You Know What? By Carol Gordon Ekster

You Know What? by Carol Gordon Ekster is a delightful bedtime story that will be treasured by kids and moms alike.

Oliver knows it’s bedtime, but he’s had a busy day and wants to tell mommy all about it.

This is not the first book by Ekster that I’ve read, and I doubt it will be my last. As a former elementary school teacher, she is in tune with what resonates with young people. Oliver continues to toss out the same question to his mommy as he gets ready for bedtime. His tired, yet patient, mommy keeps on listening and encouraging him along the way. It’s a very sweet concept. I also truly enjoyed the artwork of Nynke Mare Talsma. Vibrant blues, greens, yellows, and reds catch your eye as you move page by page through this charming story. I hope we will see more collaborations between these two talented people.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 4 – 6 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Lexile Measure: 340
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Clavis (September 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605372781
ISBN-13: 978-1605372785

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

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This Book is Full of Monsters by Guido van Genechten

This Book is Full of Monsters is a silly and adorable story written and illustrated by Guido van Genechten.

Young readers are warned from the beginning and given a list of things they need if they dare to open the front cover of this book that is filled with small, stinky, loud, gross, sleepy and sometimes scary monsters. This book is a fun interactive experience that kids will enjoy. They might even be in for a surprise or two. With van Genechten’s superb artwork and such a zany story, youngsters will be going back to this one time and again.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 4 – 6 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Clavis; Pop edition (August 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605373605
ISBN-13: 978-1605373607

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

From Clavis Publishing

 

Dear Santa… That’s how Tess starts her letter. You don’t have to bring me any toys this year. The only thing I want is a real gnome. Full of anticipation, Tess looks forward to the day her new friend arrives: a friend she can take everywhere, and with whom she can share everything. With Grandpa and Grandma’s help, she gets everything ready. Grandpa builds little pieces of furniture, Grandma sews a little blanket, and Tess prepares a welcome meal. And then it’s finally Christmas Eve … Will Santa bring a real gnome? A heartwarming picture book with wonderfully funny illustrations.

Oliver should go to sleep. But there is so much he wants to tell his mother about: what happened that day, the things he read in books, everything he sees around him. A touching and familiar picture book about postponing the ritual of going to sleep.”

Bunny is looking forward to a cozy fall and winter with Hedgehog. But Hedgehog says he will start hibernating when the first leaf falls. Bunny is worried. He cannot go that long without seeing his friend! He comes up with a clever plan: he is simply going to hide the falling leaves, and the arrival of fall…. A merry and moving story about friendship.

With all his might Benji puts some seeds into the earth. Eagerly he follows the progress of growing. He lays in the sun beside his banana squash. He smells it, touches it, and puts sticks in the ground to measure how big it gets. A simple story that opens up children’s eyes to one of nature’s smallest and at the same time biggest wonders.

This is a book full of monsters: small, smelly, yelling, creepy… monsters! So it’s a book for hard core monster lovers, but also for beginners in monsterology. With shock effects!

I Give You My Heart by Pimm van Hest


I Give You My Heart by Pimm van Hest is a beautifully told story that will touch the heart of everyone who reads it.

Yuto is given an unusual wooden box by an old man in a store. The man tells him, “Everything you need is in this box.” But no matter how hard Yuto tries, he can’t open the wooden box. On the eve of his seventh birthday, the box opens to reveal a seed, which Yuto plants. Eventually the seed becomes a tree and is so big he plants it in a special place and, throughout his long life, Yuto and the tree share a special bond.

In many ways, this story reminds me of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, which is a book I shared with all my children. This poetic fairy tale is enhanced by the stunning artwork of Sassafras De Bryun and the intricate cutouts throughout the book. While I Give You My Heart is a children’s book, the older you are the more meaningful it becomes. I think it would make the perfect coffee table book.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Age Range: 6 and up
Grade Level: 1 and up
Lexile Measure: 540 (What’s this?)
Hardcover: 56 pages
Publisher: Clavis (November 15, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1605373567
ISBN-13: 978-1605373560

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

2017 Goals Year End Update

Hard to believe that we are close to the end of 2017. For me, it was a good real estate year, which means it wasn’t such a great writing year. That said, the last quarter has seen me focusing more on my writing than I was earlier. Here is what my goals were when I started.

