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Little Dog in the Middle of the Road by Sharon P. Stanley

14 Apr

Happy Monday!

Before my review today, I get to announce the winners of Mo Willems’ newest book, “The Pigeon Needs A Bath!”


The lucky winners were chosen by putting all the names in a hat and my sister Josie picked them out.

The winners are -

DEBBIE AUSTIN (who really, really, really wanted to win)

KIMBERLY (and her hot-dog obsessed toddler),


STACY JENSEN (which is good because apparently Enzo needs a bath too)!!!


I’ll email you guys so you can claim your prize! :)


little dog cover finalLittle Dog in the Middle of the Road
by Sharon P. Stanley
Illustrated by Deidre Carr
28 pages – ages 4+
Published by Silver Tongue Press on November 3, 2013

Little dog’s owner is going on a trip and she tells him to stay put. Don’t worry, Mrs. Thistleberry is going to come look after him. But Mrs. Thistleberry doesn’t like Little Dog very much. She doesn’t play games with him. Little Dog decides there is only one thing to do  – go look for his person! Little Dog wiggles out of the yard and sets off to search. After a while, Little Dog decides this wasn’t such a great idea. Will he ever find his person?

Who doesn’t love a good “lost dog” story? :) This is a very good book for young kids to read by themselves and I think it would also make a great read-aloud. I think that Ms. Stanley’s writing style is one that kids will enjoy. The words are simple so younger kids will be able to read it by themselves. The illustrations are very cute and will make you smile. The cover image is a bit “smushed” but I think that was just a publication problem. The interior illustrations don’t have that problem. This book would make an excellent bedtime story.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

This book was nominated as a perfect picture book by Susanna Leonard Hill! Check out Ms. Hill’s review HERE.

Sue Morris of Kid-Lit Reviews, reviewed the book too – Click HERE!

Check out the book’s trailer!

Easter pick – God’s Amazing World by Eileen Spinelli

13 Apr

Here’s a great book for Easter by one of my favorite authors!



God’s Amazing World
by Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by Mélanie Florian
32 pages – ages 4+
Published by Ideals Children’s Books, an imprint of Ideals Publications on March 1, 2014

Cousins Gracie and Bo are amazed by the world around them. Gracie tells Bo about the 7 Days of Creation. Together the children discover how great and beautiful the world is.

This is an extremely cute book! The illustrations are just beautiful and a perfect fit for the story. I love the two little cats in the background of  pretty much all the pictures. They are funny. Gracie and Bo are great characters. I like the happy feeling the story has. I like how Gracie explains the 7 Days of Creation to her younger cousin by just playing outside. It is very simple and fun but not “preachy”. Mrs. Spinelli has done it yet again! :D

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks

To learn more about Mrs. Spinelli and her other books, please visit her website HERE.

To learn more about Ms. Florian and her illustrations, please visit her website HERE.

Perfect Picture Book Friday! My Friend Suhana: A Story of Friendship and Cerebral Palsy

11 Apr

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I think that this book conveys the story of a friendship between a young girl and her disabled friend.

9781615992119-Perfect_cvr4.inddMy Friend Suhana: A Story of Friendship and Cerebral Palsy
by Shaila Abdullah and Aanyah Abdullah
30 pages – ages 4+
Published by Loving Healing Press on January 1, 2014

Theme/Topic- art/friendship/cerebral palsy

Genre- Realistic fiction

Opening and Synopsis- 


“My friend Suhana is like no other girl I know.”

An unnamed 7-year-old girl has a special friend she visits. Her friend can’t talk or walk or do any of the things her other friends can do, but they are still friends. The girl learns to use art to communicate with her special friend, her friend with cerebral palsy.

Why I liked this book- The book was co-authored by Shaila Abdullah’s 10 year-old daughter, Aanyah. In the back of the book it says that Aanyah is “drawn to children with physical and mental disabilities.” Aanyah also volunteers at a special needs community center and hopes to open a special needs school some day. – Just plain awesomeness! The illustrations in this book are well done and sweet looking. I love the softness of the story and the genuine good feeling you get by reading it. I like how the girl reaches out to Suhana through art and that  the girl and Suhana are the same age. This book is very well done.

Activities and Resources-
There is a special note from the authors right in the back of the book about cerebral palsy and friendships.  It points out that kids with disabilities make friends just like the rest of us. A great activity is to do what the main character does in the book! Have your kids make/spend time with kids with disabilities. Volunteer at an organization or event.

