Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dr. Seuss Classic Tour {review and giveaway}

I'm so excited to be a part of this tour celebrating both the classic books of Dr. Seuss and the new one releasing today! In the Fall of 2013, an original manuscript with accompanying sketches by Dr. Seuss, aka Ted Geisel, was discovered in the La Jolla, California home of the late beloved children’s author. That complete manuscript was for the picture book, WHAT PET SHOULD I GET? 

On each stop of this tour, a different classic Dr. Seuss book will be reviewed. Below you can read my review of Scrambled Eggs Super, learn more about What Pet Should I Get?, and enter to win a copy...

Scrambled Eggs Super
by Dr. Seuss
March 12, 1953
Random House
An eggs-cellent way to start the day! Breakfast will never be the same, thanks to Dr. Seuss’s classic rhyming picture book Scrambled Eggs Super!When Peter T. Hooper tires of traditional scrambled eggs, he sets out on a quest to find the rarest and most exciting eggs so he can make the amazing breakfast he craves. Featuring zany egg-layers such as the Sala-ma-goox, the Tizzle-Topped Grouse, and the Bombastic Aghast, Scrambled Eggs Super! will hit the spot and leave readers wanting seconds. 


Like most kids, I grew up loving Dr. Seuss books and their fun, clever stories and unforgettable characters. When choosing which Dr. Seuss book to review for this celebration tour, I wanted to pick one that I was unfamiliar with, but that sounded super, so of course I went with the 1953 classic, Scrambled Eggs Super...and it is most definitely eggs-cellent!

In Scrambled Eggs Super, one ambition little boy, Peter T. Hooper, goes on a wild, culinary adventure around the world to find the best, most unique eggs to make his delicious Scrambled Eggs Super-Dee-Dooper- Dee- Booper,Special de luxe a'-la-Peter T. Hooper! Peter T. Hooper is tired of simple scrambled eggs from a hen, so the wee chef goes in search of a variety of amazing eggs from equally amazing birds.

Like all Dr. Seuss books, Scrambled Eggs Super is full of irresistible, imaginative rhymes that are both wonderfully whimsical and undeniably clever. Seuss’ sing-song, lyrical way of writing is still has captivating for me now as it was when I was little. I love Peter T. Hooper’s enthusiastic, endearing, and amusingly exaggerated voice and storytelling. Young readers will have a blast exploring unusual places and meeting extraordinary, never-before-seen birds, from the Ruffled-Necked Sala-ma-goox to the country dwelling Mop-Noodled Finch and the giant egg laying Pelf and every other kind of wondrous bird in between,  with young Peter.

In Scrambled Eggs Super, Dr. Seuss uses reds, blues, yellows, black, and white to create the bright, funny illustrations. Peter, his sister Lizzie, and each stupendous bird, are vividly captured and brought to life. Little readers will really enjoy looking at the pictures and discovering all the excellent details.

my final thoughts: Everything we love about Dr. Seuss- his remarkable storytelling, endless imagination, fun illustrations, unique way of capturing nature, etc- is present in Scrambled Eggs Super. Both long time Seuss fan and those just discovering him will have a super-dee-dooper time reading this book!

What Pet Should I Get?
by Dr. Seuss
July 28, 2015
Random House
In the Fall of 2013, an original manuscript with accompanying sketches by Dr. Seuss, aka Ted Geisel, was discovered in the La Jolla, California home of the late beloved children’s author. That complete manuscript was for the picture book, WHAT PET SHOULD I GET?, and will be published by Random House Children’s Books. It is the first original new Dr. Seuss book since the publication of the last book of Dr. Seuss’s career, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! in 1990. WHAT PET SHOULD I GET? captures the excitement of a classic childhood moment—choosing a pet—and features the brother and sister characters that Dr. Seuss drew in One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.
Theodor “Seuss” Geisel is one of the most beloved children’s book authors of all time. His long list of awards includes Caldecott Honors for McElligot’s PoolIf I Ran the Zoo, and Bartholomew and the Oobleck, the Pulitzer Prize, and eight honorary doctorates. Works based on his original stories have won three Oscars, three Emmys, three Grammys and a Peabody. Geisel wrote and illustrated 45 books during his lifetime, and his books have sold more than 650 million copies worldwide. Though Theodor Geisel died on September 24, 1991, Dr. Seuss lives on, inspiring generations of children of all ages to explore the joys of reading. For more information about Dr. Seuss and his works, visit Seussville.com.

