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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/5/20

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.link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Continue reading “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/5/20”

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Marjory Saves the Everglades: The Story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas by Sandra Neil Wallace Illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon

 

About the Book:
Title: Marjory Saves the Everglades: The Story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas
Author:  Sandra Neil Wallace
Illustrator: Rebecca Gibbon
Pub. Date:  September 22, 2020


Beagles and Books is thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Marjory Saves the Everglades: The Story of Marjory Stoneman Douglas. Special thanks to Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books  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:
Marjory Stoneman Douglas didn’t intend to write about the Everglades but when she returned to Florida from World War I, she hardly recognized the place that was her home. The Florida that Marjory knew was rapidly disappearing—the rare orchids, magnificent birds, and massive trees disappearing with it.

Marjory couldn’t sit back and watch her home be destroyed—she had to do something. Thanks to Marjory, a part of the Everglades became a national park and the first park not created for sightseeing, but for the benefit of animals and plants. Without Marjory, the part of her home that she loved so much would have been destroyed instead of the protected wildlife reserve it has become today.


Review:

Truth.  Before I read Marjory Save the Everglades, I was not aware of this woman’s remarkable contribution to ecology.  This is why Sandra Neil Wallace’s picture book biography is such a great addition to classroom libraries, school libraries, and public libraries.

Wallace’s lyrical and conversational text begins by telling how a young Marjory first fell in love with Florida after a visit to the sunshine state with her father.  Gibbons’ warm, nostalgic illustrations complement the text well showing Marjory’s curiosity and enthusiasm to keep learning.

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As an adult, Marjory has an opportunity to return to Florida and work as a reporter for the Miami Herald, her father’s newspaper.  As the only woman reporter, she writes about issues that were important to her.

MARJORY SAVES THE EVERGLADES interior3_© 2020 Rebecca Gibbon During World War I, her passion to help remained strong first enlisting in the navy and joining the Red Cross.  When she returned to Florida, developers and speculators had taken control of the Everglades, which did not sit well with Marjory; she knew the area must be preserved but how can she convince others?

After a trip through the Everglades on a houseboat, Marjory was able to witness its true glory.  Flying in a giant balloon, among many birds, high above the Everglades finally convinced park officials that the area was worth saving.  The Everglades became a national park.  In later years, Margory discovered that the Everglades wasn’t a swamp, but a river of grass which changed people’s perception about the land which so many plants and animals called home.

Before she died at the age of 108, Marjory created Friends of the Everglades and due to her advocacy,  she not only stopped a jetport from being built in the middle of the land but convinced the government to restore the Everglades which was the largest restoration project in history.

After reading this picture book biography, I was astounded that I had never heard of Marjory Stoneman Douglas before.  Marjory Saves the Everglades is an inspirational story reminding us all that we have the power to make a difference. Her curiosity and willingness to ask questions and seek information was vital to her success.  Persistence was also important because one of Marjory’s quotes was  “Be a nuisance. Never give up.”  As I read this biography, I especially enjoyed the actual quotes from Marjory that were shared every few pages.  These quotes conveyed her determination and passion for her cause.

What I loved most about reading is even after the Everglades became a national park, Marjory still continued to fight for its protection at 80 years ago battling sight and hearing issues. The  back matter includes an author’s note, a visual glossary of animals and plants living in the Everglades, tips for protecting the environment, additional resources about Marjory, a timeline of her life and additional sources.


Get a sneak peek by watching the book trailer:

Praise for Marjory Saves the Everglades!

Marjory Saves the Everglades will inspire children of today and tomorrow to be persistent and follow their dreams to create a better world. Sandra Neil Wallace captures Marjory’s passionate commitment to justice for our natural world and all of its inhabitants.”
— Friends of the Everglades

About the Author:

Sandra Neil Wallace hopes that her stories inspire readers as much as they inspire her. Her book The Teachers March! How Selma’s Teachers Changed History was written with her husband, Rich Wallace, and has received three starred reviews to date. Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went From the Football Field to the Art Gallery received the Orbis Pictus Book Award, was an ALA Notable Book and a Booklist Top 10 Biography for Youth. Formerly, Sandra was an ESPN reporter and was the first woman to host an NHL broadcast. She continues to break barriers as co-founder of DailyGoodNH.org and lives with her family in New Hampshire. To learn more and to download free activity kits and other resources, visit SandraNeilWallace.com or check out her social media accounts below.

