February is the Month to Celebrate International Book Giving Day and Newly Released Picture Books Full of Heart

Give a BOOK on Valentine’s Day to celebrate INTERNATIONAL BOOK GIVING DAY, an initiative that aims to get books into the hands of as many children as possible.

Check out how you can get involved in this year’s event: HERE



Let me introduce you to some super SWEET newly released picture books that you may want to consider giving as gifts this month or any other month, for the matter.


I’ll Love You Always


Written by Mark Sperring

Illustrated by Alison Brown

Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

January 12, 2017

32 pages

Told in rhyme while using time comparisons to show just how much you love your child, this book conveys pure sweetness. The delightful illustrations and adorable characters will melt your heart.


How long will I love you?
A second is too short.
A second is no time
for a love of this sort.

A minute is no better,
for minutes fly by!
They’re gone in a moment
like a sweet butterfly.

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I’ll Hug You More

Written by Laura Duksta

Illustrated by Melissa Iwai

Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

January 3, 2017

Age range: 4-8

32 pages

This book is like two books in one. After reading it half way thru you flip the book to read it in the opposite direction. The parent talks to the child and then the child talks to the parent. The animal characters sweeten the appeal for young readers and listeners.

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Mommy Loves You!

Written by Helen Foster James

Illustrated by Petra Brown

Published by Sleeping Bear Press

March 15, 2017

Age range: 4-8

32 pages

Another charming, rhyming book from this author and illustrator team that has as much heart as their first book, GRANDMA LOVES YOU! This book celebrates that special love that mothers give with illustrations that are reminiscent of Beatrix Potter’s PETER RABBIT.

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ABC Love

Written and Illustrated by Christiane Engel

Published by Walter Foster Jr

January 1, 2017

Age range: 3-6

36 pages

This alphabet book pairs the letter with different concepts rather than the run-of-the-mill animal portrayals. That alone makes this book unique. Bright, colorful images accompany the letters.

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Heart to Heart

Written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert

Published by Beach Lane Books

January 3, 2017

Grade level: Preschool – 3

72 pages

Using fun word-play the author/illustrator creates a very vibrant book with simple images, text talk and puns. It’s doubtful that preschoolers will enjoy or grasp its punniness, especially given its length, but what fun it would be to give an adult as a greeting card.

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 I’m giving away books to the special young peeps in my life to celebrate this month and I hope you will consider doing the same! ❤

Newly Released Picture Books with Dandy Dads

Thunder Boy Jr.


My thoughts: Thunder Boy Jr. wants a name that is all his own, one that celebrates his very own uniqueness and identity. A nice ode to the Native American culture with striking illustrations that show the special relationship between father and son.

Written by Sherman Alexie
Illustrated by Yuyi Morales
Age Range: 2 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
40 pages
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
May 10, 2016



Hammer and Nails


My thoughts: Darcy and her dad come up with some innovative ways to tackle their day’s to-do list after Darcy’s friend cancels a play date. Delightful illustrations depict the day’s compromises and a fun connection between daddy and daughter.

Written by Josh Bledsoe
Illustrated by Jessica Warrick
Age Range: 5 – 7 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 2
32 pages
Published by Flashlight Press
April 1, 2016




Grandpa Loves You!


My thoughts: Soft and sweet illustrations along with charming verse tell this tender story about the special bond between a child and his/her grandpa.

Written by Helen Foster James
Illustrated by Petra Brown
Age Range: 2 – 6 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 1
32 pages
Published by Sleeping Bear Press
February 15, 2016




A Brave Bear


My thoughts: Dad Bear and his cub trek to the river to cool down on a very hot day. This book encourages young children to try new things and offers a lesson on bravery. The earthy color palette and textural illustrations are a pleasure to behold.

Written by Sean Taylor
Illustrated by Emily Hughes
Age Range: 2 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
32 pages
Published by Candlewick
April 12, 2016



Happy Father’s Day!

Dragons Are Real *Blog Tour & $100 GC/PP Giveaway*

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My review: Look at the cover! I admit I’m a sucker for a GREAT dragon book. I do believe my love of dragons began when Puff the Magic Dragon lived by the sea and frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee. There’s just something about a creature that breathes fire and resembles a large flying lizard, that my inner child would like to believe is indeed real. And now this story tells us that they have a love of sugar and they may me to blame for YOUR sweet abductions. This may explain why a box of chocolates disappears so quickly in our house. The dragons! In this book the reader learns of their love of reading, books, poetry, dancing, and laughing. Who wouldn’t want to believe they are real? The illustrator did a scrumptious job with color and glorious detail portraying each dragon’s personality. It’s a gorgeous book with a playful storyline. The dragons ARE out there…just waiting to be your next very best friend. I believe.

