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.

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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/10/18

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:

Monster Mayhem by Christopher Elipoulos

Young Zoe is a genius at building robots and loves watching old monster movies. She is not a mastermind at making friends her own age.  Scarred by a bad experience with a former classmate, Zoe tries to convince herself and the adults in her life that she is better off being alone.

Walking home from school one day, Zoe finds a gold ring, puts it on, and gives it a twist.  The next day, she is shocked to see a monster from one of her favorite movies outside her window.  While the magic ring may have granted her secret wish of wanting a friend, more monsters are on their way, and they are not as friendly as her new monster friend, Chomp.  Can Zoe alone save her city from the hungry monsters or will she finally be willing to trust others and ask for help?

My students love Cosmic Commandos so I was excited to read an advance copy of Monster Mayhem!  While reading Cosmic Commandos is not a prerequisite, there is a connection between both graphic novels.  Fast paced and full of adventure and humor, readers will love Zoe who has a talent for creating and problem solving in school but struggles with asking for help and building relationships with her peers.  Thanks to Penguin Young Readers for sending an ARC to my #bookexcursion group.  Monster Mayhem recently released in August 2018.

Polka Dot Parade: A Book About Bill Cummingham by Deborah Blumenthal Illustrated by Masha D’Yans

Polka Dot Parade celebrates the life of Bill Cunningham, the legendary bicycling photographer who snapped photographs of fashionable New Yorkers for almost 40 years.  Bill once said, “He who seeks beauty will find it.” Bill not only found beauty in the people he photographed but also in their clothes.  Bill did not merely snap pictures of those who followed fashion; rather, his focus was people who made fashion.  Bill thought that fashion was truly about freedom and being true to yourself.

Readers discover that Bill began his career as a hatmaker and a fashion writer before becoming a photographer.  Like the U.S. Postal Service, no weather deterred Bill from hopping on his bike to take pictures.  Throughout his career, 30 bicycles served as his transportation. Modest and unassuming, Bill was awarded the Legion of Honor, the French government’s highest honor in 2008.

With Deborah Blumenthal’s lyrical text and Masha D’yan’s vivid watercolors, Polka Dot Parade is a beautiful tribute to the man who invented street-fashion photography.  Readers will be not only inspired by his amazing talent but also for teaching the importance of finding and having a job that you truly love.

Thanks to Little Bee Books for sending a copy of Polka Dot Parade to my #bookexcursion group. It recently published on August 28, 2018.

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.

Good Rosie by Kate DiCamillo Illustrated by Harry Bliss

Rosie lives with a comfortable life with George, but sometimes, she gets lonely and wishes for a canine companion.  On their usual walk, George decides they need to try something new so they venture to the dog park which is full of dogs. Rosie though still feels lonely and a bit afraid around all these strange dogs.  When Rosie first meets Maurice, a Saint Bernard and small, energetic Fifi, she does not like them and wants to go home.  But when Maurice plays a little too rough with Fifi, Rosie comes to Fifi’s aid and learns that making friends all starts with one simple step-asking.

Written in concise text coupled with warm watercolor illustrations in a panel comic format, readers will fall in love with Rosie, Maurice, and Fifi.  I can’t wait to share Good Rosie as a read aloud for #classroombookaday which will teach students about the challenges and rewards of forming new friendships. Good Rosie recently published on September 4, 2018.

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

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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/27/18

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 Greatest Adventure by Tony Piedra

Eliot’s vivid imagination keeps him occupied right in front of his house but he yearns for real adventure beyond his city street. His grandfather, El Capitán has spent his life exploring the world on his boat, the Hispaniola.  When El Capitán arrives home, he tells tales of his daring adventures to Eliot and his mom.  The next morning, an enthusiastic Eliot and his grandfather search the city for an adventure. Finding none, Eliot suggests they take out the Hispaniola. Sadly, El Capitán shares that his boat is old and broken. Can Eliot’s rich imagination help him and his grandfather find a way to create new and real adventures together?

