Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins by Sue Fliess

Beagles and Books is excited to be a part of the blog tour for Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Mark Chambers. It recently published in September 2018. 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: 
It’s Christmas Eve morning, and Santa Claus is still in bed! He’s feeling stuffy and sneezy and slow as a yeti. Will Christmas have to be canceled? Not this year! Because Mrs. Claus is ready to take the reins in Santa’s place. With a plan in mind, Mrs. Claus assembles the crew, maps out the route, and preps the sleigh. Then, with a snap of the reins, she shoots off into the night. Delivering gifts all over the world without Santa’s magic won’t be easy, but Mrs. Claus proves she has some holiday sparkle of her own…

With lively rhyming text and adorable artwork, this delightful Christmas adventure will get kids into the holiday spirit.

Praise for Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins
“The illustrations are bright and expressive…Young children will enjoy this exuberant adventure.” —Kirkus Reviews
“This is a nice addition to holiday stories with a little dash of girl power.” —Youth Services Book Review
 Review:
What happens when it’s Christmas Eve morning and Santa wakes up feeling sick?  Have no fear!  Mrs. Claus is here to take the reins of his sleigh. And with no time to waste, Mrs. Claus quickly gathers the elves to help her prepare for her round trip journey to deliver presents.
 
Written in rhyme, the text is fun and cheery; it begs to be read aloud!  The bold and colorful illustrations are eye catching especially Mrs. Claus herself with her red curly hair, cat eye glasses, plaid skirt, and red stockings. Readers also spy contemporary references in the illustrations such as Mrs. Claus using a tablet for planning and navigation as well as holding a Starbucks-like cup of coffee as she embarks on her adventure.
Fleiss-Mrs.ClausTakestheReins-23327-IN-PB-EBOOK-v7.indd

I love finding new holiday books to share with students and recommend to teachers.  Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins is a delightful and entertaining adventure that readers will thoroughly enjoy.  Author Sue Fliess has created a dynamic character in Mrs. Claus for she demonstrates many positive traits.  She shows initiative and confidence taking over for Santa, orderliness in preparation for her journey, enthusiasm for delivering the presents, courage when facing bad weather, and calmness and resourcefulness when problems arise.  Illustrator Mark Chambers’ artwork is detailed and expressive, for he vividly conveys Santa’s and Mrs. Claus’ feelings and emotions as well as the elves, reindeer, and other animals.
 
I can’t wait to read Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins to students and start a new holiday tradition!
 
Watch Mrs. Claus make HERstory in the adorable trailer!
 
 
About the Author:
Sue Fliess is the author of more than twenty children’s books, including Shoes for Me!, A Dress for Me!, and Books for Me!, all illustrated by Mike Laughead; and Let’s Build, illustrated by Miki Sakamoto. Sue loves the holiday season and hopes she made it onto Santa’s “nice” list this year! She lives with her family and their dog in Northern Virginia. Learn more about Sue online at www.suefliess.com.
 
About the Illustrator: 
Mark Chambers is an award-winning author and illustrator of more than thirty-five children’s books. In 2013, Mark won the Sheffield Children’s Picture Book Award and was short-listed for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. In 2017, his artwork entitled “We Will Remember” was short-listed for the AOI World Illustration Awards. Mark lives and works in the United Kingdom and once spent Christmas in the Arctic Circle. Learn more about Mark online at www.markachambers.com
 
Fleis-Mrs.ClausTakestheReins-23327-CV-FT-v5 (1)
 

Giveaway!
Thanks to Two Lions, one lucky winner will receive a copy of MRS. CLAUS TAKES THE REINS (U.S. addresses).  The giveaway begins Friday, November 30, 2018 and ends at 12:00 a.m. on Friday, December 8, 2018. Enter by clicking the link below. 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/46a61dc09/?

 

 

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books, Rockstar Book Tours

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Made By Maxine by Ruth Spiro Illustrated by Holly Hatem

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the Made By Maxine blog tour organized by Rockstar Book Tours. Written by Ruth Spiro and illustrated by Holly Hatem, Made By Maxine recently published on October 9, 2018.

About the Book:
Title: MADE BY MAXINE
Author: Ruth Spiro (Author),Holly Hatam (Illustrator)
Publisher: Dial Books
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 37
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

Publisher’s Summary: 

Meet Maxine, an inspiring young maker who knows that with enough effort and imagination (and mistakes), it’s possible to invent anything.

Maxine loves making new things from old things. She loves tinkering until she has solved a problem. She also loves her pet goldfish, Milton. So when it’s time for her school’s pet parade, she’s determined to create something that will allow Milton to march with the other animals. Finally, after trying, trying,and trying again, she discovers just the right combination of recycled odds and ends to create a fun, functional–and absolutely fabulous–solution to her predicament.

Review:

From the moment I opened Made By Maxine, I was captivated by illustrator Hollly Hatam’s cheerful and animated illustrations.  The endpapers are filled with drawings of scientific elements, DNA, and tools which give us a glimpse into Maxine’s passion for discovery.  As soon as readers meet Maxine on the first page, her facial expression shows her excitement for creating new things from old things. 

