Weekly Readings XVII

Weekly Readings 17

 Welcome back to

Weekly Readings!


For those new here, Weekly Readings is when your lit. rat reviews picture books I’ve read here and there.

While T.A.A. focuses on animal stories, we do give humans their due now and again…

This week, your lit. shares with you tales of father-son bonding, a well-ordered parisan lady whose dog teachers her to go with the flow, and an insect prodogy who shows how “playing with your food” can change the world!



The Bear’s Song

by Benjamin Chaud

Publisher: Chronicle Books


Pub. Date: September 17th, 2013

While we’re nearing the onset of Spring 2015 (at the time this review’s being written), I couldn’t help but share this story after having bears in general on my mind…

As winter seta in, Papa Bear is all set for hibernation, but his son’s wanders off, and from there Papa Bear’s journey to find him 

Benjamin Chaud’s illustrations have this classic yet modern look to them that would just at home amongst the early works of Richard Scary and Bernard Waber  as they would on the cover of a “The New Yorker” today.


It’s a quality many of my favorite illustrators such as Gus Gordon and Zachariah ‘OHara share, but Benjamin’s use of shadow and light, and Monet-esque tone sets it apart from the hyper-technicolor palate common in kidlit.

The text, while concise, is a less spare and a refreshing change of pace from the “minimalist” era in picture books today. Moments of lighthearted humor flows well with the gorgeous spreads throughout the book.


“The Bear’s Song” is partly a father and son story, with accentts of “Where’s Waldo?” and the charm of “Guess How Much I Love You?” but with the subtle and sophisticated art style that would make it a unique cofee table book as well as a great read-aloud. 



Madame Martine

by Sarah S. Brannen (@SarahBrannen)

Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company

Pub. Date: September 2014


 If Tomie DePaola’s “Strega Nona” is the magical grandmother many of us wish we had (or are lucky to have) in real life, and Ms. Frizzle (from “The Magic School Bus”) is about empowering us to “Take chances, make mistakes, and getting messy” in the name of making learning fun, Madame Martine is the exact opposite of the ladies mentioned above. She’s the pragmatist to their flair and flamboyance.

Her days are planned out and highly rooted in routine. I’d imagine this is what would look like without 

Until one day, she happened upon a stray dog, cold, hungry, and dirty. Madame Martine takes him home, cleans him, and eventually decides to adopt him, thus naming him Max. 

But in chaging this former stray’s fortune around, Madame Martine hadn’t counted on was how Max would change her life…when a routine walk becomes anything but when Max’s curiosity leads him, and his new human, off the beaten path, and allows this level-headed local too see Paris (most notably the famous Eiffel Tower) with the eyes and childlike wonder of the tourists who flock to the “City of Lights” time and time again for the very first time.


In many ways, Max is to Madame Martine, what Madeline is to Miss Clevel, or Mouse is the cheeful ying to Bear’s curmudgeonly yang. (from Bonny Becker and Kady MacDonald Denton’s popular picture book series), Max provides the spark of serendipity that breaks  up routine and sprinkles a healthy dash of spontenatey we all could use more of in life.


While there’s something to be said to having a distict style that unifies your work (such as the works of Beatrix Potter, Suess and Scary), I always find it impressive when illustrators can vary the art style and medium to suit a particular book, and while I can only imagine how that might make things tricky from a marketing standpoint, it gives the reader (and those being read to) the treat of  exploring not only a new story and characters each time, but a differnt art style to explore.


It offers the reader, and those read to, that extra bit of freshness that can get harder to achieve the further an author and/or illustrator is in their career.


Sarah’s illustrations here have a more classic style that the exsagarted watercolors from “The Beary Tooth Fairy” (written by author/publisher Arthur A. Lavine) or the collage-like approach of “Uncle Bobby’s Wedding” that have a more detailed and precious touch versus the more childlike astetics of Lauren Child’s mixed medium approach used in her “Charlie and Lola” and “Clarice Bean” series.



In a world that seems to demand foresight and meticulous planning at every turn, “Madame Martine” (and Max) reminds us all that the best things in life can’t always be planned, but rather come about because we have no plan! Something everyone, but especially parents, need to be reminded of sometimes.



Please, Mr. Panda

by Steve Antony (@MrSteveAntony)

(U.S.) Publisher: Scholastic (@Scholastic)

(U.K.) Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

Pub. Date: December 30th, 2014


It’s early morning as I type out this review. The reason I note this is because when I think of early morning, I think naturally of breakfast, or brunch if I’m late to waking up.


