Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Agnes’s Place by Marit Larsen

                                                                 
 
 

About the Book:
Title: Agnes’s Place
Author: Marit Larsen
Illustrator: Jenny Løvlie
Translator: Kari Dickson
Pub. Date:  March 1, 2021


Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Agnes’s Place published by Amazon Crossing Kids which aims to increase the diversity of children’s books in translation and encourage young reading from a range of cultural perspectives.  Special thanks to the publisher and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


Review:

Young Agnes knows her home so well and the neighbors that live near her.  Everything is pretty predictable. 

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So when Agnes sees a girl standing on the street below her looking up, her mind is full of wonder. 

“What is the girl looking for?” 

“Is she going to live here?”

From inside her apartment, Agnes quietly watched the girl and her mother move their things past her door and up the stairs all the way to the fifth floor.  Agnes decided to welcome the new girl by making her an invitation to join her on the swings and dropping it into her letter box.   But when the girl doesn’t come, Agnes is sad.  She tries to cheer up by feeding the birds but they fly right by Agnes’s window to the new girl’s window.   Why? 

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Agnes was still full of questions. 

“Did the new girl see what Agnes saw?”

“Did she hear what Agnes heard?”

And the biggest question of all-Why was the new girl interested in everything else except Agnes?

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So when Agnes get her neighbor’s newspaper, a task she always does, and finds the mailbox empty, the questions continue.  But later that day, on the steps, Agnes and the new girl finally meet.  And in that moment, Agnes’ worries and wonders disappear.  The new girl, Anna, leads Agnes up the stairwell until they reach the rooftop where Anna has made a secret nook that was meant to be shared.

While Agnes had a sense of belonging because she knows everyone’s patterns, likes and dislikes in her apartment building, it was clear that she was lonely with no other children around.  Løvlie’s detailed illustrations show not only Agnes’s knowledge but also her solitude. The predictability of her world changed the moment she first saw Anna on the street and then moving into the apartment on the fifth floor.  Her excitement is conveyed in both the words and illustrations, so as a reader, my heart for Agnes when her invitation is not accepted.  And for the first time, Agnes can’t explain someone’s behavior.  Why was Anna ignoring her?  

Larsen’s text and Løvlie’s artwork express both how Agnes’s home has changed all because of Anna. When Agnes’s seeks support from her neighbor Emilia, she replies ” we have all been new at one time or another. That’s a real strange thought for you perhaps.”  Emilia’s comment made me think there has not been a lot of change in young Agnes’s life which is why she is feeling uneasy.  At the end of the story,  when the two girls come face to face, my heart leaped because I believe the anticipation made their meeting more special.  Translated from Norwegian, Agnes’s Place is a sweet story that reminds us that life is always more enjoyable with surprises. 


Praise for Agnes’s Place!

“A love letter to new friendships and apartment living.” –Kirkus Reviews


About the Author:
Marit Larsen
is a Norwegian songwriter and musician. Agnes’s Place, her debut picture book, was first published in Norway and will also be published in Denmark and Italy. She currently resides in Brooklyn, New York. Learn more about the author at www.maritlarsen.com  and on Instagram: larsenmarit

About the Illustrator:
Jenny Løvlie
is a Norwegian illustrator. Her previous picture book, The Girls, written by Lauren Ace, was the winner of the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize. She currently lives in Cardiff, Wales. Learn more about the illustrator at www.lovlieillustration.com and on Instagram: lovlieillustration

About the Translator:
Kari Dickson is a literary translator from Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2020 she won the Mildred L. Batchelder Award for best children’s translation for Brown, written by Håkon Øvreås and illustrated by Øyvind Torseter. She holds a BA in Scandinavian studies and an MA in translation.

 


Continue reading “Blog Tour & Giveaway for Agnes’s Place by Marit Larsen”

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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/8/21

 


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.


Continue reading “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/8/21”

Bookexcursion

A Review of Literati Kids Book Clubs (Month 1)

Literati (2)

Disclosure: Beagles and Books was provided a complimentary product in exchange for its honest review.

