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Marley & Me Contest Ending Soon!


Monday, August 3rd is the last
day you can enter the contest
for your chance to be one
of 5 lucky winners of both
the DVD and the funny new book!

to be eligible to win one of 5 Marley & Me DVDs along with one of 5 Marley Goes To School children’s books.

marleyschoolcover-720371And good luck! WOOF!


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Woof! It’s a Cool New Back To School Marley & Me Contest


marleyschoolcover-720371Following up Bad Dog, Marley and A Very Marley Christmas is Marley Goes to School (HarperCollins Children’s Books, $17.99; ages 3-8) by John Grogan. Cassie’s all set for going back to school and so is Marley, but “School’s for kids, not dogs,” says Cassie. How will Marley handle his best friend going off without him? After tunneling his way out of the back yard, Marley makes haste to the school in search of his beloved Cassie. Wreaking havoc wherever he goes, whether in the copy room or cafeteria, in the gymnasium or on the playground, good-hearted Marley has one goal in mind. watch out!

51gxuo-mozl_sl500_aa240_-1After reading the book, no doubt you’ll be eager to watch the original exploits of this popular pooch. The DVD of Marley & Me, a family favorite, is about a young couple (both journalists) who raise a dog called Marley and children while the dad, author John Grogan, documents daily life with the growing dog and family Marley & Me managed to move me and make me laugh at the same time, but I do recommend one tissue box for those sentimentalists out there! A must have for your home DVD collection.

Click here for your chance to win these fun prizes by August 3, 2009, and remember to include your mailing address and write Marley & Me contest as subject.

Click here for rules.

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Be Careful What You Wish For!

159Wishworks Inc. by Stephanie Folan, from Arthur A. Levine Books was reviewed by Derek, 8 years old (7 at the time he read it).

I think the story is good because Max thought fast, not hard and strong, so he didn’t always get what he wanted, and it would make a huge disaster. Like when he wished for a real dog he got a real dog, just a crazy one. But when he wished for it to go away, he made his mom and sister so unhappy they wanted to cry. When he wished for a nice real dog, he found his dog again and this time around she wasn’t so crazy (or as ugly as he thought the first time). That made Max happy and his mom and sister were happy, too!
I found the story  interesting because of the fun use of the boy’s imagination. Some words were hard and some were easy. There were hundreds of paragraphs. But I liked it a lot.
From a parent’s perspective, the book is good because it is challenging, and it has a good moral: be careful (and specific about) what you wish for! Our son is an advanced reader for his age and he finished the book within about a week.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Life is unsettling for young Max.  His parents have divorced,  he’s moved to a new part of town and is often bullied at school. As an escape from the chaos he feels at home or simply to leave boredom behind, Max uses his Adventure Time (daydreaming) to have all sorts of exciting escapades with a dog named King.  Somehow though, Max does not end up with King, but with a very different dog whose devotion to her adoptive family is eclipsed by their love for her.
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The Great Dog Wash and Spoonful of Stories Contest

bc_1416971165Maybe you’re like me and would love to one day pen a children’s book. Well here’s your chance so get writing. Don’t forget to tell your friends, too!

The Great Dog Wash by Hellie Braeuner with illustrations by Robert Neubecker (Simon & Schuster, $15.99; ages 2-6) is the winner of Cheerios new author contest called Spoonful of Stories in conjunction with Simon & Schuster. Click to find out more or to register for your chance to win (hurry up deadline is July 15th). This hardcover comes out on July 7th

Much like the addictive rhymes in Jamberry, Braeuner’s rhythmic writing has captured the essence of a carefree carwash where dogs of all kinds, from “slippery slobbery,” pedigree to stray will have their stinky doggie smell washed away. But who brought a cat? And now what’s up that tree? Who guessed it would all end in a wet ‘n’ wild doggie jamboree?

