Monday, December 31, 2012

Loogie the Booger Genie, Prince of Prank earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval

After pulling one too many pranks, young prince Loogar's father elicits the help of the wizard to put a stop to the boy's unwelcome shenanigans.  But when prince Loogar (or Loogie as his nanny calls him) tries to play a joke on the wizard, the wizard decides to put the arrogant young prince in his place once and for all.  Loogie is turned into a Genie only to be discovered hundreds of years later by a young boy, named Charlie, who shares Loogar's passion for playing pranks.  When Loogie becomes lodged in Charlie's nose, the two boys must work together to help break the wizard's spell and set Loogar free.

Loogie the Booger Genie, Prince of Prank is the first book in a series which is likely to be a big hit with young readers.  Author N.E. Castle has crafted a tale full of adventure and humor, laced with messages touching on compassion and character.  We highly recommend this book for young readers and we look forward to seeing future works by this promising author.  


LITERARY CLASSICS Book Reviews & Awards

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Top 100 List of the All Time Best Classic Literature for Children and Young Adults

 While it would be nearly impossible to list all the best books in classic literature for children and young adults, we have created a compilation based upon selections from our staff, reviewers and fans of Literary Classics.  Our list of top 100 books for children and young adults is sorted by recommended reading age.

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown -  Age 2 and up

Love You Forever by Robert Munsch - Age 2 and up

On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman - Age 2 and up

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle - Age 2 and up

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault - Age 3 and up

Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss - Age 3 and up

The Giving Tree by Shell Sliverstein - Age 3 and up

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson Age 3 and up

The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper - Age 3 and up

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney - Age 3 and up

Oh the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss - Age 3 and up

The Saggy Baggy Elephant by K. Jackson and B. Jackson - Age 3 and up

The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter - Age 3 and up

Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne - Age 3 and up

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good ,Very Bad Day by  Judith Viorst - Age 4 and up

Curious George by H.A. Rey - Age 4 and up

George and Martha by James Marshall - Age 4 and up

Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr Seuss - Age 4 and up

If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff - Age 4 and up

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn - Age 4 and up

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes - Age 4 and up

The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell - Age 4 and up

Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth - Age 4 and up

The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen - Age 4 and up

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams - Ages 4 and up

Matthew and the Sea Singer by Jill Paton Walsh - Age 5 and up

Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner - Age 5 and up

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats - Age 5 and up

Jumanji by Chris Van Allsburg - Age 6 and up

A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein - Age 6 and up

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett - Age 7 and up

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume - Age 7 and up

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis - Age 8 and up

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl Age 8 and up

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White - Age 8 and up

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh - Age 8 and up

Holes by Louis Sachar - Age 8 and up

The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles by Julie Andrews Edwards - Age 8 and up

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis - Age 8 and up

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George - Age 8 and up

The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White - Age 8 and up

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls - Age 8 and up

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle - Age 8 and up

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll - Age 9 and up

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson - Age 9 and up

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis - Age 9 and up

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling - Age 9 and up

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell - Age 9 and up

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery - Age 9 and up

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry - Age 9 and up

Watership Down by Richard Adams-  Age 9 and up

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain - Age 10 and up

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling - Age 10 and up

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - Age 10 and up

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt - Age 10 and up

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank - Age 12 and up

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes - Age 12 and up

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - Age 12 and up

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens - Age 12 and up

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings - Ae 12 and up

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger - Young Adult

Emma by Jane Austen - Young Adult

Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - Young Adult

The Giver by Lois Lowry - Young Adult

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo - Young Adult

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck - Young Adult

Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain - Young Adult

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Young Adult

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway - Young Adult

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith - Young Adult

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - Young Adult

This top 100 list of best books for children and young adults has been created as a reading guide to help parents and young readers gain exposure to some of the most highly respected works of literature of all time.
(Feel as though our list is lacking?  Let us know. We'd love to hear your comments.)  

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Reviews & Awards

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Wicked Passage Earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval

We wish to recognize the literary talents of author, N.M. Singel, as we honor her book The Wicked Passage, with the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

13 year old Blake Wyatt is an ordinary teenager with a fairly ordinary life.  He doesn't much care for history class and he's seriously considering quitting the football team. 

When Blake discovers he is the youngest descendant of the Sapphire Travelers, those with the ability to travel through time, things start spiraling out of control.   He quickly learns that his world is much bigger than he once thought it to be.   Ultimately he learns to take responsibility for his actions as he gains a greater appreciation for the things he once took for granted. 

Wicked Passage intertwines the classic story of good verses evil along with a dose of history, plus the excitement of time travel thrown in for good measure.  This is a tale which will intrigue young readers while promoting good values and an appreciation for historical events.

The Wicked Passage comes highly recommended and earns our Seal of Approval.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Reviews & Awards

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Author Spotlight - Award Winning Author, Kathy Stemke

I’ve been writing officially for 4 years, but really all my life in one form or another.

My first writings were in a poetic form designed to express my feelings. More recently I wanted to share my knowledge as a teacher for over 30 years with children, parents and other teachers.


My inspiration started with writing a rhyming couplet for each of 5 consonant blends as a teaching tool. Then I wove them into a story about a young boy who turned into a superhero and was determined to keep his new baby sister asleep. Each blend became a problem he had to solve. “Gr, gr, gr,” said the grizzly bear, huge and scary with his red hair.

IS “Sh Sh Sh Let the Baby Sleep” YOUR FIRST BOOK?
I’ve published three books to date and have several in the works. I’m also a contributor to two Gryphon House resource books for teachers.

