Friday, 30 August 2013

Blog Tour

Don't forget to check out the other sites on the tour!

Thursday, 29 August 2013

New Blogger on the Peachtree Tour

We're happy to say there's another blogger on the Peachtree blog tour. Below is a link to her site. Be sure to check it out!

Peachtree Blog Tour 2013

Don't forget to check out the other sites on the tour!

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Call for Recommended Reading

If you have any reading material you'd like to recommend, drop us a line; we'll post it at the end of the month. 

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour!

Monday, 26 August 2013

Review: 'The King of Little Things' by Bil Lepp

The King of Little Things by Bil Lepp, Illustrated by David T. Wenzel, 2013, Peachtree, $16.95, hardbound, 31 pages. Category/Genre: faery tale. Cover: interesting. Where we got it: publisher. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million.

In his land on the far side of a mountain lived the King of Little Things. He was the only king who was satisfied with what he had. Other kings -- big kings -- wanted more. Worst of all was King Normous, who wanted all. 

One day, when King Normous had all but the land of the King of Little Things, he decided to get that, too. And that's where things got interesting. 

Once you read this book, you'll realise just how much power little things have. Because little things don't just exist to serve big things; they can do things all on their own. There's also a little (pun intended) game to play at the end, in which the reader may try and find all the little things pictured in the back and front flaps of the book. 

A whimsical tale about the might of the small. 

If you like this one, try: Suggestions?

Don't forget to check out the other sites on the tour!

Friday, 16 August 2013

Blog Tour

Don't forget to check out the other sites on the tour! 

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Author Interview: Kevin Luthardt

Kevin Luthardt is the author and illustrator of 'When Edgar Met Cecil.' We think you'll enjoy his answers to our questions. 

How did you get the idea for 'When Edgar Met Cecil'?
 I have 4 boys... so robots and aliens are part of the Luthardt family culture!  I was actually painting a mural in my sons' bedroom, transforming their room into another planet (see attached photo) with aliens, robots, spaceships, etc.  After drawing and painting these things for a few weeks, a story idea evolved.  I'm also a big Star Wars fan, so I've always wanted to do a space themed story.
 What medium do you use to illustrate your books?
Although I have used a variety of mediums in different books, for the past several years I have been working with acrylics.
When did you decide you wanted to write and illustrate children's books?
Well, since I was a young kid I always wanted to be an artist of some kind (back then I wanted to create a comic strip like Peanuts).  I studied painting in college and my images always seemed to lean on the narrative side and the whimsical side.  I also started working with kids in different venues (art camps, etc.). After graduation as I was wondering what to do with my life, for some reason I found myself in bookstores and libraries often looking at picture books.  A light bulb clicked over my head, and the rest is history. 
Who is your favorite author, and why?
I'll focus in picture book authors... I am amazed by authors that can say a lot with just a few words, or ones that can tell a simple story in a clever, fresh way.  I guess I am drawn more to humorous writers like Mo Willems, Jon Scieszka, and Lane Smith.   I recently read the book I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen.  I read it out loud to my different sons and each time I (along with them) laughed out loud.  It's been a while since I've enjoyed a picture book that much.    
Who is your favorite illustrator, and why?
I am drawn to illustrators that make feel like I need to go take some drawing classes... ones where I say to myself "how did he/she do that?"  Some illustrators that amaze me include: Lane Smith, Peter McCarty, Chris Van Allsburg, Eric Rohmann, David Weisner, Michael Sowa (German illustrator), Quint Buchholz (another German illustrator)... an artist I recently started admiring is Shaun Tan--his book The Arrival is hauntingly, visually brilliant. 
Which is harder, writing or illustrating?
I don't know if one is harder... they are basically two different "languages".  For me, ideas come visually first since I began as an artist.  So, the illustrating comes more naturally to me.  Then, I develop the text and images back and forth together.  Once I began making books, I gained a much deeper respect for writers as "artists of words". 
Which is more fun, writing or illustrating?
I guess the most fun part about making a book for me is when I am in the final artwork stage where I am in that "zone" working feverishly on illustrations.
What's your favorite thing to draw?
Characters with big heads.
What's your least favorite thing to draw?
vampires, werewolves, and zombies... these also happen to be my least favorite themes for movies.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to write children's books?
Write, write, write...  and then write some more!!!  Read lots of books, all kinds of books.  Simple advice, but you can never overstate the importance of honing your craft.  Find ways to get real feedback for your writing outside of your mom and relatives and friends (who will always tell you your work is awesome!).  Once you have a manuscript you want to send out, be very aggressive and get it into as many editor hands as possible.  When you receive that rejection letter, use it as fuel to push you even harder forward.  Learn about the industry from organizations like the SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators).   
What advice do you have for someone wanting to illustrate children's books?
Draw, draw, draw... and then draw some more (see above question)!!!  Someone told me once that I wasn't a real painter until I did 100 paintings.  That may not make you an artist, but there is something about the continual, purposeful development of your work that makes you a stronger artist with each piece that you create.  Frequent art galleries, art museums, libraries, bookstores and look, study, be influenced.     

