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.

Red Riding Hood and the Sweet Little Wolf by Rachel Mortimer

red riding hood

Lovers of fractured fairy tales are bound to eat up this one. Mr. and Mrs. Wolf are angry that Little Wolf isn’t big and bad like they are. They send her out to gather ingredients for dinner and she stumbles upon Red Riding Hood in the forest. Little Wolf doesn’t know what to do. Perhaps the unlikely duo can find a solution to Little Wolf’s problem.

This is a fabulous book! It’s a neat twist having the wolf parents being the bad ones, while Little Wolf has no desire to eat little girls. Instead, she likes fairy tales and playing dress up. It’s also funny and unique how Red Riding Hood is reading some familiar fairy tales as she makes her way to grandma’s house.  You simply can’t help but love this story. It’s so clever.

I knew Liz Pichon provided the artwork for this story without even looking. In addition to being the author of her own fractured fairy tale, her distinctive style adds beauty and humor to Red Riding Hood and the Sweet Little Wolf.

Children will love this one. Highly recommended.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Tiger Tales (March 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1589251172
ISBN-13: 978-1589251175

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

From the Family Bookshelf – February




Welcome to the February edition of From the Family Bookshelf. But first of all, Happy Valentine’s Day! Every year we celebrate this holiday dedicated to love. If you’re interested in learning more about the legend of St. Valentine, you can visit history.com.

I’ll start off with my recent reading. The first quarter of 2013 looks like it will be filled with tons of books. I overloaded my review schedule, so I’m playing catch up. Trying to broaden my horizons, I’ve read an eclectic mix of books over the past month:

Rennefarre by Malve von Hassell, an English translation of the German children’s classic by Tamara Ramsey,

Iconic Spirits by Mark Spivak, a book that celebrates twelve spirits that changed our world and ushered in a new cocktail culture, and

Pandora’s Temple by Jon Land, an exciting thriller that plays “what if” with an ancient legend.

I’m currently in the middle of Executive Command by Gary Grossman. I’ve read the other two novels in this political thriller series. I’m sure I’ll enjoy this one.

Poor Dad is working so much lately, it’s rare he has time to read. Hopefully that will change soon.

As I mentioned last month, I am reading The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch with the Lil Diva (11) and the Lil Princess (9). It’s slightly too old for them. There’s some kissing going on and they are still at the “kissing is yucky” stage, but overall it’s a fascinating story. The conflict is going to be ramped up now and could end in a disastrous way, so I’m eager to keep going.

After we finished reading the latest Dork Diaries book, we moved on to  Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney. The girls loved it. I was rather cool on it. Greg Heffley never changes. He never learns anything. He’s pretty much just a self-centered boy. Not unrealistic, but annoying to me anyway. Now we are reading Emma Dilemma, the Nanny, and the Wedding by Patricia Hermes. We’ve all enjoyed it so far. Emma and her brother Tim are nervous and less than enthusiastic about their nanny, Annie, getting married. Changes aren’t easy for them, which I think is true of many kids. We’re reviewing this for the Amazon Vine program.

I am also excited to say that Circle of Secrets author Kimberley Griffiths Little has a new book coming out in April, When the Butterflies Came. It can be pre-ordered at Amazon. She will be sending the girls and I an ARC of this book to review. We’re very excited, as we absolutely loved Circle of Secrets. 

That’s it from our neck of the woods. Hope you’ve read some great books this past month.

Mr. Topper, the Pot-bellied Pig by Liam Maher

Mr. Topper, the Pot-bellied Pig  is a delightful story of a potbellied pig searching for a new home.

Mr. Topper has no one to care for him. He lives on his own and it doesn’t seem to bother him much until one very cold winter. He decides to search for a new home and someone to pet and pamper him. But he is turned away time and again. Finally he discovers the home of a lowly woodcutter. He pretends he is lucky so that the woodcutter will take him in. Soon they both discover how lucky Mr. Topper is.