With concise lyrical text and utterly gorgeous illustrations, Tony Piedra’s debut is a touching story of hope and heart.  The story actually begins with the front end sheet which is a collage of postcards addressed to Eliot from El Capitán from his extensive travels.  The illustrations in the final end sheets reveal the true message of the story; real adventures are ordinary moments shared with the ones you love.

Special thanks to Tony Piedra and Arthur A. Levine Books for sharing an ARC with my #bookexcursion group. Look for The Greatest Adventure on September 11, 2018.

It’s Show and Tell, Dexter! by Lindsay Ward

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.

To read the full review and enter a giveaway for both Dexter picture books, click here.  A winner will be chosen on August 29, 2018.  Good luck!

What Can A Citizen Do? by Dave Eggers Illustrated by Shawn Harris

What Can a Citizen Do? is a nonfiction picture book that teaches children about the power of true citizenship. Students will immediately be drawn to this highly accessible text, for it is written in concise language with one sentence per page.  The bold mixed media collage illustrations have a 3-dimensional quality and literally jump off the page.

Throughout the text, children learn ways they can be a good citizen from planting a tree to working together to change a law. It is through the children’s collective efforts that they transform the tree into a beautiful tree house. Young readers learn as citizens, we are part of a larger society and when we help even just one person, we are making the world a better place for everyone.

Special thanks to Chronicle Kids and fellow #bookexcursion member Lisa Maucione for sharing an ARC with our group. It will be released on September 11, 2018.

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.

My Dog Laughs by Rachel Isadora

My Dog Laughs is an informational picture book that celebrates the responsibilities and joys of having a dog in your life. The warmly illustrated text is written in sections ranging from getting to my dog and training my dog to my dog plays and I love my dog.  In each section, children share the ins and outs of their relationships with their furry family members.  In I Train My Dog, I like how the children respectfully correct their dogs when they have an accident, chew on a shoe or beg during dinner.  I especially love that the little boy says “The food I eat can make you sick. No grapes!”  My Dog Laughs recognizes that having a dog takes time, patience, and consistency but the rewards are immeasurable.

Special thanks to Penguin Young Readers for sharing a copy with my #bookexcursion group. My Dog Laughs recently published on August 21, 2018.

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

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.

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

Celebrating 100th Blog Post with It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/20/18

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Today Beagles and Books is celebrating a milestone with its 100th blog post! I am proud to share the latest 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.

Today also marks two days until teachers in my district return to school. I am fortunate to have 8 full days to prepare for students. I feel so blessed to have enjoyed a summer full of relaxation, rejuvenation and reading. I am excited to return to school and share new books with students and teachers.

Our Reads This Week: 

Eraser by Anna Kang Illustrated by Christopher Weyant

Eraser has a thankless job fixing Pencil’s mistakes. As a result, Pencil is celebrated for his creativity not Eraser. She is tired of being just the clean up crew and making him look good. Eraser yearns to be more. With the help of her friends Pencil Sharpener and Ruler, she leaves Desk behind for a fresh start but her trip abruptly ends when she lands in the wastebasket full of first drafts.

Meeting the first drafts, Eraser discovers that not only is she a rock star in their eyes but she is indeed creative. Why? Because Eraser creates second chances! Meanwhile back on Desk, Pencil is having a panic attack without Eraser making mistake after mistake. Will Pencil finally acknowledge and appreciate Eraser for her contributions?

Full of puns that will make kids laugh out loud, Anna Kang has written a sweet story that teaches students about the power of cooperation and how mistakes make us great. Thanks to Christopher Weyant’s adorable and eye-catching illustrations and Kang’s witty prose, I will view my school supplies a little differently and will now always hold my erasers in high regard.

Eraser is a must read aloud for #classroombookaday because it will support building a classroom community among students. I already plan on featuring Eraser in my book talks this first week back.

