New Release: Blue in the Face by Gerry Swallow

blue in the face


When Elspeth Pule, an eleven-year-old brat, wakes up one day in a strange forest, she finds some familiar faces around her–those of the nursery rhyme characters she grew up reading about. But as she soon learns from Humpty Dumpy, a suave, tuxedo-wearing egg, what she knows is a twisted version of the truth concocted by the evil Old King Krool–and none of the characters are who she thinks.

Elspeth couldn’t care less, but she soon gets pulled into the fight against Krool’s tyranny. And if she wants to get home, she’ll need to learn some compassion–and teach the characters that sometimes a good old-fashioned tantrum is exactly what’s necessary.

Told in a hilarious voice and with black and white illustrations throughout, this “revolutionary” tale is perfect for fans of Pseudonymous Bosch and Lemony Snicket.

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (January 12, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1619634872
  • ISBN-13: 978-1619634879

PURCHASE AT: Amazon, Barnesandnoble, Bloomsbury Publishing


Gerry Swallow is the author of A Whole Nother Story–which received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and was an Al Roker Today Show pick–and its sequels Another Whole Nother Story and No Other Story, all written under the pseudonym Dr. Cuthbert Soup. He began his career as a stand-up comic, making numerous appearances on NBC’s Tonight Show. He then turned his attention to writing movies, including the blockbuster hit, Ice Age: The Meltdown.

Valerio Fabbretti is the author and illustrator of children’s books and comic books in both the USA and Italy. He was born in Rome and currently lives in San Francisco.



The Great Fairy Tale Disaster and The Great Nursery Rhyme Disaster by David Conway

Fairy Tale and nursery rhyme retelling isn’t new, but David Conway sure takes it to a hilarious level with these two books.

fairyIn The Great Fairy Tale Disaster, an elderly Big Bad Wolf is tired of trying to blow down the Three Little Pigs’ houses. So he wanders into other fairy tales to find one that better suits his needs. Problem is that wolves don’t wear dresses like Cinderella; they don’t like scary giants climbing down beanstalks; and they sure don’t care for getting kissed by princes. Chaos erupts in fairy tale land, leading to a surprising end.

Between the fabulous artwork of Melanie Williamson and the fantastic plot of this story, your child is sure to be enthralled. Wacky and wonderful, this twisted-fairy tale adventure will lead to smiles and laughs from everyone. I love unique takes on classics, and this definitely fits the bill.

In The Great Nursery Rhyme Disaster, Conway toys with more beloved childhood characters. Little Miss Muffet is bored with being in the samenursery nursery rhyme, and she’s fed up with being scared by that spider. Off she marches into the pages tf the book to find a new nursery rhyme. One of them has too much marching and falling down the hill with Jack and Jill hurts too much. When she runs away with the spoon, dish gets angry, and a ruckus ensues.

Just as zany as Conway’s fairy tale book, children will recognize familiar characters like the mouse in Hickory, Dickory, Dock, the king from Sing A Song of Sixpence, and The Queen of Hearts who made some tarts. With the unusual antics in this book, giggles are bound to erupt. Williamson’s artwork is superb in this book. I hope we see more collaborations between these two artists.

I highly recommend  The Great Fairy Tale Disaster and The Great Nursery Rhyme Disasterto readers ages 3 to 7, though I think some older kids will also enjoy them.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Fairy Tale

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Tiger Tales (September 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589251113
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589251113
  • SRP: $12.95

Nursery Rhyme

  • Reading level: Ages 4 and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Tiger Tales (March 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158925080X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589250802
  • SRP: $15.95

I received copies of these books from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.

Old MacDonald Had a Farm and Other Favorite Children’s Songs

It’s time to sing along to twelve children’s favorites. From “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” to “Skip to my Lou,” and from  “I’m A Little Teapot” to “Pop! Goes the Weasel” and more, these children’s classics are sure to get you and your toddler in happy mood. Accompanied by the fun and beautiful artwork of Hannah Wood, your child will be thrilled to call this book his own.

Wood has created a wonderful niche for herself. Just like in This Little Piggy and Other Favorite Action Rhymes and Hey Diddle, Diddle and Other Favorite Nursery Rhymes, she is reimagining classics for a contemporary audience. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next!

