Wednesday, March 29, 2017

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Coleen Salley

  Image result for epossumondas
 
 
Title:Epossumondas
Author: Coleen Salley
Illustrator: Janet Stevens
Publisher: Harcourt Books
Ages: 4-8



Synopsis:

Who's Epossumondas? Why, he's his mama's and his autie's sweet little patootie, that's who. He's also the silliest, most lovable , most muddleheaded possum south of the Mason-Dixon line.

Better choose your words wisely when he's around, 'cause otherwise you never know WHAT will happen!


Why you should read it:

Author Coleen Salley's cute tale of one little possum's adventures living in the swamps of southern Louisiana brought back memories of my own childhood growing up among the Spanish moss and murky bogs of Cajun country.

Epossumondas tries hard to do what his Momma asks him to do, but he takes her suggestions quite literally which leads him into all sorts of silly messes! From learning how to carry a cake to holding a puppy and even handling a loaf of bread, the harder Espossumondas tries to listen to Momma's advice, the harder it is for readers not to laugh at what happens next in this whimsical picture book, written in the old style of a noodlehead story.

You'll laugh and shake your head at what trouble poor Epossumondas will get into next! This remake of a classic tale is a great addition to any home library.


Like-O-Meter Rating: 5 out of 5...grab it!


***Rating Scale***



5 out of 5...grab it!
4 out of 5...think about it.
3 out of 5...take or leave it.
2 out of 5...maybe not for you.
1 out of 5...forget about it!











Children's book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, middle grade chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins, and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, good stories, and an adoptive mom to 20-pound guard kitty in Knoxville, Tennesse

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Monday, March 27, 2017

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BALANCE...



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(wikimedia commons)

To all my current and future #DCSPeeps (DECIDE, COMMIT, SUCCEED), welcome to my new series in my continuing effort to inspire, amuse, and entertain you! Each Monday I will select a new word to analyze how it might apply to our writing lives and also give you a peek into my childhood growing up in the swamps of southern Louisiana, so kick back, put your feet up, and check out my story about TODAY'S WORD: 

BALANCE
 
Ever since I was a baby, I struggled with BALANCE.

Taking my first steps.

Learning to ride a bike.

Now I try to BALANCE a full time career as a Senior Certified Taekwondo Instructor and Program Director of our martial arts school while juggling the demands of being a Children's Book Author.

Some days it's a piece of cake and other times I just want to crawl under my bed and hide. But no matter how challenging my life can get, it'll never be as rough as the day I lost my BALANCE in fifth grade...

I was an extreme introvert and always lived just outside any social circle existing in my small town elementary school. I was too smart for the dumb kids, too awkward for cool kids, and too straight for the druggies. But I desperately wanted to fit in, so I finally decided my best chance to fit in somewhere would be to dress like the cool kids. The only problem is, my family was dirt poor. The only item I owned that could possibly capture their attention was a super cool pair of white wedge sandals.

The shoes had a three inch wedge under the toes and a seven inch wedge under the heel. When I put them on, I stood well over six feet tall...in the fifth grade...and imagined I looked like a graceful swan strutting around in those high heels.

In reality I looked more like a drunken flamingo and BALANCED like one as well.

I remember walking past some cute boys one day. I thought I would sashay gracefully past them and go around the corner of the school building. I don't know if maybe it was the higher altitude, being on those stilts, but just as I got in front of them and tried to turn the corner, it happened.

I lost my BALANCE and fell off my shoes.

Yep, you read right.

Fell. Off. My. Shoes.

In front of those cute boys.

Who immediately split a gut laughing as I struggled to get back on my stilts and slink away in mortification.

I still struggle with BALANCE these days as a writer. Deadlines, Revisions. Even the simple act of finding enough time to work on new projects. But I've learned a thing or two since losing my BALANCE back in fifth grade:

1. It's not the falling down that gets you. It's the staying down... so get up, dust yourself off, and keep going.

2. Losing your BALANCE won't kill you. Might bruise your ego but you'll live. All you need to do is take a moment to catch your breath and refocus your efforts on reaching your particular goals.

3. Learning to BALANCE the different parts of your life or career takes time. Time that is important for you to make time for or all the various things in your life will never BALANCE themselves out.

The days are long gone where I challenge my poor feet to walking on wedges. Now I look forward to the day when I can learn to BALANCE my checkbook...;~)






 
Children's book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, middle grade chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins, and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, good stories, and an adoptive mom to 20-pound guard kitty in Knoxville, Tennessee.
 










 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Vera Brosgol

  
 
Image result for leave me alone vera brosgol
 
 
Title: Leave Me Alone
Author/Illustrator: Vera Brosgol
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Ages: 4-8


Synopsis:



There was once an old lady who lived in a small house with a very, very big family. One day, she shouted, LEAVE ME ALONE, and left her village.

But don't worry, she'll be back...maybe...


Why you should read it:

 
Most parents (and some grandparents) can relate when all they want is one moment of peace and quiet. A place to call their own where the only sound is silence and no one to referee.

