Archive | Other Stuff Related to Books and Reading RSS feed for this section

Paddington Bear Comes to the Big Screen!

3 Jul



This Christmas, a small bear will make a big splash.

From the beloved novels by Michael Bond and producer David Heyman (HARRY POTTER), PADDINGTON tells the story of the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear who travels to the city in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone, he  begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined – until he meets the kindly Brown family who read the label around his neck that says “Please look after this bear. Thank you,” and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist.


Director: Paul King
Written by: Paul King
Screenplay by: Henry Paul King
Cast: Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi and Nicole Kidman

I am excited to watch this movie. Paddington is so cute. It’s been a while since I read the stories, I’ll have to re-read them. I think the movie looks hilarious (but I like goofy movies ;) ). I think Paddington looks a bit tall, but I like the animation and the details in him. I’ll have to do a book vs. movie post after I see it. :) I hope you all get to see this movie when it comes out on Christmas Day, 2014!

Check out the trailer and tell me what you think of the movie Paddington.


Learn More About the Movie -

Official Website | Facebook | Twitter


The Chocolate Challenge Stops At This Kid Reviews Books

28 Jun

C.L. Murphy awesome author extraordinaire of the Loveable Lobo series (click HERE to go to her blog) invited me to participate in the CHOCOLATE Challenge! In the chocolate challenge, you name six of your favorite books and pair them up with a type of chocolate! :)

Here is my list -

Counting Down:

dumas-three-musketeers6. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas = Milk Chocolate – old-fashioned, but still tickles your taste-buds – just like this book, a classic read to whet your sense of adventure!







5. The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan = Dark Chocolate with Coconut-filling – a slightly healthy, tasty chocolate treat – this book is incredibly amazing and you learn a little about Greek Mythology while reading a great story!

download (1)



4. Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger = Chocolate milkshake with chocolate jimmies/sprinkles – Sounds funny, tastes funny, but is still great – like this hilarious book – it sounds funny, it IS funny, and it is awesome!




3. Chupacabra by Roland Smith = Chocolate with Peanut-Butter Inside – the perfect blend of flavors, like this book has the perfect blend of humor and adventure.





2. The End of Infinity by Matt Myklusch = Caramel-filled milk chocolate – A tasty treat with a creamy inside – The end of Infinity is a solid ending to the Jack Blank series, and it leaves a great feeling in you.



RedwallUSCover1. Redwall by Brian Jacques = Cookies’n’Cream white chocolate – an unhealthy pleasure to eat with lots of crunch – in this book, you don’t gain much education-wise, but it is a fun read with lots of action, adventure, and excitement!!!


Now on to the next CHOCOLATE TAG team’s posts scheduled to go live July 5th…

I am nominating kids! :)

Rena Marthaler, of, kid-author extraordinaire of Magic the Crest.

Felicia Maziarz, of, kid-author phenom of The Perpetual Papers of the Pack of Pets.

Josie, of, kid-artist, animal lover and my little sister.

Blog Tour! The Hero’s Guide To Being An Outlaw – Character Introduction

27 May



Artwork © 2014 by Todd Harris

Yesterday I posted my review of the awesome new book in the Hero’s Guide series (see my review HERE) PLUS if you visit that post, you can comment for a chance to win an autographed copy of THE HERO’S GUIDE TO BEING AN OUTLAW!

HG3 - Final Cover

by Christopher Healy
Illustrated by Todd Harris
528 pages – ages 8+
Series: Hero’s Guide (Book 3)
Published by Walden Pond Press on April 29, 2014

Today I get to introduce you to one of the characters in the series -




Occupation: The Most Dangerous Bounty Hunter in the Land

Affiliation: Bounty Hunters Guild, Yondale Chapter

Kingdom of Origin: Yondale

Current Residence: Wherever a job takes him

Parents: Like he would ever tell anyone

Known Partners: Periwinkle Pete, Erik the Mauve, Orangebeard, Corin Silversword, Norin Black-Ax

Longtime Rival: Ruffian the Blue

Likes: The thrill of the hunt; the thrill of the catch; the thrill of the thrill
Dislikes: Uncooperative fugitives; bickering; giving up—EVER!

