Tag Archives: picture book review

Picture Book Review: Elijah and the Key of Knowledge & Elijah and the City in Danger


Elijah and the Key of Knowledge starts this fresh take on exploring reading skills.

I had the pleasure of reading Elijah and The Key of Knowledge for this June’s featured children’s book to get your summer reading started. The author, Zachariah Rippee, does a masterful job of pulling readers into the idea that reading gives you knowledge. In fact, the whole Elijah series is full of themes to get kids reading.

The series begins with the picture book, Elijah and The Key of Knowledge. This book starts out with Elijah as an adventurer like in the Indiana Jones movies. He takes his animal friends, ie Calvin and Hobbes, on an adventure with many obstacles blocking the way. He has to enlist the help of his friends to best the things thrown into his path. It all ends when he finally discovers the secret to the key of knowledge. You guessed it, reading.


Elijah and the City in Danger is the second in the Elijah series.

The second book in the series I liked better than the first. It has Elijah now using his imagination to become a superhero in Elijah and The City in Danger. In this picture book, Elijah is now a masked hero charged with the safety of THE CITY. He must fight giant dinosaurs, robots and aliens to keep the City safe all while using his imagination, the biggest super power of all.

I really enjoyed the spontaneous joy in these two picture books. Mr. Rippee presents a fun, playful world in which a child uses his reading powers to create big adventures and be the star of his own imagination. The series would make a great read-aloud for teachers wanting to emphasis reading skills, and parents wanting to motivate their little ones to read. The Elijah series would be a great way to start off your summer reading as well.

Elijah and the Key of Knowledge is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Elijah and the City in Danger is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

-Tiffany Turner

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

*Tiffany Turner is the head writer and editor for the Indie Children’s Authors Connection and author of her own middle grade children’s fantasy adventure series, the Crystal Keeper Chronicles. She has taught elementary students the love of reading and writing for 18 years, and currently has moved to writing full time. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and cat. The cat, of course, is the center of attention.




Back To School Blog Tour 2014: Featured Book Review/Interview Vivienne Mathews


Wb2schblogtour2014elcome to Day 5 of the Back to School Blog Tour 2014! If you haven’t signed up for the Book Bundle Giveaway, there are still few days left. Entering is easy. From liking authors on Facebook to commenting on their blog, you can enter to win the fabulous book bundle of children’s book each day. So, keep coming back each day and enter.


I Want to Be an Athlete And a Teacher by Garrett Carter is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

I Want to Be an Athlete And a Teacher by Garrett Carter is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Featured today is the book review for I Want To Be An Athlete And A Teacher by Garrett Carter. Coby is an enthusiastic boy that wants to do something he loves, like play sports. He learns that he can do anything, including teaching others. In this picture book, limiting yourself is explored as Coby discovers all of his capabilities. Being good at many things and exploring your skills is part of growing up. In the end, he realizes that he can do anything, especially if he’s good at it.

This is the first in a series of picture books, and is a great start for exploring your potential. It’s a good read aloud for the beginning of school when teaching kids to look into themselves and build confidence is emphasized. Of course, saying what you will be when you grow up isn’t set in stone. Trying out new things and thinking about what you are good at is part of growing up. I liked the way this picture book gets a child to think about their skills and that they can be good at MANY things. It’s ok to do it all.

**** Four Star Rating

Available at:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Want-Athlete-Teacher-Cobys-Career/dp/1499152647

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/i-want-to-be-an-athlete-and-an-entrepreneur-garrett-carter/1119911646

For more information on the author: http://www.garrettcarterbooks.com/

Plus, our last featured author interview is with Vivienne Mathews.  Last year, Vivienne was a featured author on the blog tour. So, I wanted to catch up and ask her what things had been like for her as an Indie Children’s author.

Vivienne Mathews is the author of The Sons of Masguard series.

Vivienne Mathews is the author of The Sons of Masguard series.

1) What new books have you released in the last year?
Since we last spoke, Jax and Mack has been my only release. It’s been a very full writing year, but a very lean publishing one — which is bound to make for a busy 2015. Book three in the Sons of Masguard series is on the release schedule for early in the year, followed by a trilogy of chapter books, and another picture book by next Christmas.

2) What do you have planned to release soon?
The Dangerous Life of the Honey Bee (Image attached) – a non-fiction picture book for young kids. It follows a worker bee as she goes about an average day; dodging threats, collecting honey, coping with her surroundings. Bees are an incredibly important part of our ecosystem. As a complete fangirl of one of the coolest insects on the planet, I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about sharing the amazing things they have to accomplish in order to maintain a healthy hive.

