Children Diversity Reading Challenge

I Used to Be Famous by Tara Luebbe and Becky Cattie is THE BOOK WE ALL NEED

I Used to Be Famous by Tara Luebbe
and Becky Cattie

Do the illustrations look familiar? They should! That’s because they are by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff, who has illustrated a number of SUPER ADORBS books like:




Both of which were uplifting messages for the littles.

I Used to Be Famous is the story of a darling and multi talented Brown skinned girl who laments her fall from fame due to a new baby in the house.  You’ll love our heroine because she’s not bratty at all.

There’s so much to love about this story because any child who’s had a new baby sibling in the family will be able to relate to Kiely’s (the star) feelings. Additionally, the book reflects positive images of an African American family, which while encouraging, allows readers to see that  families of POC are no different than theirs. Similar to Peter’s Chair (Ezra Jack Keats) you’ll see the gentleness and understanding of what it means to be a big sibling.

I can’t love this book any more. It’s so friggin fraggin adorable.

Add I Used to Be Famous to your TBR pile for kids of all ages. It qualifies for the Diversity Reading Challenge too!


Becky Cattie has always had a flair for the dramatic and loves all things entertainment—especially character-driven narratives. She was a casting producer for reality TV shows like NBC’s America’s Got Talent, ABC’s Extreme Makeover, and E!’s The Simple Life in Los Angeles. She lives in Chicago. Tara Luebbe is a self-described “Picture Book Nerd.” In her previous life, she owned a toy and book store in Atlanta, which was a catalyst for writing her own books. This is the third picture book collaboration for sisters Tara and Becky; their first two books, I Am Famous and Shark Nate-O, were published in 2018. To learn more, visit
Facebook: BeckyTara Books
Twitter: @t_luebbe and @b_cattie
Instagram: @taraluebbe and @beckycattie
“This clever exploration of the mixed emotions of welcoming a new baby into a family is sure to elicit more than a few laughs from the divas accustomed to having all the attention.” —Kirkus Reviews
One lucky winner will receive a copy of I USED TO BE FAMOUS  (U.S. addresses), courtesy of Albert Whitman & Company.
Books Children Holiday Gift Guide

Calling All Globe-Toddlers! See the World with My Little Cities by Jennifer Adams


The holiday season is right around the corner (oh noes!) and that means trips to visit grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. Teach your globe toddlers all about the world with these super adorbs (and travel friendly) titles:

  • My Little Cities: San Francisco. Not only will your traveler recognize some of the city’s’ best tourist spots; but the book rhymes!
  • My Little Cities: New York. You’ll see the Empire State, the NYPL lions, Times Square and other famous haunts.
  • My Little Cities: Paris. Across the pond you’ll visit Shakespeare and Co bookstore, The Louvre, the all important Eiffel Tower, and a really strange ossuary that even I didn’t know existed.
  • My Little Cities: London. Grab the train and head for Buckingham Palace or the famous spot where the Beatles walked, and don’t forget Big Ben.

The best bit about the books is that at the back there’s an appendix of sorts, with explanations of the sights depicted in the book. So it’s like a walking tourist map for the littles! How fun would it be to use these books to plan a vaca for you and your little traveler?


Children Diversity Reading Challenge

Wonderful You: An Adoption Story by Lauren McLaughlin; illustrated by Meilo So

Wonderful You: An Adoption Story

Never have I read a book that so beautifully captures the dreams of young mothers for their unborn children. To be sure, Wonderful You is an adoption story, but it is about so much more than adoption. Mothers have dreams and visions of what their life will be like once a baby comes and I feel like adoptive or birth mothers have similar visions. I can only imagine that the mother giving up her child for adoption hopes the adoptive parents live up to her dreams. Both mothers want the best life for their new babies and want the babies to feel loved and supported. Wonderful You captures those feelings beautifully.

Especially captivating are the watercolor illustrations. They make you feel dreamy, like you’re in the heads and hearts of both families. And the fact that the adoptive parents are multicultural are an extra bonus!

Wonderful you is a lovely  book but it’s not just for adoptive families; it’s for every family that wants to show their child that they, too are Wonderful.






I had the pleasure of hosting a Mother Daughter Mother’s Day tea party a few days ago. I love this book, The Night Before Mother’s Day and had to share it with you.  I also like the sentiment of the other book, I Carry Your Heart with Me, because as mothers, that’s what we do.

