Cover Reveal, Middle Grade Literature

Cover Reveal Blitz for Fly on the Wall by Remy Lai

Beagles and Books is so excited to be part of the cover reveal blogger blitz for Remy Lai’s upcoming middle grade novel, Fly on the Wall, which will publish in May 2020.  I am a big fan of Remy’s writing and artwork and was honored to read an ARC of her first novel, Pie in the Sky with my #bookexcursion group.  To read my full review, click here.

Publisher’s Summary for Fly on the Wall:
Henry Khoo’s family treats him like a baby. He’s not allowed to go anywhere without his sister/chaperone/bodyguard. His (former) best friend knows to expect his family’s mafia-style interrogation when Henry’s actually allowed to hang out at her house. And he definitely CAN’T take a journey halfway around the world all by himself!

But that’s exactly his plan. After his family’s annual trip to visit his father in Singapore is cancelled, Henry decides he doesn’t want to be cooped up at home with his overprotective family and BFF turned NRFF (Not Really Friend Forever). Plus, he’s hiding a your-life-is-over-if-you’re-caught secret: he’s the creator of an anonymous gossip cartoon, and he’s on the verge of getting caught. Determined to prove his independence and avoid punishment for his crimes, Henry embarks on the greatest adventure ever hoping it won’t turn into the greatest disaster ever.

Remy Lai takes readers on an adventure filled with humor, heart, and hijinks that’s a sure bet for fans of Jerry Craft, Terri Libenson, and Shannon Hale!

And now the cover reveal….

 

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I absolutely love the cover and can’t wait to meet Henry!  Please visit http://bit.ly/cr-flyonthewall for more about Fly on the Wall.  You can also follow on Twitter at @Remy_Lai@MacKidsBooks or Instagram at @rrremylai@macmillankidsbooks.

Thank you for stopping by Beagles and Books!

#Bookexcursion, Early Chapter Books, Giveaway, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Picture Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/16/19

Beagles and Books is back to share our recent reads in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR is a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give it a #kidlit focus and encourage everyone who participates to visit at least 3 of the other #kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

Our Recent Reads:

Filigree’s Midnight Ride by Pam Berkman and Dorothy Hearst Illustrated by Claire Powell

Filigree’s Midnight Ride, the first book in the At Heels in History series. is an entertaining, engaging, and educational story about Paul Revere’s ride taught through the eyes of a pint size Pomeranian named Filigree.  Written in under 200 pages with short chapters and charming illustrations,  it is an appealing text for a variety of readers from those transitioning to chapter books to striving readers in the intermediate grades. To read my full review and enter a giveaway, click here.

Emergency Kittens by Jody Jensen Shaffer Illustrated by Dave Mottram

In Emergency Kittens, readers meet Mimi, Twee-Twee and Adorbs who make everything better.  And one look at the cover and it is pretty clear why.

When a group of kids won’t give Sheldon his basketball back, it’s up to this trio of felines to save the day.  What is their super power?  Even this dog fan is mesmerized by their immense kitty cuteness. Shaffer’s text is so fun and Mottram’s illustrations are utterly adorable.  Special thanks to Doubleday Books/Random House for sharing an F & G with my #bookexcursion group.  Emergency Kittens publishes in January 2020.

Etta’s and Bella’s Dog Pick of the Week:

Wanting to spread the dog love, Beagles and Books has a weekly feature of highlighting a literary selection with a canine main character.

Two Brothers, One Tail by Richard T. Morris  Illustrated by Jay Fleck

Two Brothers, One Tail is a heartwarming picture book that celebrates the unconditional love between a boy and his dog. Written in rhyme, Morris sweetly tells the story of their friendship by recounting the simple activities the boy and his dog do together such as laying on the grass, riding in a car, fishing, eating, and my favorite, reading. Fleck’s illustrations tenderly convey the boy and beagle’s warm relationship. The story reminds me so much of my husband’s first beagle, Beaglie, who was his best friend and taught me to be a dog mom. We still talk about him everyday.

Special thanks to fellow reading specialist and book blogger Michele Knott for recommending this precious book to me.

Etta, Bella & I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books. Happy Reading!

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Giveaway

Review & Giveaway for Filigree’s Midnight Ride by Pam Berkman & Dorothy Hearst

About the Book:
Title:
 Filigree’s Midnight Ride
Author: Pam Berkman & Dorothy Hearst
Illustrator: Claire Powell
Pub. Date:
 August 27, 2019

Special thanks to Simon and Schuster and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Review:
I have always loved history and credit my parents for instilling my interest. While most Maryland families spend their vacation in Ocean City, we instead traveled to historical sites like Plymouth, Jamestown and Charleston. Since Washington, DC was only a hour’s drive, we were frequent visitors at the Smithsonian museums.  So when I think back to my childhood, I know I would have loved At the Heels of History, a new fictional chapter book series that recounts historical events through the eyes of dogs.

