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Coretta Scott
Coretta Scott
by Ntozake Shange
Edition: Hardcover
37 used & new from $1.59

5.0 out of 5 stars Very highly recommended, March 2, 2012
This review is from: Coretta Scott (Hardcover)
In non-rhyming verse, Ntozake Shange tells the tells the story of Coretta Scott and the civil rights movement through specifics in Coretta Scott's life from her walk to school to the March on Washington, achieving voting rights and beyond. CORETTA SCOTT does an excellent job in incorporating both Coretta Scott's religious faith and her marriage into the story while simultaneously focusing on Coretta Scott as the central character with power within herself. She is portrayed as a leader in her own right, not just a follower. The author creates a moving portrait of a woman dedicated to prayer and also social action. CORETTA SCOTT is not only an excellent biography for children but also a portrait of determination to inspire today's children to persist though adversity towards their beliefs and goals. What a wonderful resource libraries, teachers and individual readers in American history, Black History, and Women's History!

The portrayal of the injustices of segregation, both in text and paintings, are powerful in their simplicity and also age appropriate. The author and the artist do not gloss over the trials of the times but disturbingly violent images are absent. The reproductions of the paintings (oil on birch wood) are stunningly beautiful, especially the expressions and posture in the portraits. The poetry flows naturally for reading aloud. At the end of the book, the author includes a prose note detailing more specific details of both Coretta Scott and Martin Luther King, Jr. lives and work for children interested in more information. It would be nice if someday the publisher made an edition with some posters alongside the book for using in the classroom as teaching aids. Very highly recommended!

Courtesy of Book Illuminations


Love, Splat (Splat the Cat)
Love, Splat (Splat the Cat)
by Rob Scotton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $9.99
75 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding!, March 2, 2012
Today is Valentine's Day and Splat has made a special Valentine for Kitten, a kitten who often teases him. Nervous and shy, he lacks the confidence to express his feelings boldly.... but another overly confident boy kitten, Spike, definitely does not lack confidence in the least bit. The two male kittens are in definite competition for the feelings of Kitten. Will Splat win her over and how?

LOVE, SPLAT is fabulous! Who, girl or boy, has not felt exactly like Splat? Who has not encountered competition from someone like Spike? In LOVE, SPLAT, Rob Scotton tells a story of young love (or like) that encompasses a whole range of experience with humor and sensitivity for his characters. Even Seymour, the mouse accompanying Splat, adds a nice dimension. The ending is absolutely marvelous! Rob Scotton adds a twist or two that could be cliche in a book of this type, but under is pen, the ending is simply outstanding!

The delightful illustrations add so much to this story. Mostly black and white, the few touches of color in thew clothing and accessories, create a vibrancy more dynamic than if the illustrations had been all color.

LOVE, SPLAT is a great choice for children. The messages at the end and throughout are valuable (even to adults!) without being heavy handed. They emerge easily and naturally from the story itself. One can easily identify with Splat or have empathy for him. If, like myself, you are an adult who loves children's books, LOVE,SPLAT is a must for your collection. And if you love cats as well, LOVE, SPLAT is a double must -- for yourself and your cat loving friends too!

Courtesy of Book Illuminations


You: A Story of Love and Friendship
You: A Story of Love and Friendship
by Stephen Michael King
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.30
84 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for all ages and many occasions, March 2, 2012
The world has many things in it -- many colors, sizes and all kinds of variations but there is one constant through all things --- friendship. In YOU: A STORY OF LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP, Stephen Michael King creates a cute yet meaningful story about friendship. The illustrations add all sorts of dimensions to this children's tale -- humor, variety and a wonderful sweetness without sappiness. The different scenes are age appropriate and educational for very young children. The story itself is timeless and appropriate for all ages.

YOU would obviously make a great Valentine's gift as well as book to use in the classroom around Valentine's Day. If like myself, you are an adult who loves children's books, YOU is also a wonderful book for adults and for gifts to adults. YOU is also a book for birthdays, anniversaries, or even for friends and family in the hospital or ill or just going through a difficult time. YOU: A STORY OF LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP has a simple message which touches the heart.

