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Grandma's 8 grandkids exit the tree house through a forbidden door to end up in a mysterious land far from home. http://bit.ly/2xJjuPL

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Georgina is failing fifth grade. Her father split and mom is left holding the bag. How to Steal a Dog shows the impact of homelessness on kids. http://michaelthal.com/the-impact-of-homelessness-on-children/

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Koolura and the Mayans, a YA sci-fi time travel novel, won the Bronze Medal for the 2017 Reader's Favorite Book Awards. https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/koolura-and-the-mayans

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Red City Review gives Goodbye Tchaikovsky, a YA novel about deafness, 5 stars. http://tinyurl.com/y9rpohav

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GREAT Middle Grade Reads... Check it out!

SUBSCRIBE - FOLLOW - LIKE - SHARE

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The Doll Maker, the first in the Weirdville Series, will frighten any kid and ensure that pre-pubescent boys stay away from dolls their entire lives. http://michaelthal.com/a-twilight-zone-story-for-kids/

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WELCOME SUMMER 2017!

THE POODLES OF PARK AVENUE and their author, Karen-Cherie Cogane, wish everyone a happy start to summer on June 21!

The precocious poodle star, Simone, cannot contain her enthusiasm.
FAST FORWARD TO JUNE 21:

“Bonjour everyone! Je m’appelle Simone (My name is Simone). I’m so excited it's the first day of summer. I’ve waited all year, and now it’s here!”

NOW FAST FORWARD TO SATURDAY, JUNE 24:

“Oui! It’s me! I’m at our house in the Hamptons with my family and can’t wait to swim in our pool. A mean doggie paddle is my forte, and I have loads of fun playing in the waves.

Ricardo, my poodle boyfriend, is here with me on the East End. It’s so romantic when we relax in our room, listen to the crickets, and hear the roaring waves at night.

Long walks on the beach and frolicking in the Atlantic Ocean are the best.
Jorge, Ricardo’s person, is here and often watches us, while he reads a book. The handsome Jorge always gets admiring looks from the ladies.

Roland, dad’s friendly driver during the work week, took us to the Hamptons in our car. It was about a 3 ½ hour drive from NYC, since we ran into Friday afternoon traffic.

Have to admit that my tresses were a little messed. Ricardo and I stuck our heads out the car window, and our hair blew in the wind. It’s all right – I already got a re-brush.

Mom, dad, and Jorge, sipped champagne. What about moi? I wanted a sip of the French bubbly.

It was time for a toast - to the poodle with the most! Glasses were clanged, and us dogs had Perrier to drink in cups that Jorge held.

My talented pop is a master on the grill, and he barbecues hamburgers, hot dogs, and steaks! He flips the meat with such expertise.

By the way, daddy wears a tall white hat and a white apron that says: ‘I’m the chef!’ He kind of looks like a handsome ice cream man! He doesn’t ring a bell, but, oh, how the hamburgers smell!

But, today a food mishap occurred. Raymond dropped a burger, rinsed it off, and gave it to me. Usually I would not eat something from the floor, but there’s this 10 second rule I’ve heard about. Should I eat the burger or shouldn’t I?

Well . . . After daddy put ketchup and relish on it, I gave in and loved every bit of the tender, angus beef burger.

I barked: ‘Can I have another burger? Please? Drop it in! I’m waiting! Well?’ But, since dad doesn’t understand poodle, he didn’t give me another hamburger. (He should really learn poodle language.)

But, don’t feel sorry for moi, because I had 3 more hamburgers during the barbecue! My pet parents even gave me a baked potato. Didn’t get my steak bone today, but I hope to have one tomorrow.

Some neighbors were invited over to eat, and everyone is having a great time socializing on the deck.

Francine, my Manhattan nanny, is here for the weekend: she’s cooking for us and serving at the party. I think she’s also looking for a well-to-do boyfriend. Just my opinion . . .

A chilled beverage, anyone? Jorge is the acting bartender, and he’s making the humans colorful drinks with fancy names: mimosas, sangrias, bellinis, martinis, and watermelon daiquiris. Can I have some, please?

After the barbecue cappuccino and vino will be served. I hope there’s some froth for me, and then I’ll be as happy as can be.

