It’s Official: The Peddler’s Bed Book Birthday + You’re Invited To The Party + The Giveaway Winner!

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Final Final Cover

Today is the official release day of my debut children’s picture book The Peddler’s Bed, illustrated by Bong Redila and published by Ripple Grove Press!

I’m super excited to share this news with all of you! I have a lot to tell you about today, including the “when” and “where” of my book launch party and the announcement of the Giveaway winner, but before I get to that I want to thank everyone who has encouraged my writing endeavors, everyone who has followed Frog on a Blog, and everyone who has preordered a copy of my book. All of your support means so much to me. Thank you! :)

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You’re Invited To A Book Birthday Party!

What’s the best way to celebrate the launch of a book? You have a birthday party, of course, and everyone’s invited!

Book Birthday Party (2)

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I’ve Been Profiled!

My publisher, Ripple Grove Press, posted a short profile of me, in the form of an interview, on their website. Find out more about me as an author-who my idols are, where I get my inspiration, what my favorite picture books are, and more by clicking on the Key. 

Ripple Grove Press

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Author PictureMy Pledge

For every 100 copies of The Peddler’s Bed sold for a period of one year (between Sept. 1 2015 and Sept. 1 2016), I pledge to donate one copy to a U.S. school or public library or to another organization that works to put books into the hands of children.

If you are a U.S. school or public librarian or are affiliated with a children’s literacy organization, and would like to receive a copy of The Peddler’s Bed, please use the form on my Contact page to submit your organization for consideration.

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Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Suzanne Knox!

She is the winner of one signed copy of The Peddler’s Bed plus two blank books to share with an emerging author! Suzanne, use the form on my Contact page to send me your address and the name of who you’d like me to sign the book to–and I’ll get your winnings out to you asap. Thank you to everyone who left a comment on the Emerging Authors post and shared it!

{a rainbow of blank books}

{a rainbow of blank books waiting to be filled with the colors of imagination}

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A Request

Authors feel uncomfortable asking this, but it really does make a difference–those of you who have read or plan to read The Peddler’s Bed, please consider leaving an honest review on Amazon, B&N.com, or Goodreads. I’d really appreciate it. 

A big thank you, once again, to all of my supporters, blog and social media followers, book readers, and fans! You’re the best! :)

Picture Books At The Library 30

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In my position as a technical processing assistant at the DeWitt Community Library, I catalog a lot of new picture books. Unfortunately, I cannot review them all, but I do read them all and have assigned a :) to my favorites. Finley Frog's favorite is marked with a 8). Below are a few I've cataloged recently. (Whenever possible, summaries have been taken directly from the books.)

In my position as a technical processing assistant at the DeWitt Community Library, I catalog a lot of new picture books. Unfortunately, I cannot review them all, but I do read them all and have assigned a :) to my favorites. Finley Frog’s favorite is marked with a 8). Below are a few I’ve cataloged recently. (Whenever possible, summaries have been taken directly from the books.)

:) Spencer loves books and reads one every night, sometimes aloud, then puts the book back in its place, but one morning his favorite book is missing, and the next day another, each replaced by a different object.

Templeton the cat makes a wish for his family to disappear, but quickly learns that being alone isn’t as great as he had thought it would be.

:) Troto is a happy little car who likes to go places until he drives all the way to Cactusville and meets some big trucks that tease him for being so small.

As friends Bear and Mouse share a day together, Bear counts various objects, from one to five, and the reader is invited to do the same.

:) Cat tries to trick the Tooth Fairy, but he meets his match in a mischievous mouse.

As the circus train rolls into town, excited children and their parents get in line for their chance to experience the Big Top.

Children are taught when and where to “say the magic words.” But what do expressions such as please, thank you, I’m sorry, and I love you really mean?

:) As his friends Bird, Mouse, and Bear celebrate the arrival of spring, Rabbit finds more and more things to dislike about the change of seasons until, at last, he admits that spring can be full of pleasant surprises.

:) Kitten loves to explore, pretend, and get into trouble!

Follows a family of puffins from the time the parents greet one another off the coat of Alaska and prepare to raise a family, through the care of their fragile egg and ravenous chick , to Little Puffin’s first flight across and into the sea.

When school lets out for the summer, Rufus Leroy Williams III, a determined pig who loves to read, decides to become a pirate.

Turtle and me. We’re never lonely or sad when we’re together. But we’re getting older…Do I still need Turtle? Does Turtle still need me?