GOALS FOR 2017

  1. Participate in Picture Book Idea Month in January. I’ve participated in this endeavor twice, which resulted in Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving being published, Amos Faces His Bully being under contract, and four other picture books written. I’m game to do it again.
  2. Submit two short stories this year.
  3. Contribute to Guardian Angel Kids e-zine once this year.
  4. Seek out guest blogging opportunities once a quarter.
  5. Write four chapters of Amelia’s Mission by June.
  6. Attend writing group monthly.

Then in June I added:

New item: Amos Faces His Bully is currently being illustrated. That should come out sometime later this year. I’ll need to dedicate time October – December to promote it.

New item: I’ve given the Christian chapter book I ghostwrote to one of my publishers for review. With any luck I’ll be needing to work on edits to that this year as well. Say a prayer.

 

Where did I end up?

2017 GOAL YEAR END UPDATE

Goal 1 DONE!: Picture Book Idea Month became STORYSTORM this year. This allowed more writers to participate and certainly helped me to achieve my goal of 30 story ideas in 30 days.

Goal 2 Incomplete: Thought I would do this, but much of my focus this year has been on a larger project you’ll see below.

Goal 3 Incomplete: Guardian Angel has been very good to me over the years. They have another book of mine in the works, so I will put this one back on my goals list for 2018.

Goal 4 DONE!: This has been an important part of my marketing plan since before my first book was published. I love to host fellow authors at my blogs and they are more than happy to return the favor. My last guest spot of the year appeared at Mary Cunningham’s Cynthia’s Attic blog. You can read it at http://cynthiasattic.blogspot.com/2017/12/holiday-inspiration-by-cheryl-c.html

 Goal 5 Made Progress: I am up to seventeen chapters and I just edited all of them because I’ve been writing a tiny bit each Wednesday. I’m ready to start the new year off strong. I want this book completed in 2018.

Goal 6 Made Progress: I can’t say I kept track, but I think I only missed three meetings this year. Not bad for someone who is usually out selling houses in the evening. I’ve already set up our meeting schedule through the year for 2018, so I am in the process of adding the dates to my calendar. I won’t usually schedule over it if that time is already reserved.

GOAL 7 In the works: Sadly, the original illustrator for Amos Faces His Bully became ill this year and was unable to complete the project. I am thrilled with his replacement, but I don’t have a  new release date from the publisher yet.

GOAL 8 On hold: The publisher opted not to pick up the Christian chapter book I ghostwrote. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it yet, but I’ll see what 2018 brings.

In a day or two I will be posting my 2018 Goals List. Hope you’ll share how your goals went this year and what you’re planning for the new year.

The Runaway Dandelion by Jill Regensburg

This is an adorable and educational story about one dandelion’s flight to a new home and the happy family she finds.

In The Runaway Dandelion, a beautiful meadow is bulldozed to make room for new construction. Harsh chemicals are brought in to kill all the dandelions in the new lawn, but one little dandelion survives. When her petals turn to white fluff she drifts a long way until she settles in a perfect new home and watches the daily life of the people who live there.

I must applaud the author’s desire to bring such an important message to young people. Her passion is evident on each page. As sustainable lifestyles become more prevalent, books such as these will encourage children from an early age. The one challenge I have with the story line is that the dandelion appears to see every inch of the family’s farm from where she is planted in the ground and seems to know the kids aren’t watching TV because they are so busy working on the farm. It’s a little niggle, but it was there for me.

The artwork by Leticia Plate is lovely. The colors and style are perfect for this story. The book has important terms appearing in green instead of in black, which are listed in a glossary at the end along with definitions. There is also a list of resources and useful links in the final pages. The Runaway Dandelion will open up the minds of young people and get them asking questions.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 48 pages
Publisher: EarthWardProject; 1st edition (May 12, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0998459607
ISBN-13: 978-0998459608

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

Macaroni and Cheese for Thanksgiving

Ten-year-old Macy is waiting for her grandparents to arrive on Thanksgiving. When the front door swings open, Grandma and Grandpa are covered with hugs and kisses. Crash! Everyone rushes in to find the dog gnawing a meaty turkey leg. Can Macy’s quick thinking save dinner?

Purchase at….

GAP

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Book Depository

Indiebound