In the first adventure, Filigree’s Midnight Ride, readers meet Filigree, a 5 pound Pomeranian who belongs to Frances, the daughter of Paul Revere.  Filigree wants to join the fight to help his fellow Patriots but because of his small stature, no one takes him seriously especially Jove, a huge Newfoundland, who refers to Filigree as a dormouse.  Look at that face.  Filigree is determined to be taken seriously.Filigree_MAD11_Illustration © 2019 by Claire Powell

So when Frances decides to follow her father on his midnight ride to warn Adams and Hancock of their impending arrest, Filigree has no choice but accompany her.  After all, Filigree had promised Mr. Revere that he would take care of his little girl.  And when Frances is worried she will expose her father to the British, she asks Filigree to be Mr. Revere’s eyes and ears.  Filigree doesn’t want to leave Frances but he realizes that this is his chance to prove not only his loyalty to the Patriots but also that courage truly knows no size.  

Filigree’s Midnight Ride is an entertaining, engaging, and educational novel.  Written in under 200 pages with short chapters and charming illustrations,  it is an appealing text for a variety of readers from those transitioning to chapter books to striving readers in the intermediate grades.  I can’t wait to share this novel with my fifth grade teachers, for our school is always looking for accessible literature for our American Revolution unit.  And I have many young readers with an interest in history but are not yet ready for middle grade historical fiction so this series will be in high demand.  Can’t wait for the next adventure, Bo Bo’s Cave of Gold which takes place during the California Gold Rush. Check out the fun facts about dogs, curriculum guides, activities, and more on the extensive At the Heels of History website.

Congratulations to Filigree’s Midnight Ride for being named an Amazon Editor’s Book of the Month pick for ages 6-8!
 

Meet the Authors and Illustrator:

Pam Berkman has written books for grownups and this is her first book for kids. She loves writing about events in history and thinking about how they connect to things that are happening today. She also works as an editor. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and twin sons. For more information, visit her website, or on Twitter: @PamelaBerkman

Dorothy Hearst is the author of the Wolf Chronicles trilogy; Filigree’s Midnight Ride is her first book for young readers. She loves writing about canine characters, birds, and other creatures who can give us the chance to see ourselves in new ways. She is an acquiring editor, a martial artist, a self-defense instructor-in-training, an avid hiker and reader, and a dog lover. She is not entirely domesticated, but is very food motivated. Learn more at her website, or on Twitter: @DorothyHearst

Claire Powell is an illustrator, writer, and designer who lives and works in London. She has spent several years as a design director in the world of channel rebranding working for clients such as Nickelodeon, BBC Three, CBBC, and BBC One. To learn more, visit her website or on Instagram at @misspowellposts

 

Filigree’s Midnight Ride Giveaway!

 

Filigree's Midnight Ride

 
 
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Filigree’s Midnight Ride, courtesy of Simon & Schuster! (U.S. addresses only)  Enter the giveaway below by Friday, September 20, 2019 at 8 p.m.  

 

 

Giveaway, Picture Books

Review & Giveaway for My Name is Wakawakaloch! by Chana Stiefel Illustrated by Mary Sullivan

About the Book:
Title:
 My Name is Wakawakaloch!
Author: Chana Stiefel
Illustrator: Mary Sullivan
Pub. Date:
 August 27, 2019

Special thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for Young Readers and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Review:
I just love Wakawakaloch. From the very first page, readers know exactly how she is feeling. Using rich vocabulary, Author Chana Stiefel vividly describes Wakawakaloch as being in volcanic mood. The frustrated main character also grumbles, seethes, explodes, and sobs because others keep mispronouncing her name.

When Wakawakaloch shares with Elder Mooch that she wishes for an easy name, my heart hurt for her. But Elder Mooch sends her home with wise words-instead of being a forward thinker, Wakawakaloch must be a backward seer. What does that mean? Looking into the past helps Wakawakaloch understand the legacy of her unique and extraordinary name. With this new knowledge, Wakawakaloch embraces her name realizing she can help others who face a similar situation. Illustrator Mary Sullivan adorably captures Wakawakaloch’s transformation from frustrated to proud.

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I can relate to Wakawakaloch a little. While my first name is easy to pronounce, my maiden name was Maliszewski. Not only was it difficult for others to pronounce, but  also was hard to spell. When I began my teaching career, someone once said “Why don’t you just have your students call you Miss M? I didn’t even have to think. I immediately responded “Just because my name is hard to say doesn’t mean students can’t learn it.” And guess what? They did! When I got married, I wanted to hold on to my maiden name so I legally changed my middle name to Maliszewski.  Names are part of who we are and although I love becoming a Mossa, I am glad Maliszewski is still with me.  