In this story of one grandmother's wish to be able to knit a sweater without the interference of little hands or feet, LEAVE ME ALONE is an epic tale of one person's quest to finish her knitting. 

From deep within the forest to the far side of the moon, this grandmother is running out of places to hide until she discovers a wormhole in outer space. 

Finally, she has the complete silence she is looking for. But is it really what she wants?

Ms. Brosgol artfully blends an engaging story with old style illustrations to create a picture book that would be a great addition to any home library!


Like-O-Meter Rating: 5 out of 5...grab it!


***Rating Scale***



5 out of 5...grab it!
4 out of 5...think about it.
3 out of 5...take or leave it.
2 out of 5...maybe not for you.
1 out of 5...forget about it!










Children's book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, middle grade chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins, and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, good stories, and an adoptive mom to 20-pound guard kitty in Knoxville, Tennesse

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Monday, March 20, 2017

PLANTING SEEDS OF SELF-DOUBT



 



To all my current and future #DCSPeeps (DECIDE, COMMIT, SUCCEED), welcome to my new series in my continuing effort to inspire, amuse, and entertain you! Each Monday I will select a new word to analyze how it might apply to our writing lives and also give you a peek into my childhood growing up in the swamps of southern Louisiana, so kick back, put your feet up, and check out my story about TODAY'S WORD:

SELF-DOUBT

There's a hint of spring in the air and it reminds me of all the times my mother waited for spring to arrive. Seed catalog in hand, she would walk the perimeter of the latest house we were renting and plot all the ways she would turn one little yard into a massive veggie producing garden.


Every available inch would be cultivated and every vegetable imaginable would be planted. My mother never once seem to have SELF-DOUBT concerning her ability to provide for her children through the efforts of her own making. I often wished I could glide my way through my own life the way my mother managed to sail so confidently through hers.

I have dreamed of being an author most of my life. When I was 6 years old I started writing poetry. By age 11, I was winning local writing contests, and by the time I graduated high school I was working on my second volume of poems as well as writing essays and editorials for my high school paper as its editor. I was well on my way to fulfilling my dream of seeing my name on the cover of my own book one day.

Then SELF-DOUBT entered my life. In my early 20’s I allowed someone else to erode my belief that I was any good at this writing thing. And when those tentacles of SELF-DOUBT started to wrap itself around my spirit, it affected all aspects of my life. My relationships. My weight. My writing.

I put away my pen and stopped writing for over 25 years. I never realized how crippled I had become by SELF-DOUBT until one morning seven years ago when a shocking miracle happened and the passion for writing finally returned to me. Seven years later I continue to write…having managed to get published a few times and even seen my name on the cover of my first children’s book…and I’ve learned the secret to stopping SELF-DOUBT in its tracks!

As long as you keep moving…keep reaching for the stars…and never give up on YOU, then those ugly tentacles of SELF-DOUBT no longer have the power to destroy your spirit!

Now go out and conquer your own SELF-DOUBT, DCSPeeps, while having an awesome day because you deserve it!





 
Children's book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, middle grade chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins, and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, good stories, and an adoptive mom to 20-pound guard kitty in Knoxville, Tennessee.
 
 
 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Stephen Krensky

 Image result for dinosaurs in disguise
Title: Dinosaurs In Disguise
Author: Stephen Krensky
Illustrator: Lynn Munsinger
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers
Ages: 4-8



Synopsis:

What if the dinosaurs never really went extinct?


What if they've just been in hiding for 65 million years?


Why you should read it:

There are many levels and many reasons to enjoy author Stephen Krensky's tale of DINOSAURS IN DISGUISE. The story itself is told through the eyes of a young "explorer" on a hunt to prove his hypothesis that dinosaurs never became extinct, but are hiding somewhere in the world all around us. It's just up to us to coax these timid creatures out into the open.

Such a whimsical theme is enhanced by the colorfully detailed artwork of illustrator Lynn Munsinger. Whether it's a desert sphinx or even a participant in the first thanksgiving feast, readers will enjoy discovering the many ways dinosaurs have made their way into our more modern world through Ms. Munsinger's illustrations.

Even early elementary educators will find DINOSAURS IN DISGUISE of great use in their classrooms as children will love the guessing math work of determining just how many hidden dinosaurs can be found on each page.

Our imaginations are allowed to run wild and the possibilities are endless in this delightful picture book. It not only challenges young readers to search for the hidden dinosaurs lurking all around them, but to also join one young man's promise to keep those hiding places a secret...at least for now...

A great addition to any home library!

Like-O-Meter Rating: 5 out of 5...grab it!


***Rating Scale***


5 out of 5...grab it!
4 out of 5...think about it.
3 out of 5...take or leave it.
2 out of 5...maybe not for you.
1 out of 5...forget about it!










Children's book author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a 'ninja' writer of children’s picture books, middle grade chapter books and young adult novels by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books. She is also a book reviewer for Harper Collins, and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. Donna is a lover of dark chocolate, good stories, and an adoptive mom to 20-pound guard kitty in Knoxville, Tennesse


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