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Posts Tagged ‘children’s books’

Children’s Book of the Week and Other Book Reviews

In Children's Book Reviews on May 27, 2013 at 1:44 pm

This week’s children’s book reviews are up over on my website. Please drop by and see them. As ever, I hope you enjoy my varied choice of books and the reviews of them, and, of course, my choice for Book of the Week. Don’t forget to scroll down the page at Mungai and the Goa Constrictor where you can read the full reviews of all the books.

Children’s Book of the Week: 

Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney

Guess How Much I Love You Book Cover

Other Books I Have Reviewed

   Brownie Runs Away by Nana B

    The Open Pillow by David Rowinski

    Daisy Cooper and The Sisters of the Black Night by Robert Dee

Children’s Book Authors – We Want You!

In Hurricane Sandy on April 6, 2013 at 12:19 am

Hurricane Sandy Logo

Author KS Brooks profile pictureMy name is K. S. Brooks and I’m the founder of Indie Authors for Hurricane Sandy Libraries. We’re a group of over 100 authors from around the world who have mobilized to provide libraries devastated by Hurricane Sandy with new books.

With more libraries signing on each week, we are now in need of new authors to supply books, especially children’s. We have opportunities for authors to get their works into major library systems as well as elementary and high school libraries.

Please keep in mind not all books are accepted – they are vetted to make certain they fit the specific criteria provided by each library.

If you know of any authors interested in participating, please have them join the IAHSL Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/IndieAuthorsforHurricaneSandyLibraries/. I would greatly appreciate your assistance in spreading the word.

Wow, life is good! – ‘Mungai’ has been given yet another 5 stars!

In Book Reviews, Mungai and the Goa Constrictor on January 14, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I have just received the most spectacular in-depth review for Mungai and the Goa Constrictor. My heartfelt thanks to the very erudite Jane Whiteoak for taking so much time to write this review. I hope many of you will find the time and the irrepressible urge to read it. 

Select a place..any where in the world and you most probably have heard stories about a pair to be very wary of, like Mungai and the Goa Constrictor! Likely, you’ll have heard them directly, from the innocent victims left strewn aside in their wake. This is a story about nature, reforestation, gold mining, animals both two-legged and four-legged and the most nebulous kind of all… that of the cold and calculating… psychological nature.
Mungai, escapes from a zoo by literally biting the hand that feeds him, to obtain his freedom. Along the way he connects with a self-centered, narcissistic snake named Goa. They instantly mirror and gravitate to the lack of conscience in each other and recognize “possibilities” of a greater future together. They exist in this world only to use everyone that they encounter to their own advantage.
Mungai and the Goa Constrictor - A Children's Book by Amelia E Curzon - book CoverThey formulate a plan to exploit a group of unsuspecting animals, promising great rewards in the future, if the animals do as they request.
Having every faith in the pair, the animals work laboriously constructing tables, chairs and baskets out of wood with the promise of hope and prosperity for their respective families. They listen attentively to Mungai and Goa, as the two speak with authority and are quite erudite in their knowledge of the woodland surroundings and little gold treasures. To doubt their sincerity would be erroneous as the animals would have a falling out with their peers and thus be made to look foolish.
Through manipulation and cajoling the two cause confusion every step of the way. The woodland and jungle animals work together in good faith but they are gullible and unbeknownst to them are being terribly misled. Their gold mining endeavours, are necessary to pay for new equipment, used by humans to work at deforestation!
They’ve all been told by the amoral pair, that the “trees are too old” and need to be chopped down, in order that new ones may be replanted in their place. The animals have no concept that they are working illegally and are actually chopping down their own habitat. The two ring leaders start to show a few cracks in their armour however, when they begin to live in loftier and loftier residences. Each move is scrupulously planned, to be farther away from the ‘workers’ each time and with every move they have obtained, through smooth talk, even greater security.( e.g. wolves acting as security guards).
Finally, a very observant crow, becomes extremely suspicious and tries in vain to alert the diligent trusting foreman, the badger. Of course, the badger doesn’t believe a word that the crow tells him, as he has complete and utter “misplaced” trust in Mungai and Goa.
The book is very engaging as one ponders, if this dubious duo will ever be seen for what and whom, they truly are. Amelia E. Curzon has done us all a huge favour, by shining a spotlight on and enlightening us, to the damage done to our society by these unconscionable and despicable human beings. Her insight into this behaviour and relaying this message, through the depiction of animals is truly remarkable. This is an excellent book that would be advantageous and fascinating to read, for all ages. It is a real page turner and I highly recommend this book to all!

