Friday, November 16, 2018

Review: Poison Slimers by Ellen Lawrence

Poison Dart Frogs, Sea Cucumbers, and More
by Ellen Lawrence
Bearport Publishing
Picture Book / Non-Fiction
40 pages
ages 4 to 8

How does a poison dart frog release its deadly, toxic mucus when a predator attacks? And which underwater slime producer shoots sticky, poisonous, spaghetti-like threads from its butt to repel its enemies? In this brand-new title, learn the answers to these questions and more--and prepare to get slimed! This new Science Slam! title will introduce readers to some of the world's most toxic slimers. The book is expertly crafted to meet early elementary and science curriculum standards, as well as introduce children to bizarre and interesting facts. Innovative, grade-appropriate activities and experiments, critical-thinking questions, and fascinating fact boxes will hold readers' interests with a viselike grip. And, best of all, the activities are gooey and fun!


Slime and animal fans will not only get their thrills when reading this but learn several things along the way.

The title of the book already says it: 'Poisons dart frogs, sea cucumbers, and more'. So much more. The pages are packed with colored creatures from around the world, including everything from land to sea. Some are probably not surprising, while others are less known and might even surprise the reader. Each two-page spread displays a bright, real life photograph of the creature in its natural habitat, along with a smaller photo(s) of closer details, possible attackers or other possible varieties of the creature.

While this is a book of facts, it's created with idea of keeping things fun. Each creature is introduced with an exciting title such as 'Killer Slime!' and the page with the animal's information appears to be dripping with goopy slime. The information is clear, but held at the right level for the intended audience. It's explained how slime is used by the creature, what type and its purpose. Extra bits of information along are sprinkled across the pages in word bubbles with arrows to make it clear what is going on. It gives the book a lively flair.

At the end of the book, is the recipe for a slime readers can make themselves. Then, there's an index, references where readers can find more information, and a link to a website which offers more fun in correlation with the book and topic. It's informative, interesting and fun.

It’s slippery, it’s sticky, and it can even be stinky. Get ready to get slimed! In this new Science Slam! series, children will love learning all about icky, gooey slime. From the deadly toxic slime produced by poison dart frogs to the bubble of mucus burped up by parrotfish to use as a sleeping bag, readers will gobble up this fascinating goo.
Each book in this new series is expertly crafted to meet early elementary and science curriculum standards, as well as introduce children to bizarre and interesting facts. Innovative, grade-appropriate activities and experiments, critical-thinking questions, and fascinating fact boxes will hold readers’ interests with a viselike grip. These features will also introduce children to two fundamental components of scientific inquiry: making observations and drawing inferences. And, best of all, the activities are gooey and fun!
There are six titles in this series, all of which can be found at Bearport Publishing here.

Sneak Peek: When Our Worlds Meet Again by Aniesha Brahma!

~ Book Blitz ~
When Our Worlds Meet Again 
by Aniesha Brahma
YA/NA Romance
16th November 2018

Two years after the events of 'When Our Worlds Collide', Zayn and Akriti are now leading extremely different lives. Akriti has come back from her stint at the business school and running her mother's café. Zayn has run into trouble in his PhD program and has come home for a break. While he thinks that things are just as he’d left them two years ago, that is far from the truth. In a last ditch attempt to make Akriti remember the connection they had once shared, Zayn tries to recreate all their memories. But things are never the same when collided worlds meet again. 

Goodreads * Amazon

Sneak Peek

Akriti was sitting at the cash counter of her mother’s little café going over the expenses for the day. Her headphones were plugged into her ears as she listened to songs on her phone. Her laptop was propelled open in front of her as she made notes on what else needed to be done the next day.
In the two years that she had been gone, the café had not changed at all. Her mother had kept all the renovations that Akriti and her colleagues had done two years ago. The only difference was that now there was a bulletin board next to the chalkboard menu that had been installed just a few weeks ago. On the bulletin board hung a poster that announced that next week’s Poetry Slam would start at 6PM sharp, and Suzanna needed to be contacted for early registration.
Akriti finished her work and shut down her laptop. She looked around the café in grim satisfaction and let out a happy little sigh. The music from her phone suddenly stopped playing. Glancing down she saw that her phone had started buzzing, flashing a number she had not seen on her phone in quite a while.
Debating for a minute, she received the call.
“Hi, Zayn.”