Read the full Kirkus review HERE.

“An imaginative, smile-inducing, beautifully designed introduction to a favorite magical beast.”~Kirkus Review

About the Book

Dragons-cover-8x8-Medium (1)

Title: Dragons Are Real | Author: Valarie Budayr | Illustrator: Michael Welply | Publisher: Audrey Press | Publication Date: May 5, 2016 | Genre: Children’s Picture Book | Number of Pages: 32
Book Description: What if I told you that all of the fairy tales, myths and legends that have been told about dragons over the years are WRONG? What if I told you that Dragons are indeed REAL and that they are different than you’ve ever imagined? Did you know that Dragons are the master of disguises? Did you know that they love sugar and sweets (at unacceptable levels) and will do anything for treats? Award winning author Valarie Budayr brings us this fairly true story based on her childhood friendship with a REAL live Dragon.
Take a look inside the book…

About the Author: Valarie Budayr

vb Award Winning and Best-selling author, Valarie Budayr inspires children and adults alike to experience their books through play, discovery, and adventure via engaging extension activities on her popular website, www.jumpintoabook.com. Valarie is co-founder of Multi-cultural Children’s Book Day , #ReadYourWorld, a celebration of diverse and cultural kid-lit shared with over 98 million people on January 27th. Her foundation puts hundreds of books into the hands of children in rural and intercity areas. www.multiculturalchildrensbookday.com Valarie’s other best-selling and award winning titles are: The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden, The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and A Year in the Secret Garden.

Twitter | Facebook (Audrey Press) | Facebook (Jump Into A Book) | Google+ Pinterest | Goodreads |Website

About the Illustrator: Michael Welply


Michael Welply was born in London in 1948. The family moved to Winnipeg, Canada, in 1950. He studied art in Winnipeg and then in Paris, but his idea of living from the sales of his paintings is somewhat compromised by the lack of buyers. He started his career as an illustrator in 1977 in London. In 1981 he returned to live in France with his American wife and their two children. Since then he has worked for publishers in both Europe and North America. To date he has illustrated over 80 books and more than 100 covers, in a wide range of subjects extending from detailed non-fiction to juvenile and adult fiction in the realms of fantasy, mythology, science fiction and fairy tales.

Blog Tour Giveaway

Prize: One winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card or $100 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice

Giveaway ends: May 30, 11:59 pm, 2016

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter the rafflecopter HERE.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Valarie Budayr and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.


Celebrating Motherhood in Newly Released Picture Books!

Whether you’re furless…Ax9h0cR

or furry…




or finned…



May is the month to celebrate the being that made and/or nurtured YOU.


Silly Wonderful You


Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker

Illustrated by Patrick McDonnell

Published by Balzer+Bray

January 5, 2016

40 pages


Every young healthy child has boundless energy. This book captures the spirit of that truth and the reality of life never being the same…but, oh so much better, after motherhood. It’s a charmer and would make a perfect gift for new mothers. The illustrations are cartoonish and certainly add to its sweetness.

Amazon   Barnes & Noble


You Made Me a Mother


Written by Laurenne Sala

Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser

Published by HarperCollins

March 8, 2016

Age range: 4-8

32 pages


From early pregnancy to birth and beyond this book takes you on the sweet journey to motherhood. Expressive illustrations capture each memorable moment. Another touching tribute to the joy of having children.

Amazon  Barnes & Noble


Our Love Grows


Written and illustrated by Anna Pignataro

Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

April 5, 2016

Age range: 4-8

24 pages


Pip, the panda bear cub, has questions for his mama and wonders if things will change. Mama answers in  tender ways and eventually reassures her cub that her love for him will only grow. Told in rhyme with lovely watercolor illustrations.

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Are You My Mother? ¿Eres tú mi mama?


