I have always been an avid book reader and reviewing books gives me a chance to dive into the world of new upcoming books and learn about the authors. As a children’s books author, It is important I keep reading other books for children to fuel my own creativity and learn about what other kid-lit authors are doing. So, I am all set to review kids’ books and share my finds with you all!
Do keep checking out my blog to learn about upcoming, new, cute, vibrant and informative options for young readers. Today, I present an upcoming book – The Glow Show – a picture book about knowing when to share the spotlight
The Glow Show by Susi Schaefer (Publisher: Sourcebooks Kids) is brilliant, vibrant, heart-warming, and informative. The book is about a bioluminescent squid who is fantastic at twirling! He changes for the better in the course of the book when he learns to share his shine with friends.
I like the book because of three reasons. First, it tells a great story and has an amazing lesson. Second, young readers learn about bioluminescence and the underwater world along the way. And last but not least, the illustrations are striking and imaginative. The only thing that could have been better is a more appropriate font, font size, and color.
Go for it, if your little reader loves beautiful pictures and a great informative story! 4 Stars.
This review is based on #NetGalley ARC provided in exchange for an honest, unbiased opinion.
I enjoy reading funny, giggly books with my kids, and Dav Pilkey’s books frequently make them laugh aloud. These are fictional, entertaining, and informative graphic novels for kids and tweens.
The latest in these fan-favorite series include Dog Man: Mothering Heights, Cat Kid Comic Club, and Cat Kid Comic Club: Perspectives.
Published by Graphix (an imprint of Scholastic), Dog Man series books are based on a “crime-biting canine who is part dog, part man, and ALL HERO!”. On the other hand, Cat Kid (Li’l Petey) books have the secondary protagonist of the Dog Man series – a smart but innocent orange kitten as the main character.
What I like about these books – The books make kids laugh and have a good time. I often see kids going for these books in the library or at book fairs. I overhear my kids laughing while reading the books. Although it may seem these books have no educational purpose, the books have lovely and inspiring messages. The illustrations are innovative, informative and these books just resonate with the kids.
What I don’t like about the books – The humor borders on crass sometimes.
What my kids have to say – According to my second grader, “I love the books because they are funny and easy to read. My favorite book is Cat Kid Comic Club Perspectives and I like Li’l Petey because he is weird. This book teaches you how to draw as well. “
According to my fifth-grader, “I love the illustrations and the unique idea behind them. It is supposed to be written by George and Harold – characters from Captain Underpants. There are stories within stories which is really awesome. These books have some great messages.”
My kids are excited for Dav Pilkey’s next – Cat Kid Comic Club: On Purpose, which is coming on April 5th! I hope it has all the ingredients that guarantee a hearty laugh!
Disclosure – Review copies of the books were provided by the publisher.
Who can forget the magnetism of Jay Gatsby as he woos Daisy in the 1920s – the post-World War I years, when people were drawn to excesses? Overflowing champagnes, Rolls Royces, alluring beauties, wealth accumulated through fraudulent means, indulgences, and people living in an illusional make-belief world of opulence and extravagance. After a century later, are we back to the age of excesses, albeit in a virtual society?
Just as high-class tea party invites and grand dinner party invitations were alluring for New York party-goers dying to catch a glimpse of Gatsby’s extravagant life in his mansion. Similarly, alerts and notifications from our devices compel us to enter the glamorous virtual world when we should be talking to our children or paying attention to something in the real world.
Gatsby projected a fake persona to dominate the party scene and win over Daisy. Similarly. Aren’t we all a little superficial online, in our carefully crafted personas? And don’t we all get smitten or insecure when others appear to look or do better than us. Social media and networking apps feed on insecurity and competitiveness, to pull us into a rat race where self-worth increases or decreases with every like or comment. Must we need this kind of pat-on-the-back every time?
Gatsby seemingly had many top-class ‘connections’ but none of them turned out to be his real friends. Are the people in our network real ‘friends’ or just connections? Do we know them at a deeper level? Should those ‘connections’ take precedence over our children, family, and close friends?
