Winners! The Voltaire Book Series: The Franco-American Hipster Dog by Julia Livi

Thanks to the few of you who entered our give-away for:

Voltaire Se Promene. cover jpg



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Children’s Book Review/World-wide Give-away: The Voltaire Book Series: The Franco-American Hipster Dog by Julia Livi

I love surprises and I especially love surprises that end up having ties to other parts of my life. Back in July I received an email from my dear friend, Layla Morgan Wilde of Cat Wisdom 101, telling me she had been contacted by Julia Livi,  a talented illustrator/author originally from Paris, who now resides in Brooklyn, NY. (Tie #1 both of my parents were from Brooklyn and I still have some family there. Tie #2 I will be in Brooklyn this November!!) who wanted to see if she would review two of her books in the Voltaire Book Series. Since Layla has a cat blog she politely declined, but was kind enough to email me and tell me that “they are so up my alley” and oh how they are!!


Courtesy of

Courtesy of



Voltaire is a hipster who happens to be a third culture dog. He’s Franco-American and always looks forward to the word promenade as it leads to a walk in either language. He’s the narrator and main character in this children’s book series. He enjoys telling people of all ages about his family, his lifestyle and his hobbies which include costumes, fashion, art, eating and cuddling.

Voltaire se Promène

Simultaneously in French and English, Voltaire introduces himself, his confusion with bilingualism and his favorite activities on a walk with his human parents through Brooklyn Heights. Voltaire se Promène is a book destined for French, Brooklyn, dog and walk lovers of all ages. Voltaire se Promène is the first book of the bilingual book series: Voltaire: The Franco-American Hipster Dog. You can purchase the kindle  or paperback version of Voltaire se Promène here.

As you can see by the cover of one of the two books that I received, the illustrations are superb!!  Not only will they appeal to children, but they will appeal to adults as well. The books are written in English and French (they are SUPER easy to read), which in itself is delightful. What a wonderful and fun way to introduce little ones to the French language!

In fact the Voltaire Book Series was  originally created so that Julia Livi  (who is a self-described ” third culture kid from Paris, now in Brooklyn),  could help her sisters teach our languages to their children living on both sides of the pond.  Her American brother-in-law had to make up the story when her niece gave him a French book to read and her father had to do the same when English books were given to him. These books include everyone.

With the Voltaire Series, no matter what family member was asked to tell a story, there’s a language they can read. Julia later shared her books with her adult French students, and realized they really enjoyed them too. These books are for all ages, for French-lovers, Brooklyn-lovers, dog-lovers and happy-go-luckies everywhere!!

The second book I received was:

Voltaire and Tonton Joe

Voltaire and Ton Ton Joe


Also written  in French and English, Voltaire introduces his uncle Joe and the struggles they face as well as the silver linings when Tonton Joe is deployed in Afghanistan. Voltaire and Tonton Joe is the second book of the bilingual series: Voltaire: The Franco-American Hipster Dog. You can purchase the kindle version  or paperback of  Voltaire and Tonton Joe here.

As you can see, the illustrations  are so beautifully done that they alone make the books a worthwhile expenditure. Couple that with the fact that they are unique, and educational  books that are actually works of art, which adults will appreciate, you have a win-win!  Children will delight in the charming Voltaire and will enjoy learning words from another language, French! These books would make great bedtime stories and would also be great for library story groups and of course elementary teachers. This leads me to “Tie #3!” I have a niece who lives in Denver who has a little one who will be two in January. They are heading to France for Thanksgiving and I am going to surprise them by sending them my copies of the books. My niece is a Guidance Counselor (and a former Art History major), and I know she will cherish these always. With the holidays approaching, these would make great gifts!

GIVE-AWAY!! Julia Livi has most generously offered to give away THE SAME BOOKS THAT I RECEIVED to THREE LUCKY WINNERS LOCATED ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD!!! (An approximate $25 value!) Entering is easy! Simply enter on the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway




In full disclosure: I was not compensated for this review/give-away. I was sent a copy of both books in exchange for my honest review.

Children’s Book: Chihuahuas Like Cheese by Janice Kingsbury, Illustrated by:Rachael Mahaffey

Back in April I had the pleasure of reviewing the adorable book: Lexi Goes On Vacation to the Outer Banks by Janice  Kingsbury, and today it is once again a pleasure to be featuring (and giving away!) another book by Janice.  Today, I proudly present to you:

Click to purchase

Click to purchase

What I LOVE about Janice’s  books:

1) They ALWAYS convey multiple lessons

2) They promote Pet Adoption!

3) Her books show us just how special rescue dogs are!

Janice Kingsbury is a life-long Sheltie lover, (and while Shelties are not the “stars” of this book as they were in Lexi’s book, there are some adorable illustrations of them, and other GORGEOUS illustrations, all done by the talented Rachael Mahaffey.)

Bogie is a REAL Dog!!

Bogie lives with his family part-time in Mt.Laurel, NJ and part time in Duck, NC. He was rescued from a high-kill shelter in South Carolina by Burlington County Animal Alliance. The other dogs in the family, Beau, Lexi, Beemer, Jack and Hanna are also rescue dogs.  (Chihuahuas Like Cheese is dedicated to the memory of Beau, who was rescued from a puppy mill and who became the “most loyal friend Janice had ever known.”).

About The Author:

Janice is a former teacher and school psychologist with a passion for providing enjoyable fiction for kids

She received her undergraduate degree in education from Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton. She received graduate degrees from Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, in Counseling, School Psychology, and administration/supervision. 

