Saturday, January 10, 2015

Kid Konnection: When Otis Courted Mama & Giveaway

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week, I'm going to share with you a terrific  picture book by a two time National Book Award finalist and Newbery Honor winning author.

Summary: Apart from sticker burrs and sand fleas, Cardell’s life is mostly wonderful. He knows he’s loved through and through by his perfectly good mama and his perfectly good daddy. They live in different parts of the desert, but that’s okay—Cardell is mostly used to it. Then Otis comes calling, and Cardell feels a grrr form in his throat. Otis can’t make jalapeño flapjacks or play Zig-the-Zag anything like Cardell’s daddy. And so Cardell waits for Mama to say "Adiós, Otis." But what will happen if she doesn’t? -Houghton Mifflin Court

WHEN OTIS COURTED MAMA by Kathi Appelt and illustrated by Jill McElmurry is adorable and a wonderful picture book to help kids deal with a potentially difficult situation... having so share your a new step-parent.

Cardell is an adorable coyote whose life is pretty good. He has a good mom and a good dad, but they live in different parts of the dessert. Cardell is fine with that because he's used to spending time with both of them. However, when Otis comes to court his mama, Cardell isn't too thrilled and even feels a grrr form in his throat. Cardell's mom has dated a few other coyotes and always found a reason to kick them to the curb, so Cardell is confident that she will part ways with Otis sooner rather than later. But that's not the case....

In addition to courting Cardell's mom, Otis has also tried to show Cardell that he's a good coyote. He can't cook or play like Cardell's dad, but he can tell seem pretty fantastic stories. Eventually, Otis wins over Cardell and his mom!

I thought WHEN OTIS COURTED MAMA was positively adorable. Not only did the book have a wonderful message for kids, but it was also entertaining and had beautiful illustrations. This picture book aimed at kids four to eight has the perfect blend of humor and insight; and it's no wonder that WHEN OTIS COURTED MAMA has already received starred reviews from School Library Journal and Kirkus.

I also appreciate that there are both fun and educational materials that complement WHEN OTIS COURTED MAMA. There is a free, CCSS-aligned curriculum guide as well as a full-color door hanger and other fun downloadables. Check out Ms. Appelt's website at

In addition, there is this adorable trailer which shows how sweet this book is:

Follow sweet Cardell on all of the tour stops!

Mon, Jan 5                5 Minutes for Books
Tues, Jan 6                Cracking the Cover
Wed, Jan 7                Sharpread
Thurs, Jan 8              Unleashing Readers
Fri, Jan 9                   Once Upon a Story
Mon, Jan 12              Geo Librarian
Tues, Jan 13              The Late Bloomer's Book Blog AND NC Teacher Stuff
Wed, Jan 14              Teach Mentor Texts
Thurs, Jan 15            Kid Lit Frenzy
Fri, Jan 16                 The Fourth Musketeer

Thanks to the publishers for providing review copies of these books.

Giveaway alert: I have a copy of WHEN OTIS COURTED MAMA to share with one lucky reader. To enter, just fill out the form below before January 24th at 11:59 p.m. EST. I will randomly select and notify the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. addresses only. Good luck.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


bermudaonion said...

I'm sure a lot of kids could benefit from a book like that!

Susan Murray said...

I hope I win - we are dealing with exactly that situation right now! Participating in the link-up!

Beth F said...

How cute is that? Sound like it would be a great way to help start a conversation.

nishitak said...

That sounds really cute. I like the pictures too.

ChaosIsAFriendOfMine said...

Sounds cute and like it would be really helpful for kids going through that situation.