Sunday, July 7, 2024

Summer Reading 2024 The Murder of Mr. Ma

 

Lao She leads a quiet life in his boarding house in London until he chances to become involved with the legendary Judge Dee Ren Jie. Suddenly, instead of peaceful academics and daydreams of one day telling his landlady's daughter about his admiration of her, Lao is investigating a murder. Then another, and another are committed - it seems there may not be any members left of the friends from the Chinese Labour Corps who Dee knew from World War I. 

Poor Lao is often bewildered by Dee's actions and the conclusions he draws in a similar manner to Watson trying to understand what Holmes is up to. In the course of their investigation they visit opium dens and dealers in Asian antiquities, stage a jailbreak, spend time with Bertrand Russell, and find themselves in martial arts confrontations that would seem right at home in a Jackie Chan movie.

The setting of 1924 London is brought to life with the sights, sounds, and odors. The yellow daffodils in Hyde Park, the shouts of protesters, the heavy scent of the opium den, and the description of the dinner Dee prepares in Russell's home (ginger-steamed carp, jasmine rice, stuffed tofu), engage the senses in each scene. The attitudes of the English toward the Chinese are present in nearly every encounter. The landlady's daughter who is determined to convert Lao to Christianity, even though he "had been baptized in Peking." Ze Ren's widow was snubbed for marrying him because she was an Englishwoman and it was not considered proper. Judge Dee mentions how he had to intervene to get fair treatment for the men in the Labour Corps. You get the  idea.

Before reading this book I had heard of Judge Dee as a fictional character, but I did not realize the character is based on the historical figure Di Renjie, a county magistrate and statesman of the Tang court. And I also learned there is a separate subgenre of Chinese crime fiction involving government magistrates who solve criminal cases - Gong'an or crime-case fiction. So this story manages to blend elements of traditional Chinese crime fiction with a semi-fictional historical character in 1920s London, giving Dee and Lao the additional challenge of being foreigners/outsiders as they struggle to find the murderer.

If you enjoy mysteries and historical fiction, this should be a captivating story to immerse yourself in. I read an advance copy provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Virtual Book Tour Play Outside with Me


 

Play Outside with Me: Book Giveaway

ABOUT THE BOOK


Play Outside with Me 

Written by Kat Chen

Illustrated by Lorraine Nam

Ages 1-3 | 24 Pages

Publisher: Rise x Penguin Workshop | ISBN-13: 978-0593659731

Publisher’s Book Summary: This board book series invites young readers to take part in a playdate activity of their choice, thereby empowering them with autonomy and validation. In this second book, the outdoor playdate models balanced and shared play, creating a positive reference for what caring and considered friendship looks like. Many toddlers and preschoolers consistently ask for someone to play with them, and this book provides just that for the quieter moments of the day. Simple language and gentle questions will help children develop their social skills by practicing conversations, all while engaging them in fun and familiar topics.

PURCHASE LINK


Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Bookshop.org


MY REVIEW


Kat Chen and Lorraine Nam have created another engaging and interactive board book for very young readers. Play Outside with Me features Sam and Sam’s friend Squirrel. Sam speaks directly to readers and invites them to join in the play. Everyday games such as blowing bubbles, tag, and playing on the swing set are shown in bright colors. Sam likes to draw with sidewalk chalk; Squirrel likes it best when Sam draws ladybugs. Later, Sam sees a real ladybug and Squirrel (who is a stuffie) spots a real squirrel in a tree. Besides the images and text to help promote a conversation with young children, this book also offers a model of how to make a new friend. Sam performs introductions, “Hi, my name is Sam! This is my friend, Squirrel. What’s your name?” Then Sam asks the reader how they like to play each game - popping bubbles, drawing with chalk, etc. Sam always gives compliments - “That’s a great name!” or “Wow! That sounds nice.” when the reader tells what they like to draw. Sam shares the bubbles and takes turns in the tag game. And at the end of the visit, Sam thanks the reader for playing and asks if they can play again soon. For young readers just learning to play with others this book offers great examples of how to play nicely. And for those who enjoy reading books together with an adult or older child, there are plenty of opportunities to interact with the story - answering Sam’s questions, pointing out details that they notice, and laughing at Squirrel as the bubbles pop on his nose. A fun experience for kiddos and caregivers.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Kat Chen is the author of several bestselling contemporary and historical romance books. She also serves on the advisory board for Books for Newborns.

