Thursday, November 29, 2012

Here's Another Amazon Review!

5.0 out of 5 stars It is fun to do good, November 29, 2012
This review is from: Magical Matthew (Hardcover)
I can see my son in this story. As a child, he identified with superman to the extent that he wanted to wear his superman pajamas, all day every day. He is not alone in his desire to have super powers. How wonderful to able to get things done, with the wink of an eye, like a genie. In Ms. Cole's story, Matthew discovered he had magical powers at the age of four, to be able to fix things. He loves fixing things clandestinely, using his powers for the benefit of himself (fixing broken toys, mending clothes) and his family (repairing things around his home). We see him mature with his gift, having compassion, by wanting to fix the legs of his paralyzed friend, Lily, but sadly discovering that there was a limit to his powers. Since he spent a lot of time with her, she eventually suspects his secret power. This story of Matthew lifts our spirits, as he is a kind and thoughtful boy delighting in making his world a better place. Ms. Cole uses her story as a means of teaching children that they are not helpless, nor alone. She unveils the close relationship he shares with his grandmother, in showing that he trusts her enough to tell her his secret. She empathizes with him of the difficulty and necessity of keeping his powers secret. But, she points out that other people can be trusted too, but not everyone, asking him if he thinks he can trust his secret to Lily. He thinks about this and decides that she is trustworthy. Because Lily is trusted with his secret, they both learn that more can be accomplished by working together. They delight in their daily neighborhood search for things that can be improved. This story is not scary. There is no Lex Luther, or monster, to give your child nightmares. Instead, they will gain the confidence to discover the gifts that they were born with. Unfortunately, there are no Magic Matthew pajamas for your child--the author will have to work on that one. I am looking forward to reading more stories by Penelope Anne Cole.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

One More Amazon Review

5.0 out of 5 stars It Takes More than One Person, November 28, 2012
This review is from: Magical Matthew (Hardcover)
It was inspiring to read how a young child can feel empowered to fix things in his or her own mind, but mostly be able to fix things when they allow someone else to come into their world. I enjoyed the positive message this story tells.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Another Amazon Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Matthew is Magical!, November 23, 2012
This review is from: Magical Matthew (Hardcover)
I was pleased to be one of the first to hear Magical Matthew read to me. It's a cute story about a boy who has magical powers to fix things -- he fixes things secretly. This is a big secret he keeps from his family. He has a friend in a wheelchair, Lily. He tries to fix her, but he can only fix things. They work together to find and fix things in their neighborhood. Later in the story he loses his magical powers and has to face life as a normal kid. His Grandma helps him understand that we can still help and fix things even without magic. It's a nice story for kids to see that we don't need magic. We can help fix things and do good just by trying our best and working together. I liked the surprise at the end, too.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Nancy Stewart's Books - Blog Review:

Magical Matthew, a lovely and thoughtful book by Penelope Anne Cole, was launched in October, 2012, by Guardian Angel Publishing. 

Magical MatthewIt is the story of young Matthew, a boy who realizes he has magical powers, is confused by them in the beginning, but then he tries to use them to do good.

Matthew's good friend, Lily, is a young girl who must use a wheelchair. One day as Matthew and she are talking, Lily notices some strange and wonderful occurrences around Matthew.  She thinks she needs to understand him better and decides to watch him closely.  The book ends on a happy and hopeful note and will leave the reader with a fine feeling about life in general.
Penelope Anne Cole
Magical Matthew, Ms. Cole's debut book, is about goodness and sharing and caring for friends.  This is a book that has a marvelous message for young children.

The artwork by Kevin Collier is whimsical and colorful.  The children's faces are joyful and full of life. The combination of Cole and Collier join to make a winning book for children and parents alike!

