Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Harry's Midnight Adventure: Volume 1 (The Bad Cat Club)

Harry's Midnight Adventure: Volume 1 (The Bad Cat Club) Paperback

Author: Catherine Campbell

 Chantal Bourgonje  (Illustrations)

Paperback, 82 pages
Ages: 6 - 8 years
Publisher: Catherine Flann (9 Sept. 2018)
ISBN 1916453805 (ISBN13: 9781916453807)

Synopsis: It's midnight. Do you know where your cat is?

Harry spends every night curled up asleep on Jessica's bed. Until the night he's put out for being naughty and discovers his quiet neighbourhood is a terrifying place after sundown. There's an angry dog on the loose and the Crooked Lane Cats roam the streets led by the fearsome One-Eyed Pud.

Can Harry the scaredy-cat make it through the night and find his way back to Jessica? Or will the toughest cat in the neighbourhood eat him for dinner?

Luckily, he has help from his new friends, the mischievous cats of the Bad Cat Club.

If you love animal stories and funny cats you'll love the debut book in the Bad Cat Club series. The perfect children's book for reading aloud or reading alone.

My Thoughts

A while back, I posted a page devoted to Cat Reads and mentioned that before I became a dog owner, I was owned by cats. So, it might be no surprise to you that I was excited when Catherine Campbell contacted me and asked if I read the first in the Bad Cat Club series.

This is a suspenseful and humorous chapter book series and a quick and easy read.  

We learn that territorial and social animals, like cats, often deal with peer pressure and bullying. 

I love that Harry was an inside cat until Aunt Tilda plonked him down outside. Once outside, he meets with others cats who show him the ropes.  

While he misses the affection, friendship and comfort of being with his favorite human Jessica, Harry’s decisions, once outside, are often met with cats influencers who guide him in negotiating his instincts. 

I laughed through much of the book and especially liked it when Harry came upon the dog who thought Harry was there to steal his bone causing the cats to scramble up the tree. 

One scene leads to another, and soon Harry meets a cat who has a reputation for meanness and is the leader of a gang. All of this leads to a silly food fight and to me wanting to read other adventures of The Bad Cat Club.

I received a copy of this book through the generosity of the author for an honest review.

Monday, September 3, 2018

August 2018 Loft Reads and County Fair

This month, we attended a county fair.  We love county fairs!

We enjoy viewing all the domestic arts, agricultural arts, fine arts and floral displays. 

 We have always loved animals and spent the better part of a day walking through all the barns.

        viewing the sportsmanship at all the competitions.

It's fun to look over the old tractors and to watch the harness racing, demolition derby,  live entertainment 

and the fair rides that remind us of childhood.

When not working, or at the fair,  we read and spent our evenings walking our dogs around the neighborhood. 

This month's top review was Fylgia by Birgitta Hjalmarson. I was completely enchanted by the Swedish lore and atmosphere of this readThis storyline creates a sense of mystery and intrigue and evokes mood and expectation fused with themes of birth, death, history, religion, and war. This is a classic tale and each character is brilliantly written so that they remind us of the eminent frailties of human nature. 

Cynthia Harrison was this months interview. Cynthia writes contemporary women’s novels and crime fiction published by The Wild Rose Press in print and e-book.  Her latest crime fiction novel Lily White in Detroit was released this month.

Waters' Family Chronicle: A Naming-time Story Frances Dionye, Ericka Diaz, 

The Scarlet Letter Manga Classics, Crystal S Chan, Manga Classics, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Stacy King

Slave Stealers: True Accounts of Slave Rescues Then and Now, Timothy Ballard

A Boy and a House, Children's Fiction, Maja Kastelic

Unwitting Wisdom: An Anthology of Aesop's Fables Helen Ward

The top 10 viewership in August was from the following countries, United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Brazil, Netherlands, Canada, and Germany

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Unwitting Wisdom: An Anthology of Aesop's Fables

Unwitting Wisdom: An Anthology of Aesop's Fables 

  • Grade Level: Preschool - 7
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 1st Edition edition (July 29, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811844501
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811844505

For over 2,500 years the simple stories and wry humor of Aesop's fables have entertained children and adults alike. Their lessons have seeped into the very fabric of our language, as evidenced by expressions such as "sour grapes" and "a wolf in sheep's clothing." 
Through the centuries many artists have risen to the challenge of interpreting their favorite tales. In this magnificent edition, award-winning illustrator Helen Ward has chosen a dozen of her favorite fables, painstakingly creating with words and breathtaking watercolors a dazzling new collection destined to become a classic.

My Thoughts

I have read lots of Aesop's Fables, a collection of fables credited to Aesop (620-560 BC) and this over-sized hardcover copy I have of Helen Ward's is one of my favorites. 

Helen Ward was born in Gloucestershire and studied Illustration at Brighton Polytechnic graduating with a BA Honours Degree. While still in college, she was awarded a prize for Children’s Illustration by Walker Books. 

If you are familiar with this blog, you know that I adore anthropomorphic animals and Helen's illustrations are among my very favorites. 

