Friday, October 28, 2011

Fish for a Free Book: October 28

It's time to fish for a free book!

If you are hosting a children's book giveaway, or if you found a giveaway somewhere on the net that you just have to share, I'd love to have you share your links with us here on our weekly giveaway linky so that we can all stop by and enter.

If you're looking for more children's book giveaways, be sure to visit
Brimful Curiosities' Full to the Brim,
Winning Readings (listings of adult and children's book giveaways),
and Got Great Giveaways? (linky of adult and children's book giveaways at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer)

Please post your links however you wish. Some like to include their blog name, some just want to leave the prize and the ending date. Post it whatever way you feel like, but make sure that the prize listing and the date the giveaway ends is listed. And make sure you post a link directly to your giveaway - not just to your main blog page.

Here's an example:
Your name: Lori Calabrese Writes--Two YA Novels--6/24
Your URL: http://loricalabrese.blogspot.com/2011/06/welcome-to-midsummers-eve-giveaway-hop.html

Now it's your turn. Leave your links here...
(If you're reading this in a reader, please click through to the original post)

Fish For a Free Book Participants
1. 2 Signed Fur and Feathers picture books—ends 11/5

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Throw a Halloween Party with Boo, Bat and Pumpkin

Halloween is on Monday (cue the creepy Scooby Doo music), which means it's time to throw a party. Well, Boo, Bat and Pumpkin are in the latest Halloween children's book, BOO, BAT and PUMPKIN THROW A PARTY.

This year, Boo and his friends want to throw a Halloween party at his haunted house. Only problem is, Boo and his friends aren't quite the popular kids in school.  Boo hopes the popular kids will come and everyone will have a great time, so the popular kids will like them. However, as the cobwebs are hung, and the eyeballs are stewed, will the party go off without a hitch?

Ashley Lucas has written a fun Halloween story with a universal message of making new friends, acceptance and the fact that it's okay to be ourselves! A must for any haunted house!

Watch the trailer:


Additional Information:
Paperback: 34 pages
Publisher: Sunbury Press, Inc. (February 19, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1934597333
ISBN-13: 978-1934597330
Source of review copy: Author
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.

Calling unpublished CT children's authors and illustrators

Are you an unpublished writer or illustrator of children’s books? Have you dreamed of a chance to have your writing or portfolios reviewed by a literary agent or book publisher? Then here's an amazing opportunity for you.

The Shoreline Arts Alliance is presenting the twelfth annual New Voices in Children’s Literature: Tassy Walden Awards competition. This contest affords unpublished authors and illustrators of children’s books the opportunity to have manuscripts and portfolios reviewed by literary agents and possibly by editors and art directors at some of the major publishing houses for children’s literature.

The New Voices in Children’s Literature: Tassy Walden Awards is a Connecticut statewide, juried competition opened to writers and illustrators who are not published or under contract for publication. Categories are: Picture Book (text only), Illustrated Picture Book (author and illustrator must be same person), Illustrator’s Portfolio, Middle Grade Novel and Young Adult/Teen Novel.

All submissions for this year’s contest must be postmarked by February 3, 2012.

As if the contest is not enough, The Shoreline Arts Alliance will also be offering FREE workshops in preparation for this year’s contest. The facilitators will review the submission guidelines and the current industry standards and provide insight and answer questions related to getting your work "out there" to literary agents and publishers. Workshops are in the following locations:
November 15, 5:30 – 7:30pm,New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm Street, New Haven
November 29, 7 – 9pm, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, 84 Lyme Street, Old Lyme
December 1, 7 – 9pm, Fairfield University Bookstore, 1499 Post Road, Fairfield

Please visit www.ShorelineArts.org or contact the office at (203) 453-3890 for 2011 Call for Entry and guidelines or for additional information or questions on preparing manuscripts and portfolios for submission. And GOOD LUCK!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Never Kick a Ghost

Looking for a collection of Halloween short stories for your developing reader? Enter NEVER KICK A GHOST: AND OTHER SILLY CHILLERS by Judy Sierra. That's right--THE Judy Sierra who wrote WILD ABOUT BOOKS. This Easy-Reader contains 4 short-stories that feature South Sea Sue, Blackbeard's bride; Sam Sniff who learns to never kick a ghost; and a big slobbery monster. There's also a short rhyme and some funny epitaphs that will keep your young reader entertained.