As an elementary reading specialist, I am frequently asked to provide parents with book recommendations.  Before creating a list, I always try to have a conversation with children about their interests which helps me recommend books I think they would enjoy reading.  But sometimes it’s tough.  When reading is challenging and not enjoyable, children will sometimes give me little to no information  My go-to solution is to share some of my own books to choose from in the hopes of gaining more insight, but this method doesn’t always work.  As I reflect, I feel that perhaps, my choice of reading material is still too narrow.  What was I missing?

Opportunity knocked when Literati Kids reached out to me and asked if Bella and I would like to receive a few months of their monthly book subscription box in exchange for honest reviews.  Before I said yes, I visited the Literati website and was immediately excited to see there are 5 options for kids’ book clubs:

  • Neo-newborn to 3 years
  • Sprout-ages 3 to 5
  • Nova-ages 5 to 7
  • Sage-ages 7 to 9
  • Phoenix– ages 9 to 12
  • Titan– 13 and up

It gets even better!  If you click on the club, more information is provided about the books curated for the club which helps if your child needs more reading support.  Since I work with a lot of children who are  transitioning to chapter book reading, I chose Club Sage which curates a monthly box with early chapter book series, simple graphic novels, nonfiction, and activity books.  

Nonfiction and activity books!  I was missing those types of books when I was recommending books for students.  My recommended reading list was pretty much all fiction;  Literati reminded me that cultivating independent readers is not only about reading picture books, chapter books, and/or novels.  Some kids may be more interested in reading an illustrated nonfiction book or an interactive book with games.  I appreciate this gentle reminder that reading comes in many forms and children should read whatever interests them.


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What’s Inside the Literati Box?
5 expertly curated age-appropriate books, original art, personalized book-cessories, and more!  Upon opening my box, I was excited to find books perfect for transitional readers whom I work with daily.  The following items were in my box:

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  • Battle of the Bad-Breath Bats (13th Street) by David Bowles
    13th Street is a series in Harper Chapters, a new early chapter book program.  All the books 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. To read my full review, click here. 

  • The Great Pet Heist by Emily Ecton Illustrated by David Mottram
    This illustrated chapter book is a laugh out loud story about a dog, a cat, a bird, and 2 pet rats who are worried when their owner Mrs. Food is taken to the hospital after a fall.  What if she doesn’t come return?  Will they be sent to shelter and separated? With the help of other pets in the building, they plan a heist to become independently wealthy which will ensure their survival.  

  • Legend of the Star Runner (A Illustrated Timmi Tobbson Adventure) by J.I. Wagner Illustrated by C. Froehlich
    Timmi Tobbson is a new series to me and is a fresh take on the Choose Your Adventure series I loved when I was a young reader. At the end of each chapter, a question is posed.  Readers can use a mirror to read the hints to each question/puzzle located in the back of the book.  Magnifying glasses indicate the difficulty of each puzzle with 3 being the most challenging. The solution to each puzzle is revealed in the subsequent chapter.

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  • Backward Science by Clive Gifford Illustrated by Anne Wilson
    What was life like before world-changing discoveries?  This nonfiction text is a time traveling guide taking kids back in history before inventions such as smartphones, the world wide web, vacuum cleaners, cars, electric light, and paper.
  • The Fifty States Activity Book
    Explore the 50 states through drawing, code breaking, matching, tall tale writing,  crossword puzzles, anagrams, and word searches.  Stickers and a large tear out map with the presidents and the state flags is also included. 

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  • A collectible poster and magnetic bookmark featuring original art by illustrator Steve Adams
  • A bookmark and personalized bookplates

How it Works
As a subscriber, children receive 5 expertly curated age-appropriate books. I was greatly pleased to see the books were all recently published.  The subscription runs at $9.95 a month. You only get charged for the ones you keep. Children can touch, open, skim, and read a portion of each book to decide which are a good fit for them.  Keep the books they love and return the rest for free with the included pre-paid return shipping label.  Please know that Literati Kids books match or are less than Amazon pricing.

