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Blog Tour! A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale by Penny Parker Klostermann

7 Sep

LET ME OFFER A RAY OF SUNSHINE ON THIS DREARY DAY!

I am participating in a blog tour for a superlicious new picture book!

What’s even better is that the book was just released this week and you can gobble up your own copy!

A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale
Written by Penny Parker Klostermann
Illustrated by Ben Mantle
40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on September 5, 2017

Synopsis from the Publisher- “In the magical land of fairy tales, William doesn’t quite fit in. He’d rather poach pears than pursue princesses, and he values gnocchi over knighthood. . . .

When he stumbles on a delivery of food destined for Fairy-Tale Headquarters (a pumpkin, apples, and a few measly beans), he decides to spice things up and whips the paltry ingredients into delectable dishes. But as you might have guessed, Snow White’s wicked stepmother doesn’t exactly want her magic apple baked and drizzled with caramel.”

What I Thought- I really liked Klostermann’s latest picture book – it is full of fairy tale whimsy. What makes this book stand out for me is that touches on a part of the fairy tales we don’t always give a second thought – the food! There were tons of subtle yet fun references to other fairy tales making the story even more enjoyable. The story is sweet and has the reader craving to turn to the next page. The text is often sprinkled about on the pages which adds to the whole feeling of the book. The story celebrates those who are different, and want to help out. It’s nice how William is able to end up following his dream, and to help people reach their “happily ever after.” Mantle’s illustrations put the icing on the cake. Have a look –

Illustration copyright c 2017 by Ben Mantle.

Mantle keeps the fanciful feeling of Klostermann’s text fresh in our eyes as we read about William’s adventures!

 

Illustration copyright c 2017 by Ben Mantle.

Mantle’s style-his use of vivid colors, bold lines, and fanciful proportions-really put the finishing touches on this delectable book.

Illustration copyright c 2017 by Ben Mantle.

I think Mantle and Klostermann have a delicious collaboration going on, and I really wish to see more from this dynamic duo! This book would be great for story time and paired with a recipe!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

 

BUT WAIT!!! THERE’S MORE!

JUST WHO IS THIS PENNY KLOSTERMANN???

Penny Parker Klostermann is the author of A Cooked-Up Fairy Tale and There Was an Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight, both from Random House Children’s Books. She loves all kinds of books, but especially loves very silly picture books that make her laugh. Penny has been known to hug her favorite picture books and seriously hopes that someday her books will gain huggable status too. You can learn more about Penny on her website at PennyKlostermann.com.

Check out all the stops on the blog tour! You have chances to win copies along the way!

Blog Tour Dates:

August 29-Tara Lazar-interview with Tricia Lawrence, Penny’s Agent

August 29-Picture Book Builders-Interview

September 4-Maria Marshall-Interview

September 5-Vivian Kirkfield-Royal Reporter Special Behind-the-Scenes Interview and Recipe

September 7- GROG Guest Post with Penny-Poetry/Picture Book Connection

September 7-This Kid Reviews Books-Book Review

September 8-Susanna Leonard Hill-Perfect Picture Book Friday

September 12 (tentative)-Jama’s Alphabet Soup-Interview and Recipe

September 18-Laura Sassi-Kid Review and 5 questions from the kids for Penny

September 19-Kirsti Call, Writer’s Rumpus-Interview

September 26-Think Quick with Carrie Charlie Brown

Blog Tour! Beach Party Surf Monkey by Chris Grabenstein

26 Jun


Beach Party Surf Monkey
Series: Welcome to Wonderland #2
Written by Chris Grabenstein
Illustrated by Brooke Allen
320 pages – ages 8+
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers on May 23, 2017

Synopsis from the Publisher- “There’s always something wacky happening when you live at a motel, and P. T. Wilkie has grown up at the world’s wackiest one yet! When word gets out that the hottest teen idols in Hollywood will be filming their next movie-BEACH PARTY SURF MONKEY-right in St. Pete’s Beach, P.T. and Gloria know that Wonderland would be the PERFECT location. Now they just have to convince the producers! But when things start to go wrong (Crazed fans? Missing stars?!) it will take all of Gloria’s business genius and P.T.’s wild stories to save the movie before the movie AND the Wonderland are both all washed up!”

