Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Scooper and Dumper by Lindsay Ward

Scooper and Dumper are best friends, trucks who take care of their town in all sorts of weather. One day, a big snowstorm hits the city, and they’re called into action to save the day!

Scooper and Dumper, by Lindsay Ward, (Feb. 2021, Two Lions),
$17.99, ISBN: 978-1542092685
Ages 3-6

Lindsay Ward’s latest outing is a rhyming story of friendship, bravery, and trucks! Scooper and Dumper are friends taking care of their town, but have to head to the big city to help out when a big snowstorm hits, but Dumper finds himself in trouble when he hits an icy road that’s caused a pileup! When no other trucks can get through to help, it’s up to Scooper to save the day. The story is such a positive study of helping, friendship, and teamwork, that caregivers are going to love it as much as the kiddos will. The digital illustrations are just adorable – Scooper is bright, cheery yellow with a red and white polka dotted bow on her hood; Dumper is a baby blue with a sweet smile. Word balloons break up the story text and give it a graphic novel feel. Think of these two as cousins to Lindsay Ward’s WWII heroine, Rosie: getting the job done with a smile and some good, old-fashioned determination. Perfect for storytime reading, Scooper and Dumper will work with some toy trucks, flannels, and lots of car songs and fingerplays!

 

It’s been an… eventful start to the New Year, so let’s start things off with a giveaway. One lucky winner will win their own copy of Scooper and Dumper by entering the Rafflecopter giveaway here. U.S. addresses only, please!

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Rosie: Stronger Than Steel, like the ladies around her. Plus, a giveaway!

Rosie: Stronger Than Steel, by Lindsay Ward, (April 2020, Two Lions), $17.99, ISBN: 978-1-15420117947

Ages 4-8

In a nod to history, and a fitting way to send off Women’s History Month, Rosie: Stronger Than Steel salutes the American and English women who took care of business during World War II. Most of us know the iconic Rosie the Riveter, symbolic of the women who went to work in factories during the War, but not many of us in the States have heard of the British Women’s Land Army, tthat encouraged women to work in agriculture, keeping he Women’s Land Army was a British civilian organisation created during World War II so women could work in agriculture, so that Britain – an island nation that largely relied on imported food – could grow their own crops and be self-sufficient.

Rosie is an ode to the power of women working together. Created as a poem – part rhyme, part evocative verse – from the point of view of a tractor named Rosie, built in America by female factory workers – Rosies – and sent overseas to join the Women’s Land Army. She’s green, with a painted rose, and filled with a strong sense of purpose as she works with the women in Britain to plow fields, grow crops, and feed her new nation. She has a mantra that she clings to, repeated throughout the story: “I plow and I dig. / I dig and I plow. / No matter the job, / This is my vow. It spurs her on, as she plows in the shadow of fighter planes, through mud and muck. When the war ends, she mentors new farm machines, until the day she thinks it may all come to an end when she gets stuck in the mud… but wait! No one is going to abandon our Rosie! Like the Little Engine That Could, Rosie is truly stronger than steel, and roars back to life. A testament to women coming together to achieve great things, Rosie: Stronger Than Steel is an inspiring story about collaboration, cooperation, and determination. An author’s note tells the story of the American factory workers – our Rosie the Riveters – and the British Women’s Land Army. There’s an abbreviated  World War II timeline across the bottom of the author’s note spread.

Lindsay Ward’s colored pencil and cut paper artwork is colorful, bright, and filled with images of women (including Rosie!) working together, determined. Her art is so different here, from her colorful, cartoony artwork we see in her Dexter trilogy and Brobarians: here, we see realistic women and farmland, with a sweet-face, cartoony tractor; a blend that shows her versatility as an artist as well as an author. I really enjoyed Rosie: Stronger Than Steel and love this introduction to women’s history, for younger readers.

Rosie: Stronger Than Steel has starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist.

Lindsay Ward is the creator of the Dexter T. Rexter series as well as This Book Is Gray, Brobarians, Rosco vs. the Baby, and The Importance of Being 3. Her book Please Bring Balloons was also made into a play. Lindsay lives with her family  in Peninsula, Ohio, where she often sees tractors from the 1930s and 1940s. Learn more about her online at www.lindsaymward.com.

Twitter: @lindsaymward

 

Reviewers love Rosie!

