Children’s Picture Book Review: Alex and the Lazy Monster

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LazyBookCoverImage_2There is nothing like a good book to start off the New Year for your child. So, this week I’m working on book reviews of books to add to your bedtime reading list for the start of the Year. Here’s a positive way to add new books and spend more time with your child. Reading aloud a book is so important to the development of your child and helps them before entering school. So, hang on, and enjoy my selections this week.

Today, I’m starting with a nice monster book that will help get 2018’s bedtime sessions rolling. Alex and the Lazy Monster by Vanessa A. Newman is a delightful nighttime story that can be read again and again. Told like a mother making up a story for bedtime, this tale of a boy and his adventure with the Lazy Monster might sound familiar to many of us. We’ve all felt like wanting to lie around and do nothing. Alex discovers he has the same problem, and the reason why. He has a new friend, the Lazy Monster.

But this big blue monster is also very friendly and cuddly. When he suddenly discovers rocks in his pockets and sand in his shoes, he knows why he’s been so lazy. His new friend is doing it. But taking them out makes the Lazy Monster tired too. He doesn’t want to hurt his new friend. How can he find a balance?

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Vanessa A. Newman is the author of the picture book, Alex and the Lazy Monster. Available at Amazon.com.

I really adored this cuddly blue monster tale. Instead of just destroying the monster, the author finds a solution where his hero works with the monster to solve the problem. I enjoyed that as a teaching element, and it’s something I look for in a read-aloud. Plus, the illustrations are adorable. You want to give the slothful monster a hug half the time through the book. Any child will like hearing this story read to them again and again. It will give them validation for those times that we need to find a balance between motivating ourselves and resting. This picture book is a bedtime book collection addition for any child.

Alex and the Lazy Monster is available at her website and on Amazon.com. It is a Kindle Unlimited title. It is the second book in the series of Alex and his monsters.

 

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Crystal Keeper Series After Christmas Sale on Smashwords

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I’ve listed the first book in the series, The Lost Secret of Fairies, as a FREE ebook on Smashwords just in time to help ring out the old year. The next book in the series, The Lost Secret of the Green Man, is on sale 50% off at $0.99. The After Christmas Sale will be going on from December 25, 2017 – January 1, 2018.

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The Lost Secret of Fairies will be on sale for FREE from Dec. 25-Jan. 1, 2018!

This is all in anticipation of the upcoming book, The Lost Secret of Time. It will be the fourth and final book in the Crystal Keeper Chronicles. Currently, I’m in the middle of revising the completed manuscript. The release date is looking good for Spring 2018. I’ve been in contact with the artist to complete the cover, and my editor has it on her calendar. Everything is in preparation.

I am SO PROUD to be finally bringing you this last book. It has been a long time in coming. With my being ill back in December 2014, this last book almost wasn’t written. But after the physical therapy, and surviving a heart attack, pneumonia and septic shock, it seems almost a miracle to finally be nearing the completion of this last book. I’m so looking forward to all of you being able to read it. There will be more to come as we near the release date. So stay tuned, and be sure to follow my blog for all the updated info.

But I do have to warn you. Brewford, the cat sorcerer, is telling me that he wants a book of his own to finally set the record straight. He wants a book of his own to tell the stories of his 800 year old lifetime adventures. Something tells me, he may get his wish. But how about you let me know. If you’d like a book told by Brewford explaining his adventures over 800 years as a cat sorcerer, let me know in the comments below.

And to you and all my fans and followers, a very Happy New Year and best wishes in 2018!

-Tiffany Turner

Children’s Picture Book Review: Ernest Hummingbird

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Earnest Hummingbird

Available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble,  and as an app in the IOS store.

I’ve got a real treat for your Holiday list. Ernest Hummingbird is an absolutely charming picture book written and illustrated by David Feiss. Mr. Feiss created “Cow and Chicken” on the Cartoon Network, and worked as an animator at Hanna Barbera for many years. Charming with its cartoon illustrations, this book will take you back to your Saturday mornings.

Ernest Hummingbird tries to follow his dream to be a singer. But everyone around him insists that he should just “hum”, like all the other hummingbirds. Undaunted, he enlists his friends to sing for an agent rumored to be coming to scout for singers. Of course, in a plot twist, Ernest gets his dream. I’ll leave it up to you to discover the ending.

