A Bad Mad Sad Day for Mama Bear by Mayra Calvani

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Ever have one of those days? You know, the one where every single thing you touched fell apart? That’s exactly what happens to Mama Bear in this silly story. She burns breakfast, breaks her favorite tea cup, and her car won’t start. And that’s just the beginning. Thankfully, Little Bear offers her his super, so good, so very special dolly to help make things better.

Award-winning author Mayra Calvani uses alliteration, repetition, and onomatopoeia in this great read aloud story for children ages 3 to 7. A funny story with a very sweet ending, A Bad Mad Sad Day for Mama Bear is a wonderful treasure to add to your child’s library. Beautiful artwork by K.C. Snider will have children turning page after page to see what happens to Mama Bear next.

Highly recommended.

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc; large type edition edition (October 19, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616334355
ISBN-13: 978-1616334352

I received a free digital version of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Ava’s Secret Tea Party by Donna J. Shepherd

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Imagination meets rhyme in this lyrical tale of a young girl who wants to meet Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Sandman and invite them to tea. Ava’s Secret Tea Party by Donna J. Shepherd is a delightful rhyming story filled with dreams come true. Ava wants to meet the elusive visitors that perform wonderful deeds while she’s asleep. She comes up with a plan that she hopes will help her get them all together.

With Shepherd’s sweet story and adorable illustrations by Bella Sinclair, girls will love reading this book over and again. It also comes with recipes from Ava’s secret tea party and several tea party crafts. I could see this book being used to help girls plan their own secret tea parties.

Highly recommended.

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc; large type edition edition (July 15, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616332867
ISBN-13: 978-1616332860

I received a free digital version of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinion, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

 

Ava's Secret Tea Party Hardback

You Can’t Take the Dinosaur Home by Mary Esparza-Vela

dinosaurWith You Can’t Take the Dinosaur Home, Mary Esparza-Vela has created a unique and delightful new take on a classic storyline.

Three alien siblings visit a nearby planet to collect treasure. The youngest, Hunee, is upset when he finds a large piece of treasure he wants to take home, but his older sister and brother tell him he can’t take the dinosaur with them.

Young readers will be captivated by this neat story and the adorable artwork by Mike Motz. I applaud Esparza-Vela’s imaginative reworking of a classic storyline to fit a modern audience. It’s a fabulous idea.

Not only are the aliens so cute you want to pinch their cheeks, but it’s hilarious watching them try to find a way to jam the huge dinosaur into their tiny spaceship and witnessing Hunee’s temper tantrums as Kyzzie and Sweetz explain there is no way to get the dinosaur home. With a funny surprise ending, this book is destined to be a hit with young readers.

Rating: :) :) :) :) :)

Paperback: 16 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc (February 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616333642
ISBN-13: 978-1616333645

I received a free electronic copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Just for Today by Kevin McNamee

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A sweet rhyming adventure about spending quality time with your kids is the latest from Kevin McNamee. Just for Today finds a young boy asking his father to stay with him and have a few adventures: outrunning pirates on the high seas, finding buried treasure, going on a safari, and more.

I’ve been a fan of McNamee’s work for some time. His lyrical prose flows nicely and his stories all show a vast amount of imagination. In Just for Today a young boy is trying to convince his father to stick around so they can play together. This is a nice message, reminding kids and parents how important it is to spend time together.

Marina Movshina provides the artwork for this story. While I usually enjoy Movshina’s work, I didn’t care for the style used here. The outlines were crisp, but the details were fuzzy as if we were seeing the characters from far away instead of close up. In addition, in some illustrations the father looked like an adult, but in others he looked like a teenage boy.

That said, I believe many youngsters and their parents will enjoy this rhyming adventure.

Rating: :) :) :) :)

Paperback: 16 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc (September 5, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616333146
ISBN-13: 978-1616333140

I received a PDF version of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.

Captain Courage and the Fear-Squishing Shoes by Stacey A. Marshall

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A precocious third grader named Katie shrivels during countless situations at her new school.  She’s terrified to present at show-and-tell, too nervous to chat in the lunchroom and can hardly get the courage to participate in class.  That is, until a unique superhero swoops in to the rescue, showing Katie how to have self-confidence and courage.  Captain Courage, the first in a series of books from Marshall, is a fun-filled tale for teachers and parents to share with all school-aged kids – and makes it easy to sneak in tips about effective, confident communication.

