When a talented tiger finds himself without a place to call his own, although he may be unconventional, it is exactly his uniqueness that guides him to precisely where he needs to be. In A Place to Belong, by Edwin Kim, we follow Tae the tiger as he journeys from town to town looking for a place to fit in. He meets like minded friends along the way that bring him joy and the sense of belonging that Tae has been searching for.
This is a wonderful children’s book that promotes self-acceptance and also celebrates our differences. The characters are charming and relatable. Young readers will be able to understand the characters experiences as they are similar to what some people go through when feeling casted out, shamed, or shunned. It is important for people to have a place they feel seen and cared for and this story conveys that message well. This would be a perfect picture book for any child in that the message is delivered in a manner that young children will understand. Add to that some vibrant illustrations that are absolutely captivating and you have a story that will be easy to read at bed time.
I highly recommend A Place to Belong to any parent who is looking for a way to start a conversation about diversity and self-acceptance. This kids book is a fantastic tool that shows how vital finding the people we connect with is to our inner happiness.
Pages: 74 | ASIN: B0BMB9Z31Y
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My Magical Bearded Friend by Chris Husband is a uniquely fascinating tale of a highly illustrious bearded man that simply exudes magic. Readers are taken on a whimsical adventure showing how and what makes this gentleman so grand and appealing. Young readers will be left with the question, what is the purpose of this man?
I adored the illustrations and the poetic prose. This was a wonderful combination that is sure to capture the attention and the imagination of children. Kids will be in wonder at the magical bearded friend. I was immensely intrigued by this bearded character but want more details as to who he is, what he does, and where he is going. But that’s just me as a parent reading this to my child. I think this comes from the character being so fascinating that I want to know more.
With magnificent artwork, easy-to-read words, and a flowing rhyme, children will be delighted to read this enchanting story, or to be read this story at bedtime. My Magical Bearded Friend is a uniquely wondrous picture book.
Pages: 28 | ISBN: 1739199715
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It’s a bright and beautiful day and Lilah is excited for all the fun things that she can do today. Right after breakfast she heads out to play. She enjoys a variety of fun activities like playing hopscotch, making bubbles, and flying a kite. Her entire day, from morning to bedtime, is filled with fun activities.
I loved Lilah’s energy and enthusiasm for life. This charming children’s book will show children how, with a little imagination, they can have a lot of fun all day long. The book also shows Lilah having fun all by herself, which I think will be great for parents that have only one child. It’s great to play with others, but you don’t need to in order to have fun, as Lilah will show you. I enjoyed the large amount of activities that Lilah did in this book as well. This will give kids a lot of activities they can do on their own if they can’t think of any.
Every page has wonderful graphic art with bright colors and shading that really gives the images great depth. I loved seeing Lilah in different situations because the artwork makes everything look so cute. Children will love pointing out all the adorable little animals that make an appearance throughout the book.
Lilah Loves Life will show children how to make the most of their day and will inspire them to go outside and play. This excellent rhyming book is perfect for early readers as it contains easy-to-read words. The vibrant illustrations will also help parents keep their young kids focused as they read this story to them at bedtime. This is a wonderfully imaginative picture book that children will surely enjoy.
Pages: 36 | ISBN: 1639886117
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, Brian Sullivan, childrens books, ebook, goodreads, indie author, kids books, kindle, kobo, Lilah Loves Life, literature, nook, novel, parents, picture books, read, reader, reading, rhyming books, story, teachers, writer, writing
Pinkie the Baby Bird Goes to School by Rose Andria, and Grace Boda is a beautifully illustrated book about a young bird getting ready to start school for the first time. It’s an excellent book for young, school-aged kids and children preparing for kindergarten, which can be an exciting and sometimes stressful experience. The story begins with inquisitive Pinkie, who is curious about what school will be like when she begins her first day, which allows her to discuss her anticipation with family and friends.
Pinkie expands her social circle throughout the book as she begins school. She meets her teacher and discovers many students and friends in her tree or community. The more Pinkie learned, the more she enjoyed making friends, singing, and expanding her knowledge. I found the book easy to read and thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s a fantastic story for parents and teachers.
