Why literacy is so important (and how you can help)


You can help!

Go to http://indianapolis.bracketsforgood.org and donate to First Book before Friday at 8 pm EST. We’re in the top left quadrant of the bracket. Follow the directions on the page. Thank you for your support in giving books to low income Indy area kids!

Please share to raise awareness about Team First Book and the Brackets for Good competitive giving challenge.


What books to buy kids this Christmas

Now that Halloween is over, Christmas takes over. Decorations come out, carols come on, and kids’ list grow and grow. To help with your gift giving, below are links to our 5 snack reviews from the past several months:

These books are great for boys and girls from birth to preschool. Will you promote literacy this holiday season? Let me know what books you give as presents!

Happy working song – for trucks!

Max is always singing. “The ABCs”, “Jesus Loves Me”, “Twinkle Twinkle”, Lee Brice’s “I Don’t Dance”, and Florida Georgia Line’s “Cruise” are his favorites, but really anything can get him singing. His favorite moments of movies are the end credits, when they play music.

“Let’s get up and dance, Mommy!” he always says. Usually this is at home, though, we did boogie a week ago at the theatre after The BoxTrolls.

Sing Along Construction Song - CoverCombine this love of singing with the kid’s love of Bob the Builder and his team of trucks, and you could say that Max was a bit of a fan when we played “Sing Along Construction Song” and paged through the book. Okay, a huge fan!

Louise Lintvelt’s book follows along a construction crew (the automobiles, not the humans) as they spend a happy day at work. Illustrator Julie Sneeden does a great job of making the trucks look happy and inviting. Sung to “Round the Mulberry Bush”, the story introduces readers to the jobs of each truck, as well as to the idea that work can also be fun. I’d like Max to realize that work is not some sort of death sentence!

I should add that my four-month-old also loves to listen at story time, and – while he usually gets the smiliest baby award anyway – he laughed and smiled the whole way through this sing along.

“Sing Along Construction Song” deserves 5 snacks!

Snacks for Max 5 snacks

Early enough for Father’s Day! Mighty Dads Blog Tour

My husband and I are expecting our second son at the end of the month, and I’ve been looking for a “new daddy” gift to give him that will commemorate this special day in our lives. I know he’ll be teaching both our boys all that they know about tons of subjects (anything outdoors, I stink at), so Mighty Dads is a great choice! I hope you enjoy the information below about the book by Joan Holub, illustrated by James Dean.

Mighty Dads by Joan Holub and James DeanAbout the Book

Title: Mighty Dads | Author: Joan Holub | Illustrator: James Dean| Publication Date: April 29, 2014 | Publisher: Scholastic | Pages: 40 | Recommended Ages: 3+

Summary: A new constructacular picture book from the New York Times bestselling creator of Pete the Cat, James Dean and bestselling author, Joan Holub.

Mighty dads, strong and tall,

help their children, young and small.

They keep them safe and bolted tight

and show them how to build things right. Continue reading

Kid Lit Blog Hop #37

The Kid Lit Blog Hop hostesses are super-excited to unveil our new Kid Lit Blog Hop button. Tada!!!

Kid Lit Blog Hop Button

The Kid Lit Blog Hop began roughly 1 1/2 years ago and the original design for the button was drawn by my then 9 year old daughter, who complained that she could have drawn something much better if I hadn’t insisted on stick figures. While the old logo is certainly recognizable, we felt it was time to breathe new life into the Hop. Please feel free to grab the code for the button (below) and pop it up into your sidebar or elsewhere on your site.

Big thank you to designbox1, who we found through Fiverr, for working closely with us in creating our beautiful new button.

Children’s Book Week ~ Kid Lit Giveaway Hop 2014

CBW Kid Lit Giveaway Hop 2014 - Banner - FINALWe also want to invite you to participate in the Children’s Book Week Kid Lit Giveaway Hop 2014 (May 12 to 18). Are you a children’s book or teen literature blogger, an author, a publisher, or a publicist looking to share copies of a fabulous book? Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews are joining forces to provide you with the opportunity to take part in a Blog Hop featuring links to giveaways for fabulous children/teen’s books, gift cards, cash, or other prizes. What better way to celebrate Children’s Book Week?



On to the Kid Lit Blog Hop!

Welcome to the 37th Kid Lit Blog Hop where twice per month (the 1st and 3rd Wednesday) we continue to develop a dynamic and engaged community of children’s books bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists. So, you are always more than welcome to join us by popping in a post and hopping around to meet some of your fellow Kid Lit bloggers and authors!

