An homage to home-cooked, plant-based meals, hampered by unanswered questions.


A picture book and cookbook promoting healthy eating for children 7 to 10.

Prince Peter of Sunnyvale, a picky eater, enjoys an alliterative diet, including meatballs on Monday and soup on Saturday. When he declares that his diet shall now be everyone’s, his edict is enforced via the distribution of factory-made food. But soon, nobody in Sunnyvale feels well. The prince’s advisers recommend food additives to help solve the problem, but neither vitamins nor extra flavorings improve the community’s health. Then Peter meets the royal gardener, Mrs. Sunbody, and her children, who are the only energetic people in Sunnyvale. Mrs. Sunbody, hoping to help the prince feel better, invites him to dinner, where she serves him his mandated menu, but with a twist—a secret ingredient. After she feeds the Prince and his advisers for a week, she reveals the secret: Everything they’ve eaten comes from plants, which promote health, she says, because they store energy from the sun. When an adviser suggests that the prince implement this wisdom in his factory-made meals, Farmer Sunbody delivers the book’s overt message: “[S]unny food is grown by living plants, not manufactured in processing plants.” Mrs. Sunbody becomes Peter’s food consultant, and as a result, “the people of Sunnyvale will live healthily and happily ever after!” Fun illustrations by Fillius and enticing recipes complete the picture. (Calling all of the recipes’ food-preparation steps “fun,” however, doesn’t actually make them so.) The story has a few confusing issues: Peter’s stated problem is pickiness, but the story doesn’t support this. His food choices aren’t that limited, nor is he unhealthy, until the factory versions of his food become standard fare. The fact that he’s surprised by the Sunbodies’ vegetarian versions suggests that his own diet contained meat, but this is never directly addressed. And although there’s nothing wrong with encouraging children to try vegetarian foods, the book provides no substantiation that there was anything wrong with Peter’s previous “picky” diet, which was also prepared with fresh, high-quality ingredients.

An homage to home-cooked, plant-based meals, hampered by unanswered questions.

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2014

ISBN: 978-0692257555

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Good Eats Teach

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2014

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A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.



A highly organized, informative discussion of the immigration system in the United States.

In this politically charged environment, Afrasiabi manages to broach the volatile issue of immigration in a well-rounded, surprisingly effective framework that combines case studies, historical research, statistical analysis and personal anecdotes to detail the current issues and propose solutions. Invocations of Kafka, “The Twilight Zone” and “Alice in Wonderland” prove warranted as illustrations of the often surreal circumstances that confront immigrants facing deportation. Immigrants usually lack access to quality legal representation, while their situation can be made doubly difficult due to language barriers and significant cultural differences. Afrasiabi incorporates his work with colleagues and students at the Chapman University School of Law to deftly weave together the facts of several compelling cases and their underlying legal issues, with a genuine sense of suspense as readers wonder if justice will be truly be served. Occasionally, though, the narrative becomes overwrought—two federal laws passed in 1996 are “dark storm clouds depositing their sleet”—although, considering the life-changing effects of court decisions, it’s difficult to overstate the ramifications: extralegal rendition of individuals with pending cases and the de facto deportation of native-born children whose parents are deported. Afrasiabi also addresses the legacy of various anti-alien laws in California, as well as marriage equality for same-sex couples when one partner is a noncitizen. As the subtitle asserts, Afrasiabi employs his additional experience in the field of property law to contrast the stark differences between immigration judges and constitutional judges, like their qualifications, vetting processes and even the oaths they take. His arguments culminate in seven concrete reforms proposed in the conclusion. In order to make the immigration system more just and effective, Afrasiabi claims the solutions are closer than we may think; we can implement procedures and safeguards already in place within the constitutional courts.

A persuasive, valuable addition to the ongoing immigration reform debate.

Pub Date: May 1, 2012


Page Count: 249

Publisher: Kurti Publishing

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2012

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Despite this, Walkley’s beefy prose and rousing action sequences deliver a thriller to satisfy any adrenaline addict.


Walkley pits CIA agents against a maniacal Saudi prince intent on starting World War III in this debut thriller.

Delta Force operative Lee McCloud, aka Mac, finds himself in Mexico, trying to rescue two teenage girls kidnapped by a drug cartel. But things go from bad to worse when the villains don’t play by the rules. Framed for two murders he didn’t commit, Mac has two options: go to prison or go to work for a CIA black-op group run by the devious Wisebaum, who hacks into terrorists’ bank accounts and confiscates millions of dollars. However, there’s more going on than meets the eye; Saudi Prince Khalid is in possession of nuclear canisters, with which he hopes to alter world history. Khalid also dabbles in trafficking young women, and harvesting and selling human organs. When Wisebaum’s black-op team targets Khalid’s father, the action becomes even more intense. With so many interweaving subplots—kidnapped girls, Israeli undercover agents, nuclear weapons and a secret underwater hideout—it could be easy to lose track of what’s going on. But the author’s deft handling of the material ensures that doesn’t occur; subplots are introduced at the appropriate junctures and, by story’s end, all are accounted for and neatly concluded. Mac is portrayed as a rough and ready action-hero, yet his vulnerabilities will evoke empathy in readers. He finds a love interest in Tally, a hacker whose personality is just quirky enough to complement his own. All Walkley’s primary characters are fleshed out and realistic, with the exception of Wisebaum—a malicious, double-dealing, back-stabber of the worst ilk; the reader is left wondering about Wisebaum’s motivations behind such blatant treachery.

Despite this, Walkley’s beefy prose and rousing action sequences deliver a thriller to satisfy any adrenaline addict.

Pub Date: Jan. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0980806601

Page Count: 412

Publisher: Marq Books

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2012

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