After becoming a grandmother and spending most of her free time helping with “the fun stuff”—conversations, crayons, and crawling—she was inspired to delve into children’s books and help kids master the art of simple conversation through shared play.

Learn more about Kat and her work at kat-chen.com.

https://www.facebook.com/people/Kat-Chen/61555122372925/

https://www.instagram.com/katchenbooks/

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR


Lorraine Nam is an illustrator based in Brooklyn, New York. She was born in Philadelphia and spent her childhood drawing pictures and folding origami to pass the time at her parents’ jewelry store. She now spends her days combining those two loves to create her illustrations.

She is the illustrator of the picture book biography on Neil deGrasse Tyson, Look Up With Me, and the upcoming Wei Skates On, by Olympic Gold Medalist Nathan Chen.

Learn more about Lorraine and her work at www.lorrainename.com.

https://www.instagram.com/lorrainenam

https://twitter.com/LorraineNam

TOUR SCHEDULE

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

The Children’s Book Review

Book Review of Play Outside with Me

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

@pagesforpaige

Instagram Post about Play Outside with Me

Thursday, June 13, 2024

A Blue Box Full of Books

Instagram Post about Play Outside with Me

Friday, June 14, 2024

It’s Free At Last

Book Review of Play Outside with Me

Monday, June 17, 2024

The Fairview Review

Book Review of Play Outside with Me

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Confessions of a Book Addict

Book Spotlight for Play Outside with Me

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

icefairy’s Treasure Chest

Book Review of Play Outside with Me

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Country Mamas with Kids

Book Review of Play Outside with Me

Friday, June 21, 2024

@avainbookland

Instagram Post about Play Outside with Me

Monday, June 24, 2024

Deliciously Savvy

Guest Post about Play Outside with Me

Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Cover Lover Book Review

Author Interview with Kat Chen

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

One More Exclamation

Book Review of Play Outside with Me

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Froggy Read Teach

Instagram Post about Play Outside with Me

Monday, July 1, 2024

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Guest Post about Play Outside with Me

This post is sponsored by Kat Chen. The review and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.

Kat Chen and Lorraine Pham have created another engaging and interactive board book for very young readers. Play Outside with Me features Sam and Sam’s friend Squirrel. Sam speaks directly to readers and invites them to join in the play. Everyday games such as blowing bubbles, tag, and playing on the swing set are shown in bright colors. Sam likes to draw with sidewalk chalk; Squirrel likes it best when Sam draws ladybugs. Later, Sam sees a real ladybug and Squirrel (who is a stuffie) spots a real squirrel in a tree.


Besides the images and text to help promote a conversation with young children, this book also offers a model of how to make a new friend. Sam performs introductions, “Hi, my name is Sam! This is my friend, Squirrel. What’s your name?” Then Sam asks the reader how they like to play each game - popping bubbles, drawing with chalk, etc. Sam always gives compliments - “That’s a great name!” or “Wow! That sounds nice.” when the reader tells what they like to draw. Sam shares the bubbles and takes turns in the tag game. And at the end of the visit, Sam thanks the reader for playing and asks if they can play again soon.


For young readers just learning to play with others this book offers great examples of how to play nicely. And for those who enjoy reading books together with an adult or older child, there are plenty of opportunities to interact with the story - answering Sam’s questions, pointing out details that they notice, and laughing at Squirrel as the bubbles pop on his nose. A fun experience for kiddos and caregivers.


Thursday, May 30, 2024

Spring Reading 2024 Hannah Edwards: Secrets of Riverway


Hannah is struggling. Neighbors and friends understand that she is upset about the disappearance of her father, but they don't realize that another problem has been present all along. She also has a great best friend, a potential ally in the school's hall monitor, and a journal that she confides in (which also helps us see things from her viewpoint). 

