Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Princess Academy: The Forgotten Sisters by Shannon Hale; Blog Tour: Author Interview & Giveaway!

It's the 10th Anniversary of Shannon Hale's Princess Academy. Earlier today on Mundie Moms I was thrilled to have Shannon on the blog to celebrate her newest release of The Forgotten Sisters, the third book in the Princess Academy series. Since this is a children's/middle grade series I love, I wanted to also feature my interview with Shannon here on Mundie Kids. 


I have always been a huge fan of Shannon Hale's. I adore her children's, middle grade, and young adult books. Each of her books, no matter what age group it is written for, always has an important message for it's readers. Another thing I love is that Shannon's books are ones that both boys and girls  alike, can enjoy. In celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Princess Academy, and to celebrate this week's release of the third book in that series, The Forgotten Sisters, I am so thrilled to have one of my favorite authors on the blog today, SHANNON HALE!!


Hello Shannon! Welcome back to Mundie Moms. Congratulations on the 10 year anniversary of Princes Academy, and also, a huge congratulations to the release of The Forgotten Sister. To keep with your Princess Academy theme, I have a few Princessy questions for you. 

* If you were a Princess for a day, what is one thing you'd want to do?
Sleep in.


* If you were Princess, what is one food you'd ban from your kingdom and what is one food you'd require your kitchen staff have on hand? 
Oh I’m not so prescriptive! And I’m not a picky eater. Honestly I’ll eat about anything. Not a fan of raw onions or gristle, but that’s about it. But the idea of a kitchen staff is intriguing! Um...fondue. I love dipping food into other food and fondue just sounds so fancy. And it’s something I’d never make myself. Don’t you need a special pot or something?


* A Princess has to have a some kind of pet. I'd love to have a pet dragon, but I hear baby dragons can catch things on fire. What kind of pet would you have if you were a Princess? 
My dream as a child was a pet lion. A pet lion who loved me and growled at anyone who was mean to me. And hopefully wouldn’t accidentally eat me.


* A Princess has to have some kind of transportation. Princess Jasmine from Disney's Aladdin has a flying carpet, which would be awesome. Princess Sofia from Sofia the first has a flying horse and carriage. What mode of transportation would Princess Shannon have? 
Besides my minivan with the Wonder Woman symbol on the front hood? Let’s go with Wonder Woman’s invisible jet. I bet she has that thing pimped out.


* If one of your subjects was to write a book about Princess Shannon, what would the title of the book be?
I’m Not Sure What’s For Dinner: The Shannon Hale Story


* Who is one of your favorite fictional princesses? What is one thing you admire about them?
Well, you know, Wonder Woman is a princess. And I admire how she can kick booty. But only if the person really, really deserves it.


Thanks, Mundie Moms! I love you guys!

You're welcome! We love you too!


ABOUT THE BOOK / SERIES


By: Shannon Hale
Published by: Bloomsbury Kids
Released on: 2/24/15
Series: Princess Academy #3
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Add it to Goodreads

After a year at the king’s palace, Miri has learned all about being a proper princess. But the tables turn when the student must become the teacher!

Instead of returning to her beloved Mount Eskel, Miri is ordered to journey to a distant swamp and start a princess academy for three sisters, cousins of the royal family. Unfortunately, Astrid, Felissa, and Sus are more interested in hunting and fishing than becoming princesses.

As Miri spends more time with the sisters, she realizes the king and queen’s interest in them hides a long-buried secret. She must rely on her own strength and intelligence to unravel the mystery, protect the girls, complete her assignment, and finally make her way home.


Published by: Bloomsbury Kids
Released on: April 17th, 2007; released with a new design on 2/2015
Series: Princess Academy #1
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes&Noble
Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king's priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. In a year's time, the prince himself will come and choose his bride from among the girls of the village. The king's ministers set up an academy on the mountain, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess.
Miri soon finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires to be chosen and win the heart of her childhood best friend. But when bandits seek out the academy to kidnap the future princess, Miri must rally the girls together and use a power unique to the mountain dwellers to save herself and her classmates.

