Wednesday, April 17, 2013

EARTH DAY Blog Tour: 4 Children's books by Stephanie Lisa Tara

The Earth Day Celebration blog tour is hosted by CBB Book Promotions
See the full tour schedule HERE

I'm celebrating Earth Day by reviewing four books by author Stephanie Lisa Tara, who writes picture books featuring animals and environmentally friendly messages. She has a unique verse style that is sweet and engaging. The best part is that I was able to share all of these books with my young children and include them in the review process. Along the way, they learned a little bit more about the animals that live in the world and ways to help keep them safe. 

I'll Follow The Moon
Written by Stephanie Lisa Tara
Illustrated by Lee Edward Fodi 

I'll Follow the Moon is the perfect way to introduce children to the hatching of sea turtles, who "follow the moon" back to the ocean. I like that the book is colorful and written in an easy flowing verse, while also being educational. This was my 3.5 year old daughter's favorite of the four books we read, and the story she requested the most. When I asked her what she liked about it she said "I like the baby turtle and the mommy turtle." My son (who's nearly 2) enjoyed pointing out the moon in every picture, and my daughter could recite the repeating lines by the end. The poetic words and large pictures are descriptive and very clearly illustrate the action of the story. They also prompted many questions about what was happening to the turtles as they fought their way out of the sand to the ocean. The picture my daughter liked the most was the illustration of the eye poking through the egg. It made her laugh. When we visited the beach later in the week, we even talked about how turtles lay their eggs in the sand - though, they don't do that near where we live. 

Snowy White World to Save
Story by Stephanie Lisa Tara
Illustrations by Alex Walton 

Snowy White World to Save introduces children to the concept of global warming and the affect it has on polar bears. Those are difficult ideas to explain to my 3.5 and almost 2 year old, but this book is a great start to the process. My kids especially loved to seeing the animals throughout this book and finding and naming them on every page. We also talked about how the bears were having trouble finding food because it wasn't cold enough outside. What I like about this story is that it is one that will grow with my children. As they age I will be able to use it to talk about larger environmental issues, but for now, I'm glad they know that there are animals living and searching for food in the far north. Tara's verse style coupled with the clear illustrations of animals in their natural habitats, made the book fun and easy to understand.  

Gwynne Fair & Shining
Story by Stephanie Lisa Tara
Illustrations by Lee Edward Fodi

Gwynne Fair & Shining is the story of a young maid who dreams big. It features magic, music, a fairie-queen and an angry knight. This is the first book that my daughter requested of the four, mostly because it has a picture of a girl on the cover, whom she decided was a princess. In fact, her favorite part was when the girl puts on the pretty dress and the necklace at the end (she's not into deeper meanings at this age). However, this ended up being her least requested book, partially because was difficult for her to understand what exactly was going on in the story. One of the reasons was the free-verse text was a little harder to understand when used to tell a fairytale. It also read the least smoothly of the four books. I tripped over my words a lot while reading it aloud, and even had difficulty myself understanding the taleGwynne Fair & Shining is a sweet story, but I would have preferred this one in prose, or a clearer verse. However, I hope that my daughter will enjoy this one more as she gets older.

Little Library Mouse
Written by Stephanie Lisa Tara
Illustrated by Alex Walton

Little Library Mouse is about the magic of books to feed your imagination. Each page featured a new adventure for the little mouse, who explores the library after it has closed for the day. I loved the way that Stephanie Lisa Tara's verse style flowed in this book, as well as how well the illustrations describe the mouse's adventures. Each new page was colorful and filled with lots of details that were a delight to explore. My daughter also had a lot of fun reading this book. When I asked her what was her favorite part, she said "the chef mouse and the cupcake." However when we flipped through the book again to find the picture, she basically pointed to every other image and said she liked that one too. Little Library Mouse is a story that we will enjoy over and over again.


About Stephanie Lisa Tara:

I've always believed that magic hides in special places. As a child, people would often stare at my bright red hair, which was very, very bright indeed.
Unfortunately, I developed a bad habit of making up rhymes about all of them, and they soon became funny characters. I didn't have much time to think about being different; fanciful lyricisms danced in my head, and no one was safe!
Since then, I've come to believe that storytelling has the power to inspire a deep love of language and learning. Words tripping off the tongue in somersaults that stick to your thoughts like

taffy-- those are the things that stay forever in the mind.
I've lived in many special places: on a farm, in a city skyscraper, on a tropical beach, and in the beautiful country of France. Now I live in northern California, between the redwood forests and the sea. Even though I'm an adult, I'm still as silly as ever.
Many nice words have been used to describe my books, such as fun, engaging, delightful, and whimsical. Some folks say that I deliver timeless messages of love for kids and parents to share again and again; this makes me very happy. I hope that you'll enjoy my stories, too. Captivating children with language is something that I believe in, and I strive to live my life with this always.
--Stephanie Lisa Tara

Cause pages (each supports a book's vision):

Stephanie Lisa Tara's Personal Sites:



  1. My son loved the repeating lines in I'll Follow the Moon too. Such a sweet book. I'm glad your kids liked it too. :)

  2. I really like how you explained Snowy White World to Save is one to start conversations with. That's how I felt too. My daughter said that was so sad and from then on was more careful about turning off lights, etc. We talked about lots of other things we can do that will help our environment and she took it more seriously than 'it costs money' which she doesn't care about at all.
    Wonderful reviews! Thanks so much for being a part of the tour and sharing your thoughts!

  3. I love the sound of these books and I think they are fantastic topics for children to be introduced to.

    I especially love that you were able to share them with your kids ;)

  4. These books look so cute. Thanks so much for sharing them with us & for the giveaway.

  5. My 6 month old has worn both the large and the one size since he was 3 months old. My almost 3 year old daughter can fit the large which is great to know because my son should be able to wear these till he's about 3! They absorb great and that yellow/green new baby poop washes out great.
    honest diaper reviews


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