What I Thought- I didn’t know what to expect with this. I love Mr. Grabenstein’s books, but I hate starting a book in the middle of a series – I am reading the second book before the first. Grabenstein brings the reader up to speed that in the best way I’ve ever seen! P.T. is known for his wild stories, so he is introduced by telling a tall tale about the previous book, giving major plot points, but not ruining the entire climax. Genius! From there, I just kept liking the book more and more. I  am getting my hands on the first book asap!  The story did take a little bit to reveal the plot, but I was so immersed in the details and Grabenstein’s masterful story-telling, I didn’t even notice! Once the plot is revealed, the reader is totally hooked into the story! The characters don’t want their hotel to falter (and a bit of fame would be nice!), so they are trying to have the movie at their motel. But then everything goes wrong. It’s awesome. Grabenstein has a cool way of writing scenes that are completely wacky, yet still believable – it’s wonderful reading the book! One of the things I liked were the black-and-white illustrations, some with word bubbles like a comic. They added a lot of humor to the story. Brooke Allen has a great way of combining cartoon with realism. I loved this book, and want to see more from this series!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

CHRIS GRABENSTEIN is the author of the New York Times bestselling The Island of Dr. Libris, Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics, and Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, which was nominated for over 30 state awards lists!

Follower him on Twitter at @CGrabenstein, and visit him online at chrisgrabenstein.com.

Blog Tour! TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE: IT’S ALIVE! By Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie A. Thompson

24 Jun


TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE: IT’S ALIVE!
By Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie A. Thompson
Illustrated by Lisa K. Weber
176 pages – ages 7+
Will be Published by Walden Pond Press on June 27, 2017

Synopsis from Publisher- “Did you know that there is a fungus that can control the mind of an ant and make it do its bidding? Would you believe there is such a thing as a corpse flower—a ten-foot-tall plant with a blossom that smells like a zombie? How about a species of octopus that doesn’t live in water but rather lurks in trees in the Pacific Northwest?
Every story in this book is strange and astounding. But not all of them are real. Just like the old game in this book’s title, two out of every three stories are completely true and one is an outright lie. Can you guess which? It’s not going to be easy. Some false stories are based on truth, and some of the true stories are just plain unbelievable. And they’re all accompanied by dozens of photos, maps, and illustrations. Amaze yourself and trick your friends as you sort out the fakes from the facts!”

What I Thought- This was a really cool book! I enjoyed trying to see which stories were false, and am proud to say that I got a few! It’s a really neat idea for kids, because they learn real facts too – as they try to discern what is false! There are also little activities (ie, observing nature, asking questions, etc.) for kids, as well as mini-challenges. The authors work well together, and you can tell they had fun with this project. Weber brightens the story with her fun cartoon illustrations throughout the stories. I really like what was done here with this book, and I hope to see more in this series!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

Ammi-Joan Paquette has traveled to twenty-four countries, has the ability to wake herself up at a given time without an alarm clock, and once climbed Mt. Everest. (Not all of these are true!) Joan is the author of the novels Rules for Ghosting, Paradox, and Nowhere Girl, as well as the picture books Petey and Pru and the Hullabaloo, Ghost in the House, The Tiptoe Guide to Tracking Mermaids, and The Tiptoes Guide to Tracking Fairies. She lives outside Boston, Massachusetts, where she balances her own writing and her day job as a literary agent. You can visit her online at www.ajpaquette.com.

Laurie Ann Thompson has ridden a pig, gotten stuck in an elevator overnight, and jumped out of a perfectly good airplane. (One of these facts is not true; can you guess which?) She is the author of Be a Changemaker: How to Start Something That Matters, My Dog Is the Best, and Emmanuel’s Dream, a picture book biography about Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, which was the recipient of the Schneider Family Book Award and was named an ALA Notable Book, a CCBC Choice, and a Bank Street College Best Book of the Year, among dozens of other accolades. She lives outside Seattle with her family. You can visit her online at www.lauriethompson.com.

5-Jun

Librarian’s Quest

7-Jun

Flowering Minds

11-Jun

Pragmatic Mom

Geo Librarian

13-Jun

Smack Dab in the Middle

14-Jun

Bluestocking Thinking

15-Jun

Novel Novice

Library Lions Roar

16-Jun

Archimedes Notebook

18-Jun

Nerdy Book Club

19-Jun

Cracking the Cover

20-Jun

Writers Rumpus

The Hiding Spot

21-Jun

Maria’s Melange

23-Jun

Unleashing Readers

24-Jun

This Kid Reviews Books

Blog Tour! The Door in the Alley by Adrienne Kress

23 Jun


The Door in the Alley
Series: The Explorers
Written by Adrienne Kress
Illustrated by Matthew C. Rockefeller
320 pages – ages 9+
Published by Delacorte Press on April 25, 2017

