Saturday, October 26, 2013

Book Review: Sir Stan The Bogeyman by Stacie Morrell

Sir Stan the Bogeyman
by Stacie Morrell
Illustrated by Elizabeth Berg

About Stacie:
Accomplishments: Started a used bookstore for the Friends of the Wilsonville Library, subject of Oregonian article, published in: Antiques and Collectibles Magazine, Bookman’s AB Magazine, Antique Trader, Writer’s Digest (writing clinic), Book Magazine. Started the E-Commerce collectibles department for Goodwill of the Columbia Willamette. Currently pursuing an Associates of Applied Science in Business and Management at Portland Community College, holding a 3.98 GPA, member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, on Dean’s and President’s List.
Interests: Reading (pretty much anything even the cereal box if nothing else is available), writing (all genres), family (wife and mother), growing in and spreading my faith, learning (information geek), travel (but I rarely ever get to), volunteering, bargain hunting at garage sales, thrift stores, flea markets, etc.
In one sentence, who am I? Stacie Morrell is an eccentrically entertaining neurotic bibliophile who sells collectibles, tries to have patience with her precocious daughter, fearlessly tries to do everything, and writes because she is driven to as part of her genetic composition.
If I could go back and do one thing over: I would have figured out what I wanted from life way before now and gone back to school to get it (much, much sooner than I did).

Genre: Children's Picture Book
Publisher: Self-Published at CreateSpace
Release Date: September 1, 2013
Amazon - Coming Soon!

Book Description:

Do dark places bother you?
The space under your bed…
The closet, door slightly ajar…
Do you believe in the Boogey Man?
Who is he?
Where did he come from?
What does he want?
Maybe he has a story to tell,
And we should listen.

My Review:

Sir Stan The Bogeyman is a great read while teaching the lesson of watching your actions. It doesn't pay to be rude and spiteful, or to act like a spoiled brat. I thought the spell was the right consequence for his actions and teaches all children that there are reactions to their actions.

The illustrations were vivid and fit the storyline perfectly. I would recommend this book to anyone that is looking for a great children's book or even in need of that special gift for a special occasion.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

VBTC Pit Stop Review of What Are You Afraid Of by Kiki Howell

What Are You Afraid Of? - A Children's Picture Book

While this book is set during Halloween, it's really a book which addresses the issue of dealing with a child's fears and is meant to be read during any season by any child dealing with any fear. The setting came about because the author's dog is actually afraid of children in costumes on Halloween, and the idea seemed just funny enough an approach to work with this very important subject. Please read the Note from the Author to find out more about why this book was written. “Why does the night have to be so dark?” the big dog named Drake gave a low bark. 

Everyone has fears, even a big dog like Drake. In fact, the big dog named Drake is afraid of the children in costumes on Halloween. He really only likes the candy his boy drops.

Lucky for Drake, the old dog named Zoe is there to help him forget his fears with a fun game.
Drake and Zoe can’t wait for you to play along. 

My Review:

Drake is scared because it's Halloween and all the decorations and costumes. Zoe helps him though by creating a fun game to overcome his fears. In this game, Zoe helps Drake to find a way to make the things he fears not as frightening. As Halloween passes, Drake isn't as afraid anymore.

I thought this was a great children's book and definitely not just for Halloween. Howell did an excellent job in describing the game making it easy for kids to find a way to overcome their fears. Many children have fears, whether it's being afraid of the dark or afraid of clowns, Howell teaches them to instead of being afraid, to face their fears head on by creating funny images in their mind instead of focusing on the scary things.

I would recommend this book for any child dealing with how to face their fear, no matter what it is.

Purchase in print at Amazon or Barnes & Noble

Ever since she was young, Kiki Howell has loved to listen to a well-woven tale with real characters, inspired plots, and delightful resolutions. Kiki could spend hours lost in a book, and soon she knew that creating lives, loves, and losses with just words had to be the greatest thing that she could do. To that end, she pursued her study of literature and writing, earning a bachelor’s degree in English. She then followed in a Master’s program in Creative Writing.

