Monday, January 12, 2015

Review of 'Eclair Meets a Gypsy' by M. Weidenbenner


Cover Front - Gypsies 04Éclair Meets a Gypsy

M. Weidenbenner, Author
Melody Duval, Illustrator


Kay Kline, retired first-grade teacher, “A fun chapter book with just enough magic and reality. Adults will enjoy it too!”

Vie Herlocker, author and editor, “Funny...entertaining... Éclair resembles a modern-day Junie B. Jones.”

“Kid-friendly… page-turning fun… adventure with real-life challenges,” said Crystal Bowman, best-selling children’s book author and speaker.

Early Reader for girls first – third grade. (6-8 years old)

Eccentric Grandma Stella is taking in boarders. Not the kind that talk, but the kind that neigh. Horses. When seven-year-old Éclair meets the first boarder and its owner, a girl Éclair’s age who’s dressed like a gypsy, the girl says her horse can read minds and will cast a spell on Éclair. Does the horse really have magic? If so, maybe the horse could make Éclair’s secret wish come true.

**My thoughts**

Eclair is starting to slowly adjust to living with her eccentric grandmother, but still doesn't understand a lot of the world around her. You can tell that she didn't spend a lot of time out in the country with her grandmother, prior to having to move in with her. 

I love that she is young enough that she still has complete faith in the possibility of magic and making wishes. With everything going on in her little world, she needs that innocent trust and magic. She also needs some friends, and not just of the horse kind. Lina seems to need the same in her life. I feel like these two little girls are going to become the best of friends and have all kinds of adventures. I would love to see how Eclair later handles the balance between her best friend back home and her newfound best friend in Indiana.

These stories are very sweet. They go by quickly, throwing in little life lessons while also bringing a smile to your face as you read about Eclair's world. I agree that she will be as appealing to little girls as Junie B. Jones, but definitely prefer this child over Junie. (I have never been a fan of Junie B. Jones.)

Buy on Amazon | B&N

Put Eclair Meets A Gypsy on your TBR list

Eclair Goes to Stella's

Chapter Book for first-third grade girls. Early Reader.

"Humor...action...and emotion. A great read!" Crystal Bowman, bestselling children's author. 

"Funny, sad, heart-warming and genuine--all at once." Renee Gray-Wilburn, Co-author of "Grandparenting Through Obstacles."

When Eclair's mother leaves home, Eclair and her little sister must go live on a farm with Stella, their eccentric grandma.

"More and more, grandparents today are assuming the role of part-time or even full-time caregivers for their grandkids. In Eclair Goes to Stella's, we see how one grandmother bravely and creatively steps into this role to help her family through a difficult situation. I'm certain that children everywhere will be able to relate to the range of emotions that little Éclair faces as she struggles to adjust to her new living arrangements then begins to welcome the love and care her grandmother offers." ~ Renee Gray-Wilburn, co-author of Grandparenting Through Obstacles: Overcoming Family Challenges to Reach Your Grandchildren for Christ (Pix-N-Pens, 2012).

There is a growing trend in America--grandparents raising grandchildren. According to the AARP's Grandfacts, "Across the United States, almost 7.8 million children are living in homes where grandparents or other relatives are the householders, with more than 5.8 million children living in grandparents' homes and nearly 2 million children living in other relatives' homes. These families are often called grandfamilies."

**My thoughts**

Unfortunately, Eclair's situation is starting to become more and more prevalent. Parents are suffering from mental illness or other disorders and must go get themselves some help. All that Eclair knows is that Mommy has gone somewhere so that she won't be sad anymore. Her father needs to find a different job, so that he can support the family. So, Grandma, who prefers to simply be called Stella, is going to take care of the kids while their parents try to rebuild their family.

As an adult, my heart was aching for Eclair and her sister. I have fond memories of hanging out in Indiana and on family farms in the summers, but that was for fun, not necessity like in this book. The girls have been completely uprooted, are living with someone who is essentially a stranger, and are trying to make sense of this crazy new world.

I was almost reminded of Ramona Quimby when reading this first book. Eclair has some silly notions about her little world, which are completely believable and understandable at her age and in her situation. Ramona is one of my all-time favorite characters in chapter books for kids. I feel like Eclair will quickly join her ranks.


michelle wAbout the author:

Michelle grew up in the burbs of Detroit with five brothers. No sisters. Each time her mom brought the boy bundle home from the hospital she cried, certain her mom liked boys better than girls. But when her brothers pitched in with the cooking, cleaning, and babysitting, without drama, she discovered having brothers wasn’t so bad. They even taught her how to take direct criticism without flinching, which comes in handy with book reviews.

When she’s not writing she’s winning ugly on the tennis court. She’s known as “Queen of the Rim Shots.” No joke. It’s ugly.

Where to find Michelle:

Facebook | Twitter | Amazon | Literary Addicts | Goodreads | Website | Pinterest | LinkedIn

Blog link: Random Writing Rants Teaching adults and teens how to get published

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Friday, January 9, 2015

'The Easy to Make Paper Airplane Book: Created by a Kid' by Lane Simpson


Your children's fun will take off while they learn the basics of flight from this easy to use book. All designs have step by step instructions and are tested by children all over the world. All your child needs is notebook paper and off they go.

Check out other great books in Dr. Simpson's store.