The book is written in a way that captures children’s attention, and it’s a great way to make learning fun and less stressful, as many kids may experience at a new school or on their first day. It’s also an excellent introduction for preschool-aged kids, with bright, pastel-painted pictures, which incorporate the importance of education and diversity, getting acquainted with close friends and neighbors, and making new connections.
Pinkie the Baby Bird Goes to School by Rose Andria, and Grace Boda is a brilliant story that captures kids’ attention with a great storyline and illustrations. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars for its creativity and a well-written message about the importance of community, inclusivity, and education. It’s a fantastic read for parents with small children and elementary school teachers. I personally found this book held my kids’ attention, and it makes a great addition to your home library or at a school or daycare.
Pages: 32 | ASIN: B0BJVPRJ3D
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Hope’s Broken Snow Globe by Kelly Chang Rickert is a heartfelt and honest story about a young girl named Hope, who is learning to cope with her parent’s divorce. It’s a story about love, family, and how difficult it can be for kids when their parents decide they can no longer live together.
Since Hope is young, she doesn’t fully grasp the full reasoning behind her parents’ divorce and believes the actual reason is because she broke her family’s snow globe last Christmas. With this in mind, Hope sets out on a personal quest to repair the broken snow globe, with the expectation that this will also repair her family.
I really enjoyed this book, and especially loved the physical representation of Hope’s parents’ divorce as “broken,” like the snow globe. The story offers a great comparison for children, so they visually understand the message of the book in the most relatable way. The book’s illustrations were warm and comforting, which I found to reflect the overall spirit of the story.
Hope’s Broken Snow Globe is an exceptional holiday story. It’s an emotional but important read for children and a great way to start the conversation about separating families. This book is a wonderful way of facilitating helpful and healing communication about a difficult topic, and I think it will be a great addition to your home library.
Pages 34 | ASIN 173526184X
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Hide and Seek Alphabet: With Australian Animals teaches children about the animals native to Australia while learning the alphabet. What inspired you to write a story about this topic?
I was inspired to write this when I noticed that a lot of the alphabet concept books, even ones with Australian animals, only write the letter, name of the animal and put a picture of it. I wanted to do something that was more interesting and engaging for young children. Australia has some unique wildlife with unique sounds like the lyrebird which is known for mimicking sounds like a car alarm and whistling or the kookaburra with its cackling laugh. I hope children will enjoy learning about Australia’s unique wildlife as much as I do.
The art in this book is fantastic. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator A.P. Gil?
Brilliant. A.P. Gil is an amazing artist to work with. They were very thorough and meticulous. We were both very clear about the expectations for the project, from both sides. I gave them a copy of the manuscript, reference images for each animal and some information about their habitat. My only request for the illustrations was that it needed be in a slight suitable for children, the animals needed to be recognisable as the real animal and on the ‘hide and seek’ pages the animals needed to be partially hidden. I gave them the creative freedom to design illustrations based on their interpretation of the manuscript. As part of this they would create sketches with different layouts for each animal as well as colour studies unique for each set of pages. We would regularly talk via Upwork to review any necessary changes that needed to be made and what to expect over the course of the week.
What educational aspects were important for you to include in this children’s book?
As part of my teaching, I had done courses on improving spelling by explicitly teaching phonics or sounds that are represented by the graphemes or letter groupings. I had seen the benefits and positive impact of it on student learning with secondary students. I knew that when phonics are introduced at a younger age it is much more effective, especially with repeated exposure. This book allows teachers and parents to begin doing this. I structured the lines in the story using alliteration for each letter of the alphabet to help reinforce their exposure to the phonics or sounds of the letters.
What is the next book that you are working on, and when will it be available?
I’m currently heading into the pre-order and ARC stage of my next picture book Mellie the Mermaid Is NOT Scared Of ANYTHING. It isn’t on any platforms yet as I’m currently creating an ebook. I’m also currently editing and publishing companion activity books for Hide and Seek Alphabet: With Australian Animals including a handwriting workbook and a colouring book with Australian animals. These activity books will be officially released in 2023, with those who follow me on Facebook (in certain regions) able to purchase of these books early directly from me this December. Mellie the Mermaid Is NOT Scared Of ANYTHING will be coming out on Friday 10th of March 2023.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: Anna Finch, author, author interview, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, childrens books, ebook, education, goodreads, Hide and Seek Alphabet: With Australian Animals, indie author, kids books, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, parents, picture books, read, reader, reading, story, teachers, writer, writing
Mahalo Does Not Mean Trash follows a family who shares Hawaii’s culture and traditions with a relative who is visiting from California. What was the inspiration for your story?
