Giveaway, Picture Books

Review & Giveaway: First Snow by Nancy Viau

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It’s a winter wonderland today in Maryland with the first snow of 2019!  I can’t think of a better time to share First Snow written by Nancy Viau and illustrated by Talitha Shipman, the perfect picture book to reading on a snowy day.  Special thanks to Albert Whitman & Company and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Review and Thoughts:

When I first looked at the cover, I was immediately smitten with the beagle that joins in on the snow fun.  As I previewed the picture book, I was even more excited to see the sweet pup is on every single spread!  

First Snow is a delightful picture book that celebrates the joy of the first snow of the season.  A brother and his little sister look out the window to see snow falling.  The children waste no time putting on their snow gear and head outside to join their neighborhood friends to play in the wintry wonderland.  The beagle follows along to frolic in the snow!

Written in rhyme with concise text, the story is a sheer pleasure to read aloud.  Young readers are also exposed to rich words and phrases such as scurry, frisky, weary, and strike a pose expanding their oral vocabulary.  The colorful and lively illustrations warmly convey the excitement of the children as they go sledding, make snowmen and snow angels and of course, engage in a friendly snowball fight. 

What I love most about First Snow is the genuine kindness and care that the brother demonstrates toward his little sister throughout the day ending with a bedtime story.  And the icing on the cake is the beagle quietly listens to the read aloud and then joins the sleepy children to dream about more snow!

 

Publisher’s Summary: 
Snowflakes falling! What a treat! Friends gather outside to celebrate the first snowfall of the season with snowball fights, sledding, building igloos, drinking hot chocolate, and making the most of a windy, wintry day. With rhyming text and cheerful illustrations, this is a charming celebration of the winter season.

Praise for First Snow:  “A sweet suburban/rural contrast to the snowy day enjoyed by Peter in the city.”  — Kirkus Reviews
 
 
Relive the joy of the season’s first snow in this sweet trailer!  
 

 
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About the Author:
Nancy Viau first fell in love with snow one wintry day after a huge snow storm left a drift so high that her brothers had to dig a tunnel out the back door. Today, Nancy plays in the snow with snowshoes or skis attached to her feet.  She is the author of five picture books including City Street Beat and Storm Song, along with the middle-grade novels Beauty and Bernice and Just One Thing! She lives in New Jersey.  Visit her website at http://www.nancyviau.com
 
About the Illustrator:
Talitha Shipman has always loved the snow especially the kind that sparkles like diamonds. She graduated with an MFA in illustration from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2008. She’s illustrated several books, including You Are My Little Pumpkin Pie, Everybody Says Shalom, and Applesauce Day. Talitha lives in Indiana with her husband, daughter, and dog. Find her online at http://www.talithashipman.com
 
Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of First Snow, courtesy of Albert A. Whitman (U.S. addresses).  Enter giveaway through sign up below.  The drawing will occur on Sunday, January 20th and winner will be notified via e-mail.  Good luck!
 
 
 

#Bookexcursion, Author Interview, Early Chapter Books, Giveaway

Interview with Hillary Homzie, Author of Ellie May on Presidents’ Day & Ellie May on April Fools’ Day & Giveaway!

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Beagles and Books wishes Hillary Homzie’s Ellie May a very Happy Book Birthday! The first two books, Ellie May on Presidents’ Day and Ellie May on April Fools’ Day  publish today.  Hillary was kind enough to join me to answer questions about her new chapter book series about an enthusiastic and curious second grader.  To read my full reviews on both books, please visit my blog post here.

BB:  Congratulations on your new chapter book series!  I am so excited for readers to meet Ellie May!  Can you share with how you came to create her as a character? Any influences or inspirations?

HH: Ellie May announced herself to me. I didn’t pre-plan her. In fact, I had to keep typing to figure out what she would do or say next. She constantly surprised me with her enthusiasm and well-intentioned but misguided attempts at securing attention. She’s absolutely nothing like me. Okay, I’m sure there’s something of me in her somewhere. But she’s certainly nothing like the second grade me. I was much more lost in my own world, nose in a book or drawing. If anything, I’m closer to Lizzy, Ellie May’s best friend who’s artistic and not particularly athletic. However, Lizzy also like rules, and I can’t say I’m particularly bound by them.