For a sneak peek, view the trailer below.

A very special thank you to Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sharing a copy with my #bookexcursion group. Eraser publishes soon on September 1, 2018.

Potato Pants by Laurie Keller

Potato cannot contain his excitement! For one day only, Lance Vance’s Fancy Pants Store is selling POTATO PANTS! When they’re gone, they’re gone so Potato wakes up early determined to get a pair. But there is something (actually someone) standing between him and his precious potato pants. It’s an Eggplant wearing pineapple pants. (Apparently yesterday was Eggplant Pants Day.)

Why is Eggplant a threat? Well, the day before Eggplant ran by Potato and pushed him into a trash can. Feeling vulnerable, Potato does not want to step foot into the store but that means no potato pants. And to make matters worse, he was just informed there is only one pair left. What’s a spud to do? Conquering his fears, Potato bolts into the store knocking over Eggplant in his panic. Will Potato finally get his potato pants? Will Eggplant seek revenge? Read Potato Pants to uncover the truth!

Loaded with potato puns, Potato Pants will make readers of all ages engage in nonstop belly laughing!  It is an “a-peeling” story with an important message-Never judge an individual by one sole action. Keller’s use of mixed media to create the bold and vibrant illustrations make the characters and setting literally jump off the page. My verdict is Potato Pants is a “tater-tastic” addition to #classroombookaday read alouds!

Take a look at the “spud-tacular” book trailer!

A very special thanks to Mary Van Akin of Macmillan Children’s Publishing for sending a copy to my #bookexcursion group. Potato Pants will publish on October 2, 2018.

Who Eats Orange? By Diane White Illustrated by Robin Page

Who Eats Orange? is an engaging and lively informational picture book that teaches young readers about animal diets. To read my full review, 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 either a canine main character or a main character with a genuine love for dogs.

Rules of the Ruff by Heidi Lang

In the past, Jessie didn’t mind spending the summer with her aunt, uncle, and cousin, Ann.  But Ann’s egotistical best friend Loralee has strained her relationship with her cousin which prompts Jessie to focus on practicing her soccer skills at the park and convincing grumpy neighborhood dog walker, Wes to let her be his assistant, free of charge.  Jessie also thinks dog walking experience will persuade her dad to finally allow her to have a dog of her vert own.  Wes begrudgingly agrees to take on Jessie, but with one stipulation.  She must master the Rules of the Ruff, the code Wes lives his life by.

Although she has a rocky start, Jessie quickly begins to show promise in following the Rules of the Ruff.  Becoming more observant, Jessie soon uncovers that a new dog walker, Monique, is stealing many of Wes’ clients.  Desperate to help Wes win back his clients, Jessie concocts a scheme to sabotage Monique.  While her initial intentions may have been good, Jessie soon recognizes that her and Wes’ actions are actually hurtful and unprofessional.  Through dog walking, Jessie not only learns a lot of about dogs but she also learns valuable lessons about being growing up and being a honorable person.  Maturity means taking responsibility for your actions, learning from your mistakes, and realizing that dogs, like people, really do come into your life for a reason.  It seems that the Rules of the Ruff truly are a good code to live by.

A very special thanks to Heidi Lang for sending an ARC to my #bookexcursion group. Rules of the Ruff recently published on August 14, 2018.

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

Book Birthday, Picture Books

Who Eats Orange? by Dianne White Illustrated by Robin Page

Beagles and Books wishes a very Happy Book Birthday to Who Eats Orange?  written by Dianne White and illustrated by Robin Page. Special thanks to Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending a copy of Who Eats Orange? in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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Who Eats Orange? is an engaging and lively informational picture book that teaches young readers about animal diets.  Focusing on the color of food, the book begins with the question “Who eats orange?” and then shares four animals that enjoy consuming orange foods. A fifth animal that does not fit the pattern is introduced as a means of transitioning to the next color.  Subsequent colors are green, red, yellow, purple, and blue.

