Bookscoops

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Archive for the ‘Giveaways’ Category

Our give away for Bedtime in the Swamp and Middle Child Blues winners are . . .

Posted by caribookscoops on February 17, 2013

Bonnie James gets a fantastic fun book of Bedtime in the Swamp and Emilia Williams gets the Middle Child Blues. Congratulations and I will contacting you shortly for a delivery address. Thanks everyone for participating.

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Bedtime at the Swamp and The Middle Child Blues by Kristyn Crow and a Giveaway!

Posted by caribookscoops on January 9, 2013

All my children love Bedtime at the Swamp and The Middle Child Blues by Kristyn Crow. My favorite part about these books is that they are so fun to read out loud.  These two books are some of our favorites. I had to go out and buy my own copies after receiving these copies for this giveaway. My kids love them so much that they quoted their favorite phrases while out shopping just the other day.

bedtime_at_the_swampBedtime at the Swamp is a fantastic bedtime story. Short rhymes and lots of fun. The illustrations by Macky Pamintuan compliment Crow’s text exceptionally well. Bedtime at the Swamp is about a little boy who is supposed to be going home to get ready for bed, but instead ends up hiding from a monster. It sounds scary, but it really isn’t. In fact, the monster ends up hiding with him. I think kids are more likely to giggle at the end of this book than be scared.

My kids’ favorite line

Splish Splash Rumba-rumba bim bam BOOM!

middle child blues

The Middle Child Blues illustrated by David Catrow is just like the title reads,  a story about all the woes and struggles of being a middle child. Lee is told a little too often that he is too small, too old, too young and so forth. This leaves him  sick and tired of being stuck in the middle. To cope with all this middle childness, Lee gets out his guitar and sings the Middle Child Blues. My children once again love Crow’s rhyming and catchy rhythms that go with the classic blues. In fact I wanted to sing through the book.

My children love the illustrations and now my 2.5 year old wants a guitar for his birthday. They couldn’t agree on a favorite line so you’ll just have to read The Middle Child Blues to pick your own.

As mentioned, I am doing a giveaway. I was given an autographed copy of each book by the lovely Kristyn Crow (I don’t want to admit how long ago, but you know I’ve had a baby,  dealt with a daughter’s health issues, finished a book and moved) still, even with all my excuses this is long overdue.

Kristyn Crow’s website. Check out her other books Cool Daddy Rat, The Really Groovy Story of the Tortoise and the Hare and more.

Macky Pamintuan’s website. Macky illustrated Bedtime at the Swamp and he did  illustrations for Flat Stanley as well as Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew.

David Catrow’s website. David illustrated The Middle Child Blues and also  Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon and lots of other fantastic books.

Giveaway details

More then one entry possible. If you enter more then once you can leave one comment telling us everything you did to enter.

1. Make a comment about your favorite bedtime story.

2. Tweet about our giveaway and leave a comment to tell us.

3. Like our Facebook page and leave us a comment to tell us.

4. Post our giveaway on Facebook and leave a comment to tell us.

Bookscoop’s giveaway is limited to the continental United States only. The winner will be randomly chosen and notified shortly after the close of the giveaway. The giveaway will close at midnight, MST, Saturday, January 19, 2013. First person chosen will win Bedtime at the Swamp. Second person will win The Middle Child Blues. We will make reasonable attempts to contact the winner, however if the winner cannot be contacted we reserve the right to randomly choose another winner.

Posted in Giveaways, Picture Books | Tagged: , | 11 Comments »

Reading for Epilepsy Awareness 2011: Purple Day Challenge Report and Giveaway Winners

Posted by caribookscoops on May 26, 2011

First I want to say thank you to all who participated. We had several who participated from outside the U.S. What a thrill to know that Purple Day really is an international day for epilepsy awareness. We raised another $50.00 for CURE!!!!!!!!!! For my family, Purple Day went well despite 2 of my 3 children being sick, my husband arriving home from a business trip at an unearthly hour in the morning and of course, to really top it off, a few seizures at my brother’s wedding reception.