I try to get something healthy in me at the start of each day, but sometimes I answer to my inner lit. rattling and sneak in something decadent, one such treat is homemade doughnuts and coffee, and hey-once in awhile it’s not cataclysmic to my health.


Now when I think of doughnuts (or “donuts” depending on your POV of how it’s spelled…) I’ll also think of “Please, Mr. Panda” which is one of those books that lures in you in with deceptive simplicity, but tells a tale that’s harder to pull off than folks often realize.


While there’s certainly truth to the “Best things in life are the simplest” cliché, pulling off simplicity is actually among the most challenging feats for most writers, and the bravest ones will not be shy to tell you that.


While we’re often more concerned with how kids and teen perform in school, we should put more stock into how they perform in other areas of life, such as how they socialize, and part of soclizing is sharing. 

Don’t worry, this isn’t some thinly veiled moral tale. Like Mo Willems’ “Don’t Let The Pidgeon Drive The Bus” this book invites audience participation. But rather than letting the audience being read to “Be the parent” to Pigeon,  it invites the reader and audience to think about how the story relates to them on a personal level.


“Why won’t Mr. Panda won’t give doughnuts to nearly all who requested one?”


It’s a quiter form of audience participation, but no less effective, and often the best books force readers to think about how to story relates to their own lives, maybe even about what they’d like to see more of than what’s currently the case.


Mr. Panda has doughnuts to give away, and various creatures aren’t shy about wanting to them off his paws.

But nearly everyone who proclaimed to want one (or ALL) of his doughnuts is swiftly denied.


Well, put yourself in Mr. Panda’s place. How did you feel when your kid brother or sister used your things without permission?

Or (if you don’t have siblings) how it felt when a friend or relative betrays your trust by sharing an embarrassing moment that was only meant to be heard by your ears alone.

When trying to teach our lit. rattlings how to share, something we may gloss over is what sharing looks like.


Sharing isn’t just about offering. 


It’s also about HOW we offer what we intend to share. It’s more often than not the difference between empathy and sympathy.

Writers often are told to make their characters sympathetic, when really they should be saying they need to be more empathic to win the heart of the reader.

While sympathy and empathy can look similar on the surface, they’re not. Sympathy actually drives DISCORD and DISCONNECTION.

Empthy, by contrast, drives CONNECTION and putting others on an equal playing field, both mentally and emotionally.


We’re (often subconciously) looking down on others when we feel sympathy toward others, versus empathy when we’re sincerly offering a helping hand or a patient ear (whether conciously or subconciously) because we’d want the same courtosey if were in the other’s position, or we might’ve faced something similar and decide to reach out, especially if we had no one to do the same for us.

Something you learn as a writer early on (if you’re lucky) is HOW you say something’s just as important as WHAT you say. This book makes smart use of that.

While many authors (myself included) want to entertain first and foremost, and while some readers often desire “larger than life” characters to escape the harships we face in life, we also want to bring some level of our experience in our work, not to glamarize or melodramtize our life, but to add depth and enrich our writing.

Steve Antony’s soft, minimalist illustrations do much of the work as Mr. Panda goes from creature to creature, denying most of them the doughnuts he’s resolved to give away, and when he finally comes across someone who’s awarded his bounty of pastry goodness…

Well, I won’t spoil the ending, but I assure you, it will surprise you, even if you think you can guess it from the title…you’d only be half correct.


Writers are always preaching to each other to “Show” instead of “Tell.”

“Please, Mr. Panda” does just that. 

It’s not only a story about sharing, or simply about good manners, it shows the reader (and those being read to) what well-mannered sharing looks like.

“Sharing is Caring” as the song goes, but I’d rephrase it as, “How we share, shows how much we really care.” Not as catchy, perhaps, but more accurate to what we’re trying to show our family and friends.  

Kids and teens always want to know “Why” something’s important. “Please, Mr. Panda” shows not only the “Why” but also the “How” of what sharing’s all about, which sets it apart from most books on sharing that only answer the “Why.”


Check Out the OFFICIAL Trailer for

“Please, Mr. Panda”






Roberto: The Insect Architect

by Nina Laden

Publisher: Chronicle Books


Pub. Date: August 2000


Ever since I was charmed by author-illustrator Nina Laden’s “Bad Dog”  I’ve been on a mad dash to read (and review) her impressively long backlist of titles, and “Roberto: The Insect Architect” is no exception.