★“More than the sum of its parts, this is a wildly successful and well-researched shaping of the picture-book form to true historical sheroes.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

★“This ‘little tractor that could’ sort of tale pays tribute to the iconic Rosie the Riveter persona from the US and the British Land Girls of the Women’s Land Army during WWII. Fans of Loren Long’s Otis, Virginia Lee Burton’s Katy, and like sturdy, dependable workhorses will welcome Rosie into the fold, but the historical perspective adds an unusual dimension to her story.” —Booklist (starred review)

“Vocabulary is rich, and the younger set will appreciate the intermittent rhymes. The style of Ward’s colored pencil and cut-paper illustrations reflect the period of the tale. ” —School Library Journal

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Rosie: Stronger than Steel, courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses). Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Blog Tour: This Book is Gray, by Lindsay Ward

It’s pretty safe to say I’m a Lindsay Ward fangirl: Brobarians and the Dexter T. Rexter trilogy are some of my favorite storytime reads/picture books going. Her new book, This Book is Gray, just seals the deal. Lindsay Ward, author extraordinaire.

This Book is Gray, by Lindsay Ward, (Dec. 2019, Two Lions),
$17.99, ISBN:  978-1-5420-4340-3
Ages 3-6

Gray feels left out. Everyone else in the color wheel leaves him out, so he decides to show them that you can have a gray book, and that it can be a good book! He creates a story about a hippo, a wolf, and a kitten, but the other colors show up to offer their opinions. Can Gray show all those primary and complimentary colors that gray is a fun color, too? And can the other colors help Gray out when trouble threatens the story?

If you’ve loved The Day The Crayons Quit and The Day The Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt, you will love This Book is Gray. The main story is about Gray and his quest to be taken seriously as a color; there’s a great secondary story about teamwork, and there are moments that will make you think (yes, you grownups) about how gray stories are perceived: Gray says everyone thinks he’s dull; the colors think an all-gray story looks scary, grim, or sad. But when a splash of color enters the scene, we realize just how much is gray: fluffy bunnies! Hippos and elephants! Seals! Pigeons! Black and White get their say in here, too (yay for achromatics!). The book reinforces concepts about primary and secondary colors, with a helpful color glossary on the book’s opening endpages. Lindsay Ward’s artwork is just adorable, with each color depicted as a cute triangle, and using word balloons to allow them to communicate outside of Gray’s story narrative. Closing endpapers show the characters from Gray’s story.

This is an absolutely adorable read-aloud for little ones, letting you test out your different voices. The story is sweet, funny, and ultimately, one you’ll go back to again and again; books by Lindsay Ward tend to be like that. Ask your kiddos to draw something gray and see what you get, and keep an eye on Lindsay Ward’s author webpage for accompanying goodies. She’s really good like that.

Lindsay Ward is the creator of the Dexter T. Rexter series as well as Brobarians, Rosco vs. the Baby, and The Importance of Being 3. Her book Please Bring Balloons was also made into a play. Lindsay lives in Peninsula, Ohio, with her family. Gray is one of her favorite colors. Learn more about her online at www.lindsaymward.com.

Twitter: @lindsaymward

“This book is a fun introduction to color theory that may inspire children to use more gray in their artwork and remind them to include friends who are left out.” —Booklist

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Pack your bags! Dexter Dino’s going on vacation! Plus, a giveaway!

Vacation for Dexter!, by Lindsay Ward, (Apr. 2019, Two Lions), $17.99, ISBN: 9781542043205

Ages 3-7

My favorite dino is back! My favorite dino is back! Dexter T. Rexter and his best friend Jack are back and they’re going on vacation in Lindsay Ward’s newest Dex-venture (see what I did there?), Vacation for Dexter! They’re going to exotic FLOR-I-DA, and Dexter is just thrilled! He’s totally vacation ready, rocking his supercool sunglasses, nifty hat, and his guidebook with all the local hot spots, but there’s one tiny problem: Dexter really, really, really, REALLY doesn’t want to get on a plane. Dinosaurs don’t fly, and he’s got a bunch of reasons why! Dexter and Jack are both going to need readers to encourage them and cheer them on through this flight, because they’re both pretty nervous!