You can learn more about Ms. Cole, her books and what is coming next at:

Mr. Collier's work may be found at:

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Three Times A Charm with Penelope Anne Cole

Kai Strand:  Strands of Thought:

Three Times a Charm is a weekly feature that spotlights authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the children’s publishing industry.
This week we are visiting with author, Penelope Anne Cole. Penelope, can you share a little about yourself? 
I'm Penelope Anne Cole, author of "Magical Matthew."  I’ve had various positions in government service Human Resources (HR) and in teaching both adults and children.  Now I write and review children's books.  I love reading to children to encourage them to read on their own and love literature.  I live in Silicon Valley with my family and our rescued cats and dogs.  I enjoy dog walking, reading, gardening, church activities, singing in choir, and watching select TV shows: drama, comedy, romance, crime solving, and happy-ending movies.  I have a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and a Masters in Education.
Impressive credentials! And thank you for the support you show other authors and illustrators with your reviews.
Tell us about Magical Matthew.
Magical Matthew is my first published book.  It was inspired by my friend's son, Matthew, when he attained "double digits.”  That milestone marks the magical transition that children make from being an elementary "kid," to a middle school "tween."  They lose their childhood “innocence” but gain a growing maturity.  From there the idea developed about a boy with magical powers to fix things with his mind.
Now for the threes. Share your top three to the following to help us know you better.
  • Top 3 books you’ve read in the past year.
Since the J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series ended, I’ve been looking for another series -- stories I can’t put down.  Last month I finished Michael Scott’s six book series, The Alchemyst, which begins with The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flammel.  Scott blends myth and fantasy with historical characters.  It’s a very satisfying series.  That’s ended, so I found another series.  I’m reading N.D. Wilson’s The Dragon’s Tooth:  Ashtown Burials.  It’s another engrossing fantasy series.
  • Top 3 leisure activities.
            My three favorite leisure activities are (1) reading fantasy and myth stories, (2) watching well-written “Who Done it” crime-solving TV shows, and (3) spending time with my family.
  • Top 3 professions you wanted to be when you grew up.
            I wanted to be a writer, a critic, and a teacher.  I’ve been fortunate to engage in all three of these professions.
Penelope, where can our tech-savvy readers go to keep up with you and your work?
Thanks for joining us on this week’s Strands of Thought, Penelope. Best of luck with your writing!
I am always looking for guests for Three Times A Charm. Especially lately since I’ve been really busy and haven’t been able to recruit guests! GUESTS WANTED! If you are an author, illustrator or book reviewer, an agent or an editor. If you have something related to children’s publishing that you’d like people to know about, feel free to contact me about a future appearance.


  1. What an amazing concept for a book for kids at such a tender age and what an amazing author, reviewer and teacher Penelope is! Best of luck Magical Matthew!
  2. Fun interview, Kai. Penny is a lovely lady and a growing writing talent.

    Margot's FREE 13x BOOK CATALOG:

Monday, November 19, 2012

Magical Matthew Reviewed by Barbara Bockman

Stories a la Mode

A Blog by Barbara Bockman

It is my pleasure to introduce Penelope Anne Cole and her picture book for kids ages 4-9, Magical Matthew.  This books is published by Guardian Angel Publishing
Penelope Anne Cole is an observer. When she noticed a child moving into “double digits,” she wondered how she could put this aging process into a book for children. Magical Matthew is the result. She herself is much like Matthew; she has worked helping people as a Human Resources person and as a teacher. Ms. Cole has a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Jose State University and a Masters in Human Development Education from the University of Maryland.

What kid wouldn’t want to have special powers—like the one Matthew has? Matthew can magically fix things, but he keeps it a secret for a long time. It’s important that whoever learns about the secret can be trusted. Lily, Matthew’s good friend, helps him find things that need to be fixed. When she figures out about the secret power, Matthew shares everything with his grandma. Grandma wonders if Lily can be trusted and Matthew says he thinks she can. But suddenly Matthew no longer has his power. He lost his last baby tooth and this is a signal that he’s getting too old. At first he’s angry, but Grandma convinces him there are other ways to fix things, even though those ways take more effort. He and Lily will continue to do good deeds. But the power to fix things isn’t lost. When you read the book you will see how the spirit of helpfulness lives on!
Kevin Collier’s illustrations show just how excited and astonished Matthew is when he realizes he has this power and later, his disappointment when he outgrows it. It’s very interesting the way Kevin interpreted Penelope’s poem about the way Matthew sees himself. Together, Penelope and Kevin have created characters whom young readers will be happy to know and parents will find trustworthy.

