Tag Archives: Random House

“Giraffe Problems” Blog Book Tour & Giveaway

Turns out penguins aren’t the only animals with problems. . . From the creators of Penguin Problems comes GIRAFFE PROBLEMS, a second hilarious collaboration from picture-book superstars Jory John and Lane Smith.

Can you guess what’s making this giraffe self-conscious? Could it be . . . HIS ENORMOUS NECK? Yes, it’s exactly that—how on earth did you figure it out?

Cyrus the giraffe can’t understand why his neck is as long and bendy and, well, ridiculous as it is. No other animal has a neck this absurd. He’s tried disguising it, dressing it up, strategically hiding it behind bushes—honestly, anything you can think of, he’s tried.

Just when he has exhausted his neck-hiding options and is about to throw in the towel, a turtle swoops in (well, ambles in, very slowly) and helps him understand that his neck has a purpose, and looks excellent in a bow tie.

This is such an adorable book that conveys a very important message to kids. Check out my video review of Giraffe Problems below:


Random House is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings. One lucky reader will win their own hardcover copy of Giraffe Problems! Thank you to Random House for the review book and for sponsoring this awesome giveaway on Mommy Ramblings. Open to US residents.

Giraffe Problems Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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“Life According to Og the Frog” Book Review & Blog Tour

Friday was the last day of school for my little ones, but even though the saying goes “no more teachers, no more books”, that is not exactly true in our house.

We are a book loving family, so a summer without books, would be a miserable summer. Even if your middle school child is not an enthusiastic reader, The Life of Og the Frog by Betty G. Birney will be one they want on their summer reading list.

Now, you may be familiar with the adventures in The World According to Humphrey who is the class pet in Room 26. This book also takes place in Room 26, but it is told from the perspective of Og the Frog! Og used to live in a marsh, but he has found himself as the newest class pet in Room 26.

There is so much Og the Frog wants to know. Of course he misses his friends from the pond, everyone except the bullying bullfrogs. The water in his tank is very clean, maybe a little too clean, Og the Frog enjoys a little muck every now and again, after all. The classroom is full of strange, unfamiliar noises and there is a furry, squeaky fellow living next to him, who is very entertaining. The kids are sure friendly and they put the biggest, fattest crickets right in Og’s tank!

All these new experiences give Og lots of inspiration for what he loves to do best, making up songs and poems. All was going along fine, Og the Frog was trying to figure out Humphrey, getting to know the kids better and then there was the frog debate. The debate had to do with whether or not to send Og to live in his own environment at Piney Woods or let him stay in room 26.

Og the Frog had a lot of feelings during the debate discussion and vote. Would he have to say goodbye to the kids he lovingly refers to as the Tads. What about Tabitha? Tabitha’s whole life had changed just like Og’s had. Og thought about Mandy, the little girl who finally started seeing the bright side of things thanks to his help. Let’s not forget about Humphrey who Og was finally beginning to figure out.

The tads had a discussion and took a vote. As their teacher starts pulling out the folded slips of paper and reading them to the class, it is only a matter of minutes before Og will know his fate.

About the Author:

Betty G. Birney has won many awards for writing for television, including an Emmy, three Humanitas Prizes, and a Writers Guild of America Award. In addition to the Humphrey series, she is the author of The Seven Wonders of Sassafrass Springs and The Princess and the Peabodys. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, where her parents grew up as neighbors on Humphrey Street.

The Life of Og the Frog is a good book to read aloud with your kids or to let them read aloud to you. Of course, it makes wonderful reading for kids in grades 3-7 to read on their own as well. Let me know if, The Life of Og the Frog will be hopping onto your middle schooler’s summer reading list.

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“Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans” #Giveaway

I have been meaning to tell you all about this great new book, Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans, but life has been crazy.  However, I did not want to miss the chance to let you know about this first book in a brand-new series full of humor, riddles, adventure, annoying little brothers and rain that is perfect for middle-school readers.

