5 STARS for NEW YORK CITY MONSTERS Search-And-Find Board Book by Anne Paradis. ADORABLE!!! 

Title: NEW YORK CITY MONSTERS  

Series: Monsters Search-and-Find Books         

Author: ANNE PARADIS      

Illustrator: LUCILE DANIS DROUOT 

Genre: CHILDREN’S FICTION, TRAVEL, ACTIVITY BOOKS, BOARD BOOKS 

Length: 22 BOARD BOOK PAGES

Publisher: CHOUETTE PUBLISHING    

Release Date: MAY 16, 2017

ISBN: 9782924734025

Price: $9.99 USD

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The setting is New York City, and hiding amongst the city’s important landmarks are monsters. The goal is to find all the monsters hiding at each location. The author has included the number of monsters to be found on each layout which is a bonus for both children and their parents. This way they know they didn’t miss any.

This book is beautifully illustrated and the bright colours are sure to grab any child’s attention.

 I am 100% sure that children will fall in love with the cute little monsters hiding all over New York City.

It doesn’t matter where you live, this book is still guaranteed to be a hit. Of course, for residents and visitors to New York City it provides even more fun as they can visit all the locations shown in the book.

Adults will also have fun finding the monsters (even if they don’t admit it.)

I give this book 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Anne Paradis is the new publisher of Chouette Publishing.

She is the author of Caillou: Little Artist, Caillou: Search and Count, and Caillou: My Body and many more Caillou books.

Visit CHOUETTE PUBLISHING to learn more.


ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:

To learn more about this amazing illustrator visit the following links:

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A GIRL CALLED OWL by Amy Wilson releases on Thursday – A magical read for ages 8 and up

Title: A GIRL CALLED OWL 

Author: AMY WILSON     

Illustrator: HELEN CRAWFORD-WHITE    

Genre: MIDDLE GRADE FICTION, YOUNG ADULT FICTION

Length: 336 PAGES

Publisher: MACMILLAN CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Release Date: JANUARY 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5098-3246-0

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS🌟🌟🌟🌟

“When you have a kid, don’t call it something stupid. Don’t call it Apple, or Pear, or Mung Bean. Don’t call it Owl. This advice is a bit late for me. Because she did. She did call me Owl. Thirteen years ago she looked down at a tiny little baby – me – and decided that Owl would be a good way to go.”   

This Middle-grade novel contains  everything that kids aged 8 to 12 want in a story.

Owl may be an unusual name, but it fits since her life is anything but ordinary.  Living in a single parent household, Owl has always been curious about her father. Throughout her childhood, she repeatedly asked her Mom for information about him and was told fairy tales about how wonderful he is and how he cannot leave his kingdom.

 Unfortunately, now that Owl is older, she doesn’t believe the crazy stories her Mom tells to explain his absence from their lives, she wants to know the truth.

But, when frost starts appearing on her skin and other strange things start happening, she begins to wonder if maybe her Mom was telling the truth when she said that her father was JACK FROST.

Readers will join Owl on a quest to find out more about her father which ultimately leads her to find out more about herself as well.

Releasing this book in January was a brilliant move on the part of the Publisher. This book is set in winter and filled with images of both the beauty and the wildness that the season can bring.

Kids who love books about magic, winter, fitting in, feeling different and books about family will love this book.

Not only is this is a wonderful quest-type story, it is also a book that proves that family doesn’t always look the way you think it should, and that ultimately it is love that matters.

I rate A GIRL CALLED OWL as 4 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟 

I highly recommend it to children ages 9 to 13.

❄Readers will never look at a snowstorm the same way again! ❄

* Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.

  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Amy Wilson has a background in journalism and lives in Bristol with her young family.

She is a graduate of the Bath Spa MA in Creative Writing and has many owls in her house, from drawer handles to cushions.

