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Children's Book Basket Magic City (1)
By R.P. BenDedek
Jun 18, 2014 - 12:17:29 AM

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On Sundays we publish the regular book basket which highlights (no more than 15) new book releases by providing publicity material sent by publicists.

It also features links to whatever articles book authors have sent in for publication that week, and additionally displays links to whatever book reviews have been published.

(No one at all at Magic City receives any financial gain from any of the services we provide in relation to new book releases or reviews.)

To ease pressure on the regular book basket, in March we inaugurated the 'Christian Book Basket Magic City' which is published perhaps twice a month on a Wednesday and in it we highlight whatever Christian books have come to our attention during the previous weeks.

As from today, June 18th 2014 we are commencing the 'Children's Book Basket Magic City' and will probably only publish this book basket once a month. In this basket we will list promotional details for new book releases, and perhaps also list links to reviews that we have provided on previously listed children's books.

We offer all authors a "no-pay no-charge" self-promotions offer to provide 'stand alone' articles within which we will publish bios, book cover photographs and links to purchase pages for their book release.

This is not an offer to rehash publicity material, but to offer our readers something interesting to read. As we have no regular contributor to our Christianity section, Christian writers are welcome to write on any Christian topic.

R.P. BenDedek

No. 1.

"The Adventures of Bella and Harry"

by Lisa Manzione

"The Adventures of Bella and Harry" by Lisa Manzione
Author Lisa Manzione is taking Bella and Harry -- the stars of The Adventures of Bella and Harry, the award-winning children's series taking young readers around the world -- to a new, exotic locale -- Maui, Hawaii!

Manzione continues her quest to raise global awareness amongst children with Let's Visit Maui! the 12th installment in the The Adventures of Bella and Harry. The latest book in this celebrated series continues the tradition of entertaining and educating all at once, aiming to teach children of the different cultures and customs of the world.

"Geography is an important part of learning," says Manzione. "In the world of today, our children need to be able to think globally, not just specifically to the area in which they live. The acceptance and understanding of others, whether it be cultures, customs, etc., make working with others easier."

In The Adventures of Bella and Harry, kids get to see the sights of some of the world's major cities. Children learn about different places in the world -- from Istanbul to Athens to Rome to Barcelona -- through the eyes of Chihuahua siblings Bella and Harry.

The Adventures of Bella and Harry series is based on the premise that geography is one of the most important parts of learning, and aims to help children think globally, not specific only to the area in which they live. Manzione's books follow two small dogs as they travel the various major cities of the world, making geography fun and exciting for kids.

The Bella and Harry website at also gives kids the opportunity to further interact with these two adorable dogs with coloring book printouts, interactive games, and information about the musical play based on the books. Also available online are study guides available to accompany each book in the series.

Other books in the series

Lisa Manzione is the proud single mother of two college-graduates and currently resides in Delray Beach, FL with her seven dogs. Each title in the The Adventures of Bella and Harry have received the Mom's Choice Award. Let's Visit Istanbul! won Creative Child's Magazine's Book of the Year, and Let's Visit Jerusalem! has been nominated for Book of the Year by Foreword Magazine. For information on the series please visit

No. 2.

"The Adventures of Kitt the Kid"

by Debra Pagano

"The Adventures of Kitt the Kid" by Debra Pagano
BRICK, N.J.-- "The most powerful way to develop creativity in your students is to be a role model. Children develop creativity not when you tell them to, but when you show them." -- Robert J. Sternberg, Senior Vice President of Oklahoma State University.

While this maxim holds true for teachers, it becomes doubly important for parents because that's who kids watch first. With over ten years experience as a teacher, Debra Pagano was overwhelmed with inspiration from her young students.

"I came to realize that these children lived in the moment," Pagano said. "They were constantly turning the most mundane activities into a creative opportunity to have fun."

Pagano's new book, "The Adventures of Kitt the Kid," follows one young boy as he embarks on a trip around his neighborhood turning the things he sees everyday into an imaginative opportunity for fun.

"It is never too early to start reading with your kids," Pagano said. "Reading sparks their imagination and when that happens it gives us adults a wave of nostalgia with a dash of youth."

"The Adventures of Kitt the Kid" utilizes bright, colorful pictures and simple rhyming text to create a fun, memorable read for young children. Not only will it engage them, but the book can become a simple sample for early readers.

Debra Pagano was formerly an elementary school teacher with a master's degree in education. She spent 10 years in the classroom with young children finding new ways to help them learn and spark their creativity. She is currently the regional breastfeeding manager for the Ocean County Health Department WIC Program.

