Sunday, March 21, 2010

Title: The Skinny on Credit Cards

Sub-title: How to master the credit card game

Author: Jim Randel

Illustration: Malinda Nass

Publisher: Rand Publishing /

ISBN: 978-0-9818935-4-9

Genre: Non-Fiction / Personal Finance / Self Help

Presentation: Soft cover

Recommended for: All of us who want to know about and manage our credit cards

Do you have a credit card? Did you ever feel like having one? Were you approached by credit card marketers with attractive offers? Were you harassed by the credit card companies and or their collection agents? Do you know the difference between a credit card and a debit card? What is a charge card? What is a Balance transfer card? What is Credit rating? How does credit rating affect your ability to raise a loan from a different bank? Why rolling over the outstanding loans is not such a good idea?

Those and many more questions are answered in an interesting, easy-to-read style. If you have about 2 hours time (I needed less actually, just about an hour and ten minutes), you can read this book and get your knowledge updated. If you are struggling with the debt of credit cards throwing your life out of gear, you will find excellent advice from Jim Randel, the author on the steps that you can take to reduce your card debt. For example, the question about the problem with rolling over (carrying a balance forward to the next cycle) is explained on Panel 77:

“I’m sorry, Beth, but there is one more point that I need to make.

When you carry a balance on your credit cards, there is no longer an interest-free period between the date of purchase and the date your payment is due. In other words, you start paying interest the day a new purchase is made. I am sorry to say Billy, that you are already paying interest on that new motorcycle jacket you bought this morning.” Almost every panel is accompanied by an interesting visual. 

Beth and Billy are the two characters (wife and husband) and Jim Randell is the advisor, who becomes a family friend.

As can be seen, it is explained in an interesting and easy to understand manner. There are no page numbers, but panels and each page has 2 panels like the frames of a power point presentation.

The book thus follows a very interesting, innovative approach to communicate with the reader and gives information that is accurate and up-to-date in an easy to read manner.

The author and the publisher deserve our congratulations and appreciation. 

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Title: Riley's Lost Tooth

Author: Dianne Cantrell

Illustrator: Heather Castles

Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Group

ISBN: 978-1933651620

Genre: Fiction / Children

Presentation: Hard Cover with Dust Jacket

I had the opportunity to review Dianne's earlier book, "Good Bye Baby Max" and when the author asked me whether I would be interested in reviewing the present book, I was very happy.

The book is colorfully illustrated and the story is simple but delightful. Riley, a small girl of about 5 years loses her first tooth. When she shares that news with her grandma, the pups in the house get worried and start searching for the lost tooth. A tooth fairy appears and assures them that it is a natural process and Riley will in fact get a regular, permanent tooth in its place.

The story is told in simple sentences and it would be a pleasure for the child to read or for the parents to read. One sample:

“We must find her tooth.
She was here earlier today,
maybe she lost it
when we all went out to play.”

One more excerpt:

No, really,” she said,
“all children lose their teeth.
Permanent ones then grow in
if they don’t eat too many sweets.”

The book is well written and the illustrations are beautiful. The book will definitely appeal to all children (including children at heart like this reviewer) and their parents / grandparents / elder siblings and other care givers.

Strongly recommended as an educational gift.