Monday, June 30, 2014

Book Blast: Destiny and Faith Go To Twincentric Academy & #Gveaway $50 Amazon from Teddy O'Malley

NOTE FROM MDB: Jourden aka Teddy O'Malley was recently involved in a serious automobile accident resulting in severe injuries just days after her new book, Destiny and Faith Go To Twincentric Academy, was published in May 2014. The indie author community has come together to support this young author/illustrator during this challenging time. Please read below to see what you can do to help in a small way.


NOTE FROM Naila Moon:  We all have our struggles and although I do not know this author, I feel a kinship with her as she is from my home state and the area I hail from. As a writer, blogger, and reviewer, I purchased this book to help out a fellow human being. Thank you in whatever way you can help out.

  Destiny and Faith by Teddy O'Malley

About the Book

Title: Destiny and Faith Go To Twincentric Academy | Author: Teddy O'Malley | Publication Date: May 11, 2014 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 62 | Recommended Ages: 6 to 10 Summary: Destiny and Faith are going into second grade and their mom has a great idea. She's going to send them to a school for twins! They're not sure whether to be excited or terrified. Come join them and see what happens! 

  AmazonGoodreads    

The Buzz

"Anyone who's tried to buy a book or birthday card for a child who isn't white will know how few are available. Golden hair and blue eyes rule. I was delighted by Destiny and Faith, who are mixed race/bi-racial, perfect for some children very close to me. However, let me quickly say that this is a story for all children. A school for twins is such a great idea and Destiny and Faith's adventures have a universal message about friendship and learning how to get along with each other. This would also be a good book for actual twins as some of the issues that arise in twin relationships come up in the story." ~ 5 Star Review, Mary Josephina Cade, Amazon

"I just finished reading this book. I got it for my daughter and decided to read it myself. It is so ORIGINAL and totally ADORABLE! A MUST READ for young children looking to read their FIRST CHAPTER BOOK! My daughter LOVES it!! I highly recommend this book!! " ~ 5 Star Review, radams, Amazon

"A great story for young girls, with lots of fun dialogue. Accompanied throughout by black and white drawings. These capture the body language and expressions of the different characters perfectly. Looking forward to more in the Destiny and Faith series." ~ 5 Star Review, M.J. Kinsman, Amazon
 

About the Author: Teddy O'Malley

Teddy O'Malley Author

Jourden Cleghorn, who writes and illustrates children’s books under the pen name Teddy O' Malley, was born in in Saint Louis, Missouri. She has traveled all over the United States and enjoys learning about new things and other cultures. She dreams of visiting a foreign country. She has enjoyed studying Spanish, German, and now Italian as well. Jourden paired her language skills with pictures of puppies to write Tell Me How You Say Good Night, a bedtime story. And a childhood friendship with a biracial girl named Hope influenced Jourden to make the Destiny and Faith characters biracial in her series about twins. Many of her books include a thread about friendship and acceptance of others. Jourden previously worked part time as a nurse assistant helping the disabled and elderly.

Author Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

How You Can Help

On Thursday, May 15, 2014, Jourden was the passenger in a small car when a much larger truck turned in front of them. She suffered severe injuries as a result of this accident including a cracked sternum, punctured lung, broken arm, and broken foot. Unforutnately, the nature and severity of Jourden's injuries have limited her ability to promote her books effectively. I was very moved when I was approached by a member of the Facebook group, "Fun-tastic Children’s Books " (of which Jourden is an active member) to help this young author. This wonderful group took it upon themselves to promote Jourden’s books on her behalf. They bought, reviewed, tweeted and shared her books throughout social media and are sponsoring (along with MDBR) the giveaway below. If you should choose to enter the giveaway below (open worldwide), you will see an option to earn 10 extra entries in the giveaway by purchasing a copy of Teddy O'Malley's latest book, Destiny and Faith Go To Twincentric Academy from Amazon for only 99 cents. I hope you will consider helping out the author in this small way. Of note, during her recovery, Jourden found the inspiration for another children’s book. It will be about a child recovering from a car crash and having to cope with learning to write with the opposite hand, and other hardships that must be overcome during the healing process. Jourden usually writes with her right hand, but plans to illustrate the book using her left. She wants to show that hardships can be overcome if one does not give up.  

* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon $50 Gift Card Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: July 30, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. 

