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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/30/19

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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Keep It Together, Keiko Carter by Debbi Michiko Florence
 

I am a huge fan of both of Debbi Michiko Florence’s early chapter book series, Jasmine Toguchi and My Furry Foster Family so I was so excited to hear she had written a middle grade novel.  What was even more thrilling is having the opportunity to read an ARC.

Keiko loves chocolate, her family, her two best friends, Audrey and Jenna, and everything pretty much staying the same.  But beginning seventh grade means changes such as Keiko’s mother working full time, sharing the same school building as Audrey’s annoying brother and his friends, and Audrey declaring that this is the year they all need to get boyfriends and go to the Fall Ball.  So when Audrey and Jenna get into a disagreement (about a boy), the trio’s friendship is threatened.  Always the peacemaker, Keiko attempts to fix things but begins sacrificing her own happiness to keep the friendships intact.

Keep It Together, Keiko Carter is a novel that I would have loved when I was in middle school. It is a solid upper middle grade novel for those not quite ready for YA.    Michiko Florence’s voice for Keiko is perfect, for she captures her hopefulness of wanting to believe the best in everyone with the gradual realization that true friendship means wanting the best for each other.  The story also shows that heartbreak can come in all forms-a daughter missing time spent with her mother, a changing friendship, and a first crush. Thanks to the author and publisher Scholastic for sharing an ARC with my #bookexcursion group. Keep It Together, Keiko Carter publishes in May 2020.

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The Itty Bitty Witch by Trisha Speed Shaskkan Illustrated by Xindi Yan

The Itty Bitty Witch is much more than a Halloween story.  Shaskan has written an engaging and positive story with themes of assertiveness, persistence, and acceptanceTo read my full review and enter a giveaway that ends on Friday, October 5th, click here.

Old Rock (is not boring) by Deb Pilutti

Spotted Beetle, Tall Pine, and Hummingbird all think Old Rock lives a pretty boring life, for he sits in the same spot day after day.  He doesn’t get to fly like Hummingbird, climb high like Spotted Beetle or dance in the breeze like Tall Pines. Or did he? Old Rock tells the story of his life from his birth erupting out of a volcano, living among the dinosaurs, traveling inside a glacier, and tumbling down a ridge, which explains how he ended up in his no boring but rather, very nice spot.  With a touch of humor, rich vocabulary, and charmingly illustrated, Old Rock (is not boring) is the perfect text for teaching about history of natural world.  It also would be a great mentor text in English language arts to teach perspective.  On the last page, an infographic beautifully summarizes Old Rock’s journey from 1.8 billion years ago to present day.  Thanks to Penguin Random House for sharing a F & G with my #bookexcursion group. Old Rock publishes in February 2020.

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I’m Trying to Love Math by Bethany Barton

If you are one of 4 out of 10 Americans that hate math, this picture book might help you change your mind.  An alien visiting the Earth seeks to convince the narrator and readers how cool math is.  For example, you can’t make cookies, music, and travel without math.  While I may not love math, I don’t mind reading about it because Barton’s text is hilariously funny and interactive and her pen and ink illustrations are colorful, engaging, and make use of the whole page spread.  Thanks to Viking/Penguin Random House for sharing a copy with my #bookexcursion group. It published in July.

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.

Sparky & Spike: Charles Schultz and the Wildest, Smartest Dog Ever by Barbara Lowell illustrates by Dan Anderson
 

This picture book tells the story of how Schultz’s dog, Spike became the inspiration for the iconic cartoon character, Snoopy.  Spike was an unusual dog for he virtually could eat anything without getting sick and could ring the doorbell to come inside.  Aside from spending time with Spike, Sparky (Schultz’s nickname) loved reading the comics and loved drawing.  But Sparky realized that drawing cartoons was much harder than just drawing pictures.  Fortunately, having an extraordinary dog like Spike gave Sparky an idea.  He wrote a letter to Mr. Ripley about Spike and included a drawing of his wild and smart dog.  After a lot of waiting, two months later, Sparky’s drawing appeared in the Ripley’s Believe It or Not comics, which makes him realize that becoming a cartoonist was indeed possible.  What I love most about this story is the illustrator shares his own personal story of writing a letter to Schultz and includes the cartoonist’s reply encouraging him to continue drawing and writing.  Sparky and Spike is a great picture book for teaching perseverance to young students.

