It’s Music Time by T.C. Bartlett is an incredibly detailed and enchanting children’s story. When a young boy is on his way to his music lesson, he finds himself getting distracted by a group of animals playing their own music. He finds it exciting and joins them, but he risks being late to his class!
T. C. Bartlett has created a children’s picture book with almost no words except on the first and last page to give some context to this visual story. The author does an amazing job of using just illustrations to tell a fun story. Every page is easy to understand and is illustrated with rich color, charming characters, and movement. The transition between black and white and bright colors helps set the mood throughout the book, helping you to better understand the boy’s emotions the entire time. The story is very cute and the art is very well done and I am blown away by T.C. Bartlett’s ability to convey such an enjoyable story with only images.
The use of Bartlett’s beautiful artwork makes the story so much more enticing and makes this book stand out in the children’s picture book genre. The storyline is easily told by character’s expressions and movements, making it an easy read for kids. It’s Music Time is easily the best children’s book I’ve read this month.
Pages: 50 | ISBN: 0998471690
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Slaves to Desire is composed of 11 short stories that are as insightful as they are erotic. By weaving fictional tales around some of the most successful European artists of all time, she manages to find that storytelling sweet spot between fact and fiction.
The book talks of George Sand, Salvador Dali, Antonin Artaud, Anna Karenina, Romeo and Juliet, and even Hamlet and Ophelia as if they were here with us today. The poetic and emotional way in which this book is written left me with a deeper understanding of what it means to be an artist.
As I progressed from page to page, I was confronted by melancholy, mania, and deep love. Great was the love of one character that they cared for their ill lover till death took them away, leaving her without enough strength to attend the funeral.
Another character, crushed by the pain of being separated from their ailing lover for years, suffers a stroke and struggles to learn how to paint again. But of all the stories, the one that resonates with me the most is the one of the artist plagued by relentless loneliness and melancholy that seems only to be cured by painting.
But even then, they prefer solitude over the company of others. As a writer who spends a lot of time alone, this story is deeply relatable to me and forces me to think more deeply about my life. Ultimately, Slaves to Desire is much more than a book about sex, it discusses complex issues that are inherent to the human condition.
Apart from love, some of the running themes include the need for belonging, the importance of sacrifice, the influence of religion on sexual exploration, and the grief of mourning a loved one’s death. This book is beautifully written, with tons of descriptive language and even quotes from some of the greatest literary pieces of our time. It is clear that the author is a lover of literature and that she poured her heart and soul into this piece.
But it was not lost on me that even these scenes have a deeper meaning to them, giving us more understanding of the psyche of the characters. Slaves to Desire is a well-written and thought-provoking work of art.
Pages: 216 | ASIN: B07SS5D8KR
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Metal Like Me by D. W. Saur is a sweet story about acceptance. The author has lovingly crafted an endearing story that will inspire children to learn about diversity and inclusion. Kids will learn that being unique is a gift and we must all embrace it. It does not matter if others are like us or not, as long as we are comfortable with ourselves and not afraid of showing the world who we are. There is no one thing that defines us and we all have different sides. Children will benefit from the life lesson presented in this story, that if others are not willing to make an effort to get to know us then we must step up and put the effort to know them. That’s how we can celebrate true friendships and meaningful relationships. Metal Like Me approaches the topic of bullying in a unique way that makes it easy for parents and children to start a discussion. I definitely recommend this well written, short and easy to understand book as it will teach children a positive way to identify themselves. The illustrations by Danielle Green are beautifully simple with a rough sketch like illustration that will make it easy for kids to relate to. The fantastic artwork excellently captures the unique voice in this charismatic children’s story.
Pages: 50 | ASIN: B0863JJ2WG
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Butterball Gets Lost by Julia Seaborn is a children’s picture book about a poodle named Butterball, with illustrations by Toby Mikle. After Butterball is left home alone when her owner goes shopping she digs under the fence and goes exploring. Butterball then sees an interesting hole and looks inside where she gets stuck. This is when the cute little bunny named Binky helps set her free. After Binky helps her get free, Butterball continues on and meets JillaRoo, a kangaroo. Later, Butterball ends up at the circus and realizes she doesn’t know the way home. Will someone be able to help her find her way home?