 Terms and Conditions:Naila Moon of Reading Authors purchased this book for my own collection. I was asked to promote this book and have received no compensation. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by author PJ LaRue/Fun-tastic Children’s Books and Mother Daughter Book Reviews, and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Book Blast- The Cat Who Lost His Meow & #Giveaway: $50 Amazon from Angela Muse

The Cat Who Lost His Meow by Angela Muse

This is a cute little book that I have read. Stay tuned for my review.

About the Book

Title: The Cat Who Lost His Meow | Author: Angela Muse | Illustrator: Helen H. Wu | Publication Date: June 1, 2014 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 3+ 

Summary: Chester the lazy calico cat has suddenly lost his meow. He’s looking everywhere, but can’t seem to find his voice. When Chester puts himself in a frightening situation he not only finds his voice return, but he also finds his courage. This experience makes Chester appreciate things a little bit more than he had before.

  Amazon    

About the Author: Angela Muse

Angela Muse, AuthorAngela Muse was born in California to a military family. This meant that she got used to being the "new kid" in school every couple of years. It was hard trying to make new friends, but Angela discovered she had a knack for writing. In high school Angela began writing poetry and song lyrics. Expressing herself through writing seemed very natural. After becoming a Mom in 2003, Angela continued her storytelling to her own children. In 2009 she wrote and published her first rhyming children's book aimed at toddlers. Since then she has released several more children's picture books and released her first young adult romance series, The Alpha Girls, in 2012.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads |

   

* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon $50 Gift Card Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: July 29, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally

 How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: Naila Moon of Reading Authors was asked to promote this giveaway and is not responsible for prize shipment. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Angela Muse and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.



  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Book Blast: Mysteries of the Grand Canyon & #Giveaway of two $50 Amazon GIft Cards or Paypal from Marie Von Minden

Mysteries of the Grand Canyon by Marie von Minden  

The photos from this book are absolutely gorgeous. I have visited the Grand Canyon and the sight of it is something to behold. I think this book would be well worth the purchase and read. See details below.

About the Book

Title: Mysteries of the Grand Canyon | Author: Marie von Minden | Publication Date: March 21, 2013 | Publisher: | Adventures of Discovery: Independent | Pages: 110 | Recommended Ages: 5 to 12 (read-aloud for younger children)

Summary: The author of the first interactive Grand Canyon ebook for children takes her readers on an exciting journey as a lively little dog befriends a California condor and an Abert’s squirrel, and together they explore the canyon. What child wouldn’t want to go on the adventure of a lifetime with a great pup like Kristi Kay and follow her on a multimedia journey that is both fun and educational? Amazing stories told by her new friends keep you wondering what surprising new secrets they will reveal next. What happened to the people that lived in the canyon? Will the condors in the rescue program survive? This adventure story for elementary grade children offers an engaging way to experience the Grand Canyon. For those who would like to learn more about the issues touched upon in the story, additional information is provided in the Kristi Kay Talks with a Ranger section at the end of the book via interactive media, photo galleries, maps, charts, and links to external websites. This interactive ebook is especially appropriate for children 7-11 years old, and as a read aloud for younger children, and it would also be well-suited for an educational setting. Divided into 12 chapters, the book lends itself to be read in several sessions at the age appropriate pace. “Mysteries of the Grand Canyon” is the first book in the A Cairn Terrier Travels to National Parks series, a series of educational adventure stories created to inspire appreciation and stewardship of our precious parks.  

Book Trailer

 

