Our social:

Latest Post

Showing posts with label Fiction: Children's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fiction: Children's. Show all posts

Friday, October 28, 2016

Children's Author: Definitely a Readers' Favorite!


A Turtle's Magical Adventure 
by Wanda Luthman 
Children's Chapter Book (ages 6-10) 
ISBN 153083256X 
Given a 5 star review (highest review available) 
May purchase as e-book, audio, or paper on Amazon
(Free on Kindle Unlimited or .99 ebook for a limited time) 

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

A Turtle's Magical Adventure by Wanda Luthman is an adorable storybook for children with an excellent message; that of accepting their flaws and loving themselves, and turning their negatives into positives. Tad the turtle loves swimming, but he was curious to know why turtles are slow on land. He meets a few people who give him different responses, but he still wants to become fast. Steve the snake advises him to meet a wizard who lives deep in Timberwood Forest and Tad decides to listen to him. Will the wizard be able to guide Tad and make him faster on land? Or will Tad the turtle accept himself and be happy?

The story is whimsical and has good life lessons for children. The message of accepting oneself is encouraging for a lot of children, especially those who are unhappy with themselves. It's a good story for interactive sessions in classrooms and school libraries and also makes a good bedtime storybook. The illustrations are vivid and lively, and they give a good pace and movement to the story. They succeed in making the scenes and characters tangible to young readers.

Children understand a concept, moral, and message with clarity when these are conveyed with the help of a story and illustrations. Tad the turtle and the rest of the characters in Timberwood Forest are magical and will enthrall young readers till the very end.

MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wanda Luthman is the author of The Lilac Princess, A Turtle's Magical Adventure, and Little Birdie Grows Up. She blogs at www.wandaluthman.wordpress.com.
Learn more about her here:
Twitter--@wandalu64 

MORE ABOUT THE NEW BOOK REVIEW

The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Interview: A Twenty-Five Year Love Affair Writing Books for Children

Hi! I am Carolyn Howard Johnson, your trusty New Book Review blogger and author of the multi award-winning HowTo Do It Frugally Series of books for writers. This blog has heretofore been exclusive for reviews but I thought I’d do a special series of interviews after I chatted with Jeanie Loiacono, President of Loiacono Literary Agency – Where ‘can’t’ is not in our vocabulary! I thought sharing the interviews would help the many subscribers and visitors to this New Book Review blog, including authors, reviewers, and, of course, readers who just might find a new favorite author among the featured books and authors.

So, today welcome Ruth Wiseman.

Ruth Wiseman has been writing children’s stories since 5th grade, when her English teacher, Mr. Lavrov, inspired her talents. She has been writing children’s books for over twenty-five years and co-edited Broken Glass, Broken Lives: A Jewish Girl’s Survival Story in Berlin 1933-1945 by Rita J. Kuhn. She hopes to be published soon and to share her stories with even more children. She is a grateful mother of two young daughters and two step-sons, and lives in Passaic, NJ. 

What is your genre? Is it fiction or nonfiction? I write children's literature and I am trying my hand at a novel. I've only written the first chapter, but I have to start somewhere! I am also working on a midgrade. 

What made you want to be a writer? When I was twelve-years-old, I had a wonderful English teacher. He engaged my imagination by giving us pictures from which to write stories. Some of them were very silly. I found a whole new voice inside me when I wrote. I was a rather quiet student, but suddenly I found a world in which I could have a strong voice and I wouldn't be teased. My teacher provided feedback as though I were a serious writer. That experience stayed with me all these years. And need I say how much I love the feeling of a new pen and paper?

Of all the authors out there, who inspired you most? I love so many authors, it's hard to name just one. For children's stories I love Barbara Park, Mo Willems, Cynthia Rylant, Bracha Goetz. For middle school books, I adore J.K. Rowling, Sharon Creech, Andrew Clemens, Julie Kagawa, R. J. Palacio, J.R.R. Tolkien. In adult literature, Tolstoy is magnificent, Jhumpa Lahiri is lovely, Amy Tan has colorful, multi-faceted characters, Herman Wouk, John Grisham, Edith Wharton. Really an assortment of writers. I don't have a specific genre that I seek out, just pure, good writing.

