Thursday, July 31, 2014

Review: The Supernatural Kids Cookbook Haile's Favorites by Nancy Mehagian, Haile Thomas


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Easy lessons for preparing natural food from kid chef and Kids Can Cook host Haile Thomas, who knows how to make cooking fun
By the age of nine, Haile Thomas was in the kitchen, experimenting on her own. Now, the TEDxKids cooking sensation shares some of her favorite recipes from healthy-cooking expert Nancy Mehagian. With a focus on kid-approved recipes that are as tasty as they are nutritious, Haile has selected fifty of her favorite recipes, plus five of her own creations!
This charming cookbook shows you the secret to making fresh, healthy food that children will adore. Whether it’s monkey muffins or an egg-tastic frittata, these recipes are fun, fast, and positively delicious, offering all the nutrition kids need with no artificial processing. Even more valuable are her tips on healthy eating, kitchen safety, and the basic cooking techniques that your child will need to become comfortable in the kitchen. The Supernatural Kids Cookbook: Haile’s Favorites won’t just give you recipes to cook for your children—it will teach them to cook for you.

MY TAKE:
This book is great if you're a fan of healthy eating and teaching children how to make things in the kitchen.

In The Supernatural Kids Cookbook Haile's Favorites, readers get not only a bunch of delicious, easy and healthy recipes, but they also get to read about the basic kitchen utensils they may need, as well as cooking and safety reminders.

This is a nice beginner cookbook for young kids. I'm not sure how thrilled they'd be about eating quinoa and zucchini, of which there are about a couple of recipes of each, but most of the recipes are things that are still healthy and which most kids won't mind eating.

Personally, I'm planning on making the cheese omelet, cheesy papas, sedona tortilla soup, baked chicken tenders, and poutine. Yes, I like cheese.

For those with pets, there's also a recipe for peanut butter & cheddar dog treats.

Thanks to NetGalley and Open Road Media Young Readers for the e-copy.

THE GOOD:

  1. The recipes are healthy and look delicious.
  2. The recipes look easy to follow.
  3. It's a good cookbook for beginners. 

THE BAD:

  1. It would be nice if there were pictures of the finished product. 

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
When it rains, we pour. Soup, that is.
READ IT IF:

  1. Your kid doesn't like eating healthy food.
  2. Your child wants to learn how to cook.
  3. You are looking for a good cookbook for beginners. 

RATING:
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The Pen Pieyu Adventures Book Blast

Pen Pieyu Diane Mae Robinson


About the Books

Book 1:

Sir princess petra pen pieyu adventures

Title: Sir Princess Petra (The Pen Pieyu Adventures Book #1) | Author: Diane Mae Robinson | Year published: 2012 | Publisher: Tate Publishing | Number of pages: 68 | Recommended age: 5+
Summary: Princess Petra's unusual birthday request sends the royal court into a frenzy, but when she agrees to undertake a knight's quest they can't stop her. Armed with a cake knife and outfitted in the best royal pots and pans, Petra sets off to face a dragon and win her real armor before encountering a bog witch, and an army of the kingdom's worst enemies. Will Petra's kindness and acceptance prove to be more valuable than weapons and armor?

Awards for book one, Sir Princess Petra:
2012 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award (Literary Arts).
2012 First Runner Up in the Purple Dragonfly Book Award in the Children's Chapter Book category
2013 Honorable Mention in the Reader's Favorite International Book Awards
2013 Finalist in the “50 Great Writers You Should be Reading” Award

Purchase:

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Tate Publishing * Goodreads



Video Preview (Book 1):




Book 2:

Sir Princess Petra's Talent by Diane Mae Robinson

Title: Sir Princess Petra's Talent (The Pen Pieyu Adventures Book 2) | Author: Diane Mae Robinson | Publication Date: September 24, 2013 | Publisher: Tate Publishing | Number of pages: 92 | Recommended age: Read-aloud ~ 5+
Summary: Sir Princess Petra has already proven she is a kind and noble knight. This, however, does not please the king and queen---they want her to behave like a princess and forget this silly knight nonsense of hers! But when the king writes a new rule in the royal rule book that requires her to attend Talent School and acquire a princess talent certificate or suffer the spell of the royal magician, Petra, reluctantly, agrees to go. But who could have guessed what Sir Princess Petra’s Talent would be?



