Prince of Ponies – Review

Litercurious Book Review

TitlePrince of Ponies
AuthorStacy Gregg
PublisherHarperCollins Children’s Books (October 3, 2019)
FormatKindle, Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook, CD
#Pages/KB304 / 2239KB
GenreChildren’s European Historical Fiction, Children’s Horse Books, Children’s Historical Action & Adventure
LanguageEnglish
ASIN#B07PKJRQLF

AUTHOR

Stacy Gregg lives in New Zealand. Learn more about this accomplished author here. You can visit her Facebook page here. You can see a list of books she authored here.

SYNOPSIS

A WWII refugee meets a Syrian refugee and a love of horses binds them together.

Zofia was a young girl in Poland when the Germans invaded. After losing everything and everyone she loved, she was taken in by a kind German officer. Luckily for Zofia, this Officer was in charge of one of the most prestigious horse stables in Poland. He taught Zofia everything he knew about horses.

Mira is a young girl that fled war torn Syria with her mother and made her way to Berlin, Germany. One day while she was walking a dachshund named Rolf, he got loose and ran into the woods. Mira followed Rolf and soon found him in a battle with a beautiful Arabian horse. Mira got Rolf under control and the horse ran off. She followed the horse to a small stable deep in the woods. This is where Mira met Zofia.

Zofia, now aged, takes Mira and Rolf into her home and strikes a bargain with the young girl; write my story down, and I will teach you about horses. Mira goes back everyday and writes down Zofia’s incredible history, in return she is trained to be a horsewoman!

CONCLUSION

Prince of Ponies is an incredible book. Loosely based on true events that happened during WWII about the German horse breeding program. Stacy Gregg has written a remarkable book that binds history with current trends. The combination of a WWII refugee and a Syrian refugee was inspirational.

Stacy’s knowledge of horses and Dressage is evident. Her descriptions of complicated horse gates, leads, exercises, anatomy are all spot on. She draws a picture in the readers mind that is exact in detail and context.

Prince of Ponies plot is believable and inspiring. It is the classic struggle to be more than you are and working hard to achieve your goals. The story is about friendship, trust, love, and never giving up. It is about taking your destiny into your own hands and not letting others hold you back.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone who loves horses, or just a warm touching story.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank, Stacy Gregg, NetGalley, and HarperCollins Children’s Books for affording me the opportunity to review Prince of Ponies.

DOES YOUR DOG SPEAK HEBREW? – review

Litercurious Book Review

Does Your Dog Speak Hebrew by Ellen Bari
TitleDoes Your Dog Speak Hebrew: A Book of Animal sounds Series: Very First Board Books
AuthorEllen Bari
IllustratorHolly Clifton-Brown
PublisherKar-Ben Publishing ® (September 1, 2020)
FormatUnabridged Audiobook also available on Board
Book, Kindle
TimeOne minute and twenty-six minutes (Board book
& Kindle versions 14 Pages)
GenreChildren’s Animal book, Children’s Language Book
Language English and Hebrew
ISBN#10/131541560892 / 978-1541560895

AUTHOR

Ellen Bari has created award-winning museum exhibits and programs for clients including The Children’s Museum of Manhattan, Sesame Workshop, PBS, Nickelodeon and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Ellen, a fluent Hebrew speaker, lived in Israel and enjoys writing about a variety of Jewish topics. She lives in New York.

ILLUSTRATOR

Holly Clifton-Brown was born in London and attended Chelsea School of Art, Media, and Design and Bristol UWE Faculty of Art, Media and Design, where she attained a B.A. in Illustration. Her work has been exhibited at The London Transport Museum. She is the author and illustrator of Annie Hoot and the Knitting Extravaganza and has illustrated other picture books including Big Bouffant and Big Birthday.

SYNOPSIS

Does Your Dog Speak Hebrew? Is the most recent offering from the acclaimed Children’s literature author Ellen Bari. This book is meant for parents of very young children who wish to ensure they begin learning Hebrew linguistically as soon as possible. Research supports the proposition that in order to increase the success of learning multiple languages is best started as early in a child’s life as possible. As you would anticipate from a book directed towards 1-4 years of age, pre-school and up, the content is purposefully short, simple and repetitive. This is no accident but is done purposefully in order to hold the child’s attention and through repetition improve their retention of the story and thus the nuances of the language.