Facebook: Sandra Neil Wallace
Twitter: @SandraNWallace
On Instagram: @sandraneilwallace


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Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Marjory Saves the Everglades, courtesy of Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (U.S. addresses only).  This giveaway is open from Friday, September 25, 2020 through Friday, October 2, 2020 ending at 10:00 p.m. EST.   Please note that book may take longer to ship so patience is appreciated.

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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/7/20

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.link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Tomorrow is The First Day of School!

Tomorrow, my district begins virtual teaching and it will be a first day like no other.  Reading interventions do not typically begin until the second week of in-person learning so typically on the first day, I am helping students line up outside, comforting nervous students, lending an extra hand in primary classrooms, visiting classes to read aloud, and getting prepared to assess new students.  Almost all these tasks require us to be in the building so as I plan my first day of school, I keep thinking how will I spend my day? 

Reading to kids. 

Regardless of whether school is virtual or in person, the most important thing is continuing to share my love of literacy with students and teachers.  I worry about students have access to physical texts and want to explore ways to get real books into kids’ hands but for now, my job is to keep sharing the power of books.  

Continue reading “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/7/20”

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Say Good Night by Lauren H. Kerstein Illustrated by Nate Wragg

About the Book:
Title: Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Say Good Night
Author:  Lauren H. Kerstein
Illustrator: Nate Wragg
Pub. Date:  September 1, 2020


Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Say Good Night written by Leslie H. Kerstein and illustrated by Nate Wragg.  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:
Rosie the dragon’s bedtime routine has been a little bumpy lately. But not to worry! Charlie is prepared with his lists, rules, and fire extinguisher—everything a boy needs to help guide his pet dragon (and best friend) to a peaceful night’s sleep. But with bath-time bubble trouble, fiery-hot pajamas, and stuffed animal search-and-rescues, tucking this dragon into bed is not an easy task. And what happens when thunder strikes? Snuggle up with this adorable duo as they conquer bedtime the best way: together!


Review:
In the follow up to Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves, Charlie and Rosie are back but instead of swimming, Charlie is helping Rosie conquer bedtime. Even though Rosie is tired, she tries to stall bedtime by adding more minutes to the timer and hiding her stuffed animal horse Vern.  Luckily, Charlie is organized with a list of supplies and a bedtime schedule to keep Rosie on track.  First up is bathtime which can be a little messy for a dragon who enjoys lots of bubbles and toys.  Wragg’s bold and colorful illustrations fill up the entire page spread.  I love the way he drew the bubbles and water, for they look three dimensional and ready to jump off the page!

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I love how prepared Charlie is.  Based on past experiences with Rosie, he has really thought of EVERYTHING!  For example, footie pajamas overheat Rosie so he is ready with a fan and just in case, a fire extinguisher.  And Charlie is raincoat ready when the pair brushes their teeth.  Of course, seeing Charlie read to Rosie fills my heart and glad to see books are part of their bedtime routine.

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Full of humor and heart, Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Say Good Night is not only a great bedtime read aloud but also a story about the genuine love between a boy and his pet.  Charlie is a great role model to kids because he takes pet ownership seriously being both responsible and patient.  I especially like Kerstein’s decision to have Charlie narrate the story (as he did in the first book) and how she includes Charlie’s actual words to Rosie in an italicized font.  His personality truly comes alive through the dialogue making readers or listeners more connected to Charlie.   Kerstein has created a lovable duo that will make you laugh and smile!  Hoping they are more Rosie and Charlie adventures to come!


Get a sneak peek at Rosie and Charlie by viewing the book trailer!


Praise for Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves!

