Lola Goes to the Doctor: Book and Bookmark Giveaway!

Lola is a very special real-life service dog, and today I am giving away her latest book, PLUS a bookmark (handmade by me) to go along with it. I think Lola would approve!

 Scroll to the Bottom for Giveaway Rules


Cover image courtesy of Creston books

Lola Goes to the Doctor 

•        Targeted Audience: PreSchool and Lower Elementary (Ages 3-8)
•        Genre: Non-Fiction
•        Author/Photographer: Marcia Goldman
•        Publisher: Creston Books
•        Publication Date: July 24, 2011 – Third Printing 2014
•        Binding: Hard Cover
•        Dimensions: 9″ X 7″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 32 Pages
•        Retail: $16.95
•        ISBN: 978-1939547118

FB twitter



© Copyright – image courtesy of Creston books

A Service Dog Who Makes Kids Smile

Going to the doctor can be a frightening experience for young children – especially when they know they are going to get a shot. But Lola, the adorable Yorkshire terrier service dog, is on a mission to change all that.  In  Lola Goes to the Doctor  this pooch shares her own fears with readers as she ventures upon a well visit at the vet’s office. She tells us about the nice toys and the other interesting animals in the waiting room – a pig, bird, snake, goldfigh and other dogs. Then she takes us through the steps she experiences with the vet for her check-up and shows readers that the doctor’s office isn’t that scary after all (even if the doctor gives you a shot).


© Copyright – image courtesy of Creston books

A Real Life Four-Legged Hero Who Weighs Just a Few Pounds

As a certified service dog. Lola loves to go to work to help others. Along with her owner, Marcia Goldman, Lola may visit a nursing home to make the elderly smile, or a classroom to invite a reluctant reader to read a book aloud to her as she sits quietly and listens. She visits many autistic children too. She’s gentle and calm, loving and smart, and she touches the lives of all who are fortunate enough to meet her.


 © Copyright – image courtesy of Creston books

Why You Should Buy This Book

Once children read about how brave Lola is during her visit to the doctor, they too will be brave when it is time for them to go to the doctor. You’ll love the way Lola takes kids through a typical doctor’s visit, step-by-step, in simple, light-hearted terms young children can understand (with a little bit of humor too). This gets readers acquainted with the process and puts them more at ease. Lola is so darling, and the photographs in the book will melt your heart. What’s there not to love about a tiny, sweet dog with a big heart who encourages children to love reading and be brave?

About the Author

authorMarcia Goldman has her Masters Degree in Special Education and has spent the last 25 years focusing on providing therapeutic-based programs for children with autism and their families. Marcia and Lola live in California.



Buy the book here:


Buy the first book in this series too:


Giveaway Rules: Enter for a Chance to Win Lola Goes to the Doctor and This Handmade Bookmark.

  1. DSC_0070Enter the giveaway by Liking our Facebook Page (if you haven’t already) and sending us an email to smartbooks (at) with your name and mailing address. In the subject line of the email write Lola Giveaway.  We will not share your email or address or use it for any other purpose than this giveaway. PLEASE NOTE: If you do not include your mailing address in your email your entry will be discarded.  (We only require addresses so books can be mailed quickly and in the past we have found it difficult to contact winners to obtain their mailing addresses.)
  2. Optional: You will receive one extra entry for leaving a valid comment on this post on this website. Tell me something special about your pet.
  3. Optional: You will receive TEN extra entries for sharing this giveaway from our Facebook Page. Go to the Facebook page and from there, click share on the link to this giveaway. If you share it from your own Facebook status and not from the Smart Book Facebook Page, I will not know about it, so it will not count. Please mention in your email that you shared the link.
  4. There will be one winner for this giveaway selected at random, residing in the USA. No books will be mailed outside the USA.
  5. This giveaway starts on Sunday, January 25, 2015 and ends on Friday, February 6, 2015 at 5 pm.
  6. The winner will be notified via email on February 6, 2015.
  7. Book & bookmark will be mailed by Monday, February 9, 2015.
  8. Follow us on our Facebook Page to learn about more giveaways and read reviews and interviews.