If you’re interested in trying out Literati Kids a try, click here for 25% off your first box or copy and paste this link into your search: literati.com/beaglesandbooks

Bella and I sincerely grateful to Literati Kids for sharing this first book box in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

 

 

Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Review and Giveaway for Stella by McCall Hoyle

 

About the Book:
Title: Stella
Author: McCall Hoyle
Pub. Date:  March 2, 2021


Beagles and Books is excited to share a review and giveaway for the middle grade novel, Stella.  Special thanks to author McCall Hoyle for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.


My Review:

“My name is Stella. I’m a beagle, and I was born to sniff.”

While all beagles have a keen nose, Stella has been trained to sniff out explosives. But after a mission went terribly wrong resulting in the death of Connie, her handler, Stella is haunted by the memories of that tragic day.  Retired of her duties, Stella now suffers from PSTD which is making it difficult for her to find a permanent home. 

Fortunately, Esperanza, a friend of Connie’s and world-renowned dog trainer offers to rehabilitate Stella to help her find a forever home.  When Stella arrives at Esperanza’s farm, she is warmly greeted by her daughter Cloe.  Picking up scents of cookies, grass, and books, Stella is reminded of Connie who read aloud to her and recalled these words-“you must be the thing you cannot do.”    But Stella also smells a sour or metallic scent unsure what it means.

From that very first day, Stella notices that Cloe gets her better than any other human since Connie.  While Stella is not happy to be sleeping in the barn, she does have the company of brave border collie Nando who moves closer to her crate when she is anxious.  Since it is sheep shearing season, Cloe successfully convinces her reluctant mom to let her work with Stella.  Cloe still has the strange smell that Stella can’t figure out, but it’s not strong every day.  On a trip running errands, the scent intensifies.  Stella tries to alert Esperanza as she witnesses Cloe having an epileptic seizure.   After seeing Cloe in distress, Stella is determined to not only be a good dog, but also brave like she was with Connie.  Can Stella persuade Esperanza that she is meant to be Cloe’s dog?

It is no secret I love reading dog books, but when I heard about Stella,  I was even more eager to read since the novel featured a beagle.  As I read the first page, I was excited to discover that the story is written from Stella’s point of view.  Having Stella tell the story allows readers to learn that she is indeed a great dog, but she is deeply traumatized by the loss of Connie and blames herself.  My heart hurt for Stella and as I read, I found herself hugging my own beagle, Bella, as a way to comfort Stella.

When Stella meets Cloe, she has an immediate connection with her.  Realizing the power of her nose, Stella knows she can signal Cloe before a seizure occurs.  Stella’s overwhelming need to help Cloe aids her in her rehabilitation, for Stella learns that she is not defined by what happened in the past and can be the thing you cannot do just like Connie said.  What charged Stella’s determination was Chloe because on their first walk together, Stella knew she could trust her.  Cloe also believed that Stella could do great things frequently telling her mother how smart Stella is.  Trust and belief gradually turn into love which makes Stella and Cloe’s relationship so heartwarming.

What I also love about Stella is its length.  Long novels can be intimidating to some middle grade readers so I appreciate that Stella is under 200 pages with well developed characters that you will root for, and an intriguing plot that makes the novel very difficult to put down.  Stella will make all readers fall in love with dogs especially super sniffer beagles!


Listen to a video message from the author, McCall Hoyle!


Check out the Reader’s Guide to Stella!

Click to access stella_readers_guide._mccall_hoyle.pdf

Giveaway!

Beagles & Books is excited to give away an ARC of Stella courtesy of author McCall Hoyle. You can enter by retweeting my Twitter post or leaving a comment below. Giveaway ends at 10 pm on Friday, 2/26/21.

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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/15/21

 

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.

Continue reading “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/15/21”

Giveaway, Picture Books

Review & Giveaway for First Friends: How Dogs Evolved from Wolves to Become Our Best Friends by Kersten Hamilton Illustrated by Jaime Kim

 

About the Book:
Title: First Friends: How Dogs Evolved from Wolves to Become Our Best Friends
Author: Kersten Hamilton
Illustrator: Jaime Kim
Pub. Date:  February 9, 2021


Beagles and Books is excited to share a review and giveaway for the recently released First Friends: How Dogs Evolved from Wolves to Become Our Best Friends. Special thanks to author Kersten Hamilton for sending me a finished copy to give away on Twitter.


