The Musings, Notes & Book/App reviews of a Children's Writer

Posts tagged ‘Books’

Aug ’13 Book of the Month – My Head is Full of Colors

As back to school season looms around the corner, and I get my youngest son ready for 4th grade, I realize it’s time. Time to get back to my picture book of the month posts.  Sadly my sons have moved on from picture books but thankfully I haven’t and never will.

X 001 My Head is Full Of Colors

I’m a print designer by day and a children’s writer during every waking and dreaming moment. My Head is Full of Colors is the book that flipped the switch for me. It was because the Author was telling my story and the illustrator drew everything that was in my head as a child. It’s the story of every child whose mind is wide open to the wonders of the world around them.

X 006 My Head is Full Of ColorsAnyone who’s read my Bio knows how much I love the designs incorporated within the illustrations. I cherish my 20-year-old copy of this book which was originally bought for design reference.

The story this book tells about a creative and imaginative little girl is wonderful. The mother is wonderfully supportive & embraces the fact that her daughter sees things differently. Maybe one day i’ll have the privilege of meeting this Author or illustrator. I hope this book is still in stores, if not it can be found online at Amazon.

X 008 My Head is Full of ColorsMy head is full of colors by Catherine Friend & illustrated by KiKi

Drop a comment if you’ve read this book or share a book that left a strong impression that you could identify with.


App Review from i Heart this App

The First Review is in from I Heart this App and it’s a Thumbs up for Grendel’s Great Escape book App 

GGE Review

GGE Review







Grendel’s Great Escape HD – Adventure Storybook for iPad


“Grendel’s Great Escape is another solid interactive storybook app that you can let your children read and experience. From the nice illustrations, original music and sound effects, and numerous interactive elements to discover, your child will surely be immersed in this funny adventure story.”

GGE  cover


Grendel’s Great Escape is an interactive storybook for children ages 4-8 that is available on the iPad. It tells the story of how Martin tried to find his escaped pet ferret Grendel in school.

Martin had a pet ferret named Grendel who he decided to bring to school for Show and Tell. As the class was painting, Grendel escaped from Martin’s leash and bag. Martin and his friends now had to find Grendel before the principal Mr. B found the escaped animal. This is the story of how they searched the whole school to find Grendel.

This app is a typical storybook app in that it had full-page colored illustrations with animation to suit the story. Story text is also there on the page for children to read along with. A narrator reads the story while phrases are highlighted in order to help children read along better. The pages also contain interactive elements that children can explore and discover. Your children will have fun reading and playing along with this exciting adventure story.

The developers have announced that this app is compatible only with the iPad 2 and higher models. This is a paid app with no in-app purchases or pop up ads inside.

What iHeartThisApp Liked

The layout and controls of the app is very much like other storybook apps. Turning the page is easily understood and the app is very intuitive to use overall. The inclusion of a table of contents for children to go to their favorite pages or go back where they left off is a good feature.

The artwork is good and enticing for children and the animation in some scenes suits the style and feel of the story. There are several interactive elements within each page that reveals hidden animation or sound effects that children can take time to discover. These elements will serve to enhance a child’s experience of the story.

The narration is clear and the voice acting is good. The option to also turn the voice over off is great for parents who want to read to their children or children who want to practice their reading skills.

Suggested Enhancement

It would benefit the app greatly if for future versions, they developed additional mini games or activities such as coloring or puzzles. These added elements will only serve to increase the app’s replay value.


Grendel’s Great Escape is another solid interactive storybook app that you can let your children read and experience. From the nice illustrations, original music and sound effects, and numerous interactive elements to discover, your child will surely be immersed in this funny adventure story.

Blue Sandpiper Imprints:

Grendel’s Great Escape:

Christmas Book Review – How Santa lost his Job

Merry Christmas from Blue Sandpiper Imprints, home of Grendel’s Great Escape Children’s App. I added a 2nd book this month, it is Christmas after all & there are so many good Christmas books out there, I just couldn’t resist. Plus it will give the kids something to read, Consider it my gift to you.

How Santa lost his Job by Stephen Krensky  illustrated by S.D. Schindler

Santa lost his job

How Santa lost his job
Book Review by M.Anaya
Blue Sandpiper Imprints

This follow-up to ‘How Santa got his job’ is just as entertaining and interesting. In this economy with it’s ups & downs this is a very relevant story, about how Santa was slow to change with the times so the Elves found a way to modernise & maximize production. They build a fantastic machine ‘The deliverator’ that meets all their delivery needs but soon discovers that it lacks the personal touch and know how that only Santa can supply. Yes, it has a happy ending, and is written in a fun and upbeat way that kids will love. With so many children in families facing layoffs and the lifestyle changes it brings, this is a great read for not only Christmas but for anytime of the year.

December Picture Book of the Month – Santa Claws by Laura Leuck





 “A Scary Christmas to all” 

For those who haven’t had enough of Halloween & have a fascination with monsters, here’s a book for you! Santa Claws is a weird twist on the old Saint Nick but this story takes place in Monster Town. ‘Santa Claws’ is wonderfully told in rhyme and is great for the 4-8 lot.

“It’s Christmas Eve in Monster town and Mack & Zack, two monster boys want gross & grizzly Christmas toys” Like all good little monsters they anxiously look forward for a visit from Santa Claws who rides thru the air on a Dragon, but you have to read it to see what happens next. The Author also takes us on a trip thru monster town with it’ ‘dead pine trees’ and ‘spooky shacks’. It’s quirky illustrated by Gris Grimley in his usual offbeat and sketchy style. This book is an offbeat Christmas treat which is a keeper to be read for many Christmases to come.

– If you’re an Author and have a picture book that you’d like reviewed, contact me thru the website link below or leave a comment below.

– All picture books reviewed on this blog may be purchased thru the link on the Blue Sandpiper website –

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