Monday, 18 December 2017

Book Review: Mamá Graciela’s Secret by Mayra Calvani


Mamá Graciela’s Secret
Publication date: October 10, 2017
Written by Mayra Calvani
Illustrated by Sheila Fein
MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing
www.maclaren-cochranepublishing.com
36 pages, 3-7 year olds
Reading guide at: www.MayrasSecretBookcase.com

Description:
Mamá Graciela’s TENDER, CRUNCHY, SPICY bacalaítos fritos are the best in town...
Local customers (including stray cats!) come from all over the island to enjoy her secret recipe. But when the Inspector discovers that Mamá secretly caters to so many cats and he threatens to close her tiny restaurant, Mamá must come up with a plan to save it—and all of the animals she loves.
About the author:
Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her children's picture book, Frederico the Mouse Violinist was a finalist in the 2011 International Book Awards; her anthology Latina Authors and Their Muses was a First Place winner at the 2016 International Latino Book Awards; her nonfiction book, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, was a Foreword Best Book of the Year winner. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications like The Writer, Writer's Journal, Multicultural Review, Bloomsbury Review, and others.

She lives in Belgium with her husband of 30+ years, two wonderful kids, and her three beloved pets. When she's not writing, editing, reading or reviewing, she enjoys walking with her dog, traveling, and spending time with her family. www.MayrasSecretBookcase.com




About the illustrator:

Born in Queens, New York and living in Los Angeles since 1987, Sheila Fein has always been inspired by the changing world around her. Earning her BA in Design from Buffalo State College of New York, her concentration was on drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography. Sheila's education as an artist has taken her everywhere from Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia to Bath University in England. Today, Sheila Fein runs two figurative workshops, Imaginings Sketch in LA and People Sketchers in Thousand Oaks. She has been featured in numerous collections, magazines, books, solo and group exhibitions. Her paintings and drawings reside in public and private collections. Sheila loves to make the imagination of others a reality and has done so through her commissioned Fein Fantasy Portraits and Interactive Paintings. In addition to being a fine artist Sheila works as an illustrator. She just completed the book "Mama Graciela's Secret" for Maclaren-Cochrane Publishing.


My Review:
"A children's book where everything makes sense: the illustrations, the story and the message!"
I have always maintained that I look for two elements in a children's book. One, how well the book endears itself to the little readers, and two, the message that it puts across. 
It is indeed interesting when the two blend together nearer to the climax of the book. And admittedly, children's books have the most heart-warming of them. This book faired well on both the aspects. It follows the story of a restaurant owner who has to choose between her livelihood and her love for pets. The great part of the story was its uniform tempo and tone. This ensures that each time the book is read, the reader gets to choose what s/he wants to focus on: whether it is the dilemma that she faces, whether it is the solution, whether it is the message of love...as a young reader, you get to choose what you want to focus on. This is what an open-ended, but morally rich book would look like. Yes, I'd call it an epitome. 
The illustrations were a treat to the eyes as well. They complimented the story well, and in fact, at ties, even stole the limelight. Illustrations in a children's book should exhibit clarity and capture the plot with all its minor details. The book passes this litmus test also. 
All in all, I'd recommend this book to be on the shelf of a young one. (Hope all the parents are listening)
Book info:
ISBN:HC 978-1-365-86153-6
SC 978-1-365-86155-0
ISBN Dyslexic Font Version:
DY HC 978-1-365-86154-3 DY SC 978-1-365-86156-7
**This book also has version printed in the Dyslexic font, the typeface for people with dyslexia. Go to www.dyslexiefont.com to find out more about the typeface.
Suggested Retail Price - 17.99 Hardcover & 13.99 Softcover 40 % Discounted Price – 10.80 Hardcover & 8.40 Softcover
Available through - Ingram - Discount 40% Returnable – Yes
MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing – Discount 40% - Orders@maclaren-cochranepublishing.com Returnable – Yes
Publishing company Contact Info: MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing 1024 Iron Point Rd 100-1478 Folsom CA 95630
916-897-1670
Tannya@Maclaren-cochranepublishing.com www.maclaren-cochranepublishing.com
MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing 620 Buchanan Way, Folsom, CA 95630 916-897-1670 www.maclaren-cochranepublishing.com

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