Vincent, Theo and the Fox: Review

Vincent, Theo and the Fox: Book ReviewAn illustrated adventure story for children inspired by the paintings of Vincent van Gogh. As boys, Vincent and his brother Theo spy a mischievous fox sneaking into a farmer's cart. The fox finds the farmer's lunch bag and starts to rip it open. "That fox should be careful - the farmer will shoot him," says Vincent. "Let's catch him," replies Theo, "and take him someplace safe." They boys give chase through colorful fields, over land and sea, into the city and beyond--settings illustrated by over 30 of van Gogh's greatest works. On this imaginative journey, the boys - and the fox - learn about failure, success, and discovering how to be the best you can be when you grow up. A great way to open up the world of fine art to children.

About The Book

The story in this book is a work of fiction. Vincent van Gogh and his brother Theo are real historical characters but the places, events, and incidents in this story are the product of the author's imagination. The epilog to the story is based on known facts about Van Gogh's life and is not fiction.

My Favorite Line:

"I'll help you, whatever you choose," said Theo.

The Friday #56

Quick as only a fox can be, the fox ran between the waiter's legs, through the kitchen, and out the back door. "A fox should not eat in a restaurant," he thought.

Purchase The Book

Back cover to Vincent, Theo and the Fox


What a marvelous magical journey for young children to be introduced to the world of fine art! The author cleverly introduces life's lessons throughout the story line with what the famous artist has experienced throughout his lifetime. Art with a message is an engaging adventure for young and old to appreciate the beautiful works of Van Gogh. You will be introduced to the Van Gogh brothers (insightful family information) and an exciting fox who rambles through various scenes, analyzing his decisions. The children will be enchanted by so many beautiful illustrations. Every painting sparks a story of adventure. My favorite illustration is the Interior of a Restaurant, from Paris, June-July, 1887. You will find the list of illustrations in the end notes. The book was inspired by the author's son and I am privileged to pass it on to my 5-year-old grandson, an upcoming artist! 

5/5 stars! Highly recommend to all art lovers!

I was so blessed to receive this beautiful book from Candace Crabtree. She has a beautiful blog that inspires her readers greatly. Thank you, Candace!

Ted Macaluso

Meet The Author

Ted Macaluso is the author of the "Artist Adventures" books for children. His first, "Vincent, Theo and the Fox," is an adventure story about Vincent van Gogh (picture book/early reader for ages 3 - 8). His second, "The Path Through the Pictures," is an adventure illustrated by Albert Bierstadt, Paul Cezanne, Albrecht Durer, and twelve other famous artists (illustrated chapter book for ages 6 - 9, forthcoming). The books weave the paintings of the artists into exciting stories that engage a child's imagination. Ted was an accomplished research writer and editor of child nutrition studies before turning full time to fiction writing. He was born in Brooklyn, NY. At age 3 his mother "dragged him" to the first of many museums. He has had a deep love affair with art ever since. He lives in Reston, VA with his wife, son, and dog. Learn more at

More Information

The Vincent Van Gogh Gallery

Awesome Art

Skywatch Friday

Cloud Formation: LadyD Books

Cloud Hands: LadyD Books

Sometimes life just gets so busy and we seem to spin out from all our happenings while we're here on this planet. When I looked up to observe the cloud formations of an April day, I was reminded of who is ultimately in control. I found peace within feeling like I was firmly gripped in His hands! Truly, He has the whole world in His hands! So, what do you see here?

Happy Reading and Skywatching!

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
© copyright 2016 – All rights reserved
LadyD Books

Review: Can a Princess Be a Firefighter?

About The Book

Can a Princess Be a Firefighter: Book Review l LadyD Books

Two little girls pepper their father with questions about whether or not they can be a profession and still be a princess. Motivated by her granddaughter's fascination with all things 'princess,' Carole P. Roman penned this adorable poem celebrating all the wonderful possibilities waiting ahead for them.

By Carole P. Roman (author)
and Mateya Arkova (illustrator)

The Friday #56

Favorite Line:

"You can be anything you want to be, anywhere, place, or time."

Can a Princess Be a Firefighter?

My Review

A delightful rhyme about two charming young girls who ponder a myriad of professions, such as a dancer, farmer, teacher, artist, mother, etc. Yet the girls are perplexed in hopes of keeping their fairy wings and their dad has a great solution in answering their concerns with a question. The last line of the book will especially warm your heart! It is a winning story line combined with soft, colorful illustrations against a pastel background of girls in these outfits: cowpoke, reporter, painter, biologist, accountant, lawyer, mayor, and nurse, to name a few. The book encourages good work ethics, be smart and work hard. The author provides a healthy self-esteem foundation for little ones and a great perspective on their life goals by not letting anyone define them. My favorite line is, "You can be anything you want to be, anywhere, place, or time."