She is still waiting for them to speak to her…  

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

GOODREADS    

TWITTER       

AMAZON  



BOOK LAUNCH EVENT IN BRISTOL AT WATERSTONES ON THURSDAY, JANUARY 26th, 2017 – CLICK HERE

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:

Living and working by the sea, she brings projects to life for a range of clients and industries. From publishing to branding, websites to illustration and everything in between.

Originally a graduate of Brighton University, she worked at the wonderful Crush Design for many years as an art director before setting up her own shop. Now with a small studio she is attempting to take over the world and over deliver on every project she gets her hands on.

To learn more about this amazing illustrator visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

GOODREADS       

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AMAZON    

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4 Stars for the unique middle-grade novel BRAINWALKER – Ever wondered what it would be like inside your father’s brain? Now you can find out. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Title: BRAINWALKER

Authors: ROBYN MUNDELL and STEPHAN LACAST

Genre: FICTION, MIDDLE-GRADE

Length: 260 PAGES

Publisher: DUALMIND PUBLISHING

Release Date: OCTOBER 1, 2016

ISBN: 9780997652505   

Price:  $9.99

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟


BOOK DESCRIPTION (From Amazon)

One teen’s incredible journey may just blow his father’s mind…

Fourteen-year-old Bernard thinks outside the box. The only problem is that neither his school nor his ultra-rational physicist father appreciate his unique ideas. When he reacts to a stressful situation at school by mooning the class, his suspension sends him straight to his father’s workplace. After his frustrated father leaves him unattended, Bernard does what any teen would do: wander into the particle accelerator and accidentally get transported through a wormhole! 

Edit It doesn’t take long for Bernard to realize he’s in deep trouble. Not only did the wormhole drop him in the middle of a civil war over a depleted resource, but the battle is actually taking place inside his father’s brain. Bernard has one chance to save the dying side of his father’s creative brain from the tyrannical left side. Can he use his outside-the-box thinking to save his father’s life?

Brainwalker is a young adult sci-fi fantasy novel that turns the world of neuroscience on its head. If you like incredible fantasy worlds, fast-paced entertainment, and the human mind, then you’ll love Robyn Mundell and Stephan Lacast’s amazing journey inside the brain. 


MY REVIEW:

 This middle grade novel is wonderfully written and readers from ages 8 – 12 will love this book.

The author has imagined an entire world inside the brain of a boy’s father.

I loved the fact that the boy and his father were very different and that they had trouble communicating and understanding each other.

When the boy is sucked through a wormhole and ends up inside his father’s brain, he finds himself on a mission to save his father’s life.

During his quest he ends up learning more about his father and more about himself in the process.


A great read with a terrific message.


I rate this as 4 out of 5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟

  


FAVORITE QUOTES:


“Blind faith is stronger than truth. Far stronger.”


“Remember, what you call luck is the meeting of opportunity and flexibility.”
 


ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

 

Robyn Mundell is an award winning playwright. A graduate of New York University, she performed in dozens of plays in New York. She studied with such theater legends as Uta Hagen, Lee Strasberg, and Stella Adler.

Robyn wrote and performed in several of her own plays including Pieces of Oand Traveling Bowls of Soup, produced by Pulitzer-prize winner Beth Henley.Traveling Bowls of Soup opened at the Met theater to rave reviews and received several Drama-Logue awards. Robyn has since been selling original screenplays and TV pilots to major film companies and networks. She is the daughter of Canadian Nobel laureate Robert A. Mundell, and is married to actor-playwright Raymond J. Barry. Together, they have four children.

STEPHAN LACAST

French-Born Stephan Lacast likes to think of himself as a geek, which depending on your  dictionary means either “knowledgeable about computers”, or “boring social misfit.” At the age of twelve his idea of fun was building computers and programming, and by fifteen he was a contributor to a computer magazine. A graduate of Paris-Dauphine University, he holds a Bachelor in Economics, a Master in Business Administration, and a Master of Advanced Studies in Information Systems.