This is a fantastic story with a powerful message of believing in yourself, and following your heart. One of the things I enjoyed about this story was that it was rich in family relationships and friendships. This is not your normal fluffy, fairytale story. It's true the story is based on a fairytale, and has a magical quality and feel to it, but the Princess Academy is a story all it's own. One of the things I love about Shannon Hale's writing is how empowering it is.

Read my full review here.

Published by: Bloomsbury Kids
Released on: August 21st, 2012; released with a new design on 2/2015
Series: Princess Academy #2
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city seems a thrill beyond imagining. 

When Miri and her friends from Mount Eskel set off to help the future princess Britta prepare for her royal wedding, she is happy about her chance to attend school in the capital city. There, Miri befriends students who seem so sophisticated and exciting . . . until she learns that they have some frightening plans. They think that Miri will help them, that she "should "help them. Soon Miri finds herself torn between loyalty to the princess and her new friends' ideas, between an old love and a new crush, and between her small mountain home and the bustling city. 

Picking up where "Princess Academy "left off, this incredible stand-alone story celebrates the joys of friendship, the delight of romance, and the fate of a beloved fairy tale kingdom.

Shannon Hale does a fabulous at creating a whole new story line for her Princess Academy books. She re-introduces readers to characters I fell in love with, with Princess Academy, and introduces them to a whole new set of characters, dangers, and adventures. I really enjoyed jumping back into Miri's world. Though it has been awhile since I have read Princess Academy, I didn't feel lost at all with all that was happening, and who each of the older characters were. I felt like the each of the characters grew up a bit more in this book. There's a sweet, innocent romance, shocking secrets, betrayal, and the Kingdom of Ashland is facing a revolution. A lot of things happen in this book and I enjoyed every moment of it!

Read my full review here

About The Author

Shannon Hale is the Newbery Honor–winning and New York Times bestselling author of the Princess Academy series; Book of a Thousand Days; The Books of Bayern; Dangerous; and the graphic novels Rapunzel’s Revenge and Calamity Jack. She also wrote three novels for adults, including Austenland, now a major motion picture starring Keri Russell. She and her husband, the author Dean Hale, have four children and live near Salt Lake City, Utah. Visit Shannon online at www.shannonhale.com and on Twitter at @HaleShannon.

The Giveaway
Enter to win a Princess Academy trilogy set with the newest covers! *US residents only
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale, Book Review

To celebrate the release of the newly redesigned Princess Academy series, and to celebrate the new release of Shannon Hale's third book in the Princess Academy series, I'm sharing my reviews of this fantastic children's book series. Originally reviewed here, I'm re-sharing my review for Princess Academy: Palace of Stone, the second book in the Princess Academy series. 


Published by: Bloomsbury Kids
Originally released on: August 21st, 2012 ; released with the new cover on 2/2015
5 stars: I LOVED It
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Series: Princess Academy #2

Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city seems a thrill beyond imagining.

When Miri and her friends from Mount Eskel set off to help the future princess Britta prepare for her royal wedding, she is happy about her chance to attend school in the capital city. There, Miri befriends students who seem so sophisticated and exciting . . . until she learns that they have some frightening plans. They think that Miri will help them, that she "should "help them. Soon Miri finds herself torn between loyalty to the princess and her new friends' ideas, between an old love and a new crush, and between her small mountain home and the bustling city. 

Picking up where "Princess Academy "left off, this incredible stand-alone story celebrates the joys of friendship, the delight of romance, and the fate of a beloved fairy tale kingdom.

Shannon Hale does a fabulous at creating a whole new story line for her Princess Academy books. She re-introduces readers to characters I fell in love with, with Princess Academy, and introduces them to a whole new set of characters, dangers, and adventures. I really enjoyed jumping back into Miri's world. Though it has been awhile since I have read Princess Academy, I didn't feel lost at all with all that was happening, and who each of the older characters were. I felt like the each of the characters grew up a bit more in this book. There's a sweet, innocent romance, shocking secrets, betrayal, and the Kingdom of Ashland is facing a revolution. A lot of things happen in this book and I enjoyed every moment of it!

