BOOK NOOK REVIEW: Kevin Henkes

waiting

 

Title: Waiting
Author/Illustrator: Kevin Henkes
Publisher: Green Willow Books
Ages: 4-8

 

Synopsis:

 

Look at the owl
and the pig
and the bear
and the puppy
and the rabbit
What do you think they’re waiting for?
A visitor?
A surprise?

 

Why you should read it:

 

I’m drawn to picture books with simply drawn illustrations showcasing a deeply thought out story line. This masterfully written story by author/illustrator Kevin Henkes reminds me of THE GIVING TREE by Shel Silverstein; one of my favorite picture books of all time.

I can’t help but be drawn to the facial expressions of everyone waiting on the window sill for different things. I was even touched by the artwork when I read, “Once a visitor arrived from far away. He stayed for awhile, then he left and never returned.”

This beautiful book helps teach patience to those of us destined to have to wait. And for young and old alike, THIS lovely book was definitely worth the wait!

 
Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!

 
**Rating scale**

 
5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take it or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

 

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donna - Copy

 

Best selling, award-winning 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 children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, will be available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers on October 14th, 2019.

WRITERLY WISDOM: Donna L Martin

 

village.jpg

 

 

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

by Donna L Martin

 

It’s incredible the number of things that need to be done before a book’s release. And I’m not even talking about the editing, revising, proofreading, illustrations, formatting, creating ebook files, or any of the other things I’m doing while I wear my publisher’s hat as Story Catcher Publishing so Book One, Ship of Dreams, from HISTORY’S MYSTERIES, a new historical fiction chapter book series for 9-11 year olds, can be released on October 14th of this year.

I’m thinking about how I as an author have to be prepared on my end for release day. This week I’m focusing on future book reviews of my manuscript. The Kidlit community is a wonderfully supportive group of incredible writers who are always willing to help spread the word about the next great children’s book. Reviews are a GREAT way for readers to show authors they value all the hard work we put into our stories. It even helps online sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, etc. to validate the hundreds of thousands of books being uploaded to these and other online retailers every year.

 


HM-SHIP-OF-DREAMS (cover)

 

If you are curious about my new children’s series, be sure and send me your email address! Starting on Monday, September 16th, I will be emailing a FREE PDF copy of Book One, Ship of Dreams, to anyone who would like to send me a request to donasdays (at) gmail (dot) com. Be sure to put Ship of Dreams PDF request in the subject line. It will be the same format readers will find in the ebook version. All I ask is that as a book reviewer, you read the entire book (80 pages) and then leave an HONEST REVIEW on Amazon for me. I will include the direct links to leave a review on Ship of Dreams in the email

 

Titanic front    s                        Titanic back

 

And for everyone who requests a PDF for review, your name will go into a drawing for a chance to win one of these commemorative Titanic coins for your very own! I will be giving away FIVE of these throughout the month of October to help celebrate the birth of my new children’s books series. I hope you will join me in the celebrations. There will be more surprise announcements and giveaways as we get closer to the October 14th release date!

I know some will like my book while others might not find it to be their cup of tea. But that’s okay! I value ALL reviews…positive and constructive…because I see validation of my work in the positive and challenges to improving the commercial appeal of my stories in the constructive. Always a lesson to be learned on that path to publication.

And I’ve even worked on a special classroom section from Amelia Earmouse for anyone who decides to purchase either the paperback or hardback versions! As a gift to all my readers, I will be loading some of those extra pages on my website (www.StoryCatcherPublishing.com) under an Amelia’s Kid’s Korner tab in the very near future. These handouts would be a great addition to any classroom discussion!

I’ve also listed some blogs and websites below who offer all types of book reviews. Some support the smaller presses, some are on a much larger scale but ALL have one thing in common…a deep, sincere love of books!