We are pleased to welcome Divina from Beauty of the Picture Book as co-host this week. Please pop on over and give her a quick hello and welcome and be sure to follow her as specified below. Welcome Divina!

Happy Hopping everyone and enjoy the Hop!

Kid Lit Blog Hop
<div align="center"><a href="http://motherdaughterbookreviews.com/category/kid-lit-blog-hops/" title="Kid Lit Blog Hop" target="_blank"><img src="http://motherdaughterbookreviews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/KLBH-Button-FINAL.jpg" alt="Kid Lit Blog Hop" style="border:none;" /></a></div>


Kid Lit Blog Hop Rules *Please Read*

1. We ask that you kindly follow your 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! 🙂


Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews Facebook * Twitter

Jaymie @ Snacks for Max Twitter * Facebook

Katie @ Youth Literature Reviews Twitter * Facebook

Julie Grasso, Author/ Blogger Twitter * Facebook

Cheryl Carpinello, Author / Blogger Twitter * Facebook

Reshama @ Stacking Books Twitter * Facebook

Stacie @ BeachBoundBooks Twitter * Facebook

Destiny @ Reading and Sharing Twitter * Facebook

Mia @ Pragmatic Mom Twitter * Facebook

Lina @ Best 4 Future: Bringing Up Baby Bilingual Twitter * Facebook


Beauty of the Picture Book Email * Facebook

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. Please link unique posts each time ~ no repeats please. *

* 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? If you’ve joined us before, you are welcome to join us again! Please email renee @ motherdaughterbookreviews (dot) com and put Co-Hosting Blog Hop in the subject line.

Happy Hopping!

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Kid Lit Blog Hop #36

Welcome to the 36th Kid Lit Blog Hop where twice per month (the 1st and 3rd Wednesday) we continue to develop a dynamic and engaged community of children’s books bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists. You are always more than welcome to join us by popping in a post and hopping around to meet some of your fellow Kid Lit bloggers and authors!

Max and I are SUPER excited to participate today because it is his birthday! He hasn’t opened his presents yet, but I’ll give you a peak in our review for the day 😉 On top of a new swing for his swingset, a Spiderman Tough Buddy, a Spiderman web shooter, bubbles, and puzzles he will open two books, one of which is That’s Good! That’s Bad! in Washington, DC. Continue reading

Kid Lit Blog Hop #33

Welcome to the 33rd Kid Lit Blog Hop where twice per month (the 1st and 3rd Wednesday) we continue to develop a dynamic and engaged community of children’s books bloggers, authors, publishers, and publicists. So, you are always more than welcome to join us by popping in a post and hopping around to meet some of your fellow Kid Lit bloggers and authors!

We are pleased to welcome Belinda Brock, a writer and blogger, as a co-hostess this week. You can find her at http://belindabrock.com. Big welcome to Belinda! Continue reading

Diane Cantrell $100 Book Blast

My Max always loves to read books about boys named Max, so we were thrilled to get the chance to read Good-bye, Baby Max. Although the target reading age is a year or so older than he is now, it still introduced key subjects he will need to grow into. I love the ideas that the teacher gave for saying goodbye. Good-bye, Baby Max deserves four snacks:

Snacks, GerberWhile Max now has all his baby teeth, we aren’t yet at the stage for the tooth fairy; however, with so many movies now out with the character, he is still familiar with the concept. In addition, the larger theme is about growing up. My toddler faces this idea as he … ba ba ba! … becomes an older brother in a few months! We’re expecting a little brother for him around Memorial Day. At this point, Max still sometimes calls himself a baby, sometimes a little boy, and sometimes a big boy. So this book about growing up will help him through it. Plus, any story with so many doggies is sure to impress my little man!

Riley’s Lost Tooth deserves four snacks:

Snacks, Gerber

Good-bye Baby Max by Diane CantrellTitle: Good-bye Baby Max Author: Diane Cantrell Illustrator: Heather Castles Publication Date: February, 2008 Publisher: Bridgeway Books Number of pages: 32 Recommended age: 4+

Summary: Mrs. B’s class excitedly awaits the birth of three baby chicks. When Max is unable to crack open his shell, the children’s loving teacher assists them in expressing their feelings of loss and planning a special good-bye.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Author Website

About the Books

Riley's Lost Tooth by Diane CantrellTitle: Riley’s Lost Tooth Author: Diane Cantrell Illustrator: Heather Castles Publication Date: February 16, 2010 Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Group Number of pages: 24 Recommended age: 4+


Oh no! One of Sunday’s very favorite humans, Riley, has lost her tooth! But where did it go? How did she lose it? Why does no one besides Sunday seem to care? It isn’t long before the tooth fairy steps in and tries to teach the pups all about growing up. Join Sunday and her two puppy-pals, Precious and Mr. Lee, as they try to hunt down . . . Riley’s lost tooth!


