Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy

I haven’t posted in ages and I’ve cut back considerably on social media but I couldn’t resist entering this writing contest. Do check out the Kidlit Fall Writing Frenzy challenge that’s hosted by Kaitlyn Sanchez and Lydia Lukidis, and all the AMAZING entries.

Photo by Tejas Prajapati on

Thieves of the Night

by Cathy L. Murphy

“Trruk-trruk-trruk!” chortled Edgar and Corvin.

They could barely contain their talons.

The one night was upon them, when the small uprights took to their annual pilgrimage.

Beams of lights led baubles that bobbed…gizmos that glimmered…and beckoned.

Wafts of goody-goody sweetness filled the night air.

This was the pair’s opportunity and they took it.

SWOOP!           SNATCH!          SCREECH!

Thievery became them.

Again and again, the tricksters plucked their pickings from the unsuspecting, until their surroundings grew dark and deserted.

Corvin and Edgar loomed over their loot.

They pecked and perused.

“No dried out raisins or stale butterscotch this year!” crowed Corvin.

“Trade you a nutty nougat for a gummy worm,” enticed Edgar.

“Nevermore!” replied Corvin.

Happy Halloween!

word count: 119

UPDATE: This submission received an honorable mention

in the contest’s Fantastic Characterization category. Hooray! 

My Two Cents

How to Raise a Mom

Written by Jean Reagan

Illustrated by Lee Wildish

Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers

March 28, 2017

Age range: 4-8

32 pages

Another charming book in the HOW TO series. This one instructs the reader on how to raise a happy and healthy mom using creative role reversal techniques. Predictable but very sweet.

Amazon    Barnes & Noble



The Giant Jumperee

Written by Julia Donaldson

Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

Published by Dial Books

April 18, 2017

Age range: 3-5

32 pages

A mysterious voice that’s coming from Rabbit’s burrow scares Rabbit and his friends with threatening words. Mama Frog solves the mystery in what seems a very brave way.  Repetitive phrases and some rhyme will keep young listeners’ attention as will the delightful illustrations.  A wonderful collaboration between this well known author and illustrator.

Amazon   Barnes & Noble


Olivia the Spy

Written and illustrated by Ian Falconer

Published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

April 4, 2017

Age range: 4-8

40 pages

Olivia is back in all her porcine glory and with a bit of an attitude. She eavesdrops on her mom’s conversations and it leads her to fear the worst. She learns that partial truths and misinformation can lead to insecurity and suspicion. Ian Falconer’s illustrations masterfully set the tone for his text as Olivia once again steals the (ballet) show.

Amazon   Barnes & Noble


Be Quiet!

Written and illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins

Published by Disney-Hyperion

April 4, 2017

Age range: 2-5

40 pages

Rupert so longs to star in a wordless picture book but it becomes an impossible task with such chatty friends. I adore this author-illustrator’s humor and this one is just as clever as his last two picture books—MOTHER BRUCE and HOTEL BRUCE. Visually appealing and eagerly waiting to be read out loud.

Amazon   Barnes & Noble



Little Ree

Written by Ree Drummond

Illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers

Published by Harper Collins

March 28, 2017

Age range: 4-8

40 pages

Ree Drummond of “The Pioneer Woman” fame, uses her own experiences of moving to the country after living in the big city to draw from, in this new series. Both country dwellers and city slickers will find appeal in this down-home tale as the spunky Little Ree learns how to live on her grandparents’ farm.

Amazon   Barnes & Noble

February is the Month to Celebrate International Book Giving Day and Picture Books Full of Heart

Give a BOOK on Valentine’s Day to celebrate INTERNATIONAL BOOK GIVING DAY, an initiative that aims to get books into the hands of as many children as possible.

Check out how you can get involved in this year’s event: HERE



Let me introduce you to some super SWEET picture books that you may want to consider giving as gifts this month or any other month, for that matter.


I’ll Love You Always


Written by Mark Sperring

Illustrated by Alison Brown

Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

January 12, 2017

32 pages

Told in rhyme while using time comparisons to show just how much you love your child, this book conveys pure sweetness. The delightful illustrations and adorable characters will melt your heart.


