Thursday, February 21, 2013

'Awesome Me!' Release Day Party

We’re celebrating the release day for Awesome Me! A Book of Awesome Affirmations for Little Stars. To celebrate, we’re giving away 5 Kindle Copies of Awesome Me!

Book blurb:
Awesome Me! is a book of awesome affirmations for little stars! Written to promote positive self talk to kids, Awesome Me! encourages children to believe in themselves while cultivating love for one's self, their family, and friends. It emphasizes the importance of connection with the people we love while motivating them to go after their dreams, have fun, be creative, smart, confident, and be the best they can be. It truly is an awesome book that uplifts children in a simple, yet positive way.

Read an excerpt:
One special me
is clever and kind,
with a generous heart
and a curious mind

There's no need to ask
for I know in my heart
I am the most awesome me,
I'm thoughtful and smart!

I can't be held back
I'm a great bird in flight.
I can reach any goal
I have in my sight.
Purchase the book
You can purchase the book from Amazon all over the world!

 Author Bio

Cherrie Dejolde Bautista is a Certified Empowerment Coach committed to help everyone reach their fullest potential and be the best they can be. Having a technical background who worked as an Analyst/Computer Programmer, she pursued and became certified as an Empowerment Coach in her quest to understand how she can become the best parent for her kids. She realized that in order to raise her kids to be healthy, responsible, confident and successful individuals with a lot of respect for themselves, their family, other people, and life, she needs to empower herself not only to be the best parent, but also to reach her own fullest potential and be the best individual she can be. Being a good role model is the most effective way of teaching, influencing, and nurturing her kids. She teaches her children how to live by letting them watch her do it.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

Kids Review 'Vicky Finds a Valentine'

For Valentine's Day this week, I read the story Vicky Finds a Valentine to my students who are ages 4-6. We read it in two short sittings, due to time constraints. When we finished it today, they burst into applause! Here are some of their specific comments about the book:

"I liked this story. I think you should write more stories like this, because you are good at writing stories." ~~Q., boy, age 4

"It reminded me of when I gave [the teachers] my valentine." ~~ M., boy, age 4

"I thought of Shadow Kitty, who is my special friend and valentine." ~~T., girl, age 5

"I thought of my mom and my dad and my sister and my ferret, who are all my special valentines." ~~B., girl, age 5

"Vicky Has a Valentine was a very nice book because it kind of made me think of finding a valentine. That's why I liked it." ~~N., boy, age 6

"I liked the book. the birdie was funny." ~~V., girl, age 5

"I liked it at the end of the book, because I liked it when the girl said she would be the lovebird's valentine." ~~J., boy, age 5

"It was a good story. I liked it a lot." ~~A., boy, age 6  

Monday, February 11, 2013

'Vicky Finds a Valentine' Book Tour & Review


Vicky is happy young lovebird with a great life as the Johnson family pet. When her human Marie starts making Valentine’s Day cards for her first grade class, Vicky is definitely intrigued. "Valentine’s Day is very special," Marie explains. "It only comes once a year, and when it comes, you have to tell everyone how much you love them. But most of all, you have to find a special friend to be your Valentine." A day about love? That’s fantastic! Now who can be Vicky’s special Valentine? A search begins as Vicky asks anyone who will listen to be her Valentine. Unfortunately, the pretty dolly ignores her, and so do the people in the glass box—and she's not sure she can trust the family cat's intentions. Will the day come to a close before Vicky can find a Valentine? There’s only one way to find out. Join Vicky in her hunt for love in this special holiday edition of the color-illustrated Bird Brain Books series for children.

**My thoughts**

I think this one is my favorite out of the Bird Brain books thus far. Vicky is a sweet little lovebird, simply looking for a special Valentine. She tries asking a doll, the couple on the TV, and almost gets into trouble with the kitty. But then, she finds her perfect Valentine, who has been right there all along.

It's one of those stories that reminds you that finding a Valentine is about celebrating any kind of person who is special to you. It doesn't have to be the romantic love of your life. Valentines are also close friends. They are the people who make you feel best about yourself. And I also like how Marie is making homemade valentines for her loved ones. I am not a fan of those impersonal cartoon cards that you can buy in abundance at the stores. This story captures the meaning of Valentine's Day.

Buy links: Amazon \ Smashwords


Emlyn Chand emerged from the womb with a fountain pen clutched in her left hand (true story). When she's not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm Novel Publicity. Best known for her Young Adult novels, she is also developing a small, but devoted, following to her children's book series and is beginning to dapple in other genres as well. Emlyn enjoys connecting with readers and is available via almost every social media site in existence. Visit for more info. Don't forget to say "hi" to her sun conure Ducky!


