Little Jimmy Says, “Same Is Lame”

Title of book: Little Jimmy Says, “Same is Lame”

Time length to read: 4-8 min

Age recommended: 5 and up

Author: Jimmy Vee

Illustrator: Mike Motz

Publisher: Atlas Press

Best place to purchase: Amazon (Click word for direct link)

Price: $14.49

Hey everyone! Happy Monday! I hope this book I am bringing you today helps you start your week out in an uplifting way. Little Jimmy Says, Same is Lame, by Jimmy Vee, is a book about the author himself. As he goes throughout the book, he explains the differences we all have in each other, whether it’s a birthmark, or different ethnicity, and how all those differences makes us unique. Little Jimmy also goes to explain how he, being only five feet tall, feels like his difference in height makes him feel like he stands out. He doesn’t see it in a bad way though, he stands out in a positive way. Showing all the different things he can do just being five feet tall. Big or small, scar or no scar, we all have differences and this book makes all those stand out and shine.

This book really impressed me. I have to admit, when I read the title, I was taken back a little bit by it. I had no idea what it meant by “Same is Lame.” However, I try not to judge a book by it’s cover. So after going through and reading the book, I was really impressed at what a great book and message this is to children. They address so many different scenarios that children themselves could see themselves as “different” and Jimmy turns that into a positive thing. He basically tells children and people how their uniqueness makes them stand out and they should never feel ashamed of their differences. The book also rhymes as you go along, so it makes it very catchy to rhyme and read along. Once again, I tried to find improvements in this book, only to find myself reading another really well done book that I couldn’t find anything wrong with. It has a very positive and clear message for children.

The illustrations, done by Mike Motz, were very impressive. Just because it took every detail and aspect of each scenario in the story, and portrayed it perfectly. From the simple things in the background of the illustrations, to the detail in characters, the illustrations will put you in a positive mood. You’ll see what I mean when you read the book. ;)

Final thoughts, this is the perfect book to give your child, or even yourself a confidence boost. Especially if you or someone you know is a little sensitive because of their differences. We are all different, but we are all made to stand out and shine. I would recommend this book to schools, teachers, parents, children, and even adults. I agree with Little Jimmy on this one. Same is definitely, lame. ;)

For more information on this book, you can visit the book’s website, here. I was also able to do an author interview with Jimmy Vee himself. It is included below if you would like to check it out!

Author Interview with Jimmy Vee

Can you tell us a little about yourself? 

I got his creative start acting with action figures, building high tech gadgets out of garbage, tooting made-up tunes on my trumpet and practicing the ancient arts of magic and ventriloquism.

In real life, I am the co-owner of an advertising agency and have co-authored numerous books on sales and marketing, including the bestseller Gravitational Marketing: The Science of Attracting Customers.

My agency has been recognized by INC. Magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America and was voted one of the best places to work in Central Florida by The Orlando Business Journal.

 What do you do when you are not writing? 

Typically, when I’m not writing kids books, I am running my agency, writing advertising, working on magic and ventriloquism routines or spending time with my wife and two kids.

What inspired you to write your first book? 

I have always loved picture books and I’ve always wanted to write one. I’ve been performing magic and ventriloquism for kids for nearly twenty years. When I had my second child, I was reading picture books to him every night. During that time, I received a copy of a picture book released by Weird Al Yankovic. I’ve been a fan of his since I was a kid. When I saw Al’s book I was re-inspired to write my own. So I put it on my goals list for 2013 and the story just came to me.

 How did you come up with the title? 

The inspiration for the title is the message itself. I came up with the “Same Is Lame” concept several years ago and have been teaching it to business owners and entrepreneurs. I would teach the concept as it relates to their advertising, marketing, image, approach and business culture. If you look up lame in the dictionary it means, “pathetically lacking in force or effectiveness.” It’s a pretty striking definition. The phrase and concept of Same Is Lame has been very sticky and people really seem to resonate with it. So much so, that we trademarked the phrase. When I thought about writing a kids book, I figured Same Is lame would be the perfect message to introduce to kids to help them get pointed in the right direction early. It has applied to me and I have used it nearly all my life, well before I discovered the words to sum up my philosophy.

 Where do you get your ideas? 

 My ideas come from life and observations. I try to keep my eyes open for things I find funny or curious. I listen to my kids and watch what they think is funny. I also get ideas from things I like. I draw on an eclectic range of interests like circus and sideshow history, magic, ventriloquism, marketing, persuasion, confidence games, animation history, voice acting, IMPROV and Stand up comedy, cartoons, late night infomercials and people big personalities. I also do creative exercises to help generate ideas. I often use the SCAMPER model. Oh, and let’s not forget about reading. I read a lot. Typically over 40 books per year not including the tons of picture books I read each year. I read lots of business books, fiction, biographies, self-help, sales and others.

Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp? 

The outermost layer of the message is self-acceptance. Simply, being comfortable with who you are and understanding that it’s OK to be different. At a deeper level, I’m trying to get people to realize the power that lies in fully embracing the traits that make them different and giving them the confidence to leverage them, capitalize on them and exploit them.

 What books have most influenced your life most? 

Think and Grow Rich by Napeleon Hill

Purple Cow by Seth Godin

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz

The Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer

Wacky Wednesday by Teho LeSieg

The B Book by Stan & Jan Berenstain

Ventriloquism Made Easy by Kolby King

Code To Zero by Ken Follett (this book got me back into reading)

 Do you have any advice for other writers? 

I have two pieces of advice for writers. The first is to not worry about where your ideas are going to come from. Always be open to ideas. Keep your eyes open for them and have confidence they will come. Then be ready to receive and capture them. The second piece of advice is to realize that writing is the easy part. Editing is the hard part and it’s the part that takes the longest. Don’t try to finish too quickly. Really work to refine your story and polish it to perfection.

 Do you have anything specific to tell your readers?

My goal with this book is to help people. I want to help children and adults realize what is unique about themselves and show them that they can embrace that and use it to their extreme advantage instead of feeling like it is a liability. We started a non-profit organization that supports kids with extraordinary talent get the support and financial resources they need to pursue that talent and take it to the next level. All the proceeds of the book go to support and fund the foundation.

Author Bio:

Jimmy Vee is known around the world as the Five Foot High Marketing Guy. He is living proof that big things really do come in small packages. He is a savvy CEO, a loving husband, a funny father, a bestselling business book author, a sought-after advertising copywriter, a wannabe musician, a master magician, a stand-up comedian and a stiff-lipped ventriloquist.

Nickerbacher: The Funniest Dragon

Title of book: Nickerbacher: The Funniest Dragon

Time length to read: 4-7 min

Age recommended: 4 and up

Author: Terry John Barto

Illustrator: Kim Sponaugle

Publisher: Author House

Best place to purchase: Amazon (Click word for direct link)

Price: $2.99 (Kindle) $13.64 (Paperback)

Happy Sunday everyone! Today I bring you a book that will hopefully end your weekend with some laughter. Nickerbacher: The Funniest Dragon, by Terry John Barto, is about a dragon named Nickerbacher, who dreams of becoming a stand up comedian. However, he has had his life set for him, and that is to guard a princess in a tower. According to his father, all dragon’s are supposed to guard the princess in the tower. However, Nickerbacher has other things he wants to do with his life. He has always dreamed of becoming a stand up comedian. While guarding for the princess, he practices his jokes for her, and finds he is successful. Even though he has dreams to become a stand up comedian, he keeps guard at the tower as his father would want him to…until one day the prince arrives for the princess. The prince finds that Nickerbacher the dragon has no interest in fighting him, rather, Nickerbacher is trying to crack every joke at the prince that he can. With some encouragement from the princess and prince, the finally sets off to the big city in dreams of becoming a stand up comedian. After lots of practice, he becomes known as one of the funniest dragons in the city, and even his parents approve of his new talent and dream. I guess you can say that Nickerbacher finally got his happily ever after.

I thought this book was very creative. The message is very clear to children, and that is to go for your dreams. There may be challenges along the way, but if you can dream it, you can achieve it. The illustrations, done by Kim Sponaugle, were very well done. It definitely put the imagination of the book into perspective with Nickerbacher and his dreams. I tried to find some things that could of been improved in the book, however, this book was really well done and I couldn’t find anything wrong with it.

I really enjoyed this book and think it would be a great book for kids to read, for parents to read with children, or just a great read if you are a picture book lover. :) For more information about the book, you can check it out at Nickerbacher’s website, here. I even found a book trailer to this book and put it below if you want to take a look. Till next time! :)

Zombie RiZing: Scared to Beath & A Fate Worse Than Beath

Title of book: Zombie RiZing: Scared to Beath & A Fate Worse Than Beath

Time length to read: varies

Age Recommended: 9 and up

Author: Matt Pike

Illustrator: Steve Grice

Best place to purchase: Amazon (Kindle) Scared to Beath & A Fate Worse Than Beath (Click words for direct link)

Price: $2.99 (Amazon Kindle)

Happy Friday the 13th everyone! What a better book today to bring you on a Friday the 13th than this one! Muahaha. ;) Zombie RiZing: Scared to Beath & A Fate Worse Than Beath, by Matt Pike, is a middle grade reader chapter book about a girl named Elizabeth and her friends and teacher who happen to battle with…zombies. Elizabeth and her friends, along with their teacher Ms. Simmons, battle the world they know with zombies and take you on their adventures along the way. You even learn how they come up with their new names/nicknames in the books. Will these friends survive the zombie apocalypse? Read it and you shall see how they do!

