About Me

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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.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Manny the TV Watching Dog, by Linda Derkez and Mike Derkez, illustrated by Nina Marie Rothfuss



Manny the TV Watching Dog, written by Linda Derkez and Mike Derkez, and illustrated by Nina Marie Rothfuss, is a delightful story that children and doting pet owners alike will enjoy. Inspired by the Derkezes’ real life dog, Manny is a fun story about how hard it is to get your sweet dears – dogs and kids – to do what you want them to do.

Manny The TV Watching Dog The book begins with Manny answering an ad for a cleaner, cook, and babysitter in chapter one. Of course, Manny says “I can do that” when asked about her cleaning, cooking, and babysitting skills. Then we get into the story and find that Manny’s main skill is TV watching! Hmmm, does that remind you of anyone you know? It’s so easy for any of us to get distracted by the TV and fritter away hours watching our favorite shows (or even watching online). Manny is no different. Still, it’s as much fun for us to watch her “at work” as it is frustrating for the Master to see that Manny is no great shakes as a housecleaner, cook or babysitter.

Her next adventure is getting ready for bed. Although everything she does is exaggerated for humor’s sake, parents will easily relate to how frustrating it is trying to get a child into bed.  There’s snack time, bath time, story time, drink time, potty time – preparations drawn out in getting our darlings into bed and, finally, asleep. This is the perfect bedtime chapter to read to your dawdling toddlers.

In the final chapter, Manny “helps” get her things together for moving day and the movers to load. She keeps getting distracted and Master has to come and finish the jobs he’s asked of her. Again, there is much relatable frustration and humor in keeping little ones on task and moving in the right direction.

The artwork, by Nina Marie Rothfuss, is another treat in this little chapter book. Manny is beautifully portrayed doing all her little tasks, to the best of her ability, but so cute, darling, and funny, that kids and parents alike will delight in pointing out the silly things that are pictured. This is a fun and funny book that will be enjoyed over and over again. Recommended for children ages three to seven -- plus parents, teachers, and grandparents.

Read more about Linda Derkez at:   


Manny the TV Watching Dog is published by Wee Creek Press, an Imprint of Whiskey Creek Press, www.weecreekpress.com

Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Silence," written and illustrated by K.C. Snider



The picture book, Silence, beautifully illustrated by K.C. Snider, is a completely wordless book. The lifelike artwork -- nearly photographic -- takes us a through a year in the life of a golden manteled ground squirrel. We follow him through his daily life and adventures at Crater Lake National Park.  Having been to Crater Lake in the early hours of dawn, I believe the choice of Silence for a title, is most certainly appropriate.  The natural beauty of Crater Lake makes you want to hold your breath and not breathe a word.

Wordless books are perfect for pre-readers. They can enjoy the beauty of the illustrations and not be distracted by the printed word. Children are free to put in their own interpretation, in their own words, in response to such questions as:  “What do you see in the picture?” “What is he doing now?” "What do you think he’s thinking as he. . .?” "What do you think he'll do now?" The imaginative story ideas are as endless as the children describing their stories. It will be just as much fun for the parent or teacher to see what they come up with as it will be for the kids.

K.C. Snider, an honors graduate from the School of Art in Eugene, Oregon, spent two years creating the artwork for this book.  Ms. Snider is an award-winning illustrator of over forty children's books.  Her Western Fine Art has won prestigious art awards and her illustrations for children's books have also won numerous literary awards.  This is her first "solo" book -- entirely written and illustrated -- wholly created by Ms. Snider.  Everyone would enjoy this book and could create their own word story while appreciating the amazing artwork.


 


"Share the most inspiring clear blue lake in the world with a golden mantled ground squirrel as he meets animal friends and explores the wonders of Crater Lake National Park. From Rim Village, Wizard Island, to boat rides around the lake, past Phantom Ship, fishing with kids, and more, the ground squirrel leads you on a wordless journey where you can interpret the story. Suggested age for readers: for all ages." 

Published by: http://www.guardianangelpublishing.com

Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other quality online bookstores.





