Saturday, March 28, 2020

Names.org Predicts Most Popular Baby Names of 2020


Names.org recently released predictions for the Most Popular Baby Names of 2020. New entries in the top 10 for boys this year include Henry and Alexander, while Mila cracked the top 10 for girls.

The rankings were determined by analyzing the most recent data from the Social Security Administration, trends from the past five years, and current user interest from millions of visitors to their site.

What do you think of these names? Do you have a child with one of these names or do you plan to use one of these names this year?

Top 10 Boys' Names for 2020

1. Liam
2. Noah
3. William
4. Oliver
5. Lucas
6. Benjamin
7. Elijah
8. James
9. Henry
10. Alexander


Top 10 Girls' Names for 2020

1. Emma
2. Olivia
3. Ava
4. Isabella
5. Charlotte
6. Sophia
7. Amelia
8. Mia
9. Mila
10. Harper

Book Blitz: "Chloe Counting Jamaica by 3s," a Children's Book by Suzan Johnson



Children's Fiction
Date Published: February 2020
Publisher: sHjStories

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Chloe is counting the wonders of the beautiful island of Jamaica.

Follow along as Chloe and her family vacation and experience much of what the country has to offer. Not only will the reader learn about Jamaica, but they will do it while skip counting by 3s! 

Skip counting has many benefits to learners, such as number learning, addition, subtraction, and faster multiplication. This type of counting offers a better understanding of number concepts. 

So, get ready to count your way around Jamaica, and find out where Chloe is heading next!


About the Author


Suzan Johnson has been the Media Specialist at an elementary school for the past nine years. She is a voracious reader of books of all genres. Growing up, she loved and enjoyed participating in sporting activities such as cheerleading and softball. As a teacher, she encourages her students to read a variety of books and participate in sports. Suzan is a member of Florida Reading Association and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Johnson currently lives in the South Florida area.

Contact Links

Purchase Links
Free with Kindle Unlimited

RABT Book Tours & PR

Friday, March 27, 2020

Release Blitz: "Please Return To: Toby Solano," a Middle-Grade Book by Frank Morelli




PLEASE RETURN TO: Book #2
Middle Grade Fiction; Humor; Action; Adventure; Epistolary; Middle Grade
Publisher: INtense Publications LLC
Published Date: March 27, 2020

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Toby Solano is the new kid in town. No one in Mapleton knows he exists, which is tough to swallow for a boy who descends from Lucha Libre wrestling royalty. Back in El Paso, Toby could snap his fingers and the seas would part as he walked the hallways at his old school.

But when his dad gets body slammed into submission and his career goes into a tailspin, Toby decides to take his anger out on his classmates, which gets him kicked out of school and shipped off to Mapleton with his mom.

Toby hates his new town, he hates his classmates and, most of all, he hates Mr. Finkelstein. But when he finds his teacher’s missing journal under the tires of a moving truck, the drama of the famed Mapleton Wrestling Federation opens wide for him. Armed with a journal’s-worth of wrestling lore, will Toby be able to build friendships and help the Mort-tician regain his title? Or, will he fall back on his old ways and bully himself right out of Mapleton Middle School? Find out on the slightly-wrinkled pages of Please Return To: Toby Solano.

About the Author


Frank Morelli is the author of No Sad Songs, a 2019 YALSA Quick Picks nominee and winner of an American Fiction Award for best coming-of-age story. The first book in his debut middle grade series, Please Return To: Norbert M. Finkelstein, was released in September 2019. His fiction and essays have appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Cobalt Review, Philadelphia Stories, and Jersey Devil Press. A Philadelphia native, Morelli now lives in High Point, NC, where he has been a classroom teacher for almost twenty years. He holds an MFA in Fiction from National University and thinks dogs are the most respectable beings on the planet. 

Contact Links
Twitter: @frankmoewriter

Purchase Links

RABT Book Tours & PR

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Everyone Loves YouTube Sensation, Blippi! Enter this Easter Giveaway for Your Preschoolers!


In these days of social isolation, parents are struggling to entertain the little ones. Books are a great way to amuse them, but what I love about Blippi books is they're designed to keep kids occupied longer! Blippi books are filled with activities, such as matching and mazes; a song that will keep them singing and dancing; coloring with crayons and markers; and searching for hidden objects.

In early 2014, Stevin John decided that the world needed Blippi after struggling to find educational videos for his three-year-old-nephew. So he took it upon himself to create the lovable and energetic character of "Blippi" to fill this void. Clad in orange and blue that jumps off the screen, Blippi's engaging personality and friendly demeanor attracted the attention of kids and parents alike. With over 20 MILLION YouTube subscribers and over 11 BILLION views to date, Blippi is helping to make education fun! Like the lyrics to his theme song say: “So much to learn about, it’ll make you want to shout: Blippi!”

This Spring, StudioFun is debuting four new Blippi books for pre-schoolers:

Blippi: I Like That: Coloring with Crayons - In this coloring and activity book, Blippi tells kids some of the things he likes (like his hat!) and encourages them to color, draw, and doodle things they like, too. Plus, there are lots of connect-the-dots, mazes, matching, and more, all designed to get preschoolers thinking about things they like and to also express their creativity while practicing their developing fine motor skills.

Blippi: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes - Everyone knows and loves the beloved preschool classic song “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” including Blippi! As he energetically acts out the song on the pages of this board book, Blippi prompts readers to press the sound button to play the tune and encourages everyone to get up and move!

Blippi: So Much to See! - This 128-page coloring and painting book presents an amazing array of animals, a variety of vrooming vehicles, and some basic early learning concepts, too! There are nearly 100 images for kids to color or paint using the crayons and paints provided … including lots of poses of Blippi.

Blippi: Let's Look and Find! - Blippi prompts preschoolers to find twelve different objects in each illustrated scene in this durable board book. Can they find the blue-and-orange bird in the park? The teddy bear at a birthday party? The seashell at the beach? With gatefolds that open to reveal a new scene on each spread, Blippi: Lets Look and Find will keep preschoolers busy for hours as they happily hone their observation skills.

And to entertain your little ones further, be sure to visit Blippi's Youtube channel where you'll find plenty of fun and educational videos that they're sure to LOVE!

* Blippi Books Website
* Blippi Youtube Channel
* StudioFun IG: @studiofunbooks
* Blippi IG: @blippi
* StudioFun FB: @StudioFunIntl
* Blippi FB: @Blippi
* Blippi Twitter: @BlippiOfficial
#Blippi


GIVEAWAY

Thanks to StudioFun, one lucky winner on this blog will receive a candy-less Blippi Easter Basket, which includes all four books described above, a woven Easter basket, grass, plastic eggs and a very fun pair of Blippi’s signature orange glasses (prize shown above)! This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM ET on Sunday, April 12, 2020. Enter through the Giveaway Tools below.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Children's Book Tour: "Beloved and the Pepper Tree," by Ann Gonzales, with Signed Book Giveaway!

About the book:
Beloved and the Pepper Tree is a story about a little girl’s friendship with a tree. One day her mother tells her they will be moving, and Beloved must face moving forward and saying goodbye to her friend. Beloved is best friends with the Pepper Tree who lives down the hill from her house. She loves the Pepper Tree because it gives her shade to read in and branches to climb. When Mama informs Beloved they are moving away, Beloved is heartbroken. But the Pepper Tree has one last gift: a gift to help Beloved cope when everything changes.

About the author:
Ann Gonzales is an author, artist, activist, and spiritual seeker. Since 2003, she has been exploring spirituality through writing, meditating, painting, and continuing her yoga practice. Ann founded Ann Gonzales Art in 2014, marrying her two passions ... art and healing. In 2016, she traveled to India where she had a profound spiritual awakening. It was on this trip that Beloved and the Pepper Tree was written in one sitting. She believes it was a "spiritual download," a gift directly from The Divine. Since then, Beloved has taken her on a magical journey, allowing her to meet people and have experiences she otherwise would not have had. Much like the little girl in the story, Ann opened herself to receive the gift of change, and the results have been extraordinary.

When she is not writing, Ann can be found facilitating Easel Does It -- Art for Healing and Recovery workshops. These workshops use art materials, guided prompts, paint, collage, and other art mediums to help sufferers of trauma, abuse and grief give "voice" to emotions, dealing with struggles otherwise not expressed, helping them discover what their images are saying. Clarity, expression, and acceptance lead to healing. She also enjoys painting, reading and traveling. Ann lives in Southern California with her bossy cat Ziggy.

Ann has conducted monthly workshops throughout Southern California at Ohana House Sober Living, Leucadia; Green Oak Ranch, Vista; Casa Pacifica, Solana Beach; Wounded Warriors, Camp Pendleton, and Evolve, San Diego. She works with individuals and private groups in her studio and on site.

For further information, visit www.anngonzalesart.com. Follow Ann on Facebook.

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will received a SIGNED copy of Beloved and the Pepper Tree, by Ann Gonzales! Enter through the Giveaway Tools below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM ET on Wednesday, April 8, 2020.


Monday, March 23, 2020

Laurie Berkner Invites Families to Join Her for Live "Berkner Breaks" and Other Entertainment


When my boys were little, we loved Laurie Berkner's songs and videos. She makes music that kids love about things in their world, such as spaghetti and goldfish! So, I'm pleased to share what Laurie is doing now to help entertain the kiddos while they're stuck at home. Read on...

Stuck inside right now? Legendary children's musician Laurie Berkner is here to help kids and parents find a routine, get up and move, and learn and play together. And it's all free of charge.

Families can join Laurie, direct from her house, for LIVE "Berkner Break" concerts, streamed most weekday mornings at 10:00 a.m. EDT on her Facebook page: HERE. Laurie offers an abundance of songs, playful movement activities, stories, and more, performing such well-loved favorites as “We Are The Dinosaurs” and “The Goldfish (Let’s Go Swimming)," plus educational earworms like “Waiting For The Elevator” and “Look At All The Letters." Laurie creates an entire world of song and expression in which enthusiasm and respect for the growing child is front and center, with emotional development sitting right alongside intellectual development.

Additionally, each weekday on Laurie's social media, she's posting a video of one of her songs for a morning Berkner Breakfast (7:00 a.m. EDT), an afternoon Berkner Break (3:00 p.m. EDT), and an evening Berkner Bedtime (7:00 p.m. EDT).

Laurie Berkner has also created a 50-minute "Educational Music Videos" compilation on her YouTube channel: HERE. Kids can practice and learn with Laurie as they watch this compilation of over 20 music videos that focus on counting, the alphabet, telling time, emotions, and so much more.

Visit Laurie Berkner's website HERE.
Laurie Berkner on Facebook.
Laurie Berkner on Instagram.
Laurie Berkner on Twitter.
Laurie Berkner on Pinterest.
Laurie Berkner on YouTube.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Wondrous Weekly Giveaway Linky (March 21-April 3, 2020)


The past few weeks haven't been very "wondrous" for anyone. It's been tough adjusting to our new reality of "social distancing," working from home (or not working at all), and more. The repercussions will be felt for years to come. During this difficult time, please remember to be kind. We're all in this together, even if we can't be together physically. Send someone a letter, email or text to let them know you're thinking about them. Check in with those who are elderly or alone. If you have a library card, now's the time to discover their Digital Library. Many libraries offer free music, movies, TV shows and more through their streaming services to cardholders. Discover eBooks and eAudiobooks that you can read on your devices. Let's remember this as a time when we all discovered new things and strengthened relationships with those around us.

For those of you who are here for the giveaways, thanks for stopping by! Bookmark this page so you can visit daily to see what new contests have been added to the linky below. And if you're hosting a giveaway on your blog or website, feel free share the link with us. Don't forget to post this on your social media pages so your friends and followers can join us, too.

NOTE: Where it asks for "Your Name," enter the name of your giveaway along with the end date. For the URL, enter the exact URL where your giveaway is located. Comments are appreciated but never required.



Friday, March 20, 2020

Book Review and Giveaway: "Everywhere Holy," by Kara Lawler

It’s hard to find silver linings in this time of COVID-19, but for those of us not on the line of first response, we may be finding that we actually have more time on our hands to read. We can use this time not only to find entertaining books, but also uplifting books that will help our spirits to rise and our faith to grow. One book that is perfect for that goal is Everywhere Holy: Seeing Beauty, Remembering Your Identity, and Finding God Right Where You Are, by Kara Lawler.

About the book:
In Everywhere Holy, author Kara Lawler, through beautifully written prose, gently reminds readers that life doesn’t have to be lived on grand mountaintops for it to be meaningful. In fact, there is holiness in the small, everyday moments just waiting to be uncovered. Lawler speaks to the hearts of those who find themselves lost in the midst of their chaotic schedules and weary attempts to be all that is expected of them. Everywhere Holy addresses our deepest struggles, including:

- How to feel joy, despite depression and anxiety
- Dealing with hardships and understanding unconditional love
- How to view life as an adventure, even when that feels too hard
- How to feel more connected, more grateful, and more at peace

Watch the book trailer:


My thoughts:
In Everywhere Holy, Lawler speaks to readers as if they are friends. Through stories from her life and her observations, she reminds us that beauty and goodness are all around us if we slow down to see them. We can find them in nature, our children’s words and faces, our pets, and our friends. This is the perfect time to halt the busy rush of life and contemplate our blessings. Parents who may be home with their children more than usual during this time and find their nerves at breaking point will learn to cherish these fleeting moments with their little ones, who will grow up faster than we can imagine. Lawler encourages us to look at the flowers, the fog, birds, clouds and hills -- the beauty that is all around us and reminds us of God’s goodness and gifts. I felt such a sense of peace and happiness after reading Everywhere Holy. It’s a book to be read over and over again during times of strife and stress.

I love these lines from her website:
Kara truly believes that observation is a form of prayer. She says "thank you," over and over again, all day long. This has helped her realize how beautiful her life really is, despite its relative disappointments and hardships and her battles with anxiety. Her writing is honest and authentic, and while she acknowledges, openly, that life isn’t always easy, she truly believes that nothing worth doing usually is easy.


About the author:
Kara Lawler has been published on national media outlets like Today Parents, Huffington Post, and Parenting. One of her essays, To the Mom at the Water Park, was the third most viewed article on NBC’s TODAY Parents in all of 2015. She also is the author behind the viral essay, The Timeline of Hands, which was read by more than 23 million people and shared close to 250,000 times on Facebook alone. For more information, visit www.karalawler.com. Connect with Kara on Facebook and Instagram.

GIVEAWAY

One lucky winner will receive a print copy of Everywhere Holy: Seeing Beauty, Remembering Your Identity, and Finding God Right Where You Are, by Kara Lawler. Enter through the Giveaway Tools form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends on Friday, April 3, 2020.

Giveaway Tools






Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate my honest review. All opinions are my own. This post contains my Amazon affiliate link, and I will receive a small commission on purchases made through this link.