Airports have seen more sincere kisses than weddings it is said. As Zayn Banerjee waited to catch his flight back home, he witnessed one too many couples bidding each other teary eyed goodbyes. It was watching these strangers that he remembered how it had felt two years ago when he had left his home behind in pursuit of higher studies. How he had come to this alien land which had eventually led him to a lot of heartache and misery!
But there had been something good about those two years. There had been someone who had seen past all his imperfections and focused only on the good that was in him. Who had been his friend against all odds and yet, they had fallen out of touch with each other over the course of two years. He wondered if she was still using the same number. He wondered if she still had his number saved.
On an impulse, he pulled out his phone and dialed her number. She answered it on the third ring.
“Hi, Zayn.”
He was pleased as punch that she remembered him.
“Did you want something?”
“I am just calling to let you know that I’d be home soon.”
“Oh? Honestly, I was hoping for a reaction better than oh.”
“Zayn, it’s really late here. Let’s talk when you’re in town?”
“I’ll do you one better. I’ll come see you.”
“Great. Safe flight.”
Then the line went dead. Zayn stared at the phone, wondering if their friendship was lost over the course of time. This wasn’t like the Akriti he remembered.
This wasn’t his Akriti at all.

Akriti hung up the phone feeling utterly drained. Once upon a time this was a source of her happiness but tonight he was a cause of her stress. The last thing she needed was for Zayn to come barging into her life once more.
She remembered all the memories that they had made together two years ago. The time when she’d finally felt okay to let her guard down and just be herself. It seemed to her like it was a lifetime ago. But he’d left. Like everyone else in her life and she had found herself consumed by her loneliness. Going off to business school had only made Akriti revert back to her old self.
That’s a lie they tell you, Akriti thought bitterly to herself, as she put her headphones back on and started listening to music again, time doesn’t heal a damn thing. It just burns the memories into your mind.

And here she is...
Aniesha Brahma knew she wanted to be a writer since she was six years old. She was schooled in Dolna Day School and went on to pursue B.A., M.A., and M.Phil in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur Univeristy. She currently lives in Kolkata, with her family and five pet cats. She is the author of All Signs Lead Back to You, When Our Worlds Collide, The Guitar Girl and The Secret Proposal. She compiled and edited the 10 volumes series, 'Children's Classic Stories' with love and great efforts.

Website * Twitter * Instagram * Facebook

Happy Book Birthday, The Ash Moon by Michelle Dare

The Ash Moon
by Michelle Dare
YA Paranormal Romance
Cover Designer: Regina Wamba at Mae I Design

A kept secret. A life altered. A new journey.
Ariane lived her life one book at a time. She would never have guessed those books were about to change everything.
They led her to Orion.
Tall, dark, with eyes only for her. The rest of the world ceased to exist when Orion was around. But during a fateful ash moon, he shifted into a wolf. Ari thought she was dreaming, but she’d recognize those eyes anywhere.
Fiction became reality. Fantasy was actually history. And soon, Ari would learn her role in it.
A pack war was on the horizon, and she was the only one who could stop it.
Nothing would ever be as it once was, because Ariane was now part of the Avynwood Pack.

Buy Links:

Michelle Dare is a romance author. Her stories range from sweet to sinful and from new adult to fantasy. There aren’t enough hours in the day for her to write all of the story ideas in her head. When not writing or reading, she’s a wife and mom living in eastern Pennsylvania. One day she hopes to be writing from a beach where she will never have to see snow or be cold again.

Author Links:
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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Review: Five Little Oysters, Plus Three Books by Sukey Molloy

For today's review, I have something a little bit different.

Sukey Molloy is, among other things, a musician who has brought out her 5th music CD with lovely children's songs for young listeners up to age eight (or even older). 

(as taken from her website:

Fifth in Sukey Molloy’s award winning musical collection, Five Little Oysters features favorite traditional family tunes, original songs, and the spoken word. In keeping with Molloy’s up-close, cheery, participatory style, Five Little Oysters invites listeners into a personal, intimate world of familiar old time favorites! Molloy changes up the lyrics with lots of special effects, creative rhythmic nuances, and colorful percussive textures, and highlights educational, learning fun with counting, farm animals, and cozy family listening for children of all ages!
Visit the Sukey’s Picture Books page to shop for the companion audio-picture-books.

More information concerning the CD, including purchasing can be found...

But that's not all!

There are three picture books available to accompany several of the songs in the album. Each one is available as a standalone tale, and thanks to a code for a free download of each correlating song, also works well as a sing-along or a read-along.

Each of these books is available:


This was the first time I'd listened to Sukey Molloy's songs, and I enjoyed each and every single one. While most carry some familiarity, they're sung with so much fun, gusto and life that it's hard not to get swept up into each one. They are fun to sing to and dance with, and the three books which are separately available add another nice possibility.

