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.
BUY IT HERE: AMAZON
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.
LET’S GO BUNGEES
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).
BUY IT HERE: AMAZON
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
ILLUSTRATOR FRANCIE MION
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.
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
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.
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.
THE LAND WITHOUT COLOR
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.
WHERE TO BUY: Amazon
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.
IN THE LAND OF BROKEN TIME: THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY
MAX EVAN AND MARIA EVAN
Illustrated by MARIA EVAN
This book is about the adventures of the boy named Christopher, the girl named Sophia and golden retriever Duke. By chance they find themselves in a balloon, that took them into a fairyland, where mysterious events happen.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ (REVIEW)
Now according to the authors, In The Land of Broken Time: The Incredible Journey is about the journey of a boy, a girl, and a dog in a fairyland.
They tried to make a story about the different ways of measuring time and about friendship. In fact, In The Land of Broken Time: The Incredible Journey, there are many facts about how to construct different clocks (not only mechanical, but also sundials, water clocks, hourglasses, and aromatic clocks). They also tell readers how the human eye responds to light and about the animals that never get old. Were they successful, yes.
But most kids aren’t going to pick up on that. They’re going to love the adventure of the balloon ride, the unusual characterization of Temporus Certus, who is a professor concerned about time which is broken, the gentleness of Merula, the giant gnome who once lived underground, and the gut wrenching humor involving Duke when he finds out that— Ahhh, I can’t tell you what he finds out. I don’t want to spoil it for you.
The UNIQUE thing about In The Land of Broken Time: The Incredible Journey is the story itself. Its complexity was made so simple that it was just a joy to read.
In The Land of BrokenTime: The Incredible Journey is recommended for both FIRST (0-8) and MIDDLE GRADE (9-12) readers.
BUY IT HERE: AMAZON – Ebook
AMAZON – Paperback
BIO MAX EVAN
Once, when I was 11, I walked past the library. It was a special library for adults who worked at the metallurgical plant. My father worked at this plant as well. Through the narrow window I saw shelves full of books. Usually there were no people inside. Workers rarely read. I was a smart kid, but did not read the books too.
Nevertheless the books in the Soviet Union were a rarity. You could not freely come to the store and buy them there. It is hard to believe today, but it’s true. Books have been a deficit. You could easily buy the works of Marx and Lenin, but could not reach, for example, Jack London or J. D. Salinger.
I went inside. I do not remember exactly what we talked about with the librarian. It was a middle-aged woman. As a result, she enrolled me in the library under the name of my father, went down somewhere in the basement, and brought a thick volume. It was a novel by Jules Verne ”The Mysterious Island”. I read this book avidly. A whole new world opened before me. And so ever since I came to this library and I was given more and more new books.
I grew up, graduated with honors from the University. I am currently working as an editor at the largest Russian TV channel and writing books.
If this had not happened then, perhaps I would have to be working at the plant, which today due to the economic crisis no longer exists. So the only one book changed my life. So when someone says that reading can dramatically change a person, I believe in it, because I know it from my experience.
BIO MARIA EVAN – The idea to write a fairy tale came at the time when our son was 5 years old. He was sick, and I really wanted to please him with something. Our son has learned to read at a very early age. In two years he already knew how to do it. All the children’s books that we had at home, he had already read several times. That’s why I had a desire to come up with something new. It was a story about how our son travels with our boxer dog. They flew in a hot air balloon. It was very exciting for me too. I saw how my son’s eyes light up and thus he gave faith that my compositions are interesting. Thanks to the writer’s talent of my spouse, Maxim Evan, the idea was realized. I am an artist. And I really like to make illustrations for our books. I really hope that our first children’s book translated into English will please young readers.
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.
C. T. MARKEE
Verónica pushes through the other seventh grade kids in our breezeway, speaking over the noise, “María! What’s wrong with Hannah?”
What does she want? Like she suddenly cares about Hannah, cares that the nurse sent her home, cares that her eyes were glassy, her face swollen and her whole body sagging. I begged Hannah to stay home, but she wouldn’t listen.
Thus begins a multicultural novel set in Salinas, California, in which 12-year-old María Cortez discovers her inner strength and uses it to save her best friend, Hannah, a Caucasian girl who lives next door. As the story unfolds, a presumed enemy becomes a friend, a mysterious old women, a curandera, becomes her mentor, she learns why the space on her birth certificate for father is blank, she discovers her Huichol roots and in the end she choses a life career.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ (REVIEW)
When I started reading María’s Beads, I thought I knew a lot about Hispanic culture, I was pleasantly surprised to know that I didn’t. I loved the storytelling aspect of María’s Beads, and the way in which certain things were presented in the story. What certain things you ask? You know I can’t tell you, that would spoil the story for you.
I can tell you that she used the same method of an important historical figure to solve the problem of Hannah’s illness. What, you want more information about this historical figure and what she did? Really! So you can be mad at me later for giving away the story. Lets go on.
The UNIQUE thing about María’s Beads is the power Maria receives from the beads and from her lessons with La Curandera. María’s Beads is also an ETHNIC read because Maria learns that her Hispanic roots are a mix of Huichol and Brazilian.
I really, really liked this wonderful, amazing, historical story for Middle Grade Readers 10 – 12 and Young Adults to age 14.
BIO: One evening my wife told me the story of her 13-year-old best friend who lived next door to where she grew up in Salinas, California. One day, she contracted kidney disease, her parents refused medical intervention and the girl died. I was struck by the emotional impact of such an event on a pre-teen. It propelled my wife out of a near-poverty existence and into a life-time career as a medical professional, impacting hundreds of patients. This book is my attempt to capture that motivation for pre-teen girls without the death.
Charles is coordinator and meeting moderator for the Sonoma County Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). He has published three middle-grade novels as well as work in three literary anthologies, Tiny-Lights literary website and the Santa Rosa Press democrat newspaper. He was co-editor of the Redwood Writers 2012 anthology, Call of the Wild, and is an active member of the Redwood Writers a branch of the California Writer’s Club (CWC).
OKI AND HARLO