Most termites see wood as nothing more than fuel, sustence, or put more simply, food. (just don’t call it “Grub.” In the insect world, they often live within wood!) But Roberto looks at wood, and sees possibilities…

From an early age, Roberto used wood not to satisfy his culinary palete, but rather to excite his creative muse and used it the way Leonardo Da Vinci used marble in his early years as an artist. He evneutally set his sights to the big city to become an architect.


At first, everyone turned him away, seeing him as a liability who’d eat the profits (in the literarl sense) rather htan build with them. Roberto was the kind of hard sell risk as  would be a mouse (or rat…) in cheese shop, a dog working for a butcher, and of course, a termite working with wood in the contrscution biz.

Along the way, Roberto encounters various friends and neighbors who are homless for one reason or another, and decides to do something about it.


With his self-taught knowledge of architecture, Roberto designs and builds the homes and businesses to get those bugs off the streets and a second chance at a better life, and in the spirit of a “Secret Santa” does so anomyously.


It doesn’t take long before the city at large is buzzing with inritgue wondering who this mystery master archetict is.


When it’s discovered that Roberto’s the bug they’re looking for, the reader (and those read) are shown not only the importance of hard work and never giving up, but also how not to let doubt from others blindside you from your dreams.

Nina Laden’s agular and wonderfully quirkly illustrations, matched with concise and engaging text that sprinkles in fun wordplay throughout complete each other well.



While I always liked the idea behind the film,  “A Bug’s Life” (the sophmore effort after the phenemon that was/is Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story”) I couldn’t fully get into the execution. “Roberto, The Insect Architect” pulls it off, and in a fraction of the time.


Unless you’re horridly averse to insects, this is a book worth checking out.


If more termites were like Roberto, they’d probably be as sacred to us as cats were in ancient Egypt and parts of Asia, and today in the form of viral videos like “Dear Kitten”, comic strip icons like “Garfield” and “Heathcliff”, and pop culture phenemons like “Doraemon.” Or at least keep David Kirk’s “Miss Spider” and E.B. White’s “Charlotte’s Web” company…


That’s it for Weekly Readings. See you next time!


NOTE FROM THE LITERARY RAT: If my ramblings convinced you to buy one or more of the books mentioned above, please support T.A.A. by clicking on the affiliate cover images above or links within the review(s).

Weekly Readings XV

Weekly Readings 15 (FINAL REMIX 3)

Welcome to another edition of 

“Weekly Readings”


For those new here, Weekly Readings is when your lit. rat reviews books I’ve read here and there.


While T.A.A. focuses on animal stories, we do give humans their due now and again…


Helen and Thomas (Tom) Docherty

(Left: Helen Dorcherty, Right: Thomas Dorcherty)

This week, to celebrate the (U.K.) release of “Abracazebra” by husband-wife team, Helen and Thomas Dorcherty, your lit. rat decided to treat you to an encore of our reviews for “The Driftwood Ball” (a solo outing for illustrator Thomas Docherty) and “The Snatchabook” (their previous collaboration) which happily is available in the U.S. and Canada.


But first, T.A.A. is honored to be among the first in America to give our verdict on Helen and Thomas’s newest team effort-







Written by Helen Docherty (@docherty_helen)

Illustrated by Thomas Docherty (@TDIllustration)

(U.K.) Publisher: Scholastic Press

(U.K.) Pub. Date: February 5th, 2015


Yawnalot’s a small town where not much used to happen. Even so, crotchety old Goat’s the bighorn on campus, until “Abracazebra” and her traveling magic show comes to town.


The townsfolk are enchanted not by her slight of hoof, but her inner charm and friendly nature.



Goat grows jealous the longer she stays, and when it looks like the zebra’s ready to settle down in Yawnalot, he tries to turn the town against her, and succeeds! Only to realize the real “magic” is friendship, and that there’s room for everyone to shine.


Helen’s rhyming prose doesn’t skip a beat, and Thomas’s sprightly use of two-page spreads provides the reader a flowing reading experience that makes it prime read-aloud material.



While “The Snatchabook” took some bold and creative risks, and is one of the most original homages to the beloved Dr. Seuss, “Abracazebra” uses a simpler rhyme structure which makes it a great book for parents and teachers new to reading aloud to perform without worrying about tripping up the rhythm.


Unfortunately, unlike “The Snatchabook”, Abracazebra’s still a U.K./Europe exclusive, something I didn’t realize at the time I nominated it as one of T.A.A.’s “Most Anticipated Reads of 2015.”


But Helen was kind enough to send your lit. rat a copy, signed at that! 




