Tag: First Time Readers

 

BEAUTY
C. D. NICHOLS
Illustrations by KALPART

SUMMARY

When Beauty, the liquid amber tree, pushes her head out of the warm earth, her mother is filled with pride when she sees her young sapling. As Beauty grows, she experiences the changing seasons, watches her leaves change colour, and loses her leaves to face the cold winter. When spring arrives and new leaves sprout on her now long branches, the birds nest and lay their eggs amongst her leaves.

A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW

Babies are so precious, human babies, animals babies and now a liquid amber tree baby or sapling. Beauty is a fascinating bedtime story. It tells the story of a young amber tree from sapling to full growth with adventure and excitement. The world is full of wonder for this young tree, and we watch as she changes during each and every season. Just as she had become full grown, something happens in the forest. Something very, very terrible, and Beauty— Please read it and let me know what happens. The graphics are astounding. Beauty is a UNIQUE read because of its inanimate characters.

RECOMMENDATION

Beauty is recommended for First Time Readers (1-8).

BUY IT HERE: AMAZON

BIO – C.D. Nichols is a retired high school teacher’s aide. She grew up in Guildford, New South Wales, Australia, and after marriage settled in South Penrith, New South Wales, located at the base of the Blue Mountains. This story was inspired by a drive one early autumn day to Mount Wilson, a small hamlet in the Blue Mountains. This is her fourth book.

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.

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!”

 

HOW KING MONTEZUMA GOT HIS REVENGE
ANNALISA NASH FERNANDEZ
ILLUSTRATOR PILAR CASTILLO LAYOS

SUMMARY

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.

RECOMMENDATION

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.

BUY IT HERE: Amazon

BIO

Annalisa Nash Fernandez is an intercultural specialist and mother of three children.  She lives in Riverside, CT.

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.

LET’S GO BUNGEES
NAVA ALMOG
ILLUSTRATED BY KEREN ALMOG

SUMMARY

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.

RECOMMENDATION

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).

BUY IT HERE: AMAZON

BIOS

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.

LORETTA’S PET CATERPILLAR
LOIS WICKSTROM
ILLUSTRATOR FRANCIE MION

SUMMARY

 

Loretta finds a caterpillar egg on a milkweed plant. She breaks off the leaf and brings it home. Mom won’t let Loretta keep it in the house, so she tapes the leaf back on the plant, and watches over the egg. It hatches. It eats the leaf, and more leaves. As the caterpillar grows and molts, Loretta shoos away a bird that wants to eat it. Then a wasp, and  even a ladybug. The caterpillar survives. When it forms a chrysalis, a lizard bites it. It heals and eventually a monarch butterfly emerges . In a mixture of pride and sadness, Loretta watches her friend fly away. Plus information on migration, obtaining milkweed seeds for your area, and how to recognize male and female monarch butterflies.

 

A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW

 

Loretta’s Pet Caterpillar is a fascinating adventure about the transition of a caterpillar from egg to butterfly. Egg? Yeah an egg!, I did not know that. You see, I thought I knew everything there was to know about a butterfly. But it turns out, I know very little. As you will see when you read Loretta’s Pet Caterpillar. But, you know, an amazing thing is how they determine… Wait! I’ll let you find that out for yourself. The UNIQUE thing about Loretta’s Pet Caterpillar is that it’s a picture book that reads like a chapter book. Older kids like pictures too, and these are done quite nicely.

 

RECOMMENDATION

 

Loretta’s Pet Caterpillar is recommended for First Time Readers (1-8) and makes a good bed time story. But, don’t exclude your Middle Grade Readers (9-12) who love nature, science, or pictures in their books.

 

WHERE TO BUY:  Amazon

 

BIO

Every morning and evening, my husband and I walk our dogs and pick up trash around the neighborhood. We live many miles away from our children and grandchildren, so we don’t see them very often. We have an organic garden, and a make-shift greenhouse in the basement for starting seeds. We live in the inner city, so there’s no place to park a car. We ride our bikes everywhere that’s practical and we belong to a car co-op. When we want a car, we rent it by the hour. We only need a car about once a month.

At the moment, I’m taking a screen-writing class which I’m loving. I also belong to Toastmasters to improve my oral storytelling skills.

Francie Mion and I just put out a color edition of Ladybugs for Loretta and Bees in Loretta’s Bonnet. Francie is currently making the illustrations for Loretta’s Pet Caterpillar.

I’m working with Lucrecia Darling (co-author of Reluctant Spy) on Xenia and the Deekatoo, a book about undocumented aliens and mythical creatures.

 

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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.