Kai the Dancing Butterfly celebrates Taiwan’s natural scenic wonders, amazing animal species, and incredible Indigenous cultures.
About Kai the Dancing Butterfly
Kai and Ami are dancing butterflies from Taiwan! They have a performance coming up at the Winter Festival dance show in the southern part of the island. They are currently in northern Taiwan, so they need to hurry and start flying south. That’s far for a butterfly! Kai is worried about the long journey, and about the big show too. Can Kai step up to the challenge?
Kai the Dancing Butterfly celebrates Taiwan’s natural scenic wonders, amazing animal species, and incredible Indigenous cultures. This children’s book is a marvelous read for all those who love Taiwan, or for those who’d like to learn more about Taiwanese culture.
This elaborately illustrated picture book makes an ideal gift:
Real locations in Taiwan make for an inspiring geography, history and cultural lesson
Storyline sparks dialogue around empathy, kindness, courage, faith, perseverance, friendship, and the support between siblings
Exquisite illustrations of Taiwan’s majestic animals and endangered species fosters learning around ecological conservation and habitat protection
Crystal Z. Lee is a bilingual writer who grew up in Taiwan and California. She has called many places home, including Taipei, New York, Shanghai, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Crystal is also the author of the children’s book A Unicorn Named Rin, and the novel, Love and Other Moods.
Allie Su was born and raised in Yunlin county, Taiwan. She attended Nanhua University in Chiayi city, majoring in Visual Arts. She is a professional illustrator, specializing in oil painting and ink painting.
Join Bunster as he finds friends in unlikely places as a celebration of Easter!
Bunster, An Easter Story is a beautifully illustrated board book geared to young children (ages 0-3). I love to draw and paint, so for me the illustrations were so special as they really helped set the tone of the book. The illustrations were whimsical and reminded me of spring with their colours and airy design. They helped to guide your eyes across the pages and visuals are so important for this age group. While there are many elements that we have come to associate with Easter (images such as lilies, Easter egg, ducks, baskets and so on), I found that the overall feel and tone of the story can make it a perfect story for you to read to your little one all year round.
The story itself was simple to read aloud and appropriate for the ages that this book is geared towards. It was easy to make the story interesting and change your tone to really engage your toddler in the story. The ending gives you an opportunity to have fun with the story and your toddler and encourage them to think about what could come next for Bunster and the squad.
Christine is an artist that dabbles in storytelling and enjoys working in different mediums including marker, ink, watercolors and colored pencil. She enjoys drawing fantasy creatures, anthropomorphic animals, and kids. She lives with her husband, Ian and sweet black kitty, Kida in the Bay Area, California and likes to take walks, go out driving, and play video games and board games with her friends.
Master of WWII-era fiction Sarah Sundin invites you onto the streets of occupied Paris to discover whether love or duty will prevail in Until Leaves Fall in Paris.
About Until Leaves Fall in Paris
When the Nazis march toward Paris, American ballerina Lucie Girard buys her favorite English-language bookstore to allow the Jewish owners to escape. The Germans make it difficult for her to keep Green Leaf Books afloat. And she must keep the store open if she is to continue aiding the resistance by passing secret messages between the pages of her books.
Widower Paul Aubrey wants nothing more than to return to the States with his little girl, but the US Army convinces him to keep his factory running and obtain military information from his German customers. As the war rages on, Paul offers his own resistance by sabotaging his product and hiding British airmen in his factory. But in order to carry out his mission, he must appear to support the occupation—which does not win him any sympathy when he meets Lucie in the bookstore.
In a world turned upside down, will love or duty prevail?
I could not wait to dive into this historical romance and the novel did not disappoint – I could not put Lucie and Paul’s story down!
