Blog Tour: Blue Like Play Dough by Tricia Goyer

Blue Like Play Dough: Tricia Goyer l LadyD Books
Today, I am privileged to introduce Tricia Goyer, author of Blue Like Play Dough. Thanks, Elizabeth Johnson from Multnomah Books, a division of Random House for this Blog Tour Invite! Be sure to visit her blog and watch the video of Blue Like Play Dough. It's wonderful!

I loved Tricia's writings from the beginning. What makes it a great book is that most everyone can relate to her honest and transparent journey. Tricia's life with all its imperfections, disappointments and "what a mess" scenarios will have you laughing at times and then finding hope and understanding through the ups and downs of motherhood.

I was quite comfortable reading Blue Like Play Dough because the title is so visual for me and I have made play dough recipes many times for my 3 children. Most importantly, the analogy of being soft, flexible and pliable in God's hands is definitely a necessary ingredient of life. It is a high calling to be "putty in God's hands" because God specifically knows what's best for us and has an ultimate plan for our lives as Tricia explains and so wonderfully weaves this theme in her book.

When we empty ourselves before God and surrender, we will feel God's pleasure. You've heard the expression, "Let go- let God." Well, Tricia Goyer reveals her own truthful experiences of what surrender means when she says, "The more I gave to others and to God... the cleaner I felt."

What I especially like about this book, Blue Like Play Dough is Chapter #20 "When Death Stopped at Our House". Tricia's account of her Grandfather stepping into glory was similar to my own personal experiences of witnessing my Mother leave this earth with a smile on her face and my Dad saying "I love you" before he slipped away through the veil. Tricia speaks from her heart that Jesus is the way to eternal life. This is a great book and I highly recommend it to you. You will be inspired for sure!

Generation Next Parenting
* Author Bio:

Tricia Goyer is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including Generation NeXt Parenting and the Gold Medallion finalist Life Interrupted. Goyer writes for publications such as Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family, speaks to women’s groups nationwide and has been a presenter at the Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) national convention. She and her husband, John, live with their family in Montana. 
Tricia's energy and love for others is so contagious. Take a look at her Blue Like Play Dough 'Go-Go' Campaign and how it works:

Here's what this wonderful author has to say about it:

"I wrote Blue Like Play Dough because many times moms feel squished and smashed by all the demands of life. It's hard being a mom; yet it's often the hard stuff that changes us for the better.
Like any mom, at times I've felt like a failure. And other times I've felt as if God reached down and added an extra touch of sunshine to the day.
My hope is that my personal stories will encourage other moms to allow themselves to be shaped and molded. And as their children grow and change, they'll be changed into something beautiful, too. My Life, Unscripted and Generation NeXt Parenting are conversations about things that matter to this generation.
People need help and encouragement--not from someone who looks down, pointing a finger in their face, but from someone who has been there and who understands. My goal is to get books in the hands of people who need to see that perfection isn't necessary, and people who can find hope when they realize the hard stuff of life often molds us into better people if we let it.
Together we can make a difference in the lives of those who are in crisis or who just need a little encouragement."
My Life Unscripted

* Tricia Goyer's Website:
* Blue Like Play Dough Intro Video

* Summary:

In the everyday stretch and squeeze of motherhood, Tricia Goyer often feels smooshed by the demands of life. In Blue Like Play Dough, she shares her unlikely journey from rebellious, pregnant teen to busy wife and mom with big dreams of her own. As her story unfolds, Tricia realizes that God has more in store for her than she has ever imagined possible.

Sure, life is messy and beset by doubts. But God keeps showing up in the most unlikely places–in a bowl of carrot soup, the umpteenth reading of Goodnight Moon, a woe-is-me teen drama, or play dough in the hands of a child.

In Tricia’s transparent account, you’ll find understanding, laughter, and strength for your own story. And in the daily push and pull, you’ll learn to recognize the loving hands of God at work in your life… and know He has something beautiful in mind.

