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Aeicha @ Word Spelunking

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Whispering Pines Blog Tour (review)

Whispering Pines 

by Heidi Lang and Kati Bartkowski 


Margaret K. McElderry Books 


A young boy and girl who must protect their small town from otherworldly forces threatening to destroy it. 

Rae’s father vanished without a trace—and Rae knows what happened to him. But no one believes her when she says that her father didn’t run off, that he was actually taken. Now, a year of therapy later, Rae’s mother decides they need a fresh start, and so they move to a new town in the hope that life can return to normal. 

The problem is, there is nothing normal about the town of Whispering Pines. 

No one knows this better than Caden. He’s lived in Whispering Pines his entire life, and he’s seen more than his fair share of weird—starting with his own family, as the town is the perfect home base for his mother’s ghost hunting business. 

When several kids go missing and then show up like zombies with their eyes removed, many locals brush it off. Just another day in Whispering Pines. But Caden has a dark secret, one that may explain why someone is stealing eyes. And Rae, who knows how it feels to not be believed, may be just the person Caden needs to help him put things right. 


Amazon / IndieBound 

A girl with a missing father. A boy with an unusual gift. One strange, mysterious town...all three of these collide for one supernatural tale. Rae’s father left, at least that’s what everyone says. But she knows he was taken. When Rae, her sister, and her mother move to Whispering Pines, Rae finds herself tangled up in an eerie mystery involving missing kids, a monster, and a lonely boy named Caden. Together, Rae and Caden set out to uncover the truth and maybe save their town. 


Heidi Lang and Kati Bartkowski’s Whispering Pines is a fast-paced and excitingly engrossing new middle-grade, full of spooktacular chills, fun thrills, and clever twists. 


Spine-tingly supernatural elements, engaging characters, well plotted mystery, and a brisk pace make Whispering Pines a riveting page turner...I couldn’t put it down and just had to know what happened next and next and next! Whispering Pines makes for a captivatingly quirky, eerie, and amusing setting. Readers will want to immerse themselves in this strange town and uncover all its secrets and surprises.  


With plenty of questions answered and even more questions created, the ending will leave readers excited for more...I know I can’t wait to see where this frighteningly fun and adventure takes Rae and Caden in the next book!


5/5 Cupcakes

Heidi Lang managed to stumble upon the two best jobs in the world: writing for kids and walking dogs. If she’s not out on the trails surrounded by wagging tails and puppy kisses, she’s probably hunched over her laptop working on her next book. She lives in northern California with her husband and two adventure-loving dogs, and she is the coauthor of the Mystic Cooking Chronicles and Whispering Pines. Find her on Twitter @HidLang, or visit the website she shares with her writing partner at 


Kati Bartkowski was originally drawn to illustration before she got swept up in the world of words. Nowadays she’s a fan of creating fantastical creatures and feisty heroines in both mediums. If she’s not reading, writing, or drawing, she’s probably chasing after her high energy little girl. She lives in northern California and is the coauthor of the Mystic Cooking Chronicles and Whispering Pines. Find her on Twitter @KTBartkowski, or visit the website she shares with her writing partner at 


Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, 10/26: Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers 

Tuesday, 10/27: Jill’s Book Blog 

Wednesday, 10/28: Little Red Reads 

Thursday, 10/29: Word Spelunking 

Friday, 10/30: YA Books Central 




Monday, October 26, 2020

Some Days Blog Tour (review and giveaway)

I'm thrilled to have the Some Days Blog Tour stopping by today with a review and giveaway...

Some Days 

Written and Illustrated by Maria Wernicke 

Translated by Lawrence Schimel 

Nov. 1, 2020 

Amazon Crossing Kids 


From an Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award nominee comes a touching story of family, security, and loss. 

A young girl tells her mother about a passageway in their yard. Down this passageway, it is not cold, there is no danger, and nothing bad can ever happen—and the person she longs for is with her again. The only problem is that, on some days, the passageway is not there. But maybe, together, mother and daughter can find a way to carry that feeling with them always. 

First published in Argentina, this lovely picture book will tug on the heartstrings of anyone who knows what it means to miss a loved one. 



★“A gentle model for living while missing a loved one.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) 


“This brief, wistful exchange between a mother and her child delivers its emotion between the lines, and Schimel’s translation handles the understatement deftly…Wernicke shows the two twirled up in another set of sheets, looking for the passageway together, in this portrait of a parent who hears and honors her child’s words.” —Publishers Weekly 

In Some Days, a young girl tells her mother about a passageway in their yard...a passageway that leads to a safe, good place where someone she longs for is. But even though the young girl longs for it always, the passageway isn’t there every day. 


Marie Wernicke’s Some Days is an achingly beautiful exploration of grief, remembering, and love. Wernicke’s text is sparse, yet immensely powerful and thoughtful. Like grief and love, the illustrations fill the pages with larger than life characters and delightful splashes of colors, exuding so much heart and hope. 


So thoughtfully and tenderly crafted, Some Days will move readers of all ages with its deeply felt emotions. 


María Wernicke is an award-winning Argentinian author and illustrator of children’s books. She is a 2020 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award nominee. Her illustrations have been part of multiple international exhibits, including at the Bratislava Biennial exhibition and the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, among others. Learn more about the author at www.maria 

On Instagram: @wernicke_maria 


Lawrence Schimel is a bilingual author and translator, with more than one hundred books to his credit. His children’s books have won a Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and have been selected for lists of outstanding titles by the International Board on Books for Young People. His translated books include Wanda Gàg’s Millions of Cats and George Takei’s graphic novel They Called Us Enemy, among many others. He lives in Madrid, Spain. 

Win a copy of Some Days! 

Amazon Crossing Kids has generously offered one new copy for one lucky winner. 

-US/CAN only 

-ends 11/1/2020 

-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