Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Book is ( Imagination flow)

   A book is a gateway opened by the human imagination that unlocks new worlds to all readers. It is an escape from the rush and stress of our daily lives. Their may be rough roads ahead but both the book and the human imagination will live on. Technology just opens another path for us all and this my friends should be a blessing hidden under an invisible mask of deception.

 The Reviews 

Picture books

"All by myself"- Written by Geraldine Collect and illustrated by Coralie Saudo. Translated by Sarah Quinn, Published by Owlkids Books 2011. Canada. Summary: "When their mothers go looking for grain, five little chicks are left alone. When will their mothers come back?" This was a cute story with amazing illustrations. It had way to many characters in it and it might be a bit confusing for the younger child. The illustrations were very nice and well drawn. It was a little hard to understanding what part was real and which part was playtime. I did not have a truly emotional connection to the characters they seemed very distant. Over all it might be a fun read for a child, but I can't see them reading it over and over again. It does teach a good lesson about how you can play to make the time go by. 

"Martin on the Moon."-   Written by Martine Audet and illustrated by Luc Melanson. Translated by Sarah Quinn. Published in Quebec under the title Xavier-la-lune. Owlkids books 2011. Summary: "Martin is always on the moon- daydreaming, drawing, and making up poems. But now it's his first day of school and he is feeling nervous." This picture book I really enjoyed. It has a wonderful voice and point of view of a child. The illustrations are very nice  and I liked how Martin looked at different items and brought life to them with poetic words. One minor thing is the main character seems to shift off topic often, this did confused me a bit. I did make a strong connection with him. The words are beautifully written and have a smooth flow.  The book looks at imagination through the eyes of a child and this makes it very unique and fun. I recommend this book to your young children because it can teach them a lot.

"The Divide."-  Written by Michael Bedard and illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully. First published in Canada Tundra books 1997. Summary: "When Willa Cather was a girl her family moved west to the open Prairie of Nebraska leaving behind a world Willa loved dearly. Gone with the wooded hills and meadows marbled with sheep. In their place was a flat. empty land, as bare as a strip of sheet iron. Willa felt she had come to the end of things; she felt the land did not want them" or did it? This wonderfully written and illustrated book looks at the life of one family that moved west. It is just a small story among many. Its history, poetic language and wonderful illustrations makes this book a must read for children 6 to 8 years old. It can especially help them if their family is moving too. I highly recommend this picture book to everyone. It can teach you many things.

Middle Readers

"Merlin The Raging fire. Book 3"- Written by T. A. Barron. Originally published as "The Fires of Merlin." Puffin books a division of Penguin Group 1998. Summary: "Having voyaged to the Otherworld in his quest to find himself, the young wizard must face fire in many different forms and deal with the possibility of losing his own magical power." This is the third book in this wonderful middle grade reader serious about the lost years of Merlin. I especially loved this one because of the way it looks in nature in a different voice. This fantasy is well written and full of action. Your young reader will emotionally connect to the main character and will live in his world. I highly recommend this book for not only your child but for the adult as well. I truly loved it.

Young Adult

"Hard Love"- Written by Ellen Wittlinger. First picture book edition March 2001. Simon Pulse an imprint of Simon & Schuster. "Summary: "After starting to publish a zine in which he writes his secret feelings about his lonely life and his parents' divorce, sixteen-year-old John meets an unusual girl and begins to develop a healthier personality." This book was an honer book for The Michael L. Printz award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature. I really liked this book it covered various topics that teens face everyday like sexual awakening and just adjusting to a very hard society. The main character John is someone any teen can associate them with. This books has many layers and can be a very good read for any teen. Please pick a copy up. I think it is a book anyone can enjoy.    

1 comment:

John Michael Cummings said...

Dear Children's Books, and Other Cool Stuff:

I'm an award-winning author with a new book of YA fiction. Ugly To
Start With is a series of thirteen interrelated stories about teen life
published by West Virginia University Press in November
of 2011.

Can I interest you in reviewing it?

My book's only 160 pages short. The writing is easy and open, and all
the stories are interconnected--same hero and story arc throughout. It
reads like a brisk novel in the form of stories.

If you write me back at johnmcummings@aol.com, I'll send you a PDF of my book.

At this point, my small publisher is out of available review copies, so
I hope and politely ask that you consider the PDF. I would be
very grateful.

My publisher, I should add, can offer your readers a free excerpt
of my book through a link from your blog to my publisher's website:

Here’s what Jacob Appel, celebrated author of Dyads and The
Vermin Episode, says about my new collection: "In Ugly to Start With,
set in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, Cummings tackles the
challenges of boyhood adventure and family conflict in a taut,
crystalline style that captures the triumphs and tribulations of
small-town life. He has a gift for transcending the particular
experiences to his characters to capture the universal truths of human
affection and suffering--emotional truths that the members of his
audience will recognize from their own experiences of childhood and

My short stories have appeared in more than seventy-five literary
journals, including North American Review, The Kenyon Review, Alaska
Quarterly Review, and The Chattahoochee Review. Twice I have
been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. My short story "The Scratchboard
Project" received an honorable mention in The Best American Short
Stories 2007.

I am also the author of the nationally acclaimed coming-of-age
novel The Night I Freed John Brown (Philomel Books, Penguin Group,
2009),winner of The Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers (Grades
7-12)and one of ten books recommended by USA TODAY.

For more information about me, please visit:


Thank you very much, and I look forward to hearing back from you.


John Michael Cummings