FB twitter

Big Magic for Little Hands



Big Magic for Little Hands 

•        Targeted Audience: Elementary & Middle School (Ages 7-11)
•        Genre: Non-Fiction Magic Book
•        Author: Joshua Jay
•        Publisher: Workman Publishing
•        Publication Date: November, 2014
•        Binding: Paperback
•        Dimensions: 10.5″ X 13.5″
•        Printing: Three Color
•        Length: 112 Pages
•        Retail: $19.95
•        ISBN: 978-0761180098

FB twitter

Watch this video with author Joshua Jay

25 Cool Tricks for Young Magicians

Magic is fascinating to children, and most dream of being able to do magic tricks to impress their friends and family. In addition to being fun, it’s also a terrific way to develop motor and reasoning skills. Author  Joshua Jay began his fascination with magic when he was just 7-years-old, and by the time he was 16, he was named champion at the World Magic Seminar (the Olympics of magic). Now he shares his love and mastery of magic with young readers in Big Magic for Little Hands. There are 25 tricks that are kid-friendly and easy to figure out, with step-by-step instructions and tips. Props needed for the magic tricks are objects you can find at home.

“Doing the impossible can be tough for a magician, but for many of us, the hardest part is keeping cool.”

All the Tools You Need to Become a True Magician

Each of the 25 tricks in the large-format book are well-illustrated in a vintage black and white style. There’s even a Magician’s Oath and a page on How to Conquer Stage Fright. Among the tricks you’ll find are: Performing a Houdini-Inspired Escape From Tightly Bound Ropes, Vanishing Your Homework, Scaring the Pants Off Your Parents, Levitating Your Sibling Off a Bed and How to Mysteriously Rotate a Key in Your Hand.

Why You’ll Love This Book

Big Magic for Little Hands gives  kids an insider’s look at basic magic tricks. It teaches them to prepare, practice, perform and be dedicated to their art. It will boost their confidence too. The magic tricks are fun, fascinating and give kids the opportunity to perform for friends and family. Smart kids love magic and magic makes kids smarter.

About the Author

photo of Joshua JayJoshua Jay, “one of America’s finest young magicians” (GeniiThe Conjurors’ Magazine), has headlined at the prestigious Magic Castle in Hollywood, is a magic consultant for several multinational toy manufacturers, and has served as the monthly columnist for Magic magazine for 12 years. Recently, he consulted and developed a commercial spot for HBO, using sleight of hand to promote Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire. He was named the 2012 Magician of the Year by the Society of American Magicians. He lives in New York City.

Further Learning

Complete your learning experience for the truly dedicated magician with these other items by Joshua Jay and Workman Publishing:






But! A One-Legged Pirate With a Pair of Socks


Text & Illustrations © Copyright Tim Hamilton. Used with Permission by Holiday House.


•        Targeted Audience: PreSchool & Elementary School (Ages 4-7)
•        Genre: Picture Book
•        Author/Illustrator: Tim Hamilton
•        Publisher: Holiday House
•        Publication Date: July 1, 2014
•        Binding: Hardcover
•        Dimensions: 8.5″ X 10.5″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 32 Pages
•        Retail: $16.95
•        ISBN: 978-0823430468

FB twitter

Imaginative Storytelling

Here lies the story of Eddie and his dog, Phil, who are sent to Aunt Sue’s house to help her out with chores after she breaks her leg tripping on some yarn. You see, Aunt Sue spends her days and nights knitting socks. She gives Eddie and Phil chore instructions and goes off to sleep, but there’s always a “But!” after everything these two have to do, including hosting a birthday party for Aunt Sue’s pirate friend and his buddies. Eddie and Phil  hurry up and make a cake, But! there’s a dilemma. When it comes time to figure out what last minute gift they can give to the one-legged pirate, Captain Rugbeard, the only things they can find are Aunt Sue’s colorful socks. But! what is a one-legged pirate to do with a pair of socks? And what will happen if that pirate hates that gift?


BUT 26

Text & Illustrations © Copyright Tim Hamilton. Used with Permission by Holiday House.

