Tag Archives: children’s literature

Book Review: Siarra Jones Skating Into Trouble (Middle Grade Novel)

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Paul Breau is the author of the new middle grade book, Siarra Jones Skating Into Trouble.

The Holiday Season is kicking off right now, and you may be in search for a reading present for the child in your life. So, I’ll be highlighting some awesome books and authors that I find over the next few weeks. The first I’d like to tell you about is a great new series from a Canadian author, Paul Breau. He has put together a great middle grade novel as the first in his Step By Step series. The book is called Siarra Jones Skating Into Trouble.

Siarra is so excited about her new skating class. She’s starting the highest level class, and just needs it to be complete all that is needed to go to skating camp. But on her first day, a bully starts to get in her way. Every new session of class, she runs into problems with the bully. One thing after another happens. She suddenly sees bullies everywhere, especially at school. A run in with the class bully and watching someone else be a hero gives her the strength to stand up to her bully. Will she be able to face him in the final test of the class? Will she find out what makes him so mean?

Siarra JonesI really enjoyed Siarra as a character. It was good to see a strong girl, excited and having a good relationship with her parents. The bully incidents are realistic, and she learns more about being bullied first hand. It gives her empathy for others around her she notices are bullied. She goes through a beautiful change to start standing up for others, and uses this knowledge to stand up to her bully. But I was really hoping that the bully character himself would have some insight and we’d see more of his change. There is a little bit at the end of the book, but I wish there were more background revealed for the bully himself.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and hope it will make it into classrooms and libraries. It would make a great read aloud for a class to have discussions about bullying and what to do in different situations presented in the story. Plus, for any child that is being bullied, it will be an empowering read.

Siarra Jones Skating Into Trouble is available at Amazon.com. This is a Kindle Unlimited title.

For more information on the author Paul Breau, please visit his website at: PaulBreau.com.

Interview with L.M. Dunn

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With all the hoopla of Halloween over, you might be looking for a sweet book to read to your little one at night. I’ve found a nice, cuddly dog picture book for you called George Loves A Stick. I had a chance to interview the author L.M. Dunn about her childhood memories, writing process, and what she has in story for us.

  • What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

L.M. Dunn: How To Eat Fried Worms was my favorite book as a kid.

  • Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

L.M. Dunn: I write by hand on paper, then type the first draft on the computer, print and edit by hand. Then do it again until it’s right.

  • What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

L.M. Dunn: I’ll be writing more children’s books as well as adult sci fi, thriller, spiritual, et al. Writing is my passion.

GeorgeLovesStickcvrGeorge Loves A Stick is a darling picture book involving a dog and his stick. It takes you on an adventure of what a dog will experience in a day as he roams around, plays with other dogs, explores, and makes friend with his favorite stick. But when he gets in a tug of war with his brother over the stick, which will win?

This delightful picture book will make a great addition to any child’s library that loves dogs.

George Loves A Stick is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.com.br.

Interview with Tom Murdoch

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Before all the scary, spooky stories start to take over your child’s brain, I’d like to introduce you to Tom Murdoch. He’s a fun, adventurous author that writes soothing bedtime stories. He has written “Where will you go, Ricky Jo?”, a sweet, adventure story about an outgoing Chihuahua that loves to explore. I got a chance to ask author Tom Murdoch about his childhood reading memories, writing and what he is thinking of accomplishing next.

  • What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Tom Murdoch: My dad read to me, sometimes scary stories! As a child, I read all the Hardy Boy books.

  • Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Tom Murdoch: I write all day as a copywriter, so for my book projects I try to squeeze it in as I can.

  • What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Tom Murdoch: I hope to continue a series about puppies.

RickyCover“Where Will You Go, Ricky Jo?” is a classic bedtime story certain to inspire imagination as well as sleepy time adventures. Featuring vibrant illustrations, journey with Ricky Jo, a loveable Chihuahua, chasing after fire engines, soaring high on airplanes, riding on horses and visiting a farm. His journey ends with bedtime where he starts his dream adventures. This charming picture book will make a great addition to any family’s home library.

