When I Was a Child: I Was Always Afraid – Michael Cascio

When I Was a Child: I Was Always Afraid – Michael Cascio


Are you afraid when you go to bed? This book will put good thoughts in your head.


When I Was a Child: I Was Always Afraid by Michael Cascio is a wonderful children’s book about conquering fear. The book talks about many things that even adults have been afraid of. – unexplainable noises coming from other rooms, lurking spooky shadows, monsters under the bed, scary silhouettes and sounds of trees, and sometimes thunder, outside the window, Children’s minds can get carried away with imagining all kinds of horrifying things. Thankfully, Michael Cascio has thoughtfully addressed the problem by writing an excellent little book for children to learn how to overcome and face their fears.

In When I Was a Child: I Was Always Afraid, we have a little boy that is dealing with the issue of fear. His devoted father takes him by the hand and together they explore the house with the lights on and see that there is nothing scary there. They look under the bed, and surprise, they find lost toys – no monsters. They go outside and look at the beautiful tree and its branches. That is all it was, just a tree. The boy is relieved, and by examining the things he was afraid of, he faced his feelings of fear and conquered them.

The father’s wisdom and willingness to help his child is an important message to parents. Children need to be able to approach their parents and talk about their emotions and fears. By not brushing off his son’s fear by just saying, “there is nothing to be afraid of,” he actively and lovingly helped his son in a real tangible way by showing him that what the boy feared was just normal things around the house. He taught him how to put good thoughts in his head when he became afraid.

This book is written in poetry form with delightful rhyming verses that flow beautifully. The illustrations are vivid and irresistible, as they show the emotion behind them. They start out a bit darker in the beginning, but as the pages are turned they are lit up and cheerful. A perfect depiction of what fear looks like to a child, without being too frightening. The characters in the pictures are actually cute and winsome.

This is a timeless book that should be in libraries, and on every child’s bookshelf, to be read to at bedtime to diminish any fears. Praise for Michael Cascio’s, When I Was a Child: I Was Always Afraid. Get a copy for every child in your life. They will be comforted, delighted and inspired.

Purchase When I Was a Child: I Was Always Afraid @Amazon Here

Reviewed by Artisan Book Reviews


Wobbles by Leah Venegas – Book Review

Alt="wobbles"Wobbles by Leah Venegas



Wobbles is a young leapfrog who has trouble learning to leap. He gets teased in school and feels alone. One day, a new student befriends Wobbles and tells him that her father, who is a champion leaper, had the same problem. With the help of his new friend and her father, Wobbles takes his first successful leap.

As the end of the school year arrives, Wobbles must conquer his fear and succeed in the leaping competition. Will he be able to show the students who bullied him that he is no longer afraid of them?

This book is about perseverance, endurance, and success from working hard and facing your fears.


Wobbles by Leah Venegas is an adorable children’s book about a little humble leapfrog that is trying to learn to leap. On his first day back to school, he tells his father he doesn’t want to go because he can’t leap yet. He is afraid. His father gently encourages him and he goes on to leaping school.

On his first attempt to leap, he fails and the other little frogs laugh at him. Then, a little girl frog makes friends with him and encourages him. She tells Wobbles that her father was a slow learner too. But, he overcame his fear and went on to be a champion leaper. Her father agrees to help little Wobbles learn to leap. He tells him that he needs to overcome his fear and leap with his whole heart. After much practice, Wobbles learns to leap from one lily pad to another. He wins the contest at school and is inspired to help other little frogs learn to leap too.

Wobbles by Leah Venegas is an exciting adventure that young children will be delighted in. It teaches children several important lessons about learning new things. Little Wobbles had a lot of fear of failing and being laughed at. But, he overcame his fear and learned to do things with his whole heart. He practiced and practiced.

This book will be a favorite among children everywhere. It relates to young children that the feeling of embarrassment is normal and so is being fearful. However, by practicing with determination, they can do the very things that they are unsure of. Although a child may have a weakness in an area, he/she can still succeed. Bullying and self-esteem are important lessons in this book.