Purchase

iBookstore Purhcase Button  

The Buzz

"Mysteries of the Grand Canyon is educational, exciting, and entertaining all rolled into one. Marie Von Minden gives readers a fascinating glimpse into the canyon's past as well as the creatures that still call the Grand Canyon home. The interactive function allows for further learning and the brilliant photos visually stimulate children and help instill the knowledge found within the story." I highly recommend picking up a copy of Mysteries of the Grand Canyon." ~ BeachBoundBooks
"A must have experience for young people. With its cute, intelligent looking dog, and a bird that looks like it was conceived by Dr. Seuss, it puts us into an animal society - so beautifully conceived in its civility, generosity, and interest and care for the world - that it is reminescent of books like Winnie the Pooh. These elements, set in the grandeur of the Grand Canyon, beautifully brought out by magnificent photographs and videos, make it a compelling book from both parents' and teachers' points of view. ~ Mr. Naturally, iBookstore Review
"Overall, this iBook provides a great introduction to the Grand Canyon to children who are about to visit it or who just want to learn more about this important National Park. It includes lots of beautiful photographs, the story is engaging and there is a huge wealth of information included. I found it a great opportunity to talk about the Grand Canyon with my son, and tell him about my own experiences visiting the park and hiking into the crater. I also really enjoyed learning about the California Condor and all the effort that has gone into the Recovery Program; it provided a great opportunity to talk about Endangered Species and our responsibility to help preserve them." ~ iMum
"More than just a story, the book has incredible imagery that appears to lift off the page – a true photographic journey." ~ Mom's Lifesavers
"Readers of all ages will enjoy this engaging story to discover one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World at the Grand Canyon National Park. This photographically rich and entertaining ebook is especially appropriate for 7-11 year olds and as a read aloud for younger children, and it would also be well suited for an educational setting." ~ The Appy Ladies
"As a teacher, I am grateful to use this amazing book with my class! My students loved learning about the Grand Canyon from precious Kristi Kay's point of view, and they were excited to participate in the interactive aspects of the book; they didn't want to put it down!" ~ A. Gillette, iBookstore Review
 

About the Author: Marie von Minden

KK and Marie for websiteJPGWould you like to live each day surrounded by unsurpassed beauty and deeply connected to nature? Marie finds it hard to believe, but this is now her lifestyle and she wants to share it through her photography and stories. Marie von Minden was born and raised in Poland. She immigrated to Canada in 1982 and in 1999 she and her husband relocated to the United States. Like many Europeans, she was overwhelmed by the vastness and the beauty of North America and she developed a passion for landscape photography. They began camping in the wilderness and connecting with nature on weekends and holidays, first in a tent and later in a cap-over camper. It was during those camping trips that a dream of full-time traveling and living in an RV evolved. In 2002 that dream became reality and they have been traveling in a 34 foot Airstream trailer ever since. America’s National Parks continue to be one of their favorite places to visit. When Kristi Kay, a Cairn Terrier, joined them, the idea of a children’s book series about America’s National Parks as seen through Kristi Kay’s eyes grew as a natural extension of their lifestyle and love of nature. Through interactive adventure stories enhanced by photography selected from her vast photographic library, animation, sounds, videos, and unique graphics Marie hopes to express her gratitude for what has become her home, and to help cultivate appreciation and stewardship of these precious resources.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads

 

* $100 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon $50 Gift CardAmazon $50 Gift Card           
Prize: 2 x $50 Amazon Gift Cards or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: July 25, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. 
Terms and Conditions: Naila Moon of Reading Authors was asked to promote this book and giveaway but was not compensated in any way. 
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Marie von Minden and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 23, 2014

#Giveaway: $20 Amazon from author, Michael Bowler

The review for Michael Bowler's newest book is coming to you shortly. Until then, enjoy this giveaway from him. ~Naila Moon a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Review: When I Grow Up I Want to be in the U.S. Navy by Wigu Publishing



Summary:
Noah is excited for the chance to tour a real aircraft carrier with his Grandpa Ed, a proud Navy veteran. He is not excited that his little sister, Marina, is tagging along. Still, Noah tries to be patient. Readers chuckle and follow along as the siblings learn that each deck, each crewmember, and each piece of equipment adds another chapter to the history of the U.S. Navy and its mission to protect our country. Noah and Marina's curiosity helps introduce readers to the complex and exciting work of an aircraft carrier and how each crewmember plays a vital role in its functioning.
 
 
My review:
I was really excited to get the opportunity to review another book from Wigu. I used to be a Navy wife and my husband was out to sea a lot. In truth though, I did not get to visit and see the real inner workings of the U.S. Naval ships. So, this was a fun read for me.
 
The cartoons of the children and Grandpa I found to be a little corny among the real photos of hard working men and women of the U.S. Navy. However, given that this is a children's book I can somewhat over look it. I suppose it would have been nice just to see the real people.
 
Aside from that issue, this book took a complete tour of a naval carrier and answered questions that young children would certainly have. Questions of food, sleeping quarters, and jobs were all answered through the interaction of the characters and photographs.
 
I  liked that interspersed history between the story line that tells a bit not only naval ships but also other ships and people that would have sailed on them.
 