Jane Whiteoak – January 14th 2013

Buy on amazon.com

Buy on amazon.co.uk

Buy the Paperback

Read all other reviews here

Guest Post: Take Aim and Target Your Children’s Writing by Valerie Allen

In Guest Blogger, writing on November 25, 2012 at 12:01 am

As a children’s author myself, I am particularly pleased to welcome this week’s Guest Blogger, Valerie Allen. Valerie, who also presents workshops on the same subject, shares her philosophies on targeting specific audiences, and what to take into account when doing so. Welcome, Valerie, and thank you for being my guest.

To successfully reach their target audience, children’s writers must keep in mind four basic considerations: the child’s age, grade, reading level, and interests.

Age Level                                                                                                                             Most children enjoy reading about characters who are a few years older than they are. Children want to reach beyond their peers and experience possible future events in the here and now as they read. Most children’s books are written within an age range, for example, 6 to 9 years or 10 to 12 years.

Grade Level                                                                                                                       Grade level is usually an indication of a child’s reading skills, such as phonics, sight words, and comprehension. Books do not have to be written at an exact grade level, but within a grade range, such as preschool through Kindergarten, or sixth through eighth grade. Most computers can easily provide the reading level by grade. This is often written as 3.2 meaning third grade second month or 7.9, which means seventh grade ninth month. Keep in mind grade levels are based on the school year with September as the first month. A reading level of 4.5 would indicate the youngster is in January of the fourth grade.

Reading Level
A child’s reading level is not always the same as his or her grade level. Reading is based on comprehension as well as word attack skills.

There are 250 basic sight words, which make up approximately 70% of all reading. Most children have mastered these words by the end of third grade. Basic sight words are typically one, two, or three-letter words. An informal way to check your sight words is to highlight all of the little words on a given page of writing.
                                                                                                                                            Interests
Books based on hobbies and interests are varied and must be written within the youngster’s age, grade, and reading level. Vocabulary is critical in these books and the author often includes an index of terms and definitions, with or without diagrams. Both fiction and nonfiction can be used to engage youngsters in reading about their hobby or interest. Using the solar system as an example, you can write a book that:

1.  Describes the solar system and encourages learning and understanding
2. Provides facts, greatest moments, or important figures in space exploration
3.  Tells a story involving a child who wants to walk on the moon.

As adults we can make an instant connection with others when we mention Dick and Jane, Nancy Drew, or The Hardy Boys. Today’s young readers will connect with Hop on Pop, Harry Potter, and Pippy Longstocking. Helping children read for pleasure and information is the primary goal for an author of a children’s book. Creating those enjoyable memories that last a life time is the reward of writing for children.

Valerie Allen, psychologist, author, and speaker writes fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books. Her two books for children in grades three to five are, Summer School for Smarties and Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends. She presents writing workshops for authors based on her book,Write, Publish, Sell! Quick, Easy, Inexpensive Ideas for the Marketing Challenged.

Buy on amazon.com          Website           Facebook

Write, Publish, Sell! by Valerie Allen - Book cover
 

Children’s Book of the Week: The Adventures of the Frog Prince

In Children's Book of the Week on November 13, 2012 at 12:36 am

The Adventures of the Frog Prince Book cover

My choice for this week’s Children’s Book of the Week is the fun read, The Adventures of the Frog Prince by J.R. Barker. This is a quick and witty read which I would deem suitable for 8/9 year olds and upwards.

