Friday, September 30, 2016

#MMBBR #ReviewRoundUp #Childrens #PictureBooks @HolidayHouseBks

Dramatic aerial views and an expressive, subtle palette tell a story about a wheelchair-bound girl looking down from her balcony at passersby below and urging them to Look up!
Dog walkers, a bike rider, a kite flier, and dozens of commuters walk by without taking any notice. Then a boy stops and looks up. He lies on the sidewalk so the girl can see him better. A woman joins him. Soon nine people and one dog are lying down and looking up. The girl looks up at the reader and smiles.
Art and text that are dramatic and elegant tell a story of kindness, compassion and friendship. 
This book was awarded an Opera Prima Honor at the Bologna Book Fair.

It may be the mood I am in, but this book moved me.  It is so very simple with very few words and back and white illustrations, but I had an emotional reaction to this book.  It really captures the need for all of us to slow down and "look up". It illustrates that if we slow down, take our time and be mindful in our interactions we will live a much more meaningful and full life. Loved it!

A boy, worried that his little brother on the way will be an empty-headed pumpkin head, takes action by teaching him words and reading him stories in this sweet story of siblinghood.
A boy has a little brother on the way. His mother is eating much pumpkin pumpkin soup, pumpkin dumplings, pumpkin ravioli and pumpkin pie. At first the boy is happy to think that this pumpkin diet will give his new baby brother red hair, which the boy is very fond of. Then the boy has a nightmare where his brother has a pumpkin head with nothing inside but seeds and pulp!
So the boy devises a rescue plan to fill his brother's head with the names of plants and animals and important people, to tell the baby stories and teach him important things.

This is such a funny and sweet story about children and how they think quite literally about things.  So when a young boy sees his mother acting a bit strange while she is pregnant he gets nervous.  She is eating all sorts of pumpkin items and fear starts to overtake him as he is afraid his new baby brother will be a pumpkin head.  So in his effort to protect his sibling he sets out to teach the baby all he knows.  A sweet and tender story about the power of love.

In this zany language arts book, a classroom lesson on leadership gets a boost from little groups of letters called PREFIXES.
It s Leadership Day in Mr. Wright s classroom, and the prefixes are IMpatient to take center stage. After all, they are the greatest leaders around! Prefixes attach to the beginning of words and change what they mean. But they are MIStaken about their role in the day s festivities. . . . Mr. Wright has a lesson on President Abraham Lincoln PREpared. The prefixes are in DISbelief that they could be so carelesslyIGnored. Luckily, Mr. Wright gets a REminder to include them in the lesson and the prefixes are ready to UNleash their power.

I love books that teaching difficult things in a fun and easy way.  I love that a wacky and memorable story can teach such a tricky grammar lesson like prefixes.  Not only is the story super funny, but there are speech bubbles that add to the story.  I love that it is so readable.  Kids would love to listen to the teacher read it aloud or to read it silently themselves.  There is brilliance in these pages that takes learning to another level.   A wonderfully creative and engaging way to teach grammar lessons.  There are other books in this series too, so make sure to check those out as well. 

With a gust of wind a dandelion seeds takes off soaring through the sky. Who knows where it will land? Seeds use ingenious methods to travel to new places, from bobbing along through waves to spinning like green helicopters. A glossary is included.

This book is quite wonderful in the way it describes and articulates the many ways seeds grow into so many wonderful things.  It is very poetic and richly describes the ways with vibrant verbs. The beautiful drawings add another level to the already interesting and dynamic story.  I love that there is a glossary that includes illustrations because it adds another layer to the educational and fun story.  A must for anyone wanted to help children understand the importance and wonder of seeds in nature.  

David A. Adler and Edward Miller are back to bring an amusing introduction to the geometry of circles filled with hands-on activities.
Wheels, clocks and coins. Balls and buttons. Circles are one of the basic geometric shapes and can be seen everywhere. In a book bursting with color and cheer, students can learn the fundamental properties of circles. Terms such as sector, chord and arc are clearly defined. Hands-on activities demonstrate how to find the radius, diameter and area of a circle. With this handy and lively guide kids can avoid spinning their wheels and get on the road to becoming geometry pros.

