Saturday, November 27, 2021

Review: Imagine That by George Yuhasz

 Today's review dives into the world of imagination and lets dreams take flight. I, personally, found the star gazing aspect of this tale intriguing. I mean, if stars don't invite for dreaming, I'm not sure what would. So, I was ready to give this one a peek and see what it might hold.

The Magic of the Mysterious Lights
by George Yuhasz
Outskirts Press
32 pages
ages 4 to 8

On a night when the sky is full of stars, sometimes there appears light that cannot be explained, even by the smartest astronomers...

Evelyn is a little girl who lives with her parents and brother in a house with a big backyard. On nights when the sky is filled with brightly shining stars, she loves to go outside before bed to see the Milky

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The magic of imagination takes a little girl's love for the stars into her backyard and beyond.

Evelyn enjoys gazing at the stars, but it seems she can see more lights than her other family members. When her curiosity leads her to her backyard and beyond, she discovers a lovely maiden...and so much more.

This is a lovely read-aloud, which entertains and opens up the doors to the wonder of imagination. The illustrations are bright and colorful, following the tale along as Evelyn discovers the wonder of her own fantasies. While they do add something to peer at and entertain, it's the text which carries this read.

The story is meant as a read-aloud. The text is on the heavier side and does include a few more difficult vocabulary words.  Those who are sure of their words can read this one on their own, too. The tale flows well enough and invites readers to embrace their own imagination and discover the wonders it brings.

It's a sweet read and also works as a bedtime tale spread over a night or two for those sleepier listeners.

And here he is...

George Yuhasz is a passionate advocate for the protection and preservation of our natural world. A proud father and grandfather, life long learner, and world traveler, he delights in sharing his knowledge and enthusiasm for appreciating the joy and wonder of connecting with nature. A B.A. graduate of American University’s Schools of Government and International Service, he also holds a M.A. in psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. George is a former U.S. Government special agent, intelligence officer, and contractor, and has also worked in the private sector as an investigator and security consultant. A special joy in his life was coaching the Allegheny College cross country team for fourteen fall seasons. George lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina and is currently working on another children’s book and a suspense novel.

2019 Independent Author Network Book of the Year Awards
WINNER – Outstanding Children’s Fiction Illustrated Category
FINALIST – Juvenile Fiction Category

2019 Wishing Shelf Book Awards
WINNER/GOLD MEDALIST – Children’s Books Ages 6 – 9

2019 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards
HONORABLE MENTION – Children’s Picture Books Ages 6 and older

2020 Independent Press Book Awards
DISTINGUISHED FAVORITE – Children’s Inspirational Category

2020 Book Readers Appreciation Group (BRAG)

2021 Firebird Book Awards
WINNER – Juvenile Fiction Category
WINNER – Children’s Inspirational/Motivational Category

2021 Book Excellence Awards
FINALIST – Children’s Inspirational/Motivational Category

2021 Eric Hoffer Book Awards
FINALIST – Children’s Books Category

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Friday, November 26, 2021

Review: Colossus by Colin Hynson

Today's review hits a direction, which I don't see very often in the kidlit realm...and was thrilled to get my hands on. Engineering hits the spotlight to give young readers a glimpse at all sorts of possibilities. This book is for the middle grade audience and takes a look at all sorts of feats around the world. It's fully illustrated and well organized. 

Off we go! 

The World's Most Amazing Feats of Engineering
by Colin Hynson
Illustrated by Giulia Lombardo
Candlewick Press
Middle Grade Non-Fiction
80 pages
ages 8 to 12

Colossus explores some of the greatest feats of engineering in history, from ancient pyramids to enormous bridges to towering skyscrapers.

Have you ever wondered how it's possible for the tallest buildings in the world to stay standing through the most severe earthquakes? Or how a prehistoric civilization managed to build something as impressive as Stonehenge? Discover the engineering that has led to the most innovative buildings, bridges, and monuments on the planet, from towering skyscrapers to energy-creating dams to underground tunnels miles long. Learn how people have historically turned to engineering to build higher, farther, faster, and greener into the future.