Win a brand new copy of
What Pet Should I Get?
Thanks to Random House, I have one hardcover copy to give away to one winner.
-US only
-ends 8/2/15
please read FULL list of rules below Rafflecopter form:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Unless otherwise stated, the policies and rules for each giveaway are as follows:
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.  Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and Washington D.C. who are 13 years old or older as of date of entry.
To enter, fill out the appropriate Rafflecopter form associated with each giveaway.
The start and end dates for each giveaway will be clearly stated and followed.
The specified amount of winners shall be selected in a random drawing.
Winners will be notified by email and must claim their prize within 48 hours. If a winner does not respond within 48 hours, then a new winner will be chosen.
Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes in the mail. Once a prize is dropped off at the post office, it is no longer my responsibility and I will not compensate in anyway for prizes not delivered because of the USPS.
If a third-party (author, publisher, etc) is shipping a prize, once I provide the winner(s)' mailing information to them, the prize is no longer my responsibility. I will forward your mailing info to the proper people within 48 hours after getting it from you. If you have not received your prize from an author or publisher within 8 weeks, it is your responsibility to contact them further.
By participating in any giveaway, you agree to adhere to these rules. Any breaking of these rules by entrants will disqualify them from the giveaway and their entries will be deleted.

Visit ALL the stops on this celebration tour:
Dr. Seuss 44 Classic Book Celebratory Tour
  1. And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, 1937 – The Young Folks.com
  2. The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, 1938 – Bookish Antics
  3. The Seven Lady Godivas, 1939 – The Eater of Books
  4. The King’s Stilts, 1939 – On Starships and Dragonwings
  5. Horton Hatches the Egg, 1940 – The Book Cellar
  6. McElligot’s Pool, 1947 – Media Mikes
  7. Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose, 1948 –Mommie of 2
  8. Bartholomew and the Oobleck, 1949 – Nonperfect Parenting
  9. If I Ran the Zoo, 1950 – Live to Read
  10. Scrambled Eggs Super! 1953 – Word Spelunking
  11. Horton Hears a Who! 1954 - Bookiemoji
  12. On Beyond Zebra! 1955 - Jessabella Reads
  13. If I Ran the Circus, 1956 – Book Hounds
  14. The Cat in the Hat, 1957 – The Bookbag
  15. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! 1957 – Nightly Reading
  16. The Cat in the Hat Comes Back, 1958 – Winter Haven Books
  17. Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories, 1958 – Alice Marvels
  18. Happy Birthday to You! 1959 – Chapter by Chapter
  19. Green Eggs and Ham, 1960 – Poland Bananas
  20. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, 1960 – Once Upon a Twilight
  21. The Sneetches and Other Stories, 1961 - The Mod Podge Bookshelf
  22. Dr. Seuss’s Sleep Book, 1962 – Good Books and Good Wine
  23. Dr. Seuss’s ABC, 1963 – The Irish Banana
  24. Hop on Pop, 1963 – Mundie Moms
  25. Fox in Socks, 1965 – Page Turners
  26. I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew, 1965 – Book Rock Betty
  27. The Cat in the Hat Songbook, 1967 – Giveaway Train
  28. The Foot Book, 1968 – I Am A Reader
  29. I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! And Other Stories, 1969 – Cuddlebuggery
  30. I Can Draw It Myself, 1970 – The Children’s Book Review
  31. Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? 1970 – Curling Up with a Good Book
  32. The Lorax, 1971 - Elizziebooks
  33. Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now! 1972 – Reading with ABC
  34. Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? 1973 – Me, Myshelf, and I
  35. The Shape of Me and Other Stuff, 1973 – Paperback Princess
  36. There’s a Wocket in My Pocket! 1974 – Presenting Lenore
  37. Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! 1975 – YA Books Central
  38. The Cat’s Quizzer, 1976 – Lille Punkin’
  39. I Can Read with My Eyes Shut! 1978 – Confessions Of A Vi3tbabe
  40. Oh Say Can You Say? 1979 – Ex Libris
  41. Hunches in Bunches, 1982 – No BS Book Reviews
  42. The Butter Battle Book, 1984 – Novel Novice
  43. You’re Only Old Once! 1986 – Dad of Divas
  44. Oh, the Places You’ll Go! 1990  - Jesse the Reader

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Word Spelunking Is Taking The Summer Off

Hey splendiferious cupcakes! Just wanted to do a quick announcement and let y'all know that Word Spelunking will be going on hiatus this summer (rest of June and July). So, there will probably not be any new posts for the next month and half...but, I'll be back in August with new reviews, interviews, giveaways, blog tours, and my 4th Blogiversary celebration!