This book is part of a series that teaches kids all sorts of complicated subjects in a way that is easy to understand.  There is simpler language that is accompanied by illustrations that allow kids to have fun while they learn.  Kids are taught the fundamental properties of circles and couples fun activities that facilitates active learning.  Terms are clearly explained through thoughtful and clear definitions and pictures, which will allow a deepen of learning and will engage all sorts of learners.  A must for any teacher or parent that is trying to teach the concept of circles.  

A charming sock duo does their best to stick together in this rhyming picture book with bright, bold illustrations.
The love story of two socks goes awry in this sweet picture book with cheerful illustrations. Suki and Sosh are a happy sock couple. They have a warm home, a pair of feet and they are in love . . . life couldn't be better. But one day, Suki gets a hole! Before long she is whisked out of the drawer and taken far, far away from Sosh. The other socks warn him, " There s no point in being a sock on your own! "and Sosh knows it s the truth. No one likes an odd sock. What will become of him, and will he ever find his true love again?

This is such a sweet story about a sock couple.  They are in love and determined to stay together, but something happens that threatens their happily ever after...Suki gets a hole and goes missing!!!!  Sosh won't stop until he is back with Suki.  The ending of this story is so very sweet and lovely.  Parents and kids alike will enjoy this book so very much.  The illustrations are so very sweet, vibrant and spark imagination.  A delight to read-a-loud to kids of all ages.  A great story about the power of love and determination! 

New York Times best illustrated picture book winner, Amy Schwartz has created an endearing picture book about sisters working together.
Four strong-minded sisters go shopping, each hoping to create a distinctive look. Charlie Ann wants to dress like a cowgirl, Ava a princess, and Isabell all in purple. Baby Poppy is completely set on polka dots. All of the girls find something to satisfy their tastes, except for Poppy. But while Mom and baby sister sleep the three older sisters get artsy with their waterproof markers. A bewildered Mom and delighted Poppy wake up to find a new polka dot wardrobe.
This spunky, colorful and sweet book is a tribute to being resourceful and creative.

This story is sheer love.  All the sisters have a distinct style and a personality that matches that style.  They all are clear on what they want and can all find their perfect outfit except Baby Poppy.  I love how the older sisters come together to make sure that Baby Poppy has exactly what she would want.  It is such a endearing story about the power and love between sisters.  It illustrates how important and wonderful it is to think outside the box and to use creative and innovative ways to meet your goals.  It also show simple ways you can spread joy and love!

This nearly wordless book uses onomatopoeia and striking bold illustrations to tell the story of a homeless cat who meets an Asian grandfather on a bus and finally finds a home.
A cat enters a grocery store in search of food, but the proprietor shoos her away. A bus approaches offering shelter, but the large-handed, scary-faced driver shouts SCRAM! When another bus approaches, the cat runs in with a WHOOSH and meets a grandfatherly gentleman who changes the cat's circumstances forever.

This is a very simple book that tells the story more though pictures than words, as this book only contains 14 words.  But the story is rich with heart as you watch a homeless cat find a home with a sweet Grandfather.  Cat on the Bus  is one of those books that speaks to the eyes and connects with the heart.  You are pulled into the illustrations and are left feeling warm inside!  A pure delight!

The family cat destroys everything in his path, and the two girls who love him worry that he may be sick or blind in this story of unconditional pet love.
Crash destroys Kait's drum set, Krissie's doll, Mom's cake and Dad's paint job. The family takes Crash to the vet who says the cat is fine, but Crash topples the laundry as soon as he's back home. One night while the girls are in bed, they hear the biggest CRASH of all. That night, Crash is a hero!
Lined with endearing watercolor illustrations, Crash will warm the hearts of young cat lovers everywhere."

Crash is a cat that seemed to crash into everything.  Being a loving family the kids are worried something is wrong.  Many things are destroyed, but one night Crash is the hero.  A story about love for our pets told in a short but sweet way.    