Character wise I really enjoyed reading about Miri, her adventures, mishaps and all that she encounters in this book. I felt like Shannon really allowed me to understand her character in this book as she tries to find her place in her world. From being fierce and protective, to be brilliant and educated, and speaking her mind when she needed to, Miri was a character I came to admire a lot more in this book. There were times she was also incredibly naive, but it was so fitting for all that was going on in her story for her to be like that. Everything she experienced and all she does made sense to me. There's a lot she learns as she tries to figure out what's right, and wrong, doing what needs to be done vs following her heart. I admire her courage and love her quest for reading and learning. She's a smart girl who yearns to be educated in the ways of all that's going on around her. I liked how her love for reading, and understanding the history of Ashland's people plays a huge role in something that happens in this story, as does her embracing who she is and where she comes from. 

I love the friendship that she and Britta continue to have, as well as that of Prince Steffan. I adore Peder, but I wish he was a little bit stronger of a character. I felt like Miri is very much the dominate one in their relationship, though there's nothing wrong with that. The new character Timon and his relationship with Miri turned out just how I expected it to, and I liked what his character brought to the story line in the beginning, and all that he challenged Miri to think and feel. There's a few other characters I enjoyed getting to know and understand a bit better as the story went on, and the roles they played in the book. Miri by far is my favorite out of each of the characters we get to read about it in this book. 

The story is fabulous! I love this type of setting, and the feel it adds to the book. The over all storyline is wonderful. I absolutely love Shannon Hale's writing and her ability to not just tell a story, but bring it to life like she does. Her stories are always richly detailed without going over board, innocent, clean cut, and always have these well developed heroines that I completely adore, and fall in love with. Shannon's books are just as engaging and exciting for middle grade readers as they are for adult readers. She knows how to mix age appropriate romance with action, and stay true to the time period her books are set in. I loved Palace of Stone and definitely recommend picking this one up! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale, Book Review

To celebrate the release of the newly redesigned Princess Academy series, and to celebrate the new release of Shannon Hale's third book in the Princess Academy series, I'm sharing my reviews of this fantastic children's book series. Though I read this book years ago when it first came out, I thought it would be great to review it here for the first time Mundie Kids.



Published by: Bloomsbury Kids
Released on: April 17th, 2007; released with a new design on 2/2015
Series: Princess Academy #1
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes&Noble
4 Stars - I Really Enjoyed It
Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king's priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. In a year's time, the prince himself will come and choose his bride from among the girls of the village. The king's ministers set up an academy on the mountain, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess.
Miri soon finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires to be chosen and win the heart of her childhood best friend. But when bandits seek out the academy to kidnap the future princess, Miri must rally the girls together and use a power unique to the mountain dwellers to save herself and her classmates.

An adorable story with a powerful message of believing in yourself, and following your heart. 

This is not your normal fluffy, fairytale story. It's true the story is based on a fairytale, and has a magical quality and feel to it, but the Princess Academy is a story all it's own. One of the things I love about Shannon Hale's writing is how empowering it is. Hale introduces readers to Mira, a poor, uneducated girl who lives with her family, and her tight knit community of workers in their mountain village. One of the things I loved about this, is that what they may lack in possessions of their world, they definitely make up for in their love. I love a story that is rich in love of family, and friendships. There's no shortage of either in this story. 

Mira, and her village are surprised when they learn that they are chosen to have a one of the girls attend Princess Academy, to prepare one of their girls to become the next princess. Everyone is surprised when Mira, the smallest of her family, and the one who least likely seems worthy of Princess material, is sent. If she is deemed to fragile to help support her family by working in the quarries, how in the world is she excepted to become elegant and proper. I understood the feelings of Mira's self doubt, and not feeling like she'll ever measure up, let alone be worthy of her father's love. My heart broke for Mira and her feelings of not feeling like she was enough. 

The transformation that follows with Mira, our beloved main character is an inspiring and empowering story. Mira's story is one of heart, and strength. Through out all that takes place in this story, she learns to always stay true to yourself, never strop believing in yourself, no matter what anyone says, and always follow your heart. While at the Princess Academy, Mira learns more than just being proper, social etiquette, and how to read and write. Mira discovers who she is. 

