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.

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Guest Blogger: Katherine L. Holmes, Author of The Swan Bonnet

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Unknown to Dawn, her grandfather has shot an old swan out of mercy. In their coastal Alaskan town, her father buys the swan pelt, preventing her Uncle Alex, a fur trader, from selling it for export. Dawn’s father surprises her part-Aleut mother with a hat she helped to make and also with an idea to catch poachers. Shooting swans has become illegal but Alaska is a territory and Prohibition occupies the Sheriff. Dawn and her mother become involved with suspicious responses to the swan bonnet besides its haunting effect. Because Dawn’s grandparents see the swans first, Dawn agrees to secretly watch the migration with the Deputy Sheriff’s son. But after she and her mother encounter women from a ship and find out about a hunting party, they ride to the inlet. There are also townspeople roving the shore but who is the vigilante and who is the poacher?

The Swan Bonnet Herstory by Katherine L. Holmes

We tend to absorb the history of our environment. As it was for many, Alaska was romantic to me as a frontier, romantic while living in the city. All of a sudden someone would leave Minneapolis for Alaska. My brother went there to do legal work after he had worked with Indian Legal Aid in Duluth. While he was on the south coast, I thought of moving. I read up on the state and became caught up in its history. The near extinction of swans in the United States had me thinking about settings, and soon I was planning a story.

Learning about Alaska was like learning grammar through a foreign language. I’ve never read a history book about Minnesota, though I have Midwestern ancestry going back to the mid-1800s. Mining hopes in Alaska were very similar to those on Minnesota’s Iron Range in the early 20th century. The influx of people in Northern Minnesota had similarities to Alaska’s new population. Sometimes they were the same people. Like Alaska, the fur trade began Minnesota history. I’d heard much about the 1920s on the Iron Range from my mother. Boomtowns and sudden wealth mapped the region.

After being fascinated with two books of Alaskan history, I researched swans. I read how warehouses with thousands of swan pelts were discovered, more than 10,000 at a time. Eventually hunting laws were enforced and a successful environmental chronicle was documented. I began my Alaska story as a shorter fiction about an Irish immigrant couple who bought shore property where swans migrated. But soon the story led to a coastal town and characters emerged.

When I thought of the swans being killed in masses, I knew that few women were part of such a money-making venture. How much did women help such an environmental campaign in a lone setting when a particular species were illegal to hunt? It is known how women responded to Prohibition then.

I posted the book at Authonomy.com in 2009, while I began to re-work the historical detail. I was afraid the swan hat would seem far-fetched. But it wasn’t historically. The West established its own dress. I actually hadn’t seen Chaplin’s The Gold Rush and later, when I watched the VHS, the women’s fur hats were part of the entertainment.

Not until I was rewriting the book did I realize the inspiration for the swan hat. Of course, it was meant to be the white hat of the western. But I remembered from my grade

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school years the pheasant pelts one of my brothers brought home after hunting. He hung the pheasant pelts on the wall of his room and then in the basement. These pelts fit neatly on the head so that, with my friends, I wore a pheasant hat – until my mother found out and scared us about lice. There is some kind of method to storytelling after all.

Published by Enigma Press

ISBN:  978-0615794570

172 pages

Amazon link:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Swan-Bonnet-Katherine-Holmes/dp/0615794572/

Katherine L. Holmes’s first published novel, The House in Windward Leaves, was an E-book Fiction Finalist in the 2013 Next Generation Book Awards and also a Juvenile Fiction Finalist in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Book Awards. Her short story collection, Curiosity Killed the Sphinx and Other Stories, was published by Hollywood Books International. In 2013, The Wide Awake Loons was published by Silver Knight Publishing and The Swan Bonnet was published by Enigma Press. Katherine lives in Duluth, Minnesota, where besides writing, she works with used books.

Visit the author online at  https://sites.google.com/site/katherinelholmesauthorprofile/

Bella Saves the Beach by Nancy Stewart

Bella CoverA true story of try and try again can be found in Bella Saves the Beach by award-winning children’s author, Nancy Stewart.

Bella is sad when her beloved beach is loaded with trash. But with her best friend Britt away on vacation, it’s harder to clean up the beach than she planned. Each new idea doesn’t bring about the desired result, but Bella is determined to make the beach safe and clean for her animal friends.

