The Forgotten Pumpkin

THE FORGOTTEN PUMPKIN is a delightful autumn story for children about a sad pumpkin who was forgotten when Farmer Pond and his sons went to the fields to harvest all the pumpkins. Mr. Pond was in a hurry to gather the pumpkins and forgot to pick the large pumpkin that grew next to the woods far from the road.

The big beautiful pumpkin was so sad it began to cry.  During the night, the pumpkin’s cries became so loud that it woke the animals in the nearby forest. They came to the field and asked, “Pumpkin, why are you crying?” Pumpkin explained he had been forgotten and he was sure he would make a nice smiley jack-o’-lantern.

The animals looked at each other and came up with a plan to move the pumpkin near the road and carve it into a jack-o-lantern.

The story will hold a child’s attention with the surprising ways the pumpkin was transformed into a smiling jack-o-lantern with the darling characters beautifully illustrated by Susan Foland Ertel.

Do I recommend THE FORGOTTEN PUMPKIN?  Absolutely!

About the Author (from the last page of the book)

Hugh G. Earnhart is a retired history professor, a Korean War Veteran, and an Ohio State Master Gardener/Naturalist from Poland, Ohio, where he lives with his wife and flower consultant, Mary Kay. Being a flower judge also makes use of any free time.  He is a member of the Giant Pumpkin Grower’s Association of America, Canfield, Ohio chapter.

About the Illustrator (from the last page of the book)

Susan Foland Ertel’s whimsical artwork reflects her interest and love of animals. She is the author and illustrator of Belle, The Hound That Was Found.  Susan lives with her husband and pets in Wilmington, Ohio, where they enjoy their seven grandchildren.

I bought THE FORGOTTEN PUMPKIN at Books By The Banks, Cincinnati, OH, and promised the author an honest review before passing it on to my granddaughter.IMG_1112

THE FORGOTTEN PUMPKIN can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Booksamillion, Powell’s, Joseph Beth Booksellers, and many of your favorite indy bookstores.

Halloween Books for the Very Young

Halloween books for the very young are falling off the shelves everywhere books are sold.  There is an abundance of cute ghosts, silly pumpkins, furry black kitties, sweet owls, and even happy witches waiting for someone to discover them and take them home. The little ones who receive them will flip the pages long after Halloween is past.

The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin

THE ITSY BITSY PUMPKIN by Sonali Fry (author) Sanja Rescek (illustrator) is a darling little board book, just right for chubby little hands. The little pumpkin rolls down the street and passes some not-so-spooky ghosts and goblins. When he can’t find his way home, a sweet little witch comes to his aid and helps him find his way back. The story isn’t at all spooky and the illustrations are sweet. Told in rhyme, the story will delight children age four and younger.

Five Little GhostsFive Black Cats

FIVE LITTLE GHOSTS and FIVE BLACK CATS both by Patricia Hegarty (Author) Julia Woolf (Illustrator) are written in sing-song rhyme, perfect for young ones to memorize.  I found the stories and the pictures to be cute. THE FIVE LITTLE GHOSTS are looking for something to play at the end of the day and try a variety of activities from painting to dressing in costume to playing in the garden.  In the end, they are all tuckered out and tucked into bed. FIVE BLACK CATS is the story of the cats out on a Halloween prowl and finally end up at the ghosts’ party.

Five Little Pumpkins

FIVE LITTLE PUMPKINS by Dan Yaccarino (Illustrator) is Amazon’s number one best seller in nursery rhymes. It is artfully illustrated with cute Halloween pictures. Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate, The first one said, “My, it’s getting late!” is a poem we all remember from our own childhoods, and is sure to be memorized by young ones. Though suggested for ages 4-8, this book will be enjoyed by children even younger.

These and many other cute, non-spooky Halloween books can be found anywhere books are sold.

Books by the Banks 2014

October in Cincinnati means Books by the Banks, our book festival.  This year I met some new authors and visited with some I had met in the past.  It is always an exciting event with lots of authors and many, many books to buy.  Since ours is held in October, it is a great time to pick up some gifts for the holidays as well as books for yourself.

Smiley with BookMy husband came along again this year and took some pictures and helped carry my books.

My first stop was to visit my friend Catherine McKenzie (SPIN, SPUN, ARRANGED, HIDDEN) and Jon Harrison (THE BANKS OF CERTAIN RIVERS – review to come soon).


I then met Marci Jefferson whose GIRL ON THE GOLDEN COIN is in my TBR and is begging me to read it.


Of course, I also had to stop by and say hi to Mindy McGinnis.  Her first book, NOT A DROP TO DRINK, came out last year just before Books by the Banks.  Her second, IN A HANDFUL OF DUST, came out just in time for “The Banks”.


