Category: All Ages

BEDTIME FOR BUZZY
T. J. HACKWORTH
Illustrated by SEAN BAPTIST

SUMMARY

A young boy is playing with his toys and doesn’t want to go to bed at bedtime. One by one his toys come to life in his imagination and convince him that going to sleep is the best way to continue his adventures.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW

There’s no doubt about it. Bedtime for Buzzy is a bedtime story. No more and no less. It starts off very, very good, but towards the middle end of the story, an unexpected twist turns everything upside down. Even with this twist, the book is a good read. However, I caution parents to read the story themselves before reading it to their children so that they can make the proper adjustments. The UNIQUE thing about Bedtime for Buzzy is it’s storyline. It’s storyline? Yes, you’ll see.

RECOMMENDATION

Bedtime for Buzzy is recommended for First Time Readers (0 – 8).

BUY IT HERE: Amazon

AUTHOR BIO:

T. J. Hackworth is a writer of short stories and children’s fiction.  His work has appeared recently in the Wisconsin Review. He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife and daughter.  And he never has trouble going to bed.

ILLUSTRATOR BIO:

Sean Baptist is a freelance illustrator with numerous publications featuring his art, design, and illustration over the last decade. He studied illustration at Northern Michigan University. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.  And he sometimes has trouble going to bed when he should.

DEAR SUN
DEAR MOON
DEBORAH PAGGI
Illustrated by GAYLE COLE

SUMMARY

What do love letters between the sun and moon sound like? Dear Sun, Dear Moon expresses the beauty of the sun and the moon in nature through expressive letters describing the wonder all around us all.

The sun and moon share what they love most about each other in this endearing book that encourages children to enjoy the beauty of nature that is often overlooked. As the sun and moon share what they love most about each other, they find a way to blend their beauty through the magic of an eclipse.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW

Dear Sun, Dear Moon is an unusual story where the Sun and the Moon as they compliment each other in passing. That means as one is setting and the other is rising. For example the Moon tells the sun, “You are bright and shiny.” Not wanting the moon to feel bad, the Sun tells the Moon, “You are also bright and shiny—“ Oh, I have to stop talking. Otherwise I’ll give—. I know, I know, but then I’d feel bad for spoiling a wonderful story for you. By the way, the UNIQUE thing about Dear Sun, Dear Moon is that it’s edu—. Oh, there I go again. You’ll find out when you read it.

RECOMMENDATION

Dear Sun, Dear Moon is recommended for First Time Readers (0 – 8).

BUY IT HERE: Amazon

AUTHOR BIO

Deborah Paggi is a writer who spent several years working in the children’s publishing field. After working with libraries, parents, and children’s book authors, she was inspired to set out on her own author’s journey. Her passion for storytelling focuses on a deep curiosity about the wonder and beauty of the world around her. Dear Sun, Dear Moon is her first picture book, which captures the power and brilliance of the magical things occurring in the sky above. She has been an avid reader her whole life and is thrilled to be writing books for children. Deborah has a Master of Arts in English and is an active member of the California Writers Club (Redwood Writers) and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. After raising three active and energetic sons, she now lives a quieter life with her husband, chocolate lab, and ragdoll cat in northern California.

ILLUSTRATOR BIO

Gayle Cole currently resides in the small town of Sebastopol, California, on a blueberry farm where she has lived for the past 33 years raising four children with her husband, Jim. She graduated from the Art Department at San Francisco State University in 1978 with a BA degree in printmaking. Gayle considers herself an illustrator and designer, inspired first and foremost by the art in classic children’s books from such illustrators who simply went by Lucille W., H.C. Holling, Walt Disney Studio, and M. Sasek. Gayle has illustrated for Horticultural Publishing, worked in a local silk screening studio, and taken her artist’s eye in to landscaping and home designing. Portraiture of people and pets is Gayle’s muse of the moment and this is her first children’s book.

