Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Play Like An Animal! by Maria Gianferrari

Beagles and Books is honored to be part of the Play Like An Animal: Why Critters Splash, Race, Twirl and Chase blog tour!  Play Like An Animal is written by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by Mia Powell and celebrated its book birthday last week on April 7, 2020. Thanks to author Maria Gianferrari and Lerner Publishing for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

And on a personal note, I am so appreciative that Maria personalized my copy to not only me & Bella but also in memory of my sweet Etta.

Continue reading “Blog Tour & Giveaway for Play Like An Animal! by Maria Gianferrari”

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Rosie: Stronger Than Steel by Lindsay Ward

Beagles and Books is honored to be part of the Rosie: Stronger Than Steel blog tour!  Rosie is written and illustrated by Lindsay Ward.  It is available now through Amazon and will officially release on April 1, 2020.   Thanks to Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media and Two Lions/Amazon Publishing for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Continue reading “Blog Tour & Giveaway for Rosie: Stronger Than Steel by Lindsay Ward”

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Whoo-Ku Haiku by Maria Gianferrari

img_3859
Beagles and Books is honored to be part of the Whoo-Ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story blog tour!  Whoo-Ku Haiku is written by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by Jonathan Voss and celebrated its book birthday last week on March 2, 2020. Thanks to author Maria Gianferrari and Penguin Random House for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Review:
Whoo-Ku Haiku is a captivating narrative nonfiction picture book that vividly describes the life cycle of the great horned owl.  The story begins with the owl pair claiming an abandoned squirrel’s nest as their own.  Not long after, Mama lays three eggs and keeps them warm while Papa hunts for food.  Readers get a true glimpse of the dangers that the owl family faces.  One of the eggs falls from the nest as a result of a crow attack. Once the owlets are born, Mama and Papa must be vigilant protecting their young from predators both in the sky and on the ground. As the fledglings get older, they try out their wings, learn to defend themselves, and finally, fly off to find homes of their own.
Gianferari’s decision to write haiku is bold and brilliant. Using the 5-7-5 structure, she chose her words carefully using rich and strong vocabulary to convey the owl family’s story. Here’s one of my favorites.
Sprouted ear tufts twitch
Pinecones whispering autumn
Soon fledgling owls fly.
Voss’ watercolor illustrations complement the lyrical text.  His gorgeous art fills the double page spreads and intensely shows not only the astuteness but also the great agility of these amazing birds. Backmatter follows the story to provide more in-depth facts about the great horned owls, additional books, websites, and even links to videos.  Whoo-Ku Haiku is a great addition to a classroom or school library.  It is both a riveting read aloud and a marvelous mentor text for writing poetry.  Highly recommend!
Praise for Whoo-Ku Haiku
“Vivid and accessible: an illuminating portrait of one of nature’s most iconic birds.”
Kirkus Reviews
Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

WHOO’s Maria Gianferrari?
She’s a self-proclaimed bird nerd with a special fondness for raptors. Her love affair with birds began in 7th grade science class when her teacher, Mr. Lefebvre, initiated a bird count. While walking in her neighborhood, Maria’s always on the look-out for all kinds of birds, and she loves searching winter tree tops for nests in her northern Virginia neighborhood where she lives with her German-scientist husband and German speaking daughter. This is her first book with GP Putnam’s Sons. She’s also the author of another bird book, Hawk Rising. To learn more about Maria, please visit her website: mariagianferrari.com.
JV
WHOO’s Jonathan Voss?
He writes and illustrates stories for children. Growing up, he was never far from a pencil or paint brush, and began working as a portrait artist right out of high school.  Jonathan is the author of the Hoot & Love stories Brave Enough for Two and Imagine That. He is also the illustrator of Sally Walker’s Winnie: The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie the Pooh.  Jonathan lives in North Carolina with his wife and two kids.  Visit his website at jonathanvoss.com
Enter Beagles & Books’ Giveaway: 
Untitled-2
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Whoo-Ku Haiku, courtesy of Penguin Random House (U.S. addresses only). There are now multiple ways to enter the giveaway.
  • Follow me @lauramossa on Twitter and retweet my Whoo-Ku Haiku giveaway tweet.
  • If you are not on Twitter, fill out the Google form below.

This giveaway is open from March 10-17, 2020 and ends at 10:00 p.m. EST.  Winner will be announced on March 18, 2020.