With themes of identity, acceptance, and taking action, My Name is Wakawakaloch! is a perfect read aloud for the beginning of the school year especially as students are getting to know each other and teachers are building a classroom community with their kids. 

For a sneak peek, check out the book trailer! 

About the Author: 
CHANA STIEFEL is the author of more than 25 books for kids about exploding volcanoes, stinky castles, and other fun stuff. In addition to My Name Is Wakawakaloch! she is the author of Daddy Depot, illustrated by Andy Snair (Feiwel & Friends, 2017). Recent nonfiction titles include Animals Zombies . . . . & Other Real-Life Monsters (National Geographic Kids, 2018), which was selected as a Top Ten YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant YA Readers in 2019.  Connect with Chana on her website at chanastiefel.com, Twitter @chanastiefel, and on Instagram @chanastiefel.

Praise for My Name is Wakawakaloch!

“Wakawakaloch’s frustrations surrounding the mispronunciation of her name will resonate with many. . . .This bombastic main character allows the story to shine.”Kirkus
 
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My Name is Wakawakaloch! Giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a copy of My Name is Wakawakaloch (U.S. addresses only) courtesy of HMH Books for Young Readers. Enter the giveaway below by Sunday, September 8, 2019 at 8 p.m.  Winner will be notified on Monday, September 9, 2019.   

 

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Juniper Kai: Super Spy by Laura Gehl Illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis

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Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Juniper Kai: Super Spy written by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Alexandra Neonakis.  Special thanks to Two Lions/Amazon Publishing and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Review:
Super spy Juniper Kai is the only kid on her street.  Her parents are usually always willing to play with her but suddenly her mom is too tired and her dad is too busy. And they keep whispering to each other.  Using her keen detective skills and cool spy gadgets, Juniper is determined to uncover her parent’s secret.  Clues include mom’s phone conversation with grandma about a big change, dad putting together a piece of furniture in the guest room, and a note full of names.  Will Juniper solve the case?

Juniper Kai: Super Spy is a story with a lot of kid appeal.  Young readers will enjoy piecing the clues together to solve the mystery.  Kids will also love all of Juniper’s neat spy tools. The expressive illustrations of Juniper show her range of feelings from curiosity, resolve, concern, and at the end, excitement.   Look for Juniper Kai on September 3, 2019!

Meet the Author and Illustrator:

Laura Gehl is the author of many popular picture books, including One Big Pair of Underwear, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld; the Peep and Egg series, illustrated by Joyce Wan; and My Pillow Keeps Moving, illustrated by Christopher Weyant. She lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with one husband, four children, and seventeen fake mustaches. Visit Laura online at www.lauragehl.com.
Twitter: @AuthorLauraGehl
 
Alexandria Neonakis grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada, with her huge family. She now lives in California with her husband and their two cats. In addition to illustrating children’s books, she works as a character- concept artist for video games. Her recent children’s books include Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk and This Is MY Room by Jennifer Richard Jacobson. Learn more about her online at www.alexneonakis.com.
Twitter: @Beavs
Instagram:@alexneonakis
 
 

Juniper Kai: Super Spy Giveaway!

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One lucky winner will receive a copy of Juniper Kai: Super Spy courtesy of Two Lions/Amazon (U.S. addresses only).  Enter the giveaway below by Friday, September 6, 2019 at 8 p.m.  Winner will be notified on Saturday, September 7, 2019.   

 

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for A Tiger Like Me by Michael Engler & Illustrated by Joelle Tourlonias

 


Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for A Tiger Like Me written by Michael Engler and illustrated by Joelle Tourlonias.  Translated by Laura Watkinson, A Tiger Like Me is published by Amazon Crossing Kids, a new imprint for children’s books in translation.  Special thanks to Amazon Crossing Kids and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Review:
Parents and teachers know the importance of imagination-driven play in building a child’s developmental skills.  A Tiger Like Me tells the story of a little boy engaging in pretend play as a tiger from morning until night. 

Narrated by the little boy, he shares his actions, thoughts, and feelings as he moves through typical daily activities in the body and mind of a tiger.  When he wakes up, he yawns, stretches and lets out a loud roar. At breakfast, he leaps up to his feeding spot to eat. When he plays, he jumps and pounces. Spying a cake on the kitchen table, he lurks and prowls so he will go unnoticed.  And tigers refuse to brush their teeth or take baths so the little boy shows he can be not only quick but also headstrong. 

Although tigers are usually solitary animals, this tiger enjoys time with his family, for he and his parents engage in arts and crafts making tigers of course! And when it is time for the little tiger to go back to his den, he decides that it is more fun to cuddle and snuggle with mom and dad. 