An overall running theme to this book was that there are many people who have to work together on the ships to keep the operations running smoothly and to help the United States to stay safe.
 
This was truly a fun read overall and recommended for children 8+
 
5 Stars
~Naila Moon
 
Where to find the author:
 
Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book for my open and honest review. The review here is 100% my own views and may differ with yours.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Review & Giveaway: How Andrew Got His Spots by Louise Lintvelt/ Illustrated bu Julie Sneeden

  How Andrew Got His Spots by Louise Lintvelt

Summary: Poor Andrew is feeling very blue, all the other giraffes are very spotty but he is as white as can be. He does not have any spots, you see! He keeps seeing spots wherever he goes… One spot, two spots, three spots, Four! And many, many, many more. “Where did you get your spots?” he asks. Join Andrew as he discovers how the ladybug, the leopard and the owl came to have spots and discovers that spots often appear when you are least expecting them!   

 


My review:
This is an adorable book about coming into your own and of acceptance of self. 
The giraffe, Andrew sees himself as different as he has no spots and wants to be like other giraffes and spotted creatures. He goes on a mission to finds out how to get some spots too.

Isn't this what we all do at some point in our lives? We are not acceptant of who we are so we go seeking. Eventually, over time, we become the people we are supposed to be. This book shows children that if they are patient, they will too become who they are supposed to be.

If there is anything I would have to say negative about this book, it is that it seemed to end abruptly but this does not take away from the book as a whole. 
I loved the nice and bold illustrations, they make you feel like you are out in the safari with the animals in their natural habitat.

5 stars!
----------------

As part of a blog tour, this author is generously giving away an $25 Amazon card to one lucky reader. Enter in the Rafflecopter below.


 Where to find the author:

Louise Lintvelt 

Goodreads 

Amazon

 Author Blog |
 

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

 How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Louise Lintvelt and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. 

 Contest ends: July 15, 11:59 pm, 2014 

 Open: Internationally 

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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Review: Who Was Jim Henson? By Joan Holub



Summary:
Jim Henson broke into television with a five-minute puppetry segment when he was only a freshman in college. He created puppets like none ever seen before, with expressive fabric faces and rod-controlled arms. His Muppets became world-renowned celebrities and formed the backbone of a media empire. With black-and-white illustrations throughout, this easy-to-read biography will be published twenty years after Henson's untimely death. 

My Review:
If you know about the Muppets in any capacity, then you know Jim Henson. Or do you? This book begins with Jim Henson as a child and takes you all the way through up to his death. 

I learned much more about the man and his family beyond his beloved Muppets and yet, I learned about them too. How he eventually came about to have and subsequently make the puppets turned "Muppets". I learned how he even came up with the name. I learned that he used to draw cartoon characters when he was quite young and so much more.

I grew up with Sesame Street and all the Muppets as did my children. I have adored this man for many years. Yes, I remember when he died and was able to witness the most wonderful funeral ever known complete with Big Bird.

 Did you know that Big Bird was supposed to be Jim Henson instead of Frank Oz? Read the book and find out why.

I loved this book and I know you will too. Get to know the man behind the Muppets, Jim Henson!

5 stars!



Where to find the author:



Giveaway: The Verona Trilogy by Lory S. Kaufman



 
THE LENS AND THE LOOKER is the first book of THE VERONA TRILOGY. It’s followed by THE BRONZE AND THE BRIMSTONE and THE LOVED AND THE LOST. 
The series takes readers along on the life-changing journey of three 24th-century teens. While the three protagonists appear quite immature in the first half of THE LENS AND THE LOOKER, it quickly changes as the story heats up. So, this is not a series aimed exclusively at young teens. Lory Kaufman says he writes for readers 13 to 113 as many of his readers are adults.


I received a copy of each of theses books, read each and did enjoy them. If you are someone who likes to read post-dystopian novels then these are definitely for you! You can find ancient times, sword fights, time travel, mystery and total mayhem with a sweet little romance thrown in for good measure.

Would you like to win a copy of the whole trilogy? Well, you can! Enter in the Rafflecopter below.

Disclosure: This giveaway is sponsored by author, Lory Kaufman who is responsible for prize shipment. Naila Moon on Reading authors is not responsible for prizes.
This giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada. The giveaway runs from June 17-July 2, 2014

This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Twitter or any other social media outlet.









