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Jennifer LB Leese

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Hello, do you love books? Want to read about your favorites?

It's Only Ink! Children's Book Review Newsletter is for children's book reviews. My name is Jennifer LB Leese. I am an author of children's picture books, young adult gothic, fantasy novels, and paranormal romance novels. I am also a children's book reviewer, copyeditor, freelance writer, and feature article writer and managing editor for the local Picket News. As a book reviewer, I have many authors, publishers, and publicists sending me tons of books for review. Because of this, I tend to get overloaded and have no where to send the reviews. So, I decided to put together this newsletter through AuthorsDen to get some of the waiting reviews out there and in the public.

Feel free to pass this invitation on to others. Thanks, and enjoy.

Newsletter Dated: 6/22/2004 9:42:00 AM

Subject: June 22, 2004 Issue 22 Children's Book Review Newsletter

June 22, 2004
Issue 22


** MAMA by Kelly Jones**
** KANGAROO CLUES by Margot Finke **
** LITTLE LEMON: Activities for Developing Motivation and Memory Skills by Betsy B. Lee, Ed. S. in School Psychology **

** HEY DAD, WANNA PLAY CATCH? By Jim Hughes and Nick Hughes**
** I WANNA IGUANA by T. E. Watson**
** LEO the LIGHTNING BUG (w/audio CD) by Eric Drachman**

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MAMA by Kelly Jones
Published by: Stunt Publishing,
ISBN: 0-9745930-0-1
Release: 2004
Reviewed by Jennifer LB Leese,

When a baby brother can only say one word, "MAMA," it is up to his big sister to let everyone know what he means. The word MAMA stands for everything he wants to say. Jones has written a charming picture book, told in the voice of the big sister, that describes the relationship between siblings. Using rhyming text and colorful abstract illustrations, put together as a collage, this book is sure to become a favorite with young readers and young listeners. My children, ages 6 & 7, thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and looking at the pictures.
KANGAROO CLUES by Margot Finke,
Published by Writer's Exchange EPublishing,
Release: 2004
ISBN: 1876962011
Reviewed by Jennifer LB Leese,

In KANGAROO CLUES, an illustrated picture book, children learn about Dreamtime and Old Man Kanga and how he beat dogs that were out to eat him. Readers will enjoy hearing about and seeing colorfully drawn pictures of kangaroos, kookaburras, platypus', frill-neck lizards, galas, koalas, and more. Mustafa Delioglu, the illustrator, put a lot of thought and particulars into each creature drawn. Each design adds charm and enchantment to the story.

Told in rhyme, this storybook is a new favorite in this reviewer's household. With Australian parentage, my children and I, thoroughly enjoyed Margot Finke's wondrous tale about Australia's outback and the animals that live there.

This book would work wonderfully in the classroom. Teachers could add this detailed and fun book to their lesson plans when teaching children about the world's countries. This reviewer highly recommends KANGAROO CLUES by Margot Finke.
Little Lemon: Activities for Developing Motivation and Memory Skills by Betsy B. Lee, Ed. S. in School Psychology
Publisher: Learning Abilities Books
Release: 2004
ISBN: 0965885321
Reviewed by Jennifer LB Leese,

Little Lemon, a puppet, wants to help his friend, a discouraged child with a poor memory, but he doesn't know how. Charlene, his friend, doesn't like school and is always tired. Disheartened, Little Lemon flees to Lemon Land where he finds help from a few lemon friends. Little Lemon invites Charlene to Lemon Land where they discuss how to "make lemonade" when things get tough. 'When you have a problem but you make things better, it's like making lemonade from sour lemon juice.' Read LITTLE LEMON by Betsy B. Lee to find out exactly how Little Lemon helps his friend with a poor memory.

Included in this wonderful book are lesson plans, discussion questions, vocabulary improvement activities, a song, and encouragement activities. The vibrantly-colored illustrations by Linda Lee add a loving and inspiring touch to an already delightful story for children.
HEY DAD, WANNA PLAY CATCH? By Jim Hughes and Nick Hughes
Reviewer: Jennifer LB Leese,
Publisher: Hollis Publishing Company,
Release: 2001
Format: Paperback
152 pages
ISBN: 1-884186-14-9

This book is by a father and son team. They wanted to share what they know about baseball with other children. Their book includes baseball tips so readers can learn how to become better baseball players. HEY DAD, WANNA PLAY CATCH is an easy-to-read book with nine chapters. Each chapter contains demonstrative photos, as well as advice from former Major League Baseball players such as Harry Danning (New York Giants), Mel Parnell (Boston Red Sox), and Elroy Face (Pittsburgh Pirates).

