Book Review: The Big Book of Wild Cats by Rachael Smith

Explore the wonderful world of wild cats―an encyclopedia for kids

Did you know that wild cats can be found on every continent except Antarctica? That’s right―there’s a whole world of wild cats to discover in this standout among animal facts books for kids! The Big Book of Wild Cats is packed with life-like illustrations, colorful photos, and fascinating facts about wild cats.

Everything animal facts books for kids should be, this book has in-depth information about all 37 species of wild cats. Discover details about each one’s appearance, habitat, social structure, hunting habits, and how they raise their young. Whether you’re writing a school report or just want to learn about wild cats, you’ll have a roaring good time with The Big Book of Wild Cats.

All animal facts books for kids should include:

  • Cats by continent―Unlike other animal facts books for kids, this one has illustrated maps showing which wild cats live on each continent around the globe.
  • Endangered cats―Find out ways you can do your part to help endangered wild cats like tigers and snow leopards.
  • Helpful definitions―Discover an easy-to-understand glossary for some of the more advanced words in this exciting choice among animal facts books for kids.

Bring the excitement of wild cats into your own home (safely!) with facts and pictures you won’t find in other animal facts books for kids. The Big Book of Wild Cats has it all!

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from Callisto Publisher’s Club. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The first thing The Big Book of Wild Cats does is list wild cats from the biggest to the smallest. In case you were wondering, tigers are the biggest and can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh between 220 and 660 pounds. For some reason, I always thought lions were bigger, but they’re not. The smallest are wildcats which grow from 16 inches to 36 inches long and weigh between 6 and 18 pounds.

Next it explains the fastest cats, the cheetah being the fastest of course. But it also lists the runners up.

Most of the book is divided into Big Cats and Small Cats and each section lists size, life span, food they eat, sounds they make, what they look like, where they live, their social structure including the raising of their young, hunting habits, skills, and more. Most of the cats have a section about their population because many are vulnerable and their population is threatened. Others are elusive and scientists aren’t sure how many there are.

At the end of the book are helpful maps and a glossary. It also explains about endangered cats and how you may be able to help.

I definitely recommend The Big Book of Wild Cats for all ages. It will give you hours of entertainment with interesting facts about wild cats of every kind.

About the Author

Rachael Smith is the founder and curriculum designer of Literacy with the Littles (literacywiththelittles.com). Through her blog, she shares crafts and activities for parents and teachers that are designed to help little ones develop a love of learning. In 2010, she earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and began her teaching career. Rachael is a former first grade teacher turned stay-at-home mom. She is a wife and mother of four little ones. She enjoys crafting, sports, traveling, spending time outdoors, and making memories with her family.

Book Review: The Story of George Washington by Lisa Trusiani

The life of George Washington for kids—a story about fighting for independence and building a country

George Washington became the first president of the United States of America and is known as the father of our country. He won the fight for American independence from England, but before that, he was a hardworking kid who enjoyed challenging himself in school and sports. He learned that overcoming challenges in his life would help make him a great leader.

Explore how George went from being an ambitious farm boy in Virginia to the most well-known founding father in American history. How will his revolutionary spirit inspire you?

This book about George Washington for kids includes:

  • See George’s progress—Unlike other books about George Washington for kids, this one has a visual timeline of his life so you can get a picture of his important milestones.
  • Helpful definitions—Discover a glossary with easy-to-understand definitions for the more advanced words and ideas in this book about George Washington for kids.
  • A lasting legacy—This unique book about George Washington for kids explains how he changed the world for future generations and you.

If you’ve been searching for fun, colorful books about George Washington for kids, look no further—this one has it all!

My Review

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

Everyone knows who George Washington was, of course. This biography is for young readers though, and I was surprised how much I didn’t know about our first president. For example, his family grew tobacco but he changed the crop to wheat and also made whiskey and his family and slaves caught a lot of fish to eat and sell.

This is the second Biography Book for New Readers by Rockridge Press that I’ve read. They include extras that will encourage children to learn. Some of the words are bold which means they are in the glossary in the back. There are also maps, time lines, and graphics called “Myths vs. Facts.” Occasionally, there’s an arrow with “Jump in the Think Tank” suggestions, which encourage children to express how they might feel in the same situation. There’s a quiz at the end as well as additional Think Tank questions.

