Thursday, February 27, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Riley's Lost Tooth by Diane Cantrell with Illustrator, Heather Castles


Blurb: 
One of Sunday's very favorite humans, Riley, has lost her tooth! But where did it go? How did she lose it? Why does no one besides Sunday seem to care?
It isn't long before the tooth fairy steps in and tries to teach the pups all about growing up. 
Join Sunday and her two puppy-pals, Precious and Mr. Lee, as they try to hunt down . . . Riley s lost tooth!


My Review:
This is the story of three little puppies who do not understand the nuances of being human and hitting milestones as one grows up.

Riley's puppy, Sunday, gets very upset when Riley has lost a tooth and gets two other puppies involved to help find the tooth. They do what dogs would do by digging in the yard, the trash and the couch to no avail.

They then encounter the tooth fairy, whom they have never heard of who shows them that Riley is growing up and for her to lose a tooth is a joyful thing for her.
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Once again, the author writes this little gem of a picture book in complete rhyme, which is the genius of what she does. The illustrator, Heather Castles lends her art work in colorful pictures that add to the wonder.

One of the things I really love about this particular book is that the little girl Riley comes from a bi-racial family. This promotion of different kinds of families I think is important for all children to know.

Diane Cantrell has an additional page in the back of the book that can help families to discuss things like celebrating milestones, acceptance of diversity, and healthy habits. 

This book won the Mom's Choice Award for excellence and is target for children 5 years old and up.

I give the book 5 stars.

Diane Cantrell is giving a copy of this book to one of my readers. Enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance.
~Naila Moon

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book for my open and honest review. The view expressed here is 100% my own and my differ from yours.
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Where to find the author:

Amazon
Goodreads

The giveaway is open to US only. Naila Moon of Once Upon A Time is not responsible for prize shipment.
The author, Diane Cantrell is solely responsible for prize shipment. Winner will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter. Giveaway is from Midnight MST Feb. 28th- Midnight MST March 14, 2014.



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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Good-bye Baby Max by Diane Cantrell and Illustrated by Heather Castles


Blurb:
Mrs. B.'s class excitedly awaits the birth of three baby chicks, but when the special day arrives, one chick, Max, is too weak to break out of his shell. When even a trip to the veterinarian can't save Baby Max, Mrs. B. must teach her class how to say good-bye to their little friend.

Join Mrs. B. and her students as they show children what it's like to lose someone special and how they can cope in this book filled with rhyming verse and rich, colorful illustrations.


My review:
This sweet book tells the story of love, loss, and how to cope with death. The children in the story learn about death when one of the chicks they were awaiting to hatch suddenly dies. Their teacher Mrs. B. lets them know that it is okay to grieve a loss and to remember. The children and teacher go so far as to have a funeral in the school yard complete with hand-drawn pictures and flowers for Max.

In the end though the children remember there is also two chicks who are alive and well. The lesson here is that even after death, life still goes on.
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Death is a touchy subject, even for me! I think we adults tend to shelter kids when a death occurs. Truth is, we should treat it just like anything else in life...it happens. This book lets the readers understand life and death in a way that kids can understand.

Targeted for 4-8 year old's this book is beautifully written in rhyme with colorful and bold pictures by illustrator, Heather Castles. The book allows for adults and children to read together and discuss the subject at hand. I think the author did such an excellent job at this.

I can see why this book was picked for the Mom's Choice Award and it well deserves the 5 stars I wish to give it.
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Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book for my open and honest review. The view expressed here is 100% my own and my differ from yours.
The author is giving away a copy of this book to one of my readers. Enter in the Rafflecopter below for your chance.

Where to find the author:

Amazon
Goodreads

The giveaway is open to US only. Naila Moon of Once Upon A Time is not responsible for prize shipment.
The author, Diane Cantrell is solely responsible for prize shipment. Winner will be chosen at random by Rafflecopter. Giveaway is from Midnight MST Feb. 27th- Midnight MST March 13, 2014.




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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Book Review: Almost Perfect by Diane Daniels Manning


Blurb:

An old woman who has given up hope and a boy who believes the impossible wonder if life would be perfect at the Westminster Dog Show. 

Seventy-year old Bess Rutledge has dreamed of winning the Westminster Dog Show all her life. Despite her decades-long career as one of America’s top Standard Poodle breeders, she has decided she’s too old to hold on to her foolish dream. She sells off all the dogs in her once famous kennel except for the aging champion McCreery and his mischievous, handsome son Breaker. Part of her senses they might have been the ones to take her to Westminster, if only she’d dared to try. 