So now, you really have me wondering, Laura. Where did Ellie May come from? I think I drew some inspiration from my middle son, who’s impulsive,  energetic and who tries his best to get into the center of things, which means sometimes he steps on a few toes. Hmm, it seems like it’s no coincidence that Ellie May is a middle child. In terms of influences, I’d have to cite the crisp characterization and humor in Beverly Clearly’s Ramona books and in Judy Blume’s Fudge Books.

BB: I love that Ellie’s lists, notes, and letters are included in the chapters. Was this an idea from your first drafts or did this come later?

It came about organically. Ellie May just seemed to want to me to dictate her notes. My editor Julie Bliven really liked them, so she asked me to do more, which means they are now consistently interspersed through the books. I have to admit that I got a little carried away with Ellie May’s creative spelling, and Julie had to pull me back, but she let me keep in quite a bit of it. Ellie May’s still working on her spelling. Hey, I just realized something. I’m not so hot at spelling myself. I’m constantly having to look things up, and I’m a firm believer that spellcheck is one of the world’s greatest inventions.

BB: Tell us your impressions when you saw the first sketches of Ellie May by Jeffrey Ebbeler.

HH: I was just thrilled! Jeffrey is extremely talented, and I feel so lucky that he’s working on the Ellie May books. He’s particularly adept at creating all kinds of humorous details that match the tone of the story. Plus, he truly individualizes the kids and perfectly showcases their personalities and expressions.

BB: The first two in the series are based on Presidents’ Day and April Fool’s Day. Why did you choose those holidays to begin the series?

HH: With my kids, it was a really big deal who got to be flag leader during the Pledge of Allegiance, so I decided to use that as a scenario. I thought it would up the stakes if Ellie May wanted to be flag leader right before Presidents’ Day. Plus, studying and learning about Presidents’ Day can be a big part of the primary school curriculum during the month of February. It was an opportunity to have Ellie May consider what it meant to be a good leader, and the importance of honesty in leadership emerged as a theme. This is an issue that kids are especially hearing about right now in the news, and it will be a timeless issue.

Tackling April Fools’ Day next just seemed the thing to do. After all,  it comes only a couple of months after Presidents’ Day, and, well, it’s all about being funny. While Ellie May isn’t a joker, she’s a humorous character because of her mishaps, and so I thought having Ellie May decide to be the funniest kid in her classroom during April Fools’ Day would provide lots of opportunities for mayhem and mirth. In particular, I enjoyed weaving in a bit of the history of April Fools’ Day and other international holidays celebrating merriment. Plus, when I was in my twenties, I performed and wrote sketch comedy in New York, so I’m always up for a holiday that’s about making people laugh.

BB: Any plans for additional Ellie May books in the series?

HH: Well, I have written the first half of a Halloween book, which was so much fun because it involves Ellie May’s attempts at scaring people! Of course, there are so many other holidays I’d love to tackle—like Ground Hog’s Day. I mean, think about Ellie May in search of a ground hog. It just makes me smile thinking about it.

I know that sometimes I take myself way too seriously and Ellie May reminds me to get back to my inner child, risk-taking and fun–someone who is not being afraid to fail and seeks new experiences with enthusiasm and an open heart.

BB:  I couldn’t agree more!  Ellie May is a good role model for young readers and can teach us all a lesson about the power of curiosity, taking chances, and admitting and growing from your mistakes. I look forward to reading more Ellie May adventures and learning facts about holidays!  Thanks so much Hillary for taking the time to stop by Beagles and Books.

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Meet Hillary: 
To learn more about Hillary,  visit her at www.hillaryhomzie.com or follow her on Twitter @hillaryhomzie

Giveaway Details: 
To celebrate Ellie May’s book birthday, Beagles and Books is giving away paperback copies of Presidents’ Day and April Fools’ Day.  Contest begins today and will end on December 26, 2018 at 12:00 a.m.  Click the link below to enter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/46a61dc011/?

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins by Sue Fliess

Beagles and Books is excited to be a part of the blog tour for Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Mark Chambers. It recently published in September 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.

