Book Review & Giveaway – Basie & Paisley Books

About the Books

A Spider Lives In My Belly Button is about Basie, a monster, who loves to use his imagination to pretend, and describes all the fun that Basie has with the spider that lives in his belly button. This book is for kids of all ages, and grown-ups who are kids at heart. James and Leslie’s first of their book series, Miller’s Monsters, inspires imagination, excitement, and a pure enjoyment of and for life. Their next book in this series will feature a monster called Paisley.

You can find this book on Amazon!

A Monstrous Smile, the second installment of the Miller’s Monsters children’s book series, features a monster named Paisley, and describes all the things in life that make her smile. A Monstrous Smile is a book that can be enjoyed by anyone at any age, and expresses a joy and appreciation for the simple things in life. Paisley is the sister of Basie who is featured in the first book A Spider Lives In My Belly Button.

You can find this book on Amazon!

For more about the Miller’s Monsters children’s book series visit or become a fan of “Basie and Paisley” on Facebook.

James Robert Miller, Basie & Paisley Author

Always the daydreamer, James has constantly had ideas to create. Years of creative thoughts culminated one day in 2007 when the most spontaneous and ridiculous inspiration came to light  A Spider Lives In My Belly Button. From that particular moment, James knew he had a new goal  to publish a childrens book series.

Upon the birth of James first daughter, Ella, in 2006, becoming a father held new beginnings, new life, new experiences, and a new appreciation for lifes simple moments; and with a new look on life James got to work on writing and developing his first childrens book.

Miller strongly believes in the arts, and that every child should have exposure to art, books, music, and theatre. Miller, not an artist by any means, instead sang from elementary school through college, performed in plays and musicals and even sang with Bob McGrath of Sesame Street. Additionally, James was a radio DJ at WXOU 88.3 FM hosting two shows called The Jimmy Swing Broadcasts and The Top 40 Conspiracy. Currently, James serves as the PR/Media Committee Chair for BravoBravo! in Detroit, which is an event benefitting the Michigan Opera Theatre.

Moving forward, James now focuses his creative efforts on Basie & Paisley. More books are in the works that will feature new friendly monsters, and much more. Miller hopes that, with his books, he can inspire children that no idea is too silly, and that dreams can come true with hard work, dedication, and daydreaming!

James Robert Miller, 33, resides in Waterford Township, Michigan with his wife, Karen, and daughters, Ella Rose and Evelyn Violet, who inspire him every day. James is the public relations manager at Publicity Works.

Leslie A. Kelly, Basie & Paisley Illustrator

Illustrating childrens books has always been a dream of Leslies. When her brother, Jim Miller, approached Leslie a couple years ago with the story, A Spider Lives in my Belly Button, Kelly was thrilled to create the wonderful characters that would become Basie and Paisley.

Kelly has always had a creative heart and a love of all things art related. Leslies college career quickly became centered around art classes at Oakland University, including drawing, painting and photography. She then transferred to the University of Michigan to major in graphic design where she continued to take fine art classes as well, but she fell in love with the possibilities that computer graphics held. From college Leslie became an Art Director/Graphic Designer, making a career of her graphic design skills.

Leslie states, Basie and Paisley have been such a joy to work on. These books are all me and my brother and our imaginations, inspired by our own life experiences and family moments. Working on these books gives me so much freedom and allows me to do something Ive always dreamed of doing.

For Leslie, it is the perfect mix of her background in fine art and graphic design. The style she created from Jims words and thoughts is fun, graphic and a little retro. Leslie is very proud to present the Basie & Paisley books to the world with her name on the covers.

Leslie Kelly was born in Madison, Wisconsin and has lived in Waterford Township, Michigan most of her life. She currently works as a Graphic Designer in Commerce, Michigan. Leslie is 30, and married to Patrick Kelly.

My Take on the Books
I read both of these books to our five and two year old girls and they were quite the hit, especially to our two year old. The first book features Basie and we find him talking about a spider that lives in his belly button, but come to find it is only lint. You do not realize that he is using his imagination until the end of the story so it is a bit of a surprise. The second book examines Paisley and explains what makes her happy in life (what makes her smile). I enjoyed this book even more than the first as it really made me and the girls (especially Diva-J) think about what they truly enjoy in their lives.

The books were simple, and quick reads. The books tend to be geared toward preschoolers so the words are short and limited. I loved the illustrations! The only criticism I had was about the first book, because Basie’s story ends very abruptly (at least in my perspective). The girls still loved the stories, so maybe it is an adult thing!

How would you like to win a copy of these books for yourself? I will be giving away a copy of both books to a lucky reader! All you need to do is let me know why you would have an interest in this books to be considered. The contest will run for one week and will end on May 13, 2010.
Bonus Entries:
  • Blog about my Giveaway by linking back to this post (1 entries per blog post. Please leave each entry in separate comments with your URL link in order for it to count)
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    Make sure you comment separately for each task after the required entry task so you will get credit for each one ~ and leave your e-mail where you can be contacted.

    This contest will run until May 13, 2010 at approximately 12:59 pm Eastern.

    Winner must be a resident of the U.S or Canada.

    Winners are chosen at random, if you want all your chances counted, make sure you leave individual comments, not all of them in one!

    Winner has 48 hours to contact me or another name will be chosen.

  • All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site’s Terms of Use  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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