Snowman Amuck

Snowman Amuck

Reviewed by Jetana Mutter

*This book was provided for an honest review

Snowman Amuck by Cindy Samul is a great children’s book that shows how active a child’s imagination can be… or could it be more to it than that? In this story, we follow the main character, Jack, who is at home on a Friday night with his older sister while his parents are out for the night. As he is about to fall asleep, Jack remembers that he hasn’t put his sled away like his parents told him to- so he gets dressed and goes outside to put it where it belongs. While he is outside, he hears the back door slam shut; when he tries to open it, he finds himself locked out. Thinking that it is Ally (his sister), Jack bangs on the door to get her attention but she doesn’t answer. He climbs a tree to get to her window, where he sees her sitting at her desk with headphones on… but she’s not alone. A scary snowman is behind her. Jack gets Ally’s attention but when the two of them look, there’s no sign of the snowman in the house. Convinced that Jack is playing a trick, Ally doesn’t believe him and goes back to what she was doing. Will Jack be able to find the mysterious snowman roaming the house? Will he be able to convince Ally of the snowman’s existence before he can get the kids in the house? Pick up a copy of Snowman Amuck today for an enjoyable read with the kids… just in time for winter!

Snowman Amuck was written and illustrated by Cindy Samul. The illustrations are very colorful to draw kids’ attention but also muted to fit with the winter setting. It looks like a comic book in the way it is laid out and my kids absolutely love it! I have a 3 and a 4 year old, so getting both of them to sit and look at the same book from beginning to end is a challenge sometimes but we didn’t have any issues with that when we read Snowman Amuck. This is the first story by Cindy that we have read, although it surely won’t be the last. My kids and I will look forward to seeing what adventures Samul’s characters go on- both past and future!

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Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Reviewed by Demetrius Svette and Jetana Mutter

*This book was provided for an honest review

Monsters, we all have them and all have to live with them inside our heads; but what if that monster consumes you, eating you entirely where it annihilates your dreams and even your ability to process things.  These fiends can sense your directions and always be a step ahead of you, besting you at every turn, making it hard for you to find even sleep peaceful.  Fusing monsters with insomnia, they can even live in our daydreams as well.  Being clinically depressed with these demons, causing insomnia to the point that daydreams are full of them too, is not the way to live throughout your life- bringing fear through every turn and aspect of your life.  People tend to associate fear with objects- flying, heights- or with living, tangible things- spiders or even clowns.  Not many people associate their fears as Jemma does in Home Sweet Home by Elizabeth Cash.

Jemma, our heroine of this tale, is haunted every day of her life as she remembers the day that her brother died 7 years ago; constantly re-living this hell causes her to become depressed and not being able to sleep at night.  Every year since then, students at her school throw a party in ‘remembrance’ of Erick at the old house where they grew up at- the place that will forever haunt her dreams that she has no intention of ever going back to. Until one day she finds an invitation to the party in her locker, requesting that she make an appearance.  After some talking with her friend, Bradley, she decides that this will be the year that she will return to the place of her nightmares in the flesh.  The memories that come back to her doesn’t deter her and she finds that she actually has a decent night with no old demons coming out of the woodwork to get her.  The next day, she realizes she left her phone at the old house and gets Bradley to return with her to retrieve it; but not all is the same as it was the night before.  Can Jemma make it through the days ahead without being confronted by her fiendish monsters?  Will she ever be able to face her fears and come out on the other side?  Pick up a copy of Home Sweet Home and find out today!

This is the first read by Elizabeth Cash that I have ever encountered. While I have read other books about extreme abuse- through the mind, verbal, and physical- this seems to touch it in a realistic way. This actually happens through society. Cash brings you the realism into today’s horror while touching you inside of your darkest secrets, revealing them to the readers of today.  She sets you up as you turn the pages, revealing another pattern throughout the labyrinth that you never see coming. She is talented in her writing style, wanting you to read more and more of whatever deranged setting she might have in store for you. With a terrifying drop of cliffhanger she left us at, we will be expecting the second one to arise and see how far her monster goes.