From the Family Bookshelf

Is it possible a month has passed since my last From the Family Bookshelf column appeared? I swear it couldn’t have, but the last one is dated September 21st, so I guess time slipped away from me.

All of us have been busy. Swimming lessons and dance lessons have started. Dad has been working like crazy. I have been up to my eyeballs with promoting my first children’s book, Little Shepherd, coordinating book tours, and reading. Not to mention family stuff.

Dad finally finished Vince Flynn’s The Third Option. Now he is reading Prince Caspian, which is part of The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. Though I have seen various movie adaptations of this book and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, I’ve never read the books. We have the set here, so I’ll have to change that one day.

The Lil Diva is back to reading thanks to school. She read Ginger the Stray Kitten by Holly Webb again. She’s also read a couple of books on Justin Bieber and one on the Jonas Brothers. Just think of what she’ll be like in five years if she’s already into teenage pop stars now. She is currently reading Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. We saw a stage production of Charlotte’s Web while we were in North Carolina. She came home wanting to read the book, but hasn’t gotten around to it until now.

The Lil Princess is reading anything and everything. We’re on our second round of Pink Princess Rules the Schoo l by Alyssa Crowne. She has brought home books from her school library every week since it opened. This week she has a nonfiction book about puppies. She’s hoping we buy her Green Princess Saves the Day, also by Crowne. Green is her favorite color.

As for me, little ole Mom, I’ve been reading and reading and reading. I just finished Invisible Path by Marilyn Meredith.  This is the latest book in her Deputy Tempe Crabtree series. Marilyn is going on a virtual book tour with this book next month.

I also recently finished A Despicable Profession by John Knoerle, a post-WWII spy thriller, and the legal thriller, Buying Time by Pamela Samuels Young. Both books are excellent and I would highly recommend them.  Before those two I read:

The Lil Princess and I also plowed through a box of books from tiger tales. These books are all part of their Fall/Winter collection. You’ll see review coming for them soon. Last night I polished off the award-winning  Call Me Kate by Molly Roe. This is a young adult historical. I began reading Saving Max by Antoinette van Heugten.

That’s it for this issue of From the Family Bookshelf. Until next time, keep reading!

Burgher and the Woebegone by Kim Chatel

Burgher and the Woebegone by Kim Chatel is an engaging interactive adventure for tweens everywhere.

Burgher the gnome certainly didn’t do Oxtail Orchard any good when he drove the Apple Tree Man away. Now it’s dark and gray spring after spring. A cloud of doom follows the nasty gnome around as he lives among the slugs and mushrooms. That’s okay with him. The animals, however, aren’t happy.

Maybe you can help Burgher make the right choices and bring sunshine back to Oxtail Orchard.

I’m familiar with Chatel’s books for younger readers: A Talent for Quiet and Rainbow Sheep. This is the first time I’ve seen her write a book for tweens. She should definitely continue. Burgher and the Woebegone is a delightful and magical story that makes reading an interactive adventure. Readers choose where they would like to go in the story, allowing them to read the book several times over with different results.

Talented artist, Samantha Bell, provided the cover art and interior illustrations for Burgher and the Woebegone. Having worked on As I Watch by Chitra Soundar and Shaping Up the Year by Tracey Cox, Bell’s black and white illustrations add the perfect touch to this wonderful story.

If you’re looking for a fun story that will engage your tween reader, then you’ll find it in Burgher and the Woebegone by Kim Chatel.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10: 1616330619
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616330613
  • SRP:  $8.95 Paperback
  • Also available as a PDF eBook download or an eBook CD

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    Photo-Poetry Contest at Chatel Village

    A Talent for QuietTo celebrate the release of A Talent for Quiet, Chatel Village is hosting a Photo-Poetry contest for kids. The rules are simple, send in a photo and a poem to go along with it. Photos can be of any subject and poems can be any length. Send a flower photo with a 3 line Haiku or an action photo with an epic poem. Your choice.

    The winning entry will receive a digital photo frame, courtesy of Dan’s Camera City, as well as a 3-book prize pack from Kim Chatel. Two honorable mentions will also receive the book prize packs. The first 96 photos/poems will be published in a ebook and available as a free download from Guardian Angel Publishing. Contest runs from September 1st 2009 to January 31st 2010.

    Please help spread the word among the kids you know. Full contest guidelines are available at Chatel Village –

    A Talent for Quiet by Kim Chatel

    A Talent for QuietA book of photography, learning new talents, and accepting change comes to life through the talent of artist, photographer and author Kim Chatel.

    Reanie has a new stepfather. He has a loud voice, likes sports, and makes their house seem too small when he’s there. Bill also has many cameras, terribly breakable cameras that Reanie is not allowed to touch.

    When Bill decides to go on a photo safari, he asks Reanie to come along. They pack up a picnic breakfast and head out in Bill’s truck. After some lessons from Bill, Reanie begins snapping photos of the wildlife and soon discovers a new talent. She also comes to the conclusion that Bill isn’t quite as scary as he first seemed.

    What a wonderful book! Chatel’s stunning photography and masterful storytelling create a beautiful story of a shy, young girl intimidated by her new step-father, who is able to discover a talent she never knew she had, while slowly getting closer to the new man in the house.

    Chatel has a way with words that truly engages young readers and makes them want to keep turning the pages; and in this book, the photographs of the wildlife encourage young readers to learn more about the world around them.

    Also included is a glossary of terms about cameras and photography tips for children and adults. The last page of the book contains facts about photography, making A Talent for Quiet an all around great read and learning experience.

    Both my daughters enjoyed this book, and my budding photographer couldn’t stop commenting on the beautiful photographs.

    A Talent for Quiet is destined to win awards!

    Rating:   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc
  • ISBN-10: 1935137565
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935137566
  • SRP:  $11.95 (U.S.)
  • Rainbow Sheep by Kim Chatel

    Rainbow SheepRainbow Sheep by Kim Chatel is a great book for young readers!

    Genevieve is caring for her sheep on a rainy, yucky day. When a pale, sad rainbow comes to hang over her hill, Genevieve’s imagination, and a few monkeys, mermaids, and seahorses make the rainbow smile and cry tears of laughter, turning her sheep into a herd of colors.

    My daughters and I loved this book! Chatel adds the right amount of description and imagination to create a perfect children’s book. The reader is immediately drawn to the story of Genevieve and her sheep as they slip and slide in the mud up to her hill where she tickles a cloud. Because Chatel chose to use words like “tattered”, “sighed”, and “shimmered” the entire story and its emotions are brought to life and felt by the reader.

    A fiber artist, Chatel used 11 fiber art illustrations in Rainbow Sheep, which make for a unique and beautiful way to bring this story to life. And this book becomes interactive when the reader and her parents journey to the last few pages of the book, where they find information about felting and fun felt crafts to do together.

    Every young reader will find something to love in Rainbow Sheep.

    Rating:   🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
  • ISBN-10: 1933090847
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933090849
  • SRP: $10.95 (U.S.)