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Monday, June 16, 2014

Stillwell by Michael Phillip Cash: One Year Anniversary Giveaway





"Paul Russo’s wife just died. While trying to get his family’s life back in order, Paul is being tormented by a demon who is holding his wife's spirit hostage on the other side. His fate is intertwined with an old haunted mansion on the north shore of Long Island called Stillwell Manor. Paul must find clues dating back hundreds of years to set his wife's soul free."


Author Michael Phillip Cash's book Stillwell: A Haunting On Long Island still ranks among Amazon's best seller list a year later after being published. 
The book has won the following awards:
             *ForeWord 2013 Finalist Book of the Year in horror category
             * Rebecca's Reads Choice Awards honorable mention for fiction



To thank everyone for reading Stillwell, for the reviews, and for the support, Michael Phillip Cash is having an one year anniversary giveaway. He is giving aways a copy of his book along with a $200 Home Depot Card to one lucky reader.

Go by and tell him congratulations on one year and enter in the rafflecopter below for your chance to win.


Disclosure and Rules:
This giveaway is sponsored by Michael Phillip Cash and is arranged by Away We Go Media.
Naila Moon of Reading Authors was asked to promote this giveaway and was compensated for this post. Michael Phillip Cash is responsible for prize shipment.

NOTE: You MUST enter your address in the first entry in order to win but this sole entry does not constitute a win for you. If you do not enter your full address, you will be disqualified. This information will only be seen by Michael Phillip Cash and Away We Go Media. It will not be sold to any third party.
This giveaway begins on June 17th at 12AM MST and ends July 1st at 12 AM MST
This is open to U.S. residents only and will only be one winner.

This giveaway is not affiliated with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or any other social media outlet. This is not associated with Home Depot.





Review: Loved and Lost by Lory S. Kaufman


Summary:
This is the final book of The Verona Trilogy

A QUEST FOR LOST LOVE.

AN ADVENTURE OF MANY LIFETIMES.

Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln are three 24th-century time travelers desperate to return to 14th-century Verona and reclaim their medieval family’s shattered lives. It is a mission fraught with danger and the risk of unexpected consequences for themselves and their worlds. For all three, it is a matter of the heart. For one, though, it is truly the only thing that matters, as the fate of his eternal love and the life of their unborn child is the prize to be won – or lost forever.

In this, the final book of The Verona Trilogy, Hansum, Shamira and Lincoln go on the boldest adventure of their lives. They will face hardship, tragedy, and threats from sources they couldn't have imagined – all in an effort to wrestle a future from the steely grip of an unforgiving past.

My review:

As is noted in the summary this is the final book of the trilogy of which I read all.
I think I found this book to be the most daunting of the entire trilogy. As I mentioned with the last book's review, I was actually surprised there was to be a third book because of where the second ended.

I felt this book was very repetitive and mostly a recap of the first two books. I understood that the characters were trying to right the wrongs of the past by returning repeatedly to the past but that is what made the book daunting and to me, rather boring. I thought the author could have wrapped it up in book two.

However, if it was not for the fact I liked the characters and wanted to see what the end was for them, I probably would have stopped reading this book after the first couple of chapters.

This books underlying theme is persistence along with the main theme of love. I got that loud and clear as these characters persisted to save their 14th century loved ones.

In all fairness, I did like the way Lory Kaufman created his post-utopian society. In the back of this book he takes several pages to explain different details of the entire trilogy and how he came to decide different aspects.  His research of ancient Verona was impeccable. He even traveled to the area just to get real perspective. Impressive!

I look forward to reading some more single novels from this author.

For this book, I can only give 3 stars as the author did finish, as he does have the makings of great stories. and gave hope for the future generations.
~Naila Moon

Disclosure: I received this book for my open and honest review. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours.

Where to find the author:

Lory S. Kaufman
Facebook
Amazon
Goodreads


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Review: Pontoon by Garrison Keillor



Summary:
 Pontoon is nothing less than a spectacular return to form complete with a bowling ball-urn, a hot-air balloon, giant duck decoys, a flying Elvis, and, most importantly, Wally's pontoon boat. As the wedding of the decade approaches (accompanied by wheels of imported cheese and giant shrimp shish kebabs), the good-loving people of Lake Wobegon do what they do best: drive each other slightly crazy.

