From the Family Bookshelf – Jan 2016

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Can you believe it is already February? I can’t. Where did January go? In the middle of preparing my business plan for 2016, selling houses and family life, it seems to have gone by me.

Not a ton of reading going on in our house these days, but doing my best to keep enjoying the books I have. I’m really liking audio books these days. I spend so much time in the car that they really are the way to go. I listened to If You Ask Me (And of Course You Won’t) by Betty White and I’m almost finished with a book on marketing.

In e-book format I am reading The Last Dinner Party by Carly M. Duncan, Touches of Time by LoRee Peery, and No Plot, No Problem by Chris Baty, founder of NaNoWriMo.

Dad is still reading The Key to Zion by Bodie and Brock Thoene. He loves their writing.

The Lil’ Diva has been spending more time hanging with friends than reading, but that will change now that she has Lit and Comp this semester.

The Lil’ Princess received the latest Diary of a Wimpy Kid book for Christmas so we are reading that together.

That’s it for this month’s edition of From the Family Bookshelf. I hope you’ll share what you’ve been reading too.

All Because of Chickens by G. L. Miller

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Returning to the family homestead intensifies twelve-year-old Sammy’s longing for the family heritage—farming. But Dad’s ultimatum, “… no crops, no animals, no barn…” shows Dad wants nothing to do with farming, for himself or Sammy. Then why did Dad insist Sammy join a farming club?

Permission slips for Ag club summer projects are due. Sammy defends his project choice with, “Technically, Dad, chickens are birds not animals.” Miraculously, he wins Dad’s approval.

Sammy’s problems begin with the early arrival of his peeps and the loss of his best pals.   His ingenuity to care for his chicks, make a new friend, and design a compost bin win him a new name. His biggest challenge—can he butcher his roosters?

Summer’s many adventures include solving a mystery, fighting a hawk, and being disqualified at the County Fair.

At the end of the project, has he won…or lost…the thing he wanted most—Dad’s change of heart about farming?

Excerpt

During a lull in the suppertime conversation, Sammy found the courage to broach the subject. “Dad, Mr. Conklin said we had to bring our signed summer project paper to next week’s meeting.”

“And what have you chosen to do?” asked Dad, sipping his coffee.

“Raise chickens,” mumbled Sammy. Afraid of Dad’s reaction, he toyed with the last of the peas on his plate.

“What?” Dad almost sloshed his coffee as he set down the mug. “I thought you understood there would be no animals.”

“Yes,” Sammy admitted, “but I thought—”

Sammy saw Dad’s angry frown and tightly drawn lips. He decided to try a different approach. “Dad, I’m confused. You’re the one who wanted me to join the Ag club of CAYC, the County Agriculture Youth Club. You said you belonged as a boy. Surely you remembered there were summer projects?”

In silence Dad swallowed another sip of coffee. “I remembered,” he said. “But, I was hoping you would get interested in growing flowers for your mother or vegetables for the kitchen. Couldn’t you do that as your project?”

“Well, you said there would be no farming, either,” Sammy pointed out.

“What I meant by that was fields of plants, not just a few around the house or in a small garden.”

“In that case, yes, I probably could.” Then, with heroic effort he blurted, “But that really wouldn’t be any fun. All plants do is sit there. You have to water them and feed them and weed them. And they still…just sit there.”

“You have to feed and water chickens, too,” Mom gently reminded. “And clean their house and take care of them.”

“At least they move. And I could play with them. I know they’d be work, but I hope maybe some fun, too.”

“What made you decide on chickens?” she asked.

“Well,” said Sammy, “first I thought of a foal, but I knew Dad wouldn’t approve of that,” he added quickly, stealing a glance at his father. “Besides, we don’t have a barn or any place to put a young horse. True, during the summer he wouldn’t need much more than a lean-to. Still, I would hope to have him longer than just this summer…” Sammy’s voice trailed off.

