Blog Tour, Middle Grade Literature, Mystery

Blog Tour for The Candy Mafia by Lavie Tidhar Illustrated by Daniel Duncan

 

About the Book:
Title: The Candy Mafia
Author:  Lavie Tidhar
Illustrator: Daniel Duncan
Pub. Date:  September 1, 2020


Beagles and Books is thrilled to be part of the blog tour for The Candy Mafia. Special thanks to Elyse Vincenty of Peachtree Publishing for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


Review:

Meet 12 year old Nelle Faulkner, a private detective who works out of her mother’s garden shed.  She lives in a city where candy is illegal thanks to the mayor. CandyMafia_Chatper12_Illustration_Nelle

No candy?  Don’t fret.  Kid candy gangs led by Eddie de Menthe, Waffles Mackenzie, and Mary “Sweetcakes” Ratchet are keeping the sweets available to the local public.  But when a precious teddy bear goes missing, candy bootlegger Eddie enlists Nelle’s sleuthing skills to find it.  Nelle wonders why would someone steal this teddy bear?  Well, the fact that the label reads Farnsworth, the owner of the city’s chocolate factory may be a clue.  Alas, the factory has been closed for three years since the great Prohibition Act banning chocolate and sweets. And Farnsworth has not been seen since.  

 

CandyMafia_Chapter9_Illustration

During Nelle’s investigation, Eddie goes missing, her office is ransacked, and a black car is following her.  In that black car are two detectives, Tidbeck and Webber, who claim they are investigating Eddie’s disappearance but can she trust them? As Nelle digs deeper, she uncovers the real reason why the Prohibition Act was passed.  Will she be able to find Eddie, the teddy bear, and Farnsworth as well as expose the mayor? 

Comical and intriguing, The Candy Mafia is a middle grade mystery that will keeps kids engaged and guessing.  What makes the novel stand out is it written and illustrated in the style of classic film noir mysteries.  The main character, Nelle, is the quintessential private eye. She is observant, persistent, and calls things as she sees them which is why I love her narration. Supporting characters especially the lively kid candy bootleggers keep the plot going with their quick-witted dialogue and their rivalry.  The melancholy black and white illustrations definitely set the mood of the story, for a world without candy is pretty bleak.  The artwork also supports the readers especially those transitioning to novels.

Since kids will probably not be familiar with film noir, I would suggest that teachers share The Candy Mafia for a First Chapter Friday to provide background or even better, read aloud to the whole class chapter by chapter.   A discussion guide has been created to support rich conversation with students.  


Praise for The Candy Mafia!

“Snappy dialogue… Food fights, an abandoned candy factory break-in, and more sweets-themed antics add to the fun and intrigue…. Combining chewing gum and gumshoes, this comical mystery begs to be read aloud.”
Kirkus Reviews

About the Author:

Lavie Tidhar

Lavie Tidhar is the World Fantasy Award winning author of Osama (2011), The Violent Century (2013), the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize-winning A Man Lies Dreaming (2014), and the Campbell Award-winning Central Station (2016), in addition to many other works and several other awards. He works across genres, combining detective and thriller modes with poetry, science fiction and historical and autobiographical material.  This is his first children’s book. He lives in England.  You can find him on Twitter @lavietidhar and Instagram @lavietidhar.


About the Illustrator: 

Daniel-Duncan

Daniel Duncan is a freelance illustrator inspired by stories, films, old, photos, and sports. Highly commended by Macmillan UK for the Macmillan Prize for Illustration in 2013, he was also shortlisted for the 2014 AOI Awards for the Children’s Books New Talent Category. He creates most of his work in an old stable, now turned studio, on the outskirts of London. You can find him on Twitter @DanielDuncan and Instagram @dunks_illustration.


Check out the previous stops on the The Candy Mafia blog tour:

Monday (9/21): The Library Voice

Tuesday (9/22): Teachers Who Read

Wednesday (9/23): Mom Read It

Thursday (9/24): Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Friday (9/25): Librarian in Cute Shoes

               

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Marjory Saves the Everglades: The Story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas by Sandra Neil Wallace Illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon

 

About the Book:
Title: Marjory Saves the Everglades: The Story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Author:  Sandra Neil Wallace
Illustrator: Rebecca Gibbon
Pub. Date:  September 22, 2020


Beagles and Books is thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Marjory Saves the Everglades: The Story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Special thanks to Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books  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:
Marjory Stoneman Douglas didn’t intend to write about the Everglades but when she returned to Florida from World War I, she hardly recognized the place that was her home. The Florida that Marjory knew was rapidly disappearing—the rare orchids, magnificent birds, and massive trees disappearing with it.

