BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Marty’s Mission, An Apollo 11 Story by Judy Young

TITLE: Marty’s Mission, An Apollo 11 Story

AUTHORJudy Young

ILLUSTRATOR: David Miles

PUBLISHER: Sleeping Bear Press, 2019

SYNOPSIS:

It’s 1969 and Marty’s family lives on the U.S. island of Guam, where his father manages the NASA tracking station. It’s important work and never more so than during the Apollo 11 space mission, where the tracking station relays signals back and forth between the astronauts and Mission Control in Houston, Texas. Along with the rest of the world, Marty listens to every mission update, including the historic landing on the moon and astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first steps. But during Apollo 11’s return to Earth, something goes wrong. There is a problem with the tracking station’s antenna during the final hours of the mission. The problem must be resolved–the antenna is the only way Mission Control can communicate with the astronauts before Apollo 11 splashes down. Marty finds himself playing a key role in helping bring the craft safely back to Earth.

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK : I was young when Apollo 11 took its trip to the moon. I didn’t fully understand what was happening and I certainly wouldn’t have had the maturity of mind and courage of spirit to do what young Marty did to help the astronauts of Apollo 11 to return home safely. Author Judy Young has woven a wonderful story about how one young boy’s chance to help with the lunar mission turns the tide and guarantees NASA lives to dream another day! A nice addition to any library!

RATING: ****4 Stars****

RATING SYSTEM

1 star…probably not worth your time.

2 stars…there are some things to like but some elements could have been stronger.

3 stars…this story w5ill appeal to some readers, but others might find it lacking something.

4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.

5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection!



************

Fox is set to cook a nice meal until the main ingredient tries to escape! The chase is on as Fox and his friends scurry, hop, and lumber their way to catching those rumbly, tumbly taters. Friendship and teamwork go hand in hand during THE GREAT POTATO RACE!

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

Happy New Year 2023!

MY NEW YEAR’S WISH

By Donna L Martin

All gifts are unwrapped,

Festive paper lay torn,

Darkened Christmas lights

Make trees look forlorn.

A new year has come

With a wish and a prayer

For health and happiness

And a joyous New Year!

**********

Fox is set to cook a nice meal until the main ingredient tries to escape! The chase is on as Fox and his friends scurry, hop, and lumber their way to catching those rumbly, tumbly taters. Friendship and teamwork go hand in hand during THE GREAT POTATO RACE!

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

COME TO ME 2023!

Now that Christmas Day is behind me, I’m taking the rest of this week off to decompress and recharge. This year has been incredibly busy for the growth of Story Catcher Publishing and the vision for the new year is a very ambitious one!

Here are some of the highlights from the past year:

  1. February 8th…HAILEY HATS…this picture book is the first one SCP rolled out and is about a young girl whose identity is tied to whatever hat she is wearing that day. The problem begins when Sunday comes along, and Hailey runs out of hats. Who will she be then?
  2. February 11th…THE STORY CATCHER…this picture book is a remake of a traditionally published edition originally released in 2015. The publishing house then shuts down their picture book imprint and returns my rights to me. This story of one young girl’s struggle with learning to read whenever the words run away from her brings attention to learning disorders and the magic that comes with learning to read.
  3. August 23rd…A BUMP IN THE NIGHT…this picture book was released for the Halloween season. Jack is afraid of the THING in the closet. Monty is afraid of the LUMP in the bed. Both are in for a surprise when they try overcoming their fears.
  4. December 21st…THE GREAT POTATO RACE…this picture book was inspired by master chef Gordon Ramsey. All Fox wants is a lovely potato meal, but those tasty taters make a getaway. The race is on for Fox and his friends as friendship and teamwork is on the menu if they are ever going to catch those pesky potatoes!

Then two of my HISTORY’S MYSTERIES titles…Ship of Dreams, and The Chocolate Train Wreck…which have already received 5-star reviews from READERS FAVORITES and a nice Kirkus Review, went on to win as FINALISTS in the American Book Fest.

Story Catcher Publishing also participated in a variety of author events, festivals, and shipped book donations to a Florida Children’s Hospital NICU department to help with neonatal therapy.

