Showing posts with label children's book. Show all posts
Showing posts with label children's book. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

"Bash and Lucy Fetch Team Vera and the Dream Beasts" by Lisa and Michael Cohn

Bash and Lucy Fetch Team Vera and the Dream Beasts
(Bash and Lucy Book 3)
by Lisa and Michael Cohn

Bash and Lucy Fetch Team Vera and the Dream Beasts (Bash and Lucy Book 3) by Lisa and Michael Cohn

Bash and Lucy Fetch Team Vera and the Dream Beasts is the third book in the Bash and Lucy series written by Lisa Cohn and her son Michael, when he was nine. This book is suitable for children ages 7 to 10. Also available: Bash and Lucy Fetch Confidence (read my blog post) and Bash and Lucy Fetch Jealousy (read my blog post).

Bash and Lucy Fetch Confidence by Lisa and Michael CohnBash and Lucy Fetch Jealousy by Lisa and Michael Cohn

This book blast and giveaway is organized by BeachBoundBooks.

Sensitive Bash gets grumpy and disruptive when his life is too bright, too loud, too smelly, or too busy. He counts on his dog, Lucy, to help keep him calm. But Paula, Bash’s girl-power cousin, is causing all sorts of trouble. Paula says her soccer team has the right to take Lucy away from Bash because girls deserve the very best canine coaches. And superstar Lucy is the most successful coach around! How can Bash show he respects the girls’ rights while keeping dear Lucy by his side?

Book Video
Check out this video featuring Michael Cohn explaining sensory sensitivities.

[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
Bash and Lucy Fetch Team Vera and the Dream Beasts teaches an important message candy wrapped with humor. Bash learns that under the Title IX law, girls have equal rights as boys when it comes to the best coaches and education. This is an early chapter book with expressive illustrations.” ~ Tina Morley
“This book is great fun to read, but I also couldn't help but think about the way immigrants are maligned these days and how nice it was to see one championed in a Bash and Lucy book. Keep them coming please, son and daughter team, Michael and Lisa Cohn! Great read! You scored once again!” ~ Elisa Wood
“It’s great fun to read a book based on the characters you know in real life. I am familiar with some, if not all, dogs and humans in this book. I think kids and their parents should read this book because I like the message and the universal appeal of this story and its characters.” ~ T

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
When Bash is anxious he feels “hungry, grumpy, disruptive, or prone to tantrums”, and he conjures up the dream beasts, the monsters that chase people who didn’t like dogs. But with his dog and best friend Lucy by his side, Bash feels “full, happy, cooperative, and calm.” He loves playing soccer and Lucy is his team’s coach. The finals are approaching, but Bash’s cousin Paula wants to take Lucy away to coach her team. And it appears that Title IX gives them that right! Bash’s resulting anxiety brings the dream beasts out in full force. What will Bash do?
The lovely watercolor illustrations by Heather Nichols bring Bash and Lucy to life. Bash speaks in cute dog riddles, which must be interpreted by his friend Adam. This book does a good job of describing Bash’s sensory sensitivities, but I don’t recall them being mentioned in the previous books. The author also conveys some of the emotional benefits of having a dog. I liked how Bash solves the problem of the dream beasts. However, the dream beasts should be described as chasing those who need - or would benefit from having - a dog, not those who don’t like dogs. In addition, while it’s great to empower women and make Bash’s sister Ally the town mayor, librarian, and founder of the dance troupe, it’s unrealistic that she appears to be everywhere at once. I also don’t follow the logic of Title IX giving Paula the right to take Lucy away from Bash to coach her team. “Title IX is a law that requires that men and women have equal opportunities in sports, including equal access to the best coaches.” Surely, then, the boys are just as entitled to retain Lucy as their coach, if not more so, since Bash is Lucy’s rightful owner. This book takes “girl power” too far and makes the girls into bullies.
There are a few mixed messages here. The book would probably work better if it focused well on just one idea, instead of struggling with four.