“This humorous story is a sweet representation of caretaking and patience, with a parallel that can extend to older and younger siblings as well as to parent-child relationships, perhaps making young readers a bit more self-reflective and empathetic. This dramatic bedtime tale…will satisfy many.” —Kirkus Reviews

About the Author and Illustrator:

Lauren H. Kerstein is an author and psychotherapist. She is a Jersey girl at heart who, as a child, loved underwater handstands and slurping cherry Italian ice at the pool. Lauren currently lives in Colorado with her husband, Josh; their dragons…er, daughters, Sarah and Danielle; and Hudson, the dog. Learn more about the author at www.LaurenKerstein.net.  Follow her on Twitter @LaurenKerstein and Instagram  @laurenkerstein


Nate Wragg works as a production designer and illustrator for animation and book projects. His animation projects include Ratatouille, Toy Story 3, and Captain Underpants.  He is the illustrator of a number of popular picture books, including At the Old Haunted House, written by Helen Ketteman. He lives in Southern California with his family. Learn more at natewragg.tumblr.com.


Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of both Rosie the Dragon books! Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Make Waves and Rosie the Dragon and Charlie Say Good Night, courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses).

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Review & Giveaway for Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten by Laura Purdie Salas Illustrated by Hiroe Nakata

About the Book:
Title:
CLOVER KITTY GOES TO KITTYGARTEN
Author: Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrator: Hiroe Nakata
Pub. Date:
  August 1, 2020

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.

Continue reading “Review & Giveaway for Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten by Laura Purdie Salas Illustrated by Hiroe Nakata”

#Bookexcursion, #MustReadsin2020, Giveaway, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Middle Grade Literature, Picture Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 7/13/20

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Beagles and Books is 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.link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Something to Say by Lisa Moore Ramée

Seventh grader Janae is not about fitting in at her middle school. She actually prefers to be invisible.  But when Aubrey, a new student who shares a love of YouTube show, Astrid Dane, befriends Janie, blending in is not so easy.  Outgoing Aubrey is the complete opposite of Janae so she wonders why he wants to be her friend as well as debate partner in English class.  Public speaking is one of Janae’s greatest fears; in contrast, Aubrey is elated to debate a timely community issue-changing the name of their junior high school from John Wayne to honor Sylvia Mendez, a young Mexican-American girl who help successfully integrate California schools.  Janae becomes really interested in learning more about Sylvia but her feelings on public speaking remain unchanged.  Will Janae risk her new friendship with Aubrey and stay silent or will be willing to speak up for herself to not only save her friendship but also champion Sylvia for her bravery? 

Written from Janae’s point of view, readers get to truly witness her inner struggles and my heart hurt for her.  While Janae initially tried to distance herself from Aubrey, I loved how she gradually began to enjoy and look forward to Aubrey’s company. This awareness made her decision making more difficult and the novel more exciting to read.  Janae learns that while friendship can be messy and hard, it is also “sway” (good) and “del” (delicious). Thanks to Harper Collins and Edelweiss for sharing an eARC.  Something to Say celebrates its book birthday this week on July 14, 2020.

13th Street #1: Battle of the BadBreath Bats by David Bowles  Illustrated by Shane Clester

Malia is excited to spend the summer with her Aunt Lucy in the cool Little Mexico neighborhood of Gulf City,  but she is not as thrilled that her cousins Ivan and Dante were there too.  As they make their way to the neighborhood water park, Malia decides she is in charge.  After all, she is the oldest by two months.  While on 11th Street, they meet an old woman who tells them of a shortcut down an alley. Everything becomes dark and quiet and the cousins discover they have missed 12th Street and are now on 13th Street. And to make matters worse, the trio encounter bats with incredibly awful breath.  Will Malia, Ivan, and Dante be able to band together to successfully battle the bats and make it back home?

As a reading specialist, I was already a fan of the new illustrated Harper Chapters series, for each book includes supports such as end of the chapter progress bars and full and half page illustrations for students transitioning to chapter books.  Kids will devour the 13th Street series because of its engaging characters and scary, fast paced plot.  I also love how #ownvoices author Bowles exposes readers to Spanish through not only dialogue but also after readers complete milestones as saying Chido! for reading 4 chapters. Special thanks to the publisher Harper Collins for sharing an ARC of 13th Street #1 at the NCTE convention. In addition to Battle of the BadBreath Bats, the next two books in the series, The Fire-Breathing Ferret Fiasco and Clash of the Cackling Cougars recently published on July 7, 2020.

