Category Archives: Children

If You Were Me and Lived on Mars…If You Were Me and Lived in Germany…If You Were Me and Lived in the American West by Carole P. Roman

Reviewed by Teri Davis

If You Were Me and Lived on Mars allows you to think into the future, maybe the year 2054 when you might be able to walk on the planet, Mars.

To be travel to and from Mars would have to be only when Earth and Mars were lined up for a quick trip which would take about two years. Children could also go there with their parents.

How can anyone possibly consider living on the red planet of Mars? The air pressure is too thin with too little oxygen and too much carbon monoxide and little atmospheric protection allowing too much radiation for humans to survive.

Also on the planet are no natural resources to provide housing as will as water, food, extreme temperatures, air and all of the everyday necessities. Outside the living area would uninhabitable without a special suit to compensate for the differences between Mars and Earth.

For this imagined book to be possible, all of us on this planet now need to aware of the facts of what we now know about Mars to make this dream a reality.

If You Were Me and Lived in Germany allows every reader to experience life in the country that is the most populated in the European Union.

What I adore about this book is the influence of the German people into the English language with words like league, cuckoo, folk, marinated, observatory, Oktoberfest, sauerbraten, throne, vinegar, and wurst.

If You Were Me and Lived in the American West has a setting in the Willamette Valley in Oregon which was a possible destination of the Oregon Trail in 1835.

Life was frequently difficult for many Americans settled along the east coast of the United States. Living off the land, made people depend on luck with the weather whether dealing with droughts or floods.

The dream of the Oregon Trail gave people hope for a new better life. With the possibility of finding gold, many settlers left their old lives for the east coast of the United States.

It is hard today to imagine putting everything you own into a covered wagon and slowly walk the distance across the country on trails, but not paved roads. You also needed to carry all the food and supplies needed along the route as well as to begin this new life while traveling with a group of people similar to you.

Would you want to be part of this experience?

Near the end of this book, a list of the well-known people associated with this time.

The illustrations perfectly match the text of theses educational and informational books. All three books include an appendix with the vocabulary and pronunciation guide unique for each.

With these three books of living in another place in the future, present, and past, Carole Roman transports readers of all ages into a realistic time machine of their imagination with her as their travel guide.

I Wasn´t Invited to the Birthday (Somos8) by Susanna Kern (Author) and Adolfo Serra (Illustrator)

Reviewed by Teri Davis

I Wasn't Invited to the Birthday“You can’t always go to all the parties. But this doesn’t mean that we should be sad, and we shouldn’t enjoy ourselves.”

For all children, a birthday party is exciting. When the invitations are delivered to each person in a class at school, the anticipation of each child is thrilling. However, what if one child is left out.

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Mark is not invited to the party. The afternoon of the party, he goes into the park, but it appears vacated, even the birds are gone. Surprisingly, Mark discovers two of his classmates also in the park who were not invited to the party. Yuna and Adrian begin to climb a tree with Mark. From their high perch, they quickly view the nearby sea which is rising rapidly around nearby buildings.

If You Were Me and Lived In…the Ancient Mali Empire…If You Were Me and Lived In…Ancient China…If You Were Me and Lived In… the Mayan Empire by Carole P. Roman

Reviewed by Teri Davis

If You Were Me and Lived in...Ancient Mali Empire
If You Were Me and Lived in...Ancient China
If You Were Me and Lived in....the Mayan Empire

If You Were Me and Lived in the Ancient Mali Empire begins in the year of 1322 and covered much of the area of Western Africa from the Atlantic Ocean to the Sahara Desert including the current area of western Sudan.

Reflecting on both the time and the area is a typical Islamic family including a father with many wives. For this particular family, there is a total of seventeen siblings with the perspective from a favored daughter.
Essential to both the time and area were the trade routes uniting Asia and Africa in their exchange of gold, salt, silk, and slaves.

Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing Eye by Tania Del Rio

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Warren the 13thSome people just seem to be doomed. Warren is a typical twelve-year-old.
Unfortunately, both his parents are dead. Fortunately, his Uncle Rupert is his guardian. Unfortunately, his Uncle Rupert is married to Aunt Annaconda.

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Warren is responsible for his ancestor’s hotel. Warren the 1st planned the building with his son, Warren the 2nd, who built the hotel. For years, Warren’s ancestral line has managed and kept the multitude of secrets hidden within its walls, even the all-seeing eye. Being that Warren is a descendant of this prestigious lineage, he works endless hours maintaining his legacy.

Unfortunately, Uncle Rupert is lazy, and Aunt Annaconda is a witch.
Fortunately, the hotel has not a customer for five years. Unfortunately, or perhaps, fortunately, an automobile is approaching the rambling, broken-down hotel. The visitor doesn’t speak, just communicates with cards.

Can the new tenant speak? Why here? Why now? Why is the hotel suddenly full of customers?

If You Were Me and Lived in…the Middle Ages…Viking Europe by Carole P. Roman

Reviewed by Teri Davis

If You Were Me and Lived in Viking EuropeImagine living in England during the year 1072. To help you, former social studies teacher, Carole Roman along with illustrator, Mateya Arkova, have created the perfect tool for transporting each of us into that time and place through the pages of this exquisite book.

The paperback explains how life changed from when the Romans controlled the country and their contributions to the change of the Renaissance period beginning around 1400 A.D.

By taking a reading journey into each fiefdom, you learn about the world of knights who sold their services and life as a servant or vassal.