The book is written by debut author Russell Ginn and is accompanied by black-and-white illustrations. Samantha is a heroine that readers will want to befriend and the book is a perfect choice for fans of Chris Grabenstein and Louis Sachar.

Samantha Spinner’s uncle Paul has disappeared, and here’s what he left:

• Samantha’s sister got a check for $2,400,000,000.
• Samantha’s brother got the New York Yankees.
• And Samantha got a rusty-red umbrella with a tag hanging off its worn handle. The tag says “Watch out for the RAIN.”
Thanks a lot, Uncle Paul.

After all the strawberry waffles, stories, and puzzles they’ve shared, how could he just leave without saying goodbye? And what is the meaning of that mysterious message?

The answer is simple. Sam knows in her heart that Uncle Paul is in danger. And if he taught her anything, it’s that not everything is exactly what it seems. Which is why we should pay close attention to that rusty-red umbrella, and never trust a monkey at a hula-hoop contest.

What does a little girl do with the gift of a rusty-red umbrella? She embarks on a journey like no other in this major series launch that already has kids singing its praises.

 A winning mix of fast-paced action, fascinating facts, bathroom humor, and hidden puzzles… sure to please action-loving middle-grade readers.” —Kirkus Reviews

The RAIN is coming, and Samantha Spinner is about to find herself mixed up in some super-important, super-dangerous, super-secret plans.

About the Author:

RUSSELL GINNS is a writer and game designer who specializes in puzzles, songs, and smart fun. He has worked on projects for Sesame Street, Nintendo, NASA, UNICEF, Hooked on Phonics, and the Girl Scouts of America. He once had a poem published on the back of an Alpha-Bits cereal box. Russell lives and writes in Washington, DC. Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans is his debut novel. To learn more about him, visit samanthaspinner.com and follow Russell on Twitter at @rginns


Random House Children’s Books is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! One lucky blog reader will win a hardcover copy of Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans! Thank you to Random House Children’s Books for the review book and for sponsoring this amazing giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! Open to US residents.

Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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Discover, “The Girl Who Saved Christmas” Today! #Giveaway #HolidayGiftGuide

Oh my, Christmas is definitely in the air! I know we still need to celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday, but the excitement is surely palpable. I was out shopping yesterday, and certainly felt that Christmas magic!

It is so fun to share Christmas themed books with my children. If that is something you like to do, I cannot wait to share a new book with you.

If you are a fan of Roald Dahl and Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, you will fall in love with this hilarious and heartwarming holiday tale that is destined to become a Christmas Classic. Author Matt Haig  previously explored the origin story of Santa Claus in his highly praised bestseller, A Boy Called Christmas which is now being adapted for film.

Haig’s new book, The Girl Who Saved Christmas serves as a stand-alone sequel that imagines the story of the first child to ever receive a Christmas present. 

About The Book:

Amelia Wishart was the first child ever to receive a Christmas present. It was her Christmas spirit that gave Santa the extra boost of magic he needed to make his first trip around the world. But now Amelia is in trouble.

When her mother falls ill, she is sent to the workhouse to toil under cruel Mr. Creeper. For a whole year, Amelia scrubs the floors and eats watery gruel, without a whiff of kindness to keep her going. It’s not long before her hope begins to drain away.

Meanwhile, up at the North Pole, magic levels dip dangerously low as Christmas approaches, and Santa knows that something is gravely wrong. With the help of his trusty reindeer, a curious cat, and Charles Dickens, he sets out to find Amelia, the only girl who might be able to save Christmas. But first Amelia must learn to believe again. . . .

Sparkling with wit and warmth, A Girl Called Christmas is a cheeky new Christmas classic-in-the-making from acclaimed author Matt Haig and illustrator Chris Mould.