Signature Move: The Double-Bladed Cross-cut Sweep

Quote: “We know this only ends one way—with me capturing you. So why don’t you save us both a lot of time and energy and just climb into the bag now.”

Little Known Fact: Greenfang once followed a fugitive into the wastes of Dar—in bare feet, because ran out of food and had to eat his boots to survive. He then hid out inside the carcass of a dead bone-mole for sixteen days in order to surprise his quarry. He got the guy.

Greenfang makes an appearance in the book’s trailer -


Follow Mr. Healy on Twitter HERE.  Like Mr. Healy on Facebook HERE.

To learn more please visit

Walden Pond Press at






Hero’s Guide to Being a Blog Tour 

5/1 - The Book Rat

5/5 – Icey Books

5/6 - Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

5/7 – The Book Monsters

5/8 - The Book Rat

5/9 - A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust

5/12 - Word Spelunking Book Blog

5/15 - Buried in Books

5/16 - KidLit Frenzy

5/19 - Mundie Kids

5/20 - The Flashlight Reader

5/21 - Bunbury In the Stacks

5/22 - The Hiding Spot

5/23 - Novel Novice

5/24 – Paigeintraining

5/26 - Mundie Kids

5/26 - This Kid Reviews Books

5/27 - This Kid Reviews Books

5/28 - Small Review

5/29 - Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

5/30 - The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

Meet Clyde

21 Apr

This has nothing at all to do with books but I am so happy, I just wanted to have everyone -




Clyde is a 3-4 year old (they aren’t sure) Basset Hound we adopted from Paws Crossroads Animal Rescue in Berwick PA. (like them on Facebook HERE). We have been without a dog since our yellow lab, Bart, passed away a couple of years ago.  My mom saw Clyde pop up on a Pet Finder ad on Facebook and we all decided he was the one for us.  Clyde was given to the rescue in January because his owner couldn’t care for him. The nice people at the rescue took very good care of him and my family is happy to have him as part of ours now. :) AND – Clyde likes to read. ;)


Perfect Picture Book Friday! Cat Says Meow: And Other Animalopoeia by Michael Arndt

18 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 love onomatopoeia!
catsaysCat Says Meow: And Other Animalopoeia
by Michael Arndt

36 pages – ages 3+
Published by Chronicle Books on March 4, 2014

Theme/Topic- Onomatopoeia

Genre- Nonfiction

Opening and Synopsis- 



Opening: First page (used with permission from Chronicle Books)

Cat Says Meow_Int_WoofPublisher’s description “Dog says woof . . . pig says oink . . . cow says moo. Animals and the sounds they make are paired up in playfully compelling ways in this eye-catching illustrated gift book featuring bold colors and an engaging use of onomatopoeia. Kids and parents will delight in discovering the ways in which the letters that spell out each animal’s sound are key elements of that animal’s illustration. With so much to see and to sound out, kids will relish this unique visual and educational experience, brimming with color and letters.”


Why I liked this book- I love onomatopoeia and aninalopoeia! This is an awesome book. The whole book is well done. I think it is great for kids learning to read and learning animal sounds. I think that the pictures are extremely unusual and eye-pleasing. I really like how the book is organized, and that the pictures have different fonts for different purposes. It is totally cool. I think that kids and parents will love this book.

Activities and Resources-

I found some great onomatopoeia worksheets for teachers and parents to use HERE and HERE.

Check out this Onomatopoeia video!


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

Writing Process Blog Tour

8 Apr


Joanna Marple, kid-lit blogger, author of Snow Games (see my Review HERE), and all-around awesome person, recently tagged me to join the Writing Process Blog Tour. Please visit Miss Marple’s blog by clicking HERE to learn more about her.

Following are my responses, and at the bottom you’ll find the three four wonderful people who’ll post next week!



Leonid Pasternak – Wikimedia Commons License

What am I working on?

