Inspiring writing reminder

“I wonder how old we are when we stop thinking like kids?”  – This Kid Reviews Books  (Quote used with permission. Thanks, Erik!)

Music video: Chris Hadfield singing with the Barenaked Ladies

I’m sure you know who Chris Hadfield is – the famous Canadian astronaut, and maybe you even know of the Canadian singing group The Barenaked Ladies – a male rock group so named to attract attention.

Below is a video of them all singing together while Chris Hadfield was still in Space. They also have a choir as backup. I hope you enjoy this.

If you were a member of a singing group what name would you choose to attract attention?

Thanks for reading – and listening.  And Creative Musings!  🙂



Quiz: What percent royal are you?

I have a confession. I’m feeling a little burned out with reading books for reviews and posting two a week. There’s a lot going on these days in my life – including our youngest daughter’s upcoming wedding in about two weeks! Yes, about 16 months ago she met the love of her life and it was an instant connection. They were engaged five months after that, and soon … my “baby” will be a married woman! I’ll share some about it here when that exciting weekend is over.

Alas, I’m not even getting to my own writing, and I have yet to come up with a new story draft for this month of 12×12. This week at home I’m trying to get refreshed and have not pushed myself to keep up with computer stuff. Part of that includes that I’ve started doing Zumba. (Dance exercise) I am not nearly active enough anymore, usually sitting too much at the computer. Apparently the saying now is “sitting is the new cigarette.” Yikes! Means that it’s unhealthy to sit too much. And we know it is. Anyway, Zumba is a fun and challenging workout, my body is complaining at doing what it’s no longer used to doing and I’m enjoying it anyway despite the ouches.




A few days ago my husband and I got away for a day to visit his sister and brother-in-law in their new house in the port town of Lunenburg, N.S. Wow! Gorgeous, and with a close view of the water and the tall ships anchored there for a few days on their sail to different ports. We took the short walk around town and my sister-in-law and I went into a little dress shop. Lo! and behold! I found a dress to wear to my daughter’s wedding! What a load off my mind that was. The following day I bought shoes to go with it, usually quite an ordeal but this time it was easy and painless. I’ll be able to show up at my daughter’s wedding after all. 🙂

Now, I have a quiz for you to do. As you read in my subject line, it’s to find out what percent royal you are. 😉  Just follow THIS LINK to do the quiz. Afterward I hope you will come back here to comment so I can know your quiz results. Here’s mine, silly but fun:

100%    You must be a long lost member of the royal family! Everyone bow down because we found the real Queen—and long may you reign! Now all you have to do is find your happily ever after…by reading ROMANCING THE THRONE!

I haven’t read Romancing the Throne. Have you? If so, should I? Did you like it?

SO if I’m 100% royal … where is my entourage? including someone to do the housework so I can write, and I’d like a chauffeur, please.  🙂 (laughing but .. wouldn’t it be nice…)

What are you doing this season? And … what percent royal are you?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂


Book Review: Dear Santasaurus – by Stacy McAnulty






Book: Dear Santasaurus
Author: Stacy McAnulty
Illustrator: Jef Kaminsky
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press 
Date: October 1, 2013
Genre: children's picture book; age 5-7; K-3
Pages: 32
Price: $15.37
My rating: a fun and funny read

Dear Santasaurus by Stacy McAnulty is unlike any dinosaur book – or santa book – you’re likely to read.

Dear Santasaurus is a funny story about Ernest B. Spinosaurus, a young dinosaur who starts early in the year writing letters to Santasaurus. In fact, January 1 his first note is a thank you for his Christmas present – even though he already broke it. Every month he writes to Santasaurus, sometimes twice, and more in December just so he can try to be on the nice list.

 The notes also serve as his wish list which changes and grows throughout the year. In March, what starts out as a scooter, by April has increased to a Jurassic Turbo Scooter x9. In May is it a sea serpent blue Jurassic Turbo Scooter x9 and a raging raptor action figure. In June, it is now a Jurassic Turbo Scooter x9 with a working headlight, and never mind the raging raptor action figure – he now wants tar pit goo. Amusingly for the reader, Ernest B. Spinosaurus’s request gets more elaborate almost every month, and the bold creative illustrations by Jef Kaminsky add to the humour.

