Thursday, August 21, 2014

Review: Families Around the World by Margriet Ruurs

This colorful cross section of families introduces readers to fourteen real children from around the world and the people they love the most, from Sanne in the Netherlands, who has two moms; to Gilad, whose parents and siblings live on a kibbutz with other families in Israel; to Ji Eun in South Korea, whose parents both work outside the home. An engaging book about different cultures and what they share: the importance of family, and the familiar ways people care for one another.
If your child is interested in learning about other cultures, this book may be a good place to start.

In Families Around the World, we meet several children from around the world who share what their life is like in their country.

I enjoyed the different stories in this book. They were told in verses, and I thought they were a little bit short, however, they were able to give a nice enough glimpse into the lives of children from different cultures. Some of the things mentioned in the children's stories were things I was already familiar with from World History class, but I think kids will find them fascinating.

Each story starts with a greeting from the person's country, and most stories have one or a few words from the child's native tongue. There's a glossary at the end of the book, with the words grouped according to which story they were found in. It's a great way for kids to learn new words and it's easier for them to look things up while reading a story.

There were plenty of interesting stories, like the Mayan who lived in Mexico and the child who lived in a kibbutz in Israel. My favorite story, though, is the one of Bataar from Mongolia. His nomadic life sounds fascinating.

The illustrations were done in what looked like mixed media. I can't be sure, but some parts look as though they were paper cut-outs. I thought they were nicely done, even if they're not the type of illustrations I usually go for.

Thanks to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for the e-ARC. Publication date of Families Around the World is on September 1, 2014.


  1. Kids learn about different cultures.
  2. Kids can learn new words.
  3. The stories are easy for children to read.


  1. The stories may feel a little bit short. 

Back home the house smells good.
Beet soup bubbles on the stove.
I help to cut circles of dough
to make my favorite food - pierogi!
Mamusia stuffs them with potatoes and cheese.

  1. Your child wants to learn about different cultures.
  2. Your child likes learning new words.
  3. You are looking for a book you can read with your child. 




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Karmack Book Blast

Karmack by J.C. Whyte
Title: Karmack | Author: J.C. Whyte | Publication Date: June 6, 2013 | Publisher: Muse it Up Publishing | Pages: 140 | Recommended Age: 7+
Summary: A strange little creature enters the lives of three tough guys at Higgins Elementary. And from that point on, pranks come back like boomerangs, smacking the bullies right in their fifth grade butts!

Sully, the leader of the gang, is the only one who can see this creature, which he names Karmack. Sully learns that the creature’s job is to balance all the bad pranks the bullies have pulled over the years. Karmack warns that if this fails, “dreadful, awful doom” awaits them all.

Sully soon realizes that he must save not only himself but his friends, who have no idea why they keep getting boomeranged by Karmack!

"Karmack" won First Place in the 2014 Purple Dragonfly Writing contest, a national contest for children's book authors, in the category of chapter books (e-Books).

Purple Dragonfly Book Awards - logo

Purchase the Book

Amazon (US) * Amazon (UK) * Muse It Up Publishing

Barnes and Noble * Omnilit * Bookstrand

The Buzz About the Book

"Karmack is a well-written, middle grade book tackling the difficult topic of bullying from the perspective of the bully. The character development is absolutely brilliant as the reader witnesses the transformation of Sully from an aggressive, angry bully to a positive role model and respected leader among his peers. While the concept of karma is not for everyone, I found myself agreeing with the main message of how our actions have consequences, intended or otherwise. I would recommend this book to middle grade classrooms as a great book to generate discussion around bullying." ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews
"A wonderful story about growing up and treating others with respect, Karmack is well paced, funny, and manages to teach important lessons without coming off preachy." ~ Jess W., Amazon
"A fun read with important lessons for us all about Karma, and why bullies have more to balance than most people. Great for ages 9 up, child centered, non-preachy, action packed, great classroom read aloud." ~ Carolyn W., Amazon
"What an AMAZINGLY FUN story! EVERYONE needs to read it! Full of FUN, FANTASY, and FANTASTIC REVENGE on a bully! Fun for ALL ages!" ~ Shauna W., Amazon
"Karmack is a captivating pre-teen fantasy and author J.C. Whyte has created a strong cast of characters that are well developed and quite likable. As the story progresses, the suspense builds to a delightful outcome that is sure to keep readers anticipating Whyte's next round of literary treasures. We look forward to seeing more from this author." ~ Literary Classics Book Review, Amazon

About The Author: J.C. Whyte

J.C. White Author of Karmack
When J.C. Whyte was eleven, her 6th grade teacher gave a class assignment to write a poem about a sport. Realizing her classmates would probably choose popular American sports like baseball or football, J.C. decided to write about something different: golf. And to her complete surprise, the teacher found it comical; she was thereby encouraged to keep writing.

