Lulu’s Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves! by Serina Adham

Lulu's Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves!

Title: Lulu’s Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves!
Author: Serina Adham (Illustrated by Ken Steel)
Published: 
August 2017 by Amazon
Genre: Children’s picture book
How I got the book: I was given a free digital copy by the author’s publicist in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

There is nothing Lulu loves more than dancing by herself. With each new song, she practices the “Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves.” She slides her feet, claps her hands, and bumps her hips against a tree trunk.

There is just one problem. Lulu is a gorilla! When she stamps her feet and shakes the trees, she ends up disturbing all the other animals in her jungle home. Poor Squin Squirrel cannot even sip his nut tea without Lulu’s dancing rattling his tree home. Squin and the other animals try to tell Lulu that her dancing is disruptive, but they cannot get through to the gorilla.

Then, Lulu’s loud music and dancing ends up waking up the mighty king of the jungle. The angry lion Jhawfors then confronts Lulu with the problem. Will the animals be able to find a compromise?

This rhyming children’s tale imparts valuable lessons to young readers. Lulu does not want to stop doing what she loves, but she needs to understand that her actions affect others. Through Lulu, children will learn the importance of respect, compassion, and compromise.

My Review:

rp-first-thoughts

I used to be a preschool teacher, so I’m always more than happy to check out new children’s books. Since this is a 20-page picture book, this review will be shorter and slightly different than most of my reviews.

rp-plot

Lulu the gorilla is happy-go-lucky and loves to dance. She plays her music loud and dances like no one is watching. However, her dancing causes some ruckus in the jungle.

Her dancing disturbs Squin the squirrel during his tea time and her music is too loud for Lilly the owl and Fluer the skunk. Then, the king of the jungle, Jhawfors the lion, gets involved.

Before a fight breaks out, Lilly the owl comes up with a suggestion so that Lulu can dance without disturbing the entire jungle.

The moral of this story is that even though you may be doing something harmless and innocent, you still need to be aware of the others around you and be respectful of their space. This is the first picture book I’ve read with that kind of a lesson and I think it’s a good one to teach children and take to heart!

rp-characters

The characters of this story were cute and simple. I found their names to be creative and they flowed well with the rhythmic way the story is told.

rp-writing-style

Being about dancing, this is a rhythmic book with rhymes that have a poetic feel to it. The dancing is described in a way that should get kids up and move and possibly try to mimic Lulu’s dance moves.

Because of the rhymes, the story flowed well and read easily that will certainly keep kids’ attention. Even at the end of the book, a general question to the kids ask to make up some more dance moves for Lulu, which is another great interactive way to get the kids more involved in the story even though it’s over.

The illustrations were adorable as well. The backgrounds were very pretty and the colors all around were vivid and plentiful, which are certain to attract the wandering, curious eyes of a child.

rp-overall

This is a cute story with an important lesson, fun storytelling, and pretty pictures. This would definitely be one to read to your children.

Lulu’s Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves! by Serina Adham gets…
5-Star Rating | Book Review 5 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“It is true we all share this jungle home together, so we must be aware and consider one another.” -Serina Adham, Lulu’s Ballalam-Bam-Bam Grooves!

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Gramma Mouse Tells a Story by M.E. Hembroff

gramma-mouse-tells-a-story

Title: Gramma Mouse Tells a Story
Author: M.E. Hembroff
Published: 
October 2016 by TellWell
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
How I got the book: I received a free digital copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Gramma Mouse is visiting and relaxing when her grandbabies beg her to tell them a story.
Tiny, Gramma Mouse, tells them about her trip across the old garden to visit Cousin Mouse.
Tiny struts off staying out of sight at first. Then she pops out to look around and immediately forgets Ma and Pa’s advice. She stops to visit and look around. She receives warnings of approaching danger that she ignores. Tiny is having fun playing and investigating and forgets to watch for danger. She has a few narrow escapes but does learn valuable lessons along the way.