Please come over and read more about this fun book at Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

Guest Post: Cat Trades Up – Leaves Life of Pizza Boxes Behind

In Guest Blogger, Pets on November 11, 2012 at 12:01 am

I always love it when my guests blog about their pets and share their views on animal welfare. This week’s post, by the lovely Magdalena Vandenberg, is no exception.  A very big welcome to you, Magdalena! Thank you for being my guest and sharing Minnie Moo’s story with us.

I can often be heard jokingly telling others that I’m a cat lady in training.Magdalena Vandenberg on Amelia Curzon's blog - Carte Blanche

Without a shadow of any doubt, I’m showing early signs of becoming a stylish spinster sitting alone in her over-stuffed comfy chair watching re-runs of Homeland and The Mentalist while surrounded by the love, or perceived love, of lazy fluff-balls.

Cats are my weakness.

There’s just something about them that resonates with me. Aloof, needy yet detached, loving yet fiercely independent. Always hungry and addicted to napping, these are all admirable traits, and say a lot about me.

I should add here, I love dogs too. I just love cats a little more. They’re infinitely easier to sneak past the landlord’s “no cats allowed” policy.

From pint size pets to the might of the larger beasts, the animal world fascinates me.  And I can’t for the life of me think why anyone would want to purposefully inflict harm, or treat them with malice and ill intent.

This riles me. It goes against my DNA. Maybe I’m too idealistic, but at the very least everyone, person, animal, inanimate object deserves respect. Right?

I’m a firm believer if you own a pet, or any animal it’s your responsibility to give the critter love, food, shelter, attention and a safe place to call home.

I simple don’t get it when people abuse this privilege.

Years ago, I was in Sydney, Australia, driving home from work down a busy commuter road.  While crawling along at a snail’s pace, I remember looking out the window at the most adorable scene. This young boy, he was about twelve years old, was walking while carrying a cute-as-a-button white fluffy small dog.

In the blink of an eye, to my horror, and out of nowhere, the boy started to hit the little dog with his angry fists. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing.

Incensed and without any hesitation, I plied on the brakes, stopped the car in the middle of the road, left my keys in the ignition, and marched over to the boy.

“Stop that!” I shouted. “Stop that, right this minute. Stop being cruel to the dog.”

I remember my ranting went something like… “You can’t do that to the dog. What’s this poor little dog ever done to you? Stop being a bully.”

All I heard was, “but, but but…”

I continued on in my sterner by the minute voice… “If you don’t stop being mean to the dog, I’m going to report you.”

It was then I could see tears prick in his eyes as he said, sorry.

“Thank you for apologizing, but don’t say sorry to me, say sorry to your dog.”

Walking back to my car, I was oblivious to the honking horns of the irate drivers and the traffic jam I had caused. Driving off, all I cared about was that little white dog. I had to trust and hope he would be ok.

Fifteen years later, I clearly recall the incident, and hand on heart, I would do exactly the same thing.

Mention cats, animals and my heart melts. Particularly the underdogs (sorry cats, it’s just a figure of speech) who’ve had a rough start, but given half a chance have a whole lot of love to give.

Minnie MooThat’s why I fell in love with Minnie Moo.

One day, I left the back door open. The next day, I had a cat. It was as simple as that.

Naturally, I went around the neighborhood asking everyone and anyone if they were missing a boy cat. No one claimed him, and to this day I think he was abandoned. Just left behind like an unwanted piece of furniture.

At that time I lived opposite a Pizza Restaurant, and my theory is he just got tired of sleeping in pizza boxes and eating left over salami. Once Minnie Moo walked through my open door, there was no turning back. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

A little bit about Magdalena Annegie VandenBerg

Born to Dutch parents, Magdalena was born in New Zealand. But unlike the flightless kiwi bird, as soon as she could she spread her wings to live and work in Sydney for twelve years.

The career opportunity of a lifetime beckoned as Magdalena travelled the world working in marketing and PR for the creative genius of Cirque du Soleil.

Now back in the land of sixty-four million sheep, Magdalena is pursuing her life long dream of writing.

Her first children’s e-book, Minnie Moo, The Extraordinary Adventures of an Ordinary Cat is out now and available on most e-book formats. This story is ideal for children reading chapter books.