This funny story has charming ink-and-watercolor paintings and endearing characters.
One snowy day, Pinky is heading to town to get a pizza for himself and his mother. He must run quickly so he doesn't forget: mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes, onions and peas.
When the Squirrel boys try to sidetrack him, Pinky becomes annoyed and kicks the tree they're in. The snow from the branches falls down, and Pinky, not knowing it, looks like a snowman.
As Pinky walks through town, everyone is talking about the walking snowman. But Pinky doesn't see him AND he's much too focused on getting his pizza to stop and look for him.

This will certainly become a new winter favorite!  It is so, so, so cute.  The character are all so sweet and the illustrations are a sight to behold.  Pinky is determined to get this mother the pizza she wants and continues to chant the ingredients in a song poem, so he won't forget, all the way to the pizzeria.  He gets caught up in a snowball fight and ends up looking like a snowman.  As he makes his way across town he draws a lot of attention as the "walking snowman", but Pinky has no idea that he is the snowman that they are speaking of.  It is such a tender and creative story and the pictures are so stunning that you can get lost within the town and feel part of it.  Kids and parents alike with marvel at this wonderful and sweet story.  

Caldecott medalist Mordicai Gerstein writes and illustrates an elegant and beautiful story inspired by the characters in Henri Rousseau's Sleeping Gypsy.
A girl, alone in the desert, lies on the sand and sleeps. But she is not alone for long. A lizard, a rabbit, a turtle and other animals scrutinize her when a lion leaps into the scene and claims her for his own.
A silhouette approaches from the distance. He introduces himself as Henri Rousseau, the dreamer of this dream, who plans to paint a picture of it. The animals pose for the artist but criticize his work with comments like you've made my nose too big. So the artist removes complainers one by one from the picture until only the girl and the lion remain.

This book is a bit of magic and imagination all wrapped together.  It is such a cool concept to look at a painting and then create a narrative that may have accompanied it.  It sparks imagination and the concept of dreams realized.  It highlights the fact that criticism can not always be erased, but being critical of others can cause you to miss out on opportunities. What is left after all the animals have stated their thoughts is a beautiful illustration of a girl and a lion.  A thought provoking and insightful story that will stay with me for a long time!


Thursday, September 29, 2016

#MMBBR #Review Works of Theodore Ficklestein

The second volume of poetry by Theodore Ficklestein. Didn't read the first volume? Have no idea what this volume is about? Don't worry. Neither does anyone else. This is poetry by an author you have never heard of, which of course makes this just your average poetry book.

My thoughts:
I find this collection of poetry to be very enjoyable.  The ramblings of life within poetry form.  There is something for everyone in this collection.  You will laugh, feel something and have a fun time reading.  4 stars

The author of this book is having fun mocking Halloween. Little does he know that the audience are the monsters themselves.

My thoughts:
Halloween is approaching.  Ficklestein has tackled Halloween in this poetry book with ramblings of humor, observations and impressions.  It is fun and engaging and kinda strange...a delight. 4 stars


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

#MMBBR #Showcase Nannyland by Jane Elizabeth Hughes


About the book:
Successful banker and trader Jordy Greene flees Manhattan “one step ahead of the sheriff,” and away from the true wolves of Wall Street including her ex-boyfriend. Escaping to the Grey estate for a sabbatical to write a tell-all memoir, she is immersed in the historic world of the aristocratic Grey family who considers the original 16th century Lady Jane Grey to be their family hero. Meanwhile Jordy is drawn further into the Grey family after she witnesses thenanny doing the unthinkable. Unexpectedly, and rather unwillingly, she finds herself caring for the four children of the widowed Lord John Gray while he sits in Parliament. Together, she and the children make a discovery that could rock the foundation of the Grey family, and Jordy must decide what is more important – integrity or toeing the line.



