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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Renee Hand, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 9 of 9
1. Review for Blue Ocean Bob by Brooks Olbrys

Join Blue Ocean Bob on his journey to protect all life in the Sea of Kerchoo

Blue Ocean Bob loves the sea and wants to dedicate his life to protecting it. He begins a new job as assistant to Mary Marine, the Island of Roses's leading marine biologist, and with his hummingbird guardian, Xena, by his side, works hard to carry out his duties to the sea creatures both on and off the shore.

When the challenges mount, Bob seeks advice from Doc the turtle, Earl the clam, and Wallace the walrus, who each help him to develop the positive attitude he needs to succeed.

The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob: A Challenging Job is the second installment in this colorful and inspiring early chapter book series that provides young readers with an introduction to timeless principles of achievement.

About the Author

A graduate of Stanford University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts, and the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, Brooks Olbrys is the founder of Children's Success Unlimited and a managing director at investment bank Ion Partners. He lives with his wife and son in New York City.

From a young age, Kevin Keele has enjoyed creating artwork in many forms: drawing, oil painting, digital painting, even stained glass. His work has been featured in numerous picture books, magazines, board games, and video games. Though he lives far from any coastline, he has always been fascinated by the ocean and enjoys illustrating its various creatures. Kevin is currently an artist for Disney Interactive Studios. He lives in Utah with his wife and two sons. They are the caretakers of one cat, three chickens, and thousands of Italian honeybees.

This chapter picture book contains 5 different chapters. The first is Helping Hand where Bob must help a seal learn to feed in the deep. When he succeeds in his goal the short chapter is over and it flows into the next day where Bob must now help a pelican stuck in a net. In the third chapter Bob must warn the sea life that a storm is coming to the island. Chapter 4 is a Simple Reminder of why Bob wanted to become a marine assistant when he has a bad day and nothing goes right. Chapter 5 is Diving Deep, Bob must help a stingray thats stuck deep in the ocean.

The story is written in rhyme and runs smoothly throughout the story.  Each chapter teaches a good lesson to the reader. The reader learns about confidence, responsibility, communication, gratitude, and success. The illustrations by Kevin Keele are amazing. He does a fabulous job that will immediately engage the reader. His illustrations are realistic, colorful, and true. Readers will feel like they are apart of the story along with the characters.

The characters are from the original book in the series. They carry over into book 2 to help Bob along with his journey. The characters are supportive and encouraging, except for one. Xena is Bob's guardian, and though guardians are meant to keep us safe and and be our reasoning, Xena is constantly negative. She is everyone's subconscious, the thing that holds us back from doing what we really want by showing us the reality, the dangers, and the difficulty of our dreams. Bob has to not only overcome his fears and doubts but overcome Xena's negativity. She tarnishes the lessons being learned. The stories are embedded with her negativity and existence so it would be hard for the author to leave her out as a character without rewriting the whole story, though she is really not needed. Bob has much to deal while solving the problems at hand, discovering what his true destiny and purpose is.

The great things about this story is that it teaches life lessons. Bob learns to overcome his fears while helping other animals overcome theirs. He listens to the wise animals and to Miss Marine and helps the animals on the island live happily. He follows his dreams. Overall, children who love animals and the ocean are going to love this 50 page picture book.

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2. New Books for Review

seesawClavis sent me a group of books to review, which you’ll be seeing soon. Here’s a list of what arrived this week:


The Seesaw and Good-bye, Fish by Judith Koppens,

Circus 123 by one of my favorites, Guido van Genechten,crypto

A Big Book of Face Painting by Charlotte Verrecas,

Kevin’s Big Book of Emotions by another favorite, Liesbet Slegers.


I also purchased a copy of The Crypto-Capers in The Peacock Diaries by Renee Hand. I’ve been following this series since the beginning, so I sure don’t want to miss out on any of them.

Overdue is my review of Soccer Dreams by Clare Hodgson Meeker, but it’s coming soon. I promise.


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3. Guest Post: Plotting a Storyline

I wanted to share yet another guest post with all of you that will help get those juices flowing as we come to the end of the 30 days/30 stories. I’ve been touring award-winning author Renee Hand this month and asked her for some insight on how she crafts her storylines for her two award-winning series. Here is what she had to say.

Plotting a Storyline with Award-winning Author Renee Hand

I can honestly say that I have no specific, technical, brain-zapping method in plotting my storyline. 

I have been writing for over 25 years and believe me when I say that you can get super technical when it comes down to your writing, but if you focus on all of the technicality, how are you supposed to write, hhhmmmm? So here it is, plain and simple. 

Mysteries, which is the genre I consistently write in, has several parts. Most of these elements apply to your basic story as well. These are the things you need to have an idea about when you start your story.  If you have this as your guideline, you can improve and develop it from there. 

First, you need to gather ideas. What is your story going to be about? What genre? Where is the story going to take place? So on and so forth. 

Next, you must think about your main and minor characters. You need to figure out names, ages, how many characters you will focus on, and so on. Some characters will develop as you continue along. 