While T.A.A. normally reviews books that are fairly accessible worldwide, we also believe that sometimes the best books are worth a little extra effort to obtain. Abracazebra is one such book.


I was prepared to import it even without Helen’s kind gesture, and having it read it myself, it would’ve been worth every extra “pound, pence, and shilling” to get it! (*I realize the British Monetary system has changed, but “Euro” just doesn’t sound as cool!)


When/if this OFFICIALLY hits stateside, your lit. rat will let you know. But if you can afford to import, I promise it’s worth it. 


Check out Our Fan Trailer for 



The Driftwood Ball

The Driftwood Ball

by Thomas Docherty (@TDIllustration)

(U.K.) Publisher: Templar Publishing

(U.K.) Pub. Date: January 1st, 2014


In addition to collaborating with his wife and fellow author Helen(See our profile on them from our Picture Book Month 2013 author/illustrator spotlight), author-illustrator Thomas Docherty brings us his most recent solo outing about family feuds, high stakes dance offs, and true love, what more can a lit. rat need?


On one side you’ve got badgers, who are prim, proper and composed, in dance terms they’re like a waltz. Form and technique are everything!


The otters by contrast are cool, casual, and thrive on improvisation, in dance they represent freestyle, with some hip-hop thrown in here and there. Whatever’s fun and flowing!


The Badgers find the otters crude and their dancing unrefined.


The otters think badgers are snobbish, wound too tight, and their dance moves stiff and soulless.


The only thing both species agree on is their love of dancing, but while “The Driftwood Ball” brings the two species together, competition and rivalry keep them apart in every way.


Until Celia (an otter) and George (a badger) meet in secret and have different ideas…


George likes how free and soulful the otters move,  and Celia’s enchanted by the composed technique of the badgers dancing, and the two soon learn to dance a little bit like the other, until they create a dance style all their own, and fall in love…


When titular dance-off “The Driftwood Ball” begins, the feuding species are stunned to find Celia and George dancing together, a first for this bitter rivalry charged event, and from there a new normal takes hold that I won’t spoil here…


What I love most about Thomas Docherty is how he tailors his illustration style for each of his books, be they his own, or when visualizing another author’s work.


While there some slight nods to the style used in “The Snatchabook” his previous book (written by his wife, Helen) this book is about movement and a more tropical color palette, versus the Seuss-inspired two-tone impressionistic tone taken in the verse-driven tale.


T.A.A. nominated this book as one of our first “Most Anticipated Reads” back in 2013 (before it’s release) so you may be wondering why it took a year after it published to review it…


The road to reviewing this book is long and complicated, but to give you the abridged version, this book isn’t (YET) out in the U.S., and since T.A.A. HQ is based stateside, your lit. rat didn’t realize that at the time I nominated it this book is still kind of a U.K./Europe exclusive at the time this review is being written…


That’s why I want to give special thanks to my Twitter friend, Anne-Marie (@ChildLedChaos), for sending me a copy from the U.K. You made reviewing this book possible.


I hope “The Driftwood Ball” comes to the rest of the world soon, but while T.A.A. primarily reviews books that are fairly accessible worldwide, our goal is to be as global community as possible, and while many of Thomas Docherty’s older solo picture books solo books are available worldwide, this sadly remains a U.K. exclusive, but when that changes, T.A.A. will let you know. 


That said, for our Euro/U.K. T.A.A. fans, “The Driftwood Ball’s a must-read, especially if you’ve got little movers and groovers in your life!


This book earned the honor of being one of our  “Most Anticipated Reads of 2014″, and if you’ve the spare cash and patience for intercontinental shipping, this is a book worth importing!


Okay, to end on a wallet-friendly note, check the final word on Helen and Thomas’s previous collaboration, and in my opinion one of the best books of 2013 that’s made it stateside!


The Snatchabook (U.S. and U.K. Edictions) 3

The Snatchabook

Written by Helen Docherty (@docherty_helen)

Illustrated by Thomas Docherty (@TDIllustration)

U.K. Publisher: Alison Green Books

U.S. Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

U.K. Pub. Date: October 2013

U.S. Pub. Date: December 2013


NOTE FROM THE LITERARY RAT: This is a re-post of our original review of “The Snatchabook.”


In the forest, books and story time are celebrated and sacred (You know, really super important), but books start going missing, ruining the late night joys of story time, whether it’s the one reading a book to themselves, or a family reading to each other before bedtime, and a rabbit named Emily is determined to find this thief of books and get them back.


