Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Be a Tree by Maria Gianferrari

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Bella and I are honored to launch the blog tour for Be a Tree written by Maria Gianferrari and illustrated by Felicita Sala.  This breathtaking picture book celebrating trees was recently released last week on March 30, 2021. Thanks to author Maria Gianferrari and Abrams Book for Young Readers for sending me an electronic copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


Review:

Be a tree!
Stand tall.
Stretch your branches to the sun.

These ten words begin Gianferrari’s glorious ode extolling the sheer beauty of one of nature’s gifts and how humans have similar physical characteristics to this earthy treasure.   Trees and humans both have parts such as branches and arms, trunks and spines, bark and skin, and a crown at the top.   Sala’s warm watercolor illustrations gorgeously echo Gianferrari’s lyrical text showing the physical similarities so that even the youngest readers can see the connections.   
 
 
 
The focus shifts from physical features to how we as humans also share common behaviors with trees.  Both trees and humans live together in a community.  Just as trees are linked underground through their roots, people are connected by sharing conversations, food, resources, and information.  
 
 
 
Gianferrari’s admiration and respect for trees is evident, for she beautifully describes their value to both humans and the earth.  Sala’s artwork fill the double page spreads depicting a tree’s grandeur and utility. 
 
 
Gianferrari continues to highlight all the benefits of trees, for they serve as animal habitats preserving ecosystems.  The need for community is emphasized for trees that grow away from their natural habitat are at risk; therefore, a forest is vital for support.  A beautiful double page fold out shows how people can learn from trees by helping one another.  In the final page spread, Gianferrari gently reminds us to observe and learn from trees, for by banding together, we can not only be better as individuals but also make the world in which we live a better place. 
 
Backmatter follows the story to provide information on ways to help save trees and help in your community.  A diagram of a tree and its parts as well as books and websites for further research are also included.  Informative and uplifting, Be a Tree is a must to add to a home, classroom or school library.  Highly recommend! 


Praise for Be a Tree!
 
“This book has the advantage of lyrical, accessible poetry and vibrant watercolors from an ever changing palette. …Strong heartwood.”-Kirkus
 

“By foregrounding living beings that exemplify grace, strength, and endurance, Gianferrari gives readers a new way to think about their individual and collective existences.” –Publishers Weekly


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Meet Maria:
Maria Gianferrari has climbed fig trees in Italy, stood under stately coastal redwoods and twisted Torrey pines, marveled at   mitten-shaped sassafras leaves, colorful coral trees and   sawtooth oak acorn nests. She lives with her family, including   dog, Maple, in a house encircled by trees.


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Meet Felicita:
Felicita is a self taught illustrator. She graduated in Philosophy from the University of Western Australia. She has worked on several animation projects along with husband Gianluca, but her passion is making picture books. She lives in Rome with Gianluca and their daughter Nina.


Enter Beagles & Books’ Giveaway!

 
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Maria’s sweet pup Maple announces that one lucky winner will receive a copy of Be a Tree courtesy of the publisher. This giveaway is open from April 9-14, 2020 and ends at 10:00 p.m. EST.  
  • Follow me @lauramossa on Twitter and retweet my Be a Tree giveaway tweet.
  • If you are not on Twitter, fill out the Google form below.

Be a Tree Blog Tour

Continue the tour by visiting blogs sharing their thoughts as well as offering their own giveaways!

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Julius & Macy: A Very Brave Night by Annlouise Mahoney

                                                                    

About the Book:
Title: Julius & Macy: A Very Brave Night
Author/Illustrator: Annlouise Mahoney
Pub. Date: April 1, 2021


Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Julius & Macy: A Very Brave Night published by Two Lions/Amazon Publishing. Special thanks to the publisher and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


Review:

Each night, Julius, a badger and Macy, a mouse love to play together and greatly enjoy performing heroic deeds. 

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Julius wished to protect the forest from anything harmful while Macy wanted to help any small thing in need.  Being a hero takes a lot of energy; therefore, it is important to refuel with snacks.  When Julius and Macy go to fetch their cookies and nuts, they discover an empty wagon.  Julius asserts that the Night Goblin must have taken them and describes him as the worst kind of scary to Macy.  

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In order to find their snacks, Julius and Macy must be truly heroic and venture deep into an unknown area of the forest. A noise from inside a cave frightens them. Could it be the Night Goblin?JuliusAndMacyAVeryBraveNight-28609-large-3

Armed with a sword and a fairy wand, the two friends bravely enter the hollow to discover the source of the sound. A huge shadow on the wall startles them and they run away but then realize heroes must stay brave even when they are scared.

