Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Ninja is Having His Blog Tour!!! Come One, Come All!!!!!!!!

 ACK! This post went up at 2:00AM (or so I thought) and at 9:56 I was feeling unloved and then I realized the post saved as a draft. BLASTED BLOGGER!!!!!!!!!!

February 27 through March 9 everybody's favorite ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh is on tour! Let us help our pal along and support his going and coming. Anyone who comments on his blog posts during this time can win a special package from Alex's publisher: copy of CassaFire and CassaStar, a large tote bag, and a mug. Come on peeps! You know you want them. The party is even over at twitter!  Hashtag for the party is #CatchFire, of course!

 I met Alex after I took the blog book tours class. Which btw, was awesome! Anywho, he's an alumni and now so am I. This ninja dude is well respected in our blogging circle and I want us all to keep this party going!

Here are the goodies that await you my pretties!

I want to tell you that I love Alex's writing and cannot wait to get my grubby little hands on CassaFire. Look at that cool cover! Here's a little preview:

CassaStar was just the beginning…

The Vindicarn War is a distant memory and Byron's days of piloting Cosbolt fighters are over. He has kept the promise he made to his fallen mentor and friend - to probe space on an exploration vessel. Shuttle work is dull, but it's a free and solitary existence. The senior officer is content with his life aboard the Rennather.

The detection of alien ruins sends the exploration ship to the distant planet of Tgren. If their scientists can decipher the language, they can unlock the secrets of this device. Is it a key to the Tgren's civilization or a weapon of unimaginable power? Tensions mount as their new allies are suspicious of the Cassan's technology and strange mental abilities. 

To complicate matters, the Tgrens are showing signs of mental powers themselves; the strongest of which belongs to a pilot named Athee, a woman whose skills rival Byron's unique abilities. Forced to train her mind and further develop her flying aptitude, he finds his patience strained. Add a reluctant friendship with a young scientist, and he feels invaded on every level. All Byron wanted was his privacy…

Grab the popcorn and we'll watch the trailer:

 Isn't that sweet?!

Available today!
Science fiction - space opera/adventure
Print ISBN 978-0-9827139-4-5, $15.95, 6x9 Trade paperback, 240 pages
EBook ISBN 978-0-9827139-6-9, $4.99, available in all formats

CassaFire is the sequel to Cavanaugh's first book, CassaStar, an Amazon Top Ten Best Seller:
…calls to mind the youthful focus of Robert Heinlein's early military sf, as well as the excitement of space opera epitomized by the many Star Wars novels. Fast-paced military action and a youthful protagonist make this a good choice for both young adult and adult fans of space wars. - Library Journal

You know you gotta have this!  I am so excited. Alex's writing is brilliant. You will definitely be transported, my friends. The world building is awesome.

You can visit Alex's site at http://alexjcavanaugh.blogspot.com/

Friday, February 24, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday :-)

Edwina, The Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct 

Written and illustrated by Mo Willems

Hyperion Book CH; 1 edition (August 1, 2006)      

Suitable For:     

Ages 4 and up





Everyone in town knew Edwina.

She was the dinosaur who played with the neighborhood kids.

She was the dinosaur who did favors for anyone who asked.

Edwina helped little old ladies cross the street.

And she baked chocolate-chip cookies for everyone. 

Everybody loved Edwina...

except Reginald Von Hoobie -


Reginald knew just about everything about just about everything.

He liked to give reports in class about everything he knew.


Synopsis (from Booklist)

 Willems takes a break from his Pigeon chronicles to write about a dinosaur named Edwina. Everyone loves Edwina, except class know-it-all Reginald Von Hoobie-Doobie, who tries to convince everyone that dinosaurs are extinct. No one listens, except Edwina, who is shocked. Eventually Edwina decides that she doesn't care, "and by then . . . neither [does] Reginald." In true if-you-can't-beat-'em, join-'em fashion, the final scene shows Edwina baking cookies for a much happier Reginald. Pacing is varied to highlight the more dramatic scenes, with much of the drama provided by Reginald in a way resembling Pigeon trying to get his way. Set against plain, light-blue backdrops, the pictures, in Willem's familiar cartoon style, show Reginald up to his dastardly deeds as well as characters in the classroom, on the playground, and in the park. Children will have fun searching the art for hidden pictures of Pigeon and Knuffle Bunny. Consider this an enjoyable visit to a happy community that has no room for curmudgeons.