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Written in a repetitive pattern with few words, young children will undoubtedly join in the reading of the text.  The page size illustrations are eye-catching and stand out against the white background and vividly show each animal’s anticipation for or pleasure in devouring the delicious food.  What I love about Who Eats Orange? is that while it teaches or reinforces colors, children also learn about animals, their habitats, and the foods they eat.  Included at the end of the book is backmatter which identifies how each color corresponds to a particular habitat, additional facts about the animals, and the specific names of the foods that were featured in the text.   As a teacher, I am always looking for engaging nonfiction picture books to read aloud for #classroombookaday. Who Eats Orange? has earned a spot during my read aloud!

Click here for a free activity kit for Who Eats Orange?

Diane White has also written other picture books such as Goodbye Meets Hello published in June 2018.  To read my review, click here.

Dianne White_credit Bridgette Balmes

About Dianne White:
When she was five, Dianne White said goodbye to her house and her teacher, Mrs. Dunlap, and hello to a new school, and her newest favorite teacher, Mr. Loop. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is the award-winning author of Blue on Blue. She lives in Arizona, where she writes full-time. For more information, visit diannewrites.com or on Twitter @diannewrites

#pb10for10, Picture Books

Celebrating #PB10fo10: Positively Pawsome Picture Books

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AROO! Beagles and Books is celebrating its 1 year anniversary today!

 

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Last year on August 10, 2017, Picture Book 10 for 10 was my first ever blog post. I took the leap in book blogging and while initially nervous,  I have been overwhelmed by the immense support from not only the incredible #kidlit blogger community but also the amazing authors who write fabulous books for kids (and teachers)! A heartfelt thanks to fellow #bookexcursion member Lisa Maucione of Literacy on the Mind for all her encouragement and support as I launched my blog.

I am grateful to Cathy Mere of Reflect and Refine Building a Learning Community and Mandy Robek of Enjoy and Embrace Learning for creating this fabulous event for sharing the power of picture books.  Please visit the Google Community to read additional #pb10for10 lists by clicking here.

My 2017 #pb10for10 featured my first #bookaday mascot, Etta and some of my favorite dog picture books.  Since Beagles and Books is a celebration of children’s literature and my love for my beagle girls, in January 2018, I decided to include a weekly feature, Etta’s and Bella’s Dog Pick of the Week, highlighting 1 book with a canine main character.  Throughout the year, I had the opportunity to read many fabulous dog picture books; therefore, my 2018 #pb10for10  list continues my tradition of sharing 10 positively pawsome picture books that I plan to read and share with teachers and students in the upcoming school year.

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Sterling, Best Dog Ever by Aidan Cassie

Sterling is determined to find a home.  Sleeping outside the Butlery Cutlery Company, he sneaks into a box of forks that are delivered to the Gilbert family.  When the family opens the box and finds Sterling, the mom and dad are perplexed but the daughter‘s and her baby sister’s smiles say it all.  Sterling strives to be the best fork ever but soon discovers that perhaps, the family doesn’t need a fork.  Being adaptable, Sterling attempts to be a whisk, a rolling pin, and even a stick but none of these tools seems to make him or the daughter happy.  Will Sterling ever realizes his one and only job is to just be himself?  A very special thank you to Aidan Cassie and Macmillan for sending a copy of Sterling to my #bookexcursion group to read and review prior to its release. To read my full review, click here.

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Great Dog by Davide Cali Illustrated by Miguel Tanco

A father dog and his son spend the day looking at family portraits in the long hallway of their house.  Stopping at each stately portrait, the father extols each relative’s accomplishment but appearances can be deceiving.  For example, Uncle Scooter was lauded as an amazing teacher of young sheep but when readers open the gatefold, the truth is revealed; Uncle Scooter’s classroom was a hot mess. After hearing all these stories which are actually contrary to the truth, the son asks his father “What about me?” The father responds “No matter what. You will be a GREAT dog!” exclaiming his faith that his son is destined for greatness.  The very last gatefold reveals a surprise to the reader leaving them with a tender and heartwarming message celebrating the unconditional love that parents have for their child.  The illustrations are simply exquisite using a limited palette of colors and deserve more time to enjoy on a second read.