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for World So Wide by Alison McGhee

Beagles and Books is honored to be part of the World So Wide blog tour!  World So Wide is written by Allison McGhee and illustrated by Kate Alizadeh and celebrated its book birthday this week on March 2, 2020.   Thanks to Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media and Two Lions/Amazon Publishing for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Review:
World So Wide is a love letter from parents to their child.  At the beginning of the story, a baby is born and the parents’ immense love for their child is conveyed through both McGhee’s lyrical text and Alizadeh’s warm illustrations.  Senses are also integral to the child’s firsts, for the parents explore what will be the first sights they see, sounds they hear, things they smell, and things they touch.
McGhee-WorldSoWide-27606-HC-IN-v4.indd
The child grows up and Alizadeh’s gorgeous illustrations share simple moments such as the family walking in a field to milestones of the child taking its first steps.  What I love most about World So Wide is that McGhee’s expressive text and Alizadeh’s delicate artwork continue the story revealing that the child has now grown into an adult and is blessed with a baby of his own.
World So Wide is a quiet book with a big message, which is the boundless love between a parent and child.  It is a heartwarming story for parents to read to their young children and would make a great gift for expecting parents.
Praise for World So Wide
★“While it will certainly touch new parents, Pulitzer honoree McGhee’s text and Alizadeh’s tender pictures will delight readers of all ages.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Breezy illustrations are pleasingly attuned to the author’s spontaneous verse as both reveal the marvel—and regeneration—of human life.” —Publishers Weekly
“Smudgily outlined illustrations bring a soft but bright energy to the author’s tender text. Pleasant and sentimental ponderings for new parents and children.” —Kirkus Reviews
About the Author: 
Alison McGhee is the author of many highly acclaimed works. Her children’s books include the #1 New York Times bestseller Someday, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds; the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award–winning Bink & Gollie, cowritten with Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Tony Fucile; and the Christopher Award–winning Firefly Hollow, illustrated by Christopher Denise. Her novels for adults include Pulitzer Prize nominee Shadow Baby and Never Coming Back. She lives in Minnesota, Vermont, and California. Learn more at www.alisonmcghee.com.
Twitter: @alisonmcghee
Instagram: alisonmcgheewriter
About the Illustrator: 
Kate Alizadeh is the author-illustrator of Quiet and the illustrator of That Is Actually MY Blanket, Baby! by Angie Morgan. Her distinctive hand lettering appears on the covers of Unboxed and Second Best Friend by Non Pratt, and her black-and-white illustrations are featured in Proud: Stories, Poetry and Art on the Theme of Pride, compiled by Juno Dawson. A graduate of Falmouth University, she is currently based in Northern Ireland. Learn more at www.katealizadeh.net.
Twitter: @katealizadeh
Instagram: katealizadeh
Enter Beagles & Books’ Giveaway: 
McGhee-WorldSoWide-27606-HC-JK-FL-v4.indd
One lucky winner will receive a copy of World So Wide, courtesy of Two Lions/Amazon (U.S. addresses only). There are now multiple ways to enter the giveaway.
  • Follow me @lauramossa on Twitter and retweet my World So Wide giveaway tweet.
  • If you are not on Twitter, fill out the Google form below.

This giveaway is open from March 6-13 2020 and ends at 10:00 p.m. EST.  Winner will be announced on March 14, 2020.

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for This Book is Gray by Lindsey Ward

 

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for This Book is Gray written and illustrated by Lindsay Ward. It recently released in November 2019.  Special thanks to Two Lions/Amazon Publishing and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Review:
Please sure to read the front endpapers and the title page first, for readers discover that Gray wants to be included in the rainbow, but sadly, gray is not one of the featured colors.  Feeling dejected, he decides to write his own book aptly titled, This Book is Gray. 

Gray proceeds to write a story about wolf, a kitten, and a hippo and draw all the illustrations in (you guessed it)…gray! Gray is so proud until the Primary colors pay him a visit and are critical of his color scheme.  The Secondary colors join the Primary colors interrupting Gray’s storytelling with comments which slowly pushes Gray over the edge. Unable to remain calm, Gray finally tells (well, actually yells to) all the colors his true feelings about being left out and how gray is really a cool color.   

