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Chizzy’s Topsy Tale Review

Chizzy’s Topsy Tale

By Donna J. Shepherd

Illustrated by Kevin Collier

Published by Guardian Angel

Print ISBN 13: 978-1-935137-10-8

eBook ISBN 13: 978-1-935137-13-9


Sneakiness is just part of being a small child. They get excited just with a simple notion they’ve put in their heads. Add the mixture of ‘friend’ in there and you’ve got an adventure waiting to happen. Well, adventure is what you get in Chizzy’s Topsy Tale, beautifully illustrated by Kevin Collier. I have to say there isn’t one book I’ve come across illustrated by Collier that hasn’t impressed me.

Ms Shepherd’s book doesn’t involve children but animals…monkeys, and hippos, and elephants, oh my! Chizzy’s best friend Dotty the hippo found some fresh fruit. Her little nudge is enough to entice Chizzy to sneak from his tree house and follow Dotty. However, finding the fresh fruit will prove extremely adventurous.

The strength of this book is the poetic flare throughout on each page along with the illustrations. The storyline brings the animals alive, appealing to this big child, but to families who are seeking a story that will entertain and teach children the mishaps of disobeying.

A great and fun read all around.

Lea Schizas


November 26, 2008 Posted by | Children's/YA | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

If I Could reviewed by Lea Schizas

ificouldcover1If I Could – Si Yo Pudiera

Written by Nancy Sweetland

Illustrated by Robert Sweetland

Published by Raven Tree Press

ISBN: 0-9770906-9-8

Price: $16.95

Meet the husband and wife team and creators of “If I Could/ Si Yo Pudiera”; book available in English and Spanish.

This children’s picture book touches the imagination of one little boy who fantasizes various things he’d love to be. Everything from flying to spinning webs like a spider. As children, we certainly can remember how we imagined ourselves becoming astronauts, singers, teachers, doctors, taxi drivers, etc. In Ms Sweetland’s book, her character is no different, yet he takes it one step further and pictures himself as various animals.

I’ve always loved Raven Tree Press’s books because of the imaginary world they pull their readers into, the educational value behind each story, and the vivid illustrations to go with each page.

The author and illustrator end “If I Could/ Si Yo Pudiera” with a valuable lesson for children: “I’m very glad that I’m just me!” Perfect ending. I highly recommend this poetically versed book for parents to read to their young ones.

Lea Schizas

November 17, 2008 Posted by | Children's/YA | , , , | Leave a comment

The Magic Violin by Mayra Calvani


The Magic Violin

By Mayra Calvani

Illustrations by K. C. Snider

Print ISBN13: 978-1-933090-49-8

eBook ISBN 13: 978-1-933090-62-7

Published by Guardian Angels Publishing, Inc.

Christmas is a time when magic can weave its long hand of possibilities and create a setting where anything is possible. This is what I found in Mayra Calvani’s The Magic Violin.

Little Melina craves to learn how to play Vivaldi’s “Winter”. Yet, along the way she becomes disillusioned in herself and capability to be a good violinist. Her mentor, Andrea, a woman with twinkling green eyes and a mysterious bright green-stoned ring, encourages her to keep practicing.

One day, Melina is out with her parents when she hears Vivaldi’s piece being played. And this is where the magic for this little girl and for all the little girls who will read this story will begin.

Mayra strings the reader with her simple yet precise words, and the illustrations bring the whole book to life. The Magic Violin is a tale of believing in yourself, a ‘feel good’ classical read.

I highly recommend it for families to read together and appreciate the magical qualities an adult can inspire in a young child.

Lea Schizas – Muse Book Reviewer 4/4 Roses


November 5, 2008 Posted by | Children's/YA | , , | Leave a comment