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Castle in the Mist by Robert J. McCarty

Book 2 in the Planet of the Dogs series finds the dogs and Daisy and Bean up against another threat to peace, love and happiness.

In a castle surrounded at night by a mysterious mist, Prince Ukko rules. The young prince, angry and hurt over the sudden loss of his father, whose fate is unknown, Ukko and his soldiers make war against neighboring peoples. When the traitorous Urch brothers, kidnap Nik and Nikki, the children of Bik, leader of the Stone City tribe, a year of peace that has reigned for the Stone City tribe is threatened.

Will the dogs and Daisy and Bean be able to help rescue Nik and Nikki from the Castle in the Mist before it is too late for them to stop the Stone City warriors from unwillingly going to battle against Prince Ukko and his Black Hawk tribe?

I’m impressed with the second book in the Planet of the Dogs series. Perhaps the smoothest flowing out of all three books, many of the charaters that readers have heard about in the first book, return in Castle in the Mist for another adventure. While still relying heavily on narration to move the story along, we see the results of what happened in Book 1 and how many of the characters work together to try and prevent the Stone City tribe from returning to their ways of war to rescue Nik and Nikki from the castle in the mist.

There are many new characters to enjoy as well: the healers, Sola and Anga, the Douglas family, and many new dogs who have journeyed from the Planet of the Dogs by Miss Merrie and the dog council’s orders to help remind the people of earth about love, peace, and friendship.

Having read all three books now, I have a better feel for the author’s vision for this series–at least, I hope I do. The illustrations provided by Stella M. McCarty add a great deal to the story.

I look forward to many more books in the Planet of Dogs series.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Barking Planet Productions
  • ISBN-10: 0978692810
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978692810
  • SRP:  $14.95


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    Planet of the Dogs by Robert J. McCarty

    This is where it all began. Planet of the Dogs is the first in the Planet of the Dogs series of books by Robert J. McCarty.

    The story begins “long, long ago” before dogs had ever come to Planet Earth. Many people helped settle the many beautiful areas of this planet, but with abundance came greed, and soon the people of Earth were threatened by warriors like the tribes of Stone City who had forgotten about love and friendship. Instead these warriors hurt people and stole from them.

    Miss Merrie, queen on the Planet of Dogs, along with the dog council, decide that something must be done; that some dogs will journey to the Planet Earth to remind the people of Earth about love and friendship, in the hopes that they can all live in peace.

    In this introduction to the Planet of the Dogs series, the Stone City warriors are set on invading Green Valley, where Tomas and Sara live with their children, Daisy and Bean. That is, until Daisy and Bean meet Lucy, Robbie, and Buddy from the Planet of the Dogs. The children journey to the Planet of the Dogs and learn of the dogs’ plan to restore peace. Is it possible that such strange creatures can convince Bik, the leader of the Stone City warriors, that all people can live in peace?

    Having already read, the third book in this series, Snow Valley Heroes, I was looking forward to seeing how the dogs had originally come to Earth. This book, like the others in this series, relies heavily on narration, as it is meant to be a story that is shared and read aloud.  Actually, I think these would make excellent books to use in the classroom, as the concepts of problem solving, acceptance, and tolerance flows through all three of the Planet of the Dogs books.

    If you love dogs, enjoy fantasy, and like to share stories with the family, Planet of the Dogs will certainly be a good choice for you.

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Barking Planet Productions
  • ISBN-10: 0978692802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978692803
  • SRP:  $14.95


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    Help! I Need More Bookshelves…

    I don’t know how you handle buying your children books, but my girls know the one thing I rarely say no to when they ask is books. The oldest was allowed to purchase $53 worth of books from the latest Scholastic flyer and I just finished volunteering at my youngest daughter’s school book fair, where I plunked down almost $50. As long as they read them, I’m happy.

    My daughters are very different from each other, and perhaps most noticeably in the area of reading. The older one avoids reading as if she might catch the Swine Flu by picking up a book, while the little one has been a lover of books since she was able to lift her head from the crib mattress. I have found two books, however, that my reluctant reader will gladly select when it is time for her daily reading: Katie & Kimble: A Ghost Story and Katie & Kimble: The Magic Wish.

