Tuesday, November 26, 2013

30 Days of Potter GIVEAWAY WINNER!

Thank-you to everyone who participated in my 30 Days of Potter giveaway. It was so much fun coming up with the daily Beatrix Potter trivia questions and I was UNBELIEVABLY IMPRESSED with how much you all remember about her books! (Even if you were Googling the answers, you still came up with them really, really fast).


I took all of the correct answers from blog comments, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus (there were none from Google Plus...does anyone really use it? I know I barely do) and wrote down the names on little slips of paper. The more correct answers you gave, the more paper entries you got.

Then I put them in a raffle box (actually it's a hollowed out book...what could be more appropriate for a book giveaway?) and chose a winner at random. Hopefully the winner will be someone I can easily contact to let them know they won!


And the winner is....


Mary Vanderburgh!

She'll receive a copy of Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life, by Marta McDowell, signed and sent by the author.

Thank-you to everyone who participated and made this contest so much fun!

Want more trivia and book giveaways? Why not check out my Postcards From Space: The Chris Hadfield Story giveaway on Facebook. Every day from November 25 - December 9 I'll be posting a picture taken from space. Guess where it is and you'll be entered to win a copy of the book! Check out Cozy Little Book Journal on Facebook to enter!

30 Days of Potter Answer 30: Final Answer!

Which TWO books were NOT written by Beatrix Potter?


  1. Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes
  2. Cecily Parsley's Nursery Rhymes
  3. The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Emma Thompson
  4. The Story of A Fierce Bad Rabbit 
  5. The Story of Miss Moppet
  6. The Tailor of Gloucester 
  7. The Tale of Benjamin Bunny
  8. The Tale of Ginger and Pickles
  9. The Tale of Hill Top Farm (The Cottage Tales of Beatrix P), by Susan Wittig Albert
  10. The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck 
  11. The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse 
  12. The Tale of Little Pig Robinson 
  13. The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher 
  14. The Tale of Mr. Tod
  15. The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle
  16. The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse 
  17. The Tale of Peter Rabbit 
  18. The Tale of Pigling Bland 
  19. The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or, The Roly-Poly Pudding 
  20. The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin 
  21. The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes
  22. The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies 
  23. The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan
  24. The Tale of Tom Kitten
  25. The Tale of Two Bad Mice 


The correct answer is #3: The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Emma Thompson and #9: The Tale of Hill Top Farm, by Susan Wittig Albert



Thanks for playing 30 Days of Potter! Check by soon to see if you won!

Monday, November 25, 2013

There I fixed it for you! Hobbit hole remodelled with siding and new windows

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Royal Building Products for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

So I was playing around with one of those virtual remodeling tools...you know, the kind where you can upload a picture of your house and then blow through the rest of the day seeing what it would look like with different paint colours or window trims? It's a great way to spend the afternoon if Pinterest is down.

Anyway, the site I was using was Royal Building Products because they asked me to, and I think  they agreed to send me a bunch of puppies if I said yes. Wait, I might have gotten that wrong. Anyway, they have a virtual remodeler tool that you can use to redesign one of the houses on their site, or upload a photo of your own home.  Yeah, this could take a while.

The site is pretty cool and there are a lot of options for redesigning the exterior of your house, including roofs and siding and a large variety of Vinyl Windows Systems. The problem is that my house is a little boring looking from the outside. And I rent. And I already have vinyl windows. (I will say this though: when the owners had vinyl windows installed two years ago we REALLY noticed a big difference. They seem a lot more energy efficient in the winter and our power bill did go down. I can't say for sure that everybody would experience that, but we did). 

Anyway, I got bored of redesigning my house pretty fast so I moved on to this instead:



See? It's a remodeled Hobbit Hole! What? You don't think it's better? Pffff...you're crazy. It's WAY better.