These silly, spooky tales are rated PG, so you won't have to worry about nightmares, but the stories are just the right size for some spooktacular fun!


Additional Information:

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (July 26, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0061435198
ISBN-13: 978-0061435195
Source of review copy: Publisher


Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Frightfully funny knock-knock jokes

Knock, Knock!
Who's there?
Howl!
Howl who?
Howl you be dressing up this Halloween?


Sorry, I couldn't resist! But if your young reader is a fan of knock, knock jokes, then you have to pick up a copy of HALLOWEEN HOWLERS. Full of frightfully funny knock-knock jokes, your young reader will definitely enjoy thumbing through and cracking these jokes on every member of your family! But that's not all. Each page offers lift-the-flaps that reveal the answer to the joke, making this even more fun. 

Additional Information:
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 16 pages
Publisher: HarperFestival; Original edition (July 26, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0061808911
ISBN-13: 978-0061808913
Source of review copy: Publisher
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fish for a Free Book: October 21

It's time to fish for a free book!

If you are hosting a children's book giveaway, or if you found a giveaway somewhere on the net that you just have to share, I'd love to have you share your links with us here on our weekly giveaway linky so that we can all stop by and enter.

If you're looking for more children's book giveaways, be sure to visit
Brimful Curiosities' Full to the Brim,
Winning Readings (listings of adult and children's book giveaways),
and Got Great Giveaways? (linky of adult and children's book giveaways at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer)

Please post your links however you wish. Some like to include their blog name, some just want to leave the prize and the ending date. Post it whatever way you feel like, but make sure that the prize listing and the date the giveaway ends is listed. And make sure you post a link directly to your giveaway - not just to your main blog page.

Here's an example:
Your name: Lori Calabrese Writes--Two YA Novels--6/24
Your URL: http://loricalabrese.blogspot.com/2011/06/welcome-to-midsummers-eve-giveaway-hop.html

Now it's your turn. Leave your links here...
(If you're reading this in a reader, please click through to the original post)

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Get into the Halloween spirit with The 13 Nights of Halloween

2 Halloweens back, I reviewed The 13 Days of Halloween by Carol Greene. A trick used by many children's book authors is to cleverly transform a story from the tune of a famous song or in this case, a Christmas carol. Greene made a spooktacular tale told to the tune of "The Twelve of Days of Christmas" and I must admit, my kids still ask for this one.

That's why I was surprised to find THE 13 NIGHTS OF HALLOWEEN by Guy Vasilovich. That's right, just like The 13 Days of Halloween, Vasilovich has transformed 'The Twelve of Days of Christmas' into his own Halloween version. I must admit that I like Carol Greene's version better, but Vasilovich has definitely mastered the art of illustration! The illustrations absolutely make this book. For example, on the third night of Halloween, there's nothing better than seeing 3 Baseball Bats--Of course, we see 3 bats with baseball hats.

This is one of those books that will definitely get you in the Halloween spirit and young readers will be begging you to sing the song over and over again. 

Additional Information:
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (July 26, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0061804452
ISBN-13: 978-0061804458
Source of review copy: Publisher
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The most important thing is knowing who you are

So many of us never take the time to sit back, relax, and think of all the reasons to be happy. If we did, we'd realize there's so much to be happy for. That's why I really enjoyed reading REASONS TO BE HAPPY by Katrina Kittle.

With a glance at the cover, you'd think this is your girly-girl upbeat love story (bubbly letters, pink and blue, doodle stars, etc...), but that's not the case--and in a definitely good way! Instead, we dive into the life of Hannah, an eighth grader who is moving to a new school and whose parents just happen to be A-list celebrities. But that's not all. Hannah's mom is sick, Hannah doesn't quite fit in at the new school, and she's stuck hanging out with the B-Squad, a group of girls who are fake and not like Hannah at all. As a result, Hannah finds herself transforming into somebody she doesn't even know. The old Hannah used to keep a notebook full of reasons to be happy, but the girl who used to love running and making art now faces the harsh reality of dealing with change and death. So what does she turn to--bulimia.

