Thursday, June 30, 2016

Chat LIVE with James Dashner TONIGHT @ 8 pm EST! #DashnerDash

The Dashner Dash Binge Read has come to an end, and TONIGHT fans can join James Dashner has he chats about The Maze Runner! The fun starts at 8 pm EST / 7 pm CST. Join the chat, sponsored by Random House KidsHERE.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Books for Fans of INSIDE OUT #SummerReading

Summer is a great time to catch up on some of the biggest blockbuster movies that have recently been released either in theaters or to DVD. This week I'm featuring movie tie-in edition books for some of these movies. Today I'm featuring books for another favorite Disney movie of our, INSIDE OUT. One of the things I love about movies, are the books inspired by the movie. Today I'm featuring a few Disney books that are great for fans of Inside Out.


By: Disney
Published by: Disney Press
Released on: May 5th, 2015
Ages: 3-5
Purchase from: DisneyAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

Dive inside Riley's mind and get to know the Emotions that know her best with this unique format. With five fun storybooks, each devoted to a different Emotion, as well as a die-cut slipcase, fans of Pixar's upcoming film, Inside Out, will treasure this special collection of Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust.

For fans of Inside Out, this set of board books allows readers to get to know their favorite Emotion a little bit better. From Anger, Disgust, Fear, Joy and Sadness, each book features one of the Emotions. Readers will find out what makes them happy, sad, fearful, disgusted and angry. Anger wouldn't be happy to know this, but his book had us laughing out loud. We really enjoyed reading each of their books. They may end up being our favorite of the Inside Out Books. These books are also a great way for kids to learn more about each emotion. 

INSIDE OUT - Read-Along

Narrated by: Cindy Robinson, along w/ the cast from the movie 
Published by: Disney Press
Released on: May 5th, 2015
Ages: 6 & up
Purchase from: DisneyAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

An emotional roller coaster! Jump inside Riley's mind and get to know the Emotions who know her best: Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust. Relive all of the adventure from the Disney-Pixar film, Inside Out with this storybook-and-CD set. The CD includes word-for-word narration, thrilling sound effects, and original character voices from the movie!

Fans of Inside Out will love seeing the movie come to life within the pages of this book. Not only does this book feature the voice talents of the actors from the movie, the cd also has includes sound effects. As readers listen to the CD, they can follow along to the story and enjoy illustrations featured from movie. This book is perfect for fans of the movie. We love the Disney movie tie-in read-alongs, as they not only stay true to the movie, and follow it word for word, they keep the keep the same character voices! This is definitely a book worth picking up. 

INSIDE OUT: Driven By Emotions, Five Stories Told From The Mind

By: Elise Allen
Illustrated by: Jerrod Maruyama
Published by: Disney Press
Released on: May 5th, 2015
Ages: 8-12 
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

This unique chapter book reveals unseen stories from Inside Out. Each chapter offers a different retelling of the film from one of Riley's Emotions: Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust.

Ever wondered what all five of the Emotions thought during Riley's move with her family from Minnesota to San Fransisco, California? Well know you'll know. Fans of the movie Inside Out will enjoy getting a different look into the movie, as each of the Emotions, Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear and Sadness, tell their side of the story of the events that took place during the movie. Driven by Emotions features a chapter dedicated to each Emotion, allowing the particular Emotion to tell the story without interruption. While this chapter book is a fun read, I think some readers will find it lacks illustrations. The only illustrations found through out the book are featured on the select character's new chapter. Overall, we thought this was an okay read, though we liked getting to read the story from each Emotions's point of view. 

INSIDE OUT: Sadly Ever After?

By: Elise Allen
Illustrated by: Daniel Holland
Published by: Disney Press
Released on: May 5th, 2015
Ages: 3 & up 
Purchase from: Amazon
Add it to Goodreads

Sadness is always obsessing over the weight of life's problems. She is Sadness, after all. But her fellow Emotions in Headquarters are determined to get Sadness to feel something-anything-other than sad! After recalling some of Riley's best memories, will Sadness finally have happy ending? 

