Reviewing Indie Authors One Book at a Time

Posts tagged ‘kid’s books’

Guest Review – Mackie T.

Please welcome our young guest reviewer, for the first time ever, the one and only – Mackie T.!

Book: How Santa Changed
Author: Karl Steam
Awards: Readers’ Favorite – 5 Stars

Mackie Rating: 11 Stars!

I liked when Santa found the reindeer. I also liked how he got fat at the end of the story by eating too many cookies. That was so funny! But now Santa has a magical tummy to eat all those cookies left for him on Christmas Eve.

See you again next time!



About the Book

Santa wasn’t always a jolly old fellow. He was young and made plenty of mistakes too. But most have forgotten this part of his life, the part that explains so much. Few have heard the story of how Santa changed.

About the Author

Karl Steam is a children’s author, illustrator, and motivational speaker. Some of his works include Purple Pup, How Santa Changed, and Bear Woke Up. He resides in the Lakes Region of the Upper Midwest, with his wife and four children.

Karl enjoys fishing, camping, and traveling. A road trip to North Carolina is currently at the top of his vacation wish list.



Shaky Man – Mark S. Parker

“Life sure could get complicated for a sixth grader.”

Coming of age in the 1960s in Central Texas includes learning about racism and the unfair treatment of people of varying colors and backgrounds. Told from the point of view of an 11-year-old, Shaky Man takes us through the growth and maturing of a young boy growing up in a small town.SMMSP

Thomas Oliver Parsley, or “Topper” for short, just wants to win the  championship baseball game, watch Star Trek, and play basketball with his friends. New in town, he learns by word-of-mouth about Shaky Man, a mysterious recluse who lives alone, his existence tainted by rumors that he killed his own family and that he eats children. Topper takes a chance to discover what the man is really all about. At the same time, he experiences vicariously through his best friend Mickey Jackson, a black kid from Waco, how some people are treated differently just because they look different.  Topper comes through both lessons all the richer.

For middle grade readers, this short novel teaches that relying on anecdotal stories about people isn’t always the best way to learn about someone. If a story sounds unbelievable, it’s best to check the facts. If Topper hadn’t taken the time to talk to Shaky Man, also known as Dr. Boone, he never would have learned some fun and valuable skills or have found a mentor willing to explain some of the big problems in life.

“My papa taught me not to let other folks put their malfunctions on me. You shouldn’t, either.” ~Mickey Jackson

Available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble







A Month of Bedtime Stories

A Month of Bedtime Stories: Thirty-One Bite-Sized Tales of Wackiness and Wonder for the Retiring Child
by Neil Roy McFarlane

A wonderful collection of tales told in the 2nd person, putting your child into the adventures. This was fun to read. The narrator starts each story reminding you of the adventure you had that day with dinosaurs or a sausage monster or a kung fu grasshopper, or any number of wacky tales that take between 5 and 10 minutes to read, perfect for a night-time recap.bedtime31

I couldn’t help but giggle at the stories, reminded of the many made up by my own children. Logic doesn’t exist, only the attempt to try to relate new knowledge with existing experiences, leading to some fun and funny conclusions about the world.

“Wool comes from sheep, eggs come from chickens, and batteries come from grasshoppers. Everybody knows that.”

I have a three-year-old and an eleven-year-old, who both laughed at the goofiness. I love it when my children go to bed happy. This book will show them that silliness is as important to life as eating and sleeping.

5 Stars

Find your copy at or Barnes & Noble

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