Blog Tour + Review : Little Excavator by Anna Dewdney

Published by Viking Books for Young Readers Genres: Children's Books, Children's Picture Book

Welcome to the blog tour for Little Excavator by Anna Dewdney. If the name sounds familiar, it is because Anna wrote the beloved LLAMA LLAMA series.  In Little Excavator we are introduced to a brand new character to love called “Little E”.

 

About The Book:

There’s Loader and Dump Truck, Backhoe and Crane. They’re ready to transform a vacant lot into a neighborhood park. And who wants to help most of all? Little Excavator! But are there any jobs for someone so small?This is a book for fans of Anna’s work (her signature rhyming text and illustrations make this a perfect read aloud) and for all kids fascinated with things that go! And it ultimately includes the message that bigger doesn’t mean better—when you’re small you can accomplish big things too.

About the Author:

Anna Dewdney was a teacher, mother, and enthusiastic proponent of reading aloud to children. She continually honed her skills as an artist and writer and published her first Llama Llama book in 2005. Her passion for creating extended to home and garden and she lovingly restored an 18th century farmhouse in southern Vermont. She wrote, painted, gardened, and lived there with her partner, Reed, her two daughters, two wirehaired pointing griffons, and one bulldog. Anna passed away in 2016, but her spirit will live on in her books.

 

Thank you to Penguin/Viking Young Readers for providing me with a finished copy in exchange for an honest review. #PRHPartner

 

My Review:

All Little Excavator wants to do is help build the new neighborhood park. He might be small, but he’s got heart and spirit.  This is one of the many lessons this charming book has to offer, along with a variety of rhyming texts that is sure to keep the kiddies entertained. The beautiful illustrations are bold and full of color.

Children will be drawn in by Little E, as he tries to find the right job to do, and how he (though small) can help in a BIG way. At first he seems to be more in the way than helping, but by the end of the tale, it is his small size that helps complete the park.

The lesson of “size doesn’t matter” and that anyone (big or small) can make a contribution are lessons that every child needs to learn, and be encouraged to act on in daily life. This is one of my very favorite lessons from Little Excavator. Most importantly, this lesson flows through the story, and isn’t “preached” at but gently demonstrated.

Little ones will have a blast reading Little Excavator out loud either in a group or with their caregivers. My nephews love playing with their trucks, and they especially loved making all the noises of the various construction vehicles as I read this book with them. They were very happy that Little E was able to help out in the end.  Little E was a big hit with them and I highly recommend it for little readers everywhere.

Blog Tour +Giveaway: Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee

Published by Aladdin Genres: Contemporary, GLBT, Middle Grade

 

 

I am thrilled to be participating in the Star-Crossed blog tour today. Today I am joined by author Barbara Dee and she will share with us the 5 qualities she admires most about her main characters.

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Mattie is chosen to play Romeo opposite her crush in the eighth grade production of Shakespeare’s most beloved play in this Romeo and Juliet inspired novel from the author of Truth or Dare.

Mattie, a star student and passionate reader, is delighted when her English teacher announces the eighth grade will be staging Romeo and Juliet. And she is even more excited when, after a series of events, she finds herself playing Romeo, opposite Gemma Braithwaite’s Juliet. Gemma, the new girl at school, is brilliant, pretty, outgoing—and, if all that wasn’t enough: British.

As the cast prepares for opening night, Mattie finds herself growing increasingly attracted to Gemma and confused, since, just days before, she had found herself crushing on a boy named Elijah. Is it possible to have a crush on both boys AND girls? If that wasn’t enough to deal with, things backstage at the production are starting to rival any Shakespearean drama! In this sweet and funny look at the complicated nature of middle school romance, Mattie learns how to be the lead player in her own life.

 

GoodReads * IndieBound * Amazon * Barnes & Nobles * Book Depository

 

 

GUEST POST:

Five qualities that you admire about your main characters

Mattie’s bravery. It takes her a little while, but I admire how she embraces her feelings for Gemma, and also challenges herself to shine onstage.

Gemma’s charisma. For the premise to work, Mattie needs to be as smitten with Gemma as Romeo is with Juliet. I do think Gemma has a magical quality that makes it possible for Mattie to be hit by a “thunderbolt.”

Lucy’s loyalty. She gently prods Mattie to own her feelings, all the while reassuring her of her support. True friends want you to be your best.

Tessa’s wit. I loved writing her–yes, she could be a bit obnoxious sometimes, but she always cracked me up!

Mr. Torres’ endurance (he’s exhausted, but not burned out) and dedication to his students (“And the thing about bring a teacher, you never bet against your students. You always give them a chance to do their best.”)

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Barbara Dee is the author of seven middle grade novels all published by Simon & Schuster, including TRUTH OR DARE (Sept. 2016) and STAR-CROSSED (March 2017). Her next middle grade novel, HALFWAY NORMAL, will publish September 5, 2017. Barbara is one of the founders and directors of the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival. She lives with her family in Westchester County, New York.