Awards for book two, Sir Princess Petra's Talent:
2014 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards, finalist in three categories:
Children's Fantasy SciFi
Children's Grade K - 3rd
Children's Grade 4- 6th

Purchase:

Amazon * Barnes and Noble * Tate Publishing * Goodreads



Video Preview Book 2:




The Buzz About the Books

Book 1: "I really feel that this little book is a gem. It is a relatively short book (70-ish pages) that can easily be read aloud to children in one sitting. My kids and I were completely captivated by this fun, adventure-filled tale about a very charming and unorthodox princess. I highly recommend this book to families with children under the age of 10 and as young as 5 who love a good tale filled with fairy-tale characters such as dragons, witches, princesses, and knights." ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews
Book 1: "I liked this book because it has a great story line and a great message about believing in yourself. Petra proves that she and all girls can be daring, adventurous and brave. I think Petra was a great character and I liked Snarls (the dragon) even better because he had good sense and dragons are just cool. The book is a beginning chapter book so there isn't a lot of details in it but it tells a complete story. The black and white illustrations in the book are really great too. The book is part of "The Pen Pieyu Adventures." I hope that means there will be more books about Petra coming out! This book is an awesome beginning chapter book and a great read aloud." ~ Erik @ This Kid Reviews Books
Book 1: "Sir Princess Petra is one of those stories that will appeal to most everyone. It is charmingly funny. Petra sets out to prove she has what it takes to be a royal knight and proves she can do nearly anything. Snarls, the howling dragon, is endearing and lovable. If stuffed, sitting on a toy store shelf, every kid would want him. The story is short enough to be read in one sitting, say at bedtime. There are many opportunities for humorous, wacky, high-pitched voices, making Sir Princess Petra fun to read aloud. The author's imagination is appropriately childlike. Petra is a child every parent will love. I know a child would have sweet, funny dreams after hearing mom or dad read this at bedtime."~ Sue M. @ Kid Lit Reviews
Book 2: "Sir Princess Petra's Talent is precisely everything an early middle grade book should be with a multi-dimensional main character who is a great role model for young girls; a great supporting cast of unique and quirky characters; a plot largely driven through clever dialogue amongst the characters and involving much adventure and folly; and unexpected turns and twists that willleave parents and their children laughing out loud. " ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews
Book 2: "This is an adventurous story, which gets going from the very first page and doesn't stop. The characters are all enjoyable, and the situations, although sometimes challenging for Princess Petra, are very appropriate for the age group." ~ Tonja @ Bookworm for Kids
Book 2: "The[se books] are early chapter books, fun and suitable for children ages six and up. They move very quickly and are quite short, so I think they’d be particularly suitable for reluctant readers. I also think boys would enjoy these books as Sir Princess Petra thinks and behaves in the way I imagine most boys wish girls would think and behave – kind, down-to-earth, adventurous, and never squeamish or manipulative." ~ Tina @ Mommynificent

About the Author: Diane Mae Robinson

Diane Mae Robinson

Diane lives in a small hilltop castle nestled amongst a very old and magical forest. In this mystical forest, all the fantasy creatures one can imagine live and audition for parts in the author’s next book. Diane has a journalism diploma from the Schools of Montreal and an advanced diploma from the Institute of Children’s Literature. The author also teaches acrylic and watercolor art to children, and is a writing instructor at the Creative Writing Institute.

The author’s first book in this series, Sir Princess Petra, has won three prestigious awards, and was a finalist for another award. The author recently acquired an agent with Gotham Artists Agency in New York.

Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads * LinkedIn * Google+


* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon $50 Gift Card

Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) + BONUS SECOND PRIZE = Hardcover copies of both The Pen Pieyu Adventures Books by Diane Mae Robinson

Contest ends: August 28, 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. The winners will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winners 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, Diane Mae Robinson 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, July 30, 2014

Review: Strange and Mysterious Stuff from the Bible: From the Weird to the Wonderful by Stephen M. Miller


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Stephen Miller, bestselling author of Complete Guide to the Bible and Who’s Who and Where’s Where in the Bible, compares reading the Bible to driving a country road. “We’re cruising along reading a fine little story when suddenly we hit a jaw dropper of a narrative pothole. Right out loud we might say, ‘What on earth is this doing in God’s holy Word?’”
You can’t read far in the Bible without being jolted by an account of polygamy, slavery, or gender inequality. Other stories read almost like comedies—like the one about a dead man springing to life when his corpse touches a prophet’s bones.
How do you face these things honestly? With a touch of dry humor, Miller identifies bumps in the road, briefly offers popular interpretations, and leaves you with food for thought. This is a fast-paced, fun, and reliable guide for your tour through the Bible.

MY TAKE:
As a fan of trivia books, I couldn't pass up this one.

In Strange and Mysterious Stuff from the Bible: From the Weird to the Wonderful, readers are shown stories and other things written in the Bible and presented with what they could mean, their context, and their relevance and possible interpretations.

The book has 250 entries and each one is quite short, no more than 2-3 pages each, with some of them being less than a page long. This reminds me a little bit of the style of Uncle John's Bathroom Reader. Each one is a quick read, and they are written in a funny and accessible way so you don't lose interest.

I liked that it's kind of like a history lesson as well as it tries to match some of the things to real-life people, events and places, where relevant. Including the biblical place's modern name (country) makes it easier to imagine how it all ties up geographically and historically.

I did notice, however, that some topics were connected or almost similar but they were placed far apart in the book. Perhaps it would be better if they were closer together or there was a clearer order to the entries.

Thanks to NetGalley and Harvest House Publishers for the e-ARC. Publication date of Strange and Mysterious Stuff from the Bible From the Weird to the Wonderful is on September 1, 2014.

THE GOOD:

  1. The entries are funny and interesting.
  2. You'll learn a lot, even if you think you already know a lot about the Bible.
  3. It's well-researched. 

THE BAD:

  1. It may benefit from a clearer order of entries according to chronology in the Bible, for example. 

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
The story leaves some readers thinking of Esau as dumber than a bag of peas and of Jacob as an exploitive, price-gouging jerk of a brother (and probably a good cook). 
READ IT IF:

  1. You like trivia books.
  2. You want to know more about the Bible.
  3. You've ever wondered what things that appeared in the Bible have a historical basis. 

RATING:
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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

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!

Iraqi-based Babylon became the world's bad-boy superpower in 612 BC by crushing the Assyrian army.
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Monday, July 28, 2014

Review: 5 Little Monkeys Jumpin' on the Bed: A Sing 'N Count Book by Baby Genius


SUMMARY FROM AMAZON.COM:
“5 Little Monkeys Jumpin’ on the Bed,” the classic children’s story and song features Oboe the monkey and DJ the dinosaur. Oboe’s mama discovers that Oboe and his brothers and sisters are jumpin’ on their bed. One-by-one they each fall off and bump their head. When Mama calls the Doctor (Dr. DJ), the doctor says, “No more monkeys jumpin’ on the bed.” But when Dr. DJ gets home to his own family, guess what his children are doing? This classic children’s song/story will bring joy, laughter, and smiles to tots and parents alike. Children will learn how to count the monkeys on their fingers and gain an entertaining introduction to subtraction – every time a monkey falls off the bed.
MY TAKE:
I remember this rhyme from when I was a child, so when I saw that it was free on Kindle, I decided to download it.

In 5 Little Monkeys Jumpin' on the Bed: A Sing 'N Count Book, five little monkeys are jumping on the bed, as the nursery rhyme goes. One by one, the monkeys each fall off so their mother calls their doctor.

I think there's a song you can download and use with this book, but when I read this to my son, I just read it aloud and didn't use the song.

My son likes reading books, even books on my iPad, but with this book, his attention wandered pretty quickly. I'm not sure if it's because the story is rather repetitive, or if it's because he didn't like the illustration style. He can be picky when it comes to illustrations, but usually if it's colorful, he'll at least watch or read for a few seconds or minutes.

