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!

AUTHOR INTERVIEW WITH HENRY HERZ

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.

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.”

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.”

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.”

Emma and the Princess

Title Of Book: Emma and the Princess

Time length to read: 3-5 min

Age recommend: 3 and up

Author/Illustator: Peter Steinberg

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

Price: $5.99 (kindle book)

 

Today I bring you a very cute kindle book! So all you kindle readers out there looking to add a great children’s story to your collection, you may want to check this one out. :) Emma and the Princess, by Peter Steinberg, is about a little girl named Emma who finds during bedtime that she can’t sleep. In search of adventure, she looks out the window to the castle in their village and wonders if a Princess still lives there. So with her red cape, sword and shield, she wanders out to the village searching to see if the Princess is still in the castle. When she enters the castle, she finds the Princess is indeed there and learns that an evil goblin has been going around stealing things. The Princess’ crown,  a golden pretzel, are just a couple of the things the goblin took. Emma then sets off to find the Goblin, and to get the things back which he has stolen. Will she be successful in finding the goblin and getting back the things he has stolen from the Princess and the people in the village? Check out this book and find out!

When I first looked at this book, I already knew I was going to like it. The illustrations, also done by the author Peter Steinberg, were very colorful, but simple, and very inviting. It looked like something you would see on a children’s cartoon show. The illustrations were very well done to match the story, and displayed every scene perfectly. The story itself was very creative. You do not find very many stories where the little girl is the one that wants to be the hero and save the day. I found that it sends a very good message to children that you can be anything you want to be, and to not let your fears hold you back.

So if you are looking for a great book for your kids that is on the kindle, this would be one of the books I highly recommend you check out. It is the perfect story to tell your kids right before they go to sleep.

 

 

 

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.”