Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus is not an ordinary bus taking you on a journey. He is a Playbus. Find out what happens when he is invited to an island where the children have never seen a double-decker bus – and certainly not one full of toys!
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW
Last time, when we visited Jay-Jay, he had just become a play bus (Click here to see that review).This time he is going on a different kind of adventure to an island across the channel. While, he is eager to get there, he’s a little frightened, but he trusts his driver to keep him safe. “Oh my, the water’s a little choppy!” he notices and again, he isn’t so sure. that he should get on the ferry. Hmm, he can’t turn back now, the only thing left to do is to quickly get on the ferry.
Oh, oh, he got on a little too quickly and hurt his bottom. What? How does bus hurt his bottom? What do you mean a bus doesn’t have a bottom? Patience, let me answer. It’s that part underneath. What does underneath mean? You know that part… Wait, I have to let mommy explain that to you as she reads Jay-Jay and His Island Adventure. Together, you’ll also find out if a bus can get seasick, and let me know what you think about those pirates.
Jay-Jay and His Island Adventure is a UNIQUE read because of the adventure he takes you on. And, it’s anETHNIC read because of the diverse characters appearing throughout the book.
Jay-Jay and his Island Adventure is recommended for First Time Readers (1-8) and Middle Grade Readers to age 10.
Across the Realm: Life Always Finds a Way is a story of the clash of two advanced civilizations. In the North, Humans live under a defined system of segregation and rely strongly on science, while in the South, the physically evolved humans live communally and are under the guidance of a deity they call “Mother.”
Separating these two and their land masses is a boiling sea and an impenetrable Southern Force Field. The two sides have been at war for longer than a century and now their planet is facing a catastrophe neither one can handle without the other.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW
There are several literary genres in Across the Realm: Life Always Finds a Way. Let’s start with Science Fiction, the book’s main genre. The year is 2077 and once again, the North and the South are at war. However, this time the whole world is involved. For decades? Centuries? Millenia? Well, at least yesterday, these two enemies have been trying to invade each other’s hemisphere. One to conquer and stop the war, the other to take over and control them. Even to the point of making them…I can’t say it. This, you will have to find out for yourself. Now, pan over to Greg, the commander of the Northern Hemisphere, as he sits in a room watching a video. In it, Naledi jumps three floors into the air and makes a perfect landing on a corridor up above. Fascinated, Greg watches the video over and over again. Not because of what she has done, but because he finds her beautiful. Thus begins the Romance. Wait, how and where did he get these pictures and who or what is a Nedge? More importantly, what is the catastrophe they are about to face? Ahhh! That is the Mystery of Across the Realm: Life Always Finds a Way. Let us not forget those boiling waters . . . what is it about them or should I say, what is in them? A little Fantasy perhaps! Now for the Adventure—hmmm, I’ll leave that for you to discover.
What makes Across the Realm, Life Always Finds a Way a UNIQUE read is that all of the Genres mentioned above are seamlessly tied together to make an astounding, amazing, mind-boggling, surprising, wondrous story. What makes it ETHNIC is the people of Earth.
Across the Realm: Life Always Finds a Way is recommended for Young Adults 16 plus and Adults
BIO – Isobel Mitton is a Canadian writer born to an African American mother and an African father. She spent most of her life living in other people’s countries. An avid storyteller, she insists that is how she wants to be remembered when she dies. She is a proud nerd and wants people to know that beauty goes with brains!Isobel didn’t choose to be a writer. Writing chose her. In her novels, she seeks to entertain, excite, grip your attention for hours on end and give you food for thought. She wants desperately to take you out of the mundane and into the stars of scifi/fantasy where anything and everything is possible. She is an avid writer of scifi/fantasy novels, comics and screenplays.
She hopes one day to the able to write music and to that end, she is teaching herself how to play an acoustic guitar.
She really hates talking about herself and her past achievements and so she will stop boring the world right now. Besides, there is nothing in her past that beats the present or the future.
Her one wish is that many people read her work. They don’t have to buy it. They just have to read it, because she is a story teller. It is her one true purpose in life.