disclaimer: I purchased a copy of Magical Matthew from Guardian Angel Publishing in order to review it. I enjoyed it and think it is a worthwhile book to  add to any child’s collection. The book is also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Reviewed by Margot Finke: 

I am thrilled to introduce a book by 
new author,
Penelope Anne Cole
Penelope Anne Cole, after various positions in HR and Teaching, now writes and review children's books.  Her reviews and book news can be found HERE.  One of her special joys is reading to children, and encouraging them to read on their own and love literature.  Penelope lives in Silicon Valley, California, with her family and their rescued cats and dogs. She enjoys dog walking, reading, gardening, church activities, singing in choir, and watching select TV shows: drama, comedy, romance, crime solving, and happy-ending movies.

Although she has written throughout her life, "Magical Matthew" is her first published children's book. It celebrates the magic of childhood and the milestone of attaining "double digits."

Magical Matthew is a delightfully told story about  a young boy with a unique ability. When Matthew discovers he can magically fix what is broken, he sets out to fix things that need fixing.  Yet his magic can only fix things - sadly, not his best friend, Lily. With Grandma and Lily as allies, Matthew follows good family values. This makes even his trickiest problems come out right. The story also shows that confiding in a trusted adult is a good thing. Matthew is such a likeable little boy, that kids everywhere will root for him to succeed. A surprise at the end makes it very likely there will be an equally enjoyable sequel coming soon.

Kevin Collier's lively and colorful illustrations are the perfect compliment to Cole's magical theme.
I recommend this picture book for the fun read, but also for the gentle way it nudges children down the path of doing the right thing. 

I am sure YOUR copy of  Magical Matthew will soon
become dog-eared with many readings.

Margot Finke's Blog:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Review by Janet Ann Collins

Magical Matthew

Penelope Anne Cole has written a book based on a creative concept. Magical Matthew is about a boy who has a magic power, but it's unlike any magical power I've ever heard of before. He can fix broken things by simply wishing them whole.

One thing Matthew can't fix is his friend, Lily, who uses a wheelchair because she can't walk. But that doesn't keep them from being friends, and Lily eventually learns about Matthew's secret power.

Unfortunately something happens to destroy Matthew's magic. His friendship with Lily lasts and he realizes he may be able to fix things without using magic, but that's not the happy ending of the book. I don't want to spoil it, so you'll have to read the book to find out what that is.

The colorful illustrations by Kevin Collier capture the cheerful mood of the story perfectly and lots of kids will enjoy reading Magical Matthew or having it read to them. Maybe some of them will even be inspired to find ways to help others.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Another Review of Magical Matthew! By Susan Hornbach

Magical Matthew
Magical Matthew is an entertaining story that will draw children into the yarn.  As they read they will find themselves wanting to acquire Matthew’s abilities.  This child has a special uniqueness that brings help to others.  Matthew enjoys making others happy with his unique powers, but finds he does have some limitations when trying to help his friend.  Matthew finds disappointment in what he thinks he has lost, but then realizes new gifts he does possess. His special new gifts reflect in the older boy he has become.  

The story has a bit of a twist and surprise that involves Matthew’s baby sister.  This is a wonderful book for children of many ages, as it is a fun read for younger children, as well as children a bit older.  The story reflects how a child can feel secure in telling an adult a secret, and also how things can change as they grow older.  It shows a child, that growing up does not mean you lose what you had as a younger child, but that you have found new treasures to add to your already beautiful and unique you.

