#classroombookaday, Blog Tour, Giveaway, Nonfiction, Picture Books

Review & Giveaway for Let Liberty Rise! How America’s Schoolchildren Helped Save the Statue of Liberty by Chana Stiefel


About the Book:

Title: Let Liberty Rise! How America’s Schoolchildren Helped Save the Statue of Liberty
Author: Chana Stiefel
Illustrator: Chuck Groenink
Pub. Date: March 3, 2021

Beagles and Books is excited to be share a review and giveaway for Let Liberty Rise! published by Scholastic. Special thanks to the publisher and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


Truth.  I only know the basic facts about the Statue of Liberty.

  • It was a gift from France.
  • It sits in New York Harbor.
  • It is a national monument.
  • Emma Lazarus’ poem is on the pedestal.

After reading Let Liberty Rise, I am a little ashamed at my lack of knowledge. But that is the great thing about reading nonfiction picture books. Even as an adult, I can learn more information about a topic and wow did I!


Interior illustration © 2021 Chuck Groenink from LET LIBERTY RISE! How America's Schoolchildren Saved the Statue of Liberty by Chana Stiefel_1

Today, the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of pride and freedom, but back in 1885, she arrived at Bedloe’s Island in 350 pieces and wasn’t able to be unpacked. Why? France had asked the United States to build a pedestal for the statue to stand on, but it was only half built. Why? Apparently, the the price of the pedestal was $100,000 and Americans weren’t too keen on contributing to the fund. 

These illustrations was particularly eye opening to me, for I did not know about the Americans’ indifference toward the statue which would become a national treasure.  Another new fact was that crates with her parts were just laying around Bedloe’s Island out in the elements.  Groenink’s illustrations show the honest feelings of New Yorkers.  It was too expensive and she should be send back to Paris.  Interior illustration © 2021 Chuck Groenink from LET LIBERTY RISE! How America's Schoolchildren Saved the Statue of Liberty by Chana Stiefel_3

Interior illustration © 2021 Chuck Groenink from LET LIBERTY RISE! How America's Schoolchildren Saved the Statue of Liberty by Chana Stiefel_4

Luckily, Lady Liberty had a an ally-Joesph Pulitzer, a Jewish Hungarian immigrant who now owned a newspaper, The New York World. In March 16,1885; Pulitizer encouraged people to donate to the pedestal fund and promised to print all contributors’ names in The World, no matter the sum or age of person.


Newspaper across the country reprinted Pulitizer words and over $2000 was raised in the first week. Children were instrumental in raising money emptying out their piggy banks of the precious coins they have saved.. By August 11, 1885, thanks to the generosity of 120,000 donors had collectively raised $100,000 to reach the goal.  The Statue of Liberty would soon be freed from her crates and rise for all to see and admire whether one was an immigrant sailing into New York Harbor, a visitor to New York City or a native Native Yorker.  


With Stiefel’s spirited text and Groenink’s energetic illustrations, Let Liberty Rise is an uplifting story that makes me proud to be an American.  What I love most is the 120,000 donors were a diverse group made up of all ages and professions and it especially warms my heart that Stiefel made a conscious decision to highlight the contributions of children.  Children from all over the country gave up their earned or saved money to be a part of something bigger.  After reading Let Liberty Rise to kids, imagine the conversation that can occur about how a small act can add up to a great difference.   Backmatter includes a timeline, more facts about the Statue of Liberty, a bibliography, and a look back in time through photographs.  

Praise for Let Liberty Rise!

  • “This charming history title is a true inspiration for the present. An informative must-have for all libraries.” — School Library Journal, starred review🟊
  • “All rise to this evocative, empowering offering.” — Kirkus Reviews


  • “[A] true tale of cooperation among all ages.” — Publishers Weekly

Check Out This Book Extras!

Download a free curriculum guide and check out the book trailer below!

About the Author:

Chana Stiefel is the author of more than 25 books for kids. She hails from sunny South Florida and now lives in New Jersey, just a ferry ride away from the Statue of Liberty. Chana loves visiting schools and libraries as well as sharing her passion for reading and writing with children. She earned a master’s degree in Science, Health, and Environmental Reporting from New York University. To learn more, visit Chana at chanastiefel.com

Facebook: Chana Stiefel

Twitter:  @chanastiefel

Instagram: @chanastiefel

About the Illustrator:

Chuck Groenink hails from an overgrown village among the peat bogs in the north of the Netherlands, where he spent his formative years climbing trees, drawing, reading, and cycling. He attended the Artez Institute of Visual Arts in Kampen, graduating from the Department of Illustration in 2004. He now resides in Valatie, New York, with his wife, dog, and two cats. Visit Chuck at chuckgroenink.com

Instagram: @c.groenink

Let Liberty Rise_Cover

Giveaway Details:

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Let Liberty Rise! How America’s Schoolchildren Helped Save the Statue of Liberty, courtesy of Scholastic (U.S. addresses only). This giveaway is open on Sunday, July 4, 2021 ending at 10:00 p.m. EST.   Please note that book may take longer to ship so patience is appreciated.  Enter below or head over to my Twitter account, @lauramossa and retweet my Let Liberty Rise! post.