A good example of a myth is that George Washington cut down a cherry tree when he was young and confessed to it when he was asked. That was just a story made up after he died to show how honest he was.

It’s important to teach youngsters about historical figures like George Washington. This is definitely a book that should be in every child’s library.

About the Author

Christine A. Platt is a historian and storyteller of the African diaspora. She holds a B.A. in Africana Studies from the University of South Florida, M.A. in African Studies from The Ohio State University and received her J.D. from Stetson University College of Law.

Her debut novel, The Truth About Awiti, was published under the penname CP Patrick and won the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal for Multicultural Fiction. The Truth About Awiti is currently used in high schools, colleges and universities to teach the history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Christine’s highly anticipated children series, Ana & Andrew, will be published on December 15, 2018 (ABDO Books/Calico Kids).

Christine currently serves as the Managing Director of the Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University under the leadership of National Book Award-winning author, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. She is a proud member of the Association of Black Women Historians and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. She is also an Ambassador for Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Additionally, Christine is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

You can follow Christine on Instagram via @theafrominimalist, where she interacts with thousands of friends and fans on minimalism and, of course, books.

Book Review: The Story of Harriet Tubman by Christine Platt

Harriet Tubman became a celebrated leader in the fight to free people from slavery. Before that, she was a determined young girl who believed that everyone deserved to be free. Harriet Tubman bravely used the Underground Railroad―a network of secret routes and safe houses―to free herself and many other enslaved people. Explore how Harriet Tubman went from being a slave on a plantation in Maryland to one of the most important figures in American history. How will her courageous spirit inspire you?

This Harriet Tubman biography includes:

  • Path to freedom―Explore a visual timeline of Harriet’s life so you can see her progress over time.
  • Helpful definitions―Discover a glossary with easy-to-understand definitions for the more advanced words and ideas in the book.
  • Test your knowledge―Take a quiz to make sure you understand the who, what, where, when, why, and how of Harriet’s life.

My Review

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

Harriet Tubman was an amazing woman who should be an inspiration to us all. This biography is written for young readers, and it not only teaches about Harriet Tubman but about some of the history of our country.

There are some extras included in The Story of Harriet Tubman that will encourage children to learn. Some of the words are bold which means they are in the glossary in the back. There are also maps, time lines, and graphics called “Myths vs. Facts.” Occasionally, there’s an arrow with “Jump in the Think Tank” suggestions, which encourage children to express how they might feel in the same situation. There’s a quiz at the end as well as additional Think Tank questions.

It’s important to teach youngsters about Harriet Tubman and other historical figures like her. She proved that just one person can make a difference. This is definitely a book that should be in every child’s library.

About the Author

Christine A. Platt is a historian and storyteller of the African diaspora. She holds a B.A. in Africana Studies from the University of South Florida, M.A. in African Studies from The Ohio State University and received her J.D. from Stetson University College of Law.

Her debut novel, The Truth About Awiti, was published under the penname CP Patrick and won the 2016 Independent Publisher Book Awards Gold Medal for Multicultural Fiction. The Truth About Awiti is currently used in high schools, colleges and universities to teach the history of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Christine’s highly anticipated children series, Ana & Andrew, will be published on December 15, 2018 (ABDO Books/Calico Kids).

Christine currently serves as the Managing Director of the Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University under the leadership of National Book Award-winning author, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. She is a proud member of the Association of Black Women Historians and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. She is also an Ambassador for Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Additionally, Christine is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

You can follow Christine on Instagram via @theafrominimalist, where she interacts with thousands of friends and fans on minimalism and, of course, books.

Book Review: Charms & Firearms by Trixie Silvertale

Mitzy Moon plans to take a break from snooping and learn to ski. And after receiving a mysterious gift from her travel companion she feels light as a feather. But her heart goes stiff as a board when she faceplants into a corpse.

