Monday, July 31, 2017

The Beginning (The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls #1) by M.J. Thomas & illustrated by Graham Howells

On sale August 8, 2017
ISBN: 9780824956844

A Time-Traveling Adventure Series Helping Kids Discover the Bible

Bible story books teach in a variety of methods the truths of the Bible enabling children to learn and comprehend at an early age. As the child's reading skills expand they want to read chapter books and they want to be entertained. It is especially nice when these new levels of reading can also teach in an entertaining and enjoyable manner the truths of the Bible.

Mike Thomas wanted such stories for his own children so they could learn in a fun, imaginative way. Since he found none to his liking, he decided to write his own series. Hence "The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls" was born.

I don't have kiddies at home anymore, but I do have grandchildren and I do love to see Christian school libraries stocked with books that present Christian truths in a readable, fun, entertaining way. As I began reading my advance reader's copy of book one in the series, "The Beginning," I immediately saw that the writing style was easy flowing and well written using good grammar (no, this is sadly not necessarily a truism in children's books), and written as to assume the reader has intelligence and can comprehend.

The story method here is a bit of escapism and fantasy into time travel where they, Peter and Mary and the dog, go back to the beginning - the Creation - and..... well, you simply must read it yourself, won't you? There are 107 pages with a sprinkling of cute illustrations and the age 6 to 9 reader will surely enjoy.

Pre-order Book #1 or Book #2 in The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls & receive exclusive digital content. Hurry! Offer expires on August 8, 2017. Check exclusives & how to pre-order @

About the book: The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series follows siblings Peter and Mary and their dog, Hank, as they discover ancient scrolls that transport them back to key moments in biblical history.

In the first adventure in the series, Peter and Mary find themselves witnesses to the creation of the world just as God is speaking it into existence. Can they unlock the mystery of the scrolls before they get trapped in history forever? Children will discover the answer as the two characters ride rhinos, meet the angel Michael, and talk to a certain snake in the Garden of Eden. Riveting text and engaging illustrations bring this beloved Bible story to riotous life.
Happy author with his books in
Christian book store in Tennessee
DISCLOSURE: I received complimentary advance readers copies to facilitate this review and promotional activities. I was not compensated. Opinions are my own.

The Captivating Lady Charlotte (Regency Brides, A Legacy of Grace) By Carolyn Miller from Kregel Publications

My thoughts: It was a delight to crack the spin of this second book in the Regency Brides, A Legacy of Grace series by Carolyn Miller. The book is relatively short but certainly not short on enjoyment. Sometimes a story is seemingly endless as it nears or surpasses 400 pages. This delightful read is right at 300 pages and is just right.

The pace is gentle but does not drag. The story is gentle and yet lively. The characters perfect for the time and social standing. It is quite enjoyable to read how gentlemen and ladies conducted themselves in early 1800s English society. And it was very nice to read a bit about the lead characters in the first book of the series and their interaction with the Lady Charlotte family.

This is Christian fiction and a book that I could easily hand to a teen or a grandmother to read and feel comfortable. While romantic interludes occur, they are within the bounds of propriety both to the social era and to Christian morals. Simply stated, this is a good book and I am most certainly looking forward to the next in the series.

Carolyn Miller is an author to watch and await new works.

About the book: Her heart is her own—but her hand in marriage is another matter

Lady Charlotte Featherington is destined for great things on the marriage market. After all, as the beautiful daughter of a marquess, she should have her pick of the eligible nobility hen she debuts. She, however, has love at the top of her list of marriageable attributes. And her romantic heart falls hard for one particularly dashing, attentive suitor. Sadly for Charlotte, her noble father intends her betrothed to be someone far more dull.

William Hartwell may be a duke, but he knows he was Charlotte's father's pick, not the young lady's own choice. And the captivating Lady Charlotte does not strike him as a woman who will be wooed by his wealth or title. While she has captured his heart, he has no idea how to win hers in return--and the betrayal and scandal his first wife put him through makes it difficult for him to believe that love can ever be trusted. His only hope is that Charlotte's sense of responsibility will win out over her romantic notions.