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Tabitha and Fritz Trade Places by Katie Frawley Illustrated by Laurie Stansfield


About the Book:
Title: Tabitha and Fritz Trade Places 
Author: Katie Frawley
Illustrator: Laurie Stansfield
Pub. Date: June 1, 2021

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Tabitha and Fritz Trade Places published by Two Lions/Amazon Publishing. Special thanks to the publisher and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


What do animals do when they need a change of scenery?  They hop onto the website, Lair-BNB, of course!  Fritz, an elephant living in a rain forest swaps homes with Tabitha, a suburban cat.  Both animals are excited about their adventure.  Kids will love the format, for Fritz and Tabitha communicate entirely through Lair-BNB messages.


Upon arrival, Fritz is greeted by Claudia, Tabitha’s owner.  I love how Fritz calls the pool a watering hole, and how adorable that he wears a swimmy on his trunk.  


Tabitha quickly finds family in the rainforest after meeting the cheetahs.  While the text makes it seem she is feeling quite at hime, the illustrations show that Tabitha may be a little confused, for she thinks a bee hive is a scratching post, a meerkat’s burrow is a litter box, and a snake’s tail is a swatting toy. Oh wait! That tail belongs to Rocky! According to Fritz’s previous message, Rocky does not play well with others. 

As Fritz and Tabitha spend more time in their new settings, problems arise.  Fritz confuses a decorative donut as real and Tabitha appalls a herbivorous herd of elephants by adding mice as a pizza topping.  The final straw occurs when Fritz mistakes Claudia’s birthday for his own and Tabitha takes an involuntary dip in the watering hole.  Don’t elephants know cats are not fans of getting wet?  After sleepless nights for both Fritz and Tabitha, they both realize there truly is no place like home!  


Tabitha and Fritz Trade Places is an entertaining and engaging story with a sweet message to appreciate what we have. Frawley’s choice to use text messages to tell the story is clever and unique.  As an adult reading the story aloud, I enjoyed the puns and alliterative closings (feeling fierce, primal and pouncing).  I also appreciated the post scripts included in some of the messages which added useful information. Stansfield’s colorful and expressive illustrations practically leap off the page and since there are a number of wordless page spreads, her vivid artwork moves the plot along,  And pay close attention to the endpapers, for the front explains why both Tabitha and Fritz are craving a change in habitat and the back shows how Tabitha and Fritz both surprised each other on their return home.

One of the joys of my role as reading specialist is reading aloud to kids.  Last week, when I was asked to cover a class, I brought Tabitha and Fritz Trade Places with me.  The class of second graders were captiviated by the story giggling from beginning to end.  After reading, I asked them to share anything they learned from Tabitha and Fritz.  Here are some of their thoughtful responses.

  • “Sometimes people bother you and you need to get away from them.”
  • “It’s fun to go someplace new.”
  • “If it is your first time doing something, you might not know the rules. You need people to help you.”
  • “I like going on vacation, but I do miss my friends when I am away.”
  • “After they got home, they were happy and not sad anymore.”

The best books are those that make you laugh and learn. Highly recommend Tabitha and Fritz Trade Places for the mirth and messages! 

Praise for Tabitha and Fritz Trade Places!

“A satisfying spin on the trading-places trope.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Tabitha and Fritz are pretty much two of a kind, but debut author Frawley livens their epistolary exchanges with wordplay and knowing phrases…She gets a big assist from Stansfield (Poems Out Loud!), whose bright pastel settings, vivid expressions, and large cast of high-spirited supporting characters pull readers through the story.” —Publishers Weekly

“A laugh-out-loud story that spells out why the grass is not always greener, with subtle language lessons built in for emerging readers.” —School Library Journal

About the Author & Illustrator:

Katie Frawley grew up on a diet of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and Madeline. She went on to earn a bachelor’s in English from the University of Florida and a master’s in literature from Florida Atlantic University. These days, Katie lives in South Florida with her husband, four children, and a handsome mutt named Nantucket. When she’s not reading or writing, Katie can be found building pillow forts, testing recipes with her teensy sous-chefs, or shooing iguanas from her garden. Learn more at www.katiefrawley.wordpress.com.

