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Pixie Van Dimple and the Wrong Kind of Artificial Intelligence

Pixie Van Dimple and the Wrong Kind of Artificial Intelligence by [Lynn McAllister]

Pixie Van Dimple and the Wrong Kind of Artificial Intelligence is an educational picture book warning kids, in hilarious fashion, about the dangers of spending too much time on their phone.

After spending too much time on her phone Pixie Van Dimple suffers from AI Infiltration. Someone must save her, and they better do it soon, or else Pixie will certainly be doomed.

This fun children’s book is told in rhyme and every other page has brightly colored comic art that serves as fantastic eye candy while reading the book. I think this book is more for higher grade elementary students, but in either case, the lesson taught here is a valuable one for todays youth. I loved the fun rhymes and the beautiful art and the story was very detailed. I would love to have seen this story as a kids chapter book for middle grade readers because I feel like there is some hints at a larger world that would be fun to explore.

Pixie Van Dimple and the Wrong Kind of Artificial Intelligence is wonderfully representative of todays kids and provides a good lesson in a fun story that will surely keep children laughing as they eagerly flip the pages of the this whimsical picture book.

Pages: 28 | ASIN: B087BPDK11

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Twin Adventures: Backyard Safari

Twin Adventures: Backyard Safari is a fun children’s book following young twins Kate and Tate as they go on a Safari adventure powered by their imagination. This is a charming children’s book that shows kids the power of imagination.

When Kate and Tate are introduced the meaning of their names are explained to the reader. Which I thought was wonderful because this provides a great opportunity for young readers to think about what their names mean. The story then show Kate and Tate brushing their teeth before they head out because ‘no adventure starts until these tasks are complete’. This is another great example of the great lessons this book teaches kids. It seems like every page of this book has a great lesson to learn.

The art in the book is bright and captures the readers attention with a vivid cartoon style. I loved the image of Kate and Tate brushing their teeth as it was funny, but the wonderful images of the Safari were also magnificent. I would have liked to have seen a scene where it shows reality vs. imagination so kids could understand the difference, but this is still a story that is fun and entertaining.

Twin Adventures: Backyard Safari is an educational and enjoyable adventure that takes readers on a journey powered by creativity and imagination. This is a lively kids book that I highly recommend.

Pages: 30 | ASIN: B09CHGKNQN

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Buzz the Brave

Buzz the Brave by [Gabriela Charatsari]

Buzz the Brave is an inspirational children’s book following the bravest of all bee’s. Although Buzz was not always known as the bravest, he was first known as Buzz the Wanna-Be and was banned from his hive for looking different. But when the queen goes missing, there is only one bee brave enough to find her.

This picture book is wonderfully illustrated with bright computer graphic art that depicts some very cute bees. The story is easy to follow, with simple words, that makes this book perfect  for young readers to practice reading. The story also provides a great example that shows kids how to overcome obstacles, not to listen to those who will keep you down, and being brave. Maya is a fantastically inspirational girl that accepts Buzz immediately and she serves as a great example of how children should be accepting of others that are different.

This was a fun children’s adventure story that follows a charming little bee that sets out to prove everyone wrong and gets his name written on the topmost branch of the tree as a reward for his bravery.

Pages: 74 | ASIN: B096WF5S9C

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I Loved That Cat’s Tenacity

T. C. Bartlett
T. C. Bartlett Author Interview

Birds Fly, A Cat Tries is a wordless picture book that follows an adventurous tabby who tries to take flight. What was the inspiration for the wordless idea behind your story?

I enjoy finding ways to help children understand the importance of working together and never giving up in many of my stories – to keep trying no matter the obstacles that are placed in front of us. As a child, our family had a pet cat named Buttercotton. He was an orange Tabby, and this cat loved to hide behind furniture and jump out and try and scare us. He always found a different hiding spot and was forever improving on his scare tactics. I loved that cat’s tenacity.

I find this book to be wonderfully educational for children to insert their own dialogue. Was that the intention or was there a different educational aspect your aimed for?

Wordless picture books are my favorite to work on because I know that children can find many different educational aspects within the story without even knowing that the author has designed the plot with specific educational elements. With their unique ability to imagine the world in so many different ways, children can sense and feel so much within the story of a wordless picture book. And even though my intention, for all my wordless and near wordless picture books, is for children to insert their own dialogue into the story and use their imagination, I always design my picture books to have some kind of positive influence.

I loved the art in this book. What was the funniest scene for you to draw, and what were some sources of inspiration?

