Friday, May 29, 2020

Book Review: HOME by Alison Neuman

Title: HOME
Author: Alison Neuman
Publisher: DreamWrite Publishing
Pages: 28
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Fluffy, the cat, knew the minute she met Levi that he would become fast friends with the friendly mouse using a special wheelchair. In the third installment of their adventures, join Fluffy, Levi, and his family on their final leg of adventure to find their forever homes together.
Book Review:
Can cats and mice be friends? They sure can in Alison Neuman's darling new picture book, Home. It seems Fluffy, the cat, needs to get to her forever home and it's Levi, the mouse, to the rescue. Follow the capers of these two as they head out into the city to find Fluffy's home. But wait - where does a mouse fit in? Will he be liked by Fluffy's family or will they get out the mousetraps? Read HOME to find out!
I give it 5 rainbows!


Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Interview with Children's Book Author Alison Neuman

Alison Neuman is a writer, author, choreographer, and dance artist, who is passionate about sharing underrepresented voices. She holds a Bachelor’s of Applied Communications Degree, a diploma in Professional Writing, and a Master of Arts degree with a focus on Educational Studies.



About the Book

Fluffy, the cat, knew the minute she met Levi that he would become fast friends with the friendly mouse using a special wheelchair. In the third installment of their adventures, join Fluffy, Levi, and his family on their final leg of adventure to find their forever homes together.


Amazon →

Smashwords →

Thanks for this interview, Alison.  I’ve always wanted to write children’s books.  When did you determine that writing for children was for you?

Thank you for hosting me on your blog. It was just a few years ago when I decided I would like to explore writing for children because of the quality of the books that were in the market. I rediscovered children’s books within the past few years as I was reading aloud to my mom, who had dementia. The books we read would take my mom and me on an adventure beyond our manual wheelchair and our bodies experiencing
challenges due to our health.

What was the inspiration behind your children’s book, Home?

Home is the last book in the Friends and Family Series. I started the first book in the series called Don't Eat Family, about a cat (Fluffy) who meets a mouse (Levi) experiencing a disability, and they become friends. My mom's childhood pet inspired the cat, and the mouse experiencing a disability is the literary character I wished I had to identify with when I was a child. The follow-up book, Help From Friends, was about ability and adventures between friends. Home explores the journey of memories and friendships as Fluffy brings her friend Levi and his family back to the safety of her home.

How do you get into the mind of a child to create a fun reading experience?  Are you around kids?  Are you a kid at heart?

To create an enjoyable reading experience, I found being around children and hearing their discussions helped in the writing process of the book. I have friends who have children and they have provided talks and visits to let their children influence the content and experiences in the series. Yes, I am a kid at heart because I still find wonder in the world and excitement in activities and new adventures.

What was your favorite book as a child?

While I had so many books in which I loved as a child, one of my favourites was Ramona the Pest, by Beverly Cleary, and also the Nancy Drew series.

What kind of advice would you give writers who would like to write children’s books?

Read lots in the children’s genre in which you wish to write, so you have an idea about the content, language, and topics of stories.

What are your goals for the future?  More children’s books?

My goals for the future are to pursue writing more books, the first of which being a project I have been working on for several years called Hindsight. Hindsight is about a young woman, Olivia, who is experiencing a disability and balancing University and work, grieving the loss of a parent, and searching for love. She begins researching a story for her university paper and discovers a secret that, when revealed, will threaten not only her life but also her family and love. I intend to write more children’s books in the future and have some new characters and adventures percolating.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Children's Picture Book New Releases