It comes as no surprise that Maxine wants to upgrade her new pet fish Milton’s simple glass bowl to something more spectacular.  Her motto is “If I can dream it, I can make it.”  Author Ruth Spiro richly and precisely describes Maxine’s creative process introducing young readers to words such as de-construct, re-construct, tinker, hack, upcycle, and repurpose,   Hatam’s expressive illustrations reveal Maxine’s range of emotions when inventing.  Her face shows moments of confidence, puzzlement, excitement, frustration, and satisfaction.

When faced with the task of inventing a way to include feetless Milton in her class pet parade, Maxine experiences struggle and failure, but ultimately is not deterred.  She is loyal to her fishy friend.  Wearing her thinking cap (complete with a lightbulb and antenna), Maxine holds true to the quote taped to her wall which reads “Think like a proton. Always positive.”  She perseveres to create a fintastic, fintabulous, and fincredible float for Melvin!

Spiro has written an inspiring story of a young girl who is inventive, resourceful and most importantly persistent.  While Hatam’s warm illustrations show her family’s support of her projects,  it is clear that Maxine’s drive and determination comes from within.  Maxine teaches us all that the creative process is messy but the results are so rewarding. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

About Holly:

Holly Hatam’s a girl that sometimes wears something pink and sparkly and sometimes dons capes and fights dragons. Some days she’s moody, but other days she shakes her booty. Some days her heart may seek wild adventures, but other days she just wants to be a couch potato. She is a picture book maker, greeting card designer, and a textile engineer. She is also the #1 New York  Times Bestselling illustrator of Dear Girl. Her other books include, What Matters, Tree Song, Maxine the Maker, Jack(Not Jackie) and The Acadia Files.

Holly lives in Whitby, Ontario with her weird husband and even weirder son. But that’s ok, because weird is a side effect of awesome.

Holly’s client list includes Harper Collins, Orca Publishers, Dial Books for Young Readers, AnnickPress, Tilbury House, Lady Bird, Usborne Books, Hallmark, American Greetings, Mudpuppy, Baby Bug, Highlights, Chickadee, Little Bee Books, MacGraw Hill, and Learning A-Z.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads

 

Giveaway:

1 winner will win a finished copy of MADE BY MAXINE, US Only.  Click the link below to enter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2852/?

Tour Schedule: Join us on the other stops of this tour for more giveaway chances and to read more about the illustrator Holly Hatem and MADE BY MAXINE.

Week One:
11/19/2018- Lifestyle of Me– Review
11/20/2018- Here’s to Happy EndingsReview
11/21/2018- Beagles & Books– Review
11/22/2018- Do You Dog-ear?– Review
11/23/2018- Chrikaru Reads– Review

Week Two:
11/26/2018- BookHounds YA– Review
11/27/2018- YA Books Central– Review
11/28/2018- Twirling BookPrincess– Excerpt
11/29/2018- Oh Hey! Books.– Interview
11/30/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt

 

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Duck and Hippo Give Thanks by Jonathan London Illustrated by Andrew Joyner

 

Beagles and Books is excited to be a part of the blog tour for Duck and Hippo Give Thanks written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Andrew Joyner. It recently published in August 2018. 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:

Duck and Hippo are thankful for good friends!

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and Hippo has his heart set on having a good old-fashioned feast with Duck and their friends. Together, Duck and Hippo go shopping for food and invite Turtle, Elephant, and Pig to share the special day with them. Then they get everything ready. But while Hippo goes to bed dreaming of his good old-fashioned Thanksgiving, Duck is busy making her own plans. There’s going to be a BIG surprise—one that will remind Hippo of all he has to be thankful for. Join Duck and Hippo for a memorable celebration!

Review and Thoughts:

I love finding seasonal read alouds that I can share with students before a holiday.  Duck and Hippo Give Thanks is a sweet story with two simple yet powerful messages. True friendship is about accepting others for who they are, and the best gift is time together with friends.

At my elementary school this year, we are focusing on teaching students a virtue a week and acknowledging students who demonstrate that virtue through their words and actions. After reading aloud Duck and Hippo Give Thanks to a second grade class, I asked “What do you think the author wanted to teach us?”  Many hands went up in the air with connections to the previously taught virtues.  Here are some of the kids’ comments.

“This story taught me about being kind.  Hippo was kind to invite all his friends to Thanksgiving dinner and the animals were kind to bring food to share.”

“I think the author wanted us to know that being a good friend means you don’t always get your way. When the animals brought their own food, Hippo looked mad at first but then he changed his mind and said he was thankful for his friends.”

“The story reminded me of our virtue of cooperation. Hippo and his friends all worked together to make food for Thanksgiving.”

It always warms this teacher’s heart when children can identify themes on their own and can see that books can have multiple messages.  I enjoy Duck and Hippo because they remind me of Frog and Toad. Duck is adventurous and Hippo is a little more set in his ways.  Together, they are great friends because they bring out the best in each other.  Andrew Joyner’s illustrations warmly capture both Duck’s and Hippo’s personalities.

