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Results 1 - 25 of 134
1. A Giraffe’s Night Song


Did you know that giraffes, often a very quiet animal, hum in their sleep late at night? Zookeepers involved in the study were even surprised that researchers picked up a low humming noise from their giraffes.

Researchers spent hundreds of hours recording sounds in the giraffe’s enclosures and in each zoo at least one giraffe was separated from the herd.

Although the sound recordings tell us that giraffes do have more vocalization than the grunts and sneezes that keepers hear during the day, now scientists may go further to understand if this is a communication method or if it is involuntary like snoring or talking in your sleep.

Hear the giraffe’s hum and learn more about the study here.

Do you want to learn more about giraffes, or animal sounds? Here are two Arbordale books that would be a great start on the topic!

The Giraffe Who was Afraid of Heights

Giraffe_187Imagine if the one thing that keeps you safe is what you fear the most. This enchanting story tells of a giraffe who suffers from the fear of heights. His parents worry about his safety and send him to the village doctor for treatment. Along the way he befriends a monkey who is afraid of climbing trees and a hippo who is afraid of water. A life-threatening event causes the three friends to face and overcome each of their fears. The “For Creative Minds” section includes fun facts and animal adaptation information, a match-the-feet game and a mix-n-match activity.

Sounds of the Savanna

SoundsSavanna_187From the first light of dawn until the sun sets at night, the savanna is alive with noise. A lion roars in the early morning, a young baboon shrieks to warn others of danger at noon, and a young mouse squeals at dusk. What are the animals saying and why? Animals communicate in many ways; explore the thriving African savanna as its inhabitants “talk” to one another throughout the course of a day.

And…Look forward to next year when we see what really happens at night in the zoo! Midnight Madness at the Zoo coming February 2016!


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2. “My Home, Your Home” Book Sample Illustrations

“My Home, Your Home”, an educational children’s book from Cloverleaf books, and some samples below.

mhyh cover&spread1

mhyh spread 2

mhyh page1

mhyh page4

mhyh page2

mhyh page3

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3. Four ways in which policy-makers resolve moral dilemmas

Moral dilemmas are ubiquitous in modern democratic societies. Can we protect the bodily integrity of women and their unborn children at the same time? How can we protect the free will of adults while at the same time denying them to engage in self-harming activities, like (assisted) suicide or drug use?

The post Four ways in which policy-makers resolve moral dilemmas appeared first on OUPblog.

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4. Learn How Pixar Makes Its Films with the Free Pixar in a Box Program

Launched yesterday with the non-profit education platform Khan Academy, Pixar in a Box is the most in-depth look ever offered at the studio's creative process.

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5. Learn What Made Chuck Jones A Great Director In Under 9 Minutes

The filmmaking essay series "Every Frame A Painting" takes a trip into the wondrous, disciplined mind of legendary animation director Chuck Jones.

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6. Exploring the Earth with Landforms!

Are you looking for a fun family trip this summer? Don’t want to travel too far from home? This Land Is Your Land talks about many different landforms all over the United States. Read this book with your children to teach them about the diverse landscapes of our beautiful country, then pack up the car and head to the nearest (or farthest!) destination. Who says education has to stop in the summer?

FCM CoastCoastlines: Perhaps the easiest landform to reach for many, the United States coastline is over 95,000 miles long. Many people live on the coast – about 39% of the country’s population! The coast is a very popular tourist destination, and there are hundreds of beaches for people to travel to. Some of the best family beaches are located in the Outer Banks in North Carolina; Maui, Hawaii; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Destin, Florida; San Diego, California; and Ocean City, Maryland. There are beaches in every coastal state, though. Which beach is closest to you?

Mountains and hills: Mountains are also another popular place for tourists, especially those who enjoy activities such as hiking and TLIYL-spread-3camping. Some states have more to offer than others when it comes to mountains. For example, the highest point in Florida is only 345 feet above sea level, whereas Alaska’s Mt. McKinley towers 20,320 feet above sea level. However, all 50 states have some sort of forest, lake, or other natural area where camping and nature walks are possible, so even those of you in the flatter states don’t have to miss out!

