Fill your house with stacks of books, in all the crannies and all the nooks. ~ Dr. Seuss

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The Pied Piper of Hamelin

The Pied Piper of Hamelin

 The Pied Piper of Hamelin! 

Now an interactive e-book app.


Stacking Books and The Candlestick Company is proud to announce our first children’s INTERACTIVE e-book app !


Find The Pied Piper App by Stacking Books on your favorite App Store Now!

The Pied Piper of Hamelin App Store LInk The Pied Piper of Hamelin App Google Play Store Link

Teachers With Apps Says: (Full Review here:

You can almost feel the history of the story as your fingers dance along the page.“ 


The Pied Piper by Stacking Books is truly an original telling of the classic tale and one that will be in my permanent rotation.

With original art work by Andrea Dailey, the Pied Piper app is fun, engaging and interactive. Andrea’s drawings gives a new life to the story. Built in layers, Andrea weaves her magic through character and landscape art. The parchment paper background, mellow yellow and browns lend to the charm of the story and accurately captures the period of the story.Now, you can find the legend re-told in a refreshing format. The Pied Piper app ( launched on iOS and Android is now available worldwide on tablets.

The Pied Piper of Hamelin or the story of the Piper, the rat-catcher, is a legend told for generations. In early 16th century, the story took a full narrative form. It was then told and re-told by the German writer Johann Wolfgang bon Goethe, the Brothers Grimm and later, by Robert Browning.Written in verse and with some amazing full spread illustrations! 

Mark Kueffner lends beautiful background music to capture the mood of the tale. Appropriately placed sound effects will delight the children as they discover the many interactive elements on the pages. Can you mimic the Piper’s music on our Play the Pipe game!

A beautiful production, complete with original art and music, The Pied Piper App ( is a wonderful collection for your tablet reading experience.

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Kid Lit Blog Hop

Kid Lit Blog Hop

Welcome to the 56th Kid Lit Blog Hop where we continue to develop a dynamic and engaged community of children’s books bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists. So, you are always more than welcome to join us by popping in a post and hopping around to meet some of your fellow Kid Lit bloggers and authors!

This week, we are excited to be including a Google+ Linky Party to be held in conjunction with the Kid Lit Blog Hop. These linky parties are designed to give you the opportunity to connect with and grow your network of fellow kid lit bloggers, authors, and parents through your various social media platforms.

We are pleased to be welcome back  Tiffiny from the blog Spark and Pook as a co-host.  Welcome Tiffiny !!


Happy Hopping everyone and enjoy the Hop!


Kid Lit Blog Hop Rules *Please Read*

1. We ask that you kindly follow your hosts. You can follow us any way you choose (Email, GFC, Twitter, Facebook, G+, Pinterest, etc.), but we’ve added our preferences below. If you could just give us a quick “follow” or “like” that would be much appreciated! Make sure to leave us a message if you are following us (i.e., on Twitter or Facebook or on our websites) and we will be sure to follow you back. Thanks!


Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Julie Grasso, Author/ Blogger

Cheryl Carpinello, Author / Blogger

Reshama @ Stacking Books

Stacie @ BeachBoundBooks

Mia @ Pragmatic Mom

Best 4 Future: Bringing Up Baby Bilingual

Naila @ Reading Authors

The Logonauts

A Book Long Enough


Spark and Pook

2. Link up any Kid Lit related post. This can be a link to a children’s book review, a discussion about children’s literature/literacy, or a post on a recently-read children’s book or one that you love from your childhood.

* Don’t link directly to your blog, it must be a specific post.*

* For Authors, we prefer you to link to your blog if you have one. Please link unique posts each time ~ no repeats please. *

* Make sure you include an image relevant to the POST (e.g., book cover), not your blog button or photo of yourself.*

* Feel free to link more than one post.*

3. Please visit AT LEAST the TWO LINKS directly ahead of your own and leave them some love in the form of a comment. We are trying to build a community of bloggers, readers, parents, authors, and others who are as passionate about children’s literature as we are so please CONNECT and follow any or all of the blogs that interest you!

4. If you like, grab the button above and put it somewhere on your blog, preferably the post you’re linking up. If you’d prefer, you can just add a text link back to this Hop so that others can find it and check out all these great book links!

5. It would really help us get the word out about the Kid Lit Blog Hop if you would be so kind as to tweet, share, and spread the word about the Hop!

Interested in co-hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop? If you’ve joined us before, you are welcome to join us again! Please email renee @ motherdaughterbookreviews (dot) com and put Co-Hosting Blog Hop in the subject line.

