Wednesday, January 7, 2015

In Search of the LIght

Leonard Jacobson, author website
About

SBN: 978-1-890580-05-6
32 Pages, Hardcover

In Search of the Light is Leonard's first children's book.

IN SEARCH OF THE LIGHT is a 1,500-word children’s picture book for ages 4 and up. The rhyming dialogue tells an enchanting story of animals in the meadow who experience a sudden eclipse of the sun. Not knowing what has happened, they believe that somehow the sun has lost its way, and they are concerned that it could mean the end of light.

Considering the situation to be most urgent, they form an expedition of four who journey to unknown places in search of the source of the light...

...The story opens children and adults to a magical and childlike world of innocence where a beautiful and simple message of truth is revealed. This uplifting, suspenseful adventure invites an independence of spirit, encouraging the return to love and oneness and strength within.

IN SEARCH OF THE LIGHT is beautifully illustrated by Italian illustrator, Fiammetta Dogi, who lives in Florence.

My Review:

The first thing I noticed, and so will you, is the beauty of Fiammetta Dogi's illustrations. They are brilliant in colour and the quality of A Conscious Living Publication's product highlights Ms. Dogi's talent.

http://www.fiammettadogi.com/

As you know, we all read differently and therefore mix differently with books. I'm struggling with not mixing with what I believe is the author's message versus how the story reads...which for me is a bit confusing. With that in mind, I would like to try and move away from that aspect and just talk about the adventure.

I enjoyed the beginning and the move into the dark forest. History is filled with stories on how humans have tried to explain a solar eclipse. The end of the world, the god(s) of the universe being angered, the fear of the unknown. I found this telling straightforward enough for any child to understand and follow the story's characters.

Chapter three lost me. The author's message is too vague and too much a left turn. Again, only my opinion, but one thing I believe we forget when writing for children...keep it simple, keep being straightforward with them. I'm also realizing my editor's hat in pushing through to override my reviewer's hat. So, allow me to bring in my split personality here, for just a moment:

Reviewer...message was lost...simple story, sidetrack on adventure, wish it was more because I was enjoying the pictures being painted. The idea of being different could have been explored.

Editor...needed more explanation to lead readers in the direction intended.

The ending, I'm unsure. For me...and whether it's the reviewer/reader in me or the editor, it's the same feeling...I miss how it ties up with the beginning, a solar eclipse. I keep wishing the sun had come alive as a character to help the main characters.

I've always said that because I don't mix with a book doesn't mean you won't. "In Search of the Light" will visually grab any reader. If kept lighthearted in the reading, younger children should enjoy the adventure paired with the illustrations.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Magic in the Kingdom of the Sloth

 
Published:8/8/2008
Format: Perfect Bound Softcover
Pages:60  Size:8.25x11  ISBN:978-1-43438-056-2 Print Type:B/W
 
 
Have you ever seen or observed a sloth? If you have you too will wonder how such a species could have survived all this time. Now imagine a long time ago they practiced their own brand of survival by means of magic. A magic so ancient that we have forgotten all about it. In a chronicle of books we trace this race to it's origin and evolution. "In a Kingdom long hidden away  existed a community that lived by  philosophical truths".

And hidden secrets that were passed down through one of their lines of Priest.


Review:

Ebbard is a sloth of thirteen. He's being trained by his 'grandfather' Malik to take over as the master magician for their community. It appears Malik acts as the guide, priest, of the community. One who teaches through sermon-like lessons at the daily sunrise ceremony. However, in the last few pages we learn of a secret. It would seem Malik knew the human great-great grandfather of the character who has translated this story. Why and how we don't know as the story ends with Ebbard bringing about a fog to hid his community from some danger.

Here's the main disappointment...the story is left unfinished. The cover does carry "Book I The Secret" however,  this still needed something a little more. Perhaps telling us what it was Ebbard was hiding the community away from, some story question answered. As it is, I feel like I've read a proposed storyline, a first draft waiting to be fleshed out.

Sadly, I've been unable to find anything more by the author or any more books under the series name "The Sloth Chronicles" or the author. I'm hoping this review finds its way to him/her and maybe we'll learn more.




 

Monday, December 10, 2012

SISTERS OF MISERY



SISTERS OF MISERY
By Megan Kelley Hall

Publisher: Kensington Books, an imprint of Kensington Publishing
 
Genre: Young Adult
ISBN: 978-0-7582-5830-4

Pages: 308
Price:  $6.99

 


Blurb via publisher’s website:

Some Girls Have Everything. Then There Are The Jealous Ones.
Hawthorne, Massachusetts is a picture-perfect town filled with shingled houses and quaint storefronts. It’s a place where status is everything—especially at Hawthorne Academy, ruled by a secret clique of popular, powerful girls known as the Sisters of Misery. 

Fifteen-year-old Maddie Crane has done her best to fit in, mostly for her mother’s sake. But then her beautiful cousin Cordelia LeClaire arrives in town, stirring envy and suspicion, and setting in motion a terrible sequence of events. Because Hawthorne is a town filled with secrets, and they are coming to light again… 


My Review:

I believe we’ve all heard that girls can be worse than boys when it comes to cliques and accepting others into their established folds. I remember one woman I worked with stating “How come a new guy comes to the office and all the men take him out for lunch or drinks after work. A new woman comes to the office and every female sits back to see where she fits in.” And how many movies and books, even news stories, do we know centre around someone doing anything to be in with the “in” crowd.

What happens when the new girl doesn’t care? And the new girl is vastly different than anyone in the small town. And, of course, the new girl attracts the attention away from the popular, powerful Sisters of Misery.

I did not expect the story to unfold as it did. I wasn’t expecting the ending. Frankly, everything within these pages went in directions I never imagined. Consider me spoiled (ruined?) by the sameness of other storylines with basic characters…good girl who’s awkward with her “in” friends, makes friends/cousin/sister/whomever who is way outside the “in” group. Arguments happen, pranks pulled, this, that, and the other thing until justice is served and either the bad one is punished or they’re all friends in the end.

Nope, there’s something disturbing happening between these pages. It’s haunting. It’s unsettling. It’s time to try and figure out just who we should be more afraid of…who’s more frightening…more powerful.

While having much the same as most teen dramas, Sisters of Misery also treads along the lines of dark fiction without the lightness found in too many tales today. This I like.

In fact, I liked it so much and was intrigued enough to buy Megan Kelley Hall’s The Lost Sister.

Material provided by third party for my impartial review

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Still Constructing

Sorry for the delay, I'm trying to figure out reading colours :)