Grace dons a vibrant floral dress that is off the shoulder (this year’s trend) – also known as the cold shoulder. She looks tres jolie -- very pretty.

Her outfit is completed with blue high heels, a gold necklace, and fuschia lipstick. And, her shoulder length brown hair is in soft waves that cascade on her long neck. Like I’ve said before, Grace belongs on a runway.

When she slithers over to Raymond and bats her long eyelashes (coated with mascara), dad almost drops more burgers!

Grace loves to flirt with her husband, and Raymond looks entranced. I’m all for it. Yay, for amour!

Back to food: Then I had blueberry pie for dessert.
Well . . . sort of . . .

I know, poodles, aren’t supposed to have sweets, but I just couldn’t resist. Dad put a piece of blueberry pie on the table and walked away. I jumped up on my hind legs and grabbed it quickly. Can you blame me? It was freshly baked from the Amagansett bakery in town.

I felt guilty and “let the cat out of the bag” (please, not a real cat). It wasn’t on purpose, but pop returned and asked mom if she ate the piece of pie.

I put my head down asap, but Raymond asked: ‘Simone? Have you seen the slice of blueberry pie? Did you eat it?’ I raised my head my slowly, and I guess my blue whiskers gave it away.

So, my father laughed and said: ‘Simone . . . It’s okay, but it’s not really good for you.” I barked, ‘Maybe not, but it’s delicious.”

This time, he must have understood me and remarked: ‘Here, have another piece. Why not?’

‘Thanks, dad . . . thanks very much!’ I barked and gobbled the pie down in about 5 seconds!

Then Grace came over and wiped off my blue face. Mommy chuckled and told me I was beyond cute. So much for my being discreet.

I love being a scribe, so this is what I’ll gladly describe:

‘Summer is here, and it’s my favorite time of the year!

It’s the nicest season and with good reason.

Maybe it’s the warm air, but I feel like I don’t have a care.

I’m off from school (oh, that’s right, I don’t go to school), and I love to swim in the pool!

When I’m in the Big Apple, sometimes Frank, my dog walker, lets me drink Snapple. Or, I might drink chilled Perrier which brightens any day. Better yet, how about lemonade that’s freshly made?

We promenade slower on Park Avenue and linger on the East Side. And, Frank shows me off with such pride. We stop to look at the fashionable shops.

My dog walker gives me bacon treats before we go to Café Beaucoup to eat.

Ricardo and I play in Central Park, and it takes longer to get dark.

It’s time to get away. Hip, hip, hooray!

Our lovely summer house makes me relax. When the weekend is over, I’m ready to go back.

I kind of miss the city, but Long Island sure is pretty. All the trees, the grass, the water, and the sand. Why, it’s simply grand!

There’s so much open space and it perfectly suits Grace (and Raymond too).

The melodic birds tweet as they perch on my bedroom window sill. The cute ducks quack, and the cool water trickles on my back.

Then I wonder: ‘Where did momma duck swim? Oh, maybe she’s looking for din (dinner). Her little ones look so sweet, and they really need to eat.’

I talk to the birds, but I don’t think they understand my words. Why can’t all animals converse with a poodle with a really good noodle?

Have you seen butterflies soar or when the sky is vivid blue? It makes me feel renewed. How about you?

Have you ever jumped into a wave? That’s one of my faves.
A splash here and a splash there – There’s ocean water everywhere!

Ricardo and I love to romp in the sun, and sometimes we take a run. Or, we might catch a Frisbee, and it feels good to be free.

All I want to do is play and scamper outside during the day. You might be surprised to hear me say: The feel of the soft sand against my poodle hair is beyond compare.

But, I wear a floppy hat, and Grace makes sure of that.

Mom dresses me in cotton frocks and matching bows, and her oh so chic style unmistakably shows.

I have shorter hair which makes me feel kind of bare.

Thanks to dad who works at a bank, I munch on hamburgers and franks.

Raymond unwinds and loves coming here. I’ve even seen him drinking a beer! (Granted it’s from Belgium, but he usually prefers wine and champagne.)

I devour all the meat, but I think I’ve had too much to eat!

Pop has traded his electronic Blackberry for real blackberries, blueberries, and cherries. Can you imagine that? He eats them like they’re going out of style, and that makes me smile.

