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The 4th (Like Birthdays Early, Late and Un….)

Barnaget Bay, 2018 Viewing along the Toms River remains a tradition for us sadly broken.  Too bad Beachwood’s had been cancelled.  With unofficial displays dotting the  landscape, memories of old times, good times flooded in.  Check out our unexpected guests who dropped by to share the sights and sounds of the night up the road at the beach. Union Beach, 1947 The neighborhood gathered, talked, ate, drank and celebrated.  Sparklers in red, blue, silver and gold–verbotten then in New Jersey, were passed around.  How I thrilled to these fireworks colored flames! Cliffside Park, 1957 The city’s ground displays–flags, liberty bells, […]

Sophie by Tal Tsfany * Book Review

Sophie Author: Tal Tsfany Illustrator: Ron Tsfany Paperback: 204 pages Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2017) Language: English ISBN: 9781977845559 Genre: Fiction Ages: Grades 5-8; ages 10-14 Price: $12.99 Purchase: Online or at local retailers Summary: Sophie and her family are illegal Syrian immigrants.  She wants to help save her family even though she is only thirteen, but politician Ingrid Sanders has different ideas.  Sophie’s honesty and integrity inspire her friend to become a success.  Eighteen years later they meet again. This Critic’s Opinion: This middle-reader novel shows that deportation is not a simple matter and people are not always […]

Book Review: An Atlas of Imaginary Places by Mia Cassany & Ana de Lima

Book: An Atlas of Imaginary Places Author: Mia Cassany and Ana de Lima Hardcover: pages Publisher: Prestel (2018) Language: English ISBN: 9783791373478 Genre: Juvenile fiction Ages: 7-10; grades 2-4 Price: $19.95 Purchase: Online Brief Summary: I imagine–powerful words that open doors to infinite possibilities, places where fiction can be reality and dreams can become true. Come explore a Jungle of Spots, Paper Mountains, Sweet Sea Islands,Sleeping Whale, Cape of Flying Fish, Tallest Lighthouse, Ice Arena, Sea Forest, Bubble Gum Volcano, Lush Green City, City of Butterflies, Hidden Lake, Desert of Lost and Found, Hidden Desires. This Critic’s Review: We are […]

Book Review: The Case of the Pinched Strativarius by Elaine Loeser

Book: The Case of the Pinched Strativarius Author: Elaine Loeser Illustrator: Greg Arvanitakis Hardcover: 40 pages Publisher: Ampersand, Inc., (April 6, 2018) Language: English ISBN: 9780997449365 Genre: Juvenile fiction Ages: 6-9; grades 1-3 Price: $18.95 Purchase: Online Brief Summary: Turtles Fargo and Miles witness a bad man steal a little girl’s valuable violin. How they solve the crime and bring the criminal to justice with the help of Bandid and Bogie make for an imaginative dialogue telling. This Critic’s Review: Loeser’s The Case of the Pinched Strativarious has everything to catch the attention of a young detective–a locked room in […]

Book Review: When Fur and Feather Get Together by David Margrave

Book: When Fur and Feather Get Together Author: David Margrave Illustrator: Kim Wyly Hardcover: 32 pages Publisher: Cloverton Publishing (April 1, 2018) Language: English ISBN: 9781945507724 Genre: Juvenile fiction Ages: 3-6; grades preschool-1 Price: $11.99 Purchase: Online Brief Summary: A child and his father bond and talk about groups of animals found on land, in water, in the air. This Critic’s Review: What do the words school, pride, pod, crash, gaggle, flock, parliament, blessing, and family have in common? They are all collections of the same group. What better way to introduce young children to identity considered as one than […]

Hello Angel Lined Journal Owl and TangleEasy Lined Journal Parrot

Book: Hello Angel Lined Journal Owl and TangleEasy Lined Journal Parrot Hardcover: 128 pages Publisher: Quiet Fox Designs (2018) Language: English ISBN: 978-1-64178-006-3 and 976-1-64178-011-7 Genre: Journal Ages: ALL Price: $7.99 ea. Purchase: Online Brief Summary: I doodled throughout my school years, then college, now life. I occasionally find one in an old book and thrill at pages long ago placed inside. They show how I have grown in mind and spirit. What a shame I cannot look back on more of them! I wish I had copied them into a journal. Fox Chapel Publishing’s Hello Angel or TangleEasy would […]

Aliens Ate My Homework * DVD Review

The product featured was provided free of cost to me for the sole purpose of product testing and review. Please note that any personal opinions reflected in this post are my own and have not been influenced by the sponsor in any way. Aliens Ate My Homework DVD Release Date: March 6, 2018 Run Time: 89 minutes Genre: Live-action Sci-Fi Age: Grades 5-8, 10-14 Number of Discs: 1 Studio: Universal Rating: PG ASIN: SMRP: $ Available: Online and at local retailer Official Synopsis: Based on Bruce Coville’s best-selling book series, this suspenseful family comedy follows the adventures of sixth-grader Rod […]