Sunday, July 31, 2011

Book Lovers Blog Hop (7/31)

What is a blog hop?
A blog hop is a linky list that is SHARED ON MULTIPLE BLOGS. When several blogs put the same linky list code on their blog, the exact same list appears on each blog.

Blog visitors can submit their entries on any blog that contains the list. The entries will appear on each blog where the list resides.

Blog readers see the same list on each blog, and can "HOP" from blog to blog seeing the same list of links to follow: BLOG HOP!

Book Lovers Blog Hop:
Make friends, share the love of reading and be entered to win a FREE book!

All you have to do is post the Book Lovers Blog Hop and World of Ink Tour Banners below to your blog. Promote the Book Lovers Hop and World of Ink Tours on any social network. Tweet it once a day, share on Facebook and then follow others back that leave you a comment. By joining the Book Lovers Blog Hop, you are automatically entered in our Book Giveaway! 

There will be two (2) winners for this Book Giveaway.  

Note: One book per winner.

Create your own banner at!
Copy this code to your website to display this banner!

Hop Rules:
1.      Follow the Top link of the hop! Hop Host: Families Matter
       2.      Grab the button for the hop and place it in a post, sidebar, or on a blog hop page and let us know where it is in the comments section below. This will help the hop grow and gain us all new followers. It's a Win-Win for everyone!
      3.      Grab the buttons for the World of Ink Tours and place it in a post or side bar. Make sure you let us know where it is in the comments section below.
Create your own banner at!
Copy this code to your website to display this banner!

Create your own banner at!
Copy this code to your website to display this banner!

Book Giveaway Rules:
·         Join the Book Lovers Blog Hop. (One entry)
     ·         Follow the World of Ink Tours and leave a comment per tour blog stop. (must leave a real comment about the author, tour or book. Saying “this is cool” or “I love your book” will not count.) Make sure to include your safe email so we can contact you if you are the winner. Example: vsgrenier AT storiesforchildrenpublishing DOT com. (One bonus entry per blog stop)
·         Ask a question per World of Ink Tour blog stop. (One bonus entry per tour blog stop)

Please play nice and follow our simple rules! Make sure to FOLLOW AT LEAST ONE PERSON and as many other blogs as you'd like to have more follow back. This is what makes Book Lovers Blog Hop work, so if you're not willing to follow, please don't link up.

Remember to leave a comment on the blogs you follow to let them know you found them here at FAMILIES MATTER, and if someone follows you, be sure to follow back. If you follow us and leave a comment, we'll definitely follow you too!

Book Lovers Blog Hop is Open…

  Sunday July 31, 2011 at 12am MST and closes August 28th at 11pm MST!

If you want to become a World of Ink Host and do a review or interview shoot me an e-mail:   

Please make sure you Follow the top link of hop if you want to link up!

Note: You can use all or parts of this post for your post about the Book Lovers Blog Hop.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Book Review: Drops of Rosie

Drops of Rosie
By: Lisa Sidwell
Published by:  Mirror Publishing, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-936352-71-5
Price: $9.99
Ages:  3-8
Rating:  4 stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Synopsis: This is a wonderfully endearing book about a dog. Rosie is a beagle who seems to be neglected. He lives in a doghouse that has holes in the roof. He also doesn’t have anyone to play with and the people with whom he lives don’t give him the time of day. Then one day, he overhears that his original owners are looking for a new home for him. He is excited. Maybe finally he will have someone to play with him.  His wish came through and a family took him in who had a little girl, Lisa, who absolutely idealized Rosie. They became the best of friends and spent hours together, just hanging out and playing. But is this the end of Rosie’s difficulties? You must read the book to find out.

Overall thoughts:  I just love the book. Not only is the story endearing and heartwarming. But there is place in the book for the reader to explore her own personal adventures. It’s a journal of reflections that each reader could use to identify what his/her fears are, who their best friends are, if they had a favorite teacher, if she ever played in a creek and so on. The reader could also cut and paste a photograph while engaged in different activities. The book is truly a treasure and will be enjoyed by kids young and old.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Book Review: The Ketchup Bottle and the Takeover

The Ketchup Bottle and the Takeover
By:  Maggie Grinnell
Published by: AG Press.
Ages: 3-8  
Rating:  4 stars
Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Synopsis:  This is a funny book about a ketchup bottle trying so hard to get along with the other condiments in the fridge. The mustard and vegetables are always trying to set up the ketchup bottle to feel bad and out of place. However, during a picnic all the condiments seemed to be hastily talking to each other about the ketchup bottle. Then the ketchup bottle disappeared. Did the ketchup bottle ever return to his place in the fridge, among all the other condiments? Did the ketchup bottle learn any valuable lessons because of the picnic situation?

