietta is waiting backstage along with a talent scout from Gollywood Studios. He wants Anamazie to screen for the studio’s next motion picture. Anamazie wins the part, but has trouble working with the leading man. Will Anamazie lose her first starring role, or will she become the star she has always dreamed she would become?


Gollywood Here I Come opens with an expansive layout of Gobbleville. There are homes, restaurants, a bank, a taco restaurant with half arches, and—hurray—a bookstore. In the distance is the GOLLYWOOD sign (similar to the large Hollywood sign in Los Angeles). The illustrations are quite detailed and the turkeys—Gobbleville citizens —are expressive, colorful, and imaginative.


I like the length of the story and the illustrations, which are on every page sans one. Mom Henrietta is a stereotypical doting stage mom. She follows her daughter’s career so closely, trying to help at every juncture, that studio security must escort her off the movie set. Anamazie does have some difficulties, but I was disappointed that we do not get to see how she overcame those. Because of a lack of character development, it is difficult for the reader to care about her, though mom Henrietta Pearl is a hoot. Children’s story protagonists must solve their conflicts (problems, difficulties). Instead, the story glosses over this by simply telling the reader,

“Six months later, the film debuted . . .”

Suited more to the older end of the suggested reader age of 5 to 8, Gollywood Here I Come is a cute mini-version to fame with a message of perseverance, hard work, and a positive attitude as the means to success. This is the author’s first picture book. His second, Knickerbacher, the Funniest Dragon, released last December. (reviewed HERE (coming soon)).

GOLLYWOOD HERE I COME! Text copyright © 2014 by Terry John Barto. Illustrations copyright © by Mattia Cerato. Reproduce by permission of the publisher, Author House LLC, Bloomington, IN.

Purchase Gollywood Here I Come at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryAuthor House.
Learn more about Gollywood Here I Come HERE.
Meet the author, Terry John Barto, at his website:  tjbkids.com
Meet the illustrator, Mattia Cerato, at his website:   http://www.mattiacerato.com/
Check out additional Author House books at its website:   http://www.authorhouse.com/
Coming soon from Terry John Barton, Knickerbacher, the Funniest Dragon



Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews

Filed under: 4stars, Children's Books, Debut Author, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: Author House, Gollywood Here I Come!, Mattia Cerato, movie stardom, Terry John Barto

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12. Has this naughty elephant met his match? New Book "Rupert the VERY Naughty Elephant" Underway

Pencil sketches are underway for "RUPERT the Very Naughty Elephant" written by Laura Brigger....Yes, he's VERY naughty....but has he met his match? 


0 Comments on Has this naughty elephant met his match? New Book "Rupert the VERY Naughty Elephant" Underway as of 3/13/2015 9:26:00 PM
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13. #655 – Bigfoot is Missing by J. Patrick Lewis and Kenn Nesbitt & MinaLima

bigfoot cover



Bigfoot is Missing!

J. Patrick Lewis and Kenn Nesbitt (Children’s Poet Laureates, past and present)
Illustrated by MinaLima (Miraphora Mina & Eduardo Lima)
Chronicle Books          4/1/2015
40 pages      Ages 7+


“What beast stalks the dim northern forests?
What horror tunnels under the sands of the desert?
What monster lies in wait beneath murky lake water?

“Bigfoot, the Mongolian Death Worm, the Loch Ness Monster—these and many more creatures lurk within these pages. Are they animals yet discovered? Are they figments of imagination? Only eerie whispers and sinister rumors give us hints at the truth.

“Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis (2011-2013) and Children’s Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt (2013-2015) team up to offer a tour of the creatures of shadowy myth and fearsome legend—the enticing, the humorous, and the strange.”



“CRYPTOZOOLOGY is the study of hidden animals, or those whose real existence has not yet been proven.”

Have you ever wondered about Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, or any other cryptid? If so, then this interesting picture book is for you, regardless of age. Is this nonfiction or fiction? That will depend on whether you believe any of these extremely unusual creatures are real, or from the imagination.


I do love the layout of the book. Reading feels like a world tour of the odd. You must look everywhere to find the poems: missing posters, park signs, classified ads, and on plastic bottles stuck in the mud of a swamp. Immediately, you will realize an ingenious poet—uh, two ingenious poets—wrote Bigfoot is Missing .

