Best of 2016 Giveaway Hop!

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Welcome to the Writer with Wanderlust stop on the Best of 2016 Giveaway Hop hosted by Bookhounds.

As a children’s book reviewer, I read dozens of picture books each year, a few chapter books, a couple of middle grade and YA novels but only as many adult books as I can squeeze in between. So, it’s no surprise that my Best of 2016 List is focused on kidlit.

But before my list of favorites, let’s talk giveaway…$15 Amazon Gift Card to buy any one of these fabulous books.

Now for my picks for the Best of 2016…(and by that I mean the best of the books I read in 2016, not necessarily published last year).

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Best Picture Book for Preschoolers – Where is Bear? by Johanthan Bentley

Geared for children aged one and over, this simple, funny, irresistible story and its charming illustrations will keep toddlers (and adults) smiling from beginning to one of the best twists of an ending ever. Love it!
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Best Picture Book for Primary Aged Children – Land Shark by Beth Ferry & Ben Mantle

Poor Bobby…all he wants for his birthday is a shark. Is that so much to ask? Land Shark is a great contemporary picture book with fantastic illustrations that are filled with laugh-out-loud details.

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Best Picture Book to Give Children Nightmares – The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt & Tony DiTerlizzi

First, this book was not published last year or last decade, in fact the original poem by Mary Howitt was published in 1829. But this is an exceptional book from the spine-chilling  writing to the almost glowing silver screen-esque illustrations. Just don’t read it to children before bed…it’s been proven to induce nightmares.

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Best Tear-Jerker – The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Sometimes I really do wonder where I’ve been. This book, published in 2012, is based on a true story that happened just a hour from where I lived at the time. A Newbery Medal award-winner, this one will break your heart, but it’s worth it.

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Best YA Thriller – Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristof

I’m blown away by how many people I meet who haven’t heard of this book. This Australian three-book YA series is being made into a movie people, so check it out. It’s awesome and written in e-mails, reports, charts…just about anything other than plain text. Brilliant!

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Best Adult Book – Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis

Written from the point of view of her orphaned 10-year-old nephew, Auntie Mame is the hilarious story of an unconventional caretaker loosely based on the extraordinary life of the author. There is absolutely nothing predictable in this book and it immediately became one of my all-time favorites. OK, it was published in 1955, but it’s still considered a masterpiece of contemporary fiction.

So there you have it…the Best Books (I read) in 2016.

GIVEAWAY – $15 Amazon Gift Card for a 2016 Favorite Book

CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Please do hop around the other participating blogs to see more 2016 favorites and enter some fabulous giveaways. Good luck!

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Blog Tour + Giveaway: Let’s Hug & The Unusualasaurases

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Title: Let’s Hug: 15 Hugs for Beginners  |  Author: Efrat Shoham   Illustrator: Yuval Israeli  |  Publication Date: December 2016  |  Publisher: The Pink Camel

Book Description: There must be over a millions ways to say “I love you” or “I care about you”, but with a single hug, even without words, you can simply feel it. Hugs are proven to have a generally positive healing and relaxing effect, since they increase calm and happiness, reinforce our self esteem, and support our sense of connection to those who are close to us. This book is written for toddlers and encourages children and adults alike to try out all possible types of hugs. The book was beautifully illustrated by Yuval Israeli and is the second creative collaboration between Yuval Israeli and Efrat Shoham.

Available on Amazon

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Title: The Unusualasauruses: 15 Playful Dinosaurs  |  Author: Efrat Shoham   Illustrator: Lilach Ramati |  Publication Date: December 2016  |  Publisher: The Pink Camel

Book Description: Ages and ages ago, many different kinds of dinosaurs roamed our planet. Some were as large as whales, while others were the size of small dogs. Some were plant-eaters, while some ate other animals. Some had very long necks and tails, while others were tiny. Some had horns. Some had wings and could fly.

Despite all of these many variations, they were all part of the dinosaur family. And, as is often the case with family, they shared many common features. No one has ever never whatsoever seen a live dinosaur or spoken to one of them. So, what if dinosaurs could really talk, or smile, cry, dream, dance, play and joke?

Available on Amazon

About the Author: Efrat Shoham is an Israeli writer and independent publisher (The Pink Camel). Shoham grew up in a small agricultural village in Israel. Her father was a farmer and her mother – a teacher and librarian. She lives with her family in Tel Aviv, on a small street lined with eucalyptus, mulberry and loquat trees, where 3 rabbits from the nearby kindergarten run wild. She thinks and believes that curiosity, imagination, humor, green fields, fresh mango or avocado and pink camels are some of the keys to a good and happy life.