This book is delightful and captivating. The illustrations are enchanting and will surely bring the child much joy. The storyline and plot are easy to understand and written in a way that young children will be able to follow along and comprehend. I read it to my little grandchildren and they loved it. They have had me read it to them over and over again. It packs a nice important message inside while visually engaging the reader. It is a cute story filled with excitement and emotion. Leah Venegas is an excellent children’s author. I highly recommend Wobbles for all young children.

Reviewed by Chick Lit Café

Purchase Wobbles @Amazon Here

Santa’s Dog by Joann Sky

CapturevhngnxSanta’s Dog by Joann Sky


Sometimes the best gifts choose YOU!

Follow the adventures of Santa’s best dog, Lance, when he falls from the sleigh one Christmas Eve. He’s taken in by the animal shelter then brought home by a military family who needs some help as Dad is called to serve his country. When Christmas Eve comes ’round the next year, Lance must decide whether to return to the North Pole with his friend Santa or stay with his new family.

If you love dogs, if you have family in the military, or if you believe in Santa, you will be touched by this heartwarming tale for youngsters and the young-at-heart!


Santa’s Dog by Joann Sky is a charming one of a kind Christmas story. At the North Pole, Santa has a secret that no one knows about, he has one hundred dogs, and he loves each one of them the same. However, one special dog named Lance, gets to sleep on Santa’s bed every night. Lance and Santa have been friends forever and they are never far apart from one another. But then something terrible happens and Lance falls out of Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. He gets lost but is quickly picked up by a local animal shelter (thank goodness for animal shelters.) A very nice family adopts him and he soon becomes a part of the family and is dearly loved and appreciated. He misses Santa and Santa misses Lance. For the whole next year Lance is busy making his new family happy and he loves each one of them. What will happen when Santa returns to see him next Christmas Eve? Will Lance stay with his new family that needs him desperately, or will he return to the North Pole with his dear old friend Santa Claus?

Santa’s Dog by Joann Sky is an entertaining story for young children to love and cherish. It has a unique storyline and premise. It is fast paced and has easy to understand words for the young child. Parents will love this splendid tale as well.

It’s an amusing rhyming story that children will delight in and enjoy. It pulls you in and yanks at your heartstrings and won’t let go. It has a fabulous moral and nice subtle messages throughout. It is about love and finding one’s life purpose. The illustrations are lovely and playful, perfect for children to love and appreciate.

I thought it was a great idea to include the importance of adopting shelter dogs. And how many times, a shelter dog is the perfect addition to any family that wants a loyal companion to love and care for. Also, the little family that adopts Lance is a military family with their father gone from home in active duty. It shows how the perfect shelter dog can fill a void in the hearts of the entire family.

I read Santa’s Dog to my little grandchildren and they totally adored it. They became emotional several times during the story. They’ve had me read it to them over and over again and were excited every time. I highly recommend this original Christmas story to all families with young children and early readers. Buy it now in time for the holidays. Your children will love Santa’s Dog by Joann Sky.

Chick Lit Cafe recommends Santa’s Dog to all children everywhere

Purchase Santa’s Dog @Amazon Here

George the Orphan Crow and the Creatures of Blossom Valley by Helen Fox

Alt=George the Orphan Crow and the Creatures of Blossom Valley by Helen Fox


After his parents are killed, George, the Orphan Crow, starts a new life among the lively creatures of Blossom Valley and the enchanting butterflies that live there. But all is not as it seems… an evil ladybird, envious of the butterflies’ beauty lures them to a remote place with a wicked plan in mind. George becomes suspicious and flies out looking for them. But is he too late? Has the wicked ladybird already put her plan into action? This original, intriguing story is mainly told by the colorful characters that make up the community and will fascinate readers of all ages.


George the Orphan Crow is an enchanting mesmerizing story told by the creatures of the beautiful Blossom Valley. After some hunters shoot and kill his parents, young George the crow, is left alone to fend for himself and grieve the loss of his parents. He meets a wise old owl named Plato who gives him some helpful advice and encouragement. Plato tells George about a lovely place, Blossom Valley, where its inhabitants will welcome him with love and acceptance.

