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Showing posts from January, 2009

Children's Book Award Winners

Review Contributor: Tanya of
The House in the Night illustrator Beth Krommes, author Susan Marie Swanson
A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee. Marla is definitely one of my all-time favorite illustrators. You can read me gush about her in a couple of places in my blog.

But, besides this wonderful book, I HIGHLY recommend you read two other books she illustrated. Seven Silly Eaters by Mary Ann Hoberman is a great story about families and food and Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers is a wonderful poem about all the things babies do and love accompanied by Frazee's illustrations that honor all kinds of families and all kinds of love.

This one should be given along with Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon to every newborn everywhere.  And, finally, Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild, by the incomparable Mem Fox is the meticulous…

How to Read a Picture Book without Words

Review Contributor: Tanya of
As an art school dropout and picture book aficionado, I am always drawn to a book's illustrations above all else. So, of course I would be drawn to a beautifully illustrated book that is all pictures. However, as a mother of a toddler and reader of story time three days a week, I need a book that will grab my audience, whether it's my son sitting in my lap or little faces looking up at me from the kid-sized benches in the Children's Department of the bookstore. Picture books without words draw the "reader" into a silent universe that is interpreted internally. To "read" a wordless picture book out loud requires that the "reader," using visual cues from the author/illustrator, create a narrative that will draw the listeners into the story and guide them through it externally. This is not always the easiest thing to do, even for someone who has read hundreds of picture books. But, I have fo…

Author Guest Post - Kathy Carmichael (and a Giveaway!)

Hot Flash - Buy the Book

Kathy Carmichael
Publisher: Medallion Press  Today A Book Blogger's Diary is happy to welcome guest blogger, Kathy Carmichael, author of  Hot Flash, the award-winning author of Chasing Charlie, Here Comes Trouble, and My Lady Mischief.

About the Author

Award-winning comedy author Kathy Carmichael resides on Florida's west coast, along with her Scottish husband, two not-so-wee-sons, and a bevy of cantankerous felines. Two of her books have won the Reviewers International Organization's prestigious RIO Award of Excellence in two different genres.

A popular guest lecturer, she gives seminars to writers and readers. Prior to becoming an author, Kathy worked in advertising, as a paralegal and as a communications consultant. She tended bar while in college, where she served drinks mixed with advice. This gave her a unique glimpse into people's lives and motivations, which she uses in her writing.

Despite rumors to the contrary, she has never been recrui…

Author Randy Singer's Innovative Book!

If you’ve ever read a legal thriller or watched an episode of Law & Order and thought you would have rendered a different verdict—step into the jury box.

Beginning January 12, readers will have an opportunity to determine the verdict in Randy’s upcoming legal thriller, The Justice Game (Tyndale House, July 2009), which features a court case centered on the gun debate. 

The verdict voted on by the readers will be written into the story and kept under wraps until the book’s release. This is the first time in recent memory that an author has taken reader involvement and feedback to this level.

I wanted to do something different and get my readers really involved in the story,” said Singer. “This gives them an opportunity to hear both sides of the national gun debate and gets them thinking. Plus, it adds an element of fun to the book.”

Taking a new approach to the popular book trailer, Singer has produced a short, online video that mimics a cable news report. Featuring real-life talk …

Author Guest Post - David Snowdon (and a Giveaway!)

BUY THIS BOOK Today A Book Blogger's Diary is a stop on the virtual blog tour of European Thriller/Espionage Novel The Mind of a Genius by David Snowdon, courtesy Book Promo 101.

About David Snowdon

British thriller writer, David Snowdon was born in London, and lives in London. He started writing in 1983, and wrote his first book, which hasn’t been published in 1984. His first published work, Too Young To die, was published in August 2006. And his second novel, The Mind of a Genius, was published in November 2007.

To learn more about David Snowdon and The Mind of a Genius, visit and to learn more about this virtual tour, please visit

About this Book

Special Agent, Jason Clay from the MI4 is hired to find a secret formula that was invented by the famous British scientist, Malcolm Prince. The only weak element in Clay’s strategy to accomplish his mission is Laura P…

Innovative Monday - Edition 26

I usually read sitting down or even lying down. How about combining the comfort of sitting with that of book storage?

Check out the innovative Magazine/Book Rack Bench.

I'd have called it perfect, but the couch doesn't really look all that comfortable now, does it? What do you think?

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Review - School Years

School Years: A Family Keepsake of School Memories
Chronicle Books  School Years -- Families will love this cute and clever keepsake album for recording precious milestones and accomplishments. Both parent and child can fill each expandable pocket—there's one for every year from kindergarten to 12th grade—with photos, report cards, art projects, and other mementos.

In keeping track of favorite subjects, hobbies, and friends, families create an ongoing memory book to cherish for years to come.

My thoughts:

My Mom did something like this with photos for me when I was in school. But that was more like a scrapbook project. This, however, is slick, sleek and much more durable. And you can put more than photos in it. Things like report cards, art projects etc. I've already started it with Kiddo's attempts with coloring along with a picture or two.

And I look forward to adding to it over the years. I know you will too. So check it out!

