Purpose of this Blog...

You may have noticed that not all books are equal in capturing children's imaginations and in cultivating those innocent, tender souls. My goal is to help you find the ones that do!
(Painting by Mary Cassatt: "Mrs Cassatt Reading to her Grandchildren" -1888)

Monday, April 25, 2016

Celebrating Motherhood with a Giveaway!

My Giveaways are coming in twos lately!  To help you celebrate Mother's Day, I'm offering two very special books for one lucky winner...You Made Me a Mother and Mama's Milk.

The first book, You Made Me a Mother, has an interesting "story behind the story" that involves a viral video...
Originally, author Laurenne Sala wrote the text as a poem for Boba baby carriers.  That company, in turn, used it to accompany a video that stimulated 40,000 shares on their Facebook page within a week!

Harper Collins got wind of the fact that most Moms couldn't keep a dry eye while watching the video!  So they contacted Laurenne and paired her heartwarming text with fun illustrations by Fancy Nancy's Robin Preiss Glasser.

The opening lines will surely prompt good discussion with your read aloud buddy:
I felt you.
You were a pea. Then a lemon. Then an eggplant.

Today I'm giving away a beautiful hard cover edition of You Made Me a Mother.  In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the sweet video of Laurenne Sala's poem that got Harper Collins' attention and created lots of buzz (get some tissues ready)...

You Made Me a Mother is definitely a love note to mothers, but guess what?  Laurenne's also got a tribute to fathers, coming in 2018.  You Made Me a Father is the title of course, and it has been preceded by a sweet video as well!

Now on to the second hard cover picture book I'm giving away... Mama's Milk.  This sweet book was introduced to me by a missionary Mama who is with New Horizons in Romania.  She loves reading so much, she is promoting reading aloud in that country, where it is not really a common practice for families to visit the library for read aloud books (well, not for long)!  She also translated Mama's Milk, written with rhyming text by Michael Elsohn Ross, into Romanian because nursing is not a commonplace practice in Romania either.

This cozy book celebrates the warm and loving bond between mammal mamas and their babies. Sweetly illustrated by Ashley Wolff, it shows little ones doing what comes naturally - nursing their mamas! It is a perfect read aloud for young children - who may have questions about how new babies get fed - while they wait for (or after) the arrival of a new sibling. The last two-page spread gives facts about each of the mammals featured in the book.  (Did you know that foals nurse every 30 minutes?)

Get your comments ready!  I hope you're as excited about this giveaway as I am...Good Luck!

  • To enter, please leave a comment here and/or on my Good Books For Young Souls Facebook page. And please share this post on Facebook with any Mamas in your life who might like these sweet picture books.  (Both are available in your library, local bookstore, and on Amazon.)
  • Giveaway ends at 11:59 PST, April 28, 2016.
  • Winner announced April 29, 2016.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Charlotte Brontë, 200 Years Young: "Reader, I married him."

Happy Birthday to Charlotte Brontë, the author of one of my all time favorite novels, Jane Eyre. In my sophomore year of high school, it lit a spark of love for classic literature.  Back in 1979, I literally could not put down this timeless novel, first published in 1847!

Maybe it was the way little introverted Jane Eyre bravely faced hardships and sorrows and stood against cruelty, something I hoped I could do in my own (happy) life. Or maybe it was because Jane, as a plain and poor young woman, had the gumption to stand up and demand respect from Mr. Rochester - a man who had everything - for the validity of her soul and heartfelt feelings.  And then walk away from him...

Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! - I have as much soul as you, - and full as much heart! And if God had gifted me with some beauty and much wealth, I should have made it as hard for you to leave me, as it is now for me to leave you!

In the end though, I think the reason I fell in love with this book was Jane's (actually Charlotte's) address to me, the "Reader", throughout the pages.  Disclosing her soul, speaking quietly and fervently to mine...

Two hundred years have passed since the birth of Charlotte Brontë (April 21, 1816 - March 31, 1855), and her timeless Jane Eyre remains a favorite to this day.

Charlotte had much experience with suffering. Maybe because of the hardships she faced in her own life (beginning in 1820, when her mother died from blood poisoning following the delivery of her younger sister Anne), she was able to pour them into her novel.

In August 1824 eight year old Charlotte went with her two elder sisters to a new school for daughters of clergymen, in Cowan Bridge, in what is now Cumbria. What happened there would torment Charlotte for the rest of her life. The school regime was dreadfully harsh, and her bright but unworldly sister Maria was singled out for punishment of both the physical and mental kind. Food was scarce and under-nourishing, and disease ravaged the school’s inmates. By June 1825, both Maria and Elizabeth had died of tuberculosis contracted at the school. The horrors she saw there would be later reproduced under the guise of Lowood School in Jane Eyre, and Charlotte would forever be indignant if anyone suggested she had exaggerated these scenes.
Charlotte became an overnight success after Jane Eyre, but shortly after its publication her world was thrown into turmoil again by the death of her brother Branwell and then Emily and Anne in quick succession.

Despite suffering increasingly frequent bouts of depression, she began to visit London and mix in literary society, at least reaping the rewards that her talents deserved. She wrote two more novels ‘Shirley’ and ‘Villette’, each a masterpiece in its own right and was in the early stages of her next novel ‘Emma’ when tragedy struck again.

She had been married for nine months to Arthur Bell Nicholls, but she died from excessive morning sickness aged 38. A sad end to a brilliant life, and yet at least she had found genuine joy and happiness in her final few months. [source]

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Giveaway: Two New Books from Animal Planet

Today I'm featuring and giving away two books from Animal Planet's new series of nonfiction "Animal Bites" softcover books for 4-8 year olds.

The new series provides emerging readers with the perfect bite-sized guide to the animal world.  The habitat-focused titles make it easy for kids to choose which animals they want to read about, and even reluctant readers won't be able to resist the bright covers.

Animal loving young children will be fascinated by all the fun facts—and more—found in Animal Bites, as they pour over the informative, fun pages of these books.

Each soft cover book contains more than 200 striking photographs, easy-to-understand graphics, and maps that bring the world of polar and ocean animals alive for young readers.

The two books I'm giving away are Animal Planet Ocean Animals and Animal Planet Polar Animals by Laaren Brown (Time Inc. Books, April 2016, ages 4-8)

Animal Planet Ocean Animals highlights life in and around the deep blue sea all around the globe. Do you have a child that wants to know about killer whales and green sea turtles?  Or maybe moray eels, sharks, and dolphins?  He/she will love this book!

In Animal Planet Polar Animals kids will learn all about the animals that survive and thrive in the subzero temperatures of the Earth's polar regions.  Amazing adaptations allow Arctic foxes, lemmings, Emperor Penguins, jellyfish, and many more species to call these frigid regions home. And your child will see them all in the beautiful photographs of this book!

Go here for some fun posters and activity sheets to go with the Animal Bites books. They're new, and Time Inc. created them for use at home in addition to the classroom and library.

To enter my giveaway, leave a comment here on this blog post and/or on my Good Books For Young Souls Facebook page by midnight Friday, April 22, 2016.  Winner announced Saturday, April 23, 2016.  Be sure to check back, to see if you are my lucky winner!

[Thanks to the Blue Slip Media for providing the giveaway copies of these books.]

Saturday, April 16, 2016


Thanks to all my readers who participated in this fun giveaway!  I've got a couple more coming up for Earth Day and Mother's Day, so I'm hoping you'll stop back by.

The winner of these awesome baseball books chosen randomly for my Home-run Giveaway was Joan.  (Joan, please send me your mailing address so that I can get these great books out to you!  You'll find my email in my profile information, by clicking on the "About Me" in the sidebar.)

(Winner chosen on Random.org, using List Randomizer.)

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Batter Up! This Giveaway is a Home Run...

Get your comments ready to win not one, but two fun baseball books from Sports Illustrated Kids!  If you know any kids who love baseball, you'll be excited for my Spring Giveaway...

BOOK #1: Sports Illustrated Kids' My First Book of Baseball
This sturdy hardcover book will help coach your youngest baseball enthusiasts through the game.  It's filled with MLB action photography, bright graphics, and easy-to-understand text.
This book would be fun to sit and read with any 4-8 year old.  Kids will watch for the Little Rookie character on every page who is always ready to "play ball!"

BOOK #2: Sports Illustrated's Baseball, Then to Wow!
Not to be missed, this hardcover book belongs in every 8-12 year old baseball fan's home library!
Rookies and parents alike will enjoy the engaging two-page spreads. Baseball Then and Wow! is a fun and comprehensive overview of how the sport of baseball has evolved in America since the 1920's.
It's full of MLB action photographs, fun illustrations, stories, statistics, player bios, history, and trivia...fun for parents too!

-Please leave a comment here on my Blog post (and Facebook page, if you want to enter twice) for a chance to win these two great books.
-Last day to leave a comment is Friday, April 15, 2016.
-Winner announced Saturday, April 16, 2016.
[Giveaway copies provided by Blue Slip Media; Publication date 4/5/16]

Looking for more baseball book recommendations? 
Go to my past post here, to read about some baseball stories that will have you yearning for the past, including Players in Pigtails and three vintage baseball stories by Matt Tavares