On Christmas Eve Ernest leaves a note for Santasaurus, just to remind him of the long list of features he wants his scooter to have. The description is so detailed (and changed) it’s quite funny.

The illustrations by Jef Kaminsky are very well-suited to the story, as Ernest B. Spinosaurus tries to do more nice things than naughty ones – a hard task for a mischievous young dinosaur to accomplish. Children will love the antics Ernest gets up to, and his attempts to convince Santasaurus he had good reasons for everything.

Children are sure to enjoy Dear Santasaurus by Stacy McAnulty. It’s a fun story for adults to read to them, too.

You can find Dear Santasaurus by Stacy McAnulty on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on,, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: When a Dragon Moves in – by Jodi Moore






Book: When a Dragon Moves In
Author: Jodi Moore
Illustrator: Howard McWilliam
Publisher: Flashlight Press 
Date: May 1, 2011
Genre: children's picture book; age 5-7; K-2
Pages: 32
Price: $16.95
My rating: a delightful story of imaginative play

When a Dragon Moves In is the first book of two – the second being When a Dragon Moves in Again which I reviewed HERE. The author, Jodi Moore, came up with the cutest personalities and storyline for children (and adults) to enjoy.

With his parents and older sister, a little boy spends an enjoyable day at the beach. He builds a perfect sand castle that turns out to be just right for a dragon to move into – and so begins a very imaginative day at the beach.

The dragon becomes his playmate – toasting his marshmallows, being his raft in the water, playing in the sand, scaring away bullies (when actually the reason they run is because his father is standing behind him). The boy is careful to hide his dragon for a while, but then decides it’s time to let his family know. Of course, they don’t believe him and have reasonable explanations for all his clues of the dragon’s existence.

Soon, to prove he’s real, “his dragon” starts doing things that get the little boy into trouble. His dad says it’s got to stop. The boy realizes he has a decision to make.

Children will understand the boy’s quandary, and will be amused with the wonderful ending of the story.

When a Dragon Moves In is such a delightful story. The illustrations by Howard McWilliam are absolutely fabulous. When a Dragon Moves In and When a Dragon Moves In Again are two books that are ‘must reads’ for your young readers – and the whole family.

You can find When a Dragon Moves In by Jodi Moore on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on,, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂


Book Review: 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story – by Tara Lazar






Book: 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story
Author: Tara Lazar
Illustrator: Ross MacDonald
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Date: May 16, 2017
Genre: children's picture book; humour
Pages: 32
Price: $18.99
My rating: Entertaining story filled with puns and humour

7 Ate 9: The Untold Story is a very entertaining story. And how can it not be, having been written by Tara Lazar?

Private I is asked by the number 6 to help him. He has heard that 7 Ate 9, and he is scared 7 would soon be after him. Private I pointed out that 7 is always after him – as in 5, 6, 7. That fact doesn’t console 6 and he fears his days are numbered as both 7 and 9 seem to be missing!

Private I goes to the café for a slice of pi.  (No, I didn’t mean to type pie.) The waitress, whose name is B, has the scoop. She’d heard that 7 ate 9, and she drops a scoop of ice-cream onto Private I’s pie that’s shaped like the number π – which is the mathematical pi.

As you can easily figure out from what little I have said – not wanting to give away the whole story – there are many puns and word plays in this funny picture book 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story. The bold, creative illustrations by Ross MacDonald (a Canadian now living in the US) are perfectly suited to the story and visually add to the puns. The reader must pay attention to the illustrations to not miss the added humour.

In a surprising and funny conclusion, Private I cleverly solves the mystery of missing 9 and 7, reminding the adult reader a little of Sherlock Holmes.  🙂

Tara Lazar has cleverly written a book for children that is full of puns, plays on words, and humour. Young readers are sure to enjoy 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story.

