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Tot Review: Ellie’s First Plane Ride by Marci and Elle Fair

Ellie's First Plane Ride

“I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.”

The Synopsis: 

Always on the lookout for a new adventure, Ellie the Elephant can hardly believe her good fortune when she gets to go on her first plane ride and visit her faraway relatives. The only thing that could make this trip better is sharing it with a friend, so Ellie invites Pudgy the Penguin to join her.

The newest book in The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant series, Ellie’s First Plane Ride follows the two plush toys as they navigate the airport, experience flight for the first time, revel in hotel luxury, and face the daunting task of finding their way through a massive zoo in search of Ellie’s real-life elephant relatives.

Illustrated by delightful photographs of the plush pair, the story introduces children to an exotic array of animals and teaches them how to creatively solve problems. This ingenious blend of reality and imagination inspires kids to look at their everyday lives with fresh eyes while helping parents and teachers discover new ways to approach education.

Don’t miss the latest day-in-the-life of Ellie the Elephant!

My Review: 

Another creative book by Marci and Elle! Ellie’s First Plane Ride is just as cute and warm as Ellie Makes a New Friend! Unique with photographs and enjoyable characters and scenes, this is a book that is sure to make any young child smile. Ellie’s First Plane Ride is filled with fun information about what its like to board a plane and has lots of vocabulary words. There are also pictures of different animals with their proper names that are sure to make any child seem like a genius when they learn them ;-) Just as with Ellie Makes a New Friend, a portion of every book sale is given to children in need, so when you buy a book you are not only giving your kids a sweet story to read, but you are also helping out some less fortunate children who need our help. I encourage everyone to pick up a copy whether you have small children or not; the adorable pictures and story are sure to put a smile on your face! 5 out of 5 stars!

*Personal side-note* As you read about this little elephant flying, be prepared to sing “When I See an Elephant Fly” from the one and only Dumbo! It is still playing in my head….

Author Bio: 

As a working mother of four children, Fair was inspired to share the hard-earned wisdom she gained from juggling work and motherhood for over twenty years. This labor of love resulted in “TILT-7 Solutions To Be A Guilt-free Working Mom.”

Filled with over 70 quotes from her children, over 100 real-life practical tips to help working moms and the wisdom of over 80 other wonderful working moms, Marci’s goal with TILT is to encourage moms to continue to reach for their goals and dreams, as they help their children reach for theirs.

Marci Fair earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Southern Methodist University. Together, she and her husband founded a real estate business that is ranked in the top 100 in the United States. In addition, Marci founded a children’s charity Kares 4 Kids, that has served over fifteen thousand kids thus far (www.kares4kids.com).

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tot Review: Ellie Makes a New Friend by Marci and Elle Fair

Ellie Makes a New Friend

“I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.”

The Synopsis: 

A beautiful blend of real life and make-believe, The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant series recounts the everyday life of a stuffed animal. The debut book, Ellie Makes a New Friend, follows the plush elephant as she moves to a new neighborhood and has to find a new playmate.

Written and photographed by mother Marci Fair and her ten-year-old daughter Elle Fair, the story is uniquely illustrated with delightful photos of the little elephant’s journeys through the neighborhood as she tries to settle into her new home. Children will love seeing a toy living in a real-world setting, and parents and teachers will appreciate Ellie’s positive and creative approach to finding answers to her problems.

Fun, playful, and packed with imagination, you won’t want to miss the upcoming adventures of Ellie—and her new friend!

My Review: 

This book made me smile! Such a cute, fun little book that is so unique and just makes you happy! The book greatly resembles that of a scrapbook; with the pictures and the fun designs in the background, it is definitely a treasure to get a hold of! The writing is cute and easy to understand and I LOVE the creativity of the photographs! I also love the heart of the authors; where they are using these books to help children in need, a portion of every book sale is given to children in need. The Amazing Adventures of Ellie the Elephant is definitely a series that I encourage you to pick up, even if you don’t have young children! The adorable pictures and ministry of the book will brighten your day and make the book worth your time and money! I rate Ellie Makes a New Friend 5 out 5 stars and cannot wait to get a hold of another!

*Personal side note: I got excited when I saw the little colorful “W” on Pudgy’s flipper, thinking something along the lines of, “Aw he’s a Webkinz! I haven’t seen one of those in years!” (Other than when I go digging through my endless collection….)