Happy Hopping!

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

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If an Armadillo Went to a Restaurant

If an Armadillo Went to a Restaurant
by Ellen Fischer (Author), Laura Wood (Illustrator)

What DO animals eat?? Surprised

A silly, super sweet non-fiction, “If an Armadillo Went to a Restaurant” will answer this question. The picture book non-fiction gives you a peek into what different animals would order if they were to go to a restaurant.

Will they order a pizza or a sandwich? No!!

If an Armadillo went to a restaurant Giraffe

If an Armadillo went to a restaurant Ostrich

How about spaghetti with meatballs? No! No!! Smile

If an Armadillo went to a restaurant Armadillo

An Armadillo would probably prefer a plate of ants and worms (with a few beetles thrown in of course!) Wouldn’t that be delectable?? (GROSS!!)

Suited for 3+ year olds, this adorable book follows a pattern, introducing a new animal on alternate pages and asking the reader what food would best suit the palate of that animal. Find animals such as sea turtles, snake, butterflies, kangaroos and many more. We loved discovering the different types of food and playing a “guessing” game for each animal. And the “reveal” would leave the kiddo with lots of “eeeeww” and “yuuuuck” and similar sounding words!  The book ends with a question around what would the reader order if he/she went to a restaurant with a small kids menu… yum!

Gentle pacing, simple language and silly answers will keep the young readers engaged. Laura Wood’s cute kid-friendly art is colorful and eye catching. Her quirky animal renderings, pictures of various animal food on plates and adorable expressions on their faces are instantly lovable.

A great picture book non-fiction for libraries, classrooms and home reading.

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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5 Graphic Novels we Loved!

5 Graphic Novels we Loved!

1. Fairy Tale Comics edited by Chris Duffy

Fairy Tale Comics page
This is a collection of 17 of your favorite fairy tales. And along with your well known favorites like “Snow White” and “Goldilocks”, there are some unique finds too, like “The Prince and the Tortoise: from 1001 nights and “The Boy who drew cats”. What is unique about this collection is that each tale has been illustrated by 17 different artists who put their own unique “signature” on the tales. It is a delight to re-read your favorite and new tales in such a diversity of art in one single book. From Raina Telgemeier’s straight bold line comic art work to Brett Helquist’s more parchment colored art, this book is truly a very unique collection.

2. Odd Duck by Cecil Castellucci

Odd Duck cover
We fell in love with the very predictable Theodora and her new quirky “odd” friend Chad. This is a story about friendship, impressions and acceptance.
The author/illustrator duo have created a charming story in a “graphic novel” format. Word balloons, clear pastel colors and strong lines with lots and lots of whimsical, quirky details makes this book very endearing! This tale has an age old theme of “be yourself”. The unique twist however comes when the “Odd Duck” seems to think that their world is quite normal while the others are somehow “different”. At the end, however, the “Odd Duck” realizes that being different, isn’t that bad after all..

3. Monster on the Hill by Rob Harrell 

Monster on the Hill page

Do you want to read a fun, goofy and super silly tale about monsters? If you answered with a resounding “YES” then this is the book for you !! Rob Harrell’s Monster on the hill is not scary at all. While other monsters in their other hometowns are scaring people silly, Stoker-on-Avon’s monster is moaning and groaning and sulking all day long. Bottom line: Stoker-on-Avon’s monster sucked! Now its up to two very unusual partners to solve this monster’s problems and get him back on his feet.

4. Hereville series by Barry Deutsch

Hereville series cover

Hereville, a contemporary Orthodox Jewish community, is the home of an 11 year old girl, Mirka. But Mirka is a restless soul. Her wise stepmother tries to quiet her restless spirit by teaching her to knit. Mirka, however, has other ideas. A talking pig encounter takes Mirka on an extra ordinary journey that ends up with Mirka having to sword fight an alien for her life! So what’s so unique about this series? We loved reading about the traditional background of a restless modern 11 year old girl. Her emotional tug of war with her upbringing, customs and her desire to do the “unthinkable” (such as fight aliens and save the world). The author does a superb job of blending the unreal and the real while keeping everything on track. Can’t wait for more of Mirka!