To someone who loves learning, a book like Bella Saves the Beach is so wonderful. This book has two messages. There’s the environmental one about how dangerous trash is to wildlife. Then there’s the “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again” message. Combining them makes for a superbly told engaging story about one girl’s determination to make a difference.

From the beginning, Stewart’s Bella and Britt series has shown young readers that their ideas matter and how they can make a difference when it comes to caring for our planet and its creatures. In this new book, the author takes that message to a new level by leaving Bella to face the challenge without her best friend Britt’s support. Now it isn’t two kids making a difference. It’s one determined young girl.

At the end of the story, the author shares information on beach trash, facts about creatures mentioned within the book’s pages, and encourages readers to have a Green Picnic on the sand, leaving behind only footprints.

One can’t forget to mention the stunning watercolor artwork of Samantha Bell. She has illustrated all three books in this series. With warm colors and rich details, she brings Bella’s story to life in pictures. A perfect complement to Stewart’s story, the artwork is so lovely you can almost hear the waves hitting the sand and the caws of the birds.

Bella Saves the Beach is a fine addition to the Bella and Britt series. I can’t wait to see what Bella and Britt are up to next.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 24 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc (February 15, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616333715
ISBN-13: 978-1616333713

The author paid me to promote this book through a virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book. This fee did not include a review. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.

BELLA SAVES THE BEACH TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, April 22nd

Guest post at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

Tuesday, April 23rd

Book trailer feature at If Books Could Talk

Wednesday, April 24th

Book review at On Words – Opening Eyes, Opening Hearts

Thursday, April 25th

Book spotlight and giveaway at The Busy Mom’s Daily

Book review at Shannon Hitchcock Pen and Prose

Monday, April 29th

Book review at Hook Kids on Reading

Guest post at The Pen and Ink

Tuesday, April 30th

Guest post at Write What Inspires You

Wednesday, May 1st

Book review at LadyD Books

Thursday, May 2nd

Book review at Kid Lit Reviews

Friday, May 3rd

Guest post at Lori’s Reading Corner

Monday, May 6th

Interview at Tribute Books Reviews and Giveaways

Tuesday, May 7th

Book reviewed at The Picture Book Review

Wednesday, May 8th

Book reviewed at My Devotional Thoughts

Thursday, May 9th

Book review at It’s About Time Mamaw

Friday, May 10th

Book review at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

Monday, May 13th

Book review at 4 the Love of Books

Tuesday, May 14th

Book spotlight at Review from Here

Book review at The Jenny Revolution

Wednesday, May 15th

Guest post at Literarily Speaking

Thursday, May 16th

Book review at Mrs. Mommy Booknerd’s Reviews

Friday, May 17th

Book spotlight at I’m A Reader, Not A Writer

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Guest Blogger: Nancy Stewart, Author of Bella Saves the Beach

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Bella and Britt are worried about all the trash appearing on their beautiful beach. But what can they do? Britt is leaving on vacation, and Bella can’t solve the problem alone. Without adults to lend a hand, can they possibly save their beach?

Purchase from:

NANCYSTEWARTBOOKS.COM

 GUARDIAN ANGEL PUBLISHING 

AMAZON

 BARNES AND NOBLE

Earth Day—Every Human’s Responsibility
by Nancy Stewart

Ah, yes, Earth Day.  We think about it once a year.  Celebrate it?  Let’s not go overboard.  After all, aren’t the governments of the world doing something about it—whatever it is?

Earth Day, founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson, was first organized in 1970 to promote ecology and respect for life on the plane.  It has come a long way from then with one hundred forty countries around the globe participating this year.  And counting.  Earth Day, very much like Earth Hour, has taken on a life of its own.

Here is one of the most outstanding projects we should be talking about for Earth Day, 2013. It is The Canopy Project. Over the past three years, this project has planted over 1.5 million trees in 18 countries.  In the US, projects to restore urban canopies have been completed in many large cities.  In Haiti alone, where earthquakes caused landslides on deforested hillsides, leading to horrific devastation, Earth Day Network planted 500,000 trees.  In three high-poverty districts in central Uganda, they planted 350,000 trees to provide local farmers with food, fuel, fencing, and soil stability.

Climate change can seem like a remote problem for our leaders, but the fact is that it’s already impacting real people, animals, and beloved places. These Faces of Climate Change are multiplying every day. What can be done about it?  Each of us, individually, can make a difference.  When we all do our share, the entire world can begin to heal itself.