You can find 7 Ate 9: The Untold Story by Tara Lazar on my BUY THE BOOK pageI also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on,, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated by authors, illustrators, and this blogger.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard – by Jennifer K. Mann






Book: I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson's Blackboard
Author/illustrator: Jennifer K. Mann
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Date: June 9, 2015
Genre: children's picture book; age 5-8; gr. K-3
Pages: 40
Price: $16.99
My rating: Such a delightful story!

I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard, written and illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann, is a sweet story.

Schoolteacher Mrs. Benson gives stars on the blackboard for spelling and math and right answers and neatness. Rose just KNOWS she’ll NEVER get a star because she can’t seem to give the right answers on anything. She likes to doodle, and her desk is always messy, too. Mrs. Benson doesn’t give stars for that.

One day, Mr. Sullivan comes to visit the class and he talks about being an artist. After his visit Rose thinks a lot about what he said, so much that she’s distracted and spills the class snack on Mrs. Benson! How can she ever get a star that way!

When Mrs. Benson announces she’s going to do a desk check for neatness, Rose’s heart sinks, but the next morning she cleans it the best she can. When her teacher gets each student to make a thank-you card for Mr. Sullivan, Rose’s artistic flair is released. What a mess, even worse than before! In fact, Mrs. Benson laughs because not only is Rose’s desk a mess, so is Rose! She is very impressed with the little girl’s artwork, though, and says that Rose is a true artist like Mr. Sullivan.

At the end of the day, Mrs. Benson calls Rose up to the blackboard. The little girl is worried, but then something wonderful happens.

Jennifer K. Mann‘s illustrations are fabulous in I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard. I wish I could share a couple of my favourites here for you, but since I can’t you’ll have to read this delightful book for yourself to see them. Jennifer pulls the reader right in with her combination of words and visuals. Her illustrations are uncomplicated and expressive – very enjoyable.

You can find I Will Never Get a Star on Mrs. Benson’s Blackboard by Jennifer K. Mann on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on,, Goodreads, and on Chapters.Indigo if available there.

Your comments for authors and illustrators are greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: I Love Sharks, Too! – by Leanne Shirtliffe






Book: I Love Sharks, Too!
Author: Leanne Shirtliffe
Illustrator: Lorenzo Montatore
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Date: June 6, 2017
Genre: children's picture book: age 3-6; Pre-school-K
Pages: 32
Price: $16.99 
My rating: educational and fun at the same time 

I Love Sharks, Too!, by Canadian author Leanne Shirtliffe, is a book to experience and enjoy. If you ever wonder about sharks but you don’t want to get into heavy science facts, or get too close to them in person, this would be an enjoyable read for you. Written for children it’s safe and fun. 🙂

Stevie is a little boy who loves sharks. He loves them so much he wishes he were one himself. He thinks about them a lot! And why not? Sharks are amazing creatures!

One day, every time his mother spoke to him about something, he replied with a shark fact that fit the topic. When his mother said to stop squirming, he told her that whale sharks can’t stop moving or they’ll die. When she told him to use his manners at dinner, he said bull sharks tear their food apart with their fifty rows of teeth! When she warned him about trying to scare her, he had a fact about hammerhead sharks’ eyes.

They really weren’t communicating very well all day. Even when she told him to turn out his light at bedtime he replied with the fact that lantern sharks glow in the dark. Imagine what that must be like.

Lorenzo Montatore’s illustrations in I Love Sharks, Too! are full of energy and will make young readers – and grown-up ones – giggle. His art for this story is bold and crazy – which suits the story well. It’s enjoyable and educational at the same time.

I Love Sharks, Too! has a surprise ending, a satisfying one. The actual story is followed by eight pages of very interesting shark facts humorously illustrated. 

You can find I Love Sharks, Too! by Leanne Shirtliffe on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Goodreads, and when available on,, and Chapters.Indigo.

Your comments are greatly appreciated.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