I self-published my first book on Lulu, “Moving Through All Seven Days”. This book inspires movement as children learn about the days of the week. The lyrical rhymes also teach them how to spell each day. The activities are designed to reinforce the concepts as well as give impetus to movement exploration.

My next book titled, “Trouble on Earth Day” is a picture book and a resource book for teachers with 23 pages of crafts, songs, worksheets, and activities. This colorful picture book will facilitate dialog between parents, teachers, and children about conserving the Earth's natural resources.

“Winnie’s War,” my first young adult historical fiction, is underway. This is an important book for me because it is based on the life of my mother during WWII in the heavily bombed port city of Birkenhead, England. Three of her younger siblings were evacuated with millions of children. Her search to bring her family back together will bring the reader into the horrific, but sometimes humorous life of a teen during this agonizing war.

I just finished a resource book for teachers titled, “Spin, Swerve, and Swim: A Book of Songs to Get Kids Moving.” The subjects range from dinosaurs to polar bears and shapes to transportation. The tunes you know and the words will get your kids moving, learning, and having fun. This will be available on Teachers pay teachers.

I’ve always had a passion for writing, the arts and all things creative. With a teaching degree from Southern Connecticut State University and a BS from Covenant Life Seminary, as well as graduate coursework from New York Institute of Technology and Columbia University, I taught for over 30 years. Hanging my hat in Mount Airy, Georgia I have been a dancer, choreographer, teacher, tutor, writer and an antiques dealer for many years.

As a freelance writer and ghostwriter, I have published over one hundred articles in directories, magazines and on websites. I’m a reviewer for Sylvan Dell Publishing and I have several activities published with Gryphon House Publishing.

Dance has always been an integral part of my life. I’ve taught dance to children and adults as well as choreographed pieces for Community Theater and churches.

Photography and poetry fill my spare time. In fact, I’ve put together a book titled, “Visual Dance Poetry” which combines dance poetry with dance photos.

Of course, I love all musicals and dance movies. As far as TV is concerned, I love “Dancing with the Stars,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” and ‘America’s Best Dance Crew.”

Marketing my books is the most difficult challenge I face. The time and effort it takes to schedule school and library visits can be taxing. Getting your books to the right audience is the key.

Read, read, and read. Get into a good critique group, and learn all you can from your peers, mentors and the many free on-line conferences available to you. Then write, rewrite and rewrite again to produce the best product you can. Selling articles to magazines and on-line websites is a great way to gain experience.

Research as many publishers as you can, and make sure they have published in your genre before. Talk to other authors about their experiences, and get the contract looked at by a legal advisor before you sign on the dotted line. Never pay to have your book published.

Like just about every other professional, building relationships with other authors, editors, and publishers as well as paying-it–forward will prove to be your most valuable tool. You may just make friends all over the world which will definitely improve your quality of life. 

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Reviews & Awards

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Carla's Cloud Catastrophe Earns our Seal of Approval

Carla's Cloud Catastrophe is a fresh and imaginative book about a day in the life of a young girl during which all the clouds fall out of the sky.  All sorts of unexpected things happen when large billowy clouds are found in the most unlikely places causing quite a catastrophe.  When the town's-folk try to come up with a solution for cleaning up the cloud mess, Carla comes up with a plan that saves the day. 

Children will love the illustrations which help this story come to life as young Carla puts her mind to helping resolve a mess which threatens to keep her from making it to her own birthday party.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Reviews & Awards

Monday, December 10, 2012

I Get It!, I Get It!, How John Figures It Out - One Boy's Journey and Triumph with APD

I Get It!, I Get It!, How John Figures It Out - One Boy's Journey and Triumph with Auditory Processing Disorder, is a must read for kids with APD. 

After many frustrating experiences at home and at school, John is at his wit's end.  He feels as though he understands what is being asked of him, and yet he always seems to get things mixed up.  On a day that all the kids in school laugh at him because of his inability to understand what is being asked by the teacher, he finally decides to talk to his parents about what's been going on. 

After John's parents discuss the situation with his teacher, John is tested and it is discovered that he has ADP (Auditory Processing Disorder).  Within a fairly short time, John, his parents and his teacher come up with solutions to help him work effectively in ways that will help him overcome his disorder.  Soon John becomes happier, more confident, and his grades improve.

I Get It!, I Get It!, How John Figures It Out is a book of empowerment and one that can offer hope and encouragement to kids struggling with learning disorders.  This book earns our Seal of Approval.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Reviews & Awards

Monday, December 3, 2012

Nature's Patchwork Quilt - an excellent tool for educators

 Nature's Patchwork Quilt, Understanding Habitats, by Mary Miche is an excellent resource for educators.  This book touches on the scientific terms for various habitats in a way that is informative, interesting and educational.  A patchwork of lively illustrations provide excellent visual  interest which enhances this book's appeal even further.  The author has been an educator for years, and this is made apparent by the way in which she breaks down the subject matter for young readers, making it simple to understand the various habitats discussed within this book.

Nature's Patchwork Quilt, Understanding Habitats, comes highly recommended and earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Reviews & Awards

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Over in the Forest earns the Literary Classics Seal of Approval

Over in the Forest: Come Take a Peek, by Marianne Berkes is the enchanting storybook rendition of the children's song bearing the same name.  Beautifully penned, the lyrical softness of this book creates a lovely sense of calm as readers count animal groupings from one to ten. 

Illustrations, by Jill Dubin are perfectly paired with this book which would make a fabulous addition to any home or school library.

In the back of the book is an annex providing wildlife spotting tips from the author and interesting illustration facts from the illustrator.

This book has earned the Literary Classics Seal of Approval.

LITERARY CLASSICS Book Reviews & Awards