George is mesmerized by the beauty and creatures he encounters in Blossom Valley. The animals there not only accept George with open arms, but they help him to overcome his grief with loving care and attention. George has found a home to call his own. He is now part of a community of creatures that have all the best qualities that one could hope for. But not all is what it seems and some of the animals want power and control and are jealous of the beauty of some of the other creatures. The ladybird, Rosa, is one such creature. She devises an evil plan to attack the beautiful butterflies. George sets off to stop her. But can he get there in time and will he be able to stop the wicked ladybird?

George the Orphan Crow is a charming, fairy tale sort of story, filled with life lessons and imaginative characters that bring the narrative to life. It is a perfect story to teach children about love, compassion, community and helping others. It also explains to readers the truth that life isn’t always easy and people (in this case animals and insects) aren’t always kind and noble and some can be downright despicable. It shows how those that want to control and have power over others usually end up defeated and having that kind of character is a bad thing. That love and compassion prevails.

This book is fast paced and full of action and adventure with never a dull moment. It has elements of Greek Mythology and sprinkles of magic, as well. The animals are intelligent and completely charming. I was captivated by them and my imagination was running wild as the story progressed. The dialog between them is unique and creative. Helen Fox has a way with words that brings life to her characters and the setting. The beautiful Blossom Valley is like a dream with its winsome creatures and gorgeous surroundings.

George the Orphan Crow by Helen Fox is highly emotional. The creatures have human like qualities and personalities with a sprinkle of magical adorable personas. It is very educational for children, but young adults and adults will love it as well. Chick Lit Cafe highly recommends this thought provoking, delightful story to all readers that love clean stories with a touch of magic and a straightforward moral, and a satisfying relevant meaning.

Purchase Book @Amazon

When Mischief Came to Town by Katrina Nannestad

Alt=When Mischief Came to Town by Katrina Nannestad

In the tradition of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES and PIPPI LONGSTOCKING comes a heart-warming novel about love, family, grief, joy and the power of laughter and imagination.
When Inge Maria arrives on the tiny island of Bornholm in Denmark to live with her grandmother, she’s not sure what to expect. Her grandmother is stern, the people on the island are strange, and children are supposed to be seen and not heard.   But no matter how hard Inge tries to be good, mischief has a way of finding her.     Could it be that a bit of mischief is exactly what Grandmother and the people of Bornholm need?

When Mischief Come to Town is a heartwarming thought provoking read for kids. It is filled with important lessons for children to learn and ponder. It shows kids that being grateful for what you have is a great thing. Helping people when you are in a position to do so is something that is very important. And, knowing that there is plenty of room for hope and positive growth when faced with unfortunate situations or circumstances.

This book is a joy to read with great well developed characters. Children will love When Mischief Came to Town.

Purchase Now @ Amazon.

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Sally the Crab by Lauren Dragon

Alt=Sally the Crab by Lauren Dragon

Sally the Crab was a Finalist in the National book Competition, Best Book Awards by American Book Fest.A tale of adventure and fun that delves into the themes of friendship and courage. Sally is a hermit crab with a beautiful shell that is admired by many. However, Molly is her best friend. Unfortunately, though one day Molly has to move away and shortly thereafter Sally outgrows her shell. She then goes on a quest to search for another one, but realizes looking for a new home is not as easy for a crab as one might think. Even when Sally could have been frustrated or upset, this crab stays true to herself and is nice to the other creatures she meets. What kind of encounters will Sally come across along her journey and exactly what kind of home will she end up with? Follow this graceful crab on her marvelous adventure!

5 Big Stars for Sally the Crab – Reading with your Kids Podcast.

Sally the hermit crab is happy, outgoing and popular. She lives in a beautiful colorful shell. Everyone admires her shell. Sally has a best friend named Molly. They have fun together every day. But, then Molly has to move to another reef. They are both sad as they say goodbye forever.

Soon, Sally begins to outgrow her shell, so she goes on a journey to search for a new one. She kindly gives away her beautiful shell to another crab in need.

