Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Operation Rescue Dog Blog Tour & Giveaway

Beagles and Books is so honored to be part of the Operation Rescue Dog blog tour!  I had the immense pleasure of reading an advance copy of this heartwarming picture book with my #bookexcursion group and have been eagerly awaiting its official release.  Now only 6 days until my finished copy arrives on September 18, 2018.

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Publisher’s Summary:
This sweet story about a girl named Alma and a stray dog named Lulu shows how a girl and a dog can rescue each other.  Lulu sleeps under the moon, drinking from mud puddles and is covered in ticks until she is rescued. She waits for the Operation Rescue Dog truck, scared and uncertain.  Alma misses her Mami, who is far away in Iraq.  Alma wears Mami’s scarf around her like a hug. She wonders: Can a dog feel like a hug? In this heartwarming and moving picture book, a lonely child and a lonely dog come together and find warmth, companionship, and love in each other.

Review and Thoughts:
Maria Gianferrari’s words are sheer poetry when she conveys Alma’s longing for her mom saying “Alma wears Mami’s scarf like a hug.”  But a few pages later states “Can a dog feel like a hug?” while Alma rubs Mami’s scarf on her cheek.  Luisa Uribe’s illustrations are warm and evoke a sense of calm even in the midst of uncertainty.

I love all of Maria’s books but I can’t deny that Operation Rescue Dog is my favorite.  Being a dog mom of two rescue beagles, this book has my whole heart.  Even more so because my husband and I met Etta (Her shelter name was actually Lauren.) on our very first volunteer rescue transport in June 2010.   Like Lulu, Etta was transported from the south to the north although she was rescued due to a hoarding situation.  We met Etta in Baltimore, which was one of her many stops on her journey from North Carolina to New Jersey.

Etta was underweight, which tugged at our hearts.  We know how much beagles love food!  While we didn’t transport Etta to the next stop, we couldn’t stop thinking about her.  My husband and I were ready to welcome a dog into our lives because that past February, we had to say goodbye to our 17 year old beagle   We had already applied to adopt through a local beagle rescue and were due to have a home visit that week.  I quickly researched to find out Etta’s final destination, which was Penny Angels Beagle Rescue in New Jersey.  After sending an email, completing the application, and getting approved, we drove up to New Jersey to adopt Etta that following Saturday, 6 days after meeting her.

7 years later, Penny Angels Beagle Rescue shared a photo of Bella on their Facebook group, and soon our family grew by four more paws in October 2017.  We can’t thank Joan and Ken Kerr, the founders of Penny Angels enough for making our family complete and for the amazing work they do!

I love that Maria dedicated the book to her rescue dog, Becca and tells Becca’s story in the author’s note.

Maria also shares how readers can support pet rescue and how a portion of the book’s proceeds will benefit Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah.  Operation Rescue Dog is a beautiful story that will continue to give back by raising awareness to animals in need. Thank you Maria for advocating for animals!

I feel blessed to have Etta and Bella in my life and love sharing my blog with them (even though Bella is now a bit skittish when posing with books.)  Luckily, Etta is always willing to pose for treats!

Giveaway Details:
One lucky winner will receive a copy of  Operation Rescue Dog (U.S. addresses only).  A winner will be chosen on September 18, 2018.  Please click on the link below to enter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/46a61dc04/?

About Maria:

Processed with VSCOcam with a5 presetMaria Gianferrari loves dogs, especially her rescue dog, Becca. She loves them so much that all of her fiction picture books published thus far contain a dog main character! As an animal lover, Maria has been rescuing creatures unofficially all her life. Her most recent rescue was a five-lined skink stranded in her cellar. She lives in Leesburg, Virginia with Becca, her scientist husband and artist daughter.