Mahoney’s concise, melodic text is a joy to read aloud especially the dialogue between the two friends.  Her warm illustrations are dreamy and luminous.  I love how Julius and Macy collaborate on making stars to hang on the trees to bring the celestial objects closer to them  creating a fanciful setting.   

As a reading specialist, I appreciate that the story has a simple yet engaging plot to teach young children about story structure.  Characters Julius and Macy have a problem, identify steps to solve their problem which ultimately resolves it.   In addition, themes of friendship, bravery, and kindness can be explored.  I especially appreciate that Mahoney teaches children that bravery can take many forms, for Julius and Macy both display courage in their own ways.  


Check out this sweet book trailer!

Take a look at this cute downloadable activity pages: 

http://www.woodlandabbey.com/activity-corner


Praise for Julius & Macy!

Watercolor illustrations further the text’s magical qualities by adding important details, such as the solitary nature of Sherwin’s home. Softly glowing with campfire and starlight, this tale is an inviting bedtime story and a gentle ode to kindness.” ―Booklist


About the Author/Illustrator:
Annelouise Mahoney has worked in animation for DreamWorks, DIC Animation, Sony, and Saban Entertainment. She has also worked as a colorist for Marvel and Image Comics on such series as Uncanny X-Men, Generation X, and others. This is her first picture book, and it was inspired by the depths of her daughters’ friendships and the many ways they are brave, especially with someone on their side. She loves to explore the forest, can’t resist a cave, and has a lot of love for all those named Julius in her life. Annelouise lives in Southern California with her family. Learn more about her at www.woodlandabbey.com.

Facebook: Woodland Abbey

Twitter: @WoodlandAbbey

Instagram: Annelouise Mahoney


Two Lions Giveaway Details:

Amazon 2021 giveaway_3 books

Five lucky winners will each receive three fabulous books celebrating the art of making and keeping friends, including Julius and Macy: A Very Brave Night, courtesy of Two Lions.

Details and entry form can be found here (US addresses).

Winners will be selected at random and notified via email. One entry per person, please. US addresses only. Entries are due by 5/1/21.

Early Chapter Books, Edelweiss, Giveaway, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Picture Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/15/21

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.


Our Recent Reads:

Cow Says Meow! by Kirsti Call Illustrated by Brandon James Scott

When a cow says meow, it starts an a-moo-sing chain of events.  A young boy responds with “What a copycat!” and on the next page, there is a cat.  When the page is turned, the cat responds with a neigh which helps young readers predict the next animal to appear.  Each animal utters an incorrect animal sound which will keep kids laughing and excited to keep reading. Adults will snicker at the boy’s witty retorts which use wordplay.  For example, when a owl says “WOOF”, the boy replies “You’re barking up the wrong tree!”  After a pig says hi, a young girl follows responding with moo bringing the story full circle.  

Cow Says Meow is an udderly hilarious picture book.  I had the pleasure of reading aloud the story virtually to a kindergarten class and loved that the children were able to be active participants predicting the next animal based on the sound and giggling when the animals got the their sounds mixed up. I also noticed that after a few read alouds, children would be able to read the story themselves, for Call’s text is short and sweet with all the words in speech bubbles. Scott’s bold illustrations fill the whole page and show both the boy’s frustration and the animals’ surprise as the words come out of their mouths.  Thanks to the author for sharing an e-copy.  Cow Says Meow celebrates its book birthday tomorrow on March 16, 2021. 

Watercress by Andrea Wang Illustrated by Jason Chin

A Chinese American family stops their car when the parents see watercress growing on the side of the road.  The daughter who is the narrator in the story is not happy about wading in the cold, muddy water to pick the plant.   When the family sits down for dinner, there is a dish of prepared watercress, but the daughter will not put any in her bowl.  When her parents try to encourage saying the watercress is fresh and free, she does not budge.  The word, free, evokes feelings of embarrassment since the girl wears hand-me-down clothes and sits on chairs taken from a roadside trash heap.  Her mother responds by sharing a framed photograph of her family in China and a moving childhood memory which makes her daughter see the free watercress in fresh, new light.    

Gorgeously written in free verse and beautifully illustrated in watercolor, Watercress is a powerful, emotional read.   In the author’s note, Wang shares that Watercress is based on her childhood memory and the story is both an apology and love letter to her parents.  She reminds families to share their memories, the beautiful ones and the painful ones, for these stories teach us empathy. In the artist’s note, Chin explains his process of illustrating Watercress which I greatly appreciated.  As I was reading, I kept thinking how Watercress is a perfect mentor text for personal narratives and will share this touching book with teachers. Thanks to Neal Porter/Holiday House for sharing an e-copy through Edelweiss. Watercress publishes soon on March 30, 2021. 

