Quantcast

Mailbox Monday #615

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

Emma Lou, the Yorkie Poo: Alphabet Feelings and Friends by Kim Larkins, which I receive for review from the publisher.

Emma Lou and Pearl return with some old and new friends in Emma Lou the Yorkie Poo: Alphabet, Feelings and Friends. Join them as they experience, through a collection of whimsical rhymes, a wide range of emotions. From A to Z, Emma Lou and Pearl invite children to bring emotions to life and provide reassurance that all feelings are expected and accepted.

To cope with our changing world during this vulnerable time in our history, children now more than ever need to feel free to express their fears, worries and joys. Alphabet, Feelings and Friends is a resource for parents, educators and mental health workers to assist children in developing meaningful discussions and insight into their present experiences.

Lost But Found: A Boy’s Story of Grief and Recovery by Laura Persons, illustrated by Noah Hrbek, which I receive for review from the publisher.

Lost But Found: A Boy’s Story of Grief and Recovery deals with one of the toughest issues a parent may ever have to face-explaining to a child that a loved one has died. Often, to protect them, parents leave children out of the grieving process. This book allows adults to travel with a young boy as he works to make sense of his loss-and, in turn, their own.

I wrote this book to allow children to ask questions and talk about their fears and feelings. What I have found is that often children have better insights on these hard life questions than the adults in the room!

En Route by Jesse Wolfe for review.

In this debut poetry collection, Jesse Wolfe meditates on the journeys that carry us through life. In sections that focus on individuals, couples, and families, Wolfe employs a range of speakers and characters: male and female, young and old, wealthy and poor. Some have a clear sense of where they’re going, while others feel cast adrift; some reach back into their memories or look toward the future, while others seek an expansive present moment; some find peace and at-one-ment, while others remain in quandaries. Taken together, they offer a mosaic of consciousness, as people strive and introspect, suffer and heal, each of them en route through their overlapping stories.

Tidal Wave by Kofi Antwi for review.

Tidal Wave speaks to the interconnectedness that explores an aesthetic of abstract art. The use of ‘we’ in Tidal Wave fortifies the merge of collective voices. Akin to the community that harvest a forgotten borough, Tidal Wave emerges returning the objective placement of rhythmic science, as language is reimagined through poetic expressions. Tidal Wave explores identity, the visceral display of subconscious ramifications — bending the abstract ploy of truth. The writing encompasses a lyrical approach as it breaks free from conventional forms.

The Story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Susan B. Katz, which I purchased.

In this chapter book for kids ages 6-9, you’ll learn about how Ruth Bader Ginsburg became the second woman ever to serve as a judge on the Supreme Court of the United States. Before she fought for equal rights and made history, Ruth was a curious kid who loved to read about strong women who were making important changes. You can get inspired, too, with this unique standout among Ruth Bader Ginsburg children’s books for grades 1-2.

In school, Ruth wished girls could have as many opportunities as boys. She soon learned that by studying and working hard, she could change her life―and the world. Of all the Ruth Bader Ginsburg children’s books, this one really lets you explore how she went from a Jewish girl during World War II to one of the most celebrated leaders in America.

Celebrate Your Body (and Its Changes, Too!): The Ultimate Puberty by Sonya Renee Taylor and Bianca I. Laureano

Puberty can be a difficult time for a young girl―and it’s natural not to know who (or what) to ask. Celebrate Your Body is a reassuring entry into puberty books for girls that encourages girls to face puberty with excitement and empowerment. From period care to mysterious hair in new places, this age-appropriate sex education book has the answers you’re looking for―in a way you can relate to.

Covering everything from bras to braces, this body-positive top choice in books about puberty for girls offers friendly guidance and support when you need it most. In addition to tips on managing intense feelings, making friends, and more, you’ll get advice on what to eat and how to exercise so your body is healthy, happy, and ready for the changes ahead.

Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Alexander Nabaum, which I purchased.

This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy—

Talking about boogers.
Stealing pocket change.
Skateboarding.
Wiping out.
Braving up.
Executing complicated handshakes.
Planning an escape.
Making jokes.
Lotioning up.
Finding comfort.
But mostly, too busy walking home.

Jason Reynolds conjures ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #611

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

Randolph the Christmas Moose by Gerry Gibson for review.