Thanks for reading!

Author(s) Bio: 

As a working mother of four children, Fair was inspired to share the hard-earned wisdom she gained from juggling work and motherhood for over twenty years. This labor of love resulted in “TILT-7 Solutions To Be A Guilt-free Working Mom.”

Filled with over 70 quotes from her children, over 100 real-life practical tips to help working moms and the wisdom of over 80 other wonderful working moms, Marci’s goal with TILT is to encourage moms to continue to reach for their goals and dreams, as they help their children reach for theirs.

Marci Fair earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Southern Methodist University. Together, she and her husband founded a real estate business that is ranked in the top 100 in the United States. In addition, Marci founded a children’s charity Kares 4 Kids, that has served over fifteen thousand kids thus far (www.kares4kids.com)

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tot Review: A Captain No Beard Story; A Flag for the Flying Dragon by Carole P. Roman

A Flag for the Flying Dragon

“I received this book from the author/publisher for the purpose of my review. All comments and opinions are entirely me own.”

The Synopsis: 

It’s business as usual on the Flying Dragon. Their mission is to find a flag for the ship. Captain No Beard sighs, “Being a captain is hard work,” as he watches the busy crew preparing the vessel for their next adventure. Polly is giving out pretzels; Linus is polishing a lamp. Matie is cracking coconuts, Cayla is stuffing holes, and Hallie is swabbing the deck. High overhead, trouble is brewing, and it is not the weather. Mongo does not want any help from the newest crew member, and it is creating a hurricane of a mess on board. The team must come together and find a task that will fit Zachary without interfering with their own fun. On the way, they acquire a flag that will unite them as both friends and crew. Join the problem-solving crew of the Flying Dragon as they find a flag for their ship and a job for Zach.

My Review: 

After reading and reviewing Captain No Beard; Fribbet the Frog and the Tadpoles, I was excited to be able to review another of Carole’s Captain No Beard stories. Just like the other book, A Flag for the Flying Dragon has good moral truths that encourage children to problem solve and help one another. Captain No Beard must find a way to keep all of his younger siblings happy and to make each one of them feel important; he finds that dying to his own wishes, self-sacrifice, would be the best way to accomplish this so he gives up one of the things that he desires.

The writing is easy for young children to understand and engage with while they follow along looking at all of the bright pictures. The creativity in this book is evident throughout and I really cannot complain about anything; however, I am aware that different parents have different convictions about certain material so I am going to mention two things that might sit wrong with some parents.

The flag that the flying dragon obtains has a skull on it and is shown twice in addition to the front cover (though faintly). Also, the stuffed animal monkey has an earring in one ear that is shown several times.

I rate A Flag for the Flying Dragon 5 out of 5 stars and encourage parents of tots (under 5 years) to pick up a copy as soon as you can!

Author Bio: 

Carole P. Roman is the award-winning author of the Captain No Beard series. Both Captain No Beard-An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life and Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis have received the Kirkus Star of Exceptional Merit. The first book in the series was named to Kirkus Reviews Best 2012. Each book has won numerous awards, namely the NABE Pinnacle Award, ERIK Award for 2013, ForeWord Review Five Star, Rebecca Reads, and Reader’s Views Children’s Book of the Year 2013. Recently it was awarded the Marble Book Award for Best Illustration in a series for Bonnie Lemaire’s stunning illustrations.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Book Review: Dauntless by Dina L Sleiman

Dauntless

The Synopsis: 

Though once a baron’s daughter, Lady Merry Ellison is willing to go to any lengths to protect the orphaned children of her former village. Dubbed “The Ghosts of Farthingale Forest,” her band of followers soon become enemies of the throne when they hijack ill-gotten gold meant for the king.

Timothy Grey, ninth child of the Baron of Greyham, longs to perform some feat so legendary that he will rise from obscurity and earn a title of his own. When the Ghosts of Farthingale Forest are spotted in Wyndeshire, where he serves as assistant to the local earl, he might have found his chance. But when he comes face-to-face with the leader of the thieves, will he choose fame or love?

My Review: 

Dina Sleiman actually stopped by my blog specifically and asked me to review her book for her. Of course I said “yes” so I received this book on her compliments and below is my review :-)

Dauntless is a very well written book that has an exciting new twist on the original “Robin Hood” story. Dina has a very engaging writing style and a talent for creating characters; and when I say talent, I really mean talent! There are so many different (mentioned) characters in this book that I thought the author was going to duplicate personalities, roles, etc. but surprisingly each character was his/her own and there were no duplicates. It is rare to have that many functioning characters in a single book (of about 300 pages) so I applaud the author for her success!

