Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Earth Day Blog Tour: I'll Follow the Moon, Snowy White World to Save, & Little Library Mouse by Stephanie Lisa Tara

I was so happy when I was able to be a part of this wonderful and fun blog tour centered around Earth Day and some really inspiring books by an amazing children's author, Stephanie Lisa Tara. 
You should definitely check out the rest of the tour and see all the really great blogs participating in the tour.  Thanks so much to Candace's Book Blog and CBB Book Promotions for all the hard work that is put into this exciting blog tour! Click here to see the tour schedule and the other books of Stephanie Lisa Tara.
So let's get started with the reviews first, shall we?


Title: I'll Follow the Moon
Author: Stephanie Lisa Tara
Illustrator: Lee Edward Fodi
Publisher: Brown Books
Date of Publication: Sept. 7, 2005
Source: received from publisher & CBB Book Promotions 

Synopsis :
On a quiet, moonlit beach, a baby green sea turtle stirs from a dream of home. Slowly, slowly, with a tap, crick, crack, the baby turtle embarks upon a mysterious nighttime journey. Gentle, tender verse and enchanting illustrations carry this tranquil tale from sand to sea.
My Thoughts:
This is such an astounding little book!  I love turtles of all shapes and sizes, but there is something truly magical about these baby sea turtles that made everything seem so perfect.  
I am a true fan of rhyme in stories, especially children's books, and I'll Follow the Moon is made more interesting with the precious saying that is repeated throughout its pages:

"I'm coming, Mama, I'll see you soon  I know just how...I'll follow the moon"

 That saying just rolls right off your tongue like waves gently pushing against the sea.  If there ever was a lullaby for the sea and its creatures, this mantra seems perfect for it.  
I read this book out loud to all of my children and they seemed to get lost in the words of it.  I even had my youngest say he felt like he was right there with the baby sea turtles, trying to find his way to the water too.  The words are very creative but simple enough for even the youngest reader to understand everything that happens.  
I'll Follow the Moon is perfect to read to your little ones as a bedtime story but also helps all of us learn more about these majestic little animals that rely on the moon to reach the beginning of their lives.  
I gave this story five hearts because of how it was beautifully crafted!

Title: Snowy White World to Save
Author: Stephanie Lisa Tara
Illustrator: Alex Walton
Publisher:  CreateSpace
Date of Publication: Jan. 25, 2013
Source: received from author for honest review
A mother polar bear and her cubs search for food as the sea ice melts. Includes a kid-friendly resource guide so readers can educate themselves to become global citizens.

My Thoughts:
The pictures in this book are absolutely beautiful!!  I love how not only do they re create the polar bears, but within each scene you see other animals that are also in the same environment with the polar bears.  
The writing is also beautiful as well!  The prose flows throughout the book, taking us on a journey with the Mama polar bear as she tries to teach her cubs how to survive in a world that is slowly disappearing for them.  
I liked that the book teaches the kids a little about global warming but in ways they can understand.  It shows them (and us, the adults) that our actions, no matter how small, can affect the planet in a good way, or in a bad way.  
Another thing I loved was the fact it has a lesson guide in the back that can help parents and teachers get our children more involved in helping the environment, by showing some simple actions that we can take to make our planet safer and last a very long time.
I give it four hearts!

 Title: Little Library Mouse
Author: Stephanie Lisa Tara
Illustrator: Alex Walton
Date of Publication: CreateSpace Jan. 28,  2013
Source: received from author for honest review of it

Even when you are little, you can imagine big. At closing time a key locks the library, and unlocks the dreams of a little mouse who waits in the shadows. Skipping, sliding, down the pages of books? he steps inside magical stories, inviting readers to come along for the ride. Witty verse and fantastical illustrations celebrate the joys of reading in this tale with innovative charm.

