Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for I USED TO BE FAMOUS by Tara Luebbe & Becky Cattie

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for I Used to Be Famous written by Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie and illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff.  Special thanks to Albert Whitman and Company 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:
Kiely’s been famous her entire life, but when a baby sister appears on the scene, she feels like a has-been. Now Kiely has to figure out how to gain back the attention of her adoring fans (her family), even if it means sharing the spotlight.

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“This clever exploration of the mixed emotions of welcoming a new baby into a family is sure to elicit more than a few laughs from the divas accustomed to having all the attention.” —Kirkus Reviews


Capturing our attention and hearts in I Am Famous, Kiely returns in I Used to Be Famous.  While Kiely still enjoys star treatment such as a personal shopper, it seems that her fan club is not following her as closely as in the past. Who is the new fresh face getting all the publicity?
I USED TO BE FAMOUS_interior illus by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff_1 (1)
To Kiely’s dismay, her baby sister is now center stage which is ridiculous because little Abby is not multi-talented like her.  Will Kiely allow herself to be upstaged or will she learn to share the spotlight?
Kiely’s voice is pitch perfect.  With humor and honesty, authors Luebbe and Cattie aptly capture the range of emotions a child may feel with the addition of a sibling.  At first, Kiely is critical of her sister identifying all the things Abby cannot do.  Then Kiely begins to judge herself wondering if she needs to change.  It is not until Kiely stops trying to compete with her sister that she realizes there is room for two stars in the household.  In fact, it appears that being a duo is just what the paparazzi wants!
Illustrator Lew-Vriethoff’s bright and bold illustrations perfectly complement the text showing the changes in Kiely’s feelings as she gradually learns that being a big sister also has its perks because her little sister will always be her biggest fan.
Pre-order now, for I Used to Be Famous releases soon on April 1, 2019.  In the meantime, view the star studded book trailer below!
About the Authors: 
Becky Cattie has always had a flair for the dramatic and loves all things entertainment—especially character-driven narratives. She was a casting producer for reality TV shows like NBC’s America’s Got Talent, ABC’s Extreme Makeover, and E!’s The Simple Life in Los Angeles. She lives in Chicago. Tara Luebbe is a self-described “Picture Book Nerd.” In her previous life, she owned a toy and book store in Atlanta, which was a catalyst for writing her own books. This is the third picture book collaboration for sisters Tara and Becky; their first two books, I Am Famous and Shark Nate-O, were published in 2018. To learn more, visit or find them on social media.
Facebook: BeckyTara Books
Twitter: @t_luebbe and @b_cattie
Instagram: @taraluebbe and @beckycattie
About the Illustrator: 
Joanne Lew-Vriethoff is an award-winning illustrator who was born in Malaysia, grew up in Los Angeles, worked in New York, and now lives in Amsterdam. Besides making art, she loves exploring the world with her family and road trips with her husband and kids, photographing street art, cycling along the Amsterdam canals at midnight, snorkeling, day dreaming, collecting picture books. Visit her website at  
Enter An Amazing Giveaway!


Albert Whitman and Company is offering one copy of I USED TO BE FAMOUS to one lucky winner (U.S. addresses only).  Enter below!
#Bookexcursion, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Middle Grade Literature, Picture Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/25/19


Beagles and Books is back to share some of our current 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.

Bella has graciously stepped in to be the book model this week. Etta is not up for posing for photos because she has a growth on her eyelid. Her surgery is on Wednesday and prayers and positive thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Our Recent Reads: 

A Kind of Paradise by Amy Rebecca Tan

Thirteeen year old Jamie has violated her school’s Honor Code; therefore, her consequence is to spend her summer volunteering 15 hours a week at her local library.

As Jamie narrates, she provides clues regarding her big mistake which help readers understand the motivation behind her actions and why she feels so humiliated.   At the beginning of the story,  it is clear that Jamie would much rather be sleepaway art camp with her best friend Vic, but as the summer progresses,  Jamie begins to see the library with new eyes realizing its importance in the community. The relationships she makes at the library also help Jamie turn the page on the past and get on with the next part of her story. After her hours have been filled, Jamie reflects upon her summer learning valuable lessons including that a library is much more than just books.

Special thanks to Amy Rebecca Tan for sharing an ARC with my #bookexcursion group. A Kind of Paradise publishes on April 30, 2019.

A Monster Like Me by Wendy Swore

When she was very young, Sophie developed a hemangioma on her face. Sophie copes by believing she is indeed a monster; she wears goggles to hide her “monster mark” and seeks answers in The Big Book of Monsters, which gives her the idea that she can cure herself and become human.  In her new school, while Sophie encounters bullying by one particular student, her new friendship with Amber proves to her that there are those who can see past her “monster mark.”

Although A Monster Like Me is told from Sophie’s point of view, it is clear that her mom is her biggest cheerleader and advocate.  I really was taken by Sophie’s relationship with her mom’s new boyfriend, Kelsi.  At first, Sophie feels extremely threatened by his presence worried that Kelsi will take her mom away from her.  Scarred from a bomb explosion when he was in the Army, Kelsi helps Sophie realizes that “it is the choices we make that makes people monstrous or not.”

Special thanks to author Wendy Swore for sharing her debut novel with my #bookexcursion group.  A Monster Like Me recently celebrated its book birthday on March 5, 2019.


