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Mili Fay
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Self Publishing in Canada: A complete guide to designing, printing and selling your book
Self Publishing in Canada: A complete guide to designing, printing and selling your book
by Suzanne Anderson
Edition: Perfect Paperback
2 used & new from CDN$ 23.33

4.0 out of 5 stars "Your book is self-published?" 8-., Oct. 2 2014
This book has helped me self-publish a picture book that no one can tell has been self-published. In fact my book has recently been selected out of 700+ books to be presented at an international book fair (I will not mention names, because this review is not about self-promotion).

Anderson takes her readers through a step by step process which is still relevant though the publishing world is changing constantly. She does not cover marketing as much, because this book is not about marketing, it is about publishing, and specifically publishing in Canada, which IS different than publishing in USA. If you wish to know all about the publishing industry this book is not for you. However, if you wish to know how to format your book, what elements to include, how to obtain a free ISBN number, give your book to national book deposit... basically get your book out of your head and into print, this book is for you.

I believe she now has a 2nd edition that includes eBooks, so you may want to grab that version.

If you are a Canadian looking to self-publish a book... I have not found a better resource. This book is a great start to your reference library if you plan to become a successful publisher and author.

by Graeme Base
Edition: Hardcover
53 used & new from CDN$ 0.55

5.0 out of 5 stars "Animalia" is An Astonishing Artwork by An Amazing Artist. ;-), Sept. 10 2014
This review is from: Animalia (Hardcover)
I got this book from the library and I feel I have to write a review.

This is a wonderful book, a rich visual feast that may sometimes be overwhelming to the senses. However, that is what makes picture books so great. Unlike animation where a drawing has to "read" in a split second, a reader can go back to this book and spend hours studying the illustrations. Not only will children learn the letters of the alphabet, but several words that start with that letter of the alphabet displayed throughout the illustration and in silly alliterations describing each scene. Illustrations themselves are packed with visual elements that start with the featured letter. For example, the letter P:

"Proud Peacocks Preening Perfect Plumage" are surrounded by a policeman, prisoner, pirate, parrot, prince and princess, players, pigtails, penguins, pandas, puffin, Pan, etc.

There is also a "Find Waldo" element where the reader can search for the child that was Graeme Base in every illustration and a lovely little poem introducing the whole book.

What else can I say?

"Animalia" is An Astonishing Artwork by An Amazing Artist. ;-)

Legend of Korra: Book One: Air [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) [Import]
Legend of Korra: Book One: Air [Blu-ray] (Bilingual) [Import]
DVD ~ Janet Varney
Price: CDN$ 25.81
25 used & new from CDN$ 21.03

4.0 out of 5 stars A Rushed Story, But Lots Of Fun, Aug. 28 2014
I prefer the original Avatar: The Last Air Bender, but I do like this series, too. It has great comedy moments, and I love Korra. I think the Love Triangle (or Love Square) moves far too quickly. I wish the writers took the time to develop the story more. It feels somewhat rushed. However, great fun!

As far as the Blu-Ray quality: There is one pixel white line between character's skin and the outline that I find irritating. I wonder if this would disappear on a DVD.

That Darn Cat! (1965) (Bilingual)
That Darn Cat! (1965) (Bilingual)
DVD ~ Hayley Mills
Price: CDN$ 6.25
27 used & new from CDN$ 4.85

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Old Family Fun Movie, Aug. 28 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have always loved this movie. I find it rather funny, in a stagey kind of way. I was surprised by the viciousness of the bad guys, at moments they really managed to frighten me. A Disney Classic, what else need I say? :-)

The Egg Tree
The Egg Tree
by Katherine Milhous
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.49
35 used & new from CDN$ 0.32

2.0 out of 5 stars Ordinary Story, Colours Hurt My Eyes, Aug. 28 2014
This review is from: The Egg Tree (Paperback)
This is another book choice from my picture book club. I have found the book in my local library and the following is my review.

I try not to be harsh when it comes to my reviews, because each book is someone's baby and I'm sensitive to the fact that each one is precious. However, as a writer and an illustrator reading this book, I feel as if I'm missing something. Why was this book a winner?

It is a very ordinary story about kids who search for eggs during Easter, one of them discovers old eggs in the attic, and their grandmother shows them how to make The Egg Tree. The word spreads and next year even people from the Big City come to see the enormous egg tree the children have created.

I found the separation of text mid sentence with a two-page spread in between irritating. I want to stop and look at the illustrations, but I have to flip the page to complete my sentence first.

I'm also not a fan of this type of illustration. Illustrations in the book are very wooden, and the colours are all over the place--some illustrations literally hurt my eyes. I understand that the 50s were the period of expressionism and moving away from classical illustrations, but I would take Beatrice Potter and Arthur Racham's work over this any day. Maybe it is because of the WWII that they could not afford to spend more money on printing full colour illustrations? I do not know. I am not an expert. However, I am not a fan. I realise Milhous was trying to copy the "Pennsylvania Dutch", but it does not feel or look quite right. Terrible sense of colour throughout the whole book. Monochromatic illustrations are the only ones I can stand to look at. Maybe this is just the case with my book? It is the Charles Scribner's Sons First Edition 1978.