My daughter, my grandma and my grandpa who also has epilepsy - related to age and stroke

I am nervous to write this post. Actually, I am T-e-r-r-i-f-i-e-d with a capital T and here’s why. I know I am being irrational, but  every time I  start to post more on our blog, my daughter has a seizure. I know that writing a blog post has nothing to do with her having a seizure, but I still can’t help myself. There is this desperate part of myself that I have to keep in check that wants to control the seizures when really I can’t. I can give her the medicine and make sure she sleeps well, but that’s about all the control I have. Most of the time I let the rest go, but lurking in the back of my mind is the vivid image of her turning blue. Then checking to see if she was breathing, and not seeing her chest move or feeling any air coming out of her mouth as she lay on the floor of the school’s main office. Talking to the principal while the secretary called for the paramedics. Paramedics rushing in with oxygen and other life-saving equipment that I don’t even want to think about. All this in my mind while I try to remember to let her live like the seven- year-old girl that she is.

My brother and his beautiful bride along with my daughter. Their wedding colors were Day-Glo colors hot pink and lime green - one of the co-inventors had epilepsy

A big part of me wants to shelter her and keep her in a box. A magic box that would prevent seizures. Can someone invent that, please? I’d almost sell my soul for that, but then I remember that she is a child with dreams and hopes for the future. Did I ever tell you about her love for swimming? Seizures can be deadly especially when swimming or bathing. One of my co-workers lost her nephew with epilepsy to drowning during a seizure at his high-school graduation party. I try to push all of  these thoughts out of my mind and I let her swim anyway. The more rational part of myself realizes to not let her take risks could be more detrimental than her actual seizures.

Although, her body decided to celebrate Purple Day with some seizures, it wasn’t so bad. Just a few absence seizures not a full on tonic-clonic seizure. All of her Tonic-clonic seizures have been preceeded by absence so it made me nervous, very nervous. There are people who have several hundred seizures a day or seizures that go into status on a regular basis, but I still cannot get over how scared and vulnerable the seizures make me feel. It makes my heart race every single time. Even for the short ones. After talking to the nurse at her neurologist’s office we determined that she was having break-through seizures due to a recent growth spurt. In the last several months she has gone through two shoe sizes, a new violin and several pairs of pants. So it would seem she needed an increase in her medication.

I feel like I am being extra brave just posting about Purple Day and we really did have an excellent day.

Princess Amerah at school for Purple Day

For the ultimate celebration, I invited Princess Amerah aka Justine Greene, to come to my daughter’s school and read part of her book, Princess Amerah and the Magic Dress, for Purple Day. She graciously agreed. Justine happens to have a brother who has epilepsy. It was so wonderful of her to come and share not only her beautiful book and her wonderful singing voice, but she told my daughter’s class about her brother’s experience with epilepsy. In fact he was the model for a character in her book, Walter the Watermelon Man.

Princess Amerah and my daughter and her friend who has Dravet Syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy

Her book is amazing. Princess Amerah and the Magic Dress is currently sold out, but if you visit her website you can get on the waiting list for when the revised version comes out. I can hardly wait for the book to come out.

Thank you again for all who participated!!!!!!!!!!

Our Giveaway winners are . . . .

Christina at Overcoming Movement Disorder

and

Kelson

Please contact me by June 3rd with your address and which book you would like either When you Reach Me or The Day Glo-brothers so I can mail out your book, otherwise I will draw another person.

Posted in Challenges, Epilepsy, Giveaways | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Winners of Bookscoops’ Nature Squad giveaway…

Posted by hollybookscoops on May 4, 2011

The winner of the Nature Squad, Bluebird Finds a Home illustration giveaway is Lorene, and the winner of the book is Amy. Congratulations! I will be in touch to get your contact information. For all the others who entered or who may be silently lurking and hesitant to comment, keep checking back for more fun giveaways and author interviews coming soon.  We don’t share your contact information with anyone else, and only use it to contact you if you win something. So, enter away… next time. A big thank you goes to Jody at Adventure Publications for orchestrating the fantastic interview and giveaway, as well as for providing the review copy of Nature Squad, Bluebird Finds a Home. Also, a big thank you to illustrator Joel Seibert for participating in our interview. I have to agree with Amy, my favorite part was learning about Joel’s dyslexia and the ways he has overcome that and still participated in the world of literature!

Posted in Giveaways, News | Leave a Comment »

Book Giveaway and Author Interview Nature Squad Bluebird Finds a Home by Ryan Jacobson, illustrated by Joel Seibel

Posted by hollybookscoops on April 22, 2011

It’s Earth Day!!!

