Genre: Artistic Adaptations &/or Picture Books

A #KidsLit Book Spotlight with Notes | featuring “Hector: At Ground Level” by Gary Finnan

Posted Friday, 24 July, 2020 by jorielov , , , , , 1 Comment

Stories in the Spotlight banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: Over the past few years I’ve been subscribing to Scribd off/on as a more affordable way to listen to audiobooks outside of the ones I am borrowing via my local libraries (of whom have OverDrive). Thereby, as I currently have my subscription to Scribd renewed this Summer, the copy of “Hector: At Ground Level” is self-provided through my subscription to Scribd rather than being provided with a complimentary copy of the story. Therefore, I am choosing to participate on the book blitz, sharing my ruminations with my readers for my own edification but also, as a continuation of a reader’s love for illustrated stories and picture books. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I’ve been a bit consumed with health afflictions, stormy weather patterns, connectivity issues and a bit of personal chaos – much the same as I believe most of us who are muddling through different obstacles this year. When I saw the announcement for this lovely little book with the cute little hedgie on the cover, I knew I wanted to participate on the blitz to help ‘announce’ it to my readers who might feel drawn to the premise as I had myself. As it is a keen story to find these days – as it speaks to how despite the circumstances of our lives as we live them, it is a mark of a person’s character how they set their attitude to ride through the harder times than anything else.

We can never know what is coming round the next corner or which emergency might derail our plans in the spontaneity of a life effecting moment arriving out of the blue – but we can *choose!* how we react and how we act after the crisis is over. Those are the defining moments where we learn the most about ourselves and we seek to find a bit of peace out of the storms which affect us at different seasons of our lives.

One of the things which has kept me firmly grounded through my own share of adversities (outside of my faith) is recognising the smaller moments in life – the lightness of a butterfly fluttering past me, the joy of a flower seeking the sun, the rays of light peeking through the clouds whilst noting all the different animals and birds who carve out their own habitat next to ours – in our cities, neighbourhoods and natural forests. There is a bit of joy everyday waiting for us to find it and it is quite true – sometimes, if you’re always looking skyward, you miss a heap on the surface – because sometimes, you have to take a more simpler route to finding what needs to be seen.

I was quite curious about this title and felt others might be as well – I was further overjoyed when I realised Scribd has the original edition which was released in May, 2013. I happily took advantage of my subscription to read a chapter sampler’s worth of the story in order to tuck in my personal thoughts about how this story starts to unfold whilst happily highlighting it for those who might not have heard of its release!

I generally only use Scribd for audiobooks, however, every blue moon – they have a digital copy of a book I’d love to read in print – which allows me to read a short sampler of the stories before I seek them in an edition I can read and enjoy myself. As due to chronic migraines I can only read stories in print or seek them in audiobook.

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A #KidsLit Book Spotlight with Notes | featuring “Hector: At Ground Level” by Gary FinnanHector
Subtitle: At Ground Level and Beyond: A Very Simple Love Story
by Gary Finnan
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Camryn Finnan, Elina Cherianidou
Source: Scribd | Subscription

This Little Book is about being present to the wonders that exist around us At Ground Level, discovering all that we fail to see when we spend so much of our lives chasing bigger, better, faster, more, endeavouring to fly higher.

Everything else seems much more desirable around us than ourselves, or our lives and loves, after a long day at the slug farm.

When do we decide how to proceed with the life we have built thus far: Joy, Passion,

Marriage, Divorce, Suicide, Enlightenment? Choices we have made. What if you built from a place of strength rather than always feeling diminished and unfulfilled? A life built upon the life you have, rather than the elusive life you imagine, yet fear. Build a great life in balance with your best self and your nurtured relationships. Transformation is seeing the hidden gems that truly exist in plain sight.

We have all heard someone say, The grass is greener on the other side. Is it?

Most of us were 4 or 5 years old when the belief structure we made with life set in: I am stupid, I am weak, I don’t deserve, etc. We engaged believing that we should spend our lives proving that we are who we believe everyone else thinks we are. Breaking the cycle of doubt is essential. Loving self is the first love.

The grass is greenest where you are!

