The ABCs of Living Green by Theresa A. McKeown

The ABCs of Living Green by Theresa A. McKeown is a book whose mission is to empower young people to care for our planet. It is the final book in the author’s The ABC’s of Everything series. Like How to Eat Your ABCs–which we reviewed here–this is an ABC book told in rhyme. From “awaken” to “zen” and everything in between, readers will enjoy turning the pages of this beautifully illustrated book.

I have to applaud the author’s dedication and desire to reach children with important concepts as early as possible. In this particular case it’s to get young people to realize how vital caring for the planet and each other is. This is a book I could see being displayed on a coffee table because the artwork is lovely. This would also allow for regular discussions on the ABCs on this topic.

One thing that distracted from the book for me is how prevalent the author’s presence is throughout it. From the very opening the author is talking about her mission to educate all and to share the things she has to say (Awaken). The author wants to convey the meaning of living green (Green) . The author deplores when people consume beyond their needs (Quality).  Children want to learn for themselves. They want to come to their own conclusions. By nature, their immature brains are self-absorbed. So how is a child going to be invested in this mission if she can’t see it as her own?  McKeown easily makes her point in several other areas where the author’s presence is totally invisible. It is in those moments she’s chatting with her readers, not speaking at them.

The ABCs of Living Green is a good addition to the series. Just like The ABCs of Being Me and How to Eat Your ABCs, there is tremendous value in taking time to read this final installment. Lyrical prose combined with stunning artwork are a win-win.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Publisher: The ABCs of Everything, LLC (2018)
ISBN-10: 0692939652
ISBN-13: 978-0692939659

I received a 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.

 

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Guest Book Review: The Vanishing Frogs of Cascade Creek by Emma J. Homes

frogsPublisher: Spark Street Communications Pty Ltd (June 25, 2014)
Print Length: 44 pages
Genre: Juvenile Fiction, wildlife, environment
Age Level: 8-11
Five stars

Something is killing the waterfall frogs of Cascade Creek. Ten-year-old Ruthie, along with her mum and dad (Tom and Kate who are wildlife scientists), and Ruthie’s younger siblings, Liam and Bella, as well as their pet wombat, Womble, are headed off to the rainforests of Northern Queensland in their big green bus to investigate. The family has just spent 6 months helping to catch and tag shy rock wallabies. Cascade Creek promises a brand new adventure. Sadly, when they get there, the frogs have all but disappeared. Luckily the kids manage to find a frog (whom they call Wanda) but Wanda looks very sick. When they find a few tadpoles, the same situation prevails: the tadpoles are thin,  not plump and healthy as they should be. They get Wanda and the tadpoles back to the Wildlife Research Station so Kate can take a better look. Wanda seems to have some kind of skin condition. Is this killing the frogs of Cascade Creek and how can it be cured? Luckily, naughty Womble’s playful antics offer a surprising possible answer!

What a life Ruthie and her family enjoy, spending time away from the city and experiencing the wonders of nature. The kids do their lessons via school of the air and spend their days travelling with their parents around the beautiful Australian countryside. They learn about plants, animals, insects and a variety of indigenous creatures. They also learn about caring for the environment and the animals, and how important it is to preserve even the smallest of creatures, such as a little frog, because each creature has its part to play in the ecosystem. Author Emma Homes has a lovely way of inserting information about various animals, their habitats, food, and threats to their existence into the text. Ruthie is a wonderful role model for young readers and she is both compassionate and mature in her outlook. Hopefully this fascinating series will inspire young readers to look up more information about the animals that Ruthie and her family encounter. A delightful read that I highly recommend to all.

Purchase here.

 

Reviewer’s bio: Fiona Ingram is an award-winning middle grade author who is passionate about getting kids interested in reading. Find out more about Fiona and her books on www.FionaIngram.com. She reviews books for the Jozikids Blog.

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

Bella banner

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

Bella Cover

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

Book Review: True Grime by Natasha Deen

I can’t believe I am going to say this, but a book filled with magic and fairies might just be my favorite read of 2011. True Grime by Natasha Deen finds teen fairy Pepper Powder sent undercover in the human world. And what might have happened to cause this? Well, she’s a good Grime cop, that’s for sure. She and her senior partner Harley Hands make a great team, which is another plus. But what really sets it all in motion is when terrorist leader Claude Von Beulow escapes and releases a necrophage bomb that not only decimates Grime headquarters, it leaves Pepper as the first fairy amputee. Pepper, Harley, and the Grime team race against the clock to prevent Von Beulow from unleashing a VIURS in one of the human world’s biggest shopping centers, West Edmonton Mall.

So, in case you missed it by my opening line, magic and fairies aren’t really my thing. I live in the real world and there is plenty of real world drama for us to create in our novels without making up worlds, creatures, and all sorts of crazy things I just don’t get. But I liked the synopsis of this book, so I figured I would give it a try. I’m so glad I did.

Deen’s strength definitely resides in her development of characters. We have the impulsive, sarcastic Pepper who can be a bit of a lone wolf, running off and doing what she shouldn’t if she thinks it will accomplish the job. She’s never been undercover in the human world. She sure didn’t know it would be filled with bullies and cliques. Then there’s Harley, much older, much wiser. He knows humans almost as well as he knows himself. He’s the one who keeps a cool head about him, and he’s fiercely protective of Pepper. Then there are the supplemental characters: Lou, the Grime Lieutenant, Loca the technology guru, and Dr. Bentley, who helps get Pepper back up and running again after her leg is amputated.

In addition to her fabulous characters, you have a unique plot that engages the reader right away. From the opening line, you’re drawn in: “In The City, crime never slept. It didn’t eat or exercise, either, but I wished it would shower.”  Pepper makes an excellent narrator for this story. She’s strong, funny, quick with the wit, and you can see she means well when she flubs.

What I feel Deen portrayed so well in True Grime is the commitment cops have to stomping out crime, and their devotion to their partners and fellow crime fighters.  There were moments when it became very intense and the stakes were as high as they could get, but none of these people ever gave up.

If you’re looking for a witty, engaging fairy story, you’ll find it in True Grime by Natasha Deen.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher:Blueberry Hill
  • ISBN-10:0986741914
  • ISBN-13: 978-0986741913
  • SRP: $12.99 (paperback)
  • Also available in a Kindle edition

Author’s bio:

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!!”

Connect With Natasha:

Facebook

Twitter

Blog

Website

 

 

Follow the rest of Natasha’s tour:

November 27-Live To Read (Review)
November 29-Reviews By Molly (Review)
November 30-Celtic Lady’s Reviews (Review)

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinions. I was not monetarily compensated in any way to provide my review.

A Place for Fish by Melissa Stewart

A Place for Fish by Melissa Stewart is a gentle and important reminder to young people that fish make our world a beautiful place and we need to make sure we don’t do anything to harm them.

From the Atlantic to the Pacific and from Canada to Mexico, we can find a variety of aquatic friends: hammerhead sharks, lined seahorses, smalltooth sawfishes, and spotted trunkfishes to name a few. Stewart brings young readers through a story of how human action, and sometimes inaction, can create issues for our friends living in the water. With tons of facts and stunning illustrations provided by Higgins Bond, your child can learn ways to help protect these important creatures.

A Place for Fish is just one book in Stewart’s A Place For series. For more information on these books, please visit http://www.melissa-stewart.com/

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher:Peachtree Publishers
  • ISBN-10:1561455628
  • ISBN-13: 978-1561455621
  • SRP:  $16.95

This book was unsolicited, so I don’t know its origins. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I received no monetary compensation.