Personally, I wasn't a fan of the illustration style. It seemed like it was computer-generated, kind of like some of the newer cartoons on Disney Junior are, but not as polished. The story is pretty much what you remember from the rhyme, so it was nice that it didn't tamper with a classic, so to speak.

THE GOOD:

  1. It's true to the original.
  2. It will help children learn subtraction.
  3. Kids may learn not to jump on the bed.

THE BAD:

  1. The illustration style may not work for everyone.

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Shhh,
they're all asleep.

READ IT IF:

  1. Your child is learning subtraction.
  2. Your child likes nursery rhymes.
  3. Your child likes jumping on the bed and you're not a fan of that.

RATING:
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Sunday, July 27, 2014

In My Mailbox


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

FROM NETGALLEY:



Strange and Mysterious Stuff from the Bible: From the Weird to the Wonderful by Stephen M. Miller
The Amish Baking Cookbook: Plainly Delicious Recipes from Oven to Table by Georgia Varozza and Kathleen Kerr
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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Review: Open Heart: A Patient's Story of Life-Saving Medicine and Life-Giving Friendship by Jay Neugeboren


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
When Neugeboren discovered he needed emergency quintuple bypass surgery, he embarked on a journey that just began with the operating table.
MY TAKE:
I had high hopes for this book because I have sort of been on both sides, as the medical student and as the patient.

In Open Heart: A Patient's Story of Life-Saving Medicine and Life-Giving Friendship, the author shares the story of his diagnosis and his quintuple bypass surgery, as well as his friendship with several doctors and how that played into his pre- and post-op life.

One of my favorite subjects in medical school was cardiology so most of the jargon used in the book was familiar to me. I liked that there were plenty of studies and other information included and that they were properly cited. The author's friends also play a prominent part and they make the book more interesting.

Overall, however, the book did not live up to my expectations. It started off okay for me. A few chapters into it, though, and my mind started wandering. The book feels a little bit like a diary or a blog. That is, it's okay in short doses or entries, but it can be a little tedious when read in one go.

There were plenty of details and self-reflection here. Now some may like that, but personally, I found it a little boring and quite possibly self-indulgent. I believe this book could have been edited down significantly as to keep the pace at a nice clip.

Thanks to NetGalley and Open Road Integrated Media for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. You'll learn a lot.
  2. You'll probably feel like you should go to your doctor and have a general examination done.
  3. There is proper citation of sources. 

THE BAD:

  1. Some may find the pace too slow. 

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
"A second or two after the blood stopped flowing into your heart, the entire bottom of the TV screen - the lower part of your heart - lit up, just blossomed with the glow of all those collateral blood vessels," he says. 
READ IT IF:

  1. You think it's unlikely that you'll develop heart disease.
  2. You want to learn more about the inner workings of medicine.
  3. You don't mind books that have a slow pace. 

RATING:
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Friday, July 25, 2014

Review: The Asylum for Fairy-tale Creatures by Sebastian Gregory


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
Once upon a nightmare…
Long ago, in a land where imagination meets the darkest nightmares, they built the asylum. Surrounded by a forest of thorns, it holds the most twisted minds in the fairy tale kingdom: a terrible collection of evil creatures and forgotten souls. Imprisoned within its walls, they are doomed to spend forever after telling their tales… and serving as a warning to others.
Now, you are invited to accompany Blood Red Riding Hood into the depths of this strange place – where you will meet its even stranger inhabitants. But be warned: walls this thick were built to withstand the darkest magic… so once you’re inside, you might just find yourself living horribly ever after… and wishing you were indeed in a land far, far away.
MY TAKE:
I find fairy tale re-tellings fascinating so I decided to give this book a try.

In The Asylum for Fairy-tale Creatures, some of our favorite fairy tale characters, as it turns out were actually driven mad by the things that happened to them. The story centers mostly around Red Riding Hood, Thumbeana, and Thread Bear. The three of them end up in the asylum for fairy-tale creatures after they go through some horrible things. But what exactly happens to them once they get there?

I found the first chapter very interesting. It was dark and a little twisted and held the promise of more things to come. However, the succeeding chapters were not quite what I expected.

