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Review & Giveaway for Lulu The One and Only by Lynnette Mawhinney

Beagles & Books


About the Book:
Author: Lynette Mawhinney
Illustrator: Jennie Poh
Pub. Date:
June 9, 2020

Special thanks to Magination Press and Barbara Fisch of Blue Slip Media for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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#1246—8 – ALEXIA & MELVIN, Books 1 to 3 by Tevin Hansen

This is my husband, Tevin’s latest chapter book series, Hairytale Adventures! Thanks Kid Lit Review for the fantastic review!

Kids Lit Review

Book 1: The Birthday Bear
978-1-947854-88-8 — 108 Pages
Book 2: The Museum Guide
978-1-947854-93-2 — 112 Pages
Book 3: The Zookeeper
9978-1647030087 — 118 Pages
Written by Tevin Hansen
Handersen Publishing 2/03/2020
Chapter Books  Age 7—10

Genre:  Chapter Books, Fiction
Themes: Brown Bears, Impostors, Bullies

#1 The Birthday Bear [1246]

Can a bully be a friend?

Alexia is the smartest girl in her class, and she knows it. When she is invited to the school bully, Melvin’s birthday party, she has to use all her brainpower to save her classmates from a hungry IMPOSTER. (from back cover)

Opening Sentences
“My name is Alexia. But all it took was one kid at school to call me ‘Alex,’ and then everyone made fun of me.”

Why I like The Birthday Bear
Melvin and his buddies are bullies and Alexia is one of his favorite…

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#1231 – THE DAY WE WENT TO THE PARK by Linda Stephen & Christine Manno

Kids Lit Review

Written by Linda Stephen & Christine Manno
Illustrated by Linda Stephen
Handersen Publishing 2/15/2020
32 Pages   Age 4—8

                  DEBUT WRITERS & ARTIST

Genre:  Children’s Picture Book, Fiction
Themes: Parks, Origami, Outdoor Fun



The Day We Went to the Park takes the reader on a walk around a community park—exploring all there is to see, do and hear. Through rhyming verses and detailed origami paper sculptures, the story invites readers to observe, imagine, and interact with some of the nature at the park including squirrels, ladybugs, pine trees, prairie flowers and a painted turtle. The origami illustrations featured in The Day We Went to the Park reflect the rich diverse communities in which we all live and includes people of different ages, ethnicity, ability and gender. (from publisher)

Opening Sentences


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Awakening Magic is in print!

This series is FABULOUS!!!

Tangled Magic

Awakening Magic cover2

Prince Emric does not wish to inherit the throne.  He yearns to make music and explore the world.  Soon he escapes to a life on the road with the Travelers.

When the kingdom is in crisis, and on the verge of war, only Emric can unlock the deep earth magic to reunite them all.

As I may have mentioned, Awakening Magic is my favorite of the Karakesh Chronicles.  Why do I like it best?  Maybe it’s the music that flows throughout the story.  Certainly its partly the surprises I got while I was writing it.  I still ask myself, “Did I really think of that?”

I don’t remember how the twists in plot appeared.  For me, the writer, that is the excitement of making a story.  The characters go off in a different direction. The plot tangles and winds into complicated knots that somehow weave together at the end.


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National Poetry Month Week 4: Let’s get real!

Obviously, poetry has been an important part of my life. Both reading and writing have gotten me through some tough spells.

As punishment, my mom once made me take my journal outside and write. I was taught to work through difficult situations and emotions by expressing them, owning them, and figuring out a way to deal with them if they decided to stay.

When I lost my grandfather words poured out onto paper. If I had trouble with a boyfriend, best friend, work colleague . . . I would grab my laptop and type. When our family moved across the country to a state I had never even visited, far away from known relatives, I wrote . . . usually in rhyme.

Journaling isn’t something that I do anymore (although, I should probably pick it up again), but if I’m somewhere and something hits me, I immediately search for the closest scrap of paper and begin to write. Then, I try not to lose it, so that piece of paper can make its way to the folder that contains these bits of my soul.

But what I’m finding, as I grow older is that sometimes you indirectly write about a problem. And if, with age comes wisdom, then wisdom also comes with a sense of humor.