How long will I love you?
A second is too short.
A second is no time
for a love of this sort.

A minute is no better,
for minutes fly by!
They’re gone in a moment
like a sweet butterfly.

Amazon   Barnes & Noble


I’ll Hug You More

Written by Laura Duksta

Illustrated by Melissa Iwai

Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

January 3, 2017

Age range: 4-8

32 pages

This book is like two books in one. After reading it half way thru you flip the book to read it in the opposite direction. The parent talks to the child and then the child talks to the parent. The animal characters sweeten the appeal for young readers and listeners.

Amazon  Barnes & Noble


Mommy Loves You!

Written by Helen Foster James

Illustrated by Petra Brown

Published by Sleeping Bear Press

March 15, 2017

Age range: 4-8

32 pages

Another charming, rhyming book from this author and illustrator team that has as much heart as their first book, GRANDMA LOVES YOU! This book celebrates that special love that mothers give with illustrations that are reminiscent of Beatrix Potter’s PETER RABBIT.

Amazon  Barnes & Noble



ABC Love

Written and Illustrated by Christiane Engel

Published by Walter Foster Jr

January 1, 2017

Age range: 3-6

36 pages

This alphabet book pairs the letter with different concepts rather than the run-of-the-mill animal portrayals. That alone makes this book unique. Bright, colorful images accompany the letters.

Amazon  Barnes & Noble


Heart to Heart

Written and illustrated by Lois Ehlert

Published by Beach Lane Books

January 3, 2017

Grade level: Preschool – 3

72 pages

Using fun word-play the author/illustrator creates a very vibrant book with simple images, text talk and puns. It’s doubtful that preschoolers will enjoy or grasp its punniness, especially given its length, but what fun it would be to give an adult as a greeting card.

Amazon  Barnes & Noble

 I’m giving away books to the special young peeps in my life to celebrate this month and I hope you will consider doing the same! ❤

Gotta Catch These Pokémon Party IDEAS for Kids!



If you have a little fan of the Pokémon Craze, let me give you some ideas for a party. I don’t play Pokémon Go and know little about the different characters but managed to come up with ideas based on the characters’ habits, likes, and behaviors. I couldn’t have done this party without my sister’s help. A big mahalo to you, Sis! We make a great team (Rocket).

A Personalized Invitation Ideainvitep


Pokémon Hats

 Hand out hats that were purchased from Party City .





Pikachu Bags

Make Pikachu bags made from yellow gift bags. Simply hot glue on ears, eyes, cheeks, and use a black marker for the details.



Pokémon Activity Stops

Thirteen Pokémon stops were created based on the guest of honor’s favorite characters. Pokémon badges were awarded to all that participated at each stop. The badges were printed out on label paper and cut out individually. The activities for the entire thirteen stops took about 1 1/2 hours to complete and that was with a dozen kids participating. Ages ranged from 2 to 10 years. There was enough variety that the kids didn’t seem to get bored and enthusiastically cooperated.

The Pokémon characters were cut out from flattened, corrugated, large cardboard boxes.  They were drawn close to scale and painted using acrylic and latex paint.

A COST SAVING trick that I have used for years is to buy mis-tinted gallons of latex paint (mostly shades of white) from paint stores to mix with the darkest and truest primary colors in acrylic.

The backside of the cardboard cutouts were first painted dark gray. Using a paint roller makes this a quick task. It gave a finished look because the backsides were visible.




Welcome guests… I mean trainers!




First Stop: Rhyhorn


The kids lined up behind an outstretched hose on the lawn. We gave them a cone shaped party hat and had them position it on their forehead to act as a horn. They got down on all fours and on the words ready, set, go they pushed a ball to the finish line using their horn. This entertained the adults and the kids thought it was fun, although some of the younger ones found it a bit frustrating.




