Showing posts with label picture book. Show all posts
Showing posts with label picture book. Show all posts
April 13, 2014

Easter Gift Guide: My Friend Paris Book Series

Since this is primarily a book blog, I thought I should at least feature a few books for the Easter Gift Guide. I was contacted by Near Year Publishing about featuring the My Friend Paris picture book series, which I eagerly agreed to review one of the books.

The series was created by a fourteen-year-old author, Paris Morris. The first book, I'm Having Twins, in the "My Twins" series was published when she was a ten-year-old. The main character is loosely based on herself and is also named Paris. Paris is a three-year-old who is trying to adjust to the fact that she will no longer be an only child, as her parents are expecting twin girls.

Four sequels were published, titled My Twins Are Coming Home, My Twins' First Halloween, My Twins' First Christmas and My Twin's First Birthday. More adventures with Paris continued in Paris Goes to Lake Tahoe, Paris Goes To Los Angeles and Paris Goes To San Francisco. Three additional titles, Paris Goes to Italy, Paris Goes To France and Paris Goes To New York, are being released soon.

I was sent the fourth book in from the"My Twins" series, titled My Twin's First Christmas. The young author is Jewish, so she enlisted her friend, Jackie Singer, to help her write the Christmas themed installment of the series.

April 8, 2014

Easter Gift Guide: My Hare Line and the Hat

My Hare Line and the Hat
My Hare Line, book 4 
by Patsy M. Henry
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Pub. Date: October 11, 2011
Retail: $9.99 (paperback)
ISBN: 978-1613462164
Pages: 28

Where can “My Hare Line” series books be purchased? :

Book Description: 

After a pine tree falls and knocks the rabbit pen fence, Brownie asks Rascal if anyone escaped. Rascal thinks this was the silliest thing he had ever heard. As usual, Rascal talks to Aunt Paula Rabbit about what Brownie had said to him. Rascal is shocked to learn that his family is actually quite adventurous! Join Rascal and his adventurous bunny family in My Hare Line and the Hat.

About the Author:

Patsy M. Henry is newly retired, having worked twenty-five years in banking and eight years as an office manager. Her goals for retirement were to take better care of herself and to write. The first goal was easy to slip into. The second goal has been both challenging and rewarding. She had been encouraged to write by family and friends who told her that she missed her calling. It came naturally for her to write about her newfound love for her rabbits first. The author of My Hare Line Meets the Brown Rabbit is from a large family that gets together often. Patsy and her husband, Jerry, live in Bainbridge, Georgia where they are active members of First Baptist Church. They enjoy spending time in to the mountains. They have two grown sons and four grandchildren.

March 31, 2013

Review - The Berenstain Bears: Easter Magic

The Berenstain Bears: Easter Magic
By Stan & Jan Berenstain
Publisher: Open Road Young Readers
Pub. Date: October 16, 2012
Pages: 9


When I was a kid, I was crazy for The Berenstain Bears book series. I collected every book, well until I got older and became interested in other things. Now as an adult, I occasionally buy one of these delightful paperback books at thrift stores.

Sadly the original authors have both passed away, but oldand new books are still being released after fifty-years since the first book was printed. These timeless characters have even made it into the eBook generation. The Berenstain Bears: Easter Magic was released last fall as an electronic release only. It was originally written in 1997. The plot involves Brother and Sister Bear noticing that the winter weather is leaving and signs of spring are all around. That can mean only one thing; the Easter Bunny is on his way.
August 28, 2012

Review - KA-BOOM!

By: Alyce Joy Ringiger
Illustrator: Diane Lucus
Publisher: Halo Publishing International
ISBN: 978-1612440699
Pub Date: July 31, 2012


KA-BOOM! is about a little fairy named Sprout that runs into trouble quite often. She has a shoe fetish, but is one of the queen’s favorites because in the end she gets the job done. Sprout meets a little girl named Taylor after blowing up Taylor’s dollhouse. Sprout doesn’t give up trying to get Taylor to trust her. She and Taylor finally become friends after Sprout shrinks Taylor and together they have a fantastic adventure. Taylor never thought she would be talking to Sir Leapsalot, let alone ride on his back and hopping lily pads. The message? Never give up.


Seven-year old Taylor is shocked when her dollhouse suddenly falls to the floor. What or whom could have caused this? As she investigates, she finds out who is responsible - a red hair fairy named Sprunetta Brunetta, but everyone calls her Sprout!