 

“Where will you go, Ricky Jo?” is available at Amazon.com.

This is a Kindle Unlimited title.

 

 

 

 

Interview with Carey Azzara

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Carey Azzara is the author of the children’s book, The Sick Puppy. 

I have an extra treat for you. A new book from the author, Carey Azzara is coming out in this week. Carey is one of those authors that just have to write and get his message out to the world. His upcoming book, The Sick Puppy, is due out for release on [release date inserted]. I had a chance to talk to Carey about his influences as an author, his writing routine, and what he would like to write about in the future.

Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?
Carey Azzara:
I’m a fan of Mark Twain (who isn’t right?). His stories flow with ease and they all make sense. He teaches as well as entertains (something I aspire to). We learn something of true value from his writing, like the concept of a good lie in the book Huck Finn.

Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.
Carey Azzara:
I am not overly disciplined in my routine. I typically do my best work in the morning and late in the evening. However, when an idea strikes, I try hard to get it down on paper no matter when the muse is being helpful.

What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?
Carey Azzara:
My next project is a series of books written for the YA audience. It features a fifteen-year-old girl living in New Mexico who is part Apache. Along with her Apache mentor, an elder in the local Native American community, she discovers she has extraordinary powers. The working title is Gila Wilderness Warrior.

the-sick-puppy-ebook coverThe Sick Puppy is the story of a seven-year-old girl that has enjoyed living in her home in Cumberland, Maine. But when her Dad receives special news, her life is turned upside down to adjust to a new home. Heidi learns to adjust to her new town by a friend that puts the meaning into rescue. A sweet, little puppy.

The Sick Puppy is available on Amazon.com in ebook edition or paperback. It is also available at the publisher’s website at Glass Spider Publishing.

For more information on Carey Azzara, please visit his website at:

https://careyazzara.com/.

 

 

 

 

Interview with Nasser Abuhamda

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Nasser Abuhamda is the author of the book Backyard Adventures. 

I’ve got a wonderful author to introduce you to in time for all of your fall reading. Nasser Abuhamda grew up in Michigan having kid adventures that have inspired his stories. He currently has many books that can appeal to the wild child at heart. I had a chance to talk to Nasser about his memories of reading, authors that have inspired him, and what he plans to write about in the future.

1) What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Nasser Abuhamda: As a child I liked reading about dinosaurs in the backyard laying on the grass on a sunny day. My mother would always come to read with me and explain the book I was reading. Reading certain stories would inspire me to write the stories I have today.

2) Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Nasser Abuhamda: Steven King inspired me from reading his books. I’ve watched his movies. He inspired me to use my imagination to write my own books and stories.


3) What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?
Nasser Abuhamda: I would like to write about fictional subjects as well as science fiction.

backyardadvCoverBackyard Adventures is Nasser Abuhamda’s most recent book. It is a book about a young boy that likes to delve into his imagination in his backyard. One day, he’s a cowboy. The next day, he’s a pirate. But then one day, his adventures turn into a situation where he has to make a decision like the real heroes in his backyard adventures. This delightful book is a fun bedtime story to help kids engage their imagination. It will make a wonderful addition to any child’s home library.

For more information on Nasser Abuhamda and his books, visit his author page.

Interview with Kevin Hindriks

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As the weather starts to turn, it’s a great time to start looking for books to read for your little ones. More time indoors means more time to read books. I found a wonderful author that creates charming stories with a little girl, dapper cat, and quests of adventure. Meet Kevin Hindriks. He is the author of the picture book Tasha & Pierre. Kevin is a self-published author living in the Philippines. When not writing children’s books, he is working in film as a director for documentaries and music videos. I had the chance to talk to Kevin Hindriks about his childhood reading memories, writing routine, and future projects.

1) What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Kevin Hindriks: My favorite memory from reading as a child was reading “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss. I must have read that book hundreds of times – in those days we only had a few books in the house. Those illustrations will always be etched in my mind, and the moral value at the end will always stay with me.

2) Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Kevin Hindriks: My writing routine is basically just trying to put in a few hours everyday. I have a full time job as a filmmaker, so I can only dedicate a couple of hours a day. I don’t force myself to the point of frustration. I feel that it’s better to be relaxed and take things as they come. When it comes to illustration, I sketch everything myself then pass it to my illustrator, who then makes nice versions of my sketches.

3) What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Kevin Hindriks: In the future I would like to make more children’s book related to parenting. I am a new parent, and so it would be enjoyable for me to share some of my experiences. I also love Brazilian jiu jitsu, and I’d love to make a baby book about that, targeted to jiu jitsu parents.

0 coverTasha & Pierre is a delightful picture book that tells the story of a charming girl and her dapper cat as they go on a journey to discover the world. Beautiful illustrations their page-turning adventures creating valuable together time for toddlers and their parents.

 

Tasha & Pierre is available at Amazon.com.

 

 

 

Day 1 of the 7th Annual Back to School Blog Tour

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back2schoolbanner2019Welcome to the first day of the 7th Annual Back to School Blog Tour. We have a fabulous first author featured today, Terry Gunn. But first, I wanted to put up the Blog Tour giveaway. If you’re a student or teacher, here’s a great way to supply yourself with books for the school year by winning a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Follow the link below to enter:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/20834f9e19/

Note: Giveaway begins midnight EDT.

And now without further adieu:

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Terry Gunn is the author of the picture book, The Adventures of Klaus, the Happy Schnauzer.

I’d like to introduce you to the first featured author for the 7th Annual Back to School Blog Tour. Terry E. Gunn lives in HTB California with her family and newest fur baby, Rocket Riley. She has written a fabulous picture book about the adventures of her beloved schnauzer going through a typical dog day. It’s a playful story that can be a wonderful repeating read-aloud to help children fall asleep each night. I had a chance to ask her questions about her writing routine, childhood reading memories and favorite authors growing up.

  • What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Terry Gunn: My favorite memory as a child and still today is memorizing books, reading them aloud, conducting plays or singing songs from the sound of music to my young cousins.

  • Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Terry Gunn: Favorite author is Judy Schachner, she writes about her kitty and I love the stories. My first book is about my beloved Klaus Von Dog.

  • Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Terry Gunn: My writing time is early morning when the house is quiet and my imagination is not interrupted, but my job interrupts story creating and stories are a way to bring joy into children’s heart and allow Klaus to live in the hearts of children.

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  • What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Terry Gunn: The subjects I write about are dogs and their adventures. I use to memorize the different dogs and collected dog statues during my visit to Catalina Avalon. But I have two stories in the works about hats and pennies.

  •  What is writing to you in one sentence?

Terry Gunn: The story begins in the heart, continues with a pen and ends with a smile. Happy reading.

KlauscvrThe Adventures of Klaus, the Happy Schnauzer is a wonderful picture book that goes through the typical day of a beloved dog. From the challenge of trying to catch the neighborhood squirrel to doing tricks for a treat, children are taken through his dog-oriented day. His owner helps you grab his leash and go with him to explore the neighborhood.

Out on their walks, the two set off to the park for a game of catch, play with other dog friends, and then for a game of hide and seek. At the end of a busy day, Klaus is ready for sleep. Like most dogs, he falls fast asleep to do it all again the next day. His activities parallel a similar day for a preschooler with waking up, eating breakfast, playing, meeting friends and going to sleep. This would make a great read-aloud to settle down any youngster before bed.

The Adventures of Klaus, the Happy Schnauzer is available at Amazon.com as a paperback or ebook edition.

Link here for the book trailer on YouTube!

***Come back each day this week for a new featured author interview and a chance to win the $25 Amazon Gift Card giveaway.

 

 

Interview with Charlotte Safieh

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Cover 3With school starting in many states, it’s not too late to start building your school or home library for the new school year. Charlotte Safieh has written a picture book called “A Cry for the Ocean” to help create awareness and support to clean the plastic littering our oceans.

Charlotte lives in Toronto, Canada with her family. She has been in the teaching profession for many years and specializes in teaching creative writing. She is celebrating her first published book. Charlotte has also started her own imprint called Blue Jay Press to help support new authors with stories needing to be told.

