Friday, November 22, 2013

Our Book Blasty Tour comes to an end, but the giveaway is still going!

   Our Book Blasty Tour was a huge success.  While it finished up today, our giveaway runs through the end of the month - you may enter below. In the end, we had sixteen reviews, and four others who participated in our blast. To have so many wonderful bloggers open up their blogging homes to host these pets has made our paws dance and dance and dance! Our new phrase is "Happy, dancing paws!"

   If you have not yet visited with these wonderful hosts, we invite you to do so now. Thank YOU for taking the time to visit with us and read all that we have to say. You are one cool human and we give you two paws up (each).

Thank you for reading and sharing,

Katrina von Cat the Master of Wisdom and Knowledge (and Stanley)


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Book Review: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library. Why we adore Chris Grabenstein.

Welcome to the 28th Kid Lit Blog Hop!
Stanley & I are thrilled to be co-hosts for the hop this week, and Cool Mom was able to (sort of) get a review out of Neighbor Girl. How exciting!

About the Book

Title: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
*A New York Times Bestseller*
Author: Chris Grabenstein
Year Published: 2013
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Pages: 304
Age Level: 8-12
Summary (Amazon): Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library.

Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high.

In this cross between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Night in the Museum, Agatha Award winner Chris Grabenstein uses rib-tickling humor to create the perfect tale for his quirky characters. Old fans and new readers will become enthralled with the crafty twists and turns of this ultimate library experience.

Neighbor Girl's Review (?)

   This is Cool Mom posting. I have an extremely difficult time getting Neighbor Girl to share any sort of review about any book. She loves to read, and read, and read, and read. Writing a review though? That is tricky. Between her own creative writing and school work, it is understandable. However, sometimes when she finishes a book, she is so excited that she can barely contain herself.
   That was the case with Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library. A conversation that I had with her, on her commute into school last week, revealed just how much she adores this book. I'll be honest, I did not get to read it yet (I'm months behind in my reading) so this is feedback from Neighbor Girl as summarized by me. Because of my poor memory, I videotaped what I remembered her saying the moment she got out of the car. HA! This post was also approved by Neighbor Girl prior to posting.

Okay, Here it is...

Cool Mom's Summary of Neighbor Girl's Review

   Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library is a great book.  I wish I could go to that library! It is in an old bank building with many vaults. I enjoyed how clues would randomly show up. For example, I liked when one of the characters went into a room and she heard, " are our third visitor... and we all know that the third time is a charm." 

   I enjoyed the holograms and animatronics representing history, especially when George Washington was debating with George Bush. The book references within this book were great, too! The characters explored through the Dewey Decimal system with fun surprises along the way.

   My favorite section was the Young Adult section which had sofas shaped like Scrabble piece holders. 

   The best part might have been figuring out the FINAL puzzle that lies in the book for the reader to solve. I figured it out! You should, too (see below).

   I loved the book and will definitely read it again. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

  Mr. Grabenstein was kind enough to answer a very important question that I had for him, JUST for this blog post. Isn't he nice?

Neighbor Girl's Question: I know that you spent some of your career as an improv artist. I love improv, too! What is your favorite improv game to play?

Mr. Grabenstein: My favorite improv game of all time was called Activity.   My scene partner, the always hysterical Tom Carrozza, would leave the theatre and go out in the hall where he couldn't hear what the audience told me.   I would then ask for four suggestions of activities that I had to make Tom do without telling him what it was I wanted him to do.  We had everything from picking the lint out of Ronald Reagan's belly button to tap dancing on the moon.   It was always hysterical and Tom always figured out what he had to do.   The audience LOVED it.   I think because it employed classic irony -- the audience knows something that one of the players on stage does not.  They knew where I was trying to take Tom and would delight at his confusion.

Neighbor Girl: Thank you for taking the time to answer my question and for writing a great book!

"Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library is a great book!" 

About The Author, Chris Grabenstein

(From Amazon) Chris Grabenstein is the co-author with James Patterson of the #1 New York Times Bestseller I FUNNY. He is also an award-winning author of books for children and adults, a playwright, screenwriter, and former advertising executive and improvisational comedian. Winner of two Anthony and three Agatha Awards, Chris used to write for Jim Henson's Muppets, was president of the New York Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America, and co-wrote the screenplay for the CBS-TV movie The Christmas Gift starring John Denver. Chris lives in New York City with his wife, three cats, and a rescue dog named Fred, who starred on Broadway in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. You can visit Chris (and Fred) at

Website * Facebook * Twitter 

Game Spinner

You Could Win

   If you figure out the final puzzle hidden in the book, your name will be put into a drawing for two libraries of books that will take place on January 1, 2014. The winner will receive two sets of all of Mr. Grabenstein's books for younger readers plus two sets of books donated by Random House Children's Books, Mr. Lemoncello's publisher. The hope is that the winner will keep one library of books for themselves and donate the other to their favorite school or public library. 

The Book's Trailer

This book is in the final round of voting on GoodReads
Choice Awards. Click the link to vote:

Wait, there is more!!!

   Neighbor Girl was thrilled to meet Mr. Grabenstein, recently, at the Lititz Kid-Lit Festival! Not only did she meet him but this wonderful man asked if he could purchase OUR book. REALLY. He did.  What a great guy.  Cool Mom told us that Mr. Grabenstein receives the "He's a Good Man" award - just like Mr. Matt Phelan - for his ability to appreciate his young readers and to encourage them in their own writing. These pets give him two paws up each! 
Mr. Grabenstein reading from "Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library."
Neighbor Girl working to solve a puzzle from the book.
Neighbor Girl, Chris Grabenstein & This Kid Reviews Books, Erik. 