Our favorite Emotions, Joy, Disgust, Anger, Fear and Sadness, are together again (not like they're ever not together), for a whole new story. Each Emotion does their best to cheer up Sadness. The story is told prior to Riley's move to San Fransisco, and begins with Riley ice-skating. Doing what they can to cheer up Sadness, each emotion reflects on a memory from Riley's first day at the park. Each Emotion remembers that day a little differently, which doesn't make Sadness feel any better. After she picks a new memory, to which everyone again recounts different events from the day, Joy does what she does best, and reminds everyone why it was the BEST DAY EVER, despite the mishaps that happened. Joy definitely knows how to make Sadness happy, even if it's for a very brief moment. 

Our favorite Emotions definitely provided a few laughs in this book. It's a book we enjoyed reading. With cute illustrations, and fun story, this a picture book I'd recommend picking up. Also included with this book is a free e-book for Lava, the featured short at the beginning of the movie. 

* Each of the books reviewed in this post were received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Books for Fans of Disney's CINDERELLA / Book Reviews #SummerReading

Summer is a great time to catch up on some of the biggest blockbuster movies that have recently been released either in theaters or to DVD. This week I'm featuring movie tie-in edition books for some of these movies. One of our favorite movies we saw in theaters last year was Disney's Cinderella. Now out on DVD, this movie is one we've enjoyed watching numerous times. One of the things I love about movies, are the books inspired by the movie. Today I'm featuring a few Disney books that are great for fans of Cinderella.

A WISH YOUR HEART MAKES: From The Grimm Brother's Aschenputtel To Disney's Cinderella 

By: Charles Solomon
Published by: Disney Publishing
Released on: February 10th, 2015
Purchase from: Amazon
Add it to Goodreads

"A coach. A glass slipper. A royal ball. A fairy godmother." It's a story of faith, love and kindness overcoming greed, jealousy and rage. Explore the world's most iconic fairy tale in Charles Solomon's A Wish Your Heart Makes. With rare and never-before-seen artwork and images, A Wish You Heart Makes traces the history of Cinderella, from Grimm's fairy tale to Disney's animate film, along with offering readers an all new behind the scenes glimpse into the live action film, which released on March 10th, 2015. 

One of my all time favorite Disney movies is Cinderella. This book is the perfect combination of everything I love about Cinderella. Mixing both the animated and the live action movies, fans see behind the scenes in the making of both movies, and the history. From stills, to drawings, animated sketches and more. Disney has done an amazing job at creating a timeless treasure with book, that Cinderella fans of all ages will enjoy. Definitely a must have for fans of Cinderella!


By: Cynthia Rylant
Illustrated by: Mary Blair
Published by: Disney Press
Ages: 4-8
Released on: January 27th, 2015
Purchase from: Amazon 
Add it to Goodreads

"This is a story about darkness and light, about sorrow and joy, about something lost and something found. This is a story about love."

Cinderella's story has been told over and over, but never has it been touched by the kind of magic created by the contributors of this book. Mary Blair painted the original pictures for Walt Disney's incomparable animated film, and here her elegant art is gathered together as a picture book. Cynthia Rylant's stories about hardscrabble lives have won not only awards and honors, but hearts. Who better to take a young girl from the darkness of her garret room to the light and brilliance of a ballroom? Together these two great artists have created something quite astonishing: a Cinderella that is breathtaking, heartrending, and joyous, both for those who are coming to the tale for the very first time, and for those who think they know it well.

Elegant illustrations give this classic story a timeless feel. Many of these illustrations are also featured in another must have Disney book, A Wish Your Heart Makes (reviewed above). The illustrations in this book are signature to the old timeless Disney illustrations that were used prior to bringing an animated movie to life. This is a book we enjoyed. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

#ZOOTOPIA Books: ZOOTOPIA Read-Along / Judy Hopps and the Missing Jumbo-Pop by Suzanne Francis / Book Review #SummerReading

Pictures source: Disney Zootopia via Twitter

Summer is a great time to catch up on some of the biggest blockbuster movies that were released earlier this year. This week I'm featuring movie tie-in edition books for some of these movies. One of those movies was Zootopia. Now out on DVD, this is one of our favorite Disney movies to date. One of the things I love about movies, are the books inspired by the movie. Today I'm featuring two books that are great for young fans of the movie, Zootopia.