Then over summer break, students were told to choose 26 books from a reading list and write a book report on each. J.C. was horrified! She wanted to enjoy her summer, not spend it reading! You see, J.C. was a very slow reader and didn’t much enjoy the experience. Plus, kids back then didn’t have all the fun books to choose from today. But that same teacher who had assigned the sports poem told J.C.’s mother she could write 26 stories instead of reading them. That was absolute genius! Although she didn’t actually write 26 stories (perhaps six?), J.C. submitted one which made her teacher laugh out loud in class. And she got an “A” on her summer reading assignment. J.C. has never forgotten that wise teacher who let her play to her strengths.

So from the age of eleven, J.C. knew she wanted to be a writer. Yet by the time she reached college, she understood that writing stories seldom paid the bills. So she got her degrees in Journalism and Communications Management. Then for many years she channeled her creative energies in the field of Public Relations.

Marriage, kids, and several more degrees and occupations later (including stints as a travel agent and paralegal), J.C. entered law school – mostly for the challenge of writing creative arguments for the court. But while in law school, she became a columnist for the student newsletter, writing humorous pieces on the strange and quirky life of a law student. She was absolutely thrilled when one of these articles was chosen for publication in The National Jurist, a magazine distributed to law students throughout the US.

But after graduating and passing the Bar, J.C. realized within a few years that creative writing was still what made her heart sing. So now, as a grandma, she’s returned to writing. And with publication of her middle grade novel Karmack, she’s come full circle, back to where her writing journey began.

Website | Goodreads

* Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

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

Contest ends: September 18, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: 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. One 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 a 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 the author, J.C. Whyte and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: Goodnight, You by Geneviève Côté

Piggy and Bunny are having their first campout. As the shadows loom larger, Piggy and Bunny playfully imagine scary scenarios and how they might deal with them. It's all good fun, until Piggy reveals a secret fear. This sweetly humorous story shines a light on ways young friends can acknowledge each other's worries and enjoy new experiences. Goodnight, You is the fourth book in the Piggy and Bunny series, which features endearing tales that celebrate friendship and encourage individuality and self-acceptance.
I remember liking the Starring Me and You book from this series, so I was excited to start reading this book.

In Goodnight, You, Piggy and Bunny are at a campout and end up discussing how they would deal with a monster. Later on, Piggy shares one of his fears with Bunny who helps him realize that there's nothing to fear.

While I like Starring Me and You better than this book, I still think that this is a pretty good book. The same watercolor-pencil-like medium is used and Piggy and Bunny are as cute as ever. The story is also entertaining, especially when it got to the part wherein Piggy shared his fear. That part was adorable.

Thanks to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for the e-ARC. Publication date of Goodnight, You is on September 1, 2014.


  1. The book uses the same gorgeous-looking drawing style and medium.
  2. The story is charming.
  3. It's something that parents and their children can both enjoy. 


  1. Some may want a little more action in the story. 

I can step back and tickle its nose.

  1. Your child is going on a campout.
  2. You enjoyed the other books in the series.
  3. You like children's books that are charming and beautifully drawn.



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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Mission by C.C. Solomon Blog Tour

Today, we have an interview with C.C. Solomon, the author of The Mission.
What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
The editing and marketing are hardest for me. I usually write an outline so the writing part is not that difficult. But my eyes will not catch a missing comma so I have to hire an editor in whatever I write. As for marketing well, I am not a hustler, LOL or a networker. Put me in a place with some nice natural scenery, and some candy, and I can write all day.
Which of your characters can you relate to the most?
Denise is probably most like me or more so like I used to be. Sarcastic and a realist, a bit pessimistic. I'm still sarcastic but not pessimistic like Denise, or I try not to be.  
Which part of the book was the easiest to write?
I think the beginning is always the easiest for me because I have the most freedom with where the story is going. The second half can be a little more difficult because I'm also thinking of ways to reach the conclusion at a right time.
Which actors would play the main characters in the movie version of the book?

I'm thinking Megan Goode or Tika Sumpter for Sheila. For Denise maybe Kandyse McClure or Nicole Beharie.
Which songs would be on the soundtrack of the movie version of the book?
Not sure if I know what songs but I know what artist- Beyonce of course, India Aire, Jill Scott, Sia, Katy Perry, Adele, Santagold, Janelle Monae, Kelly Clarkson- pretty much any girl power type artist!
Any future books in the works?
Yes, currently I am finishing up a supernatural urban fantasy novel and I do have an outline for the sequal to The Mission.


