Category Archives: Books

Discover “The Explorers: The Door in the Alley” Book & #Giveaway


If you are looking for a great summer read for your 8-12 year old, check out this great book that arrived, hot off the presses, on April 25th! The Explorers: The Door In The Alley features a mysterious society, a secretive past, and a pig in a teeny hat.

This book by Adrienne Kress is the first book in a new middle-grade series for fans of The Name of This Book Is Secret, The Mysterious Benedict Society, and Series of Unfortunate Events. It doesn’t take more than a few pages to see why film rights have already been optioned by Disney!

The Explorers: The Door In The Alley is filled with adventure and danger. There are missing persons, hired thugs, a hidden box, a lost map, famous explorers, a risk-averse boy, and a girl on a mission. Not to mention secrets not meant for the faint of heart. But if you are feeling bold, or maybe even a little italic, and if you enjoy derring-dos (and doing dares), this just might be the story for you.

Adrienne Kress is a writer and an actress born and raised in Toronto. She is the daughter of two high school English teachers and credits them with her love of both writing and performing. She also has a cat named Atticus, who unfortunately despises teeny hats. Look for her online at AdrienneKress.com, and follow her on Twitter at @AdrienneKress.

This book is available on Amazon but you can enter to win a copy below.

Giveaway:

Penguin Random House Publishing  is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win their own copy of The Explorers: A Door In The Alley ! Thank you to Penguin Random House for the review book and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!! Open to US residents.

The Explorers: A Door In the Alley Book  Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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Humor, Heart, Loss, Triumph, Friendship, Family, and Love Come Together on the Pages of “LEMONS”– #Giveaway

I am sure you are probably familiar with the saying; “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” That is the something that 9-year old Lemonade Liberty Witt’s mama always told her. While Lem would like to do just that, it seems impossible that she could ever make lemonade out of moving to Willow Creek, California.

Willow Creek is a tiny town filled with tall pines instead of skyscrapers, and a Bigfoot lurking in the woods. Lem wanted to stay in San Francisco after her mama died with her friends, school and everything she loved. Instead, she was forced to go and live with the grandfather she never even met. 

Things seem pretty bad but then Lem meets 11-year-old Tobin Sky, the CEO of Bigfoot Detectives Inc., who is the sole Bigfoot investigator for their small town. After he invites Lem to be his assistant for the summer, the two set out on an epic adventure to capture the elusive creature on film.

In the end, Lem and Tobin’s big discovery ends up being more earth-shattering than they ever dreamed. Best of all, Lem learns that maybe she can make lemonade out of her new life after all. 

Humor, heart, loss, triumph, friendship, family, and love all come together to create the pages of LEMONS.

 About The Author:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This book is written by debut author Melissa Savage, a writer and a child and family therapist. This is a classic middle grade novel in the vein of Kate DiCamillo, Rebecca Stead, and Patricia Reilly Giff. Her desire to write purposeful, issue-driven books for young people, coupled with her interest in cryptozoology and the mystery of Bigfoot, inspired her to write LemonsSet during the summer of 1975 in California, this is one of those novels that you want to immediately read again after finishing. Savage wrote LEMONS partly to overcome her own grief after losing her son at the age of 9 months in 2012.

The Tobin character in the book is named after her own son because she wanted him to remain a part of this world. The character Tobin is what she imagined her son would grow up to be. Stoic and brave, as he was, but also scientific like his dad and as big a fan of Bigfoot and cryptozoology as his mommy! Melissa knows that losing someone you love is an extremely tough lemon, as Lem experiences in the story and she struggles with how to make lemonade again.  For Melissa sharing her son’s name and spirit with children all over the world is one of the ways she has learned to make her own lemonade. You can read an excerpt HERE.

When asked what she hopes readers take away with them after reading Lemons, Melissa answered, “Hope, first and foremost.” She wants them to know that there is hope and healing in the world, even after dealing with tough lemons, if you choose it and surround yourself with gratitude and people who love you. She also hopes that readers will take away a renewed acceptance of those who are different from them. Lastly, she adds, ” A newfound interest in cryptozoology!” You can learn more about Melissa HERE.

Great Summer Read

With summer coming this is a perfect read for kids, their parents, teachers and more! We are having a giveaway below where you can enter for your chance to win a copy of this middle-grade novel.

Giveaway:

Penguin Random House Publishing  is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win their own hardcover copy of Lemons! Thank you to Penguin Random House for the review Novel and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!! Open to US residents.

Hardcover Copy of Lemons Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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Meet Julia, “Sesame Street’s” First Character With Autism

Meet Julia, she has dazzling, red hair and loves her stuffed toy rabbit. Julia is the newest character on Sesame Street ,and while she has been part of the Sesame Street family in their books, she has just been added to the show.