Kittle dives into this complex subject and how self-esteem can affect a young teen. What I love about this story is that Hannah is a strong girl and we witness an amazing transformation of how she finds herself again--much by traveling to Africa with her Aunt who is a documentary filmmaker documenting the plight of the country's orphans. Along the way, Hannah's journey reminds us all of what we have to be grateful for and as Hannah says herself, the most important one is knowing who you are.

Additional Information:
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (October 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1402260202
ISBN-13: 978-1402260209
Source of review copy: Publicist
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Have you ever had any pumpkin trouble?

I don't know about you guys, but I LOVE Halloween! I'm officially in Halloween mode and have the candy (check!), Halloween decorations (check!), and have officially carved the jack-o'-lanterns (check!). Here's a pic of our pumpkins... (I have to admit, I got the idea from Martha Stewart.)



Our carving pretty much went off without a hitch, however we did have a little bit of pumpkin trouble because as you can see, the guy on the left lost his stem. But overall, they were fun to make and there's nothing like having these little guys to spruce up your house or front step! And talking about pumpkin trouble, if you're looking for an amusing story to share with your young readers, one of my new favorite Halloween books is PUMPKIN TROUBLE by Jan Thomas.

Duck can't wait to show Pig and Mouse his jack-o'-lantern, but as he's scooping out one last seed, Duck falls inside the pumpkin. While he's searching for help with the pumpkin on his head, he runs into Pig and Mouse, but Pig and Mouse mistake Duck for a Pumpkin Monster. Pig and Mouse run and hide and Duck is left to solve the problem on his own. Fortunately he runs into the barn and smashes the pumpkin off his head, leaving Pig and Mouse to think that Duck battled the Pumpkin Monster all on his own!  This calls for a celebration, and what better way to celebrate than to make a jack-o'-lantern?

This is such an amusing book--all readers will enjoy this one. The illustrations complement the story and the sight of a duck running around with a pumpkin on his head is sure to bring laughs. Just the right book to get you in the mood for your own carving session!

Additional Information:
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (July 26, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0061692840
ISBN-13: 978-0061692840
Source of review copy: Publisher
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fish for a Free Book: October 14

It's time to fish for a free book!

If you are hosting a children's book giveaway, or if you found a giveaway somewhere on the net that you just have to share, I'd love to have you share your links with us here on our weekly giveaway linky so that we can all stop by and enter.

If you're looking for more children's book giveaways, be sure to visit
Brimful Curiosities' Full to the Brim,
Winning Readings (listings of adult and children's book giveaways),
and Got Great Giveaways? (linky of adult and children's book giveaways at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer)

Please post your links however you wish. Some like to include their blog name, some just want to leave the prize and the ending date. Post it whatever way you feel like, but make sure that the prize listing and the date the giveaway ends is listed. And make sure you post a link directly to your giveaway - not just to your main blog page.

Here's an example:
Your name: Lori Calabrese Writes--Two YA Novels--6/24
Your URL: http://loricalabrese.blogspot.com/2011/06/welcome-to-midsummers-eve-giveaway-hop.html

Now it's your turn. Leave your links here...
(If you're reading this in a reader, please click through to the original post)

Fish For a Free Book Participants
1. Aeicha @ Word Spelunking- 3 MG/YA Ebooks-10/20
2. Aeicha @ Word Spelunking- 1 MG Paperback- 10/19
3. Aeicha @ Word Spelunking- 1 YA Ebook- 10/18
4. ARC of Fat Vampire (YA) ends 10/20/11
5. Book Snatch- 1 YA Dystopian (10/31)
6. 2 Signed Fur and Feathers picture books—ends 11/5

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Perfect is boring

I don't know about you, but I constantly make mistakes. We all hate to admit to them, but it's a fact of life. Whether it's forgetting that load of laundry in the washing machine. That's right, the one that sat there all day and probably has that mildew smell by now, so you're forced to run another wash cycle. Oops! Or maybe you forgot to pack your son's YooHoo in his lunch. (Boy, I never heard the end of that one!)