With a wide view on everything from the ancient pyramids in Egypt to space stations, and from past to possible future, these pages bring the most amazing engineering accomplishments into focus.

With a clear and understandable Table of Contents, these pages open up to a wide variety of engineering feats. Many of these are ones reader's will recognize (or, at least, have heard of). Others will be new. Each one is briefly explained in its purpose (when known), it engineering uniqueness, and then, accompanied by various facts and interesting points. It's a book, which not only raises the respect and awareness of engineering, but also hits a bit upon history, cultures, and the needs of life, in general.

I was surprised at the wide span of engineering areas, which this book covers. While hitting well-known accomplishments such as the Eifel Tower and the Great Wall of China, it also hits upon others such as The Kelpies in Scotland and Nan Madol in Micronesia. Engineering objects in these pages include not only structures such as buildings, but reaches into canals, statues, space shuttles and more. Plus, it covers topics from history to future possibilities. 

The chapters are well laid and give a good overview. First, a general explanation is given before more specific examples are listed. Each of these receive a short description, which explain where they can be found, when they were created, their sizes, building duration, and any other interesting facts. Extra points are placed around the well-done illustrations, which point out more facts and interesting tidbits. Then, to add to the fun. a circle with a general fact about the theme is presented, too. While there could be more facts, these didn't overload the reader and still, leave a general handle on what's going on.

Engineering, history, and construction fans are going to find a wealth of information and variety in these pages. The information is presented in an age appropriate way, which doesn't talk down to the reader. While there are many facts, the writing style isn't dry but manages to remain a bit more relaxed. At the end, there is a glossary and index to round everything off and make this a great resource for general information. 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Bloodstone by M.J. Mallon


The Curse of Time, Book 1
by M. J. Mallon
YA Fantasy / Paranormal
234 pages

I didn’t think my life could get weirder, but I was wrong…

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who is imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house.

When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden path where she encounters Ryder: a charismatic, perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set and some crystal wizard stones, can Amelina discover the truth about her family?

A unique, imaginative mystery full of magic-wielding and dark elements, Bloodstone is a riveting adventure for anyone interested in fantasy, mythology or the world of the paranormal.

The 2nd book in the series, Golden Healer – The Curse of Time Book 2, is coming soon.

You can purchase a copy:

And here she is...

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros!

M J Mallon was born in Lion city Singapore, a passionate Scorpio with the Chinese Zodiac sign of a lucky rabbit. She spent her early childhood in Hong Kong. During her teen years, she returned to her father’s childhood home, Edinburgh where she spent many happy years, entertained and enthralled by her parents’ vivid stories of living and working abroad. Perhaps it was during these formative years that her love of writing began inspired by their vivid storytelling. She counts herself lucky to have travelled to many far-flung destinations and this early wanderlust has fuelled her present desire to emigrate abroad. Until that wondrous moment, it’s rumoured that she lives in the UK, in the Venice of Cambridge with her six-foot hunk of a rock god husband. Her two enchanting daughters have flown the nest but often return with a cheery, heart-warming smile to greet her.

MJ’s writing credits also include a multi-genre approach: paranormal, best-selling horror, supernatural short stories, flash fiction, and poetry.  he has worked with some amazing authors and bloggers compiling an anthology/compilation set during the early stages of COVID-19 entitled This Is Lockdown and later she wrote a spin off poetry collection, Lockdown Innit.

She’s been blogging for many moons at her blog home Kyrosmagica, (which means Crystal Magic,) where she celebrates the spiritual realm,her love of nature, crystals and all things magical, mystical, and mysterious.

Corinth 2642 AD by Bindiya Schaefer with Giveaway!

Corinth 2642 AD tour banner

This is my post during the blog tour for Corinth 2642 AD by Bindiya Schaefer. In a future where ethnicity is individually unique, a young investigator is forced into a pureblood, cultish society when its young members start to go missing.

