Purr-fectly Wise by Kimberly Palmucci

In this touching second book of Kimberly Palmucci’s series featuring shelter animals, readers learn the story of Wise Cat, who they met in Purr-fectly Lucky.

Purr-fectly Wise goes back to the time when Wise Kitten was adopted by a man who found him on the street. They spent many happy years together, until Wise Man could no longer care for him. Wise Kitten, having matured into Wise Cat, is brought to the shelter. He helps his furry friends there, but there is more in store for Wise Cat.

Turning again to real-life inspiration, Palmucci uses the story of two energetic puppies who grew into wise senior pets under her watchful eye, into a sweet rhyming story of a senior cat whose future still holds so much. Readers who enjoyed Wise Cat in Purr-fectly Lucky will be happy to learn more about him, but even if you don’t read the first book, Purr-fectly Wise will capture the hearts of everyone.

Artist Brandi McCann is back to provide the illustrations for the second book in this series. Her cheery sun with its smiling face, the sweet snuggles between Wise Man and Wise Kitten, and the cute beard and eyeglasses on Wise Cat’s face are just some of my favorite parts of this artwork. Author and illustrator work well together to bring these stories to life. I hope they will continue.

There is so much to love in Purr-fectly Wise. It will have a special place on the bookshelf and be an often requested read.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Independently published (March 1, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1798401525
ISBN-13: 978-1798401521

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

Purr-fectly Lucky by Kimberly Palmucci


Purr-fectly Lucky by Kimberly Palmucci celebrates how special and unique being different is.

Lucky is similar to the other cats at the shelter in the way he likes to frolic and play. He is also different because he has three legs. Every day families visit the shelter looking for a cat to call their own. Who will come to bring Lucky home?

In this charming book of rhyme, Palmucci reminds young readers that being different is a good thing. Inspired by the story of her own unique shelter cat, Lucky’s sweet story is one that kids will enjoy time and again. It also is a great way to teach youngsters about accepting the differences of others they may know.

Brandi McCann provides the colorful and adorable artwork for this first book in the series. Large eyes, rounded faces, and bright colors combine to endear the reader to Lucky and his friends at the shelter. She captures emotions well. I look forward to seeing more of her artwork as the series continues.

A book that educates while it entertains, everyone is sure to enjoy this delightful story.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 5 – 6 years
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (February 9, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1984364804
ISBN-13: 978-1984364807

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

The Adventures of Riley & Elfy by E. Matheson

The Adventures of Riley & Elfy by E. Matheson is an adorable collection of children’s stories centered around friendship. Mysterious Scottish animals, Riley and Elfy have lived on faraway Scottish islands since ancient times, but no one seems to know much about them or that they exist. In this collection, Riley and Elfy make friends with creatures they meet along the way and share some great adventures.

If your children love animals, fantasy or adventure stories, then The Adventures of Riley & Elfy is a great choice. Told in the present tense, your youngster will enjoy following Riley and Elfy along. Though I can’t say I am a huge fan of present tense in children’s stories, it works well here. What truly makes this book are the stunning illustrations by G. B. Serafica. They are too beautiful even to describe.

My one challenge with this collection is the different grammar style was a total distraction. It’s probably not cost-effective, but if you’re publishing and selling in the States, it’s better to use our standards than those across the pond. The editor in me was twitching the entire time.

If you’re looking for an animal-filled adventure to share, The Adventures of Riley & Elfy is great fun.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

File Size: 30487 KB
Print Length: 28 pages
Publisher: ASJ Publishing (July 8, 2018)
Publication Date: July 8, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07FCT36V7

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

Drewsilla the Shelter Puppy by Karen Carew Oakes

If you like cute animal stories, you’ll want to grab a copy of Drewsilla the Shelter Puppy by Karen Carew Oakes.

After an accident leaves Drewsilla and her siblings orphaned, they are brought to the local shelter by a kind stranger. One after the other gets adopted, until the only one left is Drewsilla. Every time someone visits the shelter, she hides. Until the day the Johnsons walk in.

