Tag Archives: Books

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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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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“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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“The Gruffalo’s Child” Re-Released on DVD #Giveaway

Yesterday, I told you about the re-release of, The Gruffalo and today, I am here to tell you all about the re-release of, The Gruffalo’s Child. This film is based on the beloved children’s picture book by Julia Donaldson. I can’t tell you how much my kids love these films. I have to admit, I do as well. They are so beautifully done that they captivate our attention from beginning to end. In The Gruffalo’s Child, The Gruffalo tells his child about a Big Bad Mouse that he ran into many years before.

The curious little Gruffalo cannot contain her curiosity and sets out to see if this creature really exists. She encounters the same fox, owl and snake from The Gruffalo who each tell her where she can find the Big Bad Mouse. Feeling that she had been tricked and there is no Big Bad Mouse, she finally runs into the little mouse from The Gruffalo. The little mouse is just as clever, and invites The Gruffalo’s Child to meet the Big Bad Mouse using the moonlight to cast a shadow that scares the Gruffalo’s Child and sends her fleeing.

These films show children that brains can prevail over brawn. Check out the trailer HERE!  Helena Bonham Carter narrates as she did in The Gruffalo. Special features include a Behind the Scenes Documentary and Artwork Gallery. You can purchase this film on Amazon. If you would like a chance to win this DVD, enter the giveaway below.

Giveaway

The Gruffalo’s Child DVD Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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You Need To Read This When You’re Feeling Sick #Giveaway

Seems like everyone had been sick this winter, it is all I see when scrolling my Facebook feed. Given that, I think this blog tour for When You’re Feeling Sick by Coy Bowles could not have come at a better time!

They say laughter is the best medicine and this laugh-out-loud picture book by the guitarist for the Grammy Award-winning Zac Brown Band, will have sick little ones feeling better fast!

The book is full of encouraging, rhyming advice on how to get through sick days with courage and a positive attitude. It truly is, just what the doctor ordered! It comes with a sheet of stickers that will make sick little ones smile. There are even feel better songs to keep the germs away!

We have more happy news, you can enter to win a copy of this great book below in our giveaway!

Giveaway

Penguin Random House is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win their own copy of When You’re Feeling Sick! Thank you to Penguin Random House  for the review book and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

When You’re Feeling Sick Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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When Jesus Was A Green-Eyed Brunette #JesusGreenEyedBrunette #Giveaway #FlyBy

I know, When Jesus Was A Green-Eyed Brunette may sound like a weird title for a book but what a book it is! Max Davis grew up with a church that turned him away from God. Everything was not allowed, no Christmas Trees, no music in church, no TV etc. It turned him off so much that when he met the woman who would later become his wife in high school, he told her flat-out he would never go to church with her. Ah but he did, what he found was something completely different, there were instruments, there was singing and it was about having a relationship with Jesus Christ. It changed his life.

Since that time he has come to understand that Jesus is very much alive today and still does incredible things, sometimes supernatural things, through us! This book is hard to put down. It is especially helpful for those who are hurting and weary from worn-out religion and aire longing for a fresh touch from the living Jesus. This book will make you laugh, cry and come face to face with Jesus through the heartwarming and miraculous stories of Jesus appearing in ordinary people. This reaffirms that Jesus is fully present in us and our everyday circumstances, especially in difficult times.

I have a lot on my plate right now as I am sure most of you do. Yet, when I received this book, I could hardly put it down and could not wait to pick it up again. The stories spoke to me, they even mirrored some things I was going through or struggling with. They also were a welcome reminder that Jesus is very much alive and the Holy Spirit lives in us from him. In a world that can be bitter and hard to swallow at times it is nice to know that at the most opportune time we can be touched by Jesus through anyone, even a stranger in the coffee aisle at the supermarket. It also reminds us of the way we are blessed with the presence of Jesus in us and what a gift that is!

Would you like a chance to win a copy of this inspirational and uplifting book? Just enter the giveaway below.

Giveaway:

When Jesus Was A Green-Eyed Brunette Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway.  If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win.  Or if you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.” Open to US Residents.

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More Gift Ideas For The PJ Masks Fans on Your Holiday Gift List!

I am pretty stressed lately, we are in the middle of several home renovations and one of them is our kitchen. During the holiday season, I love to bake. This year, our kitchen is in the process of being demoed so that is not possible. We are doing the best we can and plan to do a lot of baking once our new kitchen is complete.

Our kids are feeling it too, I try to do things to make it as normal as possible. As temps get colder, playing outside is not always something we can do. As a PJ Masks Official Blogger, I get a sneak peek at the newest products. I was thrilled recently to receive a box full of goodies and want to share them with you. If you are still doing your holiday shopping and have a PJ Masks fan on your list, you might see something they would like.

The PJ Masks Color & Activity Book from Crayola includes hours of creative fun featuring PJ Masks favorites Connor/Catboy, Amaya/Owlette & Greg/Gekko. The Activity book includes over 30 pages of coloring pages and activities. Great for coloring at home, or taking on-the-go. My kids love coloring these pictures and it gives them a great outlet for their creative energy. Available exclusively at Toys “R” Us.