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Agnes’s Place by Marit Larsen Illustrated by Jenny Løvlie Translated by Kari Dickson

Young Agnes knows her home so well and the neighbors that live near her.  Everything is pretty predictable.  So when Agnes sees a girl standing on the street below her looking up, her mind is full of wonder. From inside her apartment, Agnes quietly watched the girl and her mother move their things past her door and up the stairs all the way to the fifth floor.  Agnes decided to welcome the new girl by making her an invitation to join her on the swings and dropping it into her letter box.  But when the girl doesn’t come, Agnes is sad.  As time passes, Agnes doesn’t understand. Why is the new girl interested in everything else except her?

While Agnes had a sense of belonging because she knows everyone’s patterns, likes and dislikes in her apartment building, it was clear that she was lonely with no other children around. Løvlie’s detailed illustrations show not only Agnes’s knowledge but also her solitude. The predictability of her world changed the moment she first saw the new girl (now known as Anna) on the street and then moving into the apartment on the fifth floor. Larsen’s text and Løvlie’s artwork express both how Agnes’s home has changed all because of Anna.  At the end of the story, when the two girls come face to face, my heart leaped because I believe the anticipation made their meeting more special.  Translated from Norwegian, Agnes’s Place is a sweet story that reminds us that life is always more enjoyable with surprises. To read my full review and details to enter a giveaway, click here


Bella’s Pick of the Week

Wanting to spread the dog love, Beagles and Books has a weekly feature of highlighting a literary selection with a canine main character.

Good Dog series by Cam Higgins Illustrated by Ariel Landy

Follow the adventures of rescue dog Bo Davis in this new early chapter book series!  In the first book, Home is Where the Heart Is, readers are introduced to Bo who lives on a farm with his family.  After a good rain, Bo decides to join his pig pal, Zonks, for a romp in the mud. After his human brother, Wyatt and sister, Imani, give Bo a much needed bath, they realize that his dog tag is missing.  Not having a tag greatly bothers Bo because it reminded him of his life at the pound before he was adopted and became a Davis.  Determined, Bo retraces his steps, uncovers some clues talking to the farm animals (and some spiders), which all lead him to his treasured tag. 

In Raised in a Barn, the second book in the series, Bo believes he is the fastest animal on the farm so he and the newest foal, Comet, race to prove it once and for all.  Bo wins the race, but not because he is truly faster.  Comet is young and easily distracted by a butterfly.  After being chastised by Nanny Sheep for gloating, Bo apologizes and with the help of his best puppy friend Scrapper, he gets the idea that he can teach Comet how to be a great horse.  But a dog may not be the best teacher for a horse especially when Comet needs to be groomed and ready for the foal parade at the local fair the next day.    Bo learns that it is more important to be Comet’s friend than his teacher.  

The third book in the series, Herd You Loud and Clear, Bo plays games with his sheep buddy Puff.  Because of Puff’s fluffy wool, he is not the best at playing hide and seek and wants to find a game that Bo has not played.  Bo finds out from his human dad, Darnell, that it’s shearing season so Bo has to help herd the sheep to the barn.  Bo attempts to collect the sheep but they complain of being too hot to walk to the barn.  When Bo finally sees Puff, he is standing on a large rock and challenges Bo to catch him.  When Bo can’t, Puff makes fun of him.  While Bo is good at a lot of things, he feels down that he is not at climbing rocks or herding sheep.  Fortunately, Nanny Sheep is willing to teach Bo all about shepherding. And when Puff gets stuck on rocks in the forest, Bo relies on the confidence he gained from Nanny Sheep and help from Scrapper to save his friend.

Well, Bo is now one of my favorite literary pups because of his curiosity, determination, and willingness to always lend a paw to his friends.  The Good Dog series is perfect for readers transitioning to chapter books.  With large print, short chapters, adorable, expressive illustrations on almost every page, well developed characters and an engaging plot, I can’t wait for my young readers to meet Bo.  The first three books published in December 2020. Thanks to Jenny Lu of Simon & Schuster for sharing Good Dog with Beagles and Books.  Three more titles will be published in the series throughout this year.  For more information, click here. 

Bella and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books!

“People love dogs. You can never go wrong adding a dog to the story.”
Jim Butcher
#IMWAYR is dedicated to dear Etta, my original book beagle. Blessed that Etta is part of my story.

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Agnes’s Place by Marit Larsen

                                                                 
 
 

About the Book:
Title: Agnes’s Place
Author: Marit Larsen
Illustrator: Jenny Løvlie
Translator: Kari Dickson
Pub. Date:  March 1, 2021


Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Agnes’s Place published by Amazon Crossing Kids which aims to increase the diversity of children’s books in translation and encourage young reading from a range of cultural perspectives.  Special thanks to the publisher and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


Review:

Young Agnes knows her home so well and the neighbors that live near her.  Everything is pretty predictable. 

