Lola and Tattletale Zeke Book and Plush Lola Giveaway

I can’t keep this adorableness all to myself, so I’m giving away one copy of Lola and Tattletale Zeke, along with a plush Lola toy. See entry rules below.

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Lola and Tattletale Zeke

•        Targeted Audience: Lower Elementary School (Ages 3-8)
•        Genre: Non-Fiction
•        Author/Photographer: Marcia Goldman
•        Publisher: Creston Books
•        Publication Date: June 9, 2015
•        Binding: Hard Cover
•        Dimensions: 8.5″ x 6.5″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 32 Pages
•        Retail: $16.95
•        ISBN: 978-1939547163

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Meet Lola, the Service Dog

Lola is a five-pound Yorkshire Terrier and a certified therapy dog. She and her owner, Marcia Goldman go to work together to help those in need, such as autistic children, struggling readers and the elderly in nursing homes. Lola is gentle and calm, loving and smart, and she touches the lives of all who are fortunate enough to meet her. Through her books, she teaches and inspires children everywhere.

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Lola’s in a Predicament with Her Tattling Little Brother, Zeke

In the first two books in the series, Lola goes to work helping others, but in Lola and Tattletale Zeke, Lola shares her personal real life challenges as a big sister to a younger – but physically larger – brother named, Zeke. The problem is that Zeke is a tattletale about everything. When Lola forgets to bring her toy bear in from outside, he tells on her. When Lola leaves muddy paw prints on the floor, he tattles. But when Zeke does something wrong, Lola doesn’t tattle because she knows it’s just an accident. When Isabel the black cat tells on Zeke for breaking his toy, Lola feels so bad for her distraught little brother she does all she can to make him feel better. Will Zeke repay the kindness the next time Lola has an accident?

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A Curriculum Guide with Activities

In the back of the book is a curriculum guide with vocabulary words and a list of questions to pose to readers, such as “What is the difference between telling about and telling on someone?” There are several suggested educational activities too, such as using puppets to playact different scenarios.

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Why You Should Buy This Book (and Plush Toy)

Lola is so cute, I can hardly stand it. And she’s loving and kind and always does the right thing when it comes helping others. Lola is a true leader and the youngest readers can so relate to her predicament with her brother.  Every child with a sibling has experienced the dreaded tattling problem or has been a tattler himself. Lola lets children know that it’s normal to experience sibling rivalry, and she teaches them that acting out of kindness is the best way to go. Getting along with others is a life lesson rarely taught in schools, but Lola is here to teach it to your children. With all three titles in this series, plus the new plush puppy, your child will get to know, love and respect Lola the adorable and irresistible therapy dog.

About the Author

JMGoldmanFound_012_v2_smMarcia 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.

Watch a video of Lola:

Buy the book here:

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Buy the second book in the series:


Buy the first book in this series too:


Buy the Lola Plush Puppy here:

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Enter for a Chance to Win The Newest Lola Book and Plush Lola Puppy!

  1. Enter the giveaway by Liking our Facebook Page (if you haven’t already).
  2. Leave a valid comment on this post on this website.
  3. Optional: Receive 10 extra entries by 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.
  4. There will be one winner for this Lola Giveaway selected at random, residing in the USA. No books will be mailed outside the USA.
  5. This giveaway starts on Friday, March 27, 2015 and ends on Friday, April 3, 2015 at 4 pm.
  6. The winner will be notified via email on April 3, 2015.
  7. Follow us on our Facebook Page to learn about more giveaways and read reviews and interviews.

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When Mommy and Daddy Have to Go to Work – Its Just Nanny and Me


Nanny and Me

•    Targeted Audience: PreSchool (Ages 2-5)
•    Genre: Fiction, Picture Book
•    Author: Florence Ann Romano
•    Illustrator: Sydni Kruger
•    Publisher: Mascott Books
•    Publication Date: May 5, 2015
•    Binding: Hard Cover
•    Dimensions: 8″ x 10″
•    Printing: Full Color
•    Length: 38 Pages
•    Retail: $14.95
•    ISBN: 978-1620867860

Note: This title will not be published until May 5, but you can pre-order it on the publisher’s website here!

Inspiration for This Book

Author Florence Ann Romano started caring for children before she was just twelve and continued through a portion of adulthood. Those experiences inspired her to write this book illustrating her favorite memories, while also preparing children and their parents for a nanny to come into their lives. The children in this book represent a combination of all the kids she cared for, and the little boy was specially created in the image of her younger brother, who has Autism.