Illustrator Thomas Docherty (Helen’s Husband and also an author himself) channels his inner Seuss in the illustrations that properly compliment Helen’s solid but non-traditional rhyme scheme and can happily stand up to author-illustrator duo, Julia Donaldson and Axel Schrieffer (Who brought us gems like “The Gruffalo” and most recently “The Highway Rat”)


The Snatchabook manages to envoke a feeling of nostalgia (For those of us old enough to have that perspective, and you don’t have to be 30+ to have it, in my opinion…) and deliver the modern reader’s demand for quick moving tale that lingers in the RIGHT ways and for the right REASONS. Something that may sound counter-intuitive, but something you’ll get when you read this book for yourself and/or to others.

But make no mistake, this story is no fake wannabe, when your literary rat compares ANYTHING to someone as beloved (And often debated about) as Seuss, it’s NOT faint praise, and is still a solid title in its own right, and Helen and Thomas Docherty have a lot to be proud of.


“The Snatchabook” is their second collaboration in book form, and I believe it will be known as their breakout work, you heard this first from your Literary Rat, I highly recommend it, and that will be that.


That’s it for Weekly Readings, check back next time!


FINAL NOTE FROM THE LITERARY RAT: If my ramblings convinced you to buy one or more of the books mentioned above, please support T.A.A. by clicking on the affiliate cover images above or links within the review.

Picture Book Month 2014: Future Releases

 TAA Picture Book 2014 FB

As “Picture Book Month” come to a close for another year, it’s time to unveil T.A.A.’s “Most Anticipated Reads of 2015!


A Penguin Named Patience  (A Hurricane Katrina Rescue Story)

A Penguin Named Patience

(A Hurricane Katrina Rescue Story)

by Suzanne Lewis 

Illustrated by Lisa Anchin

Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press 

Pub. Date: February 1st, 2015

2015 will the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

and while there’s still a long road to recovery for many day to day, we’ve also seen great stories of survival and rebirth of lives most impacted by the devastation the storms left during and after’s it’s wake.

This picture book tells the story 

T.A.A. will do something special in remembrance of this disaster, and also something to help keep their recovery on track.

We’ll have more info in the coming year, and if you want to be among the first to know our plans, please sign up for our mailing list on the right side of this site!



by Helen Docherty

Illustrated by Thomas Docherty

(U.K.) Publisher: Scholastic Press

Pub. Date: February 5th, 2015


The husband-wife team behind “The Snatchabook” team up again for another magical adventure.


Learn more about Helen and Thomas in our Picture Book Month 2013 coverage 


The Snatchabook (U.S. and U.K. Edictions) 3

(U.S. and U.K. Covers for “The Snatchabook”)


Also, check out your lit. rat’s review of their last book together, “The Snatchabook”


UPDATE (1/21/15): I learned from author Helen Docherty that “Abracazebra” has not yet found a U.S. publisher, so it remains a U.K./Europe exclusive for now, I apologize for the transformation (I’ll not rely Amazon for release info of international titles again!)

 UPDATE: Here’s Our Review of “Abracazebra”

But it’s still one of our “Most Anticipated Reads” and I will still review the book as planned, Helen was kind enough to offer sending us a copy! Thanks Helen!

When “Abracazebra” does come stateside, your lit. rat will let you know! But I encourage our U.K. fans to check it out.


Big Pet Day

Big Pet Day

by Lisa Shanahan

Illustrated by Gus Gordon (@IllustratorGus)

(U.S./U.K.) Publisher: Scholastic Press

Pub. Date: January 1st, 2015

It’s no secret T.A.A. LOVES pet stories, but with so many awesome ones, it takes really special ones to stand out from the countless classics, but I have confidence this is will be an exceptional one. It doesn’t hurt that Gus Gordon’s charming illustrations sweeten the deal for this lit. rat.

If you haven’t already, check out T.A.A.’s Author/Illustrator Spotlight on Gus Gordon!

Also, check out your lit. rat’s review of Gus’ “Herman and Rosie”



Crickey and Cat

Crikey and Cat

by Chris Mckimmie

(U.S.) Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Pub. Date: May 1st, 2015

We’re trying to review more books that star or feature cats on T.A.A. I may the lit. rat, but not all cats hunt rodents such myself anymore, and hey, we’ve got plenty of fab felines that deserve T.A.A.’s spotlight.