After Gray honestly shares how he feels, all the colors show empathy for him.  They offer Gray their apologies and best of all, they collaborate together to make the book both gray AND Pcolorful.  In the end, Gray gets the last word stating his book is pretty GRAYt!  (get it?)

This Book is Gray is a story full of humor and heart.  While readers will chuckle at the many puns and the story within the story of the kitten, wolf, and hippo, children also feel empathetic with Gray’s situation. During my read aloud to my #classroombookaday students, a few children remarked that the colors were being mean to Gray and how they felt sad for him.  When the colors and Gray worked together to fix and finish the book, students cheered and expressed their happiness that all the colors saw that Gray is indeed a pretty cool color. 

Ward’s illustrations and page layout is visually appealing to young readers.  The colors are adorably drawn adorned with hats, rosy cheeks, and other fun accessories.  The witty dialogue is written in speech bubbles.  Be sure to visit the front endpapers again, for Ward has included a glossary for basic color concepts to accompany her color wheel diagram.  

Praise for This Book is Gray!

“This book is a fun introduction to color theory that may inspire children to use more gray in their artwork and remind them to include friends who are left out.”
Booklist

lindsay-ward-photo-download (1)

Meet the Author/Illustrator: 

Lindsay Ward is the creator of the Dexter T. Rexter series as well as Brobarians, Rosco vs. the Baby, and The Importance of Being 3. Her book Please Bring Balloons was also made into a play. Lindsay lives in Peninsula, Ohio, with her family. Gray is one of her favorite colors. Learn more about her online at www.lindsaymward.com.
Twitter: @lindsaymward
THIS BOOK IS GRAY low-res cover (1)Enter a Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of This Book is Gray, courtesy of Two Lions/Amazon (U.S. addresses only). There are now multiple ways to enter the giveaway.
  • Follow me @lauramossa on Twitter and retweet my This Book is Gray giveaway tweet.
  • If you are not on Twitter, fill out the Google form below.

This giveaway is open from December 6, 2019-December 13, 2019 and ends at 10:00 p.m. EST.  Winner will be announced on December 14, 2019.

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Santa’s Story by Will Hillenbrand

 

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Santa’s Story written and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand. It released in September 2019.  Special thanks to Two Lions/Amazon Publishing and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Review:

It’s Black Friday and instead of shopping, I am relaxing and reading by the fire with my book beagles.  Since the day after Thanksgiving is typically the official start of the Christmas season, it is the perfect time to share a new Christmas picture book.

 It is Christmas Eve and Santa is ready to begin his monumental sleigh ride but he has a problem.  None of his reindeer can be found.  

SantasStory-9781542043380-Large-1

Using alliteration and rich vocabulary,  Hillenbrand shows the readers where the reindeer are and what they are up to.  A few of the reindeer’s actions matched their names, for Dasher dashed and Prancer pranced, but Vixen vexed, Cupid crooned and Donner dozed.  I love how children are exposed to sophisticated words which will enhance their oral vocabulary.  Supporting the concise and rich text are warm double page illustrations with a muted color palette.  If readers look closely, on some pages, they will see Santa looking for the reindeer with his binoculars. And Santa’s adorable little dog is right by his side, which makes me love the story even more.

SantasStory-9781542043380-Large-3

Santa attempts to call the reindeer with playing a horn and ringing bells, but has no success.  But with the help of Comet and his dog, Santa finally realizes why the reindeer are not responding and shouts the two words, STORY TIME, that will gather his team for their Christmas Eve tradition of reading The Night Before Christmas.  After the read aloud, the reindeer are ready to bring a merry Christmas to all!

As a reading specialist, I am always promoting the power of reading aloud and I love that Hillenbrand wrote a holiday story featuring this important family activity.  Reading aloud should not just be a tradition on Christmas Eve, but a daily habit.  Here’s hoping Santa’s Story may be a vehicle to reminding parents, caregivers, and teachers to set aside time each day to share a good book!

Meet the Author/Illustrator: 

 
Will Hillenbrand has written and illustrated many beloved picture books, including Snowman’s Story, Down by the Barn, Mother Goose Picture Puzzles, and the Bear and Mole series. He has also illustrated dozens of books, including the Big Bear series by Maureen Wright. Will lives with his wife and son in Terrace Park, Ohio. You can find out more about him at www.willhillenbrand.com.
 