I found a great blog article on a blog called -”Love That Max: Special Needs Blog” with the tag line “A blog about kids with special needs who kick butt” :) The article lists 50 ways special needs kids are the same as typical kids. Click HERE to read it.

Scholastic has an article for teachers and how to meet the special learning challenges for kids with cerebral palsy. Click HERE to read it.

Cerebral palsy (dot) org has a ton of information and advice for parents, kids and teachers – Click HERE.

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

Sue Morris of Kid-Lit Reviews, reviewed this book too – Click HERE to read it!

Perfect Picture Book Friday! Snow White’s Seven Patches by Jewel Kats

4 Apr

You know when someone asks you that question- “If you had the opportunity to sit alone in a room with any author of your choice and talk to him/her…” I found myself in that situation yesterday with Rick Riordan. I am honored to have been picked to be on HuffPost’s Live “Tell Me Why” segment with my friend Felicia (kid-author extraordinaire who wrote “The Perpetual Papers of the Pack of Pets” click HERE to go to her website). I have to thank Felicia and her mom (and my mom). We practiced with each other ahead of time and that really helped.


Me talking to Mr. Riordan before the segment.

In the “Tell Me Why” segment, they invite kids to appear and talk about what they are passionate about. Felicia and I are passionate about books and reading. Click HERE if you’d like to see the segment. When I joined the Google chat yesterday the moderator was there and Mr. Riordan. Then the moderator dropped out to go take care of things so it was just me and Mr. Riordan – so I was trying to appear calm and normal but thinking  “AAAHHHH!!! – AAAAHHHH!!! – AAAAHHH!!!” I managed a “So, how are you doing Mr. Riordan?” in my oh so cool cracking voice. He said he was great and then commented that he liked my collection of books (which were all his I put on the top self of my bookcase ;) ) and he liked my Godzilla that was attacking his books. ;) Then I felt much less nervous. He was so nice and made me feel really at ease. I got to ask him about his upcoming book (a short story) “The Staff of Serapis” and Mr. Riordan talked about how he thought the “blended”  gods in mythology were cool (Serapis was a god used by a Greek ruler of Egypt to unite the Greeks and Egyptians under his rule).  Mr Riordan asked me how Felicia and I ended up on the segment and I started to tell him and the google hangout got dropped! So that was the end of my very cool pre-experience experience. Sorry if I’m being geeky about it, but hey, I’m a book geek. :)


Felicia and me with Mr. Riordan in a google hangout!


Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I have never seen a picture book about Vitiligo.

snowsevenSnow White’s Seven Patches: A Vitiligo Fairy Tale

By Jewel Kats

Illustrated by Dan Goodfellow

40 pages – ages 6+
Published by Loving Healing Press on November 4, 2013


Theme/Topic- vitiligo/retelling fairy tale

Genre- Fiction/help book

Opening and Synopsis- 


“There once lived a very rich lady named Ivy. She thought the world of her own looks. Her beauty pageant crown only added to her arrogance.”

In this modern re-telling of the fairy tale, Snow White was a beautiful girl who happened to have the condition vitiligo (a condition where white patches appear all over the skin). Snow’s vain mother who is so hung up on beauty hides Snow White away and steals the wonderful stories Snow White writes and publishes them as her own. Ivy can’t keep up the lie forever, especially when the Magic Mirror knows the truth!

Why I liked this book- I have seen people with vitiligo before but I never knew what it was.  I like that this book has a princess who doesn’t look like all the other princesses – just like people are all different. I think this is a great book to teach kids about vitiligo so they understand when they see someone with it. I also like the part of the story about plagiarism – how the evil Ivy stole all of Snow White’s work and published it as her own.

Activities and Resources-

I didn’t find a lot of activities about vitiligo, but I think it is a good idea to learn about it and teach kids about it. So I found places with good information.

For adults the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has a lot of information on vitiligo to help you understand it. Click HERE.

You can visit the National Vitiligo Foundation HERE. It has tips on how to help kids with the condition.

To learn more about the author, please visit her website HERE.