Twitter: @KatieFrawley1

Instagram: @katiefrawley1

Laurie Stansfield grew up in Oxford, England, but packed her bags and moved west to study illustration at the University of the West of England. She now works as a freelance illustrator. She is the illustrator of Poems Out Loud!, published by Penguin UK, and has more books forthcoming. Laurie lives with her husband in Bristol, United Kingdom. Learn more at www.lauriestansfield.co.uk.

Twitter: @Laurie_S_art

Instagram: @laurie.stansfield

Enter a Giveaway!


One lucky winner will receive a copy of Tabitha and Fritz Trade Places, courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses). This giveaway is open from Friday, June 4, 2021 through Friday, June 11, 2021 ending at 10:00 p.m. EST.   Please note that book may take longer to ship so patience is appreciated.  Enter below or head over to my Twitter account, @lauramossa and retweet my Rescue at Tabitha and Fritz Trade Places Twitter post. 


Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Hudson And Tallulah Take Sides by Anna Kang Illustrated by Christopher Weyant


About the Book:
Title: Hudson And Tallulah Take Sides
Author: Anna Kang
Illustrator: Christopher Weyant
Pub. Date: May 1, 2021

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Hudson & Tallulah Take Sides published by Two Lions/Amazon Publishing. Special thanks to the publisher and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


 The first page spread is wordless.  Tallulah, a cat, is quietly stalking a bird perched on the fence.  Just as she is ready to pounce, Hudson barks loudly scaring away the bird. Tallulah is not amused. When Tallulah peers over the fence to discover the reason for Hudson’s outburst, she sees the dog digging his way to freedom.  From the dialogue, the neighbors clearly have a different perspective on fences.  


Curious, Tallulah follows Hudson on his freedom walk.  Hudson dives into a garbage can for food, plays with other canines at the dog park, jumps in mud, and goes after the mail carrier Dave.  That’s where Tallulah draws the line.  Dave is her friend; therefore, Hudson is now her enemy. 


As both animals stay on opposing sides of the street, they encounter a enormous puddle in the street full of birds.  Both Hudson and Tallulah can’t resist romping in the water and with each splash, realize that there may be some common ground between them.

Hudson and Tallulah Take Sides is a story of how even opposites can find some happy medium and become friends.  While Tallulah is prim and proper and Hudson is free spirited and messy, they both can’t refrain from enjoying the puddle.  This revelation is groundbreaking, for perhaps, they are not as different as they once believed.  Kang’s peppy dialogue is concise and on point which allows Weyant’s lively and humorous illustrations to not only move the plot along but also show the progression of Hudson’s and Tallulah’s relationship.  

When I read this story to kindergarten students for #classroombookaday, I asked them to tell me what did the author and illustrator want us to learn.  Here are some of their thoughts. 

  • “The dog and the cat both like to jump in puddles so that’s why they became friends.”
  • “You don’t have to like the same things to be friends.”
  • “It’s better to be friends than enemies.”
  • Dogs and cats are different but can still be friends.”

Pretty smart kids.  Thankful for picture books like Hudson and Tallulah Take Sides which support teaching theme with our youngest learners.  

Praise for Hudson And Tallulah Take Sides!

★“New Yorker cartoonist Weyant’s illustrations, which use gouache, graphite, and lots of white space, carry the day, filling the dog’s and cat’s reactions to what they encounter with plenty of comic details (like the bold lettering conveying the dog-park dogs’ frantic barking at the cat). Madcap fun.” —Booklist (starred review)

“Charming cartoons convey the nearly wordless story augmented with dialogue between the two rivals…An amusing exploration of how opposite personalities can learn to appreciate their unique relationship.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Aptly captured by married team Kang and Weyant (You Are (Not) Small), the unlikely friends’ comic path to camaraderie unfolds nearly wordlessly, with expressive gouache and graphite scenes that burst with physical humor, showing that even those who fight like cats and dogs can be friends.”—Publishers Weekly

About the Author & Illustrator:

Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant are the creators of Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner You Are (Not) Small as well as series titles That’s (Not) Mine, I Am (Not) Scared, and We Are (Not) Friends. They also wrote and illustrated Eraser, Can I Tell You a Secret?, and Will You Help Me Fall Asleep? Christopher’s work can also be seen in The New Yorker, and his cartoons are syndicated worldwide. This husband-and-wife team lives in New Jersey with their two daughters and their rescue dog, Hudson, the inspiration behind the character in this book. Visit them at www.annakang.com and www.christopherweyant.com.

Twitter: @annakang27 @ChristophWeyant

Instagram: annakangbookschristopherweyant   

Facebook: Anna Kang – AuthorChristopher Weyant

Enter a Giveaway!