Now that we’re out of town, dad even put his laptop down.

He looks at mom more with the face that says: ‘je t’adore’ (I adore you). Grace sure seems happy, and I’m proud of my pappy.

Raymond’s a great burger flipper, and a super skipper. Oh, yes, we have a boat, and did I mention that I like to float? In my pool, that is, and I’m just like a carefree kid.

Summer is casting its spell. Can’t you tell?

Ricardo is very kind, and tells me I’m always on his mind. How lucky can a girl poodle be?

I get a lot of attention, and there’s something else I want to mention. When my love and I have talks at night, everything seems so right.

The mood is sublime, and I forget about time.

Roses abound in full bloom. Fragrant lilacs make me swoon. Where’s the moon?

The lovely scent of gardenias suggest romance. Ricardo, how about a dance?

Mojito, my feisty Chihuahua city walking partner, has a major Simone crush, and it’s just too much. At least he’s more at ease – maybe it’s the warm breeze.

When we stroll in NYC, he always tells me I look pretty. He wants me to be his girl, and I reply: ‘You know that I already have a beau.’

I wish I was just Mojito’s summer crush, but nothing such. He says he wants me all-year round – that I’m the best dog he’s every found!

Can’t blame the Chihuahua for liking me (je suis poodle!), but I’ve got Ricardo, and am content as can be.

Frank says he wishes Mojito could always be so mellow, instead of a disruptive Chihuahua fella.

But, these summer days are the best of all. Even though I stand on four legs - I’m two and a half feet high - I feel ten feet tall!

Happy Summer to everyone. Here’s hoping you have a lot of fun!

P.S. The first pic of me at our Hamptons house is before I got my summer haircut, when I was hamburger hunting.

The second shot is moi lounging by our pool. It was taken after mom and dad brought my stylist, Lilly, to our Hamptons house; She gave me my summer beauty treatment, including a shorter haircut (and a bath, massage, pawdicure, and facial)!

FYI, Lilly is staying over, and she’s having a great time. She’s bonding with Francine, and they’re going boyfriend hunting. Told you.

And, the third photo of the dog lounging on the pool chaise, is my Hamptons friend, called Sincella. She is a smaller Standard Poodle, and she belongs to Claire and Lonny, our neighbors.

Sincella came over for the barbecue with her humans, and to go swimming with Ricardo and me. Her pet parents live in Manhattan during the week, too, and Claire is Grace’s friend.’

It’s a wrap, and now it’s time for my summer nap!”

Written by: Simone, THE Park Avenue poodle

“The Poodles of Park Avenue” is available at: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-poodles-of-park-avenue-karen-cherie-cogane/1122407386

Read about Simone’s exciting New York excursions!


























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6/19/17
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Happy Father’s Day 2017!

THE POODLES OF PARK AVENUE and Karen-Cherie Cogane, their author, wish everyone a Happy Father’s Day on June 18, 2017!

The star of the book, Simone, wants everyone to know:

Fast Forward to June 18: “Hi! Je suis Simone, the Park Avenue poodle, wishing all fathers of humans and pet fathers a very Happy Father’s Day!

What better day is there to say merci (thank you) to your pop?

The inspiration just flowed, so I’m writing an ode:

There are many ways to thank my dad who works at a bank.

‘Mon pere (my father), Raymond, I hope you know how much I care.

I’m beyond glad that you’re my dad!

Handsome and fine, you’re simply devine!

What can I give you? A wallet? Shirts? Ties? Belts? Pocket Squares? Or maybe a mare?

Or, how about a race horse? You can keep it in our apartment, why, of course.

How about writing in the sky above? And my endless love.

I’ll shower you with kisses and jump up and down. Cause you’re my father, and you’re the best in town.

I love you through thick and thin. When you brought me home, it was a Win-Win.

You keep me warm and protect me from harm.

Daddy, you work hard and rarely complain. You’ve got that ‘I just can’t explain.’

When mom sees you, her face just glows. You give her love that only she knows.

As for me, I’m your poodle kid, and you make me happy.

We have such a lovely place, and I even have my own space.

You give me so much to enjoy . . . A room full of comfort and toys . . . A beautiful Park Avenue view .
. .
But, the best part is YOU!