Praise for the Book:

Matt Haig has an empathy for the human condition, the light and the dark of it, and he uses the full palette to build his excellent stories.” —Neil Gaiman, Newbery-winning author of The Graveyard Book

 “The story is fast-paced and playful, peopled with interesting characters and unique details . . . but what sets this story apart are the genuine emotions exhibited by all—loss, fear, sadness, and, ultimately, love.” —School Library Journal

“With a little bit of naughty and a lot of nice, this Christmastime yarn is a veritable sugarplum.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Like stockings hung by the fire, this spellbinding opus may well become a yuletide tradition.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred

“Father Christmas’s backstory is revealed in British author Matt Haig’s fantastic tale of magic, treachery, disgruntled elves, Truth Pixies and a land where “impossible” is a swear word.” —Shelf Awareness, Starred

“A heartwarming holiday adventure.”Booklist

We love this book so much, we have added it to Mommy Ramblings’ 2017 Holiday Gift Guide.  As an early gift to you, we are also holding a giveaway for one copy of this magical book. 


Random House Children’s Books is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! One lucky blog reader will win their own copy of, The Girl Who Saved Christmas! Thank you to Random House for the review book and for sponsoring this amazing giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!! Open to US residents.




The Girl Who Saved Christmas Book Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

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Filed under Books, Christmas, Gifts, Giveaway, Holiday Gift Guide, Review

What’s It Like To Go Time Traveling With a Hamster?

I love reading aloud with my kids. This summer we had the chance to check out Time Traveling With A Hamster by Ross Welford.


This book is packed with adventure and time travel. 12-year-old Al Chaudhury’s dad died when he was just 8 years old. On Al’s 12th birthday he received  a pet hamster, a letter from his dad. The letter directs Al to their old house where he will find a time machine. The time machine is an ancient Apple laptop and a metal wash basin.

His father’s letter contains a mission that will require Al to travel back to 1984 and save his father’s life. You see there was a go-kart accident when he was 12 that is the cause for his death at age 39. If Al can go back in time and prevent that accident, he can change the outcome of events that happened after. Al is given a choice of accepting the mission or not and you can bet Al accepts. Time travel is not easy and Al finds out that going back in time 30 years requires more than courage and imagination. It requires lying to his mom, stealing a moped, setting his school on fire and keeping his pet hamster safe through it all.

This book makes a great read aloud book you can read a chapter at a time with your kids or one that older kids can read on their own. It is a really fun book to read together and leads to lots of great conversations afterward.

Ross Welford worked as a business journalist before becoming a freelance writer and television producer. He has worked on shows such asThe Big Breakfast, The Morning, and Bridezillas. This is his first novel. Follow Ross on Twitter.

So are you excited about this new book? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


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Make The New Baby Transition Easier For Older Siblings with Mission: New Baby Book #Giveaway

Mission: New Baby by Susan Hood is a book to make the transition to a new sibling see more like a mission and your child a special agent.  This book will be an inspiration for soon-to-be big brothers and sisters.

Parents will appreciate the encouraged bonding as they share this book as a family.  The illustrations by Mary Lundquist are absolutely charming and the text will have everyone giggling.  If you are looking for a unique book to celebrate an older sibling, then Mission: New Baby is what you’re looking for.  Recommended for children ages 3-7, book is 32 pages and available in hardcover or Ebook.

National Siblings Day is April 10th!  This book would be perfect for starting that sibling bond off early!

Random House Children’s Books is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  Two lucky blog readers will win their own copy of Mission: New Baby! . Thank you to Random House for the review book and for sponsoring this fantastic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

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Draw-A-Saurus Drawing Book By James Silvani Review & Giveaway!!! #HolidayGiftGuide


My seven-year-old loves drawing and he’s really becoming quite the artist.  He was thrilled to see Draw-A-Saurus arrive.  A quick scan of  the pages filled him with inspiration to create.  I have no doubt our home will be filled with his dinosaur drawings and I am sure his little brother will be trying his best to follow right along.  If you have a dino-loving artist in your home or on your gift list this holiday season, this book would be the perfect fit!  Mommy Ramblings is adding Draw-A-Saurus to our 2014 Holiday Gift Guide.  Keep reading to see how you can win a copy in our giveaway.