Bess meets Benny, a teenager with mild autism who attends a therapeutic special school, and learns he has a dream of his own: to impress his self-absorbed mother. Benny is drawn into the world of dog shows and becomes convinced he has found the perfect way to win his mother’s attention. If he can win Westminster with either McCreery or Breaker, he just knows she will finally be proud of him. Getting Bess to go along with his plan, however, is not going to be so easy. 

My Review:

There is no doubt that this book tells the tale of how dog shows are really like. The author is quick to point out that the book is fictional in nature but as she has shown dogs too, she can write the book as if it was a true account.

The character Bess is self absorbed and has shown dogs for years. Throughout the book she is shown to love her champion dogs more than she loved her own son. Her son over the years tried to please his mother and only into adulthood does he finally succeed. This story coincides with the character Benny who tries his best to please his own mother but never quite seems to live up to her standards or for that matter the standards of his father who wishes him to be a lawyer.


Bess and Benny are an unlikely duo with a commonality. Bess sees something in Benny but cannot  quite put her finger on it, although, the reader knows. Benny, in his child-like wisdom sees through Bess's strong interior. Their working together and Bess's patience with Benny is truly amazing. However, his patience with her is even more amazing as he learns that he must be patient with himself in order to gain what he wants the most...acceptance.


Acceptance is what the truly underlying story is all about wrapped up in a very good dog tale. All the characters, even the old dog, McCreery, seek this one issue throughout the entire book. In the end, they all get what they want as the author twist the tale in this adorable book.

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I enjoyed reading this book although in truth, I thought it could have been shorter and still have told the same story. I did find that to be cumbersome at times.

What I loved most about this story was the character of Benny. It was no secret that Benny had problems and only later revealed that he was autistic. However, his autism did not hold him back or make him look foolish. In fact, I admired his tenacity to move forward and to learn how to cope even when it was most difficult for him.  


I loved that this book put children who are autistic in a different light as "can do" kids as opposed to difficult kids. It was proven with Bess's character and that of the character David, that with a little love and a bunch of patience, that if given the chance, children with special needs will thrive and surprise us all and we just might learn something about ourselves.


This book gets 4 stars from me.


Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my open and honest review. The views expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~Naila Moon


Where to find the author:




Facebook

Amazon
Goodreads

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Red Hot #Giveaway: $100 Paypal & Schism Book-Sponsored by Michael Phillip Cash






On the planet Darracia, an ever-widening social gap between its inhabitants is causing turmoil that is fracturing a once peaceful world. Struggling with his identity, nineteen year old Prince V'sair must harness the power of the elusive Fireblade, the secret to a warrior's heart, in order to overcome his uncle Staf Nuen's lust for supremacy. Will the energy of the Elements guide the young prince to his true destiny or will Staf Nuen conquer Darracia? 

After the success of his first three books (Brood X, Stillwell, and The Hanging Tree) Michael Phillip Cash has fulfilled a dream and created his own epic fantasy world. Schism: The Battle for Darracia is the first book in a planned series.






To share Schism: The Battle For Darracia with the world at large, author Michael Phillip Cash is generously giving away $100 in Paypal Cash and a copy of this book. (Please make sure to check disclosure for full details) Does the Fireblade burn within you? Do you have what it takes?

Enter in the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!


 Disclosure: This giveaway is arranged by Away We Go Media on behalf of  Michael Phillip Cash who is responsible for the giveaway. My blog, Once Upon A Time, was asked to host the giveaway is compensated for this post.
The winner will be selected at random by Rafflecopter.
The giveaway is open Worldwide, however if the winner is outside the US the book will only be a Kindle download version. The winner must have an active paypal account and will only be paid in US dollars.
Giveaway begins on Feb. 21st at 12AM MST through March. 8th at 12AM MST.
Winner must respond within 48 hours to an email sent or an alternate winner will be chosen.
This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media outlet.

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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Review: Diego's Dragon, Book One: Spirits of the Sun by Kevin Gerard

Synopsis:
An eleven-year-old Latino boy wins a district-wide writing contest for sixth graders. When an author visits his school to award his prize, Diego Ramirez has no idea how much his life is about to change.

Nathan Sullivan hands Diego his statue, a handsome, glistening black dragon. He shakes his hand and leaves him to his friends. The students crowd around Diego, asking for permission to hold it.

After hearing the name Magnifico spoken aloud by family and friends, Diego awards it to his new dragon. If he only knew how fitting the name was, he might have known what lay ahead. Magnifico is the leader of the Sol Dragones, dragons that live within the magical fires of the sun. Nathan Sullivan is the earth's connection to the mysterious creatures. It is his task to find Magnifico’s guide.