Connect with Will on Facebook
On Instagram: willhillenbrand
 
 
Praise for SANTA’S STORY:
 
“Hillenbrand’s digital illustrations have a pleasingly soft visual aesthetic…A merrily-ever-after read.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
“Hillenbrand reveals the spirited goings on in snowy, buoyant digital pictures featuring expressive reindeer and a jolly Santa who would be right at home in an animated movie. A light and cheery holiday tribute to tradition and storytelling.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“Interesting vocabulary, a touch of suspense, and a satisfying conclusion make this simple story a good addition to holiday collections.” —School Library Journal
 
 
Hillenbrand-SantasStory-25693-HC-CV-FT-v8.jpg

 

 

Enter a Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Santa’s Story, courtesy of Two Lions/Amazon (U.S. addresses). There are now multiple ways to enter the giveaway.

  • Follow me @lauramossa on Twitter and retweet my Santa Story giveaway tweet.
  • If you are not on Twitter, fill out the Google form below.

This giveaway is open from November 29, 2019-December 6, 2019 and ends at 10:00 p.m. EST.  Winner will be announced on December 7, 2019.

 

 

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Flash, The Little Fire Engine by Pam Calvert

 

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Flash, The Little Fire Engine written by Pam Calvert and illustrated by Jen Taylor.  Flash celebrated its book birthday this week on November 5, 2019.  Special thanks to Two Lions/Amazon  Publishing and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Review:
As soon as I saw the cover, I couldn’t wait to read Flash, The Fire Engine.  Jen Taylor’s illustration of Flash brings the little fire engine to life.  Readers can see the excitement in his face with his adorable smile.  When the fire department receives a call, his attitude becomes more serious because Flash is determined to do his job well.  

Interior illustration from FLASH, THE LITTLE FIRE ENGINE_pp 10-11_Illus © 2019 Jen Taylor.jpg

When the fire is too big for little Flash, his face does not hide his disappointment, but Flash remains optimistic that he can help the next time.  As each subsequent call comes in, Flash races to the scene ready to save the day, but he discovers that he is too short or too late to help.  Once eager, Flash becomes sad wondering if he will ever be needed.  Fortunately, Flash gets a call that only he can make realizing that he is the best fit for the job.  Beaming with pride, Flash learns a valuable lesson in patience and how the fire trucks collectively work together to help the community.

I have the honor of reading aloud to a second grade classroom daily for #classroombookaday.  After I read aloud Flash, The Little Flash Engine to the class, they shared their thinking about what the author Pam Calvert wanted to teach readers.  Here are some of their comments which relate to our virtue language.

“It teaches us to have empathy for Flash because every time he went for a fire, the other trucks were telling him he was too little. I felt sad for him. But at the end, I was happy for Flash because he saved the animals at the shelter.  

“It teaches us if someone feels left out, we can try to be kind and make them feel included.  I like how the firefighters had a party for Flash after he put out his first fire.”

“The fire trucks showed unity because they all put out different fires like the ladder truck put out the fire in the tall building and the airplane put out the forest fire.”

Reinforcing positive values of empathy, unity, kindness, and patience, Flash, the Little Fire Engine is a book that is a great addition to a home or classroom library.  

Meet the Author and Illustrator: 

Pam Calvert is an award-winning children’s book author. Her books include the Princess Peepers series, illustrated by Tuesday Mourning; more recently, Brianna Bright, Ballerina Knight, illustrated by Liana Hee; and other titles. Formerly a science teacher as well as a writing instructor and coach, she speaks to thousands of children every year. When she’s not speaking or writing, you can find her having fun with her family in Texas. Learn more about her online at http://www.pamcalvert.com or on Twitter: @PammCalvert.

Jen Taylor is an illustrator and arts-and-crafts enthusiast born and raised in New Jersey. She attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she majored in illustration and animation. She is the illustrator of the Brave Little Camper series as well as the picture book Ninja Camp, written by Sue Fliess. She previously worked in animation on such shows as Sid the Science Kid and MAD. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and their corgi, Rocket. Learn more about her online at http://www.jentaylor.net.