Overall thoughts:  This book has a great take away point. Fitting in is not as important as it seems. Sometimes if you try too hard to fit in, things get even worse for you. However, if you relax and try to be yourself even if it is hard, your peers will come around and accept you more.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book Review: The Little Frog Learns the Golden Rule

The Little Frog Learns the Golden Rule
By: Crista R. Stewart
Published by:  Tate Publishing and Enterprises; Date: 2010
ISBN: 978-1-61663-764-4
Price: $9.99
Ages: Ages 4-8
Rating:  5 stars
Reviewed by: Wayne S. Walker

Synopsis: Do you know “the golden rule”?  Little Frog, whom author Christa R. Stewart first introduced in her previous book entitled The Little Frog, does.  Little Frog has only three legs, and the other frogs teased him badly, so his human friend Chase took him to a new home on the other side of the pond.  One day, Chase, who has only one arm, stops by the pond and is counting some gold coins on his way to church.  Little Frog asks if he can go too, and Chase says yes.  At church, Little Frog learns, “The golden rule is treating others the way you want to be treated.  It is a rule Jesus told us all to follow because it is worth a lot to Him.  It is much more valuable than gold.”  The next day, Chase even gives Little Frog one of his gold coins so that he can remember the golden rule.  However, after Chase leaves, the mean frogs find Little Frog and try to run him off.  Later, at bedtime just as he is beginning to pray, Little Frog hears someone yelling for help.  It is Saul, one of the mean frogs, whose foot is stuck under a rock.  What will Little Frog do?  Will he remember the golden rule and help Saul?  Or will he just hop away and leave Saul there? 

Overall thoughts: This is a charming way to illustrate the golden rule, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”  When learning Bible principles, it is helpful for children to read or hear stories with concrete examples of those principles.  Stewart chose a frog for her stories because FROG stands for Fully Rely on God.  She says, “It’s easy to be nice to others who are nice to you, but what do you do when others are mean to you?”   Both parents and youngsters can find the answer to that question by reading The Little Frog Learns the Golden Rule.

Links: (series), (publisher)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Is gum-chewing bad for your teeth? Guest Blogger Linda Valderrama

Is gum-chewing bad for your teeth?

It depends. Some studies show that chewing sugarless gum can have an indirect positive effect on your teeth. Some studies indicate chewing gum right after a meal stimulates saliva flow and inhibits the bacteria (streptococcus mutans) that cause tooth decay.  Parents, however, should exercise good judgment since young children might choke on a piece of gum.  Also, for people with TMJ (tempromandibular jaw discomfort), chewing gum can aggravate the problem. Of course, although brushing right after eating is preferred, we do not always have a toothbrush and paste handy.

Gum sweetened with the natural sugar substitute Xylitol has been shown to be particularly beneficial. The molecular structure of xylitol appears to interfere with the destructive bacteria‘s ability to stick to the tooth enamel. Also, Trident with Recaldent (casein phosphopeptide), which is a milk based protein, seems to help remineralization of enamel to prevent decay. Gum always contains some type of sweetener, so you do want to avoid chewing gums with sugar and try to find sugarless gum whenever possible.  


Stories for Children Publishing has been touring Author Linda Valderrama R.D.H. and her book BRUSH BARRY BRUSH all month long.

Linda Valderrama R.D.H. has over 25 years experience as a dental hygienist. She has treated patients from ages two to one hundred years old and has successfully developed preventative oral hygiene programs tailored to individual needs. Linda is a strong believer that good oral hygiene habits lead to good overall health and that these daily habits must be acquired early in life. She is working towards developing programs for schools, assisted living facilities and healthcare institutions to enable them to offer more effective oral hygiene programs.

Linda is a member of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association, the California Dental Hygienists’ Association and the San Diego Dental Hygienists’ Society. Her book “Brush Barry Brush” is to help parents and young children work together to achieve the simple but very important goal that every time you eat, you should brush your teeth.