Drewsilla the Shelter Puppy is a touching story of how a shelter puppy finds her forever home. There are a lot of neat aspects to this story. It highlights the kindness of strangers, the hard work of shelter volunteers, and the difference it can make to humans and animals when a special bond is created. Not only would this be a heartwarming story to share with children, it would also be an entertaining way to introduce young people to what is involved in puppy care.

This truly is a sweet story.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Grade Level: 4 – 6
Paperback: 26 pages
Publisher: Archway (September 29, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1480864692
ISBN-13: 978-1480864696

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

Sophie Washington: Secret Santa by Tonya Duncan Ellis

If your child enjoys books with strong female protagonists, a hint of mystery, and the joy of Christmas, then Sophie Washington: Secret Santa by Tonya Duncan Ellis will be a perfect gift.

It’s a few weeks before Christmas and Sophie and her friends are busy as school is coming to a close before the break. When Sophie begins receiving presents from a secret Santa, she can only guess who it might be. Is it one of her friends or one of the boys she knows? The answer might surprise her.

Though this is the seventh book in the Sophie Washington series, it’s the first one I’ve read. It’s a quick, fun chapter book with cute illustrations. As the reader gets to know Sophie and her friends, they eagerly turn the pages to see if they can figure out who Sophie’s secret Santa really is. Sophie is spunky and she has a love him/not so in love with him relationship with her younger brother that makes her even more relatable. In addition to the mysterious Santa, the book also addresses the topic of bullying. I don’t think we can have enough books that tackle this issue, and I like the author’s handling of it within this story.

If you set a story at Christmas, you’ve already partially won my heart. Sophie Washington: Secret Santa also inspires me to check out the previous books in the series to follow more of Sophie’s adventures.

EXCERPT:

“Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg!”

“Be quiet, Cole!” I put my hands over my ears to muffle my brother’s out-of-tune singing and focus back on my laptop to finish my English essay. It’s less than three weeks until winter break and my teachers have been piling on the assignments to make sure we get our end of semester grades in.

There sure is a big change between fifth and sixth grade, workwise, at Xavier Academy, the private school my brother and I go to. Between all the essays and projects and studying for final exams, I feel I can barely take time to pat my dog, Bertram, when I get home; whereas, my eight-year-old brother Cole acts like he’s already on vacation.

Since we got home from school an hour ago, he’s been living it up, shooting hoops in the driveway, eating a snack and now playing on the handheld video game player that my mother would make him put up if she were downstairs with us. I ought to tell on him now…

Ding Dong!

The doorbell interrupts my thoughts.

“Can you get it, Sophie?” Mom yells from upstairs. “I’m putting some clothes in the closet.”

I would ask her why she wants me to answer the door, and not Cole, but I already know the answer: “Because you’re the oldest.”

Of course, that logic doesn’t hold when it comes to who gets the first dessert or who doesn’t have to do the dishes at night. As the baby of the family and favored child, my little brother has got it made.

I trudge to the front door in time to see the mail carrier heading back to his truck. He’s left a medium-sized box on the porch. Wonder what it is?

My mother sometimes has holiday packages delivered to the house, but Cole and I haven’t made our Christmas lists yet, so I doubt it’s anything for us. I open the door, pick the package up, and check out the label. It’s got my name on it in bright, red ink, “Sophie Washington.”

Who could this be from?

I never get any mail, except for birthday gifts my Granny Washington sends to our house in Houston from Corpus Christi when she can’t be here, and I don’t remember my parents ordering anything for us online. Granny is driving up to see us tomorrow, so I doubt she would mail presents here when she could just bring them with her.

“Mom, I got a package!” I call out.

“What is it?” Cole bounds from the family room to stare at the box as I set it on the kitchen counter.

“Back off, Cole, it’s mine,” I move him to the side with my hip and take a closer look at the delivery. The box is wrapped in brown paper, and there is no return address. It looks difficult to open with my fingers, so I pull a butter knife out of a drawer in the kitchen and slit through the tape on the side. A sweet, sugary scent fills the air.

“Cool!” exclaims Cole in appreciation as the brown wrapping slides off to reveal a box filled with packages of licorice, gummy bears, gum, and red and green M&Ms. I notice a typed note underneath.