Second Stop: Gloom

gloomHand out small containers of green tinted corn syrup to each child. Have them open the lids and sip the chlorophyll and let it ooze out of their mouths. Their comments were hysterical. They were apprehensive about even tasting the green ooze but once they started the children had fun. A few had to be enticed by telling them to think of it as liquid candy. It worked and they loved it. We had wipes available for easy clean up after the activity.ooze



Third Stop: Meowth


We hid plastic gold coins prior to the party starting for the kids to find using their Pikachu bags. All kids like hunting for treasure.




Fourth Stop: Hypno

hypnoWe had the children start behind the outstretched hose and had them walk forward to the finish line after turning in circles 10 times. Effective and a quick stop.



Fifth Stop: Pikachu


Pin the tail on Pikachu was played at this stop, a tried and true favorite.




Sixth Stop: Jigglypuff


We played Jigglypuff’s song on an iPhone while asking the children to fall under her trance by pretending to fall asleep while I drew on their faces, just as Jigglypuff is reported to do. We used a black face painting pencil. The kids loved this stop and were anxious to see what Jigglypuff had drawn on their faces. Have a sharpener at hand if the pencil dulls and a hand mirror for the kids to check out Jigglypuff’s handiwork.






Seventh Stop: Electabuzz


We gave the kids glow-in-the-dark bracelets to toss at a target.




Eighth Stop: Ponyta

ponytaWe set up a simple obstacle course for the children to run and jump and prance thru.





Ninth Stop: Charizard


Red fire plastic balls were given to the children, in turn, and were asked to throw the balls into target baskets.





Tenth Stop: Horsea


We hung plastic bugs (tied to thin cords) around the perimeter of a portable canopy. We hung a large bug on a long cord in the center of the canopy. The object of the game was to swing the large bug to capture one of the smaller hanging bugs.  They were allowed to keep the bugs that they captured. This was another fun activity that went over well because it was different.

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If you are a party helper, why not get into the spirit by dressing up as Team Rocket? A red R hot glued onto a white t-shirt makes for a simple costume.




Eleventh Stop: Arbok


We had everyone lie down on the lawn (on their stomach) and stretch into the Yoga Cobra pose. It was an effective calming down activity.




Twelfth Stop: Haunter


Two Haunter caves were created by covering two pup tents with black plastic bags. The children were divided into two teams and asked to retrieve the balls  inside the cave, back to the finish line. Even after the activity portion of the party was over, the children enjoyed playing in the caves.




Thirteenth Stop:  Chansey


Chansey hid Pokéballs for the kids to hunt. We turned 144 ping pong balls into Pokéballs and hid them in a nearby school’s field. This was the last stop of the party and gave the kids one last opportunity to run around. This was another favorite activity.







Pokéball directions: Tape blue painter’s tape around the center mark of each ping pong ball. The tape forms a stand to rest the ball on once the balls are spray painted. While I tried a few methods, the best result was achieved when I held up each ball (while wearing a latex glove) and spraying each ball individually. Spray painting was time consuming. Be sure you do this in a protected area because the least bit of wind can blow the balls in all directions. After allowing to dry overnight, I removed the tape and used a fine grade sandpaper to easily remove any overspray or glove prints on each ball and there were plenty of mishaps. Sanding didn’t take long and well worth the clean look. I cut black electrical tape length wise in half and wrapped the strip around the center. The finishing touch was the reinforcement labels that were added to the center.img_1867



The Food

Pokémon Pizzas


Make things simple and order (or make) pizzas that are half cheese and half pepperoni with the black olive band. By also offering a salad bar and bread sticks, I think you’ll please nearly everyone.

We made simple cupcakes and printed out toppers that were hot glued to treat sticks, for an easy birthday cake.




Goody Bags


Each bag held a red plastic bowl filled with shredded red paper, Pokémon cards, Pokémon plastic characters, Pokémon bubbles, and Pokémon stickers. The bowls were wrapped with cellophane and tied off with ribbon and a Pokéball emblem. Feel free to print the Pokéball sheet below or this pdf


Pokéball Piñata


Can’t forget the piñata! Instead of using a balloon as a form, I used a beach ball. It was close to being perfectly round and I simply deflated the ball and removed it after the newspaper and flour mixture had throughly dried, without damaging the beach ball. I hot glued white, red and black crepe paper to finish.

