Tag Archives: Book review

Book Review: Little Red Gliding Hood – by Tara Lazar

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Little Red Gliding Hood
Author: Tara Lazar
Illustrator: Troy Cummings
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Date: October 27, 2015
Genre: Children's picture book; 2 - 10 yrs;  Preschool - 4
Pages: 40; hardcover
Price: $16.99
My rating: a skating contest like no other; funny

Little Red Gliding Hood is a fractured fairy tale written by Tara Lazar. It begins with the introduction before the title page, and we’re taken immediately into the story by Troy Cummings‘ clever illustrations.

A fractured fairy tale is a mix-up of nursery rhymes and fairy tales, bringing in characters from different ones to fit in the new story. Tara has the sense of humour to pull this off easily.

Little Red Gliding Hood loved to skate and she was very good at it. She would skate to her grandmother’s every Sunday for a visit. The problem was that her old skates were in bad shape and getting to be too snug a fit. She soon wouldn’t be able to skate to Grandma’s.

Conveniently, a pairs skating competition was announced with the prize being a pair of new skates! Little Red Gliding Hood had to win! Inconveniently, she didn’t have a skating partner. Little Red’s grandmother suggested asking the Gingerbread Man. Little Red said he’s too fast and she can’t catch him. Grandma suggested Baby Bear would be a good partner, but Little Red said Goldilocks thought so first. When Little Red went to ask the Three Little Pigs, the Big Bad Wolf showed up. Little Red skated away, frightened, with Wolf skating after her.

The day of the competition Little Red showed up to skate. When the Big Bad Wolf showed up, too, he scared Little Miss Muffet away and Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. It was chaos. The illustrations by Troy Cummings are funny and enjoyable.

The end of the story of Little Red Gliding Hood is fun and very cleverly done, making it a book that’s delightful to read over and over.

You can find Little Red Gliding Hood by Tara Lazar on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and on Chapters.Indigo if available there.

Please encourage an author and illustrator by leaving a comment. Thank you.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

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Book Review: Sky Pig – by Jan L. Coates

 

 

 

 

 

Book: SkyPig
Author: Jan L. Coates
Illustrator: Suzanne Del Rizzo
Publisher: Pajama Press
Date: April 1, 2016 - Canada; September, 2016 - USA
Genre: children's picture book; 4 - 7 yrs; K - 2
Pages: 32
Price: $19.95
My rating: a sweet story of determination and friendship

 

If this book looks familiar to my regular readers, it is because I mentioned it in this blog post last year. 

Here is Jan reading her book at the launch in May of 2016.

 

 

 

SkyPig by Jan L. Coates is a sweet story about friendship and determination. 

Ollie, a little pig, wanted so very much to fly. He watched birds, and airplanes, and bugs, and things being blown in the wind, and he wanted to fly more than anything. His friend Jack, being an inventive boy, did all he could to try to help him attain his dream – even though everybody knows pigs can’t fly.

To launch Ollie airborne they collected leafy branches and fastened them onto his back. They climbed all the way to the top of a very high hill, and Ollie did his very best to fly. Just when he was thinking, “I’m flying! I’m flying, I’m …” Crash! he came down hard, and sadly limped home.

Since that unsuccessful attempt didn’t dampen Ollie’s determination, Jack helped him construct a kite (fail), then wings with feathers and things (fail), and more inventions to try to make Ollie fly. Nothing worked, and nothing made Ollie smile, until the day they discovered something wondrous. 

Illustrator Suzanne Del Rizzo created amazing illustrations for Sky Pig. To quote: “The illustrations were rendered with plasticine, polymer clay, paper collage, milkweed fluff, watch gears, and other doodads.”  Take a close look at the cover illustration to see many of those doodads.

Sky Pig was a selection for the 2016 Best Books for Kids & Teens, won the 2017 Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for excellence in illustration, and was a finalist for the 2017 Shining Willow Award.

Sky Pig by Jan L. Coates is an inspiring story written with repetition of some phrases and humour children will love. Her word choices are delightful. Suzanne Del Rizzo‘s illustrations are gorgeous and complement the story perfectly. When you get to read this book, watch for two little friends who appear in almost every picture with Ollie and Jack, adding a smile for the reader.

You can find Sky Pig by Jan L. Coates on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and Chapters.Indigo when the book is available there.

Please encourage an author and illustrator by leaving a comment. Thank you.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 

Book Review: Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle – by Miranda Paul

 

 

 

 

 

 


Book: Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle
Author: Miranda Paul
Illustrator: Jason Chin
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press 
Date: May 26, 2015
Genre: children's picture book; 6 - 10 yrs; gr. 1 - 5
Pages: 40; hardcover
Price: $18.99
My rating: science taught in a most enjoyable way

 

For children who think they don’t like learning about science, introduce them to Water is Water: a Book About the Water Cycle. This beautiful hardcover book is a good introduction presented simply in few words so the young reader is not overloaded with information. Written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin, this is an excellent tool to help young readers understand the wonders of the water cycle.