Jane Elizabeth HughesI wrote my first “book” when I was seven. Lorena Lorenson, Student Nurse was possibly a bit derivative (I was deeply into Cherry Ames at the time), but I was hooked. I’ve been writing ever since, although I took a few detours along the way, working for the CIA, on Wall Street, and in academia before finally allowing myself to write full-time. I’m a native New Yorker, mother of four, and grandmother to three baby girls (boy #1 is on the way!). I’m an obsessive reader with two fully-loaded Kindles and have published widely on international finance, but much prefer to write books that my friends and I would devour on the beach. My husband and I are ruled by two hideously spoiled Siamese cats, and divide our time between Brookline, MA and my true homeplace of Cape Cod.

Q.  What inspires your writing?A.  People. I find people endlessly fascinating, and so many scenes from daily life – a newspaper headline, an argument on the subway, a toddler beaming up at her mother  – may become scenes in my book. I peek into apartments as I walk on Manhattan streets at night and wonder about the lives inside those rooms; I observe families in restaurants and children in the park and businessmen on their cellphones, and make up stories about them in my head. 
My readers inspire me, too.  I never wanted to write War and Peace; I wanted to write books that my friends and I would curl up with on the beach or our favorite sofa, and bury ourselves in.

Q.  What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
A. Being able to create my own world – where people can fall in love and live happily ever after; where nothing terrible ever happens to children; where I can just lose myself and make my characters do what I want them to do (mostly, that is).

Q.  What is the toughest part of being a writer?
A. Getting published! Writing is sheer delight, but getting a debut novel picked up by a major publisher – not so much. It took me several years, lots of rewrites, and enough rejection letters to wallpaper my bathroom, before my wonderful agent found me a home with an equally wonderful editor at Simon & Schuster.

Q.  If you could not be writer, what would you do/be?
A. I always wanted to be a ballerina…but I topped out at five feet (well, actually four feet eleven inches, but who’s counting?), with flat feet and a few extra pounds at my waist. Also no talent – but aside from that, I would be a ballerina.

Q.  What would the story of your life be entitled? 
A Woman’s Work. I love the saying: Man may work from sun to sun, But woman’s work is never done.

Q.  What is your favorite book of all time?
A. Gone With the Wind, hands down. The scene where Rhett sweeps Scarlett up that winding staircase and she wakes up in the morning giggling and giddy…if only I could write like that!

Q.  Which character from ANY book are you most like?
A.  In my fantasies, I’m Nancy Drew – does that count?

Q.  What character from all of your books are you most like?
A. The teenage, present-day Lady Jane Grey in Nannyland, I think. She’s quiet and serious, a little awkward, but defiant and determined too, with a passion for English history. We both love Diet Coke and hate our fine, straight hair. 

Q.  Which book would you love to take a weekend vacation inside of?
A. It’s not a book, but a movie and Broadway play – Mamma Mia. I want to vacation (actually, live) on that sun-splashed Greek island with its aromatic olive trees and glorious beaches. I want to be part of the Dancing Queen chorus line that sings and dances its way through the village, and I want Pierce Brosnan to sing to me in his laughably awful voice.

Q.  What is your favorite season?
A. SUMMER!! I’m a beach person; I live in Boston now but yearn for a life where I never have to see snow and ice, ever again.

Q.  What inspired your book cover(s)?  Or what is your favorite book cover and why?
A. My youngest daughter is an artist, and she and I together came up with the idea of a shadow across a great country house based on my original title for Nannyland – In the Shadow of Lady Jane Grey. The shadow of Lady Jane, the Queen for Nine Days in the 1550s who was beheaded just after her sixteenth birthday, hangs heavily over the present-day Grey family estate where my heroine finds herself nannying four children. 

Q.  Tell me something funny that happened while on a book tour or while promoting your book.
A. People keep asking me about a book signing, but since Nannyland is an ebook, I’m not sure what to sign – their Kindles, perhaps?

Q.  Are you working on something new?
A. Always!! I just finished the first draft of  Hey, Jules, which is about the thrilling, sometimes dangerous, search for a modern-day descendant of Henry VIII’s last Queen. Here’s the opening:
A shadow fell across the table where I sat devouring a scone and a novel with equal satisfaction. Scowling and shading my eyes against the watery London sun, I looked up to see a tall, dark stranger gazing down at me.
“Hey, Jules!” the stranger said. “I’ve been looking all over for you!”
With some regret – he was very good-looking – I shrugged my shoulders and turned back to my book. “Sorry,” I said. “But I’m not Jules.”

