Browsing Category:


    book reviews, children's books, giveaways

    I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug! + A Book & Sleeping Bag Giveaway!

    Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from Zonderkidz and an additional copy for a reader giveaway. All opinions are my own.

    I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug!
    by Caroline B. Cooney, illustrated by Tim Warnes

    Publisher: Zonderkidz
    Pages: 32
    Age Range: 4 – 8 years
    Grade Level: Preschool – 3
    Format: Hardcover

    I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug! is a playful and comforting bedtime book that imagines all the wonderful ways a child might give and receive a hug.

    Whether it’s a big bear, gasp for air, knock over a chair hug or a wet and drippy, slimy, slippy fish hug, children will giggle their way through all the imaginative examples. Cooney’s sweet and simple rhymes encourage playful interaction between parent and child and ultimately help them wind down before they snuggle into bed and drift off to sleep.

    I think kisses, hugs and cuddles are all nurturing for the soul – especially at bedtime.  Bedtime is snuggle time at our house.  Each night we read books with our children and spend some time together one on one at the end of the day. Some nights any book will do, but there are those nights when we need an “extra special” book to help you them calm down.

    I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug! is an adorable story all about hugging.  It uses different animals and playful text to describe the different types of hugs.  Caroline Cooney’s expressive rhyming and gentle text is paired with Tim Warnes’s colorful illustrations to create a picture book that is perfect for bedtime reading.  I think there is a feeling of calm and relaxation thrown in with a little fun that accompanies the book.  I instinctively start reading it softly, almost to the point of a whisper towards the end. I can’t help hugging my kids a little closer as the Mama and the bear in the book snuggled and cuddled the little boy for the night.

    This book helped me to remember that my children are only little for such a short time. Take the time now to snuggle and cuddle with them, because a time will come when they no longer want to.  Spoil your kids with plenty of bear hugs or cat hugs or horse hugs!

    The Giveaway!
    One (1) lucky winner will receive (See image of the prize pack below):

    I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug Book Giveaway

    Caroline B. Cooney was born in New York, grew up in Connecticut, and now lives in South Carolina. Caroline is the author of 90 Young Adult novels in many genres, and her books have sold over fifteen million copies. I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug! is her first picture book. It’s based on a verse she wrote for her own children, Louisa, Sayre and Harold, who are grown now.

    Buy the book at Barnes & Noble
    Follow ZonderKidz on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram
    Like Caroline B. Cooney on Facebook
    Watch the book trailer here on YouTube!

    children's books, family fun, giveaways

    Celebrating 10 Years of Elephant & Piggie + An Instagram Giveaway!

    Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Disney-Hyperion.

    We love Elephant & Piggie at our house, and were so excited to partner with Disney-Hyperion on a sponsored post to celebrate 10 years of the series!  Can you believe this series has been around for 10 years?

    Recently, the kids and I celebrated in a big way with our own Elephant & Piggie book party! The kids said their favorite part was pressing the good for nothing button (over and over again) while reading the latest Elephant & Piggie book entitled The Good for Nothing Button. So fun!  We also wore our party hats, ate yummy snacks, unwrapped our book presents in the adorable themed wrapping paper and of course, enjoyed story time.

    How cute and fun is this Elephant & Piggie themed wrapping paper?

    When it comes to Elephant and Piggie I may be a wee bit obsessed with them, more so than my kids, but they seem to love these books too. Apart from the humor, I love the simplicity of these books. The illustrations, expressions and word bubbles are so well done making reading simple for kids. Plus, they have a lot of repetition of sight words so they are great for beginning readers.  Our top 10 favorite books E&P books (in no particular order) are: I Broke My Trunk, Waiting is Not Easy, We Are in a Book, Let’s Go for a Drive, I Am Invited to a Party!, Should I Share My Ice Cream?, I Love My New Toy, The Thank You Book, I Really Like Slop and I Will Take a Nap.

