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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sip Tea With Mad Hatter Blog Tour (review & giveaway)

I'm thrilled to have the Sip Tea with Mad Hatter Blog Tour stopping by today with my review an awesome giveaway! This tour is hosted by The Children's Book Review and sponsored by the EW Foundation...

Written by Loretta Neff
Illustrated by Anirban Mitra
Sip Tea with Mad Hatter  makes learning afternoon tea manners fun, meaningful, and most important, memorable. Any adult or child who reads this book will delight in the clever illustrations and correlations of Alice in Wonderland’s characters to the manners advice.
Phrases like Be as cool as a Cheshire cat, Don’t be a mean Red Queen, and My teacup runneth over with gratitude are easy-to-grasp concepts for children.
With the demanding schedules of parents, caregivers, and teachers, the importance of social skills is often overlooked. Learning social skills early, especially during childhood, can shape a child’s character and greatly impact his or her life for the better.
The EW Foundation® (EWF) vision is to teach, inspire, and motivate children to perform spontaneous acts of kindness and consideration. The benefits they receive from simple, good behavior will be both tangible and intangible. Our belief is that children can “do well by doing good deeds.“
The topics covered in this book are part of the EWF KAMP® curriculum – 2015 Promising Practices National Award Recipient by
“Once again, thank you, Loretta Neff, for another well-written and entertaining resource that teaches important life skills.”—The Children’s Book Review
Ages 6-12 | Publisher: EW Publishing | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-0998555904

With today's focus on modern technology and our habit of interacting via phones, computers, tablets, social media, etc., many children are often not exposed to lessons on manners, considerate behavior, and important values. Loretta Neff's Sip Tea With Mad Hatter aims to help children gain these valuable and integral life skills and attitudes in a fun and entertaining way.

Through the familiar world of Wonderland, and all its quirky inhabitants, Sip Tea With Mad Hatter explores many topics when it comes to good manners and considerate behavior, and does so with whimsy, sweetness, and an engaging voice. From core values to table manners, respectful interactions with others, gift giving and receiving etiquette, being a thoughtful guest, and more, young readers will not only learn useful and life-shaping skills, but will also be inspired to do good deeds and be good people. I love how Neff approaches these lessons and subjects with enthusiasm and excitement, encouraging kids instead of merely preaching at them. The colorful, lively illustrations featuring Wonderland and its characters, are the perfect fun companions to Neff's words.

Sip Tea With Mad Hatter is an excellent resource to inspire, encourage, and teach young readers skills and lessons that will benefit them for the rest of their lives!

Loretta Neff is an award-winning children s book author and the founder of the EW Foundation®, a nonprofit provider of character education programs. Loretta has specialized in character and etiquette education since 1994 with clients ranging from children to Fortune 500 companies.
Loretta’s books are inspired by her love of humanity and desire to share her resources with children who need them most. Through her books and charitable efforts, she hopes to engage young minds and instill the values that can shape and transform their lives in a meaningful and measurable way.
Her first book, award-winning Tame Your Manners, released March 2014, received coveted reviews and has become a bestseller in its genre. Described as Madagascar meets manners, the book continues to charm the hearts of critics and readers alike.
Her second book, Sip Tea with Mad Hatter, is another delightful concept for introducing children to good character and tea manners. The book was inspired by Alice in Wonderland and will challenge kids to be creative and Think outside the rabbit hole.
Based on EW Foundation s KAMP® curriculum, a 2015 and 2016 Promising Practices national award winner, her books emphasize good character and core values while offering an affordable and comprehensive learning solution. Children can enjoy the series at their own pace or share it as a family or class. (For ages 5 12.) Loretta received a BA degree in 1989 with honors and had her sights on the legal profession. But after being accepted to law school at Michigan State University, she never attended, having found her real passion for philanthropic work and the teaching of business and social etiquette. Loretta remains committed to the advancement of numerous charities, societies, and educational foundations.

Enter to win an autographed copy of Sip Tea with Mad Hatter: At KAMP®, by award-winning author Loretta Neff; plus a $25 Visa gift card to buy supplies for your own tea party!
One (1) grand prize winner receives:
  • A copy of Sip Tea with Mad Hatter: At KAMP®, autographed by Loretta Neff
  • A $25 Visa gift card
Two (2) winners receive:
  • A copy of Sip Tea with Mad Hatter: At KAMP®, autographed by Loretta Neff
Giveaway begins June 21, 2017, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends July 21, 2017, at 11:59 P.M. PST. Giveaway open to US and international mailing addresses. Prizes provided by EW Foundation, Inc.
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Katana At Super Hero High Blog Tour (review & giveaway)

Katana at Super Hero High
(DC Super Hero Girls #4)
By Lisa Yee
July 4, 2017
Random House BFYR
Get your cape on with the DC Super Hero Girls(TM)--the unprecedented new Super Hero universe especially for girls! Readers of all ages can fly high with the all-new adventures of Wonder Woman(TM), Supergirl(TM), Batgirl(TM), and some of the world's most iconic female super heroes as high schoolers!