“After a long break having my boys, I finally just had to write again. And, as soon as I gave the stories the space, they entered it. It’s both awesome and humbling to find the words in my mind become characters on a page and create their lives.”

She has now had over twenty stories published between seven different small presses.  She could not be more thrilled or grateful to see her creations polished and out in the real world. Please look around. Although, a bit of caution, most of her stories tend to hang out on the graphically sexy side of town.

In May, 2011, Kiki was chosen as an Ohioana Book Festival author for her novel,Torn Asunder. 

Kiki resides in the Midwest with her incredibly handsome and talented, singer/songwriter husband and two children. When she is not writing, she is spending time with her family, reading, baking or knitting.

Her biggest dream is to have a novel she writes be made into a movie that her husband creates the soundtrack for, and then cruise to Alaska with her family on the money they make.


Kiki is offering a grand prize giveaway for anyone that comments during her tour. One randomly drawn commenter from her entire tour will have a chance to win a bag with Drake & Zoe's picture chock full of some great prizes. You can follow Kiki's tour HERE, and don't forget to leave a comment here for a chance to win. Not mandatory, but if you wouldn't mind a follow of the blog too, it'd be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Review - Johnny Big Ears by John Paul Padilla

Johnny Big Ears always had curly black hair and big ears. His first day of school he was so excited to start, and his mother cut his hair revealing his big ears. Johnny loved his new haircut and couldn't wait to get to school. 

He arrives to school, meets his teacher and his day begins. He learns his alphabet, writes his name on the chalkboard, it's so fun to be at school. 

Then it's time for recess. He's having fun, kicking a ball around when two kids start picking on him about his ears, "You're funny looking", "You have huge ears, I bet you could fly like a bird." As they continue picking on him, Johnny gets mad, but remembers what his mother told him about bullies and chooses to ignore them. They don't let up, following him around teasing him. Johnny can't take it any longer and finally runs away crying. 

Finding a new spot, he starts kicking the ball around again, feeling very sad. A new kid comes up to him and says "Hi." His name is Charlie Freckles, and Charlie knows how Johnny feels because he too gets picked on because of his freckles. They begin playing together, and a new friendship is formed.

Recess is over and Johnny is sad because he doesn't want to stop playing with his new friend. Charlie and Johnny run side by side to go back into school and their friendship continues to grow.

At the end of the day, Johnny's mother comes to pick him up. Johnny tells her about his day, how he was teased and how he made a new friend. He asks his mother, "Am I special?" She answers him with, "Yes you are Johnny Big Ears, my sweet little man." She tells him that we should love people regardless of their actions, and very proud he didn't respond to the bullying, and rewards him with a pizza.

I think Padilla did a great job describing bullying in elementary school. It would be a fantastic book for teachers to share with their students, as well as parents to help kids learn about bullying, and how it can affect children.

Review - Snowflake - A Christmas Gift by Robert Wheiler

Snowflake A Christmas Gift by Robert Wheiler is an excellent children's book.

Momma gives birth to five puppies.  After a few months the puppies must be sold.  The last pup the kids get to keep.

Snowflake is the one they wanted all along.  She's the cutest puppy always tripping over her big ears and that's the pup that is not picked.  The kids are ecstatic.

One day Snowflake gets lost in the forest and is desperate to get back to her human family.  A skunk befriends her,  helping her to find her way home.  Leading her to a hotel thinking it was a house that could be hers,  Snowflake gets a warm bed and a meal from the owner.  The next day the grandparents just happen to stop at this hotel and realize that Snowflake is there.  They bring Snowflake home to her family once again and the kids are so happy to have her back.

Wheiler did a great job with this title and I truly enjoyed it.  I would highly recommend this book for any child.  I give Snowflake A Christmas Gift 5 Baseballs. ~ Daniel Dietz,  Children's Book Reviewer.

