Monday, April 28, 2014

Goo And Spot In The Do Not Wiggle Riddle by Elsa Takaoka

Goo and Spot in the Do Not Wiggle Riddle may be one of the most adorable books I have ever read. This cute rhyming book isn't just cute. It teaches the important skills of listening and being patient. The story is unique in that it feels as if Elsa Takaoka is speaking directly to you, the reader! I loved that about this book.
This book is full of adorable illustrations by Catherine Toennisson that support the text very well. The children in the illustrations are very diverse as you can probably tell just from looking at the cover.
This book is definitely worth picking up. In fact, it's top shelf!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Interview With G. Eric Francis

And now meet chicken-loving author

G. Eric Francis

Image of G. Eric Francis

What inspired you to write your first book?

I have been writing since I was 8 years old.  When it comes to the first book, “A Prayer For The Dying”, it was based on stories that I wrote when i was in college, which in turn was based on an old friend who went into law enforcement.  I originally planned to write a screenplay, but once I got out of college , things sort of went dry for about a decade and a half.  While at work one day, the memory of those old stories came back, and I just started typing between working.  The rest just sort of took care of itself.

When did you start considering yourself a writer?

Since the day I put pen to paper…:)
Out of the books you've written, which is your favourite?

8 months ago, I would have said “Prayer.”  But I have had so much fun with “Cluck The Undercover Chicken” I have to say it’s more personal, since it is based on stories I told my son.  That, and the fact that I feel the book can appeal to folks of all ages, as that “Prayer” is for an adult audience.
How do you feel about being interviewed by a children's book character? (That's me, Destiny!)

Well, the wonderful thing about talking to someone who can, well, literally be anything they like (only limited by the imagination) is that you don’t have the flaws that we humans have.  It makes it easy to say what is on your mind and be comfortable about it.

What are you working on next?

Well, that depends.  I have 3 books that are being worked on; hopefully the 2nd book of Cluck’s adventures, another a baseball story for young people, and a sequel to my first “Prayer” book.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Well, I can say this.  Cluck is one of the most arrogant characters I’ve ever come up with.  In his first book, thinking that he knows everything (especially when he goes against his latest adversary, “The Fan”) gets him literally in hot water…or oil, in this case.  Being a chicken, that isn’t a good thing…:)

Out of your own characters, do you have a favourite?

Well, it used to be the main character in my first book, Dionne Richards.  But I think Cluck is quickly catching up.  He’s the great “Antihero”; a character you don’t like per se, but you can’t help rooting for because you know he’s basically good.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

3 Words…Write, Write, Right!

What do you do when you are not writing?

I try to do the best for my boys, especially my youngest, who has special needs (Down Syndrome and Autism).  There are times things are rough because of his lot in life, so being his Dad is truly a full time job.  I hope that my writing will allow me to be a full time stay at home dad so I can be there for him.  In the meanwhile, besides working for a living like everyone else, I collect a copious amount of music, enjoy sports, and I am a decent cook.

If you had to live in one of your books which book would it be?

Ah…well, as I always wanted to be an action star, I think I would have to be “Prayer."

What was your favourite book when you were a kid?

You are going to laugh…I didn’t necessarily have one.  I mean, I read plenty of sci-fi books (especially spinoffs of either the “Star Wars” or “Star Trek” Universe).  But my big thing was anything mythology.  I received this huge volume of Roman and Greek Mythology when I was a kid, and I read that over and over again.  Absolutely loved it.  Oh, and this kid’s version of the Bible with illustrations that my grandparents had…loved those as well.

Anything you would like to add?

I wanted to share this with your readers.  I have so many ideas floating in my head, and I am particularly excited about continuing the “Cluck” series.  But I can’t do that without your support.  I am a writer that depends on folks to read his work as much as I depend on air to breathe.  So I hope you check “Cluck” out; with you he has a long way to go.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Cluck The Undercover Chicken by G. Eric Francis

Cluck is a crazy undercover Chicken who has to take down his formidable foe called the Fan.

We liked the unique style of this book where the author, known in the book as ST, interacts with the main character Cluck. Their dialogue is pretty funny and breaks up the action a bit (which there is quite a bit of). G. Eric Francis is creative and entertaining.

The book seems to be geared more toward boys and particularly older children (it's a little violent), but if you love action, laughs, and if you aren't chicken, check it out!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Once Upon An Island by D.M Potter


Once Upon An Island is the perfect bedtime read if you dream of going on adventures. And as we all know, I love a good adventure. D.M Potter's book is unique and creative because a combines an older concept (a choose your own adventure) book with a newer concept (the eBook)

This is actually better than the traditional choose-your-own-adventure, because instead of having to flip to a certain page, you are presented with two links. 

You can take option one.

Or you can take option two.

In this book you travel to an island called Arapawa, and if you're not careful, you may even end up going back in time. There are fun twists at every corner, so definitely check this book out.

Unlike other books, I find myself reading Once Upon An Island a lot, because each time you read the book you can have a different adventure.

D.M Potter's brilliant writing makes you feel like you are really there. She has a style that is all her own.

This book is definitely top shelf!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Bing & Nero, Boy + Robot = Fun by I.L Williams

Although I think Bing's statement that having a robot is "even better than a dog" is a matter of opinion, I definitely enjoyed this book by I.L Williams about a boy who builds a robot, because he can't have a dog.
There are probably a lot of kids in the world who can't have a dog. Maybe their parents are allergic or maybe they're allergic. But Bing decides that he can do something about it and builds himself a robot friend!
I.L Williams has a fresh writing style that makes this book very easy to read. The text is simple and ties well with the fabulous illustrations provided by Inci Alper. They portray the creative Bing and his robot in a fun, unique style.
If you have ever dreamed about having your very own robot, then you will definitely want to read Bing & Nero, Boy + Robot = Fun.
One of the biggest reasons we like Bing & Nero here at Destiny's Book Dig Up is because the main character Bing is smart, inspired, and creative. (And he wears glasses. Glasses are cool!) He uses his imagination to problem solve and he gets things accomplished.
We think that I.L William's fresh writing style combined with Inci Alper's unique and fun illustrations make this book top shelf!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Always Be Us Three by Natalie Finnigan

Always Be Us Three
A review by Teddy O'Malley
Normally, I let Destiny do all the reviews. This is her blog, after all. But I wanted to review this one, because the book touches a subject that I've been personally affected by. Explaining divorce or separation to a child.
This book and the parent doing the explaining will make a great team as it's written in simple, rhyming language in Natalie Finnigan's very unique style.
We've actually interviewed Natalie on our blog a few weeks ago and you can read our interview with her here.
I'm excited that Natalie dared to go there, because this book is much needed for many reasons. The most important being that separation is confusing and scary to a small child.
Natalie's book reminds the child that both parents will always love them and be there for them. Nothing the child did is responsible for the break-up.
Excerpt from the story
"Your daddy loves you very much and, yes, I love you too. And we want to be the very best that we can be for you."
The book also touches on some more tense moments of parents separating, such as the fighting that often comes before the actual split.
Natalie's witty rhyming explanation takes a friendly and un-scary approach and most importantly, reminds the child that they are loved.