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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The Great Treehouse War Blog Tour (review & giveaway)





The Great Treehouse War
By Lisa Graff
May 16, 2017
Philomel
Source: from publisher for review

Kids vs. parents! An epic treehouse sleepover! An awesome group of friends! An exciting new book from National Book Award finalist Lisa Graff.

Winnie's last day of fourth grade ended with a pretty life-changing surprise. That was the day Winnie s parents got divorced, the day they decided that Winnie would live three days a week with each of them and spend Wednesdays by herself in a treehouse smack between their houses, to divide her time perfectly evenly between them. It was the day Winnie s seed of frustration with her parents was planted, a seed that grew and grew until it felt like it was as big as a tree itself.

By the end of fifth grade, Winnie decides that the only way to change things is to barricade herself in her treehouse until her parents come to their senses and her friends decide to join her. It s kids versus grown-ups, and no one wants to back down first. But with ten kids in one treehouse, all with their own demands, Winnie discovers that things can get pretty complicated pretty fast! Even if they are having the most epic slumber party ever.

In the newest novel by beloved National Book Award finalist Lisa Graff, kids have turned the tables on their parents, and all the rules have been tossed out the window. But does Winnie have what it takes to hold her ground and keep everyone happy?

This story, with a pitch-perfect middle grade voice and zany yet poignant situation, is perfect for fans of Sharon Creech, Louis Sachar, and Jack Gantos.




Winnie’s divorced and constantly arguing parents are obsessed with making sure Winnie spends equal amounts of time with each of them...which is why they decide that Winnie will spend three days a week with each parent and spend Wednesdays by herself in a treehouse located directly between their houses. Winnie loves her treehouse Wednesdays, especially since her parents are currently trying to outdo each other by celebrating wacky and weird holidays, which has caused Winnie to fall way behind on her fifth grade education. But when Winnie’s friends decide that they’re tired of their own parents unfair treatments, the ten kids decide to stay in Winnie’ treehouse and NOT come out until their demands are met! Ten kids, one treehouse, and a whole lot of drama...what could go wrong?

Lisa Graff’s The Great Treehouse War is a witty, heartwarming, and charming middle-grade book. Graff’s signature pitch-perfect storytelling, engaging characters, and honest yet age-appropriate approach to tough subjects, are all present in her newest tale.

The Great Treehouse War is told from Winnie’s precocious and endearing POV, in a scrapbook type format that tells the story of the Treehouse 10 and their experiences during their almost three week standoff in the treehouse. This creative format will captivate and entertain readers with all the extra notes, drawings, how-to’s, and more, included. Young readers will love the awesomely absurd idea of a child spending one day a week alone in a cool treehouse...and Winnie’s two story treehouse, with its bathroom; art station; zip line; and more, makes for a super fun setting.

The Treehouse 10’s time in the treehouse is full of laughs, excitement, and relatable conversation. And each of the Treehouse 10 have a unique, diverse personality that adds a great deal to the story and dynamic. I really like the main heroine Winnie and so will young readers.

And of course, The Great Treehouse War explores subjects like divorce, sibling rivalry, growing up, and more, with a lot of humor, honesty, and heart.

The Great Treehouse War kept me chuckling and entertained with its wild premise, likable characters, and different format...all things middle-grade readers will highly enjoy!

MY RATING
4/5 Cupcakes


Lisa Graff (lisagraff.com) is the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of Lost in the Sun, Absolutely Almost, A Tangle of Knots, Double Dog Dare, Sophie Simon Solves Them All, Umbrella Summer, The Life and Crimes of Bernetta Wallflower, and The Thing About Georgie. Lisa Graff’s books have been named to more than 40 state award lists and have been touted as best books of the year by booksellers, teachers, and librarians. A Tangle of Knots was long-listed for the National Book Award in 2013. Lisa Graff lives with her family just outside of Philadelphia. Follow her on Twitter @LisaGraff.


LITTLE A's DREAM TREEHOUSE


Winnie's treehouse in The Great Treehouse War is pretty cool and got me thinking about how neat it would be to build my own treehouse...but then I thought it would be even MORE fun to ask my three year old niece, Little A, to describe her dream treehouse. This is what she came up with:

  • her treehouse would look like a pink castle
  • it would have little windows
  • there would be both a ladder AND a slide
  • she wants a dog, cat, and bunny to live in her treehouse
  • she also wants a supply of jello and pudding in the treehouse
  • and she would name her treehouse Popsicle
And here's my gorgeous (lol) mock up of that dream treehouse:



Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of The Great Treehouse War
by Lisa Graff
(ARV: $16.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 15, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 2, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Beach Party Surf Monkey (Welcome to Wonderland #2) Blog Tour {review & giveaway}



Beach Party Surf Monkey
(Welcome to Wonderland #2)
By Chris Grabenstein
May 23, 2017
Random House BFYR
Source: from publisher for review
From the bestselling author of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and coauthor with James Patterson of I Funny, House of Robots, and Treasure Hunters, comes the second hilarious, fun-in-the-sun adventure in his illustrated series about all the wacky things that happen when you live in a motel!
There’s always something wacky happening when you live in a motel, and P.T. (named after P. T. Barnum, of course) has grown up at the world’s wackiest! When word gets out that the hottest teen idols in Hollywood (plus current YouTube sensation Kevin the Monkey!) will be filming their next movie—Beach Party Surf Monkey—right in St. Pete’s Beach, Florida, P.T. and his friend Gloria know that the Wonderland would be the perfect location. Now they just have to convince the producers!
But when things start to go wrong (crazed fans? missing stars?), it will take all of Gloria’s business genius and P.T.’s wild stories to save the movie before both it and the Wonderland are all washed up!
BONUS: Includes fun extras like P.T. and Gloria’s Famous Fact-or-Fiction Quiz: Movie Edition


Here’s What People are saying about Welcome to Wonderland!

“Outrageous hijinks and nonstop hilarity—five-stars! Kids who check into this madcap motel will want to stay forever!” —Lincoln Peirce, author of the Big Nate series

“So funny I fell off my bed!”–Izzy B., age 10

“Classic Grabenstein. The mystery should satisfy Grabenstein’s “Mr. Lemoncello” followers, and the humor and visuals will appeal to fans of his collaborations with James Patterson. This new series should be a hit.”—School Library Journal

“A  delight. P.T. is a hoot and a half. A funny, madcap dash.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Charm galore. Easy and breezy, this well-paced novel . . . belongs in the hands of any readers wanting their bad guys bad, their good guys great, and a little of Wonderland’s promised fun in the sun.”—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books



Storyteller extraordinaire, P.T. Wilkie, and his business savvy best friend, Gloria, are back with another wacky adventure at the Wonderland Motel! When a major Hollywood movie, Beach Party Surf Monkey, needs a retro motel location in St. Pete’s Beach to film at, P.T. and Gloria scheme to make sure that motel is the Wonderland...which isn’t exactly easy to do when a fancy-schmancy hotel opens up right next door and the owner keeps trying to buy the Wonderland. And P.T. and Gloria soon find that making movie magic is anything but an easy-breezy day at the beach, especially when tantrum throwing superstars and monkey business are involved. Can P.T. and Gloria save the wondrous Wonderland Motel once again?!

Chris Grabenstein returns to his wacky and wild Welcome to Wonderland series with the delightful and entertaining Beach Party Surf Monkey! With Grabenstein’s signature wit, compelling storytelling, and ability to keep his intended middle-grade audience captivated and enthralled, Beach Party Surf Monkey is wonderful from beginning to end.

Like the first book in this series, Beach Party Surf Monkey is fast-paced, cleverly plotted, and impossible to put down. Middle-grade readers will love the outrageous scenarios, bone-tickling humor, and engaging characters, while easily being swept into the fun behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making a movie, P.T. and Gloria’s motel-saving ideas, and the fun mystery weaved throughout. Once again, the Wonderland Motel, with its beach front location; retro look; kitschy decor; and endless over-the-top stories, makes for a charming setting that readers will love and want to protect as much as P.T. and Gloria.

One of things I love most about this series are all the irresistibly likable (and sometimes deliciously unlikable) characters. From tall tale teller, P.T., smart and capable Gloria, endearingly kooky Grandpa Wilkie, an awesome internet famous monkey, a classy movie star, and a pain in the butt superstar, Beach Party Surf Monkey is bursting with larger than life characters to get to know and love.

Young readers looking for an off the charts fun, genuinely laugh-out-loud book to devour this summer will not be disappointed by Beach Party Surf Monkey!

MY RATING
5/5 Cupcakes


Chris Grabenstein is the author of the New York Times bestsellers THE ISLAND OF DR. LIBRIS and ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO'S LIBRARY as well as the co-author (with James Patterson) of the #1 Bestselling series I FUNNY, HOUSE OF ROBOTS, and TREASURE HUNTERS. Website * Facebook * Twitter


Win a copy of Beach Party Surf Monkey!
Random House has generously offered one book for one winner.
-US only
-ends 5/30
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, stolen, damaged prize in the mail


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 22, 2017

Celebrate Father's Day With Put Me In The Story (giveaway)


Celebrate Dad with a Personalized Gift from PutMeInTheStory.com!

Put Me In The Story is the #1 personalized books platform in the United States. Celebrate Dad this Father’s Day with an incredible personalized book from Put Me In The Story!

Dad, Dada, Daddy, Pappa, Pa, Pops, Papi – what you call your father can differ at different times in your life. The one constant is the story you and he write every day and through the years.

For all his dedication and love, sometimes it’s hard to show just how much you appreciate him. Our personalized books for dads – superheroes all – are truly special keepsakes he’ll treasure and return to often. You can definitely say this is “My Dad, My Story" and many of Put Me In The Story’s personalized books for dad below.

Don’t miss your chance to get a free downloadable coloring sheet for dad! Visit their site HERE to access the downloadable.

Plus, Put Me In The Story is offering all of you a chance to win a personalized gift for Dad or Grandpa in their giveaway. Scroll down to enter! Giveaway ends Monday, June 5th. Open to U.S. and Canada only.



$34.99 - personalized book


Create a personalized keepsake for the kids to give to Dad this year! This heartwarming story celebrates all the ways fathers show their children that they care. Featuring adorable illustrations by Marianne Richmond, My Dad Loves Me reminds little ones that dads are special because they protect, teach, and play with their children. This delightful bestselling book is sure to be one that is treasured at nighttime to show all of the wonderful ways that love is shared.


(Ships: to U.S., Canada, U.K., Guam and Puerto Rico)




$34.99 - personalized book


A young child starts off this laugh-out-loud picture story by listing all the ways his dad is NOT a superhero: he can’t leap tall buildings, run faster than a speeding bullet, or shoot webs out of his wrists.

But even though Dad may not be “super-hero worthy,” he's still a hero at heart. The sweet ending depicts all the cool—if not super—activities Dad does do with him like throwing a baseball, playing checkers and going toy shopping.

“And although he may not be a super-hero, He's my Dad...and he's definitely my hero.”

My Dad, My Hero is the perfect personalized gift for Father’s Day, Dad’s birthday, or any other time you want Dad to know just how great he is. Personalize this book with a name, photo, and special dedication message that will last for many celebrations to come.


(Ships to: U.S., Canada, U.K., Guam and Puerto Rico)


$34.99 - personalized book


With stunning photography and heartwarming sentiments, Why a Son Needs a Dad describes a father and son’s relationship in a powerful way. Dad taught you so much, from simple lessons like tying a tie to profound ones like loving others unconditionally. Add your own photo and dedication to this New York Times bestseller to show your father how proud you are to be his son.


(Ships to: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Outlying Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands)


$34.99 - personalized book


Let your father know that he has played an irreplaceable role in your life with Why a Daughter Needs a Dad. A New York Times bestseller, this book brings back memories of daddy-daughter dances, summer fishing trips, and more. Personalize this gift with a photo and dedication message to create an unforgettable keepsake for Father’s Day, a birthday, or any other celebration.


(Ships to: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Outlying Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands)


$34.99 - personalized book


Perfect for a grandchild of any age, Grandpa Loves Me! is as sweet as can be. This book shows your grandson or granddaughter how much you care about him or her every time they read it.

Personalize to include your grandchild’s name and Grandpa’s custom name (e.g. Opa, Granddad) to appear on the front cover of the book and to be incorporated throughout the text. You’ll also create a special dedication message with a personal note from you and your grandchild’s photo.


(Ships to: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Guam and Puerto Rico)


$34.99 - personalized book


No one can take the place of Grandpa in your life. He shares with you a lifetime of wisdom and makes you feel as though you are the most important person in the world. He teaches you the value of hard work and how to have fun. Show Grandpa the type of love he deserves in the most special way—a book personalized with his photo and a dedication message from you.


(Ships to: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Outlying Islands and U.S. Virgin Islands)




$34.95 - personalized picture frame


Make Dad feel like a Superhero with this personalized frame!

Our exclusive design features the phrase “The Only Superhero I Know Is Dad.” At the bottom you make it extra special by adding any two lines of personalization you choose.

Overall frame dimension is 8" x 10"
Holds a 4" x 6" photo
Sits on a table or wall mounts
Personalize two lines, up to 18 characters on each

Note: This personalized gift takes 5-7 business days to be created and shipped, and will ship separately from other products on your order.


(Ships to: United States)



PERSONALIZED FATHER’S DAY BOOK
- 5 WINNERS!

5 winners will receive one personalized Father’s Day book. Giveaway starts 5/16/2017 and ends 6/7/2017.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Terms & Conditions:

No purchase necessary to enter or win. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Open to legal residents of USA who are 18 years or older. Giveaway begins on May 16, 2017 at 11:59 CST and ends on June 7, 2017 at 12:00 am (“Promotion Period”). Enter the Giveaway during the Promotion Period online by submitting the entry form. The entry form can be found on the following website at http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/54ca7af7528/ . Winner will be selected by Random.org and be notified by email. Winner has 48 hours to respond before a new winner is selected. Five (5) winner(s) will receive one (1) copy of a personalized Father's Day book of their choice (approximate retail value or "ARV": $34.99). By providing your information in this form, you are providing your information to Put Me In The Story. Put Me In The Story does not share or sell information and will use any information only for the purpose of this giveaway. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are in no way associated with this giveaway.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Product Review: Apparel N Bags


From time to time, Word Spelunking is asked to write product reviews. Sometimes these are book related products, sometimes they are not. Today, I have a non-book related product review to share...


Apparel N Bags offers a wide variety of wholesale apparel, accessories, and bags and has a large selection of brands, styles, and sizes for men, women, and children. Their clothing and accessories range from casual to work-wear, athletic wear, and outer wear. Apparel N Bags also offers customized decorations through embroidery, screen print, heat transfer, applique, and laser etching services. With affordable and competitive prices and such a huge selection of products, Apparel N Bags is a great one stop shop for businesses, schools, sports teams, and more!

Connect with Apparel N Bags

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For this review, Apparel N Bags allowed me to choose $25 worth of products from their store. I chose the following five shirts (all size 4T) for my niece, who is also modeling them...quite adorably to boot:

Rabbit Skins 3301T Toddler Tee

Color: Chill

Rabbit Skins 3301T Toddler Tee

Color: Aqua

Rabbit Skins 3327 Toddler Fine Jersey Ruffle T-Shirt

Color: Hot Pink

Rabbit Skins 3327 Toddler Fine Jersey Ruffle T-Shirt

Color: Lavender

Rabbit Skins 3037 Toddler Fine Jersey Football Tee

Color: Vintage Hot Pink/Blended White

Seriously, how cute are her poses?!

First, I was super impressed with how fast my ordered shipped and arrived (within a few days).

My niece, Little A, LOVES clothes and, as you can tell from the pictures above, she just adores her new, colorful shirts! Apparel N Bags has a nice selection of cute, casual, and comfy tees and shirts for toddlers. And the color choices are just awesome! Little A is currently crazy about all things in the turquoise/light teal/bluish range, so the t-shirts in Chill and Aqua are her favorite. All five shirt colors are true to their name and the colors are bright. The Rabbit Skins brand is new to us, but all five shirts seem to be well made and both Little A and I like how light and soft each shirt feels. These are the perfect go-to-shirts to wear with jeans, shorts, or leggings, and can be worn casual or dressed up.

The simplicity of the shirts leave plenty of room for customization and decoration. We're planning on getting some cute iron on images and decals to glamorize a few of the tees!

Apparel N Bags has an impressive selection of clothes for men, women, children, toddlers, and babies, in a wide range of styles, fits, and colors. Overall, the make, fit, color, size, and attractiveness of each shirt I chose exceeded my expectations!



**Disclaimer: I received these products free of charge for review purposes and my honest review was not effected by this. The thoughts, opinions, and photos in this post are all mine.