My Review:

rp-first-thoughts

The author has contacted me before to read her middle-grade story novel and I enjoyed it. I also love a good children’s book, so I felt Gramma Mouse Tells a Story would be a refreshing read.

However, since this is a picture book, the review won’t be as in-depth as my other reviews. But all the elements are still there.

rp-plot

The main “plot” of this story is that Gramma Mouse, as a young mouse, is trying to journey to Cousin Mouse’s house avoiding the cat, dog, and hawk. It’s a long journey and Tiny, as she used to be called, comes across many creatures, including the cat, dog, and hawk. However, she’s careful as the other creatures around her warn her of the danger. She’s able to hide herself until the danger passes and can continue her journey.

In the end, Tiny makes it to Cousin Mouse’s house and is safe with her friend.

rp-characters

Gramma Mouse is really the only character that we prominently see. Her parents warn her of the danger, but she’s cautious and remembers what her parents had told her before she began her journey. She’s a careful mouse, also listening to the creatures around her and is aware of her surroundings.

Also, having a mouse as the main character as opposed to a human makes the story more child-friendly and unique. I think a mouse was especially a good choice because they’re small and can easily get into danger.

rp-writing-style

As a preschool teacher, I particularly enjoyed the writing style. Each page throughout Gramma Mouse’s journey is repetitive stating at the end of each page, “it was still a long way to Cousin Mouse’s.” And, “I was getting closer,” and “it wasn’t much further.” It shows just how long the journey really is.

Is also showcases the tension. When Gramma Mouse is hiding from the cat and she mentions that she still has a long way to go, you have to wonder what other danger she’ll get up to.

Also, the illustrations to go along with each page were pretty. They looked to be hand-drawn and the colors were vivid and each picture captured the text wonderfully.

rp-overall

This was a cute story book that I can picture myself reading to my preschoolers at work. It was a quick read, of course, but worth it.

Gramma Mouse Tells a Story by M.E. Hembroff gets…
4-stars
4 out of 5 stars

Favorite Quote:

“I popped out and looked around. There were interesting things to see.” –M.E. Hembroff, Gramma Mouse Tells a Story

Buy the book:

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I Have Issues

Today Was  A Joke…

 

Today was the first day in a long time that I have nothing to do. So I told myself that I was going to wake up early, take a shower, and write. And write, and write, and write some more. Except things didn’t go exactly as planned.

I’m stuck.

I didn’t get a chance to write at all this past weekend. There were some times here and there I would have been able to squeeze some words in, but I didn’t. Normally I would have or if I didn’t, I would have been freaking out about why I didn’t get anything done. Not this time. I didn’t feel like writing and that was that.

I’m going to assume I burned myself out when it comes to writing. But this burn out couldn’t have come at another time? It’s in the middle of the July, I have Camp NaNo to finish. Not to mention I’m already losing next week because I’m going on vacation. I don’t need to lose two additional days.

So I told myself today was going to be an all day writing day. I can’t tell you how many words I have written because I literally have no idea. I am so burned out that every time I tried to write today, I said: “Screw it!”

I’m writing Cybertra for Camp NaNo and I’m ahead of the NaNo goal, but 11,000 words behind my own goal. Two days and I’m that far behind…what? I forced myself to write it and I got about 540 words done. Then I realized…I’m just not into the story anymore. I still love the characters, the plot is good, but…well, the plot isn’t going as well as expected. I feel like I want to keep the prologue then scrap the whole rest of the novel. But that’s over 20,000 words…is it worth it to do in the middle of Camp? Is it wort it to do it at all?

I heard (I forget where) that you should never delete your writing whether you’re going to use it or not. Good writing is writing and bad writing is still writing. Not to mention there might be something in there that you will like later on. I hate deleting things I write because then I just feel bad. I mean, it was a good idea at the time I wrote it, right?

So I didn’t delete it, but I’m definitely not going back to the story any time soon. Which is sad because I was in love with it when I first started. I think I just need a break. Maybe next month I can get back to it. But now how am I supposed to finish Camp NaNo?

