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Kai the Dancing Butterfly

iRead Book Tours

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

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, B&N, Indiebound and BAM.

About the Author

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. 

You can connect with Crystal on Instagram.

About the Illustrator

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. 

The Giveaway!

Enter to win a copy of the book here.

Disclosure: This is a spotlight tour post, I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Bunster, An Easter Story

iRead Book Tours

A perfect story just in time for Easter!

About Bunster, An Easter Story

2022 Family Choice Award Winner

Join Bunster as he finds friends in unlikely places as a celebration of Easter!

Our Thoughts

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.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, B&N and Target.

About the Author

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.

You can connect with her on Instagram.

The Giveaway!

Enter to win a signed copy of this book here.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Sunrise Book Review

Sunrise is the first explosive volume in a new nail-biting series from USA Today bestselling author Susan May Warren.

About Sunrise

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?

My Thoughts

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.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

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.

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Every Word Unsaid Book Review

In Every Word Unsaid, slowing down means facing all the hurts of her past that she’s long been trying to outrun. And that may be an undertaking too great even for her.

About Every Word Unsaid

Augusta Travers has spent the last three years avoiding the stifling expectations of New York society and her family’s constant disappointment. As the nation’s most fearless–and reviled–columnist, Gussie travels the country with her Kodak camera and spins stories for women unable to leave hearth and home. But when her adventurous nature lands her in the middle of a scandal, an opportunity to leave America offers the perfect escape.

Arriving in India, she expects only a nice visit with childhood friends, siblings Catherine and Gabriel, and escapades that will further her career. Instead, she finds herself facing a plague epidemic, confusion over Gabriel’s sudden appeal, and the realization that what she wants from life is changing. But slowing down means facing all the hurts of her past that she’s long been trying to outrun. And that may be an undertaking too great even for her.

My Thoughts

Augusta (Gussie) is everything a young lady should not be and should not do. And I loved every moment of it. She pushes the boundaries of what is acceptable for a young lady in New York society hiding under an anonymous name as a columnist. While her family does not really approve of her adventures, they don’t stop her until her last adventure puts her in the middle of a huge scandal. Gussie finds herself at a crossroads – should she stay and conform or follow her heart? Of course she follows her heart, all the way to India!

I love Gussie’s character but a part of my heart is sore for her. She fights back at a system that is meant to hold her back all the while it feels like she is running from herself. She is always holding back just a bit, never truly believing in her own gifts and while she breaks the molds from what society feels a lady should fit in – she allows herself to fit into the box of what a female journalist should do and write about. She is a very passionate young woman, with a kind and loving heart – she sees the good in others and people are attracted to her light. She is a person who truly cares of others, but struggles to see her own worth. She wants to love and share love with her childhood friend, but we watch as she finds it hard to come to terms on how to love someone and still chase her own dreams (can she really have both worlds??).

Every Word Unsaid is a beautifully written story that I could not put down. I loved the characters, the changing scenes, and the plot was fantastic as it unfolded piece by piece. It is a story of finding oneself, forgiveness and growth. It is a definite must read!

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Kimberly Duffy is a Long Island native currently living in Southwest Ohio, via six months in India. When she’s not homeschooling her four kids, she writes historical fiction that takes her readers back in time and across oceans. She loves trips that require a passport, recipe books, and practicing kissing scenes with her husband of twenty years. He doesn’t mind. Learn more at www.kimberlyduffy.com.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Bring the Magic of Halloween to Life with Pumpkins After Dark

Halloween and the fall season in general are by far my most favourite times of the year. I love the change in the weather, setting up seasonal d├ęcor (love my pumpkins and scarecrows!) and watching movies with the family under a warm blanket. Over the last year, COVID has (like for so many other families) disrupted our normal routines, took a loved one from us and changed the way we go out and participate in activities. Not only does this event have everything that I love about the fall season but it is COVID friendly for families like ours, who are just not quite ready to get back to packed events or who perhaps have a family member too young to be vaccinated.

Pumpkins After Dark is located in Milton, Ontario and was a short roughly 35 minute drive from our home in the GTHA area. Our youngest thought it was the perfect setting as we passed by some very interestingly shaped trees that looked like they came straight out of a horror movie (my youngest’s words exactly). They were older trees that looked misshapen and broken over time but fit the backdrop perfectly. The drive was nice as we travelled down several older roads and the traffic was light at that time of day. The entrance was a bit harder to spot but they had employees outside directing patrons into the site.

I had heard of Pumpkins After Dark a few times in the past but was not entirely familiar with the event. The site is a 2.5km (roughly forty-five minutes to one hour) pumpkin display exhibits. The art that was created from these pumpkins was incredible. The exhibits use a combination of craft and real pumpkins and each one is hand carved in 2D and 3D to fit their specific exhibit. Throughout the event, you are taken on a journey through movies, fairytales, cars, anime and so much more. I loved that the exhibits had a touch of scary but they were also appropriate for all age groups .

You enter into the exhibit by queueing in the parking lot just inside the entrance. Guests are expected to remain inside the vehicle at all times so I would strongly recommend bringing some snacks for the kids (and the adults!). We rolled down each of the windows (and even the sun roof so our youngest could sit on the arm rest and watch at times from there especially in the tunnels – the speed was incredibly slow so there was not much movement as he sat there) and had so much fun at each exhibit. I learned that my children were very much lacking in their nursery rhymes education (they did not get Humpty Dumpty!) and I was so excited to see their faces light up when they saw Kong and their favourite anime characters from Naruto (this was a huge surprise for all of us and I think was the icing on their cake for them that night). My personal favourites were the animals and the Greek mythology exhibits.

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Tips for the Event:

  • Order your tickets online in advance as tickets are not sold on site due to COVID (you can purchase tickets here and use the code September15 which will give you 15% off for the month of September dates)
  • Arrive no more than 15 minutes early as entry is based on the time of your ticket
  • Pack your snacks and warm drinks
  • Turn your radio to the assigned station and turn the volume up high
  • Roll down those windows, open your sun roof and get ready for some fun!

Pumpkins After Dark is a fun, family geared art exhibit that will meet the likes of every member in your family. There was a little bit for everyone and we loved that we were able to get out and participate in something fun despite our reservations due to COVID.

Have you been to Pumpkins After Dark? What was your favourite exhibit?

Make sure to follow Pumpkins After Dark on Facebook, and Instagram.

Disclosure: We received tickets to the event, all opinions expressed are my own.

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