Genres: Artistic Adaptations &/or Picture Books, Children's Literature, Illustrated Stories, Self-Improvement & Self-Actualisation


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1935254447

Published by Balboa Press

on 17th December, 2019

Format: Scribd | Chapter Sampler

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Published by: Balboa Press (@BalboaPress)

(*) Note: the edition I am referencing on my post is for the paperback version (in regards to the ISBN, pub date) which has a different publisher listed – however, this spotlight tour is highlighting the ebook edition by Balboa Press – which is why I am showcasing the cover art and other materials reflecting Balboa Press. Whereas the edition I was reading a sampler from on Scribd was the original edition of this story and completely separate from the current paperback & ebook editions.

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

Converse via: #KidsLit, #Illustration, #SelfHelp
as well as #LoveBooksTours & #Hedgehogs

About Gary Finnan

Born in Scotland and raised in Zimbabwe and South Africa, Gary Finnan splits his time between Sonoma Wine country in California and his farm in Aiken South Carolina, along with his wife Eva and two daughters. Gary is an award-winning inspirational author.

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Posted Friday, 24 July, 2020 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Indie Author, Love Books Tours

Blog Book Tour befitting #SpooktasticReads | “Hall-o-ween” (Children’s Picture Book) written and illustrated by Tia Perkin

Posted Monday, 23 September, 2019 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of [2017], having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.

I received a complimentary copy of “Hall-o-ween” direct from the author Tia Perkin in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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On why I wanted to accept this Picture Book blog tour:

It has been quite a long while since I’ve had the joy of reading and reviewing Children’s Lit on a regular basis. I used to receive quite a few titles – some of which were picture books, like this one. However, in the past most of the picture books were in hardback – with the one exception, I received a printed but unbound copy of “The Blue Hour” from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer programme.

I’ve been missing being a champion of #KidsLit on Jorie Loves A Story – as I have such an eclectic curiosity about *stories!* – my readerly life wanders quite a bit through genre, style and voice as I continue to seek out what personally inspires me to read. This particular book just felt *right!* as it has a bit of cheeky humour whilst its celebrating one of my favourite holidays: HALLOWEEN! What could go wrong? lol I loved the illustrations as you’re about to find out, too!

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Blog Book Tour befitting #SpooktasticReads | “Hall-o-ween” (Children’s Picture Book) written and illustrated by Tia PerkinHall-o-ween
by Tia Perkiin
Source: Author via Prism Book Tours

"Hall-O-Ween!" is a spooky little rhyming book about all the sweet bites and fun frights on Halloween day and night.

Genres: Artistic Adaptations &/or Picture Books, Children's Literature, Early Reader Stories, Fantasy Fiction, Illustrated Stories


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781732747203

Published by Self Published

on 1st October, 2018

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 38

This picture book is self-published

Converse via: #SpooktasticReads, #Halloween + #KidsLit with #PictureBook

Available Formats: Trade Paperback and Ebook

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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Posted Monday, 23 September, 2019 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Children's Literature, Early Reader | Chapter Books, Indie Author, Juvenile Fiction, Literature for Boys, Picture Book, Prism Book Tours

Blog Book Tour | “Alycat and the Monday Blues” (Book Two: The Alycat Series) by Alysson Foti Bourque

Posted Thursday, 5 October, 2017 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

Book Review badge created by Jorie in Canva using Unsplash.com photography (Creative Commons Zero).

Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for the Alycat series hosted by iRead Book Tours. I have been showcasing Children’s Lit alongside my adult literature choices since I first started blogging. I appreciate finding new voices in Picture Books, Middle Grade and Young Adult selections as an Auntie and secondly as a future mother. Today’s Children’s Lit market is vastly different than when I was growing up as there is happily more diversity and more choices in stories. Whenever I get a chance to become introduced to one of today’s Children’s Lit series or stand-alone stories, I feel blessed for the chance to see what is newly emerging onto the scene for young readers! I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Alysson Foti Bourque in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Ahead of sharing my thoughts today about this delightfully colourful Picture Book, I have a Guest Post to share from the author. I wanted to tap into her inspiration behind creating ‘Alycat’ and how she made the choice to feature a spunky cat who has a lot of personality and life lessons to impart on the readers who find her stories.