Courtesy of Book Illuminations


Courting His Favorite Nurse
Courting His Favorite Nurse
by Lynne Marshall
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $4.73
72 used & new from $0.01

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent emotionally moving romance!, March 2, 2012
When her parents are injured in an accident, nurse Ann Grady returns home to Whispering Oaks to help with their home care. In the hospital, she runs into her first love, Jack Lightfoot. Now a fireman, Jack has moved on with his life but he has never been able to forget his youthful feelings for Ann. Determined not to let go of her this time, Jack sets about to win her over, but can he make her forget the pain they once underwent? Now that she is older and wiser, will Ann be able to face the past? Or does the heart somehow have its own way?

Jack is a romance hero that will move a reader's heart. Patient and steadfast, he is the perfect man for Ann. He is just enough of the flawed hero to gain a reader's empathy for the difficulties he faced in his youth. Likewise, Ann is an admirable character. Dedicated to her job, she also feels loyalty and caring for her family. She has aspirations in both her personal and personal life.

In COURTING HIS FAVORITE NURSE, Lynne Marshall takes on themes familiar to fans of her medical romances such as the second chance romance -- and she does so beautifully! Not only is one happy to see this couple work through the past, but one feels that their current age and experiences create a richer love than the spark that flamed between them in high school. Indeed, in working through their past, they come to truly know and love one another.

COURTING HIS FAVORITE NURSE is superb! Lynne Marshall packs the romance full of emotion to touch the heart. Changes in scene and emotion are skillfully written. Individual scenes are memorable. I read this romance over a very busy weekend but I never felt lost or had to back read when I returned to it because the scenes stuck so vividly in my mind. I wanted to return to the book each time to follow the story. In COURTING HIS FAVORITE NURSE, fans will find a delightful maturity in the author's writing style. Although less dramatically emotional than some of her earlier medical romances, COURTING HIS FAVORITE NURSE reaches the heart just as deeply. The emotional scenes are beautifully nuanced.

So often in a romance series, the secondary characters are just gratuitously there to make way for the next book in the series but not so in COURTING HIS FAVORITE NURSE! The development of the secondary characters felt organic and intrinsic to the story itself rather than a marketing ploy. I felt as if I got to know them emotionally while not being distracted from the main story. COURTING HIS FAVORITE NURSE is one of the few romances where I truly felt I wanted to read the next book in order to read more about the secondary characters. An excellent emotionally moving romance! One of Lynne Marchall's best romances!

Courtesy of Book Illuminations


When My Baby Dreams
When My Baby Dreams
by Adele Enersen
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $11.85
102 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully original and offbeat, February 15, 2012
This review is from: When My Baby Dreams (Hardcover)
Babies sleep a lot. What do they dream? Mother of newborn Mila uses photographic images of her baby sleeping to imagine the world her daughter visits while sleeping. Fabric, toys and items are arranged to create fantasy worlds. Phraseology and images are somewhat repetitive although the repetition is one element that makes the book more fun for children who can get into the rhythm of the book while also seeing the variations. While this book is Adele Enersen's personal creative journey and the story features her own daughter as the central character, thus giving a tone of intimacy and specificity, the story and photographs are universal enough to be enjoyed by other parents and their children.

A widely popular blog now is finally in a more permanent book form to be kept, shared and treasured for years to come. WHEN MY BABY DREAMS is a book for both children and adults to share. It would also make a wonderful gift to parents of newborns. WHEN MY BABY DREAMS would make a wonderful Valentine's gift to your baby to keep for the future to share years later. Fun and creative, one mother's photographic journal inspires the imagination. Delightfully original and offbeat.

Courtesy of Book Illuminations


Just Because You're Mine
Just Because You're Mine
by Sally Lloyd-Jones
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.42
32 used & new from $5.70

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, February 15, 2012
Little Red Squirrel spends the day with his father, climbing and jumping and playing in the woods. With every activity, Little Red Squirrel asks his father if this is why his father loves him. While reaffirming all the good qualities in his son, the father squirrel tells his son that he is not loved for what he does or is. At the end, the father tells his son exactly why he loves his son.

JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE MINE is a story about a parent's unconditional love for his child. The expressive, energetic and adorable illustrations add wonderful dimensions to the story. JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE MINE would make a wonderful resource for teachers on Valentine's Day as well as a birthday present to give to your child. Also, for adults who enjoy the magic of children's books, if your dad is one of those impossible dads to shop for, JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE MINE would make a heartfelt choice to give your father for his birthday or Father's Day.

