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The Way of Courage

Mia the small raccoon loves exploring and hunting alongside her mother and brothers. But when the unexpected occurs, Mia finds herself far from home and everything she knew. Thrust into a brand-new environment, and struggling to use her limited knowledge to survive, Mia finds herself in danger as she fights to adapt. Discovering new allies as well as new enemies, Mia and her friends, Coe the handsome raccoon, Henry the badger, and Gallant the crow work together to defend their forest home. Encountering both good and bad from their human neighbors, Mia and her forest community must find a way to protect their futures against a deadly foe.

Raccoons are one of nature’s most endearing creatures. When I was young, my family and I would safely observe these highly intelligent creatures from our own home. The Way of Courage showcases the raccoons propensity for mischief and their ingenuity in navigating situations. The message of protecting the forest environment as shown through the eyes of Mia feels authentic and grounded, while the characterization of the animals weaves a story that is both suspenseful and engaging. I loved the legend of how the raccoon got her mask, and I look forward to the day when leg-hold traps are effectively illegal nationwide. This is an adventure story that has intense moments, but that ends satisfactorily with no loose ends. This educational children’s chapter book also includes notes on safe observation tactics and how to chronicle your own nature findings.

I recommend The Way of Courage by Janet Hallagin for its ability to weave an important message of ecological protection into an interesting and informative narrative. A story of bravery, teamwork, and going the extra mile to protect the world from harm, The Way of Courage is a highly engaging children’s book about heroism, and how even one small raccoon can make a big difference.

Pages: 156 | ASIN: B0056J6WES

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The Adventures of Arya and Krishna Betta Fish

Arya betta fish and her brother, Krishna, journey from the pet store where they were born to their new home at a lovely koi pond. While exploring their new home, Arya and Krishna meet new friends Blake and Sharktooth and explain their greatest mission: to reunite their family. However, when the world of the koi pond is turned upside-down, all the betta friends find themselves on an exciting adventure. Meeting new friends, discovering amazing new places, and helping each other survive, Arya and Krishna must use their wits and find a little luck on their quest to find their missing parents.

Bettas have a special place in my heart. My first pet was a betta, and I love this charming adventure tale of fish friends working hard to help each other. I also love the multi-cultural approach to this lively narrative, where both the fish and humans in the world are from many different ethnicities. Spunky Arya, courageous Krishna, wise Ash, and all the other friends the bettas encounter add their own personal magic to this thrilling journey. Numerous endearing illustrations add to the enchantment of the adventure. Whether fish, human, or animal, everyone works together to aid each other in this entertaining tale of friendship, family, and fun.

Author Gabriel Bietz uses lighthearted storytelling and adorable illustrations by Ananta Mohanta in this book that is perfect for children ages seven and up. The illustrations brought the story to life, making this a middle grade book that young readers will find engaging. The adventure wraps up nicely while leaving plenty of room for many more exciting stories to follow. The Adventures of Arya and Krishna Betta Fish is a cheerful romp through a world of never-ending challenges and fun, where friendship and determination may be the key to everything.

Pages: 129 | ASIN : B09QH8YW9W

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Pearl’s Life

Pearl’s Life is the second book following Welcome Home, Pearl, which tells the story of Jacob, the older brother of Pearl, who experiences big changes in life after her arrival. As Jacob prepares to start school, he wants to include Pearl in his new experience. He asks his family to bring Pearl when they drop him off at school. As a child with disabilities, Jacob’s parents are initially unsure if Pearl can handle such an event or if bringing her to school to see her big brother make an entrance would be too much for her.

This children’s book provides a great opportunity to discuss the challenges of welcoming a new baby into the home and how a child with disabilities can handle some of the same experiences and activities differently. Jacob asks many helpful questions, as he sincerely wants his baby sister to play a pivotal role in his life, but doesn’t always understand how her abilities and special needs may impact how she interacts with him. As his family listens to Jacob’s concerns, they provide the best and easiest explanations and solutions while discussing how Pearl will be a part of every new milestone in his life.

