Posted in Book, Book Review, Children's, Picture Book, Poetry, Reading

WHEREVER YOU GO by Pat Zietlow Miller


Illustrator: Eliza Wheeler

From home to cities to mountains and forests, over bridges, around bends, up and down hills, and back to home again, this want-to-keep-your-eye-on cute rabbit takes us into all kinds of adventures and possibilities.  Exploration into places dreamed about, into locations where pictures lead, and even into places feared…children (and adults, too) can hop onto rabbit’s bicycle to dig, dive, and delve to discover and follow one’s heart.  You can always be safe in this book of open doors.

“When it’s time for a journey,

to learn and to grow,

roads guide your footsteps wherever you go.

Roads give you chances to seek and explore.

Want an adventure?

Just open the door?”

Right from your own door, a world of adventure can be at hand.  Follow roads to new places, new friends, and new possibilities.  You will love this book.  I sure do!

The watercolor/pen/pencil artwork is so good.  It drew me right into the scenes and scenery.  Eliza Wheeler’s detail is beautiful.  She begins by making a pencil drawing, inked with dip pens and India ink, colored with watercolors and gouache on watercolor paper (Arches Coldpress 140lb).

Reading Level:  3 – 6 Years


  • starred review from Publisher’s Weekly, May 2015
  • starred review from Kirkus Reviews, May 2015

Author:  Pat Zietlow Miller

“Pat Zietlow Miller knew she wanted to be a writer ever since her seventh-grade English teacher read her paper about square-dancing skirts out loud in class and said: “This is the first time anything a student has written has given me chills.” (Thanks, Mrs. Mueller! You rock!)”

Pat began her writing career as a newspaper reporter.  Later, she edited the newsletter and magazine for an insurance company.  She currently “writes insurance information by day and children’s books by night.”

Pat is married and has two daughters.  She lives in Madison, Wisconsin and can be found @

Illustrator:  Eliza Wheeler

She grew up “in Northern Wisconsin in a family of teachers, musicians, and artists. Drawing was my favorite form of play as a child, my emotional outlet as a teen, and is my passion as an adult. Some of the strongest influences on my creativity have been the wild Wisconsin seasons, canoeing the Brule River, picking blueberries with my Grandmother, and digging through the snow with my brothers.”

She has a degree in art and design from the University of Wisconsin-Stout (2006); she moved to Los Angeles to search for and find her place as an artist.  While attending the national conference for the Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators (SCBWI) in 2009, she came to know that children’s literature was to be her focus.  She can be found @  Instagram: WheelerStudio  Facebook:  Twitter:WheelerStudio


Book Information:

ISBN-13: 9780316400022
Publisher:  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 04/21/2015
Pages: 32
Product dimensions: 10.20(w) x 10.70(h) x 0.50(d)


linking up with:  Teach Mentor Texts, Unleashing Readers, Literacy Musing Mondays, What to Read WednesdayKid Lit Blog Hop, Booknificent Thursdays, The Book NookLiterary Friday, Semicolon Saturday, Reading List/Cozy Reading SpotBook Review Blog Hop

Posted in Book, Book Review, Children's, Picture Book, Reading

EXCLAMATION MARK by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

9780545436793_p0_v1_s192x300A simple book written on primary-grade writing paper and so simply illustrated…this is Exclamation Mark!

The idea is tender and written for any age…really!!  Very few of us want to stand out in a crowd.  We try not to be different from others.  We want to fit in with the gang.  YET, we each are born with special talents and gifts.  This is a simple story of Exclamation Mark that wants to fit in, yet it stands out in just about every position.

When Exclamation Mark is at its worst, it meets Question Mark who asks question after question until Exclamation Mark yells, “Stop” only to realize that this sudden outburst is something new.  With a little practice, Exclamation Mark began to see that words of exclamation are its gift.  And its friends could see that this was a gift, too.