As Magnifico comes to life he becomes quite mischievous, playing tricks on Diego to embarrass him. As he discovers his bloodline, however, Diego assumes greater control over his dragon and his destiny. In the climactic journey, he frees his people and suffers a terrible loss by guiding Magnifico to their goal.


My review:
 I was instantly drawn to the black dragon with a powerful name to match...Magnifico! Without a doubt he can cause trouble for the hero, Diego but he also protects him and serves him in order to achieve the ultimate goal and destiny Diego has to free his people from years of torture. However, I choose not to tell you of what torture that is.

The mysterious writer, Nathan Sullivan is charged with finding the "guide" as Diego will be come to be know as. His role is to also help Diego see that he is more than just an eleven-year-old boy but a person of years and wisdom.

To encourage him in achieving these goals, is the beautiful girlfriend, Raquel who pulls at the heart strings of the young boy. She too has a goal to achieve and only near the end of the book does the reader find out what exactly that is. Her ultimate destiny will be intertwined with Diego's but leave him heart broken and hopeful too.
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I have always been fascinated by the supposedly mythical creature of dragons so, it was great delight to read this book about one that comes to life. It was also great to see the hero being a young Latino boy. 

The author had in mind from the beginning of this book (he wrote it in the foreword) to write books for young Latinos. The lack of books for this group of children was overpowering. The author discovered very few books were available and thus set out to correct that problem. This book is the first book in what is to ultimately be a series.

I certainly was not disappointed with the book and glad it did not end on a cliff hanger. I felt that all the characters were strong and I could see children seeing themselves in the characters. I could also see that the author did his homework to provide the cultural nuances for the book.

I cannot wait to read the next book in the series and find out what adventure Diego and Magnifico have in store. Great book and a must read!

This book gets 5 stars!
~Naila Moon

Disclosure:I received a copy of this book for my open and honest opinion. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own and may differ from yours.
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Where to find the author:

Facebook
Amazon
Goodreads






Sunday, February 9, 2014

Review: The Mist On Bronte Moor by Aviva Orr


Blurb:
When fifteen-year-old Heather Jane Bell is diagnosed with alopecia and her hair starts falling out in clumps, she wants nothing more than to escape her home in London and disappear off the face of the earth.
Heather gets her wish when her concerned parents send her to stay with a great-aunt in West Yorkshire. But shortly after she arrives, Heather becomes lost on the moors and is swept through the mist back to the year 1833. There she encounters fifteen-year-old Emily Bronte and is given refuge in the Bronte Parsonage.
Unaware of her host family's genius and future fame, Heather struggles to cope with alopecia amongst strangers in a world foreign to her. While Heather finds comfort and strength in her growing friendship with Emily and in the embrace of the close-knit Bronte family, her emotions are stretched to the limit when she falls for Emily's brilliant but troubled brother, Branwell.
Will Heather find her way back to the comforts and conveniences of the twenty-first century? Or will destiny keep her in the harsh world of nineteenth-century Haworth?

My review:
I really love a good time travel book, especially if it is written well. This book does that and a bit more. Heather arrives in the 19th century with her 21st century clothes and look. Her relationship with Emily is sweet but complicated too as Emily Bronte is portrayed as a free spirit preferring to live among nature than among human companionship. However, her self sacrificing to spare her family hardshipsd is surprising too.
Heather's struggle with her disease of alopecia and her torment of it is relatable for anyone who has medical issue. I like how the author was able to write this problem into the story line as it is different than what many book authors would have chosen. Her struggle to keep it secret from a time period that would not understand is fantastic. What is even more interesting is how the Bronte's just accepted her weirdness to wear her beanie all the time. Considering this was set in a time period when women were expected to where bonnets, this was remarkable and a nice liberty on the author's part.
Heather's relationship with Branwell made for interesting fodder too. It was beautiful that he accepted and loved Heather the way he did but in the same sense, disappointing that they ultimately could not be together. As a reader, I felt sorry for Heather's loss of him but more so, what historically actually became of him.
One of the best things about this book was the author's use of Emily Bronte's actual words to begin each chapter. I loved the historical references and tie to those pieces.
Overall, a short novel but well written piece. A book well worth the read again and again. This book is a 5 star for sure!

Where to find the author:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

$100 Amazon or Paypal Giveaway & Book Blast for Riley's Lost Tooth & Goodbye Baby Max by Diane Cantrell

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post other than a link on the Rafflecopter. This is a book blast promotion for author Diane Cantrell.

