Monday, September 28, 2015

From My Bookshelf to Yours: Momster by Laura Jensen- Kimball

Momster by Laura Jensen- Kimball


This is a book that parents and children everywhere will love and relate to. Momster is a humorous story of a boy who isn't listening and following directions. Soon his mother turns into something that scares him and he realizes the consequences of his actions.
Not only will  children learn from this book, it will opened parent's eyes to what we must look like to them when we "lose control". The kids will jokingly say to me, "Yes ma'am. Don't let the Momster out!"
I have also used this book in therapy with clients to help them connect the dots between others behavior and their actions. The only thing I wish happened in this book is that mom also apologized for turning into a Momster.

You can purchase Momster at Wackystack Books , Amazon , Goodreads and Booklife

Laura Jensen-Kimball is the mother of four children and married to Jeff.  She was inspired to write after her youngest child was diagnosed with a speech delay.  Books were a common tool used in improving his speech.  Laura creates books with a touch of humor she feels both parent and child will enjoy.  Living in Norwalk, Iowa, she is also a Registered Nurse currently pursuing her Masters in Nursing.  She has direct insight and experience with the emotion expressed throughout MOMSTER.  Entertainment will start at page one and a, “Read it again!” will follow the last.  This is Laura's first published book and hopes to publish her other stories soon.  For more about Laura go to

Friday, July 17, 2015

Lady Emma in her Land of Wonder by Martha M. Harrison
Lady Emma in her Land of Wonder is a beautifully illustrated story written in rhyme. We follow  Emma, a young girl, as she fearlessly explores her world. We watch as she blossoms, matures and grows in self confidence. Throughout her journey she experiences many obstacles and gets into scrapes from which her father quickly "rescues" her. Later, she meets a prince who also tries to "rescue" her.  At first this worried me, her father/prince constantly running to her aid. Towards the end of the story, Emma realizes that she has a strong support system she can turn to when she needs help but she has the inner strength to face any obstacles.
This is a beautiful book about a young girl blossoming into a young lady. I received this quite a few months ago. My 8 year old daughter took it before I could read it and wouldn't give it back. Then it went missing. Turns out it spoke to her so much that she had taken it to school and was letting her friends borrow it. I finally received it back at the end of the school year. If that isn't a great recommendation, I don't know what is.

Buy book at Amazon
Visit Dr. Martha Harrison's Website

Lady Emma In Her Land Of Wonder is Dr. Martha Harrison's first children's book in a series of six. Dr. Martha M. Harrison’s previous books have all had an academic focus on language play, reading, children’s books, and the integration of the arts across the curriculum. She has trained over 2000 teachers in teaching reading and writing to children and young adults in grades K-12 and served as a designer of reading and writing curriculum and assessments for the State Departments of Education in Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida and California. For the past two decades, her passion for literacy has guided her teaching of children’s and young adult literature and her successful authoring and implementation of reading and writing curriculum in education. She is a member of the Association of Children’s Literature (AChL) and the International Reading Association (IRA). Her scholarly articles have been published in Florida English Journal, a scholarly journal of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE); The New Advocate, a scholarly journal For Those Involved with Young People and Their Literature; and the National Education Association Library Series (NEA). She has conducted numerous workshops on comparing the works of Maurice Sendak and Theodor S. Geisel, “Dr. Seuss”. She is currently teaching a course on Arts Integration Across the Curriculum at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California near San Francisco. Among her many scholarly publications is an early 1990 article entitled Teaching Thinking Skills to Gifted Children Using Children’s Literature and The Arts.
* Author information taken from Goodreads

  *Disclosure: This product was received in exchange for an honest, unbiased, review. The reviews and or opinions are 100% my own. No monitory compensation was received and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

KD Novelties Personalized Children's Book Review

I'm really excited about the book I'm reviewing today. This one is from KD Novelties. They sell personalized books and gifts  My two daughters already have a personalized book that they received a few years back and they loved it. So I was excited to receive one for my son, David.

KD Novelties offers personalized children's books, personalized music, personalized photo DVDs, personalized photo books and gift sets! They have a great selection:
Baby Books
Disney Books
Holiday & Religious
Sesame Street
Super Heroes

What I really love is that you can read each book and insert your child's name into it to see  if you like it. David is almost 2 years old, so we were going to order a baby book about going to the potty. It was adorable. He saw a book with a soccer ball on it while I was looking through the sports books. He was adamant that he wanted the "socca ball book".  Although the book is too old for him, I got it anyway because I was able to add his sister Genesis as his favorite player, and Daddy, Mommy and Jadyn (sister) were also mentioned in the book.

The book was delivered two days later (thanks to Amazon Prime & also KD Novelties' speedy service). My 8 year old loved being the soccer star in the book and my 13 year got a giggle at hearing her name also. David kept asking, "Mommy, Daddy socca game?" When reading it to him we skipped some pages and got to the part about him scoring the goal. He jumped up and down on the bed screaming "David goal! David goal!"  It was probably not a good idea for a bedtime story.

