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A New Look For Good Reads With Ronna


Under Construction, but still blogging!
Under Construction, but still blogging!

We’re almost done cleaning up our site. It was truly a case of out with the old and in with the new, and long overdue! Thanks so much for your patience during our blog remodel. Please let us know what you think about our updated look.

The current blog tour is for Super Schnoz and the Gates of Smell along with an author signed book giveaway. Enter by clicking here now for your chance to win because that great opportunity ends this weekend.

Our next blog tour in conjunction with Peachtree Publishers begins on Friday, October 4th, so watch this space for more details about the surprise book review and giveaway. But in case you can’t wait, here’s a little preview:

Some other stops on the Peachtree Publishers Blog Tour & a chance to win a copy of the book!

Visit Blue Owl Reviews today to get a taste of what’s to come.

On Tuesday, check out Gidgets Bookworms and Maestra Amanda’s Bookshelf

Wednesday stop by the Peachtree blog for the giveaway contest!

Thursday’s the blog tour is on Kid Lit Reviews

and Friday it’s here at last: Good Reads with Ronna.

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It’s Another Great Summer Giveaway!


Welcome to the Albert Whitman & Company blog tour and giveaway for summer.

Good Reads With Ronna is proud to be included in this 2013 summer tour and giveaway. We’re also very excited to offer one lucky winner a copy of When I Feel Worried signed by author Cornelia Spelman (Albert Whitman & Company, $15.99, ages 3-6) with illustrations by Kathy Parkinson. Just follow the instructions below to be entered in the giveaway and good luck! But first, here’s a little something about the book.


We all get worried,  but age and experience give us coping skills. So learning how to deal with this uncomfortable feeling  from a young age is very important.  When I Feel Worried, the latest in the acclaimed The Way I Feel series, focuses on an adorable but nervous Guinea pig who needs lots of reassurance that everything will be okay. In 24 brightly illustrated pages, children will read about ways to cope with worrisome feelings and how to feel empathy for a friend who might be worried, too. Parents will be able to use the picture book as a way to open the discussion about worry and anxiety when they sense their child might be experiencing the very same feelings.

The giveaway begins today, Friday, August 2nd and runs through Sunday, August 18th ’til midnight. A winner will be selected via and notified on Monday, August 19th. Send your name and address to Good Reads With Ronna by clicking here. Be sure to write Albert Whitman Giveaway in the subject. For an extra entry, please LIKE our Facebook page by clicking here. Find our rules page here.

Be sure to stop by all the other participating great websites listed below by August 4th for a chance to win one of the following titles from Albert Whitman & Company and happy touring. Visit Albert Whitman’s website, too, because they’ll be giving away more books in their newsletter!

A Wild Day with Dad signed by Sean Callahan; The Bear Hug signed by Sean Callahan; A Father’s Day Thank You signed by Janet Nolan

The St. Patrick’s Day Shillelagh signed by Sean Callahan; Snowy, Blowy Winter signed by Bob Raczka; The Year Comes Round signed by Sid Farrar

The No-Dogs Allowed Rule signed by Kashmira Sheth; Being Henry David signed by Cal Armistead; When I Feel Worried by Cornelia Spelman

The Book Cellar

Michelle and Leslie’s Book Picks

Miss O’s Library Land

Young Adult Books – What We’re Reading Now

Green Bean Teen Queen

A Musing Mommy 

The Book Muncher

Carol’s Corner

The Children’s Book Review

Mission to Read

The Compulsive Reader

Wee Share 

Shelf Employed 

The Mod Podge Bookshelf

The Book Monsters

Confessions of a Readaholic

Fire and Ice

The Book Rat

There’s a Book


Crazed Mind

Tattooed Books


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Dare to Dream … Change the World Contest


Recently, when I attended the Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse Mother Daughter Book Party I met many wonderful local authors and found out about lots more fantastic kids’ books.