5. El Deafo by Cece Bell

El Deafo cover
One day little Cece falls ill with meningitis. As she recovers, the family and Cece realize that she has lost her hearing. Over the next few months, Cece has to get multiple hearing tests and then ends up having to wear a hearing aid for her life. As little Cece slowly settles into her “new” regular life as an hearing impaired child, she struggles to blend in, make friends and find something special. And one day she realizes that she indeed has a super power. Something that makes her special.. her hearing aid picks up voices from far away. A talent that no one else poses. And thus “El Deafo” is born. We loved this tale for all the conversation starters it provides. A serious subject told with so much heart, a little bit of humor and with a lot of poise, this book is a MUST read for everyone!

Are graphic novels “real” books? Should they count towards reading?

Prejudices: I have come across this question many times. Some parents and educators believe that graphic novels are not serious books or should not be counted as good reads or encouraged. Schools do not allow graphic novels for book reports and other literacy based projects. However, graphic novels have come a long way. They are smart, mature reads. As you can see from above examples, the story telling is very unique and fresh. The format lends itself beautifully for girls and boys. Topics range from serious (El Deafo) to quirky (Mirka) to good old fun (Fairy tales).

Here are a few benefits to reading graphic novels:

Foster love for Reading:  Graphic novels can be a great motivation for reading books. I know many kids tire from their regular reading and need a break. A graphic novel is a wonderful way to provide that break. It is a fun way to get reading done, diversify reading habits and work on reading longer too!

Story telling: The creativity that goes into building stories in this format is simply superb. Artists use so many different visual cues to send subtle messages to the readers. For example: Look at the picture below of Cece finally realizing that something was different. This single page is so powerful in the way it expresses the confusion and fear Cece feels. It is hard to imagine this being in any other format. Matt Phelan, a veteran graphic novel artist and store teller, explains it beautifully with his book “Bluffton”:

Struggling or reluctant readers: Graphic novels are dimply the best way to get reluctant readers excited about reading. It builds reading confidence and kids also end up reading longer!

What are your thoughts around graphic novels? Have you read one recently?

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My Dadima wears a Sari

My Dadima wears a Sari
by Kashmira Sheth (Author), Yoshiko Jaeggi (Illustrator)

A Warm Generational story!


Little Rupa wonders why her “Dadima” (grandma) wears her traditional Indian outfit, her Sari. She notices her dadima wears it every day. She wears them all day and wears them every where. Her saris are bright and colorful and cheerful.  But it makes Rupa curious.. why does her dadima wear only saris?

So she asks “Dadima, don’t you ever feel like wearing something other than saris? What can you do with a sari?” So Dadima explains..

How she can use her “pallu” (the end of her sari) to cool her on a hot summer’s day.

My dadima wears a sari fan

 And how her sari can help carry all the seashells that Rupa collects

 My dadima wears a sari seashells

And how her sari can quickly protect her from falling raindrops!

My dadima wears a sari umrella


“Dadima wears a Sari” is a wonderful heartwarming tale about a tradition followed by women for generations in India. Gently told, the story is easily relatable. So many girls love to dress up and look for ideas and examples around them. In this tale, little Rupa and her sister see their grandma wearing something unique, something beautiful and become curious about her habit of wearing a sari.

We loved the gentle water color illustrations and the warm colors. The sway of dadima’s sari reminded us of our own collection sitting in the wardrobe! Can you guess how we decided to spend the rest of our evening? Smile

This review is part of celebrating Multicultral Children’s Book Day. We believe diversity in reading children’s literature helps expose the world to our kids, make them tolerant of differences and create empathy and awareness that is so much in need today.

More about Multicultral Children’s Book Day:MCBD


Our mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these of books into classrooms and libraries.

Children’s reading and play advocates Valarie Budayr from Jump Into a Book and Mia Wenjen from Pragmatic Mom teamed up in late 2013 to create an ambitious (and much needed) national event. On January 27th, 2015 this dynamic duo will be hosting yet another Multicultural Children’s Book Day as a way of celebrating diversity in children’s books.

The Multicultural Children’s Book Day team hopes to spread the word and raise awareness about the importance of diversity in children’s literature. Our young readers need to see themselves within the pages of a book and experience other cultures, languages, traditions and religions within the pages of a book. We encourage readers, parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to follow along via book reviews, author visits, multicultural booklists and visit the huge multicultural book review link-up that will occur on the MCCBD website 1/27/15.

Here are some ways you can help us celebrate Multicultural Children’s Book Day

  • Visit The Multicultural Children’s Book Day website and view our booklists, reading resources and other useful multicultural information.
  • Visit our Multicultural Books for Kids Pinterest Board for more reading ideas.
  • Have children bring in their favorite multicultural book to school on this day and share it with the class.
  • Watch for the #ReadYourWorld hashtag on social media and share.
  • Visit our Diversity Book Lists and Resources for Educators and Parents on our website.
  • Visit MCCBD sponsors (you can find them HERE)
  • Create a Multicultural Children’s Book Day display around the classroom or library.
  • Visit The Multicultural Children’s Book Day website on January 27th to view and participate in our huge blogger link-up, multicultural book reviews, giveaways and more!