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So when Agnes sees a girl standing on the street below her looking up, her mind is full of wonder. 

“What is the girl looking for?” 

“Is she going to live here?”

From inside her apartment, Agnes quietly watched the girl and her mother move their things past her door and up the stairs all the way to the fifth floor.  Agnes decided to welcome the new girl by making her an invitation to join her on the swings and dropping it into her letter box.   But when the girl doesn’t come, Agnes is sad.  She tries to cheer up by feeding the birds but they fly right by Agnes’s window to the new girl’s window.   Why? 

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Agnes was still full of questions. 

“Did the new girl see what Agnes saw?”

“Did she hear what Agnes heard?”

And the biggest question of all-Why was the new girl interested in everything else except Agnes?

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So when Agnes get her neighbor’s newspaper, a task she always does, and finds the mailbox empty, the questions continue.  But later that day, on the steps, Agnes and the new girl finally meet.  And in that moment, Agnes’ worries and wonders disappear.  The new girl, Anna, leads Agnes up the stairwell until they reach the rooftop where Anna has made a secret nook that was meant to be shared.

While Agnes had a sense of belonging because she knows everyone’s patterns, likes and dislikes in her apartment building, it was clear that she was lonely with no other children around.  Løvlie’s detailed illustrations show not only Agnes’s knowledge but also her solitude. The predictability of her world changed the moment she first saw Anna on the street and then moving into the apartment on the fifth floor.  Her excitement is conveyed in both the words and illustrations, so as a reader, my heart for Agnes when her invitation is not accepted.  And for the first time, Agnes can’t explain someone’s behavior.  Why was Anna ignoring her?  

Larsen’s text and Løvlie’s artwork express both how Agnes’s home has changed all because of Anna. When Agnes’s seeks support from her neighbor Emilia, she replies ” we have all been new at one time or another. That’s a real strange thought for you perhaps.”  Emilia’s comment made me think there has not been a lot of change in young Agnes’s life which is why she is feeling uneasy.  At the end of the story,  when the two girls come face to face, my heart leaped because I believe the anticipation made their meeting more special.  Translated from Norwegian, Agnes’s Place is a sweet story that reminds us that life is always more enjoyable with surprises. 


Praise for Agnes’s Place!

“A love letter to new friendships and apartment living.” –Kirkus Reviews


About the Author:
Marit Larsen
is a Norwegian songwriter and musician. Agnes’s Place, her debut picture book, was first published in Norway and will also be published in Denmark and Italy. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. Learn more about the author at www.maritlarsen.com  and on Instagram: larsenmarit

About the Illustrator:
Jenny Løvlie
is a Norwegian illustrator. Her previous picture book, The Girls, written by Lauren Ace, was the winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. She currently lives in Cardiff, Wales. Learn more about the illustrator at www.lovlieillustration.com and on Instagram: lovlieillustration

About the Translator:
Kari Dickson is a literary translator from Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2020 she won the Mildred L. Batchelder Award for best children’s translation for Brown, written by Håkon Øvreås and illustrated by Øyvind Torseter. She holds a BA in Scandinavian studies and an MA in translation.

 


Continue reading “Blog Tour & Giveaway for Agnes’s Place by Marit Larsen”

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Review and Giveaway for Stella by McCall Hoyle

 

About the Book:
Title: Stella
Author: McCall Hoyle
Pub. Date:  March 2, 2021


Beagles and Books is excited to share a review and giveaway for the middle grade novel, Stella.  Special thanks to author McCall Hoyle for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


My Review:

“My name is Stella. I’m a beagle, and I was born to sniff.”

While all beagles have a keen nose, Stella has been trained to sniff out explosives. But after a mission went terribly wrong resulting in the death of Connie, her handler, Stella is haunted by the memories of that tragic day.  Retired of her duties, Stella now suffers from PSTD which is making it difficult for her to find a permanent home. 

Fortunately, Esperanza, a friend of Connie’s and world-renowned dog trainer offers to rehabilitate Stella to help her find a forever home.  When Stella arrives at Esperanza’s farm, she is warmly greeted by her daughter Cloe.  Picking up scents of cookies, grass, and books, Stella is reminded of Connie who read aloud to her and recalled these words-“you must be the thing you cannot do.”    But Stella also smells a sour or metallic scent unsure what it means.