Lucie is a brave, kind, smart and compassionate young woman whose many gifts come in handy throughout the novel – from her command of the French language, to her passion for ballet and even to her kindness to others. While Lucie is an American at heart, she loves her home in Paris – this is where she called home since she was a young girl. It broke my heart for her when she comes to learn that not others feel the same – something that the war caused out of hunger, mistrust and anger at their situation. Lucie finds a way to help a couple who took care of her from a young age and becomes the owner in name of a lovely bookstore. And while she helps others in small ways, she wants to help more in the fight against the Germans. This comes with a great risk to not only herself but to the bookstore. She also meets Paul – a man who her heart tells her to trust but on the outside he appears to be aiding the Germans, but is this just a front?
I loved the many layers in this story – not only Lucie and Paul’s, but also the lives they touched and helped. Many times they had to put their own feelings and dreams on hold to help others, and many times this came with great risk to themselves. They had to find the strength to keep fighting and to keep going at so many times throughout the novel. So many times they could have given in, ran away, been selfish but still they carried on helping others, stealing small moments together and carrying for Paul’s daughter. As the story carries on, you wonder will they finally be together as they so deserve or will the war win and keep them apart for eternity?
Until Leaves Fall in Paris is an incredible read from start to finish. It has a touch of romance swirled in with the reality of war, compassion, strength and dignity. I loved every moment of this beautiful story.
Sarah Sundin is the bestselling author of When Twilight Breaks and several popular WWII series, including Sunrise at Normandy, Waves of Freedom, Wings of the Nightingale, and Wings of Glory. She is a Christy Award finalist and a Carol Award winner, and her novels have received starred reviews from Booklist, Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly, and have appeared on Booklist‘s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” Sarah lives in Northern California. Visit www.sarahsundin.com for more information.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Sunrise is the first explosive volume in a new nail-biting series from USA Today bestselling author Susan May Warren.
Pilot Dodge Kingston has always been the heir to Sky King Ranch. But after a terrible family fight, he left to become a pararescue jumper. A decade later, he’s headed home to the destiny that awaits him.
That’s not all that’s waiting for Dodge. His childhood best friend and former flame, Echo Yazzie, is a true Alaskan–a homesteader, dogsledder, and research guide for the DNR. Most of all, she’s living a life Dodge knows could get her killed. One of these days she’s going to get lost in the woods again, and his worst fear is that he won’t be there to find her.
When one of Echo’s fellow researchers goes missing, Echo sets out to find her, despite a blizzard, a rogue grizzly haunting the woods, and the biting cold. Plus, there’s more than just the regular dangers of the Alaskan forests stalking her . . .
Will Dodge be able to find her in time? And if he does, is there still room for him in her heart?
Dodge walked away from his family, the town he loved and the dream job that he thought he would spend the rest of his life doing more than ten years ago. While the pain stays with him, for him this was the best choice he could make. When his Father is in an accident, he is forced to return home to the family and life that he walked away from so many years ago.
With Dodge’s return to his hometown, he is confronted with both his past and his future. The town is full of memories, his lost love and the past that he thought was going to be his future. He must help take care of his Father – a man who is quite determined to do it on his own, while struggling with their relationship that is quite rocky (with both having very different understandings of how they left off). Dodge is constantly reminded of his past – something he thought he had forgiven and forgotten but he has very clearly not. He is forced to come to terms with how he saw the events that led up to his leaving and how others in his life saw and felt those same events. And while a good portion of the story is on him – Echo plays a large role in his story and in this novel. We are also privy to her inner feelings, hopes and fears. Together they must learn to work through their past, the scars that it has left on them in order to find healing and forgiveness. And as so many of us know – this is not a linear process, they struggle as they take two steps forward and one step back. Watching them grow as individuals and that glimmer of hope that both can find love again was so lovely.
I loved every moment of this heart warming story of facing our past, forgiveness and growth. I loved the way the story ended and cannot wait for book two.
Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling author of more than 85 novels with more than 1 million books sold, including the Global Search and Rescue and the Montana Rescue series. Winner of a RITA Award and multiple Christy and Carol Awards, as well as the HOLT Medallion and numerous Readers’ Choice Awards, Susan makes her home in Minnesota. Find her online at www.susanmaywarren.com, on Facebook @SusanMayWarrenFiction, and on Twitter @SusanMayWarren.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.
