Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Book Review: Perfect for kids who love horses......

 
Quincy and Buck
Author: Camille Matthews
Illustrations: Michelle Black
ISBN: 978-0-9819240-4-5
Publisher: Pathfinder Equine Publications
2014
 
This is a fabulous book for young readers. The story is a heartwarming tale about Quincy, a beautiful horse who wants to ride trails in the desert but is afraid of what might happen or what animals he might encounter on the desert trails.
 
Buck is a fearless horse who bullies and is mean, making Quincy worried. The story weaves the real life emotions and details that young readers will be able to relate to because they are some of the same fears the reader may also experience in life... fear of the unknown, fear of being bullied, fear of failure.
 
The twist at the end of the story is a great way to  open the discussion with readers about why a bully is a bully and about how all of us have fears that we must face. Quincy and Buck is the third book in the series by Ms. Matthews and these treasures have become well loved books for children who love horses.
 
The life lessons in each of her stories is a plus for parents and for classroom teachers trying to teach character education for young readers in a fun and positive way. I give this 5 stars for reaching out to young readers with an entertaining and heartwarming book with beautiful illustrations. Children will want to read this over and over again.
 
 
 
BIOGRAPHY


Author Camille Matthews and Illustrator Michelle Black


Creators of the Quincy the Horse Books


Camille Matthews and Michelle Black met in Farmington, New Mexico where Camille was a clinical social worker providing psychotherapy and equine therapy and Michelle was a horse trainer and artist. Camille told Michelle about the Quincy the Horse children’s books she was creating about the real life of one of her horses.  Michelle offered to illustrate the series.  Both are equestrians who between them have done just about everything with horses but they agree that the creation of the Quincy the Horse Books for kids K-4th grade is their favorite project. They have just completed the third book of The Quincy the Horse series, QUINCY AND BUCK.
 
Camille was born in Lexington, KY, considered by many the horse capital of the world. She loved to read and treasured her horse books.  She was an only child and her favorite activity was visiting her grandfather’s farm where she learned to ride.  She wanted to become a writer but studied to be a psychotherapist. In 2002 she became certified in the new field of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and opened one of the first programs in New Mexico. Camille relocated back to the East coast in 2010 and now resides near Reading PA. She is an avid trail rider and lover of American quarter horses.


 Michelle was born in Yuma, AZ into a world of horses.  When she was 11 years old, her family moved to Australia. As she grew older, she did not have a clear plan for her future because training horses was not a respected career for a young woman in the 1970s. When she was 19, she left Australia and returned to the US to visit family. There she finally pursued her dream of becoming a horse trainer. Michelle trained horses for much of her life but now devotes most of her time to her art and her rescue dogs. In addition to painting, she is an avid woodworker. She lives in Farmington, NM.


The real Quincy whose early experiences inspired the Quincy the Horse series, is an American quarter horse who came to live with Camille when he was 7 years old.  He was an active trail horse until he contracted EPM. After several years of rehabilitation, he was able to return to light trail riding and became a mainstay therapy horse, providing equine assisted mental health services to teens and adults. Now 24 years old, he is still working as a member of the equine therapy team at Pathfinder Farm in Reading, PA.


Book Trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqCWapSlSKo

Friday, March 14, 2014

Winter Mouse: A Book Review

 Winter Mouse
Author: Amelia Picklewiggle
Illustrator: Dawn M Phillips
ISBN: 978-1495968457
Available at Amazon.com


Synopsis from Amazon:


Meet Marty Mouse, (THE FAST), in this witty, fun and entertaining ride of Cat and Mouse antics. Marty, is the sly little mouse, who desperately tries to thwart the fancy feline any which way he can, until he finally comes up with a brilliant fool proof idea that can't go wrong. Meet Sigfried the Cat (THE FURRY), who wants nothing more, then to devour the mouse and be rid of him for good, as he attempts to force his cozy little home to come crashing down. Amelia Picklewiggle is an award winning, best selling author and the Ambassador for the United States for Board on books for Young Readers. She firmly believes children's books should be written for children, not adults.


My Review: Adorable.... Amelia Picklewiggle sure knows how to get the attention of the reader and to keep them engaged in a fun story. The characters are unique, the story is filled with action, and the ending always has an unexpected twist. This book is filled with beautiful illustrations enhancing the fun for the young reader. Winter Mouse will be a favorite for kids and one that will be read over and over again.
Photo: Who's MARTY MOUSE? Be sure to visit Illustrator Dawn M Phillips Pinterest Album for House of Mouse Series by Best Selling & Award Winning Author Amelia Picklewiggle.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Great Book: Peter Panda Melts Down!