January 27, 2012

Review - Smart Piggy

Smarty Pig
BY: Molly Nero
PUBLISHED IN: December 2011
ISBN: 978-1-61244-048-4
Pages: 30
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

"Smarty Pig" is a delightful tale about a house full of little piggies. After school, they like to play cards, watch TV and play tag instead of doing their homework. Only one red-haired piggy does her homework and study for her tests. The other piggies call her “Teacher’s Pet”, but she surprises all of them when she is only one who gets good grades on report card day. The other piggies are upset and they all want to know how to get good grades. The red-haired piggy eagerly agrees to teach them math and science.

I enjoyed reading “Smarty Pig”, and I loved the beautiful illustrations throughout the picture book. Young readers can easily relate to story, as I am sure all them would rather be playing than studying or doing their homework. I liked how the little red-haired piggy in the story used simple household items, like play-money and cookies to help the piggies learn math and science. “Smarty Pig” is a cute read for young readers.

About the Author:

Molly Nero grew up in Texas loving to sing, dance, and read. She spent over 18 years teaching elementary school.  Reading to her own children, she was inspired to write. Molly Nero recently moved to Pennsylvania where she resides with her family, 2 dogs, and a leopard spotted Gecko and enjoys writing, cooking, and making snowmen.

October 22, 2011

World of Ink - Guest Post with Maha Huneidi

Developing Characters
by Maha Huneidi 

I think I found out how I developed my character in retrospect, and now that I can see it I think I reverse engineered her. When I first started writing my book, “When Monsters Get Lonely,” the last thing on my mind was character development. I just wanted to tell the story of a little girl who overcame her fear of the dark and of monsters. So my character’s greatest fear was already there. She also had a dream of becoming a movie director, so she started out as a concrete character with a dream and a fear from the very start.

I think that developing a character for a picture book is much easier than developing one for a novel. You have a limited number of words to work with, so you can’t go into detail and you have the illustrations to fill in the description of the character. I did have quite a bit of detail about the character which I had to delete because of word count, but the character immerged nevertheless.

I was afraid of the dark and of monsters as a child so the character was partly me, but when the book became about my granddaughter, the character became partly her. She was almost three at the time, so really the character was what I imagined her to be.

I think my character just developed with my understanding of how to write picture books. When I found out that the main character must resolve the problem herself, my character became strong and intelligent, because she had to understand what Grams meant when she said that we invent our lives, and she had to use her understanding to resolve her problem.

Hannah was strong enough to go back to her room, but not overly so. She asked her mom to leave the lights on, so she came through as both strong and vulnerable.

In the end to sum it all up, I think my character was real because she was

-Borrowed from real life, but I don’t think that a character should be exactly like one particular person. But then that’s the fun of writing fiction, you can make up a whole new personality.

-She had an ambition and a fear.

-She had strong traits that the reader can identify with, she was intelligent, brave, and vulnerable.

-She grew and got over her fear by resolving her own problem.

About the Author:

Maha Huneidi is a wife, mother and now grandmother, who finally found out what she wants to be when she grows up. This book is the first step of her journey. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

October 13, 2011

When Monsters Get Lonely Review and Giveaway

When Monsters Get Lonely
BY: Maha Huneidi
ISBN: 9781461063070
Pages: 32
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Hannah shivers as she clings to her bed covers in “When Monsters Get Lonely”.  She’s afraid when her mother shuts off the light, the monster under the bed will come for her. Everything is fine when she leaves the lamp on, but there is a sudden blackout. Her parents and grandma explain to here that there are no such thing as monsters. Hannah is still scared as she returns to her room, but is ready to confront her monster.

I recall being afraid of monsters under the bed and the boogeyman in the closet when I was a kid. In “When Monsters Get Lonely” young Hannah, who wants to be a film director, is afraid of the creature that comes out when the lights go out. Young readers will be able to relate to Hannah and her situation as she bravely confronts her fears. The illustrations are wonderfully drawn, and at times the drawings are a little spooky. It  is a great read for kids, especially with Halloween just around the corner.


1 copy of When Monsters Get Lonely
Open to followers of this blog with a US mailing address
Ends October 30, 2011

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The winner will be announced in a seperate post on Halloween!

