Readers’ Favorite Review For “What’s at the End of Your Nose?”


Copyright 2016 Becky Benishek for “What’s at the End of Your Nose?

Yay, an editorial review! Copied verbatim because that’s how I roll:

Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers’ Favorite

What’s at the End of Your Nose? is a children’s book from A Slipperyville Tale series, written by Becky Benishek and illustrated by Kelly Cline. Bored out of his mind, Sidney Snail is ready to skip town and find some adventure outside of Slipperyville. As he is about to leave, Old Samuel Snail suggests to Sidney that he first explore what is at the end of his nose. This gives Sidney pause for thought, and he postpones his faraway explorations, opting to explore his local area first. While floating on a leaf in a nearby creek, Sidney’s eyes are opened to amazing, fun-filled things to see and do, which he had never noticed before, making exciting new friends at the same time.

“Becky Benishek’s astonishing tale of a bored snail, who fails to see the beauty and excitement in the world around him until he truly opens his eyes, is one filled with smiles and excitement from beginning to end. Written from the point of view of a snail, the story encourages readers to go out and explore up close what is right there, at the ends of their noses, instead of complaining and becoming so easily bored. Doing so not only shines a spotlight on the beauty of your natural surroundings, once you open your eyes and truly see it, but also enables you to make new friends without trying too hard.

“I found the story to be filled with fun and excitement, having opened my own eyes to my surroundings in the past, due to boredom, and finding hidden gems in my own surrounds. I recommend What’s at the End of Your Nose? not only to children, but to people of all ages who feel they have been bitten by the travel bug, when it is simply sheer boredom at what they fail to see in their own back yard that has willed them to be elsewhere.”

I picked Readers’ Favorite for two reasons:

  1. I wanted an Editorial Review to put on Amazon, and I’m a self-published author so those are harder to come by.
  2. Why not? It’s there, it’s free, and it hurts me not to take a chance.

I sent in my request on Feb 5.

On Feb 13, I was so excited when I received a text that my book had been chosen, and my review was posted!

Want your book to be reviewed by Readers’ Favorite?

Start here. I opted for the free review because I have no money, but there are potential drawbacks to that, so read carefully. An express review comes with more guarantees.

Here are all the places this review has been posted. It’s also on Barnes & Noble’s site and Goodreads.

Guinea Pig Dentistry

We just got back from Teddy’s follow-up dentist appointment. Here he is, wanting us to stop gabbing with the dentist so he could go back home to his normal morning routine.


Teddy at the dentist’s office. No treasure chest for guinea pigs, alas.

Last November, we had to take Teddy to the vet because he was experiencing trouble eating, though his appetite remained the same. It turned out that his back teeth were overgrowing and occasionally trapping his tongue. So he went under sedation and all of his teeth got filed down.

This sounds much more succinct than it was. For one, he had to have a specialist–a guinea pig dentist!–and there is only one in our entire state. There was some bleeding. He took a long time to recover and get back to his normal self.

We saw the X-rays; that was no easy filing.

I am sure that “new” teeth feel weird. Add in pain meds and antibiotics and having to be syringe-fed very essential but very gooey goo, and I wouldn’t be happy either.

Plus, think about it: One day he was more or less doing his usual thing and then the next thing he knows, he’s waking up with all this stuff having happened to him that he has no say in.

So Teddy wasn’t at all convinced that we knew what we were doing, either. If you’ve ever tried syringing in anything to a reluctant animal’s mouth, well, don’t let the compact size of a guinea pig fool you. Teddy managed to get goo on the back of my husband’s head. We still haven’t figured out how.


Nostril von Pigg

But he’s a tough little guy, and he did get through this traumatic ordeal, but we knew then that it was unlikely this would be the last of it.


And that’s proving to be the case. The dentist does suspect that the malocclusion with his back teeth starting to grow over his tongue is happening again. We most likely will have to bring him in next month for sedation & teeth-grinding again, unless things suddenly worsen and we have to bring him in earlier.

Fortunately, for right now, Teddy is a happy, bouncy, affectionate, talkative boy, and he’s happily eating. He plays with us on the floor and acts like a wriggle-pig of less than a year even though he’ll be four in April.

No matter what, we’re going to keep him enjoying himself as much as we can, because quality of life is important.