Plateaus and canyons: In the United States, plateaus are found mainly in the western states, where the Colorado Plateau is. Plateaus provide opportunities for hiking and climbing, and the Colorado Plateau contains the famous Colorado River and Grand Canyon. Many national parks are also in this area, including Zion and Mesa Verde, where you can find smaller plateaus and canyons.

Valleys: A valley is simply a place between mountains or hills, so even states such as Kansas, with very few hills, have some areas that lie lower than others. Beautiful valleys in the United States include the Sedona Verde Valley in Arizona, Napa Valley in California, the Waipi’o Valley in Hawaii, and the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia.

FCM PlainsPlains: The plain region of the United States is called the Great Plains, which runs from Texas north to Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, the Dakotas, and eastern Montana. The Great Plains are known for their extensive flat lands covered in tall grass, cattle ranches, and bison. Be careful here in the spring and summer – the Great Plains are located in Tornado Alley, where tornadoes happen most frequently!

Peninsulas: Arbordale Publishing is located near a well-known peninsula –Charleston, South Carolina! Many of the first towns settled in the United States are located on peninsulas, as they provide easy access by water to ships delivering people and supplies. Jamestown, Virginia and Boston, Massachusetts were first built on peninsulas. The entire state of Florida is a big peninsula!

Volcanoes: The west coast of the United States is located in what is FCM Volcanoknown as the “Ring of Fire,” an area where many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur due to the movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates. Active, potentially dangerous volcanoes in the United States include Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, Mount St. Helens in Washington, Mount Hood in Oregon, Mount Shasta in California. While some of these volcanoes haven’t erupted in years, they are not considered dormant, meaning they could erupt at any time. A volcanic eruption would be an exciting sight to see, but be sure to keep your distance!

Islands and archipelagos: The most famous example of an island chain in the United States is Hawaii. Another is the Aleutian Islands in FCM archipelagoAlaska. Since neither of these are especially accessible to the average Mackinac, Michigan; Whidbey Island, Washington; Mount Desert, Maine; Amelia Island, Florida; and Assateague Island, Virginia. Did you know that part of the biggest city in the United States is located on an island? Manhattan is surrounded by the Hudson River, the East River, and the Harlem River!

Learn more about these landforms in Catherine Ciocchi’s book This Land is Your Land!


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7. This Maya Tutorial Begins Normally But Just Keep Watching

All is not what it seems in this Maya walk cycle tutorial by Nathan Hibberd.

0 Comments on This Maya Tutorial Begins Normally But Just Keep Watching as of 12/22/2014 3:28:00 PM
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8. ‘Dumbo’ Animation and Design Notes

Student Marc Hendry has put together an in-depth analysis of the use of design and animation principles in the 1941 Disney film "Dumbo."

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9. John Canemaker Unlocks The Secrets of ‘Fantasia”s Sweatbox Notes

What do long-lost sweatbox notes reveal about the creation of one of Disney's finest films?

0 Comments on John Canemaker Unlocks The Secrets of ‘Fantasia”s Sweatbox Notes as of 2/17/2015 10:03:00 AM
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10. Miss Emma Ant

My newest picture book for children is here! "Miss Emma Ant" tells the story of  talented, hard-working Emma, the architect for her colony's anthills. Ants in the colony, not recognizing their own special skills, grow jealous of Emma, and taunt her until she quits her job. Chaos ensues! Will pleas from apologetic ants convince Emma to return to work? Vibrant, expressive illustrations and fun

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11. Are you an Animal Helper?

image training marcy griffith with tortoise lin_and_sebastian bobcat with ball Victoria with raccoon

The pet industry is a billion dollar business and many Americans share homes with four-legged friends, or aquatic creatures. Each day people are taking care of their animals and enriching their lives just like the people featured in the Animal Helpers series.

In a recent interview, Author Jennifer Keats Curtis shared with Arbordale how zookeepers and rehabilitators have influenced her interactions with her own dog. Just like animals in zoos, pets need enrichment. Even the smallest fish can be trained.

So, here are a few training experiments that you can do at home to enrich the lives of your pets.