“Then I considered a puppy.” How am I going to explain this to Mom? Sammy took a drink from his water glass and quickly got his thoughts together. “I would probably want to have him in the house, though. You know, to play with and sleep on my bed.   But dogs get fleas and shed their hair so I didn’t think you’d permit that.”

Mom’s smile confirmed his supposition. “So that’s when you thought of the chickens?” she asked.

Sammy nodded.

“But they’re still animals,” prodded Dad.

Turning his attention back to Dad, Sammy defended himself. “Not really, Dad. Technically, they’re birds.”

Sammy watched the astonishment in Dad’s face turn to amusement.

Technically, they are not birds, they are fowl,” Dad replied.

Embarrassment tightened Sammy’s jaw. “You’re laughing at me.”

Sammy felt Dad’s hand gently clasp his own, causing him to focus on what Dad was saying.

“Never, Sammy. I would never laugh at you. I love you. You are growing up and using words that surprise me.   I enjoy your ingenuity. I’m laughing in delight of you, but never at you.”

Sammy grinned and ducked his head.

Mom pushed back her chair and stood up. “Let me get dessert, and then you can tell us more about this project.”

“I’ll get my stuff.” Sammy ran to his room for his club materials and the form he and Gran had filled out earlier. He also swooped up his drawings and the copies of the Internet pages. Spreading everything out in front of his dad, he explained what Mr. Conklin was encouraging them to do.

“And Gran said I could use that old lumber behind her shed to make the house.   I mean, coop,” Sammy corrected himself.

“I thought I smelled my mother in this,” muttered Dad.

“Oh no, Dad,” Sammy hurried to set things straight. “I thought of all this myself. When I told her today, Gran asked me the same things you did. All she did was help me to look up some information on her computer and to fill in my form.”

Sammy looked through the papers he’d put on the table. Choosing two, he placed one before Dad.

“See, I’ve even drawn some plans for their coop,” Sammy said. Putting the second page on top, he explained, “And I have enough money in my bank to pay for the chicks, their equipment, and part of their food. I plan to sell their eggs to get more food money.”

Sammy watched Dad’s face for signs of approval. He didn’t realize he was holding his breath until Mom spoke.

“How many peeps are you thinking of getting?” she asked.

“Mr. Conklin said we can buy as few as twenty-four or twenty-five,” Sammy answered. “He’s bringing catalogs to the next meeting so we can see what breeds are available. But, I think I already know what kind I want.”

Sammy searched through his computer printouts. Pulling a couple of pictures from the stack, he handed one to Mom.

“Gran and I looked at different kinds on the computer,” he said. “These Golden Comets seemed to be the most interesting. You can see in the picture that the roosters are white and the hens are red.” Sammy chuckled, and then added, “With that sort of help, I won’t be asking a rooster why it isn’t laying an egg.”

“Good thinking,” agreed Dad. “A beginner needs all the help he can get.”

“That’s what Gran said,” admitted Sammy.

AVAILABLE AT:

MuseItUp Publishing ~Amazon ~ Barnes&Noble ~ Kobo ~ Smashwords ~ Apple iTunes~ Omnilit ~

Blogging at Christian Children’s Authors

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Friday was my day to blog at Christian Children’s Authors. I discussed a youth ministry resource I am using in our tween/teen Sunday school group. You can find out more about The Story of Jesus: Teen Edition from Zondervan at http://christianchildrensauthors.com/2016/01/15/the-story-of-jesus-teen-edition-from-zondervan/

This Little President by Joan Holub and Daniel Roode – Book Blast & Giveaway

Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for the newly-released board book, “This Little President: A Presidential Primer” by Joan Holub and Daniel Roode.