What is your writing style? Do you outline? Linearly? By scene? Why? For my children's stories, I will sometimes be given the gift of a full story coming to me in one piece. That is exhilarating. Other stories, I need to massage and rewrite and rewrite. Each one has its own personality. The midgrade I am working on right now (and will probably complete when my current middle school child is in college!), I write by scenes. I think this is because I am seeing the images unfolding in my mind's eye, and it then develops into a narrative. This story, though, is giving me a lot of trouble because I started it in one style and changed the style midstream. I am going to have to go back and rework the first several chapters once I have moved the story line far enough along.

Do you write every day? How much? How long? Ha, that would be nice! I aspire to that. Somehow with a full-time job, an eleven-year old, and a six-year old, I just can't seem to find the time or energy to write every day. I also need a certain physical and mental space for my writing. If I can be in a quiet place—a library, a cool cafe, an empty park—then my concentration is enhanced and the words just flow out of me. But if I am sitting in my office in a slow moment, or waiting to see the doctor, or sitting in my room once my girls are asleep, those times are harder because my mind is on overdrive with other concerns. But those are also the ‘lost moments.’ It's a quandary. I am working on trying to use those moments for some creative purpose. My characters tug at me to listen to them, and I really suffer when I don't.

Do you think reading is as important to writing for an author? Why? Absolutely. It is an excellent way of distinguishing your own voice to read other people's works. I recently read a midgrade book similar in some fashion to the one I am working on, but I finished that book feeling that my concept and writing style is very different and, in my humble opinion, better. I don't always close a book feeling that way. Certainly not the Harry Potter series; Rowling is just sheer inspiration. I want to run and get my quill and go into my characters’ worlds, without thought for my style or my chances of publication. Some writers give me an artistic thirst for creating.

What are some of the things you would like to share with budding authors? Just keep writing. Try not to be your own editor. You have a unique voice, and you do not need to sound like anyone else. The imaginings and perspectives that you have will resonate with a certain audience. Trust in that!

Do you have any marketing and promotional advice, referrals, tips you would like to share? I don't have any just yet, other than the Yiddish word chutzpah. It means ‘you've got to have nerve.’ That is how I found my wonderful literary agent, Jeanie Loiacono. I walked up to a children's author and asked her for publishing advice. She gave me Jeanie's name. It took a year to build up the nerve to contact her, but when I did, I was not sorry that I did! Both those instances involved a certain amount of chutzpah. Any time you put yourself on the line, you are promoting yourself. Any time you tell your colleagues about your work, you are promoting yourself. Just keep believing in your stories, and you will come up with ideas. 

Do you think conferences are beneficial? If so, what have you learned? Which ones do you frequent? I haven't attended any conferences for purely logistical reasons. However, I love being in writing workshops. Any forum that is going to help you focus your creativity and make you take yourself more seriously as a writer is beneficial.

Where can we find you, your books and when is your next event? Keep your eyes peeled for my three children's titles scheduled for publication in 2016 with Saturn Moon's Press, an imprint of Cactus Moon Publications LLC. You can see more about me at: http://ruthcwiseman.wix.com/storywise#   http://www.loiaconoliteraryagency.com/authors/ruth-wiseman 

MORE ABOUT THE SPONSORING AGENT

Jeanie Loiacono, President, Loiacono Literary Agency
A facilitator of dreams, Jeanie Loiacono represents over eighty authors. Her forte is mystery, romance, thrillers, historical/military/southern fiction, and all quality fiction/nonfiction. Her passion is to see her authors succeed.

“There is nothing more rewarding than to hold one of my author’s books and know I helped bring it to fruition. I am so blessed and privileged to be able to work with some of the most talented writers in the world.” Jeanie.L@llallc.net www.loiaconoliteraryagency.com


IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE INTERVIEWS--TO FIND GREAT READING OR TO NETWORK WITH AUTHORS--PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG. YOU ARE A WELCOME ADDITION TO THIS FAMILY WHO LOVES BOOKS! YOU'LL FIND A WINDOW TO DO THIS AT THE TOP OF THIS BLOG PAGE.

