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Aeicha @ Word Spelunking

Monday, February 25, 2019

It's Not Hansel and Gretel Blog Tour (review & giveaway)

It’s Not Hansel and Gretel 
(It’s Not a Fairytale #2) 
By Josh Funk 
Illustrated by Edwardian Taylor 
March 1, 2019 
Two Lions 

Hansel and Gretel will not listen to their storyteller. For one thing, who leaves a trail of bread crumbs lying around, when there are people starving? Not Hansel, that’s for sure! And that sweet old lady who lives in a house made of cookies and candy? There’s no way she’s an evil witch! As for Gretel, well, she’s about to set the record straight—after all, who says the story can’t be called Gretel and Hansel? It’s time for these wacky siblings to take their fairy tale into their own hands. So sit back and enjoy the gingerbread! 

With laugh-out-loud dialogue and bold, playful art (including hidden search-and-find fairy-tale creatures), this Hansel and Gretel retelling will have kids giggling right up to the delicious ending! 

You think you know the story of Hansel and Gretel, right? Wrong! You have NO idea...but don’t worry, Josh Funk is here to tell you the real story in It’s Not Hansel and Gretel. 

It’s Not Hansel and Gretel is a deliciously, laugh-out-loud funny tale that puts an imaginative and exciting spin on the classic story. Wickedly clever and bursting with oodles of charm, Funk’s pitch-perfect storytelling will keep young readers absolutely enthralled. Edwardian Taylor’s silly, whimsical illustrations bring the story to life perfectly with engaging cartoonish flair.  

With fun interactions between the storyteller and Hansel and Gretel, thrilling twists, awesome illustrations, and fun humor, It’s Not Hansel and Gretel is sure to delight and entertain readers of all ages. 

5/5 Cupcakes

Like Hansel and Gretel, Josh Funk doesn't like being told how stories should go—so he writes his own. He is the author of a bunch of picture books, including the popular Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series, illustrated by Brendan Kearney, and recently, How to Code a Sandcastle, illustrated by Sara Palacios, and Lost in the Library: A Story of Patience & Fortitude, illustrated by Stevie Lewis. He lives in New England with his wife and children. Learn more about him at and follow him on Twitter @joshfunkbooks. 

 Edwardian Taylor has worked as a visual development artist and character designer in the game and animation industry. He illustrated the picture book Race!, written by Sue Fliess and the chapter book Toy Academy: Some Assembly Required, written by Brian Lynch. He lives in Texas with his partner and their four dogs. Learn more about him at and follow him on Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter @edwardiantaylor. 

Win a copy of It's Not Hansel and Gretel!
The folks at Two Lions have generously offered one copy for one lucky winner.
-US only
-ends 3/3/19
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes

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Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Awesome New and Upcoming Books

I'm back with another great list of new and upcoming books to look out for...

Frida Catlo 
(Wild Bios) 
January 8, 2019 
Silver Dolphin Books 

Frida Catlo was one purr-fect painter! 

Meet one of history’s greatest figures in this adorable board book with an animal twist! Famous Meowxican painter Frida Catlo was a pioneer for female artists. She always painted from the heart, even in the face of health problems and personal struggles. With hilarious puns and colorful illustrations, this book brings Frida’s legacy to life for babies and parents alike! 

The Story of Rock 
May 7, 2019 
Silver Dolphin Books 

1...2...3...4! Let’s rock and roll, babies! 

From Elvis Presley to Beatlemania, from Janis Joplin to David Bowie—rock has transformed through generations while ringing true with passionate sound. Rock along with the greats in this delightful baby book that introduces little ones to the rockers that started it all! 

Parental Advisory: May cause toddlers to play the air guitar with adorable frequency. 

The Story of Rap 
May 7, 2019 
Silver Dolphin Books 

Lay down a baby beat and learn all about the history of rap! 

From Grandmaster Flash to Kendrick Lamar, rap has shaped generations and brought a voice to the voiceless. Bop along with the greats in this adorable baby book that introduces little ones to the rappers that started it all! 

Parental Advisory: May cause toddlers to develop excessive amounts of swagger. 

-These three board books from Silver Dolphin Books are an adorably fun and creative way to introduce little readers to painter Frida Kahlo and the history and world of both Rock and Rap Music. Frida Catlo, a Wild Bios board book, explores the life and work of Frida Kahlo with a silly kitty twist, while The Story of Rock and The Story of Rap explore the rich and fascinating histories and impacts of Rock and Rap music. Each of these cute board books use simple, engaging text and adorable illustrations.  

Cat & Mouse 
By Britta Teckentrup 
March 19, 2019 
Prestel Junior 

This charming book about a cat and a mouse features cut-outs that help teach young readers about prepositions in a fresh, innovative way. 

