Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Search for the Stone of Excalibur Book Review

Book Blurb: Continuing the adventure that began in Egypt a few months prior in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair are hot on the trail of the second Stone of Power, one of seven ancient stones lost centuries ago. This stone might be embedded in the hilt of a newly discovered sword that archaeologists believe belonged to King Arthur: Excalibur.

However, their long-standing enemy, Dr. Khalid, is following them as they travel to Scotland to investigate an old castle. Little do they know there is another deadly force, the Eaters of Poison, who have their own mission to complete. Time is running out as the confluence of the planets draws closer. Can Justin and Adam find the second Stone of Power and survive? And why did Aunt Isabel send a girl with them?

Our Thoughts: We had the pleasure of reading and reviewing the first book in the Chronicles of the Stone middle grade series (The Secret of the Sacred Scarab) by Fiona Ingram and this second book in the series only makes it better. The Search for the Stone of Excalibur completely delivers as an equally riveting, action-packed, historical filled sequel. Some of the strengths from the first book are found and evident in this book. Such as providing the read with remarkably unconventional lessons in world history and myths. Fiona brings history alive for young readers by making history and learning exciting rather than a classwork assignment or a study in academia.

We also appreciated the added bonus at the end of the book with the extra notes on King Arther and Excalibur.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Touch-and-Feel Book Takes Young Fashionistas through a Chic, Madison Avenue-Style Boutique

Is It Taffeta? Is It Silk? A Touch and Feel Book for Young Fashionistas

Whitehouse Cover
Monique’s Boutique Author: Dorothy A. Whitehouse; Illustrator: Francesca & Rick Weber; Skippin’ Stones; Category: Juvenile Fiction; Hard Cover: 978-0615472461, $17.99 USA, $22.00 CAN; Availability: Amazon.com, Skippin-Stones.com, Shopsilaboutique.com and fine stores such as Sweet & Sassy, Wisteria, Cabana 19, Kidegories, The Woman’s Exchange, Learning Express Toys, Toy Box, River Road Books in New Jersey, Tutti Bambini & Funky Monkey Toys in Greenvale, NY, The Book Stall in Winnetka, IL and Once Upon a Time in Delray, FL

It’s not every day that a self-professed tomboy who cut her teeth at ESPN publishes a touch-and-feel book introducing young fashionistas to satin, silk, and other luscious fabrics.

Nonetheless, in her newly published children’s book “Monique’s Boutique,” Dorothy Whitehouse takes young readers on a tour through a sophisticated shop highlighting ritzy attire and showing kids that fabrics are fun!

Complete with stylish rhymes, artful illustrations, and touch-and-feel samples of taffeta, suede, and other fabrics, Monique and her elegant dog Fifi explain the different textures and how and when to wear them, satisfying curiosity and enhancing the fashion sense of boys and girls alike.
Appropriately enough, Whitehouse has been enjoying successful book signings at a variety of well-known department stores, including multiple signings at Bloomingdale’s along with Neiman Marcus and Pottery Barn Kids. Upcoming signings include an additional appearance at Bloomingdale’s as well as signings at Sweet & Sassy, Toy Box, and Learning Express Toys.

Whitehouse comments, “I’m a tomboy at heart, but as a child, my mom took me to fashion shows and gave me a love of fashion and style. That combined with my dad’s encouragement to publish one of my books resulted in ‘Monique’s Boutique.’”

Textured material swatches adorn the page and each one generated great excitement by my daughter. As the parent, I enjoyed the fact that the book introduces them to the proper terminology for various types of fabric and educates them on the proper times to wear them…The text is succinct and educational while at the same time expressively whimsical with flair. ~ Macaroni Book Review

“The book is sort of a primer for little girls’ entree into the world of fashion and the role it will play in their lives.” ~ Review by John Burton, The Two River Times

AUTHOR: Dorothy A. Whitehouse worked as a VP at ESPN ABC Sports in marketing and sales and was one of SportsBusiness journal’s Forty under 40 recipients, which honors the most promising young executives in the sports business. Having grown up with parents who were entrepreneurs, it is no wonder Dorothy pursued the same path. She chose opportunity over security and has since launched several of her own businesses while also acting as Mom-in-Chief to two young sons. A graduate of the University of Michigan (BA), Emerson College (MA), and Rutgers University School of Law in Newark (JD), Dorothy has finished thirteen marathons and qualified for Boston. She tied the knot to her prince, Ted, in a Vera Wang dress (go figure) and has two delicious boys, Joseph and Teddy.