The narration delivered by Holly Clifton-Brown provides a concise and clear delivered in an accurate manner and accent free.

I am reviewing the audiobook version and so I am unable to comment on the illustrations beyond stating that if the front page is anything to go by the images will be every bit as exciting and interesting as the narration and the dialogue.

CONCLUSION

Does Your Dog Speak Hebrew? Is fun for the child and the parent. What better gift to give your child than a better understanding of the world through the languages we speak. I enjoyed it and I am completely confident that you and your children will to.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank Ellen Bari, NetGalley and Kar-Ben Publishing ® & Lerner Audiobooks for affording me the opportunity to review: Does Your Dog Speak Hebrew?

OTHER WORK BY THIS AUTHOR

Jenny loves to jump. But when jumping gets her in trouble, she decides to retire her pogo stick. Then her school decides to hold a fundraising fair, and she discovers that her skill can be used for a good cause.

The Tattered Prayer Book, winner of The Mom’s Choice Award, is a gentle introduction to the Holocaust for children ages 6-10. Ruthie discovers a secret about her father while looking through a box of mementos from “the old country.” As her father tells his surprising story, Ruthie learns a slice of Jewish history and the circumstances under which the family fled Nazi Germany. A burnt prayer book taken in secret from a destroyed synagogue after Kristallnacht offers solace to a young boy at the most difficult time in his life.

SIMILAR CHILDREN’S BOOKS

WE THOUGHT WE KNEW YOU – Review

Litercurious Book Review

Header Image for We Thought We Knew You a True Crime Audiobook By M. William Phelps.
TitleWe Thought We Knew You: A Terrifying True
Story of Secret, Betrayal, Deception, and Murder
AuthorM. William Phelps
NarratorDanny Campbell
PublisherTantor Audio (29 December, 2020)
FormatUnabridged Audiobook also available in
Kindle, Hardback
Time9 Hours 48 Minutes
GenreTrue Crime, Biographies of Murder & Mayhem
LanguageEnglish
ASIN #B08QLK4YL1

AUTHOR

M. WILLIAM PHELPS

SYNOPSIS

We Thought We Knew You is a book written by the prolific true crime writer and investigative journalist, M. William Phelps.

Mary Yoder is dead at sixty.

It is July of 2015 and Mrs M. Yoder, a previously healthy married woman with one son, has just collapsed and died in great pain and discomfort. An autopsy reveals the terrible truth that Mary has been murdered.

Means, motive and opportunity are key indicators used by police to determine the suspicion of an individual suspected in the involvement of a crime. It was no different in the case of the murder of Mrs, Yoder. The family and those closest to her were the first to come under scrutiny. Her long time husband Bill, her son Adam, and his former girl-friend Kaitlyn (Katie) Conley formed the triad of characters under investigation. Quickly, the focus falls upon one of the three suspects.

The suspects are:

Kaitlyn Conley is an attractive, vivacious, and popular woman and the former girlfriend of Mary Yoder’s son. Following an acrimonious split, Katie continues to work at the Yoder’s family owned chiropractor’s office. Kaitlyn had suffered from a contentious relationship with Adam from which she continued to harbored unrequited rage. She has a history of rage combined with instability when it came to dealing with rejection in relationships.

Adam Yoder is a conscientious and hard working young man who in the time running up to Mary Yoder’s death had some verbal disagreements with his mother. These disagreements placed him in the purview of the investigation.

Then there was Bob Yoder, Mary’s long suffering husband. Could he have murdered his wife in such a brutal and heinous way?

Could it all be so simple? Could there be another more motivated killer on the loose? Or does this murder boil down to someone motivated by a combination of lust, control, and selfish greed?

In court, the Defense appears to be winning the case. With conflicting motives and the nimble mindedness of the Defense Team, they outmaneuver the Prosecution.

Then a Cyber Crime Forensic Expert comes to the aid of the prosecution council. A man who sifts through the hidden evidence and constructs an irrefutable truth based in cold, hard facts from meta-data. The true motive is revealed. Through a jigsaw like puzzle, the jury of their peers must decide who is to blame beyond any reasonable doubt.

