The Oregon Kids: Runaway Whiskers

Great review of The Oregon Kids: Runaway Whiskers

Normandy's Book Reviews


Author: Bob Richley
Illustrator: Hilbert Bermejo
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing
Genre: Children’s Books / Growing Up & Facts of Life / Family Values
ISBN: 978-1546928812
Pages: 34
Price: $9.99 (Paperback) Unlimited (Kindle)

Available at:

Book Review:
A suburb in Oregon is hopping with emotions. Johanna’s pet rabbit, named Whiskers, is missing. Johanna is extremely heartbroken and misses her furry best friend. Meanwhile, another little girl named Autumn has wanted a pet rabbit of her own, since visiting the petting zoo. Her dream comes true while out with her brother Billy, when they find a white bunny rabbit. Autumn is immediately smitten and filled with joy. But it is short-lived when Billy points out a pet collar and tag around the rabbit’s neck. The rabbit clearly belongs to someone. Now, Autumn must decide what to do. Will she be selfish and keep the rabbit? Or, will she let go of her dream…

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Teach Young Artist Wannabes How to Draw: A Review of the Caveman Project: teach me father how to draw by Max Shumsky

Do your kids want to draw? Are they a little hesitant because they don’t know how to start? When I was a child, my uncle taught me to draw. He drew simple things like birds, flowers, and rabbits. I’m not an artist, but I still remember how to draw what my uncle taught. I now draw them for my children.
Author and illustrator Max Shumsky has written and illustrated a book that teaches children how to draw much like my uncle taught me. It is titled The Cave Project: Teach me father how to draw. A caveman teaches his son how to draw on the cave wall. He shows how to draw simple things like lines, circles, and squares and then use these shapes to draw a person. Kids who want to draw will love this book. They can use the book as a guide to draw. It may help them overcome fears and anxieties they may have about drawing.
The book is not just an instruction book that is bland. It is filled with illustrations that kids will love and a bit of humor to make them smile. I would recommend this book for a very young inspiring artist.

Author Bio:

Max Shumsky grew up in Russia, went to art school, moved to USA. Got married, got children, they started to read, me too. Started seeing stories in everything around me. I want to show what I see.

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Bus Safety: A Review of Giggly’s Bear’s Fun Trip in the Yellow Bus by Kelly Santana-Banks

As a parent, I want to keep my kids safe. I’m especially concerned when they are away from home and out of my site. I want to do my best to teach them how to be safe, so they will be safe when I’m not around.
I’m thankful for books like Giggly Bear’s Fun Trip in the Yellow Bus by Kelly Santana-Banks. It’s a simple story of a bear riding the bus to the funfair, but it teaches valuable lessons on bus safety. I know my children will be riding the bus for school and other activities. This story gives me a tool to teach them to be safe. It has adorable illustrations by Shelia Marie Alejandro that kids will love. It has a repeating rhyming mantra which will help kids remember to be safe. Kids learn well by repetition.
This is not an exciting story of action and adventure or a story that will make them laugh. It’s a serious lesson presented in a sing-song rhyming style. The pictures and rhymes will help children learn lessons and keep them interested enough. It can be a good tool to teach children about safety not only riding the bus but other modes of transportation.

Author Bio:

Kelly Santana-Banks is a writer of nonfiction and children’s books, and a former early childhood teacher and caregiver.

With more than ten years of experience working with children and a strong background in child development, she is an advocate for education, especially in early childhood.

She writes fun stories to entertain and teach children as well as help parents find simple solutions for their little ones’ lives.

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Teach Sharing: A review of Little Mouse’s Sweet Treat by Shana Hollowell and illustrated by Jennifer Finch