Why I loved it:

Edwina is AWESOME! And why wouldn't folks love her? Her cookies are the yummiest! And who among us can say Reginald's full name without bursting out in laughter. It's sweet and easy, the illustrations are adorable and the story reminds us to have faith in ourselves.

Resource linkage:

For a creation based study on dinosaurs go here.

For more picture books head over and visit our pal Susanna Leonard Hill.

She's awesome. Uh-huh!


Happy weekend everyone. :-) xoxo 


P.S. Is the picture of the cover loading completely for you? It isn't for me. Just wondering.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday :-)

Children Make Terrible Pets

Written and illustrated by Peter Brown

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (September 7, 2010)


Suitable For:     

Ages 4 and up           


First pet


La La La

One morning, Lucy was practicing her twirls

when she noticed she was being watched.

Hello? Who's there?

I can smell you behind those bushes, so just come on out!


When her secret admirer scurried into the open, Lucy could not 

believe her eyes.

Oh! My! Gosh! 

You are the cutest critter in the whole forest!


So Lucy brought the critter home to show her mom.

MOM! Look what I found outside! I call him Squeaker because he makes funny sounds.


See, isn't he the cutest? 

Can I keep him, PLEASE?


Synopsis (from Amazon)
Check out this rollicking, humorous, and heartwarming twist on the classic "first pet" story about a young bear and her favorite pet boy!

When Lucy, a young bear, discovers a boy in the woods, she's absolutely delighted. She brings him home and begs her mom to let her keep him, even though her mom warns, "Children make terrible pets." But mom relents, and Lucy gets to name her new pet Squeaker.

Through a series of hilarious and surprising scenes, readers can join Lucy and Squeaker on their day of fun and decide for themselves whether or not children really do make terrible pets.


Why I loved it:

Oh my! I loved it because it is sooo funny. It is one of those books that you can read over and over and over and over again! 


Lucy finds out that children are really hard to potty train. Uh, did I mention she uses a litter box? :-)  This book is just plain clever! The dialogue is shown in speech bubbles, hand lettered by the author/illustrator, while the narration is placed in rectangular boxes. Can I say, AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??


Resource linkage:

Teaches why we can't/shouldn't befriend wild animals. This is a great discussion piece on wildlife. Go here for great ideas 


Please go and visit that bodacious, coon lovin' writer pal, Susanna Leonard Hill. Her blog is almost as awesome as she is. :-)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cupid Shot Me!

I have joined the Cupid Shot Me blog fest over at Diane Estrella's place today. Please hop around (like a bunny) and read the other Valentine posts. This post isn't really about Cupid shooting me though. It turned into something different. (Sorry Diane)

I could write about my love for my hubby and all of our children. But I have chosen to write about my Savior. He has been sooooo good to me. He has rescued me from myself countless times and loved me when no one else could. He has been with me through all of Christopher's problems and y'all know that has been a lifetime of hospital visits and doctors offices. (Definitely not complaining about them) But He has carried me when I could not walk. When I was so frightened about Christopher that I could not breathe. Through the laughter and the tears. Through the happiness and the fears. Through the blissful times, through the despair. He never asked for anything but my undying affection and for me to obey his commands. I do this gladly. Because I know that I know that I know this is not my home. I am but a visitor here. An alien. My real home awaits, along with all who have gone before me.

Jesus Christ/Yeshua/The Son of The Most High God, will you be my valentine? When I think about this day of love, I think about my Savior. Without who, I would be completely lost and alone. He has helped Christopher more times than I can count. 35-45 seizures a day? Gone! Chance of stroke with the Sturge-weber. He hasn't had one! Glaucoma so bad Christopher will go blind. He sees my ugly mug every day! (Poor kid) And countless other things that could happen. But haven't! Or if they have, we made it though those storms.

I was going to do this post about Christopher. After all, he too is my valentine. But I decided at last minute to do it for Christ. Thank you for reading. Happy Valentines Day to all my pals. Smooches and hugs. I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *waving*

Friday, February 10, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday

What Do You Do With a Tail Like This?