This in-depth yet accessible dinosaur drawing guide combines humor, creativity, and the latest dino research to show artists young and old how to breathe life into drawings of their prehistoric favorites. 

Draw A Saurus Book mR
Prehistoric Pencil Power!
Even though they lived some 65 million years ago, dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptiles continue to rule today. From movies to comics and cartoons, these ancient, giant beasts are everywhere you turn. Of course, who wants to just read about or watch these dinos when you can learn how to use pencils, pens, markers, and more to draw your very own?

Cartoonist James Silvani combines easy-to-follow art exercises with the latest, greatest dino-facts to help you create fun and cool dinosaur doodles all by yourself. With lessons on old favorites like T-rex and stegosaurus, as well as lesser-known (but still awesome) creatures like the massive argentinosaurus, Draw-a-Saurus has everything the dinosaur fan could ever ask for (outside of their very own pet dino!).

Of all the creatures to walk the earth, nothing captures the imagination and fascination of children (and children at heart) quite like dinosaurs. Even though they lived 65 million years ago, dinosaurs are morepresent than ever in movies, comics and cartoons. Draw-A-Saurus takes readers on a pre-historicadventure, giving expert lessons on drawing their favorite dinosaurs.An accomplished cartoonist that has worked for Disney, Marvel, and Dreamworks, James Silvaniknows how to break down these complex creatures into easy, step-by-step lessons that make drawingthese colossal creatures an accessible and fun activity.  Draw-A-Saurus is more than your average doodle book. Each dino-drawing lesson is accompanied by fun facts and the latest information on old favorites like T-rex and velociraptors, along with some less heard of (but equally awesome) dinosaurs like:
  • Struthiomius, who has a beak instead of teeth
  • Pteranodon, whose hands and fingers evolved into wings
  • Protoceratops, who was roughly the size of a sheep!
  • Argentinosaurus, the largest animal to ever walk the earth

With easy-to-follow art exercises that mix creativity with the latest dino-facts, Draw-A-Saurus has everything the dinosaur fan could ever ask for. 

JAMES SILVANI is an artist and illustrator and has drawn characters for Disney, Warner Bros.,Dreamworks, Lucasfilm, and Marvel Comics. Currently he is a comic book illustrator for titles likeDisney’s Mickey MouseDuckTalesDarkwing Duck, and The Muppets. Silvani has drawn dinosaursand other prehistoric beasts since childhood, and now puts those skills to use in art workshops atlibraries, schools, and comic book conventions. Silvani is a resident of Kihei, Hawaii.

Would you like to win a copy?  Random House is sponsoring a giveaway and one lucky blog reader will win their own copy of Draw-A-Saurus.  Thank you Random House for the review copy and for sponsoring this dino-riffic giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

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“NEST” By Esther Ehrlich–Book Giveaway!!!

                                                                             Pen ran

NEST by Esther Ehrlich

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Debut author Esther Ehrlich delivers a poignant and genuine middle-grade novel NEST (Wendy Lamb Books / On sale September 9, 2014 / $16.99 US / Ages 8–12), a memorable story about a girl, a tragic change, and the healing power of love and friendship.


It is 1972. Home is a cozy nest on Cape Cod for eleven-year-old Naomi “Chirp” Orenstein; her older sister, Rachel; her psychiatrist father; and her dancer mother. But then Chirp’s mom develops symptoms of a serious disease, and everything changes. Chirp finds comfort in watching her beloved wild birds. She also finds a true friend in Joey, the mysterious boy who lives across the street. Together they create their own private world and come up with the perfect plan: Escape. Adventure. Discovery.