Mistakes are a part of life and just think about it...if you never made mistakes, you'd be perfect, and what fun is there in that? It stinks!! It's boring.

That's why I love the latest picture book, THE GIRL WHO NEVER MADE MISTAKES by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein. We're introduced to a nine-year-old girl named Beatrice Bottomwell (don't you just love that name?) who never makes mistakes! Beatrice always remembers to feed her hamster, always makes her brother's pb&;j just right, never forgets her math homework...you get the idea. However, one day Beatrice makes an "Almost Mistake" and begins to worry about messing up at her big talent show. That night, as Beatrice is juggling her hamster, a salt shaker and a water balloon (yes, the illustration is priceless), she finally makes a mistake and a big one at that, but it's how Beatrice handles it that young readers will enjoy.

This is a great book to remind us that we all make mistakes and when we do, we need to just sit back and laugh. After all, perfect is boring!

Additional Information:
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (October 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1402255446
ISBN-13: 978-1402255441
Source of review copy: Publicist
Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Combining the love of books and computers

There are so many gizmos and gadgets popping up in children's books. We have the fun of children's book apps, the amazing technology of pop-up books, the eye-popping thrill of 3D, and so much more. Taking it to another level is DK Publishing with their latest books, 3-D Dinosaur and 3-D Human Body. Kids love books and they love computers, which is why DK is combining the two.

Each of these books offers up the amazing nonfiction we've all come to expect from DK Publishing. There are amazing illustrations, and fun facts throughout, but that's not all. Throughout the books are special activating boxes. When you find these boxes, (and after you download some software for your PC), all you need to do is hold the page up to a webcam attached to your PC, and you'll see amazing 3D digital animations pop up on your screen that illustrate and expand on the ideas presented in the book.

You don't need a webcam to enjoy these books, but if you do, you and your kids will find these books to be so much fun. It does take some time on your part to download the software, and hold the pages up to your webcam, but overall, on a rainy day, you'll find this to be a great way to not only share books with your children, but get them excited about reading. And as for your kids-- I'm sure they will be asking time and again to witness these amazing holographic images. 

Additional Information:
Reading Level: Ages 9-12
Publisher: DK Publishing
Source of review copies: Publicist

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday! Nonfiction Monday takes place every Monday as various blogs throughout the kidlitosphere write about nonfiction books for kids and collect them all in one place. This week, check out the Nonfiction Monday roundup at Practically Paradise. To see the entire schedule, please visit the blog of Anastasia Suen.

Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fish for a Free Book: October 7

It's time to fish for a free book!

If you are hosting a children's book giveaway, or if you found a giveaway somewhere on the net that you just have to share, I'd love to have you share your links with us here on our weekly giveaway linky so that we can all stop by and enter.

If you're looking for more children's book giveaways, be sure to visit
Brimful Curiosities' Full to the Brim,
Winning Readings (listings of adult and children's book giveaways),
and Got Great Giveaways? (linky of adult and children's book giveaways at I Am a Reader, Not a Writer)

Please post your links however you wish. Some like to include their blog name, some just want to leave the prize and the ending date. Post it whatever way you feel like, but make sure that the prize listing and the date the giveaway ends is listed. And make sure you post a link directly to your giveaway - not just to your main blog page.

Here's an example:
Your name: Lori Calabrese Writes--Two YA Novels--6/24
Your URL: http://loricalabrese.blogspot.com/2011/06/welcome-to-midsummers-eve-giveaway-hop.html

Now it's your turn. Leave your links here...
(If you're reading this in a reader, please click through to the original post)

Fish For a Free Book Participants
1. apple blossom--A Christmas Secret--10/29
2. apple blossom--Count Down to Fall--10/21
3. The Diary of a Bookworm- Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children- 10/10
4. Dark Hearts Giveaway! (U.S./Canada) Ends Nov. 1
5. Penelope: The Reading Fever--Choice of 2 YA books!--10/31 (INT)
6. Penelope: The Reading Fever--Both books in the Verona Trilogy!--10/24 (US/CAN)
7. Raw Blue by Kirsty Eagar (YA, US only, ends 10/23)
8. I Remember My Circus - 5 Kindle copies Int ends Oct 24
9. 2 Dale Mayer YA ebooks Intl ends Oct 18

Powered by... Mister Linky's Magical Widgets.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Have you nominated your favorite books for The Cybils yet?