 

“Calvert deftly finds a new way to introduce kids to different kinds of firefighting vehicles…sure to slip in effortlessly with other firetruck books.”
-Kirkus Reviews

Calvert-FlashTheLittleFireEngine-27807-CV-FT-v2.jpg



Enter a Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Flash, the Little Fire Engine, courtesy of Two Lions/Amazon (U.S. addresses). Enter the giveaway by Friday, November 15, 2019 at 8 p.m. 

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Pippa’s Night Parade by Lisa Robinson

 

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Pippa’s Night Parade written by Lisa Robinson and illustrated by Lucy Fleming. It recently published on October 8, 2019. Special thanks to Two Lions/Amazon  Publishing and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Publisher’s Summary:
Pippa’s wonderfully wild imagination is perfect for dreaming up wildly adorable creations. But at night, her imagination runs a little too wild. That’s when the villains and monsters and beasts sneak out of her storybooks to scare her. Pippa tries everything: from night-lights to triple knots to clever disguises. But when the baddies keep coming, she realizes she’ll need to come up with something new. To prepare for this battle, Pippa will have to use everything she’s got—especially that wild imagination. Ready or not, here she comes!

Review:
While Pippa has a wild imagination, she can protect herself during the day with mighty masks, bold boots and spunky scarves.  At night though it is hard for Pippa to calm her fears, for creatures such as dragons, pirates, serpents, and monsters surface from her storybooks.  Pippa’s trepidation is conveyed through the text and the illustrations but readers also see Pippa’s problem solving skills.  First, Pippa attempts to soothe her fears with extra night lights and a disguise.  Next, she runs to her parents’ bedroom.  When these tactics do not work, Pippa decides to confront the creatures by inviting them to a scary night parade leaving invitations in each book.  Will Pippa be able to get rid of the creatures once and for all?

My students loved all the creatures in the book.  While Pippa’s Night Parade is not a Halloween story, the presence of all the creatures gave the story a spooky feel.  After I reading, we discussed the author’s purpose for writing the story and what did the author want to teach us.   Here are a few of the student’s comments.

“Pippa was teaching us not to be afraid.”

“Pippa was scared of the creatures but she kept trying to find ways to get rid of them.”

“Pippa was brave because she wouldn’t let the monsters win.”

As a class, we discussed Pippa’s actions and how she was persistent because she didn’t give up.  Soon after, another student shared “Pippa was smart because she used all the things in her design studio to make the creatures stop scaring her.”  We then discussed how persistence means trying out new and better ideas.  

Pippa’s Night Parade is an enchanting story about conquering one’s fears with persistence and imagination.  Robinson’s lively and engaging text and Fleming’s detailed and action packed illustrations will keep children’s attention from the beginning to end.  

Meet the Author and Illustrator: 

Lisa Robinson was born in Kampala, Uganda, to Peace Corps volunteers who later became world-traveling diplomats. When she was a child, her family moved frequently, so books became her best friends. She now works as a psychiatrist and writer. She holds an MFA in creative writing for young people from Lesley University. She is also the author of Pirates Don’t Go to Kindergarten!, illustrated by Eda Kaban, and has more books forthcoming. She lives in Massachusetts with her family and three cats. Learn more about the author at www.author-lisa-robinson.com, or on Twitter: @elisaitw.

 Lucy Fleming, like Pippa, has a wonderfully wild imagination, which she uses to create illustrations for children’s books. She has illustrated more than twenty titles, including River Rose and the Magical Christmas by Kelly Clarkson and For the Beauty of the Earth by Folliott Sandford Pierpoint, which was a Junior Library Guild Selection. She is a graduate of the University of Lincoln in England. She lives and works in a small town in England with a cup of ginger tea in hand and her cat close by. Learn more about the illustrator at www.lucyflemingillustrations.com and Instragram: @illustratelucy


Robinson-PippasNightParade-25293-HC-JK-FL-v7.indd
Enter a Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Pippa’s Night Parade, courtesy of Two Lions/Amazon (U.S. addresses). Enter the giveaway by Friday, October 18, 2019 at 8 p.m. 

