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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/18/21

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? 1/18/21”

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Scooper and Dumper by Lindsay Ward

About the Book:
Title: Scooper and Dumper
Author/Illustrator: Lindsay Ward
Pub. Date:  January 1, 2021


Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Scooper and Dumper.  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.

Continue reading “Blog Tour & Giveaway for Scooper and Dumper by Lindsay Ward”

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Review and Giveaway for Goldibooks and Wee Bear by Troy Wilson Illustrated by Edwardian Taylor

 

About the Book:
Title: Goldibooks and the Wee Bear
Author: Troy Wilson
Illustrator: Edwardian Taylor
Pub. Date:  January 12, 2021


Beagles and Books is excited to share a review and giveaway for the recently released Goldibooks and the Wee Bear.  Special thanks to author Troy Wilson and Running Press Kids for sending me an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


My Review:

I fell in love with this book on the very first page because a little girl thought books were as good as gold.  Me too! Why did Goldibooks love books so much?  Her parents instilled the love of reading in her.  And it gets better!  Each member of the family has their own bookcase and own reading chair.  Ahh! Pure paradise.  

9780762496204_Sample_Spread_1

 

Goldi and her parents aren’t the only ones who have a penchant for books.  Wee Bear is scouring the forest and the town for even the smallest piece of paper (not food). Why? Because he loves reading too! So when he stumbles upon a house and peeks inside, he spies those glorious bookshelves and cannot resist entering Goldi’s home.  In true fairytale fashion, both Mom’s and Dad’s books are not a good fit, but Goldi’s are just right.

9780762496204_Sample_Spread_3

Of course, you can’t enjoy reading on the floor so Wee Bear tries out the family’s chairs with Goldi’s being the best fit until…it breaks.  Oops. No worries.  Nothing better than snuggling up with a book in bed except for the fact you might be so relaxed that you fall asleep. As the illustrator of the IT’S NOT A FAIRYTALE series, I am a big fan of Taylor’s bold and lively artwork. I especially love the illustrations of Wee Bear, for after he jumped into a bush to glance into Goldi’s house, he is covered in twigs and leaves. 

As expected, when Goldi and her family arrive home, they are startled at the mess.  Who could be responsible? When Goldi and Wee Bear finally meet, he begins to explain but his parents interrupt him and they are NOT happy. 

9780762496204_Sample_Spread_5

It turns out that Goldi’s parents were scared of grown up bears and Wee Bear’s parents were scared of grown up humans. Thankfully, their mutual love for books changes both families’ mindsets and an important lesson was learned– If you can’t judge a book by its cover, you surely can’t judge an animal by their appearance.

As an elementary reading specialist, I can’t gush enough about Wilson’s clever retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I love that reading is presented as a social activity first with Goldi and her parents, then Goldi’s family and Wee Bear’s family, and finally, the whole town creating a community book club. Wilson’s message is simple but powerful. Books bring people together and are meant to be shared.

 

9780762496204_Sample_Spread_6


About the Author:
Troy Wilson is a picture book author living in Victoria, BC, Canada. Goldibooks and the Wee Bear is his second book/reading-themed fairy tale with Running Press Kids, preceded by Little Red Reading Hood and the Misread Wolf, which was illustrated by Ilaria Campana. His ninth picture book is due out this October, illustrated by Eve Coy and published by Candlewick.


About the Illustrator:
Edwardian Taylor was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. His character designs, storyboards, and concept art can be seen in mobile games, TV, films, and commercials. He is the illustrator of multiple children’s books, including Race!, written by Sue Fliess; the Toy Academy chapter books, written by Brian Lynch; and the It’s Not a Fairytale books, written by Josh Funk. He lives in Texas with his partner and their four dogs. 


TW

 

Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive signed copies of both Goldibooks and the Wee Bear and Little Red Reading Hood and the Misread Wolf courtesy of author Troy Wilson. This giveaway is open from Thursday, January 14, 2021 to Sunday, January 17, 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 Twitter,  follow Troy Wilson  @TroyStoryToo, and retweet my Goldibooks and the Wee Bear post. 

 
Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Comet The Unstoppable Reindeer by Jim Benton

 

About the Book:
Title: Comet The Unstoppable Reindeer
Author/Illustrator: Jim Benton
Pub. Date:  September 15, 2020


Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Comet The Unstoppable ReindeerSpecial 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.