But it’s hard, being the ones who get to worry.

In the meantime, you can keep track of Teddy and enjoy pictures of him and other guinea pigs at my guinea pig Facebook Page. There’s a warm community of knowledgeable guinea pig lovers, and a whole lot of cute pictures to brighten your day.



How Illustrators Can Make an Amazon Author Page

I have been trying to get my illustrator, Kelly Cline, to make an Amazon Author Page, because people are noticing her wonderful skills, and I think she should get recognition!

I just sent her this article on how to do it, because it’s not at all intuitive, so I’m linking it here in case it’ll help you, too: How To Make Amazon Work For You, #3: Author Pages for Illustrators.

I just made this montage for my own Facebook page with Kelly’s illustrations; I wanted to show the full color of Dr. Guinea Pig George while demonstrating the color-me-in feature of What’s at the End of Your Nose?.

She’s so extremely versatile and I love how she captures both expression and whimsy with an economy of line.


All copyright 2016 Becky Benishek

And yes, I am still having a blast with my dream come true!

PSA: Use all these images from the Met Museum for free!

Want to sprinkle a little Van Gogh into your life? How about Monet? Degas and his eternal fascination with ballet (girls)? Toulouse-Latrec?


Waking Up, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has made 375,000 of its pieces available under a policy called Open Access, in collaboration with Creative Commons.

That’s a lot of links, but they’re important.

And it’s not only paintings, either. Costumes and armor grace this public-domain collection.

I for one find this dress remarkable. I’m glad I can look at it as much as I want without charge. Ah, for a 3D printer!


Emile Pingat, Ball gown (ca. 1864)

Here’s how to do it:

“You can access the unrestricted images through the Met’s website. As you search its collection, all you need to do is check off the “Public Domain Artworks” option under “Show Only.” You can also browse the selected works by selecting the “Metropolitan Museum of Art” filter on the Creative Commons site.” – My Modern Met

By checking only “Public Domain Artworks” and selecting no other criteria, the very first thing I see is this Annular Brooch from the 9th century. That’ll come in handy!


Irish Annular Brooch, 9th century, copper alloy

And by idly picking Anonymous, Italian, 16th century, I found these three gossips:


“Three Warriors After Raphael,” Anonymous, Italian, 16th century

I then climbed out of the 16th century and headed straight for Louis Comfort Tiffany. “Pen Rack,” the title says. That rapturous green! That intricate design! My pens should be so lucky.


Pen rack with a whole lot more things that I suddenly need, by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Happy searching!

From 1999 to 2017: My 2nd book was a long time coming

A couple weeks ago, I launched my debut children’s book, “What’s at the End of Your Nose?” starring Sidney Snail.

This week, I launched “Dr. Guinea Pig George,” my second children’s book.


Dr. Guinea Pig George, live on Amazon!

I wrote the Sidney Snail story almost two years ago. The writing part of it was comprised of those rare inspirational moments that took me through the first draft in the space of a couple hours. The doing-everything-else-with-it part, ah, that took more work, time, dedication, and gumption—not all of which I had at any one time.

A lot of life got in the way, too. It was only when I’d set a goal for myself to publish in the first quarter of 2017, one way or another, that being an author finally fit.

But the second book I published was actually written first. George and his peculiar adventure happened in 1999. At least, that’s the year on the manuscript I dug up.

I was always going to do something with my writing. Looking back, I never stopped the actual writing part, be it fully-realized stories such as George, or fragments scribbled on receipts, envelopes, and napkins.

It’s only recently that I’ve actually used official, bound journals and notebooks, with lined paper even, to record all the thunderbolt ideas, titles, first lines, and paragraphs.

I’m not saying that these recent materials I use to write are what have catapulted me into the author realm, but I can’t deny that a more organized process has helped!

So here I’d been carrying George around with me, from house to house and job to job, through personal epoch here and challenge there. I always intended to publish him—somehow.

Yet it took an entirely different creature, that delightful Sidney Snail, to bring George out of solitude and into the world. Sidney owes his legacy to George, too; I’d never forgotten George, and writing about animals just feels natural to me. When Sidney came along, George came with him.

One doubles as a coloring book; the other has full-color illustrations. Both of them will always mean so much to me for making my dream a reality.


With thanks to the lovely for editing and Kelly Cline for illustrating.