Friday, April 26, 2013

Friendship Friday ~ God Bless the USA

This weekend I joined in with Friendship Friday and we are supposed to share a little about ourselves with our readers and then share a favorite song. This week the kids & I have been listening to the Veggietales Go Country CD (Love it!) and tracks 5, 6 and 7 are wonderful. In particular, I love the song God Bless the USA both by the Veggietales crowd and also by Lee Greenwood. So, in memory of the victims of last weeks bombing and in support of the men & women who risk their lives for us everyday ~ Here is the video from Youtube:

This week's theme is "This Land is Your Land" and the questions to answer this week are:

1. What country are you from / do you currently live in? 
I am from the US and live in Nebraska which is smack in the middle of the US. Nebraska is a land of varied temperatures (3 weeks ago the kids had a snow day from school (!) and today it was in the 50's). Most people think that the Midwest is flat but it's not. Nebraska has rolling hills, dunes and buttes. The muddy mo goes right past Omaha where I live and I only have to drive about 5 minutes and I'm in the next state where you'll find the Loess Hills (basically mini cliffs) and beautiful scenic drives. You can learn more about Nebraska here and here.

drawing of bridge at night over river 
The Bob Kerrey pedestrian bridge spans the Missouri River
and people can walk from Nebraska to Iowa just crossing it.

2. How much of that country have you visited? 
    I have visited Colorado several times, Minnesota, Illinois, Maryland, Virginia, Washington DC (I LOVE DC!), California (altho I don't remember it), Iowa (my folks live there), South Dakota (my sister lives there and we've been to the Black Hills, Kansas, Missouri.

3. Which part of the country would you love to visit next? 
    I LOVE the East Coast and would love to visit Philadelphia and Boston to say I've been there. I'd love to stay on the beach again altho in a more secluded area (not touristy). I'd also like to visit Alberquerke and Oregon. If I traveled out of the country I'd like to visit Canada and Scotland (yeah, I want to hear that Scottish accent - don't think I'd ever get tired of it).

Tell me a little about you & if you decide to follow me (linky followers, FB or Twitter) - please leave a comment and let me know so I can follow you back =D. Thanks!

You can link up here if you'd like to join the blog hop!


Please Tweet to help share these hops:
1. May 13-19th - be sure to return for the 3rd annual Children's Book Week giveaway hop! 
2. May 14-27th - The 2nd Annual Summer Splash Giveaway Event! Don't miss out there will be all kinds of Summer Goodness that you just MIGHT WIN! Sign up to participate with your blog here.
3. June 1 - August 1 - the 3rd Annual Middle Grade Summer Book Club. We have 6 books that I will be reviewing & then giving away to several awesome readers! Don't miss out!

Friendship Friday Photobucket

Friday, April 19, 2013

April Announcements

I have some exciting news for events coming up right here on Classic Children's Books. Now that school is getting out it's important to think about HOW you are planning to keep your kids learning and reading this summer and CCB is planning on helping you do just that! Here are a few events you'll want to add to your calendar - DO NOT miss out on these:


Be sure to enter to WIN
<drum roll please........>

The Entire Set of 
of books for kids 7+
*** That's 11 possibly 12 (!) books ***

Do I hear a collective WOW?

The 3rd Annual Middle Grade Summer Book Club 
is just around the corner!

Be sure to return starting 5/1 for reviews
(and giveaways) of books like:

  The Cats of Tanglewood Forest Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel
The Cypher (Guardians Inc., #1) Picture of Phoenix Files, Book 1, Arrival

Disclaimer: this post is for announcement purposes - please stay tuned for reviews summer of 2013.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Blogger Opp: Back to School Blast Event


Back to School Blast Event

Hosted by: Mom Powered Media
Prize: $1,000 in Gift Cards up for grabs!
Event dates: 7/1 - 8/1

Free Blogger Event: Sign Up HERE

Thursday blog hop

Friday, April 5, 2013

Pinwheel ~ Book Blast!

Let the fun begin with every SPIN!
by Salina Yoon
ISBN: 978-0316221764
Preorder: $12.99 $8.76 (hardback)

About the book:
Turn the wheel and watch each scene transform with spinning, eye-catching designs! Award-winning artist Salina Yoon's spectacular display of kinetic art immerses readers in a colorful, poetic journey. From a balloon-filled sky to the deep blue sea, Pinwheel reminds readers of the beauty all around them. Let the fun begin with every spin!

My thoughts:
Pinwheel is a beautiful book that both Sierra (3) and Connor (5) were equally enamored with. Each page has a different method of turning a pinwheel and seeing shapes, designs and colors shift and move. You'll see a train with a beautiful floral design that looks like it's shifting and getting smaller and smaller in the center. Another page has a school of fish following a giant octopus and the colors (which strongly reminded me of Rainbow Fish) shift and change making it look like they are swimming. You'll also see a circus wheel spinning, a kite dancing through the sky and watch the flame in a hot air balloon move and the stars spinning in the sky. This book is beautiful!