The love triangle was charming, though I did get annoyed with Merry about halfway into the book and may have accidentally rolled my eyes when she finally chose the right guy*guilty shrug*….Needless to say, the story is completely predictable, however, it has many unpredictable subplots that will satisfy those of us who need surprises. The emotion was captured very well in the scenes that needed emotion and the details were not overbearing. So all in all, I thoroughly enjoyed Dauntless and will go ahead and rate it 5 out of 5 stars.

I can almost promise you that I will be reading book two, Chivalrous, when it comes out in September (must finish the story!).

Thanks for reading!

Author Bio: 

Dina Sleiman writes stories of passion and grace. Most of the time you will find this Virginia Beach resident reading, biking, dancing, or hanging out with her husband and three children, preferably at the oceanfront. Since finishing her Professional Writing MA in 1994, she has enjoyed many opportunities to teach literature, writing, and the arts. Dina also serves as an acquisitions and content editor for WhiteFire Publishing. For more info visit her at http://dinasleiman.com/ or check out her latest series athttp://valiantheartsseries.blogspot.c….

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Book Review: Rise of the Fallen by Chuck Black

Rise of The Fallen

The Synopsis: 

A six thousand year war rages and now the demonic Fallen are coming for him—the one man shrouded in mystery. Only Validus stands in their way.

Validus is the last and least of God’s angels, but he’s seen much across the millennia since his creation. Empires have risen and fallen as angelic and demonic forces battle in a raging war that will determine humanity’s fate – and the fate of his defeated brothers.

Eventually called to be an earth-bound warrior, Validus rises to a position of power and respect, commanding legions of angels through impossible battles and overwhelming odds. But when orders arrive from the Creator’s most elite Messenger, he finds himself suddenly demoted to a task of apparent insignificance considering the fierce war they are waging against the demonic Fallen – the covert protection of one unbelieving man.

Validus soon finds himself on a mission that will push him beyond his abilities as he battles to protect Drew Carter, for the Fallen are coming for him. Legions of them.

As Validus races against time to discover why Drew is so important to humanity’s survival, can he stand between Drew and all who would destroy him?

My Review: 

Once again, my sister (and father) refused to allow me to even touch this book before they read it. And with me not having read Cloak of the Light yet, I allowed MaKenzie to write this review for me as well :-) So below is her review of Rise of the Fallen.

If you like suspense, realism, and sleepless nights due to books screaming your name, then this books for you!
I LOVE Chuck Black’s writing style; while its not specifically unique, he has perfected the art of a good suspense novel, which is exactly what Rise of the Fallen is. I was surprised yet again with Black’s newest book. In Cloak of the Light, Drew Carter is involved in an accident and through this accident was given a gift to see into the spiritual realm.
However instead of simply continuing this story where it left off, Black decided to take a new twist. Rise of the Fallen is written from the point of view of Drew’s guardian/warrior angel, and his journey from the day of creation to present day.
While this book, as well as Cloak of the Light, are AWESOME, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone under the age 15 or so as this book contains a lot spiritual warfare and Chuck Black, being the master author he is, perfected realism in his books. It’s really easy to lose yourself in this story and forget that your reading words off of a page. Rise of the Fallen does contain some gruesome portrayals of evil and violence, but no language or sexual content.
If you decide to read Rise of the Fallen ( which I strongly encourage you to do) I recommend three things; (1) READ CLOAK OF THE LIGHT FIRST!!!!! (2) Read Chuck’s intro and as you’re reading it and don’t forget that this book IS NOT completely fiction. War in the spiritual realm is very, very real and very important. Lastly, (3) You will need popcorn.
I give this book a full five stars and this is my new favorite book! You should definitely read it!

“This book was received from the author/publisher for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are my own.”

Author Bio: 

Chuck Black spent eight years in the Air Force traveling the world as a communications engineer and an F-16 fighter pilot. Today, Chuck is a product design engineer and has invented or coinvented eleven patented construction products now being sold internationally. His passion in life is to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and to love his wife, Andrea, and their six children. The Blacks take their family music ministry on the road, singing Christian gospel, contemporary, and traditional songs. Chuck and his family live in North Dakota.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Book Review: A Sparrow in Terezin by Kristy Cambron

A Sparrow in Terezin

The Synopsis: 

Two women, one in the present day and one in 1942, each hope for a brighter future. But they’ll both have to battle through their darkest days to reach it.

