The Handmade Marketplace

handmade marketplace

The Handmade Marketplace
2nd Edition, Updated and Revised

Kari Chapin
Storey Publishing, 2010, 2014

This book covers the ins and outs of turning your craft items into money. The author covers setting goals, branding, basic business practices, basic marketing – which includes advertising and publicity, and social media. It is full of advice and lots and lots of testimonials of other crafters who have been successful at both online and brick and mortar sales.

I found the book to be very readable and informative. All the testimonials got a little annoying for me, but that’s a personal thing. It really boils down to whatever you put into your business is what you’ll get out of it.

Rating 3 out of 5 paws, mainly due to the testimonials that go on and on and on. Maybe if the pertinent information was all in one place and the quotes from successful folks were in different parts of the book instead of mixed in together – you’re reading info that’s really good, turn the page and wham! there’s another testimonial to wade through before going on with the info – then I would have liked the book more.

Reviewer: loc jackJack

First Among Sequels

first among sequels

First Among Sequels
Thursday Next: Book 5

Jasper Fforde
Viking, 2007

From the dust jacket, “Fourteen years after she pegged out at the 1988 SuperHoop (Something Rotten), Thursday Next is grappling with a host of new problems in the BookWorld: a recalcitrant new apprentice, the death of Sherlock Holmes and the inexplicable departure of comedy from the once-hilarious Thomas Hardy novels. The Council of Genres is trying to broker a peace deal between certain antagonistic genres: Racy Novel has been recklessly placed between Ecclesiastical and Feminist, and they are all at each other’s throats.

“Back in Swindon, the government is reporting a dangerously high stupidity surplus, the Stilonista Cheese Mafia is causing trouble for Thursday and the literary detective scene isn’t what it used to be. And Thursday shoulders the burden for the Acme carpet business, which is both a front for SpecOps and a real business for the underemployed force.

“At home, Thursday’s idle sixteen-year-old son would rather sleep all day than follow his destiny as a member of the ChronoGuard, the force that regulates time travel, and save the world from imminent destruction. And when things get really bad—reality book shows look set to transplant realty TV shows, and Goliath invents a transfictional tourist bus—Thursday must once again have her wits about her as she travels to the very limits of acceptable narrative possibilities to rescue the reading experience from almost certain destruction. She captains the ship Moral Dilemma, fends off vicious Mrs. Danvers clones, dispenses with a so-so Thursday Next novel called The Samuel Pepys Fiasco and faces down her most vicious enemy yet: herself.”

Another Thursday Next novel! This one I didn’t enjoy as much as the first four. Don’t get me wrong – I still love the series but, in after writing 4 other standout books, all authors are allowed one of lesser quality! The main thing wrong with this one is that the author has his character spending a lot of time explaining who BookWorld works – where books are built, and how; how the story is transmitted to the reader via the Imaginotransference Storycode Engine. Even after reading how everything works, it still doesn’t make logical sense so why spend all that time explaining. As a reader it is my job just accept what the author is saying and enjoy it. I didn’t pick up the book to be taught a lesson in how a book is formed in my imagination as I read it! But, once the story got going it was really good and fast paced and ended in a smashing cliffhanger! I can’t wait to start the next in the series!!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws because of all the boring bits in the beginning in an otherwise 5-paw novel!

Reviewer: bobbiesue-locBobbieSue

Here Comes Valentine Cat and Love, Splat

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Here Comes Valentine Cat

Deborah Underwood
Pictures by Claudia Rueda
Dial Books for Young Readers, Penguin Young Readers Group, 2016

From the dust jacket, “Cat is no fan of Valentine’s Day, especially when it brings a new dog to the neighborhood. (illustration of a dog bone hitting Cat’s head) Ouch, I’m sorry, Cat. You want to teach Dog a lesson? Well, don’t be too hasty. On Valentine’s Day, even a crabby cat can have a Change of Heart.”

Another installment in the popular (to me) Here Comes Cat books! Previous Cat books I’ve reviewed are Here Comes Easter Cat, Here Comes Tooth Fairy Cat, and Here Comes Santa Cat (click on the names to be taken to my review!!). In these books Cat is very cranky and he communicates with the reader by holding up signs and accurate facial expressions. The reader and Cat talk about what’s going on – and in this case, its Valentine’s Day.

Cat doesn’t like Valentine’s Day – he thinks it’s too mushy and adding insult to injury, a new Dog has moved next door and is throwing things over the fence at Cat. Cat wants to send Dog off in a rocket but the reader persuades Cat to see things from Dog’s point of view.