Other Fun Details:

2015 Sponsors include Platinum Sponsors: Wisdom Tales Press, Daybreak Press Global BookshopGold Sponsors:  Satya House,,   Author Stephen Hodges and the Magic PoofSilver SponsorsJunior Library Guild,  Capstone PublishingLee and Low Books,  The Omnibus PublishingBronze Sponsors:Double Dutch Dolls,Bliss Group BooksSnuggle with Picture Books Publishing,  Rainbow Books,   Author FeliciaCapers,   Chronicle Books   Muslim Writers Publishing ,East West Discovery Press.

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Twenty-two Cents: Muhammad Yunus & the Village Bank

Twenty-two Cents: Muhammad Yunus & the Village Bank
by Paula Yoo  (Author), Jamel Akib (Illustrator)

The Power of ONE!

Muhammad Yunus grew up in the city of Chittagong in Bangladesh. He was the third oldest of nine children. His parents were great believers in education and made sure that all their children studied hard. Muhammad joined the boy scouts and went on hikes through the countryside. On his hikes, Muhammad was alarmed to see the terrible conditions around him. 


Muhammad became active in charity soon after. He realized that a very few coins went a long way for entire families.He studied economics and went to university in US where he saw a whole new world.

Back home, war, drought and famine had taken a toll on people. Muhammad was appalled to see the conditions had worsened while he was away. Then he met a young woman named Sufiya Begum. Although, weak and thin from lack of food, Sufiya weaved beautiful bamboo stools to make money. It cost her 5 taka or twenty two cents to make the stools. But she had to borrow the money and pay exorbitant amounts as interest. By the time she sold her wares, paid back her debt, Sufiya was left with only 2cents; not enough for the family.


It would have been easy for Muhammad to lend her that money as charity. But he quickly realized that this was not a long term solution. He was looking for a way to make her self-sufficient. He asked the local banks for the loan. He was turned down not just that once, but many more times. Frustrated at the lack of support, her started his own bank, “Grameen Bank” and made small loans called micro-credit.

The rest is history!

From wanting to help one woman, Muhammad Yunus soon became a “banker to the poor”. Muhammad went on to loan ten billion US dollars to twelve million people worldwide. He received Nobel Peace Prize for his work.

Paula Yoo tells it straight. She describes the tragic conditions of people living under poverty with grace and compassion. Coupled with Akib’s pastel chalk art, Yoo makes a difficult subject accessible to younger audience. In a world separated by the “haves” and “have-nots”, the courageous tale of Muhammad Yunnus is refreshing, hopeful and forward-looking. Paula Yoo’s ending leaves us with a sense that there is still more to be done, more to fulfill and that it can be done.

A real-life hero story, a lesson in how one man can truly create change for the masses, this book is an essential read for kids. 

This review was done as a part of a blog tour. I had the wonderful opportunity to ask Paula Yoo, the author, a few questions. And here is what she had to say:

1. Tell us what led up to this book?

PAULA: Jason Low of Lee & Low Books emailed me a few years ago to ask if I was interested in the life of Muhammad Yunus. Jason had admired Professor Yunus’ work and felt his life could potentially become a strong children’s book biography. At the time, I knew Professor Yunus and Grameen Bank had won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for their revolutionary work with micro banking and micro credit to combat poverty. But I did not know the details of his life. Jason recommended I read his autobiography, BANKER TO THE POOR: MICRO-LENDING AND THE BATTLE AGAINST WORLD POVERTY. I read that book in one sitting. I was fascinated and inspired by his life. I realized Jason was right – Professor Yunus’ journey to become a champion for the poor would be a great story for children to learn not just about the basic tenets of finance and money but also about compassion and generosity and helping others. I began to read more books and research Professor Yunus’ life, along with interviewing him, which led to this book.

2. Your favorite page in the book is…

PAULA : First of all, I want to say how honored and thrilled I am by the beautiful artwork done by the amazing Jamel Akib. So art-wise, I would say all the pages of the book’s illustrations are my favorites! But if I had to choose one specific page, it would be the opening page featuring the text and art of Muhammad as a young boy and his mother giving away food and clothes to their poor neighbors. It’s a very moving picture and moment in Muhammad’s childhood because it shows what sparked his inspiration and drive to help others less fortunate than him. His mother and father taught him great lessons in compassion and generosity.