Mixed into this story of self discovery, is adventure, plot twists that kept me turning the pages, and a few surprises. There is a lot more that is going on at the Princess Academy, than just preparing girls to become princess. Oh how I love Shannon Hales writing. It is beautiful, and empoweirng because of the wonderful messages she has for her readers. I hope every young reader sees a little bit of themselves in Mira, because then they'd realize they are just as amazing as she is. No matter where they come from. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

COUNTDOWN ZERO by Chris Ryland, Blog Tour: Author Guest Post


Hello and welcome to today COUNTDOWN ZERO blog tour, hosted by Walden Pond Books. Today I'm thrilled to have author, Chris Ryland on the blog to talk about his middle grade book. Take it away Chris!

Hi, thanks so much for allowing me to take over your blog! 
​When I became an author, I noticed I was not reading as much as I used to.  Which makes very little sense, since reading is now directly tied to my ability to pay my mortgage and buy food and whatnot.  And that’s why when I was asked to be a judge for a book award last year, I agreed without really thinking through the insane and impossible time commitment.  But, alas, it directed me to some awesome books I may never have read otherwise.  And so, here are my top 10 books of 2014 (that I’ve read so far – there’s always too many to keep up with):
1.     The True Tale of the Monster Billy Dean as Telt By Hisself by David Almond:  This book has everything: sugar-crystallized hair trees, rat-skin paper (yes, really), and bizarre ,disturbing father-son asphyxiation scenes.  (No, I’m not kidding.  And, yes, the book really is amazing.) 
2.     Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon: Dory is one of the funniest, coolest, most spirited characters I’ve read about in awhile.  She makes me want to be a kid again so badly that I’ve actually re-enrolled in grade school.  I lied about my age, but I think if I shave I can probably still pass for a 3rd grader.  Nobody will ever know!
3.     Revolution by Deborah Wiles:  I was a history major in college, and this book probably taught me more about the 1960’s than I ever learned earning a college degree in history.  But, wait, wait, KIDS, don’t go!!!  Don’t let that scare you; it’s also a funny, compelling, thoroughly entertaining story that you’ll have a hard time putting down.
4.     I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson:  The writing in this book about two twins (who are also young artists), is so alive and electric that it might cause your eyeballs to explode like squeezed grapes.  Read at your own risk.
5.     The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos:  Awesome voice.  It’s about a kid nobody would want to be, living out every kid’s teenage dream.  Even if you don’t like bands and music and such, you’ll probably like this book.
6.     The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson: I’ll be honest, I didn’t actually read this book.  I just threw it on here for having such an awesome title.  (Now you get to sit there and decide if I’m kidding or not…)
7.     West of the Moon by Margi Preus: It was like reading a fantastic pseudo-fantasy novel.  Just read it, and you’ll know what I mean.  Also, the Goatman is what I aspire to become.
8.     Silver People: Voices of the Panama Canal by Margarita Engle:  I’m normally not a huge fan of novels in verse.  In fact, I’m still not.  Which just goes to show how awesome this book is that it overcame such a deeply biased hole in the first place.
9.     Swim That Rock by John Rocco and Jay Primiano: Have an interest in the art of quahogging?  I didn’t think I did either until I read this book.  The way they write about it makes me want to switch professions (seriously.)  In fact, the awesome characters that make up this book have pushed me to at least move to New England.  Patriots fans, you’ve been warned.
10.  Hope is a Ferris Wheel by Robin Herrera: As a kid raised in a trailer park myself, this book had me hooked from the start.  Then, it got even better.  Trailer Park Power Activate!
Anyway, that’s my list.  There were so many more, but I don’t want to take up more of your time which you could already be using to start reading these books!  Stay frosty.
ABOUT THE BOOK 
COUNTDOWN ZERO by Chris Rylander:
There are people in this world who live secret lives. There are people who fight the evil that lurks in the shadows so that the rest of us can live free from tyranny and fear. There are people—perhaps the person who is sitting across from you on the bus or waiting tables at your favorite restaurant—who put it all on the line for us, every day, whose names we’ll never know.
None of these people is Carson Fender.