In 2023, Story Catcher Publishing starts on a new adventure to expand further into the KidLit community which will help aspiring authors to get their stories out into the world. The BIG announcement will hopefully coincide with the coming of spring as well as the release of book four in the HISTORY’S MYSTERIES, titled President Lincoln’s Balloons. I will document my journey with the SCP expansion in Wednesday blog posts and will continue to offer BOOK NOOK REVIEWS on Mondays and Fridays.

It’s going to be a super busy 2023 and I’m super excited to share my good news with you soon! Until then, Happy Holidays and here’s to a prosperous New Year! Now to go cuddle with my fur babies and get some much needed rest!

**********

Fox is set to cook a nice meal until the main ingredient tries to escape! The chase is on as Fox and his friends scurry, hop, and lumber their way to catching those rumbly, tumbly taters. Friendship and teamwork go hand in hand during THE GREAT POTATO RACE!

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: My Penguin Osbert by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

TITLE: My Penguin Osbert

AUTHOR: Elizabeth Cody Kimmel

ILLUSTRATOR: H. B. Lewis

PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press, 2004

SYNOPSIS:

This year, I was very specific in my letter to Santa Claus.

Each year at Christmas, Joe writes a letter to Santa. But they’ve had a few misunderstandings in the past. Last year, for example, Joe wanted a fire-engine-red racecar with retracting headlights, and he did get one — but it was only three inches long. So this year Joe is really, really careful. He describes exactly what he wants — and on Christmas morning, guess what’s waiting for him under the tree! Santa has brought him a living, breathing, black-and-white penguin named Osbert. Will anything in Joe’s life ever be the same?

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK :  I had to chuckle when I read this picture book. I could so completely relate to the main character’s predicament. Like him, I wished for a special pet to call my own. His was a live penguin. Mine was two cats. The IDEA of Osbert (and my cats) is to provide a companion to follow in our footsteps. What he actually gets is far more humorous than one would imagine. Both Osbert AND my cats rule the roost where we are merely their human servants! A cute addition to any library!

RATING: ****4 Stars****

RATING SYSTEM:

1 star…probably not worth your time.

2 stars…there are some things to like, but some elements could have been stronger.

3 stars…this story will appeal to some readers, but others might find it lacking something.

4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.

5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection



*************************

Fox is set to cook a nice meal until the main ingredient tries to escape! The chase is on as Fox and his friends scurry, hop, and lumber their way to catching those rumbly, tumbly taters. Friendship and teamwork go hand in hand during THE GREAT POTATO RACE! ***Coming soon from Story Catcher Publishing***

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Thanksgiving Edition

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the US. I hope my friends all around the country are enjoying this day with friends and family. If you spend any time reading on this special day, here are a few books you might want to add to your family library to help celebrate this special day! And the turkey fellow above was sketched by yours truly a few years ago as part of a Doodle Day challenge. Let me know in the comments below if you’ve read any of these wonderful books…

A thirteen-year-old boy and his mother move to a farm in rural Virginia where he and his grandfather develop a growing bond while trying to hunt a wild tom turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner.

Max is excited about the big turkey he has picked out for his family’s Thanksgiving dinner. He and his sister help prepare the fixings, and soon his friends and relatives bring their own dishes and merriment. Abby Levine’s humorous, rhyming story gets to the heart of the Thanksgiving celebration. Max and his family were first introduced in This Is the Pumpkin.

A boy and his family endure a difficult nine-week journey across the ocean and survive the first winter at Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts.

The Pilgrims embarked on their legendary Mayflower voyage in 1620 in search of religious freedom and a better life. The settlers were unprepared for the hardships they would face at the end of their journey, but with the help of their neighbor Indians, the Pilgrims survived the first year in their new world. Then, when their fall harvest was plentiful, the Pilgrims and the Indians joined together in a three-day celebration, the first Thanksgiving.

Combining fiction and nonfiction, this dramatic story follows the Robertson family as they prepare for Thanksgiving in the year 1841. As with all Canadian pioneer families, Thanksgiving is a special day for the Robertsons, but this year they have more reasons than usual to give thanks. Each chapter of the story is enhanced by information about the pioneer period and how Thanksgiving was celebrated in the past. Children will learn about the wild harvest, harvest superstitions and how the First Peoples celebrated the harvest. The past comes alive through hands-on activities such as making a corn dolly or learning to play conkers.