* Review

Praise for Blue Like Play Dough

“I couldn’t put Blue Like Play Dough down. Tricia’s love of God comes through on every page as she shows what motherhood is like when God wields his rolling pin and smoothes the rough edges of her life. Before you know it, your heart will be putty in God’s hands, too.”–Ginger Kolbaba, editor, Today's Christian Woman
“With fresh, disarming honesty, Tricia Goyer gives us a glimpse into the challenges of motherhood and womanhood as we know it oh-so-well. She then gently nudges us to remain pliable in the hands of the One who is deliberate in His plans for us. A surrendered life is a beautiful life. Thanks, Tricia, for giving us an authentic picture of what that sort of life looks like.”–Robin Jones Gunn, best-selling author of the Christy Miller Series and the Sisterchicks series
“A hopeful book that moms will relish, Blue Like Playdough is an honest, peel-back-the-covers look at the creative way God shapes us through childhood and parenthood. Tricia Goyer explores her own weaknesses along the journey, revealing her desire to serve the God who forms strength and joy and perseverance within her. A compelling, fresh read.”–Mary E. DeMuth, author of Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture

“I didn’t even know I needed to read this book until I found myself weeping as Tricia’s story reached right into my mothering heart. Part memoir and part self-help, Blue Like Play Dough is a must read for every mother who has ever doubted her purpose. An honest, hopeful read that will hearten moms no matter what stage of motherhood they are in.”–Tina Ann Forkner, author of Ruby Among Us and Rose House
“Tricia’s story reveals a great truth: that as God uses us to grow our kids, he grows us in the process too.”–Mary Byers, author of Making Work at Home Work and The Mother Load

“The best hostesses make you feel welcome in their home, a part of the family. Likewise, the best authors make you feel welcome as you visit them in the pages of their books. Tricia Goyer does that in Blue Like Play Dough as she invites you to come into her life and hang out with her family, and she doesn't apologize for the messiness of family life. Instead, with refreshing vulnerability and transparency, she shows us all that it’s okay to be imperfect in the hands of a God whose love for his own is perfect.”–Nancy Kennedy, author of Girl on a Swing and Lipstick Grace
“Tricia’s book is a masterpiece on motherhood–sculpted by her hands–shaped by her love for God.”–Margaret McSweeney, Pearl Girls ™: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace

“Blue Like Play Dough had me nodding, laughing, crying, dog-earing favorite pages, and saying, ‘Wow, I’m not the only mom who feels that way? I’m not weird?’ Honest, gut-wrenching, and funny–this is the kind of book every mom needs to read and keep on her shelf–like a long-time friend–there to walk beside you, drink coffee with you, encourage you. Loved this book!”–Kimberley Woodhouse, author of Welcome Home: Our Family’s Journey to Extreme Joy

* Purchase the book online:

-- LadyD

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Too Many Visitors for One Little House by Susan Chodakiewitz: Book Review

Too Many Visitors for One Little House

I was invited by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours to review "Too Many Visitors for One Little House" by Susan Chodakiewitz. Thanks so much Dorothy for the opportunity to have such a great reading experience from this delightful children's book... I loved it!


When Susan wrote Too Many Visitors for One Little House she hit the ball way out of the park with this one! You have a winner, in my opinion, when you combine family with pets, music, and food! Being Greek I instantly bonded with Susan's El Camino Street family. You know what I mean if you saw the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"!!!

The book begins with an introduction of family members who are new to El Camino Street. There is a mom and dad, three kids and a fish. Let's add some teenage cousins, a toddler, Grandma and Grandpa, Aunts and Uncles, a baby, Nanny and a dog! With the pinching of cheeks, because Greeks do that as well, I knew I was comfortable and at home with a good read!

Too Many Visitors for One Little House is a fun, loving picture book. Being a piano teacher, I was happy to see so many talented family members all playing their instruments together. I was thinking of my own family because my hubby plays the guitar and so does my Cousin Billy. I love family reunions and our last one was at Snowbird in Utah. Does your family have reunions?

Well, the story goes on and touches upon feeling left out, visiting a family and yes, resolving a conflict with love and hospitality. I must mention that the illustrations hand-drawn with digital color are so sweet, colorful and cleverly done with delightful faces of charming personalities, like real babushka dolls! And I must warn you, most definitely you will join in with your children and grandchildren repeating this rhyme together, similar to "no more monkeys jumping on my bed", to the tune of " Too Many Visitors for One Little House"!

* Susan Chodakiewitz

I am very impressed with Susan's background. She is one mega talented young lady! I learned that Susan is a writer, composer and a producer. Susan writes children's books, music and lyrics for musical theater. She has produced various staged readings of new musicals in Los Angeles and has collaborated on various projects for film and television. Susan is on the Advisory Board of the Academy for new Musical Theater in Los Angeles.

I think the above logo is a great visual for what Susan is all about. Susan is the founder of Booksicals Children’s Books- Encouraging the love of reading through the arts. Through her company Booksicals, she has created the Booksicals on Stage literacy program which is currently presenting musical performances of the picture book Too Many Visitors for One Little House at schools, libraries, and special events. Visit her website at:

Now this is where I get real excited because as a child my Mom always took me to see musicals at "Circle in the Round" and also "Starlight Opera" in San Diego. I loved drama and choir in high school and also playing the piano. Music and books, oh yes, what a world of wonder and delight! In my piano studio, I have a special place for this book and I plan on encouraging my students to buy this book and read it because I am passionate about music education and children's literature.