I enjoyed this sweet little story of following your dreams and not letting anything stop you. The illustrations are humorous and inviting, pulling you into the story as any delightful Saturday morning cartoon. I would recommend this book to anyone that would need a gift for a child, grandchild, or niece and nephew. It would make a satisfying bedtime story. As a read-aloud in the lower grades, it would teach the importance of not giving up.

As an added bonus, the folks behind Ernest Hummingbird also have a parallel storybook app in the IOS store, with music written by Tommy Thayer from KISS. The narration is by country star Darius Rucker. Link to the app in the IOS store.

Find out more at: www.mechemmedia.com.

Earnest Hummingbird is available at: Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

 

 

This Weekend: Local Literature Festival in Downtown San Jose with Tiffany Turner

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I’m proud to announce I’ll be part of the Local Literature Festival this year being held at the downtown branch of the San Jose Public Library. 25 local Silicon Valley authors will be there to talk about their books, sell you a signed copy, and talk to you about questions you may have. It’s a great opportunity to see the local talent the Silicon Valley has to offer. Plus, if you are interested in writing or self-publishing, come hear the different panels talking about genre, writing, and a presentation from Pressbooks on self-publishing. It plans to be a fantastic afternoon.

  • Local Literature Festival 2017
  • Sunday Dec. 10, 2017 2pm-5pm
  • Downtown San Jose at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library-RM 225
  • 150 East San Fernando Street, San Jose, CA 95112

    Authors will be selling and signing books. Come get the precious gift of reading for your family and friends, and support local authors. Panels will be going through the afternoon on different literature related subjects. I look forward to seeing you there. -Mrs. Turner

Holiday Picture Book Review: Santa’s Little Helper

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santashelpercovereditLooking for a diverse take on Santa Claus? Here is a jewel of a story just in time for the Holidays.

Santa’s Little Helper by Ronald Destra is a picture book that brings the magic of Christmas to a boy happily waiting his turn for Santa Claus to visit on Christmas Eve. His parents help Daniel prepare, leaving out lemonade and cookies for Santa. But will Santa really arrive?

This book helps capture the wonder and delight one felt waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve. Daniel gets to see the wonder and magic of Santa Claus as he becomes his little helper as he climbs into Santa’s sleigh, complete with reindeer. Santa takes him on a journey to help deliver toys to children throughout his town including his neighbors and an orphanage.

Daniel’s journey takes us through that one night a year when there seems to be something extra special in the air. The supportive, loving parents and caring helpful way Santa shows Daniel his annual job adds to the true meaning of Santa Claus, that giving is better than receiving. The illustrations show Daniel surrounded by loving, supportive parents and Santa, all creating a safe haven for Daniel on Christmas Eve.

This is my favorite book so far by Destra World Book Publishing that specializes in diverse and worldview themes for their books. This book will be a great way to show the Christmas spirit either as a read-aloud or a gift.

**For more information about the author, visit his website at:

www.ronalddestra.com

Santa’s Little Helper is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

 

Picture Book Review: Best Friends

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Best Friends by Ronald and Juanita Destra is a great gift for the Holidays.

Here’s a picture book gift for the Holidays about how friendship can help overcome the most difficult struggle a child could face, a terminal illness.

Best Friends by Ronald Destra and Juanita Destra is a picture book about two friends that meet under difficult circumstances. They are both children ill in the hospital. By chance, they are placed into the same room, and develop a friendship to help them beat the odds their illnesses have set for them.

This book was bringing me near tears within the first few pages. I have gone through a life crisis of a heart attack a few years ago, and to see kids facing this kind of life trauma together was such a message of strength. I have to warn, have some tissues near by, you may need them by the end.

This would be a great book for children to read with parents if they had lost someone close to them in their lives. As a read-aloud, it’s diverse illustrations and acceptance of others, even with physical challenges, is a great message to convey to any class.

This book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

 

New Humorous Book For Parents: Driving Grandpa

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Driving Grandpa is available on Amazon and is a KU title.

Since I come across a lot of books in my work as a children’s author and teacher, I thought I’d expand into a new section to my blog: Books that are for parents. There are all kinds of books that can support that hardest job of all, especially with your own parents. That is where my first book fits in.

Driving Grandpa by John Redstand is an adult humorous book that tells the ups and downs of the other parenting, parenting your parents. It tells of the adventure of a grandson in helping out his grandfather after losing his wife. All the relatives have had a go in taking care of grandpa. Now it is his turn, and that is when the fun begins.