By: Disney Book Group
Illustrated by: Disney Storybook Art Team
Narrated by: Cindy Robinson, and the cast from Zootopia; Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman
Released on: February 2nd, 2016
Ages: 6-8 yrs old 
Purchase from: DisneyAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets - We Loved It
I received this book from the publisher to review, in exchange for my honest review 

8x8 paperback with read-along audio CD based on the feature film, Zootopia. 

A fantastic book / read along for fans of the movie, Zootopia. Between the fabulous narrators, and the great illustrations based on the movie, this book is the perfect companion for the movie. It's also makes a great book/CD to take on the road. With it's family friendly audio, the entire family can enjoy this book! 

We loved this book. The narrators are great! While Cindy Robinson narrates it, we loved that Disney used the same actors; Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba and Jenny Slate to narrate their same characters in the book. This book is definitely worth picking up! 

By: Suzanne Francis
Illustrated by: Stephanie Kardos and George McClements 
Published by: Disney Press
Released on: January 19th, 2016
Ages: 3-5
Purchase from: DisneyAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets - It's A Cute Read
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

Officer Judy Hopps is on an exciting case in Zootopia. Her day started out like any other, until she stumbled across a crying elephant who was missing his Jumbo-pop. Hand-in-hand, the two retraced his steps and followed clues across the city. Will this whirlwind tour lead them to the Jumbo-pop before it melts?

Officer Judy Hopps is on the case, and this time she's helping a young elephant find his missing jumbo-pop. Retracing all their steps, fans of the movie will enjoy seeing various characters from the movie through out the book, as they visit all the places in Zootopia to find the jumbo-pop. This is a cute story with cute illustrations that are perfect for even the youngest fans of the movie, Zootopia. We enjoyed this one, and would recommend picking it up. 

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Join the #RoaldDahl100 Celebration on June 26 & 29 When #WillyWonka Returns To The Big Screen!

Celebrate #RoaldDahl100 with the return of the classic movie, Willy Wonka! The movie returns to the big screen tomorrow night and on Wednesday night. With limited run times, be sure to get your tickets soon! To join in the celebration, find out more the movie and or to look for local show times, get all your information here.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Three Little Words by Amy Novesky / Book Review

By: Amy Novesky
Illustrated by: Grace Lee
Published by: Disney Press
Released on: May 3rd, 2016
Ages: 6-8
Purchase from: DisneyAmazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 owlets - We Loved It!
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

This inspirational crossover title, featuring illustrations from award-winning artist Grace Lee, will be enjoyed by young children and new graduates alike. The themes of this story including believing in oneself, perseverance, and resilience are uplifting and encouraging to all.

Inspired by the film, Finding Dory, this is a book that is uplifting, encouraging and motivational. Three Little Words isn't only a beautifully illustrated picture book, it also has a wonderful message for readers of all ages. This book reminds us to never give up, to follow our dreams, and enjoy the ride that life takes us on. "Just Keep Swimming". No matter what. 

We loved this book. It's not only a fantastic book for kids, it's also a refreshing read for adults, who need that reminder every now and then to "just keep swimming". I love the beautiful watercolored illustrations, just as much as I loved the message. Grace Lee captures what we love about the movie, and brought it life within the pages of the book, with her artwork. Readers will also love seeing their beloved characters from Finding Nemo, and new characters from Finding Dory, featured through out the book. 