3) What has inspired you the most along your writer journey?
I was lucky enough to grow up in a reading family. My mother never, ever dismissed the importance of a book and went to some pretty fantastic lengths (example:http://www.viviennemathews.blogspot.com/2013/05/why-i-will-always-love-print-and-my.html ) to encourage her children to view them in the same light. Even now, I have a hard time picturing her without a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. Despite the fact that she was (and IS) a frugal and practical woman, never once did she tell me that writing was something I shouldn’t do. She never pointed out that this might be a difficult field or that I’d do better to turn my eye in a more financially viable direction “just to be safe.” Instead, she’d give me another romance, another classic, another strange and ragged cult novel that she found on a shelf in that one secondhand store downtown. To this day, she still sends me home from any visit with a bag full of reading materials. If creativity is indeed a well, she’s done everything in her power to make sure that it never runs dry. And I couldn’t love her more for it.

The Sons of Masguard by Vivienne Mathews is available on Amazon.

The Sons of Masguard by Vivienne Mathews is available on Amazon.

Current Book links:
The Mosque Hill Fortune: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CCID3ZW
Guardian’s Rise: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DUZOU9E
The Sons of Masguard – The Companion Guide: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DX52HCI
Jax and Mack: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G600G48

To Connect to Vivienne Mathews:

Blog: http://www.viviennemathews.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/VivienneMathews

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7051589.Vivienne_Mathews

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vivienne-Mathews-MG-Writer-Extraordinaire/445474412218828?ref=bookmarks


Today, we wrap up the blog tour. I want to thank all of the authors for participating this week. To show the love, stop by and visit their websites and check out their books. It’s a good way to start the school year. I always need to build up my classroom library. For one more bow, here are the authors for the 2014 Back To School Blog Tour:

I’d also like to thank all of the followers of the Indie Children’s Authors Connection. You’ve helped build the blog by your views and comments over the last 3 years. For that, I am truly grateful. Again, I salute another successful Back to School. As I finish writing this post, it’s time for me to start writing Back to School Night handouts and work on a presentation. So, to all those busy teachers out there, I know what you’re going through. Thank you for all that you do. Have a great school year!



A New Take On Standing Up To Bullies


Jacob's New Dress by Sarah and Ian Hoffman

Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah and Ian Hoffman

Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah and Ian Hoffman will grab your heart with its message. If you have ever been bullied, or your little one is being bullied for being different, this is a great way to teach them to stand up for themselves.

Jacob finds a dress during dress up time at school and decides to wear it. Other kids insist boys don’t wear dresses. But Jacob continues to follow his dream. He gets his Mom to make a dress, and finally wears it to school. He is so proud of the small stitches he’s made. During sharing time, one boy questions Jacob’s actions, and states “Boys don’t wear dresses”. As a result, a group tries to tease Jacob at recess, insisting he must be on the girls’ tag team. The story ends with Jacob standing up to the main bully, proud of his new dress.

This is a great read-aloud book to stress the issue that differences make us unique. The characters are well constructed, and the adults thoughtful and supporting of Jacob. The reluctance of excepting others by Jacob’s classmates is looked at as an obstacle that doesn’t stand in his way. He becomes proud of his dress and ignores the name calling. This is a great picture book to read aloud to a class or every night to show differences make us unique and special.

***** 5 Star Rating

A review copy was supplied by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

A Special Way to Say “I Love You”


I Love You! by Calee M. Lee

I Love You! by Calee M. Lee

When searching for the perfect Valentine’s Gift for your child, try sharing your love over and over again through a unique picture book. I Love You! by Calee M. Lee is a wonderful way to tell your youngster those special words for Valentine’s Day. The book is unique in that it repeats all the different ways love can be expressed. From a secret pillow fort to a birthday crown, the pages flow through kid friendly events to share over and over.

I really loved the illustrations and layout for this book. The text looks as if it is written on mini-notebook paper, and the pictures are adorable.The illustrator, Tricia Tharp, captures the whimsical charm of every kid event with cartoon style images. You’ll want to read this book over and over. It’s a great way to tuck your little one into bed this week. It’s a great Valentine’s Day gift that can be enjoyed all year long.

***** 5 Stars
Available as a paperback and ebook at Amazon.com Also available at Barnes and Noble as a paperback edition.