The Water Bears by Kim Baker
Last year, Newt Gomez survived a bear attack and now he’s found a bear statue that maybe grants wishes. As the wishes come true around him, he becomes increasingly ready to make his own wish – to move to the mainland where his extended family lives, become part of a community where he’s not the only Latinx kid, and to also be free of his bad dreams about the attack. But then, as things so often do, everything changes…
A magical story of recovery and growth in the most unusual of landscapes, this is a coming of age story with a lot of heart.
On These Magic Shores by Yamile Saied Méndez
Minerva Soledad Miranda has responsibilities. She looks after her two sisters while her mom works two jobs – and then, one night, her mom doesn’t come home. It’s up to Minerva to figure out what happened and how to keep her family together and safe. But there’s something magical looking out for them…
Written by an #ownvoices author, this touches on some big issues and does so with a lot of delicacy and magic. Bonus points for that gorgeous cover!
Rick by Alex Gino
Everybody around Rick seems to have figured out who he is, but Rick’s not so sure. But now he’s in middle school and discovering the Rainbow Spectrum club, he might just finally be able to figure himself out and be understood…
A sensitive exploration of how to be yourself in a world that sometimes doesn’t make that easy, and how to deal with unhelpful relationships, Rick is a lovely and important read.
The Pathfinders Society : The Mystery of the Moon Tower by Francesco Sedita and Prescott Seraydarian
I am a sucker for ‘kids who team up to solve a mystery’ stories (blame a lot of Nancy Drew!) and this is amazing. Five kids are thrown together at summer camp, and together they set off to dig into their town’s history – a history that includes a fabled lost treasure…
An adventure packed comic that’s perfect for middle-grade readers, this features code-cracking, mystery-solving and time-travel. What’s not to love?
The Fort by Laura Perdew, illustrated by Adelina Lirius
Two strangers play in the same fort in the woods.. which is either a castle or a ship, depending on who’s in charge! But problems ensue: the prince can’t throw a party when all his invitations turn into treasure maps, and the pirate can’t storm the high seas when her sword turns into a scepter. Can a pirate and a prince learn to share – and what happens when they do?
A celebration of imagination rendered in illustrations that burst with life, this gorgeous picture book sees two adversaries learn the benefits of sharing and teamwork. Two imaginations are a lot more fun than one!
More info at BookRiot.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

FREE Picture Book Mini Summit Coming Soon!

Join the PBSummit Team for a FREE online Picture Book Summit Happy Hour on April 22nd at 4pm ET/1pm PT.
Since their Happy Hour falls on Earth Day, they are sharing their favorite Earth and nature-themed picture books! 
It's easy to join the PBSummit Happy Hour, just click here to sign up:

Monday, April 6, 2020

Children's Picture Book New Releases

Picture Book New Releases
i'm a gnomeI’m a Gnome! by Jessica Peill-Meininghaus (Author), Poly Bernatene (Illustrator)
Join Gnome (that’s spelled G-N-O-M-E–don’t ask why the G is silent!) as he travels through the magical forest to attend the annual Gnome Festival.
Along the way he encounters elves, dwarves, trolls, and fairies. But don’t be mistaken. He is NOTHING like those magical creatures. Well, maybe he is . . . but only a little bit!
When Gnome finally arrives at the festival, he realizes that all the traits he thought made gnomes different from the others actually made them alike–and that’s just fine.
common threadsCommon Threads: Adam’s Day at the Market by Huda Essa (Author), Mercè Tous (Illustrator)
Adam and his family spend an exciting day at the colorful and bustling Eastern Market. But when Adam gets briefly separated from Mom and Dad, he mistakes a friendly, diverse cast of characters for his parents in their traditional Muslim clothing–and shows that we all have more in common than you might think. This nearly-wordless picture book celebrates diversity and community in vibrant, dynamic art.
as warm as the sunAs Warm As the Sun by Kate McMullan (Author), Jim McMullan (Illustrator)
French bulldogs Toby and Pinkie learn to live together and form a heartwarming friendship.
Toby loves basking in the morning sun, snuggling in a lap in the afternoon, and toasting his tummy by the fireside at night, but somehow his warm spots never last. What Toby wants more than anything is to find something as warm as the sun that never fades or fizzles.
Then one day, Pinkie comes along, and she starts hogging all of Toby’s favorite places. Toby feels alone and forgotten, and slinks away. . . but Pinkie follows him, determined to prove that she is the something as warm as the sun Toby has been looking for all along.
if I built a schoolIf I Built a School by Chris Van Dusen (Author, Illustrator)
If Jack built a school, there would be hover desks and pop-up textbooks, skydiving wind tunnels and a trampoline basketball court in the gym, a robo-chef to serve lunch in the cafeteria, field trips to Mars, and a whole lot more. The inventive boy who described his ideal car and house in previous books is dreaming even bigger this time.
riding a donkey backwardsRiding a Donkey Backwards: Wise and Foolish Tales of Mulla Nasruddin by Sean Taylor (Author), Khayaal Theatre Company (Author), Shirin Adl (Illustrator)
Would you like to know how a thief can turn into a donkey? Whether a cow can climb a pole? Or why you should spoon yogurt into a lake? Mulla Nasruddin knows all the answers, and he might also tell you why he rides his donkey backwards. Whether in the guise of an imam in a mosque or a beggar in the street, this trickster is never at a loss for a rejoinder, though it may leave you scratching your head, rolling your eyes, or laughing out loud. Enjoy twenty-one classic tales about a much-loved character from Muslim cultures in a book packed with jokes, riddles, and wisdom and paired with vibrant, theatrical illustrations.
why by seegerWhy? by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Author, Illustrator)
Bear just wants to water his flowers, but Rabbit needs to know: why? Bear is looking forward to a peaceful night of stargazing, but all Rabbit cares about is: why?
As the two friends spend time together through spring, summer, and into fall, Rabbit persistently and simply asks Bear why, encouraging the reader to figure out for themselves the reason for each question that Bear patiently answers, over and over again. . . until there’s a question that he has no answer for.
duck!DUCK! by Meg McKinlay (Author), Nathaniel Eckstrom (Illustrator)
In this funny nod to Chicken Little, a quiet afternoon on the farm might be the scene of a barnyard disaster waiting to happen.
When Duck runs around the farm shouting “DUCK!” to the other animals, they grow exasperated as they haughtily explain to Duck which animal is which. Unfortunately, something is falling from the sky. But perhaps “DUCK!” isn’t the best warning. Perhaps what Duck should have said is . . . “RUN!”
arnica the duck princessArnica, the Duck Princess by Ervin Lazar (Author), Jacqueline Molnar (Illustrator), Anna Bentley (Translator)
Princess Arnica is so sweet and gentle that when she smiles even wolves and bears forget their fierceness. Everyone loves her, but she loves only Poor Johnny. Luckily, he loves her too, and even more luckily she has a very sensible king for a father, who is happy for her to marry whomever her heart desires. So, no problems then?
Well, maybe just one – The Witch with a Hundred Faces has cast a spell on Arnica and Johnny which means that one of them, at any one time, must always be a duck, and the other human! Who can help them? Only the Seven-headed Fairy. Will they be able to find her? You’ll just have to read the book and find out!
spot & dotSpot & Dot by Henry Cole (Author, Illustrator)
In Henry Cole’s vivid wordless picture book Spot, the Cat, readers joined Spot on a journey through a city that began with him following a bird outside his window.
This time, a dog named Dot draws Spot from his window. As we follow Spot and Dot on their wordless journey, we quickly realize that it’s Dot the dog who is missing this time, and Spot is trying to get her back home. We follow these two on a different journey through the city as they weave in and out of a bakery, a library, a busy park, and more. And with a surprise twist at the end, we realize that “home” for both cat and dog was never very far away.
Info from BookRiot.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Book Review: 'Twas the Night by Marin