To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

JetDogs – A New Breed Of Heroes by Carter Crocker, J. Henrique Caldas and Marcel Nilo

28 Mar

jetdogsJetDogs – A New Breed Of Heroes
Created by J. Henrique Caldas
Written by Carter Crocker
Illustrated by Marcel Nilo
Collaboration by Chris Henderson
75 pages – ages 7+
Published by Mistika eBooks on December 15, 2013

Synopsis: Johnny Hart loves things that fly. When he finds his late dad’s prototype invention for a personal flying machine called the JetWing, Johnny and his Grandpa decide to finish it. With the help of Johnny’s dogs, they perfect the invention, making it possible for the dogs to fly them. But, sadly, a local bully sees the dogs while they fly through the air with the JetWings that Johnny and his Grandpa built for the dogs, and the bully alerts them to his greedy uncle who is in need of money for his business.

What I Like: This is a great story for reluctant readers! The story was written well, and I like the format of the pages a lot. The background for the pages is extremely cool. They have a faint blueprint-like diagram for some machine. I love the illustration style, very cool graphic. I like them so much, I wish there were more illustrations in the book. There are only a few scattered throughout the story. The story is full of adventure and action, plus evil cats. The evil cats are cool. I like that the dogs in the book are very smart, and that they work together well.  There are a few typos (only 2 or 3) in the book, but they are pretty much unnoticeable. One thing that bothered me is that I think Johnny is too old for the story – he’s 12, but reading the story it seemed like he should have been 8 or 9. Overall, this is a very fun story and well worth picking up. This is a great choice for parents to read to their kids for a bedtime story too.

I give JetDogs 4 out of 5 bookworms!fourbooks

Grimmtastic Girls by Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams! Plus a giveaway!

25 Mar

About the Books: The Grimmtastic Girls

I know, I know, you’re saying “Erik, this is a series for girls. Isn’t it?” Well I am here to admit, I love Ms. Holub’s and Ms. William’s Series The “Goddess Girls” and when I saw the chance to get to review their newest series “The Grimmtastic Girls” I jumped at it. Plus,  I think a lot of boys enjoy reading “girly” books and I say there’s nothing wrong with that! HUZZAH!

Here’s what I thought of the first two books in this new series:

These are a great series, and I love the concept of fractured fairy tales in an early MG book. ;) I love that the teachers come from many fairy-tales – Mrs. Jabberwocky, Mr. Hump-Dumpty, etc. Kids will love to recognize the names and fairy tales they come from. I like that Mother Goose is the librarian at Grimm Academy. :) Ms. Holub and Ms. William’s have a playful writing style that is fun to read. Grimm Academy is a very cool place that I think a lot of kids will love to read about. The books are a quick read for me but very enjoyable. These books (much like the Goddess Girls series) are great for young advanced readers and MG kids looking for a fun story.

Keep reading on for your chance to win a $50.00 Amazon gift certificate!

Book #1

Title: Grimmtastic Girls #1: Cinderella Stays Late | Authors: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams | Publication Date: March 25, 2014 | Publisher: Scholastic Inc. | Pages: 192 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 12

Grimmtastic Girls: Cinderella Stays LateSummary: The authors of the hit Goddess Girls series put a fun and girly twist on another super-popular theme: fairy tales!

Once upon a time, in faraway Grimmlandia…

A Grimmtastic girl named Cinderella is starting her first week at Grimm Academy on the wrong foot. Cinda’s totally evil step-sisters are out to make her life miserable. The Steps tease Cinda, give her terrible advice about life at the academy, and even make her look bad in front of her new friends, Red, Snow, and Rapunzel! But when Cinda overhears the Steps plotting a villainous deed that could ruin Prince Awesome’s ball, Cinda, her new friends, and a pair of magical glass slippers have to stop them–before the last stroke of midnight!



Book #2

Title: Grimmtastic Girls #2: Red Riding Hood Gets Lost | Authors: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams | Publication Date: March 25, 2014 | Publisher: Scholastic Inc. | Pages: 192 | Recommended Ages: 8 to 12

Red Riding Hood Gets LostSummary: Red Riding Hood might have a terrible sense of direction, but her grimmtastic friends are always there to help!

Once upon a time, in faraway Grimmlandia…

Red Riding Hood is thrilled to try out for the school play. Acting is her dream, and she’s great at it–too bad she has stage fright! After a grimmiserable audition, Red decides to focus on helping her friends Cinda, Snow, and Rapunzel save Grimm Academy from the E.V.I.L. Society. But when Red gets lost in Neverwood forest and runs into Wolfgang, who might be part of E.V.I.L., she needs her magic basket and a grimmazingly dramatic performance to figure out what’s going on!



