Tag: Unique

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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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IN THE LAND OF BROKEN TIME: THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY
MAX EVAN AND MARIA EVAN
Illustrated by MARIA EVAN

SUMMARY

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.

RECOMMENDATION

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 exactlyMax Evans 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.

 

Maria EvansBIO 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.

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SNAPSHOTS AT THE FONTAINE MOTEL

SKOT HARRIS

SUMMARY

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.

RECOMMENDATION

This book is recommended for Young Adults 15+.

BUY IT HERE:  Amazon

61YPhKHKbNL._UX250_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.

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JAY-JAY THE SUPERSONIC BUS

SUE WICKSTEAD

ILLUSTRATION BY ARTFUL DOODLERS

 

SUMMARY

Jay-Jay the bus was rescued from the scrap yard where he was sadly gathering dust and cobwebs. He is taken to an airport where he is magically transformed into a ‘Playbus’ full of toys, games and adventure.

Jay-Jay – The Supersonic Bus is a fictional tale based on a real life bus ‘Supersonic’ which flew in the imagination of the many young children who visited him.’

A DIFFERENT KIND OF READ (REVIEW)

Imagine, your favorite toy being taken away from you and broken down into pieces. You’d be upset right. Well put that on a larger scale and you have Jay-Jay, a bus. Recently, he had begun to feel tired and old. So, he was sent to a scrap yard and left to be taken apart (piece by piece) and turned into scrap metal. Scrap, how embarrassing. Sadly, he waited in the scrap yard with only a spider for company until something amazing happened.

What happened you ask? Come on, you know I can’t tell you that. It would spoil your chance to read this wonderfully illustrated and beautifully told story.

The UNIQUE thing about Jay-Jay, The Supersonic Bus is that in this age of recycling, it shows how something as large as a bus can be repurposed without being torn apart.

RECOMMENDATION

This book is recommended for First Time Readers (0 – 8) with in some cases a parental assist, and a great bedtime story. It would also be great for some nine-year-olds.

BUY IT HERE:   Amazon

Sue Wickstead Bio