My View Book Review: Beverlee Beaz The Brown Burmese by Regan W.H. Macaulay

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Title: Beverlee Beaz The Brown Burmese

Author: Regan W.H. Macaulay

Illustrator: Alex Zgud

Publisher/Year: Cricket Cottage Publishing/2015

Back Cover Blurb: Beverlee Beaz, the brown Burmese, longs for adventure and has the powerful imagination to make it happen! On a lovely but otherwise ordinary day, she seeks excitement among the forests and fields surrounding her home, where she lets her imagination run wild. The ordinary suddenly becomes extraordinary in the eyes of this little brown cat. Let’s follow Beverlee on her adventure…through the forest, and inside her mind!

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As Beverlee the cat sets off from home on a beautiful sunny day to explore the neighboring countryside, she hasn’t a clue what’s in store for her. She’s eager for adventure and heads to the meadow. She spots a monarch butterfly, and that’s when it happens–her imagination takes over. The butterfly becomes a parrot, then a rabbit becomes a kangaroo. It’s great fun at first, but then the animals she meets begin to transform into more frightening creatures. Can Beverlee control her imagination before her imagination gets her into big trouble?  

Though I now have a dog (whom I adore), I grew up with cats and have a special fondness for them. I remember especially our family cat, Sammy, an orange and white kitty, who loved to explore outside. He’d be away for hours until one of us called him home for supper. (Back then, the issue of indoor cat versus outdoor cat hadn’t taken hold yet.) But what was he doing all that time? Perhaps he was a bit like Beverlee, yearning for adventure, letting his imagination run free, and probably getting himself into trouble. Upon occasion, he did come home sporting battle scars. But the adventurous little tiger lived a good long life.

Beverlee Beaz The Brown Burmese is gorgeously illustrated with lots of color and beautiful, imaginative borders around the pages that have the text. The illustrator also did a fabulous job depicting the overactive imagination of our playful feline star Beverlee Beaz. Overall, the story is fun, the main character is sweet, and the illustrations are lovely–well worth a look!

Picture Books At The Library 29

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In my position as a technical processing assistant at the DeWitt Community Library, I catalog a lot of new picture books. Unfortunately, I cannot review them all, but I do read them all and have assigned a :) to my favorites. Finley Frog's favorite is marked with a 8). Below are a few I've cataloged recently. (Whenever possible, summaries have been taken directly from the books.)

In my position as a technical processing assistant at the DeWitt Community Library, I catalog a lot of new picture books. Unfortunately, I cannot review them all, but I do read them all and have assigned a :) to my favorites. Finley Frog’s favorite is marked with a 8). Below are a few I’ve cataloged recently. (Whenever possible, summaries have been taken directly from the books.)

:) A picture book about a parrot named Beatrix, who is very awake, very excited to see her friends, and has a very hard time using her ‘indoor voice’.

Stella brings her two fathers to school to celebrate Mother’s Day.

:) Join Baby’s family as they try to figure out what Baby’s first word really means in this charming picture book.

Tallulah loves the grace and elegance of ballet and can pirouette perfectly, but at dance camp, struggles to learn tap.

After trying pizza for the very first time, everything Baby Bear sees reminds him of the tasty treat and he decides never to eat anything else.

:) At the end of the day, tired sheep return to their shed, but none can sleep until the collie arrives, giving a hug, a drink of water, and more until all have begun to snore.

:) A little girl collects wildflowers while on a walk with her distracted father. Each flower becomes a gift, and whether the gift is noticed or ignored, both giver and recipient are transformed by their encounter.

Bear doesn’t want to be a bear anymore, so he tries out what it’s like to be a duck. With a few lessons from Duck, Bear realizes he makes a much better bear after all.

In the follow-up to Steve Light’s highly praised Have You Seen My Dragon?, readers follow a little girl as she gallivants through a county fair, searching for her furry beast pal.

8) A terrible storm is coming! Kindhearted Badger is working hard to keep everyone safe–protecting burrows and rescuing nests. But who will take care of Badger’s home in the old oak tree?

Calling all preschoolers! Come learn your ABCs with a charming crew of animal friends playing music with instruments from around the world!

Summer vacations can be magical. Especially when you go back to the same place every year.

:) When the Mona Cheesa is stolen from a museum in Paris, there is only one person up to the job of finding it: William, international cat of mystery.

My View Book Review: All The Other Nuggies by Jeff Minich

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Title: All The Other Nuggies

Author: Jeff Minich

Illustrator: Renan Garcia

Publisher/Year: Nuggies Inc./2015

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I’m a sucker for picture books about puppies, so when Jeff Minich, the author of All The Other Nuggies, contacted me about reviewing his book, I couldn’t say no. Just look at the cute little canines on the cover. I asked Jeff why he calls them Nuggies and he told me that the name is a transformation of the word nuggets, a nickname he uses for his own dogs. And All The Other Nuggies was, in fact, inspired by his dog Coco who was found living under an abandoned car.