Publisher’s Summary: 
It’s Christmas Eve morning, and Santa Claus is still in bed! He’s feeling stuffy and sneezy and slow as a yeti. Will Christmas have to be canceled? Not this year! Because Mrs. Claus is ready to take the reins in Santa’s place. With a plan in mind, Mrs. Claus assembles the crew, maps out the route, and preps the sleigh. Then, with a snap of the reins, she shoots off into the night. Delivering gifts all over the world without Santa’s magic won’t be easy, but Mrs. Claus proves she has some holiday sparkle of her own…

With lively rhyming text and adorable artwork, this delightful Christmas adventure will get kids into the holiday spirit.

Praise for Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins
“The illustrations are bright and expressive…Young children will enjoy this exuberant adventure.” —Kirkus Reviews
“This is a nice addition to holiday stories with a little dash of girl power.” —Youth Services Book Review
 Review:
What happens when it’s Christmas Eve morning and Santa wakes up feeling sick?  Have no fear!  Mrs. Claus is here to take the reins of his sleigh. And with no time to waste, Mrs. Claus quickly gathers the elves to help her prepare for her round trip journey to deliver presents.
 
Written in rhyme, the text is fun and cheery; it begs to be read aloud!  The bold and colorful illustrations are eye catching especially Mrs. Claus herself with her red curly hair, cat eye glasses, plaid skirt, and red stockings. Readers also spy contemporary references in the illustrations such as Mrs. Claus using a tablet for planning and navigation as well as holding a Starbucks-like cup of coffee as she embarks on her adventure.
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I love finding new holiday books to share with students and recommend to teachers.  Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins is a delightful and entertaining adventure that readers will thoroughly enjoy.  Author Sue Fliess has created a dynamic character in Mrs. Claus for she demonstrates many positive traits.  She shows initiative and confidence taking over for Santa, orderliness in preparation for her journey, enthusiasm for delivering the presents, courage when facing bad weather, and calmness and resourcefulness when problems arise.  Illustrator Mark Chambers’ artwork is detailed and expressive, for he vividly conveys Santa’s and Mrs. Claus’ feelings and emotions as well as the elves, reindeer, and other animals.
 
I can’t wait to read Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins to students and start a new holiday tradition!
 
Watch Mrs. Claus make HERstory in the adorable trailer!
 
 
About the Author:
Sue Fliess is the author of more than twenty children’s books, including Shoes for Me!, A Dress for Me!, and Books for Me!, all illustrated by Mike Laughead; and Let’s Build, illustrated by Miki Sakamoto. Sue loves the holiday season and hopes she made it onto Santa’s “nice” list this year! She lives with her family and their dog in Northern Virginia. Learn more about Sue online at www.suefliess.com.
 
About the Illustrator: 
Mark Chambers is an award-winning author and illustrator of more than thirty-five children’s books. In 2013, Mark won the Sheffield Children’s Picture Book Award and was short-listed for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. In 2017, his artwork entitled “We Will Remember” was short-listed for the AOI World Illustration Awards. Mark lives and works in the United Kingdom and once spent Christmas in the Arctic Circle. Learn more about Mark online at www.markachambers.com
 
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Giveaway!
Thanks to Two Lions, one lucky winner will receive a copy of MRS. CLAUS TAKES THE REINS (U.S. addresses).  The giveaway begins Friday, November 30, 2018 and ends at 12:00 a.m. on Friday, December 8, 2018. Enter by clicking the link below. 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/46a61dc09/?

 

 

Giveaway, Picture Books

Review & Giveaway: Tough Cookie by Edward Hemingway

Beagles and Books is excited to share a new holiday picture book, Tough Cookie written and illustrated by Edward Hemingway!  Special thanks to Henry Holt Books for Young Readers and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Review:

Fans of The Gingerbread Man will adore this holiday retelling with a sweet message.  When Sugar Cookie Man is too slow to outrun Fox, readers think Cookie is a goner.  Unlike the original Gingerbread Man, Cookie is miraculously saved from being devoured. Much to Cookie’s chagrin, instead of tasting sweet and delicious, Cookie learns from Fox that he tastes terrible and tough.  Feeling sad and without purpose, Fox attempts to help Cookie sweeten up.  But no amount of eggnog, powdered sugar, and Christmas carols can get the job done.  Plan B is Cookie should improve his speed rather than his sweetness so Fox enters him in the Sweet Treat Christmas Race.  Cookie experiences yet another setback, for he crosses the finish line last.  Cookie doesn’t feel sweet or tough now.  Will he ever find his true calling?
Tough Cookie is a heartwarming story about self-acceptance.  Cookie assumed he was sweet and speedy and when he realizes the truth, he is heartbroken.  Hemingway adorably conveys Cookie’s emotions and feelings through the illustrations as well as the text with phrases such as “And that’s when Cookie crumbled” and “Everything I do is half-baked.” While at first his adversary, Fox becomes a good friend to Cookie in his efforts to help him solve his dilemma reminding him to “hang in there.”  Much to Cookie’s surprise, he realizes he is not to be eaten but rather to adorn the town’s Christmas tree as a decoration.  So that’s why he has a hole in his head! With this discovery, Cookie’s confidence returns, for he finally accepts himself for who he is.  
With its powerful message, charming illustrations, and a fast paced engaging plot, I highly recommend teachers and parents to add Tough Cookie as a Christmas read aloud.  I look forward to reading with my students within the next two weeks before winter break. At the end of the book, an added bonus is Tough Cookie recipes-one for sugar cookies and one for ornaments.

About the Author/Illustrator:
Edward Hemingway is the creator of Field Guide to the Grumpasaurus, Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship, and Bad Apple’s Perfect Day, as well as the illustrator of My Miserable Life by F.L. Block. He has written features in GQ magazine and comics for Nickelodeon, and his artwork has been published in The New York Times and Nickelodeon Magazine. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

 
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Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of TOUGH COOKIE with a special cookie cutter and recipe card! (U.S. addresses).  Click on link below.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/46a61dc010/?

 

 

 

 

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books, Rockstar Book Tours

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Made By Maxine by Ruth Spiro Illustrated by Holly Hatem

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the Made By Maxine blog tour organized by Rockstar Book Tours. Written by Ruth Spiro and illustrated by Holly Hatem, Made By Maxine recently published on October 9, 2018.

About the Book:
Title: MADE BY MAXINE
Author: Ruth Spiro (Author),Holly Hatam (Illustrator)
Publisher: Dial Books
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 37
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

Publisher’s Summary: 

Meet Maxine, an inspiring young maker who knows that with enough effort and imagination (and mistakes), it’s possible to invent anything.

Maxine loves making new things from old things. She loves tinkering until she has solved a problem. She also loves her pet goldfish, Milton. So when it’s time for her school’s pet parade, she’s determined to create something that will allow Milton to march with the other animals. Finally, after trying, trying,and trying again, she discovers just the right combination of recycled odds and ends to create a fun, functional–and absolutely fabulous–solution to her predicament.

Review:

From the moment I opened Made By Maxine, I was captivated by illustrator Hollly Hatam’s cheerful and animated illustrations.  The endpapers are filled with drawings of scientific elements, DNA, and tools which give us a glimpse into Maxine’s passion for discovery.  As soon as readers meet Maxine on the first page, her facial expression shows her excitement for creating new things from old things. 

It comes as no surprise that Maxine wants to upgrade her new pet fish Milton’s simple glass bowl to something more spectacular.  Her motto is “If I can dream it, I can make it.”  Author Ruth Spiro richly and precisely describes Maxine’s creative process introducing young readers to words such as de-construct, re-construct, tinker, hack, upcycle, and repurpose,   Hatam’s expressive illustrations reveal Maxine’s range of emotions when inventing.  Her face shows moments of confidence, puzzlement, excitement, frustration, and satisfaction.

When faced with the task of inventing a way to include feetless Milton in her class pet parade, Maxine experiences struggle and failure, but ultimately is not deterred.  She is loyal to her fishy friend.  Wearing her thinking cap (complete with a lightbulb and antenna), Maxine holds true to the quote taped to her wall which reads “Think like a proton. Always positive.”  She perseveres to create a fintastic, fintabulous, and fincredible float for Melvin!