I hope I’ve given you some ideas and inspired you to put on your own Pokémon Party. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions or offer suggestions.


Rice & Rocks *Blog Tour* & Giveaway

BeachBoundBooks is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the charming children’s book written by Sandra L. Richards and illustrated by Megan Kayleigh Sullivan, Rice & Rocks. The tour will run from August 23 – September 13, 2016. collages7_orig

About the Book



Title: Rice & Rocksl | Author: Sandra L. Richards | Illustrator: Megan Kayleigh Sullivan Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing | Publication Date: August 23, 2016 Genre: Children’s Picture Book | Number of Pages: 32 Book Description: Tradition takes flight in Rice & Rocks, a picture book celebrating culture and diversity. Giovanni’s friends are coming over for Sunday dinner, and his grandmother is serving rice and beans. Giovanni is embarrassed he does not like ‘rice and rocks’ and worries his friends will think the traditional Jamaican dish is weird. But his favorite Auntie comes to the rescue. She and Giovanni’s pet parrot, Jasper, take him on a magical journey across the globe, visiting places where people eat rice and rocks. This exciting story celebrates the varied traditions of every culture while also highlighting the delicious similarities that bring us all together.



Take a look inside the book…








My thoughts:

This book wonderfully illustrates the powerful message that as much as we are different, we are really all the same. It’s multi-generational, multi-cultural and a beautiful book that shares the importance of tradition and heritage. Magical and imaginative!


About the Author: Sandra L. Richards


Sandra L. Richards is the debut picture book author of Rice & Rocks. With Rice & Rocks, Sandra brings a unique contribution to the world of children’s books. An American-born daughter of Jamaican immigrant parents, she hopes the book will serve as an educational resource for families seeking to teach their children the value of their heritage and the importance of cultural diversity.

Learn more about Sandra at

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads | LinkedIn Amazon | Books a Million | Seattle Book Company

About the Illustrator: Megan Kayleigh Sullivan

megan-sullivan Megan Kayleigh Sullivan graduated from Rhode Island School of Design in 2012 with a degree in Illustration. She is currently working as a freelance illustrator and storyboard artist, and aspires towards a career in the film and animation industry as a concept artist, character designer, or visual development artist (or d., all of the above). She enjoys traveling, writing, telling stories, and hula-hooping. Visit her at

LinkedIn | Instagram

Blog Tour Giveaway

Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice

Giveaway ends: September 13, 11:59 pm, 2016

Open to: Internationally

Please enter the rafflecopter: HERE.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Sandra L. Richards and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to

Newly Released Picture Books with Dandy Dads

Thunder Boy Jr.


My thoughts: Thunder Boy Jr. wants a name that is all his own, one that celebrates his very own uniqueness and identity. A nice ode to the Native American culture with striking illustrations that show the special relationship between father and son.

Written by Sherman Alexie
Illustrated by Yuyi Morales
Age Range: 2 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 3
40 pages
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
May 10, 2016



Hammer and Nails


My thoughts: Darcy and her dad come up with some innovative ways to tackle their day’s to-do list after Darcy’s friend cancels a play date. Delightful illustrations depict the day’s compromises and a fun connection between daddy and daughter.

Written by Josh Bledsoe
Illustrated by Jessica Warrick
Age Range: 5 – 7 years
Grade Level: Kindergarten – 2
32 pages
Published by Flashlight Press
April 1, 2016




Grandpa Loves You!


My thoughts: Soft and sweet illustrations along with charming verse tell this tender story about the special bond between a child and his/her grandpa.

Written by Helen Foster James
Illustrated by Petra Brown
Age Range: 2 – 6 years
Grade Level: Preschool – 1
32 pages
Published by Sleeping Bear Press
February 15, 2016




A Brave Bear


My thoughts: Dad Bear and his cub trek to the river to cool down on a very hot day. This book encourages young children to try new things and offers a lesson on bravery. The earthy color palette and textural illustrations are a pleasure to behold.

