When You Give an Imp a Penny

Title of Book: When You Give an Imp a Penny

Time length to read: 5-7 min

Age recommended: 6 and up

Authors: Henry Herz, Josh Herz & Harrison Herz

Illustrator: Abigail Larson

Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company

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

Price: $16.99 (Hardcover)

Today I bring you another book from Henry, Josh and Harrison Herz. You may recognize their previous book that we spotlighted, Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes. Today, their newest book is: When You Give an Imp a Penny. This book takes a twist off of the beloved classic, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Once again the Herz’s have done it, giving this twist a mythological type of story with the creature called an Imp. With the Imp’s good intentions, it ends up mostly backfiring and leaving things a mess. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel…perhaps some gold maybe? 😉

I really enjoyed reading this book. It did remind me of their previous book that I reviewed for them, as mentioned above. This is a great book for children and gives a great message not only to children, but parents as well. I think all parents can agree that kids do things sometimes that drive them crazy, and end up leaving things in a big mess. However, sometimes the children do things like that out of trying to do good, like the Imp. This Imp definitely shows parents and children the message of patience and to look at the good though behind the messy action. 😉

The illustrations in this book were really well done. Again, giving the medieval/fairytale look. I really like how that sets these books apart from others.

So if you are looking for a good book to add to your 2016 collection, check it out! Another thing to check out is the Author interview that I was able to do with Henry Herz himself. His interview is below. I hope you all enjoy!


Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Henry Herz earned an engineering BS from Cornell University, an engineering MS from George Washington University, and a political science MA from Georgetown University – none of which help him write picture books. Aided by his two sons, Henry authored the picture books MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES and WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY. He’s a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, and the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America. Henry hosts a blog on KidLit, fantasy, and science fiction at www.henryherz.com.

He has three more picture books scheduled for publication. LITTLE RED CUTTLEFISH (Pelican, 2016) is an aquatic retelling of LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD, but with a sassy cephalopod protagonist. MABEL & THE QUEEN OF DREAMS (Schiffer, 2016) is a bedtime picture book inspired by Mercutio’s soliloquy in Romeo and Juliet. Little Mabel was an expert at not going to sleep. But Mom had the Queen of Dreams in her quiver of bedtime tales. The Queen paints children’s dreams, so she only visits when their eyes are closed. DINOSAUR PIRATES (Sterling, 2017) is a comical mashup of two kid favorites. A T-rex with a piratey patois!? Cap’n Rex leads his dinosaur pirates in search of booty. As they encounter obstacles in their quest, the apex predator “encourages” his crew to think outside the box. When the treasure is found, Cap’n Rex wants to keep it for himself, but the clever crew turns the tables on him.

What do you do when you are not writing?

I like hanging out with friends and reading… fantasy! For turning off the brain, nothing works better than watching TV. Working in the yard is also very relaxing and gratifying. ‘m thrilled to be moderating a children’s literature panel at WonderCon in Los Angeles on March 26. The panelists will be award-winning authors and illustrators Bruce Hale (CLARK THE SHARK), Jon Klassen (THIS IS NOT MY HAT), Laura Numeroff (IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE), and Dan Santat (THE ADVENTURES OF BEEKLE: THE UNIMAGINARY FRIEND), and Antoinette Portis (WAIT).

 What inspired you to write your first book?

A few years ago, I wanted to share my love of fantasy with my young sons. They were too little for watching most of the fantasy and sci-fi movie classics, and there are only so many good fantasy books available for that age range. Struck by inspiration one day, I came up with a way to share the joy of entering the magical realms of fantasy. I would write a fantasy book for them.
What I did not anticipate was that my boys would give me feedback on the story. They devised some of the character (Nimpentoad) and creature (Neebel) names, and made plot line suggestions. And who better to help make the story appealing to kids than other kids? So, the goal of interesting my sons in fantasy transformed into also encouraging them to write.
Originally, I only shared the story of NIMPENTOAD with family, for their own enjoyment. My sister-in-law suggested that I consider publication because she felt the story was much better than many of the books she was seeing for her similarly-aged kids. We decided to give it a try, and that launched my writing career.

 How did you come up with the title?

I’m a huge fan of Laura Numeroff’s IF YOU GIVE A MOUSE A COOKIE. Being the fantasy geek that I am, I wanted to do a medieval fantasy homage to Laura’s work.

Where do you get your ideas?

Soak up everything around you. View, listen, sniff, taste, and feel. Watch people (in public, not with a telescope from your house), read books (especially picture books), and watch TV and movies. Take notes. Even the most mundane situations can unexpectedly feed your muse. Combine elements into unlikely (and therefore hilarious) pairs, as in Doreen Cronin’s CLICK CLACK MOO: COWS THAT TYPE. Practice riffing on the things you soak up. I did a classroom reading where this boy had a torn-up sneaker. I thought, picture book title: The Boy With Exploding Sneakers. Let your creativity run free.