Young children will roar with delight when listening to a read aloud of A Tiger Like Me.  What I especially liked about this story is while the text conveyed the little boy’s imagination, the illustrations showed reality.  I also appreciated that the boy’s parents accepted his extended pretend play. When he made a poor choice, he was sent to his room as a consequence but they never squelched his imagination. 

A Tiger Like Me publishes on September 1, 2019.

Meet the Author, Illustrator and Translator:

Michael Engler studied visual communication in Düsseldorf, Germany, and first worked as a scriptwriter and illustrator. He then spent several years as an art director at advertising agencies. He is currently a freelance author in Düsseldorf, writing children’s books and plays for the theater and radio. He has written more than fifteen children’s books. Learn more about him online at www.michaelengler.com.
Joëlle Tourlonias was born in Hanau, Germany, and studied visual communication with an emphasis on illustration and painting at the Bauhaus University Weimar. She is the illustrator of more than thirty children’s books. She continues to draw, paint, and live in Düsseldorf. Learn more about her online at www.joelletourlonias.blogspot.com.
 Laura Watkinson is an award-winning translator of books for young readers and adults. She is a three-time winner of the Batchelder Award and also won the Vondel Prize for Dutch-English translation. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in Amsterdam. Learn more online at www.laurawatkinson.com.

 

A Tiger Like Me Giveaway!

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One lucky winner will receive courtesy of Amazon Crossing Kids (U.S. addresses only).  Enter the giveaway below by Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 8 p.m.  Winner will be notified on Friday, August 30, 2019.  

 

#Bookexcursion, Giveaway, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Middle Grade Literature, Picture Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/19/19

Beagles and Books is excited to share our recent reads in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR is a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give it a #kidlit focus and encourage everyone who participates to visit at least 3 of the other #kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

Our Recent Reads:

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The World Ends in April by Stacy McAnulty

Elle is probably the only student in her middle school who has a bug-out bag (otherwise know as BOB)? Why? Because Elle’s grandfather is a prepper or in plain speak, he has been preparing for her and her brothers for the apocalypse ever since she can remember.  Just when Elle is officially tired of her grandfather’s favorite hobby, she stumbles upon the website of Dr. Martin Cologne, an Ivy League astrophysicist who unequivocally believes that an asteroid will cause the world to end in April.  Confiding in her best friend Mack, they start an TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) club, which is formally known at school as the Nature Club in order to not raise suspicions.  But while the other members including Mack take the prediction in stride, Elle becomes totally obsessed with Dr. Cologne’s prophecy which causes trouble at school and at home.

The World Ends in April has a unique plot but I believe it is Elle that will hook readers. Written from her point of view, Ellen is such a dynamic character and while strong, McAnulty also allows readers to see her vulnerabilities. Elle learns that true friends and family will always be there for you. And believing in TEOTWAWKI can actually change you for the better. Special thanks to Random House Kids for sharing an ARC with my #bookexcursion group.  Look for The World Ends in April’s release soon on September 3, 2019.

A Swirl of Ocean by Melissa Sarno

For most of her life, 12 year old Summer has enjoyed a quiet life with her adoptive mom Lindy in the beach town of Barnes Bluff.  But their family of two is about to change with Lindy’s boyfriend, Elder moving in.  Worried she is being replaced by Elder, Summer starts to question who she really is and does she really belong with Lindy, for Lindy found Summer on the beach when she was two.  Then after getting caught in riptide, Summer starts to have vivid dreams about a girl named Tink and her friends.  Like Summer, Tink is dealing with feelings of insecurity.  With her best friend Jeremiah, Summer tries to find answers about Tink which ultimately will help Summer discover more about own her identity as well as Lindy’s.

Author Melissa Sarno seamlessly and beautifully intertwines themes of change, friendship, family, and identity in this intriguing upper middle grade novel.  A blend of realistic fiction, fantasy and mystery, A Swirl of Ocean’s captivating plot will draw readers in and only 217 pages long, it is a story that is hard to put down.  Special thanks to author Melissa Sarno for sharing an ARC with my #bookexcursion group.  A Swirl of Ocean recently published on August 6, 2019.

