Tag Archives: children’s fiction

2 Book Reviews: Granpa Guff, Accidental Astronaut; Granpa Guff, The Pasta Wars

Granpa Guff, Accidental Astronaut








Book: Granpa Guff, The Accidental Astronaut
Author: G. Guff
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform 
Date: May 6, 2013, 2nd edition
Genre: children's; humour
Pages: 86
Price: Kindle, under $5.00; paperback $20.00
My Rating: Amusing story children will enjoy

I’d received early copies of Granpa Guff’s two books shown here in exchange for my honest review. (My apologies to Granpa Guff for the late post.) I enjoyed reading the stories again to tell you about them.

What an interesting imagination the author has! In his desire to create stories that amuse and entertain young readers he also has managed to stir the imagination with his visuals and vivid storytelling. The illustrations are fun, too.

Granpa Guff, The Accidental Astronaut, has Granpa Guff innocently climbing on board a space ship. Too late he realizes it’s time for “blast off” and he has to stay there. What ensues is the craziest trip to Mars you can imagine. Mexican Barking Spiders are hidden on board, Granpa gets spacesick, and on it goes. This is a very entertaining story, and … who’s to know but that it might even be true? Just a little.

 

Book: Granpa Guff, and the Pasta Wars
Author:Grandpa Guff, Pasta Wars G. Guff
Publisher: Fort Guff Press
Date: October 7, 2013
Genre: children’s; humour
Pages: 67
Price: Kindle, under $5.00
My Rating: Amusing story children will enjoy

 

Oh My! What stories Granpa Guff can tell! He seems to know so much.

In this book Granpa relates some history to his grandchildren. He tells about Italians arriving in America and setting up restaurants. The competition between rivals was fierce and so began the Pasta Wars. The craziest things happen. Creepy things hidden in spaghetti to sabotage the competition, giant pizzas that just kept growing, and no one knew what was really inside them because they were made like pies with a top crust back then. Or, that’s Granpa’s story. Oh, and you’ll learn why large wooden pepper mills are handy to use, the origin of ‘raining cats and dogs’, and … come to think of it, Granpa’s book is quite … um … informative!  🙂

The illustrations are funny and very well done with flair. They add a beauty to the story.

Both stories are written from Granpa Guff’s old-timer voice as he relates these tales to his two grandchildren who, mostly, believe every word he says – with some argument worked in. Very entertaining.

You can find Grandpa Guff, Accidental Astronaut and Granpa Guff, Pasta Wars on my BUY THE BOOK page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Audrey (Cow) – by Dan Bar-El

Audrey (Cow)Book: Audrey (Cow)
Author: Dan Bar-El
Illustrator: Tatjana Mai-Wyss
Publisher: Tundra Books
Date: November 11, 2014
Genre: children's fiction; 
action & adventure; animals 
Pages: 240
Price: hardcover $19.99 US, 
$21.99 CDN;
kindle $10.63 US, $11.99 CDN
My Rating: Entertaining, 
wonderfully uniquely told story 
of determination and friendship
in the face of challenges



I received this book from Library Thing in exchange for my honest review.

Audrey (Cow), by Canadian award-winning children’s author Dan Bar-El, is an entertaining children’s book that adults will want an excuse to read.

The first things you will notice about this book is its size, hard cover, and great illustrations. It’s built like a novel with large print, the illustrations by Tatyana Mai-Wyss are delightful  – in colour on the jacket, black and white throughout the book – and its first recommendation is by Doris the deer.  Yes, a deer.

Audrey (Cow).3Interested?  It is an unusual approach and carries the story all the way through.

It seems in real life there was a cow in Ohio that escaped the slaughterhouse in Ohio in 2002. Her experience inspired Dan Bar-El to write the story of Audrey (Cow).

Audrey enjoyed her life on the farm with her mother and many animal friends. The one thing she dreaded was the big truck that would arrive every so often onto which would be loaded a few select cows. They would never return. Everyone knew what happened. Her own mother was taken that way. Audrey was determined to not end up the same way when she was grown and set about to devise a plan of escape, enlisting the help of her animal friends.

Audrey (Cow) is an amusing story told from the viewpoints of the animal characters through interviews. Each has its own individual personality, opinion, and contribution to the escapade. There even are humans unwittingly used to help.

Audrey (Cow) reads like a mild thriller and is a great adventure story. It’s a safe read for children, holds one’s attention, and gives the reader a sense of satisfaction. 

As I said, Audrey (Cow) is an entertaining children’s book that adults will want an excuse to read. No children to read it to? Never mind the excuse; read it anyway!