The town of Riverway is not a bustling metropolis. As Hannah explains, "Some people think Riverway feels like a ghost town. But I think it's more like a zombie town. The people go about their daily lives, staring blankly a good deal of the time, rarely questioning events, big or small." The police efforts to solve her father's disappearance are a case in point. They looked around, talked to people, put up "missing" posters, and nothing has happened in the months since.

The ongoing problem that Hannah struggles with is ADHD. She has never been diagnosed because she has never talked to anyone about the things in class that seem more difficult to her than they do for her peers. More than anything else, Hannah does not want to be labeled a bad kid. "Becoming a problem child must be avoided at all costs. It is a label you can never shake off...Therefore, no matter how boring the class, no matter how unbearable it is to sit still, no matter how glaring the lights, I always try to pretend to be a GOOD KID."

Despite all the energy she puts into avoiding the dreaded fate of being known as a bad kid, Hannah also has to spend time looking for clues about her father - especially after her friend Sam tells her that he saw her father's ghost at the old mill. That can't be right, because Hannah can't accept that he might be dead, so he can't be a ghost. But experiments with a Ouija board and visits to the mill make it seem that something from beyond may be trying to communicate. And Hannah has to do something or her creepy Uncle Fergus may move right in and try to take her father's place. He has been dropping by with casseroles (inedible), advice (useless and unwanted), and trying to talk her mother into signing over control of the family business - just so he can help out (yeah, right).

Between finding time to investigate, keeping up with school assignments, coping with Uncle Fergus and the way her mother seems to be letting him ooze right into their home, and doing her best to avoid the school counselor who is acting suspiciously - it is no wonder Hannah feels a bit frazzled around the edges. Her carefully crafted persona of "GOOD KID" is coming unraveled. When her mother confronts her about a message from school, Hannah wonders, "If she had to sit through a thousand review lessons as electric lights buzzed into her skull and her legs cramped from wanting to jump up and escape; if she had to do endless assignments that felt like they'd been completed before they were started; and, on top of that, if she had to keep it a secret so nobody noticed her struggle, well then, she would probably act the same way."

Hannah may worry that she is secretly a bad kid, but it turns out that she was right. There is something rotten in Riverway. The cause of her father's disappearance is sinister. And that school counselor really is untrustworthy. But - Sam and their classmate Tim (the hall monitor) are good friends to have in a crisis, and telling the truth about her difficulties in class is a good step toward finding solutions. Even if the future will not be the same, even if her father is truly gone, Hannah will be okay.

I have seen many kids struggle in class as Hannah does in this story. And many of them do try to hide what is going on. When you speak to them about something they are not able to do as easily as others in class, they seem to expect that they will be in trouble. There have been many conversations over the years explaining that teachers are there to help and that they cannot help if they do not know about the problem. I was very glad to see that the other counselor at school was actually supportive and eager to work with Hannah. Even more than solving the mystery of her father, I was ready to cheer when Hannah was able to say, "I'm not worried about something being wrong with me. I don't feel the heavy pressure to be right all the time - nobody is right all the time. When it comes to being perfect, being myself is the perfect thing to do." You go, girl!

I read an advance copy provided by the publisher for review purposes. This book will be coming out September 10 from Fabled Films Press - just in time to put it in the hands of students who have come back to school ready to read something new, or for those who may need to see someone who is dealing with similar issues in class and realize that they are not alone. Adults may catch the many parallels with the story of Hamlet, but this is a middle grades mystery that even those not familiar with Shakespeare will enjoy.

Monday, May 27, 2024

Spring Reading 2024 Alpha Wolf Need not Apply (Silver Town Wolf, 6)


Terry Spear has a way of telling stories that keep readers engaged and rooting for the characters. This installment in the Silver Town Wolf series follows Eric Silver, a descendant of the town's founding pack. While his cousin is pack leader in Silver Town, Eric serves as park ranger nearby. He has stumbled across evidence of someone growing illegal marijuana on park lands - and he can tell from the scents at each location that wolf shifters are involved. Pack leader Darien and the rest of Silver Town know that wolves involved in criminal activity is bad news, so they all want to find those responsible and shut the operation down.