Note from Author Lisa Cohn
A sensory-sensitive boy (Bash), his girl-power cousin, some canine soccer coaches, and a handful of “dream beasts” are all featured in our third book, Bash and Lucy Fetch Team Vera and the Dream Beasts.
Our aim with this book is to teach kids about Title IX and the importance of ensuring girls and women have equal access to the same opportunities as boys and men. In addition, we wanted to provide some strong female role models: Ally, Vera, and Paula.
What's more, we hope to educate people about sensory issues and sensory processing disorder in children. The main character, Bash, is sensory sensitive, and relies on his dog, Lucy, to help keep him calm.
As always, our canine companions play a critical role in our books. This book, which introduces two new dogs - Hudson and Glory - is no exception.
Michael, age 9, played a critical role in shaping Bash and Lucy Fetch Team Vera and the Dream Beasts. The dream beasts, which chase humans who don't like dogs, were invented and designed by Michael.
Michael also insisted on a long title, “the kind of title you see in Captain Underpants books.” Along with inventing the dream beasts and writing the title, he created numerous “girl-power” characters - based on his sister, Ally; grandma, Vera; and cousin, Paula.
Michael was not the only child who contributed to this book. During our Skype in the classroom visits, we always ask students to give us ideas for our next book. Their responses informed some of our decisions.
We love visiting with school children, either via Skype or in person. As guest speakers with Skype in the classroom, we have “travelled” 540,000 miles to meet with students in 15 countries around the world. We are proud that we are certified Microsoft Innovative Educators as a result of our Skype in the classroom visits. We're also proud that we've received two Mom's Choice Silver awards for our first two books, Bash and Lucy Fetch Confidence and Bash and Lucy Fetch Jealousy.
We welcome comments and feedback!

About the Authors
Lisa and Michael Cohn
Award-winning mom-son authors Lisa and Michael Cohn have appeared on the Today Show, SiriusXM Radio, AM Northwest, in Disney's Babble, the Oregonian, and other media outlets. They are founders of the Roving Reader Leaders, which features YouTubebook reviews by kids, KidLit author interviews by children, and a kids’ reading club. Michael and Lisa have “travelled” 540,000 miles and visited students in 15 countries around the world via Skype in the classroom to discuss their books.

Enter the blast-wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash.


Wednesday, January 24, 2018

"The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean" by Robert Gillespie

The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean
by Robert Gillespie

The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean by Robert Gillespie

The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean by Robert Gillespie is currently on tour with iRead Book Tours. The tour stops here today for my review, a guest post by the author, an excerpt, and a giveaway. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.

Popcorn and Jellybean had never ventured down the path beyond the big tree. But since they never really did anything exciting, and even though it made them a little nervous at first, they decided it would be a fun adventure for a couple of days. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty, as it turned out, if the explorers were not prepared! Join them as they take on new challenges each day, learn how to survive by following the behaviors of the animals they encounter, and go where Mother Nature leads them. And who knows, maybe we could learn as well!

Once upon a time there were two friends, Popcorn and Jellybean, who were just plain bored. They never did anything fun and they never went anywhere exciting.
It was a Saturday afternoon, and the sun was shining brightly. The two friends were hanging out in the front yard deciding what to do on such a beautiful day.
Popcorn looked over at Jellybean and said, “Hey, JB, why don’t we go on an adventure?”
Jellybean thought about it for a second and said, “Are you sure?”
“Yes, come on!” exclaimed Popcorn.
“But where would we go?” asked Jellybean.
“I’m not really sure. I never thought about it before,” said Popcorn. “Maybe we could just follow that path into the forest and see where it takes us.”
“I don’t know, Popcorn, it seems kind of scary. We’ve never followed that path beyond the first big tree. What if we get lost?”
“We’ll just bring lots of supplies with us so we won’t have to worry,” said Popcorn.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]