Susan's life runs parallel with similarities to her book. Susan lives in a lively household filled with music, three sons, a husband, a Dalmatian and lots of visitors. Susan loves picture books and when she wrote a musical based on one of her favorites, she realized it was time to start writing her own picture books. Too Many Visitors for One Little House is Susan’s debut book.

Susan is also offering a Name the Dog Contest at:

My Rating: 5+ stars (a home run!)

Read More Reviews:

By Elise Daniel (Durham, NH United States) -

As a librarian, this book has all the elements for a good read! The tone is fun and upbeat, the characters varied, and the connection with children's' busy and hectic lives real. The lively illustrations perfectly complement the "Too many visitors for one little house" refrain, which is a line I expect young children will be repeating as they read or listen to the book. Bravo to the author and illustrator of this whimsical, charming book!

Carol Duan, Librarian, writes:

The professional cast of Booksicals presented a very clever and exciting weaving of dramatic theater and picture book. The music was a delight as well! The cast of “Too Many Visitors for One Little House” interpreted the story so well and presented it with such perfection that they enthralled the packed audience of mostly preschoolers and captured the attention of infants and adults as well! …I can just picture the many children that will be asking for the story to be read and re-read to them throughout our community. Now that’s success! The author, Susan Chodakiewitz, is enthusiastic and totally dedicated to her craft of storytelling. I highly recommend the Booksicals performance of “Too Many Visitors for One Little House” to anyone wishing to promote the love of reading in children.

Carol Duan, Robertson Branch Manager, Los Angeles Public Library

This is what Educator, Tzippy Ravnoy has to say… The musical performance of “Too Many Visitors for One Little House” was amazing! My kids loved it - from my - 4yr old to my 10yr. old! Gitty made me read her the story 4 times tonight!!! They love the music and can’t stop singing it. We went on the website and can’t wait to download the recording. Congratulations!

Tzippy Ravony, Educator at Kreative Kids, a division of Jewish Learning Academy of Los Angeles

Product Details

* Paperback: 40 pages
* Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (February 11, 2009)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1419654705
* ISBN-13: 978-1419654701

Product Description

The crabby neighbors of El Camino Street are not very happy when cousins, aunts, uncles, and grannies arrive for a big noisy reunion at the house of the new family on the block.

I loved the warmth and fun in this story. The illustrations were bright and inviting. We get to see what goes on in a fun family's home, when some interesting visitors arrive. I'd love to be a part of the happenings during their stay.

This heartwarming story and colorful illustrations will make any reader, young and old, smile. We can all relate to family gatherings and sharing good food and good times together. The smell of the apple strudel and the sound of the dog barking jump off the pages and puts you into the house with all of the relatives and neighbors.

As a librarian, this book has all the elements for a good read! The tone is fun and upbeat, the characters varied, and the connection with children's' busy and hectic lives real. The lively illustrations perfectly complement the "Too many visitors for one little house" refrain, which is a line I expect young children will be repeating as they read or listen to the book. Bravo to the author and illustrator with this whimsical, charming book!

This beautiful picture book tells a delightful tale of grumpy neighbors being won over by too many delightful visitors in one small house. Veronica Walsh's engaging illustrations bring to life the personalities and quirks of each visitor who arrives in this rollicking story about family, fun, and neighborhoods. (I can't decide whether my favorite is the tail-wagging dog or the ever-prepared grandparents!)

Too Many Visitors For One Little House

Thanks, Susan, you're awesome! I look forward to reading more great books from you!

Best wishes and much continued success,
~ LadyD

P.S. Reading Susan's book was perfect timing because my trees were bursting with apples and on Susan's blog she offers a free recipe from Nanny... Enjoy!

LadyD Books: Apples

Apple Crisp

-- LadyD

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Summer Reading: Dive Into A Good Book

Libraries almost invariably contain long aisle...Image via Wikipedia
While my summer schedule of teaching piano is changing this week due to summer camps and swim lessons, I got to thinking about always having a good book with you... you know, just in case you have some free time to enjoy reading and diving into a good book.

Awhile back I discovered a great article called How to read a children's book to children: Summer reading tips for younger children by Shari Transue of the San Diego
examiner. You will want to stop by and take a look at her free summer reading tips!

Shari, an examiner from Allentown, mentions schools and libraries posting book lists for your children. I am always popping into our local library and catching up with some of my piano students helping out in the library this summer. In fact, one of my students has self-published an exciting mystery book through I'm so proud of him!