On her adventure to find a new shell, Sally comes across many different sea creatures. She meets a turtle, a blue crab, a stingray, and some funny clown fish. No matter how she tries, she just can’t find the perfect shell to live in. Some other hermit crabs feel sorry for her because she can’t find a suitable shell. She isn’t looking for a beautiful one, just a comfortable one. But none of the shells that the hermit crabs have are the right fit for Sally.

Then one day her friend Molly arrives with a surprise for Sally. It’s a big shell for Sally to live in. “But, it’s too big,” Sally tells Molly. Molly says that it is for both of them to live in together. No one wants to live alone. So best friends, Sally and Molly, got to live happily together.

Sally the Crab is a fabulous little story for young children and readers. It is full of lessons for children. Sally has to cope with the loss of a best friend and the change and challenge of finding a new home. Which teaches children about change, determination and hard work. It also touches on the importance of friendship and kindness, as the many sea creatures try to help Sally, and when Sally kindly gives away her own beautiful shell, she does it humbly and without regret.

I loved the way our author, Lauren Dragon, portrays Sally. Throughout the entire story, Sally never complains or has a bad attitude. She just keeps on trying to find a new shell for her home and is kind to everyone she meets. Sally could have been upset and overly frustrated but she chose to have a good attitude. Great lesson for children.

In Sally the Crab, children are introduced to various types of colorful sea animals and their own habitats. She even touches on the personalities of the creatures, like the grumpy blue crab.

In the end, children learn that life is good and full of unexpected surprises, when Molly, Sally’s best friend, returns home with a shell made for the two of them. Sally was rewarded for her patience, kindness and hard work.

Sally the Crab by Lauren Dragon is a beautiful heartwarming, adventurous children’s book. The illustrations are colorful, whimsical and vivid. I read Sally the Crab to my little granddaughters and they loved it. It held their attention and thrilled them as we turned each page. They loved learning about the sea creatures and they loved Molly.

At the end of the book there are a few special pages where children can color and draw each character – a special added bonus that my grandchildren loved. I just ordered another Sally the Crab book, because they don’t want to share just the one. Also, there is an informative section describing how to own and care for your own little hermit crabs. Those extra added pages make the Sally the Crab book extra special.

Sally the Crab is Lauren Dragon’s first children’s book. It is excellent in every way. We hope to see more books written for children by this exceptional new children’s book author.

Chick Lit Cafe fully recommends Sally the Crab by Lauren Dragon to young children and readers.

Purchase Sally the Crab @Amazon Today


Corallai by Michelle Path

Alt="corallai"Corallai by Michelle Path

When Andi is engulfed by a wave, she finds herself transported to an underwater world called Corallai. There she meets Aquanna, a creature who is part fish and part human.

Aquanna tells Andi that it is her destiny to help preserve the oceans and all the life within. Andi learns all about the work the various inhabitants do to ensure the survival of the ocean’s ecosystem, and explores this new, spectacular world


Andi is a young girl that gets engulfed by a large wave and enters an underwater magical world called Corallai. It is a beautiful enchanting kingdom filled with all kinds of sea creatures, plants and sand castles. Andi meets a beautiful creature named Aquanna. Aquanna reveals to Andi that the ocean is dying because of people and their actions, like polluting the water, overfishing and other misfortunes. Andi learns a lot about the ocean from Aquanna and she receives direction for her own life that pertains to the sea and its preservation.

Corallai is an effervescent lovely and enchanting book written by Michelle Path. It is an important story for children to learn about our world, specifically the ocean, and the importance of preserving its ecosystem, health and life. It is a super cute book that is magical and vibrant. The descriptive writing is wonderful. The city of Corallai is filled with beautiful and unusual sea creatures, plants and castles made of sand. The descriptions will delight children as they read about this fascinating place. Children will learn while enjoying a wonderful story. They will learn about the effects of pollution, overfishing and other problems.

The illustrations are glorious, filled with color and creativity. Children will absolutely be delighted by the pictures. This is a perfect book for parents to interact and talk with their child about the ocean and other important issues that have to do with pollution and how we can do our part to prevent damage to our earth.

