Tag Archives: Canadian author

Book Review: Tadeo Turtle – by Janis Cox

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Book: Tadeo Turtle
Author/Illustrator: Janis Cox
Publisher: Word Alive Press
Date: 2012
Genre: Children's picture book; ages 2-6
Pages: 24
Price: $12.25, paperback
My rating: A lovely book encouraging children to 
accept themselves

 

I won this book and agreed to write my honest review of it.

Tadeo Turtle by Janis Cox (Canadian author and retired school teacher) is an engaging story about a turtle not satisfied with how he was made.  He didn’t know the Scripture (quoted at the beginning of the book) from Psalm 139:13-14 that can be applied, in part, to his situation – “You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous – how well I know it.” – New Living Translation

Tadeo (pronounced TAD-ay-OH) was a cheerful little painted turtle who loved to play. One day he met a squirrel who could run up trees, and Tadeo became sad because he couldn’t do that. Tadeo wished he didn’t have a shell that he thought was a hindrance to him.

One night he dreamed that he was free of his shell so that he could run and climb, too. Tadeo was happy about that until a cat spied him and thought he was a rat. Poor Tadeo. He tried to hide among the rocks, and then found one that smelled like home. It was his shell that looked like a rock! It was then that Tadeo realized how safe he was inside his shell, just as God intended.

This is a fun story in rhyme. The rhyme doesn’t quite make the cut in some places, but it’s not enough to throw the reader out of the story. Janis Cox illustrated her story beautifully. I especially like the face of the cat, and the colours Janis chose throughout the story are very pleasing to the eye.

Isn’t this beautiful? I’m showing this image by permission of Janis Cox, the author/illustrator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the back of the book, the author included an activities section with instructions for children on how to make a paper plate turtle, a dough turtle, a rock turtle, and a felt board with pieces to make a turtle, rocks, and water. The author has not left her teaching experience behind as this book is a great tool in a classroom.

Janis Cox also included a research page with links to how to learn more about different turtles, and other interesting information. Tadeo Turtle is a book children will enjoy.

You can find Tadeo Turtle by Janis Cox on my BUY THE BOOK page. I also post my reviews on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Chapters.Indigo, and Goodreads.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

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Book Review: Without Proof – by Janet Sketchley

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Book: Without Proof: a Redemption's Edge novel
Author: Janet Sketchley
Publisher: Janet Sketchley
Genre: Christian suspense
Date: October 10, 2015
Pages: 308
Price: paperback, $12.99
My rating: a suspenseful story of hope

I won this book from the author and, very late, I’m posting my honest review.

Without Proof is book three of a trilogy by Canadian author Janet Sketchley. Even though it is the third in the series, the author gives enough information so that the first two books are not necessary for the reader to easily follow and enjoy the storyline. This novel can stand on its own. (I read and reviewed the first book, Heaven’s Prey, HERE, if you would like to check it out.) I haven’t read book two, Secrets and Lies, but would like to purchase it and find time to read it later.

In Without Proof a young woman, Amy, is recovering from serious injuries she suffered in a plane crash two years before. Her fiancé, Gilles, did not survive it, so she is left alone and grieving. Her fiancé’s Aunt Bay takes her in, and his best friend, Michael, helps out however he can. Michael also has an art business, so Amy helps manage it while struggling with her memories, physical pain, and emotions, including her growing feelings for Michael.

Janet Sketchley’s writing style is easy to read and enjoy. She pulls the reader right into the story, meaning that once into the story the reader doesn’t want to leave until the end. In this novel, there is suspense and enough going on to keep the reader interested in trying to figure out who is doing what to whom. Someone leads Amy to believe the plane was sabotaged, and in trying to find out the truth Amy places herself in danger. There are threats, break-ins, mysterious people, and enough drama to keep the pages turning in anticipation. And, of course, there are surprises – events that occur to keep up the level of suspense.

God is front and center in Aunt Bay’s life, and yet Amy isn’t sure how God fits in her own life or even if He does. Without Proof is written without profanity, is not preachy or “religious” – although there is a hopeful message – and is a story that leaves the reader satisfied. In the back of the book, there are even discussion questions that are great for a study group or a book club.

Without Proof was a finalist is the Word Awards (Suspense Category).