The three books come separately and function as very individual picture books. The story follows the words of the songs and each works nicely as it's very own read-aloud tale. The stories and text are simple, just right for younger listeners. The repetition allows the kids to jump into the tale and guess what is coming next. The extra bonus of a code for a download of the fitting song, which is available in each book, adds another lovely dimension. Kids can flip through the pages on their own as the read the song or sing along themselves.

I'm a fan of felt illustrations, since they give off the sense of more depth, fuzziness and warmth. While the felt scenes are simple and repetitive in these books, they fit well to the songs and the tale which is told. 

I find the repetition and the possibility of children hearing the songs, singing them and seeing the words a wonderful way to encourage the first steps into reading. Without realizing it, children begin to recognize the words and will be able to spot the same ones in other places.

The books are great for preschoolers and younger listeners, especially those who enjoy music.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Review: ABC, Can You Find Me? by Jakki Tauer

by Jakki Tauer
MCP Books
Picture Book
ages 1 and up

Find one or find them all! Search for the 7 hidden letters on each page. A great book for letter recognition and hand eye coordination. Read the engaging rhyme on each page--then let the hunt begin! It's never too early to introduce the Alphabet to growing, curious minds: let's get started!


There are so many good things about this book, and every time I picked it up, I couldn't help but smiling.

The concept is simple—letting young children get their first impression of the abcs. This isn't about teaching kids the sounds which correlate with the letters, or how the letters relate to any thing. Rather, this book gives kids the chance to see letters and familiarize themselves with them in a fun way.

The illustrations are photos of felt pictures (sometimes with other objects mixed in). Not only are these cute, but it gives a warmth and depth to the pictures. They are simple, yet express all that is needed as the letters are mixed in with the objects. It's a lovely seek-and-find, which young listeners are sure to love and feel an accomplishment when they discover all of the letters. The 'hiding places' are not difficult, making this perfect for those beginning preschoolers.

Each picture has a theme, which threads into a little rhyme. The text is short, sweet and encourages the search for the letters. Young listeners are drawn into very familiar moments with positive objects from daily life. It makes learning to recognize the letters easy and fun.

You can learn more about Jakki Tauer and her books...

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Review: Even Superheroes Make Mistakes by Shelly Becker

by Shelly Becker
Illustrated by Eda Kaban
Sterling Children's Books
Picture Book
40 pages
ages 4 to 8

What do young superheroes do when they’ve blundered and bungled? They don’t get mad; they get SMART! This fun follow-up to Even Superheroes Have Bad Days teaches kids another humorous lesson in overcoming adversity.

Even superheroes sometimes slip up and err. And when that happens, do they say, “It’s not FAIR?” or give up in despair? NO! “Ashamed Superheroes who goofed up somehow . . . First STOP . . . then CONSIDER what’s best to do now.”  Whether they’ve nabbed the wrong guy by mistake or bashed into a planet while zooming through space, all superheroes ‘fess up their mess-up, get on with their day, and keep on saving the world in the most super way!


These superheroes try their best and usually live up to their name, but sometimes mistakes—silly and clumsy—can be harder to handle then the most evil villain.

Superheroes are expected, and often do, save the day, but despite the most awesome super powers, superheroes are not perfect. A plan gone wrong, a misstep disaster or simply something left in the oven too long...these make the superheroes wonder how super they really are and leave their fans wondering too. But what does a true superhero do when they make the biggest mess in history? The only thing a true hero can do.

This is the second book about superheroes from author Shelly Becker, and it is as quicky and super as the first. Everyone makes mistakes—this is an important message everyone needs to hear again and again. But the message doesn't stop there. The true mastery isn't in only realizing the mistakes, it's in how the mistake is handled afterwards. These heroes make silly mistakes, super mistakes and simply everyday mistakes. Readers will giggle, gasp and even see themselves in these amazing fighters.

The illustrations are bold, action-packed and invite to glancing through again and again. The superheroes vary in every possible way, and there's a list on the front and back jacket which portrays each hero. In other words, listeners can find their favorites.

The text fits the intended age group nicely and keeps the scenes and mistakes as fast-paced as anything which involves superheroes should be. Some of the rhymes don't flow quite as well as they could and other times, we had to go back and read a section twice to keep pace with what was happening. Still, the book is a treat and sure to make superhero fan hearts beat at super sonic speed.

And here they are...