I also found out that there’s an Annual Writing Contest for Kids from Kane Miller Books inspired by their award-winning poetry collection Dare to Dream … Change the World ($15.99, Kane Miller, edited by Jill Corcoran with illustrations by J. Beth Jepson). What a thrill it was for me to have met several contributing authors and to now be able to spread the good word! So, parents, teachers, friends, please share this info with the budding poets in your life. Learn more by going now to and while you’re there you can also buy a copy of this inspiring book about “people who invented something, stood for something, said something, defied the naysayers and not only changed their own lives, but also the lives of people all over the world.”

This contest’s deadline is April 30, 2013 so don’t wait until the last minute to enter.

The winner will receive $1500 worth of books for a school library of choice and if that’s not exciting enough, the top 30 entries will be published as an e-book!


WHO: For students in 3rd through 8th grade.

WHAT: Following the format of the book, students will write a biographical poem and non-fiction paragraph about someone who not only dreamed, but took action and made the world better.

Find out how to enter along with the official rules at


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Children’s Holiday Book Roundup and Giveaway

We may not get snow here in sunny Southern California, but we do get all the wonderful holiday books to help us get into the festive mood!  Ronna Mandel and Debbie Glade have put together a brief collection of recommended books for parents to consider when making up their gift lists this season. No matter what time of the year, one of the most important things to do with your child is read. So buy a book or two, put the kettle on and then snuggle up close to your little ones and explore lands near and far as they come alive with every page you turn.  For a chance to be the winner of three of these terrific holiday books, please leave a comment on the blog, LIKE Good Reads With Ronna on Facebook and be sure to provide an email where you can be contacted.  The contest ends at midnight on Friday, Dec. 23, 2011. Scroll down for contest *rules.

Record a Memory: Our Family Christmas Memories (approx. $15.95, Publications International, Ltd., all ages) makes it easy for families to share memories and then treasure them for years to come.  The sparkly, embossed cover beckons readers to open the book, fill in the requested info, add voice messages wherever there’s an icon pictured and turn good times into a customized scrapbook. With a little help from an older sibling or adult, even the youngest child can add their input by simply following the handy instructions provided on the opening page. Everyone will enjoy the 48 beautiful pages, with their ample room to include photos of Christmas stockings, Christmas dinner plus places to jot down specific recollections like a favorite Christmas past or yummy recipe.  Best of all is the six-button module designed to allow users to record a special memory, making Our Family Christmas Memories a keepsake families will return to again and again. Three AAA batteries are included and the books can be found at major retailers nationwide.  Add Record a Memory to the rest of your family’s holiday traditions and capture cherished moments for a lifetime.

A Bad Kitty Christmas ($15.99, A Neal Porter Book/Roaring Brook Press, ages 4 and up), written and illustrated by Nick Bruel cannot fail when its cover alone cracks me up! Anyone who knows me knows I adore cats and now, having just adopted two maniacal brothers whose exploits compare to those of Bad Kitty’s, I love Bruel’s series more than ever. The picture book opens with, “Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the city, not a creature was stirring … (Blam! Crash! Kaboom! indicating sound of garbage pails flying) … Except for Bad Kitty.” If this line does not set the tone for what havoc will be wreaked by this fabulously feisty feline, I’m not sure what does. Soon Kitty shows her disinterest in spending Christmas Eve with Uncle Murray and leaps from her owner’s auto (followed by Puppy), getting lost in the big city until rescued by an elderly lady.  After an afternoon of listening to the old lady reminisce, Bad Kitty  yearns to return home to his family. Sensing the cat’s homesickness, the caring woman realizes she has an important holiday mission to accomplish.  Will Bad Kitty (and Puppy) be reunited with their family for Christmas? Put this book on your holiday list to find out how they all fare.  Still eager to continue the craziness?  Check out more shenanigans at the Bad Kitty website.

Chanukah Lights ($34.99, Candlewick Press, ages 5 and up), is written by Michael J. Rosen with pop-art by Robert Sabuda.  Not all pop-up books are created equal and when you combine the talents of the masterful Rosen with those of Sabuda, you get a rare Chanukah treat for the entire family to enjoy.  Travel across the globe and through time by experiencing eight wondrous and intricately designed scenes of the Jewish Festival of Lights. Whether viewing the Temple where the oil that lasted eight days was discovered, journeying to a shtetl where “six lights flicker,” or traveling to a kibbutz in the Promised Land replete with olive groves and this time showing eight glimmering flames, the faith of those who have carried on the Chanukah tradition is beautifully reflected on every page. This unique interpretation of the holiday will not disappoint.

