Book Review: The Porch Dream by Tiffany Ann Laufer

The Porch Dream
Tiffany Ann Laufer, the author, and illustrator of The Porch Dream contacted LadyD Books asking for a  review of her children's book from publisher Bellaboo Books. I am so glad I said "Yes" because I love this book and my 2-year-old grandson does, too! Thank you Tiff for your generosity in enclosing gorgeous, colorful postcards, bookmarks and the opportunity to review a delightful picture book.

My Review:

Can you imagine a dog, a very special Bella dog,  driving and riding on all types of trucks,  a scooter, fire truck and a lawn mower?! Tiff Laufer has written a fun-loving picture book in lyrical verse about the main character, a dog named Bellaboo, who dreams of saving the day "in various ways", along with Colby, the other dog, and friends.

The Porch Dream teaches and encourages children to dream, whether big or small and to say please for sweet desserts and veggies, too. Bella's fantasy journey of recycling adventures grows more beautiful with every page of dynamic illustrations, so colorful and bright by this very talented author-illustrator. Tiffany Ann Laufer adds a fresh approach to writing and illustrating children's picture books.

My favorite part of the book is that my sweet grandson and I love spending quality time together reading about this cool dog who saves a cat in full fireman's attire. My grandson LOVES animals, trucks, and food. Each special drawing teaches him a new lesson and experience about himself and his surroundings. Tiff has a universal win-win with this wonderful book for kids. A great bedtime book as well. A fine addition for home and school libraries.

The Porch Dreaming dog, I give it 5 stars! I look forward to reading more from Tiff Laufer.

The Porch Dream (Bellaboo and Friends)

Here are a few facts about the book and author:

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Bellaboo Books; 1ST edition (October 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982008821
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982008829

About The Author:

The Acorn  1st place Winner Twin Rivers Film Festival

 Tiffany Ann Laufer met her muse and the subject of her children's books at the Cleveland Animal Protective League. Tiffany went back three times and each time Bellafonte Dixie Daisy dog was there waiting for her. Some things are meant to be.

Tiffany attributes her love of art and drawing to spending long days at the Cleveland Museum of Art as a child.
Tiffany also holds an MFA in cinematography from The American Film Institute and has shot numerous short films, music videos and the feature film "Christmas at Maxwell's". Tiffany is also a screenwriter, her script 'Emily & the Blue Heron' was a semi-finalist in the Sundance Writer's Lab. Her latest film, The Acorn Penny is just now entering the film festival circuit. ( The Acorn Penny is Bella dog's first film and Tiffany's first submission to the Sundance Film festival!

When Bella dog takes a break from acting she loves to read (even to just look at the pictures), chase squirrels and lounge on the porch. Tiffany likes to eat pesto, learn Italian and draw polar bears.

For more information about  TIFF LAUFER, visit her site (

The Porch Dream | Book Trailer by author Tiffany Ann Laufer 

 What Other's Say:

"The Porch Dream," a popular seller at the Buckeye Book Fair this year, is a dog's (named Bellaboo, Bella for short) poetic dream of saving the earth through recycling adventures. A wonderful fantasy of recycling adventures and dreams of trash-rescuing permeate "The Porch Dream" in all its wonderful colored illustrations. Just how Bella imagines ways to save the world from "packages, parcels and postage, deliveries, drop-offs and more, but dreaming of sheep she also adored..." and including "Egg beaters, buttons, bananas and lamps, cameras, compost, carrots and stamps. Our recycling adventures have made us champs!" Bella's porch dream grows ever more fantastic, and ends with a beautiful bubble vision, Bella awakening to the day on the porch with her friend Colby to find that once again they were indeed saving the day "in various ways." "The Porch Dream" is faithful to its promise and takes dreaming images to a new level in its lovely illustrations and poetry.
Midwest Book Review

Happy Reading and Dreaming Big,
(Pleasant dreams to one and all)

-- LadyD

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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Quote It: Confucius

Welcome to Quote It!

Please feel free to grab the button and create your own post.

Add as many quotes as you wish, from whom ever you wish. It can even be lyrics to a song.
Just tell us who it is. Anonymous welcome too.

And please leave your link.