Kids will enjoy this book, especially if they like the weird and unusual. The illustrations are colorful renderings of the cryptid’s home, be it park, ocean, or roaming the United States. Despite the subject matter, not a single scary page or poem exists in this kid-friendly picture book. Bigfoot is Missing  is a great choice for April Poetry Month. For those unsure what to believe, the authors included a short descriptive history of each creature.  Chronicle Books offers a teacher’s guide, in line with several common core areas.*


BIGFOOT IS MISSING. Text copyright © 2015 by J. Patrick Lewis and Kenn Nesbitt. Illustrations copyright (2015) by MinaLima. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.

Purchase Bigfoot is Missing at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryChronicle Books.
Learn more about Bigfoot is Missing HERE. (check it out!)
Meet the former Children’s Poet Laureate, J. Patrick Lewis, at his website:  http://www.jpatricklewis.com/
Meet the current Children’s Poet Laureate, Kenn Nesbitt, at his website:  http://www.poetry4kids.com/
Meet the illustrators, MinaLima, at their website:  http://www.minalima.com/
Find more picture books that are wonderful at the Chronicle Books website:  http://www.chroniclebooks.com/
*“Correlates to Common Core Speaking and Listening Standards: Comprehension and Collaboration, 2-5.2; Presentation of  Knowledge and Ideas, 2-5.4, 2-5.5; Reading Standards for Literature: Integration of Knowledge and Ideas, 2-5.7” (from Chronicle Books Poetry Picture Books teacher’s guide)
Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews

Filed under: 6 Stars TOP BOOK, Books for Boys, Children's Books, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Poetry, Top 10 of 2015 Tagged: Chronicle Books, cryptids, cryptozoology, forlklore, J. Patrick Lewis, Kenn Nesbitt, MinaLima, monsters

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14. Author to Bookstore: Timeline

The process of writing or illustrating a children’s has often been compared to having a baby. That gestation-to-birth time is partly the work of creating the story and pictures, but that’s just the beginning. Here is a fantastic explanation of the actual publication timeline, written by tween and teen author extraordinaire, Jen Malone. Bookmark

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15. Happy 5th Anniversary, drydenbks – Interview with Emma D. Dryden

Emma D. Dryden is a children’s editorial & publishing consultant with drydenbks LLC, a company she established 5 years ago today, after 25 years as a publisher and editor with major publishing houses. I had the privilege of working with … Continue reading

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16. #664 – The Flat Rabbit by Bárður Oskarsson




The Flat Rabbit
Bárður Oskarsson
Owlkids Books           9/15/2014
40 pages     Age 4+

“What do you do with a flat rabbit? A dog and a rat come across a rabbit. A flat rabbit, lying silently on the road. It all seems rather sad, so they decide to move her. But where to? They can’t just return her to her apartment, completely flattened. What would the neighbors think? The dog and the rat try to figure out what to do. Then the dog gets a brilliant idea. They decide to give the rabbit the send-off she deserves.”



The Flat Rabbit deals with a serious subject most young child, under age 6, are incapable of understanding: the finality of death. The author uses humor in this gentle story of two friends sending off another friend—the flat rabbit—in a respectful manner, honorable and pleasing to the rabbit. They find their friend in the middle of the road and decide it cannot be much fun lying there. The dog and rat decide to help the rabbit move to a better place.

“Do you think she is having a good time? the rat finally asked . . .

“I don’t know . . .” he [the dog] replied slowly. “I don’t know.”

As a social worker, The Flat Rabbit would be a great tool for helping kids process not only death, but also separation. Nearly every page can provoke discussion. The abrupt ending demands discussion. The Flat Rabbit can open up discussions on the mysteries of life, the finality of death, and the use of compassion and respect.


I also love the simple illustrations and the gentle humor.

“Do you know her?” [The rat asked the dog.]

“Well,” said the dog, “I think she’s from number 34. I’ve never talked to her,                                        but I peed on the gate a couple of times, so we’ve definitely met.”