Janice also rescues and fosters dogs. Janice has lived in New Jersey most of her life, but has vacationed in the Outer Banks for the past 10 years. She and her husband fell in love the friendly seashore town of Duck. They loved the wildlife and the leash-free beaches.


Photo courtesy of

Many people vacationing on the beaches of the Outer Banks unknowingly encouraged Janice to write her first book. Their friendliness, questions, and interest in her rescue dogs often prompted her to tell stories, much like the one in her first book. Often her walks on the beach spans into hours as people approach the family to chat and play with the dogs. The friendly environment reminds Janice of younger years when families knew each other and played together.

Looking for a great bedtime, school story-time or ANYTIME read that will encourage discussion? This is YOUR book!  Chihuahuas Like Cheese would also be a great “beach-read” on a lazy afternoon! Grab the kids, cuddle on a blanket, grab a piece of cheese, (of course!), and fall in love with brave little Bogie!!

 The kids will learn valuable lessons such as:

Size doesn’t make you a big cheese

There is ALWAYS more cheese

There is always SOMEONE who WANTS your cheese

Give some cheese back to others

Do what you do best and the rest will work out


Dakota and I give Chihuahuas Like Cheese 4-PAWS UP!!


Click the logo to purchase or purchase on Amazon, link is below!


  • Paperback: 54 pages
  • Publisher: outerbooks Publishing LLC; 1 edition (April 23, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 069237891X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0692378915


Janice has generously offered to give FOUR OF OUR READERS (who reside in the U.S., my apologies to our International readers),  a copy  of Chihuahuas Like Cheese.  (A $12.99 value).

Entering is easy! Just please leave a comment that CLEARLY STATES THAT YOU ARE ENTERING TO WIN A COPY OF THE BOOK.

The give-away is open NOW and will end at 5pm on Thursday, August 13th. The lucky winners will be announced on or around Friday, August 14th.

Winners! Lexi Goes On Vacation to The Outer Banks by Janice Wills Kingsbury

Thanks to all who entered our give-away for:

Lexi Goes On Vacation Cover

It saddens me that this adorable book did not receive many entries, I don’t get it…especially on a world-wide give-away, but that being said, I am glad that those that did enter recognize the message and value of owning this precious book.










Thank you for your support and you are going to LOVE this book!

Barks and licks and love, 




Children’s Book:Lexi Goes On Vacation to The Outer Banks by Janice Wills Kingsbury:World-Wide Give-Away!

It is quite rare for me to approach an author and ask if I may review their book, (I am contacted directly by the author or publisher for the vast majority of the books that I review), but when I saw the cover of Lexi Goes On Vacation to The Outer Banks in my Netgalley email, I just had to contact Author Janice Wills Kingsbury and ask if I could review her book. Look at the cover and you will see why! 

Lexi Goes On Vacation Cover


Yes, the dog on the cover is a Shetland Sheepdog, which made asking Author Janice Wills Kingsbury if I could review her book a complete no-brainer!

Lexi Goes On Vacation is not only beautifully written, but has colorful illustrations that were designed to capture children’s attention and imaginations.

From Lexi Goes On Vacation to The Outer Banks:

lexi from facebook

Lexi Goes On Vacation is more than just an adorable story for children. This precious tale conveys Kingsbury’s love of her rescue dogs (and shows how with love, patience, understanding and training,  they all can make fabulous family pets!), and the challenges they bring. It restores faith that people can be honest, and do the right thing, and the bonds of family and community.

It also highlights the importance of including more than one phone number,  in the event the dog should ever become lost, (Spoiler alert!! As Lexi did in this book!) My stomach churned with Janice’s when sweet Lexi goes missing. Children will be concerned  at the idea of Lexi being alone, hungry and frightened, (as he was before the Kingsbury’s adopted him), but parents can be assured that the story has a most happy ending!

As a former teacher and School Psychologist for 18 years in the public school system, Kingsbury has succeeded in creating a book for children that will appeal to a variety of interests and reading levels. The story  contains a universal theme which most children will be able to relate to. From personal experience, children tend to be drawn to the gentle and most attractive appearance of Shetland Sheepdogs and Collies, (Because the two breeds are similar in appearance, children and adults tend to confuse Shetland Sheepdogs with Collies, and will think of Lassie, but Shetland Sheepdogs and Collies are NOT one and the same. They are two totally different breeds). For anyone who has watched and loved “Lassie Come Home”, when children read, or are read,  Lexi Goes On Vacation, I have a feeling that they will be clapping with glee when Lexi is reunited with his loving family as I know I did with Lassie.

Anyone who has loved a Shetland Sheepdog will tell you they are one of the most sensitive, loving and playful breeds on the planet. As an adult, when I read this book, I immediately thought of my own “Sheltie Boy” and how I would feel if he ever became lost. That being said, you do NOT have to be a Sheltie lover to enjoy this book, you just have to have a heart, and a love of dogs. You know, you already do, or you wouldn’t be reading this review!

I  give this warm, loving and delightful story 4 Sheltie paws up!

To purchase:

ISBN 1500103268

It is available on Amazon and


Janice Wills Kingsbury has generously offered FIVE of my readers who reside ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD a chance to win a copy of Lexi Goes On Vacation to The Outer Banks.

The give-away is open NOW and will end on Thursday, April 23rd at 5pm.

To Enter:just leave a comment telling me you wish to be entered! That’s it! Good luck!









Winner! “Henry Says Hello” Written and Illustrated By S.L. Parker

Thanks to all who entered our give-away for:

Cover photo courtesy of   Click on the cover to visit the website!

Cover photo courtesy of Click on the cover to visit the website!