Create-A-Story Kit: StoryWorld – Christmas Tales ($9.99, Templar Books, ages 9 and up) by John & Caitlin Matthews is just the answer for kids stuck indoors with relatives and other visitors over the holiday break. Christmas Tales allows everyone to take control of their boredom transforming it into fun and games when using the set of cards provided. There are multiple ways to use the colorful cards and a handy storytelling book included that gives tips to get players started. Pick a card and begin telling a tale, or maybe play a card game of hidden clues. Kids can even put on a play based on the card images. My favorite card, The Christmas Ghosts (who appear only at Christmastime) sets my imagination soaring.  Thought provoking questions on the card’s reverse side ask: “What stories can they tell about their lives?”  “Why have they appeared this year?” Or in my case, the question would be “Why have they NOT appeared this year?” Then I would also incorporate the last question, “Who is able to see them and who cannot?” and so would begin my tale … Make Create-A-Story series part of your family’s annual celebration and see what a good time being stuck with relatives and visitors can really be!

The Littlest Evergreen’s talented author and illustrator Henry Cole, ($16.99, Katherine Tegan Books by Harper Collins, ages 4 and up) really knows how to captivate the hearts of his readers. This is an enchanting story, with an environmental message, about a how a tiny evergreen grows into a Christmas tree and about what happens to him after the holiday is over. Cole’s illustrations are beyond exceptional – so much so that I found myself looking at them over and over again. He uses vivid acrylic paints in such a way that they have crisp edges to make featured objects contrast beautifully with the backgrounds. This artist has illustrated more than 50 children’s books, including several he has written himself. Every child, who celebrates Christmas and loves to choose a fresh tree every year, will also adore this book. It is without-a-doubt one to keep and read every year before Christmas. It sure got me in the Christmas spirit!


*This giveaway will run through midnight on December 23,  2011 (PST). Winner will be chosen using from all valid entries and notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to contact us at before another winner is chosen. Giveaway is open to U.S. (18+) residents only.

*Good Reads With Ronna did not receive monetary compensation for these reviews.  Three (3) giveaway items worth a total value of  $67.97 will be provided by Good Reads With Ronna. 
 The reviews are in our own words and is our opinion. Your opinions may differ.

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My Favorite Book Contest from First 5 LA

Be a Reader & Be a Winner!

Ready. Set. Grow! is First 5 LA’s family resource website for parents with young children offering fun and safe ways for children to be healthy, safe and ready to learn.

This November, First 5 LA is encouraging a love of literacy with its annual Read early, Read ALOUD! campaign. This year’s slogan is “My Favorite Book.” Read here about the contest they will be running all month long with book giveaways and a grand prize. Visit their website by clicking here or head over to their Facebook page now by clicking here.

    • Contest Rules: Contest begins today, Monday, Nov. 7, 2011. All entries must be received by noon on Dec. 5, 2011. A winner will be selected randomly from the entries and notified the afternoon of Monday, December 12, 2011. Multiple entries allowed. Previous winners are ineligible to win subsequent prizes. Prizes are non-transferable. There may be no cash or other substitutions of prizes by winner. Qualified winners will receive prizes within four to six weeks after they are notified of their winnings, unless otherwise specified. Only Los Angeles County residents are eligible to win.
    • To enter, you must “Like” Ready, Set, Grow on Facebook and/or Follow Ready, Set, Grow on Twitter and post a Tweet with the contest hashtag: #myfavbook  You can enter multiple times by both following on Twitter and tweeting the hashtag #myfavbook AND filling out the survey at:
    • Prizes: Each person from this site that enters the contest is eligible to receive a bookmark with early reading tips, but you must write a comment below and indicate you have entered the contest already. One person who enters from Good Reads With Ronna  (randomly selected) will win two books (The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle & Read to Your Bunny by Rosemary Wells) and a bookmark with early reading tips but you must write a comment below indicating that you have entered at the link supplied here.  The grand prize winner will receive a library of 50 books (including a selection of Scholastic titles) and a tip sheet bookmark.

