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Trust and Confidence

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Trust and ConfidenceThe 1998 Battle Between the Secret Service and Ken Starr is a historical look into the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. This in-depth analysis of the event started with author Jim Lichtman interviewing Lewis Merletti, the former Director of the United States Secret Service. This astute book gives readers an enthralling look into the political drama that unfolds when two factions of the Justice Department: Starr’s Office of Independent Counsel (OIC) and the upper echelon of the Department of Justice (DOJ) are pitted against each other. Lichtman opens this book with the thought-provoking epigraph:

If you have integrity, nothing else matters.”

“If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.” – Senator Alan Simpson

This sets the tone for the rest of the book and introduces the reader to the theme. It is a book about trust and confidence, the basic tenets of the United States Secret Service. 

Merletti was an important figure in Starr’s investigation against the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal, which was part of the much bigger Whitewater Scandal. This intriguing book is based entirely on personal interviews, documents from the personal files of the former Secret Service Director Lewis Merletti, and several other documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

The story is not just limited to Merletti’s encounters regarding the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal. It also covers how Merletti defended the report of his internal investigations on the raid by The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) on a religious sect led by the spiritual zealot, David Koresh. Additionally, Lichtman discusses how Merletti fulfilled his role in the presidential detail and ultimately got appointed as the Director of the US Secret Service. This gives the reader a deeper insight into Merletti as an individual, what he stands for, and thus better explains the concept of trust and confidence around which the entire book revolves. 

Trust and Confidence is an intellectually invigorating read. This phenomenal book is recommended for anyone interested in political drama and wishes to dive deeper into the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal and look at its nuances as the book deliberately prevents the scandalous details of the extramarital affair from overshadowing the theme.  

Pages: 212

The Remarkable Story of Willie the Crow

When a young hunting dog and a crow decide to be friends, the dog pack does not know what to think. They hunt birds, yet a crow wants to hang out and be friends with them. Willie, the crow, is undeterred by the gruff hunting dogs and enjoys playing with the puppy Patch. While playing, Willie flies over the pool, and Patch, not paying attention, falls in. Turns out Patch does not know how to swim. None of the dogs know how to swim. They run to find the Labrador Newt thinking he can swim, but he is terrified of the water. Finally, through some encouragement from family and friends, he jumps in to save Patch.

The Remarkable Story of Willie the Crow: A Hickory Doc’s Tale, written by Linda Harkey, is a creative picture book about the friendship between two unlikely animals. The pack of dogs is concerned that a puppy hanging out with a crow is wrong, and they try to convince their senior dog Doc to put an end to the friendship. Doc, however, is a thinker; he looks at the situation and, rather than jump to conclusions, evaluates the benefits. He backs up his decision by pointing out that Willie the crow has worked with them to save Patch rather than just flying off and leaving her to drown. The message of inclusion and acceptance makes this children’s book a great addition to any book collection.

Illustrator Mike Minick has done an excellent job capturing the emotions of the dogs and Willie. Each page is vibrant and engaging. Even without the text, the story is clear from the marvelous drawings. Children will laugh as they learn a valuable lesson about friendship and family.

The Remarkable Story of Willie the Crow: A Hickory Doc’s Tale is a captivating tale about friends, family, acceptance, working together, and believing in yourself. Parents and educators will love having this picture book to read to children in and out of the classroom.

Pages: 38 | ASIN : B07LCKSXSW

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Lilbeebye Stings Bully

Lilbeebye is a young girl with a secret. She appears normal on the outside, but in reality, she has secret powers. She can change into a superhero bee that stings honey love into the hearts of those who are bullies. Lilbeebye believes that everyone can be good and kind they just sometimes need some encouragement. When her friend Sally becomes the victim of a bully Lilbeebye rushes into action to sting the bullies and restore peace to the school playground. Later that day her older sister gets into a fight with her friends and Lilbeebye must spring into action again and sting them all to restore the love and goodness inside them.

Lilbeebye Stings Bully by author Theresa Shields is written on a level for older elementary-level students. The first half of the book is a fun story about Lilbeebye’s superpowers and how she helps people learn to be kind and good. There are colorful and engaging illustrations that introduce the topic of bullying to children. This half of this imaginative story would be great for early elementary students to help open discussions of bullying as well.

