BLOG

REVIEW OF THE DAY MY FART FOLLOWED ME TO THE DENTIST

This adorable and comical book is written by the husband-wife team of Ben Jackson and Sam Lawrence, and illustrated by Danko Herrera.  If Ben Jackson’s name sounds familiar, it could be because I featured him on this blog back in March, which you can see here:  http://eugeniachu.com/2018/03/15/meet-author-ben-jackson/.

OK, who doesn’t think farts are hilarious!  I am a grown woman and I still think they’re funny (that is, when I’m not gross out by them) – but maybe that’s because I have an 8 year old son who thinks all things fart-related are awesome!  He can even fart on command (unfortunately) and does different poses while farting. He’s named these fart poses and is quite proud of them.  I just shake my head and laugh at him (when I’m not pinching my nose and holding my breath). Oh well, he’s having fun.  So, of course I was immediately intrigued by this book – now onto my review!

The Day My Fart Followed Me to the Dentist is the fifth book in the My Little Fart series and is as cute and funny as the title!  Little Fart is fart personified and is Timmy’s best friend.  They go everywhere together and talk about everything, just like real best friends!  One day, Timmy’s tooth starts to hurt and he needs to go to the dentist to get it pulled. Timmy consoles Little Fart and tells him not to worry.  Once the dentist removed Timmy’s tooth, Timmy immediately felt better!  As a bonus, Timmy got to keep the tooth to give to the Tooth Fairy!  Timmy and Little Fart imagine what the wonderful and beautiful Tooth Fairy is like and Timmy explains to Little Fart that he thinks the Tooth Fairy uses all the teeth to build Tooth Fairy Land, which sounds amazing!  I want to go visit Tooth Fairy Land!

I highly recommend this book for several reasons.  As stated above, farts are funny.  Everyone farts and everyone has to deal with other people’s farts sometimes.  One of the funniest parts (I think) of the story is where Timmy is speaking with his mom and she asks, “Hmm, can you smell that?” and Timmy responds, “Nope.  Must be you!” This cracked me up!  Reminds me of my son who likes to say, “You smelt it, you dealt it!”  Hahaha! I’m sure many of you can relate.

Another reason this book is so wonderful is because it shows that dentists are nice, helpful and really, not scary!  Most kids (and lots of adults, too) are afraid to go to the dentist.  This story shows that you needn’t be afraid and supports the underlying message that it is important to take care of your teeth.

Even more important is that this book demonstrates the power of imagination.  As I stated in one of my previous reviews, imagination is where creativity and ingenuity begin for child development and is connected to their intellectual development.  By creating Little Fart, Timmy uses his imagination and is able to entertain himself and comfort himself. He also learns a lot by explaining things to Little Fart, thus reinforcing and understanding new ideas and concepts himself.

Finally, I would be remiss in not mentioning how beautiful and colorful the illustrations are.  Every page captures the reader’s attention.

You can find this book on Amazon at:  https://www.amazon.com/Day-Fart-Followed-Dentist-Little/dp/198865615X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1528382742&sr=8-1-spell

REVIEW OF SPILT MILK

Spilt Milk, written by Douglas Schwartz and illustrated by Jordan Beckvonpeccoz, is just too adorable and shows what big, wonderful imaginations kids (and this author) have!  In this story, after being told to be careful with the milk by her parents and warned by her brother, Monkey Pants accidently spills her milk and goes on an amazing imaginary adventure.  Along the way she encounters all sort of characters and problems.  Will she be taken away to the circus?  Will she be punished by cows?  How does she stop the milk from flowing and flooding the town?  You’ll have to read this whimsical story to find out!

Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”  This is especially true for children.  Imagination is where creativity and ingenuity begin for child development and is connected to their intellectual development.  Douglas does a superb job of illustrating the powerful imagination of a child and creating a fun experience for children who are reading, or are read, this book.  Through this story, Douglas encourages children, and shows them how, to use their imaginations to create adventures out of everyday experiences.

Both young children and their parents/teachers/caregivers will enjoy this book.  The story is cute, the illustrations are colorful and fun, and the names of the characters made me laugh – Monkey Pants, Smarty Pants (her dad), Fancy Pants (her mom) and finally, her brother, Anson Pants (get it – ants in pants – ha ha!)!  I also appreciated this story because Monkey Pants cleaned everything up at the end!

