Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Pen Pieyu Adventures

Pen Pieyu Diane Mae Robinson

 

About the Books

Book 1:

Sir princess petra pen pieyu adventures
Title: Sir Princess Petra (The Pen Pieyu Adventures Book #1) | Author: Diane Mae Robinson | Year published: 2012 | Publisher: Tate Publishing | Number of pages: 68 | Recommended age: 5+
Summary: Princess Petra's unusual birthday request sends the royal court into a frenzy, but when she agrees to undertake a knight's quest they can't stop her. Armed with a cake knife and outfitted in the best royal pots and pans, Petra sets off to face a dragon and win her real armor before encountering a bog witch, and an army of the kingdom's worst enemies. Will Petra's kindness and acceptance prove to be more valuable than weapons and armor?
 
Awards for book one, Sir Princess Petra:
2012 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award (Literary Arts). 2012 First Runner Up in the Purple Dragonfly Book Award in the Children's Chapter Book category 2013 Honorable Mention in the Reader's Favorite International Book Awards 2013 Finalist in the “50 Great Writers You Should be Reading” Award
Purchase:

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Tate Publishing * Goodreads

  Video Preview (Book 1):  

Book 2:

Sir Princess Petra's Talent by Diane Mae Robinson
Title: Sir Princess Petra's Talent (The Pen Pieyu Adventures Book 2) | Author: Diane Mae Robinson | Publication Date: September 24, 2013 | Publisher: Tate Publishing | Number of pages: 92 | Recommended age: Read-aloud ~ 5+
Summary: Sir Princess Petra has already proven she is a kind and noble knight. This, however, does not please the king and queen---they want her to behave like a princess and forget this silly knight nonsense of hers! But when the king writes a new rule in the royal rule book that requires her to attend Talent School and acquire a princess talent certificate or suffer the spell of the royal magician, Petra, reluctantly, agrees to go. But who could have guessed what Sir Princess Petra’s Talent would be?
   
Awards for book two, Sir Princess Petra's Talent:
2014 Readers' Favorite International Book Awards, finalist in three categories:
Children's Fantasy SciFi Children's Grade K - 3rd Children's Grade 4- 6th
Purchase:

Amazon * Barnes and Noble * Tate Publishing * Goodreads

  Video Preview Book 2:  

The Buzz About the Books

Book 1: "I really feel that this little book is a gem. It is a relatively short book (70-ish pages) that can easily be read aloud to children in one sitting. My kids and I were completely captivated by this fun, adventure-filled tale about a very charming and unorthodox princess. I highly recommend this book to families with children under the age of 10 and as young as 5 who love a good tale filled with fairy-tale characters such as dragons, witches, princesses, and knights." ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews
Book 1: "I liked this book because it has a great story line and a great message about believing in yourself. Petra proves that she and all girls can be daring, adventurous and brave. I think Petra was a great character and I liked Snarls (the dragon) even better because he had good sense and dragons are just cool. The book is a beginning chapter book so there isn't a lot of details in it but it tells a complete story. The black and white illustrations in the book are really great too. The book is part of "The Pen Pieyu Adventures." I hope that means there will be more books about Petra coming out! This book is an awesome beginning chapter book and a great read aloud." ~ Erik @ This Kid Reviews Books
Book 1: "Sir Princess Petra is one of those stories that will appeal to most everyone. It is charmingly funny. Petra sets out to prove she has what it takes to be a royal knight and proves she can do nearly anything. Snarls, the howling dragon, is endearing and lovable. If stuffed, sitting on a toy store shelf, every kid would want him. The story is short enough to be read in one sitting, say at bedtime. There are many opportunities for humorous, wacky, high-pitched voices, making Sir Princess Petra fun to read aloud. The author's imagination is appropriately childlike. Petra is a child every parent will love. I know a child would have sweet, funny dreams after hearing mom or dad read this at bedtime."~ Sue M. @ Kid Lit Reviews
Book 2: "Sir Princess Petra's Talent is precisely everything an early middle grade book should be with a multi-dimensional main character who is a great role model for young girls; a great supporting cast of unique and quirky characters; a plot largely driven through clever dialogue amongst the characters and involving much adventure and folly; and unexpected turns and twists that willleave parents and their children laughing out loud. " ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews
Book 2: "This is an adventurous story, which gets going from the very first page and doesn't stop. The characters are all enjoyable, and the situations, although sometimes challenging for Princess Petra, are very appropriate for the age group." ~ Tonja @ Bookworm for Kids
Book 2: "The[se books] are early chapter books, fun and suitable for children ages six and up. They move very quickly and are quite short, so I think they’d be particularly suitable for reluctant readers. I also think boys would enjoy these books as Sir Princess Petra thinks and behaves in the way I imagine most boys wish girls would think and behave – kind, down-to-earth, adventurous, and never squeamish or manipulative." ~ Tina @ Mommynificent
 