What better way to understand the joys and sorrows of the Pilgrims than to read their own words? Nearly four hundred years after they were written, the Pilgrim’s own writings are still the most dramatic account of their adventure in the New World. In Pilgrim Voices, Connie and Peter Roop pair vivid passages from diaries and journals with Shelley Pritchett’s rich paintings to reveal the true flavor of the Pilgrim experience.

************

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: The Great Thanksgiving Escape by Mark Fearing

TITLE: The Great Thanksgiving Escape

AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR: Mark Fearing

PUBLISHER: Candlewick Press, 2014

SYNOPSIS:

It’s another Thanksgiving at Grandma’s. Gavin expects a long, boring day full of pesky toddlers, but his cousin Rhonda has a different idea: make a break for it to the swing set in the backyard! Gavin isn’t so sure, especially when they encounter vicious guard dogs (in homemade sweaters), overly affectionate aunts, and worst of all, the great wall of butts. Can they avoid all the obstacles and find some fun before turkey time?

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK : I read this book to my afterschool students this week. Thanksgiving in the US is less than three weeks away and all this month, I’m focusing on turkey themed holiday books to share. The fabulous illustrations immediately caught everyone’s attention, including mine, and the kids were all laughing as I’m sure some of them have lived through the same holiday get togethers. What made it even better was the fun, engaging storyline author, Mark Fearing, wrote to accompany his artwork. This will surely become an instant hit in many households this Thanksgiving! A great addition to any library!

RATING: ***** 5 Stars *****

RATING SYSTEM:

1 star…probably not worth your time.

2 stars…there are some things to like, but could elements have been stronger.

3 stars…this story will appeal to some readers but others might find it lacking something.

4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.

5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection!



*************************

Jack is afraid of the THING in the closet. Monty is afraid of the LUMP in the bed. One day boy and monster both decide they no longer want to fear what hides in the dark. Both have a plan, but will be surprised by what they discover after A BUMP IN THE NIGHT.

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY: Mermaid Tales A Titanic Friendship by Debbie Dadey

When I started this new blog post series, I did it with the idea of sharing the WHY I created my stories, but then I thought…why not share OTHER authors STORY BEHIND “THEIR” STORY? I put the call out and soon I had tons of authors who wanted to share their backstories with my readers. This week children’s book prolific author and my friend, Debbie Dadey, is sharing the WHY she wrote her book, “Mermaid Tales: A Titanic Friendship”. Take it away, Debbie …

Do Kids Still Like Titanic Books?
By Debbie Dadey

When I was a librarian, kids practically fought over Titanic books in my elementary library. I had to admit I was also fascinated by the legendary ship that was like a floating palace. When the opportunity came to write a Titanic book of my own, I was ecstatic. As with any book, I did the research needed. My merkids were to visit the sunken ship as it is today which is slowly disappearing courtesy of the steel-eating bacteria, H. titanicae. When I presented the idea to my editor my heart sank at her words, “Pick another ship.”

Another ship? But the Titanic was the ship of all ships! How could I choose another one? My editor noted that many people died when the big ship went down. True, but unfortunately people probably died in any shipwreck. So, I did something I had never done before, I did it anyway. I’ve pretty much have always acquiesced to my editor’s big demands, but I didn’t this time. My librarian heart felt that kids would enjoy a Titanic ship above any other ship story. My goal when I began a writing career was to focus on writing stories that would appeal to reluctant readers. Would a Titanic story fit the bill?

As it might be the last Mermaid Tales book, I also wanted to write about a character I’d never been able to have before-a mermaid in a wheelchair. Yes, the librarian in me said that there are all kinds of diversity and kids need to see themselves in books. I’d tried with Twist and Shout. I’d written the whole book with Echo in a wheelchair and ended up having to rewrite it with Echo on crutches. A Titanic Friendship released a few years later than Twist and Shout and perhaps the timing was right. Diversity won and there’s a mermaid named Anita in a ‘wheelchair’ of sorts on the cover. She plays a huge role in the story. Yeah!

Do kids still like Titanic books? A large part of the Mermaid Tales audience is girls. So perhaps the question should be phrased, “Are girls fascinated by Titanic stories?” Let me know what you think. My librarian brain is curious, and my writing heart is hopeful that kids will enjoy A Titanic Friendship.