 

 

Website   *   Twitter   *   Facebook

GIVEAWAY:

One signed copy of STAR-CROSSED, USA only
Rafflecopter Link: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel written by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

Published by Penguin Genres: Children's Books, Children's Picture Book, Humor
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

Hello everyone and welcome to the Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel Blog Tour. Today is my stop on the tour and I decided to share a fun playlist I put together inspired by the story and all the different scenarios that happen to our taco-loving friends as they go back in time to try and save the tacos from extinction. In the first book, Dragons Love Tacos, we find out all about what types of tacos Dragons love to eat, and what never to feed them.  Check out my review and easy chicken taco recipe here.

 

DRAGONS LOVE TACOS 2 SUMMARY:

Our dragons’ favorite snack is in danger of going extinct in this laugh-out-loud, time-traveling sequel to the New York Times bestseller Dragons Love Tacos.

Listen, don’t freak out, but I have some terrible news: There are no tacos left anywhere in the entire world! That’s a huge problem because, as you know, dragons love tacos. We’ve got to do something! I know, let’s fire up that time machine in the garage and go back in time, to before tacos went extinct. Then we can grab lots of tacos and bring them back with us. Just be sure you don’t grab any tacos with spicy salsa. You remember what happened last time…

 

ABOUT ADAM RUBIN:

Adam Rubin is the New York Times best-selling author of a half dozen critically-acclaimed picture books including Secret Pizza Party and Robo-Sauce. He spent ten years working as a creative director in the advertising industry before leaving his day job to write full time. Adam has a keen interest in improv comedy, camping and magic tricks.

 

ABOUT DANIEL SALMIERI:

Daniel Salmieri has illustrated many fantastic picture books, including the New York Times bestseller Robo-Sauce. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, constantly drawing and painting images of ninja turtles, dinosaurs, and fighter jets (not in the same scene…), and graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

 

MY PLAYLIST: Inspired by the illustrations and the many different time traveling scenarios from the story, I have put together the following playlist. You can find it also on Spotify.

 

  1. Radioactive- Imagine Dragons (It wouldn’t be right not to include something with or by Dragons…)
  2. Sombras- Quando Tu Te Hayas Ido (“When you have gone”)- Ligia Camara (a little sad song for mourning the tacos possible extinction)
  3. The Safety Dance – Men without Hats (something a little more fun, and uplifting for time-travel)
  4. Daylight – Matt and Kim (Time machine travel music)
  5. Salsa & Choke – ChocQuibTown, Nejo (Because spicy salsa should be kept from dragons at all costs)
  6. La Bamba – Los Lobos (Because things get a little).
  7. Happy – Pharrell Williams (When we finally rescue some tacos)
  8. Howlin For You – The Black Keys (What I think dragons would do if they couldn’t find tacos…they would howl and howl).
  9. Yo Quiero (“ I Want”) – Gente De Zona, Pitbull (We made it back in one piece and with a taco to spare)
  10. Best Day of My Life – American Authors (HOORAY!!! We SAVED the Tacos and the Dragons are so very Grateful. TACO PARTY TIME!!!! )

 

I hope you enjoy my playlist and make sure to pick up your very own copy of the delightful and fun Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel.

Thank you Penguin Books for providing me with a finished copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Enter for a chance to be one (1) grand prize winner and receive a set of Dragons Love Tacos and Dragons Love Tacos 2 (ARV: $17.99 each), or to be one (1) of five (5) second place winners to receive Dragons Love Tacos 2 (ARC: $17.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 1, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 2, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

 

 

FOLLOW THE TOUR

Week One:

May 1 – In Wonderland – Jane Austen Taco Hunt

May 2 – The Children’s Book Review – Review

May 3 – A Homeschool Mom – Tacos in the Renaissance

May 4 – Inspiration Laboratories – Tacos in Space

May 5 – Ali’s Book Nook – Dragon Paper Doll Activity

 

Week Two:

May 8 – The Book Nut – Tacos in Ancient Greece

May 9 – A Story A Day – Tacos During the Civil War

May 10 – Pirates n’ Pixie Dust – Taco Pirates

May 11 – Margie’s Must Reads – Review

May 12 – My Little Poppies

 

Week Three:

May 15 – Super Mommy to the Rescue

May 16 – As They Grow Up

May 17 – YA Book Nerd

May 18 – Swoony Boys Podcast – Review & Mini Swoon

May 19 – The Plot Bunny – A Dragons Love Tacos Playlist

 

Week Four:

May 22 – Reading is Better with Cupcakes – How to Properly Eat a Taco

May 23 – No BS Book Reviews

May 24 – Mundie Kids –Time Travelling with a Dragon Checklist

May 25 – The Book Shire

May 26 – Artsy Momma

 

five-stars

Children’s Graphic Novel Review: Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton

Children’s Graphic Novel Review: Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben ClantonSuper Narwhal and Jelly Jolt (Narwhal and Jelly) by Ben Clanton
Published by Tundra Books on May 2nd, 2017
Genres: Children's Books, Graphic Novel
Goodreads
five-stars

Happy-go-lucky Narwhal and no-nonsense Jelly find their inner superheroes in three new under-the-sea adventures. In the first story, Narwhal reveals his superhero alter-ego and enlists Jelly to help him figure out what his superpower is. Next, Narwhal uses his superpower to help a friend find his way back home. In the third story, Jelly is feeling blue and Narwhal comes to the rescue. Ben Clanton showcases the joys of friendship and the power of believing in yourself and others through this irresistible duo.