With visually stunning artwork and an inspiring message, Three Little Words makes the perfect book to not only add to your personal library but, to give away as a gift. I highly recommend picking this one up! 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

A DARK, DARK CAVE by Eric Hoffman / Book Review

By: Eric Hoffman
Illustrated by: Corey R. Tabor
Published by: Viking
Released on: May 24th, 2016
Purchase from: The PublisherAmazon | B&N
Add it to: Goodreads
Rating: 4.5 owlets - We Really Enjoyed It
* I received this book from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review 

On a cold night, under a pale moon, a brother and sister explore a dark, dark cave. Strange creatures skitter along the walls while bats brush past. A wild howl makes the cave feel just a teensy bit darker. But readers are in for a delightful surprise when a beam of light reveals a softer side of the cave.

Told in spare rhyming text alongside stunning illustrations, A Dark, Dark Cave will ignite a young reader's imagination and inspire creative play. This just-spooky-enough story is sure to become a read-aloud favorite.

A picture book that inspires creativity, and hours of imaginative play. 

Readers are taken on an adventure with two young siblings who explore the depths of a dark, dark cave created out of blankets and other items in their room. I loved that this story celebrates the joys of that make up young children's worlds of imaginative play. As I read this book with my daughter, it reminded me of the fun I had growing up with my siblings building forts, and the imaginative adventures we would go on. 

Targeted for ages 4-6, this is a picture book for all ages. With it's captivating watercolor illustrations, it's simple wording, rhyming, and repetition, make this a book that will engage even the youngest of readers. It's a book that will be enjoyed over and over again. We really enjoyed it, and would recommend picking it up.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

It Came In The Mail by Ben Clanton / Book Review

Written & Illustrated By: Ben Clanton
Published by: Simon & Schuster
Released on: June 21st, 2016 - TODAY
Purchase from: The Publisher | Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 5 Owlets- We loved it!
*This book was received from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

From the author-illustrator of Something Extraordinary comes a tale filled with dragons, pickles, friendship, and lots of mail—perfect for fans of Mo Williams and Bob Shea.

Liam really wants some mail, so he writes a letter to his mailbox asking for something in return. His mailbox delivers, sending Liam more than he could have hoped for…and how! But as the mail starts to pile up, Liam realizes that the best packages and parcels are even better when shared with friends.

A delightful, fun read that will resonate with readers of all ages. 

It Came In The Mail is a story about a young boy named Liam, who never gets any mail. Until one day he writes a letter to his mail box asking for mail. At first his mailbox sends him a dragon, but soon Liam starts asking for more mail. The more he asks the more receives. Liam receives some really cool mail too. When Liam realizes he has too much, he decides he wants to share what he has received with his friends who don't get any mail. 

This is an wonderful story! With it's message about sharing, and sometimes hilarious storyline, mixed with it's adorable and expressive illustrations, this a book I would highly recommend picking up! I love it when we read a book that not only makes us feel happy, it's one we're still talking about long after we read it. Be warned, this book may make you want to go write a letter to your mailbox asking for mail. Who wouldn't want to receive a dragon in the mail? 

Sunday, June 19, 2016


Wishing all your wonderful father's out there a Happy Father's Day! Including our own Mundie Dads, and husbands, who are fabulous fathers to our Mundie Kids! We hope you have a fabulous day!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Just Like My Papa by Toni Buzzeo / Book Review

By: Toni Buzzeo
Illustrated by: Mike Wohnoutka
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: April 2nd, 2013
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 4 Owlets - We Enjoyed It
I received this book from the publisher, in exchange for my honest review

Kito wants to be just like his papa, the protector of the pride. Throughout a day and night on the savanna, the cub imitates the way his father roars, swings his tail, shakes his head, and pounces. Kito may be too little to catch a wildebeest, but he is brave enough to succeed in his own hunt. Someday he will be King, just like Papa.

With its rhythmic text, dramatic moments on the African plain, and playful times for cub and papa, this book will make a perfect read-aloud for family sharing.