Check out the family-friendly Ready. Set. Grow! website. Re-vamped, it contains literacy features for both kids and parents including:

  • Literacy tips appropriate for each age group: 0-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-24 months, 24-36 months, and preschool
  • Suggested reading lists for each age group, with descriptions of each book
  • Literacy-themed blog posts
  • A schedule of story time events at L.A. County libraries
  • Low-cost book suggestions
  • Literacy-themed book list for parents
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Are You The Next Great Children’s Book Author?


box-and-book-lrDid you know that the annual Cheerios New Author Contest launches today! Do you have the ‘write’ stuff?
Are you an ambitious writer eager to pursue your dream of creating a children’s book that will be remembered years from now? If you are, you probably need no encouragement from us, so just click here to enter. The contest (, which is seeking the next great children’s book author, encourages aspiring authors nationwide to submit an original story, in either English or Spanish, for children ages three to eight.

In 2010, mom and small business owner Laurie Isop, of Renton, Wash., was named Grand Prize Winner and received a $5,000 cash prize. Also, beginning in late March, Laurie’s book How Do You Hug a Porcupine? will be featured in more than two million Cheerios boxes nationwide, with hard covers becoming available in July.

Isop offered some tips for raising kids who love books: “Start early, and don’t just read the words. Use as much inflection and drama as possible.” She encourages parents to offer a variety of books so children have lots of options. “Eventually they’ll find a character or subject they connect with, and voila! They’re hooked on reading!” She also says, “Don’t be afraid to conjure up your own books. When my youngest was four his preschool class got to visit a working construction site. That evening I wrote a little story on my computer. It was all of ten pages and had clip-art for illustrations. It was called Erik Visits the Construction Site. I used his name on every page and he just loved it; he begged me to read it to him again and again.”

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amazing-cows-820x1024This month we’re giving away one autographed copy of Sandra Boynton’s Amazing Cows (Workman Publishing, $10.95, all ages up to a hundred and moo). Read below for a review, but enter now for your chance to win by clicking here. Remember to write AMAZING COW in the subject line. The contest ends on Jan. 31 so don’t wait. For rules, please click here now.

Make room next to your kids’ well-read copies of Hippos Go Berserk, The Going to Bed Book, Moo Baa, La! La! La! and Let’s Dance, Pookie, because Amazing Cows is mooooving in!

You want edgy cows, sensitive cows, heroic cows and “mystified chickens”? Keep reading. With her special brand of Sandra silliness, Boynton finds new ways to make cow humor fresh and full of “udder absurdity,” with or without words. When my 9-year-old son read it from cover to cover, laughing non-stop, I positioned myself over his shoulder to find out what was so funny. Was it the artwork, stories, poems, jokes, riddles, cow myth or cow comic book that tickled his fancy? It was all that and more, including the Four Stages of Metamoophosis and a cow limerick. An added bovine bonus: a free download of “Bolero Completely Unraveled.” If you buy (or win) one cow book this year, it’s got to be Amazing Cows.

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Get Goosebumps for Halloween Contest

Multiply Your Chills Times Two

From Oozing Blobs to Squirming Worms, There’s Really Something For Everyone!

Good Reads With Ronna knows how popular the R. L. Stine Goosebumps Scholastic series is, so this Halloween we’re giving away 3 sets of 2 new DVDs (The Blob That Ate Everyone and Go Eat Worms!) from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. Just enter by October 13 by clicking here. Send your name, address and telephone number in an email and write Goosebumps as the subject. For contest rules, please click here now. Good luck!

blobthatateeveryoned50fa53YOU CAN’T HIDE!

