Blog Tour + Guest Post + Giveaway: Ralphie, Always Loved

 Title: Ralph, Always Loved | Author: Andrea Yerramilli | Illustrator: Samantha Van Riet | Category: Children’s Fiction | Genre: Picture Book | Publisher: About Something Good, LLC | Release date: October 28, 2017


Description: 
This is the story of the life, love, and adventures of a beloved family dog, and how he delighted and touched his family and everyone he met.

Ralphie was born with a heart on his belly.

He loves food, his family, his friends, his neighbors.

He loves pretty much everything and everyone.

And they love him back.

And that’s how it is all through his life.

Read the book and fall in love with him too.

Rambunctious and hyperactive, Ralphie had already been returned to the animal shelter three times, but when Andrea and her husband adopted him and gave him a loving home where he was understood, accepted, and taught, he learned fast. As Ralphie’s human family grew, so did his capacity for love and the ways he could express it. He remained a loving and beloved family member who touched the hearts of the whole neighborhood until he was ready to say goodbye at the grand-old age of sixteen. Ralph, Always Loved will remind you of all that is good, and reaffirm your belief in love’s power to uplift and transform. Follow the tour by visiting Andrea Yerramilli’s page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:

Guest Post: Signs of Being Always Loved by Andrea Yerramilli

When I wrote the children’s picture book Ralphie, Always Loved, the story of my dog Ralphie, instead of beginning from the point when I met him for the first time, I chose to begin where I imagined how Ralphie got to be my Ralphie. He was a black dog, with white paws, a streak of white on his nose, a white-tipped tail, and a perfectly drawn white heart on his belly. I believed that the only way he could have come by those markings was if he was up in heaven, painting clouds just before he was born. And I imagined that when his earthly life was over, he would go back to exactly where he left off. After Ralphie passed on, I imagined that he was painting clouds and found myself looking up at the clouds for signs from him. And I’ve found them: heart-shaped clouds. Sometime it’s the cloud itself, and sometimes it’s in the sky between the clouds that makes a distinctive heart. Ralphie’s first birthday after he had passed was extremely difficult for me. I was missing him terribly and remembered the wonderful celebration we’d had for his sixteenth birthday a year before. I could not stop the tears. Something made me step out onto my deck and look up at the sky . . . and there it was, two clouds that, together, were shaped like a broken heart. The clouds seemed to be a message from Ralphie, who recognized that on this day—his first birthday apart from me in sixteen years—my heart was breaking. I think he wanted to let me know that he was okay and that I would be too. Of course, it could all be in my imagination, but it doesn’t matter. These signs help me and remind me that I’m always loved, just as I’ll always love Ralphie. I truly believe that those we deeply love never really leave us. They stay on in our memories and are Always Loved. And I often see hearts in the clouds to remind me of that fact.


Meet the Author: Andrea has always been an avid reader and that jumpstarted her imagination at a very early age. In fact she escaped to the Land of Make Believe more often than her mother liked. 

She is a former marketing professional who is a mom to kids both with and without fur. Andrea says that it helps to have one foot planted firmly in reality while the other is foot loose and fancy-free in Imagination Land. She enjoys the best of both worlds. In 2013, Andrea and her husband started About Something Good (ASG) as a vehicle to curate, inspire and share goodness in the world. In a world where negative images flood the media, and words like “hate” get tossed around so easily, Andrea felt she needed a space that encouraged and focused on the words like “love” and the beauty that is life.

Andrea is committed to finding the good in everything and believes: that a sense of belonging to someone’s heart is what makes us feel complete, that kindness goes a long way, and that keeping your mind and heart open can help when things happen that you don’t understand.
Andrea lives in New Jersey with her husband and children.
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

 

Giveaway: Click HERE to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a print copy of Ralph, Always Loved and a $15 Amazon Gift Card. Open to residents of the USA only.  Ends May 12, 2018.

 

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Purple Turtle Graded Readers, Level 3

Title: Purple Turtle Graded Readers Level 3 (12 Titles) | Category: Children’s Fiction | Genre: Educational | Publisher: Aadarsh Pvt. Ltd. | Release date: April 1, 2017

Description: A1 Edutainment is all set to take you on an adventurous journey to the amazing world of Purple Turtle and his friends. Purple Turtle Graded Readers by A1 Edutainment is a new reading program especially for emerging readers. The third level includes a set of 12 books with engaging stories and fun-filled activities. It is based on the Lexile and ATOS reading level system and has a word count of 250-350. This level is for learners who have started reading with confidence.

My thoughts: Purple Turtle Graded Readers are a fun tool to supplement school reading activities. The third level features “longer stories with complex sentences and enriched vocabulary”. The Level 3 set written by Imogen Kingsley includes longer stories with titles such as So Many Jobs!, The Big Birthday Calendar, Many Kinds of Homes, Melody’s Magic Show and The Rhyme Game. With a wide variety of topics and options for children to choose, there is sure to be multiple titles that appeal to each child. The bright an colorful illustrations compliment the simple text on each page and include clues to help young readers figure out what is happening in the story. My five-year-old who is reading at an above average Kindergarten level pushed through the Level 3 readers and found many familiar sight words throughout the slightly challenging books. I also appreciated the little extras such as an option on the title page of each book to tick your achievement level which includes Read Along, Read Aloud and Read Alone and games such as mazes and matching activities. To read more reviews, please visit Purple Turtle’s page on iRead Book Tours.
Buy the Boxed Set at Amazon.
Watch one of the book trailers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDbkID-uK3s
Meet the Publisher: Purple Turtle is India’s 1st International brand with its educational content in several languages sold in more than 30 countries including Russia, China, US and UK. The character of Purple Turtle has delighted children across the globe through beautifully created Purple Turtle books, rhymes and videos available on YouTube.
Purple Turtle was created with the idea to spread education through a wide range of innovative books for children. To give them the experience of convenient online learning, Purple Turtle also brings both learning and entertainment on a common platform to give a wholesome learning experience to young minds.

 

Connect with the publisher: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Giveaway: Enter to win one of 10 trolleys that contain 5 Purple Turtle books (ends Dec 2). Good luck!

Best of 2016 Giveaway Hop!

best-of-2016

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).

61sg0cvjbhl-_sy497_bo1204203200_

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!
91jyfqgwpql

 

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.

601598

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.

51fbdhjhz4l

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.

51kn2ohb8fl-_sy346_

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!

61rlnxuirl

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!

45.

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

lets-hug

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

the-unusualasauras

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…

booknificent-thursdays-2

Blog Tour + Giveaway: David Travels to the Past

Spotlight + Giveaway: Rice & Rocks

rice-and-rocks

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.

rice-screenshot

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

amazon
rice-screenshot-2

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

omg-i-did-it-again
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.