The Flat Rabbit may not be a typical picture book, but it does a great service for children dealing with, or asking about, death. Parents will have a platform for discussion and a gentle way to help their child cope with a difficult subject. The most important aspect, as this social worker sees it, is the respect and compassion for life and death that the author deftly deals with in The Flat Rabbit. The dog, after brainstorming most of the day, comes up with a brilliant plan to help the rabbit. The dog and the rat gently lift the rabbit off the road then spend the rest of the day and night on their plan to honor and care for the rabbit.


An interesting side note: the author lives in the Faroe Islands, an archipelago made up of 18 islands between Iceland and Norway.  Flata Kaninin, the original version, was nominated for The Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize 2014. Sadly, it did not win.

THE FLAT RABBIT. Text and illustrations copyright © 2011 by Bárður Oskarsson. Translation copyright © 2014 by Marita Thomsen. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Owlkids Books Inc., Berkeley CA and Toronto, CAN.
Learn more about The Flat Rabbit* HERE.
Purchase The Flat Rabbit at AmazonB&NBook DepositoryOwlkids Books
Meet the author/illustrator, Bárður Oskarsson:  short bio
Meet the translator, Marita Thomsen, at her website:
Find other wonderful picture books at the Owlkids Books website:   owlkidsbooks.com

*The Flat Rabbit—original title Flata Kaninin—published in 2011 by BFL:    www.bfl.fo

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews

Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Library Donated Books, Picture Book Tagged: Bárður Oskarsson, compassion, death, life cycle, Owlkids Books, picture books for older kids and adults, respect, unfathomable questions

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17. Public School Superhero Giveaway

Enter today for a chance to win PUBLIC SCHOOL SUPERHERO and more funny middle grade books from James Patterson. I'm a fan of Patterson not just for his adult mystery novels, but for his generosity to book people of all ages. Just today Scholastic Reading Club announced his pledge to help school libraries with $1.25 MILLION in grants! Sadly, we're not giving away millions in cash today, but for your resident middle grade humor/adventure/graphic novel lover, this book might be priceless anyway. Read on for a synopsis and sample art, as well as the Rafflecopter widget to enter the giveaway (US only, ends 3/16/2015)

by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts
Illustrated by Cory Thomas

In stores March 16, 2015

About the Book:

In this story about a good kid with a great imagination struggling in a less-than-ideal world, James Patterson brings his bestselling "Middle School"-style humor and sensibility to an urban setting.

Kenny Wright is a kid with a secret identity. In his mind, he's Stainlezz Steel, super-powered defender of the weak. In reality, he's a chess club devotee known as a "Grandma's Boy," a label that makes him an easy target for bullies. Kenny wants to bring a little more Steel to the real world, but the question is: can he recognize his own true strength before peer pressure forces him to make the worst choice of his life?

James Patterson's newest illustrated novel is a genuinely funny yet poignant look at middle school in a challenging urban setting, where a kid's life can depend on the everyday decisions he makes.


JAMES PATTERSON. Photo credit: David Burnett

JAMES PATTERSON. Photo credit: David Burnett

About James Patterson:

James Patterson was selected by readers across America as the Children's Choice Book Awards Author of the Year in 2010. He is the internationally bestselling author of the highly praised Middle School books, I FunnyConfessions of a Murder Suspect, and the Maximum RideWitch & WizardDaniel X, and Alex Cross series. His books have sold over 275 million copies worldwide, making him one of the bestselling authors of all time.




Learn More at PublicSchoolSuperhero.com

Visit the Author Site at JamesPatterson.com

Follow James Patterson on Twitter and Facebook



Make it through middle school with James Patterson! Enter for a chance to win copies of:

·         Public School Superhero

·         I Funny

·         Treasure Hunters

·         House of Robots

Prizing & samples courtesy of Little, Brown. Giveaway open to US addresses only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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18. Rain Reign – Diversity Reading Challenge 2015

Today’s recommendation falls into category #9, A book written by or about someone on the autism spectrum. Title: RAIN REIGN Written by: Ann M. Martin Published by: Feiwel and Friends, October, 2014 Themes/Topics: Aspergers, homonyms, loss, rules Suitable for ages: 7-12 Awards: Schneider Family Book … Continue reading

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19. Book Review: The Last Wild/The Dark Wild

I read both of these books together, so I'm going to do what I rarely do and review them together. If you haven't read the first book, you might want to stop after my review of The Last Wild, because my review of The Dark Wild will, of necessity, have spoilers for the first book.