My Review:

After breaking up an elf fight (tensions rise when elves don’t get a day off),  Comet is sporting a sling and cast.   And to make matter worse, the doctor grounds him from his annual Christmas ride with Santa.  Poor Comet is feeling pretty down and alone but then realizes Santa forgot his sack of toys. It’s 2020 so he calls Santa’s cell but with all the noise, Santa doesn’t answer.  

Comet-9781542043472-large-1

Comet tries to lift the bag but it’s way too heavy.  Attempts using a lever and a hoist are unsuccessful.  Comet feels defeated until he reads a sweet letter from a boy who asks for a pig on a bike for his little sister.  After seeing that toy at the top of the sack, Comet is now determined to deliver it to the bright yellow house with a bright blue roof. 

Comet-9781542043472-large-2

Circling the world, Comet searches for the house and realizes that flying and delivering gifts is a true skill.  He has to battle chimneys, minivans,  geese and hard landings.  Riddled with scrapes, limps, pains, and lumps, Comet is distraught.  How will he ever find the little boy’s house? 

Comet-9781542043472-large-3

With a hilarious rhyming text, I laughed out loud after reading each page.  Benton did a fabulous job of keeping the plot moving with each stanza. Comet’s positive traits of helpfulness, diligence, perseverance, and empathy shined through both in the text and bold and energetic cartoon illustrations.  Comet’s feelings are very evident from looking at his expressions.  I especially loved the illustrations showing how moved Comet was when he read the little boy’s letter and later, finally figured out the location of his house (spoiler, but hey, Christmas stories must have a happy ending).

If you are looking for a humorous holiday book with a feel good message, look no further than Comet The Unstoppable Reindeer.  Looking forward to sharing it as a read aloud next week with my students!


 
Praise for Comet The Unstoppable Reindeer!
 
★“Along with being lit up by themes of caring for others and shouldering responsibility, this hilarious seasonal outing offers great read-aloud potential for its regular but natural-sounding metrics and rhyme.” —Booklist (starred review)
 
“You might want to gift this one a little earlier than Christmas so you can read it to your little ones every night leading up to December 25. It’s the adorable (and all-too relatable) tale of Comet, an unstoppable reindeer.” —Parade
 

About the Author/Illustrator:

Jim Benton is the award-winning creator of the New York Times bestselling series Dear Dumb Diary and Franny K. Stein as well as the popular It’s Happy Bunny brand. His books have sold more than fifteen million copies in twenty-five countries and have garnered numerous honors. Like Comet, Jim knows what it’s like to hobble around in a cast; however, he is still learning to fly. Find out more about him at JimBenton.com.


Benton-Comet-25888-CV-FT

 

Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Comet The Unstoppable Reindeer courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses only). This giveaway is open from Friday, December 11, 2020 through Friday, December 17, 2020 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 Comet The Unstoppable Reindeer blog tour post.

 
Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Snow Dancer by Addie Boswell Illustrated by Mercè López

 

About the Book:
Title: The Snow Dancer
Author: Addie Boswell
Illustrator:  Mercè López
Pub. Date:  December 1, 2020


Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for The Snow DancerSpecial 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.


My Review:

No matter your age, there is nothing like waking up and seeing snow blanket your neighborhood.  Sofia is one of the first awake and basks in the quiet.  As she ventures outside, all she can hear is the sound of her feet on the snow–CRINCH, CRUNCH and SLISH SLUSSSSSSSSSSH.  Sofia stops abruptly and her face beams when she sees that the snow on the soccer field has not yet been disturbed.  

Boswell-TheSnowDancer-28486-HC-IN-v7.indd

 

Sofia wastes no time gracefully dancing a whole ballet on the beautiful coating of snow, but her silence is short–lived when a pack of loud and excited kids slide down the hill interrupting her solo.  Fortunately, Sofia’s annoyance is calmed by a small, younger girl wearing fairy wings who sweetly asks “Are you a Snow Fairy?”  Sofia replies “I’m not a fairy. I’m a dancer.” She takes the little girl’s hand and shows her that snow dancers can do ANYTHING.  

Boswell-TheSnowDancer-28486-HC-IN-v7.indd

The duo twirl, leap, skate, and slide but a snowball halts their snow dance.  Well, if you can beat them, why not join them?  Tired after the snowball fight, Sofia bids adieu to her new friend. She dances back to her warm home to sip hot chocolate and reminisce about her glorious snow day. 