From that very first day, Stella notices that Cloe gets her better than any other human since Connie.  While Stella is not happy to be sleeping in the barn, she does have the company of brave border collie Nando who moves closer to her crate when she is anxious.  Since it is sheep shearing season, Cloe successfully convinces her reluctant mom to let her work with Stella.  Cloe still has the strange smell that Stella can’t figure out, but it’s not strong every day.  On a trip running errands, the scent intensifies.  Stella tries to alert Esperanza as she witnesses Cloe having an epileptic seizure.   After seeing Cloe in distress, Stella is determined to not only be a good dog, but also brave like she was with Connie.  Can Stella persuade Esperanza that she is meant to be Cloe’s dog?

It is no secret I love reading dog books, but when I heard about Stella,  I was even more eager to read since the novel featured a beagle.  As I read the first page, I was excited to discover that the story is written from Stella’s point of view.  Having Stella tell the story allows readers to learn that she is indeed a great dog, but she is deeply traumatized by the loss of Connie and blames herself.  My heart hurt for Stella and as I read, I found herself hugging my own beagle, Bella, as a way to comfort Stella.

When Stella meets Cloe, she has an immediate connection with her.  Realizing the power of her nose, Stella knows she can signal Cloe before a seizure occurs.  Stella’s overwhelming need to help Cloe aids her in her rehabilitation, for Stella learns that she is not defined by what happened in the past and can be the thing you cannot do just like Connie said.  What charged Stella’s determination was Chloe because on their first walk together, Stella knew she could trust her.  Cloe also believed that Stella could do great things frequently telling her mother how smart Stella is.  Trust and belief gradually turn into love which makes Stella and Cloe’s relationship so heartwarming.

What I also love about Stella is its length.  Long novels can be intimidating to some middle grade readers so I appreciate that Stella is under 200 pages with well developed characters that you will root for, and an intriguing plot that makes the novel very difficult to put down.  Stella will make all readers fall in love with dogs especially super sniffer beagles!


Listen to a video message from the author, McCall Hoyle!


Check out the Reader’s Guide to Stella!

Click to access stella_readers_guide._mccall_hoyle.pdf

Giveaway!

Beagles & Books is excited to give away an ARC of Stella courtesy of author McCall Hoyle. You can enter by retweeting my Twitter post or leaving a comment below. Giveaway ends at 10 pm on Friday, 2/26/21.

Giveaway, Picture Books

Review & Giveaway for First Friends: How Dogs Evolved from Wolves to Become Our Best Friends by Kersten Hamilton Illustrated by Jaime Kim

 

About the Book:
Title: First Friends: How Dogs Evolved from Wolves to Become Our Best Friends
Author: Kersten Hamilton
Illustrator: Jaime Kim
Pub. Date:  February 9, 2021


Beagles and Books is excited to share a review and giveaway for the recently released First Friends: How Dogs Evolved from Wolves to Become Our Best Friends. Special thanks to author Kersten Hamilton for sending me a finished copy to give away on Twitter.


 Review:

How did dogs become our best friends?   This picture book uses a nonfiction narrative format to explain to kids how wolves evolved into dogs.  The story begins in the Stone Age.  A young girl and wolf pup meet and play but once they both grow up, their friendship must end, for humans and wolves are rivals hunting the same prey.  Many, many years pass and a young boy living in a hut meets a wolf pup.  They interact more closely with the boy scratching the pup and sharing his food, but like the girl, the relationship does not last although the pair watch each other from afar.   Over time, more children and wolf pups befriend each other.  Their relationship is more intimate trading items, drinking from the same water hole, sleeping side by side, and finally, traveling together to a new home.  On the last page spread, it is now present day and a beagle (yes, a beagle!) and a girl run toward one another full of excitement and love.  

First Friends
Courtesy of Macmillan Publishers https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780374313432

 

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Graphic Novel, Middle Grade Literature, Rockstar Book Tours

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd & Michelle Mee Nutter

                                              ALLERGIC                    

About The Book:
Title: ALLERGIC
Author: Megan Wagner Lloyd & Michelle Mee Nutter
Pub. Date: March 2, 2021
Publisher: Graphix
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audiobook
Pages: 240
Find it:  GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBDBookshop.org

 

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Beagles and Books is thrilled to be hosting a spot on the ALLERGIC by Megan Wagner Lloyd & Michelle Mee Nutter Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours.  All opinions are my own.


Publisher’s Summary: 

A coming-of-age middle-grade graphic novel featuring a girl with severe allergies who just wants to find the perfect pet! At home, Maggie is the odd one out. Her parents are preoccupied with getting ready for a new baby, and her younger brothers are twins and always in their own world. Maggie loves animals and thinks a new puppy to call her own is the answer, but when she goes to select one on her birthday, she breaks out in hives and rashes. She’s severely allergic to anything with fur!  Can Maggie outsmart her allergies and find the perfect pet? With illustrations by Michelle Mee Nutter, Megan Wagner Lloyd uses inspiration from her own experiences with allergies to tell a heartfelt story of family, friendship, and finding a place to belong.