The perfect place for a mouse is inside a cozy, warm house, but a cat lives there too, and once the cat sees the mouse, a chase ensues. As the cat and mouse scurry about--on top of a chair, inside a box, outside a window, through a hole--young readers will learn about important prepositions that help them understand where one object is in relation to another. At the end of this colorful chase, the cat and mouse curl up together and nap until they're ready to start the whole thing again. Britta Teckentrup's eye-catching, simple illustrations are cleverly enhanced with cut-outs that help reinforce the words, providing a unique and fun interactive experience that teaches young readers about basic prepositions. 

-Britta Teckentrup’s Cat & Mouse is a sweetly exciting page-turner that features an unpredictable cat and mouse chase. The simple, engaging rhymes will delight little readers, while the artistic illustrations and interesting cut-outs will fascinate.  

Rabbit & Bear: Rabbit’s Bad Habit 
By Julian Gough and Jim Field 
January 8, 2019 
Silver Dolphin Books 

Avalanches, snowmen, a hungry wolf…and more! 

When Bear wakes up early from her hibernation, she decides to build a snowman. Her grumpy neighbor, Rabbit, decides to build an even better one. Rabbit & Bear: Rabbit’s Bad Habits is full of laugh-out-loud moments and chronicles the forming of an unlikely friendship. With illustrations throughout, this chapter book is perfect for middle grade readers and is sure to become a fun favorite on any kid’s bookshelf. 

-Rabbit & Bear: Rabbit’s Bad Habit is a humorous and sweet tale about an unlikely friendship. Young readers will enjoy the whimsical word use, funny mishaps, and the engaging illustrations with their pops of blue. 

The Song of Spring 
By Hendrik Jonas 
March 19, 2019 
Prestel Junior 

It's spring and everywhere birds are calling out to each other. But one bird has forgotten which sound to make. He tries "Woof," and meets a dog, who encourages him to try "Oink," with the expected result. Moo, Hee-Haw, Baa, Meow--each successive call adds another animal friend to the page. Will the young bird find another bird friend? As young readers are introduced to each type of animal and their sounds, Hendrik Jonas' clever illustrations grow increasingly crowded. The result is a beautiful celebration of friendship that will delight young children everywhere. 

-Charmingly silly and fun, The Song of Spring is a joyous celebration of Spring and all the animal sounds it brings. Little readers will be delighted by the funny and surprising story, which is accompanied by fun illustrations created by a neat collage like mixture of elements. 

The Whole Wide World and Me 
By Toni Yuly 
February 19, 2019 

Like a flower in a field . . . 
Like a cloud in the sky . . . 
So am I. 

Just as a pebble is part of a mountain, just as a wave is part of the sea, so, too, is every one of us part of something bigger. With bright collage illustrations and a simple, lyrical text, acclaimed author-illustrator Toni Yuly invites readers to celebrate our relationship to the natural world. 

-The Whole Wide World and Me is a thoughtful and joyful celebration of how everything and everyone is connected. Toni Yuly’s simple text is effective and lovely, while the bright, collage illustrations will captive little readers. 

By Jeanne Willis 
Illustrated by Briony May Smith 
February 12, 2019 
Nosy Crow 

The perfect story for anyone who's ever felt overshadowed. 

One little girl dreams of being a star. But whether it's finding Mom's lost wedding ring or winning the costume prize, her big sister always shines brighter. In her grandfather's eyes, though, she is a star. As he dries her tears and they both gaze up at the night sky, he tells a story about how everything and everyone is made of stardust and we all shine in different ways. With illustrations from new talent Briony May Smith, this is a touching story about being true to yourself from award-winning author Jeanne Willis. 

-The little girl in Stardust feels like her big sister outshines her at every turn, but her grandfather shows the little girl that she, like everyone else, is already a star, full of stardust. Willis’ sweet, relatable story will move little readers with its tenderness, while Smith’s dreamy, light filled illustrations perfectly capture the story’s essence. 

New York Day & Night 
By Aurelie Pollet & Vincent Bergier 
March 19, 2019 
Prestel Junior 

Sometimes your eyes can play tricks on you, especially in the dark. This enchanting picture book shows how New York City can look quite peculiar at night. Each brightly colored spread is overlaid with a sheet of translucent blue paper and when lifted, voila! A space ship and Martian become The Guggenheim, a giant serpent is actually the subway, King Kong's jungle turns into Central Park, and a superhero takes on the shape of a construction worker. Exhilarating and captivating, all the scenes are easily switched between day and night and will take the reader on a unique journey that lets imaginations run wild while revealing that some things at night aren't as scary as they seem. 

-New York Day & Night brilliantly brings the sometimes peculiar and fascinating sights of NYC to life.  Creative and fun, this cool picture book with its pops of blue and orange in its engaging illustrations, will keep little readers enthralled and entertained. 