At least, not since he was let go by the secret agency that enlisted his services to help foil a nefarious plot perpetrated by one of their former agents. Carson is back to hanging out with his friends, pulling pranks, and not having to lie to everyone about how he’s spending his days. And that’s for the best. Isn’t it?
Of course, this was all before a note showed up in his school lunch, informing him that Agent Nineteen has three days left to live, and that there might still be someone inside the Agency working against them. Carson has always been able to rely on his friends—but what happens when there’s no one left to trust?

Find Chris on Twitter and his website

ISBN/ISBN13: 0062120115/9780062120113 


Author The Author 

Chris Rylander is the author of the Fourth Stall Saga and the Codename Conspiracy series.  A fan of brown shipping boxes turned on their sides, dance-offs to win a girl's heart, and rice, he lives in Chicago.  You can visit him online at www.chrisrylander.com.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

WHAT PET SHOULD I GET? By Dr. Seuss, On sale July 28, 2015!

Original unpublished Dr. Seuss manuscript and additional work found in author’s La Jolla, CA home. What Pet Should I Get? picture book to be published by Random House Children’s Books on July 28, 2015!


New York, NY (February 18, 2015)—An original manuscript with accompanying sketches by Dr. Seuss, aka Ted Geisel, which was discovered in the La Jolla, California home of the late beloved children’s author will be published by Random House Children’s Books, it was announced today by Barbara Marcus, President & Publisher, and Susan Brandt, President, Licensing and Marketing, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. WHAT PET SHOULD I GET? will be published on July 28, 2015.

A box filled with pages of text and sketches was found shortly after Ted’s death in 1991 when his widow Audrey Geisel was remodeling her home. At that time it was set aside with other of Ted’s materials. It was rediscovered in the fall of 2013 by Mrs. Geisel and Claudia Prescott—Ted Geisel’s longtime secretary and friend—when they were cleaning out his office space. They reviewed the materials, finding the full text and illustrations for WHAT PET SHOULD I GET? among other work.

At least two more books will be published from the materials discovered, with titles and publication dates to be announced.

“While undeniably special, it is not surprising to me that we found this because Ted always worked on multiple projects and started new things all the time—he was constantly writing and drawing and coming up with ideas for new stories,” says Audrey Geisel. “It is especially heartwarming for me as this year also marks twenty-five years since the publication of the last book of Ted’s career, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!.

“We had no idea what we were in store for when Claudia notified us of the materials discovered in Ted’s home,” says Brandt. “Pages and pages of manuscripts and sketches were laid out on the big glass dining room table. It was truly a magical moment, and we immediately knew this was more than just a box of sketches.”


The text and illustrations for WHAT PET SHOULD I GET? were found nearly complete. Geisel traditionally completed his black-and-white line art illustrations first, with color to be filled in later. 

Dr. Seuss’s former Art Director, Cathy Goldsmith, now VP & Associate Publishing Director, Random House Books for Young Readers, is overseeing the meticulous editorial and creative process of preparing WHAT PET SHOULD I GET? for publication. Goldsmith is the one remaining publishing executive at Random House to have worked directly with Ted Geisel during his lifetime, including spending time with him in La Jolla when he was finishing Oh, the Places You’ll Go!. 


“We believe that he wrote and illustrated What Pet Should I Get? somewhere between 1958 and 1962—as the brother and sister in the book are the same as those in his bestselling Beginner Book One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish which was published in 1960,” says Goldsmith. “My connection to Ted remains as vital as it was when we worked closely together years ago—I know he is looking down, watching over the process, and I feel a tremendous responsibility to do everything just as he would have done himself.” 

WHAT PET SHOULD I GET? captures the excitement of a classic childhood moment—choosing a pet—and features the brother and sister characters that Dr. Seuss introduced in One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.

“To be able to share this newly discovered Dr. Seuss book that was created during a most prolific period in his career marks a special moment in children’s book publishing,” says Marcus. “The millions and millions of children and adults who have learned to love reading because of Dr. Seuss can now look forward to adding this treasure to their beloved collections.”

