Friday, February 27, 2009

Review of Molly and the Sword, by Robert Shlasko

Molly and the Sword
by Robert ShlaskoIllustrated by Donna Diamond
Jane & Street Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-9745077-4-3
Hardcover, 32 pages, $15.95
Ages 7-12

Molly and the Sword is a lovely picture book about a young girl violinist who has a moment of doubt as she is about to play in a grand concert hall.

The story begins with Molly as a little girl, singing in their home’s yard while her mother works in their vegetable garden. From early on, she loves music. Then something horrible comes to what used to be their peaceful village: War.

With her mother pregnant and no water to drink, their situation becomes desperate. It is then that Molly decides to do something about it. In spite of the danger, she ventures into the next village in search of water. There, she is captured by the enemy, who take her for a spy. That is, until a handsome enemy officer saves her life and grants her freedom. Thus Molly, unharmed, goes back to her family.

Time passes and the war is over. One day, Molly is captivated by a clown playing the violin in a passing circus. When her birthday arrives, her father exchanges his most valuable grandfather clock for a violin, and brings it to Molly as a gift.

It is the 19th century, when few girls had the courage to become musicians because of prejudice. But Molly loves her violin and, more than anything, she wishes to play well and become a great violinist. Day after day, she works hard at her lessons. Then a wonderful opportunity comes her way, but on the day she is to perform in a famous concert hall, her courage falters and she’s overcome with fear. Will she succeed? Will she make her family and teacher proud?

Then Molly receives a strange gift–a golden sword encrusted with jewels–and she remembers the feeling of bravery she experienced years ago. Will this give her the courage she needs to play on stage? And who is the handsome stranger sitting in the audience? Could it be the officer who once saved her life?

This is a charming picture book with a nice traditional feel to it. It is actually an illustrated chapter book, as the story is separated by very short chapters, each about 3 pages long. The prose flows like soft music, suiting well the theme and the violin element. The author puts forth an important message for all children, especially violin students, about self-esteem, courage, and the need to work hard in order to achieve our dreams. The fourteen illustrations, realistic in style and done in soft pastel colors, add to the quiet tone and complement the story beautifully. I’d especially recommend this book to music teachers and to parents of children who play the violin, to give to them as gifts. Having said that, this isn’t a book just for young violinists, but one which will make a nice addition to any home, class, or library shelf.

Reviewed by Mayra Calvani, Violin and Books

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Review of Baron Thinks Dogs Are People Too! by Laurie Dean

Baron Thinks Dogs Are People Too!

By Laurie Dean

Illustrated by Kevin Scott Collier

Big Tent Books

ISBN: 978-1-60131-035-4

Children’s Picture Book

Hardcover, 24 pages

Baron Thinks Dogs Are People Too is a cute picture book about a little dog, Baron, who, in spite of living with a loving family, feels lonely at times because he thinks he doesn’t have a best friend. Not only he has a friend, but it was staring him in the face all along!

Of course, until he ‘finds’ this friend, he goes through a series of adventures, like going to school and learning to be a good little dog. After all, even loving dogs must learn to control all that boundless energy!

The loud, brightly-colored cartoonish illustrations by Kevin Scott Collier are a blast on the page, amusing and eye-catching to young eyes. If your child loves dogs, he or she will enjoy this lighthearted story about friendship.

Note: Laurie Dean, the author of the illustrated children's book, Baron Thinks Dogs Are People Too! will donate $1.00 to Operation Smile for each book purchased here. Just by buying your copy here, you can spread the goodwill that Baron's story fosters and feel uplifted by your own philanthropy.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Another rave review for The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing


Aneeta Sundararaj, editor of How to Tell a Good Story, just reviewed The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing.

"Have you read a review and wondered whether it is good or bad? Have you ever wanted to venture into writing reviews but don’t know how to begin? Are you wary of writing a review and having publishers think that it might be too amateurish for them to consider publishing? Well, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing answers these questions and so much more."

Read the complete review here.


Friday, February 20, 2009

New Blog on the Block: Pets and Their Authors

Hi all,

I just started a new promo blog for authors where my golden retriever, Amigo, interviews authors' pets. In other words, your pet will talk about you and your book, from its 'unique' perspective.

I was wondering if any of you would like to be one of my first, er, victims... :-)

There will only be five questions (I want to keep it short and funny) and I would need a photo of your pet and your book. You just have to answer as if you were your pet.

I'll be promoting each interview on about 10 groups, sites, blogs, communities, and I plan to post one interview a week. I'll also keep your book cover permanently on the sidebar (or as long as blogger allows me, LOL)

This is the blog. It's empty for the moment, but I'm contacting dozens of authors, so I expect it to fill up quickly (already have 10 takers on day 1)

I'll be happy to host authors on virtual book tours as well. If you'd like my golden retriever to interview your pet, contact me at and I'll pass him the message. :-)


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Listen to Anne K. Edwards on Advice Radio on the subject of book reviewing

Anne K. Edwards gets interviewed on Advice Radio on the slippery subject of book reviewing. Listen to the live interview here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing trailer!

The trailer was created by author Kim McDougall, founder of Blazing Trailers.

For more information about the Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, visit:

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Featured Book: Tucker's Tale, A True Story of a Rescue Dog

A True Story of a Rescue Dog
Author: Christopher Walsh and Tucker
Artist: Vanda Lavar
eBook ISBN 13: 978-1-935137-27-6
Print Paperback ISBN 13: 978-1-935137-21-4
Print Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-935137-53-5

Tucker’s life is sad, until he is rescued. And that is where our story begins. Set from the dog’s point of view, Tucker finally finds his way home to the love and family he deserves, but fate has one last card hidden for Tucker in its sleeve.
A true life Animal Rescue story gently teaches social responsibility to children. Suggested age for readers: 8-12

100% of the author and illustrator proceeds from the sale of this book to be donated to animal rescues nationwide.

Purchase from Guardian Angel Publishing

Also on Amazon