I'm not familiar with Thumbeana and Thread Bear, although I think I read a story or saw a cartoon that started similarly to Thumbeana's story once. As for the other fairy tale characters I was more familiar with, they more or less followed their stories, at least, they started that way. The more magical aspects of the story, however, were turned into something darker.

Personally, the tales and the story were a little bit too twisted for me. I can't really put my finger on it, but I guess since the book is relatively short, I missed the longer descriptions and world-building that could have helped me empathize with the characters instead of just being an observer and being creeped out by them.

I noticed a few typos and missing words in the ARC I received. It took away a little bit from my being immersed in the world of the book, but they should be fixed by the time this book gets published, so you shouldn't worry too much about that.

Thanks to NetGalley and Carina UK for the e-ARC.

THE GOOD:

  1. The twists to the characters' stories are interesting.
  2. It's a good concept.
  3. This book may have a potential following and a possible future as a movie, if the story was expanded. 

THE BAD:

  1. Some may find it hard to feel for the characters. 

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
Surrounded by a forest of dense thorns and crumbling on a precipice falling to an infested monster sea, the asylum held the most insane in the entire fairy tale kingdom. 
READ IT IF:

  1. You like fairy tale re-tellings.
  2. You like creepy books.
  3. You like dark, twisted stories. 

RATING:
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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Have You Seen My Tail? Book Blast

Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for the adorable picture book "Have You Seen My Tail?" by Kathryn Harper.

Have You Seen My Tail? by Kathryn Harper

About the Book

Title: Have You Seen My Tail? (Katie-Jane, Book #2) | Author & Illustrator: Kathryn Harper | Publication Date: July, 2014 | Publisher: Green Cup Publishing | Pages: 36 | Recommended Ages: 3 to 8


Summary: Anyone who has ever struggled to accept - or longed to experience - change of any kind will be able to relate to Katie-Jane's second story, "Have You Seen My Tail?" Using rhyming verse, and laugh-out-loud moments, Katie-Jane begins this story feeling bored. She is surprised and shocked as she meets a butterfly, a frog and a snake; who are all struggling to accept the recent big changes in their lives. Different perspectives help all four characters to accept their own situations, and embrace change in the way life offers it to them. "Have You Seen My Tail?" is the second book in the six-part Katie-Jane series, designed to encourage the reader to 'be the very best version of you.'



Sneak Peek

Have You Seen My Tail? by Kathrn Harper - Inside Page


Purchase

Amazon | Book Website

You can also purchase the first book in the Katie-Jane Series, "Am I a Chameleon?" by clicking the book cover below:

Am I a Chameleon by Kathrn Harper


Early Buzz About the Book

"Author Kathryn Harper offers insightful questions and answers at the end of the book explaining how she feels about change. I love how these insightful thoughts give the reader a chance to verbalize their own feelings. Like her other books, the illustrations are beautiful and vivid. Each of the animals has a wonderfully rich texture, color, and personality. The Katie-Jane books continue to not disappoint, I look forward to seeing the next books in the series." ~ 5 Star Review, Katherine R., Amazon"Katie-Jane is a very sweet character in "Have You Seen My Tail?" She helps to explain change in a gentle and unsuspecting way. This is the second book in the series for Author, Kathryn Harper. She writes a relatable story that children all over the world can grasp and understand. " ~ 5 Star Review, Mary Jo P., Amazon

About the Author: Kathryn Harper

Kathryn Harper
I have always loved to write, draw and create, but my books are inspired by more than my love for their medium.

As a child I was selective mute. Both my struggles and my breakthroughs are a source of inspiration toward creating Katie-Jane and her stories.

I grew up in the UK, after living in Johannesburg between the ages of two and five. Today I live in Wanaka, New Zealand, with my two gorgeous children and partner, Simon. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to call this place home, where an adventure can begin every time we step outside.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads


* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: August 21, 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. 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 the author, Kathryn Harper 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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Review: If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers by David J. Smith


SUMMARY FROM NETGALLEY.COM:
If the Solar System's planets were shrunk down to the size of sports balls, and Earth were the size of a baseball, what size would the other planets be? If your lifespan was represented by a pizza divided into twelve slices, how many slices would represent your time spent in school? These questions and more are explored in this innovative and visually appealing book about very big concepts made accessible when scaled down to kid-friendly size.
MY TAKE:
This book probably isn't typical bedtime reading for kids, but it's still worth a read, especially if your child likes science.

