Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sweet Giveaway: Share Your Act of Kindness

I was recently contacted by Nick Katsoris, author of an award-winning series of books featuring an adorable lamb who learns some of life's most valuable lessons. Nick asked me to review his latest work- Loukoumi's Good Deeds- which will be released in April, 2009. See prior blog entry for the book summary and review.

I enjoyed the book and the message of kindness so much that I wanted to share it with one of my lucky readers! Here is the scoop on the giveaway.

The Package Will Include:
  • A hardcopy version of Loukoumi's Good Deeds
  • An adorable handcrafted lollipop
  • A special note from you to the child, printed on a sticker for the inside of the book
  • All delivered in a red envelope to the child's doorstep!
How to Enter:
You have five chances to enter the contest. Each option below is considered a separate entry and must be posted as individual comments here:

(1) Post a comment about an act of kindness you will never forget.

(2) Post about our giveaway on Twitter and leave a comment here with the link.

(3) Post about our giveaway on your Facebook homepage status (What are you doing?) and comment here when you have done so.

(4) Sign up for The Lollipop Book Club newsletter and leave a comment here.

(5) Announce our giveaway on your blog, and then leave a comment here with the link.

Who is Eligible:
You must have a US address and a valid email address.

When Contest Ends:
The last date of the contest is Friday, May 1st. The winner will be randomly selected and contacted via email. If the winner does not respond within 5 days, then a new winner will be chosen. The winner's name will be posted once the contest is over.

Will There Be More?:
Yes, we are just getting started! We are so excited share The Lollipop Book Club experience with as many people as possible. The best way to truly appreciate what we do is to witness a child's reaction to the gift. Rather than spend our money on print or web advertising, we want to put our gifts into as many hands as possible. Thank you for helping us spread the word!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Book Review: Loukoumi's Good Deeds by Nick Katsoris

Book Summary/Review

“Make someone smile, Do a good deed, Lend a hand to a friend in need…”

These words of wisdom are passed along to Loukoumi from her friend Gus the Bear after he guides an elderly giraffe safely across the street.
Putting this advice in motion, the adorable lamb goes about her day performing acts of kindness for everyone in her life.

Through deeds such as cleaning her room, helping her daddy wash the car, and providing a band aid to a friend, Loukoumi demonstrates that simple things go a long way in cheering up those around her.

Loukoumi’s Good Deeds is a refreshingly sweet story. It reinforces the message of being kind to others in a way that young children will easily understand. In today’s world, kids often associate “giving” with something material. Loukoumi shows that giving her time, her consideration, and her kind words are the most valuable gifts of all.

As a bonus, each book comes with a CD narrated by Jennifer Aniston & John Aniston, as well as other celebrity voices. This is a nice complement to a colorful story children will surely enjoy.

For every book purchased, $2 will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Release date: 4/1/2009

Why I Love This Book:

When my boys were toddlers, I hardly ever left the house. At least not without one or both of them strapped into a stroller. It was the only way I could assure my husband that they would still be intact when he arrived home from work that night. When I was pregnant with my daughter, managing the boys became increasingly difficult as I grew increasingly larger. Towards the end I felt like we were under house arrest because I simply did not have the stamina to take them anywhere.

One day when I was 8+ months along, I was going crazy and finally decided to make the trek to Chik-Fil-A. After an eventful lunch and more orneriness in the play area, I told the boys it was time to go home. It took upward of 20 minutes to convince them to come down from the ceiling tunnel (albeit missing various and sundry clothing), and another 15 to put on shoes, coats, etc. With both of them kicking and screaming as I held held them like footballs under each arm, I awkwardly made my way out to the busy parking lot.

And this is where I faced my biggest dilemma. I had to put one child down in order to strap the other into his carseat. But with both in full-blown tantrum mode and moving cars all around, this was not an option. So I set one boy down on the floor of the car, trying to keep him in place with my foot, while I attempted to strap the other one in. I was precariously balancing all my pregnancy weight on one foot and dangerously close to falling. And any second I was about to join my kids by having a tantrum of my own.

Then....from behind me.....a sweet lady asked if she could help. A feeling of relief like none I had ever felt before swept over me. I gratefully handed her a spastic child while I buckled one, and finally the other, safely inside the car. The woman quickly explained that she has three of her own, a bit older now, but remembers clear as day what life is like with toddlers. Then she went on her way.

I will never forget this act of kindness from a total stranger. It took only a couple minutes of her time, but the memory of her unsolicited help when I desperately needed it will stay with me for a long time. Just like in Loukoumi's Good Deeds, a simple act of kindness made a very lasting impression.