The author does an exceptional job of tackling difficult questions and the emotional, real-life situations that accompany a family, especially when learning how to love and care for a child with disabilities. The story illustrates how important it is to not let the opinion of other people determine how to live your life or the compassion you have for others, including your family. Just because Pearl has a disability doesn’t mean she can’t come with Jacob to his first day of school. The boy sees this as an opportunity to show off his sister and normalize her condition by opening answering questions and inviting people to meet Pearl.

I really enjoyed author Tuula Pere’s carefully and beautifully written story and the illustrations by Catty Flores. I found each scene brought a sweet and heroic nature to Jacob. He’s a curious but compassionate child who makes a great role model for children. He shows readers how to discuss friends and family members with disabilities. I recommend Pearl’s Life for its excellent message to accept others and start a meaningful and heartfelt discussion about family and friends and their disabilities in a way that educates and increases compassion.

Pages: 16 | ASIN: B07NKF91BL

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Bullies Don’t Hurt Me Anymore

Young Jax is being bullied and he doesn’t know how to handle it. Luckily, Richard has experienced bullying before and shares his words of wisdom with Jax. Richard helps Jax identify different types of bullies, understand why bullies do what they do, and shows Jax how to take appropriate steps to stop the bullying. By the end, Jax feels much more confident in himself and his ability to handle a bully.

Author Brenda Turner has created an informative children’s book that focuses on explaining to young readers what a bully is, how and why they act, and what actions they can take to stop a bully. The book goes into detail on each subject and provides helpful examples on each piece of advice that is given. This is a comprehensive book that informs and empowers children by giving them the emotional and intellectual tools they will need to handle a bully and strengthen their self-esteem.

Each page of this enlightening picture book is illustrated. Characters emotions are easy to identify and I really enjoyed the diverse cast of characters that are present throughout the pages. Each scene illustrates the points being made in the accompanying text, and it all serves to really drive the point home so that children can fully understand what they are reading.

Bullies Don’t Hurt Me Anymore is a critical resource for any parent who thinks their child might be the victim of a bully. The story in itself is very helpful for children, but the book also contains tools for parents at the back of the book that includes things like, how to tell if a child is being bullied, punishments, and self-defense. This is an educational children’s book that shares a lot of great advice that can help stop bullying.

Pages: 34 | ASIN: B09W4XTRVZ

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The False Queen

The False Queen is a magical tale that follows a young fairy girl named Viola who arrives on Swing Island wearing a lace dress and a crown. The Islanders become curious with the stranger and decide she must be royalty due to her appearance. In doing so, there assumptions create this version of Viola that is not true. Viola, who turns out to be just a fairy down on her luck searching for a place of her own and her purpose; sees no harm in going along with the Islanders grand idea of her since they are all being so kind to her.

Having extraordinarily little to give back to the Islanders, she does her best to use her skills of designing clothes and jewelry to try and make money to eventually repay the debts. Once Viola’s secret is out that she is no royal fairy, everyone turns on her. Daniel, who is the hero of the story is described as a loner and a writer but most importantly he is the observer of the Island and sees not only the truth of who Viola is but all the Islanders true selves. Daniel’s skills of writing set him on a path of clearing Viola’s name and aiding in her finally finding her place and purpose in life as well as uniting the community in one swift sweep of his quill.

In this short children’s chapter book, the author is able to incapsulate the accurate depiction of how people are quick to make assumptions about another person. Pere also shows how important it is to have friends that will stand by you through challenging times in life and how using your skills can help bring communities together and bring fulfillment in life.

The False Queen is an imaginative children’s book with unique fairy tale elements that young readers will find enchanting. This is a fantastic children’s book that imparts an important life lesson amid an entertaining adventure.

Pages: 110 | ISBN: 9789523577695

T-Rex and Tuck Explore the Zoo

Tuck is stuck in the house on a rainy. With nothing to do little Tuck starts to get bored. He’d love to go to the zoo, but can’t go outside until the rain stops. Luckily his stuffed T-Rex comes to life and shows Tuck how to use his imagination to go on a fun adventure at the zoo without ever leaving his room. Together they embark on an educational trip to the zoo where they laugh and learn about different animals.