To find out more about her work and to connect with her personally, check out http://www.acrosstherealm.com
She can also be found on Twitter: https://twitter.com/IsobelMitton
And instagram: IsobelMitton
And Facebook: Isobel Mitton
See you there if you want to part of her crazy self.
All Cats Go to Heaven is a touching children’s book that deals with difficult yet important topics, such as death, friendship, and accepting others for who they. The story is told through the eyes of Minka the cat, who has just become an angel and returns to earth to protect her friends.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF REVIEW READ
After many years, Minka the cat finds herself in Cat Heaven. She is kind of surprised because she thought that cats had nine lives. Is it because she’s lived a long life? Or, is it a myth? Who cares, she’s now in Cat Heaven and she is given one last earthly wish. What does she do? Hmmm, on the premise (that means pretending) that she wants to help her living friends, she makes a request to return to earth. To her surprise, her request is granted provided she follow the rules. Rules! They have rules in Heaven? There are always rules. They just want you to be safe. Especially if you are going on a great adventure like this. And, that what All Cats Go to Heaven is…a spectacular adventure. There are so many things I would like to tell you about the adventure, but I won’t spoil it for you. Just be ready to sing, dance, and laugh. Plus the pictures are awesome.
The UNIQUE thing about All Cats Go to Heaven is its ETHNIC diversity.
Who would have known that about cats?
All Cats Go to Heaven is recommended for First Time Readers (6 – 8) Certain Middle Grade Readers (9 – 12), specifically those that tend to shy away from reading and those who love animals, will also like this book. It will also make a great Bedtime Story for those younger than 6.
BIO – Valda V. Upenieksreceived her Ph.D. from the University of Washington and has worked in various nursing leadership and consulting roles throughout the country. “Minka was my first cat and she lived for 17 years,” she says. The author has two daughters, Laura and Lasma, who live i the greater Seattle area with their two dogs and two cats.
Hong goes to Taiwan with her dad to visit her grandmother. She finds two BIG problems. First, there is an enormous beetle in the bathtub. Second, her grandmother’s noodle shop is being forced to close. What can she do?
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW
For the first time in her life Hong is visiting her grandmother in Taiwan. Unknown to her, she is about to become part of an exciting fantasy mystery. It all starts with a bug. Eww, a nasty bug. Hong doesn’t want it to fall on her while she is sleeping. Everyone knows that girls hate bugs, well some don’t, but that’s a different story. Let me tell you a little secret, over fifty percent of all boys like bugs, and that’s why they will love Superbeetle. But, I’m getting off the subject. Hong hates bugs, and is crawling over her head. What will she do if he falls. Not gonna happen, she screams and her father takes care of it.
Or does he? She’s afraid it’s going to come back. What does she do? She goes to find it. As she enters the hallway, she hears splashing water coming from the bathroom. Something isn’t right. She creeps towards the door, and slowly peeks inside and, and it’s a…. I really want to tell you what it is. You probably already know. I can tell you that…no, I can’t tell you. Hurry, just read Superbeetle. You’ll get the answers. Please, please, I can’t tell you anymore. What makes Superbeetle an ETHNIC read is Hong, Chi Chi and their families. What makes it UNIQUE read is the way that the author showed you how to say the Chinese words right inside the text.
Superbeetle is a Chapter book recommended for First Time Readers (1-8) I also think this book will appeal to boys included in the Middle Grade Readers (9-12) because of the bugs. Everyone will be drawn to the fantastic illustrations.
Author S. Michele Chen lives in Southern California but visits her family in Taiwan when she can because the bugs no longer scare her.She has published numerous crime fiction short stories and a novella under a secret identity.Superbeetle is her first children’s book: www.superbeetlebook.com
Illustrator Leda Chung was born and raised in New England.In 2010 life swept her away to Northern California where she currently resides with her boyfriend and their pet pigeon, Olive.When she’s not creating art, you can find Leda experimenting in the kitchen, tending to her small plant-family, and rescuing pigeons and doves in the California Bay Area: www.ledachung.com
THE AGE OF MYTHS & LEGENDS BOOK ONE: MONSTERS Written and Illustrated by T. D. HILL
Drawn from the myths and legends of the first inhabitants of North America, the delightful tales, collected for this book series, not only offer insights into tribal character and beliefs, but they also celebrate the diverse tribal traditions of rich and powerful cultures that are still relevant today.
