It is so exciting when a writing colleague is published for the first time. It is even more exciting when that colleague is eleven years old!
I first became aware of Erik, the Kid Who Reviews Books, when we both participated in Picture Book Ideas Month in 2011 (that link leads to a guest post Erik did for PiBoIdMo), then joined Julie Hedlund’s fledgling group 12×12 in January 2012. Eric was nine back then, blogging book reviews, and working on his writing even then. I interviewed Erik and his sister on my blog, and was impressed with the ways they each express their creativity.
Now Erik is launching his first chapter book, The Adventures of Tomato and Pea, Book One: A Bad Idea, and I am delighted to be a part of the blog tour. I think it says a great deal about Erik that when he put out a call for people to participate in his blog tour, he got so many responses that the tour is stretched over two weeks, some days with more than one post!
I’m also delighted to be able to give away one paperback copy of book one of The Adventures of Tomato and Pea to a lucky commenter. Anyone who comments on this post between now and noon eastern time on Thursday, September 19th, will be entered into a draw. I’ll announce the winner on Friday, September 20th.
Now, on to my review!
By Erik Weibel
Published August 8, 2013 by CreateSpace
72 pages – ages 5-10
Don’t let the names Tomato and Pea fool you – these are not garden vegetables. These are aliens from the planet Oarg, whose only resemblance to their namesakes is their color. Pea is a rookie on the O.L.E. (Oarg Law Enforcement), Tomato is more experienced. And they have a problem.
Life is not easy on the planet Oarg. Not only are there invaders trying to take over, there is trouble within as well. Wintergreen, who is Tomato’s arch-rival, and who has nefarious plans for Oarg, has a trick or two or five up his sleeve.
Wintergreen’s first plan is to entice Tomato, Pea and their closest friends and allies on board a space cruise, which they do not realize is intended to get them out of the way for good. The plan takes a serious twist when Wintergreen and his cohorts get trapped on the same cruise – they’re all headed for sure destruction unless they can figure out a way to work together.
And yet, when they finally get the cruise ship under some semblance of control, they land on a very strange planet. EAR-TH. It will take some clever thinking and a lot of cooperation between them all to get them back to Oarg. Will they make it? The only way to find out is to read the book!
Why I like this book: It has adventure, it has wordplay, it has humor, and it has plot twist after plot twist. Erik is very good at making the reader relax, thinking everything is going to be all right, then at the next page turn, throwing an even greater obstacle in the way of the characters. I just had to keep reading, to find out what could possibly happen next, and to see if there was hope for Tomato, Pea, and all the others. Yes, it’s written by an eleven-year-old, but don’t let that stop you — it’s just the kind of book that will appeal to kids, and will be read over and over again.
The fact that this book is marked Book ONE tells me that these characters have more adventures ahead of them. I, for one, am looking forward to reading the further adventures of Tomato and Pea!
About Erik: Erik is an eleven-year-old sixth grader that loves to read. He started his blog, This Kid Reviews Books when he was nine. Erik writes a monthly book review column for a local free newspaper. He has a black belt in TaeKwon-Do and in his spare time enjoys building things out of LEGOs. He hopes to be an inventor and a published author when he grows up.
Erik’s blog: This link will take you to This Kid Reviews Books — it’s a great resource for anyone wanting a kid’s perspective on a plethora of picture books and middle grade novels.
Availability: The book is for sale on Amazon (kindle and paperback) and CreateSpace (paperback) at the following links:
The blog tour has been going on all week, and continues until next Friday. Here are all the stops:
September 8 Erik’s blog – cover reveal and announce blog tour
September 9 Michelle Isenhoff’s blog – Book review
September 10 KidLit Reviews – Book review
September 11 Mother Daughter Book Reviews – Book review
The Story Reading Ape – Guest post by Erik
September 12 Catherine Johnson’s Blog – Book review
September 13 Julie Grasso’s Blog - Book review
By Word of Beth – Book review and giveaway
September 14 Diane Tulloch’s blog – Book review
September 15 Picture Books Help Kids Soar – Book review
September 16 Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog – Interview – Q&A with Commenters and giveaway
September 17 Reading with Rhythm – Book Review
September 18 Julie Rowan-Zoch’s blog – Interview
September 19 Dr. Niamh Clune’s blog – Book Review in rhyme
September 20 S.W. Lothian’s blog – Book review
Don’t forget the GIVEAWAY! Comment on this post before noon on Thursday, September 19 to be entered in the draw for a paperback copy of The Adventures of Tomato and Pea: Book 1: A Bad Idea.
Note: I received an advance copy of this book free of charge in exchange for an honest review.