Jason Chin‘s illustrations are remarkable and tell their own story to complement the words. The focus is on two children, siblings, who are enjoying nature.  They play by the pond and the little boy captures a turtle. A few pages later we see them releasing the turtle back into the pond. It’s interesting to see what’s happening with the children and their friends during their outdoor play. The cycle of water is shown as rain, drinking water, steam, clouds, fog, puddles, and includes ice and snow as we follow the children through the change of seasons. 

Miranda Paul’s words are educational while being enjoyable for young readers. She created a very interesting and fascinating read in pleasant rhyme about the changes water goes through, and although in different forms it’s still water.

You can find Water is Water: a Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and Chapters.Indigo when the book is available there.

Please encourage an author and illustrator by leaving a comment. Thank you.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

Book Review: Gertrude at the Beach – by Starr Dobson

 

 

 

 

 

Book: Gertrude at the Beach
Author: Starr Dobson
Illustrator: Dayle Dodwell
Publisher: Nimbus Publishing Ltd
Date: February 1, 2015
Genre: children's picture book; age: 4-8
Pages: 32
Price: $19.95; hardcover
My rating: an entertaining, beautifully illustrated story 

 

Here is another book I purchased at the children’s book fair I enjoyed a year ago.  Gertrude at the Beach is the second picture book written by Starr Dobson. The illustrator is Dayle Dodwell who also illustrated the first book.

In the first book, My Goat Gertrude (read my review of it here) – told by Starr from her perspective when she was a child, we meet Gertrude the goat who was brought into the family by Starr’s dad. Gertrude is immediately loved by the three little girls and is soon found to be a handful of mischief. In this story, Gertrude at the Beach, nothing much has changed in that regard. Gertrude still gets into trouble.

It’s summer vacation and the family packs up to go to their cottage on the beach. As it’s Gertrude’s first time to the ocean, everyone is excited to see how she will react. When they arrive the first thing Gertrude does after sniffing the salt air is to stick her head way in under an overturned rowboat that had been left there. She seems to be fascinated with boats because later they find the boat moving and discover it’s because Gertrude got herself completely under it.

Gertrude is an entertaining animal. A dried up jellyfish has to be taken away from her to stop her from trying to eat it, and Gertrude mopes when sent to her towel under the beach umbrella. Then disaster strikes. Gertrude disappears and finally Starr sees her splashing in fear in the ocean, apparently heading toward to an anchored boat. For some reason she isn’t trying to come back to shore. Somebody has to do something!

The fact that Gertrude at the Beach was written about things that actually happened in Starr Dobson‘s childhood makes it even more interesting for children to enjoy. Dayle Dodwell‘s beautiful illustrations round out the story well.

A portion of the sales of this book are being donated to the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia.

You can find My Goat Gertrude by Starr Dobson on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and sometimes Chapters.Indigo.

Please encourage an author and illustrator by leaving a comment. Thank you.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

 

Book Review: My LOVE for You is the Sun – by Julie F. Hedlund

 

 

 

 

 


Book: My LOVE for You is the Sun
Author: Julie Hedlund
Illustrator: Susan Eaddy
Publisher: Little Bahalia Publishing
Date: September 9, 2014
Genre: children's picture book 
Pages: 24; hardcover
Price: $17.99
My rating: a sweet, sentimental story with remarkable 
illustrations

 

My LOVE for You is the Sun by Julie Hedlund is a joy to read. Every page is full of sweetness and eye candy. Julie Hedlund‘s words and Susan Eaddy‘s illustrations combine to make this a book to treasure. With Mother’s Day coming up in three days this seemed an appropriate book to review today.

The first thing you’ll notice is the size of the book. It’s produced with the pages wider, which gives the reader a more wide view to enjoy. Next is the cheerful face of the sun and then you see that the illustrations were made from clay.

My LOVE for You is the Sun is written in rhyme. Each beautiful two-page spread has three lines of verse, the first line makes a statement, the next two lines rhyme and expound upon the first. The exception is the last verse which has four lines with the second and fourth rhyming. Example: My love for you is the sun. Rising in your tender heart, It shines on you when we’re apart. From there with each page turn you discover more about what a parent’s (or guardian’s) love is: a tree, a river, the rain, the wind, the snow, the ocean, a star – each bringing comfort and reassurance to the child.

This is a smartly written story. With no extra words, no words missing, the nature setting makes very clear the love for the child. 