How did the Alycat series percolate inside your imagination and develop into a cleverly illustrated series for young readers? Especially as cats have such cheeky personalities, it leads to a lot of life lessons which can be told through a character’s journey. What is your favourite aspect of Alycat’s personality?

I have always loved to write and read. It gives me peace and an outlet for my thoughts and imagination. Every night, my husband and I read a story to our children before bedtime as part of their routine. One night, after reading every single book in the bookshelf, the kids said it was time to buy more books. That is when I had my “ah-ha” moment. I simply told them that I would write a story for the next night and they believed in me.

I wrote and wrote that evening into the following day as the first Alycat story unfolded. Unfinished and unedited, I read it to the kids before bedtime. They loved it! They had ideas for the ending and gave me outrageous outcomes to choose from. The laughs and squeals made my heart full. It was then that I knew that this was a journey I needed to take in my life.

Why cats? Well, cats are very interesting animals. They have bold and mischievous personalities, coupled with a loving and nurturing nature. My favorite aspect of Alycat’s personality is her ability to solve her own problems with imagination and creativity. She is like most children where she has good days and bad days. She has such enthusiasm for what her heart wants and she is eager to work hard to obtain her hopes and dreams. It was important for me to develop her character to be self-motivated, hopeful, and fearless. I want readers to be inspired by Alycat to reach their goals, get themselves out of a slump, and demonstrate kindness even in tough situations.

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Blog Book Tour | “Alycat and the Monday Blues” (Book Two: The Alycat Series) by Alysson Foti BourqueAlycat and the Monday Blues
by Alysson Foti Bourque
Source: Author via iRead Book Tours

Alycat wakes up with the dreaded Monday Blues and is certain that nothing will go right. But when a mishap sends her astray, she discovers that helping a friend will help her discover her own hidden talent—curing her Monday Blues.

Genres: Artistic Adaptations &/or Picture Books, Children's Literature, Early Reader Stories, Illustrated Stories


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1684012459

Published by Mascot Books

on 12th September, 2017

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 38

Published By: Mascot Books (@MascotBooks)

Converse via: #KidsLit, #PictureBook

About Alysson Foti Bourque

Alysson Foti Bourque

Alysson Foti Bourque is the author of the Rhyme or Reason Travel series, and the multi-award winning Alycat series. Alysson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a law degree from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge. She believes that there is an Alycat in all of us, encouraging our imaginations to guide us through new opportunities and adventures. ​

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Posted Thursday, 5 October, 2017 by jorielov in Animals in Fiction & Non-Fiction, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Brothers and Sisters, Cats and Kittens, Children's Literature, Coming-Of Age, Illustrations for Stories, Indie Author, iRead Book Tours, Picture Book, School Life & Situations, Siblings

#PubDay Non-Fiction Book Review | “Fannie Never Flinched” (One Woman’s Courage in the Struggle for American Labour Union Rights) by Mary Cronk Farrell

Posted Tuesday, 1 November, 2016 by jorielov , , , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Book By: I was selected to review “Fannie Never Flinched” by JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. JKS is the first publicity firm I started working with when I launched Jorie Loves A Story in August, 2013. I am honoured to continue to work with them now as a 3rd Year Book Blogger.

I received my complimentary copy of Fannie Never Flinched from the publicist at JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Why I was excited about this non-fiction picture book:

I’ve spent 2016 becoming acquainted with Women’s Rights & the Suffragette movement – gaining further insight into the plight of women who pioneered our future path to walk with freedom, dignity and the innate rights we were denied so long ago. Although readings on these topical subjects began originally when I first picked up a novel about the Shirtwaist Industry called Rivington Street by Meredith Tax; this pre-dates my blog Jorie Loves A Story; back when I was earnestly reading books out of the family library ahead of borrowing books from the local one. The book spoke to me in my early twenties and due to such a horrific testament of real-life, I had to take a break from pursuing to read more books with similar topics and themes.

Somehow 2016 became the year where I picked up the courage to continue where I left off, however, I did not exactly plan my path through Feminist Historical Literature nor have a pre-set focus on Women’s Rights, no what happened is truly quite an organic projectory of interest as stories alighted in my hands to read which hugged me closer to the truth that was not yet available to learn whilst in school. This is my third year as a book blogger and within that span of time I’ve learnt more about History from such a dynamic layer of interest and thought of presence than I ever did in the years ahead of my graduation! Imagine!? The authors who are writing Historical Fiction and Non-Fiction on select topics of Women’s Studies are carving out a new level of insight for today’s woman and young girls.