The book is in part, a tribute to the little white dog. An inspirational tail with a big message; it’s always ok to do the right thing. It’s never ok to be a bully.

Magdalena’s second e-book is her first foray into contemporary romance. Love in the Vines, tells the story of food, wine, love and betrayal. Like wine, loves begins in the vines. Betrayal begins in the heart of a marriage.

The Extraordinary Adventures of an Ordinary Cat - Book Cover

Love in the Vines - Book Cover

My Blog – Magdalena VandenBerg

Minnie Moo’s Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Love in the Vines on Amazon

Minnie Moo on Amazon

NEW FEATURE – Children’s Book of the Week

In Children's Book of the Week on October 18, 2012 at 6:37 pm

Being a children’s writer myself, and with so many wonderful children’s authors out there, I thought I would like to start highlighting some of the exceptional works of others.

A Father’s Wish - the Tale of King Big Bear the Fat - Book coverMy first featured author is the very gifted Christine Corretti with her delightful book, A Father’s Wish – the Tale of King Big Bear the Fat.  A beautifully written and illustrated book for ages 9 years and upwards.

If your book has at least 3 x 5 star ratings and you would like to be featured on this site http://mungaiandthegoaconstrictor.me/ with one of your children’s books,  please contact me at amelia.curzon@gmail.com

New Paperback Release for Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

In Books, Teen Fiction, Young Adult Fiction on March 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Sometimes we want more than an electronic copy of a book.

Mungai and the Goa Constrictor Book CoverWe may want something more tangible and durable. Something we can keep on our bookshelves at home and something we can lend to our friends and family, simply by handing it over!

For these reasons Mungai and the Goa Constrictor has now been released in paperback, especially for those who prefer a little more than the limitations of  technology.

Find your copy here:

https://www.createspace.com/3774414

Amazon.com http://goo.gl/AzQdz

For Kindle version and to read all 5 star reviews go to Amazon  http://goo.gl/iOeV7

Mungai’s Own Website

In Mungai and the Goa Constrictor on February 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Mungai has his own website, chiefly for children and young adults,  complete with a  page of  ’did you know’  trivia about wildlife with stunning photographs and a few videos. Enjoy while you listen to the sounds of the jungle!

Mungai’s website even has its own environmental news-feed and book news-feed.

Find direct links to environmental and wildlife charities here too.

And, of course, there are all the marvellous reviews Mungai and the Goa has received plus a few snippets of the book to whet your appetite!.

Click here to visit his site: Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

February 28th, 2012

My First Blog

In Marketing on September 3, 2011 at 1:53 pm

  

My First Blog – possibly the worst on the net – but I’m trying!

This is my very first blog…so here goes (as I sit here listening to Radio 2 and a glorious hour of Eric Clapton).

I’m sure I’ll make many mistakes as I drivel on, but I’ll soon learn.  Right now the thing which occupies my mind so fully is how anyone will ever know about my book sitting there on the shelves of Amazon.  Trouble is, it all sounds so easy to start with.

I’ve written the book, which I’ve put all I have into, and then, since my book is self-published on Kindle, I have to market it myself.

Horror of horrors. Someone is actually telling me to get on with it alone. This is a real problem.  I am not very familiar with computers and all the computer ‘speak’ has just left me out in the cold.  But I’ve persevered, read all about it, taken all the advice available and ploughed on.

Network – alt tags, network – ad-words, network – buttons, network – build a website, network – add to other sites and so on and so on.  All so time-consuming and so far fruitless. Though I must say I have really enjoyed tweeting and ‘meeting’ people on Twitter and finding friends on Facebook and LinkedIn, and all the others too numerous to mention, but no-one still seems to either know nor care about my extremely well written and funny children’s book.  Not one review.  I wouldn’t mind, but my book in no way patronises children, some of the words are far too long for that, it simply seeks to entertain them and ask them to think carefully about the rights and wrongs of deforestation.

Well that’s my gripe for now.  I’m saving the rest for next time in case I can’t think of anything else to say.  Don’t suppose anyone will see my blog either.  What can you do?

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