Bird Hugs Blog Tour & GIVEAWAY!

From cover to cover this book gives us all the feels! Bernard, a bird with especially long wings doesn’t feel any different than the other birds. But once all his bird friends start flying he begins to feel lonely since he can’t fly. Determined to fly he first tries to slingshot himself out of a tree. When that doesn’t work, he tries making his wings shorter. Feeling hopeless, he gives up and perches on a tree to feel sorry for himself. One night he hears a sobbing sound coming from a very sad orangutan. All he knows to do with his long wings is give the orangutan a big, huge, gigantic hug with his enormous wings. Once he gives one hug he begins to feel better and soon he realizes he can give the BEST hugs; hugs so good that the animals are lined up to receive his amazing hugs. Bernard begins to feel confident again and so he tries flying, but, still he is unsuccessful. He finally realizes flying isn’t everything and having friends can help you do anything! We loved the beautiful illustrations with a pastel color palette, the vocabulary words and the way Bernard realizes even through all the hard work sometimes things still don’t work out how you want them to and that’s okay! We think it’s so important to teach children that they won’t be good at everything but everyone is good at something; figuring out what that something is matters. Bernard takes on the challenge of being different and becomes great at something else, hopefully sending the message to readers that differences should be celebrated and valued.

Ged Adamson is a children’s book author and illustrator. His picture books include A Fox Found a Box; Douglas, You Need Glasses!; Shark Dog!; and Ava and the Rainbow (Who Stayed). He has also worked as a cartoonist, storyboard artist, and composer for film and TV. He lives in London with his partner, Helen, and son, Rex. To learn more, visit his website: https://gedadamson.myportfolio.com/home-page

Twitter: @ged_adamsonInstagram: @gedadamson

Praise for Bird Hugs:

“Readers will agree: All differences should be hugged, er, embraced.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The lesson is a simple, familiar one—selflessness and sympathy are key to making friends—but Adamson’s gentle humor and his eager-eyed characters’ yearning become an eloquent testimony to the power of a little TLC.” —Publishers Weekly

Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Bird Hugs, courtesy of Two Lions. Please follow our blog (if you aren’t already) and comment on this post to be entered. US only please. Visit our Instagram and Twitter pages for more entries.

Love, Sugar Magic #3 **GIVEAWAY

We are so excited to be part of this blog tour! A Mixture of Magic is the 3rd book in the Love Sugar Magic series by Anna Meriano. We adored the first two books and were so thrilled Walden Pond Press asked us to read the advanced reader copy of the third book to review on our blog.

I was texting with my husbands cousin about books her 10 year old daughter was reading. She mentioned she was reading the Love Sugar Magic series and couldn’t wait until the release of book three! I told her I have the book and she was welcome to read it in exchange for an honest review as a part of the blog tour we were asked to be on. She was so excited to get her hands on the book early because she LOVED the first two. A goal of Storymamas is to put quality books in the hands of kids and this was a perfect opportunity to do so along with the opinions of a child reviewer. So today we introduce our guest blogger Elena, a 10 year old living in Chicago and an avid reader.

Love Sugar Magic book 3 is a suspenseful and interesting book. Your questions are answered from the end of book 2 when Leonora sees her abuelo. My favorite things about it is when Leonora finds her birth order power, and when Leonora fights her abuelo. In this book Leonora finds another magical adventure in fighting her abuelo with her family and friends. I would recommend this book for people who have read the first 2 books and people who love magic and baking.

Publisher Walden Pond Press has offered to send one lucky reader a copy of the book. Please follow our blog (if you aren’t already) and comment on this post to be entered. US Only. Visit our Instagram and Twitter pages for more entries.

