Mr. Tiger Goes Wild Blog Tour and Giveaway

Peter Brown
ISBN: 9780316200639
Audience: Ages 4 to 8 years old

Description from Little, Brown:
Are you bored with being so proper?

Do you want to have more fun?

Mr. Tiger knows exactly how you feel. So he decides to go wild.

But does he go too far?

From Caldecott Honor artist Peter Brown comes a story that shows there's a time and place for everything...even going wild.

About the author/illustrator:
Peter Brown is the author and illustrator of many bestselling children's books, including Children Make Terrible Pets and The Curious Garden. He is the recipient of a Caldecott Honor for Creepy Carrots!, two E.B. White Read Aloud Awards, a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book award, and a Children's Choice Award for Illustrator of the Year. Peter's website is

Artwork by Peter Brown ©2013

What Mr. Tiger Goes Wild inspires me to do:
I'm a big fan of Peter Brown's books and so excited to be celebrating Peter's newest book, Mr. Tiger Goes Wild.  I had a chance to see a copy of this book at ALA's Annual Conference in June and fell in love with it.  I have already placed this one on my Mock Caldecott list.  I would love to see a shiny medal on this book come January 2014.  

As part of the tour, I was asked to write about a time that "I went wild".  I stopped and thought, and thought some more and I realized that I do not really like to do anything too wild.  Probably one of the wildest things I have done is to decided to move 3,000 miles away from New England to Southern California.  But that isn't really wild. Some people move all the time.  So, then I thought some more, and a little more.

Last week, the wildest thing I did was to submit a proposal to present at IBBY's 34th International Congress in Mexico City in September 2014.  For those of you who travel outside of the United States regularly this may not be a big deal, but I don't venture out as much.  I spoke with a colleague of mine and asked her if she would join me.  Aside from the fact that she speaks fluent Spanish (a definite plus on a trip like this), I know that she will push me beyond my comfort zone.

Here's to celebrating Mr. Tiger Goes Wild and may we all do something a little wild today.

Important Details about the Blog Tour and Giveaway:
To celebrate the release of Peter Brown's Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, we have a blog tour scavenger hunt for you! Visit all the blogs listed below to collect 7 letters/characters. Unscramble the letters/characters to unlock the secret phrase. Each blog is giving away three copies of Mr. Tiger Goes Wild courtesy of Little, Brown Books and Jen Vincent at Teach Mentor Texts has a Mr. Tiger Goes Wild prize pack to give away. 

Collect all 7 letters/characters by stopping at each blog.  Here is one letter for you:

Stop by each blog to collect all of the letters/images needed to win a special prize pack on Teach Mentor Texts.

Franki at A Year of Reading
Jen at Reederama
Katherine at Read, Write, Reflect
Laura at LibLaura5
Colby at SharpRead 

To enter the giveaway, you must have an US mailing address (no P.O. Boxes please).  You must be 13 years old or older to enter.  Thank you to Little, Brown for providing copies of Mr. Tiger Goes Wild for the giveaway.  There will be three winners picked, and each winner will receive a hardcover of Mr. Tiger Goes Wild.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Event - Pseudonymous Bosch & The Story Pirates

On April 2, 2013, Pseudonymous Bosch's newest book - WRITE THIS BOOK - was released.  To celebrate, Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena organized the event which was hosted at McKinley School.  This was definitely not your typical author event.  The Story Pirates performed an improvisational skit around the book.  For more information about the Story Pirates, check out their website.

The whole performance was done as an improv skit with suggestions from children who were in attendance.  I have seen various other improvisational performances before but I truly give kudos to the Story Pirates.  Incorporating the ideas of the young audience into the skit was not easy, but the performers were amazing.

Isn't this "plot map" fabulous?!  I want one. Part of the skit incorporated a lesson in various elements of storytelling.  The car moved around as those elements were mentioned.

Here is a short clip of the Story Pirates as they perform WRITE THIS BOOK...

Here one of the performers is encouraging the audience to provide suggestions for the next part of the skit.

As characters were added to the skit (thanks to the suggestions from the audience), clothing changes were made.

And made again...

And, well, again...

Here the Story Pirates turn their skit about WRITE THIS BOOK into a musical...

At one point in the improv, the topic of genre came up.  Below is a picture of a "genre wheel".  I so want one of these.  Brilliant way of creating one.

A student from McKinley came up and had a chance to "spin the wheel".  The genre selected was then incorporated into the skit.

At the end, the Real Pseudonymous Bosch arrived and set everyone straight. 

Here is Pseudonymous Bosch signing books.

Jax (she helped me write the review of WRITE THIS BOOK) & her friend Ella had a chance to take a picture with Pseudonymous Bosch.  Of course, pictures were taken in Bosch's trademark style. :-)

This was one of the best author events that I have ever attend.  Thank you to Pseudonymous Bosch, the Story Pirates, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Vromans Bookstore, and McKinley School for creating such a memorable event.