The Last Wild
by Piers Torday

In a dystopian future, all animals have died out from an illness called "red-eye" that mutated to spread throughout the animal populations. The only animals still living are a few hardy species like cockroaches. Even the bees are dead, which means that there are no more food crops. The only food left is a synthetic food called Formul-A, and the only supplier of Formul-A is the Facto corporation, essentially giving them control of the remaining human population.

Twelve year old Kester Jaynes has been incarcerated in Spectrum Hall Academy for Challenging Children for six years. The Academy is just as horrible as its name makes it sound: the children live regimented, restricted lives, and breaking the rules is punished by solitary confinement. Kester can't even complain: he hasn't been able to speak since his mother died. The words just won't come out.

Kester keeps company with a cockroach at lunch, but one day he's surprised to hear the cockroach speaking to him in his head. Shortly after that, one hundred pigeons break through his window and help him escape from Spectrum Hall. Kester discovers that Facto lied: the animals are not all dead. There is a group of them — a Wild — still living on the edge of civilization, and Kester has a unique ability to talk to them through a kind of mental connection. Between the red-eye virus and the cullers sent out by Facto to kill any remaining animals, the Wild is in grave danger. Kester sets off with the pigeons, the cockroach, a stag, and a wolf cub to find his father, who used to be a vet, and try to find a cure for the red-eye.

If all this sounds a bit unbelievable, it is, but that's ok. This isn't the kind of book that has to be realistic. The characters and the situations are somewhat exaggerated, like you might find in a Roald Dahl or a Lemony Snicket book, with the same kind of dark humor found in those books.

The main characters are Kester and a girl named Polly, whom he meets along the way, and various animals. Kester and Polly are good characters, but the animals are really the best thing about this book. Torday has done an outstanding job of giving the animals unique voices that really fit their personalities. Kester develops through the story, as he learns to be self-reliant and to take responsibility.

The pacing is good, and the plot keeps you turning pages, as Kester, Polly and the animals go from one situation to another as they try to make their way to the city to find Kester's dad. The Last Wild is a unique and interesting book, and a good read. I've read a lot of books, and I can honestly say that I haven't read anything quite like it.


There isn't really any diversity that I saw in the book. In fact, in a few cases I was bothered that some of the villains had impediments or physical characteristics exaggerated in a negative way for comic effect. For example, the evil headmaster stutters.

Who would like this book?

Middle-grade readers, particularly those who like animal fiction. Be aware that The Last Wild is a dark book, and there are deaths; some animals are killed by evil people in front of Kester and Polly. Sensitive children who are bothered by such things may want to give it a pass.

I suspect that this book would have strong appeal for fans of the Warriors series. It's a very different kind of book, but I think that Warriors fans would appreciate not only the animal characters, but also the dark conflicts in a dangerous world, the Wild community, the theme of personal sacrifice, and the well-paced plot.

The Dark Wild
by Piers Torday

Kester and Polly have saved the Wild, and helped Kester's dad find a cure for the red-eye virus. But the Facto corporation isn't going to give up their control of the world and everything they've worked for so easily. Selwyn Stone, the head of Facto, wants something more than to kill all the animals. He wants what Polly has, the secret she swore to her parents that she'd never reveal.

Other factions are also after the secret, and Polly escapes into the city to protect the secret. Kester sets off after her, to help and protect her, but before he can find her he discovers another Wild — an army of bitter, angry animals living under the city, who are determined to destroy the human race. Kester is caught in the middle, and must try to find a way to stop the Dark Wild, while also saving Polly and the animals of his Wild from Facto.

The Dark Wild is a gripping read, and just as thrilling as The Last Wild. In the first book, Kester had to learn to be a leader, but in this one he learns something much more difficult: the value of loyalty, personal heroism, and sacrifice. Other characters develop as well, particularly the wolf cub, who is beginning to grow up and become an adult wolf.

