Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for VACATION FOR DEXTER! by Lindsay Ward

 

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Vacation for Dexter by Lindsay Ward which publishes on April 16, 2019.  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.

Praise for Vacation for Dexter!
“The illustrations are just as laugh-out-loud funny as ever, with the toy’s expressions stealing every scene…Jack and Dexter have become a beloved duo, and the dino’s behavior-modeling sure goes down easily.” —Kirkus Reviews

Review:
In the latest Dexter T. Rexter book, Dexter joins Jack on vacation to an exotic place called  FLOR-I-DA.  In the first few page spreads, Ward’s illustrations clearly shows both Jack and Dexter’s excitement for their trip as they sing together.

VACATION FOR DEXTER interior1

But when Dexter finds out their mode of transportation is a plane, his anxiety begins to emerge and it’s difficult for him to remain cool and confident.  Just as in other books, Dexter speaks directly to the reader sharing his symptoms such as stiff spikes, back pain, and leg cramps which is sure to make children laugh out loud.  

One look at Jack’s anxious face makes Dexter stop worrying about himself, for he realizes his best buddy needs his support.  Using the dangling headphone cord, Dexter shimmies up into Jack’s lap reminding him that he and Jack can be brave together singing as the plane lifts off into the sky.  And once you have a movie to watch, a comfy blanket and cookies to eat, flying isn’t nearly as scary.

VACATION FOR DEXTER interior2 by Lindsay Ward.jpg

I have enjoyed all the Dexter books, but I really loved Vacation for Dexter because it tenderly shows the genuine love that Dexter has for Jack.  While Dexter is drawn large when he is addressing readers, he is always drawn small when he is with Jack, which conveys how a little stuffed animal can provide so much comfort to a child.

Check out the fun coloring sheet here!

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About Lindsay:
Lindsay Ward is the creator of the Dexter T. Rexter series. Although she isn’t afraid of flying, she always looks forward to cookies during her flights. She is also the author and illustrator of Brobarians, Henry Finds His Word, and When Blue Met Egg. Her book Please Bring Balloons was also made into a play.
 Most days you can find Lindsay with her family, writing and sketching at her home in Peninsula, Ohio. Learn more about her online at www.LindsayMWard.com or on Twitter: @lindsaymward.
Enter A Dino-Mite Giveaway!

If If you haven’t read any of the previous Dexter books or want your own copies, this giveaway is for you! One lucky winner will receive a set of all three books–Don’t Forget Dexter! , It’s Show and Tell, Dexter!, and Vacation for Dexter!  courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses).

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books, Rockstar Book Tours

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Wonder Walk by Ilham Alam

WONDER WALK

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the Wonder Walk blog tour organized by Rockstar Book Tours. 

Title: WONDER WALK
Author: Ilham Alam
Illustrator: Kerry Bell
Pub. Date: April 16, 2019
Publisher: Iguana Books
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook
Pages: 20
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NTBD

 

Publisher’s Summary: 

Get out there with curious Johnny and his patient Mommy, in this colourful, rhyming book, celebrating all the wonders of the everyday world. What do they see? What do they hear? What do they talk about?

Review:

Wonder Walk explores the simple pleasures of a walk between a boy and his mom.  Johnny is very observant first noticing the pretty sunflowers.  As he and his mom continue their walk, he sees something that he perceives as scary.  Calmly, his mom explains that it is a cuddle bug and will cause him no harm.  In fact, it wants to wish him goodnight. IMG_0974

Since the sun is still out and the sky is blue, inquisitive Johnny questions his mother’s response.  Quick thinking mom distracts Johnny by pointing a mother bird and her baby.  Soon Johnny tires from his curiosity and falls asleep sweetly dreaming about his walk of wonder.  

With big. bold illustrations and concise, rhyming text, Wonder Walk is a story that young children will enjoy and may prompt families to take their own walk together to observe nature and ask questions.  

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

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About Ilham:

My name is ILHAM which is pronounced the way its spelled. As a kid, I hated my name and did get teased for being a “ham”. But now that I’m an adult, I love the uniqueness and the strength that my name conveys. I definitely have not met another Ilham for sure. It means inspiration in Arabic, by the way.   

Mary.JPGI live with my 2 sons & my husband and my 20 lb kitty, Beauty, within a house that’s booby-trapped with Legos. My crazy family are my inspiration for story writing and story-telling.  I love to travel with them as well as earning new memories through adventures abroad, some of which I have documented in this blog.