Title: 'Twas the Night
Author: Marin
Publisher: The Virtue Agency
Pages: 32
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
‘TWAS THE NIGHT is a wordless book that “tells” a heartwarming and inspirational Christmas story. The illustrations gift each reader, young and young at heart, the opportunity to reimagine the Season’s wonder, and the freedom “to script” (if they choose to) their own lines to go with the images. Keep dreaming big!
Book Review:

This was the funnest children's picture book I have ever 'read' and I say 'read' superfluously because this is a wordless picture book. Yes! Believe me, I've never heard of a children's picture book but for my first one, this was great and that's not even coming close to describe it. I'm not kidding you either. Okay what we have here for example...the book opens with a child in a wheelchair in the dark in what looks to me to be a city in the background. It is Christmas time so there's a tree lit up in the background. Without going further, I would wonder what a kid in a wheelchair was doing at night alone in the city. So here you go - no words so you are to make up a story out of your imagination. Is he homeless? Nah I doubt it. Does he look starved? Not really, has nice clothes and everything so then you're still wondering what he's doing out at night but before I go further into the story I've got to make up a story while reading to my grandkids. So what I did was mention to the kids that the kid wasn't alone so don't think that's okay to do. So anyway as more pages are turned I realized the kid was older, but in the first scenes it looked like he wasn't. And I lied. No way could I tell the kids that the kid wasn't alone. He was. So skipping over the why you don't go out at night in the big city alone speech, I kept on with my story. He finds a bird who is injured and takes it back home. Feeds and nurses it back to health, then lets it out the window to be free again. But before you know it, the kid is flying out the window himself and you see Santa Claus in the background. You don't know if it's a dream or what but it's totally up to you to make up a story to go along with the illustrations. It was rather fun. After the first go around, I came up with another storyline and the kids thought it was rather funny because it was nothing like the first storyline. If this author get a notion to write a sequel to this, I hope he would because it's really a very unique idea.

I give it 5 rainbows!