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Puddin’ The Yorkshire Terrier

Back again, this time to review a fun book, is my colleague, graphic artist Terresa Burgess:

nigelvtsBeing the owners of an adorable Yorkie named “Nigel,” my daughter Teagan was immediately drawn to the cover of the book, Puddin’ the Yorkshire Terrier. Teagan called out “Nigie, Nigie” and quickly flipped through the book calling out his name every time Puddin’ appeared on the page. The recommended age range for this book is 4-8, but I felt that Teagan, being older than her 20 months in so many ways, would have fun following the hippest Yorkie around town as she struts her stuff all over the city. Puddin’ shops for the latest fashions and even models them for you. We also get to experience the doggie diva dining with a pack of her closest pals. Kelli 41sssj9jnrl_sl500_aa240_Chipponeri’s cardstock creation is cut into the shape of a purse making it fun to carry to and from the bookshelf. The book also comes with canine couture stickers and a dog tag necklace just like Puddin’s. The stickers were fun, but the necklace could become a hazard for a child as young as Teagan. For now I have decided to keep Puddin’ The Yorkshire Terrier’s necklace attached to the book around her neck and told Teagan it’s just like Nigel’s collar.

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Snoopy’s Too Cool For Words, But I’ll Find Them Anyway!

0762435836One of several recurring questions in my home these days comes from my son, Coleman. Born in London while we were Ex-Pats living there, Coleman wonders if he can become President. I realize he’s thinking big (see yesterday’s blog about Little Ant, Big Thinker), but I certainly don’t want to discourage him.  Can an American born on foreign soil became our nation’s leader?  As parents, my husband and I spend a lot of time telling Coleman he can be anything he’d like to be, so when I saw Running Press just published a hardcover (featuring my son’s favorite beagle, the beloved Peanuts character Snoopy) entitled Peanuts: You Can Be Anything! by Charles M. Schulz I knew I had to review the book.

Based on Schulz’s long running comic strip Peanuts featuring the inimitable Snoopy, the book gives anyone who needs a little inspiration just the right dose of  the first beagle on the Moon, Joe Cool or the World War II Flying Ace ready to take on that nasty Red Baron, all in crisp colors ready to jump off the page. My favorite, the world famous Literary Ace, reminds me that I still have a strip tacked to my bulletin board torn out from Newsday (my Long Island, NY newspaper) sometime in the late 70s when I imagined myself becoming a bestselling novelist.  I can still dream, can’t I? Need a great gift for a grad or simply want to bring some words of encouragement to your own little Beagle Scout – here’s the book for them.

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Send a Message of Big Red Love


We all know it only takes a little to BE BIG…

Join with Scholastic Media and Clifford The Big Red Dog’s campaign today to raise awareness for how Clifford’s BIG Ideas (Sharing, Helping Others, Being Kind, Being Responsible, Playing Fair, Being a Good Friend, Believing in Yourself, Respecting Others, Working Together and Being Truthful) can make the world a better place.

The BE BIG campaign urges civic engagement and volunteerism and the BE BIG Fund will support local community engagement opportunities that will recognize and reward others for their BE BIG actions. So what can you do?

Get involved!
The official BE BIG! website includes a chance for users to create and send a virtual Valentine’s Day card to Clifford. For every card delivered through February 28th, Scholastic will donate one dollar to the BE BIG Fund*.

cliff_beanbag8inScholastic has joined with specialty retailer FAO SCHWARZ for the launch of the BE BIG program and is currently carrying exclusive BE BIG tagged Clifford Plush in its flagship locations as well as in its FAO SCHWARZ boutiques in Macy’s stores nationwide. Scholastic will donate 10% of the net proceeds from the sale of designated FAO SCHWARZ CLIFFORD BE BIG! products to the BE BIG Fund at HandsOn Network.

And on the 14th, don’t forget to send me a card. I simply love that Big Red Dog!

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Walk (or Pull) This Way!

loose-leashesYou may have heard that “Loose lips sink ships,” but what about loose leashes? In a rollicking good read entitled Loose Leashes, husband and wife team Amy and Ron Schmidt explore the possibilities both poetically and photographically. But before I say anymore, I recommend you check out editor Carolyn Graham’s recent blog post on Jan. 22 about her family’s newest member who, at this writing, is yet to be named. The ESCAPE-ades of her Houdini-like Lab is certainly fodder for future posts.

I recently sat down with my seven year old son, Coleman, and had such a good time together reading all the playful poems by Amy Schmidt. We both enjoyed Adventurers where some daredevil dogs chase a ball downstream. And, because he adores Chihuahuas, Coleman roared with laughter at the poem and Ron’s portrait accompanying The Battle of the Bone. In an amusing collection of haikus to limericks, 19 pooches from Beagles to Bulldogs jump off the pages and tug at your heartstrings, not to mention your leash. The funny “Furry Facts” at the end make for a fab finish, too. I give this hilarious new book a resounding two paws up!

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