Three best friends
Author: Robbin Miller
Editor: Jennifer Niles
Publisher: Self-published, 2017
Robbin Miller has published her second picture book entitled, Three Best Friends. Meet Max Thomas, a wheel chair bound boy who is excited about the opening of a new playground and the opportunity to play with his able bodied, best friends, Sophia and Xavier. To his disappointment, the park is not accessible for wheel chairs and leaves him feeling humiliated and stigmatized. In a very child appropriate tone, the story introduces children to the topic of ability, diversity, and bullying. The moral of the story is that all children should be able to play together, however inclusive playgrounds are costly to build. The illustrations were brightly colored and had diverse main characters (White, Black; male, female; abled, disabled). I give this book 5 stars for its creativity, important social content, and representation. You can get your copy here.
While reading this book, things the reader may consider: Is handicapped or special, acceptable terms to use for a child in wheel chair? Why aren’t more parks made accessible to all children? How important do parents think it is for children to play with a variety of children? According to the Landscape Structures Inclusive Play Survey (2014), 74% of parents who responded think it is important. Inclusive environments foster increased social interactions, meaningful friendships, appreciation and acceptance of individual differences, understanding of diversity, respect, empathy, and emotional growth.
Book Title: My Father
Author: Phoenix Jano
Illustrated by: Ruben C.F.
Format: Kindle books
Pages: 70 pages
Stars: 5 stars
Age recommended: 6-10
My Father is a beautiful short story about the relationship between and Avidan and Abigail (father and a daughter). After feeling disappointed that she broke a gift she received from her father, she runs away and gets herself in trouble. Her father finds her and comes to her aid. She later discovers her father loves her unconditionally and wasn’t angry. We give this book 5 stars. Though it is the story of two beautiful horses, children will be able to get the message of unconditional love between parent and child.
Book Title: The Greasy Opossum
Written and illustrated by: Rachel H. Stafford
Published: Self-published, 2017
Age recommended: 3-7
The Greasy Opossum is a cute, retelling of a story passed down from generation to generation of two brothers, Noah and Jase who enjoyed adventures. On one such adventure, they met a small dirty looking opossum and took in home. They asked their mom if they could keep him as a pet. They learned the valuable lesson about keeping families together. “Don’t you think he misses his mommy?” This was a well written, bed time story. The kindle alignment was landscape instead of portrait but it didn’t affect the readability of the book. Great story!
Recently, I discovered indie author, Claressa Swensen. I saw her promoting her books in a Facebook author group and I ordred three of her kindle books to see what her books her about. After reading three of her books, I can say Claressa and her illustrator work wonders together. Their stories are simple, short, child friendly, yet creative and impacting. Each story has a positive and important message for small children. Each story has unique characters and a different message that will allow children to grow into lifelong book lovers. Today I share three reviews...
Book Title: Dino Dino Doing Homework
Author: Claressa Swensen
Illustrator: Yogesh Mahajan
Published: Self-published, 2016
Age recommended: 3-7
This is an excellent, rhyming short story for any child who dislikes doing homework or being told they can no longer play. Teaching children that there is time for play and time for work is something every parent must do. Why not use literature to help you? These images were bright and colorful. Each page had one sentence or two making this perfect for beginner readers. It was perfectly formatted.
Book Title: Teensy the littlest fairy
Author: Claressa Swanson
Illusstrator: Yogesh Mahajan
Published: Self-published, 2016
Format: Kindle book
Stars: 5 stars
Age recommended: 2-6
In the Shimmery forest lived a tiny fairy named Teensy. She experienced a lot of trials being so small and wish she could grow. Her friend told her how she was able to grow. Once she heard the secret, she despised the advice. After being further prodded and encouraged to give it a try she eventually tried it and found she enjoyed it. Soon she grew healthy, strong, and beautiful and no longer had little fairy issues. The story was well written and rather unpredictable. I had no idea the story line would be about healthy living. What an encouraging story for all toddlers and young children. I was pleasantly surprised and I recommend this read. The illustrations were beautiful and the story had a positive message.