Review: 'Little Elephant Thunderfoot' by Sally Grindley

Little Elephant Thunderfoot by Sally Grindley, Illustrated by John Butler, 1996, Peachtree, $15.95, hardbound, 28 pages. Category/Genre: animals. Cover: brilliant except his trunk looks two-dimensional. Where we got it: publisher. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million. 

This is an excellent book to get your young ones started learning about wildlife in general and elephants in particular. Told as a story rather than simply stating facts, Little Elephant Thunderfoot braves the territory of growing up and life and death. 

Although tenderly told, the story involves the death of a loved one, so parents may want to read the book before reading it to their children, and be prepared for questions. 

John Butler's exquisite artwork brings the characters to life and depicts the African landscape in realistic detail. There are two organisations listed at the back that help with the conservation and protection of elephants, something the reader may have interest in after reading this story. 

Written for ages five and up. But don't count this one out if your kids are slightly older but interested in elephants. 

If you like this one, try: Little Sibu: An Orangutan Tale, by Sally Grindley; and Pi-shu the Little Panda, by John Butler. 

Don't forget to check out the other sites on the tour!

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Blog Tour

Don't forget to check out the other sites on the tour!

Monday, 12 August 2013

Review: 'Charlie Bumpers Vs. the Teacher of the Year' by Bill Harley

Charlie Bumpers Vs. the Teacher of the Year by Bill Harley, Illustrated by Adam Gustavson, 2013, Peachtree, $13.95, hardbound, 138 pages. Category/Genre: mainstream. Cover: terrific except it looks like his foot is backwards . . . Where we got it: publisher. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million.

Charlie Bumpers did a terrible thing to a teacher: he hit her in the head with his sneaker. It wasn't on purpose. But the teacher told the principal and threatened Charlie with no more recess for the rest of his life should she ever catch him throwing shoes in school again.

And now Charlie has that teacher for fourth grade. 

His mother is ecstatic because Mrs. Burke was the Teacher of the Year last year. Charlie's older brother, Matt, thinks it's funny (he knows about the sneaker). And no-one but Charlie's best friend, Tommy, seems to understand. 

Not only does Mrs. Burke hate Charlie, she's also a neat freak, and Charlie, well . . . isn't. He doesn't know how he'll last in Mrs. Burke's class for a whole year. And to make matters worse, Mrs. Burke assigns everyone's seats, and Charlie has to sit right in front of Miss Smarty Pants herself, Samantha Grunsky. 

There's a new kid in class, too, Hector from Chile, and no-one pays him any mind. Charlie feels bad for him, so he befriends Hector and tries his best to include him in group activities. 

Charlie also tries, really tries, to buckle down and make nice with Mrs. Burke. But things -- as they always seem to do when Charlie is involved -- keep going wrong. 

