Posted in Book Reviews

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: Pickles the Dog, Adopted: Kat Socks


SYNOPSIS: Pickles the Dog, Adopted follows the story of a young girl, Kat, who adopts a dog and brings it to her family farm. In training the dog, Kat learns that it’s up to her to teach Pickles right from wrong.

Pickles the Dog, Adopted, by Kat Socks, is about a dog, Pickles, who has a lot to learn. Kat, the young girl in the book who adopts the dog with her family, is in charge of training Pickles.
During her first day on the family farm, Pickles gets into all kinds of trouble with the other animals. She isn’t a bad dog, she just doesn’t know any better. Kat’s mom suggests that Kat try something new with Pickles the next day, without specifying what action to take.
The next day, Kat begins to train Pickles to respond to a squeak toy. Instead of getting into trouble with the other animals, Pickles learns to follow the rules. Using this simple training technique, Kat teaches Pickles how to be safe on the farm.
While the story may be fictional, Pickles was inspired by a real-life rescue dog by the same name. Socks says, “I am so happy Pickles found a loving home. I believe every animal deserves a loving home, that is why a small portion of the sales from my books are donated to animal shelters.”

Pickles the Dog, Adopted has won several national awards, including being a 2019 Distinguished Favorite in the Independent Press Awards and a finalist in the Indie Book Awards, as well as winning two awards for cover design. The book is available in nearly 40 stores.

Soon to be released is Pickles the Dog, A Christmas Tradition. In the story, the young girl, Kat, shares her special Christmas traditions with Pickles, including her favorite, an old Midwestern tradition of hiding a pickle on the tree. Whoever finds the hidden pickle receives an extra gift. Be on the lookout for a hidden pickle on each page.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kat Socks
Kat Socks is very passionate about animals and believes every animal deserves a loving home. She enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering as a pet therapy handler. Kat loves to give back to her community in many ways, but her favorite way is by donating a small portion of the sales from her book to animal shelters.

MY THOUGHTS: Rescue dogs are close to my heart. I can feel and understand the author’s passion in sharing her story. In ‘Pickles’, parents will find a great way to introduce younger readers to the joys of rescuing dogs. I definitely appreciate that the readers are shown an effective training idea that even preschoolers can help with. It’s good to teach training techniques that don’t involved raised voices or punishments.
Also noteworthy is the author’s point that not every rescue dog will immediately fit into their new environment. Most often, there is a two week transition period. This can vary more or less. It’s very important that children realize that these are animals and not robots who obey every command.
Being that this is a book for early elementary readers, keeping the story simple, engaging, and on point is crucial. Our author delivers that as well as a main character (Pickles) that they will love. I give it a 3 star rating and would suggest it for a story time at the library setting.
*I received the aforementioned title in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine. Pic/synopsis belong solely to the author.
For more information, please visit http://www.picklesthedog.com

“Like” Pickles the Dog on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/picklesthedogbook
Follow Pickles the Dog on Instagram @PicklesTheDogBook

Posted in Book Reviews

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: How to Survive on a Desert Island: Operation Robinson! by Denis Tribaudeau

SYNOPSIS: Calling all castaways! You’ve probably pretended to be an explorer alone on a desert island in the middle of the ocean. It’s a fantastic adventure! But if you were shipwrecked and washed ashore, do you think you’d be able to survive? If you’ve read this book, the answer is yes, without a doubt! Learn how to light a fire without matches, build a shelter, find water and make it safe to drink, treat small wounds, read the sky, tie different kinds of knots, let people know you are there, and much more. Are you ready to become a Robinson Caruso? If you know where to look, nature will give you everything you need.
44 color drawings
64 pp
978-0-7643-5706-0
Soft cover
$14.99

MY THOUGHTS: I was absolutely amazed by this book. I’ve seen a number of news stories as of late detailing how children have survived harrowing experiences thanks, in part, to survival training. Anything can happen and equipping our children to survive in situations apart from their everyday life is a priceless gift.
This book walks the reader through a number of essential tips that will help them overcome a bad situation. Don’t mistake the beautiful drawings as belonging to a fictional book. They add to the understanding of the skills described. The information inside the book is vital. These are not things taught in a regular classroom. They should be, but, if you haven’t thought of having your children attend a survival class, this is the ideal place to start.
Easy to understand, expertly written, and wonderfully illustrated, this 5 star book should be in every classroom and read by as many children as possible.

About the Author & Illustrator:
Denis Tribaudeau, a French expert in survival training, has a big reputation for “extreme adventures.” A modern-day Indiana Jones with more than twenty years of travel experience, he has taken clients on amazing adventures around the globe and given advice to more than 1,000 survival students.
After studying art in Nancy and Amien, Karine Maincent left France to work for two years in Benin as a graphic designer at L’Institut Français de Cotonou. On her return to France in 2009, she opened the graphic design company the Tokpa Studio, where she creates colorful illustrations and animates creative workshops for children.

 

I received the aforementioned title in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Pic & Synopsis belong solely to the author/publisher.

Posted in Book Reviews

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: Going to School: Rose Blake


SYNOPSIS: Spend the day at school and join the little girl in everything she does in a day—from breakfast to bedtime. Meet her classmates and try to spot what each friend is up to in every lesson throughout the book. Can you guess what they want to be when they grow up? This reassuring introduction to the school day for little ones has bright, friendly artwork and is perfect for children about to go off to school for the first time.