Corallai is a fast paced easy to read story with a great plot and storyline. It can be read to younger children, and older children will also enjoy it immensely. It’s a winsome, engaging book that readers won’t want to put down. It is well written and the characters are cute and appealing. Michelle Path is an excellent writer, very talented and creative. I loved Corallai, and I highly recommend it for all children and pre-teens.

Purchase Corallai @Amazon


Mother’s Day with Snowman Paul by Yossi Lapid

Alt="mother's day"Mother’s Day with Snowman Paul by Yossi Lapid

Books for Kids: Mother’s Day with Snowman Paul (Rhyming Picture Book about Mother’s Day and Earth Day), Beginner Readers, Bedtime stories. (Snowman Paul Book Series, vol. 9)


The best mother on earth!

From the author of the award-winning Snowman Paul series, comes this life-affirming volume which celebrates mothers, Mother Nature and the nurturing instinct we all share. The heartwarming, rhyming text is perfectly matched with gorgeous watercolor illustrations which show the timeless love between a mother and her child. The book honors Mother’s Day while it teaches that everyone on earth is part of one big family..

Dan and Snowman Paul are getting ready to celebrate Mother’s Day in grand style! But who is Snowman Paul’s mother and how can they both celebrate Mother’s Day together? Join Snowman Paul and Dan in this charming new adventure where they explore the meaning of Mother’s Day and Earth Day and in the process they learn new things about how families and nature work.

 Mother’s Day is around the corner.


Snowman Paul declares to Dan that he has the coolest mother of all. “She holds you when you need a hug/She heals you when you catch a bug/She’s nourished you with love since birth/She is the best mother on earth”. Dan agrees but then he asks Paul: “What about your mother, Paul? Who is your mother?” Snowman Paul’s answer is both wonderful and instructive. Then Paul recounts the day when Dan made him into a snowman, after the big snow storm. Paul adds that he is part of the family of Mother Nature and that we are all a part of the family of Mother Nature. And that there are many mothers of many kinds, and all are important.

Yossi Lapid has hit it out of the park with Mother’s Day with Snowman Paul, a special tribute to mothers everywhere. Dan thinks about how special his own mother is and how she nurtures him by doing several motherly things. This really hit home with me as a mother and grandmother. It will help young children to reflect on how special and important their own mother is-just in time for their own Mother’s Day celebration. It shows children that they should appreciate, love and respect their own mother for who she is and what she does for them.

But awarding winning author, Yossi Lapid, doesn’t stop there. He magically adds in the importance of how we are all connected, like brothers and sisters, by Mother Nature. And how Mother Nature is the mother of all things on our beautiful planet.

The whimsical rhyming, large fonts and simple short sentences makes this book perfect for young children and early readers. It is written in a way that will hold the child’s attention and give them another important and valuable lesson in life. All of Yossi Lapid’s delightful books for children have valuable heartfelt easy to understand themes and lessons to them. His books are charming and enchanting and this one, Mother’s Day with Snowman Paul, is especially compelling and special.

We can’t read a story by Yossi Lapid without recognizing the beautiful fanciful watercolor illustrations by Joanna Pasek which gives the entire book a very special theme with a delightful visionary appeal, that children will and do love.

If you haven’t discovered Yossi Lapid’s children’s books, then now is your chance to get one and read it to your child and find out how enchanting and special they are. Once again I read this book to my own grandchildren and as usual they loved it and had me read it over and over. We are gaining quite a collection of all of Yossi Lapid’s Snowman Paul series books. The children never tire of them. They are unique, heartfelt and essential for children to learn important lessons in life, written in a simple easy to understand style.

I highly recommend Mother’s Day with Snowman Paul to all young children and early readers everywhere.

Purchase Mother’s Day with Snowman Paul @Amazon

Diary of an Average Fairy by M M Hillman

Alt=Diary of an Average Fairy by M M Hillman

Teacher’s Comments: Vervain has made satisfactory progress and has achieved an average level in most subjects.

What do you think, Diary? Yes, I know it’s not a BAD report but words like SATISFACTORY and AVERAGE just don’t feel like me. I’ve looked up ‘average’ in the dictionary. It says: a middle place between two extremes, usual, normal.