Until then, you can always reach me by email, Facebook, or Twitter: 
all links in sidebar-->

I hope you all have a wonderful June and July!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Circus Mirandus Blog Tour {author interview}

I'm so thrilled to have the Circus Mirandus Blog Tour and author Cassie Beasley stopping by today! Circus Mirandus is a truly spectacular middle-grade novel full of magic, wonder, and heart...

by Cassie Beasley
June 2, 2015
Dial Books
Micah Tuttle believes in magic, even though his awful Great-Aunt Gertrudis doesn’t approve. Micah believes in the stories his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him of the magical Circus Mirandus: the invisible tiger guarding the gates, the beautiful flying birdwoman, and the magician more powerful than any other—the Man Who Bends Light. Finally, Grandpa Ephraim offers proof. The Circus is real—and the Lightbender owes Ephraim a miracle. With his friend Jenny Mendoza in tow, Micah sets out to find the Circus and the man he believes will save his grandfather. The only problem is, the Lightbender doesn't want to keep his promise. And now it's up to Micah to get the miracle he came for. Readers will fall in love with CIRCUS MIRANDUS, which celebrates the power of seeing magic in the world.


★ “On one level, the book is a fantastical circus romp… On another, it's both serious and thick with longing… A delicious confection and much more: it shows that the human heart is delicate, that it matters, and that it must be handled with care.”       Kirkus Reviews, starred review

★ “Circus Mirandus is not a simple story, but readers will be rewarded for delving into its intricacies. This gripping fantasy tale will have readers hooked from the opening scene to the breathtaking—and unexpected—conclusion.”                 School Library Journal, starred review

★ “Beasley’s debut is a bit of its own three-ring circus, masterfully diverting readers’ attention among the pressing matter of Ephraim’s illness, the inventive descriptions of Circus Mirandus in Ephraim’s flashbacks and Micah’s visits, and the larger, more serious tragedy of those who refuse to believe…Readers will be left with…the hope…that those who still believe will always have magic in their lives.”       Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Debut author Beasley has built an imaginative world in evocative, painterly prose, particularly the circus, and she’s filled it with compellingly multifaceted characters.”     —Booklist

Circus Mirandus blooms before the reader’s eyes…This lighthearted middle-grade fantasy is an ideal pick for those who want to be immersed in an imaginative world where there is no limit on creativity and adventure.”         —VOYA

#1 on the Summer Kids’ Indie Next List!

Inspired Recommendations for Kids from Indie Booksellers

Circus Mirandus is magical and real—if you believe. This is one of my favorites on the list without a doubt.”                     —Arna Lewis, Buttonwood Books & Toys (Cohasset, MA)

“Every now and again a book comes along that completely captures my heart and imaginationCircus Mirandus is one of those books.”                Laura Donohoe, Malaprops (Asheville, NC)

“Magic, like hope and dreams, comes in many forms… A charming, tender, a hold-your-breath kind of book.” —Margaret Brennan Neville, The King's English (Salt Lake City, UT)

“This book is chock full of magic and love. Great storytelling, delightful characters—and that cover!”                            —Francine Lucidon, The Voracious Reader (Larchmont, NY)

“I knew I was going to love this barely a page into it. The characters are dynamic, the illustrations delightful and the story is filled to the brim with tenderness, magic, adventure and a story so brilliant that adults will want to find a child to curl up and read this aloud to.”                                        
      — Jesica DeHart, BookPeople  
(Moscow, ID)

What three words best describe Circus Mirandus?

Marvelous. Magical. Ancient.

Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers to give Circus Mirandus a try?

This book is about a kid doing something amazing to save the person he loves most in the world, and that amazing something happens to involve a magic circus, a self-important parrot, and an exceptional new friend.

Grab a copy of Circus Mirandus and answer the following:

favorite chapter?   

My favorite is Chapter 35: “On the Way to Arizona.” It’s at the end of the book, and it’s what I was always writing toward. I knew the ending of the story almost before I knew the beginning, so this chapter contains the one scene I had in mind the whole time I was writing the first draft.
favorite page?

29. It’s when readers first meet the young version of Ephraim, and it’s written differently from the preceding chapters.

favorite place/setting?