This is a fun book. You have a talking pig, a billionaire, a billionairess, a woodcutter, and the tooth fairy rolled into one fantastic and silly fairy tale. Kids will find a talking pig to be a blast, especially as he’s trying to weasel his way into a new home by claiming to be lucky. Hailing to Ireland, the land of Maher’s birth, many of the wonderful illustrations provided by Vanda Lavar include four-leaf clovers. Like his other book, Golden Daffodils, magic and fairies play a role in this one.

One tiny nitpick is the number of errors in the book. This is unusual for a GAP title, which is why it caught my eye. In addition to the title being different on the cover than it is on the inside, potbellied is spelled with a hyphen on the cover and without it inside the book, and there are other misspellings within the story. When it comes to children’s books, I feel it is of great importance that errors be kept to a minimum.

That aside, it’s a wonderful story and I truly enjoyed it.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher:Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10:1616330570
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616330576
  • SRP:  $9.95

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinions. I received no monetary compensation to provide my review.

Will & Kate: A Love Story by Ink Robin

Created for iPad and available on iTunes, this interactive story captures the romance and grace of the Royal Wedding for princesses everywhere.

A modern-day fairy tale, it opens in England with a prince named William, who will be king. In the countryside, there is a girl named Catherine who dreams of meeting a prince. Their chance meeting many years later leads to a friendship that becomes a wedding the entire world helps celebrate.

I loved this book! Since I don’t have an iPad, I wasn’t able to take advantage of all the interactive features, but even the PDF is fun to go through. Ink Robin did a superb job of creating a simple, magical story of Will & Kate’s romance that will thrill young girls. Adam Larkum’s quirky and fun illustrations add so much to this book. I loved them all.

According to the information I received from the publicist, here’s what you’ll find in the interactive version:

Every page is full of interactive elements and sound effects triggered by a simple tap or swipe of your finger. Take a trip across the African plains in a hot air balloon, set off a sky full of fireworks, enjoy a chorus of sheep in the countryside and most importantly help Kate select her wedding dress for the big day by picking your favourite and dressing her in it.

The book also features a “read it to me option” with full narration and simple navigation features, allowing younger readers to enjoy the book alone or with the help of a parent.

Will & Kate: A Love Story is easily one of my favorites from this year.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

You can learn more by visiting http://inkrobin.com/

I received an ecopy of this book from the author’s publicist in exchange for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation to provide my review.

The Rose of Par Kluhnd by Linda Ash

Rose isn’t sure she wants to be captain of her soccer team, much less queen of a strange place – that’s about to be overrun by invaders. When Rose slips into a strange world where her grandmother may have been a queen, she just wants to get home. But when enemies seek her out, finding a way home may be the least of Rose’s worries… and then, there’s that empty throne waiting, possibly, for her.

Read the excerpt!

As the sun set and the light began to wane they moved outside to enjoy a mild evening on the back porch. Rose sank into the cushiony comfort of a lawn chair while Eris ran into the flower garden, begging her grandmother to come with her, “C’mon Grandma, let’s chase fireflies.”

Her grandmother laughed. “Okay,” she said, stepping off of the porch and into the garden. “But remember to stay close to the house.”

Eris turned back to her sister. “Come with us, Rose, don’t just sit there.”

Rose ignored her sister, though. She leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes. She just wanted to relax. Eris didn’t give up and kept calling every few minutes. Finally Rose opened her eyes. It did look like fun. It was getting quite dark. Her grandmother had just caught two fireflies at once and Eris was peeking into her cupped-together hands, watching the glow through a small opening between her grandmother’s fingers.

Rose got up and joined the fun, chasing first this blink, and then the next. She followed one firefly out of the garden and into the meadow, only to lose it. She waited until it blinked again, this time a little deeper into the meadow. She ran toward it and when it went out she kept her eye on its darkened shape as it drifted still further away. She caught up to the hovering shape and when it blinked, she reached out to close her hand gently around it in triumph.

As she did so, three things happened. She heard her grandmother’s voice calling to her. She realized that she was no longer in the meadow but had run two steps along one of the paths into the wood. And without warning a huge, antlered buck bounded suddenly out of the trees at her right.

