Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Picture Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme is great for those who love lists. 10 is just a suggestion to aim for if you can hit it. You can do a list of 3 or 5 or 20, whatever you decide. And you can put a spin on the topic if you need to. Each week there is a new list to create. This week the list is:

Favorite Picture Books

I love reading and promoting kidlit, probably because I discovered my love of reading when I was a child. Picture books can open up new worlds for both kids and adults. I had many exquisite and unforgettable moments reading picture books with my own children. Here are some of our favorite:

A beautiful and bittersweet story. I cried when I read it. It is a powerful story of friendship and love.

Unspoken is a wordless picture book about a young Southern farm girl who discovers a runaway slave hiding behind the corn crib in the barn and decides to help him. A very touching story.

This is the fun tale of two ravenous rodents who will stop at nothing to get their tummies filled, even daring to outsmart a fat cat to get some delicious food. This is a feel-good, funny book with the message to never give up. 

With skillful writing, humor and fantastic illustrations, the story of how Jackie Robinson came to lead the way to equality in sports in America was lively and a page-turner, even for us adults.

This book has bright illustrations with pages that are filled with bold colors. It's perfect for the subject matter and Flossy's personality. We also liked that the author included inner dialogue in the form of dialogue bubbles. This was brilliant. The sentences are short but to the point making it easy for a young child to quickly pick up on the characters' feelings and to be able to relate.

Simply put, this little book is an absolute gem! It is charming and so heartwarming it will steal your heart. My son loves it just as much as I do. We both felt it made the message of "I love you" special, introducing a cast of cute and eccentric characters.

Bennett's use of rhyming text, dialogue and educational tidbits about--you guessed it--poop, mixed with his sense of humour and colorful, funny illustrations from Mike Moran blend to make this an amusing and enlightening read. One of my son's favorite!

Do you like to read kidlit?

Monday, January 30, 2017

Lessons from a Difficult Person by Sarah H. Elliston (Book Spotlight and Giveaway!)

Today I'm happy to be kicking of the tour for Lessons from a Difficult Person by Sarah H. Elliston. The methods outlined in this book gives you the ability to take a strong, positive, confident—yet compassionate—stance with the “difficult person”—whether that is a relative, coworker, friend, one of your children or anyone else for that matter.

Be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win this book and a $10 Amazon gift card.

Book Details:

Book Title: Lessons from a Difficult Person: How to Deal with People Like Us
Author: Sarah H. Elliston
​Category: Adult Non-fiction, 176 pages
Genre: Self-help / Relationships
Publisher: CreateSpace
Release date: November 30, 2016
Tour dates: Jan 30 to Feb 17, 2017
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

Elliston is a highly successful workshop leader and trainer, who offers wisdom learned the hard way—by experience – as well as through rigorous study and certification in many areas of professional training that aid her in her work -- Values Realization, Parent Effectiveness Training and Reality Therapy. She is a faculty member of the William Glasser Institute. Glasser is an internationally recognized psychiatrist and developer of Reality Therapy, a method of psychotherapy that teaches people they have a choice in how they choose to behave.

The methods Elliston offers in her book end the trauma and the drama, and minimize the possibility of confrontation. She gives YOU, the reader, the ability to take a strong, positive, confident—yet compassionate--stance with the “difficult person”—whether that is a relative, coworker, friend, one of your children or anyone else for that matter.

Elliston demonstrates how to:

• Identify the ways to talk to a “difficult” person

• Incorporate true incentives to help people change

• Make real the consequences of the “difficult” person’s action

• Increase success through acceptance and belonging

• Avoid being triggered by the “difficult” person allowing you to neutralize those hot buttons and communicate without judgement.

Elliston lays out a proven script for peacefully transforming the difficult person’s behavior and the environment. She gives you the tools for successfully initiating and engaging in a conversation with a difficult person that would lead to change.