Spiro has written an inspiring story of a young girl who is inventive, resourceful and most importantly persistent.  While Hatam’s warm illustrations show her family’s support of her projects,  it is clear that Maxine’s drive and determination comes from within.  Maxine teaches us all that the creative process is messy but the results are so rewarding. 

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

About Holly:

Holly Hatam’s a girl that sometimes wears something pink and sparkly and sometimes dons capes and fights dragons. Some days she’s moody, but other days she shakes her booty. Some days her heart may seek wild adventures, but other days she just wants to be a couch potato. She is a picture book maker, greeting card designer, and a textile engineer. She is also the #1 New York  Times Bestselling illustrator of Dear Girl. Her other books include, What Matters, Tree Song, Maxine the Maker, Jack(Not Jackie) and The Acadia Files.

Holly lives in Whitby, Ontario with her weird husband and even weirder son. But that’s ok, because weird is a side effect of awesome.

Holly’s client list includes Harper Collins, Orca Publishers, Dial Books for Young Readers, AnnickPress, Tilbury House, Lady Bird, Usborne Books, Hallmark, American Greetings, Mudpuppy, Baby Bug, Highlights, Chickadee, Little Bee Books, MacGraw Hill, and Learning A-Z.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Amazon Author Page | Goodreads

 

Giveaway:

1 winner will win a finished copy of MADE BY MAXINE, US Only.  Click the link below to enter.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2852/?

Tour Schedule: Join us on the other stops of this tour for more giveaway chances and to read more about the illustrator Holly Hatem and MADE BY MAXINE.

Week One:
11/19/2018- Lifestyle of Me– Review
11/20/2018- Here’s to Happy EndingsReview
11/21/2018- Beagles & Books– Review
11/22/2018- Do You Dog-ear?– Review
11/23/2018- Chrikaru Reads– Review

Week Two:
11/26/2018- BookHounds YA– Review
11/27/2018- YA Books Central– Review
11/28/2018- Twirling BookPrincess– Excerpt
11/29/2018- Oh Hey! Books.– Interview
11/30/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt

 

#Bookexcursion, Giveaway, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Middle Grade Literature, Picture Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/19/18

Beagles and Books is excited to share another edition of 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 Reads This Week:

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart

Ever since Coyote’s mother and two sisters were killed in an automobile accident,  she and her father Rodeo have been living on a converted school bus named Yeager and traveling wherever the road or their stomachs take them. With the discovery that her hometown park is about to be torn down, Coyote must find a way to get back to Washington State in order to retrieve a memory box that she, her mother, and sisters buried there years ago.  The trouble is going home is a no-go for Rodeo who wants to leave their past behind.  

Coyote though is determined to keep her promise to her mom and dig up their box. She concocts a scheme to steer Rodeo toward home without suspicion. While on route, Coyote meets some people in need of rides who join her and Rodeo on her secret journey home.  Since time is of the essence,  she eventually confides in all these passengers who support Coyote in her mission. Each individual also teaches Coyote valuable lessons about family, friendship, forgiveness, and finding your own path. 

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise is a beautiful story that reminds us sometimes we do have to go back to move forward.  I do admire Rodeo for his kind and gentle soul but Coyote has my heart.  Of course, any character who devours books and names her kitten Ivan in honor of The One and Only Ivan is a soul mate.  What I love most about Coyote is she shows great strength in acknowledging her vulnerability. One of my favorite lines is when Coyote says “maybe we’re all a little broken. Maybe we’re all a little fragile. Maybe that’s why we need each other so much.”

A very special thanks to Christian Trimmer and Mark Podesta of Henry Holt Books for Young Readers/Macmillian Books for sending an ARC to my #bookexcursion group.  Pre-order now, for it releases on January 8, 2019.

Duck and Hippo Give Thanks by Jonathan London Illustrated by Andrew Joyner

I love finding seasonal read alouds that I can share with students before a holiday. Duck and Hippo Give Thanks is a sweet story that reminds us that true friendship is about accepting others for who they are.  To read my full review and enter a giveaway for 3 Duck and Hippo books, click here.

Etta’s and Bella’s Dog 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.

Little Brown by Marla Frazee

Little Brown is cantankerous dog but the question is why?  Is his negative attitude caused by the fact that other dogs won’t play with him or rather is it that the other dogs won’t befriend him because of his crankiness? Readers discover that Little Brown does has an interest in mingling with the other dogs but he clearly is afraid of being rejected. 