After teaching at Dauphine University, Stephan went on to work as a consultant and engineer for one of the top ten Information Technology services companies in Europe, before deciding to leave Paris and move to the United States.

To learn more about BRAINWALKER visit the following links:

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TWITTER

FACEBOOK 

INSTAGRAM 


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5 Stars for Rémy Simard’s Children’s Graphic Novel: SIMONE: THE BEST MONSTER EVER – Perfect for all ages – Coming in April 2017 


Title: SIMONE: THE BEST MONSTER EVER 

Author: RÉMY SIMARD    

Illustrator: RÉMY SIMARD      

Translated from French to English by: KAREN LI   

Genre: CHILDREN’S FICTION, GRAPHIC NOVELS AND COMICS 

Length: 50 PAGES

Publisher: OWLKIDS BOOKS INC

Release Date: APRIL 15, 2017  

ISBN: 978-1-77147-293-7 (Hardcover)

Price: $16.95 CDN

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Morris is a green, googly-eyed monster. He loves zombie bowling, rain storms, and anything gross or disgusting.

Simone is a cute little girl. She loves sunshine, flowers and cute puppy dogs.

When Simone ends up in Morris’s world she is the scary one. The monsters run away from her horrifying cuteness and her happy smile. In this monster-world everything is topsy-turvey.

Despite his initial terror of Simone, she and Morris end up as best friends and the unlikely pair have a host of hilarious adventures.

Kids will be able to relate to each story. There is school, Halloween, Christmas, sports and much more.

These comics were originally published in French and luckily have now been translated into English. 

The illustrations in this beginner’s graphic novel are sheer perfection. The monsters still look like monsters, but they are not really scary. This will draw the children’s attention without causing nightmares or fear.

The colors are bright, vibrant and bold and the illustrations will make fans of not only the young children, but also their older siblings, and even their parents. 

Each page in this book is its own story, which is told in 4 to 6 comic panels. This format makes this book terrific for bedtime reading since parents can easily read a few pages per night and pick the book up again the next night.

This is an amazing book to introduce children to the joy and wonder of graphic novels without having to worry about non-age-appropriate content.


I rate this visual treat as 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 and I highly recommend it to children of any age from 4 to 99.


** Thank you to 
Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book.**

       



 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR and ILLUSTRATOR: 

 

RÉMY SIMARD is an award-winning illustrator and author of many books and comics for children.

When he is not busy creating, Rémy loves zooming around the streets of Montreal, Quebec on his motorcycle.

To learn more about him, click on the following links: 
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CANADA ABC by Paul Covello is my pick for Best Best for ages 0 to 4 for the year 2016. Check it out here…


Title: CANADA ABC  

Author: PAUL COVELLO    

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Genre: CHILDREN’S BOARD BOOKS, CANADIAN CHILDREN’S NON-FICTION

FOR AGES: 0 – 4 YEARS OLD

Length: 30 PAGES 

Publisher: HARPER COLLINS   

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 20, 2016

ISBN: 9781443448840

Price: $12.99 CDN 

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

I purchased this board book for my next door neighbor’s 2.5 year old daughter for Halloween rather than giving her candy that she just didn’t need. SHE LOVES IT!!!!

She has had her mother reading it to her over and over again ever since she received it. I LOVE IT because it not only teaches children their alphabet, but it also teaches them words that are synonymous with our wonderful and unique country of Canada.

Some of the words include B is for Beaver, I is for INUKSHUK, H is for HOCKEY, L is for LOONIE and Z is for ZAMBONI. Where else but in our glorious country would children learn these words at such a young age?

I believe that it is not only important to instill a love of reading in children from a very young age, but I also believe that it is important to teach kids about the country in which they live. They should know how unique it is and how lucky they are to have been born into such a great, multicultural company where tolerance is the rule, not the exception.

I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars.