Finding our own gifts is so important.  Realizing that we are not made like everyone else makes us see that we each are unique and special in our own way.  We do not need to “fit in!”  This book is such a delightful and creative way to present this life lesson.  (I wish I had learned this early in my own life!!)

Reading Level:  4 – 8 Years


  • 2015 Grand Canyon Reader Award, Picture Books, nominee
  • Bank Street Books Best Book of 2014
  • 2015 California Young Reader Medal winner
  • Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Books of 2013
  • Newsday Top 10 Children’s Books of 2013
  • Parents’ Choice Spring 2013 Picture Books Silver Honor
  • A Junior Library Guild selection
  • School Library Journal, Best Books of 2013
  • Colorado Children’s Book Award, 2014 nominee
  • Virginia Readers’ Choice Award, 2014-15 nominee
  • Bank Street College of Education 2014 Best Books of the Year for Children and Young Adult
  • Selected for Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2014
  • Master List, 2013 Capitol Choices Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens
  • 2014 Maine Chickadee Book Award Nominee

  Amy Krouse Rosenthal

She is a prolific author of books for children and adults.  She has received awards and been on the New York Times Bestsellers List.  Amy Krouse Rosenthal enjoys making many things in addition to books, including short films and salads. She has written more than twenty books for children and many others for adults.  She “is a frequent contributor to NPR and TED, and she has made several viral videos including “The Beckoning of Lovely” and “The Kindness Thought Bubble.”  Find out more about Amy @

Illustrator:  Tom Lichtenheld

The illustrations in this book and his others are done in watercolor and colored pencil. He begins with pencil sketches; then he creates black line art and prints it on watercolor paper.  Then he paints a layer of watercolor and builds up the shapes with colored pencils.  He has illustrated many, many books, including “Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site.”

Tom is married to Jan who helps edit the ideas and often comes up with ideas for the endings for his books, which, he says, is the hardest part. She also helps keep him organized and on schedule.  Check out all his books and more @

These two talented people collaborated on “Duck! Rabbit!” too which won many, many awards including New York Times Besteller, American Library Association Notable Children’s Book of 2010, and Booklist 2009 Editors’ Choice.

9685dd465749df80929098bd52d9df17Book Information
ISBN-13: 9780545436793
Publisher:  Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date: 03/01/2013
Pages: 56
Product dimensions:  7.36(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.45(d)

linking up with:  Teach Mentor Texts, Unleashing Readers, Literacy Musing Mondays, What to Read WednesdayKid Lit Blog Hop, Booknificent Thursdays, The Book NookLiterary Friday, Semicolon Saturday, Reading List/Cozy Reading SpotBook Review Blog Hop

Posted in Adult Nonfiction, Book, Book Review, Children's, Reading

THEIR NAME IS TODAY by Johann Christoph Arnold


Reclaiming Childhood in a Hostile World

Children are special and need to be treated as such, raised with love and discipline, taught with respect as well as being taught to respect others.  Children have a sense of wonder about them.  They are curious, wanting to explore the world they live in.  They are usually filled with joy.

Busy-ness, two parents having to work, single parent households, schools inundated with testing, strict structure of the curricula have left children on the short end of many, many sticks.  They are losing precious time and needed attention from parents, teachers, and so many others who care about them, or would care about them.

This beautiful little book should be read by every parent, teacher, and anyone else who cares about our world’s children.  The kids deserve our best, including love, time, education, guidance, discipline, and reverence.

Mr. Arnold clearly sees the ways of today that surround childhood.  Some things are good, helping to maintain innocence that childhood ‘should’ hold.  He also clearly sees the turbulence of the world and how those ways affect childhood.  This turbulence wraps around the lives of all of us, but children need to be protected from so much these days.  Sadly, they are not.  He points out how our children are jettisoned into the world without the safeguards that they need to keep their innocence.  He sees this in the home, in the schools, in stores, on television, and so much more.

