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Penelope Anne Cole enjoys writing children’s stories to be read aloud. “Reading to children is the best way to help them love literature.” Ms. Cole has taught and tutored at every grade level, K to 12, and community college. She also reviews children's books. When not writing or reviewing children’s books, Ms. Cole enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church, and choir activities. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, a member of the California Writers Club:  Fremont Area Writers, SF Peninsula Writers, and South Bay Writers, and is a Reading Therapist with Read America. Ms. Cole reviews books at

http://pennyreviews-chat.blogspot.com/

See reviews of Ms. Cole's books at

http://reviewsforpenny.blogspot.com/

Her website is www.penelopeannecole.com

Contact Ms. Cole for School Author Visits, locally in-person, or by SKYPE.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Christmas in July! The Plumber and the Wishing Well by Liam Maher, with artwork by Gin May


The Plumber and the Wishing Well, by Liam Maher and illustrated by Gin May, is a lovely Christmas-themed book.  The plumber wants to buy special Christmas gifts for his children, but he’s lost his job.  His trusty bird friend, Tupo Hoopoe, offers to help him and seeks Oracle Owl’s wise advice.  Friend Owl tells of a secret hidden wishing well in the forest.  There Tupo Hoopoe observes an elf, a fairy, and a leprechaun, all seeking wishes from the well.  Sadly, the well is broken!  Tupo Hoopoe quickly crafts an ingenious plan to help the plumber and aid the three magical creatures, too.

Gin May’s beautiful and expressive artwork gives us plenty to see and enjoy as the story unfolds.  We're anxious to find out how the plumber’s problem is solved by his helping the three magical beings get their wishes.  The ending is satisfying and rewarding to all.

This could have been a formulaic story with the plumber saving the day, being richly rewarded, and then living happily ever after.  I’m glad Liam Maher thought to put in a lesson on sharing, since we want children to learn generosity as well as problem solving.  Thanks for an entertaining story that uplifts and puts us all in the Christmas spirit. 

Available from Guardian Angel Publishing, http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The First Americans by Kelly Bakshi


What better way to celebrate America’s birthday than remembering our Native American heritage.  The First Americans by Kelly Bakshi, depicts the lifestyle, artifacts, activities, and products of several Native American tribes. 

First we meet the Inuit tribe of Alaska with their igloo homes.  We see what food they hunt, eat, use, in their daily activities.  Then on to the Kwakuitl tribe, off the Northwest coast of the United States.  The Kwakuitl tribe fish for salmon in canoes, and build Totem poles, representative of their clan or special animal. 

From the West coast we go southwest and meet the Hopi tribe.  They build Pueblo apartment homes made from sun-dried clay bricks.  The high apartments have ladder access to provide protection.  Kachina Dolls are made by the Hopi tribe to honor their gods. 

On the Great Plains we find the Dakota tribe; buffalo hunters, who live in portable “teepee” tents, made of buffalo skins.  They hunt with bows and arrows and use all parts of the buffalo.  In the Northeast is the Iroquoi, a powerful league of five tribes.  They hunt, fish, and farm.  This is a matriarchal society, with woman honored and powerful.  Finally, we go southeast, to the Natchez tribe, who live in clay mud-plastered wooden huts.  They farm and have a strict class system.

The final chapter concludes with games and fun pastimes.  Many of our favorite childhood games came from Native Americans, such as tug-of-war, wrestling, racing, hidden stone, toss up, and storytelling. 

This book provides interesting facts and insights about our Native American heritage that children will enjoy, plus a word search review activity.  Look to The First Americans, by Kelly Bakshi, finding its place in the elementary classroom library.

 

Available from Guardian Angel Publishing, http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

ABC's of Health and Safety by Melissa Abramovitz, art by Alexander Morris


ABC’s of Health and Safety, by Melissa Abramovitz, puts our friendly ABC’s to a whole new purpose.  This book helps teachers and parents teach important heath and safety lessons in a format familiar to elementary kids.  Adults can read the rhymes aloud, kids can enjoy the cute pictures, while important information is presented and discussed.  The artwork by Alexander Morris provides fun cartoons to illustrate the rhyming health and safety tips. 

