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: 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

Picture Book Review: The Land of Nod by Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Hunter (Illustrator)

Picture Book Review: The Land of Nod by Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Hunter (Illustrator)The Land of Nod by Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Hunter
Published by Flying Eye Books on February 14th 2017
Genres: Children's Picture Book
Pages: 32
Goodreads
five-stars

Ever wondered about the mysterious place we all visit when we fall asleep? Robert Louis Stevenson's classic children's poem about dreamland is given new life in this wonderfully illustrated book. Accompanied by Robert Hunter's bold and beautiful illustrations, this picture book will bring the beloved Scottish author's work to a whole new generation of young readers.
Robert Frank Hunter is a London-based illustrator. Working on a range of projects in both print and moving image, he is keen to keep applying his work to new disciplines.

When you open the gorgeous and colorfully illustrated The Land of Nod, you are instantly captivated. These beautiful images provide a dream-like landscape to accompany the words of Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem “The Land of Nod”. Every single page is full of details and whimsical drawings reminiscent of the “feeling” of a dream. Which is sure to draw readers deep into the story. Because of the lovely hues of blue and pink Mr. Hunter uses in his illustration, he is able to create a “twilight-type” mood and truly bring the poem to life.

 

It is clear from the illustrations and the words of the poem that the little boy is feeling isolated from the outside world. However, in his dreams, he can go on all kinds of adventures and see all sorts of different things. This would be an excellent choice for a bedtime story, or for inspiring young poets. As well as a book to read to little ones when they are sick and have to stay in bed. I highly recommend The Land of Nod to dreamers of all ages.

 

 

The strangest things are there for me,
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad
Till morning in the land of Nod.”

 

*Thank you to Flying Eye Books for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest review.  

five-stars

Children’s Book Review: The Fox Who Ate Books by Franziska Biermann

Children’s Book Review: The Fox Who Ate Books by Franziska BiermannThe Fox Who Ate Books by Franziska Biermann
Published by Annick Press on October 11th 2016
Genres: Children's Picture Book
Pages: 56
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Meet Mr. Fox, who loves books so much that every time he finishes one, he eats it (with a little salt and pepper, of course)! His insatiable appetite drives him to seek more and more books, until one day, he discovers the local library, where he can “devour” books to his heart’s content. Eventually, the librarian catches him “sampling” from the collection and bans him from the library.Down on his luck, the crafty Mr. Fox must find other ways to satisfy his cravings. His attempt to rob the local bookstore, however, ends badly. Arrested for stealing, Mr. Fox lands in jail, where he discovers a surprising way to satisfy his literary cravings (and become rich and famous).With its deft combination of humor and whimsy, and bright, edgy artwork, The Fox Who Ate Books is a tongue-in-cheek approach to promote a love of books and reading. The ever-inventive, wily Mr. Fox is the perfect anti-hero whose antics are guaranteed to make young readers laugh, while the play on words will delight older children.

Fox is a book lover, but he also has an insatiable appetite for eating books. The bookworm in all of us can understand what Mr. Fox is going through, and even commiserate with him. However, I think the book lover in us would be appalled with Mr. Fox for gobbling up the books and causing them physical harm.

Mr. Fox’s appetite is so ravenous that he ends up selling everything he owns to buy more books to read and eat. Once he runs out of books and money, he turns to the library and eventually the corner bookstore to subdue his hunger. Unfortunately, he does not consider the consequences of his actions at each location and ends up in quite a bit of trouble. Luckily, reading and eating all those books might have given Mr. Fox the fuel he needs to write his way out of the trouble he ends up in.

Overall I enjoyed the story. I love Mr. Fox even though he is a bit of a rascal. Mr. Fox loves everything about books, from their smell to the feel of the pages, and I can totally relate to that sentiment. I’m pretty sure most young readers will enjoy cheering for Mr. Fox to find more books to eat, and for him to cause additional mischief. The author did not shy away from using bigger and harder vocabulary words, which I approve of. This is important as it can lead to a great teaching moment for younger and older readers alike. The illustrations though vivid and bright left were not aesthetically pleasing.

Although the end resolution wasn’t handled in a way I find appropriate for younger readers, I do believe there is plenty of positive messages in this book. There are many themes that can develop into great conversations with young readers. Such as the proper care of books, following library rules and all the places where books can be found. Another great message is to consider the consequences of your actions and the importance of not being greedy. Younger readers might even be inspired to write up their own stories, just like Mr. Fox does. Whether you read it to a group or by yourself, there is plenty of humor to be found in the story.

three-half-stars

Chidren’s Picture Book Review: Marcel by Eda Akaltun

Chidren’s Picture Book Review: Marcel by Eda AkaltunMarcel by Eda Akaltun
Published by Flying Eye Books on September 20th 2016
Genres: Children's Picture Book
Pages: 40
Goodreads
four-stars

Marcel is a New Yorker through and through--he and his human know the best spots, especially downtown. But when a new human suddenly enters their lives, they're spending all their time uptown! Everything is changing and it looks like this new human isn't going anywhere. Why couldn't everything stay as it was? Why did things have to change?
Eda Akaltun is a New York–based illustrator and printmaker from Istanbul. Prior to her work with Flying Eye, her illustrations can be found in the Nobrow magazine, of which she is a founding contributor.

Marcel is a cute little french bulldog who lives in New York City with his “human” owner. Together they have fun adventures exploring the city and going to all his favorite places. Soon a new “human” comes into their lives and starts to take time away from Marcel and his “human”.  This new human even dares to take Marcel’s favorite spot on the couch. Now they spend all their time uptown where Marcel feels cramped by all the people and not enough places that cater to Marcel’s needs. Eventually Marcel starts to see that the new human isn’t too bad after all and they form a bond.

Marcel is adorable and will win over every reader’s heart. The version I received was an early ARC from the publisher so they illustrations weren’t in color, but if they turn out anything like the cover it will be stunning. Even without the color, there was movement in the art and I liked how you got the “feel” of the hustle and bustle of NYC. I also appreciated that they gave you a little taste of what street life is like in different parts of the city. I also loved the hint of a potential second book at the end of the book too. Though this is a story about a puppy and his growing family, I think the idea/concept of the story could and will work to help explain to readers why their family dynamic might be growing or changing.

The story is simple, but really sweet and could be very helpful in explaining many scenarios be it a new baby/sibling, new parent/partner or even a new pet joining an already established family. With growth comes change and though not all things will have to be different, some things will need to change and to evolve. I think the author captures this idea in a fun, entertaining and non threatening or scary way. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys beautiful picture books, silly and adorable puppies, or who will be expanding their family dynamic and need an aide to help breach such a sensitive topic.

Thank you Tucker at Nobrow and Flying Eye Books for providing me with a copy of this wonderful book in exchange for an honest review.

four-stars