Website & Blog:




Review of 'Let's Meet a Librarian' by Gina Bellisario


Are you curious about dinosaurs? Music? Volcanoes? You're in luck! Mr. Field is a librarian. He knows how to find information about all kinds of cool things. He shows the students in Mrs. Rios's class how to use the library. Let's hear it for librarians! 
**My thoughts**
The book tells the story of a group of kids visiting the library, to find out more about librarians as community helpers. Mr. Field, the librarian, shows them how to use a computer to look up their favorite topics, and the corresponding books available in the library. It also tells about all of the other skills that librarians have (such as technological ones) and different kinds of libraries. I like how it subtly talks about how libraries have special places where it is okay to get loud and have fun, but other places are supposed to be quiet for those who are studying. Little green boxes every few pages add extra facts and definitions of key terms. The end of the book has a book hunt for kids to go on, a list of further reading, and a glossary.
It's simple enough that young children will enjoy it. It provides enough information to appease kids in the lower elementary grades, as well. The pictures are bright and enjoyable. It makes for a good addition to any community helper study.  

Buy the book on Amazon \ Lerner Publishing

Visit author Gina Bellisario's website:

I received a review copy via NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Review of 'I Hate Picture Books' by Timothy Young




Max hates his picture books and he’s throwing them all away. But he soon learns just how invaluable imagination is and has a change of heart. Find out why in this outrageous book that both pokes fun at and celebrates many of the classics of children’s literature. Join writer and illustrator Timothy Young for this irreverent and humorous story ideal for children and adults alike. Early Reader; Ages 5-8.

Timothy Young is the author/illustrator of I’m Looking For A Monster!, Shadows On My Wall, and They’re Coming!

**My thoughts**

I wasn't sure what I thought about this book the first time I read it. A young kid getting mad about his picture books and threatening to throw them away doesn't seem like something I want kids to read about. But then very quickly, Max has a change of heart, as he realizes how much he loves his books. He realizes he really doesn't want to get rid of them and then revels in how important they all are to him. It's a typical kid who is trying to grow up and seem mature, but can't let go of his childhood at the same time.

Reading through it, you notice lots of famous classic picture books that you probably also "hate." It's fun to see how many of them the children can recognize on their own and how quickly they go searching for them in their own libraries after reading this one. I felt nostalgic for my own childhood and love of those picture books that has stayed with me to this day and I hope to impart on the next generation.

I received a review copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

'Izzy the Whiz and Passover McClean' by Yael Mermelstein

Book description:

Izzy the Whiz is an amateur inventor who, right before Passover, creates a super duper machine that whirs and purrs and munches and crunches and miraculously cleans the entire house just in time for the holiday – but not without creating havoc along the way. A fun, crazy, rhyming tale a la Dr. Seuss.

Moms will wish they had a cleaning machine such as the Passover McClean that Izzy the Whiz creates to help clean the house for Passover. Only, they will want it to work properly! A fun rhyming read for families to enjoy during the Passover season, or anytime.

Buy from Amazon:

Visit illustrator Carrie Hartman's website/portfolio and her blog.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

'Mooshka, A Quilt Story' by Julie Paschkis

Book description:

Karla loves her special quilt, Mooshka. But Mooshka is more than just a quilt-it speaks, comforting Karla at bedtime with whispered stories. Karla's grandmother lovingly pieced Mooshka together using scraps of fabric from members of Karla's family. Each square, or "schnitz," shares aspecial memory of Karla's ancestors and their lives.

When new baby sister Hannah arrives, Karla's routine is upset and Mooshka falls silent. Only when Karla shares Mooshka with her sister does the quilt begin to speak again and tell Hannah the treasured stories ofher family.

**My thoughts**

Sibling rivalry is difficult when a younger sibling is born. Kids don't want to share, no matter how much they love their babies. Karla has a hard time when she needs to share her bedroom with her baby sister. Her beloved quilt helps her to care for her baby sister, to remind her about the importance of family.
Beautiful illustrations accompany this story!    

Purchase from Amazon:

I received a review copy in exchange for my honest thoughts.

Friday, February 1, 2013

'Bird Brain' Books by Emlyn Chand - Virtual Book Review Tour

Bird Brain Books
By Emyln Chand



Honey the Hero

Honey, an inquisitive young parakeet living in the Australian Outback, decides to become a superhero after she spies a human family watching Superman. Since she already has the power of flight, all she needs to do is create a costume to conceal her true identity and then fly off in search of animals that need rescuing.

Unfortunately, every time she tries to help, Honey only ends up making matters worse. She spoils Kangaroo’s game of hide-and-go-seek by revealing his hiding place to Wallaby; Mr. Anteater must go hungry when she alerts the ants to his presence, and Mrs. Koala is made a laughingstock among bears when Honey pretends to be her Joey. Finally realizing that she’s not as heroic as she’d like, Honey gives up her day-saving efforts.