Written and Illustrated by P.D. Eastman

Published by Random House Books for Young Readers

January 12, 2016

Age range: 6-9

72 pages


A classic done in Seussical fashion. P.D. Eastman was hired by Theodor Geisel to create his Beginner Book series and had his own style that is reminiscent of his protégé and colleague, Dr. Seuss. Baby bird hatches while mother bird is out looking for food. The little hatchling then goes off to search for his mother in this simple and sweet tale. This edition is larger in size than the original (released in 1967) to accommodate both the English and Spanish text (translated by Teresa Mlawer). A great addition for a bilingual family or for those learning either of the languages.

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Baby’s first trip to Barnes & Noble.

This year, I’m celebrating my first Mother’s Day as a grandmother. It’s super special in so many ways. And think of all the picture books I’ll get to share with Lil’ Precious!


Happy Mother’s Day to all who have cared for or mentored a living being, human or not!


All is well in the Kingdom of Pen Pieyu. Or is it?

Book 3 illustration 12

What dark magic lurks here?

Ooh…the intrigue.


Book 3 Illustration 13

Findor dove straight into chatting about all things they had heard of the other’s kingdom.

And the kingdoms’ characters!


Book 3 Illustration 15

Without much warning, he blasted out a sure and swift fireball that pounded the wall and spread out like a squid’s tentacles.

There’s peril.


Book 3 Illustration 17

“I pronounce you, Sir Petra of Kingdom Boogy Gobees.”

 And the noblest of knights…and princesses.

About the Book

Title:  Sir Princess Petra’s Mission – The Pen Pieyu Adventures Book 3

Author: Diane Mae Robinson

Illustrator: Michael Bermundo

Publication Date: January 12, 2016

Publisher: Tate Publishing

Pages: 106

Recommended Ages: 7 and up


Book Description

Sir Princess Petra has already attained her knighthood in the Kingdom of Pen Pieyu and her non-princess-like talent certificate from Talent School, neither of which pleases her father and mother, the king and queen. The king writes up more silly rules in the royal rule book to deter Sir Princess Petra from her knightly ways and useless talent, and turn her into a real princess once and for all. Will the king finally succeed with this newly written, ridiculous mission for Petra?

My Review

Ms. Robinson’s word play will delight both young and old readers in book 3 of this charming series. Silly new rules send Sir Princess Petra on a mission, accompanied by her entourage. Snarls continues as her loyal dragon BFF and their antics will, without a doubt, entertain. The Kingdom of Pen Pieyu’s princess gains pride from doing what is right and noble and wins the day while teaching a moral lesson. Fun, full page, grayscale illustrations are included in each chapter and help early readers picture the action. Admittedly, I’m a bit smitten with the big fella, Snarls, and secretly wish he would appear in my neck of the enchanted forest. Petra’s adventures are girl empowering and full of non-stereotypical behavior. This isn’t your average princess story full of tiaras and tutus but is one that can be equally enjoyed by both genders.

The Buzz

“Sir Princess Petra is a brilliant role model for both girls and boys who may feel somewhat out of the mainstream with their goals, attitudes and ambitions, and she fulfills that function marvelously.” ~Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

“Her story is told with light-hearted humor, excitement and highly readable action sequences, accompanied by vivid characters who leap off the pages.” ~Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite

“Author Diane Mae Robinson has done a wonderful job in creating a fun, energetic and adventurous female character that her readers will love reading about.” ~Reviewed by Tracy A. Fischer for Readers’ Favorite


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About the Author: Diane Mae Robinson


Diane Mae Robinson is a multi-award winning author for her series, The Pen Pieyu Adventures.


Sir Princess Petra – The Pen Pieyu Adventures (Book 1) Book Awards

2012 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artists Award

2012 Purple Dragonfly Book Award

2013 Sharp Writ Book Award

2013 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award

Sir Princess Petra’s Talent – The Pen Pieyu Adventures (Book 2) Book Awards

2014 Reader’s Favorite International Award

2015 Purple Dragonfly Book Award

2015 Children’s Literary Classics “Seal of Approval”

2015 Children’s Literary Classics Book Award

Grammar for Kids and Dragons, an easy-to-understand grammar book for middle-grade children (dragons and adults too), will have all of the Pen Pieyu characters explaining the grammar lessons making this an easy and fun read, forthcoming 2016.

Diane Mae Robinson lives in central Alberta. She enjoys riding her horses, playing with her dogs, visual arts, visiting Maui often, and of course, writing. The author is also an art teacher, writing instructor, children’s book editor, and a judge in an international short story competition.

