Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I'm Going to Give You a Bear Hug by Caroline B. Cooney #bearhugbook

I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug!

I am so excited to be working with Zonderkidz to celebrate this very special snuggle-up-and-hug-your-kid-book!

Author:  Caroline B. Cooney
Illustrator: Tim Warnes
For Ages  4-8

Watch the book trailer: 

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I’m Going to Give You a Bear Hug!, written by bestselling author Caroline B. Cooney, 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, whimsical rhymes encourage playful interaction between parent and child and ultimately help them wind down before they snuggle into bed and drift off to sleep.

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.

My favorite thing to do at the end of the day is to snuggle up with my girls and read books. After reading, I need big, it's been a long day, make the headaches go away, help me find my namaste hugs. In my home we call them snugglefests. So, I have a soft spot for any books that help prompt our nightly snugglefests to begin. This book sings to my soul. The words dance off your tongue. The rhythm of the text is easy and flows from page to page as if the words were meant to be sew together all along. This story just feels like if has always been around, and it is no surprise that it is based from a verse the author wrote for her own children. It just feels right. The book has become an instant classic in our home right alongside the Brown Bear, Brown Bear by Eric Carle. I am thrilled to find a permanent home for this book on our shelves. 

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Sunday, June 4, 2017

If Found Please Return to Elise Gravel - Review

  • Title: If Found, Please Return to Elise Gravel (
  • Author and Illustrator: Elise Gravel
  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Hardcover: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly (June 6, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770462783
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770462786
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.6 x 9.1 inches 

I have been struggling for days to write this book review. Not because I don't have anything to say, but because the book keeps disappearing in my house. You see my oldest daughter has adopted the book, read it several times, and then created her own sketch book to doodle just like author/illustrator Elise Gravel.

Now, I would love to share my daughter's doodles with you; however, she literally freaked out when I asked to share her notebook. I guess she is officially entering pre-tweendom. I am lame and my blog is embarrassing.  I get it. I remember that feeling. I will respect her wishes.

However, I think you will agree that her complete obsession with the book is warranted. It is full of vibrant colors, quirky creatures, and just enough bathroom humor that will have kids thinking they have discovered something their parent's might not approve of, making it that much more desirable. What I love about the book, however, is how it encourages creativity in kids. My favorite page in the book provides some sage advice for the aspiring children's book illustrator.

It is exactly what any person needs to hear to help them realize their dreams summed up on a page. "Enormous amounts of practice. That's how you improve." Yes, Elise Gravel! Every kid needs to hear those words. Even a few adults need to hear those words. Even I need to hear those words and be reminded that it is OK to fail all along the road to success, as long as you keep practicing.

If I haven't convinced you to go online and pre-order this book (which will be released on June 6th), then check out Elise Gravel's Instagram. I am in love with her creativity!

A post shared by Elise Gravel (@elise_gravel) on

FTC Disclosure: Thank you Drawn and Quarterly for sending me a copy of If Found, Please Return to Elise Gravel. This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you purchase the books through these links, I receive a small portion of the payment, which I use to support this blog. Thanks for your support!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Thunder & A Lightning Bug Named Lou by Rosalind Bunn - A Review

My children's interest in fireflies or lightning bugs, as we call them, has grown since reading The Firefly Letters by Margarita Engle. For that reason, I was so excited to be invited to review Thunder and A Lightning Bug Named Lou by Rosalind Bunn. And it is great!

  • Title: Thunder & A Lightning Bug Named Lou
  • Author: Rosalind Bunn
  • Illustrator: Angela G. Hawkins
  • Hardcover: 34 pages
  • Publisher: Deeds Publishing LLC (December 5, 2016)
  • Language: English

About the Book

Lou is a little lightning bug with a big problem---his light is too bright. But as Lou soon discovers, sometimes what makes you different is what makes you special.

My Review

Summer is upon us! My daughter's school gets out next week, and nothing sums up summer like late nights hunting for fireflies. If you are looking for a summer read for a young child, I highly recommend picking up this book to learn more about the adorable lightning bug named Lou. I mean look at the cover! The illustrator did a fantastic job bringing to life this little lightning bug. Lou, the main character, is strong, independent, and never gives up in the face of adversity. Not to mention, Lou is adorable. My youngest daughter loves his big blue eyes and the little antenna. I, personally, loved how the story incorporated a diverse selection of characters, making it a much better representation of the world my children are growing up in. The other element about this book that stood out to me is there is something special that is hidden on every page of the book. Remember looking for the little gold bug in the Richard Scarry books? This book has something similar; which adds another dynamic for engaging young readers.  The book also contains facts about fireflies in the back of the book, creating a springboard to encourage kids to learn more about lightning bugs. I am always a sucker for anytime science is integrated into a book. I really can't say enough about this beautiful book. It is a treasure for us to own.

To purchase this or any other books by Rosalind Bunn, please check out her author page at Deeds Publishing:

*I received a review copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review represent my honest opinions about the book.

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