“There’s such a need for a series of books to help this age group (elementary/grade-school kids) with effective speaking,” said author Stacey Marshall.  “So many teachers have asked me over the years to help their students, because kids are becoming increasingly involved in public speaking at school, and most of them struggle with it.  With most kids today communicating only with their phones/computers, they need more help than ever with face-to-face verbal communication!”

The inspiration for the book came when Marshall was a student at Duke University, and developed a friendship with Theodore Geisel (aka, Dr. Seuss).  She told him that she was eventually going to be a children’s book writer like him, and he encouraged her to follow her dreams.

The dream was put on hold as Stacey became a broadcaster, speech-language pathologist, motivational speaker, freelance writer and public speaking coach to children and adults of all ages, including media training to Division I, NBA, NFL and Olympic athletes in the media.  With her unique background, Stacey became acutely aware of the positive effect that optimal, confident communication had on self-esteem – especially in children.  She decided it was time to start writing her first book.

Captain Courage and the Fear-Squishing Shoes is available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com and select retailers throughout the US.  For more information on author Stacey Marshall and the Captain Courage series, visit http://www.captaincourage.com.   Check out Stacey’s humorous video about the way kids communicate today vs. in the past: http://youtu.be/g6PGMFuAvD4.stacey

 

Stacey Marshall started her own public speaking company in 1995.  She has conducted public speaking training and seminars within major  corporations across the country, plus media training for Division I and Olympic athletes. Stacey has also used her knowledge and expertise to help business leaders, politicians, litigators, actors, broadcasters and many others find and hone their natural presentation styles for more effective communication. In addition, she has worked with children and teenagers to develop confident speaking in formal and informal situations in school and in life.

An author, former broadcaster and motivational speaker, Stacey is also a winner of the Women Executives International “Speak Out”. She earned her degrees from Duke University and the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill.

My Brother the Frog by Kevin McNamee

 What do you do if you want to change your brother–or sister–into a frog? In this funny and imaginative story by Kevin McNamee, young readers get to take a look at sibling rivalry in a silly way.

My Brother the Frog is McNamee’s latest release through Guardian Angel Publishing. A young boy decides to change his annoying brother into a frog, which makes everyone mad. When he tries to change him back, he finds it’s not so simple. Suddenly his brother is a very big duckling, then a chicken. They have to make it through many more animal changes before the boy learns something about his brother and about himself too.

This is just one zany story. At first I really wasn’t sure where McNamee was going with it. Then as I moved further along and saw how this annoying brother, now in animal form, is helpful to the boy, I realized the subtle message the author relayed with his silly story. Yes, siblings can be pests at times, but they also can do nice things.

Alexander Morris provided the artwork for this book. I liked how he managed to capture the brother’s face in each animal once he was changed. I loved the last illustration. I won’t tell you what it is, but it is perfect and made me laugh so hard I thought I would fall out of my chair.

I’ve enjoyed every one of McNamee’s books that I’ve read, and My Brother the Frog is no exception. He knows how to reach kids right where they are with fabulous books and unique storylines they’ll enjoy. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

Rating:  :) :) :) :) :)

  • Publisher:Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10:1616331593
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616331597
  • SRP:  $10.95 (softcover)

Also available in a hardcover edition.

 

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinions. I received no monetary compensation of any kind to provide my review.

Golden Daffodils by Liam Maher

A touching story that celebrates the beauty of nature and true friends is what you’ll discover in Golden Daffodils by Liam Maher.

Paddy, the gardener, looks after his beautiful flower garden. Each year he hopes to take home first prize at the Spring Flower Show. His feathered friend, Tupo Hoopoe encourages him with wonderful compliments. One day Tupo Hoopoe spies a fairy in the garden. She drops her bag of magic fairy dust when a bee frightens her away. Tupo Hoopoe decides to help Paddy by sprinkling the magic dust over the daffodils. But the morning of the Spring Flower Show comes and the beautiful golden daffodils have been stolen. Tupo Hoopoe races to get them back in time.