School Library Journal…http://www.slj.com/about-us/review-submissions
Publisher’s Weekly… http://publishersweekly.com/pw/corp/submissionguidelines.html
The Children’s Book Review… http://www.thechildrensbookreview.com/media-kit/submission-guidlines
Bergers Book Reviews…http://bergersbookreviews.com
American Library Association… http://www.ala.org/offices/booklist/insidebooklist/booklistproc/proceduressubmitting
Kid Lit Reviews…http://kid-lit-reviews.com/policies-ratings-reviews/review-policies/
Kirkus Services…https://www.kirkusreviews.com/author-services/indie/
Midwest Book Review… http://www.midwestbookreview.com/get_rev.htm
YA & Kids Books Central… http://www.yabookscentral.com/info/10892-write-a-review
The Horn Book…http://www.hbook.com/about-us/submissions/
Book Page…http://bookpage.com/content/submission-guidelines
Booklist Online…http://www.booklistonline.com/get-reviewed
Association for Library Service to Children… http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/notalists/ncb/ncbsubmissions
Library Journal… http://reviews.libraryjournal.com/about/submitting-titles-for-review/
The New York Times… http://www.nytimes.com/content/help/site/books/books.html
Through The Looking Glass… http://lookingglassreview.com/books/
Kids Reads…http://www.bookreporter.com/book-submission-inquiry
Readers Favorite…https://readersfavorite.com/

What about you?

Do YOU have a children’s book blog? If so, I’d love to chat with you about possibly reviewing my book! Do you know of a book review blogs or websites to add to my list? If you do, please share in the comments below…

 

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HM-SHIP-OF-DREAMS (cover)

 

Amelia Earmouse travels back through time to uncover little known secrets. You may THINK you know your history, but wait until you see what Amelia uncovers in this latest volume of HISTORY’S MYSTERIES!

In Book One, Ship of Dreams, ten-year-old Margaret can hardly wait to see the largest ship ever built visit Southampton! Life is already hard for her family in the spring of 1912, but the coal workers’ strike could turn a bad situation into a deadly one. Margaret hopes to see the great Titanic leave on its maiden voyage, but will the strike prevent it from happening?

 

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donna - Copy

 

Best selling, award-winning 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 children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, will be available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers on October 14th, 2019.

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Peter Carnavas

 

jessica

 

Title: Jessica’s Box
Author/Illustrator: Peter Carnavas
Publisher: Kane Miller
Ages: 4-8

 

Synopsis:

 

The first day of school can be scary. New teachers. New routines. Jessica wonders if she will meet any new friends and brings a mysterious box to school just to make sure she does. Everyone begins to wonder just what’s inside?

 

Why you should read it:

 

This delightful picture book comes from down under, but every child around the world can deal with the same first-day jitters.

I like how Jessica is encouraged by her family to solve her problem on her own. Author/Illustrator Peter Carnavas’ wonderful drawings take the reader on a journey through Jessica’s school adventure as she tries and tries to make some new friends. It’s only when she believes she’s destined to be alone that a special friendship comes along.

The fact Jessica has a disability will help children realize everyone needs a friend, no matter their situation. This author hides a valuable lesson inside an adorable story. A great addition to any home library.
Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!
**Rating scale**
5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take it or leave it.
2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

 

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

 

donna - Copy

 

Best selling, award-winning 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 children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, will be available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers on October 14th, 2019.

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Elise Parsley

alligator.jpg

 

Title: If You Ever Want To Bring An Alligator To School, DON’T!
Author/Illustrator: Elise Parsley
Publisher: Hachette Book Group Inc
Ages: 4-8

 

Synopsis:

 

An alligator for show-and-tell sounds like tons of fun. What could possibly go wrong?

Magnolia is a one-of-a-kind girl who wants to share something at show-and-tell that really stands out from the crowd. But what if her teacher is right? What if alligators really are nothing but trouble?

 

Why you should read it:

 
What a fun concept and such beautiful digital artwork! Every child (and their parents) can relate to the age old question of what to bring to show-and-tell. But how many people can say they brought a chomping, romping, stomping alligator to school?

Author/Illustrator Elise Parsley infuses humor and originality into a potentially hum drum topic and the result is a whimsical adventure into the world of young elementary children during what should have been a typical school day. While I was quite entertained by the storyline and liked how Magnolia solved her ‘gator problem, it was the illustrations that I kept returning to.