This book is through the eyes of a daughter whose father was a knight in William of Normandy’s army and rewarded with land for being victorious with the invasion of England. Describing life inside the keep is picturesque. Also, well-represented is the perspective from being a peasant. I find the section regarding the medical field fascinating, but obviously not the healthiest.

Candy Pink by Adela Turin: Author, Illustrator: Nella Bosnia and Translator: Martin Hyams

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Candy PinkImagine a herd of elephants. Visualize the multitude of sizes inside the mass of gray.

In this particular herd, all the females have skin the color of candy pink with exceptionally bright eyes. What an obvious way to distinguish girls from boys?

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Apparently, this color difference occurs from eating only anemones and peonies in an enclosed garden. Although not exactly nutritious, these plants are not obviously harmful. Everyone is so proud of this uniqueness; the females even add pink clothing and accessories to intensify their pinkish beauty.

All the girls are expected to stay within the confines of the garden. Why would they want to leave? Isn’t being pink and dressed in pink collar bibs, pink bows on their tails, and pink shoes a perfectly pink life?

That’s Not Normal by Mar Pavon and Illustrator Laure du Fay

Reviewed by Teri Davis

That's Not NormalHave you ever been teased about something that you could not change? Do you have a big nose, red hair, large ears, or big feet? At some time in your life, you probably have been teased about some feature that distinguished you. It is a fine line between having a distinguished, unique gift or an embarrassment which you cannot easily or quickly change. Why can some people accept their physical differences as gifts while others see these attributes in humiliation?

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Elephant has an abnormally long trunk. Fortunately, he is friendly and helpful to all the animals. He uses it to help others and even himself. Whether using it to shower and blow dry his baby, helping Old Monkey to climb a tree, using it as a sling to rock Little Antelope to sleep, hanging Zebra’s stripes to drive, assisting ants in crossing the river, being a neck warmer for Giraffe, or drawing hearts in the sand, Elephant looks for ways to be a friend and using his natural ability to help others. “Only Hippopotamus made sure to remind everyone that elephant’s long nose…WASN’T NORMAL.”

If You Were Me and Lived in Poland…Brazil…Israel: A Child’s Introduction to Culture Around the World by Carole P. Roman and Illustrator Kelsea Wieranga

Reviewed by Teri Davis

How do you prepare yourself to travel abroad? Do you research your destinations to be certain to visit those places that interest you or do you just wander aimlessly to embrace the culture of the country?

It seems logical to know a little about a foreign country you plan to visit and to have a little introduction to the culture and to learn a little of the language.

Even those Carole Roman’s books appear to have an audience of children; these are an excellent introduction to the basic knowledge needed to enjoy traveling to any country.

Off the Hook: A Christmas Ornament Adventure by John Arvai III

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Off the Hook:  A Christmas Ornament AdventureWhy do we have ornaments on a Christmas tree?

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Is the reason decoration? Many trees combine ornaments given as remembrances of family members or memorable events.

Would you be surprised to discover that there is a purpose for the decorations, probably one that has been kept a secret from you?

On Christmas Eve, while most people are asleep and dreaming, each ornament diligently goes to work. It is the ornaments responsibility to fix the tree lights, tighten screws on the tree stand, and even guard the cookies and milk from pets. This annual event requires each decoration to be “off the hook.”

The star on the top of your tree is different and not an ornament. All the ornaments cooperatively work together to activate the star which is a location transmitter lighting each rooftop to be seen only by Santa.

This year the Thompson family has a problem. They just don’t know that it exists. During their annual Christmas Eve party, the family cat somehow toppled the star, falling into an empty gift bag which Aunt Connie brought to her home.

Once she discovers the star, she believes it is a gift to decorate one of her many trees. What will happen to the Thompson children when Santa is missing their home? Without a location transmitter, how will their home be found?

How can their Christmas be saved?

How can the family’s ornaments possibly save Christmas for the children?

Off the Hook is a wonderfully creative story with the illustrations perfectly matching the text into a logical and well-organized original Christmas story for children of all ages. Numerous themes surround this short book such as cooperation, friendship, prejudice, stereotypes, diligence and doing not what is easiest, but what is the right thing.

Surprisingly, each ornament is an independent character with an individual personality humanizing each and even revealing a little of every person’s hidden prejudices and biases.

The colorful illustrations perfectly match the text entrancing readers from as young as 2 to 102 focusing on the individual ornaments and the children.

When not being a US Army veteran, an IT professional, husband, and father of three children, the author enjoys hockey and using his imagination to create a beautifully original story.

This enchanting Christmas novel is available as an e-book or a paperback.
Off the Hook is a wonderful Christmas story that will endure the test of time becoming a new family traditional story to be shared with generations.

Lone Wolf (The Oldenglen Chronicles) (Volume 2) by Robin Mason

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Lone Wolf“Hunted. That was the sensation: the feeling of being hunted. Hunted down. Terror gripped his wolven side. But even the part of him that was human felt the loss of freedom. He felt suffocated.”

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For Jackson, being a new student entering the seventh-grade at Bear Creek Valley Middle School in Ashland, Oregon is challenging. Even though English is the common language between the U.S. and England, he feels like an alien in this different land in the foothills of the mountains.

His summer was an adjustment learning to live with the wildlife in their remote home away from the small town. The magic of nature and this particular place developed into a friendship with the granddaughter of his nearest neighbor and landlord.

Making friends is always a little awkward for Jax. He is comfortable with animals, but teenagers can be a challenge for anyone.