But what happens when someone actually needs Honey’s help? Will she rise to the challenge?


Davey the Detective

Davey dubs himself the luckiest crow in the entire world when he finds a wonderful, shiny object. It even has a fantastic name: “paperclip.” Wow!

One dark and dreary day, Davey’s treasure goes missing, and he is beside himself with grief. Luckily, he knows just how he can find out which of the forest animals is to blame for the theft. Inspired by the torn pages of a Sherlock Holmes story that were used to fashion his nest, Davey calls on the help of Sarah the sparrow to investigate the mystery and, hopefully, retrieve his prize.

Together the two birds begin to collect clues. Their trail leads them straight to Mr. Bushtail, a greedy squirrel who keeps a giant store of objects in a hollowed-out tree trunk. When Mr. Bushtail refuses to cooperate, the two birds have no choice but to break into his tree house in search of the truth.


Justice will prevail and treasure will be found in this intriguing tale of mystery.


Poppy the Proud

Poppy is the prettiest peacock in the entire garden, but one day his privileged existence is upset when an all-white peacock is born and promptly named the most beautiful by a smitten flock. Intensely jealous, Poppy no longer knows where he fits in and decides to reclaim his title as the fairest bird in all the land, no matter what it takes.

In a desperate attempt to regain the admiration of his peers, Poppy steals items from the humans that visit his park. He wraps himself in a beautiful silk scarf, wears a series of ornate bangles around his neck, and even tries to dye his feathers with colored dust from a festive Holi celebration. Unfortunately, each of these attempts not only fails to improve his appearance, they actually make it worse. What’s a poor bird to do?

In this compelling tale of self-esteem, pride, and learning what makes each of us special, Poppy the peacock discovers that true beauty lies beneath the feathers.


Tommy goes Trick-or-Treating

Tommy is a mischievous little woodpecker who loves to fly to the edge of the forest and watch the people in the nearby suburb. One evening, something strange and exciting happens—people emerge from their houses wearing costumes and carrying colorful buckets with smiling faces on them. What’s even crazier is that they shout a special codeword while standing outside of each house, and are given delicious-looking candy.

Tommy simply must join in the fun. He and his friend, Michael the raccoon, fashion their own costumes and head off to join in the festivities. Thanks to Tommy’s knock-knocking beak and Michael’s quick paws, the duo is able to heist many a candy bar from the unsuspecting homeowners and children.

But are they missing out on the true spirit of Halloween?


Courtney Saves Christmas

Courtney is a peppy young penguin who just loves exploring, and is overjoyed when she receives a compass from Santa on Christmas morning. She’s so grateful for the gift, in fact, that she just needs to give Santa a great big hug and say “Thank you!” in person. The only problem is she lives in the South Pole, and Santa is all the way on the other side of the globe!

With the aid of her new compass, Courtney sets off on a journey that takes her almost an entire year. By the time she reaches Santa’s workshop, the elves are in a flurry preparing for the upcoming holiday. Unfortunately, Rudolph is feeling very sick—too sick to guide the sleigh. If Courtney can’t find a way to help, Christmas will be ruined and all the children of the world will be devastated. What’s a little penguin to do?

**My thoughts**

I have been enjoying reading the Bird Brain series by Emlyn Chand. Each one stars a different type of bird, who is excited about something, just like a little kid would be. Perhaps it is Halloween or Christmas. Maybe it is a paperclip. Whatever excites the bird, is something that a kid could relate to.

Each of the birds ends up learning a valuable life lesson in his or her adventures. They learn how to be good friends and helpers to those in need. They learn important skills to help boost their self-esteem. Each one of these books easily lends itself to one-on-one conversations for parents to have with their children, or for teachers to have with their students. This series is only just getting started. More adventures and life lessons are yet to come!

These books will appeal to children ages 4 and up. I have read them with children ages 4-6 in a school setting and even older in a home setting. The children all seem to enjoy the stories, as well as the illustrations.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Emlyn Chand emerged from the womb with a fountain pen clutched in her left hand (true story). When she's not writing, she runs a large book club in Ann Arbor and is the president of author PR firm Novel Publicity. Best known for her Young Adult novels, she is also developing a small, but devoted, following to her children's book series and is beginning to dapple in other genres as well. Emlyn enjoys connecting with readers and is available via almost every social media site in existence. Visit for more info. Don't forget to say "hi" to her sun conure Ducky!


Website & Blog:




Emlyn will be awarding a $25 Amazon Gift Card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour for more chances to win!