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

The theme of WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY is: it’s the thought that counts. The imp is really trying to be helpful, even if the results are quite the opposite. I’m a big fan of irony.

What books have most influenced your life most?

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE and THE LORD OF THE RINGS made me a lifelong fantasy reader. From there, I became a children’s book writer.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

I would direct you to read my animal-based advice at HYPERLINK “https://henryherz.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/be-an-animal-to-write-a-picture-book”https://henryherz.wordpress.com/2014/11/21/be-an-animal-to-write-a-picture-book. Here’s an excerpt: Be A Dung Beetle: Be tenacious, even on crappy days. Becoming published isn’t easy. But it won’t happen if you stop trying. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a one step. Revise, revise, revise. But remember that perfect can be the enemy of good enough. At some point, you need to submit! Be An Armadillo: You need to be thick-skinned and learn to roll with the punches. Understand that a publisher’s or agent’s rejection isn’t personal, but it is highly subjective. Many great works of literature were rejected repeatedly before being published, so you’re in good company.

 Do you have anything specific to tell your readers?

My latest book is WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY, from Pelican Publishing. Before you lend an imp a penny, there’s something you should know—such a simple act of generosity could set off a side-splitting chain of events! A colorful picture book full of mythology, mischief, and magic, WHEN YOU GIVE AN IMP A PENNY shows us just what happens when an accident-prone—but well-intentioned—imp comes along asking for favors! The same writer/illustrator duo that brought you MONSTER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES brings to life a comedy of fabled proportions.
From tracking mud on the floor to setting the broom on fire, this clumsy little imp causes accidents wherever he goes, but he’s determined make things right again. The only thing it will cost his host is a little patience—and maybe a bit of time cleaning up some messes! It won’t be long before this troublemaker has won over the entire family (except for the cat) with his irrepressible charm.
Readers and parents can connect with me via:

Blog: http://www.henryherz.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/henry.herz/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Nimpentoad

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free in an electronic copy, from the author, in exchange for a fair review and book spotlight. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Back in business!

Hello everyone!

So I am pretty sure that my site is all transitioned and we’re good to go! This is more of a test post as well to make sure everything post wise looks good. Now that the transition is done, I’ll be working on another review to post, so hopefully that is up sometime today. See you soon!

ATTENTION: Storytime Books is in transition!

Hello Everyone!

I thought I’d better write a quick post to let you all know what is going on, in case you see weird things happening on the site within the next week. I originally started Storytime Books on WordPress.com, as it was a project for a college class. Over five years later, it has grown into a well known Children’s Book Review blog and I am so pleased for all my followers, Authors, Publishers, email subscribers and everyone who just checks in now and then. Thank you for your continued support.

With this being the new year, I feel like I am ready to take Storytime Books to the next level and transition it for WordPress.com to a self-hosted WordPress.org site. This transition will happen within this upcoming week. I am hoping the transition is smooth and easy, but just in case you see anything weird, or if the site may one day look like it’s not of the normal or under construction a little…it’s because, it is! I will update you all in a new post once the transition is complete. I am excited for this new phase of Storytime Books. I am also hoping to have a new design for Storytime Books later this year, so I can’t wait for you all to see that.

Anyways, I thought I should give you all a heads up. Until the transition is done, I may not be posting new reviews. This should be a  few days to a week at the most I am hoping. Just know though, that it’s very temporary and we should be back up and running really soon! Thanks again for all your support and we’ll see you when our site is transitioned!

Hola: Let’s Learn Spanish

holaTitle of Book: Hola: Let’s Learn Spanish

Time length to read: 8-10 min

Age recommended: 7 and up

Author: Judy Martialay

Publisher: Polyglotkidz Press

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

Price: $14.47 (Hardcover)

So this week, I have brought you all a couple multicultural books, so I thought…what better way to end the week, than to bring you another one! :) Hola: Let’s Learn Spanish, by Judy Martialay, is a beginner book put together for children to start learning Spanish words. In the first part of the book, it starts out with a story based in Mexico and transitions from English to Spanish words. In the rest of the book, it continues to provide pages and a glossary of different words that are translated from Spanish to English, so that children may understand. It also gives a few pages into the culture in Mexico, by talking more about the food and activities that they do.