Adding Julia to the cast is being hailed as a great decision that will spur conversation about autism. It is also helping kids understand and interact with peers with autism. Beyond that, it is inspiring for kids with autism to see a character represent the way they may act or feel.

 
I think Sesame Street has been around so long, almost 50 years, because they adapt and include real issues, situations and difficult subjects into their show. Keeping things real is what they have always done.

On Julia’s first episode, they will show what autism can look like. Big Bird thought Julia did not like him because she ignored him. In helping Big Bird understand that it was not that Julia did not like him, but that she has autism, and it sometimes takes her a bit longer to do things.

I think it will be good for kids to see how they may misinterpret actions of their peers with autism and teach them tolerance and acceptance. What do you think?


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Discover The “Once Upon A Time Bible” and “Storybook Bible” Today #OnceUponATimeBible, #FlyBy

It seems everyone is talking about how they loved Disney’s new Beauty and the Beast live action movie. Fairy tales and Disney Animation are more popular than ever and Zonderkidz wanted to publish a storybook Bible and full-text Bible that would resonate with families and children who love this type of media.

Teaching our kids about the stories in the Bible is easier when the stories are in a format that they are used to, using language they understand. Unlike fairy tales, the stories in these books are the real deal! What a great way to teach my children about real heroes and stories of faith straight from God’s word.

The Once Upon a Time Storybook Bible features captivating illustrations along with a beautiful narrative that draws children in as you read aloud the major stories of the Bible. Stories include: Ruth, Abigail, Esther, The Parable of the Lost Sheep, The Prodigal Son, Mary Magdalene and many more. The Once Upon a Time Storybook Bible is available at Sam’s Club and where books are sold.

The Once Upon a Time Holy Bible starts the way every great story does, with once upon a time. However this hardcover Bible is not full of fairy tales. This New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) translation highlights 6 stories we all know from the Bible and presents them in a way children can relate to and understand.

Each story is told on four pages in full-color, illustrated splendor. Stories include: God Makes Man and Woman, Isaac and Rebekah, Ruth Find Happiness, Queen Esther, Mary and Joseph and an Angel and He Lives! The Once Upon a Time Holy Bible is available in hardcover and pink leathersoft cover where books are sold.

Let me know what you think of these versions of the greatest story ever told!

 

 

 

 


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Meet a Little Girl who is not Afraid of Anything…Almost. #Giveaway

I want to introduce you to a little girl named Poppy Louise Littleton who is very brave. See, she is not afraid of anything!

Do you think a tarantula would send Poppy running for cover? You would be wrong, she thinks a Tarantula is the perfect pet. Vampires and mummies do not scare her either. Petunia is Poppy’s sister and does not have the brave gene that Poppy does. In fact, Petunia is on a mission to find something that Poppy is afraid of.

Every time Petunia thinks she has found the thing that will scare Poppy she is proven wrong. At the end of the book Petunia does find something Poppy is afraid of. Petunia takes comfort in knowing that her brave sister is at last, scared of something. Poppy Louise is not Afraid of Anything is written by Jenna McCarthy and illustrated by Molly Idle.

I read this book to my kids the other night and they just loved it. Looking at all the things on the pages that Poppy was not afraid of and seeing Petunia’s determination was quite amusing. The ending is very sweet and you can’t help smile along with Petunia.

We are happy to announce that you can enter our giveaway below for a chance to win this book.

Giveaway:

Random House Kids is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings. One lucky blog reader will win their own hardcover copy of Poppy Louise is not  Afraid of Anything! Thank you to Random House Kids for the review book and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!! Open to US residents.

Poppy Louise is not Afraid of Anything Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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All New Chapter Book Based on Disney “Tangled”! #Giveaway

If you have a child who loves Disney and reading, there is an all new chapter book series based on Disney Tangled: The Series. Before Ever After by Stacia Deutsch and illustrated by RH Disney follows the long-locked Rapunzel as she acquaints herself with her parents, her kingdom and the people of Corona.

Accompanying Rapunzel on her journey is the charming Eugene, the plucky chameleon sidekick, Pascal; and the no-nonsense horse, Maximus. Fans of the 2010 film, Tangled, will love this series! Book features 8 pages of full-color images from the show and is perfect for children ages 8-12. You can purchase this on Amazon.

Tangled: The Series and Tangled Before Ever After are available on the Disney Channel app and Disney Channel VOD platforms now.Following its U.S. debut, the Disney Channel Original Movie and series will roll out globally in 33 languages in 162 countries on Disney Channels worldwide.