3. You had the opportunity to meet with Muhammad Yunus. Tell us what about Yunus struck you the most.

PAULA: It was such a privilege and honor to sit down with Muhammad Yunus for a one-on-one interview for the book! I was incredibly nervous and intimidated because he won the Nobel Peace Prize! So when we met, what struck me immediately about Professor Yunus was how down to earth and friendly he was with me. His smile lit up his whole face and put me at ease immediately. It made me realize how his ability to connect with people and find common ground was the driving force behind his passionate mission to help others rise above poverty.

4. What’s next?

PAULA: When I’m not writing books, I also write for TV. I have had the wonderful opportunity to write for two shows this year – Amazon’s MOZART IN THE JUNGLE and SyFy’s DEFIANCE. I’m also working on a couple of book projects but I can’t say much about them yet, so stay tuned! Thank you for this fun Q&A and blog tour stop. I really appreciate it! Wishing you and everyone Happy Writing!


Paula, Thank YOU for taking time to answer my questions and creating this memorable book on the life and work of Muhammad Yunus! 

FTC DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publishers for an honest opinion. I have NOT received any compensation for this review. All reviews and opinions are entirely my own!

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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Hello, I’m Johnny Cash

Hello, I’m Johnny Cash
by G. Neri (Author), A. G Ford (Illustrator)

Man in Black

“Before he was called Johnny Cash, he was simply called J.R.-“ begins this beautiful biography of the star musician Johnny Cash. Johnny Cash, the “Man In Black”, legendry country musician and the all-American rags to riches man has a remarkable life-story.

Written in free verse, each double spread opens with a full page of dense text followed by a gorgeous colorful oil painting-illustration. Every page spills a bold text headline or sideline highlighting a theme from Johnny Cash’s life. For example, “Meet Me in Heaven” titles the page where lone JR sits waiting for his dear brother Jack. John and Jack were known to be inseparable. Jack has been hurt and is dying. The story goes on to show how JR deals with the pain of losing his brother by singing at Jack’s funeral and keeps singing to let his pain out.

Hello I'm Johnny Cash brothers

Every page in the biography shows a different part of his life. Readers will read about JR’s religious upbringing. About his stint in the military. About how he finally ends up with a band and a life long journey as a musician.

Each page reveals a little more about the music in Johnny Cash’s life. How it was his constant companion. And how despite so many odds and struggles, Johnny Cash made a name for himself in the music world.

Reading this book is uplifting and inspiring. Clearly the author writes with heart and love for Johnny Cash’s music.. it really shines through on every page. The book is also exceedingly well researched. The back matter highlights more about Johnny Cash’s life , a historical and musical timeline during his life and a “Discography” which gives references to his greatest compilations.

“Hello, I’m Johnny Cash” is superbly illustrated. The large size of the book, double spread art work, contrast colors of black and white and real life images captures Johnny’s life in all its glory.

A successful biography is one that engages, teaches, excites and makes you feel. This one does all of that and more. I just couldn’t wait to finish reading and turn on some of Cash’s music.. I still can’t get the tune out of my head Smile

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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A Year in the Secret Garden

A Year in the Secret Garden
by Valerie Budayr (Author), Marilyn Scott-Waters (Illustrator)

About the Book

TitleA Year in the Life of the Secret Garden | AuthorValarie Budayr | IllustratorMarilyn Scott-Waters | Publication DateNovember, 2014 | Publisher: Audrey Press | Pages144 | Recommended Ages5 to 99


Book DescriptionAward-winning authors Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters have co-created A Year in the Secret Garden to introduce the beloved children’s classic, The Secret Garden to a new generation of families. This guide uses over two hundred full color illustrations and photos to bring the magical story to life, with fascinating historical information, monthly gardening activities, easy-to-make recipes, and step-by-step crafts, designed to enchant readers of all ages. Each month your family will unlock the mysteries of a Secret Garden character, as well as have fun together creating the original crafts and activities based on the book.Over 140 pages, with 200 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. A Year In the Secret Garden is our opportunity to introduce new generations of families to the magic of this classic tale in a modern and innovative way that creates special learning and play times outside in nature. This book encourages families to step away from technology and into the kitchen, garden, reading nook and craft room.