Problem-Solving with Humor and Pirates (Or Why You Should Read This Book)

Author/Illustrator Tim Hamilton combines his graphic novel skills with picture book savvy to make this silly story truly entertaining. Your child will love the whimsical illustrations  (just look at the shape and size of Eddie’s head) and the way the story flows from a problem situation to a triumphant one. It’s really original, humorous and fun to read. Plus it teaches children about creative problem-solving and breaking down daunting projects one step at a time to get through them. This book will appeal to reluctant readers and any child who loves pirates. Come to think of it, doesn’t every child love pirates?

About the Author

170px-9.13.09ActIVateTimHamiltonByLuigiNovi1Tim Hamilton is the acclaimed artist and cartoonist behind the authorized graphic novel adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. He also adapted Treasure Island into a graphic novel for Puffin Graphic. His work has been featured in the New York TimesMad, and Nickelodeon. Tim lives in New York.

Buy But! here 



Clueless in the Kitchen: A Cookbook for Teens

FB Like our Facebook Page and leave a comment on the post about this book (today only) for a chance to win it!


Cover image courtesy of Firefly Books

Clueless in the Kitchen: A Cookbook for Teens

•        Targeted Audience: Middle School & High School (Ages 13 and Up)
•        Genre: Cook Book
•        Author: Evelyn Raab
•        Illustrator: George A. Walker
•        Publisher: Firefly Books
•        Publication Date: August 11, 2011 – Third Printing 2014
•        Binding: Paperback
•        Dimensions: 7″ X 10″
•        Printing: Black & White
•        Length: 216 Pages
•        Retail: $14.95
•        ISBN: 978-1554078240

FB twitter

Hilarious Intro to Cooking

I’m an avid cook and baker and I credit my skills to reading Bon Appetit Magazine while soaking in the bathtub a few nights a week when I first got married many years ago. If only I had a copy of Clueless in the Kitchen when I was a teen, I’d have had a great foundation for cooking at a much earlier age. Author Evelyn Raab uses wit and humor to hook teens and make them want to learn cooking basics. Who knew a cookbook could be so funny and entertaining?

“How you ended up with this book is not important. Maybe your parents gave it to you. Maybe you bought it yourself. Maybe you found it in a ditch. It doesn’t matter. The thing is you have it, and now you have to use it. But how?”

Everything You Need to Get Started

Clueless in the Kitchen includes three intro chapters to teach the important basics. 1) Starting from Scratch. Here you’ll find tips on cooking and the key to recipe types – Cheap Eats, Mom Food, Vegetarian, Cooking to Impress, Dinner for Family. 2) The Kitchen-A Guide to Alien Territory. This chapter provides you with a list of essential cooking tools, directions on storing food and basic kitchen sanitation. 3) Shopping. From supermarket strategies to selecting fresh produce, shopping for meat and choosing the right herbs and spices, you’ll get the lowdown on how to stock your pantry and fridge.


Real Food Without the Fuss

fresh-produce1From soup and salad to dessert, every type of delicious recipe is presented, some with cheeky titles, all with witty intros, ingredients, of course, and very easy to understand and thorough directions on how to prepare them. How do Whole Wheat Blueberry Yogurt Pancakes sound? Or Thermonuclear Buffalo Wings? Maple Glazed Salmon? The author makes sure there are a lot of healthy food choices here, while at the same time shows young chefs how to make them so they taste delicious. There’s Gazpacho, Unfried Chicken, and even an entire chapter of Vegetarian food. There are no photos of food in the book, but the directions are so thorough, they really aren’t needed. There are sketches in the book only at the beginning of each chapter.

Image of produce in the Public Domain

“Oh sure you can slap a slice of baloney between two slices of white bread and call it a sandwich. And technically, it is. But is it a great sandwich? Not likely. A great sandwich is a creation. It’s a thing of beauty and it goes so well with a bowl of soup.”

Why You Should Buy This Impressive Book

By the time your teen is done reading and experimenting with the tips, tricks and recipes in Clueless in the Kitchen he or she will no longer be clueless in the kitchen and will be well on his or her way to becoming a well-rounded home cook. The recipes offer a wide range of tastes and represent every day food we all love to eat. They’ll even learn how to make a great cup of coffee!! Cooking is one of the most important skills we can teach our children, as they will learn more about proper nutrition while preparing their own dishes. The skill of being able to cook is the best way to ensure a healthier lifestyle. It also makes kids more aware of where our foods come from, so they’ll appreciate our farmers and markets. And what about the fact that your own child will be able to cook delicious meals for you from start to finish? Add the humorous, witty writing to all these other benefits of Clueless in the Kitchen and you’ve got a great book here.  The only downside is that you may have clean up duty after your child does all that wonderful cooking.