In celebration of Earth Day 2011, Holly is pleased to host Joel Seibel, the illustrator of Nature Squad’s new book: Bluebird Finds a Home

In conjunction with our interview below, we are facilitating a giveaway of #1- a signed illustration by Joel Seibel, and #2- a copy of Bluebird Finds a Home signed by author Ryan Jacobson. To enter the giveaway, please see the instructions at the end of our interview.

Welcome to Bookscoops Joel! Please tell us a little about yourself so our readers can get to know you?

I was raised in Burbank, California, and I lived just a few miles from Disney Studios, which is where I started my career at the age of 19. Four years later, I found myself at Hanna-Barbera, where I stayed for 28 years, working on shows like Tom & Jerry, Scooby Doo and the Smurfs. My wife, Ellen, and I moved to Minnesota in 1982, and I started working for Warner Brothers Studio. In 1996, I received a primetime Emmy Award for designing the Pinky & the Brain Christmas Special. I still work on shows like Angelina Ballerina and obviously have begun illustrating books too. My career has been very full and blessed.

We are big fans of Tom &Jerry and the Smurfs at our house! Scooby Doo fits in the mix as long as it’s not too scary. My 4yo actually handles Scooby better than his big brothers sometimes. Speaking of cartoons, what are some of the commonalities and differences between animation and illustration?

The big commonality is that you’re sketching and drawing for both—but animation moves. You have time to get across an action or what you want to happen. In illustration, one drawing has to tell the whole story. It’s a lot more difficult to make sure you have the right depiction of the right moment in that drawing. In Nature Squad, there could have been any number of 40 or 50 drawings for each page. We ended up with one specific drawing that told the story best. That’s the difference. Sometimes that can be harder than drawing several pictures. But it’s nice to be able to do just one and move on, which is a real breath of fresh air when you’re used to drawing the same things over and over again.

I had never thought about animation as being tedious before, but I could see how doing the same things repeatedly could be that way. Did you run into any difficulties illustrating the Nature Squad? If not, what has been your most challenging illustrating/animating dilemma?

You run into difficulties on everything when you’re illustrating. Where do you start? On each page, how much and how little do you need to do? You can overdraw and you can underdraw. I try to eliminate dilemmas by doing thumbnail sketches. I do rough, tiny sketches of each page and go back and forth with the publisher and author until we know exactly what we want. I make sure we eliminate potential problems before I really get to work.

An animating dilemma? One time, they had me doing a guy on Flintstone Kids, and he was pounding on a drum and dancing at the same time. The dance had a different beat than the drum beat. Now, you only have so much you can do and only so much time to do it, and it was really difficult figuring out how to do that. By the time I was done with it, I didn’t like it. I told the director, “I don’t think I can do this.” They gave it to some old pro who had been animating for a lot of years, and I don’t know if he did it or not. But it was awful, and I still remember the horrors of that from 35 years ago!

Ah! I know just what you mean. A long time ago, in my nerdy high school days, I played the cymbals in marching band. There’s nothing like having to put your foot down to march, while at the same time having to only play on the up-beat! I don’t know if I ever got it right. I’m sure that trying to animate something like that would be incredibly difficult! Speaking of difficulties- if you had to choose . . .who is your favorite illustrator and why?

I love the old Dr. Seuss books. I love his characters. I love the wackiness, the hair, the outfits, the shoes. Everything about them was really designed great. It’s like he said, “There are going to be parents reading these books to kids over and over again, so I want the parents to enjoy them too.” I love that he did his own stuff. No one was telling him what to draw, so he had a freedom to do what he wanted, and it really comes through in the illustrations.

Dr. Seuss truly was a genius with rhyme and whimsical illustrations. We read his books often here. In fact  just a few weeks ago my 4yo drank too much soda and was sick sick sick! The ABC book was my favorite as a child. What is one of your favorite memories of reading as a child?

You’re going to love this: I have none. I have no memories of reading anything as a child. I couldn’t read. I found out much later in life that I have dyslexia, so every time I tried to read, words and letters on the page would go goofy. To this day, I can read half a page and can’t tell you what I’ve just read. I can’t retain it. I wasn’t ever really taught to read. Back then, if you didn’t know how to read, it was your tough luck. It was such a chore for me that I would never elect to do that. My mom did my book reports. I can honestly say, I’m now 68 years old, and I’ve never read a book. I have to wait for the movie! For some reason, the only book I’ve ever been able to read and retain has been the Bible.

