By Lyda Whiting



Written by Heidi Cole & Nancy Vogl
Illustrated by Gerald Purnell
In this beautifully-illustrated book, a young boy wonders why people are labeled by the color of their skin. His father is called black, his mother is called white. He carries a part of each of them, so what is he? Looking at a crowd of people, he sees a rainbow of different faces, but they all have smiles. When people see, smile, dream and feel in every color, how can they be only one color? The boy decides he is not a color or a word; he is a human being with the whole rainbow inside of him — just like everyone else.

A three-year-old’s question inspired his mother and grandmother to write this book. Heidi Cole, single mother, has written a screenplay and several children’s books. Nancy Vogl is also the author of “Why Grandpa Rides a Harley” and “Chicken Soup for the Single Parent’s Soul”.

The illustrations are evocative and unusual, illustrating the text perfectly. The art is realistic but has a mystical quality to it that is very appealing and fresh. Gerald Purnell’s artwork has won numerous awards and honors, and he is the cover illustrator for the acclaimed Bluford series.

This book reminds us of the traits and values we all share, and inspire us to treasure every person and focus on our common experiences instead of our differences. Highly recommended.

Published by Illumination Arts, this book is available at your local bookstore.

The Wild Adventures of Juicy Coppertoes
Written by Michael Kobert & Dona Donato

Illustrated by Laurie Fuller
This fun and colorful book follows young Juicy Coppertoes as she travels the world on a safari adventure. Each time she spots a nose, she tries to figure out what animal it belongs to. She encounters gorillas, an elephant, and pandas as well as lesser-known animals like a platypus and a man-drill.

Kids will have a great adventure spotting the noses and seeing the animals in their native habitats. They can also have fun finding the other animals in the pictures, and tracking down the frog on each page. They will laugh at the different hats Juicy wears for different locations.

Even the page numbers are educational and fun, written on colorful continents that identify the animals’ homes. The first page is a world map with the animals’ noses placed on their locations. The glossary has facts about each of the animals in the book. The very last page even has a place for a child to draw or paste a picture of their face, so they look like they are on safari too.

The illustrations are realistic but have the feel of a cartoon, lighthearted and friendly. They manage to contain a great deal of detail without feeling overdone or fussy.

This is the first book in a series about Juicy Coppertoes, dedicated to helping children learn about wildlife and the natural world.

Highly recommended for children through age 8.

Published by Giggling Gorilla Productions, LLC, this book is available at your local bookstore.


A Journey through the Imagination!
Written and Illustrated by Marianne Richmond

This is a fun book about pretending to be all the things you want to be — just by changing your shoes! In tennis shoes, you can be a basketball star. With big red galoshes, you become a pirate. You can wear sandals and be the king of the sandcastle. With cowboy boots, you are the rodeo star. In ice skates, you become the hockey player with the winning shot. With dress-up shoes, you are a Hollywood star or even the president! But cozy slippers are best when it is time to just be yourself and cuddle up for story time.

The story moves along at a great pace, and the rhyming is fun and compelling. The illustrations are fun and have a childlike quality. The bold pictures almost look as if they were colored with crayons and are deceptively simple. They will be sure to appeal to children, and adults will see how artistic they really are.

The author has written four other children’s books, including “I Love You So...”, winner of a 2005 Mother’s Choice Award, and “Hooray for You!” Richmond’s books have sold over one million copies.

This book will invite children to put on their favorite shoes and dream big. It also will encourage them to draw pictures of themselves being all the things they can be. Highly recommended for children through age 8.

Published by Marianne Richmond Studios, Inc., this book is available at your local bookstore.


By Lyda Whiting
How clean is your toothbrush? Toothbrushes in a shared holder or cup can spread germs from one to another, and the cup is a breeding ground for mildew and bacteria. Uncovered toothbrushes can pick up germs from the air as well, especially when the toilet is flushed with the lid open.

The Smiley Toothbrush Holder is a fun and easy way to keep your toothbrush clean and handy. This compact holder has a hinged plastic cover that snaps over the head of the toothbrush, and a suction cup on the back that sticks to mirrors, tile, and glass. The antibacterial cover has a cheerful smiling face cutout, which lets the toothbrush dry between uses. Its holder is also excellent for traveling, so that you can keep your toothbrush clean while away.

We gave these holders a trial run for one month. Getting the toothbrush in and out of the holder can be done with just one hand, so even small children can use these. You can just pull the handle to get the brush out, and then place the brush in the holder and click the lid closed.

The holder stuck fast to our mirror without falling, even if the brushes were pulled out by the handle. (The suction cups would not stick inside our wooden medicine cabinet, but would probably work on a smooth metal cabinet.)  The toothbrushes dry nicely and the holder comes in a variety of bright, kid-pleasing colors.

Distributed by Pacific Dry Goods, this product is available at retailers nationwide, or at


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