Randolph the Moose lives with his mother in the Great White North. After a chance encounter with the reindeer from Santa Claus’ sleigh-pulling team, Randolph finds new joy in trail running as he trains to join the reindeer in Santa’s flight school. But when the head elf places him at the workshop loading dock instead (due to his tremendous bulk), Randolph has to use his brains and work ethic to earn respect at his new job… and even save Christmas.

Imagine Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer, except…

  • Randolph has a healthy self-image
  • Randolph has a more positive outlet for his feelings
  • Randolph runs, but not away from his problems
  • Randolph is pro-active, refusing to let Santa’s workshop define him as a moose

BE YOUR OWN MOOSE!

The Magic Home by Isabella Cassina for review.

The Magic Home is a story for those who believe in magic, to turn fear into bravery and let fantasies run wild! This is a tale of a little boy that lives with his family, plays happily in the courtyard with his brother, sister, a brown dog and a fluffy white rabbit, and cannot wait to start school. Suddenly he has to leave for an unpredictable journey…

The Magic Home offers psycho-educational support for children, parents and childhood professionals who are assisting children through the difficult transition of displacement. The author presents a guide for caregivers grounded in the principles of Play Therapy that allows children to be engaged in a dynamic and engaging process based on their capacities and the objectives defined by a caring adult. The book is ideal for easy reading with individuals and groups, and the suggested activities can be used between parent and child, at school, in a healthcare agency or any other place where children spend time.

Dos Idiomas, One Me by Maggy Williams for review.

Dos Idiomas, One Me is the story of a young girl who feels torn between two languages. At home, she speaks Spanish, at school, she speaks English, and she finds herself resenting the fact that she has to translate her thoughts and feelings. Then, she realizes that being bilingual is a gift. She begins to have fun navigating the space of inclusivity and starts to relish the role of teacher and translator.

By equally incorporating Spanish and English, Dos Idiomas, One Me promotes biliteracy. As young readers see their experiences reflected in the story of another dual-language speaker, they can feel encouraged to embrace all aspects of themselves.

Lucky G and the Melancholy Quokka by Amy Wilinski-Lyman for review.

This book grabs you from the outset and takes you on a hopeful journey: A colorful, spunky raven (with a Ph.D.) travels to Australia to meet a quokka who has lost his true smile, finds it hard to move and isn’t hanging out with friends anymore. Dr. G knows that depression is the culprit, and extends a listening ear and helping hand, all the while reassuring the quokka that lots of adults and kids feel depression, too!

We’re All Not the Same, But We’re Still Family by Theresa Fraser and Eric E. Fraser for review.

This story was written for adoptive families to explore the benefits of adoption openness. The main character, Deshaun, loves his family but always wondered about his biological family. Does he look like them? Did they love him? With the support of his adoptive parents, Deshaun gets to meet his biological family. They develop an ongoing relationship, so Deshaun feels more stable in his adoptive family, but also develops a comfortable relationship with his birth family. Deshaun and his family are reminded (as we all are) that family can include biological, adopted, foster and kin members.

What did you receive?

Mailbox Monday #578

Mailbox Monday has become a tradition in the blogging world, and many of us thank Marcia of The Printed Page for creating it.

It now has it’s own blog where book bloggers can link up their own mailbox posts and share which books they bought or which they received for review from publishers, authors, and more.

Leslie, Martha, and I also will share our picks from everyone’s links in the new feature Books that Caught Our Eye. We hope you’ll join us.

Here’s what we received:

We’re All Not the Same But We’re Still Family by Theresa Fraser and Eric E.W. Fraser, for review.

This story was written for adoptive families to explore the benefits of adoption openness. The main character, Deshaun, loves his family but always wondered about his biological family. Does he look like them? Did they love him? With the support of his adoptive parents, Deshaun gets to meet his biological family. They develop an ongoing relationship, so Deshaun feels more stable in his adoptive family, but also develops a comfortable relationship with his birth family. Deshaun and his family are reminded (as we all are) that family can include biological, adopted, foster and kin members.
After reading this book, a child and their family will be able to:

  • Discuss feelings about adoption
  • Imagine what openness might mean for them
  • Acknowledge similarities and differences among family members
  • Discuss if an expanded sense of family is possible for their circumstances

Hiking the Grand Mesa by Kyle Torke, illustrated by Barbara Torke, for review.