Review:

In Maggie’s family, her parents are absorbed with getting ready for the new baby and her twin brothers have each other which makes her feel a little left out.   That is all going to change on her tenth birthday.  Why?  Maggie finally gets something to call her own-a dog!  But when she visits the shelter with her family and meets the puppy she wants to adopt, her body reacts differently than her heart.  Maggie’s nose itches and she can’t stop scratching.  Her dream of owning a dog is shattered when she discovers she is allergic to any animal with fur or feathers.  And while hopeful Maggie tries out non-allergic pets, none of them work out long term.

Not only is Maggie feeling lonely at home, but also at her new elementary school.  Fortunately, Claire, who is just one year older, moves in next door and she and Maggie become fast friends until Claire gets a dog.  Feeling betrayed, Maggie distances herself from Claire but after some time, she gets the courage to apologize and explain the true severity of her allergies.  Back to being besties, Claire helps Maggie secretly get a pet mouse but between her allergies flaring up again and her brothers sneaking into her room, Maggie is forced to say goodbye again.  Will Maggie find a way to come to terms with her allergies and her place in the family?

Inspired by her own experiences with allergies,  Lloyd’s text was honest and heartfelt which helps readers identify and connect with Maggie. What I loved most about the story is Maggie’s realization that she is an integral part of her family, for when her mother goes to the hospital, her brothers really need her and once her little sister is born, she feels an immediate bond to this new little soul. Nutter’s warm and dynamic illustrations bring Lloyd’s text to life, perfectly showing her feelings as she experiencing both heartache and joy.

I read a lot of children’s books and Allergic is the first book I have ever read that tackles pet allergies.  But the story is not only about Maggie handling her allergies.  It is a story about how to manage changes in family, school, and friendship–topics that lots of kids can relate to.  I  highly recommend pre–ordering Allergic to add to your home, classroom or school library!


Praise for Allergic!

“Maggie’s inventiveness as she overcomes these trials is showcased through Lloyd’s captivating narrative and Nutter’s bright and dynamic illustrations. The story provides insight into the lives of those with allergies and the accommodations needed to avoid serious episodes … A heartachingly enjoyable tale of resilience.” — KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review 

Readers will root for this realistic and relatable fifth grader, who’s capable of kindness well as envy and self-doubt. Lloyd folds in information about allergy tests, anaphylaxis, EpiPens, and other facts that Maggie and her friend Sebastian, who also has allergies, recite to each other. Layouts rely on three to four large panels per page, creating a smooth visual flow; Nutter’s muted, uncluttered art has a cozy feel … Maggie makes new pals here—she’ll find even more friends in elementary and middle school libraries, where readers will easily identify with her trials and accomplishments.” – SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL 

“A fun and entertaining story.” — BLEEDING COOL 

“The perfect graphic novel for kids of all ages.” — FROLIC 

Allergic is the sweetest story you’ll read all year. A touching chronicle of a young girl’s severe allergies woven into a meaningful journey of friendship, family, and self-discovery.” — Terri Libenson, New York Times bestselling author of Invisible Emmie


Megan Wagner Lloyd (by Seth Lloyd)About Megan:
MEGAN WAGNER LLOYD is the author of several picture books, including Paper Mice, Building Books, Finding Wild, and A Fort-Building Time. She lives in the Washington DC area. Visit her online at meganwagnerlloyd.com.

Website | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

 

 


Michelle Mee Nutter (by Greg Marquis)About Michelle: 
MICHELLE MEE NUTTER graduated with a BFA in Illustration from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, 3×3 Illustration, Creative Quarterly, and more. Michelle lives in Boston. Visit her online at michellemee.com.

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads  

 


Giveaway Details: 
3 winners will win a finished copy of ALLERGIC, US Only.  To enter the giveaway, click the link below.

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba21233/

Tour Schedule:
Check out the other stops on the blog tour!

Week One:

2/11/2021

For The Love Of Kidlit

Excerpt

2/12/2021

Beagles and Books

Review

2/13/2021

She Just Loves Books

Review

Week Two:

2/14/2021

Westveil Publishing

Review

2/15/2021

Adventures Of A Travelers Wife

Review

2/16/2021

Nerdophiles

Review

2/17/2021

Pick a good book

Review

2/18/2021

Lifestyle of Me

Review

2/19/2021

Twirling Book Princess

Excerpt

2/20/2021

Not In Jersey

Review

Week Three:

2/21/2021

BookHounds YA

Review

2/22/2021

Kait Plus Books

Excerpt

2/23/2021

Little Red Reads

Review

2/24/2021

A Dream Within A Dream

Excerpt

2/25/2021

Two Chicks on Books

Excerpt

2/26/2021

Jazzy Book Reviews

Review

2/27/2021

Midnightbooklover

Review

Week Four:

2/28/2021

Hurn Publications

Excerpt

3/1/2021

Locks, Hooks and Books

Review

3/2/2021

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Review

CATCH MEGAN WAGNER LLOYD AND MICHELLE MEE NUTTER ON THE VIRTUAL ALLERGIC TOURAllergic Tour - 03.02.21 - Raina Telgemeier

March 2, 2021 5:00 pm (PST) Launch event hosted by Green Apple Books In conversation with Raina Telgemeier (GUTS) 

Allergic Tour - 03.04.21 - Jeff Kinney

March 4, 2021 7:00 pm (EST) Hosted by An Unlikely Story In conversation with Jeff Kinney (DIARY OF A WIMPY KID) 

Allergic Tour - 03.10.21 - Varian Johnson & Shannon Wright
March 10, 2021 4:00 pm (PST) Hosted by The Reading Bug In conversation with Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright (TWINS)

Bit About Books Winter Reading Challenge, Giveaway, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Middle Grade Literature, Picture Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/8/21

 

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.


Our Recent Reads:

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A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus

Living in London during World War II,  Edmund, William and Anna Pearce are orphans again.  Their parents died years ago and now their grandmother has died.  While they do not grieve the loss of their cold, distant grandmother, her death does impact them because she did not name a guardian in her will.  Other considerations are the Pearce children want to stay together and with the war, finding a family to adopt them all poses a challenge.  The solicitor recommends that the siblings join other children who are evacuating the city for the country.  And while the trio are heirs to a comfortable inheritance, this information must be kept a secret until a forever, loving home is found.  

From the very first page, this book had my heart.   The writing is exquisite and has a classic, timeless feel.  While I read, I truly could hear the narrator telling the story.  Each sibling has a distinctive personality which made them endearing.  The children encounter bullying, prejudice, and sheer indifference in their first two placements or billets, but they persevere because of their love for each other and for books.  In fact, books are truly their refuge because books give them warmth on a cold night and hope for someone who thinks they hang the moon, like their mother.  When they find the village lending library and befriend Mrs. Muller, the kindhearted librarian, your heart leaps because you feel a happy ending is looming but patience is required.  And when it does happen, tears of joy occur because a new story is about to begin full with love, promise and of course, lots of books!  Thanks to Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House for sharing an eARC.  A Place to Hang the Moon recently published last week on February 2, 2021.


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Bunbun and Bonbon: Hoppy Go Lucky by Jess Keating

Bunbun and Bonbon are back in the second book of this early graphic novel series.  In the first book, Fancy Friends, Bunbun and Bonbon meet and become fast friends and members  of Team Fancy.  In Hoppy Go Lucky, when a couple of bad things happen,  Bunbun is convinced their luck has run away.   They seek the advice of their wise fox friend, Scout Von Fluffington, who suggest they set a trap to catch their good luck.  Bunbun and Bonbon are optimistic their plan will work using a donut as bait.  While the spunky pair do not trap their luck, they do catch a duck who offers his own tip, but that leads to more bad luck or maybe not because meeting a unicorn named Rosie Stardrop Sparklepants seems pretty fabulous to me.  She gives the duo the best advice of all-as long as you can smile, you will never lose your luck!

With bright and eye-catching illustrations, easy to read dialogue and themes of friendship, problem solving, and positivity, this fun series will be in high demand.  I am so happy that graphic novels are being written with young readers in mind, but I believe readers of all ages will be charmed by Bunbun and Bonbon. Hoping there are more adventures to come in the series.  Hoppy Go Lucky recently published on February 2, 2021.


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Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket by Sue Fliess Illustrated by Annabel Tempest

Told in playful quatrains, Fliess has written an inspirational story encouraging us all to chase our dreams.  What I love most is Sadie teaches us that dreams come true with planning, research, teamwork, determination, and problem solving.  And once a goal is accomplished, another idea can take its place.  Tempest’s bright and exuberant illustrations reinforce the positive themes. At the end of the book, Sadie’s notebook is included which shares facts about Mars as well as women in space.  Sadie motivates us all to be dreamers AND doers!  To read my full review and enter a giveaway, click here.


Bella’s Pick of the Week

Wanting to spread the dog love, Beagles and Books has a weekly feature of highlighting a literary selection with a canine main character.