This book is so cute and funny. This is a great read aloud book or perfect for early readers. Kittens will delight in Cat’s antics and maybe even learn a little kindness along the way!!

Rating: 5 out of 5 paws because I love Cat!!!!!

Reviewer: simon-locSimon.

Love, Splat

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Love, Splat

Rob Scotton
HarperCollinsPublishers, 2008

From the back of the book, “It’s Valentine’s Day and Splat has a special valentine for a certain someone in his class. Her name is Kitten, and Splat likes her even more than fish sticks and ice cream. But Kitten doesn’t seem to like him at all. And then there’s Splat’s rival, Spike, who also likes Kitten. Will Splat’s heartfelt valentine win Kitten’s paw in the end?”

I love Splat! And not just because he’s a black cat like me! It’s because he get’s in scrapes and worries about stuff and everything always comes out fine. He’s also very funny! This is a perfect book to read to your Valentine and tell him/her just how much you like them!!

Rating 4 out of 5 paws because *SPOILER ALERT* Splat gets the girl!!

Reviewer: simon-locSimon (again!)

The Memory Box

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The Memory Box
A Book About Grief

Joanna Rowland
Illustrations by Thea Baker
Sparkhouse Family, 2017

From the back of the book, “From the perspective of a young child, Joanna Rowland artfully describes what it is like to remember and grieve a loved one who has died. The child in the story creates a memory box to keep mementos and written memories of the loved one, to help the grieving process. Heartfelt and comforting, The Memory Box will help children and adults talk about this very difficult topic together. The unique point of view allows the reader to imagine the loss of any they have loved a friend, family member, or even a pet.”

I found this touching book to be both comforting and liberating on the sensitive subject of grief. It gives a voice to kittens (and maybe even adults) who don’t have the words for what they’re feeling. “…I can never have another you. I miss you. … Because I’m scared I’ll forget you.” If you, your kittens or someone you know is in the midst of grief or suffering from a loss that lingers from before, this book will help you think about it and talk about it.

The memory box idea is something our human has used before. She has a box for some of the ones who have gone before. Sometimes it takes a while before she is able to complete a box just like it takes time to work through grief; it’s important not to force the process, only to keep moving forward. Getting stuck in grief is just as bad as ignoring it completely.

Rating: 4 out of 5 paws for approaching a very sensitive topic with a delicate honesty.

Reviewer: simon-locSimon

Something Rotten

something rotten

Something Rotten
A Thursday Next novel, Book 4

Jasper Fforde
Viking, 2004

From the dust jacket: “Detective Thursday Next has had her fill of her responsibilities as the Bellman in Jurisfiction, enough of Emperor Zhark’s pointlessly dramatic entrances, outbreaks of slapstick raging across pulp genres, and hacking her hair off to fill in for Joan of Arc. Packing up her son, Friday, Thursday returns to Swindon accompanied by none other than the dithering Danish prince, Hamlet. Caring for both is more than a full-time job, and Thursday definitely decides it’s time to get back her husband, Landen, if only to babysit. Luckily, those responsible for Landen’s eradication, the operatives of Goliath Corporation – formerly an oppressive multinational conglomerate, now an oppressive multinational religion – have pledged to right the wrong.

“But returning to SpecOps isn’t a snap. Problems arise instantly. When outlaw fictioneer Yorrick Kaine seeks to get himself elected dictator, he whips up a frenzy of anti-Danish sentiment and demands mass book burnings. The return of Swindon’s patron saint bearing divine prophecies could spell the end of the world within five years, possibly sooner if the laughably terrible Swindon Mallets don’t win the SuperHoop, the most important croquet tournament in the land. And if that’s not bad enough, The Merry Wives of Windsor is becoming entangled with Hamlet. Can Thursday find a Shakespeare clone to stop this hostile takeover? Can she prevent the world from plunging into war? Can she vanquish Kaine before he realizes his dream of absolute power? And, most important, will she ever find reliable child care? Find out in this totally original, action-packed romp, sure to be another escapist thrill for Jasper Fforde’s legion of fans.”

We love this book even though a basic understanding of time travel doesn’t help with this time-bending and mind-warping adventure. But don’t let that stop you from attempting to read it. However, it is definitely not a stand-alone sequel; you really do have to read the other books to comprehend what’s going on. Just remember to suspend your belief in the real world and just go with Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next in her alternative-world story.

Rating 5 out of 5 paws because it gets better and better each time we read it!

Reviewer: bobbiesue-locBobbieSue