Praise for the Book
The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean by Robert Gillespie is an adorable fantasy story where young readers are introduced to two friends, Popcorn and Jellybean. [...] The story is whimsical and children will love reading about the adventure and the challenges faced by Popcorn and Jellybean on their trip. The author's concept is educational and informative and he puts it across in a fun and interactive manner to readers, making it interesting.” ~ Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean by Robert Gillespie was such a fun find! As you know well enough by now, I am always looking for excellent books for my boys to read. This book was a great addition to our ever-growing book collection!” ~ slpleslieanne
"The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean is a fun little story that takes Popcorn and Jellybean on a wonderful journey into a world they have never seen, and how they learn to survive and find their way home by studying the enlightening behaviors of the diverse creatures they encounter. As well as an entertaining story, it is a veiled educational view of true animal behaviors, behaviors that children pick up on as they follow the adventure. It is a tale that can be read over several evenings—something they will look forward to each night as the story progresses. I enjoyed it very much.” ~ Tim Reaume
“A great bedtime story book for kids. Full of adventures and fun. Love it." ~ Amazon Customer
“An entertaining and educational book for any young child. Provides insights in how to use instincts and study of behaviors to help make decisions when in unplanned situations.” ~ Amazon Customer

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
Popcorn and Jellybean set off on an adventure into the forest. They plan their trip, pack everything they need, and head off. But things don’t go quite as they plan, and the friends end up getting lost. Will they be able to find their way home?
What I really like about this book is that the characters experience numerous setbacks but use their knowledge and problem-solving skills to get out of difficult situations. In this way, the author sneakily manages to impart a lot of interesting facts and information. He also throws in quite a bit of foreshadowing at the beginning of the book with his use of the phrase: “little did they know …” I just wish he had carried this theme throughout the rest of the book.
The story was written with the input of the author’s seven-year-old son. This may explain why the main characters are a piece of popcorn and a jellybean. As an adult, I have trouble with this concept. I mean, how big are they? Normal size for popcorn and jelly beans? Or as big as humans? I had trouble imagining them carrying backpacks, lighting a fire, eating sandwiches and berries, and encountering real animals. The author and illustrator must have had trouble as well because, apart from the cover and character illustrations at the beginning of the book, Popcorn and Jellybean aren’t depicted in any of the illustrations, which are few and far between. My question is, why can’t they just be real boys?
On that point, Popcorn and Jellybean are referred to as “boys”, but it’s not clear how old our adventurers really are. While they meticulously plan and pack for their trip, they don’t tell anyone where they are going or how long they will be away before they set off. And, even if they had, they get lost and take longer to return home than anticipated, yet no one is out looking for them! Other issues: Raisin is depicted with a “B” on his cap; Jelłybean is shortened to JB unnecessarily; the “mom” deer is depicted with antlers after the boys tell us that girl deer don’t have antlers; Raisin’s comment about “hanging out on the vine” implies he is as small as a normal raisin (cf. my comment above about the characters’ size).
Still, if you suspend disbelief, or even just imagine this story is about two boys with unusual nicknames, it’s entertaining and educational. This book is suitable for parents to read to their younger kids or for older kids to read on their own.