In They Called Him Marvin, A History of Love, War and Family, they were just kids, barely not teenagers, madly in love, desperate to be a family, but a war and a B29 got in their way.
About They Called Him Marvin, A History of Love, War and Family
They were just kids, barely not teenagers, madly in love, desperate to be a family, but a war and a B29 got in their way.
Three hundred ten days before Pearl Harbor, buck private Dean Sherman innocently went to church with a new friend in Salt Lake City. From that moment, the unsuspecting soldier travelled a remarkable, heroic path, falling in love, graduating from demanding training to become a B29 pilot, conceiving a son and entering the China, Burma and India theater of the WW2.
He chronicled his story with letters home to his bride Connie that he met on that fateful Sunday, blind to the fact that fifteen hundred seventy five days after their meeting, a Japanese swordsman would end his life.
His crew, a gaggle of Corporals that dubbed themselves the Corporalies, four officers and a tech Sargent, adventured their way across the globe. Flying the “Aluminum Trail” also called the Hump through the Himalayas, site of the most dangerous flying in the world. Landing in China to refuel and then fly on to to places like Manchuria, Rangoon or even the most southern parts of Japan to drop 500 pounders.
Each mission had it’s challenges, minus fifty degree weather in Mukden, or Japanese fighters firing away at them, a close encounter of the wrong kind, nearly missing a collision with another B29 while flying in clouds, seeing friends downed and lost because of “mechanicals,” the constant threat of running out of fuel and their greatest fear, engine fire.
Transferred to the Mariana Islands, he and his crew were shot down over Nagoya, Japan as part of Mission 174, captured and declared war criminals. Connie’s letters reveal life for a brand new mother whose husband is declared MIA. The agony for both of them, he in a Japanese prison, declared a war criminal, and she just not knowing why his letters stopped coming.
They Called Him Marvin tells the story of a young couple, full of promise and love (with a little one on the way) and the horrors of war that kept them apart.
Like many young couples during this time period, their time together was short, full of passion and hope. You can feel how quickly the pair fall in love and how much they mean to each other. The story begins to be told in a series of letters as Dean heads off to war. We watch as their relationships grows together and how each of them grows as a person while the war separates them. Dean was always there for Connie, I loved his thoughtful letters and gifts sent in the mail to her as he travelled to new places and the way he was able to bring to life the places he was stationed at. You can feel him wanting to be there with her but at the same time wanting her not to worry about him, to be reassured he was okay and that he would soon be home. Connie’s letters were full of all the information that Dean needed to know about their growing child and to make him feel his connection to his home. These personal glimpses into their lives give such a different look at what life was like for individuals at this time. I felt myself get excited to read the next one – would it be from Connie or Dean? Would it be in order or not? And you can feel the anxiety begin to rise as Dean’s letters stop arriving.
While I knew some of the events that occurred during World War II in Japan, this book really helped to expand my knowledge. You not only see the story told through an American viewpoint but also from the Japanese civilians and how the war affected their people – especially the bombings. You feel the suffering and pain of both sides and it is hard to put into words how painful this is.
I loved how the story took not only a historical approach but also told the story from the human viewpoint and the devastating affects it has on them as people. I would strongly recommend this book to readers of all ages for the important lessons it holds.
I am, by my own admission, a reluctant writer. But there are stories that demand to to be told. When we hear them, we must pick up our pen, lest we forget and the stories be lost. Six years ago, in a quiet conversation with my friend Marvin, I learned the tragic story of his father, a WW2 B-29 Airplane Commander, shot down over Nagoya, Japan just months before the end of the war. The telling of the story that evening by this half orphan was so moving and full of emotion, it compelled me to ask if I could write the story. The result being They Called Him Marvin.
My life has been profoundly touched in so many ways by being part of documenting this sacred story. I pray that we never forget, as a people, the depth of sacrifice that was made by ordinary people like Marvin and his father and mother on our behalf.
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