Written by Sean Taylor
Illustrated by Emily Hughes
Age Range: 2 – 5 years
Grade Level: Preschool – Kindergarten
32 pages
Published by Candlewick
April 12, 2016



Happy Father’s Day!

Dragons Are Real *Blog Tour & $100 GC/PP Giveaway*

Tour Button

My review: Look at the cover! I admit I’m a sucker for a GREAT dragon book. I do believe my love of dragons began when Puff the Magic Dragon lived by the sea and frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honah Lee. There’s just something about a creature that breathes fire and resembles a large flying lizard, that my inner child would like to believe is indeed real. And now this story tells us that they have a love of sugar and they may me to blame for YOUR sweet abductions. This may explain why a box of chocolates disappears so quickly in our house. The dragons! In this book the reader learns of their love of reading, books, poetry, dancing, and laughing. Who wouldn’t want to believe they are real? The illustrator did a scrumptious job with color and glorious detail portraying each dragon’s personality. It’s a gorgeous book with a playful storyline. The dragons ARE out there…just waiting to be your next very best friend. I believe.

Read the full Kirkus review HERE.

“An imaginative, smile-inducing, beautifully designed introduction to a favorite magical beast.”~Kirkus Review

About the Book

Dragons-cover-8x8-Medium (1)

Title: Dragons Are Real | Author: Valarie Budayr | Illustrator: Michael Welply | Publisher: Audrey Press | Publication Date: May 5, 2016 | Genre: Children’s Picture Book | Number of Pages: 32
Book Description: What if I told you that all of the fairy tales, myths and legends that have been told about dragons over the years are WRONG? What if I told you that Dragons are indeed REAL and that they are different than you’ve ever imagined? Did you know that Dragons are the master of disguises? Did you know that they love sugar and sweets (at unacceptable levels) and will do anything for treats? Award winning author Valarie Budayr brings us this fairly true story based on her childhood friendship with a REAL live Dragon.
Take a look inside the book…

About the Author: Valarie Budayr

vb Award Winning and Best-selling author, Valarie Budayr inspires children and adults alike to experience their books through play, discovery, and adventure via engaging extension activities on her popular website, Valarie is co-founder of Multi-cultural Children’s Book Day , #ReadYourWorld, a celebration of diverse and cultural kid-lit shared with over 98 million people on January 27th. Her foundation puts hundreds of books into the hands of children in rural and intercity areas. Valarie’s other best-selling and award winning titles are: The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden, The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and A Year in the Secret Garden.

Twitter | Facebook (Audrey Press) | Facebook (Jump Into A Book) | Google+ Pinterest | Goodreads |Website

About the Illustrator: Michael Welply


Michael Welply was born in London in 1948. The family moved to Winnipeg, Canada, in 1950. He studied art in Winnipeg and then in Paris, but his idea of living from the sales of his paintings is somewhat compromised by the lack of buyers. He started his career as an illustrator in 1977 in London. In 1981 he returned to live in France with his American wife and their two children. Since then he has worked for publishers in both Europe and North America. To date he has illustrated over 80 books and more than 100 covers, in a wide range of subjects extending from detailed non-fiction to juvenile and adult fiction in the realms of fantasy, mythology, science fiction and fairy tales.

Blog Tour Giveaway

Prize: One winner will receive a $100 Amazon gift card or $100 PayPal cash prize, winner’s choice

Giveaway ends: May 30, 11:59 pm, 2016

Open to: Internationally

How to enter: Please enter the rafflecopter HERE.

Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Valarie Budayr and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to


Celebrating Motherhood in Newly Released Picture Books!

Whether you’re furless…Ax9h0cR

or furry…




or finned…



May is the month to celebrate the being that made and/or nurtured YOU.


