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Monday, July 1, 2024

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

Today, we have the pleasure of playing host to a stop along the current AWARENESS TOUR via The Children's Book Review that's featuring the latest work from author Kat Chen entitled PLAY OUTSIDE WITH ME. It's a part of a board book series all about playtime, creativity, sharing, and other things to help little readers get a great start in this world. My stop is shining the spotlight on a special GUEST POST from the author herself all about child led playtime, so if you're ready, let's kick things off with a little dash of bookish knowhow, and get to the juicy stuff! Don't forget to enter the tour wide giveaway before you jet off to the other sites participating in the tour for more bookish fun!

Kat Chen
Illustrated by
Lorraine Nam
Ages 1-3 | 24 Pages
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. In this second book, the outdoor playdate models balanced and shared play, creating a positive 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 ~~~

When the Kid Leads

... written by Kat Chen

I’ve seen lots of articles lately on the benefits of Child-Led play. They say filling your child up with tons of opportunities to make their own decisions makes them less likely to fight you when your word rules. Every kid will fight sometime, but if they get lots of safe opportunities to be the decider, then they’ll be more cooperative other times. The key here is that they choose, and you must follow. 

That’s not how I was raised. My mother was the decider in all things big and small, and I hated it. I hated it so much that I let my kids decide things way outside their appropriate age level and constantly took crap for it from my mother. Sandals in winter? What are you thinking? I was thinking that if her feet are cold, she’ll remember and wear socks next time we go to the grocery store. (Turns out sparkly sandals were appealing despite frozen toes. If I didn’t want my child to have frostbite, I had to get her sparkly winter shoes.)

This very argument sent me in search of fun ways where my child could win (tell me what to do) and I had to follow without her risking frostbite. Simon Says became popular (renamed to their name) and Follow the Leader. But I also let them pick things in their books. At first, they always picked what the character chose. Of course, Mickey would do that silly thing. They would, too! But over time, we began to rewrite books how they wanted.

That led me to my Play With Me book series. I wrote the choices straight into the book. How do you like popping bubbles? What do you like to draw with chalk? Talk about engagement! Every time I’ve read the books to a child, they’ve become very animated about what they like, what they want, and what they see. They get to choose, and I get a happy, engaged child.

We both win!

If you need a few bullet points on the benefits of Child-Led play as it pertains the Play With Me books, here are some great reasons:

  • Promotes Creativity and Imagination: By thinking of what they want to do, the child starts developing innovative thinking and problem-solving skills.

  • Enhances Cognitive Skills:  It takes practice to figure out how to choose, even if it’s as simple as picking which playground game is the favorite. 

  • Fosters Independence:  The more a child makes their own decisions, the more confidence they’ll have and that leads to healthy independence.

  • Improves Social Skills: Children learn to interact and share with book characters as a healthy way to start learning that in real life  

  • Supports Language Development: Kids develop language in a question/answer format. What do you see? I see a squirrel! And that’s the basis of the Play With Me series.

  • Enhances Focus and Attention: By interacting in a fun, play format, children strengthen their focus and broaden their attention span.

  • Encourages Lifelong Learning: Book that engage children set the foundation for exploration, curiosity, and education.

Kat Chen is a kid at heart. Her debut board book, PLAY WITH ME, was an instant success garnering several awards including the prestigious Literary Titan Award. A USA Today and Amazon bestseller of books for grownups, she recently became a grateful, gleeful grandmother giving her an instant audience to test her kid lit. “Nothing sparks my imagination as much as playing with a one-year-old. Especially since I don’t have to worry about diapers, nutrition, or sleep schedules. I get to do the fun stuff.” By that, she means conversation, crayons, and crawling all over the playroom. Then she’s the one who needs a nap whether or not the toddler does. Find out more at .



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 for a chance to win an exciting prize pack, including a signed copy of Play Outside 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, June 11, 2024
Book Review of Play Outside with Me

Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Instagram Post about Play Outside with Me

Thursday, June 13, 2024
Instagram Post about Play Outside with Me

Friday, June 14, 2024
Book Review of Play Outside with Me

Monday, June 17, 2024
Book Review of Play Outside with Me

Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Book Spotlight for Play Outside with Me

Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Book Review of Play Outside with Me

Thursday, June 20, 2024
Book Review of Play Outside with Me

Friday, June 21, 2024
Instagram Post about Play Outside with Me

Monday, June 24, 2024
Guest Post about Play Outside with Me

Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Author Interview with Kat Chen

Wednesday, June 26, 2024
Book Review of Play Outside with Me

Thursday, June 27, 2024
Instagram Post about Play Outside with Me

Monday, July 1, 2024
Guest Post about Play Outside with Me

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

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