Peter Panda Melts Down
Author: Artie Bennett
Illustrations: John Nez
Picture Book
Publisher: Blue Apple
ISBN: 978-1-60905-411-3

All parents can relate to a child having a tantrum. And many children have also experienced a parent having a temper or mini meltdown but there hasn't been a picture book that explains it in story and picture quite like Peter Panda Melts Down. Children and parents alike will enjoy the fun way author Artie Bennett shows just how silly having a melt down can be.

Peter Panda wants a treat at the store even when Mamma says no... oh no a melt down. He wants to keep playing on the playground and it is time to go... oh no a melt down. And so it goes for many more things that Peter wants to do and he can't.

What do you do when you can't have your way? This cute story lets kids and parents alike know that even with a melt down love still wins and kisses and smiles make it better some how. Entertaining and educational, this well done story will open the discussion between parent and child about better ways to handle being upset. Great job A. Bennett, another important book for children.

Bio for Peter Panda Melts Down!


Artie Bennett is the executive copy editor for a children’s book publisher and he writes a little on the side (but not the backside!).
    Artie, who would be hailed as “the Dr. Seuss of your caboose,” wrote The Butt Book, his first “mature” work, which published in 2010. The Butt Book was showered with praise and won the prestigious Reuben Award for Book Illustration. His “number two” picture book, fittingly, was entitled Poopendous! What more fertile topic could there be but poop!
    Poopendous! earned a bumper crop of great reviews, including this one in the Huffington Post: “For anyone who loved The Butt Book, you must immediately go and buy Artie Bennett’s follow-up, Poopendous! It appears there is no topic Mr. Bennett can’t make funny and educational.” The Show Me Librarian weighed in with: “Bennett’s use of rhyme is excellent; his stanzas flow and exude joviality in a manner that few writers since Dr. Seuss have truly mastered. Simply put, these books are a joy.”
    His third picture book, the much-anticipated Peter Panda Melts Down!, illustrated by the virtuosic artist John Nez, published in February 2014.
    Artie was the youngest (at age thirteen) person to originate and sell a crossword puzzle to the New York Times. He went on to sell several dailies and two large Sunday puzzles to the Times before he began college. It’s been downhill ever since.
    He and his wife, Leah, live deep in the bowels of Brooklyn, New York, where he spends his spare time moving his car to satisfy the rigorous demands of alternate-side-of-the-street parking and shaking his fist at his neighbors.
    He is pleased to share the visionary promise of The Butt Book, Poopendous!, and Peter Panda Melts Down! with a wider audience.
    His fourth picture book, the uproarious Belches, Burps, and Farts—Oh My!, will publish in July 2014.
    Visit ArtieBennett.com . . . before someone else does!



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Welcome to Day 2- Michael Selden



 Welcome to Day 2 of the blog tour for author Michael Selden. His post gives you insight into his writing life.


For me, writing is not always structured the same way.  I have times of intense focus when I write (or read) to the exclusion of almost everything else, and then I have times when I don’t write. Generally, I’d say I read or write three to six hours per day—that’s an average.  But, I can go months without actually writing at all, especially when I am working on something else—like moving my home, for example.

 

I don’t have a specific time I write, I write as I find time when I want to do so.  During the writing of THE BALANCE and THE BOY WHO RAN (I wrote the first drafts sequentially and revised them in parallel), I followed the three to six hour guideline, but I spent twenty hours writing one day when the momentum for THE BALANCE was high.  The first draft of THE BALANCE was about 85K words and it grew to about 140K words before I started cutting.  The first draft took me six weeks to write.  THE BOY WHO RAN required an initial week of research on the period and its first draft of about 31K words took me three weeks to scribble out.  But, first drafts are only 10% of the creative work.

 
Displaying desk.jpg




I write on a computer, exclusively now. I used to write in longhand and then struggle typing, but the word processor has been a blessing. I’m sure I went through THE BOY at least 200 times; imagine that with a pencil—I guess writers of old were better at their first drafts than me.  But I write anywhere, even in restaurants if I’m eating alone and travelling.

 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What a Blessing... A Guest Post from Author Susanna Leonard Hill






Today I’m hosting Day 2 of a 5-day virtual tour (sponsored by the National Writing for Children Center) for Susann Leonard Hill’s book Punxsutawney Phyllis. In this post, Susanna tells about the writer’s life.


The Writer's Life with Children's Author Susanna Leonard Hill


I had to laugh a little at today’s topic – “a typical writing day”
My intended typical writing day goes like this:
Butt in chair at 9 AM for 3 hours of new writing.
Break for lunch around noon, check and respond to important emails.
Back to work around 1 to do revision work (I’m usually not as fresh for new writing in the afternoon, although that’s not always the case if the muse is in residence ) respond to students taking my writing class, and/or write my weekly blog posts.
Around 4, read and comment on blog posts I want to keep up with, and respond to comments on my own blog.
Stop at 5 for family evening.