Synopsis- Sebastian was a brilliant kid, going to a school for math and science. He always planned everything out, and disliked change and trying new things. Then he met a pig in a teeny hat. And everything changed. Now he’s helping a girl find her presumed dead (but apparently still living) grandfather. That’s not so bad, except that two creepy thugs are trying to find him too. Things are starting to look interesting…

What I Thought- This book is pretty funny – the narration is very tongue-in-cheek, with humorous chapter names, and the story is full of wacky events that are somehow believable.  Sebastian and Evie are two very different characters, but they both make the book complete. Sebastian wants to stay out of trouble, but he also wants to do what’s right. Evie doesn’t want to be alone in this world, and will do anything to be get her family back. This is a really great combo! Kress’ writing style is very light-hearted, having written a book where having a character ride a llama across a zoo and having a tree grow in the middle of a building seem like completely natural things. Kress uses all the creative room in her plot line, and keeps the reader wondering what will happen next. There are neat black-and-white illustrations from Rockefeller throughout the book that really bring all of the aspects together. Kids will love to read this book! Kress has written a wonderful beginning to a new series, and I cannot wait to read the next book! I also think I will definitely check out some of the other books by Kress, considering how much I enjoyed this one.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

Adrienne Kress is a writer and an actress born and raised in Toronto. She is the daughter of two high school English teachers and credits them with her love of both writing and performing. She also has a cat named Atticus, who unfortunately despises teeny hats. Look for her online at AdrienneKress.com, and follow her on Twitter at @AdrienneKress.

Little Fun Club – Monthly Book Club for Kids

3 May

Little Fun Club blog tour. A subscription box for children's books. Great for kids ages 0-12.I would have LOVED to have this book club earlier! This is a cool idea where your child(ren) get a reading packed adventure every month!

First – a little bit about Little Fun Club!

Little Fun Club is a subscription box for children’s books. It’s ideal for kids ages 0-12. When you sign up, your child will receive a box containing three adventurous books every month. The books are tailored to your child’s age, so you can rest assured they will always have quality, age-appropriate reading material. Each book is hand selected for your child, and no two boxes are the same.

How it Works:

  1. Join Little Fun Club and let them know your child’s age so the box can be customized for them. You can include up to three kids per box and they’ll customize it accordingly.
  2. Get three adventurous books every month for as little as $25/month.
  3. Grow with Little Fun Club. As your child gets older, the books change accordingly — so you’ll always receive age-appropriate books for your kids.

Other Features:

  1. You can add a note to your child’s account with reading preferences so the box can be tailored to their interests.
  2. Shipping is FREE on all boxes.
  3. Little Fun Club selects books based on merit. Books go through a rigorous selection process and are read and reviewed by the Little Fun Club team before being considered.
  4. If you receive a book that you already own, just let Little Fun Club know about it. They’ll replace the book in the next box! You don’t have to return anything.
  5. You can cancel or put your subscription hold at any time.
  6. A Little Fun Club subscription makes a wonderful gift for birthdays, holidays, or just because.

The final product is a box filled with education, fun, and opportunities for positive child development. They make sure each box is just right before it is sent out.

What I thought: It is no secret I geek out over books. When the box arrived at my house I have to say I was a bit excited to open it and see what literary wonders were went to me.

I ripped open the box to find a brown paper package tied up with string – one of my favorite things! (heh heh heh 🙂 )

Speaking as a kid, it is always fun to get things in the mail. In the world of email and Skype – I still like to find something for me in the mailbox. This was fun.

I was excited to see what selection of books that were sent.

I was delighted to see two Newbery Honor books and a classic!

All the books were hard cover and in very good condition – there were a couple of bumps on the edges, but that is a little detail that kids won’t mind. I LOVE the Robinson Crusoe book – beautiful binding – beautiful illustrations – unabridged (good for my age)!

If you added up the price of these books it would have come to $58.97. With the club price you would have paid $29.00 (for one month) with free shipping.

I looked around the Little Fun Club website and saw that you can choose to send two or three books in the package. You are asked your child’s age and gender and are able to send a note with the package.

I was very impressed with the quality and selection of the books that were sent to me!

 

On to some more information and a giveaway!

Prices:

1 month – $29/month = $29 total

3 months – $27/month = $81 total

6 months – $25/month = $150 total

You can see what types of books Little Fun Club offers by visiting their website.