August 11, 2011

World of Ink - Not Fat Because I Wanna Be

Not Fat Because I Wanna BeNot Fat Because I Wanna Be
BY: LaNiyah Bailey
ILLUSTRATED BY: Laura Perez Ricaud
ISBN: 978-1461006763
Pages: 42
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Not Fat Because I Wanna Be is written by six-year- old LaNiyah Bailey, and the story is based on her own life. The main character Jessica is made fun of by her preschool classmates because of her size. She wonders “Why Did God give me this big tummy and bow legs?” This is a big question for a girl to ponder with at such a young age. The name-calling at preschool gets worse and Jessica begins hiding in the bathroom. Even some of the teachers poke fun at her. Then one day, Jessica visited her new doctor, Dr. Middens. After a few tests, Jessica learns that her colon was swollen and that she would have to take a special medicine to make her better.

Writing a book at the age of six is a major accomplishment, especially with such a meaningful message for children and adults. The old saying ‘Stick and Stones may break my bone, but words can never hurt me,” is completely false, and both children and adults should know this. Not Fat Because I Wanna Be is a wonderful debut picture books that I recommend for readers of all ages.

Author Bio

LaNiyah Bailey is a 6‐year‐old author with a message for children like her – just because you are bigger than other kid, that doesn’t mean that people have the right to bully you.

In her debut book, Not FAT Because I Wanna Be, LaNiyah details the struggle of Jessica, a fictional girl who has an underlying medical issue that causes her to gain weight. Bullied by her peers, Jessica learns to accept her body and eventually opens up about her condition to her classmates.
Not Fat Because I Wanna Be
LaNiyah is not only speaking to other children through her book, but has become an advocate for anti‐bullying organizations.

With a message that words can hurt and that not all weight gain is due to an unhealthy lifestyle, LaNiyah hopes her book will enlighten and entertain her young readers.

You can purchase Not Fat Because I Wanna Be at

Other Links:

Book Lovers Blog Hop:
Make friends, share the love of reading and be entered to win a FREE book!

All you have to do is post the Book Lovers Blog Hop and World of Ink Tour Banners below to your blog. Promote the Book Lovers Hop and World of Ink Tours on any social network. Tweet it once a day, share on Facebook and then follow others back that leave you a comment. By joining the Book Lovers Blog Hop, you are automatically entered in our Book Giveaway! 

There will be two (2) winners for this Book Giveaway.  

Note: One book per winner.

Hop Rules:
1.      Follow the Top link of the hop! Hop Host: Families Matter
       2.      Grab the button for the hop and place it in a post, sidebar, or on a blog hop page and let us know where it is in the comments section below. This will help the hop grow and gain us all new followers. It's a Win-Win for everyone!
      3.      Grab the buttons for the World of Ink Tours and place it in a post or side bar. Make sure you let us know where it is in the comments section below.

Book Giveaway Rules:
·         Join the Book Lovers Blog Hop. (One entry)
     ·         Follow the World of Ink Tours and leave a comment per tour blog stop. (must leave a real comment about the author, tour or book. Saying “this is cool” or “I love your book” will not count.) Make sure to include your safe email so we can contact you if you are the winner. Example: vsgrenier AT storiesforchildrenpublishing DOT com. (One bonus entry per blog stop)
·         Ask a question per World of Ink Tour blog stop. (One bonus entry per tour blog stop)

June 10, 2011

World of Ink - Babysitting SugarPaw

Babysitting SugarPaw
BY: VS Grenier
PUBLISHED BY: Halo Publishing International
ISBN: 978-1-935268-0602
Pages: 32
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Babysitting SugarPawPapa and Mama Bear are going out for the night and they can’t leave young SugarPaw all alone, so they hire a babysitter, Bonnie Whiskers, to look after him. Papa and Mama Bear leave strict instructions for Bonnie to follow, but SugarPaw is sneaky. He sneaks into the kitchen and changes the rules. He can now watch TV for two hour more and his bedtime has been extended for two hours. He hides the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” book that Bonnie was suppose to read to him and he makes a mess with his paints. Will Bonnie be able to survive babysitting ? Will SugarPaw realize that rules shouldn’t be changed?

Babysitting SugarPaws is a cute picture book from author VS Grenier and has adorable illustrations by Kevin Collier. I can remember being a handful at SugarPaw’s age, I wanted to stay up pass my bedtime and watch television, but if I did, I would fall asleep during school the next days. Our parents makes rules because they love us, and we should abide by those rules. Both parents and children will enjoy reading about SugarPaw. I recommend the book to everyone.

*I would like to thank the author for sending me a copy to review.