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Lulu, The One and Only by Lynette Mawhinney Illustrated by Jennie Poh

Lulu, The One and Only is a powerful story to begin the conversation about race with young children. Lulu is a proud and confident biracial young girl but she is confused and sensitive because people keep asking her “What are you?” Written from Lulu’s point of view, she honestly shares some of the questions people ask her which are very hurtful.

While I have read a lot of picture books that discuss identity and self acceptance, Lulu, The One and Only is the first picture book that provides mixed-race children with a tool to help them navigate their emotions and responses when asked inconsiderate questions.  Lulu’s story is also a valuable resource for making young children understand what microaggressions are and to discuss how these statements were hurtful to Lulu and Zane. To read my full review and enter a giveaway, click here.

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.

Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me by Eloise Greenfield Ilustrated by Eshan Abdollahi

If you are looking for a book to introduce novels in verse, look no further than Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me, a collection of 16 poems told from mostly the dog’s point of view.  In the first poem, Naming Me, the dog explains why his owner Jace named him Thinker, for he like Jace is a poet and wants a deep, not cute name.  At home, Thinker and Jace are the perfect match communicating in free verse but on Pets’ Day at school. Jace is worried how others will react to Thinker’s gift of words and ask Thinker to follow the rule of “no poems, no talk.” Can Thinker be himself by only watching, thinking and barking? Through her poetry, Greenfield beautifully conveys both Jace’s and Thinker’s feelings.  Jace’s initial anxiety turns to pride when he realizes Thinker needs to be his true self.  Abdollahi’s warm collage illustrations complement the verses well and provide support if sharing this novel with younger readers.

Bella & I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books. Happy Reading!

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Giveaway, Picture Books

Review & Giveaway for Lulu The One and Only by Lynnette Mawhinney

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About the Book:
Title:
LULU THE ONE AND ONLY
Author: Lynnette Mawhinney
Illustrator: Jennie Poh
Pub. Date:
June 9, 2020

Special thanks to Magination Press and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Continue reading “Review & Giveaway for Lulu The One and Only by Lynnette Mawhinney”

#Bookexcursion, #MustReadsin2020, Giveaway, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Middle Grade Literature, Picture Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 7/6/20

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Beagles and Books is 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.link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

#MustReadin2020 Update

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On January 1, 2020, I created my #mustreadin2020, a list of middle grade novels all being published in 2020 that I wanted to make a priority to read.  To read an update on my progress, click here.

The Wonder of Wildflowers by Anna Staniszewski

When she stands next to the other girls in her fifth grade class, Mila describes herself as “a chicken surrounded by swans.”  She is the shortest, the least athletic, and sweats with any physical activity.  When she was 5 years old, Mila emigrated to Amberland with her mother and father. Because they are not yet citizens, she and her family are not allowed to sip Amber, a liquid magic that makes people strong and healthy.  Mila is elated when her family is finally granted citizenship and the right to use Amber. She quickly notices changes in her athleticism, her grades, and her confidence especially voicing her opinion to her best friend Krysta.  Unfortunately, her creativity has taken a hit, for she is struggling to write poetry which has always been one of her talents.  And when citizens are told Amber rations are being cut, Mila and her family become a target of hate crimes for they are not seen as citizens but rather outsiders depleting the town’s Amber supply.

Written in under 200 pages with short chapters, dynamic characters, and an intriguing plot, middle grade readers will easily get pulled into Mila’s story.  While The Wonder of Wildflowers is indeed fantasy,  given the current state of our country, the plot seems quite realistic, and Staniszewski tackles relevant themes as friendship, immigration, bullying, and self-acceptance. What I loved most is witnessing Mila’s transformation realizing that it is more important to stand out than blend in.  Thanks to Simon and Schuster for sharing an ARC with my #bookexcursion group.  The Wonder of Wildflowers published in February 2020 and is one of my #mustreadin2020 middle grade novels.

