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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Review: A Small Zombie Problem by K.G. Campbell

A Small Zombie Problem 
By K.G. Campbell 
June 4, 2019 
Alfred A. Knopf BFYR 
Source: finished copy from pub 

In his fiction debut--and the start of a new series--celebrated illustrator K.G. Campbell brings a touch of Tim Burton to this singularly strange and wonderful story about a lonely boy whose life is about to get a whole lot more complicated when a zombie follows him home. 

August DuPont has spent his whole life inside a dilapidated house with his aunt Hydrangea. His lonely existence ends abruptly with the arrival of an invitation to meet an aunt--and cousins--he didn't even know existed. When Aunt Orchid suggests that August attend school with his cousins, it's a dream come true. But August has scarcely begun to celebrate his reversal of fortune when he is confronted by a small problem on his way home. So begins an adventure filled with a wild child, a zombie, a fabled white alligator, and an unimaginable family secret. 


August DuPont has never stepped foot outside his once-grand-now-dilapidated-home. August lives with his eccentric Aunt Hydrangea and they must live off their rapidly dwindling family fortune. A chance encounter places three family members-another aunt and two cousins- into August’s life and he is thrilled to meet them. His Aunt Orchid makes promises of sending him to school with his cousins, but family secrets and a persistent zombie set August on an unexpected path. 

K.G. Campbell’s A Small Zombie Problem is a whimsically macabre and unforgettably quirky first book in a new middle-grade series! A Tim Burton-esque vibe, imaginative storytelling, and laugh-out-loud humor perfectly mix together to create an irresistibly and endearingly strange tale. Young readers will embrace the story’s deliciously dark (yet age appropriate) humor and undertones and delight in the story’s offbeat atmosphere. August is a wholly likable protagonist, whose kindness, courage, disposition, and hobbies will amuse and inspire. From a zombie named Claudette to the fantastic Madame Marvel, unusual Aunt Hydrangea, and August’s unexpected new relatives, A Small Zombie Problem is full of engaging characters.  

Wickedly humorous, thoroughly captivating, and a lot of fun from beginning to end, A Small Zombie Problem, with its great characters, bewitching tale, awesome illustrations, and heart is a wonderful read! 

5/5 Cupcakes

K. G. Campbell is the author-illustrator of Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters. He was born in Kenya, raised in Scotland, and now lives in southern California. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

If I Were Human Blog Tour (interview & giveaway)

The If I Were Human Blog Tour is stopping by today! This tour is hosted by The Childrens Book Review and sponsored by W.B. Tyler.

If I Were Human 
by W.B. Tyler 

Brina, a Scottish Terrier, has lots of fun thinking about what she would do if she were a person! But when she shares those ideas with her friends, she begins to realize just how special it is to be a dog. The simplicity of If I Were Human makes it ideal for early readers, but with its imaginative story and entertaining illustrations, adults and children alike will love it. And who knows―you just may discover that you’d rather be a dog! 

Ages 5-6 | Publisher: wbtylercomllc | July 1, 2019 | ISBN-13: 978-1543972351 

Official Links

Q1. What three words best describe If I Were Human?
Simple. Silly. Dogs.

Q2. Grab a copy of If I Were Human and answer the following:
Favorite page?
It’s when Barry, the Afghan Hound next door, interrupts the other characters to tell his dreams of stardom.  Barry, the words and the illustration all work together to interrupt the narrative.

Favorite illustration?
Brina on the school bus.  The first page spread is drawn in subtle colors.  The page is turned and we find Brina with her red backpack riding on a bright yellow school bus.  When you read the book to children, it’s the first big laugh and it draws them into the story.

Flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser:
Winnie, the Westie, is at the office; working hard and being important.  It’s show and tell time for big people.

Q3. What inspired If I Were Human and can you tell us a bit about your doggy character, Brina?
Inspiration: I think that most of what people do every day is silly.  Dogs represent fun and caring and beauty. The animals in the book look silly doing human things and, in the end, Brina and Winnie realize that their world of fun and caring and beauty is the way to go.  Coincidentally, I wrote the first draft on a business trip.
Brina: When a stranger knocks on the front door, Brina barks loudly and aggressively.  When a child comes in the house, she rolls over on her back hoping for a belly rub.

