Check it twice! 6 great books for kids this holiday season!

Author Rhonda Paglia ~aka Grammy Pags ~ shares 6 favorite books by Indie Authors – perfect for the holidays, or anytime gift giving.

Happy holiday season everyone!  With the coming of Christmas giving, I’m excited to feature several of my favorite independent children’s authors and their wonderful books.  I really think kids would LOVE to find any of these special books under their Christmas tree this year.

For kids ages 3 – 8:

Introducing Sherman the Shopping Cart by author / teacher Rosie Russell.

Rosie poster

My review:   Not only is Sherman the Shopping Cart a cute story, but it’s a wonderful “search and find” activity book. Sherman narrates the story and directs the readers through the various sections of the grocery store. Besides looking for specific grocery items, kids will get a kick out of Sherman when he shares what it’s like to be shopping cart. His favorite place to go is the bakery aisle looking for birthday treats. One of my favorite parts was when Sherman explains how difficult some days can be, especially when dog food is on sale. “Oh my aching basket!” he says.  Children, parents, and teachers will love reading Sherman’s story and searching together; beginning readers will increase their sight vocabulary; and teachers will love the variety of activities that can be add to lessons on community, health, nutrition, and even math.  I also loved the extended enrichment activities at the back of the book including a grocery store scavenger hunt.  I highly recommend this book.  I think parents or grandparents should take their kids on a grocery store field trip with Sherman. What fun!

To purchase Sherman the Shopping Cart, or for more information on Rosie and her other books, please follow these links:

Rosie Russell’s Book Store

Sherman the Shopping Cart – from Amazon

Introducing Emma the Eager Emu by Australian author / teacher Sandra Bennett.

Sandra poster


My review:  Emma the Eager Emu is a beautifully written story of a determined Australian emu. Emma wants to learn to fly, just like her friends; however, she doesn’t realize that emus don’t fly. Emma tries and tries and tries. She knows she can fly! Emma’s bird friends are great. They step up, encourage her to keep trying, and come up with a variety of clever solutions to help solve her flying problem. Through persistence, Emma discovers that her differences are special, and that she has her own set of unique strengths and talents. This story provides lots of wonderful lessons and talking points about friendship, differences, talents, problem solving, and unique abilities. It’s a win-win, heart-warming story that kids will want to read again and again.  Beautifully illustrated by Dianna Budd, readers will feel the heat of the Australian desert and get to know more of the beautiful Australian wildlife through her rich, colorful illustrations. I loved the extra pages at the back of the book and enjoyed learning more about the native birds of Australia.

To purchase Emma the Eager Emu, or for more information on Sandra and her other books, please follow these links:

Author Sandra Bennett – Website

Emma the Eager Emu – from Amazon

Introducing Brooding School Blues by author / teacher Willy Robbins.

Willy poster

My review: Little Melba doesn’t want to go to school! She wants to stay home. However, with loving support from her family and a little role playing activity with her big brother, Melba starts to feel much better, and more confident, about her first day of school. This is a darling book with charming illustrations – kids will relate! As an extra bonus, author / educator, Willy Robbins has skillfully presented lots of discussion topics and opportunities within the story for parents who may be dealing with their child’s first day of school jitters. Just delightful!

To purchase Brooding School Blues, or for more information on Willy and her other books, please follow these links:

Brooding School Blues – on Amazon

Author Willy Robbins on Facebook

Books for older kids:

Introducing Sweet T and the Turtle Team by author / teacher Cat Michaels.

Cat poster

My review:  Tara (also known as Sweet T) and her family are visiting Aunt Mae on Gull Island. Lots of beach excitement, adventures, and challenges await her and her new island friends. The kids have mysteries to solve and a sea turtle nest to watch over and protect.  I love how author Cat Michaels has created a perfect beachy, island setting with colorful descriptions of the flavors, smells, and sounds of the South. Readers will feel the ocean breezes as they are sitting on Aunt Mae’s front porch munching on nutty boiled peanuts and eating warm biscuits slathered with fresh homemade peach jam. Yum! Woven among the chapters, kids will learn a lot about baby sea turtles, their nesting habits, and what volunteers, like T and her Turtle Team friends, are doing to help protect this species. There are several sections in the back of the book with actual pictures of baby sea turtles, “brain ticklers” for extended learning, and much more.

To purchase Sweet T and the Turtle Team, or for more information on Cat Michaels and her other books, please follow these links:

Sweet T and the Turtle Team – Cat Michael’s Bookstore

Cat Michaels on Facebook

Introducing Little Katie Goes to the Moon by author Carmela Dutra.

Carmy poster

My review:  As an adult, I enjoyed reading Little Katie Goes to the Moon, and I think kids will love it.  I especially liked how Ms. Dutra included scientific and space related vocabulary words and definitions.  Parents and teachers will appreciate these STEM learning components.  Kids interested in space science and space exploration will enjoy Katie’s adventure with her astro-dog, Smudge!  Little Katie Goes to the Moon was a recipient of a 2017 Silver Literary Classics Book Award.

To purchase Little Katie Goes to the Moon, or for more information on Carmela Dutra and her other books, please follow these links:

Carmela Dutra Books

Author Carmela Dutra on Facebook

Introducing Duke ‘n’ Matt, Rescue Road Warriors by author / teacher Rhonda Paglia (aka ~ Grammy Pags).

Rhonda poster

Review by Michelle Stanley of Readers’ Favorite:  Duke ‘n’ Matt, Rescue Road Warriors is an educational book by Rhonda Paglia, aka “Grammy Pags.” I love the adorable photos of the dogs in Duke “n” Matt, Rescue Road Warriors. These were contributed by Matt, along with the content. Rhonda Paglia wrote this book in such a clever format that kids won’t notice it’s designed to teach them about dogs and the important jobs they can have. Duke has his “Do’s and Don’ts” rules on dog care, and there is a fun trivia quiz based on the story. If you’re interested in adopting a dog, check the partial listing of animal shelters included in the book. You can also make a tax deductible contribution to the website. Part of the book sales benefit Rescue Road Warriors. Children will enjoy this story.

To purchase Duke ‘n’ Matt, Rescue Road Warriors, or for more information on Rhonda Paglia and her other books, please follow these links:

Duke ‘n’ Matt, Rescue Road Warriors – from Amazon

Rhonda Paglia – “Grammy Pags Stories for Kids” Website

Grammy Pags Stories for Kids – on Facebook

Christmas ad - with tree & Duke

Thanks for stopping by and supporting indie authors!




Author: Rhonda Paglia, Children's Author

In a former life, Rhonda Paglia was an elementary teacher with the Hermitage (PA) School District. Third and fourth grades were her favorite grades to teach. Now Rhonda writes stories for kids – and the young at heart. To date, she has authored 17 published books, and many unpublished stories that she has written with and for her grandchildren. Rhonda and her husband, Tony, have three grown children, five grandchildren, and a little pup named Bella. "Grammy Pags," as she is called, yoga, tap dancing, gardening, and of course, writing stories for kids! Ms. Paglia is a member of SCBWI, PennWriters, and WestPA Authors. Visit Grammy Pags Stories at: or Facebook: Twitter: Rhonda Paglia @grammypags1

4 thoughts on “Check it twice! 6 great books for kids this holiday season!”

  1. With so much coming at readers during the holidays season, I especially appreciate you taking time to support children’s books and indie authors. Lots of happy tales on these pages to be had for young readers!


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