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway: It’s Show and Tell, Dexter! by Lindsay Ward

Beagles and Books is honored to be part of the blog tour for It’s Show and Tell, Dexter! by Lindsay Ward which recently pubished in July 2018. Special thanks to Two Lions Publishing and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Summary
Dexter T. Rexter is going to school. But will anyone like him? Tomorrow is the biggest event ever in Dexter’s life: his best friend, Jack, is taking him to school for Show and Tell Day! Dexter has been getting ready for weeks. But now he’s a little nervous. What if the other kids don’t like him? So Dexter decides to come up with a plan. He’ll wear a costume. Dinosaurs in bunny ears look good, right? He’ll recite state capitals starting with…uhaher. Then he realizes something. He can’t dance. He can’t recite things. He doesn’t have ANY skills. What’s a dino to do?

This comical, interactive tale of belonging, friendship, anticipation, and first-day-at-school jitters lets readers experience the excitement and nervousness along with Dexter—and even offer him a little advice along the way.

Review
Poor Dexter!  In Don’t Forget, Dexter!, Dexter panicked when Jack left him in the doctor’s waiting room.  Fortunately, Jack returned and Dexter was reunited with his best friend.  In It’s Show and Tell, Dexter!, while Dexter is living every toy’s dream by being chosen as Jack’s Show and Tell, the dinosaur is showing his nerves once again.

With the first day of school fast approaching, children will easily be able to relate to Dexter’s anxiety.  What I especially love is that Lindsay Ward wrote the text from Dexter’s point of view so he speaks directly to young readers or listeners. And no child will be able to contain his or her laughter as Dexter shares his costume ideas as a way of dealing with his apprehension.  Children will also empathize with Dexter when he share his true fears that he can’t do something namely be the star of show and tell.  Luckily for Dexter, he has the support of young readers reminding him that he doesn’t have to wear a costume or have a routine.  He just needs to be himself because he is a pretty special dinosaur. I mean seriously who else can sing like him?  What a good lesson to reinforce with children- take pride in yourself and your talents!

I look forward to sharing It’s Show and Tell, Dexter! with teachers as a read aloud for the first week of school. Get a sneak peek by watching this adorable book trailer!

Praise
“Ward’s gentle art features cut-paper forms with residual pencil outlines, providing an ad hoc quality to the spreads. Readers prone to anxiety over big events should be tickled that a toy has concerns too.” –Publishers Weekly

“Ward’s illustrations, made with printmaking ink, colored pencil, and cut paper, wonderfully capture Dexter’s every emotion and over-the-top ideas.” —Kirkus Reviews 

Check out the fun coloring sheet here!

Giveaway
One lucky winner will receive a copy of both Dexter T. Rexter books–Don’t Forget Dexter! and It’s Show and Tell, Dexter!, courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses).  A winner will be chosen on August 29, 2018.  Please click on the link below to enter.
http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/46a61dc03/?

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Lindsay Ward is the author of the Dexter T. Rexter book Don’t Forget Dexter! Though she never got to bring an orange dinosaur to Show and Tell Day, she did once take all four albums of her sticker collection. She is also the author and illustrator of Brobarians, Henry Finds His Word, and When Blue Met Egg. Her book Please Bring Balloons was also made into a play.

Most days you can find Lindsay with her family, writing and sketching at her home in Peninsula, Ohio. Learn more about her at www.LindsayMWard.com or on Twitter: @lindsaymward.

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books, Rockstar Book Tours

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Dear Substitute by Liz Garton Scanlon & Audrey Vernick

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Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the Dear Substitute Blog Tour organized by Rockstar Book Tours.

Title: DEAR SUBSTITUTE
Author: Audrey Vernick, Liz Garton Scanlon, & Chris Raschka (Illustrations)
Pub. Date: June 19, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 40

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

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Summary:
When a substitute teacher named Miss Pelly comes to class, one student bristles at the change in routine-Miss Pelly doesn’t follow the rules like Mrs. Giordano. But in time, our student learns that even though the substitute may do things a little differently, and she may be a bit silly, mixing things up might not be so bad. Told in a series of epistolary poems, this funny, relatable picture book is a great fit for classrooms and for any child nervous about new experiences.

