Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia by Julia Hengst

Stunning artwork, imagination, and lyrical prose and rhymes that will engage young readers fill the pages of Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia by Julia Hengst.

Incorporating insights from psychology, mindfulness practices, spirituality, and various healthy traditions to support mental/emotional health and wellness, Hengst has developed this first book in a planned series to promote love, kindness, and acceptance, while encouraging the importance of knowing inner EMOCEANS to help you handle all moods.

By using enchanting creatures like mermaids and made up creatures like Purrmaids, the author makes these concepts easier to digest. The beautiful artwork by Esther Samuels-Davis, which depicts a diverse world, draws the reader deeper into the story. Who wouldn’t want to live in Mermaidia?

I hope we will see the songs featured in Venus Underwater: Songs from Mermaidia put to music one day. It would be great to have an accompanying CD and activity book.

I look forward to more from Hengst and Samuels-Davis.

Rating: πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  • Publisher ‏ : β€Ž Mind Trip Productions (May 14, 2021)
  • Language ‏ : β€Ž English
  • Hardcover ‏ : β€Ž 36 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : β€Ž 1736137506
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : β€Ž 978-1736137505
  • Reading age ‏ : β€Ž 6 – 12 years

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

Bandits of Basswood by E. P. Bellows

Like many Drakes before him, John William Drake was born to be an explorer. When he discovers a book hidden in the ceiling of his family home, his father promises they are about to embark on a grand adventure. But when his father mysteriously disappears, John William moves in with his Uncle Andrew. A year passes with no word regarding his father’s whereabouts. That all changes on John William’s twelfth birthday, when he receives an invitation to change his destiny.

In this unknown land, John William searches for his father. His quest will find him getting help from a hopper and an Empyrean, and will endanger all their lives as they fight off the Bandits of Basswood. Can they escape? What other adventures are in store for John William and his friends? Will he ever find his father?

While I am not a huge reader of fantasy novels, I love stories filled with adventure.Β Bandits of BasswoodΒ certainly has tons of that. From the moment John William embarks upon the search for his father, it is a wild ride of deciphering clues, dodging bandits, and meeting fantastic creatures along the way. It kept me turning the pages and ended where I felt appropriate.

The one challenge for me is that this book had formatting and editing issues. The paragraphs were block style instead of indented, which made for a clumsy and sometimes confusing read despite the double-space between lines. Dialogue from one character would run into the dialogue of another character. In addition, there were typos and grammar errors. As an editor, it is tough for me to simply just read a book, but it went beyond that. Missing opening or closing quotation marks around dialogue, wrong words used, and instances where in one paragraph a word specific to this story would be capitalized and then further down in another paragraph it would be lowercase.Β 

I love the idea behind this story. The characters are unique. The artwork is beautiful. Tidy up the formatting and editing, and it will be a fabulous read.

Rating: πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚Β 

  • ASIN ‏ : β€ŽΒ B08CSBF8M4
  • Publication date ‏ : β€ŽΒ July 10, 2020
  • Language ‏ : β€ŽΒ English
  • File size ‏ : β€ŽΒ 3194 KB

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

First Chapter Review: The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper by Fiona Ingram

I am reading The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper, the third book in Fiona Ingram’s Chronicles of the Stone series. Having read the first two books in this pre-teen action adventure series, I have high hopes for this one.

BLURB: A plane crash! Lost in the jungle! Hunted by their old enemy, will Adam, Justin, and Kim survive long enough to find the Third Stone of Power? With only a young boy, Tukum, as their guide, the kids make their way through the dense and dangerous jungle to find the lost city of stone gods, where the Stone of Power might be located. River rafting on a crocodile-infested river and evading predators are just part of this hazardous task. Of course, their old adversary Dr. Khalid is close behind as the kids press on. But he is not the worst of their problems. This time Adam will clash with a terrible enemy who adopts the persona of an evil Aztec god, Tezcatlipoca, and is keen to revive the ancient tradition of human sacrifice. Adam, Justin, and Tukum must play a dreadful ball game of life and death and maybe survive. Will they emerge alive from the jungle? Will Dr. Khalid find the third Stone of Power before they do?

COVER: Just what I would expect for this series. It fits in well with the covers of the other titles, and its colorful image catches the eye.

FIRST CHAPTER: When Adam opens his eyes, the screaming of tearing metal has stopped. Shaken up by the plane crash, Adam, Justin and Kim need to figure out what to do now that their guide is injured. They quickly realize being alone in a jungle filled with hungry animals and unknown tribes places them in some of the greatest danger they have ever been in.

KEEP READING: Definitely! I’ve loved this series since the beginning, so there is no doubt that this latest installment should be just as thrilling. Dropped immediately into the action, the reader will be eager to find out what happens next and how Adam, Justin and Kim will figure out their next steps.

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Amazon (print): https://amzn.to/39swq1j

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Google Books: https://bit.ly/2MyMKEk

I received a free digital copy from the author. This first chapter review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way. Look for my full review coming soon!

Simon’s Skin by Nidhi Kamra

Simon’s Skin by Nidhi Kamra teaches is a funny way to teach youngsters to be comfortable in their own skin.

Simon thinks his skin is boring. So, he tries on a variety of different skins. He quickly comes to a surprising conclusion.

This is such a neat book. Between the catchy text and the vibrant artwork, children are bound to be thrilled with it. Though I try not to make many comparisons to other books, Simon’s SkinΒ reminds me of a modernΒ I Want to Be Somebody New!Β by Robert Lopshire. Artist Diane Brown’s colorful artwork will definitely make youngsters want to pick up the book, but it is Kamra’s engaging story that will keep them turning the pages. Having read books from Kamra before, I knew this would be a good one. This topic is also timely, because it teaches kids to be comfortable in their own skin.

A silly story with a good lesson hidden inside is what you’ll find in Simon’s Skin.

Rating: πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Grade Level : Kindergarten – 3
Item Weight : 4.5 ounces
Paperback : 32 pages
ISBN-10 : 1940310865
ISBN-13 : 978-1940310862
Product Dimensions : 8.5 x 0.09 x 11.02 inches
Publisher : 4RV Children’s Corner; Illustrated Edition (July 21, 2020)
Reading level : 3 – 7 years

Also available in hardcover.

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

The Train to Impossible Places by P.G. Bell

A train that travels through impossible places. A boy trapped in a snow globe. And a girl who’s about to go on the adventure of a lifetime.

The Impossible Postal Express is no ordinary train. It’s a troll-operated delivery service that runs everywhere from ocean-bottom shipwrecks, to Trollville, to space.

But when this impossible train comes roaring through Suzy’s living room, her world turns upside down. After sneaking on board, Suzy suddenly finds herself Deputy Post Master aboard the train, and faced with her first deliveryβ€”to the evil Lady Crepuscula.

Then, the package itself begs Suzy not to deliver him. A talking snow globe, Frederick has information Crepuscula could use to take over the entire Union of Impossible Places. But when protecting Frederick means putting her friends in danger, Suzy has to make a difficult choiceβ€”with the fate of the entire Union at stake.

Age Range: 10 – 14 years
Grade Level: 4 – 6
Series: Train To Impossible Places (Book 1)
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Square Fish (October 1, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250211425
ISBN-13: 978-1250211422

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