‘The True Adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig’ Is a Picture Book that Will Charm Readers Young and Old

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“The True Adventures of Esther the Wonder Pig” by Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter and Caprice Crane is illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld. It’s a lovely picture book about a pig who grew and grew — not only in size, but also in the hearts of those who love her.

Esther’s story is incredible. Adopted as a mini-piglet, she was nothing of the kind. An acquaintance called her adopters, two of the authors of the picture book, and said that she had a five-pound micro-piglet but couldn’t care for it. She explained that the piglet shouldn’t grow to more than 70 pounds. The adopters thought Esther would be like a third dog, but when they took Esther to the vet, he broke the news that Esther wasn’t a micro-piglet, but rather a commercial pig. The woman who gave them Esther wouldn’t answer messages.

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‘The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Rome’ and ‘The Thrifty Guide to the American Revolution’ Are Both ‘Handbooks for Time Travelers’ by Jonathan W. Stokes

 

Kids who love reading about history and facts will love “The Thrifty Guide” books, billed as “A Handbook for Time Travelers,” a time-traveling series by talented author Jonathan W. Stokes. Sprinkled throughout the books are references to vacation packages to exotic places/times like ancient Rome and other hot locales. There are also legal warnings like this one:

“If you are shot by a British musket, just remember, you signed a waiver. Enjoy your trip to the American Revolution!”

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7 Fabulous Choices in Children’s Picture Books for Black History Month

With the increase in diversity in children’s books, there is a plethora of wonderful books for children of all ages that are perfect picks for February and the celebration of Black History.

“Dream Big Dreams: Photographs from Barack Obama’s Inspiring and Historic dreambigdreamsPresidency” by Pete Souza, the former chief official White House photographer, is a beautiful book filled with touching and insightful images of a president who could be solemn when the occasion called for it, caring when compassion was needed, loving with his family, and fun when children were involved. The images show a man who wasn’t afraid to be real with people and to show them that he cared. The photographs show a man who radiates confidence and charm. It’s a really lovely book. (Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers)

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Ten Perfectly Poignant Picture Books for Valentine’s Day

It’s not too late to get the perfect Valentine’s Day present for your favorite picture book reader. Here are ten picture-perfect choices.

Dog lovers who are book lovers know that almost no one writes nonfiction dog books IMG_3995like Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, author of “Made for Each Other: Why Dogs and People Are Perfect Partners.” This small picture book is aimed at older picture book readers, although younger readers will love the beautiful photographs by William Muñoz. The book is filled with all the nonfiction features teachers love to teach, like Contents (Part One: A Perfect Partnership; Part Two: The Science of Love; and Part Three: Sharing Our Lives), Resources for Young Readers (books, websites and videos with more information), Source Notes and Additional Sources (a bibliography of resources used for the information in the book), and an Index. Within the book’s pages is information ranging from how dogs differ from wolves and how they may have parted ways in the past to how dogs help us now by being our best friends, guiding us, protecting us, providing us with therapy, and just loving us. It’s a beautiful, completely true love story. (Crown Books for Young Readers)

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Remembering Nugget: Blacky’s Brother and Beloved Cat

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Nugget, my ten-year-old cat just died. He was not only a huge cat physically, he also had a huge personality.

Loss is difficult. Any loss. The loss of a pet, especially one in the prime of life, is hard, and some losses are more difficult to bear than others. When an old dog or cat dies, it’s sad but expected. But Nugget was not old; in fact, he was much younger than my oldest cat, Sally.

Few visitors to my house ever saw Nugget. Twelve years ago, he was a feral kitten who was already wild by the time I trapped his brother and him. At four months old, after being neutered and vaccinated, they cowered in their large crate and hissed and scratched when approached.

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How Important is Customer Service? Chewy.com Knows; Diamondback Drugs Needs Some Lessons

See update from Diamondback Drugs below.

It’s rare to experience in one day both the pinnacle of excellent customer service and the opposite — a customer service experience so bad that the consumer would rather spend more money elsewhere than to give a bad company good business.

When you have many pets in your home, a lot of money flies out for many purchases. Cats need kitty litter and food; dogs need food and toys. I’ve been using Chewy.com for many supplies because getting 40 pound bags of dog food and kitty litter delivered to my front door just makes sense. It wasn’t until there was a problem with my most recent delivery that I realized how superb their customer service is. Continue reading

‘Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court’ by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

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“Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court” is a marvelous autobiography by one of the greatest basketball players who ever graced the court. Watching him play was a privilege for any true sports fan because he appeared to be graceful and athletic, ultra-competitive, always under control — and in control — and a true champion. He and his teams won an almost unbelievable percentage of their games at every level — high school, college, professional.

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‘Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live, and How We Can Make Their Lives Better’ by Tracey Stewart

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“Do Unto Animals: A Friendly Guide to How Animals Live and How We Can Make Their Lives Better” by Tracey Stewart is not a new release, but it’s a perfect book to read for those who want a New Year filled with compassion, kindness and humane choices.

Stewart is lucky to be married to Jon Stewart because between them, they have the money to fund her passion — animals, animal rescue, and spreading the message of compassion for animals, humans, and the world around us. With this book, Stewart created an easy-to-read, beautifully illustrated book filled with facts about Stewart and her family, pets, and farm animals, and also filled with ways to make the world a better place for everyone.

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5 Children’s Picture Books With Messages for Young Readers

This holiday season, or any time of the year, it’s wonderful to find picture books that share  uplifting messages for young readers. Many picture books, fiction and nonfiction, allow young readers to think about issues such as fairness, inclusion, and just that it’s okay to be different. Here are some really thoughtful books that will open children’s horizons in wonderful ways.

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‘Middle-Earth: From Script to Screen’ Is a Beautifully Illustrated and Narrated Book about the World of ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’

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If there is one book that lovers of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” would love to own, it’s this book: “Middle-Earth: From Script to Screen, Building the World of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.” This weighty (literally, maybe five pounds) book is filled with photographs, information, architectural drawings, and quotes about the entire process in creating the Tolkien world.

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