Racing back to the bookshop to consult her otherworldly helpers, Mitzy is horrified to discover her meddling Ghost-ma is missing. Her spoiled feline seems to ignore her pleas and her alchemist attorney isn’t answering either. She can’t decide if she’s lost her powers or her mind…

Can Mitzy solve a murder without her extra sensory perceptions, or will one misstep put her in the killer’s crosshairs?

My Review

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

I read the first four books in this series, and I really enjoyed them, so I was happy to read this book when it was available.

Mitzy Moon seems to attract trouble. She has some psychic gifts, though, that she’s slowly learning to use. They can often get her out of trouble, and I’m curious what else she’ll be finding out she can do.

Mitzy finally has a family since she inherited her grandmother’s bookstore. She’s getting to know Grams in her ghostly form and is finally getting to know her father. The more Mitzy Moon books I read, the more I enjoy the characters. Mitzy is clumsy, smart, and hilarious. Grams is a force of nature and has learned to move things, so she’s now able to communicate via writing with Silas. Silas is Mitzy’s lawyer and mentor who is helping her learn about her gifts.

The one unlikeable character who has been in all of the books so far is Rory Bombay. Mitzy is attracted to him but Grams doesn’t trust him at all. I’m with Grams; I never liked him even when he was giving Mitzy gifts and pouring on the charm. Is it finally time for her to learn her lesson? And then there’s the hot sheriff. He and Mitzy would make the perfect couple…

When Mitzy literally stumbles across a body in the woods near a ski lodge, she’s warned by the sheriff to let the professionals look into it. She hasn’t done so thus far, so I’m sure he knows that won’t stop her snooping. Mitzy has her hands full between having her gifts locked, being locked in a basement, and running into a ghost that’s not Grams. Will she and/or the sheriff find out who the murderer is?

These books are quick and fun reads. Each book builds on the last ones and they’ve become must-reads for me. I definitely recommend Charms & Firearms, as well as the other books in the series. I can’t wait for the next Mitzy Moon mystery!

About the Author

Trixie Silvertale grew up reading an endless supply of Lillian Jackson Braun, Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew novels. She loves the amateur sleuths in cozy mysteries and is obsessed with all things paranormal. Those two passions unite in her Mitzy Moon Mysteries, and she’s thrilled to write them and share them with you.

When she’s not consumed by writing, she bakes to fuel her creative engine and tends to her herb garden.

Website: http://www.trixiesilvertale.com

Audiobook Review: River of Light and Shadow by Allen Kent

After mob violence threatens their lives, they flee to the wilderness

During Missouri’s Mormon Wars of the mid-1800s, the Whitlock family seeks to escape mob violence on the state’s western frontier by hiding in the rugged north Missouri wilderness where the Hill Spring Trail crosses the Chariton River. Here, in constant fear of discovery, David Whitlock meets and falls in love with Suzanna Shattuck, the independent and spirited daughter of a nearby settler.

>>Drawn together by love, divided by different worlds

As David and Suzanna struggle with their growing passion for each other and with the differences that separate their families, two other figures move inescapably toward each other and the young couple. In Jefferson City, legislator Jacob Randall champions the cause of Missouri’s outcasts while Sheck Rogers, a self-appointed Mormon hunter, roams the state murdering and mutilating those he suspects of belonging to a church against which the Governor has issued an extermination order.

>>>In this entrancing historical novel of love, fear, courage and redemption, two young lovers seek to find themselves and each other in Missouri’s untamed wilderness.

Their families struggle to survive the politics and passions of one of the nation’s most tumultuous periods. River of Light and Shadow touches the deepest recesses of the heart while provoking, inspiring and teaching in ways that characterize the best historical fiction. 

My Review

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

I’ve enjoyed historical fiction since I was a young teen and my dad suggested I read Blood Brother by Elliott Arnold. I’ve read quite a bit about early America, but this is the first book I’ve read about the Mormons and what they had to endure before they found their home in Utah.

This is the love story of David and Suzanna and the many obstacles they have to overcome. Luckily, Suzanna’s father is a sensible man, and he gives them his blessing even though he knows that David being a Mormon may cause difficulties.

