Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Pippa’s Night Parade by Lisa Robinson


Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Pippa’s Night Parade written by Lisa Robinson and illustrated by Lucy Fleming. It recently published on October 8, 2019. 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:
Pippa’s wonderfully wild imagination is perfect for dreaming up wildly adorable creations. But at night, her imagination runs a little too wild. That’s when the villains and monsters and beasts sneak out of her storybooks to scare her. Pippa tries everything: from night-lights to triple knots to clever disguises. But when the baddies keep coming, she realizes she’ll need to come up with something new. To prepare for this battle, Pippa will have to use everything she’s got—especially that wild imagination. Ready or not, here she comes!

While Pippa has a wild imagination, she can protect herself during the day with mighty masks, bold boots and spunky scarves.  At night though it is hard for Pippa to calm her fears, for creatures such as dragons, pirates, serpents, and monsters surface from her storybooks.  Pippa’s trepidation is conveyed through the text and the illustrations but readers also see Pippa’s problem solving skills.  First, Pippa attempts to soothe her fears with extra night lights and a disguise.  Next, she runs to her parents’ bedroom.  When these tactics do not work, Pippa decides to confront the creatures by inviting them to a scary night parade leaving invitations in each book.  Will Pippa be able to get rid of the creatures once and for all?

My students loved all the creatures in the book.  While Pippa’s Night Parade is not a Halloween story, the presence of all the creatures gave the story a spooky feel.  After I reading, we discussed the author’s purpose for writing the story and what did the author want to teach us.   Here are a few of the student’s comments.

“Pippa was teaching us not to be afraid.”

“Pippa was scared of the creatures but she kept trying to find ways to get rid of them.”

“Pippa was brave because she wouldn’t let the monsters win.”

As a class, we discussed Pippa’s actions and how she was persistent because she didn’t give up.  Soon after, another student shared “Pippa was smart because she used all the things in her design studio to make the creatures stop scaring her.”  We then discussed how persistence means trying out new and better ideas.  

Pippa’s Night Parade is an enchanting story about conquering one’s fears with persistence and imagination.  Robinson’s lively and engaging text and Fleming’s detailed and action packed illustrations will keep children’s attention from the beginning to end.  

Meet the Author and Illustrator: 

Lisa Robinson was born in Kampala, Uganda, to Peace Corps volunteers who later became world-traveling diplomats. When she was a child, her family moved frequently, so books became her best friends. She now works as a psychiatrist and writer. She holds an MFA in creative writing for young people from Lesley University. She is also the author of Pirates Don’t Go to Kindergarten!, illustrated by Eda Kaban, and has more books forthcoming. She lives in Massachusetts with her family and three cats. Learn more about the author at, or on Twitter: @elisaitw.

 Lucy Fleming, like Pippa, has a wonderfully wild imagination, which she uses to create illustrations for children’s books. She has illustrated more than twenty titles, including River Rose and the Magical Christmas by Kelly Clarkson and For the Beauty of the Earth by Folliott Sandford Pierpoint, which was a Junior Library Guild Selection. She is a graduate of the University of Lincoln in England. She lives and works in a small town in England with a cup of ginger tea in hand and her cat close by. Learn more about the illustrator at and Instragram: @illustratelucy

Enter a Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Pippa’s Night Parade, courtesy of Two Lions/Amazon (U.S. addresses). Enter the giveaway by Friday, October 18, 2019 at 8 p.m. 

Giveaway, Middle Grade Literature, Spotlight

Spotlight & Giveaway for The Revenge of Magic: The Last Dragon by James Riley

Beagles and Books is spotlighting James Riley’s THE LAST DRAGON, which is the second novel in THE REVENGE OF MAGIC series.  It celebrated its book birthday this week!

About the Book:
Author: James Riley
Pub. Date: October 8, 2019
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 372

Find It:       Amazon       BAM        Barnes and Noble       Indiebound

Publisher’s Summary:
Fort Fitzgerald is determined to uncover the truth, but a new student at school and the secrets he has to keep complicate matters in this second novel in a thrilling new series from the author of the New York Times bestselling Story Thieves!

Fort Fitzgerald can’t stop having nightmares about the day his father was taken from him in an attack on Washington, DC. In these dreams, an Old One, an evil beyond comprehension, demands the location of the last dragon. But other than some dragon skeletons dug up with the books of magic on Discovery Day, Fort has never seen a dragon before. Could there still be one left alive?