This beautiful board book has also been chosen as one of the TOP 25 READS FOR FALL by TODAY’S PARENT MAGAZINE.  

This book is a MUST HAVE for everyone with small children as well as for people who just love Canada and want to celebrate some of our iconic words and images in the lead up to Canada’s 150th Birthday in 2017.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 

Paul Covello is an illustrator, author,  motion graphics artist and designer living in Toronto, Canada.

To learn more about this amazing Canadian author and illustrator visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE 

FACEBOOK  

TWITTER   

INSTAGRAM      

WADE’S WIGGLY ANTLERS is an adorable book for ages 3 to 7 – COMING IN 2017 

Title: WADE’S WIGGLY ANTLERS

Author: LOUISE BRADFORD    

Illustrator: CHRISTINE BATTUZ  

Genre: CHILDREN’S BOOK

Length: 32 PAGES

Publisher: KIDS CAN PRESS – A DIVISION OF CORUS ENTERTAINMENT     

Release Date: MAY 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-77138-615-9 (HARDCOVER)

Price: $16.95 USD / $17.95 CDN

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

Wade is a young moose who discovers one morning that his antlers are “wiggly”.

He is very worried about his antlers falling off because he uses them for so many different things, so he decides to try to stop his antlers from falling off.

In the end, Wade has to learn to accept that he is growing up and that with growing up comes change. He also realizes that change just might not be so bad after all.

The illustrations in this children’s book are simply adorable. I love how the different animals are depicted and that they are not so stylized as to be unrecognizable which I see all too often in children’s books.

There is also a message found in this story that is something every child needs to learn and that is that change is inevitable and that it is not necessarily a bad thing.

I rate this children’s book as 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free ARC (Advance Review Copy) copy of this book.

Pre-Order online at INDIGO.CA


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

LOUISE BRADFORD loves to spend time outdoors and in the woods. She wrote this story after spotting a young moose (similar to Wade) on a camping trip at LAKE SUPERIOR PROVINCIAL PARK.

Louise’s other stories have been produced by CBC RADIO and CBC TELEVISION.

She lives in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada where she writes speeches for grown-ups.

Louise is a member of the Writers Guild of CanadaCANSCAIP, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (Canada East).  

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE  

CANADIAN CHILDREN’S BOOK CENTER        

TWITTER   

FACEBOOK 
ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

CHRISTINE BATTUZ was born in France and received her Masters of Fine Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts of Perugia in Italy.

Christine has illustrated over sixty children’s books, and has taught art to children of all ages.

Christine loves camping near mountains and rivers – especially with her husband and their son. She currently lives in Bromont, Quebec, Canada.

View more books illustrated by Christine Battuz HERE

To learn more about this illustrator visit the following links:

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ILLUSTRATION QUEBEC        

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INSPIRATIONAL AND FUN AT THE SAME TIME – 4 STARS for OPEN WHEN… by Karen Salmansohn 

Title: OPEN WHEN 

Subtitle: LETTERS TO LIFT YOUR SPIRITS   

Author: KAREN SALMANSOHN

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Genre: INSPIRATIONAL, SELF-HELP

Length:  24 PAGES

Publisher: TEN SPEED PRESS 

Release Date: MARCH 7, 2017

ISBN: 9781607749646

Price: $14.99 USD

Rating: 4 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟


* I received a free copy of this book through 
Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 


MY REVIEW
:

“Sometimes the first step to forgiveness is understanding that the other person is an IDIOT.”

I love that quote and it is oh-so-true.

OPEN WHEN is a cute book with whimsical graphics that will appeal to a wide variety of readers.

Karen Salmansohn is a “Happiness Expert” and she has created this book to help people boost their spirits.

This a collection of 25 notes that readers can open at the appropriate time; such as “Open When you’re feeling stressed out” or “Open when you need courage.” If readers do this they will then read a letter that will help them to boost their happiness quotient within the context of that particular situation. 