The characters of David and Suzanna portray innocence and goodness. They make a life for themselves and even though they’re mostly happy where they are, I figured eventually David will feel the need to find a Mormon settlement.

The narrator did a good job. I was able to keep the different characters separate and the timing and pace were good.

I’m looking forward to listening to the second book in the series soon.

About the Author

Allen Kent is the author of the popular “Unit 1” thriller series, the Whitlock Trilogy in historical fiction, and a number of other mysteries and action novels. His books are published in electronic form by Kindle Press and in paperback by AllenPearce Publishers. He lives and writes in rural southwest Missouri.

Kent is a former Air Force pilot and educator who spent four years of his early life living in Iran and England. He has traveled and worked extensively in Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia – experiences that are often reflected in his writing.
Writing as Kent Farnsworth, Kent has also published two works of non-fiction: “Grassroots School Reform” and “Leadership as Service.”

He and his wife Holly are avid travelers, gardeners, and conservationists, and live in an eco-friendly home near the community of Neosho.

Website: http://www.allenkentbooks.com

Book Review & Giveaway: A Place Called Jubilee by Timothy J. Garrett

Place Called Jubilee by Timothy J. Garrett

Place Called Jubilee by Timothy J. Garrett

Publisher:  Rock Yard Books (February 26,  2019)
Category: Historical Fiction, Suspense
Tour dates: March, 2020
ISBN: 978-0578471235
Available in Print and ebook, 247 pages

Place Called Jubilee

Description

Deception, witchcraft, and the secrets of a long-dead former slave churn the life of ambitious young clergyman Coleman Hightower – even as fear, bombings, and riots rock the nation.

Historical novel A PLACE CALLED JUBILEE tells Coleman’s story as he leaves his mountain home and arrives in Washington D.C. in 1961 as the Civil Rights movement explodes across America. Coleman’s plans for a prestigious life are torn apart by his forbidden longing for beautiful and fiery activist Rosalee.

His search for meaning turns into a desperate journey that takes him and the woman of his dreams all the way to Jubilee, Alabama – a place where intrigue, betrayal, and murder combine to make Coleman wonder if he will win Rosalee’s love or even leave the tiny town alive.

Guest Review by Sol A.

An absolutely powerful story about protest, civil rights, religion, love, ancestry and being true to yourself above all else. This book took me on a journey that I was not expecting, but one that I was very happy to be taken on. When I started reading, I thought this would be a straightforward historical fiction about a time in history that I wasn’t very familiar with. Boy, was I wrong.

This book was magical for me, in more ways than one. I found myself unable to put it down throughout and ended up reading it through very quickly and feeling a sense of sadness when it was over.

Without spoiling too much, the gist of the story involves a white pastor-in-training, Father Coleman, who meets and falls in love with a black woman around the time of the Civil Rights movement in the U.S. Coleman is torn between his love for the woman, Rosalee, his calling as a pastor and his need to stay impartial in his personal politics. The scope of the story travels from Georgia and Washington D.C. all the way to Alabama as Coleman searches for meaning and seeks out how to follow his own personal truth.

The writing in this novel was breathtaking and so well-researched that I became fully immersed in the story with no need for respite. The fullness of Garrett’s writing was both intimate in its look at the human mind and global in its usage of the American south. At times I forgot that I was reading a book and actually thought that I was watching a movie because the atmosphere was so riveting. I recommend this one very highly to anyone who is interested in well-written historical fiction.

Praise for A Place Called Jubilee

Notable Indie #1 in the Shelf Unbound Magazine 2019 Best Indie Book Awards.

“A very dark time in our history.  Not my usual type of read but could not put it down when I got started. Felt like I was right there in the story. Great read.”-Janice, Goodreads

“Highly Recommend.  Loved this book. I feel I really got to know the characters. Waiting for a sequel.”-LM, Amazon

“I couldn’t put this book down.  I love historical fiction and suspense. This book gave me both. The characters were well developed, the vocabulary was challenging and the descriptive language drew me in.”-CH, Amazon

About the Author

Place Called Jubilee by Timothy J. Garrett

Award winning author, Timothy J. Garrett lives with his wife Cynthia in his native northeast Georgia where he spent 16 years working as an E.R. physician and is now a healthcare executive. History and historical fiction are his writing passions though his influences include Southern gothic luminaries like Cormac McCarthy, William Faulkner, and Flannery O’Connor.