If Duck and Hippo are new to you, check out the series.  And be on the look out for the next book, Duck and Hippo: The Secret Valentine, due out on December 18, 2018.

About the Author:
Jonathan London is the author of more than one hundred children’s books, including the Froggy series, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, which has sold more than fifteen million copies. Jonathan lives in Graton, California. Learn more at www.jonathan-london.net

About the Illustrator:
Andrew Joyner is an Australian illustrator and author whose work has been published in more than twenty-five countries. He has created the artwork for many picture books, and he is author and illustrator of a chapter book series about a warthog named Boris. Andrew lives in South Australia. Learn more at www.andrewjoyner.com.au.

There’s more fun with Duck and Hippo in the free downloadable activity pages: https://www.andrewjoyner.com.au/activities/.

Duck and Hippo give thanks for good friends in this sweet book trailer.

Giveaway!
Two Lions is offering a set of all three Duck and Hippo books–DUCK AND HIPPO IN THE RAINSTORM, DUCK AND HIPPO LOST AND FOUND, and DUCK AND HIPPO GIVE THANKS–to one lucky winner (U.S. addresses).  Giveaway begins Friday, November 16, 2018 and ends at 12:00 a.m. on Friday, November 23, 2018. Enter by clicking the link below.  

A Duck and Hippo Rafflecopter Giveaway

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Middle Grade Literature, Rockstar Book Tours

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Inkling by Kenneth Oppel Illustrated by Sydney Smith

INKLING.jpg

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the Inkling blog tour organized by Rockstar Book Tours. Written by Kenneth Oppel and illustrated by Sydney Smith, Inkling celebrated its book birthday yesterday.

img_5637.jpg

About the Book:
Title:
 INKLING
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Pub. Date: November 6, 2018
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Pages: 272

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudibleB&NiBooksTBD

Summary:
From the acclaimed author of The NestThe Boundless, and Airborn comes a brilliantly funny, breakout book about a boy who discovers an ink blot that’s come to life! Perfect for those who love Hoot and Frindle and sure to be a hit with kids everywhere!

The Rylance family is stuck. Dad’s got writer’s block. Ethan promised to illustrate a group project at school–even though he can’t draw. Sarah’s still pining for a puppy. And they all miss Mom. So much more than they can say.

Enter Inkling. Inkling begins life in Mr. Rylance’s sketchbook. But one night the ink of his drawings runs together–and then leaps off the page! This small burst of creativity is about to change everything.

Ethan finds him first. Inkling has absorbed a couple chapters of his math book–not good–and the story he’s supposed to be illustrating for school–also not good. But Inkling’s also started drawing the pictures to go with the story–which is amazing! It’s just the help Ethan was looking for! Inkling helps the rest of the family too–for Sarah he’s a puppy. And for Dad he’s a spark of ideas for a new graphic novel. It’s exactly what they all want.

It’s not until Inkling goes missing that this family has to face the larger questions of what they–and Inkling–truly need.

Kenneth Oppel has given us a small masterpiece of middle-grade fiction. Inkling is funny and fizzy and exciting, and brimming with the kind of interesting ideas and dilemmas that kids will love to wrestle with. And Sydney Smith is creating wonderfully inky illustrations to bring the story to vivid life. Get ready. A little ink blot is about to become your new favorite character!

Review:
When an ink blot escapes a sketchbook, he has no idea of the impact he would have on the Rylance family.  They are still mourning the loss of their mom and comic artist dad is struggling to write his next graphic novel.  Ethan is shouldering a lot of responsibilities from helping to take care of his younger sister who has Down’s Syndrome as well as illustrating a group project at school.  Because of his dad, everyone just assumes that he is a talented artist but in reality, Ethan really hates drawing. Except maybe for stick figures.

Imagine Ethan’s surprise when he discovers an ink blot that is alive! Inkling helps Ethan first by sketching his illustrations and then giving him drawing lessons. Once Ethan’s dad discovers Inkling, he too feels revitalized and relies on Inkling to help him out of his creative slump.  While Inkling is happy to assist, he knows that he needs to do something to help the whole family.  Something that will help them all heal and remind them that the most important story of all is the one Ethan, his sister Sarah, and his dad create together as a family.

I just love Inkling’s relationship with Ethan.  While he has friends, Ethan is lonely.  His dad is so distant and Inkling provides that support that Ethan is craving.  Although Inkling is drawing for Ethan, Ethan struggles with the fact that he is cheating and asks Inkling to teach him.  When Inkling looks faint in color, Ethan tells him to stop working and brings him nourishment in the way of comics, newspapers, and books. An ink blot has to eat right? Inkling is a good cheerleader for Ethan. Recalling words and quotes from the stories he has read (and eaten), he boosts Ethan’s confidence.