I thought this book was very creative and is a great beginner book for kids and even adults to begin to learn Spanish. I was a little confused at the beginning of the book where the story is, where it had certain words that transitioned from English to Spanish. For me, it was a little confusing the way it was portrayed throughout the story part of the book. I think maybe if the Spanish words were put in a parentheses, that would have helped with the confusion, but that’s just my opinion. Other than that, I thought this book was very informative and creative. It does a good job of not just introducing simple English words and phrases into Spanish, but also how it tells more about the Mexican culture. It even has a couple pages where it goes into detail about the Mexican masks in the culture and then gives two patterns for masks if children wanted to make one themselves. I thought that was very educational and well thought through.

The illustrations throughout the book were very simple, but good. Children will be able to relate to the drawings and colors that are portrayed.

So if you are looking for a beginner Spanish book, I’d check this one out. This book is not just for children and parents, but I think for teachers as well. This book would be excellent in a classroom setting. :)

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author, in exchange for a fair review and book spotlight. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Chocolate Mixer

Title of Book: Chocolate Mixerchocolate mixer

Time length to read: 3-5 min

Age recommended: 6 and up

Author: Jason Armstrong

Illustrator: Vladimir Kirichenko

Publisher: Waldorf Publishing

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

Price: $3.99 (Kindle) $9.95 (Paperback) $3.46 (Audible) $19.95 (Hardcover)

New day, new book! And today I bring a book that helps children understand being multiracial, in a great way. Chocolate Mixer, by Jason Armstrong, is a story of a girl learning she is multiracial. The best way I can describe this book was actually a little summary on the back of the book, which I have included.

“While making her favorite snack with her Daddy, little Sofia makes an amazing discovery about herself! Her realization chances the way she sees this colorful world. Filled with wonder and questions, Sofia journeys into a world that isn’t just black or white, but a beautiful rainbow of colors.”

I really enjoyed this book. It kind of brought me to my own ethnicity. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am multiracial as well. My mother is from the Philippines and my father is a Caucasian boy from Idaho. I remember growing up, I did wonder at my young age why I looked different than my cousins, or why I looked a little tanner than my dad. A book like this will help children in the same situation understand what it means to be multiracial, and how cool and special it is. It will also help children that aren’t multiracial understand more about other children and people that are, so there are less questions and more understanding about it. There aren’t very many books out there that address this, so I thought this was a good informative book that children and parents can both enjoy and hopefully be more aware of being multiracial.

The illustrations in the book really fit the story well. Let’s just say without the illustrations, the story wouldn’t of been able to be brought to the life that it has.

So if you are looking for a good book that will help your kids understand more about being multiracial/multicultural, I recommend you check this out with them. I give it a big thumbs up! :)




Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author, in exchange for a fair review and book spotlight. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Multicultural Children’s Book day! Book: Mystery of the Giant Masks of Sanxingdui


mysterybookTitle of Book: Mystery of the Giant Masks of Sanxingdui

Time length to read: 8-10 min

Age recommended: 6 and up

Author: Icy Smith

Illustrator: Gayle Garner Roski

Publisher: East West Discovery Press

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

Price: $19.95 (Hardcover)

Hello everyone!

Today I am happy to bring you a book in honor of Multicultural Children’s Book day, which is tomorrow, January 27th! I am so glad I get to participate in this event. I am of multicultural heritage if you didn’t know. My mother is Filipino and my father is Caucasian. So there has been a definite mix of heritage and traditions I have gone through growing up and it has made me appreciate the importance of being Multicultural. So with that, the book that I am sharing with you today is: Mystery of the Giant Masks of Saxingdui by Icy Smith.

The book is starts out with a brother named Wei and his sister named Min. They are getting ready for the Warrior Festival that is being held in their town of Sanxingdui. In the Warrior Festival there are many things that go on, including a celebration of boys of a specific age becoming men, trading bronze masks/items, cooking, dancing, playing of music and so much more. It is at this festival that Wei receives his first gift from his father, as he’s becoming a man, and receives a baby elephant named Little Yong. Wei and Min help Little Yong become comfortable, since he is a little timid. As the festival goes on, it is everything and more you can imagine as I described up above. However, disaster strikes when a storm moves in and floods the town. Min is almost swept away in the waters, but is rescued by Little Yong. After the celebrations and festival end, they hear about invaders coming into their town. Ultimately, instead of staying, fighting and giving up their processions, they decided to burn and bury them, in hopes that one day others will discover them, and they leave the town.

The summary I gave above was the best I could do in a paragraph, but it doesn’t compare to reading the story. I was truly amazed at the detail Icy Smith went in to making this story. There was so much history into it as well as little facts in the book to explain certain processes. Like for example, when she was talking about the bronze masks that Min and her father made for the ceremony. On the page itself, towards the bottom, it tells you more about that and the process of how it’s made, which I think is really cool. The author also put a historical page of Saxingdui at the end of the book, so you can get more details on it. I was truly amazed that this story too. So much thought was put into it. It’s not very often you can take history like that and put it into a children’s book so that kids today might understand it. The illustrations were also amazing. They have a watercolor feel and portrayed every detail perfectly. You can tell that lots of detail went into it and it is very impressive.

