Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth Will Love the New Leather-Bound "An Encyclopedia of Tolkien The History and Mythology That Inspired Tolkien's World" by David Day (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

It has been awhile since I have sat down and read a book cover to cover -- especially a book that is over 500 pages. But, when I started to read the An Encyclopedia of Tolkien: The History of Mythology That Inspired Tolkien's World (Leather-bound Classics), which just released back on October 8th.  I picked up the book thinking I would get a couple chapters read, but ended up not being able to put it down.  If you are a huge Tolkien fan, then you will see what I mean when you pick up this beautifully leather-bound book. As the title of this book suggests, this is a comprehensive guide of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth including history, lands and inhabitants.  

Next to the leather bound hardcover, the illustrations that fill the pages of this Tolkien encyclopedia are what will "wow" readers.  The author, David Day, presents Tolkien's Middle Earth in an A-Z dictionary format.  He weaves thousands of years of Middle Earth history in the 544-page book, taking time to discuss battles, beasts and heroes of Tolkien's stories.  Because it is set up as an A-Z dictionary format, I found myself going back after reading it cover to cover, to read certain parts again, and admiring the black and white illustrations that fill this one of a kind hardcover book.

If you are Tolkien fan or know someone who is, you will definitely want to get your hands on An Encyclopedia of Tolkien: The History of Mythology That Inspired Tolkien's World (Leather-bound Classics) by David Day.  With the holidays fast approaching, this book could have you checking of people on your shopping list with this one book, as it is a must read/must own for Tolkien fans.  And, with the leather-bound detailing and gold-foil page tips, it is so well-done that it would make the perfect gift for Tolkien fans.  At only $24.99, this comprehensive A-Z Middle-Earth guide to Tolkien's Middle Earth, is a real steal.  Once you see this book up close you will see what I mean. 

So, what are you waiting for?  Head on over to Amazon and order a copy of An Encyclopedia of Tolkien: The History of Mythology That Inspired Tolkien's World (Leather-bound Classics) by David Day today.  Then, get ready to read this book cover to cover, time and time again.

More about this book:

"An Encyclopedia of Tolkien: The History of Mythology That Inspired Tolkien's World (Leather-bound Classics) by David Day (Canterbury Classics; ISBN:  978-1645170099; Leather Bound Hardcover $24.99; 544 pages) is a comprehensive, illustrated guide to the history, lands, and inhabitants of Middle-earth.

The fantasy world of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth contains a rich assortment of people, cities, and creatures—as well as a deep, intertwined history that spans thousands of years. In this beautifully illustrated, leather-bound volume, best-selling author and Tolkien scholar David Day presents four decades of research and writing on the lands and inhabitants Middle-earth. Sections of this A-to-Z dictionary are devoted to discussion of the battles, history, beasts, and heroes of Tolkien’s stories, and are accompanied by black-and-white illustrations. This comprehensive volume on Tolkien’s world also includes an appendix of three primary legends that served as sources for Tolkien’s creations—the Volsunga saga, the Nibelungenlied, and Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle—and more than 200 black-and-white illustrations."

About the Author:

David Day is the author of five major books on the world of J.R.R. Tolkien, including Guide to Tolkien’s World: A Bestiary and A Guide to Tolkien. Together with Tolkien: The Illustrated Encyclopedia, these books have been translated into sixteen languages, and have sold in excess of two million copies. A Canadian living in Toronto, Day has also published over thirty other books of mythology, history, fantasy, fiction, and poetry, for both adults and children. 

Disclosure: I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.
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Monday, October 14, 2019

Frankie's Scared of EVERYTHING by Tattoo Artist Mathew Franklin is a Must Read Children's Book for Halloween (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.

indie children's book publisher expressive language

(Releases on October 18th)

When I first heard about this book, I have to admit, I wondered how good this children's picture book would, as it was written by a tattoo artist.  You usually never expect to tattoo artist to write a book, especially one for kids.  But, this intrigued me, as did the synopsis, that I asked to have a review copy sent my way for my girls and I to review. 

I read through this book before sharing and with my girls, and was so happy I asked to review it, as it is truly an amazing picture book for kids.  I also learned that Matthew Franklin not only wrote the book, but also did all the illustrations, which really made the story come to life, and kept my girls engaged. Matthew is not only a tattoo artist, but is also a painter, graphic designer and musician.  So, he has all the bases covered in the "art" world, and now can add children's author and illustrator to his list of talents/skills.  When I sat my girls down to read the book, I didn't tell them about the author being a tattoo artist.  I wanted to see if they could pick up on this or the unique nature of the illustrations as we flipped through reading each page of this book about a young boy named Frankie, who is afraid of everything.  Upon opening the book, the girls were quick to point out how the illustrations were like nothing they have seen before in a children's picture book.  I asked them if this was a problem, but they said, "No!"  They loved this unique feel to the story, and couldn't wait for me to continue reading to learn all about Frankie and see the breathtaking and oh so vibrant illustrations.

The story itself it easy for even the youngest of listeners to follow along, as there are only a handful of words on each page.  The real treat are the illustrations that fill each page of this book.  

You will find that your and your child will linger for a while to take in all the details, including shadows and 2-D style illustrations.  This book is especially perfect for reading during the month of October as you countdown to Halloween as it is a cute "scary" story for kids -- it isn't scary at all, but seeing Frankie and all the things he imagines and is scared of, will make this a fun "creepy" story that kids will enjoy, time and time again.

My girls really got into this picture book, and  have continued to ask me to read it to them at bedtime each night.  Even though they know the ending, and what happens throughout the book, I think they really just want to admire the illustrations which make this a must own picture book for kids of all ages.  Even parents will find themselves loving this quick read, and getting excited when their kids ask them to read this book, as they know they will all be in for a treat.