Dexter is just great. He’s such a perfect fit for preschoolers experiencing new things, whether it’s misplacing a grown-up (Don’t Forget Dexter!), worrying about show and tell or speaking in front of a group (It’s Show and Tell, Dexter!) or facing fears head-on (Vacation for Dexter!) He’s nervous, but he admits it, and lets kids know that it’s okay, even normal, to be scared of new things, but it’s also okay to be brave and face those fears. He uses humor, empathy, and the right amount of hugs to get his message across, and there’s always a new song (we’ve got two new ones in this book!) to sing at the end. Lindsay Ward is just so good at storytelling; she gets preschoolers. The printmaking ink, pencil, and cut paper artwork is the same upbeat, bright art we’ve come to know and love: Dexter is bright orange, with red and pink splotches on his spines and body; his body and claws are lined like a piece of notebook paper, and he’s friendly, with a big, toothy smile and big, expressive eyes. Jack, Dexter’s buddy, is a child of color, with dark skin and curly, black hair. Parts of each spread look like a coloring book, colored in, adding to the kid-friendly feel.

Pack Vacation for Dexter, some cookies, and your own kiddo’s best friend for your next trip. And make sure to print a few copies of this picture of Dexter to color in!

 

Win your own FULL SET of Dexter books, including Vacation for Dexter! Enter this Rafflecopter giveaway! (U.S. addresses only, please!)

 

 

Lindsay Ward is the creator of the Dexter T. Rexter series. Although she isn’t afraid of flying, she always looks forward to cookies during her flights. She is also the author and illustrator of Brobarians, Henry Finds His Word, and When Blue Met Egg. Her book Please Bring Balloons was also made into a play.

Most days you can find Lindsay with her family, writing and sketching at her home in Peninsula, Ohio. Learn more about her online at www.LindsayMWard.com or on Twitter: @lindsaymward.

Praise for Vacation for Dexter!

“The illustrations are just as laugh-out-loud funny as ever, with the toy’s expressions stealing every scene…Jack and Dexter have become a beloved duo, and the dino’s behavior-modeling sure goes down easily.” —Kirkus Reviews

 

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Cover Reveal: VACATION FOR DEXTER!

Readers!!! Kiddos!!! I have made no secret that I am probably Dexter T. Rexter’s biggest fan (except maybe for my own kid), so I am SO EXCITED to have gotten a sneak peek at the cover for Dexter’s newest adventure! Wanna see? You ready?

First, you have to sing the Dexter T. Rexter song. No, I’m not kidding. Come on:

DEXTER DINO,

STOMP THROUGH THE SWAMP!

DEXTER DINO,

CHOMP! CHOMP! CHOMP!

 

Okay, now we’re ready. I present to you…

DEXTER’S GOING ON VACATION!!

 

Dexter T. Rexter is on a plane-for the very first time.

Dexter can’t wait to go on vacation with his best friend, Jack. Supercool orange sunglasses? Check. Nifty travel hat? Check. Plane tickets? Uh, what? Dexter may be the toughest, coolest dinosaur around, but everyone knows T. Rexes don’t fly! If anyone could do it, he could. It’s just that he’s suddenly feeling a little hot. And maybe a little nervous. But just as he starts to melt down, he notices Jack looks upset. Dexter realizes he has to be brave enough for both of them. And maybe, just maybe, he’ll start to have a bit of fun in the air.

Both nervous and funny, Dexter tells the readers what he’s feeling and even asks their advice as he comes to understand that being brave with a friend makes everything a little better. And hey, those cookies during the flight don’t hurt, either!

Vacation for Dexter is out on April 16, 2019! I know, I can’t wait, either!

https://giphy.com/embed/zoqqcWFLUtD5S

via GIPHY

Lindsay Ward is the creator of the Dexter T. Rexter series. Although she isn’t afraid of flying, she always looks forward to cookies during her flights. She is also the author and illustrator of Brobarians, Henry Finds His Word, and When Blue Met Egg. Her book Please Bring Balloons was also made into a play. >>> Most days you can find Lindsay with her family, writing and sketching at her home in Peninsula, Ohio. Learn more about her online at www.LindsayMWard.com.

 

Posted in picture books, Preschool Reads

Dexter Dino takes on show & tell! Plus, a giveaway!

He’s back! My favorite neurotic toy dinosaur is back in his second adventure!!

Sorry, Rex, it’s not you.

 

 

It’s… DEXTER DINO!