Stunning colors and vivid detail kept calling me back and once I read the story, I returned for a much longer study of this illustrator’s ability to draw me into Magnolia’s world with her engaging drawings. Definitely a winner in my book and a great addition to any home library!
Like-o-meter Rating scale**: 5 out of 5…grab it!
**Rating scale**
5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take it or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Lauren Tarshis

 

survive.jpg

 

Title: I Survived The Nazi Invasion, 1944
Author: Lauren Tarshis
Publisher: Scholastic
Ages: 7-11

Synopsis:

 

In a Polish ghetto, Max Rosen and his sister, Zena, struggle to live after their father is taken away by the Nazis. With barely enough food to survive, the siblings make a daring escape from Nazi soldiers into the nearby forest.

Max and Zena are brought to a safe camp by Jewish resistance fighters. But soon, bombs are falling all around them. Can Max and Zena survive the fallout of the Nazi invasion?

 

Why I think you should read it:

 

I’m currently doing research for book three of my early reader historical fiction series so of course my latest to-read titles are going to be along those same lines.

I like the “I Survived” series. These gripping stories are well written and include an imaginary cast of characters who seem so real that I’m speeding through pages just to see if they do indeed survive!

Max is a protective big brother who can’t understand all the senseless hate coming from people he once thought were his friends. He begins to lose hope things will ever get better while trying his best to protect his younger sister from the realities of a country torn apart by war.

With both parents gone, Zena has only Max to look after her. Life in a Nazi ghetto can easily destroy hope in a person but brave Zena still manages to see hope in every day things like a robin flying by.

Readers interested in learning more about natural and historical events will enjoy the I Survived series!

 

Like-o-meter Rating scale **: 5 out of 5…grab it!

 

5 out of 5…grab it!

4 out of 5…think about it.

3 out of 5…take it or leave it.

2 out of 5…maybe not for you.

1 out of 5…forget about it!

WRITERLY WISDOM: Donna L Martin

HOW KROGER HELPED MY MARKETING PLAN

by Donna L Martin

 

I woke up this morning wondering what I would write about today and for some reason my grocery shopping trip this past weekend popped into my head. I don’t know if you have a Kroger where you live, but it is one of the largest grocery store chains in my town. Over the years I’ve shopped at different stores depending on my mood and what sales were running. I’m not one of your “brand” shoppers. Or at least I didn’t think I was until it dawned on me this morning how subtle Kroger’s marketing plan has been to win me over and yet so “in my face”.

 

1. OFFER SOMETHING CONSISTENT

 

Kroger sends me an email every week tempting me with their latest specials. They aren’t shoving their wares down my throat but every week I know I can depend on that little email saying “hey, come take a look at what’s happening over in my corner of the world”. A writer serious about expanding their fan base can learn from that. If you have a blog then have a regular posting schedule and stick to it. It doesn’t matter what goes into that post as long as you are consistent about it. If your blog is a writer’s blog then don’t start writing about how you are crocheting your dear aunt a sweater for Christmas…unless of course you can tie that back to writing somehow. My blog has always been aimed at writing/seeing the positive side of things so I always make sure whatever I write falls under one of those two categories. I’ve written many blogs and if you look at any one of them you will find that is the driving theme in all of them.

 

2. OFFER SOMETHING TEMPTING

 

Every week Kroger offers a Free Friday coupon. They send me an email on Wednesday to tweak my interest about visiting their website on Friday to discover what the free coupon might be. The item doesn’t usually cost much…this week is was Marie Calendar’s Breakfast Pot Pie. Some weeks I’m not interested in picking up their free coupon but EVERY week I make sure I visit Kroger’s website because I don’t want to miss out on the possibility of treating myself to something free. Kroger doesn’t bang on my door and yell at me to buy their stuff. They simply send a friendly reminder saying, “we want to show our appreciation for your loyalty by offering you a gift as a way of saying thanks”. I don’t HAVE to take them up on their offer but in this day and age of rising costs and diminished customer service, even one small gesture like Kroger’s Free Friday coupon subtly reminds me why I like shopping there in the first place. I’m going to continue tweaking the look of this blog in the next few months and will be adding some free things as MY way of showing my appreciation for all the wonderful visitors who take a moment out of their busy days to stop by. Yes, it’s smart marketing but it also ties into the caring and sharing person I am so I’m excited about being able to do this for my readers.