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Board book:22 pages
  • Publisher:Tiger Tales; Brdbk edition (September 1, 2012)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:1589258746
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589258747
  • SRP: $8.95

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.

Fall 2012 Titles from Tiger Tales

Here are the titles I will be reviewing over the next few weeks. All of these are from tiger tales.

I Have a Brother/I Have a Sister by Smiljana Coh

With All My Heart by Brian Rock

I Want a Pet! by Cathy Morrison

Big Book of My World by Kali Stileman

The Great Nursery Rhyme Disaster and The Great Fairy Tale Disaster by David Conway

About a Bear by Holly Surplice

The Really, Really Big Dinosaur by Richard Byrne

Old MacDonald Had a Farm and One Windy Day by Hannah Wood

It’s Holiday Time by Elizabeth Bennett

I also received ABC Animal Jamboree by Giles Andreae and The Fox in the Dark by Alison Green, but I have already reviewed those. For these and other great tiger tales books, visit them online at

Hey Diddle, Diddle and Other Favorite Nursery Rhymes by Hannah Wood

Classic nursery rhymes comes alive for your little ones with Hey Diddle, Diddle illustrated by Hannah Wood.

One of the greatest things about being a parent is sharing things from your own childhood with your kids. In this padded board book, classic nursery rhymes like Old Mother Hubbard, Pop! Goes the Weasel, Jack Sprat, Yankee Doodle, and many more are brought to life by Wood’s fun and colorful illustrations. Its bright cover will have kids picking this one up over and again. Great for playtime or bedtime, Hey Diddle, Diddle is a wonderful book to add to your toddler’s library.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Hardcover:20 pages
  • Publisher:Tiger Tales; Padded Board Book edition (March 1, 2012)
  • ISBN-10:1589258703
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589258709
  • SRP: $8.95

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my opinions. I received no monetary compensation of any kind for my review.

Other Goose by J. otto Seibold (Giveaway)

 From the author of Olive, the Other Reindeer comes a rhyming collection of updated Mother Goose rhymes for the modern reader.

See Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, Little Boy Blue, and other favorite Mother Goose characters like you’ve never seen them before when you open the pages of Other Goose: Re-Nurseried!!! and Re-Rhymed!! Children’s Classics.

As I was working through Picture Book Idea Month in November, I thought about new twists on nursery rhymes. So, when the chance to review J. otto Siebold’s new book, Other Goose, I was eager to get my hands on it. This is a funny, colorful book filled with favorite characters in all new scenes.  Humpty Dumpty’s story is told in four parts, Jack and Jill have a new friend named Bill, Little Boy Blue is going to blow his tuba, and the little old woman who lived in a shoe has now moved into a sneaker.

Couple these new rhymes with Seibold’s vivid and zany artwork, and you’re sure to have a book that kids will enjoy.

Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Publisher: Chronicle Books
  • ISBN-10: 0811868826
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811868822
  • SRP:  $19.99

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    This Little Piggy: And Other Favorite Action Rhymes Illustrated by Hannah Wood

     If you and your preschooler are ready for some playtime, pick up a copy of This Little Piggy: And Other Favorite Action Rhymes from tiger tales.

    In this lively collection of traditional fingerplays and action verses, youngsters can join in the singing, tickling, wiggling, and clapping with more than fifteen favorite laptime rhymes.  From “Pat-a-Cake” to “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”, and from “Here is the Church” to “Five Little Monkeys”, your child will enjoy playing along and singing along right with you.

    I am a huge fan of interactive reading materials. That’s why I have always enjoyed The Crypto-Capers series by Renee Hand. One of the best ways I know how to get kids interested in reading at a young age is by making reading fun. That’s exactly what This Little Piggy does.  

    I wasn’t familiar with the artwork of Hannah Wood until this book. Now I’m going to search for more books that she’s illustrated. Her characters are cute, charming, and sometimes funny. The spiders are playful and fuzzy looking, the fingers on the hand for “Where is Thumbkin?” have faces, and there are five adorable little monkeys dressed in pajamas jumping on the bed. I swear the doctor told them not to do that. 😉

    Preschools and homes everywhere will want to own a copy of This Little Piggy: And Other Favorite Action Rhymes.

  • Publisher: Tiger Tales
  • ISBN-10: 1589258495
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589258495
  • SRP:  $8.95
  • Rating:  🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

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