 Review:

How did dogs become our best friends?   This picture book uses a nonfiction narrative format to explain to kids how wolves evolved into dogs.  The story begins in the Stone Age.  A young girl and wolf pup meet and play but once they both grow up, their friendship must end, for humans and wolves are rivals hunting the same prey.  Many, many years pass and a young boy living in a hut meets a wolf pup.  They interact more closely with the boy scratching the pup and sharing his food, but like the girl, the relationship does not last although the pair watch each other from afar.   Over time, more children and wolf pups befriend each other.  Their relationship is more intimate trading items, drinking from the same water hole, sleeping side by side, and finally, traveling together to a new home.  On the last page spread, it is now present day and a beagle (yes, a beagle!) and a girl run toward one another full of excitement and love.  

First Friends
Courtesy of Macmillan Publishers https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780374313432

 

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

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd & Michelle Mee Nutter

                                              ALLERGIC                    

About The Book:
Title: ALLERGIC
Author: Megan Wagner Lloyd & Michelle Mee Nutter
Pub. Date: March 2, 2021
Publisher: Graphix
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audiobook
Pages: 240
Find it:  GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBDBookshop.org

 

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Beagles and Books is thrilled to be hosting a spot on the ALLERGIC by Megan Wagner Lloyd & Michelle Mee Nutter Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours.  All opinions are my own.


Publisher’s Summary: 

A coming-of-age middle-grade graphic novel featuring a girl with severe allergies who just wants to find the perfect pet! At home, Maggie is the odd one out. Her parents are preoccupied with getting ready for a new baby, and her younger brothers are twins and always in their own world. Maggie loves animals and thinks a new puppy to call her own is the answer, but when she goes to select one on her birthday, she breaks out in hives and rashes. She’s severely allergic to anything with fur!  Can Maggie outsmart her allergies and find the perfect pet? With illustrations by Michelle Mee Nutter, Megan Wagner Lloyd uses inspiration from her own experiences with allergies to tell a heartfelt story of family, friendship, and finding a place to belong.


Review:

In Maggie’s family, her parents are absorbed with getting ready for the new baby and her twin brothers have each other which makes her feel a little left out.   That is all going to change on her tenth birthday.  Why?  Maggie finally gets something to call her own-a dog!  But when she visits the shelter with her family and meets the puppy she wants to adopt, her body reacts differently than her heart.  Maggie’s nose itches and she can’t stop scratching.  Her dream of owning a dog is shattered when she discovers she is allergic to any animal with fur or feathers.  And while hopeful Maggie tries out non-allergic pets, none of them work out long term.

Not only is Maggie feeling lonely at home, but also at her new elementary school.  Fortunately, Claire, who is just one year older, moves in next door and she and Maggie become fast friends until Claire gets a dog.  Feeling betrayed, Maggie distances herself from Claire but after some time, she gets the courage to apologize and explain the true severity of her allergies.  Back to being besties, Claire helps Maggie secretly get a pet mouse but between her allergies flaring up again and her brothers sneaking into her room, Maggie is forced to say goodbye again.  Will Maggie find a way to come to terms with her allergies and her place in the family?

Inspired by her own experiences with allergies,  Lloyd’s text was honest and heartfelt which helps readers identify and connect with Maggie. What I loved most about the story is Maggie’s realization that she is an integral part of her family, for when her mother goes to the hospital, her brothers really need her and once her little sister is born, she feels an immediate bond to this new little soul. Nutter’s warm and dynamic illustrations bring Lloyd’s text to life, perfectly showing her feelings as she experiencing both heartache and joy.

I read a lot of children’s books and Allergic is the first book I have ever read that tackles pet allergies.  But the story is not only about Maggie handling her allergies.  It is a story about how to manage changes in family, school, and friendship–topics that lots of kids can relate to.  I  highly recommend pre–ordering Allergic to add to your home, classroom or school library!


Praise for Allergic!