Silly Wonderful You


Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker

Illustrated by Patrick McDonnell

Published by Balzer+Bray

January 5, 2016

40 pages


Every young healthy child has boundless energy. This book captures the spirit of that truth and the reality of life never being the same…but, oh so much better, after motherhood. It’s a charmer and would make a perfect gift for new mothers. The illustrations are cartoonish and certainly add to its sweetness.

Amazon   Barnes & Noble


You Made Me a Mother


Written by Laurenne Sala

Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser

Published by HarperCollins

March 8, 2016

Age range: 4-8

32 pages


From early pregnancy to birth and beyond this book takes you on the sweet journey to motherhood. Expressive illustrations capture each memorable moment. Another touching tribute to the joy of having children.

Amazon  Barnes & Noble


Our Love Grows


Written and illustrated by Anna Pignataro

Published by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

April 5, 2016

Age range: 4-8

24 pages


Pip, the panda bear cub, has questions for his mama and wonders if things will change. Mama answers in  tender ways and eventually reassures her cub that her love for him will only grow. Told in rhyme with lovely watercolor illustrations.

Amazon  Barnes & Noble



Are You My Mother? ¿Eres tú mi mama?


Written and Illustrated by P.D. Eastman

Published by Random House Books for Young Readers

January 12, 2016

Age range: 6-9

72 pages


A classic done in Seussical fashion. P.D. Eastman was hired by Theodor Geisel to create his Beginner Book series and had his own style that is reminiscent of his protégé and colleague, Dr. Seuss. Baby bird hatches while mother bird is out looking for food. The little hatchling then goes off to search for his mother in this simple and sweet tale. This edition is larger in size than the original (released in 1967) to accommodate both the English and Spanish text (translated by Teresa Mlawer). A great addition for a bilingual family or for those learning either of the languages.

Amazon  Barnes & Noble


Baby’s first trip to Barnes & Noble.

This year, I’m celebrating my first Mother’s Day as a grandmother. It’s super special in so many ways. And think of all the picture books I’ll get to share with Lil’ Precious!


Happy Mother’s Day to all who have cared for or mentored a living being, human or not!


All is well in the Kingdom of Pen Pieyu. Or is it?

Book 3 illustration 12

What dark magic lurks here?

Ooh…the intrigue.


Book 3 Illustration 13

Findor dove straight into chatting about all things they had heard of the other’s kingdom.

And the kingdoms’ characters!


Book 3 Illustration 15

Without much warning, he blasted out a sure and swift fireball that pounded the wall and spread out like a squid’s tentacles.

There’s peril.


Book 3 Illustration 17

“I pronounce you, Sir Petra of Kingdom Boogy Gobees.”

 And the noblest of knights…and princesses.

About the Book

Title:  Sir Princess Petra’s Mission – The Pen Pieyu Adventures Book 3

Author: Diane Mae Robinson

Illustrator: Michael Bermundo

Publication Date: January 12, 2016

Publisher: Tate Publishing

Pages: 106

Recommended Ages: 7 and up


Book Description

Sir Princess Petra has already attained her knighthood in the Kingdom of Pen Pieyu and her non-princess-like talent certificate from Talent School, neither of which pleases her father and mother, the king and queen. The king writes up more silly rules in the royal rule book to deter Sir Princess Petra from her knightly ways and useless talent, and turn her into a real princess once and for all. Will the king finally succeed with this newly written, ridiculous mission for Petra?

My Review

Ms. Robinson’s word play will delight both young and old readers in book 3 of this charming series. Silly new rules send Sir Princess Petra on a mission, accompanied by her entourage. Snarls continues as her loyal dragon BFF and their antics will, without a doubt, entertain. The Kingdom of Pen Pieyu’s princess gains pride from doing what is right and noble and wins the day while teaching a moral lesson. Fun, full page, grayscale illustrations are included in each chapter and help early readers picture the action. Admittedly, I’m a bit smitten with the big fella, Snarls, and secretly wish he would appear in my neck of the enchanted forest. Petra’s adventures are girl empowering and full of non-stereotypical behavior. This isn’t your average princess story full of tiaras and tutus but is one that can be equally enjoyed by both genders.

