Book Review: My Way to Good Manners by Elizabeth Cole

Finding relatable kids’ books on manners can present a challenge, but this lovely story presents parents with a good choice for preschool-age children as well as elder ones. Learn more about how Melissa’s story could help any child.
This children’s book about manners follow the story of Melissa, a charming young girl. Her manners are lacking at the story’s beginning, and no one wants to play with her on the playground. Over the course of the manners book for kids, she learns about being polite.
This book teaches:

  • Social skills for kids
  • Social norms
  • Kindness
  • Empathy

The children’s book about respect uses a social story that boys and girls can both appreciate. Etiquette book for kids contains a straightforward problem and solution storyline that small children enjoy.
This kids’ book about manners is also suitable for learning to read. Kids’ behavior book features a paired rhyming scheme to encourage kids to read along with their parents. This detail makes the book on behavior for kids a great addition to an early reader’s library.
The manner book for preschoolers also includes lovely illustrations while teaching etiquette for kids.
This kid’s book about respect makes learning etiquette for children more accessible with a relatable story. Book of kid manners teaches everything from table manners to polite phrases and emphasizes the importance of manners to being kind.


My Review

I have read a few of Elizabeth Cole’s books in the My way: Social Emotional Books for Kids series, so I was pretty sure that this would be another great children’s book. I wasn’t disappointed.

Melissa has bad manners. In fact, they’re so bad that her classmates won’t play with her. When Melissa comes home upset, her mom suggests she works on having good manners, but she isn’t sure how to change. Her mom makes her a list which she uses all the time to find out the right thing to say or do. She realizes that having good manners isn’t difficult and that if she is nice to others, they will be nice to her. Eventually, the good manners become habit, and she doesn’t need the list anymore.

The story is told in rhymes and the illustrations are cute and colorful. It helps children to learn about good manners and ways to be nice rather than rude or obnoxious.

About the Author

Being a mother of two kids Elizabeth Cole very well understands that childhood is a great period of life filled with a tremendous amount of different and often changing emotions. Since the time Elizabeth received her master’s degree in psychology from University of New Orleans in 2008, she fully devoted herself to the research of kids, understanding their needs as well as their true emotions. Her five years period of working as the school teacher very much improved Elizabeth’s knowledge and motivated her even stronger. Finally, all of her experience inspired Elizabeth to write a series of children’s books.

Learn more at or email Elizabeth at!

Relational Feeling

Cynical Wordsmith

I never thought I would deserve love,
And to be honest,
I’m still full of doubts,
But I’m accepting it easier.
Hesitancy like the water
That clings to stay inside the glass
Rather than spill out.
I’m not so hard on myself now.
I’m starting to know
When I should be upset
For being walked on
And when I should give someone
A place and strength to stand.
I can see feelings in others
And they register like needles.
Some hurt, and some you can’t feel,
But they all get under your skin.

People are strange
And wonderful
And dangerous.

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Book Review: One Giant Leap by Ben Gartner

I’m pretty sure I’m about to die in space. And I just turned twelve and a half.
Blast off with the four winners of the StellarKid Project on a trip to the International Space Station and then to the Gateway outpost orbiting the Moon! It’s a dream come true until space junk collides with the ISS, turning their epic trip into a nightmare of survival. Alone aboard the Aether starship, the kids have to work as a team to save the adults before the ISS is destroyed. Suit up, cadet, and launch into adventure with One Giant Leap!


My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I had read Sol Invictus and The Eye of Ra by Ben Gartner and they were good middle grade stories, so I was looking forward to reading One Giant Leap. It’s my favorite of his so far!

This futuristic science fiction story is sure to be a hit with middle grade readers. It’s full of action and suspense and the dream coming true of going into space. I’m sure many kids dream of going to space one day like I did. When the US landed on the moon in 1969, I was 8 years old and thought we’d be much further along in space travel by now.