The plot of a mystery is that there must be a problem and the main character(s) must solve it. Is something or someone stolen, missing, or kidnapped? You must have a list of clues, with one being the case-cracking clue; remember I am talking about mysteries here. You can throw in a red herring if you like, or a mislead. 

You must have rising action. Your story needs to build up to the climax-where the conflict of the story comes to a head. You should have an idea on how your story is going to end, though in all actuality, your ending will most likely change as your story develops. 

Remember that the climax of the story is not your ending. The ending must have a good resolution to the problem and be satisfying to the reader. My advice is to relax when writing. Don’t worry about so much and let your ideas flow.   

There are so many rules and methods in writing that we could literally suffocate ourselves with them. Don’t worry about them at the very beginning. Get your ideas down on paper. Once down, develop them from there. 

Remember that proofreading, revising and editing are great times to become more technical about what you should and shouldn’t have. 

Renee Hand is an award-winning author, educator, tennis coach and various other things. Hand has been writing for over twenty years and

1 Comments on Guest Post: Plotting a Storyline, last added: 4/25/2011
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4. CWCC Virtual Book Tour - for RENEE HAND

Today I Have the Pleasure of Hosting Author

Renee Hand
Welcome to day three of Renee Hand’s 6-day NWFCC
April Author Showcase tour, as she discusses how
Mineral Mischief can be used in the classroom. 
 Case#2 Mineral Mischief

Tradebook Tips for Teachers from
Award-Winning Author Renee Hand

Teachers can use Mineral Mischief in so many ways. In the back of the book I’ve included lots of educational information that teachers can use in the classroom to further understanding of rocks and minerals. I also add a diagram of the rock cycle, which can be referred to at anytime.

I’ve created various experiments where students can make predictions by using various charts. Terminology is included in the back as well as a ‘Did You Know’ section. I also incorporate a discussion about bullying, which one of the characters is involved with. The character also finds a solution to this problem which all children can benefit from.  The information that I have in the book can be used to fill the National Standards requirement for this topic.

Follow Day 4 of Ms. Hand's tour tomorrow


Secrets of Writing for Children.

This e-Book offers you one stop guidance for Writing and Self -editing
children's books. These helpful hints come from my many years of
writing for children and doing manuscript critiques.

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5. Writing Tips from Children’s Author Renee Hand

Welcome to day four of Renee Hand’s 6-day NWFCC April Author Showcase tour and join Ms. Hand as she discusses knowing your audience.

When writing for children, one must always keep in mind their audience. Developing ideas for appropriate topics to write about and keeping them at a certain age level, can be challenging. I view writing for children as something that is fun and educational. I put a lot of effort in making my books unique and different. As a writer we must find a niche and fill it. Writing for children is making sure you get your message across. The children’s market is flooded with books. As a writer we have to create storylines that stand out from the crowd and get noticed, not blend in with the rest and be forgettable.

Follow Day 5 of Ms. Hand's tour tomorrow at http://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com.

2 Comments on Writing Tips from Children’s Author Renee Hand, last added: 5/19/2011
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6. Renee Hand's Exciting New Radio Show

Before I share the exciting news at Blog Talk Radio, just a reminder that the give-away contest for a free copy of The Fourth Wish ends tomorrow, Friday, September 9th, at midnight (my time -- California time). To find out how to win, check out the rules here: 

Okay: Big Announcement:

Renee Hand of the Crypto-Capers Review is starting a new venture on Blog Talk Radio called Stories from Unknown Authors. Renee's purpose is in the very title of her show. She interviews unknown and undiscovered authors about their books and their writing aspirations. Renee has always been supportive of other authors, and she regularly reviews children's books on the Crypto-Capers Review. (I subscribe to it and always look forward to the next e-mail with its latest book review.)

In addition, Renee is an award-winning author of the charming, interactive Crypto-Capers mystery series, where mysteries have to be solved by solving puzzle clues -- and kids do love puzzles and mysteries. You can learn more about Renee and her books here.

I'm partly excited about Renee's new radio show, because I'm going to be interviewed on it next Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. EST. (If you are interested in listening in on it, you'll have to work out the time zone differences. For me, it's 2:30 p.m., since I live in California.) But I'm also excited to be part of such a great line up of authors she has slated for September and October. 

The first one was scheduled for today. (I'm sorry to be late posting this. Unfortunatley today I had a doctor appointment following up on my recent foot surgery and I just got back awhile ago.) But -- if you tune in late, or if you miss that interview, you can still find and listen to any interview you missed, including Renee's introductory program Tuesday. The shows are always at 6:30 EST, and you can work it out from there. Just go to the main website for the show and scroll on down to see upcoming shows and her main introduction. 

10 Comments on Renee Hand's Exciting New Radio Show, last added: 9/10/2011
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7. BOOKS - Guaranteed to HOOK KIDS on READING!

Take Note of These 3 Authors:

Lynn Garthwaite - Kaleb Nation
- Renee Hand.