So what is Little Brown’s solution?  Stealing all their belongings and keeps them for himself.   The ending is a stalemate between Little Brown and the other dogs and will make readers think and want to discuss. Little Brown is a great read aloud for discussing character motivation and will undoubtedly lead to a conversation about bullying and empathy.  

Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books.  Have a great week!

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Duck and Hippo Give Thanks by Jonathan London Illustrated by Andrew Joyner

 

Beagles and Books is excited to be a part of the blog tour for Duck and Hippo Give Thanks written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Andrew Joyner. It recently published in August 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.

Publisher’s Summary:

Duck and Hippo are thankful for good friends!

It’s the day before Thanksgiving, and Hippo has his heart set on having a good old-fashioned feast with Duck and their friends. Together, Duck and Hippo go shopping for food and invite Turtle, Elephant, and Pig to share the special day with them. Then they get everything ready. But while Hippo goes to bed dreaming of his good old-fashioned Thanksgiving, Duck is busy making her own plans. There’s going to be a BIG surprise—one that will remind Hippo of all he has to be thankful for. Join Duck and Hippo for a memorable celebration!

Review and Thoughts:

I love finding seasonal read alouds that I can share with students before a holiday.  Duck and Hippo Give Thanks is a sweet story with two simple yet powerful messages. True friendship is about accepting others for who they are, and the best gift is time together with friends.

At my elementary school this year, we are focusing on teaching students a virtue a week and acknowledging students who demonstrate that virtue through their words and actions. After reading aloud Duck and Hippo Give Thanks to a second grade class, I asked “What do you think the author wanted to teach us?”  Many hands went up in the air with connections to the previously taught virtues.  Here are some of the kids’ comments.

“This story taught me about being kind.  Hippo was kind to invite all his friends to Thanksgiving dinner and the animals were kind to bring food to share.”

“I think the author wanted us to know that being a good friend means you don’t always get your way. When the animals brought their own food, Hippo looked mad at first but then he changed his mind and said he was thankful for his friends.”

“The story reminded me of our virtue of cooperation. Hippo and his friends all worked together to make food for Thanksgiving.”

It always warms this teacher’s heart when children can identify themes on their own and can see that books can have multiple messages.  I enjoy Duck and Hippo because they remind me of Frog and Toad. Duck is adventurous and Hippo is a little more set in his ways.  Together, they are great friends because they bring out the best in each other.  Andrew Joyner’s illustrations warmly capture both Duck’s and Hippo’s personalities.

If Duck and Hippo are new to you, check out the series.  And be on the look out for the next book, Duck and Hippo: The Secret Valentine, due out on December 18, 2018.

About the Author:
Jonathan London is the author of more than one hundred children’s books, including the Froggy series, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz, which has sold more than fifteen million copies. Jonathan lives in Graton, California. Learn more at www.jonathan-london.net

About the Illustrator:
Andrew Joyner is an Australian illustrator and author whose work has been published in more than twenty-five countries. He has created the artwork for many picture books, and he is author and illustrator of a chapter book series about a warthog named Boris. Andrew lives in South Australia. Learn more at www.andrewjoyner.com.au.

There’s more fun with Duck and Hippo in the free downloadable activity pages: https://www.andrewjoyner.com.au/activities/.

Duck and Hippo give thanks for good friends in this sweet book trailer.

Giveaway!
Two Lions is offering a set of all three Duck and Hippo books–DUCK AND HIPPO IN THE RAINSTORM, DUCK AND HIPPO LOST AND FOUND, and DUCK AND HIPPO GIVE THANKS–to one lucky winner (U.S. addresses).  Giveaway begins Friday, November 16, 2018 and ends at 12:00 a.m. on Friday, November 23, 2018. Enter by clicking the link below.  

A Duck and Hippo Rafflecopter Giveaway

#Bookexcursion, Giveaway, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Middle Grade Literature, Picture Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/12/18

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Beagles and Books is excited to share another edition of 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.