Sword-wielding Katana isn't like most high school students--but with classmates like Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Supergirl, Super Hero High isn't like most high schools!

In addition to training to be a super hero, Katana also follows the noble warrior traditions of the Samurai. Now an unknown source has given her the responsibility of guarding a hundred ancient Samurai swords--but why her, and for what purpose? With the help of Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Ms. Martian, and some of her other super friends, she intends to find out. But she just made captain of the fencing team, she has a huge school project due, and a villain with ties to her family's past seems to be amassing an army. Maintaining her inner peace isn't going to be easy . . .

. . . but Katana has the steel to save the day!

Award-winning author Lisa Yee brings this edge-of-your-seat adventure to life with mystery, thrills, and laughs. Move over Batman(TM) and Superman(TM)--the DC Super Hero Girls are ready to save the day and have fun doing it!

Other books in the DC Super Hero Girls Series
(click covers to read my reviews)

Super Hero High isn’t like most high schools. Neither are its amazing Super Hero students. With SO many powers, abilities, and backgrounds, standing out at Super Hero High isn’t always easy...but with her stellar swordswoman skills, stylish outfit, and cool demeanor, Katana stands above the rest. Following her Samurai grandmother’s footsteps, Katana is determined to be the best: the best student, the best daughter, the best Samurai. And when she is mysteriously entrusted with protecting a hundred ancient swords and learns that a villain she is personally connected to is headed towards Super Hero High, Katana (with help from her Super friends) gets the chance to prove why she’s earned the titles Samurai and Super Hero!

Lise Yee returns to her super fun and wildly appealing DC Super Hero Girls series with book four, Katana at Super Hero High. Like books one through three, Katana at Super Hero High focuses on one main Super (Katana) while incorporating a diverse and quirky cast of other young Super Heroes and villains. I always have such a blast reading the books in this series and Katana at Super Hero High is no exception.

Young readers will be excited to return to Lisa Yee’s take on the DC comic world, a world full of teenage super heroes and villains, thrilling escapades, wicked cool tech, and captivating storylines. Lisa Yee fills each book in this series with age-appropriate humor, edge of your seat twists and turns, immersive world-building, and engaging characters. Katana’s slice of this world is bursting with mystery, adventure, kick-butt martial arts and swordsmanship, and heart. Readers will be enthralled by the mystery of the hundred swords, tickled by Katana’s interactions with her peers, and entertained and impressed by all the action and super situations.

In book four, Katana is, of course, joined by her fellow super hero classmates, like Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, The Flash, Beast Boy, and more! Yee’s take on these well-known and much beloved heroes, as a clever mix of awkward/cocky/witty/cool/fun-loving teenagers, is pitch-perfect and gives readers a diverse, eclectic cast of characters to relate to and love. I especially love all the time we get to spend with shy, mysterious Miss Martian in this book.

Katana at Super Hero High, along with its three predecessors, can be read as standalones, but together, the four books create a wildly fun, charming, and empowering series that wonderfully celebrates heroines!

5/5 Cupcakes

Lisa Yee’s debut novel, Millicent Min, Girl Genius, won the prestigious Sid Fleischman Humor Award. Her other novels for young people, with nearly two million copies in print, include Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time, So Totally Emily Ebers, Absolutely Maybe, and two books about a fourth grader, Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally) and Bobby the Brave (Sometimes). Lisa is also the author of American Girl’s Kanani books and Good Luck, Ivy. Her recent novel, Warp Speed, is about a Star Trek geek who gets beat up every day at school.
Lisa is a former Thurber House Children’s Writer-in-Residence whose books have been chosen as an NPR Best Summer Read, a Sports Illustrated Kids Hot Summer Read, and a USA Today Critics’ Top Pick.
Visit Lisa at or check out her blog at

Win a copy of Katana at Super Hero High!
Random House has generously offered two copies for two winners.
-US only
-ends 7/7/17
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes in the mail
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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Fun Summer Reading For All Ages

Looking for some fun and exciting books to keep your young readers entertained and captivated this summer?! I've got a list of some great reads that are sure to please readers of all ages!