Inside the Lightbender’s tent! (Which is a bit of a cheat because the Lightbender’s tent contains all kinds of settings, from Antarctica to Ancient Rome.)

flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser:

I landed on page 145: “He [Micah] was crossing his fingers and his toes while he waited for Jenny to arrive. It was the kind of night that seemed to require good fortune in the largest possible amount.”

What inspired Circus Mirandus? How did the story come to be?

When I’m writing, stories come from everywhere. The initial spark might be something you read or see on television or overhear, but then pieces get pulled in from every corner of your brain while you write until the story isn’t really coming from one place but from a thousand. For example, the quipu Micah and Jenny are working on is something I learned about in fifth or sixth grade in my social studies class. Originally they were working on a different project, but I needed one that would fit the story better, and I eventually dragged the memory of the quipu out of my head. I have a pet parrot that acts a lot like Chintzy. I’m not sure, but I think I got the idea for the gorilla balloon from one I used to see outside a car dealership when I was a kid. These things all combine with elements of pure fantasy to make the finished product. I don’t quite know how. It really is a kind of magic.

Can you tell us a bit about your characters Micah and Jenny? What makes them special and sets them apart from other middle-grade characters?

Micah and Jenny are both ten years old. They’re not friends at the start of the story.

Micah considers himself to be average. He’s not all that close to other children his age, but that’s mostly because his relationship with his grandfather has been such a huge part of his life. He and Grandpa Ephraim have always done everything together, so now, with Grandpa Ephraim so ill, Micah’s adrift.

Jenny Mendoza is the smartest person in Micah’s class. She’s recently moved to town with her mother and father so that her father can go to vet school. At home, Jenny’s parents are very supportive. They’re a close family. But at school Jenny’s having trouble making friends and fitting in. She doesn’t believe in Circus Mirandus, but she believes in what Micah is trying to do for his grandfather.

If you were to travel with the Circus Mirandus, what job or act would you love to have?

Maybe the Lightbender’s power is the obvious one to want, but I wouldn’t want his job. He never gets a day off. I think I’d love to have the ticket-taker’s job. I would be terrible at it, a total pushover. Everyone would get to come in if they left me in charge of Circus Mirandus’s gate.

As a middle-grade author, why do you think MG is so important and popular? What is one middle-grade book that you that you think everyone should read at least once?

I think reading is important at every stage of life. Books open our eyes to the way other people think and feel. They teach us empathy, which is something we could all use a little more of. As for MG in particular, I think it’s the age when many kids are finally able to take charge of their own reading.

Maybe it’s different for other people, but I remember having most early readers and easy chapter books chosen for me by teachers or other adults. When I started reading middle grade books, it was the first time I was allowed to go crazy in the library, and that was it for me. I got my hands on a few really meaty “big kid” books, and I was a reader for life. I want that moment (the one when reading goes from being something that’s sometimes a chore to something you can’t wait to do every day) to happen for every young person.

As for the book choice…I have so many favorites, but if I had to pick just one MG that I thought should be read by everyone I think I would probably have to go with Lois Lowry’s The Giver.

Fill in the blanks:

I’m really awesome at cooking. I find it so relaxing. With cooking, you put the ingredients together according to the instructions, and the dish comes out the way you intended. And when you’re in the mood you can be creative, but you don’t have to be. Writing doesn’t work that way.

I’m really embarrassed to admit how often I’m just not paying attention to the world around me. If you meet me on a non-writing day, we’re good, but I spend ninety percent of my waking hours daydreaming various stories, and I sometimes have entire conversations with people without ever really knowing what’s been said.

The last great book I read was I’m not sure. It was either Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson or An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. I loved both of them, but I can’t remember which I read last!  

If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by Circus Mirandus, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?

It would be a dark chocolate cupcake with a milk chocolate ganache filling, topped with peanut butter frosting and crushed caramel popcorn and gold edible glitter, and it would be served on an Old Country Roses patterned china saucer, and it would be called the Double Chocolate Mirandus, and you would want to serve it with coffee I think, but you could also…what? Of course I’ve put a lot of thought into this! It’s an important question.

Thank you so much for stopping by, Cassie!

About Cassie Beasley: website/twitter/goodreads
CASSIE BEASLEY is from rural Georgia, where, when she's not writing, she helps out on the family pecan farm. She earned her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. CIRCUS MIRANDUS is her first novel.