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Along the Tapajós by Fernando Vilela

 

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Along the Tapajós written and illustrated by Fernando Vilela and translated by Daniel Hahn.  Released on October 1, 2019, this picture book is published by Amazon Crossing Kids, a new imprint for children’s books in translation.  Special thanks to Amazon Crossing Kids and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Publisher’s Summary:
Cauã and Inaê are a brother and sister who live in a small community along the Tapajós River in Brazil. Here, the homes are on stilts and everyone travels around by boat—even to school! When the rainy season comes, they must leave their village and relocate to higher ground for a while. But after moving this year, Cauã and Inaê realize they’ve left behind something important: their pet tortoise, Titi! Unlike turtles, tortoises can’t swim, and Cauã and Inaê are really worried. So the pair sneaks back at night on a journey along the river to rescue him. Will they be able to save Titi?  This picture book, first published in Brazil, offers kids a unique look into the lives of children who live along Brazil’s beautiful Tapajós River.

Review:
As Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop wisely stated:

“Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created and recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. (1990, p. ix)”

From the very first page spread, Along the Tapajós is definitely a window teaching my students a different way of life.  As I read the text beautifully translated by Hahn, there was an immediate reaction from children.

“They have to take a boat to get to school?”

“I wish I could have a tortoise for a pet!”  

Interior from  ALONG THE TAPAJÓS by Fernando Vilela.jpeg

At my school, students mostly walk or ride in a car to get here.  We actually have very few bus riders compared to other schools in our district.  Of course, the children were utterly amazed by Cauã’s and Inaê’s boat ride especially the alligators and porpoises!  When the siblings arrive at school, the students quickly noticed how different their schoolhouse is compared to theirs.  

Vilela’s vivid illustrations quickly convey the change from serene to turbulent as the season quickly changes from summer to winter with nonstop rain.  I heard some gasps from the children as they saw Cauã’s and Inaê’s family pack up their house and boat to dry land in the rainforest.  

Interior from  ALONG THE TAPAJÓS by Fernando Vilela2.jpeg

While the first part of the book exposed all my students to a contrasting way of life, Inaê’s concern for their pet tortoise Titi immediately was a mirror for some of my students who later shared how their own pet had been lost or missing.  The illustrations of their journey back home are breathtaking and strikingly show the aftermath of the massive rain. When the siblings find Titi, the illustrations clearly indicates that aside from the roof, their home is entirely under water, which again shows the severe impact of the winter rain.  The rescue of Titi may be frightening to very young children, but my students were mesmerized at Cauã’s risky but heroic act. After reading, we did discuss whether leaving their parents without permission was a good or bad choice.  

At the end of the story, Vilela includes backmatter which includes facts about the Tapajós River and the inspiration for writing this story.  After reading, my students had so many reactions that I knew this story would be talked about for a long time.  I was proud that one student made a connection to our virtue of the month.

“I think all the people in the book showed unity because they worked together to get the kids to school, the kids home when it rained, and the families packed up and moved to a rainforest. Then the brother and sister had to work together to save Titi.”  

There is no doubt that my students thoroughly enjoyed Along the Tapajós.  As a teacher, what I love is the story was a window into a different way of life, but was also a mirror when the siblings showed concern for their missing pet.  It also reinforced the virtue of unity, which is important as we continue to build our classroom community.   I highly recommend Along the Tapajós..

Praise for Along the Tapajós!

★The vibrant colors in Vilela’s illustrations and the expressive faces of Cauã and Inaê bring lightheartedness to their dangerous journey and the cyclical living it prescribes. A riveting journey.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
 
“This is one of those engaging titles that offers a glimpse of a location new to most American readers. More translations like this one, please!” —Fuse #8 Production

 

Meet the Author/Illustrator and Translator:

Fernando Vilela is an award-winning author and illustrator from Brazil. Published in Brazil under the title Tapajós, this book was inspired by one of his trips to the Amazon rainforest. He has received many awards for his books, and he has exhibited his artwork at home and abroad, including at the MoMA in New York and the Pinacoteca of the State of São Paulo. For his picture books, he has received five Jabuti awards (Brazil) and the New Horizons Honorable Mention of the Bologna Ragazzi International Award. He is also a plastics artist, and he teaches courses, lectures, and workshops on art and illustration. Learn more about him online at www.fernandovilela.com.br.

Daniel Hahn is an author, editor, and award-winning translator. His translation of The Book of Chameleons by José Eduardo Agualusa won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2007. His translation of A General Theory of Oblivion, also by José Eduardo Agualusa, won the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award. He recently served on the board of trustees of the Society of Authors. In 2017, Hahn helped establish the TA First Translation Prize, a new prize for debut literary translation. Learn more about him online at www.danielhahn.co.uk.


