Tuesday, October 26, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems

Not every child has a "Knuffle Bunny," but for those who do, this book will hit home. Poor little Trixie is hanging out with her daddy when the worst thing she could possibly imagine happens - her Knuffle Bunny disappears! Not able to communicate with words yet, Trixie does everything she can to "tell" her daddy something is wrong. I have to believe every parent has experienced their child going "boneless" in the trantrum state and can identify with the scenes Willems describes during Trixie's plea for her dad to listen. This book is action-packed and suspenseful for those little listening minds. My kids love to read/play along by finishing the sentences whenever I stop.

The humor in Mo Willems' books is different from most children's books we usually read. It often takes me one or two reads to get into the reading style of each of his books, but then they become even more fun to read. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Monsters, Inc. Read Aloud Storybook by RH Disney

My 3-year-old son picked this book up at the library. He's very interested in monsters right now and loves this movie, so I thought it would be a fun book to read with him. When we opened it up, the first thing I noticed was that it was very long, which is not ideal for his age because he gets bored easily. As I started reading the book, the writing style seemed more like a book review than an actual story. It's very dry and hard read in places because the words don't seem to flow well. It is adapted from the movie, so I can see why the writer would do that, but it doesn't make the book fun or interesting to read. It may be a good book for a new reader to practice their new skill, but not a good, fun story-telling book for a parent to interact with their children.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: The Highly Effective Habits of 5 Successful Authors


In The Highly Effective Habits of 5 Successful Authors, meet five successfully self-published authors and discover in their own words what contributed to their success.

How did Gang Chen earn over $100,000 in 180 days? How has Sally Shields transformed herself from a stay-at-home mom to a #1 Amazon.com bestselling author and book marketing dynamo? How did Ronnie Lee become one of the most prolific published authors in the world? How has Charlotte Endorf turned personal hardships into life-affirming successes? How did Andrew J. Rafkin find the motivation during a boating trip to write not one, not two, not three, but four award-winning novels?

Regardless of whether you are just starting to write your book, or exploring all your publishing options with a completed manuscript in your hands, the personal stories and effective habits of these five authors will surely inspire you!

Here they are:

Andrew J. Rafkin is a San Pedro native, a successful entrepreneur, and the current president of Palos Verdes Security Systems. Rafkin has received numerous awards for his books, including the EVVY literary award for Red Sky Morning and a gold, silver, and bronze "sweep" of the Action/Adventure category in the Readers Favorite Awards for his Madness trilogy: Creating Madness, Mediterranean Madness and Mexican Madness.

Charlotte Endorf was recognized as "Toastmaster of the Decade" and is a two-time winner of the coveted "Distinguished Toastmaster" award through her 10-year affiliation with Toastmasters International. She inspires and educates audiences with her professional talks designed to complement each of her many books, including By Train They Came, Plains Bound: Fragile Cargo, and Unsung Neighbors.

Gang Chen is a LEED AP BD+C and a licensed architect in California. He is also the internationally-acclaimed author of Architectural Practice Simplified, Planting Design Illustrated and several LEED exam guides including LEED AP Exam Guide, LEED BD&C Exam Guide, and LEED GA EXAM GUIDE.

Sally Shields is an award-winning pianist, composer, speaker, and author. She is also the #1 Amazon.com bestselling author of The Daughter-in-Law Rules: 101 Surefire Ways to Make Friends with Your Mother-In-Law! as well as The Collaborator Rules: 101 Surefire Ways to Stay Friends with Your Co-Author!

Ronnie Lee is a Chinese poet and philosopher. He has lived and studied in the United Kingdom, but now resides in Hong Kong, where he is working to establish greater awareness of modern philosophy and poetry. As one of the most prolific published authors today, his tomes include The Philosophy of Life, The Genius of the Metropolis, and The Meaning of Life, among many others.

Get inspired today...
When it comes to self-publishing, authors define success in a number of ways. Some want to earn a lot of money in royalties, some have a message to deliver, some want to acheive awards or fame. The five authors in this book each had their own goals and reached them successfully through self-publishing and their book marketing efforts. This book is a great resource for writers who are considering publishing their work or for those authors who have already published their book(s) and want to read the stories and get the inspiration they need to continue on in their marketing efforts.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Olivia by Ian Falconer

We received this book as a gift when my oldest child was 18-months-old. She is now 5 and I still want to read this to her every day! From the first few pages showing Olivia "wearing people out" to the silly page talking about Olivia combing the cat's ears to the "time out" (where my daugher would shout "mout!" for the longest time) to the "I love you" good night ending, it's a book that every young child and every parent can identify with. We continue to read this on a regular basis and it has become a classic book for our family.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: For The Love of God by Tony Sampson

For The Love of God takes the reader through a day in the life of a priest who is questioning his love for God.   Father O'Malley is struggling with his faith and thinks it is time to leave the Church.  He wants to pursue a life outside the Church, get married and have children.  He realizes he has come to believe there is no God.  

One morning he runs into a woman from his congregation, a woman with whom he believes he is in love.  Over the next few hours, Father O'Malley experiences a series of events that cause him to wrestle with the  emotions that come with this new love and the loss of a love he had (for God).  

"It had been only one day, but one I'd never forget."

I am not Catholic and cannot understand the Catholic tradition of not allowing priests to marry.  However, Sampson does an excellent job of pulling the reader into the mind of this once devoted Catholic priest and  enables you to see his point of view, whether you are Catholic or not.  It is an inspirational story about love and faith and following your heart.  

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs! by Sandra Boynton

Sandra Boynton books are all a lot of fun to read to little ones, but this one is my favorite.  I have the best memories reading this with each of my kids when they were little.  As the reader, you can act out pages as you read and the kids will start to play along.  My daughter would watch my face intently as I would read "dinosaurs SAD" and "dinosaurs BAD."  My boys would giggle as I poked the dinosaurs and read "dinosaurs SPINY" and we'd all yell "OUCH!"

Over the last five years I have probably read this book at least 100 times and it never gets old.  I recommend this book for anyone with children ages 6 months to 3 years.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll

My 3-year-old is currently very into monsters. He picked out this book at a book fair recently and I was a little worried it would be too scary for him. Throughout the book he kept asking questions, "why?," "what's that?" and I could tell it really got him thinking. When he went to bed we talked about the monsters under his bed. The next night it was the first book he picked to read before bed!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

BOOK REVIEW: Sell Your Book on Amazon by Brent Sampson

As a book marketing coach I work with hundreds of self-published authors who want to sell more copies of their books.  Sell Your Book on Amazon is THE resource guide for all authors who want to sell more copies of their book with America’s largest online retailer, Amazon.com.

Brent Sampson is the president and CEO of Outskirts Press (which offers full-service, custom self-publishing and book marketing services). In Sell Your Book on Amazon, Sampson walks readers through each of the key components of Amazon.  He tells readers step-by-step how to improve an author profile, perfect the book details page, add the Search Inside feature, create a Listmania list, and on and on. 

Sell Your Book on Amazon is invaluable for authors, regardless of where or when they published, even if they haven’t yet.  If you are an author in the process of writing your book, read this book now!  Then read it again after your book is published.  For best results, be sure to do *everything* Sampson suggests.  If you have already published your book and have it listed on Amazon, Sampson is sure to provide you with new ideas for how to network and promote your book and increase your sales.

Happy marketing!