In The Great Gatsby, the narrator Nick Carraway (incidentally from Minnesota) observes the ever-changing social lives of people around him. It is similar to what we see as the status updates of our acquaintances. People absent from the party scenes were considered ‘common’ then! And now, we feel that the absentees from Facebook or Instagram must be leading such a ‘non-happening’ life. Online presence has become a must for everyone.
Agreed, we need our devices in the digital world – for our jobs, shopping, and to connect. We might miss important news and updates if we go to the other extreme of digital Samyasa. But shouldn’t we be calling the shots? How will our compulsive habit of reaching for the phone every few minutes end? How do we take the balanced approach when the virtual societal construct targets the human psyche and makes us play along (‘The Social Dilemma’ on Netflix was an eye-opener).
The virtual world is overshadowing our real-life and making it look so barren and stark? Where would our endless rush for virtual dopamine take us? Our attention span is decreasing and we are overwhelming our senses. But how are we going to stop? I often tell myself – ” I am simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of digital life.”
I believe the age of excesses won’t last long. It never did in the past. The great depression of 1929 brought the opulence of the 20s to a crashing end. Maybe ours will too. But would there be substantial damage done by then? Will humans become more superficial, insecure, extremist, and preoccupied? Will our kids know the difference between virtual and real?
There is a reason why author F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby feels so relevant in today’s world where we have reached a new level of comfort and convenience. It presents human follies and the hopelessness of societal constructs. Gatsby knew he led a flashy and hollow life, but he created it for his love – Daisy. We know it too, but unlike Gatsby, we don’t know why are we nosediving into the hollowness of virtual reality?
How do we get disengaged and disentangled? – This, my dear reader, is a million-dollar question!
Here is a very imaginative bedtime folk story to spark your kids’ imagination!
Once upon a time, the Sky was very close to the Earth. You see, they were married! They were so close that humans could actually touch the clouds in the Sky.
Since there was little space between the Earth and the Sky, humans were smaller in size. They were so little, that they used rats to plow the field instead of oxen. And they kept ants as pets.
Sometimes life would become inconvenient for men and women. If they jumped, their heads bumped into the clouds, causing rain. They could not even lift their hands while dancing. The trees could not grow big because there was no room to grow. And the Sun was too close, causing extreme hot weather.
Although, some kids loved having the Sky so close at night. You see, they could check out the stars closely! But on moonlit nights, it was difficult to sleep since the Moon glowed so much that all of them had to cover their eyes.
One day, a very old, grumpy granny was sweeping her courtyard with a broom. Accidentally her hand hit against the Sky. This made her lose her temper. Angrily, she gave the Sky a very hard push.
The Sky was already scared of the granny’s temper. And it went up like a rocket, and reached where it is today to be safe.
The Earth began to weep since her husband had gone far from her. But the Sky said they could always meet when the rain would fall! They would also be together, somewhere in the horizon. He was not ready to come down because of the angry granny.
So, the Sky stayed up and the Earth down. Also, this was convenient, since there was more room for everyone to grow taller. The grumpy granny lived longer than two hundred years and came to be known as – The angry granny who pushed away the sky.
-Inspired by a folk story of Muria Tribe from Madhya Pradesh, India
‘My Comeback Trail‘, the second book of the author and Air Force veteran pilot Manish Kumar, promises to be a stirring and inspiring read just like his first bestseller, ‘Be Your Own Pilot‘. I found the book candid and motivational.
About The Book – Inspired by true events in the life of Manish Kumar, the book deals with the theme of the triumph of the indefatigable human spirit against all odds. Life throws one challenge after another as he juggles to keep his sanity when his entire support system threatens to crumble around him.
The story begins with the author being in a respectable profession and having a happy married life, but everything changes soon. There is a crisis in his professional as well as personal life and he ends up in a psychiatry ward, dangerously close to losing everything.