And weirdly, Fort’s not the only one at the Oppenheimer School having these nightmares. His new roommate, Gabriel, seems to know more than he’s letting on about this dragon as well. And why does everyone at the school seem to do whatever Gabriel says? What’s his secret?

Fort’s going to need the help of his friends Cyrus, Jia, and Rachel, if he’s going to have any chance of keeping the Old Ones from returning to Earth. Unless, the Old Ones offer something Fort could never turn down…

In this refreshing take on the perennially popular theme of magic schools, THE LAST DRAGON is filled with mystery, magic, and mayhem and is sure to keep readers hooked! For a sneak peek, view the book trailer below.

About the Author:
James Riley lives in Virginia. He is the New York Times bestselling author of the Half Upon a Time, Story Thieves, and Revenge of Magic series.

Enter The Revenge of Magic Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of both books in The Revenge of Magic series, courtesy of Simon and Schuster (U.S. addresses only).


Good luck! Thank you for stopping by Beagles and Books!

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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/7/19

Beagles and Books is excited to share 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.

Our Recent Reads:

Give and Take by Elly Swartz

When dementia causes Maggie’s Nana to not recognize her as her granddaughter, Maggie becomes anxious that she too will forget. To ensure she can keep hold of her precious memories, Maggie begins saving small objects.  Not only is Maggie attached to these mementos, but also Izzie, the baby their family is fostering until her adoption is final. And when her coach dad dismantles her all girl trapshooting team, her anxiety becomes even more elevated.   

Maggie’s saving becomes out of hand filling up 10 boxes in her room and most of her school locker.  When her mother discovers the enormity of her collection, Maggie’s normally kind temperament quickly turns to uncontrollable anger. Maggie quickly shows contrition and her mother assures her they will work together as a family to help her make the mad go away.  With the help of a child therapist and her supportive and loving family, Maggie begins to slow process of learning how to let go.  Some of my favorite scenes are when Maggie visits her grandfather who reminds her that saving things doesn’t necessarily keep you from forgetting but “love never leaves; it carves into your heart.” 

Written from Maggie’s perspective, Swartz did a beautiful job capturing Maggie’s compassion, conflicts, and courage.  My heart hurt for her as she struggled with the act of throwing away her keepsakes and even though it got a little easier each time, Swartz continued to show the full process Maggie had to undertake to be successful.  With themes of family, friendship, facing fears, and forgiveness, Give and Take is a story that is a must read for middle grade readers.

Special thanks to the author Elly Swartz and fellow #bookexcursion member Lisa Maucione for sharing an ARC of Give and Take with our group.  Pre-order today so you have Give and Take in your hands, for it celebrates its book birthday next week!


Along the Tapajós by Fernando Vilela Translated by Daniel Hahn

Alligators, anacondas, and winter rains oh my!  Get a glimpse into the everyday life of two siblings who live in Para, Brazil in Along the Tapajós. To read my full review and enter a giveaway, please 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.

Very Lulu: The (Mostly) True Story of a Training School Dropout by Stephanie Campisi Illustrated by Jessica Gibs

In an effort to calm her energetic behavior, Lulu is enrolled in police dog training school.  While all the other dogs do as they were told, Lulu can’t follow directions no matter how hard she tries. Even with increased supports, Lulu is not successful. What should Lula’s handler do with her?

It becomes clear that perhaps Lulu’s job isn’t to be a police dog but rather to be the fun loving, super sniffing member of the handler’s family, which the last couple of page spreads show is a perfect fit for Lulu. Gibson’s lively illustrations capture Lulu’s free spirit, and Campisi gently teaches the importance of accepting others for who they are, which is an important lesson for both children and adults. 

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



Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Along the Tapajós by Fernando Vilela


Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Along the Tapajós written and illustrated by Fernando Vilela and translated by Daniel Hahn.  Released on October 1, 2019, this picture book 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.

