Little Milly and the Great Lakes Series by Kelly McInenly (Giveaway)

In the first book of the Little Milly and the Great Lakes series, Marj and the Medal, readers meet Milly and her sisters. They are competing in Regatta day events and are determined to win something. After Marj competes in the solo canoe race, Little Milly ends up imparting some wise advice.

Series: Little Milly and the Great Lakes (Book 1)
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Tellwell Talent (May 27, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0228808960
ISBN-13: 978-0228808961

Excerpt:

Smug as pie, Marj skipped off to claim her big loot,

The prize: A 1-gallon jar stuffed full of dried fruit.

“Marj, won’t you please share… just a wee apricot?”

“Prizes are for winners, and win you did not!”

Marj sat on the dock, pleased as mean Mr. Punch,

And gobbled her winnings… a victory lunch!

Check out Little Milly and the Great Lakes: Marj and the Medal (Book 1)

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.ca/Little-Milly-Great-Lakes-Medal/dp/0228808960/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/little-milly-and-the-great-lakes-kelly-mcinenly/1131792651

Indigo/Chapters: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/little-milly-and-the-great/9780228808961-item.html

In Peg and the Party Line, Peg listens in on her neighbors’ conversations over the party line phone. Her shenanigans leave the Lake girls feeling a bit left out when they are discovered.

Series: Little Milly and the Great Lakes (Book 2)
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Tellwell Talent (May 27, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0228808952
ISBN-13: 978-0228808954

 

Check out Little Milly and the Great Lakes: Peg and the Party Line (Book 2)

Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Little-Milly-Great-Lakes-Party/dp/0228808952/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/little-milly-and-the-great-lakes-kelly-mcinenly/1131792650

Indigo/Chapters! https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/little-milly-and-the-great/9780228808954-item.html

In the third book, Bess and the Boil, Bess discovers she has a boil on her bottom. While their cure fixes the problem, the girls end up making quite a mess.

Series: Little Milly and the Great Lakes (Book 3)
Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Tellwell Talent (May 27, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0228808766
ISBN-13: 978-0228808763

These three rhyming stories follow a similar pattern young readers will easily recognize. They open with their grumpy father, then the girls’ adventures (or antics, you decide), and end with their father blissfully unaware of what happened that day followed by wisdom imparted by Little Milly as they sit in their beds. The nature of the adventures might cause some questions, since they are based on the life of the author’s grandmother, but children will laugh aloud as the Lake girls get themselves into some silly situations. Little Milly’s bits of wisdom allow parents to use these zany adventures as teaching points.

The illustrations by Sakshi Mangal are perfect for this series. They capture the quaintness of the Lakes’ waterfront cottage, while the girls’ attire and activities as viewed through the pictures speak to the era in which the girls grew up. The artist also captures the personalities of these sisters.

Check out Little Milly and the Great Lakes: Bess and the Boil (Book 3)

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.ca/Little-Milly-Great-Lakes-Bess/dp/0228808766/

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/little-milly-and-the-great-lakes-kelly-mcinenly/1131792655

Indigo/Chapters! https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/little-milly-and-the-great/9780228808763-item.html

I look forward to more books in the Little Milly and the Great Lakes series.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

I received PDF copies of these books from the author. These reviews contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Thank you for joining us today, Kelly. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

I am a Toronto-based negotiation consultant, distance runner and mother of two tween/teen boys. Writing Little Milly stories lets me escape my very male, urban world and tap into some of my memories of growing up in an outdoorsy and green smaller city (Ottawa) with my brother and sister.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I always loved Creative Writing in school but never considered it as a profession or even a hobby. I entered the Gifted English program, won poetry contests and published a short story in a university publication. I have always found many ways to write in throughout my career in business, but these are more technical pieces like briefing documents, website copy and quarterly updates.

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

As a child, I loved it when my grandmother told me these stories. I wanted to try to capture the interest, imagination and giggles of kids in the same way. It is also something that gives me a new connection with my sons and my nieces who are excited and engaged by something as tangible as a printed book, not by the other dull and ambiguous details of adult life! 

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?

YES! Kids are more honest, more distracted, more visual and more fun than adults! To account for this, I have tested my stories with kids, kept the books short and centered around an idea that would be new to today’s kids (party lines, regattas, boils…). I also engaged Sashi Mangal as my illustrator as she sees the world through the eyes of a child. You can see more of her beautiful work at Sakshi’s Illustrations

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

To write for young people you have to remember what you enjoyed as a child. Reconnecting with my former favourite jokes, activities, foods, colours – anything that will bring some joy to a reader when they find it in my stories – is my favourite part of writing for young people. It makes me realize how much I have changed over the years, and not always for better… it feels good to be Little Kelly once in a while! 