Golden Daffodils by Liam Maher is the perfect story for anyone who appreciates nature and adventure. Maher has taken his love of gardening and turned it into a lovely story for young readers to enjoy.  Readers get a chance to experience the special bond between Paddy and Tupo Hoopoe. They witness the great lengths that Paddy’s feathered friend is willing to go to not only to try and help him win first prize, but also to get the daffodils back once they are stolen.

Marina Movshina created the artwork for Golden Daffodils. I’ve seen some of her work in the past, and she does another wonderful job with this one. her soft, warm colors blend so nicely with the beautiful story that Maher created.

I’ll definitely be sharing this story with my girls, both of whom help me in the garden.

Rating:  :) :) :) :) :)

  • Publisher:Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10:1616330732
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616330736
  • SRP: $10.95

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinions. I received no monetary compensation to provide my review.

First Spring by Margaret Rose

Come celebrate spring with this book by Margaret Rose. In this beautifully illustrated lyrical story, baby discovers a new world that awaits him after the snow of winter has gone.

Told in rhyme, First Spring will help your young child (Birth – 4) fall in love with all the new experiences that come in spring. From green grass to gentle breezes, from bright sun to squiggly bugs, and from blowing bubbles to playful puppies, you can’t help but enjoy everything about this one.

Artist Marina Movshina offers her lovely illustrations to match Rose’s softly flowing prose. I am familiar with her work from other Guardian Angel Publishing books that I’ve reviewed, but she’s really outdone herself with First Spring. Her artwork captures the mood of this book perfectly.

This is a book you’ll be reading time and again.

Rating:  :) :) :) :) :)

  • Publisher:Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10:1616331194
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616331191
  • SRP:  $10.95

I received an ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinions. I received no monetary compensation of any kind to provide my review.

Marta’s Gargantuan Wings by J. Aday Kennedy

A little book that contains a big message is what you’ll find in Marta’s Gargantuan Wings by J. Aday Kennedy.

Aljor the bird teases Marta about her gigantic wings. She knows a brown Pegasus that looks more like a mule isn’t very beautiful, but she can’t help but be hurt by his cruel words. Even her friend Stajon, the monkey, coming to her defense doesn’t help. When a fire breaks out in the forest, Marta’s gargantuan wings might be what saves the day.

Just as she did with Klutzy Kantor, Kennedy creates a lovely story of friendship with characters that young readers will easily relate to. Readers are treated to an enjoyable tale that helps children realize our differences can often be what makes us the most special. They follow along as Marta has a chance to use her “flawed” appearance to help out in a time of need.

Talented artist, Eugene Ruble, created the illustrations for Marta’s Gargantuan Wings. His unique style stands as the perfect complement to Kennedy’s moving prose. It’s one of the reasons I was so thrilled to have him illustrate my book.

This is a great book for the home or classroom.

Rating:  :) :) :) :) :)

  • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10:1616330937
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616330934
  • SRP:  $9.95

An ecopy of this book was sent to me by the author in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation to provide this review.

What Is That Thing? by Kevin McNamee

  

A sweet and funny story of becoming a big sister is what you’ll find in What Is That Thing? . Jenna’s not too sure about the newest family member, so she decides to use her imagination to help adjust to being a big sister.

In this delightful new story from talented poet and writer, Kevin McNamee, we see him doing what he does best–create a story that youngsters will love. Becoming a big sister for the first time can be very scary, but Jenna makes it easier by using her imagination to ask “What is that thing?” Is it an alien from outer space? Is it a strange and smelly creature? Maybe it’s a mysterious roaring animal.

The artwork by K.C. Snider is absolutely wonderful. From mom the space alien with kitchen utensils sticking out of her head to Jungle Jenna swinging on the vines, her illustrations will capture the hearts of young readers who really want to now how Jenna feels.

 What Is That Thing? would make a perfect gift for the little girl who is going to be a big sister soon.

Rating:  :) :) :) :) :)

  • Publisher:Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10:1616331410
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616331412
  • SRP:  $9.95



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