In his own words, “You can fight for your country, your loved ones but what do you do when you start doubting your thoughts, your sanity and your entity? Nothing can be more vicious than doubting yourself.”
He gets betrayed, abandoned and duped by people he loves and trusts most, while his most precious gift gets taken away from him….. he feels there is no light at the end of the tunnel. It is then that the comeback trail begins…!
My Take – This real-life story of a soldier, shows unexpected twists and turns in the author’s life and his dramatic comeback. The book is highly recommended for those who are dealing with extremely challenging, anxious situations. It will inspire them to hang in there, while life turns for the better.
Manish Kumar has a strong narrative voice and the female characters are very well portrayed.
The book is dotted with motivational quotes from great books and authors. The quotes not only support the author as he tries to find sense in the sudden chaos that surrounds him but also engages the reader. The book is set to release soon and available for preorder.
Do grab your copy here , encourage a good author and rejoice in the victory of the human spirit.
My book, Happy’s Hairy Tale – The corona Cut, has been accepted as a part of Indie Minnesota Anthology – a digital collection of books by Minnesota authors. This means my book will be available in the patron libraries across Minnesota. And it is all due to God’s blessings and entirely your good wishes, dear reader.
I am really grateful to everyone – those who helped in creating, editing, and promoting this book, those who bought the hardcover simply to encourage me, those who read the eBook and sent positive messages, and each one of you who has ever liked, commented and enjoyed my works.
It is because of you that I stay motivated to tell a story despite numerous roadblocks Indie author perennially encounters.
This blessed morning, I received this email –
Congratulations, you have successfully moved into the library space! Your book, Happy’s Hairy Tale – The Corona cut, is now available in Indie Minnesota, a collection of books from local indie authors available exclusively on the BiblioBoard Library mobile and web platform. This collection is available to patrons of participating libraries all across your state/region. That’s right, your book is now available with just one click of a button to thousands of new readers in your state/region!
Writing is a solitary and laborious process and recognitions like this uplifts a writer. And you, dear reader, have been an important part of my writing process. What Would I Do Without You!
Hope this New Year brings much happy news and recognition for you and your family as well. Do keep visiting this blog site, as you may come across many free bedtime tales, new book releases, breathtaking pictures of Minnesota, motivational messages and other valuable stuff. Sending best wishes your way…big thanks! And once again, have a blissful New Year.
Under a leafless apple tree, sat a little girl named Shrivi. She wore loose, worn-out clothes and torn footwear that barely had soles on them. Her small bare hands looked frost-bitten and she tucked them often under her armpits. Her face looked red and her eyes had a vacant stare as she took in her snow-filled surrounding.
Her stomach growled and she realized she had not eaten since the past two days except a half leftover chapati. For the thousandth time, she wished her father returned from the town where he had gone to sell carpets. He had promised to return within a month with money, food, and clothes. But he didn’t, and they were starving. Her mother was sick, they had no food and perhaps, her father was in trouble.
A tear trickled down her cheek as she remembered her resolve to pick twigs and buy food early that morning. They needed food and oil in their lamp as it was frightening to stay in the dark every night. But unfortunately, it was afternoon and she hadn’t found twigs because of a sudden snowstorm.
The world looked dark and hopeless.
A gentle tap on the shoulders aroused her from reverie. A tall middle-aged man in a flowing brown beard stood there holding the reins of a handsome brown stallion. What did he want?
“Hello,” he said gently. “Will you please help me?” he asked. Shrivi looked at him with strange eyes. How could she help someone when she herself needed help?
“My horse needs water and rest. Where is your home? Can I stay there for a while? I have a long journey to go and I will leave as soon as the biggest and brightest star in the sky will be visible,” he said politely.
Shrivi reluctantly got up and asked him to follow her. While walking, Shrivi felt bad. She didn’t want the guest to see her poverty and her poor, sick mother but it would be rude to deny help. She was also ashamed that she had no food to offer to the stranger according to the village tradition. In there village, any traveler looking for help, was welcomed as God himself.
