Tag: Fantasy

Illustrated by KALPART

 

SUMMARY

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?

RECOMMENDATION

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.

BUY IT HERE:  Amazon

BIO – Valda V. Upenieks received 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.

Illustrated by KELLY CLINE

SUMMARY

Sidney Snail is so sick of Slipperyville that he wants to go on an adventure–any adventure–anywhere but here! A timely word from mysterious Old Samuel Snail convinces Sidney to give Slipperyville one last chance before he snails out of town. 

Sidney will help show children (and adults!) that they can find magic, mindfulness, and meaningfulness in even the simplest things. All you need is a change of perspective. 

A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW

Everyone loves to go on an adventure, or vacation as some of us call it. Be it Disneyland, Universal Studios, or Knotts Berry Farm. Okay those are my adventures. But would you like to know where you can find one of the best adventures. How about right in your own backyard? That’s what Sidney did. At first, he wanted to travel to someplace far away from Slipperville. But, he had never done that. So, he talked to old Sam who gave him some very sage (wise) advice. You can leave (Slipperyville) any old time. But it’s always wise to find out What’s at the End of Your Nose first.”* What’s at the end of his nose? How exactly does one find out what’s at the end of their nose? Welllll, first you have to…hmmm. Maybe… Come on, we always go through this. Me and my big mouth. It always wants to give out the entire story. But, as always, I know it will be so much more fun to read Sidney’s story yourself, so that you can be part of the adventure. But, maybe I’ll just tell you this little…. No, I’m done. What makes What’s at the End of Your Nose a UNIQUE read is the little teeny bit of romance. Eww? Awww, come on, it’s not bad. It will just make you smile.

RECOMMENDATION

What’s at the End of Your Nose is recommended for First Time Readers (1-8) and for boys of Middle Grade Readers to age 10 who love bugs. It also makes a great bedtime story.

BUY IT HERE:  Amazon

BIO – Becky Benishek studied English and Environmental Science at Lawrence University, and always hoped to turn her lifelong loves of writing, animals, and trees into something wonderful. She lives with her husband, Dave, and their guinea pig, Teddy. 

*Changes were made to the quote for clarity for my young readers and to highlight the book’s title.

SUMMARY

Creatures of Dawnia is a fantasy adventure series focusing on a group of animals and other ‘fantasy’ creatures living in the fictional city of Dawnia, and contains many diverse short stories focusing on the different adventures of the main characters. The first book, Baby Rescue, is a longer story that sees the main characters come together for the first time. The characters get to know one another and become friends whilst in the middle of an adventure to save a baby piglet from an evil goblin and his polar bear henchmen.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ

The main characters of Baby Rescue – Creatures of Dawnia—Book 1 are a very  different and unusual group. Let’s see there’s Fuzz, a mouse and Dack, a pterodactyl. They met when Fuzz was trying to get away from him because he didn’t want to be his dinner. Fuzz wasn’t successful, but that mouse used cunning and wit to stop Dack from eating him. Wait, that was after Carla, the sheep, brought the piglet to Bert, the pig, and Maggie, the cow, who lived on Dawnia Farm. It was Maggie’s job to take care of the piglet, but she couldn’t get it to stop crying. Somehow, the polar bears showed up, followed by the goblin. Then they were in the forest and met up with the dwarfs, Dougle, Dula, and Snuffy. Of course, their adventures took them to Louis. Now Louis is… Hmm, there is so much I want to tell you about Baby Rescue, but I don’t want to give away the story. The adventure is too great! I can tell you that the UNIQUE thing about Baby Rescue – Creatures of Dawnia—Book 1 is its cartoon features. Who doesn’t love a good cartoon?

RECOMMENDATION

Baby Rescue – Creatures of Dawnia—Book 1 is recommended for First Time Readers (1-8) and Middle Grade Readers to age 10.

BUY IT HERE;  Amazon or Smashwords 

BIO – Sam Savelli is a children’s writer, and creator of the internet series ‘Creatures of Dawnia‘ for children.  He first came up with ‘Creatures of Dawnia’ at the age of 12 years old, after drawing a set of animal characters from a drawing book. After putting all the characters together in a story called ‘Baby Rescue’, he went on to develop the characters and create ideas for more stories in the series. Over the next seven years, Sam wrote and created a great number of ‘Creatures of Dawnia’ stories.

In 2016 he wrote his one hundredth ‘Creatures of Dawnia’ story and finally decided that it was about time that he did something with these stories. Having written so much, for no one other than himself and his younger sisters, he wanted to publish the stories to a larger audience. So, he set up the website dawniacity.com and began publishing the stories online and releasing them as ebooks.

