Merren and the Heron, by Tony Dow is an adorable story about a class of children visiting the zoo. Their teacher instructs them to take a picture with an animal that rhymes with their name. As the children wander around the zoo, they struggle to get their pictures. Then, an even worse problem arises, they can’t find their classmate Merren! As the kids continue to search for Merren, they still haven’t gotten their pictures and now there’s too much to worry about!
Tony Dow’s story is filled with lovable characters and exciting rhymes. It engages young readers, allowing them to learn rhyming structure, while solving a fun mystery. The drawings on every page have colors that pop, making it even more appealing. Overall, Dow provides a story that children can read many times without getting bored.
I am giving Merren and the Herren, by Tony Down 5 out of 5 stars. Its mystery filled storyline and use of engaging literary techniques makes the story stand out from most children’s books. Its colorful drawings bring the characters to life and makes the audience even more absorbed with the story. Merren and the Heron is one of the most unique children’s stories I have read this month.
Pages: 13 | ASIN : B08LBQX961
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Bullying: What Are We Really Scared Of challenges our current response to bullying and explores successful ways of dealing with bullies. Why was this an important book for you to write?
I was able to get inside the head of a bully, learn all the secrets as to how they bully and why. Stemming from this, I was able to devise an action plan to stop bullies from hurting me. After many years of implementing this plan, learning that it worked every time, seeing the world was in such a state with bullying problems, saddened, I felt it was imperative I shared the secrets to defeating the bullies to help victims with this worldwide problem.
What were some ideas that were important for you to focus on in this book?
Divulging the truth about bullying, that it is not just the schoolyard bully or domestic violator, but that bullying is in every aspect of our lives. Exposing their secrets and sharing how easy it is for bullies to be retrained during counselling from being a physical violator to a psychological abuser because that is when they are most dangerous. Demonstrating, with examples, how easy it is to fall victim to bullies and what to look out for to be safe from the manipulations of bullies. Explaining to victims that the Justice system is more often than not, a lame duck when it comes to seeking help from them so they don’t fall into the abyss of depression when it fails to help them. Most importantly, I wanted to empower victims to be self reliant, to help themselves to stop the bullies in their lives.
What is a common misconception you feel people have about bullying?
That bullying is scary, that once they fall victim to a bully it will never stop, that they cannot defeat it and no one would believe them.
Do you have plans to write other books on this topic?
Yes, I am in the midst of writing a book for younger children (ages 3-8) to help them understand bullying and what they can do to stop it.
Posted in Interviews
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My Time With Papa helps readers deal with the loss of a loved one by reminding them of all the wonderful memories they have. Why was this an important book for you to write?
It was important for me to keep the book lighthearted but also provide a discussion for parents to have with children. I also wanted to make sure my stepfather came to life in the book by capturing things he loved and the bond he had with his granddaughter.
The art in this book was vivid and bright. What was the art collaboration like on this project?
My illustrator was fantastic in capturing my stepfather’s likeness. It was uncanny. I was very specific in what I wanted in the book because it was a reflection of him and I wanted him to be honored. My illustrator took the details and embodied the emotions I wanted to capture by keeping the illustrations lively and colorful.
Do you have plans to write other children’s book?
Yes, I do! After writing this book, I fell in love with process and wrote three more. I look forward to sharing those with the world as well!
Posted in Interviews
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Mommy, Daddy Please Teach Me!, by Michael A. Brown, is an educational children’s story about appreciating what our parents have done for us. Through this book readers will learn to value the things their parents have taught them by exploring various real life examples such as learning to dress themselves and learning to love themselves. The story portrays diverse families in many different situations that children find themselves in on an average day. The author then uses this base to show some simple, but effective, examples of the numerous ways that parents help their children learn and grow.
It’s important to appreciate the things our parents have taught us. They have taught us a lot of things that have helped us become the people that we are today. Our parents have always been there to guide us through life and it is important to think about what we have learned from them. Michael A. Brown inspires this kind of thought and understanding in his exceptional picture book.