Friday, December 13, 2013

My Review of "Rock’N’Roll in Locker Seventeen," by Shannon V. Brown,



Rock’N’Roll in Locker Seventeen, by Shannon V. Brown, is a great book for teenage boys and girls, their parents, and yes, their grandparents, too. Why? Because Ms. Brown’s first book has cross-generational appeal. It harkens back to the days when rock and roll ruled – those golden days of yesteryear. It has humor and piques one’s interest, plus it is replete with musical and musician references (which I loved and hope you will, too.) Siblings will enjoy the banter between Steven and his bright younger sister, Jeanne. Parents will commiserate with Steven’s parents, Ellen and Jack White, having to raise two teenagers at the same time in a small Mid-Western town. While grandparents will rise above it all, but enjoy the journey back in time to a somewhat simpler period.

Product DetailsThe story begins with seventeen year old Steven White obsessing about his rock and roll idol, Ricky Stevenson, who mysteriously disappeared thirty years ago, but left a wonderful musical legacy. Yes, it is a mystery, even though the clues are laid out pretty clearly for us to figure out even before Steven does. We follow Steven through his rather ordinary mid-1990s life – at home, at school, hanging out with friends, shopping at the local Thrift Shop – where he buys vintage clothes to perfect his “Ricky” image, and working part-time at his Dad’s temporary storage business. Steven longs for the rock star life of glitz and glamour and spends way too much time daydreaming about it.

Steven is a typical teen, alternately bored with his mundane life, and fascinated with the past – even learning to play the guitar like his missing “role model,” rock legend, Ricky Stevenson. Ms. Brown’s use of sarcasm, wit, and humor through Steven’s comments and thought processes will have you chuckling, and happily turning pages to see what he’ll come up with next. In addition to the mystery and rock and roll appreciation, there are plenty of lessons here for everyone to take away. And lots of daily machinations that teens are famous for:  should I do this? What should I be when I grow up? Can I trust this friend/adult? What’s right? What’s wrong? Is the grass greener on the other side? What if??

In checking Ms. Brown’s website, (http://www.locker17.com), I was delighted to see that there is a Prequel and a Sequel to Rock’N’Roll in Locker Seventeen in the works. It will be great fun to revisit Steven and his family – and journey once more into their past and forward into the next chapter. I can hardly wait to see if it will be another mystery or a slice of life in the teen world. I’m sure it will be enjoyable, humorous, and positive. Rock'N'Roll in Locker Seventeen is available from Amazon.com.
 Shannon Brown
Note to parents/teachers:  I found the book to be between categories:  late middle-grade to early young adult (some teen drinking, unsupervised parties, some “truth withholding” and actual lying.) There no violence to speak of, drug use is referenced in the past, no sex scenes (some magazines referenced.) All in all, it is generally a good read for late middle grade students through high school.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My Wonderful Weeks - Magical Awards with Book Sales and Signing!



I've had a wonderful couple of weeks!  November 20-22nd, I went to Miami to receive my Bronze Medal for Magical Mathew!  I met some lovely authors and went to the huge Miami International Book Fair.  There were some lovely speakers (see 11/26/13 post).  Here are the official photos:


When I returned from Miami, it was a rush to get ready for Thanksgiving (overcooked the pie and stopped up the drain with potato peelings!)  Still, we had a wonderful family gathering at my brother's.
 Then it was the Black Friday weekend Book Sales and Signing with the Fremont Area Writers Club.  I sold MagMatt and MagMea books every day!




















Today was the icing on the cake:
I received my Creative Child Magazine Kids' Holiday Gift edition and found that Magical Mea won a Preferred Choice Award from Moms and Educators!

Then I received an email that Magical Mea won a Fall 2013 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award from NABE!  Woo hoo! 
 What a great couple of weeks!