Enter below for a chance to win a signed hard cover of WRITE THIS BOOK by Pseudonymous Bosch.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review - Write This Book

Author: Pseudonymous Bosch
Illustrator: Gilbert Ford
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (April 2, 2013)
Source: Copy for Review
Audience:  Ages 9 and up
More about the author: website | twitter | facebook

Description from GoodReads:
I feared this may happen. I knew reading was a dangerous business, but now it's not safe for writers either! You see, the author of this book is missing. Well, maybe not "missing." A certain author whom I won't name (okay, me) has abandoned his book and has left his readers hanging out to dry. This is a crime, I admit, but there it is. Most of this book, well, I just haven't written it. And I'm not going to, either.
Why? Oh, I have my reasons. Big. Grown up. Author. Reasons. Unfortunately, I can't reveal them yet. Let's just say a life is at stake (mine) and leave it at that. So will you do it? Pretty please? You'll do it? Thank you! But please hurry! Time is of the essence and you can't wait any longer. You must WRITE THIS BOOK!
This imaginative companion to the New York Times bestselling Secret Series teases, prompts, and leads readers through the steps of writing a story. Bosch's signature rip-roaring voice delivers an engaging narrative (for the reader to help complete!) and interactive puzzles and games. Readers get the chance to create their own story while enjoying a satisfying mystery as well.

My interview with Jax's (age 12) regarding Write This Book:

Why did you like the book?
The book had some comedy thrown into it because Pseudonymous Bosch is just funny.  It is similar in style to The Secret Series.  I, also, liked it because it seemed like it was written just for me.  It was just plain awesome. 

What did you learn from it?
I liked that Bosch gave us blanks to fill in, as an example of what to write.  I learned little tips on what authors use sometimes when writing from the "how-to's". 

Why would you recommend it?
I would recommend it because it is well written and will appeal to a wide age range (from kids to adults).  I would also recommend it because the comedy is great.

Who would you recommend it to?
I would recommend it to almost anyone over the age of 9 or 10.  It seems great for anyone to read.  I would also recommend it to anyone who likes mystery books, mad libs, and funny books.

What should I have asked you about the book? 
You should have asked me what my favorite scene is, but my answer would have to be all of them. 

Thanks Jax for that awesome endorsement of Write This Book. 

My thoughts on this book:
Not that you really need my endorsement after reading Jax's thoughts, but I guess I need to chime in here.

Fans of The Secret Series will feel right at home with Bosch's trademark style and humor which starts right from the beginning.  He encourages readers to create their own titles and even come up with their own "nom de plume".  Bosch does not take anything for granted.  He recognizes that his young audience has many questions about writing and may not know even some of the first steps; however, he is never condescending to his audience.  Instead, I could not help but think about the amazing vocabulary that is used as part of word play (particularly in the notes on various pages).  It is not as if students would need to sit with a dictionary, but Bosch has a respect for the intelligence of his audience and their ability to grasp words and concepts.

Write This Book is an interactive text.  Readers are encouraged to write thoughts down, play with ideas, and try different exercises.  This would be a great book to use in summer writing groups or as part of a writing club at a school.    

For those of you in the Pasadena area, check out the this event at Vroman's Bookstore on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 where Pseudonymous Bosch and Story Pirates present Write This Book: A Do-It Yourself Mystery at McKinley School.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Fifty Cents and a Dream

Author: Jabari Asim
Illustrator: Bryan Collier
Publisher: Little, Brown & Co. (December 4, 2012)
Source: Personal Copy
Independent Reading Level: Second and Third Grade
Read Aloud Level: Kindergarten to Second Grade
Biographical * African American Heritage *U.S. History
Pair with: Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass by Lesa Cline-Ransome; Illustrated by James E. Ransome

Description on IndieBound:
Booker dreamed
of making friends with words,
setting free the secrets
that lived in books.

Born into slavery, young Booker T. Washington could only dream of learning to read and write. After emancipation, Booker began a five-hundred-mile journey, mostly on foot, to Hampton Institute, taking his first of many steps towards a college degree. When he arrived, he had just fifty cents in his pocket and a dream about to come true. The young slave who once waited outside of the schoolhouse would one day become a legendary educator of freedmen.

Award-winning artist Bryan Collier captures the hardship and the spirit of one of the most inspiring figures in American history, bringing to life Booker T. Washington's journey to learn, to read, and to realize a dream.

My thoughts on this book:
"With fifty cents in his pocket and a dream in his soul, Booker felt the magic welcome him in." - Jabari Asim
Since I cannot write a review that only says - "Book is good. Read this book." - I need to find the words to explain why I really, really liked Asim's Fifty Cents and a Dream.  Asim provides readers with a glimpse of what it might have been like for Booker T. Washington from his childhood as a slave to his eventual freedom and pursuit of education at Hampton Institute.  It inspires me when I read stories about individuals who have worked amazingly hard to learn to read or get an education. And in reading this story of Washington's journey, I was once again inspired.

