Lucky’s Little Feather by Peggy van Gurp

Discover the story of a mouse and his lucky feather in Lucky’s Little  Feather.

When Lucky meets up with Lucy, he shares his story of his lucky feather and how it has kept him from harm since he found it. From the feather keeping him hidden from a hungry fox to how he avoided being clutched up in an eagle’s talons, Lucky shares his story with his friend. While Lucy hears only about the bad luck he’s had all day, Lucky thinks positively and shares how his special feather has saved him more than once.

I almost didn’t review this book, as I rarely read unsolicited requests. There are too many books I have requested for me to spend time wading through those sent without my prior approval. But the distributor also sent along two crinkle books that I was able to pass along to my newborn nephew, Harry, so I figured I owed the author and publisher something.  

Lucky’s Little Feather is an adorable story that teaches young readers about being happy and thinking positive. While Lucky’s friend tends to look at the bad side of things (like I probably would), he decides to focus on all the great things that happened as a result of him finding the feather. Peggy van Gurp also illustrated this delightful book. The book’s large size (10.3 x 9.9 x 0.5 inches) will make it stand out on the shelf, as will the lovely gold colors on the cover.

My one tiny nitpick is that on one page, the book changes tenses. This could be just a bad translation, as the book was originally published in Belgium and Holland.

I believe there might be some other confusion from the Dutch to English translation, because I am finding two versions of the cover art, one with the title of Little Lucky Feather and the book I received with the title of Lucky’s Little Feather.  Some websites (Amazon and Barnes and Noble) have the first cover, and I didn’t find the book uploaded to the U.S. version of the publisher’s website–though it appears on the Belgium one. The marketing material I received with the book, also shows the first cover, though the text in the letter indicates the title of Lucky’s Little Feather. This might cause some confusion for readers looking to purchase the book.

As a Christian, I don’t much believe in luck–good or bad. Things happen for a reason. That aside, Lucky’s Little Feather is a fun book that kids will enjoy.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Clavis Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160537086X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605370866
  • SRP:  $15.95

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    Nimby by Jasper Tomkins

    Young hearts and minds will enjoy this re-issue of Jasper Tomkins’ beloved Nimby. Nimby is a creative cloud who would slid over mountain tops and turn into numerous fantastic shapes. But the old clouds found Nimby’s playfulness a bit too much and he sailed off alone. He went many places, but soon discovers a magical island with which to play.

    This classic story of friendship and acceptance will delight your child, ages 4 – 8. Originally published in 1982, Nimby has been reissued by Green Tiger Press, a division of Laughing Elephant Books.  This charming story and Tompkins’ adorable illustrations make this book the perfect gift for the special child in your life. Its compact size makes it perfect for little hands to clasp, and the glossy pages filled with easily read text will encourage your child to pick this book up time and again.

    You certainly can’t go wrong if you buy this one!

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Green Tiger Press
  • ISBN-10: 1595834281
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595834287
  • SRP:  $15.95

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    From the Family Bookshelf

    I hope you’ve all been reading like good little doobies. This week the Lil Diva and Lil Princess are home for school vacation. With all that snow it seems like they weren’t in school very much anyway. It looks like the school district is going to steal three of their April vacation days to make up for all those snow days. It’s a good thing we didn’t have plans.

    We’ve read so many books together lately that I couldn’t even tell you what all of them are. I think we’re by The Diary of a Wimpy Kid phase; mainly because we’ve read them all. Right now the Lil Princess is into the Junie B. Jones books, which for the record, I can’t stand. Junie B. Jones is an obnoxious, selfish little girl, and if my kids acted like she does, they would be spending more time in their rooms than at play. Not only that, the main character speaks in a ridiculous form of English that grates on my nerves. If I see the word “bestest” one more time, I’ll cross my eyes.

    That said, these books are geared toward children and both my girls love them, so if they’re reading, I shouldn’t complain.

    The Lil Diva is now in a Meg Cabot phase. We just finished Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls: The New Girl. This is the second book of the series. I had bought it at a Scholastic Book Fair last year, along with Books 3 & 6. We just cracked open Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls: Moving Day last night, which I purchased after realizing we didn’t have the first book. I have to admit I’m not overly fond of these books either.  I just don’t care for Allie all that much. But again, I am not meant to relate to her and her troubles. These books are geared toward kids, and my girls enjoy them, so I’ll keep reading them.