The discovered materials will be kept at UC San Diego, where the Dr. Seuss Collection is housed within the Geisel Library.

Previously, Random House released Dr. Seuss stories collected for book publication for the first time, which had appeared only in magazines: (Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories in 2014; and The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories in 2011)


About Dr. Seuss
Theodor “Seuss” Geisel is quite simply one of the most beloved children’s book authors of all time. His long list of awards includes Caldecott Honors for McElligot’s PoolIf I Ran the Zoo, and Bartholomew and the Oobleck, the Pulitzer Prize, and eight honorary doctorates. Works based on his original stories have won three Oscars, three Emmys, three Grammys and a Peabody. Geisel wrote and illustrated 45 books during his lifetime, and his books have sold more than 650 million copies worldwide. Though Theodor Geisel died on September 24, 1991, Dr. Seuss lives on, inspiring generations of children of all ages to explore the joys of reading. For more information about Dr. Seuss and his works, visit Seussville.com.

About Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.
The primary focus of the Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. is to protect the integrity of the Dr. Seuss books while expanding beyond books into ancillary areas. This effort is a strategic part of the overall mission to nurture and safeguard the relationship consumers have with Dr. Seuss characters. Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) said he never wanted to license his characters to anyone who would “round out the edges.” That is one of the guiding philosophies of Dr. Seuss Enterprises. Audrey S. Geisel, the widow of Dr. Seuss, heads Dr. Seuss Enterprises as CEO.

Random House Children’s Books is the world’s largest English-language children’s trade book publisher. Creating books for toddlers through young adult readers, in all formats from board books to activity books to picture books, novels, ebooks, and apps, the imprints of Random House Children’s Books bring together award-winning authors and illustrators, world-famous franchise characters, and multimillion-copy series. Random House is the longtime home of the beloved and bestselling Dr. Seuss books which continue to make learning to read fun for millions of children everywhere. The company’s website, Kids@Random (randomhousekids.com) offers an array of activities, games and educational resources for children, teens, parents, and educators. Random House Children’s Books is a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

WHAT PET SHOULD I GET? / By Dr. Seuss / On sale July 28, 2015 / 978-0-553-52426-0 / Random House Books for Young Readers

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

WISH by Matthew Cordell, Book Review


Written & Illustrated by: Matthew Cordell
Published by: Disney Hyperion
To Be Released on: 3/3/15
Ages: 3-5
Rating: 4 Owls - We Enjoyed It
Source: book from the publisher to review in exchange for my honest review
Pre-Order it from: Amazon | B&N
Add to it Goodreads

As an elephant couple embark on a life together, thoughts of children are far away—at first. But as the desire for a child grows, so do unexpected challenges. And it's only after thwarted plans and bitter disappointment that their deepest wish miraculously comes true.

A beautiful message in a great story. 

WISH is about an elephant couple who patiently wait for their wish, a baby. They have to wait a long time. Through out all their waiting, and wishing, they do things together. They wish, they build, they learn, and they travel. They keep going, and wishing. Through out all their waiting, and waiting, they never stop wishing. Then one day, their wish comes true, and a sweet little baby elephant arrives. 

I loved the delicate way Matthew Cordell told the story. WISH is written and the illustrated in a way that gave the story a whimsical feel. Which was great. It kept the story simple. Making it easy for young children to enjoy and understand the story. WISH is a sweet story that all families will relate to. 

At the heart of the story, is a message about not giving up on your wishes (dreams). In a few careful way Matthew hints at how long some couples have to wait for their wish, their baby to arrive. In the story, as in real life, at the heart of makes a family a family, is love. I think all parents who have wished for a child will enjoy this, as well as children who have become their parents's wish. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!



Happy Valentine's Day!
Thank you for all the book blog love you've shown to Mundie Kids. 
I hope you enjoy a wonderful day surrounded by those you love. Whether that be family, friends, or your favorite book characters. Have a fantastic day!

Friday, February 13, 2015

THE JAGUAR STONES Blog Tour: Authors Guest Post & Enter to Win a SIGNED Set of the Books!