Your dog might have hi-five down or may love a game of fetch, but what about when you are away?

Newton26-27flatPlay a game of find and seek with treats or even your dog’s food. When you dog is in another room place small treats or a little food in simple hiding spaces around a room. Have your dog use it’s nose to seek out the food. For the first few times you may have to help your dog out, but they will quickly get the hint.

Take learning one step further with puzzles. Many local pet stores carry treat puzzles where dogs must use their nose to get the reward. This enrichment will entertain and tire out your pooch!


Cats may be a little harder to please, but they are easily trainable too! A happy cat has many toys to bat around, or even a bc_20-21fishing pole with a furry ball at the end can entertain a cat for hours, but many people have trained their cat to do much more.

Start out small with treats or a piece of food and hold it just above the cat’s nose. Lift the treat until the cat sits down. Repeat this several times and give the cat a treat as soon as it sits. Soon the cat will be siting each time you lift the treat.

Many cats scare easily so be sure to reward your cat and not stress it out. Scaredy cats are very difficult to train.


You can train your pet fish to recognize when it’s dinnertime. Flash a light and then goldfish_1feed the fish. Do this over several days feeding the fish the same amount of food each time and see what happens. Some fish put their mouths out of the water; others may swim in a pattern. This is a fun experiment in animal behavior just like Pavlov’s Dogs.

Do you want to learn how zookeepers entertain and train big cats, sharks or even a gorilla, check out Jennifer Keats Curtis’ series Animal Helpers and coming soon Primate School!

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12. Read Inspiring Handwritten Letters From Animators to Young Artists

A project aims to collect as many letters of encouragement as it can from animators.

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13. Take a Close Look Behind the Scenes of ‘Hotel Transylvania 2′

Sony Pictures Animation presents a detailed unpacking of the artistry happening on Genndy Tartakovsky's upcoming feature.

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14. Boy Scouts Announce Animation as Newest Merit Badge

Who needs to build a campfire or tie a knot when you can learn to do squash and stretch instead?

0 Comments on Boy Scouts Announce Animation as Newest Merit Badge as of 5/20/2015 12:03:00 PM
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15. Review for Blue Ocean Bob by Brooks Olbrys

Join Blue Ocean Bob on his journey to protect all life in the Sea of Kerchoo

Blue Ocean Bob loves the sea and wants to dedicate his life to protecting it. He begins a new job as assistant to Mary Marine, the Island of Roses's leading marine biologist, and with his hummingbird guardian, Xena, by his side, works hard to carry out his duties to the sea creatures both on and off the shore.

When the challenges mount, Bob seeks advice from Doc the turtle, Earl the clam, and Wallace the walrus, who each help him to develop the positive attitude he needs to succeed.

The Adventures of Blue Ocean Bob: A Challenging Job is the second installment in this colorful and inspiring early chapter book series that provides young readers with an introduction to timeless principles of achievement.

About the Author

A graduate of Stanford University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts, and the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, Brooks Olbrys is the founder of Children's Success Unlimited and a managing director at investment bank Ion Partners. He lives with his wife and son in New York City.

From a young age, Kevin Keele has enjoyed creating artwork in many forms: drawing, oil painting, digital painting, even stained glass. His work has been featured in numerous picture books, magazines, board games, and video games. Though he lives far from any coastline, he has always been fascinated by the ocean and enjoys illustrating its various creatures. Kevin is currently an artist for Disney Interactive Studios. He lives in Utah with his wife and two sons. They are the caretakers of one cat, three chickens, and thousands of Italian honeybees.

This chapter picture book contains 5 different chapters. The first is Helping Hand where Bob must help a seal learn to feed in the deep. When he succeeds in his goal the short chapter is over and it flows into the next day where Bob must now help a pelican stuck in a net. In the third chapter Bob must warn the sea life that a storm is coming to the island. Chapter 4 is a Simple Reminder of why Bob wanted to become a marine assistant when he has a bad day and nothing goes right. Chapter 5 is Diving Deep, Bob must help a stingray thats stuck deep in the ocean.