My Thoughts:
I have to say Little Library Mouse has become one of my all time favorite story books.  I absolutely loved this story so much due to all the creativity among its pages!   The illustrations captured my eyes with love with their old school charm and the rustic narrator mouse that graces the pages.  This book could make even the most reluctant reader become giddy with the excitement over the adventures awaiting them in the library. 
Again, I have to tell you how much I LOVE the rhymes in stories.  In fact, it is proven that children (my son included) learn easier and retain things much easier when they can put it into a friendly rhyme. 
The light prose that goes through the story puts your mind at ease as if you are floating along a cloud seeing different images in the sky.  This was a warm funny and amusing story that teaches us having an imagination can take us anywhere as well as getting lost in books.  

I actually felt like Little Library Mouse was written in more of a poem format than your standard book format, which helped introduce poetry to young kids too.   The stanzas in the book grabbed me with such intensity because of the flair and vividness of the words brought to life on the pages.  
I had so many favorite quotes from the story it is hard to pinpoint just one but I did think this one stood out for me and definitely for my youngest son for his love of rainbows:

"I'm red
I'm yellow
I'm iridescent blue,
Short stories are rainbows
of sharp color and hue." 
I love books that hold such magic for our minds and I absolutely adore children's books that can capture a child's heart and show them the thrill, the beauty, and the satisfaction of diving into a good book.  
Little Library Mouse is this book and I have become a fan for life of this story and our author, Stephanie Lisa Tara.  I definitely recommend  this book to young and old who love to read to go on an adventure with a very clever mouse and his little helpers. 
I give this book five hearts and more!!!!

Earth Day Celebrations:
Another great aspect of this Earth Day tour is sharing our love for this planet.  The things we do that helps us maintain a good relationship with Mother Earth.  
Our tradition, if you will, isn't something that we do just on Earth Day.  No, it is more of something that we have been doing for as long as I can remember and now we share it with our kids too.  This  is something that we can do throughout the year; or at least when my Mom a.k.a Green Thumb Judy recommends the days.  
My sons, my mom(Nana), and myself always take time out to plant in their garden many different kinds of goodies, like beans, peas, squash, and cucumbers.  
Not only do we get to bond over dirty hands, pulling weeds, and taking turns hoeing the rows for the little seeds to be dropped in, but my mom and I get to teach the boys the importance of growing your own food the right way.  
The boys get to see how I grew up as a child working in the garden, but they also get to see that the extra food we pull from the garden always gets shared with neighbors, other family members, and even strangers at the local farmer's market.  
Not only are the kids learning how to be healthy they are learning how to be good human beings in society and on this beautiful planet we call home.

So you see, Earth day can be about many things.  That is why this blog tour is such a great idea and such a huge impact on me.  And you know what is another great thing about this tour?  There are giveaways!! Oh yeah!!  
But first, lets check out the fantastic author that brought us all of these wonderful books and showed us the importance of taking care of our planet!  

About the Author:

 I've always believed that magic hides in special places. As a child, people would often stare at my bright red hair, which was very, very bright indeed.
Unfortunately, I developed a bad habit of making up rhymes about all of them, and they soon became funny characters. I didn't have much time to think about being different; fanciful lyricisms danced in my head, and no one was safe!
Since then, I've come to believe that storytelling has the power to inspire a deep love of language and learning. Words tripping off the tongue in somersaults that stick to your thoughts like taffy-- those are the things that stay forever in the mind.
I've lived in many special places: on a farm, in a city skyscraper, on a tropical beach, and in the beautiful country of France. Now I live in northern California, between the redwood forests and the sea. Even though I'm an adult, I'm still as silly as ever.
Many nice words have been used to describe my books, such as fun, engaging, delightful, and whimsical. Some folks say that I deliver timeless messages of love for kids and parents to share again and again; this makes me very happy. I hope that you'll enjoy my stories, too. Captivating children with language is something that I believe in, and I strive to live my life with this always.
--Stephanie Lisa Tara

Stephanie Lisa Tara's Personal Sites:

~~~Giveaway # 2~~~
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