 

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

 

 

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Giveaway:

3 lucky winners will win WONDER WALK Swag Packs, US Only.   Click the link below to enter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2912/?

 

Tour Schedule:

Check out the rest of the stops of this tour for more giveaway chances and to read more about Ilham and WONDER WALK. 

Week One:
4/8/2019- Lone Tree Reviews– Review
4/9/2019- Beagles & Books– Review
4/10/2019- Character Madness and Musings– Excerpt
4/11/2019- BookHounds YA– Review/Interview
4/12/2019- Do You Dog-ear?– Review

Week Two:
4/15/2019- Mama Panda Bear– Review
4/16/2019- Almost a Reader– Review
4/17/2019- Kelly P’s Blog– Spotlight
4/18/2019- Novel Novice– Excerpt
4/19/2019- Two Chicks on Books– Interview

Week Three:
4/22/2019- D. Books and Reviews– Review
4/23/2019- She Dreams in Fiction– Review
4/24/2019- ❧Defining Ways❧– Review
4/25/2019- Twirling Book Princess– Excerpt
4/26/2019- Two points of interest– Review

 

 

 

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for I USED TO BE FAMOUS by Tara Luebbe & Becky Cattie

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for I Used to Be Famous written by Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie and illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff.  Special thanks to Albert Whitman and Company 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:
Kiely’s been famous her entire life, but when a baby sister appears on the scene, she feels like a has-been. Now Kiely has to figure out how to gain back the attention of her adoring fans (her family), even if it means sharing the spotlight.

IUsedtoBeFamous_CVR (1).jpg

PRAISE FOR I USED TO BE FAMOUS!

“This clever exploration of the mixed emotions of welcoming a new baby into a family is sure to elicit more than a few laughs from the divas accustomed to having all the attention.” —Kirkus Reviews

Review:

Capturing our attention and hearts in I Am Famous, Kiely returns in I Used to Be Famous.  While Kiely still enjoys star treatment such as a personal shopper, it seems that her fan club is not following her as closely as in the past. Who is the new fresh face getting all the publicity?
I USED TO BE FAMOUS_interior illus by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff_1 (1)
To Kiely’s dismay, her baby sister is now center stage which is ridiculous because little Abby is not multi-talented like her.  Will Kiely allow herself to be upstaged or will she learn to share the spotlight?
Kiely’s voice is pitch perfect.  With humor and honesty, authors Luebbe and Cattie aptly capture the range of emotions a child may feel with the addition of a sibling.  At first, Kiely is critical of her sister identifying all the things Abby cannot do.  Then Kiely begins to judge herself wondering if she needs to change.  It is not until Kiely stops trying to compete with her sister that she realizes there is room for two stars in the household.  In fact, it appears that being a duo is just what the paparazzi wants!
Illustrator Lew-Vriethoff’s bright and bold illustrations perfectly complement the text showing the changes in Kiely’s feelings as she gradually learns that being a big sister also has its perks because her little sister will always be her biggest fan.
Pre-order now, for I Used to Be Famous releases soon on April 1, 2019.  In the meantime, view the star studded book trailer below!

About the Authors: 
Becky Cattie has always had a flair for the dramatic and loves all things entertainment—especially character-driven narratives. She was a casting producer for reality TV shows like NBC’s America’s Got Talent, ABC’s Extreme Makeover, and E!’s The Simple Life in Los Angeles. She lives in Chicago. Tara Luebbe is a self-described “Picture Book Nerd.” In her previous life, she owned a toy and book store in Atlanta, which was a catalyst for writing her own books. This is the third picture book collaboration for sisters Tara and Becky; their first two books, I Am Famous and Shark Nate-O, were published in 2018. To learn more, visit http://beckytarabooks.com/ or find them on social media.
Facebook: BeckyTara Books
Twitter: @t_luebbe and @b_cattie
Instagram: @taraluebbe and @beckycattie
About the Illustrator: 
Joanne Lew-Vriethoff is an award-winning illustrator who was born in Malaysia, grew up in Los Angeles, worked in New York, and now lives in Amsterdam. Besides making art, she loves exploring the world with her family and road trips with her husband and kids, photographing street art, cycling along the Amsterdam canals at midnight, snorkeling, day dreaming, collecting picture books. Visit her website at  
 
Enter An Amazing Giveaway!

 

Albert Whitman and Company is offering one copy of I USED TO BE FAMOUS to one lucky winner (U.S. addresses only).  Enter below!