Asim's text is paired perfectly with Bryan Collier's illustrations.  Collier gets what Asim is attempting with his text and illustrates the story in a way that brings the story to life.  In one painting, I can feel the sun shining down on Washington and in another I can feel the determination flowing through him.

At the end of the book, Asim includes a few pages of resources including additional facts and timeline on Washington's journey and a biography.  Fifty Cents and a Dream has both great text and great illustrations.  This would be a fabulous addition to classroom or school library.  Look for Fifty Cents and a Dream at your local public library or bookstore.  Remember to buy from an independent bookstore whenever possible.

For more information about author, Jabari Asim: blog | facebook | twitter

Read an interview with Jabari Asim over on Watch.Connect.Read

Read an interview with Bryan Collier on Watch.Connect.Read

Link up your nonfiction picture book reviews below:

Book Review - Beautiful Darkness

Authors: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers (October 12, 2010)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Personal Copy

Description from GoodReads:
Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

**** Please note, though this is spoiler free for Beautiful Darkness, there may be some very 
small spoilers for Beautiful Creatures. ****** 
Back in July, I had an opportunity to read an Advanced Reader's Copy of Beautiful Darkness.    However, at that time I wanted to wait to post a review.  Of course, closer to the release date work became insane and reviewing had to wait.  So now that things are settling down, I am going back and trying to catch up on reviews. Here goes..

In Beautiful Creatures, Garcia & Stohl introduce readers to the Caster World, to the South and to some amazing characters.  I fell in love with Ethan & Lena, Macon & Alma, Link & Ridley, Marian, the 3 aunts, and others.  You could feel the humidity, smell the lemons and rosemary, and taste the pie.  It was paranormal goodness at it's best.  At the end, there was a battle, and loss, and decisions that still had to be made and consequences for those that were made.  There were questions and suspense.  And I had to wait months until I could read the next book.

Just like Ethan, the reader is now aware of the Caster World which lies behind the life that most of Gatlins' residents are familiar with.  And just like anyone who is introduced to a new world, or culture, or experience, you can never go back to the state of being unaware.  In the second book of the Caster Chronicles, there are some answers, there are some new characters, and there is an emotional roller coaster.  More than once I wanted to throw the book.  Not because I disliked the book but because it is so hard to see beloved characters go through tough experiences.  

After reading it and as reviews started popping up for Beautiful Darkness, I was surprised by the feelings of animosity towards Lena.  I was puzzled.  What did people really think was going to happen after the first book?  At the end of Beautiful Creatures, Lena had made some big choices and also avoided making an even bigger decision.  The second book picks up shortly after the first one, and we see the consequences and the impact of those choices.  And Lena wasn't the only one that had consequences to face.  All of the key characters were essentially changed.  However, before a resolution can occur there must be a period of confusion, darkness, and despair.  Basically, without essentially a crisis of faith, characters can not grow or change.

Yet, this is why I often dislike second books in a series.  Just like I would want to protect my friends and family from unpleasant stuff, I want to protect beloved characters from having to walk/live/survive the darkness.  What I get even more annoyed with book 2's is that often they are completely substance-less - just a filler for a series until you get to the 3rd or 4th book in the series and have your resolution and possible happier times for your characters.  I was pleased though that the second installment of the Caster Chronicles, is not just filler. I felt that the steps and journey that Ethan and Lena were on - no matter how separate it may have appeared - were important and moved the story forward.  

It is in this book that we learn more about Ethan's mother, are introduced to some new characters, discover more of the complexity of the Caster World, and begin to see how the puzzle pieces fit together.  And yet, as the book progress and some questions are answered, other questions arise.  

Of course, it will be interesting to see what will happen in Book 3. Ridley still has mischief written all over her.  I expect that we will see more of John (bad boy extraordinaire) and knowing that there will be at least 4 books in this series...Ethan, Lena, Link have even more consequences for their actions that they must deal with.  

After finishing Beautiful Darkness, I still want more of Gatlin, Alma's cooking, Caster magic, quirky & eccentric characters, and to hang with Ethan, Lena, Link, Ridley, and the others as the roller coaster continues.  

To spread some Beautiful Darkness love, I have a small Swag contest tied into this review.  For more details, read the directions below.  

If you haven't seen this Beautiful Darkness book trailer made by the very talented Vania (VLC Productions) take a minute to check it out.

Beautiful Darkness Swag Contest Includes the following items:

1 signed Beautiful Darkness Poster
1 Beautiful Darkness Bracelet
1 Beautiful Darkness Keychain
1 Beautiful Darkness Dogtag
1 Beautiful Darkness Pin
1 Beautiful Darkness/Beautiful Creatures Postcard (bookmarks)

Here are the rules:
1. You must complete the form below.  (Comments are appreciated by will not enter you into the contest.)
2. You must be 13 years or older.
3. You do not need to follow this blog but being a follower will earn you additional points.
4. All entries must be submitted by November 28, 2010 at 11:59 PST.
4. International participants are welcome.