Can a widowed duke and a romantically inclined lady negotiate a future and discover love beyond duty? Will they be able to find healing and hope from the legacy of grace? Poignant and charming, this is another beautifully written, clean, and wholesome Regency romance from Carolyn Miller.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Kregel Publishing to facilitate a reviewed which is freely given. Opinions expressed are solely my own.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Justice Buried (A Memphis Cold Case Novel) by Patricia Bradley

ISBN: 9780800727123
Release Date: 9/5/2017
I found Patricia Bradley's second in the Memphis Cold Case series to be interesting and an enjoyable read on several levels.

I found the characters niched into their gender and professions. It was quite fitting that a 2017s 20 to 30 year old female, Kelsey the lead female, would be a strong climber. While this is not quite the norm, it is a growing trend among the young adults of today. Also, that she was a computer hacker par excellence. These two elements are major components in the story.

Detective Brad Hollister has just been transferred to the Cold Case Division which makes his former girlfriend come trotting back into his life. She really doesn't want a "cop" for a husband but perhaps considers a cold case investigator a safer choice. Soon it comes to her attention as well as the readers of Justice Buried that safe is not necessarily a word to use in relation to the cold case division's work.

A fairly light read that gave enough suspense, romance, drama to suit this reader.

I received a copy in a contest on the Library Thing website.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Bible Sleuth: New Testament by José Pérez Montero

My thoughts:  My grandchildren absolutely love these search-and-find story books and when the emphasis is on Bible themes they are truly a go-to product to acquire. In this new publication illustrated by José Pérez Montero the young reader (I think upwards to age 12) will enjoy searching out the hidden characters (shown in a sidebar). Each two page spread is a story with the text in a side paragraph briefly presenting the Biblical story. The pages are simply packed with humorously drawn characters. They seem to nicely represent the middle eastern individual in appearance and dress and are presented in a somewhat caricature style.

Cute young "current times" Mike is also frolicking amongst the Biblical times characters and Mike is wearing his ball cap and red striped shirt. Also on a funny note, there is a wheelchair and a kid on a scooter. What else can the reader find that is funny?

The stories include Jesus' birth and childhood as well as his earthly ministry. Jesus clearing the temple is packed with action. Then after Christ's death (not covered here), Pentecost, the apostles healing, and Stephen's death are stories covered. These are not usually covered in a young child's book and I found it refreshing to see them given this attention and gentle presentation.

Concluding the book is "A Crowd of People Praising God." This is a stylized version of Revelation 19:6-9 when God gave John a vision of heaven and of a large crowd of people praising God. Since no one knows what God looks like or what heaven will actually be like, this interpretation is as good as any. It is an imaginative interpretation and o.k.

I like these books because they grab the child's attention and he or she focuses on action that is coordinated with a Bible story. This imprints the Bible story in the child's mind quite nicely and affords future recollection.

About the book: Based on the Where's Waldo concept and adapted for Bible themes, Bible Sleuth: New Testament introduces young readers to stories about Jesus and the early church, while engaging them in seek-and-find activities. Perfect for young Bible sleuths, complete with activities that take readers back to Biblical times.

DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by Tyndale Blog Network to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and freely given.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Weird But True Know-It-All: U.S. Presidents by Brianna Dumont, illustrated by Adrian Lubbers [Review & Giveaway]

Durable Softcover $12.99
Ages 8-12
ISBN: 9781426327964
My thoughts:  National Geographic Kids Books is debuting titles that are perfect for celebrating not only our country’s amazing history, but learning more about our founding fathers — and those that followed in their footsteps. Weird but true! Know-it-all U.S.Presidents is simply packed with interestiing bits of information about each of the U.S. presidents. Some of it is funny, some intriguing, and some basic information about their presidency. It is quite a treat to learn some of this hitherto little known information. Some bears witness to the greatness of the man and some bears witness that they were simply humans with flawed personalities just as the rest of us are.

While this probably wouldn't be considered a go-to source for research papers, it certainly could be a springboard for such. Also, delving into the pages of this book will most certainly whet the appetite to learn more and dig deeper into the recesses of history.

This will make super reading (to stave off the dark pit of the summer slump) during the summer and then a handy resource for projects during the school year.

I highly recommend.

