Friday, November 21, 2014

Book Release: Pinny the Bowling Pin by Leah Ward

Pinny the Bowling Pin is finally here, just in time for you to order it as a holiday gift for any kids on your list! Copies are $10 from, so get them now. I'll be ordering the book for some of my favorite kids, because it's such a cute story. Not sure if you should get it? Here's my review, and it's also been kid-approved by Mackenzie.

Aside from being the release day, today is my last day hosting Pinny's Blog Tour. Thanks so much to Leah for involving me in the blog tour and letting me read the book before its release. If you want to catch up on my posts about Pinny from this week, here they are:

About Leah Ward

Leah Ward is a 21 year old author of YA and children’s picture books. She lives in NC with her beloved jack russell terrier Luna. She decided to pursue writing only two years ago after her bestfriend, singer Taylor Leopold, told her how amazing her poetry was and encouraged her to get it published. After releasing her poetry book, The Art of Words (2013), she decided to try writing her favorite genre book – fantasy YA. 2014 brought the release of her first YA novel Searching for Darkness. Currently Leah is working on a childrens book that all ages will find to love. You can follow Leah on Twitter @LeahWardAuthor and Instagram @LeahWardAuthor. You can also visit her Facebook page for a frequent update of what she is up to and book memes that will give you a laugh!


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Make Pinny's Dreams Come True!

So if you read Mackenzie's thoughts on Pinny the Bowling Pin yesterday, you know that we made our own Pinny's after reading the book! The idea is to print out the blank Pinny, choose a profession for him, and draw him doing that job. After we finished the book, we sat down with some crayons and markers to work on making Pinny's dreams come true. Half an hour of furious scribbling and two broken crayons later, we were done!

As you can see, Mackenzie chose the ever so popular profession of "Space Doctor" for her Pinny.

My Pinny was a little more basic; I gave him the exciting job of "astronaut".

If you'd like to make your own Pinny's dreams come true, just save and print out the blank Pinny below. You or your kids can color and draw him as any profession! Be sure to post them to Instagram or Twitter, using the hashtag #MakePinnysDreamsComeTrue and tag @laineylorio and @leahwardauthor so we can see them!


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Four Year Old Reviews Pinny The Bowling Pin

For my week of Pinny's Blog Tour, I obviously wrote my own review about the book, but I thought it might be a good idea to get the thoughts of someone in the intended audience - More specifically, to read the book to a four year old girl I babysit, and then ask her some questions about it!

Did you like Pinny The Bowling Pin?

That was funny! It's a nice little book. What's it gonna look like when it's "real"?

(We were reading the eBook. I showed her the cover)

Oh, it's purple!

What was your favorite part?

Uh... When he got put in the front.

What was your least favorite part?

I don't like the pushing down part. that was mean. Jack (Jock) was mean.

Do you like the pictures?

Yeah! I like this one.

Do you think your other friends would like Pinny?

Um. Yep.


Because... because the bowling pin is nice and he talks.

We're gonna go draw our own Pinny's now! What are you going to draw yours as?

I'm gonna make it a doctor. (pause) In space.

Are you glad we read this? 


Thanks for helping me, Mackenzie.

'Kay. Can we have rice krispies after this?




Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Q&A with Leah Ward, Author of Pinny the Bowling Pin

Q: You went from writing poetry to YA Fiction. That's a pretty big jump, but your novel, Searching For Darkness, was met with a lot of praise! Were you ever worried that the book would be unsuccessful?

A: Going from poetry to YA was a huge jump! (And I'm about to make another with Pinny!) Yes, I was super nervous with Searching For Darkness. I mean, it was a hard piece to put together. A novel. Like a WHOLE NOVEL! It's crazy to think about even now. After the book was released I constantly would rethink or question myself. "Oh man, I bet someone finds a gaping hole in my plot," or "there has to be a million errors, I just know I overlooked something." It was pretty rough, but after the first bits of feedback came rolling through my confidence was definitely restored!

Q: Describe Pinny the Bowling Pin, your new children's picture book, in a few sentences.

A: The story is a unique point of view from a bowling pin. What do bowling pins do? They fall over. That's their purpose. But, Pinny doesn't fall. He just can't seem to get the hang of it, and because of that, he thinks that he may have a different purpose for his life.

Q: What's the hardest part of writing a book for you?

A: I would say the hardest part is finding the perfect time for writing. I have to be alone, and in complete silence, and sometimes that is a very hard thing to find!  Also, editing. I love to just write, straight through the story, getting my thoughts out there with a flowing manner. I don't want to go back and search for grammatical errors. (Lik thEy R tht hard too fined w/ MY writing!)