It’s Show and Tell, Dexter!, by Lindsay Ward, (Aug. 2018, Two Lions),
Ages 3-7

 

Dexter’s fully recovered from his experience in the pediatrician’s waiting room, and he and Jack are back together to take on a new adventure: SHOW AND TELL. But Dexter’s worried again… he wants to wow the class! Should he wear a costume? Learn an exciting new routine? OH NO! WHAT IF HE’S THE… BORING TOY? Dexter’s latest story takes on performance anxiety and worries about self-image. Thankfully, the omniscient reader is there to let Dexter know that being himself is the best way to go: and sure enough, the Dexter Dino chant makes him the most popular dino in the class and on the bus!

I have such love for this fun series and for author Lindsay Ward. Dexter is adorable, neurotic, and totally relatable. He worries about being cool enough to hang with his buddy, Jack; he worries about not being exciting enough to hold a kids’ attention, and he works through his anxiety for everyone to see, letting kids (ahem… and some adults) know that we’re not alone. By pointing out physical manifestations of what nerves can do to us: pit in the stomach, fidgety claws, awkward smiles, and all, Dexter lets readers know that we all get anxious about something, and that it’s okay. Being oneself is the best solution.

Dexter’s bright color and body postures make him awkward and lovable, and his empowering Dexter Dino chant gets an entire room up and stomping, making this PERFECT for storytimes. I tested this one out with a pre-k Kindergarten visit (they’d had a test run with Don’t Forget Dexter!), and they all jumped up and joined me for some chomping and stomping. I had a couple of kids let Dexter know it was okay, too: leave room for kid reactions when reading it out loud and watch empathy in action. My own 6-year-old was so excited to get the book in the mail, he had his own stomping party! Have a show and tell storytime, and encourage kids to talk about their cool things. Have some toys on hand for anyone who shows up empty-handed, and encourage some imagination by asking kids about what they like most about their toys and objects. Maybe you’ll get a new rhyme or two out of the experience, and don’t forget to have Dexter coloring sheets on hand!

 

 

Lindsay Ward is the author of the Dexter T. Rexter book Don’t Forget Dexter! Though she never got to bring an orange dinosaur to Show and Tell Day, she did once take all four albums of her sticker collection. She is also the author and illustrator of Brobarians, Henry Finds His Word, and When Blue Met Egg. Her book Please Bring Balloons was also made into a play.  Most days you can find Lindsay with her family, writing and sketching at her home in Peninsula, Ohio. Learn more about her at www.LindsayMWard.com or on Twitter: @lindsaymward.

 

Praise for It’s Show and Tell, Dexter!

“Ward’s gentle art features cut-paper forms with residual pencil outlines, providing an ad hoc quality to the spreads. Readers prone to anxiety over big events should be tickled by the idea that a toy has concerns too.” —Publishers Weekly

“Ward’s illustrations, made with printmaking ink, colored pencil, and cut paper, wonderfully capture Dexter’s every emotion and over-the-top ideas.” —Kirkus Reviews

 

One lucky winner will receive a copy of both Dexter T. Rexter books–Don’t Forget Dexter! and It’s Show and Tell, Dexter!, courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses). Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway.

Posted in Preschool Reads

Don’t Forget Dexter! is too much fun!

Don’t Forget Dexter!, by Lindsay Ward, (Jan. 2018, Two Lions), $17.99, ISBN: 978-1542047272

Recommended for readers 4-7

Dexter T. Rexter is the friendliest, cutest toy dino you’ll ever meet, but he’s got a BIG problem: Jack, his best friend, has DISAPPEARED! They were playing in the doctor’s office just a second ago, but Dexter’s found himself all alone and needs your help! This adorable book is perfect for preschoolers and kindergartners , who will jump at the chance to calm Dexter down throughout the story, as he gets more and more shaken up at the thought of being lost, or – even worse – abandoned, for another toy.

Lindsay Ward writes books that just know kids. Her epic tale, Brobarians (2017), looked at siblings relationships through a child’s imagination at play. Dexter shows readers that she knows – just like our kids do – that toys have feelings, just like they do, that they love us as much as we love them, and that they’re just as afraid of being lost or left behind as the kids that play with them are.