That is a difficult question for me to answer. There really isn’t any particular scene that wasn’t fun to draw. I did however enjoy creating the elephant at the end of the story. She went through many variations in order for me to find the right look on her face. As for my source of inspiration, well, I was no different than most children when growing up and wanted to jump off the roof of our house holding an umbrella and float down to the ground. Did I try taking the great plunge? No. But I did think about doing it.

What is the next book that you are working on, and when will it be available?

I am working on two new picture books right now. The Lost and Lonely Tumbleweed, which will be published in June 2022. It is another story about never giving up and to keep on trying, no matter what. Although, The Lost and Lonely Tumbleweed has a lot of words in it. The other book I am working on is titled, Never Was A Grump Grumpier. It will be available in June of 2023, and it is a story about the choices we make in life, particularly the not-so-good choices where we have to accept the consequences that come with the choices we make.

Author Links: GoodReads | Amazon

In this wonderful picture book without words, Birds Fly, A Cat Tries, a cat pursues a dream, desperately wanting to fly . . . sadly, for this adventurous tabby, each effort ends in failure. Does this spunky feline give up? Does the cute kitty take flight? Only one way to find out . . .

An Important Message For Children

An image posted by the author.
Vikki Lynn Smith Author Interview

A Stranger in the Clearing follows a golden retriever that discovers a unique deer hiding in the woods and they both realize there is more to the deer than meets the eye. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

My inspiration came while I was driving down the road one evening, I saw what I thought was a goat playing in the field with a group of deer. I almost ran off the road watching it. I quickly looked it up when I got home and found that it was a piebald deer. I wondered what it must be like to be a spotted white deer out in the woods, being so different and visible. I had started writing stories for my students to help them understand science terminology, and knew that writing about Pi, in terms of mutation and adaptation, would help them remember the vocabulary. The surprise was the natural moral lesson that came out in the writing process. The lesson that it’s not the color of your skin that makes you special, but your actions to do something for others that makes you the most prized animal in your community.

The art in the book is vivid and colorful. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Marcela Werkema?

Marcela is AMAZING. She lives in Brazil, and considering the language and environmental differences, it’s simply incredible what she has done with my illustration suggestions. The idea behind the book was to draw the reader in with 3-D like illustrations that popped off the page. As an animator she realized that my request was also important because books now compete with technology, and today’s children what fast moving literature.

She is so talented, learning what all the animals looked like from photos I sent and suggestions I made. Parents quickly buy the book once they turn the pages and see the stunning artwork.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

There is not doubt that the main theme focuses on “loving yourself” and “doing something good for others.” I believe this is an important message for children to learn at an early age so that it gets embedded into their psyche. In this volatile world where parents are not able to guide their child throughout their day to make good choices, it helps the child to be reminded through good literature what to do. This book couldn’t have come out at a better time in this tumultuous world.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Thank you for asking! My next book is currently at the publisher and it’s called A New Home For Grayce. The story is about Grayce the Groundhog who keeps getting displaced by humans as they develop roads, homes and golf courses. Like so many children today, especially foster children and military children, they must move to new homes more than most. So I wanted to show these children that even though they may have to move a lot, they will always find friends if they put themselves out there. And one day, they just might find their forever home. What is so exciting about this new book is the illustrator. Chad Thompson worked as an animator for Walt Disney Feature Animation Studios in the movies Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, and Brother Bear. He graciously stepped in for Mercela Werkema when Covid hit Brazil so hard. It is amazing how he has captured Mercela’s style of illustrations while incorporating his own to make A New Home for Grayce just as special as the first two books in the In the Woods Series. The book will be out this holiday season.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Pi, a unique deer from the Great Forest, arrives in the Woods in search of friends and a new home. The animals of the Woods are surprised by Pi’s arrival, but quickly realize she needs all the love they can give her. Will she discover what it truly means to sacrifice all she loves to be accepted by others? Will she learn the importance of family and the love they give?

Birds Fly, A Cat Tries

As children, we are taught to believe in ourselves, have faith, and never give up. All of those mantras come from parents, teachers, and caregivers. It’s during the early years of elementary school that we begin to build our self-confidence. Great picture books with engaging plots are just one way to help young children imagine the possibilities and find relatable characters who can give them the confidence boost they need.

Birds Can Fly, A Cat Tries is the adorable wordless picture book by author, T.C. Bartlett. Conveying an engaging and well-developed plot with illustrations alone is incredibly difficult, but Bartlett has more than managed to hand young readers a fantastic story for the ages. A cat who desires to fly–there is nothing more engaging than watching him give it his all. Bartlett’s story teaches readers to never give up and does so through humor, strategically placed nuances in illustrations, and a fun main character who is bursting with attitude.

