Sunday, January 5, 2020

Book review with a giveaway: Bartholomew: Squire of the Subway by Carol L. Lester

About the Book

Book: Bartholomew: Squire of the Subway
Author: Carol L. Lester
Genre: Children’s
Release Date: December 2019

Bartholomew, an intelligent iguana with brown-and-green mottled, scaly skin, loves riding the New York City subway. The underground railroad, which clatters and whooshes before it takes off, teems with people, but Bartholomew doesn’t mind. He enjoys his escape from his life in a museum exhibit and spends the morning observing other passengers.

On his ride, Bartholomew watches several Regulars and learns about their similarities, their differences, and how they interact or don’t interact with others. Bubbly Becky radiates joy, and she even sits next to Bartholomew. Fred always wears a bright scarf and sometimes hums, but he keeps to himself. Mrs. Hatmer keeps her four children organized, but some passengers are annoyed by the kids. By the end of Bartholomew’s ride, he learns about the value and uniqueness of each person.

Bartholomew, Squire of the Subway includes questions in the back to encourage young readers to explore the lessons Bartholomew learns. Carol Lester’s children’s books spark discussions with adult and school-aged readers alike. With each book, Lester seeks to influence and shape lives, young and old.

Click here to get your copy. 

My Review

"This is New York, after all."  Where else would you see an iguana in the subway system?

Bartholomew is a unique picture book in many ways.  First of all, the pictures were perfect.  The bright colors and straight-forward illustrations synchronized perfectly with Bartholomew's personality and the purpose of the book.  Secondly, the character.  Bartholomew is a very well-spoken iguana, fluent in English, who guides the reader on a tour of the subway loop he frequents.  He introduces the reader to the varied passengers he encounters on a regular basis.  Thirdly, I learned something new, which I really appreciate in a picture book.

The purpose of this book is to non-judgmentally look at a variety of people, and Bartholomew does that well.  He doesn't judge teenagers for the color of their hair or their loud music.  He is straight-forward about the man who is always talking to himself.  He does take joy in the positive passengers he encounters.  The great thing about this book is that it opens a child's world to the other people in it without condemnation.  Unless a child grows up in a large city, that great variety could be frightening, and this is a great way to start a conversation about how everyone has been created uniquely by God.  This book can also be used as an amazing tool to help children develop compassion for others, and to see how they can be friendly, helpful, and considerate of those they encounter in public.

Although it is a picture book, I see its usefulness with children and adults in many educational, therapeutic, or church settings.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher, Redemption Press, through Celebrate Lit, for review purposes.  The thoughts expressed here are my own.

About the Author

Carol L. Lester is a published author and has taught secondary English / language arts for over thirty years. She holds teaching certificates in three states with degrees in education and sport psychology. Carol lives in San Antonio, Texas, and enjoys her role writing children’s stories that educate and delight. She previously published Roo, the Kangaroo Cat.

More from Carol 

I am so very thankful for all opportunities I have experienced thus far in my life, and they have been varied! As an Air Force brat, I traveled the globe and experienced languages and cultures about which other people only dream. I have embraced those times of travel in my adult life as well. For instance, I chaperoned 54 high school students to Europe one summer, and I have served as a missionary in both Ukraine and Kenya. In years past I have taught aerobic dance classes and sign language classes, but I owned my own jewelry business for ten years, too. That involved training other jewelers and marketing and selling my line of accessories. With all those experiences, I have served people from all walks of life.

I am definitely a sports enthusiast, but college basketball is my passion, especially when it comes to the University of North Carolina Tarheels! (I am a Carolina alumnus and was actually named after the university.) I was blessed to serve as sole caregiver for my aging parents and now look forward to serving others in a new capacity as author and “coach.”

I enjoy serving as a member of the Oak Hills Church Singers, but I have been a pianist and percussionist for over 50 years. (I served as the drummer and back-up vocalist for Keith Henderson Presents Elvis in the late 1970s!) My “claim to fame,” as it were, is that I was the first female drumline captain in the Atlantic Coast Conference (1976-78).

Blog Stops


To celebrate her tour, Carol is giving away the grand prize package of an autographed copy of both of her books, ROO and Bartholomew, plus a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.