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

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

LITTLE DREAMERS

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

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

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudible,  B&NiBooksTBD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Website | Twitter | Instagram |Facebook | Goodreads

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Love Like Sky by Leslie Youngblood

LOVE LIKE SKY

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

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

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

Summary:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Del Toro Moon by Darcy Karchut

Happy Book Birthday to Darby Karchut’s Del Toro Moon! Beagles and Books is excited to be a part of the Del Toro Moon Blog Tour organized by Rockstar Book Tours.

About the Book:
Title:
 DEL TORO MOON
Author: Darby Karchut
Pub. Date: October 2, 2018
Publisher: Owl Hollow Press
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 224
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NTBD

“Ride hard, swing hard, and take out as many of those creepy critters as you can.”

Summary:
Twelve year old Matt Del Toro is the greenest greenhorn in his family’s centuries-old business: riding down and destroying wolf-like monsters, known as skinners. Now, with those creatures multiplying, both in number and ferocity, Matt must saddle up and match his father’s skills at monster whacking. Odds of doing that? Yeah, about a trillion to one. Because Matt’s father is the legendary Javier Del Toro—hunter, scholar, and a true caballero: a gentleman of the horse.

Luckily, Matt has twelve hundred pounds of backup in his best friend—El Cid, an Andalusian war stallion with the ability of human speech, more fighting savvy than a medieval knight, and a heart as big and steadfast as the Rocky Mountains.

Serious horse power.

Those skinners don’t stand a chance.

Review:
Del Toro Moon is a fast paced adventure told from the point of view of youngest son, Matt who is just joining his father and brother in the family trade. For centuries, his family has held the dangerous occupation of guarding the town against these wolf-like monsters known as skinners. Contained in sealed coffers for years, these creepy skinners have been getting out and multiplying.  Fortunately, the Del Toro family does not have to fight this battle alone, for their Andalusian war horses are right by their side fighting with them. And their horses can talk!  El Cid is definitely my favorite horse because he watches over Matt closely ever since his mother died. Having El Cid as a confidant is important because Matt’s dad, Javier and older brother, Ben do not always see eye to eye and given the family’s line of work, making friends is not easy for Matt.

While the Del Toro family business of combating skinners may have initially convinced me to read Del Toro Moon, it is the importance of sticking together as a family that will remain with me long after I have read.  Matt and Ben may not always agree with Javier, but they truly respect him and their family history.  Javier also has instilled a sense of duty and strength in his sons.  Matt is reminded by his father’s words that “courage is as much about battling our fears as it battling our foes.” Courage is crucial as Matt navigates not only fighting skinners but also opening himself up to new friendships and coping with the loss of loved ones.   Amid the horror of the Del Toro family battling skinners, Del Toro Moon is a story that also has a lot of heart.

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

Giveaway Details:
One winner will receive a signed finished copy of Del Toro Moon, US Only. Click on link below to enter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2807/?

About Darby:
Darby Karchut is an award-winning author, dreamer, and compulsive dawn greeter. A proud native of New Mexico, she now lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, where she runs in blizzards and bikes in lightning storms.

When not dodging death by Colorado, Darby is busy wrangling words.

Her books include the best selling middle grade series, THE ADVENTURE OF FINN MacCULLEN. Coolest thing ever: her YA debut novel, GRIFFIN RISING, has been optioned for film.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

Tour Schedule:
Join us on the other stops of this tour for more giveaway chances and to read more about Del Toro Moon.

Week One:
9/24/2018- BookHounds YA– Interview
9/25/2018- Oh Hey! Books.– Excerpt
9/26/2018- Random Bookish Banter– Review
9/27/2018- Patriotic Bookaholic– Review
9/28/2018- Rhythmicbooktrovert– Review

Week Two:
10/1/2018- Eli to the nth– Review
10/2/2018- Beagles and Books– Review
10/3/2018- Daily Waffle Excerpt
10/4/2018- LA Bookworm– Review
10/5/2018- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt

Book Birthday, Picture Books

Who Eats Orange? by Dianne White Illustrated by Robin Page

Beagles and Books wishes a very Happy Book Birthday to Who Eats Orange?  written by Dianne White and illustrated by Robin Page. Special thanks to Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending a copy of Who Eats Orange? in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Who Eats Orange? is an engaging and lively informational picture book that teaches young readers about animal diets.  Focusing on the color of food, the book begins with the question “Who eats orange?” and then shares four animals that enjoy consuming orange foods. A fifth animal that does not fit the pattern is introduced as a means of transitioning to the next color.  Subsequent colors are green, red, yellow, purple, and blue.

