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.

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.”

A Rare Nativity

rarenativity

Title of Book: A Rare Nativity

Time length to read: 2-4 minutes

Age recommended: 8 and up

Author: Sam Beeson

Photographers: Nina & Terral Cochran

Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing

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

Price: Amazon: $16.19 (hardcover) Deseret Book: $14.39 (hardcover)

Hello everyone!

Can you believe it’s already just about Christmas time again? It is crazy how the time just flies by! Since it “tis the season” I bring you a Christmas that has just recently been released. A Rare Nativity, by Sam Beeson, gives a little bit of a different version of the 12 day of christmas classic tale.

I must say, when I first started reading the book, it took me back a little. On each page at the beginning, it lists what someone is giving to their enemy on the 12 days of Christmas. They were things like broken eggs, two potatoes, crooked forks, etc. At first I was thinking “what kind of Christmas book is this?” However, I must say that after listing the “12 things” this person gave their enemy, the book took me back again. Towards the end, after this person sent all these horrible little things to their enemy, they get a package back from their enemy, only to find a note that says “forgive me.”  Inclosed are all the items the person had sent to them. The enemy had used these gifts to turn them into beautiful little things, that in the end, came out to be a manger. It sounds interesting, but trust me, it was actually quite beautiful.

So while I was first taken back by this book, it has a beautiful message to the readers. It teaches of forgiveness and not to hold grudges. We all have that “enemy” at one point or another, but this book shows that although the enemy received those broken and un-useful things, they turned it into something beautiful as a sincere apology. How important this message is to everyone, especially around the holidays. The pictures throughout the book were also different from what you’d usually see in illustrations. It was a bunch of professional pictures taken by Nina & Terral Cochran. The images really bring the story and message into perspective, and although it’s different, it’s different in a good way.

So if you are looking for a good new Christmas book that has a great message that goes along with it, check this book out. It may become that book you read to your kids every year when it’s Christmas 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.”

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.”

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.”