The Buzz

“Sir Princess Petra is a brilliant role model for both girls and boys who may feel somewhat out of the mainstream with their goals, attitudes and ambitions, and she fulfills that function marvelously.” ~Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

“Her story is told with light-hearted humor, excitement and highly readable action sequences, accompanied by vivid characters who leap off the pages.” ~Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite

“Author Diane Mae Robinson has done a wonderful job in creating a fun, energetic and adventurous female character that her readers will love reading about.” ~Reviewed by Tracy A. Fischer for Readers’ Favorite


Get it Now Amazon button




About the Author: Diane Mae Robinson


Diane Mae Robinson is a multi-award winning author for her series, The Pen Pieyu Adventures.


Sir Princess Petra – The Pen Pieyu Adventures (Book 1) Book Awards

2012 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artists Award

2012 Purple Dragonfly Book Award

2013 Sharp Writ Book Award

2013 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award

Sir Princess Petra’s Talent – The Pen Pieyu Adventures (Book 2) Book Awards

2014 Reader’s Favorite International Award

2015 Purple Dragonfly Book Award

2015 Children’s Literary Classics “Seal of Approval”

2015 Children’s Literary Classics Book Award

Grammar for Kids and Dragons, an easy-to-understand grammar book for middle-grade children (dragons and adults too), will have all of the Pen Pieyu characters explaining the grammar lessons making this an easy and fun read, forthcoming 2016.

Diane Mae Robinson lives in central Alberta. She enjoys riding her horses, playing with her dogs, visual arts, visiting Maui often, and of course, writing. The author is also an art teacher, writing instructor, children’s book editor, and a judge in an international short story competition.

Author’s website   Blog  Facebook  Twitter  Goodreads


An Alice in Wonderland Inspired Baby Shower & $25 GC/PP Giveaway!

Guess what? I’m spilling the (pink jelly) beans. I’m going to be a grandmother! What better way to celebrate than with a children’s literature themed baby shower? That’s what we did and I wanted to share some of the ideas. Instructions for the giveaway can be found at the end of this post.


insideinviteFirst and Foremost…

The Invitations!


front invite

Front of invitation





Welcome Guests


 Hand out Queen of Hearts pre-printed name badges to guests upon arrival. As much as I dislike being labeled, this is practical.



Welcome table with Mad Hats to wear and mirror for guests to use.


We’re all mad here! “All the best people are!” sign to instruct guests to pick a hat.


So many hats to choose from. Each one unique.


In this style 10/6


Who Knew?

In the book, the card on the hatter’s hat reads “In this style 10/6”, which refers to the price of the hat – 10 shillings and six pence.

In the mid 19th century, when Carroll wrote Alice, Mercury was used to process the felt hats and hat makers were exposed to the toxic vapors. Mercury poisoning can cause erratic, flamboyant behavior and many believe this was the inspiration for Carroll’s hatter. That explains a lot. Under the influence.

Did you know that Lewis Carroll was actually a pen name used by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson? Did you know that he was deaf in one ear and had a stammer? Mr. Dodgson would have celebrated his 184th birthday on January 27th and the book celebrates its 151st year since first being published.


V.I.P. Partygoers ❤


Our hostess with the mostest. Thank you, Barbara! ❤

These hats were a hit and so fun to make. I made them out of paper cups and plates and used scrap material left over from past projects. Feathers, both purchased and collected were used. Random buttons, ribbon, tulle, even costume jewelry kept each one unique. The ladies coordinated their
hat with their tea attire.


Printable Hat Instructions

Hat Instructions


Party Props


The White Rabbit attentively sat and read “(baby’s name) in Wonderland” and watched the time fly by.



There may be some of you that think the White Rabbit looks familiar. You are very observant. It’s had many faces…I mean heads, at the Children’s Library. First it was the Mother Bunny, next it was Super Heroine for the Summer Reading Program, and lastly the Wicked Witch for Halloween. I love to repurpose.




