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Thursday, September 24, 2020

The Alpabet's Alphabet Blog Tour (review & giveaway)

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the THE ALPHABET'S ALPHABET by Chris Harris & Dan Santat Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!


Author: Chris Harris & Dan Santat (Illustrator)

Pub. Date: September 29, 2020

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 48

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD,


For fans of P is for Pterodactyl comes this groundbreaking spin on the ABC's from an acclaimed, bestselling author and artist pairing!

Here's a totally twisted take on the alphabet that invites readers to look at it in a whole new way: An A is an H that just won't stand up right, a B is a D with its belt on too tight, and a Z is an L in a tug-of-war fight! Twenty-six letters, unique from each other -- and yet, every letter looks just like one another! Kind of big family.

From two bestselling masters of wordplay and visual high jinks comes a mind-bending riddle of delightful doppelgängers and surprising disguises that reveal we're more alike than we may think. You'll never look at the alphabet the same way again!


The Alphabet's Alphabet is a charmingly funny and surprisingly sweet picture book that asks little readers to look at the alphabet in a fun , new way!

Like a family, the letters in the alphabet are more alike than you think, while still retaining their own unique flairs, and author Chris Harris and illustrator Dan Santat explore this theme with silly humor, bright imagination, and wonderful heart. Little readers will enjoy the clever rhymes and sparse text, while delighting in the engaging illustrations, so full of colorful details and laugh-out-loud scenes.

The dynamic duo of Harris and Santat offer readers a fantastically fun and unforgettable alphabet book!

About Chris:

Chris Harris is a writer and executive producer for How I Met Your Mother and The Great Indoors, and a writer for The Late Show with David Letterman. His pieces have appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, ESPN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and on NPR. He was also the author of the anti-travel guide Don’t Go Europe! He lives in Los Angeles.


Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads


About Dan:

Dan Santat is a #1 New York Times Best Selling Author author/illustrator of over one hundred titles which include “The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend” which won the prestigious Randolph Caldecott Medal in 2015. Other titles include, Are We There Yet? and After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)  He is also the creator of the Disney animated hit, The Replacements. Dan lives in Southern California with his wife, two kids, and various pets.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads


3 winners will receive a Finished Copy of THE ALPHABET'S ALPHABET!
US Only
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Friday, September 18, 2020

My Life in the Fish Tank Blog Tour (guest post & giveaway)

Welcome to the My Life in the Fish Tank Blog Tour! 

To celebrate the release of My Life in the Fish Tank by Barbara Dee on September 15th, blogs across the web are featuring original guest posts from Barbara, plus 5 chances to win My Life in the Fish Tank and swag!

My Life In The Fish Tank
by Barbara Dee
From acclaimed author of Maybe He Just Likes You and Halfway Normal comes a powerful and moving story of learning how to grow, change, and survive. 

When twelve-year-old Zinnia Manning’s older brother Gabriel is diagnosed with a mental illness, the family’s world is turned upside down. Mom and Dad want Zinny, her sixteen-year-old sister, Scarlett, and her eight-year-old brother, Aiden, to keep Gabriel’s condition “private”—and to Zinny that sounds the same as “secret.” Which means she can’t talk about it to her two best friends, who don’t understand why Zinny keeps pushing them away, turning everything into a joke. 

It also means she can’t talk about it during Lunch Club, a group run by the school guidance counselor. How did Zinny get stuck in this weird club, anyway? She certainly doesn’t have anything in common with these kids—and even if she did, she’d never betray her family’s secret. 

The only good thing about school is science class, where cool teacher Ms. Molina has them doing experiments on crayfish. And when Zinny has the chance to attend a dream marine biology camp for the summer, she doesn’t know what to do. How can Zinny move forward when Gabriel—and, really, her whole family—still needs her help? 

Five Fun Facts about My Life in the Fish Tank 
by Barbara Dee 

1-My Life in the Fish Tank was written before Maybe He Just Likes You (2019).  I wrote Fish Tank as I was recovering from a dog-walking accident that left me housebound with a broken pelvis and shoulder.  All I could do was sit and write, so the book came to me pretty fast. When I submitted the manuscript to my publisher, Simon & Schuster, they generously offered a two book deal: Fish Tank, plus whatever else I wrote next. 