Each of the four kids chosen for the StellarKid Project has their own strengths and weaknesses, but they are all super smart in their area of expertise. They are as different as you would expect when you get four kids from different lifestyles together. They learn to work together, and inevitably, their teamwork saves the adults and one of their own.

There’s a lot of interesting information about space and NASA programs that kids will enjoy and even more information in the epilogue about the author’s research.

This is definitely a book that middle schoolers and older readers will enjoy with its mix of space adventure, suspense, and even a mystery.

About the Author

Ben Gartner is the award-winning author of adventure books for middle graders. His stories take readers for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something on the journey. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.



Book Review: What if Animals Were Balloons? by Elizabeth Fequiere

What if Animals Were Balloons? is a fully illustrated children’s book that follows four animal friends and their unexpected journey beyond the skies after suddenly being turned into balloons.

We wanted to make this book even more engaging so we included coloring pages at the end of the book.

Elizabeth Fequiere is the best-selling author of The Problem with the Male Gaze. She has authored over 20 books and self-published them through her company, Liz Fe Lifestyle. Before she started writing, Elizabeth received two bachelor’s degrees from the University of North Florida in English and Political Science. After that, she discovered her passion for philanthropy and got her Master’s in Public Administration from Texas A&M International University. She has previously published two other children’s books, Breakfast for Bouncy and The Moon, the Stars, and the Comets, now available on Amazon.

Seattle based illustrator and designer, Azusa McWilliams, has had a passion for art since she was very young. Her favorite hobby has always been drawing and painting but she’s spent the past several years honing in her digital illustration skills. Azusa graduated from the University of North Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts. She works professionally as a designer where she is able to incorporate many of her illustrative works, but she continues to do digital illustration as a hobby. Some of her children’s illustrations have been used in mailers sent to children across the globe.

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

What if Animals Were Balloons? starts with animals in a zoo suddenly turning into balloons which I thought was a cute fantasy for children to read. However, when they went into space, it seemed like the author was trying to teach about the planets. There was too much fantasy interlaced with reality though for anything to be teachable.

The illustrations are beautiful with bright colors and are the high point of the book.

The ending of the book didn’t make much sense, and it’s not a happy ending. It’s more like a cliffhanger. There are several pages to color at the end, which is a plus. Unfortunately, even with the illustrations and coloring pages, I won’t be reading this to my grandsons.

About the Author

Liz Fe began as a lifestyle blogger and social media influencer. She worked with various brands until she decided to launch a campaign for women empowerment in the form of a digital publication that has transformed into what LFL is today.

Liz started writing professionally part-time while in law school and decided to drop out to pursue her passion full-time. She officially started LFL in the summer of 2017 and it has grown and expanded to the brand it is today.

Liz Fe Lifestyle is a highly dynamic startup that has quadrupled its reach in 2022.

About the Illustrator

Audio Review: Primo: a stageplay by Ed Davidson

In 1987, Primo Levi, the Italian writer renowned for his autobiographical Survival in Auschwitz and other writings about the Holocaust, died after falling down the stairwell of his apartment house.

The stage play Primo is a fictional account of Levi’s last day. In it, he questions the relevance of his writings to the new generation while journeying into the dreamscape of his memory to a day in Auschwitz. Each step forward draws him further into his memories, blurring the distinction between past and present. He moves into the mist of timelessness, drifting through its shadows and currents, sensing the faint whisperings of distant voices, beckoning.

The play emerges as a timeless depiction of Auschwitz driven by the prisoner’s experience, defined by the survivor’s memory. Primo creates an innovative way of staging a theatrical production by combining dialogue with choreographic movement. This brings a new realism to the performance by enhancing the unimaginable reality of the concentration camp environment, while displaying its devastating impact and illuminating the darkness that lingers in the human soul.

My Review

I chose to listen to this audioplay after receiving a free audio copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I’ve never listened to a play before, so the experience was a little different. The narrator explains the scene and the set up on the stage so that the reader can visualize it. It is then mostly the characters speaking with the narrator explaining movements. It works well. I’ve been to a few plays, and I could imagine being there.