T-Rex and Tuck Explore the Zoo is a cute children’s book that teaches kids how to use their imagination. If you know how to use it, you’ll never be bored. Author Katie Marie has written a delightful story that is filled with both funny and educational moments. Children will learn different interesting facts about animals that are mixed with funny sounds and fun movements. Children will love making the sounds that the different animals make in the book, like lions and monkeys, and the story also provides some funny physical activities that kids will love to try, like stomping like an elephant or waddling like a penguin. All of this comes together to make a book that is highly engaging.

Each page has a wonderful piece of sketch art by illustrator Jessie Johnson that really brings the scene to life. The soft color palette and the artwork makes this book inviting and perfect for parents to read to toddlers or for early readers to read on their own.

T-Rex and Tuck Explore the Zoo is an imaginative and fun picture book that educates as well as it entertains. With an animated stuff T-Rex, a charming protagonist, and an imaginative story line, this is a perfect gift for any child.

Sharing Is the New Cool

Morgan is about to start his first day of kindergarten. As Morgan and his mom head out for school readers start to learn that there is something very cool about Morgan. He loves to share! Morgan encounters various situations throughout his day that show how kindness and sharing are two of the coolest qualities a kid can posses. Morgan is certainly worthy of the title printed on his backpack at the beginning of the story, ‘King of Cool’.

Beautifully illustrated pages, a cool little protagonist, and a heartfelt message all come together to create a fantastic children’s book that kindergarten and first grade readers will adore. The art throughout the book is bright and sharp and captures the emotion of each scene. There is plenty going on in the background of the scenes that will keep readers coming back looking for things they missed the first time. My favorite inconspicuous detail in the story was the ‘Crann’s Pizza’ shop.

There are a lot of emotional details in all the characters faces throughout this vivid picture book. This helps young children understand the emotion of each scene as their parents read the story to them. Parents looking for a book that promotes diversity will love Jacqueline Crann’s kids book as the entire kindergarten class is filled with diverse children. Kids will learn about a variety of things that are cool, like eating vegetables and reading books as well as sharing.

Author Jacqueline Crann has created a marvelous children’s book with a charismatic protagonist. Sharing Is the New Cool is a delightful picture book makes its point in the most charming way possible. Young readers will surely come back to this book again and again.

Pages: 29 | ASIN: B0B1C6BCT6

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Me In Animal Form

Melinda L Booth Author Interview

Tegan Finds Her Tribe follows an abandoned cat who joins a group of kindred spirits that help her live her best life. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

The inspiration was a combination of my finding and rescuing a small kitten who became part of our tribe, and my escape from a toxic work environment during The Great Resignation. In the book, Tegan is essentially me in animal form. I have found a new life, kindred spirits, and am starting to realize my dreams! One of those dreams was writing a children’s book. Becoming both a publisher and author is much more than I ever imagined! But here I am!

This was a charming book with beautiful illustrations. What was the artistic process like to bring this book to life?

Being that Tegan Finds Her Tribe was my first attempt at writing and illustrating a book, it was a challenge! But I pulled it together somehow. I guess determination was the key.

What scene in the book did you have the most fun creating?

I enjoyed visualizing Tegan’s antagonists in the forest at night, and how they made her feel. She used that, refusing to let fear of the unknown conquer her. She knew intrinsically that she would persevere… somehow. She trusted herself, and took a leap of faith.

Do you have more children’s books planned that feature Tegan?

I hope to do at least one more book about Tegan (and Willow), I just haven’t figured out what’s next for Tegan or for me. In the meantime, I have two other books in the works.

Author Links: Amazon | Facebook

What’s a cat to do when she’s abandoned alongside the road and left to fend for herself? The only way for her to survive is to find her tribe! Follow the Adventures of Tegan, a stray cat who falls into the midst of kindred spirits…., Her Tribe! This new sense of belonging encourages her to pursue her dreams, and live her best life, …. not just survive – but THRIVE!

The story teaches authenticity, acceptance, diversity, inclusion, overcoming obstacles, empathy, the importance of having a sense of community, kindness, compassion, and realizing your worth. The story of Tegan’s journey encourages your child to appreciate their own unique traits and accept the differences of others so that everyone can thrive. It feels good to be yourself!

For ages 6 – 10
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