Hoo Hoo Who? 
By Mary Maier and Lauren Horton 
February 7, 2019 
Building Block Press 

It's time for Mouse's Surprise Party, but Owl's glasses are broken. It's a good thing you came along! Can you use the clues to help Owl figure out which guest is at the door? Hoo hoo who could it be? 

In this catchy and interactive book, children are encouraged to take part in the story and use expressive language to respond to Owl's WHO questions. With engaging opportunities on every page, children will be excited to read this story again and again. Who doesn't love to yell “Surprise!" and sing “Happy Birthday"? 

The bold and distinctive illustrations are refreshing for parents, and particularly enthralling for children who will be naturally drawn to the curvy and circular shapes. 

-Hoo Hoo Who is a delight! Smart word usage and fun interactive text will keep little readers absolutely captivated. Bright, whimsical illustrations, with great textures and shapes, bring the story to life in exciting and engaging ways. Sure to be a bedtime hit! 

Taking Cover 
One Girl’s Story of Growing Up During the Iranian Revolution 
By Nioucha Homayoonfar 
January 1, 2019 
National Geographic Children’s Books 
Add on Goodreads 

This coming-of-age memoir, set during the Iranian Revolution, tells the story of a young girl who moves to Tehran from the U.S. and has to adjust to living in a new country, learning a new language, and starting a new school during one of the most turbulent periods in Iran's history. 

This true story of Nioucha Homayoonfar offers a window into an at-once familiar yet foreign culture. Religion classes are mandatory at her new school. Nioucha has to cover her head and wear robes. Her cousin is captured and tortured after he is caught trying to leave the country. And yet, in midst of so much change and challenge, Nioucha is still just a girl who listens to music and idolizes pop stars. But she has to be careful when Western music is banned and she cannot be seen in public together with her new boyfriend. Will she ever get used to this new way of life? 

-Nioucha Homayoonfar’s memoir of her time growing up in Iran is heartfelt and engaging. Young readers will enjoy Homayoonfar’s humorous and conversational tone, while being deeply affected by her experience during turbulent times.  

Running With Wolves 
Our Story of Life With the Sawtooth Pack 
By Jim and Jamie Dutcher 
January 8, 2019 
National Geographic Society 

Discover the wonder of wolves from Emmy-award winning filmmakers Jim and Jamie Dutcher as they tell their story of the six years they watched, learned about, and lived with the Sawtooth wolf pack. 

Adventure, friendship, and family come together in this riveting memoir as two award-winning filmmakers take you through the experience of the years they spent living in the wild with a real-life wolf pack. Jim and Jamie set out to show the world that instead of fearsome beasts, wolves are social, complex, and incredible creatures that deserve our protection. Deep in the mountain wilderness of Idaho, they set up Wolf Camp, where they spent years capturing the emotional, exciting, and sometimes heartbreaking story of their pack. 

Meet Kamots, the fearless leader. Learn from wise Matsi. Explore the forest with shy Lakota. And watch as adorable pups grow from silly siblings to a devoted pack. See how these brave wolves overcome all odds, battling mountain lions and frigid temperatures. Most of all, discover the surprising kindness, compassion, and devotion that Jim and Jamie discovered by living with wolves. 

-Join Jim and Jamie Dutcher as they share the stories of the time they spent years living with the Sawtooth Wolf Pack. Running With Wolves is an absolutely captivating and unputdownable book! Young readers will fall in love with this unforgettable pack of majestic animals and learn so much from the Dutcher’s story.  

Make This! 
Building, Thinking, and Tinkering Projects for the Amazing Maker In You 
By Ella Schwartz 
February 5, 2019 
National Geographic Society 

Create your maker space with this fun and instructive book, chock-full of hands-on activities and cool experiments to get kids thinking and tinkering. 

This book is designed to inspire the next generation of engineers and supports all kinds of kid creators: those who prefer guided instruction, those who prefer to dream up and design objects on their own, and everyone in between. With thoughtful text and bright illustrations, kids get the tools and the know-how to tackle all kinds of exciting projects: building a kaleidoscope, designing a fidget spinner, planting a rain forest, creating a musical instrument, and more. Unconventional scenarios inspired by real National Geographic explorers give kids a chance to think outside the box and apply their maker skills to real life. Chapters are divided up by scientific principle, such as simple machines, energy, and forces. In each chapter, kids can start by following step-by-step activities, or get creative by tackling an open-ended challenge. Helpful sidebars explain the science behind what's happening every step of the way. 

Make This! is perfect for curious and STEM-loving kids, families looking for a fun way to play together, and anyone else who's ready to get creative and start tinkering! 

-Full of simple, yet engaging and smart activities for kids, Make This is a fantastic and fun guide that will educate, entertain, and inspire! Kids will have a blast trying out each well thought-out and thoroughly explained project. Perfect for celebrating National Engineering Week this week (week of 2/17). 

**I received copies of the titles above for review purposes. All thoughts, opinions, and reviews are my own.