LITTLE KARL
M. EARL SMITH
Illustrator E. A. SANTOLI

SUMMARY

Little Karl is a curious child, always wanting to know everything about the world around him. As he walks through the city with his mother, he asks question after question about what he thinks is wrong with the world and offers his own solutions to make sure everyone has shelter, food, education, work, and comfort.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW

It’s morning and you step outside your house and see lush green grass, sunlit bright blue skies. You smile because the world is a great place, but not for everyone. That’s what Little Karl noticed when he went walking around town with his mother. He saw this and asked why it was that way. Then he saw that and again he asked his mother why it was this way. Oh, you want to know what this and that is? You know me by now, you have to find out for yourself. I will say that it is something very valuable. What makes Little Karl a UNIQUE read? It’s all about the ending. With its diverse characters, Little Karl is also an ETHNIC read.

RECOMMENDATION

Little Karl is recommended for First Time Readers, Middle Grade Readers to age 10, and curious readers of all ages.

BUY IT HERE: AMAZON

Author Bio: With work for children and adults, M. Earl Smith is a writer who seeks to stretch the boundaries of genre and style. A native of southeast Tennessee, Smith moved to Ohio at nineteen and, with success, reinvented himself as a writer. After graduating from Chatfield College in 2015, Smith enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia to study creative writing and history. He is the proud father of two wonderful children and, when he’s not studying, splits his time between Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and Chattanooga, with road trips to New York City, Wichita, Kansas, and Northampton, Massachusetts.

Illustrator Bio: E. A. Santoli is an illustrator and teacher. He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. His inspirations are bridged between academic painting and Japanese manga and anime. He currently resides in Ridgewood, New Jersey.

LUKE
the Horse who wanted to be a Unicorn
ANITA HAGER
Illustrated by INSIMA

 

SUMMARY

Luke was a strong, stately, well-built horse who lived in a town with other horses. He enjoyed spending time with his horse-friends in the stable and with the little girls of the community. But there was one thing about Luke that made him feel ashamed and insecure among his friends. His body was covered in dark brown spots from top to toe. Luke figured that there was only one way through which he would feel more accepted among his friends – he had to look like a unicorn, beautifully white and magically majestic.

Old Brownie, the wisest horse in the stable, saw Luke’s sadness and tried to comfort him. He quickly came up with a brilliant plan to help Luke become a unicorn. Luke was very excited to join in the plan, but little did he know that Old Brownie was trying to teach him an important life lesson.

Will Luke realize his dream of becoming a unicorn? Will he be able to deal with the thrilling consequences of being a unicorn? Will Luke’s friends approve of his new look?

A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW

We’ve all been there, well maybe not all of us. But you know how it is, one day you step out of the house, and someone doesn’t like, your hair, your clothes, the way you talk, the way you laugh. Simply they don’t like you being you. Of course no one tells you directly. Mostly, you hear whispers or a few come and start making fun of you.

Now do you see what Luke is going through. Hmmm if he only knew. Knew what you ask. Well that he’s really. Oh you almost got me. I don’t want to be the person that gives away the ending. You’ll find out for yourself when you read Luke – The Horse Who Wanted to be a Unicorn. What makes Luke – The Horse Who Wanted to be a Unicorn a  UNIQUE read is its ending. Now, you know I’m not going the ending! But, I can’t wait for you to read it.

RECOMMENDATION

Luke – The Horse Who Wanted to be a Unicorn was written for First Time Readers (1-8), but Parents, I really feel that some Middle Grade Readers and Young Adults to 15 could benefit from this book.

BUY IT HERE:   Amazon

BIO: Anita Hager (1980-) is a mother of two who lives in a small cozy
town in Norway. She and her husband also share their home with four cats. Her imaginative and meaningful children’s stories follow in the tradition of her Grandmother who read to her when she was a little girl. Now Anita reads her own stories to her two little boys at night and has decided to share them with others.

You will see her love of animals reflected on each page as well as her dream to help children grow up knowing how special they are.

