Author: Soumya

Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog

Happy book publication month to Madeline Finn and the Therapy Dog by Lisa Papp. Madeline has a pet dog named Star. Star is training to become a therapy dog. Star has to pass three tests to become a therapy dog. Madeline is anxious if Star will pass the tests and trains Star for the tests. The tests will be held at a Retirement village. Star is polite and allows the residents of the Retirement village to pet him. One residents, Mr. Humphrey, is aloof and does not react to the charms of Star. Can Star and Madeline bring a change in Mr. Humphrey’s attitude? Will Star become a therapy dog? I loved the cute illustrations of Madeline and Star in this book. It is a feel-good story that will warm your heart. This is the third book in the Madeline Finn series and I am planning to read the other two as well. This book will be of interest to kids who have or like to have a dog as a pet.

The old man and the penguin

Coming up on October 6 is The Old Man and the Penguin picture book. It is a story of friendship between an old man and a Penguin. This book is based on a real story. Joao lives close to Proveta Beach in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. He is a retired brick-later. On one of his walks he finds an oil-soaked penguin close to death. He brings the penguin home and cares for it until it is fit to return to sea. Joao knows that the penguin’s home is sea. With a heavy heart, he leaves the penguin at sea. The penguin returns to Joao’s home. The penguin misses the sea too. The penguin comes up with a plan so that it is both with him and the wild. This simple story teaches kids about the value of friendship and caring for other animals. It also brings to light how oil spills threaten the sea wildlife. Thank you to @netgalley and @kidscanpress for the ARC. Category: children’s picturebookAge recommendation: 4-8 years

Getting closer to cover reveal

The cover reveal of my first middle grade novel, Lost Between Worlds is coming soon! This week, @abhilashakhatri0603, @talegari.tales and I went back and forth regarding the title font choice. For the first time, I understood how important is the title font and how to make the cover more appealing with a few tweaks. The tweaks seemed minor but they made a huge difference. We are almost done with beautifying the cover. I am excited that I will be sharing the cover soon. Have a nice week ahead!

Mind what you think

Mind what you think is one of the most useful books that I read this year. The author explains in great detail about how we think, why our brains are wired a certain way and how to change recurring negative thoughts. The first two parts of the book felt a bit long but later parts revealed why the author has to go to great depths about thinking patterns. The suggestions in the book seem simple but have great value. I am changing my thinking as per the suggestions in the book and I have seen a difference in the way I perceive situations that are within and out of my control. The author also provides simple thought exercises that make clear how a simple change in thinking can also change our lives. A must-read for people interested in psychology and self-help books. Thank you to Netgalley and Light Ideas Press for ARC.

The Reindeer Girl

Happy book publication month to The Reindeer Girl by Holly Webb (@hollywebbauthor) Lotta goes to Norway with her family to celebrate her great-grandmother, Erika’s birthday. Lotta grew up listening to stories about reindeer herding from her mother and great-grandmother. Lotta loves reindeers and wishes she had a reindeer to take care of. Lotta’s wish comes true, she travels back in time to when her great grandmother is a kid and Lotta is her cousin. Lotta and Erika embark on a dangerous journey to save the Reindeer mother and calf, who were in their care. This book is a great read for middle graders who like diverse literature and want to learn about Norway culture and customs and Reindeers. Thanks to @netgalley and @pubspotlight for the ARC.

The Magic of the Lost Temple

Books have a character. A few books are like patient best friends. They don’t hurry you to complete them, they have an air of confidence that say ‘come to me whenever you feel like and we will spend some good time together.’ Sudha Murthy’s latest middlegrade novel, The Magic of the Lost Temple, is a book that fits the character of a ‘patient best friend ’. In this book, Nooni, starts her summer vacation. Their family’s usual vacation plans change because her mother has to go for a work-related training. Nooni is shipped off to her grandfather’s village (dad’s dad) for six weeks. Nooni makes new friends in the village, learns how to help at home, learns about plants in her grandma’s garden and also listens to the tales about village history from her grandmother. Her grandmother tells her about a magnificent stepwell that remains buried. Is that stepwell a myth or a reality? What I loved about the book is the ‘village lifestyle’, where everything is unhurried, people help out one another and have …

The Little Engine That Could

The Little Engine That Could is an American classic children’s picturebook. The book was first published in 1930 and is written by Watty Piper. The book I read is illustrated by Loren Long. This story teaches optimism and hard work. An engine is carrying food and toys for the children in the other side of the mountain. The engine breaks down and the toys get worried that they cannot reach the children. They try to hike a ride from two shiny new engines and an old engine but they deny the request. Finally a little blue engine comes by. He wants to help but he doubts if he powerful enough to haul the cargo. Will the blue engine be successful in carrying the toys and food to the children on the other side of the mountain? The illustrations are fantastic. The mantra of the blue engine is ‘I think I can’ and it is a useful mantra to teach to young kids when faced with obstacles. Category: children’s picturebook Age recommendation: 0-5

The Little Mermaid

Happy book birthday to The Little Mermaid. The Little Mermaid fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson is a well-known tale and doesn’t need an introduction. In this story, a mermaid falls in love with a prince and sacrifices her voice to become a human. Will the prince love her too? In this picture book, the illustrator Bernadette Watts brings this story to life with dream-like illustrations. I was also surprised to see that the original story is a bit different from what we know. The description of the underwater world and the mermaids by Hans Christian Anderson is magnificent. I would like have all the fairy tales illustrated as separate books and this book is a great start. A must-read book, but the rich language makes it suitable for kids age 8 and above. Thanks to @netgalley and @northsouthbooks for the ARC. Kids age: 8 and above

My debut novel coming in 2021

I am excited to announce that my debut middle grade novel, Lost Between Worlds, will be published by Talegari Tales (@talegari.tales). Thanks to Manasa Gururaj, the founder of Talegari Tales for this opportunity. Early this month, I sent out the manuscript to the publisher and I am waiting for the comments. The book will be released in 2021. For my book, I met an incredible illustrator, Abhilasha Khatri, @abhilashakhatri0603, who drew the illustrations for the book. The illustrations in the book are great and I hope to share a few in a couple of posts. Last but not the least, I want to thank my family for their support. My parents, Dr. Shivarani and Dr. Sukumar for their encouragement to pursue writing provided I have a professional career. I also want to thank my mom, Shivarani (@rani_shiv) and husband Pradeep (@goudapradeep) for reviewing this book multiple times and providing critical feedback. I also want to thank my family and friends reviewers, especially my youngest and eldest nieces, Shreshta and Niyati. The other reviewers are my …