The story is written in rhyme and runs smoothly throughout the story.  Each chapter teaches a good lesson to the reader. The reader learns about confidence, responsibility, communication, gratitude, and success. The illustrations by Kevin Keele are amazing. He does a fabulous job that will immediately engage the reader. His illustrations are realistic, colorful, and true. Readers will feel like they are apart of the story along with the characters.

The characters are from the original book in the series. They carry over into book 2 to help Bob along with his journey. The characters are supportive and encouraging, except for one. Xena is Bob's guardian, and though guardians are meant to keep us safe and and be our reasoning, Xena is constantly negative. She is everyone's subconscious, the thing that holds us back from doing what we really want by showing us the reality, the dangers, and the difficulty of our dreams. Bob has to not only overcome his fears and doubts but overcome Xena's negativity. She tarnishes the lessons being learned. The stories are embedded with her negativity and existence so it would be hard for the author to leave her out as a character without rewriting the whole story, though she is really not needed. Bob has much to deal while solving the problems at hand, discovering what his true destiny and purpose is.

The great things about this story is that it teaches life lessons. Bob learns to overcome his fears while helping other animals overcome theirs. He listens to the wise animals and to Miss Marine and helps the animals on the island live happily. He follows his dreams. Overall, children who love animals and the ocean are going to love this 50 page picture book.

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16. The Amazing Octopus


One amazingly interesting creature is the octopus; this cephalopod can twist and turn its body into many shapes, suction to all types of surfaces, and use a cloud of ink to distract predators. This week, researchers uncovered the California two-spot octopus’s ability to sense light through its skin.

When the scientist shone a beam of light on the skin of an octopus the chromatophores (pigmented structures in the skin) expanded and the skin changed color. When the light was turned off, the chromatophores contracted again and the octopus was back to its original color. Why does this happen? Scientists determined that the octopus’ skin has proteins called opsins that work with the chromatophores for this reaction to occur.

(Read more about the experiments here)

Changing colors is nothing new in the octopus species; they can become red with anger, or transparent in sunlight. The more tools the creature has to camouflage itself the better chance for survival in the wild depths of the ocean where predators are abundant.

To learn more about the octopus or how other animals use light in the depths of the ocean here is a short underwater reading list!

Octavia and Her Purple Ink Cloud

Octavia and her Purple Ink Cloud
Octavia Octopus and her sea-animal friends love playing camouflage games to practice how they would hide from a “big, hungry creature.” Octavia, however, just cannot seem to get her colors right when she tries to shoot her purple ink cloud. What happens when the big, hungry shark shows up looking for his dinner? This creative book introduces basic colors along with the camouflage techniques of various sea animals; a great introduction to marine biology!

DayDeep_128A Day in the Deep
Travel deep into the ocean way below the surface and you’ll encounter some creatures you never knew existed! This book takes you on a journey through the dark depths of the sea towards the ocean floor. Most ecosystems need sunlight, but deep in the ocean where the sun doesn’t shine animals have adapted some very interesting ways to see, protect themselves, and eat. Discover the unique habitats, adaptations, and food chains of these deep -sea creatures.

ocean hide and seek_PAPERBACKOcean Hide and Seek
The sea is a place of mystery, where animals big and small play hide and seek! Can you imagine a shark hiding in the light? What about a clownfish in plain sight? Don’t believe it? Then, sink into the deep blue sea with Jennifer Evans Kramer and Ocean Hide and Seek! Surround yourself with the vibrant ocean illustrations of Gary R. Phillips. The ocean is an old, old place, and the exotic animals in the depths have learned to adapt to their surroundings to survive. Can you find the creatures hidden on every page? Or will you, too, be fooled by an ancient, underwater disguise?

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17. Behind the Book with Jennifer Keats Curtis

JenniferCurtisHave you ever wondered what sparks an idea for a book?

Author Jennifer Keats Curtis talks with us about the process of writing Primate School and how one idea lead her to a deep study in animal behavior, feelings and thinking.

When I learned that orangutans were using iPads, my first thought was, Oh good, there’s hope for my mother. Ok, I’m kidding. My real thought was that despite extraordinary study and learning, there is so much about animals that we still don’t know.