I don’t want to be NORMAL, I want to be spectacular! I feel special inside. Does everyone feel special? Maybe it’s just normal to feel special and I’m not actually special at all.

Diary, do you think I can be average and special at the same time?

Vervain isn’t the smartest, the most stylish or the best at flying and magic – she’s just an average fairy. But when the magical kingdom is threatened by evil, she finds herself central to its safety. Through her anything-but-average adventures, Vervain learns that true friendship is precious and that ordinary folk can do the most extraordinary things.

Vervain shares these exciting adventures with her diary and confides her thoughts and feelings. She struggles with difficult emotions – fear, anger, envy, sadness, grief, yet infects us with her determination, her delight of simple pleasures, and her exhilaration at overcoming obstacles.

The author M.M. Hillman is a practicing therapist. Using a language of emotion that children understand, she invites us into a world of mythical creatures who are just like you and me. Amusing and sometimes very moving – a tale that neither children nor adults will forget.


Vervain is an average fairy who is barely tall enough to make it into Fairy School, but she does. She reluctantly begins Fairy School with a squeamish stomach and all. So she takes out her piece of rainbow, her secret weapon to cheer herself up. It fills the room with color – yellow, reds, greens and blues that dazzle so much. It calms her down. She writes in her diary daily. In it she shares her innermost feelings. She loves the simple pleasures that life holds for her.  In her diary, she talks about her exciting adventures and experiences. But she is just an average fairy, although she does feel spectacular and very special.

But soon the magical kingdom is in peril, and Vervain finds herself in the middle and able to help. She engages in adventures that are anything but normal.  She learns that friends are important and that, although she is average, she can do anything she puts her mind to. She is brave and helps to free the kingdom of the tyranny of Magowr.

Diary of an Average Fairy is anything but average. It is a fabulous tale about an average normal fairy that does great things to help the fairy kingdom. It has a message to middle grade and teen kids that it’s alright to be just average. And that being average doesn’t limit them from doing great things. Vervain expresses her many feelings of fear, anger and sadness in her diary. Her diary tells of her many experiences, good and bad, at school and during her free time.

I know that children will really relate to Diary of an Average Fairy. It touches, extensively, on all the issues and problems that middle grade and teens go through. It is exciting and entertaining with creatures, fairies and foes. The way that author M M Hillman describes things like the magical kingdom, the fairies, the creatures and the surroundings, is lush and rich. A true delight for the imagination and the senses. It is a splendid, beautiful place that any child will marvel in, and want to visit in this book.

Diary of an Average Fairy by M M Hillman is engaging, even for me as an adult. I loved it and I can see how any child, young or older, will love it. They will totally relate to it. The characters will remind them of themselves and their friends and even those that give them a hard time. They will relate to the various scenarios too. It will speak to their self-consciousness and to their insecurities. It will encourage them to be brave and show them that their feelings are normal.

The characters are great. They are genuine, well developed and have fun personalities with strengths and weaknesses. Children will see themselves in and relate to the various characters.

It is written extremely well. It is smart and easy to read. It is written in the form of a diary – Vervain’s diary. It completely works and is composed with skill and creativity. I love it when I read a book that is written so well in every aspect. It’s important that kids read books that are written and edited well. This one hits a home run in that area.

Diary of an Average Fairy is unique and beautiful fantasy tale. Its premise is original and authentic.

It has a positive message that kids will glean from. It truly is splendid with gorgeous descriptions and with a very entertaining delightful storyline. I recommend that parents get a copy of this book for their kids. They will really love, and enjoy, it. They will learn from it. Parents can rest assured that it will be very appropriate and fitting for their child.

Overall, Diary of an Average Fairy is a glorious, charming and delightful story that captivates the reader and causes them to see vivid scenery and fairies, to feel various emotions and to enjoy a story well told.

Chick Lit Cafe highly recommends Diary of an Average Fairy by M M Hillman

Purchase Diary of an Average Fairy by M M Hillman @Amazon

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