Amazon * Audrey Press * Goodreads


“A Year in the Secret Garden” is the perfect companion guide for Frances Burnett Hodges’s The Secret Garden. In the true spirit of the book, The Secret Garden, the author/illustrator duo will immerse you into the life of each of the characters of the book. Each chapter is broken down in months. Each month studies a character from the book. Month by month, the book takes us through recipes, activities and games; each tied to a strong theme in the book. For example, for the month of March, in lieu of spring, the author/illustrator talks about nest building and seed planting activities. The topic of the month is hunger and the character study is that of Colin Craven, the “sick” boy in the manor. The author highlights how both Mary and Colin have access to food ; however, each due to circumstances end up starved and in poor health.

We really liked this companion guide. I think the part that we enjoyed most is the sheer exploratory nature of the book. Just like the secret garden, which needed the time, patience and care to fully explore and enjoy, this book needs exploring and re-visiting through the year.

Highly recommended to anyone who loves nature and the Hodge’s Secret Garden.

About the Author: Valarie Budayr

Valarie BudayrValarie Budayr loves reading and bringing books alive. Her popular website,, inspires children and adults alike to experience their books through play, discovery, and adventure.

She is founder of Audrey Press, an independent publishing house, as well as an Amazon and iTunes best-selling author. She has written The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden and The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Valarie is passionate about making kid’s books come alive and encouraging families and schools to pull books off the shelves and stories off the pages.


Book Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Pinterest | Google+ | Goodreads


About the Illustrator: Marilyn Scott-Waters

Marilyn Scott-WatersMarilyn Scott-Waters loves making things out of paper. Her popular website,, receives 2,000 to 7,000 visitors each day, who have downloaded more than six million of her easy-to-make paper toys. Her goal is to help parents and children spend time together making things.

She is the creator of a paper toy craft book series The Toymakers Christmas: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling), and The Toymakers Workshop: Paper Toys You Can Make Yourself (Sterling). She is also the co-creator with J. H. Everett of the middle grade nonfiction series, Haunted Histories, (Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt Books for Young Readers). Ms. Scott-Waters illustrated The Search For Vile Things (Scholastic), and created paper engineering for Pop & Sniff Fruit (Piggy Toes Press).

Website | Facebook | Google+


A Year in the Secret Garden Blog Tour Schedule (2014)


November 1

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch)

Coffee Books & Art (Guest Post)

WS Momma Readers Nook (Book Review)

November 2

Cherry Mischievous (Excerpt)

Hope to Read (Excerpt)

November 3

Eloquent Articulation (Book Review)

Enter Here Canada (Excerpt)


November 4

BeachBoundBooks (Excerpt)

Books, Babies and Bows (Book Review)

November 5

Monique’s Musings (Book Review)

November 6

SOS-Supply (Book Review)


November 7

Randomly Reading (Book Review)

November 8

Adalinc to Life (Book Review)


November 9

100 Pages a Day (Book Review)

November 10

Edventures With Kids (Book Review)


November 11

Icefairy’s Treasure Chest (Book Review)

November 12

Girl of 1000 Wonders (Book Review)


November 13

Seraphina Reads (Guest Post)

November 14

Juggling Act Mama (Book Review)


November 15

Pragmatic Mom (Author/Illustrator Interview)

Purple Monster Coupons (Excerpt)

November 16

Stacking Books (Book Review)


November 17

Oh My Bookness (Book Review)

November 18

Crystal’s Tiny Treasures (Book Review)


November 19

The Blended Blog (Book Review)

November 20

All Done Monkey (Book Review)

November 21

Geo Librarian (Book Review)

Grandbooking (Author/Illustrator Interview)


November 22

My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews (Book Review)

November 23

Christy’s Cozy Corners (Book Review)

My Life, Loves and Passions (Book Review)

November 24

Bookaholic Chick (Excerpt)

Hide-N-(Sensory)-Seeking (Book Review)


November 25

Ninja Librarian (Guest Post)

November 26

Jane Ritz (Book Review)

Rockin’ Book Reviews (Book Review)

November 27

I’d Rather Be Reading At The Beach (Book Review)


November 28

Deal Sharing Aunt (Book Review)

November 29

Mommynificent (Book Review)

November 30

This Kid Reviews Books (Book Review)

Java John Z’s (Author/Illustrator Interview)


* $100 Blog Tour Giveaway *

Amazon 100 gift card

Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest ends: December 7, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

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 authors Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services


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Little Melba and her Big Trombone

Little Melba and her Big Trombone
by Kathryn Russell-Brown (Author) , Frank Morrison (Illustrator)

Big Dreams!

