Blucy Book Blast

Blucy by Julia DweckI’m trying something a little different today – with a great new book, and a chance to win $100.  I’ve joined in a Book Blast Giveaway for Blucy by Julia Dweck, illustrated by Erika LeBarre.  (Xist Publishing, 2013)  (21 pages, recommended for ages 3+)

See below for information on the $100 Blucy Book Blast Giveaway.

Summary (Amazon): Once in a blue moon, a special pet comes along. When Mandy adopts the best cat at the shelter, she doesn’t realize it has a big secret and an even bigger personality. Features full screen images and pop-up text.

Blucy Facebook Page * Blucy Pinterest Page * Goodreads


Purchase & Special Offer

Xist Publishing is pleased to offer you a special Buy One Get One FREE (BOGO) offer when you purchase Blucy by Julia Dweck. The Deal? If you purchase Blucy (e-book) through Amazon, you will receive a FREE electronic copy of Julia Dweck’s newest book, Mary Had a Sleepy Sheep (released September 5, 2013). All you have to do is forward your purchase confirmation email to and Xist Publishing will send you a complimentary copy of Mary Had a Sleepy Sheep. Don’t wait to take advantage of this great deal!



The Early Buzz

“Julia Dweck scores another winner Blucy! This book is beautifully illustrated, features solid rhyming verse, has a most unusual main character in Blucy the cat, and will surely be loved and appreciated by all cat-lovers! I would recommend this wonderful picture book to children who love cats and for their grown-ups who will recognize their own cat’s behavior in this funny story. .” ~ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

Ms Dweck and Ms Lebarre have created a delightfully humorous read that will no doubt capture the attention of every little mischief maker. The rhythm and rhyme are wonderful and flow so beautifully throughout the book. The illustrations are absolutely exquisite. I honestly wish I could purchase every one of them to put upon my toddlers walls.” ~ WhenIgrowupIwannawriteakidsbook

“The illustrations are amazing and beautiful and the story pulls you in and had Dino telling Mandy and Blucy what to do and got upset when they didn’t listen to him. He was hysterical with some of Blucy’s antics and wanted to know if Balboa could do that to. Really and truly a cute book and one that Dino will keep reading, especially now that he think he’s a catosaurous.” ~ Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

A blue cat? I love color – lots of color and these illustrations are exactly that. The rythmic method used by Julia is perfect for all ages and the content is entertaining for all – including adults. My daughter loves mood rings so she found this book particularly interesting – what about a “mood cat”. I am also a firm believer and supporter of pet adoptions – so another plus for this story…That Blucy is quite a mischievous cat. Blucy has special facts at the end of the story as well as a game for the kids to keep them thinking. I love this book as I have all of Julia’s books and so do my kids. ~ The Stuff of Success

A Phenomenal Children’s Classic. Children & Adults will love and cherish this beloved tale. Julia Dweck has always amazed me with her talent at writing children’s books and Blucy is by far my favorite one yet. I laughed and giggled my way through the whole book and had to read it again several times for the pure joy of the story. The illustrations are fabulous and very colorful and I found myself staring at each page as I read and just loved the details in the illustrations. This is a RECOMMENDED MUST read story that adults and their children will fall in love with. This book will become the best bedtime story that children will want to hear over and over again. ~ Back Words, White Pages


About the Author: Julia Dweck

Julia Dweck, Author

Julia Dweck‘s background in elementary education affords her the opportunity to be in touch with what children want to read and what makes them giggle. She’s collaborated with leading artists in the world of children’s literature to produce over 20 Amazon eBooks. Her titles have garnered placement on Amazon’s bestsellers in children’s color picture books multiple times with two #1 bestsellers: PIE-RITS and Zombie-Kids. These titles have been chosen by Amazon Editors for the prestigious “Kindle Daily Deal.” Many of Julia’s titles have earned placement on Amazon’s top ranked lists based on customer review. In her spare time, Julia is a designer of educational adjuncts for children’s literature, and has worked with such notable publishing houses as Penguin Young Readers. She presented at the 2011 National Center for Family Literacy for her creative use of technology in the classroom.

For more information about Julia Dweck and her books,please visit her website:  Jule Loves 2 Write.