Monday, December 2, 2013

Guardian Angel Kids E-Zine - Dec 2013

Attitude of Gratitude
December 2013

BOOK FEATURE
Tales From Kensington Forest 
POEM
The Giving Fever by Robert Niven
Think by Sarah Varnam
SHORT STORIES
A New Kind of Club by Trisha Faye
Good Neighbor Love by Evelyn Horan
A Helping Hand by Felicity Nisbet
NON-FICTION ARTICLE
Freedoms Even Kids Have by Shari L. Klase
PARENT TEACHER ARTICLE
Instilling an Attitude of Gratitude
by Irene S. Roth

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Received my Readers' Favorite Bronze Medal for "Magical Matthew"

I just returned from the Readers' Favorite Awards Ceremony and the Miami International Book Fair!  There I received my Bronze Medal for Magical Matthew and was also acknowledged for Magical Mea being a finalist, too!  It was very exciting to be there and meet other award winning writers who were also being honored.

We had the opportunity to hear some great talks on marketing:
1) Find the audience for your book and pursue it relentlessly.  Sell yourself, sell your stories.
2) Make your presentations fun and memorable.  Tell them something new.  Share.  Joke.  Sell.
3) Dress up in costume, if appropriate.  Have a memorable image, gimmick, showcase.
4) Volunteer as a speaker to community organizations (libraries, service clubs, churches, schools, book clubs, parent groups, etc ). 
5) Become well-known.  You = your product; brand yourself.  (T-shirts, stuffed animals, dolls, hats?)

How to pursue adapting your book for a movie or TV show:
1) When writing your book try to make it "cinematic," with 3 Act structure and castable characters.
2) Find out who wants/needs movies/TV shows with your theme/subject; communicate marketabilty.
3) Know your target audience and how to connect with them; have significant readership.
4) Write a great two page synopsis of your vision; be persistent, but not a pest; be passionate.
5) Set realistic goals.  One no just means it's not right for that producer/film company; be gracious.

And the future of the independent author and publisher.
1) Market to the right publisher for your genre and audience.
2) Investigate self-publishing as a viable alternative with growing interest, audience, and respect.
3) Be smart with marketing and PR; find your audience and market to them.
4) Know the business side of writing (budget, design, pricing, marketing/PR, outsourcing, website).

All were short presentations, but interesting, supportive, and inspiring.  It made me want to go back next year.  But then I'll have to enter another book by May 1st, 2014!

Here I am at the Miami International Book Fair where our award winning books were displayed.

 Here I am with Debra Gaynor, Founder of the Readers' Favorite Awards Program.
We'll get the official photo of the medal being awarded on December first and I'll post that, too.  And now it's back to work on the next book!
Readers' Favorite Winner:  Bronze Medal 2013

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Count 1, 2, 3 with Me, by Connie Arnold and illustrated by Ginger Nielson



 
Count 1, 2, 3 with Me, by Connie Arnold and illustrated by Ginger Nielson, is a lovely rhyming, counting book.  Parents will enjoy sharing it with their preschoolers.  And teachers can read it aloud with their early kindergarten students learning to count to ten. 

The book takes you all over with happy, smiling children, playing games, walking, and viewing the world through wonder-filled eyes.  They see normal daily home life scenes.  They see pets in the park and wild animals in their zoo habitats.  They see insects, games, and fun activities -- everything that children can relate to in their world and at their level.  



This sweet book is complemented by Ginger Nielson’s beautiful artwork which illustrates the scenes that go with the counting to ten lessons.  Her illustrations are full of life and energy.  They cry out to kids to be active and experience everything that a child’s life can be.



This is a book that kids will enjoy and easily relate to.  We see them playing ball, walking and Yo-yo-ing, learning to tie their shoes, watching nature, going to the park, playing with puppies, visiting the zoo, shopping and cuddling with Mom, wrestling with Dad, and even learning the days of the week.  It’s a joyful comment on the different kinds of fun children can have everywhere they are  -- as long as they are open to the possibilities.   