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 The Itty Bitty Witch by Trisha Speed Shaskan Illustrated by Xindi Yan

 

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for The Itty Bitty Witch by Trisha Speed Shaskkan and illustrated by Xindi Yan.  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.

Publisher’s Summary:
Betty can’t wait to be a first-grade witch. But on the first day of school, her classmates start calling her “Itty Bitty” because she’s small and still uses her kinder-broom. Betty doesn’t like the nickname—or how it makes her feel itty-bitty inside. So she comes up with a BIG idea to prove herself: winning the Halloween Dash.

Review:
When I think back to my first grade self, I can relate a lot to Betty.  I was excited to be in first grade and couldn’t wait to learn.  Like Betty, I was one of the smallest children in my class.  In fact, I do not think I ever moved from the bottom row for class pictures. Not often, but I do remember sometimes being called “Shorty” by other classmates and feeling itty bitty inside like Betty.  Unlike Betty, I though never had the courage to speak up for myself.

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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 first lesson is teaching children to use their big or assertive voice to tell someone when their feelings are hurt.  As I was reading The Itty Bitty Witch to my second grade #classroombookaday class, a student said, “Itty Bitty used her big voice!”  How I love when read alouds connect to and reinforce our content; what is even better is when students come to these conclusions on their own. 

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While Betty uses her big voice, she still doesn’t feel confident but that does not stop her from trying to improve her chances of winning the Halloween Dash.  One by one, her ideas fail, but Betty remains persistent.  She creatively makes up a poem to help her remember the race course and during the actual race, when the other witches pass her, she thinks of her biggest idea of all, which ultimately helps her win.  What I love most is Betty’s small stature was crucial to her victory which proves that being small can be an advantage.  Yan’s expressive illustrations are eye catching and beautifully convey Betty’s feelings throughout the story. The Itty Bitty Witch is much more than a Halloween story.  Shaskan has written an engaging and positive story with themes of assertiveness, persistence, and acceptance.  I highly recommend The Itty Bitty Witch!

Watch the adorable book trailer!

Praise for The Itty Bitty Witch!

“Caregivers and teachers will be pleased with the multiple extensions the story offers, all wrapped up in a Halloween theme. Proving size does not matter, this itty-bitty witch casts a bewitching spell.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
“A familiar portrayal of [a] determined, lone underdog who discovers her sense of worth.” —Publishers Weekly

 

Meet the Author & Illustrator:

When Trisha Speed Shaskan was a child, Halloween meant bobbing for apples, daring to touch brains (which may have been noodles), and—best of all—wearing costumes. She still loves dressing up for Halloween. Trisha is the author of more than forty children’s books, including Punk Skunks and the Q & Ray series, both illustrated by her husband, Stephen Shaskan. Trisha lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with Stephen; their cat, Eartha; and their dog, Beatrix. Learn more at www.trishaspeedshaskan.com. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.
 
Xindi Yan grew up in a small city called Wuhu in China, and like Betty, she was always the smallest in her class. Standing a little shy of five feet, she still can’t reach the high shelves in grocery stores and sometimes finds that shoes made for kids fit her best. But her size didn’t stop her from chasing her big dreams of being a published artist in New York City. Xindi is the illustrator of Sylvia Rose and the Cherry Tree by Sandy Shapiro Hurt and the Craftily Ever After series by Martha Maker. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and hopes to have a puppy one day. Learn more at www.xindiyanart.com,
Twitter: @xindiyan, and Instagram: @xindiyanart

 

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Enter a Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of The Itty Bitty Witch courtesy of Two Lions/Amazon (U.S. addresses only).  Enter the giveaway by Friday, October 4, 2019 at 8 p.m. 