Cape: The League of Secret Heroes by Kate Hannigan Illustrated by Patrick Spaziante

A blend of historical fiction and fantasy, CAPE is a fast paced adventure that middle grade readers will devour. Set during World War II, readers are introduced to three astute and diverse young girls, Josie, Akiko, and Mae who are recruited to join a league of secret heroes to fight injustice. There are so many reasons I enjoyed reading CAPE.  Hannigan’s unique plot makes the novel a page turner. While CAPE is undoubtedly fiction, Hannigan intertwines real life elements of the period such as the discrimination that particular ethnic groups faced during World War II as well as characters based on actual people who supported the war effort like Josie’s cousin Kay who worked as a human computer during the war. I absolutely love the camaraderie between Josie, Akiko, and Mae.  Interspersed throughout the novel are Patrick Spaziante’s incredibly illustrated comic panel sequences which depict the girls’ transformation into superheroes and their fight against evil, which will make the novel even more appealing to readers.  To read my full review, click here.

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What If Everybody Thought That? by written by Ellen Javernick Illustrated by Colleen Madden

Everyone has thoughts about us that we never hear.  These preconceived opinions are based on our stature or appearance and while never vocalized, silence and body language can still affect our self-esteem.  Rather than dwell on these negative thoughts, we should believe in our abilities and show them that they are wrong.  What If Everybody Thought That? does more than just foster inner confidence.  The story has a higher goal of challenging children to stop making negative assumptions.  For example, instead of presuming that individuals who are short can’t excel at basketball, we should not form an opinion before seeing them on the court. To read my full review and enter a giveaway for all 3 books in the What if Everybody series, click here.

Etta’s and Bella’s Dog Pick of the Week:

Wanting to spread the dog love, Beagles and Books has a weekly feature of highlighting a literary selection with a canine main character.

The Grumpy Pets by Kristine Lombardi

August 17th was Clear the Shelters Day.  Thanks to an Instagram post by author/illustrator Kristine Lombardi, I discovered a “new to me” book that promotes animal adoption.

Grumpy Pet
Kristine Lombardi 2019

Billy is a grouchy kid who finds it hard to smile. In hopes of cheering him up, his mom takes him to Perfect Pets Animal Shelter.  Everyone including his sister finds a pet that suits them except for Billy.  They are all just too perfect. But when Billy hears barks coming from another aisle, he discovers to his surprise, the grumpy pets, which had similar dispositions to Billy.  Within moments, Billy makes eye contact with one particular dog which ultimately helps turns his frown upside down.

With concise text and expressive illustrations, The Grumpy Pets is a story that teaches readers that animals can rescue us from a bad mood with just one look, lick or tail wag. And as a dog mom of 2 rescue beagles, I love that the Lombardi promotes visiting a shelter or rescue to adopt your furever friend.

Etta, Bella & I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books. Happy Reading!

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Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for What If Everybody Thought That? by Ellen Javernick Illustrated by Colleen Madden


Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for What If Everybody Thought That? written by Ellen Javernick and illustrated by Colleen Madden. The third book in the What if Everybody? series, it will release on August 27, 2019.  Special thanks to Two Lions Publishing and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Publisher’s Summary:
If you see someone in a wheelchair, you might think he or she couldn’t compete in a race. But…you might be wrong. What if you see a child with no hair? Do you think she is embarrassed all the time? How about a kid who has a really hard time reading? Do you think that means he’s not smart? You might think so. But…you might be wrong. With clear prose and lighthearted artwork, this companion book to the bestseller What If Everybody Did That? explores the preconceived notions we have about the world and encourages kids to be more thoughtful.

Review:
Everyone has thoughts about us that we never hear.  These preconceived opinions are based on our stature or appearance and while never vocalized, silence and body language can still affect our self-esteem.

 
WHAT IF EVERYBODY THOUGHT THAT Interior illus © 2019 by Colleen Madden_pp 4-5
 

Rather than dwell on these negative thoughts, we should believe in our abilities and show them that they are wrong.  

WHAT IF EVERYBODY THOUGHT THAT Interior illus © 2019 by Colleen Madden_pp 22-23


What If Everybody Thought That? 
does more than just foster inner confidence.  The story has a higher goal of challenging children (and adults) to stop making negative assumptions.  For example, instead of presuming that individuals who are short can’t excel at basketball, we should not form an opinion before seeing them on the court.   In another scenario, children all balk at eating foods that are new to them.  By opening themselves to a new opportunity, kids discover that unfamiliar foods can be delicious.  

My school district has adopted Conscious Discipline, which is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary self-regulation program that integrates social-emotional learning, school culture, and discipline.  One of Conscious Discipline’s seven skills is positive intent.  Having positive intent means seeing the best in others.  What If Everybody Thought That? teaches that if we think the best of others, everyone has the potential to be their best self.  

While the theme of support and encouragement is conveyed clearly through the text, the illustrations drive the message home.  Hidden in each spread are uplifting and motivating words and phrases.  Children will love searching for these messages after a read aloud.  With the new school year beginning in a few weeks, I can’t wait to share What If Everybody Thought That?  with teachers and students to remind us to think positively about ourselves and others.   