Hello & welcome to the next stop in the The Jaguar Stones blog tour! 
I'm so thrilled to have authors J & P Voelkel on Mundie Kids today, to talk about their new release. I'm even more thrilled to help support two fabulous authors who are apart of the #EgmontsLastList. After you read their guest post, you can read more about The Lost City, and enter to win a fabulous giveaway we're hosting today on the blog. 


ROLLING THE CREDITS
You'll see the names J&P VOELKEL on the covers of the Jaguar Stones books.
But, as co-author Pamela Voelkel explains, that doesn't tell the full story...

"Why can't we go to Disneyland like other kids?" grumbled our youngest daughter as she climbed the crumbling steps of yet another ancient pyramid. By the age of ten, she'd explored over forty Maya sites, from temples and palaces to cave systems and underground rivers. She'd eaten with Maya families, played with Maya children, visited Maya schools. She even manned a table for us on Archaeology Day at the Boston Museum of Science while we were presenting in the Theater.

Our three children were in the back seat when our rental car sank in the mud on a dirt road near the Guatemalan border. They helped us catch the frogs that were hiding in our hut and keeping us all awake with their croaking. And they all remember the day I forgot to pack breakfast for a dawn nature walk and offered them live termites instead. (They're very nutritious, honestly.)

No skills in the family go untapped. A niece with circus experience was persuaded to make a Maya king costume for us from scratch. Another niece's husband, a drama school graduate, wore it to make a book trailer. A third niece helps with website design. A sister-in-law who teaches middle school helps us to write lesson plans. Another sister-in-law proofreads our Spanish. Just about everyone else has sacrificed vacation days to come and babysit for us during book tours. Jon's dad even battled the TSA (and won!) to bring back a 12-foot-long blowpipe from Colombia to accessorize our Maya king costume.

Writing the Jaguar Stones books has literally taken a village. We live in a little town in Vermont, down the street from a bookstore and opposite a library. Before we had an agent or a publisher, our local booksellers and librarians spent hours critiquing successive drafts of our manuscript and giving us advice on everything from the publishing process to marketing to how to attract passers-by to your booth at conferences. (The answer is food.) Pretty much all the school age children in town (and many of the babies) own signed copies of our books. Our next door neighbour even slapped on some face paint and led the Old Home Day parade in our Maya king costume. 

Along the way, so many strangers have become part of the story. Archaeologists, tour guides, museum directors, astronomers, Maya elders: they've all been so generous with their time. And then there are the people you meet on book tours: booksellers, teachers, readers, other authors - so many have become good friends. Changing Hands bookstore in Arizona has hosted us so often that we've immortalised one of their booksellers in an illustration. (Tweet me and I'll tell you where to find him.) Two bookstore owners in New Orleans climbed levees and explored cemeteries with us in the middle of the night to help us find locations for THE LOST CITY. After we left New Orleans, a school librarian scoured the French quarter for the exact house and tree we needed for another scene. 

There are so many people to thank. I tried to list them all by name in the Acknowledgements for THE LOST CITY, but we ran out of pages. 

And now the Jaguar Stones series is finished. The research is over. Sure, there'll be another book, on another subject and, I guess, a whole other world of amazing new people to meet. But I'm not ready to move on just yet. I'm still replaying the last few years in my mind, remembering faces, reliving moments, basking in details.

Well, except for the termite breakfast. I'd rather forget all about that. If my kids will ever let me.

ABOUT THE BOOK

By: Jon and Pamela Voelkel
Published by: Egmont 
Released on: February 10th, 2015
Series: The Jaguar Stones, Book 4: The Lost City
 Ages 10 and up

The epic conclusion to the exciting Jaguar Stones series and a rip-roaring adventure into the heart of America!

With his parents in jail and the Maya Death Lords in possession of all five Jaguar Stones, fourteen-year-old Max Murphy is pretty sure that he'll never get to leave the rainforest. 

But the Lords of Death have a problem--a new king calling himself Great Sun claims to have the Jaguar Stones, too. And they want Max to prove the guy's a fraud. Or else.