While Tim has written extensively for the healthcare industry, the award-winning A PLACE CALLED JUBILEE is his first published novel.

Website: http://timothyjgarrett.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/drtimjgarrett
Twitter: https://twitter.com/drtimjgarrett

Buy A Place Called Jubilee

Amazon
Barnes&Noble
IndieBound

Giveaway

This giveaway is for the winner’s choice of print or ebook however, print is open to Canada and the U.S. only and ebook is available worldwide. There will be 3 winners. This giveaway ends April 22, 2020,midnight pacific time.

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Betty Toots Book Reviews Apr 3 Review & Excerpt

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Place Called Jubilee by Timothy J. Garrett

Book Review: Stage-by-Stage Baby Food Cookbook by Yaffi Lvova, RDN

Healthy food, healthy baby―recipes and tips for introducing solid food at every stage

Build your baby’s nutrition on a solid foundation with healthy, homemade food you can feel confident about. Whether your approach is baby-led feeding, chunky or smooth purées, or a combination of both, the Stage-by-Stage Baby Food Cookbook is a complete guide to introducing your infant to solid foods.

In this well-designed baby food cookbook, you’ll discover delicious and nutritious recipes that are organized by three growth stages from six months to 12 months, plus additional baby-led feeding recipes for 12 to 18 months and 18+ months. From thin purées all the way to finger foods and beyond, the meals in this baby food cookbook can be tailored to fit your baby’s needs and comfort level.

This baby food cookbook includes:

* Allergies and intolerances―Find info on food reactions your baby could have, plus tips about when and how to introduce common allergens like peanuts and shellfish.

* Feeding philosophies―Learn the difference between stage-specific purées and baby-led feeding, as well as the pros and cons of each approach for your baby, in this comprehensive baby food cookbook.

* Baby food building blocks―Discover the components that make up a balanced diet for your little one, like fruits and vegetables, a variety of proteins, and more.

Give your baby the healthiest start possible―the Stage-by-Stage Baby Food Cookbook will show you how.

My Review

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

This is a good book to use if you want to make your own baby food ensuring that he/she is eating a healthier diet.

Stage-by-Stage Baby Food Cookbook starts at the age of 6 months which is when babies can begin eating foods other than breast milk or formula. It has stages of foods to cook all the way until the baby can eat food with the family.

At the beginning of the book and and at the beginning of each chapter (stage), there are tips and important information about feeding your baby. The recipes are easy to follow, but it is missing pictures to go along with the recipes which would help a lot.

Stage-by-Stage Baby Food Cookbook is a great cookbook to use for making healthy food for your baby. There’s so much junk out there that it’s important to start him/her out eating healthy from the beginning. I have a grandson who is just 9 months old, and I’m going to try out some of these recipes right away.

About the Author

Yaffi Lvova, RDN is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and owner of Baby Bloom Nutrition. After studying Comparative Religions and gaining some life experience, she went back to study Nutrition and Dietetics at Arizona State University.

After a difficult journey toward and into motherhood, Yaffi became mother to twins plus one and used her experience and clinical knowledge to shift gears, providing nutrition education to new and expecting parents, helping smooth the transition into parenthood.

In 2015, Yaffi created of Toddler Test Kitchen. This unique culinary adventure puts small children in the driver’s seat – or at the cutting board as it were, helping to bolster self-esteem as they feed their curiosity by creating something delicious!

In 2016, Yaffi went live with a weekly Facebook segment and subsequent podcast, Nap Time Nutrition, covering all topics parenthood and nutrition.

In 2019, Yaffi wrote Stage-By-Stage Baby Food Cookbook: 100 Purees and Baby-Led Feeding Recipes and Megrette Fletcher brought Yaffi on board for the update of Discover Mindful Eating for Kids, continuing their journey of food enjoyment activism.

In 2020, Yaffi published Beyond a Bite: Activities for a Mindful Mealtime.