Here is LadyD Books quote to share with you this Saturday:

 Here are a few blogs that are participating in the Quote It Saturday meme:

Freda's Voice

The Road To Here

Tales of Whimsy

Have a great weekend,
-- LadyD

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

Friday 56: Papa, My Father

LadyD Books is participating in the 4th week of The Friday 56 meme hosted by:


*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it here.

It's that simple.

 "Still the dictionary definition of the word (philanthropy) is simply, one who shows goodwill toward all, whose actions and efforts are directed toward promoting human welfare."
From the book, Papa, My Father by Leo Buscaglia

I just love the entire 56 page of this wonderful book but here's a little bit more that I just had to share with you...

"No other father in the neighborhood went door to door with zucchini or gave wine to the teacher. Why couldn't my papa be like other father's and just not be so visible? Why did he have to be so prominent in the neighborhood?"
Happy Friday!
-- LadyD

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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Wordless Wednesday: Central Valley

 Wordless Wednesday: Central Valley

LadyD Books: Central Valley

Central Valley: LadyD Books

Wordful Wednesday:

I just returned from The Great Central Valley: California Heartland. When I think of farming, I am amazed at the vastness of this place. I'm thankful for all the country farmers everywhere!

The Central Valley (also known as The Valley) is a large, flat valley that dominates the central portion of the U.S. state of California. It is home to many of California's most productive agricultural efforts. The valley stretches approximately 450 miles (720 km) from northwest to southeast inland and parallel to the Pacific Ocean coast. Its northern half is referred to as the Sacramento Valley, and its southern half as the San Joaquin Valley. The Sacramento valley receives about 20 inches of rain annually, but the San Joaquin is very dry, often semi-arid desert in many places. The two halves meet at the huge Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, a large expanse of interconnected canals, streambeds, sloughs, marshes and peat islands. The Central Valley encompasses around 42,000 square miles (110,000 km2), making it roughly the same size as the state of Tennessee.
Central Valley wikipedia

Happy Thanksgiving!

-- LadyD

Visit these other blogs participating in this Wednesday meme.

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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Carl's Birthday by Alexandra Day: The Gentle Rottweiler

Carl's Birthday

Carl's Birthday by Alexandra Day is on the list of my Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge. So, my grandson and I sat a spell to begin a look at this cute board book. We sat and talked a bit, discussing each page in a very fun way. I think all of the mommies can relate to this theme of preparing for their child's birthday party and then the unfolding of descriptive events that transpire with the prep of a party to the little-unexpected things that come up that take creative solutions to solve.

Here's some information about the book.

Product Details

From Booklist

Ages 2-7. Beloved from many previous escapades, Carl, the gentle rottweiler, and Madeline, the mischievous toddler, are sent to nap at the neighbors' while Mom prepares for the surprise birthday party. But the two buddies sneak back home through Carl's doggie door and watch undetected as Mom tidies and decorates the house. Of course, Carl and Madeline must add their own touches to the preparations, flavoring the punch, hiding and even undoing the carefully wrapped presents, and sampling the beautiful birthday cake, though Carl thoughtfully camouflages the gouge Madeline's hand makes in the frosting. As the guests arrive, Carl, with Madeline riding him bareback, gallops back to the neighbors' house, where the pair are found stretched out side by side, feigning sleep. Characteristically, Day uses brief text only at the beginning and at the end of the story, allowing her luxuriantly colored, expressively detailed paintings to convey the humor and joyful companionship of Carl and Madeline's latest adventure. Ellen Mandel

two Rottweiler dogs
Free Photo
bethlovesbooks posted an excellent review:

"All of the Carl books are thoughtful and creative, though this one is my favorite so far. I love making up the words for each of the books. The format definitely encourages analysis and discussion in a fun way. Little ones must look carefully and closely at each picture and think about how they choose to interpret the events. This book would make a timely birthday gift as well. The basic premise is that "Mom" sends Carl and the baby girl (now a toddler) next door for their naps so that she can prepare for Carl's surprise birthday party. Of course, mischievous Carl and the baby sneak back and get into everything before the party.
This story is full of sweet little details (Carl receives a toy sized Rottweiler which they can't seem to get rewrapped quite right. Carl takes a bite out the cake and disguises it with a carefully placed flower. Somehow, all the toys that Mom picked up end up back out and under the party table....what Mom can't relate to that one!)
But most of all, I appreciate the free-spirited theme that underpins these books. For me, they are a reminder that all of the details that seem so critical are really just a means to a bigger end. In the end, it's the spirit and joy of childhood that is important, a spirit that Carl and that little girl epitomize without saying a single word."

rottweiler puppy
Free Photo

5 stars! By the way, I love this Carl book and kids do, too ... especially the ending. The illustrations are gorgeous. Do you have a Carl collection in your library? I think it's a wonderful way to introduce children to the love of animals and pets. A long time ago, our family raised purebred Australian puppies. They are very intelligent and beautiful dogs. I love reading books about animals; how about you?