You can find Audrey (Cow) on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: The Moon has a Date with the Sun – by Marc Geller

The Moon has a Date with the SunBook: The Moon has a date with the Sun
Author: Marc Geller
Illustrator: Robert M. Henry
Publisher: Marc Geller
Date: February 8, 2013
Genre: children’s fantasy
Pages: 44
Price: Paper – $10.80; Kindle – under $1
My rating: fun story with great illustrations
 

The Moon has a date with the Sun by Marc Geller is a fascinating story for children. The illustrations are fabulous – bright, cheery, realistic portrayals of cityscapes, day and night sky, and more colourful, beautiful pages by very accomplished artist Robert M. Henry.

The Sun is king of the sky, but he gets lonely even though he demands he is the only one who can take up space in his sky. A little cloud befriends Sun and suggests maybe he and Moon can meet. Moon is lonely too and is interested when the cloud mentions the possibility of her having a friend. Sun and Moon begin to have hope.

You have to read this yourself to see what happens. It’s a cute story, one which children will love to read or to have read to them. The words are rather advanced in places for the youngest ones, but it’s a great way to introduce words with their meanings in context. It also will teach them some historical facts in a fun way.

The Moon has a date with the Sun is quite a different story, well done and interesting, almost like a fable.

You can find The Moon has a date with the Sun listed on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

 

Book Review: The Adventures of Tomato and Pea, Book 1: A Bad Idea – by Erik Weibel

Tomato and Pea
 Book: The Adventures of Tomato and Pea, Book 1: A Bad Idea
Author: Erik Weibel
Publisher: Erik Weibel
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Date: August 14, 2013
Genre: MG chapter book, adventure
Pages: 72 pages
Price: $5.99 paper; $2.95 Kindle
My rating: Excellent little book for young readers; a fun, convincing adventure
 

I had the privilege to read this book in its unpolished state and later received a copy of the finished product for review.

Having met the author, Erik Weibel, a couple of years ago through his blog “This Kid Reviews Books“, I have been able to watch from afar his growth as a writer. Oh, did I say … Erik self-published his book when he was eleven – he is a twelve-year-old now. And I’m a little jealous.

The Adventures of Tomato and Pea is a fun, entertaining space adventure. Erik has a good handle on writing characters, dialogue, and word pictures. He adds in humour, characters with defined personality, and tension for a good storyline. Erik has paid close attention to enough detail to make this an interesting story to read and visualize.

The reader is presented with friends, enemies, a big problem – such as a spaceship crashing on the planet Ear-th – and further situations that challenge the tiny (only a few inches tall) space travellers. They learn friendship, cooperation, loyalty, integrity, which all are great lessons for children – and adults – and are delivered in a non-preachy way.

Erik Weibel has learned a lot from the tips and lessons he’s been able to receive via writing challenges and exposure. It is evident in this great little book, The Adventures of Tomato and Pea, that his writing skill is beyond his age.

This book is for younguns’ …  boys might enjoy it more but I’m not a boy and I enjoyed it, too! If it is read to a child who can follow along and understand the story it is easily suitable for as young as five – and upward. (My eight-year-old grandson has his own copy and is enjoying reading it.)

Although children should especially enjoy this one, The Adventures of Tomato and Pea written by Erik Weibel is a wonderful read for anyone – and encouragement for future young writers.

You can find The Adventures of Tomato and Pea on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Come back for my interview with Erik Weibel on March 6, and a book giveaway! Erik is generously offering a copy of his first book to one person who comments.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂

Book Review: Black Dog Dream Dog by Michelle Superle

This is a book I received from Library Thing in exchange for a review.

Book: Black Dog Dream Dog
Author: Michelle Superle, illustrated by Millie Ballance
Genre: children’s fiction
Pages: 32 (Paperback)
Price: $12.95 CDN
Released: December 14, 2010
Publisher: Tradewind Books
My rating: Even though this book was written for children, it is a wonderful heart-warming story that put a lump in my throat a couple of times. Easy to read and its characters come across as very real.
 

Eleven-year-old Samantha wants a dog. Well, a bigger dog. She has a little West Highland terrier, but she wants a BIG dog. Do dreams really come true? In her backyard one afternoon there appears a very big, very friendly, black dog that Sam thinks is magic because he makes her feel peaceful inside. The problem is that Sam knows her mother does not like large dogs and will not let her keep it. What is she going to do? She can’t hide him forever.

In the meantime there is Stella, an elderly lady who wakes one morning in a nursing home. She is missing her much loved dog but cannot speak to tell anyone. Also, living in the nursing home means not taking pets along.

Samantha and her mother visit the nursing home with their small pet where they find the residents love dogs. Maybe this is where the big one will belong, Samantha thinks. Her best friend helps her scheme and plan about what to do with the loveable stray before her mother finds out, but things start going all wrong. Through it all there is a surprise waiting for Sam.

This is a ‘can’t-put-it-down-until-having-read-the-whole-thing’ book. A very wonderful, captivating read written for young readers but anyone could enjoy it. I did!

Have you read this book yet? Would you like to read it or not, and why?

You can find Black Dog Dream Dog on my BUY THE BOOK! page.

Thanks for reading, and … Creative Musings!  🙂