Spotlight & Giveaway for Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes!

Be An Upside Down Thinker!

Welcome to a special post featuring Shelley Johannes’s debut children’s title Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker! Disney-Hyperion has very kindly sent me a copy of the book to check out and is partnering with me for a great giveaway.

Shelley Johannes’s debut is an early children’s fiction title with lots of zest and heart. Beatrice Zinker is one of three Zinker children, and she’s never felt like she’s quite fit in with her family- most especially with her older sister Kate, the spit of her very organized, right-side up mom. From an early age, Beatrice has been most fascinated by the ‘maybe’s’ of life, of adventure, of not quite doing the expected…and of doing her best thinking upside down (or hanging out in trees). When Beatrice is surprised with a special award for ‘Best Upside Down Thinker’ at the end of first grade- and makes a wonderful friend in classmate Lenny- Beatrice thinks things might actually be turning perfectly upside down in her favour. But then third grade starts and things start to go more than awry for Beatrice. With a stricter, unbending new teacher, and a best friend who seems to be drifting away from adventure and ‘what-ifs’, Beatrice finds herself in a terrible bind. With it looking like a disastrous, lonely year ahead, Beatrice decides to charge ahead with her top secret Operation Upside. Beatrice is an unusual, brave character who will likely find lots of young readers able to empathize with her and her growing pains. Tackling broader yet understandable issues like sibling drama, changing friendships and staying true to one’s self, Johannes creates something unique and winningly kooky with Beatrice and the Zinker family. While some of Beatrice’s motivations and actions through the middle of novel come off as a little haphazard or unexplored (well, kind like Beatrice herself, at times!), the story swirls beautifully towards a lovely ending. Readers who are enjoying series like Dory Fantasmagory, Mercy Watson, Princess Pistachio, Judy Moody, or Clementine, might especially adore Beatrice (and her family!) and look forward to more of her upside down adventures.


Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes, with illus. by the author
Release date: September 19, 2017
Recommended for ages 9-12


Beatrice does her best thinking upside down.

Hanging from trees by her knees, doing handstands . . . for Beatrice Zinker, upside down works every time. She was definitely upside down when she and her best friend, Lenny, agreed to wear matching ninja suits on the first day of third grade. But when Beatrice shows up at school dressed in black, Lenny arrives with a cool new outfit and a cool new friend. Even worse, she seems to have forgotten all about the top-secret operation they planned!

Can Beatrice use her topsy-turvy way of thinking to save the mission, mend their friendship, and flip things sunny-side up?


Shelley Johannes previously spent ten years in architecture—where she fell in love with felt-tip pens, tracing paper, and the greatness of black turtlenecks. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two sons. Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker is the first book she’s written. Find her online at


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One (1) winner will receive:

-Copy of Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker
-“Upside Down Thinker” beanie
-Branded pencil case and notepad!

Open to US addresses only. Prizing and samples provided by Disney-Hyperion.

Update: GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED- Thank you to everyone who entered!

The winning name is: KELLY T.! Congratulations! Please confirm your win within 24 hours of notification to claim your prize.

The giveaway will run from October 6, 2017 to October 13, 2017, and is open to US residents. The winning entry will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter. Winner has 48 hours to respond to me via email at fabbookreviews[at]gmail[dot]com with their mailing address or a new entry will be drawn. Enter by clicking on the following link to Rafflecopter and follow the instructions to enter:

Click here to enter the giveaway!

Here’s our family guinea pig Wilbur hanging out with Beatrice, showing off his favourite way to read. He’s always been an awesome, unexpected kind of piggie…


A copy of this title was sent courtesy of Disney-Hyperion for the purposes of this post and giveaway. Disney-Hyperion is also providing a prize pack for one winner from my site. Review opinions and comments are my own.


Spotlight & Giveaway for A.N. Kang’s Papillon: The Very Fluffy Kitty!

Untitled-1Welcome to a special post featuring A.N. Kang’s picture book debut Papillon: The Very Fluffy Kitty and a fabulous giveaway, courtesy of Disney-Hyperion! Read on to find out more about the series and how you can enter to win a prize pack featuring Papillon!

I have read a fair number of picture books about cats and kittens in my time so far as a children’s librarian and reviewer. One might think that I’ve experienced it all- I have already seen everything in picture books that could be done around and about kitties, right?! But no! Because, thanks to the ridiculously adorable work of A.N. Kang, I have recently met a fluffy, floating kitten named Papillon and he has entered the echelon of one of the most adorably written and illustrated kittens I have seen in picture books.

Papillon, as we learn right away, is a very big kitty who happens to be able to float as he is ‘lighter than air’. He has a very loving owner, Miss Tilly, who cannot help but worry for Papillon: what if one day he floats away and gets lost? So, in trying to keep Papillon safe and close to the ground, Miss Tilly tries different ways of weighing down Papillon. After feeding Papillon heaps and heaps of delicious food don’t do enough to weigh him down, Miss Tilly tries to costume him in various outfits. Papillon does want any of that and refuses to wear even an eyepatch. Alas, one day Miss Tilly’s biggest worry comes to fruition when Papillon spots an adorable little friend (a tiny red bird) and follows him out the window and far, far, away from home. Kang does a wonderful job showing Papillon’s adventures and contrasting- through colour and tone- the safe world that Papillon is used to with that of the scarier, bigger, uncertain world. With just a little dose of worry, Kang brings the story back to a hopeful end as tiny bird and Papillon work together to try and make it back home. To the happy relief of likely all readers, a good and lovely ending indeed meets Papillon, Miss Tilly, as well as his little bird friend!