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Written in a repetitive pattern with few words, young children will undoubtedly join in the reading of the text.  The page size illustrations are eye-catching and stand out against the white background and vividly show each animal’s anticipation for or pleasure in devouring the delicious food.  What I love about Who Eats Orange? is that while it teaches or reinforces colors, children also learn about animals, their habitats, and the foods they eat.  Included at the end of the book is backmatter which identifies how each color corresponds to a particular habitat, additional facts about the animals, and the specific names of the foods that were featured in the text.   As a teacher, I am always looking for engaging nonfiction picture books to read aloud for #classroombookaday. Who Eats Orange? has earned a spot during my read aloud!

Click here for a free activity kit for Who Eats Orange?

Diane White has also written other picture books such as Goodbye Meets Hello published in June 2018.  To read my review, click here.

Dianne White_credit Bridgette Balmes

About Dianne White:
When she was five, Dianne White said goodbye to her house and her teacher, Mrs. Dunlap, and hello to a new school, and her newest favorite teacher, Mr. Loop. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is the award-winning author of Blue on Blue. She lives in Arizona, where she writes full-time. For more information, visit diannewrites.com or on Twitter @diannewrites

#Bookexcursion, Book Birthday, Picture Books

Happy Book Birthday to Capstone Publishing August Picture Book Releases!

It’s August 1st! Beagles and Books is proud to share 5 fabulous new Capstone Publishing picture books that are celebrating their book birthdays today and 1 title that will be released in September. A special thank you to Jennifer Glidden who has provided these ARCs to my #bookexcursion group.  All opinions are my own.

Harrison P. Spader, Personal Space Invader

Harrison P. Spader, Personal Space Invader by Christianne Jones  Illustrated by Cale Atkinson

Harrison loved life but, his excitement was becoming a problem.  He sat too close, shook hands too long, hugged a little too much and talked way too close.  Harrison was a personal space invader. After hearing complaints, Harrison’s father taught him a simple technique called the Space Saver to help him give others their own personal space.  While the Space Saver solved the problem, it created another problem when Harrison gave his friends too much space. With continued support from his family, teacher, and friends and his own self-awareness and restraint, Harrison is bound to meet with success!

Working with students for over 20 years, I sincerely thank the author Christianne Jones for writing an entertaining and humorous picture book that can teach students a valuable skill.  Young children struggle with understanding the definition of personal space; the Space Saver rhyme will be a welcome strategy for teachers to use with students.  I am a big fan of Cale Atkinson’s illustrations and his drawing of Harrison sweetly demonstrates the young hippo’s enthusiasm, for life, his true concern when his father shared the problem , and sheer determination to improve.  A great story for the beginning of the year, I cannot wait to share Harrison P. Spader, Personal Space Invader with teachers and students.

Awesome!

Awesome! by Craig Shuttlewood

Marvin, a moose and Woody, a beaver are the best of friends.  After Moose rescues a squirrel falling from a tree, he becomes a local hero in the forest.  Moose who was once ordinary is now awesome, and his new-found popularity means Woody and Moose spend less time together.  Feeling left out, Woody concocts a plan to get some attention of his own, but his actions are not-so-awesome.  Will Moose and Woody be able to be repair their friendship?   With bold and vibrant illustrations, Awesome! is a great read aloud. Young students will be able to connect to this engaging story which explores themes of friendship, jealousy and forgiveness.

Do Not Bring Your Dragon to Recess

Do Not Bring Dragons to Recess by Julie Gassman Illustrated by Andy Elkerton

The third book in the series, Do Not Bring Dragons to Recess teaches children about the dos and don’ts of recess.  Written in rhyme, Dragon demonstrates what not to do during recess such as running down the hall, hogging the monkey bars, and pushing the merry-go-round too fast.  Children will love actively participating in the read aloud chanting the repetitive refrain, “So Do Not Bring Your Dragon to Recess!”   Fortunately, with the help of his classmates and teachers, Dragon learns recess etiquette such as having patience, taking turns, sharing, and showing respect and kindness.  This amusing story with large, eye-catching illustrations would be a great read aloud for the beginning of the year to reinforce following recess rules with young children.