My review:
I remember my Mom talking about Lake Wobegon. Being a kid, I thought it was an actual place. I never knew that the town was a made up place by this author. 

I found this book at my local library under the humor section and checked it out. Humor indeed!
I found myself chuckling at the crazy memorial that included a green bowling ball of all things. I also laughed in the wake of other things that happened.

I was totally immersed in the people of Lake Wobegon and have known a few people like them. I could see some of the same scenarios happen in real life. Wait a minute, maybe I lived there? 

Anyway, the book centers around Evelyn who has just died. She is a complete insomniac but dies in her sleep. Funny, if death can be funny. 

In the wake of her death, it is found out she has lived a secret life and written many letters. Her life was to keep herself sane among the insane.  It even included a huge secret that only through letters and a message on an answering machine would be revealed to her only daughter.

Wrapped up in Evelyn's plan to be cremated and thrown in the lake inside a bowling ball is, an over the top supposed wedding on the lake, a bunch of Lutheran ministers, and a flying Elvis. Oh yes, pure lunacy!

I don't wish to reveal anymore than what I have but just to say, get a copy of this book!
I really liked this book and think I need to learn a little bit more about the infamous Lake Wobegon.

4 stars!

Disclosure: I checked this out from my local library. The view expressed here is 100% my own and may differ from yours.

Where you can find the author:




Wednesday, June 11, 2014

A Movie In My Pillow by Jorge Argueta/ Illustrated by Elizabeth Gomez

Summary:
A young boy with two homelands and a delightful sense of wonder comes to life in Jorge Argueta's first collection of poems for children. Young Jorgito lives in San Francisco's Mission District, but he hasn't forgotten his native El Salvador. He recalls the volcanoes, the tasty cornmeal pupusas, and his grandmother's stories. As he changes from timid newcomer to seasoned city dweller, Jorgito's memories and new adventures form a patchwork of dreams -- the movie in his pillow -- that is perfectly suited to his new bicultural identity

My review:
This is the second book that I have read from this author and I like it just as much as I did the last one I read.  The author writes this book completely in poetry.  Each poem is short and in English but is coupled with the Spanish counterpart on each page, usually beside or underneath the English.

The words are as bold as the colorful pictures. All this describes his thoughts of being a young boy pulled suddenly from his home land of El Salvador. Only he and his Father came to the United States leaving behind his Mother, Grandmother, and younger siblings. His "movie" was really his dreams of those things that he left behind.

Eventually, the rest of his family joins him and he gets to show them his new life.
---------------
At first the only thing that confused me was the connection of the "movie" and the entire book. This might confuse children as well.  As I mention above, I eventually did get the connection.

At the bottom of some pages there were explanations for some words that did not translate into English. This was ok but in very tiny print and at times, hard to find. I think I would have liked to have seen those in the back of the book in the same bold font as used with the rest of the book.


 I would recommend this book for bilingual children and families as well as people who want to learn either language. Overall though, this book still gets 5 stars from me.

Disclosure: I purchased this book for my own collection. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ with yours.

Where you can find the author:



Goodreads
Amazon
Website

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Review: Hello, Bali:A Kids Yoga Island Adventure Book by Giselle Shardlow/ Illustrated by Emily Gedzyk


Summary:
Say good day to the magical island of Bali! Join Anamika, one of the Yoga Kids, as she travels with her family to Bali, Indonesia. Surf like a surfer, dance like a Balinese dancer, and sit like a monkey.

My review:

This is the second yoga book from this author, for kids, that I have had the pleasure of reading.
With this book as with her other books, you meet kids that take the reader on an adventure. This time it is Anamika who is from India.

With each page turn there are a few words and very bold colorful pictures. In a circle located on the right lower side the reader finds  Anamika who is demonstrating a yoga position for kids to follow. This of course relates to the words that have been read on each page. Key words bolded in dark letters match these yoga poses.

I really love how this book as well as her entire series of books encourages kids to do things in a three-fold manner. That is read, exercise, and imagine. In the case of this book, they get to "travel" to somewhere they may never have been.

A nice addition that Ms. Shardlow has in her books is the parent-teacher guide in the back of her books. She re-lists all of the keywords along with the name of the pose and a demonstration of the pose.