-----
 The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Interview: Reading for Jewish Children


Hi! I am Carolyn Howard Johnson, your trusty New Book Review blogger and author of the multi award-winning HowTo Do It Frugally Series of books for writers. This blog has heretofore been exclusive for reviews but I thought I’d do a special series of interviews after I chatted with Jeanie Loiacono, President of Loiacono Literary Agency – Where ‘can’t’ is not in our vocabulary!  I thought sharing the interviews would help the many subscribers and visitors to this New Book Review blog, including authors, reviewers, and, of course, readers who just might find a new favorite author among the featured books and authors.

So, today welcome Bracha Goetz. 

Bracha Goetz is the Harvard-educated author of thirty children’s books, including  Remarkable Park,  Let Your Fingers Do the Mitzvos and The Invisible Book. She also coordinates a Big Brother Big Sister Program for Jewish Community Services in Baltimore, Maryland.

Her first published piece was a poem that appeared in McCall’s magazine when she won a Junior McCall’s contest as a twelve-year-old.  Years later, she was the editor of her high school paper, and later on, helped coordinate and contributed an essay to the anthology, Women Look at Biology Looking at Women, while at Harvard, which became a text for many women’s studies courses nationwide. Her writing has, since then and up until now, almost exclusively been aimed at the religious Jewish population;  being interviewed twice (2009, 2010) on the Zev Brenner Radio show in NY, the most popular Orthodox Jewish radio show. What Do You See on Purim? A fun way for toddlers to learn vocabulary! Teaches toddlers about the holiday of Purim with a bright and colorful word-and-picture book!  Children will learn basic vocabulary while becoming familiar with the objects and concepts that are unique to this special holiday. It’s available from Judaica Press and in the local Jewish bookstores!

She also has a chapter entitled “From Harvard to Homemaking” in new release from Coffeetown Press called Torn: True Stories of Kids, Career & the Conflict of Modern Motherhood.
She has recently released What Do You See At School?  and Because of a Smile . Available online and in Jewish bookstores – What Do You See On Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur? 
Her latest release is Hashem’s Candy Store

“What do you think you would see if you opened the door? What would you find on the shelves in Hashem’s Candy Store?

In this adorable book by bestselling author Bracha Goetz, kids will learn the most amazing things about some of the yummiest “candy” available on the market – namely, the delicious fruits and vegetables that Hashem created.

“Children will devour the captivating rhymes and illustrations…and don’t be surprised if you soon find them beginning to devour their fruits and veggies, too!” — Bracha
Hashem’s Candy Store is available both online and in Jewish bookstores.

1.      What is your genre? Is it fiction or nonfiction? I am the author of thirty picture books. Some of them are fiction and some are non-fiction.
2.      What made you want to be a writer? I love reading children’s books, and I wanted to write the kind of books that I wished I could have read when I was a child—spiritual children’s books with answers to life’s deepest questions, presented in a delightfully simple way.
3.      Of all the authors out there, who inspired you most? Anne Frank
4.      What is your writing style? Do you outline? Linearly? By scene? Why? When ideas pop into my head, I jot them down, even if it is in the middle of the night. I keep a pad and pen near my bed for that purpose so I can go back to sleep after writing it down. Then when I have some time, like when I am a passenger in a long car ride or taking a plane trip, I play with the ideas that I have jotted down and see where we can go.
5.      Do you write every day? How much? How long? I probably write something every day, whether it’s editing a piece I once wrote, or communicating about my writing to others.
6.      Do you think reading is as important to writing for an author? Why? I think reading is as important because it opens up the writer’s mind to go in new directions.
7.      What are some of the things you would like to share with budding authors? As soon as I get a rejection, I try to do something with the manuscript, whether that means sending it to a different place or revising it. If I don’t respond quickly, then it will just sit and go nowhere, and I wrote it to get it out into the world.
8.      Do you have any marketing and promotional advice, referrals, tips you would like to share? Email blasts are still very effective when new material is published, but the emails need to be kept short as they are often viewed on phones now.
9.      Do you think conferences are beneficial? If so, what have you learned? Which ones do you frequent? I attended conferences when I began writing professionally and found them very helpful at that time. I think they must have helped me learn how to get my foot into doors.
10.  Where can we find you, your books and when is your next event? All of my books can be found on my Author Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/spiritualkidsbooks-brachagoetz . These are picture books for Jewish children, but soon I will have spiritual kids’ books for all children (and their parents and teachers) to enjoy as well! My next event that is open to the public (not at a school) is on Sunday, December 12 from 10 to 11:30 am at the Leon Weiner Jewish Library in the Young Israel of Houston in Houston, Texas. I will attach a flyer I just received about this event. Amazon Author Page – Bracha Goetz  David Clarke Blog Talk Radio Interview  Bracha Goetz books/images  Listen to Bracha reading her books  
Represented by Loiacono Literary Agency, Jeanie Loiacono
'
MORE ABOUT THE SPONSORING AGENT