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Help Find Frank by Anne Bollman

Author illustrator Anne Bollman’s highly interactive picture book is quite original.  A french bulldog named Frank is lost! Can you help in the search to find him?  Labeled as exhibits, the narrator offers key information about Frank such as his love for playing fetch, his favorite animal is a squirrel, and beware of his stinky toots so under no circumstances, feed him cheese.  Pay close attention to these facts, for they will be crucial to locating Frank.  Interviews follow with notes that provides more clues and the reader is asked to make inferences based on some of the previously shared exhibits.  Embedded within the story are double page spreads of the park, the baseball field, and the pool where the reader is asked to find objects and of course, Frank!

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Emma and Muse by Nancy Lemon

Emma is a young artist and her most favorite thing to draw, paint, sculpt is her dog named Muse until one day when Muse decides to join her in creating her next masterpiece. Emma shouts “BAD DOG MUSE!” and a heartbroken Muse leaves home.  Without Muse, Emma is no longer inspired and needs him to regain her creative juices. Will Emma come up with a plan to find Muse and get him back?  Will Muse forgive Emma? Emma and Muse is not only a story about friendship and forgiveness but also a wonderful picture book that exposes young readers to the world of art.

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The Great Puppy Invasion by Alastair Heim Illustrated by Kim Smith

In Strictville, fun is forbidden, play is prohibited, and cuteness is downright criminal.   So when hundreds of puppies show up, the town is in turmoil.  How can they get rid of all these adorable animals?  When their solutions fail, all the townspeople run and lock themselves safely in the houses except for little Teddy.   Teddy wonders “How could these cute puppies be scary?”  With one simple gesture, Teddy teaches the townspeople that fun, play, and cuteness make Strictville a happier place to live.  I wholeheartedly agree!

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Can I Be Your Dog? by Troy Cummings

Arfy is a dog in search of a forever home.  Living in a cardboard box in an alley, he decides to write letters to residents on Butternut Street asking “Can I be your dog?” In each letter, Arfy states why he would be a good fit for them.  Unfortunately, Arfy receives letters back turning him down. A sad Arfy returns to his “home” in the alley and wakes up to find a letter addressed to him asking “Can I be your person?”  The letter shares reasons why they would be a good match for each other. Read this tender story to discover who wants to give Arfy his furever home. What especially warms my heart is the author’s tips for how to help a homeless animal in the end papers.

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A Dog Wearing Shoes by Sangmi Ko

On the way home, Mini and her mom find a lost dog in the road.  Mini wants to keep the dog for her own, but her mom reminds her, “He has shoes.  He belongs to someone.”  They go to the park where the dog with shoes garners a lot of attention performing tricks.  When Mimi takes him off leash to fetch a bone, the dog runs away leaving one shoe behind, and Mini heartbroken. The next day, Mini’s mom takes her to the dog shelter in hopes of finding the dog.  Miraculously, the dog wearing only three shoes is there!  Knowing how awful it felt to lose him, Mini puts up fliers realizing that there is probably someone out there missing him too.  After the dog is reunited with his owner, Mini and her mom know just where to go-the dog adoption center.  At the end of the book, the author includes information on how to adopt a dog with links to websites like Petfinder.com, which makes my heart happy.