*****************

Book Blurb:

Echo has always been fascinated by human inventions, so she’s especially interested when her class studies the history of the Titanic and the bacteria discovered there, Halomonas titanicae. When Mrs. Karp announces that the class will be going on an ocean trip to the sunken vessel, Echo is thrilled to have a chance to see it, since the ship is decaying and won’t be around much longer.

The ocean trip isn’t the only big news at school—a new merstudent, Anita, will be joining the class! But Echo and Anita immediately don’t get along. Anita is rude to Echo the first time they meet, and all of Echo’s friends seem to like Anita better than her.

As the trip approaches, the merfriends learn that the Titanic site isn’t wheelchair accessible, meaning Anita won’t be able to join the class. Her friends decide to boycott the trip, but Echo has been looking forward to it for weeks. Is Echo willing to look past her jealousy and give up the trip? Or can she find way for everyone to be included in both the ocean trip and her friend group?

Purchase Info:

A Titanic Friendship is Mermaid Tales #22 from Simon and Schuster/Aladdin

ISBN-13-‏978-1534457355.

********************

About The Author:

I used to be Debbie Gibson when I was a little kid growing up in Kentucky. I got in trouble for talking too much in school.  In fact, I learned Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address by heart because I had to write it so much in fifth grade (punishment for talking). My older brother still lives in Kentucky. If you’re ever in Henderson, KY.  stop by Thomason’s BBQ for the best beans and mutton you’ve ever tasted and say Hi to my brother Frank.

Now I live in Sevierville, TN with my husband Eric and our dog Carmen. I’m very proud of my husband-he’s a smart scientist. He worked in industry, but now he teaches pharmacy. Of course, he’d have to be special to put up with a kooky writer like me!  My kids are awesome too.  My oldest son graduated from Penn State and the University of Colorado and now I call him Dr. Nathan.  Hurrah Nathan!  My daughter attended Penn State, but now she is in graduate school.  My youngest son was the nicest guy I ever knew. He would have given you the shirt off his back if you needed it. Sadly, he died in 2020.

Some people think that the Bailey School Kids series was named after my dog Bailey, but that’s not so. My grandmother’s name was Lilly Bailey and I loved her very much. Marcia suggested using the name Bailey for our books and I liked it. Later, when my family got our new puppy we named her Bailey, too. Bailey was a wonderful dog and it broke my heart when she died.  Her buddy, Skippy, died just about a year later.  I like to think they are playing together in puppy heaven. Many years ago, we had Cleo and Comet. They died within months of each other as well.

I think my Grandmother had a lot to do with me being a writer.  She always kept a diary and I thought that was so cool.

I spend lots of time watching my kids do their activities, like soccer.  My youngest son was also into skateboarding and my daughter was really involved in the plays at her school.  I also like playing the piano, hiking, scrapbooking, fixing up my log cabin, tennis, reading, and writing of course!   

In 2023, Debbie’s newest series will debut with Mini Mermaid Tales for kids in first and second grade.

Website: www.debbiedadey.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/debbiedadey

Twitter: www.twitter.com/debbiedadey


Fall Writing Frenzy Entry: Low Hanging Fruit by Donna L Martin

I have decided to enter the #FallWritingFrenzy contest, run by Kaitlyn Leann Sanchez and Lydia Lukidis. I had to choose one of their picture prompts and write a flash fiction piece totaling no more than 200 words. Here is my entry. Please let me know what you think. Winners will be chosen by next month and some of the prizes include critiques and other goodies! Here it is…

LOW HANGING FRUIT

by Donna L Martin

Maytia threw the stones again. He knew better than to hope the future was so easily changed with a flick of a wrist. The gods had spoken.

The elders culled the chosen people every seven years like low hanging fruit, until only the strongest remained.

Storing the stones in a pouch low on his body, Maytia headed toward the hills where he’d have a better view. His mother’s voice floated on the wind.

“It’s your time.”

“I know, Meenu, but I don’t have to like it.”

“How dare you disrespect the elders! It’s our way, Maytia. The only chance to ensure the chosen people carry on!”

“But Meenu, must someone die so others may live?”