Jeanie Loiacono, President, Loiacono Literary Agency
A facilitator of dreams, Jeanie Loiacono represents over eighty authors. Her forte is mystery, romance, thrillers, historical/military/southern fiction, and all quality fiction/nonfiction. Her passion is to see her authors succeed.

“There is nothing more rewarding than to hold one of my author’s books and know I helped bring it to fruition. I am so blessed and privileged to be able to work with some of the most talented writers in the world.” Jeanie.L@llallc.net  www.loiaconoliteraryagency.com



IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE INTERVIEWS--TO FIND GREAT READING OR TO NETWORK WITH AUTHORS--PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG. YOU ARE A WELCOME ADDITION TO THIS FAMILY WHO LOVES BOOKS! YOU'LL FIND A WINDOW TO DO THIS AT THE TOP OF THIS BLOG PAGE.

----- 

The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Lilac Princess Offers Life Lessons


Title: The Lilac Princess
Author:  Wanda Luthman
Genre:  Children's
ISBN #:   9781498412254
Reviewer's Rating: 5 star
Where people can purchase the book:  www.amazon.com/author/wandaluthman

Reviewed by Pat Marovich originally for Amazon

The Lilac Princess authored by Wanda Luthman is a special book. There are many underlying positive life lessons in this childhood story. The setting is in a faraway land in a time long ago , with a princess named Dreama, a castle, a dragon, knights, and wars. What little girl wouldn't love this kind of story? Throw in many purple patches of forbidden lilac flowers and a true friend , who is a commoner named Derek and this is a tale of adventure and friendship. This story helps children respect boundaries, through the life lesson. It helps them understand the importance of forgiveness. It highlights friendship, loyalty, courage, dealing with loss, and a desire to explore the unknown . I highly recommend this book as a seasoned elementary teacher. It is a treasure of my grand daughter Anabelle's.

MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Wanda Luthman blogs at www.wandaluthman.wordpress.com and tweets @wandalu64. Find her on 
----- 
The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Honoring Ann McGovern and Her Stone Soup

On occasion I just can't resist popping in my usual approach to letting authors, reviewers, and readers talk about the books they want to share with others.  Here is a little blurb from my newsletter about the death of a favorite writer and one of my favorite books:

I loved the children’s book Stone Soup. I always thought it was a traditional fairy tale. You know, like Grimm or Perrault or Hans Christian Andersen. Though it may have sold darn near as many books as those authors, it was written in 1968 and the author, Ann McGovern, recently died of cancer at the age of 85. Just knowing she is gone . . . well, I shall miss her. I have a love affair with fairy tales—new or old—and with nursery rhymes. Readers of my poetry find allusions to them sprinkled throughout. Now, perhaps I shall write something with at least a nod to Ann and the fairy tale that really wasn’t. Or was. Does a genre ever really die?




----- 
The New Book Review is blogged by Carolyn Howard-Johnson, author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers. It is a free service offered to those who want to encourage the reading of books they love. That includes authors who want to share their favorite reviews, reviewers who'd like to see their reviews get more exposure, and readers who want to shout out praise of books they've read. Please see submission guidelines on the left of this page. Reviews and essays are indexed by genre, reviewer names, and review sites. Writers will find the search engine handy for gleaning the names of small publishers. Find other writer-related blogs at Sharing with Writers and The Frugal, Smart and Tuned-In Editor.