When I first looked at these books, my automatic thought was The Walking Dead on AMC channel. I wasn’t too sure, thinking it was going to be a a little replica of the show. However, it wasn’t what it seemed and it really does actually take on a kids approach on how living with Zombies would be. Although I must say, I probably wouldn’t read these books to any young child, as there are some words and phrases that aren’t suited for them. I would probably recommend children 9 and up, depending on what you parent’s think. :) These books were really creative though, guiding you on adventures about these children and teacher trying to survive in the Zombie world. Actually, as I was reading them and picturing it in my head, I could see these series as like a show on cartoon network or something. Another thing I liked is that in the book, it addresses an illness called Rett Syndrome, and part of the proceeds of these book sales, go to help finding a cure for it, so it’s definitely a read for a good cause.

The illustrations, done by Steve Grice, throughout the books were really well done. They are little chapter books, so there isn’t a picture on every page. However, when there were pictures, they were very well explained and tied in to what the pic was, or what scene was going on. Once you see the illustrations, I’m sure you’ll understand what I mean about seeing it as a cartoon show. ;) I was able to read the first two books in this six part book series, so there’s definitely more to come.

My thoughts? Very creative; I think that children of the appropriate age would enjoy this book series very much. Like I said though, it’s not suited for younger children. So if you are looking for a book to take a bite out of, consider these ones…especially since there’s more to come.

For more information about the books or the author, please see the book series official site, here.

For more information about the author or Rett Syndrome, you can visit his site, here.

Doggie Went A-Courtin’

Title of book: Doggie Went A-Courtin’

Time length to read: 3-4 min

Age Recommended: 4-8

Author: Angel Wheeler

Illustrator: Nicolas Lonprez

Best place to purchase: Amazon (Kindle) (Click word for direct link)

Price: $2.99 (Amazon Kindle)

Happy Wednesday! Today I bring you a book that is an adaptation to the traditional song, Doggie Went A-Courtin’ by Angel Wheeler. I personally have never heard the song this book is an adaptation to, but the book was very creative. It’s about a dog that goes to court a cat, and then decide to marry. For their wedding, who else do they invite but the prairie dog, a shy bobcat, and many more friends. You will be rhyming along with this cute story.

Like I mentioned above, I have never heard of the adaptation of the song, but I did think that the story itself was very cute. It had the perfect rhyming to it that went along great with the story. The illustrations, done by Nicolas Lonprez, were actually done really well. They had that classic look to the book and the pictures went along great with all of the pages of the story. The only thing that I would like to seen improvements wise to this book would be try and make the fonts a little consistent. They kind of went from big to small on different pages, and on some pages, they were hard to read in some spots. If they were perhaps moved to a different location on the page, I think it would be a lot easier to read. Other than that, I had no complaints. A very cute, and catchy book that any child and parent would enjoy reading together. This book is only available on Amazon Kindle right now. So if you have a kindle, take a look at this book. :)

Stories of Kye: Kye from Galloway

Title of book: Stories of Kye: Kye from Galloway

Time length to read: 3-6 minutes

Age Recommended: 6-8 years old

Author/Illustrator: Andra De Bondt

Best place to purchase: iTunes App Store  and Amazon (Kindle) (Click words for direct link)

Price: Free (iTunes) $0.99 (Amazon Kindle)

Hello everyone! With a new week, comes a new book! The book I am brining you today is actually a virtual e-book through the iPad. Stories of Key: Kye from Galloway, by Andra De Bondt, is about a royal cat named Kye. That’s right, you read that right, a royal cat, that lives in a palace with his family in Galloway castle in a kingdom called Faraway. In this story, Kye must get the help of his friend, Princess Butterfly, in order to receive some magical boots that will help him. But with only so much time till the boots disappear, will Princess Butterfly get them in time? Read it to find out and see! :)

Honestly, when I heard that this book was an iPad 3-D book, I was very curious about it. I have never read or seen a virtual 3-D book, so I was anxious to check it out. All I can say was that it didn’t disappoint; in fact, it was actually really cool. Whenever you would tilt the screen of the iPad, you could definitely see the 3-D effect that it had with the story. Not only that, but this story has an option narration option, in case you just want to sit back and enjoy the book. The illustrations, also done by Andra De Bondt, were very interesting to me when I first saw them. As I kept reading and turning the pages on my iPad though, the more creative the illustrations were to me. They were a mix of what looked like hand drawn and colored images, mixed with real looking backgrounds. It just made the story pop, especially with the 3-D effect of it all. This book is and exclusive 3-D book for the iPad. In order to view and read the book, you go to the iTunes app store and download the app, and then open it and enjoy. The book is also available through Amazon as well, for all you Kindle readers out there. I don’t think the Kindle has the option to view it as 3-D however.