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Turkey’s Eggcellent Easter by Wendi Silvano

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of a blog tour for Turkey’s Eggcellent Easter written by Wendi Silvano and illustrated by Lee Harper. 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:
Easter is almost here—and Turkey knows just how to celebrate. He’s going to win the eggstra-special Easter egg hunt! The only problem is that animals aren’t allowed to enter. So he and his barnyard friends come up with a top-secret plan. With his trademark disguises and a whole lot of help, Turkey goes undercover. Will his basket of tricks help him win a prize?

Review and Thoughts:
Before I began even reading the story, I began to giggle seeing headband wearing animals exercising in the park with Sheep doing yoga, Pig checking his run time on his watch, and Cow stretching his leg.   The animals are not too health conscious though to enjoy an Easter egg hunt but how can they partake in the kids only hunt?
Every day, I have the pleasure of reading aloud to a second grade class that I have adopted for #classroombookaday.  After reading Turkey’s Eggcellent Easter, I ask children “What is the author’s purpose for writing this story?” using Burkins and Yaris’ visual which is shown below.
B &Y
Here are some of the student’s comments.
“I think the author wanted us to laugh out loud because she used the word, egg in the story a lot to make the story funny.”
“I think the illustrator wanted us to laugh because the animals were all wearing dark glasses and ties acting like spies trying to get the eggs.”
“I think the author wanted us to teach us about perseverance because the animals did not give up when Turkey’s disguises didn’t work.”
“I think the author wanted to teach us about cooperation because all the animals worked together to get an egg. They all shared the jellybean pizza at the end.”
“I think the author wanted to teach us about resourcefulness because the animals kept creating more disguises for the Turkey so he could find an egg.”
I love including seasonal books for #classroombookaday so I was especially excited to read Turkey’s Eggcellent Easter, for the story is not only humorous but also reinforces positive values.  After seeing the other Turkey books in the series on the back cover flap, the children asked me if I could get them.  One student even said “We can read them to see if they would be good read alouds next year.”  It is pretty clear that Turkey and his friends are becoming fast favorites for this class of second graders!
View the eggcellent book trailer below!

 

About the Author: 
Wendi Silvano was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has lived in Oregon, Colorado, and Peru. The author of the Turkey Trouble series, she has a BA in early childhood education and taught preschool and elementary school for eleven years. She is the mother of five children and the owner of an assortment of odd pets that are not nearly as clever as Turkey. She now writes from her home in Colorado, where she enjoys hiking, reading, and playing the piano. Visit her online at www.wendisilvano.com.
About the Illustrator: 
Lee Harper is the author-illustrator of the books Coyote, The Emperor’s Cool Clothes, and Snow! Snow! Snow! Lee is also the illustrator of the Turkey Trouble series, by Wendi Silvano, as well as the Woolbur series, written by Leslie Helakoski. Lee has four children, a German shepherd, a barn cat, and six chickens…but no turkeys. Yet. He lives with his wife in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Visit him online at www.leeharperart.com.
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Eggstraspecial Giveaway!

Two Lions is offering one copy of TURKEY’S EGGCELLENT EASTER to one lucky winner (U.S. addresses only).

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway: It’s Not Hansel & Gretel by Josh Funk Illustrated by Edwardian Taylor

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Beagles and Books is excited to be a part of the blog tour for It’s Not Hansel and Gretel. It celebrates its book birthday on March 1, 2019.  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.

Review:
An all-knowing narrator attempts to tell the traditional tale of Hansel and Gretel but is quickly interrupted by the characters who have their own idea of their story.  For example, Gretel rebuts the notion that her parents wanted to get rid of her and her brother; rather, they are just taking a leisurely afternoon walk in the woods.  When the siblings meet the witch, Gretel dismisses this label and refers to her as a sweet old lady. What makes my heart happy is Gretel’s championing of women’s rights with her insistence in changing the title to Gretel and Hansel and arguing about why her brother gets candy and she is stuck doing chores.  “Get with the times-this is the fifteenth century,” she retorts!

Interior from It's Not Hansel and Gretel_illustration © 2019 Edwardian Taylor - 2 resized

Fed up with Gretel’s & Hansel’s (you’re welcome, Gretel) antics, the narrator turns the storytelling over to them which allows the duo to get creative growing mustaches, getting a pet unicorn named Fluffybottom, and opening up a bakery serving delicious sweets to their fellow fairy tale friends.  

For fans of It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk, It’s Not Hansel and Gretel is a hilarious and worthy follow up. Funk’s witty writing is pure joy to read aloud and honestly, I find it difficult to not laugh myself. Taylor’s illustrations are so entertaining and chocked full of details that I reread the story just to view his comical digital art. And look closely for cameos from characters from It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk!