About the book:  Weird But True Know-It-All: U.S. Presidents by Brianna Dumont, illustrated by Adrian Lubbers (ages 8-12, $12.99, June 2017) - What's so weird about U.S. presidents? Plenty! Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was a great wrestler? That Ulysses S. Grant got a speeding ticket riding his horse – twice! Or that Benjamin Harrison was afraid of electricity? And let's not forget that President McKinley had a pet parrot that whistled "Yankee Doodle Dandy" duets with him. Every president — from the 1st to the 45th — is spotlighted, featuring important historical information alongside vignette’s highlighting the oddities of each prez. “Extras” include an introduction that delves into the powers of the President, Congress, Supreme Court, an explanation as to how the electoral college works, a glossary, an index and even a listing of the Presidents’ most outrageous pranks.
Begins July 22
ENDS August 11 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway 
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from MMPublicity on behalf of National Geographic Kids Books and the author to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and freely given.

KISSES FOR KINDERGARTEN by Livingstone Crouse [Review and Giveaway]

My thoughts: Often books about going off to kindergarten with reluctance focus on the child's inability to separate from home and family to venture into the strangeness and unfamiliarity of kindergarten. In Kisses for Kindergarten the vibrant Stella Isabella Harden simply has another solution - her dog is going to hold classes and her dog says she doesn't need to go. Well, that is until the end of the book when they both realize that her dog can't help her with books.

I found the illustrations to be lively and cheerful - well, alright, downright funny. The joy exuding from the pages is sheer happiness. Stella Isabella is a cute, active, happy child and young readers will fall in love with her.
The rhyming lines and alliteration are fun and catchy. Rhymes always capture a child's attention when infused with rollicking rhythm and lively cadence.
Stella Isabella Harden
contemplating kindergarten
declared she didn't have to go,
because her puppy told her so.
This is a fun book and helps generate interest in going to kindergarten and presents it as a good opportunity for the child. After all, who doesn't want to learn to read the words on the pages of a book?
About the book: School is about to begin, and Stella Isabella Harden decides that kindergarten just isn't for her. Instead, she decides to spend the day learning from her puppy named Buster. Together these two adventurers plan a day full of playtime, teatime, naptime, and storytime.

After every "lesson," Stella gets the best reward: a kiss from her best friend and favorite puppy. But will she change her mind about kindergarten before the first day of school? Join Stella and Buster in this lyrical read-aloud and uplifting story about growing up.

About the Author and Illustrator:

Livingstone Crouse has spent the last 20 years either selling, editing, or writing books for children. He's even done all three at once! So recently he decided he'd focus entirely on writing the kinds of books he likes to read, books in verse that are filled with heart, word-play, and lots of laughs. Books like this one. Livingstone lives in a large, 200-year old farmhouse in New York's Hudson Valley with his husband and a dog named Kat. (And you can be fairly certain that Livingstone Crouse is not his real name. But don't tell anyone!)

Macky Pamintuan was born and raised in Davao, a city in the southern Philippines. As a young child, drawing was his favorite pastime and an activity that brought him delight and satisfaction. Early on, his parents discovered that giving him paper and pencil was a sure way to keep him busy, quiet, and out of trouble. He still remembers the day when he successfully drew Mickey Mouse and Superman, a huge breakthrough and a sweet triumph. He moved to San Francisco at age 21 and in 1998 enrolled in the Academy of Art College to pursue illustration. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in December 2003. When not illustrating, Macky enjoys playing basketball, his other true passion.
Begins July 21
ENDS August 4 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy on behalf of the Silver Dolphin Books and the author to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own and freely given.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Crafts and Recipes to Entertain Kids at Home This summer - The Lemonade Stand Cookbook from Burnt Cheese Press [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts: This excellently designed and wonderfully appropriate book for children is a must-have. I would have loved to have it when my children were young. So at the onset let me say that I encourage moms, aunties, and grandmas to get one for their young folks.

Does it just address the budding entrepreneur who wishes to set up business on the front lawn? Absolutely not, though it has wonderful tips and instructions along that line.

This book is replete with a variety of yummy items requiring a sparse amount of ingredients that boys and girls can produce in the kitchen. Then not to be left out, the artsy can find several fun crafts to occupy and bring them a bit of creative joy.