About the Author: Diane Mae Robinson

Diane Mae Robinson
 Diane lives in a small hilltop castle nestled amongst a very old and magical forest. In this mystical forest, all the fantasy creatures one can imagine live and audition for parts in the author’s next book. Diane has a journalism diploma from the Schools of Montreal and an advanced diploma from the Institute of Children’s Literature. The author also teaches acrylic and watercolor art to children, and is a writing instructor at the Creative Writing Institute. The author’s first book in this series, Sir Princess Petra, has won three prestigious awards, and was a finalist for another award. The author recently acquired an agent with Gotham Artists Agency in New York.

Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Goodreads * LinkedIn * Google+

 

* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon $50 Gift Card
  Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) + BONUS SECOND PRIZE = Hardcover copies of both The Pen Pieyu Adventures Books by Diane Mae Robinson Contest ends: August 28, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winners will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winners will then have 72 hours to respond. If a 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 author, Diane Mae Robinson 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 MDBR Book Promotion Services

Friday, July 25, 2014

Flashback Friday: Bunnicula


My youngest fell under the spell of Bunnicula a few months ago, just as his brothers did when they were about his age. It took a bit of convincing as the cover art made him nervous. (I think I remember similar expressions from his older brothers.) Once we'd read a chapter or two together, he was hooked.

Bunnicula is the story of Chester, the cat, and Howard, the dog, who live a rather charmed life with their human family. The father is a professor, and Chester enjoys listening to his lectures. The family's sons are kind and fun to play with. Into the mix comes a new pet, a bunny with fangs, named Bunnicula. Shortly after the new bunny arrives, the family finds a white tomato on the table one morning. The family seems dismissive of the bunny's juice-sucking skills, but Chester is determined to catch Bunnicula in the act...no matter the cost! Predictably, various hijinks ensue in this effort.

Bunnicula is a classic read for those just beginning to read chapter books independently. Bunnicula is also a great introduction to the genre of mystery and scary stories for 1st to 3rd graders who need to take baby steps into that pool.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree


The latest in the Red Knit Cap Girl series might just be my favorite! As a knitter, each of the Red Knit Cap Girl books are dear to my heart, but when Red Knit Cap Girl finds the perfect hollow tree to read with her forest friends...my heart can hardly take it. Each of Red Knit Cap Girl's forest friends brings a book to leave in the hollow tree, except beaver who has no book to bring. He decides to bring his wood-working skills and make bookshelves for inside the tree. With the addition of a few cozy blankets, Red Knit Cap Girl and all of her animal friends have a snug spot for their reading.


Not officially available until September, Red Knit Cap Girl and the Reading Tree is sure to be a new favorite in the series. As always, Stoop's illustrations are simple, lovely, and exceedingly sweet. The community spirit, particularly around sharing books, featured in this story reminds me of the Little Free Libraries that are springing up everywhere. If you've missed the first two installments in this series (Red Knit Cap Girl and Red Knit Cap Girl to the Rescue), you should find a copy in your local library immediately!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Have You Seen My Tail?

Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be coordinating a Book Blast for the adorable picture book "Have You Seen My Tail?" by Kathryn Harper.

Have You Seen My Tail? by Kathryn Harper

About the Book

Title: Have You Seen My Tail? (Katie-Jane, Book #2) | Author & Illustrator: Kathryn Harper | Publication Date: July, 2014 | Publisher: Green Cup Publishing | Pages: 36 | Recommended Ages: 3 to 8 Summary: Anyone who has ever struggled to accept - or longed to experience - change of any kind will be able to relate to Katie-Jane's second story, "Have You Seen My Tail?" Using rhyming verse, and laugh-out-loud moments, Katie-Jane begins this story feeling bored. She is surprised and shocked as she meets a butterfly, a frog and a snake; who are all struggling to accept the recent big changes in their lives. Different perspectives help all four characters to accept their own situations, and embrace change in the way life offers it to them. "Have You Seen My Tail?" is the second book in the six-part Katie-Jane series, designed to encourage the reader to 'be the very best version of you.'  