I’m Worried by Michael Ian Black Illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

I’m Worried is another spud-tastic book in Black and Ohi’s I’m series!  In this story, Potato has the problem feeling anxious that something bad will happen.  While the girl and Flamingo can’t promise him that bad things will never occur, the girl reminds Potato those bad times don’t last long and it is way better to focus on the present and enjoy the now.

Black’s witty text and Ohi’s bold and bright illustrations honestly and humorously tackle an emotion that readers of all ages struggle with.   While I love all the characters, I can’t deny that Potato is my favorite because Ohi’s amazing ability to show his range of emotions.  Like all the other books in the series, I’m Worried reminds us that good friends can help you through the rough times. Special thanks to Debbie Ridpath Ohi and Simon Kids for sending a F & G to my #bookexcursion group to review.  I’m Worried releases on June 4, 2019.

Noah Noasaurus by Elaine Kiely Kearns Illustrated by Colin Jack

Noah’s favorite word is NO.  While walking to Nowhere, he is joined by some dinosaur friends who take immense pleasure in the excursion.  Noah is NOT happy about having company which is evident from the comical illustrations.  Noah attempts to make the trek difficult but the dinosaurs follow him over jagged rocks, through logs and over puddles.  Well, not over puddles, for all of Noah’s entourage ends up in the mud which splats on Noah.  Hitting his limit, Noah makes his frustration visible with a resounding NO stomping his feet.  Toby Rex misunderstands Noah’s stomping for marching which starts a dinosaur parade.  Will Noah finally say YES to some fun with friends?

Like I’m Worried, Noah Noasaurus is an entertaining picture book that teaches us that friends can help us through the tough times. I would recommend this picture book to parents of young children and my early childhood teachers. Special thanks to the author, for I was one of the lucky winners of a recent Twitter giveaway.  It publishes soon on April 1, 2019.

Etta 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.

Let’s Have a Dog Party! by Mikela Prevost

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.

I can relate so much to Frank.  While my husband likes a big party, I prefer a small gathering or even better a long weekend away to celebrate a birthday milestone.  Let’s Have a Dog Party is a touching story teaching us all how to be empathetic and consider other’s feelings. Can’t wait to read and share with my students!  Special thanks to Penguin Kids for sending a copy to my #bookexcursion group to review.  I ordered my own copy immediately after reading!

Etta, Bella, and I thank you for stopping by Beagles and Books.  Happy reading!



Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Turkey’s Eggcellent Easter by Wendi Silvano

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of a blog tour for Turkey’s Eggcellent Easter written by Wendi Silvano and illustrated by Lee Harper. 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:
Easter is almost here—and Turkey knows just how to celebrate. He’s going to win the eggstra-special Easter egg hunt! The only problem is that animals aren’t allowed to enter. So he and his barnyard friends come up with a top-secret plan. With his trademark disguises and a whole lot of help, Turkey goes undercover. Will his basket of tricks help him win a prize?

Review and Thoughts:
Before I began even reading the story, I began to giggle seeing headband wearing animals exercising in the park with Sheep doing yoga, Pig checking his run time on his watch, and Cow stretching his leg.   The animals are not too health conscious though to enjoy an Easter egg hunt but how can they partake in the kids only hunt?
Every day, I have the pleasure of reading aloud to a second grade class that I have adopted for #classroombookaday.  After reading Turkey’s Eggcellent Easter, I ask children “What is the author’s purpose for writing this story?” using Burkins and Yaris’ visual which is shown below.
B &Y
Here are some of the student’s comments.
“I think the author wanted us to laugh out loud because she used the word, egg in the story a lot to make the story funny.”
“I think the illustrator wanted us to laugh because the animals were all wearing dark glasses and ties acting like spies trying to get the eggs.”
“I think the author wanted us to teach us about perseverance because the animals did not give up when Turkey’s disguises didn’t work.”
“I think the author wanted to teach us about cooperation because all the animals worked together to get an egg. They all shared the jellybean pizza at the end.”
“I think the author wanted to teach us about resourcefulness because the animals kept creating more disguises for the Turkey so he could find an egg.”
I love including seasonal books for #classroombookaday so I was especially excited to read Turkey’s Eggcellent Easter, for the story is not only humorous but also reinforces positive values.  After seeing the other Turkey books in the series on the back cover flap, the children asked me if I could get them.  One student even said “We can read them to see if they would be good read alouds next year.”  It is pretty clear that Turkey and his friends are becoming fast favorites for this class of second graders!
View the eggcellent book trailer below!


About the Author: 
Wendi Silvano was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has lived in Oregon, Colorado, and Peru. The author of the Turkey Trouble series, she has a BA in early childhood education and taught preschool and elementary school for eleven years. She is the mother of five children and the owner of an assortment of odd pets that are not nearly as clever as Turkey. She now writes from her home in Colorado, where she enjoys hiking, reading, and playing the piano. Visit her online at
About the Illustrator: 
Lee Harper is the author-illustrator of the books Coyote, The Emperor’s Cool Clothes, and Snow! Snow! Snow! Lee is also the illustrator of the Turkey Trouble series, by Wendi Silvano, as well as the Woolbur series, written by Leslie Helakoski. Lee has four children, a German shepherd, a barn cat, and six chickens…but no turkeys. Yet. He lives with his wife in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Visit him online at
Eggstraspecial Giveaway!
Two Lions is offering one copy of TURKEY’S EGGCELLENT EASTER to one lucky winner (U.S. addresses only).