“Maggie’s inventiveness as she overcomes these trials is showcased through Lloyd’s captivating narrative and Nutter’s bright and dynamic illustrations. The story provides insight into the lives of those with allergies and the accommodations needed to avoid serious episodes … A heartachingly enjoyable tale of resilience.” — KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review 

Readers will root for this realistic and relatable fifth grader, who’s capable of kindness well as envy and self-doubt. Lloyd folds in information about allergy tests, anaphylaxis, EpiPens, and other facts that Maggie and her friend Sebastian, who also has allergies, recite to each other. Layouts rely on three to four large panels per page, creating a smooth visual flow; Nutter’s muted, uncluttered art has a cozy feel … Maggie makes new pals here—she’ll find even more friends in elementary and middle school libraries, where readers will easily identify with her trials and accomplishments.” – SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL 

“A fun and entertaining story.” — BLEEDING COOL 

“The perfect graphic novel for kids of all ages.” — FROLIC 

Allergic is the sweetest story you’ll read all year. A touching chronicle of a young girl’s severe allergies woven into a meaningful journey of friendship, family, and self-discovery.” — Terri Libenson, New York Times bestselling author of Invisible Emmie


Megan Wagner Lloyd (by Seth Lloyd)About Megan:
MEGAN WAGNER LLOYD is the author of several picture books, including Paper Mice, Building Books, Finding Wild, and A Fort-Building Time. She lives in the Washington DC area. Visit her online at meganwagnerlloyd.com.

Website | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

 

 


Michelle Mee Nutter (by Greg Marquis)About Michelle: 
MICHELLE MEE NUTTER graduated with a BFA in Illustration from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. Her work has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, 3×3 Illustration, Creative Quarterly, and more. Michelle lives in Boston. Visit her online at michellemee.com.

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads  

 


Giveaway Details: 
3 winners will win a finished copy of ALLERGIC, US Only.  To enter the giveaway, click the link below.

https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba21233/

Tour Schedule:
Check out the other stops on the blog tour!

Week One:

2/11/2021

For The Love Of Kidlit

Excerpt

2/12/2021

Beagles and Books

Review

2/13/2021

She Just Loves Books

Review

Week Two:

2/14/2021

Westveil Publishing

Review

2/15/2021

Adventures Of A Travelers Wife

Review

2/16/2021

Nerdophiles

Review

2/17/2021

Pick a good book

Review

2/18/2021

Lifestyle of Me

Review

2/19/2021

Twirling Book Princess

Excerpt

2/20/2021

Not In Jersey

Review

Week Three:

2/21/2021

BookHounds YA

Review

2/22/2021

Kait Plus Books

Excerpt

2/23/2021

Little Red Reads

Review

2/24/2021

A Dream Within A Dream

Excerpt

2/25/2021

Two Chicks on Books

Excerpt

2/26/2021

Jazzy Book Reviews

Review

2/27/2021

Midnightbooklover

Review

Week Four:

2/28/2021

Hurn Publications

Excerpt

3/1/2021

Locks, Hooks and Books

Review

3/2/2021

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Review

CATCH MEGAN WAGNER LLOYD AND MICHELLE MEE NUTTER ON THE VIRTUAL ALLERGIC TOURAllergic Tour - 03.02.21 - Raina Telgemeier

March 2, 2021 5:00 pm (PST) Launch event hosted by Green Apple Books In conversation with Raina Telgemeier (GUTS) 

Allergic Tour - 03.04.21 - Jeff Kinney

March 4, 2021 7:00 pm (EST) Hosted by An Unlikely Story In conversation with Jeff Kinney (DIARY OF A WIMPY KID) 

Allergic Tour - 03.10.21 - Varian Johnson & Shannon Wright
March 10, 2021 4:00 pm (PST) Hosted by The Reading Bug In conversation with Varian Johnson and Shannon Wright (TWINS)

Bit About Books Winter Reading Challenge, Giveaway, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Middle Grade Literature, Picture Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/8/21

 

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.