Courtesy of Book Illuminations


Hedgehug: A Sharp Lesson in Love
Hedgehug: A Sharp Lesson in Love
by Dan Pinto
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $9.14
69 used & new from $0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful!, February 15, 2012
Hedgehug tells the story of a hedgehog very excited about the promise of Valentine's Day. Certain he will find love, he emerges from his burrow expectantly and enthusiastically ... perhaps a little too enthusiastically. Hedgehug looks for love in all the wrong places. Just when all seems lost and the hedghug completely defeated in his Valentine's quest, the unexpected happens.

HEDGEHUG is a delightful Valentines book for children and as well as for parents to read aloud to their children. The story is both sad and happy, with a delightful happy ending twist. With words and wonderful artwork, the reader easily relates or gains sympathy for the hedgehug. HEDGEHUG is a wonderful tale about the unexpected, magical twist of love.

For those adult readers like myself who love children's books, HEDGEHUG is a must for the Valentine's Day collection... or any day really because it captures so well human experience. While there is a wonderful happy ending, HEDGEHUG also captures some of the heartache of love. HEDGEHUG would make a wonderful gift for any adult who has experienced a disappointment in romance. HEDGEHUG is cute and endearing without being sappy. Delightful!

Courtesy of Book Illuminations


Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship
Following Atticus: Forty-Eight High Peaks, One Little Dog, and an Extraordinary Friendship
by Tom Ryan
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.67
88 used & new from $0.01

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb!, October 27, 2011
Tom Ryan leads an active intellectual life in Newburyport as editor of the town newspaper, The Undertoad. He breathed in and thrived on the town's politics and divisions without hesitation to tell the truth and take people to task. Then one day, his life changed, when he got roped into caring for a dog no one else would take. The time he spent with this dog, Max, leads to that special dog, miniature schnauzer Atticus M. Finch.

FOLLOWING ATTICUS is the story about a friendship between a man and his dog, a friendship that leads the man to follow his dog, hiking the high peaks of the White Mountains. The author gives readers a vibrant sense of place as he describes his town and its people. Overweight and living a life of the mind, Atticus leads him to a more active lifestyle into the natural world outside the town. At one point, Atticus's breeder exhorts Ryan to follow the dog --- and he does. Ryan does not follow the typical owner as alpha dog of the pack. Instead, Atticus takes the lead. Atticus leads Ryan into more places than just the physical mountains before them. He leads Ryan into a rich inner space. FOLLOWING ATTICUS is at once a book about the richness of friendship between man and dog, and yet, the story also moves outward to others. FOLLOWING ATTICUS explores the relationship between father and son, the author's changing relationship to the town and even his participation in charity work that affects those much farther away. As the author increasingly moves into a space of solitude between man, dog and mountain, in a perhaps unexpected way, his life connects more and more with others.

FOLLOWING ATTICUS is the perfect choice for anyone who loves dogs and also for sons and fathers (and even daughters and fathers for women readers like myself). FOLLOWING ATTICUS has a spiritual element that emerges from the story and experience itself, a gentle spirituality that is not heavy or overdone. FOLLOWING ATTICUS touches both the heart and intellect. This book makes for wonderful nighttime reading and a terrific gift for friends and family especially since it is not one of those overly cute dog books. FOLLOWING ATTICUS grows on you with each page. Although the title and blurbs clearly give readers a hint about the contents, FOLLOWING ATTICUS is much, much more than I initially expected. As soon as I finished the book, my husband picked it up and had much the same reaction. FOLLOWING ATTICUS is a keeper, one of those memorable books that will stand out to me years from now after having read it.

Courtesy of Book Illuminations


One for the Road
One for the Road
by Lynne Marshall
Edition: Paperback
23 used & new from $0.01

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful, humorous comeback romance, October 5, 2011
This review is from: One for the Road (Paperback)
When her husband dies, D'Anne Palmer finds herself down on her finances with the luxury motor coach as her only asset. If she can rent out her RV and offer her services as a driver, she might just be able to survive her current financial hardship. Now that she has no one to look out after her, D'Anne must look out for herself. She can't expect and doesn't want her children taking care of her. Once country music singer Tyler White had a smash hit, but can he stage a comeback at this age? He's put together the band and all the tour. Now all he needs is cheap transportation. D'Anne sets the stage with all sorts of rules for the band to follow, but some rules are meant to be broken. Can the growing love of a good man loosen her up enough to enjoy the new world before her? From the very beginning, Tyler feels a strong attraction to D'Anne but can he win her over?