© Copyright – Inside spread image courtesy of Mascot Books

Who Will Take Care of Me When Mommy and Daddy Go to Work?

Told from the point of view of a little girl with a baby brother, Nanny and Me was written to help young children adjust to having a new babysitter care for them when their parents go to work and to let them know that just because their parents have to leave them with a sitter, that doesn’t mean their parents don’t love them. The story takes the reader from the moment the parents leave for work in the morning to the moment they come home in the evening. What happens in between is the adventure the children have with their nanny throughout the day. . . First you’ve got to dressed, of course. But then it’s off to the zoo and the park before coming back home for a special lunch. In the afternoon it’s story time in a really cool fort, which takes you to far away places, then it’s nap time followed by a short math lesson, and then before you know it, Mommy and Daddy are back home!

“I’m pretty sleepy after Nanny finishes the story, so I know it’s time for a nap. I snuggle up with Nanny and we talk about where I want to go in my dreams. Sometimes I jump on marshmallow clouds or take a sailboat to the moon and count all the sparkling stars as we float by. We close our eyes really tight and off we go!”

Why You Should Buy This Book

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2013 that among married couples with children, both parents are employed in 59% of those families. So the reality is that millions of young children need to be cared for during the day while their parents are at work. Many children are sent to day care facilities, while others are cared for in their own homes.

It’s often difficult for very young children to understand that their parents must leave them all day to go to work and that a caregiver will come to take care of them. Nanny and Me not only explains why the parents must leave in language that is ideal for a very young audience, but it shows them how they will be cared for by a babysitter with lovely, colorful digital illustrations. This helps to take away some of the anxiety a child may have about a parent leaving the child for the first time. Parents have anxiety too about leaving their children, and this book reminds them everything is going to be fine! Nanny and Me is the perfect way to introduce your young kids to a new caregiver!

Any children who had Florence Ann Romano, a Modern Day Mary Poppins, as their nanny were very fortunate children indeed!


© Copyright – Inside spread image courtesy of Mascot Books

To download a full Press Kit for this title and read a Q & A with the author, click here.

About the Author


Born and raised just outside Chicago, Florence Ann Romano earned a degree in Performance Theatre at Bradley University in Peoria, IL. She is the owner of Trinity, LLC – a new family company that runs the Original Six Media production company; and the online publication, Romano started caring for kids before she was a teenager. Today she spends time working with nonprofit organizations. Inspired by her younger brother, whom is autistic, she is the founder and president of a junior board that supports awareness for children, adults and families touched by Autism. Florence currently lives in Chicago where she remains in close contact with each child she cared for.

About the Illustrator

EN-AR2XuSydni Kruger is an artist and illustrator, who at the age of fourteen, began an apprenticeship with a local painter. She learned traditional methods of large-scale oil painting and the dynamics of color, value, and shape. Later she enrolled in the painting program at Arizona State University. At first she specialized in portraiture and encaustic (wax based) painting, and now also working freelance as a children’s book illustrator and concept artist. Sydni Lives in Phoenix, AZ.

Edward Hopper Paints His World and He Will Paint Yours Too


Cover – Courtesy of Henry Holt Publishing

 Edward Hopper Paints His World

•        Targeted Audience: Lower and Upper Elementary School (Ages 5-10)
•        Genre: Nonfiction
•        Author: Robert Burleigh
•        Illustrator: Wendell Minor
•        Publisher: Henry Holt
•        Publication Date: August 19, 2014
•        Binding: Hard Cover
•        Dimensions: 10″ x 10″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 40 Pages
•        Retail: $16.99
•        ISBN: 978-0805087529

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“America was changing, and Edward was eager to make art in a fresh, new American way. There was one big problem. No one wanted to buy his paintings. Still, he didn’t give up.”

Note: All images on this post are © copyrighted material and are not to be used without permission from the publisher, Henry Holt.

EH spread 28-29I’ve always admired the work of Edward Hopper, and then while visiting Boston in 2007, I happened upon an extraordinary Hopper Exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts. I was so enamored with his work, and how he used shadow and light, that I couldn’t tear myself away from the exhibit until I was literally asked to leave at closing time. I left that day with a beautiful box of Hopper note cards, which I use sparingly, and only people I truly respect and admire have ever received a note from me on one of those treasured cards.