All The Other Nuggies is the second book in the Nuggies series. The first book is Daddy Forgot My Dinner, which stars a very hungry pup named Chomper. All The Other Nuggies focuses on Coco, a shy and lonely little pup without a home. In the story, Coco meets Chomper who encourages her to come play with him and the other Nuggies. As the puppies all play a game of hide and seek, Coco discovers that the things she was worried about, the things that make her different (long skinny legs, big pointy ears, a mask), are the very same things that make her special, and even help her win the game.

When I was a child, I was shy, and so I didn’t interact with other children much. Like Coco, I felt different, like I didn’t fit in, and as I watched the other kids play, I felt lonely. How many kids today feel the same way? All The Other Nuggies is a perfect choice to share with children who are just entering preschool or kindergarten, especially since making friends and self acceptance, two very important concerns in a young school-aged child’s life, are the main themes in the book. Children will enjoy this sweet story starring puppies, which is illustrated in a fun, cartoon style. I especially like the picture of Coco imagining herself with giraffe legs. So cute! I think my dog Java, who inspires my writing too, would make a great Nuggie. What do you think?

Can I be a Nuggie too?

Picture Books At The Library 28

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In my position as a technical processing assistant at the DeWitt Community Library, I catalog a lot of new picture books. Unfortunately, I cannot review them all, but I do read them all and have assigned a :) to my favorites. Finley Frog's favorite is marked with a 8). Below are a few I've cataloged recently. (Whenever possible, summaries have been taken directly from the books.)

In my position as a technical processing assistant at the DeWitt Community Library, I catalog a lot of new picture books. Unfortunately, I cannot review them all, but I do read them all and have assigned a :) to my favorites. Finley Frog’s favorite is marked with a 8). Below are a few I’ve cataloged recently. (Whenever possible, summaries have been taken directly from the books.)

It’s Bulldozer’s big day. But as he eagerly, hopefully, rolls around the construction site, he realizes that it’s only another busy day for the other trucks.

:) One pig looks to take a relaxing bath in private, but he is soon joined by another pig, then another, until there are ten pigs–and number one has to come up with a plan so that he can actually enjoy his bath.

Cave swallows Burt and Pippi, tired of being crowded by their eight siblings, set out to find a bigger nest but discover that traveling is good, but coming home is better.

:) The best adventures are the ones we have together.

Young Millie looks after three hens, a rooster and seven chicks with love and care. Her playful story introduces children to keeping chickens.

Ann will not let Min play. But Min will not give up.

:) What happens when two shy children meet at a very crowded pool? Dive in to find out!

:) At bedtime, a little girl asks her big sister to tell her what to dream about and together they imagine the possibilities.

Ben loves to draw and does so in all of his classes, but his drawings of people are so good he’s afraid to let his classmates see them, until the day he loses his notebook and his talent is revealed.

Rappy the Raptor tells the story of how he became a rapping velociraptor, all in rhyme.

Ringmaster Rick calls an emergency meeting to boost the self-confidence of Circus Town’s performers after hearing several put themselves down for mistakes made while rehearsing their acts.

In 1893, Engineer Ari is in a rush to get his train to Jerusalem and back before Passover, and he still needs many things for his seder plate. Luckily he has many friends to help.

8) When it comes to homework, projects, and goals, Stickley the frog is a flexible thinker who never gives up.

This is Robot. He likes to…SMASH!

Giveaway: Just 3 Weeks Left To Enter!

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Final Final Cover

{a rainbow of blank books}

{a rainbow of blank books waiting to be filled with the colors of imagination}

There are just 3 weeks left to enter to win a signed copy of my debut picture book The Peddler’s Bed along with 2 blank books to give to the emerging authors in your life. All you have to do is leave a comment on the original post! I’ll choose a winner at random on September 1, the release date for The Peddler’s Bed, and announce it here on Frog on a Blog. Just leave a comment on the original post, it’s that easy! CLICK HERE! 

Summary of The Peddler’s Bed:

In this endearing tale of kindness and giving, author Lauri Fortino and illustrator Bong Redila introduce readers to a peddler on a mission to sell a fine, handcrafted bed, guaranteed to never squeak. But when the peddler comes across a man at work in his garden, he soon realizes that the man is penniless and cannot buy the bed. So he makes a wager with the man, if he can think of a way to make the bed squeak by sunset, the bed will be his. Though the man is excited by the prospect of winning the bed, he is more concerned with the well-being of the peddler and invites him to sit in the shade of his porch, have a glass of water, and come in for a bite to eat. By the end of the day, the peddler’s heart has been moved by the poor man’s generosity and he leaves behind the perfect gift of gratitude before driving off into the sunset.