It's also just as dark as the first book, if not more so. In one painful scene, Kester, as a prisoner, has to watch Selwyn Stone taxidermy a squirrel who had been one of Kester's friends. The squirrel was already dead, killed earlier in the book, but it's quite a horrifying scene.

Some things are not resolved by the end of the book, so there may be another book on the way.

FTC required disclosure: Review copy sent by the publisher to enable me to write this review. The bookstore links above are affiliate links, and I earn a very small percentage of any sales made through the links. Neither of these things influenced my review.

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20. Is Nostalgia the Next Big Thing?

If, like me, you enjoyed reading mystery stories such as Enid Blyton's Famous Five and Secret Seven and the Nancy Drew series you'll be pleased to hear that, according to a newspaper article I've just read, the trend apparently is going back towards traditional storytelling and the sort of books we liked to read as children are back in vogue.

This does seem to be the case, several of the books nominated for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize are mystery-based stories such as Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens (5-12 age group) and Smart by Kim Slater in the Teen group. Of course, the theme's been given a fresh angle and modern mystery stories deal with topical issues. Smart for example investigates the death of a homeless man  and  although Murder Most Unladylike is set in a traditional boarding school and investigates the murder of a teacher it explores topics such as racism and same-sex relationships. All very modern.

Nostalgia has been popular for some time now. Items that my children played with such as Furbies, Pokemon cards and Tamagotchis are fetching incredible prices. Many toys such as Furbies, and even traditional toys from my childhood, have made a come back - modernised, of course.

I think the reason for this is because in our fast-paced, twenty four hour, high pressure society many people long for the simplicity of the past when children played in the streets with hooplas, footballs and skipping ropes or wandered the fields looking for adventures.  Nowadays most parents don't think it's safe to let their children out of their sight so most children are cooped up indoors playing on Ipads and computers. Small wonder that many people feel quite nostalgic about the past.

Mystery stories have always been popular, of course. A few years ago I wrote a detective series called The Amy Carter Mysteries for Top That Publishing.

They're quite popular with children in schools I visit and it's tempting to jump on the nostalgia bandwagon and write another detective series reminiscent of Enid Blyton's popular tales. With my luck though by the time I'd finished it the trend would have moved on and something else would be 'in vogue'. And guessing what the next Big Thing will be is pretty impossible.

What do you think? Is Nostalgia here to stay?

Karen King writes all sorts of books. Check out her website at www.karenking.net

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21. One Witch at a Time Blog Tour

Thanks to Simon & Schuster for including us on the blog tour for One Witch at a Time by Stacy DeKeyser! Check out the other blogs on the tour, as well as a guest post from the author and a giveaway of both books (The Brixen Witch in paperback and its sequel in hardcover).


One Witch at a Time Blog Tour Schedule

Mon, Feb 9 - Cracking the Cover
Tues, Feb 10 - Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
Wed, Feb 11 - Mother Daughter Book Club
Thurs, Feb 12 - GreenBeanTeenQueen
Fri, Feb 13 - The Book Monsters
Mon, Feb 16 - Word Spelunking
Tues, Feb 17 - Read Now, Sleep Later
Wed, Feb 18 - Small Review
Thurs, Feb 19 - Kid Lit Frenzy
Fri, Feb 20 - The Flashlight Reader

About the book

Misplaced magic is trouble.

The day had started so well. But now here was Rudi, racing home to intercept a thief. All because of a foolish bargain made by a nine-year-old girl.

Trouble has returned to Brixen, and once again, Rudi is the one who must make things right. Can he undo the disaster caused when an unsuspecting stranger brings a foreign witch’s magic into the Brixen Witch’s province? 

Guest Post

Alethea asked me to write about the books that keep me reading past bedtime, but I have a confession to make: I’m a terrible bedtime reader. Five pages and I’m drifting off, no matter how awesome the book is!

Maybe that’s why I love to travel: There’s nothing better than a long flight or a day under a beach umbrella, because then I can devour a good book in one long sitting.

I have a few absolute favorite books. If I could stay awake past bedtime, these would be the ones to keep me reading:

The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean: This book is haunting and horrifying, and unfolds so relentlessly that it gives me chills just thinking about it!

