I'm excited to be sharing The Lullaby Monsters today on For Little Readers. I was so excited when Cynthia Mackey shared her new book with me and I'm glad to be sharing it with you all now!

The Lullaby Monsters is a hybrid between Picture Book and Early Chapter Book. I'm new to that genre, but funnily enough, one of my critique partners was recently working on a similar style, so I looked into it a bit more. The Lullaby Monsters reminds me a lot of Charlie and Mouse. Fun story, great sibling dynamic, and a nice introduction to the chapter book style.

In Lullaby Monsters, big sister Kelsey is always there for little brother Thomas. She is brave, prepared, and lots of fun. But when her one fear confronts them, she'll have to put her bravery to the test to help Thomas get back to sleep. And she learns that the lullaby monsters aren't all that different from her own little brother.

There's a lot to love in this cute book, but the sibling dynamic is definitely my favorite part of the whole thing. My girls loved it and we talked about how they play together and take care of each other. We always like to do an activity with our new books, so this time we did a couple of things. First, in honor of Kelsey and Thomas, we had an indoor picnic/tea party and invited all of our favorite stuffed friends.

Later, we drew our own lullaby monsters and had a really great time with it.

Overall, this is a cute book with a simple text. It would be a great introduction to early chapter books while still hanging on to everything we love about picture books. While my 5 year old adores chapter books, my 2 year old won't sit through them. But even the 2 year old loved Lullaby Monsters as it had plenty of pictures and read more like a picture book than a chapter book. It's a great hybrid of the two styles.

You can find Cynthia Mackey online and purchase The Lullaby Monsters, available now:






I was absolutely thrilled to received a digital copy of Abi Cushman's debut book, Soaked and I'm even more excited to share it with all of you!

I mean, just look at that cover! From the bear's expression to the drippy, melty, ruined ice cream cone, the rabbit and the badger who clearly feel differently than bear... I just have to open this book and find out why!

From Penguin's website:

A Hula-Hooping moose, a badger with a bumblebee umbrella, a rabbit in a cashmere sweater, and a very wet bear star in this unpredictable and laugh-out-loud picture book in which having fun gets the best of a grumpy bear.

Sounds hilarious, right? Well it is! I think what I love very most about this book is the relationship between text and illustrations. Abi is an author-illustrator, and she does such an amazing job of getting the narrative to work so well with the images. So often, the joke really comes home through the picture, and I love that. My girls especially love that.

Soaked follows grumpy Bear who is NOT happy about being caught in a rain storm. Rabbit, Badger, and Moose all seem to take to the weather quickly and naturally, but Bear is tougher to be persuaded. After all, the rain ruins all of his favorite things! But after watching his friends enjoy the weather, Bear finally gives in and realizes that if can be fun to be SOAKED.

I adored this book! It's seriously so very timely. Our summer is NOT going as planned. A Disney and beach trip was canceled. A broken leg means that we can't even go swimming in our own pool. Covid means we aren't going out to the local trampoline parks, splash pads, community pools, bowling alleys, friends houses, and all the other fun things we would usually do in a summer. It hovers around 110 degrees here in AZ during July and August. So we are inside, at home, and alone. So like Bear, we could definitely have a bad attitude about the weather, our circumstances, or our ruined plans. But we've definitely tried to make the best of it all and fill our days with fun.

In honor of Bear, and because of our missed beach trip, we built an indoor sandcastle after reading Soaked and it was really fun! Do we build block castles all the time? Yes. But because this one was specifically a "sandcastle," it seemed even more fun! We built it and rebuilt it, pretended to lounge on the beach, and talked about how we could make the best out of our change of plans. We decided we could have a staycation right at home. And it made for a really great day!

Soaked is a great book to help kids look on the bright side and learn that fun doesn't have to be based on the weather (or lack of Covid ;) )

Abi has a Soaked activity packet available for download on her website here:

And make sure to follow Abi online, because I know we'll be seeing even more amazing books from her soon

Twitter: ​

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How are you coping with the changes in plans due to Covid? How are your kids coping? I hope you're all finding ways to dance (or hula hoop!) in the rain like our friend Bear.

I am seriously so incredibly blown away by the amazing response we've had to the Black Voices Matter fundraising event. Thank you to EVERYONE who has made this possible. Donors, purchasers, retweeters, you're all amazing. Because we've raised over $1200, we are SO very close to being able to send all of the applicants to the SCBWI Summer Spectacular.

So with that in mind, I reached out to the ever-amazing Kaitlyn Sanchez with my newest crazy idea. She is always such a gem and was happy to jump on board. I'm thrilled to announced the webinar "How to Stand Out in the Query Trenches" with Agent Kaitlyn Sanchez.

This will help us raise those last few funds to get all of these amazing Black Authors and Illustrators to the conference. AND it's an amazing chance to sit down with an agent and hear her tips and tricks for really making those queries shine. The Webinar will be 30 min of instruction followed by 30 min of Q&A. I'm trying hard to keep this webinar very affordable while still raising the funds we need to amplify Black voices. Tickets are $25. But because we know that funds are tight Kaitlyn came up with the amazing idea of providing 3 scholarships to the webinar. And like her wonderful clients Margaret Aitken and Heather Bell have said, "being a good writer shouldn't depend on your bank balance," I was instantly on board. Like Kaitlyn, I was able to complete my undergrad on scholarship. And my husband even attended law school on scholarship! So we have been so blessed by scholarship, I'm always happy to see chances to pay it forward. Thanks for the great idea, Kaitlyn! You can apply for one HERE.

We would love to fill the seats in this class. We hope you can join us and we are SO grateful again for your generosity in making this fundraiser such a huge success. You can register for the webinar here:

Can't wait to "meet" you all on July 14th via zoom!

Hi! I'm Kailei. Thanks for stopping by!

I believe in books. I believe in imagination.

I believe in getting silly, messy, and crazy with my kids. Thus, For Little Readers was born. 

I write picture books and hope to someday feature

my own work here. 

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