The Author...
Sherry Becker is the author of Sterling's Even Superheroes Have Bad Days, which Kirkus called "an action-packed romp," and Mine! Mine! Mine! which has been included in many top 5 and top 10 lists of books to teach the concept of sharing. In addition, Shelly is the author of more than 15 children's novelty books She lives in Toronoto, Canada and is available for interview. You can follow her on Twitter at @shellybeckerbooks

The Illustrator...
Eda Kaban was raised in Turkey and studied illustration in the US. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications and her illustrations have been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, Creative Quarterly, American Illustration, and 3X3. She lives in Oakland, CA. Follow her on Twitter at @petiteturk

Sneak Peek: Jaws of the Wolf by Charlotte Jardine with Giveaway!

Jaws of the Wolf 
by Charlotte Jardine 
The Visigoth Chronicles, #1
October 30th 2018
YA Historical, Romance

He’s her father’s slave. She’s promised to another. But war changes everything.
Tervingi Territory, 376 AD. Gelvira dreams of becoming a powerful jeweler. But the arrogant son of a tribal elder wants her for a wife instead. After a Hun raid sends her people into exile, her chance to master the ancient secrets of her craft are stripped away…
Adafuns yearns to become a great warrior and win Gelvira’s affection. But as a slave in her father’s service, he has little chance of either. Captured and carried off by the Huns, Adafuns’ dream of being a warrior could come true… at the cost of losing Gelvira forever.
With her people starving, marrying the tribal elder’s spoiled son may be Gelvira’s only hope to save her family. Will Adafuns reunite with the exiles in time to free Gelvira from her loathsome vows?
Jaws of the Wolf is the exciting first novel in the epic Visigoth Chronicles series of YA adventures. If you like strong heroines, thrilling action, and rich historical detail, you’ll love Charlotte Jardine’s page-turning saga.


After the meeting broke up, Gelvira sat by the fire, mulling over everything she’d heard. The wood creaked as someone sat beside her. Their reiks’ son, Widin. She scowled. She wasn’t in the mood to talk to him. Not after the way he’d treated Pa.
“It must be a lot to take in,” Widin said. “Most of the men will be riding to war. Sorry, not to war. To rebuild old Roman fortifications.” His face darkened and he compressed his lips.
“Did you come to Erdeu to round up warriors in Lord Angmar’s name?” Gelvira asked.
He smiled. “Also to see you.”
She glanced around. Praise the Great Mother, Ma hadn’t heard. She’d be planning their wedding feast.
Widin motioned toward her amulet. “This is new. Did you make it?”
She nodded. “After the raid. I worked on it in the evenings, to take my mind off the Huns.” There was no way she’d tell him its purpose.
He traced the outline of the wolf. “I would have thought flowers or birds more appropriate for a maiden?”
A shiver ran through her. A wrongness. Then heat flared from the metal.
Widin snatched his hand back. “It … burnt me. Was it made using the Becoming One?”
“Yes,” she replied, head spinning with excitement. Had her amulet really done that?
He scowled. “Our people are under attack. You shouldn’t be wasting your time making baubles.”
“It’s a practice piece,” she replied, biting down on her anger. “Master Raginmar used it to teach me the rudiments of the Becoming One.”
“Ah, I see.” Widin’s black look faded. “You must make me something useful, once you’ve mastered the art. I’ll need the gods’ aid far more than you, safe behind your palisade.” He wound his fingers through hers and pulled them against his chest.
Ma noticed the gesture, and beamed.
“If it wasn’t for the Huns, I’d marry you before summer’s end,” he said, leaning close so his breath brushed her skin. “My father would prefer I took a wife who brings more political advantage. He doesn’t see it, but you’ve much in your favour: you’re well born, brave, and quite lovely to look at. And your jewellery will bring me renown, now you’re learning the Becoming One.”
“You honour me,” Gelvira replied, lowering her eyes so he couldn’t see her dismay. Marry him after the way he’d behaved? She couldn’t bear the thought. “As you said, you’re a warrior. You must deal with the raiders first. At times like these, marriage must wait.”
For one terrible moment, she felt almost grateful to the Huns.

And here she is...

Charlotte Jardine writes Historical Fiction, Contemporary Romance and Romantic Adventure. Her books feature courageous heroines, big-hearted heroes, adventure and love.
Her love of history came from reading the adventures of Asterix and Tintin at a young age and continued into adult life, when she studied Classics and Roman History to postgraduate level at university.
While working as a desk slave by day, she spends her evenings escaping into other worlds via her writing.