At the time of the offer, I didn't even have an idea for the second book! But as I waited for my editor to send editorial notes for Fish Tank,  he news was full of #MeToo stories. I began to wonder why there wasn't a #MeToo book for MG readers, and decided to write one--which, I was convinced, needed to be published ASAP.  So I asked my editor if we could flip the order of the two books in the deal, publishing Maybe first and Fish Tank second--and she agreed. 

2- The original title of My Life in the Fish Tank was How to Survive Quicksand.  But my publisher suggested  that this title was problematic: for one thing, it sounded like a how-to manual.  Also, they said,  it didn't lend itself to cover art.  

At first I didn't want to change a title I'd had from the beginning. The "how to survive" list was an important thread in the story--gallows humor, a running joke between Zinny and her little brother Aiden that kept them both laughing through a family crisis. It also connected them as siblings, as Zinny stepped in for her preoccupied mom, helping Aiden with a school project he'd stalled out on. 

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized a new title made sense. When you're writing MG, cover design is so important-- and I couldn't imagine an illustration of quicksand with the necessary kid-appeal.  Changing that image to a fish tank opened up possibilities.  

When I saw the artwork by Jenna Stempell-Lobell, who'd also designed the gorgeous cover for my Halfway Normal, I loved it immediately. I think the cover of My Life in the Fish Tank is perfect-- beautiful, fun, dreamy and intriguing. I'm so glad I changed the title! 

3-The character Kailani was originally named Kamala, as a nod to the senator who cross-examined Brett Kavanaugh in his confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court.  But when Kamala Harris announced her candidacy for president, I decided to change the name so it wouldn't be distracting.  Now I can't imagine Zinny's friend wasn't always named Kailani. 

4-For My Life in the Fish Tank, in addition to researching bipolar disorder, I also spent many hours watching YouTube videos about middle schoolers doing crayfish experiments. The track experiment in Fish Tank was based on an actual seventh grade crayfish study. They even used a hot dog as motivation. 

  5-My favorite scene in My Life in the Fish Tank is the dinner when the whole family (minus Gabriel) is eating together for the first time in many weeks. Zinny is excited about her crayfish experiment and can't stop talking about it, informing her family that crayfish eyes move independently: 

"I already knew that," Aiden said, chewing. 
"You did? 
"Uh-huh. So do mantis-shrimp eyes, but they have better vision. and they have blades that that can cut the human finger. In seconds!" 
He nodded. "Hey, Zinny, know what else is true? Piranhas can skeletonize an entire cow in under a minute." 
"Okay, enough," Mom said in her teacher voice. "Can we please try a more pleasant topic at the table?" 
"THANK YOU," Scarlett said. 

Every time I read this scene I can hear Aiden's excitement, Zinny's enthusiasm, Scarlett's disgust, and Mom's (somewhat futile) attempt to control the table.  It's probably not cool for an author to admit she cracks herself up, but the truth is, this scene always makes me laugh. 

Barbara Dee
is the author of eleven middle grade novels published by Simon & Schuster, including 
My Life in the Fish Tank, Maybe He Just Likes You, Everything I Know About You, Halfway Normal, and Star-Crossed. Her books have earned several starred reviews and have been named to many best-of lists, including the The Washington Post’s Best Children’s Books, the ALA Notable Children’s Books, the ALA Rise: A Feminist Book Project List, the NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, and the ALA Rainbow List Top Ten. Barbara lives with her family, including a naughty cat named Luna and a sweet rescue hound named Ripley, in Westchester County, New York. 

Follow BarbaraWebsite | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram 

One winner will receive a signed hardcover copy of My Life in the Fish Tank, bookmark, and button 

  • -Check out the rest of the stops on the tour for 4 more chances to win! 

  • -US/Can only 

  • -Ends 9/27 at 11:59pm ET 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule: 

September 14th - Crossroad Reviews 

September 15th - BookhoundsYA 

September 16th - Good Choice Reading 

September 18th - Word Spelunking