Happy news! The process of updating this website is almost complete, and I think it’s time to welcome you back. I hope you enjoy perusing the fresh pages and soaking up the new look. Keep in mind that I’m still working on many details including adding social media links “above the fold”. Any guesses as to what that means? The books page and links are also still a work-in-progress, but I hope to have those complete by next week.
Now here’s a fun challenge for you. Remember how I said I wanted to somehow honor my mom – whose beautiful banner graced this blog for its first ten years? Well, I figured out a way to do just that. If you discover it, please let me know in the comments section.
Finally, it’s hard to believe, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRISTMAS CHILD releases in FOUR days! The virtual blog/podcast tour kicked off this week with these two wonderful blog stops.
Tour Stop #1: Have you ever wondered about the journey a book takes from inspiration to publication? Find out HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD’s journey in this post over at Kathy Temean’s blog. And while you are there, be sure to enter her giveaway for a fresh-off-the-press copy of the book. All the details are on her blog. And only a handful have entered so far… just sayin’.
Tour Stop #2: Head over to Write2Ignite for a thoughtful review of HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRISTMAS CHILD by Kathy O’Neill. Also included are thoughts on “7 Ways Happy Birthday, Christmas Child Helps Us Slow Down and Allow Little Hearts and Souls to Fill with the Wonder of Jesus’ Birth.”
Happy Friday, friends! Bunny and I have four fun things to share with you this week. First, if you live in the metropolitan NY/NJ area, I invite you to stop in at Perwinkles Gift Shop in Cranford, NJ, tomorrow March 26th from 1 – 3. Owner, Elaine, will have a broad selection of my books on hand, including BUNNY FINDS EASTER! Let’s help her sell them all. Details in image.
Second, be sure to check out Sally Matheny’s review of BUNNY FINDS EASTER. Her reviews are always so thoughtful. Here’s the link . While you are there, I hope you will enjoy exploring her many other reviews as well.
Third, I was honored to be featured in writer (and former English teacher) Joyce McCullough’s Spring 2022 Newsletter with an in-depth interview. Thank you, Joyce. Here’s the link.
Finally, earlier this week I had the pleasure of getting to chat with Christian children’s author, Christie Thomas about books and other fun things including, BUNNY FINDS EASTER. Here’s the link for that:
So many fun things to share this week as Bunny hops her way towards Easter. First, be sure to check out this fresh-off-the-press review for BUNNY FINDS EASTER from author Rebecca Gomez. She’s a real stickler for rhyme… and she loved it! (Phew.) And this cute little fella weighed in as well. Isn’t he darling? Here’s the link: https://www.rebeccajgomez.com/2022/03/review-bunny-finds-easter-by-laura.html
Also, last week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Mel Rosenberg for his “You’ve Got Mel” podcast. Enjoy it and all his other interviews with children’s authors on the New Book Network. Here’s the link: https://newbooksnetwork.com/bunny-finds-easter
Finally, Zonderkidz is sponsoring a 25 book giveaway of BUNNY FINDS EASTER on Goodreads. Be sure to enter. While you are there, please add the book to your “to-read” list. That will help others to discover it. And after you read it, or any of my books, if you could also leave a review, that would be wonderful. Good or bad, every review helps. Thank you! Here’s the link to the giveaway: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/340275-bunny-finds-easter
One of the joys of having a new book out is getting to visit and celebrate with a virtual book tour! And because this tour includes more than just blogs, I’ve decided to call it the BUNNY HOP! Each week, we’ll be visiting somewhere fun but it will be a surprise! Don’t worry, I’ll let you know where to go as we hop along together.
And where is Bunny, the sweet protagonist from BUNNY FINDS EASTER (Zonderkidz, February 1, 2022) hopping to today? I’m so glad you asked. She’s over at picture book author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog for Perfect Picture Book Friday! Thank you for having us, Susanna. The post includes a review, a craft (pictured) and a GIVEAWAY so hurry on over. Here’s the link: https://susannahill.com/2022/02/04/perfect-picture-book-friday-bunny-finds-easter-plus-a-giveaway/https://susannahill.com/2022/02/04/perfect-picture-book-friday-bunny-finds-easter-plus-a-giveaway/
This past Saturday, in celebration of Hug A Sheep Day which takes place on the last Saturday in October, Little Ewe was featured over at Kathy Carroll’s wonderful Celebrate Picture Books blog. Head over there to find her review with this adorable craft that is also a game. It’s a cozy resting box for Little Ewe! It’s the craft I’ve been using at book store and library events this fall and it’s a big hit. There’s also a giveaway for a free copy of the book which ends 11/4/21. So grab your favorite cozy November hot beverage and head on over. I’ll make it easy for you. Here’s the link to the review/craft and here’s the link to the giveaway. And to make that cute little knitted lamb press here. Thank you for celebrating with Little Ewe!