About the Author:

Stories for Children Publishing will be touring award-winning author VS Grenier and her book, “Babysitting SugarPaw” a picture book about friendship and telling the truth all month long in June 2011.

VS Grenier is an award-winning children’s author, founder & owner of Stories for Children Publishing, LLC., award-winning editor-in-chief of Stories for Children Magazine and chief editor for Halo Publishing, Int.; in addition, to running her own editorial and critique services.

In 2007 & 2008, VS Grenier was voted one of the Top Ten Editors in the Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll, won 2nd place for her article on, “Yes, Virginia, There IS a Santa Claus” in the Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll for Best Nonfiction of 2007, and won 7th place for her article, “Dinosaur Tracks in My Backyard” in the Preditors and Editors Reader’s Poll for Best Nonfiction of 2008.  
You can find out more about VS Grenier’s World of Ink Author/Book Tour schedule at There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Make sure to stop by and interact with VS Grenier and the hosts at the different stops by leaving comments and/or questions.

In addition, come listen to Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children at The hosts VS Grenier, Kris Quinn Chirstopherson and Irene Roth will be chatting about Grenier’s picture book, writing, the publishing industry and experiences with virtual tours. Grenier will also be sharing writing tips and trials, and tribulations of the writer’s life.

To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit Stories for Children Publishing at:
June 4, 2011

Book Review - The Last Day of Kindergarten

The Last Day of KindergartenThe Last Day of Kindergarten
BY: Nancy Loewen
ILLUSTRATED BY: Sachiko Yoshikawa
PUBLISHED BY: Marshall Cavendish Children
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5807-4
Pages: 34
Reviewed by Billy Burgess
Today is the last day of Mrs. Popinski’s kindergarten class through the eyes of a little girl. She reflects back on the first day of school when she hung up her book pack for the very first time. She remembered playing with the other students during Creative Playtime, dressing up for Halloween and students having birthday parties.

The last day of school was different than the first, as today the students were washing the tables, throwing away old crayons and dried-up paints, and collecting their drawings off the wall. The gather together with the teacher and talk about their favorite summer things and what they looked forward to in the first grade. The kids line up and head to the auditorium for their graduation.

The Last Day of Kindergarten is the heartwarming story of a little girl’s last day of kindergarten. I think every child is sad about their last day of kindergarten, so readers can easily connect with the main character. I believe the book could be a good tool for parents to read to their pre-schoolers about to expect during their first year of school. Plus, I can easily see teachers reading the book on the last day of school. Overall, I loved reading the book and enjoyed the colorful illustrations. I recommend the book to parents and young readers.

*I would like to thank the author for sending me a copy to review.
May 24, 2011

World of Ink - The Brothers Foot

The Brothers Foot: A Hare Raising StoryThe Brothers Foot: A Hare Raising Story
BY: Steve Cormey
ISBN: 978-14389-4269-8
Pages: 55
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Foot was a rabbit who liked to play with his rabbit friends - Fluffy, Bunny O’Hare, Carrot Top, and Big Ears Ernie. His best friends in the whole wide world were his two brothers, Foot-Foot and Foot-Foot-Foot, and they liked to play rabbit games - hop, flop, skip, and thump! But their favorite thing to do was singing a happy song in the briar patch. Their song was so much fun; hunters would join in and sing along.

The Brothers Foot is a simple picture book about three brothers who love to sing and play. The illustrations are adorable. In the back of the book are the lyrics to the Foot-Foot Song. Along with the book that I reviewed, I received the music CD, featuring one song - The Foot-Foot Song, and a DVD containing The Foot-Foot music video. Overall I enjoyed reading the book and I recommend it to parents and younger readers.

*I would like to thank the Illustrator for sending me a copy to review.

About the Authors

Meet Steve Cormey
A third generation Coloradan, Steve Cormey has entertained the people of Grand County and Colorado for over thirty years. An award winning songwriter, he has written, produced and released six very successful CDs while playing an always full schedule of live performances.

His background in Folk ,bluegrass, rock and traditional music is evident whether live or on CD. Colorado Blue, Somewhere with a Beach, Never Summer..forever home, Walking Stick and the all solo-acoustic Pure & Simple CDs offer a potpourri of musical styles, and his Old Fashioned Christmas is a Yule Tide favorite. Steve’s live performances show off a talented mix of danceable music, humor and fun!