As we read along and turn the pages, we anticipate what each letter will represent.  Kids will be wondering and guessing, too.  It’s a good way to involve everyone in important health, hygiene, and safety guidance.   Because some of the words may be unfamiliar to the younger audience, it will also help expand their vocabulary.  I especially enjoyed “quiet quiescence.”

Thanks to Melissa Abramovitz and Alexander Morris for a new take on health and safety concerns using our old friends, the ABC’s.

 


Available from Guardian Angel Publishing:  http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com.

Children's Ezine Guardian Angel Kids July 2012 Issue


M E D I A  R E L E A S E
CONTACT:    Donna McDine, Editor-in-Chief, Guardian Angel Kids Ezine
Email:              submissions@guardian-angel-kids.com
Website:          http://guardian-angel-kids.com
For Immediate Release

Children’s Ezine Guardian Angel Kids: Adoption – July 2012 Issue

Welcome to the July 2012 issue of Guardian Angel Kids Ezine (GAK). This month, GAK is all about a different family experience – adoption, where through a legal process, a person becomes a member of a family different from their birth family. Please enjoy all the fun and informative features in this month’s issue and please feel free the GAK link www.guardian-angel-kids.com with your friends – and family, too, of course!  
Letter from the POETRY EDITOR:  Donna J. Shepherd    
Featured BookS:
One Nutty Family by James Byers and illustrated by Kevin Collier
Curley the Crooked Christmas Tree by Rodger Pritchett and Mike Webb and illustrated by Jamie Holmes 
Children’S poetry, ACTIVITIES, SHORT STORIES, and articleS: 
“The Same Difference,” poetry by Shari L. Klase – our differences unites us.  
“The Chain of Hearts,” by Susan Harris Sanders and illustrated by Nancy Miller – adoption is a new beginning.  
“The Duck Family Reunion,” by Suzanne Purvis and illustrated by Jack Foster – a young bullfrog discovers he is right where he belongs.

“A Basketful of Eggs,” by Shari L. Klase – how birds play a role in adoption of a different sort. 
“Teaching Children about Adoption,” by Kathy Stemke – how teaching children about adoption and altering certain activities includes all types of families.
Visit Guardian Angel Kid today and www.guardian-angel-kids.com and enjoy a child safe and ad free Ezine.
We also invite you to stay connected with Guardian Angel Kids through our Facebook Fan Page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Guardian-Angel-Kids-Ezine/163785080346247 
Please feel free to drop Editor-in-Chief, Donna McDine an email at submissions@guardian-angel-kids.com and let them know what you think of Guardian Angel Kids and what you'd like to see in the future. They aim to please. 
The Guardian Angel Kids Ezine staff and contributors look forward to your visit. Thank you for your time and interest.

Monday, July 2, 2012

One Large Peanut Butter Sandwich to Go by Linda Derkez


In One Large Peanut Butter Sandwich to Go, Linda Derkez has written a book parents and teachers will happily appreciate.  Scotty has a bad habit of walking around with his food and leaving crumbs everywhere.  Mom wants to teach him it’s best to eat at the table, and tries a new strategy.  When he asks if he can walk with his peanut butter sandwich, she asks him where he’ll take it.  Then she conjures up images of every person along the way wanting a bite of Scotty’s sandwich.  He finally decides to eat it at the table -- so he can have it all to himself.

David Fielding’s art illustrates Linda Derkez’s story in an appealing “crayon” style that children will love.  Scotty’s crumb-spilling days end because of Mom’s clever “what if” suggestions to change his behavior.  Paired with David Fielding’s vibrant pictures, we see what Scotty imagines will happen when he walks his sandwich to Dad’s clinic.

This is a fun story that kids will want to see and hear again and again.  The lesson Mom wants to teach Scotty will come across loud and clear.  Thanks to Linda Derkez and David Fielding for a fun and colorful story.
 

Available from Guardian Angel Publishing, http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com.