Beautifully illustrated throughout, this book holds an amazing collection of tales concerning the many evil creatures that once haunted the dreams and nightmares of the Indigenous tribes of North America. Told in an enchanting, yet unencumbered style, this collection seeks to shed light upon the richness, wisdom, grace, and depth of the North American tribal cultures and their timeless myths and legends.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW
There’s nothing more thrilling than sitting with family and/or friends around a campfire, in front of a fireplace, on a couch or simply lying the floor with bent knees crossed and elbows supporting your wide-eyed face as you listen to an ancestral story of your family’s past. What makes the story even more intriguing is when you get to share someone else’s past. This time, I had the privilege of reading and learning about the myths and legends of the American Natives populating the United States of America.
The Age of Myths & Legends – Book One: Monsters presents stories about giants, ogres, wolves, mermaids, witches, sea creatures, and little people just to name a few. Did I say little people you ask? Yes, I did. Little people can be quite vicious, I have so many stories about them, but alas, I’m not talking about my history—I’m talking about The Age of Myths & Legends- Book One: Monsters. Of course there was that group of little people who weren’t vicious. In fact, they were quite interesting as they—oh, I can’t tell you about that one. I’m going to have to let you read it yourself, because I want to tell you about Skunny Wundy who encountered a Stone Giant in my favorite legend of the book.
Skunny Wundy was a master storyteller. You see, he liked to embellish his stories. However, instead of elaborating the story’s details, he liked putting himself in it. Yes, he was better known as a braggart. Now, for some reason, this only bothered the Hoya’nê (the most powerful man in the village.) You see one day, he questioned him. “Skunny Wundy! What would you do if you saw a Stone Giant?” Without hesitation, Skunny Wundy smiled and replied, “Why I would break every bone in the giant’s body! I would tear off his arms and legs!… The Stone Giants fear me. Just one mention of my name would cause them to flee in terror!”
I am so sorry, I can’t tell you the rest of this story other than the fact that it is very hilarious and it alone is worth the price of the book. Naturally, The Age of Myths and Legends – Book One: Monsters is an ETHNIC read because of its diverse characters.
The Age of Myths & Legends – Book One: Monsters is recommended for All Ages. Now, there are some stories that may be a little scary and/or mature for younger audiences, so parental discretion is advised. However, there are some great bedtime stories, so snuggle up and enjoy.
BIO – Author/Illustrator: T.D.Hill (Wichita, Kiowa, Pawnee) is a Native American writer, artist, and motivational speaker. Much of his writing draws upon his experiences as an Indigenous American with ancestry from several tribes. He grew up in Southwestern Oklahoma and now lives in Austin, Texas.
He can be reached at: NATIVE TALES
LITTLE KARL M. EARL SMITH Illustrator E. A. SANTOLI
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.
Little Karl is recommended for First Time Readers, Middle Grade Readers to age 10, and curious readers of all ages.
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.
HOW KING MONTEZUMA GOT HIS REVENGE ANNALISA NASH FERNANDEZ ILLUSTRATOR PILAR CASTILLO LAYOS
Montezuma’s revenge is more than just a legend; it’s legendary for its stinky curse. Centuries after King Montezuma was defeated by Hernán Cortés and his Spanish army, a strange illness befalls legions of people arriving to his land. But this illness isn’t anything ordinary. It leaves a putrid smell in the air and gassy people racing for el baño . It is a battle – a battle your butt won’t win!
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW
It has many names because it happens in many places. For me, I had Mummy’s Tummy in Egypt and I’m not sure what they call it in France, but I had it there too. In Mexico, it’s called Montezuma’s Revenge. That bellyache and gas that sends you rushing to the bathroom when you eat the food in another country. Now you may wonder what’s this got to do with How King Montezuma Got His Revenge. Well, you know it’s a legend don’t you? You don’t!? Stop everything right now and get this book, because the story behind the legend is astounding.