Our Recent Reads:

BB3

A Place to Hang the Moon by Kate Albus

Living in London during World War II,  Edmund, William and Anna Pearce are orphans again.  Their parents died years ago and now their grandmother has died.  While they do not grieve the loss of their cold, distant grandmother, her death does impact them because she did not name a guardian in her will.  Other considerations are the Pearce children want to stay together and with the war, finding a family to adopt them all poses a challenge.  The solicitor recommends that the siblings join other children who are evacuating the city for the country.  And while the trio are heirs to a comfortable inheritance, this information must be kept a secret until a forever, loving home is found.  

From the very first page, this book had my heart.   The writing is exquisite and has a classic, timeless feel.  While I read, I truly could hear the narrator telling the story.  Each sibling has a distinctive personality which made them endearing.  The children encounter bullying, prejudice, and sheer indifference in their first two placements or billets, but they persevere because of their love for each other and for books.  In fact, books are truly their refuge because books give them warmth on a cold night and hope for someone who thinks they hang the moon, like their mother.  When they find the village lending library and befriend Mrs. Muller, the kindhearted librarian, your heart leaps because you feel a happy ending is looming but patience is required.  And when it does happen, tears of joy occur because a new story is about to begin full with love, promise and of course, lots of books!  Thanks to Margaret Ferguson Books/Holiday House for sharing an eARC.  A Place to Hang the Moon recently published last week on February 2, 2021.


BB2

Bunbun and Bonbon: Hoppy Go Lucky by Jess Keating

Bunbun and Bonbon are back in the second book of this early graphic novel series.  In the first book, Fancy Friends, Bunbun and Bonbon meet and become fast friends and members  of Team Fancy.  In Hoppy Go Lucky, when a couple of bad things happen,  Bunbun is convinced their luck has run away.   They seek the advice of their wise fox friend, Scout Von Fluffington, who suggest they set a trap to catch their good luck.  Bunbun and Bonbon are optimistic their plan will work using a donut as bait.  While the spunky pair do not trap their luck, they do catch a duck who offers his own tip, but that leads to more bad luck or maybe not because meeting a unicorn named Rosie Stardrop Sparklepants seems pretty fabulous to me.  She gives the duo the best advice of all-as long as you can smile, you will never lose your luck!

With bright and eye-catching illustrations, easy to read dialogue and themes of friendship, problem solving, and positivity, this fun series will be in high demand.  I am so happy that graphic novels are being written with young readers in mind, but I believe readers of all ages will be charmed by Bunbun and Bonbon. Hoping there are more adventures to come in the series.  Hoppy Go Lucky recently published on February 2, 2021.


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Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket by Sue Fliess Illustrated by Annabel Tempest

Told in playful quatrains, Fliess has written an inspirational story encouraging us all to chase our dreams.  What I love most is Sadie teaches us that dreams come true with planning, research, teamwork, determination, and problem solving.  And once a goal is accomplished, another idea can take its place.  Tempest’s bright and exuberant illustrations reinforce the positive themes. At the end of the book, Sadie’s notebook is included which shares facts about Mars as well as women in space.  Sadie motivates us all to be dreamers AND doers!  To read my full review and enter a giveaway, click here.


Bella’s 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.

BB1

First Friend: How Dogs Evolved from Wolves to Become Our Best Friends by Kersten Hamilton Illustrated by Jaime Kim

How did dogs become our best friends?   This picture book uses a nonfiction narrative format to explain to kids how wolves evolved into dogs.  The story begins in the Stone Age.  A young girl and wolf pup meet and play but once they both grow up, their friendship must end, for humans and wolves are rivals hunting the same prey.  Many, many years pass and a young boy living in a hut meets a wolf pup.  They interact more closely with the boy scratching the pup and sharing his food, but like the girl, the relationship does not last although the pair watch each other from afar.   Over time, more children and wolf pups befriend each other.  Their relationship is more intimate trading items, drinking from the same water hole, sleeping side by side, and finally, traveling together to a new home.  On the last page spread, it is now present day and a beagle (yes, a beagle!) and a girl run toward one another full of excitement and love.  

