Tag Archives: reviews

Cutest Dual-language Picture Book!

English-Spanish Hardcover resizedJuvenile author Wendy Gilhula has sent me a copy of her debut work. Pika Bunny and the Thunderstorm has some of the sweetest illustrations I’ve seen in a long time!

Gilhula and I worked together some years ago on prose and poetry she had written. The ideas she had just would not let her go. One of them was a series of stories about a bunny named Pika.

Pika Bunny explores the world and illustrates the most touching elements of the parent-child relationship. After Gilhula put her ideas down on paper, she found a publisher who wanted not just one of the works, but several.

Today she is celebrating because Pika Bunny has found life in several formats. The debut story is available in paperback and hardbound versions. There are also English-only and Spanish-English editions, for a total of four versions!

When I received my copy, I reread the story that had demanded the author’s time and focus. Pika Bunny is frightened by a thunderstorm. Then he learns all the good things about rain and thunder. Pika Bunny triumphs over his fear!

PikaBedWashFrom the first page, I really was taken in by the illustrations. Adrianna Allegretti is the illustrator here.

Like most children’s books, the illustrations stay focused on the characters. In a few places, however, Allegretti opts to draw only the storm or other elements of nature.

The combination of the characters in nature, in their cozy interior spaces, and the ones that allow nature to roam free across the page lend this work a particular feeling readers will love.

One of the coolest things about Pika Bunny is that the work is available in a dual-language version. The story is told in Spanish and English, with the same text running in both languages on the same page.

The work has been nominated for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrator’s (SCBWI’s) Golden Kite Award. 

Of special note is the dedication in the front of the book. Gilhula thanks a number of individuals, all by listing their first names and the first initial of their last name. These are all kids who were her beta readers!

She wanted to honor the contributions of these dedicated fans. And here she has, while also preserving their identities and therefore their safety.

Want more of this cuteness and sweet words? Tune in next week for an interview with author Wendy Gilhula!

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Kids as Book Reviewers

One of the best ideas to come about these days is turning kids into book reviewers. BiblioNasium is a growing digital network that has long supported literacy and independent reading among children. Their new platform allows kids to post advanced book reviews.

These are the readers of today, and the adult readers of tomorrow. Anything that supports them and makes them feel more engaged will help authors and publishers in the long run.

Goodreads Tops 100K Authors

Goodreads, one of the top reader review sites, now has over 100,000 authors in their author program. Authors who join their program create their own author page, which enhances readers’ ability to discover their fiction and nonfiction books. Even if your work is out of print, if it’s available as a used book in hard copy, make sure you join their author ranks today!

Goodreads Doubles Again

2013 was a banner year for Goodreads, the reader review site. It doubled its membership again (just as it did during 2012). It now has 25 million members, many of which are interested in fiction much than nonfiction.

Here’s a cool infographic with other tidbits about the site’s activities over the previous year.

Amazon’s Top Reviewers

Reader reviews are an important to boost book sales. On specific sites, you’ll find lists of top reviewers…individuals who are so prolific with their reviews that they have achieved top ranking on that site.

It might not sound like much but it’s important. Top reviewers have followers…some of them tens of thousands of followers. When one of the top reviewers pays attention to your book, their followers discover your work. Good or bad, the review can introduce you to individuals who otherwise might never come across your stories.

Over the holidays, one of my novels was reviewed by an Amazon Top 50 reviewer. The post is fairly long and detailed, and can be read here. The reviewer is Grady Harp, who commands spot number 41 in the reviewer ranking. I’ll be following the sales numbers and will report back in a month on any developments.