Along with the multiple examples given that show how parents educate children, this cute book also helps remind kids to cherish the lessons their parents give them. If the reader were to discover something in the story that they didn’t know about, such as the concept of money, then they’d have something new to discuss with their parents.
Mommy, Daddy Please Teach Me! is yet another brilliant book by Michael A. Brown that uses beautiful illustrations to capture children’s attention and then inserts a lesson while looking over all the beautiful imagery.
Pages: 34 | ASIN : B08K3QQNMG
Tags: author, book, book review, bookblogger, childrens book, diversity, ebook, education, elementary, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kids book, kindle, kobo, learning, literature, Michael A Brown, Mommy Daddy Please Teach Me!, nook, parent, picture book, read, reader, reading, school, story, teacher, writer, writing
My Time with Papa by Shauntae Spaulding is a heartwarming children’s picture book that tells the story of a little girl whose father has passed away. Her mother is there to support her as she grieves and helps her understand her heartache. Her mother tells her not to think of it negatively, to remember all the fun times she had with her dad. Thus begins the story as the girl closes her eyes and she and her father are reunited in her imagination.
Shauntae Spaulding navigates the devastating topic of loss while being respectful. Spaulding’s tone throughout the story helps keep the mood happy, which I am supremely grateful for, because as soon as I found out what this book was about my heart ached and I wasn’t sure I was ready for such despair. But this is an ultimately uplifting story that will remind children that our loved ones leave their memories behind. It teaches them to stay optimistic and hold onto those good memories. The use of rhyme and vivid artwork keep the reader engaged and eager to continue. The art is exceptional and seemed to me like it was ready to be made into an animated story.
My Time with Papa is touching and thought-provoking and gives children a unique tool to deal with grief and loss and Shauntae Spaulding has managed to do this in a fun and imaginative way.
Pages: 24 | ISBN: 978-0228830726
Tags: author, book, book review, bookblogger, children, childrens book, ebook, goodreads, grief, kids, kids book, kindle, kobo, literature, loss, My Time with Papa, nook, novel, parent, picture book, read, reader, reading, Shauntae Spaulding, story, teacher, writer, writing
Believe in Fairies is an enchanting children’s picture book that gives readers a reason to appreciate wildflowers. How did you come about this theme for the book?
This book was Sherrie’s idea; she’s a keen gardener who loves fairies. My series of children’s books tackle the topic of conservation, and Sherrie shares my concern regarding the loss of wildflower species, here in the UK. The fairies help educate children and their parents about the various types of wildflowers, and their enemies such as snails and mice. The book encourages children and their parents to grow wildflowers and to appreciate them in the meadows and other open spaces.
You wrote this book with Sherrie Trotman. What was the collaboration like between you?
The collaboration was easy and enjoyable. Sherrie wrote the first draft of the poem, and I edited and added to it. I hired and worked closely with the illustrator, communicating Sherrie’s original ideas and those of my own. Once we approved the artwork, I designed the finished book.
I loved the little cute snail that makes an appearance in this book. Do you have any favorite scenes from the book?
Our favourite illustration is titled ‘Their will-o’-the-wisp may give you a fright’. It features three fairies with ghoulish-blue glows. In the foreground, we see two terrified mice fleeing from them. The cute snail was originally a mouse. However, because we have two mice in ‘Their will-o’-the-wisp may give you a fright’, I asked the illustrator to change the other mouse into a snail. I’m glad you like it.
Do you have any future collaborative books that you’re working on?
We have several ideas for collaborative books. However, at the moment, I’m working on the final two books of the Wayne Gerard Trotman’s Rhyming Stories series.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: author, author interview, Believe in Fairies, book, book review, bookblogger, children, childrens book, ebook, fairies, fairy, fairy tale, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kids, kids book, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, parent, picture book, read, reader, reading, story, teacher, Wayne Gerard Trotman, writer, writing
Don’t Drink the Pink is a rhyming children’s story about a girl that’s given special potions but told to avoid on mysterious one. How did the idea for these magical potions come about?