What is one thing you would like your children to learn to do early in life? As a parent of 2 young girls, a 17-month-old and a 3-year-old, I want them to learn to share. Sometimes they do, but it is usually a toy they don’t want. If we have 2 similar toys and one has a dead battery, my 3-year-old will share the one with the dead battery while she plays with the one that works. More often, they fight over one toy. The 17-month wants whatever her older sister has and the older sister is unwilling to share. If the 3-year old wants something that the 17-month-old has, she just takes it away and the 17-month-old cries. Daddy is trying to teach the 3-year-old to hold out an open hand when she wants something and trying to get her to freely share. When they fight over a toy, Daddy often takes the toy away. Sound familiar?
Reading stories is one of the many tools I use to teach my children values. I believe is discussing the moral lessons and I am happy to read stories to my kids which present good examples of morals. The story, Little Mouse’s Sweet Treat by Shana Hollowell and illustrated by Jennifer Finch, presents examples of sharing. Little Mouse wants a sweet treat and so visits friends asking for a treat. All are willing to share, but Little Mouse doesn’t like what they offer. Eventually, Little Mouse returns home and receives a sweet treat from Mommy that he does like. With each visit, a parent has the opportunity to ask their child, “will the character share?” When the friend does share, a parent can ask follow-up questions like “Why?” or “How does the character feel?”
I have baked cupcakes and cookies with my 3-year-old daughter. She is really excited to help and probably more excited to have the sweet treat. The wonderful thing about baking is that she must wait for the baking to be done before she can eat. It’s a lesson in patience as well as helping. Little Mouse exhausts himself searching for a sweet treat and doesn’t get one until he returns home. Parents can use this example as a lesson in patience. Also, it shows that Mommy understands best of all what her child likes. This offers a chance to teach a child that parents want to do what is best for a child.
The story is very simply written in a sing-song rhyming style. Young ears will appreciate the rhymes and the consistency of the story, but the real value for parents is the opportunity to teach values such as sharing, patience, and a parent’s love.

Author Bio

Shana Hollowell is a public health professional that grew up in Windsor, Virginia. She enjoys writing stories for her 2-year-old and 2-month-old. She lives in Suffolk, Virginia with her husband, 2 babies, 4 cats, 31 koi fish and hundreds of bonsai trees.

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A Lesson in Talents and Friendship: A Review of A Friend for Patty by Sherry L. Riffle

One of my favorite comics is the Peanuts. Poor Charlie Brown can’t seem to do anything right. He can’t win a baseball game. He can’t fly a kite. Worst of all, nobody seems to like him. Thankfully, Charlie Brown has one faithful friend, Linus, who encourages him. I was reminded of Charlie Brown as I read A Friend for Patty by Sherry L. Riffle. Poor Patty can’t do many things right including flying a kite. Unlike Charlie Brown, she also has things she can do well. At first, she doesn’t have a friend like Linus, but with patience, she forms a friendship with a new girl, Kimmy Sue.
I like stories that have moral lessons that can be discussed with children. The first lesson that I see that can be discussed from A friend for Patty is the value of talents. We all have talents that we do well and things we don’t do well. Children can feel shame over the things they don’t do well especially if peers tease them or an adult criticizes them. Children need to learn that they have their own talents and gifts, but more importantly that their value doesn’t come from the things they do well. Their value comes from who they are inside.
The second lesson is the value of friendship. We need friends who accept us for who we are and who encourage us. We need to be that type of friend to others. I see Kimmy Sue and Patty accepting each other for who they are not the talents they have. I see them being an encouragement to each other. The example of their friendship can be a good discussion for children.
The story is a simple easy reader written in a sing-song rhyming style. It can certainly be read by a child learning to read, but its real values are the moral lessons that can be discussed. I would especially recommend this book for children struggling with shame over the things they don’t do well.


Author Bio:

Sherry L. Riffle lives in Ohio with her husband and five children. Her stories were written for her children. Each story was written to help teach them lessons and morals. She hopes that your family will enjoy them as much as her family has.

Currently, Sherry is pursuing her degree in Psychology with Emphasis in Adolescent and Childhood Development. She is a member of the Honor Society, Alpha Sigma Lambda. Through life experiences and education, she knows the trials that children face in society and wants to help them. Learning to accept yourself in a society geared toward perfection isn’t an easy task for adults… let alone children. Her greatest hope is that one of her stories help a child in need.

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Picture Book Review: Elijah and the Key of Knowledge & Elijah and the City in Danger

I reviewed this author as well. He does a wonderful job teaching lessons in his writing as well as captivating illustrations. Good books for any parent to read with their child.

The Indie Children's Authors Connection

ElijahKeyKnowledgeCvrElijah and the Key of Knowledge starts this fresh take on exploring reading skills.

I had the pleasure of reading Elijah and The Key of Knowledge for this June’s featured children’s book to get your summer reading started. The author, Zachariah Rippee, does a masterful job of pulling readers into the idea that reading gives you knowledge. In fact, the whole Elijah series is full of themes to get kids reading.