So who did it in the end? The quickest and easiest way to discover the culprit, is to listen to it for yourself.

Happily, you can read We Thought We knew You for free on Kindle Unlimited. See link at the bottom of the page.

NARRATOR

We Thought We Knew You, was narrated by Danny Campbell.

I am sorry to say that I am not a fan of Campbell’s narration of this work. I found his flat diction, devoid of any intonation or fluidity to be below average. This combined with this his labored breathing was profoundly disquieting. His diction became a considerable distraction from the well formed prose of Phelps. The lack of vocal range, timpani, or any color created an uninspiring transition between characters. His lack of vocal range and labored breathing definitely had a negative impact upon my enjoyment of the audiobook.

CONCLUSION

We Thought We Knew You by M. William Phelps is not the best of his work. There were a number of times where I found some repetition. The tendency to transcend between one time and another proved to be a little disorientating. Despite that, I enjoyed Phelps unraveling of the conundrum that is: We Thought We Knew You.

One of the reasons that Phelps is a successful writer is he sincerely cares about the victims of the crimes he reports. His success cannot simply be attributed to his excellent skills in writing or his investigative methods. There is a palpable sense of anger and frustration that his subjects have been callously killed. This is borne out by the consistent pattern of his writing style in that he always has the victim as the fulcrum of the story. He consistently regales us with the minutiae of the victims daily lives and their hopes, dreams and vulnerabilities. He paints them in flesh and blood terms as they once were through the written word. This to me, this is what make M. William Phelps work stand out. In the world of true crime, he stands alone and unique in his defense of those who can no longer defend themselves.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

AS OF MARCH, 2021 THIS EBOOK IS FREE TO READ ON Kindle Unlimited

Now you can decided for yourself what you think, Simply click here to visit the page

SELECTION OF WORKS FROM THIS AUTHOR

See more from this author here.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I would like to thank M. William Phelps, NetGalley, and Tantor Audio for affording me the opportunity to review We Thought We Knew You.

BIRDS OF A FEATHER: A Book of Idioms and Silly Pictures – Review

Litercurious Book Review

TitleBirds Of A Feather: A book of Idioms and Silly Pictures
Author/IllustratorVanita Oelschlager / Robin Hegan
PublisherVanita Books; Reprint edition (May 1, 2011)
FormatPaperback, Library Binding, Hardcover
Pages32
LanguageEnglish
ISBN10/130980016282 / 978-0980016284

IDIOM Noun – The language peculiar to a people or to a district, community, or class.

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, 30 February, 2021. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/idioms

AUTHOR

Meet Vanita Oelschlager.

SYNOPSIS

Birds of a Feather is eminently engaging, informative, entertaining, and educational for children young and old. It’s fun, whilst learning about idioms and improving a child’s linguistic understanding and technical use of language concepts. Oelschlager’s book also promotes an understanding of the cultural basis of language through the form of idioms.

Given that this work is only 32 pages in length, it feels much larger due to the numerous beautiful full page color illustrations.

Birds of a Feather‘s greatest strength is its simplicity.

CONCLUSION

No doubt, Birds of a Feather will be well received and loved by children and adults. Many years after a child has grown out of this book, they will still hold fond memories of the enjoyment of reading and learning about idioms. I struggle to remember a better tool for demystifying and teaching a child the complexities of language.

Despite being no spring chicken, I was totally taken with Oelschlager’s fabulously fun trek into the world of idioms. Birds of a Feather is the perfect synergy of concept and illustration which combine to excite the eye and engage the mind. Vibrantly colorful, beautifully drawn, and entertaining throughout, this book is a joy to any young child and the perfect edition to their growing library. Reading this book is like having your cake and eating it too; educational and entertaining.

Our team has decided to award Birds of a Feather our highest rating so far this year for a children’s book.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

SPECIAL MENTION – ILLUSTRATOR

Robin Hegan, The illustrator of Birds of a Feather has produced a large range of humorous sketches that both amuse and educate the reader. Hegan has a particularly definitive artistic style that I very much enjoyed. I will be looking for his work in other literature.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I would like to thank Vanita Oelschlager, NetGalley, and Vanita Books for affording me the opportunity to review Birds of a Feather: A Book of Idioms and Silly Pictures.