"The Egg Tree" did not resonate with me at all. The one thing I did like about it is discovering that you could "blow" an egg, and then paint the shell to keep it forever. I have never heard of this before.

The last sentence makes no sense, because the eggs Kathy found were painted by her grandmother and not by the Easter Rabbit.

I'm sorry, but 2 stars is the best that I can give.

White Snow Bright Snow
White Snow Bright Snow
by Alvin Tresselt
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 8.08
43 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Not fond of the colour scheme, but a great book, July 25 2014
This review is from: White Snow Bright Snow (Paperback)
I have thoroughly enjoyed this story, even though it brings memories of the horrible Toronto winters in July. The poem had me a bit confused, because I thought it was a part of the story, so when I got to the first page of the actual story and everyone was saying how the snow was coming, but the poem said it covered the roads and fences... Well, I thought I may have missed a page or something. :-)

However, I love the simple loving story of the coming and leaving of snow. It was a different time and way of life way back in 1947 when the story was first published, but everything in the story is still true today. The adults have to go to work, while children love to play in the snow. I miss the days when snow meant snowmen, forts, and snowball fights. At this point in my life snow means grabbing a shovel and shovelling until I collapse, while work awaits in the never-quite-warm house.

It would be interesting to see what a modern writer could do with this story. For one thing there would not be a patiently waiting, caring, policeman's wife concerned with her husband's needs; though there are probably many of those in real life. I also doubt that there would be the simple peace of the story--something hectic would be happening and all the people would be rushing about forgetting to breathe.

I also find the illustrations quite charming, though the colour pallet is quite hideous in my opinion--people with orange-red faces are quite garish. I find I am not able to look at an illustration for too long. I'm also wondering if there was an accident at the printers resulting in this book.

However, the characters are charming, and the lines, beautiful.

The Big Snow
The Big Snow
Offered by Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
Price: CDN$ 14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars I would recommend this book to anyone!, July 25 2014
This review is from: The Big Snow (Kindle Edition)
I love this book. It shows how different woodland animals get ready for winter. Then an unexpected Big Snow storm causes plenty of trouble. Will the animals starve?

A truly beautiful book and a perfect solution to working on a budget. Not all of the illustrations are coloured, but I love the sketchy pencil illustrations. My favourite is a page spread of a squirrel trying to avoid the falling snow flakes.

I would recommend this book to anyone.

(A book club's pick.)

Blueberries for Sal (Picture Puffins)
Blueberries for Sal (Picture Puffins)
Offered by Penguin Group USA
Price: CDN$ 8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect!, July 25 2014
Another of my book club picks:

Little Sal goes with her mother to pick blueberries, but ends up eating them instead. Little bear goes with his mother to eat blueberries, and eat them he does.
Two mothers and two children on a Blueberry Hill.


This story is perfect, and the blue ink illustrations are gorgeous!

I may buy this book in the future.

Song of the Swallows
Song of the Swallows
by Leo Politi
Edition: Hardcover
32 used & new from CDN$ 3.96

4.0 out of 5 stars A Pleasant, Lovely Story, July 25 2014
This review is from: Song of the Swallows (Hardcover)
I have read this book as part of my book club:

I liked this story about a little boy who is friends with the gardener and bell-ringer of a neighbouring Mission, and his love of swallows.

Growing up in Europe they were my favourite birds, but living here in Canada I have almost completely forgotten them. I have forgotten that they build their nests with mud.

Illustrations are alright, though a bit wooden for my taste.

I think that having two little songs in the book is delightful and sure to be fun for kids to sing, or to learn to play on the piano.

Charlotte in Giverny
Charlotte in Giverny
Price: CDN$ 4.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous!, July 25 2014
I got this book from the library as part of my book club:

I LOVE this book. I'm buying this book the first chance I get! It is a wonderful personal journal account by a little girl who is staying with her mother and her painter father in Giverny near Monet and other Impressionists in 1892. I felt as if I was there.

As an artist whose favourite style of art is Impressionism, I have devoured every word. The paintings in the book are marvellous, illustrating Charlotte's day to day life. As I was reading, I felt that they were painted by her father. I love Charlotte's own little sketches, created by Melissa Sweet, too, as well as the photographs and little pictures of labels and things to precious to throw away.

It seems such a happy joyful way to live. Charlotte also includes French words of objects and plants as she learns them, as well as some basic phrases. I honestly feel as if Charlotte was a real girl and that I have gotten to know her well. We would have been great friends. :-)

I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves art (Impressionism in particular), journals, travel adventures, and times gone by.

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