Q: There are a lot of people that say YA isn't "real literature", and that the people who write it aren't "real authors". As a YA  author, what do you have to say to those people?

I actually haven't really heard that before, so I'm shocked! I would say that YA is one of the most important types of literature. I mean, think about it like this, picture books and short chapter books are typically read to children by their parents. Right? So Young Adult literature is the pivot point for a child. Where they learn to read for themselves, and read because they enjoy it. As they grow older, their maturity moves them into adult fiction. What would we be without the Young Adult transitional category? Well, we wouldn't have many Adult Fiction readers! As for the authors, they most certainly are real. The difference between Young Adult and Adult Fiction is simply concepts. Young Adult is 'softer' in a sense, but nonetheless just as difficult and fantastic to write.

Q: What kind of positive messages does Pinny the Bowling Pin teach young children who will read it?

A: Pinny provides such a great message to children! First off, that you are not limited to what the others surrounding you are doing. You can reach for the stars if you so desire! And if they tell you that you can't, or pick on you for dreaming big, don't let it douse your fire because not everyone was built the same! It's definitely a story that promotes anti-bullying, and to never give up.

Q: I've heard the story, but can you tell my readers what inspired Pinny?

A: Pinny was actually created because of how bad I bowled one day. I thought to myself that this seriously cannot be an operator error, it just had to be the pins! And then, as the light bulb lit above my head, I thought 'what if there was a pin that simply couldn't fall? That it just stunk at being a bowling pin?' And BAM! Pinny was created, and his overcoming tale!

Q: And finally, can you recommend some authors that readers may not be familiar with?

A: If you're looking for another cute picture book, The Day the Crayon's Quit is utterly hilarious. I read it one day last year and THAT was the story that lit the flame for my burning desire to write a children's picture book! It's written by Drew Daywalt, and everyone that's interested in Pinny - go check Drew's adorable story out, you won't regret it.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Review: Pinny the Bowling Pin by Leah Ward

*I received a digital ARC of this book from the author to review. All opinions are my own*

**So in case you didn't know, I'm hosting a five-day stretch of Pinny's Blog Tour for Leah Ward's new children's book, Pinny The Bowling Pin. From Monday, Nov. 17th, to Friday, Nov. 21st, I'll be reviewing the book, interviewing the author, and doing some fun stuff with Pinny on The Belle Beauty Blog. **

I'll be honest, I've never reviewed a children's book before. My experience with children's books is limited to working at a bookstore over the summer and selling a few. So when Leah emailed me about doing the blog tour, I was tempted to say no - until she told what the book was about. Imagine you're bowling pretty badly one night. Every time, you almost get a strike. Except there's always one pin still standing. You're probably a little miffed at that pin, right? Well imagine how the bowling pin feels. That's what inspired Leah to write Pinny!

From Goodreads:

"Bowling Pins have feelings, too, in this funny, uplifting and overcoming story of the pin who felt alone because he couldn’t seem to do what all the other pins did - fall. 

Poor Pinny just wants to fit in. He is tired of being the last bowling pin standing, making it nearly impossible for kids to bowl a strike. Everyone dislikes the last pin, the lone pin, the one who won’t fall no matter how many others do. As if it isn’t bad enough that the kids don’t like him, even the other pin’s don’t! He is making them look bad after all. But maybe, Pinny wasn’t meant to fit in? Maybe he was meant for something greater! Perhaps a doctor, a rockstar, or even the President! 

Kids will be imagining their own humorous occupations for Pinny, and sharing a laugh with the lovable character and the author who finally revealed the truth behind the bowling pins lives. This story is a perfect gift for anti-bullying, for a reminder to kids to never give up, and for those who just want to know why it’s so difficult to bowl a strike!"

Pinny the Bowling Pin is the story of a bowling pin called Pinny who, to put it kindly, isn't very good at his job. The one purpose a bowling pin has is to fall, and Pinny just... doesn't. He starts thinking that maybe he's just not meant to be a bowling pin. That's a pretty unique idea, so props to Leah Ward!

 This is such a cute little book for kids! It's a really interesting story that kids will enjoy, but it isn't just for kicks and giggles - Pinny has to overcome self-doubt and bullying in the story, which helps promote following your dreams and anti-bullying among children in real life. I really like seeing that in a book for younger kids, because the younger they are when they learn it, the better it sticks.

I highly recommend it for kids of any age, but especially toddlers. So if you're shopping for toddlers/really young children this holiday season, it's a great idea. I know a couple of little girls that are going to receive copies as gifts. 

Don't forget, Pinny comes out this Friday and can be ordered through . Later this week (Wednesday, Nov. 19th), I'll be posting what my favorite 4 year old had to say about Pinny!



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