Butterball Gets Lost is able to capture the feel of adventure and exploration in a short picture book. The artwork was beautiful, with a soft color pallete and simple art, it easily captures your attention and inspires the imagination. I liked the illustrations, especially the colorful lizards and other animals that Butterball meets along the way. These creatures were all emotive and usually happy. This book teaches young readers about animals and counting while entertaining children with a fun story. The questions at the end of the story help children practice counting and assess comprehension. I appreciated the Fun Facts at the end of the book which provides more information about owls, although this section might require a slightly more advanced reading level than the story.
Butterball Gets Lost is the second book in the Butterball the Poodle series. This is a fantastic continuation in Jualia Seaborn’s children’s literature series. Beginning readers will be entertained and educated all in one book.
Pages: 32 | ASIN: B08863JHJW
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Chasing Scaredy Away empowers children to conquer their fear by showing how Zora the zebra overcomes her own. How do children develop a fear of the dark and how can parents help overcome it?
Children develop fear of the dark from what they hear from electronic media, friends, and parents. Accentuating the positive, pointing out early that there are no ghosts, monsters and boogie man and explain light chases the imagined creatures away.
Your books always have bright and clean art. How do you choose which animals to incorporate into your story?
The animals in Dr. Qooz’ stories all have personalities of their own. These personalities are matched to the story for best inevitability.
What can readers expect in the next installment in your Fargone series?
The next Fargone story will be about individualism of the child and how important it is to be you and not what your friends declare they want you to be. Fat Harriet the Hippo is accosted by a new classmate, Weezy the Weasel, that wants to do a makeover.
Chasing Scaredy Away is a picture book with a positive solution to help your child’s night fears. Zora has a history of being a fraidy-zebra. A simple shopping trip creates an imaginary monster that comes home to frighten Zora that night. Mother Zebra shows Zora a solution for dissolving her night fears, chasing scaredy away, and leaving Zora empowered and unafraid. Reading a children’s book with facts the child can use and depend upon for the rest of the child’s life will help your child overcome their fears and move on.
Posted in Interviews
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In her children’s book, It’s OK to be Different, Sharon Purtill endeavors to teach her young audience an important lesson that all children – and adults – need to learn: that although people may differ in the things they like, the way they live, and the way they look, everyone deserves to be treated with the same respect and kindness.
I think Purtill’s book has a great message and one that is especially important in a modern world that is connected globally like never before. By teaching children to be accepting of themselves and of others, Purtill challenges the need to fit into a stereotypical idea of “normal” while emphasizing that everyone is different in one way or another. The use of rhyming, simple examples, and colorful illustrations makes the book flow well and makes it one that is easy to read and is likely to appeal to Purtill’s young audience.
Although Purtill’s message is solid, I think she could jump to the issues that are likely to really matter, like differences in appearance, speech, or abilities/disabilities, earlier in the book. With that being said, the book has a great message for children, is easy and fun to read, and has delightful illustrations to capture the eyes and minds of its audience.
Pages: 30 | ISBN: 0973410442
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The magical forests of Germania beckon! When five-year-old Stan is invited to a party by a talking Fern, he eagerly enters a lush, verdant world of discovery. When Stan falls ill, his forest friends find a cure. When he gets lost, they guide him home. The forest’s generosity truly knows no bounds.
Danloria: The Secret Forest of Germania reveals the protective and healing powers of the forest and its vegetation. Author Gloria Gonsalves cleverly teaches children the names and characteristics of plants, and their ability to heal or harm. Her enchanting fable reveals the countless ways the Earth protects and provides. The true magic of this book is in the illustrations that were created by children. Each drawing is engaging and gives the story an added layer of meaning through the imaginations of young artists. It is a heart-warming story that speaks to the giving nature of the Earth.
Pages: 61 | ASIN: B07926X9S4
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