Buy the Book: Amazon

About the Author:

Sarah (Sam) Elliston is an expert in the art of Dealing with Difficult People. She is a top workshop leader and a member of the faculty of the William Glasser Institute, which espouses “Reality Therapy” to foster behavioral change.

But her instructional career began long before she even became aware that she was herself a “difficult person,” traits that began in Lincoln MA, where she grew up. For more than 30 years she has been teaching and training, first as a high school teacher in Ohio and Cincinnati—and then as an administrator in the not-for-profit sector.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Enter the Giveaway
Ends Feb 25

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Mailbox Monday and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? Jan 30 Edition

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

I'm very excited to have been asked to be a guest speak for The Book Marketing Summit, an online event happening today Jan 30 to Feb 5 that features 26+ expert speakers. I felt humbled to be among such a fine group or speakers, many of whom I have admired for years. If you are a writer who wants to learn more about book marketing, this is the perfect event. It's free to attend for this week only, after which you will need to pay for the sessions. Check it out here: The Book Marketing Summit

I received these goodies for review in my mailbox:

Got this one free on Audible:

Audible is giving U.S-based members of the Goodreads community a free audiobook. I'm in Canada and was still able to get it free. You can get it here.

This one was a win from Audavoxx:

Bought on sale through Downpour:


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

Friday, January 27, 2017

SuperLife: The 5 Simple Fixes That Will Make You Healthy, Fit, and Eternally Awesome by Darin Olien (Review)

I've always been interested in eating right and following a diet and lifestyle that is holistic and organic. I love books like SuperLife because they educate, inform and motivate for better change.

Book Details:

Title: SuperLife: The 5 Simple Fixes That Will Make You Healthy, Fit, and Eternally Awesome
Author: Darin Olien
Publisher: Harper Wave
Category: Adult Non-fiction, 320 pages
Genre: Health and Fitness, Nutrition
Published: Jan 3, 2017
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

In this groundbreaking health and lifestyle guide, the superfoods expert, nutritionist, and creator of Shakeology provides the key to understanding and utilizing the five life forces—the sole factors that determine whether or not we will be healthy, fit, and free of illness.

In Superlife, Darin Olien provides us with an entirely new way of thinking about health and wellbeing by identifying what he calls the life forces: Quality Nutrition, Hydration, Detoxification, Oxygenation, and Alkalization. Olien demonstrates in great detail how to maintain these processes, thereby allowing our bodies to do the rest. He tells us how we can maintain healthy weight, prevent even the most serious of diseases, and feel great. He explains that all of this is possible without any of the restrictive or gimmicky diet plans that never work in the long term.

Olien has traveled the world, exploring the health properties of foods that have sustained indigenous cultures for centuries. Putting his research into practice, he has created a unique and proven formula for maximizing our bodies’ potential. He also includes a “How-to-eat” user’s guide with a shopping list, advice on “what to throw away,” a guide to creating a healthy, balanced diet plan, and advice on how to use supplements effectively.

Written in Olien’s engaging conversational style, Superlife is a one-of-a-kind comprehensive look at dieting and nutrition, a timeless and essential guide to maintaining the human body and maximizing its potential.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

I've always been interested in eating right and following a diet and lifestyle that is holistic and organic. I love books like SuperLife because they educate, inform and motivate for better change. I am constantly frustrated because society makes it difficult to follow a healthy way of living. Our food is genetically modified and the marketing world pushes junk in our children's faces. As a parent, I am constantly trying to teach my kids why certain foods are bad for them. Books like SuperLife keep me from giving up. And the book cover is neat, isn't it? A bunch of kale leaves that looks like a human heart. Simple and clever.

As soon as I started reading SuperLife, I was enjoying it. Darin Olien is far from dry and he pulls the reader in with his own story. He admits candidly that he is not a professional scientist, but an eternal student. He had me right there. (He does have a BA in exercise physiology/nutrition and an MA in psychology) As I continue reading, I hear a lot of what I already know, but need to hear again and again. For me, lifestyle change is hard because I live with other members who are not always on board, so if I'm not reading and getting encouragement, then it's easy to give up.