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

Little Milly was my grandmother Mildred Lake’s nickname as a child. The Great Lakes are what I call her five sisters. They grew up without a mother and with a strict military father in the Maritimes in the early 1900s. They had few means, but always found adventure together. Each story centers around one of the sisters and ends with a moral. I have attached a Little Book of Morals activity for your young reader to complete. 

What inspired you to write it?

When my grandmother passed away, I had not written anything in years, but I felt inspired to write down the stories she used to tell me simply as a way to remember them. It ended up being a very enjoyable experience, but I still set them aside for another seven years until my kids were young readers and I realized there was a place for sweet, simple stories like these. 

What is up next for you?

More Milly… Ene and the Ivy, Flo and the Fishermen and Milly and the Mail are the next stories on deck for the Little Milly and the Great Lakes series. You can have your young reader appear in the illustrations if you send a photo to Little Milly to @littlemillyandthegreatlakes on Instagram. 

Big Brothers… Postcards From Heaven will tell, through the correspondence they sent home, the story of Little Milly’s three brothers who were killed on the front lines after sneaking into the military underage. 

Beginner Business… Foundation Before Creation is a business book for young people that I am co-authoring with my longtime friend and colleague, Julien Leblanc. It focuses on the soft skills you won’t learn in school but that are the key to success in business and life. 

Do you have anything else to add?

Kids can seek and find a bird hidden on each page of the Little Milly stories. I always loved finding the spider in the Little Critter series, so Little Kelly demanded I include this bit of fun.

GIVEAWAY!!!

Kelly McInenly will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please click to Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

The Story of Civil War Hero Robert Smalls by Janet Halfmann

Part of “The Story of” biography series from Lee & Low books, The Story of Civil War Hero Robert Smalls by Janet Halfmann is a chapter book providing a glimpse into this brave, amazing man who was born into slavery and became a national hero.

Born in the slave quarters of a plantation in Beaufort, South Carolina, Robert Smalls began working for his master at the age of six. As his master’s favorite, Smalls led an easier life than other enslaved people, but he still witnessed the evils of slavery. As he grew into a young man, he knew he wanted more for his life and for his people than living as the property of another man. The Story of Civil War Hero Robert Smalls tells the story of the daring plan Smalls implemented to bring his family and others to freedom and how he helped the Union cause. It also follows his life after the war as a member of the United States Congress, a publisher, and a lifelong advocate for African Americans.

 

This is the second book by Janet Halfmann about the life of Robert Smalls that I’ve read. The picture book, Seven Miles to Freedom, is an excellent choice for younger readers. The Story of Civil War Hero Robert Smalls is geared toward school-age children. In addition to the biography of Smalls, additional historical content  provides an in-depth look into the times in which Small lived. According to the publisher’s website, “The Story of” books include: informative sidebars, highlighted vocabulary words, a timeline, a glossary, a bibliography, and a recommended reading list. This information makes The Story of Civil War Hero Robert Smalls the perfect book for school and public libraries and a great resource for all types of school projects. An inspiring story of a true American hero, The Story of Civil War Hero Robert Smalls is a welcome addition to any Civil War library.

The style of artwork from talented children’s book illustrator Duane Smith allows the reader to envision Smalls’ journeys from his dreams of freedom through his days of piloting the Planter wood-burning steamer. The book also includes historical photos.

I am proud to add The Story of Civil War Hero Robert Smalls to my Civil War library.

Highly recommended!

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 8 – 11 years
Grade Level: 3 – 4
Series: Story of…?
Paperback: 80 pages
Publisher: Lee & Low Books (February 25, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1643790161
ISBN-13: 978-1643790169

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.

Ella the Swinging Duck by Suzan Overmeer

Ella is different from her brothers and sisters.
Less neat. And less sweet.
And she sings her own songs, all day long!
The other animals need time
to get used to it …

An inspiring picture book about music, friendship, and the courage to be yourself. For swinging music makers ages 4 and up.

Age Range: 4 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Lexile Measure: 530L
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Clavis (April 28, 2020)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605374989
ISBN-13: 978-1605374987

 

Purchase from:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Indiebound.org

 

Escucha Means Listen by Talia Aikens-Nuñez (Giveaway)

escuchaEscucha Means Listen by Talia Aikens-Nuñez is a charming bilingual story that introduces children to the sounds of their world. From the honking of a truck’s horn to the banging of men working and the chirping of birds, youngsters will explore the sounds around them with this beautifully illustrated book.

There is such a great need for quality bilingual books, especially in a community like ours with a children’s hospital filled with patients of all nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. Escucha Means Listen is lyrical with a repetitive prose that will make it easy to read. The stunning artwork provided by Dina Ashraf Helmi is the perfect complement to the story. With soothing colors and soft lines, people, animals and things come alive.

I see this as a great book to take outside, so you and your child could walk along and match sounds from the book to sounds you hear on a walk together. Especially in this dreadful time of isolation, teaching young people to stop and appreciate the world around them is important.

