Thursday, October 9, 2014

'My God Is Awesome!' by Kyla and Monique McKenzie


Kyla McKenzie, age 5, is the coauthor along with her mother, Monique McKenzie, of the newly released children's picture book, My God is Awesome! The great work illustrates the wondrous creations of God through the eyes of five-year-old Kyla. Through breathtaking watercolor hand-paintings by world-renowned illustrator Dr. Jan Spivey Gilchrist and emotive text authored by the mother-daughter team, children and adults are reminded that God’s awesomeness should be appreciated and respected in life’s most simple pleasures.

This work is important because:
  • The book was showcased at the American Library Association Conference in Las Vegas, NV this past June.
  • Kyla is one of the youngest published authors on record.
  • The book is inspirational for children and adults.
  • We were intentional in selecting children of all nationalities and backgrounds as models.
  • The artwork by Hall-of-Famer Jan Spivey Gilchrist is awesome!

About Kyla McKenzie - Author

Kyla McKenzie, a five-year-old first time author, is on a mission to spread the word about the awesomeness of God. Toward this end, the pre-kindergartener convinced her mom that authoring a children’s picture book would be the best way to reach this goal. Despite her youth, Kyla was actively involved in every aspect of the creation and production of this wonderful work. Expect more books from this spirited writer.

About Monique McKenzie - Author

Monique McKenzie is an award-winning journalist, who has written and contributed to numerous nonfiction works, including a long list of articles for Black Enterprise, Essence, Heart & Soul, School Library Journal, The Network Journal, Uptown Professional and a host of other publications. Though most known for her health book, It’s a Sistah Thing: A Guide to Understanding and Dealing with Fibroids for Black Women, being a supportive mom to her three beautiful children is her greatest joy. Kyla’s brothers Tyler (age 10) and Myles (age 8) are their little sister’s biggest supporters. Thus, My God is Awesome! is Monique’s most rewarding project yet!

Visit their website:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

'Trotters of Tweeville: Zavis DaMavis' by Shirin Zarqa-Lederman


Zavis DaMavis is a happy young boy and a proud resident of a whimsical town called Tweeville. He’s off to school one morning when his mom—a very wise woman—gives him an important reminder. But what does it mean to treat others the way you’d like to be treated?

While Zavis ponders his mother’s advice as he walks to school, he’s distracted by an elderly man who needs a hand getting across the street. When he’s done helping, he finds that he’s forgotten what she said. Zavis must remember his mother’s words if he’s ever going to understand what they mean. But how can he think when he’s so busy being kind to his friends?

 Buy links

Author Bio:

Shirin Zarqa-Lederman is a wife and mother of five children. Shirin lives in New Jersey with her family, where she was born and raised. She is a Board Certified Professional Counselor and is licensed in NJ. Her 17-year counseling career has focused solely on children and adolescents and their families.

Most recently Shirin’s practice has transformed into “mobile” therapy, where she counsels in a clients’ home rather than the traditional counselor office. This allows her to experience a child in his/her element-a much more natural setting. Her attention has been children and adolescents who have difficulty socializing with their peers, developing and maintaining focus on daily tasks, managing behavior within a school setting, as well as a familial setting.

She utilizes experiential therapies, which is a process whereby-as she puts it- “if you can experience it you can feel it, and if you can feel it you can choose whether or not to recreate it.” When asked about her inspiration for this book, she stated, “This book series is my attempt to ‘recreate’ the practice of that infamous ‘golden rule.’"

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

'Bobby the Bobolink Helps to Rescue His Proud Friend' by Charissa Tinsley

Book blurb: 

Children's books : "Bobby the Bobolink Helps To Rescue His Proud Friend",( Illustrated Picture Book for ages 3-10.) Teaches children the power of kindness and friendship. (Great for Beginner readers) (Bedtime story) The first book in the “Shared Values Collection.”

Read an excerpt:
The day of the pageant was filled with excitement. Ducks waddled about in panicked exhilaration about the possibility of winning the crown of admiration from everyone else. At the time of the contest, Bobby Bobolink was joined by a few of his dinner guests from the night before to have a tea party. He and these guests scrutinized the pageant from a faraway peak as they sipped their tea and ate their dainty little cookies. Before the pageant began, the bobolinks and ducks intermingled and socialized as friends. However, all the pompous group of ducks wanted to do was jealously to belittle the contestants.

Author Bio: 

Marketing expert and travel consultant, Charissa Tinsley, has always been an avid reader. Deciding to embark on a new journey, writing seemed to be the perfect start. “Bobby the Bobolink Helps To Rescue His Proud Friend” is the first book in the “Shared Values Collection.”

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

'Sana, Sana' por Indi Avila


Words are magic. With them you can communicate, create closeness, express affection, anger, sadness ...even heal. By reading to our children, we introduce them to the magic and power of words.