Right now I am working on the next book in the Tomato and Pea series. In the first book: The evil villain Wintergreen, while trying to destroy super crime-stopper, Tomato and his sidekick, Pea, and take over planet Oarg, made a huge mistake! In a plan gone wrong, Wintergreen traps himself along with his arch-nemesis in a runaway rocket ship that crashes on a strange planet called “EAR-TH”. Now these perennial enemies must learn to work together to survive the dangers on this strange world. Hungry birds, enormous snakes and the giant inhabitants of EAR-TH stand between this brawling bunch of aliens and finding a way home. In the second book, to give you a hint, Wintergreen (the villain), is up to no good and is loose on EAR-TH (Earth). Tomato and the gang have to ask for help from some locals to get Wintergreen under control.

I am also working on several picture book drafts too. One I wrote while taking Susanna Leonard Hill’s Making Picture Book Magic class (it’s awesome, people!) and a couple of others that I am writing during Julie Hedlund’s 12×12 challenge (this is awesome too! :D ).

I am planning on submitting a poem for Dr. Niamh Clune’s upcoming anthology on the subject of “Mother” (published by Plum Tree Books). FYI they are looking for poetry and art submissions from adults and kids, click HERE for details.

I just signed up to write a short story for the “Lucky Draw” project. Here’s a description -

Lucky Draw is a shared venture project for authors, coordinated by Sally Odgers of Affordable Manuscript Assessments and Workshops.

The goal is to write an anthology of stories for young readers.
Each member of the project will be given a story title + a character name/bio or a line drawing of a character or a premise.
Members will then write a story to match the title and character assigned.”

Ms. Odgers still has a couple slots open, click HERE to learn more.

I also have several novels I am working on (but I wait for the inspiration to hit me to write those).

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

That’s a good question. Maybe because I am a kid writing for other kids it makes it different. Sometimes I think I write my stories for myself and hopefully other kids will like it too. I also believe my writing style is unique, just like everyone else. ;)

Why do I write what I do?

I write when I have the urge to do it because I like it. It seems like I can write (or type) things down faster when I get inspired to do it. I write because I enjoy it. I love reading stories and I love learning about the writing process. Writing for me, teaches me a lot. I also love to tell stories – any kind of stories. I don’t really limit what I write about or what genre I write in. I just write about what I like or what I have an idea about.

How does my writing process work?

I tend to work better if I put goals or deadlines on myself. If I didn’t do that I would probably just read all the time. :)

I write whenever I get in the mood. I write an average of 2-3 hours a week. I plot certain parts of the books ahead of time, but if while I’m writing it goes in a different direction, that’s okay.  I also make a very vague outline of the book to keep me on track (I don’t want to spend 5 chapters describing a minor point! ;) )

I have tons of journals and idea books. I carry one with me at all times (my idea journal) so I am always able to write down what I find that inspires me. When I get an urge to write I look through my journal and see what I might like to write about.

I read a lot of articles and books on writing and I took classes on how to make your writing better. I also ask for help from other people to critique my work. I think it helps to have others cheer you on and give you good advice (not necessarily what you want to hear, but honest, but polite, advice). That helps keep you motivated. It pays to have very good friends to have your back ~ Thanks everyone! :)


I’m a kid so I am tagging my fellow kid-writers (and one kid at heart)!

Felicia Maziarz - Kid-author extraordinaire of “The Perpetual Papers of the Pack of Pets,”  and Neighbor Girl to Stanley and Katrina (click HERE to go to the blog). Felicia and I did the interview with Rick Riordan together for HuffPost Live. It says on the Stanley and Katrina website that-

[Felicia] loves writing, reading, acting, singing, reading, gymnastics, doodling, reading, ice skating, painting, reading, doing computer stuff, oh… did we mention reading? Her latest creative project is organizing the D.I.R.T. Kids. (FYI: DIRT kids is a group of kids who love theater and raise money for charity click HERE to go to their website).

Rena Marthaler – Fourth grade writing whiz who wrote her novel “Magic The Crest” as part of NaNoWriMo. Click HERE to go to her blog. A guest review of Rick Riordan’s book “House Of Hades” by Rena will be featured on my blog this week on Thursday’s Creative Kid post and I will be interviewing her on the 27th about her book and being a writer. Be sure to check back to learn more about this young author!