Review - Magician of Oz by James C. Wallace II

The Magician Of Oz was a fantastic book with magic from start to end.  It's a definite page turner that you are going to love.
Jamie Diggs moved from Kansas to Indiana.  One night Jamie and his father were looking in a trunk that belonged to his great grandfather.  What they found were coins,  and old pocket watch,  and O.Z. Diggs on the trunk itself,  which was his grandfathers initials.

One night as a surprise,  Jamie's father took him to a magic club.  After he was introduced,  he showed the coins and pocket watch from his grandfathers trunk.

As he was learning magic,  he did a trick with a zombie ball at a magic club picnic,  and he even made his coin disappear.   He was becoming good with his magic tricks,  and one day while walking in the woods,  he was led into the land of Oz.

He stayed in Ozma's Castle with Ozma, Dorothy, and Glinda.  While he was missing his mothers potato soup,  Dorothy took him to the Tin Woodman's castle so her Aunt Em could make him some.

While enjoying his soup,  a counsel of trees were angry with the Tin Woodman,  and were coming to the castle to destroy the Tin Woodman.  Dorothy and Jamie conjured up a spell which made them disappear.  The Tin Woodman seemed to have a lot of enemies as they also had to cast a spell to turn the morals to stone.

After a few days of being in Oz,  doing tricks for the farm people,  he finally got to go home,  but soon would visit again.  Before his departure,  he did receive a new coin from Ozma,  which bore the three girls from Oz embedded on it,  just like the old coin Jamie had lost.

Though Jamie thought he was gone from his family for days,  upon returning he realizes they only think he was gone for a few hours.  

Wallace did a great job with this exciting tale.  With magic and spells,  there was never a dull moment.  Though it had the some of the same characters as The Wizard of Oz,  Wallace created an exciting twist on the plot.

Purchase Magician Of Oz

Learn more about James C. Wallace II

Review - Cyber Writers by Karen Kostlivy

Mason Witt is an average kid who loves skateboarding.  He had been grounded for a week for riding his skateboard in the neighbors empty pool,  and today was his first day of freedom.  He was anxious to get off the bus to ride his board.

When he got home his mother made him his favorite snack of apples and peanut butter,  so he ate quickly to be able to ride his board before they had to run errands.  Before going to play,  he ran to his room to put his backpack away and checked his email.

Being a pen pal on Cyber Writers,  he found an email from Africa.  Before he was able to read it,  his mother yelled that they had to leave sooner than anticipated so they could get his brother Jamie at Karate,  then go get hair cuts.

While getting their hair cuts Mason was so excited to get that email he asked the barber if he knew anything about Africa.  When asked why,  Mason told all about being a pen pal with Cyber Writers.

Finally home,  Mason grabs a slice of pizza and runs upstairs to check his email.  He starts reading and the introduction of Lutalo begins.  Lutalo is in desperate need of help to return a Zebra and his missing father.  "The Zebra is what brings prosperity to farmers crops and harmony to all villagers".  The Zebra is known as the "Zebra of Life".

Getting ready for bed Mason crawls under the covers to finish reading his email.  Suddenly he feels vines,  jumping out of bed he realizes that his bedroom is changing into a jungle.  Mason has been virtually transported to Africa.

Follow Mason and Lutalo during their adventures through Africa,  as they begin the chase in hopes to safely return the Zebra of Life and Lutalo's father,  Mwamba.

Kostlivy did a great job with her first book in the Cyber Writer Series.  I found myself anxious to find out what happened next,  and I can't wait to read the next book in the series.  I was amazed with the plot and she kept my attention from beginning to end.

I give Cyber Writers and The Zebra of Life 5 Baseballs,  Daniel Dietz,  children's book reviewer for BK Walker Books. 


Learn more about this author - Karen Kostlivy