Sneak Peek

Have You Seen My Tail? by Kathrn Harper - Inside Page  

Purchase

Amazon | Book Website

You can also purchase the first book in the Katie-Jane Series, "Am I a Chameleon?" by clicking the book cover below:
Am I a Chameleon by Kathrn Harper  

Early Buzz About the Book

"Author Kathryn Harper offers insightful questions and answers at the end of the book explaining how she feels about change. I love how these insightful thoughts give the reader a chance to verbalize their own feelings. Like her other books, the illustrations are beautiful and vivid. Each of the animals has a wonderfully rich texture, color, and personality. The Katie-Jane books continue to not disappoint, I look forward to seeing the next books in the series." ~ 5 Star Review, Katherine R., Amazon
"Katie-Jane is a very sweet character in "Have You Seen My Tail?" She helps to explain change in a gentle and unsuspecting way. This is the second book in the series for Author, Kathryn Harper. She writes a relatable story that children all over the world can grasp and understand. " ~ 5 Star Review, Mary Jo P., Amazon
 

About the Author: Kathryn Harper

Kathryn Harper
I have always loved to write, draw and create, but my books are inspired by more than my love for their medium. As a child I was selective mute. Both my struggles and my breakthroughs are a source of inspiration toward creating Katie-Jane and her stories. I grew up in the UK, after living in Johannesburg between the ages of two and five. Today I live in Wanaka, New Zealand, with my two gorgeous children and partner, Simon. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to call this place home, where an adventure can begin every time we step outside.

Website | Facebook | Goodreads

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card
  Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: August 21, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget 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 author, Kathryn Harper 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 MDBR Book Promotion Services

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Absolutely Almost


Albie is a fifth grader living in NYC, a boy who is almost good at many things. Almost, but not quite. Albie regularly miscalculates the tip for the man who delivers his Chinese food. Albie only wants to read Captain Underpants, not the more literary books written for fifth graders. Albie struggles with his spelling list each week. Albie also possesses one of the kindest, most compassionate, most sincere hearts recently depicted in children's literature. He knows that he doesn't live up to his parents expectations and that the cool kids in school ridicule him. Albie's best friend still attends his former school, leaving Albie to forge his own way this school year. All of these regular life struggles form a story of a simple boy endeavoring to find his way during the oft-turbulent pre-teen years.

Absolutely Almost provides an interesting narration for today's middle grade reader: the plight of the average child. Albie is not really good at anything. He's not a stellar student; he doesn't have any outstanding hobbies. He is kind and compassionate, but those traits are often overlooked in the search for a tangible talent. His parents are not particularly understanding and often push him to "do better". As a parent of 4 myself, Albie's perspective of his parents demands, even their relative lack of involvement in his education and the detail of his days, resonated heavily with me. Albie's new babysitter, Calista, appears to be his savior, and while most kids reading this novel will fall in love with her, I found her sugar-enabling, school-skipping, Peter Pan-type behavior to be a bit over the line. That said, she is sympathetic toward Albie in a manner he desperately needs, and she frequently points out life truths that help him along the way. One of my favorite exchanges between them occurs while they are discussing the fact that Albie may never find something in life that he's good at:
"I want to be something I'm good at." [Albie] said.
Calista...looked more serious than normal. "You should do something because you love it, not just because you're good at it."
"But you're good at art, and you love it." [Albie] told her.
She nodded. "Did you ever think maybe the love part comes first? Find something you want to keep doing forever, even if you stink at it. And then, if you're lucky, with lots of practice, then one day you won't stink so much."
"But what if I'm not lucky?" [Albie] asked her. "What if I do find something I love, and then I always stink at it?"
Calista smiled her thoughtful smile. "Then won't you be glad you found something you love?"
Albie's struggle does not reach a tidy conclusion by the end of the novel. Although Albie does have a better sense of self, I could easily see Albie's story being open for a sequel. Either way, Albie will leave many children identifying with his plight and even more children rooting for his success.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Flight of the Mite

Flight of the Mite 
  Title: Flight of the Mite | Author: Grayson Smith | Illustrator: Alana Kyle | Publication Date: 2013 | Publisher: Peppermint Toast Publishing: Independent | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 3 to 8 | Reviewed by: Renee and Dominic (Mother and Son) Information About The Book: A tale of wonder and imagination, Flight of the Mite is a children's read-aloud picture book, written by Grayson Smith and illustrated by Alana Kyle. As a tiny mite stares in wonder at the nighttime stars, she becomes certain that if she were only able to travel to them, she would meet a world of wondrous creatures. She determines to build a flying contraption, and through persistence, ingenuity, and wise counsel, journeys to the nearest star. There she encounters the Others of her dreams and finds herself on an adventure where she learns that her imagination is her most important tool! This story of imagination, courage, and determination is perfect for the little mite in your life! Flight of the Mite is the first book published by the independent small press, Peppermint Toast Publishing, out of New Westminster, British Columbia. Peppermint Toast Publishing strives to work with emerging authors and artists towards the high-quality and environmentally-friendly publication of children's picture books and literature, in profit-sharing partnership with local charitable organizations.  

