Great Reads by Other Authors
As I embarked on my journey into the world of book marketing , I decided to help other authors with promoting their work. The summers of 2020 and 2021 I read over 80 children's picture books by other authors and posted reviews. Sadly, my efforts were not always reciprocated. At any rate, I have discovered some pretty amazing books by some very creative individuals and am sharing some of my favourites here. The world of children's picture books is very competitive and if you are not in a clique, or you don't pay to submit your books for awards (that's right, those books with the gold seals aren't just magically discovered!), it can be a struggle to get reviews and have your books discovered. I am doing my little part to help.
The Lighthouse by Tracy Blom
Wow! A beautiful story about inner strength. Quite intense for young children, but the illustrations are mesmerizing. I was swept along with the words and the illustrations, page after page. It is not easy to write in rhyme but the author has done an amazing job bringing the story to life through the lyrical prose. The illustrations are sure to captivate. Not the typical children’s book we’re are seeing on the market right now. Highly recommended.
Dave Explores the Outdoors - Minibeasts
by Nicky Gould
Discover the Wonderful World of ‘Minibeasts’
Awesome book! Beautiful illustrations that carry through the entire story. I LOVE the rhyme. So well done that if children pick up on the rhyming pattern they can try to guess what the ‘minibeast’ will be on the next page. It’s perfect that it’s a tree discovering all the little critters that live in and around it. A great book for children to learn about the fascinating world around them – much of which is on the ground. ‘Dave Explores the Outdoors’ would be a wonderful addition to any child’s library. During this time of virtual learning, it would be a fabulous addition to a primary school science curriculum or IB unit of inquiry. A sheer delight to read.
The Thing King by Kat Chew
The Magic of Nothing
What a fabulous book about the need for so little to be happy. Hoarding has become a real issue for so many people and it really affects the person as well as those who love them. The rhyme in this book carries the story along beautifully. A great story to share with any child who complains they do not have enough ‘stuff’. During the current pandemic, this is an especially important read as children have to learn to appreciate the simple things, to appreciate nature, and to appreciate being able to just spend time with those they love.
Latoya's Downtown Day
by Patricia Moore
Coming from a childhood with very little money, I could relate to Latoya's Downtown Day. Although we did not live in a neighbourhood where we had to worry about gunshots, we did have to watch our money. I remember my mother trying to save all her loose change in a big, empty glass pickle jar to take us to Disneyland. We never did get there as kids but I remember how much Mom tried. My husband and I finally saved enough 'pennies' to take my parents to Disneyland for the first time when Mom was 69 and Dad was 72. My Dad was a sailor and I cherished every single thing he ever brought back from his journeys. When you don't have much, you learn to value what you do have. I loved that Latoya's mother shared the memories from her own childhood because it is the memories that really have the most value in the end. My father passed away from COVID-19 last Saturday and I am so grateful that we took him to Disneyland. He told us over and over that, despite having gone around the world with the navy, that was the trip of a lifetime. I can imagine Latoya remembering that Downtown Day with her mother for years to come and well into her adulthood. Make those memories while you can. Memories, true memories, cost nothing but in the end they carry more value than any material thing ever
The Not-So-Great Zoo Swap
by Cora Lydon
Perfect Just the Way You Are
I love it!! A wonderful book that celebrates the beauty of diversity. Our world is full of people (and animals!) who do not look the same whether it be the colour of their skin, the shape of their eyes, or the length of their limbs. These people bring with them a vast range of talents, abilities, and creativity. How boring our world would be if everyone looked the same and could do all the same things! The illustrator did a fantastic job bringing this story to life and the author did a fabulous job with the rhyming text. A Lovely book that is sure to be enjoyed by anyone who ventures to open the pages.
Little Cat Needs Space
by Dori Durbin
Cute Kitty Just Wants Some Peace and Quiet
This cute book was lots of fun to read. Children will definitely be entertained as they follow Little Cat all over as she tries to find a quiet place to be alone. The colour choice for the story worked really well – not too ‘loud’, but not too ‘soft’. For children sharing ‘their space’ with an ‘annoying’ brother or sister, the book has an important message. Well done!
Framkenbots: Stu Saves the World
by Michael Ferrone
Three Cheers For the Earth-Saving Bots
Wonderful book all around. I love that the scientist is a little girl! How fabulous for girls to inspire them to have a career in science! Lots of fun illustrations that bring the story to life. I noticed a little Frankenstein (Q’s favourite movie) doll showing up in most of the pictures. Lots of wonderful onomatopoeia and the rhyming interspersed throughout is great! A fantastic underlying message about cooperation and working together as team to solve a problem. Children will thoroughly enjoy this story. The illustrations are sure to keep them engaged from beginning to end – can they find Frankenstein, too? Well done!
Eddie the World's Greatest Creature
by Kayleigh Mackie
Be comfortable in your own skin
A delightful rhyming book that starts off with a dog, Kenny, asking his master, “Eddie, if you could be any animal, what would you be?” Children will thoroughly enjoy following along as Eddie acquires the features of different animals and morphs into a very magnificent, but strange creature. The author has deliberately changed the colour of the font and text to highlight the features that have been adopted from different animals as well as some of the actions that go along with them. An interesting touch that is effective as it will draw a child’s attention to the words! The illustrations are vibrant and really help bring each animal and the ‘new’ creature to life. Well done!
Can You Hear Me, Daddy?
by Y.Y. Chan
Have your tissues ready
A beautiful book – it brought tears to my eyes. There is a lovely quote at the beginning of the book. I lost my father to covid -19 on April 18, 2020 and this quote really resonated with me. Absolutely gorgeous illustrations that are life-like which is powerful for a book about grief. The soft colours invite you in and you feel like you are there with this little girl who is losing her sweet father. I am not religious, but you do not have to be to be touched by this story. A story that can bring some comfort to children who have lost a loved one and are going through the grieving process or for those who have a terminally ill relative or friend. Beautiful.
Princess Piper of Poopville
by Jane Chesley
What young child wouldn’t like to know that their poop is turned into “sparkly pink fairy dust” to grow lollipop bushes? Children love to talk about poop, BUT they have to remember that they cannot throw it around or catapult it at others! I loved the ‘p’ alliteration throughout the book. What a great read for young children who are going through the potty-training process. The ultimate reward is when it is officially proclaimed that they are a ‘Royal Pooper’! Highly recommended for parents and their wee ones. Giggles to be had by all!