The only thing that I would change about this book is that I would have liked it be longer. I rate this book as 4 out of 5 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟   

You can pre-order this book now by clicking HERE:  


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
 

“Karen Salmansohn is the founder of NotSalmon – as well as a best selling author and award winning designer – with over 1 million books sold – and over 1 million fans on Facebook. She is committed to inspiring people to live a life they love – no matter how much “you gotta be freaking kidding me!” life throws at you!Below is the story of Karen’s personal journey – a zig-zagger of a journey – with many obstacles to swerve around and peaks and valleys to travel up and through – which brought her to why she loves writing and designing inspirational books and products.”

On the author’s website it states that it is about “Self-Help for those who wouldn’t be caught dead doing self-help.”

To learn more about Karen Salmansohn visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE   

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YOUTUBE      

An Amazing New Talent in Children’s Fiction – 5 Stars for MARCEL by Ada Akaltun – RELEASE DATE September 20th, 2016 

Title: MARCEL 

Author: ADA AKALTUN 

Illustrator: ADA AKALTUN

Type of Book: HARDCOVER

Genre: CHILDREN’S BOOKS, AGES 3-7 

Length: 40 PAGES

Publisher: FLYING EYE BOOKS
Release Date: SEPTEMBER 20, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-909263-75-8

Price: $16.95 USD / £11.99 GBP / $24.50 CDN

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟   

I received a free hardcover copy of this book and a super-cute matching tote bag through the Goodreads Giveaway program.

Oh my goodness, this book is Adorable – with a capital “A”
Marcel is a French Bulldog pup who lives in New York City with his human. This book is an interesting look at family and change through the eyes of of a beloved pet. It is also a love letter to the city of New York.

This is clearly a children’s book, but there are amazing touches and details that will appeal to adult readers as well. For example, Marcel’s favorite bagel shop is called “Ruff and Sons” and his human sometimes takes him for pampering at “Mani’s Doggy Day Spa.”


The illustrations are simply perfect. They are both visually stunning and at the same time, they are full of whimsy.

The book is hardcover with a lovely blue and white striped cloth binding. The illustrations, both on the cover and on the interior pages are done with a matte finish which goes perfectly with this book’s style.

There is absolutely nothing that I disliked about this wonderful children’s book and for that reason I rate MARCEL by Ada Akaltun as 5 out of 5 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Judging by the picture at the end of the book, there is another “Marcel” book in the works and I will be waiting. I can’t wait to see what Marcel thinks of Paris.


CHECK OUT MARCEL ON INSTAGRAM  
Pre-Order Online at AMAZON.CA
Buy online at FLYING EYE BOOKS 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR: 


Eda is a New York based illustrator and printmaker from Istanbul.

Studying illustration at Central Saint Martins in London, Ada developed a love for traditional printmaking and collage, and began collecting paper ephemera, 50s fashion catalogues and old family photos to populate her increasingly detailed compositions.

 After obtaining an MA in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins in 2010, she joined Heart Agency who began to represent her in both the UK and the US. Since then she has worked for a wide range of clients including Herman Miller, Bafta, Krug Champagne and Pentagram NY among others – as well as taking part in a variety of exhibitions internationally. Ada is also a founding contributor to Nobrow.

Ada’s Clients include:

Herman Miller – BAFTA – Krug Champagne – Pentagram NY – BFI Publishing – TIME – Smithsonian Magazine – The New York Times – Financial Times – Bloomberg Businessweek – Education First – Huffington Post – Nautilus – Therapy Today – The Guardian – New Scientist – Condé Nast Traveller – The Telegraph – American Way – Johns Hopkins Magazine – Faber & Faber – New York Magazine – Nobrow – V&A Museum – Time Out – GreenSource Magazine – Elle Canada – Bulletin – Brunswick Review – New Statesman – Harvard Business Review – Eye Magazine – Reader’s Digest – Wired – Der Freitag (Germany) – Nature Magazine – Washington Post – Stanford Social Innovation Review – Brummell