Join Coover, Conrad and their mighty dog, Clementine, as they explore one of the most unique landscapes in southern Colorado–the Grand Mesa! Their grandma takes them to the Dobies, a series of steep hills made from adobe clay that formed as the nearby volcanoes, now extinct, eroded. At first, Coover feels a little sad and lonely, but as he is introduced to the rich wildlife–from woodpeckers to toads, cattails and sunflowers–he feels stronger and more confident. As both boys tramp through their imaginative journey, the vivid history and beautiful scenery awaken them to a new world full of possibility and friendship. By the end of the day, everyone is happily exhausted and ready for the next adventure!

And You Can Love Me by Sherry Quan Lee for review.

And You Can Love Me is a story for everyone who loves someone with ASD (autism spectrum disorder). It is the fictional story of Ethan, a nonverbal autistic child, based on the author’s observations and experiences with her grandson. The bounce of a ball is not only a metaphor, but also how the author imagines that the child is releasing his innermost physical and emotional challenges. It is a love story that can be recognized by parents, caregivers and teachers; a story that embraces Ethan, a nonverbal child, who may never/or not yet be able to write his own story, yet he lives it every day and tells it by his actions and by bouncing a ball — any ball, any size, any color.

Emma Lou: the Yorkie Poo by Kim Larkins for review.

Meet Emma Lou, the Yorkie Poo – a little dog with big worries. She loves playing with her best friend, Pearl, but Pearl doesn’t always pay attention to Emma Lou’s worries. With the help of some new friends, Caleb the Calico cat, Patrick the pig and Gigi the ginormous giraffe, Emma Lou and Pearl begin to learn a new technique to calm their minds and bodies. Parents, educators, counselors – and especially children – can benefit from Emma Lou and her friends’ curious adventure to a mindful experience.

Amanda’s Fall by Kelly Bouldin Darmofal for review.

Amanda’s Fall, with charming illustrations by Bijan Samaddar, depicts an event common in schools today. Young Amanda gets a concussion after falling and hitting her head during recess. While she can hear people talking, she cannot respond. Amanda is taken to a doctor for evaluation. Wisely, her parents ask for a prognosis, which in Amanda’s case, is a good one. Author Kelly Darmofal offers readers her third book on TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), encouraging parents and caretakers to alert schools and, hopefully, doctors when any child is concussed; side effects can then be ameliorated.

Float: A Guide to Letting Go by Aimee L. Ruland, Illustrated by Carl R. Anderson for review.

Float: A Guide to Letting Go seeks to encourage children to process their emotions gently and in a way that allows them purposeful ownership of what they think and how they feel. It will aid them in identifying the root of their feelings, help them to examine their reactions to emotions and decide for themselves what they may be ready to release. The thoughtful use of color and symbols, and the guided practice of breathwork, encourages listeners to maintain a broad focus as they become more grounded and aware. The playful rhyme dances with listeners as they grow on their journey to the present, where they are beautifully set free.

Please Explain ‘Time Out’ to Me! by Laurie Zelinger and Fred Zelinger for review.

Time out is a dignified and effective method of discipline, endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychological Association. This book, written by parenting experts, explains the time out process and provides step-by-step instructions for its proper and effective use. Please Explain Time Out To Me is two books in one: an engaging story with colorful illustrations and a parent section which describes the time out process in detail, as well as the advantages and pitfalls of other methods of discipline.

The Great Upending by Beth Kephart, which I purchased and is autographed by the author after her lovely virtual book launch with Main Point Books and the Radnor Memorial Library.

Twelve-year-old Sara and her brother Hawk are told that they are not to bother the man—The Mister—who just moved into the silo apartment on their farm. It doesn’t matter that they know nothing about him and they think they ought to know something. It doesn’t matter that he’s always riding that unicycle around. Mama told them no way, no how are they to bother The Mister unless they want to be in a mess of trouble.

Trouble is the last thing Sara and her brother need. Sara’s got a condition, you see. Marfan syndrome. And that Marfan syndrome is causing her heart to have problems, the kind of problems that require surgery. But the family already has problems: The drought has dried up their crops and their funds, which means they can’t afford any more problems, let alone a surgery to fix those problems. Sara can feel the weight of her family’s worry, and the weight of her time running out, but what can a pair of kids do?

Well, it all starts with…bothering The Mister.

What did you receive?