The World Almanac 2009 Daily Calendar

World Almanac 2009 Desk Calendar
Chronicle Books The World Almanac 2009 Daily Calendar -- Greet the day with historical events, sports trivia, memorable quotes, and more in this fact-filled calendar. Based on The New York Times #1 best-seller, The World Almanac, which has sold over 80 million copies.

Beginning each day this 2009 with this reasonably priced desk calendar is fun! More than the dates, I use it to increase my general knowledge. From finding with whom I share my birthday to finding some little known facts, this is a great way to learn and enjoy.
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Messiah Interviews by Jerry Pollock

By Jerry J Pollock
ISBN-10: 0981721206 Today A Book Blogger's Diary is a stop on the virtual blog tour of  MESSIAH INTERVIEWS by author Jerry J Pollock, courtesy Pump Up Your Book Promotion.

About this Book:  The protagonist must satisfy his biblical interviewers―the angel Gabriel, Methuselah, Chanoch, Seth, King David, Moses, Jacob, Abraham, and the prophet Isaiah―and prove that he has the wisdom and character to be the Messiah. As the tale unfolds, the challenges of the interviews go beyond the protagonist and become relevant to the lives of each one of us.

The author has graciously sent over a guest-post for your reading pleasure. Without further ado:

Why Would God Pen the Ten Commandments?
By Jerry Pollock

     A qualifier before beginning this article. No human understands the Essence of God. Therefore this article is solely one man’s opinion like every other human opinion of God in this world. To truly know God’s Essence, it is written …

Obama and a Book

Instead of my usual Monday post about an unusual book storage solution, here's a picture of our new (or soon-to-be) President, Barack Obama, appropriately with a book!

From an AbeBooks article - In October, the New York Times asked Obama to provide a list of books and writers that were significant to him. Here goes – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, James Baldwin, W. E. B. DuBois’ Souls of Black Folk, Martin Luther King’sLetter From Birmingham Jail, Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory and The Quiet American, Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook, Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s Cancer Ward, John Steinbeck’s In Dubious Battle, Robert Caro’s Power Broker, Studs Terkel’s Working, Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations andTheory of Moral Sentiments, and also Robert Penn’s All the King’s Men – a novel about a corrupt Southern governor (Rod Blagojevich anyone?). And then there were his theology and philosophy influences - Fri…

Review - Mostly Monty by Johanna Hurwitz

Mostly Monty
Johanna Hurwitz (Author) Anik Mcgrory (Illustrator)
Candlewick Press
ISBN-10: 076362831X About the Book

Six-year-old Monty doesn’t have a brother, a sister, or a pet. What he does have is asthma, which sometimes makes it hard to breathe and often makes him feel like he’d rather be somebody else. And now that he’s starting first grade, he’s very nervous about being with all those kids he won’t know. Luckily, he loves to read -- even really hard books -- and has a talent for finding things, from a cocooning caterpillar to classmates who want to be in his very own club.

With familiar situations and gentle humor, Johanna Hurwitz follows an endearing character as he discovers that being himself can be pretty great after all.

My Thoughts

Anyone who's ever had or known someone with this condition, will easily associate with Monty. It's no fun living with Asthma. And author Johanna Hurwitz writes of this with compassion and with a voice that's endearing. It's also in…

Book Excerpt - The Five Lost Days by William Petrick

The Five Lost Days
by William Petrick Today A Book Blogger's Diary is a stop on the virtual blog tour of The Five Lost Days by William Petrick, courtesy Pump Up Your Book Promotion.

About The Author

William Petrick is an Emmy Award-winning documentary producer/director who has created programs for National Geographic, Discovery, MTV, Court TV and many other cable and broadcast networks. He is currently a senior producer with Bill Moyers Journal on PBS. You can visit William Petrick’s website at


Struggling documentary producer Michael Burns has traveled to the remote Maya Mountains of Belize to capture exclusive footage of the last surviving curandero. The traditional Mayan healer may hold the key to discovering new medicines among the vast, uncharted flora of the rain forest.

But with a violent civil war spilling across the border from neighboring Guatemala - and Burns inexplicably drawn to the aging curandero's American apprentice - the …

Book Excerpt - My Splendid Concubine by Lloyd Lofthouse

My Splendid Concubine
by Lloyd Lofthouse Today A Book Blogger's Diary is a stop on the virtual blog tour of My Splendid Concubine by Lloyd Lofthouse, courtesy Pump Up Your Book Promotion.

About The Author

As a field radio operator, Lloyd Lofthouse was a walking target in Vietnam in 1966. He has skied in blizzards at forty below zero and climbed mountains in hip deep snow.

Lloyd earned a BA in journalism after fighting in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine. Later, while working days as an English teacher at a high school in California, he earned an MFA in writing. He enjoyed a job as a maitre d’ in a multimillion-dollar nightclub and tried his hand successfully at counting cards in Las Vegas for a few years. He now lives near San Francisco with his wife, with a second home in Shanghai, China. Lloyd says that snapshots of his life appear like multicolored ribbons flowing through many of his poems.

This link takes you to Lloyd's 'Vietnam Experience' page filled with photos. He took m…