You can find this book on Amazon at:  https://www.amazon.com/Spilt-Milk-Doug-Schwartz/dp/098605545X/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1526586732&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=spilt+milk+Douglas+schwatz

 

Review of The Fantastic Adventures of Oliver Phenomena: Oliver and the Little Bigfoot

I am honored and thrilled to be the first to review Any Klein’s newest book, The Fantastic Adventures of Oliver Phenomena: Oliver and the Little Bigfoot! This is the third book in the Oliver Phenomena series, and if this series sounds familiar to you, it could be because the second book in this series, Oliver and the Little Ghost, was the very first review I wrote for this blog back in October 2017.  Check it out here:  http://eugeniachu.com/2017/10/27/review-of-the-fantastic-adventures-of-oliver-phenomena-oliver-and-the-little-ghost/. I also introduced you to Andy shortly thereafter, which you can see here, if you are interested in learning more about him:  http://eugeniachu.com/2017/10/27/meet-author-andy-klein/.

Now, back to my review of Oliver and the Little Bigfoot:

Young Oliver, a boy who has a special ability to see and interact with the paranormal or supernatural, is back in this charming story where he goes camping with his dad and meets a young Bigfoot, named Squatch. Oliver loves camping with his dad and everything is made more fun with Squatch by his side helping him at every step. Oliver’s dad never sees Squatch and is puzzled that Oliver is able to gather so much wood so quickly and catch so many fish all by himself, but never questions Oliver.  Squatch watches over Oliver and his dad and even saves them from falling down a waterfall!

I enjoyed this book for the same reasons I adored Book 2 – Oliver and the Little Ghost.  Not only is it a wonderful story that is easy to read and understand for kids of all ages, but it has an underlying message addressing friendship and diversity.  Like in Book 2, this story shows children (and adults too!) that you can become friends with anyone who is kind and caring, no matter how they look or where they are from.  The fact that Squatch was not the same as Oliver, made no difference in his decision to become friends with him. I am (as I am sure most parents are) always telling my son that it doesn’t matter how a person looks on the outside, it’s whether they are a good person that matters.  This story delivers this message without being outright and preachy.

In addition, the illustrations in this book, by Ronaldo Florendo, are beautiful and colorful and help the reader visualize the events in the story. Children and their parents/caregivers/teachers will enjoy reading this book together.

Please note that since I am not sure I received the final version of this book, I am not commenting on possible typos like punctuation and capitalization, etc.  My review is just on the story, which is super cute!

If you are interested in this book, there is a direct link to Amazon in the menu column on the left towards the bottom.  Please note that I am an Amazon affiliate which means if you buy anything through my site, I get a very small kickback at no cost to you.

 

REVIEW OF THE GREAT VEGGIE MONSTER MYSTERY

The Great Veggie Monster Mystery, written by Joan Bender and illustrated by Carol Coogan, is an adorable story about a brother and sister who do not like to eat vegetables.  I’ll bet you are already thinking, “Yep – sounds like my kids!”  I know my son doesn’t like them (and to be honest, I wasn’t a huge veggie fan as a kid either!).  I’ll share a couple of my tricks with you at the end of the review – maybe they will work for you, too!  But, I digress – back to my review!

As I stated earlier, the brother, named Sprout, and little sister, called Ginger, do not like vegetables. Their parents try to convince them to eat their vegetables by saying things we all say, such as “[e]at your vegetables so you grow big and strong.”  But, of course, it doesn’t work.  One evening, Sprout and Ginger are not allowed to leave the table until they finish their vegetables, so they sit there until bedtime when their mom tells them to go to bed and to eat the veggies at breakfast.  But, when Sprout and Ginger wake up the next morning, the veggies are gone!  They think maybe the Veggie Monster ate them, so they set out a trap to catch the Veggie Monster.  For several nights they set out new traps using a different vegetable as bait.  Obviously, they had to try the veggies first to make sure they were fresh.  Sprout and Ginger tasted all kinds of veggies while making the traps and discovered that they actually liked veggies!  Finally, at the end of the story, Sprout and Ginger try a new technique and ultimately catch the Veggie Monster!  Or do they?!?!  You’ll have to read the story yourself to find out!

What a clever way to get your kids to try new vegetables!  And, it shows them that they should try new foods, because they may like them!  You never know until you try!  I wish this book was around when my son was younger.  Although I probably would have wanted to read it by myself first, try the Veggie Monster trick and then read the story with my son after we caught our own Veggie Monster!  Hahaha! Kids will be able to relate to this story and will enjoy all the colorful illustrations which follow the story and bring it to life.  As an added bonus, there are smoothie and milkshake recipes at the end of the book, along with a list of tips and advice to encourage healthy veggie eating!

If you are interested in this book, there is a direct link to Amazon in the menu column on the left (scroll to the bottom).  Please note that I am an Amazon affiliate which means if you buy anything through my site, I get a very small kickback at no cost to you.