$50 Cash Giveaway | batchofbooks.com

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive $50 in PayPal cash

Open to US and Canada

Ends May 12, 2017

Use the Rafflecopter to enter. Entrants must be 18 or older or have their parent/guardian enter for them. The winner will be chosen randomly. Winner must respond to my email within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. No purchase necessary to enter. This contest is void where prohibited by law.

Find the Rafflecopter HERE!

Blog Tour Schedule

April 17 – The Mommy Island

April 18 – Writing My Own Fairy Tale

April 19 – The Kids Did It

April 20 – Feed Your Fiction Addiction

April 21 – Book Review Mama

April 24 – Homebound but Hopeful

April 25 – Looking Glass Review

April 26 – Kristi’s Book Nook

April 27 – Natasha Reads Books

April 28 – Create With Joy

May 1 – That’s What She Read

May 2 – Tee and Penguin

May 3 – Bookworm for Kids, This Kid Reviews Books

May 5 – Word Spelunking

May 8 – Babies to Bookworms

May 9 – The Tangled Yarn

May 10 – Geo Librarian

May 11 – Savings in Seconds

May 12 – Kid Lit Reviews

Blog Tour! Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren with Interview and GIVEAWAY!!!

11 Apr

Prisoner of Ice and Snow
By Ruth Lauren
288 pages – ages 9+
Published by on April 4, 2017

Synopsis from Publisher-She’ll do anything to break her sister out of prison–even get arrested on purpose.

When thirteen-year-old Valor is sent to jail, she couldn’t be happier. Demidova’s prison for criminal children is exactly where she wants to be. Valor’s twin sister, Sasha, is serving a life sentence for stealing from the royal family, and Valor is going to help her escape . . . from the inside.

Never mind that no one has escaped the prison in centuries. Valor has a master plan and resources most people could only dream about. But she didn’t count on having to outsmart both the guards and her fellow prisoners. If Valor’s plan is to succeed, she’ll need to make some unlikely allies. And if the plan fails, she and Sasha could end up with fates worse than prison.”

What I Thought- This is probably one of the best debuts I’ve read in a while! The world is beautifully crafted, and there is a fascinating culture created. I am a fan of how the country appears as a nod to ancient Russian culture, and how the characters adapt to that. Which is another thing I loved – the characters are clever and they can think their way out of a problem. The ever present love for Sasha keeping Valor going is a nice touch as well – you would think it’d get annoying sometimes, but it never does. Lauren knows how to spin words in a way that keeps you on the edge of your seat – I read this entire book in one day. It’s not often that a debut author can do that. I cannot wait to see more books from Lauren!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

Now for an exclusive interview with author Ruth Lauren!

1. Congratulations on your debut novel! I really enjoyed the action in it! How long have you been writing? Is this your first book ever written?

Thank you so much! I’m thrilled you enjoyed it. I’ve been writing for just about seven years now. PRISONER OF ICE AND SNOW wasn’t the first book I’ve ever written, or even the second, or third. But it was my first fantasy book and the first with action/adventure in it. I had more fun and did less worrying (and actually less planning) than I’d done before.

2. How did you get the unique plan to have the main character be very talented, but who wants to go to a prison no one has escaped from?

I was actually watching the TV show Prison Break (which starts with a man robbing a bank in order to get arrested) with my son and I wondered what that sort of story would be like if it was about two young sisters instead. The Russia inspired fantasy land part of the idea came soon after as I thought about where I could place the sisters to make their escape even more challenging.

3. As I was reading the book, I kept thinking of Russian traditions and aspects – or at least that is the imagery that popped into my head – even though I know the world you created is not that. I am wondering if you did any research for the fabulous world building you did in this book?  If you did,  how did you decide to differentiate between fact-based and artistic liberty when creating your setting: place, culture, etc.?

There is definitely a Russian feel to the book, although I did take a huge amount of artistic liberty. I never intended any of the aspects to be fact-based, but I did look at maps as inspiration for the made up place names I used. I also used mainly Russian names for characters—although I took liberties with changing their use of patronymics to matronymics (surnames based on the character’s mother’s name) to match with the matriarchal world where power is handed down from mother to daughter.

I imagined a very cold and unforgiving climate and terrain for the setting and when I looked at images on Pinterest, a lot of Russian landscape came up. I make boards for every idea that I have and I find it really helps me to visualize the world and individual scenes if can link them to a picture. For this book, I wanted a very cold, snowy, frozen world where the elements themselves could cause problems for the characters and bleed through into every part of the planning Valor has to do to try to break her sister out of prison.

