Just for Today by Kevin McNamee

today

A sweet rhyming adventure about spending quality time with your kids is the latest from Kevin McNamee. Just for Today finds a young boy asking his father to stay with him and have a few adventures: outrunning pirates on the high seas, finding buried treasure, going on a safari, and more.

I’ve been a fan of McNamee’s work for some time. His lyrical prose flows nicely and his stories all show a vast amount of imagination. In Just for Today a young boy is trying to convince his father to stick around so they can play together. This is a nice message, reminding kids and parents how important it is to spend time together.

Marina Movshina provides the artwork for this story. While I usually enjoy Movshina’s work, I didn’t care for the style used here. The outlines were crisp, but the details were fuzzy as if we were seeing the characters from far away instead of close up. In addition, in some illustrations the father looked like an adult, but in others he looked like a teenage boy.

That said, I believe many youngsters and their parents will enjoy this rhyming adventure.

Rating: 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Paperback: 16 pages
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc (September 5, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1616333146
ISBN-13: 978-1616333140

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

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My Brother the Frog by Kevin McNamee

 What do you do if you want to change your brother–or sister–into a frog? In this funny and imaginative story by Kevin McNamee, young readers get to take a look at sibling rivalry in a silly way.

My Brother the Frog is McNamee’s latest release through Guardian Angel Publishing. A young boy decides to change his annoying brother into a frog, which makes everyone mad. When he tries to change him back, he finds it’s not so simple. Suddenly his brother is a very big duckling, then a chicken. They have to make it through many more animal changes before the boy learns something about his brother and about himself too.

This is just one zany story. At first I really wasn’t sure where McNamee was going with it. Then as I moved further along and saw how this annoying brother, now in animal form, is helpful to the boy, I realized the subtle message the author relayed with his silly story. Yes, siblings can be pests at times, but they also can do nice things.

Alexander Morris provided the artwork for this book. I liked how he managed to capture the brother’s face in each animal once he was changed. I loved the last illustration. I won’t tell you what it is, but it is perfect and made me laugh so hard I thought I would fall out of my chair.

I’ve enjoyed every one of McNamee’s books that I’ve read, and My Brother the Frog is no exception. He knows how to reach kids right where they are with fabulous books and unique storylines they’ll enjoy. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher:Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10:1616331593
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616331597
  • SRP:  $10.95 (softcover)

Also available in a hardcover edition.

 

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

What Is That Thing? by Kevin McNamee

  

A sweet and funny story of becoming a big sister is what you’ll find in What Is That Thing? . Jenna’s not too sure about the newest family member, so she decides to use her imagination to help adjust to being a big sister.

In this delightful new story from talented poet and writer, Kevin McNamee, we see him doing what he does best–create a story that youngsters will love. Becoming a big sister for the first time can be very scary, but Jenna makes it easier by using her imagination to ask “What is that thing?” Is it an alien from outer space? Is it a strange and smelly creature? Maybe it’s a mysterious roaring animal.

The artwork by K.C. Snider is absolutely wonderful. From mom the space alien with kitchen utensils sticking out of her head to Jungle Jenna swinging on the vines, her illustrations will capture the hearts of young readers who really want to now how Jenna feels.

 What Is That Thing? would make a perfect gift for the little girl who is going to be a big sister soon.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher:Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10:1616331410
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616331412
  • SRP:  $9.95



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Lightning Strikes by Kevin McNamee

I’m beginning to think Kevin McNamee can write anything. He wrote a book about a girl who wants to trade in her sister; he wrote a tale about a young boy who imagines what it would be like to be just about anything; and he also wrote a book about rulers who were so bored they made up silly rules for their people to follow.

Now McNamee has written a book that combines Science and Math in a fun way. Lightning Strikes teaches kids to count backwards while it also explains how you can use counting to judge how far away thunder is. In his typical style, McNamee uses humor and rhyme to tackle a less than funny subject.

Children can be scared of storms. The little boy in Lightning Strikes is no different. As he counts backwards, the thunder gets closer and closer, until even his parents have joined him under the bed.

Artist Eugene Ruble provided the illustrations for this one. As some of you might know, Ruble also created the artwork for my book, Little Shepherd. His versatility as an artist never ceases to amaze me. In one book the illustrations can be serious and touching. Then in the next book they are zany and silly.

In addition to the fact that McNamee’s books are always fun, he comes up with some of the most unique story ideas. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
  • ISBN-10: 1616330953
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616330958
  • SRP:  $9.95
  • Also available in eBook formats through the publisher’s website.



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    From the Family Bookshelf

     

    It’s time again–actually, this is past due–for From the Family Bookshelf–the weekly (so far, so good) column talking about the books we’re reading, have read or want to read. There’s Mom (me), Dad (slowest reader in the world), the Lil Diva (reluctant reader extraordinaire), and the Lil Princess (bookworm in training).

    I’ll let Dad go first this time, but that’s because I’m going to pick on him. Yes, he is still reading the thriller, Prayers for the Assassin , by Robert Ferrigno. Can you imagine how big my TBR pile would be if I read as slow as he does?