About the Author and Illustrator:

Ellen Javernick is the author of more than twenty books for children, including the Children’s Choice Book Award finalist The Birthday Pet, illustrated by Kevin O’Malley, and the bestselling picture book What If Everybody Did That?, illustrated by Colleen Madden. She has been an elementary school teacher for more than twenty years and currently teaches second grade. She lives in Loveland, Colorado.

 

Colleen Madden is the illustrator of many children’s books, including the picture-book adaptation of All I Want for Christmas Is You, by Mariah Carey, and the bestselling picture books What If Everybody Did That? and What If Everybody Said That?, both written by Ellen Javernick. She recently published Monkey Walk, her debut as both author and illustrator. She lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons. To see more of her work, visit: http://www.mbartists.com/cgi-bin/iowa/artists.html?artist=77

What If Everybody Series Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive all three books in the What If Everybody? series: What If Everybody Did That?, What if Everybody Said That? and What If Everybody Thought That?, courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses).  Enter the giveaway below by Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 8 p.m.  U.S. addresses only.

#pb10for10, Picture Books

Celebrating #PB10fo10: Paw-tastic Picture Books with a Paw-sitive Message

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Congratulations to Cathy Mere of Reflect and Refine Building a Learning Community and Mandy Robek of Enjoy and Embrace Learning on celebrating 10 years of #pb10for10, a fabulous event for sharing the power of picture books!  To view all #pb10for10 lists, please click here.

2019 marks my third year participating in #pb10for10.  In fact, this very event launched my blog, Beagles and Books. Here are my previous lists.  Can you notice a trend?

For the past two years, Beagles and Books features one dog book weekly with Etta’s and Bella’s Dog Pick.   Continuing the tradition of sharing paw-tastic picture books, each of the books chosen for this year #pb10for10 met the following criteria:

  • Features a canine main character
  • Published in 2019
  • Teaches a positive message to students

Presenting Paw-tastic Picture Books with a Paw-sitive Message

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Duchess and Guy by Nancy Furstinger  Illustrated by Julia Bereciartu (January 2019)

Although I know Guy has a happy ending, my heart still hurt when I read Furstinger’s poignant first words and Julia Bereciartu’s gorgeous yet forlourn illustration of Guy in the shelter.  When I turned the page, my heart leaped for joy when Guy was adopted by Meghan and finally got his furever home. The story focus shifts to Meghan’s impending marriage to Prince Harry and how Guy wants to prove he is a regal beagle.  Being among royalty is a bit overwhelming for Guy and despite his best intentions, his transition isn’t as smooth as he envisioned.  Meghan reminds Guy to be the happy go lucky dog he is. Whether you are two legged or four legged, adjustment to a new situation or surrounding can be challenging; I love that Furstinger emphasizes the way to capture hearts (even the Queen of England’s) is to simply just be yourself.   At the end of the book, Furstinger includes a factual account of Guy’s rags to riches story.

Good Boy by Sergio Ruzzier (February 2019)

Written using only verbs, Good Boy tells the story of a boy and his dog.  At first, the boy gives his pup simple commands such as sit, stay, and roll over.  The boy’s commands become more unconventional asking his furry best friend to stand, juggle,  cook, pedal,  sail and build, which the dog has no difficulties fulfilling.  After collaborating to build a spaceship, the duo blast off to another planet to interact with aliens.  Once they get home and get ready for bed, the boy repeats his command of stay which ends with the best friends snuggling in bed for the night. I am a huge fan of Sergio Ruzzier, for his words and artwork exudes warmth and whimsy. What I love most about Good Boy is with its concise text and charming pen and watercolor illustrations, Ruzzier beautifully captures the genuine love between a boy and his dog.

Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog by Lisa Papp (March 2019)

For fans of Madeline Finn and the Library Dog, Lisa Papp’s follow up will be a warm hug.  Madeline convinces her mom to allow her to adopt one of Bonnie’s puppies and names him Star.  Wondering how Mrs. Dimple chose Bonnie, Madeline discovers that Bonnie came from a shelter.  Mrs. Dimple invites Madeline to join her at the shelter when she donates supplies.  While Madeline can see the animals have their basic needs met, she is still worried.  “Does any tell the shelter dogs they love them?”  Taking action, Madeline collects towels for the shelter and organizes a read aloud for the dogs.   Lisa Papp’s text and warm illustrations beautifully convey Madeline’s genuine concern for the shelter dogs especially a black and white dog named Mr. Chips.  Madeline is a great role model for children demonstrating small gestures can make a big impact!