Hudson and Tallulah Take Sides_Cover

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Hudson and Tallulah Take Sides, courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses). This giveaway is open from Friday, May 7, 2021 through Friday, May 14, 2021 ending at 10:00 p.m. EST.   Please note that book may take longer to ship so patience is appreciated.  Enter below or head over to my Twitter account, @lauramossa and retweet my Rescue at Hudson and Tallulah Take Sides Twitter post. 

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Be a Tree by Maria Gianferrari


Bella and I are honored to launch the blog tour for Be a Tree written by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by Felicita Sala.  This breathtaking picture book celebrating trees was recently released last week on March 30, 2021. Thanks to author Maria Gianferrari and Abrams Book for Young Readers for sending me an electronic copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


Be a tree!
Stand tall.
Stretch your branches to the sun.

These ten words begin Gianferrari’s glorious ode extolling the sheer beauty of one of nature’s gifts and how humans have similar physical characteristics to this earthy treasure.   Trees and humans both have parts such as branches and arms, trunks and spines, bark and skin, and a crown at the top.   Sala’s warm watercolor illustrations gorgeously echo Gianferrari’s lyrical text showing the physical similarities so that even the youngest readers can see the connections.   
The focus shifts from physical features to how we as humans also share common behaviors with trees.  Both trees and humans live together in a community.  Just as trees are linked underground through their roots, people are connected by sharing conversations, food, resources, and information.  
Gianferrari’s admiration and respect for trees is evident, for she beautifully describes their value to both humans and the earth.  Sala’s artwork fill the double page spreads depicting a tree’s grandeur and utility. 
Gianferrari continues to highlight all the benefits of trees, for they serve as animal habitats preserving ecosystems.  The need for community is emphasized for trees that grow away from their natural habitat are at risk; therefore, a forest is vital for support.  A beautiful double page fold out shows how people can learn from trees by helping one another.  In the final page spread, Gianferrari gently reminds us to observe and learn from trees, for by banding together, we can not only be better as individuals but also make the world in which we live a better place. 
Backmatter follows the story to provide information on ways to help save trees and help in your community.  A diagram of a tree and its parts as well as books and websites for further research are also included.  Informative and uplifting, Be a Tree is a must to add to a home, classroom or school library.  Highly recommend! 

Praise for Be a Tree!
“This book has the advantage of lyrical, accessible poetry and vibrant watercolors from an ever changing palette. …Strong heartwood.”-Kirkus

“By foregrounding living beings that exemplify grace, strength, and endurance, Gianferrari gives readers a new way to think about their individual and collective existences.” –Publishers Weekly

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset

Meet Maria:
Maria Gianferrari has climbed fig trees in Italy, stood under stately coastal redwoods and twisted Torrey pines, marveled at   mitten-shaped sassafras leaves, colorful coral trees and   sawtooth oak acorn nests. She lives with her family, including   dog, Maple, in a house encircled by trees.


Meet Felicita:
Felicita is a self taught illustrator. She graduated in Philosophy from the University of Western Australia. She has worked on several animation projects along with husband Gianluca, but her passion is making picture books. She lives in Rome with Gianluca and their daughter Nina.

Enter Beagles & Books’ Giveaway!

Maria’s sweet pup Maple announces that one lucky winner will receive a copy of Be a Tree courtesy of the publisher. This giveaway is open from April 9-14, 2020 and ends at 10:00 p.m. EST.  
  • Follow me @lauramossa on Twitter and retweet my Be a Tree giveaway tweet.
  • If you are not on Twitter, fill out the Google form below.

Be a Tree Blog Tour

Continue the tour by visiting blogs sharing their thoughts as well as offering their own giveaways!

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Julius & Macy: A Very Brave Night by Annlouise Mahoney


About the Book:
Title: Julius & Macy: A Very Brave Night
Author/Illustrator: Annlouise Mahoney
Pub. Date: April 1, 2021

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Julius & Macy: A Very Brave Night published by Two Lions/Amazon Publishing. Special thanks to the publisher and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


Each night, Julius, a badger and Macy, a mouse love to play together and greatly enjoy performing heroic deeds. 


Julius wished to protect the forest from anything harmful while Macy wanted to help any small thing in need.  Being a hero takes a lot of energy; therefore, it is important to refuel with snacks.  When Julius and Macy go to fetch their cookies and nuts, they discover an empty wagon.  Julius asserts that the Night Goblin must have taken them and describes him as the worst kind of scary to Macy.  


In order to find their snacks, Julius and Macy must be truly heroic and venture deep into an unknown area of the forest. A noise from inside a cave frightens them. Could it be the Night Goblin?JuliusAndMacyAVeryBraveNight-28609-large-3

Armed with a sword and a fairy wand, the two friends bravely enter the hollow to discover the source of the sound. A huge shadow on the wall startles them and they run away but then realize heroes must stay brave even when they are scared.