The Story of One of America’s Greatest Artists for the Youngest Readers

Lately I find myself saying, more and more, how wonderful it is that there are new EH spread 4-5biographies popping up in picture book form. Traditionally, biographies have been available only for older children and adults, but that’s all changing. Edward Hopper Paints His World is a gloriously sophisticated picture book that takes illustration to a level of soaring heights. Veteran author Robert Burleigh knows how to write for a very young audience, and does so in such a way that children can  understand what he’s saying and at the same time be challenged intellectually. (Very young children will want to read and discuss the book and vocabulary words with their parents.) Pairing the clever text with the paintings by Wendell Minor results in the most beautiful picture book I’ve ever seen – and I’ve seen many.

A Man of Courage, Resilience and Determination

EH studio artEdward Hopper wrote, “Edward Hopper Would Be Artist” on his colored pencil box when he was a small boy. He was a quiet and gentle child who enjoyed spending time outdoors painting the natural beauty around him. As an adult, he set out for New York City to study art. He worked tirelessly at his craft to become the painter he longed to be. He even traveled to Paris to visit art museums and broaden his artistic horizons. Back in New York he worked  as an illustrator for magazines to pay his bills, but he just wanted to paint. The problem is that no one wanted to buy his paintings. Edward Hopper Paints His World is the story of how this quiet determined artist persevered and dedicated his life to painting what he saw and what was not commonly painted by other artists.

Illustrations Worthy of Hopper’s Original Art

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If you’ve had the chance to read my interview with Wendell Minor, then you know the caliber of his artistic abilities and his admirable integrity. Wendell has taken the artistic genius of Edward Hopper and put his own mark on it through the many paintings he completed to illustrate this book. His use of color is astounding. Wendell explains in the back of the book how Edward Hopper influenced him as a EH Sunday Morningpainter from the start of his own career in his use of light, color and composition. In addition to many magnificent full-color paintings in the book, there are  also gray scale sketches, giving the reader a varied view of the world of Hopper as a celebrated artist. Also in the back of the book are images of four of Hopper’s original paintings, so children can compare and contrast them to Wendell’s illustrations. There simply aren’t enough adjectives to describe the magnificence of Wendell’s work here.

What This Book TeachesIllustrator Hopper

Edward Hopper Paints His World teaches children about the long road Edward Hopper took to success, and how he achieved that on his own terms, painting exactly what he saw in the exact way he wanted to paint his subjects. Children will learn that passion, patience, determination and persistence are commendable and necessary qualities for achieving great things and that people who are talented often don’t always get noticed right away. They will discover the importance of Hopper’s extraordinary work and perhaps embrace their own uniqueness. Robert Burleigh explains more about Edward Hopper’s life in the back of the book and also includes some notable Hopper quotes. I love books like this that engage readers so much that they can’t wait to do more research on their own.

Why You Should Buy This Book

EH at Good Harbor Beach art Edward Hopper Paints His World is an incredibly inspiring true life story. All children can appreciate beauty, and Hopper’s work and the way this author and illustrator depict it, is quite simply beautiful. You never know what will ignite a child’s interest, and if you ask any artist – including Wendell Minor – he or she will tell you the passion was there at a very young age.  Edward Hopper is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding biographies for young readers. It is to be read, studied, admired and kept safe in your home or school library. I will not be parting with my copy and I am certain, once you and your child read this book, you too will want to treasure it for a lifetime.

Buy Edward Hopper Paints His World here.


About the Author

bobBurleighRobert Burleigh earned his undergraduate degree from DePauw University and his Master’s in Humanities from the University of Chicago. He has written more than 40 picture books on many different subjects, including several illustrated by Wendell Minor – Abraham Lincoln Comes Home, If You Spent a Day with Thoreau at Walden Pond and most recently, Trapped! A Whale’s Rescue. In addition to writing, Robert paints under the name of Burleigh Kronquist. He splits his time between Grand Haven, Michigan, and Chicago, Illinois.

About the Illustrator

Wendell Minor is the illustrator of over fifty children’s books including The Last Train, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADaylight Starlight Wildlife, Sequoia, How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow and most recently, Trapped! A Whale’s Rescue. He works in oil, acrylic, gouache and watercolors in his beautiful studio in rural Connecticut. His interest in nature and the environment has taken him and his wife, Florence from the east coast to the west coast and everywhere in between. Wendell’s outstanding artwork has been exhibited in universities and museums and has been acquired by private collectors. An exhibition of 25 years of his children’s book art, entitled, “Wendell Minor’s America,” was on display at the Norman Rockwell Museum from November 2013 through May, 2014.