Aside from ‘Creatures of Dawnia’, Sam continues to work on a number of other writing projects. He aspired to become a writer from a young age, and plans to devote more time to his writing after completing his degree at the University of Warwick.

 

THE LIFE OF NUZZELS
NUZZELS THE NOSEY SKUNK
FINIS T. JONES
Illustrations by KALPART

SUMMARY

This charming book follows a young skunk that loves adventure. Nuzzels goes against his mother’s wishes, as well as the advice of his siblings, when he leaves the safety of home to visit the forest. He meets several new animal friends.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW

Nuzzels did something that he wasn’t supposed to do. We’ve all done that at least once in our short lives. You know when Mom or Dad tells you not to touch this, or do that, and definitely, absolutely, positively do not go outside. Come on Mom, we’d all do that if it led to a great adventure, and for Nuzzels the Nosey Skunk it did just that.

The Life of Nuzzels – Nuzzels the Nosey Skunk is a little animal mystery for kids. What makes it UNIQUE is the interesting twist that is given towards the end of the story. Let’s start with the mystery part first. As Nuzzels leaves his home he comes across a family of animals who were small and had bushy tails. As he got closer to them, they stood up on their rear legs, sniffed the air, and then ran off. Ran off, from this handsome little guy. Oooooh, ha ha ha, that’s right, he’s a skunk, a smelly skunk. That’s why they ran away, but what were those animals? How about this group, they had short tails, furry coats round ears and long noses. They seem a lot like the others but they’re completely different. Alas, they too could smell Nuzzels, so he left without trying to talk to them.

Now for that little twist—what? I can’t tell them about the twist? Whyyyyy? I really want to tell them about it. Okay, okaaaay. You’re right I don’t want to spoil this delightful book for them.

RECOMMENDATION

The Life of Nuzzels – Nuzzels the Nosey Skunk is for FIRST TIME READERS (1-8). It would also make a great bedtime story.

BUY IT HERE: Amazon

BIO – Finis T. Jones was born on a farm in Honey Grove, Texas in 1929. His childhood was difficult, to say the least. At a very early age he developed a wild imagination, partly to escape his many tribulations. He lived and worked on his parents’ farm until, at the age of twelve, he said goodbye and hitched a ride to Dallas, where after bending the truth about his age, he got a job with Sears & Roebuck. He had been there for a couple years when he decided to move to Houston. Here he met and married the love of his life. Many years after leaving the farm, he returned to Honey Grove to visit his parents for the first time. He took along his beautiful wife and two of their three children. Through the good times and the bad, he has never lost that incredible imagination, which shows in the stories he tells.

MYSTERY ANIMAL SOLUTIONS   Squirrels, Bears

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.

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!”

 

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.

 

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WONDERWORLD: THE MUSICAL
BRETT SCHIEBER

SUMMARY

Wonderworld: The Musical is a Tim Burton style fairytale about Max, a lonely and confused boy who struggles with distinguishing reality from fiction. An outcast, he is picked on in school and his only solace is found in his art (his “Wonderworld”). At his lowest moments, his creations come to life to sing to him. Can his art save him?

A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW

Have you ever felt that you didn’t belong? That no matter how hard you tried, you couldn’t make friends or people found you weird? That was Max’s world. He always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. To end his confusion and loneliness, he discovered Wonderworld, an imaginary place created solely by his imagination, and a box of colored pencils.

Now the thing about Max is that—. Oh, I can’t tell you that part. I don’t want to spoil it for you. In fact that part, that thing I can’t tell you about is what makes this a UNIQUE read. It also shows that the evil person and the good person are—oops, almost.

RECOMMENDATION

Wonderworld: The Musical is recommended for Middle Grade Readers. However, the musical version of the book is a great teacher for First Time readers or as a bedtime story for those children that can’t read yet.

BUY IT HERE   Amazon  (Book)  Amazon Music (Musical Version)

BIO

Brett Schieber is the musical half of the electro-acoustic duo Arcanum. He also records solo music and gigs frequently. In addition to being an in demand writer, producer, and session musician for other artists, he writes and records popular educational music for children under the name of Mark D. Pencil and Friends with his friend, Ace. He loves all animals, Duran Duran, and Star Wars. Tree, the narrator and vocalist of “Wonderworld: The Musical”, is the lead singer of the critically acclaimed electro-acoustic duo Arcanum. He produces solo music, art, and writings under the moniker of Kobritz. He does not own a computer.

The Land Without Color

THE LAND WITHOUT COLOR
BENJAMIN ELLEFSON
ILLUSTRATED BY KEVIN CANNON

SUMMARY

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.

RECOMMENDATION

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.

WHERE TO BUY:  Amazon

BIO  Benjamin Ellefson loves writing whimsical adventures for children of all ages.

61w9TZl00GL._UX250_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.