Bad Kitty: Puppy’s Big Day Roundup!

Friday, January 23rd, 2015 / Share your comments...

Bad Kitty’s in a bad mood . . . a very bad mood, and Puppy is not helping.

Enter Uncle Murray, who’s tasked with taking care of Puppy for the day, but that’s when the trouble begins. When they go on a walk through the park, Uncle Murray almost gets himself arrested while Puppy ends up in the pound, where he meets some very peculiar new pals.

Get ready for a wild adventure in this hilarious and heartfelt new installment in the bestselling Bad Kitty series, the first to focus on the irresistible Puppy!

Here are some of the fantastic and hilarious images from PUPPY’S BIG DAY by Nick Bruel!

Puppy'sBigDay1 Puppy'sBigDay3 (more…)



Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 / Share your comments...

Finding Serendipity Blog Tour Banner

FINDING SERENDIPITY author, Angelica Banks (who is actually Heather Rose and Danielle Wood), is going on a blog tour! The full schedule is listed below. Check out each blog and you’ll find exclusive content about FINDING SERENIDPITY, which comes out Feb. 3rd! Pre-order!

Book Description:

When Tuesday McGillycuddy and her beloved dog, Baxterr, discover that Tuesday’s mother—the famous author Serendipity Smith—has gone missing, they set out on a magical adventure. In their quest to find Serendipity, they discover the mysterious and unpredictable place that stories come from. Here, Tuesday befriends the fearless Vivienne Small, learns to sail an enchanted boat, tangles with an evil pirate, and discovers the truth about her remarkable dog. Along the way, she learns what it means to be a writer and how difficult it can sometimes be to get all the way to The End.

Blog Schedule:

Monday, January 26
The Busy Librarian

Tuesday, January 27
Librarian in Cute Shoes

Thursday, January 29
Read. Write. Reflect.

Friday, January 30
Sharp Reads

Monday, February 2
Watch. Connect. Read.

Tuesday, February 3
Nerdy Book Club


Martin Luther King Junior Day

Friday, January 16th, 2015 / Share your comments...


This coming Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. To honor this civil rights leader and encourage young readers to discover MLK, we’ve collected a few titles highlighting the civil rights movement.


On August 28, 1963, a remarkable event took place–more than 250,000 people gathered in our nation’s capital to participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The march began at the Washington Monument and ended with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his  historic “I Have a Dream” speech, advocating racial harmony. Many words have been written about that day, but few so delicate and powerful as those presented here by award-winning author and illustrator Shane W. Evans. When combined with his simple yet compelling illustrations, the thrill of the day is brought to life for even the youngest reader to experience.
We March is one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Children’s Books of 2012


Each day features a different influential figure in African-American history, from Crispus Attucks, the first man shot in the Boston Massacre, sparking the Revolutionary War, to Madame C. J. Walker, who after years of adversity became the wealthiest black woman in the country, as well as one of the wealthiest black Americans, to Barack Obama, the country’s first African-American president.

With powerful illustrations by Shane Evans, this is a completely unique look at the importance and influence of African Americans on the history of this country.



An African American family becomes a new kind of pioneer

Leaving behind Big Mama, loving relatives, and the familiar red soil and cotton fields of Alabama, Jessie and her family are going north to Nebraska. They are pioneers searching for a better life, one with decent schools and jobs. But traveling through the segregated South is difficult for an African American family in the 1960s. With most public places reserved for “whites only,” where will they stop to get gas and food?

Lyrical free verse and evocative paintings capture the rhythm of the road and a young girl’s longing as she wonders: Will I like it there? Will I like the North?


“When it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. You can’t sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, ‘This is not right.’” – Claudette Colvin

On March 2, 1955, an impassioned teenager, fed up with the daily injustices of Jim Crow segregation, refused to give her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Instead of being celebrated as Rosa Parks would be just nine months later, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin found herself shunned by her classmates and dismissed by community leaders. Undaunted, a year later she dared to challenge segregation again as a key plaintiff in Browder v. Gayle, the landmark case that struck down the segregation laws of Montgomery and swept away the legal underpinnings of the Jim Crow South.

Based on extensive interviews with Claudette Colvin and many others, Phillip Hoose presents the first in-depth account of an important yet largely unknown civil rights figure, skillfully weaving her dramatic story into the fabric of the historic Montgomery bus boycott and court case that would change the course of American history.



SUPERTRUCK by Stephen Savage Interior Spreads

Thursday, January 15th, 2015 / Share your comments...

When the city is hit by a colossal snowstorm, only one superhero can save the day. But who is this mysterious hero, and why does he disappear once his job is done? Find out in this snowy tale about a little truck with a very big job, the second of Steve Savage’s vehicle-based picture books.