In ONE FOR THE ROAD, Lynne Marshall breaks away from the format of the medical romance into a more free flowing and humorous romance more clearly her own. Fans of her medical romances will cherish the author's theme of mature romances common in her new release as well as her medical romances. The mature romance in ONE FOR THE ROAD is a refreshing change of pace from the young characters in many romances, characters that can become more and more juvenile if not trite as the distance between character and reader becomes more and more distant. In ONE FOR THE ROAD, Lynne Marshall enters into more daring territory as her characterization and even action include realistic descriptions of her characters' age. How refreshing! The inclusion of these imperfections makes for a deeper, more moving romance as well as scenes that are quite humorous.

ONE FOR THE ROAD is an entertaining sometimes wonderfully earthy, fast-paced romance between two individuals striving to re-establish themselves after life's circumstances have not always treated them well. The dialogue adds both romance and delightful humor to the situations. A bit of mystery adds a sense of drama to the trip. For this reader, rating ONE FOR THE ROAD with a number is a difficult task. At times, the cast of characters seems a bit large for the scope of one single romance, sometimes distracting from the intensity of the romance between Tyler and D'Anne although at other times, the characters and the conflicts between them give a sense of depth to the setting and characters. If ONE FOR THE ROAD is the opening book in a series that will follow up on some of the other characters introduced here, then the amount of time given to the secondary characters fits better. The narrative structure of ONE FOR THE ROAD is definitely looser than the tightness of the author's previous medical romances. In this romance, Lynne Marshall adds details one might not expect to see in a romance, but these are precisely the details that make this romance special.

ONE FOR THE ROAD is highly recommended for romance readers looking for a humorous and moving romance between two more mature characters who have some life experience behind them. Both characters are endearing in their own way precisely because they experience the vulnerabilities and imperfections common to humanity but both have big, big hearts. ONE FOR THE ROAD is a romance that leaves a reader laughing and smiling and feeling good inside. If you have not yet discovered Lynne Marshall's romances before, her romances are refreshing, uniquely delightful, and often explore exciting corners of the the romance genre.

Courtesy of Book Illuminations


Betrayal of Trust: A J. P. Beaumont Novel
Betrayal of Trust: A J. P. Beaumont Novel
by J. A. Jance
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.59
272 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, August 18, 2011
The shocking video of what appears to be a snuff film is discovered on the cell phone of the grandson of Gerry Willis, the governor of the state of Washington. Hoping for discretion, the governor seeks the help of his old friend J.P. Beaumont. The evidence seems ironclad. A young girl appears to be involved in the popular choking game but suddenly the game turns sinister. Josh swears he knows nothing about the video. As J.P.Beaumont and his partner, Mel Soames, investigate, the clues take them into unexpected territory from the family history of the governor to the darker sides of troubled teens. Memories of Beaumont's childhood past return but nothing can prepare him or Mel for the devastating secrets this case will reveal.

J.A. Jance's latest installment in the J.P. Beaumont series is a mystery full of rich characters, well-plotted clues, intriguing diversions on the way to the final resolution, and topically current issues. The author reveals intriguing insights into Beaumont's character. BETRAYAL OF TRUST can be enjoyed both by fans of the series as well as series newcomers. Thanks to the author's exceptional skill in characterization, Beaumont's character becomes richer with each book. Newcomers can also enter this case without the long series rehash at the beginning that sometimes often accompanies longstanding series. The author's striking contrasts in the socio-economic settings of her characters as well as the choices made by individual characters heighten the emotion of the story. J.A. Jance's new mystery, true to its title, examines multiple layers of the betrayal of trust from the appearance of the video to those closest to the victim and the perpetrator. Betrayal of trust ripples out, affecting almost everyone. To say more would give away too much of the plot. Quite simply, BETRAYAL OF TRUST is a fantastic mystery, the kind of mystery that takes readers into the world of the story. The pace of the story is perfect. The story flows easily from scene to scene, page to page. J.A. Jance is a fantastic storyteller. BETRAYAL OF TRUST is a superb reading choice for mystery lovers wanting to delve into a well-told story and quite a memorable case, the kind of case that will keep one thinking after the first page. If you haven't tried this author's mysteries yet, perhaps afraid of her large backlist, don't hesitate. J.A. Jance and J.P. Beaumont are well worth discovering!

Courtesy of Book Illuminations


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