You can find Without Proof by Janet Sketchley on my BUY THE BOOK page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Forensic Science: In Pursuit of Justice – by L. E. Carmichael

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Book: Forensic Science: in Pursuit of Justice
Author: L. E. Carmichael
Publisher: Abdo Publishing
Date: 2015
Genre: science; for grades 7-12, ages 12-17
Pages: 112; hardcover
Price: $35.00
My rating: Fascinating subject very well presented 
to understand

Forensic Science: in Pursuit of Justice is a book I purchased at the children’s book fair I attended in 2016. I had a lovely chat with the author, Lindsey Carmichael, and was quite impressed. She has a collection of books she’s written, for most she had to do serious research to cover the topic – and she loves the research. This book – one of a series – required much of that.

Although for many people the topic of forensic science is far from what they would like to read about, I find it fascinating. This book is put together so expertly that it will be appealing to many.

Forensic Science: in Pursuit of Justice focuses mainly on the ways science has become vital in solving many crimes. Fingerprinting, DNA testing, the insects found at different times on human remains that help to determine time of death – it all fascinates me – and this book does not disappoint in going into detail. The author has added side bars of information, for example, one that informs the reader that the same forensic techniques used to investigate crimes against people can be applied to investigate crimes against wildlife. Here are others …

forensic-science-1forensic-science-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are the chapters:

  1. DNA Fingerprinting
  2. Bodies of Evidence
  3. Chemical Clues
  4. Firearms Analysis
  5. Written in Blood
  6. No More Mistaken Identity
  7. Never Without a Trace
  8. From Page to Screen
  9. The Future of Forensics
  • Timeline
  • Essential Facts
  • Glossary
  • Additional Resources
  • Source Notes
  • Index
  • About the Author

The author delves into the history of forensic science and describes its use in actual events, including previously unsolved crimes, missing persons cases, toxicology information, the CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) aspect, and so much more. The photography throughout this book is bold and effective, adding superb descriptive detail.

Lindsey Carmichael’s writing is easy to understand as she lays out a very complex subject in an organized, accurate way that is totally absorbing.

Forensic Science: in Pursuit of Justice could be the book that inspires a young person’s interest in this vital field. There is so much amazing information contained in this book, from the earliest days of recorded methods to present digital forensics. The timeline included at the back of the book starts with 44 BCE when the first recorded autopsy was performed on murder victim Julius Caesar! For readers of any age Forensic Science: in Pursuit of Justice will definitely answer questions regarding criminal investigation.

You can find Forensic Science: in Pursuit of Justice by L. E. Carmichael on my BUY THE BOOK page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Book Review: The Stowaways – by Meghan Marentette

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Book: The Stowaways
Author: Meghan Marentette
Illustrator: Dean Griffiths
Publisher: Pajama Press
Date: Oct. 15, 2013
Genre: Children's chapter book; ages 8-12
Pages: 236
Price: $19.95
My rating: an adventure one does not want to leave 
until the end

Last year I had the privilege of meeting several authors at a local  children’s book fair, Meghan Marentette being one of them. Her table was directly beside Carolyn Mallory‘s whose book I reviewed HERE.

Here is a photo I took of them holding their books.

meghan-marentette-carolyn-mallory

The Stowaways is an exciting first novel by Meghan Marentette. The main character, a little mouse by the name of Rory Stowaway, has been compared to Stuart Little, and he does have that gutsy and daring personality.

Rory lives with his twin brother, his little sister, his parents, and his grandmother. Since Rory’s grandfather failed to return from a daring adventure to the World Beyond, his father won’t let anyone go very far. He is anxious and has put a stop to exploring, but Rory is restless and wants to go searching for his grandfather and bring him home. His father is firmly against such an idea and will not hear of it. 

The neighbours all believe Rory’s grandfather was killed in a trap, so they are standoffish with the family. They all are Weedle mice, and Weedle mice are normally not adventurous – the Stowaways being the exception for generations. Rory’s brother, Morgan, is a dreamer and wants to go on a sailing adventure, but when Rory learns his grandmother’s secret he is all the more determined to go on what he plans to be a rescue mission. 

Life for the Stowaway family gets turned upside down by a series of unexpected events, scary and dangerous situations including a hurricane, a girl who likes to catch and cage mice, a cranky cat who wants to do worse than that, and more adventure than even Rory imagined. 