The Word for Friend by Aidan Cassie

A pangolin named Kemala loves to talk and is excited about making friends at her new school but on her first day, worry replaced her enthusiasm because all her classmates speak a different language.  How will she ever make friends? During recess, Kemala meets Ana, an anteater, and teaches her how to cut leaves into animal shapes.  Using the animals as puppets, Kemala and Anna communicate telling each other stories. Through her friendship with Anna, Kemala develops the confidence and desire to speak the new language to her classmates and teacher.

Like the main characters in author/illustrator Cassie’s previous two picture books, Sterling, Best Dog Ever and Little Juniper Makes It Big!, Kemala learns the lesson of self-acceptance with the support of a friend.  What I love about this story is besides becoming friends, Kemala and Anna both learn a new skill.  Kemala teaches Anna how to make animal leaf puppets and Kemala learns a new language.  With charming and engaging illustrations, The Word for Friend is a perfect read aloud for the start of the school year to support building a classroom community based on kindness, inclusiveness, collaboration, and friendship.  An added bonus is the back matter which shares information on Esperanto, Kemala’s new language and cool facts about pangolins. Thanks to the author and publisher for sharing an e-copy of The Word for Friend.  It recently published on June 16, 2020.

Invent-A-Pet by Vicky Fang  Illustrated by Tidawan Thaipinnarong

When Katie tells her mother she wants an extraordinary, spectacular pet, her mother surprises her with a marvelous machine to help her create a one of a kind animal.  The machine has 3 slots and after randomly inputting objects, the outputs were not the animals Katie wanted.  She finally makes a plan and discovers each slot has a variable-size, color, and animal.  But before Katie can create her perfect pet, she has to solve a more pressing problem.  What will she do with all the pets she created during her trial and error? Fortunately, Katie’s problem solving skills save the day ensuring all the animals find a home.  So does Katie ever create her extraordinary pet?  Read to find out!  With bright, playful illustrations and a unique plot, Invent-A-Pet is not only fun and engaging but it also teaches children the scientific process, critical thinking, and beginning concepts of coding.   Thanks to the author for sharing a copy with my #bookexcursionIt recently published on June 2, 2020.

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.

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Bo Bo’s Cave of Gold) by Pam Berkman and Dorothy Hearst Illustrated by Claire Powell

At the Heels of History is a fictional chapter book series that recounts historical events through the eyes of dogs.  The second adventure, Bo-Bo’s Cave of Gold, takes place in 1852 in the Sierra Nevada foothills in California.  In the first chapter, a golden mutt, Sage, is thrown out of her pack for being weak.  Alone and hungry, a bird takes pity of Sage and introduces her to Sheng, a young boy who left war torn and famine stricken China with his father and uncle to find gold in California.  With his father’s permission, Sheng adopts Sage renaming her Bo-Bo (meaning little treasure) and the dog vows to be tough and loyal to Sheng even when faced with challenges. Bo-Bo’s Cave of Gold is a story full of history and heart. Readers will learn how immigrants were treated during the California gold rush through not only the story but also the backmatter. To read my full review and enter a giveaway, click here. 

Bella & I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books. Happy Reading!

happiness-is-a-warm-puppy-and-a-good-book

 

Giveaway, Historical Fiction, Middle Grade Literature

Review & Giveaway for Bo-Bo’s Cave of Gold by Pam Berkman & Dorothy Hearst

About the Book:
Title:
BO-BO’S CAVE OF GOLD
Author: Pam Berkman & Dorothy Hearst
Illustrator: Claire Powell
Pub. Date:
April 28, 2020

Special thanks to Simon and Schuster and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Continue reading “Review & Giveaway for Bo-Bo’s Cave of Gold by Pam Berkman & Dorothy Hearst”

Blog Tour, Debut Author, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Kat and Juju by Kataneh Vahdani

Bella and I are excited to be part of the Kat and Juju blog tour!  Releasing on July 1, 2020, this picture book is written and illustrated by Kataneh Vahdani. Special thanks to Amazon/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.

Continue reading “Blog Tour & Giveaway for Kat and Juju by Kataneh Vahdani”