Helen chose a dozen of her favorite fables to create this breathtaking collection and the animals' in these timeless fables will delight youth as well as adults.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Waters' Family Chronicle: A Naming-time Story

Waters' Family Chronicle: A Naming-time Story 

Kindle Edition

Author Frances Dionye

Illustration by Ericka Diaz

  • File Size: 3112 KB
  • Print Length: 31 pages
  • Publisher: Beautiful Parts Publishing; 1 edition (August 28, 2018)
  • Publication Date: August 28, 2018
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English


Waters’ Family Chronicle takes the reader on adventures as Mother Waters (A.K.A. Mom, Mama, and Nne) and Father Waters (A.K.A. Dad, Papa, and Nna) search for the two most-fitting names for each child. Since names are permanent, Mom and Dad must take the greatest care to find the most perfect name no matter how long it takes and no matter where the name is located. 

Waters’ Family Chronicle celebrates the beginning of life for thirteen children whose births are remarkable and whose names must match their unique personality. 

For Mama Waters and Papa Waters, the journey of creating a bountiful family presents ups and downs they must overcome to enjoy true lasting happiness, but will happiness last with thirteen children? Will each child behave according to the name bequeathed on him or her? What upheavals will prevent this happiness? 

Told in a combined fairy tale and real-life style, the words are lyrical at times and straightforward at other times. This exceptional story will intrigue the reader and energize his or her thinking in the most beneficial way. It will entertain families for a lifetime. Children will ask for it every night and adults will be happy to read it to them, but the book is for all reading levels and ages.

My Thoughts

This book Waters’ Family ChroniclA Naming-time Story was thrilling! I appreciate how this story comes together with the addition of each new child and the pattern illustrations increase the sense of potential and possibility.

 At a time where communication is often digital, I found myself accessing social media to research the names and images. I could imagine a family researching social media and then making a collage from similar images, children creating posters or a whole family drawing a mural. Those musically inclined could create a ballad using many of the names.

There is a list of reading activities provided. It includes charts, grafts, visualization essays, and more. The activities listed are adaptable across many grade levels and the story will work well for the individual but could also work well for families or whole groups. There is a helpful glossary provided too.

Waters' Family Chronicle is the first of the trilogy. It is on pre-order on KDP and is scheduled to be released on August 28, 2018. While this is the authors debut children's book, it's not her only work. She writes mysteries and her poems have appeared in anthologies such as "Georgia's Best Emerging Poets". 

I received an advanced copy of this book from the author for an honest review.

Monday, August 13, 2018

The Brumback Library

The Brumback Library is the first County Library formed in the United States. The architecture is a combination of Gothic and Romanesque. The library has turreted towers and a Ludowici tile roof, the library is nestled in the heart of the downtown amid antique stores and vintages shops and is the perfect place to find your next best read. 

As the first county library in the United States, the Main Library was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It's recognized as a historic site by the State, Ohio’s Historical Society, and Ohio’s Bicentennial Commision.

The Library has an active children's section and maintains a delivery service to residents of area nursing homes and those patrons who are homebound. It also offers branch services and twice a year they have a great book sale.

The Brumback Library was built with funds bequeathed to Van Wert County residents by John Sanford Brumback. 

The cornerstone of the building was laid in 1899. The building was dedicated on January 1, 1901. Since then, two renovations have occurred. In 1917, the basement was remodeled to house the Children’s Department. In 1991, a new addition of 10,500 square feet was added, along with a complete renovation of the existing building.

The Scarlet Letter Manga Classics

The Scarlet Letter
Manga Classics
by Nathaniel Hawthorne, SunNeko Lee, Crystal S Chan, Stacy King
Udon Entertainment
Comics & Graphic Novels, Teens & YA
Pub Date 18 Mar 2015
EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9781927925331
PRICE $19.99 (USD)

Nathaniel Hawthorne's powerful tale of forbidden love, shame and revenge comes to life in Manga Classics: The Scarlet Letter. When Hester Prynne bears an illegitimate child she is introduced to the ugliness, complexity, and ultimately the strength of the human spirit. Though set in a Puritan community during the Colonial American period, the moral dilemmas of personal responsibility and consuming emotions of guilt, anger, loyalty, and revenge are timeless.

This manga retelling of Hawthorn’s classic American novel is faithfully adapted by Crystal S. Chan and features stunning artwork by SunNeko Lee which will give old and new readers alike a fresh insight into this tragic saga of Puritan America.

My Thoughts

If you're searching for alternate ways to read classic literature, you may wish to try Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter in graphic novel format. 

There are many things I appreciate about this manga interpretation of this tragic story. The beginning includes a guide on the traditional manga format, in which the pages are read from right to left.

I love the way the story is condensed and yet remains faithful to the original. There's an informative authors’ note at the end that explains the adaptation and discusses the metaphors within the original story as artistic choices.

The backgrounds and backdrops displayed are well done and each image is vivid. The story is rendered in black and white with a bold pop of red for the Scarlet A and the fonts are easy to read. 

The pages are engrossing because of the depth of detail in creating the scenes and expressions. I especially like how faces are enlarged in the frame so the expression pops out more at viewers. 

You can envision their shame and see there was no inner solitude for those tormented by those advocating a greater purity. You can also see how the crowd's mentality was frightening and may have influenced behavior, especially during that era of Puritan America. 

I received a copy of this graphic novel from Net Galley for an honest review.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

A Thankful Thought

Many years ago, we were on a crowded beach and everyone cheered as the sun went down. We learned this is a nightly celebration done to reinforce the idea of being thankful for each day. Photo of sundown near our home.