The Picky Eater

The Picky Eater by Betsy Parkinson Illustrated by Shane Clester

When eating, Piper is a picky little pig!  She has one simple rule for her food: It must begin with the Letter P. Piper prefers pancakes over waffles, pears instead of apples, and peas rather than beans. Looking for a solution, Piper’s mother attempts to hide veggies in pineapple upside down cake but Piper is not tricked.  Will Piper ever change her picky habits?  The Picky Eater is a title in Capstone’s Little Boost series, which are books that tackle early life lessons in a funny and relatable manner.  As a teacher, I could also see reading this story to reinforce the letter p and its sound to pre-kindergarten or kindergarten students.

Unstoppable: How Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team Defeated Army

Unstoppable by Art Coulson  Illustrated by Nick Hardcastle

Unstoppable is a nonfiction narrative picture book which shares a biography of Jim Thorpe, who was the great-great grandson of Sauk warrior Black Hawk.  While some details from his early life are shared, the focus of the text is Jim’s journey to becoming a star on the Carlisle Indian Industrial School football team which was due to his determination and perseverance.  The story ends with the legendary 1912 game between Carlisle and West Point, which was advertised by sportswriters as a rematch between the Army and the Indians who had fought on the battlefield 20 years before.  Carlisle was victorious beating Army 27-6 with Jim integral to the team’s surprising win.

Unstoppable is written for an upper elementary audience, but teacher guidance is crucial, for in the afterword, Author Coulson, Cherokee, provides additional and important context about the story such as a brief biography of Jim which provides greater detail about the hardships in his early life, a list of the other members of the 1912 Carlisle Indians Varsity Football Team, a biography of Carlisle coach Pop Warner, historical information about The Carlisle Indian Industrial School, and a glossary.

Gabi's If/Then Garden

Gabi’s If/Then Garden By Carline Karanja  Illustrated by Ben Whitehouse

A title in Capstone’s Code Play series written by developer and designer Caroline Karanja, Gabi and her best friend  are coding creatives.  Adi loves to make things and say “I wonder…” and Gabi likes to fix things and say “What if..” In this story, Gabi and Adi use if/then statements to help them with gardening.  For example, “If it doesn’t rain, then they water the plants.”  The girls engage in a game of If/Then taking turns being the programmer and computer.  When Gabi does not follow Adi’s command, Gabi explains that there is a bug in the code and how a programmer needs to ask questions to solve the problem.

Gabi’s If/Then Garden will appeal to both teachers, students, and parents because it uses a narrative format to introduce coding concepts to children.  Sidebars explain the definitions for coding terms such as if/then statements and bugs in the code. Included at the end of the book is matching if/then activity and a glossary of terms.  After reading, I can see children engaging in games of If/Then which is a great way to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.  Gabi’s If/Then Garden releases on September 1, 2018.

The Kiddie Table by Colleen Madden

Where do you sit on Thanksgiving when you are between a tot and a teen? Unfortunately, for this eight year old girl, she is forced to sit with the much younger crowd and is not happy about it! Written in rhyme, The Kiddie Table is a hilarious yet honest story about that awkward period when you are stuck in between.  Will the girl be able to convince the adults that she deserves a spot at the their table?

The Kiddie Table is a story that will amuse students because it is funny and relatable.  We all have experienced a time when we feel out of place.  A good read aloud for before Thanksgiving, the story also teaches us if you have to sit at the kiddie table, be thankful for family, fun, growing up, and drinking without a sippy cup!

 

 

#Bookexcursion, Book Birthday, Debut Author, Picture Books

Sterling, Best Dog Ever by Aiden Cassie

Beagles & Books wishes Aiden Cassie and her debut picture book, Sterling, Best Dog Ever a very Happy Book Birthday!   A very special thank you to Aidan Cassie and Macmillan for sending a copy of Sterling to my #bookexcursion group to read and review prior to its release. Below is my review which was featured on my #IMWAYR post on 6/25/18.

Sterling is determined to find a home.  Sleeping outside the Butlery Cutlery Company, he sneaks into a box of forks that are delivered to the Gilbert family.  When the family opens the box and finds Sterling, the mom and dad are perplexed but the daughter ‘s and her baby sister’s smiles say it all.  Sterling strives to be the best fork ever but soon discovers that perhaps, the family doesn’t need a fork.  Being adaptable, Sterling attempts to be a whisk, a rolling pin, and even a stick but none of these tools seems to make him or the daughter happy.  Will Sterling ever realizes his one and only job is to just be himself?