To learn more about this author visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE  
HEART AGENCY ARTIST PAGE  
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE    

TWITTER  
INSTAGRAM   

   
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER: 


To learn more about Flying Eye Books visit the following links:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE  
TWITTER
FACEBOOK   

INSTAGRAM    

Continue reading

BORN OF THE PHOENIX: THE CRIMSON SAPPHIRES by David Murray Forrester IS A GORGEOUSLY ILLUSTRATED AND EXCEPTIONALLY WELL WRITTEN NOVELLA Fully Deserving of a 5 Star Rating 

Title: THE CRIMSON SAPPHIRES

Series: BORN OF THE PHOENIX: BOOK ONE

Author: DAVID MURRAY FORRESTER  

Illustrator: MATOELGRANDE 

Type of Book: SOFTCOVER

Genre: FANTASY, NOVELLA

Length: 62 PAGES

Publisher: DELENAIR PRODUCTIONS

Release Date: MAY 28, 2016

ISBN: 9781533504999

Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟


* I received a free softcover copy of this novella from the author through the 
Goodreads Giveaway program. 


 

GOODREADS DESCRIPTION

 The champions of old have passed. The end of heroes has befallen the continent of Sapphiron and with no mighty warriors of valour and chivalry the moral conscious of the people is falling into decline. Born a Larrosan descendant, Ravage faces not only the dangers of living on a continent fraught with monsters and sorcery but also constant prejudice yet her strong soul does not wither under adversity, the challenges only temper her unyielding constitution forging a soul that burns with indomitable fortitude. With a hideous shorku devouring the flesh of hapless travellers on the outskirts of her home town of Delepode, Ravage finds herself interwoven with the violent events that are taking place all around her.

MY REVIEW:

This may only be a 62 page novella, but it is full-length quality.

The world building was outstanding and the character development was excellent.

I did not expect this novella to be so wonderfully written and illustrated, but I absolutely LOVED it. In fact, I am very much looking forward to reading more books and/or novellas in this series.

Yes, it is a fantasy story, but it is so much more than that. The characters face not only terrifying monsters that rip unwary travellers to pieces, but they also have to face prejudice based on their heritage and/or on their chosen occupation.

There is also a gripping storyline with twists that the reader will not see coming and which setup the storyline for the next episode.

My only complaint? That I don’t yet own the other book in the series, but I plan to rectify that soon and I will be keeping an eye out for more books in the series.


I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

You can purchase this book online at: 

ETSY  

AMAZON     

CREATE SPACE  


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 

 

DAVID MURRAY FORRESTER (1981) Growing up in the Blue Mountains in Australia David quickly developed a love of forests and adventure (much like the elves of Lothlorien hehe) He spent the 80’s watching cartoons such as Voltron, He-man and Astro boy and building Lego castles. As he continued aging his interest in cartoons evolved into an anime fascination with The Twelve Kingdoms and Claymore being at the top of his list. He muchly enjoys Playstation, fast cars, Pepsi, cats and tomato sauce. His book writing began at an early age with short stories and over the years his passion for words grew and blossomed into his first novel Born of the Phoenix. David plans to continue his career in writing until he is old and grey.


FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS BOOK AND IT’S AUTHOR AT THE FOLLOWING LINKS:

FACEBOOK   

OFFICIAL BLOG   

GOODREADS  

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE  

GREAT by Glen Gretzky & Lauri Holmes Lives Up To It’s Title!!!

image

Title: GREAT

Author: GLEN GRETZKY and LAURI HOLOMIS

Illustrator: KEVIN SYLVESTER

Genre: CHILDREN’S FICTION, SPORTS, INSPIRATIONAL, AGES 4-8

Length: 32 pages

Publisher: PUFFIN – An Imprint of PENGUIN CANADA BOOKS INC.