Mr. Arnold calls us to revere our children:

“Our response upon encountering a child must be nothing less than reverence.  Perhaps because the word sounds old-fashioned, its true meaning has been blurred.  Reverence is more than just love.  It includes an appreciation for the qualities children possess (and which we ourselves have lost), a readiness to rediscover their value, and the humility to learn from them.

“Reverence is also an attitude of deep respect,….”

We each have a part to play in the raising of children, whether we have our own, care for or about others’ children, or even just caring about all of the children of this world.  Adults in society need to restore the reverence for life and for one another.

Parenting should be a model for so many things: respect, compassion, love, integrity, healthy relationships, gratitude.  Teaching children how to give rather than want, want, want, is vital to their mature adulthood, yet the desire to get seems to be such a decisive factor for both children and adults these days.  Oh, that we would open our eyes and change.

The hope that I see through this powerful little book is that each one of us — parents, teachers, counselors, anyone who works with children — can help to restore “every child’s right to the joy and wonder of childhood.”  Every one of us can engage in relationships and modeling that will share a better way for this world where children live and grow.  Value, love, nurture, respect, reverence, and joy can be shown so that these little ones can grasp the fact that this is who they are.  Who they are is not what they do nor what they want.

The chapters in this book include:

  1. The World Needs Children
  2. Play is a Child’s Work
  3. Great Expectation
  4. Screening Out
  5. Material Child
  6. Actions, Not Words
  7. Guidance to Grow
  8. In Praise of Difficult Children
  9. Discovering Reverence
  10. Tomorrow Comes

This books makes me sad that this is the world in which these young things are brought up within, yet also gives me all the more reason to tutor with the love that God has given me.  I love the children that He gives to me and I want to be the best steward I can in the short time I have them in my life.  Over the years of teaching, being a children’s librarian, and now a tutor, I have had many children.  They were given to me to teach and love and respect.  I have done my best even though I did not always have this information in my back pocket.  I just knew that this is how I was to be with each child.  Thank You, Father, for gifting me with the tools to do the task to which You called me.

Gabriela Mistral writes:

“Many things can wait.  Children cannot.  Right now their bones are being formed, their blood is being made, and their senses are being developed.  To them we cannot answer, “‘Tomorrow.'”

Thus the title of the book:  “Their name is Today.”

They are right now, in this moment, Today!


Christian Small Published Book of the Year – 2015 (Christian Education Division)

Foreword Reviews’ 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award Finalist (Family & Relationships (Adult Nonfiction)


“People have come to expect sound advice from Johann Christoph Arnold, an award-winning author with over a million copies of his twelve books in print in more than twenty languages. A noted speaker and writer on marriage, parenting, and end-of-life issues, Arnold is a senior pastor of the Bruderhof, a movement of Christian communities. With his wife, Verena, he has counseled thousands of individuals and families over the last forty years.  

“Arnold’s message has been shaped by encounters with great peacemakers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Dorothy Day, César Chavez, and John Paul II. Together with paralyzed police officer Steven McDonald, Arnold started the Breaking the Cycle program, working with students at hundreds of public high schools to promote reconciliation through forgiveness. This work has also brought him to conflict zones from Northern Ireland to Rwanda to the Middle East. Closer to home, he serves as chaplain for the local sheriff’s department.

“Born in Great Britain in 1940 to German refugees, Arnold spent his boyhood years in South America, where his parents found asylum during the war; he immigrated to the United States in 1955. He and his wife have eight children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They live in upstate New York.”  from Plough Publishing House @


Book Information

ISBN-13: 9780874866308
Publisher: Plough Publishing House, The
Publication date: 11/01/2014
Pages: 189
Product dimensions: 5.38(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.56(d

linking up with:  Teach Mentor Texts, Unleashing Readers, Literacy Musing Mondays, What to Read WednesdayKid Lit Blog Hop, Booknificent Thursdays, The Book NookLiterary Friday, Semicolon Saturday, Reading List/Cozy Reading SpotBook Review Blog Hop