Sterling, The Best Dog Ever is a heartwarming and humorous story about learning to be comfortable in your own skin or in Sterling’s case, fur. The rich and colorful illustrations beautifully complement the plot and depict not only Sterling’s determination to be needed and useful but also the little girl’s true desire to have a dog of her own to love.

I can’t wait to share Sterling, The Best Dog Ever with students in the fall!  Its message of self acceptance makes it a perfect read aloud for #classroombookaday. If you need any more convincing, get a sneak peek of Sterling by viewing the trailer below.

 

Book Birthday, Picture Books

Happy Book Birthday to It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus! by Jody Jensen Shaffer

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Beagles and Books wishes a very Happy Book Birthday to It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus written by Jody Jensen Shaffer and illustrated by Claire Messer. Special thanks to author Jody Jensen Shaffer for sending me a copy that I will also share with my #bookexcursion group. All opinions are my own.

Who isn’t nervous on the first day of school?  It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus tells the tale of Busy Bus who is both anxious and excited for his first day on the job. Ben, the bus driver, thoroughly checks Busy to make sure he is ready performing tasks such as measuring the air in his tires, filling his gas tank, turning his lights on and off, inspecting his emergency door, and of course, starting Busy’s engine.  Although Ben is confident that Busy is ready for the road, Busy is worried.  What if he gets homesick or doesn’t make any friends?  Thankfully, Ben is there to ensure Busy’s first day of school is a success!

For early childhood teachers, It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus is the perfect read aloud for the first week back.  Busy is experiencing all the same emotions that children feel anticipating their first day of school.  Busy is adorably drawn, and Messer sweetly conveys his range of emotions with his eyes and mouth. The illustrations span the spread so the artwork is large enough for children to view during a read aloud, which is a plus.

What I love most about the book is that Ben is right by Busy’s side to support him.  When he places Busy’s nameplate on him, Busy not only realizes he is ready but also that he is safe, clean and most importantly, loved.  When I think about children returning to school in the fall, building relationships is by far the most crucial.  Like Busy, children need to feel safe and loved which in turn instills confidence and a belief that they can achieve great things.

Book Birthday, Picture Books

Happy Book Birthday to Goodbye Brings Hello: A Book of Firsts by Dianne White

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Beagles and Books wishes a very Happy Book Birthday to Goodbye Brings Hello: A Book of Firsts  written by Dianne White and illustrated by Daniel Wiseman. Special thanks to Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending a copy of Goodbye Brings Hello in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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“There are many ways of letting go. With each goodbye, a new hello.”  These sentences open this incredibly beautiful picture book that extols the positive effects of change.

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From growing out of an old coat, leaving home, taking your first plunge in a pool, trying out a new hairstyle, writing letters, making your own lunch or getting ready for your very first day of school, change can be scary.  What I love about Goodbye Brings Hello is it celebrates being brave enough to take that leap big or small and try something new.   Written in short rhymes, Diane White delivers the story’s message beautifully and concisely.  Daniel Wiseman’s soft and colorful illustrations tenderly show each child’s apprehension but once the reader turns the page, the children’s expressions shows their immense pride and happiness in taking the leap.   As I am reading and gathering read alouds for the new school year and planning for #classroombookaday, Goodbye Brings Hello is without a doubt a picture book I will share with both teachers and students in the fall.

A free Goodbye Brings Hello activity kit is available by clicking here.

Dianne White_credit Bridgette Balmes

About Dianne:
When she was five, Dianne White said goodbye to her house and her teacher, Mrs. Dunlap, and hello to a new school, and her newest favorite teacher, Mr. Loop. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is the award-winning author of Blue on Blue. She lives in Arizona, where she writes full-time. For more information, visit diannewrites.com or on Twitter @diannewrites

About Daniel:
Daniel Wiseman remembers saying goodbye to the training wheels on his bike, and saying a great big hello to skinned knees and elbows. But the freedom of rolling on two wheels was well worth the bumps and bruises. He still rides his (slightly larger) bike almost every day. Daniel loves to draw, and has illustrated several books for children. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri. Visit him at danieldraws.com. and at Instagram @d_wiseman

Book Birthday, Bookexcursion, Debut Author

The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle by Christina Uss

Happy Book Birthday to Christina Uss’ The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle! 