She has created The Be the Magic you Are series of books for children. Books with stories that inspire children to be the magic they are by being themselves and reaching for their dreams. Most of the stories are based on animal characters that combine great stories with great illustrations.

Her saying is “Be yourself and you are always a unicorn! Be the magic you are!”

 

EVEN MUMMY CRIES
NAOMI HUNTER
ILLUSTRATED BY KAREN ERASMUS

SUMMARY

Even Mummy Cries is a gentle book which explores issues surrounding mental health and wellbeing. It is reassuring in nature, explaining to children that they are not to blame for any sadness experienced by their parents. In addition, it encourages parents to openly express their sadness with their kids without feeling guilt or shame.

This important book is the sophomore release from ABIA nominated author Naomi Hunter.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW

Sometimes it’s hard to understand how your mother or father is playful and fun with you one moment and then screaming, hollering, or crying the next. It’s hard to understand because it’s scary and you don’t know what you’ve done wrong. Even Mummy Cries that addresses the issue that it’s not your fault. Sometimes, as we have things that bothers us, making us sad, angry or frustrated, we lash out or cry.

It is the same thing for our parents. It’s just that they try not to do it in front of us. But, when things happen that they can’t fix away from our eyes, they break down; and Even Mummy Cries shows you some of the things you can do to help them. What makes Even Mummy Cries a UNIQUE read is that it gives parents an opportunity to explain a scary situation.

RECOMMENDATION

I wrote this review primarily for kids who might be experiencing a confusing situation with their parent. However, I really feel that this is a book that parents should read with their children in the hope that is opens the door for conversation and/or help. That being said, this book is recommended for All Ages.

BUY IT HERE:  Empowering Resources

BIO

Naomi Hunter’s debut picture book, ‘A Secret Safe to Tell’, was released in 2014 and earned her a nomination in the Australian Book Industry Award (ABIA) as well as the Australian Speech Pathology Awards.  She has an Honours Bachelor Degree in Primary Education and enjoys writing about sensitive topics in a way to bring about freedom, love and warmth, empowering readers with effective communication and dialogue in which to discuss difficult issues.

Karen Erasmus is a freelance illustrator based in Melbourne. Other books include You’re Different Jemima, Annabel s Chewy-Gooey Birthday Cake and Five Little Platypuses.

A CHILDREN’S GUIDE TO RABBITS

ANGELINA SOMMER

SUMMARY

A Children’s Guide to Rabbits provides information about pet rabbits which is understandable for children, and in a way they can easily follow. The book gives them, a step-by-step guide on how to look after rabbits in their own backyards, from shelter to food to playtime, and everything in between. Later in the book readers are taken on an adventure with Radar and Jupiter. Where they will discover they are smart, adorable and full of fun!

A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW

They’re so cute and cuddly, but as shown in A Children’s Guide to Rabbits, taking care of them is a lot of responsibility. Don’t worry, A Children’s Guide to Rabbits shows you step-by-step how to build their home (hutch as they prefer), feed them, take care of their physical needs and playtime, and to simply make them happy. That’s what this book is—simple guidance that children understand. But even I learned a few things, like phishing. Did you know that rabbits could do that? What is phishing you ask? Now you know that I can’t tell you that. I don’t want to spoil it. I can tell you that that rabbit food, (specifically iceberg lettuce) isn’t, because it’s harmful to them. What makes A Children’s Guide to Rabbits a UNIQUE read is that there is a fiction picture book within the guide. It’s called Radar and Jupiter and Their Capilano Back Yard Adventures. The things those two can get into…well, you’ll see.

RECOMMENDATION

A Children’s Guide to Rabbits is recommended for all ages. First Time Readers (1 – 8) and Middle Grade Readers to age ten, will enjoy “Radar and Jupiter and Their Capilano Back Yard Adventures.” While everyone will find the Guide very helpful in caring for or deciding to purchase a rabbit as a pet.