Dear Sophie,
Hope your day is super sweet!
Your Secret Santa

Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 2 – 6
Series: Sophie Washington (Book 7)
Paperback: 122 pages
Publisher: Page Turner Publishing (September 10, 2018)
Language: English

Digital version available for only 99 cents!

Also available in softcover!

Website: tonyaduncanellis.com

Facebook: @tonyaellisbooks

Twitter: @TonyaDEllis

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

GIVEAWAY

Tonya Duncan Ellis will be awarding $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Mrs. Wordsmith The Social Journey

Mrs. Wordsmith–a UK-based education company–has launched The Social Journey in the United States. This monthly subscription program for children ages 3 thru 6 is said to focus on “developing social and emotional intelligence…Young children develop deeper social, emotional and academic skills with the right vocabulary.”

So many kids I know love getting packages in the mail. Isn’t it great to know that this package will help them learn important skills to better prepare them for school, foster creativity and a love of reading, and teach them how to manage their feelings.

My package arrived in a colorful blue box with an animated character on the front that would encourage a youngster to tear it right open and get started. Inside, I discovered a storybook, an activity book, word cards, a sturdy stand and instructions.

As you can see, the storybook, activity book and word card include matching artwork that allows your child to recognize all the month’s words and concepts through repetition. The artwork and storylines are so funny, parents and kids can enjoy a chuckle or two to make learning easier for everyone. These pictures can’t do the artwork justice. Vibrant colors and zany character antics and facial expressions ensure your child will be picking up the books numerous days out of the month.

The storybook gets you started, but then you have days and days worth of activities to increase word use and comprehension. Coloring, drawing, writing practice and more can be found within these sheets that are easy to tear out. It is suggested you place the activity book on the included stand so your child can try out the activities whenever they feel like it.

The word cards help when you are on the go or if you’re looking to spend some extra time playing word games. The first card gives you some ideas, but you can probably think up some of your own too.

The Social Journey is available online for $22.49 a month (cancel anytime) or you can save $30 by making one payment of $239.40. Shipping within the United States is free.

I wish The Social Journey was available when my girls were this age. A program that makes learning fun, fosters creativity and a love of reading, and helps children manage their feelings is destined to have a great impact on generations of children.

I received a free Mrs. Wordsmith The Social Journey package thanks to Allison+Partners. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

When the Butterflies Came by Kimberley Griffiths Little

From the author of Circle of Secrets comes a moving, magical adventure filled with family, faith, loss and love.

Tara Doucet’s life is a sham. She lives in one of the most prestigious homes along the bayou of Louisiana, but her father left them, her mother hides in the south wing of the house crippled by melancholy, she has nothing in common with her older sister Riley, and her beloved Grammy Claire has just passed away.

Then the butterflies come and begin to follow Tara around. A strange butler appears at their door to take them back to Grammy Claire’s house on the island of Chuuk, and she finds a stack of keys and detailed letters from her grandmother with a mystery to solve. As she learns more about her grandmother’s life, she knows the truth will change her life forever.

Circle of Secrets is one of my favorite books. When I learned Little had a new book coming out in 2013, I asked her for a copy. She graciously sent it my way, and then my life got crazy. Determined to catch up on overdue reviews this year, I brought When the Butterflies Came with me on vacation. Now, I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner.

What a fabulous book! Filled with mystery and magic, and set against the beauty of the bayou and an isolated island filled with secrets, Little has created an engaging adventure-filled story. Tara is the perfect protagonist–one readers will sympathize with and cheer for from the very beginning. Her troubled life unfolds as she discovers more and more about the grandmother she thought she knew. As she gets closer and closer to discovering Grammy Claire’s secrets, the danger increases until she’s not certain who is friend or foe. The ending will both thrill and shock. With When the Butterflies Came, Little solidifies her place in children’s literature. Her masterful storytelling will draw you right in and hold you tight until the last page is turned.

Highly recommended!

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 330 pages
Publisher: Scholastic (2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0545541506
ISBN-13: 978-0545541503

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