Logan and Luna Find the Magic Tree by Cristina Hanif, illustrated by Murray Stenton

Source: Author
Paperback, 34 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Logan and Luna Find the Magic Tree by Cristina Hanif, illustrated by Murray Stenton, is a delightful exploration of imagination for children, and it reminds adults that there is a time to slow down and spend time with their kids. As I did a preliminary edit of Cristina’s manuscript, I’m just going to give you what my daughter thought about the book and what I observed when she was reading it out loud for her homework, rather than my normal review format.

My daughter really carefully looked at each, vivid illustration. She was engaged with the characters and the story. As she read, she did stumble a bit over more challenging words like “original” and “differentiate,” but for the most part, she kept reading. One point she looked up at me and said the illustrations did not look like the family they are modeled on, except for the boys. She also thought the story was a bit long, but I chalked that up to her having to read before dinner and before we headed out for her evening music class. She told me that her favorite part was the gnomes, the library, and the adventure in the woods.

RATING from my daughter: Quatrain

Mailbox Monday #462

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog. To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links. Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Martha, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what we received:

Louisiana Catch by Sweta Srivastava Vikram, which the publisher set for review. Pre-order this one at Barnes & Noble.

A grieving daughter and abuse survivor must summon the courage to run a feminist conference, trust a man she meets over the internet, and escape a catfishing stalker to find her power.

 

Pancakes & Pandemonium: a Humorous Culinary Cozy Mystery (Culinary Competition Mysteries Book 6) by Janel Gradowski, which I purchased.

Culinary whiz turned reluctant amateur sleuth Amy Ridley is excited to enter a cooking competition featuring her favorite breakfast treat—pancakes! But while she’s up to her elbows in batter, she’s hit with one unexpected twist after another. First her estranged mother shows up and then just as quickly vanishes again after barely saying hello. Then a vicious storm zeroes in on her small town of Kellerton, Michigan. There is damage everywhere, and one person is killed…but not by the storm.

Amy and her mother have had a strained relationship, but when Mom is tagged as the prime suspect in the murder of her former high school rival, Amy can’t help but get involved. Yes, her mother can be annoying, but she’s not a ruthless killer… is she? Aided by her charismatic husband, Amy sets out to find the truth. In a town without power and still recovering from the storm, she suddenly finds herself in a cat and mouse game where not everyone may make it out alive!

Hourglass Museum by Kelli Russell Agodon, which was a Kindle freebie.

Hourglass Museum offers a dazzling selection of poems inspired by artwork and artists that explores personal relationships and the struggle (emotionally, financially, and spiritually) of living a creative life. Agodon understands the importance of how art influences our lives and how we balance delicately realizing that we only have so much time to live and create. Hourglass Museum is a meditation in beauty, tenderness, and knowledge reaching far beyond most poetry that’s being written today.

What did you receive?

Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life by Diana Raab

Source: the author
ebook, 238 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life by Diana Raab is so much more than a book about writing and motivation, it’s about looking inside yourself to find what makes you happy and make it your center. Raab uses her plethora of writing experience and combines it with her knowledge of psychology and meditation to help writers create their own seven-step plan for writing not only about their own lives but other artistic projects too.  This is not a book about writing and selling your art, but about tapping into natural creativity and emotion to improve the whole body and psyche.

“Setting an intention involves focusing your thoughts in the particular direction of what you want to bring about or manifest in your life. … One thing to remember is that, even before you set an intention, you need to make sure you believe in it, .. ” (pg. 51 ARC)

Setting goals often is the easiest part for writers and others, it is the intention and believing in those goals that will ensure you reach them. Raab has fantastic advice about maintaining balance, how to find happiness and maintain it, and how this all falls in line with a writing life. However, those who are not in a place to commit will find it hard to begin, let alone sustain big changes. Raab’s advice is sound and writers who follow it are bound to reach the goals they set for themselves, especially after they have created a space where writing will be done (inside their own heads and in a physical space).

Meditation is a big part of her process, and while many may find this too “new-age” or “hokey”, it serves as a marker — a reminder to slow down and make time to think and reflect.  It does not have to be the standard meditation. It could simply be a walk that clears the mind of clutter or a few moments listening to classic music to relax.  It is about stepping away from the busyness of life to move forward with personal goals.