WHERE TO BUY   Amazon

BIO   Angelina Sommer is a high school student at Carson Graham Secondary. She wrote a book about how to take care of rabbits called, “A Children’s Guide to Rabbits with Radar and Jupiter,” in 2015.The book is unique because it is written for children by a child. She writes in her free time and takes English grammar lessons. She lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia, with her family and enjoys caring for her rabbits. She has owned her two rabbits for around four years. Angelina was “the perfect example of what not to do” when deciding to get a rabbit as a pet. She realized she didn’t know anything about how to take care of rabbits and she needed to do research. The research available was difficult to understand, especially for children. Angelina researched on-line, she met with a vet and she spoke with a rabbit rescue organization in Richmond called Bandaids for Bunnies. She also included an adventure story because the book is for children and she wants them to have fun as they learn. In 2016 she published a story book about her two rabbits, “Radar and Jupiter and Their Capilano Back Yard Adventures.” She also has other interests such as dancing, playing piano and dramatic improvisation. For more information about Angelina and her guide to taking care of rabbits, go to www.radarandjupiter.com.

JayJay_Cover_complete-2 copy

 

JAY-JAY THE SUPERSONIC BUS

SUE WICKSTEAD

ILLUSTRATION BY ARTFUL DOODLERS

 

SUMMARY

Jay-Jay the bus was rescued from the scrap yard where he was sadly gathering dust and cobwebs. He is taken to an airport where he is magically transformed into a ‘Playbus’ full of toys, games and adventure.

Jay-Jay – The Supersonic Bus is a fictional tale based on a real life bus ‘Supersonic’ which flew in the imagination of the many young children who visited him.’

A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ (REVIEW)

Imagine, your favorite toy being taken away from you and broken down into pieces. You’d be upset right. Well put that on a larger scale and you have Jay-Jay, a bus. Recently, he had begun to feel tired and old. So, he was sent to a scrap yard and left to be taken apart (piece by piece) and turned into scrap metal. Scrap, how embarrassing. Sadly, he waited in the scrap yard with only a spider for company until something amazing happened.

What happened you ask? Come on, you know I can’t tell you that. It would spoil your chance to read this wonderfully illustrated and beautifully told story.

The UNIQUE thing about Jay-Jay, The Supersonic Bus is that in this age of recycling, it shows how something as large as a bus can be repurposed without being torn apart.

RECOMMENDATION

This book is recommended for First Time Readers (0 – 8) with in some cases a parental assist, and a great bedtime story. It would also be great for some nine-year-olds.

BUY IT HERE:   Amazon

Sue Wickstead Bio

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OKI AND HARLO
FAIRYTALE FRIENDS

CAS MESTEROM

 

SUMMARY

Oki, a little orphaned goat meets Harlo, a shooting star, who falls to earth and ends up in the field where Oki is asleep. They become instant best friends and together they go on a quest to find Oki’s momma.

On their adventure, the little friends encounter wise old, Mr. Owl, Wobbly, the chicken, and a little girl named Ellie and her family.

Enter a world where children can safely go and learn about making friends, being honest, and believing in dreams, as well as healthy eating and the REAL purpose of rainbows!

“Oki and Harlo, fairytale friends” is the first ever draw freely e-book.
The story invites the readers to make their own illustrations. There are free-draw pages that have clear instructions on what to draw.

“Oki and Harlo, fairytale friends” is written for children aged 5 to 10 years, but is suitable for older children and adult kids too! It is a fun fairytale to read to your children and it is equally fun for children who are discovering the world of reading and imagination.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ (REVIEW)

Life is good for Oki as he plays in the pasture with his mother and the other farm animals. Yes, life is good until that faithful day, that farmer Barbic takes his mother away. His mother tells him not to be alarmed because she is only going to the farm and she’ll see him later. But, when winter ends and the other animals return from the farm, his mother is nowhere to be found.