The pictures are so beautifully done and the layout great. I love the happy children shown throughout the book. It simply speaks joy and happiness and exudes the possibility of happy times spent becoming a lemonade stand owner or simply making mom and dad a glass of cranberry lemonade or strawberry lemonade.


  • LOL (Lemon-Orange-Limeade)
  • Watermelon Agua Fresca
  • Polka Dot Blondies
  • Chocolate-Dipped Marshmallow Pops
  • Sunflower Crunch Balls
  • Hayley's Flower Pencils
  • Friendship Bracelets
  • Fingerknit Scarves
About the book: Lemonade stands . . . kids have been running them for decades, whether to raise money for a new bike, for a charitable cause, or simply to conquer boredom. Inspired by dozens of kid experts from all over the country, author Kathy Strahs pours her expertise as a food writer, entrepreneur and mother of two school-aged children into the ultimate guide to setting up your own lemonade stand. Step-by-step illustrations and full-color photographs of each recipe and craft make each page easy and fun to dive into. Find delicious drinks, such as Classic Lemonade and Cold-Brew Iced Tea, sweet treats such as Polka Dot Blondies and Chocolate-Dipped Marshmallow Pops, grab-and-go snacks such as Owen's Cheddar Chompers and Sunflower Crunch Balls, and creative crafts such as Hayley's Flower Pencils and Friendship Bracelets. Tips for setting up a successful stand, packaging ideas, cooking technique tutorials, and real-life "stand stories" from kids themselves are sure to inspire kids everywhere to "give life a squeeze."

Crafts and Recipes to Entertain Kids at Home This summer (find it on Amazon - click here The Lemonade Stand Cookbook )from Burnt Cheese Press.

(Limited Time Available)
Begins July 19
Ends July 27 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions expressed are solely my own and freely given.

Monday, July 17, 2017

This Book Stinks!: Gross Garbage, Rotten Rubbish, and the Science of Trash by Sarah Wassner Flynn (National Geographic Kids) [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts:  The title of this National Geographic Kids' book is a bit misleading because the "book" doesn't stink. No, the book is about garbage that stinks. And we all know that rotting garbage is putrid smelling and no one wants to be around it.

Reading through This Book Stinks! is basically a journey of bold infographics that give facts - interesting and stunning, about all the stuff that today's people around the world use, abuse, and trash. The mind-boggling facts and images of the huge mountains of trash dumps and landfills cause deep concern to this reader. Designed as a book to inform and education young readers of the importance that acceptance of their own individual responsibility to reduce the production of waste in the world, it is still entertaining.

The pictures and graphics are great and so well done. The coupling of factual information and statistics that even a child can understand are well presented with text that informs in bite-size pieces easily absorbed.

Who will enjoy this book? Kids, of course, and parents will also become enlightened. I do advise, though, that constraint be exercised regarding the information on "dumpster diving" as it can lead to forays into some nasty stuff while the seeker hopes to find treasures to use or up-source.

About the book: Get up close and personal with a wonderful world of waste. From composting and recycling, to landfills and dumps, to how creative people are finding new ways to reuse rubbish. It's fun to talk trash when it's jam-packed with infographics, thematic spreads, wow-worthy photos, sidebars, serious stats, and fabulous facts. Also included are quizzes and activities to inspire kids to take action, be proactive, and rethink the things we throw away.
Begins July 17
Ends August 7 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only
a Rafflecopter giveaway DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate this review on behalf of National Geographic Kids. Opinions are my own. I was not compensated.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Getting frugal with our pocket book and with the enviroment

The world is full of stuff. The stuff that makes life pleasant, beautiful, enjoyable, doable, workable, easy, tasty, and so much more. The stuff that we buy, make, grow, and bring into our lives to enrich it and make life as good as possible.

But stuff gets worn out, has wrappings that we toss away, has scraps that need to be tossed and simply gets replaced by more stuff.

But the stuff that gets replaced or becomes too worn out to continue to use or that we just simply don't want anymore, gets tossed into the trash container, picked up by the trash collector, and tossed onto the trash dump. Then what happens?
That's the story of stinky, mountains of trash. Its origin and its destination. But it is destined to remain in piles, floated down rivers, dumped into the ocean and swirled into the Garbage Patch of the Pacific. 
But we can each do a little to stop the piles of trash, and in the course of helping the world a bit this way, we help ourselves. We help our budget. We get to feel good about things.