I have to again mention the illustrations. The detail is amazing! Take a look at the video I’m including and see if this does not further entice you to buy or borrow a copy of My LOVE for You is the Sun.

You can find My LOVE for You is the Sun by Julie Hedlund on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and sometimes Chapters.Indigo.

Comments are very much appreciated on my book reviews. Is there anything you’d like to say to Julie or Susan about their work on this book? (just in case they stop by)

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Eagle of the Sea – by Kristin Bieber Domm

 

 

 

 


Book: Eagle of the Sea
Author: Kristin Bieber Domm
Illustrator: Jeffrey C. Domm
Publisher: Nimbus Publishing
Date: March 1, 2011
Genre: Children's picture book; age 4 - 8; Preschool - 3 
Pages: 32
Price: $9.95
My rating: An informative story about the bald eagle

On a weekend away with my husband last autumn I purchased this little book in a gift shop. Just look at the sharp eye of the eagle on the cover of Eagle of the Sea written by Kristin Bieber Domm. Her husband, Jeffrey C. Domm is an accomplished illustrator, and his illustrations in this book are fabulous.

Eagle of the Sea is written in first person so the reader is told the eagle’s story from its own experience. The eagle tells what it looks like and how those features are of benefit, where it lives, how it hunts and brings up its young with its mate. Included are many fascinating facts about eagles, such as why it’s called the bald eagle. Many people don’t realize that “bald” is the word for “marked with white.”

Where I live I can see at least one eagle almost every day, often more. In fact, while writing this post I stopped to take my little dog outside for a few minutes. Instead of letting her run loose behind our house as I occasionally do, I felt this time I should keep her on leash. I’m glad I did! While Meyya was snuffling around in the grass, an eagle soared overhead, coming in closer and closer. I’m sure she had an eye on all eight pounds of little Meyya. To the eagle she would be the equivalent of a good-sized rabbit!

In Eagle of the Sea there is information about eagle watches here in Nova Scotia where this amazing bird is protected so that we now have a thriving population of them. They are an awe-inspiring bird, and easily recognized by their call, size, flight habits, and more. Kristin Bieber Domm has included all a young reader will want to know about eagles, and the illustrations by Jeffrey C. Domm are amazingly life-like.

You can find Eagle of the Sea by Kristin Bieber Domm on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Goodreads, and sometimes Chapters.Indigo.

Please encourage an author – leave a comment.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

A reminder; my writing, & an invitation

Today I’m writing to remind you to put your name into the draw for Melanie Florence’s book, Missing Nimâmâ. Even if you think it would not interest you because of … whatever reason … please enter the draw and in that way be supportive of authors. If you are the winner you have a book to donate to an elementary school library or your local public library. It really is a beautiful book.

Read my review of Missing Nimâmâ

Read my interview with Melanie Florence and enter the draw.

On another note …

As you know, I joined the 12×12 challenge again this year. (I participated in its initial year – 2012 – and again in 2016.) The challenge is to write a new story draft each month, and do a revision of a draft each month. Amazingly, so far I have kept up with writing new drafts, and, although my revisions have been less than five to date, I should be able to remedy that this month. My problem is that when I sit down to work on a revision of a previously written story I come up with a totally new one! What’s up with that?

As you can see on my main page here, I am a member of Inscribe. This month I accepted the challenge of writing a 500-word story, everything included (title, any scripture used, and so on) using a prompt assigned to me. I have until midnight (actually, it’s 1:00 AM for me but I hope to be sleeping long before that!) of May 12 to send in my submission, and so far I have ideas written down which I have yet to work into a sensible story. This is not for picture books.

Another writing opportunity was offered me which I have been mulling over, but as yet I’m not settled on anything for it. Maybe the time isn’t right yet.

Last weekend I visited a local independent bookstore and met two local authors. It was an all-day event with several authors taking different times of the day to meet with people and chat up books they like. Following that I enjoyed an early lunch with another writer friend, after which we attended an information session put on by WFNS (Writers Federation of Nova Scotia, of which I’m a member). During it I learned that I have absorbed more knowledge than I’d been aware I knew! Most of the information given us I have learned over the past few years, much of it through 12×12 and its extensions. It’s encouraging to realize I’m actually taking it in when I often feel it’s zooming right past me. 

On yet another note …

Author Laura Best has a third middle grade novel just released! Cammie Takes Flight. I was excited to recently receive an invitation to her May 13 book launch which I hope to be able to attend. I appreciate paper invitations – helps me remember better in my jumbled up life. 🙂 Of course, you know this means another book review coming up eventually. (I have several books in queue now to be read and reviewed.)

That’s it for this time. I’ll leave you with these words by Stephen King, “If you want to be a writer you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”

What have you read lately? And/or what writing project are you working on?

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings! 🙂