If like me, you can’t wait for more fractured fairy tales from the amazing collaborative team of Josh Funk and Edwardian Taylor, you will be thrilled to hear that It’s Not Little Red Riding Hood is set for release in February 2020.  For more info, click here.

Check out the book trailer!
 

 

Josh Funk Author HeadshotAbout the Author:
Like Hansel and Gretel, Josh Funk doesn’t like being told how stories should go—so he writes his own. He is the author of a bunch of picture books, including the popular Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series, illustrated by Brendan Kearney, and recently, How to Code a Sandcastle, illustrated by Sara Palacios, and Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience & Fortitude, illustrated by Stevie Lewis. He lives in New England with his wife and children. Learn more about him at www.joshfunkbooks.com and follow him on Twitter @joshfunkbooks.

 

Edwardian Taylor

About the Illustrator:
Edwardian Taylor has worked as a visual development artist and character designer in the game and animation industry. He illustrated the picture book Race!, written by Sue Fliess and the chapter book Toy Academy: Some Assembly Required, written by Brian Lynch. He lives in Texas with his partner and their four dogs. Learn more about him at www.edwardiantaylor.com and follow him on Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter @edwardiantaylor.

Giveaway!
Two Lions is offering one copy of IT’S NOT HANSEL AND GRETEL to one lucky winner (U.S. addresses)  Giveaway begins Wednesday, February 27, 2019 and ends at 12:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 9, 2019.  Good luck! 

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

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

 

 Beagles and Books is excited to be a part of the blog tour for Duck and Hippo: The Secret Valentine written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Andrew Joyner. It  recently published in December 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:

Join Duck, Hippo, and their friends as they uncover their secret valentines!

It’s Valentine’s Day, and something curious is going on. As the birds tweet their love songs, Hippo and his friends Elephant, Pig, and Turtle each receive mysterious, unsigned Valentine’s Day cards. Hippo wonders if his is from Duck; Elephant and Turtle think theirs are from Pig; and Pig dreams that hers is from Turtle. The cards tell the friends to come to the park at four o’clock to meet their valentines—so they’ll find out soon enough! As the clock ticks away, the friends wonder—and dream—about their valentines and make special preparations. But when they arrive…SURPRISE!

This Valentine’s Day might not go exactly the way they expected, but one thing is certain: being friends with Duck and Hippo is always a special treat!

Review and Thoughts:

Like all the books in the Duck and Hippo series, the theme of friendship is at the center of the story.  In The Secret Valentine, no one knows for sure who the mystery valentine is but all the animals have their suspicions. Astute readers though will be able to spy the character responsible, for illustrator Joyner has included some clues in his artwork.  Another observation is all the animals take pride in wanting to look their very best for their secret valentine.  Andrew Joyner’s illustrations warmly capture all the animals’ personalities and excitement as they prepare for the Valentine party in the park.  

I have adopted a second grade class for #classroombookaday and I read them a picture book every day. Reading aloud The Secret Valentine was a lot of fun because author Jonathan London includes a lot of sound effects such as SCRUBBA-DUBBA-DUBBA as the  animals receive their invitations and get ready for the party.

Interior from Duck and Hippo the Secret Valentine _art (c) 2019 Andew Joyner - 2 resize.jpg

After reading aloud, I always ask them “What does the author want to teach us?  Since we started teaching virtues as a whole school, the students make connections to previous virtues as well as the current.  While students identified Duck as being kind and caring,  one student looked at the classroom community chart and said “Duck was showing courtesy because he invited all the animals to the Valentine party, not just Hippo.”  Then another student said, “Actually, all the animals were polite because they brought gifts and shared them with each other.” 

The classroom teacher and I just looked at each other smiling.  Every day, we both see the importance of reading aloud.  Students are getting to see examples of positive virtues which will help them become better classmates, friends, and citizens.  Here’s hoping there are more Duck and Hippo adventures to come!  This series is definitely becoming a class favorite!

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.

Learn how to draw Duck and Hippo in this free downloadable activity page! https://www.andrewjoyner.com.au/activities/.

The fourth book in the Duck and Hippo series is a sweet way to celebrate Valentine’s Day! Check out the trailer!

Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of DUCK AND HIPPO: THE SECRET VALENTINE courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses).  Giveaway begins Friday, February 1, 2019 and ends at 12:00 a.m. on Friday,  February 8, 2019.  Good luck! 

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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.
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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
 
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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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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