This fantastic book is easy to use, and covers all areas of baseball without sounding preachy, or complicated. Children, ages nine and up, could read and understand this on their own…however, reading it with another baseball fan is sure to provide a more enjoyable read.

If you know a baseball fan…then rush to your local bookstore to get them HEY DAD, WANNA PLAY CATCH? They'll thank you for it.
I WANNA IGUANA by T. E. Watson
Reviewed by: Jennifer LB Leese,
Publisher: Paw Prints Press,
ISBN: 1-58478-009-6
Price: $16.95 Hardcover US
$22.95 Hardcover Canada
Release Date: 2001
Stars: 5

I WANNA IGUANA is an incredibly delightful children's storybook about a little boy who desperately wants an iguana as a pet. Throughout the story, the boy thinks of hilarious reasons as to why he should have an iguana. Hidden in the whimsical wording is a lesson of responsibility.

Children of all ages will enjoy T. E. Watson's book retailed as a juvenile book for ages 4-12, but as an adult, an author of children's books, and as a mother of three, I found this book imaginative and charming. The full-color illustrations by John Raptis are absolutely adorable and fit the storyline perfectly.

I WANNA IGUANA is a book I will read-aloud to my children over and over again. They thoroughly enjoyed it and I must say we did not read it once, or twice, but four times in a row!
The last few pages of the book are a simple list of responsibilities of how to care for your pet iguana.

The author, T. E. Watson is full of creativeness and has an eclectic background as a writer, computer consultant, Celtic software developer, former English teacher, and business owner.

I highly recommended his book, I WANNA IGUANA, and I plan to tell my children's pre-school and kindergarten teacher about it.
LEO the LIGHTNING BUG (w/audio CD) by Eric Drachman
Reviewed by: Jennifer LB Leese,,
Published by: Kidwick Books,
ISBN: 0-9703809-0-9
Genre: children, juvenile fiction
Release Date: 2001
Price: $18.95
Formats: hardcover
Stars out of 5: 5

LEO the LIGHTNING BUG is one of the best books for small children that I've read to my children lately. When I showed them the cover of the book, went through each page's colorful illustrations, while asking them questions of what they think happens next, they were ready to pop by the time I began the book. They sat attentively, which doesn't happen often, as I read. My children ages are ten, five, and four, and they grasped the concept of the book immediately.
This delightful book hit number two on the Los Angeles Times book review section on September 9, 2001. It is a superb book for small children, and would make a wonderful teaching tool. It details the triumphs and tribulations of what a youngster must do to overcome insecurity.

Leo is a little lightning bug who is smaller than most and who also hasn't developed the ability to make his yellow lightning bug light, light up. Leo's mother has taught him to believe in himself and it works. Several of the other lightning bugs tease Leo, but when he remembers that his mother said to practice, practice, practice, he rushes out of his hiding place to practice until he glows. He, in due course, lights up and instantly gains self-assurance. When Leo sees the other lightning bugs, again, they immediately notice his newfound confidence and they ask him to play.

This delightful book comes with an audio CD, which is narrated perfectly for this age group. My children loved listening to me read and they loved listening to the CD. Your children will definitely enjoy the charming story as well as watching Leo's comical attempts to light up, which were beautifully illustrated by James Muscarello, who "was bitten by the drawing bug at a very young age. Since then, he has studied at California Institute of the Arts and El Camino College. He is currently a freelance sculptor and illustrator living in San Pedro, California."

The author, "Eric Drachman, has a B.A. in Psychology and an M.F.A. in Acting, which a minor in making kids laugh. In fact, it was Eric's desire to entertain his nieces and nephew that inspired his first rudimentary books-on-tape. It was the success of these tapes to entertain a whole variety of kids (and parents) that led Eric to write and produce LEO the LIGHTNNG BUG."

This reviewer and her children, highly recommend Eric Drachman's book LEO the LIGHTNING BUG.


If you want to have your book reviewed by Jennifer LB Leese, write her at and tell her about your book.

Need your book edited before you send it out to a potential publisher: Send it to: It's Only Ink! Copyediting, for last minute touches.
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