Boswell-TheSnowDancer-28486-HC-IN-v7.indd

With lyrical text and lively illustrations, The Snow Dancer is not only a joy for the ears but also for the eyes. Boswell uses a lot of rich vocabulary to convey Sofia’s actions throughout the story.  For example, she bundled out of her sleeping house.  She hopscotched down the invisible sidewalk.  As a reading specialist, exposing children to robust words supports their oral and written language.  Onomatopoeia is also peppered through the text which brings the story to life. As I was reading, I could actually hear the sounds that Sofia was making in the snow.  López’s gorgeous illustrations make the story leap off the page, for Sofia’s movements stepping into the new snow and dancing in the field were both graceful and playful.  I especially love the interaction between Sofia and her young friend which completely changes Sofia’s mood from peeved to pleased.  And the smile on the little fairy’s face when she grabbed Sofia’s hand is so sweet.  

What I love most about The Snow Dancer it is reminds us all of the sheer joy of a snow day.  Being a teacher, I am fortunate to still experience that delight even as an adult.  Here’s hoping that there is snow in the future forecast so we can all enjoy the true magic of a snow day (even if it happens on the weekend)!


Praise for The Snow Dancer!

“A spirited paean to the snow day that will appeal to children and their parents.” —Booklist

“Vivid imagery, onomatopoeia, and supple blue-gradient typography enliven Sofia’s journey as she learns to share her snow day. A dynamic tale of cooperation, adaptation, and friendship.” —Publishers Weekly


About the Author:

Addie Boswell is an artist and writer living in Portland, Oregon. She specializes in murals and picture books that focus on family, community, and the creative power of children. Her recent titles include Go, Bikes, Go! and Go, Boats, Go!, both illustrated by Alexander Mostov, and Five on the Bed, which she both wrote and illustrated. Her debut book, The Rain Stomper, illustrated by Eric Velasquez, was the winner of the Oregon Spirit Award. Learn more about the author at www.addieboswell.com.


About the Illustrator:

Mercè López is an artist from Barcelona, Spain. She holds a degree in illustration from Llotja Art School in Barcelona. Her recent title Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasons by Laura Purdie Salas received multiple starred reviews and was named a Center for Children’s Books Gryphon Honor Book, an NCTE Notable Poetry Book, a Kirkus Best Picture Book, and a Parents Magazine Best Kids’ Book, among other accolades. Learn more about the artist at http://www.mercelopez.com and Instagram @mercelopez


 

The Snow Dancer low-res

Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of The Snow Dancer courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses only). This giveaway is open from Friday, December 4, 2020 through Friday, December 11, 2020 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 Snow Dancer blog tour post.

 
Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Rescue Rabbits by Eric Seltzer Illustrated by Roland Garrigue

 

About the Book:
Title: The Rescue Rabbits
Author: Eric Seltzer
Illustrator:  Roland Garrigue
Pub. Date:  November 10, 2020


Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for The Rescue RabbitsSpecial 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.


My Review:

If you are animal in trouble, there is no need to fear.  Ace, Chip, Dot, and Spot (also known as the Rescue Rabbits) are here!  Equipped with nifty gadgets such as a Super–Excavator to lift large animals and Rash–Away Lotion to soothe an itchy kangaroo, the Rescue Rabbits are always ready and prepared to help an animal in need. 

Not long after they return to their headquarters, the Rescue Rabbits receive a desperate call from Prince Rex.  And boy, is he in trouble!

Seltzer-TheRescueRabbits-27240-v9.indd

No problem is too big for the Rescue Rabbits!  But the first step to rescuing is finding Prince Rex.  Thankfully, Chip uses their Tracking Device to identify his location.  Once Prince Rex is free of both ants and chopsticks, the last step is getting him down from the tree. Unfortunately, Rex is not fond of ladders or ropes.  But the Rescue Rabbits remain cool and confident working together on a new plan which involves not only Super–Chopper 9000 but also Queen Rex, the prince’s mother.

Seltzer-TheRescueRabbits-27240-v9.indd

Propeller problems may stop other teams but Dot makes sure the Rescue Rabbits fly safely.  Once they reach Prince Rex, his mother’s voice (with the help of the Super–Megaphone) is all he needs to climb down on his own.   Worried about getting in trouble, Prince Rex shows contrition to his mother who warmly accepts not only his apology but also her son in her arms.

As a reading specialist, I have the pleasure of reading to a second grade class daily.  Thanks to Kindle Unlimited, I was able to share a digital version of this entertaining story with them this week.  Before reading, I asked the children to think about what the Rescue Rabbits can teach us.  Here are some of the lessons the students shared.