So let's get frugal. Let's get into living smart. Let's do a few little things....

  1. Broth: You don't have to purchase a can of broth when you need it for gravy, sauces, or soups. You can make your own. Did you buy a rotisserie chicken? Slice off the meat and then boil the carcass (bones, skin - yes, the skin, and remaining bits of meat) with a bit of salt and pepper. Then strain the broth and save. Pick the meat from the bones and save for the soup you make with this delicious broth. You can use the broth and meat within a few days after refrigerating or you can freeze it for later use. And there is no can for the trash container! Another opion is you can purchase some chicken parts or the whole bird and boil to make your broth. Then you have lots of wonderful, tender, tasty meat to use for casseroles, salads, or creamed dishes. This way you don't have to purchase canned chicken with all the additives. And.... no can for the trash container!
  2. Bags: We all know about the reusable bags you take to the stores so you don't have to bring home the store's little plastic bags (or paper bags). Well, those little plastic bags are terrible for the environment. I feel so good when I remember to take my own bags to the store and use and reuse them over and over again. No, I'm not perfect and I sometimes forget them. But I am trying to cut down on my plastic footprint on this sphere we can home.
  3. Linens: If you have a sewing machine and can sew a relatively straight line, you can do lots with towels, sheets, and shirts that are wearing thin. Cut them down to use for other purposes. A towel getting worn in the middle? Cut it down for a kitchen dish cloth or a cleaning rag to use and reuse. Sheets getting worn in the middle? Cut them down and make pillow cases. A pillow case is just a strip of cloth stitched into a rectangle and hemmed at the open end. Just look at the ones you already have, cut a "pattern" allowing for seams, and make them. Or you can cut a large sheet down for a child's bed or a crib or just a light cover to toss over a sleeping child. Napkins can be made from bits of sheets or the backs of Dad's shirts that are too worn to wear. This way you don't buy as many cloth or paper napkins. You have a colorful assortment for the family to use and reuse. You've saved money. You've purchased less items. You've slowed the growth of the trash pile a little.
  4. Bottles: Try to use your own refillable water bottle. All those plastic water bottles that folks purchase in daunting quantities end up in the landfill. They just don't degrade. They are there and they stay there. Try to avoid them as much as possible. If you must use them, be sure you recycle the plastic.
  5. Coffee to go: Do you love your coffee house buys? Love to get that special blend as you're on the go? Some shops let you bring your own travel mug and they fill it (you purchase the drink). That way you don't toss another disposable cup in the trash container and some shops even discount you a little for not needing their disposable cup. To be a frugal coffee drinker, though, make your own drink at home and take it with you. You've saved money and maybe helped the environment a little.
Is that all? Of course not. It is just a start. There are lots of ways to live frugal and there are lots of ways to help manage the environment. You don't have to be a miser or "tree hugger" to do any of these. It is just good common sense and a caring attitude.

©Chat With Vera. Permission to use this written material wholely or in part may be acquired by contacting Vera via email in the side bar. The Youtube Garbage Pile of the Pacific was gleaned from the internet and used solely for the purpose of enlighting my readers and not for personal gain. Permission granted to use the written material can be granted by Chat With Vera and does not include granting permission to use the video.

Friday, July 14, 2017

If You Were Me and Lived in .... CUBA & Oh Susannah: It's In the Bag by Carole P. Roman [Review & Giveaway]

ISBN: 978-1947118485
Softcover $12.96
My thoughts:  The author has written extensively about countries around the globe introducing children to cultures that vary and yet prove to be somewhat similar. Just what is it like to be a child living in..... Cuba?

We explore the daily life, food, and special events of a couple of kids living in Cuba. It seems that the family in the story eats a lot of rice dishes. Of course their name for rice is different from "rice" and it seems they combine it with meats and vegetables. The island's history is touched upon and entices the reader to delve into the settlement of the Spaniards on this little island so far away from Spain.

The glossary in the back of the book is helpful with word or phrase meanings and proncunciation.