The UNIQUE thing about How King Montezuma Got His Revenge was how the illustrator incorporated historical pictures (gathered from public media) into her illustrations in the form of a book. This book was being shared by the book’s main character, a little girl of Mexican heritage. Thus, How Montezuma Got His Revenge is also an ETHNIC read.
This book is recommended for First Time Readers (7-8) and Middle Grader Readers (9-10). However, it a great read-to book for any child.
LET’S GO BUNGEES NAVA ALMOG ILLUSTRATED BY KEREN ALMOG
We are so happy to have you with us on this marvelous adventure to explore the world.
Together we will go places, see new faces, learn a lot, and have tons of fun.
Hidden in our books are secret links. Find them, and with one click you will be up high, looking out at new horizons.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW
Let’s Go Bungees is the first in a series of interactive books that take children on an adventure around the world. As they learn about different places, people, and cultures, children will be able to get an animated version of their journey through links that are hidden (in plain sight) throughout the book. For me it was an exhilarating experience and a UNIQUE way to see the world. Your tour guides in Let’s Go Bungees are Ming, his wife Sheen, and their friend Yoga. Because they are Japanese ladybugs, Let’s Go Bungees is also an ETHNIC read.
Primarily, Let’s Go Bungees would be recommended for First Time Readers (0 – 8), but with the interactive links, I also recommend this book for Middle Grade Readers (9 – 12).
Nava Almog was born in Italy, raised in France, Israel, and Africa. She spent her childhood traveling the world in the company of her parents, Nava fell in love with the wonder and adventure of discovering new people, places, and cultures.
As far back as she can remember, Nava has written or drawn the stories of her journeys, and she has passed on these passions to her children.
Nava and her daughter Keren (who also loves to travel) have written and illustrated stories based on their own experiences so that children all over the world can discover new places, cultures, and friends through the adventures of the BuggeesBunch.
Keren Almog-Shalem came into the word in a whirlwind of happy enthusiasm. She has been a creative adventurer since she was a child, and loves to travel the world searching for the most unique, special and daring experiences. She climbs the highest mountains, bungee jumps, sky dives, and generally seeks the most daunting challenges.
As an artist, Keren is a marvel at transforming an idea into a project or product, and it is she who has infused the Buggees with such humor and joy.
Like her mother, Keren loves to cook and to paint. She also plays beach volleyball and tennis and loves a day in the sun.
THE LAND WITHOUT COLOR BENJAMIN ELLEFSON ILLUSTRATED BY KEVIN CANNON
Lost in a strange land where everything is gray, Alvin must find the true color thieves to save the princesses and restore the color to the kingdom.
Floating into the air with an enormous gum bubble, Alvin lands in a strange world where everything is gray. The trees, the flowers, the dirt, the sky, the animals, and even the people are all missing their color.
Confronted with the mystery of the missing color, Alvin teams up with some unexpected friends to battle man-eating plants, outsmart the bumbling Crimson Guards, cross the Sugar Desert, overcome the two-headed dragon, and find the color-stealing goblins to restore color to the kingdom.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW
It starts off with a simple game of kick the can. but with Brandon and Steven being the only ones free, it was bound to end in a tie. And…it almost did. You see they both reached the can at the same time, they both kicked it up into the air at the same time, but when it came down, somehow it landed in front of Steven making Brandon and all the other kids the winners.
As they celebrate the win, Paul and Derek, two brothers, drop by and asked them to go fishing. However, they can’t find anything to cut the spool of fishing line. Wait! Brandon’s grandfather lives near the pond, They can get something from him to cut fishing lines for each of them.
Grandpa Alvin, pulls out a pocket knife and not since the Wizard of Oz has such an adventure been told. A wad of Never Pop bubble gum lands twelve-year old Alvin son of Jack in a place that is all gray. The grass, the road, the sky, everything, Well not Permy of course, but everything else is gray. Together, Alvin and Permy set out on a trek across THE LAND WITHOUT COLOR simply to find out what happened and change everything back to its normal self.