Just Like My Papa is a story about a young lion cub named Kito, who wants to be just like his dad, the brave lion king of his pride. He wants to do everything his dad does, and tries his hardest to do just that, because one day he'll grow up and be like him. With cute illustrations and an easy to read, engaging text, this book makes the perfect story for any reading time / read out loud for toddler through kindergarten age children. Fans of the Lion King will enjoy this story, as will fans of animals. Toni Buzzeo does a great job at effortless teaching readers about lions as she tells Kito's story. Also included at the back of the book is a brief explantation about lions, and the dynamics of a lion pride.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Upcoming Middle Grade Releases #BEA16 Edition

Last month I had the chance to attend BEA (Book Expo of America) in Chicago. This was my third time attending, and it was a blast! I'll be posting more about it tomorrow on Mundie Moms. While there I attended some fabulous publisher events, where I received a few arcs for some exciting upcoming releases. I loved hearing the authors talk about their upcoming releases. I also waited in a few lines for a couple authors. Those long lines were totally worth it! 

Below is a list of some exciting up coming Middle Grade reads I received arcs of at BEA. I am so excited about these upcoming releases! If these books aren't already on your TBR list, add them asap! I'll be posting reviews and book features for them in the coming weeks and months. Trust me, they're worth pre-ordering now! I was very selective on the books I accepted from publishers at BEA, and these were the only MG ones I brought home.

  1. Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi, Dutton Books, 8/30/16
  2. The Girl Who Drank The Moon, Algonquin Young Readers, 8/9/16
  3. Squirrel Girl by Shannon & Dean Hale, Marvel, 2/2017
  4. Going Wild by Lisa McMann, Harper Collins, 9/27/16
  5. The Scourge by Jennifer A. NielsenScholastic Press, 8/30/16
  6. The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner, Aladdin, 9/13/16
  7. Lock and Key: The Initiation by Ridley Pearson, Harper Collins, 9/20/16
  8. Iron Man: The Gauntlet by Eoin Colfer, Marvel, 10/25/16
  9. The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg, Bloomsbury, 9/6/16
  10. Rebel Genius by Michael Dante DiMartino, Roaring Book Press, 10/4/16
  11. The Secret Keepers by Trenton Lee Stewart, Little Brown, 9/27/16
  12. The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz, Dutton, 9/27/16
  13. The Lost Property Office by James R. Hannibal, Simon & Schuster, 11/8/16
What are some upcoming 2016 MG releases you're looking forward to reading?

Monday, June 13, 2016

A Clatter of Jars by Lisa Graff / Celebrating Lisa Graff / Giveaway

Summer vacation is in full swing, and that means there's plenty of time for summer reading! It wouldn't be summer without adding a book or two, or more of Lisa Graff's to your summer reading list. 

I'm so thrilled to team up with Penguin to celebrate author Lisa Graff. Lisa's middle grade books have been a huge hit with young readers. Through out the summer I'll be featuring each of her books here on Mundie Kids. 

Today I'm thrilled to feature her newest release, A CLATTER OF JARS. Perfect for fans of Matilda, this is a fantastic story! Released on May 24th by Philomel, and perfect for ages 8-12, this book is one that features summer cap, a lake full of magic, and a few secrets.  Though it's a sequel to A Tangle of Knots, this is a book I read as a stand alone, and really enjoyed it.  


Published by: Philomel
Released on: May 24th, 2016
Series: A Tangle of Knots
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N | IndieBound
Add it to Goodreads 

For magically Talented kids, the place to be is Camp Atropos, where they can sing songs by the campfire, practice for the Talent show, and take some nice long dips in the lake. But what the kids don't know is that they've been gathered for a reason—one that the camp's director wants to keep hidden at all costs. 

Meanwhile, a Talent jar that has been dropped to the bottom of the lake has sprung a leak, and strange things have begun to happen. Dozens of seemingly empty jars have been washing up on the shoreline, Talents have been swapped, and memories have been ripped from one camper's head and placed into another—and no one knows why. A return to the world of A TANGLE OF KNOTS, this camp for Talented kids might just be a recipe for disaster!