Book Title: Nap Time with Harry
Author: Claressa Swensen
Illustrator: Yogesh Mahajan
Format: Kindle Book
Age recommended: 2-6
Tony and Tina have an active imagination but they don’t always know when they are just imagining. Together, they create a flying car named Harry, who takes them on magical adventures. However, they learn its only in their dreams. This becomes the moment when nap time is finally embraced. The story is well written, filled with silly giggles, and bright, beautiful and colorful illustrations.
It's back to school season and vacations have come to an end. But we can still reminisce! Vacations can be awesome things- sight-seeing, learning a new language or social norms, trying new foods, staying on an activity filled resort, laying by the beach or pool and getting tanned for example.
But sometimes horrible things happen unexpectedly. It can be from anywhere like forgetting your passport, missing your flight, being delayed at the airport for hours, being a target of discrimination, losing your luggage, staying at a place that looks nothing like it was described or getting ill during the trip. My family loves to travel. We tend to have pretty smooth, relaxing and fun vacations. So, when we were offered Vacation Mix Up, written by Jazmeen E., we were excited to read about their vacation and learn where they went. We couldn’t wait to learn what was the mix up?
In Vacation Mix Up, we meet 4 high school friends who are sophomores and seem well off financially. They are traveling unsupervised to NY, when they discover they took the wrong flight and end up somewhere else. Lucky for them they have the means to book a resort and make the best of their trip. Each day brings new and exciting adventures. In each chapter, we learn more about the characters: Jazmeen, Martha, Elizabeth, and Abby. Jazmeen is the main character, who is really smart, kind, responsible, and mature for her age. Martha is the fun, free, and wild spirit, who is also feisty and argumentative. Abby is the creative one who is into fashion shows and modeling. Elizabeth is shy and has a fraternal twin sister, Harriet. Later, we meet more of their friends, but I won’t ruin the story for you.
This book has 29 chapters, 30 pages, and took Olivia and I about 1 hr and a half to read. We recommend this book for 5th- 7th grade or 9 to 12 year old girls as it is a chapter book and has no pictures. It is well written, very interesting, and keeps the reader engaged. It is very imaginative and has a lot of action. You can find this book on Amazon.com. We give this book 5 stars. The best reason to read it is because it was written by a very talented, 9 year old.
Fiction stories are not easy to write. Believe me, I have tried! We say Congratulations to Jazmeen for a tremendous job. We know you will go very far and cant wait to read your next book.
In the comments below please share what was the worst or weirdest thing that happened to you on a vacation!!!
Title: Sam Sam and Marzipan: The Cubby House
Author: Dan Ryan
Publisher: Self-published, Dan Ryan Books
Pages: 14 pages
Genre: Children’s picture book
This book is about a story from the point of view of a young boy named Sam. The character in the story is known as Sam Sam. Sam Sam and his friend Marzipan, a white and ginger cat go on magical adventures inside a cubby house. In this house, inanimate objects come to life and go along on the imaginative journey. Sam Sam and his friends find themselves in usual places filled with treats- a true child’s fantasy. However, we can only fantasize for a while, then, oops, it is time for reality! The illustrations were cute and the story was short enough to hold a young reader’s attention. We recommend for preschoolers. We give this book 4 stars.
Lauren Simone Publishing House has had a very exciting first year. They announced on their instagram page, @laurensimonepubs, with a display of photos highlighting their achievements that they had garnered:
1 Spanish translator, Tanesha Bramwell-McKen
2 interviews by @kaesani and @fashionista_milan of @kiddustry
3 published book series called He and She, More2Learn, and Olivia Lauren
4 kids authors: Brazil Dowe, Princeton Dowe, Alyssa Simone, and Olivia Lauren
5 youth illustrators: Niquey, Leo, Simonne-Anais, Zachary-Michael, and Simona
6 published books: Days of the week, Siblings fight, Occupations A to Z, Guide to becoming an actor, Olivia travels, and their latest, Olivia Connects (described below)
7 book events (Book readings, story time, and book signings in NY, NJ, and CT)
Over a dozen book reviews on Amazon
Published essays and art in The Evolution Project
Online presence on Amazon, Barnes and Nobles, and Createspace
Found in local book stores in Florida and Connecticut
Over 200 website visitors
Over 500 social media followers
The past year has been hard work, dedication, and determination. They anticipate increase in the coming year.