Nation by Terry Pratchett: I’m a huge Pratchett fan, and this is his masterpiece. Not as wildly fantastical as his Discworld books, it’s heartbreaking in parts, and laugh-out-loud funny in other places. (And if you’re a writer, and want to study a master of the omniscient point of view, Pratchett is your guy.)

Anything by Jonathan Stroud: Currently I’m reading The Whispering Skull, the second book in his new Lockwood & Co. series, about young ghost hunters in London. And his four Bartimaeus books are among my favorites of all time.


Anything by Hilary McKay: Her Casson family series (Saffy’s Angel and sequels) are some of the funniest books ever. I’m eagerly anticipating Binny in Secret, the sequel to Binny for Short, which is hilarious and sweet. Plus, there’s a dog.

Just thinking about all these wonderful books makes me think I should take another long trip soon!


About the author

Stacy DeKeyser is the author of The Brixen Witch, which received two starred reviews and was a Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Pick, and its sequel, One Witch at a Time, as well as the young adult novel, Jump the Cracks and two nonfiction books for young readers. She lives in Connecticut with her family. To learn more and to download a free, CCSS-aligned discussion guide, visit StacyDeKeyser.com.



One lucky winner will receive The Brixen Witch in paperback and One Witch at a Time in hardcover. US addresses only, please!

Giveaway Rules:

  1. Open to US residents only. Ends 02/23/2015.
  2. We and the publisher are not responsible for items lost, stolen, or damaged in the mail. 
  3. One set of entries per household please. 
  4. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter, as you will be sharing personal info such as an email address. 
  5. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter widget a day or two after the contest ends. 
  6. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to to the email, otherwise we will pick a new winner. 
  7. If you have any questions, feel free to email us. You can review our full contest policy here
  8. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE ANY PERSONAL INFO IN THE COMMENTS. Sorry for the caps but we always get people leaving their email in the comments. Rafflecopter will collect all that without having personal info in the comments for all the world (and spambots) to find. Thanks!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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22. New Dr. Seuss Picture Book Manuscript Found

Random House Dr SeussA long-lost Dr. Seuss book has been discovered. Random House Children’s Books will release What Pet Should I Get? on July 28th.

According to USA Today, the story stars a brother and sister who are looking to bring in a new addition to their family. The same sibling duo appears in the Seuss classic, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, which came out in 1960. For that reason, the editorial executives estimate that the soon-to-be published picture book was written sometime between 1958 to 1962.

The New York Times reports that “the manuscript had been in a box that was discovered in the home of Dr. Seuss (otherwise known as Theodore Geisel) in the La Jolla section of San Diego, shortly after his death in 1991, and set aside. In 2013, Mr. Geisel’s widow, Audrey, and longtime secretary and friend, Claudia Prescott, went through the box and found the nearly complete manuscript, along with other unpublished work.” The same team plans to use other uncovered documents and materials for two more picture book projects.

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23. Getting Kids Into Music? Can It Be Done?

Learning To Play Music

Kids Love Music

Children’s Music Education is too important to be minimized or overlooked.

Articles and lists of why children need to be learning music are easily found on the net.

Everything from improved brains to social and educational benefits.  So we can conclusively establish that learning to play a musical instrument is vital for everyone.

Yet, educational authorities have allowed music to be marginalized in many schools.

It seems kids have stopped listening to classical music or learning to play an orchestral instrument?  And apparently, 75% of high school students in the US never or rarely take lessons in arts or music. This is not looking good.

I would like to see every school with orchestras, bands, choirs and a good supply of musically competent teachers.  Because there’s nothing like enjoying an orchestra playing your favorite music to help you feel great as it rebuilds you from the inside out.

Anyway, what does Richard Gill the highly respected advocate for Children’s Music Education say?

Don’t be fooled into thinking that because children are listening to pop music at school they are receiving a music education.  Indeed, just listening to music of any kind is not music education. What’s more if you peel away the pop jargon, the music the kids are listening to is essentially a simple melody – lots of rhythm and just a waste of time.”

Call me grumpy perhaps, but I have to say, nothing annoys me more than seeing children choosing entertainment through technology.