 

3. OFFER A “BRAND” TO IDENTIFY WITH

 

There are many other grocery stores in my city…just now I thought of about six other companies offering basically the same thing…but when I need a loaf of bread I immediately think Kroger. For me, they have managed to capture my attention in such a way that their BRAND is seared forever into my brain when it comes to grocery shopping. I will still look at the other store’s ads but unless there is a HUGE difference in pricing, Kroger will see my smiling face every Saturday morning for many years to come.

I’ve been working on creating my own “brand” and the title of my books makes it somewhat easier. To me, Story Catcher Publishing is who I am…a writer trying to catch the right words to tell an engaging story. My new business cards show an open book…hopefully inviting future readers to stop by and take a peak.  My Facebook fan page is titled Story Catcher Publishing. I even have magnets on my car doors announcing I’m associated with Story Catcher Publishing and directing them back to this website. I’ve had those magnets on my car for about a year now and I’m many double takes and passing looks. People are pausing to read my sign and last week a server at the Burger King drive thru stopped and asked me about my sign. She told me her granddaughter loves to read and I told her about my book. Maybe she will pick up a copy of my latest book, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, coming out October 14. 2019 and maybe she won’t, but I know if she sees my “brand” enough, she might decide it’s a brand worth being loyal to in the future…**

 

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LUNADAR: Homeward Bound

Ruler by day, a reluctant pirate by night, 18-year-old Princess Ariana fights for her subjects in the waterfall city of LUNADAR. In a kingdom surrounded by fairies and mermaids, and ravaged by deadly Drundles, only a chosen few are trusted to guard her daughter, Candra, as the secret heir to the throne. But it only takes one ill-fated meeting for Ariana to suddenly be plunged into an escalating web of secrets found in her father’s journal, a deadly kidnapping, and an ever-weakening resolve to turn her back on the call of the merman’s song. With Ariana’s world falling apart and the future of LUNADAR at stake, how will she bring her father’s murderer to justice and fulfill a deathbed promise to protect Lunadar’s legacy?

$16.99

 

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donna - Copy

 

Best selling, award-winning 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 children’s picture books, chapter books, young adult novels and inspirational essays by night. Donna is a BOOK NOOK REVIEWS host providing the latest book reviews on all genres of children’s books, and the host of WRITERLY WISDOM, a resource series for writers. Donna is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Children’s Book Insider. She is a lover of dark chocolate, going to the beach and adding to her growing book collection. Donna’s latest book, HISTORY’S MYSTERIES: Ship of Dreams, will be available in eBook and print form from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books A Million, and other online retailers on October 1th, 2019.

BOOK NOOK REVIEWS: Rinda Beach

 

neil.png

 

Title: Neil Armstrong’s Wind Tunnel Dream
Author: Rinda Beach
Illustrator: Cole Roberts
Publisher: Beach Girl Press
Ages: 8-12

Synopsis:

 

Most people know that Neil Alden Armstrong was the first man to set foot on the moon, but very few know how it all started . . . with a dream to build his own wind tunnel.

Read how Neil’s love of planes took him from the Cleveland air races at age two to the Wright Brothers’ wind tunnel at age sixteen. Discover how Neil made his wind tunnel dream come true.

 

Why you should read it:

 

I remember Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon. I remember the awe I felt watching him march into history with each step he took on the moon’s surface. But what I didn’t know is what drove this man to venture into the unknown.

Until now.

Rinda Beach’s debut chapter book, Neil Armstrong’s Wind Tunnel Dream, gives her readers a chance to go back in time following the Wright Brothers history making flight, and one young boy’s dream to replicate their wind tunnel experiment.

Engaging and entertaining, Rinda’s story takes us on a journey from two year old Neil’s first glimpse of a flying machine, all the way to a high school senior’s quest to build his own wind tunnel, and all the challenges in between to make that dream happen.

A nice addition to any home or school library.

Like-O-Meter Rating:  4 out of 5…think about it!

**Rating scale**
5 out of 5…grab it! 
4 out of 5…think about it. 
3 out of 5…take or leave it.
2 out of 5…maybe not for you.
1 out of 5…forget about it!