My first collection of children’s poetry, was filled with silliness of childhood. I had moldy dancing food, dust bunnies, and smelly brothers. PS, I’m pretty sure I’ve got one of these dancing green guys in my fridge right now!

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When I started my latest book, though, I still wanted to capture those moments of childhood, but I wanted them to be real. I wanted this book to represent lots of different children, not just the ones in my house.

I’m having trouble with one poem in my book. It’s my favorite, and it gets very real, very quickly. I’m wondering if it’s too real for a children’s book. I think that kids can handle it, in that obscure positive way that they tend to look at the world.

But as a parent it breaks my heart. I’ll paste it below, and you tell me what you think.

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Counting stars up in the sky, close your eyes and wonder why.

Feel the fear, and maybe cry, it’s okay to wonder why.

Counting stars up in the sky, close your eyes and dream today,

Picture someplace far away, free from questions, free to play.

Counting stars up in the sky, close your eyes and make a wish.

Imagine floating through the night in a giant rocket ship.

Take a breath, count down from ten, feel the rocket trip begin.

See the planets, see the moon, see adventure coming soon.

Counting stars up in the sky, imagination overdrive.

Take you where you want to go, when life gets tough and you don’t know.

When questions don’t have simple answers,

When days are long and time has stopped.

Counting stars up in the sky, helps when you are wondering why.

Hi, Winter. It’s not you, it’s me.

It’s the second week in April, and the weather outside is looking bleak. I have a message for winter:

“Hi, Winter. We’ve been together for a while now, but we need to talk. It’s not you, it’s me. We just want two different things. I’m moving forward, on to something different. It’s not that we didn’t have some fun times. Sledding was a blast! And there is no one better at building a snowman than you. It’s just time for a change.

Okay, I’ll be honest, I’ve met someone new. It was a week ago, when suddenly the sun was shining and it was warm outside. I even put on a tank top. It was just so new. I felt something that I hadn’t in a while. I just don’t think I can feel that way with you anymore.

It’s just time for us to go our separate ways. You’ll be okay, I promise. And who knows! In eight months things might be different, and we may find a way to make this work again. Thanks for the good times. I’ll never forget you.

Now get out!”

Coming to You from Spain: Guadix Troglodytes

Tangled Magic


In the mountain above the city of Guadix, people live in house-caves.  The white pillars that you see sticking up are either air vents or chimneys.  We arrived before the museum opened, but a woman who was cranking out the awning of her store directed us to her “cueva”, to have a look inside for free.


Her husband was waiting to welcome us in.  He’s there in the photo, behind the gatepost.

IMG_4980   IMG_4981 Kitchen, dining area, IMG_4983bedroom   IMG_4984 and bath.

The man’s family has lived there for four generations.

We explored the church, also a cave dug into the mountain.


The Museum of Traditional Culture was a gem, situated in a cueva that was furnished as it had been in 1928 when the family bought it for less than $2.00.  We saw a film about the history of caves, from practical to religious.   The rooms were full of artifacts.


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What I’m Reading

Tangled Magic

Life in Yam Hill (Part I), by Tevin Hansen

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to live inside a giant potato?   Tevin Hansen wondered, and he wrote a whole book about it. Polly (Want a Cracker) and her good friend Bic (Lighter) know very little about the Old Earth that existed before the Great Unexpected Tragedy. But Polly’s adult friend, Jack of Hearts, has information about Yam Hill that could endanger all three of their lives.

Author Hansen has created a strange, orange world inside the yam, down to details of how people eat, dress, and dispose of waste. I was drawn in by the weirdness of the concept from the beginning. After the Elders showed up, things got really exciting. I can’t wait to read Part II!

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Because sometimes . . .

Because sometimes you wake up with a sore throat, an AWFUL attitude, and something growing on your face that looks like a second chin.

Because sometimes you just want to crawl into a hole for the next 3-5 business days, but there are still lunches to make, boo-boos to kiss, hair to brush…the list never ends.

Because sometimes the Wild Kratts’ Monkey Mayhem game is the hardest thing in the entire world, and Chris and Martin should crawl into a hole.


Disclaimer: I’m really quite fond of the Wild Kratts. Their TV show and most of their games are wonderful. It’s just that my almost four-year-old isn’t quite ready for this game, and it is the ONLY one that he wants to play.