„Beauregard in a box“ by Jessica Lee Hutchings

Beauregard is a curious kid. His biggest dream: Travelling the world! Reading, drawing, writing and thinking about his big aspiration even keeps him up at night. Beauregard would be a great adventurer. Unfortunately, there is one problem: Beauregard is afraid of flying or taking big ships to make his dreams come true…

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Until he has an awesome idea! Beauregard sneaks into the post office, crawls into a huge box full of mittens – and arrives in Finland! After exploring the cold country with his new friend Aleksi Beauregard is sure: He want to continue with his world travels. A box full of Sarongs brings him to Bali, from there on he travels in a box full of swimsuits and find himself in Australia. His new friend Jack is as adventurous as Beauregard – until he sees the Box our little traveler plans to crawl in next: “It’s dark, it’s noisy, and the ride can’t be that great!” Beauregard realizes that he already flew an airplane and boarded a ship, just hidden in his box. After all the cool things he did he will now be brave enough to fly on a plane…

Jessica Lee Hutching wrote a cute picture book with a main character children and adults can instantly relate to. We all have dreams, but often fears or worries hold us back… Beauregard’s story shows that we are often braver than we think. Beauregard travels in a box to avoid airplanes and ships. After reaching his final destination it takes him some time to realize that postboxes are transported by air or sea as well. He already did what he feared the most, he’s braver than he ever thought he could be! The descriptions of Finland, Bali and Australia are relatively short, but capture the most important values and have exactly the right length to hold a young reader’s attention. After all, this is not a book about foreign countries, but about a boy discovering his own strength!

The illustrations by Srimalie Bassani are colorful and charming. I especially loved Beauregard’s facial expressions – he seemed so confused at times, then utterly happy and (finally) proud of himself.

Beauregard in a box” is a fun picture book for preschool and elementary aged adventurer. A book will be available on April 17 – just in time for summer vacation!

Author Jessica Lee Hutchings is a world traveler herself. The trained chef with a degree from Johnson & Wales University was born and raised in Alabama but now lives in California. She enjoys traveling to new places; revisiting old favorites, like Spain, Australia, and Hawaii; and eating doughnuts. “Beauregard in a box” is her debut children’s book.

Illustrator Srimalie Bassani lives and works in Mantova, Italy. According to her own words she always tries to diversify her style based on every story she illustrates.

More information:
„Beauregard in a box“
Written by Jessica Lee Hutchings
Illustrated by Srimalie Bassani
Publisher: Flowerpot Press (17. April 2018)
ISBN: 978-1486713844

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„Glitter“ by Stella J. Jones

We recently had an unusual number of school closures due to snow. That is, unusual for the Pacific Northwest… Snow days always make Finja and me a little crazy. She misses her preschool friends. I don’t get work done, don’t get my workout in. That’s why I stocked up on craft kits at the beginning of the winter. Nothing like laying out some nice things to do for the little one and having a bit of peace. Peace for 12 minutes or so… Finja can be a real girl and she likes glitter. So, when we decided to build an indoor fairy garden she was all in – as long as we could put some glitter aka “fairy dust” on it. Said, done. Well, almost. Because you know what happens when a four-year-old gets a small tube with fine glitter in her hands, right? The glitter goes – everywhere…

Building a fairy garden - with glitter, please!

That’s why I really had to laugh when I held the hardcover edition of “Glitter” by Stella J. Jones, published by Tiger Tales, in my hands just a few days later. “Glitter” not only has glitter on every page, what makes it an absolute page-turner for preschool-aged girls. No, “Glitter” is just about this: Glitter getting everywhere, in every corner and cranny… But let’s start at the beginning.

Gloria is a little rhino and the heroine of this story. Gloria’s favorite color is glitter and “everything in her life has a little bit of razzle-dazzle”. While Gloria loves her glitter slippers she is convinced everyone in her neighborhood needs a little bit of glitter. Dashing away on her “glitterama-razzamatazz scooter” she leaves a little bit of glitter everywhere.

She glitters the banker, the barber, the baker, the chef and the cabinet-maker, the plumber, the drummers, the teachers… But instead of being gloriously happy, they find this glitterama rather awkward. Unfortunately scrubbing off glitter is not so easy – it goes everywhere… And it gets messy. Soon the whole town is dusted in a small cloud if Gloria’s glorious glitter. What will happen now? Unexpectedly, the whole town is “smiling, giggling, chuckling, and chortling”. “Just like the glitter that was spread all around, the happiness traveled right through the town.”

Author Stella J. Jones wrote an entertaining, humorous book that heightens the spirits and makes reading fun. “Glitter” was illustrated by Judi Abbot, who studied at art school in Milan. Her colorful graphics are not only glittery and pink, they teem with life and basically catapult you into Gloria’s town to dust you with some of Gloria’s glorious glitter. Perfect, as Gloria’s story about spreading kindness and joy is just about this: Not taking life too serious, having fun – and being cheerful. Just like glitter goes everyway, happiness spreads. So, don’t worry, be happy…

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Needless to say: Finja loves “Glitter” and the razzle-dazzle on every page. We had a good laugh about our experience with the fairy-dust who still sticks between the floorboards. Although “Glitter” doesn’t seem to have a serious, deeper meaning other than being kind and sharing the joy it’s so nice to read a feel-good-book occasionally!

“Glitter”
written by Stella J. Jones
illustrated by Judi Abbot
Publisher: Tiger Tales
ISBN: 978-1680100396

Welcome to the Reading Castle!

We are a family of readers. Of bilingual readers. My husband and me both grew up in Germany and moved to the United States in 2010 – our daughter Finja is one of the lucky kids to grow up with two languages.

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My bookworm career started with “Tao Tao, the little panda bear” and continued with countless teenager horse books, young adult and finally novels. Even my career always brought me back to reading – and writing. I wrote short stories for a local newspaper during high school – yes, they were mainly about horses… Studying chemistry and biology in Munich it was clear, that my future wouldn’t be in a lab – I started working for an online science magazine and later started my own publication. “Pfotenhieb” is an independent magazine for cat owners and one of the first e-magazines in Germany. A personal dream came true when a publishing house in Germany gave me the opportunity to write a textbook for cat owners. By now I published five books. As day job I coordinate social media activities for a charity brand.

But this blog isn’t about me or cats. It’s about children books – and for me that comes connected to our daughter Finja. It started right after she was born, as reading books to her in the middle of the night was the only way to keep me awake for a feeding – and was a good way to practice my English. By now Finja’s bookshelf is clearly dominating her room. So are the piles of book in and in front of her bed… This girl loves reading – or looking at pictures and let me read, that is. After all she’s just three (and a half). But that’s how long it took me to realize that spending hours browsing for children’ books is a symptom of serious children’ book addiction in me…

We read everything. German or English, fiction or non-fiction, fairytale or practical learning…

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Anyway, I realized that not every book could keep up to it’s cover text. Not every great illustration means an extraordinary content. And sometimes I just purchased a book to realize that it had to sit on the shelf for another two years. That’s fine with me, you can often find me curled up with another story book for elementary school kids at night – but maybe you are not as crazy and just want to find the right book for your child. That is what this blog is for: To help you selecting great, extraordinary books for your child.

Enter the reading castle and enjoy our countless rooms, shelves and books!

Oh, and if you took the wrong way and are searching for a German book blog I can recommend „Kinderbibliothek“.