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Word Spelunking’s temporary hiatus is now permanent. All requests are closed and there will be no new content. Thank you to everyone I’ve worked with and everyone who has read and supported this blog. Y’all are awesome!!

Aeicha @ Word Spelunking

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Review and Giveaway: I Am Bear and Bear Moves by Ben Bailey Smith

I'm thrilled to be reviewing and giving away two fun picture books today...

I Am Bear 
(I Am Bear #1) 
By Ben Bailey Smith 
Illustrated by Sav Akyuz 
March 8, 2016 
Candlewick Press 
Source: pub 

The multitalented Ben Bailey Smith (aka rapper Doc Brown) debuts a rollicking read-aloud about a decidedly mischievous bear. 

I am Bear. 
And I am bare. 
The suit I wear has purple hair. 

Bear fills his day with food, funny jokes, tricks on his friends — and an escape right off the page when they all chase him in pursuit! With jaunty rap-style rhyme, first-time children’s author Ben Bailey Smith joins debut illustrator Sav Akyuz for a picture book starring a lovable, slightly naughty bear whose antics will have young children smiling in solidarity. 

Bear Moves 
(I am Bear #2) 
by Ben Bailey Smith 
illustrated by Sav Akyuz 
October 26, 2018 
Candlewick Press 
Source: from pub 

In a high-energy sequel to I Am Bear, the dance-loving star rolls out a variety of dance moves and inspires kids to try some of their own. 

Get up, get down,  
hit the ground . . . 

Bear's in a dancing mood, and his friend Bunny is happy to help out with the boom box. With moves like Furry Breaking, Running Bear (you run but don't go anywhere), and the classic back spin, who could blame observers who might want to bust a move of their own? Actor/rapper Ben Bailey Smith (aka Doc Brown) and artist Sav Akyuz team up again for a lively two-step with the multitalented Bear.

Author Ben Bailey Smith and illustrator Sav Akyuz offer readers two hilarious books featuring the greatest purple suit wearing bare bear you’ll ever meet in I Am Bear and Bear Moves! 

Through short, yet clever and laugh out loud rhymes, we are introduced to this truly one of a kind bear, his silly daily antics, and unusual hobbies in I Am Bear. And in Bear Moves this dynamic writing and illustrating team return for a bearry fun dance party. The irresistibly charming Bear break dances, foxtrots, and tangoes his way through the pages of the wildly funny Bear Moves! Smith’s whimsically humorous text will amuse and entertain little readers, while Akyuz’s engaging illustrations, with their bright pops of colors and lively action, will captivate delight. 

With their giggle inducing lyrical text, outrageously fun action, and an adorably unforgettable star, both I Am Bear and Bear Moves are perfect read aloud picture books that little readers will love! 

Ben Bailey Smith is a U.K.-based rapper (known as Doc Brown), an actor on the British edition of Law & Order and the British kids’ show 4 O’Clock Club, and a stand-up comedian. Now he adds a new facet to his career: children’s-book author. He lives in London. 

Sav Akyuz is a first-time children’s-book illustrator who has worked as a storyboard artist on TV programs and feature films. He lives in London.

Win a set of I Am Bear and Bear Moves!
The folks at Candlewick Press have offered one copy of each book for one winner.
-US/CAN only 
-no PO boxes
-ends 12/26/18
-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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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Product Review: Custom Photo Puzzle from

From time to time, Word Spelunking is asked to write product reviews. Sometimes these are book related products, sometimes they are not. Today, I have a non-book related product review to share...

For this review I received a custom photo puzzlespecifically, a Kids 11x14 30-pieces puzzle. The custom photo puzzles also come in these sizes: Kids 16x20 56-pieces, Adult 8x10 110-pieces, Adult 11x14 252-pieces, Adult 16x20 520-pieces, Adult 20x20 676-pieces, and Adult 20x30 1014-pieces. describes their custom photo puzzles as: 
  • Vibrant printing on high-quality, glossy photo paper with a firm backing 
  • Includes sturdy black storage box with your design on the label 
  • Add as many or as few photos as you want - every photo puzzle is your own! 
  • Printed in the USA 

I’m a huge fan of Collage’s website because it so easy to navigate and use! The design editor is especially a breeze to use. Once you start a custom photo project, you can upload your photos from your computer, Facebook, Google Photos, or Instagram, and photos upload quickly. And I love that you can add as many or as little photos as you want to your custom project(s). I decided to make a custom puzzle for my five year old niece and I had so much fun designing it!  

Collage offers SO many designs, layouts, backgrounds, and all-around options. They’ve made designing their puzzles super easy by offering pre-made designs and layouts depending on how many pictures you want to use. Editing (cropping, adding filters, etc) and rearranging photos is super easy and just takes a few clicks. For our puzzle, I chose six photos of my niece with her mommy and daddy and chose the cute Family Sticks Together design. From patterns, holidays, kids, a pattern builder, and more, there are 11 background categories and dozens of different backgrounds to choose from. You can even add text to your puzzles and the designer builder makes sure your text is perfectly placed and aligned.  

Production and shipping times are awesomely quick; my custom photo puzzles arrived less than a week after placing my order. The puzzles come in a sturdy storage box with a picture of your puzzle on the front: 

The printing and picture quality are excellent! Our photos are bright and clear, with no fuzziness or distortion. The actual pieces feel very sturdy, are the perfect large size for little hands, and fit together perfectly. My niece absolutely loved her puzzle and put it together three times in row! 

Overall, from the website, design builder, production, shipping, and product quality I am very impressed. The custom photo puzzle makes a wonderfully unique and one of a kind gift that people of all ages will enjoy and treasure.  

Check out my review of a custom photo blanket from Collage.

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**Disclaimer: I received the product above for free for review purposes. All reviews, opinions, and thoughts are my own.