I had a chance to ask Charlotte about her childhood reading memories, favorite authors and impact that writing has had and the influences she hopes to accomplish.

  • What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Charlotte Safieh: My favourite memory from reading as a child was reading Gerald Durrell and following his adventures collecting exotic animals from exciting far away countries. Something that would not be allowed anymore! I recently learned that he was very influential in changing how we manage zoos, so that instead of simply being a source of entertainment we are protecting endangered species and learning more about their natural environment and behaviour.

  • Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Charlotte Safieh: My favourite writer for children is Roald Dahl. He is very entertaining and irreverent with such a unique imagination. I also love Barbara Kingsolver, and I’m just reading her new book “Unsheltered” which is a remarkable story that can tell us so much about our current time and the challenges we face with our poor treatment of the natural environment.

  • Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.

Charlotte Safieh: I need to be accountable with my writing and love doing courses and being a part of a writing group. I love sharing ideas and talking over writing with fellow writers.

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Charlotte Safieh is the author of the new picture book “A Cry for the Ocean”.

  •  What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Charlotte Safieh: I would like to continue to write stories about the natural world to help children to understand how important it is to protect nature and wildlife. Maybe Sukara can go on to do more great things in the future!

  •  What is storyquest.com, and how did it influence you to become a writer?

Charlotte Safieh: Storyquest is a creative writing project that I have been running for several years. After I qualified as a teacher I began working in classrooms with students teaching them how to write stories and putting their stories together as published chapter books. This has been very enjoyable and rewarding, and I have seen hundreds of students write incredibly exciting, imaginative and powerful stories. I feel very lucky to have done this work, as I see how much they enjoy writing the stories, and I love creating a space to allow that to happen.

  •  What other environmental issues would you like to address in future books?

Charlotte Safieh: I would love to write more about protecting nature, and have been considering a story set in the rainforest, as we are losing our forests so rapidly. I would also like to write about the kids 4 climate movement, as I have been very excited to see that grow in the last year. I am a really big fan of Greta Thunberg and have been following her journey across the Atlantic on a yacht this week.

  •  Why did you start your own independent publishing company, Blue Jay Press?

Charlotte Safieh: I started Blue Jay Press because I love publishing books. It is a true passion, and although this is the first book I have authored I have published over 400 children authored chapter books. I hope to continue to grow Blue Jay Press with books by other authors as well as more of my books.

  •  What advice do you have for aspiring writers who are interested in self-publishing?

Charlotte Safieh: I would say go for it. The self-publishing industry has grown exponentially. Now it is very achievable for anyone who has a story they are passionate about to self-publish. I used Kickstarter very successfully to fund the first set of books and my wonderful illustrator Tamara Piper, who I found on Fiverr. Self publishing makes up a significant proportion of sales of books, especially ebooks.

  •  For our younger authors, what can they work on now to help them become better writers?

Charlotte Safieh: When I teach creative writing I work a lot on encouraging children to be confident in their writing, and to ignore the critical voice in their head that can stop them from enjoying writing. When they are getting ideas down I also tell then not to worry about spelling or grammar so they can let their imagination flow.

  •  What is writing to you in one sentence?

 Charlotte Safieh: Writing is sharing our inner worlds, our lives, ideas and connecting with each other.

“A Cry for the Ocean” is a picture book that brings forward the cause of helping clear our oceans of plastic pollution. Sukara meets a mermaid and learns about the plastic pollution in the ocean and finds a magical way to save it. It will bring awareness to the plight of our oceans and be a great addition to any school or home library. It will be a wonderful teaching tool for ocean and environmental units. Teaching resources accompany the book to help teachers and parents.

“A Cry for the Ocean” is available at Amazon.com.

For more information on Charlotte Safieh’s new book “A Cry for the Ocean” and free resources, lesson ideas, activities, and to order wholesale books, please visit her website at: https://www.bluejaypress.ca/.

