Scary Mary by Paula Bowles

Scary Mary rules the barnyard. She scares the other animals away. She hogs all the sunflower seeds. She builds a fort to keep the others out. She soon discovers, however, that being scary is very lonely.

In this zany book written and illustrated by Paula Bowles, young readers find a bully of a bird learning a valuable lesson. While we don’t know why Scary Mary acts as she does, we are treated to seeing how happy and playful the barnyard becomes once all the animals are friends. Scary Mary could be used as a springboard for short parent/child discussions about the possibilities of why Scary Mary acts the way she does, which could provide children with insight into bullies they might meet in real life. I also like the way Bowles has Scary Mary being the one to go to the other animals after she has scared them off and asking them to play. The reader sees Scary Mary knows she’s wrong and takes the first step toward making things right.

I love Bowles’s artwork for this book. It is similiar in style to that of Betsy Lewin in many of Doreen Cronin’s books. It’s outlandish. It’s big. Just like Scary Mary is at the beginning. This is a fun book with a fabulous message. I highly recommend it.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Hardcover:24 pages
  • Publisher:Tiger Tales (March 1, 2012)
  • ISBN-10:1589251105
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589251106

Interview with Dr. Jackie Cogswell, Author of Super Luke Faces His Bully

Dr. Jackie Chirco Cogswell is a family physician, wife, mother, former school teacher, and author of a series of Christian children’s novels, the Giggleheart Adventure Series. As a Christian mother, the issue of bullying became personal to her when her son was bullied at school. Through the many struggles her son had with bullies, Dr. Jackie learned from firsthand experience how to tackle bullying from a Biblical perspective. “Super Luke Faces His Bully” was inspired by her son’s personal struggle and the good Lord Who equips us for every battle and gives us strength.”

Visit her online at

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

I am a family physician, wife, mother, teacher, and author of Christian children’s novels.

Helping people has always been my passion and being a physician has helped satisfy that desire. However, almost eight years ago, I put my medical career “on hold” when I gave birth to my third child. It was at that time, I felt God’s enormous nudge to be a stay-at-home-mom for “a while.”  My intent was to return to medical practice when my baby was about six months old.  Well, my baby is now seven years old, and I am still on “maternity leave!”  During this time God has captured my heart and given me a hunger to learn more about Him!  During this super-long “maternity leave,” God has sparked a new passion in me to write books that would to teach the hurting and brokenhearted children (and their families) about the healing and hope we have in Christ!

This adventure God has me on is so full of surprises and life!

My husband is amazing and so are our three children.  We live in South Eastern Michigan.  When we are home together, our house if filled with noise, energy, and lots of giggles!  But, the moment the kids are off to school, the house is quiet and that is my time to turn on my music, pray, read, write, and “occasionally” get distracted enough by dirty dishes, laundry and dust to clean!

We have two guinea pigs, one gecko and a fish. My house is also filled with plants.  I enjoy watching plants grow; almost as much as watching my kids grow.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

It all began about seven years ago when I first started studying the Bible.  At that time, God somehow seemed to have “flipped a switch” in my imagination and starting flooding my mind with Word pictures (“visual slices” of stories that teach a lesson). These Word pictures would come to mind when I least expected. They often showed up in my mind when I was with my kids. For a while, whenever my daughter opened her mouth, I would get a new picture in my head which I had to capture and write down; this annoyed her! These seemly random Word pictures seemed like puzzle pieces with the final image still being a mystery at the time.  In my wildest dreams, I never thought of writing a story!

Prior to that point, I struggled with creative writing to the point that a root canal seemed more appealing.

But, God changed all of that. After a while, these thoughts and Word pictures were connected and Giggleheart Adventures were born!

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

The seeds to write this book were planted in my heart by my son, who started getting bullied in the second grade.  My tender-hearted boy was crushed and had little self-worth.  As his mother, I refused to let my son be a bully victim!  With prayer and a lot of tenacity, we tackled bullying from a Christian perspective. During our struggles with bullying, the seeds for this book grew.  They took root and sprouted up as my family witnessed how God transformed some of my son’s most hurtful experiences into victories!