"Every time we read to a child we condition the child to associate books with pleasure." - Jim Trelease READ ALOUD HANDBOOK

** Summer Reading Tips

* Previewing the books - Just like any movie, you should preview or read your younger child's books to make sure you approve of the content. Just because it is in the children's section does not mean that all content is appropriate or accepted by all parents. So prepare yourself for the reading.

* Allow your children to choose - Since you are previewing, give your child some choices of selected titles. Preview 5 - 6 books at the library or bookstore with your children and give them 2-3 choices from your selected options.

* Be Creative and Animated - Be expressive when you read to your children. They love it. They want you to be silly and happy, so get into the book. Go to your imagination and be a kid again. Your child will remember the story and you will make a great connection with your child.

* Ask your child questions - Ask your child during the story and after the story to be sure they understood what was read to them. Ask them to tell you about the story.

These are great tips shared from Shari's article. Who is Shari, you ask?

Shari Transue resides in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. She’s a Keystone College graduate, holding Bachelors in Communication Arts & Humanities and Education certification. Formerly a preschool teacher, Shari loves collaborating with parents, teachers, and reading children's literature.

Great job Shari! Thanks for listing tips on a subject that I'm passionate about... encouraging reading!

* Related Topics:

* How To Raise A Reader

* Kids need To Read Calendar Project

-- LadyD

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Miss L'eau by T.Katz- Book Review

Miss L'eau: Review l LadyD Books

Miss L'eau, teaching children how they can be a part of an environmental action movement, is one of the best paperbacks written for pre-teens. The book begins by describing a typical elementary school teacher, Miss L'eau. She's short, has her hair in a bun and wears glasses. Does she remind you of anyone perhaps? Well, I am thinking of my 6th-grade teacher who would always make good eye contact with us, especially if we became a bit unruly! Now with Miss L'eau, there is something extra -ordinary about her eyes!

Then we meet James and David who are two elementary school boys that live near the ocean and often hang out at an abandoned lighthouse. T. Katz is a brilliant writer who takes us on an adventure with the love of the sea, the building of a student- teacher relationship and finally a changed perspective of inspiration and hope for a better cleaned-up environment.

LadyD Books: Oceanside Pier

If you're looking for a bit of a mystery, then you will love joining with David in discovering the first clue, her eyes. Miss L'eau's eyes are as blue-green as the sea, and if you could get up the courage to stare right into them, you'd swear you could see angel fish, sea plants, coral beds, and even sea anemones.

You will find adventure in this easy to read paperback book. T.Katz visually paints a picture of Miss L'eau pedaling furiously towards the sea. James is shocked when she deliberately goes into the ocean and does not surface. If you love the ocean as much as I, then you'll find yourself taking deeper breaths continually and smelling the salty air while eagerly turning pages. It's very easy to finish the book in one sitting.

The author concludes with a passionate and encouraging note to one of her students, "I've seen great things in your science reports and ultimately, I know that your heart will point your mind in the right direction." For more information regarding T.Katz,
please visit her website:

The heart of this fun loving book is that children can change the world and protect our planet!

Book Trailer!

What I like: educational and inspirational love of the sea!
What I dislike: nothing
Rating: 5 + stars... excellent
Age Appeal: 8 - 11

* Product Description

James and David had always known there was something unusual about their elementary school teacher, Miss L'eau, but they could never quite put their finger on it. David discovered their first clue, was in her eyes-- Miss L'eau had the most unusual pair of eyes! She wore glasses when she taught, but when she had to deal with just you--she would lean over your desk, move her glasses down to the end of her nose . . . and there they were! Miss L'eau's eyes were as blue-green as the sea, and if you could get up the courage to stare right into them, you'd swear you could see angel fish, sea plants, coral beds, and even sea anemones! It was the most wonderful, yet frightening, experience when she would talk to you face-to-face. The boys lived their whole lives near the ocean but never thought about how it was important or how vulnerable it might be. Through Miss L'eau and her unexpected relationship with the sea, they develop a love and understanding of the ocean and become involved with the nearby aquarium and organize an annual clean-up.

Product Details

* Perfect Paperback: 100 pages
* Publisher: Windstorm Creative; 1st edition (June 1, 2008)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1590924045
* ISBN-13: 978-1590924044

This wonderful author is also a blogger!

* Helpful links listed by T.Katz:


I highly recommend Miss L'eau to you. If you love mermaids and the wonders of the sea then this is the book for you... truly a very educational and inspirational book. And if one of your goals, a very important goal is to preserve and protect our planet, then pick up a copy of this great paperback book today!

