Thursday, August 31, 2017

Duck and Hippo Lost and Found (Duck and Hippo Series) + Giveaway

Duck and Hippo Lost and Found (Duck and Hippo Series)

    • Author: Jonathan London
    • Illustrator: Andrew Joyner
    • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
    • Lexile Measure: 480 (What's this?)
    • Series: Duck and Hippo Series (Book 2)
    • Hardcover: 32 pages
    • Publisher: Two Lions (August 15, 2017)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1542045622
    • ISBN-13: 978-1542045629

    About the Book

    Duck and Hippo have a picnic and a new adventure!
    Duck and Hippo invite their friends Turtle, Elephant, and Pig to a picnic at their favorite pond. Yippee! It’s time to dance and sing, swim and eat. Everyone brings goodies to share…except Hippo. He didn’t bring ANYTHING. So Hippo sets off into the forest to find some berries. But he is gone a long time, and Duck begins to worry that Hippo is lost. What should his friends do to find him? Join Duck and Hippo on another fun adventure!

    About the Author

    Jonathan London has written more than one hundred children’s books, including the bestselling Froggy series, illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz. He is the author of the popular Duck and Hippo series, illustrated by Andrew Joyner. Many of his books explore nature, among them Flamingo Sunset, illustrated by Kristina Rodanas, and Little Penguin: The Emperor of Antarctica, illustrated by Julie Olson. He is also author of the Aaron’s Wilderness middle-grade series, illustrated by his son Sean London. Jonathan lives in Graton, California. Learn more online at


    About the Illustrator 

    Andrew Joyner is an illustrator, author, and cartoonist based in South Australia. He has illustrated a number of picture books, and he wrote and illustrated a chapter book series about a warthog named Boris. He is the illustrator of the popular Duck and Hippo series, written by Jonathan London. He has also illustrated for newspapers and magazines, including the Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, and Rolling Stone magazine, among others. Learn more online at





    My Review

    I need to be perfectly honest- I loved Duck and Hippo Lost and Found. It was playful and the pages were covered in vibrant illustrations. However, my five-year-old let me know that she doesn't like this book. To clarify, the idea of being lost scares her, and so she doesn't want to read a book about being lost...even if the whole book is finding your friends. That said, there are parts of the book she loves- the pizza, the rainbows, and the party at the end. She reluctantly asks to read the book and frets while Hippo is lost so that she can celebrate when Hippo is found. At the same time, we end up talking about why it would be scary to wander off on your own and end up lost. That is the beauty of children's books- they promote discussions about topics that parents might not ever broach with their children- those scary topics parents want to forget.  

    My favorite page in the book is when Hippo looked on both sides of the rainbow for the summer's last berries. I love the idea of looking on both sides of a rainbow- not just the "other side" of the rainbow. This also happened to be my daughter's favorite page. Even though she was scared for Hippo, she rejoiced that he saw a rainbow from start to finish. 

    I am also partial to this book because it is by the author of the Froggy series. My kids, especially my oldest daughter, loved the Froggy books. They have been bedtime staples for years, and this new series by Jonathan London creates strong characters that stay with a child long after the book is closed.

    Hey! Don't leave yet! 

    There’s more fun with Duck and Hippo in the free downloadable activity pages:

    And I am excited to announce that I am hosting a giveaway! Two Lions is offering a set of the Duck and Hippo books--DUCK AND HIPPO IN THE RAINSTORM and DUCK AND HIPPO LOST AND FOUND--to one lucky winner (U.S. addresses).

    FTC Disclosure: Thank you Two Lions for sending me a copy of Duck and Hippo Lost and Found in exchange for a fair and honest review. 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, August 13, 2017

    Sports Illustrated Kids: The Football Fanbook by Gary Gramling

    About 12 years ago I took my current job working for a university in the South. Before that, neither the undergrad or grad school that I attended had a football team. (Or, as we liked to say at Emory University, we were undefeated in football.) However, this lack of watching football left me woefully unprepared for my job, where I have to travel throughout the state to meet with businesses. I manage the requisite "visiting" before the start of each meeting just fine until August, when small talk moves from tomatoes and okra to football-and it really was just football. Oh, how I wish I had been gifted a copy of this book years ago. It really would have helped me not seem quite so daft.

    • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
    • Grade Level: 3 and up
    • Lexile Measure: 1080 (What's this?)
    • Hardcover: 192 pages
    • Publisher: Sports Illustrated (August 8, 2017)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1683300076
    • ISBN-13: 978-1683300076

    About the Book

    Everything You Need to Become a Gridiron Know-it-All

    So you're a football fan and now you want to take your passion for the game to the next level? The Football Fanbook from Sports Illustrated Kids is just what you need. A key addition to every young sports fanatic's library, The Football Fanbook is filled with fun trivia and unique lingo to impress friends, illustrated behind-the-skills how-to's, important game-winning strategies, and much more. Readers will sound like experts in no time.

    My Review

    We are a few days into the preseason, and we are blessed with stories about football from every angle. You have the lead story in the Sports section for the AJC (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) about the 1970's Falcon's team. It is a throwback story perfectly suited to get football fans in the spirit of nostalgia and revelry about the game. This book would also be a great gift for the budding fan of football to not only read up on what is relevant now, but to also learn the history of the game to hang with the biggest of fans.

    As with all Sports Illustrated Kids books, this one is visually engaging with glossy, full color pages. There are lots of pictures, illustrations, changes in fonts, graphs, and large, eye-catching numbers. It includes a wide range of lingo, trivia, stats, and skills necessary to play or watch the game.

    I lent the book to one of my 10 year old daughter's friends who plays football. He eats, lives, and breaths football. He gave the book a rave review with the exception that he already knew most of the stats and trivia. My friend and I quizzed him using the book before he had a chance to read it, and he knew almost everything. I also asked him if he saw this at a book fair at school would he pay the list price for the book. This is something that I think is really important to understand with the older kids, as many of them are using their own money at the book fairs and can be quite shrewd on how they spend their money. He felt that $19.99 was too much to spend on a book about football, but he still wanted his mom to pay for it. His point is that some of the material in the book will be outdated in a year or so. I can appreciated that honest feedback.

    Lucky for you, my dearest readers, the book is on sale on Amazon for $13.59.  And that, I think is well worth the value of the book.

    FTC Disclosure: Thank you Sports Illustrated Kids for sending me a copy of The Football Fanbook in exchange for a fair and honest review. 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!

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