Writing for Bliss: A Seven-Step Plan for Telling Your Story and Transforming Your Life by Diana Raab will help writers and others focus their energy on their own happiness and show them the way toward fulfillment.  Writers often suffer from writer’s block, and there are a number of options in this book to help you break through.  For those who want to write about the past or the future or their emotional trauma, this guide will surely help them toward healing and toward embracing the truth of their lives. Too often we are busy with other things, but Raab reminds us that to be healthy and happy, we need to be busy with our own bliss.

RATING: Cinquain

About the Author:

Diana Raab, MFA, PhD, is a memoirist, poet, blogger, speaker, thought leader, and award-winning author of nine books and more than 1,000 articles and poems. She holds a PhD in psychology—with a concentration in transpersonal psychology—and her research focus is on the healing and transformative powers of personal writing. Her educational background also encompasses health administration, nursing, and creative writing.

During her 40-year career, Dr. Raab has published thousands of articles and poems and is the editor of two anthologies: Writers and Their Notebooks and Writers on the Edge. Her two memoirs are Regina’s Closet: Finding My Grandmother’s Secret Journal and Healing with Words: A Writer’s Cancer Journey. She has also written four collections of poetry, her latest collection is called, Lust. As an advocate of personal writing, Dr. Raab facilitates workshops in writing for transformation and empowerment, focusing on journaling, poetry, and memoir writing. She believes in the importance of writing to achieve wholeness and interconnectedness, which encourages the ability to unleash the true voice of your inner self. Dr. Raab serves on the board of Poets & Writers (Magazine Committee), and Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Santa Monica, California. She is also a Trustee at the University of California, Santa Barbara. 

Visit her on Twitter and on Facebook.

Seasons of Joy: Every Day Is for Outdoor Play by Claudia Marie Lenart

I had the pleasure of working with Claudia Marie Lenart to edit her children’s poetry book, Seasons of Joy: Every Day is for Outdoor Play, which was published by Loving Healing Press in April 2017.

Her needle-felted wool paintings are incredibly detailed and depict children at play in all kinds of weather.  Multi-cultural and joyous, these children become life-like characters that children will want to see and touch.  Each poem calls to mind the carefree days of childhood.  The games played and the imaginations running wild as the children romp and play with bunnies, birds, and in trees.

These pages are full of bright colors and fun games that kids can take with them into their own communities and neighborhoods.  Not only do the poems show children enjoying the company of others who look different from themselves, but it also shows how much fun sharing can be.

Pick up a copy and share with your kids, grandkids, and others in the community.  Get out there and play.

Essential Readings & Study Guide by K.V. Dominic

Source: Anna at Diary of an Eccentric
Paperback, 284 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Essential Readings & Study Guide: Poems about Social Justice, Women’s Rights, and the Environment by K.V. Dominic is a compilation of Dominic’s published poetry to date. It includes three books of previously published poetry and some unpublished poetry in one collection, as well as discussion questions at the end of each poem for those who want to go deeper into the meaning of the text. In “Helen and her World,” we’re introduced to a child whose light shines bright, but she cannot see the light herself. “She is the light of the class,/light of the family,/light of the village,/but alas the light never sees itself” Her blindness does little to impede the hope that she exudes to those around her. And like in “A Nightmare,” Dominic juxtaposes light and dark, as a lavish wedding feast is held while girls outside are fighting with dogs over trash to eat and sustain themselves.

Dominic’s poems use simple language and imagery pulled from the news or events around him to draw larger connections with others. Rather than divide by declaring someone or something other, he strives to bring together people around common causes, such as ending poverty.

Hunger’s Call (pg. 122)

A startling news with
photos from Zimbabwe!
Carcass of a wild elephant
consumed in ninety minutes!
Not by countless vultures
but by avid, famished
men and women and children.
Even the skeleton was axed
to support sinking life with soup.
Impact of globalization,
liberalization and privatization?
Or effect of hyperinflation
and economic mismanagement?
Billions are spent
by developed nations
on arms and ammunitions.
Isn’t poverty the greatest enemy?
Why not fight against it
and wipe out destitution,
pointing guns, rifles and missiles
at the chest of the poor?

While plain-spoken, Dominic also employs sarcasm to get his point across. From class struggles and poverty to global warming and globalization, Dominic seeks a greater balance, a world in which we care for the world that sustains us without succumbing to the greed of materialism and capitalism. But it doesn’t stop with how humans treat one another and instead continues to evolve this notion of balance and care to all living beings. Essential Readings & Study Guide: Poems about Social Justice, Women’s Rights, and the Environment by K.V. Dominic is a comprehensive collection of poems that speak to our maternal instincts and our desire for belonging and balance in the modern world.