As Eric searches for those who are growing the marijuana, he encounters a shifter pack he and the Silver Town wolves were not aware of. They are led by Pepper Greystock and live several hours away across the park from Silver Town. Pepper is pack leader and has had to defend her pack and herself from male alpha wolves eager to claim her as mate and take over her pack. So meeting Eric, even if he is one of the good guys taking care of nature in the park and hunting down criminals, still makes her nervous and she lets him know that she and her pack are not up for grabs.

The story follows the growing attraction between Eric and Pepper, the backstory of their earlier romantic lives before they met each other, the trouble with the marijuana growers, and conflict with a new pack that has come into the area and is pressuring Pepper to combine packs. Between wolf fights in the park, teenagers spying on Pepper at their packleader's behest, arson, and actually attending to their day jobs - will these two ever work out their reservations and take the leap?

Fans of Silver Town and Terry Spear will be pleased with this addition to the series. Those new to Silver Town will have the chance to meet some of the characters featured in other books, including Eric's cousins and brothers. A satisfying read for paranormal romance enthusiasts.

I read an advance copy provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Spring Reading 2024 Service Model


So ... I wanted to read this book because it was described as Murderbot meets Red Shirts. The blurb made it seem as if Siri, Alexa, and the filter bubble had all combined forces to create a book designed to appeal to me. But that is not the way I would describe the story. To me it is more of The Remains of the Day meets I, Robot told by Kafka in a world that could be a scene from "The Matrix" or McG's "Terminator: Salvation." 

Charles is a robotic valet who serves a human master. One morning as he tries to prepare his master for the day's activities, Charles discovers that the master is dead. Subsequent investigation seems to show that the culprit is Charles, who must be sent to Diagnostics and then to Decommissioning. The fact that these decisions are actually made by other robots and AI systems that need their own diagnostics run seems to be irrelevant. 

Readers learn that very few humans remain. Most of those are isolated and never see each other, dependent on their robotic servants and systems to care for them. Charles passes one overgrown and abandoned estate after another as he makes his way to the Diagnostics center. Trucks trundle by loaded with produce to deliver to homes that no longer have anyone alive to eat the food. Even Diagnostics itself is an endless queue of robots quietly rusting away as they wait patiently for their turn.

Charles meets a very odd robot named Wonk, who is indeed quite wonky. Despite Charles's desire to conform to routine, Wonk manages to get the two of them out of Diagnostics and out of the city. But things aren't any better beyond the city limits. Picture the vibe of "Logan's Run" with Logan and Jessica finding tumbled ruins and psychotic robots rather than the Sanctuary they expect. The duo run into one group of oddballs after another - scavengers, robotic knights sent out to preserve knowledge in an archive that no one ever visits, military robots carrying out an endless campaign with no human overseers, and a courtroom scene that clinches the Kafkaesque nature of their journey.

If you enjoy stories in settings where civilization has broken down and survivors (human or mechanical), are struggling to come up with ideas for how to make things work, then you will find this story a refreshing foray into territory that seems both familiar and dizzyingly bizarre. The allusions and resemblances to other stories feed into this déjà vu, giving readers the same sort of sensation that Charles experiences when his subroutines try to make sense of situations he has not encountered, but still have some details in common with his previous experiences. 

I read an advance copy provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Spring Reading 2024 A Murder Most French: An American in Paris Mystery #2

It is 1950 and Tabitha Knight is still happily living with her grandfather in Paris. Tabitha works as a language tutor, as well as taking informal cooking lessons from her neighbor Julia Child. Tabitha has only mastered a few simple things (she still gets mixed up on the order of steps in making scrambled eggs), but she is gamely working on her skills in the kitchen. And, as it turns out, she will also need to persevere in her skills as an amateur detective. 

Julia is still taking classes at Le Cordon Bleu and invites Tabitha to attend a demonstration by a famous visiting chef. Unfortunately, the chef keels over dead before ever making the dish everyone has come to observe. Once again the ladies are questioned by Inspector Merveille about the events and participants. When it is learned that the chef was poisoned and then a second murder happens in a similar manner, the ladies are certain that it is the same killer at work. But they are also concerned about a series of seemingly petty crimes happening at the market near their homes. Stalls defaced, awnings wrecked, etc. Is it youthful hijinks or is there some darker meaning? 

