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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

WAGGERS Blog Tour {Review, Interview, Giveaway]

I'm so doggone excited to have the WAGGERS Blog Tour stopping by today with my Review, an Author Interview, and Giveaway...

by Stacy Nyikos
illustrated by Tamara Anegon
hardcover, 32 pages
Sky Pony Press

When Waggers is adopted, he tries to be good; he really does! But it isn’t Waggers’s fault that his tail goes crazy when he gets excited. How much harm can a tail do, anyway? Well, his new family is about to find out. In the kitchen, the cookies smell so good that Waggers’s tail makes the dough hit the ceiling. And when Waggers helps the kids defeat a monster in the living room, there may be a sofa casualty. After his tail accidentally scratches the paint off the car in the garage, Mom and Dad aren’t so sure their home is the right fit for such an excitable pup. Could this be the last straw, or can Waggers and his family find a way to stay together?

WAGGERS is an adorable doggy tail tale about a cute pup named Waggers who tries REALLY hard to be good, but has an out of control tale that makes one big mess after the other for his new adopted family.

Stacy Nyikos has created another perfectly charming and fun picture book that is sure to delight little readers. The tale of WAGGERS is full of humorous, happy, and surprising moments that will tickle the funny bone and warm your heart. Stacy’s storytelling is accessible, sweetly simple, and engaging; she clearly knows her audience! Waggers’ good intentions and misadventures are not only entertaining, but also relatable, and little readers will be able to see themselves in this well-meaning doggie. The notion that everybody is good at something and everybody has talents, shines brightly in WAGGERS!

Tamara Anegon has wonderfully captured Stacy’s story with her bright, whimsical illustrations. Every funny mess, loving moment, and unexpected event is brought to life through captivating pictures that little readers will just love!

WAGGERS is a super fun, giggle inducing picture book that will put a smile on your face!

What three words best describe your picture book, Waggers?
affectionate, rambunctious, big-hearted

What inspired Waggers? Have you ever known a real life Waggers (of the furry or human kind)?
Oh man, and how. Four years ago we adopted a dog from the pound. She's a mutt, part German Shepherd, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Lab, and who knows what else. We named her, Desi, which is a shortened version of the name they gave her at the pound, Destiny, but with a little Cuban flair. I don't know why this works, but it suits her perfectly. Maybe, secretly, she's all the rage on the dog nightclub scene. You never know. We swore one of our other dogs was a banker. And another owned a chain of lodges in Virginia. Clearly, there are side effects to having a writer in the family. Our dogs have lots of secret, adventurous lives.

But back to Desi. What she definitely has is a crazy, crazy tail. I've never seen a tail on a dog like the one she has. I wish there was a machine to measure how fast and strong it is, sort of the way they measure the speed of a baseball pitch. Desi's tail would set records. It took her a while - and multiple decapitated plants - to harness the strength of her tail and use it for good instead of evil. Now it's a chocolate milk moustache shaver and dust bunny relocator...most of the time. There are still a few walls in my house that have lodged complaints about excessive wagging, but Desi has pleaded squirrel mania. She can't control herself around squirrels. The walls have begrudgingly given in. but the squirrels are just getting fiestier by the day. A showdown is in the making. I hope my house survives.

As you've probably guessed, it wasn't much of a leap to go from the antics of my dog to those of Waggers. In fact, Waggers sometimes seems a little calmer than Desi.

Grab a copy of Waggers and answer the following:
favorite line?
Mom and Dad were finally swayed. How much harm could one tail do?

favorite illustration?
My favorite illustration is the face off between Waggers and the squirrels. Waggers is so intent on stopping those blasted squirrels, but the squirrels don't even realize Waggers is watching them, until he half destroys the house. The look they give him from the window - Buddy, what is your problem? - is one I have seen on many a squirrel who faces down Desi. It's the best illustrations ever.

favorite kind of mess Waggers makes?
My favorite mess is the cookie making mess. I could see that happening so fast with my kids and our dog. It's also a really yummy mess to clean up.

Share the following: what was the last book that...
made you laugh out loud?
Bud not Buddy, by Christopher Paul Curtis. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that book!!! It's serious. It's funny. It's heartening. It's an amazing story. Amazing!

made you cry?
Like everybody else in the world right now, The Fault in Our Stars. Such raw, honest writing.

scared you?
Um, well, I avoid scary books. I avoid scary movies. They invade my dreams for months! So, maybe the scariest book was...nope. I can't do it! I'm getting scared just thinking about scary books!

inspired you?
Jefferson's Sons by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley was the most recent book that inspired me. I did my PhD at the University of Virginia, which Thomas Jefferson founded. While there, I taught for the Ralph Bunche Summer Institute, which recruits minorities into graduate work in political science to create a more diverse faculty across the U.S. That Jefferson had a large family with one of his slaves was long-contested. Today, it's fact. Bradley did nothing short of genius in making that story accessible to a young audience. My youngest daughter reread the book for six months. It is amazing, inspiring writing.
you absolutely loved?
The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales. I know. Not what you were expecting, right? But I love this book because it, too, is not what anyone was expecting. The first time I read it was at an exhibit of Caldecott winners and honorees at the Chicago Museum of Fine Arts. I was 25. My girlfriend and I literally walked half of Chicago afterward so I could get a copy. It was the first book I read to my first child (followed by Captain Underpants). We LOVE funny.

If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Waggers, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?
If I were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Waggers, it would be a mess of chocolate covered in sprinkles that have been wiped off and wiped back on at least three times. I would call it the Tower o' Trouble. Despite its shaky appearance, it would be fantastically delicious.

Thanks again to Stacy Nyikos for appearing.  For other stops on the Waggers blog tour please check

Stacy Nyikos is the award-winning author of many mischievous books for children. She’s not sure how that happened. She didn’t get into trouble as a child. Well, if you don’t count borrowing sandwiches from her dad. He wasn’t eating them anyway. Stacy holds an MFA in Writing for Children at Vermont College, which she didn’t borrow. They gave it to her. Really. Ask her kids. Or her dog. Just don’t ask her husband. He’s misplaced a few sandwiches. When she isn’t chasing stories—or sandwiches—Stacy can be found scribbling in the wilds of Oklahoma. She is currently working on a new adult novel about her grandfather’s adventure canoeing from Indiana to New Orleans – over 2,000 miles of paddling – in 1939.

Win a copy of WAGGERS!
I have one copy of this adorable picture book for one lucky cupcake.
-US only
-ends 12/17
-must be 13+ to enter
-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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1 comment:

Stacy Nyikos said...

Thanks for such a fun interview!