Mr. Chris Grabenstein & Neighbor Girl. A great moment.Thank you, Mr. Grabenstein!

What should you do now?  How about one of the following:
Thank you for reading and sharing,

Katrina von Cat the Master of Wisdom and Knowledge

    (and Stanley)

Disclosure: Neighbor Girl purchased a copy of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library. We received no monetary or in-kind compensation for her honest review. This post does NOT contain affiliate links.


Co-Hosting the 28th Kid Lit Blog Hop

Welcome to the 28th Kid Lit Blog Hop.
Kid Lit Blog Hop

   Stanley and I are thrilled to be Co-Hosts for this week's Kid Lit Blog Hop. Cool Mom often visits the hop by adding her book review and visiting with the other bloggers. She has introduced us to many new blogging friends through this hop filled with great children's books and reviews. 

   We decided to join in as co-hosts, this week, in honor of our blogiversary and Book Blasty Tour (with a GIVEAWAY) which is currently in progress. We are thrilled to join the ranks of these talented human bloggers. 

   The hosts and co-hosts of the Kid Lit Blog Hop have managed to create a dynamic and engaged community of children's books bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists, as well as parents seeking out their next great read. So, if you haven't joined the hop in a while (or if this is your first time joining in), please pop in a post and hop around to meet some of the new bloggers who have joined the Hop. If you are one of our regulars - thank you so much and Happy Hopping to all!  

 Joining us as a co-host, this week, is Lisa T. Cresswell, author of the Storyteller series for middle grade and the young adult novel, Hush Puppy. Big welcome to Lisa - we are happy to join her in co-hosting this week! Please be sure to give each of our hosts and co-hosts a visit to say a quick hello and we'll be sure to visit you right back!

Happy Hopping everyone and enjoy the Hop!

Kid Lit Blog Hop

REMINDER : Kid Lit Giveaway Hop Holiday Extravaganza

Kid Lit Giveaway Hop Holiday Button   As part of our Kid Lit community of bloggers and authors, we wanted to share with you information about the Kid Lit Giveaway Hop Holiday Extravaganza to take place December 6th to 13th, 2013. This event is hosted by Katie from Youth Literature Reviews and Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you are a blogger who features children's or young adult literature looking to share copies of a fabulous book winter-themed or holiday-themed book (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, etc), you are welcome to link up. You can also offer a gift card instead! Just click on the button below. Sign-ups are on-going until November 30, 2013.

Kid Lit Blog Hop Rules *Please Read*

1. We ask that you kindly follow your hosts and co-hosts. You can follow us any way you choose (Email, GFC, Twitter, Facebook, G+, Pinterest, etc.), but we've added our preferences below. If you could just give us a quick "follow" or "like" that would be much appreciated! Make sure to leave us a message if you are following us (i.e., on Twitter or Facebook or on our websites) and we will be sure to follow you back. Thanks! :-)
2. Link up any Kid Lit related post. This can be a link to a children’s book review, a discussion about children’s literature/literacy, or a post on a recently-read children’s book or one that you love from your childhood.
* Don't link directly to your blog, it must be a specific post*
* For Authors, we prefer you to link to your blog if you have one *
* Make sure you include an image relevant to the POST (e.g., book cover), not your blog button or photo of yourself.*
* Feel free to link more than one post.*
3. Please visit AT LEAST the TWO LINKS directly ahead of your own and leave them some love in the form of a comment. We are trying to build a community of bloggers, readers, parents, authors, and others who are as passionate about children’s literature as we are so please CONNECT and follow any or all of the blogs that interest you! 4. If you like, grab the button above and put it somewhere on your blog, preferably the post you're linking up. If you'd prefer, you can just add a text link back to this Hop so that others can find it and check out all these great book links! 5. It would really help us get the word out about the Kid Lit Blog Hop if you would be so kind as to tweet, share, and spread the word about the Hop!
Interested in co-hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop? Please email renee @ motherdaughterbookreviews (dot) com and put Co-Hosting Blog Hop in the subject line.
Happy Hopping!

Thank you for reading and sharing,

Katrina von Cat the Master of Wisdom and Knowledge (and Stanley)

Almost Wordless Wednesday: Blast from the Past

Poem? Story? Haiku? Question? What does this picture bring to your mind?
Write it below in the comments and have an amazing day!

This is where we typically have a hamster picture but I (Cool Mom) hijacked the post for a "Blast from the Past" picture (2007). Yep, that is Neighbor Girl in the Snow White dress. 
Does anyone else have these books? I think we have chuckled at them more than we actually used them to learn letters and such. My "j" Book is our personal favorite. Laughs galore! If you have the book, you might know why. 

We participate routinely in the following Wordless Wednesday Blog Hops.
We encourage you to visit them as well.
Thank you to all of the fabulous hosts!

Create with Joy's Wordless Wednesday
Amanda's Books & More Picture Perfect Party Linky
That Suburban Momma's Not so Wordless Wednesday
The Jenny's Evolution: Wordless Wednesday
Crafty Spices: Wordless Wednesday