On the anniversary of its inception, they proudly release Olivia Lauren book series' fourth volume entitled “Olivia Connects”. Written by Olivia Lauren’s older sister, Alyssa Simone and mother, Dr. John, the book is about modes of communication. In a fun and engaging way using bright colors, interesting locations, and diverse characters, children learn about different communication styles and devices used for communication. The characters also explore communication devices used before the age of technology and those used by those with physical challenges (blind or nonverbal). They had a great time collaborating with youth author, Lionel Emabat, who they will continue to work with in the future.
This book is recommended for children aged 6 to 9. Available in print and kindle online at Amazon.com, bn.com, and Createspace. Enjoy! Share pictures with @laurensimonepubs on Instagram and please write a review.
The book can be purchased immediately at https://www.createspace.com/7376669
Get the insider scoop and see sneak peek photos in the gallery.
Written by Melissa-Sue John
Title: When mommy got sick
Author: Alma J. Wilson
Publisher: Self published, 2016
As parents we want our children to be happy, healthy, and safe. We do everything we can to protect them from the evils of this world, any sadness, despair, or hurt. But unfortunately, life comes with ups and downs. As parents, we have to teach our children how to cope with hardship, so they develop resilience. As much as we want to shelter them, the best thing we can do for them is to prepare them for life’s trials and adversities. When mommy got sick is a marvelous story of a loving family, who must face the illness of the mother. Jacob is surrounded by the love of his mom, Dad, and Aunt Laura. Ultimately, the moral of the story is just that- life has trials but as long as there is love, everything will be just fine. This is a lesson that can resonate with any family, whether rich or poor, Black, White, Asian or Latino, young or old. I was very happy to read this story. By the time I got to the end, I did not have to ask for a review from my 9 year old and her best friend who was visiting. The shouted “I love that story” and they agreed the story was good because it discussed love, family, and being there for each other. I also liked that Jacob was an empathetic child. Empathy seems to be missing from our society. Any story that teaches kindness and empathy is a good story in my book. We also loved the bright illustrations and the diversity of the characters. We give it 5 stars.
Title: Talk to me about things that fly
Author: Ea Eon
Genre: Children Picture Book
Series: Talk to Me
Talk to me about things that fly is a children’s picture book. It has large beautiful pictures with their names identifying each object or animal. This book is not a story book to read to your child. Instead it is a guide book to be used for having a discussion with your child about how much they know about different things that fly. It would be a great resource to use before going to an air and space museum or zoo. I think boys and girls would equally enjoy this book if they were interested in learning about flight. I recommend this book for younger children who are learning new words or want to increase their vocabulary. There wasn’t anything to my 9 year old, so I recommend for 4 to 7 year olds.
Rakeem learns about African-American Science Inventors
By Olivia Lauren
Book: Rakeem and the amulet: Science fair, Steven and Charesa Gayle-Bristow, First Printing, 2017, 32 pages
Rakeem and the amulet: The Science fair is a fun story written by Steven and Charesa Gayle-Bristow. Steven and Charesa are a couple living in the United Kingdom who enjoy telling stories.
In my opinion, the book is recommended for children ages 7 to 10. Older children would enjoy the details and length of the story. Girls and especially, boys who love Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) would enjoy this book.
The story is about the main character Rakeem, who is an African American boy with cornrows, who wears a red tee, blue jeans, and a large necklace with an African pendant. He loves Science. But most would not guess by looking at him. The first theme is do not judge a book by its cover. How we dress has nothing to do with our passion.
The story takes place at school where two unlikely boys become friends. They decide to team up for a science fair. They soon discover that Rakeem's pendant, known as an amulet, has the power to travel through time. On their journey, they meet some very interesting characters. As they work on their science project, they learn about the struggle of creating a new invention, as all inventors do, and learn about some great African American inventors. Find out if they are successful at completing their project in time for the Science fair.
The authors do a great job keeping the reader engaged and flipping the page. I liked the illustrations because they were very detailed, bright, and colorful. I liked that I was learning while reading a fiction story.
The book is sold on Amazon and is available in paperback at https://www.amazon.com/Rakeem-Amulet-Science-Steven-Gayle-Bristow/dp/1545508739/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1499700620&sr=1-1&keywords=rakeem+and+the+amulet