Daniel Johnston – This 16-year-old  aspiring author runs the blog Readers and Writers Paradise (click HERE to go THERE). Daniel recently posted a short story he wrote on my blog (click HERE to read it) and has published more of his writings on his own. Daniel is an avid reader and also reviews books for his site (he’s also a chess champ :) ).  Check out some of his writings, you won’t be disappointed!

Dr. Niamh Clune – Dr Clune is the author of several adult and children’s books (check out my review of her Pa Dug and Rosie series HERE). She is also one of my biggest supporters and encouragerers (I know that’s not a real word). She is the founder of Plum Tree Books (click HERE to go to the blog and HERE to go to the official website). Her latest project is the poetry anthology I talked about earlier. You can check out her Amazon author page HERE. In addition to being a great author, Dr. Clune does a lot of good work in the world, working to help people less fortunate. She’s a great lady. :)

Hello Honduras! My Author Skype Visit to Escuela Bilingue Santa Maria Del Valle

22 Mar

SKYPE is AWESOME as is the blogospehre!

Today’s post is an international occasion. It all started when  The Story Reading Ape (click HERE to go to his blog) who lives in The United Kingdom emailed me about a FABULOUS fourth grade teacher named Joanna Mojica from Honduras and said that her class would love to talk to This Kid from Pennsylvania USA about my book.

Ms. Mojica contacted me and we set up a virtual visit through SKYPE!

Escuela Bilingue Santa Maria Del Valle is located in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. It is a catholic, bilingual school and their fourth grade classes ROCK! :D

I sent them a copy of my book to read ahead of time so they could ask me questions. I started off by introducing myself, and talking about the importance of reading. I then said a little about how I came to write my book.


After all that was said, each student got to ask me a question. I was a bit nervous because I usually talk to adults, not kids more my age. I soon felt really comfortable. They had great questions! One I really liked was “What would you do if you were president?” I wasn’t prepared for that one. I said I’d increase funding for school and public libraries. Speaking from experience, a lot of schools have no money to buy books or have a librarian on staff.

The SKYPE visit was awesome. It felt like a real conversation. 

For the last part of my visit, I talked about how my Uncle Dave gave me the stuffed toys he made (Tomato and Pea) and challenged me to write a story about them.

The Original Tomato and Pea

The Original Tomato and Pea

So, I challenged the fourth graders of Escuela Bilingue Santa Maria Del Valle school to write. Write a story about these fellows:


They could write whatever they wanted – a poem, a play, a novel, a short story, comic, anything! It just had to be about these two fine guys (or girls ;) ) – they can name them whatever they want to also.  :)

Plus I offered, if they wanted to, to post whatever the students wrote here on my blog. So be sure to check back!

These little guys are traveling to Honduras right now to be their classroom mascots. :)

Thank you Ms. Mojica and the fourth graders at Escuela Bilingue Santa Maria Del Valle school!

photo 2

Can you guess which one is me? ;)

Have a nice weekend folks!

My Entry in the March Madness Writing Contest!

21 Mar

Before I get to today’s post, if you get a chance, please click over to the Creative Kid Thursday post I did yesterday to read Daniel’s short story. Click HERE to go THERE!

WOOT WOOT! It’s time for a contest! Susanna Leonard Hill’s March Madness contest to be exact! Today I am posting my entry in the contest.


Here are the rules:

Write a children’s story, in poetry or prose, maximum 400 words, that is a fractured fairy tale.  Feel free to add a theme of spring, or mix in one of the spring holidays if you like.” Check out the complete rules at Ms. Hill’s blog HERE.

My story comes in right at 400 words (not including the title). I mixed up a bunch of fairy tales and wrote a story I thought older kids would like. I hope you like it! :D


Photo credit KellyB Creative Commons License

The Once Upon A Times

News for you                                                                                     March 2014


Goldilocks on the Lam!

By P. Charming

After breaking into the Bear’s cottage, Goldilocks was last seen running West through the Gingerbread Forest. “[Goldilocks] ate our food and broke our furniture!” Baby Bear sobbed. Continued on A13.


