Acquired Book By: I started hosting with Prism Book Tours at the end of , having noticed the badge on Tressa’s blog (Wishful Endings) whilst I was visiting as we would partake in the same blog tours and/or book blogosphere memes. I had to put the memes on hold for several months (until I started to resume them (with Top Ten Tuesday) in January 2018). When I enquiried about hosting for Prism, I found I liked the niche of authors and stories they were featuring regularly. I am unsure how many books I’ll review for them as most are offered digitally rather than in print but this happily marks one of the blog tours where I could receive a print book for review purposes. Oft-times you’ll find Prism Book Tours alighting on my blog through the series of guest features and spotlights with notes I’ll be hosting on behalf of their authors.
I received a complimentary copy of “Hall-o-ween” direct from the author Tia Perkin in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
On why I wanted to accept this Picture Book blog tour:
It has been quite a long while since I’ve had the joy of reading and reviewing Children’s Lit on a regular basis. I used to receive quite a few titles – some of which were picture books, like this one. However, in the past most of the picture books were in hardback – with the one exception, I received a printed but unbound copy of “The Blue Hour” from LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer programme.
I’ve been missing being a champion of #KidsLit on Jorie Loves A Story – as I have such an eclectic curiosity about *stories!* – my readerly life wanders quite a bit through genre, style and voice as I continue to seek out what personally inspires me to read. This particular book just felt *right!* as it has a bit of cheeky humour whilst its celebrating one of my favourite holidays: HALLOWEEN! What could go wrong? lol I loved the illustrations as you’re about to find out, too!
Acquired Book By: I was selected to be a part of the blog tour for the Alycat series hosted by iRead Book Tours. I have been showcasing Children’s Lit alongside my adult literature choices since I first started blogging. I appreciate finding new voices in Picture Books, Middle Grade and Young Adult selections as an Auntie and secondly as a future mother. Today’s Children’s Lit market is vastly different than when I was growing up as there is happily more diversity and more choices in stories. Whenever I get a chance to become introduced to one of today’s Children’s Lit series or stand-alone stories, I feel blessed for the chance to see what is newly emerging onto the scene for young readers! I received a complimentary copy of the book direct from the author Alysson Foti Bourque in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
Ahead of sharing my thoughts today about this delightfully colourful Picture Book, I have a Guest Post to share from the author. I wanted to tap into her inspiration behind creating ‘Alycat’ and how she made the choice to feature a spunky cat who has a lot of personality and life lessons to impart on the readers who find her stories.
How did the Alycat series percolate inside your imagination and develop into a cleverly illustrated series for young readers? Especially as cats have such cheeky personalities, it leads to a lot of life lessons which can be told through a character’s journey. What is your favourite aspect of Alycat’s personality?
I have always loved to write and read. It gives me peace and an outlet for my thoughts and imagination. Every night, my husband and I read a story to our children before bedtime as part of their routine. One night, after reading every single book in the bookshelf, the kids said it was time to buy more books. That is when I had my “ah-ha” moment. I simply told them that I would write a story for the next night and they believed in me.
I wrote and wrote that evening into the following day as the first Alycat story unfolded. Unfinished and unedited, I read it to the kids before bedtime. They loved it! They had ideas for the ending and gave me outrageous outcomes to choose from. The laughs and squeals made my heart full. It was then that I knew that this was a journey I needed to take in my life.
Why cats? Well, cats are very interesting animals. They have bold and mischievous personalities, coupled with a loving and nurturing nature. My favorite aspect of Alycat’s personality is her ability to solve her own problems with imagination and creativity. She is like most children where she has good days and bad days. She has such enthusiasm for what her heart wants and she is eager to work hard to obtain her hopes and dreams. It was important for me to develop her character to be self-motivated, hopeful, and fearless. I want readers to be inspired by Alycat to reach their goals, get themselves out of a slump, and demonstrate kindness even in tough situations.
Alycat wakes up with the dreaded Monday Blues and is certain that nothing will go right. But when a mishap sends her astray, she discovers that helping a friend will help her discover her own hidden talent—curing her Monday Blues.
Alysson Foti Bourque is the author of the Rhyme or Reason Travel series, and the multi-award winning Alycat series. Alysson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a law degree from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge. She believes that there is an Alycat in all of us, encouraging our imaginations to guide us through new opportunities and adventures.
Acquired Book By: I was selected to review “Fannie Never Flinched” by JKS Communications: A Literary Publicity Firm. JKS is the first publicity firm I started working with when I launched Jorie Loves A Story in August, 2013. I am honoured to continue to work with them now as a 3rd Year Book Blogger.
I received my complimentary copy of Fannie Never Flinched from the publicist at JKS Communications in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
Why I was excited about this non-fiction picture book:
I’ve spent 2016 becoming acquainted with Women’s Rights & the Suffragette movement – gaining further insight into the plight of women who pioneered our future path to walk with freedom, dignity and the innate rights we were denied so long ago. Although readings on these topical subjects began originally when I first picked up a novel about the Shirtwaist Industry called Rivington Street by Meredith Tax; this pre-dates my blog Jorie Loves A Story; back when I was earnestly reading books out of the family library ahead of borrowing books from the local one. The book spoke to me in my early twenties and due to such a horrific testament of real-life, I had to take a break from pursuing to read more books with similar topics and themes.