Hamilton’s concise, melodic text and Kim’s warm and radiant illustrations are in perfect harmony.  Words were chosen and art was drawn thoughtfully and with purpose to show how wolves evolved into dogs.  At the end of the book, back matter includes more facts about their progression from competitor to companion as well as a bibliography.  And pay special attention to the gorgeous endpapers, for the front depicts their rival relationship in hieroglyphics and the child-like illustrations of a girl and her dog grace the back endsheets.  Thanks to author Kersten Hamilton and Farrar Straus Giroux/Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for sharing an eARC.  First Friends celebrates its book birthday tomorrow on February 9, 2021.

Bella and I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books!


“People love dogs. You can never go wrong adding a dog to the story.”
Jim Butcher
#IMWAYR is dedicated to dear Etta, my original book beagle. Blessed that Etta is part of my story.
Blog Tour, Giveaway, Picture Books

Blog Tour & Giveaway for Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket by Sue Fliess Illustrated by Annabel Tempest

                                                                   
About the Book:
Title: Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket
Author: Sue Fliess
Illustrator: Annabel Tempest
Pub. Date:  February 1, 2021

Beagles and Books is excited to be part of the blog tour for Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket. Special 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.


Review:

It all started with a wish to travel to space.  Sadie Sprocket was not just a dreamer, she was a doer!  And researching and learning no one has been to Mars, Sadie was not deterred.  Sadie’s confidence exudes in Fliess’ rhyming text and Tempest’s illustrations show that exploring outer space is her passion.

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Sadie and her crew collaborate to build a ship out of recycled materials.  I love how on the first page spreads, her stuffed animals sit motionless on her bed and shelves, but as soon as Sadie proclaims her mission, the stuffed animals feel her energy and come to life to help her.  Kids see how teamwork truly makes the dream work, and the pride is evident on all the crew’s faces on launch day.

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After landing on Mars, Sadie and her crew get right to work collecting and labeling samples to bring back home.   Kid see the importance of both planning and teamwork as the crew each has the necessary supplies to complete their task.  When they try to venture home, problems abound.  First, the landing gear is buried.  Then the rocket won’t start.  Sadie and her crew demonstrate problem solving, resilience, and resourcefulness in restoring power and successfully blasting back to Earth.  Once safely home, Sadie models one of the most important lessons of all.  Success means making new goals liking a trip to Neptune!

Told in playful quatrains, Fliess has written an inspirational story encouraging us all to chase our dreams.  What I love most is Sadie teaches us that dreams come true with planning, research, teamwork, determination, and problem solving.  And once a goal is accomplished, another idea can take its place.  Tempest’s bright and exuberant illustrations reinforce the positive themes. At the end of the book, Sadie’s notebook is included which shares facts about Mars as well as women in space.  Sadie motivates us all to be dreamers AND doers!


Praise for Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket!

“Inspiring, adventurous fun for aspirational kids.” —Kirkus Reviews


About the Author:

Sue Fliess is the author of more than thirty children’s books, including Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins illustrated by Mark Chambers; Shoes for Me!, A Dress for Me!, and Books for Me!, all illustrated by Mike Laughead; and Let’s Build illustrated by Miki Sakamoto. She lives with her family and their two dogs in northern Virginia, where they admire the moon, stars, and sometimes even planets from their backyard. Learn more about Sue at www.suefliess.com, on Twitter: @SueFliess, on Facebook: Sue Fliess Author and Pinterest: Sue Fliess

About the Illustrator:
Annabel Tempest
is the illustrator of a number of picture books and board books. She holds a degree in fashion and textiles and has worked as a freelance illustrator on everything from maps and packaging to greeting cards and children’s books. She lives in the beautiful Somerset countryside in the UK with her husband and a houseful of muddy boys and dogs. Learn more about Annabel at www.annabeltempest.com and on Instagram: annabel.tempest


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Enter Beagles & Books’ Giveaway: 

One winner will receive a copy of Sadie Sprocket Builds a Rocket courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses only). This giveaway is open from Friday, February 5, 2021 through Friday, February 12, 2021 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 Sadie the Sprocket blog tour post.

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

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/1/21

 

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.

Continue reading “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/1/21”