If you are traveling this holiday season, the PJ Mask Lunch Box Tin with Handle Themed Jigsaw Puzzle is perfect for fun on-the-go. This tin has a convenient handle and I love that it stores the 24 piece puzzle. Once completed  the puzzle forms an overall dimension of 15 inches x 12.5 inches. From Cardinal Games this set is available at Toys “R” Us.

Memory games are one of my favorite games to play with my kids. PJ Masks characters are the stars of this Wonder Forge PJ Masks Matching Game. This is the classic memory game where you compete with each other to match the most pairs. You can choose to use as many pairs as you want in order to customize the game to your children’s age. There are pictures of Catboy, Owlette, Gekko, Romeo, Luna Girl and more!

 

Race toward justice with this board book shaped like Catboy’s Cat-Car with wheels that really move!  To The Cat-Car, everyone, it’s time for super cat speed! PJ Masks are on their way, into the night to save the day! Kids will love racing around with this interactive board book that includes moveable wheels to really make the Cat-Car go! This is a great book for your child to take wherever they go.

And in more SUPER news, I’m so excited to share that a brand-new PJ Masks app, Super City Run, was just launched on Thursday, December 8!  With the new app, kids can run through the maze-style city as their favorite PJ Masks hero trying to catch the villains and collect the items they’ve been stealing – while keeping an eye out for any traps they might have set with their pesky sidekicks. The PJ Masks Super City Run app allows for new game play every time, so the fun is never-ending! Find it on iTunes and Google Play.

So did you see anything you like? Let me know in the comments.

 

 


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It is the 50th Anniversary of “Charlie the Tramp” #Giveaway

 

Did you enjoy the Frances books by Russell Hoban that are illustrated by Lillian Hoban? I always did as a child and read them to my little ones. I had never heard of the book Charlie the Tramp written by the same author. I admit, I chuckled when I heard the title and read the excerpt below:

Tramps just tramp around and have a good time.

They carry sticks with little bundles tied to them.

They sleep in a field when the weather is nice, and when it rains they sleep in a barn. 

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I bet you are chuckling a bit now or at least smiling. It is funny to read that and think that this is a real children’s book that was originally published in 1966. The book is about Charlie, a young beaver. One day when his grandfather comes for a visit and asks Charlie what he wants to be when he grows up, Charlie tells his family that he wants to be a tramp.

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The family asks him why he does not want to do the work of a beaver, cutting down trees, rolling trees in the water and building dams. Charlie tells them it is too much work and he would rather be a tramp. So his father lets him try it out. The first day Charlie acts like a tramp returning home to do some little jobs for a meal and sleeping in the field.

On he second night he hears the stream calling to him and before he knows it, he naturally did what beavers do and built a dam that turned that stream into a pond like his father and grandfather make. He worked so hard, he went to sleep and missed breakfast which worried his family. They went to look for him and saw the new pond. When they found out Charlie had built it, they were impressed and happy that Charlie was following in their footsteps.

Mother hurried home to get a big breakfast of flapjacks and maple syrup on the table before the men came home.

Although this 50-year-old story may make us giggle, the message is as true today as it was then. Don’t we know young people who lack the ambition and drive to do more than just the bare minimum needed to survive? I could go on for a long time about this but I will spare you. I think the message is important, take pride in doing things that you have a talent and ability for. Don’t take the easy road but strive to be the best you can be!

Plough editor Sam Hine says, “As a parent of young children I’ve rarely found new books of this quality. So, like many other parents, I find myself returning to the books of my own childhood. Among these Charlie the Tramp was a hands-down favorite. We’re thrilled to acquire the rights to this timeless classic and make it available to a third generation.” You can purchase this book on Amazon.

Giveaway:

If you would like a chance to win your own hardcover copy of this book, just enter the giveaway below. Good Luck!!!

Charlie the Tramp Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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New PJMasks Products Just In Time For Holiday Shopping!

As an Official PJ Masks Blogger, I am really excited to share some new products in the PJ Masks Line. My kids love PJ Masks and if yours do too, you will love these new products. See my video below for the reveal of these newest wonders.

 

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The PJ Masks Collectible Figure Set is available at Toys “R” Us and includes Catboy, Owlette, Gekko, Luna Girl and Romeo. All figures are in dynamic action poses so your kids will be able to act out creative scenes with the characters.

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The PJ Masks Night Sight Game by Wonder Forge is fun for kids and adults to play. I played this with my sons and what I liked best is that we are playing as a team to stop the mischievous Romeo from stealing the city’s toys.
My boys are very competitive so this team game of us against Romeo was a welcome change to the distress that happens when you have one winner. This game also has fun masks that let us see the hidden toy pictures. This is a fun memory team game that would make a great gift.

 

 

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For creative fun the PJ Masks Crayola Color and Sticker Book. There are so many great 2 sided coloring sheets as well as sheets of stickers. My kids love to color so these are perfect for times when they want to just sit down and spend some time creating their own masterpieces.

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Having a budding reader the Ready To Read Book, Time To Be A Hero lets kids join their favorite heroes as they work together to save the day in this Level 1 Ready-to-Read based on PJ Masks, the hit preschool series airing on Disney Junior!

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Comment and let me know what you think of the new arrivals.

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