Riley's Lost Tooth by Diane Cantrell

Author: Diane Cantrell Illustrator: Heather Castles

 Publication Date: February 16, 2010
 Publisher: Brown Books Publishing Group
 Number of pages: 24
 Recommended age: 4+

Summary: Oh no! One of Sunday's very favorite humans, Riley, has lost her tooth! But where did it go? How did she lose it? Why does no one besides Sunday seem to care? It isn't long before the tooth fairy steps in and tries to teach the pups all about growing up. Join Sunday and her two puppy-pals, Precious and Mr. Lee, as they try to hunt down . . . Riley s lost tooth!

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Author Website

   

Book Trailer for Riley's Lost Tooth




  Good-bye Baby Max by Diane Cantrell

Author: Diane Cantrell Illustrator: Heather Castles
Publication Date: February, 2008
Publisher: Bridgeway Books
Number of pages: 32
Recommended age: 4+
Summary: Mrs. B's class excitedly awaits the birth of three baby chicks. When Max is unable to crack open his shell, the children's loving teacher assists them in expressing their feelings of loss and planning a special good-bye.  

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Author Website

 

The Buzz

Riley's Lost Tooth: "The book is well written and the illustrations are beautiful. The book will definitely appeal to all children (including children at heart like this reviewer) and their parents / grandparents / elder siblings and other care givers. The book is strongly recommended as a good gift that is educational and also entertaining." ~ 5 Star Review, S.V. Swamy, Amazon

Good-bye Baby Max: "This book is amazing! I have given it as several gifts to my friends with children. It is very well written and the illustrations are fun and colorful. This book it a great tool to help parents and teachers talk to children about loss of a pet and a loved one in general. I would highly recommend this book to everyone!" ~ 5 Star Review, Dawn N., Amazon

Good-bye Baby Max: "This colorful, hardcover children’s title Good-bye, Baby Max (Bridgeway Books, Texas, 2007) by Diane Cantrell & Heather Castles is special in its purpose of teaching an invaluable lesson: that of properly saying the final farewell to a loved one who is no more ... Diane Cantrell has created a very purposeful book for children-one that is at once a story, a poem, and a healthy course of helping children get over grief. The book’s illustrations by Heather Castles are very appealing to a child’s imagination. There is a good deal here in Good-bye, Baby Max to learn for children ages 4 to 8 years and the 32-pages book is a must read for all kids of this age category." ~ Ernest Dempsey, Book Corner

Good-bye Baby Max: "I bought this book to help my nieces and nephews deal with the loss of a beloved pet. The storyline and illustrations were used as a springboard to discuss their own loss. I highly recommend this book to anyone that has young children and is looking for a way to help them cope with a loss in their lives." ~ 5 Star Review, Jeanne B., Amazon

Good-bye Baby Max: "[Good-bye, Baby Max] is a tender story about death, a tough topic for young children. Kindergarteners eagerly await spring and the hatching of the class' three chick eggs. But one chick, Max, dies. What ensues is a gentle exploration of grief and its many expressions -- from tears to songs to artwork. At the end, the surviving chicks' peeps encourage the children to embrace the living without forgetting the dead." ~ Michele Siuda Jacques, Detroit Free Press
 

About the Author: Diane Cantrell

Diane Cantrell  Diane Cantrell began her career in education teaching Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Transitional First Grade. She also worked as a counselor providing assistance to parenting teens in a local school district. As a Licensed Professional Counselor, Diane has provided therapy for adults, families, and children in agencies and private practice settings. As part of her private practice, she offers parent training to her clients and to parents in local schools. Diane is presently writing and publishing children’s books as well as provides counseling services to adults and children in her private practice, Life Designs Counseling. Diane’s time at Fort Sam Houston I.S.D. provided inspiration for Good-bye, Baby Max. The book, which is based on a true story, describes how Ms. B helps her kindergarten class cope with the loss of a classroom pet. At the time Diane wrote the book she was working with many children who were experiencing a great deal of loss in their lives. Her hope in writing Good-bye, Baby Max was that the story would help parents, children, and other caring professionals begin talking about losses rather than responding to their losses from a state of fear. Her second book, Riley’s Lost Tooth, was written for her granddaughter, Riley as a Valentine’s Day present. Mr. Lee, and Sunday are main characters in the book as is Precious, who died before the book was written. When Diane is not involved in writing or listening to people’s stories, she enjoys being with her husband, Rich, and their two dogs, Sunday and Mr. Lee. Diane and Rich live in San Antonio, Texas.