Publisher’s Summary:
Cauã and Inaê are a brother and sister who live in a small community along the Tapajós River in Brazil. Here, the homes are on stilts and everyone travels around by boat—even to school! When the rainy season comes, they must leave their village and relocate to higher ground for a while. But after moving this year, Cauã and Inaê realize they’ve left behind something important: their pet tortoise, Titi! Unlike turtles, tortoises can’t swim, and Cauã and Inaê are really worried. So the pair sneaks back at night on a journey along the river to rescue him. Will they be able to save Titi?  This picture book, first published in Brazil, offers kids a unique look into the lives of children who live along Brazil’s beautiful Tapajós River.

As Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop wisely stated:

“Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created and recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. (1990, p. ix)”

From the very first page spread, Along the Tapajós is definitely a window teaching my students a different way of life.  As I read the text beautifully translated by Hahn, there was an immediate reaction from children.

“They have to take a boat to get to school?”

“I wish I could have a tortoise for a pet!”  

Interior from  ALONG THE TAPAJÓS by Fernando Vilela.jpeg

At my school, students mostly walk or ride in a car to get here.  We actually have very few bus riders compared to other schools in our district.  Of course, the children were utterly amazed by Cauã’s and Inaê’s boat ride especially the alligators and porpoises!  When the siblings arrive at school, the students quickly noticed how different their schoolhouse is compared to theirs.  

Vilela’s vivid illustrations quickly convey the change from serene to turbulent as the season quickly changes from summer to winter with nonstop rain.  I heard some gasps from the children as they saw Cauã’s and Inaê’s family pack up their house and boat to dry land in the rainforest.  

Interior from  ALONG THE TAPAJÓS by Fernando Vilela2.jpeg

While the first part of the book exposed all my students to a contrasting way of life, Inaê’s concern for their pet tortoise Titi immediately was a mirror for some of my students who later shared how their own pet had been lost or missing.  The illustrations of their journey back home are breathtaking and strikingly show the aftermath of the massive rain. When the siblings find Titi, the illustrations clearly indicates that aside from the roof, their home is entirely under water, which again shows the severe impact of the winter rain.  The rescue of Titi may be frightening to very young children, but my students were mesmerized at Cauã’s risky but heroic act. After reading, we did discuss whether leaving their parents without permission was a good or bad choice.  

At the end of the story, Vilela includes backmatter which includes facts about the Tapajós River and the inspiration for writing this story.  After reading, my students had so many reactions that I knew this story would be talked about for a long time.  I was proud that one student made a connection to our virtue of the month.

“I think all the people in the book showed unity because they worked together to get the kids to school, the kids home when it rained, and the families packed up and moved to a rainforest. Then the brother and sister had to work together to save Titi.”  

There is no doubt that my students thoroughly enjoyed Along the Tapajós.  As a teacher, what I love is the story was a window into a different way of life, but was also a mirror when the siblings showed concern for their missing pet.  It also reinforced the virtue of unity, which is important as we continue to build our classroom community.   I highly recommend Along the Tapajós..

Praise for Along the Tapajós!

★The vibrant colors in Vilela’s illustrations and the expressive faces of Cauã and Inaê bring lightheartedness to their dangerous journey and the cyclical living it prescribes. A riveting journey.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“This is one of those engaging titles that offers a glimpse of a location new to most American readers. More translations like this one, please!” —Fuse #8 Production


Meet the Author/Illustrator and Translator:

Fernando Vilela is an award-winning author and illustrator from Brazil. Published in Brazil under the title Tapajós, this book was inspired by one of his trips to the Amazon rainforest. He has received many awards for his books, and he has exhibited his artwork at home and abroad, including at the MoMA in New York and the Pinacoteca of the State of São Paulo. For his picture books, he has received five Jabuti awards (Brazil) and the New Horizons Honorable Mention of the Bologna Ragazzi International Award. He is also a plastics artist, and he teaches courses, lectures, and workshops on art and illustration. Learn more about him online at

Daniel Hahn is an author, editor, and award-winning translator. His translation of The Book of Chameleons by José Eduardo Agualusa won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2007. His translation of A General Theory of Oblivion, also by José Eduardo Agualusa, won the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award. He recently served on the board of trustees of the Society of Authors. In 2017, Hahn helped establish the TA First Translation Prize, a new prize for debut literary translation. Learn more about him online at

ALONG THE TAPAJÓS low-res cover

Enter a Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Along the Tapajós, courtesy of Amazon Crossing (U.S. addresses). Enter the giveaway by Friday, October 11, 2019 at 8 p.m.