GOOSEBUMPS: THE BLOB THAT ATE EVERYONE ($14.98, no rating) – This collections includes mysteries called
The Blob That Ate Everyone, My Hairiest Adventure, and Piano Lessons Can Be Murder.


GOOSEBUMPS: GO EAT WORMS! ($14.98, no rating) – This collection includes such frightful tales as Go Eat Worms!, Bad Hare Day, and Revenge of the Lawn Gnomes.

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The Magic School Bus Solar Energy To The Rescue Contest


Let’s kick off the official first day of summer (summer solstice) with a contest and a ride on “The Magic School Bus” to learn all about solar energy! Find out answers to these questions and more!

How can solar energy turn into electricity? What are green house gases? What does global warming do to our polar ice caps?

We’re giving away 3 hot new science sets so enter now by clicking here. Remember to write Magic School Bus in the subject line. The contest ends on Monday, July 5 so your kids can have time to play and experiment all summer long. Please click here for the rules.

Magic School Bus Solar Energy to the Rescue (The Young Scientists Club,, $19.99, Ages 5+)

Ms. Frizzle and her students take Young Scientists on a wild ride with solar energy to the rescue. Young Scientists explore the greenhouse effect, collect real carbon dioxide, recreate global warming in a bottle, use a solar panel to spin a fan, make a solar secret code, design solar spinners, watch solar energy inflate balloons, and much, much more!

In this kit you’ll

  • Make solar spin art
  • Melt polar ice caps
  • Learn about the greenhouse effect
  • Make a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher
  • Make a fan spin
  • Store solar energy
  • Experiment with working solar panels
  • Collect carbon dioxide
  • Watch solar energy lift a bead
  • Recreate global warming in a bottle
    • The mission of The Young Scientists Club is simple – to offer children quality, science-related products that will fascinate them with the wonders of scientific discovery and spark their interest in future scientific endeavors.

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Watch out! Ouch! It’s a Mr. Bump DVD Contest

mrbump_boxTHE MR. MEN SHOW’S

Mr. Bump Presents: Planes, Trains and Dillymobiles!

Which Mr. Men or Little Miss character are you? I am definitely Little Miss Chatterbox.

You love the books by Roger Hargreaves and the Cartoon Network TV show, now win then watch the DVD when Good Reads With Ronna gives away 3 copies of Mr. Bump Presents: Planes, Trains and Dillymobiles! courtesy of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. ($14.94, Rated TV-G, 69 minutes).

packshot_043396325371_3c0e07f9Bring an extra ice pack and some bandages. Poor Mr. Bump, always injuring something when he’s out and about in Dillydale. See him and all your favorite Mr. Men Show characters in six silly episodes: “Car Wash,” “Flying,” “Trains,” “Cars,” “Boats,” and “Inventions” then take part in the activities including a Find Mr. Bump Game, How To Draw Mr. Bump, Dance, Dance, Dance! and more.

1024x768_bumpTo enter, click here and remember to write Mr. Bump in the subject. Please click here for contest rules. The contest ends June 3.

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Winner Claims her Spot

spotpartyhatandhorn-150x1501Congratulations to Kelly Ann Dollard who has won the Spot special prize package commemorating the 30th anniversary of Eric Hill’s beloved and world reknown Where’s Spot? book. A copy of the book, a DVD and plush toy are on their way to you today!

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WORDGIRL CONTEST – Packing powerful punches and dictionary strength

512fwcjievl_sl500_aa300_WORDGIRL EARTH DAY GIRL CONTEST

“Fighting for Truth, Justice, and Use of The Right Word”

A girl after my own heart (and vocabulary), WORDGIRL EARTH DAY GIRL comes to us courtesy of PBS Kids and Paramount Home Entertainment. This exciting new animated series follows the adventures of a superhero who fights crime and enriches vocabulary usage all in a day’s work. Join WORDGIRL and her sidekick CAPTAIN HUGGY FACE as they battle Dr. Two-Brains, The Butcher, Mr. Big, Lady Redundant and more in 100 minutes of word walloping wackiness! Here’s to word power.