I am always so impressed to learn about the obstacles surmounted by those with learning disabilities. I have a brother who is dyslexic and I remember tutoring him in reading. It was very frustrating for both of us. He has gone on to accomplish amazing things and has one of the most incredible memories for oral language I have ever known not to mention his amazing negotiating skills.  Mo Willems is another dyslexic author/illustrator we greatly admire here at bookscoops! 

What do you enjoy most about being an illustrator and what is your favorite medium to work in?

I love working at home, and I have now for over 30 years. I’ve been able to make my own office, and I’ve been my own worst boss. I work myself to death. I live in Minnesota, so I have a slower, easier pace. It’s a really neat life. It’s very calm compared to the hairy lifestyle of a place like L.A. Unfortunately, I’m still on a California deadline, which can get crazy. But at least I get to do it how I want. I’m fortunate to have gotten to a place in my career where I can work without the need for someone to look over my shoulder.

My favorite medium came from being in the design department at Hanna-Barbera Studios. We did all of our presentations and design work in ink and magic markers. The stuff was so sharp. It looked really good. I started combining magic markers with colored pencils. I found out later on that every time I’d do that, it would never look the same when it was printed. I wasn’t able to match printer capabilities—I was using too many colors. So I started messing with colorizing on the computer. That’s what I do now. I’ve learned over the years to get a certain look and a certain feel that way. I draw in pencil, ink over that with pens, and then scan and color them on the computer.

I understand that printing art work for books is difficult because of the loss of certain elements. Printing has come a long way from what it used to be though! It would be great to have the capability of gallery quality printings in our literature, but I suppose that art galleries aren’t going to go out of business anytime soon. However, we may see leaps and bounds with digital books becoming so popular!

What advice do you have for aspiring illustrators and/or animators?

For animators, the key is really to get a good education. Back when I started in 1963, I had dreams of being the next Walt Disney. I could go into the studios and get all sorts of on-the-job training. I couldn’t have afforded to go to a really good animation college. But those days have come and gone. Nowadays, animation is a huge thing. It’s an extremely hard industry. There aren’t any studios that are going to take you and teach you how to do it. So if you want to be an animator, go to a cheap college and learn all of the basics for a couple years. Then find yourself a really good animation college. When you come out, you have to be ready. But find out who the instructors know. If you can’t get a good letter of recommendation to a few studios, you shouldn’t be wasting your money at that school. On the other hand, illustration is different. Schooling is important, but it isn’t quite as essential if you draw well. You just need a good portfolio, and you need to get it out there. And you can always illustrate your own book too.

Thanks for the educational tips! What’s next for you? What other projects do you have in the works?

I’m starting work on my own children’s book. I’m hoping to do another Nature Squad soon. I just finished up an Angelina Ballerina, so I’m expecting a call from a studio with a few new animation assignments. I’m also thrilled to be doing a children’s book about a brother and a sister who are excited because Jesus is coming to town. Basically, it’s about what they go through to meet him and what they think about it after they do.

It sounds like you don’t lack for things to do! It’s been fun and informative getting to know you. Thanks for the opportunity to host your book tour!

My pleasure, thank you!

Giveaway Details:

Giveaway #1- an original, signed illustration by Joel Seibel (similar to the one in the interview!)

Giveaway #2- a copy of Nature Squad: Bluebird Finds a Home, signed by author Ryan Jacobson.

To enter the giveaway, please comment on which giveaway you would like to win (or both), and why. For additional entries you may also:

1-comment on your favorite part of the interview, one entry per comment per item.

2- Share your ideas about Earth Day and how you plan to celebrate

3- Link to this interview and/or our book review

4- Tweet about our giveaway and leave a comment to tell us

5- Post about our giveaway on Facebook and leave a comment to tell us.

Bookscoop’s giveaway is limited to the continental United States only. The winner will be randomly chosen and notified shortly after the close of the giveaway. The giveaway will close at midnight, MST, Saturday, April 30, 2011.