Inkling tackles tough issues but gently and with care. Kids will be able to relate to Ethan and his challenges of finding his own path. Sydney Smith’s illustrations are also crucial to the plot.  As a reader, I actually felt the presence of Inkling, for splots grace every page.  And I never thought I would fall in love with a cute ink blot, but Kenneth Oppel’s characterization of Inkling will make it hard for you not to do the same.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

KO+2.JPG

About Kenneth:
I was born in Port Alberni, a mill town on Vancouver Island, British Columbia but spent the bulk of my childhood in Victoria, B.C. and on the opposite coast, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At around twelve I decided I wanted to be a writer. I started out writing sci-fi epics then went on to swords and sorcery tales and then, during the summer holiday when I was fourteen, started on a humorous story about a boy addicted to video games. Photo credit: Mark Raynes Roberts

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

9781524772819

Giveaway Details:
3 winners will win a finished copy of INKLING, US Only.  Click the link below to enter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2831/?

Tour Schedule:
Join us on the other stops of this tour for more giveaway chances and to read more about author Kenneth Oppel and INKLING.

Week Two:
11/5/2018- Belles Book Blog– Review
11/6/2018- D Wants to Read– Review
11/7/2018- Beagles & Books– Review
11/8/2018- YA Books Central– Interview
11/9/2018- Belle’s Archive– Review

Week Three:
11/12/2018- Maddie.TV – Review
11/13/2018- Cindy’s Love of Books– Review
11/14/2018- Bri’s Book Nook– Review
11/15/2018- FUONLYKNEW– Review
11/16/2018- BookHounds YA– Review

Week Four:
11/19/2018- Twirling Book Princess Excerpt
11/20/2018- Book-Keeping– Review
11/21/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt
11/22/2018- All the Ups and Downs- Excerpt
11/23/2018- Lilly’s Book World Review

Week Five:
11/26/2018- The Layaway Dragon– Review
11/27/2018- The Cover Contessa– Interview
11/28/2018- The Pages In-Between– Review
11/29/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland- Review
11/30/2018- Oh Hey! Books.– Review

Blog Tour, Book Birthday, Giveaway, Picture Books, Rockstar Book Tours

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Little Dreamers Visionary Women Around the World by Vashti Harrison

LITTLE DREAMERS

Beagles and Books wishes a Happy Book Birthday to author and illustrator Vashti Harrison and her latest picture book Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World. I am excited to be part of the blog tour organized by Rockstar Book Tours.

Little Dreamers.png

About the Book:
Title:
 LITTLE DREAMERS: VISIONARY WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD
Author: Vashti Harrison
Pub. Date: November 6, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Pages: 96

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudible,  B&NiBooksTBD

 Summary:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History comes the highly anticipated follow-up, a beautifully illustrated collectible detailing the lives of women creators around the world.

Featuring the true stories of 40 women creators, ranging from writers to inventors, artists to scientists, Visionary Women Around the World inspires as it educates. Readers will meet trailblazing women like Mary Blair, an American modernist painter who had a major influence on how color was used in early animated films, actor/inventor Hedy Lamar, environmental activist Wangari Maathai, architect Zaha Hadid, filmmaker Maya Deren, and physicist Chien-Shiung Wu. Some names are known, some are not, but all of the women had a lasting effect on the fields they worked in.

The charming, information-filled full-color spreads show the leaders as both accessible and aspirational so reader knows they, too, can grow up to do something amazing.

Review:
Little Dreamers is a companion to Vashti Harrison’s Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History. This well written and beautifully illustrated compilation of concise biographies is a celebration of 40 curious, creative, and persistence women who are role models for us all.  Each woman challenged the norm, saw things differently and wasn’t afraid to ask questions and share their thinking. Because of their determination and willingness to make mistakes, the world is a better place.

Harrison’s extensive time researching is evident, for she includes women from as far back as the ninth century as well as women who are still alive today. She highlights women who have made significant and lasting contributions to the arts and science.  While some names were familiar to me such as Marie Curie, Toni Morrison and Maya Lin, I must shamefully admit that the majority of women were new to me, which is why Little Dreamers is such an important book to be read and shared with children.

Little Dreamers is an utterly gorgeous book in its content, design, and message. The format makes the text highly accessible to elementary age students. One page mini biographies are accompanied by a strikingly beautifully yet simple portrait. 

Spread1Spread2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The learning doesn’t end, for the backmatter includes an introduction to 18 additional women and resources for readers to conduct their own research. A glossary of terms is also included. Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World is an affirming and uplifting text that should be in every home, classroom and library to educate and inspire future little dreamers.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Vashti Harrison Photo.jpg

About Vashti:
Part author – illustrator – filmmaker, Vashti Harrison is an artist originally from Onley, Virginia. She has a background in filmmaking and a love for storytelling. She earned her BA from the University of Virginia as a double major in Media Studies and Studio Art with concentrations in Film and Cinematography. She then went on to receive her MFA in Film and Video from CalArts where she snuck into Animation classes to learn from Disney and Dreamworks legends. There she rekindled a love for drawing and painting. Now, utilizing both skillsets, she is passionate about crafting beautiful stories for children and young adults in the film and kidlit worlds.

Website | Twitter | Instagram |Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway Details:
3 winners will win a finished copy of LITTLE DREAMERS: VISIONARY WOMEN AROUND THE WORLD, US Only.  Click the link below to enter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2839/?