Now for a few of my veggie “tricks”:

  • I freeze peas and give them to my son as a snack before dinner.  It changes the texture but the peas retain all the nutrients and are transformed into a frozen treat (ok, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s good – try it!)
  • When I make spaghetti or any long pasta, I sneak in zucchini or squash “spaghetti”. I boil until it’s soft, mix it in with the pasta, and most of the time my son can’t even tell it’s in there. Boiling for too long will wash away some of the nutrients, but hey, it’s better than nothing!
  • When I make pasta sauce, I always throw in some chopped spinach. You can see the green in the sauce but you can’t really taste it.

If you have any tips, I’m sure we would all love to hear them!  Please share by posting a comment.  Here’s to healthier eating for all of us!  Good luck!

MEET AUTHOR, MARY FELICIANI!

Author, Mary Feliciani, is a Canadian author, independent publisher and a former elementary school teacher. She attended UTM where she studied psychology and still lives in Mississauga, Ontario. Mary’s background in psychology, work with children and passionate interest in the human condition, which stems back as far as she can remember, are all evident in her writing.

Mary is here to introduce herself and to share her commitment to writing about the issue of bullying in the school envirnoment. She is also announcing her latest children’s eBook, The Invisible Boy. It is the second installment, in the Bullying trilogy, about a boy who feels invisible at school. The first installment, Big and Small in the Mirror, reflects the effects of bullying on self-esteem.

How her interest in writing stories about bullying evolved – in her own words:

The motivation for the Bullying trilogy actually started with the first book that I authored, The Magic Leaf. The Magic Leaf was published in 2006; in this book, the characters learn the value of friendship. It was my idea, at the time, that I would go on to write books about issues that children faced in their everyday environment. What those issues were going to be was still a mystery to me, but the seed had been planted.

In time, I became increasingly aware that the issue of bullying was very challenging to both parents and teachers and that this would be the issue to tackle. Big and Small in the Mirror was published in 2015, followed by The Invisible Boy near the end of 2017.

When people discover that I am interested in writing about the topic of bullying, I am often asked what the big deal is about bullying these days. This comment is usually followed by statements such as this: “It has always existed. There is nothing new about it.”

What is new about it is that bullying no longer is seen as a rite of passage into adulthood, or as a normal part of school life, as some might have viewed it in earlier generations.

Today, there is a body of research to help us understand the nature of bullying. And as more and more mental health practitioners study the phenomenon, we are learning its long-term effects. Consequently, educators and parents are faced with addressing the problem.

My stories utilize common school scenarios to help create empathy for victims. The totality of the storytelling and discussion questions bring forth certain truths. It is not the victim’s fault. There is nothing wrong with the victim. There is something going on with the bully. Victims need to tell a parent and teacher.

I provide discussion questions at the end of the books to help parents and teachers facilitate a discussion about bullying, and to put the story in perspective.

I would love to hear your opinion or stories.

To learn more about Mary and her books, or to follow her:

amazon.com/author/maryfeliciani

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14210392.Mary_Feliciani

mfpublishing.com

PLEASE NOTE:  Mary’s latest eBook, The Invisible Boy, will be on sale for $0.99 from March 26 – March 30 inclusively.  Check it out at amazon.com/author/maryfeliciani.

REVIEW OF THE TRICK TO BEING FEARLESS

The Trick to Being Fearless, By Sally Huss, is an adorable and empowering book for young children who are afraid of things, like being alone.  The main character, Josiah, was afraid of everything!  Then one day, he watched a program where a doctor explained that you could quelch fear by swallowing good thoughts.  Josiah, who desperately wanted to be brave, courageous and capable of doing things on his own, took this to heart.  The next morning at breakfast, he quietly said to his toast, “I am brave when I go into dark closets” –  and it worked!  He was able to go into a dark closet by himself – something he could never do before!  Josiah did this several times with different thoughts as he ate or drank, and with every swallow of a good thought, he could feel the courage each thought had given him!  Josiah, all on his own, accomplished his goal of being brave, courageous, capable and, best of all, being proud of himself!

This is a wonderful self-help book for young children – in fact, I dare say it is the BEST one I have ever seen for little ones!  I love how it illustrates  and reinforces the power of positive thought and empowers children by showing them how they can help themselves and take control of their own thoughts and actions.  What a creative way to help children deal with their fears!  It may not work for all children, but it can’t hurt to try and will likely help so many!   I wish this book was around when my son was just starting school!

Finally, I would be remiss in not mentioning the colorful cartoon-like illustrations which beautifully show each step Josiah takes to conquer his fears.  Children (and parents/caregivers, too) will enjoy this fun book and will be cheering for little Josiah – I know I was!

If you’re interested, or would like to see more about this book, here is the Amazon link:  https://www.amazon.com/Trick-Being-Fearless-Sally-Huss/dp/1945742313/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1521564456&sr=8-1&keywords=the+trick+to+being+fearless

MEET AUTHOR, BEN JACKSON!