For instance, kids on a device. IPhone, iPad, spending time scrolling through Facebook and Pinterest images while sorting out twitter feeds.

And there is more.  In general education, formal learning is under fire.  Have you read about the  growing attitudes of some groups of children towards learning in general.  A ten year old said this in our local newspaper.

“You Don’t Do School and you just live and learn things…I do whatever I feel like I want to do.”

Mmmm – he will struggle learning music with this attitude.  Music is a privilege and a joy but does include attitudes of commitment and hard work.

So!  How can we motivate kids to Learn To Play Music?  And, how do we motivate the reluctant ones to do so?

Perhaps we might learn something from Youth Sports?

Many children participate in youth sports each year?  Viewed as a rite of passage in a child’s development, parents believe that youth sports are good for their kids.

If the clichés that permeate sports broadcasts and locker room speeches are to be believed, sports participation teaches children the value of hard work, builds character, and develops future leaders.

Young children follow and like their sporting heroes and want to be as good as them.

I’m not going to beat about the bush.  I think it’s time we considered this a model for Children’s Music Education?  Finding music heroes for children to choose to like and follow?  Asking this question: ‘Who is your absolute favourite classical musician?’ 

The real problem is so often children don’t know what music they don’t know about! The music they haven’t heard.

They don’t know what they’re missing until they hear it.  And, by tapping into their inner core that loves music, and selecting music outside their experience which will inspire, encourage and motivate, kids can be encouraged to turn around for another look or listen or both.  And then it’s: “Oh! I lOVE this music!

As a former teacher and musician I realise that Kids think classical music is all too complicated and long.   My conversation with Kids can go a little bit like this.

Oh! Chrissy!  You actually like Classical Music?  Oh I’ll never listen to Classical Music!  I don’t like it at all” 

Classical Music” I reply, “should be a grand excuse for stepping out of the world to share exquisite moments of sheer bliss.  There’s the have to have music you love to listen to, over and over again.  And the magnificent music that keeps us spellbound – the music that you don’t want to ever end.”

As my friend Ginny says: “With classical music you never know what you’re going to get.  Some concerts are so exquisite I have to stop myself sobbing out loud.”

Learning to play a musical instrument

Teach Kids Music!

Anyway, moving on.  Whether kids play an instrument, sing along, or enjoy the music played by others, every child deserves an adult who will understand how a child can become the very best they can possibly be.

To be sure, teachers who patiently sit through countless music recitals and question their sanity at encouraging those trumpet or violin lessons need do so no longer.  A musical moment shared with even one other person, is a treasure that exists at no other time, in no other way.

To be honest I believe the way forward is in ‘Live Music’ being a part of everyone’s day to day.  Yet it is not for the majority of people. So why be part of it?  Why not we need to ask?”

Stephen P Brown says: “Think about what your plans are tonight or this weekend. Are there simply not enough concerts?  Yes – I did just say that.”

When most people think of classical music they think of an orchestra at a large concert hall, but music is far greater than being confined to an exotic square box for a night out once a month or twice a year When someone comes home from work without anything in the calendar (i.e. kids’ sports or band practice, etc.), what do they do? They think of going to a movie, or a restaurant. Perhaps visit a museum at the weekend, or a walk in the park. Some like to annoy a neighbour or family, whilst others potter in the garden.

The more concerts we host, the more they will enter people’s minds; the more the press will include them in the “what to do” listings online and in their papers; the more they will be accessible at times and places more convenient than now. The more concerts you arrange, even for a handful of people, the more music grows to become an essential part of their lives, and at the moment that is truly a God-given gift that most people are missing out on.

Now, hold that thought!  On this theme of ‘Go to a concert’  Everyone likes Street Concerts!

And, what can be more exciting for most people than the involvement in sharing live music, whether it be classical, jazz or pop!

Which brings me to the very recent street concert in Sydney.  “Visions of Vienna

The sails of the Sydney Opera House were alive with moving images of paintings by famous Austrian artists. And the music presented in the Opera House Concert Hall by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Austrian Conductor Ola Rudner was a colourful selection of polkas, waltzes and marches.   As the music played the people in the street began to dance.  It was wonderful, colourful and glamorous!