I had the honor and pleasure of being part of blog tours for newly released books over the past two weeks.  Some books are still on tour so please click links to read my full review and enter current giveaways.  Etta and Bella’s pick of the week is the anticipated follow up to Madeline Finn and the Library Dog, which is one of my favorite picture books.

Our Reads This Week:

Inkling by Kenneth Oppel

When an ink blot escapes a sketchbook, he has no idea of the impact he would have on the Rylance family.  They are still mourning the loss of their mom and comic artist dad is struggling to write his next graphic novel. Inkling tackles tough issues but gently and with care. Kids will be able to relate to Ethan and his challenges of finding his own path. Sydney Smith’s illustrations are also crucial to the plot.  As a reader, I actually felt the presence of Inkling, for splots grace every page.  And I never thought I would fall in love with a cute ink blot, but Kenneth Oppel’s characterization of Inkling will make it hard for you not to do the same. To read my full review and enter a giveaway, please click here.

Love Like Sky by Leslie Youngblood

Told from the point of view of 11-year-old Georgie, Love Like Sky is an honest and heartwarming story about family and friendship. 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. To read my full review and enter a giveaway, please click here.

Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World by Vashti Harrison

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. To read my full review & enter a giveaway, please click here.

Duck on a Disco Ball by Jeff Mack

Every kid wants to know what their parents do while they are asleep. Well, Duck on a Disco Ball is a hilarious story about one boy who decides to take matter into his own hands and finds out.  A lively and back-slapping companion to Duck in the Fridge, Duck on a Disco Ball will continue the laughter and young children will beg for more Duck shenanigans. To read full review, please click here.

Etta’s and Bella’s Dog 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.

Madeline Finn & the Shelter Dog by Lisa Papp

For fans of Madeline Finn and the Library Dog, Lisa Papp’s follow up will be a warm hug.  Madeline convinces her mom to allow her to adopt one of Bonnie’s puppies and names him Star.  Wondering how Mrs. Dimple chose Bonnie, Madeline discovers that Bonnie came from a shelter.  Mrs. Dimple invites Madeline to join her at the shelter when she donates supplies.  While Madeline can see the animals have their basic needs met, she is still worried.  “Does any tell the shelter dogs they love them?”  Taking action, Madeline collects towels for the shelter and organizes a read aloud for the dogs.

It is no secret that I have a special place in my heart for rescue dogs and when a story combines my love for reading and rescue dogs, it’s well, perfect.  It is quite clear that Madeline takes her job as Star’s caretaker very seriously which is very important to me.  Children need to realize that having a dog especially a puppy is a big responsibility.  While she has a dog of her own to love, Lisa Papp’s text and warm illustrations beautifully convey Madeline’s genuine concern for the shelter dogs especially a black and white dog named Mr. Chips.  Sponsoring a second grade class for #classroombookaday, I love to read aloud books that teach kids that they too can make a difference.  Madeline is a great role model for children demonstrating small gestures can make a big impact!

A  very special thanks to Lisa Papp and Peachtree Publishers for sending a F & G of Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog to my #bookexcursion group.  Pre-order now like me, for Madeline Finn and the Shelter Dog will be published in March 2019.

Etta, Bella, and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books.  Have a great week!

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

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Inkling by Kenneth Oppel Illustrated by Sydney Smith

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Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the Inkling blog tour organized by Rockstar Book Tours. Written by Kenneth Oppel and illustrated by Sydney Smith, Inkling celebrated its book birthday yesterday.

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About the Book:
Title:
 INKLING
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Pub. Date: November 6, 2018
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Pages: 272

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudibleB&NiBooksTBD

Summary:
From the acclaimed author of The NestThe Boundless, and Airborn comes a brilliantly funny, breakout book about a boy who discovers an ink blot that’s come to life! Perfect for those who love Hoot and Frindle and sure to be a hit with kids everywhere!

The Rylance family is stuck. Dad’s got writer’s block. Ethan promised to illustrate a group project at school–even though he can’t draw. Sarah’s still pining for a puppy. And they all miss Mom. So much more than they can say.

Enter Inkling. Inkling begins life in Mr. Rylance’s sketchbook. But one night the ink of his drawings runs together–and then leaps off the page! This small burst of creativity is about to change everything.