Through prayer and bringing the bullies’ parents to the table, we were able to witness some incredible heart changes that only God could accomplish.  These experiences were so extraordinary that the one seeds grew and Super Luke Faces His Bully! was birthed by God’s grace.

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

No, in fact, writing books for children seems to be what comes natural to me right now. 

What is your favorite part of writing for young people?

It is rewarding to get feedback from young readers about my books.  It makes my heart happy to hear that my books teach young readers many valuable lessons about bullying, fear, anger, and prayer while making their hearts giggle with God’s joy! 

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

Super Luke Faces His Bully! is about a young boy, Luke Giggleheart, who deeply desires to be a brave super hero.  However, when he finds himself stuffed in a locker by a school bully, his dreams of becoming brave and strong come crashing down!

During this adventure, Luke learns with the help of a super-smart angel, how to handle bullying, fear, anger, lying (and many more issues) from a Biblical perspective.  Luke learns how God intended his heart to be brave and bully-proof in a fun and giggly way!

Where can readers purchase a copy?

What is up next for you?

I am currently working on Giggleheart #3, a book about controlling your anger when life seems unfair.

Also, I am maintaining my medical credentials so I continue to study medical updates and go to conferences.

I am looking forward to seeing where else God leads me in the journey.

Do you have anything else to add?

God is amazing!

If you give Him the keys and steering wheel of your heart, you will be surprised where He takes you!  

Thank you for spending time with us today, Dr. Jackie. We wish you much success.

Teen Girls Need L.O.V.E. by S. Dodson

A book meant to inspire, motivate, and transform young women is what you’ll find in Teen Girls Need L.O.V.E. by S. Dodson.

Alarmed by so many teens committing suicide after being bullied, Dodson wrote a book to show teens they can overcome any problem that comes their way. From being bullied to peer pressure, from accepting your body image to loving yourself, from owning your future to achieving success and more, young women will get advice on how they can have a L.O.V. E. (Loud Outstanding Voice (that)Echoes).

While I think the book would have been more powerful if it had opened with real teens telling their stories instead of those stories being relayed by the author, Teen Girls Need L.O.V.E. has a lot to offer. It gets teens thinking, and that’s a good start. It’s a short book filled with tons of useful advice that is shared in a style that teens will appreciate. Dodson doesn’t talk down to her audience. She shoots straight with them and meets them where they are.

I’m going to hold onto this copy for when my girls are old enough to read it.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Paperback:164 pages
  • Publisher:Mahogney Ink Publications (June 1, 2011)
  • ISBN-10:0982795025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982795026
  • SRP:  $10.95

I received a free paperback copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation for this review.

Catch the Cat by Aaron Hoopes

An ebook that will entertain and empower your school age child is what you’ll find in Catch the Cat by Aaron Hoopes.

Justin Lumkin and Nikki Bean are two misfits. Justin is fat and picked on by the school bully. Nikki’s face is broken out and her hair a scraggly mess. The girls tease her profusely. Luckily the end of the school year arrives and the torture can stop for a few short months. But on that last day, something amazing happens. They meet an impish purple cat named Zink who plans to teach them the five secret words to help them be happier and healthier.

Catch the Cat is a fun book that will help youngsters make better choices. Taking place over one summer, two misfits unlock the secret words that will help them deal with the issues they have barely managed to cope with on a daily basis. Tackling topics such as bullying, exercise, obesity and dieting, self-confidence, and more, Hoopes, founder of Zen Yoga, uses his years of experience working with children to develop this wonderful story.

If the story had encompassed a few more chapters, the ending might not have seemed rushed, but overall I was satisfied with how it turned out. Almost five dollars is a bit pricy for a 35 page ebook, but since the messages contained within its pages are so important to today’s children’s I still think it’s a sound investment. I look forward to more books by this talented author.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Information from Smashwords:

Ebook By Aaron Hoopes
$4.95 Rating: Not yet rated.
Published: April 28, 2010
Category: Fiction » Children’s Books » Fairy tales and fables
Category: Fiction » Children’s Books » Animals
Words: 16654 (approximate)


Night Knight: Therapeutic Bedtime Stories by Emma K. Piers

These stories are aimed towards helping children ages 5 – 11 years develop confidant, happy and peaceful self identities, particularly during challenging times. The stories explore four themes common to many children: childhood bereavement, separation, bullying, and childhood anxiety and depression. Written in third party to enable the child to impersonalise themselves from the story content, rich metaphor and imagery is used through out to help the child absorb healing messages that are helpful to them.