In "Sana, Sana", Indi Avila recalls the old formula used in every corner of the Spanish-speaking world to cure children's boo-boos. There are endless variations of the rhyme, but only the true, traditional one can provide a cure.

With endearing illustrations by Kristine March, parents will evoke their own childhood memories while creating new memories with their children.

Visit the website:

About the author:

Indi Avila grew up in a Spanish speaking home in Miami, FL. Her Cuban family wished fervently that she be brought up knowing the language and traditions of their homeland. She graduated with honors from Georgetown University with a BA in French. She then earned a Masters in Education at the School of Graduate Studies at the University of Harvard. Since 1998 Indi has taught languages to children and adults. She lives in Southern California with her daughter, whose boo-boos she has made all better by using the traditional "sana, sana colita de rana" rhyme. Indi's enthusiasm, creativity and love for languages inspire her to share language and culture through teaching and storytelling.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

'Made By Raffi' by Craig Pomranz, illustrated by Margaret Chamberlain


Inspired by true-life incident, my children's book Made By Raffi is newly released this summer. It's the story of a little boy who doesn't care for sports but likes to knit and sew -- at first he is teased for his hobby, but in the end he becomes a hero to his class. The book is being published in five languages and distributed in eight countries so far by UK publishers Frances Lincoln under their diversity imprint, Janetta Otter-Barry Books. Award-winning artist Margaret Chamberlain is the illustrator.

I wrote the book to support young boys and girls who are perceived as "different" because of their appearance or hobbies. It is a funny colorful book with a serious message and will interest those who care about promoting diversity and embracing our differences, as well as all children seeking to fit in.

Buy links

About the author:

Craig Pomranz is an internationally known singer/song-stylist, actor... and now author! Made By Raffi is his first children’s book with illustrations by award-winning artist Margaret Chamberlain. Craig received New York’s MAC Award for Best Male Vocalist in 2012, and songwriters Amanda McBroom (composer of “The Rose,” Bette Midler’s Golden Globe award winning song) and Michele Brourman (The Land Before Time) have written a song, specifically for the book called "Different." Originally from St. Louis, Craig lives in New York City and travels the world performing in nightclubs and theatres. His popular CDs “More Than A Seasonal Thing” and “My Heart Don’t Skip A Beat” can be heard on radio stations around the world and are available on iTunes and his website


Twitter: @MadeByRaffi

Thursday, August 14, 2014

FREE 8/14-8/16 'Deeter the Dog Who Didn't Listen' by Bobby Hutchinson


A Fun Story for Kids, A Great Children's Bedtime Story And Perfect For Young Readers.

What can you do with a dog who doesn't listen? Deeter's family are at their wit's end. He doesn't mean to get into mischief, but he does--big time!! He's a funny, sweet, smart dog--so why doesn't he pay attention?

Read Deeter with your kid's and grandkids. Laugh out loud at his antics. Enjoy the colorful illustrations.


Deeter, The Dog Who Didn’t Listen is Bobby’s first (but not last) kid’s book. 

It was written with the input of her grandkids who’s beloved dog, Deeter, had recently died. 

Bobby and her grandkids live in a little coal-mining town in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. They all love walking, telling stories, and trying to train their two pet rabbits to use a litter box.
Bobby is a writer of romance and memoir. Her books are available on Amazon, Kobo, I Tunes, etc. 

Her latest romance is Patient Care.

She loves to hear from readers, and she’s ecstatic when they leave reviews.

Contact her at

Come and visit. Stay awhile!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Review of 'Ladybugs Have Lots of Spots' by Sheryl and Simon Shapiro

Book description:

Circles can be fat or thin / There can be lot--or one / And round things can be big or small / And learning can be fun.

This innovative new picture book encourages children, through poetry and photographs, to explore the idea of what is round--from the spots on a ladybug's back to a ring on a finger or a wheel on a bike. Using words such as "dot," "spot," "loop," "hoop," and "ring," it shows that round things aren't all alike, but can be anything!

A perfect companion to Zebra Stripes Go Head to Toe, the simple text and vibrant design of Ladybugs Have Lots of Spots encourage children to look for and identify similarly shaped objects in their own environments.


**My thoughts**

The rhyming prose is catchy and will make children want to listen. I love the real photographs that are used, to help children better connect the concept of round items to the world around them. They connect objects that are different, which can help with later analytical thinking, such as rings on a hand versus on a cat, or wheels on a car versus lights on a stoplight. What makes me crazy is the title is misdirecting. When you look at the title, you are expecting to read a book about ladybugs, not looking at shapes that are round. That doesn't mean that kids aren't going to still understand the concepts being taught within the title. It can still be a cute addition to a children's library.

Available in paperback 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.