Posted in Author Interviews, Giveaways, Picture Books | 6 Comments »

Purple Day Challenge & Book Giveaway 2011: Supporting Epilepsy Awareness Around the World on March 26th

Posted by caribookscoops on March 7, 2011

Bookscoops is again thrilled to announce that we are participating in Purple Day, an international day to promote epilepsy awareness this year. For those of you new to our blog, we are two sisters – Cari and Holly who read and review books to promote literacy. Cari’s daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy in October of 2009 and this has been an interesting journey as her family and daughter have come to terms with diagnosis and what it means. Our whole family plans to celebrate Purple Day again this year and one of our brother’s is getting married on Purple Day.

Why Bookscoops is going purple?

Well like we said, Cari’s oldest daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy almost a year and half ago. She has Generalized Seizure Disorder and experiences Tonic-Clonic Seizures, formerly known as Grand Mal as well as Absence Seizures. She is very bright and full of potential. Epilepsy is only part of her as a human being as she loves to read and is bi-literate in English and Spanish. She also enjoys spending time with friends, swimming and playing the violin. Recently, she started karate and enjoys practicing her kicks and punches around the house.  One of my biggest frustrations is the lack of information and misconceptions surrounding this disorder and particularly the lack of funding it receives. I feel that one of the best ways to help her deal with this is to raise awareness. Her life with epilepsy can be made easier and safer as more people know about this common disorder and learn how to respond with appropriate first aid.

Photo of Cari's daughter by Jessie Lynne Photography, click on photo to visit her website

In addition, we wanted to raise awareness about epilepsy because it is the second most common reason people see a neurologist behind migraine. Epilepsy affects 50 million people world wide and about 3 million people living in the United States have epilepsy. More people have this condition than multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson’s disease combined and every year more people will die of epilepsy than breast cancer. Unfortunately, a lot of myths and false ideas are still being perpetuated about epilepsy (such as it is a mental condition or that epilepsy is contagious). Some of these misconceptions have caused many people to become isolated and live in fear and shame that someone will find out about their condition and many people have faced discrimination based on their medical diagnosis.

Who Can Participate and How to Participate?

There are number of ways to participate in our second annual Purple Day Challenge and because we love to promote literacy we are combining both reading and Purple Day starting on Monday Mar 7th and ending on Sunday, March 27th. While our blog focuses on children and adolescent literature we are inviting anyone to go purple!!!! So that means any person, author, book blogger or blogger who wants to promote Purple Day may participate. To make this easy on you (and us) choose any or all of the following.

1. Post the Purple Day Button on your blog, facebook or tweet about our challenge on Twitter, starting on Monday, March 7th through Sunday March 27th and write a post promoting Purple Day. Please note we have received permission to use the Purple Day logo as part of this challenge. If you choose this option you must read and agree to the copyright notice on the Purple Day website by using the logo you are stating that you have read and agree to their terms of use. Two sizes of buttons are at the bottom of this post.

2. Read a book about epilepsy and post a review. For a list of books for children go to Epilepsy.Com. Use the Reading for Purple Day Button to declare your participation & link to this post.

3. Read a book by or about a famous person with epilepsy and post a review. Don’t forget to use the Reading for Epilepsy Awareness button. Cari’s daughter’s favorite so far is The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story Behind Bob and Joe Switzer’s Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors, which also is a Cybils winner for 2009. Some names you might know are Harriet Tubman, Alfred Nobel and Charles Dickens and more recently actor Danny Glover, football player Alan Faneca and track star, Florence Griffin Joyner known as Flo Jo. For a more complete list visit The Epilepsy Foundation or if you’re a fan of Wikipedia see the List of Famous people with Epilepsy, which to be honest seems to be the best documented list we’ve found so far.

4. Read a book that promotes self-confidence and acceptance in children and post a review. Suggested books so far with a very appropriate title, Purplicious by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann and Little Skink’s Tail by Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein & again don’t forget the Reading for Epilepsy Awareness Button.

5. If you or a family has dealt with epilepsy write a post sharing your experience.

6. Wear purple on March 26th and tell people why you are wearing purple.

7. Click on the link to watch a short interview with Katie Couric and write about what the things that you learned you in a blog post, or if you don’t have a blog put it in the comments for this post.

8. Have an idea not listed above submit it and we’ll give you another entry. So if you think of something put a comment in the comments below.

For every entry we receive, Cari will donate 25¢ per entry for a total of fifty dollars to a non-profit organization that works towards epilepsy awareness and/or research and Holly will match Cari’s donation. Multiple entries are possible. One entry equals doing one of the seven items listed above.