The author uses her background experience in counselling, to help children who are struggling with feelings like guilt, shame, depression, and other immobilising and self destructive emotions. During times of change and challenge, it is very easy, and often inevitable, that a child can assume they they’ve done ‘something wrong’ and there’s ‘something wrong ‘with them. The author uses various fantasy characters who undergo various challenges, and are shown by their friends, in ways that children can respond and relate to easily, that they are not the cause of the circumstances. The book has been carefully crafted to help children develop a sense of wholeness, happiness, peace and self confidance. This helps them avoid self injurious preoccupations with seeking other’s approval, or need to control and dominate, as they become older.

Read the excerpt!

Deep within the shadows of the huge oak tree, the ground itself seemed to be alive. Leaves, twigs and ferns were flying about. They could have been helpless victims caught up in the winds of wild tornadoes! Even the tangled roots that lay bare above the ground were writhing and moving around like angry snakes amidst the chaos. All the while delicate rays of sunlight shone down through the tree’s branches. They pierced the shadows like dancing fireflies.

What was that – over there? Did you notice those ears? Those pointed ears. A little body was moving clumsily through the undergrowth.

“Orion, what are you doing?” A small and very beautiful elf with the shiniest, blackest hair you’ve ever seen suddenly appeared. Where had she come from? It was Rosador.

“You’re causing a right kerfuffle you know!” she said to her friend.

The tree shouted out, “Hey, bro, that hurts!” as her friend Orion tripped clumsily over its roots, half falling into the clearing to join Rosador. As soon as she saw him, she noticed a grey shadowy outline on his left shoulder. One moment it was there, the next it had gone. Completely disappeared. Rosador recognised the cruel dark figure straight away. Orion’s dark fairy. It had come to try and do him some real harm.

Read the reviews!

“This collection of bedtime stories is designed for children facing particular challenges in their lives, such as bereavement or bullying, but would be a perfect addition to any child’s library.The stories work well whether they are read to the child or the child reads to themselves. The characters are engaging, their adventures exciting without being frightening, and the stories will draw children in from the very beginning. The artwork is superb and is an ideal accompaniment to the stories. For any child, but especially one going through a difficult time, these stories are an excellent source of comfort. Highly recommended bedtime reading.”

 – Willow T.,

“These bedtime stories are a wonderful method of inspiring a sense of safety and open communication between children and the parent / carer who is reading the story. The expression of difficult feelings is encouraged and accepted, and the stories leave the listener with a great sense of safety and security. I recommend these stories to young people up to the age of twelve, and their carers. Everyone is likely to benefit for those undergoing difficult life experiences, losses and transitions.”

– Dr Julia Ronder, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist


Emma Piers is an author, wellbeing coach and narrator. She lives in rural Dorset in the UK with her life/working partner Mark Turner. Emma was born in a rambling old vicarage in Kent, in 1958. Her father was a vicar, and she had two siblings. During her early years, the family moved five times. During these years, Emma developed a deep love and sense of connectedness with the natural world around her. Walking and writing stories about mythical creatures and people became a big preoccupation, alongside a love of English that was instilled in her by two teachers who were both passionate about their subject. As a counter balance, she managed to fail her Maths ‘O’ level three times. Friendships came and went with five different schools in short succession being attended. A working year exploring the USA and France was followed by another year feeling out of place in a technical college studying pitman script, shorthand typing and profit and loss accounts. Many years and several homes later, after her younger child started grammar school, Emma started studying counselling and creative writing. After a number of years in counselling practice, and travels in Australia, Emma’s more recent studies are encompassing both traditional therapeutic and mythological storytelling. This form of storytelling incorporates understandings of the holistic ways in which human and environment interact. 

Her latest book is Night Knight: Therapeutic Bedtime Stories.

You can visit her website at

Follow the author on Twitter at!/NightKnightEP

Join her on Facebook at

Bookmark & Share