Another interesting introduction to world cultures by Carole P. Roman.

Abou the book: Join Carole P. Roman when she visits the exciting island of Cuba in the newest book of her informative series. Learn about the varied customs and cultures. Travel to the Caribbean to discover what you would eat and do for fun. See the country through the eyes of a youngster like you and understand what life is like in this exciting place.


ISBN: 978-1543034615
Softcover: $8.99
My thoughts:  The author's foray into early reader chapter books is interesting and provides more than just an entertaining story about Suzannah. It teaches that Suzannah, and all of us, can't simply tuck our problems away and out of sight just because they are difficult.

Suzannah learns to ask for help in solving those nagging and tedious emotional, learning, or social problems. The book is short with 34 pages but fairly complex for a young reader. Suzannah goes about her day toting around her ever-present backpack into which she puts problems with which she has difficulty - math tests, invitations, book report - so many hurdles.

The picture of Suzannah at the start of the book and on the cover are charming and you just want to love this sweet little girl. I would love to have seen the illustrations larger and sprinkled thoughout instead of tiny thumbnail images at the beginning of each chapter. I love the way mom and dad come to her rescue and help Suzannah find solutions.

I'm looking forward to more from little Suzannah and just wish this were a hardcover book so that libraries would add it to their collections.

About the book:  From award-winning author Carole P. Roman comes a new chapter book featuring Susannah Logan, a young student having a very bad day. It all begins with homework trouble and an invitation to a sleepover that she doesn’t want to go to. Would you want to go to a sleepover in a creepy house? Rather than dealing with her problems, Susannah stuffs them into her backpack. But how much can a backpack take? Will she be able to confront her worries before the backpack bursts? Or will she just continue to hide them away? Join Susannah and her friends in this story sure to charm busy young readers everywhere.
3 winners chosen to receive 1 copy of each book
Begins July 14
Ends August 6 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
About the author: Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of over fifty children's books. Whether it's pirates, princesses, or discovering the world around us, her books have enchanted educators, parents, and her diverse audience of children. She hosts two blog radio programs and is one of the founders of a new magazine, Indie Author's Monthly. She's been interviewed twice by Forbes Magazine. Carole has co-authored a self-help book, Navigating Indieworld: A Beginners Guide to Self-Publishing and Marketing. Oh Susannah is her first Early Reader Chapter book series. She lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children and grandchildren.

Her series include:

  • Captain No Beard
  • If You Were Me and Lived in- Cultural 
  • If You Were Me and Lived in- Historical
  • Nursery series
  • Oh Susannah- Early Reader
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from the author to facilitate this review of my own opinions. I was not compensated. Winner's copy is provided directly to the winner by the author.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Double Take! A New Look at Opposites by Susan Hood & illustrated Jay Fleck [Review & Giveaway USA/CANADA]

ISBN: 978-0763672911
Hardcover $16.99 - Ages 3-7
My thoughts:  Educational and entertaining books are always winners - well, that is if they capture the attention of the child, engage their minds, and provide illustrations and text that prove accurate and enduring. There is a plethora of "counting" books and a goodly number of books that teach shapes and, yes, opposites. The author, Susan Hood, has presented a new perspective on opposites. Perspective is what it is all about in most everything in life whether you view the trees from the mountain top, or from the flat lands. How one looks at things from their own perspective.

So in Double Take! A New Look at Opposites the young reader is introduced to a new perspective on opposites. Looking at that which is opposite as it relates to you or others or one item to another.

The presentation in rhyming text about what is near and what is far and how they are opposites is taken into account with varying perspectives. A look at strong and weak, close and far and then the author states that "a careless assumption can be a mistake." Again, looking at things more than once or from a different perspective changes one's outlook.

This is quite a good book with cute illustrations that are simple, uncluttered and definitely fun. A good educationally and entertaining book - at least from my personal perspective. (By the way, I intentionally used the word perspective to get across the value of looking at things from more than one angle or point of view.)

About the book: When it comes to opposites, it’s all a matter of perspective! Lively text and fun retro art engage kids in the finer points of a favorite concept.

