Thursday, February 11, 2016

New look and new update

Welcome everyone I just want to let you know that my blog will be getting a new look. It will continue on it's mission to share the best reviewed books both self published and traditional published. Right now I am not working with any publishing company. My first new post will be about the SCBWI winter conference which starts Tommorrow. Look for the blog to be more interactive with videos, author interviews and much more. I will try to keep it updated more regularly. Please continue to give me your support. We are back. Thanks everyone   

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Two Middle Grade Books 2014

Middle Grade Readers

1) One Dog and His Boy- Written by Eva Ibbotson, Published by Scholastic Inc. New York, NY 2014. Hal is just an ordinary kid with a large dream of owning a dog. On his birthday Hal is allowed to choose a pet that is when Fleck becomes a part of his life and an adventure begins after Hal finds him gone on Monday. Together with a girl named Pippa Hal rescues Fleck and running away is his only option, made trickier when Pippa announces that she and the other dogs want to come along. It not only teaches your children about the power of friendship and love  but it takes them on a journey through life. I highly recommend this book for your middle graders. Get out and pick up a copy today.

2) The Path of Names- Written by Ari Goelman, Published by Scholastic Inc. New York, NY 2013. Dahlia Sherman loves magic tricks, math and video games. She is not so found of campfire songs or lighting storms or mean girls her age. When she is placed in a sleeping camp strange things start happening like ghosts of little girls and an ancient maze guarded by a mysteries caretaker. This books take her on a journey through the past to discover what all this means. It is a mystery based on ancient Jewish scripture that is much better suited for your older middle grader. The book is a fun read and has a very strong connection to Jewish traditions and mystical culture.     

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Spring Reading 2014

Picture Books

Rip Van Winkle- Retold and illustrated by Will Moses, based on Washington Irving's book. Philomel Books a division of Penguin Putnam Books for young readers. New York 1999. This book is based on a  classical folk tale about a man who goes into the woods and falls asleep waking up many years later to a new world. This classic tale is retold with a combination of wonderful illustrations and words. It is probably better suited for the older child because of complex words and storyline. This new version brings a wonderful story back to our modern world. The storyline and sophisticated crafted words make it more suited for an older child.  

Patti Cake and Her New Doll- Written by Patricia Reilly Giff and illustrated by Laura J. Bryant. Published by Orchard books New York an imprint of Scholastic Inc. 2014. The book describes one day in a life of a little girl named Patti and her home companions mainly a dog named Tootsie and a new doll she got. With an imaginative approach, the author turns an regular day into an adventure and makes the ordinary into the extraordinary. A good book for you to get for you kids.

The Fisherman & His Wife- Based on a story by Grimm and Illustrated by John Howe 1984. Published by Creative Editions Mankato MN, 2001. The fisherman is happy living a simple life until one day everything turns around when he catches a magical fish. The fisherman's wife cannot be satisfied with what she gets. Her greed takes away everything the fish gave them. It is a great book for the older reader and the illustrations are stunning.

   Trouper- Written by Meg Kearney and Illustrated by E.B. Lewis. Published by Scholastic Inc. NY, 2013. The book is written from the point of view of a dog. The dog Trouper tells us his life story: how he lived on the streets t the time he was put in a pound and finally adopted. This book makes readers empathize with millions of abandoned dogs running on the streets or sitting in cages in the pounds waiting to find a loving home. I highly recommend this book to everyone.   

The Little Engine that Could
- Retold by Watty Piper and New Art by Loren Long. Published by Philomel Books a Division of Penguin Young Readers Group 2005. This is a great version of a classic. I loved how the writer and illustrator gave life to the characters. The story does not only teach children a lesson about never giving up, but it also introduces them to four kind of trains. I really loved this book and I strongly recommend you get it with your children. Each of us can accomplish anything we put our mind too.    

 Under the Same Sun- Written by Sharon Robinson and Illustrated by AG Ford. Published by Scholastic Press, New York 2014.  This is a great educational book about Tanzania a small country in Africa. One can vividly imagine the beautiful land of Africa with its lush scenery and many different animals. This book is very unique and the illustrations are amazing. The story is idle for a classroom setting.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight

"Emmy Laybourne-  is a novelist and recovering character actress. She appeared in the movies Superstar and The In-Laws, the NBC series DAG and Comedy Central's Premium Blend, among other. Emmy lives in upstate New York with her husband, their two children, and a feisty, slightly judgmental, bearded dragon named Goldie. Monument 14 is her fiction debut." Copyrighted by Square Fish, an imprint of Macmillian New York 2012.
Monument 14- Written by Emmy Laybourne, published by Square Fish an imprint of Macmillan New York 2012. I had the honor of interviewing Emma for my blog Children Books and other cool stuff. You will find the questions and answers below. Thank You Emma for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer my six questions.
I'm so delighted to be here on Children Books and Other Cool Stuff! Thank you David, for having me on your blog!

1) What kind of children books, did you read as a child? Which ones influenced you the most?
As a child, I was fascinated with the “Little House” series. Even now, as a grown up, Laura Ingalls Wilder is one of the authors I admire the most. She was able to write gripping, compelling stories with no cursing, no sex and no "writer's tricks." How did she write such wholesome stories that continue to captivate readers so many years later? It's a mystery and every time I read ON THE BANKS OF PLUM CREEK, I ponder it.
2) In your book, you talk about the world ending, do you think that our own world is also heading in that direction? 
I sure hope not! While I’m extremely concerned about climate change and  environmental pollution, I also have faith in man’s ability to innovate. I hope we can invent a way to preserve the ozone layer before it’s too late.

3) In your own opinion, what and who can save our world? 
Science and scientists! Bring us efficient solar panels and fuel cell automobiles and cancer-fighting nano-bots and trash-eating microbes! Please, scientists, hurry!

4) Why did you choose "Greenway" as a setting for your book? 
The Greenway store is modeled on a Target. I studied Wal-Marts a bit, but found they had too much of everything! The kids would have never needed to leave the store. I suppose you might be asking a bigger question - why did I choose to set my book in a superstore. The truth is that I really love superstores. I like to wander the aisles and think about how I could make the store into a home, if I had to. That kind of musing is where the germ of the idea came from -- what if a bunch of kids had to live in a superstore because of an environmental catastrophe? I find my best ideas all come in the form of "What if" questions.
5) What advise can you give to new writers, that are seeking to get their books published?
If you're going to be an artist of any kind, you will need to learn how to turn off your internal critic when you are working. You cannot create and judge your work simultaneously. It just doesn't work that way. 
For this reason, I'd recommend taking an improv class! When you are doing improv, you learn very quickly how to shut that internal critic off - or he shuts you down. You can also learn a lot about story structure and character development on your feet in front of an audience.

6) Are you currently working on any new projects? Please tell us about them.  
I'm so excited about my newest project. Every day, when I sit down to write, it's a big adventure. The characters keep doing this crazy stuff that I'm not entirely prepared for (like kissing each other!). It's called SWEET and it's a YA thriller set about a celebrity-studded cruise to promote a new diet sweetener that goes terribly wrong.
Thanks again for having me here! I'd love to stay connected with your readers at @EmmyLaybourne and