Mahoney’s concise, melodic text is a joy to read aloud especially the dialogue between the two friends.  Her warm illustrations are dreamy and luminous.  I love how Julius and Macy collaborate on making stars to hang on the trees to bring the celestial objects closer to them  creating a fanciful setting.   

As a reading specialist, I appreciate that the story has a simple yet engaging plot to teach young children about story structure.  Characters Julius and Macy have a problem, identify steps to solve their problem which ultimately resolves it.   In addition, themes of friendship, bravery, and kindness can be explored.  I especially appreciate that Mahoney teaches children that bravery can take many forms, for Julius and Macy both display courage in their own ways.  

Check out this sweet book trailer!

Take a look at this cute downloadable activity pages: 


Praise for Julius & Macy!

Watercolor illustrations further the text’s magical qualities by adding important details, such as the solitary nature of Sherwin’s home. Softly glowing with campfire and starlight, this tale is an inviting bedtime story and a gentle ode to kindness.” ―Booklist

About the Author/Illustrator:
Annelouise Mahoney has worked in animation for DreamWorks, DIC Animation, Sony, and Saban Entertainment. She has also worked as a colorist for Marvel and Image Comics on such series as Uncanny X-Men, Generation X, and others. This is her first picture book, and it was inspired by the depths of her daughters’ friendships and the many ways they are brave, especially with someone on their side. She loves to explore the forest, can’t resist a cave, and has a lot of love for all those named Julius in her life. Annelouise lives in Southern California with her family. Learn more about her at www.woodlandabbey.com.

Facebook: Woodland Abbey

Twitter: @WoodlandAbbey

Instagram: Annelouise Mahoney

Two Lions Giveaway Details:

Amazon 2021 giveaway_3 books

Five lucky winners will each receive three fabulous books celebrating the art of making and keeping friends, including Julius and Macy: A Very Brave Night, courtesy of Two Lions.

Details and entry form can be found here (US addresses).

Winners will be selected at random and notified via email. One entry per person, please. US addresses only. Entries are due by 5/1/21.

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Agnes’s Place by Marit Larsen


About the Book:
Title: Agnes’s Place
Author: Marit Larsen
Illustrator: Jenny Løvlie
Translator: Kari Dickson
Pub. Date:  March 1, 2021

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Agnes’s Place published by Amazon Crossing Kids which aims to increase the diversity of children’s books in translation and encourage young reading from a range of cultural perspectives.  Special thanks to the publisher and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


Young Agnes knows her home so well and the neighbors that live near her.  Everything is pretty predictable. 


So when Agnes sees a girl standing on the street below her looking up, her mind is full of wonder. 

“What is the girl looking for?” 

“Is she going to live here?”

From inside her apartment, Agnes quietly watched the girl and her mother move their things past her door and up the stairs all the way to the fifth floor.  Agnes decided to welcome the new girl by making her an invitation to join her on the swings and dropping it into her letter box.   But when the girl doesn’t come, Agnes is sad.  She tries to cheer up by feeding the birds but they fly right by Agnes’s window to the new girl’s window.   Why? 


Agnes was still full of questions. 

“Did the new girl see what Agnes saw?”

“Did she hear what Agnes heard?”

And the biggest question of all-Why was the new girl interested in everything else except Agnes?


So when Agnes get her neighbor’s newspaper, a task she always does, and finds the mailbox empty, the questions continue.  But later that day, on the steps, Agnes and the new girl finally meet.  And in that moment, Agnes’ worries and wonders disappear.  The new girl, Anna, leads Agnes up the stairwell until they reach the rooftop where Anna has made a secret nook that was meant to be shared.

While Agnes had a sense of belonging because she knows everyone’s patterns, likes and dislikes in her apartment building, it was clear that she was lonely with no other children around.  Løvlie’s detailed illustrations show not only Agnes’s knowledge but also her solitude. The predictability of her world changed the moment she first saw Anna on the street and then moving into the apartment on the fifth floor.  Her excitement is conveyed in both the words and illustrations, so as a reader, my heart for Agnes when her invitation is not accepted.  And for the first time, Agnes can’t explain someone’s behavior.  Why was Anna ignoring her?  

Larsen’s text and Løvlie’s artwork express both how Agnes’s home has changed all because of Anna. When Agnes’s seeks support from her neighbor Emilia, she replies ” we have all been new at one time or another. That’s a real strange thought for you perhaps.”  Emilia’s comment made me think there has not been a lot of change in young Agnes’s life which is why she is feeling uneasy.  At the end of the story,  when the two girls come face to face, my heart leaped because I believe the anticipation made their meeting more special.  Translated from Norwegian, Agnes’s Place is a sweet story that reminds us that life is always more enjoyable with surprises. 