After reading the first book in this series and “meeting” Narwhal and Jelly, I knew any future books about these adorable little creatures were a must read for me. In this latest edition Narwhal has decided to come out and reveal his superhero self. Narwhal even convinces Jelly to join the fun as Narwhal’s trusty sidekick. Together they seek to discover what the Narwhal’s superpower is and even go on a few other mini adventures too. 


Did I mention the cuteness of these two? I love the simplistic illustrations and the vivid colors. Our heroes have never looked more adorable. The author perfectly captures the heartwarming friendship between our little superhero duo and shows the reader the power of encouragement. Filled with good messages about friendship and believing in yourself and bringing out the best in others, you can’t help but want to share this book with all young readers. 


Full of fun facts, silliness and waffles Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt is sure to delight readers of all ages…even grownups. I can’t wait for the next book and to see what adventures Narwhal and Jelly will be up to next. Until then, make sure to pick up your very own copy of Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt today, and join our little under the sea friends on their latest adventure. 

 

Thank you to Tundra books and Netgalley for providing me with an e-ARC in return for an honest review. 

five-stars

Graphic Novel Review: Spill Zone #1) by Scott Westefeld, Alex Puvilland (Illustrator)

Graphic Novel Review: Spill Zone #1) by Scott Westefeld, Alex Puvilland (Illustrator)Spill Zone (The Spill Zone, #1) by Scott Westerfeld, Alex Puvilland
Published by First Second on May 2nd 2017
Genres: Graphic Novel, Science Fiction
Goodreads
five-stars

Three years ago an event destroyed the small city of Poughkeepsie, forever changing reality within its borders. Uncanny manifestations and lethal dangers now await anyone who enters the Spill Zone.
The Spill claimed Addison's parents and scarred her little sister, Lexa, who hasn t spoken since. Addison provides for her sister by photographing the Zone's twisted attractions on illicit midnight rides. Art collectors pay top dollar for these bizarre images, but getting close enough for the perfect shot can mean death or worse.
When an eccentric collector makes a million-dollar offer, Addison breaks her own hard-learned rules of survival and ventures farther than she has ever dared. Within the Spill Zone, Hell awaits and it seems to be calling Addison's name.

Something mysterious has happened in the area that is now the Spill Zone. No one knows exactly what, and the only people who dare venture into the territory is the HAZMAT crew and Addie. Addie lives with her sister just outside the Spill Zone. Her parents are gone, taken by the bizarre and unexplained happenings of the zone. She doesn’t know what has happened to them, but now she must do whatever it takes to take care of herself and her younger sister Lexa.

Addie risks exposure to the Spill Zone, and takes photographs of the eeriest scenes, from what used to be her hometown. The Spill zone is full of strange and frightening creatures, not to mention potential traps and dangers. Addie sells her photographs to collectors in order to support herself and her sister.  Lexa herself has changed since the Spill Zone happened, and she no longer speaks.  The loss of her voice is a mystery to everyone, and because of the strangeness of it all Lexa’s only friends are her stuffed animals and dolls. Vespertine, her favorite raggedy doll is always by Lexa’s side, but there’s something not quite right about that doll.

When Addie receives an offer she can’t refuse, she risks her life and goes deeper into the Spill Zone than she has ever been before. Addie doesn’t know what she will find there, or what dangers she might accidently bring back home with her.

Scott Westerfeld has masterfully created a graphic novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat. From just a few pages you, you are immediately “sucked” into the story, and you can’t help but worry about the strong willed and determined Addie.  You hold your breath in hope that she will return home safely. The suspense is thick within these pages, and you know something dark is lurking just around the corner.  Along with Alex Puvilland’s creepy and distinctive illustrations, the story truly comes to brilliant life.

The cliffhanger at the end had me literally screaming “NOOOOOO”! I was not ready for the story to stop, and I need to know what happens next ASAP.  Will Addie be okay? Will Lexa speak?  What’s up with the creepy doll?  I highly recommend this graphic novel to lovers of sci-fi and suspense. Anyone looking for something new, different and special will not be disappointed by the creativity flowing out of this story.

 

 

Thank you to 01Firstsecond Books / Macmillan for providing me with a finished copy in exchange for an honest review.

five-stars