    Right now, we have an exciting giveaway taking place over on our Instagram page.  One (1) lucky winner will receive the following:

    •The Good for Nothing Button
    •4 books from the Elephant & Piggie series
    •Plus Elephant & Piggie stress balls and temporary tattoos!

    Want to use some of the fun printables we used at our book party?  You can download the free printables to make your own lanterns at home here!  You can find the free printable activity sheets here.

    Be sure to follow along with all the fun celebrating 10 years of Elephant and Piggie by doing any of the following:

    Visit the website
    Follow @The_Pigeon and @DisneyHyperion on Twitter
    Follow @DisneyBooks on Instagram
    Like @MoWillems on Facebook
    Check out the hashtag #MoFun across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

    Your turn: Have you read any of the Elephant and Piggie books to your kids? If so, what are some of your favorites? Feel free to let me know in the comments.

    book reviews, children's books, giveaways

    Caring For Your Lion by Tammi Sauer + A Book Giveaway!

    Caring For Your Lion by Tammi Sauer, illustrated by Troy Cummings

    Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
    Pages: 32
    Format: Hardcover
    Age Level: 3 and up
    Grade Level: Preschool and up

    What happens when you expect an itty-bitty kitty . . . but get a lion instead?
    It’s kitten delivery day, but—SURPRISE. Congratulations on your new LION! We know you ordered a kitten, but we ran out of those. Fortunately, the big cat comes with instructions—like, try very hard NOT to look like a zebra. Or a gazelle. And give your lion PLENTY of space to play. But soon the feathers and fur start flying and everything’s in chaos. Is there any way a lion could actually be a child’s purr-fect pet?

    Upon receiving this book, the first thing I noticed was the clever hidden cover underneath the book jacket that looks like the the top of a pizza box.  Apparently, a pizza company called Sergengeti Bros. has been caring for lions since 1925!  Even before reading this book, I knew it was going to be funny just by looking at the pizza toppings selected on the top of the “pizza box”: sausage, pepperoni, gazelle, giraffe, buffalo, zebra and rhino.

    Caring For Your Lion is a cute and fun read aloud book for little readers.  It features a little boy who ordered a kitten from a pet delivery service, but receives a lion instead.  They’re practically the same thing – right?  The book is a funny step-by-step how-to guide that instructs little readers how to properly take care of a lion by following 14 “easy” steps.

    Step 1. Take a deep breath.  Then carefully open the crate.
    Step 2. Locate the enclosed feather.  Keep it handy in case of an emergency.
    Step 3. Try very hard NOT to look like a zebra.  Or a gazelle.  Or a bunny.

    When the little boy notices he has a picture of a bunny on his t-shirt, he immediately covers it up with the other button up shirt he has on.  My kids crack up whenever we get to this page and the page right after it.

    The instructions listed throughout are funny and silly – perfect for the preschool/kindergarten crowd!  Since this book is presented in a step-by-step format, I think the digitally created illustrations are what make this book really come alive. They are so bright, cheerful, detailed and downright silly.  The additional black-and-white diagrams from the manual are shown as well which add even more humor to the story.

    Be sure to check this book out with your little readers if you’re looking for a funny story.  Oh, and if you order a kitten, but receive a lion instead – no worries.  You’ll already have this handy manual that tells you exactly what to do!

    The Giveaway!
    Our friends at Sterling Children’s Books were generous enough to sponsor this giveaway to ONE (1) lucky winner! Enter for your chance to win a copy of Caring For Your Lion by Tammi Sauer.  Open to US and Canadian Residents age 18 and over.  Good Luck!

    Caring For Your Lion Book Giveaway!

    About the Author
    A former teacher and library specialist, Tammi is an active blogger and highly involved in the children’s writer community.  Her local bookstore, Best of Books in Edmond, OK named July 9 Tammi Sauer Day!  Follow her on Twitter or visit her website.

    About the Illustrator
    Troy Cummings runs his own design studio, and his clients have included Time for Kids, New York Daily News, Random House, and the Cartoon Network.  He has written and/or illustrated several children’s books.  Troy lives in Greencastle, IN.  You can visit his website by clicking here.

    book reviews, children's books, giveaways, read aloud

    The Case of the Stinky Stench by Josh Funk + A Book Giveaway!