A trip to “The Banks” wouldn’t be complete without picking up a few children’s books.



THE FORGOTTEN PUMPKIN by Hugh G. Earnhart (review to come later this week).


Of course, there were other books in my bag but, unfortunately, those authors were not available during the time I was there.

It was a fabulous event and I can’t wait until it comes back next October.

Note:  Reviews for all books will be posted as I read them.

How One Young Woman Broke My Heart and Repaired It

Originally posted on When Women Inspire:

Sparkling Heart

A heart is priceless, as I found reading the book titled a picture is worth… (Photo Source: little*star, CC BY-ND 4.0, via Flickr)

I began reading a picture is worth… this week and my heart broke as I read the first personal essay written by a young woman named Aayilah. a picture is worth… is a book composed of a collection of personal essays written by US high school students; it is designed to be an education curriculum component along with photos, blogs and audio segments. The goal is to inspire learning in young people by encouraging them to share their stories, as well as to develop new ways of educating and connecting students. The story told by Aayilah of her life broke my heart and repaired it, all within one chapter.

Aayilah is a 15-year-old student who came to the US from Trinidad and Tobago to live with her mother…

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Review! Little Dead Riding Hood by Amie Borst and Bethanie Borst


Erik over at This Kids Reviews Books posted a fantastic review on the fractured fairy tale Little Dead Riding Hood by Amie and Bethanie Borst.

Originally posted on This Kid Reviews Books:

It’s October and time for some monstrously fun books! Here is one that is released today!


Little Dead Riding Hood

By Amie and Bethanie Borst

Illustrated by Rachael Caringella

320 pages – ages 9+
Series: Scarily Ever Laughter
Published by Jolly Fish Press on October 14, 2014

Scarlet Small was new in town. Her dad, Drac, is in the army, and they moved a lot. Scarlet was scared of her new school. It smelled of werewolf. It didn’t help that at her old school, she was friendless and ridiculed. A lot. Did I happen to mention that Scarlet Small and her “parents” are vampires? And that Scarlet is over a century old? In a 12-year-old body? So far, school is going great for her, until Scarlet meets Ethan. She is sure that he is the werewolf she smells, which is bad, because a werewolf’s bite is the only thing that…

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Talon, Come Fly with Me By Gigi Sedlmayer

Talon Come Fly With MeTALON, COME FLY WITH ME by Gigi Sedlmayer is a wonderful and inspirational story for adults and children alike.  It is the tender story of a girls love for the mighty condor, a vulture and nearly extinct.  Matica, who because of a genetic disorder is, at age ten, no bigger than a two year old. She lives in Peru and the Indians there fear her and refuse to allow their children to play with her.  Without friends and only her four-year brother as a playmate, Matica befriends two condors who eventually give her their egg to protect, nurture and eventually take care of the young hatchling to protect it from poachers.

This beautifully written story deals with disability and the fear of differences as perceived by others and a young girl’s love and devotion to the condors.  At times you will laugh, but you will always be amazed.  The book is the first in a series of heartwarming adventures.

I loved that Sedlmayer wove information about the condors into her story.  While reading TALON, COME FLY WITH ME, I learned a lot about condors that I would never have known otherwise. Though the main character is a female, the book is not gender specific in that Matica could just as easily been a boy. It is certainly appropriate for people of all ages, but I heartily recommend it to the 9-12-year-old readers.

To learn more about the author

Author’s blog – Talon, Family Book Series

Blogspot – Talon

Facebook pages – Gisela Sedlmayer or Talon

Twitter – @GigiSedlmayer

Goodreads – Profile Page

Amazon Author Page – Gigi Sedlmayer


Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, Books-a-Million, Indie Bound, iBooks, Indigo, Google Books, Alibris,

Update from Josie

Whoa! Did you say I’m one year old today! No way!

It has been a busy year for me.  Being born was hard work, but here I am one year later – a big girl! My Grammie posted photos from my younger days on earlier posts, but she’s dropped the ball lately and hasn’t posted anymore pictures in a long time.  I will try to bring you up to date.

Let’s start with April. I had my baptism at a really old church where someone named George Washington used to go. Mommy and Daddy had a party for me before we went to church.  There were lots of family and friends there.

10269639_10202008148310479_1500935330284093046_n (1)


This is me with my Godparents and parents. Uncle Todd (Daddy’s brother), Daddy, Me, Mommy, Aunt Stephanie (Mommy’s sister)


Josie's Baptism 4-19-14

The next day was Easter so my cousin Mallory and I got to visit the Easter Bunny.10253776_10202008155190651_7413488021881451209_n


Sometimes in spring it was really warm so I could go out without a jacket, like on this day when I went hiking with my daddy.