In If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers, the measurement of things like money, continents, planets, species, history, etc. are scaled down or given an equivalent measurement or scale such that kids will find it easier to see how relatively big or small something is.

I thought this was a fascinating idea. While you may know in theory how big something is and that it's bigger or smaller than some other thing, you may not always grasp their relationship easily. Scaling them down and placing them in familiar situations may help you see the bigger picture.

I'm not sure what medium was used in rendering the illustrations, possibly digital, but it did look a little bit like paint with some areas showing scratches made with a different color.

Thanks to NetGalley and Kids Can Press for the e-ARC. Publication date of If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers is on August 1, 2014.

THE GOOD:

  1. It helps put things into perspective.
  2. Kids can learn a lot.
  3. It's something kids and parents can enjoy together.

THE BAD:

  1. Some kids may find it boring. 

FAVORITE QUOTE/S:
If the entire history of Earth from the very beginning were a two-hour DVD, humans would appear in the last second of the video. 
READ IT IF:

  1. Your kid likes science.
  2. Your child has a hard time visualizing how big planets are.
  3. You're looking for an educational children's book. 

RATING:
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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Seven Weeks to Forever by Jennifer Farwell Tour


Today, we have an interview with Jennifer Farwell, the author of Seven Weeks to Forever.
What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
Deciding how much of Cassidy's history from her previous life to include and the best way to include it. One of the first drafts of the book had flashback scenes to different times in her previous life and included different characters, like her mom, and a different best friend, and David, but I eventually decided that these strayed too far from what I wanted the story to focus on and weren't really adding as much as I would have liked. So I cut them in an early edit, and after that I was glad I did because I ended up changing a few things and adding new chapters during a later edit that took it in the direction I wanted to go.
Which of your characters can you relate to the most?
I think I relate to both Cassidy and Riley well, but possibly Riley just the teensiest bit more. That may be surprising, since he's a nineteen-year-old guy. He's a writer like me, and he's going to journalism school, which I also did. He also spends a lot of time at a recording studio, which is something I did when I was nineteen, although I wasn't the one recording. More than that, Riley's the character who experiences love and loss and life and death from the perspective of someone who only knows this life. And you can tell that underneath the layers of what he's gone through, he's a romantic at heart, and I'm definitely a romantic at heart, too.  
Which part of the book was the easiest to write?
The Cassidy-and-Riley date scenes! If I need to pick which date scene was the easiest to write, it's really a toss-up between the first "not really a date" (but still kind of an impromptu date) scene when they first have lunch together, or the birthday date scene. I think it's because I really like exploring those first tentative, nervous, iffy feelings, and building romantic tension. Plus it's always fun to build up to the bigger romantic moments and see how they got there.
Which actors would play the main characters in the movie version of the book?

I'd love to see Anna Popplewell (Lola on Reign) as Cassidy and Sam Palladio (Gunnar on Nashville) as Riley.
Which songs would be on the soundtrack of the movie version of the book?
I love that you asked this question! Here are my picks for the movie soundtrack and a little bit about why I chose each song. If you have Spotify, I created a Seven Weeks to Forever playlist with all of these songs that you can find here if you'd like to listen along!




1. Just a Dream - Nelly. Now I'll say straight up that nothing in this story is a dream, so that's not a spoiler and it doesn't say anything about the story or what to expect if you haven't read it! It is a song about love and loss and longing for someone, though, and that's pretty fitting with the book. I'll give credit to my mom on this one, because after I told her about the book I was writing, she came to me one day and said that this song had to be on the soundtrack of the movie version of the book.

2. Timeless - The Airborne Toxic Event. I'd already written a draft of this book and was in the middle of a round of re-writes when this song was released as a single. I'd say if there's one song that really captures the essence of what Cassidy experiences in her tug-of-war of emotions about Riley, The Before, and The Life-After, this is it.