Website 

 

* $100 Book Blast Giveaway *

Prize: $100 AmazongGift card or PayPal cash (winner's choice) Contest runs: January 20th to February 19th, 11:59 pm, 2014 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Diane Cantrell and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.

Naila Moon of Once Upon A Time was asked to promote these books as part of a book tour and is not responsible for shipment.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/ZTY0NDdlNmQ0ZDg2ZTE2YzkzZmI4N2U0M2UwMGVkOjEyNQ==/

Ocean Animal Of The Day

Ocean Animal Of The Day List

Sunday-Brittle Star

Monday-Orca Whale

Tuesday-Elephant Seal

Wednesday-Clam

Thursday-Blue Ring Octopus

Friday- Queen Conch

Saturday-Bottlenose Dolphin


#Giveaway: Whaley's Big Adventure Book & $50 Paypal


New author and illustrator Alexander Luke has written the cutest book, Whaley's Big Adventure. Get this, he is only 5 years old!
Do not be fooled though, this book packs a wallop and holds its own. Read my review about the book HERE.

Join Whaley on his big adventure in the ocean as he meets Whales of all different sizes. Written by 5 year old Alexander Luke, and presented by his grandmother, award-winning children's author Carole P. Roman, this oceanic adventure of whale-sized proportions will teach youngsters about the different whales that live in the oceans.

To introduce Whaley to the world at large, Alexander Luke, along with his grandmother, are giving away a copy of his book and $50 Paypal to one lucky winner! Wow! Follow the fish and join in the adventure below!




Disclosure: This giveaway is arranged by Away We Go Media on behalf of  Alexander Luke & Carole P. Roman who is responsible for the giveaway. Naila Moon of Once Upon A Time was asked to help promote this giveaway and was compensated for this post.
The winner will be selected at random by Rafflecopter.
The giveaway is open Worldwide, however if the winner is outside the US the book will only be a Kindle download version. The winner must have an active paypal account and will only be paid in US dollars.
Giveaway begins on Feb. 6th at 12AM MST through Feb. 20th at 12AM MST.
Winner must respond within 48 hours to an email sent or an alternate winner will be chosen.
This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or any other social media outlet.


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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Review & Giveaway: Dr. Dee Dynamo's Meteorite Mission by Oneeka Williams, MD


Blurb:
Gordon the Gullible Globe hears Astrid Asteroid wailing because a piece of her rock has broken off, followed shortly by a loud BOOM! Matty Meteorite had collided with Earth and there is trouble.
Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo and her team whisk off in Freeda the Flying Ambulance to Chelyabinsk, Russia, to repair the damage.

My Review:
Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo is not your normal everyday action hero. She is young girl who lives with her mom and dad but just happens to also be a surgeon who goes and fixes planetary problems. In this case, Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo has to fix a run away meteorite that has hit Russia. However, she has to help the people and animals that have been affected by the meteorite hitting the surface.

Before she gets there in her flying ambulance, she lands at several historical meteor hits along the way because the GPS keeps fouling up. With each place the reader learns a little history and a little science too.
With the help of her medical bag friends and a grumpy Koala Bear named Kyle, she manages to save the day.
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This book is targeted for 6-10 year olds although, I personally see this book being for a bit older child. Some words are a bit difficult to pronounce and read. Luckily the author does have a glossary reference in the back.

Among the  author's goal by writing this book series was to introduce young girls in particular to the sciences and to give strong, positive role model for girls of all colors. She accomplished this quite well with sporadic bit of scientific information throughout the book. My only problem is children being able to tell the difference between fact and fiction.

In the back of the book is a set of questions that could be used to guide children in discussions. This would be great for parents of young children who are reading the book together or for homeschooling families.

Over all terrific book and receives 4 stars.



The author is generously giving away a copy of this hardback book to one of my readers. Enter in the


Where you can find the author: 
Amazon
Facebook
Website


Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for my open and honest opinion. The opinions expressed here are 100% my own.
This giveaway is provided by author Dr. Oneeka Williams. Naila Moon of Once Upon A Time  who is responsible for prize shipment.
This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,YouTube or any other social media site.
Giveaway is from Feb. 2 at 12AM MST- Feb. 176, 2014. Winner will automatically be sent the book as I have asked you to provide your complete mailing address. This address will not be used for any other reason. That entry will not allow you to win based on its sole entry. Giveaway is open US Only.

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KID LIT BLOG HOP-June 2017

Hello, welcome back to another month of terrific children's literature. We welcome you to the June 2017 Kid Lit Blog Hop. This ...