About the Author

Evelyn Raab‘s popular “Cooking With Kids” column has appeared in Today’s Parent magazine. In addition to Clueless in the Kitchen she has written The Clueless Vegetarian: A Cookbook for the Aspiring Vegetarian and The Clueless Baker: Learning to Bake from Scratch. She attributes her culinary expertise to her sons.

About the Illustrator

George A. Walker is an award-winning wood engraver, book artist and illustrator who teaches book arts and printmaking at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, Ontario. He regularly exhibits his wood engravings and limited-edition books internationally. He is the author of The Woodcut Artist’s Handbook: Techniques and Tools for Relief Printmaking, Second Edition Updated and Expanded, which is also published by Firefly Books.

On the Wing, Where I Wish I Could Be

 0763653241On the Wing

•        Targeted Audience: PreSchool, Lower Elementary (Ages 3-7)
•        Genre: Non-Fiction Picture Book
•        Author: David Elliott
•        Illustrator: Becca Stadtlander
•        Publisher: Candlewick Press
•        Publication Date: September 9, 2014
•        Binding: Board Book
•        Dimensions: 10″ x 12″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 32 Pages
•        Retail: $16.99
•        ISBN: 978-0763653248

FB twitter

ON THE WING. Text copyright © 2014 by David Elliott. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Becca Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

The Blue Jay:

“Your Reputation isn’t good
in our suburban neighborhood.
So when you’re dining at the feeder,
take this advice: Please!
Be sweeter!”

Poetry in Motion

We love observing birds, because they are the earth’s freest animals, and we all dream of flying as they do, unencumbered, high in the sky, without a care in the world.  In On the Wing author David Elliott introduces readers to 17 varieties of birds using enchanting, and sometimes humorous, poetic prose, while illustrator Becca Stadtlander sets his words in motion with her beautiful gouache paintings. From the wandering albatross to the crow and from the great horned owl to the flamingo, there’s mesmerizing splendor in the grace of these amazing creatures as they soar through the skies or perch upon the limbs of trees.


ON THE WING. Text copyright © 2014 by David Elliott. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Becca Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

What This Book Teaches (And Why You Should Buy It)

eagle_smallThrough pictures and poetry young readers learn about the habitats, habits and physical traits of seventeen fascinating birds  – each variety distinctively unique in its own way. The book is full of new vocabulary words for your child to discover, and the illustrations will delight them as they read and learn. On the Wing makes children more aware of the importance of protecting birds’ natural environments from the foods they eat to the trees where they sleep.

ON THE WING. Text copyright © 2014 by David Elliott. Illustrations copyright © 2014 by Becca Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA.

About the Author Times Bestselling author, David Elliott has written many books for young readers, including On the Farm and In the Wild, the companion books to In the Sea. He is also the author of the New York Times best-selling picture book And Here’s To You!, illustrated by Randy Cecil. He has also penned middle grade novels Evangeline Mudd and the Golden-Haired Apes of the Inkinasti Jungle and Evangeline Mudd and The Great Mink Escape. David Elliott lives in New Hampshire in a 180 year-old house with his wife, son and dog, Psyche.

About the Illustrator

menewBecca Stadtlander was raised in Kentucky and received her BFA in illustration from the Maryland Institute of Art. In addition to illustrating for book publishers Becca has done freelance work for The New York Times, American Greetings, Google, Kate Spade, Jamie Oliver Magazine, The Saturday Evening Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, O The Oprah Magazine, Red Cap Cards, Ladies Home Journal, Family Circle and many more. She lives in Newport, Rhode Island.




© Copyright Debbie Glade – A photo of a burrowing owl I took at the football field of a high school near my house

Further Learning

  1. Watch the book trailer here.
  2. Build a birdhouse or birdbath together.
  3. Build a garden that will attract birds.
  4. Encourage your child to keep a journal with drawings of all the birds he or she sees.