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Read my in-depth interview with Wendell Minor
Read my
review of Sequoia

Further Learning

  1. Download the Teacher’s Guide for this title.
  2. Visit the Edward Hopper House.
  3. Find an art museum housing Hopper paintings or possibly a traveling exhibit.

Nadine, My Funny and Trusty Guide Dog


Nadine, My Funny and Trusty Guide Dog

•        Targeted Audience: Elementary School (Ages 5-8)
•        Genre: Nonfiction
•        Author: Carol Chiodo Fleischman
•        Illustrator: Stephanie Ford
•        Publisher: Pelican Publishing
•        Publication Date: January 20, 2015
•        Binding: Hard Cover
•        Dimensions:8.5″ x 11″
•        Printing: Full Color
•        Length: 32 Pages
•        Retail: $16.99
•        ISBN: 978-0985076214

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 From Nadine: My Funny and Trusty Guide Dog by Carol Chiodo Fleischman, illustrated by Stephanie Ford, illustrations © 2015 Stephanie Ford, used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.

A True Story About a Blind Woman and Her Guide Dog

Author Carol Chiodo Fleischman is legally blind and has used a guide dog since 1992, and one of Carol’s real guide dogs from many years ago was Nadine.  Carol tells the account of how she and Nadine first got acquainted, and how her sometimes silly guide dog loved to play and get into trouble. One day when they set out on a walk on a winter’s day, a blustery snowstorm broke out and made the journey back home a bit unnerving. Did Nadine start her playful antics when Carol needed her most, or did she remain the brave and trusty guide dog she was trained to be?

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 From Nadine: My Funny and Trusty Guide Dog by Carol Chiodo Fleischman, illustrated by Stephanie Ford, illustrations © 2015 Stephanie Ford, used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.

An Inspiring Story Kids Can Relate to with Delightful Illustrations

Children love dogs and are particularly fascinated by service dogs. I know this firsthand, because as a visiting author, I often present my book to children at literacy events where reading dogs are present. The true story of Nadine is uplifting and inspiring and shows children just how special a dog can be to a person who has physical challenges. The beautiful colored pencil and watercolor illustrations are playful just like Nadine herself, and the illustrator does a marvelous job of depicting the wintry scenes. I admire the incredible detail the colored pencil strokes provide.

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From Nadine: My Funny and Trusty Guide Dog by Carol Chiodo Fleischman, illustrated by Stephanie Ford, illustrations © 2015 Stephanie Ford, used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.

What This Book Teaches

Nadine, My Funny and Trusty Guide Dog shows children that people with disabilities can learn to become independent and lead full, productive lives. They can do many of the same things the rest of us can do, despite their challenges, including the author of this book who is blind. The book teaches them too, just how much we rely upon our canine friends for guidance and security. In the back of the book is a fascinating Author’s Note describing how puppies are selected and trained to become guide dogs for the blind and how these dogs are matched with humans.

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 From Nadine: My Funny and Trusty Guide Dog by Carol Chiodo Fleischman, illustrated by Stephanie Ford, illustrations © 2015 Stephanie Ford, used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.

Why You Should Buy the Book

Nadine, My Funny and Trusty Guide Dog is a lovely true story – one that both educates and inspires. What I love most about this book is that it teaches kids compassion and understanding for those who are different than they are and how important it is to respect them and the animals that guide them. It demonstrates hope and takes away the fear a child may have of others who are living with disabilities. Nadine is a wonderful picture book, and I highly recommend it.

About the Author

CarolFleischmanCarol Chiodo Fleischman is a professional writer who also happens to be blind. Her writing has appeared in books, magazines, and newspapers including the New York Times, Guideposts, Highlights, and Chicken Soup for the Soul. She has been a member of the Association of Professional Women Writers for more than twenty years and is a sought-after speaker. Fleischman is the recipient of the Best Article of the Year award from the Association of Assistance Dog Partners. She and her husband share their home in New York with her trusted guide dog.

About the Illustrator

Stephanie Ford earned bachelor of arts degrees in both history and art from Stephen F. Austin State University and teaches StephanieFordhigh-school art and English. She is the illustrator of Confederate Alphabet and Willy the Texas Longhorn, published by Pelican, and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She lives with her husband in Barry, Texas.