About the Authors: Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams

Joan Holub

Joan Holub has authored and/or illustrated more than 130 children’s books, including Little Red Writing (illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet) and Zero the Hero. She lives in NC and is online at

Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads



Suzanne Williams

Suzanne Williams is the author of nearly 50 books for children, including the award-winning picture book Library Lil (illustrated by Steven Kellogg). She lives near Seattle, WA and is online at

Author Blog | Goodreads

Co-authors Joan and Suzanne have written the Goddess Girls, Heroes in Training, and Grimmtastic Girls series. Though they live in different states and hardly ever get to see each other, they spend lots of time together in Grimmlandia.

Facebook (Grimmtastic Girls) | Facebook (Goddess Girls Books)

Online Author Visits

WOO HOO! A $50 Book Blast Giveaway!

Amazon $50 Gift Card

Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: April 23, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter by clicking on the Rafflecopter link below.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the authors, Joan Holub & Suzanne Williams and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Click ME -Win $50!


MDBR Book Promotion Services

I Didn’t Do My Homework Because… By Davide Cali

19 Mar

didntdohworkI Didn’t Do My Homework Because…

By Davide Cali

Illustrated by Benjamin Chaud

44 pages – ages 6+

Published by Chronicle Books on March 4, 2014

Summary – Students rejoice! No more do you need the old line - “The dog ate my homework.” This book is stuffed with new and exciting reasons why you didn’t do your homework! In this book you’ll find creative answers for non-homework doing. Like:

“I didn’t do my homework because…”

giant lizards invaded…

my dog got eaten by another dog…

rebellious robots…

lost armadillos…

and much, much more!

Just make sure your teacher hasn’t read the same book.

Opinion-  Do I really have to tell you why I like this book after the description? Okay, I will. This book is hilarious! Each excuse gets wilder than the next. The book is one that all kids can enjoy. The illustrations are AWESOME! I love the wildness, and I love the kid’s hair. These are magnificent, the style of them is humorous and well-done.


See what I mean? Mr. Cali and Mr. Chaud created a hilarious book together. The ending of the book is great (let’s just say his teacher is “on to” the boy). I recommend this to any child who has forgotten their homework, forgets their homework, or will forget their homework or is just too lazy to do it. ;) I don’t recommend this to teachers (for obvious reasons). ;)

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

For more on the book, Mr. Cali and Mr. Chaud, visit Chronicle books HERE.

To read an adult’s opinion on this book, check out Sue Morris’ review at Lid-Lit reviews HERE.

Tummy Monster by Romelle Broas

17 Mar

Tummy Monster COVERTummy Monster

By  Romelle Broas

Illustrated by Sam Luu

epicture book – ages 4+

Published on December 2nd 2013 by MeeGenius

Grumble, grumble, RUMBLE!!! This boy is having some tummy troubles. His Tummy Monster won’t stop making noises! What can a kid do when a monster won’t keep quiet? This is getting quite embarrassing!

This is an extremely cute book – on a topic I haven’t seen before – growling tummies! Who hasn’t had one of those? The illustrations are awesome – they remind me a bit of Japanese Manga. Have a look!


Isn’t that great? This is a good story for pre-schoolers, and kindergarteners. I like how the MeeGenius book has a READ TO ME format. It has sound effects. I like that. It will make young children laugh. The rhyme is well-done. I love how it flows when you read it out loud. This book is excellent for its age-range! :D

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms!fivebooks


Available at MeeGenius! (click HERE).

To learn more about Ms. Broas, please visit her blog HERE.

Perfect Picture Book Friday! The Nightingale Who Lost and Found His Song

13 Mar

I know, I know – you are saying “But Erik, it’s Thursday!”

Well yes, BUT in some parts of the world it is Friday and tomorrow (Friday here) I have a special creative kid post that has to get posted on Friday and I have a great picture book to tell you about so I am going to pretend I am blogging from Australia and it’s already Friday.


G’Day Mates!

Before I get to my PPBF pick, I want to tell you about an interview that Tomato and Pea did (yes, Tomato and Pea, the characters from my book)! Click HERE to join up with character book club where Tomato and Pea are interviewed by Taylor Davis of The Flame of Findul!