Although Tabitha reassures everyone - her grandfather, Julia, and even the inspector - that she has no intention of becoming involved in another murder investigation, we all know better. She reflects that her contributions to the previous case "had mainly been a big dose of luck...along with outsized curiosity and a nagging sense of adventure." This time she will use her fledgling skills, what she has learned about investigative procedure from her detective father, her grandfather's knowledge of the victims from the past, and her connections in the neighborhood to piece together important clues. Clues that put her and her family in the killer's path.

The story is filled with details of Paris in the 1950s; the markets, the distrust of authority still felt by many after their time under German occupation, the ubiquitous presence of street urchins, and the continued love of vintage wines. Facts about Julia's life such as her lessons at Le Cordon Bleu and her husband's work at the U.S. Embassy in Paris also help to give the story a solid sense of time and place. I'm not sure whether I would be as ecstatic about eating mushrooms grown in the catacombs as Julia seems to be, but it is still believable.

Whether you love stories set in Paris, foodie descriptions of preparing various dishes, or amateur sleuths in general, this continues to be a wonderful new series. I read an advance copy provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Spring Reading 2024 A Wild Windy Night

 


It's bedtime and Ricky can't settle down to sleep because he hears the wind outside, "Whoosh-Whoosh-Ka-whoosh!" Ricky is sure that the wind is lonely. He says, "Mr. Wind is crying out...please come play with me." When he gets out of bed to peek outside he sees his toy car go flying across the yard. His dog, who has been lying in the doghouse with his head on his paws, looks up to see what is happening. A lovely spread shows several small panels: the first has the text "Then," the next reads, "all the toys," the third "jumped," and then a large panel proclaims "into the wind!" Breaking the text of the sentence up among the panels builds the sense of tension as a toy boat, a robot, a monkey with cymbals, and some tin soldiers all go flying out the window. Ricky calls out, "Wait" just before he is also swept into the night.

Perspective in the illustrations shifts from looking out at the night sky from the cozy bedroom to looking down into the yard as Ricky and all the toys rise up toward the sky. The dog watches them from around the corner of the doghouse. Then the viewpoint shifts again and readers see everything flying up toward a shining full moon as the wind goes, "Swish Swoosh Wish-Whoosh." Once everything flies across town and lands in the woods Ricky suggests they play hide-and-seek.  He counts as all the toys hide. The robot crouches behind a bush and holds leaves over his head for camouflage. The tin soldiers help each other up into the branches of a nearby tree. Young readers will try to find the hiding spot of each one when Ricky declares, "Ten! Now come find us!"

The story returns to the house as Ricky huddles under his blanket and thinks that the wind laughs at him, "Swish-hee-hee." Mom comes in to check on him and he is on the floor under the blanket with his toys spread all around him. She helps him look for where the wind might be hiding to take its turn in the game. Behind the books on the shelf? Under the bed? When they open the curtain to look for it outside, they notice that the wind has calmed down. Mom suggests, "I'm sure he got tired and went home to rest...Now it's our turn to sleep." Was it all a game of make-believe? Then how did that leaf get caught in Ricky's hair?

This is truly one of those picture books where the text and illustrations work perfectly together. It begins and ends within the warm, quietly lighted bedroom with mom, but the pages in between capture the motion of everything caught up in the wind on a dark, wild night. The use of onomatopoeia to give the wind a voice and even laughter is also a nice touch.

This book is a fun bedtime story for little ones who want one last game before bed and can sympathize with Ricky's desire to play. But it can also be used to help a youngster deal with anxiety about a blustery bit of weather. 


Sunday, May 19, 2024

Virtual Book Tour The Magic Sea Turtle

 

The Magic Sea Turtle: Book Giveaway

ABOUT THE BOOK


The Magic Sea Turtle 

Written by Kathleen Welton

Illustrated by Chau Pham

Ages 3+ | 32 Pages

Publisher: Bookfox Press | ISBN-13: 978-1960157515

Publisher’s Book Summary: Once upon a time, Myrtle chased her dreams–dreams of being a queen with a crown that sparkled like the moon. One day, she tumbles down, down, down into the sea. Max helps rescue her and a magic carpet flies her to a place even more amazing than her sandcastle dreams and she discovers an entire ocean of possibilities! There are dolphins who welcome her and a friendly otter with the biggest smile. They can teach her to swim and enjoy the day. Another magical glow surrounds Myrtle when she decides to stay and wishes to be a sea turtle like Max.