Author’s website   Blog  Facebook  Twitter  Goodreads


We’re Celebrating Dads and Grads in Newly Released Picture Books!

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the month of June than by sharing a new picture book.

How to Surprise a Dad


Written by Jean Reagan

Illustrated by Lee Wildish

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

March 24, 2015

Age range: 5-8 years

32 pages

Another winner from the How To… series told thru the innocence of a child’s eye. You’ll laugh at the antics of the children as they offer tips on becoming a super surpriser. What dad wouldn’t feel loved by the efforts that this family goes to to make his celebration extra special? Sweet illustrations with fun detail describe each page.

Amazon    Barnes & Noble




Rory the Dinosaur: Me and My Dad



Written and illustrated by Liz Climo

Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers

May 5, 2015

Age range: 3-6 years

40 pages

Rory, a dinosaur, goes on a solo adventure, or so he thinks. Rory’s dad is with him every step of the way, unbeknownst to the little dino. The illustrator’s style is simple and eye-catching with ample white space so little ones will focus on the action. A charming story, that reminds children the importance of a father’s love.

Amazon   Barnes & Noble




Why I Love My Dad

Written by Alison Reynolds

Illustrated by Serena Geddes

Published by Little Bee Books

April 7, 2015

Age range: 3-6 years pages

22 pages 

There are many reasons why a child loves their dad and this book depicts several special ones.  What a sweet gift this would make for a dad if their child were to personalize the final pages, as offered in the book.

Amazon  Barnes & Noble




And for the graduate in your life…

I Wish You More

Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Published by Chronicle Books

March 31, 2015

Age range: 5-8 years

40 pages

Another delightful collaboration between a dynamic duo. Sparse text and stellar illustrations fill this uplifting book from cover to cover. Its positive message gives hope in discovery and delivers a sentimental end.  My youngest son is graduating this month from the University of Oregon. Yahoo! I purchased I Wish You More for him as a gift card because it conveys, most certainly, what every parent wants for their child…the best and more.

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Here’s wishing you all a fantastic new season, with endless wishes and… more! ~Cathy


Marvelous Moms in Memorable (Newly Released) Picture Books

The month of May is upon us, and what better way to celebrate both Children’s Book Week and Mother’s Day than with picture books that portray moms in a delightful fashion.





Written and illustrated by Matthew Cordell

Published by Disney-Hyperion

March 3, 2015

Age range: 3-5 years

48 pages



The thought of rearing and nurturing a little being becomes an overwhelming desire for this elephant couple. Their angst and anticipation of a baby is conveyed in a such a sweet way through the charming illustrations. What a precious gift this would make to new parents, as it expresses the fulfillment and utter joy that a new baby brings.

  Amazon    Barnes & Noble




Olive Marshmallow



Written and illustrated by Katie Saunders

Published by Little Bee Books

March 3, 2015

Age range: 3-6 years

40 pages



Sibling rivalry rears its head in this story as a young boy realizes the uncertainty that comes when expecting a new addition to the family. Fun illustrations convey every drop of the expected pinkness to the story.

  Amazon     Barnes & Noble



Dinosaur vs. Mommy



Written and illustrated by Bob Shea

Published by Disney-Hyperion

March 3, 2015

Age range: 3-5 years pages

40 pages 



This has rambuntious boy energy written all over it. Dinosaur roars his way into your heart with simple text and bright illustrations in a manner that Bob Shea pulls off in a dino-mite way.

  Amazon     Barnes & Noble




Families, Families, Families!



Written and illustrated by Suzanne Lang and Max Lang

Published by Random House Books for Young Readers

March 24, 2015

Age range: 3-7 years

32 pages




The animal expressions in this book are delightful, as is the use of accenting picture frames. The book poignantly points out that families can come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, species and nontraditional forms. Love is the glue that binds these quirky families together.

  Amazon     Barnes & Noble




My Grandma’s a Ninja




Written by Todd Tarpley

Illustrated by Danny Chatzikonstantinou

Published by NorthSouth

March 1, 2015

Age range: 4-8 years 

40 pages



In this tale, Grandma is one energetic ninja. This is a such a fun laugh-out-loud book and I adored the illustrations. Grandma’s pearls and her apparent need to have her purse with her, at all times, will resonate with the older generation.

  Amazon    Barnes & Noble