Author, Ben Jackson, lives in Tasmania, Australia (how cool is that?!?!).  In addition to being an author and freelance writer, he also works during the week as a Boiler Maker/Welder, specializing in Aluminum Welding.  Ben is in a long-distance relationship with his wife, Sam, who lives in Canada and works as a full-time formatting professional, publisher, and author.

Ben has written numerous books and articles (for children and adults) – there is definitely something there for everyone!  My favorite is The Day My Fart Followed Me To . . .  series about a boy, named Timmy, and his best friend, Little Fart!  I am looking forward to sharing this with my son, who thinks farts (and other gross bodily functions) are the funniest thing ever!  Ben has numerous books in progress so stay tuned for information on those by connecting with him or following him:

http://www.indiepublishinggroup.com/ Indie Publishing Group

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15144197.Ben_Jackson Goodreads Page

https://www.amazon.com/Ben-Jackson/e/B00S4A4W5C/ Amazon Author Page

http://bennsam.tumblr.com/ Tumbler

https://au.pinterest.com/benandsamauthor/ Pinterest

https://www.facebook.com/BenandSamAuthors/ Facebook Ben & Sam

https://www.facebook.com/MyLittleFart/ Facebook My Little Fart

https://twitter.com/AuthorsBen_Sam Twitter

 

REVIEW OF LITTLE PENCIL FINDS HIS FOREVER FRIENDS

Little Pencil Finds His Forever Friends – A Rhyming Pencil Grip Picture Book, written by Christine Calabrese and illustrated by Maria Victoria Flores, is an adorable and educational book perfect for preschoolers who are learning how to properly hold a pencil.  The story is about Little Pencil who enviously watches all the other toys and tools in the classroom/playroom having fun and wishes that he had something to do, too!  Finally, he meets some fingers who become his Forever Friends, and now he gets to write all day!  I love the underlying lesson of being productive and working hard and the joy that doing both bring!

Little ones will adore this book which is full of colorful and fun illustrations on every page.  The rhyming is smooth and easy to read and follow.  They will be cheering for Little Pencil when he finally finds his Forever Friends and has something to do!  And, I’ll bet they will want to try to use their own pencils after reading this story!

As an added bonus, this book (which is wonderful on its own) includes an amazing FREE Teaching/Activity Guide with 5 days of aligned lessons and links to important resources!  It includes not only pencil grip lessons, but also discusses vocabulary, grammar, and rhyming, among other important lessons – and it includes crafts, activities, songs and so many other things – you just have to see for yourselves: http://christinecalabrese.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/A-Resource-Guide-for-Little-Pencil.A.pdf.

Finally, to get an even better feel for this book, check out this fun video introducing the book: Fun Intro Video .  I highly recommend this book for all preschoolers just learning, or are about to learn, how to properly grip a pencil!

If you are interested in this book, there is a direct link to Amazon in the menu column on the left (scroll to the bottom).  Please note that I am an Amazon affiliate which means if you buy anything through my site, I get a very small kickback at no cost to you.

REVIEW OF REMI THE PINK ROBIN

Remi The Pink Robin, written by Kristin Wiman, is an adorable book with beautiful watercolor drawings.  The story is about a little bird, named, Remi, who is trying to figure out what he is.  He tries to join other groups of birds, but does not fit in and is even bullied by some crows!  Poor Remi was so confused and upset until a kind lady brought him home with her, took care of him and changed his life.  With the help of his new friend, Remi discovers what he is and where he needs to go!

This book was written for children aged 3-5 years old.  It’s a cute story to read to little ones who will love the all the beautiful illustrations!  Also, because this story addresses different emotions, it’s a good way to segue into a conversation about feelings and how one’s behavior and actions affect others.  Books like this are a good way to start teaching empathy to our tiniest readers.  The punctuation is not perfect and there are a few grammatical errors on the back cover, but these do not take away from the story or the lessons that are being conveyed.  Children will fall in love with little Remi!

If you are interested in this book, there is a direct link to Amazon in the menu column on the left.  Please note that I am an Amazon affiliate which means if you buy anything through my site, I get a very small kickback at no cost to you.

MEET NEW AUTHOR, KRISTEN WIMAN!!!

Meet new author, Kristin Wiman​!

Kristin was born in Indonesia and studied at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, earning her Masters in Illustration, with a focus on Children’s Book Illustration.  She has illustrated numerous children’s book since 2013.

After illustrating other author’s children’s books, she decide to create her own book, stating, “it has been my goal since I was at school.”  Kristin’s new book is entitled, Remi the Pink Robin.  I will be reading and reviewing Kristin’s book next week, so stay tuned!

To learn more about Kristin or to follow her:

Amazon: Remi the Pink Robin (@taco_kristin) • Instagram photos and videos

www.kristinanimation.com