    The Katie & Kimble series by Linda Thieman is about a young girl named Katie Russell, who moves with her family to the country. In their new home, she discovers the ghost of a ten-year-old girl named Kimble. The two become fast friends. 

    The main source of conflict in the first book is that Kimble doesn’t know what happened to her mother and asks Katie to help her uncover the truth. In Book 2, Katie and Kimble make a special wish that turns Kimble human for two days, which leads to all kinds of fun adventures.

    These books are geared toward children ages 7 to 10, so our eight-year-old is the perfect age for these.  She quickly made her way through Book 1, is almost done with Book 2, and is anxious for the author to finish with the third book in this series. You can find out more by visiting the Katie & Kimble blog.

    Now it’s your turn to share. Do you find it hard to say no when your children and/or grandchildren ask for books? Have you found any books your reluctant readers will sit down with? What is a recent favorite book you’ve read together?

    If I Could Be Anything by Kevin McNamee

    In this melodic, rhyming tale, a young boy imagines what it would be like if he could be anything he wants:  a blue whale, a sloth, a snake, a frog, or one of several other animals. But he soon decides he would rather be with those he loves and that what he wants most of all is to be himself.

    Poet and author Kevin McNamee’s first release with Guardian Angel Publishing is a fantastic debut. Carrying with it a message similar to I Want to Be Somebody New! by Robert Lopshire, this beautifully illustrated story encourages children to appreciate who they are, while inviting them to use their imagination.

    I wasn’t familiar with the work of Marina Movshina prior to reading If I Could Be Anything, but I’ll certainly be on the lookout for more from her, as the illustrations in this book match the story so well, and the design and colors used flow as smoothly as the prose.

    Having now read two books by McNamee, I’ll definitely be awating his next release. Youngsters are going to love this one!

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10: 1616330112
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616330118
  • SRP:  $9.95


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    The Sister Exchange by Kevin McNamee

    Bill Cosby used to have a comedy skit about parenting back in the 70’s. One of the points he used to make is that if you have only one child you’re not really a parent. I didn’t quite understand how he could say such a thing, but that was before I had two young girls close in age who fight constantly. If I remember the skit correctly, Cosby said you weren’t a real parent if you only had one child because you didn’t have to listen to things like, “She’s touching me!”  

    In this charming and delightful book, Kevin McNamee tackles the issue of sibling rivalry in a fun and unique way. When Brianna, the oldest of two sisters, complains about her younger sister, Julianne, she tells her mother that she wants a new sister. Julianne is always bugging her, and following her around, wanting to do what she does, and it’s plain old annoying.

    So, Mom calls up the Sister Exchange and asks to trade in Julianne. That’s when Brianna learns something surprising about Julianne and herself.

    The Sister Exchange is one of those stories that will make you feel good by the time you reach the end. As your child follows along Brianna’s journey to trade in her sister, they learn how special siblings can truly be; that despite those little things about them that might bug you, you’re lucky to have them around.

    In a fun and engaging way, McNamee has taken a serious issue and turned it into a story that will delight your children.

    The illustrations by Kit Grady are the perfect compliment to this story. I was already a fan of her work, but she’s outdone herself in her creation of these two sisters and the many humorous illustrations of the potential sister replacements; though I have to say that Hissy the cat is my favorite.

    A great story with a superb ending, The Sister Exchange by Kevin McNamee is definitely a book you’ll want to share with your little girls.

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10: 1616330155
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616330156
  • SRP:  $10.95


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    Poodle & Doodle by Donna Shepherd

    Here’s a book that both you and the kids will enjoy. Poodle & Doodle by Donna Shepherd tells the story of a prissy poodle that is all upset when her owner brings home a mangy mutt to join the family.  Wasn’t she dog enough? Especially when Leah has brought home Scruffy, a large, clumsy and sloppy Labradoodle.

    Kids will love following along on this rhyming adventure, made complete with funny and charming illustrations created by Jack Foster. Parents will enjoy the easy way they can teach their young children about acceptance and friendship. And while the characters in this one are dogs, parents could easily relate this story to siblings and the many wonderful quirks brothers and sisters put up with out of love.

    Poodle & Doodle will snuggle their way into your child’s heart, just like they did with each other. This is a book that won’t stay on the shelf long because your children will want to read it over and again, just like in our house.

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10: 1616330171
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616330170
  • SRP:  $10.95


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