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First Friend: How Dogs Evolved from Wolves to Become Our Best Friends by Kersten Hamilton Illustrated by Jaime Kim

How did dogs become our best friends?   This picture book uses a nonfiction narrative format to explain to kids how wolves evolved into dogs.  The story begins in the Stone Age.  A young girl and wolf pup meet and play but once they both grow up, their friendship must end, for humans and wolves are rivals hunting the same prey.  Many, many years pass and a young boy living in a hut meets a wolf pup.  They interact more closely with the boy scratching the pup and sharing his food, but like the girl, the relationship does not last although the pair watch each other from afar.   Over time, more children and wolf pups befriend each other.  Their relationship is more intimate trading items, drinking from the same water hole, sleeping side by side, and finally, traveling together to a new home.  On the last page spread, it is now present day and a beagle (yes, a beagle!) and a girl run toward one another full of excitement and love.  

Hamilton’s concise, melodic text and Kim’s warm and radiant illustrations are in perfect harmony.  Words were chosen and art was drawn thoughtfully and with purpose to show how wolves evolved into dogs.  At the end of the book, back matter includes more facts about their progression from competitor to companion as well as a bibliography.  And pay special attention to the gorgeous endpapers, for the front depicts their rival relationship in hieroglyphics and the child-like illustrations of a girl and her dog grace the back endsheets.  Thanks to author Kersten Hamilton and Farrar Straus Giroux/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for sharing an eARC.  First Friends celebrates its book birthday tomorrow on February 9, 2021.

Bella and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books!


“People love dogs. You can never go wrong adding a dog to the story.”
Jim Butcher
#IMWAYR is dedicated to dear Etta, my original book beagle. Blessed that Etta is part of my story.
Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket by Sue Fliess Illustrated by Annabel Tempest

                                                                   
About the Book:
Title: Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket
Author: Sue Fliess
Illustrator: Annabel Tempest
Pub. Date:  February 1, 2021

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket. 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.


Review:

It all started with a wish to travel to space.  Sadie Sprocket was not just a dreamer, she was a doer!  And researching and learning no one has been to Mars, Sadie was not deterred.  Sadie’s confidence exudes in Fliess’ rhyming text and Tempest’s illustrations show that exploring outer space is her passion.

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Sadie and her crew collaborate to build a ship out of recycled materials.  I love how on the first page spreads, her stuffed animals sit motionless on her bed and shelves, but as soon as Sadie proclaims her mission, the stuffed animals feel her energy and come to life to help her.  Kids see how teamwork truly makes the dream work, and the pride is evident on all the crew’s faces on launch day.

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After landing on Mars, Sadie and her crew get right to work collecting and labeling samples to bring back home.   Kid see the importance of both planning and teamwork as the crew each has the necessary supplies to complete their task.  When they try to venture home, problems abound.  First, the landing gear is buried.  Then the rocket won’t start.  Sadie and her crew demonstrate problem solving, resilience, and resourcefulness in restoring power and successfully blasting back to Earth.  Once safely home, Sadie models one of the most important lessons of all.  Success means making new goals liking a trip to Neptune!

Told in playful quatrains, Fliess has written an inspirational story encouraging us all to chase our dreams.  What I love most is Sadie teaches us that dreams come true with planning, research, teamwork, determination, and problem solving.  And once a goal is accomplished, another idea can take its place.  Tempest’s bright and exuberant illustrations reinforce the positive themes. At the end of the book, Sadie’s notebook is included which shares facts about Mars as well as women in space.  Sadie motivates us all to be dreamers AND doers!


Praise for Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket!

“Inspiring, adventurous fun for aspirational kids.” —Kirkus Reviews


About the Author:

Sue Fliess is the author of more than thirty children’s books, including Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins illustrated by Mark Chambers; Shoes for Me!, A Dress for Me!, and Books for Me!, all illustrated by Mike Laughead; and Let’s Build illustrated by Miki Sakamoto. She lives with her family and their two dogs in northern Virginia, where they admire the moon, stars, and sometimes even planets from their backyard. Learn more about Sue at www.suefliess.com, on Twitter: @SueFliess, on Facebook: Sue Fliess Author and Pinterest: Sue Fliess

About the Illustrator:
Annabel Tempest
is the illustrator of a number of picture books and board books. She holds a degree in fashion and textiles and has worked as a freelance illustrator on everything from maps and packaging to greeting cards and children’s books. She lives in the beautiful Somerset countryside in the UK with her husband and a houseful of muddy boys and dogs. Learn more about Annabel at www.annabeltempest.com and on Instagram: annabel.tempest


Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket_Cover

Enter Beagles & Books’ Giveaway: 

One winner will receive a copy of Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses only). This giveaway is open from Friday, February 5, 2021 through Friday, February 12, 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 my Twitter account, @lauramossa and retweet my Sadie the Sprocket blog tour post.

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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/1/21

 

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? 2/1/21”