Visit Sponsor's Site

30 Days of Potter Question 30: LAST CHANCE TO WIN!!

Okay, it's the last question, so let's make it a big one. Which TWO books were NOT written by Beatrix Potter?
  1. Appley Dapply's Nursery Rhymes
  2. Cecily Parsley's Nursery Rhymes
  3. The Christmas Tale of Peter Rabbit
  4. The Story of A Fierce Bad Rabbit 
  5. The Story of Miss Moppet
  6. The Tailor of Gloucester 
  7. The Tale of Benjamin Bunny
  8. The Tale of Ginger and Pickles
  9. The Tale of Hill Top Farm
  10. The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck 
  11. The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse 
  12. The Tale of Little Pig Robinson 
  13. The Tale of Mr. Jeremy Fisher 
  14. The Tale of Mr. Tod
  15. The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle
  16. The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse 
  17. The Tale of Peter Rabbit 
  18. The Tale of Pigling Bland 
  19. The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or, The Roly-Poly Pudding 
  20. The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin 
  21. The Tale of Timmy Tiptoes
  22. The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies 
  23. The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan
  24. The Tale of Tom Kitten
  25. The Tale of Two Bad Mice 

Answer correctly and you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!


30 Days of Potter Answer 29: Almost done!

Question: Name Marta McDowell's previous book. (Hint: it's also about a writer and gardening)

Answer: Emily Dickinson's Gardens: A celebration of a poet and a gardener (McGraw-Hill 2004). 

Did you post the correct answer? If so, you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!


Keep checking every day until November 25 for a new Beatrix Potter trivia question and more chances to win!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY! Postcards From Space: The Chris Hadfield Story, by Heather Down

Author Heather Down has generously offered to give away one copy of her children's book, Postcards From Space: The Chris Hadfield Story, to one lucky reader on my blog. Thanks Heather!

Every day from November 25 - December 9, I'll be posting a picture taken from space (via Col. Chris Hadfield's Facebook page) and asking readers to identify what part of the world is in the picture. All correct answers will be put into a draw to win a copy of the book (you can see my review here).

This giveaway will be a Facebook contest only, so be sure to check out Cozy Little Book Journal on Facebook to enter.

30 Days of Potter Question 29: Only 2 days left!

With only two questions left of the 30 Days of Potter Trivia Contest (which has been such great fun!) I thought it was time to ask a question about our sponsor, Marta McDowell, author of Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life. So here goes:

Name Marta McDowell's previous book. (Hint: it's also about a writer and gardening)

Answer correctly and you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!


30 Days of Potter Answer 28: Lots of answers!


Q. For whom does Mrs. Tiggy-winkle wash clothes? (How many can you name?)

Answer: In The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-winkle (1905) a little girl called Lucie goes out in search of her lost handkerchiefs and pinafore, only to discover a lovely washerwoman (washerhedgehog?) named Mrs. Tiggy-winkle who cleans clothes for just about everybody. Here are the laundry items mentioned in the book:
  • a little scarlet waist-coat belonging to Cock Robin;
  • a damask table-cloth belonging to Jenny Wren;
  • a pair of stockings belonging to Sally Henny-penny;
  • a red handkersniff that belongs to old Mrs. Rabbit;
  • a pair of mittens belonging to Tabby Kitten;
  • little dicky shirt-fronts belonging to Tom Titmouse;
  • woolly coats belonging to the little lambs at Skelghyl and one marked for Gatesgarth, and three that come from Little-town;
  • small brown coats of mice; 
  • and one velvety black moleskin waist-coat; 
  • and a red tailcoat with no tail belonging to Squirrel Nutkin
  • and a very much shrunk blue jacket belonging to Peter Rabbit;
  • and of course Lucie's handkins and pinny!


Did you post a correct answer? If so, you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!


Keep checking every day until November 25 for a new Beatrix Potter trivia question and more chances to win!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

MY 1000th POST!! I tried to come up with something clever but I failed

Miley Cyrus twerking with cats while Taylor Swift dates One Direction and Kimye eats bacon and makes things in mason jars while watching Girls and Dr. Who and taking a stand against cyber bullying by posting pictures of babies and giraffes and puppies and saying squee!!


