**** MULTI-AWARD WINNER ****

      

  FROGS CAN FLY

 (8'5 x 8'5) Paperback

$5.99

   Spring is here again at Cackleberry Creek and young Lulu is full of questions about everything! "When will I grow bigger? Why do cows eat grass? Why is the sky blue?" One thing Lulu knows for sure is, she isn't feeling very special or pretty today. She wishes she were a bird, a squirrel, a cat...anything but a green ole frog! With a little help from Mama and her pals, can she learn to love herself for being her? Through it all, Lulu learns that being special doesn't always mean being like someone else. In addition, maybe...just maybe, frogs can fly too!  




There Are No Monsters At Cackleberry Creek!

$7.99 


  Those  crazzzy critters of Cackleberry are at it again in this hilarious case of mistaken identity. The annual harvest moon celebration is only two days away and Lulu and her pals are buzzing with excitement! But when spooky howls, missing desserts, gigantic muddy footprints, and other strange things begin to happen, the critters imaginations run wild turning the entire farm upside down!  Will the gang learn to face their fears to save Cackleberry and the celebration from a dessert stealing mud-monster? As the mystery unfolds, things take an outrageously wacky turn in a way none of them had ever imagined! 


         

Mall Hair Maladies by Kristy Jo Volchko is a delightful throwback story that will take 80’s kids down memory lane. The book follows Tanya, the new kid in school, Randi, and their single parents. The two meet and quickly become inseparable best friends. Volchko describes a year in the life of two 13 year old girls in 1980’s America. Volchko delves into “a day in the life” right down to big, crimped, hair-sprayed hair, fingerless gloves, and arms lined with multi-colored jelly bracelets. The biggest obstacle in the girls’ lives is finding a way to go to the local Madonna concert. She’s their idol, and they will do just about anything to hear her belting her songs in person.

Volchko writing feels like a genuine first-hand account of crazy events told across a dinner table. Grammar and spelling are impeccable. Everything flows perfectly. Characters were well developed, with each one having enough background story for readers to get a good grip on who they are. The setting and different scenarios were described well. Volchko has a way of making you feel like you are right there with the characters mixing up things in the kitchen, having an awkward dinner with an uptight relative, or smoking in the girls room. I felt invested in her characters and their lives.

I loved the throwbacks to the 1980’s. I lived them, and the essence of that era was captured perfectly. Readers from that time will relate to the characters. They will see themselves and reminisce over their own 80’s stories. I love the real references to the music and fashion of the time. It was a simpler time in many ways, but pop culture, music, and fashion were anything but simple.

The story is a nice throwback to a safer time for kids. They could hop on a bus unattended and go all over town and return relatively unscathed. They had little fear of anything bad happening to them at all. Bad things happened, of course, but they didn’t seem so frequent. Volchko conveys that time of simplicity and relative safety very well. I’m not so sure the story would have played out the same if it was set in today’s world. It was nice to escape back to that time for a little while.

I love how easily the girls become best friends. I think we sometimes forget how simple that was as children. Two strangers implicitly trusted and loved each other without the bat of a fake eyelash, just because they did. They met. They liked each other. Simple.

Without getting too heavy, Volchko exposes some problems that commonly arise in families. These aren’t 80’s problems, but timeless problems. Tanya has an absent father, and Randi has an absent mother. Tanya’s grandmother is judgmental, hateful, and a huge source of stress for the family. Volchko shows how the characters deal with those issues. She gives examples of difficult family dynamics and how the characters navigate those storms. She also gives some hope with the introduction of a less dysfunctional family toward the end.

I’d recommend this book to anyone in middle school and up, though 80’s kids may appreciate it the most. I couldn’t have asked for more out of this book. Volchko has made me a fan. I loved the story. I loved the characters. I loved the writing. I would love to read more of her work.

Pages: 265 | ASIN: B079SQYLRZ

 

Mall Hair Maladies


Pittsburgh, 1985 . . .
It's not easy being the new girl, but it doesn't take long for Randi Gattano to snag a new best friend as totally rad as she is. Randi and Tanya have everything in common-big hair, big dreams, big imaginations, and an even bigger obsession with scoring tickets to see their favorite pop queen live. How far will they go in their determination to let nothing stand in the way of the greatest night of their 13-year-old lives? And what will they ultimately learn about friendship, family, and fate? Hold on for the ride as these bodacious, bubblegum-pop princesses skate you back through the days of bad perms, bathroom bullies, bogus curfews, boy crushes, and burping contests!





Operation Scrub-A-Dub Skunk

​$7.99


  A charmingly funny tale about friendship and compromise. Davy Frog's surprise birthday bash is a huge hit and everyone on the farm is there to celebrate! On the way to the party Lulu meets a lonesome critter and invites him to join the fun. Siggy is funky, spunky, but unfortunately a bit too skunky! He smells like rotten cackleberries! Worse than chicken coops on a hot summer day! No matter how funny or sweet he is, no ones seems to wants him around. Lulu and her pals are determined to help Siggy get rid of his bad odor and change his life for the better! Will Operation Scrub-A-Dub Skunk be a success and help Siggy finally have friends and not be left out of all the fun? Or will this bunch learn some valuable lessons about compassion, compromise, and acceptance of each other's differences? And maybe it takes all kinds of different critters to have one big happy farm.    

 

 

 

There Are No Monsters At Cackleberry Creek


The Clubhouse Cabobble

​$7.99



  Summer has arrived at Cackleberry Creek and your favorite critters are tearing up the farm in another hilarious adventure! All Lulu and her galpals want more than anything in the world is a clubhouse of their very own to decorate pink and to keep their arts and crafts dry from the rain. So when one doozy of a storm sweeps through Cackleberry leaving behind a fallen mighty oak tree lying on its side, the gals can hardly believe their luck!  The perfect clubhouse. But when they discover  that the fellows have already decided its going to be their new den, the battle for the clubhouse begins.  Neither side is about to give in and the critters turn the farm upside down competing for their beloved prize.  After a lot of silly shenanigans. a few sneaky tricks & some rough waters, will they decide that their friendship is the best prize of all?