“Today. “With the grand opening of her new gallery and a fairytale wedding months away, Sera James appears to have a charmed life. But in an instant, the prospect of a devastating legal battle surrounding her fiance threatens to tear her dreams apart. Sera and William rush to marry and are thrust into a world of doubt and fear as they defend charges that could separate them for life.

“June 1942. “After surviving the Blitz bombings that left many Londoners with shattered lives, Kaja Makovsky prayed for the war to end so she could return home to Prague. But despite the horrors of war, the gifted journalist never expected to see a headline screaming the extermination of Jews in work camps. Half-Jewish with her family in danger, Kaja has no choice but to risk everything to get her family out of Prague. But with the clutches of evil all around, her escape plan crumbles into deportation, and Kaja finds herself in a new reality as the art teacher to the children of Terezin.

Bound by a story of hope and the survival of one little girl, both Sera and Kaja will fight to protect all they hold dear.

My Review: 

If you have been following my blog since last year, you will have read my review of The Butterfly and the Violin, book one to the Hidden Masterpiece series and you would probably know quite well how much I LOVED that book! As soon as I knew that Kristy was writing book two; I knew without a doubt that I was going to be getting it, to the point that I never even read what the book was about until I held it in my hands! A Sparrow in Terezin is another great novel that I could tell was well researched and well loved. I was happy to see that the present day characters, Sera and William, were much more realistic and much better developed in this book than they had been in the first. I enjoyed the plot twists that were found throughout the story and once again the intertwining of the present day and past stories worked out beautifully.

Kaja’s story was intriguing and very well written; it had really good characters and great emotion, but, in my opinion, it was not near as good of a story as Adele Von Bron’s story from The Butterfly and the Violin. That was a story that was just so perfectly written that I doubt it will ever be able to be duplicated. However, I still loved A Sparrow in Terezin, couldn’t put it down, and I will be recommending it to everyone I know! 4 out of 5 stars!

Though you can read the books out of order because of the “past” stories; I would suggest reading The Hidden Masterpiece novels in order to keep up with the “present day” story as it is a continuation for William and Sera.

“I received this book from the author/publisher via Litfuse for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are my own.”

Author Bio: 

Kristy Cambron fancies life as a vintage-inspired storyteller. Her debut historical novel, The Butterfly and the Violin (Thomas Nelson, 2014), was named to Library Journal Reviews’ Best Books of 2014, Family Fiction’s Top Ten Novels of 2014, and received nominations for both the RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards Best Inspirational Novel of 2014 and 2015 INSPY Awards for Best Debut Novel. Her second novel, A Sparrow in Terezin (Thomas Nelson, April 2015), was named Library Journal Reviews’ Pick of the Month (Christian Fiction) for February 2015 and a Top Pick from RT Book Reviews for April 2015.

Read more on her website- kristycambron.com

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Youth Review: Beneath The Forsaken City by C. E. Laureano

Beneath the Forsaken City

The Synopsis 

Conor and Aine have barely escaped Seare with their lives. Conor knows he must return to find the harp that could end the Red Druid’s reign of terror, but in the midst of their escape, he and Aine are torn apart once more. Surrounded by despair and thrown into as much danger as they left behind, Conor and Aine must cling to the whispers of Comdiu’s plans for them and the homeland that depends on their survival. But at what cost? Will they learn to depend on Comdiu completely? Or will they give up hope?

My Review 

Beneath the Forsaken City has a fabulous premise and a very strong, well structured story-world. You can tell as you read that the author knows her world perfectly and there is no confusion whatsoever in deciphering where every place is. The author’s writing style is great and engaging, though she did describe things a little too much and too often for my liking. I am terrible at reading books out of order and sadly I did exactly that for this series, reading book two before book one, however I had no problem following the story-line; which is hats off to the author! I look forward to finishing this series, as well as getting my hands on book one.

I rate Beneath the Forsaken City 4 out of 5 stars and thank Tyndale House Publishers and the author for providing me with this book for the sake of my honest review. All comments and opinions have been entirely my own.

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2015 in Uncategorized

 
 
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