    Dad finally polished of Cell: A Novel by Stephen King, and is working his way through The Reagan I Knew by William F. Buckley Jr. While we were in Barnes and Noble at the beginning of the month, we saw another Reagan book I thought he would be interested in, but I didn’t order it in time for Valentine’s Day. A fact made worse when dear ole Dad pulled the entire Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman series on DVD out of his desk drawer for my present.

    I’ve been reading, I just haven’t posted that many reviews lately. I have tons of books I need to review for virtual book tours through May, so more reviews and news will be on the way.

    Here is what I’ve read since the last From the Family Bookshelf column on January 12th:

     With My Rifle by My Side by Kimberly Jo Simac (children’s picture book)

    The Battle of Lexington by Jonas Clark (historical narrative)

    Losing Your Only by Dr. Debi Yohn (self-help–coping with losing your only child)

    Angel Lost by F.M. Meredith (police procedural) – Coming in March!

    The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner (historical spy thriller)

    Resurrection Garden by Frank Scully (historical mystery)

    The Innocent by Vincent Zandri (thriller)

    Nimby  by Jasper Tomkins (children’s picture book)

    I’m currently reading, The Secret Life of Emily Dickinson by Jerome Charyn

    That’s it for this issue of From the Family Bookshelf. Until next time, keep reading!

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    With My Rifle by My Side by Kimberly Jo Simac

     With My Rifle by My Side: A Second Amendment Lesson by Kimberly Jo Simac is a book written in prose that teaches young people to appreciate and respect appropriate firearm use. With beautiful artwork from Donna Goeddaeus, the reader follows along a young boy’s fall journey of baiting his father’s hunting stands and a trip his family takes to Washington D.C. to learn all about our nation’s history.

    While I believe this book teaches an excellent lesson, I fear it lacks focus. It seems the author tried to combine several elements: hunting, gun safety, the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights, faith, military service, and the right to protect one’s family. As a child, what do I focus on? It’s probable that these elements are all interwoven, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to jam them all into one short book. 

    My other concern is the book’s targeted market. Based upon the prose and chosen text style, I’m thinking With My Rifle by My Side is meant for early readers. They could be confused by the multiple elements of the story. lists the age of this book as being for 9 – 12 year olds (they made a mistake on the market for my book, slating it as for 9 – 12, when it’s most definitely 4 – 8), but I believe Simac’s book is too simple for older readers.

    I applaud the author’s efforts because our Second Amendment rights is a challenging lesson to share. Families who have hunted and owned guns for generations would enjoy sharing this book with their children. I like that the author is quick to mention gun safety, and that there is an Appendix at the end for parents and grandparents that discusses gun safety, details the Second Amendment, and includes a note from the publisher, along with information about the author and illustrator. With My Rifle by My Side was featured on the Glen Beck Show

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Nordskog Publishing, Inc.
  • ISBN-10: 0982707444
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982707449
  • SRP:  $18.95
  • Coming soon from MuseItUp Publishing: Shortcomings by Ginger Simpson

    Our shortcomings don’t define who we are, unless we let them. Cindy Johnson needs to learn that. Born with one leg shorter than the other, she has no self-esteem because of the cruel comments and cold stares she receives from her classmates.  When Cory Neil, the football quarterback asks her to Homecoming, she’s quite sure he’s asked her on a dare and refuses.  It takes more than just her mother’s assurances that Cindy’s beautiful before she realizes she may have made a mistake in turning him down.

    Read an excerpt!

    Cindy paused outside the door to her Math class and took a deep breath. So far, she’d avoided an encounter with Cory or Sally, and now she’d have to face them both. Surely Sally would make sure Cindy heard all about the dance and her fabulous date. She’d never cut class before, but the thought crossed her mind. Instead, she pushed through her anxiety and limped inside.

    Head down, she made her way to her desk beneath the burning weight of everyone‘s stares. She slid into her seat, wishing she could turn invisible, but knowing she eventually had to face the music.
    “Welcome back, Miss Johnson,” the teacher called out. “We’re happy you’ve made such a rapid recovery. We only just learned on Friday about your accident.”