He is sad, especially since Mrs. Sheep who cared for him during the winter months, now has her own family to care for. That night, as he struggles to fall asleep, he hears a noise not far away. It turns out to be Harlo, a star who has just fallen from Heaven.

After meeting and greeting each other, the two become fast friends and Harlo offer’s to help Oki find his mother. Thus the adventure begins as the two set out the next morning. Of course they had a little guidance from the—oh, you’ll have to find that out for yourself.

The UNIQUE thing about Oki and Harlo, Fairytale Friends is that it’s interactive. That means YOU CAN WRITE IN THE BOOK! EXCITTTTING!

RECOMMENDATION

Oki and Harlo Fairytale Friends is a bedtime story written in the form of a chapter book for First Time Readers (1-8), but I feel that the interactive part will also appeal to Middle Grade Readers through age 10.

BUY IT HERE: Amazon

BIO: Cas Mesterom is a Dutch born author, poet, model and actor. Although Dutch is his native language, he feels more at ease writing his ideas to life in English.

Oki and Harlo is his first children’s book, and has taken seventeen years to breath life into the characters so that they live in print.

the-tree-talks-back

THE TREE TALKS BACK

BILL GRIGSBY

Illustrated by ESA GRIGSBY

 

SUMMARY

Summary: A plucky girl encounters an enormous tree, discovers it includes all fruits, and decides, much to the chagrin of its current animal and insect inhabitants (no epiphytes, sorry!), to climb to the top to retrieve a prized tropical fruit, the mangosteen. On the way she makes a mess, though, and well to continue would be to spoil the reader’s adventure.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW

The Tree Talks Back starts with a girl walking into the forest. A little ways in, she sees a huge, no gigantic, no humongous tree. The tree is so big that it takes her half a day to walk around it. Now the most interesting thing about this tree is that it contained a lot of…. Well there were a lot of…. And then…

You know it was a really big tree and I can’t tell you what was going on because I don’t want to spoil the story for you.

The Tree Talks Back is a beautifully illustrated, very, very funny adventure story. Interestingly, the play on words is what makes this a UNIQUE read.

Sssh–another thing that is unusual about The Tree Talks Back is that the tree…zzzzzzz.

Can you believe that girl. She was about to give you a secret. I had to put her to sleep. Ahem! No spoilers here!

RECOMMENDATION

This book is primarily recommended for First Time Readers (5-8) and Middle Grade Readers (9 – 12). But I think all tiny readers and some not so tiny ones will enjoy reading it.

BUY IT HERE:  Amazon

bgrigsby1BIO  Bill Grigsby leads the glamorous life of a small college professor. ‘I could never write. I went to a ex-pharmacist-turned-handwriting analyst, and she said I should have been a doctor. At the time I didn’t know that simply meant my handwriting was illegible, so I went back to school. I found out the hard way that illegible handwriting and a PhD don’t grant a license to perform surgery. They don’t tell you that til you’ve defaulted on your student loans and lost your first malpractice suit.’

Speaking of student loans, his oldest daughter Esa announced after graduating with a degree in foreign languages that her true passion was illustration. ‘I told her I’d write up an old bedtime story and she could illustrate it. How hard can children’s books be to pen? Complete sentences, right?’

That’s how No egrets Publishing was born. Bill keeps his day job teaching sociology at Eastern Oregon University. ‘Lots of people are locked in to pretty narrow ways of thinking about the world, society, and their places in it. Some of what I do is trying to disrupt intellectual entropy. It’s not a great marketing strategy, but it’s therapeutic.’

esagrigsbyEsa keeps her day job in the Portland schools, but her talent at translating stories into pictures, scenes and side stories comes out pretty clearly on the page.

Their stories are full of sociological themes. ‘Kids are a tougher audience than college students. You can’t hold a final exam over their heads. The subtext in The Tree Talks Back is subtle but universal, the visual adornments extravagant, and it will never be mistaken for an academic report.’