Friday, December 4, 2015

New Christmas Book Brings the Warmth and Wonder of the Season to Life

Richly illustrated children’s book tells the inspiring story of how Little Beth meets new forest friends who take her on an adventure she will always treasure 
Turke Cover

The warmth and wonder of the Christmas season are newly revealed in the imaginative full-color children’s Christmas book called "Little Beth of the Forest" written and illustrated by Cheri Turk.
One evening while walking home through the forest, Little Beth confesses to her mom that she sometimes is afraid of the forest at night, of the big giant trees, of the dark shadows, and of scary noises.

In response, Little Beth’s mom tells her daughter that the noises she hears are just the animals of the forest and that they are their friends.

Soon, Little Beth meets a playful wolf cub named Orie who becomes her best friend and who introduces her to a big white bear who visits her bedroom one special night and invites her to join him on a beautiful adventure through the moonlit forest.

As their journey unfolds, Orie, Little Beth, and their new friend Blue Bear meet a mighty stag in a distant meadow. His golden antlers shimmering in the moonlight, he invites Little Beth to climb on his back. An excerpt from the story reads:
In one giant leap, the mighty stag soaredhigh into the night sky. With the wind gustingthrough his magnificent golden antlers, golddust sprayed onto Little Beth’s face.

With beautiful birds soaring alongside them, the travelers fly ever higher. When they reach the top of a mountain, they meet an unexpected new king whom Little Beth learns is the king of this world.

Turk comments, "This is a fun-filled and warm-hearted Christmas story with an added measure of rich Christmas symbolism to search for and find from the very beginning until the very end."
Turk is donating ten percent of the sales of "Little Beth of the Forest" to The Ebenezer House of Vision Orphanage in Tororo, Uganda, to help orphaned girls who otherwise would be at risk of being sold into trafficking. Both the book and related Little Beth merchandise are available at LittleBethoftheForest.com.

"Beautifully illustrated, your child will embrace the story. ["Little Beth of the Forest"] is a great addition to your treasured children’s book collection." ~ Reader review by Lisa O. Clinton
Author/illustrator: Cheri Turk lives in the beautiful state of Oregon, where it hardly ever snows, but she grew up on the East Coast, where the winters were brutally cold and snowy. Being able to write and illustrate a Christmas story filled with love and friendship and adventure, combined with rich symbolism and meaning, is a gift she knows she will always treasure.

See Little Beth of the Forest at Book Expo America in the Combined Book Exhibit New Title Showcase, booth #3105, May 27th - 29th

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Little Beth of the Forest written and illustrated by Cheri Turk; Specialty Greetings; Category: Juvenile Fiction, Christmas; Hard Cover: 978-0986002427, $22.50; Soft Cover: 978-0986002410, $9.99; eBook: 978-0986002434, $5.75; Availability: Amazon.com, BN.com, Google, Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Gardner, Kobo, SpecialityGreetings.com, LittleBethoftheForest.com

Wednesday, December 2, 2015


Blurb: Ten zany birds have a tree party, until one by one they find other things to do. It’s a zany countdown – which bird will stick around?

Our Thoughts: This is a great book not only to teach counting and subtraction, but also sorting skills, colors, and many other cognitive skills that help young readers use their memory abilities as they interact with the environment of the birds and recall what has happened as the story unfolds.

Some of the most critical cognitive abilities for mathematics learning are memory, language skills, and the ability to make mental representations of number and space, all of which the author Sherry Ellis does wonderfully in this colorful picture book.

The author also adds repetition...repeating words/sentence and actions to help young readers learn the consequence of an action. This also helps them remember information and build their memory and their cognitive skills.

The colorful and vivid illustrations only add to this wonderful crafted book for young readers. We give this a 5 star and highly recommend this for all young readers bookshelves.


*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.