Connect with the author:  Website  ~ Facebook

About the Illustrator of Let’s Hug: Yuval Israeli – I grew up in a kibbutz in the north of Israel and for years I live in Tel Aviv with Roy and our cat “tsimuki”. I studied design and illustration at “Vital” the school of visual arts, which reunited later with “Shenkar”. I also learned classical painting in the “station studio”. I always paint pop icons and characters which affected me, and I also always paint portraits of friends. Besides, I always enjoyed painting all kinds of creatures from my imagination”.

About the Illustrator of The Unusualasaurases: Lilach Ramati – “I majored in visual communication in Holon Institute of Technology. I studied Interactive, but eventually my final project was an illustrated book. Today I work as a designer in games company”.

GIVEAWAY! Win one of two copies of Let’s Hug or one of two copies of The Unusualasaurases (4 winners, open internationally). Ends Jan 28th. Good luck!

CLICK HERE to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

As seen on…

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Blog Tour + Giveaway: David Travels to the Past

Book Blast + Giveaway: The Charming Life of Izzy Malone

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The Charming Life of Izzy Malone by Jenny Lundquist

Izzy Malone isn’t your typical sixth grader. She wears camouflage combat boots and tie dye skirts; the Big Dipper and Orion are her two best friends; and she’d rather climb trees or shoot hoops than talk about boys and makeup. And after only a month of middle school she’s already set the record for the most trips to the Principal’s office.

The only time Izzy feels at peace is when she’s on the open water, and more than anything else, she wants to become a member of the Dandelion Paddlers, her school’s competitive rowing club. But thanks to those multiple trips to the Principal’s office, Izzy’s parents force her to enroll in Mrs. Whippie’s Charm School, a home-study course in manners and etiquette, or they won’t let her race in Dandelion Hollow’s annual pumpkin regatta—where Izzy hopes to prove to the Dandelion Paddlers she is more than qualified to be on their team.

When Mrs. Whippie’s first letter arrives it’s way different from what Izzy was expecting. Tucked inside the letter is a shiny gold bracelet and an envelope charm. Izzy must earn her first charm by writing someone a nice note, and once she does more tasks will be assigned.

Izzy manages to complete some of the tasks—and to her surprise, she actually finds herself enjoying the course. But when one of her attempts at doing something good is misinterpreted, she fears her chances at passing the course—and becoming a Paddler—are slipping away. With some unexpected friends there to support her, can Izzy manage to earn her charms and stay true to herself?

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Praise for the Book

“Izzy’s frank, vulnerable, sassy first-person narration reveals her surprising journey from a solitary girl talking to the stars to a girl with friends to light her way…This story of an atypical girl, her family, and friends, laced with middle school drama, is indeed a charming one.” –Kirkus Reviews

“A heartwarming coming-of-age journey…Lundquist deftly portrays the pain of being odd girl out, both at school and at home.” –Publisher’s Weekly

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Excerpt

The bracelet and the first charm appeared the day I punched Austin Jackson in the nose. I didn’t mean to slug him. His face just got in my way. It was a bruising end to a disastrous first month in middle school.

You know that kid in class that everyone secretly (and not so secretly) thinks is weird? The one people laugh and point at behind their back, the one who gets picked last in gym class, the one you wish you hadn’t gotten stuck with for a science partner?

At Dandelion Hollow Middle School, that kid is me, Izzy Don’t-Call-Me-Isabella Malone.
Truthfully, my slide into loserdom started in elementary school and was pretty much an established fact by the time sixth grade started last month. It’s partly because my mouth often has a mind of its own. But I think it’s also because there are a bazillion other things I’d rather do than talk about boys, clothes, and makeup, and I refuse to wear strappy sandals and short skirts.

(If you ever catch me wearing strappy sandals or a short skirt, you have my permission to kick my butt.)

I do like skirts, though. Really long colorful ones I get from Dandelion Thrift. I like to wear them with my camouflage combat boots.

I call the look Camohemian.

About the Author

jenny-lundquistAuthor Jenny Lundquist
Jenny Lundquist was born and raised in Huntington Beach, CA, where she spent her time unsuccessfully learning how to surf. When she was younger, she wanted to be either a rock star or a published author. After she taped herself singing and listened to it on playback she decided she’d better opt for the writing route. Jenny is the author of Seeing Cinderella and Plastic Polly as well as the young adult titles The Princess in the Opal Mask and The Opal Crown.

Website * Facebook * Twitter

Giveaway

amazon or paypal$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway

Ends 12/12/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Click HERE to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway. Good luck!

Spotlight + Giveaway: Rice & Rocks

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Rice & Rocks by Sandra L. Richards

Tradition takes flight in Rice & Rocks, a picture book celebrating culture and diversity.

