Sunday, September 17, 2017

Adventures of Little Yaga and Her Friends Giveaway Tour


Enter to win an autographed copy of  Adventures of Little Yaga and Her Friends, by L.B. O’Milla, and a $25 Visa gift card.
One (1) grand prize winner receives:
  • A copy of Adventures of Little Yaga and Her Friends, signed by L.B. O’Milla
  • A $25 Visa gift card
Two (2) winners receive:
  • A copy of Adventures of Little Yaga and Her Friends, signed by L.B. O’Milla
Giveaway begins September 9, 2017, at 12:01 A.M. MT and ends October 9, 2017, at 11:59 P.M. MT.
Giveaway open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older.
Prizes provided by Mila Svetnikov.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Adventures of Little Yaga and Her Friends

Written by L.B. O’Milla

Publisher's Synopsis: Little Yaga is a teenage forest dweller. She is unhappy because, unlike other foresters, she cannot howl or roar, and both of her legs are human-like. There have been rumors that Scraggard the Immortal, a powerful and ruthless Ruler of The Forest, is not exactly immortal. He is sustained on the energy of humans.

When he lures Ashley, a human teenager, into The Forest, Little Yaga, feeling sorry for this weird creature, helps her escape. Infuriated, Scraggard sends Little Yaga and her best friend Kikimra to the human town to bring Ashley back. The forest girls, stunned by technological “miracles” of humans, believe them to be as powerful as the Immortal himself. Unwillingly, Little Yaga and Kikimra become instrumental in Scraggard’s pursuit to recapture Ashley. Distressed by her disappearance, Ashley’s boyfriend and her brother manage to sneak into The Forest. Combining their efforts with Little Yaga and her forest friends, the teenagers embark on a perilous journey to rescue Ashley and save The Forest from Scraggard’s malevolent reign. As Little Yaga discovers the secrets of her forest home and her own origins, she comes into contact with creatures and settings straight out of Russian fables and mythology.
Available Here:


L.B. O’Milla was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and loved to read and write from an early age. When she was 26 years old, she with her husband and daughter fled the country escaping the ethnic and religious persecution. She arrived to America as a refuge.

In the US, O’Milla graduated from NYU and worked as a physical therapist while raising her family, but she never gave up her love of writing. Having grown up in a family that exposed her to the arts, literature, and music, O’Milla enjoyed Russian folklore and its characters.
She studied and mastered English, so that her first book could be written in the language of her new country. O’Milla’s novel, Adventures of Little Yaga and Her Friends, mixes Russian folklore with the American tech that her own children love.

In her spare time, O’Milla enjoys reading, writing, attending Metropolitan Opera performances and off Broadway shows, spending time with friends and family, and participating in outdoor activities. She lives in New Jersey. Now widowed, her biggest supporters are her children and her sister. O’Milla is at work on a sequel containing more adventures of Little Yaga.



Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Tales of A Wanna-Be SuperHero Mom
LitPick Student Book Reviews
icefairy's Treasure Chest
Denise Mealy
Word Spelunking
The Fairview Review
The Lovely Books

The Fairview Review is participating in this blog tour in partnership with The Children's Book Review and L.B. O'Milla.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 Masterpiece Mix


The title page gives us a sense of potential with its tubes of paint lying on blank background. What will they be used for? Then we turn the page to see an artist walking along a city street and we read, "Today I will make a new painting." A-ha, now we know what those paints are for. Our narrator takes us through the steps of prepping a canvas and gathering supplies, but then we are staring at the empty canvas along with her as she asks, "But what should I paint?" As the artist ponders, we are introduced to the various kinds of paintings and art- still life, landscapes, portraits, figure studies - and each spread shows several examples of the form being discussed. The final project takes the city we have seen glimpses of and incorporates each of the inspiration pieces the artist shared with us. She tells us that her father always says, "Do what you really love." It is obvious that she loves her town and the artwork she has studied.

The entire process of making a painting - from stretching your own canvas, to choosing a style and subject is covered in this story. All of the masterpieces shown are age-appropriate and have content young readers can identify (people, animals, fruit, etc.) The final spread of the finished "new painting" can become a look-and-find game as readers try to locate each of the masterpieces that is woven into the finished scene. Especially handy for art teachers and readers curious about the artwork is a key in the back which identifies each piece. The name of the artwork, its creator, the date, and something about the style or school the artist was known for. 

Great for young readers who are drawn to detailed illustrations, aspiring artists, and art teachers.

I received a review copy from the publisher for review purposes.