These are just a few of the things you won't find on this blog. But it's my 1000th post and I ran out of ideas.


Wow. 1000 posts. That seems like so many. Most of them have been book reviews (over 800 of them) which makes sense, since that's all I ever intended to do. Actually I barely intended to do that. This blog started out as a way for me to catalogue my own thoughts about books I'd read, something I'd been doing already in little spiral notebooks for years. It was just a way to warn my future self to avoid certain authors or to seek out more books by others. I figured the blog was a way to go back and search my old notes in a way I couldn't with my collection of notebooks. It was taking me forever to figure out if I had already read a book in a certain mystery series and, more importantly, if I had hated it. I thought if I put it in a blog I could easily scan through and warn my future self of my past self's reading mistakes. 

I don't even know when exactly I started this blog because in the beginning I was just copying reviews from my notebooks and backdating them according to when I'd read the book. So the oldest post on here is dated 2005 but I don't think I even joined Blogger until November 2009, and even then it was part of a failed Mommy blog attempt. My best guess is that Cozy Little Book Journal was born sometime in early 2011. 

But one thing I do know (because Blogger keeps track of it for me, thank god) is that this is my 1000th published post. WOWZA! I was going to write a retrospective on what I've learned from blogging, or which books have most impacted me, or a list of some resources for book bloggers and authors. I'm sure those are all fine ideas, but I didn't end up doing any of them. I was too stuck on the idea of making a really special post that I ended up not knowing what to write at all.

Instead, why don't you tell me about YOUR favourite books, or YOUR favourite book sites or blogs, or YOUR favourite authors, or YOUR favourite thing about reading in general. Leave a comment below and feel free to tell me about your website or your book blog or your book or your stance on the Goodreads controversy or whatever you like. (I'll still have to delete all those links to porn sites and shoe sales. Stop doing that, spammers. But actual on-topic, non-spammy links are fine.) 

And let's look at some book gifs while we're at it.







30 Days of Potter Question 28: Only a few days left to enter!

Here's a fairly easy one because it has a lot of right answers.

For whom does Mrs. Tiggy-winkle wash clothes? (How many can you name?)

Answer correctly and you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!


30 Days of Potter Answer 27: I smell a rat!

Question: Who is Anna Maria Whiskers?

Answer: Mrs. Anna Maria Whiskers is a rat and the wife of Samuel Whiskers. Together they nearly bake Tom Kitten into a pie before he is rescued by Mrs. Tabitha Twitchett, Cousin Ribby and John Joiner. Later, Anna Maria's children live in Farmer Potatoes' barn and are chased by Moppet and Mittens (but not by Tom Kitten, who remains frightened of rats).

The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or The Roly-Poly Pudding was first published in 1908 as The Roly-Poly Pudding. In 1926, it was re-published as The Tale of Samuel Whiskers. It is dedicated "In remembrance of 'Sammy,' the intelligent pink-eyed representative of a persecuted (but irrepressible) race, an affectionate little friend, and most accomplished thief."

Did you post the correct answer? If so, you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!


Keep checking every day until November 25 for a new Beatrix Potter trivia question and more chances to win!

Friday, November 22, 2013

30 Days of Potter Question 27: Only 4 questions left!

You guys have been so good at these trivia questions, I keep trying to make them harder, so here goes:

Who is Anna Maria Whiskers?

Answer correctly and you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!


30 Days of Potter Answer 26: Timmy Willie!

This is one I know some of you will get right away, though it stumped my family (I don't know why since we JUST read that book!):


Question: Who was Johnny Town-mouse's house guest? (Bonus entry if you can name any of the other mice who live with Johnny Town-mouse!)