The point of the review is my 8 year old loved it, my 13 year old won't admit it but she did as well. I caught my husband grinning when I snuck a peek and I know that when David is finally able to read it he will also get a big kick out of it as well. I caught my 8 year old reading last night. She asked me to order another book with her name it.

Visit KD Novelties to check out their awesome personalized products. You can click this link or one of the 100 other links I posted.

Like them on  FaceBook

 *Disclosure: This product was received in exchange for an honest, unbiased, review. The reviews and or opinions are 100% my own. No monitory compensation was received and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising

Monday, July 13, 2015

Hansel and Gretel: A Fairy Tale with a Down Syndrome Twist (Fairy Ability Tales) by Jewel Kats

Hansel and Gretel: A Fairy Tale with a Down Syndrome Twist (Fairy Ability Tales)
 by Jewel Kats Illustrated by Claudia Marie Lenart

Hansel and Gretel: A Fairy Tale with a Down Syndrome Twist is a reworking of the classic Hansel and Gretel fairy tale. Hansel is a 5 year old boy with Down Syndrome. The story is written to show children to look past disabilities and see the person. Sometimes it felt like an adult was talking instead of Hansel and his sister. Hansel was very verbal. I believe the author wrote it this way to dispel stereotypes people have of children with Down Syndrome. I’m all for books that empower and dispel stereotypes.

What brought the book to another level were the photos of fiber artist Claudia Marie Lenart’s very unique needle felted wool creations. They are absolutely beautiful and give the book a dreamlike, fairy tale quality. My 8 year old and 13 year old spent time studying each picture after we read the book.

Ms. Kats has written several books about disabilities. She has been internationally celebrated for her books. I will be checking out her other books. I recommend anyone that wants to read a story that  may engage you and your child in a positive discussion about Down Syndrome to read this book.
You can learn more about Jewel Kats and buy her books at Amazon .

*Disclosure: This product was received in exchange for an honest, unbiased, review. The reviews and or opinions are 100% my own. No monitory compensation was received and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising

Sunday, July 12, 2015


Do you constantly find yourself asking, “What shall we do today?” Well, ask no more. SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING by Vivian Kirkfield, is a creative gold mine of resources for parents, grandparents, daycare workers and teachers alike. Show Me How recommends 100 picture books to read, many of them classics.  The books are matched with simple crafts and kid-friendly recipes. The book is grouped into 6 chapters. Each chapter has a different topic such as: “I Can Do It Myself’”, “I Am Really Mad Right Now”, “I'm Afraid”, “I Like Myself” and more. 

This book is a must have on many levels to me. As an avid reader and supporter of engaging children in reading, I’m excited that adults have a place that offers them great book suggestions. Of course being a child and family therapist, my other favorite part of the book is that the author also includes a "positive note" that helps the caregiver recognize how reading the book, completing the craft and making the recipe, helps the child develop a positive self-image. There is also a place where the caregiver can write their own notes about each story/activity.

I will be recommending this to my friends & clients with young children. Using this book is bound to bring parents and their children closer together and foster Positive Parental Participation.
Check out Vivian Kirkfield's WEBSITE to learn more about Vivian and her book.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Frogwilla, A TreeFrog's Story by Cheri L. Hallwood- Review
Frogwilla, A TreeFrog's Story by Cheri L. Hallwood
I absolutely loved this sweet story. The story follows a young treefrog on her journey to find her family. Frogwilla, is afraid of heights and has a difficult time climbing. She is sure that disappoints her father. During a horrible storm she is separated from her parents. She must dig deep to find the courage to go places she has never been, meet other animals and do things she thought she'd never do.My 8 year old loves that she made new friends different than herself and that they were loyal and helpful.
This is a beautifully written story about love, courage, friendship and being kind to others even if they are mean to you. I highly recommend it and so does my eight year old. In fact, she has gotten her 13 year old sister to take a peek.

Want to know more about Cheri L. Hallwood? Click HERE to read her interview.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

MICE & SPIDERS & WEBS...OH MY! by Sherrill Cannon review

MICE & SPIDERS & WEBS...OH MY! by Sherrill Cannon
Where can one find a story about having good listening skills, facing one's fears, not jumping to conclusions and basic computer lingo all in one book? Why in the newest Sherrill Cannon book, MICE & SPIDERS & WEBS...OH MY! That's where.

In this charming, eloquently rhymed story, Rosie tells her mom that she doesn't want to go back to school because there will be mice, spiders & spider webs. I wouldn't want to either!!! Yuck! Rosie's mom takes her to school to figure out what is going on.

Sherrill, once again, expertly weaves a beautiful tale packed full of life lessons that teaches without preaching. Kalpart's illustration are beautiful and bright.

As always, I highly recommend Ms. Cannon's book. I recommend it as a mother and as children's and family therapist. Both my children & clients enjoyed this book immensely.