NEXT I have a winner to announce!

I was lucky to get a great prize pack for the 45th Anniversary of Eric Carle’s book The Very Hungry Caterpillar!

ToteandBookPrizeThe winner of the books, CDs and totes (yes the winner gets two of each) chosen by my sister Josie from all the names in a hat is…


Congratulations Ms. Greenley! I will be emailing you to get your address.

Now onto PPBF!

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because of the unique point of view of this bullying story.

nightingaleThe Nightingale who Lost and Found His Song

By Lisa Flynn

Illustrated by Josefina Hernandez

Available as an ebook – ages 5+

Published by Twigs Publishing on December 15, 2013

Theme/Topic- Bullying

Genre- Fiction/help book

Opening and Synopsis- 

“Nightingale kicked at the dirt with his nightingale feet, while fat, sad nightingale tears rolled down his tiny, feathered cheeks. A very rare thing, as nightingales generally don’t cry.”

Nightingale lost his voice but not because he was bullied, it was because he stood by and did nothing when a schoolmate was bullied. Nightingale didn’t do the right thing and lost his courage and his voice. His woodland friends help him find his voice and his courage again.

Why I liked this book- This is a really sweet story. I like the different telling of a bullying story in it – the MC wasn’t bullied but stood by while someone else was. Nightingale is a character you really end up caring for. I think kids will understand how scared and sad he feels. The illustrations are very well done. They add to the feeling of the story. I like how Nightingale’s friends help him find his voice again.  I love the message – we have a voice to say things, and we should try to say the right things. 

Activities and Resources-

The Cartoon Network has a whole campaign called “Stop Bullying: Speak Up!” There are tips for parents, kids and teachers about how to speak up if you see bullying. There are a ton of activities including videos with different scenarios and examples of what to do in situations. Click HERE to go to the site.

The Office Depot Foundation also has a program called “Be The Difference. Speak Up Against Bullying.” They teamed up with he music group One Direction to spread the word about what kids can do about bullying. At the website (click HERE) you can find tips and videos about what to do in bullying situations. 

To ‘Like’ Twigs Publishing on Facebook, click HERE!

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog HERE!

The Secret in the Wood by S.L. Lipson

10 Mar

Happy Monday! 

If you didn’t get a chance to read the interview I did with Lynn Davidson and enter to win a copy of my book, please click HERE to go THERE and enter! :) 

Also – Wish me luck today because my teammates and I are competing in our regional K’NEX STEM Challenge!  

You can read more about it HERE.

“The Challenge is designed for students in grades 4-8, to work collaboratively to research, design & build a model using K’NEX parts to meet a specific need. “

This year we had to build a “people mover” and have it go through an obstacle course. If we make it through the regionals we get to compete at the state level.

Now on to my book review! 


The Secret in the Wood

By S.L. Lipson

91 pages – ages 7+

Published by Leba House Publisher on January 13, 2014

Sara Connor doesn’t want to move out of her house. Her dad died the year before and he loved the house, putting years of work into it. Sara loves the house and all the memories. Sara doesn’t want to leave her house behind. When she finds a tree fairy in her bedroom, stuck in a wood panel on her wall, Sara is desperate to stay.  Sadly, the day she finds Althea, the tree fairy, her mother sells the house. The home’s new owners’ son, Jonathan, also saw Althea. Luckily, Sara and Jonathan come up with a plan to help Althea get back to a tree for her home. But, will it work?

This was a well-written story with a very good message of moving on. It turns out that even though Sara is trying to help the fairy, Althea really helps Sara accept what is going on in her life.  Althea is an awesome character and I love the “lore” of the tree fairies that Althea tells Sara. Jonathan is another character that the reader cares about. I like that he’s kind and understanding. The book is short (only 91 pages) but the story never felt rushed and I think it felt complete. The writing was good and the story flowed well.  I’m not super fond of the cover, but that’s a minor point. At the end of some chapters, there is an image, with a hidden image in it, which if you flip the page or click the link, it reveals the answer. The hidden pictures are layered in color – but I’m color blind so I either saw what you were supposed to right away or didn’t see what you were supposed to. ;) There is also a little song called “Dance of the Trees” at the back of the book. The author wrote it to go along with the book.

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookworms! fivebooks


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