Tour Schedule:
Join us on the other stops of this tour for more giveaway chances and to read more about author Vashti Harrison and her new picture book LITTLE DREAMERS.

Week One:
11/5/2018- Such a Novel Idea– Review
11/6/2018- Beagles & Books– Review
11/7/2018- Mama Reads Blog– Review
11/8/2018- Book-Keeping– Review
11/9/2018- The Layaway Dragon– Review

Week Two:
11/12/2018- YA Books Central– Excerpt
11/13/2018- Two Points of Interest– Review
11/14/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review
11/15/2018- Novel Novice– Review
11/16/2018- Do You Dog-ear?– Review

 

Blog Tour, Book Birthday, Debut Author, Giveaway, Middle Grade Literature, Rockstar Book Tours

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Love Like Sky by Leslie Youngblood

LOVE LIKE SKY

Beagles and Books wishes a Happy Book Birthday to author Leslie Youngblood and her debut middle grade novel Love Like Sky! I am excited to be part of the blog tour organized by Rockstar Book Tours.

About the Book:
Title:
 LOVE LIKE SKY
Author: Leslie C. Youngblood
Pub. Date: November 6, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 304

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

Summary:

“Brims with charm and compassion.”
–Vashti Harrison, New York Times best-selling author of Little Leaders 

“Love ain’t like that.”
“How is it then?” Peaches asked, turning on her stomach to face me.
“It’s like sky. If you keep driving and driving, gas will run out, right?”
“That’s why we gotta go to the gas station.”
“Yep. But have you ever seen the sky run out? No matter how far we go?”
“No, when we look up, there it is.”
“Well that’s the kind of love Daddy and Mama got for us, Peaches–love like sky.”
“It never ends?”
“Never.”

G-baby and her younger sister, Peaches, are still getting used to their “blended-up” family. They live with Mama and Frank out in the suburbs, and they haven’t seen their real daddy much since he married Millicent. G-baby misses her best friend back in Atlanta, and is crushed that her glamorous new stepsister, Tangie, wants nothing to do with her.

G-baby is so preoccupied with earning Tangie’s approval that she isn’t there for her own little sister when she needs her most. Peaches gets sick-really sick. Suddenly, Mama and Daddy are arguing like they did before the divorce, and even the doctors at the hospital don’t know how to help Peaches get better.

It’s up to G-baby to put things right. She knows Peaches can be strong again if she can only see that their family’s love for her really is like sky.

Review:
Told from the point of view of 11-year-old Georgie, Love Like Sky is an honest and heartwarming story about family and friendship.  Georgie is experiencing a lot of change in her life with both of her parents remarrying, gaining a reluctant stepsister, and moving away from her best friend Nikki.  When her little sister Peaches gets sick, Georgie initially blames herself.  Peaches’ illness actually brings Georgie and her stepsister Tangie closer, for Tangie can empathize with Georgie’s grief.  Tangie’s own sister died as a result of injuries sustained from a car accident.   While Georgie welcomes Tangie’s attention, Nikki feels threatened and becomes more friendly with Lucinda, a mean girl, which causes a rift between the best friends.

What I love about Love Like Sky is Georgie’s voice is so authentic.  Young readers will  easily be able to relate to Georgie’s struggles but they will also see her strength.  While still a child, she is getting older and wants to be treated more like a grown up.  Like other kids her age, Georgie’s choices can be selfish at times but she is self-reflective and learns from her mistakes.  Georgie also shows maturity when Nikki is unable to stand up to Lucinda and seeks to help rather than abandon her best friend.

While her family dynamics has definitely changed with her parents’ divorce and remarriages, it is clear that Georgie is blessed with both parents and stepparents who love and support her.  One of my favorite quotes is when Georgie says “Grown-ups are human too.  It takes time to figure stuff out.”  That is true Georgie but never-ending love of family will help you get through those tough times.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Leslie.jpg

About Leslie:
Leslie C. Youngblood received an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A former assistant professor of creative writing at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, she has lectured at Mississippi State University, UNC-Greensboro, and the University of Ghana at Legon. She began her undergraduate degree at Morris Brown College and completed her bachelor’s at Georgia State University. After graduation, she served as a columnist and assistant editor for Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine.

She’s been awarded a host of writing honors including a 2014 Yaddo’s Elizabeth Ames Residency, the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Prize, a Hurston Wright Fellowship, and the Room of Her Own Foundation’s 2009 Orlando Short Story Prize. She received funding to attend the Norman Mailer Writers’ Colony in 2011. Her short story, “Poor Girls’ Palace,” was published in the winter 2009 edition of the Indiana Review, as well as Kwelijournal, 2014.

In 2010 she won the Go On Girl! Book Club Aspiring Writer Award. In 2016 she landed a two-book publishing deal with Disney-Hyperion for her Middle-Grade novel, LOVE LIKE SKY (Nov.6). She often teaches creative writing classes at Rochester, New York’s literary center, Writers & Books.

Born in Bogalusa, Louisiana, and raised in Rochester, New York, she’s fortunate to have a family of natural storytellers and a circle of supportive and family and friends.

Giveaway Details:
3 winners will win a finished copy of LOVE LIKE SKY, US Only.  Click the link below to enter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2837/?