For any readers who love a gently funny and cuter than cute , feel-good story (either for a read aloud or quiet read), I would definitely recommend Papillon: The Very Fluffy Kitty. A.N. Kang’s work is impressive and smart for a debut: using one remarkably likable and captivating character with a little twist, this story is simple, charming and will likely delight readers of all ages. And, of course, Kang’s illustrations are a little slice of darling- so beautiful and pleasing! Readers who have enjoyed picture books such as Fran Vischer’s Fuddles, Linda Newbery’s Posy, Sam Lloyd’s Mr. Pusskins titles or similarly sweet animal or cat titles, might especially love meeting and reading about Papillon.









Read on for more about Papillon and how to enter the giveaway!

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Spotlight and Giveaway: Bob Shea’s Ballet Cat series!


Welcome to a special post featuring Bob Shea’s Ballet Cat books and a very cool and generous giveaway, courtesy of Disney-Hyperion! Read on to find out more about the series and how you can enter to win a prize pack featuring everything Ballet Cat.

Bob Shea, author and illustrator of terrific and fun picture books (the Shark vs. series, Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great, Don’t Play With Your Food) has entered the world of early fiction readers with the tremendously entertaining, effervescent, and madcap Ballet Cat series. With the intrepid and energetic Ballet Cat as our leader, readers are in for twirls and leaps as they meet fun dance-loving friends and help solve some problems.


Stimulating and vibrant in illustration and appearance, Ballet Cat uses conversation bubbles as narrative style to great effect. Having the chance to read the story as conversations between Ballet Cat and Butter Bear (or other characters) makes for practice if reading alone, fun back-and-forth if reading in pairs, as well as wonderful voice opportunities if reading aloud and sharing with a group.


Readers who are familiar with Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie readers or Pigeon picture book series and are looking for something new, energetic and funny to read- Ballet Cat is a terrific choice and will likely become a new well-read favourite. Ballet Cat might also be a solid pick for those those who enjoy young readers series such as Pete the Cat, Brownie & Pearl, Splat the Cat, Pig in a Wig, or other similar humorous children’s titles.


Ballet Cat series by Bob Shea (for ages 6-8)
Book 1: The Totally Secret Secret (in stores now!)
Book 2: Dance! Dance! Underpants! (in stores February 2!)

The Totally Secret Secret

BalletCat1Ballet Cat and Sparkles the Pony are trying to decide what to play today. Nothing that Sparkles suggests–making crafts, playing checkers, and selling lemonade–goes well with the leaping, spinning, and twirling that Ballet Cat likes to do. When Sparkles’s leaps, spins, and twirls seem halfhearted, Ballet Cat asks him what’s wrong. Sparkles doesn’t want to say. He has a secret that Ballet Cat won’t want to hear. What Sparkles doesn’t know is that Ballet Cat has a secret of her own, a totally secret secret. Once their secrets are shared, will their friendship end, or be stronger than ever?

Dance! Dance! Underpants!

BalletCat2Ballet Cat is getting her friend Butter Bear ready for her big ballet debut. “Leap, Butter Bear, leap!” Ballet Cat prompts. But Butter Bear would prefer to just point her toe. When Ballet Cat keeps pushing, Butter Bear gets hungry, then thirsty, then sleepy . . . The bottom line is that Butter Bear would rather do almost anything to avoid making a big leap. Why? Because her bottom is covered in silly underpants! This second entry in the Ballet Cat series will have beginning readers rolling on the floor with laughter.



BobSheaBob Shea is the author of the first book about Ballet Cat: THE TOTALLY SECRET SECRET, the Dinosaur vs. series, and several other picture books, including DON’T PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD and UNICORN THINKS HE’S PRETTY GREAT. He and his wife have their own design studio in Madison, Connecticut.




Learn more at the Official Site
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One (1) winner will receive:


· Plus a plush BALLET CAT by MerryMakers Inc.

Giveaway open to US addresses only. Prizing and samples provided by Disney-Hyperion.

The giveaway is open to: United States

The giveaway opens: February 8th, 2016

The giveaway closes: February 15th, 2016

The winning entry will be randomly selected via Rafflecopter. All entries will be verified. Winner has by end of day February 17, 2016 to respond to me via email ( with their mailing address, or a new entry will be drawn. Enter by clicking on the following link to Rafflecopter and follow the instructions to enter.

Enter the giveaway here via Rafflecopter!

Update February 15th: The giveaway is now closed!

Thank you to everyone who entered and participated!

Congratulations to: Tara O.!

Please email me with your mailing address by February 17th!


Copies of Totally Secret Secret and Dance! Dance! Underpants provided courtesy of Disney-Hyperion for purposes of this post and giveaway. Review opinions and comments are my own. Disney-Hyperion is also providing the prize pack for one winner from my site. Thank you!