Praise for Agnes’s Place!

“A love letter to new friendships and apartment living.” –Kirkus Reviews

About the Author:
Marit Larsen
is a Norwegian songwriter and musician. Agnes’s Place, her debut picture book, was first published in Norway and will also be published in Denmark and Italy. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. Learn more about the author at www.maritlarsen.com  and on Instagram: larsenmarit

About the Illustrator:
Jenny Løvlie
is a Norwegian illustrator. Her previous picture book, The Girls, written by Lauren Ace, was the winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. She currently lives in Cardiff, Wales. Learn more about the illustrator at www.lovlieillustration.com and on Instagram: lovlieillustration

About the Translator:
Kari Dickson is a literary translator from Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2020 she won the Mildred L. Batchelder Award for best children’s translation for Brown, written by Håkon Øvreås and illustrated by Øyvind Torseter. She holds a BA in Scandinavian studies and an MA in translation.


Continue reading “Blog Tour & Giveaway for Agnes’s Place by Marit Larsen”

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Review and Giveaway for Stella by McCall Hoyle


About the Book:
Title: Stella
Author: McCall Hoyle
Pub. Date:  March 2, 2021

Beagles and Books is excited to share a review and giveaway for the middle grade novel, Stella.  Special thanks to author McCall Hoyle for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My Review:

“My name is Stella. I’m a beagle, and I was born to sniff.”

While all beagles have a keen nose, Stella has been trained to sniff out explosives. But after a mission went terribly wrong resulting in the death of Connie, her handler, Stella is haunted by the memories of that tragic day.  Retired of her duties, Stella now suffers from PSTD which is making it difficult for her to find a permanent home. 

Fortunately, Esperanza, a friend of Connie’s and world-renowned dog trainer offers to rehabilitate Stella to help her find a forever home.  When Stella arrives at Esperanza’s farm, she is warmly greeted by her daughter Cloe.  Picking up scents of cookies, grass, and books, Stella is reminded of Connie who read aloud to her and recalled these words-“you must be the thing you cannot do.”    But Stella also smells a sour or metallic scent unsure what it means.

From that very first day, Stella notices that Cloe gets her better than any other human since Connie.  While Stella is not happy to be sleeping in the barn, she does have the company of brave border collie Nando who moves closer to her crate when she is anxious.  Since it is sheep shearing season, Cloe successfully convinces her reluctant mom to let her work with Stella.  Cloe still has the strange smell that Stella can’t figure out, but it’s not strong every day.  On a trip running errands, the scent intensifies.  Stella tries to alert Esperanza as she witnesses Cloe having an epileptic seizure.   After seeing Cloe in distress, Stella is determined to not only be a good dog, but also brave like she was with Connie.  Can Stella persuade Esperanza that she is meant to be Cloe’s dog?

It is no secret I love reading dog books, but when I heard about Stella,  I was even more eager to read since the novel featured a beagle.  As I read the first page, I was excited to discover that the story is written from Stella’s point of view.  Having Stella tell the story allows readers to learn that she is indeed a great dog, but she is deeply traumatized by the loss of Connie and blames herself.  My heart hurt for Stella and as I read, I found herself hugging my own beagle, Bella, as a way to comfort Stella.

When Stella meets Cloe, she has an immediate connection with her.  Realizing the power of her nose, Stella knows she can signal Cloe before a seizure occurs.  Stella’s overwhelming need to help Cloe aids her in her rehabilitation, for Stella learns that she is not defined by what happened in the past and can be the thing you cannot do just like Connie said.  What charged Stella’s determination was Chloe because on their first walk together, Stella knew she could trust her.  Cloe also believed that Stella could do great things frequently telling her mother how smart Stella is.  Trust and belief gradually turn into love which makes Stella and Cloe’s relationship so heartwarming.

What I also love about Stella is its length.  Long novels can be intimidating to some middle grade readers so I appreciate that Stella is under 200 pages with well developed characters that you will root for, and an intriguing plot that makes the novel very difficult to put down.  Stella will make all readers fall in love with dogs especially super sniffer beagles!

Listen to a video message from the author, McCall Hoyle!

Check out the Reader’s Guide to Stella!

Click to access stella_readers_guide._mccall_hoyle.pdf


Beagles & Books is excited to give away an ARC of Stella courtesy of author McCall Hoyle. You can enter by retweeting my Twitter post or leaving a comment below. Giveaway ends at 10 pm on Friday, 2/26/21.

