Friday, January 17, 2014

Manny the TV Watching Dog

The title alone catches my attention, doesn't it do that for you? Sounds like a dog that many people would feel right at home with! Children enjoy animals, especially pets, and watching TV, so the combination in this new book, by Linda Derkez and her husband Mike, is sure to delight kids and their parents.

There are three chapters in Manny the TV Watching Dog, and in each of them Manny's master is looking for someone to do specific tasks, and Manny is quick to say, "I can do that." Unfortunately, the TV turns out to be too big of a temptation to Manny, who is constantly distracted from the job at hand for some fine TV watching.

Many of us can certainly relate to this happening, to ourselves and our children. Linda has creatively written this story with a dog who acts quite human in many ways. The adorable illustrations add to the fun as children follow Manny's positive well-meaning offers and what happens each time.

Click on the book image to go to Amazon and take a look inside the book and order. Linda is the author of several other children's books, including Chip's Sharing Day and Cody Knows.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Down Under Calling

I just finished a book by my friend, Margot Finke, that was quite delightful! It is the story of a 12-year-old boy named Andy who lives in Oregon, and his grandmother, Rose, in Australia. They become pen pals, and Andy learns that he has a very cool grandmother! Rose tells exciting stories about her life growing up and the many animals around where she lives and adventures with them, including caring for a baby kangaroo. They soon feel like they know each other even though they live so far apart, and the love grows as Rose shares her stories and memories and Andy tells about his life, problems, and special friend, Kelly. Andy and Kelly start spending time on the internet learning more about where his grandmother lives and the animals there. The summer boredom that had started to creep into his days is banished as Andy anticipates the arrival of the next letter from Rose filled with more amusing and exciting tales.

This is a great book for middle grade children that will hold their attention while helping them learn some interesting facts about the land "Down Under".

Margot Finke is an Aussie transplant who writes midgrade adventure fiction and rhyming picture books. For many years she has lived in Oregon with her husband, children, and grandchildren.  Gardening, travel, and reading fill in the cracks between her writing. Her husband is retired, and very supportive.  

Margot didn't begin serious writing until the day their youngest left for college. This late start drives her writing, and pushes her to work at it every day. Margot said, "I really envy those who began young, and managed to slip into writing mode between kid fights, diaper changes, household disasters, and outside jobs. You are my heroes! "

She has 13 published books + Survival by Walkabout, the follow-up to Taconi and Claude, is due out soon.  All her books, +  Video readings, trailers, reviews and sample pages can be seen on her website. Margot also does Skype Author Visits to many schools in the US, and she runs a Manuscript Critique Service. Nothing gives Margot a bigger thrill than to hear that a book she helped polish has been published.  “This is always a huge YEA moment.”