    Cindy plastered a smile on her face. “Thank you, Mr. Hansen. It’s good to be back.” Had she really said that? She dared a glance at Sally and curled her lip at the pep captain’s conceited smirk. With Cory behind her, seeing his reaction was impossible. She dared not make an obvious turn in her seat.
    Mr. Hansen fished through papers on his desk then looked up. “See me after class about your missed homework. I have the assignments listed for you.” He picked up a textbook from his desk. “If everyone will turn to page one hundred fifty, we’ll get started.”

    She retrieved her book from her backpack and flipped to the correct section. Following the droning voice of the instructor, she felt a tickling sensation along her side. Lifting her arm, she found Cory had tucked a note there. Before removing it, she glanced up at the teacher. Sweet relief, his back was turned to the class as he focused on the blackboard. She hid the missive in the open pages of her book and read. “I missed you while you were gone, and I’m glad you weren’t badly hurt. Did you get my card?”

    With her jaw tensed over that blasted non-emotion revealing card, she took pencil in hand and jotted her response on the back of his note: Yes, I got your card and I thank you for thinking of me, especially on a weekend when I know you must have been very busy.

    She stared at the last remark and grimaced. Was it too catty? No, he deserved it. She quickly folded the paper in half, and while eyeing Mr. Hansen, did a half-swivel in her seat and pushed the note across Cory’s desk. She straightened, faced forward and enjoyed feeling rather vindicated. She dipped her chin and tuned into the teacher’s voice as he explained the formula on the board.

    “Misterrrr Neal.” At the teacher’s voice, her gaze popped up. “Would you care to share with the class what you’re reading? I assume from your latest test grade, it isn’t your lesson!”

    She could only imagine the horrified look on Cory’s face at the moment, and she cringed, awaiting his response. From the corner of her eye, she saw Sally’s smug smile.

    “I’d prefer not to share, sir.” His voice sounded steady and in control, quite unlike her nerves.

    “Then please pass the note in your hand forward and I’ll be happy to read it aloud.” Mr. Hansen’s gaze bored past her.

    Cindy’s stomach roiled. If Cory got into trouble he could lose his place on the football team, and the season wasn’t over yet. Cindy slid from beneath her desk and stood. “Mr. Hansen.” Her voice trembled in rhythm to her knees. “It’s my fault. Cory sent me a get well card and I passed a thank you note to him. I apologize for disrupting the class.”

    Mr. Hansen’s dark brow furrowed as he eyed her. “Well, Miss Johnson, because you’ve already suffered a great deal recently, I’ll let this pass, but…” His gaze scanned the entire class. “I will not tolerate any further note passing by anyone.”


    Ginger Simpson retired from the University of California in 2003 in order to devote more time to her writing. She’s multi-published with several small houses and has decided to bloom where she’s planted rather than seeking a contract with a bigger house. Her grandson, Spencer, is autistic, and has been the biggest inspiration in her life. Watching him develop and improve has shone her that with perseverance, most hurdles aren’t all that tall.

    Visit Ginger online at:

    In Case You’re Wondering What I’m Doing Lately

    I’m a bit buried in snow right now. The kids haven’t had a full week of school since they went back after New Year’s.  They had Tuesday and yesterday off this week, and I am playing catch up. One would think I would be getting a lot of reading done. I am, but not so much kid’s books as novels. I’m participating in some virtual book tours and just polished off The Innocent by Vincent Zandri and The Tudor Secret by C.W. Gortner. I read Angel Lost by F.M. Meredith so I can create a trailer for the book when the author tours in March. I am currently reading The Battle of Lexington by Jonas Clark. Next up is Resurrection Garden, an historical mystery, by Frank Scully.

    More snow is coming on Saturday. Do you think my lamppost will be buried?

    Winner of Hardcover Books Giveaway

    Our congratulations go out to Carol M, winner of our hardcover books giveaway. I’ll contact Carol in the morning and she’ll have 72 hours to respond. If I don’t hear back from her, I’ll select a new winner.

    Thanks to all who participated. Look for giveaways coming soon!