SuperLife is motivating because Darin first informs and teaches. The book is divided into two parts: The Five Life Forces and The Really Useful Section which provides practical strategies, pantry staples, recipes and a list of daily simple fixes. He also includes an Acid-Alkaline list, resources and a handy index. I found this part so helpful! And I was happy to see that I am already doing some of the things he suggests and I have already incorporated some of his daily fixes, like getting outside every day. Because I work from home, this is one of the best things I can do, both for my physical and emotional wellbeing.

In the first part, we learn more in depth about the five life forces: Nutrition, Hydration, Oxygenation Alkalization and Detoxification. After each chapter in this section there is a simple to-do list that summarizes the info and moves one to action. There were many a-ha moments for me as I read through this section, my highlighter in hand. I appreciated the chapter on How to Feed the Kids, too.

SuperLife is packed with useful, enlightening and practical information for anyone interested in wellness and a healthy lifestyle. If you're struggling with this, then this book can give you the motivation you need to get going. If you enjoy a healthy lifestyle, this book will reinforce you to keep going and may give you insight if there are any things you may have missed. This book is not on my bookshelf but in the kitchen where I can reference it easily to implement some simple strategies that give me back control of my health. It's going on my list of favorite non-fiction books.

Disclosure: Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

About the Author:

Darin Olien is an exotic superfood hunter, supplement formulator, environmental activist, and widely recognized authority on nutrition and natural health. He partnered with the fitness company Beachbody to formulate the wildly popular whole-food supplement Shakeology and the comprehensive plant-based Ultimate Reset 21-day detoxification program. He also sits on the board of, a nonprofit dedicated to providing clean drinking water. He holds a BA in exercise physiology/nutrition and an MA in psychology, and lives in Malibu, California.

Find out more about Darin and SuperLife at his website, and connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Today is the 4th Multicultural Children’s Book Day!

Today is Multicultural Children's Book Day! 

The mission of MCBD is to raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity and to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.

Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom have teamed up to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event. Here's how you can celebrate and make the most of this event:

Read diverse books: Check out my review of I Am Jackie Robinson

Win diversity book bundles at the Twitter Party tonight! They’re giving away 100+ children’s books from 9pm to 10pm EST. RSVP here. Use hashtag: #ReadYourWorld.

Get your a copy of Read Your World: A Guide to Multicultural Children’s Books for Parents and Educators. It’s FREE today through January 31st!

Get the free Classroom Kindness Kit? It includes Be a Hero Be Kind poster by Jarrett Krosoczka, a diversity kindness book list for ages 2 through 12, and classroom kindness activities.

Want to read more diverse books? Would you like recommendations or books lists? You can find them here: 

Happy Reading!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

I Am Jackie Robinson by Brad Meltzer ( #ReadYourWorld)

I am thrilled today to be showcasing and reviewing I Am Jackie Robinson as part of Multicultural Children's Book Day,  whose mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves.

This special book is part of Ordinary People Change the World, an engaging and fun series that bring American history to life, providing young children with inspiring role models, supplementing the Common Core learning in classrooms, and, best of all, inspiring them to dream and achieve.

Book Details:

Book Title: I Am Jackie Robinson by Brad Meltzer
Illustrator: Christopher Eliopoulos
Series: Ordinary People Change the World
Category: Children's Fiction,  40 pages
Genre: Biographies / Sports & Recreation
Publisher: Dial Books
Release date: January 8, 2015
Content Rating: G

Book Description:

This New York Times Bestselling picture book biography series by Brad Meltzer has an inspiring message: We can all be heroes.