Marjory couldn’t sit back and watch her home be destroyed—she had to do something. Thanks to Marjory, a part of the Everglades became a national park and the first park not created for sightseeing, but for the benefit of animals and plants. Without Marjory, the part of her home that she loved so much would have been destroyed instead of the protected wildlife reserve it has become today.


Review:

Truth.  Before I read Marjory Save the Everglades, I was not aware of this woman’s remarkable contribution to ecology.  This is why Sandra Neil Wallace’s picture book biography is such a great addition to classroom libraries, school libraries, and public libraries.

Wallace’s lyrical and conversational text begins by telling how a young Marjory first fell in love with Florida after a visit to the sunshine state with her father.  Gibbons’ warm, nostalgic illustrations complement the text well showing Marjory’s curiosity and enthusiasm to keep learning.

MARJORY SAVES THE EVERGLADES interior_© 2020 Rebecca Gibbon

As an adult, Marjory has an opportunity to return to Florida and work as a reporter for the Miami Herald, her father’s newspaper.  As the only woman reporter, she writes about issues that were important to her.

MARJORY SAVES THE EVERGLADES interior3_© 2020 Rebecca Gibbon During World War I, her passion to help remained strong first enlisting in the navy and joining the Red Cross.  When she returned to Florida, developers and speculators had taken control of the Everglades, which did not sit well with Marjory; she knew the area must be preserved but how can she convince others?

After a trip through the Everglades on a houseboat, Marjory was able to witness its true glory.  Flying in a giant balloon, among many birds, high above the Everglades finally convinced park officials that the area was worth saving.  The Everglades became a national park.  In later years, Margory discovered that the Everglades wasn’t a swamp, but a river of grass which changed people’s perception about the land which so many plants and animals called home.

Before she died at the age of 108, Marjory created Friends of the Everglades and due to her advocacy,  she not only stopped a jetport from being built in the middle of the land but convinced the government to restore the Everglades which was the largest restoration project in history.

After reading this picture book biography, I was astounded that I had never heard of Marjory Stoneman Douglas before.  Marjory Saves the Everglades is an inspirational story reminding us all that we have the power to make a difference. Her curiosity and willingness to ask questions and seek information was vital to her success.  Persistence was also important because one of Marjory’s quotes was  “Be a nuisance. Never give up.”  As I read this biography, I especially enjoyed the actual quotes from Marjory that were shared every few pages.  These quotes conveyed her determination and passion for her cause.

What I loved most about reading is even after the Everglades became a national park, Marjory still continued to fight for its protection at 80 years ago battling sight and hearing issues. The  back matter includes an author’s note, a visual glossary of animals and plants living in the Everglades, tips for protecting the environment, additional resources about Marjory, a timeline of her life and additional sources.


Get a sneak peek by watching the book trailer:

Praise for Marjory Saves the Everglades!

Marjory Saves the Everglades will inspire children of today and tomorrow to be persistent and follow their dreams to create a better world. Sandra Neil Wallace captures Marjory’s passionate commitment to justice for our natural world and all of its inhabitants.”
— Friends of the Everglades

About the Author:

Sandra Neil Wallace hopes that her stories inspire readers as much as they inspire her. Her book The Teachers March! How Selma’s Teachers Changed History was written with her husband, Rich Wallace, and has received three starred reviews to date. Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went From the Football Field to the Art Gallery received the Orbis Pictus Book Award, was an ALA Notable Book and a Booklist Top 10 Biography for Youth. Formerly, Sandra was an ESPN reporter and was the first woman to host an NHL broadcast. She continues to break barriers as co-founder of DailyGoodNH.org and lives with her family in New Hampshire. To learn more and to download free activity kits and other resources, visit SandraNeilWallace.com or check out her social media accounts below.

Facebook: Sandra Neil Wallace
Twitter: @SandraNWallace
On Instagram: @sandraneilwallace


MARJORY SAVES THE EVERGLADES low res

Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Marjory Saves the Everglades, courtesy of Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (U.S. addresses only).  This giveaway is open from Friday, September 25, 2020 through Friday, October 2, 2020 ending at 10:00 p.m. EST.   Please note that book may take longer to ship so patience is appreciated.

#Bookexcursion, Early Chapter Books, Graphic Novel, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Middle Grade Literature, Picture Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/21/20

Bella and I are excited to share our latest 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.link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Continue reading “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/21/20”

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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/7/20

Bella and I are excited to share our latest 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.link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Tomorrow is The First Day of School!

Tomorrow, my district begins virtual teaching and it will be a first day like no other.  Reading interventions do not typically begin until the second week of in-person learning so typically on the first day, I am helping students line up outside, comforting nervous students, lending an extra hand in primary classrooms, visiting classes to read aloud, and getting prepared to assess new students.  Almost all these tasks require us to be in the building so as I plan my first day of school, I keep thinking how will I spend my day? 