This was a great book that takes a look at the quality time spent with our elders. Through WWII stories, stories of life, and the journey to patent an outboard motor, we get to know the unique relationship of a boy grown a man and his grandfather. I bonded with both the author’s humorous take on his grumpy grandfather, and was touched by the way their relationship grows through the book.

I would recommend this book to anyone that would relish the story of giving homage to the Great Generation and how we need to care for loved ones before they leave us forever. It’s a great book for the kid in all of us.

***Driving Grandpa is available exclusively on Amazon and is a Kindle Unlimited title!

Children’s Picture Book Review: The Birthday Party

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Looking for a unique birthday present for your special someone? The Birthday Party by Ronald and Juanita Destra is a cute picture book with a fun birthday surprise.

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The Birthday Party by Ronald and Juanita Destra is available at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com.

The Birthday Party is a book that wraps itself around the theme to never give up on your friends and family. That no matter what, even when it seems like there is no hope, they will come through for you in the end. The plot builds suspense to draw you through the story, making even the reader wonder what is going to happen by the end. You feel the heart ache of Johnny not having anyone acknowledge his birthday. It just makes the ending so much sweeter. The illustrations are also very charming, and the diverse characters make this a great read-aloud for any classroom.

I would recommend this picture book for parents and teachers looking for a book that teaches lessons of perseverance and the love of family and friends.

***The Birthday Party is available at Barnes and Nobles.com and Amazon.com.

 

Halloween & Spooky Story Project: Step By Step Plan to Keep Your Kids or Students Busy Until Halloween

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Create your own spooky story this week with a step by step plan. Click on Day 1 below to get yourself started.

So, I am currently a semi-retired teacher writing full-time. But when I was teaching, I would teach my class one of my most loved and remembered writing units: A Write It Yourself Spooky Story Unit! I would spend a whole week, sometimes two, with my students writing a spooky story that they would then read-aloud on Halloween. We would spend the whole day in school reading them, and I’ve been told year after year, it was the one thing that my students remembered from being in my class.

So, I will share with you now, the step by step plan for getting your kids (or yourself) motivated and channeling that nervous Halloween energy into something productive. I first wrote these posts back in 2015. The links will take you to the original instructional posts.

If you are a teacher, and would like the full lesson plan for this unit. It is available on Teachers Pay Teachers in my Writing Is Fun Store.

Below is the list of each step. The link will take you to the post with all the information you need to get started.

Day 1: Write Your Own Spooky Story, Create Your Main Character

Day 2: Creating a Spooky Setting Or Plot

Day 3: Starting the Rough Draft

Day 4: Continuing Rough Draft with Dialogue

Day 5: Revising and Proofreading Your Story

Day 6: Writing the Final Draft

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Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner is a Kindle Unlimited title.

Also to celebrate Halloween, I’ve put my Halloween picture book, Pumper the Pumpkin, on sale for FREE from Friday Oct. 27 – Tuesday Oct. 31. I wrote the first draft when I was 10 years old and promised myself to finish it when I got older. I did.

So, have fun writing with your class or children this week. Or maybe you’re the child writer, and you’d like to take this on. Go for it! It may be the start of a new adventure for you. Writing is fun and challenging, and so worth the effort of seeing people enjoy your story.

Be sure to comment and let me know how you like this post. I’d love to hear what kind of stories you all come up with.

**If you liked this post or others, please be sure to follow my blog. My fourth book in the Crystal Keeper Chronicles is complete and is going through the revision process. So, get on the newsletter and blog list today. Be sure to get all the updates and informative posts coming up in the next several months!

And of course, HAPPY HALLOWEEN! WAAAHHAHHHHAHAHHAH!

-Tiffany Turner

 

 

Back to School 2017 Giveaway: Winner Announcement!

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2017B2SchoolBannerGreetings everyone. Just wanted to do a quick announcement about the winner for the Back to School 2017 Blog Tour Giveaway from last week. I have hit the button, and the spinning wheels of Rafflecopter have picked:

Katherine L. as the winner of this year’s giveaway!

Congratulations to you Katherine. I have sent you an email winner’s notification letter, and emailed your $25 eGift Card to the email listed for the giveaway.

To everyone that entered and stopped by the blog tour, thank you so much! It’s your support that keeps the Indie Children’s Authors Connection going. Stay tuned for fun Halloween activities and a featured author coming up next month for October.

-Tiffany Turner

Head writer/editor of the Indie Children’s Authors Connection