~ LadyD 

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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Quote It: Travel and Family

 A fun meme you might enjoy on Saturday has begun at Freda's Voice.

Add as many quotes as you wish, from whom ever you wish. It can even be lyrics to a song.
Just tell us who it is. Anonymous welcome too.
And please leave your link.

Here are some of my quotes.

"The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page." -- St. Augustine

"I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them." -- Mark Twain 

"You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them." -- Desmond Tutu

"I feel about airplanes the way I feel about diets. It seems to me that they are wonderful things for other people to go on." -- Jean Kerr

"Families are like fudge - mostly sweet with a few nuts." -- Author Unknown


-- LadyD

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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Friday 56: Classic Fairy Tales

Visit our host for The Friday 56,  Freda's Voice.  After your visit, maybe I'll see you again back here. Congratulations Freda!
*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it here.
I grew up hearing "Once upon a time"... How about you? I loved hearing a good story end with, "And they all lived happily ever after." Oh the joy of folklore, fantasy and fairy tale. Awh yes, let's pretend and imagine, shall we?

 Here is my Friday 56:
"Gretel ran straight to Hansel , opened the door  to the little shed, and shouted: "Hansel we're saved! The old witch is dead."
-- The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales by Maria Tatar
Classic Fairy Tales

Product Details

First Sentence

For many of us childhood books are sacred objects.
The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales

-- LadyD 
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Wordless Wednesday: My Friend Flicka by Banner

 Wordless Wednesday at LadyD Books
Horses: LadyD Books
Horses Grazing: LadyD Books
Two Horses: LadyD Books
Many Horses: LadyD Books

Wordful Wednesday

I took some photos of these beautiful horses at a nearby ranch. I got to thinking about some of the movies I've seen about horses and I found a list online to share with you. Please feel free to add to the list in your comments below and let me know what you thought of. Aren't they majestic animals?!
Movies about heroic horses constitute a popular film genre. Some examples include:

Horses in literature (Books on Horses)

 Some of the books about horses would make great gifts for horse lovers!
Horses in Myths

Horses in TelevisionHorses in AnimationHorses in ComicHorses in SongHorses in Video GamesHorses in Toys

You get the idea...  and if you have a minute, visit some other cool blogs who like Wordless/Wordful Wednesday:



-- LadyD

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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Book Tour and Review of The Little Shepherd by Cheryl Malandrinos

LadyD Books is invited to join The Little Shepherd Virtual Book Tour.  Congratulations to Cheryl Malandrinos on her first children's book... LOVED it!
The Little Shepherd

Title: Little Shepherd

Written by: Cheryl C. Malandrinos
Illustrated by: Eugene Ruble
Ages: 4 – 8
Publisher: Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc.
PRINT ISBN: 978-1-61633-085-9;  1616330856
eBook ISBN: 978-1-61633-086-6;  1616330864
Published: August 2010
Guardian Angel Publishing books are rated for children of all ages (0-12)


In the hills outside Bethlehem, Obed guards his first flock of sheep. When the angels appear to tell of the Savior’s birth, he is hesitant to follow the others to see the new King. When Obed returns to his sheep, he realizes it is a night of miracles.

Book Trailer:

My Review:

Can you imagine living with your family outside Bethlehem during Bible times and having the responsibility given to you by your father with instructions to guard a flock of sheep from dangerous wolves that might try to harm the sheep when you were only five? 

Now probably that was a common thing back then for the youngest to be told, “Now go out and watch the sheep.” So here is where we meet the main character Obed from the author, Cheryl Malandrinos’ first  picture book, Little Shepherd.
This sweet message of faith is written with beautiful prose and descriptive dialogue that draws the reader right to that special time of the birth of Jesus in the stable surrounded by Mary and Joseph where Obed witnesses a tender moment of loving parents guarding their new born baby just like Obed watches over his sheep.