I tried writing a couple of children’s picture books…I finished one, but it sucks. I attempted to write another, but I got about two lines in and that was that. I started Hunter & Comet, the first book of a middle grade series I want to write. I wrote about a page and couldn’t get into that, either.

I looked at my list of stories to write. Maybe I just need something brand new? None of those ideas appealed to me. At the moment, anyway. And I’m afraid to start any new young adult novels because I already have four that need to be edited.

I tried writing some FanFiction. I wrote about a page then quit.

It’s about four o’clock in the afternoon, I have to get something written. I want to get something written. But it’s not going so well. And I’m afraid today is going to be a bit of a waste since I’m probably not going to have another day to write all day like this one in a long time.

Cheerios and Chicken Soup

Yum…

Kris and I decided to do more writing contests and such.

I’m sure most of you have heard of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books? This is one of the things we want to do. We pick book topics that we can write a nonfiction story about and send it in. If your story is picked to be in the book, you’ll receive 200 dollars plus ten free copies of the book. I think that’s a good deal.

As of right now, there are two topics that I am able to write for. Stories About Cats and Overcoming Challenges. I could write for the Stories About Dogs one, but I don’t have any real stories that pop out in my mind. I can only think of one story with my cat, Hunter, and my turtle, Raph. I’m going to write about that. I doubt it’ll get picked, but hey–might as well toss in every story I can, right? The deadline for this one is August 31, 2013.

The Overcoming Challenges one I’m going to talk about my high school career–my best friend bullying me, my anxiety disorder, and some of the teachers not believing in me. I don’t know if I ever explained this one here, but I left high school half way through my junior year. I did get my high school diploma, but I went through college to get it. It also gave me a head start on my degree, which was nice. The deadline for this one is October 31, 2013.

There are a couple of other topics I could write for, but there are no stories that pop into my head for them. We’ll see, though; especially since I have time for the two topics I plan on doing. Of course August 31 is going to be here before I know it.

I also heard of another contest through My Journey As A Writer‘s blog. It’s called Cheerios Spoonful of Stories. You can send in an unlimited amount of children’s books. Grand prize is 5,000 dollars. The story is featured on the website as well as handed over to Simon and Schuster publishing to be considered for publication. Second and third prize gets 1,000 dollars. The deadline is July 31, 2013.

I have a few children’s book ideas, but I don’t know if I’m going to have the time to write, edit, and send them in. I’m leaving for vacation on Saturday and when I come back there will be about three days left until the deadline. The book I would love to send in is still being considered by a publisher who only takes exclusive manuscripts. I’m not allowed to send the manuscript anywhere else until I hear from them, or September 7 (it’s a three-month turnaround time and I sent it in on June 7). We’ll see if I have any time this week to write up some manuscripts and give them a good look-over.

There’s also Writer’s Digest competitions. I have done a couple of their competitions before, but never won anything. Of course, I can keep trying.

I also bought a book called 2013 Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market. Not only does the book have a list of publishers and agents, it has a list of contests, as well. Of course, a lot of them have already ended because I was smart and bought the book half way through the year of 2013. But it also has a list of magazines, too. Some pay, some don’t. Some have contests, some don’t. But you can still send stuff in, depending on what they’re looking for.

I told myself I wanted to have something published by my 25th birthday. Of course, when I say something published, I mean one of my young adult novels or middle grade novels or something.

I turn 20 on September 1, 2013. That gives me five more years to get something done. If I can get something published by winning a contest, even if it’s just published in a small magazine, I’ll take it. I would prefer one of my novels, but if it gets my foot in the door, I’ll be happy.

Productiveness!

I Am Getting Stuff Done…

I have to say that I am very please with myself. I’m in the middle of writing four novels, but I have not worked on any of them lately. I have been in the mood to edit. So, that’s what I did today. I have four novels to edit, so I might as well get started and allow this summer to be a productive one when it comes to finding publishers and such.