 

  • Help people.
  • Say you are sorry.
  • Work together.
  • Don’t give up. 

After the students shared their thoughts, we briefly discussed how the characters’ words and actions show positive traits such as responsibility, forgiveness, cooperation, collaboration, resourcefulness, creativity, and perseverance.  With an engaging and fun plot that champions positive virtues and bold and playful cartoon–like illustrations, the students (and this teacher) give The Rescue Rabbits two thumbs up!

 


Praise for The Rescue Rabbits!

“Readers will see in these pages a gentle spoof of cartoons and blockbusters that include endless product tie-ins, but the story also offers an amusing tribute to competency-themed pretend play.” —Publishers Weekly
 

About the Author:

Eric Seltzer received his BFA from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. He worked as a TV graphics designer and an advertising art director before writing and illustrating children’s books. His book Four Pups and a Worm was an IRA/CBC Children’s Book Choice, and The Long Dog was named a Gryphon Award Honor Book. He recently published the board book Arf! Buzz! Cluck! illustrated by David Creighton-Pester. Eric lives with his family in Michigan.

 
About the Illustrator:
 
Roland Garrigue is a prolific children’s book illustrator from Paris who attended art school in Strasbourg, France. His recent books include Cavekid Birthday, written by Cathy Breisacher, and Mother Ghost: Nursery Rhymes for Little Monsters, written by Rachel Kolar. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @rolandgarrigue.

Seltzer-TheRescueRabbits-27240-JK-FL-v4.indd

Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of The Rescue Rabbits courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses only). This giveaway is open from Friday, November 13, 2020 through Friday, November 21, 2020 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 Rabbits blog tour post.

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Some Days by Maria Wernicke Illustrated by Lawrence Schimel

 

About the Book:
Title: Some Days
Author/Illustrator:  Maria Wernicke
Translator: Lawrence Schimel
Pub. Date:  November 1, 2020


Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Some Days.  Special thanks to Amazon Crossing and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


My Review:

Some Days begins quietly with a mother and daughter sitting a kitchen table after finishing a meal.  The palette of gray, black, and white and the mother’s and girl’s forlorn expressions convey a mood of sadness and despair.  But when you turn the page, a glimmer of normalcy emerges.  The girl is petting her dog and a patch of red appears in the mother’s laundry basket.  The girl utters 6 words.

Wernicke-SomeDays-28942-HC-IN-v5.indd

The girl continues sharing that through this passageway, she is reunited with a loved one (possibly her father).  With him, she feels safe, free from danger, and even knows how to swim.

Wernicke-SomeDays-28942-HC-IN-v5.indd

Unfortunately, the passageway is not always there.  Astute eyes will notice that the girl’s portal to this safe place may lie in the hanging of red sheets on the clothesline.

Wernicke-SomeDays-28942-HC-IN-v5.indd

After the end of the story, the mother tells the daughter that while we might not always see it, never stop looking for the passageway.  They walk out together arm in arm with the little girl wearing the hat of her loved one.

Some Days is a tender and gentle story of heart, hurt, but most importantly hope.  I must admit that the page spread of the girl hugging the man really tugged at my heart.  After my husband and I said goodbye to our first beagle, Beaglie, we both remarked that the house was so cold without him.  I can empathize with the girl for feeling cold in her loss.  Wernicke’s illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and show not only the mother’s and daughter’s grief but also their love for each other.  Her choice of using red sparingly conveys to me that red means love. In translating to English from Spanish, Schimel chooses words carefully to allow the illustrations to deliver the story’s message.  Losing a loved one is extremely difficult no matter one’s age.  Some Days reminds us that we can still look for that person in our daily lives.


Praise for Some Days!

“A gentle model for living while missing a loved one.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“This brief, wistful exchange between a mother and her child delivers its emotion between the lines, and Schimel’s translation handles the understatement deftly…Wernicke shows the two twirled up in another set of sheets, looking for the passageway together, in this portrait of a parent who hears and honors her child’s words.” —Publishers Weekly

About the Author:

María Wernicke is an award-winning Argentinian author and illustrator of children’s books. She is a 2020 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award nominee. Her illustrations have been part of multiple international exhibits, including at the Bratislava Biennial exhibition and the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, among others. Learn more about the author at http://www.maria wernicke.blogspot.com and on Instagram: @wernicke_maria

About the Illustrator:
Lawrence Schimel is a bilingual author and translator, with more than one hundred books to his credit. His children’s books have won a Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and have been selected for lists of outstanding titles by the International Board on Books for Young People. His translated books include Wanda Gàg’s Millions of Cats and George Takei’s graphic novel They Called Us Enemy, among many others. He lives in Madrid, Spain.