See Connie Arnold's blog tour: http://conniearnold.blogspot.com

Published by 4RV Publishing and available from quality online booksellers, such as Amazon.com.
 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

A Bad Mad Sad Day for Mama Bear by Mayra Calvani Illustrated by K.C. Snider



A Bad Mad Sad Day for Mama Bear, by Mayra Calvani and illustrated by K.C. Snider, is a sweet book about a problem day for mother and child. Mama Bear has one bad thing after another happen in her busy day. We can all relate to that. We’ve had days when we drop things, when the car won’t start, when we spill things, when things tip over, and we miss something important. Then we pick ourselves up and carry on in spite of these mishaps. Mama Bear does the same. However, in her coping and dealing with one bad thing after another, she forgets one very important little person – Baby Bear. He’s right there trying to offer support and comfort in unseen ways. Will Mama Bear slow down long enough to notice how he’s trying to help?
 about
The story is fanciful and full of fun language.  There’s repetition, alliteration, onomatopoeia, and even slapstick.  Here are some examples:

Everything was going from bad to worse for Mama Bear today. At breakfast she burned the sizzling sardines, and a spatter of grease stung her paw ... OUCH!

Then while scrubbing the dishes, she dropped a cup and ... CRASH! It smashed to smithereens on the floor. “Oh no, my favorite tea cup!”

Some situations are downright silly, but will make reading aloud that much more enjoyable for reader and listener.
A very special part of this story is K.C. Snider's artwork. She has done an amazing job of telling this story in pictures. The action is vivid, the colors and characters vibrant and alive. The humor of the story, married with the artwork, leaps off the page. After seeing the illustrations, you can’t imagine the story any other way. With so much to read and see on every page, it is truly captivating - a delight for eye and ear.

A Bad Mad Sad Day for Mama Bear is about how an ordinary day can have small and large catastrophes and challenges.  We’ve all had very bad and even horrible days, but somehow we get through them.  In the midst of these little and big daily problems, we pick up the pieces and still find things to appreciate and be thankful for -- like the loving gestures of our sweet children, and the support of our partners and friends.

And other quality online book sellers.

Monday, November 4, 2013

"Captain Courage and the World’s Most Shocking Secret" by Stacey A. Marshall, illustrated by Michelle Morse



Captain Courage and the World’s Most Shocking Secret is the second Captain Courage book by Stacey A. Marshall, illustrated by Michelle Morse. We again see Mr. Magico, Blythe Elementary School’s Principal, in his superhero costume with his “sparkly goggles” and his “rainbow fear-squishing shoes.” We follow him around the school meeting and encouraging students.
 about
In this story, Mr. Magico shares with his wife, a teacher, and some students, his own personal fear. His fear is so great, it's been giving him crazy nightmares. Katie, a new student whom he helped overcome her own fears last year, is sworn to secrecy when he asks for her help. She agrees, though shocked by his revealing his deepest fear. Mr. Magico also enlists the help of a teacher, Mrs. Berrycastle, and swears her to secrecy, along with two other students. How many can keep this secret?

At the whole school talent show all will be revealed, but not as Mr. Magico might have wished. Mr. Magico and Katie are congratulating themselves backstage when there's a little hiccough with Katie's microphone still being on. Uh oh. Now the big secret is out! Sometimes some secrets just can't be kept. Katie's comments show how all the students feel about their courageous, superhero principal. (Right, still trying to keep the secret from you, too.)
 preview
Michelle Morse’s colorful and energetic illustrations put us squarely in the action. She did that so well – you will love the artwork. Kids will also love the cute turtle that hangs out in this story.

Stacey Marshall's second Captain Courage story is full of fun with many helpful pointers on overcoming such common fears as performance anxiety, stage "jitters, and shyness. It will be a good book for read-alouds and discussions. It also reminds us that our friends can help us if we would just reach out and ask them -- we don't have to go it alone.

and other quality online book sellers.

Friday, November 1, 2013

November 2013 - Guardian-Angel-Kids.com/ - Free Online Interactive Magazine for Kids: It Must Be Magic!