You can find out more about Linda Valderrama’s World of Ink Author/Book Tour schedule at There will be giveaways, reviews, interviews, guest posts and more. Make sure to stop by and interact with Valderrama and the hosts at the different stops by leaving comments and/or questions. Valderrama will be checking in throughout the tour and is offering an additional giveaway for those who leave comments throughout the tour.

In addition, come listen on demand to Blog Talk Radio’s World of Ink Network show: Stories for Children at The hosts chatted with Linda Valderrama R.D. H. about her book, writing, the publishing industry and experiences with virtual tours. Margot will also be sharing writing tips and trials, and tribulations of the writer’s life. The show aired live July 18, 2011.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Book Review: Forest Secrets: A Fairy Houses Mystery

Forest Secrets: A Fairy Houses Mystery
By: Tracy Kane and Kelly Sanders
Published by:  Light-Beams Publishing; Date: 2009
ISBN: 978-0-976628-91-0
Price: $8.95
Ages: 7-11
Rating:  5 stars
Reviewed by: Wayne S. Walker

Synopsis:  What would you think if you were walking in the woods and found a real “fairy house” built inside a tree trunk? Eleven year old Kate Evans has just moved to Portsmouth, NH, with her mom who has begun a new job with the Strawbery Banke Museum. They live in a cottage owned by an elderly woman, Mrs. Annie Lennox. Kate’s dad had died when she was very young. Kate likes to build fairy houses and is thrilled to find that their new home borders a forest on the Lennox property in which she can investigate the wonders of nature. She meets a neighbor her own age, Luke Carver, who is also a nature lover. Luke helps his Uncle Rick who works to take care of Mrs. Lennox’s gardens and also the grounds in nearby Prescott Park.
 Kate and Luke discover a tooth fairy’s house hidden in the trunk of a tree in which they find an old stone with a mysterious clue written on it, which leads them to a gnome house, and a clue there leads them to still another miniature house built in a stump which contains one final clue about a treasure. However, Mrs. Lennox is considering selling her estate to a developer. And Luke’s friend Trevor is acting strange. Can they solve the mystery and find the treasure? Will Luke and Kate be able to save the forest and also to help Trevor? Forest Secrets not only tells an interesting story that youngsters will enjoy reading but also illustrates good behavior. When Trevor tries to get Luke to do something wrong, Luke refuses and walks away. Kate tries to help Trevor deal with the fact that his parents are divorcing and he and his mom are moving away by talking about the death of her father. I liked the way the plot connects the present with the past.

Overall thoughts: Author Tracy Kane began by writing and illustrating The Fairy Houses Series of children’s books, consisting of Fairy Houses, Fairy Boat, and Fairy Flight. These books sparked an interest in building fairy houses which has fostered various workshops and community events, helping to bring families closer together as they explore the wonders of nature. Then when Tracy’s husband, Barry Kane, photographed many of the fairy houses, two books of fairy house photographs resulted, Fairy Houses Everywhere! and Fairy Houses and Beyond, the second of which I have previously reviewed. This sixth release in the series expands the appeal to middle grade readers with a touch of mystery and will be popular with both children and parents. By the way, the Strawbery Banke museum is a real living history museum that sounds as if it is a neat place to visit (14 Hancock Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801-4669; (603) 433-1100; ). Forest Secrets is a real keeper for youngsters who like mysteries.

Links: (series), (publisher)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Book Review: Habitat Spy

Habitat Spy
By:   Cynthia Kieber-King   Illustrated by: Christina Wald
Published by:   Sylvan Dell Publishing       Date:  2011
ISBN:  978-1607181323
Price:  $8.95, paperback
            $16.95, hardcover
Ages:  5-8                     
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by: Kris Quinn Christopherson

Synopsis:  Told in rhyming narrative, Habitat Spy invites children to search for and find plants, invertebrates, birds, and mammals and more that live in 13 different habitats: backyard, beach, bog, cave, desert, forest, meadow, mountain, ocean, plains, pond, river, and cypress swamp.    

Overall thoughts:  Search-and-find books are a favorite in my house and this book was a hit!  It is simply a great book to do/read together.  Not a traditional listing of subjects you should locate, but the subject was paired with an action verb – I felt this was excellent for enjoyment purposes, and for the educational aspect.  The action verbs helped to make an active story time even more entertaining. 



*Stories for Children Publishing, LLC. (SFC) and its divisions do not receive any compensation for product reviews beyond a sample and/or limited access to a paid website. SFC donates all books sent for review to a charitable organization. SFC may do a contest or giveaway of samples we receive.