    The Case of the Stinky Stench (Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast) by Josh Funk, illustrated by Brendan Kearney

    Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
    Pages: 40
    Format: Hardcover
    Age Range: 5 – 8 years
    Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3

    There’s a stinky stench in the fridge–and our favorite foodie friends must solve a smelly mystery! Sir French Toast’s nephew, Inspector Croissant, begs him and Lady Pancake for help in finding the source of the foul odor. Could it be the devious Baron von Waffle? A fetid fish lurking in the bottom of Corn Chowder Lake? Featuring the same delectable wordplay and delicious art that won critical raves for Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast–this fun follow-up is an absolutely tasty treat for kids and adults alike!

    Let’s face it, opening your refrigerator and smelling spoiled food is awful, right?  But sometimes it’s easy to forget what’s in your refrigerator and how long it’s been there until one day you open the door and encounter a very unpleasant smell…ewwww!  When food overstays its welcome, it can eventually fill your fridge with a terrible odor and no one wants that especially not our favorite food detectives Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast.  In The Case of the Stinky Stench they’re on a mission to solve a smelly mystery.

    I love the use of rhymes, fun food-related wordplay and the engaging illustrations featured throughout this book.

    Back in the kitchen and deep in the fridge,
    past Trifle Tower, across Taco Bridge,
    on a vacation at Marshmallow Coast,
    sat Lady Pancake beside Sir French Toast.

    There are also some great vocabulary words for little readers you don’t often see in picture books like: nefarious, devious, knave, vicious, sleuthing, dejected, fermented, fathom, prevail and delectable.  I had to pull out the dictionary to look up the word nefarious…hahaha!

    In the end, it’s Inspector Croissant who solves the mystery AND does a good deed for his fellow foodie friend.  My kids and I really enjoyed reading this entertaining and funny mystery.  It’s currently our new favorite breakfast time read aloud book – so fun!  Just make sure you have some food or snacks nearby after reading it in case your kids start asking for something to eat immediately after like mine do!  Want to enter for your chance to win a copy of this book?  See our giveaway listed below.

    Our friends at Sterling Children’s Books were generous enough to sponsor this giveaway to ONE (1) lucky winner! Enter for your chance to win a copy of The Case of the Stinky Stench written by Josh Funk.  Open to US and Canadian Residents age 18 and over.  Good Luck!

    The Case of the Stinky Stench Book Giveaway

    Connect with The Author!
    Josh Funk spends his days writing computer code and his free time writing picture book rhymes.  Visit Josh’s website or find him on Twitter.

    Connect with the Illustrator!
    Brendan Kearney specializes in illustrating children’s books.  He currently lives in the UK.  Visit his website or find him on Twitter.

    children's books, giveaways, holiday books

    Lucky Leprechaun: How to Trap a Leprechaun Book Giveaway!

    Giveaway HopWelcome to the 1st annual Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop hosted by SaraLee’s Deals Steals & Giveaways. This is an open themed hop with NO minimum prize value. Enter to win the prize Grand Prize by our host for that lucky man in your life. Manscaped – The Perfect Package is sponsoring the prize. So be sure to enter the giveaway here than hop on over and enter all the other great prizes today!

    I’m so excited to be a part of of the “Lucky Leprechaun” blog hop and to sponsor a copy of the book How to Trap a Leprechaun by Sue Fliess as my personal contribution.

    About the Book

    Legend has it that if you catch a leprechaun, he’ll grant you a wish. But, be careful! Leprechauns are full of trickery. To catch one, you’ll need to be clever in crafting your trap. Grab some glitter and glue and get prepared for your wily holiday visitors!

    On the night before St. Patrick’s Day, leprechauns show up to steal your treasures and then disappear as quickly as they came. However, if you’re careful you might be able to catch one and then he’ll grant you a wish. You’ll have to be sneaky and set just the right trap to trap a leprechaun.