This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours and the tour runs from 22 November till 5 December. You can see the tour schedule here.

Corinth 2642 AD book cover

Corinth 2642 AD
by Bindiya Schaefer
YA Science Fiction
Release Date: 21 September, 2021



In the year 2642, no one person is ethnically like the other. Globalization, war, and other catalysts have given birth to a diverse and multi-ethnic new world.

Not everyone feels this new society is ideal, though. A select group of seven colonies—a pureblood, white supremacist cult complete with arranged marriages and heavily guarded borders—have only had one mission: protect the bloodline from contamination and produce the next generation of survivors. But some young people, destined for a life without choices, make a run for it, including Cara, the granddaughter of Julius Bull, the colonies' leader.

Desperate to keep her dissidence quiet for fear of potentially inciting a power struggle within the colonies, Bull brings in Jimmy Matoo—a Special Investigator from San Francisco whose brother was found dead near one of the colonies the same night Cara disappeared. For Matoo, the visit to Corinth, Oregon, is eye-opening. He has never seen a white person before and is shocked by their ideas of imperialism, racial purity, and the prospect of arranged marriages in the 27th century. His investigation reveals that dozens of young colony members have gone missing over the years, and some have been found dead on the outskirts of Corinth.

With the clock ticking, San Francisco’s Detective Matoo’s missing persons investigation soon becomes a fight for survival—turns out the residents don’t like a brown fellow in their midst. Can he find Cara, figure out what happened to his brother, and save the leader's family from the Cabal before it’s too late? Maybe. But first, he must find out who in the colony has the means and connections to smuggle the dissidents out without being detected because it could be the difference between life and death.

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Bindiya Schaefer author picture
About the Author:
Bindiya is a former defense and aerospace journalist. Before moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, she lived in Dubai, UAE, and Bangalore, India.

CORINTH 2642 AD is her debut novel. To find out more visit her website or follow @authorbindiyaschaefer on Instagram.

Author links:
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There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Corinth 2642 AD. Two winners each win a paperback copy of Corinth 2642 AD (US Only).

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Review: In a Pickle! adapted by Natalie Shaw

It's stocking-stuffer-idea time! In the next weeks, I'm going to have more than a few books, which work great as an extra, little gift from young readers out there. And today's is my first suggestion!

I have some little nieces and nephews, who love a certain might be Donkey Hodie. Anyway, this book will put a smile on their faces. At least, I'm pretty sure it will. But even I'll have to wait until December 14th for a copy.


from Donkey Hodie
adapted by Natalie Shaw
Simon Spotlight
Board Book
24 pages
ages 2 to 5


Based on an episode of the hit preschool show from Fred Rogers Productions Donkey Hodie, this 8x8 storybook follows fun-loving Donkey Hodie as she tries to save her best friend’s toy!

When Panda and Donkey are playing with Panda’s favorite toys (pickle-shaped penguins!) and one accidentally gets stuck between two rocks, will they be able to rescue it?

© 2021 The Fred Rogers Company

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Little fans of Donkey Hodie are going to smile, when they get their hands on this one. It comes directly from one of the episodes, a silly one which puts a new twist on pickles and important rescues. For those who know the show well, there's also the words to the song, which can be sung along.

This book has a very directed audience group, and I truly believe that young fans will enjoy it. The tale is cute and allows the imagination to take flight as something as simple as pickles are fantasized into animals...and need rescuing. I doubt we'll ever see pickles the same again in our household. The text works as a read-aloud, since it takes someone sure of their words to read. And there is the written version of the song found in the show written on the bottom of several of the last pages. This works best for those who already know the song (as said, this is for fans and watchers).

The illustrations follow the show as well, making it highly recognizable for those listeners/readers. The benefit of this book form is that it shows viewers that books can be fun, while remaining in a stream they recognize right away.