Published by Guardian Angel Publishing:   
Free Online Magazine.
BOOK FEATURE- The Magic Violin 
POEM- It Must Be Magic by Robert Niven; 
SHORT STORIES-A Fairy’s Flight for Firefly Freedom by Shari L. Klase; Magic Mud for Sale by Billie A Williams; A Different Kind of Magic by Felicity Nisbet
NON-FICTION ARTICLES; The True Magic of Nicholas Flamel by Donna Marie West; Open Sesame–Is it Magic? Christine Collier

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Down Under Calling by Margot Finke



Looking for a mid-grade novel for a ‘tween-age boy who’s interested in all things Aussie?  Here’s the perfect book for you, Down Under Calling, by Margot Finke. Ms Finke is a transplanted Aussie with memories and stories to share about wild and wonderful Australia. I highly recommend this book to boys and girls who want to learn more about Australian animals. Parents and grandparents will enjoy the growing relationship between Andy and Grandma Rose.
In Down Under Calling, Andy’s mother wants him to do something productive over summer – not sit around playing video games. She suggests he write letters to his Grandma Rose in Australia. We applaud his mother’s pushing Andy knowing that he and his grandmother will get to know each other better through this correspondence. We’ll all learn more about Australia through Grandma Rose’s sharing her memories with us about growing up ‘down under.’

Andy, being a video game player, is not inclined to write letters – how “borrring,” he thinks, as he reluctantly complies with Mom’s urging. But once he receives Grandma Rose’s first letter, he changes his mind. Grandma Rose has a lot of interesting critter visitors to her garden, which backs to the Queensland Bush, plus entertaining personal stories from her girlhood. Andy is hooked and his friend, a girl named Kelly, is drawn in, too. The summer passes pleasurably on both continents as they eagerly await the next snail mail installment. Andy and Kelly’s friendship also grows as they share their personal stories.
Letter exchanges make for wonderful stories. We get to experience life in two worlds. In this case we also get Rose’s remembrances of her life as a girl in Australia in the 1940’s, contrasted with her life today. Andy’s perspective broadens and his understanding of his own life’s problems also deepens. He develops a warm relationship with his grandmother and gains a close friend in Kelly. They learn more about the creatures in Australia through Andy and Kelly’s ‘Google’ searches. Andy and Kelly find more to interest them outside in bike riding and bird watching.

If you’ve ever carried on a correspondence over a period of time you learn a lot about the other person as you share information – and you learn more about yourself as well. Andy learns his parents are having the same problems he’s had since his father was downsized, which changed their living situation. The whole family has had to adjust to their altered financial reality. In this day and age sacrifices seem harder to make when we see others are much better off. This story shows how families can stick together in hard times and that expensive, ‘store bought’ fun isn’t a true necessity. It’s our relationships that really matter.  

See Margot Finke's other books at:  http://perfectmagiccarpet.blogspot.com/
 
Down Under Calling is available as an Amazon Kindle book:
 

Monday, October 28, 2013

October Releases by Guardian Angel Publishing

A Bad Mad Sad Day for Mama Bear  Animals & Pets 
by Mayra Calvani, artist KC Snider
On a very bad day, Little Bear offers Mama Bear various items to make her feel better, but she’s too busy to notice—until he gives her his super, so good, so very special dolly. Silly humor, alliteration, repetition, and onomatopoeia make this a fun read-aloud story. 
Bethlehem’s King Size Bed Musical Playbook  Angelic Harmony 
by Dixie Phillips, Sharon Phillips, Lucy Robbins, and Leslie Troyer 
A Christmas Musical for Children-Phineas of Capernaum orders a flock of sheep to find a king size bed for the newborn King about to be born in Bethlehem.
Captain Courage and the World’s Most Shocking Secret  Book 2  Littlest Angels
by Stacey A Marshall, artist Michelle Morse When beloved school principal and superhero, Captain Courage, reveals a shocking secret about himself, he shows everyone at school the true meaning of courage. 
Earthquake!   Academic Wings hardcover edition
by Susan Berger, artist Eugene Ruble
Ghost Story  Littlest Angels
 by Liam Maher, artist Gin May
One rainy day young John and cousin Harry play catch in the lovely lounge of a beach hotel. A gorgeous crystal chandelier gets shattered, but escaping from the damaged room, the duo causes the blame to fall on a ghost.
Hidden Treasure Littlest Angels 
by Judith J. Miller, artist Robert Beers
Instead of playing Matt must clean his room including the disaster under his bed. Besides scary, broken and stinky things he discovers a true treasure.
Mágico Mateo   Spanish Editions 
by Penelope Cole , artist Kevin Collier
Mateo tiene un secreto:  Él arregla las cosas por arte de magia.
about
The Ferry Boat  Littlest Angels 
by JennaKay Francis, artist Ed Woodward III
Riding the ferry to the island to visit friends is an adventure by itself. A rhyming story about a child’s adventures aboard a ferry.
Where will we fly?  Academic Wings 
by MarySue Seymour artist Cheryl Spadacinni.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Magical Matthew Translated into Spanish - Mágico Mateo!

