Category Archives: Star Bright Books

Jake’s Gigantic List by Ken Spillman

Make a list, check it twice; that’s what Santa Claus does. Make a list, check off what you’ve accomplished; that’s what I do. Make a list of all the things you want to do in this lifetime; a bucket list. Make a list of all the things you want for your birthday; that’s what Jake does in this story: Jake’s Gigantic List by Ken Spillman.

In this fantastic Jake series, Jake goes through many obstacles and tasks. In Jake’s Gigantic List by Ken Spillman, Jake’s father suggests he make a list of all the things he wants for his birthday because it’s hard to get someone a gift when they already have everything. Jake disagrees that he has everything and proves it by making a gigantic list of what he wishes he could get for his birthday. He even reads part of his list to his book-loving aunt.

jakesgiganticlist

Little does he realize that his aunt is a clever lady. She tells him she can take him somewhere that has “dragons, dinosaurs, and piranahs….” Jake is very excited his aunt can take him to all this excitement only to find that she drives him to the local mall. His aunt must be crazy if she thinks all those things are in the mall! Jake’s clever aunt takes him into the bookstore with a bunch of books to sort through. Will Jake get what he wants for his birthday?

My 6 year old son loves it when I read to him. He especially loves it when I read to him and it’s an exciting book of adventure. Without realizing Jake’s aunt was taking him to a bookstore, my son thought she was taking him to somewhere else likely as exciting as where Jake thought he was going. Although my son loves books with lots of color, he was okay with the black and white sketches in Jake’s Gigantic List by Ken Spillman.

A few weeks ago, I read to my son another book in the Jake series, Jake’s Monster Mess. He looks forward to reading any adventure Jake takes, so I’m on the lookout for the other fantastic books in this series that I can get my hands on.

Jake’s Monster Mess by Ken Spillman

Sometimes, a wrong choice leads to bigger messes than what we started with, even with the best of intentions. We don’t always see that choice we made as the wrong one until it’s too late sometimes and I can totally relate to Jake in Jake’s Monster Mess by Ken Spillman. In fact, I went through a very similar situation more than once!
Jake’s Monster Mess by Ken Spillman is a children’s book with some humor, especially when read to my 6 year old son. With animated inflections and descriptions of pictures, my son thoroughly enjoyed this book! 
  
The story is about Jake, who loves his father’s dinner parties, but doesn’t quite enjoy the tidying up before the guests arrive. Who does, right? Instructed to tidy up his room, Jakes is told to put away his laundry, which leads to sorting out his drawers of clothing. With clothes all over the floor and knowing everything had to be put away before his father gets back home from shopping, Jake attempted to organize the mess of clothes into his dresser drawers. In his attempt to clear more space for the piles of clothing in another area, toys fell all over the floor, making an even bigger mess.
His father returned and Jake explains that there’s so much stuff he didn’t need anymore and could give it away to someone who could really use them. Great as that idea was, his father gave him limited time to reorganize everything plus vacuum and wipe the tables for the guests. One thing leads to another while Jake is reorganizing and he finds himself testing out his toys to see if it works. In the meantime, a few things break and I he process of getting it fixed, Jake climbs his bookshelf to reach it only to find the whole bookcase come crashing down and the toy he was testing crunched under his feet. 
You see, one thing leads to another, all into a monster mess. Personally, I go through the same things every day. Putting away the laundry leads to refolding clothes and reorganizing, it leads to old clothes being removed to donate and a trip to the thrift store, which leads to strolling around the thrift store to buy more stuff, and coming home to put it away on a shelf that has something misplaced. It’s a typical cycle of daily life! Maybe not as dramatic as Jake’s Monster Mess, but Ken Spillman does a fabulous job with one small task.
Jake’s Monster Mess by Ken Spillman is a fun and adventurous book that young children can enjoy. Published by Star Bright Books, Jake’s Monster Mess by Ken Spillman can be found at Star Bright Books and Amazon.com.

Mama’s Right Here by Susan Kerner

When you have a mama’s boy like mine, it is difficult to pull away from your child. In all my attempts to grow his independence and do things on his own, he is like a rubber band, bouncing right back to my side. I do not see this as a bad thing because I treasure every moment with him, but sometimes, he needs to know it’s okay when he plays with his friends or hangs out with daddy.

At first I thought this book, Mama’s Right Here by Susan Kerner, would teach him about how I’m always with him, no matter where he is or what he’s doing. As I read the book to him, it made me feel like the story is about a mother who is no longer here or lives very far away. Each page was the child doing an activity where mommy isn’t around and the child is with another person, like dad, grandparent, sibling, etc.

  

It places a tear in my eye as I read the story because in this story the child’s mama isn’t around. The words make it seem like she’s missing out on the child growing up, on good night hugs and cuddles. The child can see mama in the wind and the stars and the snow, but mama isn’t physically there.

What a treasure as my aunt just went to heaven this morning after a major stroke, leaving my uncle and cousin. I’d like to share this story with him as soon as I can get my hands on a copy. Even as a grown adult, I think he could use the comfort of knowing she’s still here with him. 
Some children go through childhood without their mama around, whether it’s due to the decisions their parents made or because God simple needed mama in heaven already. Whatever the reasons for a child to not be with mama, this book can reassure that mama is there, every moment of every day.

Mama’s Right Here by Susan Kerner is published by Star Bright Books, priced at $6.99 from your local bookstore or Amazon.com.