I Thought This Was A Bear Book

by Tara Lazar (@taralazar)

Illustrated by Benji Davies (@Benji_Davies)

Publisher: Aladdin

Pub. Date: August, 2015


The author of “The Monstore” (2013) and founder of PiBoIdMo (Pie-Beau-Id-Moe), Tara Lazar is back with a new book where the three bears meet alien abduction, nicely drawn by illustrator Benji Davies. (The Storm Whale)


Check out Tara Lazar’s interview with Katie Davis on “Brain Burps About Books”


Also check out our spotlight feature on Tara and James Burks (illustrator of “The Monstore” and author-illustrator of his own books)



Last Stop On Market Street

by Matt de la Peña (@mattdelapena)

Illustrated by Christian Robinson

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

(Imprint of Penguin Books USA)

Pub. Date: January 8th, 2015


While we mostly cover animal stories on T.A.A. we do give humans their due, and with the ever-increasing outcry for more diverse humans in children’s books (as well as behind the scenes in publishing) we’re honored to bring this book to your attention.



The book’s illustrator, Christian Robinson,  illustrated one of your lit. rat’s favorite books of the year, “Gaston” (written by Kelly DiPucchio) which T.A.A. will be reviewing soon!

UPFATE: Check Out Our Review of “Gaston”

Chris also illustrated “Josephine” released in 2013, and has done animation work that’s appeared on Sesame Street (Which recently celebrated PBS’ 45th anniversary)


Otter in Space

Otter in Space (@i_am_otter)

by Sam Garton (@SamuelGarton)

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

(An Imprint of HarperCollins)

Pub. Date: May 5th, 2015


T.A.A.’s favorite otter returns with her latest adventure, which as you can tell from the cover alone, involves intergalactic exploration, or at least the closest thing you can get without being trained by NASA, or going to space camp!


Learn more about Otter, play fun games, and read exclusive web stories (complete with picture!) at her OFFICIAL website: iamotter.co.uk


Also, check out our Author/Illustrator spotlight for “Picture Book Month 2014”


If you haven’t checked out Otter’s first book (one of our first “Most Anticipated Reads”), check your lit. rat’s review! Finally, please share this teaser video (made by your lit. rat) to help spread the word, and rest assured it’s Otter Approved!

 (Otter in Space Teaser Video)



Bears Don't Read

Bears Don’t Read!

by Emma Chichester Clark


Pub. Date: TBA 2015

One of my favorite authors is bringing us a double feature in 2015 One of which involves a bear who doesn’t yet know the joy and empowerment reading has to offer.


Check our Author/Illustrator Spotlight on Emma!

Finally, read your lit.rat’s review of “Melrose and Croc: A Christmas To Remember”





by Emma Chichester Clark


Pub. Date: TBA 2015

One of my favorite authors is bringing us a double feature in 2015! One of those books is “Plumdog” and while I’m still a bit down over the loss of my beloved Pepper back in June 2014, I’m still reading my share of dog books,  they’re healing, and after a drought of new voices in the picture book canine district, I have a strong feeling Plum will fit right in, the fact that she reminds me of Pepper in some ways is an added bonus.


I know Guido (my canine friend from T.A.A. FM’s “Guido & Bonnie” [@GuidoandBonnie]) is just as psyched as I am for Plum’s debut in America! 

There Was An Old Dragon Who Swallowed a Knight

There Was an Old Dragon

Who Swallowed a Knight

by Penny Parker Klostermann (@pklostermann)

Illustrated by Ben Mantle

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books


Pub. Date: August 4th, 2015


There’s been many a tale of an old man, woman, and even a coyote who swallowed something they shouldn’t have. Now in a Ye Olde twist to a long remixed tale, we’ve got a dragon who finally bests a knight through feasting him.

How will this pan out?

We’ll find out Summer 2015!



WOLFIE the Bunny

by Ame Dyckman  (@AmeDyckman)

Illustrated by Zachariah OHora 


Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Pub. Date: February 17th, 2015


Author Ame Dyckman, best known for her books “Boy+Bot” (illustrated by Dan Yaccarino) and “Tea Party Rules” (illustrated by K.G. Campbell) teams up with author-illustrator Zachariah OHara (of “No Fits, Nelson!” fame)


This is one of those books that has caught my eye on the merit of the title/cover alone, and I can’t wait to have this book in my paws, and review it for you, my precious readers.


UPDATE: Check out our review of

“Wolfie the Bunny”

Your lit. rat hopes you’ve enjoyed our special features and author/illustrator spotlights we did this year. We’ll have more fun goodies in store for our Holiday Showcase starting this week!


Until next time, may the fantastic fauna be with you.


P.S. One Last Video the lit. rat hope you watch and share-