Magical Matthew has been translated into Spanish and is up on the Guardian Angel Publishing website as Mágico Mateo! 

Here is the link to see the first two pages and to order from GAP:

about 


http://guardianangelpublishing.com/magmateo.htm



It should soon be up on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other quality online book sellers.

If you can't wait for Amazon, you can buy softcover and ebook from GAP.



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

GAP Authors Win Awards from Children's Literary Classics




Congratulations to three of our Guardian Angel Publishing (GAP) authors who have won awards from Children's Literary Classics. 

Margo L. Dill won the Eloquent Quill Award for Finding my Place: One Girl's Strength at Vicksburg. (Published by White Mane Kids).




Tracy Schuldt Helixon won a Silver Award for Little Isaac's Big Adventure, illustrated by Jack Foster.

about
Literary Classics Silver Award for One Pelican at a Time

 Nancy Stewart won a Silver Award for Katrina and Winter:  Partners in Courage.

 Literary Classics Silver Award for One Pelican at a Time

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Hockey Agony, by Donna McDine, artwork by Julie Hammond



Hockey Agony, by Donna McDine, and illustrated by Julie Hammond, is one of those short books that grabs your attention. Not because of the title -- though it does put you on notice something painful is coming -- but because of the subject matter. Here’s Larry, a teenager and excellent hockey player, who’s struggling. We see him in pain from a broken leg and in worse pain since he can’t play for his hockey team. Adding insult to injury, Peter, somewhat of a bully and “bad boy,” has taken Larry’s coveted spot on the team.

In addition to his humiliation and frustration, his Coach wants Larry to improve his attitude. Coach gives Larry the job of clock runner in the next game. This means Larry will have responsibility and monitor the game with a member of the other team. When Peter hears of Larry being the clock runner, he pushes temptation squarely in Larry’s face. And in his bully way, Peter leaves no doubt as to what he expects Larry to do, if the opportunity presents itself – cheat in favor of their team. Will Larry bow to this temptation and give an advantage to his team, or will he do the right thing?

 about
Julie Hammond’s artwork is suggestive of Americana folk art – an enjoyable and picturesque style – that adds to the feeling of the story. She’s captured the characters; giving us “true life” facial expressions and body language. Her depiction of high school life is timeless and even other-worldly, as if we see the scenes through a special soft lens.
 hockey agony























As parents and teachers, we hope the lessons we present on honesty, integrity, giving your word, and doing your best will be absorbed and integrated into our students’ characters. The reality is that we seldom get to see whether these lessons bear fruit. Talk, as they say is cheap, and actions speak volumes. When presented with temptation, will our students find their moral and ethical center? Will they take the high road and do the right thing? We all are tested throughout our lives and have important choices and tough decisions to make. Read Hockey Agony and see how Larry handles his temptation.