Tootsie Roll Coloring Book: 24 Page Coloring Book

This official licensed Tootsie Roll candy coloring book is designed as an adult style coloring book with fine lines and details. Great for tweens, teens, children and adults of all ages! Filled with meticulously designed illustrations of all your favorite Tootsie Roll brands, including Tootsie Roll, Tootsie Roll Pops, Blow Pop, Fluffy Stuff, Sugar Daddy, Charleston Chew, Junior Mints and more! You'll find Mr. Owl, rainbows of candy, candy jars, dessert and so much more! Featuring 24 unique and creative designs, ranging in complexity from to simple to advanced, this coloring book will provide hours and hours of stress relief, mindful calm and fun, creative expression.

Beach Party Coloring Book: 24 Page Coloring Book

This summer beach themed adult-style coloring book is great for tweens, young adults, and adults. This book is filled with meticulously designed illustrations of everything you love about the beach! Flip Flops and sunglasses, beach bags, fruity drinks, surfboards, and so much more!! The perfect coloring book for a day at the beach or any day you want to day-dream about the beach!! Featuring 24 unique and creative designs, ranging in complexity from to simple to advanced, this coloring book will provide hours and hours of stress relief, mindful calm, and fun, creative expression.

Dani Kates' coloring/activity books are so fun and delightful! The coloring books above feature sweetly whimsical, intricate, and cute drawings with neat designs, patterns, and shapes to color. Kates' art is hip, fresh, and endearingly sassy. Readers of all ages will have a blast filling each awesome page with bright, sunshiny colors!

Personalized Picture Books from Put Me In The Story

$34.99 personalized book

Now your little girl can dream bigger and reach higher than ever before with her very own personalized edition of Isabella: Girl in Charge!

Your child steps into the story as a spunky, purple-haired girl on a journey to the White House. Along the way, she learns about some of the amazing women who came before her. These doers, dreamers, lawmakers, and trailblazers helped create the world we live in today—a world where your little girl can be anything that she wants!

Put your girl in charge with her very own copy of Isabella: Girl in Charge. Include her name and photo along with a special message from you. And at the end of the book, she’ll be surprised to see her face appear next to some of the nation’s greatest leaders! How’s that for big dreams?!

$34.99 personalized book

Reach for the stars with the National Geographic Little Kids Book of Space! This personalized guide takes your child on a journey through our galaxy and beyond. Packed with fun facts and out-of-this-world illustrations, this book will spark your child's interest in the wonders of the universe.

As your kiddo flips through this book, they will encounter thoughtful questions addressed to them by name, such as "How many times have you been all the way around the sun?" On the final pages, your child can name their own comet and draw the night sky!

Personalized with your little one's name, photo, and special dedication message, this interactive book will show your junior space explorer that they live in a universe of infinite possibilities!

The wonderful folks at Put Me In The Story sent me the above books personalized for my niece Aeicha...and what fantastic books they are! Both Little A and I just adore Put Me In The Story and she absolutely loves these two (as I'm typing this she's squeeing in delight while looking at these books!). Isabella: Girl in Charge is an awesome, empowering book that celebrates strong, smart, brave women throughout history, and will inspire your little girls to do amazing things. The Little Kids Book of Space is full of wondrous, educational, and fun space facts, accompanied by bright, colorful illustrations. With personalized details, pictures of my niece, and her name sprinkled throughout each book, these are super fun and charming!

Kids can have fun keeping up with our quickly changing world with the New York Times best-selling Almanac, packed with incredible photos, tons of fun facts, crafts, activities, and fascinating features about animals, science, nature, technology, and more. New features include three chapters on engineering and technology, space and Earth, and life sciences; a guide to New Orleans, just in time for its 300th birthday; an updated Fun and Games chapter filled with all-new games, jokes, and comics; all new weird-but-true facts, crafts, and activities; 18 Facts for 2018 feature in every chapter; updated reference material, and much more.

Weird But True Know-It-All: U.S. Presidents by Brianna Dumont, illustrated by Adrian Lubbers (ages 8-12, $12.99, June 2017) - What's so weird about U.S. presidents? Plenty! Did you know that Abraham Lincoln was a great wrestler? That Ulysses S. Grant got a speeding ticket riding his horse – twice! Or that Benjamin Harrison was afraid of electricity? And let's not forget that President McKinley had a pet parrot that whistled "Yankee Doodle Dandy" duets with him. Every president — from the 1st to the 45th — is spotlighted, featuring important historical information alongside vignette’s highlighting the oddities of each prez. “Extras” include an introduction that delves into the powers of the President, Congress, Supreme Court, an explanation as to how the electoral college works, a glossary, an index and even a listing of the Presidents’ most outrageous pranks.