There is so much happening in the world of children's books, you can spend your entire day on the computer reading about everything. Trust me, my head is spinning! Not only is there an article about the boom in children's books you should check out, I hope you helped break the world reading record through Jumpstart's Read for the Record. Some more fun things...you can find out what happened at KidLitCon 2011, and you have to head over to The Cybils and nominate your favorite children's and young adult titles (published between 10/16/2010 and 10/15/2011).

Anyone can nominate (one title per person per category) and you don't have to have a blog to nominate titles. There are a few rules that you have to follow though, but they are pretty simple. You only have until October 15th to get those nominations in, so be sure to head over to the Cybils blog, and start nominating your favorite titles! Still have to work on mine, but will definitely let you know my picks for the year--I've already seen some great ones that have already been nominated, so this is going to be tricky, but I'm always up for the challenge.

Help break a world reading record today

The big day is finally here--more than 2 million people will read Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney, calling for an end to the early education achievement gap.

That's right--millions of people will read the same book on the same day with children all over the globe. I don't know about you, but I'm truly blown away at Jumpstart's Read for the Record annual campaign and it's amazing to watch it grow bigger each year.

Jumpstart was founded in 1993 at Yale University and has been helping children in low-income neighborhoods get the jumpstart they need in preschool to be successful in life. In 2006, Jumpstart launched the first Jumpstart's Read for the Record campaign with the Pearson Foundation and since then, it's made its way onto NBC's TODAY Show, and has created a national forum for concerned citizens to voice their support of literacy.

In case you don't have the book, you can still be counted in the world record today. Just read the book for free online at wegivebooks.org.

Jumpstart will be announcing the final record-breaking number in a few weeks, so stay tuned and be sure to stay connected to Jumpstart all year long. To learn how you can help, please visit http://www.jstart.org/

Monday, October 3, 2011

Keep channeling summer with Butterflies

I'm so not ready for winter. I dread shoveling, cold feet, chapped lips and dry skin. That's why I prefer to keep channeling summer for as long as I can and one part of summer that I absolutely love is butterflies.

Butterflies are an amazing species as they ride the wind and drift through the air. Their wings are often artwork in of themselves with bright colors and beautiful patterns. That's why I couldn't resist the latest picture book by award-winning science writer Seymour Simon, BUTTERFLIES.

This amazing book showcases Simon's latest full-color photographs and will delight and amaze readers with facts such as monarch butterflies travel 3,000 miles to their winter homes, butterflies that flew 100 million years ago look very much like those you see sipping nectar from flowers today, and although butterflies and moths are alike, one way to tell the difference is to look a their antennae.

This is a great addition to any library or home collection and there are lots of support materials for BUTTERFLIES. Educators and parents can download a free Teachers Guide with lots of supplementary information and activities, as well as a guide to starting your own butterfly garden. Kids can click here to download your own Butterfly Observation Log, and record your sightings like a real lepidopterologist (that’s a scientist who studies butterflies).

Too bad we all can't travel to our winter homes like the monarch butterfly, but with this beautiful book, at least we can imagine sitting in our backyards on a hot summer day watching the butterflies fly by.

Additional Information:
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Collins (August 23, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0061914932
ISBN-13: 978-0061914935
Source of review copy: Publisher

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday! Nonfiction Monday takes place every Monday as various blogs throughout the kidlitosphere write about nonfiction books for kids and collect them all in one place. This week, check out the Nonfiction Monday roundup at 100 Scope Notes. To see the entire schedule, please visit the blog of Anastasia Suen.

Disclosure: Some of the books I review are received from publishers , PR agencies, and authors, but it does not sway my opinion of the book.