Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Play Like An Animal! by Maria Gianferrari

Beagles and Books is honored to be part of the Play Like An Animal: Why Critters Splash, Race, Twirl and Chase blog tour!  Play Like An Animal is written by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by Mia Powell and celebrated its book birthday last week on April 7, 2020. Thanks to author Maria Gianferrari and Lerner Publishing for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

And on a personal note, I am so appreciative that Maria personalized my copy to not only me & Bella but also in memory of my sweet Etta.


Did you know that animals play for a purpose?  In her latest book, Play Like An Animal, Maria Gianferrari teaches reader of all ages that animals engage in play to practice important life skills such as fighting, cooperating, hunting, and escaping from predators.  The animals are not the only ones playing, for Gianferrari engages in spirited word play herself introducing each animal with three dynamic verbs to describe their actions.  For example, VAULT, SURF, and SOMERSAULT characterize how dolphins play in the water.  Readers are exposed to many vivid verbs (PLOP, DASH, WHIRL, BOLT) throughout the book which enhances their oral and written vocabulary.  Mia Powell’s lively and lush illustrations fill each page spread and depict the animals happily engaged in forms of play.  If I was reading the book aloud to my #classroombookaday second grade, I am certain kids would be excited to actively participate by performing some of the animal movements!

plla interior

In square sidebars, Gianferrari shares more information about the animal and the purpose of their play.  Even as an adult, I learned that an ungulate is a mammal with hooves.  Keas, a type of parrot, is also new to me.  Backmatter reminds young readers how play is fun and healthy stimulating brain growth, the importance of “playing by the rules,” and more fun facts about each animal highlighted in the book.  

With schools closed across the country, Kirsten Cappy of Curious City has created free downloadable STEM game cards to prompt creative play.  You can also hear Maria Gianferrari read aloud Play Like An Animal.  Highly recommend Play Like An Animal which not only engages but also educates!

Praise for Play Like An Animal!
“A lively addition to the animal shelf.”
“A fun way for children to realize that animals play just like them.”
School Library Journal

“An inviting choice for animal-lovers.”—Booklist

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset
Meet Maria:

Maria Gianferrari is the author of books including Coyote Moon, Hawk Rising, Terrific Tongues and the recently published Whoo-Ku Haiku. Her childhood playground was nature: climbing trees, playing hide and seek in the cornfield, and slapping cow patties for fun! Nowadays she tries to keep the spirit of play alive in her writing. She enjoys playing Dominion with her family sans the curse cards, and her late dog, Becca, was always ready for a game of “catch the flying biscuit.” To learn more about Maria, please visit her website:

mia powell.plla
Meet Mia:

Mia Powell is a mixed medical illustrator based in the United Kingdom.  She draws digitally but likes to incorporate handmade textures and elements into her artwork as well.  Mia loves to play with her dog and she has drawn him in the pages of Play Like An Animal.  He is black and white and loves to chase, especially squirrels.  See if you can spot him. Find Mia online at

Enter Beagles & Books’ Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Play Like An Animal courtesy of Lerner Publishing. There are now multiple ways to enter the giveaway.
  • Follow me  @lauramossa on Twitter and retweet my Play Like An Animal giveaway tweet.
  • If you are not on Twitter, fill out the Google form below.

This giveaway is open from April 14-21, 2020 and ends at 10:00 p.m. EST.  Winner will be announced on April 22, 2020.


2 thoughts on “Blog Tour & Giveaway for Play Like An Animal! by Maria Gianferrari”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s