Book Trailer for Riley’s Lost Tooth

The Buzz

Riley’s Lost Tooth: “The book is well written and the illustrations are beautiful. The book will definitely appeal to all children (including children at heart like this reviewer) and their parents / grandparents / elder siblings and other care givers. The book is strongly recommended as a good gift that is educational and also entertaining.” ~ 5 Star Review, S.V. Swamy, Amazon

Good-bye Baby Max: “This book is amazing! I have given it as several gifts to my friends with children. It is very well written and the illustrations are fun and colorful. This book it a great tool to help parents and teachers talk to children about loss of a pet and a loved one in general. I would highly recommend this book to everyone!” ~ 5 Star Review, Dawn N., Amazon

Good-bye Baby Max: “This colorful, hardcover children’s title Good-bye, Baby Max (Bridgeway Books, Texas, 2007) by Diane Cantrell & Heather Castles is special in its purpose of teaching an invaluable lesson: that of properly saying the final farewell to a loved one who is no more … Diane Cantrell has created a very purposeful book for children-one that is at once a story, a poem, and a healthy course of helping children get over grief. The book’s illustrations by Heather Castles are very appealing to a child’s imagination. There is a good deal here in Good-bye, Baby Max to learn for children ages 4 to 8 years and the 32-pages book is a must read for all kids of this age category.” ~ Ernest Dempsey, Book Corner

Good-bye Baby Max: “I bought this book to help my nieces and nephews deal with the loss of a beloved pet. The storyline and illustrations were used as a springboard to discuss their own loss. I highly recommend this book to anyone that has young children and is looking for a way to help them cope with a loss in their lives.” ~ 5 Star Review, Jeanne B., Amazon

Good-bye Baby Max: “[Good-bye, Baby Max] is a tender story about death, a tough topic for young children. Kindergarteners eagerly await spring and the hatching of the class’ three chick eggs. But one chick, Max, dies. What ensues is a gentle exploration of grief and its many expressions — from tears to songs to artwork. At the end, the surviving chicks’ peeps encourage the children to embrace the living without forgetting the dead.” ~ Michele Siuda Jacques, Detroit Free Press

About the Author: Diane Cantrell

Diane Cantrell

Diane Cantrell

Diane Cantrell began her career in education teaching Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Transitional First Grade. She also worked as a counselor providing assistance to parenting teens in a local school district. As a Licensed Professional Counselor, Diane has provided therapy for adults, families, and children in agencies and private practice settings. As part of her private practice, she offers parent training to her clients and to parents in local schools. Diane is presently writing and publishing children’s books as well as provides counseling services to adults and children in her private practice, Life Designs Counseling.

Diane’s time at Fort Sam Houston I.S.D. provided inspiration for Good-bye, Baby Max. The book, which is based on a true story, describes how Ms. B helps her kindergarten class cope with the loss of a classroom pet. At the time Diane wrote the book she was working with many children who were experiencing a great deal of loss in their lives. Her hope in writing Good-bye, Baby Max was that the story would help parents, children, and other caring professionals begin talking about losses rather than responding to their losses from a state of fear. Her second book, Riley’s Lost Tooth, was written for her granddaughter, Riley as a Valentine’s Day present. Mr. Lee, and Sunday are main characters in the book as is Precious, who died before the book was written.

When Diane is not involved in writing or listening to people’s stories, she enjoys being with her husband, Rich, and their two dogs, Sunday and Mr. Lee. Diane and Rich live in San Antonio, Texas.

Website | Twitter

* $100 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $100 Amazon Gift card or PayPal cash (winner’s choice)

Contest runs: January 20th to February 19th, 11:59 pm, 2014

Open: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

MDBR Book Promotion Services

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Diane Cantrell and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Kid Lit Blog Hop #23

Welcome to the 23rd Kid Lit Blog Hop! The Kid Lit Blog Hop takes place on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month. We 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. Link in and make some new friends!

This week, even though Max is not in school, we are reviewing a great back-to-school book: The Library Dragon, which we came across at Half Price Books. I hope you enjoy it! Continue reading