“Tell me, little girl, what are you grateful for?” asked the stranger, all of a sudden, while walking towards her hut.
“How can I be grateful; when I have nothing?” said the girl.
“Well, it’s a game I play with children – The Gratitude Game. Come on, make an effort, just find any reason… even a bad reason to be grateful would be wonderful,” he said.
Shrivi thought for a moment and said, “Well, I am grateful for my legs as I can walk…”
“That’s great, isn’t it?” he said.
The stranger coaxed her on and little by little, she found many other reasons to be grateful for on her way back home – her eyes, arms, her mother, the tree by her hut, her pet hare, mother Earth, the sky…
Lo and behold… she didn’t know how, but by the time she reached her hut, it felt like Summertime. Everything looked magical. The tree and the ground by her house were filled with berries while the sun shone brightly.
Filling her mouth with berries and offering some to the stranger, she laughed and asked – “What miracle did you do?”
“I didn’t do anything. You did it!” said the strange stranger.
She picked up berries for her mother too and invited the guest inside the hut.
When they entered the dilapidated hut, Shrivi’s frail sick mother was startled. “Mother, I have brought a special guest. You know he is a miracle man. He and his horse need rest till the evening. He is on his way to meet the holy ‘King of Kings’, being led by the biggest star in the sky.”
Shrivi’s mother hid her anxious emotions and mustered energies to get up and welcome the guest. He looked so grand, dignified, and resplendent while she felt ashamed of her poverty and the humble hut. What would she offer him? She was relieved to see that Shrivi had picked up plenty of berries.
But the guest looked perfectly at home as he rested on the mat which she spread on the floor. Crushing the berries, she made juice for herself and their guest while Shrivi went outside to give water to his horse.
“Thank you for helping me out. In return for your hospitality, I would like to give you something,” said the stranger after a while.
“You are welcome, Sir. But we do not take gifts from our guests. Thank you for the offering.” the lady said politely.
“Well, it’s not riches or money. But just a lesson. Will you accept it?” The lady nodded reluctantly.
“Well, first tell me one thing – What are you grateful for?” he asked.
“There is nothing to be grateful for,” the lady said, shocked almost angry. She felt it was impolite to ask a poor woman to be grateful when she was suffering so much.
“Believe me, any small thing to be grateful about would work to begin your lesson.” the guest insisted.
The lady thought and thought. But only her trouble, sorrow, and poverty came into her mind. What could she be grateful for when everything looked so dark. Everyone in the whole world was better off than them. What had happened to her husband? Why was God so cruel to them? And then the image of a little girl came into her mind and her perception shifted. “I am grateful for Shrivi,” she whispered.
The wise man coaxed on and the lady found several other little things to be grateful about – the hut, her neighbors, the berries… While talking about those little things, she smiled. This caused a ripple effect in the universe – her universe. She realized, she was feeling quite good and her fever was gone. She felt energetic enough to begin work on an old carpet.
“What miracle did you do?” she asked. “I didn’t do anything. You did it,” he smiled.
When the biggest star was visible in the sky that evening, the magical guest took leave to continue his journey towards the ‘holy infant’. “Thank you for helping me. I bless you both with the gift of the highest and noblest of all emotions – the feeling of gratitude. That emotion is the very fountain of fulfillment and joy,” the wise man said before leaving.
There was something about that wise man’s lesson that changed the lives of Shrivi and her mother. Every day, they began to follow that simple method of gratitude and things began to look good. Her mother found work with a decent income, and some sheep, within a few days their living conditions became better.
And on one glorious night, when a luminous baby was born on a different side of the Earth, someone came knocking at their hut.
At last, Shrivi’s father had returned with riches, food, and clothes. It was a joyous reunion for the family. That night, as they shared their respective experiences and adventures, one particular story stood out – Shrivi’s story of the magical guest, who was following the biggest star in the sky.