Wouldn’t it be nice if I could pull that off?

My actual writing day goes more like this:
Butt in chair around 10:30 AM (after taking my daughter to school, mucking the barn, stopping for groceries on the way home, and taking the dogs for a run)… so, half the amount of writing time I’d really like…
Break for lunch around noon, check and respond to important emails… also throw in some laundry, unload the dishwasher, etc. which ends up taking more than an hour
Back to work whenever the emails are finished except, oops!  I have to… (insert family activity here including attending soccer, basketball, volleyball, football, ice hockey, lacrosse games or wrestling matches, school performances in music or theatre, class trips, classroom parties, chauffeuring kids hither and yon, picking up or dropping off dry cleaning, special visits to the post office/UPS/FedEx, dentist/doctor/orthodontist/eye doctor/veterinarian appointments which are frequent with 5 kids, aging parents, and 2 dogs, etc.)
And oh, would you look at that?   It’s already 5!
So… dinner, homework, bedtimes… and then 10:00 PM – what was I doing?

I am the first to admit that I am not the most organized person in the world – something I’m trying to work on  I love that writing gives me the flexibility to be there for my kids.  I am so lucky to be able to do something I love without having to miss the important moments in my kids’ lives.  But I don’t think I can pretend I have a typical writing day.  I just try to go with the flow and do the best I can to get everything done, including some new writing most days.  I am well aware that before I know it, the kids will all be off at college and I’ll have more free time than I know what to do with.  It’s happening already – one child at a time.  So I don’t mind the juggling for now




Friday, January 10, 2014

Picture Book Review: When the Monsters are Quiet















Displaying WOI Banner When Monsters Quiet small.jpg


Today I am reviewing a 1st grade reading level children's book. It is an exciting part of the World of Ink tours. This book is not only cute but contains  phonemic awareness and reading comprehension strategies  in the back of the book so parents can get their kiddos to become star readers!

Title of Book: When the Monsters are Quiet   
Author: Alicia Lloyd                    
Publisher: Halo Publishing, Int.
ISBN Number: ISBN 13: 978-1-61244-219-8
Genre: Children
Publication Date: January 2014
Page count: 25
 
Price: $11.95
 Displaying When the Monsters are Quiet cover small.jpg
 
Synopsis of book: This friendly book is a fun way children can start to become proficient readers by reading about one of their biggest worries- bedtime! This book is a reminder to never be afraid of your monsters and has helpful hints for parents to help their children by exploring with early reading strategies at home.


MY REVIEW: This is such a cute book about those imagined monsters that all young children have dreams about... those scary huge ugly monsters that make sounds in the night. Author Alicia Lloyd has done a wonderful job in very few words of explaining to young readers what those scary little sounds really are.  Parents and teachers alike will appreciate the story, the language, and the key at the back of the book explaining why she chose those special words. Those few simple words not only tell a bang up story for early readers but they are designed to help the new reader to develop great reading skills. And that is something all parents and teachers will appreciate.


I give this simple picture book 4 stars for creativity, plot, and offering solid reading basics for new readers. This will be a great addition to any Picture book collection.

Places available for sale: Halo, Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Author Bio: Alicia Lloyd is a senior at West Chester University of Pennsylvania and is working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Grades Preparation (PK-4) and Special Education. She has a strong passion for working with children and loves to write! Alicia lives in Oxford, Pennsylvania surrounded by her wonderful friends and family. 
 
 
You can find out more about Alicia Lloyd, her book and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/mxhj8vj
 
Follow Alicia Lloyd on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/whenthemonstersarequiet

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Writing Outside Your Comfort Zone

I have a confession. I am not good at doing things outside my comfort zone. I have a zillion ideas but when it comes to putting them on paper and finding my niche.... well, something gets in the way. I don't know about you but I think fear is my culprit. Fear that I can't be as good as others and also the fear that I can't repeat the process if I do get something published. What if they want another book? 

Well this is a New Year and I have grown as a writer. I have completed several classes, courses, and academies with the best teachers including Suzanne Lieurance and Mira Reisberg. Come on now, I know I can do this.

I have joined an excellent critique group which means I really must write something to be critiqued.
I have committed to the 21 day challenge with Shannon Abercrombie and I have my list of ideas from all those groupie challenges from 2013 that are screaming to become something important.
Finally, I have committed to working on a pattern book where a friend of mine and I will be designing patterns and writing fictional scenarios in a book about quilting and applique.

What are you planning for 2014 that may lead you to success?

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