Picture Books At The Library 27

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In my position as a technical processing assistant at the DeWitt Community Library, I catalog a lot of new picture books. Unfortunately, I cannot review them all, but I do read them all and have assigned a :) to my favorites. Finley Frog's favorite is marked with a 8). Below are a few I've cataloged recently. (Whenever possible, summaries have been taken directly from the books.)

In my position as a technical processing assistant at the DeWitt Community Library, I catalog a lot of new picture books. Unfortunately, I cannot review them all, but I do read them all and have assigned a :) to my favorites. Finley Frog’s favorite is marked with a 8). Below are a few I’ve cataloged recently. (Whenever possible, summaries have been taken directly from the books.)

:) Although animals everywhere are sleeping, a youngster with an active imagination and a hefty to-do list resists bedtime with adventurous flair.

:) Zane rushes home to tell his mother about problems he faced during his school day, and she reminds him that while others may only see his “autism stripe”, he has stripes for honesty, caring, and much more.

When Bird and Bear go on a birthday picnic, they discover something surprising that will change how they see the world forever…

8) Meet Stick and Stone. They stick up for each other, because friends rock!

:) Using only two words–“look” and “out”–relates a story about an attention-loving gorilla, a television-loving boy, and a friendship that develops over books.

A little girl discovers a crocodile under her bed. “This is going to be fun!” she thinks. She tames the beast, teaches him tricks, and makes a new friend.

Up in the garden, the world is full of green–leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt there is a busy world of earthworms digging, snakes hunting, skunks burrowing, and all the other animals that make a garden their home.

:) This is a story about Fritz, also known as Frederick the Great, King of Prussia–and champion of the common potato.

:) A young boy discovers a whale in his pool and tries everything he can think of to get it out.

Reveals how things that seem little are actually very important, such as a little light that is really a welcoming light, or a little idea that is actually a fantastic idea.

:) Gwendolyn Grace, an alligator, does not want to obey when her mother tells her to be quiet while the baby is sleeping, but finally sees that being patient has its rewards.

Little redheaded Henry is ready to do things for himself. But is his family ready to let him?

The Peddler’s Bed is Here!

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Lauri Fortino:

My friend and critique group mate Sarah received her copy of The Peddler’s Bed and she had some super sweet things to say about it. Thank you, Sarah! Check out Sarah’s blog An Awfully Big Adventure!

Originally posted on An Awfully Big Adventure:

You know what’s great about having a blog? It’s the perfect place to celebrate my friend Lauri Fortino’s debut picture book, The Peddler’s Bed, brightly illustrated by the talented Bong Redila.

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I was delighted to receive my copy ahead of the September release, and I keep dipping back for repeat readings. The Peddler’s Bed is cozy and quiet (squeaks, notwithstanding) but also potent in the way that it depicts the currency of kindness. Freely given, received, and reciprocated without expectation or strings, this is a beautiful example of how to convey a positive message in that showing-not-telling way picture books do so well.

Great job, Lauri!

Read more about Lauri Fortino at her blog where she interviews authors and reviews picture books available at the DeWitt Community Library in DeWitt, New York.

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My View Book Review: Magdalena’s Picnic by Patricia Aguilar Morrissey

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Title: Magdalena’s Picnic (El Picnic De Magdalena)

Author: Patricia Aguilar Morrissey

Illustrator: Gretchen Deahl

Publisher/Year: Red Heart Books LLC/2014

Back Cover Blurb: This story explores a young child’s imagination as it takes her to a faraway place–the Amazon jungle–without leaving her backyard. The main character in the book, the one fearlessly leading the group ahead, is a girl named Magdalena. She is clearly a role model for young adventurers as she dodges dangers, makes bold choices, and finally, leads her group to its destination.

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This sweetly illustrated, bilingual (English/Spanish) picture book is overflowing with action, adventure, and fun. Magdalena and her two pals, Brigitte and Junior, set off into the Amazon jungle to find the perfect picnic spot. As they move through the jungle, they encounter chatty monkeys, carnivorous plants, dark caves, and a dangerous anaconda. When Magdalena’s friends are in danger, she jumps into action, bravely saving them from certain doom. But what happens when the trio meets face-to-face with a ferocious jaguar? 

Magdalena’s Picnic is filled with edge-of-your-seat action, with danger around every bend. And all of it comes from Magdalena’s wild imagination. This book does an excellent job of reflecting how real children play and imagine the world around them. In a child’s world, a sprinkler can be a waterfall, a garden hose can be a snake, and that dark, damp area under the porch can be a cave. And a child can be the hero in her own story. 

At the back of the book, the author has included some information about the Amazon jungle and the animals that can be found there. The book’s a great choice for Spanish and English speakers, ages 4-8.

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