Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for The Rescue Rabbits by Eric Seltzer Illustrated by Roland Garrigue

 

About the Book:
Title: The Rescue Rabbits
Author: Eric Seltzer
Illustrator:  Roland Garrigue
Pub. Date:  November 10, 2020


Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for The Rescue RabbitsSpecial thanks to Two Lions and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


My Review:

If you are animal in trouble, there is no need to fear.  Ace, Chip, Dot, and Spot (also known as the Rescue Rabbits) are here!  Equipped with nifty gadgets such as a Super–Excavator to lift large animals and Rash–Away Lotion to soothe an itchy kangaroo, the Rescue Rabbits are always ready and prepared to help an animal in need. 

Not long after they return to their headquarters, the Rescue Rabbits receive a desperate call from Prince Rex.  And boy, is he in trouble!

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No problem is too big for the Rescue Rabbits!  But the first step to rescuing is finding Prince Rex.  Thankfully, Chip uses their Tracking Device to identify his location.  Once Prince Rex is free of both ants and chopsticks, the last step is getting him down from the tree. Unfortunately, Rex is not fond of ladders or ropes.  But the Rescue Rabbits remain cool and confident working together on a new plan which involves not only Super–Chopper 9000 but also Queen Rex, the prince’s mother.

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Propeller problems may stop other teams but Dot makes sure the Rescue Rabbits fly safely.  Once they reach Prince Rex, his mother’s voice (with the help of the Super–Megaphone) is all he needs to climb down on his own.   Worried about getting in trouble, Prince Rex shows contrition to his mother who warmly accepts not only his apology but also her son in her arms.

As a reading specialist, I have the pleasure of reading to a second grade class daily.  Thanks to Kindle Unlimited, I was able to share a digital version of this entertaining story with them this week.  Before reading, I asked the children to think about what the Rescue Rabbits can teach us.  Here are some of the lessons the students shared.

 

  • Help people.
  • Say you are sorry.
  • Work together.
  • Don’t give up. 

After the students shared their thoughts, we briefly discussed how the characters’ words and actions show positive traits such as responsibility, forgiveness, cooperation, collaboration, resourcefulness, creativity, and perseverance.  With an engaging and fun plot that champions positive virtues and bold and playful cartoon–like illustrations, the students (and this teacher) give The Rescue Rabbits two thumbs up!

 


Praise for The Rescue Rabbits!

“Readers will see in these pages a gentle spoof of cartoons and blockbusters that include endless product tie-ins, but the story also offers an amusing tribute to competency-themed pretend play.” —Publishers Weekly
 

About the Author:

Eric Seltzer received his BFA from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. He worked as a TV graphics designer and an advertising art director before writing and illustrating children’s books. His book Four Pups and a Worm was an IRA/CBC Children’s Book Choice, and The Long Dog was named a Gryphon Award Honor Book. He recently published the board book Arf! Buzz! Cluck! illustrated by David Creighton-Pester. Eric lives with his family in Michigan.

 
About the Illustrator:
 
Roland Garrigue is a prolific children’s book illustrator from Paris who attended art school in Strasbourg, France. His recent books include Cavekid Birthday, written by Cathy Breisacher, and Mother Ghost: Nursery Rhymes for Little Monsters, written by Rachel Kolar. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @rolandgarrigue.

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Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of The Rescue Rabbits courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses only). This giveaway is open from Friday, November 13, 2020 through Friday, November 21, 2020 ending at 10:00 p.m. EST.   Please note that book may take longer to ship so patience is appreciated.  Enter below or head over to my Twitter account, @lauramossa and retweet my Rescue Rabbits blog tour post.

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Some Days by Maria Wernicke Illustrated by Lawrence Schimel

 

About the Book:
Title: Some Days
Author/Illustrator:  Maria Wernicke
Translator: Lawrence Schimel
Pub. Date:  November 1, 2020


Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Some Days.  Special thanks to Amazon Crossing and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


My Review:

Some Days begins quietly with a mother and daughter sitting a kitchen table after finishing a meal.  The palette of gray, black, and white and the mother’s and girl’s forlorn expressions convey a mood of sadness and despair.  But when you turn the page, a glimmer of normalcy emerges.  The girl is petting her dog and a patch of red appears in the mother’s laundry basket.  The girl utters 6 words.

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The girl continues sharing that through this passageway, she is reunited with a loved one (possibly her father).  With him, she feels safe, free from danger, and even knows how to swim.

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Unfortunately, the passageway is not always there.  Astute eyes will notice that the girl’s portal to this safe place may lie in the hanging of red sheets on the clothesline.

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After the end of the story, the mother tells the daughter that while we might not always see it, never stop looking for the passageway.  They walk out together arm in arm with the little girl wearing the hat of her loved one.

Some Days is a tender and gentle story of heart, hurt, but most importantly hope.  I must admit that the page spread of the girl hugging the man really tugged at my heart.  After my husband and I said goodbye to our first beagle, Beaglie, we both remarked that the house was so cold without him.  I can empathize with the girl for feeling cold in her loss.  Wernicke’s illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and show not only the mother’s and daughter’s grief but also their love for each other.  Her choice of using red sparingly conveys to me that red means love. In translating to English from Spanish, Schimel chooses words carefully to allow the illustrations to deliver the story’s message.  Losing a loved one is extremely difficult no matter one’s age.  Some Days reminds us that we can still look for that person in our daily lives.


Praise for Some Days!

“A gentle model for living while missing a loved one.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“This brief, wistful exchange between a mother and her child delivers its emotion between the lines, and Schimel’s translation handles the understatement deftly…Wernicke shows the two twirled up in another set of sheets, looking for the passageway together, in this portrait of a parent who hears and honors her child’s words.” —Publishers Weekly

About the Author:

María Wernicke is an award-winning Argentinian author and illustrator of children’s books. She is a 2020 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award nominee. Her illustrations have been part of multiple international exhibits, including at the Bratislava Biennial exhibition and the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, among others. Learn more about the author at http://www.maria wernicke.blogspot.com and on Instagram: @wernicke_maria

About the Illustrator:
Lawrence Schimel is a bilingual author and translator, with more than one hundred books to his credit. His children’s books have won a Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and have been selected for lists of outstanding titles by the International Board on Books for Young People. His translated books include Wanda Gàg’s Millions of Cats and George Takei’s graphic novel They Called Us Enemy, among many others. He lives in Madrid, Spain.

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Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Some Days courtesy of Amazon Crossing Kids (U.S. and Canada addresses). This giveaway is open from Friday, November 6, 2020 through Friday, November 13, 2020 ending at 10:00 p.m. EST.   Please note that book may take longer to ship so patience is appreciated.  Enter below or head over to my Twitter account, @lauramossa and retweet my Some Days blog tour post.

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.