ALONG THE TAPAJÓS low-res cover

Enter a Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Along the Tapajós, courtesy of Amazon Crossing (U.S. addresses). Enter the giveaway by Friday, October 11, 2019 at 8 p.m. 

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Itty Bitty Witch by Trisha Speed Shaskan Illustrated by Xindi Yan

 

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for The Itty Bitty Witch by Trisha Speed Shaskkan and illustrated by Xindi Yan.  Special thanks to Two Lions/Amazon Publishing and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Publisher’s Summary:
Betty can’t wait to be a first-grade witch. But on the first day of school, her classmates start calling her “Itty Bitty” because she’s small and still uses her kinder-broom. Betty doesn’t like the nickname—or how it makes her feel itty-bitty inside. So she comes up with a BIG idea to prove herself: winning the Halloween Dash.

Review:
When I think back to my first grade self, I can relate a lot to Betty.  I was excited to be in first grade and couldn’t wait to learn.  Like Betty, I was one of the smallest children in my class.  In fact, I do not think I ever moved from the bottom row for class pictures. Not often, but I do remember sometimes being called “Shorty” by other classmates and feeling itty bitty inside like Betty.  Unlike Betty, I though never had the courage to speak up for myself.

img_1537-e1569539974776.jpg

My school district has adopted Conscious Discipline, which is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, self-regulation program that integrates social-emotional learning, school culture, and discipline.  One of Conscious Discipline’s first lesson is teaching children to use their big or assertive voice to tell someone when their feelings are hurt.  As I was reading The Itty Bitty Witch to my second grade #classroombookaday class, a student said, “Itty Bitty used her big voice!”  How I love when read alouds connect to and reinforce our content; what is even better is when students come to these conclusions on their own. 

img_1539-e1569542746302.jpg

While Betty uses her big voice, she still doesn’t feel confident but that does not stop her from trying to improve her chances of winning the Halloween Dash.  One by one, her ideas fail, but Betty remains persistent.  She creatively makes up a poem to help her remember the race course and during the actual race, when the other witches pass her, she thinks of her biggest idea of all, which ultimately helps her win.  What I love most is Betty’s small stature was crucial to her victory which proves that being small can be an advantage.  Yan’s expressive illustrations are eye catching and beautifully convey Betty’s feelings throughout the story. The Itty Bitty Witch is much more than a Halloween story.  Shaskan has written an engaging and positive story with themes of assertiveness, persistence, and acceptance.  I highly recommend The Itty Bitty Witch!

Watch the adorable book trailer!

Praise for The Itty Bitty Witch!

“Caregivers and teachers will be pleased with the multiple extensions the story offers, all wrapped up in a Halloween theme. Proving size does not matter, this itty-bitty witch casts a bewitching spell.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
“A familiar portrayal of [a] determined, lone underdog who discovers her sense of worth.” —Publishers Weekly

 

Meet the Author & Illustrator:

When Trisha Speed Shaskan was a child, Halloween meant bobbing for apples, daring to touch brains (which may have been noodles), and—best of all—wearing costumes. She still loves dressing up for Halloween. Trisha is the author of more than forty children’s books, including Punk Skunks and the Q & Ray series, both illustrated by her husband, Stephen Shaskan. Trisha lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with Stephen; their cat, Eartha; and their dog, Beatrix. Learn more at www.trishaspeedshaskan.com. Find her on Twitter and Facebook.
 
Xindi Yan grew up in a small city called Wuhu in China, and like Betty, she was always the smallest in her class. Standing a little shy of five feet, she still can’t reach the high shelves in grocery stores and sometimes finds that shoes made for kids fit her best. But her size didn’t stop her from chasing her big dreams of being a published artist in New York City. Xindi is the illustrator of Sylvia Rose and the Cherry Tree by Sandy Shapiro Hurt and the Craftily Ever After series by Martha Maker. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and hopes to have a puppy one day. Learn more at www.xindiyanart.com,
Twitter: @xindiyan, and Instagram: @xindiyanart

 

ITTY BITTY WITCH low res cover.jpg
Enter a Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of The Itty Bitty Witch courtesy of Two Lions/Amazon (U.S. addresses only).  Enter the giveaway by Friday, October 4, 2019 at 8 p.m.