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!


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:

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


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:


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: Indie Publishing Group Goodreads Page Amazon Author Page Tumbler Pinterest Facebook Ben & Sam Facebook My Little Fart Twitter



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:

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.


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, 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



In addition to being a children’s book author, Yvonne Blackwood is also an award-winning short story writer, columnist, world traveler, and retired banker. Her published adult books include: the very successful Into Africa a Personal Journey which ranked # 2 best-selling book under Ghana on in 2002; the hilarious Will That Be Cash or Cuffs? and Into Africa, the Return. She was inspired several years ago to write children’s books and has now published Nosey Charlie Comes To Town, Nosey Charlie Goes To Court, Nosey Charlie Chokes On A Wiener! And Nosey Charlie Chokes On A Wiener Colouring Book, all part of the Nosey Charlie Adventure series. In addition, Yvonne has written numerous articles for several newspapers including the Toronto Star, and she also written quarterly articles for In Touch Magazine.

Now, about Nosey Charlie!  In her own words, Yvonne states:

Nosey Charlie Comes To Town will entertain and excite young readers from ages 3-8. If they love Curious George, they will adore Nosey Charlie because they have many things in common.  The story is about a spunky little squirrel who grew up in the country. He became an orphan and his Aunt Leticia, Uncle Harold, and his Cousin Pete were happy to have him move to the big city to live with them in a small park. Charlie desperately wants to know everything about the people and strange objects in the city as soon as possible. His aunt warns him to be careful and to stick with Pete at all times, but Charlie doesn’t understand that he can’t always go wherever he likes.

For more information about Yvonne and her books, or to follow her, visit:





Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish is written and illustrated by award winning author, Judy Martialay.  Now, if her names sounds familiar, it could be because you just read her fascinating Guest Post the other week right here on this blog!  You can see it again here at

Now, back to Hola! Let’s Learn Spanish.  This book, about a jumping bean named Panchito, is SO MUCH MORE than just a story!  It’s also an activities workbook for kids to practice speaking and reading Spanish, and includes such fun things like treasure hunt games, a skit for friends to perform, songs (in Spanish and English) and masks to make.  What a fun way to introduce Spanish and a little Mexican culture to children!

The story itself, even without all the amazing extra learning/playing guides, is adorable and educational.  Pete the Pilot flies us to Mexico and introduces some common Spanish words/phrases which will be used in the story.  Upon landing in a bean field, or en un campo de frijoles, we meet Panchito, a cute little Mexican jumping bean!  He is lonely and is looking to make friends, but the other regular beans, or frijoles, do not talk or play.  Panchito goes through a series of events, told in English with some Spanish woven throughout, and ultimately ends up at a child’s birthday party where he makes lots of new friends!  I love happy endings!  And I love the way Judy weaves Spanish and Mexican culture into the story in a way that flows naturally and is understandable, even if you don’t speak any Spanish!  And if you are in doubt, all the Spanish words and phrases, which are bolded throughout the story, are defined in the back of the book.  And if that’s not enough, there’s also an audio version of the book on her website so you can listen to the correct pronunciation of each word.  Judy has thought of everything to make this a fun and interactive way to learn Spanish!  I can’t wait to share it with my son, who is learning Spanish!

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.  Happy reading!


I am thrilled to introduce you all to Barbara Ann Monica!  As you may recall, I just reviewed her latest book, Little Miss History Travels to La Brea Tar Pits and Museum, which you can see here:

I am going to do something a little different this week and am going to let Barbara introduce herself!  In her own words —

I was born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Ridgewood, Queens. As a child, I became fascinated with history so I pursued a Bachelor’s Master’s Degree and advanced graduate studies in the field. I spent more than forty years teaching in NYC and hold New York State certifications in Elementary, Special Education, and Administration. My career included classroom teaching and serving as a Special Education Administrator and principal of a special education preschool for developmentally delayed children. I taught the Wilson Reading Program to dyslexic children and was involved in teaching Applied Behavioral Analysis one to one with young autistic children.

When I retired from teaching, I began writing “Passages,” a historical column for a local news magazine. I wanted to stay involved with children so I married my love of teaching with history by developing The Little Miss HISTORY Travels to…children’s nonfiction picture book series to inspire children to learn about historical people and visit landmarks. I am a firm believer in Little Miss HISTORY’S motto, “If you don’t know your history, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” I am currently living in the Hudson River Valley, which is rich in history. Everywhere I go I see influences of the past, and I do believe our future is also built on that same foundation. Personally, I find my inspiration by thinking about the places I have visited and the issues that will appeal to children and adults. Then I pay close attention to topics that are currently being featured in the news and media. In addition, I strive to correlate them with information that may be less familiar to adults and children. My objective is to make my book series informative, inspiring and enlightening to children and adults. Finally, I am inspired by the curiosity of mankind and his ability to constantly enrich his knowledge base. Modern technology has done so much to expand our universe. Our children will have a marvelous opportunity to learn about the past and use this knowledge to improve future world conditions.

The Little Miss HISTORY book series focuses on historical sites that explore famous historical characters, issues, and events that have shaped history and continue to pose important questions today. Topics of the books already released include Mount Rushmore, The Statue of Liberty, Sequoia National Park, Ford’s Theater, Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, Ellis Island, Mount Vernon, and La Brea Tar Pits & Museum. While each book portrays the characters and events, little-known tidbits and those characters previously forgotten are remembered. They bring up issues that children need to be aware of and discuss such as immigration, Native American rights, slavery, air pollution, justice, and the strengths and weaknesses of character found in historical personages. These books are richly illustrated. Younger children learn from studying these pictures. elementary and middle school readers can read them independently. Adults discover new ideas. The series is intended to be shared across generations.

For myself, I still love to read children’s books and that is why I enjoy reviewing them online and on my blog, HTTP:.// where I post family friendly reviews for all ages twice weekly on Wednesdays and Sundays. Some genres I favor include historical fiction, history, thrillers, and adventure stories.

If you would like to learn more about Little Miss HISTORY and her adventures, here are some ways to connect.







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