Lisa Graff is the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of the National Book Award nominee A Tangle of Knots, as well as Lost in the SunAbsolutely AlmostDouble Dog DareUmbrella SummerThe Life and Crimes of Bernetta WallflowerThe Thing About Georgie and Sophie Simon Solves Them All. Originally from California, she lived for many years in New York City and now makes her home just outside of Philadelphia.


Readers will love the inventiveness—and the sadness—of every storyline…
This is a novel that rewards a second—or even a third—reading.”—Kirkus Reviews

Warmhearted…Graff brings the plot threads to a satisfying resolution.”—Publishers Weekly

“The tale comes full circle sweetly, with a fun twist that connects lives from both books
in an unexpected way… Graff is a master of the magical realism genre, and this offering
is worthy of a spot in any middle grade collection.”—School Library Journal

Highly satisfying…Graff’s vivid character development and world building
makes for tight plotting and nicely negotiable complexity.”—Booklist


Thank you to Penguin, I have a Lisa Graff prize pack, featuring a paperback copy of each of the books featured in the image above, to giveaway to one lucky reader! To enter, please fill out the form below. *US residents only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck & Happy Reading!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

THE MIDNIGHT WAR OF MATEO MARTINEZ by Robin Yardi / 2016 Debut Authors Bash: Author Interview / Giveaway! #16DABash

Hello and welcome to today's stop in the 2016 Debut Authors Bash! I'm so thrilled to host today's stop and feature debut author, Robin Yardi on Mundie Kids today. Robin's debut, THE MIDNIGHT WAR OF MATEO MARTINEZ, was recently released in March. You can find out more about it below. First, meet Robin!


I love the premise of your book. I was sold from the line, "two skunks stole his trike?". In 5 words or less, how would you describe The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez?
Nine-year-old knights brave midnight adventures! (That compound word might be cheating, but I’m not as honorable as my main character.)

What's one thing you admire the most about Mateo?
I admire his quiet quest to understand the world around him in all its complexity. Mateo strives to do what is right at home and at school and in the middle of a midnight war with talking skunks and snarling raccoons, but sometimes he doesn’t know exactly what the right thing to do would be. I love the honesty of that admission.

Which came first, the world, the character(s), or was it something else?
The image of two skunks stealing a trike, by riding it in tandem, came to me late one night while I was watching a real skunk on my back porch.

My young daughter had woken from a nightmare. She was sure there was a snake in her bed and was no way, absolutely never, going to sleep in that bed again, so I scattered some dog food on the back porch and we sat on the couch to watch the neighborhood nocturnal animals. This was way more soothing to her than I feel like it is sounding on paper. Just trust me. It was nice.

A family of trilling raccoons came first… then a stray cat we named Rose Petal (my daughter’s name for everything at that age)… and finally, the smallest skunk ever. It shimmied onto the porch, raised up its fringed tail and…

What do you think they’re all doing at night?” I asked my daughter. “Do you think they go to the playground like you?”
“How would they even get there?” she said.
“On your creaky old trike. Bet you they steal it every night!”
She laughed and after a few more minutes of watching nocturnal critters, she fell asleep. On the couch.

I typed the first sentence of the book that night with my daughter curled up next to me. The world of the book is pretty much my hometown, as long as you think there are talking militarized skunks in Santa Barbara. And the characters are a wonderful mishmash of my siblings and cousins, kids I’ve taught and kids I’ve snooped on from the edges of playgrounds while watching my own children. I wouldn’t say I actually create characters. I look for them. Inside. I can see where little bits of my characters have come from, as if they are the descendants of my memories and experiences. But to me they feel real and whole once I catch sight of them. I haven’t decided yet whether I send them on adventures or if they take me.

Favorite character to get to know?
Mila, Mateo’s irrepressible and pesky little sister, was super fun to get to know. I wasn’t sure at the outset of writing the novel how big a part she would play in the plot. When she bursts from the hydrangea hedge in a boots-off-the-ground-butterfly-net-in-hand lunge to capture the skunks, I was surprised. I love thinking about how she will be as a first grader, as a grownup. She’s definitely one to watch!