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Shark Dog! by Ged Adamson

A young girl joins her famous explorer dad on one of his trips.  Sailing home, she hears a noise and then something slobbery wakes her up from her sleep. It’s a shark.  No. It’s a dog. No. It’s Shark Dog! With her father’s permission, the girl takes Shark Dog home. He is quite an unusual pet stalking a cat like a shark and fetching slippers like a dog when underwater.  On a trip to Shark Dog’s favorite place, the beach, he spies what he thinks is another shark dog but it is just a beach toy.  This makes Shark Dog very sad. Thinking he is homesick, the girl and her dad decide to take Shark Dog back to his home where he is greeted enthusiastically by his fellow shark dogs.   Will this make Shark Dog happy?  Read Shark Dog to find out!

Tiny and the Big Dig by Sherri Duskey Rinker Illustrated by Matt Myers

Tiny smells a bone. A BIG bone. So he starts digging. When a larger dog, a cat, and a bird discount his ability,  Tiny maintains his confidence that he is strong enough to bring that bone home. Tiny isn’t the only one who is optimistic, for his young owner also believes in him.   Written in rhyme, Tiny and the Big Dig is a story that celebrates strength and determination.  Matt Myers’ bold illustrations capture Tiny’s sheer willpower in obtaining his goal-a BIG, BIG bone.

And a New Picture Book Releasing September 2018!

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Operation Rescue Dog by Maria Gianferrari Illustrated by Luisa Uribe

Missing her mami who is stationed in Iraq, Alma and her abuela decide to welcome a rescue dog into the family.  The story goes back and forth sharing Alma and her abuela’s preparations and trip to the Operation Rescue Dog truck as well as rescue pup Lulu’s journey to meet her new family.  While Alma is eagerly anticipating meeting Lulu, Lulu is apprehensive with her tail tucked between her back legs.  Both Alma and Lulu experience some bumps along the road, but once they meet, they both know they are home.

This story holds a very special place in my heart because in 2010, Etta was on a similar transport as Lulu.  A very special thank you to Maria Gianferrari for sharing an ARC of Operation Rescue Dog with my #bookexcursion group. It releases on September 18, 2018. To read my full review, click here.

Thank you for visiting Beagles and Books’ #pb10for10! Do you have a favorite dog picture book?  Please feel free to share in the comments below.

#Bookexcursion, Book Birthday, Picture Books

Happy Book Birthday to Capstone Publishing August Picture Book Releases!

It’s August 1st! Beagles and Books is proud to share 5 fabulous new Capstone Publishing picture books that are celebrating their book birthdays today and 1 title that will be released in September. A special thank you to Jennifer Glidden who has provided these ARCs to my #bookexcursion group.  All opinions are my own.

Harrison P. Spader, Personal Space Invader

Harrison P. Spader, Personal Space Invader by Christianne Jones  Illustrated by Cale Atkinson

Harrison loved life but, his excitement was becoming a problem.  He sat too close, shook hands too long, hugged a little too much and talked way too close.  Harrison was a personal space invader. After hearing complaints, Harrison’s father taught him a simple technique called the Space Saver to help him give others their own personal space.  While the Space Saver solved the problem, it created another problem when Harrison gave his friends too much space. With continued support from his family, teacher, and friends and his own self-awareness and restraint, Harrison is bound to meet with success!

Working with students for over 20 years, I sincerely thank the author Christianne Jones for writing an entertaining and humorous picture book that can teach students a valuable skill.  Young children struggle with understanding the definition of personal space; the Space Saver rhyme will be a welcome strategy for teachers to use with students.  I am a big fan of Cale Atkinson’s illustrations and his drawing of Harrison sweetly demonstrates the young hippo’s enthusiasm, for life, his true concern when his father shared the problem , and sheer determination to improve.  A great story for the beginning of the year, I cannot wait to share Harrison P. Spader, Personal Space Invader with teachers and students.

Awesome!