Ever since she was three years old, Bicycle has lived at the Mostly Silent Monastery in Washington, DC. with Sister Wanda and the mostly silent monks. With Sister Wanda as her teacher, Bicycle excels at her studies and is especially good at making anagrams.  On an errand to buy groceries with Brother Otto, Bicycle and the monk see a old orange bicycle for sale in front of the post office.  Buying it for less than a dollar, Bicycle brings the two-wheeler home to clean and repair it.  She names it Clunk.

Sister Wanda hopes that Clunk will help Bicycle make friends but sadly Sister Wanda’s dream does not come true.  Due to Bicycle being a fast cyclist, her chances of making friends is low because no one can keep up with her. Concerned for Bicycle, Sister Wanda decides to send her to sleepaway camp at the Friendship Factory where she is guaranteed to make three friends or your money back.  Bicycle has a different idea.  Polish cyclist Zbig Sienkiewicz is visiting America for the first time to host a blessing of bicycles.  Bicycle desperately wants to travel to California to meet her hero.  Sister Wanda will not acquiesce; therefore, Bicycle boldly decides to make the journey to San Franscisco with Clunk to meet Zbig who will become her first and only friend.

On her travels to California, Bicycle befriends a friendly ghost named Griffin who haunts her handlebars, the Cookie Lady, Chef Marie, fried pie making Jeremiah, and Dr. Luck Alvarado.  While she hits some bumps in the road (well actually pigs), Bicycle remains focused on proving to Sister Wanda that she can make a friend on purpose.  With Clunk out of commission, Bicycle is fortunate to buy a new bike, the Fortune 713-J at an auction except now Bicycle is being followed by a lady in black who she believes wants to steal her new riding companion.  So many questions remain. Will Bicycle be able to avert the lady in black? Will she get to San Francisco in time to meet Zbig? Will they become friends?  Will Sister Wanda forgive Bicycle for her transgression?

Reading The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle was an exhilarating ride.  Debut author Christina Uss’ story of a girl biking towards a solution is equally heartwarming and humorous.  While the plot is fantastical, the message is real.  As Dr . Alvarado states, “Luck flows around us like a river, but we have our own paddles.”  In other words, we have the ability to change where we are headed.  Through Bicycle’s journey across the country, readers will discover that while friendships may begin due to some luck, true friendships remain because of two people’s ability to talk, listen, and actually hear each other.  And that is a lesson worth learning and remembering.

A very special thanks to Christina Uss for sending an advanced reader’s copy of The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle to my #bookexcursion group.

Book Birthday, Picture Books

Happy Book Birthday to My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing

My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing by Nick Ortner and Alison Taylor Illustrated by Michelle Polizzi

Disclaimer: I was provided a copy of this book to review by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Review:
My Magic Breath; Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing teaches children about breathing strategies to help combat negativity.  Magic breath is special because taking deep breaths can help children handle worried, nervous or sad thoughts.  The book continues by asking children to focus on things that make them smile and use their magic breath to blow out those happy thoughts directly on the page.  The new page reveals an almost full spread of colorful bright waves which evokes a sense of calm.  My Magic Breath continues to ask children to use breathing and a focus on happy thoughts to help combat sad ones.  Blue waves appear on the next page but are gradually blown away as children breathe deeply.  The sad blue waves are replaced with vivid and vibrant ones. At the end of the book, children are reminded to use their magic breath to not only help them through difficult moments but also to appreciate happy times!

I sponsor a second grade class for #classroombookaday.  Each day, I read a picture book aloud and ask students “What is the author trying to teach us?”   After reading My Magic Breath, one student shared that the book can help kids visualize good things so that they will stop thinking about bad things.  Another student also made a connection to a previous read aloud, Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall.  In the story, Jabari is having second thoughts about jumping off the diving board.  Jabari’s father tells him when he is scared, he takes a deep breath to help him get ready.   The student went on to say that deep breaths can help calm you down when you are nervous.

About the Book:
From New York Times bestselling author Nick Ortner comes a beautiful picture book that will help children discover calm through the magic of mindful breathing:

Do YOU have the magic breath?
Let’s see…Take a deeeeeep breath in…and BLOW it out…

…and like magic, you can feel better just by breathing! Sometimes it’s hard to feel happy. But with this interactive picture book, children breathe along as they learn how to make angry or sad thoughts disappear.

In a world that is sometimes too busy, with too many things going on, My Magic Breath will help steer children into a serene space of mindfulness, self-awareness, and balance.