If you were a character in your book, who would you have been friends with?
Well, honestly, for most of elementary school I was the kid without the right clothes, or the right lunch, I didn’t have much to say and I laughed at all the wrong times. So I would have been friends with anybody who was nice to me. In this book that would have been Ashwin, or a girl like him. He’s effortlessly friendly and kind and wonderfully weird, and I think he would have liked me just the way I was.

I love your book's cover. What was your first thought when you saw it?
Total and complete joy. The cover was a process, involving different concepts and color schemes created by Teagan White. The neon pink raccoons, those were the critters I wanted on my cover, and I’m just really lucky that the folks at Lerner agreed. 

How did you celebrate your big release day?
It was a pretty normal day. I dropped the kids at school and had my phone dinging at me all morning with happy words from twitter friends. I did go out to dinner (after picking up the sitter), and see the Danish String Quartet. Great music can do interesting things to your mind (or mine, anyway). By the end of the evening little plum-black skunks and frizzly-neon-pink raccoons were jiggling, climbing, and clambering all over the stage. They were more real to me than they had ever been, like maybe some other person in the audience was imagining pink raccoons too, because I had imagined them so hard and convinced some people to make a book, a real book, with them inside.

What was one of your favorite books to read going up?
A Wrinkle in Time, Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, The Mouse and the Motorcycle. (See, I’m a cheater.)

If you could go back and tell your beginning writer self one piece of advice, what would it be?
It’s okay to mess up, to be wrong, to do things over. I used to think I would get better at writing as I went along, that I wouldn’t have to revise as much. I was wrong. I don't always know, until I'm deep into a project, why I'm writing something. Why I have to write it. Sometimes I'm saving my kid self, making something work out for my character that didn't for me. It's magnificent to get to do that. In the first draft. Then I have to go back and un-save my character. 

What keeps you motivated to write, especially on the days when it's hard to get anything written?
As a kid, books were so important to me. They were company and adventure and understanding and fantasy. As a teacher, books are so important to me. They are information and inspiration and quiet and connection. When I sit down to write I don’t always get something down, but so far I have never run out of reasons to show up and try.

What's one #kidlit book you're looking forward to reading this year?
THE VOYAGE TO MAGICAL NORTH! I got to read an advance copy and when the book comes out in July I will absolutely be reading it again. It’s got hilarious accidental pirates, an amazing apprentice magician, and a whole island of librarians—it’s a swashbuckling story about the meaning of stories themselves! And did I mention the murderous penguins

Thank you Robin for stopping by Mundie Kids today! We really appreciate it.
Thank you for having me.


By: Robin Yardi
Published by: March 1st, 2016
Released on: Carolrhoda Books
Add it to: Goodreads 

Life is confusing for Mateo Martinez. He and Johnny Ramirez don’t hang out anymore, even though they used to be best friends. He and his new friend Ashwin try to act like brave, old-time knights, but it only gets them in trouble. His parents keep telling him to hold his sister’s hand when crossing busy streets, even though she’s the one who always runs ahead.

And last night, two skunks stole Mateo's old trike.

Wait—two skunks stole his trike?

Mateo is too big for that rusty kid toy. He has a cool, shiny new bike anyway. But Mateo also has a neighborhood to protect. And he’s about to begin a big, stinky quest to catch the thieves. A quest that starts in the middle of the night!


Robin Yardi lives in the California foothills where-every once in a while, in the dark of night a skunk or two will sneak by. She loves good stories, animals of all sorts, homemade cakes, and kids. She thinks kids are way cooler than grownups, which is why she writes just for them. *source-back of book jacket

Visit her online at: her Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Two winners will receive:
  • A signed hardcovers with scratch and sniff read along bookmarks
  • A Skype visits to libraries and classrooms *If you're a teacher or librarian 
*Open to residents in the US/Canada only
 a Rafflecopter giveaway
I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves. ~ Anna Quindlen

Good children's literature appeals not only to
the child in the adult, but to the adult in the child.
~ Anonymous ~