Giveaway:

Would you like to win your own hardcover copy of Before Ever After? If so, enter below!

Random House Kids is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win a hardcover copy of Before Ever After! Thank you to Random House Kids for the review book and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!! Open to US residents.

Disney Tangled, Before Ever After Chapter Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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Prepare Older Kids for a New Baby with Ready, Set…Baby! #Giveaway

Is the stork due to make a delivery to your home in the near future? If so, Ready, Set…Baby! is a great way to get older siblings ready for the new experience. This book tells it like it really is in a way kids can relate to.

Brother and Sister, Anna and Oliver, give young readers the inside scoop on what to expect when a new baby is expected. In a fresh, new picture book, Ready, Set…Baby! offers up a funny, loving, reassuring peek into life as a big brother or sister—with solid information, kid-friendly humor, and even tips for parents on how to help kids thrive when the new baby arrives.

Check out my video below for an in-depth look at this great book!

 

HMH Kids is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win their own copy of Ready, Set…Baby! Thank you to HMH Kids for the review book and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

Ready, Set…Baby Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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“When We Last Spoke”- A Heartwarming Tale of Family, Friendships & Forgiveness #WhenWeLastSpoke #FlyBy

If you are looking to make the last days of winter go by a little faster with a great read, pick up a copy of ,When We Last Spoke by Marci Henna. On the pages of this book you will find humor, heartbreak and triumph served up with lots of whipped cream and a sprinkling on local nuts. This heartwarming tale of family, friendship and forgiveness takes place in Fireside, Texas.

Sisters Juliet and Evangeline are dropped off by their mother on the doorstep of their paternal grandparents, Ruby and Walt. With their father off  in Vietnam, their mother abandons the girls in order to pursue her dream of being a Broadway star.

Walt, a tender-hearted rancher and Ruby, a blue-ribbon fiddler, amazing cook and expert in the art of making family feel loved, step up to the plate in every way to take care of Juliet and Evangeline. The girls lives are shattered even more when they learn their father was killed in the Vietnam War and at the ages of 7 and 9 the girls face the realization their father is never coming home.

The story drifts between the past and the present as Juliet, now a local Fireside radio personality and store owner awaits the arrival of her sister Evangeline, a fruit tree geneticist from Oregon. Evangeline is coming to Texas to help her sister choose headstones to honor their grandparents. The homecoming is strained due to a secret that older sister Juliet kept to spare Evangeline hurt.

Taking off in Ruby’s prized Thunderbird, Juliet hopes that healing memories will smooth the rough road between her and her sister. Can the tremendous love that Walt and Ruby shared have the power to renew the bond of sisterhood between Juliet and Evangeline?

This is a delightful read and is written in a way that is as comforting as a big platter of southern, pan-fried chicken and fresh-baked, buttermilk biscuits. Family comes in many forms and when the conventional mother and father are ripped from the lives of these 2 sisters, the love, guidance and security their grandparents provides is a Godsend. A cast of quirky characters, like the girls great-grandmother pepper the pages to make the story even more fun and interesting. This book was a perfect read for me under a cozy throw in front of a roaring fire. A story of loss, love and enduring family ties, this was a great read for me. I hope it will be for you too. We have a giveaway below where you can enter to win your own copy of this great book.

You can watch the video trailer for the book HERE! The book can be purchased in softcopy or for Kindle readers. Author Marci Henna will be giving away a free Kindle version from February 20th-24th on Amazon.

About the Author:

 

Marci Henna was born in Austin, Texas and lived as a child in Kenya, East Africa with the Wakamba tribe where her parents managed a medical research station. She later moved to the Hill Country ranch which has been in the family since the 1800’s and currently lives in Austin.

Giveaway:

 

When We Last Spoke Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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10 of My Favorite Picture Books for Children

I love sharing books with my kids. When I think of some of my favorite picture books for kids, some are ones that I enjoyed as a child while others I discovered with my own children. Here are 10 of my absolute favorites.

The Giving Tree

Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk…and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave.

This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another’s capacity to love in return.

Go Dog Go

One of my absolute favorites as a child! Reading goes to the dogs in this timeless Beginner Book edited by Dr. Seuss. From big dogs and little dogs to red, green, and blue dogs, dogs going up and dogs going fast . . . who knew dogs were so busy?

Repeated laughter will ensue at the repeated question “Do you like my hat?” Like P. D. Eastman’s classic Are You My Mother? Go, Dog. Go! has been a go-to favorite for over fifty years, leaving audiences of all breeds wagging their tails with delight.