Today I’m delighted to have LITTLE EWE featured on Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Book Friday Series. Head on over to get Susanna’s take on the book. And in the extra fun department, she asked me to share an activity to go along with the book. It’s a fun one! What could it be, you ask? You’ll have to pop over there to find out. I’ll make it easy for you. Here’s the link:
I have a special place in my heart for Noah’s Ark themed stories. Indeed, one of my very first childhood writings was a retelling of Noah’s Ark. It’s written on pale green lined paper in second-grade print, includes crayon illustrations… and is very dramatic. Later, when my own kids were little, I loved reading Lucy Cousins NOAH’S ARK with them. We even had the matching puzzle and enjoyed assembling it and naming all the animals. And even later, when I was inspired to write a bedtime story about being scared during a storm, the ark became the setting for my rollicking, yet ultimately soothing rhymer, GOODNIGHT, ARK.
So, as you can imagine, I was very excited this week when a fun new Noah’s ark themed board book sailed on to my porch. Written by Brock Eastman and illustrated by Lee Holland, BEDTIME ON NOAH’S ARK (Harvest House Publishers, September 2020) offers young readers and their parents a fresh take on this iconic bible story – this time with a bedtime routine theme.
There are three things I especially enjoyed about this book.
First, the sweet cartoon-like illustrations are warm and inviting with oodles of animals doing fun things – like brushing their teeth and putting on their pajamas. As a parent, I can see lots of opportunities to engage little ones in simple counting and naming games.
Second, I really enjoyed Brock’s use of similes throughout the board book text to describe the bedtime routines of the animals. My favorite might be “hop into your pajamas like a kangaroo” with “stick your tongue out like a giraffe” (when brushing your teeth) as a close second. Rich, fun language like this not only warms little ones’ ears to the vividness of words, but also provides fun opportunities to play some fun “_____ like a ____” games.
Third, this simple, fun story was a sweet reminder to me (and probably to parents everywhere) of how special bedtime is. Having a nightly routine, like the animals do in Brock’s story, really does lay an important foundation in the growing up experience. Those seemingly simple nightly habits not only foster good dental and hygiene habits, they also set the stage for important unwinding techniques to treasure for a lifetime like reading before bed and laying the joys and concerns of our day releasing through prayer.
Writing this post sparked fun memories for me of bedtime at our house when my kids were little. I must have been doing something right because bedtime was never something my kids complained about or tried to delay. In fact, they sometimes even asked to go to bed early. Why? Because, just like in Brock’s story, bedtime at our house was a special, cozy time involving bubbles and bath toys, toothpaste and brushes, bedtime stories and sometimes even a couple of before bedtime games… and always ended with prayer and a song.
I suspect that if my kids were still little, this little board book would quickly have become a favorite. Happy reading!
[Note: Thank you to the the publisher for a sneak peek at the book which I was under no obligation to review. The views and opinions expressed on this blog about books and other things are purely my own.]
Today I am delighted to welcome children’s book author Tara Knudson in celebration of her darling new Easter board book EASTER EGG DAY (Zonderkidz, 2020). Told in light verse, it’s a celebration of a beloved Easter tradition – decorating Easter eggs. Tara’s charming text opens with:
White eggs dyed
One by one. ”
Tara then takes the reader through a family’s egg decorating celebration. Illustrated by Pauline Stewart, each spread is full of color and warmth and the most adorable little rabbit family. The back cover has instructions for decorating your own eggs – a fun and concrete way to extend the story.
And now, I have a special treat for you as the author herself shares five fun Easter memories that inspired her to write the book. Take it away, Tara!
About the Author
Tara Knudson is a former teacher who has been writing poetry and stories since she was a young girl growing up in Chicago. Her published work can be found in children’s magazines, greeting cards, calendars, and a poetry anthology for teens. She is the author of Christmas Cookie Day and Easter Egg Day, as well as the forth coming Fun Fall Day and Valentine’s Day Treats, all published by Zonderkidz.
NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!! If you’d like a chance to win a FREE copy of EASTER EGG DAY (Zonderkidz, February 2020) simply post a comment below letting me know that you’d like to enter. (NOTE: Must be U.S. resident and at least 18 years old to enter.) The giveaway ends Thursday, 3/26/20 at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be announced that Friday!
[Note: Thank you to the author for this complimentary book that I was under no obligation to review. The views and opinions expressed on this blog about books and other things are purely my own.]
Did you know that LOVE IS KIND celebrates the precious bond between little ones and their grandparents? Indeed, it’s Little Owl’s love for his grammy that sets the story in motion… and it’s Grammy’s love for him that brings the story to a cozy resolution.
Here’s a sweet glimpse of that bond in a special clip illustrator Lison Chaperon made to celebrate LOVE IS KIND:
And now, in celebration of Grandparents Day, I’m excited to share that LOVE IS KIND is featured over at Celebrate Picture Books today with a thoughtful review, a baking activity (see picture above) and a giveaway of the new board book edition! So grab a cup of coffee, or tea, as I prefer, and head on over. I’ll make it easy for you. Press here.
Today children’s author Glenys Nellist is featuring LOVE IS KIND on her lovely blog. Head on over there to read her review. Then keep reading as I share FIVE FUN FACTS about WRITING THE BOOK! (Oh, and there’s also a giveaway!) So grab that cup of tea and head on over. Happy reading, all!
And here’s the complete list of stops I’ll be making. I hope you will join me each step of the way. =)