I’ve pledged to not use plastic bags, to using cold water in the washing machine and to using earth friendly cleaning products.  We’ve changed all light bulbs to save electricity, and they are turned off when leaving a room.  I remind students when doing a book signing that turning off a light helps save a polar bear!

But it’s more than these things, isn’t it?  Helping save our planet is really a state of mind.  It’s being in the flow of good ecology every day, even every minute. And soon, it’s a way of life.  Living this state of mind will help save all our lives and the lives of those to come, our children and our grandchildren. What better ongoing gift can we give to anyone than a sustainable, green and whole planet?  Oh, and it’s not, of course, just April 22.  It’s every day, every minute for the rest of our lives.

 

Nancy Stewart photoNancy is the bestselling and award winning author of the four Bella and Britt Series books for children:  One Pelican at a Time (eighteen weeks on Amazon Bestselling List), Sea Turtle Summer, (which won the Children’s Literary Classic Gold Award), Bella Saves the  Beach (which won the Gold)  and Mystery at Manatee Key.  The authorized biography, Katrina and Winter:  Partners in Courage, is the story of Katrina Simpkins and Winter, the dolphin. One Pelican at a Time and Nancy were featured in the PBS Tampa special, GulfWatch.   All are published by Guardian Angel Publishing.  

Nancy is a frequent speaker and presenter at writer’s conferences throughout the United States.  She conducts workshops and seminars and speaks to school children on writing and helping save their planet.  A blogger with a worldwide audience, she writes of all things pertaining to children’s literature. 

Nancy’s travels take her extensively throughout the world, most particularly Africa. She is US chair of a charity in Lamu, Kenya, that places girls in intermediate schools to allow them to further their education.   She and her husband live in Tampa and St. Louis. 

 Visit her online at www.nancystewartbooks.com and her blog at http://www.nancystewartbooks.blogspot.com

 

Bella Saves the Beach Tour Schedule

 

Monday, April 22nd

Guest post at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

Tuesday, April 23rd

Book trailer feature at If Books Could Talk

Wednesday, April 24th

Book review at On Words – Opening Eyes, Opening Hearts

Thursday, April 25th

Book spotlight and giveaway at The Busy Mom’s Daily

Book review at Shannon Hitchcock Pen and Prose

Monday, April 29th

Book review at Hook Kids on Reading

Guest post at The Pen and Ink

Tuesday, April 30th

Guest post at Write What Inspires You

Wednesday, May 1st

Book review at LadyD Books

Thursday, May 2nd

Book review at Kid Lit Reviews

Friday, May 3rd

Guest post at Lori’s Reading Corner

Monday, May 6th

Interview at Tribute Books Reviews and Giveaways

Tuesday, May 7th

Book reviewed at The Picture Book Review

Wednesday, May 8th

Book reviewed at My Devotional Thoughts

Thursday, May 9th

Book review at It’s About Time Mamaw

Friday, May 10th

Book review at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

Monday, May 13th

Book review at 4 the Love of Books

Tuesday, May 14th

Book spotlight at Review from Here

Book review at The Jenny Revolution

Wednesday, May 15th

Guest post at Literarily Speaking

Thursday, May 16th

Book review at Mrs. Mommy Booknerd’s Reviews

Friday, May 17th

Book spotlight at I’m A Reader, Not A Writer

 

 

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Guest Blogger: Natasha Deen, Author of True Grime 2: Angel Maker

For the last two years, human Aponi Runningbear has been training to be part of Grime, the magical police division tasked with protecting humanity from SOAP terrorists. But things aren’t going well. She’s barely keeping up with her studies, failing the physical component, and her Generalized Anxiety Disorder is making her bad days even worse. When her team is given the chance to find a missing coworker and stop SOAP from producing a DNA-altering drug that’s killing humans, Aponi grabs hold of the chance to show she’s meant for Grime. But as the investigation heats up, she’s forced to deal with the tormentor from her past, dead bodies, and the certainty that SOAP’s going to win this battle. Humanity’s dying, Grime’s in trouble, and she’s failing…does a foster kid really have what it takes to save the world and herself?