As with all books that have tabs and flaps that move you'll want to read this with your younger children so it lasts a while longer than if you left your kids to it. Each of the pages is a double thickness and it is considered a board book. I would suggest that you continue to read it as a group until your children are 5 or 6 years old and able to be "gentle" with the pages. Pinwheel will easily become a family heirloom if you and your children treat it with care and gentleness.

About the author:
Salina Yoon was born in Korea and moved to the US at the age of 4. She is the author, illustrator and format designer of over 200 books that are unique and interactive. Many of her books have tabs, flaps, die cuts and wheels. They are shiny, spin, bumpy and pop-up! You can learn more about her books on her blog @

Pinwheel is available for Pre-Order on Amazon right now for $8.76 and will normally be sold for $12.99. This is a great price for the value you receive in Pinwheel - it is FUN for kids AND adults will love it as well. If you know someone who loves interior design, art, architecture and design in general this would make an ideal gift for their birthday, Christmas or just because! You might also check out her new book: Kaleidoscope and her delightful blog: Penguin and Pinecone which is chock full of the adventures of Penguin who also stars in her new children's book series: Penguin and Pinecone.

Creative FUN!
I have a couple of Pinwheel crafts to share with you - just click the Picture of the craft you want to do with your kiddos (both include patterns to print and cut).... and have FUN!

  Flower Pinwheel craft

Before you all go away, I have the opportunity to GIVEAWAY a copy of Pinwheel to a US Reader! Please be sure to follow CCB (top of page) and share with all your friends & readers about this great opportunity!

Please note: both mandatory entries must be done to enter.... Thanks!

Disclaimer: I was offered a copy of this book to read & review on CCB. I was not required to have a positive review and no $ exchanged hands. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Middle Grade Fiction: Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Book Blast

If you are not a Monster Hunter, click the back button NOW!
Last chance. 
Continuing with this post will give monsters the go ahead to attack you.
You have been warned!

Now available the highly anticipated sequel to Jack Templar Monster Hunter by Jeff Gunhus, a 2012 ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award finalist.

After barely surviving the onslaught of monsters that tried to kill him the day before his fourteenth birthday, Jack Templar leaves his hometown on a quest to rescue his father and discover the truth about his past. Joined by his friends Will and T-Rex, and led by Eva, the mysterious one-handed monster hunter, Jack sets out for the Monster Hunter Academy where he hopes to find answers to his questions. Little does he suspect that the Academy is filled with dangers of its own, many of them more terrifying than anything he’s faced so far. Learn more at

An excerpt from Jack Templar Monster Hunter...:

I reached over and tugged at Eva’s arm. “Do you see that? In the woods?”

“I told you,” Daniel said. “There’s nothing…”

With a snarl, a massive black wolf broke from the tree line and ran at Saladin’s legs.

Saladin erupted in a high-pitched whine, reared back and delivered a blow to the wolf’s rib cage with his hoof. The wolf yelped and tumbled backward. Saladin bolted forward at full-speed, dragging the wagon behind him like it was no more than a toy.

Bacho, wide-awake now, clung onto the side rail for dear life. T-Rex yelled and hung onto the side. Will lost his grip and tumbled down the length of the wagon, hitting the wood gate at the back end. That seemed to stop him for a second, but then the gate broke open and he fell backward.

At the last second, Daniel grabbed his arm and held onto him. Will was half out of the wagon, his legs dragging on the ground.

Two wolves fell in behind us, running hard. They closed in on Will’s legs. I crawled forward and grabbed Daniel. T-Rex tugged the back of my jacket to try to help pull us back on. Together, we heaved Will back into the wagon, the nearest wolf snapping at his heels as we hauled him on board.

The forest was now alive with wolves. Black shadows on both sides of the road hurtled through the trees, keeping pace with Saladin’s manic sprint. Daniel pulled his sword. Will and I followed suit. Bacho grabbed T-Rex with one of his huge hands and dragged him forward onto the front bench by him.

“Are they werewolves?” I shouted.

“No. Not this lot anyway,” Daniel said. “If they were, we’d already be dead. There is one among them, though. A giant black wolf with a white cross on his chest. Watch for him.”

In the front, Bacho pulled out a crossbow and a quiver of bolts from under his seat. He took aim at one of the wolves and fired. The bolt flew harmlessly above the animal. Not even close. Eva leaned over.

“Bacho, give me the crossbow,” she called.

“Careful, Miss,” Bacho said. “Them’s poisoned bolts on there.” Bacho handed her the bow just as two wolves sped past the wagon, drawing even with Saladin. They nipped at his long legs, biting at his haunches.

With one smooth motion, Eva plucked out a bolt, slid it into position, cocked the crossbow and took aim at the nearest wolf.


The bolt caught him in the side and he rolled up in a ball with a yelp. The other wolves pulled back into the tree line, but still kept pace with the wagon.

I looked up ahead and saw what they were waiting for. The road was about to get very narrow. Worse, the path had been cut into a hill so that the ground on either side rose up just a bit higher than the top of the wagon. The wolves tore through the trees and up the hill.

“Get ready!” Daniel cried.