It was useless arguing with her. All she’d ever known was the elders’ words. Now it’s his turn to be pitted against an ancient ritual. He’d felt their energy all evening, like lightning bolts skittering across his skin. Maytia could almost taste the fear on the wind from those hunting him.

They had no idea what he was capable of. Even Maytia didn’t know himself, but he had no time to toss the stones again. They were here.

*****************

About The Author:

Donna L Martin wanted to create her own stories after her older sister taught her to read when she was four years old. One year later, Donna got her first library card from her hometown library. The first book she checked out on her own was a Webster’s Dictionary (children’s edition), which she read from cover to cover! After that, every summer her goal was to read more than one hundred books during her library’s annual summer reading program. By the time she was eleven, Donna entered her essay “Why I Love America” in her library’s annual writing contest and won first place!

After graduating second in her high school class, Donna developed her skills set over the next thirty years through a variety of careers including everything from insurance sales, radio advertising, and banking, to retail management and managing multi-million-dollar credit lines for Whirlpool Corporation’s own construction finance department. In 2002, Donna added yet another career to her resume. She became the Program Director/Center Manager of her school’s martial arts afterschool program where she worked with children every day and shared her stories with them in her free time. She holds the rank of 4 Star 4th Degree Black Belt and Senior Certified Taekwondo Instructor.

During the week, Donna teaches age-appropriate self-defense and life skills like integrity, responsibility, and self-control. At night and on the weekends, she writes picture books, historical fiction chapter books, young adult fantasy, and inspirational essays. Donna is a member of the Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators, Children’s Book Insider, and Alliance of Independent Authors. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach, and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Pick your favorite…

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Help Wanted Must Love Books by Janet Sumner Johnson

TITLE: Help Wanted Must Love Books

AUTHOR: Janet Sumner Johnson

ILLUSTRATOR: Courtney Dawson

PUBLISHER: Capstone Editions, 2020

SYNOPSIS:

Shailey loves bedtime, especially reading with her dad. But her dad starts a new job, and it gets in the way of their bedtime routine. So Shailey takes action! She fires her dad, posts a Help Wanted sign, and starts interviews immediately. She is thrilled when her favorite characters from fairytales line up to apply. But Sleeping Beauty can’t stay awake, the Gingerbread Man steals her book, and Snow White brings along her whole team. Shailey is running out of options. Is bedtime ruined forever?

WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK :  Most children have a bedtime routine. Change into pajamas. Brush teeth. Read a bedtime story. Drift off to sleep. A perfect routine…that is…until someone throws a kink into a familiar routine. Shailey loved the nighttime stories she shared with her father. When a new job prevented him from reading to her anymore, Shailey decides to find a replacement and that is when the fun begins! Shailey is forced to consider which fairy tale character might be the best replacement for her dad. Soon, she discovers she needs to fine tune her requirements until one lucky candidate seems to have all the qualifications one sleepy girl is looking for! A fun addition to any library!

RATING: ****4 Stars ****

RATING SYSTEM:

1 star…probably not worth your time.

2 stars…there are some things to like, but could elements have been stronger.

3 stars…this story will appeal to some readers but others might find it lacking something.

4 stars…strong story, nice illustrations, and should grab the attention of many readers.

5 stars…superbly written story, stellar illustrations, a must addition to any book lovers’ collection!



*************************

Jack is afraid of the THING in the closet. Monty is afraid of the LUMP in the bed. One day boy and monster both decide they no longer want to fear what hides in the dark. Both have a plan, but will be surprised by what they discover after A BUMP IN THE NIGHT.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is donna-photo-2.jpg

Hybrid published author, Donna L Martin, has been writing since she was eight years old. She is a 4th Degree Black Belt in TaeKwonDo by day and a ‘ninja’ writer of flash fiction, children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna offers occasional BOOK NOOK REVIEWS of great children’s books and offers WRITERLY WISDOM to new and established writers. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Children’s Book Insider. Donna loves dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection.

Want to connect?