Our Goals for this Challenge

Our goal is three-fold 1) to promote Purple Day and raise epilepsy awareness, 2) to dispel myths surrounding epilepsy and 3) to compile a more comprehensive list of books that portray epilepsy and/or people with epilepsy accurately, especially for children. Finally we do hope to raise some money for epilepsy awareness.

How to Enter and When Does it End?

Sign-up in the comments below telling us who you are and what you are planning on doing to participate. Make sure you leave a link to your blog. If you post about this challenge please leave us a link in the comments to your post and we will put together a list of everyone who participated with links to their blog posts as the week progresses. The Purple Day mini-challenge begins on March 7th and ends March 27th , midnight MST.

Rewards for this Challenge:


  • For everyone who participates we will enter them in a book give away for When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, the 2010 Newberry Winner as well as the Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story Behind Bob and Joe Switzer’s Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors, which also is a Cybils winner for 2009. Both books have characters with seizures. Please note: This open to continental U.S. residents and international participants where it would cost less than $10.00 to ship & ends on March 31st mountain standard time.
  • The good feeling that you are helping other people become aware of a disorder that affects millions of people world wide.
  • Last year we raised $50.00 to donate to CURE. This year we would like to raise more, remember Cari is willing to donate .25¢ up to a total of fifty dollars and Holly will match her donation to a non-profit organization that works towards epilepsy awareness and/or research for each person who commits to participate by doing any of the 8 options above. See above for details of how to enter and participate.

Interested in sponsoring our Literacy and Purple Day challenge?

If you are an author/publicist and have a book that you think would go well with Purple Day we will consider doing a review of your book and/or host a giveaway. Please contact us at caribookscoops (at) ymail  (dot) com or hollybookscoops (at) ymail(dot)com.

Non-profit Groups that promote Epilepsy Awareness, Education and Fund Research

Consider donating to one of the groups below:

Purple Day – Founded by Cassidy Megan, a child with epilepsy to promote global epilepsy awareness.

CURE Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy – raises money for epilepsy research.

Epilepsy Foundation an organization dedicated to advocacy, education and research.

Epilepsy Association of Utah – The group in Cari’s state dedicated to educating the public and supporting persons and their families with epilepsy.

Anita Kaufman Foundation – Dedicated to educating the public to not fear epilepsy.

Purple Day Button

We have provided two sizes for the button. If you would like to use the Purple Day Button you must read and agree to the copyright notice on the Purple Day website by using the logo you are stating that you have read and agree to their terms of use.

Posted in Challenges, Giveaways | Tagged: , | 14 Comments »

A True Princess by Diane Zahler

Posted by hollybookscoops on January 29, 2011

I

Review of A True Princess

I have just returned spell-bound from Diane Zahler’s new novel A True Princess. Such beautiful stories are often described as enchanting, but I am seeking for a word more rich and lovely. Mesmerized. I have been mesmerized by the Elf King and have shivered in fear as Odin and his deadly hunters thundered through Bitra forest. Zahler has proven herself a master weaver of retold fairy tales. Her stories are truly magical, deeply engaging, and surprisingly full of twists and elements of heroism- or rather, ‘heroine-ism’. I thoroughly enjoyed this tale, based on the oft told Princess and the pea, yet full of more than pitiful princess wanna-bes standing in line to prove their pedigree.

Lilia is a shepherdess living off the kindness of the family who rescued her as a baby from a basket in a river. Rather Moses-like, I know, but strangely satisfactory. Initially, I was thinking Unsinkable Molly Brown meets Moses, both lovable stories, but I was pleased to find something or, rather someone even more enchanting. Lilia has beautiful dark hair and violet eyes, which is perfect because I have become a little weary of trite heroines with blonde or chestnut locks and blue or green eyes. Lilia’s classic beauty makes for beautiful cover art and the book is just as visually appealing on the outside as it is satisfying inside.

Kudos to Harper Collins for uncovering yet another outstanding story weaver. Thank you to Ms. Zahler and her publicist for the ARC! I look forward to the release of A True Princess February 1, 2011. Perfect timing for Valentine’s presents and Easter baskets! Readers can look forward to a spell-binding read. Zahler’s second novel does not disappoint!