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About the Book

Title: This Little President: A Presidential Primer | Author: Joan Holub | Illustrator: Daniel Roode | Publication Date: January 12, 2016 | Publisher: Little Simon | Pages: 26 | Recommended Ages: 2 to 6

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million

Goodreads | Indiebound | iBook | Kobo

Book Description:

A board book primer on presidents

Learn about the US presidents with this bright and playful board book! Highlighting ten of the most memorable presidents—and featuring all forty-four on the last page—parents and little leaders-in-training alike will love sharing this fun primer full of age-appropriate facts, leadership skills, and White House history.

Leading our country.
Helping you and me.
Keeping all fifty states
safe, happy, and free.

Little presidents have a great big job.

See more at Little Simon

 

Sneak Peek

This Little President Joan Holub - Inside Page AThis Little President Joan Holub - Inside Page B

 

About the Author: Joan Holub

Joan-Holub-GG-264x300Joan Holub is the author of 140+ books for children including the Mini Myths series of 8 board books: Be Careful, Icarus!, Brush Your Hair, Medusa!, Make A Wish Midas! Joan also authored the acclaimed picture books Little Red Writing, The Knights Before Christmas, and Mighty Dads, a New York Times bestseller. Joan also co-authors (with Suzanne Williams) three series: Goddess Girls (ages 8-12, Greek mythology with a middle school twist), Grimmtastic Girls (for ages 8-12, fairy tale adventure with a middle school twist), and Heroes in Training (ages 6-11, Greek mythology adventure chapter books).

Author Blog | Twitter | Pinterest

Goodreads | Facebook

 

** Book Blast Giveaway **

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice

Giveaway ends: January 26, 11:59 pm, 2016

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Joan Holub and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send an email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Coming Soon!: Bathtime with Theo and Beau by Jessica Shyba

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Beau is dirty. Theo is dirty. It must be BATHTIME!

The only thing better than watching Theo the dog (part-Boxer, part-Shepherd, part-Labrador, part-Sharpei) curl up for a nap with his best friend Beau (a two-and-a-half year old toddler) is watching them having a blast together in the bath. The strong friendship, trust and love that was so visible in Naptime with Theo and Beau, is once again on full display in Jessica Shyba’s absolutely adorable and unbelievably charming photos.

Prepare to have your heart stolen all over again by these world famous viral sensations!

Age Range: 2 – 5 years
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends (January 19, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1250059070
ISBN-13: 978-1250059079

Available January 19!

Pre-order:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

New Release: Blue in the Face by Gerry Swallow

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When Elspeth Pule, an eleven-year-old brat, wakes up one day in a strange forest, she finds some familiar faces around her–those of the nursery rhyme characters she grew up reading about. But as she soon learns from Humpty Dumpy, a suave, tuxedo-wearing egg, what she knows is a twisted version of the truth concocted by the evil Old King Krool–and none of the characters are who she thinks.

Elspeth couldn’t care less, but she soon gets pulled into the fight against Krool’s tyranny. And if she wants to get home, she’ll need to learn some compassion–and teach the characters that sometimes a good old-fashioned tantrum is exactly what’s necessary.

Told in a hilarious voice and with black and white illustrations throughout, this “revolutionary” tale is perfect for fans of Pseudonymous Bosch and Lemony Snicket.

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (January 12, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1619634872
  • ISBN-13: 978-1619634879

PURCHASE AT: Amazon, Barnesandnoble, Bloomsbury Publishing

ADD TO YOUR GOODREADS SHELF

Gerry Swallow is the author of A Whole Nother Story–which received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and was an Al Roker Today Show pick–and its sequels Another Whole Nother Story and No Other Story, all written under the pseudonym Dr. Cuthbert Soup. He began his career as a stand-up comic, making numerous appearances on NBC’s Tonight Show. He then turned his attention to writing movies, including the blockbuster hit, Ice Age: The Meltdown.
http://www.awholenotherbook.com.

Valerio Fabbretti is the author and illustrator of children’s books and comic books in both the USA and Italy. He was born in Rome and currently lives in San Francisco.
http://www.valeriofabbretti.com/.