Ethan finds him first. Inkling has absorbed a couple chapters of his math book–not good–and the story he’s supposed to be illustrating for school–also not good. But Inkling’s also started drawing the pictures to go with the story–which is amazing! It’s just the help Ethan was looking for! Inkling helps the rest of the family too–for Sarah he’s a puppy. And for Dad he’s a spark of ideas for a new graphic novel. It’s exactly what they all want.

It’s not until Inkling goes missing that this family has to face the larger questions of what they–and Inkling–truly need.

Kenneth Oppel has given us a small masterpiece of middle-grade fiction. Inkling is funny and fizzy and exciting, and brimming with the kind of interesting ideas and dilemmas that kids will love to wrestle with. And Sydney Smith is creating wonderfully inky illustrations to bring the story to vivid life. Get ready. A little ink blot is about to become your new favorite character!

Review:
When an ink blot escapes a sketchbook, he has no idea of the impact he would have on the Rylance family.  They are still mourning the loss of their mom and comic artist dad is struggling to write his next graphic novel.  Ethan is shouldering a lot of responsibilities from helping to take care of his younger sister who has Down’s Syndrome as well as illustrating a group project at school.  Because of his dad, everyone just assumes that he is a talented artist but in reality, Ethan really hates drawing. Except maybe for stick figures.

Imagine Ethan’s surprise when he discovers an ink blot that is alive! Inkling helps Ethan first by sketching his illustrations and then giving him drawing lessons. Once Ethan’s dad discovers Inkling, he too feels revitalized and relies on Inkling to help him out of his creative slump.  While Inkling is happy to assist, he knows that he needs to do something to help the whole family.  Something that will help them all heal and remind them that the most important story of all is the one Ethan, his sister Sarah, and his dad create together as a family.

I just love Inkling’s relationship with Ethan.  While he has friends, Ethan is lonely.  His dad is so distant and Inkling provides that support that Ethan is craving.  Although Inkling is drawing for Ethan, Ethan struggles with the fact that he is cheating and asks Inkling to teach him.  When Inkling looks faint in color, Ethan tells him to stop working and brings him nourishment in the way of comics, newspapers, and books. An ink blot has to eat right? Inkling is a good cheerleader for Ethan. Recalling words and quotes from the stories he has read (and eaten), he boosts Ethan’s confidence.

Inkling tackles tough issues but gently and with care. Kids will be able to relate to Ethan and his challenges of finding his own path. Sydney Smith’s illustrations are also crucial to the plot.  As a reader, I actually felt the presence of Inkling, for splots grace every page.  And I never thought I would fall in love with a cute ink blot, but Kenneth Oppel’s characterization of Inkling will make it hard for you not to do the same.

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

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About Kenneth:
I was born in Port Alberni, a mill town on Vancouver Island, British Columbia but spent the bulk of my childhood in Victoria, B.C. and on the opposite coast, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. At around twelve I decided I wanted to be a writer. I started out writing sci-fi epics then went on to swords and sorcery tales and then, during the summer holiday when I was fourteen, started on a humorous story about a boy addicted to video games. Photo credit: Mark Raynes Roberts

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2831/?

Tour Schedule:
Join us on the other stops of this tour for more giveaway chances and to read more about author Kenneth Oppel and INKLING.

Week Two:
11/5/2018- Belles Book Blog– Review
11/6/2018- D Wants to Read– Review
11/7/2018- Beagles & Books– Review
11/8/2018- YA Books Central– Interview
11/9/2018- Belle’s Archive– Review

Week Three:
11/12/2018- Maddie.TV – Review
11/13/2018- Cindy’s Love of Books– Review
11/14/2018- Bri’s Book Nook– Review
11/15/2018- FUONLYKNEW– Review
11/16/2018- BookHounds YA– Review

Week Four:
11/19/2018- Twirling Book Princess Excerpt
11/20/2018- Book-Keeping– Review
11/21/2018- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt
11/22/2018- All the Ups and Downs- Excerpt
11/23/2018- Lilly’s Book World Review

Week Five:
11/26/2018- The Layaway Dragon– Review
11/27/2018- The Cover Contessa– Interview
11/28/2018- The Pages In-Between– Review
11/29/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland- Review
11/30/2018- Oh Hey! Books.– Review

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