Good Reads With Ronna is offering three lucky winners the new-to-DVD called WORDGIRL Earth Day Girl that includes eight adventures, interactive games, video shorts, coloring pages and each episode introduces four new vocabulary words and reinforces their meanings in a variety of contexts. ($14.99, not rated).

Your child will be introduced to 16 new vocabulary words including Recycle, Excess, Coincidence, Perplexed, Motivate and more! Enter now by clicking here for your chance to win one of three DVDs. Please click here to see rules. The contest ends Monday, May 3 so don’t wait and remember to write WORDGIRL in the subject line. Good luck!

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Gotta Love ‘Em! A Charlie and Lola Contest

518tgvmjvrl_sl500_aa240_When we lived in London, my kids discovered the Charlie and Lola series of books from the very talented Lauren Child and soon so many of their expressions became commonplace in our household. Now I am excited to offer a reader contest for the latest DVD from BBC Video: Charlie and Lola Volume 10: I Can’t Stop Hiccupping and other stories based on their Playhouse Disney hit show here on the Disney Channel. This latest installment features Lola battling a bout of hiccups before a school performance in the title episode along with eight other episodes making this over an hour and half in content.

The popular Charlie and Lola books and DVDs are perfect for preschoolers. Join older brother Charlie and younger sister Lola in their endearing escapades presented in Child’s trademark photomontage style with realistic dialogue and engaging adventures. I love the sibling relationship and how Charlie cares so much for his younger sister and always hoped this sentiment would rub off on my oldest child.

The DVD series is a Gold Medal recipiet of the 2006 National Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA) and continues to receive countless honors in the parenting industry.

Enter here now for a chance to win one of two DVDs along with one of two paperback books I’ll be giving away. Remember to write Charlie and Lola as the subject. For rules click here. The contest ends on March 22.


  • cl10_3dCharlie and Lola Volume Ten: I Can’t Stop Hiccupping! (DVD)
  • 619gnshugol_sl500_aa240_I Can’t Stop Hiccupping! (paperback)
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Call Of The Wild DVD Contest

Enter this contest to win one of two copies on 3-D DVD

cotw_3d_skew_dvdsmallYou’ve read the book, maybe even seen the 1972 version with Charlton Heston, but now this Jack London classic gets a family-friendly, modern day adaptation. From Vivendi Entertainment comes
Call of the Wild
on 3-D DVD available in stores now.

The all-star cast includes Back to The Future’s Christopher Lloyd, Ariel Gade, Wes Studi, Aimee Teegarden, Devon Graye, Kameron Knox, Jaleel White, Joyce DeWitt, Veronica Cartwright and Timothy Bottoms. For your chance to win one of two copies, click now and remember to enter CALL OF THE WILD in the subject line. For rules, click here now. The contest ends on February 8, 2010. Good luck!

Call of the Wild is the timeless story of a young girl visiting Montana who rescues an injured wolf that her grandfather feels she should return to the wild. Complications arise after she trains the wolf. The bonus features include a fun Call of the Wild game, a behind-the-scenes featurette, as well as deleted scenes and audio commentary. The single disc DVD, containing both the 2-D and 3-D versions of the film, is a must for your family’s DVD library. Priced at $19.99, it comes with two pairs of special 3-D glasses.

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Last Chance for Cloudy With a Chance …

Tomorrow is your last chance to enter this contest! IMPORTANT: All entries must be sent to this e-mail address so click for the link now.

To celebrate the DVD release of this classic kids’ book, “Good Reads With Ronna” is giving away (1) fun prize pack worth a total of $60.

1 lucky winner will get:

ratbird-imagecloudy-art-of-making-book(1) The Art and Making of Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs book by Tracey Miller-Zarneke, $50. This behind-the-scenes look at the hit film features interviews and insights from film designers about special effects and animation techniques in 300 colorful pages. Plus there’s scratch-and-sniff stickers, a booklet on “How To” make the perfect burger and so much more!

(1) Plush Toy Ratbird will be the perfect companion as you read the book, $10.

Please click here for your chance to win and remember to type CLOUDY in the subject. The contest ends on January 18. For rules, click here now.

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