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

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd & Michelle Mee Nutter


About The Book:
Author: Megan Wagner Lloyd & Michelle Mee Nutter
Pub. Date: March 2, 2021
Publisher: Graphix
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audiobook
Pages: 240
Find it:  GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBDBookshop.org



Beagles and Books is thrilled to be hosting a spot on the ALLERGIC by Megan Wagner Lloyd & Michelle Mee Nutter Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours.  All opinions are my own.

Publisher’s Summary: 

A coming-of-age middle-grade graphic novel featuring a girl with severe allergies who just wants to find the perfect pet! At home, Maggie is the odd one out. Her parents are preoccupied with getting ready for a new baby, and her younger brothers are twins and always in their own world. Maggie loves animals and thinks a new puppy to call her own is the answer, but when she goes to select one on her birthday, she breaks out in hives and rashes. She’s severely allergic to anything with fur!  Can Maggie outsmart her allergies and find the perfect pet? With illustrations by Michelle Mee Nutter, Megan Wagner Lloyd uses inspiration from her own experiences with allergies to tell a heartfelt story of family, friendship, and finding a place to belong.


In Maggie’s family, her parents are absorbed with getting ready for the new baby and her twin brothers have each other which makes her feel a little left out.   That is all going to change on her tenth birthday.  Why?  Maggie finally gets something to call her own-a dog!  But when she visits the shelter with her family and meets the puppy she wants to adopt, her body reacts differently than her heart.  Maggie’s nose itches and she can’t stop scratching.  Her dream of owning a dog is shattered when she discovers she is allergic to any animal with fur or feathers.  And while hopeful Maggie tries out non-allergic pets, none of them work out long term.

Not only is Maggie feeling lonely at home, but also at her new elementary school.  Fortunately, Claire, who is just one year older, moves in next door and she and Maggie become fast friends until Claire gets a dog.  Feeling betrayed, Maggie distances herself from Claire but after some time, she gets the courage to apologize and explain the true severity of her allergies.  Back to being besties, Claire helps Maggie secretly get a pet mouse but between her allergies flaring up again and her brothers sneaking into her room, Maggie is forced to say goodbye again.  Will Maggie find a way to come to terms with her allergies and her place in the family?

Inspired by her own experiences with allergies,  Lloyd’s text was honest and heartfelt which helps readers identify and connect with Maggie. What I loved most about the story is Maggie’s realization that she is an integral part of her family, for when her mother goes to the hospital, her brothers really need her and once her little sister is born, she feels an immediate bond to this new little soul. Nutter’s warm and dynamic illustrations bring Lloyd’s text to life, perfectly showing her feelings as she experiencing both heartache and joy.

I read a lot of children’s books and Allergic is the first book I have ever read that tackles pet allergies.  But the story is not only about Maggie handling her allergies.  It is a story about how to manage changes in family, school, and friendship–topics that lots of kids can relate to.  I  highly recommend pre–ordering Allergic to add to your home, classroom or school library!

Praise for Allergic!

“Maggie’s inventiveness as she overcomes these trials is showcased through Lloyd’s captivating narrative and Nutter’s bright and dynamic illustrations. The story provides insight into the lives of those with allergies and the accommodations needed to avoid serious episodes … A heartachingly enjoyable tale of resilience.” — KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review 

Readers will root for this realistic and relatable fifth grader, who’s capable of kindness well as envy and self-doubt. Lloyd folds in information about allergy tests, anaphylaxis, EpiPens, and other facts that Maggie and her friend Sebastian, who also has allergies, recite to each other. Layouts rely on three to four large panels per page, creating a smooth visual flow; Nutter’s muted, uncluttered art has a cozy feel … Maggie makes new pals here—she’ll find even more friends in elementary and middle school libraries, where readers will easily identify with her trials and accomplishments.” – SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL 

“A fun and entertaining story.” — BLEEDING COOL 

“The perfect graphic novel for kids of all ages.” — FROLIC 

Allergic is the sweetest story you’ll read all year. A touching chronicle of a young girl’s severe allergies woven into a meaningful journey of friendship, family, and self-discovery.” — Terri Libenson, New York Times bestselling author of Invisible Emmie

Megan Wagner Lloyd (by Seth Lloyd)About Megan:
MEGAN WAGNER LLOYD is the author of several picture books, including Paper Mice, Building Books, Finding Wild, and A Fort-Building Time. She lives in the Washington DC area. Visit her online at meganwagnerlloyd.com.

Website | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon



Michelle Mee Nutter (by Greg Marquis)About Michelle: 
MICHELLE MEE NUTTER graduated with a BFA in Illustration from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, 3×3 Illustration, Creative Quarterly, and more. Michelle lives in Boston. Visit her online at michellemee.com.