Wernicke-SomeDays-28942-HC-JK-FL-v2.indd

Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Some Days courtesy of Amazon Crossing Kids (U.S. and Canada addresses). This giveaway is open from Friday, November 6, 2020 through Friday, November 13, 2020 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 Some Days blog tour post.

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

Blog Tour & Giveaway: It’s Not Little Red Riding Hood by Josh Funk Illustrated by Edwardian Taylor

About the Book: Title: It’s Not Little Red Riding Hood Author:  Josh Funk Illustrator: Edwardian Taylor Pub. Date:  October 27, 2020

Beagles & Books is thrilled to be part of the blog tour for It’s Not Little Red Riding Hood.  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: The amazing duo, Josh Funk and Edwardian Taylor, are back with their third (and hopefully, not last) installment in the It’s Not a Fairytale series featuring Little Red Riding Hood. Red 1 Like Jack, Gretel, and Hansel (#girlpower Gretel), Red does questions some of the narrator’s directions remarking “You’re sending a child carrying a giant basket, into the woods, ALL ALONE? After the narrator answers with a simple yes, Red agrees stating “You’re in charge!”  But I wonder for how long? Well, not long because on the very next page spread, Red is now wearing her little sister’s blue cape to Grandma’s. And on her way to Grandma’s, she meets up with the Big Bad Wolf…wait…I mean..Captain Hook.  It turns out the the wolf is sick which does not make the narrator happy. Red 2 Still trusting, Red continues following the narrator’s directions as she journeys to Grandma’s but Captain Hook is not feeling it.  “I did not agree to people–eatin,” he says. Pirates are all about stealing loot which is why he continually conflicts with the narrator.  When Red finally gets to Grandma’s, you can imagine the antics that ensue especially when Pinocchio fills in for the woodsman to rescue her from the Big Bad Wolf…oops..Captain Hook.  And it’s NOT a Funk & Taylor fairy tale unless a character opens a restaurant serving fairy tale creatures. I am always smiling and laughing after reading Funk and Taylor’s hilarious parody of a classic fairy tale.  One of the highlights was the lively exchanges between Red and the narrator because he always told the truth and while she questioned his directions, she was still willing to follow them. What I also loved about It’s Not Little Red Riding Hood is the decision to have other fairy tale characters stand in the original characters.  Captain Hook acted like himself, not the Wolf which made the story more humorous and a more fun read aloud. Last November, the second grade class I read to for #classroombookaday, had the immense pleasure of hosting Josh Funk for an author visit where we not only got a sneak peek at It’s Not Little Red Riding Hood, but also Josh, the classroom teacher, and me engaged in a reader’s theater of taking on the voices of the narrator, Red, and Captain Hook which was such fun.  I mean, come on…who doesn’t want to talk like a pirate? I am in awe of Funk’s witty and playful writing and Taylor’s bold and engaging illustrations literally leap off the page.  And kids love searching for cameos of other fairy tale characters throughout the book.  Kids always ask which fairy tale will be next in the series as do I.  My fingers (and Bella’s paws) are crossed that there are more It’s Not a Fairytale adventures to come!
JFAbout the Author: Like the characters in his books, Josh Funk doesn’t like being told how stories should go—so he writes his own. He is the author of many popular picture books, including the popular Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series, illustrated by Brendan Kearney, and the It’s Not a Fairytale books, illustrated by Edwardian Taylor. He lives in New England with his family. Learn more about him at www.joshfunkbooks.com, Twitter: @joshfunkbooks Instagram: @joshfunkbooks
About the Illustrator:ETEdwardian Taylor is the illustrator of multiple children’s books, including Race!, written by Sue Fliess; the Toy Academy chapter books, written by Brian Lynch; and the It’s Not a Fairytale books, written by Josh Funk. He lives in Texas with his partner and their four dogs.  Learn more about him at www.edwardiantaylor.com Twitter: @edwardiantaylor, Instagram: edwardiantaylor Tumblr: Edwardian Taylor
unnamed It’s Not a Fairytale Series Giveaway! Two Lions is offering all three books in the It’s Not a Fairytale series–It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk, It’s Not Hansel and Gretel, and It’s Not Little Red Riding Hood  to one lucky winner (U.S. addresses).  Giveaway begins Friday, October 23, 2020 and ends at 10 p.m. Friday, October 30, 2020.  You can enter below or retweet my Twitter post.
Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Sometimes a Wall… by Diane White Illustrated by Barroux