Don’t forget to check out the other stops for A Mixture of Mischief Blog Tour

January 27 A Library Mama

January 28 YAYOMG

January 29 Open Book Reviews

January 30 Teachers Who Read

January 30 Charlotte’s Library

January 31 Nerdy Book Club

February 3 Storymamas

February 4 Latinos in Kidlit

February 6 Mixed-up Files

February 7 Kirsti Call

February 7 Always in the Middle

February 27 MG Book Village

About the Author:

Anna Meriano is the author of the books in the Love Sugar Magic series, A Dash of TroubleA Sprinkle of Spirits and A Mixture of Mischief. She grew up in Houston, Texas, and earned her MFA in creative writing with an emphasis in writing for children from the New School in New York. She has taught creative writing and high school English, and she works as a writing tutor. Anna likes reading, knitting, playing full-contact quid- ditch, and singing along to songs in English, Spanish, and ASL. Her favorite baked goods are the kind that open hearts. You can visit her online at www.annameriano.com.

The Tooth Fairy’s Tummy Ache

An adorable story about a little girl who looses her tooth but she accidentally swallows it! She decides, even though she knows it isn’t right, she will put a popcorn kernel under her pillow so she can still get a visit from the tooth fairy. As the tooth starts popping, the tooth fairy realizes the lie the little girl told. She goes back to the girls house to teach her a lesson and gives her a notepad so she can write a note next time and be honest. This rhyming book has an important message to be truthful especially when you want something very badly. Thank you to author Lori Orlinsky for sending us a book to review. All opinions are our own. 

Naughty Ninja Takes a Bath Blog Tour

An adorable ninja story with a lot of imagination that your young kiddos will want to read again and again! Since reading my three boys are in the jungle, the desert and the ocean imagining dangerous adventures all the while in full ninja gear!

A silly story about a Naughty Ninja, a young boy, (Will) who has an imagination that takes him on an adventure to save his dad! If you’re around small kiddos you know how a child’s imagination can take over all too well. Naughty Ninja makes it his mission to protect his dad from ferocious alligators, poisonous jungle flies and samurai warriors.

His dad knows what is going to come and pleads with Naughty Ninja to not say his famous line, “Ninja to the rescue!” because when he does craziness ensues! Just beware if you decide to read this one with children you may have some ninjas on your hands!

Dog Driven & GIVEAWAY!

Look at that cover! This middle grade novel is just as thrilling as the front cover makes you believe! What a page turner! A book of bravery, determination, grit, perseverance and figuring out that your challenges only make you stronger young readers will be drawn to this story.

Fourteen-year, McKenna is asked by her younger sister, Emma to run her team of sled dogs through a terrifying and dangerous race in order to raise awareness around Stargardt disease. A disease that Emma has had since she was a young child and one that McKenna fears she is developing symptoms for as well. The Great Superior Mail Run is a race complete with terrible ice and wind, freezing temperatures, scary owls and a treacherous trail to deliver mail just like they did way back when. How can McKenna say no now that she is having her own vision challenges as well? However, no one knows McKenna has been having some of the same challenges except her sister because she’s been doing a really good job hiding it from her parents and her friends, which in turn has made her feel more isolated then ever. With a connection to a historical dog sled with a letter at the end of each chapter being sent back and forth in the 1890’s we loved the special story inside the story.

This book was beautifully told and you will inevitably cheer for McKenna and her new musher friends (a term for a person who leads sled dogs in a race) as they struggle to deliver the mail

About the Author:

Terry Lynn Johnson, author of Ice Dogs, Sled Dog School, and the Survivor Diaries series, lives in Whitefish Falls, Ontario where for ten years she owned a team of eighteen Alaskan Huskies. Learn more at terrylynnjohnson.com. Twitter: @TerryLynnJ

Other Reviews:

★ “Like Gary Paulsen’s Winterdance, Johnson shows the deep bonds and trust between musher and dogs . . . .”—Booklist, starred review

★ “A densely plotted, fast-moving, thematically rich tale set at the intersection of ability and disability.”—Kirkus, starred review

ENTER OUR GIVEAWAY!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Dog Driven, courtesy of HMH Books for Young Readers (U.S. addresses only please). Please follow and comment on this blog post for one entry and visit our other social media pages for other opportunities to enter. US only. Giveaway ends 12.5.19!

Flash, The Little Fire Engine

This book is adorable! My boys love the front cover and from the second we got it in the mail they wanted to read it. Now we’ve read it multiple times and they say the onomatopoeias, “Weeoo! Honk! Whoosh! RRRing! Smash!” with me as we read.