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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/23/19

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:

Hand Me Down Magic: Stoop Sale Treasure by Corey Ann Haydu Illustrated by Luisa Uribe

Alma is excited to be living in the same place as best friend and cousin Del but moving from her old home by the lake is still an adjustment.  It’s a lot noisier in the city and more commotion since Alma and her family now live in the same building as her extended family.  And she doesn’t know a lot about helping out at the Curious Cousins Secondhand Shoppe. But the biggest challenge is Del believes in magic and Alma isn’t convinced.  So when Del finds a pair of hand me down earrings while stoop sale shopping, she believes they are magical.  Why? Well, the earrings are clip on and Del’s ears aren’t pierced. And almost immediately after putting the earrings on, Del’s good luck doesn’t stop (or show she thinks).  Alma is tired of Del acting like she knows everything about everything so she decides to get rid of the earrings which are the cause of their disagreement.  Will Alma and Del be able to come to a understanding about magic to mend their friendship?

I am always looking for a series that will appeal to readers who are transitioning to chapter books or striving readers in the intermediate grades. Written in 110 pages with short chapters, charming illustrations, an engaging plot and themes of friendship, family, and forgiveness, Stoop Sale Treasure will be a hit with many of my students!  Looking forward to reading more in the series. Thanks to Corey Ann Haydu and Katherine Tegen Books for sharing an ARC with my #bookexcursion group.  Stoop Sale Treasure releases on January 20, 2020.

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A Crazy Much Love by Joy Jordan-Lake Illustrated by Sonia Sánchez

There are many picture books I could recommend about welcoming a new baby in the family but A Crazy-Much Love is the first story I have read that celebrates the joy of adoption.  Inspired by the author’s own experiences adopting a child, A Crazy-Much Love reminds us that love makes a family.  To read my full review and enter a giveaway, click here.

Gross as a Snot Otter by Jess Keating Illustrations by David DeGrand

Because Jess Keating’s The World of Weird Animals series is a hit with all ages of students at my school, I feel blessed to get a sneak peek at her latest book.  From reading the title, I assumed that all the animals featured would be offensive due to their appearance, but I quickly discovered that Keating choose animals for their foul looks or behaviors.  My biggest takeaway was the majority of animals are disgusting in order to survive.  For example, snot otters are covered in mucus to protect themselves against infections and to easily slip away from predators.  The cute Siberian chipmunk rubs dead snake flesh or rolls in snake pee so that predators stay far away.  At the end of the text, Keating discusses the Science of “Ewww” by reminding readers that gross is truly in the eye of the beholder, for it can depend on where and how you live.  David DeGrand’s cartoon style illustrations provide a chuckle and help readers better understand other characteristics of each animal.   Thanks to Alfred A. Knopf/Random House for sharing a F & G with my #bookexcursion group.  Gross as a Snot Otter publishes next month on October 29, 2019.

How to Code a Rollercoaster by Josh Funk Illustrated by Sara Palacios

Pearl and Pascal are back to teach us about coding.  In this adventure, they are spending the day at an amusement park.  With so many options and only 10 tokens, Pearl uses code by using the variable MyTokens to ensure her tokens will last her the whole day. Pearl’s main goal is to ride the Python Coaster, but the line is ridiculously long.  No worries!  Pearl and Pascal develop another variable called ShortLine, which has a value of true or false.  Using IF-THEN-ELSE, Pearl decides if the line at the Python is short, they will ride the rollercoaster but if it’s long, they will choose another activity.  But what happens when the Python line is short and Pearl is one token shy of being able to ride?  Luckily, Pearl is a problem solver and with Pascal’s help, they figure out a solution.