3. Kiss Me Slowly - Parachute. This song IS Cassidy and Riley. No spoilers, but there are a couple of scenes where this song would be absolutely perfect. And now that I'm thinking about this song, I want to go put it on repeat!

4. Taking You There - Broods. The overall ethereal feel plus the lyrics make this the ultimate soundtrack song for this book. I could easily see this playing in the background during the scene where Cassidy watches Riley through a coffee shop window.

5. Killing Me Softly - The Fugees. This song is perfect for Cassidy and Riley once Cassidy realizes what she's there to help Riley with. What he's gone through — the reason she's there to help him — reflects what she went through in her previous life and still carries with her in her current life.

6. Fix You - Coldplay. One-hundred-percent THE song for right before a certain conversation that Cassidy has with Noah that has to do with Riley.

7. Heaven In Our Headlights - Hedley. I can hear this song playing when Cassidy and Riley are driving on the I-5, headed somewhere that Riley won't reveal. It's not only a fantastic driving song, but perfectly captures Cassidy and Riley at that moment, I think!

8. Glad You Came - The Wanted. I chose this song because it speaks to a lot of things that Cassidy faces when it comes to Riley, about time slipping away and her universe never being the same. It’s also an uptempo song that is about being happy to meet someone and spend time with them, and that really reflects Cassidy and Riley as they grow closer.
Any future books in the works?
Yes! I'm finishing up a book called HIDING OUT IN HOLLYWOOD right now, which is the sequel to my first novel, ROCK STAR'S GIRL. I also started another book during NaNoWriMo last November, which is tentatively titled THE DAMAGE DONE. And I've been toying with the idea for another book continuing the story of Cassidy and Riley, or maybe giving Selena her own book.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jennifer Farwell has been writing since the day she picked up a navy blue Crayola as a toddler and began scribbling on her parents' freshly painted white walls. She's the author of SEVEN WEEKS TO FOREVER (her most recent novel), as well as ROCK STAR'S GIRL and its forthcoming sequel, HIDING OUT IN HOLLYWOOD (2015). When not writing novels, she can often be found at a Kundalini yoga class, cheering on the L.A. Kings during hockey season, or curled up with a good book. She grew up in Thunder Bay, Canada, and now lives in Los Angeles with her dog, Pico.

Connect with me:

Website: http://www.jenniferfarwell.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jennfarwell

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jfkristin

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jenniferfarwell 

Authorgraph: https://www.authorgraph.com/authors/jennfarwell
ABOUT THE BOOK:

Cassidy Jordan knows she'll die a few weeks after her eighteenth birthday, and she can't wait. This is her second time here, and she knows what's waiting for her in The Life-After — the place most mistakenly call "the afterlife." Getting back there is supposed to be easy: she just has to find nineteen-year-old Riley Davis and help him get his life on track. But doing that isn't easy at all. 

By the time Cassidy finds Riley, she has only seven weeks to help him before her time is up. Riley will die too young if she fails, and she'll never see The Life-After or have another chance at life again. But no one told her helping Riley would mean dating him; she hasn't dated anyone since the love of her first life caused her death the last time she turned eighteen. And no one warned her she'd cross paths with Selena Jensen, her ex-best-friend who hasn't forgotten why their friendship ended and is protective of Riley. Then there's Cassidy's family, who thinks she's a normal girl headed to Harvard in the fall. When her aunt discovers that's not the plan, she shows up to try and drag Cassidy from L.A. to Boston. 

Helping Riley is already hard with her aunt and Selena in the way. It's almost impossible when Cassidy realizes she's falling for him and is faced with a choice: give Riley the life he's meant for and leave when it's time, or give up eternity for the true love she's never had, knowing Riley will die the same way she did in her first life and that her entire existence could end at any time.

SOUNDS INTERESTING?


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JQUD69M/

iBooks at iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/seven-weeks-to-forever/id866155086?mt=11

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seven-weeks-to-forever-jennifer-farwell/1119288767?ean=2940045840170

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/seven-weeks-to-forever

GIVEAWAY:


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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

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!