Review:
There is no substitute for a great teacher or is there?  Written as a series of humorous letters, Dear Substitute gives readers a child’s perspective of having a substitute teacher for the day.  On the very first page, the young narrator immediately shares her displeasure and wonders “Where’s Mrs. Giordano and why didn’t she warn us?”  As the day progresses, the substitute is not held in high regard because she mispronounces students’ names, fails to collect homework, and she is not aware it’s Tank Tuesday.  Let’s hope Elmo the turtle will survive one more day in dirty water. According to our narrator, Miss Pelly (Pelly like a pelican) doesn’t take anything seriously which may be why she’s not worried about students returning books to the library or who is supposed to be line leader.

While Miss Pelly may not follow all the rules and routines, she does catch the narrator swapping food at lunch, which evokes some tears from the young student.  Thankfully, her sadness is short-lived, for Miss Pelly shares funny poems which inspire the narrator to write her own poem with the help of the substitute.  Although Mrs. Giordano is missed, it turns out that a switch-around day with Miss Pelly is actually A-OK.

Dear Substitute is an amusing and engaging story that will entertain both students and teachers.  I love the message that change while scary can lead to positive results. Who would ever argue with more story time and encouraging students to write poetry? The authors definitely did their research, for the voice of the young narrator is spot on. The structure of the text told in epistolary poems makes the text fun to read aloud especially since each letter is written for a different recipient.  Chris Rascha’s lively and detailed watercolor illustrations beautifully complement the text, for the artwork gives readers additional insight about the narrator’s feelings towards Miss Pelly and how they change throughout the story.  As I am reading and gathering read alouds for the new school year and planning for #classroombookaday, Dear Substitute is without a doubt a picture book I will share with both teachers and students in the fall.

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

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About Audrey:
Audrey grew up in Whitestone, New York, where she lived with her parents and two sisters and a not very bright small white dog. She has a freaky memory about the names of the kids in her class at P.S. 184Q, and even remembers where most of them stood in size order. She always loved to read and still rereads Harriet the Spy on a regular basis.  She was not one of those children who always knew she wanted to be a writer; she didn’t love to write until college. She’s been writing ever since.  In addition to writing for children, Audrey has published more than a dozen short stories for adults in magazines and literary journals. She received a MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and has been honored with two fiction fellowships from the New Jersey State Council of the Arts.  Audrey divides her time between writing (which is mostly spent revising) and visiting elementary schools to talk about writing and publishing. (For school visit info, click here.) She also speaks at conferences around the country. She lives near the ocean in New Jersey with her family and a semi-smart medium-sized dog.     Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Liz.jpgAbout Liz:
Liz Garton Scanlon is the author of numerous beloved books for young people, including the highly-acclaimed, Caldecott-honored picture book All the World, illustrated by Marla Frazee, and her debut novel for middle grade readers, The Great Good Summer, as well as The Good-Pie Party; Happy Birthday, Bunny!; Noodle & Lou, and several others. Ms. Scanlon is also a poet, a teacher and a frequent & popular presenter at schools, libraries and conferences. She grew up in Colorado and Wisconsin, and now lives with her husband and two daughters in Austin, Texas.
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Giveaway Details:

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

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2767/?

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

Week One:
6/18/2018- For the Love of KidLit– Interview
6/19/2018- Here’s to Happy Endings– Review
6/20/2018- Mythical Books– Guest Post
6/21/2018- Book-Keeping– Review
6/22/2018- Wonder Struck– Review

Week Two:
6/25/2018- BookHounds YA– Excerpt
6/26/2018- RhythmicBooktrovert– Review
6/27/2018- Book Dragon Lair– Review
6/28/2018- Beagles & Books– Review
6/29/2018- Two Points of Interest– Review