I think it’s time we found new and innovative ways to make music training more widely available to young people, and to start this during childhood.

When his Auntie left him a piano in her will, Welsh singer, Aled Jones decided he  wanted to learn to play Beatles Songs on his very own piano.  Needless to say this intriguing beginning began his career with the end result – Aled’s first self-titled album by the time he was 11.

We’ve reached the beginning of the end.

Which brings me to Kids’ Educational Stories about Music.  You see, I can’t resist the opportunity to once again mention my children’s books. Just thought I’d throw in a plug for it while we’re all here.

Classical music!  Coffee and a good book!

Sounds like a plan!

Cheers Chrissy

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24. Guest Author and Illustrator, Kathleen Bullock Visits Write What Inspires You

I am delighted to host author/illustrator Kathleen Bullock. It's not too often that an author is also an illustrator. Come along for a glimpse into Kathleen's creative world. Take it away Kathleen...

In earlier days I worked my art in oils and watercolor, pencil and pastels, even the occasional collage. I’ve always been an illustrator at heart, rather than a classic ‘artist’. With a new world of electronics on the horizon, I saw that I’d have to adapt to creating artwork for publication in an electronic format, and I have. It’s a challenge to minimize the digital look of electronic art and give each piece the casual look of ‘top-of-your-head’ sketchiness that I so love, but I’m starting to get there.

I used Photoshop to create the artwork for Olive and the Great Flood. This meant that I could control the color and images on each page for consistency. Each separate piece of art is on its own invisible layer. I can eliminate or correct any of these images before I fix the art on a single layer. The pages then are sent to the publisher as individual jpegs for publication.

You can see my evolving styles on my portfolio web site, www.kathleenbullock.carbonmade.com

Also, look for my next book soon to be published by Guardian Angel,

I hope readers will enjoy reading Olive and the Great Flood as much as I did illustrating it.

Olive and the Great Flood tour schedule http://childrensauthorconniearnold.blogspot.com 

Guardian Angel Publishing 


There will be two drawings at Connie Arnold's blog tour conclusion on the 28th for a copy of Ms. Arnold's first children’s book, Animal Sound Mix-up and a dove wind chime.


Best wishes,
Donna M. McDine
Multi Award-winning Children's Author

Ignite curiosity in your child through reading!

Connect with

A Sandy Grave ~ January 2014 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ 2014 Purple Dragonfly 1st Place Picture Books 6+, Story Monster Approved, Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Powder Monkey ~ May 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

Hockey Agony ~ January 2013 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ New England Book Festival Honorable Mention 2014, Story Monster Approved and Reader's Favorite Five Star Review

The Golden Pathway ~ August 2010 ~ Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. ~ Literary Classics Silver Award and Seal of Approval, Readers Favorite 2012 International Book Awards Honorable Mention and Dan Poynter's Global e-Book Awards Finalist

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25. Children’s Book Review of "A Father’s Love" & Book Giveaway

    by Sally Matheny

A Father's Love
     It's time for a book review and giveaway! Be sure to read below how to enter for the drawing.

      I’m so glad Zonderkidz is publishing I Can Read! books like A Father’s Love, part of the NIV Adventure Bible series. 

A Father’s Loveis a level 2 book, which means it is a high interest story for developing readers.

     The full-page, colorful illustrations are beautiful. Most of the thirty-two pages contain thirty words or less. Sentences are broken up into about ten words per line. The print is large and easy to read.

     Of course, this is the familiar story Jesus told about a father and his sons. One son leaves his father and squanders his inheritance until he is eating with pigs. He decides to go home and ask for his father’s forgiveness. If you haven’t heard the story, I’ll not tell you the ending, but I will tell you that not everyone is happy to see the prodigal son.


     This is a great story to share with youngsters. Most first – third grade students will find the text within their reading range.

     A Father’s Love  will open up discussions on responsibility, forgiveness, jealousy, and acceptance.
     I highly recommend this well-written and beautifully illustrated book.

     In fact, I plan to give a copy of this book away this week. Everyone who leaves a comment below will have their name placed in a drawing for the book. We’ll announce the winner at 3:00 p.m. (EST)  March 7, 2015.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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