"The Adventures of Kitt the Kid"
By: Debra Pagano
Hardcopy $25.99
Paperback $16.99
E-book $3.99

No. 3.

"Daddy, It's Only A Game"

by Dr. Louis C. D'Aquila

"Daddy, It's Only A Game" by Dr. Louis C. D'Aquila
Author Dr. Louis C. D'Aquila gives readers a captivating coming-of-age story about a young girl trying to find her place in the world while struggling with the "win-at-all-costs" attitude permeating sports. A tumultuous journey through the world of sports and the struggles that student-athletes face, Daddy, It's Only A Game is a wonderful read that will dazzle readers as they explore the consequences of the cutthroat culture permeating high school sports.

Jennifer is a student-athlete who, though talented, does not place as much value on sports in her life as her parents, both former athletes. Her father, Mike, a former baseball star injured in his prime, is singularly focused on Jennifer's athletic career after his heart attack. He encourages her athletic pursuits from an early age, stoking her competitive nature. However, though Jennifer may have been imbued with a competitive spirit, she constantly reminded her father, "Daddy, it's only a game."

Readers are introduced to a gripping account of what happens when student-athletes are pushed too far, most notably in a disturbing conversation between Jennifer, and her roommate at soccer camp, Ashley. Ashley and Jennifer are discussing the camp award, a trip to Germany that goes to the most deserving camper. Ashley brings up how she would injure another athlete to make sure that she would not get the award, making Jennifer uneasy. Though Jennifer disapproves of this, Ashley still manages to injure someone during the final soccer game at the camp, which clears the competition for Jennifer. The "winning at all costs" mindset is dangerous, and unstoppable when encouraged by parents.

A fascinating look at the sociology behind sports and the dangers of taking things that are only games too seriously, Daddy, It's Only A Game is a fantastic novel that deserves a place of honor on readers' bookshelves.

Dr. D'Aquila is a retired public school teacher and coach who continues to remain active in the fields of physical fitness and education. His varied life experiences have led him everywhere from a tour in the US Army, to working as a translator at NATO conventions. After ending his military career, he returned to Long Island, where he resides to this day with his wife, Margaret.

"Daddy, It's Only A Game"
by Dr. Louis C. D'Aquila
Bookstand Publishing
Published 3/28/2014
Pages: 146
Paperback $11

No. 4.

"Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale"

by Marjuan Canady

"Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale" by Marjuan Canady
Avoiding wicked stepmothers, cursed spinning wheels, and evil witches with houses made out of junk food are things all young children learn from fairy tales. But what about a new fairy tale that teaches kids moral lessons with a dash of culture?

Here to guide children through a brand new Caribbean adventure is Trinidadian author Marjuan Canady and her new book, Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale.

Complemented, visually, by the vivid illustrations of artist Nabeeh Bilal, Callaloo takes kids on a wild adventure from the hot sidewalks of the city to the tropical islands of the Caribbean. On the way, the main character, Winston, encounters countless mythological beings, learns words of Caribbean dialect, and discovers the importance of not being greedy. The resultant book is a terrific way for kids to learn important life lessons while taking in a wonderful new culture!

Marjuan Canady, a native Washingtonian with Trinidadian/African-American roots, is a published writer, actress, playwright, director, educator and producer for both film and the stage. Her one-woman play, Girls! Girls? Girls. has been featured Off-Broadway, at national festivals, regional theaters and over fifty schools nationwide.

Her second play, Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale, has been seen at the Ellington Theater and IATI Theatre. For this work, Canady served as a featured playwright at the 2013 Lincoln Center for Performing Arts Director's Lab. A Matteo Ricci and Schomburg Mellon Fellow, Canady is the founder and creative director of her production company, Sepia Works. Her diverse acting work includes plays, films, television, commercials and voiceovers.

Canady currently writes for The Caribbean Current and recently starred and co-produced the short film The Resort, shot on location in Tobago, WI. She is also currently directing her first documentary, Girls! Girls? Girls. set to release in 2015. In 2013, she published her first children's book, Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale, for which she was recognized by The National Library of Trinidad and Tobago in their First Time Author's Awards program. She is a graduate of Duke Ellington School of the Arts and holds a B.A. in Theater/African Studies from Fordham University and her M.A. in Arts Politics from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.

Marjuan Canady Website

"Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale"
by Marjuan Canady
Amazon Kindle $11.00

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