It’s a story about a new firetruck, Flash, who is ready to save the day. But every time Flash gets to a new emergency there is some other emergency vehicle that tells him he isn’t big enough or fast enough and he begins to get discouraged. We learned a lot about the different emergency vehicles like an airport crash tender, a turntable ladder fire truck and the airplane firefighter.

Finally, there is the perfect call for him that no other vehicle can get to and he saves the day! After reading we had a great discussion about how sometimes even when we are the best intentioned, we need help from other people because we might be too small or too late. But my boys (6 and 3 years old) brought up that sometimes you are the perfect helper too! We also shared with each other what our special and unique talents are and how we are different from other people. Flash, The Little Fire Engine is the perfect book for all your little ones who are enamored with emergency vehicles. While reading we are sure you will have meaningful conversations about how everyone does unique jobs but we all work together. And with the beautiful and vibrant illustrations your children will want to read again and again!

Author Bio:

Pam Calvert is an award-winning children’s book author. Her books include the Princess Peepers series, illustrated by Tuesday Mourning; more recently, Brianna Bright, Ballerina Knight, illustrated by Liana Hee; and other titles. Formerly a science teacher as well as a writing instructor and coach, she speaks to thousands of children every year. When she’s not speaking or writing, you can find her having fun with her family in Texas. Learn more about her online at www.pamcalvert.com or on Twitter: @PammCalvert. 

Illustrator Bio:

Jen Taylor is an illustrator and arts-and-crafts enthusiast born and raised in New Jersey. She attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she majored in illustration and animation. She is the illustrator of the Brave Little Camper series as well as the picture book Ninja Camp, written by Sue Fliess. She previously worked in animation on such shows as Sid the Science Kidand MAD. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and their corgi, Rocket. Learn more about her online at www.jentaylor.net.


“Calvert deftly finds a new way to introduce kids to different kinds of firefighting vehicles…sure to slip in effortlessly with other firetruck books.” —Kirkus Reviews

Giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a copy of Flash, the Little Fire Engine, courtesy of Two Lions/Amazon (U.S. addresses only please). Head over to our social media pages to enter!

GIVEAWAY & Inside Scoop: Pippa’s Night Parade

Do you know children who have amazing imaginations but are sometimes afraid to go to sleep? I know two boys in particular with wonderful imaginations but who have trouble falling asleep. I read Pippa’s Night Parade to my two boys and we couldn’t stop talking about all the amazing and exciting things that Pippa imagines from her story books and how she tries again and again to overcome her fear. Personally, I love how the illustrations hint that her imagination is coming straight from the books she reads. Especially since as a family of readers we are constantly book talking the books we love and my boys often think about a book long after we’ve read it. My boys have had many conversations about scary parts in a story and sometimes have trouble sleeping, just like Pippa. However, Pippa isn’t one who just hides in her fear, she faces it straight on and becomes a problem solver. Even after her first attempt, and second, and third, and fourth don’t work she perseveres and keeps trying to make a plan to overcome her fear and finally change her worries into an opportunity for some fun! A wonderful story about overcoming a fear, being a problem solver and not giving up when at first you don’t succeed. We loved the beautiful, bright illustrations that added so much to the story!

Author Interview…

Can you give us an inside scoop that we wouldn’t learn from reading your book? 

Yes! Pippa’s Night Parade was always about a girl who was afraid of storybook monsters . . . but early versions of the story started out with a different solution to her problem. In my original drafts, Pippa defangs her monsters by imagining them in silly underwear—boxers, bloomers, pantalettes. This particular idea arose from the advice about calming jitters for speaking in front of an intimidating audience—imagine the audience in their underwear! However, my editor felt that there were too many underwear books on the market. So Pippa’s current solution—using fashion and costumes to make her monsters less scary—became the new end to the story. 

Question from a 5.5 year old…How did you get the creatures to come out of the stories? (Or how did you get the idea to have the creatures coming out of the stories?)