Answer: Timmy Willie (short for Timothy William).
Bonus: Who were the other mice? In the book, they are never named, it just says that Johnny Town-Mouse introduced Timmy Willie to nine other mice. In the BBC production "Peter Rabbit and Friends" however, they say that Johnny Townmouse lives in the same house as Hunca Munca and Tom Thumb. So bonus points to anyone who said "Hunca Munca and Tom Thumb" AND bonus points to anyone who said "I don't know" because both are right.

Did you post the correct answer? If so, you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!


Keep checking every day until November 25 for a new Beatrix Potter trivia question and more chances to win!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

30 Days of Potter Answer 25: Mrs. Josephine Rabbit

Peter Rabbit's mom's name? Mrs. Josephine Rabbit! This was a particularly controversial one because she's only called "Mrs. Rabbit" in the books but "Mrs. Josephine Rabbit" in the BBC "Peter Rabbit and Friends" productions. Don't worry, both answers will be entered into the draw. :)



Did you post the correct answer? If so, you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!

Keep checking every day until November 25 for a new Beatrix Potter trivia question and more chances to win!

30 Days of Potter Question 26: Only a few more left!

This is one I know some of you will get right away, though it stumped my family (I don't know why since we JUST read that book!):


Who was Johnny Town-mouse's house guest? (Bonus entry if you can name any of the other mice who live with Johnny Town-mouse!)

Answer correctly and you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Chronicles of Downton Abbey: A New Era, by Jessica Fellowes and Matthew Sturgis (foreword by Julian Fellowes)

The Chronicles of Downton Abbey: A New Era
Authors: Jessica Fellowes  and Matthew Sturgis
Foreword by: Julian Fellowes
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: November 13, 2012
Source: Christmas present--yay!
View on Amazon

Even though this coffee table book deals mostly with the third season of Downton Abbey (I'm assuming there are other books for previous seasons) I still enjoyed it for the behind the scenes look at the show. I especially like the pictures of real life artifacts (it's weird to call them artifacts if I'm only talking about the 1920s) that inspired the look of the show. It's my current favourite picture book for grownups.

Lord give me strength...A review of Mrs. Poe, by Lynn Cullen

The Tell-Tale Lack of Research, or 50 Shades of Poe, or Quoth the Reviewer, "Nevermore" (okay I'll stop there) 






Mrs. Poe
Author: Lynn Cullen
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Source: NetGalley and Edelweiss (digital), Goodreads (print)



Wouldn't it be great if Fifty Shades of Grey was an historical novel with no handcuffs and very little sex, but the quality of writing and character likability was the same? Said no one ever. No one except, it seems, Lynn Cullen.

My advanced reader's copy included a note from the publisher praising this "highly researched" novel about the "forbidden romance" between Edgar Allan Poe and Frances Sargent Osgood. I'm not sure what qualifies as "highly researched" these days, but I can't imagine this is it. The novel is so filled with anachronistic speech and dubious historical claims that it made me dizzy.

There are the obvious ones, like when our heroine muses that she heard James Polk's kidney stone operation left him "as sterile as a jug of boiled water." The story takes place in 1845. The very concept of sterilization by boiling would not be introduced for several more decades. Or when a character is described as having a "rubbery" face, even though that adjective wouldn't be used until around the end of the century (because, you know, use of rubber was pretty damn limited in 1845).

Then there are the subtler ones, words and phrases that, though they may have existed in 1845, were not used with the frequency they are today, so their overuse in the book gives it a distinctly modern feel. Words like off-putting, outrageous, ridiculous, adolescence, nice and nicer (both used constantly to mean "pleasant" even though that new meaning of the word was only just emerging and wouldn't have been used in every single conversation) are all used with the casual frequency that they are today, to the point of being cliché. And many of these words would have been used slightly differently 170 years ago, a distinction the author never bothers to address. And I don't even know what to say about phrases like "are you kidding me" and "in hot water." Would they have been used in 1845? After a while I was too tired to keep looking them up.

