I know that when you clicked on this post you thought I was going to talk about food. I mean, after all, waffles and pancakes are food and sometimes I do write about food but today I am twisting it upside down a bit and sharing about a book series that I would love to recommend to all of you.
I “met” author Cindy Springsteen through a mutual friend, Sara, who blogs at All In An Iowa Mom’s Day and Travel with Sara. She is one of my favorite North Iowa bloggers and is a connector of people and really good at it. She loves getting people together with similar interests and passions and so when she “introduced” Cindy to me I knew it would be a good fit.
Cindy lives in Lynbrook, New York and has 3 children’s books under her belt. That is inspiring to me in and of itself but the messages in these books makes it even better. She was gracious enough to provide me with digital copies of each of the three books to read and I loved them each for the messages that they talk about.
The first book, Waffles and Pancakes – A Lesson in Friendship is a delightful story of two hamsters named Waffles and Pancakes. Now you understand the title of this blog post, right? Illustrator Brandon Land does an exceptional job of bringing the author’s words to life with adorable and eye catching illustrations that accompany the text. The story line follows two boys, Danny and Griffin who buy hamsters at a local pet store and name them Waffles and Pancakes. What they learn (I don’t want to spoil the whole book for you, after all) is that money and material possessions don’t mean everything. Their hamsters help them both learn a fabulous lesson that bears repeating time and time again. I am certain this would have been a favorite book of my boys growing up had I read it to them years ago.
The second book, Waffles and Pancakes: A Lesson in Bullying addresses a hot topic —bullying. In this book the hamsters are sick and owners Danny and Griffin take them to the vet to get some answers. What happens in the waiting room when guinea pig Oscar talks to them is for you to find out but it is heartwarming to see how the entire story unfolds. In the world today the message of anti-bullying is getting a lot of press and rightfully so. This book offers a perfect way to introduce to young children how to respond when bullying happens and how to rise above bullying. The illustrations created by Jim Brenneman are delightful and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the characters come to life both in word and in pictures as I read this book.
Cindy’s third book in the Waffles and Pancakes series is Waffles and Pancakes: A Lesson in the True Meaning of Christmas. Like the previous two books this book carries a message along with it as it addresses the true meaning of Christmas. The setting is after Hurricane Sandy when Danny and Griffin see all of the devastation following the storm and realize how much families in the area have lost. They lead a donation drive to help with Christmas for those who have lost so much in the horrible storm and what they learn in the process is that they understand that the real meaning of Christmas is not what you “get” but rather what you give to others that is the blessing in life. Their friends, Rebecca snd Donald are part of the team and they, along with Waffles and Pancakes, experience a special magical twist when they meet Bebe and Lily and yes –Santa Claus. No doubt this book would be a favorite Christmas time story to be read repeatedly by any child who loves the magic of Christmas. The illustrator for this book, Carol Anne Whittle, captures the magic on each and every page and even gives Waffles and Pancakes Santa hats. A lovely book for the season that carries so much meaning.
Cindy Springsteen is a talented author and through our conversations on Facebook and in emails I can tell what a truly compassionate and caring person she is. She is also launching her new novel –-Forever and Always – Destiny in a release party on Facebook today and if you would like to be a part of that please click here to go to that release party page. She will be giving away prizes and all sorts of goodies and I am anxious to read her latest offering.
Special thanks to Cindy for providing me copies of these three delightful books and allowing me the privilege to offer my reviews here on It’s Just Life. Books are a passion of mine and since it is Library Lovers’ Month during February it seems only fitting to feature some great books both for kids and adults on my blog.
Don’t forget that our Comments for a Cause recipient this month is Room to Read and for each comment on ANY post during February Mr. Diamond and I will donate 50 cents to help with literacy in Asia and Africa. Click here to learn more about Comments for a Cause for February.