Steve makes his home in Grand County, Colorado. Although he has entertained in Australia, South Africa, Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii and around the country, you can usually catch his act in the shadows of the Never Summer Mountains of Colorado.

Meet Ronda Eden

Ronda Eden was born in Adelaide, South Australia and spent her childhood dreaming about horses. She’s spent most of her adult life wandering around in a state of confusion over what she really wanted to do and now, middle-aged, she’s living her childhood dream. Ronda’s been a factory worker, Chinese cook’s assistant, pharmacy assistant, teacher, storyteller, writer,  waitress, bartender, dishwasher, cleaner, touring art curator, gallery owner, horse trainer and artist A.O.T. (Among Other Things).

Ronda’s hobbies include the joy of  hiking, climbing, wind surfing, belly dancing, jogging, traveling, swimming, daydreaming, listening to music and of course, horse riding. Apart from the later, none of these activities get much of her attention these days. Especially travel! Ronda loves it right where she is, doing exactly what she is doing. Ya’see, Ronda lives in Laramie, Wyoming with her husband Mernie and together they run a horse boarding operation with 60 horses, 2 mules, a miniature donkey and a tough, bad boy tomcat. Ronda still manages to be an artist A.O.T (Among Other Things) in between feeding, riding and shoveling poop, but the horses come first. She does travel during the summers, but a couple of the horses go with her and together they cover hundreds of miles on the endurance trails of the Mountain Region. Ronda plans to be hoisting her creaky ole body onto a horse and riding high well into her old age!

May 14, 2011

Book Review - Amy Plays the Violin

Amy Plays the ViolinAmy Plays the Violin
BY: Julie Labossiere
ISBN: 978-1-453-79995-6
Pages: 22
Reviewed by Billy Burgess
Amy is nervous about her upcoming recital, where she will play her new instrument - the violin. She tries not to worry about it by watching TV, but she just can’t. She thinks that she isn’t good enough to play the violin. Amy talks to her brother, Aaron, who plays the drums. She tries the drums out, but they are too loud for her tastes. Then, she hops over to her sister’s, Amy, room, who is playing on her keyboard. She tries out the keyboard, and realizes that she can play music better on the violin. She returns to her own room, where she practices her violin. Will she be ready for her recital in one week?

Amy Plays the Violin is a charming tale of a young girl who doubts her talent of playing the violin. I played the snare drum when I was in middle school and I recall being really nervous with ‘butterflies in my stomach’ right before a school concert, so I know exactly how Amy feels. I like that the brother and sister are good remodels and give great advice to Amy. The artwork is superb and flows well with the story. Young readers will easily connect with Amy. It is a great read for all ages.

*I would like to thank the author for sending me a copy to review
April 14, 2011

World of Ink Book Tour - I Love You, Be Careful

I Love You, Be CarefulI Love You, Be Careful
BY: Judy Snider and Joan Dickow
ISBN: 978-1-4535-6115-7
Pages: 36
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Not counting the introduction, “I Love You, Be Careful” are the only words repeated throughout the picture book written by real-life sisters, Judy Snider and Joan Dickow, with beautiful illustrations by Cady Driver. The theme of the book is that from the moment we enter into the world there is someone there who loves you and wants you to be safe.

The picture book takes you through the life of one girl. From birth, her first time walking, playing on a slide, holding her baby brother, riding her first bike, her first day of school, graduating high school, getting married, and so on.

I enjoyed reading and rereading I Love You, Be Careful. If you are having a bad day, reading the picture book will put a smile on your face. I recommend this book to both children and adults. And with Easter and Mother’s day just around the corner, this would make the perfect gift.

Author Website:

Author Bio:

Joan Dickow, Judy’s sister, lives in Berkley, Michigan wither husband, Fred and their cat, Coffee. This is her first book and she is currently working on her second picture book, The Porch Fairy.

Judy Snider, Joan’s sister lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia with her husband, Gil, and two silly cats. She is the author of the CWA award-winning children’s picture book, Goldy’s Baby Socks, and on a team of authors of The Scared Purse.

Cady Driver paints portraits and murals, teaches art and donates her work to charitable organizations. She has also illustrated Icky, Sticky Pancake World by Patrick Wynn. You can view more of her work online at or contract her at She currently resides in Raleigh, NC wither husband and homeschools her three children.


Rating System

AMAZING!!! Go get this book right now!!

Great! Highly Recommend

It's ok. Borrow from a friend material.

Not that good but at least read the blurb.

Leave it on the shelf!

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