As I set off to learn about orangutans and other primates for the nonfiction Primate School, I thought about how much I PrimateSchool_187love animals and want to understand them. I thought about my own connections with animals and my personal belief that animals have feelings and emotions. I believe that they feel joy and sadness, perhaps not in the same way that we do, but that they are conscious, sentient beings and I wish I could better relate and communicate with them. I think that we have missed a lot with animals in the past for fear of anthropomorphizing them.

I joyfully learned about how primates communicate with each other through verbal cues and behavior and how they express themselves, show happiness and love, and learn from each other and keepers. I loved learning about how primates connect to each other and to humans. I was fascinated to learn about aunting behavior among langurs and saddened to learn about the gibbons who had been raised as pets and had trouble relating to other gibbons.

EN-gibbonI wrote Primate School ecstatic to use what I’d learned from cognitive ethologists. Ethologists study animals in their natural settings and cognitive ethologists get to focus on the thinking process, including communication, culture, and learning. I embrace this concept and cannot get enough of what these scientists have to say. Even though that book is complete, I never want to stop learning about what primates and other animals think and feel, how they learn from us, and how we can learn from them. That is one of the main reasons that I write about animals for children.

Award-winning nature author Jennifer Keats Curtis is frequently found among students and teachers, talking about literacy or conservation. In addition to Primate School, Salamander Season, the Animal Helpers series, Baby Owl’s Rescue, Kali’s Story, and Turtles In My Sandbox  for Arbordale, some of her other recent titles include Osprey Adventure, Saving Squeak: A River Otter’s Tale, and Seahorses. Jennifer resides in Maryland, with her family and a wide variety of pets. Visit her website at www.jenniferkeatscurtis.com

Learn more about Primate School and Jennifer’s other Arbordale books here!

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18. Cartoon Network’s Imagination Studios Encourages Children To Create Original Ideas

Major network creators like Rebecca Sugar and Ben Bocquelet will participate and teach children how to create cartoons.

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19. Know Your Feature Animation Cliches: The Dead Mother

On a couple occasions throughout the years, people have asked me, Why do so many animated films have dead mothers in them?

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20. Earn Big Money At Last! Learn Animation!

If you can draw a circle, we can teach you animated cartooning.

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21. Learn How Satoshi Kon Edited Space and Time

In his four features and one TV series, the late anime director Satoshi Kon developed a unique style of cutting and editing, says Tony Zhou in a new video essay.

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22. The Evolution of TV Cartoon Characters

To the average cartoon viewer, SpongeBob is SpongeBob and Bart Simpson is Bart Simpson, but cartoon connoisseurs recognize that characters evolve over the years, not just personality-wise but graphically.

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23. Sony Releases Free Zombie Character Rig from ‘Hotel Transylvania’

In a nice bit of Halloween-themed marketing savvy, Sony has released a free character rig of a zombie bellhop from "Hotel Transylvania."

0 Comments on Sony Releases Free Zombie Character Rig from ‘Hotel Transylvania’ as of 10/9/2014 7:33:00 AM
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24. 6 Comedy Lessons that Chuck Jones Learned From Tex Avery

In this 1980 tribute to legendary animation director Tex Avery, fellow legendary director Chuck Jones shared six lessons that he learned about comedy from working with Avery in the 1930s. The advice remains essential to animation director working today.

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25. Blog Tour Launch & $100 Giveaway: A Year in the Secret Garden by Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters

The Blog Tour has begun!

A Year in the Secret Garden

Just this week our delight was compounded when Valarie announced that the physical version of the book had arrived, just in time for the upcoming launch and blog tour.

A Year in the Secret Garden

This book was a labor of love between two creative people (Valarie and Marilyn) who not only wanted to bring a classic children’s tale to life, but encourage families to step away from the computer and into the garden, craft room and kitchen.

