Happy ALMOST Book Birthday: LITTLE PENGUIN and LITTLE ZEBRA Plus Double Giveaway

Hello dear friends. We are going to have to stop meeting like this! And we’ll also have to tell the lovely and talented Julie Abery to stop writing such amazing board book stories!

Seriously though, I am over the moon excited for Julie’s newest additions to the Little Animal Friends board book series from Amicus Publishing. As most of you know, Julie’s first book in the series, Little Tiger, was the first place winner in the very first #50PreciousWords Contest back in 2016. And now there are SIX of these beautiful board books that are delighting children all over the world that are launching tomorrow.

Here are a few words from Amazon about LITTLE PENGUIN:

Little Penguin toddling, waddling, step-by-step so slow.

A baby Emperor penguin journeys from his mama’s feet, taking his first steps. Finally brave enough, with support from Mama, he joins the penguin nursery. A sweet story of youthful adventure and motherly love, told with short rhyming lines and warm illustrations.

Written by preschool teacher Julie Abery and captured by Suzie Mason’s beautiful artwork, this book in Little Animal Friends board book series will delight babies and toddlers and demand to be read again and again.

And here are a few words about LITTLE ZEBRA:

Little Zebra dancing, prancing, jumps without a care—

—until she loses her Mama! As the zebra herd moves on the African plains, Mama is not far behind and helps her young one find the herd again. A sweet story of youthful adventure and motherly love, told with short rhyming lines and warm illustrations.

I’ll bet all of you know someone who would LOVE one of these delightful board books! And what luck! Julie is generously offering a giveaway of a copy of one of these books. And I’m giving the other. There will be two winners – each will receive the title of their choice. But to be entered, you need to leave a comment on this blog post…and please share the post on your social media. That helps get the word out about the books.

And of course, we all know the drill…if you love a book and an author, please buy it, review it, tell friends about it, and ask your local library to purchase copies for their collection.

And last, but definitely not least, BE HERE TOMORROW!!!! For the OPENING OF #50PRECIOUSWORDS! You’ll have from March 2 – March 7 (at 11:59pm EST) to post your stories in the comment section of tomorrow’s official contest blog post. Make sure you put your name somewhere in the comment…and a title would be lovely – remember, title doesn’t add to your story word count. I can’t wait to read your precious words!

Perfect Picture Book Friday: The Big Beach Cleanup Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends. The temperatures in New England are pretty chilly and the ground is covered with snow. What better time to celebrate a brand-new book about sun and sand and ocean waves tickling our toes! I grew up in New York City and spent many summer days on the beach at Coney Island. But beaches all over the world fall victim to thoughtless visitors who head home leaving cans, bottles, plastic bags, and many other types of garbage. Sadly, not only does it look disgusting, but that litter poses life-threatening health hazards for the creatures who inhabit the ocean, as well as those who live in the sand. Today’s wonderful book by debut picture book author Charlotte Offsay turns the spotlight on that problem and offers a solution! PLUS, she and her publisher are offering a copy of THE BIG BEACH CLEANUP as a giveaway. Make sure you leave a comment below.


Written by Charlotte Offsay

Illustrated by Katie Rewse

Published by Albert Whitman

Ages: 4-7

Themes: Pollution, community building, conservation

Synopsis: From Amazon:

Cora is excited to enter the local sandcastle-building contest―until the contest is canceled due to litter at the beach. Determined to help save their favorite place, Cora and Mama get to work picking up the single-use plastics that have washed onto the shore. It will take more than four hands to clean up the beach, but Cora is just getting started.

Why I love this book:

  1. I love books that get kids thinking about how they can make a difference.
  2. Wonderfully vibrant illustrations.
  3. Pacing and action will keep young readers and listeners engaged – and excited for a chance to build a sandcastle and clean up a beach!


Paper Plate Jelly Fish

Photo Courtesy: https://myboredtoddler.com/jellyfish-toddler-craft-activity/

I love using paper plates as a craft material…inexpensive and usually on hand. All you need: a paper plate, crayons (paints optional), crepe paper (you could use ribbons or strips of tissue paper), scissors, glue.

For detailed instructions: https://myboredtoddler.com/jellyfish-toddler-craft-activity/

Another great activity would be to visit a local beach (or lake). Bring garbage bags and pick up litter (wear plastic gloves and make sure to monitor what your child is picking up…there might be sharp objects or items you’d rather not have your child touching). Then, relax…observe the wildlife in the water, on the sand, and in the air. Take photos and/or your child can draw what she/he sees. And make sure you build a sandcastle!

This will be a wonderful book to help introduce young children to the importance of taking care of our environment. Please check out the book, review it, tell friends about it, and ask your library to purchase copies for their collection. And don’t forget to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway from author Charlotte Offsay and her publisher. Did you ever participate in a beach cleanup? Or a sandcastle competition?

For more wonderful picture book reviews and activities, hop on over to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday.

And please come back on Sunday for a belated Book Birthday post for PIGS DANCING JIGS, an adorable ABC book in rhyme by author Maxine Rose Schur…and then on Monday for a BOOK BIRTHDAY celebration and giveaway for Julie Abery’s two newest Little Animal Friends series board books, LITTLE PENGUIN and LITTLE ZEBRA. And then…and then…

Along comes #50PreciousWords on Tuesday, March 2. I hope I’ll see you all pop in during the week to post your entries and to comment on everyone’s beautiful stories!

TOOTIE NIENOW: Will Write for Cookies Plus Giveaway


Plate of Cookies





I met today’s Will Write for Cookies guest a couple of years ago…Tootie and I connected in some of the online kid-lit groups…and I had a chance to take a look at a wonderful manuscript she was working on – about a courageous girl who thought differently and decided that skateboarding was what she wanted to do, no matter what anyone said. You can imagine how thrilled I am to see that story roll into bookstores in just a few days!

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