Somehow 2016 became the year where I picked up the courage to continue where I left off, however, I did not exactly plan my path through Feminist Historical Literature nor have a pre-set focus on Women’s Rights, no what happened is truly quite an organic projectory of interest as stories alighted in my hands to read which hugged me closer to the truth that was not yet available to learn whilst in school. This is my third year as a book blogger and within that span of time I’ve learnt more about History from such a dynamic layer of interest and thought of presence than I ever did in the years ahead of my graduation! Imagine!? The authors who are writing Historical Fiction and Non-Fiction on select topics of Women’s Studies are carving out a new level of insight for today’s woman and young girls.
Girls do not have to grow up and wait til they can seek out the literature on their own to find the stories that are capturing those of us in our twenties and thirties who would have loved to have had the same stories available to us at their age. Publishers are being more cognisant of what today’s readerly audience needs and wants; as they are giving us more of the hidden stories that are shrouded from the historical past by biographers who never felt their light needed to shine. They are being pulled forward out of time’s capsule of secrets by writers who felt inspired by their life story and are presenting them to us in wonderful accounts across genre and range of interest.
This is why I was so thankful to find Fannie Never Flinched as it felt like nearly a capstone of honest readings where women championed a cause that enabled them to find progress at a time where that felt like it could be impossible to obtain. The Labour Rights for Women was definitely hard-won, but until this year, I hadn’t realised just how hard-won the battle was for us to gain those rights. There are such horrible things that happened to the original women who stood their ground and demanded better respect, pay and equality than we could ever fully imagine. We can have empathy and understanding for what they went through – but the physical, emotional and internal wounds they must have carried with them is harder to fathom. They are history’s heroines who allowed all of us the ability to stand firmer on our future paths for having carved out so many obstacles out of our way!
In Fannie Never Flinched: One Woman’s Courage in the Struggle for American Labor Union Rights Mary Cronk Farrell combines vivid prose, primary research and historical photos to reveal the life and death of one woman who helped pave the way for labor reform in the United States, illuminating the hard work, courage and spilled blood underlying the benefits many American workers enjoy today.
When immigrant women earning poverty wages in St. Louis sweatshops voted to strike, Fannie Sellins was there. When destitute coal mining families dared to unionize in West Virginia – and got thrown from their homes – Fannie was there. When hired gunmen threatened, beat and shot miners walking the picket line in Pennsylvania, Fannie was there.
In August 1919, when miners struck Allegheny Coal and Coke in Western Pennsylvania, mine operators would have paid any price to get rid of Fannie. They even threatened to kill her, but Fannie refused to stop her work helping strikers and their families. One muggy afternoon, violence broke out on the picket line and a crowd of people saw company gunmen shoot Fannie down in cold blood. Young people will learn that her killers never paid for their crime and how such injustice could happen in America.
Fannie Sellins (1872-1919) lived during the Gilded Age of American Industrialization, when men like Andrew Carnegie and J. P Morgan lived lives of luxury while their workers spent long hours laboring for poverty wages.
Mary Cronk Farrell is an award-winning author of five books for young people and former television journalist with a passion for stories about women facing great adversity with courage. She researches little known stories from history and relates them with engaging and powerful language in her books, multi-media presentations and workshops. Farrell has appeared on TV and radio across the nation. She speaks to women’s groups, civic groups, and at museums, schools and libraries.
Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Cedar Fort whereupon I am thankful to have such a diverse amount of novels and non-fiction titles to choose amongst to host. I received a complimentary copy of “Blessing the Nephite Children” and “The Holy Ghost” direct from the publisher CFI (imprint of Cedar Fort, Inc) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.
Why I love Catherine Christensen Children’s Books:
The illustrations are bright and vivid, a true eclipse of childhood – painting together a young girl and her family, as they find time to pray amongst the hours they are living. It’s wonderful to see how varied a young girl’s prayers can be and how prayer by definition can be for a multitude of things; both seen and unseen. The illustrator matches keenly to the writer’s ability to offer a guide of possibilities to children; to take the guesswork out of what constitutes a prayer and where you need to be whilst you pray.
It’s a lively conversation waiting to be spoken between a child and their parents, where an open dialogue about sharing how parents approach their prayer life and how their child can approach theirs will be easily obtained after reading this beautiful picture book together! I love how the story is a celebration of what we can share within our prayers as much as how grounded our lives become through prayer.
I love learning books – always have – even when I was a child, because they help expand your world as much as they help re-define the world as well. You get to grow through the knowledge your internalising and in this particular case, I liked how the lesson was breaking down how prayer can become an active habit without complications, because prayer is portable and as convenient as remaining mindful about your thoughts and your emotions.
Snuggle up with your kids and learn about Jesus’s visit to the Nephites. This colorful board book is perfectly designed for little fingers and small attention spans. Experience the beauty of Christ’s personal love in the Book of Mormon with your little ones and come to see the ways the Savior reaches out to them today.