Glitter Girl – A Guest Post by Authors Toni Runkle & Stephen Webb

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WHAT PRICE POPULARITY?
GLITTER GIRL GUEST BLOG & GIVEAWAY

Glitter Girl Book Cover

Glitter Girl by Toni Runkle and Stephen Webb, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2013.

I’m delighted to turn this post over to guest bloggers,
Toni Runkle and Stephen Webb
(click here for website), authors of Glitter Girl
(Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $7.99, ages 10 and up, also available as an ebook). 
Runkle and Webb, writing partners for close to a decade, and parents of young daughters, also call Los Angeles home. Today they’ll be addressing an all too common tween topic which incidentally is the premise for their terrific debut middle grade novel, Glitter Girl, featuring Kat Connors. There’s lots of great stuff to glean from this post so read on.

Friendship and loyalty vs. popularity – what works, what doesn’t and why is this such a big issue for girls?

Now I ask you readers and parents of girls, who amongst you has not had to deal with this troublesome tween dilemma? Ahhh, if only I’d had this book to hand to my daughter when she went through the trials and tribulations of tweendom. But you can have it!

Click here now to enter for a chance to win a free copy of the book courtesy of Sourcebooks Jabberwocky. Giveaway ends December 16, 2013 at midnight PST. Be sure to write GLITTER GIRL in the subject line and include your address. You can also enter on Facebook by posting a comment, but you’ll need to LIKE us for entry to be valid. Good luck! – Ronna

LIFE IN THE FAB LANE

Hi! I’m Kat. Welcome to my blog. I may be from a small town but I’m also Glitter Girl Cosmetics’ newest trendsetter. Thanks to my flair for fashion and my popular style blog, I’ve been chosen to be an Alpha Girl, which means I get to try out all the Glitter Girl products before they hit the stores.

Forty-eight hours after she blogs about the goodies in the new line, every girl at Kat’s school is sporting the gear. Kat’s popularity skyrockets, but Jules—Kat’s BFF—seems to be the only one who’s not buying into the Glitter Girl lifestyle. Is Kat willing to sacrifice her friendship for life in the fab lane?

 

RUNKLE & WEBB: Ah, the friendship and loyalty vs. popularity question. The age-old decision faced by adolescent girls since the beginning of time. We’re pretty sure there are cave drawings in northern Spain depicting this struggle.

We are parents of young daughters so we have seen this struggle first hand. Also, despite what our daughters  may think, we used to be young once, and while that was many moons ago, the scars of adolescence still linger. It’s an exceptional person who doesn’t have them. Mythical, in fact.

This is because as kids reach adolescence, an emotional drama begins to unfold. They become more – no, actually they become painfully, self-aware.  They examine every detail of their being, down to the pores on their noses. They are trying to figure out who they are, where they belong – if they belong.  It can be a very difficult time. There is a great deal of insecurity. Add to the mix the emergence of the “mean girl mentality” that begins at about age 11 or 12 and continues into middle school and girls have a particularly rough road into their teen years.

So of course, what adolescent girl wouldn’t want to be popular? The allure of everyone knowing your name, looking up to you, even liking you – the idea of not only fitting in, but standing out – not only is it intoxicating, it allows you bypass all the angst that comes with being the misfit.
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Where’s the bird?

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There are hundreds of books about being different and embracing one’s uniqueness. Ironically, A FUNNY LITTLE BIRD (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $15.99, ages 4-8) by graphic artist Jennifer Yerkes about a lonely, invisible bird, truly stands out!

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“When he was seen, other birds made fun of him.” So the little bird set out on his own, all the while accumulating various beautiful items found during his journey, items like magnificent feathers and flowers that would certainly get him noticed. Bringing attention to himself, however, proved to be a double-edged sword when this funny little bird was pursued by a fox. Yet in his haste to escape, his so-called treasures were lost.

Then, like the Rainbow Fish before him, the funny little bird realized that all the accoutrements would not lead to happiness. In fact, it was his invisibility that made him special. This wonderful gift he could share with his pals could also keep them safe. So, it turns out, that this funny little bird learned a most valuable lesson that takes many others years to grasp – excessive pride can push potential friends away and to have a friend you must first be a friend.

In 48 pages, Yerkes’s crsip yet sparse artwork manages to be fluid, fresh and fun, a beautiful blend of Jon Klassen meets Lois Ehlert. A Funny Little Bird is truly this year’s must have for self-esteem building! Get a copy at your favorite independent bookstore today.

– Reviewed by Ronna Mandel


Dorothy, Goldilocks, Black Beauty, Oh My!

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Have Library Card Will Travel

My name is not Isabella, but there sure is a lot of Isabella in me.  Read Isabella: Star of the Story (Sourcebooks, $16.99, ages 4-8) by Jennifer Fosberry with illustrations by Mike Litwin to your children and watch how a trip to the library can turn into a magical experience.  In fact the book is dedicated to librarians whose vital role in introducing children to books cannot be stressed enough.

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Isabella is a young girl with a keen sense of adventure and an imagination as wide as the continents and oceans combined. Like me, Isabella loves to visit new places and in this, the third book in a richly rewarding series, she ventures inside the pages of some literary classics.

Isabella’s charming banter with her parents is part of the appeal of the story and New York Times Bestselling Author Fosberry wastes no time diving – or in this case, flying – right in! While she won’t answer to Isabella, she will answer to Peter Pan. “I am Peter Pan, and I am flying two stars to the right and straight on to the children’s room.”  Parents, remember to point out the different outfits that Isabella’s trusty plush mouse is wearing with each new book she reads. Illustrator Litwin has also drawn some delightful clues foreshadowing the next story to come. For example there’s a bowl of steamy porridge on top of a book on the page before Isabella transforms into Goldilocks. That’s when she searches for a book that’s “not too short and not too long.” There’s word play for older readers both in the text and in Litwin’s clever and colorful artwork. In addition to Peter Pan and Goldilocks from The Three Bears, Isabella enters the world of Captain Nemo from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Black Beauty, Alice in Wonderland and The Wonderful World of Oz.

The back matter at the end of the book shares interesting details about the evolution of each classic including a DID YOU KNOW factoid parents may even find more interesting than their kids! Considering we all have grown up with these “Stories for all time …” Fosberry has found a wonderful way to engage a whole new audience while making our trip down the rabbit hole all the more meaningful.

Read my review of Isabella: Girl on The Go (book 2) by clicking here.

-Reviewed by Ronna Mandel


You Better Watch Out!

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9781402275159SANTA CLAUS IS HEADING WEST!

I’m excited to share my review of  Santa is Coming to California, one title in a clever new series from Scotland based illustrator Robert Dunn and UK based author Steve Smallman published by Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky ($9.99, ages 4 and up).

Old Saint Nick is getting his Santa-nav ready by entering the correct coordinates for California and then off he will go! Imagine how much fun you’ll have reading this story to your children as you follow Santa’s sleigh and reindeer as they make tracks from the North Pole all the way to the Golden State! Not only will you love the spirited illustrations, but you’ll also love how the story subtly teaches a geography lesson.

9781402277757Santa and company get lost in fog, but when they get reoriented they are zooming over the Golden Gate Bridge and all of San Francisco’s notable sites. Eventually they make it to Hollywood plus other delightful points here and yonder despite some weary and hungry first-rate sleigh pullers.

If you’re not a California resident, you can take advantage of Santa is Coming To My House, virtually the same picture book with a different cover and without the specific city names and landmarks (hence some different illustrations) so any child anywhere can enjoy it!

So which list are you on?

-Reviewed by Ronna Mandel