Title: A Year in the Life of the Secret Garden | Author: Valarie Budayr | Illustrator: Marilyn Scott-Waters | Publication Date: November, 2014 | Publisher: Audrey Press | Pages: 144 | Recommended Ages: 5 to 99

Book Description: Award-winning authors Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters have co-created A Year in the Secret Garden to introduce the beloved children’s classic, The Secret Garden to a new generation of families. This guide uses over two hundred full color illustrations and photos to bring the magical story to life, with fascinating historical information, monthly gardening activities, easy-to-make recipes, and step-by-step crafts, designed to enchant readers of all ages. Each month your family will unlock the mysteries of a Secret Garden character, as well as have fun together creating the original crafts and activities based on the book.Over 140 pages, with 200 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. A Year In the Secret Garden is our opportunity to introduce new generations of families to the magic of this classic tale in a modern and innovative way that creates special learning and play times outside in nature. This book encourages families to step away from technology and into the kitchen, garden, reading nook and craft room.

Amazon * Audrey Press * Goodreads



A Year in the Secret Garden provides the perfect companion to the original story.  The book is divided into major sections by months of the year.  For each month, a character from the book (e.g., Mary Lennox, Dickon, Colin) is introduced and their role in the story is described.  Each month also features a number of activities including planting activities, crafts, recipes, children’s games, as well as snippets of information about some of the themes covered in the story (e.g., death in Victorian England, language spoken in Yorkshire), and so much more!’-Renee @Mother/Daughter Book Reviews

In honor of this exciting new release,  there will be a special blog tour that will run from November 1 to 30, 2014. We encourage our readers to stop by and experience the magic of A Year in The Secret Garden through book reviews, author interviews, guest posts and excerpts from this activity-packed book.  The blog tour will include a shared giveaway for a $100 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize, open worldwide.

To get a snapshot of A Year in the Secret Garden book month-by-month AND a sneak peek at the blog tour schedule, go HERE.

For a chance to enter to win our Amazon $100 Gift Card, Go HERE

A Year in the Secret Garden Blog Tour Schedule

A Year in the Secret Garden blog tour


November 1

Mother Daughter Book Reviews (Launch)

Coffee Books & Art (Guest Post)

WS Momma Readers Nook (Book Review)

November 2

Cherry Mischievous (Excerpt)

Hope to Read (Excerpt)

November 3

Eloquent Articulation (Book Review)

Enter Here Canada (Excerpt)



November 4

BeachBoundBooks (Excerpt)

Books, Babies and Bows (Book Review)

November 5

Monique’s Musings (Book Review)

November 6

SOS-Supply (Book Review)



November 7

Randomly Reading (Book Review)

November 8

Adalinc to Life (Book Review)



November 9

100 Pages a Day (Book Review)

November 10

Edventures With Kids (Book Review)



November 11

Icefairy’s Treasure Chest (Book Review)

November 12

Girl of 1000 Wonders (Book Review)



November 13

Seraphina Reads (Guest Post)

November 14

Juggling Act Mama (Book Review)



November 15

Pragmatic Mom (Author/Illustrator Interview)

Purple Monster Coupons (Book Review)

November 16

Stacking Books (Book Review)



November 17

Oh My Bookness (Book Review)

November 18

Crystal’s Tiny Treasures (Book Review)



November 19

The Blended Blog (Book Review)

November 20

All Done Monkey (Book Review)

November 21

Geo Librarian (Book Review)

Grandbooking (Author/Illustrator Interview)



November 22

My Tangled Skeins Book Reviews (Book Review)

November 23

Christy’s Cozy Corners (Book Review)

My Life, Loves and Passions (Book Review)

November 24

Bookaholic Chick (Excerpt)

Hide-N-(Sensory)-Seeking (Book Review)


November 25

Ninja Librarian (Guest Post)

November 26

Jane Ritz (Book Review)

Rockin’ Book Reviews (Book Review)

November 27

I’d Rather Be Reading At The Beach (Book Review)



November 28

Deal Sharing Aunt (Book Review)

November 29

Mommynificent (Book Review)

November 30

This Kid Reviews Books (Book Review)

Java John Z’s (Author/Illustrator Interview)

Visit our A Year in The Secret Garden page to learn more about this one-of-a-kind unique keepsake book for children and families.

PicMonkey Collage

The post Blog Tour Launch & $100 Giveaway: A Year in the Secret Garden by Valarie Budayr and Marilyn Scott-Waters appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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