Reasearch Can Be Fun by Natasha Deen

Part of the fun of writing the True Grime series is mixing animal facts with mythical creatures such as fairies, banshees, and the like. For example in the second installment, True Grime 2: Angel Maker, I combined an aswang (an evil Filipino creature that struck me as a cross between a banshee and a vampire) and gave her mosquito-like abilities. I read a mosquito’s sense of smell is 10 000 times greater than a human and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool if the aswang could track her prey within a two mile radius? Like the mosquito, what if she used carbon dioxide to triangulate the location of my heroine?”  Then, to make it more fun for me (and less fun for my heroine), I decided the aswang should go dead silent when it reached a four-foot radius and the only clue my protagonist, Aponi, would get that the creature was close was the decaying scent of rotting meat that the creature gave off…which meant, Aponi would have a two second lead on not being butchered by a creature who thought she’d stolen one of her eggs.

Yay! Let the fun begin!

Here are a few other things I found out about the creatures that make up our earth:

The praying mantis is the only insect that can turn its head 360 degrees. (Author’s note: Obviously, these people never met my mother.  Her friends wondered why her children were so well-behaved…her children knew Mommy had 360 vision…)

The Chameleon can focus its eyes separately to watch two objects at once. (This ability has been envied by many a man on a beach).

Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards. (Actually…neither can I).

If a Copperhead snake loses a fang it can replace it with a spare. It has up to seven spare fangs. (I knew a mean girl in junior high who had the same ability).

Frogs sleep with their eyes open. (So do politicians).

For more fun and weird facts on animals, try googling “weird animal facts” in your search engine and see what you come up with.  (The facts listed above came from http://www.planetozkids.com/oban/animals/weird.htm)

When I was little, there was only one thing I wanted to be: a superhero. But there came a day when my dreams were broken, and that was the day I realized that being a klutz was not, in fact, a super power, and my super weakness for anything bright and shiny meant a magpie with self-control could easily defeat me in a battle of wills. I turned to writing as a way to sharpen my mental super-hero skills. I don’t get to orbit the earth in a space station (and thank God, because I get sick on merry go round), but I do get to say things like: “Stand aside! This is a job for Writing Girl!!” 

Links:

http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NatashaDeen

http://www.amazon.com/True-Grime-2-Angel-Maker/dp/0986741957/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1348437467&sr=8-7&keywords=natasha+deen

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/true-grime-2-natasha-deen/1112683846?ean=9780986741951

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax in Theaters Now!

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax took the top spot at the box office this weekend. I’m not surprised. Not only was it released close to the beloved author’s birthday, but many schools–especially around here since Theodore Geisel grew up about ten minutes from where we live–read The Lorax during their Dr. Seuss day celebrations. With the voice talents of Danny DeVito, Ed Helms, Zac Efron, Taylor Swift and Betty White, to name a few, I have a feeling audiences will be busting a gut if they go see this movie.

You can check out the trailer and other free downloads at www.theloraxmovie.com.

Do you and your family plan to see the movie or have you already been? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Sea Turtle Summer by Nancy Stewart

Bella and Britt are back with an all new adventure in Sea Turtle Summer by award-winning author Nancy Stewart.

Bella and Britt think living by the beach is the coolest thing ever. When they spot an unprotected sea turtle’s nest, they quickly try to reach the ranger, but she’s gone home sick. What can they do? With quick thinking and determination, the girls work hard to protect their marine life friends.

In this charming continuation of her Bella and Britt series, Stewart revisits the beach where the girls play and has them dealing with a new dilemma. Just like the first book, the award-winning One Pelican at a Time, the girls find little help in their objective. This time, the sand cleaner and dune buggies are going to drive right over an unmarked nest and destroy the eggs buried in the sand if someone doesn’t act quickly.

What is so special about Sea Turtle Summer (and the Bella and Britt series in general) is how it embraces the idea that kids can make a difference. It’s truly a book that empowers kids to be involved in their communities.  Samantha Bell returns with her beautiful artwork in Sea Turtle Summer. The color choice here is so perfect for the book; calm and soothing–just like a day at the beach.

This book is available in hardcover, paperback, and as a PDF. With its included information on sea turtle nesting, Sea Turtle Summer not only empowers kids–it educates them.

I can’t wait to see what Book 3 in this series is all about!

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher:Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10:1616332077
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616332075
  • SRP:  $11.95

I received a FREE PDF of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinions. The author paid me to promote this book with a virtual book tour through Pump Up Your Book. That fee did not include a review. I received no monetary compensation of any kind to provide this review.