MY THOUGHTS: “Going to School’, as it’s title suggests, is a good starting point for the pre-K set. Those parents/guardians whose little ones are anxious about staring school full time will find a friendly, accurate representation of what to expect. Simple yet eye-catching illustrations will help these younger readers follow along and stay focused.
It may also be of help to those students who are transitioning from half day to full day kindergarten. It’s a cute book and younger readers are likely to enjoy it. I give it 3 stars.

Rose Blake studied Illustration and Animation at Kingston University, where she was awarded the D&AD Best New Blood Award. She followed this with an MA at the Royal College of Art. She works as a fine artist and as an illustrator, and has Blake has completed commissions for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, The BBC and Tatler.
https://www.quartoknows.com/books/9781786030696/Going-to-School.html

*Pic & synopsis belong solely to the author/publisher
**I received the aforementioned title in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine.

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Spotlight: The Silence of the Snakes: Ruby Loren

Synopsis: Madigan Amos is on her second-ever zoo consulting job, reviewing animal welfare conditions to recommend improvements. She didn’t expect it to include lions attacking one of the keepers, a series of thefts from the mansion of the family that owns the zoo, having a sick green mamba turned over to her by a stranger, or a woman dead of an ax to the head. She’s not at all sure she’s going to get out of Snidely Wildlife and Safari alive.

MY THOUGHTS: This second installment had a lot more mystery and suspense than the first. The happenings at her current zoo location are a bit hard to figure out initially. As with the first, it opens with a good, attention grabbing scene.
There are some slow points and some confusing scenarios. However, it is a good read and I will continue with the series. I give it 3 stars.

Posted in Book Reviews

#Sponsored Book Spotlight: Just Be Yourself: A Ladybug’s Journey: Karen Stone


SYNOPSIS: As children grow up, they will face various challenges and struggles, author Karen Stone wants to make sure a negative self-image will not be one of those issues. Therefore, this children’s author presents “Just Be Yourself: A Ladybug’s Journey,” to help children build a positive perception of self.

In “Just Be Yourself,” Stone introduces readers to a unique story that follows an unsure ladybug in the Happy Peaceful Forest. The ladybug questions why she is the only one in her family without a special crown and sets out to reach the shiny purple castle to find her answers.

Along the way she meets various animals that impart lessons of self-assurance and empowerment. At the end of her journey, she realizes that to receive her crown, she simply needs to find confidence and happiness in her own heart.

“I want to enable children to build a foundation to be happy with who they are for the rest of their lives,” Stone said. “Just Be Yourself teaches children to be confident with their own attributes, skills and appearance so they can build a positive self-image.”

MY THOUGHTS:I found this book to be more for the early elementary set, say K-2. Each animal that ladybug encounters has a different reason for owning his or her crown. While it has that feel-good, bedtime story vibe, I’m not sure how I feel about her earning a crown for being herself. Yes, we want all children to be who they are and stay true to themselves, etc. I just thought the plot was going in a different direction. Maybe she was going to get the crown for having scaled the mountain to the castle? It felt a little like she got one of those participation trophies that are so popular nowadays. That’s from a parent’s view. Children will love the main character as well as her friends.

I give it 3 stars.
For more information, please visit http://www.kstone11.com.
*I received the aforementioned book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine. Pic & synopsis belong solely to the author/publisher.

Posted in Book Reviews

The Homecoming by Alan Russell

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. You wake up to get the kids to school to discover that one of your children is gone. No sign of a break-in or any disturbances. But, for the Pierce family, the nightmare is a reality. After a bonfire on the beach, the Pierce family returned home. Early the next morning, their 7-year-old daughter, Stella, had simply vanished.

An enormous investigation was launched. No clues except dead ends. While the family struggled to move on with their lives, the lead investigator continued to follow each lead no matter how obscure. Things appeared hopeless. Stella was gone. Just as abruptly, 7 years later, Stella reappears.

Although elated, the family is shocked. Of course, Stella is grilled as to her whereabouts. Her answer? She’s been with the Travelers – a group of extraterrestrial explorers. Thinking she’s traumatized, they try everything to get Stella to tell the truth. What the don’t realize is the truth is stranger than anything they can handle. So, where has Stella been & what exactly happened to her?

I was highly anticipating reading this one. The synopsis was intriguing and it was listed in my preferred genre (mystery/thriller/suspense). I feel completely let down. I’d heard great things about Mr. Russell. His writing style/talent isn’t the issue. The book was the issue.

It started off perfectly. I was drawn in, cared about the progression of the case, etc. What I didn’t anticipate was the fact that the book should have been categorized as paranormal or even sci-fi. My initial belief was that it would progress as the synopsis hinted. Stella’s return would be plausibly explained.

I was wrong. If you’re thinking of reading it, please note that. If sci-fi mystery is your bag, then you’ll enjoy this book. It is not my bag and perhaps the mischaracterization of the plot caused me to have a chip on my shoulder towards the book. Regardless, I was disappointed in the ending as well. I felt completely let down.

The bright spot in it was Detectve Cheever. He was a fantastic character & would have been much more appreciated had he been given a real case to solve. For me, I give it a 3 star rating. Again, YA romance ( which also takes up a huge piece of the book) fans & those into sci-fi, paranormal, will probably have an entirely different opinion. Mr. Russell is quite talented and could’ve have crafted a much better story.