Born and raised in the middle of the Pacific Ocean on the island of Oahu, my ancestors go back to the kings and queens of Hawai’i. After moving to California when my children were 1, 3 and 5 years old, I saw that my children weren’t learning their culture, their lineage and their language. As a father I needed to teach my children about their rich culture and the best way was through stories. This was a story I told them when they were still toddlers with each of them as the main characters. Who best to teach them this important cultural word and value than their grandparents who possess so much wisdom and love that needs to be passed down before they pass on.
What were some ideas that were important for you to share in this book?
Although this is a story focused on Mahalo (gratitude), you will find the other two most important Hawaiian words/values weaved throughout: Aloha (love) and Ohana (family). We wanted to take the reader(s) deeper into the Hawaiian language so that people can get a better understanding of what makes Hawaii so special. Understanding the true meaning of gratitude by breaking down the word MAHALO, we hope that you will gain a new appreciation for the power of gratitude. It’s our hope and prayer that this book will bring a new level of kindness and gratitude around the world.
What were some educational aspects that were important for you to include in this children’s book?
We wanted to use Pupu and Papa as the “teacher(s)” because most times parents are busy trying to teach their children reading, writing and arithmatic so they can do well in school, whereas grandparents can be a conduit for the “important” learning and loving that is so needed in this world we live in: be kind, be grateful, be a good person and leave things, people and places better than when you found them or they found you.
Thanks” or “thank you” is one of the most used phrases in our language and often times used out of habit without any thought. Because of this, the typical response to “thanks” is also usually thrown out without thought or consideration with phrases like, “no problem”, “any time” or “it was nothing”. By being haphazard about our response, we diminish the importance of the person’s gratitude. As we see in the book, when someone says “Mahalo” they are acknowledging your divine breath. Knowning the meaning of Mahalo should make you think twice about how you respond next time.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
This is the first of three children’s books in our MAHALOHANA series that talks about the three greatest words in the Hawaiian Language: Mahalo, Aloha and Ohana. As we said earilier, this was one of the stories that I told my children when they were younger and now they feel it’s was time for us to share it with the world. The next book on Aloha (love) will be ready by February and the final children’s book on Ohana (family) will be available right before summer.
Posted in Interviews
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Magician Emu by R.C. Chizhov is an exciting story about self-discovery. As a young child, finding your way in life can be challenging, especially if you take a unique path that not everyone understands. Magician Emu aspires to be a great magician one day, just like Spikey Spike, so she learns all his magical tricks and reads all of his books to become an extraordinary talent.
When Magician Emu’s plans don’t turn out as expected, the story takes on a fun and surprising twist, which I found delightful and entertaining. The story is brilliantly written in a way that keeps the reader engaged with the character and the importance of the book’s message of perseverance and resilience. It’s also a great way to promote the importance of being comfortable as yourself and finding your own path in life.
I truly enjoyed this book and its whimsical, light-hearted, but crucial message for kids. Magician Emu is the ideal character, who struggles with many of the same challenges that most of us do, and for this reason, the story is easy to relate to and find thoroughly satisfying and inspiring.
Magician Emu is the perfect addition to your child’s library at home, or as a great read at school or daycare. It’s a fantastic book for children learning to read, and an important reminder to celebrate who we are as individuals, while supporting our kids, so they may grow into strong and confident adults.
Pages 31 | ASIN 173795267X
Tags: author, book, book recommendations, book review, book reviews, book shelf, bookblogger, books, books to read, childrens books, ebook, education, goodreads, indie author, kids books, kindergarten, kindle, kobo, literature, Magician Emu, nook, novel, parents, picture books, R.C. Chizhov, read, reader, reading, school, story, teachers, writer, writing