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads  


Giveaway Details: 
3 winners will win a finished copy of ALLERGIC, US Only.  To enter the giveaway, click the link below.


Tour Schedule:
Check out the other stops on the blog tour!

Week One:


For The Love Of Kidlit



Beagles and Books



She Just Loves Books


Week Two:


Westveil Publishing



Adventures Of A Travelers Wife






Pick a good book



Lifestyle of Me



Twirling Book Princess



Not In Jersey


Week Three:


BookHounds YA



Kait Plus Books



Little Red Reads



A Dream Within A Dream



Two Chicks on Books



Jazzy Book Reviews





Week Four:


Hurn Publications



Locks, Hooks and Books



Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers



March 2, 2021 5:00 pm (PST) Launch event hosted by Green Apple Books In conversation with Raina Telgemeier (GUTS) 

Allergic Tour - 03.04.21 - Jeff Kinney

March 4, 2021 7:00 pm (EST) Hosted by An Unlikely Story In conversation with Jeff Kinney (DIARY OF A WIMPY KID) 

Allergic Tour - 03.10.21 - Varian Johnson & Shannon Wright
March 10, 2021 4:00 pm (PST) Hosted by The Reading Bug In conversation with Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright (TWINS)

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket by Sue Fliess Illustrated by Annabel Tempest

About the Book:
Title: Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket
Author: Sue Fliess
Illustrator: Annabel Tempest
Pub. Date:  February 1, 2021

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket. Special thanks to Two Lions and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


It all started with a wish to travel to space.  Sadie Sprocket was not just a dreamer, she was a doer!  And researching and learning no one has been to Mars, Sadie was not deterred.  Sadie’s confidence exudes in Fliess’ rhyming text and Tempest’s illustrations show that exploring outer space is her passion.


Sadie and her crew collaborate to build a ship out of recycled materials.  I love how on the first page spreads, her stuffed animals sit motionless on her bed and shelves, but as soon as Sadie proclaims her mission, the stuffed animals feel her energy and come to life to help her.  Kids see how teamwork truly makes the dream work, and the pride is evident on all the crew’s faces on launch day.



After landing on Mars, Sadie and her crew get right to work collecting and labeling samples to bring back home.   Kid see the importance of both planning and teamwork as the crew each has the necessary supplies to complete their task.  When they try to venture home, problems abound.  First, the landing gear is buried.  Then the rocket won’t start.  Sadie and her crew demonstrate problem solving, resilience, and resourcefulness in restoring power and successfully blasting back to Earth.  Once safely home, Sadie models one of the most important lessons of all.  Success means making new goals liking a trip to Neptune!

Told in playful quatrains, Fliess has written an inspirational story encouraging us all to chase our dreams.  What I love most is Sadie teaches us that dreams come true with planning, research, teamwork, determination, and problem solving.  And once a goal is accomplished, another idea can take its place.  Tempest’s bright and exuberant illustrations reinforce the positive themes. At the end of the book, Sadie’s notebook is included which shares facts about Mars as well as women in space.  Sadie motivates us all to be dreamers AND doers!

Praise for Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket!

“Inspiring, adventurous fun for aspirational kids.” —Kirkus Reviews

About the Author:

Sue Fliess is the author of more than thirty children’s books, including Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins illustrated by Mark Chambers; Shoes for Me!, A Dress for Me!, and Books for Me!, all illustrated by Mike Laughead; and Let’s Build illustrated by Miki Sakamoto. She lives with her family and their two dogs in northern Virginia, where they admire the moon, stars, and sometimes even planets from their backyard. Learn more about Sue at www.suefliess.com, on Twitter: @SueFliess, on Facebook: Sue Fliess Author and Pinterest: Sue Fliess

About the Illustrator:
Annabel Tempest
is the illustrator of a number of picture books and board books. She holds a degree in fashion and textiles and has worked as a freelance illustrator on everything from maps and packaging to greeting cards and children’s books. She lives in the beautiful Somerset countryside in the UK with her husband and a houseful of muddy boys and dogs. Learn more about Annabel at www.annabeltempest.com and on Instagram: annabel.tempest

Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket_Cover

Enter Beagles & Books’ Giveaway: 

One winner will receive a copy of Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses only). This giveaway is open from Friday, February 5, 2021 through Friday, February 12, 2021 ending at 10:00 p.m. EST.   Please note that book may take longer to ship so patience is appreciated.  Enter below or head over to my Twitter account, @lauramossa and retweet my Sadie the Sprocket blog tour post.

#Bookexcursion, Blog Tour, Giveaway, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Picture Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/1/21


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.

Continue reading “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/1/21”