Did I say simply. Nothing is ever simple and THE LAND WITHOUT COLOR doesn’t disappoint. First there’s…, then… well next… Shucks, I can’t tell you about any of that. You’ll just have to find out for yourself as you read THE LAND WITHOUT COLOR. I can say that there is one wicked twist that will have every parent cheering.
Another thing that I really enjoyed about THE LAND WITHOUT COLOR and which makes the story UNIQUE is that it had lots and lots of pictures. Something that is very rare in a Middle Grade Book. However, its main character, which turns out to be Alvin, provides an ETHNIC read.
THE LAND WITHOUT COLOR is primarily recommended for Middle Grade Readers (9-12) especially those boys and girls who are reluctant to read. However, because of the illustrations, I also recommend this book for first time readers who show advanced reading skills.
BIO Benjamin Ellefson loves writing whimsical adventures for children of all ages.
Childhood was a magical time for him. Benjamin grew up in a neighborhood full of kids. Every day was filled with imagination, adventures, fantasy, and wonderful stories. In school he loved any project that let him explore his creativity.
When Benjamin was older, he traveled across the country to study story telling at the University of Southern California in their school of Cinema/Television. While in school, he had the amazing opportunity to work on several film productions and saw stories coming to life first hand.
Over several years after school, Benjamin had four beautiful daughters. When they were little, he spent all of his creative energy giving them the magical childhood that he had when he was small. There was nothing as exciting to Benjamin as watching their imaginations flourish as they explored the world.
Now that they are older, he wants to give that magic to all of the children of the world. Benjamin focuses his writing on modern fairy tales that are fun for kids and thought provoking for adults. Each adventure celebrates important values of self-reliance, preparedness, and diversity. He hopes with each book to spark imagination in each reader.
It’s midsummer. David Elbert’s final semester at the university comes to an end. For this fresh Engineer, the daunting task of saving a company from imminent disaster soon pales in comparison to the multimillion-dollar stash of drugs and money found in a luxurious property he comes to own. His nerves start to singe. Criminals come out of the wood work. Escalation is imminent. When police and drug enforcement agents pop onto the scene, all hell quickly breaks loose. At this point, pure survival instinct takes over.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ (REVIEW)
When I started reading Intrinsic Encounters I expected mystery, intrigue, espionage, and a spy thriller. Why? I’m not sure, that’s just what the cover spoke to me. Instead, I got the longest most hilarious first chapter I’ve ever read. It gave you all of David’s backstory. And the things he did as a kid. Hm, hm, hm. His parents way of resolving the problem–priceless. I’m still laughing.
Getting over my initial shock that this was not a mystery was replaced by some well written humor. This hype was immediately replaced as we returned to the present and David presented a more somber mood.
Then Elise came into the picture, David’s girl friend. No, not girlfriend, his friend that is a girl. That is until David realizes his like for her has moved into love. Aaaah, a budding romance. This is a romance novel. Of course not! Let me be clear that relationship does develop throughout the novel, but—there was that thing you know, that thing that centered around Displaytek (the place where David did his internship). That engineering thing that got him there in the first place and was the primary story of the book. Right, Let me explain it more clearly, It was that thing that some of us would label as technology. While others would call it geeky and nerdy. Oh! Or science fiction as those of us who must categorize books into genres would call it.
No mystery! I should have really been let down. But, I like humor. I like romance. Wait, I even like science fiction. Besides, there was a little bit of mystery with that drug thing. Yet, you already know about that.
The UNIQUE thing about Intrinsic Encounters is the suspense. Yes, you heard me, it is a suspense thriller, (my mystery) with lots of action and adventure. When David walks into Displaytek on the first day, and talks to Anje Tille of Human Resources, he asks her what is expected of him as an intern. Her answer is what kept me turning the pages of this book. With characters like Henrik Wang and John Nwosu, Intrinsic Encounters is also an ETHNIC read.
This book is recommended for Young Adults from age 16 and Adults.