Miss L'eau

Happy summer reading,
~ LadyD

P.S. Perhaps you are planning to visit our beautiful city, San Diego, and Sea World is on your list of summer tour spots. Why not bring along a copy of the book to read for the kids? Plus, you'll want to visit Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. It is one of the oldest and largest centers for ocean and earth science research, graduate training, and public service in the world.

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Children's Story: The I Believe Bunny Review

The I Believe Bunny
Thank you, Thomas Nelson, for sending me "I Believe Bunny" by Tish Rabe. What a delightful new series that teaches children how to put their faith into action. I absolutely love this book! In my opinion, it is one of the best well-written and illustrated picture books... so adorable and inspirational. I would say the book is for ages 4-8 but toddlers will enjoy it, too. Well, to be honest with you, I did read it to my husband and we both agreed that this book is a winner. As Grandparents, we're looking forward to reading more books by Tish to our Grandchildren!

* Book Description

Children will identify with Bunny and learn along with him that God is always there to help. Prayer works! Little Mouse is in trouble and Bunny is the only one nearby to help her. But, Bunny is too small. He has to set aside his own fear and trust in God. By putting his faith into action, Bunny is able to help Little Mouse and save the day.

Not only does this precious book teach the importance of calling on God for our every need, it helps children remember to be thankful for God's work in their lives.

This book first starts with a quote from scripture, one of my favorites, Philippians 4:13 "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." Then we are introduced to the main character Bunny who is so thankful to live in a flower-filled glen. Like so many of us, he wishes it would stop raining, he says, "I think that's enough!"

The I Believe Bunny is an easy read due to the author's gift of rhyme. What an excellent example of rhyme found in this wonderful picture book.

* Meet Tish Rabe

Tish Rabe is a children’s book author who has written over 80 children’s books including titles for Sesame Street, Blue’s Clue’s, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Bear in the Big Blue House and Curious George. In 1996, she began writing The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library, a new series of non-fiction science books for early readers.

* Visit her website for more information:

* I love Tish Rabe! Why? See for yourself!
As you know, I am passionate about reading and passionate about music education.

Tish Rabe reading to elementary school children to get them excited about reading and writing.

* Meet Frank Endersby, the illustrator

Frank Endersby's illustrations are an excellent companion to the text, showing us a cute bunny and his friends in gentle hues. Each of his illustrations shows action, pulling young readers right into the story.

Visit his website:

* Overall Rating:
5+ stars! Order your copy today! I highly recommend this book to you...
I love this book!

Publisher Info: Thomas Nelson, 2009; ISBN: 1400314763; hardback, $9.99

I Believe Bunny: I Believe Bunny Series

-- LadyD

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Children's Book List for Special Needs Children

Autism Awareness Ribbon, Colorful Puzzle Piece...Image by BL1961 via Flickr
I came across this great article "Autism awareness children’s book list" in the San Diego Examiner by Kathleen Tehrani:

I was interested in what Kathleen discovered in her search and journey for celebrating our differences. Kathleen had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Zurn of Primrose Schools.

Dr. Mary Zurn goes on to say, "I always typically fall back to children’s literature. I would find books to read and I think children view books as magical and they transport them to other experiences. What you can do is pick up a book that explains, ‘This child is in the process of fitting in….now how can I help?’. And I think that’s a very important piece that I hope parents understand how important that is. The character development is so important. And our parents value this very much. Many of our parents are attracted to us for that character development piece of our curriculum. That’s a value that they have and they want their children to grow up to be caring people as well. And so we get a lot of support from that perspective."

* Just a Few of Dr. Zurn's Literature Recommendations:
The following books build character, opens minds to understanding

Waiting for Benjamin: A children's Book

Waiting For Benjamin: A Story about Autism

Playing by the Rules: A Story About Autism

Playing by the Rules: A Story about Autism

Ian's Walk

Ian's Walk: A Story About Autism

Some Kids Have Autism

Some Kids Have Autism (Understanding Differences)

Talking To Angels

Talking to Angels

I Love You Through and Through

I Love You Through And Through

* Zack the Prairie Dog

Follow the adventures of Zack and Cody in S. Charles Deckers heart-warming tale, Zack the Prairie Dog, and learn that being different, physically or within, always comes with qualities to embrace.

This seemingly simple tale has many layers to discover and will grow with your child. Autism awareness, prejudgment, accepting differences in self and others, overcoming fear and the power of faith and friendship are all blended in an exciting, easy to read children's story.

In Zack the Prairie Dog, you will see...

In heaven's eyes, we are all special.

-- LadyD

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