Of course it's not as though she ignores period phrases altogether. She seems to have made a list of "1800's words"--gaslight, hansom cab, reticule--and sprinkled them in as often as she could. Other times she just takes familiar phrases and makes them sound "old timey." When Frances reminds herself that Mr. Poe "put one leg in his pantaloons at a time, just like every other man" I nearly threw the book.

But even without the thoroughly unconvincing historical tone, Mrs. Poe just isn't very well written. There's only so many times I can read phrases like "he gave me a sharp look" or "he looked up sharply" or "he glanced sharply at me" before I lose all faith in the author.

Then there are the errors that just seem lazy, like when Frances sees "a hog feasting on a rotting pumpkin shell" in February. IN FEBRUARY. Considering pumpkins ripen between September and November, how long has that pumpkin shell been rotting on the street? Four months? It's like she included that detail just to annoy me.

Even with aggressive editing (i.e. a page one rewrite) the plot would still be far too much like 50 Shades of Poe for my taste. Frances Osgood is presented as a thoroughly unlikable woman with limited talent or education and an unsatisfying love life (sound familiar?). She has an inexplicable hatred of Edgar Allan Poe, based on his overbearing reputation and the fact that she finds him sexually intimidating. In their first meeting she is physically awkward and socially unimpressive (actually a little rude) but he is immediately taken with her for no damn good reason. He brazenly pursues her with a confusing air of authority, she relents, heaving bosoms ensue, and then he pulls back and insists he is unavailable. No whips or handcuffs though.

Is any of this even remotely historically accurate? By the end I didn't even care. The story was so poorly told that nothing could save it for me.

Hit the jump for some suggestions of books you should read instead of this one...


Animal Planet™ Atlas of Animals, by Jinny Johnson

Animal Planet™ Atlas of Animals
Author: Jinny Johnson
Publisher: Lerner Publishing/Millbrook Press
Publication Date: August 1, 2013
View on Amazon

Source: NetGalley


This is one of those books that every classroom and household with children should have on the shelf. It packs a lot of information into just 132 pages but it is presented so clearly with photos, maps and illustrations that it's easy and fun to read. Of course I'm a sucker for these kinds of books anyway. I love photo reference books for kids, the kind that present vast ideas in a relatively small number of pages using photos and key facts. It's like an entire book made up of those outlined boxes in the margins of textbooks. I loved those. So maybe I'm easy to please with these kinds of books, but even still, this one particularly impressed me.


First of all, arranging the animals geographically is genius. It seems so obvious that I wonder why more books don't do it, but a surprising number do not. It's pretty easy for kids to start thinking of animals as all living together in a zoo, or else only existing in books or videos, so it's great that this book provides some context. There's a section for North American animals, South American animals, Australian animals, etc. And when different animals have adapted to their environments in similar ways, the book often makes those comparisons, as with the mountain life adaptations of "the guanaco and vicuna, and their domesticated relatives llamas and alpacas."

Of course the book is not exhaustive. It's not an encyclopedia. But it does present enough information about the animals of each region that it would be a great starting point for any student interested in learning more. In many cases I think the photography and animal facts will prompt a lot of kids (and more than a few adults) to do further research about the animals and places they find most interesting.

30 Days of Potter Question 25: Can you name that mommy?

What is Peter Rabbit's mother's full name? We're getting down to the end, so no more multiple choice!

Answer correctly and you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!

30 Days of Potter Answer 24: Parsley!

The herb to help rabbits with upset tummies? Parsley of course!

First he ate some lettuces and some French beans; and then he ate
some radishes;
And then, feeling rather sick, he went to look for some parsley.
                                                      (The Tale of Peter Rabbit, 1902)

Did you post the correct answer? If so, you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!

Keep checking every day until November 25 for a new Beatrix Potter trivia question and more chances to win!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

30 Days of Potter Question 24: An easy gardening one


Can you name this plant, which is useful in helping rabbits with upset tummies? It's a pretty easy one, so no multiple choice options this time.

Answer correctly and you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!