ISBN (Print Book) 978-0-670-06990-3

ISBN (EBook) 978-0-14-319494-1

Price: $16.99 HARDCOVER

Release Date: SEPTEMBER 13, 2016

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The second I set eyes on this book, I knew that I had to have it. Being both Canadian and the mother of two boys means that hockey is in my blood. Plus, no self-respecting Canadian parent would pass up the opportunity to purchase a children’s book that is not only about hockey, but also conveys a very important lesson for both kids and their parents.

Come on! The Foreward is written by “The Great One” himself – Wayne Gretzky. In it he states: “I am very proud of this book and the message it gives to kids. Our Foundation’s Mission Statement is about helping to equip kids for life and that begins at home. Let’s ensure our kids have the encouragement, love and support they need to grow up to be strong and confidant adults. Every child should know that they’re Great.”

What an awesome message! And, it is a message that I agree with 100%.

Most fans of Wayne Gretzky are aware that his father – Walter Gretzky dedicated himself to making his son into both the hockey player and the man that he grew up to be. GREAT is inspired by Walter Gretzky.

In the story a boy named Taylor is excited to have made the hockey team of his dreams. He is going to be playing with Wayne – a kid who everyone is already calling “The Great One”.

The coach is Walter (Wally) Gretzky. Taylor is so nervous to be on such a great team that he doesn’t play very well.

Taylor wants to be the star of the game and when he hogs the puck rather than passing, his team loses. He tells Coach Wally that he knows the loss was his fault and that he thinks he should quit.

Coach Wally’s response is the perfect one. He is the kind of coach that every child deserves to have and Taylor ends up learning lessons not just about hockey, but also about life.

The illustrations in this book are PERFECT. The cartoon showing Taylor leaving for an early morning practice while his bleary-eyed Mom looks on reminded me so much of my own time as a Hockey Mom. Another illustration showing Taylor shooting pucks at a battered garage door made me laugh out loud in remembrance. Throughout the entire book are illustrations that any hockey parent and their child will love. I rate the illustrations as 5 out of 5 stars.

In fact, I enjoyed GREAT so much that I rate the entire book as 5 out of 5 stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This book is set to be released on September 13, 2016 – just in time for hockey season. It would also make a great Christmas gift for any hockey fan (regardless of their age.)

* I received a free copy of this book from the Publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS:

GLEN GRETZKY:

GLEN GRETZKY is the Executive Director of the Wayne Gretzky Foundation, which raises money to help children and families across Canada and the United States. Glen is also the Brand Manager for Wayne Gretzky Estates Winery and continues to be involved in community events and fundraising. He lives in Brantford, Ontario

LAURI HOLOMIS:

LAURI HOLOMIS has worked with the Gretzky Family and the Wayne Gretzky Foundation for many years. She continues to work in the sports world and is passionate about teaching kids confidence. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband, Ryan, and son, Wyatt. The author lives in Toronto, Ontario.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR:

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KEVIN SYLVESTER  is an illustrator, writer and broadcaster based in Toronto. His series, The Neil Flambe capers, is now out and loads of fun (according to him).

Neil Flambe and the Marco Polo Murders won the 2011 Silver Birch award for Fiction. Neil Flambe and the Aztec Abduction was runner-up in 2012. Neil Flambe and the Crusader’s Curse is up for the 2013 Silver Birch. Kevin’s picture book Splinters was nominated for the 2012 Blue Spruce! Cathy Rondina’s and I won the Silver Birch for Non-Fiction in 2012 for Don’t Touch that Toad. My book Gold Medal for Weird won the 2009 Silver Birch for Non-Fiction.

Kevin has also been a broadcaster with CBC Radio in Canada for years and years (although he is originally from Western New York). Kevin is willing to have people contact him with any questions or comments. His email address is:  atsylvesterartwork@gmail.com.

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Photos and illustrations were all obtained through Kevin Sylvester’s website.