Thursday, December 20, 2012

From: Margo Dill's Read These Books and Use Them!

Magical Matthew by Penelope Anne Cole, Illustrations by Kevin Collier

*Picture book, fantasy, preschool to third graders
*Young boy as main character
*Rating: Magical Matthew is a sweet story for children about magic and friendship. Kevin Collier’s illustrations make this book fun for children to read on their own or for their parents/teachers to read to them, too. My two-year-old loves flipping through it. :)

Short, short summary: Matthew is a young boy who realizes he has a magical power to fix THINGS. He doesn’t tell the adults in his life because he knows they really don’t believe in magic anymore. He is even scared to tell his friend Lily, who is in a wheelchair, because he doesn’t know if she’ll understand. Matthew tries to “fix” Lily, but he soon realizes he only has the power to fix nonliving things. But that doesn’t bother sweet and wonderful Lily, who soon discovers by the powers of observation, that things just seem to work better when Matthew is around. Throughout the story, Matthew winds up confiding in two people ,and then he also gets older. What happens to his magic when he is no longer “young”? How do the people around him react to the news that he has magic powers? Is anyone else in his family “magical”? Find out by reading this sweet book about friendship, family, and magic!

So, what do you do with this book?
1. If children had a magical power to fix THINGS, what THINGS would they fix? Would it be something at their house? At school? In the world? For younger students, start with, “If I could fix something, I would fix ____________________.” They fill in the blank and draw a picture. Older students can write a paragraph or even their own story and illustrate it.

2. In the story, Lily and Matthew are friends. Matthew is such a wonderful friend, and so is Lily. They both have something that makes them unique and also that they worry makes them different–Lily is in a wheelchair and Matthew has a magic power. Discuss with students/children how each one of us has things that are different about us and that makes us unique. That’s what makes the world go around. Ask students to name something that is unique about them. Ask children if they worry about being different. Have a CELEBRATE OUR DIFFERENCE DAYS and read Magical Matthew as part of your celebration. It is our job as parents and educators to help children see that our differences–no matter if they are magic powers or a physical attribute–help make us special–not strange or weird!

3. Penelope Anne Cole, the author, has some coloring sheets on her blog, and she also has some education resources and ideas. To find out more, go to her website:

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Featured on the GAP Family Blog


Posted: 16 Dec 2012 12:00 AM PST

Congratulations on the release of Magical Matthew.  Please tell us more about it.

About the book: 
Matthew has a big secret.  He can fix things magically with his mind.  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 is special about him.  Matthew must decide whether to tell her the truth or not.

What was the inspiration for this book?

Penelope: My book was inspired by my friend's son, Matthew, when he attained "double digits."  I thought, “How Magical is that – he’s not a kid anymore!”  Which led to, what if he really had magic?  What would he do?  And would he tell people, or keep it a secret?.

What is your favorite moment from the book?

Penelope: There are two special moments for me.  First, when Matthew confides in his Grandma Nonie, showing he’s comfortable sharing his secret with a trusted adult.  And, second, when he realizes he has abilities and talents beyond magic. 

Is this your first published book?

Penelope:  Yes

Congratulations! We’d love to hear more about you.

I’ve had a few careers:  my longest was in government service Human Resources (HR), next as a teacher of adults and children, and now as a writer and book reviewer.  In most of my positions, I’ve been able to write and teach others.  English Literature was my undergraduate Liberal Arts major and Education my Masters program.

Do you have any book signing events or book tours scheduled for Magical Matthew?

Penelope:  For now I’m visiting fellow author’s blogs and Magical Matthew is being reviewed.  I hope to visit local schools, libraries and bookstores.

How can our readers learn more about you and any upcoming Magical Matthew events?

Penelope:  I will post them on my blogs: 

Thank you for stopping in to share Magical Matthew with us.  Readers can purchase their copy here. We are proud to add it to the ever-growing line of quality titles from Guardian Angel Publishing.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Delightful Review up on Amazon

5.0 out of 5 stars Magical Indeed, December 11, 2012
This review is from: Magical Matthew (Paperback)
This book sends such a delightful message of coming to terms with your strengths and realizing your connectedness to your family. I really enjoyed reading it with my son. If you have younger children, this is a must read.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Review of Magical Matthew by Linda Derkez

Good, fun beginning.  What kid hasn't wished for magical yet practical powers!  The relationship between the main character and his wheelchair bound sweet friend is endearing and unique. The message that we can all do wonderful things that seem magical if we work together and care about the world around us is timely and necessary.  The artwork is captivating and fun.

My 4 year old daughter sat on my lap as I read it to her on my iPad.  She loved it.

Linda Derkez
Author of:  Chip's Sharing Day and One Large Peanut Butter Sandwich to Go.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Review from Connie Arnold's Blog

Monday, December 3, 2012

Magical Matthew

Children are fascinated by things that seem magical, and Matthew certainly fits into this category in this delightful book by Penelope Anne Cole. Matthew has a special talent that many people would love to have. When something is broken, he just thinks about it being fixed and it is.

But although Matthew has the magical power to fix objects, he discovers he can't fix everything. His young friend Lily is in a wheelchair and can't walk. He wants very much to make that happen, but he can't. He soon learns a valuable lesson about what can be accomplished without resorting to magic and in spite of handicaps as friends work together for a common goal of helping others and making things better.

The bold and colorful illustrations by Kevin Collier add to the attraction of the story for children, who will likely be asking for this book over and over, enjoying Matthew's gift, thoughtfulness and the surprise at the end.