The Stowaways by Meghan Marentette is a fast-paced tale consisting of eighteen chapters, lots of page-turning action, and Dean Griffiths’ wonderful illustrations that include maps on the end pages. It is not only young readers who will enjoy this book.

You can find The Stowaways on my BUY THE BOOK page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

A reminder, and another giveaway coming!

The day is almost over, and with it goes your chance to enter the draw for a copy of Darlene Foster‘s bilingual children’s book Cerdito a juicio  — Pig on Trial. This book is as good for adults learning Spanish as it is for children to enjoy.

Perhaps you know someone who would like this book. You can enter the draw for them, or direct them here.

Tonight at 9:00 EST a winner will be determined (thanks to an automatic random name picker), so check your email. I will make the announcement here tomorrow morning.

The next day, August 2, I will be offering my eighth 2016 monthly giveaway!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!

Book Review: Cerdito a juicio; comment by author Darlene Foster; & book giveaway!

Cerdito a juicioBook: Cerdito a juicio 
(translation: Pig on trial)
Author: Darlene Foster
Publisher: Ediciones Camelot SRL
Date: March 24, 2015
Genre: children's
Pages: 30; paperback
Price:  $12.00
My rating: enjoyable bilingual medieval tale

Poor Fredrick! He was innocently minding his own business when soldiers showed up and arrested him, and ten-year-old Sebastian could do nothing about it. When Father came home, immediately the decision was made to go and sort out the misunderstanding. He took Sebastian with him, and what transpires is not quite as easy a rescue as expected. Fredrick was slated to be executed, and  Fredrick is the family’s pet pig!

Imagine medieval times, bizarre accusations, a pig on trial and the efforts to rescue him – as told by a ten-year-old boy. Now you have an interesting story.  Plus it’s in two languages – English and Spanish.

When I asked author Darlene Foster if there was anything she wanted to tell me about the story or the writing of it, here is what she said:

“I got the idea for the story a few years ago when I learned that animals were put on trial and sometimes executed in medieval times. I thought that children might find that interesting. Then, I met someone who, when he was a child, had a pet pig called Frederick, and I loved that name for a pig. As often happens, I couldn’t sleep one night, so I got up and scribbled down the first draft of the story. When I moved to Spain, I was introduced to a publisher here. He offered to translate the story into Spanish so we could offer a bi-lingual book to children (and adults) who wanted to learn either language. I am pleased with how the book turned out and will be doing readings at four outlets in Spain this summer.”

Congratulations, Darlene! 🙂  This is a wonderful book. 

Here’s an inside view to show you how it’s laid out in two languages:

Cerdito a juicio.2Now, to my readers located anywhere in the world I am offering one copy of Cerdito a juicio. If you want to put your name in for your chance to win this book, all you have to do is leave a comment about anything mentioned in this post. Easy peasy. 

You have until July 31 at 10 PM AST, that’s 9 PM Eastern, to get your name in. Don’t put it off! I will use an automated random name picker to select one winner. The next day, August 1, I will make the announcement of who won  Darlene Foster’s Cerdito a juicio.

You can find Cerdito a juicio on my BUY THE BOOK page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Launch May 7; Jan L. Coates does it again!

Today I want to let you know about an exciting book launch taking place tomorrow, here in Nova Scotia. When I was at the Children’s book fair last month I got to purchase a copy of this fun book – Sky Pig by Jan Coates –  directly from the author, and tomorrow it is officially being set free into all the world.

CONGRATULATIONS, JAN!

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The story is fabulous, and look at the illustrations by Suzanne Del Rizzo — they are made from clay! Impressive work.

This is such a wonderful children’s book by prolific author Jan L. Coates. I know if you could be here you would enjoy meeting her. You can send her a message HERE on her website to encourage her, too.  

In case you can’t make the journey and wish you could, you can pre-order a copy of Sky Pig HERE at Amazon.com or purchase HERE at Amazon.ca. It’s also available HERE on Chapters Indigo.

If Jan’s name seems familiar it might be because I interviewed her here, and I have reviewed two of her books here and here.  She is a talented, award-winning author.

Please pass this information along to your friends, neighbours, contacts, … even those people you’re not sure you like much. They and the little ones in their lives can all enjoy Jan’s writing.

And maybe I’ll see you at the launch!

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