Do you know opposites, yes or no? On. Off. Asleep. Awake. Opposites are a piece of cake . . . right? Not so fast! Time for a quick double take. Who knows what’s BIG unless there is SMALL? Does SHORT mean a thing except next to TALL? What is ABOVE and what is BELOW? The answer depends on who wants to know! Writer Susan Hood and illustrator Jay Fleck lead us on a topsy-turvy fun-house journey into the concept of opposites and takes it to the next level — with detours into relative terms and points of view (and a dollop of yin and yang for good measure).
Begins July 13
Ends August 3 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA & CANADA - No P.O.Boxes.
DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Candlewick Press to facilitate this review which I happily and freely give. Opinions are my own, alone. Your "perspective" might, of course, be different. This is a fun book with which to learn.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Gareth Lucas Noisy Books: Dinos on Deck! & Noisy Books: Dig Dig, Digger from Silver Dolphin Books

Two new books from Silver Dolphin to delight the young child.

My thoughts:  Children love when an adorable book has buttons they can push and produce sounds. Usually, books with pre-recorded sounds have one-button-fun sound opportunities for the young reader. With Gareth Lucas' Noisy Books there are "spots" to push on each two-page spread giving multiple opportunities to introduce specific noises into the story.  What fun!

Sounds of squawking, splashing, sand-digging, etc. are ready for finger-poking fun. The story is simple but fun.

Kids will love the adventure of the dinos and parents can replace the batteries so the Dino sounds can continue on and on.

About the book: Join your favorite dinosaur friends on an adventure in the seas in Gareth Lucas Noisy Books: Dinos on Deck! Hoist the sails, press the sound buttons, and laugh along as a Triceratops, a Stegosaurus, a T. rex and more search for treasure. With humorous art by Gareth Lucas and charming rhyming text, this sound book will be a perfect addition to story time. What will these dinosaur friends find when they open the treasure chest?

My thoughts:  As the construction crew digs and hammers their way through the pages of this fun book, there are sounds - noises - that alert to a backing vehicle, hammers that bam, whistles that shrill, etc. Lots of fun activities of the construction crew and the end result is a fabulous playground with a lovely tune to end the story.

Told in simple sentences the story is a fun read that little ones - boys or girls - will enjoy.

Replaceable batteries will enable parents to prolong to life of the book and the noises that delight the child.

About the book: Dig, dig, dig…and dig some more with your favorite animal friends! In Noisy Books: Dig, Dig Digger, children will be amused by the hilarious antics of the animals as they build an adventure playground. Young readers will delight in Gareth Lucas's artwork and in finding the sound button on every spread. Each turn of the page will bring humor and fun with hippos, bears, camels, and more on their day at the construction site.

DISLCOSURE: I was provided complimentary copies to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and freely given.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Carson Crosses Canada by Linda Bailey & illustrated by Kass Reich

ISBN: 978-1101918838
My thoughts: As a citizen of the United States I find it interesting to read books - especially illustrated books - about other countries. In the children's picture book Carson Crosses Canada we have a little doggie and a little old lady packing their suitcases (dog's and suitcases? Well, this is a children's imaginative book.) and get into their little yellow car and hit the road. They are crossing Canada to see her sister.

The illustrations done in watercolors capture the essence of Canada's mountains, beautiful trees, and varied landscapes. Like the United States, Canada is a big, beautiful, and varied land of beauty.

I think perhaps it would have been better had Carson, the doggie, not left his "little souvenir" on a grassy spot although we all know that is the nature of doggies.

Their mapped route shown on the end pages also is a simple map of the grand land of Canada showing the provinces and places they stopped.

A cute book and nice introduction to Canada for little ones. Click here to find it.

About the book: Feisty Annie Magruder and her dog, Carson, live in British Columbia, Canada, and they're setting out to visit her sister, Elsie, in Newfoundland. In their little rattlebang car, packed with Carson's favorite toy, Squeaky Chicken, and plenty of baloney sandwiches, Annie and Carson hit the road! They travel province by province, taking in each unique landscape and experiencing something special to that particular part of this vast, grand country. For example, they marvel at the beauty of the big, open sky -- and grasshoppers! -- in Saskatchewan and discover the gorgeous red earth and delicious lobster rolls in PEI, before finally being greeted by Elsie -- and a surprise for Carson!