Esther Ehrlich’s lyrical writing is honest, humorous, and deeply affecting. Chirp and Joey will steal your heart. Long after you finish NEST, the spirit of Chirp and her loving family will stay with you.  READ The first 59 pages of the book HERE by clicking Look Inside.image003


«A stunning debut, with lyrical prose and superbly developed characters, this novel is an emotional roller coaster that effectively conveys a family’s visceral tragedy.” —School Library Journal, Starred


«Ehrlich’s novel beautifully captures the fragile bond shared by Chirp and Joey and their growing trust for each other in a world filled with disappointments and misunderstandings.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred


«A poignant, insightful story of family crisis and the healing power of friendship.”Kirkus Reviews, Starred


Ehrlich writes beautifully, constructing scenes with grace and layers of telling detail and insight.”The Horn Book

Penguin Random House is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win a copy of NEST!  Thank you to Penguin Random House for the review book and for sponsoring this great giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

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“Count on the Subway” Book Review & Giveaway!!!

random house kids logo

Count on The Subway by Paul DuBois Jacobs and Jennifer Swender is a delightful children’s book that tells what it’s like to ride the subway counting all the way.  My little ones love this book especially since they hear all about the subway from their sister who attends school near NYC.

This book was very timely since she will be graduating in a few weeks and was hired as a GIS Analyst with New Jersey Transit.  So trains, subways and everything transportation is big around here.

So if you have a MetroCard of if you have never stepped foot on a subway, this book is a ticket to ride for all.  Everyone can experience a taste of navigating through NYC on this counting adventure!

Count on the Subway

1 MetroCard, Momma and me.
Down 2 flights—to catch the 3.
4 turnstiles, singers 5.
A rumble, a screech . . . the train arrives!

This bright, young counting book is a delightful trip through the New York City subway system. Hand in hand, child and mother see colorful subway signs and funny passengers, watch trains screeching by, and make new friends. With bold illustrations and a playful, rhyming text, this is not only a counting book, but also a tribute to New York and a sweet story of a child and parent navigating the city together.


Random House is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win their own copy of Count on the Subway!  Thank you Random House for sponsoring this great giveaway and for the review copy.  Open to US residents.

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Margery Williams’ “The Velveteen Rabbit”, Deluxe Gift Edition Review & Giveaway!!!


A few weeks ago the little ones and I began to add Spring and Easter bedtime story books to our routine.  Experiencing an Arctic blast here in the Northeast, I found it very promising to read stories about springtime.  Many of the stories were about bunnies, ducks and the rebirth experienced each spring.

Along the bunny theme we recently were sent the beautiful Deluxe Gift Edition of The Velveteen Rabbit.  The first time we read it, my little guys were all ears (no pun intended). They wanted to know why all the boys things needed to be burned because of germs, and wondered why they couldn’t just wash them.  They were very glad to know the Velveteen Rabbit was not burned and was made real because he had been so special to the boy.  This is a delightful story to share with your children or to give as a gift.  Would make a beautiful addition to put in an Easter basket!

The Velveteen Rabit Gift Edition Random House


A deluxe gift edition of one of the most beloved children’s stories. With illustrations remastered from a 1922 first edition and a beautiful cloth binding with gold accents, this lovingly reconstructed classic is the ideal collectible gift for baby showers, birthdays, and holidays throughout the year. Includes a book plate for personalizing your gift.

At first a brand-new toy, now a threadbare and discarded nursery relic, the velveteen rabbit is saved from peril by a magic fairy who whisks him away to the idyllic world of Rabbitland. There, he becomes “Real,” a cherished childhood companion who will be loved for eternity. Treasured for generations, here is a timeless tale about the magic of boundless love, newly available with the luminous color of the original edition.

The Velveteen Rabbit Inside of Book

Excerpt From The Book:

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room.  “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse.  “It’s a thing that happens to you.  When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful.  “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse.  “You become.  It takes a long time.  That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.  Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.  But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Random House is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!  One lucky blog reader will win their own Deluxe Gift Edition of The Velveteen Rabbit!  Thank you to Random House for the review book and for sponsoring this beautiful giveaway on Mommy Ramblings!!!  Open to US residents.

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