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Get Ready for Summer Reading with Race to the Beach + #BookGiveaway

This week, we're celebrating reading! In particular, we are celebrating reading to/encouraging children to read, and highlighting some fabulous children's books for National Children's Book Week, which is May 4-10, 2015. It makes me so happy that B, my four-year-old son, loves to read, and loves to be read to. Reading is something we do daily, and it's a big part of our sweet bedtime ritual. We're gearing up for summer reading, and we've been on the lookout for some fantastic books to read and enjoy together! B's Preschool Director encouraged us to read, read, read over the summer, and that's exactly what we plan to do!

I'd be lying if I said that B didn't get tired of reading the same books over and over again. When he was super small, there were certain books he wanted to read every night, but now, he wants a rotation of different books (understandable- I don't like to read the same thing over and over again, either!). Our friends at Little Bee Books invited us to check out one of their fun new children's book releases for the month of May, called Race to the Beach, by Anna Shuttlewood.

We could tell from the book cover that this was going to be a very fun and exciting read!

On your mark, get set, GO! Find out which zoo animal will win the race to the beach in this fun, sweet picture book.

The zoo animals are off for a summer's day on the beach! They catch the train to the seaside and have a wonderful time eating ice cream and building sandcastles. Then Seal suggests a race in the water, and Giraffe finds himself left out--he's the only zoo animal who can't swim! But when Crocodile gets into trouble, it's up to Giraffe to prove who is really the bravest animal of all.

Chocolate milk, comfy pillow, and a great book! Let's snuggle and read!

B was so excited to check out this adorable book. We're heading to the beach in a few weeks, so this is just the perfect story to get us into a beach frame of mind. We love reading fun stories about animals, and we could wait to see what these adorable new friends were about to get into!

The story begins at the zoo...

We often think about heading to the beach on a warm, summer day- there's pretty much no place we'd rather be! We loved that this story began with animals at the zoo, all wanting to escape to the beach for the day! We laughed over the animals making beach day preparations, like packing sunscreen and towels, grabbing sunglasses, and fun items just like ones we take along to the beach, like balls and kites!

The animals couldn't wait to get into the water... all but one, that is.

All of the animals gave poor giraffe a hard time about being the only animal at the beach who couldn't swim. He wanted to do what I like to do when at the beach- sit and relax, and read in the sun! All of the other animals were racing to jump into the water, but not Giraffe, and he did feel a bit left out. It wasn't long before there was a bit of a beach emergency, and it was Giraffe to the rescue!

Giraffe, running into the sea to save the alligator!

The zoo animals soon realized that there was nothing slow about Giraffe after all. He was racing into the water, as fast as he could, to help the Croc! What a great friend! B was a little bit worried about Croc, and yelled, 'Hurry, Giraffe! Help him!' I asked B if he was worried about Giraffe, since Giraffe couldn't swim? He simply replied, 'No. He's going to be very brave, just like me!'

Giraffe did indeed save the day, and the zoo animals crowned him the winner of the race to the beach!

What we really loved about this story, is the message that you don't have to follow the crowd- no matter what others say or do. Giraffe had a good head on his shoulders, and had no problem with the other animals doing their own thing. He also showed that it didn't bother him that the other animals weren't overly nice or kind, and he didn't let that stand in the way of of risking his own safety to help his friend.

The illustrations in Race to the Beach are very fun, and colorful. B could almost tell me the story, just by looking at the pictures, without having heard it first. This has quickly become a regular in our story time and bedtime story rotation. B absolutely loves the beginning- and loves to add in the items that the animals need to take to the beach. He also loves the brave Giraffe!

Race to the Beach is one of many books that we love, and is available from Little Bee Books! Little Bee Books is a children’s book publisher dedicated to making creative and fun books for busy little bees ages 0-12, based in NYC, and distributed by Simon & Shuster.

Want it? Get it!

To learn more about Little Bee Books, and this adorable story, Race to the Beach, head on over to Little Bee Books' website. Stanley Sock Monster Goes to the Moon is now available- look for it  You can stay up to date on Little Bee Books' latest and greatest, including news, events, and buzz surrounding their latest releases. You can also connect with Little Bee Books on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Want it? Win it!

One lucky reader will win their very own copy of Race to the Beach from Little Bee Books! Giveaway is open to US residents, 18 and older. Just use the RC entry form below to enter for your chance to win!

Special thanks to Little Bee Books for sharing this delightful story with us, and offering this wonderful giveaway for our readers.

Good luck!

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  1. My favorite animal is the otter. They's so cute.

  2. I have to bring sunscreen when I go out to the water. Being so pale I burn quickly!

  3. I like bringing a floatie of some kind, like a tube. So I can relax while being cool in the water.

  4. I'm a fan of elephants and monkeys, my little one really likes fish and dogs.

  5. Bringing a cooler with snacks and drinks is a must when going to the beach.

  6. Giraffes! Absolutely obsessed with giraffes! :)

  7. We always take sunscreen and water.

  8. Another must have item is a towel (or 2)!


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