The second half of this book is much more serious and better suited for older children, eight to twelve-year-olds. The second half of the informative book is not illustrated and brings up topics such as cyberbullying, emotional abuse, and even suicide. There is good information on social media bullying, posting pictures and texts that are embarrassing or hurtful. Shields explains how these things are not harmless teasing and how hurtful they can be to people.

While this complex children’s book uses the church as a way to present ideas of community and sharing of information it is not overly religious and could be used by secular groups to start conversations on bullying.

Lilbeebye Stings Bully is a thought-provoking children’s book. Educators and parents will find this to be a useful book for opening up discussions on bullying to children in elementary school and provide a chance to discuss deeper topics of bullying with older elementary students especially those getting ready to enter middle school.

Pages: 29 | ASIN : B085PW2YX5

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Secrets, Gifts, Family

Willie the crow wants to eat the pack’s dog chow. The problem is he promised to not eat it from the kennel, and the other bowls are in the house with the Food Giver. To get to the bowels he must enter through the dog door, and this turns out to be harder than expected. Willie nearly drowns and gets stuck in a plant. After being rescued by Patch twice he makes it inside. There he taps on the refrigerator door and the Food Givers arrives and give him a small packet of walnuts and he flies out the window before the pack gets in and sees him. Willie keeps his special treats a secret from the pack

Doc, Willie, and the Pack: Secrets, Gifts, Family written by Linda Harkey returns readers to the Lazy Dog Hacienda. Willie the crow is part of the family that lives here. Willie however has a secret, he gets special treats from the Food Giver and is afraid to tell the pack about them. Instead, he brings the empty wrappers to Zeke as gifts making up stories about where he found them. Eventually, the truth comes out thanks to a newspaper article that was done on Willie that the pack saw.  

This entertaining picture book talks about family, keeping secrets, and friendships. Young elementary-age children will love the colorful illustrations of Mike Minick and the expression all the dogs have. This light-hearted story has a great message about friendship and family that they will be able to relate to. The adventures of Willie trying to get into the house will have children and adults laughing and asking, can crows get glasses, because clearly, poor Willie needs them.

Doc, Willie, and the Pack: Secrets, Gifts, Family: (A Hickory Doc’s Tale) is an engaging read for classrooms, libraries, and parents to read to children. It will make a great early reader for children learning to read with the vibrant artwork to help tell the story.

Pages: 52 | ASIN: B07XLHR2SZ

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The Communications Consultant’s Master Plan

Roger Darnell has a master plan for you if you are looking into public relations and communications. This book is all you need to know how to navigate the appealing and sometimes challenging waters of communication, especially if you run an agency. The Communications Consultant’s Master Plan: Leveraging Public Relations Expertise for Client and Personal Success has the basics, the crucial information, and essential tips on being a better communicator whether as an individual, running a business, or as a representative in the corporate world. You will enjoy reading this book as the author shares the knowledge he has acquired over the years most subtly.

This book’s most important topics touched on winning and managing PR accounts, the right marketing plan, the art and craft of presentation, and agency management. Anyone running, heading, or planning to start an agency should focus on part two of this book, as it has every cheat code to manage a successful agency.

The author does a superb job breaking down his points into manageable chunks for the reader. When discussing subjects like Agency business, for instance, the author gives both hypothetical situations and real-life examples to drive his point home. Reading Roger Darnell’s work is a delight because of how engaging he is. Also included is his personal story; sharing this information will give readers an insight into how challenging and fascinating the PR life can be. Roger Darnell is not only great at explaining but also giving examples. Sharing his highs and lows in the industry was a fantastic concept as the reader can connect with him to a certain degree.

The Communications Consultant’s Master Plan: Leveraging Public Relations Expertise for Client and Personal Success will help you grow your business, attract clients swiftly and become more professional in your craft. Anyone that needs public relations in their professional or personal life will find this book beneficial.

Pages: 209 | ASIN : B09LBB8RJR

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I Can Do That

Scarlett is a little girl, and her mom wants to play a game all day long. The game is mommy and daddy will give her different challenges all day, and she has to see if she can do them all by herself. Challenges like making her bed, cleaning her room, helping with shopping, and even playing at the park and drawing a picture make for a full day of fun. Scarlett spends the day thinking she is playing a game but is really learning and growing as she completes each of her challenges.