Two topiaries were created for the table by hot gluing two large green plastic bowls together to form a large orb and attaching moss and pink roses. Each covered orb was attached to a cut branch that formed the trunk, which was secured in a ceramic pot. This added to the garden party flavor.



Can’t forget the magic mushrooms!

Mushrooms were created from plastic champagne glasses. The stem and base were painted grayish taupe and turned upside down. The cup part (now the base) was painted green and moss was attached along with a few flowers. A small plastic bowl was painted pink and turned upside down to form the cap. Round white labels were used to create the spots. Colored dots would be a fun alternative. Decorative caterpillars, snails or other garden creatures could be hot glued on the top to add more whimsy.


The Food & Drink


It’s a tea! So supply a nice variety plus honey, sugar and lemon. Name tags were tied onto tea cup handles and proved to be useful as all the cups looked the same. Who keeps track of where one puts their cup when they’re conversing, having fun and feeding their face? I sure don’t.



Our sweet menu included mini-raspberry scones and mini-blueberry scones served with clotted cream and marmalade, chocolate dipped strawberries, mini-chocolate eclairs, lemon bars, petit fours, and chocolate covered marshmallow pops. Food labels, with characters from the book, were set next to each tray. A few EAT ME and DRINK ME labels were tucked in too, to keep with the theme.


The savory menu included cucumber sandwich rounds, heart-shaped ham and cheese on rye sandwiches, triangle black olive and cream cheese on pumpernickel sandwiches, rolled egg salad sandwiches and chicken salad sandwiches on mini-crossiants.

Party Games

Strands of beads were given out upon guests’ arrival and given instructions not to say BABY. Do you know how hard it is to not say baby at a baby shower? Mind boggling. Rules are simple, if another guest hears you say “baby” then they’re allowed to take your beads. The guest with the most beads at the end of the party wins a prize.



As an icebreaker, we placed baby item names on labels and put them on guests’ backs (without them peeking). They were told that they could ask only one yes or no question to another guest until they guessed the item.

Who is Who?

Coochie Coo! Guess who’s who?

Ask guests to bring a baby picture of themselves to the shower (preferably 3 years and under) and display them for all to see. A large gold picture frame was used to stretch pink ribbon across the back. Small, wood clothes pins that were numbered were used to attach the photos.  Guests were given a numbered list and a pen to begin the game.  After all had guessed, we determined the correct answers and the guest that had the most correct, won a prize.  Printable list here: who is who


Just the Ticket for a New Mother!

diaperraffle1Include a diaper raffle ticket with the invitation and instructions to bring a package of diapers and ticket to the shower. Draw the winning ticket during the party and award a prize. This is a nice way of giving the soon-to-be-mother a diaper supply.


Will the Baby Be Late to a Very Important Date?


When will that little bunny go down the rabbit hole? Ask your guests to guess, and the one the comes closest to the actual birth date and time receives a gift. A gift card can be sent in the mail after the birth. Four on a printable page: 4upguess

Much fun was had! I hope I’ve given you some ideas and inspired you to put on your own themed party. Pardon my gender stereotypical use of pink, but we’re obviously having a GIRL!!!

“Actually, the best gift you could have given her was a lifetime of adventures…” ~Lewis Carroll  (Alice in Wonderland)

I shall try to give her adventures, more love and more books to last a lifetime.  It’s also very exciting that my daughter-in-law selected a Dr. Seuss themed nursery. Some one pinch me, please! ~Cathy

The Giveaway!

Now, for some MAD fun just for you! I’m giving away one $25 Amazon gift card or Pay Pal cash to the person that comes closest to guessing the actual birth date and time of my lil’ grandbunny. All you have to do is comment with a DATE and TIME (include a.m. or p.m.) and you’ll be entered, with no strings attached. Please only guess once. The one that comes closest to, without going beyond the actual time wins. FYI: Due date is February 13th. Guesses will be taken up to the end of the day on February 13th or until the baby is born (whichever comes first). You may also email me at peanutbutterprose at and I will add your guess to the list. Winner will be posted here and notified via email.

 Happy guessing and thanks for stopping by!