Highly recommended.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 5 – 6 years
Paperback: 42 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 2 edition (January 30, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1523785799
ISBN-13: 978-1523785797

Purchase here!

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.

 

EXCERPT

Buzz. Buzz. Qué oyes? (What do you hear?)

Las abejas (The bees) circling the flowers.

Woosh. Woosh. What do you hear?

El viento (The wind) is whistling by.

Shh. Shh. Qué oyes? (What do you hear?)

Las hojas (The leaves) are dancing on the trees.

 

Talia Aikens-Nuñez wanted to be a meteorologist, a politician and a lawyer. She never thought she would be an author. It was the birth of her daughter that caused her to start writing. Raising a bilingual child inspired Talia to write multicultural children’s books.

Talia’s family loves nature so much that she and her husband vowed that they will always try to live close to water. She and her family live in Connecticut with a little pond.

Find Talia online at:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

GIVEAWAY!!!

Talia Aikens-Nunez will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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

 

Honeycake Series by Medea Kalantar

Honeycake introduces readers to a diverse, multi-cultural family that is full of love.

The grandmother explains why she calls her grandchildren “Honeycakes” while she teaches her granddaughter how to bake a honey cake.

Through imagination, the grandmother details how each delicious ingredient represents a different family member and his or her unique ethnic background.

This charming book also includes a recipe and step-by-step instructions on how to bake your own delicious batch of honey cake with your Honeycakes!

 

Help I Swallowed A Butterfly, is the second book in the delightful Honeycake series. In this sequel, Nala gets stage fright at school. But with the help of her mom, Nala learns how to get rid of those pesky butterflies in her tummy. This charming book empowers young readers to practice mindfulness and meditation so that they are able to meet life’s challenges head-on in a healthy and balanced way. Help I Swallowed A Butterfly is clearly written and incredibly relatable, with step-by-step instructions and guided meditation exercises for young readers. This book is also a valuable resource for caregivers who want to provide a positive introduction for children to the world of self-care and managing those butterflies.
Life can be stressful at any age, but with the right tools and mindset, we can overcome any obstacle!

In the third instalment in the charming Honeycake Book Series, Nala brings her outgrown toys and clothes to Rainbow Hall, and spends the day with her Grandma and Uncle JD discovering a special magical power we all have, called ✨KINDNESS✨

“Kindness is a “Special Magical Power” we all have inside of us. When we show kindness, it’s like spreading sunshine everywhere we go — no matter what the weather is like outside.

Could you imagine how much nicer the world would be if everyone smiled at each other or did a random act of kindness every day? We are kind when we use our manners by saying please and thank you, or by opening a door, or by giving our seat on a bus or train to a stranger in need.

Kindness is a gift we can all afford to give. Though it doesn’t cost a thing, your kindness can mean everything to another person.”

Use your “Special Magical Powers” and spread kindness everywhere you go!

 

Visit the author online at https://honeycakebooks.com

4RV Publishing to Attend Luther Pecan Festival on Saturday, November 16

You’ll find my book, A Christmas Kindness, and other great 4RV Publishing titles at the Luther Pecan Festival this Saturday. Books make great gifts. Hope you’ll pay them a visit if you’re in the area. Visit https://www.facebook.com/events/luther-register-news/2019-luther-pecan-festival/502832737210237/ for more information.

 

Eight-year-old Robert is eager to share his wish list with Santa at the mall on Christmas Eve. When he meets Glenn, who only has one request for Santa, Robert is confused about what he should do. Can he cast aside what he wants and ask Santa to bring his new friend a special gift?

You can purchase this book at:

 

4RV Publishing Bookstore

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Kobo

 

 

Sloth the Lazy Dragon by Regan W.H. Macaulay

What a delightful and fun story you will find in Sloth the Lazy Dragon by Regan W.H. Macaulay.

Sloth had become out of shape and lazy as he guarded the pile of treasure. When one brave Dwarf named Radish decides to help him change his habits, Sloth is finally able to take flight.

Macaulay has crafted a story that encourages healthy habits without preaching. Young readers will enjoy reading how Radish helps Sloth work hard, eat right, and set goals for himself. As progress is slowly made, Sloth feels better and is so overjoyed with what he can do he rewards Radish in a special way.

Accompanying the story is artwork from talented Canadian artist Alex Zgud. This versatile artist has brought Sloth, Radish, and their world to life with stunning details that fit perfectly into the story.

Sloth the Lazy Dragon might just make it easier for you and your children to have the discussion of creating healthy habits. Kids who enjoy fables and fairy tales or stories of mythical creatures will get a kick out of this one.

I look forward to more of Macaulay’s work.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing; Large type / large print edition edition (May 14, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616337621
ISBN-13: 978-1616337629

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