Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for This Book is Gray by Lindsey Ward

 

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for This Book is Gray written and illustrated by Lindsay Ward. It recently released in November 2019.  Special thanks to Two Lions/Amazon Publishing and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Review:
Please sure to read the front endpapers and the title page first, for readers discover that Gray wants to be included in the rainbow, but sadly, gray is not one of the featured colors.  Feeling dejected, he decides to write his own book aptly titled, This Book is Gray. 

Gray proceeds to write a story about wolf, a kitten, and a hippo and draw all the illustrations in (you guessed it)…gray! Gray is so proud until the Primary colors pay him a visit and are critical of his color scheme.  The Secondary colors join the Primary colors interrupting Gray’s storytelling with comments which slowly pushes Gray over the edge. Unable to remain calm, Gray finally tells (well, actually yells to) all the colors his true feelings about being left out and how gray is really a cool color.   

After Gray honestly shares how he feels, all the colors show empathy for him.  They offer Gray their apologies and best of all, they collaborate together to make the book both gray AND Pcolorful.  In the end, Gray gets the last word stating his book is pretty GRAYt!  (get it?)

This Book is Gray is a story full of humor and heart.  While readers will chuckle at the many puns and the story within the story of the kitten, wolf, and hippo, children also feel empathetic with Gray’s situation. During my read aloud to my #classroombookaday students, a few children remarked that the colors were being mean to Gray and how they felt sad for him.  When the colors and Gray worked together to fix and finish the book, students cheered and expressed their happiness that all the colors saw that Gray is indeed a pretty cool color. 

Ward’s illustrations and page layout is visually appealing to young readers.  The colors are adorably drawn adorned with hats, rosy cheeks, and other fun accessories.  The witty dialogue is written in speech bubbles.  Be sure to visit the front endpapers again, for Ward has included a glossary for basic color concepts to accompany her color wheel diagram.  

Praise for This Book is Gray!

“This book is a fun introduction to color theory that may inspire children to use more gray in their artwork and remind them to include friends who are left out.”
Booklist

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Meet the Author/Illustrator: 

Lindsay Ward is the creator of the Dexter T. Rexter series as well as Brobarians, Rosco vs. the Baby, and The Importance of Being 3. Her book Please Bring Balloons was also made into a play. Lindsay lives in Peninsula, Ohio, with her family. Gray is one of her favorite colors. Learn more about her online at www.lindsaymward.com.
Twitter: @lindsaymward
THIS BOOK IS GRAY low-res cover (1)Enter a Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of This Book is Gray, courtesy of Two Lions/Amazon (U.S. addresses only). There are now multiple ways to enter the giveaway.
  • Follow me @lauramossa on Twitter and retweet my This Book is Gray giveaway tweet.
  • If you are not on Twitter, fill out the Google form below.

This giveaway is open from December 6, 2019-December 13, 2019 and ends at 10:00 p.m. EST.  Winner will be announced on December 14, 2019.

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Santa’s Story by Will Hillenbrand

 

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Santa’s Story written and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand. It released in September 2019.  Special thanks to Two Lions/Amazon Publishing and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Review:

It’s Black Friday and instead of shopping, I am relaxing and reading by the fire with my book beagles.  Since the day after Thanksgiving is typically the official start of the Christmas season, it is the perfect time to share a new Christmas picture book.

 It is Christmas Eve and Santa is ready to begin his monumental sleigh ride but he has a problem.  None of his reindeer can be found.  

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Using alliteration and rich vocabulary,  Hillenbrand shows the readers where the reindeer are and what they are up to.  A few of the reindeer’s actions matched their names, for Dasher dashed and Prancer pranced, but Vixen vexed, Cupid crooned and Donner dozed.  I love how children are exposed to sophisticated words which will enhance their oral vocabulary.  Supporting the concise and rich text are warm double page illustrations with a muted color palette.  If readers look closely, on some pages, they will see Santa looking for the reindeer with his binoculars. And Santa’s adorable little dog is right by his side, which makes me love the story even more.

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Santa attempts to call the reindeer with playing a horn and ringing bells, but has no success.  But with the help of Comet and his dog, Santa finally realizes why the reindeer are not responding and shouts the two words, STORY TIME, that will gather his team for their Christmas Eve tradition of reading The Night Before Christmas.  After the read aloud, the reindeer are ready to bring a merry Christmas to all!

As a reading specialist, I am always promoting the power of reading aloud and I love that Hillenbrand wrote a holiday story featuring this important family activity.  Reading aloud should not just be a tradition on Christmas Eve, but a daily habit.  Here’s hoping Santa’s Story may be a vehicle to reminding parents, caregivers, and teachers to set aside time each day to share a good book!

Meet the Author/Illustrator: 

 
Will Hillenbrand has written and illustrated many beloved picture books, including Snowman’s Story, Down by the Barn, Mother Goose Picture Puzzles, and the Bear and Mole series. He has also illustrated dozens of books, including the Big Bear series by Maureen Wright. Will lives with his wife and son in Terrace Park, Ohio. You can find out more about him at www.willhillenbrand.com.
 
Connect with Will on Facebook
On Instagram: willhillenbrand
 
 
Praise for SANTA’S STORY:
 
“Hillenbrand’s digital illustrations have a pleasingly soft visual aesthetic…A merrily-ever-after read.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
“Hillenbrand reveals the spirited goings on in snowy, buoyant digital pictures featuring expressive reindeer and a jolly Santa who would be right at home in an animated movie. A light and cheery holiday tribute to tradition and storytelling.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“Interesting vocabulary, a touch of suspense, and a satisfying conclusion make this simple story a good addition to holiday collections.” —School Library Journal
 
 
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Enter a Giveaway!
One lucky winner will receive a copy of Santa’s Story, courtesy of Two Lions/Amazon (U.S. addresses). There are now multiple ways to enter the giveaway.

  • Follow me @lauramossa on Twitter and retweet my Santa Story giveaway tweet.
  • If you are not on Twitter, fill out the Google form below.

This giveaway is open from November 29, 2019-December 6, 2019 and ends at 10:00 p.m. EST.  Winner will be announced on December 7, 2019.