Twitter * Facebook


* Where’s Blucy? *

Before we get to the $100 Book Blast Giveaway, we have a special treat for you. If you head on over to Julia Dweck’s Facebook Fan Page, you will find the “Where’s Blucy?” contest. Julia Dweck fans are invited to post suggestions of “blue” places Blucy could be hiding, (e.g., near Elvis’ blue suede shoes). The most creative answer will win a print of the Blucy cover by the artist, Erika LeBarre. Head on over to Julia Dweck’s Facebook Fan Page to enter and…

Pssssttt… if you enter the contest before August 20th, 2013, you gain 5 entries in the $100 Book Blast Giveaway below!

Julia Dweck - Blucy


* $100 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $100 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest runs: August 13 to September 15, 11:59 pm, 2013

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Terms and Conditions: A randomly drawn winner will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. If you have any additional questions, feel free to send us an email!

* This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Julia Dweck and by Xist Publishing. *

a Rafflecopter giveaway

There Are Cats In This Book

There Are Cats In This Book by Viviane Schwarz

there are cats in this bookThis is a wonderfully engaging, fun, lift-different-parts-of-the-page kind of book.  Yes, there are cats in the book.  Three cats talk to the reader, saying hello, asking for help turning a page, and getting excited when they see balls of yarn.

We meet the three cats when they are sleeping under a blanket.  Turning the blanket (as you would a page), then each cat, wakes the cats, who then greet the reader.  The cats have friendly, and excitable attitudes.  Now that they are awake, they want to play.

“Hello.  Who are YOU?

Are you NICE?

You look nice.

And STRONG.  Could you turn a whole PAGE?

Because there’s YARN on the next page.  LOOK!”

The three cats take turns talking with the reader – all are friendly.

“HOORAY!  You Do turn pages!

Lovely tangly yarn.

There’s MORE!  Quick, turn another page!”

The cats play in the yarn, with a little help from the reader.  As the book moves on, one cat asks the reader to go back to the yarn, but another cat sees something fun ahead.

“NO!  Keep going THIS way.  Look!  There are CARDBOARD BOXES!”

The cats have fun playing in the cardboard boxes.  They move on to pillows, and a pillow fight.  One cat spots fish, and they urge the reader to turn the page…..into a flood of water and fish.  After the reader turns pages to get the cats out of the water, the cats ask the reader to dry them off, by blowing on the page.

“Mmm.  I feel fluffy.

I KNEW you were nice.”

The book ends with the cats feeling sleepy, and asking to be tucked in with their comfy blanket.  They invite the reader to come back and play with them again soon.

My daughter and I both loved this book.  There is something about the cats and their excitement over yarn and joy in seeing cardboard boxes that just makes me want to read it again.  I can see this being a favorite with toddlers and preschoolers who will want to help the cats by turning the pages.

Yoko’s Paper Cranes

Yoko’s Paper Cranes by Rosemary Wells

yokos paper cranes coverWhen Yoko was very young, she lived in Japan.  Her grandmother, Obaasan, showed her cranes in the pond at the end of her garden, and explained how the cranes left during the winter, but returned each year.  Yoko’s grandfather, Ojiisan, could fold paper into cranes – and frogs, and many other animals.  Ojiisan taught Yoko how to fold paper cranes.

When Yoko was a little older, she left Japan with her parents, and moved to America.  The family stayed in touch and sent letters across the ocean to each other every week.

Yoko wanted to give Obaasan a birthday gift, but didn’t have any money for a present.  Yoko remembered that Obaasan’s garden would be cold and snowy, and that Obaasan would be waiting for the cranes to return.  Yoko’s mother gave her some nice paper, and Yoko folded three cranes just as Ojiisan had taught her.  Yoko mailed the cranes to Obaasan in Japan.  Obaasan and Ojiisan hung Yoko’s cranes in the kitchen window.  Yoko had made the perfect gift.

This is a sweet story of families, and of connecting even across an ocean.

origami cat and dog groupArt activity:  try folding a few origami animals with your children.  These aren’t as tricky as paper cranes.