Read the review:

*”Savage exploits shapes and colors to create interesting imagery and atmospheric environments for the truck that show that collecting trash is just as heroic as powerfully plowing through snow. A serious treat for truck lovers.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

Download the images below:

Image1, Image2, Image3, Image4, Image5

Buy Now!


Tuck Everlasting- Teacher & Discussion Guide

Monday, January 12th, 2015 / Share your comments...

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For many TUCK EVERLASTING by Natalie Babbitt is an old favorite. This wonderful classic is turning 40 this year, can you believe it? Now is the perfect opportunity to bring new readers to this story and let them fall in love with Winnie and the Tucks. The teacher’s guide for TUCK EVERLASTING includes discussion questions, essay ideas dealing with characterization, symbolism, and more. Perfect to get students really talking about and understanding TUCK EVERLASTING. All of the prompts and questions align with the Common Core state standards.

If you are looking to have a lively discussion with a book group you can use our discussion guide.

Book Description:

Doomed to—or blessed with—eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less a blessing that it might seem. Complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.


Nick Bruel and Bad Kitty Tour!

Saturday, December 20th, 2014 / Share your comments...


In celebration of PUPPY’S BIG DAY, author Nick Bruel and Bad Kitty are going on tour! If you are in the area be sure to go see one of them at the locations below!

Book Description:

Bad Kitty’s in a bad mood . . . a very bad mood, and Puppy is not helping.
Enter Uncle Murray, who’s tasked with taking care of Puppy for the day, but that’s when the trouble begins. When they go on a walk through the park, Uncle Murray almost gets himself arrested while Puppy ends up in the pound, where he meets some very peculiar new pals.
Tour Dates:
Tuesday, January 6 2015 5:00 PM
Nick Bruel at Linden Tree Books in Los Altos, CA! more
Wednesday, January 7 2015 6:30 PM
Nick Bruel at The Alameda Free Library in Alameda, CA! more
Thursday, January 8 2015 7:00 PM
Nick Bruel at Barnes & Noble Northwest Las Vegas, NV! more
Thursday, January 8 2015 10:00 AM
Bad Kitty Costume at Village Books in Bellingham, WA! more
Friday, January 9 2015 6:30 PM
Nick Bruel at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, WA! more
Wednesday, January 14 2015 3:00 PM
Bad Kitty Costume at The Reading Bug in San Carlos, CA! more
Friday, January 16 2015 4:00 PM
Nick Bruel at Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, NJ! more
Saturday, January 17 2015 2:00 PM
Nick Bruel at The Voracious Reader in Larchmont, NY! more
Saturday, January 17 2015 2:00 PM
Bad Kitty Costume at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park, CA! more
Tuesday, January 20 2015 4:30 PM
Nick Bruel at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC! more
Wednesday, January 21 2015 10:30 AM
Nick Bruel at Politics & Prose in Washington, DC! more
Wednesday, January 21 2015 7:30 PM
Nick Bruel at Takoma Park Library in Takoma Park, MD! more
Thursday, January 22 2015 4:30 PM
Nick Bruel at The Ivy Bookshop in Baltimore, MD! more
Friday, January 23 2015 4:30 PM
Nick Bruel at Children’s Book World in Haverford, PA! more
Sunday, January 25 2015 3:00 PM
Bad Kitty Costume at Once Upon a Time in Montrose, CA! more
Tuesday, January 27 2015 5:30 PM
Bad Kitty Costume at Boulder Bookstore in Boulder, CO! more
Saturday, January 31 2015 2:00 PM
Nick Bruel at Books of Wonder in New York City!

Visit the BAD KITTY Website!


Winter Wonderland of Books

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014 / Share your comments...

HolidayCategoryPage1There’s nothing better than getting cozy, sipping on a cup of hot cocoa and reading a book to get you in the warm and fuzzy spirit of the holidays! We’ve gathered some of our favorite winter and holiday themed picture books for your enjoyment.

We encourage you to cuddle up with your loved ones and enjoy one of our holiday reads. So grab that cup of hot chocolate, your favorite blanket and one of our winter books and enjoy the season. Click on the photo for a full list of our seasonal titles!



Friday, December 12th, 2014 / Share your comments...

Tomorrow, RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER will air at 8pm on CBS.  And this past Saturday was the 50th anniversary of the actual date that the movie first aired on television (when I was negative eight years old).

While I was doing the first reading/signing for my recently-published graphic novel THE ISLAND OF MISFIT TOYS on Saturday (a fun coincidence), I was telling the children in attendance that when I watched the movie every year as a kid (which I did, fervently), you couldn’t DVR it, you couldn’t watch it online… you either saw it when it aired or you had to wait a whole year to see it again, no matter how agonizing that prospect was.

