BUZZY AND THOMAS MOVE INTO THE PRESIDENT’S HOUSE
Illustrated by FATIMA STAMATO
It’s 1801 and life is good for Buzzy the dog. She lives with Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, but her life turns upside down when Thomas tells her that they’re moving to the President’s House. Buzzy doesn’t want to move. She’s afraid to leave the comfort of Monticello. What will she do? This enjoyable children’s book teaches kids about President Jefferson, the new breed of dog he brought home from France and confronting issues about moving. If your child loves books by Robert Dawson like “Ben and Me,” then he’ll love Buzzy! Historical fiction at its best: learning from the pets of famous people in history.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ REVIEW
Have you ever had a chance to talk to a dog? I mean really sit down, just you and the dog and have a conversation? Why are you laughing? Okay, maybe it is a little funny because you say dogs can’t talk. Yes, I do know that it is common knowledge that dogs don’t know what you are saying either—or do they? I know my dog understood every word I ever said to her, and showed her understanding and responses through head tilts, whimpers, and quiet barks.
So I wasn’t surprised at how Buzzy expressed her feelings when she heard about Thomas moving from Monticello to the President’s House and that he planned to take her with him. She wasn’t…, You see none of the other animals were… I expected her to—well she didn’t do that. Then, I expected her to—oh, that didn’t happen either. What? What did I expect would happen? What? What did she do? You’ll solve that mystery when you read Buzzy and Thomas Move Into The President’s House. What is it that makes Buzzy and Thomas Move into the President’s House a UNIQUE read? It’s what Buzzy did just before they left Monticello. You know, I could have never gotten my dog to do that. Do what? Are you kidding? You’ll find out when you read it.
Buzzy and Thomas Move Into The President’s House is recommended for First Time Readers between the ages of 4 – 8.
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BIO – Vicki Tashman has always loved historical fiction. Inspiration struck four years ago when her daughter graduated from college and moved back home with two cats in tow. She imagined the cats belonging to Cleopatra and, wow, the stories they could tell! After researching many people in history, she settled on writing her first children’s historical fiction book about Thomas Jefferson and his dog, Buzzy. Other books in the works are about Queen Victoria and her dog, Dash, the Wright Brothers and their dog. Vicki has a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from the University of Colorado. She is a breast cancer survivor and has been an advocate for ten years. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Children’s Book Writers of Los Angeles (CBW-LA), the Publisher’s Association of Los Angeles (PALA) and The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA). She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two golden retrievers, Ricky and Georgia.
WONDERWORLD: THE MUSICAL
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.
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)
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.
SNAPSHOTS AT THE FONTAINE MOTEL
With a wink and a nod to such movie greats as Thelma & Louise and The Breakfast Club, Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel is about six eighteen-year-old friends in 1996 who seek immediate revenge after one of them is brutally attacked. But when their vigilante justice accidentally leaves the attacker dead, they flee Michigan to save their own lives as the FBI inches dangerously close. While hiding out in an isolated Oklahoma motel, they discover not only themselves, but find love and uncover shocking deadly secrets that will change everything and threaten the very lives they’re frantic to protect!
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ (REVIEW)
Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel intertwines romance and mystery seamlessly. Although the clues are very subtle, they lead to some very powerful and wicked twists. The story is about six teenagers who have been friends since grade school. When they discover that one of them has been raped by the school bully, five of them decide to take matters into their own hands, and the results are… Ahhh, I almost said too much. To continue, things aren’t always as they seem, and here’s where the twisting and turning begins with an astounding intensity. When it’s all over, the outcome gives you one of those,“Humph I didn’t see that comin moments!”
There are two UNIQUE things about Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel. One is the way television shows, movies, and music from the 1990’s was included. Sometimes as a reference and at other times as part of the story. The other thing was the way you were drawn into the different romance stories of both Jill and Matt.
This book is recommended for Young Adults 15+.
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BIO Skot Harris has a degree in creative writing from the University of Michigan. Snapshots at the Fontaine Motel is his third novel. He grew up near Detroit and now lives in England with his husband.
K. M. ODDECK
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.
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BIO: K. M. Oddeck received his degree in Business Engineering from the University of Applied Sciences in Jena. Upon graduation, he started writing Intrinsic Encounters. He currently lives in Germany.
THE TREE TALKS BACK
Illustrated by ESA GRIGSBY
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!
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.
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BIO 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.’
Esa 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).