5/5 stars! Bravo! Highly recommend!

I received a complimentary copy from the author to facilitate this review. Opinions are my own and I was not compensated.

Hawaiian Dancer: LadyD Books

Minnie Mouse: LadyD Books

"You can be anything you want to be, anywhere, place, or time."

I reviewed another one of Carole P. Roman's children's books called, Being A Captain Is Hard Work.

Sunset view from the fruit orchard: LadyD Books

Around dusk, the sunset with the full moon looks stunning and amazing near the fruit orchard.
Linking up to Skywatch Friday.

Happy Reading and Skywatching!

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
© copyright 2015 – All rights reserved
LadyD Books

Book Review: 101 Piano Practice Tips

101 Piano Practice Tips: How to get your kids to the keyboard! l LadyD Books
  • Product Details:

  • Paperback: 74 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (September 25, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 151484849X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1514848494

About The Book

Let’s face it. Most kids don’t want to practice the piano. And if they do find the time to practice, it’s usually because their parent kept nagging them. How frustrating! Piano teachers are frustrated too. It’s nearly impossible to teach students new concepts when they don’t understand the old ones--all because of a lack of practice. If you’re a parent in this situation, I have just the solution you’re looking for. In this upbeat book, I share all the tips I’ve discovered in my 14 years of teaching piano. You’ll learn fun, practical ways to get your kids to the keyboard. But this book goes one step further. I’ll show you easy ways to encourage better quality practice.

101 Piano Practice Tips: How to get your Kids to the Keyboard!

I'm currently reading this great resource (eBook) to help parents encourage their kids to practice the piano. As we approach the end of the school year, the challenges are great for us teachers. Spring is in the air and most kids are thinking about playing outdoor activities and heading to the beach!

So, to keep their enthusiasm going, my students are embarking upon a new practice incentive game called Marooned on Musicians' Island by Sheryl Welles. Needless to say, the kids love it!

Today I am participating in a book meme, Friday #56

Snippet from 101 Piano Practice Tips: How to get your kids to the keyboard
By Tracy Capps Selle
"I have one young student who has her family wear "recital hats" and they all sit around the piano while she performs."
Personally, the kids in my studio have had a blast wearing hats while they performed their practice piece just for me... Here's an example of what I'm talking about:

Piano Students Wearing Hats l LadyD Books

I have written music articles on one's piano practice that have been published on Ezine! Have a look:

My Review

Get the book! Every parent needs to read this one. I've been teaching over 20 years and I'm frequently asked this universal question of concern from the parents on piano practice. Inside the eBook, you'll discover things that you can do right now to enhance children's practice time, as well as a section on keeping teenagers interested in their instrument. The author's ideas are easy to implement for the  beginner students to the advanced one. Whether you as a parent have musical training or not, you'll find excellent tips, free online resources, and encouragement to help guide and motivate your child's practice time on the keyboard! Piano practice is fun and by reading the book, you'll be avoiding arguments and facilitating quality time in developing a daily discipline that will lead to huge benefits one day. I highly recommend the book to all piano teachers, piano students, and their families.

5/5 stars!

About The Author

Tracy Capps Selle has nearly 15 years of teaching experience and she's sharing all her secrets with you. You really can get your kids to enjoy practicing the piano!

Tracy's passion is encouraging students to find their love of music and she loves giving parents pointers on how to make that happen. Her focus is not only getting kids excited to practice the piano, but also helping students have better quality practice.

Tracy is also the creator of The Upbeat Piano Teacher series of webinars. It's a place for teachers to get educated and inspired at the same time! You can visit her website at to find out more.

Skywatch Friday

Today I'm participating in a photo meme that I enjoy. I love taking a look at skies around the world. Here in SoCal, I was able to capture a pretty blue April sky with storm clouds passing over the hills. Happy Spring!

Blue Skies: Storm Passing l LadyD Books

So, what book has captured your attention this week?

Happy Reading and Skywatching!

 “You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
© copyright 2015 – All rights reserved
LadyD Books

Tuttle's Red Barn: The story of America's Oldest Family Farm

Cover of "Tuttle's Red Barn"Cover of Tuttle's Red Barn
 Tuttle's Red Barn: The Story of America's Oldest Family Farm

The story of Tuttle's Red Barn is the story of America. John Tuttle arrived in Dover, New Hampshire, in 1632 with only his father's ax and the two pewter candle holders his mother had given him after they'd hugged good-bye. But from that humble beginning he built the farm that, today, still stands on the same land.

 Twelve generations have tilled this New England soil, taking part in many great milestones of American history along the way. the Tuttle family fought in the Revolutionary War, protected slaves on the Underground Railroad, and helped pave the way for the Industrial Revolution. A Tuttle was even there to offer maple syrup to Abraham Lincoln when he visited Dover.