How to Code a Roller Coaster is a great follow up to How to Code a Sandcastle and reinforces the same concepts. While the story teaches kids about coding, a guide to coding which defines vocabulary words, code, variable, loop, if-then-else and sequence is included in the back matter.  Thanks to Penguin Random House for sharing a copy with my #bookexcursion group. How to Code a Rollercoaster publishes tomorrow!

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.

Uh-Oh, Rollo! by Reed Duncan Illustrated by Keith Frawley

Young readers love dog books so I am excited to find a beginning reader series featuring a rambunctious bulldog named Rollo.  In the first book, Uh-Oh, Rollo, Rollo gets into a lot of mischief and is constantly being scolded by his young owner.  But even though Rollo doesn’t make the best decisions, he always makes things better by saying he’s sorry.  Rollo is a series I can easily give to primary grade students, for it is written with decodable text and high frequency words with some repeated phrases. The expressive and humorous illustrations make the text even more accessible and fun! Thanks to Penguin Kids for sharing with my #bookexcursion group.  Check out the Rollo series here.

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 A Crazy-Much Love by Joy Jordan-Lake

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Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for A Crazy Much Love written by Joy Jordan-Lake and illustrated by Sonia Sánchez.  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:
There are many picture books I could recommend about welcoming a new baby in the family but A Crazy-Much Love is the first story I have read that celebrates the joy of adoption.  Written from the parents’ point of view, the story is a love letter to their daughter.  On the first page spread, an illustration of a child sleeping a bed with two pictures fastened to the bed post is juxtaposed with a scene of the parents choosing a color for their daughter’s bedroom.  Jordan-Lake’s text simply yet warmly conveys how much love they already have for their daughter, for “you were the one, we hoped for, and prayed for.”

Readers get to experience the parents’ excitement as they receive that life changing phone call and journey overseas to meet their daughter for the first time.  Once home, the extended family is waiting to celebrate their new addition.   Sanchez’s colorful and expressive illustrations show the overwhelming affection both the parents and family have for the child.

What I love about A Much Crazy Love is the story continues as the girl grows up. Readers witness milestones such as her first laugh, first bath, first steps, first word, first bike ride. and first day of school.  Throughout the text, Sanchez has subtly and creatively expressed the parents’ immense love for her daughter with small colorful circles that pass from the parents to their child.  Jordan-Lake expertly embeds the word crazy to describe the parents’ huge emotions from “big, crazy rush” on the plane to “crazy-well you had grown” when their daughter boards the school bus for the first time.  Inspired by the author’s own experiences adopting a child, A Crazy-Much Love reminds us that love makes a family.  

Praise for A Crazy Much Love!

“The standout illustrations burst with energy and are as saturated with color as the subject of the story is showered with love. A perfect gift for an adoptive family—and every family that has a deep and abiding love for their young children.” —Booklist

“An honest and encouraging story about a transracial adoption.” —Kirkus Reviews

Meet the Author & Illustrator

Joy Jordan-Lake is the author of multiple books for adults, including A Tangled Mercy, a Goodreads Hot Reads Selection and Kindle bestseller, and Blue Hole Back Home, winner of the Christy Award in 2009 for Best First Novel. A Crazy-Much Love is her debut picture book. She holds a PhD in English and has taught literature and writing at several universities. She is a mother to two biological children and one child adopted from China, and her experiences inspired this book. She lives outside Nashville with her family, including two fluffy dogs. Learn more about the author at www.joyjordanlake.com.

Sonia Sánchez is an award-winning Spanish illustrator. Her debut picture book, Here I Am, written by Patti Kim, received two starred reviews and was nominated for the Eisner Award for Best Painter. Her artwork has been selected for the prestigious Society of Illustrators Original Art Show twice, and her books have been named a CBC NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People and a Bank Street College Best Book of the Year. She lives with her husband, her son, and a sleepyhead cat in a blue house near the Mediterranean Sea.


Enter a Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of A Crazy-Much Love, courtesy of Two Lions/Amazon (U.S. addresses only).  Enter the giveaway by Friday, September 27, 2019 at 8 p.m. 

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!

 

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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.