The series begins with the picture book, Elijah and The Key of Knowledge. This book starts out with Elijah as an adventurer like in the Indiana Jones movies. He takes his animal friends, ie Calvin and Hobbes, on an adventure with many obstacles blocking the way. He has to enlist the help of his friends to best the things thrown into his path. It all ends when he finally discovers the secret to the key of knowledge. You guessed…

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Teach kids to handle change (A review of Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas?  by Sojourner McConnell illustrated by Ellie Barrett)

Do you like change? Few of us if any do. Change is hard. It disrupts our routine. It moves us from the comfortable and familiar to the uncomfortable and unknown. Change is difficult for adults. It is worse for kids who have not had the experience to know how to handle change. Kids don’t often have a say in the change thrust upon them by adults. They don’t understand and can’t see the potential good in a change.

How do we teach kids to handle change? How do we get them to understand that we have their best interest in mind? How do we help them see the good in tragedy, in difficulty, and in change? Experience will certainly be a teacher as we guide them through the inevitable. We can also prepare them in advance. One way is to give them an example. A good example for them to see is in the storybook Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas?   by Sojourner McConnell illustrated by Ellie BarrettIt is the first book in The Dolcey Series. Dolcey is a fairy whose mission is the help young Emily navigate the difficulty of change. Emily is moving. She’s moving away from her Nana and Aunt whom she loves dearly. She’s clearly upset. She displays all the emotions that a young child would have who is facing a difficult change. She has no say in the change. She can’t see the good in being far away from her loved ones. Dolcey’s job is to show her the good in the adventure she’s about to undertake. Dolcey disguises herself as a cat and is let into the family as a stray. She reveals her true identity to Emily and shows Emily the wonders awaiting her in her new home.

All children will face change. It may not be a move, but they will experience loss, disruptions, and unknowns. Reading a book like Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas? offers the opportunity to discuss change and how to look for the good in the change. Talking about change and asking good questions can help a child think and prepare for the inevitable. I would recommend this book as a good tool to use to help a child through changes.

There was a popular book titled Who Moved My Cheese? By Spence Johnson. It was a book to help adults through change. It was required reading for one job I had. If adults can be helped by a book on change, how much more can children be helped by a book on change?

Author Bio:

Sojourner McConnell lives in Kentucky with 3 of her 13 grandchildren and her Australian Shepherd, Beau. She reviews all genre of books on The Page Turner and shares her own and other writers writing experiences on her blog, The Path of the Writer. The author of a YA novel,  the children’s chapter book, and two short story anthologies, she writes every day on her next work in progress. A little YA friendly book about Blip.

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Teach care of the Environment (Review of Alex and Anna’s Acorn Helps the World )

Is the environment important to you? Is caring for the earth a value you want to pass on to your children? The answer to both questions for me is a resounding, “yes!” I own a hybrid vehicle. I have solar panels. I bike 10 miles to work at least 2 or 3 times a week. When I worked closer, I biked almost every day. Our family walks to a store nearby to get groceries and other supplies. I ride my bike for various errands. I care about the environment and I want my children to care.

The best way to teach this to our children is to model it for them. I also think it is important to discuss why you do certain things like walking to the grocery store. Another way is to read books the presents the care of the environment and discuss the topic with your children. Alex and Anna’s Acorn Helps the World written and illustrated by Peter Hayward is a children’s story the presents caring for the environment by planting trees. It is a simple story of a hike in the woods where Alex learns about trees, photosynthesis, wildlife protection and conservation, and even fairies. It mixes facts with fun fiction.

I believe a great way to teach values to your children is to read with them. As you read books like Alex and Anna’s Acorn Helps the World, you can engage your children in thoughtful discussions on the values presented. You can ask probing questions that gets them to think not only about the facts but also the reasons why something is done or not done. When you do this, the child learns. We don’t learn when we only memorize facts. The fact alone has no value in your mind. When you learn a fact, it needs to be bound to other facts by logic. One way to learn is to think. When we engage our brain in figuring out the answer, we learn. We draw upon what we know and add to it. Alex and Anna’s Acorn Helps the World presents many facts in a fun way but also gives a caregiver the opportunity to discuss values. Questions like, “Why does grandpa plant trees?” and “Why are tree important?” can get children to think about values.

I would recommend this book not because the story is entertaining, but because it presents an opportunity for a child to learn good facts and values. There are elements of the story that kids might find entertaining, but the real value will be time spent reading with your child and discussing the moral values.