I’ve always been interested in and horrified by the Holocaust, especially since it happened just a few years before I was born. I think that my grandmother being best friends with my “Aunt” Sally made it more real for me. When I did learn about the concentration camps, I couldn’t believe it.

Primo not only describes the horrors that people went through, but the devastating effects it had on the survivors. Even though the characters in the concentration camp weren’t fully developed, it brought tears to my eyes several times, which means to me it’s effective and worth a listen. And now I must add Primo Levi’s autobiography to my TBR list.

Book Review: Lost and Found by Natalie Shampanier

Forgotten toys at a summer campground
Are tossed into the camp’s Lost and Found.
But Dino Boy refuses to spend his days on a shelf
He sets out to escape and find a home for himself.
A ballerina, a hippo, and a mood ring tag along
On this great adventure to find where they belong.

Award-winning screenwriter and family therapist Natalie Shampanier draws from her experience with adopted children to create a poignant rhyming tale about determination, friendship and the search for love. This beautifully illustrated book is a perfect read-aloud for early readers and shared family story time!


My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This rhyming story about toys at a summer camp is sweet with a variety of emotions. It starts with the toys believing they’ve been forgotten, but Dino Boy and some of the others won’t give up. Then they see a bus drive up full of boys and girls! What a great story about determination to read to children!

The illustrations are delightful. They’re full of color and detail that will keep the interest of young children. Lost and Found is definitely a book that should be in a child’s library.

About the Author

Natalie has been rhyming ever since she was small,

And she’s still only pushing five feet tall.

She couldn’t keep rhyming while working as a shrink,

Somehow patients prefer prose when feeling on the brink.

She went on to write movies inspired by her childhood,

In a little known town called Hollywood.

Her last film, “Paper Spiders” was a critical success,

But her kids are her greatest achievement nonetheless.

Raising her three wildlings is always a riot

She enjoys absolutely no peace and quiet.

Her nonverbal 10 year old who speaks only in signs

Inspired this picture book with limited lines.

Thank you for giving Natalie’s bio a look,

Hope you enjoy reading her latest book.

Book Review & Giveaway: Princess Adele’s Dragon by Shirley McLain

Princess Adele’s Dragon (Witches and Dragons Book 1) by Shirley McLain

Publisher:  Shirley’s Book (July 23, 2022)
Category: Sword & Sorcery, Fantasy/Romance
Tour dates: January 3-February 3, 2023
Available in ebook only, 220 pages

Princess Adele's Dragon


With the possibility of death before her, Princess Adele sets out to slay the dragon to save her Kingdom.

What she discovers in her quest changes her and the King’s life forever. We follow the lives of the Royalty of Valdoria as their world is threatened. In this medieval story, there are good guys, bad guys, white and black magic as well as goats and dragons. Read this story of love, hate, danger, and evil.

You will turn the page so you can find out what happens next in this gothic adventure.


Guest Review by Sal

For my last book of 2022, this was an excellent choice. ‘Princess Adele’s Dragon (Witches and Dragons Book 1)’ may not be my normal fare, but I think even people who don’t often read fantasy would enjoy this.

The title character, Princess Adele, takes it upon herself in the beginning of the novel, to kill a dragon that has been terrorizing her kingdom for just short of a decade. Mind you, Adele has problems of her own, as her fiancé has been missing for just as long with no sign or hope of his returning. But perhaps that is part of the reason that she decides to go after the dragon. Not only to save the child that her brother, the king, intends to sacrifice to it, but also to save herself in some small way.

Either way, Adele cannot kill the dragon. But not because of any lack of skill. No, Adele is a very capable fighter, but when she looks into the dragon’s eyes, she feels a strange pull to protect it. Soon, she understands why.

The dragon is not a dragon at all, but the cursed dragon form of her fiancé, Prince Anthony, who is able to transform back into a human with a simple kiss on the cheek from Adele. Anthony reveals that one of Adele’s best friends, Miranda, is partly responsible for his curse and that she and her lover are attempting to overthrow the king and take his throne for themselves.