A fascinating look at America as seen through the eyes of one family, Tuttle's Red Barn is a must-read for anyone who appreciates the story of our country. Caldecott medalist Mary Azarian's vibrant woodcut illustrations accompany Richard Michelson's informative and remarkable account of one family that has stayed connected through the centuries by a love of family, and one big red barn.

Additional Thoughts:

The Tuttle family's devotion to the land is unflagging. What was once a tiny farm stand is now over 9,000 square feet with an adjacent nursery. More than 1,000 customers shop the Red Barn every day. the Tuttle farm is the oldest continuing family farm in America.

Richard Michelson is a city dweller born in brooklyn, New York. He has never milked a cow, plowed a field, fixed a roof or fed a baby pig. But he did marry the granddaughter of a farmer, and together they moved to Amherst, Massachusetts, and lived for six years in a log cabin, where their two children, Marisa and Samuel, were born. Richard Michelson is the author of numerous books for both adults and  children, including Across the Alley. He is also the owner of R.Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Massachusetts.

For more information visit:

-- LadyD

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

Enhanced by Zemanta

Getting Ready for Summer: Child Expert Creates "Stop Bugging Me" Activities

Buggy Fun for Summer
By Sharen Pearson

Much to the dismay of their mothers, toddlers hold a relentless fascination for bugs. They follow, squish, catch and even eat them! Perhaps the novelty lies in the never-ending variety of creepy crawlers or that bugs are smaller than these little ones. Here are some simple buggy activities that will enchant your children this summer.

Bug Catcher
Save the net from your fresh produce. Lace a chenille wire around the top to support the sides. The net makes a tiny bug catcher for your child. Always help identify any bugs that might be dangerous. Catch, observe and release.

Butterfly or Dragonfly
Attach colored tissue paper wings to a toilet tissue or paper towel tube for wings. Slip a hair band over the tube and place on toddler’s wrist to flap and fly. For more advanced work, drop food color onto a wet coffee filter. Allow to dry and use for wings. Two filters for dragonfly and one for butterfly.

Big Bug
Fashion antennae with chenille wire and attach to your child’s head with clips. Gather a sheet of tissue paper at the center. Duct tape to the back of the shirt for butterfly wings. Fly away little butterfly!

Tot Cocoon
Give your toddler the end piece of a roll of toilet tissue. Have him gently spin to wrap the paper around and around forming a cocoon. If the paper breaks, just tuck the loose end in and begin again. Continue as your child is comfortable (most won’t let you cover the face). Count 1, 2, 3 and have your butterfly “hatch out” and fly away.

Lady Bug
Make a tiny ladybug from the cup of an egg carton. Cut the section. Paint red and add black dots. Tape twisted bits of paper on for antennae. For a counting activity: make five bugs and draw 1 spot, 2 spots etc. on the five bugs. Count the spots and the bugs.

Cut a six-section length from an egg carton. Your toddler can glue cotton balls on each section for “fuzz.” Draw a face on one end of the section and add chenille or paper antennae. Punch a hole in the front and tie a string on to “walk your bug.” For more advanced work, paint each section of the caterpillar yellow or even a rainbow.

Bug Collage
Draw (or print from a website) several bugs on paper. Make a simple paste of flour and water. Your tot can glue on dry rice, macaroni, bits of colored paper and/or cake sprinkles to decorate the bugs.

Bugs in a tub
Pour 6 cups of dry rice into a large flat container. Add toy plastic bugs (or your ladybugs), measuring cups, recycled plastic containers, paper tubes and play as in a sand box. To protect the floor and give your activity a boundary, place the tub in the center of a sheet or shower curtain. Your child will play
for hours.

About Sharen

Sharen Pearson’s Goof & Giggle classes and materials continue to provide a quality Mom/Tot interaction. Widely popular, Goof & Giggle’s child-focused play plans are offered in various Arizona communities. She’s also created a variety of Goof Juice DVDs and filmed episodes of Baby D.I.Y. and written workbooks for BabyFirstTV. Arizona Midday (NBC) tapes monthly segments with Sharen to provide their audience with a variety of original and creative “easy to do” activities for babies and preschoolers. Sharen’s creativity reaches a combined audience over 200 million viewers worldwide. Goof & Giggle classes and products encourage green living, repurposing materials from around the house into affordable objects for play and learning. Learn more at:

 This article content is provided free of charge by the author through Kathy Carlton Willis Communications. You are welcome to place this article on your site or in your publication as long as 1) it’s used in its entirety, 2) the full bio is used, 3) you previously request permission through KCWC at . All other standard copyrights apply.