    As for me, I’ve lucked out and hit a really good patch in the reading cycle.  Not many books that I haven’t thoroughly enjoyed. Since last time, I’ve read:

    The Way I See It: A Look Back at My Life on Little House a memoir by Melissa Anderson. Anderson played the character of Mary Ingalls on the classic 70’s family show, Little House on the Prairie

    Jack’s Dreams Come to Life by Sara Jackson (children’s picture book)

    The Raindrop by Brian McClure (children’s picture book)

    Mr. Vinegar and the Frozen Sea by Chris Wardle (middle grade/tween chap book)

    The Soggy Town of Hilltop by Kevin McNamee (children’s picture book)

    My Dog Tim and Other Stories by Garasamo Maccagnone (literary story collection)

    The Elf of Luxembourg: An Alex and Jackie Adventure by Tom Weston (YA fantasy)

    Faith & Finances: A Journey to Financial Dependence by various authors

    Some of these reviews have been posted here: Jack’s Dreams Come to Life, The Raindrop, Mr. Vinegar and the Frozen Sea, and The Soggy Town of Hilltop.  Tom Weston’s book will be reviewed here on Friday. My review of Melissa Anderson’s book appears at Laura’s Little Houses, my Laura Ingalls Wilder  blog. The other books will be reviewed at The Book Connection.

    I just started reading the novel Conflicts with Interest by Michael Ruddy. I’m also reading The Three Dimensions of Character by Larry Brooks.

    Wow! I take a up a lot of space. Now onto the girls.

    The Lil Diva is still in Justin Bieber heaven, but she is managing to get some other reading done. She just finished Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren (RH Books for Young Readers) by Barbara Park. There are few books I can get her to read without an argument. Junie B. Jones books fall in that category.

    The Lil Princess has read a few books this week. Now that she’s beginning to recognize more words she wants to read to me at night instead of the other way around. Two books I remember from this week are The Silly Scarecrow by Danielle Denega. This is a Clifford Puppy Days book from Scholastic geared toward kids in K – 2.

    Her other popular book of the week is What Do Smurfs Do All Day? by Peyo. This book is part of the Dr. Seuss Beginning Readers Collection.  I’m sure it belonged to my son, who watched Smurfs, as did my sister and I when we were younger. My sister had the Smurf village toys that were popular when the cartoon first came out.  The Cartoon Network was airing reruns of Smurfs for a while and my girls really liked the show.  A great show, like a great book, never goes out of style.

    Until next time, keep reading!



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    The Soggy Town of Hilltop by Kevin McNamee

    The High Council of Hilltop passed rules on everything. One day, they decide the people in their little hamlet should drink from the top of their heads. The people are confused, but of course, they obey. Then one day, a boy from the South asked them, “Hey, why don’t you drink with your mouth?”  Not knowing the answer, the people go to the High Council to find out, which leads to the entire town learning something new.

    The Soggy Town of Hilltop is a funny, rhyming story by Kevin McNamee. Having read McNamee’s The Sister Exchange and If I Could Be Anything, I was eager to read his latest book. The author has a great knack for turning something seemingly ridiculous into an engaging story for youngsters. In The Sister Exchange it was a young girl who wanted to trade her sister in at The Sister Exchange. In this latest book, the rulers of Hilltop are bored and decide to make up a silly new rule for the people to follow.

    What I really like about The Soggy Town of Hilltop is that McNamee spells out the lesson in the end for readers. There isn’t any second guessing as to what the point is. Like one of Aesop’s fables, the moral of the story is in plain sight.

    The illustrations in this one are equally funny and beautiful. Eugene Ruble does such an excellent job of bringing a story to life with his artwork. From the freckles on the boy from the South’s cheeks to the pointy nose and evil eyes of one of the High Council members, and from the mountain peaks to the dirt road running through town, the details Ruble adds make the pictures jump off the pages.

    I will definitely be on the lookout for more books by Kevin McNamee!

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10: 1616330414
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616330415
  • SRP:  $10.95


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    If I Could Be Anything by Kevin McNamee

    In this melodic, rhyming tale, a young boy imagines what it would be like if he could be anything he wants:  a blue whale, a sloth, a snake, a frog, or one of several other animals. But he soon decides he would rather be with those he loves and that what he wants most of all is to be himself.

    Poet and author Kevin McNamee’s first release with Guardian Angel Publishing is a fantastic debut. Carrying with it a message similar to I Want to Be Somebody New! by Robert Lopshire, this beautifully illustrated story encourages children to appreciate who they are, while inviting them to use their imagination.

    I wasn’t familiar with the work of Marina Movshina prior to reading If I Could Be Anything, but I’ll certainly be on the lookout for more from her, as the illustrations in this book match the story so well, and the design and colors used flow as smoothly as the prose.

    Having now read two books by McNamee, I’ll definitely be awating his next release. Youngsters are going to love this one!

    Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10: 1616330112
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616330118
  • SRP:  $9.95


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