RATING: Quatrain

About the Poet:

Internationally acclaimed poet Prof. K. V. Dominic (Kerala, India) is the author of three major volumes of poetry about the natural world as well as social and political commentary: Winged Reason, Multicultural Symphony, and Write, Son, Write.

Save

Save

Jenny & Her Dog Both Fight Cancer by Jewel Kats, illustrated by Claudia Marie Lenart

Source: Claudia Marie Lenart
Paperback, 38 pgs.
I am an Amazon Affiliate

Jenny & Her Dog Both Fight Cancer by Jewel Kats, illustrated by Claudia Marie Lenart, may not have the happiest of endings, but the story is about compassion, strength, and comfort.  Dolly and Jenny share a bond as strong as the bond she has with her parents.  When her dog is diagnosed with cancer, just as she is, they embark on a difficult journey together.  Through comfort and support, each holds the other up.

Kats’ stories are always about lifting the spirits of those in need; children facing cancer and chemotherapy need strength from others when theirs begins to flag.  She understands this need and the strength that each of us has inside, even as children.  Lenart’s fabric dolls provide a soft background to the story and ensure that young readers are not downcast too much by the heartbreak that is sure to follow.

Jenny & Her Dog Both Fight Cancer by Jewel Kats, illustrated by Claudia Marie Lenart, demonstrates the compassionate person Kats was in real life and her dedication to helping others reach their full potential, whether they are sick, disabled, or just having a bad day.  The world will sorely miss this shining light.

***

Jewel Kats, who inspired the Archie comic book character Harper Lodge and dedicated her life to helping those with disabilities, passed away in January.  In a recent article, her publisher Victor Volkman said, “Even reading the manuscripts could bring tears to my eyes — the sheer pluck of the hero or heroine and nobility of spirit, starting from a situation where most of us would just give up.  One of Jewel’s core beliefs is that all girls can be a princess. Why not? It doesn’t matter what shape you are, what you can or can’t do, what color your skin is or how well you speak. Every girl was a princess in her eyes.”

RATING: Quatrain

****If this story touches you, please consider making a donation in Jewel Kats’ honor at Sick Kids.****

Other Books by This Author Reviewed Here:

About the Author:

Once a teen runaway, Jewel Kats is now a two-time Mom’s Choice Award winner. For six years, Jewel penned a syndicated teen advice column for Scripps Howard News Service (USA) and The Halifax Chronicle Herald. She gained this position through The Young People’s Press. She’s won $20,000 in scholarships from Global Television Network, and women’s book publisher: Harlequin Enterprises. Jewel also interned in the TV studio of Entertainment Tonight Canada. Her books have been featured in Ability Magazine (USA) twice. She’s authored eight books-five are about disabilities. The Museum of disABILITY History celebrated her work with a two-day event. Jewel has appeared as an international magazine cover story four times! Recently, her work was featured in an in-depth article published in “The Toronto Star”. Jewel’s work has also appeared as an evening news segment on WKBW-TV and on the pages of “The Buffalo News”.

Mailbox Monday #377

Mailbox Monday, created by Marcia at To Be Continued, formerly The Printed Page, has a permanent home at its own blog.

To check out what everyone has received over the last week, visit the blog and check out the links.  Leave yours too.

Also, each week, Leslie, Vicki, and I will share the Books that Caught Our Eye from everyone’s weekly links.

Here’s what I received:

Jenny & Her Dog Both Fight Cancer by Jewel Kats, illustrated by Claudia Marie Lenart for review.

Jenny, a young girl undergoing treatment for cancer, discovers that her best friend, Dolly, also has cancer. Dolly is the family’s dog, who has always been at Jenny’s side through trying times, and Jenny vows to support Dolly as well. This bittersweet tale is a story of mutual devotion and loyalty. While the prognosis is not good for dogs with cancer, Dolly’s love provides enduring hope and support for Jenny on her healing journey.

Love & Friendship: In Which Jane Austen’s Lady Susan Vernon Is Entirely Vindicated by Whit Stillman for review.

