Join us for this tour from May 3 to May 21, 2021!
Book Title: Gus’ Fortunate Misfortune by Susan Pepka
Category: Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7), 62 pages
Genre: Children’s Book
Publisher: Full Cycle Publications
Release date: December 2018
Content Rating: G.
How do you turn a Very Bad Day into a Hopeful New Beginning? Gus, an ordinary mouse, must find a way to do just that. Following a series of unfortunate events, Gus finds himself trapped, separated from his family, and transported far from home. Alone and frightened, the young mouse must confront his deepest fears. Using his wits Gus solves problems and makes discoveries. Adapting to his new surroundings, Gus receives help from an unexpected friend. Each trial brings a new lesson… but will Gus ultimately succeed? Will Gus find what he’s truly looking for? – Ages 3-7
A native of Detroit and currently living in Atlanta, Susan Pepka has enjoyed great diversity throughout her life. Mother of three and grandmother of four, Susan has experienced life as a preschool teacher, technologist in diagnostic imaging, co-owner of a successful wellness center, meditation teacher, and now a published author with the debut of her first children’s book, Gus’ Fortunate Misfortune.
One of Susan’s greatest pleasures is reading wonderful stories that stir the imagination and nourish the spirit. Her passion is helping others find ways to healthier, happier, and more meaningful lives. Her wish is that all beings live together in harmony.
connect with the author: website ~ facebook ~ goodreads
The Importance of Favorite Childhood Books
When I was a child, we were not allowed to watch television during a school night, only on weekends. My parents were avid readers, and we took frequent trips to the library. I’m 69 years old, so my favorite books will differ from yours, except perhaps for Dr. Seuss, whom I loved, and Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown. There are other classics that have survived, like Aesop’s Fables, and fairy tales, which I adored.
I began drawing princesses, in long gowns, and the first book I attempted was my version of Cinderella, which was rejected over and over by publishers. But Miriam Chaikin at Holt Rhinehart & Winston let me show her my portfolio, and although she didn’t hire me to illustrate, she purchased a drawing. It gave me hope that I could be an artist. I was twenty-one.
I lived in London for seven years, and worked as a receptionist at Sotheby’s, the famous auctioneers. Original paintings by Arthur Rackham and Edmond Dulac, and Beatrix Potter came over the counter, to be valued by experts. Potter’s Tales of Peter Rabbit inspired me, and I began painting animals and flowers, which were eventually published as greeting cards. (Beatrix Potter became a sheep farmer, and got tired of painting.)
I loved the Velveteen Rabbit and Winnie the Pooh, but Madeline was my absolute favorite, and is one of my granddaughter’s picks. There is something about a brave little girl who lives in an orphanage to pique your fancy! I was a huge Beezus and Ramona fan, by Beverly Cleary, and Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are made it okay to get mad at your parents. Curious George satisfied my curiosity, and perhaps curiosity is our most important trait. Look. Discover. Create. My imagination continues on its journey, from reader and eventually, to writer and illustrator.
The very first book my granddaughter Milly fell in love with was Z is for Zebra: a Mosaic Menagerie. She was under two, but recognized the letters and the animals, and loved to shout out their names. She is almost three now, and makes up stories, and has imaginary friends. Recently, she found out her mother was having a baby. Guess what book she made us read to her, five times in a row? A book called Babies, published in 1976. I guess it’s still timely.
Book Title: Z is for Zebra: A Mosaic Menagerie by Judith Caseley
Category: Children’s Fiction (Ages 3-7), 53 pages
Genre: ABC Book
Publisher: Full Cycle Publications
Release date: May 2019
Content Rating: G.
NEW from beloved illustrator/author, Judith Caseley, Z is for Zebra is a delightful reading romp for the very young child.
With vibrant art and quirky rhymes, this sure-to-be-a favorite book uses a child’s innate love of animals to move the reader through the letters of the alphabet. Displaying gorgeous mosaics, rich with colors and details, the book presents the alphabet in an easily accessible and entertaining presentation. Perfect for teaching the child in your life about language and the animals we share the planet with. A delight for the mind and a visual feast for young book lovers and their parents, each page features an alphabet letter and a highly colorful animal mosaic along with quirky, funny memorable phrases.
Using glass tile, pebbles, and found materials instead of her usual paints and brushes, Caseley’s words and pictures celebrate the imagination of every child, weaving her magic for the youngest would-be zoologist. It appeals to a young child’s shorter attention span and innate love for animals and color. From jeweled starfish to bright butterflies, comic giraffes to venomous vipers this book is sure to be one your child will cherish.
Meet the Author:
Judith Caseley has written and illustrated over forty books for children, including “Dear Annie” and “On the Town: A Community Adventure”. She fell in love with the mosaics that decorated a restaurant in Sea Cliff, New York, and in the unique style of her picture books, began making her own.
connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ goodreads
Quotes That Have Changed Me
One of my favorite quotes is from Geshe Kelsang Gyatso Rinpoche. He says that “Happiness is a state of mind, and its sources are not found outside the mind”. This quote reminds us to seek happiness within our own selves rather than looking for it in external sources. This way when we are happy and have mental peace it remains with us; we never have to go searching for it.
I also love this quote from Marianne Williamson from her book A Return to Love: “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”
This reminds us of how important it is to let our own light shine. It can be scary, and we often are not familiar with standing out. But if we let our lights shine think how much benefit we can bring to others!
Another quote that I’m particularly fond of had no author to credit but here it is:
“She is as a bird perched on a frail branch bending beneath her who fearlessly sings knowing she has wings.”
I will gladly give credit if the author comes forward, but these words touch me deeply. I find it hard to express in words the feeling this evokes, but the imagery is so strong perhaps it doesn’t need words. It speaks of confidence, fearlessness, joy and beauty. Whoever wrote it, thank you!
May 3 – Cover Lover Book Review – books spotlight / giveaway
May 4 – Gina Rae Mitchell – books spotlight / giveaway
May 4 – fundinmental – books spotlight / giveaway
May 5 – Stephanie Jane – books spotlight / giveaway
May 6 – Lisa Everyday Reads – books spotlight / author interview with Susan Pepka / giveaway
May 7 – 100 Pages A Day – books spotlight / giveaway
May 10 – Writer with Wanderlust – books spotlight / guest post by Judith Caseley / guest post by Susan Pepka / giveaway
May 11 – Reading is My Passion – books spotlight
May 11 – Lisa’s Reading – books spotlight / guest post by Judith Caseley / guest post by Susan Pepka / giveaway
May 12 – The Bespectacled Mother – books spotlight / guest post by Susan Pepka
May 13 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – books spotlight / giveaway
May 14 – Laura’s Interests – books spotlight / guest post by Susan Pepka / giveaway
May 17 – Splashes of Joy – books spotlight / author interview with Judith Caseley / guest post by Susan Pepka / giveaway
May 18 – Jazzy Book Reviews – books spotlight / guest post by Judith Caseley / author interview with Susan Pepka / giveaway
May 19 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – books spotlight / guest post by Judith Caseley / guest post by Susan Pepka / giveaway
May 20 – Pick a Good Book – books spotlight / author interview with Judith Caseley / author interview with Susan Pepka / giveaway
May 21 – Locks, Hooks and Books – books spotlight / giveaway
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