(I hope you liked this gift. If you will ask me – what makes me grateful? I will say I’m grateful to you, my reader for your presence here. Here is wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May you get many reasons to be grateful every day of 2021.)
Trick or treat!!! Offering my latest funny witch book for children in print and digital versions! This free eBook offer runs on Witch Hua Hukka’s Silly Tooth is valid only till Halloween night so grab your copy fast for your kiddo from Amazon (US) and Amazon.in (India).
Why should you buy this book – This funny rhyming treat is an amazing bedtime book — sure to delight even the youngest reader! Check out the panels for a glimpse of this Halloween book –
The Story – Witch Hua Hukka has one silly tooth that makes her look weird in her fashion photoshoot. At the Cat photographer’s suggestion, she decides to get rid of it. But even after trying clever tricks, the tooth does not come out. Hua Hukka feels dejected, but all is not lost! Several surprising incidents are in store for the witch that will make her happy again. But will she succeed in getting rid of the stubborn tooth? Find out more in the book…
Let’s celebrate this fun day of ghosts, ghouls, vampires and witches in our own safe way and not let Coronavirus restrictions dampen our ‘spirit’. Witch Hua Hukka’s Silly Tooth is sure to make you and your child smile as well as enjoy the fun day.
Go on, download and please do leave a review, it will pull my book up on Amazon. Thank you Halloweeneers….
(Check out my other books on Amazon. Change the Amazon address URL according to the country of your residence to find the book.)
A big thank you to all those who have downloaded my eBook! Happy’s Hairy Tale was at No #7 in the free Dog book category this morning. It is currently running at No #14. I am very grateful to my readers. Your support makes me inspired to write more funny and motivational books for our kids.
If you haven’t already, do go over to this link to avail this limited time free eBook offer! Thanks a ton!
Do read about the book here. The promotion will get over by February 5, U.S. time. The Boy Named Joy is for little kids as well as adults. It tells us how simple it is to be happy!
I am grateful that this joint effort got some recognition. I collaborated with my son to create this book that talks about the power of choice. My other family members supported it, then my small group of book launch team (Husband, sisters, brothers, family and dear friends) did there magic to bring it into the bestseller list of free books. And then there is Krishna always!
This has been my maiden effort on Amazon KDP. My two eBooks have been sold on other platforms but not exclusively here. And I am loving it. Do download, read it and review it and it will greatly help a humble beginner like me.
Thank you my reading and blogging community for your support always. You help me create! Thank You!
About the Book: Why is King Boo-Hoo always sad although he has everything? And why is the boy named Joy always happy although he has nothing. What is the secret? The magic painting or something else… Read this endearing tale to know all about JOY!
The Making: The story was written quickly but the illustrations were a problem. Then, my eight-year-old, Adiraj stepped in and created the characters. He was enthusiastically encouraged by my little kindergartner, Aviraj. And after the characters were drawn on paper, I digitized the pictures and put it all together. This is how we created the book.
Message: The Boy Named Joy has a message for school children and adults as well! This Children’s eBook tells us that happiness does not really depend on cool gadgets, apps, video games or fancy clothes. That kind of happiness is momentary. True happiness comes by choosing to be happy irrespective of what we have and what we don’t have.
The eBook will help raise, good, happy kids who would learn to make wise choices in life. It is my sincere hope that this special tale will entertain as well as teach the kids to stay positive despite challenges in life just like the main character Joy.
Our kids face many challenges in life and this simple book might help.
Your feedback is extremely important and very welcome. Don’t forget to write a review on Amazon if you like it. Thanks again for being a great support!
In order to make the book even more accessible to our little ones, I have created a sort of audio book on YouTube. Please excuse my accent in the video. The book is less than 7 minutes long, fit for a quick watch.
My first ebook – The Princess with Brown Teeth was a huge learning experience for me. I have learnt a lot in this one too and am still learning. Your feedback, likes and share will help me immensely.
Thanks once again for being there for two long years!