Giovanni’s friends are coming over for Sunday dinner, and his grandmother is serving rice and beans. Giovanni is embarrassed—he does not like “rice and rocks” and worries his friends will think the traditional Jamaican dish is weird. But his favorite Auntie comes to the rescue. She and Giovanni’s pet parrot, Jasper, take him on a magical journey across the globe, visiting places where people eat rice and rocks. This exciting story celebrates the varied traditions of every culture while also highlighting the delicious similarities that bring us all together.

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Praise for Rice & Rocks

“I feel as if Rice & Rocks was written for the 7 year old me stuck in a foreign country. I wish I could have read it when I was a kid since it would have really helped me to feel a lot more comfortable with my roots, my traditions, in a foreign place with people of other colors & customs.”
– Melissa Robles, The Reader and the Chef

“Rice & Rocks is a beautifully illustrated, culturally diverse children’s book centered around my favorite topic…food!…Parents will enjoy reading it with/to their little ones because the illustrations compliment the story perfectly. This book will also work as a good conversation starter for acceptance of self and others for school age children.”
– D.S. White, Divine Perspective

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add to goodreads

sandra-smallAuthor Sandra L. Richards

Sandra L. Richards is the debut picture book author of Rice & Rocks. With Rice & Rocks, Sandra brings a unique contribution to the world of children’s books. An American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, she hopes the book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity.

Website * Twitter * Facebook

 

Blog Tour Giveaway: $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash! Ends 10/28/16.

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Click HERE to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway. Good luck!

Spotlight + Giveaway: OMG… I Did It Again? by Talia Aikens-Nuñez

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OMG… I Did It Again?

April Appleton wakes up to quite the sight: a herd of elephants marching down her street! She realizes that her powers of witchcraft have done it again. With her friends, Grace and Eve, April must figure out how the elephants got to her town in the first place and then how to get them back home. But with elephants playing in the neighbor’s pool, sitting on cars and eating everyone’s trees, how will they do it? Early readers will delight in the misadventures of this reluctant witch and her plucky friends as they try to figure out how to use April’s powers to do good in the world.

Available on Amazon.

taliaAuthor Talia Aikens-Nuñez
Talia Aikens-Nuñez wanted to be a meteorologist, a politician and a lawyer. She never thought she would be a writer. It was the birth of her daughter that caused her to start writing. Raising a bilingual child inspired Talia to write lyrical children’s books. Talia’s family loves nature so much that she and her husband vowed that they will always try to live close to water. They live on a river in Connecticut with their kids.

Website * Twitter * Facebook

 

Blog Tour Giveaway: $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash! Ends 10/31/16

$25 Blog Tour giveaway

Click HERE to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Bossy Flossy Blog Tour + Giveaway

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Title: Bossy Flossy | Author: Paulette Bogan | Publication Date: July 19, 2016 Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. | ISBN: 978-1627793582

Book Description: Flossy is the bossiest girl around. She’s bossy at home and she’s bossy in school. She’s bossy to her friends and she’s bossy to her cat. Sometimes she’s even bossy to her teacher! Flossy doesn’t understand why no one will listen to her. One day, Flossy meets Edward, a boy who may be just as bossy as she is. Has Flossy finally met her match?

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My thoughts: Everyone has met Flossy. Or is Flossy! Come on, you know who you are. Flossy is definitely bossy. She even bosses around her toys. Though you may be charmed by her crazy, curly hair and that bright, I-know-what-I’m-doing look in her eye, eventually you will tire of doing everything Flossy’s way. But Flossy has never experienced this so-called bossy fatigue, not until another little boss, Edward, shows up. As Flossy and Edward become instant frenemies, they recognize the bossiness in each other. And in what I think is a clever, no-easy-solution ending, these two children don’t find a magic answer. They are who they are and they work it out between themselves. So refreshing! Shout out to the bold, colorful illustrations that work perfectly with the story by author-illustrator, Paulette Bogan.

Available on Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble ~ Book Depository ~ Chapters Indigo

paulette-boganAuthor’s Bio: Paulette Bogan admits she was bossy as a child. She is the author and illustrator of Virgil & Owen, which was chosen as one of Bank Street Best Children’s books of the Year 2016, Virgil & Owen Stick Together, which won a Mom’s Choice Award Gold Medal for Picture Books, and Lulu The Big Little Chick, which won a Children’s Choice Book Award. She lives in New York City with her husband, three daughters, and two dogs. They ALL think she is STILL bossy. But they’ve never told her to go to her room!

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

Giveaway: Win a prize package of THREE children’s books by Paulette Bogan: Bossy Flossy, Virgil & Owen, and Virgil & Owen Stick Together plus a $20 Amazon Gift Card (Open to USA & Can). Not one but TWO winners will be chosen. Hurry, the giveaway ends Oct 8th!

Click HERE to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Disclosure: I received a free copy of Bossy Flossy in exchange for an honest review.

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