Awesome! by Craig Shuttlewood

Marvin, a moose and Woody, a beaver are the best of friends.  After Moose rescues a squirrel falling from a tree, he becomes a local hero in the forest.  Moose who was once ordinary is now awesome, and his new-found popularity means Woody and Moose spend less time together.  Feeling left out, Woody concocts a plan to get some attention of his own, but his actions are not-so-awesome.  Will Moose and Woody be able to be repair their friendship?   With bold and vibrant illustrations, Awesome! is a great read aloud. Young students will be able to connect to this engaging story which explores themes of friendship, jealousy and forgiveness.

Do Not Bring Your Dragon to Recess

Do Not Bring Dragons to Recess by Julie Gassman Illustrated by Andy Elkerton

The third book in the series, Do Not Bring Dragons to Recess teaches children about the dos and don’ts of recess.  Written in rhyme, Dragon demonstrates what not to do during recess such as running down the hall, hogging the monkey bars, and pushing the merry-go-round too fast.  Children will love actively participating in the read aloud chanting the repetitive refrain, “So Do Not Bring Your Dragon to Recess!”   Fortunately, with the help of his classmates and teachers, Dragon learns recess etiquette such as having patience, taking turns, sharing, and showing respect and kindness.  This amusing story with large, eye-catching illustrations would be a great read aloud for the beginning of the year to reinforce following recess rules with young children.

The Picky Eater

The Picky Eater by Betsy Parkinson Illustrated by Shane Clester

When eating, Piper is a picky little pig!  She has one simple rule for her food: It must begin with the Letter P. Piper prefers pancakes over waffles, pears instead of apples, and peas rather than beans. Looking for a solution, Piper’s mother attempts to hide veggies in pineapple upside down cake but Piper is not tricked.  Will Piper ever change her picky habits?  The Picky Eater is a title in Capstone’s Little Boost series, which are books that tackle early life lessons in a funny and relatable manner.  As a teacher, I could also see reading this story to reinforce the letter p and its sound to pre-kindergarten or kindergarten students.

Unstoppable: How Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team Defeated Army

Unstoppable by Art Coulson  Illustrated by Nick Hardcastle

Unstoppable is a nonfiction narrative picture book which shares a biography of Jim Thorpe, who was the great-great grandson of Sauk warrior Black Hawk.  While some details from his early life are shared, the focus of the text is Jim’s journey to becoming a star on the Carlisle Indian Industrial School football team which was due to his determination and perseverance.  The story ends with the legendary 1912 game between Carlisle and West Point, which was advertised by sportswriters as a rematch between the Army and the Indians who had fought on the battlefield 20 years before.  Carlisle was victorious beating Army 27-6 with Jim integral to the team’s surprising win.

Unstoppable is written for an upper elementary audience, but teacher guidance is crucial, for in the afterword, Author Coulson, Cherokee, provides additional and important context about the story such as a brief biography of Jim which provides greater detail about the hardships in his early life, a list of the other members of the 1912 Carlisle Indians Varsity Football Team, a biography of Carlisle coach Pop Warner, historical information about The Carlisle Indian Industrial School, and a glossary.

Gabi's If/Then Garden

Gabi’s If/Then Garden By Carline Karanja  Illustrated by Ben Whitehouse

A title in Capstone’s Code Play series written by developer and designer Caroline Karanja, Gabi and her best friend  are coding creatives.  Adi loves to make things and say “I wonder…” and Gabi likes to fix things and say “What if..” In this story, Gabi and Adi use if/then statements to help them with gardening.  For example, “If it doesn’t rain, then they water the plants.”  The girls engage in a game of If/Then taking turns being the programmer and computer.  When Gabi does not follow Adi’s command, Gabi explains that there is a bug in the code and how a programmer needs to ask questions to solve the problem.

Gabi’s If/Then Garden will appeal to both teachers, students, and parents because it uses a narrative format to introduce coding concepts to children.  Sidebars explain the definitions for coding terms such as if/then statements and bugs in the code. Included at the end of the book is matching if/then activity and a glossary of terms.  After reading, I can see children engaging in games of If/Then which is a great way to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.  Gabi’s If/Then Garden releases on September 1, 2018.