A fun thing I loved most about this book was that Ms. Shardlow also included the numbers as well as phrases in English with Indonesian translation. For example: the number 10 is pronounced as Sepuluh.


This book is targeted for 2-5 year olds which is spot on because of the simplicity of the words and poses.

5 stars!  Sampai jumpa.Terima kasih. (Translation: See you later. Thank you.)
~Naila Moon

Disclosure: I received this book in exchange for my open and honest review. The review here is 100% my own opinions and may differ from yours.

Where you can find the author:

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Books-N-Blogger Swap 2014



If you have not figured it out already, I love books. I have since I was a young child. That is why I am so excited to be part of Chaotic Goddess Swaps Books ‘n’ Bloggers annual book swap.

This will be the first time I have participated in the swap and I cannot wait. We will receive a total of three books from our partner and that right there just makes me one happy camper.

If you want to know more, click on the link and make sure to come back. I will be sharing the books I received in the first part of July.  Of course come back before then as I am constantly sharing something about books!



Saturday, June 7, 2014

Review: Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson



Summary:
Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe. Because there's something she's trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens and then she would have to speak the truth. 

My review:
This book is downright gritty, heart-wrenching, painful, funny, witty and dark. It tells the tale of being the new kid, the freshmen, in high school and trying to find your place, your group, and failing miserably.

However, this story is more that just another high school drama. It is about pain so awful, so deeply  rooted that the main character chooses not to speak and be lost in her own thought than deal with her reality. This is about a girl dealing with being raped.

As you read the book, you think there is not much hope for the main character, Melinda, as she deals with high school nuances, a dysfunctional family and the horrible memory she is blocking. However, as the pages unfold, Melinda finds strength in an art teacher, a secret getaway, and a couple of other teens who have their own issue albeit, smaller. This voice she finally gets helps her in such a way that it is truly unbelievable.

I suppose you are wondering how a book about a girl who has been raped can be humorous among the dark recesses of the pages. Well, I am here to tell you the author manages to share how the idiocy of high school hierarchy can be through the main characters thoughts. Yet she wraps all of this  into a storyline that is completely believable and relatable.

I read this book in just two hours. I could not put it down, I didn't want to. I was so immersed in this character as I read. I understood her and wanted to help her. I felt her pain and understood her moments of pure ridiculousness. I simply got her.

This book is aimed at 12-17 year olds. I recommend it for particularly girls of this age but boys of this age should read it too. We adult need to read it as well. I fear that some of us can relate all too well with the main character.

5 stars and then some!
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*****NOTE:If you are needing help: Call the National Rape Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE or simply call 911. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

~Naila Moon
Disclosure: I bought a copy of this book for my own collection. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

Where to find the author:


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Goodreads
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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Review: Mighty Dads by Joan Holub Illustrated by James Dean


Summary:

Mighty dads, strong and tall,
help their children, young and small.
They keep them safe and bolted tight
and show them how to build things right.
Inventively told through James Dean's colorful construction vehicle characters, MIGHTY DADS is an adoring dedication to hard working fathers and the subtle ways they teach their boys and girls to follow in their tracks. The Dump Trucks learn to get dirty. Crane keeps his little one safe from harm. The busy Cement Mixer gives his daughter a hug. The Forklift cheers his son on.
A surprising and touching view of a father's love for his children, MIGHTY DADS is the perfect way to say: I'm proud of you!

My review:

I absolutely adored this book!  First of all, the pictures from illustrator, James Dean, were bright, colorful, and bold. I loved how he made the "children" tiny but obviously worked hard while helping their "dad".

The author, Joan Holub, made each page a semi-rhyme...no pun intended...and had the action in bold letters.  I could hear many children imitating the sounds as I read. In fact, each page made me smile right on into the next page.

I also liked the fact that the little ones did the same work as the "dads" but in smaller scale. Yet, "dads" kept encouraging each to do their best and keep going which would ultimately result in work well done.

As it is now heading into Father's Day at the time of my review, this is the perfect book for Dad's to read and share with their children. For that matter, to share any time! This book is a winner!

5 stars!

Disclosure:I received a copy of this book in exchange for my open and honest opinion. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours.

Where to find the author:




KID LIT BLOG HOP-June 2017

Hello, welcome back to another month of terrific children's literature. We welcome you to the June 2017 Kid Lit Blog Hop. This ...