C.C. is originally from Baltimore, Maryland and has actively written fiction since the age of eleven. She is an avid “chick lit” reader and urban fantasy fan. In 2012, she participated as a writer and actress in the 48 hour film project. In her other life, she works in Equal Employment and Civil Rights for the Federal Government. Before becoming a public servant, C.C. briefly practiced law after graduating from the University of Maryland School of Law. C.C. currently resides in the Washington D.C. area and is an active blogger. The Mission is C.C.’s first novel and she is working on her next novel in the genre of urban fantasy.

Find C.C. at:

Rule #6: Be mysterious, but always approachable…keep him wanting more!
Rule #11: Always remember, no sex in the beginning. Make him wait!
Rule #19: You’ve got to give a little to get a little. Be giving of yourself, and it will make a lasting impression to keep your Mr. Right.
Sheila and Denise are successful, funny and attractive, but very single women. Not that being single is horrible; but when Denise is hassled to have a date to an old friend’s wedding-of-the-century, and Shelia needs an escort to an industry banquet where everyone who’s anyone will be in attendance, being single loses its perks. To add to the dilemma, Sheila tells a little white lie to her workplace nemesis about dating a successful music producer, which explodes into a career-threatening rumor. Under extreme pressure from family, friends and coworkers, they resort to making a pact. Their Mission: Get A Man in Three Months. They will use “proven” rules to finding their Mr. Rights. Rules that worked for a friend of a friend …how hard could it be?

Join them in their hilarious, and sometimes heartbreaking adventures as chapter by chapter they follow a new rule, and delve into the treacherous world of Washington, D.C. dating. The gal pals suffer through speed dating (Sam Needs-a-Bath). They allow themselves to be set up on blind dates (Bitter Crying Kevin). They try a dating service (Apron-Strings Adrian). They try the bar scene (Smoky the Bear who smokes more than cigars). They even meet men in the beauty salon (Javier Not Quite Straight). And there’s more, much more. Surrounded by family drama, workplace stressors and their own hang-ups about love, will the rules actually help them find their Mr. Rights in time for their events?


**Everyone who leaves a comment on the tour page will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases a copy of The Mission by September 8 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) will receive 10 bonus entries!**



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Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

She and Jeremy were so happening that I could have ordered up the stuffed chicken squab with roasted baby carrots for the wedding meal right then and there.


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Monday, August 18, 2014

Review: Sam's Pet Temper by Sangeeta Bhadra

Sam is so frustrated waiting his turn at the playground that a Temper shows up. Within seconds, the beastly, wild thing clears the place, and Sam happily plays alone with his new pet. But his Temper follows him everywhere, causing more and more trouble, until Sam realizes he needs to put a stop to it. How is the question ? Kids will laugh at the relatable situations, while parents and teachers will enjoy the chance to talk about pet Tempers and ways to tame them.
Losing your temper isn't a good thing, so it's important that kids learn how to control their temper before it makes them do mean, bratty things.

In Sam's Pet Temper, Sam is a young boy who suddenly finds himself with a pet Temper after a day at a playground. At first, having a Temper is fun, but before long, Sam realizes that maybe it isn't such a good thing after all.

As far as lessons go, this book gives a good one as it's able to show the effects of having a temper, as well as how to control one's temper. I think the text is a little too long for toddlers, though, so maybe it's more suited to kids at least 5 years of age.

The illustrations are done with pencil, gouache and Photoshop. The illustration style didn't really work for me as I felt it was a little dark and the lips of some of the characters drawn in the first illustrations scared me a little bit. I did like the way the media worked with the illustration, though. It felt like it suited it, somehow.

Thanks to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for the e-ARC. Publication date of Sam's Pet Temper is on September 1, 2014.


  1. Kids will learn a valuable lesson.
  2. It can help teach kids how to control their temper.
  3. It can help teach kids about losing one's temper.


  1. The length of the text means it's more suited for relatively older kids. 

The Temper had stopped struggling. It was sitting at Sam's feet, frowning at him. Sam let out a laugh. He had done it! He had actually controlled his Temper. 

  1. Your kid is showing signs of a quick temper.
  2. You want to teach your child what to do when he feels angry.
  3. You want to teach your child about the effects of a nasty temper. 



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Sunday, August 17, 2014

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.


Playing With Matches by Suri Rosen
Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age -- From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything in Between by 
Jason Boog
A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond

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