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.   

 

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Juniper Kai: Super Spy by Laura Gehl Illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis

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Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Juniper Kai: Super Spy written by Laura Gehl and illustrated by Alexandra Neonakis.  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:
Super spy Juniper Kai is the only kid on her street.  Her parents are usually always willing to play with her but suddenly her mom is too tired and her dad is too busy. And they keep whispering to each other.  Using her keen detective skills and cool spy gadgets, Juniper is determined to uncover her parent’s secret.  Clues include mom’s phone conversation with grandma about a big change, dad putting together a piece of furniture in the guest room, and a note full of names.  Will Juniper solve the case?

Juniper Kai: Super Spy is a story with a lot of kid appeal.  Young readers will enjoy piecing the clues together to solve the mystery.  Kids will also love all of Juniper’s neat spy tools. The expressive illustrations of Juniper show her range of feelings from curiosity, resolve, concern, and at the end, excitement.   Look for Juniper Kai on September 3, 2019!

Meet the Author and Illustrator:

Laura Gehl is the author of many popular picture books, including One Big Pair of Underwear, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld; the Peep and Egg series, illustrated by Joyce Wan; and My Pillow Keeps Moving, illustrated by Christopher Weyant. She lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland, with one husband, four children, and seventeen fake mustaches. Visit Laura online at www.lauragehl.com.
Twitter: @AuthorLauraGehl
 
Alexandria Neonakis grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada, with her huge family. She now lives in California with her husband and their two cats. In addition to illustrating children’s books, she works as a character- concept artist for video games. Her recent children’s books include Sweetest Kulu by Celina Kalluk and This Is MY Room by Jennifer Richard Jacobson. Learn more about her online at www.alexneonakis.com.
Twitter: @Beavs
Instagram:@alexneonakis
 
 

Juniper Kai: Super Spy Giveaway!

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One lucky winner will receive a copy of Juniper Kai: Super Spy courtesy of Two Lions/Amazon (U.S. addresses only).  Enter the giveaway below by Friday, September 6, 2019 at 8 p.m.  Winner will be notified on Saturday, September 7, 2019.   

 

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for A Tiger Like Me by Michael Engler & Illustrated by Joelle Tourlonias

 


Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for A Tiger Like Me written by Michael Engler and illustrated by Joelle Tourlonias.  Translated by Laura Watkinson, A Tiger Like Me 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.

Review:
Parents and teachers know the importance of imagination-driven play in building a child’s developmental skills.  A Tiger Like Me tells the story of a little boy engaging in pretend play as a tiger from morning until night. 

Narrated by the little boy, he shares his actions, thoughts, and feelings as he moves through typical daily activities in the body and mind of a tiger.  When he wakes up, he yawns, stretches and lets out a loud roar. At breakfast, he leaps up to his feeding spot to eat. When he plays, he jumps and pounces. Spying a cake on the kitchen table, he lurks and prowls so he will go unnoticed.  And tigers refuse to brush their teeth or take baths so the little boy shows he can be not only quick but also headstrong. 

Although tigers are usually solitary animals, this tiger enjoys time with his family, for he and his parents engage in arts and crafts making tigers of course! And when it is time for the little tiger to go back to his den, he decides that it is more fun to cuddle and snuggle with mom and dad. 

Young children will roar with delight when listening to a read aloud of A Tiger Like Me.  What I especially liked about this story is while the text conveyed the little boy’s imagination, the illustrations showed reality.  I also appreciated that the boy’s parents accepted his extended pretend play. When he made a poor choice, he was sent to his room as a consequence but they never squelched his imagination. 

A Tiger Like Me publishes on September 1, 2019.

Meet the Author, Illustrator and Translator:

Michael Engler studied visual communication in Düsseldorf, Germany, and first worked as a scriptwriter and illustrator. He then spent several years as an art director at advertising agencies. He is currently a freelance author in Düsseldorf, writing children’s books and plays for the theater and radio. He has written more than fifteen children’s books. Learn more about him online at www.michaelengler.com.
Joëlle Tourlonias was born in Hanau, Germany, and studied visual communication with an emphasis on illustration and painting at the Bauhaus University Weimar. She is the illustrator of more than thirty children’s books. She continues to draw, paint, and live in Düsseldorf. Learn more about her online at www.joelletourlonias.blogspot.com.
 Laura Watkinson is an award-winning translator of books for young readers and adults. She is a three-time winner of the Batchelder Award and also won the Vondel Prize for Dutch-English translation. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in Amsterdam. Learn more online at www.laurawatkinson.com.

 

A Tiger Like Me Giveaway!

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One lucky winner will receive courtesy of Amazon Crossing Kids (U.S. addresses only).  Enter the giveaway below by Thursday, August 29, 2019 at 8 p.m.  Winner will be notified on Friday, August 30, 2019.  