30 Days of Potter Answer 23: Veal and Ham!

What kind of pie does Duchess like?
A. Rabbit
B. Veal and Ham
C. Apple and Pear
D. Mouse

The correct answer is B. Veal and Ham. In The Tale of the Pie and the Patty-Pan (1905), a dog named Duchess has been invited to tea by Ribby, a cat. Duchess is rightly concerned that Ribby will serve mouse pie, so she goes to elaborate lengths to replace the pie with one of her own, made from veal and ham. She does, of course, end up eating the mouse pie without realizing it.

Did you post the correct answer? If so, you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!

Keep checking every day until November 25 for a new Beatrix Potter trivia question and more chances to win!

Monday, November 18, 2013

30 Days of Potter Question 23: What kind of pie?


What kind of pie does Duchess like?
A. Rabbit
B. Veal and Ham
C. Apple and Pear
D. Mouse

Answer correctly and you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!

30 Days of Potter Answer 22: Thomasina Tittlemouse

What is Mrs. Tittlemouse's first name?
A. Rebeccah
B. Thomasina
C. Beatrix
D. Hunca Munca

The correct answer is B. Thomasina. Mrs. Thomasina Tittlemouse appears in The Tale of Mrs. Tittlemouse (1910) and also in The Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies (1909).

Did you post the correct answer? If so, you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!

Keep checking every day until November 25 for a new Beatrix Potter trivia question and more chances to win!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Longings of Wayward Girls, by Karen Brown

The Longings of Wayward Girls
Author: Karen Brown
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Publication Date: July 2, 2013
Source: Simon and Schuster
View on Amazon



If I were an English Lit professor I would be tempted to put The Longings of Wayward Girls on my reading list to teach students about tone. It's the tone of the book that grabbed me from the first page and haunted me well after the last. The story plays back and forth between memories of our heroine's childhood and experiences of her present day, but the two narratives reach back and forth for one another, stretching out for connection. We see Sadie as a child, longing to be a woman, longing to become someone special, confused by the desires of her unsatisfied mother and ready to exploit the hopes of a neighbour girl for her own amusement. Then we see adult Sadie, dissatisfied with her own life, longing for the excitement of a love affair, despairing at the losses she's suffered and the dreams that have gone unfulfilled. We watch as twelve-year-old Sadie stretches forward from among the pages, reaching toward the adult she will become, only to see adult Sadie leaning back into her own childhood, uncovering what she had forgotten and longing to rewrite what she had done. And through it all there is a sinister undercurrent, a mystery of a missing girl whose answer we know will be revealed as the two narratives converge. My own longing as a reader to uncover the truth pushed me forward in the novel, cursing that I couldn't finish it all in one night.

This book has been called a ghost story or a mystery or a coming-of-age novel, but it's none of those things. And it's all of them. It's especially satisfying when a book lives up so thoroughly to all of my expectations and, in fact, surpasses them. It's a well told story, carefully crafted and well edited. It's not overwritten or overwrought. It's like a play that has only a few sparse set pieces but manages to create a whole world for the audience that is as real as any they could imagine.

Again, it's the tone of the book that is just right. It's not just a book about longing. It is longing. Karen Brown's descriptions of a girl on the brink of adolescence, growing up among the woods and the water, making up stories to scare her friends while being warned by adults of the real dangers that abound, all of it rang true for me. It's so much like my own experience of childhood, that innocence always being threatened, not only by burgeoning adulthood but by the shadows of the woods, the fear of strangers snatching you up, the real risk of being lost or drowned. There is something nearly sinister about a childhood spent in nature, a memory I had almost forgotten until I read this book.

30 Days of Potter Answer 21: Aesop connection

Which book is dedicated "To Aesop in the Shadows"? It's The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse!

First published in 1918, The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse is a variation of Aesop's fable, "The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse". Did you guys know that was one of Aesop's fables? I didn't realize it was such an old story. I'm learning so much by coming up with these questions!