Learn more:
1) Read more about Book 1: Jack Templar Monster Hunter and Jeff Gunhus
2) Follow the tour for: Jack Templar and the Monster Hunter Academy.
3) Author website:
4) Book Website:
5) Twitter: @JTMonsterHunter
6) Facebook:
7) Goodreads:

About the author:
Jeff Gunhus is the author of the Middle Grade/YA series The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. Jeff is also the co-CEO of College Works Painting, a national company with over 4,000 employees that has been featured in national media for its unique opportunity for college students to learn entrepreneurial skills.  He is the author of the motivational career guides No Parachute Required (Hyperion) and Wake Up Call (Seven Guns Press). After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active lifestyle in Maryland by trying to constantly keep up with his kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the CIty Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel.

Monster Hunter Academy

Win $50 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash

Learn more about what people thought on this Book Tour! Tour Schedule: 

April 4 
April 5
April 6
April 7 
April 8 
April 9 
April 11 
April 12 
April 13 
April 14 

April 17 
  • Keeping Up With The Rheinlander's (Review & Top Ten List) 
    Disclaimer:  A GWR Publicity promotional event paid for by the author. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Princess April Morning-Glory ~ Blog Tour April Morning-Glory 
by Letitia Fairbanks
ISBN: 9780988784802
Pre-Order: $24.00

About the book: 
What kind of a world would you create, if you had to do three good deeds to make it home again?

Focused around the brave and courageous Princess April who must first transcend darkness and evil before she can realize her true potential. Intrigued by the Great World and its sense of adventure, a young Princess April decides to abandon the familiarity of her home in Fairyland and undertake a voyage into the unknown. Once outside the Enchanted Forest, she finds comfort and friendship in the company of various creatures who ensure her safe passage.

But returning home proves more difficult than at first she realized. In order to go back to Fairyland, a friendly wizard informs Princess April that she must first accomplish three good deeds. Can Princess April resist the temptation of darker forces and summon enough courage to continue doing good deeds? And if she dares to hold true to herself, will it someday lead her back home again?

My thoughts:
Princess April Morning-Glory is the classic story of a found baby, adopted by a King and Queen (in this case fairies) and raised to be a Good Fairy. You have the typical early 1900's-1950's fiction children's story which was used to teach obedience, a cheerful disposition and good character through a cute story. 

The story is very cute, with darling illustrations (picture the little salt box girl or Shirley Temple type illustrations). The only thing I personally didn't care for was the calligraphy for the text as I found it a hard to read for me as an adult - it would be very difficult for a child learning to read and even a child who is comfortable reading on her own. The illustrations definitely carry the story and are adorable, full of detail and beautiful. 

Ideal for preschoolers who have some ability to focus on the story - approximate age range is 3-6. Reading level is probably 4th grade+ due the calligraphy not the writing itself.

Learn more about the history/style of the book:
At long last, Princess April Morning-Glory emerges as a lost treasure from the golden age of Hollywood.

Written and illustrated in 1941 by Letitia Fairbanks, the niece of silent film stars Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Mary Pickford, the seemingly traditional children’s book is transformed into a modern-day fairy tale that will captivate child and adult readers alike.

Letitia was inspired to create portraiture for the characters of Princess April Morning-Glory from film stars of the day. John Barrymore, and Letitia's cousin Douglas Fairbanks Jr., provided glamorous inspiration through their then-current films. The Wicked King's (Barrymore) costume was sparked by his role as Louis XV in Irving Thalberg's 1938 Marie Antoinette, while the hairstyle resembles his eponymous role in Archie Mayo's 1931 Svengali. Prince Chivalry was inspired by her cousin's (Fairbanks) sword-fighting role in David O. Selznick's 1937 The Prisoner of Zenda.

Viewed as unconventional when it first debuted – up until then, no one had thought to meld a Disney-like moral tale with a swashbuckling adventure – the story centers on the prescient acknowledgment that we create our destinies by the choices that we make.

About the author:
Letitia Fairbanks.jpgLetitia Fairbanks, the niece of Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Mary Pickford, lived a life guided by artistic passions. In 1939, wanting to commemorate her late uncle, Letitia began work on Princess April Morning-Glory, allowing a creative outlet for combining her lifelong loves: painting, writing, and illustration.

Holding firm to her artistic identify, Letitia gravitated toward portraiture, landscapes, and still-lifes. She was also a biographer, co-authoring Douglas Fairbanks: The Fourth Musketeer, with Ralph Hancock. Her marriage to Hal Smoot in 1966 marked the beginning of a particularly joyful and creative period. Needle points and annual Christmas cards, which featured a painting from the previous year, not to mention her role as a wife, mother, step-mother and grandmother brought her much fulfillment. After a life rich in artistic accomplishment, Letitia passed away in September of 1992.

Read other reviews: Click Here  

Publicity Tour + Win Kindle Fire HD! ~ Giveaway Details:

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I was given a copy of Princess April Morning-Glory to read and review on CCB. I was not required to have a positive review and no money exchanged hands. Thanks!