This review is part of the World of Ink Virtual Book Tour


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

GAP Kids ezine October 2013

October 2013 Guardian Angel Kids ezine
 Down on the Farm


BOOK FEATURE
The Odd Chick
POEM
Life on the Farm by Jennifer Buchet
Tractor Tour by Tracy Helixon
SHORT STORIES
Tractor goes to the City by Wendy Klein
Allie’s Farm by Felicity Nisbet
The Pig who did not want to be pink by Savannah Hendricks
NON-FICTION ARTICLE
Old MacDonald had an Alpaca by Shari L. Klase
ACTIVITY FOR KIDS
So you want to be a Farmer? by Sharon Stanley
Down on the Farm Word Search Puzzle by Tanja Cilia

thanks,

LYNDA S. BURCH. Publisher

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Powder Monkey by Donna McDine Illustrated by K.C. Snider



aboutPowder Monkey by Donna McDine, illustrated by K.C. Snider, is strong historical fiction. It tells a story of a harsh period in British naval history that is not for the faint of heart. Two brothers are taken by the Royal Navy Press Gang and impressed into service aboard a warship. These boys, aged twelve and fourteen, are destined to run powder to the cannons during battles at sea.

Tommy, the younger brother, is witness to the brutality of the press gang against his parents, who try to save their boys. He sees other boys, his neighbors, also taken into service. These farm boys have to learn to survive as servants of the crown, at the beck and call of the sailors they serve. These “powder monkeys” experience violence, and must perform the vilest duties aboard ship.

powder monkey

























K.C. Snider’s artwork captures the agony and horror suffered by those boys at that time in history. The haunting images she creates take us back to that awful period. We see the smoke, the filth, and the danger in these boys’ lives. It’s a wonder any of them lived through such an awful experience.

Tommy’s will to survive overcomes his terrible circumstances, his pain, and his losses. He learns what he needs to do and does it. Although he never sees his parents again, he does become an able bodied seaman, and that’s as close to a happy ending as we get in this story.

There is a lot to discuss here with students, especially those who might want to complain about their situation now. All they need to do is look at what happened to those boys back then. History lessons can be hard to hear – and harder to learn -- but these stories must be told.


This review is part of the World of Ink Virtual Blog Tour.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Two Kid Companion Special Needs Interviews about my Magical Series

Here are two more interviews by Lorna d'Entremont (of Special Needs Book Review) about my Magical book series, Magical Matthew and Magical Mea, and me, too!

These interviews are in Kid Companions (for Kids that Love to Fidget and Chew):

 

Children’s Books: Magical Series by Penelope Anne Cole: Magical Matthew and Magical Mea http://kidcompanions.com/childrens-books-magical-series-penelope-anne-cole-magical-matthew-magical-mea/#.Ui8j7NI3uSo


Penelope Anne Cole: Author of Award Winning Children’s Books the Magical Series http://kidcompanions.com/penelope-anne-cole-author-award-winning-childrens-books-magical-series/#more-15549

 Logo KidCompanions Chewelry

 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Guardian Angel Publishing, August 2013 Releases

Highlighting Guardian Angel Publishing August 2013 Releases
 
aboutAndy & Spirit in Search & Rescue Academic Wings hardcover edition
by Mary Jean Kelso, art KC Snider

 
 
 
 

 
Great Gobs of Gustation: The Sum of Our Parts  Book 8 Academic Wings
by Bill Kirk, art by Eugene Ruble
aboutA rhyme which describes the sense of taste and how it works to help you tell what you like to eat and what you don’t. Book 8 of the Sum of our Parts anatomical educational series

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Just Too Little  Littlest Angel
by Judith J. Miller, art Sonal Panse
At her grandparents farm Pam is too little to help with the chores.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
aboutMichael’s Safari Littlest Angel
by JennaKay Francis art by Craig Howarth
Michael takes an imaginary journey.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The New Puppy Animals & Pets
by Raelene Hall art by Kevin Collier, Gisele LaBlanc

aboutAfter a day of fun and trouble, what will Kelly’s new mischievous puppy do next?



LYNDA S. BURCH. Publisher
Guardian-Angel-Kids.com A free online ezine for kids!