Jackie Robinson always loved sports, especially baseball. But he lived at a time before the Civil Rights Movement, when the rules weren't fair to African Americans. Even though Jackie was a great athlete, he wasn't allowed on the best teams just because of the color of his skin. Jackie knew that sports were best when everyone, of every color, played together. He became the first black player in Major League Baseball, and his bravery changed African-American history and led the way to equality in all sports in America.

Our Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

What does it mean to "Be brave"? Those two words can convey so much. Jackie Robinson states no one is born brave and that it's okay to be afraid, just don't let it stop you. These words came to define him.

My whole family was impressed with how well author Brad Meltzer brought to life Jackie Robinson's life in this picture book/graphic novel. With skillful writing, humor and fantastic illustrations, the story of how Jackie Robinson came to lead the way to equality in sports in America was lively and a page-turner, even for us adults. My husband saw this book on the kitchen table and began reading it. "This is a good book," he said with a look of respect on his face. My son too, now a young teen, loved it, from the way the story and message were relayed to the "cool" illustrations.

From childhood to early adulthood, this book depicts how Jackie had to deal with racial prejudice in his life. With the wisdom displayed by his mother and a local mechanic, Jackie learned some valuable lessons that led him to be the person he became. Jackie was an ordinary kid who loved sports. And this love of sports and his exceptional skills at playing led him to be courageous as he braved the insults and barriers he had to push aside in order to redefine sportsmanship.

This all comes through beautifully with vocabulary and situations both boys and girls can relate to. It's a kid's book appropriate for ages 4 to 100. Chris Eliopoulos' comic drawings are fun, lively and full of emotions. There was one drawing that brought tears to my eyes. A black man in the stadium audience who has his arm around his young son as they both watch the game. A tear is tricking down his cheek. Powerful.

Although my hometown city Montreal is known for its legendary National Hockey League team, it made history in 1946 when the Montreal Royals, the Brooklyn Dodgers farm team, broke the color barrier when they played Jackie Robinson. Montreal fans cheered and accepted the first black player who made history with his famous home run. This was mentioned in the book.

What an inspiring important book this is! I highly recommend it as a tool to teach American history, social studies, moral ethics and sports history. This one is a gem.

Disclosure: Thanks to Brad Meltzer and Dial Books for sending us this book for review. We were not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

About the Author:

Brad Meltzer is the New York Times bestselling author of The Inner Circle and several other top selling political thrillers. In addition to his fiction, Brad has been on the bestseller list for his nonfiction, advice, children’s books, and graphic books. He is the host of Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on the History Channel, and Brad Meltzer’s Lost History on H2. He earned his law degree from Columbia University, where he was on the Columbia Law Review.

Connect with Brad: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram

About the Illustrator:

Chris Eliopoulos has worked in every aspect of comic book creation. He’s most known as a prolific letterer, but in recent years has begun writing and drawing comics, some of which have been nominated for Eisner and Harvey awards.

He’s created books like Franklin Richards: Son of a Genius and the Pet Avengers for Marvel. He’s also created a webcomic called Misery Loves Sherman.

Connect with Chris: Website

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/17) is in its fourth year and was founded by Valarie Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of young readers, parents and educators. 
Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day holiday, the MCBD Team is on a mission to change all of that.

Current Sponsors:  MCBD 2017 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. Platinum Sponsors include Scholastic, Barefoot Books and Broccoli. Other Medallion Level Sponsors include heavy-hitters like Author Carole P. Roman, Audrey PressCandlewick Press Fathers IncorporatedKidLitTV, Capstone Young Readers, ChildsPlayUsa, Author Gayle Swift, Wisdom Tales Press, Lee& Low Books, The Pack-n-Go Girls, Live Oak Media, Author Charlotte Riggle, Chronicle Books and Pomelo Books

We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this event. View our CoHosts HERE.
MCBD Links to remember:
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers:
Free Kindness Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and Educators:
Free Diversity Book Lists and Activities for Teachers and Parents:

If you want to share this post and this event please use #ReadYourWorld.

Thanks so much!

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