At the time I made up this story, I had been working and researching in Africa, and as part of that studying tropical trees and fruits. Our daughters were unimpressed with my day job exploits, and parents intuitively know that none of that matters to young readers at bedtime. Subtext is there for those with an interest, but the story always comes first, and this one–mind you the illustrator was part of that original bedtime audience–was a labor of love.’

This story is best read to a younger audience, older children will appreciate following the meter and rhyme (and the subplots hiding in plain sight in the pictures).

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THE ADVENTURES OF HYPERKID v BULLBORG

EMERSON DAUB

RICHARD DAUB

SUMMARY

The Adventures of HyperKid v BullBorg is about a fourth grader named Morgan Wallace who is hyperactive and sometimes has difficulty focusing on the tasks of everyday life. He is self-conscious about being different, but he soon finds out what it is like to really be different after the rays of a meteor transform him into a cyborg with super powers. After the family doctor is unable to transform him back into a regular nine year old, Morgan convinces his parents to let him keep his powers to help people as the super hero “HyperKid”. His first mission is to defend his schoolmates from a bully named Brian Bullini on the playground, who also turns out to be a cyborg with powers and who assumes the identity of “BullBorg”. But Morgan ultimately discovers that you don’t need to be a super hero to overcome the difficulties you encounter in life, and you don’t have to be a super hero to help other people. He also learns that you can’t judge others by what you see on the surface, which leads him to realize that Brian is not a bully at all and that they have a lot more in common than it seemed at first.

While this book covers a wide range of serious issues beyond hyperactivity (bullying, intolerance, loneliness, and pre-judgment of people), The Advenures of HyperKid v BullBorg is also a fun super hero story with humorous characters involved in a suspenseful adventure story.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ (REVIEW)

For me, an interesting thing about The Adventures of HyperKid v Bullborg. was BullBorg. You know he’s… Well he’s… But then… I can’t really explain it without giving the story away. Besides what I was going to tell you isn’t really true. You know, I mean something else happened that was so awesome while HyperKid was taking him to the Nurse’s Office. Oops, I almost did it again. I definitely shouldn’t tell you about the teachers, who provided the comic relief. Oh, and let’s not forget Dr. Popsicle. What? Didn’t I just say I can’t talk about that. You’re just gonna have to read it for yourself.

I can say this, the thing I loved about The Adventures of HyperKid v BullLBorg was the relationship between Hyperkid and his father which lead to a great relationship between Hyperkid and Bullborg. Ahhhh, what did I do? Oh well, you can’t keep everything a secret. I also loved the dynamic way their super powers were developed as well as their limitations.

The Adventures of HyperKid v BullBorg is a UNIQUE and SPECIAL NEEDS read because of it characters and their unusual situations.

RECOMMENDATION

The Adventures of HyperKid v BullBorg is recommended for First Time Readers (7-8) and Middle Grade Readers (9-11) not to mention all kids that have been bullied, pre-judged, discriminated against, etc., etc., etc.

BUY IT HERE: Amazon

emerson-richard-800BIO   Emerson Daub is a fourth grade student who loves to play with toys and has a healthy interest in cyborgs and super heroes. Having already written a children’s book with his father Richard about their pet cats titled Spaulding and Zoom, Emerson expressed interest in writing a new book that combined two of his favorite interests. In writing this new book, Emerson, who has a very creative mind and active imagination, sat down with his father and in one sitting made up the story that would become The Adventures of HyperKid: HyperKid v BullBorg. Richard, who at one time had been a reporter but admittedly has very limited knowledge of cyborgs and modern super heroes, took extremely diligent notes and asked many detailed questions about the characters and the story. After this marathon session, Richard typed up the notes and gave them a voice. Over the following months, the father and son duo worked together to refine the prose into a tight but entertaining first person narrative. They hope the finished work will be enjoyed by all who read it and that it will serve as inspiration for everyone to rise above their personal obstacles and not let them hinder the pursuit of their goals and dreams.