I Can Do That: A Little Girls’s Day of Big Challenges is written for preschoolers and kindergarten level children; this book introduces taking responsibility in a fun and creative way. Scarlett has a mantra she repeats with each task given, “I can do that!” This phrase is often heard from small children and allows them to feel empowered and able to accomplish things. Finding age-appropriate jobs and helping them succeed is a delicate balance, and this picture book demonstrates a creative way to engage children. Learning while playing is a crucial developmental skill, and Scarlett jumps right into this activity despite the fear that she may not be able to do everything. Her mom, however, offers encouragement and tells her all she needs to do is try and ask for help if she can’t do it.

Author and illustrator Kairen Alaina is immensely talented and does a fantastic job composing this children’s story and providing whimsical artwork to follow along. Reading this playful story aloud will entertain children and adults with a positive and energetic narrative.

I Can Do That: A Little Girls’s Day of Big Challenges is a remarkable picture book that will delight children and adults. Parents and teachers will love having this charismatic book on hand to help teach children about responsibility and building self-confidence.

Pages: 31 | ASIN : B09KNWFK5T

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Imani’s Undersea Adventure

Imani is a young Black girl visiting the aquarium with her grandfather. At first, she is scared of the sharks she sees swimming by in the tanks. But then, her grandfather tells her about sharks, scuba diving, marine biologists, and marine archaeologists. These conversations lead to deeper discussions about Imani’s ancestry and family history.

Author T. M. Jackson has written a captivating children’s book that touches on many topics of importance. The story starts with a simple visit to the aquarium and learning about a scuba diver and their equipment. It then introduces readers to Black marine biologists Ms. Jasmin Grahm and Ms. Carlee Jackson and the first certified Black female scuba diver Ms. Shirley Marshall – Lee. Next, Imani’s grandfather explains the significance of their achievements in the world of marine science and for Black women. Readers will learn about Black history in an age-appropriate manner from her grandpa’s stories. For example, stories about how slaves were brought to America and how Black families could not swim in pools; thus, many never learned how to swim. These topics are often glossed over or omitted entirely for the early elementary age level. Ms. Jackson, however, has presented them in a manner that is educational and conversational. Readers will feel like they are walking through the aquarium with Imani and her grandfather.

Accompanying this thought-provoking children’s book is the richly detailed artwork of Darwin Marfil that captures the wonder of Imani and the thoughtful pondering of her grandfather as he teaches her about her past. Included at the end of the book is a list of resources that families and teachers can use to explore aquatic and marine sciences more in-depth.

Imani’s Undersea Adventure is a profoundly thoughtful children’s book that will captivate children. Teachers and parents will appreciate the accurate historical information presented eloquently and in an age-appropriate manner.

Pages: 36 | ASIN : B09JVSJN8W

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Garrett Bear Learning From Failure

Garrett Bear lives in Character Jungle and has set a goal to win this year’s rock climbing championship. The day of the competition comes, and Garrett does not succeed. He is disappointed and voes to never compete in rock climbing again. The following year the competition was announced, and Garrett told his parents he would not join in. Papa Bear asks Garrett why he does not want to compete, and they have a long talk about failure. Papa Bear explains that failure is not the end of the road, merely a stepping stone, and teaches Garrett how to process and move forward after failing to reach a goal that he sets.

This picture book written by K. Tang is a beautiful way to introduce the idea of failure to children gently and positively. First, K. Tang explains the different emotions of failure, disappointment, sadness, and frustration. She then presents readers with five steps to dealing with a failure and moving towards success. The five steps that the author outlines are simple and easy for children to understand and remember.

In addition to presenting the five steps for building success after failure, the author includes a guide for parents, caregivers, and educators on how to help children that are afraid of failure. This section has six steps adults can use to help children navigate this confusing and challenging time. The outcome of these steps is to learn failing is okay and how to improve in the future.

Garrett Bear Learning From Failure is a profoundly thoughtful picture book that brings to life the concept of failure in a manner that children will understand and process. The captivating artwork by Michelle C. allows children to feel engaged with the story and relate to Garrett. This children’s book is a must-have for school, classroom, and home libraries for helping children develop their emotional toolbox.

Pages: 32 | ISBN : 1737032627

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