Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...

Monday, April 22, 2024

AWARENESS TOUR: Play with Me by Kat Chen, Illustrated by Lorraine Nam - GUEST POST + GIVEAWAY!

Kick your Monday off right with an AWARENESS TOUR starring a adorable Board Book perfect for little ones just learning the ways of playtime, friendship, and balancing time!  KEEP READING for a peek inside, and then stay focused because author Kat Chen is sharing a very special GUEST POST with us today all about how Kids Change Everything that you won't want to miss!  After all is said and done, be sure to enter the giveaway before you whisk off to the other sites participating in The Children's Book Review tour!

Kat Chen
Illustrated by
Lorraine Nam
Rise x Penguin Workshop

About the book...

This board book series invites young readers to take part in a playdate activity of their choice, thereby empowering them with autonomy and validation. The picnic playdate models balanced and shared play, creating a positive experience that will provide readers with a reference for what caring and considered friendship looks like. Many toddlers and preschoolers consistently ask for someone to play with them, and this book provides just that for the quieter moments of the day. Simple language and gentle questions will help children develop their social skills by practicing conversations, all while engaging them in fun and familiar topics.


***   GUEST POST   ***

 Kids Change Everything Author Kat Chen

I was never a doting mother. I certainly loved my kids and did my best to provide a loving home for them. And, as far as I can tell, they’ve grown up to be happy, contributing members of society. But I had children because that’s what society—and most especially my mother—told me I should. I learned how to cook (badly), went to endless basketball and volleyball events, and drove car pool, all while breaking into the adult romance market as a novelist.

Yay me! Yay fulfilling career! And yay for healthy, happy children who grow up and move out.

And then my eldest daughter had my first grandchild.

It was a difficult pregnancy that resulted in a premature baby. Thankfully, Ellison is an unstoppable, vibrant, happy child as is her younger sister. And I’ve discovered that I really love my grandkids.

I mean really, really, really love them. Like I never did with my own children. Back then there was too much to do, too much responsibility, too much of everything for me to enjoy my kids. Now? I can play with the kids until I drop, and then drop them with their mother. Cue long nap, relaxing evening, and a full night of sleep.

Never had that as a mother. And I never had the drive to write books that help parents and kids interact. Overnight, I went from a novelist focused on how couples fall in love to someone who speaks in very simple sentences. Instead of devouring my favorite romance novels, I’m suddenly studying how picture books are created and how they fill very specific needs in a child’s growing awareness. Then I sit in my office and wonder how to write a story that makes kids smile.

Talk about a complete change of career! While my closest writer friends are expanding into film and television, I spend my time at the library reading dozens of picture books. I’ve gone low-tech, but I’m hooked. And studying picture books is how I fill my time away from my grandchildren who live many states away.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned in my studies.

  1. Kids love questions. What cookie do you want? Do you like bananas? Do you see something special in the sky? Not only is this core to language development, it also gets them thinking about themselves and the world. It doesn’t have to be deep. In fact, at the beginning it should be very simple. What sock do you want? The green ones?

  2. Picture books cover a wide variety of topics and not just simple things. In addition to fun stories about how life can go right or wrong, picture books include non-fiction, emotional development, gorgeous art, and fables both old and new. Wander through the kids section of your local library or book store. You’ll be surprised by what you see.

  3. Novelty books aren’t just lift-the-flap books anymore. There are pop dots, finger puppets, counting beads, and of course all those electronic noise makers. It’s another way kids interact with what they’re reading. They have five senses, and kids want to use them all.

  4. Play. Play. Play. Kids and adults learn the best when they play. Find the fun in the books. Even if it’s a serious book, the time with your child should be fun. Talk about what you see, what you read, and laugh about it. That’s the way to make books and your life happy.

Now you know my new philosophy in life. Play! Have fun! Because when I approach life as a kid, everything becomes a new toy. And a new career!


About the author...

Kat Chen is the author of several bestselling contemporary and historical romance books. She also serves on the advisory board for Books for Newborns.

After becoming a grandmother and spending most of her free time helping with “the fun stuff”—conversations, crayons, and crawling—she was inspired to delve into children’s books and help kids master the art of simple conversation through shared play.

Learn more about Kat and her work at

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About the illustrator...

Lorraine Nam is an illustrator based in Brooklyn, New York. She was born in Philadelphia and spent her childhood drawing pictures and folding origami to pass the time at her parents’ jewelry store. She now spends her days combining those two loves to create her illustrations.

She is the illustrator of the picture book biography on Neil deGrasse Tyson, Look Up With Me, and the upcoming Wei Skates On, by Olympic Gold Medalist Nathan Chen.

Learn more about Lorraine and her work at


---   GIVEAWAY   ---

Enter the giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of Play with Me and a $25 Amazon gift card!


Special thanks to Bianca at The Children's Book Review for the chance to bring this tour to you and to the author for sharing a bit of themselves with the guest post. (THANKS!) This post is sponsored by Kat Chen. The review and opinions expressed in this post are based on my personal view. For more information on this title, the author, the publisher, this tour, or those on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. Be sure to check out the rest of the stops on the tour for more bookish fun!


Tuesday, April 2, 2024
Book Review of Play with Me

Wednesday, April 3, 2024
Author Interview with Kat Chen

Thursday, April 4, 2024
Book Review of Play with Me

Friday, April 5, 2024
Book Review of Play with Me

Monday, April 8, 2024
Book Review of Play with Me

Tuesday, April 9, 2024
Book Review of Play with Me

Wednesday, April 10, 2024
Book Review of Play with Me

Thursday, April 11, 2024
Book Review of Play with Me

Friday, April 12, 2024
Book Review of Play with Me

Monday, April 15, 2024
Book Review of Play with Me

Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Book Review of Play with Me

Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Author Interview with Kat Chen

Thursday, April 18, 2024
Book Review of Play with Me

Friday, April 19, 2024
Instagram and TikTok Post

Monday, April 22, 2024
Guest Post

Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Play with Me Book Spotlight

Until next time, remember... if it looks good, READ IT!

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