    Sue Fliess’s read-aloud text and Emma Randall’s whimsical illustrations will provide much fun for young readers eager to catch their very own leprechaun! But beware: leprechauns may leave you with nothing but a cardboard box and a shoe or two.

    Enter the giveaway here!

    How to Trap a Leprechaun

    Also, be sure to enter for your chance to win the grand prize and visit some of the other amazing bloggers involved in the giveaway blog hop!



    adult books, giveaways, subscription boxes

    Book of the Month Club + An Instagram Giveaway!

    Disclosure: I was chosen to be part of a campaign to promote literacy and the joy of reading by Acceleration Partners. Any opinions expressed are my own.  I received the products mentioned in this post for free from Book of the Month. This post also contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

    I’m so excited to finally try out the Book of the Month Club!  Book of the Month is a subscription box-style book club dedicated to helping avid readers find great new fiction and non-fiction titles. I love that it exposes me to a variety of new titles that weren’t previously on my radar.  They work hard to bring their members books that are truly worth reading—well-written, immersive stories that will transport you, give you thrills, and tug at your heartstrings—and they have been championing literacy for over 90 years!

    Each month, their panel of Judges selects 5 great new books. Selections are announced on the first of the month, and members can choose which book they would like to receive. All plans include: 1 hardcover book of your choice each month, and free shipping.  Members can also add up to 2 books to their monthly box for an additional cost.  They also have affordable gift memberships available for easy gift giving to your fellow bookworms.

    If you want to try it out for yourself, you can sign up now (using my referral link) and choose from the 5 best books of the month!  You can also enter my Instagram giveaway and enter to win one of five FREE 3-month subscription boxes I’m giving away (US residents only).  But hurry, the giveaway ends on Tuesday, March 7th at 11:59pm.  Good Luck!

    Your turn: Are you a member of Book of the Month Club?  What’s the thing you like best about the club?  Feel free to share in the comments.

    adult books, book reviews, giveaways

    Work Pause Thrive: How to Pause for Parenthood Without Killing Your Career + A Giveaway!

    Work Pause Thrive: How to Pause for Parenthood Without Killing Your Career by Lisen Stromberg

    The first time I found out I was pregnant with my daughter I wondered how becoming a parent would alter my everyday life. Even though I was elated to be pregnant, a part of me was afraid of all the unknowns. More specifically, I was worried about how I would manage having work/life balance especially when my son came around just 15 months after having my daughter. Perhaps you can relate.

    This book dispels the outdated thinking of putting our family first means we’ll be forced to abandon our careers. No longer should women be afraid to live the lives they want to lead just because they have children. Read this book to find out how you can build a career and have a family without killing or abandoning your career.

    With Stromberg’s guidance, you’ll learn:

    • Who pauses and how and why
    • How pausing can enrich both your career and your life
    • How to innovate your own path by strategically incorporating a pause into your career
    • What we can—and need—to do as a society to make it pausing possible for more people to achieve their personal and professional goals

    The workplace is changing, slowly.  Many workplaces now offer more flexibility for working moms, parental leave is on the rise and so are return-to-work internships.  This book covers those topics and so much more.  It helps you get clear on what it is you truly want and provides tips on choosing the right career and company to fit your needs.  The backmatter includes a an interesting and useful appendix that summarizes the results from a recent “women on the rise” study.  The goal of the study conducted was to ascertain how highly qualified women are integrating kids with careers and assess whether pausing for parenthood does actually kill a career.

    The Giveaway!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Giveaway details:

    • Prizes: One of 15 copies of Work PAUSE Thrive by Lisen Stromberg ($25 ARV)
    • Dates: February 21, 2017 – March 11, 2017
    • Entry Options: Readers may enter the giveaway via the widget with the following options:
      • Tweet a message
    • Notification: Winners will be randomly selected and notified by CLEVER by March 14, 2017
    • Terms & Conditions: The official Terms & Conditions are included in the widget; here is the high-level eligibility criteria:
      • Age 18+
      • US resident only
      • Only one winner per household

    I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.