Book reviews are a great way for self-publishing authors to gain exposure. After all, how can someone buy your book if he or she doesn’t know it exists? Paired with other elements of your book promotion strategy, requesting reviews is a great way to get people talking about what you’ve written.
When we read good reviews, we definitely like to share them. It gives the author a few (permanent) moments of fame and allows us to let the community know about a great book. Here’s this week’s book review, courtesy of The Fairview Review:
What Was I Thinking?
Volume 1: My Brainy Best Friend
by Zac Lange
Publisher: Outskirts Press
As everyone who has ever been a kid knows, mistakes and accidents are a part of growing up. “What Was I Thinking?” is a series that examines and finds solutions to an endless list of experiences that are universal to both children and families using the incredible tool of brainpower. It is told from the engaging, humorous, and relatable perspective of a young boy in the process of figuring out his place in the world, and whose creative mind, Brain, is his own best friend. “What Was I Thinking? Volume 1” encourages kids to celebrate their brains and their amazing potential. It also teaches the importance of using those powerful brains to think before acting, and to consider consequences both good and bad. Ultimately, the series wants to help kids be aware of their own thought processes, so they can make positive decisions for any given situation in their own lives. Hopefully, there will be fewer and fewer times when they have to ask themselves, “What was I thinking?”
“As much as I love my brain, sometimes it seems like it takes a break for a while and forgets to tell me.” Who hasn’t had that feeling at one time or another? The narrator of the story imagines his brain snoozing in a hammock under some palm trees while taking a break. That is the reason he decides to kick a ball inside the house and winds up breaking his mother’s favorite vase. As soon as his mother sees the damage she asks, “What were you thinking?” Of course he didn’t think, he just did it. And then, when the damage is done, his brain decides to show up again. Kids and parents alike will recognize such a familiar situation and the results. Our narrator and his brain come up with a plan to avoid this trouble in the future; a plan which begins with STOP and THINK.
Readers will find plenty to laugh about in the story and the illustrations. The boy and his brain do everything together (except when Brain takes those unexpected breaks). A picture of the boy when he was a baby shows his brain nearby, also wearing a diaper. When the boy is at the playground, he is on one end of the see-saw and his brain is on the other. His mother is also shown in humorous ways. When she hears the vase break and runs into the room, she is shown dressed as a police officer and the boy is in a prison uniform. When he claims it was an accident, the picture shows his mother behind the desk at “Moms’ Olde Tyme Excuse Shoppe” pointing to ‘No Sale” because she does not buy his excuse. (That’s probably my favorite of the illustrations.)
Youngsters will enjoy the story line and see the similarities to their own experiences. Parents and teachers will appreciate the suggestion to stop and consider consequences before acting. Talking about what happens in the story can lead to a very helpful discussion on thinking things through instead of acting impulsively. It could also spark a class discussion where students might share their own memories of times when they should have taken a moment to consider their actions, but didn’t.
Recommended for children up through elementary school age, as well as the adults who care for them.
[ reviewed Suzanne Costner of The Fairview Review ]
Here’s what another reviewer is saying:
Everyone has one and believe it or not you cannot function without one
You need to love it, admire it and use it wisely in order to succeed in life
It is always with you helping to guide you to make the right choices
It is your very best friend and you are never alone without this precious thing. Everyone loves friends, mom’s brownies or even just hanging out with friends. But, how any of us realize that our Brains share our feelings too and without it we would not be able to think!
Using your brain you can tell when something is sad, funny or just plain fun
Look at the pictures and see just how your brain helps you when you need to feel loved and wanted. Sometimes great things happen and it’s your brain that lets you know. Check out what happens when the bulb stays lit and you realize you have a great and fantastic idea. Great ideas come and guess where you get them? You experience things together so it is wise to take care of yourself and keep your best pal, your brain healthy!
You love to play with your friends and even have fun exploring outside and having adventures and my favorite things that helps keep my brain active, healthy and smart is reading lots of books just like this one and the ones the boy in the book is showing up that he is reading too. But, sometimes we are careless and mistakes happen when we forget to consult our brain and we accidentally kick something and our mother’s flower vase breaks and the flowers and water splatter all over the place. The author of this great book will now teach all children and parents some valuable lessons when this happens so that he understands that mistakes happen but it’s how we handle them in the present and hoping to avoid more in the future. You start by making a thinking chart and placing the words and heading it with Thought Process! Interesting as this is the first step to remembering what to do and not to do. Number one says: Do it when you admit to yourself that you forget to think before you did something and just did it! Excuses do not always work so sometimes we need to rethink our actions and create something to help us to remember. When you are not sure of what you do wrong check with you brain and find out! Ask “Where were you brain when I messed up? Hopefully the two of you will come to some sort of solution and figure out where you both went wrong!
After much deliberation and thinking and rethinking both our narrator, our little boy and of course our brain with the help of our creative author came up with what young children and even adults need to do before something else happens. Check out the Special List that gives you three steps that will help keep you out of trouble. If you stop and think decide if this could hurt and could doing this get you in trouble before you do it you might not do the wrong thing. If the answers to the last two questions happen to be YES: DON’T DO IT! The author continues with examples of how you can implement this great list to keep you out of trouble and not has to deal with mom’s consequences.
Each time you do something and if you are not sure stop and think, look at the chart, think again and figure out if you should do it or not. Check with your brain, remember no one is perfect, check out the checklist and see add who will be happy as a result of what you have learned and if you remember to Think before doing something. Learning is the best and soaking up as much knowledge and information will keep you and your brain healthy, smart, growing and having fun together now and forever. So, create your own checklist of who you want to make happy besides you and you can add things to your list like: Will I get a consequence if I do this? Will my parents be disappointed in me? Will I let myself down? Is there someone I can ask about what I am about to do before I do it and get into trouble? Stop: Look: Think and Listen. This is a great book for teachers to help children avoid getting consequences in school. This is great for parents to teach children how to understand the differences between doing the right thing and the wrong. Great for discussion groups and teachers and parents can even create lists of things that I do that are great and things that I know I should avoid and look at the lists to make sure you are not doing the ones that will get you in trouble. This is a great book for everyone. What Was I Thinking: I was thinking that I just read a great FIVE GOLDEN BRAIN BOOK! Your brain is what keeps you alert, alive, thinking and in the know: Keep reading, keep learning and keep out of trouble.
– Amazon Reviewer Amazon Customer
Thanks for reading! Keep up with the latest in the world of indie and self-published books by watching this space every Saturday!
Self Publishing Advisor