With the help of the hag that cursed Anthony, the couple intend to stop Miranda and her lover, but soon find that they have more of a fight on their hands than they initially assumed.

Wrapping up my reading for the year with this compelling and moving story turned out to be a perfect ending! I loved every second! I can hardly wait for the sequel!

About the Author

Shirley McLain is a retired RN, wife, mother, and grandmother of six and Great Grandmother to four, three boys and one girl.

She is currently living in Sapulpa, Oklahoma where she is enjoying her retirement to the fullest. She was born in California but lived her growing years in Oklahoma. She has done extensive travel within the United States and learned to appreciate each state for its own beauty. Her dream trip is to see Spain and Italy at a slow pace.

Shirley has published a young adult mystery called “Crimes and Retribution”, a book of short stories called, “Shirley’s Short’s and Flashes” and a Christian poetry book called, “Verses For My King.” “Dobyns Chronicles” is a historical fiction in which you follow a family through troubling times. She has published her educational fiction about Bullying. It is for ages 10 to Adult to help them deal with bullying in school. She is now working on a book of short stories called “Shirley’s Compilation of Short Stories,” which is stories of different genres. She plans on having this book out in December 2022.

Shirley’s love of travel, adventure and writing have created works that will hold your attention, and leave you wanting more.



This giveaway is for 3 ebook copies and is open worldwide. This giveaway ends on February 1, 2023 midnight, pacific time. Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Praise for Princess Adele’s Dragon by Shirley McLain

“Princess Adele’s Dragon is a book full of treason, friendship, love and even a witch who can cast some pretty mean spells. The real deceit comes when Adele and her brother find that two of the people they trust the most are out for one thing – to make the kingdom their own. They must hang on but at what cost?

This book may sound deep but it is really an easy read. It moves fast without losing your interest and attention to the events taking place. I think it’s a book young readers would enjoy. I did.”- Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, RepeatThink With Your Taste BudsA Book and A Dish

“An easy to follow read with complex story and great characters. I enjoyed it a lot and I gave it to my son as well. He enjoyed it and keeps reading the book. He loves dragons, this got him hooked :). So, I can easily recommend the book to young and experienced readers.”- Maxwell Flanagan, Goodreads

“This book is a fantastic addition to the fantasy genre. It’s one of the absolute best stories you’ll ever read. It’s a short, fast-paced book. The story is more focused on what’s happening with the characters rather than describing the settings. I love this because it lets me use my imagination to fill in the gaps. For me it’s great!”-Fifi_18, Amazon

“It’s a good story that’s very fast paced, every chapter is only a few pages so it’s a very pick up and read sort of book that’s easily to digest. It’s not overly long and outlandish. I think this author gets it. She understands that focusing on the action, makes the book a lot more enjoyable. At least it does for me.”-JP, Amazon

Follow the Tour

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Jan 3 Kickoff & Interview

Bookgirl  Amazon & Goodreads Jan 4 Review

Nora S. Storeybook Reviews Jan 5 Guest Review & Excerpt

Gud Reader Goodreads Jan 6 Review

Suzie My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews Jan 9 Review & Guest Post

Linda Goodreads Jan 10 Review

Amy Locks, Hooks and Books Jan 11 Review & Excerpt

DT Chantel  Amazon & Goodreads Jan 12 Review

Mark Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Jan 13 Guest Review

Lora Jan 16 Review & Excerpt

Kimberly Amazon & Goodreads Jan 17 Review

Laura Lee Celticlady’s Reviews Jan 18 Guest Review & Excerpt

Sal Bound 4 Escape Jan 23 Guest Review

Gracie Goodreads Jan 24 Review

Lisa’s Writopia Jan 25 Guest Post

Bee Book Pleasures Jan 26 Review & Interview

Lisa’s Writopia Jan 30 Review

Gary L.  Amazon & Goodreads Feb 3 Review