It was the early 1920’s and in Kansas city, there is music in the air. Jazz and blues bands are at the corner of every street. Anyone who wanted to make music, wanted a gig in KC! And little Melba is soaking in all the music.

Little Melba sure is special. As far as her memory goes, she has loved listening to music. The plink of a guitar, hummm of a bass, thrum-thrum of the drums and the ping-pang of the piano. Melba has music in her mind even when she is asleep!

Little Melba and her Big Trombone Music in her dreams

Melba was only seven when she had a chance to choose an instrument to play.  When she spies a long funny looking horn, Melba is smitten! But the trombone is BIG and Melba is well.. small! Momma isn’t too sure, but Melba pleads and gets her wish.

At a very young age, Melba teaches herself to play a very difficult instrument. She has the music in her head. Now she must produce it on her instrument. And she does so with grit, determination and charm!

In high school, this child genius is the star player of the band. Other kids are jealous and struggle to keep up, but nothing stops Melba. She turns her hurt into soulful music.

Its 1943 and Melba is 17. Melba writes her own music now.  She is part of a new band and travels with them all over the world. She composes more songs, arranges them, and spins rhythms, harmonies and melodies. Her bold notes mesmerizes the crowds.. Yet, Melba is lonely. She is the only woman on the band and some of the men are cruel to her. In certain cities, she faces discrimination. But despite all the bad, ugly and wrong, Melba persists. Her music keeps her going.

Little Melba and her Big Trombone Only One

“Little Melba and her Big Trombone” is a beautiful dedication to the extraordinary musician Melba Liston (1926-99). Russell-Brown captures the music with clever onomatopoeia. Exaggerated lines of the trombone, muted colors of orange and blues capture the spirit and essence of music. Our favorite picture was the very last page which shows Melba in a beautiful gown stretching her hand to play her trombone. The poise and grace of the woman and instrument are beautifully captured by Morrison.

A gem of a biography and a lovely tribute to a musical prodigy, Melba Liston.

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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Mr. Ferris and His Wheel

Mr. Ferris and His Wheel
by Kathryn Gibbs Davis (Author), Gilbert Ford (Illustrator)

Highly Successful!

Yes, it sure is.. a picture book biography of Mr Ferris, the man who built the world’s first Ferris Wheel! How did it come to be? Read on..

In 1889, the World Fair visitors in Paris, France was dazzled by Mr Eiffel’s Eiffel Tower. Brilliant and breathtaking, the world’s tallest building stood 81 stories high and boasted views of the entire charming city of Paris. Four years later, the World Fair is scheduled to be held in Chicago, USA. Now its America’s turn to “impress the world”.

A nationwide contest is held. Who can build an impressive structure? Who can outshine the famous French tower?

Mr Ferris and his Wheel Contest Opens

Drawings poured in. But sadly many of the popular ones were simply Eiffel tower “look-alike’s”. Was this the best American engineers could do? An ambitious American mechanical engineer had his eye on the contest. To him this was a dare! He had spent his career building the country’s bigger bridges, tunnels, roads. George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. certainly had ideas for a structure that would dazzle and MOVE!

Sadly when George made his case to the chiefs of the fair, his ideas were tossed. No one believed that his structure could stand! “Its too flimsy” they complained. But George knew that he could do it. Somehow he convinced the judges to allow him to build his structure. Although they agreed (reluctantly), no one was ready to fund him! Geroge did not give up and managed to break ground on Jan 1893.

Geroge faces many challenges, people scorn him, they ridicule his ideas. However, George persists and goes on to display his creation.

Mr Ferris and his Wheel Up up and away

This is a very successful picture book biography. Author Davis’ writing is engaging and exciting. It almost feels like a page turner. Along with the story line, Davis also puts in snippets of information giving additional details to the readers. When I read this aloud in school, I was excited by so many  personal connections that the kids made whilst listening to the story.

As you can see, the illustrations are brilliant! Rich, deep colors captures the mood of the story. The strong line art and hand drawn characters add a certain charm and realism and makes it very interesting to read and see.

Overall, a well done conversation starter, picture book biography!

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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Thomas Jefferson, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything

Thomas Jefferson, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything
by Maira Kalman (Author, Illustrator)


We all know Thomas Jefferson for his writing of the Declaration of Independence. But who knew that there was so much more to know about him. In “Thomas Jefferson, Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Everything”, award winning author and illustrator, Maria Kalman portrays Thomas Jefferson, as a linguist, scientist, mathematician and architect!