Q.  Anything you want to say to followers of this blog or those that are just stopping by?
A.  Aside from family, reading is my greatest joy in life. Books have taken me through all of the triumphs and tribulations that the world hands out; sometimes I just wander through a library and bookshelf greeting all my old friends and remembering how much I loved this novel or that picture book. If you’re reading this blog, then you’re one of that wonderful community of book lovers, and I salute you – we’re all enjoying lives that are incredibly enriched by our reading addiction.

#MMBBR #Highlight #FirstLine I'm Still Here (Je Suis Là) by Clelie Avit

Elsa has been in a coma for five months. With all hope of reviving her gone, her family and doctors are having to face the devastating fact that it might be time to turn off her life support... They don't realise that in the past few weeks Elsa has regained partial consciousness; she knows where she is and can hear everyone talking around her bed, but she has no way of telling them she's there.

Thibault is in the same hospital visiting his brother, a drunk driver responsible for the deaths of two teenage girls. Thibault's emotions are in turmoil and, needing a retreat, he finds his way into Elsa's room. Seeing her lying there so peacefully, he finds it hard to believe she is not just sleeping. 

Thibault begins to visit Elsa regularly. As he learns more about her through her family and friends, he begins to realise that he is developing feelings for her. And when he talks to her, he can't help feeling that she can hear his every word...

For Elsa, his visits are like a breath of fresh air. Here is finally someone who speaks to her as if she is a real life person. Who makes her laugh. And who gives her something to fight for... 

And so begins a love story that might just save both their lives...


"A viscerally moving love story. I'M STILL HERE beautifully shows how the steady, quiet power of the heart can sustain anyone who takes on impossible odds.” — Sarah Pekkanen, Internationally bestselling author of The Perfect Neighbors

"Magnifique! With charming characters, a unique premise and a delightful, fresh voice, Clélie Avit s debut novel will have you cheering for life and love while you hungrily turn its pages. I'M STILL HERE (Je Suis Là) is a gift, and Clélie Avit is a writer to watch.” —  Julie Lawson Timmer, author of Five Days Left and Untethered

#FirstLine ~ I'm cold. I'm hungry. I'm frightened.  


Clélie Avit was born and raised in the Auvergne region of France. She works as a physics and chemistry teacher, while also teaching dance. Avit received the Prix Nouveau Talent for I'm Still Here (Je Suis La), her first novel.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

#MMBBR #Highligh #FirstLine In a Strange City: A Tess Monaghan Novel by @LauraMLippman @Morrow_PB

New York Times bestselling author Laura Lippman’s Tess Monaghan must put her PI skills to the ultimate test when she falls into the crosshairs of a psychopath who knows everything about her.
For the past fifty years on the birth date of Edgar Allan Poe, a person wearing a cloak has placed three roses and a half bottle of cognac on the writer’s gravesite. PI Tess Monaghan has never witnessed the event. But when John P. Kennedy, an eccentric antiques dealer, asks her to uncover the identity of the caped visitor, who he believes has duped him with the sale of an inauthentic antique, Tess decides to hold vigil on the night the cloaked stranger is expected to make an appearance. But the custom takes on a bizarre, fatal twist when two cloaked figures arrive. The imitator leaves his tribute and then makes his escape…after shooting the first visitor. 
Warning bells tell Tess to steer clear of this case. But when roses and cognac appear on her doorstep, Tess’s curiosity is piqued. She soon discovers that John P. Kennedy has vanished into thin air and much of what he told her was questionable. Then the identity of the shooting victim comes to light, and all clues seem to point to the possibility he was the target of a hate crime. But Tess isn’t convinced. What was his connection to the decades-long Edgar Allan Poe tradition and to the killer? When more cryptic clues are left at her home, Tess realizes that someone is watching her every move...someone who’s bent on killing again.