Illness Confounds Doctors

By Red R. Hood

Snow White was rushed to Grimm-View Hospital after fainting at her place of employment.  “Her case is baffling,” said Dr. S. Beauty. White’s employers claim she is suffering from food poisoning but Detective B.B. Wolf suspects foul play. “Snow has been cleaning up after seven dwarfs for weeks! They drove her to exhaustion,” Wolf said. Bashful Dwarf refused our interview request.


Bippity Boppity Boo – We’ll Clean Up for You!

You don’t have to wish upon a star to get rid of all that dust!  Spring-cleaning special! Email!


Witch vs. Hansel and Gretel

By L. Mermaid

The Witch has filed a lawsuit against Hansel and Gretel. Witch’s lawyer, H. Penny, stated “My client’s home was eaten! Those kids did thousands of dollars in damage.” Gretel spoke with our reporter. “That witch  tried to shove me in an oven!” Continued on A19.


Missing Sheep

A local woman is devastated because she lost her beloved pet sheep. “Wooliam is so sweet,” Ms. Peep said. “I can’t imagine where he wandered off to. I hope he comes home soon because I can’t sleep without [my] sheep.” Please email with any information.


Pied Piper Entertainers

Specializing in music, merriment and pest control. We do children’s birthday parties! Dates fill fast. Call 1-800-4NO-RATS today!


Gingerbread Man Wins Marathon

A new record was set in the spring marathon, but not everyone is happy. “He kept taunting us,” one competitor complained. “Run, run as fast as you can! Can’t catch me… “ Complete coverage on page B2.


Dorothy Gale says get ready for some wild weather this spring! Gale forecasts downpours with some mild flooding. Power outages may occur. Tornado watches have been issued for the tri-wooded area until late spring. Stay inside if bad weather hits. Remember, there’s no place like home!


By C. Little

Last year’s popular housing style, giant shoes, was a stinky investment. According to architects at 3LPigs, the best choice in housing this spring is a two-story brick chalet. Brick offers a stylish protection from even the worst neighbors. Continued on B5.

Don’t forget to check out all the great entries in the contest HERE.

Have a great day!!!

A Blogging Choose Your Own Adventure with the Storyboys!

14 Mar

Have I got an awesome post from some totally terrific Creative Kids today!!! 

I hope you join in the fun choose your own story that these brothers created! 

This post is part of a Choose Your Own Adventure Story written and hosted by T. Isenhoff and M. Isenhoff on their Storyboys blog. T. is in 3rd grade, and M. is in 6th grade. This story was their winter homeschool project. Travel over to their blog to start at the beginning. Have fun!

Cursed Mansion (1)

“All right, I’ll go in. But if we come out alive you’re buying me a ticket to the next Luke Bryan concert.”

“It’s a deal,” Tony said. He tucked his football under his arm and opened the door.

It was dark in the mansion. The windows were grimy and let in little light. The walls were covered in spider webs and green mold.

“It’s creepy in here,” Ed said. “It would make a great hideout for murders.”

“I hear Connie’s Jewelry Store was robbed last week,” Tony smirked. “Maybe the bad guys hang out here.”

“Listen!” Ed said. “I think I hear music.”

“It’s coming from up there.” Tony pointed up a narrow, rickety staircase. “Come on!”

They crept up the stairs, cringing each time one of the steps creaked. From the landing, a dark hall led to a door. The music was louder now. It was a local country station.

“I wonder who’s in there,” Tony said.

“Whoever it is, they have good taste in music,” said Ed.

“Should we open the door?” Tony asked.

If they should open the door, click here. If they should go back the way they came, click here.

Creative Pet Thursday! Meet Mitzi Jo!

6 Mar

Today is Creative Kid PET Thursday!

Time for some cuteness!

Mitzi Jo tutu (2)

and one more -

Mitzi JO butterfly princess (5)

I double dog dare you not to fall in love with my very special guest today. Mitzi Jo!

mitzi jo inm glasses

Mitzi Jo writes a column called “Paws for Thought” for the Upper Bucks Free Press, the same newspaper I write for. :)

mitzi jo reads paper4Her human helper, L.j. Burns (A.K.A. Momma Jean), and Mitzi Jo also blog  about her adventures at the doggy daycare Momma Jean runs (click HERE to go THERE).