Magical Matthew will not disappoint, and would be a wonderful addition to any child’s library. The author Penelope Anne Cole, has included in her creative story, valuable life lessons to help children trust in those who love them, and to move smoothly to their next level in life.  The illustrations by Kevin Collier are colorful, expressive to the story in detail, and will certainly engage children to an enjoyable read.  Magical Matthew shows love in all his actions.  This book is a keeper with five *****

Magical Matthew was reviewed by Susan Hornbach, author of children’s literature:

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Review of Magical Matthew by Stacey Marshall

Penelope Anne Cole’s Magical Matthew is a wonderful story about a boy with a secret magical power—the ability to fix anything from broken toys to flat tires.  However, he doesn’t fix things in the typical way.  He simply wishes them repaired, and they become “like new again.”    Matthew’s only dilemma is that he doesn’t know if he should reveal his unique, magical gift to anyone, namely to his friend Lily.

Much to Matthew’s disappointment, Lily, his good friend and wheelchair-bound neighbor, is not “fixable.”  As much as he wishes for her to be well, his magic will not work on his friend.  However, Lily seems to cherish Matthew’s friendship and his ability to repair her things.  As the two spend time together, Matthew must decide if he should reveal the secret way he fixes things to his friend.  Then, one day, everything in Matthew’s world drastically changes… 

Penelope Cole’s story will grab the readers’ hearts and keep them wondering what will happen next.   Kevin Collier’s delightful illustrations compliment the text beautifully, bringing the magical story to life.  But Magical Matthew is more than just a story about magic.  It’s also a story about friendship, empathy, and kind deeds.  Between the clever tale, including catchy verses, and the colorful illustrations, the reader will be engaged from start to finish.  This book is a great read for both children and parents and will leave a smile on the face of every reader.

-Stacey Marshall, Author of Captain Courage and the Fear-Squishing Shoes 
Available from

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Guardian Angel Publishing October 2012 Releases


by Sue Bangert-Wood, artist Jack Foster
An entertaining alphabet book with unusual animals doing zany things, aardvarks, komodo dragons, and many more incredible creatures. The comical illustrations will capture the imagination while building reading skills at many levels. Also included are activities for parents/teachers to do with children.   

by Jennifer Bond-Reed, artist Jack Foster
Rachel loves to doodle on walls, on her school books, and on her back pack. Anywhere Rachel can doodle she does, but it gets her into big trouble. She tries to draw and color in other places. She learns she can mix colors and make more colors. Suddenly, Rachel’s doodling becomes a lot more fun! Educational page, too.
MAGICAL MATTHEW hardcover & softcover
Littlest Angels
by Penelope Anne Cole, artist Kevin Scott Collier
Matthew has a secret. He fixes things magically. Matthew secretly uses his magic to fix things for his family and friends.  Later, he expands his magical good deeds by fixing things in his neighborhood. Matthew’s friend, Lily, suspects something.  Matthew must decide whether to tell her the truth or not.

Littlest Angels
by Marilee Crow, artist Jack Foster
Every child at some point in their lives has a fear of monsters. Through charming, funny rhyme, see how one child conquers her fear of the monster in her room. Read what happens when the child finds out that monsters have fears too. 
THE SMILING BURRO  English  (Spanish Edition-coming soon
by Mary Esparza-Vela , artist Kevin Scott Collier
A tiny burro shows up at a little boy’s house and becomes a real asset to the family. The day he disappears, they never expect to see him again until he prances in one dark spooky night.

Lynda S. Burch, Publisher GAP's online interactive ezine for kids!

Friday, November 2, 2012

First Review of Magical Matthew on Amazon

Today I'm sharing the first review of Magical Matthew on
5.0 out of 5 stars Good "Magic" for kids!, October 28, 2012
This review is from: Magical Matthew (Hardcover)
I am a Christian Education Director and have read many books to children over the years. I just read "Magical Matthew" to the children at church. They loved it! What a wonderful story to show love and compassion for others as Matthew tried to "fix" his wheelchair bound friend Lily. The story also gives a perfect example of caring for God's earth as together they work their magic to fix things in their neighborhood, beach, and park. My children all want a copy of "Magical Matthew" for Christmas so that they can read it over and over again! And they wonder what will happen with Matthew's little sister Mea as she "inherits" the magic? We want more and look forward to the next book in the series.