The book opens to a bright, vibrant colorful illustration showing “red-haired” Thomas Jefferson with a book looking out at the plantations where he was born, Virginia. Thomas was well known as the third president of the United States. But he really was a scholar, a person who was curious and wanted to learn about everything!

Thomas Jefferson Life LIberty and pursuit of everything introduction

Thomas Jefferson loved to read and he read about everything. He read about shoes, bees, cheese , history, science and so much more. “I cannot live without books” was his motto. He was passionate about building his home, a place he imagined would allow light and air to flow through. A home surrounded by green pastures, various flora and fauna. He went on to build his home in Virigina and called it Monticello.

Thomas Jefferson Life LIberty and pursuit of everything home

Over the next few pages, we discover the many things that he was passionate about. Author Maria Kalman gives us a glimpse of into Jefferson’s daily life. How he loved collecting Native American art and made his house a museum showcasing things that he loved. How his vegetable garden was his pride and a place to be happy. And how he would make time for music and practiced almost 3 hours a day.

Following this “sneek peak”, Maria then introduces Thomas Jefferson as a president and his accomplishments in the office.

Thomas Jefferson Life LIberty and pursuit of everything Louisiana Purchase

What I was more intrigued about was how Maria handled the topics of slavery and his relationship with Sally Hemings. This is a picture book clearly aimed at a younger audience, ages 5+. Considering the age group, Maria does a fantastic job in introducing the idea of slavery and her thoughts behind what Thomas Jefferson felt.

She also introduces Sally Hemings as a beautiful lady “with whom Jefferson had children with”. When I read this out with daughter, I didn’t get a whole lot of questions. The later part describes “To hide your background is a very sad thing”.. Maria describes how many people had to pretend to be someone with lighter skin. This part evoked a lot of emotion and conversation starters for us.

Our favorite part was the last page. The book ends with a note “If you want to understand this country and its people and what it means to be optimistic and complex and tragic and wrong and courageous, you need to go to Monticello..maybe you will lie down and thing about “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything”.

A brilliant introduction to the iconic Thomas Jefferson.

Find  it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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The Mad Potter

The Mad Potter
by Han Greenberg & Sandra Jordan (Authors)

 Geroge E Ohr, Eccentric Genius

George E Ohr was a 19th century American potter. He was largely unknown until years after his death, in 1967, a treasure trove of his work was discovered. “The Mad Potter” is a chapter book, picture book, biography.

“The Mad Potter “opens with a full page picture of George standing on his head. The next page talks about how Jim Carpenter, an antiques dealer, stumbles upon a large collection of George E Ohr’s pottery, among them his unique “Mud Babies”. George would often proclaim that “his pots were worth their weight in gold”. And although in his lifetime, almost no one wanted them; almost 50 years after his death, his words seemed to come true.

The Mad Potter Inside2

What was genius about George E Ohr’s pottery? Why are his pieces unique and museum worthy? The authors tell a tale of George’s journey into the world of pottery and art. They describe him as being the “black sheep” of the family who much later in his life finds his true calling.. his vocation. In Geroge’s words “When I found the potter’s wheel I felt it all over like a duck in water”.

Soon after, George starts creating and churning out pots, pans, pitchers, kettles, vases, bowls, teapots and many, many different pieces of earthenware. His pieces are dazzling and colorful as he experiments techniques of mixing and molding. His pieces are creative and puzzling because he uses his imagination and frenzied creativity. His pieces are unique and contrary, just like his own persona. George loved to put on a show. He loved to entertain and self-promote. A lot of his own self can be seen in his work.

The Mad Potter ArtObjects Tiled

Despite all his showmanship, George simply wasn’t successful at selling his art. People would come to see his show and laugh and talk. But they always left empty handed.

The Mad Potter Portrait

This picture book non-fiction is a wonderful account of his life and work. Through photographs of George and photos of his pottery, this book showcases his genius. The authors present this fascinating biography of Geroge Ohr through colorful photos of the art coupled with vintage sepia toned photos of the artist himself.

Towards the end of the book are two notes. The “Ohr-O’Keefe Museuem” note details the construction of the museum and how it was built to capture the unique and quirky nature of the art within. But my favorite part was the “How to look at a Pot” note where the authors do a super job of explaining how sensory words such as color, texture, form, lines can be used to capture the essence of the piece.

The Mad Potter Museum

A highly informative, engaging and certainly unique biography of Geroge E Ohr, “The Mad Potter”.

Find it here: Library, Amazon, Better World Books

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