4. One of the things I liked was that there is no magic prevalent in the story. I often think magic is an easy fall-back for authors when they get stuck. Instead you create quick thinking and daring characters that move the plot along. Did you enjoy the challenge of creating a world where magic is not a deus ex machina?

I enjoyed writing this book and figuring out a fast moving plot immensely, but I actually think including magic might have made it more difficult to write rather than easier. I find the idea of inventing a magic system that makes sense quite daunting!

5. Your heroine, Valor, is a wonderful character that I think both boys and girls will relate to.  How did you come up with Valor? Is she based on anyone?

Thank you! And I do hope so.

Valor was the first character I really thought about within the story, with her apprenticeship to her huntswoman mother as the reason she’s so adept with her bow and with so many other physical challenges. Her character built from her skills and her interest in being outdoors, reacting quickly to situations and therefore maybe not always thinking first—especially when it comes to saying the right thing. She’s fiercely loyal and determined but that sometimes prevents her from understanding other people’s points of view when she’s launching headlong into action. She’s not really based on anyone, but there are aspects of me in her (not the brave parts) and aspects of me in Sasha too.

6. Was there something I should have asked you but didn’t?

I don’t think so. But I would like to say thank you very much for having me!

7. Is there anything in the works you would like to tell the readers about?

I’m excited to say that there is! There’ll be a sequel to PRISONER OF ICE AND SNOW. It’s called SEEKER OF THE CROWN, coming from Bloomsbury in April 2018. No spoilers, but I can’t wait to go back to Demidova with Valor and Sasha for more adventures. I’m also currently outlining a middle grade sci-fi standalone set on another planet, which I hope you’ll get to read one day.

You can have a chance at winning a copy of this book!

Just click HERE for the Rafflecopter. (Only open to US/CAN addresses)

Only available for four more days!!

Blog Tour and GIVEAWAY! Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite by Stacy McAnulty

13 Feb

mcanulty-mrfuzzbusterknowshesthefavorite-21153-cv-ftMr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite
Written by Stacy McAnulty
Illustrated by Edward Hemingway
40 pages – ages 4+
Published by Two Lions on February 7, 2017

Synopsis from the Publisher- Mr. Fuzzbuster knew he was Lily’s favorite. They did everything together. Naps. Story time. Walks. And more naps. But now four more animals lived in the house.…
To prove he’s still Lily’s favorite, Mr. Fuzzbuster will have to ask her, but will her answer surprise him? This funny, heartwarming story is for every child who has ever wondered if there’s a favorite in the house.

What I Thought- This is a really cute story. It is a nice way of handling the “who’s the favorite” questions that may arise with kids. The book is sweet, with fun illustrations that remind me a bit of cartoons on TV – a sure fit for any kid! Here’s an example:

fuzz

© 2017 by Edward Hemingway

The writing style is well-suited for the age group, with a few harder words that encourage learning. There is a funny “twist” to the end that kids will laugh at.  Some pages only have one word and the illustrations carry on the story well. The book is well-paced for reading-aloud. McAnulty text paired with Hemingway’s illustrations makes this story of “sibling” rivalry come alive. After reading this, you’ll see why Mr. Fuzzbuster is a new favorite story character!

 

WHO IS THIS STACY MCANULTY???

stacy_mcanulty_01

STACY MCANULTY is certain she’s her mom’s favorite. Her younger brother disagrees. She’s the author of Beautiful, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff; Excellent Ed, illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach; and 101 Reasons Why I’m Not Taking a Bath, illustrated by Joy Ang. Originally from upstate New York, she now lives in Kernersville, North Carolina, with her three children, two dogs, and one husband. She doesn’t have a favorite. You can find her online at www.stacymcanulty.com.

NOT TO MENTION EDWARD HEMINGWAY????

edward-hemingway-photo

EDWARD HEMINGWAY is certain he’s Stacy McAnulty’s favorite illustrator, although the illustrators of Stacy’s other books may disagree. Edward himself is the author and illustrator of the children’s books Bump in the Night, Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship, Bad Apple’s Perfect Day, and Field Guide to the Grumpasaurus. Originally from Bozeman, Montana, he now lives in Brooklyn where he teaches creative writing at the master’s level at SVA in Manhattan. If he has any favorite students, he’ll never tell. Learn more about him online at www.edwardhemingway.com.

Giveaway!

Two Lions is kindly offering a copy of “Mr. Fuzzbuster Knows He’s the Favorite” to one lucky winner (U.S. address only please)! Leave a comment to enter! Winner will be randomly picked and announced on 2/20/2017!

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