Q4.  Since If I Were Human is all about the doggos, who are your favorite famous dogs?
Disney’s heroic character Bolt and FDR’s loyal dog Fala.

Q5. If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by If I Were Human, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
If I created and baked it, the cupcake would look like a mess.  It would taste like a S’more. I’d call it “If I Were a Cupcake”.

Enter for a chance to win a signed copy of If I Were Human, by W.B. Tyler, and a set of 2 adorable plush toy dogs!
One (1) winner receives:
  • An autographed copy of If I Were Human
  • An 8″ plush toy Scottie dog
  • An 8″ plush toy Westie dog
Nine (9) winners will receive:
  • An autographed copy of If I Were Human
Giveaway begins June 24, 2019, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends July 24, 2019, at 11:59 P.M. PST.
Open to the legal residents of Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, who are thirteen years of age or older in their state or territory of residence at time of entry. Void where prohibited by law.
W.B. Tyler is responsible for prize fulfillment.

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Monday, June 24, 2019

Spiky Blog Tour (review & giveaway)

Written and Illustrated by Ilari Gurducci 
Translated by Laura Watkinson 
July 1, 2019 
Amazon Crossing Kids / Two Lions

When Spiky loses his spikes, he must learn to share his softer side. 

Spiky lives in the dark of the forest, where he spends his days being veryvery bad, bullying the other forest creatures and sharpening the spikes on his body. Those spikes are handy for keeping everybody at a distance, and that’s just how Spiky likes it! But then one day the unthinkable happens: Spiky starts losing his spikes! Soon he is left looking as soft and as pink as a soft, pink marshmallow. What will Spiky do, now that he can no longer scare away the other forest creatures? Will he have to (gulp!) make friends? It’s a good thing Bernardo the bunny comes along to show him how it’s done. 

First published in Italy, this charming story of friendship will have children giggling until the very end. 

Spiky is the first release from Amazon Crossing Kids, a new imprint for children’s books in translation. Amazon Crossing Kids aims to increase the diversity of children’s books in translation and encourage young reading from a range of cultural perspectives. 

Spiky, all covered in spikes, is very good at being very bad. Scaring the creatures in the dark, dark forest is Spiky’s favorite thing to do. But one day, Spiky begins to lose his terrifying spikes, until he’s left with a spikeless, pink, soft body. Can Spiky learn to adapt without his spikes? Will his new soft body bring out a softer side of this prickly fella? 

Ilaria Guarducci’s Spiky is an amusing, heartfelt picture book with an unforgettable antagonist turned protagonist and an important message. Little readers will be captivated by the often laugh-out-loud story, as they join Spiky in the dark, dark forest and watch his wicked deeds turn into uplifting experiences and sweet life lessons. The detailed, colorful illustrations bring this humorous story to life perfectly with their lively and engaging vibes and delightfully rendered characters. 

With its just enough snark and bite humor, wonderfully whimsical illustrations, and an irresistibly endearing title character, Spiky is a wickedly fun delight! 

Ilaria Guarducci studied at the Nemo NT Academy of Digital Arts. Since 2012, she has worked as a freelance author and illustrator for various publishing houses and advertising agencies. She has written and/or illustrated seven children's books. Spiky, published in Italy under the title Spino, was shortlisted for the Soligatto Award for Best Picture Book. Ilaria lives with her family in Prato, Italy. Learn more at 

Laura Watkinson is an award-winning translator of books for young readers and adults. She translated Soldier Bear and Mikis and the Donkey, both by Bibi Dumon Tak and illustrated by Philip Hopman, and Mister Orange by Truus Matti, all of which won the Batchelder Award. Additionally, her Dutch-to-English translation of The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt won the Vondel Prize. Originally from the United Kingdom, she now lives in a tall house on a canal in Amsterdam with her husband and two cats. Learn more at 

Win a copy of Spiky!
The folks at Two Lions have generously offered one copy for one winner.
-US only
-ends 6/30/19
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, stolen prizes
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