Kids will relate strongly to the well-meaning but trouble-bound Charlie. All the characters in this book are extremely realistic, and the pen-and-ink drawings will make kids stop reading for a moment just to admire the pages. There's plenty of humour, and everything that happens in this book is written in a way that makes you think it could actually happen. 

Written for ages seven to ten.

If you like this one, try: the upcoming Charlie Bumpers Vs. the Really Nice Gnome, by Bill Harley. 

You may also want to check out the author's blog at:

There's a trailer for 'Charlie Bumpers Vs. the Teacher of the Year' at:

And you can read a chapter and listen to the song Bill Harley wrote for the book here:

Don't forget to check out the other sites on the tour!
Gidget's Bookworms.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Blog Tour

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Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers:

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Review: 'Little Sibu: An Orangutan Tale' by Sally Grindley

Little Sibu: An Orangutan Tale by Sally Grindley, Illustrated by John Butler, 1999, Peachtree, $15.95, hardbound, 28 pages. Category/Genre: animals. Cover: excellent. Where we got it: publisher. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million. 

This is a story about growing up. Little Sibu, the orangutan, wants to keep getting food from his mother and letting her shelter him and nest with him. But his mother knows Little Sibu needs to learn to fend for himself one day, and so she helps him do that. 

Little Sibu doesn't like it when his mother ignores him and refuses to feed him. He throws temper tantrums. But his mother is trying to get him to go off on his own like other male orangutans. 

She's still his mother, though, and when a tiger injures Little Sibu, his mother is there to clean his wound and comfort him. And eventually, Little Sibu begins to enjoy being on his own. 

This is a tale gently told, full of the wonderful paintings of John Butler, which bring the story to life. Kids will love seeing the expressive faces of the orangutans and learning about these creatures' lives. 

There's an extra section in the back of the book about orangutans, and there is contact information to find out more about these fascinating animals. 

For ages four and up. 

If you like this one, try: Pi-shu the Little Panda, by John Butler; and Little Elephant Thunderfoot, by Sally Grindley. 

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour! 

It's About Time MaMaw:

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Blog Tour

There's going to be some fun stuff happening on the Peachtree blog, including a contest. Be sure to check it out!

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Blog Tour

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour! 

Monday, 5 August 2013

Review: 'Lion Vs Rabbit' by Alex Latimer

Lion Vs Rabbit by Alex Latimer, 2013, Peachtree, $15.95, hardbound, 30 pages. Category/Genre: mainstream. Cover: intriguing. Where we got it: publisher. Where you can get it: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million.

Lion Vs Rabbit is about the animals who are relentlessly bullied by Lion and how they finally get him to treat them nicely.

The animals are all tired of Lion's bullying; he gives them wedgies, pins silly notes to their backs, and steals their lunch monkeys. But none of the animals is brave enough to stand up to Lion and make him stop. So they hire outside help.

Many animals answer the ad for help: a bear, a moose, and a tiger; but none of them wins against Lion. Then one more animal shows up: a rabbit. In contest after contest, Rabbit wins against Lion. Finally Lion must admit defeat: never again will he bully the animals. 

Clues are given in the artwork as to how Rabbit outsmarts Lion. Readers of around age five or over should be able to start picking out the clues. They will also appreciate the book's humour and colourful cartoonish drawings. 

One of the bits we found particularly witty was the stat cards for Rabbit and Lion, given at the beginning of the book. Here we find out how the two animals rate against each other in terms of size, meanness, and brains. 

The sheer cleverness of this book will make kids want to read it again and again. 

If you like this one, try: Suggestions? 

Don't forget to visit the other stops on the tour!

Kid Lit Reviews:
There's a Book:

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Peachtree Blog Tour Autumn 2013

We're participating in another blog tour put on by the outstanding folks at Peachtree! Check the bottom of our daily posts for links to other sites to visit on the tour. 

Have fun!

Thursday, 1 August 2013

On the Bookshelf: Books to Be Read August 2013

The Wild Ways, by Tanya Huff, was given to us by N3F (the National Fantasy Fan Federation); Huff is a new author for us, so we're looking forward to trying it.