As a third grade teacher currently in the middle of a unit on central messages, I am excited to incorporate Bartlett’s work into my reading block. Wordless picture books are a great resource for teachers, and watching Bartlett’s birds as they taunt the determined cat will provide my students with the perfect opportunity to brainstorm and write their own dialogue. I am confident that my students will fall as much in love with Barlett’s feline protagonist as I have.

I am giving Birds Can Fly, A Cat Tries by T.C. Bartlett a resounding 5 out of 5 stars. The sweet illustrations and expressive faces of the characters make this book a must have for elementary classrooms. I encourage any teacher or homeschooling parent who wants to teach dialogue to his/her students to include this book in their bag of tricks.

Pages: 50 | ISBN: 1733908668

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Surrounded by Ocean

Author Interview
L. J. Nilsson Author Interview

Mangrove Sands takes four friends who all seemed destined for uncertain futures and sends them on a magical adventure. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Once I retired, writing was a way of staying connected to the students who I missed terribly. My beautiful environment surrounded by ocean, marine animals and bushland full of native birds and wildlife added to my inspiration and development of fictional characters.

Your characters were wonderfully diverse and well developed. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

Having worked with Primary school students for nearly a decade who were verified under the spectrum and watching them grow under my wing and transform from failing students to students who began to enjoy learning, were finally understood and given a new way of learning, definetley played a part in the development of my characters.

Each character has a small piece of character or personality from some of the children I worked with.

Many of these students have transitioned to highschool and beyond. One in the army, one studying law, another a graphic designer. They still stop for a chat or send me messages .

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Definetley for children facing hardship and adversity my book aims to encourage children to find the positive in even the worst situation and make every day count.

Other underlying themes touch on environmental awareness, empathy and kindness.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

Both the sequel Mangrove Sands, The Enchanted SeaWorld & Beyond and The third book of the series, Mangrove Sands, The Epic Journey are currently in production in London.

It is hoped that the sequel will be released in 2021. This book includes an indigenous aboriginal character who teaches her friends about her language and culture.

The third book includes a Swedish character opening the doors and young minds to embrace multiculturalism, language and diverse cultures And of course, there are many more adventures in the Enchanted Seaworld.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

This book sets out to inspire and educate children, who, for one reason or another, have difficult starts in life either by fate or disability. Each chapter provides a human lesson and human qualities through adventure, including: empathy, bravery, honour, friendship and resilience in the face of adversity.

Based on an island in South East Queensland, Australia, four children, who attend the same island state school, are all miserable at home and school until Parlow, the pelican, comes knocking on Tommy’s window one night to offer him a better life. Tommy thinks he is dreaming as do his friends—Maria, Dino and Jake—who all have an out of body experience and are taken to an enchanted underwater sea world beneath Mangrove Sands, where they meet talking animals who have their own language and become the children’s tutors, mentors and friends.

Through an enchanting underwater sea world of magic, adventure and humour, Mangrove Sands aims to provide hope and inspiration to children around the globe facing adversity.

A Stranger in the Clearing

A Stranger in the Clearing: In the Woods Series by [Victoria Smith, Marcela Werkema]

A Stranger in the Clearing is a wonderful children’s picture book that follows a golden retriever named Sequoia who comes across a Piebald Deer in a forest clearing. The young deer is hiding and doesn’t want to return home. After some investigation Sequoia realizes the deer ran away from home to keep her family safe because her unique look makes her stand out to hunters. They both soon realize that what makes the deer unique is not its color but its boundless courage.

The illustrations in this children’s book are absolutely phenomenal. Each page has a sprayed graphic art with a soft color palette and striking contrasts, giving each piece an artistic look but ensuring the faces of the many adorable creatures throughout the story are all emotive. This is a perfect children’s story for parents to read to their kids at night. It reminds me of classic pieces of fairy tale literature, poetic lines coupled with the beautiful art to deliver a sentimental but enchanting story.

The story conveys some very important lessons told in a direct and easy to understand manner. We learn that it is not what we look like that defines us, but our actions. Sequoia, ever welcoming and loving, encourages the young deer and ensures her that the animals in the forest will love her for who she is.

A Stranger in the Clearing is an inspiring and colorful children’s book that teaches a valuable lesson in an easy to understand and heartwarming story.

Pages: 38 | ASIN: B08PDQF2Q3

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