#FirstLine ~ He begins on January 1, always January 1, playing with his body's schedule until he is increasingly nocturnal, staying up until dawn.

Laura Lippman
Laura Lippman was a reporter for twenty years, including twelve years at The (Baltimore) Sun. She began writing novels while working fulltime and published seven books about “accidental PI” Tess Monaghan before leaving daily journalism in 2001. Her work has been awarded the Edgar ®, the Anthony, the Agatha, the Shamus, the Nero Wolfe, Gumshoe and Barry awards. She also has been nominated for other prizes in the crime fiction field, including the Hammett and the Macavity. She was the first-ever recipient of the Mayor's Prize for Literary Excellence and the first genre writer recognized as Author of the Year by the Maryland Library Association. Ms. Lippman grew up in Baltimore and attended city schools through ninth grade. After graduating from Wilde Lake High School in Columbia, Md., Ms. Lippman attended Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her other newspaper jobs included the Waco Tribune-Herald and the San Antonio Light. Ms. Lippman returned to Baltimore in 1989 and has lived there since.

#MMBBR #Highlight The Dragon Under the Mountain by Holly Kerr

The Dragon Under the Mountain by [Kerr, Holly]

"We're going to get in so much trouble..."

No one will admit to coming up with the idea to hide out at Wonderland amusement park after it closed, but Emma, Matt, Macy and their friends Kass and Dash all agree to it. It starts out fun and a little spooky with the approaching lunar eclipse only adding to the excitement.

But it's not until they find their way into the Guardian Under the Mountain ride that the adventure really begins. But the ride is closed so why are there others in the mountain? Others not from this world. A wizard, a warrior...a faerie? Why are they in the mountain? Where did they come from? And why do Emma and the others suddenly have strange, new powers?

And then there's the dragon...

Getting in trouble is the least of their problems.

An image posted by the author.Holly Kerr writes chick-lit with a twist. No broody men, no obsessions with shoes, just fun stories about strong women going after what they want. 

Her books include Coming Home, Unexpecting and Absinthe Doesn't Make the Heart Grow Fonder and her latest, The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd. A sequel to Charlotte, The Best Worst First Date, will be out in early 2017. Holly also has a MG novel, The Dragon Under the Mountain available and is working on a sequel, The Dragon Under the Dome.

If you require more information about Holly and her books (and she really hope you do because that was her whole reason for setting up this page!) feel free to visit her website 
or follow her Blog. At times she discusses the craft of writing but usually she muses about her life and what's she reading, writing or watching. Following her blog would be a great way to make Holly happy.

Holly hopes you enjoy her books and she welcomes a chance to interact with her fans, but not in any creepy way. A simple comment "Hey, I really like/don't like..." would be a lovely way to begin a conversation.

Happy Reading

Friday, September 23, 2016

#MMBBR #Reviews #DaxandZippa by Steve Hanson

Series Review:
I adore everything about this book series.  It is such a sweet, funny and very readable series for new or beginning readers.  I found myself fully engrossed in each of the stories because they are all very well written and there was a funny twist and/or mix up in each book that added such a fun to an already delightful story. I simply adore the whole series.  5 stars

Dax & Zippa's Great Mail Mix-Up by [Hanson, Steve]

Dax is a clever six-year-old boy whose best friend is a balloon-animal poodle. He wants to mail a birthday card to Grandma, but an accident in the small-town post office mixes up everyone’s mail. Can Dax sort out the mess before his grandma’s birthday?

Dax lives with his family in Wallapazoo, Minnesota. Dax and Zippa met at a town carnival and have been best friends ever since. Dax is a great kid, but occasionally gets into trouble. When he does, Zippa is always to blame.

The Great Mail Mix-Up is a short chapter book for children aged 5-8 who enjoy humorous stories. 10 Chapters. 5k words.

Dax is a clever six-year-old boy whose best friend is a balloon-animal poodle. He wants his grandma to have a wonderful time when she visits, but will a giant storm ruin his plans?