Now, Max, and Lola, the mysterious girl who befriends him, are off on another wild adventure that will take them from Central America to New Orleans and up the Mississippi to the lost city at the heart of America's past.

But one thing Max should have learned after all of this dealings with the Death Lords -- they never keep their promises.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING
"Suspense and intrigue, human sacrifice, smuggling, and secret doors and escape routes through pyramids ensure that the novel, the first in a projected trilogy, is likely to win legions of fans."School Library Journal, starred review of The Jaguar Stones, Book One: Middle World

"This fast-paced action-adventure novel surpasses its prequel, and is filled with Mayan folklore and entertaining humor that will keep teen readers highly entertained. The End of the World Club is an easily recommended novel to pique the interests of adolescent readers in history and mythology."—The ALAN Review review of The Jaguar Stones, Book Two: The End of the World Book Club

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Jon Voelkel grew up in Peru, Costa Rica, and Colombia, all the while dreaming of a boring life in suburbia. Eventually, having survived monkey stew, an attack by giant rats, and a plane crash in the jungle, he rolled up his hammock and decamped to Europe. 

Meanwhile, growing up in a sedate seaside town in northern England, Pamela Craik Voelkel was dreaming of travel and adventure. The pair met in London, where they both worked in advertising. They went on to help found an award-winning agency, for which Jon was named one of the fifty most creative minds in Britain by the Financial Times. 

The authors' first book in the Jaguar Stones series, Middleworld, was an Al Roker Book Club pick. The Voelkels now live in Vermont with their three children. You can visit them online at www.jaguarstones.com.

THE GIVEAWAY 

OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES

Enter to win a SIGNED set of THE JAGUAR STONES! 



The winner will receive the first three books in paperback form, and the forth, and newest release in hardcover form.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Vintage Inspired Disney Valentine's Day Card

These cards are way too cute to pass up, and not share. I'm wishing I had found these before I did my daughter's Valentine's Day cards. Check out these adorable vintage inspired Disney Valentine's Day cards found via Pinterest



Are these not cute? Find more Valentine's Day inspired Disney cards here


Valentine's Cards from Harper Collins Children's Books

Looking for some last minute Valentine's? Harper Collins Children's books has you covered. Check out their adorable children's book inspired Valentine Day cards

Get the cards here

Valentine's Day Books For Kids

Valentine's Day is almost here! That means it is a great time to grab a book that celebrates love, and friendship. Our friends over at Harper Collins Children's Books created a list of children's books that celebrate just that. If you're looking for a book to pick up for your favorite little Valentine's, pick up one of these:







We've read a few of these titles, and loved them. Find out more about each of the books HERE.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

THE WRINKLED CROWN by Anne Nesbet, COVER REVEAL



An exciting new book from author Anne Nesbet is coming this fall! THE WRINKLED CROWN, coming this November 10th, 2015 from Harper Collins is a tale about magic, music, war and friendship! This sounds like my kind of book. I'm thrilled to team up with Anne to share the cover to THE WRINKLED CROWN. 

Check out this cover ........



Isn't this cover fabulous? I adore this cover! There's something magical about children's book covers that I love. This cover screams read me, and promises an exciting adventure. 

About the Book (from the book's jacket):

     "Up in the magical, wrinkled hills, Linny breaks an ancient law. No matter how musical a girl may be, she must not so much as touch a string of a lourka before she turns twelve, or she'll be spirited off to Away. But Linny, born nimble-fingered and tune-filled, can't resist: she makes a lourka of her very own. When the curse meant for her strikes her best friend instead, Linny must leave her home behind to try to set things right.

     If you leave the wrinkled hills, you will never find your way home--everyone knows that other law. But Linny has the gift of not getting lost, and she will risk everything to rescue her friend. With her father's young apprentice, Elias, she travels down into the Plain, where science may have found a cure for magic. Linny and Elias soon find themselves caught up in the age-old battle between the wrinkled places and the Plain. Can Linny keep the fractured land from falling apart—and save her best friend?"


Anne talks more about her upcoming release, and the inspiration behind The Wrinkled Crown, here

I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~