Did you post the correct answer? If so, you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!

Keep checking every day until November 25 for a new Beatrix Potter trivia question and more chances to win!

30 Days of Potter Question 22: Mousy

What is Mrs. Tittlemouse's first name?
A. Rebeccah
B. Thomasina
C. Beatrix
D. Hunca Munca

Answer correctly and you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

30 Days of Potter Question 21: Dedication

Which book is dedicated "To Aesop in the Shadows"?

A. The Tale of Johnny Town-Mouse
B. The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck
C. The Story of a Fierce Bad Rabbit
D. The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Answer correctly and you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!

30 Days of Potter Answer 20: Flopsy!

What is the name of Benjamin Bunny's wife (Peter Rabbit's sister)?
 A. Tipsy
 B. Mandy
 C. Flusie
 D. Flopsy

Did you post the correct answer? If so, you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!

Keep checking every day until November 25 for a new Beatrix Potter trivia question and more chances to win!

Friday, November 15, 2013

30 Days of Potter Question 20: Mrs. Benjamin Bunny?

What is the name of Benjamin Bunny's wife (Peter Rabbit's sister)?
 A. Tipsy
 B. Mandy
 C. Flusie
 D. Flopsy

Answer correctly and you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!

30 Days of Potter Answer 19: Name your favourite!


Yesterday's question didn't have any right or wrong answers, it was a freebie. I asked you to tell me your favourite Beatrix Potter book or character.

A lot of you love Peter Rabbit, some of you love the Tailor of Gloucester (like my daughter Magda) or his cat Simpkin. I think my favourite might be Tommy Brock the badger from The Tale of Mr. Tod. I think he's just so human and so badger at the same time.

Did you post an answer? If so, you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!

Keep checking every day until November 25 for a new Beatrix Potter trivia question and more chances to win!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

30 Days of Potter Answer 18: Did any of you get that?

A Question From the Author:

When Marta McDowell first approached me about doing a trivia question as part of the giveaway for her book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life, she suggested a sample question. The problem was that I thought the question was so hard (and I had already read her book!) that I suggested a series of much easier ones.

But you guys are crazy smart.

So here goes, the author's question:

Beatrix Potter made many botanical portraits and wrote a scientific paper about what group of plants?

Answer:  mushrooms or fungi

Or at least that's what she tells me. I think I remember reading that in her book, but honestly I wouldn't have gotten that right. Did you post the correct answer? (I know at least some of you did!) If so, you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal! And you're also crazy smart. Or good at Googling. Or both. WELL DONE!

Keep checking every day until November 25 for a new Beatrix Potter trivia question and more chances to win!

30 Days of Potter Question 19: FREEBIE!

You guys are AMAZING at Beatrix Potter (and gardening) trivia, but I think it's time for a freebie question (also I can't think of a real question today). So here goes:

What is your favourite Beatrix Potter book or character?

There's no wrong answer (well, as long as it IS a Beatrix Potter book or character). I'm curious to hear what everyone's favourites are.

Answer correctly anything at all as long as it's a Beatrix Potter book and you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!

Come back tomorrow and I'll tell you Magda's and my favourite characters too.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

30 Days of Potter Answer 17: Mrs. Tiggywinkles!

There is a series of toy stores in Ottawa, Canada, named after one of Beatrix Potter's characters. Can you name it?
A. Miss Moppet
B. Mrs. Tittlemouse
C. Goody Tiptoes
D. Mrs. Tiggywinkles
The correct answer is D. Mrs. Tiggywinkles! The stores appear at various locations around Ottawa and THEY ARE AWESOME. Looks like a lot of you know about them already but if you don't, make sure you put them on your "Must See" list if you're ever in Ottawa!

Did you post the correct answer? If so, you could win a signed copy of Marta McDowell's book Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life from Cozy Little Book Journal!

Keep checking every day until November 25 for a new Beatrix Potter trivia question and more chances to win!