I think it really came from asking the question – ‘What would a super exciting birthday present look like for a young child?’ Initially, I considered some crazy but exciting contraptions that her grandfather would give to her, but in the end, I think the idea of physically possessing something magical through a simple drink is a little more enchanting to read. In addition, it allows for some interesting contrasts between the reactions of Grandpa Gilderberry and Madeline’s parents. This dynamic I think heightens that sense of relationship between Grandfather and Granddaughter.
The scene where Madeline breathes fire is my favorite scene because it’s so cute. Do you have a favorite scene from the book either creatively or artistically?
There are so many great scenes. Lenny Wen did an incredible job throughout the book and I really looked forward to seeing her interpretation of the effect each potion had on Madeline. I think if I absolutely had to pick a favorite scene though, it would be when Madeline flies. Not only would this be a great gift to have, but Lenny has really captured the sense of thrill and wonder. When I first saw the illustration, I immediately thought of Peter Pan flying over London with Wendy and her brothers. Madeline looks like she is having the time of her life, but isn’t yet accustomed to the art of flying.
The novel does a great job of showing how we all grow older. Much like The Giving Tree, I found it to be beautiful but melancholic. Why was this a topic you wanted to cover in the book?
One of the important themes I wanted to cover was just how different aging can be for children and older family members. For a child, growing up can be exciting – a journey towards infinite possibilities and independence. I think when you’re young, adults and particularly older adults can look a little like they’ve ended their journey – they’ve made it – they’re immersed in the life that a child is growing into! Yet, as I’m sure every adult will tell you, the journey never really ends. Life continues to change and move to its inevitable and somewhat uncomfortable conclusion. I hope the book gently explores these different stages of life’s journey, but most importantly I wanted it to highlight the magic that exists – particularly through the people we love – no matter where we are in life.
What is the next children’s book that you’re working on and when will it be available?
I have a few children’s books that I’m currently working on – one of which is an exploration of imagination and hope in mundane and difficult circumstances. It’s a little different to some of my other books, but I really wanted to take young readers into a slightly more gritty and confronting world, while infusing it with magic and wonder. I’m excited to release it, but it’s probably a little way off yet. In the meantime, I’m hoping to release a series of basic concepts books for toddlers. These books will cover a broad range of learning skills that I plan to illustrate and design. My hope for these books, is that they offer parents a clean, well designed and minimalist approach to the alphabet, numbers, shapes, and other important concepts.
Lance Vance Picks a Topic, starts with introducing us to our 9 year old, smart, cocky and impulsive protagonist Lance and then proceeds to follow his journey from the time he receives his Science Fair assignment to the day of the Science Fair. This charming children’s book follows his adventure, impulsiveness and knack for creating something new and is bound to inspire young readers.
Children are often afraid of science as a subject and science fairs can be a real cause of anxiety in not only them but their parents too. But through Lance’s story, the author successfully breaks down the steps of the Scientific Method and makes it easy and simple for children to grasp. It aims at imbibing and instilling scientific flair in children from a very young age. After all science is the most exciting subject, if we just introduce kids to it right! Lance’s hilarious yet thrilling experiments does exactly that. It instigates creative thinking in young readers. The storyline is compelling and keeps readers engaged. Lance is bound to fascinate them. The writing is lucid and that helps in easy comprehension of not only the plot but the insights as well. The illustrations are really adorable and will hold their attention.
I recommend this book to all young readers so that they get to enjoy science in its all glory and don’t associate fear with it. It is an interesting subject and science fairs allows them to create fun projects. I’m really looking forward to more of Lance’s adventure.
Pages: 53 | ASIN: B08CSZZ2W4
Tags: adventure, author, book, book review, bookblogger, childres book, ebook, education, Emmie Miller, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kids book, kindle, kobo, Lance Vance Picks a Topic, literature, nook, parent, picture book, read, reader, reading, school, science, science fair, stem, story, teacher, writer, writing