Come back and visit us soon, as we here at Bookscoops are participating in Diane Zahler’s Blog Tour in conjunction with the release of  A True Princess. We will have an author interview and Book Giveaway, courtesy of Harper Collins, on February 12th 2011!  Don’t miss this great opportunity to get an inside look at Diane Zahler and enter for a chance to win a hard-bound copy of her wonderful book! Mark your calendars for Saturday February 12th- only two weeks away!

Posted in Author Interviews, Books for Girls, Giveaways, Young Adult Fiction | 10 Comments »

Announcing the new winner of Otto Grows Down!

Posted by hollybookscoops on November 15, 2010

After much delay. . . specifically, ear infection, strep throat, teething,  followed by more strep throat… I am pleased to announce the new winner of Otto Grows Down! Becky, commenter #12 is our new winner. I will be in touch with you shortly Becky, to get your information and ship you your book! Congratulations!

Posted in Giveaways | 1 Comment »

Announcing the winner of Otto Grows Down Giveaway!

Posted by hollybookscoops on September 27, 2010

I finally got around to plugging our entries into the Random Number generator, and I’m pleased to announce the winner of Otto Grows Down!

The winner is Amy! Amy, I will be in contact with you shortly via email to get your address. Thank you to all who participated!

Posted in Giveaways | Leave a Comment »

Book Giveaway! Otto Grows Down by Michael Sussman illustrated by Scott Magoon

Posted by hollybookscoops on August 18, 2010

Otto Grows Down has wiggled its way right in to my heart. I have been loving on this book ever since I opened the front cover. I can’t keep it to myself any longer (big sigh) I think I will have to buy my own copy because this one has always been destined for a giveaway. Yeah for everyone else (see below for details on how to enter)! Children will love this humorous tale and beg for more. I can hardly wait to see what Sussman writes next!

How did Otto wiggle his way right into my heart? Well, first off, the mesmerizing illustrations remind me in a way of some of David Shannon’s work! (and I love David Shannon). Also, Otto Grows Down is a captivating tale of the consequences of our innermost selfish wishes. Otto’s childish innocence speaks right to that part inside me (and probably you too) that sometimes threatens to get in the way of peaceful family relationships. As many of you know, we at Bookscoops have added two (in Jen Robinson’s words) little ‘bookworms’ to our family this year. Which puts me in the perfect position to love Otto, having observed some of his characteristics in my very own children recently. I am happy to highly recommend Otto Grows Down as a great book to help with the new baby blues transition for older siblings. My four year old now emphatically says, “I do NOT want to take our baby back to the hospital!”

So, enough with the commentary, you want details, right?

Otto is a sweet little boy who has a new baby sister and on his 6th birthday, when he blows out the candles, he wishes that his sister had never been born. When he opens his eyes, his wish begins to come true, with unexpected consequences. Time begins to go backwards and Otto relives his life in reverse as he takes his baby sister back to the hospital, spits out his food at the dinner table, and slides up and climbs down all the playground equipment at school. Day after day, year after year, until Otto almost isn’t Otto anymore.

Hands down, my favorite line, and illustration?

“And going to the bathroom was downright disgusting.”

We laughed and laughed over this one at our house. Then we shared this book with everyone who visited and laughed and laughed some more. Otto Grows down will appeal to kids and adults of all ages. If you would like a chance to win this book, please enter the giveaway below. If you would like a chance to buy this book, it is available pretty much everywhere now, and is the perfect gift for a new older sibling. If I could go back in time, I would have given it to my older sister when I was born. No offense Cari, but maybe it would have saved me a special haircut or two.

Book Giveaway Details:

Bookscoops is giving away one hardback copy of Otto Grows Down, courtesy of Joanna Stampfel-Volpe at  Nancy Coffey Literary & Media Representation, to one lucky winner. You may enter the giveaway by linking  to this post, commenting on this post, sharing a tip of how to help kids adjust to new siblings, or a funny anecdote about new baby growing pains. Comments will close for the giveaway at midnight MST on August 26, 2010. I will be happy to ship the book to any winner within the continental United States. Thanks and happy commenting!

Check out Michael Sussman’s website and Scott Magoon’s for more information on their fantastic contributions to children’s literature.

Posted in Books for Boys, Books for Girls, Giveaways, Picture Books | 14 Comments »

 
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