Email: www.donasdays@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donasdays

Twitter: www.twitter.com/donasdays

LinkedIn: Donna L Martin/Story Catcher Publishing

Goodreads: Donna L Martin

Mail: Donna L Martin

c/o Story Catcher Publishing

P O Box 27788

Knoxville, Tn 37927

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY: Baa Baa Tap Sheep by Kenda Henthorn

When I started this new blog post series, I did it with the idea of sharing the WHY I created my stories, but then I thought…why not share OTHER authors STORY BEHIND “THEIR” STORY? I put the call out and soon I had tons of authors who wanted to share their backstories with my readers. This week children’s book author, Kenda Henthorn, is sharing the WHY she wrote her book, “Baa Baa Tap Sheep”. Take it away, Kenda…

Baa Baa Tap Sheep by Kenda Henthorn

The May 2022 publication of my debut picture book, BAA, BAA, TAP SHEEP (illustrated by the award-winning illustrator, Lauren Gallegos and published by Sleeping Bear Press) has been a life-long dream of mine, literally decades in the making!

I’ve always loved books and dreamed o writing my own stories! As a kid, I saved all my babysitting money, eager to race to the bookstore to buy all my latest obsessions. In middle school, my best friend and I began writing our own sill stories and in high school, I took my first Creative Writing class. Inspired and guided, the teacher had us each submit our more polished, original works and when my very first poems and articles were published, I was HOOKED!

But soon after that came graduation, then collage, marriage, careers, a couple of interstate moves, and kids. You get it. I set my writing aside for many years. Yet something stirred in me every time I read books to my young sons. I wanted to write sweet, fun and funny stories, too! But where was the time? How could I ever learn to write well? And really, whoever gets to be an author?!

I’d worked in Higher Education for d3cad3s but when my sons were young, I retired from that career and moved instead into public education, taking a job as a Middle School Librarian Assistant. It didn’t pay much but the hours were exactly what I needed and the joy and benefits of being around all those books? Yes, please!

Then in 1997, I attended my very first Librarian conference called “Encyclomedia” and there, I found all the answers to my questions. Every speaker there exalted the benefits of becoming a member of the Society of Children’s Book writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). So I joined!

Tami Sauer’s picture book, Cowboy Camp, caught my attention and kept it )it’s incredibly fun and clever)! So I aspired to also always capture fun and clever elements in my writing, too!

And I met Anna Myers, author of the MG novel, The Keeping Room, at Enclyclomedia that year, too. During her presentation, Anna said she hadn’t started writing until she was in her 40’s! Closing in on my 40’s then, too, Anna had, with that one statement, dispelled all my fears that it was too late for me. Instead, I felt a fire to get my writing career started…immediately! How inspirational and empowering to know I hadn’t missed out on being able to become an author ” at my age, and I told Anna that, as she signed my copy of her book. Inside, I watched as she wrote “One day you will sign a book for me!“, and now, after almost a quarter of a century, I finally can!

With my debut book, BAA, BAA, TAP SHEEP hokey-pokey prancing its way out into the world now, I can assure you that every step in this loooong path toward publication, planned and unplanned, is incredibly valuable! Every step helped me ensure a strong foundation on which to build a creative career!

As Anna Myers encouraged me, I hope “One day you will sign a book for me”, too!

*********************

Kenda is originally from Pennsylvania and grew up behind the scenes on her parents’ western movie sets. Those dramas fueled her dreams since she was a kid on a pony.

She works in the aviation industry now, so it’s no surprise that her writing inspirations and aspirations are sky-high, too! Kenda resides in Oklahoma and when the winds aren’t sweeping down the plains, she enjoys flying, kayaking, and riding horses or her motorcycle. (Vroom-vroom!)

She has served as a Regional Coordinator for the Oklahoma SCBWI and a Best in Rhyme Award committee member and judge.

Book Blurb:

As a trio of tired tos settles into bed for the night, the sheep who should be helping them settle down to slumber kick up their hooves instead in an energetic dance performance. Starting with one little lamb and counting up to 10, these “sleep” sheep tap, waltz, tango, and even boogie as they get their nighttime groove on. But finally, after their energy is danced out, nap sheep lull everyone to sleep.

Amazon purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/Baa-Tap-Sheep-Kenda-Henthorn/dp/1534111565/ref=sr_1_1?crid=9B411E0LI8TO&keywords=baa+baa+tap+sheep&qid=1659310459&sprefix=baa+baa+tap+sheep%2Caps%2C124&sr=8-1

Twitter: www.twitter.com/kendahenthorn

Website: https://www.kendahenthorn.net/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kenda.henthorn