So, back in the day, I made it a point to be downstairs in our TV room (aka basement) every year well before the movie started.  (And if you had to go to the bathroom during the next hour, you had about two minutes during the commercials to go upstairs and take care of business.  There was no “pause” button back then – this was even before VHS!)

There was (and still is) something special about that movie.  It’s by far, at least for me, the best holiday TV special ever made.  There’s something about it that just resonates… the idea of not fitting in, of struggling with the sense of self, of the power of fear and growth. And honestly, it wasn’t even Rudolph that I liked the most as a kid.  If asked, I would have called it a straight-up three-way tie between the Misfit Toys, the Bumble (aka the Abominable Snow Monster), and Yukon Cornelius.  Those characters captured my imagination and held on for years, for decades.

So, when I got a chance to write an all-new, original ISLAND OF MISFIT TOYS graphic novel, to create a new adventure for the characters I love, I jumped at the chance.

In the movie, after Rudolph leaves Misfit Island, you don’t see those toys again until the end of the movie.  I had always wondered…what was going on with them while Rudolph was off finding himself? What kind of crazy adventures were they getting up to? What were they like when they weren’t pining for Santa to come rescue them? Why did Cowboy ride an ostrich?

I decided to tell the story that you don’t see during the second half of RUDOLPH, the story of the Misfit Toys and the story of how Yukon and the Bumble became friends, and how those two stories intersect. If you’re watching the movie tomorrow, you can pause it (a luxury I never had as a kid) right after Rudolph leaves the Island of Misfit Toys, read the graphic novel, and then go back to the movie. I’ve endeavored to make it a seamless, fun storytelling experience.

It was an honor to write these characters (and scripting Yukon is one of the highlights of my career – that dude is hilarious). Not everyone believes in Santa (I kind of still do) and Christmas is not celebrated by everyone, but we all feel like misfits now and then, like we don’t belong or aren’t loved. But all it takes is someone to let you know that you’re not alone, that you are loved. And that’s about as deep and meaningful as things get, no matter what time of year it is.

(Oh, and as a bonus, in the graphic novel, you’ll find out what happened to the Bird Who Can’t Fly, who is thrown out of Santa’s sleigh by an elf at the end of the movie… with no umbrella!)


When It Snows

Thursday, December 11th, 2014 / Share your comments...

It’s getting colder and some of us have already seen the first blanket of snow this season. WHEN IT SNOWS by Richard Collingridge takes readers on a magical journey filled with elves, fairies, and so much more.

This beautiful picture book will show children that imagination is key WHEN IT SNOWS. So grab this debut picture book from Richar Collingridge and snuggle up with your little one this winter, perfect for ages 3-6.

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Don’t forget your middle-grader this holiday season!

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014 / Share your comments...

Thanksgiving is over and December has finally arrived! You know what that means – decorations have sprouted in living rooms and storefronts, seasonal music has taken over every radio station, and peppermint mochas have replaced pumpkin spice lattes. But with the holidays so fast approaching, it’s also a time too often defined by gift-giving stress! Good thing we have your back ;) Here are just a few perfect present ideas for the middle-grader in your life:


  • Jack Gantos’ JOEY PIGZA series is always popular for middle-graders. Joey is a hyperactive, often distracted, essentially good kid who tackles the world and its challenges with all the quirkiness he can muster. The second book in the series, Joey Pigza Loses Control, was even a Newbury honor book! The last book in the series The Key that Swallowed Joey Pigza came out this September.


  • For your mystery-lover, try Julie Berry’s THE SCANDALOUS SISTERHOOD OF PRICKWILLOW PLACE. This highly entertaining book follows the adventures of seven prim and proper girls as they attempt to simultaneously investigate and cover up the mysterious poisoning of their headmistress at Sunday dinner. And isn’t that cover beautiful?
  • Shelley Tougas’ middle-grade debut, THE GRAHAM CRACKER PLOT, is a nail biter. Main character Daisy Bauer’s dad has been imprisoned, and she’s certain it’s all a mix-up. Now she and her sometimes-friend, Graham, have a far-fetched plot to break him out!
  • For your language-loving, dog-loving, literature-loving little one, pick up a copy of Ann M. Martin’s RAIN REIGN. This heartwarming book is titled for both main character Rose Howard’s beloved dog, Rain, and for her obsession with homonyms. When Rose’s single father lets Rain outside along during a huge storm and the poor dog becomes lost, Rose will stop at nothing to find her canine best friend and bring her home.