 

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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/19/19

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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The World Ends in April by Stacy McAnulty

Elle is probably the only student in her middle school who has a bug-out bag (otherwise know as BOB)? Why? Because Elle’s grandfather is a prepper or in plain speak, he has been preparing for her and her brothers for the apocalypse ever since she can remember.  Just when Elle is officially tired of her grandfather’s favorite hobby, she stumbles upon the website of Dr. Martin Cologne, an Ivy League astrophysicist who unequivocally believes that an asteroid will cause the world to end in April.  Confiding in her best friend Mack, they start an TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) club, which is formally known at school as the Nature Club in order to not raise suspicions.  But while the other members including Mack take the prediction in stride, Elle becomes totally obsessed with Dr. Cologne’s prophecy which causes trouble at school and at home.

The World Ends in April has a unique plot but I believe it is Elle that will hook readers. Written from her point of view, Ellen is such a dynamic character and while strong, McAnulty also allows readers to see her vulnerabilities. Elle learns that true friends and family will always be there for you. And believing in TEOTWAWKI can actually change you for the better. Special thanks to Random House Kids for sharing an ARC with my #bookexcursion group.  Look for The World Ends in April’s release soon on September 3, 2019.

A Swirl of Ocean by Melissa Sarno

For most of her life, 12 year old Summer has enjoyed a quiet life with her adoptive mom Lindy in the beach town of Barnes Bluff.  But their family of two is about to change with Lindy’s boyfriend, Elder moving in.  Worried she is being replaced by Elder, Summer starts to question who she really is and does she really belong with Lindy, for Lindy found Summer on the beach when she was two.  Then after getting caught in riptide, Summer starts to have vivid dreams about a girl named Tink and her friends.  Like Summer, Tink is dealing with feelings of insecurity.  With her best friend Jeremiah, Summer tries to find answers about Tink which ultimately will help Summer discover more about own her identity as well as Lindy’s.

Author Melissa Sarno seamlessly and beautifully intertwines themes of change, friendship, family, and identity in this intriguing upper middle grade novel.  A blend of realistic fiction, fantasy and mystery, A Swirl of Ocean’s captivating plot will draw readers in and only 217 pages long, it is a story that is hard to put down.  Special thanks to author Melissa Sarno for sharing an ARC with my #bookexcursion group.  A Swirl of Ocean recently published on August 6, 2019.

Cape: The League of Secret Heroes by Kate Hannigan Illustrated by Patrick Spaziante

A blend of historical fiction and fantasy, CAPE is a fast paced adventure that middle grade readers will devour. Set during World War II, readers are introduced to three astute and diverse young girls, Josie, Akiko, and Mae who are recruited to join a league of secret heroes to fight injustice. There are so many reasons I enjoyed reading CAPE.  Hannigan’s unique plot makes the novel a page turner. While CAPE is undoubtedly fiction, Hannigan intertwines real life elements of the period such as the discrimination that particular ethnic groups faced during World War II as well as characters based on actual people who supported the war effort like Josie’s cousin Kay who worked as a human computer during the war. I absolutely love the camaraderie between Josie, Akiko, and Mae.  Interspersed throughout the novel are Patrick Spaziante’s incredibly illustrated comic panel sequences which depict the girls’ transformation into superheroes and their fight against evil, which will make the novel even more appealing to readers.  To read my full review, click here.

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What If Everybody Thought That? by written by Ellen Javernick Illustrated by Colleen Madden

Everyone has thoughts about us that we never hear.  These preconceived opinions are based on our stature or appearance and while never vocalized, silence and body language can still affect our self-esteem.  Rather than dwell on these negative thoughts, we should believe in our abilities and show them that they are wrong.  What If Everybody Thought That? does more than just foster inner confidence.  The story has a higher goal of challenging children to stop making negative assumptions.  For example, instead of presuming that individuals who are short can’t excel at basketball, we should not form an opinion before seeing them on the court. To read my full review and enter a giveaway for all 3 books in the What if Everybody series, 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.

The Grumpy Pets by Kristine Lombardi

August 17th was Clear the Shelters Day.  Thanks to an Instagram post by author/illustrator Kristine Lombardi, I discovered a “new to me” book that promotes animal adoption.

Grumpy Pet
Kristine Lombardi 2019

Billy is a grouchy kid who finds it hard to smile. In hopes of cheering him up, his mom takes him to Perfect Pets Animal Shelter.  Everyone including his sister finds a pet that suits them except for Billy.  They are all just too perfect. But when Billy hears barks coming from another aisle, he discovers to his surprise, the grumpy pets, which had similar dispositions to Billy.  Within moments, Billy makes eye contact with one particular dog which ultimately helps turns his frown upside down.

With concise text and expressive illustrations, The Grumpy Pets is a story that teaches readers that animals can rescue us from a bad mood with just one look, lick or tail wag. And as a dog mom of 2 rescue beagles, I love that the Lombardi promotes visiting a shelter or rescue to adopt your furever friend.

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

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