So, if you are looking for a cute book to share as Halloween nears, or want to experience a new children's author...then you will want to check out tattoo artist, Matthew Franklin's new picture book, "Frankie's Scared of EVERYTHING" today.


More about this book:

"You would be scared too if your own brain was out to get you!
The world can be a dark place. More and more we find ourselves and our children feeling overwhelmed by the unknown and the pressures of society. This book helps instill early on the fact that our fears can be our greatest strengths.
Follow Frankie as his imagination runs wild creating robots, beasts, sea creatures, and even a mole man on this technicolor adventure.
Being afraid has never looked so fun."
Ages: 3-8
Pages: 32 
About the Author:
Mathew Franklin is a tattoo artist, painter, graphic designer, and musician. After receiving degrees in painting and photography from Miami University he immediately became a staple in the art scene in Columbus, Ohio where he currently resides. 

Disclosure:  I was sent a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All views shared are mine and mine alone.
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Welcome in Fall with a Good Book with "Gabby" and "Norman" -- Two New Children's Books from Ripley’s Picture Books (Review)

Disclosure:  I was sent review copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

In addition to the annual Ripley's Believe It or Not! Books, I love picking up and sharing their picture books with my girls, as they are not only entertaining to read, but are filled with positive messages that the girls can apply to their own lives, as they grow and mature.   Recently, I was sent two Ripley's Picture Books to share with my girls, and I couldn't wait to snuggle up on the couch with my girls and read these two books with them.

Here are the two books, which were sent our way, and that released back in May of this year:

About this Book:

"Brand new picture books from Ripley’s feature fun and engaging stories around more Ripley’s Aquarium mascots, this time Gabby the sea turtle and Norman the penguin. Filled with expressive illustrations, silly situations, and lovable characters, kids and parents alike will be enchanted by each of these charming “tails”!

Gabby's not afraid of the dark! Well, maybe just a little. Join Gabby as she explores the deep, dark ocean. Told from Gabby's point of view, kids will relate to how scary the dark can feel but, like Gabby, will be assured that they, too, can conquer their fear and maybe even make a new friend in the process!"

About this Book:

"Who says penguins can't fly? Join the adorable Norman as he searches for a way to accomplish the impossible. Told from Norman's point of view, young readers will giggle at Norman's silly attempts and relate to his disappointment at his failures. Will Norman ultimately find a way to fly? There's only one way to find out!"


Just looking at the cover art for these two books makes me smile as I am a huge animal lover and think these two animals are just the cutest.  Don't you agree? :-)  These were the first two picture books from the Ripley's picture book line, which are based off of Ripley’s Aquarium mascots.  There are two previous releases in the series, "Sharkee and the Teddy Bear" and "Bremner and the Party", which I plan to pick up for my girls, so that we can grow this super cute picture book series from Ripley's.  

As a parent, I am always looking for picture books that I can share with my girls that are not just entertaining, but that can open up lines of communication for to talk to my girls about body image, bullying, believing in yourself, sharing and even bravery.  So, when I read through the books before sharing with my girls, I was so excited as these two books touched upon positive messages that I love sharing with my girls, and seeing if they can identify the moral/lesson after we finish a story, and share how it makes them feel, or how it has related to their lives, or how they would handle a situation based on what they learned.

The picture book, "Gabby and the Dark" is about a turtle who is a little afraid of the dark.  The story is easy to read and can be enjoyed by even the youngest of listeners, as it only has a few words per page in the beginning, and then finishes with page after page of illustrations and no words. I like books like this as you can ask your kids to describe what is going on and listen to them use their imagination to tell creative stories.  Each and every time you read this story with your kids, the wordless pages can change each time your kids start describing what is happening, which is always fun.  My girls loved coming up with fun underwater creatures that Gabby is coming into contact with, as we read the book the first few times, just looking at their eyes in the dark illustrations.  It wasn't until we turned the page that we could finally see who was looking back at Gabby.  The illustrations in this Ripley's picture book are bright and colorful and really playful.  My girls were engaged all the way through the book, and get stopping me from flipping to the next page, as they wanted to take in all the details of the illustrations that filled the entire page of this book.

"Norman and the Flight" is another cute picture book by Ripley's that is about a penguin named Norman who thinks he can fly.  Others are telling him that penguins can't fly, but he doesn't want to hear this, and works so hard to prove them wrong. But, with each failed attempt is only becomes more upset and discouraged, and starts to wonder if the others were right about penguins not being able to fly.  It isn't until the end of the book that with a little help from a ocean friend, that Norman finally takes flight.  The ending will sure have you and your child(ren) smiling. My girls really enjoyed this picture book, and were happy to see that Norman never gave up, and in the end he was able to fly.  He believed in himself and never gave up, and is a great message for young kids to hear, and for parents to remind kids about, as they may get discouraged easier if things don't go their way, or they don't think they can do something, and want to easily give up.  Parents can remind their kids about Norman and how he tried and tried until he was finally able to fly.  

I am so happy I had the chance to share these two cute picture books from Ripley's with my girls.  Like I said, I plan to pick up the previous two picture books in this series to share with them, as I know they will love them, just as much as these two books.  If you are looking for a couple new picture books to share with your little ones at bedtime, that are a quick read, but full of colorful illustrations and opportunities for your kids to add their own take on the story with the wordless pages, then you should definitely check out these two recent releases from Ripley's.  You can learn more about these cute picture books and past children's book releases from Ripley's by visiting: https://www.ripleys.com/books/.  With the holidays fast approaching, these picture books, as well as their line of board books would make for great gift ideas for kids, as well as their popular annual "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" books.

Disclosure:  I was sent review copies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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