Reading to kids. 

Regardless of whether school is virtual or in person, the most important thing is continuing to share my love of literacy with students and teachers.  I worry about students have access to physical texts and want to explore ways to get real books into kids’ hands but for now, my job is to keep sharing the power of books.  

Continue reading “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/7/20”

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Say Good Night by Lauren H. Kerstein Illustrated by Nate Wragg

About the Book:
Title: Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Say Good Night
Author:  Lauren H. Kerstein
Illustrator: Nate Wragg
Pub. Date:  September 1, 2020


Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Say Good Night written by Leslie H. Kerstein and illustrated by Nate Wragg.  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:
Rosie the dragon’s bedtime routine has been a little bumpy lately. But not to worry! Charlie is prepared with his lists, rules, and fire extinguisher—everything a boy needs to help guide his pet dragon (and best friend) to a peaceful night’s sleep. But with bath-time bubble trouble, fiery-hot pajamas, and stuffed animal search-and-rescues, tucking this dragon into bed is not an easy task. And what happens when thunder strikes? Snuggle up with this adorable duo as they conquer bedtime the best way: together!


Review:
In the follow up to Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves, Charlie and Rosie are back but instead of swimming, Charlie is helping Rosie conquer bedtime. Even though Rosie is tired, she tries to stall bedtime by adding more minutes to the timer and hiding her stuffed animal horse Vern.  Luckily, Charlie is organized with a list of supplies and a bedtime schedule to keep Rosie on track.  First up is bathtime which can be a little messy for a dragon who enjoys lots of bubbles and toys.  Wragg’s bold and colorful illustrations fill up the entire page spread.  I love the way he drew the bubbles and water, for they look three dimensional and ready to jump off the page!

RosieTheDragonSayGoodNight-9781542018487-large-2

I love how prepared Charlie is.  Based on past experiences with Rosie, he has really thought of EVERYTHING!  For example, footie pajamas overheat Rosie so he is ready with a fan and just in case, a fire extinguisher.  And Charlie is raincoat ready when the pair brushes their teeth.  Of course, seeing Charlie read to Rosie fills my heart and glad to see books are part of their bedtime routine.

RosieTheDragonSayGoodNight-9781542018487-large-3

Full of humor and heart, Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Say Good Night is not only a great bedtime read aloud but also a story about the genuine love between a boy and his pet.  Charlie is a great role model to kids because he takes pet ownership seriously being both responsible and patient.  I especially like Kerstein’s decision to have Charlie narrate the story (as he did in the first book) and how she includes Charlie’s actual words to Rosie in an italicized font.  His personality truly comes alive through the dialogue making readers or listeners more connected to Charlie.   Kerstein has created a lovable duo that will make you laugh and smile!  Hoping they are more Rosie and Charlie adventures to come!


Get a sneak peek at Rosie and Charlie by viewing the book trailer!


Praise for Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves!

“This humorous story is a sweet representation of caretaking and patience, with a parallel that can extend to older and younger siblings as well as to parent-child relationships, perhaps making young readers a bit more self-reflective and empathetic. This dramatic bedtime tale…will satisfy many.” —Kirkus Reviews

About the Author and Illustrator:

Lauren H. Kerstein is an author and psychotherapist. She is a Jersey girl at heart who, as a child, loved underwater handstands and slurping cherry Italian ice at the pool. Lauren currently lives in Colorado with her husband, Josh; their dragons…er, daughters, Sarah and Danielle; and Hudson, the dog. Learn more about the author at www.LaurenKerstein.net.  Follow her on Twitter @LaurenKerstein and Instagram  @laurenkerstein


Nate Wragg works as a production designer and illustrator for animation and book projects. His animation projects include Ratatouille, Toy Story 3, and Captain Underpants.  He is the illustrator of a number of popular picture books, including At the Old Haunted House, written by Helen Ketteman. He lives in Southern California with his family. Learn more at natewragg.tumblr.com.


Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of both Rosie the Dragon books! Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves and Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Say Good Night, courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses).

Blog Tour, Book Birthday, Picture Books

Happy Book Birthday & Blog Tour to Lady Pancake and French Toast: Short & Sweet by Josh Funk Illustrated by Brendan Kearney

 

About the Book:
Title: SHORT & SWEET (Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast Volume 4)
Author: Josh Funk
Illustrator: Brendan Kearney
Pub. Date:  September 1, 2020

Happy Book Birthday to SHORT & SWEET!  Bella and I are so excited to be a part of the SHORT & SWEET Long & Savory virtual tour sharing our review of the latest Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast adventure!

Continue reading “Happy Book Birthday & Blog Tour to Lady Pancake and French Toast: Short & Sweet by Josh Funk Illustrated by Brendan Kearney”