I was really impressed with this book. I’m not one to ever judge a book by it’s cover, however, lets just say this one far exceeded my expectations of it. The creative story of Kye and his adventures, along with the effects, illustration, and work that went into making this iPad app book, is definitely worth a read. Want to know the best part about this book on the iTunes app store? It’s FREE! Seriously, I have had great luck in reviewing books that are free to the readers lately and let me tell you, if you want a different kind of children’s book experience, take the time to look at this.

It doesn’t end here, Kye continues with his adventures in two other book apps in the iTunes store. Those are also only $0.99 each. So have an iPad? Kids? Or maybe just an adult with a kid lit fetish like myself? Check this one out for sure! It’s definitely on my “read again” list. :)

For more information on this book, or the other adventures of Kye, check out the website here.

The Little Butterfly and The Shy Girl

Title of book: The Little Butterfly and The Shy Girl

Time length to read: 7-10 min

Age recommended: 6 and up

Author: Lora Mela

Illustrator: Carly Demond

Publisher: Lora Mela Creations

Best place to purchase: Amazon (Click word for direct link)

Price: $0.99 (Kindle) $6.50 (Paperback)

Hey Everyone! I hope you are all having a great start into March. :) Today I bring you a really cute book. The Little Butterfly and The Shy Girl, by Lora Mela, is about the adventures a little girl takes with a butterfly, who helps boost her confidence and gets her out of her comfort zone a little. The little girl is very shy, and has the little problem of blushing all the time. No matter what she does, her blushing won’t go away and she lacks confidence. Until one day she comes across a little colorful butterfly. The butterfly has come to help her so that she doesn’t feel the need to blush anymore and helps her build her up postively. The little butterfly takes her on adventures that help her, and turn her from a little shy girl, to a little confident girl.

I thought this book was really creative way to portray building up confidence, especially in children. The story is great for young children that are looking for that boost. It shows them that they really can feel comfortable being who they are and they are meant to shine. I read the book on the Kindle, and it was really easy to view and access. The illustrations, done by Carly Demond, were very colorful and bright and could catch any child’s eye. The only improvements I could see that could help this book would be to have more of the illustrations on the pages. The pictures were colorful, but I think it would really make the book stand out a little more if they were a bit bigger. Other than that, I thought it was a very cute and creative book. Perfect for any child that needs that little confidence boost. So if you are looking for that next book that’s a perfect going to bed book, or just an after school read, I’d check this one out, especially if you have a Kindle. The book is only $0.99!

 

Max Explores Series: Max Explores San Francisco, Chicago and New York

Title of books: Max Explores Series: Max Explores San Francisco, Max Explores New York, Max Explores Chicago

Time length to read: 2-4 min

Age recommended: 2 and up

Author: Reji Laberje

Illustrator: Liza Fenech

Publisher: Triumph Books

Best place to purchase: Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Price: $8.95 (Board Book, Amazon and Barnes & Noble)

Hey everyone! So today I bring you not one…not two…but three books in this post, as they’re a series. Max Explores San Francisco, Max Explores Chicago, and Max Explores New York, by Reji Lavberje, are a cute board book series about a little dog named Max and all his adventures to different places. Not only does he visit these cities, but he goes to the cool top tourist places to visit within this city. With Max around, you’ll be wanting to visit these cities with him too!

This series is perfect for any young toddler or child. Not only does the book creatively rhyme with every place he visits, but it gives very informative information about these places Max visits to young children and their parents. There were some places to visit in these cities that I didn’t even know about. It’s a creative way to show these children the different cities, and all the different places you can visit and go to in Chicago, New York and San Francisco. I felt as if I was traveling with Max, visiting all these various destinations. This is a very good starter book for early readers, as well as a great bedtime book for young children. The fun board book will wanting children to read and look at the pictures over and over. The illustrations, done by Liz Fenech, were done very well to match every page of each book. The colorful scenes of places such as the statue of liberty, the golden gate bridge, and Buckingham fountain portray Max’s adventures perfectly. Without these illustrations, it wouldn’t of brought Max’s adventures to life.

If you are looking for a very cute, great early reader book and informative kid lit book to introduce various places to your children and toddlers, these would be the books for you. These aren’t the only adventures that Max has been on, to check out more about the series, they have them all listed here at Barnes & Noble. You can also check them out on the publisher’s website, here. Who knows? Perhaps Max may drop by your city and visit you soon! :)