Blog Tour: Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow & The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole by Michelle Cuevas, Plus Guest Post!

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Today we're excited to be part of the blog tour for Michelle Cuevas' book Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow & The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole. Read on for more about Michelle, her books, plus her listicle!

 

 

Meet Michelle Cuevas! 

Michelle Cuevas graduated from Williams College and holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Virginia. She is the author of several children’s books, including Confessions of an Imaginary Friend and The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles. She lives in Berkshire County in Massachusetts
 
 
 
Meet Illustrator Sydney Smith!
 
Sydney Smith was born in Nova Scotia and has a BFA in drawing and printmaking from NSCAD University. He is an award-winning children's book illustrator whose work can sometimes also be found in magazines and on festival posters and album covers. Sydney also plays a little banjo, stands on his hands, and can ride his bike really fast. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his wife and baby son
 
 
 
Meet Smoot: A Rebellious Shadow!
 
 
 
 
Smoot the shadow has been living a yawn-filled life for years. His boy never laughs and never leaps, so Smoot never does either… until the day he pops free and decides to hit the road in search of the life he dreams about. And as he enjoys his first colorful day--singing, dancing, and playing--other shadows watch him, and they become brave too. The frog's shadow takes the shape of a prince, the dragonfly's shadow that of a dragon. Even the rock's shadow gets in on the excitement. But what will become of the timid beings their shadows have left behind? Will they finally be inspired to find their own daring?
Reminiscent of the classic story of Peter Pan, both in its use of shadows and celebration of imagination, SMOOT is the perfect representation of the desire we all have to “sing canary-yellow songs” and “dance in wildflower red.” This remarkable picture book’s uplifting message is sure to inspire readers to break free from the mold and live their lives to the fullest.
Smith’s stunning illustrations, which are a seamless complement to Cuevas’s poetic verses, beg to be shared in read-aloud settings and during bedtimes routines. Offering a light-hearted and important lesson about the value of imagination, being brave, and following your dreams, SMOOT has all of the makings of a modern fairy tale and is bound to become a read-aloud favorite. 
 
 
Meet The Care and Feeding of a Pet Shadow!
 
When eleven-year-old Stella Rodriguez shows up at NASA to request that her recording be included in Carl Sagan's Golden Record, something unexpected happens: A black hole follows her home, and sets out to live in her house as a pet. The black hole swallows everything it touches, which is challenging to say the least – but also turns out to be a convenient way to get rid of those items that Stella doesn't want around including, all the reminders of her dead father that are just too painful to have around. It's not until Stella, her younger brother, Cosmo, the family puppy, and even the bathroom tub all get swallowed up by the black hole that Stella comes to realize she needs to face her grief head on.
Successfully combining science-fiction and the raw emotions of grief, THE CARE AND FEEDING OF A PET BLACK HOLE is a story that will stand out to readers in terms of both its ingenuity and poignancy. In the same way that Pixar’s Inside Out personified its protagonist’s emotions, the representation of Stella’s grief in the form of a very real black hole that follows her home allows for equally moving, comedic, and memorable moments in Cuevas’s latest novel. 
In addition to opening up opportunities to discuss grief and emotion, teachers and parents will also be fans of the real scientific elements that Cuevas has incorporated into this story. While many elements of the book are fantastical, Cuevas has included real physics and astronomy components which will allow this book to be incorporated into STEM-themed lesson plans.  

 
 

Top Five Space Phenomena That Might Make Good Pets

1. A PET BLACK HOLE who eats homework you don’t want to do, garbage you don’t want to take out, your little bother’s horrible record collection

2. A PET COMET (shooting star) that knows the command “streak” for whenever you really need to make a wish come true

3. A PET SUN for colder climates in the winter, brrrrrr no more

4. A PET STAR CLUSTER for when you’re trying to make up a romantic constellation and impress your crush

5. a PET GALAXY for when everyone on Earth is annoying you, and you just need some... space

 

Top Five Names for a Pet Black Hole

1. Larry (short for “Singularity”)

2. Nox (like the Harry Potter spell!)

3. Morticia (for the black hole with great hair)

4. Tuxedo (for the fancy-pants pet black hole)

5. Baron Von Void 

 

 

Blog Tour Schedule:

 

Week One:
September 12 – Welcome to Wonderland – Review & Activity (create your own pet Black Hole)
September 13 – Embers and Ashes – Review and Bookstagram 
September 15 – Dazzled by Books – Review 
Week Two:
September 18 –books4yourkids – Review (just Smoot)
September 19 – All Done Monkey - Review
September 20 – Four Violet Reviews – Creative piece
September 21 – DoodleMom's Homeschooling Life – Review
September 22 – YABooksCentral – Author Guest Post – Top 5 listicle from author
Week Three:
September 25 – Teachers Who Read – Review
September 26 – Here's to Happy Endings – Review 
September 27 – Mama Smiles – Review & Creative Activities 
September 28 – Cracking the Cover - Review
Author Chat with David Barclay Moore (The Stars Be...
Featured Review: Welcome Home, edited by Eric Smit...

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