Many kids love scary stories, but sometimes their imaginations run wild after the story ends, especially at bedtime when the lights go out. As I was dreaming up this book, it occurred to me that all those books on the shelf (with monsters inside them) might feel worrisome to an imaginative kid trying to fall asleep. And so this story was born. I love how the illustrator, Lucy Fleming, shows the creatures coming out of the books! 

If you weren’t a writer, what would you want to be and why?

That’s a tough one. I love being a writer and it’s all I ever dreamed of (even though I also like my current job as a therapist). If I could pick anything, I’d be a circus artist—I do aerial silks with my children at a local circus studio and it’s an important part of my life. I wish I’d known about circus arts many years ago! 

What is one book that has stuck with you since you’ve read it?

Where the Wild Things Are remains one of my most favorite books ever! I love those monsters so much that I have two stuffed Wild Things in my therapy office, perching on my bookshelf with my books. 

What is one item in your fridge that tells us about you?

Pickled hot peppers! I love anything that’s pickled and especially things with vinegar and heat. I pickled a jar of Hungarian Wax peppers from our farm share this past weekend and I’m excited to eat them on everything I can . . .

About the author and illustrator…

Author Lisa Robinson was born in Kampala, Uganda, to Peace Corps volunteers who later became world-traveling diplomats. When she was a child, her family moved frequently, so books became her best friends. She now works as a psychiatrist and writer. She holds an MFA in creative writing for young people from Lesley University. She is also the author of Pirates Don’t Go to Kindergarten!, illustrated by Eda Kaban, and has more books forthcoming. She lives in Massachusetts with her family and three cats. Learn more about the author at www.author-lisa-robinson.com, or on Twitter: @elisaitw.

Illustrator Lucy Fleming, like Pippa, has a wonderfully wild imagination, which she uses to create illustrations for children’s books. She has illustrated more than twenty titles, including River Rose and the Magical Christmas by Kelly Clarkson and For the Beauty of the Earth by Folliott Sandford Pierpoint, which was a Junior Library Guild Selection. She is a graduate of the University of Lincoln in England. She lives and works in a small town in England with a cup of ginger tea in hand and her cat close by. Learn more about the illustrator at  www.lucyflemingillustrations.com. Instagram: @illustratelucy

GIVEAWAY!!!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Pippa’s Night Parade, courtesy of Two Lions/Amazon (U.S. addresses only please). Head to our Instagram or Facebook to enter to win!

Giveaway!! Along the Tapajós

This stunning book gives the reader a peek into life in the Amazon rainforest. Told through the eyes of a child, we hear about a typical day Cauā and his sister Inaê have: eating breakfast, going to school, moving to a new house as soon as the rain starts, which is the beginning of the winter season and finally going back home to get their forgotten pet turtle. There is so much to see and learn on every page about the Amazon and the way of life for children who live there. The illustrations are spectacular and share even more details about life in the Amazon. We were blown away by how beautiful this story and pictures are. My kindergartener was enthralled and wanted to learn more about the different animals and the way the children go to school. This would be a wonderful addition to a classroom library to show how children in the Amazon go to school, the animals that can be found in the Amazon, what a different community looks like and how they deal with drastic weather changes.

Thank you Blue Slip Media for sending us a copy for review. All opinions are our own!

**********************GIVEAWAY************************* Courtesy of Amazon Crossing, we are hosting a giveaway for this incredible book to one lucky reader! Head over to our Instagram or Facebook to enter!

About the Author/Illustrator: Fernando Vilela is an award-winning author and illustrator from Brazil. Published in Brazil under the title Tapajós, this book was inspired by one of his trips to the Amazon rainforest. He has received many awards for his books, and he has exhibited his artwork at home and abroad, including at the MoMA in New York and the Pinacoteca of the State of São Paulo. For his picture books, he has received five Jabuti awards (Brazil) and the New Horizons Honorable Mention of the Bologna Ragazzi International Award. He is also a plastics artist, and he teaches courses, lectures, and workshops on art and illustration. Learn more about him online at www.fernandovilela.com.br.