Let’s Have Dog Party by Mikela Prevost (March 2019)

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Fred’s human Kate wants to celebrate his birthday in a big way! Fred is a low key pup and prefers to spend his special day napping in his favorite spot.  When Kate and her friends begin singing loudly, Frank is overwhelmed and hides in a closet.  One look at Frank and Kate realizes that her well intentioned party is not Frank’s cup of tea.   Kate makes it up to him by sending her friends home and celebrating with Frank on his terms, which makes my heart so happy.  Let’s Have a Dog Party is a touching story teaching us all how to be empathetic and consider other’s feelings.

Wake Up, Color Pup by Taia Morley (March 2019)

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A small yellow bird brings color into Pup’s world as they take an adventure outside.  Concisely written with vivid verbs, the once white pup gradually becomes vibrant with all the colors of the rainbow.  The observant reader sees a storm brewing in the distance which washes away all of Pup’s beautiful colors.  Once the storm ends and the sun peeks out, Pup is determined to regain his colorful self.  What I love most about this gorgeously drawn book is with a hearty shake, Pup’s color spreads to his surroundings awaking the world around him. Wake Up Color Pup is a picture book with great depth, for while it can be read to very young children to introduce and reinforce colors, themes of overcoming fears and how a bright outlook can positively affect the world can be also discussed.

Olive and Pekoe in Four Short Walks by Jacky Davis and Giselle Potter (March 2019)

Written in walks rather than chapters, Olive and Pekoe tells the story of two canine friends.  Olive is small, old, and more reserved.  Pekoe is big, young, and full of energy.  As they take their walk, readers see the contrast between calm Olive and the lively Pekoe.  Pekoe is full paws on enthralled by sticks, chipmunks, and other dogs; Olive would rather watch than be a participant.  The last vignette is particularly touching, for at the dog park, Pekoe is scared by a bigger dog.  Olive though is quick to act and joins Pekoe for support.  Olive and Pekoe in Four Short Walks is a sweet story that reminds us friendship isn’t about being the same; it is about being there for each other.

I Am a Wolf by Kelly Leigh Miller (May 2019)

Written in first person, a small, round dog with fangs proudly states “I AM A WOLF.” Through the bold, expressive illustrations and concise text, readers discover that the dog is a stray and is taken to a local shelter. During an adoption event at the shelter, the dog declares “I’M FINE ON MY OWN.” displaying unappealing behavior to potential adopters. One little girl sees past the dog’s antics and gives the dog a big hug.  This small kind gesture completely changes the dog’s demeanor, for it is clear, all the dog wants is to be loved.  Now named Wolf,  this once homeless dog finally has found his pack.  With humor and heart, I Am a Wolf  teaches that we all have walls due to our past and how love and understanding can help us heal and trust.

The Peculiar Pig by Joy Steuerwald  (June 2019)

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It is pretty clear that Penny, one of Mama Pig’s babies is not a piglet, but in fact, a dachshund puppy.  While Mama Pig loves all her babies equally and consistently reassures Penny her differences don’t matter, her siblings think Penny is peculiar.  She does not look like them, has a weird oink, and prefers using her paws to dig than her snout.  But when a snake threatens the litter, Penny’s peculiar growl scares the creature away.  The piglets realizes that being peculiar is pretty positive trait!  The Peculiar Pig is a charming story that celebrates differences.  Steuerwald’s illustrations are absolutely adorable and will captivate young readers.

Mighty Reader and the Big Freeze by Will Hillenbrand  (July 2019)

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Hugo, a beagle, boards the bus on his first day of school.  He quickly makes friends with Barkley, a bull dog who is reading The Adventures of Mighty Reader. Once in school, the class is excited about their author visit later that day.  Their teacher, Ms. Wulff asks Barkley to read aloud a book written by the author, but Barkley freezes up forgetting all his reading strategies.  Luckily, Hugo knows how to solve this reading emergency.  Raiding the class’ dress up center, Hugo finds a superhero costume, grabs Barkley’s favorite book from his cubby reminding Barkley that he is a reader and how he can use his strategies to read new books.  With encouragement from Hugo, Barkley regains his confidence remembering familiar words and using the pictures to tell what is happening.  What I love about Mighty Reader and the Big Freeze is it teaches kids that they can help each other through prompting which is what Hugo did for Barkley.

And a New Picture Book Releasing September 2019!

Stormy: A Story about Finding a Forever Home by Guojing

Stormy is a gorgeously illustrated wordless picture book about a stray dog who seeks shelter under a park bench.  When a young woman sits on the bench, the dog runs away but stays nearby within the view of the woman.  Befriending the dog with a ball, the woman shows extreme patience waiting for the dog to make the first move. Gradually, the dog begins to show a little trust fetching and dropping the ball but is still too frightened to get close.  When the woman leaves, the dog follows her home with the ball in its mouth.  A fierce storm erupts and the dog finds shelter in a box while the woman returns to the park frantically searching for the pup.  While heartbreaking to see both apart, readers are rewarded with a heartwarming reunion that brought me to tears.  Guojing’s use of muted colors in each stunning panel deftly conveys the changing mood of the story.  A story about patience, trust, and love, Stormy is a book that proves pictures are indeed worth a thousand words.