Want to know more about Sherrill Cannon & her books?
Read the Interview with Sherrill Cannon
Read my reviews of other Sherrill Cannon Books

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Diversify Your Child's Library

Wow, its been awhile since I have posted on here. I have tried so many times to write about the great books we have been reading but, alas, the life of a soccer mom, therapist etc has kept me too busy. So let me get to it. I will use Black History Month as a forum to talk about the importance of diversifying your child's library.
Books are an influential agent for helping children understand their homes, communities and the world. As a mother of three multiracial kids, I know how important it is to for children to see characters that resemble them in books. As a professional that works with children daily, I know it is also important for children to see people who do not look like them also. This helps them to develop an appreciation for the beauty of  the cultures of others. I believe that it is important that books reflect the diversity that exists in today’s world.

Reasons to read culturally diverse books to your children are:

    1. They can improve a child’s cultural competence. This will help the child develop empathy towards others and facilitate acceptance of cultures different from one’s own. They can also inspire learning of other cultures and over-all cultural awareness.
    2. They can open up discussions about cultural roots between you and your children. They can also strengthen their individual cultural identity
    3. Bilingual books are a fun way to learn new languages. They also encourage multilingual and literacy development.
    4. I believe that it is important for immigrant, biracial and bicultural,multiracial and multicultural children to read about characters with similar experiences and emotions.
    5. I am always saying that books can take us anywhere we want to go. What better, not to mention cheaper way, to travel to a faraway place than in a multicultural story?          
 As a part of your child well-balanced reading rĂ©gime please expose them to diverse cultures, people and places.  I believe that this helps the child develop into a person that is culturally competent. Unfortunately, we live in a world where children are increasingly exposed to hatred and intolerance of cultural diversity; so remember to carefully choose and read your multicultural books before sharing them with your children to make sure that they are without misconceptions, stereotypes, ignorance and prejudices. There are many books that convey the beauty of the diverse cultures.

It is February, so let's celebrate Black History Month by reading children's books by Black American Authors. In honor of Black History Month, I thought I'd share a link of some book written by Black American Authors. Inside the Books Yes, I said Black American not African American but that is a post for another day.

Remember to read culturally diverse books regularly not just on cultural holidays. Now that I've said that let me shamelessly plug one of my books. You can find it on Amazon, B&N etc.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

From My Bookshelf to Yours: Mini Myths by Joan Holub

Play Nice, Hercules

"Play Nice, Hercules" is an adorable board book in the Mini Myths series that introduces Greek Mythology to little ones. The book is short and simple. The story line is clear enough for my 1 year old to understand. Hercules is strong and rough but he destroys things and hurts his sisters feelings. He learns how to play "nice" and be kind.

My 1 year old really enjoys this book. He is all boy. He stomps around the house making monster noises and destroying everything in his path. We started calling him Hercules when he was about 8 months. We are always telling him to be gentle and use gentle hands. He loves the adorable illustrations. They make him giggle and empathize. When Hercules' sister is crying he says "awww" and pats her face. What a clever little book to help little ones discover life skills.
I love that it is a sturdy board book because he carries it around and "reads" it while drinking and snacking. The only problem is when he is smacking us in the face with it because he wants us to read it to him. This book is his favorite so far in his book collection. Luckily his 7 year old sister gets a kick out of it too and will read it over and over with him. I even caught her reading it alone. Shhh!!!

 Be Patient, Pandora

"Be Patient, Pandora is another adorable board book in the Mini Myth series that introduces little one to Greek Mythology. The story is easy for little ones to follow. Pandora is told not to touch the box. Pandora keeps testing limits until she accidently "opens" the box. It is a cute way to teach little ones patience. Although the book is written for younger children the  pictures made my 7 and 12 year old giggle because the pictures reminded them of how their little one year old brother pushes limits.
I would have liked the ending to be a little more developed. Pandora disobeys but never receives any consequences. As a parent and a therapist I feel the need to explain to my children and clients that it is not always that easy to walk away after not following directions. Pandora was very lucky that what was in the box wasn't dangerous.
My 7 year old said, "I love these books. They aren't too long or too short. I'll read them a million times to Baby David." I can't think of a better endorsement!
Want to check out the Mini Myths Series? Visit Amazon

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

From My Bookshelf to Yours: Sing-Along Construction Song by Louise Lintvelt

As the mother of two girls 12 & 7, there are no shortage of  "girly" books so I am always on the lookout for books that are just for my son. Sing-Along Construction Song is a really cute book. I" read" it with my 1 year old. He enjoyed looking at the pictures. I like that the illustrations used primary colors that I could point out to my son. There is a free sing along that you can download from the author's website included in a link at the end of the book. He really enjoyed it. He smiled, danced and clapped while I showed him the illustrations on the laptop. Once he can really understand the story I know that this will be a favorite. He will know the functions of construction vehicles.
** A free song download for this book is available HERE **
Buy here at Amazon