Origami Cat

Origami Dog


origami dog 8

Origami Dog

origami cat 9

Origami Cat


A Kitten Tale

A Kitten Tale, by Eric Rohmann

Kitten taleOnce upon a time there were four kittens.  They heard that winter would come, and that snow would come too.  Three of the kittens were worried – what was this snow like?  Would they be OK if cold, wet snow comes and covers everything?

The fourth kitten is excited, and says, “I can’t wait!” whenever the kittens talk about snow.

The kittens go through spring into summer and then fall.  Three kittens worry about the coming winter and the snow that is cold and wet and covers everything.  The fourth kitten, who seems more curious than the others – shown in illustrations watching bugs, pouncing on a frog, and rolling in autumn leaves – is excited about snow coming.

One morning the kittens find that the snow has come – everything outside is covered in white.  Three kittens hide under a rug or a table.  The fourth kitten races out through the cat door and plays in the snow.  When the other three see the fourth kitten playing and having a good time in the snow, they run out to play too.

This is a story about fear of the unknown, curiousity, and doing something new.  Rohmann’s illustrations are simple and fun, bringing the text to life.  Rohmann has won a Caldecott Honor Award, and a Caldecott Medal.

Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time

Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time by James Howe,                              illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay

Houndsley-and-Catina-quiet-timeHoundsley and his friend, Catina, find themselves snowed-in for a day (with the first snow of winter).  Catina worries at first – she has things to do before the concert that evening.  Houndsley loves the quiet and isn’t worried at all.

Houndsley loves the way the world looks and feels while it is snowing.  He calls it the “quiet time.”  When Catina continues to worry, they decide to practice for the concert (Houndsley plays cello, and Catina plays clarinet), just in case there is a concert that evening.

Before they began to play, Houndsley said, “Listen, Catina.  Can you hear it?”

“Hear what?”

“The quiet.  It is almost like music.”

Later, Houndsley suggests they pretend they are on an island – they can’t go anywhere, but they have things on the island with them.  They read poems to each other, then try writing their own.  They bake cookies.  They play board games.  They build a fire and talk about things they see in the fire.  They sit quietly thinking.  They go outside to get more logs for the fire and end up playing in the snow – making snow creatures.

They snowshoe to the gazebo with their instruments.  The musicians seem to feel the quiet time too – and play softly to the audience.

This is a sweet book for beginning readers.  It is told in three chapters.  There are color illustrations on every page.  It captures the sense of magic and quiet that sometimes comes with a day of snow.

The Cricket in Times Square

cricket-in-times-squareThe Cricket in Times Square by George Selden, illustrated by Garth Williams

Chester Cricket was a country cricket.  He enjoyed hopping around in his meadow, sitting on his stump, and eating liverwurst.  Chester Cricket hopped onto a picnic blanket to eat part of a liverwurst sandwich – and found himself bundled up with the sandwich into a picnic basket and, via, trains and the subway, he ended up in a pile of dirt in the Times Square subway station.

Chester Cricket made some very good friends in the Times Square subway station.  Mario, whose family owned a newspaper stand, heard Chester’s chirp and carefully dug him out of the dirt and trash – and made a home for him in the newspaper stand.  Harry Cat and Tucker Mouse, who lived together in a drain pipe in the Times Square subway station, became Chester’s friends – talking with him or showing him around whenever the humans were away.

Chester had some adventures with Harry and Tucker like seeing Times Square at night, and sleeping in the newspaper stand cash register (and waking up to find he’d eaten some money).  When Tucker turned on the newspaper stand radio late one night, Chester discovered that he could make music like the tunes he heard on the radio.  Tucker, Harry, and Chester tried out different radio stations and types of music – from opera to pop – and found that Chester could play everything he heard beautifully.

Mario’s family didn’t have much money.  The newspaper stand barely made any money.  When Chester began to make music that humans recognized  – opera, classical, and popular tunes – people crowded around the newspaper stand to listen, and bought newspapers and magazines.

Eventually, Chester grew tired of performing concerts at the newspaper stand.  He gave one last private concert for Mario, then (with Tucker and Harry’s help) got on a train headed out to the country.

This is a wonderful story – full of friendship, problem-solving, and music.