Purchase

Peppermint Toast Publishing is happy to be contributing $3 from the sales for each copy of Flight of the Mite sold, going to help sick kids get better at BC Children’s Hospital. Visit their Online Store to purchase your copy!

Peppermint Toast Publishing | Amazon (Canada)

 

The Buzz About the Book

Mother and Son Review by MDBR: "Flight of the Mite is a delightful, rhyming picture book featuring an adorable little mite who dreams big as the main character; a magical story underscoring the importance of imagination in children's development; and absolutely gorgeous and whimsical illustrations. I highly recommend this book to children ages 3 to 8 and I think it would be a great choice for reading aloud to children in a classroom or library setting."
"This is our new favourite story to read and will be a book that we will be keeping to pass down to future member of our family." ~ Raincity Parent
"This wonderful piece of children’s literature is well crafted and appropriate for children and adults, the message is clear, embrace diversity, ones weakness may actually be strength. The most interesting and entertaining part is that there is a consistent rhythm and rhyme to the story, keeping the powerful message light and playful." ~ Active Lee Dadding
" I have read the sweetest story!...The combination of these two talents [i.e., the author and illustrator] working together has left us with a sweet rhyming story about a little mites big imagination." ~ Moments in Mommyland
"I recently received a new children’s book to review called Flight of the Mite. So of course I went to the best critic in the house – my 4 year old son[...]. We sat down to read the story together and discovered a delightful tale about imagination and discovery... The illustrations are delightful and [my son] insisted that we stop to discuss some of them along the way. There was more than one “wow!” over a picture of the mite climbing a dandelion." ~ Prenatal to Parenting
 

About the Author: Grayson Smith

Grayson Smith
Grayson Smith was born in Alberta, but attended a boarding school in Germany for 11 years. After high school, he attended SFU, where he obtained a degree in Criminology and met his beautiful wife, Linda. Throughout university, Grayson wrote stories when he should have been paying attention in class. After completing his degree, he became a police officer, and still enjoys that job thoroughly. As of 2012, Grayson gets to re-envision the world through the eyes of his baby son, Josiah. Writing is a wonderful way for Grayson to express the silliness and vagary that simmers beneath his well-practiced outer layer of respectability and professionalism.    

About the Illustrator: Alana Kyle

Alana Kyle, Illustrator
Alana Kyle was born and raised in the Lower Mainland. As a small child, she was sweet, quiet, and frequently lost inside her own head. Ever since she was young, she was motivated by her love of artistic creativity and attention to detail, and remains captivated by storybooks and imagination. Alana attended and graduated from Emily Carr University of Art + Design with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and also obtained a three-year diploma of Illustration and Design from Capilano University. She works as an illustrator and graphic designer, and lives in Coquitlam.  

Links to More Information

Peppermint Toast Publishing | Twitter | Goodreads

Facebook (Peppermint Toast Publishing) | Facebook (Flight of the Mite)

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon 25 gift card
  Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice) Contest ends: August 19, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget 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 author, Grayson Smith 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

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Flashback Friday: Ginger Pye


Ginger Pye is the name of the sweet and playful pup that Jerry Pye cleaned church pews saving his hard earned coins until he finally had saved a dollar to buy her. Jerry brings Ginger home, and he becomes part of the family, following Jerry around town. On Thanksgiving Day, Ginger disappears from the Pye's backyard. Jerry makes every effort to find Ginger, while also trying to figure out who the mysterious figure is who's been following them. 

Ginger Pye won the 1952 Newbery Award, and it's fascinating to see the reaction to it now. If you look at the reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, you'll find as many negative or mediocre reviews as positive ones. The story is definitely set in a different time, but the writing is from that time too. If you need high excitement or wild adventure, this probably isn't the book for you, but if you want a sweet story from an earlier era, Ginger Pye is a beautiful read. In reading it aloud to my own kids a couple of years ago, I found that it took a few chapters to captivate them, but they all loved it by the end. I think kids really do appreciate a simple and sweet story as much as a highly adventurous one. They sometimes just have to be exposed to them.