Great colorful illustrations by Eugene E. Ruble invite us into the fields of long ago with starlit skies filled with brilliant light announcing the good news “Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

If you have ever left your house to go on a trip and wondered to yourself if everything was safe back at home, then you will want to read this great book to find out how Obed felt, from a child’s perspective, leaving his flock behind to go on a journey and discovering what it means to trust, to not be afraid and experience a miracle when he returns home.

Cheryl’s writing is refreshing and inspiring.  I look forward to reading more from this beautiful, talented author. I love this book. 5 stars.
Little Shepherd is a great gift-giving book, especially for Christmas and a great addition to any home and Sunday School library. I enjoyed reading this tender story to my grandson and I thank Cheryl for the opportunity to provide this review.

Little Shepherd

About the Author:

Cheryl Malandrinos is a freelance writer and editor. A regular contributor for Writer2Writer, her articles focus on increasing productivity through time management and organization. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.
Cheryl is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book, a book reviewer, and blogger. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book. Cheryl Malandrinos lives in Western Massachusetts with her husband and two young daughters. She also has a son who is married.
Visit Cheryl online at
Stop by the following blogs:
The Book Connection
Book Tours and More
The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

About the illustrator

Eugene E. Ruble’s 40 years of art encompasses: graphic art and design, freelance illustration, and cartooning, working with publishers, corporations and individual clients. Ruble teaches caricature art, cartooning, painting and basic drawing classes at St. Louis community centers, public schools, YMCAs and colleges. He also illustrates children’s books. Look for his books at Guardian Angel Publishing. Eugene is a 30-year Distinguished Member of the St. Louis Artists’ Guild.

Cheryl Malandrinos Giveaways:

Giveaway #1 is for those readers who comment on Cheryl’s blog stops during the tour. One comment per person, per blog, through the length of the tour. Giveaway #2 is for those who purchase a copy of Little Shepherd between its release date of August 21, 2010 and the end of the virtual book tour on December 17, 2010. Proof of purchase must be submitted to Cheryl via email at cg20pm00(at)gmail(dot)com. Please substitute the appropriate symbols for the (at) and (dot). Those are zeroes in the address, not Os. If you prefer to mail or fax a copy of your proof of purchase, please contact Cheryl via email for that information.
Additional rules and guidelines can be found at the end of this post.

GIVEAWAY #1 (for people who comment during the VBT)
An autographed copy of Little Shepherd
Angel figurine printed with the Serenity Prayer
A Little Shepherd sticky note pad
Little Drummer Boy 2010 Hallmark Keepsake Ornament
Gift of Peace 2003 Hallmark Keepsake Ornament
Retail value of Giveaway #1 is $65 (rounded to nearest dollar)

GIVEAWAY #2 (for those who purchase a copy of Little Shepherd between August 21, 2010 and December 17, 2010)

A ”Sparkling Angel” scented jar candle from Yankee Candle
An angel gold and silver lid topper for the candle
An angel tea light holder from Yankee Candle
A Little Shepherd sticky note pad
A Jim Shore Nativity Star hanging ornament
A Jim Shore Holy Family hanging ornament
A $25 gift card

Retail Value of Giveaway #2 is $97 (rounded to the nearest dollar)
Here are the rules and guidelines for these giveaways:

1) For Giveaway #1 you must leave a comment on the hosting blog with a working email address for the author to contact you if you win.
2) For Giveaway #1 only the first comment with your working email address is used to determine eligibility (one comment, per blog).
3) You are eligible to win Giveaway #2 if you purchase a copy of Little Shepherd between August 21, 2010 and December 17, 2010 and provide the author with proof of purchase via email, mail, or fax prior to December 19, 2010. Little Shepherd is available at the Guardian Angel Publishing website, Amazon,, and at
4) All giveaway winners will be selected using
5) Prizes will be shipped via USPS with appropriate insurance. The author cannot guarantee receipt before December 25, 2010.
6) Author, blog hosts, and Pump Up Your Book are not responsible for lost or damaged goods.
7)  The same person cannot win both giveaways.
Although it is not a requirement for eligibility, Cheryl asks that you consider following the blogs who host her during her tour and also the Little Shepherd blog.
Good luck to all who enter!

-- LadyD 

“You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.” — C. S. Lewis

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