Jane Austen’s funniest novel is also her least known-until now. A sharp comedy of manners set in the 1790s, LOVE & FRIENDSHIP centers on Lady Susan Vernon: impossibly beautiful, charming, witty, and completely self-absorbed. Recently widowed, Lady Susan arrives, unannounced, at her brother-in-law’s estate to wait out colorful rumors about her dalliances circulating through polite society. While there, she becomes determined to secure a new husband for herself, and one for her reluctant debutante daughter, Frederica, too. As Lady Susan embarks on a controversial relationship with a married man, seduction, deception, broken hearts, and gossip all ensue. With a pitch-perfect Austenian sensibility, Stillman breathes new life into Austen’s work, making it his own by adding original narration from a character comically loyal to the story’s fiendishly manipulative heroine, Lady Susan.

What did you receive?

My Friend Suhana by Shaila Abdullah and Aanyah Abdullah

Source: Loving Healing Press, Inc.
Paperback, 30 pgs
I am an Amazon Affiliate

My Friend Suhana: A Story of Friendship and Cerebral Palsy by Shaila Abdullah and Aanyah Abdullah is a story about overcoming fear of the unknown to find new friendships are everywhere as long as you remain open to them.  Suhana has cerebral palsy, who expresses delight and plays differently from other kids.  Her friend has learned how to connect with Suhana through art and color.  Rainbows and kites are among her favorites, and through this simply told story, young readers will learn how to connect with those who are different.

It is clear from the back of the book that Abdullah has taken inspiration from her own 10-year-old daughter’s interactions with the disabled children at a local community center.  The story is sweet and touching, and the explanation of cerebral palsy in the back of the book can be a jumping off point for discussion with kids.  Friendship is about connection, and that connection does not have to be expressed in words alone.

My Friend Suhana: A Story of Friendship and Cerebral Palsy by Shaila Abdullah and Aanyah Abdullah is another great book to read with children to begin teaching them about different friendships, compassion, and never underestimating the ability to love that is within all of us.

Previously reviewed books:

About the Author:

Noted as “Word Artist” by critics, Shaila Abdullah is an award-winning author and designer based in Austin, Texas. She is the author of five books: Saffron Dreams, Beyond the Cayenne Wall, My Friend Suhana, Rani in Search of a Rainbow, and A Manual for Marco. The author has received several awards for her work including the Golden Quill Award and Patras Bukhari Award for English Language. Several academic institutions have adopted her books as course study or recommended reading, including the University of California, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Indiana University, Boston University, California State University, and George Washington University.

A Manual for Marco by Shaila Abdullah, illustrated by Iman Tejpar and Shaila Abdullah

Source: Loving Healing Press
Paperback, 36 pgs
I am an Amazon Affiliate

A Manual For Marco by Shaila Abdullah, illustrated by her and Iman Tejpar, is a frank look at what it is like to be a sibling of a challenged brother.  Eight-year-old Sofia struggles with the love she feels for her brother and how protective she is when it comes to classmates and friends who don’t understand and poke fun, but she also struggles with how Marco’s differences mean that he receives a bit more attention and care than she does.  This is a dilemma that most kids will struggle with if their sibling is disabled.  This story hit home for me and brought back the memories I had as a child dealing with the attention my brother received as a child that I did not.  Abdullah has created a book that could help kids who were like me, confused by the situation at home and yet protective of the brother who was not understood by those outside the family.

Abdullah is doing important work, and her book is mature in its approach to how these kids relate to one another and how they think and feel.  The manual Sofia creates for her brother not only helps her put into perspective how special her brother is, but also how special her relationship with him is to Marco.  The images are bright, and parents reading this to children can use the story as a way to bring up these discussions about being disabled and communication.  Compassion and understanding are important tools that all children should have, but they are difficult to teach with immediacy.

A Manual For Marco by Shaila Abdullah, illustrated by her and Iman Tejpar, is a great book that not only can generate discussion between parents and children, but it also offers a bit about Abdullah’s inspiration for the story and some resources for parents.

Previously reviewed books:

About the Author:

Noted as “Word Artist” by critics, Shaila Abdullah is an award-winning author and designer based in Austin, Texas. She is the author of five books: Saffron Dreams, Beyond the Cayenne Wall, My Friend Suhana, Rani in Search of a Rainbow, and A Manual for Marco. The author has received several awards for her work including the Golden Quill Award and Patras Bukhari Award for English Language. Several academic institutions have adopted her books as course study or recommended reading, including the University of California, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Indiana University, Boston University, California State University, and George Washington University.