Mitzi Jo is one talented puppy! In her spare time, Mitzi Jo wrote (with Momma Jean’s help)  a book called “A Doggy Daycare Day.”



A Doggy Daycare Day

By L.j. Burns

Illustrated by Andrea Vitali

28 pages – ages 9+

Published by CreateSpace on April 14, 2012

A Doggy Daycare Day is a cute story written from the point of view of Mitzi Jo. Mitzi Jo is a leader in her own family as well as the Doggy Daycare group. She tells all the dogs about the rules when they come to the daycare and then helps her friends follow them. All the dogs at the daycare have different personalities and the reader gets to see what the day is like from their perspective. You get an idea of what happens in a dog’s mind, too. The reader follows Mitzi Jo and her doggy friends as they chase invading squirrels, help dogs calm down, share toys, and much more in this fully illustrated book!

I couldn’t wait to find out more about Mitzi Jo!  Mitzi Jo and Momma Jean let me ask them some interview questions.

bloglogoThank you both for letting me ask you some interview questions! Mitzi Jo, what’s it like running a doggy daycare, and of course, having Momma Jean help you?

mitzi jo inm glassesI love having a purpose in my life.  I am a very social dog and enjoy meeting all the new canines that come to play. Being the leader of our family pack of dogs means I have to explain the rules to all the visiting dogs.


bloglogo It sounds like you have a lot of responsibilities! It must be very interesting being part of a Doggy Daycare. What inspired you to write the book  “A Doggy Daycare Day”?

mitzi jo inm glassesWhile I was greeting a new playmate Momma Jean noticed how well our family of dogs accept new friends. She thought this is no different than human children learning to play together and accepting each other on a playground. She wanted me to share with the human children how much nicer it is to accept each other and use that positive peer pressure to learn to accept each other and our differences.    We have a total of 5 books written but only the first one is in print. In one of our books we have a blind dog and a crippled dog and the other dogs don’t make fun of them but instead help them through the yard.

bloglogo I think you are right! The message in your book, to accept each other, is a great one! Mitzi Jo, have you, or another dog in your immediate family, ever not gotten along with one of the dogs who came for a day? If so, what did you and/or Momma Jean do?

mitzi jo inm glassesMomma Jean usually starts with me to be the first greeting dog. She says if they don’t like me they won’t like the others. Well, we had a Boston Terrier show up one day and he walked in with his human and went to ATTACK me!! He sat there on the end of his leash staring at me. I wouldn’t even look at him so Momma Jean noticed he was a bully and told his human he couldn’t stay.  My human knows to watch my body language to understand what I am feeling.

bloglogo It is a good thing Momma Jean knows you so well! Momma Jean, when did you decide to start a doggy daycare? What is the most important thing you have learned in this business?

mommaThank you Erik for asking me a question too.  I had worked with packs of dogs as a studio animal trainer in Hollywood. The dogs were always glad when I came to work because I would get them out in the yard to play and run with each other.  They were always more content after a little playtime.  When I moved to PA in 2005 I wanted to spend more time with my dogs and offer other families with dogs the chance to let their dogs play too. Dogs can learn from other dogs just like children learn from each other

bloglogoMitzi Jo,  I read on your blog (click HERE to go to the blog) that Momma Jean is a professional animal trainer and you get to work in commercials! Is that hard to do? What’s the best thing you taught Momma Jean?

mitzi jo inm glassesGrabbing all the attention in the room is not difficult for me at all. I love it. I have trained my human to realize that if she wants me to do anything special and on her command then I need to have a dog cookie. Humans work better when they get a paycheck and so do dogs. I told her my dog cookie is my paycheck.    Thank you for the opportunity to speak my mind.

Thank you Mitzi Jo and Momma Jean!

You can Like Mitzi Jo’s Facebook page HERE.

Follow the Doggy Daycare blog HERE.

Find the book on Amazon HERE.

Okay, one more cute one -


Wait! One more -


Now one of the whole family:

Family dogs 2012



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,125 other followers

%d bloggers like this: