Lassie Come Home 75th Anniversary Edition


Lassie Come Home

When I was a young girl I LOVED to read. Reading was my favorite thing to do. In fact, I still have several of my favorite books from when I was a child. They are packed away, but I still cherish them very much.

I loved to read all kinds of books, but my favorite types (back when I was a kid) were books about animals. I loved to read books like Black Beauty, Misty of Chincoteague, Call of the Wild and Benji.

One of my all time favorite stories is celebrating it’s 75th Anniversary – Lassie Come Home by Erick Knight.

As a TV series beloved by all, not many people are aware that this classic story was first published as a short story in the Saturday Evening Post in 1938. The story was so popular that Mr. Knight expanded it into a full-length book, which was published in 1940 and instantly became a best seller.

I remember watching the series (in re-runs) and I had the book. I read it several times. I don’t know what ever happened to it. It’s not with my saved book collection.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group has given this treasured middle grade novel an updated jacket and a brand new introduction by infamous dog lover and fellow MCPG author, Ann M. Martin.

The publisher sent me a copy of the special anniversary book to check out and enjoy. It’s beautiful!


I haven’t had the opportunity to start to read the book yet, but I have flipped through the pages and stop to read a passage or two. From what I can tell it appears to be the same exact book that I read as a child (bits and pieces of it sounds familiar to me).

I love the book’s cover art. It’s beautiful. It really captures this amazing dog and that is how I picture Lassie in my mind.

This would be a wonderful way to introduce this timeless classic to a whole new generation. If you have a child or grandchild who loves to read you should give them a copy of this book.

In addition, if you know someone who is a Lassie fan, or truly enjoys vintage/classic books, then the anniversary edition of Lassie Come Home would make a great gift.

Look for Lassie Come Home 75th Anniversary Edition where ever books are sold. I saw the book on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble to name a few.

For more information about Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group please visit www.US.MacMillan.com/MacKids.

Are you a fan of Lassie? Have you ever read this book?



*I received a free product sample in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.

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See your favorite fairy tales in a whole new way (giveaway ends 10/17/15)



I’m a HUGE fan of the ABC series Once Upon a Time. It amazes me how they can take popular fairy tale characters and other characters from literature and weave them together to create new stories.

Since the show aired I have only missed it twice – once because I was not home and the other time because I was really sick and I was sleeping. Thankfully my husband likes the show too and was able to fill me in on what I missed.

If you haven’t seen the series yet I highly recommend it. I know seasons 1-4 are on Netflix. I’m not sure about Hulu. You might also be able to catch episodes on the ABC website.

One of the characters in the series is “Red.” She lives with Granny and works in her shop. Red is sweet and kind but she does have a dark side that comes out from time to time. If you follow the series you know exactly what I’m referring to.


A new book by Wendy Toliver goes into Red’s story, in a new and entertaining way. Her books is Once Upon a Time: Red’s Untold Tale.

Red is 16 and lives with Granny in a cottage in the village, where boarding up the house and hiding during Wolfstime is a means of survival. Red help’s Granny with Granny’s baked good business, catering as well as door-to-door sales. Red has a constant internal battle between her wild side and her strict, overprotective upbringing, and the issue of “control” as she discovers she has a hot temper when the “mean girls” push her too far. (“When we learn to control it, we needn’t fear it,” Rumpelstiltskin says in the series.) She has flashbacks to her 13th year when she received her cloak and the nickname “Red.” She is plagued by nightmares that she doesn’t understand, but the Once Upon a Time fans will recognize them as her wolf side coming out. Red balances the difficult times with Granny at home and the girls at school with an emerging and satisfying romance with Peter.

I received a copy of the book to read. Sadly I haven’t had a chance to read it (YET!), but I fully intend to.

I love the books “sleeve.” The pages are also lined in black giving the book a rather ominous look to it.

Here is a little more information about the book’s author.

Wendy Toliver is the award-winning author of four YA novels: The Secret Life of A Teenage Siren, Miss Match, Lifted, and Once Upon A Time: Red’s Untold Tale. She lives in the Utah mountains with three sons, two cats, two dogs, and one husband. She enjoys reading, hiking, wakeboarding, snowboarding, watching movies, sweet potato fries, Halloween, and daydreaming.


Once Upon a Time: Red’s’ Untold Tale is just one of the new books in a series published by Disney-Hyperion. Other fairy tales are getting the “2.0” treatment too.


A Whole New World

by Liz Braswell

In stores now!

What if Aladdin had never found the lamp? This first book in the A Twisted Tale line will explore a dark and daring version of Disney’s Aladdin. When Jafar steals the Genie’s lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish. To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war. What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.


A Frozen Heart

by Elizabeth Rudnick

In stores October 6th

Told in alternating chapters from both Anna’s and Hans’ perspectives, A Frozen Heart takes a sophisticated look at events of Frozen, exploring the couple’s backstories, motivations, and doomed relationship.

I’m looking forward to reading Once Upon a Time: Red’s Untold Tale as well as the other books in the Fairy Tale 2.0 series.

If you are interested in learning more about these books please visit un-requiredreading.com. In addition you can follow Disney on Twitter and Instagram. The official hashtag is #FairyTale2pt0.

You should also follow the hastag #FairyTale2pt0 to discover giveaway opportunities for more twists on classic tales. 

Speaking of giveaways… I have a giveaway for #FairyTale2pto too!

In celebration of the new book series I have a great giveaway for a lucky reader, compliments of Disney-Hyperion. The prize package includes the following;


  • Copy of Red’s Untold Tale;
  • plus FAIRY TALE 2.0 tank, notepad, cosmetic pouch & pillow.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on October 17, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me what other fairy tale you would like to see get a “2.0” version – OR – tell me why you would like to win this prize package?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I received a free copy of the book in exchange for my participation. The sample and prizing is provided by Disney-Hyperion. This post was not compensated. The opinions expressed are my own unless otherwise noted and not influenced in any way.

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The Jim Henson Company 60th Anniversary Celebration – Awesome Giveaway Ends 10/5/15



Photo by Alan Light

On September 24 (today!), The Jim Henson Company celebrates 60 years of entertainment excellence, creating innovative entertainment that has impacted the lives of what is now four generations of fans.

When I think “Jim Henson” I think about Sesame Street and The Muppets. I think those are two of Jim Henson’s most popular character lines. Jim Henson was involved with so much more than Kermit, Big Bird and all their friends. Jim Henson also helped to bring to life popular movies like The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth and The Storyteller. He also had his hand in the popular series Fraggle Rock and the cute holiday movie Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas.

Jim Henson was a genius puppeteer, artist, inventor, screenwriter, actor, film director and producer. He also “moved” and voiced some of his puppet creations.

Even though Jim Henson is no longer with us, his children have carried on with the creative company he founded. Under the leadership of his children, Lisa Henson (CEO) and Brian Henson (Chairman), The Jim Henson company continues to create fresh, new characters and fantastical worlds that speak to today’s audiences, abiding by the essence of the Henson brand – innovation!

Some of the programs your child or grandchild watches are from the Jim Henson Company.

Dinosaur Train


Dinosaur TrainThis four-time Emmy Award-nominated animated series embraces and celebrates the fascination that preschoolers have with both dinosaurs and trains while encouraging basic scientific thinking and skills! Buddy and his friends can be seen daily on PBS KIDS (check local listings).

doozers 2

Doozers – Inspired by the wildly popular characters from the classic Henson series Fraggle Rock, Doozers is a modern series for modern families that encourages kids to design, create and innovate, and all while having a blast playing and learning together.  You can watch Doozers on Hulu!


Pajanimals – These four cuddly characters welcome children to play games, sing songs and join them on fun adventures. In every episode, Sweetpea Sue the pony the excitable duck Squacky, the creative cow Cowbella and the optimistic puppy Appollo resolve challenges typically encountered during every preschooler’s day.  You can watch Pajanimals on Sprout. 

Sid the Science Kid

Sid the Science KidStarring everyone’s favorite inquisitive and funny preschooler, Sid the Science Kid uses music and humor to celebrate children’s natural curiosity about science in everyday life! Through their adventures, Sid and his friends introduce children to fun themes like weather, seasons, the five senses, simple machines and fitness. You can watch Sid the Science Kid on PBS KIDS (check local listings).

Hi Opie!

Hi Opie! – Emphasizing education through play, this live-action series follows lovable puppet Opie as he navigates kindergarten alongside his human classmates. This lovable little puppet has lots of real-life friends — that’s what makes kindergarten so much fun!  You can watch Hi Opie! on Netflix.


Additionally, the folks at The Jim Henson Company are working on Enchanted Sisters, a new television series based on these fabulous new books that are available now!

I think it’s wonderful that Jim Henson’s memory and work has lived on to be appreciated by generations to come.

I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Jim Henson Studios in California a few years ago for a Muppet movie press junket. The studio used to belong to Charlie Chapman.

Jim Henson Studios

Kermit Statue Jim Henson Studios

Front Gate at Jim Henson Studios

Charlie Chapman at Jim Henson Studios

In celebration of this extraordinary man and all the wonderful work he’s done, I have a very special giveaway for a lucky reader. The prize package includes ALL of the following products. 

Halloween DVDs

DVD: Dinosaur Train: Buddy’s Halloween Adventure from PBS Distribution: From visiting a haunted house for a spooky party in the story “Haunted Roundhouse,” to learning about “Gourd Day” – a kind of Mesozoic Halloween in the adventure “Big Pond Pumpkin Patch,” this DVD features four spooktastic tales the entire family will enjoy! (SRP: $7.99)

DVD: Doozers: Spookypalooza from NCircle  It’s Spookypalooza! The Pod Squad makes the spookiest pumpkin ever – a cool “Pumpkin Doozer” made by stacking three pumpkins together.  But when their new invention starts rolling all around town, the Doozers have to find a way to reign in their spooky creation!  Enjoy four STEM-based adventures with the Doozers! (SRP $6.99)

DVD: Pajanimals: Spooky Costumes from NCircle: Cowbella is nervous about trick or treating because she doesn’t like all the scary vampires and zombies she saw at a party.   A trip to Storybook Land reveals that those vampires and werewolves are just costumes that the big kids wear to have fun, just like her pretty princess costume!  (SRP $6.99)

DVD: Sid the Science Kid: Sid’s Spooky Halloween from NCircle: Halloween can be spooky and scientific as Sid and his friends discover how bats catch mosquitoes, why spiders are expert engineer web builders, and how skeletons make up the foundation of our bodies!  Later the kids dress up to celebrate Halloween at school with Teacher Suzie! (SRP $6.99)

Doozers Books

In Doozers Catch A Ride, everyone in the Pod Squad has a very special vehicle to help them get around Doozer Creek—everyone except Molly Bolt, so her friends decide to get together and build the perfect ride for her! When Molly Bolt takes each of their vehicles for a spin, where she realizes she wants a vehicle as unique as she is! (SRP: $3.99)

And in Doozers Stick With It, the Pod Squad wants to make their neighborhood a better place, so they decide to build a new playground for everyone to enjoy! Spike invented a Super Sticking Spray to join pieces together, but when the spray turns from super sticky to super slippery, Professor Gimbal slips and falls—and gets stuck in the playground equipment! (SRP: $3.99)

Enchanted Sisters Winters Flurry Adventure Winter

Winter loves to play with her sisters, Autumn, Spring, and Summer, but her very best friend is her pet polar bear, Flurry. He’s the perfect companion for sledding, ice skating, and all kinds of wild escapades. When Winter and Flurry find a baby arctic fox, Winter loves him immediately… which makes Flurry very jealous.. and sends him running to play with the Weeds.  But these wild boys bring trouble wherever they go and Winter will need the help of all of her enchanted sisters to get him back! (SRP: 15.99)

I received the same products to review (which I’ll be donating when I am finished with them). The DVDs are perfect for Halloween if you have young children in your home. They are NOT scary at all. They are super adorable and fun to watch. I watched all four of them and as an adult I enjoyed them. The characters are so sweet and lovable.

I read both of the Doozers books (cute!) and started to read the Enchanted Sisters book (I haven’t finished it yet – I haven’t had the time). The Doozers books are a quick read (great for bedtime stories). The Enchanted Sisters book takes a wee bit longer.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on October 5, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you would like to win this prize package?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I received the same prize package in exchange for my participation. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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Book Review: Sit! Stay! Speak! by Annie England Noblin


Sit Stay Speak

I love to read. I have a couple of bookcases overflowing with great books. The only problem is that I don’t have any time to read. I WANT to read… it just doesn’t work out that way. Between work, taking care of my family, taking care of my home and blogging there just isn’t enough hours in the day. Ideally I would love to have an hour to read – if not every day then at least once or twice a week. Sadly that doesn’t happen often and I am stuck being able to read a chapter every now and then.

I finally finished reading a book that was sent to me a while ago called Sit! Stay! Speak! by Annie England Noblin. It was released a little over a week ago from William Morrow Paperbacks. It retails for $14.99.

I have a soft spot in my heart for books about animals or include animals in some way. I also enjoy true crime books and horror stories. This book was neither of those (no crime or horror).

Here is a brief synopsis;

Addie Andrews is living a life interrupted.  Tragedy sent her fleeing from Chicago to the shelter of an unexpected inheritance—her beloved aunt’s somewhat dilapidated home in Eunice, Arkansas, population very tiny.  There she reconnects with some of her most cherished childhood memories.  If only they didn’t make her feel so much!

People say nothing happens in small towns, but Addie quickly learns better. She’s got an elderly next door neighbor who perplexingly dances outside in his underwear, a house needing more work than she has money, a best friend whose son uncannily predicts the weather, and a local drug dealer holding a massive grudge against her.

Most surprising of all, she’s got a dog. But not any dog, but a bedraggled puppy she discovered abandoned, lost, and in desperate need of love. Kind of like Addie herself. She’d come to Eunice hoping to hide from the world, but soon she discovers that perhaps she’s finding the way back—to living, laughing, and loving once more.

The dog on the cover of the book name is Butters and he’s not  puppy anymore. In fact – Butters has his own Facebook page.

Noblin’s own experiences in dog rescue helped inspire the story. She worked in animal rescue down in the Delta of Arkansas during the same time the mayor of the city where she was living shut down the animal control facility. This meant that they released all of the stray dogs into the national forest which added to the huge issue of stray animals in the city. A few concerned citizens began a Humane Society, and Annie started working with them, and it was the first time she worked with severely abused animals. There are so many animals that Annie will never forget working in her ten plus years of rescue.

Noblin has already won me over with all the work she’s done to help homeless animals.

Now back to the book…

This was an enjoyable read. Of course I love stories with animals in it, but even if this story didn’t have a dog (puppy) as one of it’s main characters I would have still enjoyed this book.

I think the character of Addie is very relatable. I think many people have just had enough and want to escape the hustle and bustle and star anew some where else. I feel like that often, but I would bring my family with me.

I’m also from a small town upstate (NY). I can tell you from experience that small towns are not always sweet, innocent and quiet. There can be A LOT of drama even in the smallest of towns. I would think it would be easier to get “lost” in a bit city rather than a small town.

There are enough interesting characters in this book, as well as twists and turns, to keep you turning the pages. If I wasn’t so pressed for time all the time I easily could have read this whole book in a day. I found it difficult to put down because I wanted to continue reading on to find out what happens next.

This isn’t a charming “woman finds herself” sort of book. This story includes drug trafficking, dog fights, romance, quirky neighbors, mystery and a lot of eating. It’s got a little bit of everything. It’s NOT just a story about a dog. It’s the story of a woman movie to a new town that is not as idyllic as it might seem.

I would love to see this book made into a movie. I could easily see this story played out on the Hallmark Channel.

I’m looking forward to reading more from Noblin. I believe this was her first novel. If it is, she “hit the ball out of the park” on her very first try.

If you are looking for an easy, enjoyable, sort of quick read and like stories with a little bit of everything mixed in (not to mention and adorable puppy), then you should pick up a copy of Sit! Stay! Speak! by Annie England Noblin. Look for it where ever books are sold.

Annie England Noblin

Annie England Noblin


*I received a free copy in order to do this review. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.


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The Marvels by NYT Bestselling author/illustrator Brian Selznick (giveaway ends 9/25/15)


The Marvels Brian Selznick

A new book from New York Times Bestselling author and illustrator, Brian Selznick, is coming to a bookstore near you on September 15, 2015.

Brian Selznick is the Caldecott Medal-winning author and illustrator of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Wonderstruck and The Invention of Hugo Cabret which was adapted into Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning movie Hugo. Selznick’s books have garnered countless accolades worldwide, and have been translated into over 35 languages. He has worked as a set designer and a puppeteer. He lives in San Diego, California, and Brooklyn, New York.

The book looks interesting. I saw the trailer (below) and I love the creative way it was put together.


I like that they did the trailer video in such a simplistic way and not with a lot of high tech “bells and whistles.”

Here is a brief synopsis of the book;

From the Caldecott Medal–winning creator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck comes a breathtaking new voyage.

In this magnificent reimagining of the form he originated, two stand-alone stories—the first in nearly 400 pages of continuous pictures, the second in prose—together create a beguiling narrative puzzle.

The journey begins on a ship at sea in 1766, with a boy named Billy Marvel. After surviving a shipwreck, he finds work in a London theatre. There, his family flourishes for generations as brilliant actors until 1900, when young Leontes Marvel is banished from the stage.

Nearly a century later, Joseph Jervis runs away from school and seeks refuge with an uncle in London. Albert Nightingale’s strange, beautiful house, with its mysterious portraits and ghostly presences, captivates Joseph and leads him on a search for clues about the house, his family, and the past.

A gripping adventure and an intriguing invitation to decipher how the two narratives connect, The Marvels is a loving tribute to the power of story from an artist at the vanguard of creative innovation.

The artwork/illustrations are really interesting too. I like how they are done in black and white (pencil)? The one with the ship is my favorite.





To promote this book there is going to be a special “tour” called You Either See It or You Don’t. Readers can hear mysterious recordings by the author/illustrator, Brian Selznick, and get a sneak peek at more artwork from the book. Readers can even discover souvenirs from inside The Marvels house.

I wonder what they mean by “you either see it or you don’t.

If this sounds fun to you here are the locations of the tour stops. Simply visit the listed site on the specified date to learn more and to participate.


September 7thTheBookSmugglers.com

September 8thHypable.com

September 9thSuperSpaceChick.com

September 10thTheReadingRoom.com

September 11thPopWrapped.com

It sounds like fun!

Brian Selznick is setting out on a multi-city tour to celebrate the release of The Marvels! Click here to find out where to meet Brian Selznick on his tour for #THEMARVELS http://bit.ly/1NZi73y.

If you would like to learn more about the book  you can visit The Marvels official webpage. You can also visit Scholastic.com. The official book hashtag is #TheMarvels.

Now it’s YOUR turn to piece together the puzzle with a special The Marvels giveaway, compliments of Scholastic. 


The prize package includes;

  • Copy of the book, The Marvels
  • Branded The Marvels Puzzle
  • $25 Visa Gift Card

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and will end on September 25, 2015. The winner will be chosen at random using a random number generator from all eligible entries. The winner will be notified via email and will have three days to reply or a new winner will be chosen in their place.

To enter please comment on this post and tell me why you want to win this prize package?

For extra entries you can use the Rafflecopter widget (below) but you must complete the initial entry requirement or the additional entries won’t qualify.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


*I received the same prize package in exchange for my participation. Prizing and samples provided by Scholastic. The opinions expressed are my own (unless otherwise noted) and not influenced in any way. 

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Lucy and the Magic Loom: A Rainbow Loomer’s Adventure Story


Photo Source: LoomLove.com

Photo Source: LoomLove.com

Available today where most books are sold is the children’s book Lucy and the Magic Loom: A Rainbow Loomer’s Adventure Story, by Alice Downes.

This story is based upon the Rainbow Loom, the 2014 Toy of the Year (as per the American Toy Industry). If you have children or grandchildren chances are you have seen one. They are looms kids use with tiny rubber bands to create bracelets, keychains and more.

My teenager daughter figured out how to make the bracelets with the rubber bands on her fingers (no loom needed). For the life of me I couldn’t figure out she did it. I also couldn’t figure out how to use the Rainbow Loom, yet I saw little kids playing with it and cranking out one bracelet after another.

Fun facts – the Magic Loom has sold over 8 million units worldwide along with 40 million rubber band packets. I was always buying different colored rubber bands for my daughter.

Now there is a delightful children’s book based on the Magic Loom toy – Lucy and the Magic Loom: A Rainbow Loomer’s Adventure Story.

According to Amazon;

Meet Lucy—twelve years old, missing her best friend, and just waiting for an adventure to come her way. When Lucy discovers a mysterious package at her front door, she’s certain it’s meant for her. Never mind to whom it’s addressed. She unties the green string and tears open the simple brown paper to reveal a loom—a golden magic loom. The magic loom leads her to a dusty bookcase and through a secret passageway, into an enchanted world.

This new world is filled with fantastic creatures, castles, and vast, colorful landscapes. Lucy quickly encounters several challenges that she can only overcome with the help of her loom. She’ll need to build a bridge, distract a giant beast, fly above an entire forest, and rescue a girl trapped in a castle.

Lucy will have to use her imagination and a lot of creativity to come up with solutions that will work. She must focus on her mission and never give up, even when things seem impossible. This story rewards kindness and generosity, and emphasizes the importance of friendship and helping others. And for any young reader who loves the Rainbow Loom, this is a story to get them excited about reading, too! Discover a new adventure series with Rainbow Looms!

Lucy and the Magic Loom: A Rainbow Loomer’s Adventure Story is for children 6-10 years old (K-5th grade) and is 112 pages long.

I haven’t had the opportunity to read it yet, but the story does sound cute. It would make a great gift for a child especially if it’s paired with a Magic Loom. Imagine the adventures the lucky recipient could go on.

Look for Lucy and the Magic Loom: A Rainbow Loomer’s Adventure Story where ever books are sold.

Is your child/grandchild a fan of the Magic Loom? Do they know how to use one? Feel free to share your stories. I always love to hear from readers.

Rainbow Loom book


*I received a free copy in exchange for this post. There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way. 

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