Thank you for visiting Beagles and Books’ #pb10for10! Do you have a favorite dog picture book?  Please feel free to share in the comments below.

Blog Tour, Middle Grade Literature

Blog Tour for CAPE: THE LEAGUE OF SECRET HEROES by Kate Hannigan

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the CAPE: THE SECRET LEAGUE OF HEROES Blog Tour. Special thanks to Lauren Carr of Simon and Schuster for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

About the Book:
Title:
 CAPE: THE SECRET LEAGUE OF HEROES
Author: Kate Hannigan
Pub. Date: August 6, 2019
Publisher: Simon and Schuster/Aladdin

Publisher’s Summary:
Josie O’Malley does a lot to help out Mam after her father goes off to fight the Nazis, but she wishes she could do more—like all those caped heroes who now seem to have disappeared. If Josie can’t fly and control weather like her idol, Zenobia, maybe she can put her math smarts to use cracking puzzles for the government.

After an official tosses out her puzzler test because she’s a girl, it soon becomes clear that an even more top-secret agency has its eye on Josie, along with two other applicants: Akiko and Mae. The trio bonds over their shared love of female superhero celebrities, from Hauntima to Zenobia to Hopscotch. But during one extraordinary afternoon, they find themselves transformed into the newest (and youngest!) superheroes in town. As the girls’ abilities slowly begin to emerge, they learn that their skills will be crucial in thwarting a shapeshifting henchman of Hitler, and, just maybe, in solving an even larger mystery about the superheroes who’ve recently gone missing.

Inspired by remarkable real-life women from World War II—the human computers and earliest programmers called “the ENIAC Six”—this pulse-pounding adventure features bold action and brave thinking, with forty-eight pages of comic book style graphic panels throughout the book. Readers will want to don their own capes for an adventure, and realize they have the power to be a superhero, too!

Review:

“Whatever strength you need dwells within you.” -Hauntima

A blend of historical fiction and fantasy, CAPE is a fast paced, intriguing adventure that middle grade (and adult) readers will devour!  Set during World War II, readers are introduced to three astute and diverse young girls, Josie, Akiko, and Mae. In addition to their shared love of superheroes such as Hauntima and Zenobia, the girls are all missing a loved one fighting overseas. Meeting at puzzler tryouts in the Carson Building, they are each rejected because of their gender but soon discover they have a higher calling.   Mrs. Constance Boudica (known as Mrs. B) of Room 12 has been observing all three girls independently and believes collectively, they possess the intelligence, heart, spirit, determination, and courage to join a league of secret heroes to fight injustice.  After the superhero, Stretcher is vaporized by Hank Hissler, an evil henchman of Hitler, the girls acquire Stretcher’s cape, mask, and boots which helps them each unearth their own super hero powers.

There are so many reasons I enjoyed reading CAPE.  First, Hannigan’s unique plot makes the novel hard to put down. While CAPE is undoubtedly fiction, Hannigan intertwines real life elements of the period such as the discrimination that particular ethnic groups faced during World War II as well as characters based on actual people who supported the war effort like Josie’s cousin Kay who worked as a human computer during the war. I absolutely love the camaraderie between Josie, Akiko, and Mae.  While all strong as individuals, they soon realize their super powers are not derived from Stretcher’s costume but rather through their common belief in wanting to do good and not giving up when things get tough. This is a great lesson for middle grade readers.  Interspersed throughout the novel are Patrick Spaziante’s incredibly illustrated comic panel sequences which depict the girls’ transformation into superheroes and their fight against evil, which will make the novel even more appealing to readers. 

In an 11 page author’s note, Hannigan explains the inspiration for CAPE which began with the simple question: Who came before Wonder Woman?  As she researched early superheroes, Hannigan discovers real life female heroes such as the six women who were the ENIAC Six (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer).  Recommended resources for further research are also included.

And what makes me even more excited is CAPE will be followed by MASK and BOOTS in The League of Secret Heroes series.  Stay tuned for release dates. I look forward to sharing CAPE with my students when school begins!

Check out the compelling plot by viewing the book trailer below.

About the Author:

Kate Hannigan is a noted author with a special passion for stories that empower girls and women. Her picture and middle grade books have received high praise, multiple starred reviews, selected for Booklist Editor’s Choice and a Golden Kite Award for Middle Grade fiction. She lives in Chicago with her husband and three children. Please visit her at KateHannigan.com.