Dax lives with his family in Wallapazoo, Minnesota. Dax and Zippa met at a town carnival and have been best friends ever since. Dax is a great kid, but occasionally gets into trouble. When he does, Zippa is always to blame.

The Great Wind Storm is a short chapter book for children aged 5-8 who enjoy humorous stories. 9 Chapters. 6k words.

Dax and Zippa The Great Halloween Fog (Dax & Zippa Book 3) by [Hanson, Steve]

Dax is a clever six-year-old who wants to have a fun Halloween. When his best friend, a balloon-animal poodle, is injured and the Halloween festival is almost cancelled, can he find a way to save Halloween?

Dax lives with his family in Wallapazoo, Minnesota. Dax and Zippa met at a town carnival and have been best friends ever since. Dax is a great kid, but occasionally gets into trouble. When he does, Zippa is always to blame.

The Great Halloween Fog is a short chapter book for children aged 5-8 who enjoy humorous stories. 10 Chapters. 7k words.

Dax and Zippa The Great Monkey Escape (Dax & Zippa Book 2) by [Hanson, Steve]

Dax is a clever six-year-old whose best friend is a balloon-animal poodle. When the monkeys escape from the zoo, it’s up to Dax to get them back safely before they trash his small Minnesotan city.

Dax lives with his family in Wallapazoo, Minnesota. Dax and Zippa met at a town carnival and have been best friends ever since. Dax is a great kid, but occasionally gets into trouble. When he does, Zippa is always to blame.

The Great Monkey Escape is a short chapter book for children aged 5-8 who enjoy humorous stories. 11 Chapters. 6k words.

Steve Hanson

Even as a kid, I loved telling stories. Before I knew how to write, I used to record myself telling stories on a tape player—if you remember those or ever come across one in a museum. I also played with a lot of action figures. My best friend and I invented huge stories about why Skeletor was trying to take over the world. Thankfully, he never did, but I got a lot of practice making up stories!

When I was ten years old, I wrote a monthly fake newspaper. Some of the articles were silly, about monsters or aliens. Others reported what my family was up to (The Hanson Family Bakes Christmas Cookies! Steve Has a Piano Recital). I used to mail the newspapers to my grandparents and aunts every month. My parents even got me special bright-orange paper to print my newspapers on. Only the best newspapers in the world had electric-orange paper!

Every Christmas, my family and I made gingerbread houses (usually out of graham crackers). When we first started, they were the size of small, school-lunch milk cartons, but by the time I was in high school, we were all making houses bigger than cereal boxes.

My favorite subjects in school were art, writing, music, and math. I used to make sculptures out of glue and toothpicks. I took piano lessons for sixteen years. I've made short poem books for most of my life. In the summer I would get my friends together to record movies about math. I even studied all of those things (at least for a little while) in college. Even though I just write now, I'm glad I've done all those things because I love variety.

After college I wanted to laugh more, so I started performing improv comedy professionally in Minneapolis. Improv comedy is when people from the audience yell out suggestions and actors (like me!) create short, funny stories based on the suggestions. I performed for a year and did more than a hundred shows before quitting to move to New Zealand.

I never got a chance to live overseas when I was in school, so I moved to New Zealand when I was twenty-seven. I flew out there with two suitcases, a passport, and a hotel reservation for my first week. I had to figure everything else out when I got there! I eventually found a place to live and met some wonderful friends.

New Zealand is beautiful (green rolling hills next to the ocean with tall mountains in the background), so I spent every afternoon hiking on trails that started in the city. I also read and wrote every day, but most importantly I met my wife while I was there! She came back to America with me, and since then we have lived in Colorado and Minnesota. We have one child, and I'm lucky that I get to spend a lot of time with him.

I am a licensed scuba diver and have been on many dives in the Gulf of Mexico. One of my favorite ones was a night dive. The only light was from my flashlight and the moon. Every time someone kicked their flippers, the water sparkled because tiny sea creatures called plankton shimmer when they are disturbed. It was so cool to watch all the night fish (like crabs and lobsters) roam around the glittery water.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...