Girls do not have to grow up and wait til they can seek out the literature on their own to find the stories that are capturing those of us in our twenties and thirties who would have loved to have had the same stories available to us at their age. Publishers are being more cognisant of what today’s readerly audience needs and wants; as they are giving us more of the hidden stories that are shrouded from the historical past by biographers who never felt their light needed to shine. They are being pulled forward out of time’s capsule of secrets by writers who felt inspired by their life story and are presenting them to us in wonderful accounts across genre and range of interest.

This is why I was so thankful to find Fannie Never Flinched as it felt like nearly a capstone of honest readings where women championed a cause that enabled them to find progress at a time where that felt like it could be impossible to obtain. The Labour Rights for Women was definitely hard-won, but until this year, I hadn’t realised just how hard-won the battle was for us to gain those rights. There are such horrible things that happened to the original women who stood their ground and demanded better respect, pay and equality than we could ever fully imagine. We can have empathy and understanding for what they went through – but the physical, emotional and internal wounds they must have carried with them is harder to fathom. They are history’s heroines who allowed all of us the ability to stand firmer on our future paths for having carved out so many obstacles out of our way!

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#PubDay Non-Fiction Book Review | “Fannie Never Flinched” (One Woman’s Courage in the Struggle for American Labour Union Rights) by Mary Cronk FarrellFannie Never Flinched
Subtitle: One Woman's Courage in the Struggle for American Labour Union Rights
by Mary Cronk Farrell
Source: Publicist via JKS Communications

In Fannie Never Flinched: One Woman’s Courage in the Struggle for American Labor Union Rights Mary Cronk Farrell combines vivid prose, primary research and historical photos to reveal the life and death of one woman who helped pave the way for labor reform in the United States, illuminating the hard work, courage and spilled blood underlying the benefits many American workers enjoy today.
 
When immigrant women earning poverty wages in St. Louis sweatshops voted to strike, Fannie Sellins was there. When destitute coal mining families dared to unionize in West Virginia – and got thrown from their homes – Fannie was there. When hired gunmen threatened, beat and shot miners walking the picket line in Pennsylvania, Fannie was there.
 
In August 1919, when miners struck Allegheny Coal and Coke in Western Pennsylvania, mine operators would have paid any price to get rid of Fannie. They even threatened to kill her, but Fannie refused to stop her work helping strikers and their families. One muggy afternoon, violence broke out on the picket line and a crowd of people saw company gunmen shoot Fannie down in cold blood. Young people will learn that her killers never paid for their crime and how such injustice could happen in America.
 
Fannie Sellins (1872-1919) lived during the Gilded Age of American Industrialization, when men like Andrew Carnegie and J. P Morgan lived lives of luxury while their workers spent long hours laboring for poverty wages.

Genres: Artistic Adaptations &/or Picture Books, Biography / Autobiography, Non-Fiction, Women's Studies


Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 978-1-4197-1884-7

Also by this author: Standing Up Against Hate

Published by Abrams Books for Young Readers

on 1st November, 2016

Format: Hardcover Edition

Pages: 56

Published By: Abrams Books for Young Readers (@abramskids)
an imprint of Abrams Books

Available Formats: Hardcover Edition

Converse via: #KidsLit, #PictureBook + #NonFiction, #WomensRights

Read more about Fannie on the author’s blog!

About Mary Cronk Farrell

Mary Cronk Farrell

Mary Cronk Farrell is an award-winning author of five books for young people and former television journalist with a passion for stories about women facing great adversity with courage. She researches little known stories from history and relates them with engaging and powerful language in her books, multi-media presentations and workshops. Farrell has appeared on TV and radio across the nation. She speaks to women’s groups, civic groups, and at museums, schools and libraries.

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Posted Tuesday, 1 November, 2016 by jorielov in Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Book Review (non-blog tour), Children's Literature, Early Reader | Chapter Books, Fannie Sellins, JKS Communications: Literary Publicity Firm, Picture Book, Women's Rights