Tour Schedule:
Join us on the other stops of this tour for more giveaway chances and to read more about author Leslie Youngblood and her debut novel LOVE LIKE SKY.

Week One:
11/5/2018- BookHounds YA– Excerpt
11/6/2018- Beagles & Books– Review
11/7/2018- YA Books CentralExcerpt
11/8/2018- Do You Dog-ear?– Review
11/9/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review

Week Two:
11/12/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review
11/13/2018- Texan Holly Reads– Review
11/14/2018- Utopia State of Mind– Review
11/15/2018- Novel Novice– Excerpt
11/16/2018- Such a Novel Idea– Review

 

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Duck On a Disco Ball by Jeff Mack

Beagles and Books is excited to be a part of the blog tour for Duck on a Disco Ball by Jeff Mack. It recently published on October 1, 2018. 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.
Mack-DuckOnADiscoBall-26634-CV-FT.jpg
Publisher’s Summary:

Bedtime has never been so silly!

Every night it’s the same old story. A boy wants to stay up late, but his parents won’t let him. But sometimes in the morning, he notices things look a little off—like when he sees a disco ball in the kitchen…with his toy duck on it. So one night he decides to stay up. And that’s when the fun really begins.

Silliness builds with each page of this high-energy, pun-filled companion to Duck in the Fridge until the moment when sleep eventually takes hold and morning arrives once more.

Review and Thoughts:

Every kid wants to know what their parents do while they are asleep.

Mack-DuckOnADiscoBall-26634-IN-PB-EBOOK-v4.indd

Well, Duck on a Disco Ball is a hilarious story about one boy who decides to take matter into his own hands and finds out.  He sneaks downstairs and witnesses his parents back partying with his toy duck and other stuffed animals which have come alive! His parents are bellyflopping and backflipping, eating, singing and even flying.

I love the format which are primarily full page vivid and bold illustrations with the boy’s narration in typewriter text and all dialogue in speech bubbles.  During the parents’ late night antics, puns pervade the party.  The horse asks “Can I get a drink of water? I’m just a little hoarse.”  A duck remarks “Everyone loves donuts” and another duck responds ” Not me. I’m sick of the hole thing!” In response to the parents saying they wanna rock (in other words, sing) a boulder literally crashes into their house and rock puns ensue.  In the morning, the boy finds his toy duck and a guitar behind the sofa confirming what he saw was no dream.  At the end, the duck gives a cute little wink confirming the late night romp making me wonder what will be his next adventure.

A lively and back-slapping companion to Duck in the Fridge, Duck on a Disco Ball will continue the laughter and young children will beg for more Duck shenanigans.

The silliness continues in the trailer!

About Jeff Mack:
Jeff Mack is the award-winning author and illustrator of Duck in the Fridge; Mine!; Ah Ha!; Good News, Bad News; and the Hippo and Rabbit series. He has also illustrated many books, including If My Love Were a Fire Truck by Luke Reynolds. His books have been awarded the Texas 2×2, a Junior Library Guild award, a Colorado Bell Award, a Pennsylvania Family Literacy Award, a New York Public Library Best Book of the Year Award, and a Bank Street Best Book of the Year award. Jeff lives in Massachusetts. Visit him online at jeffmack.com
Twitter: @jeffmackbooks
Facebook: JeffMackBooks
 
Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of BOTH books featuring the silly duck–Duck in the Fridge and Duck On a Disco Ball, courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses).  To enter, click the link below.
Blog Tour, Debut Author, Giveaway, Graphic Novel, Rockstar Book Tours

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks

SANITY & TALLUAH.jpg

Beagles and Books wishes a Happy Book Birthday to author Molly Brooks and her debut graphic novel Sanity and Tallulah!  We are excited to be part of the blog tour organized by Rockstar Book Tours.

Sanity & Tallulah

About the Book:
Title:
 SANITY & TALLULAH
Author: Molly Brooks
Pub. Date: October 16, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook
Pages: 240

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

Summary:
Sanity Jones and Tallulah Vega are best friends on Wilnick, the dilapidated space station they call home at the end of the galaxy. So naturally, when gifted scientist Sanity uses her lab skills and energy allowance to create a definitely-illegal-but-impossibly-cute three-headed kitten, she has to show Tallulah. But Princess, Sparkle, Destroyer of Worlds is a bit of a handful, and it isn’t long before the kitten escapes to wreak havoc on the space station. The girls will have to turn Wilnick upside down to find her, but not before causing the whole place to evacuate! Can they save their home before it’s too late?

Readers will be over the moon for this rollicking space adventure by debut author Molly Brooks.

Review:
Graphic novels are in high demand with my readers so I was so excited to have the opportunity to read Sanity and Tallulah.  Right at the beginning of the novel, it was clear that young Sanity is a scientific force to be reckoned with.  Secretly, Sanity creates a three-headed kitten in the lab much to the dismay of Dr. Vega, the space station’s chief scientist and best friend Tallulah’s mom.  After the bioengineered kitty escapes from the lab, Sanity and Tallulah’s search to find the cat uncovers a much larger problem that could threaten the entire space station.