About the Translator: Daniel Hahn is an author, editor, and award-winning translator. His translation of The Book of Chameleonsby José Eduardo Agualusa won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2007. His translation of A General Theory of Oblivion, also by José Eduardo Agualusa, won the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award. He recently served on the board of trustees of the Society of Authors. In 2017, Hahn helped establish the TA First Translation Prize, a new prize for debut literary translation. Learn more about him online at www.danielhahn.co.uk

★“The vibrant colors in Vilela’s illustrations and the expressive faces of Cauã and Inaê bring lightheartedness to their dangerous journey and the cyclical living it prescribes. A riveting journey.” —Kirkus Reviews(starred review)


“This is one of those engaging titles that offers a glimpse of a location new to most American readers. More translations like this one, please!” —Fuse #8 ProductionGiveaway!

Being Small

As short kiddos my boys loved reading the book, Being Small by Lori Orlinsky, illustrated by Vanessa Alexandre. Both of my boys commented on how they like being short and small because they can do so many things…and the message of the book was received! We discussed how like the character in the book they can do so many things that taller people cannot. We also loved how the story is told in rhyme. With a wonderful message about confidence and self acceptance this book is perfect for all the young ones in your life!

Thank you Lori for sending us a copy for review. All opinions are our own!

That’s Not For Babies Inside Scoop

That’s Not For Babies is a great book to celebrate the toddler years. We all know toddlers love to move from their milestones as a baby to being independent and doing things that big kids do. Prunella celebrates her birthday by doing only things that big kids do and saying goodbye to all the things she used to love…heart-shaped pancakes, bubble baths, playing at the library story time and eating double-scooped ice cream. But after a scary thunderstorm she quickly realizes that she misses all the things she used to do and that being a little bit vulnerable is okay. We love that author, Jackie Kramer, wrote this book inspired by Daisy, her daughter who recently got married this past weekend. Congrats to their family! Thanks also for sending us the book to review. Check out the inside scoop from Jackie!

Can you give us an inside scoop that we wouldn’t learn from reading your book?

Oh YES! One wouldn’t get it from ‘reading’ That’s for Babies, however, you would by seeing it. Lisa Brandenburg was the amazing illustrator for the book, as well as my previous picture book, If You Want to Fall Asleep. In the first spread of the book, Lisa added a little homage to my picture books, or meta detail, to the illustration. Prunella loves to read and on her bookshelf, you’ll find The Green Umbrella and If You Want to Fall Asleep. Lisa added one more fun detail, but I’ll let your readers discover that themselves.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you want to be and why?

Oh gosh…that’s difficult to answer…I have lots of interests. I once worked as an actor and I think it might be fun one day to give it a go again. I also LOVE to travel. I’ve travelled to five continents and discovered new cultures, people, places and food. Maybe be a travel reporter and have my own show like Samantha Brown.

What is one book that has stuck with you since you’ve read it?

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn written by Betty Smith. The story of Francie traces her individual desires, troubles and affections while growing up in an ethnic family and neighborhood. Francie is such a memorable character and through her life the book reflects the universal hopes of immigrants in the early twentieth century to rise above poverty through their children. Betty Smith’s writing is so evocative, detailed, and disarmingly romantic.

What is one item in your fridge that tells us about you?

Nothing special in my fridge, however, there is something super yummy in one of my (yes…MY) kitchen cabinets. I LOVE savory, crunchy and spicy snacks. My favorite are jalapeño potato chips and sea salt plantain chips. Must be my Latina culture…hot and spicy, haha!

Jennifer

Jackie Azúa Kramer studied acting and voice at NYU and earned her MA, Queens College, Counseling in Education. Jackie has worked as an actor, singer, and school counselor. Her work with children presented her an opportunity to address their concerns, secrets and hopes through storytelling. Now she spends her time writing children’s picture books. Her picture books include, the award-winning The Green Umbrella (2017 Bank Street College Best Children’s Books of the Year), If You Want to Fall Asleep and That’s for Babies. Upcoming books- The Boy and the Eight Hundred Pound Gorilla (Candlewick, 2020); I Wish You Knew (Roaring Brook, 2021); We Are One (Two Lions, TBD); Miles Won’t Smile (Clavis, TBD). Jackie lives with her family in Long Island, NY. When not writing, you’ll find Jackie reading, watching old movies and globe trekking. 

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