 

About the Book:
Title: Sometimes a Wall
Author:  Diane White
Illustrator: Barroux
Pub. Date:  October 15, 2020


Beagles and Books is thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Sometimes a Wall…. Special thanks to Owlkids Books and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


My Review:

On the first few page spreads, a wall is used as a source of fun–first, as a place to write and a place to splash as water flows down.  Then more children join to climb the wall and join hands to make a “we wall”  and a “shout wall.”

Illustration © 2020 Barroux_ from SOMETIMES A WALL by Dianne White_2

And with the turn of a page, that same wall which was inclusive to all becomes a barrier to one.  The wall is no longer inclusive and gives three children the license to be mean.  As the wall becomes a castle, one child feels empowered to bully and claim the fortress as his own.  But here’s the thing–when you build walls all around you and refuse to let anyone in, people move on.  And what are you left with?  A big empty castle where you feel pretty lonely and (hopefully) regretful about your actions.

Illustration © 2020 Barroux_ from SOMETIMES A WALL by Dianne White_4

By opening the door, there is the hope of mending friendships and making the castle a place for all to enjoy.

Illustration © 2020 Barroux_ from SOMETIMES A WALL by Dianne White_5

I read a lot of picture books and am always amazed at the use of language to convey meaning.  White uses her words sparingly but meaningfully to show how physical walls can become symbolic walls.   Barroux’s lively illustrations beautifully complement the text and careful eyes will notice how one child changes from friend to enemy to friend.  One detail that struck me was how the child’s yellow construction hat is tossed away for a yellow crown to signify his ownership of the castle.  Sometimes a Wall... is a picture book with so many layers.  It is a story that teaches us about friendship, conflict, empathy, and forgiveness, in a way that kids of all ages can understand.  What I love most about Sometimes a Wall... is the message of hope and how we all have the capacity to change our behaviors and be accepted by others.


Parent and Teacher Resources: 
Check out all the amazing educational resources for Sometimes a Wall:
The “Why” Behind the Book
Discussion Guide
A Lesson In 3 Movements…
• Intro to the Unit (PLEASE READ FIRST!)
• 1st Movement : TOGETHER (I Walk with Vanessa by Kerascoët)
• 2nd Movement: APART (Draw the Line by Kathryn Otoshi)
• 3rd Movement: REGRET. NEW START? (Sometimes a Wall … by Dianne White, illustrated by Barroux)
Coloring Pages For Younger Students

Praise for Sometimes a Wall!

“Rhyme, rhythm, and simple art—all including references to walls—show children expressing different emotions and behaviors… Mending walls for the nursery crowd.”
Kirkus Reviews

About the Author:

A conversation with a friend got author Dianne White thinking about different kinds of walls, both physical and metaphorical. Sometimes a Wall . . . is an exploration of these, and with it, an invitation to take down barriers and find common ground. Dianne’s other books include Green on Green and Who Eats Orange? A long-time elementary school teacher, she lives with her family in Gilbert, Arizona. To learn more, and to download discussion guides and more, visit Dianne’s website at diannewrites.com, Twitter: @diannewrites, and Facebook: Dianne White
About the Illustrator:
Barroux lives in Paris, France, and has studied photography, art, sculpture, and architecture. His work has been published in The New York Times and The Washington Post. He believes that the world needs fewer walls and more trees.

SometimesAWall_cover_screenRGB

Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Sometimes a Wall… courtesy of Owlkids Books.  This giveaway is open from Friday, October 16, 2020 through Friday, October 23, 2020 ending at 10:00 p.m. EST.   Please note that book may take longer to ship so patience is appreciated.

Blog Tour, Middle Grade Literature, Mystery

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

 

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


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


Review:

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

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

 

CandyMafia_Chapter9_Illustration

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

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

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


Praise for The Candy Mafia!

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

About the Author:

Lavie Tidhar

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


About the Illustrator: 

Daniel-Duncan

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


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

Monday (9/21): The Library Voice

Tuesday (9/22): Teachers Who Read

Wednesday (9/23): Mom Read It

Thursday (9/24): Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Friday (9/25): Librarian in Cute Shoes