The timing  of this guest blog was perfect because I just finished reading a cool 5* book by Anne Rockwell called,
Honey in a Hive (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)Children's Bug & Spider Books)

Here's an excerpt:

" Buzzing from flower to flower, honeybees are busty gathering nectar and pollen. The nectar will be made into honey, and the pollen will feed their queen bees from societies with leaders-the queen and workers, and like people, their survival depends on every bee doing its part..."

Be sure and stop by Sharen's site and learn all about,
Goof and Giggle 


-- LadyD

The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Review

The Oh She Glows Cookbook Review l LadyD Books

My daughter gave me this wonderful book for Christmas, The Oh She Glows Cookbook and I've enjoyed experimenting with some new recipes and tasting them at the table. Below you will find a smoothie recipe that goes with the book meme on page 56.

About The Book

After a decade of struggling with an eating disorder and subsisting on diet, low-calorie processed foods, Angela Liddon vowed to get healthy once and for all. Done with feeling sick and tired, she threw out her fat-free butter spray and low-calorie frozen dinners. Instead, Angela embraced whole foods that made her glow from the inside out. But first, she had to learn to cook-and eat-right. Five years ago, Angela started a blog,, to spread the word about her journey to health and the powerful transformation that food can make in our lives. Almost overnight, her energy and authenticity attracted readers eager to create their own positive life changes. Today, Oh She Glows attracts millions of visitors every month, making it one of the most popular vegan recipe blogs on the Internet.

The Friday #56

"Adding greens to smoothies is a trend you see everywhere these days, but when I first started adding spinach to my smoothies in 2009, many of my blog readers, family members, and coworkers were both horrified and intrigued by the weird-looking drinks that gave me so much energy."

I've never made a smoothie with greens before. Guess I'm brave enough to try it. I've always added blueberries and other types of fruit in mine. How about you?

Glowing Mojo-ito Green Monster 

1/2 cup watermelon cubes (optional but recommended)
1 to 1 1/2 cups baby spinach or other leafy green
1 cup coconut water or water
1 large sweet apple (such as Gala or Honeycrisp)
3 Tbl avocado
1 to 2 Tbl  fresh lime juice
5 to 10 large mint leaves, to taste
5 large ice cubes

Makes 1 (3 - cup) smoothie

Prep Time: 5 mins.

1. Freeze the watermelon cubes (if using) overnight or until frozen solid.
2. In a high-speed blender, combine all of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and toast to green drinks!

Tip: If using water instead of coconut water, you might want to add a bit of liquid sweetener to make up for the lack of sweetness.

Book Review

If you're looking for healthy plant-based recipes from whole foods that are free of chemicals and additives, then look no more. I'm a huge fan of meals that taste good and the author delivers yummy food to create from this beautiful cookbook. At the beginning, we get a glimpse as to what tools can and should be in everyone's kitchen. You'll find 10 breakfast ideas, plus 11 smoothie recipes. Then we have an excellent appetizer section that I personally like. I have created a few recipes that I really enjoy serving my family. For example, the Glowing Strawberry-Mango Guacamole is fantastic, sweet to the taste with refreshing colors to look at! You can't go wrong with snacking on the Taco Fiesta Potato Crisps and the Classic Hummus. Next, you'll dive into 8 dynamic, healthy vibrant salads. The Roasted Beet salad with Hazelnuts, Thyme & Balsamic Reduction is a favorite of mine. Dive into 15 Entrees with some delicious bean and lentil recipes. Move on to the 9 Power Snacks section to explore. Towards the back of the book,  you'll find a Homemade Staples section for Grapeseed Mayonnaise, Pumpkin Butter and much more. Now the book is complete with a Basic Cooking Chart for many kinds of rice measurements in the end notes. The food photography is very professional and the recipes are so delicious. I find this one to be one of the best Vegan Cookbooks overall. Get it!

5/5 stars! Highly recommend.

Pyramid Poem

I have been working with my grandson on writing stories and especially working with poems.

                                                               Terrific Tulips
                                                     Terrific Tulips Tip-Toe
                                             Terrific Tulips Tip-Toe Tenderly

WriteShop Primary Book Set l LadyD Books
You will find great writing resources here. Be sure and check out their shop!

WriteShop Primary Book Set

A Prayer for Spiritual Beauty

These gorgeous tulips were a gift from my sweet husband. The bulbs are now located in our planter box for many more seasons to enjoy!

Tulips Opening l LadyD Books

Beautiful Red Tulips l LadyD Books

Tulip Inside l LadyD Books

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. - Ecclesiastes 3:114

Skywatch Friday

Skywatch Friday: LadyD Books

Skywatch Friday: LadyD Books

Spring is here in SoCal and sometimes the sunlight dances on top of the valley fog!

Happy reading and skywatching!

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me." C. S. Lewis
© copyright 2015 – All rights reserved
LadyD Books