Benjamin Franklin’s Wise Words by K.M. Kostyal, illustrated by Fred Harper. (ages 8-12, $16.99, hardcover) - In this day and age, we could all use some words of wisdom and there are but a precious few individuals that have proven themselves to be of a greater mind than Benjamin Franklin.  Complete with fifty of Ben Franklin's renowned sayings and paired with modern-day translations, whimsical caricature artwork and fascinating stories about Franklin’s life, this title gives sage advice on everything from good citizenship and manners to friendship, achieving your dreams and being happy. It's a great go-to for inspirational and innovative ways to practice mindfulness, industriousness, and self-improvement by one of the United States’ most famous Founding Fathers.  History buffs young and old will particularly enjoy the book’s forward by H.W. Brands.  Brands’ book, The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.


by Andrew Shvarts
On Sale: May 30, 2017
Being a bastard blows. In ROYAL BASTARDS the bastards of western nobles witness their parents instigate a violent coup, and must band together to get the truth to the king before their kingdom plunges into civil war. With an addicting ensemble cast of characters, life-or-death stakes, and witty, irreverent humor, this fantasy novel, the first in a trilogy, is unique, smart, and makes a perfect crossover read. Entertainment Weekly  raves “Soon Jon Snow won’t be the only “bastard” whose name readers will remember.”

by Jason Reynolds
On Sale: August 1, 2017
Miles Morales is just your average teenager. Oh yeah, and he's Spider Man. But lately, Miles' spidey-sense has been on the fritz. A misunderstanding leads to his suspension from school, and Miles begins to question his abilities. After all, his dad and uncle were Brooklyn jack-boys with criminal records. Maybe kids like Miles aren't meant to be superheroes.
As Miles tries to get his school life back on track, he can't shake the vivid nightmares that continue to haunt him. After his scholarship is threatened, Miles uncovers a chilling plot, one that puts his friends, his neighborhood, and himself at risk. It's time for Miles to suit up.

By Crystal Cestari
May 16, 2017
Amber Sand is not a witch. The Sand family Wicca gene somehow leapfrogged over her. But she did get one highly specific magical talent: she can see true love. As a matchmaker, Amber's pretty far down the sorcery food chain (even birthday party magicians rank higher), but after five seconds of eye contact, she can envision anyone's soul mate.

Amber works at her mother's magic shop--Windy City Magic--in downtown Chicago, and she's confident she's seen every kind of happy ending there is: except for one--her own. (The Fates are tricky jerks that way.) So when Charlie Blitzman, the mayor's son and most-desired boy in school, comes to her for help finding his father's missing girlfriend, she's distressed to find herself falling for him. Because while she can't see her own match, she can see his--and it's not Amber. How can she, an honest peddler of true love, pursue a boy she knows full well isn't her match?

The Best Kind of Magic is set in urban Chicago and will appeal to readers who long for magic in the real world. With a sharp-witted and sassy heroine, a quirky cast of mystical beings, and a heady dose of adventure, this novel will have you laughing out loud and questioning your belief in happy endings.


by Rick Riordan
On Sale: May 2, 2017
After experiencing a series of dangerous--and frankly, humiliating--trials at Camp Half-Blood, Lester must now leave the relative safety of the demigod training ground and embark on a hair-raising journey across North America. Somewhere in the American Midwest, he and his companions must find the most dangerous Oracle from ancient times: a haunted cave that may hold answers for Apollo in his quest to become a god again--if it doesn't kill him or drive him insane first. Standing in Apollo's way is the second member of the evil Triumvirate, a Roman emperor whose love of bloodshed and spectacle makes even Nero look tame. To survive the encounter, Apollo will need the help of son of Hephaestus Leo Valdez, the now-mortal sorceress Calypso, the bronze dragon Festus, and other unexpected allies--some familiar, some new--from the world of demigods.

Picture Books

by Anne Marie Pace; Illustrated by LeUyen Pham
On Sale: April 4, 2017
Be on the lookout for more/new Vampirina adventures with the premiere of the ‘Vampirina’ TV series coming to Disney Junior in 2017! Perfect for both summer and fall, in VAMPIRINA AT THE BEACH (On Sale April 4, 2017), by Anne Marie Pace with illustrations by LeUyen Pham, Vampirina has monstrously fun beach shenanigans. This new picture book sets the stage for even more entertaining interactions, this time between vampires and werewolves, all accompanied by a gentle, tongue-in-cheek narrator.

By Benson Shum
On Sale: April 25, 2017
Holly the hippo imagines the worst: icebergs and icy water, penguins and seals! Her imagination bursts at every turn, making it harder and harder for her to step foot in the pool. Until she get the chance to be a hero. Holly may be scared, but she is a very brave girl.

Disclaimer: I received copies of the books above for review purposes. All opinions, thoughts, and reviews are all my own.