Monday, November 20, 2017

Nonfiction Monday

A fascinating look at the legendary racehorse Rachel Alexandra – Known to her fans as Alexandra The Great. Deb Aronson immerses readers in the world of thoroughbred horse racing with an in-depth look at the racing super star who taught audiences what it means to "Run like a girl." 

Rejected by her mother and labeled an “Ugly Duckling” Rachel Alexandra was scheduled for a quick sale, but a medical problem caused by growing too fast prevented the transaction from going through and her owner, Dolph Morrison, ended up sending her to his trainer. The rest, as they say, is history. Rachel proved herself smart and strong as she ran away with win after win. But despite her remarkable success, Dolph refused to allow her to compete against the boys. That decision came when Jess Jackson made Dolph an offer he couldn’t refuse and gave Rachel her chance. Rachel became the first filly in 85 years to win the Preakness and went on to become the first filly to ever win the Woodward – crowning her career by being named 2009 Horse of the Year.

Aronson’s carefully researched work is filled with exacting details and numerous quotes from owners, trainers, jockeys and others. She gives readers a healthy education about the day-to-day world of breeding farms, training barns, and life in the shed rows behind the tracks. The fact-filled text is balanced by a lively narrative that will leave the heart pumping in time with the hoof beats pounding down the final stretch.

Additional information is available at the end of the book with: Rachel’s Record-Making Runs, A Glossary of terms highlighted in the story, Notes citing the author’s sources for quotes, a Bibliography, and Index.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Gingerbread Cowboy in the Classroom

It's always so much fun to see one of my books, THE GINGERBREAD COWBOY, being utilized in a classroom. 

Check out this great literature lesson -- Comparing Versions of The Gingerbread Man: Turning Readers Into Thinkers by Linda Kamp.

 To view the lessons, click HERE

Friday, November 10, 2017

Picture Book Friday

Kobee Manatee: Shipwerck Sea Friends is the third title in the Kobee Manatee Children’s Educational Picture Book series by Robert Scott Thayer with illustrations by Lauren Gallegos.

In this adventure, Kobee and his friends, Tess the seahorse and Pablo the hermit crab, set out to explore a Caribbean shipwreck, the SS Antonio López. Along the way, Kobee makes friends with a variety of other sea creatures, an octopus, a whale shark, a moray eel, and a nurse shark. Of course, no adventure would be complete without some danger and when Kobee becomes trapped inside the sunken ship, all of his friends must come to his rescue.
As with the other titles, each two-page spread includes Kobee’s Fun Facts to provide information about the many animals that swim through the story.

Vibrant colors, clean text, and child-friendly illustrations make this book as attractive as it is informative.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Writers Wednesday

THE SISTERS by Claire Douglas is a psychological thriller that was the winner of the Marie Claire Best Debut Novel Award.

“I see her everywhere … in the window of the Italian restaurant … trying to cross the road … running for a bus.” 

Haunted by despair and guilt over her twin sister’s death eighteen months ago, Abi Cavendish struggles to prove to her friends, family, psychologist, and most of all herself, that she’s no longer a fragile, self-destructive loner. All she needs is a new start, new friends, new surroundings. As luck would have it, she may have found all three. Beatrice seems to understand her as no one else ever has. Her handsome twin brother seems interested in romance. And the two just happen to have a room available to rent in their elegant old house. It couldn’t be more perfect, but as the coincidences continue to pile up, Abi begins to question her good fortune and her sanity.

Shifts between Abi’s and Bea’s point of view offers readers conflicting takes on events and motives, thus creating doubt and raising the stakes for the reader in much the same way as the events challenge the characters to differentiate between opposing realities.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Save the Date

I’m delighted to share this press release from the Maturango Museum for Children’s Hour – Featuring my book “The Gingerbread Cowboy – A Folktale With A Desert Twist” Nov. 17, 2017.

Children’s Hour at the Museum – A Nod to Tradition

Moms, Dads, Grandparents and their preschoolers are welcome to a morning that might feel a bit like a visit to olden times. On Friday, November 17, 10:30-11:30 the children will be introduced to a familiar folktale with a desert twist, “The Gingerbread Cowboy” by Janet Squires, followed by “riding trail” on calico-headed stick horses. Continuing to keep the spirit of the West alive will be the story “Barn Dance!” by Bill Martin. Lively fiddle music is bound to set the children’s feet to moving in a Hoe Down round dance. A last old-fashioned story recalling turkey-time visits to grandparents in pictures and song will signal time for crafts and guided hands-on viewing at the Discover Table.
Families are encouraged to please arrive on time. Children’s Hour at the Maturango Museum is a monthly program throughout the school year presented by volunteer docents.

Maturango Museum is open daily 10-5. Tel. 760-375-6900 and website
The Maturango Museum is located at 100 E Las Flores Ave, Ridgecrest, California 93555

If you’re in the area be sure to make time to enjoy this delightful program.

Nonfiction Monday

Do You Want to Build a Snowman?, written and illustrated by Mark Jones, provides readers with a guide to making snowman and offers up some interesting facts in the process.

The book opens with a brief history of snowmen – a reference in a Christian devotional book from Medieval Denmark, the first known photograph of a snowman 1853 in Wales, and a Hans Christian Anderson story to name a few. GETTING STARTED identifies the basics: what to wear, best places for building your snowman, how to use the location to create a visual story. Each of the remaining twelve chapters focus on individual projects ranging from basic snowmen, to snow scenes, and on to elegant snow sculptures.

Detailed instructions are illustrated with a combination of vibrant cartoon-style illustrations and photographs which are paired with colorful notes and tips. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Picture Book Friday

From the Busy Wheels collection comes TRACTOR SAVES THE DAY by Mandy Archer and Martha Lightfoot, an engaging adventure for preschoolers and first graders.

Dog and tractor have been hard at work feeding cows, plowing fields, and baling straw. When the wind causes a tree to fall across the lane, the cows can’t get back to the barn for milking, but dog uses his tractor to drag the tree out of the way and herd the cows back to their barn. Along the way young readers get an in depth look at farm equipment and the many ways in which tractor are used. There’s plenty of action, sounds and excitement to inspire imaginations and entertain audiences.

A fun read!

The Gingerbread Cowboy Book Trailer