I received a complimentary copy from and the publisher and was not obligated to provide a review. Opinions are my own and freely given.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Dark Deception (Defenders of Justice #2) by Nancy Mehl from Bethany House Publishing (Christian fiction)

ISBN: 9780764217784
My thoughts:  The author, Nancy Mehl, writes books of mystery or suspension with a touches of romantic interest. Often set in a small town where a strong conservative religious community abides, her stories have heretofore been quite receptive to the Christian fiction reading audience.

In the new Defenders of Justice series, we are given stories set in the average city or town and populated by characters that take the reader into emotional journeys beyond the pale. Book two  exposes the raw depravity of the criminal that is the serial killer.

Dark Deception truly lives up to the title that graces the cover of the book. The story has a darkness that permeates and that embraces several planes of life. There is deception that is incomprehensible and which creates a case that proves difficult or near impossible to be solved by local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.

I am not fond of stories that delve into the mentally warped mind and actions of a serial killer, the emotional storm that pervades the lives of survivors, or the twisted connections lives take from youth into adulthood as a result of cruelty imposed on their childhood. While not a favorite, Dark Deception is most certainly a good read and within the bounds of acceptable Christian fiction. If readers enjoy having their mind rather immersed in the element of society that is portrayed in Dark Deception, this is definitely one to read. If readers simply want to brush shoulders a bit with suspense or mystery, then perhaps they would want something a bit milder. I did enjoy Nancy Mehl's writting and the character development was really good. I particularly enjoyed Detective Leon and his wife. I liked Tony Deluca and his penchant for sticking to Kate's situation and going the extra mile. I look forward to more from the pen of Nancy Mehl.

About the book:  
Four years ago, Kate O'Brien and her twin were attacked by a serial killer and only Kate survived. She's been in witness protection ever since her testimony led to a conviction. When new evidence is found suggesting they got the wrong man, Kate is terrified. With a target on her back, can U.S. Marshal Tony DeLuca keep her safe until the new trial begins?

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House a division of Baker House Publishing to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and freely given.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Captain's Daughter by Jennifer Delamere Historical Romance Fiction from Bethany House London Beginning Series #1 [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts: As Christian historical fiction The Captain's Daughter provides some mildly entertain reading that is clean and that touches on the period of London in 1879. I found it interesting that the story included backstage activity and references to the famous Gilbert and Sullivan operetta "HMS Pinafore."

The story is rife with dramatic events and villians that prey on innocent young ladies and a charming hero who ultimately rescues the young lady. It begins with young sisters atop a hill and swiftly switches to the heroin, Rosalyn, fleeing the wrath of her employee who accuses her of being a thief. Rosalyn lands in London and barely escapes the clutches of the lowest of the low of London's immoral street life. She then is swept into the rescuing arms of lovelies in the theater.

I wonder at the choice of title as the Captain seemed to be missing in the book. However, she was a captain's daughter and though her father was missing, the sweet ending references this and connects it to HMS Pinafore. I'm just wondering how Messrs. Gilbert and Sullivan would like the connection. The book is entertaining though not a favorite. I can recommend it because it is not offensive, it is clean and decent, has a sweet romance, and it has interesting characters. It just wasn't appealing to me.

More reviews and other information about The Captain's Daughter - click here

About the book: London, 1879

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leaves Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater putting on the most popular show in the city. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage. That is, as long as the shadows from her past don't catch up with her.

After a hand injury forces Nate Moran from his army regiment in India, he returns home to London, a place that holds bitter memories. He agrees to fill in temporarily as a stagehand while his brother recuperates from a broken leg, but Nate is counting down the days until he can rejoin his regiment. His future is decided---until he meets a beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate yearns to leave behind.

This warm-hearted Victorian romance brings 1880s London to life.

About the author: Jennifer Delamere's debut Victorian romance, An Heiress at Heart, was a 2013 RITA award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, A Lady Most Lovely, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She's been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades and lives in North Carolina with her husband. Visit her online at
Begins June 20
Ends July 7 at 12:01 a.m. EDT
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy by Litfuse Publicity Group on behalf of the publisher Bethany House and the author. Opinions are my own and freely given.