I just love Sanity and Tallulah both as individuals and as a team. Already grounded for being an accomplice, Tallulah willingly assists Sanity in searching for three-headed feline, always trying to keep her best friend’s spirits up, and is a good sounding board. Sanity exhibits confidence in her abilities as a scientist, and her genuine concern for her cat’s well being is endearing.  Despite Dr. Vega’s anger about the unauthorized science project, she demonstrates compassion toward both girls and recognizes and values Sanity’s talents and expertise.  Most importantly, author Molly Brooks creates strong, diverse female characters with a respected knowledge of science who can serve as role models for students.

With engaging artwork using a limited color palette, a fast paced plot, strong and diverse characters and of course, an adorable three-headed kitty,  I hope that Sanity and Tallulah is the first of many space adventures with this charming, intelligent, and plucky duo.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

About Molly:
I’m a freelance illustrator/comics-maker in Brooklyn by way of Nashville.

Website | Twitter |  Goodreads | Tumblr

Giveaway Details:
3 winners will win a finished copy of SANITY & TALLULAH, US Only.  Click the link below to enter.

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2814/

Tour Schedule:
Join us on the other stops of this tour for more giveaway chances and to read more author Molly Brooks and her debut graphic novel Sanity & Tallulah.

Week Two:
10/15/2018- Rhythmicbooktrovert– Review
10/16/2018- Beagles & Books– Review
10/17/2018- Utopia State of Mind– Excerpt
10/18/2018- YA Books Central– Interview
10/19/2018- Eli to the nth– Review

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Eduardo Guadardo, Elite Sheep by Anthony Pearson

Beagles and Books is excited to be a part of the blog tour for Eduardo Guadardo, Elite Sheep written by Anthony Pearson and illustrated by Jennifer E. Morris It recently published on October 1, 2018. 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: 

Eduardo Guadardo may look fluffy. He may look cute. But he’s no little lamb. He’s about to graduate from the FBI—that’s the Fairytale Bureau of Investigations—as an Elite Sheep.

eduardoguadardoelitesheep-large-1

He knows five forms of kung fu, and he can outfox the foxiest of foxes. In fact, he’s so good they put him on his own case: to keep the farmer’s daughter, Mary, safe from Wolf, Troll, and Witch. It’s a job for somebody baaaaaaad—someone like a soon-to-be Elite Sheep. The thing is, protecting Mary isn’t quite as easy as Eduardo expected…

This imaginary backstory for “Mary Had a Little Lamb” is hilarious, action-packed, and filled with subterfuge (that means pulling the wool over your eyes, for you civilians).

 

Review and Thoughts:
This year, my elementary school is focusing on one value or virtue per week to teach and reinforce with students on the daily morning announcements and during daily class meetings.  Since this week’s virtue was cooperation, Eduardo Guardaro, Elite Sheep was the perfect picture book to read aloud to the second grade class that I sponsor for #classroombookaday.  To learn more about #classroombookaday, please click here. 
At the beginning of the story, Eduardo exudes confidence in his ability to handle his very first case on his own.  When Gingerbread Man asks who will be his partner, Eduardo dismisses him firmly stating “I don’t need to work with anyone.”  Protecting adventurous Mary Sawyer from Wolf, Troll, and Witch is hard work but nothing that Eduardo can’t handle.  Don’t forget he is an Elite Sheep.
But even an Elite Sheep get tired especially when it’s three against one. A frustrated and frightened Eduardo finally realizes that he needs help and fast.  After he admits he was wrong and begs the Gingerbread Man for help, Eduardo discovers that his first case was actually a set up which reveals he is lacking one crucial skill-the ability to work as part of a team.When I asked students about the purpose for reading and what is the author trying to teach us as readers, they quickly saw the connection between our virtue of the week and the message of the story.  After reading, we briefly brainstormed how cooperating with others helps us.
As a teacher, I always carefully choose #classroombookaday picture books because I want the text to teach or change students in some way.  What I love about Eduardo Guadardo, Elite Sheep is Anthony Pearson’s hilarious writing is full of sheep puns and told completely through dialogue.  Coupled with Jennifer Morris’ humorous and detailed illustrations, my students were laughing out loud the entire time I read the story.  But through the laughter, they learned the benefits of cooperation and teamwork, which are important skills to be successful in life.
About the Author:

Anthony Pearson is not a spy. He’s not. We promise. He’s actually a school counselor, a child therapist, and the author of Baby Bear Eats the Night, illustrated by Bonnie Leick. But that didn’t stop him from digging for clues about “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” What he found made him imagine what could have inspired the rhyme: a sheep that is totally, absolutely, 100 percent in control of things … or maybe just 95 percent. And squirrels in sunglasses. Oh, and a witch flying a helicopter. But you didn’t hear about the Fairytale Bureau of Investigations from him. Anthony and his family live in deep cover in Georgia. Get more intel about him at www.AnthonyPearson.info.