I really enjoyed this book and I am glad I had the opportunity to participate in the Multicultural Children’s Book Day. I encourage you to check out this book, as well as the others that are being shared in honor of this event. Below, I have included information on Multicultural Children’s Book Day regarding their mission, and who the sponsors and co-hosts are. I encourage you to take a look below, as this is a cool event that only comes once a year, so see what it is all about! :) Also, if you are on twitter, check out their official hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) to see more posts and information on Multicultural Children’s Book Day. To visit the official Multicultural Children’s Book Day, visit their site here.


Our Mission:

The MCCBD team’s mission to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along the fun book reviews, author visits, event details, a multicultural children’s book linky and via our hashtag (#ReadYourWorld) on Twitter and other social media.

 The co-creators of this unique event are Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom and Valarie.

Multicultural Children’s Book day 2016 Medallion Level Sponsors! #ReadYourWorld

Platinum: Wisdom Tales Press * StoryQuest Books *Lil Libros
Gold: Author Tori Nighthawk *Candlewick Press,*Bharat Babies
Silver: Lee and Low Books *Chronicle Books *Capstone Young Readers T
Tuttle Publishing, NY Media Works, LLC/KidLit TV
Bronze: Pomelo Books *Author Jacqueline Woodson *Papa Lemon Books *Goosebottom Books *Author Gleeson Rebello *ShoutMouse Press *Author Mahvash Shahegh *China Institute.org *Live Oak Media

 Our CoHosts:

Multicultural Children’s Book Day has 12 amazing Co-Hosts:
All Done Monkey, Crafty Moms Share,Educators Spin on it, Growing Book by Book, Imagination Soup, I’m Not the Nanny, InCultural Parent, Kid World Citizen, Mama Smiles, Multicultural Kid Blogs, Spanish Playground

Classroom Reading Challenge:


p style=”text-align: center;”>Help spread the word on our Classroom Reading Challenge . This very special offering from MCCBD offers teachers and classrooms the chance to (very easily) earn a free hardcover multicultural children’s book for their classroom library. These books are not only donated by the Junior Library Guild, but they are pre-screened and approved by them as well.
What we could really use some help with is spreading the word to your teacher/librarian/classroom connections so we can get them involved in this program. There is no cost to teachers and classrooms and we’ve made the whole process as simple as possible. You can help by tweeting the below info:
​ Teachers! Earn a FREE #Multicultural Kids Book for Your Classroom! #teachers, #books #teacherlife  

The Classroom Reading Challenge has begun! Teachers can earn a free diversity book! #teachers, #books 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author in exchange for a fair review and a book spotlight. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Adventures of AbbeyLoo: AbbeyLoo and Gus the Talking Toad

toadTitle of Book: AbbeyLoo and Gus the Talking Toad

Time length to read: 5-8 minutes

Age recommended: 5 and up

Author: Tammy Cortez

Illustrator: Noemie Gionet Landry

Publisher: Waldorf Publishing

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

Price: $6.95 (paperback) $3.99 (kindle) $3.95 (audible)

Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone is having a good year and enjoying January 2016 so far! I know I am. Today I bring you a book full of imagination, which is the best place to be sometimes! :) AbbeyLoo and Gus the Talking Toad, by Tammy Cortez, is about a little girl who learns that she can communicate with a toad after coming across some magic fairy dust. She gets to see what it’s like to be a toad and even gets the chance to visit the “toad village” in which these toads live. Who knew that the life of a toad was so similar to ours. 😉

I thought this book was cute. It takes on a “dr. dolittle” type of approach by having the girl communicate with this toad. It’s just the type of plot line that you could see in a cartoon show. It challenges every child and brings out their imagination side.

The illustrations, which were done by Noemie Landry, were soft colors, but enough to make the pictures look clay like, which I thought was kind of cool. One page that I felt needed improvement was where AbbeyLoo is sitting around the table at dinner with her family, talking about what she was thinking. However, in that page of illustration, AbbeyLoo and the mom more so had a shocked look on their faces, when nothing shocking had happened. Other than that, the illustrations did depict the story very well.

The only thing that I would change is probably how the story was long enough that it looked more like an early reader chapter book, than a picture book. Maybe it would be good in that form too. In a picture book, I just usually see a few sentences of wording and then the pictures. However, this book had paragraphs on many pages. Nonetheless, the story is adorable. It is very similar to the kind of books I owned as a child.

So if you are looking for a book with a cute story and give your children some imagination, check this one out. It’s a “toad”ally great. 😉



Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author in exchange for a fair review and book spotlight. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”