The Kiddie Table by Colleen Madden

Where do you sit on Thanksgiving when you are between a tot and a teen? Unfortunately, for this eight year old girl, she is forced to sit with the much younger crowd and is not happy about it! Written in rhyme, The Kiddie Table is a hilarious yet honest story about that awkward period when you are stuck in between.  Will the girl be able to convince the adults that she deserves a spot at the their table?

The Kiddie Table is a story that will amuse students because it is funny and relatable.  We all have experienced a time when we feel out of place.  A good read aloud for before Thanksgiving, the story also teaches us if you have to sit at the kiddie table, be thankful for family, fun, growing up, and drinking without a sippy cup!

 

 

#Bookexcursion, Book Birthday, Debut Author, Picture Books

Sterling, Best Dog Ever by Aiden Cassie

Beagles & Books wishes Aiden Cassie and her debut picture book, Sterling, Best Dog Ever a very Happy Book Birthday!   A very special thank you to Aidan Cassie and Macmillan for sending a copy of Sterling to my #bookexcursion group to read and review prior to its release. Below is my review which was featured on my #IMWAYR post on 6/25/18.

Sterling is determined to find a home.  Sleeping outside the Butlery Cutlery Company, he sneaks into a box of forks that are delivered to the Gilbert family.  When the family opens the box and finds Sterling, the mom and dad are perplexed but the daughter ‘s and her baby sister’s smiles say it all.  Sterling strives to be the best fork ever but soon discovers that perhaps, the family doesn’t need a fork.  Being adaptable, Sterling attempts to be a whisk, a rolling pin, and even a stick but none of these tools seems to make him or the daughter happy.  Will Sterling ever realizes his one and only job is to just be himself?

Sterling, The Best Dog Ever is a heartwarming and humorous story about learning to be comfortable in your own skin or in Sterling’s case, fur. The rich and colorful illustrations beautifully complement the plot and depict not only Sterling’s determination to be needed and useful but also the little girl’s true desire to have a dog of her own to love.

I can’t wait to share Sterling, The Best Dog Ever with students in the fall!  Its message of self acceptance makes it a perfect read aloud for #classroombookaday. If you need any more convincing, get a sneak peek of Sterling by viewing the trailer below.

 

Book Birthday, Picture Books

Happy Book Birthday to It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus! by Jody Jensen Shaffer

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Beagles and Books wishes a very Happy Book Birthday to It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus written by Jody Jensen Shaffer and illustrated by Claire Messer. Special thanks to author Jody Jensen Shaffer for sending me a copy that I will also share with my #bookexcursion group. All opinions are my own.

Who isn’t nervous on the first day of school?  It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus tells the tale of Busy Bus who is both anxious and excited for his first day on the job. Ben, the bus driver, thoroughly checks Busy to make sure he is ready performing tasks such as measuring the air in his tires, filling his gas tank, turning his lights on and off, inspecting his emergency door, and of course, starting Busy’s engine.  Although Ben is confident that Busy is ready for the road, Busy is worried.  What if he gets homesick or doesn’t make any friends?  Thankfully, Ben is there to ensure Busy’s first day of school is a success!

For early childhood teachers, It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus is the perfect read aloud for the first week back.  Busy is experiencing all the same emotions that children feel anticipating their first day of school.  Busy is adorably drawn, and Messer sweetly conveys his range of emotions with his eyes and mouth. The illustrations span the spread so the artwork is large enough for children to view during a read aloud, which is a plus.

What I love most about the book is that Ben is right by Busy’s side to support him.  When he places Busy’s nameplate on him, Busy not only realizes he is ready but also that he is safe, clean and most importantly, loved.  When I think about children returning to school in the fall, building relationships is by far the most crucial.  Like Busy, children need to feel safe and loved which in turn instills confidence and a belief that they can achieve great things.