Goodnight Moon

In a great green room, tucked away in bed, is a little bunny. “Goodnight room, goodnight moon.” And to all the familiar things in the softly lit room—to the picture of the three little bears sitting on chairs, to the clocks and his socks, to the mittens and the kittens, to everything one by one—the little bunny says goodnight.

In this classic of children’s literature, beloved by generations of readers and listeners, the quiet poetry of the words and the gentle, lulling illustrations combine to make a perfect book for the end of the day.

Harry The Dirty Dog

Another I loved as a child and my children do too!

There’s never been another dog as delightful–or dirty–as Harry.

This lovable white dog with black spots (or black dog with white spots) has charmed children for over fifty years. This childhood favorite is perfect for reading aloud before going to bed or avoiding a bath.

Where The Wild Things Are

In the forty years since Max first cried “Let the wild rumpus start,” Maurice Sendak’s classic picture book has become one of the most highly acclaimed and best-loved children’s books of all time.

Lemonade In Winter

This is one of our favorites of newer books, we read this over and over and it is a favorite bedtime story for the coldest winter nights.

A lemonade stand in winter? Yes, that’s exactly what Pauline and John-John intend to have, selling lemonade and limeade–and also lemon-limeade. With a catchy refrain (Lemon lemon LIME, Lemon LIMEADE! Lemon lemon LIME, Lemon LEMONADE!), plus simple math concepts throughout, here is a read-aloud that’s great for storytime and classroom use, and is sure to be a hit among the legions of Jenkins and Karas fans.

 Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

On a train ride in 1966, the title phrase Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? popped into Bill Martin Jr.’s head. Later, he spotted an illustration of a red lobster in a magazine and contacted the creator, Eric Carle, to ask if he would illustrate his poem.

So began Eric Carle’s career as a children’s book illustrator–along with a life-long collaborative friendship with Bill Martin Jr. Since then, Brown Bear and the three companion titles, Polar Bear, Panda Bear, and Baby Bear, have gone on to sell millions of copies worldwide.

The Bear books are a cultural landmark and a key milestone in many children’s reading lives. And many adults today remember reading the Bear books themselves as well as the experience of reading them for the first time to their own children. Whether in a picture book or a reader, and now in eBook and audio, the same bold graphics and repetitive, rhythmic text have truly stood the test of time.

 I Wish You More

Our youngest actually has the personalized version of this book from I SEE ME! Some books are about a single wish. Some books are about three wishes. The infallible team of Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld have combined their extraordinary talents to create this exuberant book of endless good wishes.

Wishes for curiosity and wonder, for friendship and strength, laughter and peace. Whether celebrating life’s joyous milestones, sharing words of encouragement, or observing the wonder of everyday moments, this sweet and uplifting book is perfect for wishers of every age.

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich

By now I think you know what happened to your sandwich.
But you may not know how it happened.
So let me tell you.
It all started with the bear . . .

So begins Julia Sarcone-Roach’s delicious tale of a bear, lost in the city, who happens upon an unattended sandwich in the park. The bear’s journey from forest to city and back home again is full of happy accidents, funny encounters, and sensory delights. The story is so engrossing, it’s not until the very end that we begin to suspect this is a TALL tale.

The wonderfully told story, spectacular illustrations, and surprise ending make this Julia Sarcone-Roach’s best book to date. You’ll want to share it with your friends (and keep a close eye on your lunch).

10. Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

He could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. He went to sleep with gum in his mouth and woke up with gum in his hair. When he got out of bed, he tripped over his skateboard and by mistake dropped his sweater in the sink while the water was running. He could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Nothing at all was right. Everything went wrong, right down to lima beans for supper and kissing on TV.
What do you do on a day like that? Well, you may think about going to Australia. You may also be glad to find that some days are like that for other people too.

 

So there you have 10 of my top Children’s Picture Books. What are some of your favorites? Please let me know in the comments.


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Have You Seen The Amazing Book of Disney Princess?

Do you have a Disney Princess fan in your house? If you do, they will love The Amazing Book of Disney Princess. Inside the book, there is so much to discover. This is reference book perfect for young readers with fold-out paper flaps and fold. The large pictures and short, simple sentences bring the characters to life for children aged 5 and up.

Favorite Disney Princess characters and their kingdoms are explored in a fun way, including Belle, Jasmine, Merida, Tiana, Mulan, Ariel and Rapunzel. The Amazing Book of Disney Princess also comes with a giant pull-out poster.

Would you like a chance to win this book? If so, enter the giveaway below.

Giveaway

DK Publishing is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win their own copy of  The Amazing Book of Disney Princess. Thank you to DK Publishing for the review book and  for the review product and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

The Amazing Book of Disney Princess Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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