The massive animal, snorting a warning, leapt across the path and disappeared into the darkness of the forest, leaving Rose’s heart pounding in surprise. Rose heard her grandmother’s voice again. It sounded frantic and far away. She turned to call back and got a shock, her grandmother wasn’t there. The meadow wasn’t there. She stared instead into a shadowy forest that melted away into the surrounding night. Turning completely around, she saw nothing but trees vanishing into dense darkness wherever she looked. And then she heard a growl.

She jumped when a voice sounded in her ear, “Quick, climb up on the rock!” She spun to see who was there and saw only darkness and forest.

“There isn’t time for spinning!” the voice shouted. “Climb up on the rock, now!”

Rose looked to her left and was surprised to see the looming shape of a large boulder. Another growl came from somewhere in the darkness. Immediately she did as the mysterious voice urged, and very quickly she climbed to the top of the boulder.

Confusion played with the fear that began to tingle through her body. She couldn’t remember any boulders this big at the edge of the wood by her grandmother’s meadow – and her grandmother’s meadow had just turned into a forest. She looked down from her perch at the boulder’s top. Shining eyes stared up at her. “A coyote!” she thought, and soon there were others.

Before she could even think of what to do, a small light, pulsing in a spectrum of colors, appeared suddenly at her shoulder and dove at the animals below.

Incredibly the light spoke, “This isn’t what you’re after,” it shouted. “Go chase your buck and leave us alone!”

Rose gasped as one of the animals leapt and snapped at the light. Suddenly the single light was joined by what seemed like hundreds more. They swarmed the animals, flashing and pulsing in a myriad of colors. The coyotes yelped and danced around, snapping at the lights before finally being driven off by them into the dark wood.

One of the lights rose up and hovered in front of Rose’s nose. She was astonished to see that it wasn’t a light at all, but a tiny, winged person – a man, in fact. Swirling patterns of luminescence whirled over his face and body, as if fluttering ribbons of light had been tattooed onto his skin. Multi-hued pulses coursed over them, shining through his clothing. Dragonfly wings of shimmery, translucent silver fluttered at his back. She stared in awe.

The tiny person’s brow filled with serious furrows. “The wolves may be back soon, come quickly and we’ll lead you to safety.”

Rose blinked. “Wolves?” A vision of them, large and dark and coming after her, filled her head, pushing out images of their more timid, yipping counterparts. “They aren’t coyotes?”

“Coyotes?” said the man, “No, they’re wolves and they may be back. Hurry! Get down and come with us.”

Rose didn’t argue. She half scrambled, half leapt off the boulder. “Are you taking me to my grandmother?” she asked as her feet hit the ground. Her bright companion hovered by her face. The other colorful beings, each with shimmering silver or gold or jewel-like wings, formed a perimeter around them and then went dark.

“I don’t know,” the man said, “if she lives in the town, then yes. Quickly, follow me, and keep up! The others are still around us, though you may not see them.”

The word ‘fairy’ had popped into Rose’s head. She began to form the question on her lips to ask if he was a fairy. The chance was lost when, quick as a flash, the fairy person flew down a path in the direction that should have taken Rose back to her grandmother’s meadow, but instead went on and on through a forest that should not have been there.

Read the reviews!

Rose of Par Kluhnd: A Fairy Tale is an innocent but intelligent tale. Written in the classic style of children’s writers such as C.S. Lewis the language is evocative of another age. … Ash’s characters are appealing and realistic, even the mythological beings which, along with Rose’s happily ever after ending, make this story ‘a fairy tale’.”

– Books, off the page book reviews

Look for The Rose of Par Kluhnd at:
Amazon (Kindle edition and paperback): http://www.amazon.com/Rose-Par-Kluhnd-Fairy-ebook/dp/B004INHRJ2/

Barnes and Noble (Nookbook): http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Rose-of-Par-Kluhnd/Linda-Ash/e/2940011178979/

Linda Ash currently lives in northeast Ohio with her husband, two college-age kids, a few cats and one dog. She loves to read, write, garden, spin, knit, weave, and go for walks with her dog in the neighborhood park. Her background is in anthropology, but she has been known to dabble in physics and mathematics.

Visit Linda online at:

blog: http://www.blogofauthorlindaash.blogspot.com/

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Linda-Ash/131977026870650

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