And guess what? Myrtle’s fall may have been unexpected, but thanks to a touch of magic, it leads her to a place where her wishes come true. Myrtle becomes a queen AND a magic sea turtle too, ready for incredible adventures! Myrtle the Turtle learns that being a queen means having the best friends ever. And with her sparkly crown and a heart full of joy, she is the happiest queen the whole ocean has ever seen!

PURCHASE LINK


Amazon 

Barnes and Noble
Bookshop.org

MY REVIEW


Readers first see Myrtle picking apples on the hills above her town. While she is busy the clouds roll in and make it impossible to see the way home, then the wind blows her out over the sea. She cries out as she falls and Max, a sea turtle, hears her and calls for someone to save her. A group of gulls rescue her and bring her to Max. It turns out that Myrtle used to wish to be a queen, but now she wants to be a turtle - so Max grants her wish. They have a wonderful time swimming among all the ocean life. The rhyming text and brightly colored illustrations lead readers into a world of waving sea fronds, octopuses, starfish, dolphins, and other marine creatures. At the start of her adventure Myrtle wears a dress with a green-on-green design that resembles the pattern of a turtle’s shell. Once she becomes a turtle she can still be recognized by her big, blue eyes. All the ocean denizens she meets are friendly and helpful, from the gulls who catch her as she falls through the sky to the dolphins who invite her to swim with them. Each animal has a smiling face and invites her to play or makes her feel welcome. Just in time for World Ocean Day, this gentle adventure story of Myrtle and her new ocean friends will please young readers and encourage them to look at sea turtles as the kings and queens of the ocean.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Kathleen Welton advocates for beaches, birds, and wildlife; is an award-winning independent publisher; and writes picture books and screenplays. She began her book publishing career as a college textbook sales rep. Since then, she has served as senior editor for Dow Jones-Irwin, publisher for Dearborn Trade, vice president and publisher for IDG Books, director for H&R Block, and director of book publishing for the American Bar Association. As a book producer at aka Associates, she collaborates with authors and organizations on publishing projects.

She earned a BA in both English and Italian Literature from Stanford University as well as a Certificate in Feature Film Writing with distinction from UCLA Extension. When she is not writing, Kathleen enjoys meditating, reading, and exploring the Lake Michigan shoreline.

For more information, visit:
kathywelton.com

https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathleenwelton 

TOUR SCHEDULE


Thursday, May 16, 2024

The Children’s Book Review

Book Review of The Magic Sea Turtle

Friday, May 17, 2024

icefairy’s Treasure Chest

Book Review of The Magic Sea Turtle

Monday, May 20, 2024

The Fairview Review

Book Review of The Magic Sea Turtle

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

The Momma Spot

Book Review of The Magic Sea Turtle

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Confessions of a Book Addict

Book Spotlight of The Magic Sea Turtle

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Deliciously Savvy

Guest Post on The Magic Sea Turtle

Friday, May 24, 2024

@avainbookland

Instagram post for The Magic Sea Turtle

Monday, May 27, 2024

One More Exclamation

Book Review of The Magic Sea Turtle

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Me Two Books

Author Interview of Kathleen Welton

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

My Reading Getaway

Book Review of The Magic Sea Turtle

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Country Mamas With Kids

Book Review of The Magic Sea Turtle

Friday, May 31, 2024

Crafty Moms Share

Book Review of The Magic Sea Turtle

Monday, June 3, 2024

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Book Review of The Magic Sea Turtle

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Cover Lover Book Review

Book Review of The Magic Sea Turtle

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

@StargirlsMagicalTale

Instagram post for The Magic Sea Turtle

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

It’s Free At Last

Book Review of The Magic Sea Turtle

Thursday, June 13, 2024

@ABlueBoxFullOfBooks

Instagram post for The Magic Sea Turtle


This post is sponsored by Kathleen Welton. The review and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view.