The things that are free mean the most to me: pets, rubs, and soapy scrubs in the tub. And, spending time with me, even if we watch TV.

When you come home from work, I’ve missed you all day, and just want you to stay.

And, there’s something else I want to say: When you tuck me in at night, I know that everything will be all-right.

So, Raymond, to me you are dear, and Father’s Day is every day of the year!’

To all dads everywhere: Happy Father’s Day!”

Written by: Simone Margery (my last name), aka Raymond and Grace’s kid

"The Poodles of Park Avenue" is available at: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-poodles-of-park-avenue-karen-cherie-cogane/1122407386

Read about Simone's exciting excursions in the Big Apple!



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6/13/17
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It’s Pet Appreciation Week 2017, from June 5 to June 10, and “The Poodles of Park Avenue” and their author, Karen-Cherie Cogane, hope you pay special attention to your pets.

Simone, the poodle star of the book is excited to tell you:

“We wag our tail! We might even try to get the mail. We jump up and down. Can you take us out on the town? We sit, we give you our paw, and we stay, and you really make our day!

Maybe we bark or meow, or make other sounds. Maybe we walk or crawl. Maybe we’re big or very small.

I’m talking about us pets. And, it’s the week to rejoice. So, let’s give pets a voice.
Bonjour. It’s Simone, the poodle, and I’m reporting that it’s June 5, and it’s the start of Pet Appreciation Week!

Pet parents: please give thanks for the love and companionship your pets bring you.

Whether they’re dogs, cats, birds, fish, and everything in between, when you take care of your pets, you’ll get so much in return. And, there’s so much to learn.

Spend time with them, and give your furry pets, strokes and hugs. Talk to them nicely and treat them kindly.

Make sure your pets are fed and warm, and protect them from harm. Give them veterinary care when they need it, and keep them groomed.

Shower your pets with love.

Let them sit on your lap for perhaps an afternoon nap.

Or, how about a lathered rub in a soapy tub?

Why not take your pooch to a dog-friendly café on a beautiful spring day?

I appreciate all pets – dogs, birds, fish, bunnies, lizards, ducks, guinea pigs, turtles and gerbils. Oops! I forgot cats – didn’t really mean to do that.

In New York City it might be hard to have a pet horse, but we could fit one in our apartment, of course.

If you have a dog, take it for daily walks to stay healthy. And, remember to dote on your cats, and make sure they’re active.

For what would your day be without your dog’s licks and excitement when you come home, or your cat’s ‘meow?’

My pet parents, Grace and Raymond, really rate. I love when my folks give me strokes. The best part is when they spend time with me – then I’m as happy as can be.

I may be a canine, but I’m not that different from you. I have emotions, too. I feel happy or sad, but most of the time, I’m glad.

When I’m thirsty I want a drink, and I even think (I actually do a lot of thinking.)

When I’m hungry, I want to eat, and like a human kid, I wish I could have sweets. I want to sleep when I'm tired.

I like to play, and as a Park Avenue poodle, strutting is in my DNA!

I’ll admit that after my Beauty Day (at Ma Belle Chien), I show off, and when I’m miffed at something, I might scoff (It’s usually at my Chihuahua walking partner, Mojito).

Pets are innocent and rely on humans for good care.

Give us a lot of attention, and we’re as happy as can be. Us dogs jump up in glee: ‘You love me! You do! And, I love you!’

Remember to hug your pets more – Let them know they’re adored.

Maybe you can adopt a dog or cat if you don’t already have one. Or, why not add another pet? It will be the best experience yet!

Please don’t forget about the animals in shelters. Many were abandoned and suffered from neglect. All they want is a little respect. Know that you are giving a deserving animal a good home. No one wants to roam.

If you see animal abuse of any kind, speak your mind. Report it – Don’t ignore it. Let the ASPCA or the Humane Society know, and let your love for all animals show.

What your pets want most in the world is YOU!

You can give your pets a treat or something special to eat.

Just let them know that they belong. You might even sing them a song!

Happy Pet Appreciation Week, and most of all, let your heart speak.”

Written by: Simone, THE Park Avenue poodle

“The Poodles of Park Avenue” is available at: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-poodles-of-park-avenue-karen-cherie-cogane/1122407386

Read about Simone's exciting excursions in the Big Apple!




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6/5/17
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