Further Learning

  1. Learn more about blind awareness on the National Federation of the Blind website.
  2. Read my interview with a teacher for the blind.
  3. Learn more about guide dogs.


Smile & Succeed for Teens: A crash Course in Face-to-Face Communication Book & Bookmark Giveaway!

DSC_0001I’m giving away one copy of this AUTOGRAPHED book plus bookmark to one lucky winner.

Simply Like us on Facebook and leave a valid comment on this post. The winner will be selected at random on Wednesday, March 11 at 5:00 pm!


Cover image courtesy of Solid Press

Smile and Succeed for Teens: Must-Know People Skills for Today’s Wired World

•        Targeted Audience: Middle School & High School (Ages 10 and Up)
•        Genre: Nonfiction
•        Author: Kirt Manecke
•        Publisher: Solid Press
•        Publication Date: June 6, 2014
•        Binding: Paperback
•        Dimensions: 5.5″ x 8.5″
•        Printing: Black & White
•        Length: 144 Pages
•        Retail: $9.95
•        ISBN: 978-0985076214

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“One of the most valuable lessons you can learn from this book is PAY ATTENTION to people.

Make good eye contact.
Focus on words they are saying.
Ask questions to clarify when necessary.
Engage in conversation.
Let people finish talking before you respond.”

A Crash Course for Teens in People Skills in a High Tech World

imagesSmile and Succeed for Teens gives adolescents and teens the basic personal and professional skills they need to succeed today and tomorrow, in whatever it is they strive to do. Author Kirt Manecke decided to create this book after writing Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service for adults. In this world of texts, emails and Instagrams, kids need a course in face-to-face social skills now more than ever.

In the seven chapters of the book, learn essential people skills, get tips on getting and keeping a job, learn how to treat others with respect, discover the secrets to successful selling, keep customers happy and make your life extraordinary. Woven within the text of the chapters are useful lists and inspirational quotes too.

What This Book Teaches

Smile and Succeed for Teens can be considered as a How to Win Friends and Influence People guide for teenagers. The practical information set forth in the book is essential for success in life, and these are all lessons not taught in schools – but should be. Manacke’s writing is simple, straight forward and is super easy to read, though it is not preachy or condescending in any way. Cartoon style drawings add to the learning experience and keep the topic light. The book teaches teens that their demeanor, manners and work ethic are what provide them with opportunities to succeed. The strategies for selling their skills as well as selling products are invaluable here, and the book teaches them how to go the extra mile. These are tools that lay the foundation for a future that is bright, no matter what field your child delves into down the road.

Why You Should Buy This Book

Kids who implement the tips in Smile and Succeed for Teens will stand above all the rest. The book provides them with Social-skills-for-teenscommon sense tactics outlining a blueprint of success that will follow them into adulthood. Teens who practice these winning strategies will form positive, professional habits that will set them apart from many of their peers. It’s a competitive world, and those who want to have fulfilling careers, be respected for their work and foster long lasting relationships can use all the help they can get. The tips here can be utilized, not only for jobs and careers, but also for getting into college and securing scholarships. I commend Kirt Manecke for writing a book for teens like this, on a topic that is generally written for adults. If our schools don’t teach these skills, then it’s imperative we provide our kids with other means to learn them. Smile and Succeed for Teens motivates the reader while it teaches these life skills.

About the Author

© Carl R. Sams IIKirt Manecke is a an award-winning author and sales, marketing, fundraising, and business development specialist with over 30 years of experience surprising and delighting customers. Smile and Succeed for Teens is based on Kirt’s award-winning book Smile: Sell More with Amazing Customer Service, (winner of 8 awards) promoting and teaching the simple premise that good service is good business.  In addition to his work, Kirt is a strong proponent of buying local to create thriving downtowns and supports the 3/50 Project. He is also passionate about land conservation and also supports local farmer’s markets along with dog and cat animal rescue groups. (1% of the proceeds from Kirt’s books are donated to animal welfare.) He is also a volunteer judge at DECA conferences to help high school and college students become our next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs. Kirt lives in Milford, Michigan.

Further Learning

  1. Download the Teacher’s Guide.
  2. Read articles that help teens succeed.
  3. Read FREE Tips for Teens.
  4. Watch the Book Trailer.