Author Bio

Peter was born and bred in Ipswich (UK) and attended state school. He became a respected scholar and athlete competing at county level in football, basketball and athletics.
He joined the Suffolk Constabulary and during his service learnt many skills and gained further educational qualifications. He competed in sports at international level. After being promoted to sergeant he qualified with a National Police Trainers’ Certificate and Certificate of Education and became a police trainer. He further qualified with a Certificate and Diploma in counselling.
After retirement, Peter worked for a charity, helping people to withdraw from drug and alcohol abuse, before moving to Spain where he became a music producer VisionX (Zene Records). Peter then turned his creativity to writing and became a member of Wordplay Writers, Costa Blanca, Spain.
Peter has two wonderful adult children; a daughter and son. Peter’s daughter and her partner have given Peter a wonderful granddaughter. Peter’s son and daughter-in-law have given him a magnificent grandson and granddaughter.
Time together with his grandchildren inspired Peter to write about some of their experiences in his series, Learn with Alex and Anna.
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Teach kids to think and learn (A review of book My Buddy Knows… Letters by Keith Wheeler)

How are most of us taught? We are taught by rote. We memorize lists of things. As a little kid, we are taught to read by memorizing A is for Apple and B is for Ball. There is value in memorization; however, there is greater value in thinking. Learning to think especially learning to think critically has far greater value than mere memorization. The focus on memorization in our education system, fueled by standardized testing, has obstructed learning, according to Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford University, who argues that students lose most of the information they acquire in school. We forget what we memorize. We don’t learn when we memorize. It has no value to you. When you actually learn a fact, it is bound to other facts by a logic. One way to learn is to think. When we engage our brain in figuring out the answer, we learn. We draw upon what we know and add to it.

I am passionate about teaching kids to think. I want my kids to decide what is the good moral choice by thinking not just by accepting what others say. I want my kids to think and learn not just memorize facts which often will be forgotten.

In the book My Buddy Knows… Letters by Keith Wheeler, kids are presented a way to think and learn letters not just memorize. They are not presented “A is for Apple” and then asked to repeat it over and over until it is memorized. They are presented with a picture of an Apple and need to think what letter does the word Apple begin with. This way makes them think every time. Reading this book will help a child learn. By using a flashcard-like approach, the learning experience becomes more interactive. The child doesn’t immediately SEE that Apple starts with an A. They see the apple, then must THINK and DECIDE what letter it starts with. The child must draw from information already in their brain. Once they decide, then they flip the page to see if they’re correct.

I recommend reading this book with your child. A caregiver can help the child to figure out the answer at first and help them not to get frustrated. Certainly, you can still read books that say “A is for Apple.” However, if you add books like this to their reading, they will learn and not just memorize. You will give your children critical thinking skills that will greatly enhance their future learning. You will give them a great advantage.

Author Bio:

International #1 Best Selling author, Keith Wheeler is a Missouri based business man and father of 4. He’s been married to his high school sweetheart since 1997. The first project of Keith’s that was published was in 1991, while he was still in high school, and was a poem. Both he and his grandmother were published in that same book. He enjoys writing and creating books aimed towards children. His goal is to entertain and educate.

Teach math skills early (A review of Where are the Numbers? The Adventures of Numbers by Ronit Tal Shaltiel)

I have a bachelor’s degree in mathematics. I know the importance of math. Learning math helps teach valuable problem-solving skills. “Math builds reasoning, which leads to comprehension,” says Dr. Ji-Qi Chen, a professor of Child Development at Erikson Institute. Learning math develops logical thinking skills. “Developing a mentally organized way of thinking is critical. We need to provide high-quality math education at an early age,” according to Chen. Early math skills are a better predictor of academic success than early reading skills. At a young age understanding of numbers, shapes, colors, patterns and counting builds confidence in children. Activities that are done to develop math skills in the children also promotes language and literacy skills in them.

The book Where Are the Numbers? The Adventure of the Numbers by Ronit Tal Shaltiel combines both reading and mathematics. The book teaches simple counting and addition in the form of a comic-book-like story. In the story, the number 1 goes hunting for friends. He finds 2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and 0. It’s a simple story. Its value is not in the story but in the presentation of counting and addition in a fun way.

I would highly recommend this book for a preschooler, even a toddler. It’s not too early to teach math skills. Children before the age of 5 learn things including math easier. The earlier you teach these skills, the better they will do in school. According to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, “Research on children’s learning in the first six years of life demonstrates the importance of early experiences in mathematics.” So, begin early. This book would be a great start.

Author Bio:

Ronit Tal Shaltiel 

My passions in life are reading, photography and graphic design.

In my books, I combine all of them.  I have been writing books for a long time; and wanting to publish them. 

Then I found that self-publishing is the right format for me.

I do all of my work on the computer, using different graphics software.

I live in Houston, USA.