Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Live Chat Tonight With Author Mary Casanova & ChiIL Mama's American Girl #Give Away

Tonight only (5/16/12)...log in on the American Girl Facebook Page and chat live with Mary Casanova, author of the American Girl McKenna books.  She's also written many more fabulous books for children and tweens.    ChiIL Mama, Sagezilla and Du-Jay had a chance to meet Mary Casanova in person, at American Girl Place in Chicago, and we gave away signed books to two lucky readers. 
American Girl's Read-a-palooza is here and we're giving away a great 5 pack of American Girl titles ($39.75 value) to one lucky winner, to kick things off in style!   Enter at the bottom of this post through 6/15/12 for your chance to win.   Entries accepted nationwide.   Spread the word and reenter early and often.

 Here are our photos from Mary Casanova's Chicago appearance and a brief recap. 

Mary Casanova, author of McKenna for American Girl, greets her fans and signs books at American Girl Place, Chicago

It was our great pleasure to meet author, Mary Casanova, at The American Girl Place in Chicago at The Watertower Mall.    She was absolutely gracious, friendly, and personable and took time to chat with every child, despite a good sized line of fans waiting to get their books signed.   My 11 year old son was one of the few boys in line with his little sis, and she took time to get to know him as well.   She signed a book mark for him and told him that she has other chapter books that might appeal to him.   He was stoked to check out The Klipfish Code, a historical adventure set in Norway that she suggested to him.

She's a prolific, talented writer with a wide range of books for early readers through older pre-teens.  She's written other American Girl books featuring Jess, Chrissa and Cecile.   You can find a full listing of her works and more at Mary Casanova's site here.

The book signing was such a rare treat.   We love to meet the authors behind the words of stories we enjoy.  This time the fans were fun as well.    


 We met an actual, real life gymnast named McKenna, 


and a set of twins, like the American Girl McKenna's little sisters (pictured with author, Mary Casanova).   

Of course, my own daughter, Sage, was there too, with her coincidences.   (She's also a level 4 gymnast, entering 4th grade this year, with a Grandma Peg(gy), who spent time with crutches and a cast for a broken ankle. She has cousins Kenna and McCall, and has a last name, Mara!)

*Click the link here for the full Mary Casanova book signing feature

American Girl Place rocks!   Each time we've gone, we've met girls who came in from several states away to visit the store, or drove hours to get there.   We're so lucky to live nearby!   We had a ball at McKenna's release party, and book signing.   We recently promoted a visit March 10th from American Ballet Theatre, who taught dance at the store, in conjunction with their production of Giselle 3/22-25.   We loved learning hula and Hawaiian culture at the store with a delegation that flew in from half way around the world.   It's truly a multicultural gathering place, and an empowering girlcentric space.
Check out the site for American Girl Place Chicago for more special events, guest appearances, merch and more. 

We were also super stoked to get a package of new American Girl Doll books in the mail.   There are some excellent new releases just out!    We'll have a full set of book reviews (on the titles in red) in the near future.   Check in with ChiIL Mama like we vote in Chi, IL...early and often.   Here's a sampler of the new releases and where you can buy them, too.

  •  ADVICE:  A Smart Girl's Guide to Liking Herself-even on the bad days
  • CONTEMPORARY FICTION:  Innerstar University Series--"a book staring YOU with more than 20 endings" and an on line play component.   We'll be reviewing The New Girl and Behind the Scenes
  • MYSTERIES:   We'll be reviewing The Cameo Necklace, A Cecile Mystery, The Crystal Ball, a Rebecca Mystery and The Hidden Gold, A Marie-Grace Mystery

I was thrilled that my reluctant reader got super excited and engaged with the books and has been carrying them with her everywhere and devouring them.   American Girl is committed to not only entertaining but educating girls and helping them grow intellectually, physically, and emotionally.   


American Girl's Read-a-palooza is here and we're giving away a great 5 pack of American Girl titles ($39.75 value) to one lucky winner, to kick things off in style!   Enter at the bottom of this feature through 6/15/12 for your chance to win.   Entries accepted nationwide.   Spread the word and reenter early and often.

This summer, American Girl is inviting girls and moms to discover the joy of reading while helping a great cause! Read-a-palooza provides girls with fun activities and incentives to inspire them to keep their reading skills sharp and encourage engagement in a variety of different literacy activities! In addition, Read-a-palooza will be contributing to Save the Children through a book purchase donation. Starting May 1 through September 3, $1 from every book purchased from American Girl will benefit Save's U.S. Literacy Program.

ChiIL Mama is celebrating READ-A-PALOOZA by once again giving away two McKenna books by Mary Casanova, McKenna and McKenna Ready to Fly!  

One lucky reader will also get a copy of The Take the Challenge book 

AND The New Girl (part of the Inner Star University chapter book series) AND The Cameo Necklace a Cecile MYSTERY.

 Enter here for your chance to win!

*Wait for Rafflecopter to load up right here (if you've gone through RSS feed or are scrolling down the blog and don't see it, click on the actual page title and it should pop right up).   Entries are free, easy and confidential.  We never sell or share any of your contact info.   Winning rocks!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check back with ChiIL Mama soon for a full feature on historical New Orleans friends, Marie-Grace and Cecile, a photo filled feature on a trip to the American Girl Doll Hospital, and an American Girl Place birthday party special.

You Might Also Like:

*McKenna launch party at The AmericanGirl Doll Store at Water Tower Place, Chicago (photo filled recap).

*American Girl Doll  McKenna's visit with the Chicago Comets real competitive gymnastics team (photo filled recap).

*Farewell to Kanani, Hawaiian American Girl Doll of the Year, 2011 and welcome McKenna (photo filled recap).

*Disclaimer:   Thank to American Girl for providing us with review and give away copies of the books and dolls mentioned in our giveaways.   You rock!  All reviews and opinions are our own.  

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