I love this story, I love Lindsay Ward’s cut paper, pencil, and ink artwork – Dexter’s belly looks like a page out of a kid’s notebook, how cool is that? – and Dexter’s handmade toy look, and I love this adorable, fun story about the mutual love between a kid and his toy. This is already a huge hit for me at home, where my Kindergartner and I sing “the Dexter song” at the top of our lungs, and at my library, where I gave my storytime families a sneak preview read a few weeks ago. Storytime tip: Hand out some soft toys, if you have them, during the read-aloud, and watch the kids bond.

If you’ve ever had to run back into a restaurant, library, or store; or drive to another state to pick up a beloved friend that a tired kiddo left behind, you need to get this book.

Don’t forget to print out some Dexter coloring sheets, right here, from the author’s website! Want a shot at winning your own copy of Don’t Forget Dexter (U.S. addresses only, please)? Check out this Rafflecopter giveaway!
Lindsay Ward was inspired to write this book after her husband texted her a photo of a toy dinosaur abandoned at a doctor’s office. The caption read: “Well, they left me here.” Lindsay thought it was so funny that she sat down to write Dexter’s story immediately. She is also the author and illustrator of Brobarians, Henry Finds His Word, and When Blue Met Egg. Her book Please Bring Balloons was also made into a play.

Most days you can find Lindsay writing and sketching at her home in Peninsula, Ohio, where she lives with her family. Learn more about her online at www.LindsayMWard.com  or on Twitter: @lindsaymward.

 

Praise for  DON’T FORGET DEXTER!

★ “Ward’s ink, colored-pencil, and cut-paper illustrations give readers a toy’s view of the world and allow children to stomp in Dexter’s feet for a while, his facial expressions giving them lots of clues to his feelings. Lost and found was never so riotously funny or emotionally draining.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Ward (Brobarians) is as funny as ever as she chronicles her orange hero’s nervous, no-filter state of mind, and her cut-paper, pencil, and ink drawings—with their visual asides, annotations, and shifts in scale—are irrepressible. It’s high anxiety made highly adorable.” —Publishers Weekly

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

The Tale of the Mighty Brobarians!

Brobarians, by Lindsay Ward, (March 2017, Two Lions/Amazon Publishing), $17.99, ISBN: 978-15039-6167-0

Recommended for readers 3-7

“Two barbarians, once at peace – Uh-Oh! – were now at odds.” Otto and Iggy are brothers and barbarians, but when Iggy stages a takeover of the land, Otto fights back and the two go to war. Told as an epic tale, Brobarians is the adorably fun story of two brothers and their disagreement, resolved only when a higher power interferes.

This book is adorable. The endpaper maps that depict Otto’s (he’s the bigger brother, so I assume he created them) layout of his and Iggy’s territory, the illuminated manuscript-like exposition that leads into the tale and the epic storytelling style are wonderful. If you’re a fan of sword and sorcery movies like I am, then you’ll hear the Conan the Barbarian-like narration in your head and squeal with joy.

The art – cut paper, pencil, and crayon on chipboard – escalates, dipping into the brobarians’ imaginations to render them as fierce (but still really cute) brothers on wild steeds. The fonts are exaggerated, colorful, providing readers with a wholly fun storytime experience. You can’t read this in a monotone, you just can’t. I read it to my little guy and immediately slipped into epic narrator mode, with mock gravity and urgency at different points of the story. I was rewarded with belly laughs, which are wonderfully contagious.

You need this book for the kids you love. Heck, you need this book for yourself. Let’s try and see my kid get this off my bookshelf, where it lives next to my Red Sonja comics!

About the Author
Lindsay Ward would never have written this book if she hadn’t stayed up late one night watching Conan the Barbarian. She finds the idea of baby barbarians to be very funny . . . and hopes you do too. Lindsay’s recent books include Rosco vs. the Baby and The Importance of Being 3. Most days you can find her writing and sketching at home in Ohio with her family. Learn more about her at www.lindsaymward.com or on Twitter: @lindsaymward. She’s got Brobarians activities coming soon, too – keep an eye on the website!

Praise for BROBARIANS:

“Highly cinematic, both in imagery and narrative soundtrack…Good and campy and a fine opportunity for vocabulary building.”—Kirkus Reviews

“As readalouds go, it’s pretty epic.” – Publishers Weekly

 

Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a copy of BROBARIANS courtesy of Two Lions (U.S. addresses). Enter a Rafflecopter giveaway here!