All ready to go hiking with Daddy 4-13-14


Other times I had to be bundled up.

Bundled up 3-6-14


In May, we moved clear across the country to Oregon because my Daddy is a Lieutenant in the Coast Guard and that was where they sent him. On our way from Virginia to Oregon we stopped in Ohio to visit our family.

Ryan Megan Josie 4-14 edit


We also stopped at some pretty interesting places along the way to Oregon.

Mt. Rushmore National Memorial 5-16-14 - aMt. Rushmore

Ryan Megan Josie - Badlands National Park 5-16-19

Badlands National Park

Megan and Josie at Yellowstone National Park 5-18-14

Yellowstone National Park

Megan and Josie on Gondola Ride over Spokane Falls 5-19-14

A gondola ride over Spokane Falls


In June we came home to Ohio for my aunt’s wedding.  This was the first time I rode on a plane.

All ready for 1st airplane ride - Portland OR to Chicago 6-19-20

Daddy had a cheese Coney when we got to Cincinnati.  I tried to get his cheese, and as you can see I succeeded.

It's Skyline time Josie 6-19-14

I got to stay at Grammie and Grampie’s a lot because Mommy and Daddy were in the wedding and had a lot to do.  We had lots of fun!  I was so happy to see Grammie, I just had to give her a big kiss.

Loving Grammie 6-20-14 - d


Shopping with Daddy at The Home Depot is okay, but I’d rather shop for toys.

Shopping at Home Depot with my Daddy 6-5-14

I got all dressed up in my red, white, and blue for the 4th of July.

4th of July Firecracker 7-4-2014

Mommy and Daddy took me to a parade and a clown gave me a big red nose.

At the Astoria Regatta Parade - a clown gave Josie a clown nose 8-9-14 - Copy

I have a dog named Riley. She is a good dog.  I really love her, but she thinks I’m a pest.  I just want to love on her and share toys with her.  I even share my food with her. When Daddy’s ship comes in, my Riley dog and I have lots of fun with Daddy.

When Daddy puts my toys together, I get to help him! I’m a very good helper.

Helping Daddy put my wheelbarrow together 8-8-14Somebody likes her new wheelbarrow 8-9-14


I love to go to the beach and play in the sand.  Sometimes I even eat it…

I  promise, I didn't eat the sand! 7-1-14

Or fall face first in it…


Where we live now, I have a playroom.  My mom cleans it up and puts all my toys away. Silly Mommy, doesn’t she know I’m going to take them all out again?


Daddy couldn’t be here for my birthday, but my cousin Brynn, Aunt Stephanie and my MawMaw and PawPaw came to help me celebrate.

photo 3 photo 4

Birthdays are fun, but are stressful too!

photo 1


Brynn and I had fun together and even dressed alike.Josie and Brynn - Josie's 1st Birthday


I’m ready for cake! How about you?

Josie 1 yr old Josie's Cake

Josie eating cake 1 Josie eating cake 2 Josie eating cake 3

Happy Birthday Josie! Grammie Loves YOU!

NEST By Esther Ehrlich

NestNaomi Orenstein (known as Chirp because she loves watching birds and can tell you just about anything about them) and Joey Morell live across the street from each other.  Joey has two older brothers who have bad reputations, and Naomi is afraid of them and a bit afraid of Joey, even though they are in the same grade. They are as different as night and day, or so they think. But as the story unfolds, they have a lot in common.   They are very bright students, and they both live under difficult circumstances.

This is a story of tragedy, hardship, love, and friendship.  It is about a camaraderie born of trust and a need to connect with someone who understands.  The plot and characters are both well crafted. The characters are true to life. Chirp and Joey could easily be the kids down the street.

When I first started reading Nest, I wasn’t sure it was going to be a book I would enjoy. As I got to know Chirp, I found I wanted to know more about her, why she and Joey seemed to have a connection, and how Chirp, with Joey’s friendship, learned to come to terms with the way life had changed for all in the Orenstein household. It was a book I couldn’t put down.

Nest is for ages 8-12, but I would recommend it to anyone age 8 – adult. It deals with some tough subjects such as illness, death, and abuse, and the unlikely bond of friendship that was formed by two children living under different circumstances. It is a heartwarming and unforgettable story.

I was given this ARC by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

To find out more about the author visit

Web page – Esther Ehrlich Author

Facebook – Esther Ehrlich, Author page

Twitter – @EstherEhrlich

Goodreads – Esther Ehrlich page


Buy the book on, Barnes & Noble, Indie Bound, iBookstore, Random House