Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Cara's Books That Beckon - by Cara Potapshyn Meyers

Pirates and Princesses
Jill Kargman and Daughter, Sadie
This story of friendship and the playground, was written by NY Times Best Selling Author, Jill Kargman, her 8-year-old daughter Sadie, and NY Times Best Selling Illustrator, Christine Davenier, as an energetic tale all youngsters will be able to relate to. 
When Jill's daughter, Sadie, was insulted by a boy on the playground, she let loose an inappropriate verbal comeback. Jill was called in by the teacher. It was suggested that both Jill and Sadie sit down to read a rather boring book about mice and cheese, which emphasized how to play nicely. Both Jill and Sadie found the book so boring that they decided to write their own book together! A fabulous teaching experience for a child! Thus Pirates and Princesses was born.
Pirates and Princesses begins with a pair of Moms who are best friends, and their same age children. The young children of these Moms are also best friends since they grew up together. Once the children, Ivy and Fletch, enter Kindergarten, they face their first taste of peer pressure: The girls only play with the girls while the boys only play with the boys. Thus, Ivy and Fletch are separated by the Princess Team versus the Pirate Team. Once Fletch steps in to rescue Princess Ivy from a pirate capture do the friends realize how much they have missed playing with one another. But will their special bond be strong enough to unite the rest of the playground?
I read this book with my 8-year-old son who could relate to the storyline. He has a friend he has known since he was two-years-old, named Elena. The two are still close friends and have frequent playdates. I sense, however, that unless their activities involve gender neutral activities, they also will be caught in peer pressured scenarios. Although, both are active and playful, my son is slowly gravitating towards Beyblades and Star Wars while I am sure Elena is cuddling her favorite toys. I am still holding out hope that, like Ivy and Fletch, my son and Elena will continue to delight in each other's company despite gender differences on the playground!
Best selling author, Jill Kargman, paired with her daughter, Sadie and the beautiful, endearing artwork of Christine Davenier, bring to readers the light-hearted tale of gender differences, the unforgettable lesson of open-mindedness, and the breaking down of barriers in this lovely book. Pirates and Princesses will surely resonate with both children and parents alike!
About the Author: 
Jill Kargman has written several novels for women and teens, as well as more than 100 articles for magazines such as Vogue, Elle, Teen Vogue, and Harper's Bazaar, and several shows for MTV. Written with her daughter, Sadie, Pirates and Princesses is her first children's picture book. Her website is:
About the Illustrator:
Christine Davenier has illustrated numerous books, the most recent being the NY Times bestseller, The Very Fairy Princess.

The Bedtime Book for Dogs
Bruce Littlefield
"The Bedtime Book for Dogs," written by Bruce Littlefield is a unique and sweet, one-of-a-kind story that has been getting buzz both in and out of the kennel! This light-hearted, cute book is particularly appropriate for anyone who is a dog lover, especially dog loving children!
In this very original and delightful book, bestselling author, Bruce Littlefield introduces a first of it's kind story to read to your dog (as well as your child) before bed.
"The Bedtime Book for Dogs" describes a rather intelligent dog who decides that he would rather walk to the park by himself than wait for his owner. During this adventure, this dog finds that going for a walk by yourself is just not as exciting as walking with a friend.
I first had my 8 year-old son read the book by himself. We then mutually decided to read this lovely book to one of our dogs. The average dog knows approximately 167 words. We know our dog, Maxi, is way smarter than average and has gone to training classes when he was young. We used the book to guide Maxi to go to his bed and lie down. Maxi complied. My son then proceeded to read the book to Maxi. As Maxi listened attentively (probably hoping for a treat in the end), my son followed the book's "instructions" to prime Maxi to pay attention (again, hoping for a treat!). When the book mentioned that the dog fetched his own leash and opened the door himself (both which Maxi has demonstrated in the past, to our amazement!), my son started rolling on the floor in laughter, recalling the times Maxi has tried to "walk himself!" At the end of the book, Maxi was praised for being such a good listener and received his treat! My son received a face full of kisses! Happiness abound!
This engaging book, with adorable illustrations by Paul S. Heath, is a perfect gift for dog lovers! An easy to read book, with words dogs will understand, such as "come" and "sit,"  "The Bedtime Book for Dogs" will have children reading to their pets again and again! I can certainly attest to that as my reluctant reader son has made reading this book to our dog practically an every night ritual! Since our dog knows that a treat will be presented at the end, he is quite a willing participant!
Bruce Littlefield is a bestselling author of books on American culture such as Garage Sale America and Merry Christmas, America. You can visit his website at For more information about,"The Bedtime Book for Dogs," you can go Grand Central Publishing's website,
This book is easy enough for early readers to read and comprehend. Cute enough for older readers to relate to. And adorable enough for both dogs and adults to appreciate! Particularly when treats are provided at the end!
Professor Wormbog
in Search for the
Mercer Mayer
The very first thing that my eight year-old son mentioned about this book was that the illustrations very closely reminded him of his favorite book, "Where the Wild Things Are," by Maurice Sendak. I absolutely agree. This may be one of the reasons my son found "Professor Wormbog" so engaging.
"Professor Wormbog in Search for the Zipperump-a-Zoo” is a timeless book written by beloved children's author Mercer Mayer who is known for his "Little Monster" and "Little Critters" series.
Mayer's books, with their cute, lovable characters, go through situations that every child experiences. "Professor Wormbog" follows this theme. It tells the story of how difficult it is to find a Zipperump-a-Zoo. Professor Wormbog has collected a Kerploppus, an Ickky and a Useless. Every beastie except for a Zipperump-a-Zoo. Mayer creates a world of silly creatures filled with humor for both children as well as adults. My eight year-old son read it and found the tale very engaging. As stated above, he continually referenced that the illustrations, closely resembling those of "Where the Wild Things Are," drew him into the "Professor Wormbog" story even more. This classic collectable is one that should be found on every child's bookshelf! I also think my son found a new favorite book to read!
This re-released edition of the book, available through Fastpencil PREMIERE Publishing's website,, is the first of many books which will be published through the "Classic Collectibles" line.
 "Professor Wormbog" can be purchased through the website: 
Suggested reading age: 7+. The story can be read to children who are younger than this suggested reading age.

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