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with Toni William

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For those looking for a fun read to end their summer nights, here is a great international award-winning author I’d like to introduce you to. Toni William lives in Scotland with his family. He writes from inspiration taken from drawing with his son. Mr. William has created stories and images that emerged from collaboration with his son, putting together imaginative tales. “The Frog Who Lost His Croak” is one of these delightful tales that bring to life vivid characters through rhyming text and playful images. I had the chance to talk with Toni William about his writing routine and process, future projects, and what writing means to him.

  • Do you have a writing routine? Share what works for you.  

Toni Williams: I don’t have a writing routine as such. I tend to find I work best with a clear mind. So a lot of my writing and ideas come to me when I’m driving.

  • What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Toni Williams: I plan to write another three books in this series. Two are already being written currently, one is a story about the importance of sharing, and the other is a fun Christmas story.

  • What is writing to you in one sentence?

Toni Williams: Writing is an escape from reality, you create your own world for others to live in.

Frog Who Lost His Croak cover“The Frog Who Lost His Croak” is a charming adventure about a little frog that woke up with a shock. He had lost his croak. Join him on the journey to find his croak, and all the ups and downs that he encounters. This story is full of beautiful illustrations and engaging rhyming text. It is sure to be a favorite for your child and a repeat read-aloud at bedtime.

“The Frog Who Lost His Croak” is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. This is a Kindle Unlimited title.

For more information on the author Toni William, please visit his website at: https://toni-william.wixsite.com/portal.

 

 

 

 

Interview with Dipa Sanatani

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Dipa Sanatani is the author of the YA book “The Little Light: A Story of Reincarnation and the Crazy Cosmic Family”.

I always enjoy finding unique stories and the authors that write them. I believe I’ve found another great author to introduce you to. Dipa Sanatani is a fabulous children’s author with a unique young adult book called “The Little Light: A Story of Reincarnation and the Crazy Cosmic Family”. She has studied and worked in several countries including Australia, Singapore, Israel, China and Japan. Her background is in business and education. She brings a remarkable perspective to her stories while weaving in lessons all ages can appreciate. I had a chance to talk to Dipa Sanatani about her childhood reading memories, her favorite authors, and future projects.

1) What is your favorite memory from reading as a child?

Dipa Sanatani: I loved going to the local library as a kid. A place filled with books where you can read for free? For a long time, that’s what I thought heaven looked like.

Whenever I opened a book, I entered magical worlds, travelled far far away and went on grand adventures without leaving my bedroom. Books inspired my curiosity, fired my imagination and broadened my horizons.

These days I travel a lot and create my own magical worlds. I hope my books can give readers what my favorite authors once gave me.

2) Who was your favorite author and how did they influence you?

Dipa Sanatani: Ahh! It’s so hard to pick just one. But if I have to…

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince. I loved the relationship The Little Prince has with the fox and the rose… There’s a simplicity and a depth to the way he writes. When I was a child, I read it as just a story. But it’s one of those books that really startles you when you re-read it as an adult. He said so much in so little. It’s brilliant.

3) What subjects would you like to write about in future projects?

Dipa Sanatani: My debut novel The Little Light is the first book in The Guardians of the Lore Series. It handles themes like reincarnation, world mythology, cosmology and folklore. There’s nothing else like it available in the market. Titles in the spirituality genre are typically non-fiction and intended for an adult audience. I’ve written The Little Light with younger readers in mind. My goal is to inspire their curiosity in these topics in a fun and accessible way.

I’ll definitely continue exploring these topics in the sequel. If you’d like to find out more… stay tuned.

Ecover-TheLittleLight “The Little Light: A Story of Reincarnation and the Crazy Cosmic Family” begins on the eve of the Little Light’s birth. It finds itself at a Planet Party with all the Celestial Beings, The Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu, and Ketu. But the bickering and fighting is making it hard to support the Little Light. They must put aside their differences to prepare the Little Light for its birth on Planet Earth. Prepare the Little Light for its destiny.

“The Little Light: A Story of Reincarnation and the Crazy Cosmic Family” is available at Amazon.com.

For more on the author, Dipa Sanatani, visit here website at: www.dipasanatani.com.