Written and illustrated by Steve Jenkins and his wife Robin Page
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Suitable For:                                                         
Ages 5 and up


Animals use their noses, ears, eyes,tails, eyes, mouths, and feet in very different ways. See if you can guess which animal each part belongs to and how it is used. At the back of this book you can find out more about these animals.

A nose for digging? Ears for seeing? Eyes that squirt blood? Explore the many amazing things animals can do with their ears, eyes, mouths, noses, feet, and tails in this beautifully illustrated interactive guessing book by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page.

Why I loved it:
What's not to love? It's incredibly done, educational, gripping, and loads of fun! It teaches about so many interesting body parts: A platypus uses its nose "to dig in the mud." But "[i]f you're an elephant, you use your nose to give yourself a bath" [image of trunk squirting water back over elephant's head]. For ears, you learn that a jackrabbit uses its ears to keep cool, and crickets have ears on their knees. A chimpanzee can eat with its feet, and a gecko's feet are sticky so it can walk on the ceiling. Isn't that fun?

Links To Resources: 
At the end of the book, a section includes a one-paragraph "bio" with additional details about each animal, with the rest of the story on the unique appendage. 

Go visit Susanna Leonard Hill and check out the other super fantastic picture books featured.

*shakes fist at blogger* It looks like the same font and it looks all neat until I publish it. *sigh*

Sunday, February 5, 2012

News From The World of Books (A rare Sunday Post)

Many folks (naysayers) have predicted that because of e-books all printed matter is dead or will be dead very, very soon. In fact, that is not true. 

Did you know that book sales are way up? And did you also know that Young adult readership is booming? Amazon does report that e-sales are up. But *ahem* they are a company that would favor electronic text. They are based on the internet. So it stands to reason, right? 

There was a decline because of the recession. But we are climbing out of the recession. Aren't we? 

Statistics for you:

In 2005, there were more published authors in the U.S. than ever before: 185,275 (compared, for example, with eighty-two in 1850).
 In 2007, there were more U.S. publishers than ever before: 74,240 (that’s compared with 397 in 1925). This figure has been rising every year since the data has been collected.
In 2008, there were more original book titles published in print than ever before: 289,729 different titles in the U.S. alone.
In 2008, the last year complete numbers are available, overall revenue from book sales in the U.S. was at $24.255 billion, down just a bit from $24.959 billion in 2007, the all-time high.  
Library membership in the U.S. is at an all-time high: 208,904,000 Americans held library cards in 2009. (That’s 68 percent of the population, the greatest number since the American Library Association began keeping track in 1990.)
Library circulation is at an all-time high: 2.28 billion library materials were circulated in 2008 (that’s 7.7 circulations per capita) compared to 1.69 billion in 1999 (6.5 circulations per capita).

So all printed matter is dead or dying right? I think not. *smiling*

Have a wonderful day.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday

Artist to Artist

Eric Carle and 22 other major illustrators

Philomel; First edition (September 25, 2007) 

Suitable For:
ages 1 and up 

Picture book art

Mitsumasa Anno: "I believe that the culture that is part of your being from childhood is of great importance." 

In this remarkable and beautiful anthology featuring the likes of Maurice Sendak, Robert Sabuda, Rosemary Wells, and Eric Carle, twenty-three of the most honored and beloved artists in children’s literature talk informally to children—sharing secrets about their art and how they began their adventures into illustration. Fold-out pages featuring photographs of their early work, their studios and materials, as well as sketches and finished art create an exuberant feast for the eye that will attract both children and adults.

Self-portraits of each illustrator crown this important anthology that celebrates the artists and the art of the picture book. An event book for the ages.
Proceeds from the book will benefit the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA.

Why I loved it:
These artists each describe their artful process in their own way. It shows these kidlets that the pictures that fill their books can be considered art just as much as any painting that may grace their living room walls. This book is inspiring and enlightening. Foldout pages show examples of each artist's early work, their studios and materials, finished work and a self-portrait. 

Links To Resources:
I don't know of any, but the fact that this book encourages children to draw and express themselves through art is enough of a resource for me. 

Before y'all go and grab your crayons, go check out all the other picture books over at Susanna Leonard Hill's blog okay?

Thanks for reading. Happy weekend! *waving*