Summer Reading 2017 Just a Lucky So and So

Lesa and James have done it again. This excellent picture book biography of Louis Armstrong is filled with luscious illustrations of scenes from Satchmo's life. It sounds unbelievable to hear that he was born "black and poor and lucky." How could those things all be true at the same time? But the narrative tells us how he grew up surrounded by the rich musical heritage of New Orleans, and how being sent to the Colored Waif's Home for Boys actually turned out to be a good thing for him. Spreads saturated with color show us Louis marching as bandleader, the full moon shining on the riverboat where he played swing music, and crowds dancing in the honky-tonks. The final scene of Louis surrounded by the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower, and marquis signs from famous clubs underscores how far he had come from that "one room with no lights and no running water" in The Battlefield.

The author's note shares the names of some of his hits, details of his jazz recording with Duke Ellington, and his Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. There is also a list of resources for learning more about Armstrong and his music. 

I received a copy from the publisher for review purposes.

Summer Reading 2017 Pizza Mouse


In a wonderful example of art imitating life, Michael Garland has written Pizza Mouse, the story of a city mouse on the lookout for food. Similar to the Pizza Rat from the viral YouTube video, this brave mouse eventually makes his way home on the subway. Before he can do that, he has to survive dogs, cats, people, cars, and birds, while trying to find dinner for his family. At last he can take the A train back to his mouse hole. 

This is written in an easy style with only one or two sentences per page. Many of the words and phrases repeat, making it easier for beginning readers to recognize them. The humans in the illustrations are from a variety of racial backgrounds and careers. It is just the mix of people one would expect to encounter in a large city. The illustrations show a city with New York neighborhoods and skylines, although the city is not named. 

Young readers will probably cheer for the protagonist as he avoids the teeth or beaks of larger animals, and the broom of an angry shopkeeper. The scene with the mouse carrying off a roll from a fancy restaurant could cause appreciative laughter. And even though life in a big city is tough, the mouse is matter of fact about it. "No one likes mice...I am a mouse. So what?" 

Highly recommended for early readers who love animals and pizza.

I received a copy from the publisher for review purposes.

P.S. If you haven't seen the "Pizza Rat" video, you should check it out.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Giveaway - Scar: A Revolutionary War Tale

I have an ARC in need of a good home. This is perfect for elementary school readers studying the Revolutionary War.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Summer Reading 2017 The Nantucket Sea Monster: A Fake News Story

Update: Out in stores today! Read all about the sea monster that made headlines 80 years ago. 

Darcy Pattison, author of  such nonfiction books as Nefertiti, the Spidernaut and Wisdom, the Midway Albatross, has brought us something entertaining and topical with this latest book. Looking back 80 years to a hoax perpetrated on Nantucket, she tells the story of a sea monster that had folks along the coast afraid to go into the water. The catch? It was all a publicity stunt for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. 

Using details pulled from newspaper articles of the time, Pattison takes us through the steps of what happened. The first sighting...the additional witnesses...the giant footprints on the beach...the news coverage...and then the revelation that it was all a prank. Complete with a timeline of the events, a list of sources, and a glossary, The Nantucket Sea Monster is the perfect way to introduce fake news to young readers. Back matter discussing the freedom of the press will help guide class discussions.

The topic of sea monsters is appealing on its own, and the illustrations have a Saturday morning cartoon feel to them. This is sure to be a crowd-pleaser among young readers, as well as popular in lessons on being media savvy and smart information consumers.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Summer Reading 2017 Kuma-Kuma Chan's Travels


Those who have read Kuma-Kuma Chan's Home will be familiar with the spare style of the illustrations. There are only one or two sentences on each spread and plenty of white space.  And there are only two characters, the narrator and Kuma-Kuma Chan (the little bear). The same narrator is talking to us in this book; this time he tells us about the travels of his bear friend. It seems that Kuma-Kuma Chan enjoys traveling, or at least thinking of travel. He daydreams of tropical beaches, or watches the birds and thinks of flying. Sometimes he even climbs to the roof of his house and lies back to watch the clouds and the stars. He writes about his travels and his friend the narrator receives the notes, but they are messy and hard to read. 

Anyone who has ever dreamed of far-off places or of visiting a time other than their own will recognize a kindred soul in Kuma-Kuma Chan. Even the part where he gets upset and then has to take a nap will sound familiar. This is a wonderful story for talking about the power of imagination and the dreams that we each have for adventure and something out of the ordinary. Young readers will enjoy seeing all the supplies that Kuma-Kuma Chan packs for his travels, although they may want to have some juice in their Thermos rather than coffee.

Perfect for preschool and early elementary children.

I read an e-book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.