The World’s Crummiest Umbrella

umbrellaTitle of book: The World’s Crummiest Umbrella

Time length to read: 3-5 min

Age recommended: 6 and up

Author: Alex Schumacher

Publisher: Wandering in the Words Press

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

Price: $13.50 (paperback)

Today’s book was very appropriate for me, since it was raining here just a few days ago and I couldn’t help but look at all the crummy umbrellas I have in my collection. 😉 The World’s Crummiest Umbrella, by Alex Schumacher, tells a story of a boy who receives this crummy umbrella as a gift from his mother. At first the boy couldn’t believe the gift. Of all the gifts to be given, he couldn’t believe he got a crummy umbrella in various of colors, with a spring and a little heart at the top. Upset at the gift, he confronts his mother about it and pretty much tells her what a horrible and embarrassing gift it is. As you can guess it, he upset his mother by this statement, as well as himself. After a little while though, he realizes that his family didn’t have much money and that his mother saved up for the gift for him. He also realizes that in the long run, the umbrella ended up saving the day for him and some friends when it started raining. So instead of looking silly, he ended up being a little hero in the end and realized his mother was just being thoughtful and loved him very much.

This book was very creative. I think it give us the sense of how we all are with gifts we receive as a child, teenager, even as an adult. We all receive those gifts that are embarrassing and have us thinking, “why me?” This book, however, put the true perspective of those gifts. There is probably a reason behind the gift that you may not be aware of. So while you may think the gift is silly and crummy, it may have been given to you by someone who was thinking about you, or maybe it was all they had at the time. When this boy realized that his mom was just looking out for him, he realized how much he loved his mom and was grateful for the thoughtful gift. What a great message this sends to not only children, but to everyone! Especially with Christmas coming up, I think this is a great eye-opener to children and even adults, to think about the thought and meaning behind each gift. It teaches everyone who reads it not to be selfish. To be grateful for everything you receive and everyone in your life that thinks of you. Besides, you may never know when that “crummy” gift may come in handy! 😉

The illustrations were very simple in this book, with a light shade of blue around the pencil illustrations. I probably would’ve liked to see a little more color in this book, since it was describing the color of the umbrella, just in my opinion. On the other hand, sometimes simple is the way to go and the pictures did draw out the story good.

My thoughts? This is a good read. It has a great message in it and you may even catch yourself saying “yep, that was me that one time.” :)

 

 

 

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.”

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.

 

 

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free 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.”

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.

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free electronically, 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.”

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. :)

 

 

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.”

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.

 

 

 

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.”

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!

 

 

 

 

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.”

Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes

Title of book: Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes

Time length to read: 4-7 min

Age recommended: 6 and up

Author: Henry, Josh and Harrison Herz

Illustrator: Abigail Larson

Publisher: Pelican Publishing

Best place to purchase: Amazon and Barnes & Noble (Click word for direct link)

Price: $12.53 (Hardcover, Amazon and Barnes & Noble)

Happy Friday everyone! Today I am bringing you a book that will help you have a little fun over the weekend. Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes, by Henry, Josh and Harrison Herz, takes nursery rhymes to the monster level, and by that I mean fun…not scary. :) This book includes different versions of popular nursery rhymes, such as: “Little Miss Muffet,” Hey Diddle Diddle” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Prepare yourself folks, you’re in for some mythological good fun with this book.

At first, when I looked at this book, I thought “Hmm…this looks like one of those old children books that came out in the 1960’s or 1970’s.” Such books like these remind me of the days when I would visit my grandmother and go through the books she had in her living room, the ones that my father read as a child. It really took me back to my childhood. As I continued to read, I couldn’t help but smile throughout the whole book, thinking “Wow, that’s a really creative mythological twist to that nursery rhyme.” When you read this version of nursery rhymes, it will remind you of certain movies and books, such as: The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and even Harry Potter. There were so many creative twists in this book, it really did feel like a new generation revived of the old nursery rhymes. The illustrations, done by Abigail Larson, in my opinion, were perfect for this book. Like I mentioned above, it was these exact illustrations that brought me back to my childhood days at grandma’s, looking at all her many books. From the coloring of the illustrations, to the way they were all very mythological portrayed, it summed all of the nursery rhymes perfectly. Another clever thing with this version of nursery rhymes is that it has an appendix at the very back of the book. So if anyone didn’t understand certain words in the book, they can look it up in the back for a meaning. I was really impressed with this book. What a creative and clever way to re-vamp nursery rhymes for children.

If you are looking for a different and great version of mother goose nursery rhymes, I would check out this book. Adults, yes, even you should look at this book if you are a kid literature lover, or if you like the traditional version of nursery rhymes growing up. It will bring back memories for you I’m sure as it did for me.

For more information on the authors, or their other books, you can check it out at their website, here.

 

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free electronically 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.”