Alone, Hana could pretend she was performing in front of an audience so appreciative they called for encore after encore.
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Flight of the Mite Book Blast

Flight of the Mite

Title: Flight of the Mite | Author: Grayson Smith | Illustrator: Alana Kyle | Publication Date: 2013 | Publisher: Peppermint Toast Publishing: Independent | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 3 to 8 | Reviewed by: Renee and Dominic (Mother and Son)


Information About The Book: A tale of wonder and imagination, Flight of the Mite is a children's read-aloud picture book, written by Grayson Smith and illustrated by Alana Kyle. As a tiny mite stares in wonder at the nighttime stars, she becomes certain that if she were only able to travel to them, she would meet a world of wondrous creatures. She determines to build a flying contraption, and through persistence, ingenuity, and wise counsel, journeys to the nearest star. There she encounters the Others of her dreams and finds herself on an adventure where she learns that her imagination is her most important tool! This story of imagination, courage, and determination is perfect for the little mite in your life! Flight of the Mite is the first book published by the independent small press, Peppermint Toast Publishing, out of New Westminster, British Columbia. Peppermint Toast Publishing strives to work with emerging authors and artists towards the high-quality and environmentally-friendly publication of children's picture books and literature, in profit-sharing partnership with local charitable organizations.


Purchase

Peppermint Toast Publishing is happy to be contributing $3 from the sales for each copy of Flight of the Mite sold, going to help sick kids get better at BC Children’s Hospital. Visit their Online Store to purchase your copy!

Peppermint Toast Publishing | Amazon (Canada)


The Buzz About the Book

Mother and Son Review by MDBR: "Flight of the Mite is a delightful, rhyming picture book featuring an adorable little mite who dreams big as the main character; a magical story underscoring the importance of imagination in children's development; and absolutely gorgeous and whimsical illustrations. I highly recommend this book to children ages 3 to 8 and I think it would be a great choice for reading aloud to children in a classroom or library setting."
"This is our new favourite story to read and will be a book that we will be keeping to pass down to future member of our family." ~ Raincity Parent
"This wonderful piece of children’s literature is well crafted and appropriate for children and adults, the message is clear, embrace diversity, ones weakness may actually be strength. The most interesting and entertaining part is that there is a consistent rhythm and rhyme to the story, keeping the powerful message light and playful." ~ Active Lee Dadding
" I have read the sweetest story!...The combination of these two talents [i.e., the author and illustrator] working together has left us with a sweet rhyming story about a little mites big imagination." ~ Moments in Mommyland
"I recently received a new children’s book to review called Flight of the Mite. So of course I went to the best critic in the house – my 4 year old son[...]. We sat down to read the story together and discovered a delightful tale about imagination and discovery... The illustrations are delightful and [my son] insisted that we stop to discuss some of them along the way. There was more than one “wow!” over a picture of the mite climbing a dandelion." ~ Prenatal to Parenting

About the Author: Grayson Smith

Grayson Smith

Grayson Smith was born in Alberta, but attended a boarding school in Germany for 11 years. After high school, he attended SFU, where he obtained a degree in Criminology and met his beautiful wife, Linda. Throughout university, Grayson wrote stories when he should have been paying attention in class. After completing his degree, he became a police officer, and still enjoys that job thoroughly. As of 2012, Grayson gets to re-envision the world through the eyes of his baby son, Josiah. Writing is a wonderful way for Grayson to express the silliness and vagary that simmers beneath his well-practiced outer layer of respectability and professionalism.




About the Illustrator: Alana Kyle

Alana Kyle, Illustrator

Alana Kyle was born and raised in the Lower Mainland. As a small child, she was sweet, quiet, and frequently lost inside her own head. Ever since she was young, she was motivated by her love of artistic creativity and attention to detail, and remains captivated by storybooks and imagination. Alana attended and graduated from Emily Carr University of Art + Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and also obtained a three-year diploma of Illustration and Design from Capilano University. She works as an illustrator and graphic designer, and lives in Coquitlam.


Links to More Information

Peppermint Toast Publishing | Twitter | Goodreads

Facebook (Peppermint Toast Publishing) | Facebook (Flight of the Mite)


* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card

Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: August 19, 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. 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 the author, Grayson Smith 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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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