New Seasonal Titles from Guardian Angel Publishing

Celebrate Christmas with Dotty the Dalmatian at the local fire station. Life changes for two homeless children when they attend the annual Christmas party and hear the Christmas story for the first time. Children of all ages will love this fun, easy-to-sing Christmas musical.

Nine-year-old Dennis and seven-year-old Sarah love singing Christmas carols. Dennis wants to know where the carols came from and why they are called classics. Mom suggests that the children look up the answer to that question and report on the find in their family worships between then and Christmas. Dennis and Sarah eagerly agree and discover some surprising facts. A preacher who was considered one of the greatest of his time  wrote over 700 hymns and psalms. However, he couldn’t compare with another man who wrote over 6000 hymns! The children’s favorite story is about naughty mice that may well have been the reason for one of the world’s best-loved Christmas hymns.

Grover Groundhog awakes to loud “Fa-la-la-la’s” and strange goings on above ground! Excitedly waking his sister, Gracie, the two cautiously trek up to the window of the home beside their burrow. Both are amazed by what they see! Will they be discovered by the humans? Or will they discover the true meaning of Christmas?

Koyuk, a member of a humble Inuit fishing family, is flown on the wings of an angel to greet the newborn King Jesus. Koyuk learns from the angel that Jesus will become “Fisher of all” and how she can help to spread the Good News of peace and love.

For these and more seasonal titles from Guardian Angel Publishing visit www.guardianangelpublishing.com

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Transmit Joy! by Mark Binder

mark binderAuthor and storyteller Mark Binder has a new audio book out for all kinds of family fun.

Transmit Joy! includes some classic and some unique audio tracks to fascinate readers and make your kids laugh. Binder has great versatility, creating diverse animal and human characters with his wide range. From “The Billy Goats Gruff” to “The Little Wolf Cub” and more, families will have a little over an hour of storytelling fun. Just imagine how entertaining it would be to act these out along with the CD or MP3 album once you learn the words.

Transmit Joy! by Mark Binder is definitely worth checking out.

 

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Original Release Date: June 13, 2016
Release Date: June 13, 2016
Label: Light Publications
Copyright: 2016 Mark Binder
Total Length: 1:04:52

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

Wishing for Tomorrow by Hilary McKay

I just finished listening to Wishing for Tomorrow by Hilary McKay, narrated by Justine Eyre.  This is an audio book I received through the Amazon Vine program. I didn’t know it was an audio book when I requested it, but I am glad I gave it a shot.

My full review will appear on Amazon, but I wanted to highly recommend it to my readers here. This is a sequel to A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett. McKay was captivated by this story of a group of young girls at Miss Minchin’s Select Seminary for Young Ladies when she was a girl and used that book as a basis for her story.

A Little Princess centers around a young girl named Sara Crewe, who is living a life of privilege, until her father, Captain Crewe, dies penniless in India. Sara now works for the mean Miss Minchin as a scullery maid and is forced to live up in the attic, but she says she can still be a princess inside. Then one day, a mysterious man from next door changes Sara’s world forever.

Wishing for Tomorrow is the story of the girls left behind at Miss Minchin’s after Sara leaves with the mysterious man from next door. Ermengarde struggles now that her best friend, Sara, is gone. Lavinia is leader of the girls again and dreams of a more interesting life. Lottie gets into all kinds of mischief.  And the new maid, Alice, is a welcome addition to Miss Minchin’s, even if her standards aren’t quite up to what Sara’s used to be.

I have not read A Little Princess, so I don’t know how closely McKay followed Burnett’s original creation when she wrote about Ermengarde, Lavinia, Lottie, Jessica, and Gertrude, but this is a moving story. One that I will certainly listen to again.

As I might have mentioned before, I am currently at work on a middle grade novel about Amelia, a young orphan girl who is sent to live with her miserable spinister aunt. I requested Wishing for Tomorrow because Amelia will be spending part of her time at Wheaton Female Seminary (now Wheaton College), and I wanted to get a feel for some of the things Amelia might have experienced. Having never gone away to college or off to boarding school, I needed to find a way to make Amelia’s experiences real for the reader.

While I reviewed the audio version of this book, Wishing for Tomorrow is also available as a hardcover.



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Audio Books–Do You Listen to Them?

 Children’s Book Week has meant all sorts of new adventures for me. In addition to going to see a production based upon Judy Blume’s classic Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, I am reading a book in a format I usually avoid–audio.

I have a confession to make first. I didn’t know this was an audio book when I requested it from the Amazon Vine program. This program allows you to request a certain number of items each month and post a review on Amazon. I don’t participate much in the program because I have so many other books to read for my blogs, but when I find something of interest I’ll send in a request.

I am currently working on a middle grade historical, part of which will be set at Wheaton College in Norton, MA–which during the time of my story was Wheaton Female Seminary. I wanted to get a feel for life at an all girl seminary and thought Wishing for Tomorrow by Hilary McKay would be perfect. When I discovered it was an audio book, I have to admit I was disappointed. I’m not the kind of person who can listen to music while she works, let alone try to pay enough attention to a story at the same time I’m working.

I have found, however, that these compact discs are perfect to listen to in my truck while on the way to the grocery store or when I have a bunch of errands to run. I’m truly enjoying the story. The characters are all so different, and narrator Justine Eyre does a wonderful job of breathing life into these characters and capturing their essence.

Do you listen to audio books? If yes, how often? What do you like about them? Is there anything you don’t like about audio books?



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Melissa and the Green Blanket Written and Told by Julie S. Dobbins

 Melissa has a green blanket that is soft with satin edges. She doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t have this green blanket, and that blanket is special because she can hide underneath it and become invisible. But one day, green blanket is missing, and poor Melissa looks all over for it. With the help of Mom, Melissa is reunited with her green blanket and rejoices.

Before I get into my review, I want to share why I requested this audio book and how it personally touched me. Our youngest daughter, Sarah, is six. She, too, has a green blanket with satin edges that was given to me before she was born.  She also likes to hide underneath her green blanket–though it doesn’t cover up as much of her body as it used to–and disappear.  Green blanket got tucked into her bag today to make the short trek to school, so that Sarah can have him (yes, it’s a boy) for rest time. And every night, “Greenie” goes up to bed with Sarah; she folds the special corner of her blanket into a certain way–I still haven’t learned how to fold it right–and she snuggles with him.  I couldn’t help but think of Sarah as I read this book, and I can’t wait to share it with her.

Okay, weepy mommy moments aside, Melissa and the Green Blanket is an adorable audio book written and told by Julie S. Dobbins.  It is a contemporary retelling of the Biblical story of the woman with ten silver coins who has lost one and searches high and low for it until she finds it, which comes from Luke 15:8-10. Though the Bibilical significance might be lost on some children, there is no escaping that this is a truly wonderful story, especially for bedtime. The music, provided by Julie’s husband Craig, is soft and calming.  There are two additional tracks of Craig’s music included on the CD that will help lull your child to sleep after you’re done reading.

Also included is a 24-page picture book that is illustrated by David Moon. Again, my mind wandered back to Sarah as I followed along with the book and the audio. Just like Sarah, Melissa has a cat that is seen in many of the illustrations. Just the other day Sarah wrapped the cat up in “Greenie”.

Your young child will adore Melissa and the Green Blanket. So will you! 

Available at http://www.craigdobbins.com/Melissa.html, Amazon, CDBaby, iTunes, and CCNow.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂



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