#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, 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.

Blog Tour, Debut Author, Rockstar Book Tours

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Mortification of Fovea Munson by Mary Winn Heider

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of The Mortification of Fovea Munson Blog Tour organized by Rockstar Book Tours.


Author: Mary Winn Heider
Pub. Date: June 5, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 336
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD


Fovea Munson is nobody’s Igor. True, her parents own a cadaver lab where they perform surgeries on dead bodies. And yes, that makes her gross by association, at least according to everyone in seventh grade. And sure, Fovea’s stuck working at the lab now that her summer camp plans have fallen through. But she is by no means Dr. Frankenstein’s snuffling assistant!  That is, until three disembodied heads, left to thaw in the wet lab, start talking. To her. Out loud. What seems like a nightmare, or bizarre hallucination, is not. Fovea is somebody’s Igor, all right. Three somebodies, actually. And they need a favor. With a madcap sense of humor and a lot of heart (not to mention other body parts), this is a story about finding oneself, finding one’s friends, and embracing the moment.

It’s not easy being Fovea Hippocrates Munson.  Strike one is that your first name in medical lingo means “eyeballs” and your surgeon parents are obsessed with everything Hippocrates.  They have even written a rap about the Father of Modern Medicine!  Strike two is that your surgeon parents own a cadaver lab where they happily deal with dead bodies all day long.  Strike three is that your summer camp is closed due to a snake infestation which means you are stuck working as the receptionist at the lab.  And there’s more.  Your parents think you want to follow in their footsteps as a Future Doctor of America, and your best friend has traded you in for a more sportier and cooler model.    There’s no way things can get worse, right?

Except things can and they do when at the lab, three disembodied heads not only start talking to Fovea but ask her for a favor.  Although Fovea is experiencing a raging case of PTSDH (PostTraumatic Stress from Dead Heads), she has to focus because the lab is missing a specimen, and she needs Luke, Andy and McMullen’s help (AKA the 3 Heads) to find the body part before a blackmailing cremator reports her parents to the police.

The Mortification of Fovea Munson is a story of humor and heart.   With its far-fetched and fantastical plot, I was excited to keep reading to see where author Mary Winn Heider would go next.  While I laughed after reading almost every page, my heart also hurt for Fovea who lost her best friend and struggled with discovering who she really is.

After an unforgettable night, Fovea finally realizes she is no longer “a bookmark holding on to a space and waiting for the right time.” On the contrary, she does have something burning in her. While she is not destined to become a Future Doctor of America, Fovea Hippocrates Eyeballs Igor Phobia Pitfall Munson will be a Future of America making the world a better place. And she is going to rock it! After reading the last page, I hope Fovea’s adventures are only just beginning.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of The Mortification of Fovea Munson in exchange for a honest review.  All opinions are my own.

 About Mary:
Author of THE MORTIFICATION OF FOVEA MUNSON, June 2018, Disney-Hyperion. Barrel of Monkeys Company Member.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

Would you like to own a copy of The Mortification of Fovea Munson for your library?  Thanks to Rockstar Book Tours, they are giving away 3 copies of this fabulous book (US only).  Be sure to take the time and enter this fantastic giveaway.  Please click link below to enter!


Tour Schedule:
Join us on the other stops of this tour for more giveaway chances and to read more about The Mortification of Fovea Munson and the author Mary Winn Heider.

Week One:
6/4/2018- Beagles & Books– Review
6/5/2018- Always Me– Review
6/6/2018- Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers– Excerpt
6/7/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review
6/8/2018- The Book Girl – Interview

Week Two:
6/11/2018- Two points of interest– Review
6/12/2018- Lattes & Paperbacks – Review
6/13/2018- Wonder Struck– Review
6/14/2018- A Dream Within A Dream Excerpt
6/15/2018- BookHounds YA– Review

#Bookexcursion, Debut Author, Picture Books

Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime by Cate Berry Illustrated by Charles Santoso


Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime by Cate Berry Illustrated by Charles Santoso

On the very first page, pajama clad Penguin announces “This is not a bedtime book” with night cap wearing Tiny Shrimp chiming in saying “We don’t do bedtime!”  The adorable characters make it clear that there is no room for typical bedtime rituals such as toothbrushing, big beds or counting sheep.  On the contrary, readers will be enticed to stay wide awake with fireworks, vine swinging, hot air balloon rides, songs, jokes and even the rare appearance of a Uni-Hippo!  After Penguin and Tiny Shrimp engage in all their adventures, they maintain their anti-sleep position stating “This book will never make you yawn” but their actions begin to contradict their original declaration. It is not long before the two characters are crawling into bed and sleep soundly.  Clearly, storytelling is tiring work!

Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime is a hilarious and highly entertaining picture book from debut author Cate Berry. Not only did I pre-order this book immediately, I now have the perfect recommendation for a bedtime read aloud (sorry Penguin and Tiny Shrimp!) that parents will take great pleasure in reading again and again to their children.  Santoso’s pictures adorably depict Penguin and Tiny Shrimp’s insistence and excitement in staying awake yet by the end of the book, his illustrations subtly and sweetly transition to show their fading energy.  Even the background color of the pages becomes gray to signify the change.


Special thanks to Cate Berry for sending an ARC of Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime to our #bookexcursion group.  Can’t wait for its release May 2018.   I sincerely hope there will be more Penguin and Tiny Shrimp adventures to come!

Blog Tour, Debut Author

Duck, Duck, Moose by Joy Heyer


Thank you to Pink Umbrella Books for providing Beagles and Books with the opportunity to read and review Duck, Duck Moose by Joy Heyer.  All opinions are my own.




Synopsis: Duck is sad because his best friend Goose is gone for the winter.  Sensing his unhappiness, the animals attempt to cheer up Duck by asking him to play games.  Unfortunately, the other animals’ games just don’t feel right.   Duck, Duck, Pig is too messy. Duck, Duck, Snake is too slitherly.  Duck Duck Porcupine and Duck Duck Moose are too dangerous!  Can Duck solve his problem and cure his loneliness?

Review:  Duck, Duck, Moose is a fun rhyming picture book that begs to be read aloud.  Young children will especially like the onomatopoeia that Heyer uses as Duck engages in a new game with each animal. Her warm watercolor illustrations of the animals show their willingness to help Duck with his loneliness.

The theme of missing a good friend is one to which all children can relate. While the plot is predictable, I like that Heyer does not tell the reader why Duck does not enjoy each animal’s game.  Children can infer based on text clues and the illustrations.  What I love about the text is that Duck learns that he must look to himself to solve his problem, which is a good lesson for readers young and old.

Duck Duck Moose recently published in March 2018.



About the Author: Joy Heyer lives in Virginia with her loving husband and three of her four crazy children. Her oldest child now has a child of her own, making Joy a grandma. Her family recently convinced her to get a dog. What was she thinking? The dog now follows Joy everywhere, waits loyally at the front window every time she leaves the house, and goes berserk when she comes back, even if she was only gone for 10 seconds to get the mail. In her spare time….wait, what spare time? Whenever her children and dog permit, she loves to read, write, paint, and dream up home improvement projects.