I hope you enjoy your day and get to do whatever you want on your special day!

I will be having breakfast in bed. I hope. Kids, are you listening???













Who’s Your Daddy, Baby? by Lisa Pell

Today’s little bit of fun is brought to you by famous singing groups The Beatles and Foreigner.  My new friend Lisa Pell mentions them in her new book, Who’s Your Daddy, Baby?  See if you can find the clues…

“Well, there’s nothing quite like contacting a 70-some-year-old man and effectively asking him about a date 50 years ago. There were some amusing evasions, flat-out lies, and genuine memory issues. One guy a bit down on his luck swore he was in class with my mother at schools she never attended. He enjoyed the Eggs Benedict at an elegant old hotel and thanked me for treating him to fine dining he hadn’t experienced in a long, long time. But I think the funniest thing still has to be the conversation that awakened my consciousness on my paternity issue. When discussing my family medical history with the fertility specialist and noting my parents’ blood types, he said, in a lovely French accent, “I senk you better senk about zee milkman.” My husband and I roared with laughter then, and still chuckle about it. When I asked the doctor about blood type mutations, he repeated himself, “I still senk you better senk about zee milkman.” We’ve had quite a bit of fun with that line.”

 The Unconventional Search

Most people are never faced with a situation where, in their forties, they are told the Dad they always have known could not possibly be their biological father.  That conversation I had with my French fertility specialist back in 2005 made for an unconventional search.

“I senk you better senk about zee milkman.”

Those were the words I heard after my blood type was officially confirmed, B-positive, and discussions of family medical history.  I knew from my late mother’s kidney-pancreas transplant she was O-positive, and I had my dad’s military dog tags, which read A-positive. Generally, basic biology would suggest A plus O does not equal B, and my doctor repeated his milkman theory when I suggested a blood type mutation.

But succumbing to my family obsession with genealogy and inherited hard-headedness, it took a few hours for me to fully grasp the implications.  Then, with an appreciation for adventure and an intellectual challenge, the prospects of finding a long-lost family seemed fascinating and amusing on one level, although it also was somewhat terrifying on another.  Please don’t let me be related to Cardassians (no matter how you spell it, Trekkie or not), Coneheads, blow-hard political commentators, and no, my mom was not an octomom.

So, I embarked on what turned out to be a four-year search to ferret out the identity of my biological father, and I mean ferret, in all senses of the word, rodent-esque and furrowing.  Reminded of a joke about the Grand Dame dowager spending $3,000 to dig up her family history, and then $10,000 to bury it, I decided to have fun with the story and fictionalize it.

You have to be able to laugh at yourself to interview amnesiacs.

There’s nothing quite like contacting a 70-some-year-old man and effectively asking him about a date 50 years ago. There were several amusing evasions, flat-out lies, and genuine memory issues. One guy a bit down on his luck swore he was in class with my mother at schools she never attended. He enjoyed the Eggs Benedict at an elegant old hotel and thanked me for treating him to fine dining he hadn’t experienced in a long, long time.

My sister cautioned me to beware of kittens being implanted during the in vitro fertilization process.  Alas, my life as the Egg Woman, with apologies to the late John Lennon, was short-lived.  But, speaking of kittens, the shock of my paternal awakening eventually led me to write two songs I turned into music videos, “Nothin’ Butt a Mutt,” a bluesy rocker with puppies and kittens interpreting my novel, and “The Ballad of Who’s Your Daddy, Baby?”,   featuring kids singing and dancing to my story.  It’s a bit unconventional, but in the terms of a few popular musicians, rolling in the deep of paternal confusion with all the poker face bad romances, suddenly you might see Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson and Gnarls Barkley could be musically on target thinking someone might be crazy.  And, there were some wild racial mixes with my Appalachian Melungeon heritage to interest any unconventional history buff.

Who’s Your Daddy, Baby? is a mystery only a mother could create, and as another Beatle, Paul McCartney, might say, only your mother could know.  My Agent Provocateur husband and I are having fun with it, and hope you enjoy the book and the songs.

So…did you find the clues?  If you did, you’re a winner! If you didn’t, go back and re-read.

We’ll wait…

Find them yet?


Now, go follow Lisa Pell on Twitter. Impress her with your French accent.  She’ll love it.

And then, go to her website, stalk her blog, watch videos of her cute but dangerous doggies, and order her book.











Bonne chance!