These authors write books that will GRAB
your reluctant reader's interest.



If your reluctant reader is a young teen, drop
Bran Hambric - the Fairfield Curse,
by Kaleb Nation, on his bedside table.

Bran Hambric was found locked in a bank vault at six years old, with no memory of his past. For years, he has lived with one of the bankers, wondering why he was left behind -- until one night, when he is fourteen, he is suddenly confronted by a maddened creature, speaking of Bran’s true past and trying to kidnap him. ....................That's what I call baiting the HOOK!


For younger readers,
HOOK them on books by these 2 Authors:

Dirkle has his own web page, where he shows kids where to go for the Books, Fun Stuff , about the Characters + lots MORE. Available from AMAZON

Lynn told me this: "Kids who are just learning to read on their own need to find something fun and interesting, so they understand how much fun books can be. I write the kind of books I liked to read when I was that age: anything with a secret, a hidden room, transport to a magical land, or the discovery of something that had been hidden for hundreds of years.

Those kinds of books just sucked me right in."




Renee Hand's
Crypto-Capers Series -
Beginning with these 2:

The Case of the Missing Sock

plus - The Case of Red Rock Canyon
(Both available from Amazon and B&N)

What child doesn't want to root for a
bunch of kids who solve mysteries.

Visit Renee's Website for books, Bio, and MORE


Also, check on the right of this page for a list of
HOOK 'EM NOW books for both
boys and girls.

Visit my own Reluctant Reader Friendly books page.
sample verses - illustrations - cover slides - trailer.

REMEMBER: Books must have fast paced stories, full of
fun, action, and cool dialogue, if you want to
HOOK that reluctant reader - or boy.

4 Comments on BOOKS - Guaranteed to HOOK KIDS on READING!, last added: 9/6/2009
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8. The Case of the Missing Sock

Reviewed by Donna M. McDine

The Case of the Missing Sock

Title: The Crypto-Capers in the Case of the Missing Sock
Written by: Renee Hand
Illustrated by: Alla Dubrovich
Ages: 8-12 (grades 4-7)
Publisher: North Star Press of Saint Cloud Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-87839-304-6
Published: October 2008

Many of us remember the challenge of cryptograms with fondness. In The Crypto-Capers in the Case of the Missing Sock, and no the sock didn’t get lost in the washing machine, the Holmes siblings find themselves in their latest caper. Blending their skills of puzzle solving, deduction, and reasoning with their best friend Morris’ computer know how the trio along with Granny are hired by Mr. Delacomb to find a single sock. At first they are baffled why a single sock would be stolen. Until they have their first meeting with Mr. Delacomb. They discover words sometimes do not explain the value of an item. It’s up to them to uncover the what, why, where, and who and they soon find themselves traveling to Florida to discover the answers. Of course, the muscle of the group, Granny travels with them for guidance and protection.

Come along for this exciting adventure of mystery, intrigue, and puzzle deducing techniques to solve their latest case.

Author, Renee Hand cleverly blends a mystery and cryptogram clues throughout her series The Crypto-Capers making the adventure of solving a mystery more exciting. To learn more about Hand’s writing career visit www.reneeahand.com.

Donna McDineLearn more about Donna McDine at www.donnamcdine.com. Sign the guestbook and you’ll receive a FREE e-Book Write What Inspires You: Author Interviews.

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9. The Case of Red Rock Canyon

Reviewed by Donna M. McDine

The Case of Red Rock Canyon

Title:The Crypto-Capers in the Case of the Red Rock Canyon
Written by: Renee Hand
Illustrated by: Alla Dubrovich
Ages: 8-12 (grades 4-7)
Publisher: North Star Press of Saint Cloud Inc.
ISBN: 978-0-87839-304-6
Published: March 2009

Once again The Crypto-Capers find themselves hired and on the road to Las Vegas to solve The Case of the Red Rock Canyon. The stolen item in this case, an Orchid Ruby Necklace out on loan to producer, Mr. Cross for his latest play, The Orchid Menagerie.

With each case The Crypto-Capers accept the cryptograms become more mysterious and increasingly difficulty to solve. They are not be thwarted. Their determination in not being dubbed, Max, Mia, Morris, and Granny (Nellie Holmes) find themselves thrown into the dramatics of theatre and life threatening circumstances. Deciphering clues is always a challenge and add in whose acting and who is telling the truth proves to be the biggest obstacle. Will the detectives solve this case before it’s too late?

Come along for the perilous adventure into the theatre world. The performances and clues will have you guessing at each curtain fall as to who is behind the theft of the Orchid Ruby Necklace.

Author, Renee Hand cleverly blends a mystery and cryptogram clues throughout her series The Crypto-Capers making the adventure of solving a mystery more exciting. To learn more about Hand’s writing career visit www.reneeahand.com.

Donna McDineLearn more about Donna McDine at www.donnamcdine.com. Sign the guestbook and you’ll receive a FREE e-Book Write What Inspires You: Author Interviews.

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