Guest Post by the Author
A Wild Ride
This whole journey for me has been a lot of fun, but also very eye-opening. Consider the fact that I never really entertained the idea of writing any kind of book, let alone a children’s fantasy. With that said, it has been extremely challenging and rewarding.
And, as I quickly learned, it’s not just about writing a book. It’s about the formulation of the story; character development; organization of ideas; and even getting a feel for where to end the story so as not to lose the interest of the reader.
Before exploring the world of traditional publishing, I thought I would check in with self-publishing platforms. I opted to go with Create Space because of the simplistic nature of the platform.
The upside – I had complete control over my manuscript. The downside – I had complete control over my manuscript. The question I had to ask myself was, did I want my book to have a professional presence. Initially, it didn’t seem to be the most important issue. I just wanted to reach the end game. Once I did that, I’d see where it went from there.
I did my own editing, which did have its own set of challenges, and I decided to use clip art for the illustrations. And at virtually no cost to me, the finished product was produced. Now it was time for a test audience. I received permission to read the book in a classroom setting at my son’s school. I had the opportunity to visit all four second grade classes. They all seemed to enjoy the story, but the one thing that really made me consider the quality was a comment by one outspoken boy. He said, “Wow, it looks like a first grader drew those pictures.” Generally speaking, kids say what they are thinking. And it made me stop and think also. That was not the way I wanted the book to come across.
It was time to start looking at other options in the industry. After a bit of research, I came across a New York publisher that seemed like a good match for what I had to offer. They were very upfront about their acceptance policy, and my chances of advancing to the next step were minimal at best, as they received thousands of submissions monthly.
I submitted my manuscript and, after waiting a long seven days, I was contacted by the coordinator and told they would like to work with me on the project. Although there would be some monetary expense involved, they would accept no royalties until I recovered everything I put into the publication process.
I have been extremely satisfied with their services. Professional editing, in which I have a say in all areas. Professional illustrators, with the offering of several styles to choose from. And a very efficient, and attentive, coordinator who keeps me informed as each step unfolds. And, they are now working on the sequel as we speak.

About the Author
Robert Gillespie
Bob has spent more than 13 years as a wildlife conservation educator sharing information and animal encounters with audiences of all ages. He has a passion for teaching about a wide range of topics nature-related, and he loves passing it along to his two sons. His youngest son, Colton, was the inspiration behind The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean, where it all started as a simple bedtime story. Bob currently resides in Carlsbad, California, and works as a professional interpreter guide at a world-renowned conservation organization.

Enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win a paperback copy of The Adventures of Popcorn and Jellybean by Robert Gillespie and a $20 Amazon gift card (US/Canada only).


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

"Adri's Big Dream" by Sarah Woodard

Adri's Big Dream
by Sarah Woodard

Adri's Big Dream by Sarah Woodard

Author Sarah Woodard stops by today to share an excerpt from her debut children's book, Adri's Big Dream. You can also read my review.

In this touching folktale, Adri, a rock, follows her dream to become a plant. She faces many challenges and hardships along the way. Will she make her dream come true? Go on this journey with Adri to find out.

Book Video

[Want more? Click below to watch the author read the book.]

Praise for the Book
"Cute story inspiring all to dream the impossible dream. Looking forward to reading this book to my grandchildren but I must admit I really enjoyed the story for myself. The illustrations are adorable and help draw you into the story." ~ Susan Reed
"A wonderfully whimsical book with deep messages for children of all ages. Adri gives us hope that anything is possible when you live through the heart." ~ Alethea in NH
"This is a terrific book with a wonderful moral for kids - hang on to your dreams, eventually good things will happen." ~ Amazon Customer
"This book is very well thought out. It is very simple wisdom about everyone's desires and challenges, learning and letting go. Good for all ages." ~ Nancy White
"A lovely, well written story for kids and adults alike! Be who you really want to be! Love it!!!" ~ Leah Donahue

My Review
I received this book in return for an honest review.

By Lynda Dickson
Adri is a little rock with a big dream. Deep down, she knows she's meant to be a plant, but how can she make that happen?
In this book we go on an adventure with Adri to find out if her dream comes true. Along the way, we learn educational facts about plants and get a lesson in patience, perseverance, and belief. The magical, whimsical illustrations by Carlos López give cute little Adri a big personality to go with her big dream.

About the Author
Sarah Woodard
Sarah Woodard is a writer and shaman. She hopes to inspire children and adults to reach for their dreams through her writing. Sarah is a freelance writer for a variety of businesses and publications, fulfilling a life-long dream to be a writer. She lives in Nashua, New Hampshire, with her cats. When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys hiking, crafts and putting her personal touch on her home.