I edited Dairy of a Lover. I know I said that I was on my seventh draft, but I was actually on my fourth. I have no idea why I thought I was on draft number seven, but apparently I wasn’t. Anyway, I finished editing it and now I’m re-typing it. As I re-type it, I’m finding a lot more typos and such that I missed when I edited it on paper yesterday. I’ve been doing good on it, though. I’m on chapter nine, page 36.

In addition to Diary of a Lover, I have three other novels that need editing. My mom is currently editing Take Over for me, once I finish re-typing Dairy of a Lover Kris is going to edit that for me. While she and mom are busy on those novels, I’m going to edit Hunter. Then it’s going to go around in a big cycle. Saving Each Other isn’t going to be edited until I finish the other four parts of the novel.

I’m just taking a break now, but I’m going to try to get some more editing done tonight. I’m going to sit down sometime this week and get my two children’s books together and send them to multiple publishers.

So I have a lot going on right now. Three young adult novels are currently being edited, two children’s books are currently preparing to ship in the mail, and one (plus three) young adult novels are currently being written. I have a lot on my plate right now, but I am so determined to get this all done during the summer. It’ll be a good one. 🙂

2013: 119,319/350,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read

What To Do

I Have Been Getting Absolutely Nothing Done….

Also, this is my last week of classes for school and finals are next week. Granted, I only have one test, but that test is stressing me out big time. On top of that, I’m trying to figure what I’m doing for school next semester since I graduate this month. I got into a school and had a plan, but I have changed my mind. Now I have to start the process all over again. That’s a pain in the butt, too.

At the moment, I am writing four novels at once. All of them go together and three of them are not to be published. Although, who knows? If The Blank Page series kicks off pretty well whenever I get that published, I may publish the characters’ books just as a side series. So I have been working bit by bit on that.

However, I have been in the mood to edit my novels instead of writing new ones. Believe me when I say that this never happens. I hate editing with a burning passion and usually when I finish a novel, I set it aside only to be dug up again in a few years and say, “Hey, I remember this!” And then it gets buried again…

But a couple of months ago…well, I think it was back in March, I decided that I was going to set up a writing schedule for myself. This is how it goes:

January — Write
February — Write
March — Edit
April — Camp NaNo
May — Write
June — Edit
July — Camp NaNo
August — Write
September — Write
October — Edit
November — NaNo
December — Write

All the months before the NaNo months are editing months to make sure that I don’t start something new and “cheat” at NaNo. Also, notice that this is only three months. Again, I hate editing.

I started this back in March, except I wrote instead of edited because my flash drive was broken. I have two novels to edit because I had printed them out before my flash drive broke, but I either didn’t think to edit those two novels or I just ignored the fact that I was able to edit them…who knows? My point is that for 2013 I may switch the months of March and May. I wrote in March so I think I’m going to edit in May. I’m probably going to switch back and forth between editing and writing The Blank Page. Then in June I will try to strictly edit.

The thing is that summer is nearly here and I want it to be a good one. So far, 2013 has been promising. I have been keeping up with my New Year’s Resolutions (which never happens) and I have been doing great on my writing. I want the summer to be just as good since I won’t have school and I won’t have work. I’ll be babysitting a lot, but I kind of need to make some money, right? But it will still give me a lot more time to write instead of writing around school and work. Plus, half of the time I’ll be watching my cousins and they’re older, so it’s not like they don’t know how to entertain themselves and I have to keep an eye on them at all times.

But this summer I really want to finish editing something. I have two children’s picture books that are completed…edited and all. I sent Asking Bobby to a publisher about a month ago. They said if I don’t hear back within 30 days, I should e-mail them…which I still have to do. There’s another publisher that I really like, but they only take exclusive manuscripts. So I’m going to send Ashley’s Day at the Aquarium there and send Asking Bobby to a bunch of other places. If I get all rejections, I’ll swap the two. Make sense?

In the meantime, I’m going to be editing Diary of a Lover. My goal is to have that novel completely edited and ready to be published by the end of the summer. Then during the school year I can send that novel to places, as well. While I wait for those three books to get accepted, I can continue writing other things.