Twitter: @APearson_Writer

About the Illustrator:
Jennifer E. Morris has written and illustrated award-winning picture books and has also illustrated children’s magazines, greeting cards, partyware, and educational materials. She has not illustrated classified documents nor is she a super secret agent. She is, however, the creator of May I Please Have a Cookie? which has infiltrated more than a million homes. If you say “The dove flies at noon,” she may tell you what the ducks recorded on their cameras. Maybe. But most likely not. Jennifer lives with her family in Massachusetts, just a few miles from the little red schoolhouse where “Mary Had a Little Lamb” originated. Read more of her dossier (that’s DAH-see-ay) at www.jenmorris.com.

Twitter: @jemorrisbooks

Check Out Book Trailer:
Get some intel on Eduardo Guardado in his very own book trailer!

Enter Our Giveaway:
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Eduardo Guadardo, Elite Sheep, courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses only). Click the link below to enter.  Giveaway begins at Friday, October 12, 2018 at 12:00 a.m. and ends on Friday, October 19, 2018 at 11:59 a.m.  Please click the link below to enter.
Blog Tour, Giveaway, Poetry, Rockstar Book Tours

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Have You Heard About Lady Bird? Poems About Our First Ladies

Beagles and Books is excited to share a spotlight post on the upcoming release, Have You Heard About Lady Bird.  Stay tuned for a review next week on my It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? post next week.

About the Book:

Title: HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT LADY BIRD? POEMS ABOUT OUR FIRST LADIES

Author: Marilyn Singer, Nancy Carpenter (Illustrations)

Pub. Date: October 16, 2018

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 56

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

Publisher’s Summary:

The role of First Lady has been defined differently by each woman who’s held it, but all of them left an impact on our nation as partner of the commander in chief. Incisive poetry by Marilyn Singer and energetic art by Nancy Carpenter provide a fascinating glimpse into the lives of women-from Martha Washington to Eleanor Roosevelt to Lady Bird Johnson-who variously embraced the position and shied away from it, craved the spotlight and fiercely guarded their privacy, took controversial stands and championed for the status quo. Detailed back matter includes short biographies, quotations, and more.

 

About Marilyn:
Marilyn Singer was born in the Bronx (New York City) on October 3, 1948 and lived most of her early life in N. Massapequa (Long Island), NY. She attended Queens College, City University of New York, and for her junior year, Reading University, England. She holds a B.A. in English from Queens and an M.A. in Communications from New York University.

In 1974, after teaching English in New York City high schools for several years, she began to write – initially film notes, catalogues, teacher’s guides and film strips. Then, one day, when she was sitting in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, she penned a story featuring talking insect characters she’d made up when she was eight. Encouraged by the responses she got, she wrote more stories and in 1976 her first book, The Dog Who Insisted He Wasn’t, was published by E.P.Dutton & Co.


Since then, Marilyn has published over seventy books for children and young adults. Her genres are many and varied, including realistic novels, fantasies, non-fiction, fairy tales, picture books, mysteries and poetry. She likes writing
 many different kinds of books because it’s challenging and it keeps her from getting bored. She has won several Children’s Choice and Parents’ Choice Awards, as well as the following: the Creature Carnival, Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book, 2005; I Believe in Water: Twelve Brushes with Religion, New York Public Library’s “Best Books for the Teen Age,” 2001; Stay True: Short Stories for Strong Girls, Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2000 (YALSA); On the Same Day in March, Booklist’s Top Ten Science Books of 2000; NCSS-CBC Notable Book, 2000; Deal with a Ghost, finalist, YA category, Edgar Award, 1998; It Can’t Hurt Forever, Maud Hart Lovelace Award, 1983; The Course of True Love Never Did Run Smooth, ALA Best Book for Young Adults, 1983; Turtle in July, NCTE Notable, N.Y.Times Best Illustrated and Time Magazine Best Children’s Books of 1989; Turtle in July was also a Reading Rainbow review book.


Marilyn currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband Steve; their standard poodle
 Oggi, a cousin of their beloved and recently departed poodle Easy, seen in the home page photo; a cat named August ; two collared doves named Jubilee and Holiday; and a starling named Darling. Her interests include dog training, reading, hiking, bird-watching, gardening, meditation, playing computer adventure games and going to the movies and the theatre. She’s also a major Star Trek fan.


Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will win a finished copy of HAVE YOU HEARD ABOUT LADY BIRD? POEMS ABOUT OUR FIRST LADIES, US Only. Please enter by clicking link below.

 http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2813/

Tour Schedule:

Join us on the other stops of this tour for more giveaway chances and to read more about Have You Heard About Lady Bird? Poems About First Ladies.

Week One:

10/8/2018- The Desert Bibliophile– Excerpt

10/9/2018- Novel Novice– Excerpt

10/10/2018- Beagles & Books– Review

10/11/2018- Patriotic Bookaholic– Review

10/12/2018- Such A Novel Idea– Review

 

Week Two:

10/15/2018- BookHounds YA– Review

10/16/2018- Bibliophile Reviews– Review

10/17/2018- Book-Keeping– Review

10/18/2018- Margie’s Must Reads– Review

10/19/2018- The Pages In-Between– Excerpt