The reason I’m planning on editing Dairy of a Lover before Hunter is because I have edited Diary of a Lover before. I’m in the middle of the seventh draft (believe it or not) whereas I have not even glanced at Hunter since I finished it. I finished it back in 2011, I think. Wow, right?

So that’s that. That’s all of my plans and I pray to God that they follow through…or that I keep up with them.

2013: 119,319/350,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read

Update This And Update That

I Have Important Things To Say….

 

I have no idea where to start! I have a lot to say and I don’t know if I’m going to remember it all. I had Starbucks today and I am extremely wired! Seriously, ask my sister…and my mother…I was bothering them both. Singing, dancing, making weird noises, walking funny, yelling, laughing, falling on the floor, being loud…true story.

ANYWAY, I have three things to talk about…at least that’s all I can remember that I had to talk about…

First, Spilled Ink is back up for business. About two years ago, my sister and I started a writing website. Life got in the way and we kind of let it die. However, we wanted to get back into it so we made a new website for it. We came up with some new ideas for it, kept some old ideas and scrapped the rest of the old ideas. We hope the website grows a lot and is very successful.

Let me tell you a little about it: There are prompts, tips, writing races, co-authoring, and a role-playing section. There’s a place where members can review and discuss books they have read. Also, each member has their own board where they can post their own stories and other people can review the stories. You know, give feedback and critique. The link is on the Come Find Me page of this blog, but here it is again: Spilled Ink. Please go check it out and if you like, go ahead and join. We’d love to have you. 🙂

Next, I was thinking of adding more to this blog. My sister gave me this idea a while ago and I have been thinking of doing it ever since. I just never got the chance to actually do it. I was thinking about it more today and I think I’m going to really do it. However, I want to get your opinions anyway. So, if you don’t mind, please comment on whether you would enjoy this and want me to do this: once a month, I was thinking of doing a volg (video blog, for those of you who don’t know). So, once a month instead of posting words, you’d get to hear it straight from my loud mouth. Wouldn’t that be awesome? I don’t know when I would actually start doing this, but I thought I would throw it out there and see if you guys would like that or not. Of course, if the majority of you say no I may do it anyway. 😀

Third, I guess I should update about my actual writing, huh? I have been writing bit by bit each day since my last post. Since my last post I have written 7,659 words on Take Over. I plan on writing a little more tonight, but I probably won’t get the chance to update this later tonight and tell you all how wonderful I have been doing with my writing! I’ve been a good girl lately. 😀

I guess I do have more to talk about…fourth, my sister and I went to Barnes and Noble today (hence the Starbucks). We were looking at writing books when we were supposed to be writing. I have been thinking a lot about my future lately and I decided that it’s time that I really start looking for publishers. I have two children’s books written and ready to leave the nest. So I found one of those books that lists publishing companies, agencies, magazines, etc. I wrote down a few publishing companies that represent picture books. So, while I finish Take Over, edit Hunter and Diary of a Lover, and write Saving Each Other for Camp NaNoWriMo, I’ll be sending my two picture books off to publishers.

Also, Writer’s Digest sent me a thing in the mail about their annual writing contest. I’ve done it before (and lost, obviously), but that was two or three years ago. I think I’m going to try to do it again this year. I think I’m going to send in a poem. I don’t write poems often, although I would like to. I wasn’t going to bother with the contest again this year, but the other day, in math class of all places, I thought of a poem idea. I think that was my inner muse saying, “Do the Writer’s Digest contest!” Because seriously, when do I come up with poem ideas?

Anyway, that’s that. Send my picture books to publishers, polish off my young adult novels, prepare for Camp NaNo, finish Take Over, do the contest…I have a lot on my plate right now. But I like it. I have wanted to be an author since I was ten and I finally want to get started on it. Meanwhile, I’m going to promote myself as much as possible. So follow me on here, on Twitter (the link is also on the Come Find Me page), and on my other Spilled Ink website. Then sit back and watch me succeed. Because I’m going to make it no matter what. 🙂

 

2013: 72,855/365,000 Words Written
2013: 1,749/18,250 Pages Read